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October Arrests

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October Arrests

Post by Karen on Sat 9 Oct 2010 - 22:58

WHATEVER MR. MATTHEWS may think, one opinion is steadily growing at the East-end - namely, that his attitude of refusal to offer a reward is the result of indifference to any tragedy that may occur in an impoverished neighbourhood. "If these murders had been committed in Regent-street instead of the Commercial-road," the poor of Whitechapel say, "there would be a reward offered in very little time"; and, although it is possible that Mr. Matthews' theory as to rewards would hold just as good were the scene of the murders transferred from the East to the West, the opposite opinion is pretty generally entertained. Mr. Leigh Pemberton, in writing on behalf of the Home Secretary, says: - "If Mr. Matthews had been of opinion that a reward in these cases would have been attended by any useful result, he would at once have made such an offer, but he is not of that opinion." So, after all, Mr. Matthews is only acting on his own "opinion." But other men, who are as much entitled to be listened to as Mr. Matthews, entertain a different opinion. They think that there should have been no hesitancy. The offer of a reward could not, that we can see, by any possibility have done harm; and it might have done good. Besides, such an offer would have assisted to calm the public mind. Now there is an impression that the Home Office has not done all that it might have done, and should have done, in the appalling circumstances. What Mr. Matthews appears to lose sight of, and what his apologists - though there are very few of them now - overlook is, that it is not merely a money reward of a paltry one hundred pounds or so that is required, but an official intimation that any accessory either before or after the fact, who shall hand up the real murderer to justice shall be pardoned. Our Commissioner visiting the scene of the murders last night heard on every hand, both from police and people, the settled opinion that the assassin is hiding hard by the scene of his butcheries, and that somewhere in the network of thoroughfares, known as Fashion-street, Thrawle-street, Flower and Dean-street, Brick-lane, Osborn-street, and White-street this fiend is still lurking. He cannot have a house of his own, for his appearance is now pretty generally known, being that of a man of thirty-two years or thereabouts, some five feet six inches in height, having dark hair and a sandy moustache, and wearing a peaked cap and shabby overcoat. Nor is he, it is thought, in any public lodging-house, for the inmates would recognise him quickly. It is supposed that he is sheltered in some semi-empty house, and that some one or other knows of his whereabouts and identity. A Government reward might not induce such a person to surrender this villain, but a free pardon might, and such a proclamation it is considered should be at once issued.
Practically speaking, the police are at present powerless. The pavement where the dead woman was found in Mitre-square has been carefully cleansed, so that no bloodhound can possibly now be of any avail. The police cannot draw a cordon round the district; the crowds which penetrated the place yesterday night from all parts of London would afford a means of escape to any man desiring to get away. And they are not at liberty to enter any and every house without a warrant. Nothing can help them except such a proclamation as has been mentioned. But there is something more than the credit of the police at stake in this business. The credit and the character of the British people are involved. The news of these crimes is gone over the world, and the world will be saying that the British people, who boast of carrying the light of civilisation into the haunts of barbarism, cannot effectually cope with organised murder within their own shores. Unless, therefore, it can be proved that the police and the Government have done everything within the range of possibility - everything that money could buy, or ingenuity suggest, or vigilance could accomplish - we may expect some searching questions when Parliament meets. Cabinets have met to consider less important questions than these murders. We do not say, however, that a Cabinet meeting should be summoned in this instance, but we do say that the frequency and appalling character of these murders are entitled to more consideration than they have, to all appearances, received from the Home Office.



William Waddle, who was arrested at Yetholm, Roxburghshire, yesterday, on suspicion of having murdered the young woman Beetmore, at Birtley, was brought before the Gateshead County Magistrates, this morning, and charged with the murder. Some formal evidence having been given, the prisoner, who presented a dejected and partially demented appearance, was remanded. He simply said "Yes" in answer to the charge.



A German, giving the name of Charles Ludwig, was charged at the Thames Police-court today, with threatening to stab Elizabeth Burns, of 55, Flower and Dean-street, Spitalfields, and also with threatening to stab Alexander Finlay, of 51, Leman-street, Whitechapel. - Burns stated that, at about half-past three on the morning of Monday week, she accompanied the prisoner up Butcher's-row. They went through a gate into the yard, whereupon the prisoner put his arm round her neck. She saw an open knife in his hand, and at once screamed. Two policemen appeared upon the scene. Prisoner did not say anything at that time, but a few moments before that he had been talking to her in English. After the police came witness walked out. - The evidence of Finlay showed that at three o'clock on the morning in question he was standing at a coffee-stall in Whitechapel-road, when Ludwig came up in a state of intoxication. The person in charge of the stall refused to serve Ludwig, who seemed much annoyed and said to witness, "What are you looking at?" He then pulled out a knife, and threatened to stab witness with it. As he followed witness, he gave him into custody.


Constable 221 H, said that when he was called to take prisoner into custody he found him in a very excited condition. Witness had previously received information that Ludwig was wanted in the City jurisdiction for attempting to cut a woman's throat with a razor. On the way to the station prisoner dropped a knife that had a long blade, which was open, and when he was searched a razor and a pair of scissors with long blades were found on him. It was explained by the constable who went to the woman's assistance at Butcher's-row that she did not tell him the prisoner had a knife when he went to her rescue, and so he allowed the prisoners to go. - Inspector Pimley, H Division, intimated that the prisoner had fully accounted for his whereabouts on the nights of the recent murders. - Mr. Saunders, taking into consideration that the prisoner had been in custody a fortnight, now allowed him to be discharged.


August Nochild, 52, a tailor, living in Christian-street, Whitechapel, was charged at the Guildhall, today, with assaulting Sarah McFarley by attempting to strangle her in Holborn-circus. - McFarley stated that she met the prisoner about half-past twelve this morning in New Oxford-street. When she refused to go to his house in Whitechapel, he seized her by the throat, and exclaimed, "I will murder you if you don't. I have murdered the women in Whitechapel, and I would like to do another." She screamed, and a police-sergeant came up. - Sergeant Perry, 77, was "the sergeant." He said he saw the prisoner speaking to the prosecutrix, then saw him suddenly seize her by the throat. Both of them were, however, under the influence of drink. - Mr. Alderman Stone, however, dismissed the case. He said he did not think there was any foundation for the charge.




Though the excitement caused by the terrible crimes is not so keen as thought Sunday and yesterday, the one absorbing topic of conversation in the East-end this morning was the long series of horrors which culminated in the double atrocity. So wrote an Echo reporter this morning. Every aspect of this these cases has been discussed - in the thoroughfare, in the public-house, in the workshop, and in the clubs. And perhaps, as a partial result of all this, stories of a somewhat startling nature abound.


For instance, a woman has seen a man of suspicious appearance standing in a by-street. He starts back into the darkness of a doorway as she approaches. She runs screaming in terror down the street. Her imagination - and perhaps her story is correct, and this is a tangible reality - has detected a flashing blade in his hand, and her friends are forthwith convinced that the murderer still prowls around the gloomy alleys, and awaits but a favourable opportunity to strike another fiendish blow. Again, a female, one of the pitiable class of persons who throng the noisome courts of the locality, has met a man in the bar of the corner public-house. He is not a communicative individual. He is morose and taciturn, but he talks of his money, and places a sovereign on the counter as he calls for her "glass." She leaves the house with him only to be seized by the hair of the head in a neighbouring unfrequented thoroughfare, and then, affrighted by her terrified screams, he hurries away and is lost in the gloom.


But these, it is protested, are no imaginative escapades of hysterical women. They are actual incidents - incidents of the past night, gleaned by an Echo reporter in conversation with many persons in the neighbourhood of Aldgate at an early hour this morning. It may be - and, indeed, it is asserted by many that it is so - that a gang of men have gathered together determined to keep up the excitement the events of Sunday morning have given rise to. These men, it is alleged, are bent on no evil intent, and are merely actuated by the despicable motive of creating a universal terror amongst the unfortunate females who at night-time are such sad features of Whitechapel life. Neither of these men has been captured, and it is an undoubted fact that were one to fall into the clutches of some of the more determined of the class he would fare rather badly.


"Look here, sir." said one of these, drawing a knife from a pocket. She was standing at the bar of a public-house in Leman-street. One of the City constables, a man who was just going off duty, was in the room, and glanced at the weapon in surprise. It was a large clasp knife with a spring back - one of those which, when open, will not close unless the spring in the back of the handle is pressed. "I'll use that on 'im, as sure as my name's what it is," the woman went on decisively. "If e'en a man tries to clap his hand over my mouth like he did over poor old Liz's I'll let 'im feel this." She returned the formidable-looking weapon in her pocket, drank off the contents of the glass, and walked with an air of self-importance out of the bar.
"I shouldn't be a bit surprised if she did it," whispered the constable, as the door closed upon the woman. "I've known "Moll" as they call her about here, for quite ten years, and she's one of the most determined women we have to deal with."


During the night the police have been very actively engaged. Particularly at the Leman-street Police-station have the officers been kept busy. A large number of persons have called with various stories, and descriptions of men who appeared to be associated in some way or other with the crimes. The consequence is that since one o'clock this morning the police have arrested two or three men. The arrests were effected by the Metropolitan police. These men were conveyed to the Leman-street Police-station, where the officials on duty absolutely refuse to give any information whatsoever to journalists. One man there this morning told a reporter that there had been "two or three" arrests, but when questioned further, he replied that he "had no time" to ascertain whether actually two or three men were in custody.


It subsequently transpired that two men had been arrested. They were still this afternoon detained at the Leman-street Police-station. The evidence, however, against the men is extremely slight, and the police themselves believe that they will have to be released before the day is over.


One of the men was arrested at a coffee-stall near the Commercial-road. The stall is usually open at a very early hour for the convenience of the large number of men employed at the slaughter-houses and meat markets in the locality. A little after four o'clock a man of rather slender build, of medium height, and apparently about 24 years of age, was standing at the stall with some slaughtermen. They were partaking of coffee, over which they discussed the tragedies. The evasive manner of the man directly the subject was broached aroused the suspicion of the others. One of them called a police-constable, and the man was marched off to Leman-street. How many of the "suspects" have been detained is, of course, unknown, inasmuch as the police are not only reticent, but really discourteous, in their demeanour towards Press inquirers.



An incident which occurred at the Police-station, at an early hour in the morning will very well illustrate the sense of insecurity that now prevails. A respectably dressed young fellow, whose mannerisms proclaimed him a seaman, was brought in by a constable. According to the statement made by the officer, the prisoner had passed and repassed a young couple, and his movements exciting suspicion he was challenged by the policeman as to what he had about him. The seaman - a smart, good-looking lad of some 21 summers - laconically replied "Nothing," whereupon the constable, still _________passed his hands down his back until he came to the hind pocket of the trousers. This led to the discovery of the fact that the lad had upon him a five-chambered revolver, loaded.


At the station he was confronted by the couple who had been the immediate cause of this denouement, and it must be confessed that they had but little to say against him. The Inspector, however, inquired why he carried such a dangerous weapon upon him. The reply came prompt, "He did not want to be Whitechapeled." However, he had the no doubt novel experience of spending the night in a Whitechapel cell.


A man, who gave the name of ____ Davis, and says he is an artist, and 38 years of age, is detained on suspicion by the police in consequence of some conversation he had with people in reference to the murders. When taken to the station he was wearing a black diagonal coat and a cricket cap.

Source: The Echo, Tuesday October 2, 1888, Page 2

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

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