THE terror of Whitechapel has walked again, and this time has marked down two victims, one hacked and disfigured beyond discovery, the other with her throat cut and torn. Again he has got away clear; and again the police, with wonderful frankness, confess that they have not a clue. They are waiting for a seventh and an eighth murder, just as they waited for a fifth, to help them to it. Meanwhile, Whitechapel is half mad with fear. The people are afraid even to talk with a stranger. Notwithstanding the repeated proofs that the murderer has but one aim, and seeks but one class in the community, the spirit of terror has got fairly abroad, and no one knows what steps a practically defenceless community may take to protect itself or avenge itself on any luckless wight who may be taken for the enemy. It is the duty of journalists to keep their heads cool, and not inflame men's passions when what is wanted is cool temper and clear thinking; and we shall try and write calmly about this new atrocity.
And, first, let us examine the facts, and the light they throw on any previous theories. To begin with it is clear that the BURKE and HARE theory is all but destroyed. There is no suggestion of surgical neatness, or of the removal of any organ, about the Mitre-square murder. It is a ghastly butchery - done with insane ruthlessness and violence. The gang theory is also weakened, and the story of a man who is said to have seen the Berner-street tragedy, and declares that one man butchered and another man watched, is, we think, a priori incredible. The theory of madness is on the other hand enormously strengthened. Crafty blood-thirst is written on every line of Sunday morning's doings, The rapid walk from Berner-street to Aldgate, to find a fresh victim, the reckless daring of the deed - in itself the most dangerous and cunning of all the murderer's resources - these all point to some epileptic outbreak of homicidal mania. The immediate motive need not trouble us now, except so far as it suggests the invariable choice of the poor street-wanderers of the East-end. It may be, as Dr. SAVAGE supposes, a plan of fiendish revenge for fancied wrongs, or the deed of some modern Thug or Sicarius, with a confused idea of putting down vice by picking off unfortunates in detail. A slaughterer or a butcher who has been in a lunatic asylum, a mad medical student with a bad history behind him or a tendency to religious mania - these are obviously classes on which the detective sense which all of us possess in some measure should be kept. Finally, there is the off-chance - too horrible almost to contemplate - that we have a social experimentalist abroad determined to make the classes see and feel how the masses live.
More important is the discussion as to the possible methods of the murderer. Granting that he has some rough knowledge of anatomy, it is probable that his hands only would be smeared by his bloody work, and that after doing the deed he would put on gloves. He must have done so in order to ensnare the second woman - if, indeed, the two deeds were the work of one hand. As a further precaution there might be the donning of an overcoat after the deed. As he nowhere stays to wash his hands, he probably does not inhabit lodging-houses or hotels, but a private house where he has special facilities - perhaps chemicals and a wash-hand stand communicating directly with a pipe - for getting rid of bloody hands and clothes. He must be inoffensive, probably respectable in manner and appearance, or else after the murderous warnings of last week, woman after woman could not have been decoyed by him. Two theories are suggested to us - that he may wear woman's clothes, or may be a policeman.
And now for the remedies. The police, of course, are helpless. We expect nothing of them. The metropolitan force is rotten to the core, and it is a mildly farcical comment on the hopeless unfitness of Sir CHARLES WARREN that when red-handed crime is stalking the streets he has assigned his men the fresh duty of sharing with providence the looking after drunken men. But there is one scandal about this business so gross as to cry to Heaven. Mr. MATTHEWS - "helpless, heedless, useless" Mr. MATTHEWS as the Telegraph calls him to-day - is philandering with pot-house Tories at Birmingham while GOD'S poor are being slaughtered wholesale in London. Where is this man, and what is he doing? He must be sternly interpellated in Parliament. As to the men under him and Sir CHARLES WARREN'S directions, they could have done one thing which might even now have caught the murderer. They might yesterday morning have drawn a cordon round the Hanbury-street district - which is plainly the Thug's headquarters - searched every nook and cranny, and examined every suspicious character. Meanwhile, we suggest (1) more Vigilance Committees, (2) the shadowing of East-end unfortunates, (3) further rewards. Further, there must be an agitation against Sir CHARLES WARREN, who is now beginning his old bad work of breaking up, or allowing paid Tory roughs to break up, the meetings of the unemployed in Hyde-park, and detaching more men from regular police and detective duty to political work. Above all, let us impress the moral of this awful business on the consciences and the fears of the West-end. The cry of the East-end is for light - the electric light to flash into the dark corners of its streets and alleys, the magic light of sympathy and hope to flash into the dark corners of wrecked and marred lives. Unless these and other things come, Whitechapel will smash the Empire, and the best thing that can happen to us is for some purified Republic of the West to step in and look after the fragments.
We have dealt in our leader columns with some aspects of the Whitechapel tragedies. There are others which command attention. It is necessary that when the conduct of the police comes in question we should know precisely what steps have hitherto been taken to detect the murderer. The carelessness of the police in neglecting some obvious precautions is marked. Bloodhounds ought to have been kept in readiness after the first two or three crimes, and should certainly have been used yesterday morning. No attempt was made to employ them, or to draw a cordon of police around the Hanbury-street district, which seems to be the habitat of the murderer.
There are several questions pressing themselves to the front: (1) whether extra patrol work has been really undertaken; (2) whether the senseless system of "fixed points," by which constables instead of ranging over a given area are kept at certain stations, has been modified in view of the special circumstances of the case; (3) whether any efficient detective work of the higher order has been set on foot; (4) whether the advice of French and American detectives, who are far better organised and trained for the detection of crime than our own, has been taken.
It is obvious that the danger in Whitechapel is on the increase every day. It is already more than probable that the murderer has found imitators. The manner of the deed at Gateshead, if not the actual murder, was probably suggested by the Whitechapel horrors. As the nights grow darker and longer the facilities for murderous action will become enormously increased, and it is only fair to the police to say that their difficulties will grow also. The question to which the citizens of London will expect an answer is, whether steps are being taken to cope with so serious a problem.
Meanwhile another suggestion presents itself. Our reporters testify that the conduct of the City police offers the most marked and welcome contrast to that of the Metropolitan force. The men of the latter body are churlish, uncommunicative, and in some cases deliberately deceitful. The City force, which is in some shadowy form under popular control is civil, communicative, and helpful to the press. The question is whether some steps cannot be taken to give effect to the almost unanimous voice of public opinion against the management of the Metropolitan Police. The outcry against the Warren regime will gain a sensible volume this morning. The Daily Telegraph renews its pressing call on Lord Salisbury to force on the resignation of Mr. Matthews; and the Observer, another Unionist organ, remarked yesterday, apropos of Sir Charles Warren's new instructions to the police to keep a sharp look out on drunken people in order to find out the publicans who served them with drink, that "the goose-step, a mongrel military drill, and prayer meetings, under the new regime, exhaust the leisure of the most vigorous and versatile constable." The fact is, of course, that the policeman on his beat has really too much to do, and is taken up with a variety of duties which have nothing to do with the detection and pursuit of crime. It is time that these duties should be taken off the hands of constables, and the men set free for police work pure and simple.
The agitation against the heads of the Metropolitan Police, therefore, is growing, and the question is whether some means cannot be taken to give it shape. A rough plébiscite of the people of London, taken on the question whether or not Sir Charles Warren should be dismissed, might possibly be organised. We throw out the suggestion, and shall be glad to have developments of the idea.
Meanwhile, another question presents itself. With the failure of the Detective Department one naturally asks whether, in addition to the protection of unfortunates by Vigilance Committees, some superior detective work cannot be undertaken by a few men of leisure, of education, and with some innate aptitude for the work. Surely some call of the kind might be responded to. The work done by Vigilance Committees in regard to the social evil suggests a machinery at hand, and possibly a fit personnel for the task.
As illustrating the different treatment extended to the Press by the City and the Metropolitan Police - the obliging courtesy on the one hand, and the insulting curtness on the other - we give the following two little interviews.
| Our reporter asked the inspector in charge of the men guarding 40, Berner-street, a few simple questions:-
"Can you tell me the exact time that the police first heard of the murder?"
"Do you know whether the constable on the beat looks down the yard as he passes?"
Inspector: "I don't know."
"Do you know where the body was taken?"
Inspector: "To the mortuary, I suppose."
And so on. The intelligent Inspector actually knew where the body was taken - or rather supposed he did.
| Our reporter called along with a colleague at Bishopsgate Police Station, in order to get a description of the other murdered woman.|
"Gentlemen of the Press, I presume" said Inspector Izzard, as he entered.
"Yes, they have called to ask if they may have a description of the body," explained the Sergeant on duty.
"By all means," said the Inspector, "we shall be only too pleased to give them any information."
Every facility is afforded the pressmen at Bishopsgate-street Station, and scant courtesy shown them at Leman-street.
TWO VICTIMS THIS TIME.
BOTH WOMEN SWIFTLY AND SILENTLY BUTCHERED IN LESS THAN AN HOUR.
One Woman's Throat Cut and the Other Victim Disfigured and Disembowelled - Interviews with the Men who Found the Murdered Women - Sketches and Scenes in the Streets - Descriptions of the Victims - Supposed Clues and Arrests.
The series of blood-chilling tragedies which have shocked the public mind and sent a thrill of horror throughout the land, have been crowned by murder more foul than any of the former crimes. Two more poor unfortunate and degraded women have fallen victims to the knife of the hellish fiend who stalks abroad in Whitechapel leaving a track of blood behind him. At one o'clock on Sunday morning the body of a woman is found with her throat cut in a yard in Berner-street, Commercial-road. At a quarter to two a second victim is found hacked, mutilated, and disembowelled in Mitre-square, Aldgate. Everything points to the fact that both murders were the work of the same hand - that fiendishly cunning hand, which not many weeks since struck down a woman in Osborne-street, inflicted 36 stabs on the body of another unknown and unfortunate female in George Yard, massacred Mary Ann Nicholls in Buck's-row, and butchered Annie Chapman in Hanbury-street.
And the present crimes only differ from the preceding in the more daring and damnable manner in which they were committed, and in the more atrocious way in which one woman has been mutilated. Here in Berner-street, in a yard through which people were passing every few minutes, close to the door of a room where a dance is taking place, a woman is found almost decapitated. Prevented from completing his hideous work of mutilation the murderer, before the blood had ceased to trickle from the throat of his first victim strikes down another in a spot where a policeman passes every twelve minutes, and goes away unseen, unheard, and unknown, thwarting the efforts of the police and the vigilance of the panic-stricken inhabitants.
Below we give full descriptions of the two tragedies, sketches of the scenes, interviews with persons who found the bodies, and all other information obtainable yesterday and this morning.
Berner-street branches off Commercial-road a little way down on the right. It is inhabited almost entirely by Jews. It is not five minutes' walk from Hanbury-street, where the fifth victim was found. It is but two minutes' walk from Batty-street, where Mrs. Angel was murdered by Lipski last year, and in the adjoining street a few months since a man murdered a woman and then cut his own throat in the open street. The scene of the murder was within the gateway at No. 40, which is occupied by a Jewish working men's club under the name of the International Men's Education Society. It is a building of two stories. A passage wide enough to admit a cart separates it from the next house. The members of this club are either secularists or are indifferent to the Jewish religion and
were raised against them by the faithful a fortnight ago when they held a banquet on the evening of the Day of Atonement. There is an entrance to the club from the street, and also one from the court. The court is very small. The club building occupies one side and three dwelling-houses the other, and there are premises belonging to Walter H. Hindley and Co., sack manufacturers, and Arthur Dutfield, van and cart builder, at the further end of the court. At night this courtyard is dark except for the light from the house windows. At the street entrance there is a large folding door, on the right half of which there is a small panel door. The large gate is supposed to be shut every night, but the small door is left open for the use of persons living in the court. It was in the passage leading to the court proper, and only three feet from the side entrance to the club that the body of the murdered woman was found. There is a good deal of movement in this court at one o'clock in the morning, but no one seems to have heard or seen anything. Besides the club, there are
on the first floor when the murder was committed. There was a woman in the kitchen - which is only a few feet from the spot where the body was found, and several other people downstairs, but they heard nothing. The precise spot where the woman was found lying is marked by a small splash of blood. She lay on her back, her head was near the grating of the cellar, and her body stretched across the passage. There is a severe bruise on the cheek of the unfortunate woman, which may be explained by the theory that the throat was cut while she was standing, and the body allowed to fall heavily upon its side, bringing the cheek into contact with a stone that abuts from the wall just at this point.
The first to find the body was Mr. Diemshitz, steward of the club. Interviewed by a Star reporter, Mr. Diemshitz said:- "I was coming home from market at one o'clock on Sunday morning. I am a traveller by trade, and go to different markets to sell my goods. Yesterday I went to Westow-hill. As the night was so wet I did not stay quite so late as usual. After I had passed through the gate which had been left open on driving into the yard my donkey shied a little in consequence of my cart coming in contact with something on the ground. On looking down I saw the ground was not level, so I took the butt end of my whip and touched what appeared to me in the dark to be a heap of dirt lately placed there, a thing I was not accustomed to see. Not being able to move it, I struck a match and
First of all I thought it was my wife, but I found her inside the club enjoying herself with the others. I said to some of the members there is a woman lying in the yard, and I think she is drunk. Young Isaacs, a tailor machinist, went to the door and struck a match, and to our horror we saw blood trickling down the gutter almost from the gate to the club. The dance was immediately stopped. I and Isaacs ran out for a policeman, but could not find one after traversing several streets, but in the meantime another man from the Club, Eagle, ran to the Leman-street police-station and fetched two policemen, who arrived about seven minutes after the discovery.
The woman was about 30 years of age. Her hair is very dark, with a tendency to curl, and her complexion is also dark. Her features are sharp and somewhat pinched, as though she had endured considerable privations recently - an impression confirmed by the entire absence of the kind of ornaments commonly affected by women of her station. She wore a rusty black dress of a cheap kind of satteen, with a velveteen bodice, over which was a black diagonal worsted jacket with fur trimming. Her bonnet, which had fallen from her head when she was found in the yard, was of black crape, and inside, apparently with the object of making the article fit close to the head, was folded a copy of a newspaper. In her right hand were tightly clasped some grapes, and in her left she held a number of sweetmeats. Both the jacket and the bodice were open towards the top, but in other respects the clothes were not disarranged. The linen was clean and in tolerably good repair, but some articles were missing. The cut in the woman's throat which was the cause of death was evidently effected with a very sharp instrument, and was made with
The weapon was apparently drawn across the throat rather obliquely from left to right, and in its passage it severed both the windpipe and jugular vein. As the body lies in the mortuary the head seems to be almost severed, the gash being about 3in. long and nearly the same depth. In the pocket of the woman's dress were discovered two pocket-handkerchiefs, a gentleman's and a lady's, a brass thimble, and a skein of black darning worsted.
Dr. Blackwell, the first medical man called, says, "At about ten minutes past one I was called to 40, Berner-street by a policeman, where I found a woman who had been murdered. Her head had been almost severed from her body. She could not have been dead more than twenty minutes, the body being perfectly warm. The woman did not appear to be a Jewess, but more like an Irishwoman. I roughly examined her, and found no other injuries, but this I cannot definitely state until I have made a further investigation of the body. She had on a black velvet jacket and black dress of different material. In her hand she held a box of cachous, whilst pinned in her dress was a flower. I should say that as the woman had held sweets in her left hand that her head was dragged back by means of a silk handkerchief she wore round her neck, and her throat was then cut. One of her hands, too, was smeared with blood, so she may have used this in her rapid struggle. I have no doubt that, the woman's windpipe being completely cut through, she was unable to make any sound. I might say it does not follow that the murderer would be bespattered with blood, for as he is sufficiently cunning in other things he could contrive to avoid coming in contact with the blood by reaching well forward."
M. Rombrow is the editor of The Worker's Friend, whose printing office is in the yard. It was just outside the door of this office that the body was found. M. Rombrow says that he was in this office all the time, and had there been the noise of any struggle, however slight, he should have heard it. He heard nothing, however, until the steward's coming into the yard.
A woman living just opposite says that she was waiting up for her husband and listening for his coming, and she heard nothing to arouse her suspicion.
Mr. Wess, a member of the club, says:- "I was in the printing office of The Worker's Friend, and crossed the yard to the club at a quarter-past twelve. There was nothing whatever in the yard then. I saw that the gates were open, and thought about closing them, but, remembering that our steward was out with his cart, I left them still open to allow him to come in easily."
in the street states that as he passed along he noticed a man and a woman talking together not far from the yard, but as that was no unusual sight at that hour took no particular notice.
The police examined every one who was in the club. They also made a careful search of the club and took away a knife which was found in the kitchen, but which had no marks of blood on it. They then guarded the premises with their usual vigilance and would allow no one to go out or into the yard.
was given to the Leman-street police late yesterday afternoon by an Hungarian concerning this murder. This foreigner was well dressed, and had the appearance of being in the theatrical line. He could not speak a word of English, but came to the police-station accompanied by a friend, who acted as an interpreter. He gave his name and address, but the police have not disclosed them. A Star man, however, got wind of his call, and ran him to earth in Backchurch-lane. The reporter's Hungarian was quite as imperfect as the foreigner's English, but an interpreter was at hand, and the man's story was retold just as he had given it to the police. It is, in fact, to the effect that he
It seems that he had gone out for the day, and his wife had expected to move, during his absence, from their lodgings in Berner-street to others in Backchurch-lane. When he came homewards about a quarter before one he first walked down Berner-street to see if his wife had moved. As he turned the corner from Commercial-road he noticed some distance in front of him a man walking as if partially intoxicated. He walked on behind him, and presently he noticed a woman standing in the entrance to the alley way where the body was afterwards found. The half-tipsy man halted and spoke to her. The Hungarian saw him put his hand on her shoulder and push her back into the passage, but, feeling rather timid of getting mixed up in quarrels, he crossed to the other side of the street. Before he had gone many yards, however, he heard the sound of a quarrel, and turned back to learn what was the matter, but just as he stepped from the kerb
of the doorway of the public-house a few doors off, and shouting out some sort of warning to the man who was with the woman, rushed forward as if to attack the intruder. The Hungarian states positively that he saw a knife in this second man's hand, but he waited to see no more. He fled incontinently, to his new lodgings. He described
as about 30 years of age, rather stoutly built, and wearing a brown moustache. He was dressed respectably in dark clothes and felt hat. The man who came at him with a knife he also describes, but not in detail. He says he was taller than the other, but not so stout, and that his moustaches were red. Both men seem to belong to the same grade of society. The police have arrested one man answering the description the Hungarian furnishes. This prisoner has not been charged, but is held for inquiries to be made. The truth of the man's statement is not wholly accepted.
Another man was, however, seen in the company of a woman by someone only a short time before the commission of the crime, and this is the description which the police have of him: - Aged about 28, and in height 5ft. 8in. or thereabouts; complexion dark, and wearing a black
diagonal coat and hard felt hat, collar and tie. He was of respectable appearance, and was carrying a newspaper parcel.
Late last night a well-known character, know as "One-armed Liz," recognised the woman as a frequenter of the Flower and Dean-street lodging-houses. She was also identified by John Arundell and Charles Preston, who knew her as lodging at No. 32 in that street. She was known by more names than one, but commonly as "Long Liz," though her true name is said to be Elizabeth Stride. She left Flower and Dean-street between six and seven o'clock on Saturday night. She then said she was not going to meet anyone in particular. Stride is believed to be a Swedish woman from Stockholm. According to her associates, she was of calm temperament, rarely quarrelling with anyone; in fact, she was so good-natured that she would "do a good turn for any one." Her occupation was that of a charwoman. She had the misfortune to lose her husband in the Princess Alice disaster on the Thames some years ago. She had lost her teeth, and suffered from a throat affection.
Mitre-square, the scene of the second tragedy, is off Mitre-street. It is approachable by three thoroughfares - by narrow entrances from St. James's-place, Duke-street, and by Mitre-street, and in the daytime is the scene of much commercial activity. There are two dwelling-houses in the square, one of which is occupied by a day policeman. He was in bed at the time. It was in this square, and in the darkest corner of it, that the second outrage was perpetrated. And it must have been done quickly, as it was done surely, for a policeman passes through the square every quarter of an hour. Police-constable Watkins, the man in question, was on duty there, and no more conscientious officer is in the force. His inspector speaks of him in the highest terms. He was on duty on the same beat last night, and a Star man went carefully over the same ground covered by him on the preceding night. "I was working left-handed last night," said the police officer. "Sometimes I go into Mitre-square through the Church-passage, but last night I entered from Mitre-street. It was just half-past one when I turned out of Aldgate and passed round the next corner into the square. At that time there was nothing unusual to be seen." I looked carefully in all the corners, as I always do,
"And when did you pass through the square again?" asked the reporter.
"At about a quarter before two."
"Had you met any person on your rounds?"
"Not a soul."
"Nor heard any noise?"
"Not a sound, but the echo of my own footsteps."
"You entered the square the same way?"
"Just the same. Here we are now at the entrance to the square. I came this way, stopped at this corner to look up and down the street, and then turned in. As I came to the back of this picture frame maker's I turned my light into the corner, and there lay the woman."
"Did you recognise the situation at once?"
"Well, I can tell you it didn't take me a moment to see that the Whitechapel murderer had been our way. Her head lay here on this coal-hole," said he, throwing the light of his lantern on it, "and her clothes were thrown up breast-high. But the first thing I noticed was that she was ripped up like a pig in the market. There was the big gash up the stomach, the entrails torn out and flung in a heap about her neck; some of them appeared to be lying in the ugly cut at the throat, and the face - well, there was no face. Anyone who knew the woman alive would never recognise her by her face. I have been in the force a long while, but I never saw such a sight. I went at once to Dr. Sequeira and some of the others rushed off to the station house."
"Were there any signs of a struggle?"
"None at all. There was perhaps a quart of blood on the stones, but there were no footprints or finger marks, except where the woman's chemise had been caught hold of as if it had fallen down in the way. Her clothing was filthy."
The Star man next got hold of Morris, the watchman at Kearley and Tonge's. He was standing at the door, and said, first, that he had just been through the warehouse and had gone to the front door to look out into the square two moments before Watkins called to him last night.
"Do you always take a look out into the square?"
"Every night in the week, barring Saturday night, I stand at this door and smoke my pipe from one till two o'clock. It is a habit with me, and the police on the beat know it well, but on Saturday nights I have some work to do inside that interferes with it."
"Did you see anything lying about that indicated what sort of man the murderer might be?"
"I saw the doctor pick up two studs out of the pool of blood and put them in the shell."
"But are there any signs of a struggle having taken place?"
"No, but the studs might have been worked out by the man's own exertions in using the knife."
P.C. Pearce, who lives at No. 3, opposite where the body was found, slept the while calmly, and his wife shared both his bed and his composure. She had left a light burning in the first floor front, and the blind was halfway up, a fact that could hardly have escaped the notice of anyone entering the square. "I only wish it had been my luck to have dropped on that chap," was the way Pearce put it to the Star man, "but, to tell you the truth, I knew nothing about it till I was waked up this morning."
Just through the north-east passage is the fire brigade station, and none of those on duty saw or heard anything unusual, so quietly was the deed committed, and so carefully did the man make his exit.
Mr. Klapp is a caretaker of the business premises, which are approached from the court where the body was found by a wooden gateway. The lower portion of the premises are used for business purposes, but the second floor back rooms contain three windows looking down over the low wall and palisade upon the scene of the murder.
Mrs. Lindsay, who occupies the two front rooms of 11, Duke-street - almost opposite Church-passage, leading to the court - records a strange circumstance, which may or may not have a direct bearing upon the murder. She says that she is a very light sleeper, and is easily awakened by hearing any unusual noise. Early on Sunday morning she says - at what hour she could not specify - she heard the sound of one or two voices in the street below. Prompted by curiosity she looked out of the window just in time to hear a man's voice say, "I am
uttered apparently in a tone of anger. Surprised on hearing the words, she called her husband, who, with her, saw a man disappearing down the street towards Aldgate. As he passed beneath a lamp she was able to discern that he was a man of average height, dressed in dark clothes, and carrying in his hand an umbrella and a small parcel.
James Blenkingsop, who was on duty as a watchman in St. James's-place (leading to the square), where some street improvements are taking place, states that about half-past one a respectably-dressed man came up to him and said, "Have you seen a man and a woman go through here?" "I didn't take any notice," returned Blenkingsop. "I have seen some people pass." The murdered woman was found lying on her back, and presented
Her head was lying on the right side. He left leg was extended and her right doubled up. Both arms were extended. The throat was cut half round. There was a large gash running from the nose on a right angle to the right cheek, the bone of which was bare. The other cheek was also cut. The nose was hacked off and only hung by a shred of skin. The right ear was likewise cut off. There was a cut underneath each eye and the lips were cut. The clothes had been pulled up, the abdomen ripped open, and the puberic bone left completely bare. As in the case of Annie Chapman part of the intestines were pulled out and thrown over the woman's neck.
The following is a description of the murdered woman - Age 40, hazel eyes, auburn hair; dressed in a black jacket, with fur trimming and large metal buttons, dark green chintz with Michaelmas daisies and golden lily pattern skirt, drab linsey underskirt, blue-ribbed stockings, mended white; black straw bonnet trimmed with black beads and green and black velvet.
After committing the second murder, the man seems to have gone back towards the scene of the former. An apron, which is thought by the police to belong to the woman found in Mitre-square, as it was the same material as part of her dress was found in Goldstar-street. It was smeared with blood, and had been evidently carried away by the murderer to wipe his hands with.
One of the doctors in an interview with a Star reporter, after describing the various wounds, said the woman belonged to the very poorest class. She appeared to be an outcast, and carried her tea and sugar about with her. She was very thin. "I should say, from the fact that her hands were brown, that she had just come from the country - had been hop picking, perhaps. I think she was an Irish woman."
"Does the form of her features make you think so?"
"No, but because
"Do you think that the murderer was a skilled man?"
"He had some knowledge of how to use a knife. The knife which he used must have been very sharp."
"How long would it have taken him to mutilate the body as you found it?"
"At least five minutes."
The murderer must have, therefore, entered the square about five minutes after the policeman had passed through, and left it five minutes before he returned.
The clothing of the woman was very thin and bare. No money was found upon her, but the following articles were in the pockets of her dress:- A short clay pipe and an old cigarette case; a matchbox, an old pocket handkerchief, a knife which bore no traces of blood, and a small packet of tea and sugar, such as poor people who frequent common lodging-houses are in the habit of carrying.
A Star reporter saw Dr. J. G. Sequiera, 34, Jewry-street, who was the first medical man on the spot. "I was there," he said, "about 10 minutes after the policeman found the body. The woman could not have been dead more than a quarter of an hour. The work had been quickly done."
"By an expert, do you think?"
"No, not by an expert, but by a man who was not altogether ignorant of the use of the knife. It would have taken about three minutes."
This plan indicates the spot where the six murders took place - numbered according to priority.
No. 1 indicates the spot where the first victim was found.
No. 2 was the crime of George-yard, where a woman was found stabbed in 36 places.
No. 3 shows Buck's-row, where the woman Nicholls was murdered.
No. 4, Hanbury-street, where Annie Chapman was murdered, and
Nos. 5 - 6 mark the spots of Sunday's tragedies.
Policemen and detectives swarmed in every corner of Whitechapel yesterday. Intelligence of the first murder was telegraphed to Scotland-yard. Chief Inspector Swanson and Inspector Abberline at once commenced investigations.
visited Whitechapel early in the forenoon. The other murder was committed within the jurisdiction of the City Police, and Acting-Commissioner Major Henry Smith was soon on the scene. He was directing the investigations by Inspector Tizzard, Inspector Collard, and Superintendent Foster. The City police, from the Major downwards, try to oblige the representatives of the Press rather than to frustrate them in their inquiries, like Sir Charles Warren's.
The Vigilance Committee which was recently formed to try and hunt down the murderer, have gathered a great deal of information which may be useful to the police. The greatest indignation prevails amongst the Committee at what they regard as the apathy of the Home Secretary in face of these appalling outrages. When, after the fourth murder, Mr. Matthews was asked to offer a reward for the apprehension of the criminal, he replied, through his secretary, that the "Secretary of State is satisfied that there is nothing in the present case to justify a departure from the rule" not to offer any reward as from the Government. The committee have now subscriptions amounting to £300, and in addition to this Mr. Montagu, M.P., has offered £100 as a reward and the same sum has been offered by the Police News. Mr. Lusk, the chairman of the committee, has sent a petition to the Queen calling Her Majesty's attention to the fact that the Home Secretary has refused to offer a reward, and asking her to "direct that a Government reward, sufficient in amount to meet the peculiar exigencies of the case, may immediately be offered."
SCENES IN THE STREET.
Never did ill news travel faster than yesterday. While dwellers in other parts of the metropolis were enjoying a Sunday morning's license for lying abed, the entire East-end was in a furore of excitement. By eleven o'clock it seemed as if the entire population of the East-end was out of doors. Streams of all sorts and conditions of men poured incessantly in the direction of Berner-street and of Mitre-square. Cordons of police blocked the three entrances to the latter, but the sensation-seeking crowds seemed to gather some satisfaction from mere proximity to the spot where the curtain had last been raised on the terrible series of tragedies. The police kept up a continuous chorus of "Move on!" but no serious trouble occurred in the vicinity of Mitre-square. The greater crowd was down Berner-street way. Luckily there was an outlet at either end of this street, so the pent-up feelings of the jostled and the jostlers had time only for vent in an occasional paliasage at arms before the "move on" tactics of the police began to take effect. No one could say there were not enough police in the East-end to-day. The
in a clover field, and there was a detective to about every three uniformed men on duty as well. Well known figures from Scotland-yard moved with ostensible ease in the midst of the throngs, and the heavy swells of the force were not unrepresented. Prominent among those on the spot, however, was Superintendent Foster, of the City Police. He personally superintended the preparation of the measurements and drawings of Mitre-square, which were necessary for purposes of investigation, and even paid a visit to the scene of the Berner-street tragedy, to compare the two cases. Coming back from this errand, the superintendent was the victim of
which severely tried his stock of good humor. As he came out of Berner-street, a man in a tweed suit was seen walking by his side, and someone in the crowd shouted out: "There they go. The super's got him. I told you he was a toff." This silly remark was enough to turn the tide of attention in the direction of the officer and his companion. The City chief and the superintendent would not take a cab, so their unsought retinue followed on till they met the tide from the other direction, and then the side streets swallowed up the surplus and the officials escaped. All day long the streets in that vicinity were full, and sunset did not find the numbers diminished. The Star man started from the Bishopsgate Police-station soon after eight o'clock to make a comprehensive tour of the disturbed territory. Wending his way through the labyrinth of narrow bye-ways that leads into Spitalfields, he found himself in Hanbury-street, the scene of the most revolting of the series of crimes until Mitre-court was heard from. Here in the midst of scenes made familiar to the readers of The Star were little groups of ill-clad women standing under the glare of a street lamp or huddling in a doorway talking about the all-absorbing topic of the hour. "He'll be coming through the houses and pulling us out of our beds next," says one. "Not he," says another; "he's too clever for that.
he does." "Then he won't catch me," says the first. "I don't leave my doorway after dark." It was worthy of notice that the dark corners and gloomy passages, and they are not few in that neighborhood, were utterly deserted last night. Here and there one encountered a company jabbering in some outlandish tongue, and a little later on there would be overheard an expression of opinion in the better-known vernacular that is more universally employed in Whitechapel. Such a group secured the attention of a policeman on the corner while the Star man was there, and kept the representative of law and order unsuccessfully employed for full 15 minutes in
from a triangular statement of some home-hatched theory. Out in Brick-lane the Star man began to pay the penalty of having his Sunday coat on his back. Every third man he met whined out the pitiful appeal, "Give us the price of a doss, guv'nor," and followed it up with an assiduity which, if employed by the police, must long ago have resulted in the capture of the murder-master. The Star man was just reflecting how well this persistent begging illustrated the desperate straits these people sometimes reach, when a police officer who knew him volunteered the tip that some one in Flower and Dean-street had just been down to
who had been murdered in Berner-street. Down into that highly-flavored lane went the reporter, and found no trouble in locating the identifier. The air was full of the subject, for was not the murdered woman a dweller in that very street, and was it not
that had just given the police all necessary information? To be sure, "One-armed Liz" had good reason to be kind to the police. She occasionally fell into their hands, and needed all the mercy she could get laid up in her favor, but she had done her duty to-night, and was the heroine of the hour. "Did you want to see her? Here she is, in here." The speaker led the way to one of the barrack-like lodging-houses half way down the street. "Can't you get her to step out?" asked the reporter. "Oh, you walk right in; you needn't be afraid. They are all ladies and gentlemen in there." Thus encouraged the Star man entered. The door opened into a large room, of which the ceiling was so low that a Guardsman who rose from a seat between two girls to see what was to do couldn't stand upright, and the walls were black as grime and filth could make them. The floor was inches deep with dirt, and the atmosphere could have been served up with a spoon. On the benches and tables sat or squatted some half a hundred of men and women of all ages and degrees of poverty. A huge fireplace at the end of the room held a cooking apparatus, on which were displayed a score of suppers in course of preparation. And there, in a halo of vile vapor and amid an incense of fried fish stood "One-armed Liz." She had the air of a queen as she bowed in deference to the greeting of the scribe, and she had an answer of some sort to every question. She had known Liz Stride well. She was sorry she was dead, but she would be glad if Liz's death would lead to the capture of that butcher. "One-armed Liz" made use of certain adjectives
of how deeply she felt on the subject, but the reporter omitted to take a note of them. She did not refuse the price of her bed, nor yet did the unkempt personage who had shown the way to the house. He was outside waiting, and a character he was too. "I'm all right, guv'nor," said he; none of your "Leather Apron" style. Everybody about here knows.
While Toby was speaking a woman came along with an armful of walking sticks, each one showing that they were swordsticks of a cheap but dangerous pattern. "Here you are, now," she cried, "sixpence for a swordstick. That's the sort to do for 'em." The man of news was astounded, but Toby only smiled. "Oh!" said he; "she does a good business, she do. She's been down in Berner-street all day, and sold a lot of 'em."
Presently this good-natured native got back to the subject of his murdered neighbor.
"I didn't know this woman to talk to," continued Toby, "but I had seen her in a lodging-house where I had been at work."
"Did she have any particular follower, Toby?"
"Not her," was the answer, "she wasn't particular. I wasn't a bit surprised when I heard it was her. That sort of women are sure to get done by him."
"Then you think there is someone on the look out for that sort?"
"Don't it look like it?" queried he.
do you think it is?"
"Well, now, I'll tell you," said Toby, with a wise look. "It waren't none of the kind that puts up at a six-penny doss. That chap's got a room to wash himself in.
He don't live far off neither. I shouldn't be surprised if he was walking up and down in the crowd out there now. He's a cool one he is, and it would be just like him to call and see if he could identify the bodies."
Before midnight there was scarcely a woman to be seen on the streets, though the reporter found half-a-dozen taking a good night look at the dark corner in Mitre-square just before the Aldgate clock struck the hour. By this time the police cordon had been withdrawn, and a score of people only remained loitering in the square. A keen-eyed little Jew was explaining to the half-dozen women the position the body had occupied, and was pointing out some water marks as blood stains, when the baby of one of the women began to cry. The mother, ever thoughtful of her offspring, drew the child from beneath her shawl and brought it forward a step or two.
bless its heart? So it shall. Take a good look at it, my pet. You may see enough of it if this sort of thing keeps up." Thus comforted, the child quieted down, and the mother walked away with her companions with an air that suggested an idea of duty performed being like a rainbow in the soul.
But the Star man's duty was not yet done. He wanted to see the streets of Whitechapel and Aldgate when cats and policemen ought to have them all to themselves. He wandered back toward Spitalfields, and stopped a few moments to look at the spot where the first of these terrible crimes was committed. Then he passed by the house immortalised by the arrest of Leather Apron, and finally found himself walking down Berner-street at the very moment the murderer must have covered the same ground early on Sunday morning. There was not a person in sight at the moment he passed the corner of Commercial-road.
The Star man had little difficulty in imagining that there was no one but a dead woman in the alley-way, and that there was a clear coast for anyone to get away from the spot without being observed. He walked briskly up to Commercial-road. A policeman across the way paid no attention to him, but two squares nearer Aldgate two officers scrutinised him closely as if to show that now at least they were wide awake. Just then a man came by with a great comforter about his neck and shoulders and his hands wrapped up in the ends. "Nobody would notice if that chap's hands were bloody - now, would they?" sagely remarked one of the officers, and the scribe made note of how safely
went on. From there to Aldgate no one was met but two cabdrivers at a coffee stall.
If the Star man had been in search of gore instead of news he need not have feared molestation as he went on to Duke-street. There was not even a policeman in sight, notwithstanding the extra force. When he had turned down through Church-passage into the square, however, he found four. He recalled the old proverb about locking the barn after the horse had been stolen. Certainly the red-hand would get a warm grip if it was stretched out there again this morning. It was now just five-and-twenty minutes of two. There were six people in the square all told, but no one was making any noise. Presently footsteps were heard coming along the narrow passage leading from the other square, and when the newcomers appeared, their blue jackets and white aprons discovered their calling at once, and one could not escape thought that here was evidence that
were not strangers to Mitre-square. Then arose a train of reasoning that might have led back to The Star's original theory of a slaughterman having to do with some of the earlier murders, but just then the crescent moon sailed up above the surrounding buildings, and the Star man resigned into her hands the duty of throwing light upon the mystery of the dark corner.
Thomas Bates, a watchman, told a reporter that "Long Liz" had lived with them for five or six years, but her real name he never knew. She was a Swede by birth. Her husband was shipwrecked and drowned. She was a clean and hardworking woman. Her usual occupation was that of a charwoman, and it was only when driven to extremities that she walked the streets. She would at times disappear for a month or so - even as much as three months. She returned to the house on Tuesday last, after a prolonged absence, and remained there until Saturday night. That evening she went out about seven o'clock, and she appeared to be in cheery spirits. The fact of her not returning that night was not taken any particular notice of. Their apprehensions, however, were aroused when rumors of the murders reached them. While narrating these facts the watchman was affected, and wound up his statement by exclaiming, "Lor' bless you, when she could get no work she had to do the best she could for her living, but a neater and a cleaner woman never lived."
A little after ten o'clock last night a man whose behavior was suspicious was arrested by a police-constable in the neighborhood of Commercial-street, and at once taken to the police-station in that thoroughfare, where he was questioned by the inspector on duty respecting his whereabouts on Saturday night and the early hours of Sunday morning. The prisoner, however, readily furnished his name and address, and apparently had no knowledge whatever of the details of the murders. He was discharged upon his statement being verified.
At a late hour last night an arrest was made in the neighborhood of Whitechapel, and the man taken to Leman-street, where he is still detained. At a quarter past three this morning a second man was arrested and likewise brought to Leman-street Police-station. He remains under detention. The police, presumably acting under instructions from head-quarters, decline to state either the names given by the prisoners or the circumstances which led to their arrests. There is, however, good reason to believe that so far not the slightest tangible clue has been obtained.
A man was arrested last night at a coffee shop opposite the Thurlow Arms public-house at West Norwood on suspicion of being concerned with the Whitechapel murders. Suspicion appears to have been excited by his face being much scratched, and by marks apparently of blood upon his clothes.
Just before daylight an arrest was made between Cannon-street-road and Back Church-lane, the person taken into custody being apparently a woman. On being taken to Leman-street Station it was found that the prisoner was a well-known local reporter, who had dressed in female attire, and had walked over from Leytonstone in the hope that in this disguise he might gather some important information. He was shortly released from custody.
The police have been told that a man, aged between 35 and 40 years of age, and of fair complexion, was seen to throw the woman murdered in Berner-street to the ground. Those who saw it thought that it was a man and his wife quarrelling, and no notice was taken of it. The police have also received information that about half past ten on Saturday night, a man, aged about 35 years, entered a public-house in Batty-street, Whitechapel, and whilst the customers in the house were in conversation about the Whitechapel murders he stated that he knew the Whitechapel murderer, and that they would hear about him in the morning. After which he left.
Near the spot where the woman lay two pawn tickets were picked up. It is not known whether they belong to the deceased or to her murderer. The tickets were in a small tin mustard box. One was for 6d., and dated August last; the other was for 1s., and dated the 28 Aug. They were for a pair of boots and a man's shirt, and in the name of Emily Birrell and Anne Kelly. They were pawned with Jones, Church-street, and if they belong to the man may form important clues.
From two different sources we have the story that a man when passing through Church-lane at about half-past one, saw a man sitting on a door-step and wiping his hands. As every one is on the look out for the murderer the man looked at the stranger with a certain amount of suspicion, whereupon he tried to conceal his face. He is described as a man who wore a short jacket and a sailor's hat.
In the midst of the excitement following on the Berner-street murder, some of the police were mean enough to try to purchase tobacco and drink from some of the members of the Jewish club. Money was tendered when request was made, but was, of course, refused. The police were not so entirely absorbed in endeavoring to catch the criminal but that they could attempt to inveigle innocent persons into committing a petty crime for the sake of securing a paltry conviction.
The inquest on Elizabeth Stride, the victim of the Berner-street atrocity was opened shortly after eleven o'clock this morning by Coroner Baxter, in the large upper room at the Vestry Hall, Cable-street, St. George's-in-the-East. The few additional facts which have come to light concerning the deceased corroborate the fact that it was a miserable and depraved life from which she was released by the murderer's hand. She was a familiar figure at the Thames Police-court, where she occasionally fell down in the dock in one of the epileptic fits to which she was subject. She sometimes went in the name of Fitzgerald, and was known, in the expressive nomenclature of her frail sisterhood as "Epileptic Annie," or "Long Liz."
The jury having been sworn, they at once proceeded to view the body, which was laid out in the mortuary attached to the parish church. They had to pass through the graveyard for that purpose, and to elbow their way through a motley crowd of morbid onlookers who had been allowed to collect. The woman's body was laid upon the slab exactly as it had been found. None of her clothing had been removed or interfered with. The dress was partially opened and the left side of the face was covered with mud. The wound in the neck did not extend all the way round, as in the Hanbury-street murder, but was very deep and completely severed the windpipe. It was particularly noticeable that the expression on the face was not one of pain, but of complete repose.
of 40, Berner-street, said: I am a printer, and live just at the back of the International Working Men's Constitutional Club. On the ground floor of the club there is a window and a door leading into a passage, and at the side there is a passage into a yard. The entrance to the yard is through two wooden gates, which are mostly closed at night; and there is also a small door, which is locked after the tenants have retired for the night. No particular person looks after the locking of the gates or door. There is only one other house in the yard, but it is arranged in three or four tenements, and has three or four doors leading into the yard. There is no other way out of the yard except through the gates. Opposite there is a stable, which, I believe, is unoccupied. The ground floor front of the club is used as a dining room, and in the middle of the passage there is a staircase leading to the first floor. At the back of the dining room is a kitchen.
The Coroner: That has a window looking out into the yard, has it not? - No; there is a passage between the kitchen and the yard, so the window looks out into the passage. At the back of this kitchen, but in no way connected with it, there is a printing office, consisting of two rooms.
Do you know when the compositors left on Saturday? - Two o'clock in the day, so far as I remember. The editor was on the premises
being a member of the club. He was there until the discovery.
How many members of the club are there? - From 75 to 80. Any working man, of any nationality, can be a member. It is a Socialist Club. I was in the club myself on Saturday from two in the afternoon till within an hour of the discovery of the deceased, with the exception of an hour and a half, from eight till half-past nine. When I returned at half-past nine I went in through the street door, and there was then a discussion on upstairs. There were in the upstairs hall two or three windows looking into the yard, and there were 90 or 100 persons present. The discussion closed between half-past eleven and twelve, when the bulk of the people left the premises, going through the street door. A number of people, about 25 or 30, remained behind in this upper hall, some conversing and others singing. The windows were partly open. I left at about a quarter-past twelve, having five minutes before then been into the printing office in the yard. I then noticed that the yard gates were open, but did not go towards them. There is no light at all in the yard, which is only lit by the lights from the windows. The editor was in the printing office reading. The singing in the club could be heard in the yard, but there was not much noise.
The Coroner: You looked towards the gates, but did you look sufficiently to see if there was anything on the ground? - There was nothing unusual to attract my attention, and I did not look sufficiently closely to say there was
What made you look towards the gates at all? - Because they were open. I then went into the club, called my brother, and went away with him to where I sleep in William-street.
Did you see anyone in the yard before? - No.
Did you meet anyone in Berner-street? - Not that I remember.
You often go home late? - Generally between twelve and one.
Do you ever see low women about? - Sometimes I see men and women standing about in Fairclough-street.
Have you ever seen a man and woman in the yard of your club? - About a twelvemonth ago I happened to go into the yard, and heard some chatting near the gate, when I at once went to shut it. I then noticed a man and woman go out. That is the only occasion I ever noticed such a thing.
of 4, New-road, Commercial-road, a jewellery traveller, said: - I am a member of the International Working Men's Club, and I was there on Saturday evening occupying the chair during the discussion. I left the club between half-past eleven and a quarter to twelve. I did not go through the yard, but out of the front door. I returned at about twenty minutes to one. The front door being closed, I went through the gateway into the yard, and thus into the club.
Did you notice anything lying on the ground? - I did not notice anything coming in. It was rather dark, and I cannot say for certain whether there was anything there or not.
You have formed no opinion? - No.
Did you see anyone about in Berner-street? - I cannot remember.
Supposing there had been a man and woman in the yard then,
I am sure I would.
A practical joker, who signed himself "Jack the Ripper," wrote to the Central News last week, intimating with labored flippancy that he was going to commence operations again in Whitechapel shortly. He said he would cut the woman's ears off to send to the police. This morning the same agency received a postcard smeared apparently with dirty blood. It was written with red chalk. It says: -
"I was not codding dear old Boss when I gave you the tip. You'll hear about saucy Jacky's work to-morrow. Double event this time. Number one squealed a bit. Couldn't finish straight off. Had not time to get ears for police. Thanks for keeping back last letter till I got to work again. - JACK THE RIPPER."
A reporter heard a strange story this morning that may be connected with the murders. A gentleman living not far from the British Museum says: - In the room above mine there is an American lodging. He professes to be a doctor, but does not look like one. In fact, if one judged by his looks, he might be - well, a perfect ruffian. No one knows anything about him. He never does any work, and always seems rather hard up, although he pays his rent regularly. He must wear something over his boots that enables him to walk silently, for no one ever hears him come in. At intervals he disappears for a time. On Saturday he went out, and has not been back since.
SIR, - There is one thing to be said for the police in defence of their failure to catch the murderer. His victim, it must be remembered, is in a conspiracy to escape the eye of the constable. She, as well as he, watches him out of sight and hearing, and waits to put herself every minute more completely in the power of her destroyer. - Yours, &c.,
London, 1 Oct.
An extraordinary coincidence in connection with the Mitre-square murder is that the Aldgate Post-office, the back part of which looks out on the scene of the murder, was, judging from the discovery made this morning, occupied by burglars between Saturday night and this morning.
The robbery turns out to be more serious than was at first supposed. The safe contained £420 in money and stamps to the amount of about £350. The burglars, after discovering the safe, proceeded to wrench open one of the sides. They were successful in this, and managed to reach £49 in a bowl and the stamps, which they took. The drawer in which the larger amount of cash was locked was subjected to very rough treatment, but fortunately it resisted the thieves' efforts. A sum of about £3 belonging to the postmaster was also taken from an upper room in the house. Careful examination by the police shows that the burglars first entered an empty warehouse in Duke-street, just round the corner, and then got into the post office through the trap door in the roof. For some time the safety of the office has been suspected by the police and the Post Office authorities, who have noticed the comparative ease with which it could be entered from the back on account of the adjacent premises being unoccupied.
Shortly before eleven o'clock on Saturday night a man named John Brown murdered his wife Sarah by cutting her head nearly off, at the house at which they lived, No. 11, Regent-gardens, Regency-street, Westminster. A few weeks ago the Westminster magistrate made no order on the man for the maintenance of his wife, whom he had deserted, and the woman seems shortly afterwards to have very reluctantly resumed cohabitation with her husband, who was very jealous, and has frequently been heard to threaten her.
On Saturday night a next-door neighbor heard the pair quarrelling in their room. The noise suddenly ceased, and a minute or two afterwards the man left the house hurriedly, loudly slamming the front door. He walked at once to the Rochester-row Police-station, where he told the inspector on duty that he had murdered his wife by cutting her throat, and handed the inspector a large spring-backed clasp knife, which had marks of blood on it. The woman was found with her head nearly cut from her body in a pool of blood near the fireplace. There were two distinct gashes, and the wind-pipe was severed. The man seems to have run the knife into the neck of his wife fully up to the hilt, and then have cut it across backwards and forwards. Brown, who is 45 years of age, has been employed as a roadman in St. James's-park, and the murdered woman was a laundress.
The roof of one of Lord Salisbury's rookeries, in Cecil-court, St. Martin's-lane, has given way. We recently described the delapidated and dangerous condition of his lordship's property, which he still refuses to repair, and leaves it an eyesore to the district and a disgrace to the metropolis. The houses in Cecil-court, which were long since ordered to be closed by the parish authorities, are now giving way all round. The court itself is now shut, and the public have to pay two policemen to keep people away from the property of the Prime Minister of England in case it should fall on their heads. But, then, there is no scarcity of policemen for West-end work. It is in the East they are needed, and are not there.
Charles Prebble, the butcher who was stabbed with his own knife during a quarrel with his own brother in Smithfield last week, has died from the result of his injuries.
Henry Bignall was caught by the police on Sunday afternoon fighting with another man in Ridge-road, Hornsey, for a sovereign aside. There was a crowd of about 40 men round the ring. Bignall is known as the companion of pugilists. At Highgate Police-court to-day Bignall was bound over to keep the peace in £10.
The articles pledged at [Joseph] Jones's, the pawnbroker, in Church-street, have been taken away by Detective-Inspector McWilliams, who has charge of the case. The pawnbroker states that the articles must have been pledged by a woman, as it is against the rule to receive goods from a man pledged in a woman's name. She cannot have been a regular customer, and he is doubtful whether he could identify her. Detective-Inspector McWilliams says that as far as can at present be judged the articles give no promise of a clue.
SIR, - Distortions of Christianity are plentiful enough, I admit; but because of these surely it does not follow that the system pure and simple should be branded as corrupt and wrong. How often has the strict and pure morality of Christ, and those other truths that belong to the system of Christianity, so elevating in their character, been perverted to suit the prevailing inclinations of men? Christianity, however, must not be confounded with its corruptions or made responsible for them; the Gospel of Christ is one of love and aims at the universal brotherhood of man. I estimate the doctrines, precepts, and rites of Christianity not as they are perverted by the human intellect, but by their transforming effect upon the distressed and perplexed heart of humanity. Think of the myriads of sincere hearts who are found in the rolls of the Christian army, who, to use the words of one of your contemporaries, "have been content to exhibit the spirit and life of Christ, and, so doing, have effected more for His cause than the pratings of all the dogmatists of ecclesiastical history." - Yours, &c.,
Ponder's End, N., 28 Sept.
SIR, - I think some of your correspondents might well say, "What do you mean by Christianity?" Years ago to be told you were a Christian was, indeed, something to be proud of, for it then meant that you were a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. When Bishop Judson went out as a missionary, the people of the island asked, "What do you call this man in England?" "Oh," replied one, "he is a Christian." "No, no," cried the natives, "Christians are those who come here and teach us to steal and drink rum:" and I think, sir, that the name Christian no longer means a follower of Christ, because everybody calls himself a Christian. I think it is hardly fair for some of your correspondents to say that Christianity is a failure because a few black sheep are amongst us, or that some have turned back from their profession, for in all institutions, sects, or orders, you must necessarily find some who are no credit to it.
But how can any in their senses say that a belief which turns a sinner into a righteous man, which makes a man who once broke the laws of his country keep them, which gives to that inward spirit, which we all have, the peace and joy which the passing pleasures of this world can never do, can be a failure, I cannot see. - Yours, &c.,
London, 27 Sept.
SIR, - If anyone said that man had failed, I should be the last to deny it; but it is a mistake to say that Christianity has failed. It may have failed, and will continue to fail, in the opinion of those who have thought that it will or should ameliorate the world and bring in universal sinlessness; but, I think, we have scriptural proof that in the early days of this dispensation it was well known that it would not do this. One of your correspondents speaks of the different sects now existing, and of the high salaries of some of the so-called ministers of the Gospel. I, too, own and deplore the error of all this, but I reply that it has all been brought in by man, and is in opposition to the mind of God, who remains unchanged but not ungrieved at those who have so sadly departed from the truth. - Yours, &c.,
SIR, - Does not the above question involve a petitio principii. It is asked, "Is Christianity a Failure?" The assumption apparently being, to judge from your correspondents' letters, that the object of Christianity was to ensure the "temporal" welfare of the "masses." One is struck too by the pertinacity with which the rather stale distinction between the Christianity of Jesus and the Christianity of the Churches is trotted out. Now, if the object of Christianity was political and social equality for all men, it must be pronounced without question a failure, since after nearly 1,900 years it has conspicuously failed to bring this about. If, on the other hand, this was not the raison d'être of Christianity, before we can decide whether Christianity has been a failure or not, we must find out what its original intention was. Before doing so let us dispose of the common objection that the Christianity which has failed to bring about political and social emancipation is not the "Christianity of Christ," but the "Christianity of the Churches." For the non-sentimental student of history, there is but one Christianity, and that is the speculative and ethical system which developed itself from an obscure Jewish sect in the first century to the Council of Nicæa in the fourth. All that has subsequently appeared as Christianity in history is but a modification of this completed system. But how about the "Christianity of Christ?" What is usually meant by the expression is the ethical maxims - many of them excellent, others, perhaps, not quite so excellent - to be found in the alleged discourses of Jesus contained in the synoptic Gospels.
Now, I would like to ask, sir, in the first place, which of these are original? Does anyone nowadays claim any exclusive right on behalf of the historical Jesus to these traditional sayings of his. Everyone knows that precisely similar utterances are common to pre-Christian Judaism, to Buddhism, Zoroastrian, and all the great ethical religions of the world. Again, I contend there is nothing that an unbiassed mind can find in the Gospel narratives differing in any essential detail from the mode of life of any other prophets of that and the succeeding age. It was, I think, Emanuel Deutsch who used the phrase a "glut of Messiahs" to characterise the state of Palestine at that period.
All things considered, then, one cannot help regretting that apparently sensible men like your correspondent 'Homo Sum' should feel it incumbent upon them to preface their strictures on modern Christianity with ecstatic laudation of this nebulous "Christianity of Christ." Of course, I am aware that I shall be met by the retort, "How was it the memory of this particular teacher became the nucleus of an important historical creed, if his personality or teaching did not differ materially from that of others? The answer to this is very simple. The actual figure-head or starting-point of a religion, like the actual figure-head of a myth, is often a mere accident determined by local and temporary circumstances. The accrition which supervenes on this beginning is the real point of historical interest. That Christianity in its beginning was only one of a number of esoteric or mystical doctrines current in that age, all of which embraced some excellent moral maxims, it is open to anyone who cares to make himself acquainted with the literature of the first century to see for himself. The real revolution of which Christianity was the ultimate embodiment was going on before it and alongside of it. This revolution changed the attitude and the objects of moral and religious feeling in accordance with the changed economical and political conditions.
For the early world the objects of morality and religion were - society, the society of kinship in one or other of its shapes, the clan, the tribe, or the city. In the course of time this primitive form of social life became modified, property which had before been in common tended to become more and more vested in individuals, and the political organisation became correspondingly altered. The antagonism of a rich and a poor class made itself apparent. The individual before completely merged in the social group or organisation to which he belonged, having and feeling no significance save as a member of this organisation, now began to feel and assert his independence. The whole history of the Græco-Roman world is a history of the gradual dissolution of the ancient city life. Its course was marked in the moral sphere by a decline of the old social conception of citizenship, and a growing concentration of attention on the relation of the individual soul to the supernatural, a future life, &c. In the first century of the Christian era the latter questions were occupying all classes throughout the Roman Empire, and were professed to be answered by all the various Oriental cults and mysteries, then current. Christianity (the Christianity of history) dealt with these problems, and by a process of natural selection for various causes gradually made headway against its rivals in public estimation.
The raison d'être of Christianity is individualism. It is the religion of the individual and of another life. The keynote of the ethics of the movement of which Christianity was the ultimate historical expression is the individual character and its relation to the supernatural. It is consequently introspective and personal before anything else. The same applies to the other less historically successful religions claiming a personal founder. (Buddhism; then, later, Zoroastrianism, &c.) Now, the question - Is Christianity a failure? - if it means has Christianity failed to indoctrinate its votaries and Christendom generally with the notion that duty in the last resort is an affair between the individual soul and the Divinity - must certainly be answered in the negative. It has succeeded only too well in diverting moral earnestness into the channel of personal introspection and asceticism. If, on the other hand, the question is to be taken as an inquiry whether this sort of morality fails to produce fruits of social utility, it must be no less answered in the affirmative, and the highest forms of the morality of modern democracy shows a tendency to revert in one respect to the early form of the old pagan morality, which centred itself in political and social life, and took scant interest in the "spiritual" concerns of the individual soul. The only difference is that, whereas the ethics and religion of the ancient world were mainly confined to a limited society supposed to be based on kinship, near or remote, that now dawning upon us knows no limitations of race or frontier. - Yours, &c.,
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|Is Christianity a Failure?|
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|Ripper Letters: Ripper Letters|
|Ripper Media: Dear Boss... Three letters attributed to Jack the Ripper|
|Ripper Media: Jack the Ripper: Letters From Hell|
|Ripper Media: Three Letters From Hell|
|Witnesses: Emily Marsh|