August 17th, 1888
A MYSTERIOUS MURDER.
The murder of a young woman, supposed to be Martha Turner, which occurred at George Yard Buildings, Whitechapel Road, some time ago, is as much a mystery as ever, and up to the present there is no decided clue as to he perpetrator of the foul crime. The woman who was seen in the company of two soldiers, with whom was the deceased, has not been able to identify either of the men at the Tower as being her companion on the evening of the murder.
SOLDIERS' PARADE AT THE TOWER.
Inspector Reid and the other officers engaged in the case have in no way relaxed their efforts to trace the criminal, and the Inspector, accompanied by "Pearly Poll," who was in the company of the murdered woman, proceeded to the Tower where she was confronted with every non-commissioned officer and private who had leave of absence at the time of the outrage. They were paraded at the back of the Tower, unseen by the public--of whom there is a large number frequenting the historic structure--and "Pearly Poll" was asked, "Can you see here either of the men you saw with the woman now dead?" "Pearly Poll," in no way embarrassed, placed her arms akimbo, glanced at the men with the air of an inspecting officer, and shook her head. This indication of a negative was not sufficient. "Can you identify anyone?" she was asked. "Pearly Poll" exclaimed, with a good deal of feminine emphasis, "He ain't here."
SUSPECTED MEN DISCHARGED FROM CUSTODY.
The woman was very decided on this point, and the men were then dismissed, while the two upon whom a faint shadow of suspicion had rested were consideraly (sic) relieved at their innocence being declared. As soon as the murder was known the suspected corporal was interviewed by the police and questioned. He had his bayonet with him when on leave at the time of the outrage; but this he at once produced, and no trace of blood was discovered upon it. His clothing too, was also examined, and upon it there was no incriminating bloodstain. After the parade a reporter saw Adjutant A.W. Cotton, the officer in command, who stated that all the men are now entirely exonerated. Indeed, the men were themselves most anxious to afford every facility to the police, and gave all the information in their power to assist the officers of justice in their investigation.
A SINGLE CRY OF "MURDER!"
There have been many visitors to George Yard Buildings with the rather morbid purpose of seeing the place where the deceased was discovered. Here there is still a large surgace of the stone flags crimson stained. It is at the spot where the blood oozed from the poor creature's heart. The police authorities regard as little short of marvellous the fact that no dweller in this model block heard any disturbance. Thinking this point ought to be cleared up, a reporter again visited Mr. Francis Hewitt, the superintendant of the dwellings, who, with his wife, occupies a sleeping apartment at nearly right angles with the place where the dead body lay. Mr. Hewitt procured a foot-rule, and measured the distance of his sleeping place from the stone step in question. it (sic) was exactly 12ft. "And we never heard a cry," remarked Mr. Hewitt. Mrs. Hewitt remarked that early in the evening she did hear a single cry of "Murder!" It echoed through the building, but did not emanate from there. "But," explained Mr. and Mrs. Hewitt, in a breath, "the district round there is rather rough, and cries of 'Murder!' are of frequent, if not nightly, occurence in the district."
THE OCCUPANTS OF THE DWELLINGS.
The model dwellings at George Yard Buildings were erected about thirteen years ago, and Princess Alice, but a short time before her death, visited the poor residents there, and extolled the ingenious method of housing them. The structure was erected more as a philanthropic than as a commercial venture by Mr. Crowther, a gentleman well-known in the district. The occupants are of the poorest class--described by the superindentent's wife as "the poorest of the poor, but very honest."