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Packer And Hutchinson's Statements

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Packer And Hutchinson's Statements

Post by Karen on Sun 7 Nov 2010 - 5:26




Neither the Metropolitan nor the City Police attach any importance whatever to the story published respecting an Englishman's suspicions of an "American cousin," as the perpetrator of the crimes. Though, as the authorities say, the East-end is just now suffering from undue excitement, and exaggerated tales are daily told as to the murderer's identity, every story of the kind is inquired into, with the result that up to the present nothing tangible has been obtained. The "clue" given by the groom Hutchinson was yesterday followed up, although no trace of the man with the Astrachan jacket and prominent gold chain could be discovered. While Hutchinson's veracity is not questioned, it is considered a remarkable thing that no one else in Dorset-street saw such an uncommon stranger - for that locality - as the person described by the groom. Beyond certain private information which Inspector Abberline and Inspector Reid are said to have received yesterday, there is, it is stated, no fresh intelligence upon which the police can work; while among the numerous written suggestions that the police authorities have recently received is one, says an Echo reporter, that the assassin has at one time been connected with the "Social purity craze," and possibly is suffering from a peculiar and acute form of mania in consequence. At Commercial-street station one man was arrested and released last night. There were also suspected persons taken to the Leman-street station, but their innocence was established. Up to nine o'clock this morning the police authorities asserted that no one seriously suspected of the murder was in custody, and the detectives engaged in the case state that no information has been received by them of any arrest of a suspected person at a public-house in the Old Kent-road. It is stated in some of the morning papers that a man had left a suspicious-looking black bag in the house in question. On being examined this peculiar reticule was found to contain a dagger and two pairs of scissors. Hence, it was said, the arrest of the owner. From information since obtained by the police, it appears that he had been indulging in a drinking bout, and had left his home on Tuesday. While in the cell he frequently shouted out "I am Jack the Ripper," and at other times he would hum and whistle to himself.

There has been what is characterised by the vigilant journalists as "another extraordinary statement." This time it has been made to a reporter, and its author is Mr. Matthew Packer, of Berner-street. Mr. Packer has before had prominence in connection with the investigations into these terrible event. He, it will be remembered, was the fruiterer who sold some grapes to a man who was in the company of the murdered woman just before the Berner-street murder took place.


Packer, in his story, told of two men who came to him on Tuesday evening to purchase twelve shillingsworth of rabbits. Conversation at once was directed by the men to the Berner-street and Mitre-square murders. The men then asked Packer to describe the man who bought the grapes. They were convinced, they said, they knew him and where to find him. Then one of the pair said: -
I firmly believe it is my own cousin. He is an Englishman by birth, but some time ago he went to America, stayed there a few years, and then came back to London about seven or eight months ago. On his return he came to see me, and his first words were, "Well, Boss, how are you?" He asked me to have some walks out with him, and I did round Commercial-street and Whitechapel. I found that he was very much altered on his return, for he was thorough harem scarem. We met a lot of Whitechapel women, and when we passed them he used to say to me, "Do you see those ------? How do you think we used to serve them where I came from?" Why, we used to cut their throats, and rip them up. I could rip one of them up and get her inside out in no time." He said, "We Jack Rippers killed lots of women over there. You will hear of some of it being done over here soon, for I am going to turn a London Jack Ripper."


The reporters at once sent copies of the statement to the authorities - to the Home Secretary, to Sir William Fraser, and to the chief at Scotland-yard. At once a couple of detectives went to investigate the business. Packer then - so the report averred - maintained his statement, declared that he believed the men were speaking the truth, and avowed that there was no great difficulty in finding them. In fact, he is said to have taken the officers to the spokesman of his two visitors. On being questioned by the police, this man stated where his cousin was generally to be found. It transpired - so another reporter declared - that he is sometimes engaged on the Thames, and late last night a search was being made for him upon the river. Such is the story as told this morning. It seems to want confirmation a good deal.


Some men connected with the Midland Railway Goods Station at Lower Whitecross-street came upon a sleeveless smock which had evidently been thrown away by some person from the footway. When they found that it was besmeared with blood, they at once assumed that it had belonged to the "Whitechapel murderer." To the City police it was immediately despatched.


A question was asked yesterday at the Shoreditch Board of Guardians, by Mr. Winkler, as to whether there was any liability attaching to the parish in regard to the burial of the body of the woman Kelly, who had been removed from the scene of the murder in Spitalfields into the Shoreditch mortuary. - The Clerk said he had heard of no application having been made for the body to be buried at the expense of the parish. The Relieving Officers would have power to refuse such an application, and the only other authority was the Sanitary Authority, which was the parish Vestry. Unless the friends of the deceased could pay, the Coroner would no doubt make a requisition upon the Sanitary Authority to undertake the burial.

Source: The Echo, Thursday November 15, 1888, Page 3

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

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