THE SEARCH FOR JACK THE RIPPER.
THE POLICE OFFICERS ON THE CASE.
The Jack the Ripper Murders were investigated by two police forces - The Metropolitan Police, whose headquarters were at Scotland Yard, and the City Police, who had (and still do have) responsibility for the one square mile of the City of London.
The Metropolitan Police investigated the murders of Mary Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride and Mary Kelly, and the City of London Police investigated the murder of Catherine Eddowes, who was murdered in Mitre Square, which was on their territory.
THE METROPOLITAN POLICE.
COMMISSIONER SIR CHARLES WARREN.
In overall charge of the Metropolitan Police was Sir Charles Warren, an ex-military man who took up office in January 1886. At the time of his appointment morale in and public faith in the Police force of London was at an all time low and Warren was seen as just the person to restore the reputation of the force, whilst at the same time being able to bring much needed discipline to its rank and file.
However, his reputation suffered something of a set back when, on Sunday 13th November 1887 - day that became known as "Bloody Sunday", he sent mounted police officers, a regiment of the Mounted House Guards, four hundred foot guards, plus hundreds of uniformed Police Constables into Trafalgar Square to forcibly break up a protest by London's Unemployed.
As a result 2 protestors were killed and over a hundred others were hospitalised.
Warren's decisive action, as far as the authorities were concerned, was just what had been needed and his stand against the mob was applauded as a blow against “a deliberate attempt…" by the Socialists to terrorize London by placing the control of the streets in the hands of the criminal classes.”
To the radicals, however, he had become an autocrat, and from that point on they sought any opportunity to attack and undermine him. Consequently when the Jack the Ripper murders occurred and the police appeared unable to catch the killer, the radical press saw an opportunity to avenge itself on Warren, and he would find himself vilified in many newspapers for his mishandling of the investigation.
Many of the inaccuracies circulated by the press at the time about Sir Charles Warren are still doing the rounds today and many books on the subject of the Jack the Ripper murders still insist on portraying him as a Colonel Blimp type figure who was totally out of his depth in command of the Metropolitan Police.
The truth is that Warren in the two years prior to the Jack the Ripper killings Warren did bring much needed discipline to the force and by 1888 he had succeeded in winning both the respect and loyalty of the rank and file on the ground police officers under his command.
Although Warren may not have been the bungling Colonel Blimp that many commentators have portrayed him as, he certainly had a fiery temper coupled with a decidedly fixed idea about who should have ultimate control over his police force. This made it difficult for him to easily assume the role of a subordinate, which in turn brought him into confrontation with his superior, the Home Secretary, Henry Matthews.
Ultimately one of these confrontations would lead to him resigning his post at the height of the Ripper scare.
However, as far as the general hunt for Jack the Ripper went, Sir Charles Warren certainly showed himself to be a decisive Commissioner and several of his actions, particular his controversial order for the rubbing out of the graffiti found in a doorway in Goulston Street which appeared to implicate the local Jewish Community in the killings was both a brave and sensible decision.
OTHER POLICE OFFICERS.
Of course, Sir Charles Warren was in charge of the Metropolitan Police. Their were many other officers who were more directly involved in the case than he was. They were as follows.
DR ROBERT ANDERSON - ASSISTANT POLICE COMMISSIONER AND HEAD OF THE DETECTIVE FORCE.
CHIEF INSPECTOR DONALD SUTHERLAND SWANSON - THE MAN WHO READ AND ASSESSED ALL THE INFORMATION THAT CAME IN ABOUT THE INVESTIGATION.
INSPECTOR EDMUND REID.
SERGEANT WILLIAM THICKE.