Thursday, 18 October 1888
THE SURE DETECTIVE or SIN FINDING OUT THE SINNER.
Suggested by the Whitechapel murders. By Newman Hall, L.L.B. London. London, James Nisbet and Co., John Snow and Co., and all booksellers. Half price for distribution, direct from the Caxton Printing Works, 38 Camden road, N.W.
We are requested to publish the following: -
Sir Charles Warren wishes to say that the marked desire evinced by the inhabitants of the Whitechapel district to aid the police in the pursuit of the author of the recent crimes has enabled him to direct that, subject to the consent of occupiers, a thorough house-to-house search should be made within a defined area. With few exceptions the inhabitants of all classes and creeds have freely fallen in with the proposal, and have materially assisted the officers engaged in carrying it out.
Sir Charles Warren feels that some acknowledgment is due on all sides for the cordial co-operation of the inhabitants, and he is much gratified that the police officers have carried out so delicate a duty with the marked good will of all those with whom they have come in contact.
Sir Charles Warren takes this opportunity of acknowledging the receipt of an immense volume of correspondence of a semi-private character on the subject of the Whitechapel murders, which he has been quite unable to respond to in a great number of instances; and he trusts that the writers will accept this acknowledgment in lieu of individual replies. They may be assured that their letters have received every consideration.
A large number of conflicting rumours in connexion with the murders in the East-end are spread abroad from day to day with reference to the movements of suspicious characters who are stated to be under the close supervision of the police. There is little, however, in all these stories which indicates that the police have succeeded to any appreciable extent in tracking the author of the crimes. The net result, indeed, seems to be that a really genuine clue has yet to be obtained. Some importance has been attached by the police to the arrest made at King-street Police-station on Tuesday morning. The man arrested entered the police-station about 9 o'clock and complained of having lost a black bag. While the officials were taking note of the case he began to talk about the women murdered in Whitechapel, and offered to cut off the sergeant's head, and spoke in a rambling, non-sensical manner. In answer to a question as to what his business was, he said he had studied some years for the medical profession, but gave it up for engineering, and that he had been staying for some nights in coffee-houses. His talk became of such a rambling character that Dr. Bond, the divisional surgeon, was sent for, who examined him, and pronounced him to be a very dangerous lunatic with a homicidal tendency. The man is described as resembling the description of the person last seen with the women at the East-end on different occasions. He was dressed in a serge suit, with a hard felt hat, and is of a very strong build. Although he gave his age as 67, he looks much younger. Before his removal to Bow-street photographs were taken of him. He was also asked to write his name, and it is stated the writing is somewhat similar to that of letters received by the police and others. The detectives have been tracing the man's antecedents and his recent movements. The latest inquires seem to show that there is no evidence forthcoming likely to connect him with these crimes. In July last the man was brought up at Lambeth Police-court on a charge of being abroad as a person of unsound mind, and the magistrate ordered his removal to Lambeth Infirmary. He subsequently left that institution, and since August 15 he has lodged at a coffee-house in the Westminster-bridge-road. The keeper of the house states that the man has slept there every night without exception up to Monday of the present week.
Sir, - As it would be a thousand pities if the good work which the Rev. Samuel A. Barnett has urged in your columns should be hindered by any misunderstanding as to the existence of the requisite machinery for carrying it through, permit me to emphasize the fact that though "The Tenements Dwellings Company" is doing good service in endeavouring to secure to the occupiers of tenement houses good and sanitary accommodation at reasonable rents, while at the same time proceeding on business principles, it does not attempt to touch those premises which are at present dedicated to vice and crime.
May I add that I believe that it is possible to bring about the desired reformation, while securing a moderate interest for the outlay, if an earnest attempt be made in the right direction. I am &c.,
F. H. HARVEY-SAMUEL, Honorary Secretary and Solicitor to the Tenement Dwellings Company (limited).
88, Broadhurst-gardens, Hampstead, N.W.
Sir, - Having been intimately acquainted with the neighbourhood, in which the recent unexampled atrocities were committed, for at least a generation, especially in connexion with efforts to reclaim outcasts from that terrible moral waste, I cannot refrain from giving expression to my conviction as to the effectual rooting out of the evils which have festered in certain parts of Spitalfields for so many years.
I respectfully submit that increased encouragement should be given to those moral aggressive agencies designed for domiciliary visitation in this locality, especially on the lines of the City Mission, Scripture Readers' Society, and Midnight Meeting Movement.
I have known the work of such agencies sufficiently long as to be enabled to speak confidently of their effectiveness, and there is one feature of the recent sad incidents which confirms this opinion. The victims were all women somewhat advanced in life. This can scarcely be regarded altogether as an accident. The fact is, the agencies referred to are continually reclaiming numbers of the younger victims drawn into that fearful locality. Those that remain become hardened into well-nigh irreclaimable evil-doers, and as such they form quite a colony.
My long experience in rescue work has confirmed the opinion that such centres of the fallen and criminal classes should be broken up. The reclaimed, of any age, out of that or similar districts should be removed into entirely new localities - indeed, if it were possible, companions should never be placed together in the same refuge or reformatory of any kind. Reformation in such cases depends almost entirely upon the breaking up of evil associations and surroundings.
Notwithstanding that all common lodging-houses are registered under a recent Act of Parliament, and visited from time to time by the sanitary officials, they still remain social abominations of the very worst kind, as I have proved from personal observation. Shocking as these recent murders have been, if they lead, as they ought to do, to a further amendment of the law, and an extension of proper supervision by night as well as by day, lasting good will be effected.
I have observed the rapid extension of model dwellings, especially on the east side of Commercial-street leading up to Thrawl-street, &c., and I am certain that if capital were employed to clear off the few acres still left in the neighbourhood referred to, and the land covered with better dwellings, not only would the capital invested pay a fair percentage, but, in addition, would secure to those who are obliged to resort to the lowest rented sleeping places, good sanitary accommodation as well as that privacy which is essential to the maintenance of morality.
From careful observation during the last 35 years, I know that when extreme poverty forces any unfortunate man or woman to locate themselves in the wretched common lodging-houses abounding in Flower and Dean-street, Thrawl-street, &c., demoralization inevitably and rapidly follows. Further, I maintain, in the interests of society generally, that the honest poor, homeless for a time, ought not to be feared, as it were, to herd themselves in such dangerous and degrading quarters.
EDWARD W. THOMAS, Secretary.
London Female Preventive and Reformatory Institution, 200, Euston-road, London.
A discovery was yesterday afternoon made on the site of the new police offices, on the Victoria Embankment, by which the addition of a limb was given to the headless and limbless body found in the same place a fortnight ago. The limb yesterday discovered was the left leg, cut off above the knee, and its discovery was due to Mr. Waring, a gentleman connected with the London Press, who brought into detective work the instincts of a dog.
At a little after noon yesterday, Mr. Waring, with the knowledge of the police, and the consent of Mr. Grover, the contractor, took a dog of mixed breed, in which it is said the Russian terrier predominates, down into the vaults of the building which is being raised between Cannon-row and the Victoria Embankment. The dog was placed in the dark vaulted recesses where the body was found in the inmost corner - a place in total darkness on the brightest day - and the animal at once made it apparent that it had the scent of something underground. The earth was removed, and at a little more than half a foot depth the dog seized something, which turned out to be a human leg. Mr. Bond, the well-known surgeon, was sent for, and he pronounced it to be a human leg - a limb in keeping with the body found in the same place; but he could not at once pronounce with decision that it was part of the body found at that spot, and in keeping with the arm at Pimlico. The leg had been buried for at least six weeks.
The statement of the workmen that the body found a fortnight ago had only been in the place from the Saturday until the Tuesday is a matter of the greatest difficulty to those who have the investigation of the mystery. The wall where the body rested in the inmost recess is stained most deeply, and this staining, it is considered by those best able to judge, could only have been made by the long resting of the body against it. The earth when first seen was sunken in by the load which had rested upon it, apparently, for some time. The character of the decomposition too was such as would occur to flesh when not directly exposed to the influence of light and air. The appearance of the body, in fact, was such as to lead to the inference that it had been in the place from about the same time that the arm was found at Pimlico - the 11th of September - and it is now suggested that it was intended to bury it in the same way that the leg was buried. The discovery was communicated to Inspector Wren, the acting superintendent of the A Division, in the absence of Mr. Dunlap, and the best use was made of the information. The detective force of the division, under Inspector H. Marshall, have been directing their investigations so as to obtain notes of a woman of the description missing. Unfortunately there are numerous women reported to be missing, and the investigation of all such cases takes up much time, especially where minute points which promise much have to be followed up. The police are searching, it is as well to state, for a well-built woman of 5 ft. 8 in. or 8 ½ in. in height, with darkish hair and a fair skin, over 25 years of age and probably older, who has suffered from pleurisy, and missing now about two months. It is probable that such a woman may be supposed by her friends to be abroad.
Last night for several hours, notwithstanding the fog and darkness, another search was made in the vaults of the Thames Embankment site of the new police offices with Mr. Waring's dog. The night was chosen for a double purpose, one, that the search should be made free from the distracting attention of the large number of workmen engaged in the day time, and for another, that the result should not be known to those employed. The work done was ordered to be kept secret.