Tuesday, 4 September 1888
Mr. Baxter, Coroner for South East Middlesex, resumed yesterday morning the inquiry into the circumstances attending the death of Mary Ann Nicholls whose body, terribly mutilated, was found in Whitechapel early on the morning of Friday last. Inspector Helson described the conditions of the deceased's clothing. The back of the bodice, he said, had absorbed a large quantity of blood, but there was none upon the petticoats. There was no evidence of the body having been washed, and there were no cuts in the clothing. It would have been possible to inflict the wounds while the clothing was on, and without cutting it. He was of the opinion that the woman was murdered in her clothes, and that the murder was committed where the body was found. William Nicholls of Coburg road, Old Kent road, said he was a machinist, and that deceased was his wife. They had lived apart for over eight years, and he last saw her alive about three years ago. He did not know what she had been doing in the interval. Jane Hodden, of 13 Thrawl Street, stated that the deceased lodged with her for about six weeks till eight weeks ago. On the day of the murder witness saw her at 2.30am in Whitechapel road, when she said she should leave her lodgings, as they allowed men and women to stay together. Witness said she did not think deceased was leading a fast life - in fact, she seemed very much afraid of it. Other evidence having been given, the inquiry was adjourned for a fortnight.
Another desperate assault, which stopped only just short of murder, was committed upon a woman in Whitechapel on Saturday night. The victim was leaving the Foresters' Music Hall, Cambridge Heath road, where she had been spending the evening with a sea captain, when she was accosted by a well-dressed man, who asked her to accompany him. She invited him to her apartments, and he acquiesced, requesting her meantime to walk a short distance with him as he wanted to meet a friend. They had reached a point near to the scene of the murder of the woman Nicholls, when the man violently seized his companion by the throat and dragged her down a court. He was immediately joined by a gang of women and bullies, who stripped the unfortunate woman of her necklace, earrings and broach. Her purse was also taken, and she was brutally assaulted. Upon attempting to shout for aid one of the gang laid a large knife across her throat, remarking "We will serve you as we did the others." She was eventually released. The police have been informed and are prosecuting inquiries into the matter, it being regarded as a probably clue to the previous tragedy.
Mr. James Monro, C.B., late Chief of the Criminal Investigation Department at Scotland Yard, has received an important appointment at the Home Office and assumed the duties of the new post yesterday. Colonel Wilkinson has been appointed assistant to Mr. Monro and both gentlemen were busily engaged at the Home Office during the day.
The unofficial announcement of Mr. Monro's appointment has caused considerable surprise at Scotland Yard and in official circles generally, and much curiosity is felt as to the duties connected with his new post. On this point the authorities absolutely refused to give any information, but there is reason to believe that Mr. Monro's work will be of a character similar to that formerly performed by Mr. Jenkinson.
Mr. Robert Anderson, the new Chief of the Criminal Investigation Department has formally taken over the duties of the office.
It is persistently rumoured that Sir Charles Warren will shortly retire from Scotland Yard and that he will be appointed to succeed Sir Hercules Robinson as her Majesty's High Commissioner in South Africa.