10 August 1889
Liverpool, August 5.
At the trial of Mrs. Maybrick for the murder of her husband to-day during the examination of witnesses for the defense, Dr. McNamara, ex president of the Irish college of Surgeons, testified that in his opinion Mr. Maybrick's death was due to gastro-enteritis and not to arsenic.
Dr. Paul of Liverpool, connected with the faculty of Victoria university, declared that it would take months to eliminate arsenic from the system if it were taken more than twice. He also thought that the symptoms in the case of Mr. Maybrick accorded with those of gastro-enteritis.
A chemist testified that ladies often purchase fly papers for use as a cosmetic. A hairdresser said that arsenic was frequently used by ladies to improve their complexion.
Mr. Poole, ex mayor of Liverpool, testified that in March last Mr. Maybrick had told him that he took poisonous medicines habitually. This concluded the evidence and Mrs. Maybrick then read her statement. In this she explained the presence of the fly papers in the house by saying that she had bought them for use as cosmetics. In former years she had used a cosmetic prescribed by Dr. Griggs, of Brooklyn which contained arsenic. She lost the prescription, and wishing to make a substitute had soaked the fly papers in elder flower water and lavender water and had covered the mixture with a plate and a towel to exclude the air. Continuing, Mrs. Maybrick said: "On the night of May 9th, after the nurse in attendance upon my husband had given him some meat juice. I went and sat by his bed. He complained of being very sick and depressed and implored me to give him a powder. Earlier in the day he had made a similar request and I had declined to administer the powder, but that evening I was over-wrought, terribly anxious and miserably unhappy. His distress unnerved me and as he said the powder was harmless and I could put it in his feed, I consented to put it with some meat juice which I gave to him. After taking it deceased fell asleep and appeared better on awakening. I was not anxious to administer the powder. Afterwards I placed the bottle containing the meat juice on the wash stand where it remained until Michael Maybrick, my brother in law, took possession of it. The day before my husband I made a full confession to him of the fearful wrong I had done him and received his forgiveness." This statement caused sensation in the court room.