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Swanson's Investigations of a Possible JTR Gang

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Swanson's Investigations of a Possible JTR Gang

Post by Karen on Sun 24 Apr 2011 - 16:19



Is there a secret murderous gang with headquarters in the East-end or in some other part of London? This question is now exercising the minds of the authorities at Scotland-yard, as the police are almost satisfied that the latest crime was known to more than one man. Inspector Tonbridge and Inspector Swanson are pursuing their investigations, but at present it is stated there is but the smallest possible clue. The issue, however, has been somewhat narrowed. If the murder was the work of one man, his abode, the police assert, must be close to Pinchin-street; if the deed was not committed in Whitechapel, then the trunk could not have been conveyed so great a distance unless the miscreant had a vehicle at his disposal, and the most exhaustive inquiries at cab-yards, of carmen, and at places where barrows are lent on hire, have produced an absolutely negative result.


That more than one person knew of the crime is considered probable from a significant circumstance, thought little of at the time, in connection with Mr. Packer, whose declaration that he could identify the author of the Berner-street murder, excited some amount of interest. Shortly after the commission of the murder preceding the Pinchin-street discovery, Packer again expressed an opinion that the criminal did not live "very far from Batty-street," which is within three minutes' walk of the railway arch. Not long after that Packer averred that, while he was standing near his doorstep, two men rushed upon him and knocked him down, with the remark, "Know where Jack the Ripper lives, do you?" The unfortunate man was as a result admitted to the London Hospital, where he was detained for three weeks. An Echo reporter has since seen Packer. He declares that this story is quite true, and that he was seriously injured by the attack. "But I don't wish to say any more," said he. "I've had quite enough of this Whitechapel business already - too much for me." The police have not yet discovered the head or legs of the deceased woman.


The minute and exhaustive investigation which has been going on for the last two days and a-half has failed to produce the slightest information likely to lead either to the identification of the poor creature whose headless trunk was found in the Pinchin-street archway, Whitechapel, on Tuesday morning, or the faintest clue to the criminal by whom this terrible and extraordinary murder has been perpetrated. Although, of course, the Home Office has been fully apprised of everything that has come to the ears of the Chief Commissioner since the body was found, no reward has yet been offered for the arrest of a criminal, and it is not at present deemed likely that such a course will be resorted to. For some time past the plain-clothes men have been provided with india-rubber galoshes, in order to deaden the sound of their approach, special instructions being given that dark corners or recesses should be carefully examined. These orders have since been supplemented - in fact, precautions of the most precise nature have been arranged, by which it is hoped that the murderer will soon be captured. As in previous murders where portions of the victim's body were missing. Inspector Regan, of the Thames Police, has been engaged daily in searching the river, especially at low water, with a view of discovering, if possible, the missing head and legs. From present appearances, without the former, it appears impossible that identification of the victim can ever be accomplished, as otherwise there is not the slightest clue. Dr. Phillips, the Divisional Surgeon, is particularly reticent, even to the police authorities, as to the precise result of his examination of the trunk; but it is stated that the cause of death has not yet been thoroughly established.


The police have at length issued a description of the remains, the object being to secure the identification of the deceased. The victim is described as being about 35 years old; her height as 5ft. 3in., her hair dark brown, skin fair, hands soft and shapely, and the nails are well kept; there is a small circular hardening, but no corn, on the right little finger; the arms are small, but well shaped; the body is plump and well formed, with full breasts. There are no marks of rings on the fingers.

Source: The Echo, Friday September 13, 1889, Page 2

Note: Poor Mr. Packer! No

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

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