Some witnesses seem to turn up in all the papers of the day, proudly telling their tale to every passing newsman. But there are others who make only the briefest of appearances, perhaps only in the report of one paper, sometimes not even getting their full name mentioned. Admittedly, this is usually because they had nothing unique to contribute, but still....it's nice to give these background artists in the greater drama a moment in the spotlight.
Here's some who had escaped my notice until now.
Most people know that Louis Diemschutz was steward at the socialist club in Berner Street, assisted by his wife. But according to the Daily News 2nd October, they had some help;
"Mila, the servant at the club, strongly corroborates the statement made by her mistress, and is equally convinced there were no sounds coming from the yard between 20 minutes to one and one o'clock."
In the same edition is mentioned Julius Minsky, a member of the IWEC and described as a "Police Jew". This is likely a misprint for Polish, but I prefer to think he was an undercover cop sent to spy on the goings on at the socialist club.
Echo 1st Oct
"The constable points out that it is decidedly probable that the murderer, hearing his approach, left his ghastly work unfinished, and escaped by either of the narrow courtways above referred to. The murder must have been committed expeditiously and quietly, for the persons living in the house at the back of which the body was found, the policeman and his family, and the watchman (Morris), who was cleaning the warehouse, with the assistance of his son, all agree that no sounds were heard."
Who knew? Apparently George Morris had three sons; George Jr, Edward and Albert, but which of the three was helping him clean the warehouse, and did they play any part in the night's events?
"In the same edition is mentioned Julius Minsky, a member of the IWEC and described as a "Police Jew". This is likely a misprint for Polish, but I prefer to think he was an undercover cop sent to spy on the goings on at the socialist club."
And when the police turned up he shouted "At last! The night they raided Minsky's."
Not sure if this is the man "Alfred Mulshaw", a night watchman in Winthrop street Who said he heard nothing but sometimes dozed off....? Mentioned after Walter Purkess....
Hmm, seems a bit muddled - Mulshaw was but in the street outside the Working Lad's Institute - but you could well be right.
I thought it was in the same article, but I can't find it now so must be in another one, where there is a mention of not only the factory watchman but also of a man who looked after the board school. So equally the street could have been full of night watchmen who all saw nothing!