Arrests, Updates And Suspicions

By the 19th of November, 1888, it was becoming more than apparent that the police were no nearer catching the perpetrator of the Whitechapel atrocities than they had been prior to the murder of Mary Nichols.

And yet, suspects were still being rounded up and taken in for questioning,, or else were being brought to the attention of the police by citizens whose motives could, to say the least, be doubted.

The Nottingham Evening Post, on Monday, 19th November, 1888, provided its readers with an update as to what the police were doing in their attempts to catch Jack the Ripper and solve the mystery once and for all.

As you will see on reading the article, promising leads were being followed up by the detectives, but, no sooner had they followed them up, than they found themselves back at square one:-


On Saturday afternoon a communication from the Birmingham detectives to the effect that a man suspected of being concerned in the Whitechapel murders had left Birmingham by train for London was at once acted upon by the Scotland-yard authorities.

Detectives Leach and White, of the Criminal Investigation Department, proceeded to Willesden junction and Euston respectively, and at the latter station, Inspector White, on the arrival of the Birmingham train, detained the suspected individual and conveyed him to Scotland-yard.


It was stated that the man had been staying at common lodging-house in Birmingham since Monday last, and the theory was that if, as was supposed by the police, he was connected with the East End crimes, he left the Metropolis by an early train on the morning of the tragedies.

The suspect was medical man who was some years ago practising in London with another gentleman of some repute, and it was also said that he had practised at Nottingham and Manchester. He was of gentlemanly appearance and manners, and he somewhat resembled the description given by witnesses at the inquest as having been seen in company with Mary Kelly early on the morning that she was murdered.

Upon being minutely questioned as to his whereabouts at the time of the murders, the suspect was able to furnish a satisfactory account of himself, and was accordingly liberated.


The statement made by a man to Packer, the fruit-seller of Berner-street, that he was of the opinion that his cousin had committed the foul deeds, is still being investigated by the detectives, who are inclined to doubt the veracity of greater portion of the details.

They, however, believe they have found the cousin referred to, and attach little importance to what was at first supposed to be a substantial clue.


The funeral the murdered woman, Kelly, has once more been postponed. It seems that the deceased was a Catholic, and the man Barnett, with whom she lived, and her landlord, Mr. M’Carthy, desired to see her remains interred with the ritual of her Church.

The funeral will, therefore, take place to-morrow in the Roman Catholic Cemetery at Leytonstone. The hearse will leave the Shoreditch mortuary at half-past twelve.


The police authorities have received some information to the effect that the Whitechapel murderer is supposed to travel from Manchester, Birmingham, or some other town in the Midlands for the purpose of committing the crimes. Detectives have been engaged at Willesden and Euston watching the arrival of trains from the Midlands and the North, and looking for any suspicious passenger, but their efforts up to the present have not met with any success.


One of the men arrested last week in the metropolis on suspicion of being the perpetrator of the Whitechapel horrors proves to be a Leicester man, named Albert Johnson, a labourer residing on the Highfields.

Johnson is in the employ of Messrs. Gimson, builders, and, at the time of his arrest, he was engaged in certain work which his employers had undertaken in London.

He was detained in custody for some considerable time pending telegraphic inquiries, and these proving satisfactory he was set at liberty.

Johnson is a nephew of Police Constable Clarke, of the Leicester police force.