29 April 1892
A REPORT THAT HE HAS CONGESSED TO THE WHITECHAPEL MURDERS
Melbourne, April 28.
The Standard to-day says it is in a position to announce without reserve that Deeming has confessed to his lawyers and the doctors who examined him that he committed a majority of the "Jack the Ripper" crimes in the Whitechapel district of London. The article has created a great sensation.
The demeanor of Deeming when he was arraigned for trial in the Central Criminal Court to-day presented a marked difference from his conduct at the inquest. To-day he was very quiet and depressed, and he looked very much disappointed when the Judge decided that no further delay would be granted and that the trial should at one be proceeded with. After the jury had been selected and the usual formalities complied with, the Public Prosecutor began his opening speech, in which he arrayed with almost irresistible force all the facts in connection with the murder of the prisoner's wife. Evidence was given as to the finding of the body of Mrs. Williams under the flooring of the empty house at Windsor. Dr. Mullens testified that he made a careful examination of the body, and that, in his opinion, the woman had been struck a violent blow on the head prior to her throat having been cut. This, he said, was clearly established by the effusion of blood to the eyes.
John Stanfoed, a butcher, who owned the house at Windsor in which the murder was committed, testified to letting the place to Deeming, who was known to him as Williams, in November last. His tenant had gone away without notifying him that he had given up possession of the house.
A number of witnesses gave evidence to establish the identity of the dead woman. Elizabeth Spedding, who at the time the murder is alleged to have been committed, lived next door to the Deemings, said that at about Christmas time - she could not recall the exact date - she heard at night the sound of work going on in Demming's house. It sounded to her like the slapping and striking of a trowel in the construction of brickwork. It will be remembered that the hole in which the body was placed by the murderer was covered with a thick layer of cement.
Some of the passengers on the steamer Kaiser Wilhelm II, on which Deeming and his wife came out from England, testified that Deeming appeared to treat his wife kindly on the voyage.
Counsel for the prisoner asked the Judge to disregard the plea of not guilty previously entered by Deeming. He had pleaded thus, counsel said, against the advice of his lawyers, and he now desired to withdraw that plea. The Judge said that at a later stage of the proceedings he would ask the jury concerning the request to counsel. The court then adjourned.