Books




Face of Winifred May Davies
Latest topics
» Why Jesus Is Not God
Mon 17 Apr 2017 - 0:09 by Karen

» The Fourth Reich
Fri 14 Apr 2017 - 14:14 by Karen

» Allah, The Real Serpent of the Garden
Tue 7 Mar 2017 - 11:45 by Karen

» THE INNOCENCE OF JEWS
Sat 4 Mar 2017 - 12:06 by Karen

» Hillary Clinton (Hillroy Was Here)
Fri 28 Oct 2016 - 17:38 by Karen

» Alien on the Moon
Thu 20 Oct 2016 - 21:57 by Karen

» Martian Nonsense Repeats Itself
Thu 20 Oct 2016 - 18:43 by Karen

» Enlil and Enki
Fri 7 Oct 2016 - 17:11 by Karen

» Israel Shoots Down Drone - Peter Kucznir's Threat
Wed 24 Aug 2016 - 22:55 by Karen

» Rome is Babylon
Sun 24 Jul 2016 - 21:27 by Karen

Links












Gallery



Murder Witnessed By a Constable

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Murder Witnessed By a Constable

Post by Karen on Mon 21 Mar 2011 - 23:38

NIGHT IN DARKEST HELL.
Edward Marshall Describes a Trip Through Whitechapel.
An Ex-Detective His Guide - The Haunts of Thieves, the Receivers of Stolen Goods and the Garish Vice of the Streets.
[Copyright 1895.]

The other night I rode into hell on the top of an omnibus. I entered through Aldgate and met a guide - an ex-Scotland Yard detective - at the corner of Leman street and Whitechapel road. The hell was London's Whitechapel district, which was once probably the most thoroughly vicious area in the world, as it is still probably the most depraved. Leman street and Commercial road meet Whitechapel road together, and the three thoroughfares make a junction that is not equaled in London. Thirty thousand wretched women roam the district, and these corners are its most prominent spot. Jack the Ripper probably loitered in their whereabouts as he selected his victims from the miserable procession that is ever passing them. That his example made its impress on the neighbourhood in a way other than frightening the women is shown by the fact that two women have been killed in somewhat similar ways not far from his old haunts since I have been in London. This was told to me by reliable persons, and I visited the scene of one of the murders on Butler street before the crime was twenty-four hours old. Yet not a word has appeared in the London papers about the murders. The police here are fond of keeping their own counsel.
We went first to a Whitechapel lodging-house, within a block or two of the scene of the first Ripper murder. It is one of the few of the old style left. Since Jack's flashing knife attracted the attention of the world to this district and its conditions, most of the lodging houses which formerly accommodated men and women indiscriminately have been forced to confine their business to one sex. But in a half-dozen or so of the places the old custom is still permitted, on the ground that the homeless are as likely to be husband and wife as to be single and that they must have places to sleep. The police watched these lodging houses with even closer attention than they devote to the others, however, and see to it that their patrons are not young. The result is such a collection of tottering wrecks of manhood and toothless, crooning hags as Dante might have drawn ideas for his "Inferno" from.



Picture a long, low room, half filled with benches and narrow tables. At one side a great glow of coals in a mammoth brazier, over which some of the human outcasts as can find refuse food to eat are cooking it. Probably a hundred people are in the place, which is clouded by the output of many tobacco pipes, and fouled by the smell and smoke which come from a bone which some clumsy fingers have dropped irreclaimably into the bed of coals. Combined with the reeking odor of burning flesh and bone is the reeking odor of the hundred squalid human beings.
A hundred human beings, and among them not one hint of youth or beauty; not one person who is clean; not one person whose clothes are other than in the last stages of dilapidation and decay; not one face unmarked by the vicious lines of depraved age, or the vacuous imbecility with which kind time sometimes wipes away the traces of a bestial life. No collection of young criminals could be half so horrible as is this gathering of the time-tossed scum. Sum up the ages of the crowd and you will reach an average of half a century. Five hundred years of horror lurk in the muddled memories in this room and look out from blear eyes at the inquisitive visitor. Nothing good, nothing pure, nothing innocent, nothing that is not utterly and irredeemably vile is here. It is not a pleasant place to visit.
It was in this lodging house that we met "Murderer Mag." She gained her name from the fact that since the very first of the Ripper murders she has devoted her life to the crude study of the crimes. The first woman killed was her mate, and the crime may have turned her mind. At any rate whenever she has had money enough to pay the miserable rental which would secure the place she has made it a practice to live, for at least a month each in the rooms in which the murders were committed, and to haunt the accursed spots on which the street butcheries took place. She can talk of nothing else and details with a horrid relish the minutest gossip of the bloody killings.

[img][/img]

It is her theory that the murders were done by a sailor who went on a long voyage after he finished his first-series and will come back before long to begin a second. She hailed the news of the recent Butler street murder with a kind of glee, assuming instantly that her prophecy had come true. But after she had gone posthaste to the scene of the crime and examined its gruesome details, she sorrowfully announced that she was wrong, and that the crime had been done by less skillful hands than Jack's. Mag is one of the characters of Whitechapel- horribly in keeping with the place. She followed us when we visited one or two of the murder rooms, and her explanations could not be suppressed. She is probably right in one theory which the police cry out against, viz., that one of the murders was actually witnessed by a constable, who was too badly frightened to interfere with its commission or to attempt to capture the murderer after he had finished. The crime was done in a room, opening off a small courtyard at the end of a short blind alley. This court is not more than twelve by sixteen feet in size, and a constable was surely standing in it while the murder and its following horrors were going on. Add to this fact the others that the man could not have done the work without a light, and that the window of the room was curtainless, and the proof that the crime was actually witnessed by that cowardly constable seems complete. But, after all, it is scarcely fair to expect a man who works for thirty shillings a week to risk his life in an encounter with such a desperate cut-throat as Whitechapel's historic murderer must have been.

[img][/img]

On the scene of one of the sidewalk murders a tiny cockney was swinging on a chain hanging from the tail of a truck. He observed us with indifference, but when he saw Murder Mag he scurried away into one of the hole-like doorways, as might a frightened rat. She was too horrible for even a case-hardened Whitechapel gamin to gaze on with complacency.
I refer thus at length to the Jack the Ripper murders because they marked an era in this strange district. For many years it had been allowed to act as a sinkhole, into which the worst of London's moral sewage drained, there to fester in its own decay, unheeded by the other sections of the city, practically unknown to any but the police, and only disturbed by them when some particularly flagrant offence forced them to momentarily probe the depths. London officialdom had gone on the theory that a certain percentage of humanity must necessarily sink to this degraded level, and was rather proud that the refuse was concentrated in one locality. But the Ripper murders - frightful climax of this neglect - were so ghastly in their nature and persistent in their recurrence, that the attention not only of all London, but of all the world, was focused on the neighbourhood, and the authorities were forced to such action as I have described in previous letters. The number of police was quadrupled down there, and with such speed as was possible the destruction of the old slum environment was begun. Nearly every one of the old narrow streets on which the murders were committed has been torn out and widened, with both sides built up in substantial and sanitary "artisans' dwellings," to take the place of the old-time rookeries, and the lodging houses, hitherto permitted to conduct their business as they pleased, have been placed under strict regulations, rigidly enforced. This has resulted in a one-sided reform. The actual criminal classes - the thugs, highway robbers, room thieves and like persons - have been to a great extent driven out or compelled to mend their ways. Thus Whitechapel now is probably freer from that manner of offense than the Fourth ward of New York. But, as this is the case throughout London, vice - as distinguished from crime - has not been interfered with. No effort has been made here or elsewhere in the city to drive depraved women from the streets. The public houses have been conducted in a way which would not be tolerated for one moment in any American city with which I am familiar, and, so far as I have been able to discover, modesty and virtue are unknown quantities in Whitechapel.
Womanhood is without the safeguards of either law or custom. A woman anywhere in England gets little enough consideration; in Whitechapel she gets none. She drinks quite as freely as does the man, and attends the public house as often and as regularly. It is by no means uncommon to find women predominating in the barroom crowds down there, and the hard-working matron is quite as numerously in evidence as is the woman of the streets. Indeed, they rub shoulders constantly, and this rubbing has so far worn away the moral class distinction that the mother of daughters who drops into the "pub," for a social glass of bitter beer, taking her whole brood with her, in no way resents the presence of the frail sisterhood, nor objects to her daughters' observations of the miserable spectacle.

Source: Logansport Daily Reporter, Thursday Afternoon, June 20, 1895

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

Posts : 4907

View user profile http://victorianripper.niceboard.org

Back to top Go down

Another Version

Post by Karen on Wed 30 Mar 2011 - 10:05

Here is another version of the article found above. The last paragraph or two are not included in the above version.

WHITECHAPEL TODAY.

THE RIPPER'S CRIMES HAVE MADE A CHANGE.
STILL THE FAMOUS DISTRICT IS VERY WRETCHED.

An Ex-Detective Guides an American Writer Through the Haunts of the Thieves and Receivers of Stolen Goods.

Edward Marshall, an American, has been making a tour of the Whitechapel district in London, and writes as follows for the American Press of the condition of that place today: I rode into hell on the top of an omnibus. I entered through Aldgate and met a guide - an ex-Scotland Yard detective - at the corner of Leman street and Whitechapel district, which was once probably the most thoroughly vicious area in the world, as it is still probably the most wretched. Leman street and Commercial road meet Whitechapel road together, and the three thoroughfares make a junction that is not equaled even in London. Thirty thousand wretched women roam the district, and these corners form its most prominent spot. Jack the Ripper probably loitered in their whereabouts, as he selected the miserable procession that is ever passing them. That his example made its impress on the neighborhood in a way other than frightening the women is shown by the fact that two women have been killed in somewhat similar ways not far from his old haunts since I have been in London. This was told to me by reliable persons, and I visited the scene of one of the murders, on Butler street, before the crime was twenty-four hours old. Yet not a word has appeared in the London papers about the murders. The police here are fond of keeping their own counsel.
We went first to a Whitechapel lodging house, within a block or two of the scene of the first Ripper murder. It is one of the few of the old style left. Since Jack's flashing knife attracted the attention of the world to this district and its conditions most of the lodging-houses which formerly accommodated men and women indiscriminately have been forced to confine their business to one sex.
It was in one of these lodging-houses that we met "Murder Mag." She gained her name from the fact that since the very first of the Ripper murders she has devoted her life to the crude story of the crimes. The first woman killed was her mate, and the crime may have turned her mind. At any rate, whenever she has had money enough to pay the miserable rental which would secure the place, she has made it a practice to live for at least a month each in the rooms in which the murders were committed, and to haunt the accursed spots on which the street butcheries took place. She can talk of nothing else, and details with a horrible relish the minutest gossip of the bloody killings. It is her theory that the murders were done by a sailor who went on a long voyage after he finished his first series, and will come back before long to begin a second. She hailed the news of the recent Butler street murder with a kind of glee, assuming instantly that her prophecy had come true. But after she had gone post haste to the scene of the crime and examined its gruesome details she sorrowfully announced that she was wrong and that the crime had been done by less skillful hands than Jack's. Mag is one of the characters of Whitechapel - horribly in keeping with the place. She followed us when we visited one or two of the murder rooms; and her explanations could not be suppressed. She is probably right in one theory which the police cry out against, viz., that one of the murders was actually witnessed by a constable, who was too badly frightened to interfere with its commission or attempt to capture the murderer after he had finished. The crime was done in a room opening off a small courtyard at the end of a short blind alley. The court is not more than 12x16 feet in size, and a constable was surely standing in it while the murder and its following horrors were going on. Add to this that the man could not have done the work without a light, and that the window of the room was curtainless, and the proof that the crime was actually witnessed by that cowardly constable seems complete. But, after all, it is scarcely fair to expect a man who works for thirty shillings a week to risk his life in an encounter with such a desperate and keenly armed cutthroat as Whitechapel's historic murderer must have been.
I refer thus at length to the Jack the Ripper murders because they marked an era in this strange district. For many years it has been allowed to act as a sink hole, into which the worst of London's moral sewage drained, there to fester in its own decay, unheeded by the other sections of the city, practically unknown to any but the police, and only disturbed by them when some particularly flagrant offense forced them to momentarily probe its depths. London officialdom had gone on the theory that a certain percentage of humanity must necessarily sink to this degraded level, and was rather proud that the refuse was concentrated in one locality. But the Ripper murders - frightful climax of this neglect - were so ghastly in their nature and persistent in their occurrence that the attention not only of all London, but of all the world was focused on the neighborhood. The number of police was quadrupled down there, and with such speed as possible, the destruction of the old slum environment was begun. Nearly every one of the old narrow streets on which the murders were committed has been torn out and widened, with both sides built up in substantial and sanitary "artisans' dwellings," to take the place of the old-time rookeries, and the lodging houses, hitherto permitted to conduct their business as they pleased, have been placed under strict regulations, rigidly enforced. This has resulted in a one-sided reform. The actual criminal classes - the thugs, highway robbers, room thieves and like persons - have been to a great extent driven out, or compelled to mend their ways. Thus Whitechapel now is probably freer from that manner of offense than the Fourth Ward of New York.
There is no street in Whitechapel through which a stranger who knows how to mind his own business may not pass by day or night with reasonable safety, because of the overpowering constabulary, which is now everywhere in evidence. But there is scarcely a street in Whitechapel from whose crowds an old detective cannot single out many persons whose criminal records are known to the police; and my guide, whose forte has been the recovery of stolen goods, pointed out to me more than a dozen places which he designated as the resorts of habitual thieves. We went into one of these "receiver's shops" - they would be called "fences" in America. It was nearly midnight, and there were half a dozen men and boys, besides one woman, in the place, in addition to the aged Jew who kept it. The detective was well known there, and his arrival created a great commotion, the proprietor running forward, rubbing his hands, to explain that he had done nothing wrong.
"Ho, no!" said the detective assuringly. "I know you ain't. Whatever made you think I thought you had. I am just a-showing this gentleman from the States round a bit. What have you got in that box under there, Levi?"
Levi pulled out the box. It was filled with silk handkerchiefs, washed and ironed and neatly folded now, but probably the outcome of some pickpocket "mob's" night's work. The detective questioned him closely, but the old man had a plausible answer for every query and the box went back into its place. Then the detective made the aged rascal overhaul his entire stock for my benefit, and such a heterogeneous mass of everything under the sun was never gathered under one roof before. From old shoes to silver cake baskets: from books to a cask of smoked herring; from ladies' hats to a nickel-plated American revolver, the strange mixture ranged.
"Now, Levi, you know that every bloody thing in the whole place is stolen goods; now, don't you?" finally queried the detective.
"Oh, no, Mr. Dick! No, indeed! Not a single harticle!"
"Well, all I've got to say is that you ought to have been raided long ago. Now, don't ever let me find such a bloody curiosity shop here again, or I'll make you take the whole blooming craft up to be identified," responded Mr. Dick.
But after we had left he said to me:
"The old scoundrel knows as well as I do that we can't do anything with him. He's careful to buy only of men he knows, and he is reasonably certain to take in only stuff that has been stolen outside of London. This part of the town is a great headquarters for thieves who operate in the suburbs and the provinces. Burglars work out beyond the metropolitan police limits a good bit, and bring their booty to London to sell it.

Source: Aspen Daily Times, June 15, 1895, Page 7

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

Posts : 4907

View user profile http://victorianripper.niceboard.org

Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum