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Inspector Thomas Roots

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Inspector Thomas Roots

Post by Karen on Sun 5 Aug 2012 - 20:43

Inspector Thomas Roots was mentioned on page 130 of the "Jack the Ripper: An Encyclopedia."

The remains of the late Inspector Roots were interred at Brompton Cemetery this afternoon in the presence of a large assemblage of his colleagues and friends. There were a wealth of floral tributes on the coffin sent by the deceased's comrades. The Chief Commissioner of Police was represented by Assistant Chief Constable McNaughten, and among others present were Chief Superintendents Fisher, Cutbush, and Shore, and Chief Inspectors Littlechild, Swanson, and Davis.

Source: The Echo, Friday November 7, 1890

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Re: Inspector Thomas Roots

Post by Karen on Mon 6 Aug 2012 - 10:50

THE ALLEGED WIFE POISONING BY A LIVERPOOL OPTICIAN.

Thomas Edmunds Morris, optician, Liverpool, was charged on remand yesterday, at the Wallasey (Cheshire) Police Court, with having poisoned his wife on April 4th last year. The prosecution has been taken up by the Treasury. The prisoner was again remanded, pending investigation by Inspector Roots, Scotland Yard, upon whose report will depend on the exhumation of the body.

Source: The Edinburgh Courant, Thursday June 26, 1884, Page 6

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Re: Inspector Thomas Roots

Post by Karen on Mon 6 Aug 2012 - 11:48

THE DEVONSHIRE MYSTERY.

Hugh Shortland, barrister, of Australia, was charged before the Kingsbridge Magistrate yesterday morning with the murder of his wife, Laura Shortland. The Town Hall was densely crowded. Mr. Bennett, Plymouth, appeared for the prisoner; and Mr. Squaire, Plymouth, represented the Dunes family. Inspector Roots, of Scotland Yard, the first witness, said he had been instructed to make inquiries into the case, but his investigations were not yet completed. He had seen an order from the Home Secretary authorising an exhumation of the body of Mr. Shortland. He was present on Wednesday at Dartmouth Cemetery when the remains were examined by Dr. Elliott, of Kingsbridge, and Dr. Loper, of Dartmouth. He saw portions of the body despatched to London in care of Major Brutton, Devon Constabulary, for analysis by Dr. Dupre, of the Westminster Hospital. Witness produced a letter from the Treasury solicitor requesting that a remand should be granted until it was decided what course should be pursued. The analysis would occupy about eight days. The solicitor for the prisoner protested against his client being sketched by an artist in Court, and asked to address the Bench on the subject of a remand. The Bench, however, declined to hear him, and the prisoner was remanded until this day week.

Source: The Edinburgh Courant, Friday May 16, 1884, Page 6

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Re: Inspector Thomas Roots

Post by Karen on Wed 1 Oct 2014 - 20:01

I have just acquired a photograph of Inspector Thomas Roots from a family member:


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Re: Inspector Thomas Roots

Post by Karen on Mon 15 Dec 2014 - 14:03

THE DEVONSHIRE MYSTERY.

Hugh Shortland, barrister, of Australia, was charged before the Kingsbridge magistrates on Thursday, with the murder of his wife. Inspector Roots, of Scotland Yard,
said the body had been exhumed on Wednesday, and portions sent to London for analysis. The analysis would take eight days. Prisoner was remanded until Friday week.
The court was crowded and excited.

Source: Cardiff Times, 17 May 1884, Page 5

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Re: Inspector Thomas Roots

Post by Karen on Mon 15 Dec 2014 - 14:04

THE DEVONSHIRE MYSTERY.

Since Mr. Shortland, who is in custody charged on suspicion with having murdered his wife, was brought before the magistrates and remanded on Thursday, Inspector Roots, the Scotland-yard detective, has
returned to London, and it is understood that the police investigations will not be renewed until Dr. Dupre, of London, has made known the result of his analysis of the viscera of the deceased lady. Nothing has yet
been ascertained tending to throw any material light on the mystery. At the inquest Mrs. Dimes, mother of the deceased, stated that she visited the pond in which her daughter's body was found on the afternoon of the day
that she was missed, and now a mason named Wills affirms that on the same day he was working opposite the stables at Oldstone Manor, when he saw Mr. Dimes, Mrs. Shortland's father, ride down the road which ends only
on the margin of the pool. Further investigation strengthens the belief that the body was floating in an upright position, and not standing at the spot where it was discovered. Before the pool was drained a "waterlogged" stick, about
4 ft. in length and the size of a man's wrist, was found floating perpendicularly, with the upper end an inch or two below the surface of the pool, just as Mrs. Shortland's head was stated to be. Still more strange, although the police moved
this stick away, it always gravitated, as it were, back to the same spot, and there remained motionless. It is now remembered that when the body of Mrs. Shortland was being drawn out of the pond towards the wall her dress, which was
hooked to a large stick used for the purpose, gave way, and the body floated back to its former place and again assumed an upright position. Subsequent experiments with pieces of heavy wood have been tried with the same result, and the
inference drawn from this is that Mrs. Shortland may not have fallen or been thrown into that part of the pond at all, but at some other part, and was drawn by the current to the spot where it was subsequently discovered. Mr. Shortland, who is
not kept in close confinement, but allowed to go frequently into the open air under police supervision, still stoutly asserts his innocence.

Source: Weekly Mail, 24 May 1884, Page 2

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Re: Inspector Thomas Roots

Post by Karen on Mon 15 Dec 2014 - 14:04

THE DEVONSHIRE MYSTERY.

On Friday in last week Mr. Hugh Rotherford Shortland was again brought up on remand at Kingsbridge charged on suspicion with the murder of his wife, Laura Constantia Shortland. It was announced beforehand that the Treasury had ordered a
further remand to be applied for, and as a result there was an absence of the excitement which prevailed at the previous hearing. None of the witnesses had been summoned to attend the court, and the case lasted less than half-an-hour.
Inspector Roots was again present from the Criminal Investigation Department, and the prisoner was represented by Mr. E.G. Bennett, of Plymouth. He was dressed in a suit of deep mourning, and carried black gloves in his hand.
Inspector Roots informed the Bench that he attended at the direction of the Treasury solicitor to explain that the analysis of Dr. Dupre was not yet completed, and to ask for a further remand. Before leaving London he saw Dr. Dupre at Westminster,
and that gentleman told him that it was possible he might conclude his analysis by next Friday night, but of that he could give no positive assurance. Witness therefore asked for a remand until the 31st inst., when he thought the case might be gone
fully into.
Mr. Bennett, on behalf of the accused, submitted that there was not a tittle of evidence against him, and was about to object to the remand, when he was ruled out of order by the chairman informing him that in the opinion of the Bench he had no right
at this stage of the case to make any statement. Mr. Bennett contended, however, that he had a right to be heard, but the Bench adhered to their decision, and remanded the prisoner until next Saturday.
The police superintendent having ordered Mr. Shortland's removal, the latter indignantly exclaimed, "I am not going to be ordered about by you. You treat me as if I were perfect scum."
The Superintendent: Does the Bench say he is to be removed?
The Chairman: The proceedings are at an end.
The Prisoner: It is nothing but persecution. There is not a tittle of evidence against me, and we are prepared to prove our case.
The prisoner was then removed.

Source: Aberdare Times, 31 May 1884, Page 2

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Re: Inspector Thomas Roots

Post by Karen on Mon 15 Dec 2014 - 14:05

THE MYSTERIOUS DEATH IN DEVONSHIRE.

Hugh Shortland, barrister, of Australia, was charged, before the Kingsbridge magistrates on Thursday morning, with the murder of his wife, Laura Shortland. The Town-hall was densely crowded. Mr. Bennett, of Plymouth, appeared for the prisoner; and Mr. Square,
of Plymouth, represented the Dimes family. Inspector Roots, of Scotland-yard, the first witness, said he had been instructed to make inquiries into the case, but his investigations were not yet complete. He had seen an order from the Home Secretary authorising an
exhumation of the body of Mrs. Shortland. He was present on Wednesday at Dartmouth Cemetery, when the remains were exhumed, by Dr. Elliott, of Kingsbridge, and Dr. Sloper, of Dartmouth. He saw portions of the body despatched to London in the care of Major Bruttan,
Devon Constabulary, for analysis by Dr. Dupre, of the Westminster Hospital. Witness produced a letter from the Treasury Solicitor, requesting that a remand should be granted until it was decided what course should be pursued. The analysis would occupy about eight days. The
solicitor for the prisoner protested against his client being sketched by an artist in court, and asked permission to address the bench on the subject of a remand. The Bench, however, declined to hear him, and prisoner was remanded until this day (Friday) week.

Source: Weekly Mail, 17 May 1884, Page 4

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Re: Inspector Thomas Roots

Post by Karen on Mon 15 Dec 2014 - 14:05

THE DEVONSHIRE MYSTERY.

At Kingsbridge, Devon, Police-court, on Saturday, Hugh Shortland, barrister, was again charged on remand with the murder of his wife, Laura Shortland.
Mr. Goulding, Solicitor to the Treasury, informed the magistrates that an exhaustive inquiry had been made into the circumstances of the case, and he was bound to say well and carefully, by Inspector Roots, and the general effect of it was to remove suspicion from the accused; but he
thought that the Bench would agree with him that the accused was himself to blame for his arrest, and for the course which the magistrates subsequently pursued in ordering him to be remanded, and post-mortem examination to be made of the body. The analysis of the contents of the stomach
had been concluded by Dr. Dupre, and he was bound to say it in no way cleared up the mystery. He did not propose, therefore, to call any evidence against the accused. Inspector Roots would be glad to offer any explanations.
Mr. Bennett, for the accused, said it was with satisfaction, but without surprise, that he heard the decision of the Treasury. The charge was one which might well cause every honest man to shudder, and prisoner had always boldly maintained his innocence, and indignantly repelled the insinuation that
had been made.
The chairman said her Majesty's Treasury had adopted a course in which the Bench entirely agreed, and they ordered the discharge of the prisoner.
The accused then left the dock and took his seat beside his solicitor. The latter then asked that the whole of the documents and other property found in the prisoner's possession might be returned to him, and, Mr. Goulding acquiescing, the Bench gave the requisite directions.

Source: Aberdare Times, 7 June 1884, Page 2

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Re: Inspector Thomas Roots

Post by Karen on Mon 15 Dec 2014 - 14:06

THE DEVONSHIRE MYSTERY.
DISCHARGE OF THE HUSBAND.

On Saturday Hugh Rutherford Shortland, who was arrested a month since in connection with the death of his wife, Laura Shortland, in April, was brought before the magistrates for the fourth time.
Mr. W. Golding, one of the solicitors to the Treasury, attended on behalf of the Public Prosecutor; and Mr. E.G. Bennett, solicitor, of Plymouth, defended the accused.
Mr. Golding said most exhaustive enquiries had been made by Inspector Roots, of Scotland-yard, and he was bound to say very well made, and the Treasury had considered the result of his report. This tended to remove suspicion from the accused, but he thought the magistrates would agree with him
that Shortland had himself alone to thank for the position in which he had been placed, and for the course which the magistrates had taken in remanding him, and the steps which the Treasury had taken in sifting the circumstance, which became necessary in consequence of his suspicious actions. No post-mortem
examination was made before the inquest, and therefore the body had been exhumed, and the contents of the stomach submitted to Dr. Dupre for analysis. This analysis added nothing to the information which was already in the possession of the police, and therefore he did not propose to go any further with the case.
Mr. Bennett said it was with considerable satisfaction, but without the least surprise, that he had heard the statement of the Treasury solicitor, which did not necessitate the accused calling evidence to repel a charge the very name of which made every honest man shudder. It was a charge which in the boldness of innocence
Mr. Shortland had always repudiated, and felt that he would be able to give an indignant and positive denial to.
The Chairman, Mr. Ilbert, said her Majesty's Treasury having adopted a course with which the magistrates present entirely acquiesced, they should direct the discharge of the prisoner. (Applause.)
The proceedings then terminated.
The young man Ryder, in whose parents' house Mr. Shortland was discovered hiding, and who was arrested for complicity in the alleged murder, has given Superintendent Dore, of the county constabulary, notice of an action for false imprisonment.

Source: Cardiff Times, 7 June 1884, Page 4

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Re: Inspector Thomas Roots

Post by Karen on Mon 15 Dec 2014 - 14:06

GRAVE CHARGE OF PERJURY.
Innocent Men in Penal Servitude.

On Saturday, at the Thames Police-court, before Mr. Lushington, Charles Feeley, 21, a labourer, 225, St. George's-street, St. George's-in-the-East, was charged with having, upon the hearing of a certain charge of felony against Edward Hyde and Walter Whaley, committed wilful and corrupt perjury. Mr. Matthews prosecuted on behalf of the
Treasury.
In opening the case, Mr. Matthews said on July 23rd last two men, named Hyde and Whaley, were arrested on the sole information of the prisoner, and on August 3rd two other men, named Brooks and Brady, were arrested on the information of other persons. The four men were brought before the magistrate at that court, charged with being concerned
together in stealing, on July 19, 4 pounds 10s. from the Duke of Kent public-house, Dean-street, Shadwell, and it was alleged against them that two of them remained outside the house while the other two went inside and committed the robbery. They were remanded, and on August 9 were committed for trial. On August 14 the four men were tried at the North
London Sessions, convicted, and sentenced - Hyde, Brooks, and Brady to five years' penal servitude, and Whaley to 18 months' imprisonment. When arrested, and all through the matter, those men protested their innocence. Brady sent a letter to some of his relatives, in which he not only denied the charge, but gave the names of the actual perpetrators of the robbery.
That letter was handed to the police, but in some way or other got mislaid, and did not receive attention. After the conviction the Home Secretary was memorialised on behalf of Hyde, Brooks, and Brady, and an investigation was then ordered to be made. That investigation was entrusted to Inspector Roots, who discovered the four men who planned and comitted the robbery.
The names of those men were Richard Shaw, James Porter, Edwin Brice, and John Jefferys. Shaw and Porter committed the robbery, while the others watched on the outside. When they got the money Shaw and Porter made off, but Shaw had a struggle with the barmaid and lost his hat. About ten o'clock they were met by Thomas Phillips and Patrick Feeley (brother of the accused).
They breakfasted together, and went into a public-house, where they had drinks. Shaw paid for all that was had, and communicated to Phillips and Feeley certain information as to where they got the money, and gave them each 2s. 6d. They then parted, and Phillips and Patrick Feeley met the accused, to whom they told what had happened. On the 23rd of July the accused spoke to
Sergeant Adams, and said he knew who committed the robbery. He said he saw Hyde and Whaley running, and followed them. They treated him, and told him they had got some money from the Duke of Kent, and gave him 2s. Hyde and Whaley were arrested, and the accused, when they were before the magistrate, repeated on oath what he had told the sergeant. He also swore
he had no spite against Hyde. He (Mr. Matthews) would be able to prove that about the time Feeley alleged he saw Hyde and Whaley they were at other places. He should also prove that the prisoner did have a spite against Hyde. Several witnesses, one of them being one of the men who were concerned in the robbery, would be called to prove the case, and he (Mr. Matthews) should ask
for the prisoner to be committed for trial.
Police and other evidence bearing out this statement was then given, and the prisoner was remanded.

Source: Cardiff Times, 21 December 1889, Page 3

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Re: Inspector Thomas Roots

Post by Karen on Mon 15 Dec 2014 - 18:50

THE MURDER NEAR GATESHEAD.

A Newcastle Correspondent telegraphs that great excitement continues to prevail in Birtley and the surrounding district, concerning the terrible outrage on Jane Beatmoor, which was perpetrated there on Sunday evening.
The circumstances disclosed naturally give rise to the impression that the Whitechapel murderer had found another victim at Birtley, but the local police have had their suspicions aroused with regard to an iron worker at Birtley,
who for some time has been endeavouring to force his attentions upon the deceased. He was very seldom seen in her company, and certainly no one saw him on Saturday night. He has, however, absconded, and the police in all parts
of the country have been furnished with a description of him. He is described as about five feet nine inches in height, with a sallow complexion, high cheek bones, and generally sharp features; he has a slouching, stooping gait, and a furtive
expression.
The inquest was opened on Monday morning before Mr. Coroner Graham. Evidence of identification was given by the stepbrother of the deceased woman, Wm. Savage, and John Fish, blacksmith, spoke to finding the body in a mutilated condition
on the Ouston Colliery Railway, on Sunday morning. The inquest was adjourned for a fortnight.
The post-mortem examination of the body shows that on the right side of the face there is a deep cut, about an inch wide, which has laid the lower jaw open to the bone. On the left side of the neck, below the ear, there is a horrible gash, about two
inches in length, and extending down to the top of the spine. This would alone, in the opinion of the medical men, would have caused instant death. The third, and most shocking, of the cuts received by the poor woman is in the abdomen. The murderer,
in the first place, has plunged the knife, which was evidently a big one, right into the body, and appears to have endeavoured to rip up her stomach. He was prevented, however, by the bones of the pelvis, and, being so foiled, he drove the knife into the
lower part of the stomach, inflicting a horrible wound, from which the bowels protuded. It is assumed that the unfortunate woman was killed by the blow on her neck, and subsequently her murderer endeavoured to hack the body to pieces. Jane Beatmoor
was a girl highly respected in the neighourhood. She had been in very delicate health for a long time.
Another Correspondent states that the police have, after consultation, decided to explore the whole of the disused pit shafts in the neighbourhood, as there is a rumour that the murderer, after committing the fatal deed, threw himself down one of those shafts.
Dr. Phillips, who made the post-mortem examination of the body of Annie Chapman, the victim of the last Whitechapel murder, has been sent to Durham in reference to the terrible crime committed in that district. Dr. Phillips left London on Monday evening. Inspector
Roots, of the Criminal Investigation Department, also left London on Monday evening for Durham, with the object of ascertaining whether any of the facts connected with the murder on Saturday night are likely to elucidate the Whitechapel murders. The methods of
the murderer so closely resemble those of the Whitechapel cases, that the local authorities are strongly inclined to connect the two crimes.

Source: Pembrokeshire Herald and General Advertiser, 28 September 1888, Page 4

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Re: Inspector Thomas Roots

Post by Karen on Mon 15 Dec 2014 - 18:50

THE "LONG FIRM" AGAIN.

Francis Jackson, alias James Brookes, William D. Cotterell, Henry Marshall, Watkin Perkins, &c., giving his address as 21, Queen-street, Edgware-road, was charged on remand, at Clerkenwell Police-court, with having obtained by false pretences from Miss Mary Johnson,
of Horse-path Manor, Oxford, a carriage, value 20 pounds. He was further charged with having obtained by false pretences five heifers, value 152 pounds, from Mr. William Turnbull, Guernsey. The prisoner was charged with several other similar offences. Miss Mary Johnson
said that in April last she had in her possession a pony carriage which she wished to dispose of, and she accordingly advertised in two Oxford papers and a Worcester one. She received in reply a post-card from a man styling himself "James Brookes, dairyman and provision
dealer, of 63, Collier-street, Pentonville-road." She wrote to Mr. Brookes that the price of the carriage was 20 pounds, and in consequence of another letter received from him, she forwarded the carriage to the address in Pentonville-road, on the 19th of April, by a servant whom
she instructed to bring back the money. The servant returned with a cheque for 20 pounds 10s. which witness sent to the Oxford Bank to be paid into her accounts, but which was returned to her endorsed "No advice." She had never been paid for her carriage. George Edwards,
gardener to the last witness, said that he had the carriage conveyed to Paddington Station, where he gave it to a man who, to the best of his recollection, was the prisoner, and received in exchange the cheque. John Collett, Sewage Farm, Bedford, said he had corresponded with
a man named Brookes with reference to some mangold wurzel he (witness) had for sale, but in consequence of something that came to his knowledge he sold them to another man. Mrs. Elizabeth Grove, of Cat's-hill, Worcester, gave evidence that she had corresponded with "Brookes"
with reference to some eggs which her husband, a farmer, had for sale. John Brown, 205, King's-cross-road, clerk to an estate agent, said that he let the house in Collier-street, Pentonville, to the prisoner on the 7th of April. The prisoner gave the name of Charles Brookes, and remained
in the house about a month, when he suddenly left without giving any notice or paying any rent. Inspector Roots, of Scotland-yard, gave evidence that he had received complaints with reference to the "business" transactions in the different names alleged to have been assumed by the prisoner,
and on June 2 he took the prisoner into custody. In answer to the question as to whether his name was Cotterell, the prisoner replied that his name was Marshall. On being told the numerous offences that he was charged with, the prisoner said he did not see why he should suffer for all
these things, as they seemed to be all put down to him; "Charley Newth" had assisted him. The prisoner was remanded for a week.

Source: Cardigan Observer, and General Advertiser For the Counties of Cardigan, Carmarthen and Pembroke, 5 July 1879, Page 4

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Re: Inspector Thomas Roots

Post by Karen on Mon 15 Dec 2014 - 18:51

CONFESSION OF MURDER.

In London, on the 9th inst., at the Lambeth Police-court, John Bolton, 22, a convict, was charged on his own confession with the murder of William Henry Day on the 18th December at Portland-street, Walworth. Mr. Barnard Thomas, from the office of the Solicitors to the Treasury, prosecuted;
the prisoner was undefended. Shortly after twelve o'clock the prisoner, attired in the convict dress, with handcuffs on, was brought to the court from Pentonville Prison in a cab.
William Wigley, living at Smyrks-road, carman, said that on the 18th December last he saw the deceased in South-street, Walworth, with a van. A man took a parcel from the van, and afterwards threw it away. Witness told the deceased, and he ran after the man, and they had a struggle. He could
not say positively the prisoner was the man.
Henry Cooley, South-street, Camberwell, labourer, said on December 18 he was in Smyth-street when he heard a call of "Murder!" several times. He heard someone call out, "For God's sake come; I am being murdered!" A few minutes afterwards witness saw a young man come out of a shed and run away.
When he heard the cries he did not think it was anything serious. He afterwards saw the deceased brought out of the shed.
Dr. Costerton, Villa-street, Walworth, said the deceased was brought to the surgery, and upon examination witness found two wounds on either side of the abdomen, the largest being on the right side. Finding the condition the deceased was in he directed the removal of deceased to the hospital.
Dr. Dandy said he saw the deceased when brought into the hospital. He was in a partial state of collapse. Witness examined him, and found severe wounds on each side of the abdomen. The wounds were clean cut. The knife produced would have caused the wounds, but considerable violence must have been
used. Deceased was told he was in a dangerous condition, and he signed a statement which he had made to the police. Witness made a post-mortem, and found that the wounds caused death.
Inspector Hunt, of the Criminal Investigation Department, stated that the deceased signed a statement with regard to the alleged stabbing, giving a description of the attack made upon him by a man. A reward had been offered. On the 23rd April, in company with Inspector Roots, he went to Pentonville Prison, and asked
the prisoner if he knew him. He said he did, as belonging to Carter-street. Witness cautioned him that what he said might be used in evidence against him, and asked if he still adhered to the statement he had made to the governor of the gaol. He said he did, and witness wrote down that statement and read it over to him,
and he signed it. Witness also read over to him, the statement made by the deceased, and he said, "It's all right; but I don't remember going into a public-house." That was the only thing he objected to with regard to Day's statement. Witness produced three pocket knives, and the prisoner picked out one which he said was
the knife he had stabbed the deceased with. The knife was found upon the prisoner when he was charged at this court upon a charge of felony and sent to the sessions for trial.
Mr. Chance: Do you wish to say anything with regard to the evidence? Prisoner: No; it's all correct.
Sergeant Jones proved taking the prisoner into custody upon a charge of felony in February. The knife produced he could not swear to, but a knife was found on the prisoner. The prisoner here rose from his seat, and shook his fist at the witness, and said, "I only wish it had been you instead of Day."
The Chief Warder at Pentonville Prison said the prisoner had remarked that he could not sleep; as he had committed a murder, and he afterwards made a confession.
Inspector Hunt produced the following copy of the confession made by the prisoner: "I, John Bolton, a convict undergoing penal servitude, having been duly cautioned by Inspector Hunt (whom I know) that all I say will be used in evidence against me, do solemnly declare that on the 18th of December last, about a quarter past four
o'clock, I was in South-street, Walworth, where I saw a van containing parcels, one of which I took out and ran away with it. The man who was driving the van ran after me through several streets, and, finding I could not get away, I ran into a coal shed, and hid in a water-closet, where the man found me and caught me by the throat.
We had a struggle, and finding I could not get away, I took out my knife and stabbed him two or three times in the stomach. He then let go, and I ran away. The knife I did it with is the one produced, and taken from me when I was taken for the offence I am now convicted. I never told anyone I did it until the 12th of last month, when I wrote
the particulars on a slate. I did not intend to kill the man. I did not know the man, but I afterwards saw it was Day in the bill offering the reward. I make this confession well knowing the consequence; but I wish to be brought to judgment, because I cannot rest with it on my mind. It has troubled me ever since, and I cannot sleep at night.
- (Signed) JOHN BOLTON."
Mr. Thomas said that was all the evidence.
Mr. Chance, addressing the prisoner, said: You have heard the evidence given against you. You can now say anything in defence if you wish, but you can reserve your defence.
Prisoner: No; I have got nothing to say. It's all right what's been said.
The prisoner was then fully committed to take his trial at the next session of the Central Criminal Court.

Source: Aberdare Times, 17 May 1884, Page 3

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Re: Inspector Thomas Roots

Post by Karen on Mon 15 Dec 2014 - 18:51

A DERBYSHIRE MAN MURDERED IN LONDON.

The confession of the convict John Bolton, now undergoing a sentence of penal servitude in Pentonville Gaol, of the murder of the young man William Henry Day, in Walworth road, London, on the 19th of December last, has aroused much interest in the neighourhood of Whittington, near Chesterfield, of which place Day was a native. The crime
itself was of a singular character, and the circumstances surrounding it were equally peculiar, for, although all the particulars were made public, and the police were furnished with a good description of the murderer, he escaped detection, and probably would never have fallen into the hands of justice had he not confessed to the murder. Day went to
London about four years ago, and obtained employment under Mr. G.W. Clarke, grocer, of Walworth walk, as a goods deliverer. On the afternoon of the 19th December he was out with his horse and dray in Walworth road. While removing some goods from the dray into the house of a customer, Day noticed a young man approach the vehicle and seize
a parcel of tea. The man ran away, and Day went in pursuit. Several people who were passing at the time, and had witnessed the theft joined in the chase, but they were soon out-distanced by the thief and his pursuer. Finding himself hard pressed by Day, the man dropped the parcel and turned suddenly into another thoroughfare. Day passed the parcel
unheeded and followed his man. The latter, discovering that escape was impossible owing to his pursuer being fleeter of foot, then sought shelter in a coal shed off the road. Here Day came up with him, and the two had a fearful struggle. Day being the more powerful of the two, soon pinned his antagonist, but the latter, drawing a knife from one of his pockets,
twice stabbed Day with it in the abdomen, and then threw him on a sack of coke. On leaving the shed he was met by several of the persons who had taken part in the chase, but they evidently did not recognise him, for they asked in which direction the pursuer and pursued had gone. Pointing to the shed, the fellow replied, "In there, and there's a man stabbed;
I'm going for a policeman." On of the bystanders remarked, "If there is, you've stabbed him;" but no further notice was taken of the man, who was allowed to get away. When Day was found, he was lying where the thief had thrown him, and suffering excruciating pain from his wounds. He was immediately removed to Guy's Hospital, where, after lingering three days,
he succumbed to his injuries. While in the Hospital, Day gave an account of what occurred in the shed, and he and others furnished the police with a description of his assailant. Shortly before his death, Day remarked to a friend, "You see, Frank, the is the price of doing one's duty. Thank God, I have done mine to my master." Day was only 24 years of age, and in
Whittington, where his parents still reside, he was well known and much respected.
On Friday, May 9th, John Bolton, aged 22, was brought up in the custody of two warders from Pentonville Prison, and charged before Mr. Chance, at Lambeth Police Court, on his own confession with the murder.
Mr. Barnard Thomas, from the solicitors' department of the Treasury, appeared to prosecute, and Inspector Hunt and Sergeant Weatherhead conducted the case for the police.
In opening the case against the prisoner, Mr. Thomas said the case was an extraordinary one, inasmuch as the prisoner was charged on his own confession. The learned gentleman then detailed the facts of the case, and concluded by remarking that the case did not rest on the testimony of the prisoner as to identification, but rather on the statements of the prisoner
and the deceased and the surrounding circumstances.
Wm. Wigley, 90, Smith's road, Southwark, employed by the Brighton Railway Company said that on the 18th December last he saw William Henry Day driving a van in South street, Walworth. A man took a parcel from the van and threw it into a barrow which was standing by. He then ran into Shaftesbury street. Witness called to the carman and informed him of what the man
had done. Day followed the man and caught hold of him by the coat. The man hit Day, and then ran down South street into Inville road. Witness saw no more of the man, but he afterwards saw Day in Dr. Costerton's surgery. Witness gave a description of the man to the police, but he could not recognise the prisoner as the man, who had whiskers at the time witness saw him (prisoner
was clean shaved.)
Prisoner had no questions to ask.
A witness named Mellish did not answer to his name.
Harry Pooley, residing at 12, South street, Smith street, Walworth, a labourer, stated that he was in Smith street on December 18, about four o'clock in the afternoon, when he heard a scream of "Murder" twice or three times. Then he heard a voice say - "For God's sake come. He is killing me." Shortly after he saw a young man come out of a shed in Smith street. Mr. Hill, who occupied the shed
came out of his shop door and met the young man face to face. The young man said - "There's a young man hurt in your shed. You had better get him off your premises as soon as you can, and I'll go and get a policeman." A man named Welsh, who was standing by, said, "Well, if he's hurt, you've done it."
Mr. Chance asked for Welsh; but Mr. Thomas replied that it would be impossible to have that witness, as he was dying.
Mr. George William Clark, grocer, of Lambeth walk, said that the deceased was in his employ as carman. He was 24 years of age. On December 10 witness sent Day out with a load of goods about 12 o'clock. About six o'clock p.m. the same day he was informed that the deceased had been stabbed, and he saw him several times after in Guy's Hospital.
Dr. Costerton, surgeon, 58, Villa street, Walworth, said that between four and five o'clock on the afternoon of the 18th December, the man Day was brought to his surgery. He was suffering from two wounds in the abdomen. Witness dressed the wounds, and advised the removal of the deceased to the hospital.
Police-constable Moriarty (335 P) gave evidence as to the taking of the man to Guy's Hospital.
Dr. Dendy, residing at Forrest hill, stated that in December last he was surgeon at Guy's Hospital. About half-past five on the 18th of that month the man Day was brought to the hospital, and witness attended him. He was suffering from collapse, and had two wounds in his abdomen. On the right hand side the wound was level with the navel, and on the left it was about three inches from the center
of the stomach. A small penknife was here produced, and witness said that the wounds might have been caused by that instrument, but considerable force must have been used.
Witness continuing said that on the 21st he made Day understand that he was dying. Day then said, "You don't mean to give me up, doctor." Witness wrote the following on a piece of paper, "I, William Hy. Day, believing that I am dying, do declare that the statement I have made to the police is true." Day read the statement over and signed it, and died the next day (22nd). Witness made a post-mortem
examination on the body, and found that both wounds had penetrated the abdominal wall. In addition the right hand wound had transfixed the liver three-quarters of an inch from the front edge, and punctured the gall bladder. Peritonitis was the cause of death. Nearly all the organs of the body were in a healthy state.
The witness, Mellish, now appeared in court, and stated that he was a greengrocer, carrying on business in South street. About four o'clock in the afternoon of December 18, he saw the deceased (Day) running after a man in Smith street. Witness then met his brother-in-law, and together they went into a shed in Smith street, and there saw the deceased lying on the ground stabbed. Witness assisted to take him
to Dr. Costerton's. He did not see enough of the man whom Day was running after to be able to recognise him again.
Inspector Daniel Hunt stated that on the night of December 19th he went to Guy's Hospital, and the deceased then made a statement which he signed.
Mr. Thomas here read a copy of the statement made by the prisoner.
Continuing, Inspector Hunt said that he went to Pentonville Prison on April 23, and saw the prisoner. Witness said, "Do you know who we are?" (Witness was accompanied by Inspector Roots.) Prisoner replied, "Yes, you are Inspector Hunt, of Carter street Police Station, Walworth."
Witness then said, "You know what we have come for then;" and prisoner replied, "Yes." Prisoner made a statement which witness wrote down, and read over to the prisoner, who then signed it. Witness then read Day's statement over to him, and he said that it was all correct except a statement which said that he went into a public house. Witness then produced three pocket knives, and asked the prisoner which he
committed the act with. The prisoner picked out one which had been taken from him when he was arrested by Sergeant James, at Peckham.
Mr. Chance: Have you anything to say, prisoner?
Prisoner: No; what he says is quite correct.
Sergeant James gave evidence as to arresting the prisoner on the charge of stealing a tin of milk from a boy in Rye lane, Peckham.
When asked whether he had anything to say, prisoner stood up and said, "I wish it had been you instead of deceased (Day)," at the time shaking his fist at the officer.
Chief Warder Cosgrove, of Pentonville Prison, deposed that on the 12th of April prisoner asked to see the governor, and in witness' presence said, "I, John Bolton, do solemnly declare that on December 18 last, I stabbed a man at Walworth. He afterwards died, and I have had no rest since. He has been tormenting me ever since." The statement was written down and the prisoner signed it. Prisoner afterwards made a fuller
statement to Inspector Hunt.
This being the whole of the case, the evidence was read over and signed by the witnesses, and Mr. Chance then committed the prisoner for trial to the Central Criminal Court. The prisoner was taken back to Pentonville.

Source: Monmouthshire Merlin, 16 May 1884, Page 3

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Re: Inspector Thomas Roots

Post by Karen on Fri 6 Feb 2015 - 8:32

SERIOUS CHARGE AGAINST AN OFFICER.

John James Parland, an officer in the West Kent Light Infantry, giving his address as Rylands, Hereford, has been charged at the Westminster Police-court, on remand, before Mr. Arnold, with obtaining four horses, value 186 pounds, by fraud,
from Messrs. Tattersall, of Knightsbridge; and he was also charged with incurring a liability, without any reasonable prospect of payment. - The facts of the case were of a singular character. The prisoner, who is well-known at Tattersall's, attended the sale
of the 17th of July last, and four horses were knocked down to him for 186 pounds. In the ordinary course of business he went to the other end of the yard and paid for the horses by cheque on Barker and Company, and he thereupon received an order for the horses,
and took them away; the cheque was paid in through Harries, Farquhar, and Company, but returned marked "Signature incorrect." The prisoner at this time was staying at the Grosvenor Hotel, and on communicating with Barker and Co., the bankers, of Mark-lane, and finding
that they had orders not to pay any of the prisoner's cheques, the prisoner was communicated with, and he called on Messrs. Tattersall and saw one of the partners, to whom he explained that his bankers must have been in error, and giving another cheque on the same bank
gave his word and honour as a gentleman that it would be met. This was paid in and returned marked "Orders not to pay;" and, in fact, it transpired that in May last his account was overdrawn to the extent of more than 40 pounds, that he had given orders not to pay any cheques, and
that on the day he gave the first cheque there were no funds to meet it, and had been none since. A summons was taken out, and, failing prisoner's attendance, a warrant was obtained, and he was traced to Newcastle-on-Tyne, and there apprehended by Detective-sergeant Roots, of the
Scotland-yard force, having been detained by the Newcastle police. On searching him a number of pawn-tickets were found, and a letter from a lawyer threatening criminal proceedings if he did not pay some dishonoured cheques, also a cheque on the Midland Banking Company at Hereford.
He told Sergeant Roots that he knew there was no money at the bank when he paid the cheque, but he expected money to be paid before the cheque was presented, and, as an earnest of that, on the very day he gave the second cheque he bought a horse at Tattersall's for 80 pounds. - In cross-examination
it transpired that the absence of the prisoner was accounted for by the fact that he had gone to Russia to realise some property, and that he had large interest in realisations from other property. - He was again remanded.

Source: Aberystwyth Observer, 14 October 1876, Page 2

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Re: Inspector Thomas Roots

Post by Karen on Fri 6 Feb 2015 - 9:36

ALLEGED FRAUDS BY "LORD HINTON."

Last summer a gentleman calling himself Lord Hinton took Grove House, Whitby, Yorkshire, and has since lived there in grand style. On February 19, however, Inspector Roots, of Scotland Yard, arrested Lord Hinton and two others, and seized some cartloads of goods of all sorts, which were obtained by false pretences for his Lordship's country seat from firms in Scotland, Liverpool, Manchester,
Wolverhampton, and York. On February 21 Inspector Roots, of Scotland Yard, and Superintendent Spence, of Pickering, were continuing their investigations into the extraordinary frauds alleged to have been committed by Lord Hinton, or his agents, in North Yorkshire. Some singular disclosures have been made, and the whole district is excited by the apprehension of his Lordship and his confederates. It
is believed that the scheme of fraud had been prepared with great astuteness. Some months ago a lithographed plan and circular were put forth suggesting the formation of a large hydropathic or health establishment at Needles Eye, Newton Dale. This was brought out with a flourish. The bait not taking readily, the estate was bought by Mrs. Riddell, of Kilday Castle, and the seller then purchased the adjoining property of
Grove House, Levisham, of the York Union Banking Company, ostensibly for a country seat for Lord Hinton. Confidence having been established, a large furnishing order was given to Messrs. Rowntree, of Scarborough, and the place was sumptuously fitted up. Two ladies went down to occupy it, accompanied by men servants, etc. Meanwhile goods of all kinds kept arriving at the Levisham Station, for "Lord Hinton's country seat, and in each
case the consignment note was signed by his Lordship's resident agent." No suspicion was aroused (notwithstanding the peculiarity of some of the goods sent) until the recent proceedings against Lord Hinton in London and the arrival at Pickering of Inspector Roots, of Scotland Yard. Then the local police seized some tons of galvanized iron rooting, iron gates, posts, rails, etc., and furnishing of the house. To these, however, Messrs. Rountrees, of
Scarborough, put in an immediate claim, not having been paid for the goods. They also produced a written agreement satisfactory to the metropolitan detective, and their men have dismantled "Lord Hinton's country seat," and removed their furniture back to Scarborough. Some of the goods sent to Levisham on Lord Hinton's order has been sold, Mr. Yates, ironfounder, of Malton, having been "let in" in this direction. It is stated that large firms in Stirling, Manchester,
Hull, Bradford, and York have been victimised, and other arrests will be made when the right parties can be found. An impression seems to be abroad that the person in custody in connection with the obtaining of goods by false pretences is a pretender who has taken the name of Lord Hinton. This, however, is not so, as, according to the London police authorities, the person they have in their charge is William Turner Thomas, Viscount Hinton, and son of Earl Poulett, of
Hinton St. George, Somersetshire. He was first arrested in London on another charge. The metropolitan police give a singular account of his doings and of his residence in London. Burke's "Peerage" makes no mention of a Lord Hinton, but "Debrett" says that the individual in question was "some time engaged as a clown and professional pantomimist at the Surrey Theatre and elsewhere, under the nom de guerre of Mr. Costman." He was born in 1849 (his father having married
a pilot's daughter at Portsmouth), and he himself married a ballet dancer named Shippey, by whom he had two children.

Source: The New Zealand Herald, Saturday April 10, 1886, Page 2

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Re: Inspector Thomas Roots

Post by Karen on Sat 7 Feb 2015 - 1:16

THE DEVONSHIRE MYSTERY.
MR. SHORTLAND RELEASED FROM CUSTODY.
[From the EUROPEAN MAIL, June 6.]

Mr. Hugh Rutherford Shortland, said to be a New Zealand barrister, who was arrested a month since in connection with the death of his wife, Laura Shortland, in April, was brought before the magistrates for the fourth time on May 31.
Mr. W. Golding, one of the Solicitors to the Treasury, attended on behalf of the Public Prosecutor; and Mr. E.G. Bennett, solicitor, of Plymouth, defended the accused. Mr. Golding, addressing the Bench, said most exhaustive inquiries had
been made by Inspector Roots, of Scotland Yard, and he was bound to say very well made, and the Treasury had considered the result of his report. This tended to remove suspicion from the accused, but he thought the magistrates would agree
with him that Shortland had himself alone to thank for the position in which he had been placed, and for the course which the magistrates had taken in remanding him, and the steps which the Treasury had taken in sifting the circumstance, which became
necessary in consequence of his suspicious actions. No post-mortem examination was made before the inquest, and therefore the body had been exhumed, and the contents of the stomach submitted to Dr. Dupre for analysis. This analysis added
nothing to the information which was already in the possession of the police, and therefore he did not propose to go any further with the case. Inspector Roots was present, as was also the surgeon who made the examination of the body, if the Bench should
desire to examine either of them. He was sure that the legal advisor of the accused must be glad the Treasury had made such an exhaustive inquiry, as it removed the suspicion which seemed to rest around him. Mr. Bennett said it was with considerable
satisfaction, but without the least surprise, that he had heard the statement of the Treasury solicitor, which did not necessitate the accused calling evidence to repel a charge, the very name of which made every honest man shudder. It was a charge which in
the boldness of innocence Mr. Shortland had always repudiated, and felt that he would be able to give an indignant and positive denial to. The chairman, Mr. Ilbert, said her Majesty's Treasury having adopted a course with which the magistrates present entirely
acqueisced, they should direct the discharge of the prisoner. The young man Ryder, in whose parents' house Mr. Shortland was discovered hiding, and who was arrested for complicity in the alleged murder, has given Superintendent Dore, of the County Constabulary,
notice of an action for false imprisonment.

Source: The Taranaki Herald, July 25, 1884


Last edited by Karen on Sat 7 Feb 2015 - 1:39; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Inspector Thomas Roots

Post by Karen on Sat 7 Feb 2015 - 1:17

DESPERATE FEATS OF A BURGLAR.

Inspector Marshall and Inspector Roots, attached to the Criminal Investigation Department, entered on the morning of the 31st January, with a search warrant the room of George Copeland, described as a notorious burglar, in Great Chapel street, Westminster, London. The apartment being found stored with
property which the officers suspected to be the proceeds of recent robberies, Copeland was directed to consider himself in custody. The prisoner was very slightly clad, having scrambled out of bed when he heard the officers ascending to his room. Having reason to regard
Copeland as a desperate man - a revolver was found in his room - the officers had stationed Sergeant Preston to guard the door, a precaution they deemed sufficient. But the window had been opened by the officers from the top to admit of air, and by the prisoner at the bottom
on the pretence that he desired to place a bird on the window-sill; and while the search was proceeding, suddenly Copeland sprang out of the window, over the bar of the upper sash. The jump was 7ft. or 8ft, and the spring was made directly from the floor. It is described as
a splendid feat in gymnastics, and the police officers who were present express the utmost astonishment at the act of prisoner, who, it is said, was attired at the time in "burglars' stockings." The police confess that they saw only the prisoner's heels, and when Inspector Marshall, who
immediately made a rush, got to the outer door, Copeland was nowhere to be seen. Copeland had sprung a distance of 12 feet on to the leads of another house, and thence he had jumped the height of another storey into a yard below. He got clear away, but Inspector Marshall was quickly
on the track of the prisoner. Copeland eventually made for some waste land lying between the new Westminster Town Hall and the St. James' Park station, and there he was brought up by the high wall which guards an open part of the Underground railway. Whether he came suddenly upon this
wall, or whether he purposely jumped it, cannot be judged, but over it he went. Its height is no less than 25 ft, and Copeland must have fallen upon it with a great thud. From the ballast at the side of the wall he rolled on to the shunting line alongside, and there he was discovered unsuccessfully
attempting to move from the platform by one of Partrington's billstickers, whom he threatened when he approached. He was at once conveyed to the Westminster Hospital, where it was found that he had lost part of his left ear, had sustained a fracture of the head, had injured his arm, and broke
his leg.

Source: Marlborough Express, Volume XX, Issue 83, 9 April 1884, Page 3

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Re: Inspector Thomas Roots

Post by Karen on Mon 9 Feb 2015 - 15:49

REMARKABLE CASE OF FRAUD.

EDMUND GRACE WASTFIELD, civil engineer has been charged at the Liverpool Quarter Sessions with having obtained several sums of money by false pretences from Mr. T.E. Morris, optician and chemist. In April, 1883, the wife of the prosecutor died,
and about 14 months after her sister charged Mr. Morris with having murdered his wife. Inspector Roots, of Scotland Yard, was sent to investigate the matter, with the result that he declared there was no ground for the charge. Then the wife's sister was sued
by Mr. Morris for slander and libel, and the case resulted in his favour. Towards the end of last year the prisoner made some repairs for Mr. Morris, and professed great sympathy with him in his troubles. Early this year he called on Mr. Morris and informed him
than an inspector named Clarke, from Scotland Yard, had called to tell him that the Government had sent him down to re-investigate the charges against Morris. The prisoner said that he could watch Clarke and keep Morris informed, so that he should not be arrested
again, and that his wife's relations were going to dispute her will, and also have her body exhumed. On these representations Mr. Morris was induced to give the prisoner from time to time about 100 pounds. Prisoner also made the acquaintance of John Thornton, a relative
of the late Mrs. Morris, and, representing himself to be Inspector Clarke, tried to obtain 30 pounds from him, but he was told that if the Government employed him the Government must pay him. All the stories by which the prisoner obtained money from Morris, and attempted
to obtain money from Thornton, were fabrication. The defence was that the whole affair was an arrangement between the prisoner and the prosecutor to draw from the Thorntons an admission that they were the originators and instigators of the charges against Morris. The jury
found the prisoner guilty of obtaining money by false pretences from Mr. Morris, with intent to defraud Thornton. The Recorder sentenced the prisoner to be imprisoned with hard labour for 15 months.

Source: The New Zealand Herald, Saturday October 24, 1885, Page 2

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Re: Inspector Thomas Roots

Post by Karen on Mon 9 Feb 2015 - 15:49

THE SHORTLAND CASE.
Extraordinary Letter from Shortland.

(FROM OUR LONDON CORRESPONDENT.)
LONDON, July 17.

The Shortland murder case, which came to a premature full stop three weeks ago, has been reopened by the publication of the following extraordinary letter from Mr. Hugh Shortland in the "Western Daily Mercury." Public opinion in Devonshire, I understand, supports the unfortunate husband's
application for a renewed inquiry. The "Mercury," referring to the matter in a sub leader, says: - "The death of this young lady was so mysterious, and the surrounding circumstances pointed so clearly to foul play, that it would be false sentiment on our part to interpose any barrier to their elucidation
under the pretence that the time has gone by. It has been suggested that nothing is to be gained by further investigation. We think that everything is to be gained. Medical men who have closely weighed the circumstances, and who have been afforded peculiar opportunities for giving them their attention,
have not hesitated to assure us that they are convinced that the deceased neither met her death by accident nor by the act of her own hand, but that she was in some manner drugged prior to immersion. Mr. Shortland has taken counsel of medical men also, and he finds that they hold the same views in this
connection as himself. He claims a husband's right to probe this mystery to its depths, and he threshes out the various theories advanced with marvelous skill, attesting a remarkable familiarity with the expert phases of the question which could only have been acquired by a layman whose sympathies had been
very deeply enlisted in the pursuit. Mr. Shortland is naturally very anxious to remove every shred of suspicion that may be attached to him in consequence of his arrest, and he yesterday proceeded to London in order that he may persuade the Home Secretary that the interests of justice require the reopening of
the inquest. We hope he will succeed, because we think the failure to clear up many a forgotten crime has been too often associated with the disinclination of the authorities to proceed on a new track after they have been baffled in regard to a particular theory."
Here is Shortland's letter. Both its manner and matter are eccentric, but condensed into common-sense English, the arguments seem fairly sound -
"SIR, - It is time for me, and just for me, to inform the public of my thought and action regarding the dreadful death of my poor wife.
As soon after my incarceration as my physician, Dr. Square, would allow, I commenced a most searching inquiry both by day and by night.
I visited every requisite person and place in any way likely to be interested.
During such investigation, I came across startling revelations.
Now, in this letter, sir, I shall not enter into detail.
I have in my possession details which would both baffle and puzzle the world.
But let me, sir, place the matter on a broad basis, that there would be no detail, no hypothesis, and no hysterics.
Let us be bold, fair, and honest.
Now the basic position is this in legal phraseology: "There has never been an honest inquiry over the body of a good and true Englishwoman."
I shall not say much on this point.
You all know of it.
The inquest was partial, incapable, and - what shall I say? will say - dishonest.
We claim, therefore, sir, in our legal and moral rights an honest inquest over the body of one of our countryfolk.
And we will have it.
Calling all parties and investigating all circumstances with instruments of the best and ablest nature.
Detective Roots's inquiries were semi-official and without oath, and directed in a particular channel.
Able and searching as those inquiries were, they were private.
Which is to hold a private Treasury investigation or an investigation in an open court of law.
Nothing came to light before the magistrates. These well-conditioned gentlemen were naturally paralysed, so to say, with confusion born of ignorance and incapacity, and were led by the string of a tempestuous superintendent.
Now I hold most firmly, after calm and long consideration, I will confess at once that a most accomplished, depraved, and audacious murderer of the blackest and vilest villainy has been committed.
And for this reason, I am now on my way to town to consult the ablest official and non official personages on the matter.
I shall represent at the Home Office now how and why, and by whom, this more than Satanic crime was committed.
Why and by whom I shall not now endeavour to indicate or insinuate, but I will know the reason why, and I will move heaven and earth to bring the murderer to the gallows.
The first court before which the matter should come, being the Coroner's Court, is merely investigatory. There there is on accusation, no accused, and no prosecution. All witnesses are there called upon to tell "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth,"
as in a mere investigation.
All criminatory matter, per se, is reserved for a court of magistrates, where the prima facie case is made out for assize.
But how? This question I will answer at once.
By poison.
An evanescent vegetable poison may have been administered by way of a draught or otherwise, to the stomach, through the throat; or an evanescent mineral poison may have been administered, by way of perfume or otherwise, to the brain through the nostrils.
There may have been administration in sleep, in weariness, or otherwise, or there may have been administration in awakedness, coaxingly, or otherwise.
The poisoned body may have been carried after death in rigor mortis and placed for awhile in the grotto hidden by trees behind the seat near the pond.
The poisoned body may have been at any rate finally placed some time after death in the pond, as found, in the deepest and most convenient water at hand.
And be it carefully noted here, once for all, the very late date of the analysis and post mortem examination after decomposition had fast set in. And by whom was the post-mortem examination conducted? By "three learned medical experts."
And the brain was never analysed. May there not have been cuticle poisoning acting on the brain?
For the impregnable sense and truth of this opinion I ask you to re-read, sir, your report of the inquest.
As to further matters in my possession found in investigation corroborative, I must as yet observe silence.
This is necessary, as you can well understand, sir, more by policy than by duty, or else we should be providing a general brief.
I will now at once endeavour to thrash into powder the suicide theory.
Mind, sir, I do not once in this letter dwell on details, strong though they be, but I remain throughout upon broad grounds.
Against the suicide theory we have: -
1st. No appearances of any external struggle or disturbance on apparel, person, or on surrounding ground or mud, &c.
2nd. No appearances of drowning (posture and nature, &c.)
3rd. No motive (well, happy, contented, occupied), vide the inquest.
4th. No evidences (no farewell letters, no conversation, no attitude, &c.)
5th. No disposition, mental or physical (robust and courageous), *remember out of history Cleopatra's case, merely as to its general lessons. Consider every point.
6th. No heredity.
7th. General health and age against same.
(Vide the inquest.)
Now as against the accidental theory:
1. There was no attempt at an easy escape by the sloping banks of the pond to the right and to the left of the partial stone-coping.
2. There are no appearances of drowning (posture and nature)
3. There are no appearances of external struggle or disturbance on apparel, person, or on neighbouring ground and mud, &c.
Now as to the heart disease, catalepsy and syncope, and otherwise theory. I will undertake single-handed to thrash them into powder at a proper date.

Source: The Auckland Evening Star, Monday August 25, 1884

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Re: Inspector Thomas Roots

Post by Karen on Wed 11 Feb 2015 - 8:35

THE SHORTLAND CASE.
[FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.]

LONDON, May 22.

The investigations of the detectives have as yet thrown little additional light upon the miserable circumstances attending the death of Mrs. Laura Constantia Shortland. The farmers
residing in the neighbourhood of Oldstone Manor, her father's residence, speak in the highest praise of her good qualities, describing her as affable, kind-hearted, and courteous to everybody.
Mr. Hugh Rotherford Shortland, her husband, who is suspected of having caused her death, still remains in confinement, but is permitted to take daily exercise. He protests his innocence, but exhibits
few signs of concern at the position in which he is placed. He is confident that the charge against him must come to nothing. The solicitor to the Treasury has directed Mr. Thomas Roots, an Inspector of
the Criminal Investigation Department, to make an exhaustive examination and investigation into the case. Owing to a suspicion that the unfortunate young lady might have been poisoned before being
placed in the pond where her body was found, her remains were exhumed from Dartmouth Cemetery on May 14, and after a careful post-mortem examination, the intestines were sent to Dr. Dupre, of Westminster
Hospital, for analysis - the body being reinterred. Mr. Shortland was brought before the Devonshire Magistrate, at Kingsbridge, on the 15th instant, and after some formal evidence had been given by Inspector Roots,
was remanded until the 23rd instant. So great was the interest felt in the case that hundreds of persons flocked into Kingsbridge from the whole country round, and long before the proceedings commenced, the Court
and its approaches were besieged with people. So great was the crush, that several women were carried out in a half-fainting condition, and at times excitement ran very high. There was a full Bench of Magistrates, but
no prosecuting solicitor was present. The prisoner was represented by Mr. E.G. Bennett, of Plymouth; and Mr. H. Square, of Dartmouth, watched the case on behalf of Mr. and Mrs. Dimes, the parents of the deceased lady.
The accused walked in with firm bearing and perfect self-possession. He was well dressed in dark-coloured clothing, and had a black kid glove on his left hand. The only thing that tended somewhat to detract from his personal
appearance was a week's growth of beard on a usually nearly clean-shaven face. He was not placed in a dock, but stood outside the enclosed space in front of the magistrates, reserved for solicitors and the police officials.
Occupying a position behind his solicitor, he leant forward with his arms folded, looking composed, and apparently unconcerned at the serious charge preferred against him. No trace of emotion was observable on his features
even at the most painful part of the detective officer's statement, having reference to the post-mortem examination of the body of his wife on the previous day, and the despatch of portions of that body to London for the purpose of
analysis. There was only one demonstration of feeling during the proceedings, and that was a slight attempt at applause when the prisoner's solicitor took objection to his being sketched by the artist of a London pictorial journal, who arrived
soon after Shortland had been brought into the Court, and who took up his position about a dozen feet from the prisoner, from whence a good side view of his features could be obtained. The Bench made no order.
The following details, which have been published, may prove interesting to Auckland readers, though they throw no particular light upon the mysterious crime which appears to have been perpetrated: -
Oldstone House, the residence of the deceased lady's father, is situated a little off the road from Modbury to Dartmouth, and, though in the parish of Blackawton, is a considerable distance from the village of that name. The house lies on a slope,
approached by an avenue of firs, and is not within view from the main road. It is a curious, irregularly built structure, with Gothic windows and other features, suggesting that at one time it was an abbey or conventual establishment. The grounds in
the immediate vicinity of the house are thickly wooded. A winding avenue, in which stand some fine old beeches and elm trees, leads down to the pond where Mrs. Shortland met with her untimely end. The pond is one of a series of three, each separated
from the other by a small embankment, and one draining into the other. Beech, oak, and elm trees grow close to the edge of the water. The surface of the higher pond is almost covered with weeds. The bottom shelves gradually on all sides but one, viz., that
where the embankment has been built, which separates this sheet of water from its neighbour. Here the bank is a sheer wall, and there are from five to six feet of water at the deepest part. The bottom is covered with mud to a depth of three or four inches, and the
water is crowded with weeds. It was at this point that Mrs. Shortland's body was discovered, with about an inch of water over the hat.
Scores of persons have visited the pond, and the result has been the discovery of footprints evidently of one or more men. All these marks are in the mud in a depth of about six inches of water, and the face of the deceased lady as she was found standing upright in the water
was directly towards those marks. The footprints being impressions in the soft mud, cannot be taken up. Whether they were made by visitors or by other persons is of course a matter of pure conjecture. Some persons are disposed to attach no importance to these marks, believing
that they must have been made by visitors to the pond; but, on the other hand, it is pointed out as hardly likely that visitors would thus step into six inches of water. There is a suggestion abroad in support of the theory of murder, that the person or persons who committed the crime
afterwards hid himself or themselves for a time among the trees in the surrounding woods. This part of the grounds, however, has been thoroughly searched by the police, and no trace whatever has been found that would lend weight to the supposition. It is now stated that whilst hiding
in the house of the man Ryder, at Modbury, Shortland was daily engaged in busily writing, and that he had actually prepared his defence prior to his arrest for the crime of which he is suspected.
It will be remembered that at the inquest Mrs. Dimes, mother of the deceased, stated that she visited the pond in which her daughter's body was found on the afternoon of the day that she was missed, and now a mason named Wills affirms that on the same day he was working opposite the stables
at Oldstone Manor, when he saw Mr. Dimes, Mrs. Shortland's father, ride down the road which ends only on the margin of the pool. Further investigation strengthens the belief that the body was floating in an upright position, and not standing at the spot where it was discovered. Before the pool was drained,
a "waterlogged" stick, about four feet in length, and the size of a man's wrist, was found floating perpendicularly, with the upper end an inch or two below the surface of the pool, just as Mrs. Shortland's head was stated to be. Still more strange, although the police moved this stick away, it was always carried back
to the same spot, apparently by the action of a current, and there remained motionless. It is now remembered that when the body of Mrs. Shortland was being drawn out of the pond towards the wall, her dress, which was hooked to a large stick used for the purpose, gave way, and the body floated back to its former
place, and again assumed an upright position. Subsequent experiments with pieces of heavy wood have been tried with the same result, and the inference drawn from this is that Mrs. Shortland may not have fallen or been thrown into that part of the pond at all, but at some other part, and was drawn by the current to the spot
where it was subsequently discovered. The water at this point was quite seven feet deep, and the mud at the bottom six feet deep. There were no traces of footmarks at the spot where the body was found. Mr. Percy Dimes, father of the deceased lady, resolutely refused to answer any questions. He declined to say where Mr.
Shortland slept on the two days immediately following the marriage, on the ground that it is useless to pursue such an inquiry, and he made a similar reply when asked about the relations existing between Mr. Shortland and himself arising out of the marriage. All he knew was that the last time he saw his daughter alive was when she
retired to rest on the Sunday night prior to her being missed on the Monday afternoon, and that she was found drowned in the pond on the following Tuesday morning. It has not been ascertained that Mr. Shortland was in the neighbourhood of Oldstone Manor on the day on which his wife was found in the pond. At Blackawton, the theory
of suicide is maintained, and Shortland's peculiar conduct in pretending to be going to New Zealand, and then going no further than Modbury, is attributed to his well-known eccentricity of conduct. Robinson, the rural letter-carrier, adheres to his statement that he saw Shortland riding about in the neighbourhood at the time when he was said
to be concealed in Ryder's house, and he is now able to fix the date as Friday, the 2nd inst., which was a day or two after the finding of Mrs. Shortland's body. A man named Samuel Collard and his wife, residing at Modbury, on May 9 gave particulars of certain suspicious circumstances which came under their notice.
Mrs. Collard says: - "Last Saturday week I was going down the street when I saw Mr. Shortland in Ryder's yard, and Ryder pulled him in quickly. The next day I said to Ryder, "Isn't it a funny thing about Mr. Shortland's wife being drowned? What will he say?" To which Ryder replied, "He will be in a fine way when he hears of it. He's gone away
to New Zealand." A curious and rather inexplicable feature about his story is that Mrs. Collard did not at once tell Ryder that his statement could not be true, as she saw Shortland on his premises the day before. The husband tells also a story, which may be found on further inquiry to have an important bearing on the surrounding circumstances.
About the time of Shortland's marriage Collard was engaged to drive him from Modbury to Courtlands, the residence of his aunt, Mrs. Shortland. It was after ten o'clock at night when they started, and Collard did not reach home until two o'clock the next morning. During the journey Shortland considerably frightened Collard by his extraordinary conduct.
Producing a revolver, he said, "Collard, I'm not afraid of anybody. I've been abroad. They can't get over me. I can kill them all." Collard left Shortland at Courtlands, and was very glad to part company with him. In relating this incident Collard said, referring to Shortland, "I don't think the man is right. I've a good nerve generally, and I've been in different
parts of the world, but I've never seen a man I was so much afraid of in my life." Collard declares that he knows nothing about Shortland's movements during the week or fortnight immediately prior to the supposed murder, but, judging from certain emphatic expressions which escaped him, he seems to know more about the affair than he cares to divulge.
Why, if he does not, he should declare his intention of being off at once to some other part of the country is not quite comprehensible. His wife's statement, too, despite her protestations to the contrary, is open to the like suspicion of being partial and purposely incomplete. Although evidently not a woman of highly nervous temperatment, she displayed no small
amount of agitation when questioned about Shortland's visit to her for the hire of her pony, and more than once desired to be assured that she should not be done anything to in connection with the matter.
Mrs. Hicks, of Kingswear, has informed the police that at about eleven a.m. on April 28, as she was driving with a lady friend near Slapton, she saw two young men dressed like gentlemen riding about ten yards behind a lady who is believed to have been Mrs. Shortland. It was observed that she suddenly quickened the pace of her horse, the men doing the same,
as if intending to keep near her. They were followed by two small dogs. Before quickening their pace the men were riding slowly, and were apparently in conversation.
Another statement has been made, which if true, tends at least to throw discredit on the Ryders' statement, that Shortland was not out of their house at Modbury from the 10th of April to the date of his arrest, the 7th of May. Mr. S. Alford, landlord of the Ship and Plough Hotel, Kingsbridge, has stated that a fortnight or three weeks since he received a visit in his bar from
Ryder, junior, and another young man whom he believed to be Hugh Shortland. The pair had some refreshment, and were engrossed in some conversation which led to Ryder being sent by his companion to the telegraph office for a message. The way in which the two were whispering together gave the landlord the impression that they were "hatching mischief." Soon after Ryder's
return from the Post Office they left the house together. The two things that the landlord was somewhat in doubt about were as to the identity of Shortland and the date of his visits, he being at first under the impression that it was Saturday, April 26th. On May 14 the landlord was one of the spectators in Court at the second examination of Shortland, and the result of his carrying out
his intention of "having a good look at him" was that he has since declared him to be the man who was in his bar with John Ryder. He also now fixes the date of their visit as Thursday the 17th of April.
According to the latest information, the county police, after full inquiry in every direction likely to throw light on the circumstances attending Mrs. Shortland's death, have given up all prospect of obtaining any evidence that Mr. Shortland was in the neighbourhood of Blackawton or Oldstone Manor on the day of his wife's death. They do not therefore propose to pursue their investigations
any further until the result is made known of Dr. Dupre's analysis. It is understood that at least another week must elapse before Dr. Dupre can complete his investigations and make his report, and under these circumstances the Treasury has ordered that when Mr. Shortland is brought up on remand on Friday, the 23rd inst., an application for a further remand is to be made. The investigations
which have been made during this week tend to disprove many of the statements which have been made as to Mr. Shortland having been seen in the neighbourhood of Blackawton on the day of his wife's death, and there seems no reason to doubt the accuracy of the man Ryder's statement that Shortland was secreted in his house at Modbury from the time he took farewell of his wife until he was
arrested on suspicion of having murdered her. There is now a strong belief that Mrs. Shortland's death was accidental.

Source: The New Zealand Herald, Monday June 30, 1884, Page 6

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