Monday, 1 October 1888
Two more murders must now be added to the black list of similar crimes of which the East-end of London has very lately been the scene. The circumstances of both of them bear a close resemblance to those of the former atrocities. The victim in both has been a woman. In neither can robbery have been the motive, nor can the deed be set down as the outcome of an ordinary street brawl. Both have unquestionably been murders deliberately planned, and carried out by the hand of some one who has been no novice to the work. It was early yesterday morning that the bodies of the two women were discovered, at places within a quarter of an hour's walk of one another, and at intervals of somewhat less than an hour. The first body was found lying in a yard in Berner-street, a low thoroughfare running out of the Commercial-road. The discovery was made about 1 o'clock in the early morning by a carter, who was entering the yard to put up his cart. The body was that of a woman with a deep gash on the throat, running almost from ear to ear. She was quite dead, but the corpse was still warm, and in the opinion of the medical experts, who were promptly summoned to the place, the deed of blood must have been done not many minutes before. The probability seems to be that the murderer was interrupted by the arrival of the carter, and that he made his escape unobserved, under the shelter of the darkness, which was almost total at the spot. The efforts of the police to trace the murderer have been without result as yet. They set to work without delay. Their first attention was directed to the inmates of a Socialist International Club, close to the place at which the body had been found, but there was nothing to give ground for a reasonable suspicion about any of them; nor was there any one in the neighbourhood of the locality on whom the guilt could be presumed to rest. The body has been identified as that of ELIZABETH STRIDE, a widow according to one account, according to another a woman living apart from her husband, and by all accounts belonging to the "unfortunate" class. Here movements have been traced up to a certain point. She left her house in Dean-street, Spitalfields, between 6 and 7 o'clock on Saturday evening, saying that she was not going to meet any one in particular. From that hour there is nothing certainly known about her up to the time at which her body was found, lifeless indeed, but not otherwise mutilated than by the gash in the throat, which had severed the jugular vein and must have caused instantaneous death.
Not so the corpse of the second victim. In this case the purpose of the murderer had been fulfilled, and a mutilation inflicted of the same nature as that upon the body of ANNIE CHAPMAN. It was in the south-western corner of Mitre-square, in Aldgate, that the second body was found. It was again the body of a woman, and again had death resulted from a deep wound across the throat. But in this instance, the face had also been so slashed as to render it hard for the remains to be identified, and the abdomen had been ripped up, and a portion of the intestines had been dragged out and left lying about the neck. The time of the murder can be approximately fixed. The policeman in whose beat Mitre-square lies had passed the spot at which the body was found a little before half-past one. On his return beat, at about a quarter to two, he found the body lying as we have said, so cut about as almost to defy recognition. The deed of blood had been the work of a practised hand. The body bore clear proof of some anatomical skill, but the murderer had been in a hurry, and had carried out his design in a more rough fashion than that with which ANNIE CHAPMAN'S body had been mutilated. The best chance of identification seems to be from the victim's dress, of which a minute description had been put out. The inference is clear as to the agency in these two almost concurrent murders. They are the work of the same hand. The murderer in ELIZABETH STRIDE'S case had no more than time to inflict the fatal wound. He was then interrupted, but he was not so to be put off from the completion of his abominable design. The opportunity soon offered itself. A second woman of the unfortunate class was accosted, was lured off into a quiet corner, and time was found for the hurried accomplishment of the full deed of brutality. Beyond this we are unable at present to go. We are once again in the presence of mysterious crimes, for which no adequate motive has been assigned. The object was not plunder - in neither case did the wretched woman offer any temptation for this. The circumstances are such as to forbid the idea of revenge. The victims seem almost certainly to have been mere casual street acquaintances, picked up by the murderer at the moment, and not known to him before. Have these been the freaks of a madman or the deliberate acts of a sane man who takes delight in murder on its own account, and who selects his victims by preference from the weaker sex, either as the safer and easier to deal with or as giving him the means of gratifying some horrid instinct of cruelty and perverted lust? The explanation offered by the Coroner in ANNIE CHAPMAN'S case is equally applicable in these, but there has been so much uncertainty thrown upon it, and the facts on which it rests are so far unestablished, that it is impossible to accept it as proved.
The recurrence of these several murders at brief intervals of time, and with details more or less closely resembling one another, makes it more than likely that the two murders of Sunday morning will not be the last of their kind. There has been too much system and method, and too obvious a brutal daring which cares little for the chance of detection. But is this is so, it becomes morally certain that the murderer must be found out. He had a near escape from the unlighted yard in Berners-street [sic]. At Mitre-square the police must have been close upon his heels. The fact that he gives proof of the possession of anatomical skill does much to narrow the inquiry. Not one man in a thousand could have played the part of ANNIE CHAPMAN'S murderer. In one of these new cases, if not in both, we have evidence of a similar kind. Meanwhile no means of detection should be left untried. Twelve years ago a murder at Blackburn was traced out by the help of a bloodhound, and, thanks to the sagacious instinct of the dog, the murderer was convicted and hanged. The experiment which was successful at Blackburn might once more be of avail. If any facts could be ascertained about the murderer's movements there would be, at least, a clue which the police might be successful in following up. As the matter stands, they are at fault, and must apparently await helplessly the perpetration of some fresh outrage to give them a renewed chance of getting on the right track.
In the early hours of yesterday morning two more horrible murders were committed in the East-end of London, the victim in both cases belonging, it is believed, to the same unfortunate class. No doubt seems to be entertained by the police that these terrible crimes were the work of the same fiendish hands which committed the outrages which had already made Whitechapel so painfully notorious. The scenes of the two murders just brought to light are within a quarter of an hour's walk of each other, the earlier-discovered crime having been committed in a yard in Berner street, a low thoroughfare out of the Commercial-road, while the second outrage was perpetrated within the city boundary, in Mitre-square, Aldgate. In the first mentioned case the body was found in a gateway leading to a factory, and although the murder, compared with the other, may be regarded as of an almost ordinary character - the unfortunate woman only having her throat cut - little doubt is felt, from the position of the corpse, that the assassin had intended to mutilate it. He seems, however, to have been interrupted by the arrival of a cart, which drew up close to the spot, and it is believed to be possible that he may have escaped behind this vehicle. Conflicting statements are made as to the way in which the body was found, but according to one account a lad first made the discovery and gave information to a man named Costa, who proceeded to the spot, where almost immediately afterwards a constable arrived. The body was then removed to No. 40, Berner-street, which is very near to the now notorious Hanbury-street. These premises are occupied by the International Workmen's Club. The victim, according to the official details, appears to have been a woman of low character, aged about 35. Her height is 5ft. 5in., and her complexion and hair are dark. She wore a jacket made of black diagonal cloth, feather trimmings, a black skirt, velveteen bodice, crape bonnet, spring-side boots, and white stockings.
The murder in the City was committed in circumstances which show that the assassin, if not suffering from insanity, appears to be free from any fear of interruption, while at his dreadful work. Mitre-square is entered from three places - Mitre-street, and passages from Duke-street and St. James's-place - through any of which he might have been interrupted by the arrival either of ordinary pedestrians or the police, although the square is lonely at night-time, being occupied chiefly for business purposes. The constable's beat, moreover is patrolled in between 15 and 20 minutes, and within this short space of time, apparently, the murderer and his victim must have arrived and the crime been committed. The beat is in the charge of a man who is regarded by his superiors as thoroughly trustworthy, who has discharged his duties efficiently for several years, and who reports that when he went through the square at about half-past 1 he noticed nothing unusual and no one about. Plain-clothes constables also occasionally patrol the square, which is a place of irregular form, about 77ft. by 80ft. On two sides of the square are the warehouses of Messrs. Kearney [sic] and Tonge, and adjoining them are two old houses, which exactly face the scene of the murder - the wide pavement opposite, where, it is stated, there was some deficiency of light from the gas-lamp.
The square is occupied by business firms, excepting the two old houses already referred to, one of which, curiously enough, is tenanted by a police-constable, the other being uninhabited. The corner house of Mitre-square and Mitre-street is held by a picture-frame maker, who, however, does not reside on the premises; and the adjoining three houses in Mitre-street, backing on to the square are unoccupied.
According to the report of Police-constable Watkins, 881, in passing through the square at a quarter to 2 a.m. he found the murdered woman, lying in the south-western corner, with her throat cut and her intestines protruding. He immediately sent Police-constable Holland, 814, for Dr. Sequeira, of Jewry-street, who arrived ten minutes later. Inspector Collard was also communicated with, and telegrams were despatched which at once brought Major Henry Smith (the acting Commissioner), Mr. M'William (the Inspector of the City Detective Department), and Superintendent Foster to the spot. Dr. Gordon Brown (the surgeon to the City Police), who had also been informed of the discovery, was also present. The deceased was found lying on her back, with her head inclined to her left side. Her left leg was extended, her right being bent, and both her arms were extended. The throat was terribly cut; there was a large gash across the face from the nose to the right angle of the cheek, and part of the right ear had been cut off. There were also other indescribable mutilations. It is stated that some anatomical skill seems to have been displayed in the way in which the lower part of the body was mutilated, but the ghastly work appears to have been done more rapidly and roughly than in the cases of the women Nicholls [sic] and Chapman. The body was removed as soon as possible to the mortuary in Golden-lane, where it was examined in the presence of Dr. Brown and Dr. Sequeira. Dr. Phillips, of Spital-square, the surgeon of the H Division of Metropolitan Police, arrived shortly afterwards, and assisted in the preliminary examination of the body. The woman is described as being about 40 years of age and 5ft. in height. She has hazel eyes - the right one having been apparently smashed in, and the left one being also injured - and dark auburn hair. She wore a black cloth jacket, with imitation fur collar and three large metal buttons. Her dress is of dark green print, the pattern consisting of Michaelmas daisies and golden lilies. She also wore a thin white vest, a drab linsey skirt, and a very old dark green alpaca petticoat, white chemise, and brown ribbed stockings, mended at the feet with white material. Her bonnet was black straw, trimmed with black beads and green and black velvet. She wore a pair of men's laced-boots; and a piece of old white coarse apron and a piece of riband were tied loosely around the neck. There were also found upon her a piece of string, a common white handkerchief with a red border, a match box with cotton in it, a white linen pocket containing a white bone handle table knife, very blunt (with no blood on it), two short clay pipes, a red cigarette case with white metal fittings, a printed handbill with the name "Frank Cater, 405, Bethnal-green-road," upon it, a check pocket containing five pieces of soap, a small tin box containing tea and sugar, a portion of a pair of spectacles, a three-cornered check handkerchief, and a large white linen pocket containing a small comb, a red mitten, and a ball of worsted.
In the afternoon a post-mortem examination of the body was made by Dr. Brown, assisted by Dr. Sequeira, Dr. Phillips, and Dr. M'Kellar (the chief surgeon of the Metropolitan Police). Dr. Yarrow (H Division Metropolitan Police) and Dr. Sedgwick Saunders were also present at the examination. It may be stated that up to a late hour last night the body had not been identified.
Plans and perspective sketches of the scene of the City murder were prepared for the use of the coroner and the police by Mr. F. W. Foster, of Old Jewry.
Crowds of persons yesterday visited the localities where the murders were committed. The entrances to Mitre-square were, however, closed by order of the police authorities, and a large body of constables, under Inspector Izzard, was kept on the spot to preserve order.
Late last night the woman murdered in Berner-street was identified by a sister as Elizabeth Stride, who, it seems, had resided latterly in Flower and Dean-street. A correspondent, when he was shown the body of the deceased, recognized her by the name of Annie Fitzgerald as having been charged and convicted a great number of times at the Thames Police-court of drunkenness. Whenever so charged she always denied having been drunk, and gave as an excuse that she suffered from fits. This statement, although not strictly true in connexion with her special visits to the Thames Police-court, was partly correct, for while evidence was being adduced against her she had fallen to the floor of the dock in a fit and had to be carried from the court to the cell in an insensible condition. When the body was found it presented no marks of a struggle having taken place.
Last night, shortly before midnight, a man, whose name has not yet transpired, was arrested in the Borough on suspicion of being the perpetrator of the murders in the East-end. Yesterday morning a tall dark man wearing an American hat entered a lodging-house in Union-street known as Albert-chambers. He stayed there throughout the day, and his peculiar manner drew upon him the attention of his fellow lodgers. Certain observations which he made regarding the topic of the day aroused their suspicions. He attracted the notice of the deputy keeper of the lodging-house, whose suspicions became so strong that he sent for a policeman. On the arrival of the officer the stranger was questioned as to his recent wanderings, but he could give no intelligible account of them, though he said he had spent the previous night on Blackfriars-bridge. He was conveyed to Stones-end Police-station, Blackman-street, Borough.
The inquest in the Berner-street case is fixed for today at 11 a.m., at the Vestry-hall, Cable-street, St. George's.
The Whitechapel Vigilance Committee have addressed to the Queen a petition praying that, in the interests of the public at large, Her Majesty will direct an immediate offer of a large reward for the capture of the murderer.
At 3 o'clock yesterday afternoon a meeting of nearly 1,000 persons took place in Victoria Park, under the chairmanship of Mr. Edward Barrow, of the Bethnal-green-road. After several speeches upon the conduct of the Home Secretary and Sir Charles Warren, a resolution was unanimously passed that it was high time both officers should resign and make way for some officers who would leave no stone unturned for the purpose of bringing the murderers to justice, instead of allowing them to run riot in a civilized city like London. On Mile-end-waste during the day four meetings of the same kind were held and similar resolutions passed.
The scene of the first crime is a narrow court in Berners-street, a quiet thoroughfare running from Commercial-road down to the London, Tilbury, and Southend Railway. At the entrance to the court are a pair of large wooden gates, in one of which is a small wicket for use when the gates are closed. At the hour when the murderer accomplished his purpose these gates were open; indeed, according to the testimony of those living near, the entrance to the court is seldom closed. For a distance of 18ft. or 20ft. from the street there is a dead wall on each side of the court, the effect of which is to enshroud the intervening space in absolute darkness after sunset. Further back some light is thrown into the court from the windows of a workmen's club, which occupies the whole length of the court on the right, and from a number of cottages occupied mainly by tailors and cigarette makers on the left. At the time when the murder was committed, however, the lights in all of the dwelling-houses in question had been extinguished, while such illumination as came from the club, being from the upper story, would fall on the cottages opposite, and would only serve to intensify the gloom of the rest of the court. From the position in which the body was found it is believed that the moment the murderer had got his victim in the dark shadow near the entrance to the court he threw her to the ground, and with one gash severed her throat from ear to ear. The hypothesis that the wound was inflicted after, and not before, the woman fell is supported by the fact that there are severe bruises on her left temple and left cheek, showing that force must have been used to prostrate her, which would not have been necessary had her throat been already cut. When discovered the body was lying as if the woman had fallen forward, her feet being about a couple of yards from the street and her head in a gutter which runs down the right-hand side of the court close to the wall. The woman lay on her left side, face downwards, her position being such that although the court at that part is only 9ft. wide, a person walking up the middle might have passed the recumbent body without notice. The condition of the corpse, however, and several circumstances which have since come to light prove pretty conclusively that no considerable period elapsed between the committal of the murder and the discovery of the body. In fact, it is generally conjectured that the assassin was disturbed while at his ghastly work, and made off before he had completed his design. All the features of the case go to connect the tragedy with that which took place three-quarters of an hour later a few streets distant. The obvious poverty of the woman is entirely opposed to the theory that robbery could have been the motive, and the secrecy and despatch with which the crime was effected are equally good evidence that the murder was not the result of an ordinary street brawl. At the club referred to above - the International Workmen's Educational Club - which is an off-shoot of the Socialist League and a rendezvous of a number of foreign residents, chiefly Russians, Poles, and Continental Jews of various nationalities, it is customary on Saturday nights to have friendly discussions of topics of mutual interest and to wind up the evening's entertainment with songs, &c. The proceedings commenced on Saturday about 8:30 with a discussion on the necessity for Socialism among Jews. This was kept up until about 11 o'clock, when a considerable portion of the company left. Between 20 and 30 people remained behind, however, and the usual concert which followed was not concluded when the intelligence was brought in by the steward of the club that a woman had been murdered within a few yards of the house. The people residing in the cottages on the other side of the court were all indoors and most of them in bed by midnight. Several of these persons remember lying awake and listening to the singing in the club, and they also remember the concert coming to an abrupt termination; but during the whole of the time between the hour of their retiring to rest and the moment when the body was discovered no one heard anything in the nature of a scream or a woman's cry of distress.
It was Louis Diemsschütz, the steward of the club who found the body. Diemsschütz, who is a traveller in cheap jewelry, had spent the day at Westow-hill, near the Crystal Palace, on business, and had driven home at his usual hour, reaching Berner-street at 1 o'clock. On turning into the gateway he had some difficulty with his pony, the animal being apparently determined to avoid the right-hand wall. For the moment Diemsschütz did not think much of the occurrence, because he knew the pony was given to shying, and he thought, perhaps, some mud or refuse was in the way. The pony, however, obstinately refused to go straight; so the driver pulled him up to see what was in the way. Failing to discover anything in the darkness, Diemsschütz poked about with the handle of his whip, and then discovered the body. He entered the club by the side door higher up the court, and informed those in the concert-room upstairs that something had happened in the yard. A member of the club named Kozebrodski returned with Diemsschütz into the court, and the former struck a match while the latter lifted the body up. It was at once apparent that the woman was dead. The body was still warm, and the clothes enveloping it were wet from the recent rain. The heart had ceased to beat. Both men ran off without delay to find a policeman. After some search a constable 252 H, was found in Commercial-road. With the aid of the policeman's whistle more constables were quickly on the spot, and the gates at the entrance to the court having been closed and a guard set on all the exits of the club and the cottages, the superintendent of the district and the divisional surgeon were sent for. In a few minutes Dr. Phillips was at the scene of the murder, and a brief examination sufficed to show that life had been extinct some minutes. Careful note having been taken of the position of the body, it was removed to the parish mortuary of St. George's-in-the-East, Cable-street, to await identification. The woman appears to be 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. She wore a rusty black dress of a cheap kind of sateen 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. 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. The cut in the woman's throat, which was the cause of death, had evidently been effected with a very sharp instrument. The weapon had apparently been drawn across the throat obliquely from left to right, and it had severed both the windpipe and the jugular vein. As the body lies in the mortuary the head seems to be almost severed, the gash being about three inches long, and nearly the same depth. In the pocket of the woman's dress were discovered two pocket-handkerchiefs, a brass thimble, and a skein of black darning worsted. In addition to the examination by Dr. Phillips, the body was examined both before and after removal to the mortuary by Dr. Kaye and Dr. Blackwell, both of whom reside in the vicinity of Berner-street. On the arrival of the superintendent from Leman-street police-station, steps were immediately taken to ascertain whether the members of the club were in any way connected with the murder. The names and addresses of all the men present were taken, and a rigorous search of the premises was instituted, much to the annoyance of the members. The residents in the court had to submit to a similar scrutiny. In neither case, however, was any incriminating evidence discovered. It was 5 o'clock before the police had finished their investigations at the club for, in addition to the search referred to above, inquiries were made which resulted in a number of written statements which had to be signed.
The fact that another murder had been committed soon became known in the neighbourhood, and long before daybreak the usually quiet thoroughfare was the scene of great excitement. Extra police had to be posted right along the street, and even with this precaution, locomotion from an early hour was a matter of extreme difficulty. A large crowd followed the body to the mortuary, and here again it was found necessary to take unusual precautions to keep back the crowd.
Several matters have come to light which tend to fix precisely the time at which the unfortunate woman was murdered. Morris Eagle, one of the members of the club, left Berner-street at about 12 o'clock and after taking a friend home returned to the club at 20 minutes to 1 with the intention of having supper. He walked up the yard and entered the club by the side entrance, but neither saw nor heard anything to make him suspect any foul play. Another member of the club, a Russian named Joseph Lave, went down into the court about 20 minutes before the body was discovered. He strolled into the street and returned to the concert room without having encountered anything unusual.
During the day there were many persons at the mortuary, but up to 3 o'clock, none had succeeded in identifying the body. Mr. Wynne Baxter, the Coroner of the district, was communicated with as soon as the details were ascertained, and he has fixed the inquest for to-day at 11 o'clock at the Vestry-hall, Cable-street. It is believed in police circles that the murderer was disturbed at his work by the arrival of Diemschütz, and that he made off as soon as he heard the cart at the top of the street. Sir Charles Warren, and Major Smith, of the City Police, visited the scene of the murder in the course of the morning.
The following description has been circulated by the police of a man said to have been seen with the deceased during Saturday evening: -'' Age 28. Slight. Height 5ft. 8in. Complexion dark. No whiskers. Black diagonal coat. Hard felt hat. Collar and tie. Carried newspaper parcel. Respectable appearance.''
Mrs. Mortimer, living at 36, Berners-street, four doors from the scene of the tragedy, has made the following statement:- ''I was standing at the door of my house nearly the whole time between half-past 12 and 1 o'clock on Sunday morning, and did not notice anything unusual. I had just gone indoors and was preparing to go to bed when I heard a commotion outside, and immediately ran out, thinking that there was a row at the Socialists' club close by. I went to see what was the matter, and was informed that another dreadful murder had been committed in the yard adjoining the club-house, and on going inside I saw the body of a woman lying huddled up just inside the gates with her throat cut from ear to ear. A man touched her face and said it was quite warm, so that the deed must have been done while I was standing at the door of my house. There was certainly no noise made, and I did not observe any one enter the gates. It was just after 1 o'clock when I went out, and the only man I had seen pass through the street previously was a young man carrying a black, shiny bag, who walked very fast down the street from the Commercial-road. He looked up at the club and then went round the corner by the Board school.''
Charles Letchford, living at 30, Berners-street, says :- ''I passed through the street at half-past 12 o'clock, and everything seemed to me to be going on as usual, and my sister was standing at the door at ten minutes to 1, but did not see any one pass by. I heard the commotion when the body was found.''
Dr. Blackwell made a statement yesterday in which he said that about ten minutes past 1 in the morning he was called by a policeman to 40, Berners-street, where he found the body of the murdered woman. Her head had almost been severed from the body; the body was perfectly warm, and life could not have been extinct for more than 20 minutes. He had no doubt the same man committed both the murders. In his opinion the man is a maniac. His belief was that as the woman held the sweets in her left hand, her head was dragged back by means of a silk handkerchief which she wore round her neck, and that her throat was then cut. One of the woman's hands was smeared with blood, and this was evidently done in the struggle. He had, however, no doubt that the woman's windpipe being completely cut through, she was thus rendered unable to make a sound.
Shortly before 1 o'clock yesterday morning, or about three-quarters of an hour after the crime described above, it was discovered that a second woman had been horribly murdered and mutilated, this being in Mitre-square, Aldgate, within the City boundaries, but on the confines of the now notorious district. It appears that Police-constable Watkins (No. 881), of the City Police, was going round his beat when, turning his lantern upon the darkest corner of Mitre-square, he saw the body of a woman, apparently lifeless, in a pool of blood. He at once blew his whistle, and several persons being attracted to the spot he despatched messengers for medical and police aid. Inspector Collard, who was in command at the time at Bishopsgate Police-station, but a short distance off, quickly arrived, followed a few moments after by Mr. G. W. Sequeira, surgeon, of 34, Jewry-street, and Dr. Gordon Brown, the divisional police doctor, of Finsbury-circus. The scene then disclosed was a most horrible one. The woman, who was apparently about 40 years of age, was lying on her back quite dead, although the body was still warm. Following the plan in the Whitechapel murders, the miscreant was not content with merely killing his victim, but had dreadfully mutilated her.
The officer who found the body is positive that it could not have been there more than a quarter of an hour before he discovered it. He is timed to ''work his beat,'' as it is called, in from ten to 15 minutes. The police theory is that the man and woman who had met in Aldgate watched the policeman pass round the square, and then entered it for an immoral purpose. The throat of the woman having been cut the murderer hurriedly proceeded to mutilate the body. The wounds do not appear to have been caused so skillfully and deliberately as in the case of the murder of Annie Chapman in Hanbury-street. Five minutes, some of the doctors think, would have sufficed for the completion of the murderer's work, and he was thus enabled to leave the ground before the return of the policeman on duty. None of the police on duty early yesterday morning appear to have had particular attention drawn to the man and woman together, and this appears strange at first when it is remarked that within the last few weeks the police have been keeping a particularly keen watch upon suspicious couples. The murderer probably avoided much blood-staining on account of the woman being on the ground at the time of the outrage; and leaving the square by either of the courts, he would be able to pass quickly away through the many narrow thoroughfares without exciting observation. But one of the most extraordinary incidents in connexion with the crime is that not the slightest scream or noise was heard. A watchman is employed at one of the warehouses in the square, and in a direct line, but a few yards away, on the other side of the square, a City policeman was sleeping. Many people would be about in the immediate neighbourhood even at this early hour making preparations for the market which takes place every Sunday in Middlesex-street (formerly Petticoat-lane) and the adjacent thoroughfares. Taking everything into account, therefore, the murder must be pronounced one of extraordinary daring and brutality. The effect it has had upon the residents in the east of London is extraordinary.
A man named Albert Barkert [Bachert] has made the following statement: - ''I was in the Three Nuns Hotel, Aldgate, on Saturday night, when a man got into conversation with me. He asked me questions which now appear to me to have some bearing upon the recent murders. He wanted to know whether I knew what sort of loose women used the public bar at that house, when they usually left the street outside, and where they were in the habit of going. He asked further questions, and from his manner seemed to be up to no good purpose. He appeared to be a shabby genteel sort of man, and was dressed in black clothes. He wore a black felt hat and carried a black bag. We came out together at closing time (12 o'clock), and I left him outside Aldgate Railway Station.
Messrs. George Lusk and Joseph Aarons, writing from 1, 2, and 3, Alderney-road, Mile-end, September 29, on behalf of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee, who communicated without result with the Home Secretary with the view of obtaining, on behalf of the public at large, the offer of a Government reward for the apprehension and conviction of the assassin or assassins in the recent East-end atrocities, say:- ''We shall be glad if you will allow us to state that the committee do not for one moment doubt the sincerity of the Home Secretary in refusing the said offer, as he apparently believes that it would not meet with a successful result. If he would, however, consider that in the case of the Phoenix Park murders the man Carey, who was surrounded by, we may say, a whole society steeped in crime, the money tempted him to betray his associates, in our opinion, if Mr. Matthews could see his way clear to coincide with our views, the Government offer would be successful. The reward should be ample for securing the informer from revenge, which would be a very great inducement in the matter, in addition to which such offer would convince the poor and humble residents of our East-end that the Government authorities are as much anxious to avenge the blood of these unfortunate victims as they were the assassination of Lord F. Cavendish and Mr. Burke.''
TO THE EDITOR OF THE TIMES.
Sir, - "One Who Knows" is perfectly right when he tells your readers that the police must act before the philanthropist can step in. But in my humble opinion he might with equal justice go a little further and say that the House of Commons should act besides, and that quickly.
It is an acknowledged fact that wherever overcrowding exists it is the origin of all evil. Crime, misery, filth, and degradation are the outcome, and we well know that the sweating system fattens on this wretched fabric. Why can we not grapple with it successfully? The answer to this is, vested interests forbid it. A lodging-house in a congested district to these house-jobbers is a sure fortune. Shylock has but to send his collector round (and the more hardened is the man's conscience the better business man is he considered), and sums like 5s. 6d. a week for each room in a house, and 3s. 6d. a week for the cellar den in it, are wrung out of England's white slaves. To make the lot of the latter more bitter still, Bismark's destitute Polish Jews have been flung in broadcast to fight the battle of life out with them. It is a positive fact that members of local authorities who have self-interest in this slave trade serve on the local boards, lending no doubt an otium cum dignitate to their proceedings. But, I ask, was there ever such a shameless farce played out on those least able to protect themselves? Why should overcrowding be allowed to put a premium on property? But such is the state of the law at present. I maintain that compensation should only be calculated on the base of the capacity of a house and not on the numbers actually living in it. It was to meet this glaring fraud on the public (for it prevents better houses from being built and lower rents charged) that I brought in a Bill at the commencement of this Session to further amend the law relating to the dwellings of the working classes. The Government, I regret to say, still hold their hand, although I have received from all sides of the House of Commons the greatest sympathy and support. I have not withdrawn this Bill, and I do not mean to; but if the public would only come forward and give me their support I feel confident that the best part of my Bill would be on the Statute-book by Christmas. As I plead for a population in our midst as large as Wales and as loyal too, and whose only crime is their poverty, I trust it will not be considered that I have said anything on their behalf one whit too strong.
HENRY BRUDENELL BRUCE.
Sir, - Will you allow me to ask a question of your correspondents who want to disperse the vicious inhabitants of Dorset-street and Flower and Dean-street? There are no lower streets in London, and, if they are driven out of these, to what streets are they to go? The horror and excitement caused by the murder of the four Whitechapel outcasts imply a universal belief that they had a right to life. If they had, then they had the further right to hire shelter from the bitterness of the English night. If they had no such right, then it was, on the whole, a good thing that they fell in with unknown surgical genius. He, at all events, has made his contribution towards solving, "the problem of clearing the East-end of its vicious inhabitants." The typical "Annie Chapman" will always find some one in London town to let her have a "doss" for a consideration. If she is systematically "dispersed," two results will follow. She will carry her taint to streets hitherto untainted, and she herself will be mulcted in larger sums than before for the accommodation. The price of a doss will rise from 8d. to 10d. or a shilling, the extra pennies representing an insurance fund against prosecution and disturbance. Are these the sort of results that the Rev. Samuel Barnett is working for?
If vestries seem apathetic in the matter of systematic dispersal, it often is because they know that the demand for action is nothing but an astute manouvre on the part of a house monger, who is anxious (to use the words of one of your correspondents) that the property should become "purchaseable at a fair price."
64, South Eaton-place, S.W.
Sir, - I beg to suggest the organization of a small force of plain-clothes constables mounted on bicycles for the rapid and noiseless patrolling of streets and roads by night.
Your obedient servant,
Merton Abbey, Merton, Surrey, Sept. 30.
Charles Carver was charged on remand with begging. Joseph Bosley, mendicity officer, stated that he saw the prisoner in the neighbourhood of Denmark hill. He had in his hand some printed pamphlets relating to the Whitechapel murder. He frequently held these prints between his clasped hands and prayed that persons might be saved from cutting up men and women. When he received money he poured out blessings upon the giver, and, among other quotations, uttered the expression, "Those who give to the poor lend to the Lord." When refused assistance the prisoner used foul language, and called persons servants of the devil. It was now shown that the prisoner was a rank impostor, and had for years under the cloak of religion made a great deal of money. Mr. Chance sentenced the prisoner to three months' hard labour, and told him that next time he would be sent to the sessions for trial.
At Lambeth during the week many applications have been made to the magistrate with regard to threats used by husbands against their wives. In the majority of these cases the complainants said the threats used by the husbands were, "I'll Whitechapel you," and in some cases the words uttered were, "Look out for Leather Apron." Mr. Chance remarked on Saturday that such observations were becoming very common and granted in several cases summonses against offenders.