5 October 1888
Matters stand now so far as the East-end murderer is concerned just where they did on Sunday last, and it is safe to state that not the faintest evidence likely to lead to detection and arrest has yet been forthcoming. There is one person in custody at the present moment. The number of detectives on duty in the Whitechapel district last night was as large as ever, and there were also about fifty working men on voluntary patrol duty, most of whom remained in the streets until daylight. The local Vigilance Committees have charge of this movement, and they hope to arrange matters so that no man shall be required to give more than one night per week to the work.
A man has been arrested at Tiptree Heath on suspicion of being concerned in the Whitechapel murders. He was met by Police-sergeant Creswell, of whom he asked alms. He objected to be searched, and insisted on keeping his hand in his pocket. He was taken to Kelvedon, and it was seen that the appearance of the man answered to the description circulated by the metropolitan police of the Whitechapel murderer in almost every particular. He was detained in custody.
Early this morning a man was found wandering through the streets of Whitechapel, and his movements being suspicious and his replies unsatisfactory he was taken into custody. On being searched at the police-station a bayonet was found upon him. Inquiries by the police, however, showed plainly that he could have had no connection with the crime, and he was released.
In connection with the Mitre square murder, it may be mentioned that the foreman of the sewer hands who are engaged in Aldgate in sweeping the streets and clearing away the refuse, &c., in the early hours of the morning, has stated most positively that at the time when the murder is supposed to have been perpetrated he was standing not more than 20 yards away from the spot where the body was subsequently found by the constable and himself. He states emphatically that he never heard any woman's cries for help, nor did any sounds of a struggle reach his ear.
Another sister of Catherine Eddowes has been found by the police, and has also identified the body, notwithstanding its mutilated condition. She saw it yesterday, and at once recognized it. She is a married woman, and lives in the South of London.
The hon. member for North-West Lanark, in the course of a letter to a correspondent on the murders, says:--"One thing that poor London both thinks and says is that had the victims been titled profligates instead of poor prostitutes that a pretty stir would have been made, and that the reward offered by Government would have been counted in thousands sterling. It does not much matter what becomes of the poor in England, and especially in London; and this, I think, has been brought home to the poor by the callous indifference of Sir Charles Warren and Mr. Matthews to the whole affair. To do them justice, they care nothing about the matter, and are quite convinced that a police force is intended to be used to put down public meetings in the metropolis, and not to defend the lives and property of the citizens. I wonder if, when the long winter nights are coming in--when the cry for bread rises to deaf ears--when the 'starving season' is approaching, it is wise to deliberately neglect and insult to show the poor of London that their cry is disregarded, that their lives are not valued. I have heard that opportunity makes them commit crime. There is opportunity plenty in London. I hope the poor will disregard its promptings, and give those who wish to goad them to fury no chance to ride over and shoot them down afterwards. I hope that for once all classes will concur in calling for the dismissal of two men who during the past year have done more to further the cause of anarchy than any ten Nihilists. . . . Who shall say that the man who has made a policeman a marked man in London, who has made the very name of law and order a mockery, who has demoralized a good force that he found in good order, has not been the means of giving the murderer a better chance to escape? Poor London is hard to arouse, but, when aroused, terrible; and I hope that this indifference on the part of Authority to its sufferings may do it."
The inquiry relative to the discovery of mutilated remains on the site of the new police officers, Victoria Embankment, is being actively prosecuted by the police. The first idea in regard to this discovery of remains on the site was that the murderer had climbed an eight feet hoarding in Cannon-row, by reason of its loneliness, darkness, and unprotectedness, dragging after him this parcel, that in the dark he made his way to the darkest and most secret part of the unwatched works, and picked out, in the darkness, the place which would always be dark. This is now thought to be impossible. Equally unlikely was it for any one to have climbed the hoarding in daylight on Saturday afternoon or Sunday, when it would have been possible to have walked across the works. On examination of the other sides of the site it was considered equally improbable that the murderer found his way either from the gardens at the rear of Buccleuch House or from the westward side. There is therefore only left the road by which the loaded carts enter, and curiously enough this is the nearest way to the recess where the body was found. Brought in a cart, and carried as a load across the planks on to the building its disposal would be easy in the recess. Upon another point there is no doubt whatever, and that is that the deposit was made by some one intimately acquainted with all the intricacies of the underground part of these works. This fact narrows the examination, and the authorities are not hopeless of touching upon some evidence which will reveal the whole of the fearful crime.
The theory that the victim of the crime was a lady, or at any rate a person of good position, which has been asserted, is not much countenanced by the police or doctors. It is much more likely that she was a person of the unfortunate class or a servant. Dr. Neville, the acting divisional surgeon of the B Division of police, adhered to the opinion that the hand showed indications of hand work, the skin being rough and hard, and the finger nails were dirty. The medical men who made the post-mortem examination, it is said, are agreed that death took place about five weeks ago, although the detailed result of the autopsy will be kept secret until the inquest on Monday next. It is believed that the head had been clearly cut from the body by a very sharp instrument, and that the victim was a dark-complexioned woman, presumed to be about twenty-six years of age, and in stature 5 ft. 7 in or 8in.