Arbeter Fraint, October 5 1888, page 3

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[Column 1]

sacrificed by the hand of an unnatural person. These two unfortunate women were cut up in the same way as the first four.

What interests us most about the latest double murder is that the first of them occurred near the door of our club and that many of us saw the still half-warm body of the unfortunate woman. Here we will give an account of everything that we know about the double murder and mainly about the first one, which was the closest one to us.

The first murder occurred on Saturday night about a quarter to one. That evening there was a discussion in the club: “Should a Jew be a Socialist?” The hall was packed and the discussion was very lively. The debate went on until approximately eleven o’clock. At about 12 o’clock all the non-members scattered, and about twenty of the members remained in the club. These same [members] created a choir and sang various songs, for the most part, Russian.

At about one o’clock the steward of the club, Comrade Louis Dimshits, came with his cart from the market. He was the first to notice the dead body. His horse became frightened as he drove into the gate and shied to the right, and this caused Dimshits to bend down to see the reason for this. He noticed a black object on the ground. He touched it with his whip and felt that it was a body. He immediately struck a match, but that was insufficient and he wasn’t able to get a [good] flame, he was nevertheless able by the light of the first match to see that the object was a woman. From excitement he jumped off the cart, ran through the back door into the club and raised an alarm. Immediately Comrade Gilyarovsky ran into the printing shop and editor’s office that are located in the same building as the club, but separated in the back by the yard.

There was no one in the printing shop. Comrades Krants and Yaffa were busy in the editor’s office.

“Don’t you know that a murdered woman is lying in the yard?” Gilyarovsky breathlessly called out. At first the two comrades did not want to believe him. “What, don’t you believe me?” Gilyarovsky quickly asked: “I saw blood.” Yaffa and Krants immediately ran out and went over to the gate. The gate was open and it was very dark near the gate. A black object was barely discernable near the brick building. Once they got very close, they could notice that it was the shape of a woman that was lying with its face to the wall, with its head toward the yard and with its feet pointing to the gate. Comrades Morris Eygel, Fridenthal and Gilyarovsky were standing around the body. Eygel struck a match and shouted to the figure lying there: “Get up!” “Why are you waking her?” asked Yaffa, who noticed that the woman was lying in a liquid. “Don’t you see that the woman is dead?”

[Column 2]

In the meantime, there was quite a to-do going on inside the club, and everyone ran out into the yard. Dimshits, Eygel and Gilyarovsky ran to look for a policeman; ten minutes later they had found a pair of peace-keepers. [1] One of the policemen ran for a doctor, and Morris Eygel ran to the police station on Leman Street to report the murder. In the meantime, the commotion about the murder drew people, and the street that had been asleep began to become lively.

The doctor arrived ten minutes later along with a lot of policemen. The doctor began to examine the body, which was still warm. He lifted the head, which a policeman illuminated with his night lantern, and a horrific picture appeared before his eyes. The pale face was green, the eyes tightly closed, the back hair disheveled, the neck sliced wide-open [and] bathed in blood. In one hand, the murdered woman held a bunch of grapes and in the other a box of candies. She was dressed in black: poor but clean. She wore a red flower on her breast. The doctor continued to examine her and found no other wounds other than the broad gash on her neck.

After a while the gate and the club were closed and the whole house was guarded. The members who remained inside the club couldn’t get out, since no one was permitted to go in or to go out.

[Regular] police and secret police arrived en masse. Everyone who had been in the club was examined, their hands and their clothing inspected, to see if there were blood stains. Everyone’s names and addresses were taken, and everyone was questioned as to whether they had seen anything unusual. During these examinations the police inspector received a telegram [saying] that in Meyter Square near Duke Street Oldgate, another woman had been murdered. This one had been cut into pieces just like the murdered Annie Chapman. Once again there was a commotion among the policemen and people began to run—out of the club, into the club, out into the yard, back from the yard. It went on like this until 4 [o’clock] in the morning. They searched everywhere; they looked for the murderer in all the neighbors’ houses, in the editor’s office, in every corner, under the tables, on the tables and in every pocket.

During the examination of the members of the club, the Police Sergeant wanted to show, through his coarse behavior, that he was also somebody, therefore one of the members took him over to Parsons’ picture, which was nailed to the wall and explained to him that this is was Parsons the anarchist, who had been murdered in Chicago and asked him if he wanted to see the others, [if so] he could go upstairs to see [them]. Everyone laughed, and the poor policeman bit his lips.

[Column 3]

The headman of this group also wanted to create difficulties for the club. Pretending that he was in a hurry, he asked if he could buy several cigars. Dimshits responded with a question: didn’t he know that the law, which he protects, forbids strangers from selling cigars in a club. If he wanted [however] they could give him two cigars. The police big shot did not refuse and asked to be given [the cigars].

At about 4 [o’clock] in the morning a handcart was brought to take away the corpse. It was a terrible scene. The darkness was so dense that one person could not see another person near him. The high gate and the narrow path between two dark brick buildings without any kind of illumination seemed like an underground cave of [one of] the old crusaders’ castles where abominable scenes took place.

When one got a bit used to the darkness one saw large, dark figures with secret lamps in their hands moving around an object—the wagon, on which the corpse had been placed. The doctor examined her once again. The tall figures, the policemen, then wrapped the corpse in a white cloth and bound it to the cart. At about four thirty the sad train [sic] began to move.

Early Sunday morning all of Berner Street was already besieged, and every one looked at number 40 with the greatest curiosity. The club door did not close the whole day. Police and newspaper reporters ran around like poisoned mice. [2]

Seeing that it was impossible to have any amusement that evening and therefore the club would lose money, the members decided to charge the reporters an admission fee if they wanted explanations [descriptions?] of the murder. This is what happened and the reporters willingly paid the donation to Socialist propaganda.

After lunch, all the representatives of Socialist clubs came to Langdon to find out what was going on in the club, because many of them thought that something had happened inside the club itself.

It was very interesting to see how many people streamed to the club like the sand of the sea and stood there the whole day looking at the gate as if the murdered woman and her murderer were painted on it. The crowd of people stood there like that until late at night.

On Monday morning the world once again turned upside down in London and especially on Berner Street. The big daily newspapers already had the whole report of the two horrific murders. The newspaper sellers’ shouting about the murder in Berner Street and the other one in Meyter Street resounded through the streets, and people [continued] to stream to the club like dumb Jews to tashlikh. [3]

At about ten o’clock they came to get Comrade Eygel, Louis Dimshits and Volf Vess [to bring them before] the grand jury, so that they could tell what they knew about the murder.

[End of page 3.]

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Translator's notes

[1] They are policemen, but that term is not used right here.

[2] Like poisoned mice looking for an antidote. This is a common Yiddish expression. It means they ran around helter-skelter.

[3] The custom of Jews on the first afternoon of Rosh Hashona, the start of the High Holidays, to go to flowing water preferably with fish, turn their pockets inside out or to throw bread into the water (casting their sins into the water) and recite prayers asking for forgiveness.