Ripper Reminiscences

Posted: August 8, 2009 in Other Ripper Research
A phase of the famous Jack the Ripper case as presented in the reminiscences of Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Henry Smith, late Commissioner of Police for the City of London. Sir Henry does not believe the stories that have been told lately regarding the discovery of the identity of the famous murderer. He has no more idea now who the culprit was than he had twenty years ago. One clue that might have been very valuable was lost owing to the rather stupid act of a man high in authority. A woman had been murdered in the usual brutish fashion and a piece of her apron was missing. One of the detectives who were dealing with the case was scouring Whitechapel, and in a main street he found a constable of the Metropolitan Police looking at important fragment of cloth. It was lying, folded up, in the door of one of the Peabody model dwellings, and on the woodwork, written in chalk were the words: "The Jews are the men that won’t be blamed for anything." The find seemed to show that the murderer had passed that way, and the hand-writing might have assisted the police to trace his identity. A constable was left to guard the door while arrangements were made for photographing the inscription, but before the camera had been secured a high officer from headquarters arrived and promptly ordered that the chalk marks should be obliterated. He feared that riots against the Jews might be caused, and at the touch of a handkerchief the clue disappeared. On another occasion Sir Henry got into communication with a man who indicated that he could give some information in regard to the murders, but the individual failed to keep a second appointment and could not be traced. Even at this late period it would give the old Police Commissioner pleasure to touch Jack the Ripper upon the shoulder.
Source: Grey River Argus, 24 November 1910, Page 2
The London correspondent of the New York World telegraphs: – The most intense amusement has been raised among all classes of the London world by the arrest last week of little Sir George Arthur on suspicion of being the Whitechapel murderer. Sir George is a young baronet holding a captaincy in a regiment of Royal Horse Guards, and is a member of most of the leading clubs in town. He is also a well-known amateur actor, and was a great friend of the late Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany. Since the past few weeks, the old mania for "slumming" in Whitechapel has become fashionable again. Every night scores of young men who have never been to the East End before in their lives prowl round the neighborhood in which the murders were committed, talking with the frightened women, and pushing their way into overcrowded lodging-houses. So long as any two men keep together, and do not make a nuisance of themselves, the police do not interfere with them. But if a man goes alone, and tries to lure a woman of the street into a secluded corner to talk with her, he is pretty sure to get into trouble. That was the case with Sir George Arthur. He put on an old shooting coat, a slouch hat, and went down to Whitechapel for a little fun. He got it. It occurred to two policemen that Sir George answered very much the popular description of Jack the Ripper. They watched him, and when they saw him talking with a woman, they proceeded to collar him. He protested, expostulated, and threatened them with the vengeance of royal wrath, but in vain. Finally, a chance was given to him to send to a fashionable West-end club to prove his identity, and he was released with profuse apologies for the mistake. The affair was kept out of the newspapers. But the jolly young baronet’s friends at Brook’s Club considered the joke too good to be kept quiet.
Sir George is quite a figure in his way in London. He is a son of the late Sir Frederick Arthur, who was an influential man in his day. Sir George was conspicuous on the turf a few years ago and was intimately associated with the Dowager Duchess of Montrose. He then turned his attention to theatricals, and when the Bancroft’s produced "Fedora" they allowed Sir George to appear as the corpse.
Source: Marlborough Express, Volume XXV, Issue 24, 29 January 1889, Page 4
The London correspondent of the Dublin Evening Press gives an extraordinary account of the career and death of a man believed by the police to be "Jack the Ripper." Some years ago (says the correspondent) there resided in a country village in Norfolkshire a medical man who was much respected, and who enjoyed an extensive practice. A woman of respectable appearance came to reside in the village, no one knew whence or for what purpose. She became acquainted with the doctor, and gained such an influence over him that he neglected his practice, and eventually became heavily involved that he suddenly disappeared to avoid his creditors. It was known that he came to London, that his evil companion abandoned him, and that he was picking up a precarious existence by scavenging and other odd jobs in Whitechapel. That he was in that district during the murders is certain, and that he was almost continually drunk is also equally true. Late one winter’s night, after the latest murder ascribed to Jack the Ripper was committed, he was thrown out of a low public-house in the East End, and run over by a heavy goods van. He was taken to a hospital, and died without regaining consciousness. Since then there have been no murders, nor any of that character which made Whitechapel notorious, expected in the future.
Source: The West Australian (Perth, WA), Thursday 9 June 1892, page 3

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