20 November, 1888
MORE ABOUT THE SUSPECTED WHITECHAPEL FIEND.
Posing in New York as the Friend of English Aristocrats--His Financial Collapse.
Clement R. Bennett, the well-known stenographer of the Circuit Court, knew Dr. Tumblety of New York, who has been arrested in London on suspicion of being the Whitechapel murderer. In conversation yesterday in regard to the case he said:
"The first time I ever saw Tumblety was at the Jerome Park fall races in 1870. I was then living in that fashionable suburb, Fordham. Tumblety, in company with a flashily dressed man, passed by our house, which was the short cut from the park to the Fordham depot, on the New York and Harlem Railroad. The men stopped, and Tumblety, who acted as spokesman, asked me a great many questions about the resident--'Who lived here?' and 'who lived there?'--pointing to the magnificent summer houses of the metropolitan capitalists, with a jockey riding whip, the head of which appeared resplendent with jewels. The dash and hauteur of the man made such an impression upon me that afternoon, with subsequent acts and incidents in that city, that I have never forgotten him.
"About 1871 he roomed at the Northern Hotel, on Cortlandt street. Here he had a magnificent suit (sic)of rooms, the floors of which were covered with well-worn leather trunks, valises and bags. He cordially invited any young men whom he fancied, wherever he met them, in the parks, squares or stores, to call upon him at this hotel, where he was wont to say he would show them 'an easy road to fortune.' By his suavity he was successful beyond comprehension in enlisting and securing the attendance, at certain hours of the day and evening, of good-looking young men adn boys, greenhorns, to 'walk into my parlor.' He pretended to be a 'specialist' and to have a cure for some of the ills which flesh is heir to.
"On one occasion I remember him showing me several valuable medals given him by British and colonial societies, with a collection of complimentary letters and testimonial from English noblemen, and, if I remember correctly, some of them were signed Granville, Mouck, Dufferin, etc. The papers were apparently official and genuine, as they bore the coats of arms, the crown, etc., of the donors, the peculiar aristocratic chirography in signature, etc. Up to the centennial year F. T. Tumblety, M.D., the name he was known by in New York, appeared to be in easy circumstances. He was a noted horseback rider and was a familiar figure in the saddle on Broadway. In stature he was about six feet one or two inches, weighed about 180 pounds, and he is now about 50 years of age. He wore a thick, curly, black moustache, clean-shaven red cheeks, and there is a journalist in this city who bears a striking resemblance to Dr. Tumblety. He invariably wore a double-breasted, bottoned-up pea-jacket, light pantaloons, a flashy necktie, cloth gaiters on his English box-toe shoes, a military or university cap, with a gold cord lying upon the straight peak, and some loud jewelry.
"The last time I saw him was about 1879. He was then looking shabby, careworn, lame, appeared to be living a dissolute and dissipated life, and was begging for a night's lodging."