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Frank Sherlick Arrested

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Frank Sherlick Arrested

Post by Karen on Mon 18 Oct 2010 - 3:54



Arrested Within Twenty-Four Hours After the Crime.

Human Gore on His Garments and on the Bedclothes in Room No. 33, East River Hotel, Which He Occupied Alone - His Falsehoods Since the Arrest - The Inspector's Story - Sure He Has Carrie Brown's Murderer - The Man Arraigned Before Judge Martine Yesterday - Counsel Given Him.


It was just a week ago today that the old hag, Shakespeare's, mangled corpse was found in the East River Hotel. She was evidently the victim of an imitator of "Jack the Ripper," the Whitechapel fiend. Inspector Byrnes and his entire force of detectives have been working on the case ever since by night as well as by day. Mr. Byrners made a statement yesterday showing the progress he had made in unraveling the mystery of Old Shakespeare's death. He has forged a chain of facts and circumstances around Frank Sherlick or Sherlicka, better known in the newspapers as "Frenchy No. 1," which will be hard to break, to say the least.
Frenchy, who has heretofore been technically held as a witness, was yesterday formally charged with the murder. He was arraigned at 5 o'clock yesterday afternoon before Judge Martine in his private chamber, the General Sessions building. He was brought down from Police Headquarters handcuffed to Detective-sergeant McCluskey on a magistrate's warrant issued by Judge Martine at the request of District-Attorney Nicoll. The Court assigned the law firm of Levy, Friend & House to defend the accused, and Mr. House appeared for him with a French interpreter. The prisoner spoke a mixture of French and Algerian patois, which was difficult for the interpreter to understand. He pleaded not guilty to the charge of murder.
Judge Martine committed Frenchy for further examination and remanded him to the custody of Inspector Byrnes.
The Coroner's inquest into the death of Old Shakespeare, which was to have commenced yesterday afternoon, was adjourned by Coroner Schultz at the request of Assistant District-Attorney Lindsay to May 11.


Inspector Byrnes's statement follows:
"Let us begin with the arrest of Frenchy No. 1. It occurred at 8 o'clock Friday night, less than twenty-four hours after the murder. Frenchy slept in the East River Hotel with the woman Shakespeare Wednesday night. He was about with her all day Thursday and part of Thursday evening. They were in the bar-room of the East River Hotel together that evening. The woman Shakespeare came into the hotel at 11 o'clock with an unknown man, and the pair were assigned to room 31 on the top floor.
"I want to say a word more here about Frenchy before going on with the narrative. Part of it has been stated before. Frenchy was a man of perverted habits with women, and low and degraded as most of those women are in that neighbourhood. Shakespeare was about the only one left who would have anything to do with him. The other "girls" used to speak of Shakespeare as Frenchy's girl and ridicule him about her age. She was old enough to have borne him. Frenchy had at various times bitten and beaten the girls he associated with, and sometimes he took their money away from them. He had frequently roomed with them over night on the top floor of the East River Hotel and had created such disturbances that the management on more than one occasion had been called upon to throw him out.
"After Shakespeare and the stranger had gone up to room 31 Thursday night this Frenchy went to Eddie Fitzgerald, the boy who is called the door clerk at the hotel, and gave him 25 pennies for room 33, on the same floor. It was against the rule of the house for any man not accompanied by a woman to have a room on the top floor, but Eddie Fitzgerald didn't know it when he assigned Frenchy the room. A little later, when he turned the pennies over to Sam Shine, the bartender, Shine asked where the lodger had gone.
"Up to 33," said Fitzgerald.
"What sort of a mug was he?" asked Shine.
"A tall, dark man," replied Fitzgerald.


"That's that - Frenchy," remarked Shine. "He'll be raising the devil up there before morning."
"There was some discussion as to whether to permit Frenchy to remain or not. Fitzgerald told Shine that the lodger had been upstairs fifteen or twenty minutes, and it was concluded that as he was probably already asleep it would be as well not to disturb him.
"He's got to bed and we won't bother him," said Shine.
"We have no information as to what time Shakespeare's roommate left her. The men who go to the hotel with women seldom spend the night there. They go out when they please, generally by way of the hall door. The morning generally finds the bedroom doors ajar and a lot of drunken or half-drunken women asleep alone in the cots. Frenchy, when arrested, had on no underclothes. It is said he wasn't in the habit of wearing them. He did have on a coarse shirt, a pair of trousers, coat and vest, socks and gaiters. It is likely that he slept that night with his shirt and his socks on. There can be no doubt that he was in Shakespeare's room.
"Across the front of the shirt just where it would have come in contact with the edge of the bed if the wearer had leaned over the body, is a smear of blood. On the left shoulder of the shirt is another patch of blood, which looks as if it might the print of a bloody hand.There is blood, too, on one of the sleeves, which Frenchy had evidently tried to wash off. One of his stockings also has a bloodstain, which has been partially washed out.
"There were found drops of blood on the floor of the hall leading from the death chamber to Frenchy's room. On the other side of the door leading into Frenchy's room were the prints of finger tips, as if some one with a bloody hand had pushed open the door and tried to leave as small a stain as possible. There is the print of a bloody hand also on the interior of the door where it was pushed together again. On the bed blanket, which looks very much like an army blanket, were found clots of blood as though some one with gory hands had wiped them there. More blood was found on the bed-tick and on a chair in Frenchy's room.


"After we had arrested Frenchy and found the blood on his clothing, I sent out and bought a bone nail-cleaner. I wanted to get an instrument with which there would be no danger of drawing blood. We cleaned Frenchy's finger nails for him and submitted the dirt to analysis, and it was found to contain the corpuscles of human blood. The blood on the floor and on the door has been cut out and analyzed and found to be human blood, as have also the stains in Frenchy's clothing and the bedding in Frenchy's room. Dr. Edson and two other physicians spent three days on the analysis.
"Frenchy has lied to us in every instance where we have asked him questions since his arrest. He denied knowing Shakespeare, and denied knowing Mary Ann Lopez and her companions to their faces, although we know positively that he has been intimate with them. He claimed for a time that he did not sleep in the East River Hotel the night of the murder, and gave us an address in Brooklyn where he claimed to have slept that night. We found that he didn't and he finally admitted that he slept in the East River Hotel. We brought him face to face with Eddie Fitzgerald and the latter made him admit that he remembered giving him the twenty-five pennies for a room on the night in question.
"Our prisoner claimed that he had been working around a hotel in Jamaica, L.I., and that he had only come to New York the day before the murder. I sent men to Jamaica, but they could find no such place as Frenchy described. I wanted him to have every chance to prove his statement and last Sunday morning at 8 o'clock we sent him out to Jamaica handcuffed to a detective to find the place where he'd worked. He couldn't do it, but we learned that on April 13 he had been discharged from the Queen's County Penitentiary after doing a month for vagrancy.



"Frenchy gave us and explanation of how he got the blood on him. We investigated this statement and found it to be a lie, like the rest.
"How can he ever explain how he got the blood under his nails!
"Would Frenchy have given up 25 cents to sleep alone in that room if he had had no ulterior motive in view? He could have got a better lodging anywhere around there for 10 cents.
"Here's another point. Shakespeare had presumably received money from the stranger who brought her to the hotel. She had none when the body was found. You must remember that Frenchy was in the habit of taking money away from women and of abusing them, and that he had done the thing before in the East River Hotel.
"There is one important thing that remains to be done, and that is to trace the knife that the deed was committed with. We have been unable as yet to trace that knife to any owner or to fasten it on Frenchy. It is a common table knife broken off. Such knives are used on the banana ships, but they are used just as much about kitchens for paring potatoes or cutting vegetables of any kind. One thing is certain, and that is that no one who had premeditated murder would have taken that knife with him to commit the deed. It was principally to give us a chance to trace that knife that the inquest was adjourned today.
"Now, as to the man who went to the room with Shakespeare. It was not Frenchy No. 2, the cousin of the prisoner. We arrested Frenchy No. 2 at 5 o'clock last Sunday morning. We found that he spent the night of the murder four and a half miles from the East River Hotel, and we were satisfied that he must have been away from there at least two hours to have committed the murder. The people he was living with satisfied us that he was not away for that period during the night, and we simply turned Frenchy No. 2 loose. If the man who did take Shakespeare to the East River Hotel is an honest and innocent man he's not likely to come forward and make himself known.
"As to Mary Miniter, the assistant housekeeper at the hotel, I may say that she is more intelligent than the ordinary run of women found in that quarter. She has admitted that she was told me several untruths, but she still insists that she let Shakespeare into the hotel that Thursday night with a tall, blonde man. She is an opium fiend, and has associated with Chinamen. She occupied a room in the hotel the night of the murder with a man she picked up in the barroom. She saw Frenchy No. 2 when we had him in custody, and was satisfied he was not the stranger who brought Old Shakespeare to the hotel.
"I have all the evidence in this case in writing and what I have given you is only an outline of the case. There are portions which cannot yet be made public in the interest of justice. The case has been laid before you now and you can draw your own conclusions."
The remains of Old Shakespeare were forwarded by the 9 o'clock train yesterday morning from the Grand Central Depot to relatives in Salem, Mass.

SALEM, Mass. April 30. - The body of Carrie Brown, murdered in New York a week ago, reached here at 6 p.m., in charge of Undertaker Smith. It will be buried in the family lot tomorrow. Her husband died on the coast of Africa twelve years ago. Mrs. Brown's married daughter, Mrs. Allen, is the one who has had her erring mother's remains brought to Salem.

Source: The World (New York), Friday May 1, 1891

Last edited by Karen on Tue 19 Oct 2010 - 2:16; edited 2 times in total

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

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Frenchy No. 1 Is Sherlick

Post by Karen on Mon 18 Oct 2010 - 17:31


Who "Frenchy" Is and What Led to the Terrible Crime - The Man Is a Half Idiot and Was Jealous of the Woman - He Is Not the Man Who Took "Shakespeare" to the Hotel. The Evidence for and Against His Being "Jack the Ripper."

NEW YORK, May 1. - A man, whom the police expect to prove to be the murderer of Carrie Brown who was so brutally slaughtered in the East River hotel, is locked up at police headquarters. He was arrested at 9 o'clock on the night of the day on which the murder was discovered. His name is Frank Sherlick or Sherlicka, also known as Francois or "Frenchy." He has been written of before as "Frenchy No. 1." He is not the man who accompanied Carrie Brown to room 31 or who was seen with her by Bartender Eddie Fitzgerald and Mary Miniter. It was he who that night occupied room 33, which is diagonally across the hallway from room 31. Sherlick was arrested in Jenning's saloon, in the same hotel where the murder was committed.
Mary Harrington of 49 Oliver street, where Carrie Brown sometimes stopped, told the police that Sherlick was the latter's lover. What Sherlick has done or said since his arrest has been kept secret by the police. It is understood that the evidence against him is as follows: He occupied room 33 on the night of the murder. Bloodstains were found in the hallway between room 31, in which the woman was killed, and room 33. There were bloodstains in room 33 on the wall, on a chair, on the floor and on the bed clothes. Bloodstains were on the shirt of Sherlick. Analysis has shown that these stains are from human blood. Blood corpuscles were found under his fingernails after his arrest. As additional evidence against Sherlick it is asserted that he is of murderous disposition, that he stabbed in the throat last September Mary Lopez, and had also threatened to kill Carrie Brown because she wanted no more of him. The points that need explanation are these: What became of the man who went with Carrie Brown to room 31? Why did Sherlick remain in the hotel after the murder was committed? Was the knife that did the carving his? What explanation Sherlick gives.
Here is the police theory: Carrie Brown picked up the man with whom she registered at the hotel. They went together to room 31. There they drank ale. The stranger remained in the room perhaps an hour. In hotels of the East river type it would not be difficult to get out unnoticed. Then he went away. Sherlick, or Frenchy No. 1, through jealousy or rage, went into room 31 and murdered Carrie Brown. Then, dripping with blood, returned to room 33, where, in cleaning himself of the gore, he spattered around the bloodstains.
The police have locked up room 33, so no one could get in. They also ordered that visitors should be kept off that floor. Room 31 is not locked.
Frank Sherlick is an Algerian, 40 years old. He is a half-idiot. He has been a hanger on at the resorts along the East river front where sailors are wont to congregate and spend their wages on the lowest order of women. He is of a medium size and swarthy. He wears a heavy black moustache and black hair. He wore a suit of dark clothes and a dark spring overcoat when arrested. Frenchy bears an unenviable reputation among the outcast women of the Fourth ward. These women have many stories to relate of his brutality to members of their abandoned crowd. The prisoner has been arrested several times for assaulting women. He was completely infatuated with old Shakespeare, and one day, before the murder, while Frenchy was visiting in the cellar dive kept by Mamie Harrington, of 49 Oliver street, "Dublin" Mary Ann Lopez joked him about his infatuation for gray-headed old women, and he sprang at her with the fury of a fiend. But Mamie Harrington keeps a baseball bat for just such emergencies, and she wielded the club with such vigor that she drove this Algerian out of the place.
The body of old "Shakespeare," or Carrie Brown, will be decently interred in Salem, Mass. Mrs. Ellen Allen, the dead woman's daughter, accompanied by an undertaker from Salem, called upon Undertaker Thomas F. Murray of 154 East Twenty-ninth street, and engaged him to look after the shipment of the body.
The knife which was used to kill the old woman Carrie Brown at the East River hotel has been identified as one stolen by "Frenchy No. 1" while imprisoned in the Queen's county jail.

Searching for "Frenchy No. 2."

CHICAGO, May 1. - Is Jack the Ripper in Chicago? One of Inspector Byrnes' shrewdest detectives is at present in this city and it is for the purpose of determining this fact. Since the brutal murder of Carrie Brown a week ago last Thursday night, in a New York lodging-house, Inspector Byrnes has been searching the country for Frenchy No. 2, who is thought to be either the murderer or an important witness. The inspector is said to have ascertained that a person answering his description purchased a ticket on the morning of the murder for Chicago, and sent one of his operatives to investigate.

Source: The Titusville Morning Herald (Titusville, Pa), Saturday May 2, 1891

Karen Trenouth
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Trial Of Frenchy

Post by Karen on Mon 18 Oct 2010 - 17:55



All the Witnesses Sworn Give Damaging Testimony Against the Accused.

NEW YORK, July 1. - The trial of Frenchy No. 1 was resumed yesterday. Eddie Fitzgerald, an employee of the East River hotel, testified that the prisoner occupied room 33 on the night of the murder of Carrie Brown. Witness told how Frenchy came down at 5 o'clock in the morning in a sneaking sort of way with his face turned toward the wall.
On cross-examination witness admitted that he could not swear that Frenchy slept in room 33 on the night of the murder. He only knew he had given him the key. He said the district attorney had taken him out of the house of detention to a clothing store and rigged him out in spring clothing. On redirect examination witness said he knew he could obtain spring clothing by applying to the district attorney.
Samuel Shine, bartender of the hotel, testified that Frenchy occupied room 33 on the night of the murder, and he drank at the bar that night.
Deputy Coroner Jenkins testified to the autopsy and gave in detail the result, all of which has been published.
Alice Sullivan was the next witness. She said she saw Frenchy with "Shakespeare" the afternoon before the murder, and heard him say to her "no drunka tonight; sleepa Fourth Ward hotel."
Mary Ann Lopez also testified that she saw Frenchy and "Shakespeare" together on the afternoon before the murder.
Two ex-prisoners from the Queen's county jail gave testimony showing that the prisoner while in jail with them had a knife similar to the one which the murderer used.

Source: The Olean Democrat, Thursday July 2, 1891

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

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Two Frenchy's Were Cousins

Post by Karen on Mon 18 Oct 2010 - 19:19



The Man Most Suspected Kept a Fruit Stand in Brooklyn.

Twice He Had Threatened Women and Been Scared Away by a Show of Force - Angered When Accused of Being at the East River Hotel with "Shakespeare" - Arrests made by the Police - Charles Rossmissell Under Surveillance - He Denies All Knowlege of the Crime - Another sailor Taken In by Inspector Byrnes.

Inspector Byrnes has stated positively that he believes a man known as "Frenchy" was the butcher of the old hag "Shakespeare." The Inspector is not a man of many words and whatever he says goes for all it is worth. Through the columns of THE WORLD yesterday morning he gave the public an idea of what he had learned pointing to Frenchy as the murderer. It was clearly only an outline of the evidence in his possession, and the Inspector added that he had further information pointing more conclusively in the same direction.
THE WORLD reporters yesterday unfathomed several very solid links in the Inspector's chain which show that if the missing "Frenchy" is found he will have a very ugly collection of facts and circumstances to face. The "Frenchy" for whom the Inspector is searching is supposed to be a cousin of the man known by the same sobriquet who has been committed to the House of Detention. The one already in hand is dark. The missing Frenchy is his counterpart, except that he is a blond. Both men are intimately known in the Water street dives and have at various times formed attachments for the disreputable inmates of those dives. Both were possessed of an unnatural passion for old women, and in their relations with them sank below the level of the beasts. Their unspeakable conduct was looked upon as a mania.
It is known that the "Frenchy" now under arrest occupied room 33 at the East River Hotel the night "Shakespeare" was murdered in room 31, just across the hall. The blond cousin, "Frenchy" No. 2 was almost certainly old "Shakespeare's" roommate at the same time. "Frenchy" No. 1 was held at first on suspicion of the murder.
When Mary Miniter, the housekeeper at the hotel, saw him, she said he was not "Shakespeare's" companion, but that he had been in room 33 the night of the murder. She said further that "Shakespeare's" roommate looked for all the world like the man before her, except that his hair was light. This was the first step towards the detection of "Frenchy" No. 2. In looking for him the detectives ran across some startling information.


"Frenchy" No. 2 they learned was in a basement boarding house kept by Mrs. "Mamie" Harrington at No. 49 Oliver street at 11 o'clock Friday morning, only a few hours after the murder. A young woman known as "Dublin Mary" was in the place when "Frenchy" No. 2 entered. "Dublin Mary" is well-known by the seafaring people in "sailortown." She came to this country about three years ago. She had left her home in Dublin accompanied by a man who is known as "Harry," who, it was stated at the time was Mary's husband. It is doubtful whether the two were ever married. "Dublin Mary" is about twenty-four or twenty-five years old. She left "Harry" shortly after her arrival in this country and became a frequenter of numerous Water street dives. "Dublin Mary" and Frenchy are old acquaintances. The pair had been seen in each other's company frequently.
Mrs. Harrington, when Frenchy opened the street door, was in the front room, while "Dublin Mary" had just entered the back room.


"Where is Frenchy?" asked the man for whom Inspector Byrnes is now looking.
"I don't know," replied Mrs. Harrington.
"Haven't you seen my cousin lately?" he continued.
"No, I have not," said Mrs. Harrington
Just then "Dublin Mary" entered the front room of the basement of No. 49 Oliver street. "Frenchy" No. 2 was still standing near the door leading from the front room out into the street.
"Hello! Frenchy!" shouted Dublin Mary
"Say, Frenchy! ain't you going to treat the ladies?"
With that the woman walked up to where Frenchy was standing. He paid no attention to what his old friend was saying.
"Can't you tell me where I can find Frenchy?" he asked Mrs. Harrington.
"No, really, I don't know," was the reply.
Dublin Mary did not seem to like the idea that this "Frenchy" would not treat her to a pint of ale or a drop of something stronger. She re-entered the back room, where she remained for a few minutes. When she returned she started for the front door.
Frenchy stepped aside to permit the woman to pass. He then walked towards the middle of the room.
Just after the woman had left the front basement she opened the door again, and addressing Mrs. Harrington, said:
"Say, Mamie, what do you think of Frenchy, here?"
"Oh, I don't know," was the reply.
"Why, I tell you that fellow stopped at the East River Hotel last night with that old Shakespeare woman. Who would have thought it! He-he-he!"
Mary then gave the door a bang and started for the butcher shop.


When "Frenchy" heard what Dublin Mary had said he gave her a severe look. He left Mrs. Harrington's place shortly after.
From the statement made by Mary it appears that she must have seen Frenchy on the night of the murder in company with "Shakespeare." It is believed that Dublin Mary was herself a lodger at the East River Hotel that night.
Mrs. Harrington, when seen yesterday by a WORLD reporter, said that she had known "Frenchy" (No. 2) for some years.
"He used to come to my house very seldom," she said. "I don't know whether the man now locked up at the Oak street station-house and the "Frenchy" who Inspector Byrnes says committed the murder are related to each other. They have said that they were cousins.
"When Frenchy (No. 2) came here Friday morning," continued Mrs. Harrington, "he was neatly dressed. He wore a dark striped sack coat and a square-top derby hat. I don't believe he wore a white shirt. I think it was a blue flannel one.


"Dublin Mary and Frenchy used to have rows now and then. One time Frenchy came down here to my basement. He was looking for Mary. He and Mary had some words. Frenchy swore he would kill Dublin Mary. I saw that the man meant business and ordered him to leave my place. He said he'd do as he pleased about that. I told him to get out. When I saw that he paid no attention to what I said I picked up a big baseball bat and told him to get out or I'd hit him on the head. Frenchy saw that I was in earnest and left the place. Since then he has not been "round much."
There is a tall coloured man, well known as a banjo-player, who pays a visit now and then to Mrs. Harrington's basement. He often entertains the boys at the Nonpareil Athletic Club, at No. 47 Oliver street. The coloured man told Mrs. Harrington yesterday that he met "Frenchy" (No. 2) in Oliver street Saturday morning. The coloured banjo-player could not be found yesterday at the Nonpareil Athletic Club.
Dublin Mary has not had an interview yet with Inspector Byrnes or any of his detectives. There is no doubt that they are looking for her.


Two months ago the "Frenchy" who is now missing called upon Mrs. Finnegan, who rents the upper part of the three-story house at No. 80 James street, an old lady of about sixty years. She keeps furnished rooms and has a big baseball bat in her front apartment to use in an emergency.
"Where is Dublin Mary?" "Frenchy" shouted, as he opened the door leading to Mrs. Finnegan's front room.
"I don't know," replied the woman. "I haven't seen her lately."
"What are you giving us?" said Frenchy, in his rough way; "she is here, I say."
"I tell you she is not."
"You lie."
"You lie when you say I do," roared Mrs. Finnegan.
"What's that?" shouted Frenchy, as he made a rush for the woman.
The old woman did not appear to be afraid of the big bully. She picked up her baseball bat and, raising it above her head with both hands, cried:
"By ------, I'll split your head if you don't get out of here."


When "Frenchy" saw that Mrs. Finnegan meant business he beat a hasty retreat, swearing at the woman as he left the house.
"Frenchy" has not been at No. 80 James street since.
Dublin Mary called upon Mrs. Finnegan three weeks ago. She engaged a furnished room upstairs for herself and "husband."
"He is an oiler on a steamship," she said, "and goes to sea." He is here about every three or four weeks." Since then the lodger has been absent from home more than one night.
"Dublin Mary came home again last night," said Mrs. Finnegan when seen yesterday by a reporter for THE WORLD. "I told her that she could not stop here at my house if she chose to bring men here. I told her that I wouldn't have it. We had some hard words and Mary left. I chased her out of the house."
"Where is she now?" asked the reporter.
"I don't know."


"Do you know anything about Frenchy?"
"He is in the fruit business, I believe. He lived over in Brooklyn on Adams street, near Front, or on Front street, near Adams. He kept a fruit stand on Myrtle avenue, near Vanderbilt avenue, in Brooklyn. Dublin Mary ought to know where he is."
"Didn't she tell you?" the reporter asked.
"No, sir. She did not. She is a shrewd woman and keeps everything to herself. She knows a good deal but talks very little."
While the body of "Shakespeare" was at the Morgue Saturday ex-policeman Courtlander called there. Courtlander was formerly attached to the Oak street police station. He resigned from the police force at the time Capt. O'Connor was ordered to the Fourth Ward Precinct some months ago. While on the police force Courtlander became acquainted with many of the notorious women who frequent the Water street dives. His beat was on Water and Catherine streets.
When Courtlander saw the body of the murdered woman at the Morgue, he said that it was not the one of the original Shakespeare woman, but the body of "Jeff Davis." The woman known under that name was also known as Shakespeare.
Courtlander knew Frenchy (No. 1) and his cousin. He knew the suspected murderer of Mrs. Brown as a dangerous character.
Courtlander said yesterday that Frenchy kept a fruit stand on Myrtle avenue, in Brooklyn. He saw him there about three weeks ago while riding on a Myrtle avenue bus. Frenchy was standing in front of a fruit stand, which was situtated on Myrtle avenue, about half a mile from the Brooklyn Hall. He also stated that Frenchy had been living in Brooklyn, near Front and Adams streets. Neither Chief Inspector Byrnes nor his detectives have called upon ex-Policeman Courtlander yet.


There is a saloon at the northeast corner of Adams and Front streets, Brooklyn. It is owned by an Italian. A reporter for THE WORLD called there yesterday. The Italian said he had heard of such a person as "Frenchy", though he did not know him personally. He then sent for another Italian who is in the business. This man said that Frenchy had lived on Adams street, near Front till about three months ago.
"Frenchy was a fruitman," said the Italian. He kept a stand on Myrtle avenue, somewhere uptown. He is a tall man, heavily built, speaks English well, and wears a blond moustache. I have not seen him for some time."
THE WORLD reporter then made tour of Myrtle avenue and visited all the fruit stands on that street but failed to find "Frenchy."
There is a fruit stand on the northwest corner of Myrtle and Vanderbilt avenues, Brooklyn, kept by a man named "John." John said yesterday that he had kept the stand for over eight years and did not know "Frenchy."


While Inspector Byrnes believes the man Frenchy to be the murderer for whom he is looking, he is by no means disregarding other theories. One of these connects Charles Rossmissell with the case. He is a Norwegian with a foreign accent and the carpenter of the Mallory line steamship Colorado. He is intimate with the little clique of women with whom "Shakespeare" chummed and was personally acquainted with her. About three weeks ago he was indirectly the cause of the death of one of these women, and Mary Ann Lopez, now one of the witnesses in the East River Hotel tragedy, was with him at the time.
Rossmissell's steamer was laid up for repairs at the time at the Morgan Iron Works pier, foot of East Ninth street. He came ashore one night and got drunk in the Cherry Hill slums. In one of the dives he met Mary Ann Lopez and a woman named Lizzie Elliott, both of whom were then living at No. 47 Oliver street. They asked the sailorman to buy them a drink and he bought them several. Finally he suggested their going back aboard the ship with him, and they went up to East Ninth street on a Belt line, car. They had more drinks in the vicinity and then went down to the river where the big steamship was lying. There was a narrow gangplank thrown out from the steamer to the pier and Rossmissell led the way up the incline. Lizzie Elliott started to follow him and when she hesitated he gave her his hand to steady her. He was not very steady himself.


When halfway up the gangplank the woman stumbled and he lost his grasp on her hand. Lizzie splashed down into the water and was never seen afterwards. An unsuccessful attempt to rescue her was made by the ship's crew. When Mary Ann Lopez called on the sailorman to rescue Lizzie he said he could not swim. Both the Lopez woman and Rossmissell were arrested and held as accessories to the death of Lizzie Elliott. They have only been out of the Tombs for about a week, and it is said that the sailor has spent much of that time with the Lopez woman and her friends. He fills the description of the man whom Mary Miniter let into the hotel with "Shakespeare" to a nicety. His hair and moustache are brown. He is thirty-three years old and five feet eight inches high. His coat and vest were brown and his accent is peculiar. Mary Miniter said "Shakespeare's" companion talked not exactly but something like a German. That describes Rossmissell's way of speaking very well. Capt. O'Connor has information that "Shakespeare" was drinking with a sailorman in one of the dives at 9 o'clock the fatal night.
A reporter for THE WORLD, who went aboard the Colorado last night, found Rossmissell in a very uneasy frame of mind. He said that it had occurred to him that he answered the description of the murderer, and added that on the night of the murder he was aboard the ship. He is under police surveillance and is to be brought face to face with Mary Miniter today.
The number of persons who visited the Morgue yesterday and asked permission to look at the body of old "Shakespeare" was very large. The attendant, Mr. Finnegan, denied permission to many, some of whom were from the Fourth Ward. During the afternoon a man who said he was John F. Flower, of No. 849 East One Hundred and Sixty-first street, came in and said he had employed old "Shakespeare" as a servant two years ago. She told him then that she had married Charles Brown, captain of a ship, but that he had died. He had not seen her for nearly two years.


Among the prisoners taken to the Seventh Precinct Police Station yesterday afternoon was a man about thirty years old, who had been arrested on a charge of being drunk and disorderly on the street.
When arraigned at the bar his appearance, features, height, age and dress so closely resembled the description of the East River Hotel murderer that the officer on duty began to question him.
He replied to the questions promptly, and although under the influence of liquor quickly appreciated the fact that he was suspected of being the murderer of the old woman. "I am not in any way connected with that crime," he said, "but I did spend a night at the hotel where the murder was committed - the same night the woman was killed." I went there with a female companion, hired a room and we slept there. I left the next morning, and knew nothing of the crime until I saw it in the papers." The man gave the name of Yungstreet Andersen, thirty years old, a Swede, and said he was a seafaring man with no home in this city.
He was sent to Police Headquarters and after being examined by Inspector Byrnes, was returned to the station-house, where he was released yesterday, after being fined for intoxication.


Mary Brennan, an inmate of the Essex Market Prison, who, as told in yesterday's WORLD, claimed to be a "pal" of "Shakespeare," was in a more communicative mood yesterday. She was drunk when Justice Ryan sent her to the Island for a month Saturday last, and she only recovered yesterday. She said that she and "Shakespeare" met two men at No. 15 Bowery Monday night last and accompanied them to the East River Hotel. "Shakespeare" occupied room No. 31, and her companion was a man of about thirty-three, and, as she described him, "had a hole in his chin." Mary and "Shakespeare" had breakfast the following morning in the basement opposite No. 15 Bowery, and then they parted. Mary has not seen Shakespeare since.
"When the man who was with Shakespeare left her," said Mary, "he said he would soon see her again. He said he came from Jersey City.


The scene around the Oak street station-house yesterday was as lively as that of the day before, and the continual rushing hither and thither of Headquarters men, police officers in citizen's dress and various high officials in police circles was kept up till a late hour of the night. Inspector Byrnes, Capt. O'Connor, of the Oak street station, and Capt. McLaughlin were closeted in the Captain's rooms for several hours. Their consultations were of the most secret character. The order of the day seemed to be tacitly understood to be one of non-communication on the part of all officers of the department, and the appearance of a newspaper reporter was the signal for the flag of silence to be hung out. Inspector Byrnes himself showed in his face that he was troubled by the situation, and interested to a degree which he has not felt in any other case for years, if, indeed, he was ever so much on his mettle before.


A little after 2 P.M. Detective Aloncle came into the station-house and disappeared in the private room, where he was held in consultation by the Inspector for several hours. And during this time several more detectives slipped in, avoiding the reporters who hung about the station-house, patrolled the streets in couples and made short excursions into the surrounding neighbourhood in pursuit of tangible and intangible clues.


Inspector Byrnes was seen by a WORLD reporter about 2:30 P.M., and in answer to inquiries replied that he had nothing to say; that there was nothing new in the development of the case. He appeared fully impressed with the gravity of the situation. Police officials who are well acquainted with the methods of the stern-faced guardian of this city's peace say that they have never seen him so intensely in earnest in the pursuit of a criminal. There is a grim determination on his face which indicates that no effort will be spared to run the brutal assassin to earth in as short order as possible.
The whited sepulchre which bears the name "East River Hotel" was the object of unabated curiosity yesterday, as it has been since the discovery which made it notorious. Curious old men and women, little boys and girls, men and women well dressed and evidently unused to the streets and surroundings in which they found themselves for the first time and stared at the whitewashed buildings, and went away talking seriously. A knock at the door of the hotel brought the clerk to the door and he said he was willing to give all the information in his possession.


This consists simply in allowing the reporters to study the alleged register, on which were the names of some dozen low men and women who had passed last night beneath its roof in the guise of man and wife. All the entries were made in the same handwriting, that of the boy who has been doing the same work no one knows how long. A glance at the alleged register shows that the fallen women have in no way been deterred from the pursuit of their wretched trade by the recent atrocious developments. They come and go and crack uncouth jokes with as much gusto as they did before the blood-curdling murder made the house a marked spot. One revolting crime has not hindered them one whit in the avocation by which they make their bread and supply their parched throats with scalding rum and stale beer.
It was 4:20 o'clock yesterday afternoon when Officer John J. O'Brien and Sgt. Mulholland, of the Park police force came into the Oak street station with a prisoner who answered the description of the alleged murderer almost to a tee. He wore a grayish-brown coat and vest, blue flannel trousers which lacked several inches of reaching to his ankles; big heavy brogans, a big black derby hat, and had a long nose, blue eyes, yellow moustache and a decided German cast of countenance.


He was taken into the private room of the Captain and remained there until 5:30 when he left the station-house technically alone. But as a matter of fact he was not alone, for right at his heels stepped two officers who watched his every motion like a pair of hawks. The man took the street leading up the Bowery and he was never more than four steps ahead of the officers. When he reached James street and Park Row, opposite Chatham square, he and the officers all disappeared as if by magic and were seen no more. They either boarded a passing car in the direction of Police Headquarters or else escaped into the Star lodging-house, which is on the southeast side of the street, on the corner of James street. The man who was arrested about 11 o'clock on Saturday night by Officer Baker, of the Oak street station, and who was described as wearing a brown coat apparently covered with dry blood, turns out to have been a common drunk named Henny, who received his wounds from which the blood came in a fight.


Little doubt remains that there were two "Shakespeares" in the city and one of them is still living and making merry over the accounts of her death. The living Shakespeare is a tall woman, while the victim of the East River Hotel murder is a woman slight of build and not more than five feet high. Sergt. Creedon, of the Eldridge street station, knows the living "Shakespeare" well, and says she has been an east-side rounder for ten years or more. She is a really well-educated woman and very interesting and entertaining when sober. She possesses a mastery of five languages, and says that she used to write for the papers and magazines. In former years, when she was "respectable," she used to go about with a book or some other sign of literary taste about her. She can repeat all the plays of the illustrious author whose name has clung to her so long. Sergt. Creedon says she really used fine language when sober and would recite lines from the dramatist whose name she answers to as long as she could obtain an audience with any one.
She is said to have been arrested at Eldridge street station more than fifty times, always on the charge of drunkenness or soliciting. Officers O'Kell and Neil say they have arrested her at least twenty times each on these charges. Her resemblance to the dead woman is so striking that even two of the officers above named, identified the dead woman as "Shakespeare" when they called at the Morgue for that purpose. Officer O'Kell decided, however, that she was not the "Shakespeare" of their acquaintance. She was seen at the saloon of J.J. Sullivan, who keeps on the corner of Chrystie and Hester streets, about midday Saturday, and at the saloon of Barney O'Rourke, in Forsyth street, near Canal, on the evening of Friday, while the newsboys were crying the extras of the murder.
She had also been seen in the saloon of Louis Dorn, on the corner of Hester and Allen streets on the same day and shortly after leaving the last-named place. This latter place is her "hang-out" during the day, but as it was closed yesterday she could not be found. It is said by her acquaintance that she is probably somewhere about in one of the cheap lodging-houses and will be back in her usual haunts today. She laughed and joked with acquaintances about the acts of the East River Hotel fiend and said she had no fear of his coming for an old woman like herself.


One of the messmen of the "Red D" line steamship Philadelphia was arrested at 3 o'clock yesterday afternoon by Chief Inspector Byrnes in person and taken to Police Headquarters. The man is described as a native of Holland, five feet ten inches tall with a German cast of features and a strong German accent. He is very blond, with a light moustache and blue eyes, and has a long scar under his right eye.
The Philadelphia runs from this city to Central American ports. She arrived in Brooklyn on last Tuesday and was towed to the foot of Market street on Thursday afternoon. The murder was committed on Thursday night, and the place where it occurred is within two blocks of the landing place of the steamship. The man arrested is a "queer fellow," it is said, very morose and uncommunicative. Since landing he has been very silent. He made no resistance when arrested, and did not ask what he was wanted for.
The police have been particularly reticent about the matter and absolutely refused to make any statement. The Philadelphia leaves port on Wednesday.


She Married Happily at Sixteen and Drink Was Her Rule.


SALEM, Mass., April 26. - Carrie Brown alias "Old Shakespeare," who was murdered in the East River Hotel, New York City, Thursday night, is well known to the older citizens of Salem, and sadly remembered by many. She was born in Liverpool, England, in 1832, her maiden name being Caroline Montgomery. When quite young she came to this country with her parents, who were of English blood, and settled in Brooklyn.
As a girl she was very vivacious and prepossessing and before she was sixteen she had won the heart and hand of a gay sailor named James Brown, about one year her senior. The acquaintance which ripened into intimacy was made in Brooklyn, and after a few months' wooing the marriage took place in that city, and a short time after this the happy couple came to Salem and established a home on Becket street.
Brown had quite a number of relatives here, and during his absence at sea everything was done to make his young wife's life happy. At that time she was handsome, of superior intelligence and untarnished character, and scores of friends rallied about her.
Although noted for vivaciousness she was religiously inclined, and was admitted to the Central Baptist Church. For a time she was an indefatigable worker in the church and was deemed a most estimable acquisition. As the years rolled on her husband prospered, until he became master of a clipper ship and acquired considerable property. He was a man of sterling integrity, of generous disposition, and of more than ordinary liberality in providing comforts for his home. He was in the employ for many years of the late Charles Hoffman, one of Salem's best-known merchants, who was engaged in the African and East India trade and owned five or six vessels, with headquarters on Deerby Wharf.
Capt. Brown was a great favorite of Mr. Hoffman and commanded several vessels owned by the great merchant, including the brig Potomac, the bark Gem, the brig Elizabeth and the brig Tigress.
At the close of five years of married life Capt. Brown was made a happy father by the birth of a little girl, who has now grown to womanhood and is respected by all who know her. Some two years later another girl was born and subsequently a son, the latter dying in infancy. The second child is now living in Montana.
After some ten years of matrimony the wife took to strong drink, and, although urged by relatives and friends to abstain from such a habit, she heeded no advice and went from bad to worse until she became a notorious drunkard and a very cruel wife and mother.
In 1863 Capt. Brown removed with his family to New York, but it was not long after the establishment of his home in that city that he was obliged to take his children away from their mother and bring them back to Salem, where they were cared for and educated by his relatives. One of the girls continues to make her home in Salem, while the other is in the West, as previously stated.
Capt. Brown served in the Navy during the Civil War, and upon his discharge reentered the marine service. Some twelve years ago, while in command of the brig Elizabeth, off the coast of Africa, he was stricken with the terrible fever so common on that Continent and died. To his dissolute wife whom he had left several years before he bequeathed $1, the balance of his fortune being given to his daughters and those who had cared for them when they were young. A New York despatch in referring to the matter says: "The board bills of the murdered woman were paid by a man named Lawson, of Salem, Mass." This statement is incorrect, as the "Lawson" referred to was the late Capt. Peter Lassen, an uncle of Capt. Brown, and it is known that he never assisted Mrs. Brown after she left her husband.
A relative of Capt. Brown in conversation with THE WORLD correspondent this evening stated that Mrs. Brown became an actress after she left her husband, which accounts for her sobriquet of "Shakespeare." How or where she got the nickname "Jeff Davis" is unknown to her relatives here. Some fifteen years ago she came to this city and for some months was employed as a domestic in the family of a well known sea captain.

Source: The World, Monday April 27, 1891, Page 3

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

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Frenchy Will Not Be Hanged

Post by Karen on Tue 19 Oct 2010 - 4:44

"They Can't Hang Me Now," He Says, with a Grin and a Wink.

His Words and Actions Indicate that the Verdict Was Just.

There Was No Attempt of Any Kind Made to Illegally Influence or Prejudice the Jury - How the Eighth Juryman Was Led to Change His Opinion that Ben Ali Was Innocent - A Synopsis of the Striking Events and Evidence in This Most Remarkable Trial.

"They cannot hang me now!"
Ameer Ben Ali spoke the words, with a gleam of triumph in his eyes - spoke fluently and easily in French. It was in the Tombs THE WORLD reporter spoke with him yesterday. Not only by his words, but by his actions as well, he has shown since the trial that he is far from being the ignorant, degraded, animal-like man he was described in court.
It was said that he could not understand what was going on during his late trial. It is pretty certain now that he understood everything, and that he is as shrewd and cunning as any of his cunning race.
He speaks French fluently - not with the accent of a Parisian, of course, but as a foreigner who has lived long among Frenchmen.
"Ils ne peuvent pas me pendre maintenant!"
That was his very clear declaration made to THE WORLD reporter. "They cannot hang me now!" He shrugged his shoulders with the air of one who felt thoroughly satisfied with his position.
Earlier in the day he talked somewhat in English, not very much, but enough to prove beyond question that he understands and is able to make himself understood in the language.
The prisoners were marching around the upper corridors taking a breath of fresh air. The condemned Arabian was in the centre of a group, when a deputy took him by the arm and led him downstairs to Warden Finley's room.


He stopped at the door, quietly glanced about, took in the situation and then, as if assured that there was no danger, stepped in. His eyes were clear and his manner composed.
He was smoking a common black pipe, which he held between his teeth, removing it only a few times during the conversation when he became excited.
There was a look of relief in his face - he was no longer nervous, no longer anxious, but smoked away at his pipe and smiled as he referred to the danger of the death penalty which he had escaped.
There was no salaam for the reporter when he greeted the prisoner, who stood as straight as an arrow.
"What have you to say about the verdict?" asked the reporter.
"Que est cet homme?" (Who is this man?) he inquired sharply.
"I am a reporter. If you desire to say anything it will be printed."
"Why should I speak?" he answered. Then he smiled grimly as he asked: "How do you know I speak French?"
"You served in the French army and was there long enough to learn the language."
"Yes. Why do you come to me in prison? It is settled; it is all over."


"Are you satisfied?"
He puffed away at his pipe for a moment contemplatively. Then he raised his shoulders slightly and looked straight at his questioner. "They cannot hang me now."
There was something like a gleam of triumph in his eyes as he uttered this with a good deal of pantomime.
"I'm in prison. That is all." He turned towards the guard, who does not understand French, and winked.
"You may get a new trial," suggested the reporter.
"Why should that be? I am here. Another trial will do no good. The officers could not get me hanged."
Again he smiled and raised his hands, spread out, palms upward.
It seemed to please him, this reference to his escape from the gallows. He walked to one side with the manner of a man who has said something clever. Then he turned back quickly.


"My lawyers were afraid I would be killed, but they did now know. The other lawyer did not know. It was a hard time, but it is over. I am glad. There need not be another trial."
"If you had another trial do you believe they could get you free?"
"Non, c'est assez. It is enough. I am through, There is no chance. The late hours, the women, the hotel, the surroundings - everything is against me. The trial is enough."
"You are satisfied?"
"Yes; it is better to be in prison than to hang. I cannot talk now. Adieu!"
He vanished through the open door and went up the iron stairs, three steps at a jump, all the while tugging away at the little black pipe.


There was one angry juror in the city yesterday when he read in a morning newspaper what purported to be an interview with him. This interview made him intimate that there were wheels within wheels in the trial of Ameer Ben Ali, and that the jury was interfered with.
This juror is Mr. Samuel S. Rutsky, known as juror No. 8. He lives at No. 57 East Ninety-first street.
"I deny," he said to THE WORLD reporter, "that I, in any way, shape or form, reflected on the motives of my colleagues which led them to find the verdict.
"The published information that the jury was packed - put into my mouth - is an outrageous falsehood. I believe both the Court and every member of the jury were actuated by conscientious motives and tried to do their full duty.
"I will tell you exactly all that happened in the jury-room and how the verdict was reached. All through the trial I had been firmly convinced of the Arab's innocence. I may say that other jurors felt as I did, but their doubts gave way before the expert medical testimony presented by the prosecution.
"It was the doctors who convicted Frenchy. Their testimony convinced most of the jury that he was guilty. Not so with me. I would never have hanged a man on such testimony.
"In my opinion Dr. Gibier's evidence completely offset that of the experts for the people.
"When we reached the jury-room I still regarded the prisoner as an innocent man. I was annoyed too and that I stood practically alone for an acquittal. I say practically alone because Foreman Bartells seemed at first inclined to be with me. He stood with me on the first open ballot, but went over to the others when it was found they were were all of one mind.


"The first ballot was secret. It was six for conviction, five not guilty and one blank. Then the formal ballot, as I say, stood first ten to two, but Bartells changed and it was eleven to one. They were for murder in the first degree. We argued right along. We finally reached a compromise verdict, and this is how it was done.
"The arguments of my fellow-jurymen recalled to my mind the very strong point made by the District-Attorney, as showing the motive the prisoner had in lodging at the East River Hotel. He paid twenty-five cents for a room there, while he could have secured one elsewhere, and in a man's lodging-house, for ten or fifteen cents. Why did he do this? Manifestly, because it gave him an opportunity of associating with the depraved women who were in the habit of making it their temporary home. The motive looked emphatic.
"Then it was clearly proved to me that men who take degraded women to such places seldom remain there any great length of time. The unknown man who accompanied the murdered woman to the East River Hotel evidently remained but a short time. Then it seemed clear that Frenchy may have heard her voice, or he may have looked into the room she occupied after her companion had gone. He occupied the room immediately opposite. He probably entered, she repulsed him, and in a fit of rage he choked her, and then, becoming a wild beast, mutilated her.


"With this motive and these conditions pointed out to me, this theory of the murder, supported by the circumstantial evidence, became more tenable, and I was inclined to admit that his guilt looked probable. I took no stock at all in the expert medical evidence.
"So I agreed to compromise on murder in the second degree, which did not involve the death penalty, as no possible premeditation on the prisoner's part could be shown.
"A man like the prisoner is about as well off in prison as out of it. At least half of the jurors believed as I did, that he went to the East River Hotel on the fatal night with no intention of committing the murder.
"I think he was at a serious disadvantage in having a poor interpreter, who could speak neither language well."


Inspector Byrnes was not at his office yesterday after 9 o'clock. He said that he was satisfied with the verdict and believed it was a just one.
Capt. McLaughlin, who was in the Chief's office, thought the lies Frenchy told injured his case as much with the jury as anything else.
"He swore he knew nothing of French or English," continued the Captain, "and the prosecution proved that he did not speak the truth. He is a man with no conception of morality."
"Was there any reason for Inspector Byrne's recent denial of the report that he said Jack the Ripper could not commit a murder here?"
"He denied that some months ago and reiterated it again yesterday. There was nothing in the rumor. He would not say anything that would be so discourteous to the London detective force."


In the history of criminal trials in this country that of Ameer Ben Ali, or Frenchy, as he is known, will always stand forth as one of the most noteworthy.
The crime set tongues wagging throughout the civilized world. No deed of death in this city ever awakened such widespread, such horrible interest. And yet, in themselves, the chief actors were people in whom the world could have no interest. They wallowed in degradation so foul that the ordinary man could not conceive of it.
Had it been sought to find creatures, in the crime and misery of this great city, whose life and habits were so revolting that people would flee from them in disgust, no more frightful examples than old Shakespeare and Frenchy could be found. Yet, in spite of all this, Shakespeare the dead and Frenchy the living had the eyes of the world upon them. Their names crept into the church. Beautiful women talked of them over their ices. The business world forgot per cents and interests.
But the murder and the fierce man-hunt which followed, when dozens fell into the police drag-net, are dwarfed by the trial which has resulted in the conviction of the man first accused. The dramatic, fierce intensity of those five days in court must live always in the memory of the people who went through the trial. And when they are dead, law books grown old and musty, will contain long-winded pages about the trial.


Since last Monday, when the taking of evidence commenced, the trial has been the topic of paramount interest throughout the city. Now that the strain is over, a careful review of the testimony shows how truly extraordinary it has been. From the beginning to the end there was not one word of direct evidence showing that Frenchy did the murder. But circumstance was woven together by the attorneys and the detectives. There was a break in the chain. Then came science - cold, dispassionate science. It united the chain. It was drawn about the accused man. Escape was impossible.
There are certain well-established rules of evidence in criminal trials. First it must be established that the deed was done. How Eddie Fitzgerald found old Shakespeare's body in room 31, on the top floor of the East River Hotel on the morning of April 24, has been told so often that it has been firmly established in most people's minds.


The interest in the evidence begins with Frenchy's movements before the murder. A number of women in the Fourth Ward knew him well. His unnatural habits, his strange appearance stamped him with an individuality. Mrs. Mary Harrington, who keeps a dive in the basement at No. 49 Oliver street, had seen him there frequently. He was known to Mary Healey, Alice Sullivan and other inmates of the place. There Mary Ann Lopez knew him. She also knew of his fondness or whatever it may be called for Shakespeare.
The day before the murder Frenchy was with the Sullivan woman in Oliver street. He gave her four five-cent and three ten-cent pieces. Later Shakespeare appeared in the place, saying that she had not eaten for three or four days. Mrs. Sullivan took some of the money which Frenchy had given her to buy corned beef and cabbage for her.
Shakespeare was next seen at the East Side Hotel. Mary Cochrane, the housekeeper of the place, saw her there. So did Mary Miniter, Mary Madigan and Mary Healey. A sailor from a man-o'-war treated them in the next "box," the room adjoining the bar. Shakespeare went out alone. Before midnight Shakespeare returned to the hotel with a man, a light-haired man, who was not French. The two were shown to room 31.


The house was locked at midnight. Eddie Fitzgerald testified that Frenchy came there after that hour and asked for a room on the top floor. The boy says he spoke in English. He paid 25 cents in pennies for the room. Frenchy and the man with Shakespeare were given unused candles.
There is not an atom of direct testimony to show what took place in those rooms from midnight until the body was discovered next morning. About 5 o'clock that morning Frenchy left the place. Fitzgerald said he "sneaked" along close to the wall. Bartender Sam Shine didn't notice him sneak. Neither he nor Fitzgerald remembered any other men who were in the hotel that night. Five left at about the same hour as Frenchy.
It was late in the morning when Eddie Fitzgerald discovered the body. It was partly covered with a chemise. Her old blue gingham apron was tied about her head with other clothing. The body was lacerated as Jack the Ripper had mangled his victims in London.
The evidence was closely knit from this time on. Capt. McLaughlin and Detective Crowley found a trail of blood. It led from room 31 to room 33. The hallway is 3 1/2 feet wide. Six drops of blood were found between the two doors. There was a big blotch of blood under the lock of the door of room 33. Under it was a streak as if a bloody hand had opened it. On the door jamb was another spot of blood about as high as the door lock. A spot as large as a silver dollar was found on the mattress of room 33. Two spots were found on a chair.
The autopsy convinced Dr. Jenkins, the Coroner's physician, that Shakespeare was first strangled and then butchered. The knife with which the cutting was done was found on the blood-soaked bed beside the body.
Frenchy was arrested for the murder. Policeman Lange found him leaning against the wall of No. 341 Water street, not three blocks distant from the place of the murder, on Friday night. Mary Ann Lopez pointed Frenchy out to the policeman. He was taken to the hotel, where Fitzgerald and Shine identified him as the man who had slept in the place the night before. Then he was taken to the police station. There he was searched. The blood on his shirt was discovered.


Capt. O'Connor told how he protested his innocence in his mad, Oriental way. The detectives took charge of the shirt. Doorman Jandos took off Frenchy's stockings and found blood on their soles. Detective Sergt. Frink bought a new nail file and carefully scraped Frenchy's fingernails. Pieces of the bloody mattresses, pieces of the blood-stained floor and door-frame, the stained parts of Frenchy's shirt and his stockings were sent to experts to examine.
Detective Alonde, of Inspector Byrnes's staff, talked to the accused Arab in French. The man told him he had slept in the East River Hotel. He asked about the blood. Frenchy said it was catamenial blood. He had got it in Jamaica, L.I., and told how. The detective took him to Newtown and he was recognized as a man who had been in jail there.
On the way back Frenchy told the detective his clothes had been stained with blood in Oliver street. Alice Sullivan had been with Frenchy on the day before the murder. She swore that he did not get the blood stains in Oliver street.


The Fourth Ward hags paraded before the Court like a vision of Dante's Inferno. Nellie English had occupied every room in the East River Hotel. She went there one night with Frenchy. He scared her half to death. He left her at least six times during the night and went prowling around the other rooms. She could remember no other man she had ever been in the hotel with. It was true of all those witnesses from the slums. Frenchy is the only man they seemed to have known so that they could describe him.
There was the knife which was found on the bed and with which the murder had been done. Three jailbirds swore that they saw Frenchy with that particular knife. He was with David Gilway, Edward Smith and Theodore Smith in the Queen's County Jail. They said they had seen him use the bloody knife in jail. In the same breath they testified that no prisoners were allowed to have a knife. They were carefully searched. Constable Hiland, of Newtown, testified that he had carefully searched Frenchy. He had no knife.


Then came science. Dr. Henry Formad, foremost in his line in the country, whose knife has slashed into 14,000 bodies, told the wondrous story of the microscope. He held the blood-stained things and told what he had done with them. Coldly and dispassionately he told what his skill had developed, as if only the scientific aspect interested him, and not the effect on the jury. Of the twenty things which he examined all but six contained evidences which tended to convict Frenchy of the crime.
The blood on the front part of the shirt, on the floor or the door was mammalian blood, with intestinal contents. That was the point. A man may get blood on his clothing and scatter it about in a dozen different ways, but whence came the admixture of those cells peculiar to the smaller intestines? He rattled over jerky technical terms, and showed how the result had been obtained. He found even that the dead woman had eaten of cabbage within twenty-four hours.
Could he be mistaken? Hear him:
"I would stake my life on the correctness of my conclusions."
Then came Dr. Edson. He testified to the same things as his predecessor.


The defense of the gaunt, shambling outcast rested upon what the prosecution did not prove. It had not produced the man who had been with Shakespeare that night. It had not proved that Frenchy knew the old woman. It had not proved that he slept in room No. 33 that night. It had failed utterly to bring forth any motive for the crime. The first and last of these were most emphasized.
The story told by the accused Arab could have little weight. It was a wild, hysterical jumble. There was no coherency. It was one long denial and appeal for mercy. He contradicted himself repeatedly. But he was the most dramatic witness ever seen in the courtroom.
The defense had witnesses to contradict the experts for the prosecution. But they could make little headway, for the simple reason that they could pass only upon the testimony of the other experts and not upon the articles which had been examined.


The evidence against did not complete the trial. District-Attorney Nicholl's argument was necessary. It was a theory, nothing more, but there can be little doubt that it was the turning point in the case.
Mr. Nicoll held that Frenchy would not naturally go to the hotel merely to sleep, because he could have secured a lodging place for less than 25 cents. He went to the hotel in the hope of finding there some of the women with whom he associated. Few of the men who take the creatures into the hotel remain there all night. Frenchy very likely hoped to find one of them who had been deserted.
According to Mr. Nicoll's argument, Frenchy prowled about the house as he did when he was there with the English woman. When he found Shakespeare's door open he went in there. She, so Mr. Nicoll thinks, refused him. In a rage he choked her. When he found that she was dead, in frenzy he committed the butchery.
It is upon these facts and Mr. Nicoll's argument that Frenchy was convicted.

Source: The World, Sunday July 5, 1891

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Found 2 Bloody Handkerchiefs

Post by Karen on Tue 19 Oct 2010 - 19:50


Frenchy No. 1, Says he Did Not Murder the Woman.

NEW YORK, May 2. - Queen's county has got the ripper fever since it has learned that Frenchy was arrested there and confined in the county jail.
A man with a light moustache ventured into Jamaica on Friday night, and Detective Beryman Ashmead pounced on him and carted him off to jail. He searched him and found two bloody handkerchiefs. He answered in some respects the vague description of "Old Shakespeare's" companion the night she was murdered. He said he

Was in New York City.

the night of the murder, and that he occupied a room at the New England Hotel in the Bowery. This statement is the most suspicious thing about him, because the New England Hotel has been sold and has taken no lodgers since April 21. The murder was done on the night of April 23. Helland was committed as a vagrant and Inspector Byrnes was notified.
The prisoner, "Frenchy No. 1," talked in the tombs today with a number of reporters, through an interpreter. He said his real name was Ben Ali, that he was born in Algiers, was 34 years old, unmarried, and had

Served Eight Years

in the French army. He came to America eight months ago.
"I don't know Carrie Brown, or Shakespeare or Jeff Davis," he said. "I never heard of any of them. I slept on the top floor in the East River Hotel the night of the murder. I went in at midnight. I did not know that any woman I had ever known slept across the hall from me. I have never slept in the hall but that once. That night (the night of the murder) I was tired out. I had been looking for work all day, and I

Went To Sleep

as soon as I got in my room. I woke up about 6 o'clock and went out. I wasn't drunk when I went to bed, because I didn't have money enough to get drunk with. The blood on my clothes came from a man with whom I quarrelled some time ago. They are old stains and do not amount to anything. I never killed any woman."

Source: Whig And Courier, Monday May 4, 1891

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Frenchy Under Lock And Key

Post by Karen on Tue 19 Oct 2010 - 21:34


Thought To Be "Jack the Ripper," the Hotel Murderer.

He is Now Under Lock and Key in New York Prison.

NEW YORK, April 30. Inspector Byrnes has at last fastened the crime of the murder of the woman Carrie Brown.
The murderer is undoubtedly Frank Sherlick (Frenchy No. 1), who was arrested Friday night, less than 24 hours after committing the crime, and who has been under lock and key ever since.
On the night the murder was committed Frenchy No. 1 occupied room 33 in the East River Hotel with a woman by the name of Mary Ann Lopez. This room was across the hall from that occupied by the woman Brown and her unknown companion. From information in

Possession of the Police,

it appears that the murdered woman's companion had left her some time before 1 o'clock Friday morning. Frenchy No. 1 had been at one time a lover of the old woman, but for some reason had become insanely jealous of her.
He heard her companion leave the room and shortly afterwards he got up and leaving the Lopez woman asleep crossed the hall and committed the awful crime.
This is the story of the police. It is substantiated by the following facts. When Frenchy No. 1 had completed his murderous work he recrossed the hall and entered room No. 33. In that room he left

Evidences of His Guilt.

When the police made their investigation traces of blood were found on every side. The only chair the room contained was covered with blood, smeared over it from the clothes the murderer wore, he having sat down upon it when he entered the room. The bed clothes were also found to be covered with blood, the murderer sometime during the night having thrown himself up on the bed. His stockings, he having removed his shoes to do his bloody work, were soaked with blood, and his

Clothing was also Covered

with blood. On the walls and ceiling of the little room many small spots of blood were found, the man having evidently entered the room with his hands reeking with blood, and in his desire to remove it, had shaken his hands and fingers, thus liberally distributing the blood about the room.
From the time the man was arrested but little could be learned from him. He made few statements, but all have been so contradictory that the police have been able to make but little use of them.

Source: Bangor Daily Whig And Courier, Friday Morning, May 1, 1891

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Full Description Of Frenchy No. 1

Post by Karen on Wed 20 Oct 2010 - 18:44



His Knife Identified - He is Also Detected in Numerous Falsehoods - Police Are Still on the Hunt for Frenchy Number Two.

NEW YORK, May 4. - [Special] - The case of Jack the Ripper will be presented to the grand jury, which will be selected today.
That the man now in custody is the London ripper of world wide notoriety seems very doubtful. The police have not yet been able to get a history of Frenchy's movements, and consequently can not prove his whereabouts at the time of the Whitechapel atrocities. Inspector Byrnes evidently does not believe he is the London fiend. The police have been working to locate Frenchy No. 2, who accompanied Carrie Brown to the East River hotel on the night of the murder.
Two prisoners in the Queen's county jail, who were there for a month preceding April 18, when Frenchy was released after serving thirty days for vagrancy, have identified him, and also the bloody knife found in the East River hotel where "Old Shakespeare" was butchered. They had read descriptions of the knife and informed the sheriff that it was very like one which Frenchy had secretly kept during his confinement there under the name of Frank, alias Frank Sherlick, alias George Francoise. The evidence against Frenchy No. 1 is apparently conclusive.
Carrie Brown was butchered ten days ago. Frank Sherlick, or Frank Sherlicka, known as Frenchy No. 1, is charged with the murder. He was arrested at 8 o'clock on the evening following the discovery of the murder. Frenchy slept in the East River hotel with the woman "Shakespeare" Wednesday night. He was about with her all day Thursday and part of Thursday evening. They were in the bar room of the East River hotel together that evening. The woman "Shakespeare" came in the hotel at 11 o'clock with an unknown man, and the pair were assigned to room 31, on the top floor. Later Frenchy entered and took room 33, on the top floor. Next morning, when Carrie Brown's body was found, the man who registered with her was gone. Going to room 33, Frenchy, who had long known the woman, was arrested while asleep. His clothing, the chair, his socks were all bloodstained. Under his finger nails traces of blood corpuscles were found. Drops of blood were found on the floor of the hall leading from the room where the murder took place to room 33 where Frenchy slept. Specks of blood were also found on the wall marked by shaking bloody fingers. The prisoner lied as to his presence on the floor on the night of the murder. He claimed to have spent the night at other places, but his claims were disproved when he was taken to the places indicated. He denied knowing Mary Ann Lopez, who slept in the room with him. He was identified by the boy who sent him to the room. The bloody broken carving knife found in the room has since been identified as Frenchy's and every circumstance points to his guilt. He probably murdered the woman for the money she had or through jealousy.
A man supposed to be C. Knickle, the blonde man described by the East River hotel chambermaid as Carrie Brown's companion on the night of the murder, has been arrested at Jamaica L.I. He gives the name of Chas. Holland. He claims an alibi.
Frenchy is ungainly and awkward, about 5 feet 10 inches and may weigh 150 pounds. You would think him a Moor or an Arab and he says he speaks French and Arabian. His eyes are black, deep set, rather small and restive and he doesn't like to look anyone in the face. That may be a peculiarity, but the inspector takes it as an evidence of guilt. His features are sharp, his lips thin and his cheek bones high and prominent. His frame is powerful, his legs long and his arms, hands and fingers extraordinarily slender. His right arm is covered with tattooed figures. One is a dancing girl in short skirts over the words "Fatma Mahomet Makdon." This would indicate that the work was done by a Turk. Near this is a cross above a crescent and on the under part of the forearm is a portrait of himself with a Turkish fez on his head. The inspector asked him who did the work. He shrugged his shoulders and said he "coulda not speaka Englis." There is a wicked twinkle in Frenchy's left eye, a glare at times, which indicates the disposition of a cold blooded villain who would not hesitate at anything. To counsel appointed by the court through an Algerian interpreter the prisoner has claimed his innocence. He says he is a citizen of France and was a soldier in Algeria. As to whether he is the London Jack the Ripper or not the police are not satisfied, though inclined to believe that he can prove an alibi. There is no doubt that as a cattle boss on the cattle steamers he has made a number of trips to England. It will be remembered that at the time of the London crimes the favorite theory was that the murderer was a butcher or drover of the cattle steamers.

Source: The Galveston Daily News, Tuesday May 5, 1891, Page 2

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Left His Mark

Post by Karen on Wed 20 Oct 2010 - 22:27


New York's "Ripper" Traced by a Trail of Blood.


Belief That the Right Man Has Been Caught - An Old Lover of His Victim, He Murders Her Through Feelings of Jealousy.


NEW YORK, May 1. - Inspector Byrnes has at last fastened the crime for the murder of Carrie Brown. The murderer is "Frenchy No. 1," who was arrested on Friday night, less than twenty-four hours after committing the crime, and who has been under lock and key ever since. On the night of the murder Frenchy No. 1 occupied room 33 in the East River hotel with a woman named Mary Ann Lopez. This room was across the hall from that occupied by the Brown woman and her unknown companion. From information in the possession of the police it appears that the murdered woman's companion left her some time before 1 o'clock on Friday morning. George Francois ("Frenchy No. 1") had been at one time a lover of the woman, but for some time had been insanely jealous of her. He heard her companion leave the room and shortly afterward he got up, leaving his roommate, Mary Ann Lopez, asleep, and, crossing the hall, deliberately strangled and then disemboweled his victim. This is the story of the police and is substantiated by the following facts:
When "Frenchy No. 1" had completed his murderous work he recrossed the hall and entered the room No. 33. In that room he left the evidences of his guilt. When the police made their investigation traces of blood were to be found on every side. The only chair which the room contained was covered with blood, smeared on it from the clothes the murderer wore, he having sat down upon it when he entered the room. The bed clothes were found to be covered with blood, the murderer some time during the night having thrown himself upon the bed. His stockings, he having removed his shoes to do the bloody work, were soaked with blood and his clothing was also covered with blood. On the walls and ceiling of the little room many small spots of blood were found, the man having evidently entered the room with his hands reeking with blood and snapped his fingers to get rid of it. Scrapings from under the man's nails are said by chemists to contain blood.

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Joseph Franks? Another Alias?

Post by Karen on Fri 22 Oct 2010 - 2:14

He Has Been in Custody Since Friday of Last Week.

A Trail of Blood Which Seems to Leave No Doubt That "Frenchy No. 1" Is the Man - The Story Given Out by Dr. Edson and Substantiated by Inspector Byrnes.

NEW YORK, May 1. - The police authorities have finally decided upon Frank Sherlick, or Frenchy No. 1, as he is known in the low haunts of the Fourth ward, as the murderer of the unfortunate old woman. Carrie Brown, who was found brutally butchered in room 31 of the East River hotel, on Catherine street, last Friday morning.
Frenchy was arrested on Friday night and he has been in custody ever since, while Inspector Byrnes and his men have been weaving a strong chain of circumstantial evidence against him. The inspector refused to tell the story until the inquest has been held, but the facts upon which Frenchy is charged with the murder are practically the following:

A Trail of Blood.

Shortly after 10 o'clock on Thursday night Frenchy hired room 33 on the top floor of the East River hotel, diagonally across the hall from room 31, in which the body of the murdered woman was afterward found. The woman came to the hotel about 11 o'clock with an unknown man as a companion. They were shown to room 31, but the man remained there only a short time, and was seen to leave the hotel before midnight.
On the following morning, when the murder was discovered, the detectives made a thorough examination of every room on the floor. They traced blood stains from room 31 across the hall to room 33. There they found blood stains on the walls, bed, blankets and chair, as though some one whose hands were dripping with blood had shaken them violently as though to throw off the blood.

The Police Theory.

The police theory is that after Carrie Brown's companion left her Frenchy crossed over the hall in his stocking feet to her room and endeavored to assault her. Angered by her resistance he choked her to death, and while she was dying he began to mutilate the body of the unfortunate wretch and left it in the terrible condition in which it was afterward found.
The detectives discovered that Frenchy No. 1 had passed Thursday night alone in room 33, and he was taken into custody about 10 o'clock on Friday night. Blood stains were found on his shirt and socks and congealed blood was found on his hair and under his finger nails, and he had no explanation to give as to how it came there. These blood stains, as well as those found on the bed clothing in room 33, were subjected to a chemical analysis by Dr. Cyrus Edson, who said that they were undoubtedly human blood.

A Dangerous Man.

Frenchy is said to be a Greek by birth. He speaks very little English, and is a well known character in the vicinity of the hotel where the crime was committed. He has always been considered a dangerous man, and the women who frequent the low saloons and dance halls in the Fourth ward have always been in dread of his ferocious temper.
On Sept. 24, 1890, Sherlick was arrested for stealing a dollar from Mary Ann Lopez while they were in the East River hotel. When the woman tried to get the money back he bit her severely on the arm.

Substantiated by Inspector Byrnes.

The story thus made public is furnished by Dr. Edson. Inspector Byrnes substantiates the story as given out. The inspector does not say positively that Frenchy No. 1 is the murderer, but he gives a strong chain of circumstantial evidence that leaves no doubt but that he is the man who committed the atrocious crime. He discovered, he said, that Frenchy was with the woman "Shakespeare" on Wednesday, and slept with her in the East River house. During the following day he was in her company nearly all day. On Thursday night about midnight Shakespeare left the barroom, where she and Frenchy were drinking, and a little later was seen to go upstairs with a strange man.
It is rumored that Frenchy has made a partial confession.

The Man Who Rented the Room.

Late yesterday afternoon a mysterious prisoner was brought before District Attorney Nicolls and afterwards removed to police headquarters. This man in all particulars answers to the description of the man who rented the room at the East River hotel with the Brown woman. It was afterwards ascertained that his name is Joseph Franks, and that he is an Arabian.
The coroner's inquest, which was called for yesterday afternoon, was postponed at the request of Assistant District Attorney Lindsay until Monday, May 11.

Source: Lebanon Daily News, Friday Evening, May 1, 1891

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Re: Frank Sherlick Arrested

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