The Elusive Mr. Conway
Once Catherine Eddowes sister and daughter testified that she had originally lived with Thomas Conway, the police set about endeavouring to trace his whereabouts in order to either establish his viability as a suspect or to eliminate him from their enquiries.
Asked about the progress being made at the resumed inquest into Catherine's death, Detective Sergeant John Mitchell was forced to admit that Thomas Conway was proving extremely elusive:-
John Mitchell, detective sergeant of the City Police, proved to making every endeavour without success to find the father and two brothers of the last witness (Annie Phillips).
The witness had found a pensioner named Conway, belonging to the 18th Royal Irish, but he had not been identified as the person wanted.
Detective Baxter Hunt, who discovered Conway, the pensioner in the 18th Royal Irish, said that the man had been confronted with two of the deceased's sisters, and they had failed to recognise him as the man who used to live with the deceased.
The witness had also endeavoured to trace Conway and his sons, but had failed to do so.
Mr Crawford (the City Solicitor) explained to the jury that Conway might not be receiving his pension under that name, as such people so often changed their names."
Source: The Bristol Mercury Friday, 12th October, 1888
However, Conway finally got to hear that the police were looking for him and, on Monday, 15th October, he walked into the Detective Department of the City of London Police/
Thomas Conway, who some years ago lived with Catherine Eddowes, the woman murdered in Mitre Square, yesterday afternoon went with his two sons to the detective office of the City Police, in Old Jewry, and was at once taken to see Mrs. Annie Phillips, Eddowes's daughter, who recognised him as her father.
He states that he left Eddowes in 1880, in consequence of her intemperate habits, which prevented them from living comfortably together.
He knew that she had since been living with Kelly, and has once or twice seen her in the street, but he has, as far as possible, kept out of her way, as he did not wish to have any further communication with her.
Source: London Evening Standard, Tuesday, 16th October, 1888
On Tuesday, 16th October, The Gloucester Citizen explained why it had taken Conway so long to come forward:-
The City police have succeeded in discovering Thomas Conway, who some years ago lived with Catherine Eddowes, the woman murdered in Mitre Square.
Apparently, he has not read the papers, for he was ignorant till the last few days that he was being sought for.
Then, however, he learned that the City detectives were enquiring after him, and, on Monday, he and his two sons went to the detective office of the City police, in Old Jewry, and explained who they were.
Conway was at once taken to see Mrs. Annie Phillips, Eddowes's daughter, who recognised him as her father.
He states that he left Eddowes in 1880 in consequence of her intemperate habits, which prevented them from living comfortably together."
Source: The Gloucester Citizen, Tuesday, 16th October, 1888