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Go Back   Casebook Forums > Ripper Discussions > Police Officials and Procedures > Anderson, Sir Robert

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  #1  
Old 11-18-2015, 11:30 AM
mklhawley mklhawley is offline
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Default Anderson Interview Nov 14 by the NY Sun

Hi all,

Below is an interview with the New York Sun London correspondent Frank White with Assistant Commissioner Anderson on November 14, 1888 (Sun, Nov 26, 1888):

Notes from Whitechapel.
LONDON, Nov. 14 – Though extremely busy, Dr. Anderson, the head for the hour of the Metropolitan Police, has been kind enough, on knowing that I was a representative of THE SUN, to give me a few minutes of his just now priceless time.

I asked him if he would be good enough to let me have from the Superintendent of the Whitechapel district, Mr. Arnold, the measures that had been taken to secure the arrest of the Whitechapel murderer or murderers, and to prevent the accomplishment of more of his or hetir ghastly crimes.

He told me that he would rather that I should not see Mr. Arnold, as it was almost impossible to realize the amount of work he had on hand just now, but that he would himself answer as best he could to my inquiries. “As to the steps we have taken.” He went on. “just for one minute place yourself in our stead. You would no doubt do your very best, and that is what we have done. The crimes we believe to be committed not by a gang but by the same individual. The watch is kept up day and night, but especially at night, all through the Whitechapel district. It could not be drawn a line closer without interfering with personal liberty. Useless arrests must be strongly deprecated. If we begin to arrest on the least possible suspicion, we may arrest all the town. The difficulty in capturing the assassin is in the complicity of his victims. The terror which you would imagine to exist among the class of women he attacks is not to be relied upon when they are hungry or drunk. You have no idea what the regular unfortunates of the East End are. Then as robbery is not the object of these crimes and could not possibly be, all the murdered women being possessed of absolutely nothing, and as the assassin never leaves anything of his behind, there is no human means of tracing him. In this last case of the girl Kelly, we have had every ash of the fireplace inspected, but of course without result. To give you an instance of the care we have taken not to neglect any source of information, we have a special staff which does nothing but read the thousands of letters which are reaching us from all parts with the certain clue to the murderer or the positively only way to outwit him.” I asked Mr. Anderson why the bloodhounds were not employed. His answer was:

“At 11 o’clock the last murder was discovered, and we knew of it here in Scotland Yard a few minutes later. The officer who had wired us the event asked us also to send the bloodhounds. I personally object to the service of these animals in a thickly populated city like this, though I believe it would be extremely valuable in the case of a rural murder. However, as Superintendent Arnold was just then with me, I asked him what he thought, and he begged me not to send the hounds: that it would only lead to mischief.”

To Dr. Phillips, the Divisional Surgeon of Police for Whitechapel, who has made the autopsy of all the women murdered. I said:
“Do you believe that the murderer is a foreigner, an American, as the rumor has been?”
“How can I know? I have not seen him.”
“They have also said that the assassin was a Frenchman, and others that he was a Malay.”
“Have they seen him?”
“Of course it is absurd, as he has not been seen by any one.”
“He has been seen.” Dryly replied the Doctor. Mr. Vallance, the Clerk of the Whitechapel Union, who has assisted at most of the inquests on the bodies of the East End victims, tells me that during these last days and weeks there has been a most remarkable influx in the infirmary wards of the East End of poor women struck mad with the fixed idea that they are followed by “Jack the Ripper.”


Intriguing insight.

Sincerely,

Mike
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  #2  
Old 11-20-2015, 01:06 PM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
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Great find Mike! Interesting about the bloodhounds. Anderson suggests that Arnold just happened to be at Scotland Yard when the news of Kelly's murder arrived but I wonder if he was summoned there from Whitechapel and then sent back to Whitechapel to inform Abberline that the orders about the dogs had been countermanded. I suspect there must have been a bit more internal discussion (and confusion?) at Scotland Yard than Anderson lets on, given the amount of time that passed before Arnold got to Whitechapel. Perhaps Warren still wanted to involve the hounds but was dissuaded? Amazing that such an interview can be found after all this time.
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Old 11-20-2015, 01:21 PM
Monty Monty is offline
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Looking at the files, the matter of the hounds, at that time, was in the hands of the Mets vet, A J Sewell.

Monty
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Old 11-20-2015, 01:33 PM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monty View Post
Looking at the files, the matter of the hounds, at that time, was in the hands of the Mets vet, A J Sewell.
Hi Monty, I don't know if I can tempt you into taking a look at my sub-article 'On The Trail of the Bloodhounds' within my article 'Some Thoughts', which can be found here:

http://www.orsam.co.uk/somethoughts.htm

You will see that Sewell informed Sir Charles Warren on 2 November 1888 that Barnaby the bloodhound (the only one of Edwin Brough's two dogs remaining in London) had been taken back to Scarborough. Further that he was not sufficiently trained to work in a town anyway to have been of use at that stage. Further, that the dog was not insured and could not be used. So if the police were still thinking of using a bloodhound that morning they would have had to have found someone else in London who had one available.
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Old 11-20-2015, 01:56 PM
Abby Normal Abby Normal is offline
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nice find! Very interesting.
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Old 11-20-2015, 02:11 PM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
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One thought that has literally just occurred to me from Mike's news report.

If Anderson's recollection is correct, whether or not Arnold was summoned from Whitechapel to Scotland Yard after news of Kelly's murder arrived at Scotland Yard, Arnold must have journeyed from Scotland Yard to Whitechapel to convey the message about the bloodhounds to Inspector Abberline at 1.30pm (as Abberline said in his evidence).

Yet the route between Whitehall and Whitechapel was closed due to the Lord Mayor's Parade.

According to the Times of 7 November 1888:

'On Friday, from the hour of 10 a.m. until the Lord Mayor's procession has returned to the Guildhall, and for such longer period as may be found necessary, the following streets and approaches thereto will be closed to all wheeled traffic: Gresham-street west, St Martin's-le-Grand, Cheapside, Poultry, Mansion-house-street, Cornhill, Leadenhall-street, Billiter-street, Fenchurch-street, Mincing-lane, Great Tower-street, Eastcheap, King William-street, Queen Victoria-street, Cannon-street, St Paul's churchyard, Ludgate-hill, Fleet-street, Victoria-embankment, Queen-street, and King-street.'

That really is bang in the middle of the route that Arnold would have needed to take to reach the murder scene from Scotland Yard.

The Lord Mayor's procession didn't set off until 12.30pm and then returned to Guildhall at 3.45pm. This means that the key roads were closed to all traffic at the very time that Superintendent Arnold needed to get to the east end.

Now, obviously he was a senior police officer and, no doubt, had privileges but he couldn't physically drive through the procession, and surrounding traffic might have been very heavy. I'm not aware of any form of sirens for police vehicles at that time.

So perhaps the difficulties of negotiating the traffic could be responsible for the delay in the message about the bloodhounds reaching Abberline, rather than any actual canine issues.
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Old 11-20-2015, 04:23 PM
Monty Monty is offline
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Thanks David,

I've read the file.

The intention was for the Met to purchase a pup, and train it alongside Barnaby (or Burgho, I can't recall which off the top of my head), with the latter returning to Brough after training had been completed. The pup would then be kept with a keeper under the responsibility of Sewell.

The insurance was higher than the Home Office allowed for, which caused Sewell some problems, and the Met had to seek permission to exceed that original allowance. Brough got narked, and called the hounds back.

Brough himself said the dogs would be no use, and only went along with it to prove a point, however I think the thought of a big financial payout and exposure were more the real reasons he took the dogs to London.

It must be noted, the dogs were not solely bought down to sniff out Jack the Ripper, but rather to tackle crime as deemed fit.

Monty
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Old 11-20-2015, 04:28 PM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monty View Post
It must be noted, the dogs were not solely bought down to sniff out Jack the Ripper, but rather to tackle crime as deemed fit.
I would personally rephrase that to read that the dogs were bought primarily to sniff out Jack the Ripper and also to tackle crime as deemed fit.
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Old 11-20-2015, 04:33 PM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
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to be bought, if one wishes to be entirely accurate.
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Old 11-20-2015, 09:26 PM
mklhawley mklhawley is offline
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Hi David,

Thanks! This is very interesting dialogue you've started. I wonder if he was treated the British Press similarly.

Sincerely,

Mike
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