12 September 1888
AN IMPORTANT DISCOVERY
It is announced today that John Piser, the man who was detained on suspicion of being concerned in causing the death of the woman Annie Chapman, in Hanbury street, Spitalfields, has been set at liberty; the evidence of a man who had borne testimony against him having been discredited.
A discovery which throws considerable light upon the movements of the murderer immediately after the committal of the crime was made yesterday afternoon. In the back yard of the house, 25 Hanbury street, the next house but one to the scene of the murder, a little girl noticed peculiar marks on the wall and on the ground. She communicated the discovery to Detective Inspector Chandler, who had just called at the house in order to make a plan of the back premises of the three houses for the use of the coroner at the inquest. The whole of the yard was then carefully examined with the result that a bloody trail was found distinctly marked for a distance of five or six feet in the direction of the back door of the house. Further investigation left no doubt that the trail was that of the murderer, who, it was evident, after finishing his work had passed through or over the dividing fence between Nos. 29 and 27, and thence into the garden of No. 25. On the wall of the last house there was found a curious mark, between a smear and a sprinkle, which had probably been made by the murderer, who, alarmed by the blood soaked state of his coat, took off that garment and knocked it against the wall. Abutting on the end of the yard of No. 25 are the works of Mr. Bailey, a packing case maker. In the yard of this establishment, in an out of the way corner, the police yesterday afternoon found some crumpled paper almost saturated with blood. It was evident that the murderer had found the paper in the yard of 25 and had wiped his hands with it, afterwards throwing it over the wall into Bailey's premises. The house, No. 25, like most of the dwellings in the street, is let out in tenements direct from the owner, who does not live on the premises and has no direct representative therein. The back and front doors are therefore always left either on the latch or wide open, the tenant of each room looking after the safety of his own particular premises. The general appearance of the bloody trail and other circumstances seem to show that the murderer intended to make his way as rapidly as possible into the street through the house next door but one, being frightened by some noise or light in No. 29 from retreating by the way by which he came.
The detectives have been following up the supposed clue afforded by the discovery of these blood trails. The occupiers of the houses near, through one of which the murderer must have escaped, have been questioned, but the discovery has led to nothing substantial as yet.