The Times (London).
28 March 1892
Perth (Western Australia), March 26.
Deeming is reported to have made a full confession of his guilt to his solicitor in regard to the Rainhill murders. It is stated that he also admits having been the perpetrator of the last two so called Jack the Ripper murders in Whitechapel. Of the previous outrages he disclaims all knowledge. He still protests his innocence of the Windsor crime, and is confident that he can prove that his supposed victim was seen alive five days after the alleged date of the murder. Deeming still asserts that Miss Mather eloped with another man in Melbourne. The excitement in that city and in Sydney owing to the fresh revelations daily made is intense. The universal feeling is that Deeming's aspersions on his wife's conduct are unfounded and that her supposed paramour had no existence.
Deeming's solicitor, Mr. Haynes, denied emphatically that the former had confessed to being the perpetrator either of the Rainhill or the Whitechapel murders. Far from this being the case, he has made no statements or admissions of any kind in relation to the crimes with which he is charged, or others with which his name has been associated. Mr. Haynes considers the reports circulated as to the alleged confession to be grossly unfair on his client, being likely to militate very much against him on his trial.
Deeming was conveyed from Perth to Albany by the special mail train on Friday, and reached the latter place early on Saturday morning. An immense crowd assembled at Perth to catch a last glimpse of the prisoner. Seeing a number of women amongst the crowd, he jauntily raised his hat, and wished them goodbye. At York, a small town 70 miles from Perth, the station was crowded by an excited crowd, which raised cries of "Lynch him!" and attempted to rush into the carriage in which Deeming was seated with Detective Cawsey and several constables. The local police were mustered in strong force on the platform, and ultimately drove back the crowd. The demonstration, however, greatly unnerved the prisoner, who had several violent fits as the train proceeded. These seizures were, however, regarded by the police as a clever piece of acting, intended to throw them off their guard.
As the Ballaarat was not ready to sail when the train reached Albany, Deeming was lodged in the local gaol. Whilst at exercise in the prison yard he managed to pick up and secrete a piece of glass, with which, during Saturday night, he shaved off his moustache. In this way he effected a wonderful alteration in his appearance, his object evidently being to render his identification difficult by the Melbourne tradesmen who supplied him with goods during his brief residence at Windsor. The prisoner seemed mightily pleased with the success of his attempt to alter his appearance, and a broad grin overspread his face when the change was remarked by the police in the morning.
Deeming's arrival and subsequent departure by the Ballaarat caused great excitement in Albany, large numbers of the residents in the town and district assembling to see him. His removal to the Ballaarat was very quietly effected, and he was at once conducted to the cabin he is to occupy during the voyage to Melbourne, which will take less than six days, including the stoppage at Adelaide.
Dalziel (The Times Special)
Albany, March 27.
"Swanston's" journey from Perth to this port yesterday was attended by scenes of great excitement. Large crowds awaited the arrival of the train at every station. At York a particularly hostile demonstration against the prisoner took place. A rush was made for the carriage in which he was travelling, and in the tumult the windows were broken. During the whole time the train was drawn up at the station the air was filled with hisses and groans, and loud cries of "Lynch him" were raised again and again. A large number of women were present in the crowd, and it was noted that they formed by far the most violent section of the mob. They made no attempt to restrain their feelings, and it was evident that it they could have got at the prisoner they would have torn him limb from limb. Deeming, who heard all this uproar and was well aware that it was directed against himself, exhibited great alarm, and was intensely relieved when the train steamed out of the station. Similar demonstrations on a small scale occurred at other stations along the route.
Shortly after leaving Beverley, Deeming fainted. The train was stopped, and bucketfuls of water were thrown over him. When he recovered consciousness he kicked and writhed like a madman, and the detectives in charge of him found it was necessary to put on the handcuffs. At subsequent stages of the journey he was seized with fresh fits, during which four men were required to hold him down. So violent were his struggles that his wrists were terribly bruised by the handcuffs. They were covered with blood and became greatly swollen. The detective Cawsey expresses the belief that these fits were nothing more nor less than an extremely clever piece of acting. Towards the end of the journey Deeming became more composed. When the train arrived here it was stopped at Parade street, where there is a crossing leading to the prison. A large crowd had collected, but there was no demonstration and perfect order was maintained. The prisoner was taken into the gaol, where he was searched. To this process he submitted quietly, remarking that he liked to give the authorities all the assistance in his power. "I thought," he added, "I was going to peg out last night."
Subsequently, in his cell, where two policemen had been told off to keep a constant watch upon him, the prisoner had another fit, and two doctors had to be called to attend to him. He will be taken on board the Ballarat with the least possible delay. Detective Cawsey will be accompanied on the voyage to Melbourne by Detective Smythe, of this city.
An extraordinary story is current to the effect that when the handcuffs were removed from Swanston in the gaol here he smashed a bottle and shaved off his moustache with the broken glass. By this means he so altered his appearance as to look 20 years younger. Another account of the matter is that, in compliance with the regulations, the prisoner agreed to be photographed on condition that he was allowed to shave, and this singular request having been granted, a barber was called in and shaved off the moustache. Deeming tried very hard to obtain possession of a pair of gold rimmed spectacles which had been taken away from him before leaving Perth, pretending that, without them, he was unable to read. In this attempt he was unsuccessful, though he repeatedly renewed his request during his journey in the train. Since his arrival here, however, Cawsey, in order to keep his prisoner quiet, acceded to his request, knowing that he could take the spectacles from him again at any time before their arrival at Melbourne. It is believed that Deeming's object in desiring to wear the glasses is to prevent his identification by tradesmen and others who knew him in Melbourne.
The fits with which he was seized during the railway journey Deeming attributes to wounds in the head which he received while in Zululand. The doctors, however, have carefully examined his cranium without being able to find any trace of such injuries. They have prescribed for him a dose of brandy every four hours. Mr. Budd, a well known barrister in Melbourne, has been invited to undertake the prisoner's defence. There is every reason to believe that the so called confession of "Swanston" that he was the author of two of the Whitechapel murders, if it was ever made at all, was a mere empty boast. During the remainder of the journey to Melbourne Deeming will be handcuffed to another man. He was taken on board the Ballaarat at 6 o'clock this morning, and securely lodged in a cabin, which will be carefully guarded night and day so as to guard against the possibility of suicide or escape.
Reuter's Special Service.
With regard to Deeming's movements in Antwerp a correspondent writes that it is now established that Deeming spent part of the year 1889 there, though, notwithstanding his high sounding title of Lord Dunn and the fact that he spent his money freely, he seems to have inspired but little confidence. He was a thorough type of the adventurer class. He stayed at the Hotel de l'Europe, and, even while paying his court to Miss Matheson and informing her by telegram that he was seriously ill, he was carrying on a discreditable intrigue in a low part of the town. He had not given his address, and, when his fiancée arrived with her mother in answer to his telegram, she spent several days in seeking for him. Eventually he was found, and the three took apartments at the Hotel St. Antoine, he occupying No 7, the ladies No 36. Deeming appeared very devoted to his fiancée, and spent the greater part of his time with her, notwithstanding the prophetic forebodings of her mother, who always declared it would "end badly." The ladies stayed nine days, and left by the Harwich boat on December 19. Deeming went to see them off. He had instructed the concierge to buy a fan for £20 as a parting gift to his fiancée, but does not seem to have presented her with it after all. That he stayed some little time longer himself is proved by the fact that there is an entry against his name among a picture dealer's accounts in December 23. Though he spent extravagantly, he paid irregularly. His creditors were shown a telegram announcing the destruction by fire of his castle and racehorses in England as a blind. Before going away he presented his photograph to a friend, and it is the comparison of this portrait with one sent by the English police to Antwerp that has finally established his identity with the murderer.
A Plymouth gentleman has given information which may assist in clearing up Deeming's movements after leaving South Africa, and showing the route he selected in returning to England. Telegrams from South Africa express the opinion that Deeming in 1889 left in a British India vessel trading on the east coast, but from this point all trace of his movements until he turned up in Liverpool in October of the same year had been lost. The following information of the movements of a "flashy" individual whose actions strikingly resembled those of Deeming may prove him to have been that individual. At Aden a man named Leavy, Levy, or Levison, embarked on board the British India steamer Jumna, which arrived in England towards the end of September, 1889. He travelled as a first class passenger, and throughout the voyage boasted of his adventures in South Africa. He wore a considerable quantity of jewelry, adorned with diamonds, and was most lavish in spending money. It will be remembered that a mysterious person, named Levey, who it is believed was none other than Deeming, has been mentioned in connection with the murders and crimes in Africa. Two other fact also lend colour to the conjecture that Deeming voyaged home in the Jumna. Levey brought with him a lion cub, and he and his "pet" landed at Plymouth. On the voyage the man boasted that he was the owner of a large yacht, and offered the command to Mr. Bartram, the chief officer. After landing at Plymouth the latter never heard again from "Levey." At Liverpool Deeming kept a lion cub, which he subsequently sold to Mr. Cross, the naturalist. At Hull Deeming said he was having a large yacht built. These incidents point to the belief that the passenger was Deeming. The Jumna is now on her voyage to Australia, and, as several of the officers are still serving in the vessel, they may have the opportunity of identifying the prisoner. If "Levey" was in reality Deeming, the time of his arrival in England will dispose of the suggestion that he committed the Whitechapel murder in July 1889.
It has been ascertained that before he took Dinham villa Deeming was in treaty for a villa at Nerquis, a secluded village about three miles from Mold, Flintshire, and a local agent having found what he considered a suitable house, Deeming went over and saw it, and made a careful inspection of the neighbourhood, being apparently pleased with what he saw. He went away, however, and soon afterwards a letter was received, dated from Dinham villa, Rainhill, stating that he had made other arrangements and would not require the Welsh villa. After their marriage Mrs. Deeming and Miss Mather appear to have spent four days in the Lake District, putting up at one of the Keswick hotels, where Deeming's lavishness in money matters attracted considerable attention.
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