29 August 1906
Ghastly Crime Recalls the Work of "Jack the Ripper."
VICTIM HORRIBLY MUTILATED.
Special to the Washington Post.
New York, Aug. 28.
A "Jack the Ripper" murder, with all its attendant grewsome features, was committed early today in a house within a stone's throw of the Bowery, and the clew upon which the police are working in their efforts to run down the murderer and fasten the crime convincingly is a bloody thumb print.
The impress is that of the broad thumb of a large digit, presumably that if the large, muscular hand of a sailor or longshoreman, but doubtless the hand of a man of the laboring class. Each delicate line of the imprint is preserved in the red impression, and each is so well defined that the naked eye easily discerns the various intermingling and counter crossings.
This clew, which may lead to the conviction of the murderer, is being preserved with the utmost care by the police, and was to-day photographed and enlarged. In the meantime the dragnet is spread, and the purlieus of the Bowery and its adjacent tributaries, where live and rendezvous the class of which the murdered woman was a member, is being seined (sic) for the perpetrator of this ghastly murder.
Some time near midnight the murderer stole through the old New York Marble Cemetery that lies hidden at the heart of a city block, in the swarming East Side. He climbed from the walls of the burying ground to a window of a house in "Suicide Row", on Second Street, just off the Bowery, and murdered Annie Moore in her room in the house and then mutilated her body as "Jack the Ripper" slashed his victims in London's Whitechapel. He climbed back out of the window and over the wall, where the dead of a past generation lie sealed up in rows, and disappeared.
This is the story as told by conditions to-day, in the old cemetery itself. But the police, ignoring this feature of the evidence, have locked up James Moore, the brother in law and companion of the woman, on a charge of murder.
When brought to the station house, Moore was stripped and searched. No knife or weapon of any kind was found on him, nor were there any marks of blood on his clothes. Moore loudly proclaimed his innocence while the police were searching him, but he was held without bail to await the action of the grand jury.
The first known of the crime was at an early hour to-day, when Moore, with white face, blanched more than ever, nervously approached Policeman Grady, who was standing outside of McGurk's on the Bowery, watching the eddying of the flotsam and jetsam of the Bowery tide of human wrecks.
"My wife is dead! Some one killed her," said Moore, trembling.
Joined by Detective Ruth, Grady went around to the Second Street house and found the body of the woman lying across the bed.
There were four horrible wounds, any one of which would have proved fatal.
Moore, who had posed as the woman's husband, told the police he and the woman had been living together for seven years. The woman, he said, was the widow of this brother, who died ten years ago.
No one in the house could be found who heard any sounds as if a struggle was taking place. The dead woman was fifty years old.
A hurried investigation by the police showed no signs of a struggle, and the police concluded that the woman had been attacked in her sleep. On a pillow, which lay across the face, was the imprint of a bloody hand. The victim's hands were clean. Moore told the police that he left the house in Second Street at 7 o'clock last night, and went to a Bowery saloon, where he remained until 1 o'clock this morning. Police inquiries at the saloon developed the information that Moore had been there until just before 10 o'clock when he left. Lodgers in the Second Street house told the police that Moore returned home about 10 o'clock, and that he did not go out again afterward.
The murdered woman, before her marriage to the prisoner's brother, was Annie Fitch. After her husband's death she went rapidly down the scale of life. Moore, the prisoner, is in an advanced stage of consumption. He has a wife and two children living hardly a stone's throw from the scene of the crime.
Three life insurance policies were found in the room. They were issued by the Prudential Company on May 1st, 1906. One of them for $275, was on the life of the woman and made payable to the prisoner, the others were on the life of Moore, made payable to the woman.
James Moore's son, Edward, aged eighteen years, was arrested and technically held as a witness in the Moore murder case after his father had been examined by the police. The youth is said to have suffered from epilepsy for several years. He testified that his father was accused by the dead woman of having brutally beaten her last Sunday. Moore admitted striking the woman.