10 August 1888
Mr. George Collier opened an inquest yesterday at Whitechapel, on the body of Martha Turner, 35, a single woman, lately living at 4 Star place, Commercial road, who was found lying on the landing of George yard buildings on Tuesday morning last, with over twenty stabs about her person. Previous to calling the first witness the Coroner said the body had been identified that morning, but he had just been informed that two other persons also identified her as quite a different person, and under those circumstances he thought the question of identity had better be left till the last.
Alfred Geo. Crow, a cabdriver, of 35 George yard buildings, stated that on Tuesday morning he returned home from work at half past three. On his way upstairs he saw somebody lying on the first landing. It was not an unusual thing to see, and he passed on and went to bed. He did not know whether the person was dead or alive when he passed.
John Saunders Reeves, 37 George yard buildings, a waterside labourer, said that on Tuesday morning he left home at five o'clock to go in search of work. On the first floor landing he saw a woman lying in a pool of blood. She was on her back, and seemed dead. He at once gave notice to the police. The woman was a perfect stranger to witness. Her clothes were all disarranged, as if she had had a struggle with someone. Witness did not notice any instrument lying about.
Police Constable Barrett, 226H, deposed to being called by the last witness to view the body of the woman. She was lying on her back, and before she was moved a doctor was sent for, and on arrival he pronounced life extinct. The woman's hands were clenched, but did not contain anything. Her clothes were thrown upwards from the skirt of the dress.
Dr. T.R. Keleene (sic), 28 Brick lane, stated that he was called to the deceased, and found her dead. He examined the body and found 39 punctured wounds on the body and legs. There were no less than nine in the throat and 17 in the breast. She appeared to have been dead about three hours. The body was well nourished. There was a deep wound in the breast from some long, strong instrument, while most of the others were done apparently by a penknife. The large wound could be caused by a sword bayonet or dagger. It was impossible for the whole of the wounds to be self inflicted. Death was due to loss of blood consequent on the injuries.
The inquiry was adjourned.