14 November 1888
A MINUTE DESCRIPTION OF THE MURDERER
Last evening a man named George Hutchinson, a groom, who is now working as a labourer, made the following statement to a reporter, and his description of the murderer agrees in every particular with that already furnished by the police and published yesterday morning:-
"On Thursday I had been to Romford, and I returned from there about two o'clock on Friday morning, having walked all the way. I came down Whitechapel road into Commercial street. As I passed Thrawl street I passed a man standing at the corner of the street, and as I went towards Flower and Dean street, I met the woman Kelly, whom I knew very well, having been in her company a number of times. She said, "Mr. Hutchinson, can you lend me sixpence?" I said, "I cannot, as I am spent out, going down to Romford." She then walked on towards Thrawl street, saying, "I must go and look for some money." The man who was standing at the corner of Thrawl street then came towards her, put his hand on her shoulder, and said something to her which I did not hear; they both burst out laughing. He put his hand again on her shoulder and they both walked slowly towards me. I walked on to the corner of Fashion street, near the public house. As they came by me his arm was still on her shoulder. He had a soft felt hat on, and this was drawn down somewhat over his eyes. I put down my head to look him in the face, and he turned and looked at me very sternly. They walked across the road to Dorset street. I followed them across, and stood at the corner of Dorset street. They stood at the corner of Miller's court for about three minutes. Kelly spoke to the man in a loud voice, saying, "I have lost my handkerchief." He pulled a red handkerchief out of his pocket and gave it to Kelly, and they went up the court together. I went to look up the court to see if I could see them, but could not. I stood there for three-quarters of an hour to see if they came down again, but they did not, and so I went away. My suspicions were aroused by seeing the man so well dressed, but I had no suspicion that he was the murderer. The man was about 5ft. 6in. in height, and about thirty-four or thirty five years of age, with dark complexion, and dark moustache, turned up at the ends. He was wearing a long, dark coat, trimmed with astrachan (sic), a white collar, with black necktie, in which was affixed a horseshoe pin. He wore a park of dark "spats" with light buttons, over button boots, and displayed from his waistcoat a massive gold chain. His watch chain had a big seal, with a red stone hanging from it. He had a heavy moustache, curled up, dark eyes, and bushy eyebrows. He had no side whiskers and his chin was clean shaven. He looked like a foreigner. I went up the court, and stayed there a couple of minutes, but did not see any light in the house, or hear any noise. I was out on Monday night until three o'clock looking for him. I could swear to the man anywhere. I told one policeman on Sunday morning what I had seen, but did not go to the police station. I told one of the lodgers here about it on Monday, and he advised me to go to police station, which I did at night. The man carried a small parcel in his hand about eight inches long, and it had a strap around it. He had it tightly grasped in his left hand. It looked as though it was covered with dark American cloth. He carried in his right hand, which he left upon the woman's shoulder, a pair of brown kid gloves. One thing I noticed, and that was that he walked very softly. I believe that he lives in the neighbourhood, and I fancied that I saw him in Petticoat lane on Sunday morning, but I was not certain. I have been to the Shoreditch mortuary, and recognized the body as that of the woman Kelly, whom I saw at two o'clock on Friday morning. Kelly did not seem to me to be drunk, but was a little spreeish. After I left the court I walked about all night, as the place where I usually sleep was closed. I came in as soon as it opened in the morning. When I left the corner of Miller's court the clock struck three. One policeman went by the Commercial street end of Dorset street while I was standing there, but not one came down Dorset street.
A paragraph in the morning papers states that the police have received from Mr. Samuel Osborne, wire worker, 20, Garden row, London road, a statement to the effect that he was walking along St. Paul's churchyard yesterday behind a respectably dressed man, when a parcel, wrapped in a newspaper, fell from the man's coat. Osborne told him that he had dropped something; but the man denied that the parcel belonged to him. Osborne picked up the parcel, and found that it contained a knife, having a peculiarly shaped handle and a thick blade, six or seven inches long, with stains upon it resembling blood. The parcel also contained a brown kid glove, smeared with similar stains on both sides. Osborne found a constable, and together they searched for the mysterious individual, but without success. The parcel, says the paragraph, was handed to the City police authorities, "who, however, attach no importance to the matter." What on earth could be more important, after the statement made by the man Hutchinson and quoted above?
The "disjecta membra" of the poor woman Kelly, the latest victim of the Whitechapel murderer, will be buried at Chingford tomorrow or the day after. A Shoreditch tradesman had undertaken to save her from a pauper's grave, and there is a very widespread interest in the funeral. Of this take the following illustration. "A Woman" writes us as follows:
"I enclose you a postal order for 10s., which I should like devoted to testifying in some way to my sympathy with the fate of Mary Jane Kelly, and my respect for those nobler instincts which survived in her in spite of everything. If you were to open a subscription list, many women would, I think, be glad to subscribe to a memorial for her."
A monument to be erected by public imagination to a Whitechapel unfortunate is certainly one of the oddest manifestations of the rage for memorials.