LONDON: SUNDAY, SEPT. 30, 1888.
EXTRA SPECIAL SUNDAY EDITION.
LLOYD'S WEEKLY NEWSPAPER OFFICE.
THIS (SUNDAY) MORNING.
THE VICTIM DISEMBOWELLED AND MUTILATED.
HORRIBLE MURDER IN COMMERCIAL ROAD EAST.
About 25 minutes to two o'clock this (Sunday) morning a murder of a most atrocious character, in which the revolting details of the recent tragedies in Whitechapel have been intensified, was discovered by a City policeman on duty in Mitre-square, Aldgate, a thoroughfare at the junction of Leadenhall and Fenchurch streets. A woman, who appeared to be between 35 and 40 years of age, was found lying in the right-hand (south-east) corner of the square, completely disembowelled. Her clothes were thrown over the head, and this revealed the fact that a gash extending right up the body to the breast had been inflicted. There were, in addition, other gashes on both sides of the face, and the nose had been completely severed.
The woman is said to have been respectably dressed, and her figure well developed. The sound of a policeman's whistle attracted attention to the square, and the first spectators who arrived were despatched for medical and other aid. A most sickening spectacle presented itself. The whole of the inside of the murdered woman, with the heart and lungs, appeared to have been wrenched from the body, and lay, in ghastly prominence, scattered about the head and neck, and on the pavement near.
The police and detectives speedily mustered in force, and blocked the thoroughfares leading to the awful scene, around which the most intense excitement prevailed.
Between 12 and 1 this (Sunday) morning a woman, with her throat gashed and torn, was found in the back yard of 40, Berner-street, Commercial-road E., a few minutes' walk from Hanbury-street. The premises belong to the International Working Men's club. Mr. Demship, the steward of the club, went to the yard, and in a corner he discovered the woman. He at once communicated with the police on duty, and assistance was sent for from the Leman-street police-station, from whence officers were despatched with an ambulance. Dr. Phillips was sent for, who came at 1.30 in a cab. Other medical gentlemen subsequently arrived. In comparison with the horrible mutilation of the Mitre-square victim, this was said to be "an ordinary murder," though reasons exist for believing that the assassin was disturbed, and thus his savage intention unfulfilled.
At an early hour this (Sunday) morning two women were found murdered in the East-end of London. Both had their throats cut in a shocking manner, but in the case of one found in the back yard of a house in Berner-street, Commercial-road, it is thought that the murderer may probably have been disturbed, as there was no further injury to the body. In the second case, which was discovered about three-quarters of an hour later, however, many of the horrors of the recent Whitechapel murders are found to have been repeated. The scene of this tragedy was Mitre-square, Aldgate, which is an essentially business neighbourhood, the only occupants figuring in the directory being Messrs. Harner and Sons, drug merchants; Philps and Bisiker, builders; and Kerley and Fogue, tea merchants. The square is approached from Aldgate by way of Mitre-street and Duke-street, and in another direction from St. James's-place, two of the thoroughfares leading to it being of the nature of courts. In the south-east corner of the square, just at the back of the premises of Messrs. C. Taylor and Co., picture frame makers, 8 and 9, Mitre-street, the dead body of a woman was found at about 25 minutes to two this morning. The shocking discovery was made by the constable on night duty, Police-constable Watkins, 881. A neighbour, who went to bed early, informed our representative that she was awoke at a little before two o'clock by hearing voices, and on looking out of window saw the policeman waving his lantern and calling to another officer, "Come along here." As the word was passed along other constables, from different routes, came hurrying up, including Serjeant Herbert Jones, 92, and the scene was soon one of great excitement. When they came to approach the body there is a general agreement that the sight was the most shocking any of the spectators had ever witnessed. The poor woman's throat had been savagely cut, and there was a large wound on the face, cutting into the nose. Her legs were apart and the clothes thrown right up, revealing the mutilated abdomen. Parts of the entrails had been torn out and were twisted round the neck of the victim. Blood had flowed freely both from the neck and body, saturating the pavement. The report quickly spread that the part of the body missing from Annie Chapman had also been removed in this case, but on inquiry we found that the rumour was unfounded. Information of the crime was quickly sent to the police stations in the district, and doctors were immediately summoned, the two first to arrive being Mr. F. Gordon Brown, of 6, North-buildings, Eldon-street, Finsbury-circus; and Mr. Sequeira, of 34, Jewry-street, Aldgate. They made a minute examination of the body, Dr. Gordon Brown taking a pencil sketch of the exact position in which it was found. This he most kindly showed to the representative of Lloyd's, when subsequently explaining the frightful injuries inflicted upon the body of the deceased. The throat had been cut from the left side, the knife severing the carotid artery and other parts of the neck. The weapon had then apparently been stabbed into the upper part of the abdomen, and cut completely down. Besides the fearful wound on the face the tops of both of the thighs were cut across. The intestines, which had been torn from the body, were found twisted into the gaping wound on the right side of the murdered woman's neck. The circumstances under which the revolting crime was committed make it more mysterious than ever. Abundant testimony was afforded by the neighbours that the place was not neglected by the police, it being stated that the night constable got round his beat about every ten minutes. In addition to this several plain-clothes men were on duty in the district, the scene of the latest tragedy being not many hundred yards, as the crow flies, from Hanbury-street, where Annie Chapman fell a victim. Mitre-square is, however, in the City; and the excitement will no doubt be more intense on that account, the persons living near expressing the greatest astonishment that the place should have been selected for such a crime. This (Sunday) morning the lamps were burning brightly, but a curious little circumstance was mentioned by the wife of a caretaker living directly opposite the spot where the murdered woman was found. As she went home with her little girl on Friday night she noticed that the lamp in the north-west corner of the square was so dull that she could scarcely see her way. This must have thrown the pavement on which the body was found into comparative darkness, and may thus have in some way contributed to the selection of the spot by the murderer. The dead woman, who is believed to be over 40 years of age, had her bonnet on. Near where she was lying two or three buttons were picked up, and also a little cardboard box, with a couple of pawntickets, the supposition being that the deceased's pocket had been hastily turned out by the assassin, either for the purpose of robbery or to ward off suspicion as to the real motive of the crimes which have been carried out with such diabolical cunning. After a very careful examination of the body where it was found, it was at three o'clock removed to the City mortuary in Golden-lane, and here Drs. Brown and Sequeira continued their investigation for a considerable time. The police were of course quickly on the alert, and when our representative reached the neighbourhood every avenue leading to Mitre-square was closely guarded. At the police-station in Bishopsgate Chief Superintendent Major Henry Smith most courteously informed the Editor that the reports furnished to Lloyd's of the two murders having been committed this morning were unhappily true. On proceeding to Mitre-square, Inspector Edward Collard was found in command, but the orders to deny admission to the scene of the murder were so absolute that one constable assured us he should not allow any plain-clothes men to pass unless he knew them. At twenty minutes past five, when we left the mortuary, after the interview most kindly accorded by Dr. Gordon Brown, there was an expectation on the part of the police that Dr. Phillips, who gave the important evidence in connection with the case of Annie Chapman, would speedily arrive there. So far as could be gleaned from a variety of sources all circumstances of the latest case bear a marked similarity to those of Nichols and Chapman. The murder must, however, have been perpetrated in the dark, and with extraordinary rapidity, as the policeman is said to have patrolled the spot only 10 minutes before. Still the murderer, blood-stained though he must have been, got clear off; and, so far as is known, the police remain without the slightest clue to the succession of startling and horrible Whitechapel mysteries.
On making inquiries at Shoreditch police station, at eleven o'clock to-day (Sunday), we were informed that the police were still without the slightest clue to the mystery. There is a growing belief that the two crimes were committed by one man, as the two bodies were found within a distance of each other which can be easily walked in ten minutes - one shortly after half-past twelve, and the other an hour later.
ANOTHER STRANGE STORY.
Last night a correspondent furnished us with another strange story of an incident occurring early on Thursday morning, near to the scene of the four murders. He states that early in the morning a woman was sitting sleeping on some steps in one of the houses in Dorset-street, when she was awoke by a man who asked her whether she had any bed to go to, or any money to pay for a lodging. She replied that she had not, upon which he said he had money, and then gave her what she thought was two half-sovereigns. She went with him down a passage, and when there he seized her by the throat and tried to strangle her. A scuffle ensued between them, in which she screamed and got away. The next morning she found that what he gave her was two farthings machined round the edge like gold coins. She described him as being a man with a dark moustache, and dressed in a rough frieze blue overcoat.
There is great indignation at the East-end over the shabby treatment of witnesses. On their summonses was printed in red letters across the subpoena:
N.B. - Bring this summons with you. All fees and expenses are required by the Act of Vic., cap. 68. sec. 1, to be advanced and paid by the coroner immediately after the termination of the inquest to such witnesses as the coroner may think fit to allow.
Mr. Paul says that after he made his statement to our representative, which appeared in Lloyd's, he was fetched up in the middle of the night by the police, and was obliged to lose a day's work the next day, for which he got nothing. He was then summoned to give evidence at the inquest on two different days, and he had to pay a man 5s. each day to do his work, or he would have lost his place. At the close of the inquest he got two shillings, being a shilling for each day. John Richardson lost four days' work, and he was paid for three days one shilling each day. Cadosh came up from Enfield, and was paid 3s. for his three days' attendance. The coroner for some time demurred to allowing him his railway fares, but eventually did so, but his loss was 1l. 8s. 9d. John Davis, who discovered the body, lost two days, and was paid 2s., Mrs Long lost two days, and she was paid 2s. Other witnesses told the same story of what they naturally consider very unjust treatment.
The man, John Fitzgerald, who was arrested at Wandsworth, and who has been detained at the Leman-street police-station on his own confession, for having murdered Annie Chapman, in Hanbury-street, on the 8th inst., has been liberated.
On Wednesday night a young girl named Duffy, residing with her parents in Chapel-street, Newry, ran home from a field in the suburbs of the town, where she had gone to fetch cows home for the night, and stated that she had been accosted by a strange man only partially dressed, who leaped out of a hedge and chased her through the field, saying that he was "Leather Apron," and the murderer of the Whitechapel victims. When the girl reached home, without waiting to bring the cows, she was almost breathless and in a very excited state. Her father informed the constabulary of the affair, and they went to the field, but failed to find the mysterious stranger. An alarm of a similar kind has been exciting the minds of the people of Warrenpoint and the district for the past three or four days. So great is the panic amongst the female portion of the community that not one of them can be induced to go out on the Newry road after dark. The police believe the mysterious man is some half-crazy individual.
Joseph Woods, the son of a publican, was charged at Portsmouth of Thursday, with assaulting a woman named Candey, at midnight on Tuesday. Candey stated that the prisoner took hold of her in the street, and produced a knife. She asked him if he was the Whitechapel murderer, to which he replied in the affirmative. She then blew a whistle, which, she said, she had always carried since the Whitechapel tragedies, and a policeman came to her assistance. - The prisoner told the constable that he had frightened the woman by telling her that he was the Whitechapel murderer. - The magistrates regarded the matter as a stupid freak, and bound the prisoner over to keep the peace.
In a letter to the Times Dr. James Risdon Bennett sharply denounces the coroner's theory that the murders in Whitechapel may have been committed in order to possess the parts of the woman's body that were missing in the case of Annie Chapman. He says, "There can be no analogy whatever with the atrocious crimes of Burke and Hare, the merest insinuation of which is a gross and unjustifiable calumny on the medical profession." The mention of Burke and Hare is of course a mistake, but the murders committed by Bishop and Williams afford a most remarkable parallel to the present cases. Everyone has heard of the monsters who were alleged to have killed a poor Italian boy for the sake of his teeth. The lad was afterwards proved not to have been an Italian, but a Lincolnshire youth, who was killed in order to supply doctors with "a subject." In his recently published "Chronicles of Bow Street," Mr. Percy Fitzgerald tells the cruel story at length. After confessing to the murder of the boy, Bishop goes on to describe the similar drowning of a woman whom he met in the street when out with Williams. Having gained her confidence an arrangement was made for her destruction. He says: -
We met the woman again at the London Apprentice, without her child. We drank about three pints of beer, and stayed about an hour. We should have stayed there longer, but an old man came in who knew the woman, and she said she did not like him to see her there with anybody. We therefore all went out. It rained hard, and we took shelter under a doorway in the Hackney-road for about half an hour. We then walked to Nova Scotia gardens, and I led her to No. 2, an empty house, adjoining my house. We had no light. Williams stepped out into the garden with the rum and the laudanum, which I handed to him. He there mixed them together in a half-pint bottle, and came into the house to me and the woman, and we gave her the bottle to drink. She drank the whole in two or three draughts. There was a quartern of rum and about half a phial of laudanum. She sat down on the step between the two rooms of the house. She went off to sleep in about ten minutes. She was falling back; I caught her to save her fall, and laid her back on the floor. Then Williams and I went to a public-house, got something to drink, and in about half an hour came back to the woman. We took her cloak off, tied a cord to her feet, carried her to the well in the garden, and thrust her into it headlong. She struggled very little afterwards, and the water bubbled a little at the top. We fastened the cord to the palings to prevent her going down beyond our reach, and took a walk to Shoreditch and back in about half an hour. We left the woman in the well this length of time that the rum and laudanum might run out of her mouth. On our return we took her out of the well, cut her clothes off, put them down the closet of the empty house, carried the body into the washhouse of my own house, where we doubled it up and put it in a hair-box, which we corded, and left it there.
The cool manner in which the body was removed and sold is then described: -
We did not go to bed, but went to Shield's house in Eagle-street, Red Lion-square, and called him up between four and five in the morning. We then went with Shields to a public-house near the Sessions house, Clerkenwell, and had some gin; from thence to my house, and stayed a little to wait the change of the police. I told Shields he was to carry the trunk to the London hospital. He asked if there was a woman in the house, who could walk alongside of him, so that people might not take any notice. Williams called his wife up, and asked her to walk with Shields, and to carry a hat-box, which he gave her. There was nothing in it, but it was tied up as if there were. We then put the box with the body on Shields' head, and went to the hospital. Shields and Mrs. Williams walking on one side of the street, and I and Williams on the other. At St. Thomas's hospital I saw Mr. South's footman, and sent him upstairs to Mr. South to ask if he wanted a subject. The servant brought me word that his master wanted one, but could not give an answer till the next day, as he had not time to look at it. During this interview, Shields, Williams and his wife were waiting at a public-house. I then went to Mr. Appleton at Mr. Grainger's, and agreed to sell it to him for eight guineas; and afterwards I fetched it from St. Thomas's hospital and took it to Mr. Appleton's, who paid me five pounds then and the rest on the following Monday. After receiving the five pounds I went to Shields, and Williams and his wife at the public-house, when I paid Shields 10s. for his trouble, and we all went to the Flower Pot, at Bishopsgate, where we had something to drink, and then went home.
That this was no isolated case is proved by the following: -
I also confess the murder of a boy, who told us his name was Cunningham. It was a fortnight after the woman. I and Williams found him sleeping, about 11 and 12 o'clock at night on Friday, the 21st October, as I think, under the big hoards at Pig market, Smithfield. Williams woke him, and asked him to come along with him, and the boy walked with Williams and me to my house in Nova Scotia-gardens. We took him into my house, and gave him some warm beer sweetened with sugar, with rum and laudanum in it. He drank two or three cupfuls, and then fell asleep in a little chair belonging to one of my children. We then laid him on the floor and went out and got something to drink, and then returned, carried the boy to the well, and threw him in it in the same way we served the other boy and the woman. He died instantly in the well, and we left him there to give time for the mixture to run out of his body. We then took the body from the well, tore off the clothes, and buried them in the garden. The body we carried into the washhouse, and put it into the same box, and left it there till that same evening, when we got a porter to carry it to St. Bartholomew's hospital, where I sold it to Mr. Smith for eight guineas.
Here we find crimes of revolting atrocity committed in cold blood for less than half the amount said to have been offered for the part of the body cut from Annie Chapman, and the price paid to the murderers by doctors of position.
STARTLING STATEMENT - VERDICT.
Mr. Wynne Baxter resumed the adjourned inquest at the Working Lads' institute, Whitechapel, on Wednesday, on the body of Annie Chapman, which was found on the morning of the 8th inst., dreadfully mutilated in the backyard of 29, Hanbury-street.
The coroner at once proceeded to sum up the evidence to the jury. He congratulated them that their labours were now nearly completed. Although up to the present they had not resulted in the direction of the criminal, he had no doubt that if the perpetrator of this foul murder was eventually discovered their efforts would not have been useless. He then recalled the important facts of the case, which have already been fully detailed in evidence, remarking that "the glimpses of life in those dens which the evidence in this case discloses is sufficient to make us feel that there is much in the 19th century civilisation of which we have small reason to be proud; but you, who are constantly called together to hear the sad tale of starvation, of semi-starvation, of misery, immorality, and wickedness which some of the occupants of the 5,000 beds in this district have every week to relate to coroners' inquests, do not require to be reminded of what life in a Spitalfields lodging-house means. It was in one of these that the older bruises found on the temple and in front of the chest of the deceased were received, in a trumpery quarrel, a week before her death. It was in one of these that she was seen a few hours before her mangled remains were discovered. There is some conflict in the evidence about the time when the deceased was despatched. It is not unusual to find inaccuracy in such details, but this variation is not very great or very important. She was found dead about six o'clock."
After describing the finding of the body, he said as to the deed: "All was done with cool impudence and reckless daring; but, perhaps, nothing is more noticeable than the emptying of her pockets, and the arrangement of their contents with business-like precision in order near her feet. The murder seems, like the Buck's-row case, to have been carried out without any cry. Sixteen people were in the house. The partitions of the different rooms are of wood. The brute who committed the offence did not even take the trouble to cover up his ghastly work, but left the body exposed to the view of the first comer. This accords but little with the trouble taken with the rings, and suggests either that he had at length been disturbed, or that as the daylight broke a sudden fear suggested the danger of detection that he was running. There are two things missing. Her rings had been wrenched from her fingers and have not been found, and the uterus has been taken away. The body has not been dissected, but the injuries have been made by some person who evidently had considerable anatomical skill and knowledge. There are no meaningless cuts. The organ had been taken by one who knew where to find it, what difficulties he would have to contend against, and how he should use his knife, so as to abstract the organ without injury to it. No unskilled person could have known where to find it, or have recognised it when it was found. For instance, no mere slaughterer of animals could have carried out these operations. It must have been someone accustomed to the post-mortem room. The conclusion that the desire was to possess the missing organ seems overwhelming. If the object were robbery, the injuries to the viscera were meaningless, for death had previously resulted from the loss of blood at the neck. The difficulty in believing that the purport of the murderer was the possession of the uterus is natural. It is abhorrent to our feelings to conclude that a life should be taken for so slight an object; but when rightly considered, the reasons for most murders are altogether out of proportion to the guilt.
"It has been suggested that the criminal is a lunatic with morbid feelings. This may or may not be the case, but the object of the murderer appears palpably shown by the facts, and it is not necessary to assume lunacy, for it is clear that there is a market for the missing organ. To show you this, I must mention a fact which at the same time proves the assistance which publicity and the newspaper press afford in the detection of crime. Within a few hours of the issue of the morning papers containing a report of the medical evidence given at the last sitting of the court, I received a communication from an officer of one of our great medical schools, that they had information which might or might not have a distinct bearing on our inquiry. I attended at the first opportunity, and was informed by the sub-curator of the Pathological museum that some months ago an American called and asked him to procure a number of specimens of the organ that was missing in the deceased. He stated his willingness to give 20l. a piece for each specimen. He stated that his object was to issue an actual specimen with each copy of a publication on which he was then engaged. He was told that his request was impossible to be complied with, but he still urged his request. He wished them preserved, not in spirits of wine - the usual medium - but in glycerine, in order to preserve them in a flaccid condition, and he wished them sent to America direct. It is known that this request was repeated to another institution of a similar character. Now, is it not possible that the knowledge of this demand may have incited some abandoned wretch to possess himself of a specimen? It seems beyond belief that such inhuman wickedness could enter into the mind of any man, but unfortunately our criminal annals prove that every crime is possible.
"I need hardly say that I at once communicated my information to the detective department at Scotland-yard. Of course I do not know what use has been made of it, but I believe that publicity may possibly further elucidate this fact, and therefore I have not withheld from you the information. By means of the Press some further explanation may be forthcoming from America, if not from here. Gentlemen, I have endeavoured to suggest to you the object with which this crime was committed, and the class of person who must have committed it. If the theory of lunacy be correct (which I very much doubt) the class is still further limited; while. If Mrs Long's memory does not fail, and the assumption be correct that the man who was talking to the deceased at half-past five was the culprit, he is even more clearly defined. In addition to his former description, we should know that he was a foreigner, of dark complexion, over 40 years of age, a little taller than the deceased, of shabby-genteel appearance, with a brown deer-stalker hat on his head, and a dark coat on his back. If your views accord with mine, you will be of opinion that we are confronted with a murder of no ordinary character, committed not from jealousy, revenge, or robbery, but from motives less adequate than the many which still disgrace our civilisation, mar our progress, and blot the pages of our Christianity."
The jury consulted for a minute, when
The Foreman said: We can only come to one conclusion, and that is that a brutal murder has been perpetrated by some person or persons unknown. That is all we can find as out verdict. I think that will meet the case.
The Coroner: Quite so.
The Foreman: If that would meet the case we don't want to add anything more. We were to add a rider as regards the mortuary, but that having been done by the previous jury we will allow that to stand as it is. There is only one thing that we may ask. We have sat here for five days, and the majority of the jury now wish to be excluded for at least two years from attending any other coroner's jury in your district.
The Coroner: We will endeavour to meet your views; but I am sure, if any important case occurred, you would not be unwilling to serve, as, from your residence in the district, your attendance would be important.