Largest Circulation of Any Evening Paper in the Kingdom.
LONDON. MONDAY, 22 OCTOBER, 1888.
AS week after week goes by without a repetition of the Whitechapel murders it is necessary somewhat to modify our theories of the man who committed them. If he is a homicidal maniac, he is obviously not one in the ordinary sense of the term - i.e., a person who indulges his desire to slay whenever it takes him, and regardless of consequences. The murderer waits till the coast is clear, till public interest slackens down, and apparently neglects no precaution to ensure his own safety. All this is conduct usually described as sane; and all the less likely, therefore, is it that we have to deal with the writer of "Jack the Ripper" letters, or with morbid, vicious boys like the Tunbridge Wells criminals.
YET, on the other hand, we cannot assume that the man is sane in the larger sense - his very coolness and ironness of nerve are unnatural, and bespeak that subtler kind of criminal insanity which apes sanity in all its outer aspects, and enables its victim to go about his daily business with a Jekyll-like indifference to his recreations in Hanbury-street and Mitre-square. Nor is it reasonable to suppose that we shall ever catch him unless he commits a fresh crime. All the precautions, such as bloodhounds and house-to-house searches, were taken weeks too late. But it is just possible that the bloodhound experiments may have frightened the man, and that he will stay his hand. In which case, again, it will be clear that we have no maniac, in the vulgar sense, to deal with.
Who Calls at the "Star" Office to Complain of Opposition from the Police.
He was a strong sturdy fellow of some forty years, and as soon as he popped his head into the interviewer's sanctum in Stonecutter-street it was evident that he had a grievance which weighed heavily on him.
"You want to tell us something?" queried The Star man.
"Yes," he replied promptly, "I want to tell yer 'ow the police 'ave been annoyin' me in Commercial-street, instead of trying to catch this 'ere Jack the Ripper. They treat me in a most shameful way, and as I haint much of an edicated man myself, I wanted you to make some correspondences about it."
"How do the police annoy you?"
"By shoutin', hissin', and hollerin' at me as I am a going round my calls of a mornin'. The're jealous, don't you see, mister, 'cause they want to do it theirselves, but as I understands - "
At this point the interviewer thought well to interrupt his visitor, and to find out what this complaint was all about. The caller's card threw some light on the subject. It (the card) was a follows : -
EARLY RISER CALLER,
18, THOROLD-STREET, TURIN-STREET,
(Back of "The Bladebone Public-house")
BETHNAL GREEN-ROAD, E.
Persons called at any hour - from twelve till seven o'clock.
J. W. will oblige if only for one morning.
"That's my business," proceeded Mr. Wilkinson. "I call people as wants to get up of a morning, and the police they're on the job too, don't you see? And they want to do all the calls and take the money."
"But the police are not allowed to take money for calling people?"
"Ain't they though? What do you think? All I knows is that they do it, and when they see me going round hiss, shout, and whistle the Dead March in 'Saul,' and go tramping along so," and Mr. Wilkinson stamped heavily on the floor; "and they cry names at me and call me a --- ! --- ! and a --- ! --- !! and all that sort of thing, incitin' me to commit a breach of the peace. 'I'll put a stop to this 'ere callin' o' yours,' said one the other day. 'Will yer, tho',' says I. 'Two can play at that game.' I've been 14 years at this 'ere work now, and I ain't been walkin' the streets of London five-an'-twenty years there for nuthin'. An' the police, they're bound to go their rounds in a quiet and orderly manner. But 'ow can they be goin' in a quiet and orderly manner when they whistle the Dead March in 'Saul' at me?"
"Do you know the number of any policeman who annoys you in this way?"
Yes, 223 haitch is the worst 'un. He's allus at it in Commercial-street. And when he begins hissin' and whistlin' the 'Dead March,' I takes out this 'ere whistle" - and he produced a whistle something like a policeman's - "and does so" - and he blew a gentle solo - "and then so" - and he made the room ring. "That fetches 'em," he said, with a merry twinkle in his eye.
"Why don't you complain that the police take money for calls and annoy you?"
"Aven't I complained hover and hover and hover again? Told the inspector, and gone to the station, but they take no notice. 'Where's your witnesses?' they ask, and I ain't got none. 'Cause the police don't do anythink if there's some 'un with me."
"Are you sure the police receive money for calling people?"
"'Aven't I seen 'em knockin' people up and going round makin' a regler collection on Saturdays? I watch 'em, don't you see. They don't call for the money if they see I'm a-watchin' on 'em. But am up to their tricks. And when they leave I goes and tries to get the call away from them, and I get 'em too. That's why the police have been annoying me for years."
"Are there more callers than you in the neighborhood?"
"Lots on 'em. But they don't get much. I've been in the business now for 14 years, and go everywhere all round, from Commercial-street to Mare-street. My two boys help me, and my missus sometimes also."
"Do you do anything else."
"No. Live and let live, is what I says. Each 'un to their work. And the police, who get their 27s. and 30s. a week, should stick to their work and not take the bread out of a poor man's mouth. If they only called to oblige I could't object. But catch 'em knocking any one up for nuthin'. No fear, they want bein' paid for it."
"What are your charges, Mr. Wilkinson?"
"Generally sixpence a week. That's a penny a call, but sometimes round Commercial-street way I only gets fourpence. That comes 60 calls for a pound; which sometimes means a lot of trampin'. When does the callin' begin? About one, but there ain't much to do until after three."
"Who are the people who want calling?"
"Market men first. Then firemen, bakers, and all sorts."
"How do you wake them?"
"Knock at the door sometimes, and wait till I get an answer. I have eys, too, and go into courts and yards and upstairs. I even go up and knock at the bedroom door sometimes, and I have a pea-shooter, to fire these 'ere peas (producing some) at the windows. Am as good as a policeman in some ways, for I frighten away burglars and 'ave given the alarm about fires."
Mr. Wilkinson, who seems to be a thoroughly reliable man, and one who may be depended upon to call you punctually, as he rose to go, remarked -
"You put this in your own way, as I ain't much of a scholar. They won't like it, I know. Warren's sure to hear of it. And (this with a pleasant chuckle) then, don't you see, they won't know where it comes from."
The other day the Hon. J. De Grey (Lord Walsingham's brother) speaking at a Conservative dinner at Norwich, said "he did not wish the Constitutional Press to rival a certain wonderful creation that had made its way into his neighborhood, in casually examining which the other day he noticed that one page was devoted to advertisements, two to the Whitechapel murder, and the fourth to Mr. John Morley's speech." (Laughter.) Then, again, at the Norfolk Quarter Sessions, Mr. Poyser, barrister, in cross-examining the prosecutor in an assault case at Lakenham, was told by him that he took off his coat on leaving the Star for the purpose of fighting. - Mr. Poyser: What Star? - Prosecutor: The Morning Star. - Mr. Poyser: Oh, that is more respectable than the evening Star. (Laughter.)
A young man named Alfred Taylor was gored by a heifer on Sunday afternoon in a field at Thornton, near Bradford, while he was stroking it. His abdomen was torn open, and the lower part ripped away.
A large procession of the unemployed, followed by mounted police, marched last night from Hyde-park to Broad-street, Soho, by way of Oxford-street. They sang the whole way "The Marsellaise" and the song that played so large a part last year, "The Starving Poor." They announced that in future they would meet in Trafalgar-square, the first attempt to be made to-day.
On Saturday next will be published a new weekly newspaper with the title of the Women's Penny Paper. A special early edition will appear on Wednesday. A prominent feature of interest will be interviews with distinguished women, accompanied by a portrait. All subjects - social, industrial, and political - will be treated from the woman's point of view.
A Boy of 16 Commits a Whitechapel Murder in a Wood at Swansea.
A murder resembling those of Whitechapel was committed near Swansea yesterday. The victim, a girl four years of age, was decoyed into a lonely wood by a youth of 16, who then cut her throat and ripped her bowels open. The murderer is in custody.
A Man Seen Washing a Long Knife in the Lea.
At the police-station at Bow-road last evening a lad asked to see the inspector on duty. He said that a short time previously he was walking on the banks of the Lea, near Bow-bridge, and he observed a strange man a short distance off, half hidden by the outer wall of a factory. The man was stooping over the river bank washing a knife, and the boy came so suddenly upon him that he noticed blood upon it. The moment the man observed the approach of the intruder he threw the knife away, and made his escape. The boy found the weapon. It is about a foot long, very sharp, with a hook at one end. It is such a knife as is used by leather sellers for cutting their materials.
SIR, - It may not be generally known to your readers that by a new regulation of the London School Board the divisional members have now power to personally remit the fees for 13 weeks of the children of parents who have been summoned before a "Notice B" meeting because of the non-attendance of the children owing to inability of the parents to pay. This without the intervention of the local managers. To those who believe in and are working for free education this regulation is of vast importance. For general free education, an Act of Parliament must be obtained, but next month Londoners will have a chance of returning divisional members, who can now practically make the abolition of fees almost a reality. The phrase "inability to pay" is an exceedingly elastic one, and may be interpreted very generously.
The pressing character of the question may be seen from the following figures taken from the report of the London School Board for the year ending Lady-day, 1887, the latest information we have: -
"Proceedings against Parents (during 15 months). - Notices issued: Notice A (preliminary notice), 126,145; Notice B (notice to attend Divisional Committee), 107,482; summonses issued, 16,131; convictions and attendance orders, 12,965."
Undoubtedly there are a good many parents who will try to keep their children from school under any circumstances, but those who are acquainted with the subject know that the figures quoted are is a very large number of cases an evidence of bitter poverty. - Yours, &c.,
SIR, - In your issue to-day "A Fabian" puts the cart before the horse. His contention is simply that the poor are supported by the extravagance of the rich. Since the rich - landowners et hoc genus omne - do no work at all, their wealth and luxury are manifestly the result of their appropriation, without return, of the produce of the labor of the toiling masses. At present control over production is most effectually exercised by and on behalf of the landowner; get rid of landlordism, and there will be no difficulty about the production of a sufficiency of the necessities of life, or finding work for the crowds of luxury producers for whom "A Fabian" seems to fear starvation if the rich follow the vicar's advice. - Yours, &c.,
Daisydene, 199, Harold-road, Upton-park, E., 10 Oct.
BOB. - The National Press Agency, 13, Whitefriars-street, E.C., publish a good threepenny pamphlet on Local Government, by Sir Charles Dilke and Mr. Cobb, M.P.