24 September 1888
Mr. Wynne E. Baxter, the Coroner for South-East Middlesex, resumes on Saturday in the Working Lads' Institute, Whitechapel, the inquest on Mary Ann Nichols, who was found murdered early on the morning of the 1st September.
Dr. Llewellyn stated in reply to a Juror, that no part of the body was missing.
A member of the Jury remarked that is was stated in the newspapers that on the last occasion the Foreman of the Jury has offered a reward. The fact was it was not the Foreman of the Jury, but another gentleman.
The Coroner, in his summing up, referred to the necessity of a public mortuary in Whitechapel, and continued as follows:- There is nothing in the evidence as to the movements of the deceased on the day before her death, except a statement by herself that she was living in a common lodging-house, called the "White House," in Flower and Dean-street, Spitalfields; but I believe her movements have been traced by the police, and are not considered to have any connection with her death. On Friday evening, the 31st of August, she was seen by Mrs. Holland (who knew her well) at the corner of Osborn-street and Whitechapel-road, nearly opposite the parish church. It was then half-past two. The deceased woman was then much the worse for drink, and was staggering against the wall. Her friend endeavoured to persuade her to come home with her, but she declined, and was last seen endeavouring to walk eastward down Whitechapel. She said she had had her lodging money three times that day, but that she had spent it; that she was without money; that the lodging-house deputy refused to trust her; that she was going to look about and get some money to pay her lodgings; and that she should soon be back. What her exact movements were after this it was impossible to say. At all events, in less than an hour and a quarter after this she is found dead at a spot rather under three-quarters of a mile distant. The time at which the body was found cannot have been far from 3.45 a.m., as it is fixed by so many independent data. The condition in which the body was found appears to prove conclusively that the Deceased was killed on the exact spot on which she was found. There is not a trace of blood anywhere, except at the spot where her neck was lying. I think we cannot altogether have unnoticed the fact that the death that you have been investigating is one of four presenting many points of similarity, all of which have occurred within the space of about five months, and all within a very short distance of the place where we are sitting. All four victims were woman of middle age, all were married and had lived apart from their husbands in consequence of intemperate habits, and were at the time of their death leading an irregular life, and eking out a miserable and precarious existence in common lodging-houses. In each case there were abdominal, as well as other injuries. In each case he injuries were inflicted after midnight, and in places of public resort, were it would appear impossible but that almost immediate detection should follow the crime, and in each case the inhuman and dastardly criminals are at large in society. I suggest to you as a possibility that the two woman - Nichols and Chapman - may have been murdered by the same man with the same object, and that in the case of Nichols the wretch was disturbed before he had accomplished his object, and having failed in the open street he tries again, within a week of his failure, in a more secluded place. If this should be correct, the audacity and daring are equal to its maniacal fanaticism and abhorrent wickedness. It now only remains for you to say by your verdict, how, when, and by what means the deceased came by her death.
The Jury then retired to consider their verdict, and, after an absence of over 20 minutes, they returned.
The Coroner - Gentleman, have you agreed upon your verdict?
The Foreman - Yes, sir. We are unanimously of opinion that we should give an open verdict of Murder against some person or persons unknown, and we wish to thank you for your remarks with reference to the necessity for a mortuary, and for the very able way in which you have conducted the inquiry.
The inquest on MARY ANN NICHOLS, who was murdered in Whitechapel early on the morning of the 1st inst., was concluded on Saturday. The Coroner pointed out the remarkable similarity of all the features of this crime and those of three others, the four murders occurring within five months near the place where the inquest was held. The Jury returned a verdict of Murder by some person or persons unknown. The body of a young woman has been found at Birtley, near Gateshead, under circumstances which lead to the conclusion that a horrible murder has been committed, followed by mutilation of a similar character to that which was committed in Whitechapel.