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Another Lodger Story

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Another Lodger Story

Post by Karen on Fri 8 Oct 2010 - 19:24

(From our later editions of last week.)


The chairman of the Whitechapel Vigilance committee, Mr. Albert Backert, informed a reporter on Thursday that the police at Leman-street station had received a letter stating that it has been ascertained that a tall, strong woman has for some time been working at different slaughter-houses dressed as a man. Searching inquiries have been made at the slaughter-houses in Aldgate and Whitechapel by the police. It is presumed that this has something to do with the recent Whitechapel murders, and it has given rise to a theory that the victims may have been murdered by a woman. It is remarked that in each case there is no evidence of a man having been seen in the vicinity at the time of the murder.


A curious story is published in the New York Herald. It is to the effect that a man has been found, who is quite convinced that the Whitechapel murderer occupied rooms in his house. This man (who has been in communication with Dr. Forbes Winslow) states that suspicion was first aroused by the lodger coming home about four o'clock one morning. He had expected to find everybody in bed, and to be able to get to his room unobserved. To his surprise, his landlord had been kept up waiting for his wife, who was out on a visit. The lodger was excited and incoherent in his talk. He said he had been having a rough time, that he had been assaulted, and had his watch stolen, and he gave the name of a police-station where he had laid a complaint. Upon inquiries at the police-station, this story was found to be entirely devoid of foundation. He had made no complaint, and the police had no knowledge of a street disturbance. The man's shirt and underclothing were found hanging over chairs. They had been washed and put out to dry. He was in the habit of talking about the women of the street, and wrote "long rigmaroles" about them. His writing in minute particulars resembled that of the letters sent to the police purporting to come from "Jack the Ripper." He had a wardrobe which included eight suits of clothes, eight pairs of boots, and eight hats. The man can speak several languages, and when he went out he always carried a black bag. He was apparently well off, and never wore the same hat on two successive occasions. When he left his lodgings a quantity of bows, feathers, and flowers, and other articles which had belonged to the lower class of women were found in his room. He also left behind him three pairs of boots and three pairs of galoshes. The boots are ordinary leather lace-up boots with thin soles. The galoshes have indiarubber bottoms and American cloth uppers, and are bespattered with blood.
The individual who supplies the above story says he has reason to believe that another murder will be committed shortly.
On Thursday a reporter had an interview with Dr. Forbes Winslow, with reference to the above story. "Here are Jack the Ripper's boots," said the doctor, at the same time taking a large pair of boots from under his table. "The tops of these boots are composed of ordinary cloth material while the soles are indiarubber. The tops have great bloodstains on them." The reporter put the boots on and found they were completely noiseless. Besides these noiseless coverings the doctor says he has the "Ripper's" ordinary walking boots, which are very dirty, and the man's coat, which is all also bloodstained. Proceeding, Dr. Winslow said that on the morning of the 30th of August, a woman with whom he was in communication was spoken to by a man in Worship-street, Finsbury. He asked her to come down a certain court with him, offering her 1 pound. This she refused, and he then doubled the amount, which she also declined. He next asked her where the court led to, and shortly afterwards left. She told some neighbours, and the party followed the man for some distance. Apparently he did not know that he was being followed, but when he and the party had reached the open street, he turned round, raised his hat, and with an air of bravado said, "I know what you have been doing; good morning." The woman then watched the man into a certain house, the situation of which the doctor would not describe. She previously noticed a man because of his strange manner, and on the morning on which the woman Mackenzie was murdered (July 17) she saw him washing his hands in the yard of the house referred to. He was in his shirt-sleeves at the time, and had a very peculiar look upon his face. This was about four o'clock in the morning. The doctor said he was now waiting for a certain telegram, which was the only obstacle to his effecting the man's arrest. The supposed assassin lived with a friend of Dr. Forbes Winslow's, and this gentleman himself told the doctor that he had noticed the man's strange behaviour. He would at times sit down and write 50 or 60 sheets of manuscript about low women, for whom he professed to have a great hatred. Shortly before the body was found in Pinchin-street last week the man disappeared, leaving behind him the articles already mentioned, together with a packet of manuscript, which the doctor said was exactly in the same handwriting as the Jack the Ripper letters which were sent to the police. He had stated previously that he was going abroad, but a very few days before the body was discovered (the 10th of September), he was seen in the neighbourhood of Pinchin-street. The doctor is certain that this man is the Whitechapel murderer, and says that two days at the utmost will see him in custody. He could give a reason for the head and legs of the last murdered woman being missing. The man, he thinks, cut the body up, and then commenced to burn it. He had consumed the head and legs when his fit of the terrible mania passed, and he was horrified to find what he had done. "I know for a fact," the doctor further said, "that this man is suffering from a violent form of religious mania, which attacks him and passes off at intervals. I am certain that there is another man in it besides the one I am after, but my reasons for that I cannot state. The public will have nothing to do with the capture. I am making arrangements to station six men round the spot where I know my man is, and he will be trapped." The public had laughed at him (the doctor went on to say) , but on the Tuesday before the last body was discovered he had received information that a murder would be committed in two or three days. In conclusion Dr. Winslow remarked - "I am as certain that I have the murderer as I am of being here."
In the course of an interview on Friday Dr. Forbes Winslow said he wished in the first place to contradict the reports which credited him with the statement that he would be able, within three days, to put his hand upon the author of the Whitechapel atrocities. He thoroughly believed in the clue which he had obtained, but his evidence was circumstantial, and would take some time to piece together, and to thoroughly work out. His informant was a respectable resident of Whitechapel, with whom the suspected "Jack the Ripper" lodged, and who had given him (Dr. Winslow) information which he regarded as valuable and practically conclusive. He (Dr. Winslow) had no desire to act as an amateur detective; he had plenty else to attend to in the way of his own profession, but he had taken this matter up because he believed the culprit to be a homicidal lunatic. The landlord of the so-called "Jack the Ripper" was now in his (Dr. Winslow's) house, giving some further information. The suspected person, whose nationality was not known, for he spoke several languages equally well, left his lodgings some time ago to proceed to America, but he had been seen in London as late as Aug. 3 last, and Dr. Winslow believes him to be in the metropolis now. There was some doubt as to whether he had ever belonged to the medical profession, but he was apparently a man in good circumstances. He had a mania respecting women of the street, and had covered 50 or 60 pages with writing about them. Dr. Winslow did not believe that "Jack the Ripper," if discovered, would be executed, as he was undoubtedly of unsound mind.

Inspector Moore has had the chemise found on the top of the trunk of the woman recently found in Whitechapel, cleansed and microscopically examined, but no name or trace of anything leading to its identification has been discovered. The chemise in question is 37 inches in length, of common material, hand-stitched in an indifferent manner. It is worth about 3 3/4d. a yard, and is known in the trade as Horrocke's A.

Source: Lloyd's Weekly London Newspaper, September 29, 1889, Page 2

Karen Trenouth
Author of: "Epiphany of the Whitechapel Murders"
Author of: "Jack the Ripper: The Satanic Team"

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