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Emily Walton

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Emily Walton

Post by Karen on Thu 18 Nov 2010 - 16:39




Piser, who has been associated by suspicion with the now notorious "Leather Apron," was still in a cell at Leman-street Police-station this morning, though, pending inquiries today no formal charge had been entered against him. It is believed, however, that there is no actual ground for linking him with the atrocious crimes which have made Whitechapel notorious. Piggott, the lunatic, captured at Gravesend, has not yet recovered from the effects of delirium tremens to which his temporary aberration of mind was due; and at the infirmary where he is now located, he is closely but secretly watched, in order to see if he exhibits any malingering symptoms.


Some of the officers engaged in the case express an opinion that Piggott's mind is not so seriously deranged as a medical expert asserts, but that his strangeness of manner is more an indication of convenient nervousness than disease. The fact that he was admittedly in Whitechapel on the morning of the murder, coupled with the evidence of blood upon him, calls for further inquiries, which are being made today with reference to his antecedents.


In other quarters it is asserted that neither Piser nor Piggott is the real criminal, as it is, nor is it yet a matter of certainty that both the murders were committed by the same hand. Annie Chapman had wedding rings on her fingers when last seen alive. This jewellery has not yet been traced.


At a later hour this morning the police expressed an opinion that Piggott, the supposed lunatic, could give them information, if he wished, as to the crime committed at 29, Hanbury-street. His statement that he was bitten on the finger by a woman he discovered in a fit is discredited, and no satisfactory explanation of the bloodstains on his shirt and boots has yet been given. His appearance and demeanour are, it is stated, inconsistent with the symptoms generally exhibited by a "genuine" lunatic.


It is stated that the many absurd rumours as to the man "Leather Apron" have been inquired into and found to be utterly devoid of truth. A high authority at Scotland-yard, asked what truth there is in the standing account of the personage, said, "Just as much as there is in the corner of leatherstocking; only I prefer _________ Cooper's "literary style." The man suspected - rightly or wrongly - of being him is a person of weak physique, and but a short time ago underwent a very painful operation, when a large carbuncle was extracted from the back of his neck. Since then, until within quite recently, he has been an inmate of a convalescent home, and at the present time his physical powers are less than those of any woman.


Mr. J. Aarons, of Mile-end-road, is busy today organising a Vigilance Committee for the protection of the residents of Whitechapel from any possible future crime of the nature recently perpetrated, and this morning the following notice was publicly issued: -

"Finding that, in spite of murders being committed in our midst, our police force is inadequate to discover the author or authors of the late atrocities, we, the undersigned, have formed ourselves into a committee, and intend offering a substantial reward to anyone, citizens or otherwise, who shall give such information as will be the means of bringing the murderer or murderers to justice."
Then follow the names of several prominent East-end tradesmen, who have come forward to give their support to the movement.


A _______ shoemaker lives in a house opposite 22 Mulberry-street. He says he had employed Piser occasionally to do work for him during the past two or three years. "He was born in this street," continued the shoemaker, who spoke with a strong Jewish accent, in reply to an Echo reporter. "I believe he bears a very good character. I don't think he drinks much, and I have always found him an excellent workman." Piser's stepmother, and a woman of 70 years of age, has been in great trouble in consequence of her stepson's arrest. She, however, has asserted all along that he is quite innocent.


Piser is evidently in a weak state of health and is very dejected. Detective-sergeant Falke is continuing to make inquiries, and he will report to the Leman-street police-station this afternoon, when it will be decided as to whether any charge shall be made against him or not. At present, however, as we say, the police entertain the belief that he is not connected with the murders.


The Inspector in charge at Leman-street Police-station, shortly before three o'clock, informed a representative of the Exchange Telegraph Company that there was no definite charge on which evidence could be brought against Piser, or upon which he could be brought up before the Magistrates.


William Hardeman and Charles Cooksley, aged respectively 16 and 14 years, were the lads who had arranged to sleep, as was their custom, in the back room, on the ground floor of No. 29, Hanbury-street, on Friday night. The distance from the head of the bedstead to the spot where the deceased was murdered is only twelve feet. Almost at the last moment Cooksley declined to sleep there, and went to bed upstairs. Had he slept in his accustomed place, he must, he said this morning, have heard the slightest unusual sound. The boy stated that his cloth apron and a box of nails, which lay in the yard a short distance from the body, were seized by the police, and are still retained by them. The lad Hardeman slept in a room adjoining the cat's-meat shop. This sleeping-place is only separated by wainscot partition from the passage through which the murderer and his victim must have passed into the yard. Yet the boy heard no sound whatever during the night.


One of the most perplexing features in the case, from a police point of view, is the conflicting statement as to the time "Dark Annie" met her death. Dr. Phillips, the divisional surgeon, who arrived a few minutes after six o'clock, gave it as his opinion that death had taken place some hours before - at about three o'clock. But John Richardson, a married man, whose house is but a few paces from 29, Hanbury-street (where his mother lives), assures the police that at five o'clock on the morning of the murder he went to the yard there, sat down on the stone steps, and cut a small piece of leather from his boot. "There was no dead woman there then, that I can swear," said Richardson.


A reward of 100 pounds has been offered by Mr. S. Montagu, M.P., for the capture of the murderer.


In the expectation that Piser would return to Mulberry-street a mob not altogether friendly gathered to give him a reception last night, but they waited for his appearance in vain, for Piser remained at Leman-street Police-station at the hour when it was published abroad that he had been discharged. Upon searching his effects five knives were found, and of these the police took possession, but they were of the pattern used by boot finishers, and are without handles, consisting of curved blades of steel, eight inches long, sharpened at one end, but not to a keen edge. A man of Piser's class usually owns five or six of these tools. A "clicker" is also furnished with a much more formidable instrument, having a hafted blade about five inches long and half an inch broad, curved like a foreign dagger, with a sharp saw-like edge, but apparently not much stronger than an ordinary pocket-knife. Piser would not have possessed one of these weapons.


Another man on whom a good deal of interest centred was arrested at Gravesend. Piggott, the man in question, was said to be covered with blood; he admitted having been in Brick-lane, where he had a struggle with a woman, who bit his hand; and the police thought it well to detain him. He, however, in no way answered the description of the man wanted, as published by the police. That description applies, as well as can be gathered, to the man who gave the woman Emily Walton two brass medals, or bright farthings, as half-sovereigns when in a yard of one of the houses in Hanbury-street at 2 a.m. on Saturday morning, and who then began to ill-use the woman. The police attach importance to finding the man, but it is not true that two farthings were found in the dress pocket of the murdered woman, which would have been an important corroboration of Walton's story.


Up to a late hour last evening Piggott, than man brought from Gravesend, was detained at Commercial-street. The police surgeon then pronounced him insane, and he was removed to the infirmary. Before this occurred he was seen by Mrs. Fiddymont, and other witnesses who had noticed the mysterious customer at the Prince Albert Tavern were called in. Not one of the witnesses was able to identify Piggott as the man wanted.


Piggott is now in Whitechapel Infirmary, where several police officers have him under observation. Under the Lunacy Laws it is necessary to charge a man supposed to be a wandering lunatic within three days; therefore, unless the man recovers, he will have to be brought before a Magistrate. The divisional surgeon has intimated that if, at the expiration of forty-eight hours, Piggott exhibits no signs of recovery, he shall be charged. In the meantime investigations concerning him are being actively pursued, but at midnight nothing had been discovered, nor had any of his friends or relatives been found. Dr. Phillips will, pending the expiration of the allotted time for Piggott's detention, analyse the bloodstains, which are so profusely displayed about his garments, with a view of ascertaining whether they are stains of human blood or not. The police, rightly or wrongly, still attach importance to his arrest.


This, however, by no means exhausts the list of arrests. To the others, however, but little importance attaches. Most of the arrests made yesterday have been connected presumably with the police theory that the murder and the agitated man with bloodstained fingers and matted hair who entered the Prince Albert Tavern shortly before six o'clock on the morning of the murder are one and the same person. Mrs. Fiddymont, who served this man with refreshments and took particular notice of him, is confident that she would recognise him, even in a crowd, and some persons who were drinking in the tavern at the time are equally confident. It appears that a man answering the description of "Leather Apron" was recently an in-patient of the Jewish Convalescent Home at Norwood, recovering from a very severe carbuncle in the neck. The man stated that he had been previously treated at the Paddington Infirmary.


Intelligent observers who have visited the locality of the crime express the utmost astonishment that the murderer could have reached a hiding-place after committing such a crime. He must have left the yard in Hanbury-street reeking like a slaughterman, and yet, if the theory that the murder took place between five and six o'clock be accepted, he must have walked in almost broad daylight along streets comparatively well-frequented, even at that early hour, without his startling appearance attracting the slightest attention. Consideration of this point has led many to the conclusion that the murderer came not from the wretched class from which the inmates of common lodging-houses are drawn. More probably, it is argued, he is a man lodging in a comparatively decent house in the district, to which he would be able to return quickly, and in which, once reached, he would be able at his leisure to remove from his person all traces of his hideous crime. It is, at any rate, practically certain that the murderer, if in the habit of using common lodging-houses, would (article is cut off here)....



Joseph Carter addressed himself to Police-constable 171 H Division, as he stood at the entrance to the Commercial-street Police-station yesterday. "I want," said he, "too see the man charged with the Whitechapel murder." As he was not sober, would not go away, and remained outside creating a disturbance, he was locked up. Today he appeared at Worship-street, and was awarded five days, in default of paying a fine of 5s.


William M'Every, a fireman, obtained drink by a singular method. He went to Cable-street public-houses yesterday, and demanded refreshment. He had been, he said, locked up on a charge of having committed the Whitechapel murders. When drink was refused him, he made use of filthy language. This resulted in his being arrested, and on arrest in his striking Constable 42 H R two violent blows. Today he appeared at the Thames Court, and received seven days.

Source: The Echo, Tuesday September 11, 1888, Page 3

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

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