24 October 1888
The adjourned inquest into the circumstances attending the death of the woman who was found with her throat cut in the early morning of Sept. 30 outside the International Socialist Club, Berner-street, St. George's-in-the-East, was concluded, before Mr. Wynne Baxter, coroner for South-east Middlesex, at the Vestry-hall, Cable-street, Whitechapel, yesterday, when the jury returned a verdict to the effect that the deceased, Elizabeth Stride, wife of John Thomas Stride, East India Dock-road, Poplar, had been willfully murdered by some person or persons unknown.
Yesterday at the Vestry Hall, Cable-street, St. George's-in-the-East, before Mr. Wynne E. Baxter, coroner for the South-Eastern Division of Middlesex, the adjourned inquiry was resumed into the circumstances attending the death of Elizabeth Stride, who was murdered outside the International Socialist Club, Berner-street, Whitechapel, in the early morning of September 30th. The excitement caused by the tragic death of the unfortunate woman has nearly subsided. There were very few persons in court beyond the jurors, the representatives of the press, and the local authorities engaged in getting up the evidence, and who have for some time directed their attention, but, unfortunately, up to the present time, without success towards securing the discovery and arrest of the murderer.
Detective-inspector Edward Reid, H Division, deposed that since the last sitting he had made inquiries, and examined the books of the Bromley Sick Asylum and found therein recorded an entry of the death of John Thomas Stride, carpenter, of Poplar, on the 24th of October, 1884. Stride's nephew, who was in the police force, would give evidence later on. The inspector had also seen Elizabeth Watts, now Mrs. Stokes, of Charles-street, Tottenham, the sister of Mrs. Malcolm, and Mrs. Stokes declared to him that the entire of Mrs. Malcolm's statement given before the coroner on a previous occasion was absolutely false. She had not seen her sister for years, and believed she was dead. She had not received money from her, nor had she met her on the Thursday before the murder.
Constable Walter Stride identified a photograph of the murdered woman, Stride, as being that of the wife of his uncle, John Thomas Stride, carpenter, living in the East India Dock-road, Poplar, where he married her in 1872 or 1873.
Elizabeth Stokes, 5, Charles-street, Tottenham, said that her second husband, Joseph Stokes, was a brick maker. Her first husband, Mr. Watts, was a wine merchant, of Bath. She quite believed him to be dead, but she wished to hand the coroner a letter she had received inn which it appeared to be stated that Watts was alive.
The coroner, having looked at the document, said that it bore the signature :X.Y.Z.," but it was practically an anonymous letter.
Mrs. Stokes, resuming her evidence, repeated that Mrs. Malcolm was her sister, but the whole of the evidence which she gave at an earlier stage of this inquiry was an absolute lie, and she wished to clear her character from the infamous aspersions which had been cast upon it.
A juryman. - Could Mrs. Malcolm have identified the murdered woman as another sister?
Inspector Reid. - Mrs. Malcolm identified the deceased by a crippled foot, and Mrs. Stokes has a crippled foot.
Mrs. Stokes - I am only anxious to clear my character in this matter, and sorry am I to have a sister capable of giving false and scandalous evidence against one of her nearest relatives. It is terrible to think of all the trouble and annoyance and wrong she has caused me.
Inspector Reid stated that there was no further evidence to produce.
The coroner then summed up at considerable length. It would be unreasonable, he said, to adjourn the inquiry again on the chance of something further being ascertained to elucidate this very mysterious case. Having referred to the trouble occasioned by Mrs. Malcolm, who swore that the deceased was her sister, Mrs. Elizabeth Watts, of Bath, now Mrs. Stokes, he observed it had been satisfactorily proved that the murdered woman was Elizabeth Stride. After a close and careful review of the evidence respecting the circumstances of the murder, the coroner concluded with an illusion to the attention which Inspector Reid and the police had given to the case.
The jury returned a verdict of "Willful murder against some person or persons unknown, that the crime was committed on the early morning of September 30 in Berner-street, and that the murdered woman was Elizabeth Stride, wife of John Thomas Stride, carpenter, of Poplar."
The proceedings then terminated.
William Duerden, 24, a private in the 1st Battalion Scots Guards, Wellington Barracks, was charged, before Mr. Hannay, with assaulting constable Mackie, 541A.
The constable said that at about twenty minutes past nine o'clock on Monday night, while he was on duty in Hyde Park, he heard screams of "Murder" about 100 yards from the Marble Arch. He proceeded in the direction whence they came, and found a girl and the prisoner on the ground. On seeing him the soldier jumped up and tried to get away, but he was taken into custody. The girl complained that as she was walking in the park the soldier seized her and dragged her by force along the grass. She screamed "Murder" to escape from him, but declined to charge him with feloniously assaulting her. While proceeding to the station the prisoner struck the witness in the jaw and tried to get away, but another constable came up and prevented the accused from making his escape.
The superior officer of the accused gave him a fairly good character.
Mr. Hannay discharged the prisoner.
Henry Skinnerton, 50, described as a labourer, of High-street, Chingford, was charged with assaulting Henry Corney, and with willfully breaking 25 panes of glass, doing damage to the amount of 1£., the property of John Cricks, High-road, Woodford, on the 21st inst.
At about 20 minutes to eleven o'clock on Sunday evening Corney was returning home, accompanied by a friend, when the prisoner suddenly seized him by the throat, explaining "I am Jack the Ripper! I killed the women in Whitechapel, and one in Hatton-gardens." The prisoner then ran away, but was pursued by the prosecutor and his friend. After a long chase the prisoner got to the rear of Mr. Cricks' house, jumped upon a lean-to and smashed a quantity of glass in the fan-light. After a struggle he was secured and removed to the station. Hitherto, it appeared, he had borne a good character.
The magistrate ordered him to pay a fine of 2s. 6d. And the damage 20s., also the costs of the proceedings - in all 1£. 12s., or in default to go to prison for 14 days with hard labour.