The people of Birmingham, America, are all very much exercised over a series of mysterious murders which have taken place in that neighbourhood. They are similar in character to the Whitechapel atrocities. The victims selected are negroes. There have been four of these tragedies within the last three weeks. No motive for the crimes is apparent, and in each case the body of the victim has been horribly mutilated.
The remains of the unknown female that were found recently at Whitehall were interred at Woking on Tuesday by the parish authorities, the order for burial having been handed over to Inspector Marshall, who was in charge of the case. The remains, consisting of the trunk, arm, and leg, were removed from the mortuary in Millbank street, Westminster, where they have been lying to await identification, to Wallis's Yard Workhouse, and placed in a coffin before being conveyed to their final resting place. Among the person who called at the mortuary was an old woman, who thought she recognised in the photograph which has been taken of the remains some trace of her daughter who has been missing since August, but she could not be positive upon the point.
At the Middlesex Sessions on Tuesday, before the assistant judge, James Phillips and William Jarvis surrendered to their bail to answer an indictment for assaulting the police in the execution of their duty. According to the evidence, which has already been detailed in the People, both the defendants are employed in a cabyard near Mount Pleasant. About twelve o'clock on the night of October 9th Detectives Robinson and Mather, accompanied by a man named Doncaster, went into the yard, in pursuance of some orders they had received in connection with the Whitechapel murders. Robinson was disguised in a woman's hat and cloak. It was very dark in the yard, and there were several men there engaged in washing the cabs. One of them, Jarvis, came up to the detectives and asked them what they wanted. Robinson told him to "mind his own business." The evidence at this point was very conflicting, but it is certain that Robinson and Jarvis came to blows, that they fell to the ground together, and that while there Jarvis struck Robinson on the forehead with a buckhorn handle of a pocket knife. It was also asserted that as they lay struggling on the ground the other defendant Phillips came up and kicked Robinson on the arm. The latter defended himself with his staff, and Jarvis rose and ran towards the stable. as he ran, Doncaster tried to stop him, and received a wound on the forehead exactly similar to that inflicted on Robinson. The defendants were then taken into custody by Mather and two constables, who had come up. When examined by Dr. Miller, divisional surgeon of the G Division, Robinson, Doncaster, and both defendants were found to have received several wounds about the head, which were bleeding freely.
The jury acquitted Phillips, and found Jarvis guilty of wounding Robinson and Doncaster, but recommended to mercy on account of his previous good character and the provocation which they believed him to have received.
The assistant judge said he quite agreed with the jury, and taking into consideration these circumstances and the severe punishment Jarvis had already received during the affray, he should only pass upon him the lenient sentence of six weeks' imprisonment. with hard labour.
The new buildings in connection with the Ratcliff Highway Refuge, Betts street, St. George's in the East, was formally opened on Tuesday by the Marchioness of Tavistock. The premises, which are very commodious, and which have connected with them a night shelter, have been erected at a cost of over £4,000, of which sum £1,000 still has to raised. After Lady Tavistock had declared the Refuge open, the Bishop of Bedford referred to the condition of Whitechapel, observing that he hoped no one would think, because of the recent outrages, matters were worse than they were some time ago. He could speak of Whitechapel and Spitalfields, and he did not hesitate to say the condition of things there was very much better than it was ten years ago. He would tell them what made it much worse than it was, what undid a great deal of good work that had been done and was being done - that was an enormous influx of inexperienced workers, who came down to the East End, stood in the way of those who knew the work, and were doing it to the best of their ability, wasted a great deal of money, dried up the springs of charity, and then, because they did not succeed, as most surely they would not succeed, discredited all such enterprise before those who must be looked to for material assistance. He hoped to see the day when every district in the East end would have some such institution as this connected with it, because by means of such agencies they would be able to do a great deal for the rescue of the lost.
Reported Reappearance of the Assassin.
A statement to which the police are said to attach considerable importance has just been made by Matthew Packer, the keeper of the fruit shop next to the gateway in Berner street, where the murder of the woman Stride was committed. He reports that he has been greatly alarmed by having seen the man who bought the grapes from him for the unfortunate woman a short time before the murder was committed. He alleges that he had often seen the man before the occurrence, as well as the woman, but he had not since seen any one resembling the man till he saw him again a few nights since. He (Packer) was then standing with his fruit stall in the Commercial road, when he caught sight of him staring him full in the face. He kept calm and collected for a little time, hoping that a policeman would come by, but in this he was disappointed. After passing and repassing him several times the man came behind him in the horse road, and looked at him in a very evil and menacing manner. He was so terrified that he left his stall and ran to a shoeblack, who was near, and pointing to the man asked him to keep an eye on him and watch him. His great fear was that the man was going to stab him to prevent him from identifying him as the man who was in the company of the murdered woman immediately before her death. No sooner, however, had he called the shoeblack's attention to him than the man ran away as fast as he could, and succeeded in getting on a passing tram. Packer would have followed the tram, but he could not as there were several pounds worth of fruit upon it. It may be added that during the past few days there have again been several complaints from women in the East end of having been accosted after dark by a respectably dressed man who answers the description of the supposed murderer.
Dr. Forbes Winslow and other leading authorities on mental disorders are reported to be still of opinion that the murders in Whitechapel were committed by a homicidal lunatic, and Dr. Forbes Winslow believes that the murderer has lately been in a "lucid interval" in which condition he would be comparatively rational, and also forgetful of what he had done. As soon as this passes off he will resume his terrible work.
A letter, purportedly from the East end assassin, was received the other night at the Poplar Police Station, in which the writer said he was going to commit three more murders. The following is said to the wording:-
"October 30th, 1888.
I am going to commit three more murders, two women and a child, and I shall take their hearts this time.
Yours truly (signed)
Jack the Ripper."
The letter was enclosed in an envelope, which, in addition to the Poplar post mark, also bore the Ealing post mark, and was directed to the sergeant. A copy was sent to the commissioner of police. The information with instructions were at once telegraphed to the different stations ordering every possible vigilance to be used in case of an attempted repetition of the crimes.
Considerable excitement has been created in Kensington owing to the discovery of two knives, one bearing stains of blood, in the front garden of a house in Harrington Gardens. The discovery has remained for some time a secret with the police, and has now only become known by mere accident. It appears that on the night of Sunday, 21st October, the policeman on duty observed something bright close to some shrubs in the garden, and upon entering to satisfy his curiosity discovered a sheath containing two huge knives, which are stated to be Ghoorka (sic) knives, known as the "Koroke." A medical examination has been made, and it is asserted that blood stains undoubtedly exist on one of the knives and upon the sheath. These stains are probably a month old, but certainly not more than six weeks or two months. The knives are as sharp as razors. Much alarm prevails in the district, as the theory spread abroad is that the Whitechapel murderer may be in hiding in the neighbourhood, or that a murder was intended there, but that the would be assassin was interrupted and flung the knives over the railings to avoid discovery. Some suspicion is said to rest upon a clerical looking person for whom the police are now searching, and of whom strange things are rumoured.
A man named Graham was charged, on remand, at the mansion House last week with committing the murders in Whitechapel. The prisoner had given himself up on his self accusation; he had been remanded that the state of his mind might be inquired into, and it was now stated that he had suffered from excessive drinking, but there was no trace of insanity.
Mr. Alderman Renals discharged him, regretting that there was no means of punishing him.
Catherine Harris, 60, described as a flower seller, of Holles street, Clare Market, was charged at Marlborough street with begging in Piccadilly at midnight.
Constable Tomlinson, 339 C, deposed to seeing the woman go up to two gentlemen and ask them to buy flowers. They declined to do so, when she asked them for money. He then took her into custody.
Mr. Hannay: What have you to say?
The Prisoner: I was not begging, sir. For the last eight years I have been getting an honest living by selling flowers. I do not beg; but if the police see me speak to a gentleman, they swear I am begging. On October 27th I sold two shillings' worth of flowers in the Strand. I, however, got a better price for them in Piccadilly, as sometimes a gentleman or lady will give me a shilling for a nice rose, whereas in the Strand I can only get 2d. for a flower. The flowers that I had on Saturday night the police spoiled by dipping them in water. I am a persecuted woman, and could not be more persecuted than if I had committed the Whitechapel murders.
Mr. Hannay: The officer says you were begging.
The Prisoner: No, sir. I was not.
Mr. Hannay: Have you any witness?
The Prisoner (with a dignified air): I have no witness but Almighty God and He is the best witness for all.
Mr. Hannay: Is the woman known?
Sergeant Brewer (the gaoler): She has been charged here, sir, very many times.
Mr. Hannay (to the accused): You will go to gaol for ten days.
The prisoner then walked out of the dock with a crestfallen air, remarking, "I don't see much to laugh at in that. It's not very clever of you to do so."
A discovery which was attended by strange circumstances was made on Thursday night at the Windsor Castle public house, in High Holborn. It appears that about nine o'clock on Thursday night a man went into the convenience provided at the establishment, and discovered a brown paper parcel, which, on being kicked revealed its contents, comprising a liver, a portion of a kidney, and other fleshy substance. The man entered the bar and acquainted several persons present of the discovery, and subsequently a police officer was fetched. The parcel, which measured about twelve inches long by six inches in width, is stated to have weighed about ten pounds. One of the gentlemen present, who, it is understood, had a knowledge of anatomy, asserted that he had never seen anything more like human remains than those submitted to his view. The police officer took the names of all those present, and also examined their hands, after which the parcel was conveyed to the Tottenham Court road Police Station. It was afterwards taken to the divisional surgeon, and subsequently to one of the London Hospitals to be examined. It is understood that the police have been informed that the remains are those of a pig, and not of a human being, as was at first supposed. A representative of the Press Association is informed that the police, on being acquainted of the discovery, attributed it to a practical joke on the part of some of the gentlemen present, but this Mr. English and the other men who were present indignantly deny. They assert that the parcel was not in the convenience ten minutes previous to its discovery, and that nothing was easier than for a person to pass through the house and deposit the parcel unobserved. The police, on inquiry the same evening by our representative, asserted that "there was no foundation for the statement of the discovery, and that there was no truth in it." This latter statement is directly contrary to the assertions of Mr. T.H. Paris, the proprietor of the Windsor Castle, whose wife has been indisposed since in consequence of the discovery.