A definition of witness.


Approached By A Man In Flower And Dean Street

In the aftermath of the murder of Annie Chapman, several women came forward to give accounts of meetings with sinister strangers in the neighbourhood where the murder had occurred.

One of these was a young woman who had encountered man in the, to say the least, gave her cause for concern in the Queen's Head pub on Commercial Street.

The Fife Herald published the following account of the encounter:-

A representative of the Press Association, in pursuing his investigations in the same district on Sunday night, heard the following statement made in the presence of the police.

The informant, he says, was a woman named Lyons, of the class commonly known as unfortunates.

She stated that at three o'clock on Saturday afternoon she met a strange man in Flower and Dean Street, one of the worst streets in the East End of London. He asked her to go to Queen's Head public-house at half-past six and drink with him.

Having obtained from the young woman a promise that she would do so he disappeared, but was at the house at the appointed time.

While they were conversing, Lyons noticed a large knife in his right hand trousers pocket, and called another woman's attention to the fact.

A moment later, Lyons was startled by a remark which the stranger addressed to her. "You are about the same style of woman as the one that's murdered," he said. "What do you know about her?" asked the woman, to which the man replied, "You are beginning to smell a rat. Foxes hunt geese, but they don't always find 'em." Having uttered these words, the man hurriedly left.

Lyons followed until near Spitalfields Church, and turning round at this spot, and noticing that the woman was behind him, the stranger ran swiftly into Church street, and was lost from sight.

One noteworthy fact in this story is that the description of the man's appearance is, in all material points, identical with the published description of the unknown and, up to the present undiscovered, Leather Apron."

Source: Fife Herald, Wednesday, 12th September, 1888.