Henry Moore Exposed Le Grand

Posted: December 8, 2009 in The Non-Rippers
Mr. Henry Moore, senior chief inspector in the detective branch of the New Scotland Yard, has given to a representative of the Daily Telegraph some reminiscences of his long career.
Many of the cases in which he  has been prominently concerned during the past couple of decades have not yet died out of public recollection. One of his earliest was the notorious Wimbledon poisoning tragedy, when Dr. Lamson, in 1881, administered aconite in a capsule to his crippled cousin, Percy Malcolm John, a schoolboy, and afterwards coolly walked into Scotland Yard, never thinking that he would be detained, or that guilt could be brought home to him. Perhaps no officer had more anxious work to discharge in connection with the so-called Whitechapel murders than Mr. Moore, but he is reluctant to talk of those trying times, though, in common with his colleagues, he has formed a shrewd surmise as to the identity of the actual miscreant, who is now dead. Still more recently he was engaged in running to earth at Toulon the Frenchman Ravellot, who, in October, 1894, murdered, in Old Crompton street, Father Gabriel J. Sequi. Then, again, upon the murder of Antoine Brosisetti at a house in Castle street, Long Acre, in November, 1897, it was Mr. Moore who secured the arrest, near Turin, of Giuseppi Ravetti, who is now undergoing a sentence of thirty-years’ imprisonment for the horrible crime, the motive of which was to secure the old shoemaker’s hoarded gold.
Murder alone, however, has not been the chief inspector’s speciality. It is sufficient to recall his investigation of the Langtry jewel case, and the part which he and Inspector Richards played in tracing the perpetrators of the great stock transfer stamp frauds at Somerset House nine years ago; and also his successful exposure of a notorious blackmailer, Charles Grandy, alias Le Grand, whose victims were titled ladies. He has had pass through his hands upon their arrest an ex-London County Councillor and a former Lord-lieutenant of Worcestershire. Mr. Moore was engaged, with ex-Chief inspector Forest in the mass of work entailed by the steps to procure the conviction of Wright, Hobbs, Newman, and Balfour in connection with the Liberator frauds and he tells an amusing story in relation to the return of Balfour to this country.
"When Balfour was expected at Southampton the order was given that no pressmen should be permitted to get near him. Forest and I hired a launch, and whilst the reporters were looking all round the hotels for me we were lying off the Isle of Wight, waiting for the ship with the prisoner on board to come up in the morning. Then the Press tug came down, and the men on board did not realise that Balfour was on my little launch that steamed past them. Suddenly they suspected it, and then began a chase to Southampton. The tug passed us, but they went into the Empress Dock, whilst I slipped to another place, where a carriage was waiting, and so we evaded the whole crowd of interviewers."
"Did you ever stand in danger of your life, Mr. Moore?"
"I think I did when I jumped into the van containing the fifteen ingots of silver. Two men were at the back. That was in the case where thirty-one ingots, valued at L4,900 had been stolen from a Midland Railway van in 1895, and some of them were found in the possession of Sarti, who recently committed suicide. It was then that I got up Sergeant Harris as a buyer, and I entrusted him with L1,600 in bank notes to show the men who held the bulk of the silver. They might have murdered him had they suspected his identity."
"What has been your most extraordinary clue?"
"I recall a case where a man was "wanted" in the West Indies. He was traced to Pimlico, but I found he had gone away from the house an hour or so before I arrived. The only clue was that he had taken a cab with a grey horse. My game was to look for a grey horse in a cab, and I had not walked a quarter of a mile before I hailed the driver of such an animal. It was the very cabman I wanted. My man was not inside, but I succeeded in arresting him at Liverpool, and took him back to the West Indies.
"I recollect another case in which, whilst tracing the abductor of an heiress, I came upon another couple who had eloped under precisely the same conditions from Germany.
"Once I had a curious presentiment. A man was arrested for fraud, and as he stood in the dock at the police court I felt that he had something upon him. He had been searched, but I had him searched again – still without result. But I still was conscious of the same presentiment, and I had him stripped. In his sock there was a little bottle of poison."
Source: Clutha Leader, Volume XXVI, Issue 1374, 9 February 1900, Page 7
Note: In this article, you will notice that Moore’s mention of the Whitechapel murderer as being someone who is now dead is a separate anecdote from his mention of the notorious blackmailer Charles Grandy or Le Grand, whose victims were titled ladies; not prostitutes.

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