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Eastern Hotel, Poplar

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Eastern Hotel, Poplar

Post by Karen on Thu 21 Oct 2010 - 1:14


Whitechapel was on Wednesday morning again the scene of another dreadful murder, similar in some respects to those which have been peculiar to that neighbourhood. It would appear that at about 1 o'clock on Wednesday morning a constable belonging to the Commercial Road division was going his "beat" through Castle Alley when he discovered a woman lying on the pavement near to a lamp-post. At first he thought it was simply a drunken person or one of the homeless wanderers of the neighbourhood who was making the pavement a sleeping-place, but upon examination he discovered that she was lying in a pool of blood, and that her throat was cut. He at once summoned other constables to his assistance, and the divisional surgeon was sent for. It was then found that the woman was dead, and the body was removed to the mortuary. Further examination showed that there was a severe wound in the abdomen, from which blood had flowed copiously. The wounds appeared to have been inflicted with a sharp instrument. So far as an be ascertained there was no attempt at further mutilation, and if the murderer was the same as the one who perpetrated the previous outrages in Whitechapel, he must either have been disturbed in his fearful work, or have been content to satisfy his thirst for blood in a less sensational way than before. The crime was perpetrated within the quarter of a mile radius common to the previous murders and within a stone's throw and between the scene of the death-place of Catherine Eddowes in Mitre Square and that of the Miller's Court murder. The buildings near to where the present murder was committed are mostly workshops, and the body was found almost in front of some public wash-houses. The tragedy has created much sensation in the neighbourhood, and the alley has been visited by hundreds of persons. The audacity of the murderer may be imagined when it is stated that the scene is overlooked by a row of houses the inhabitants of which would have been aroused by the slightest cry for help from the victim, and, further, this vicinity, owing to the opportunity it afforded for such an object as that which the murderer had in view, has been subjected to special patrol by reserve men of the police from other divisions. On the same side of the road on which the discovery was made there is a continuous row of large warehouses and buildings, while the houses on the opposite side are partly hidden except the upper story by a high hoarding.
A theory held by some experienced detectives is that the murderer is a foreigner working in the capacity of cook or butcher on board a foreign vessel trading regularly to London, and it has been ascertained that some cattle boats arrived on Tuesday at the docks and sailed again on Wednesday. This, taken in conjunction with the dreadful tragedy, has led the authorities to issue orders to the East End and Thames police to watch all vessels about to leave the Thames, specially cattle boats which trade between London, Oporto, and other Spanish ports, and American ports, and also to request the cattle-men to give an account of themselves on the night of the 16th or the morning of the 17th inst. Detective-Inspector Regan, Thames Division, with a large staff of detective officers under him, are, in consequence, busily engaged in carrying into effect the order, and all passenger vessels are boarded by the officers, and the passengers carefully scrutinised.
As a corroboration of the above theory, and justifying the action of the Thames police, a letter was received a few days ago by Mr. Albert Backert, 13, Newnham Street, Whitechapel, as chairman of the vigilance committee, commencing: -

"Eastern Hotel, Pop---" and then thickly penning the words out.

Mr. Backert states that he was urged to treat the matter as a practical joke; but in view of the writer "Jack the Ripper," threatening to recommence operations about the middle of July, and Wednesday morning's murder, enquiries have been made, with the result that it has been discovered that there is an Eastern Hotel in the East India Dock Road, Poplar, which is within a stone's throw of the docks, and where a number of sailors put up. It is thought probable that the murderer may have been on a voyage during the intervals between the Miller's Court murder and the one which on Wednesday renewed the horrors which have shocked the world.
At an inquest held in the afternoon the body was identified as that of Alice Mackenzie, a middle-aged woman of doubtful character, and who was last seen leaving a lodging-house about nine o'clock on the previous evening. Notwithstanding all the exertions of a strong staff of detectives no trace of the perpetrator of the terrible deed has yet been discovered.

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

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