PIGGOTT, Henry William
- arrested, in connection with the East End murders, on Mon 10 Sept 1888 at Pope`s Head public, Gravesend by police sergeant, acting on information received by Superintendent Berry, between 8pm and 9pm on Sun 9 Sept, of a suspicious-looking man with an injured hand in the public house.
At Gravesend Police Station, the man, described as aged 52, 5ft, long dark beard, wearing dark clothes, no waistcoat, gave his name as Henry William Piggott, and said he had slept in a lodging house in Osborne Street, Whitechapel on night of Thurs 6 Sept, had walked round Whitechapel all night on Fri 7 Sept, had been in Brick Lane, Whitechapel at 4.30am on morning of Sat 8 Sept when he saw a woman fall in a fit, had stooped to help her and she had bitten him, causing the injury to his hand, had hit the woman, and had run off when two policemen arrived, and had walked from Whitechapel to Gravesend on Sun 9 Sept. Dr Whitcombe, police surgeon, was sent for and found blood spots on Piggott`s shirt. Detective Inspector Abberline arrived from Scotland Yard and took Piggott on 1018am train to London Bridge, where they were met by Detective Stacey, and Piggott was taken by cab to Commercial Street Police Station. Piggott was not charged but locked up pending identification by witnesses. (The Star. Mon 10 Sept 1888).
On Mon 10 Sept 1888, Piggott was placed in an identity parade and three witnesses were brought in - Mrs Fiddymont, Mrs Mary Chappell and Joseph Taylor, who had seen suspicious man in Prince Albert public house on Sat 8 Sept [see SUSPECTS - UN-NAMED: "CLEAN HOUSE"]. Mrs Fiddymont and Joseph Taylor declared that Piggott was not the man they had seen, Mrs Chappell picked out Piggott but failed to positively identify him. (The Star. Tues 11 Sept 1888). Divisional surgeon sent for, issued medical certicate that Piggott`s mind was unhinged and Piggott was placed in custody (The Times, Tue 11 Sept 1888), confined in Whitechapel Infirmary, on remand (Evening News. Tue 11 Sept 1888).
On Tue 11 Sept 1888, the police established Piggott`s movements, and, with his movements accounted for, were satisfied that he had nothing to do with the murders (The Times. Fri 14 Sept 1888)
On Sat 15 Sept 1888, it was announced that Piggott`s release from custody was expected shortly (The Times. Sat 15 Sept 1888).
PIZER (or PISER), John (also see LEATHER APRON)
- arrested as "Leather Apron" [see SUSPECTS - L - "LEATHER APRON"], wanted in connection with the Whitechapel murders, at 9am on Mon 10 Sept 1888 at 22 Mulberry Street, Commercial Street, by Detective Sergeant Thick, who, with another police officer, visited the address, Pizer answered the door, and Thick said "You are just the man I want", and charged Pizer with being connected to the murder of Annie Chapman. The house was searched and Thick found five sharp long-bladed knives, which Pizer said he used in his trade as a bootfinisher, and several old hats. Pizer was taken to Leman Street Police Station. Pizer`s stepmother and his sister-in- law told a Press Association representative that Pizer had arrived home at 10.30pm on Thur 6 Sept and had not left the house since then (Evening News. Mon 10 Sept 1888).
On Tues 11 Sept 1888 at 11am, Pizer was placed in the line-up of the identity parade, organized by Detective Sergeant Thick and Inspector Canaby, in the yard at Leman Street Police Station. A witness - Emanuel Delbast Violena, a Spanish-Bulgarian, who said he, his wife and two children had walked from Manchester to London, and taken lodgings in Hanbury Street - was brought into the yard, and identified Pizer as the man he had seen in the early morning of Sat 8 Sept 1888, quarreling with a woman in Hanbury St, and had heard threaten to kill the woman by stabbing her with a knife. Pizer was taken back into the police station. With approval of Detective Inspector Abberline, Violena was taken to the Whitechapel mortuary, and, although the findings were not revealed, it was believed that Violena failed to identify Annie Chapman as the woman he claimed to have seen with the man in Hanbury Street, and, cross-examination of Violena`s evidence was so discredited, it was distrusted by the police. (The Times. Wed 12 Sept 1888).
At 8.30pm on Tues 11 Sept 1888, Pizer was released (Evening News. Wed 12 Sept 1888).
Pizer was interviewed by a Press Association reporter, and said, "I shall see if I cannot legally proceed against those who have made statements about me. The charges made against me have quite broken my spirits and I am afraid I shall have to place myself under medical treatment for some time". (Evening News. Wed 12 Sept 1888).
On Wed 12 Sept 1888, Pizer appeared as a witness at the resumed inquest into the murder of Annie Chapman. Coroner Wynne Baxter asked Pizer, "Are you known by the nickname "Leather Apron"?" Pizer replied, "Yes, Sir". Pizer gave an account of his movements - on Thurs 30 Aug, at 11pm, he had supper at the Round House lodging-house in Holloway Road, went out as far as Seven Sisters Road, returned towards Highgate Way, went down Holloway Road and saw the reflection of the London Dock fire; at
1 am, on the morning of Fri 31 Aug, he asked a policeman where the fire was, went as far as Highgate Railway Station, and then returned to the Round House lodging-house, where he spent the night, and got up at 11am on Fri 31 Aug and left the lodging house. From Fri 31 Aug to Thurs 6 Sept, he was at a lodging-house in Peter Street, Westminster. At 11pm on Thurs 6 Sept, he arrived from the West End at 22 Mulberry Street, Commericial Street East, where his brother, sister-in-law and stepmother lived. On advice of his brother, he did not leave the house until he was arrested by Detective Sergeant Thick at 9am on Mon 10 Sept. Coroner Baxter said Pizer`s statement had been corroborated and when he asked if Pizer had been released from custody, Detective Sergeant Thick replied that Pizer had been released at 9.30pm on Tues 11 Sept. (Daily Telegraph. Thurs 13 Sept 1888).