Has anyone got an interest in the Whitechapel vigilance committee, does any documentation survive that gives a list of members?
Where there any other similar committee's set up during the Whitechapel murders?
East London Advertiser, 22 September, 1888 (Credit to Monty)
Lusk occupied the chair, and there were present, amongst others, Messrs. Cohen, Aarons, Houghton, H. A. Harris, Laughton, Lord, Isaacs, Rogers, Mitchell, Barnett, Hodgins, Lindsay, Reeves, Jacobs, and B. Harris, the hon. sec.
This committee hired Charles Legrand and J.H. Batchelor to aid the men in their duties. These two "detectives" were the original source of the Packer grape story. They were paid for their information by the Evening News. Legrand was a pimp, woman abuser and suspect in the Whitechapel murders.
Also, The Spitalfields Vigilance Committee was in existence in 1889. Headed by W.T Stead, George Evans, Issac Van Gelder and M. Martin.
This letter was published in the Daily News 1st Oct;
TO THE EDITOR OF THE DAILY NEWS.
SIR,-As Chairman of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee, who communicated without result with the Home Secretary with the view of obtaining, on behalf of the public at large, the offer of a Government reward for the apprehension and conviction of the assassin or assassins in the recent East-end atrocities, we shall be glad if you will allow us to state that the committee do not for one moment doubt the sincerity of the Home Secretary in refusing the said offer, as he apparently believes that it would not meet with a successful result. If he would, however, consider that in the case of the Phœnix Park murders the man Carey, who was surrounded by, we may say, a whole society steeped in crime, the money tempted him to betray his associates. In our opinion, if Mr. Matthews could see his way clear to coincide with our views, the Government offer would be successful. The reward should be ample for securing the informer from revenge, which would be a very great inducement in the matter, in addition to which such offer would convince the poor and humble residents of our East-end that the Government authorities are as much anxious to avenge the blood of these unfortunate victims as they were the assassination of Lord F. Cavendish and Mr. Burke.-Apologising for troubling you, believe us to be, faithfully yours.
1, 2, and 3, Alderney-road, Mile-end, E., Sept. 29.
East London Advertiser 14th Sept 1889 (shortly after Pinchin St torso found);
Mr. Albert Backert [Bachert], chairman of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee, writes as follows: As chairman of the last-formed Whitechapel Vigilance Committee, I have been questioned by a large number of people about this discovery. From the time our committee was formed, my colleagues and myself have done all in our power to discover the Whitechapel murderer. Night after night I have been out watching and making inquiries; but when the dock labourer's strike commenced the interest in the murders seemed to cool down, and thus several of my supporters relaxed the energy they had hitherto displayed… From inquiries, I am confident that the murderer is a Whitechapel person, or at any point he is well acquainted with the back streets. It is a curious fact that in all places where these murders have occurred the houses are such that any person can enter by pulling a string which lifts the latch. My opinion is that the murderer knows this, and that the moment he has committed a murder he enters one of these houses. I firmly believe that if the police had searched the houses in the vicinity the moment a murder was discovered, the murderer would have been captured.