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Moore Retires

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Moore Retires

Post by Karen on Tue 15 Jun 2010 - 16:55


He Was Connected With Scotland Yard for Thirty Years - Jack the Ripper Was About the Only Criminal He Did Not Succeed in Running to Earth.

After thirty years of bright, hard work, Henry Moore, chief detective inspector of Scotland Yard, has been retired. The story of his exploits and successes is almost a complete history of that famous home of England's Criminal Investigation department known to the public as Scotland Yard, and to the nest of detectives themselves as C.O. - central office. Most detectives have a specialty in criminal calendar, or, perhaps, more than one, to which they devote themselves, and consequently do inferior work in lines outside their own, but Moore always did credit to himself in whatever work fell to his own hands. He admits one failure, however, and that is that he did not catch Jack the Ripper. Still, there is some satisfaction to him in the thought that even if he didn't succeed in getting the fiend of Whitechapel, no one else did any better.
"The police," says Moore, "were handicapped in their work. It was almost impossible to get anything like a trustworthy statement while every crank in England was sending postcards or writing on walls. The class of women we had to deal with would have told any number of stories for a shilling, and it was impossible to believe any woman, owing to the hysterical state of fear they get themselves into. If we had tried to keep under observation the persons we were told were "Jack the Ripper" we should have needed every soldier in the British Army to have become a detective. We have in the East End foreigners from every corner of the earth, and when they hate they will tell such lies as would make your hair stand up.
"Of course, every one wants to know who Jack the Ripper was. Well, so far as I could make out, he was a mad foreign sailor, who paid periodical visits to London on board ship. He committed the crimes and went back to his ship. The class of victims made the work of the police exceedingly difficult. Why, once I had occasion to stand near the arch in Pinchin Street, Whitechapel, and I remarked to another officer, "This is just the place for "Jack the Ripper," and sure enough, some few months later a "Ripper" body was found there in a sack. One of these days, now I have more leisure, I may go to work, and before I die might have the luck to see "Jack the Ripper" standing in the dock of the Old Bailey. It's the only failure I ever had, but I'm not at all sure it is a failure yet."
For a series of daring bank robberies, a gang of Amercian crooks, headed by a clever criminal named Lynch, were sentenced to long terms of penal servitude in Charlestown prison, Boston, Mass. They were employed in making a drain that was to carry the sewage of the prison to the sea, half a mile away. Lynch conceived the idea of crawling through when the drain was made, taking a rope, and then pulling the other members of the gang after him. In order to do this successfully they had to burrow under the prison wall. When all was ready away went Lynch with the rope, and that night he succeeded in pulling eight prisoners after him. The ninth, however, was a stout chap, and when he came to a tight bend he stuck there, and when found by the warders was dead. All the prisoners escaped to the woods, where they hid for nearly a year, while Lynch, who made himself a suit of clothes cut of old horse blankets, got to New York, and on a cattle ship came to London.
After he had been in London three months the American detectives got the tip, and they sent over to Moore a description of Lynch and a warrant for his arrest. Moore hunted London, but all to no purpose. Keeping his eyes open, however, he went about his ordinary work. The description was meagre; but one day, while passing the "Three Nuns" public house in Aldgate, he thought a man standing outside was Lynch. Moore had been to America, and while there he had learned to imitate the curious whistle with which the warders used to bring in their prisoners. Quick as thought Moore gave the whistle, and the man at once became startled and looked around anxiously, while his companion simply went on talking and could not make out the reason of his friend's agitation. Moore pounced upon Lynch before he had time to escape, and the next afternoon took him before Sir John Bridge at Bow Street. When Sir John committed the man back to Charlestown prison he remarked to Moore, "Where he will stay, I suppose, like most American criminals, as long as he likes or his friends allow him."
Toward the end of September five years ago two foreigners took rooms at the Hotel des Vrais Amis in Old Compton Street, Soho, London. One was an elderly Spanish priest, known as Father Sequi, and the other was his secretary and valet, a young Frenchman named Ravelott. After being in London a short time Father Sequi told several of his friends that Ravelott did not like England, and was about to return to France. "I shall be sorry to lose him; he is so kind to me, and I can hardly get on without him," said Father Sequi. Ravelott himself also announced that he was going to return to France, and a few days later it was thought, as he was not seen that he had done so.
A day or so afterward one of the chambermaids, on entering Father Sequi's apartment, found that he had committed suicide by hanging himself from the bed post. An alarm was raised, the police and a doctor sent for, and the latter expressed the opinion that it was a case of suicide; that the dead man had tied a large silk handkerchief round his neck, then attached it to the bed post, and sliding off had strangled himself. This opinion was confirmed for in the pocket of the dead priest was found a letter giving his reasons for the suicide, and stating how he intended to accomplish his object. The would-be suicide signed the letter in his real name, viz. Louis Gabriel.
The matter, however, came before Scotland Yard owing to the fact that several hundred francs and a letter of credit known to be in possession of the suicide had disappeared. Moore went carefully over the details and made experiments with the silk handkerchief round his own neck, but he failed to place himself in the strange position in which the dead priest was found, and in the result he refused to believe in the theory of suicide. Then, of course, he was brought face to face with the letter left by the dead man. That, everybody said, was one great stumbling block to the theory of murder. Moore took the letter home, sat with it in front of him the whole of one night and the following day, and after something like thirty-six hours' deep thought he wired to Spain. The telegram was addressed to the bankers where the priest had obtained the cash and the letter of credit and asked that they would telegraph Moore the actual letters in the signature of the dead man when he signed the receipt for the money he received. Moore got the dispatch early in the morning, and from that minute he knew that Father Sequi had been murdered. Ravelott, the secretary and valet, had returned to France, and, so far, as appearances went, had left his old master alive and well. It was true he had been dealing with the letter of credit, but he did it openly, because his master gave it to him before he left, he said.
Ravelott was in Toulon, and Moore directed the French police to find some excuse to detain him until he (Moore) arrived. A friendly cafe proprietor had a few words with M. Ravelott, with the result that the ex-secretary and valet was given into custody on some petty charge. The next day Moore arrived and sought an interview with the prisoner. Said Moore: " I have been looking all over England for you. I want to hand you over the property left by your late master, Father Sequi. I'd better get you out of this and then we can go to the consul and sign the necessary papers. It is not much to hand over - only a few hundred francs and some clothes - but I must take your receipt for them." Moore then spoke to the officials, and it was explained to them that it was necessary that Ravelott should be released, and forthwith the door of the cell was unlocked and Moore and the ex-secretary and valet walked across the street and were soon eating dinner.

"I was so glad to see you, sir," said Ravelott. "I do so much want to know all about the suicide of Father Sequi. I must have left London just a few hours before he did it."
"Oh, yes," said Moore: if you had stayed with him he would not have done it. But to business. Here I have the money, which I will count for you, and here is the form; you must fill it in. First write your own name."
Ravelott calmly wrote his name and address and the district where he was born.
"Fill in the name of your master," said Moore. The man wrote Father Sequi.
"But," said Moore, "what was his proper name?"
"Oh!" said Ravelott; "yes, I know." The ex-secretary and valet then wrote "Louis Gabriel." Moore picked up the document, looked at it carefully, and then said, jingling some money, "hold out your hands!" Before Ravelott realized what had happened he found a pair of bright English handcuffs on his wrists.
Now, the dead priest was a Spaniard, and when Moore found the letter left by the suicide was signed "Louis Gabriel" he knew that the Spanish never use the letter "o" in Louis. And, acting on the reasonable suspicion that the dead man knew how to spell his own name, he could not either have written the letter or signed it, because if he had he would have signed it "Luis Gabriel." When Ravelott was tried a curious scene took place. A lay figure used by artists was brought into court and placed on a bed on a table right in front of the dock and the judge. Moore then demonstrated how Ravelott murdered his master. He first made him helplessly intoxicated, and while he was asleep on the bed the valet put the silk handkerchief round his neck, tied it to the bedpost, and, lifting the bed up, rolled the drunken man off on the floor, where he was soon stangled.
With the dead body of his master a few feet away, Ravelott sat down and wrote the suicide letter, but in his excitement, instead of signing it Luis, as they do in Spain, he forgot, and signed it as a Frenchman spells the name, viz. Louis. While Moore was arranging the lay figure Ravelott watched him with a feverish look that told too plainly the terrible ordeal through which he was passing. When the detective came to that part where the bed was tilted up, Moore took hold of the left hand side, whereupon, to the surprise of everyone in court, Ravelott involuntarily exclaimed, "Pardon me, it was the right side I rolled him off."
Ravelott, however, escaped the guillotine. He was sentenced to imprisonment for life.

A couple of France's cleverest criminals conducted a fraud so well that they left their country with half a million francs. Moore got on their track in London, and both swore that they would shoot the man who arrested them, went to their rooms, and when Moore said what he had come for, one of them - he had already shot an officer in America - walked over to a trunk to get a handkerchief, he said. Just as he placed his hand inside, by a dexterous move Moore wheeled round and sat on the lid, which, of course, imprisoned the man's hand. Moore was not a second too soon, for the desperado had a six-shooter, fully loaded, within his grasp, but he had to drop it.
Moore once prevented a well known public man from committing suicide. The man had some bad financial losses, and his mind became unhinged. To a certain solicitor and a lord he wrote two letters, threatening that if some steps were not taken to save him - and to take those steps was impossible - he would take poison and then blow his brains out at a certain time. When Moore got on the matter it wanted but twenty minutes to the hour. Moore, finding his man dashing along in a cab, hailed one and followed. The would-be suicide stopped at a well-known West End hotel, and Moore pulled up just one minute later. The man went up to his room, walking up the stairs; but Moore turned to the elevator boy and said, "What number is that gentleman's room?" "No. 9, third floor," was the reply. "Take me up as quickly as you can," said the officer, and within two minutes Moore had got the key and was inside the room. Presently the guest put his key in the lock and entered, but not before Moore had pocketed the revolver and had smashed the bottle of poison.
"Five minutes later," the man said to Moore, "and you would have found a corpse here."
"Yes," said Moore, "I did it through the elevator; if you had taken that before me it would have been done."

Source: Morning Telegram, December 8, 1899, Page 6

Karen Trenouth
Author of: "Epiphany of the Whitechapel Murders"
Author of: "Jack the Ripper: The Satanic Team"

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Re: Moore Retires

Post by Karen on Sat 9 Jul 2011 - 14:30


One by one (says the London "Daily Telegraph") familiar faces are disappearing from the detective branch of New Scotland Yard, which is still known as the Criminal Investigation Department, presided over by Dr. Anderson. The latest officer to retire on pension is Mr. Henry Moore, senior chief inspector, who has just completed thirty and a half years' service in the Metropolitan Police. He leaves behind him one or two colleagues only who can recall the early history of the department subsequent to its reorganisation by Mr. Howard Vincent, as he then was, when the late Superintendent Williamson was still the occupant of the little room on the first floor of the isolated brick building in the middle of Great Scotland Yard - a place which suffered serious damage by one of the dynamite explosions. Williamson, the level-headed, was succeeded by the late Superintendent Shore, a man who was credited with an intimate knowledge of the criminal world, but who upon his resignation developed an extraordinary bad memory for faces. Shore was replaced by the present very efficient superintendent, Mr. Donald Swanson, who was also contemporary with Williamson. Chief-Inspector Hare remains too, with one or two others who were juniors in the dynamite days; but otherwise the detective work has passed into the hands of a new school of men, and it may be said that they are more strictly under the control of their departmental chiefs than was formerly the case.
Of what stuff was the old type of detective made, if we may take Mr. Moore as an example? His career everybody admits who has followed his work has been of a highly successful character. This deserved mood of praise has been given to him not only by Home Secretaries, the Public Prosecutor, Judges, coroners, Commissioners of Police, and his fellow-detectives, who are not bad judges of a man's qualities, but by expert professional criminals - men of education who, adopting nefarious courses, are known as the "classical" members of their fraternity. But, above all other descriptions of work, Mr. Moore has devoted himself to the unravelling of mysterious murder clues, until he has become recognised as an authority, and his name has therefore been associated with many cases that are still fresh in the public recollection. A good deal of his instinct must have been hereditary, for his father was also in the Metropolitan Police, in which he remained for 26 years, practically the whole period having been passed in the Lewisham district, in the P Division, where Moore sen., may still be recalled by his cognomen of "Honest John." The son, who was born in Northamptonshire in 1848, spent his childhood and received his education at Lewisham, in the Grammar School, and started life as a clerk on the South-Eastern and also the London, Chatham, and Dover railways. He also acquired city experience in a wholesale silk and linen warehouse, but his liking for the police led him to enter the force on April 26, 1869, and he began duty in the W Division, at Croydon, and shortly afterwards he was made station acting sergeant at Carshalton. Then he was promoted to sergeant in August, 1872, and was transferred to Kentish Town, in the Y Division. There he remained and at Highgate for two years, and afterwards he returned to the P Division, where in 1878 he became an inspector in uniform.
An idea was once held at Scotland Yard that detectives should be men of superior education, but an experiment in that direction convinced the authorities that police duty in uniform is an essential part of the training, and a wide knowledge of London is desirable. Mr. Moore had the advantage of both recommendations; he was educated above the ordinary police standard, and he had acquired from actual residence in different divisions a most valuable stock-in-trade - a complete familiarity with the metropolis, and a long list of acquaintances. So when, in February, 1881 - a very trying period - he was selected for employment at the chief office of the Criminal Investigation Department he soon made headway. Three years later, in accordance with the practice then existing, he was detached to one of the divisions to take local charge of detective work, and it was in the P Division that for four years he was engaged in pursuing inquiries originating in that large district. In April, 1888, he was recalled to headquarters, and advanced to first-class and subsequently to the chief inspectorship. Amongst his most cherished possessions are two valuable gifts, one from Earl Spencer and the other from Sir George Trevelyan, for services rendered in connection with the Phoenix Park murders.
Many of the cases in which he has been prominently concerned during the past couple of decades have not yet died out of public recollection. One of his earliest was the notorious Wimbledon poisoning tragedy, when Dr. Lamson, in 1881, administered aconite in a capsule to his crippled cousin Percy Malcolm John, a schoolboy, and afterwards cooly walked into Scotland Yard, never thinking that he would be detained, or that guilt could be brought home to him. Perhaps no officer had more anxious work to discharge in connection with the so-called Whitechapel murders than Mr. Moore, but he is reluctant to talk of those trying times, though, in common with his colleagues he has formed a shrewd surmise as to the identity of the actual miscreant who is now dead. Still more recently he was engaged in running to earth at Toulon the Frenchman Ravellot, who in October, 1894, murdered in Old Compton-street, Father Gabriel J. Sequi. Then, again, upon the murder of Antonine Brossetti at a house in Castle-street, Long Acre, in November, 1897, it was Mr. Moore who secured the arrest, near Turin, of Guiseppi Ravetti, who is now undergoing a sentence of 30 years' imprisonment for the horrible crime, the motive of which was to secure the old shoemaker's hoarded gold. Mr. Moore appeared also in the proceedings against Dr. Collins, charged with having caused the death of Mrs. Uzielli.
Murder alone, however, has not been the retiring Chief Inspector's speciality. It is sufficient to recall his investigation of the Langtry jewel case, and the part which he and Inspector Richards played in tracing the perpetrators of the great stock transfer stamp frauds at Somerset House nine years ago; and also his successful exposure of a notorious blackmailer, Charles Grandy, alias Le Grand, whose victims were titled ladies. He has had pass through his hands upon their arrest an ex-London County Councillor and a former Lord-Lieutenant of Worcestershire. Mr. Moore was engaged, with ex-Chief Inspector Tonbridge and Inspector Froest, in the mass of work entailed by the steps to procure the conviction of Wright, Hobbs, Newman, and Balfour in connection with the Liberator frauds and he tells an amusing story in relation to the return of Balfour to this country.
"When Balfour was expected at Southampton the order was given that no pressmen should be permitted to get near him. Froest and I hired a launch and whilst the reporters were looking all round the hotels for me we were lying off the Isle of Wight waiting for the ship with the prisoner on board to come up in the morning. Then the press tug came down, and the men aboard did not realise that Balfour was on my little launch that steamed past them. Suddenly they suspected it, and then began a chase to Southampton. The tug passed us, but went into the Empress Dock, whilst I slipped to another place, where a carriage was waiting, and so we evaded the whole crowd of interviewers."
"Did you ever stand in danger of your life, Mr. Moore?"
"I think I did when I jumped into the van containing the 15 ingots of silver. Two men were at the back. That was in the case where 31 ingots, valued at 4900 pounds, had been stolen from a Midland railway van in 1895, and some of them were found in the possession of Sarti, who recently committed suicide. It was then that I got up Sergeant Harris as a buyer, and I entrusted him with 1600 pounds in bank notes to show the men who held the bulk of the silver. They might have murdered him had they suspected his identity."
"What has been your most extraordinary clue?"
"I recall a case where a man was 'wanted' in the West Indies. He was traced to Pimlico, but I found he had gone away from the house an hour or so before I arrived. The only clue was that he had taken a cab with a grey horse. My game was to look for a grey horse in a cab, and I had not walked a quarter of a mile before I hailed the driver of such an animal. It was the very cabman I wanted. My man was not inside, but I succeeded in arresting him at Liverpool, and took him back to the West Indies.
"I recollect another case in which, whilst tracing the abductor of an heiress, I came upon another couple who had eloped under precisely the same conditions from Germany.
"Once I had a curious presentiment. A man was arrested for fraud, and as he stood in the dock at the police court I felt that he had something upon him. He had been searched, but I had him searched again - still without result. But I still was conscious of the same presentiment, and I had him stripped. In his sock there was a little bottle of poison."

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald, Friday 19 January 1900, page 4

Karen Trenouth
Author of: "Epiphany of the Whitechapel Murders"
Author of: "Jack the Ripper: The Satanic Team"

Posts : 4907

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