THE MITRE SQUARE MURDER
INQUEST AND VERDICT
THE WRITING ON THE WALL
The adjourned inquest on the body of Catherine Eddowes, aged 43, hitherto described as a person unknown, who was found murdered in Mitre square, Aldgate, early in the morning of Sunday, the 30th of September, was resumed yesterday at the City Mortuary, Golden lane, before Mr. J.F. Langham, City Coroner, and a jury. Mr. Crawford, City Solicitor, attended the inquiry under the instructions of the Corporation; Major Smith, Inspector McWilliams of the Detective Department, and Superintendent Foster represented the police. Dr. Saunders, Medical Officer of Health for the City, was also present.
The principal fresh points given in evidence were in relation to the finding of a piece of the murdered woman's apron and the discovery of handwriting relating to the crime on the wall of a passage where the piece of apron lay.
Mr. George William Sequeire (sic), of 34 Jewry street, Aldgate, surgeon, said: I was called out on the morning of Sunday, the 30th of September, and was the first medical man to arrive at the body. I was there at five minutes to two, and saw the position of the body. I agree with Dr. Gordon Brown as to that position. I was present and heard the whole of the evidence of Dr. Gordon Brown at the last examination, and I entirely agree with it in all particulars.
By Mr. Crawford - I am very well acquainted with the locality. I know the position of the surrounding lamps in the square. It was the broadest part of the square. Would there be sufficient light in the square to enable these injuries to be inflicted without additional light? - Yes, quite.
From what you saw have you formed an opinion as to whether the perpetrator of the deed had any particular design on any particular part of the body? - I have formed an opinion that he had no particular design on any particular organ.
Judging from the injuries inflicted, do you think he was possessed of anatomical skill? - No, I do not.
Can you account in any way for the absence of noise? - The death must have been instantaneous after the severance of the blood vessels and the windpipe.
Would you expect to find the clothes of the murderer bespattered with blood? - Not necessarily. How long do you think life had been extinct? - Only a very few minutes; probably not more than a quarter of an hour, on account of the condition of the blood.
Dr. W.F. Saunders, 13 Queen street, Fellow of the Chemical Society, and public analyst of the City of London deposed: I received the stomach of the deceased from Dr. Gordon Brown, carefully sealed with his own private seal. It had been carefully tied, and the contents had not been interfered with in any way. I carefully examined the stomach and its contents more particularly for poisons of the narcotic class, with negative results, there being not the faintest trace of those or any other poison.
By Mr. Crawford - I was present at the post mortem examination, and had ample opportunity of seeing the wounds, and I agree with Drs. Brown and Sequeire that the wounds were not inflicted by any one having great anatomical skill. I also agree that the person who inflicted the wounds had no design on any particular organ - internal organ.
Annie Phillips, a comely looking young woman dressed in black, said: I live at 12 Dilston road, Southwark park. My husband is a lampblack packer.
The Coroner - Are you a daughter of the deceased? - Yes, sir.
Did the deceased live with your father? - Yes.
Was she married to him? - She always told me she was married, but I have never seen the marriage lines. My father's name was Thomas Conway. I have not seen him for the last 15 or 18 months. He was then living with me and my husband at 15 Acre street, Southwark park road. He was a hawker.
Do you know what became of him after he left? - No.
Did he leave you suddenly without assigning any reason? - Yes.
Did he leave you on good terms? - No, sir; we wasn't on very good terms.
Did he say you would never see him again? - No.
Did you ever see him again? - No.
Was he a sober man? - Yes, he was a teetotaler.
Did he live on good terms with your mother? - No, they lived on bad terms, because she used to drink.
Have you any idea where your father is living? - No, I have not the least idea.
Had he any ill will of your knowledge against your mother? - No, sir.
Can you tell us the reason why he ceased to live with your mother? Was it entirely on account of her drinking habits? - Yes.
Your father was in the 18th Royal Irish, was he not? - I have been told so. He has been a pensioner since I was eight years old. I am now 23.
How long ago is it since he left your mother? - Between seven and eight years.
Have you been in the habit of seeing anything of your mother since she left your father? - Yes.
Did she ever apply to you for money? - Yes.
Frequently? - Yes.
When was the last time you saw her? - Two years and one month ago.
Did you see anything of her on Saturday, the day previous to her death? - No. When I last saw her I lived at King street, Bermondsey.
When you left there did you leave your address? - No. I have two brothers by Conway. They are living in London.
Did your mother know where to find either of them? - No, she did not.
They purposely kept from her? - Yes.
I suppose for the purpose of preventing her applying for money? - Yes.
By the Jury - It was 15 and 17 months ago that my father lived with me and my husband. I was then aware, and my father was too, that mother was then living with a man named Kelly.
Mr. Crawford - Are you quite sure your father was a pensioner of the Royal Irish? - My mother always told me so.
You are not sure it was the 18th? - No, it might have been the Connaught Rangers.
The Coroner - That is the 18th.
Mr. Crawford - Yes; and it so happens there is a pensioner named Conway in the Royal Irish, but he is not the man.
How long is it since your mother received money from you? - About two years and two months ago, when she was waiting upon me in my confinement, and I used to pay her for it.
When was the last time you had a letter from her? - I have never had a letter from her.
Did you know anything of Kelly? - Yes. I have seen him in the lodging house two or three times.
With your mother? - Yes.
When did you last see them together? - About three years and a half ago. I saw them in a lodging house in Flower and Dean street. I knew they were living as man and wife.
Is it not a fact that your father is living with your two brothers? - Yes.
Do you know where they are living? - No, I do not.
Can you assist the police by letting them know? - No, I cannot. My father always lived with them. They are now 15 or 20.
When did you last see them? - About 15 or 18 months ago. I have not seen them since.
Am I to understand that you have lost all traces of your mother, father, and your two brothers for at least 18 months? - Yes.
You cannot give the police the slightest clue where to find them? - No, not the slightest.
Do you know whether your mother had been intimate with any one else recently in the lodging house? - No, I do not.
By the Jury - Mother and I did not part on good terms because she used to drink.
The Coroner - I think it would be convenient to show that every effort has been made to trace her relations.
John Mitchell, detective sergeant of the City Police, examined by Mr. Crawford, said - I have under instructions made every effort to find the father and the brothers of the last witness, but at present without success.
Have you found a pensioner named Conway, belonging to the 18th Royal Irish? - Yes.
Have you confronted him with the sister? - No. He has been seen by other officers and he has been identified as not being the man in question. I with other officers have used every endeavour, and every inquiry has been made that can possibly been made with a view to trace the murderer.
Mr. Crawford - The jury will assume that the City police will do everything that is possible.
A Juror - Has the man Conway been seen by any relatives of the deceased?
Mr. Crawford - I have an officer who confronted him with two of the deceased's sisters.
Baxter Hunt, examined by Mr. Crawford - I am a detective constable of the City of London. Acting under instructions, I discovered the pensioner Conway belonging to the 18th Royal Irish.
Have you confronted him with two of the deceased's sisters? - Yes.
And have they failed to recognise him as the man who used to live with the deceased? - Yes.
Have you made every effort to trace the man Thomas Conway and the brothers referred to by the last witness? - Yes.
And without success? - Yes.
The Foreman: Why did you not take the daughter? - At that time the daughter had not been found.
Mr. Crawford: It shall be done.
A juror asked whether Mr. Crawford had any evidence as to when the man Conway received his pension the last occasion.
Mr. Crawford: We cannot trace him. He may not be known as a pensioner in the name of Conway, and yet may receive his pay as a pensioner. (To the witness): The man named Conway receives his pension as a quartermaster sergeant, does he not? - Yes, 2s 11d per day.
Dr. Gordon Brown was recalled.
Mr. Crawford - A theory has been put forward that it is possible the deceased might have been brought here in a murdered state? - There is no question of the kind. The blood on the left side was clotted, and it must have clotted as it flowed from the throat. I do not think she could have been carried the least bit. I think the throat was cut, and the body lay where it fell, without even a struggle.
Then we may take it you are quite sure in your own mind that the murder was committed on the spot? - Quite sure; I am certain of it.
Mr. Crawford - We get so many theories.
Police Constable Lewis Robinson - About half past eight on the evening of the 29th I was on duty in High street, Aldgate. I saw a crowd of persons outside No 29. I saw there a woman, whom I have since recognised as the deceased.
In what state was she? - Drunk, sir.
Lying on the footway? - On the footway. I turned to the crowd and asked if there was any one there that knew her, or knew where she lived, and I got no answer. I then picked her up and carried her to the side by the shutter. I set her up, and leaned her against the shutter, but she fell sideways down again. I did not do any more until I got the assistance of another police constable, and we took her to the police station. When she got to the station we asked her her name, and she replied, "Nothing." We then took her and put her in the cell.
Did any one particular appear to be in her company when you first found her? - No, no one in particular, only the crowd standing round.
Mr. Crawford - Did any one appear to know her? - No.
What was the latest time you saw her? - About ten minutes to nine on the Saturday evening in the police cell.
Do you recollect whether she was wearing another apron? - Yes, she was.
The apron was shown to the witness. It was much torn and was saturated with blood in several places.
Witness - To the best of my knowledge this is the apron she was wearing.
The Foreman - What is the course taken when a person is drunk? - We judged by her appearance. The police surgeon did not see her.
The Foreman - I ask that because there was a case in my experience where a person was taken for drunk when he had not taken anything for hours before.
Witness - She smelt very strong of drink, sir.
James Byfield, station sergeant at Bishopsgate - I remember deceased being brought into the station at a quarter to nine on the 29th of last month.
In what condition was she? - She was very drunk, and had to be supported by the two constables who brought her in. She was placed in a cell, and remained there till one o'clock in the morning, when she was sober. I discharged her then after she gave her name and address.
What name and address did she give? - She gave the name of Mary Ann Kelly, 6 Fashion street, Spitalfields.
Did you see her go out? - I did not see her leave the station.
Did she say where she came from? - In reply to a question she said she had been hopping.
The Foreman - Had she anything to eat in her cell? - No.
Would it be possible put drunk in a cell at nine o'clock to be perfectly sober at one? - Yes.
George H. Hunt, gaoler Bishopsgate station - On Saturday, the 29th of last month, at a quarter to ten at night I took over the prisoners and among them the deceased woman. I visited her several times until five minutes to one the following morning (Sunday.) The inspector was out visiting, and I was directed by Sergeant Byfield to see if there were any prisoners fit to be discharged. I found the deceased sober. I took her to the office, where, after giving the name of Mary Ann Kelly, she was discharged by the station sergeant. I pushed open the swing door leading to the passage and said, "This way, missus." She passed along the passage to the outer door. I said to her, "Please push it to." She said, "All right; good night, old cock." (Laughter.) She pulled the door within half a foot in closing it, and I saw her turn to the left. That was the last I saw of her. That would lead towards Houndsditch.
By the Foreman - It is left to the discretion of the inspector whether the prisoner is sober enough to be discharged, or to the discretion of the station sergeant of the inspector has gone out visiting. It is usual to discharge persons who have been locked up at all hours of the night.
By a Juror - About a quarter past twelve she was awake and singing a song to herself, as it were. At half past twelve I saw her sitting on the bench or wooden bed. She asked when she would be let go. I said, "As soon as you are able to take care of yourself." She said, "I am able to take care of myself now."
By Mr. Crawford - I can fix the time she left the station at one o'clock on Sunday morning.
And in your opinion when she left the station she was capable of taking care of herself? - Quite.
Did she say anything to you as to where she was going? - No.
Did she make any observation in the station yard? - On bringing her out of the cell about two minutes to one she asked me what time it was. I said, "Too late for you to get any more drink."
She said, "What time is it?" I said, "Just on one."
Did she make any remark? - She said, "I shall get a _____ fine hiding when I get home." I said to her, "And serve you right. You had no right to get drunk."
I gather from that you supposed she was going home? - Yes.
Did you notice whether she was wearing an apron? - I did. I have seen the apron produced by the last witness, and to the best of my belief that is the one she was wearing when she left the station. The distance from the station to Mitre square is about 400 yards.
Mr. Crawford - How long would it take to walk in ordinary walking? - About eight minutes. I do not know the lodging house in Flower and Dean street.
By the Jury - We do not examine the pockets of drunken persons, but we unfastened the dress at the neck, and I then noticed a red silk handkerchief.
George James Morris - I am watchman to Messrs. Kerley and Tong (sic), wholesale tea merchants, Mitre square. I went on duty at 7 o'clock on the evening of the 29th September. I was occupied most of the time in cleaning the office and in looking about the warehouse.
Coroner - What happened about a quarter to two? - Police constable Watkins, who was on the Mitre square beat, knocked at my door, which was slightly ajar at the time. He said, "For God's sake, mate, come to my assistance." I said, "Stop till I get my lamp." I got it and went outside. I said, "What's the matter?" "Oh dear," he said, "here is another woman cut to pieces." I said, "Where is she?" He said, "In the corner." Having been a police constable myself, I knew what he required, and I asked him no further questions. I went over to the corner and threw my light on the body. On seeing it I ran up Mitre street into Aldgate and blew my whistle. I agree with the evidence given as to the position of the body. I had not gone far before I had the assistance of two police constables.
The Coroner - Did you see any suspicious person about at that time? - No, sir. I told the constables to go to Mitre square, where there was another terrible murder. I then followed the constables down, and took charge of my own premises again.
Had you heard any noise in the square before you were called by Constable Watkins? - No, sir.
Had there been any cry of distress could you have heard it from where you were? - Yes.
Mr. Crawford - Before you were called by Watkins had you occasion to look into the square before twelve or one? - No, sir.
Quite certain you had not quitted the premises before Watkins knocked? - Yes.
Was there anything unusual in your door being open? - No.
There was nothing unusual in your being in the promises at a quarter to two on Sunday morning? - No.
Had you seen Watkins before on the evening? - No.
A Juror - May I ask him how long the door had been on the jar before Watkins knocked? - Only about two minutes. I had done two steps.
James Harvey, police constable, stated that he went on his beat on the 29th September at a quarter to ten. While in Aldgate early on Sunday morning he heard a whistle blow and saw the witness Norris (sic) with a lamp. He continued - I inquired what was the matter, and was told a woman had been ripped up in Mitre square. I saw a constable on the other side of the street and said to him, "Come with me." We went into Mitre square and saw Watkins there, and the deceased. I went for a doctor, and private individuals were despatched for other constables, who arrived almost immediately, having heard the whistle. Information was at once sent to the inspector. It was between one and two minutes to half past one when I passed the post office clock
George Clapp, of 5 Mitre street, Aldgate, deposed - I am a caretaker of the premises, the back part looks into Mitre square. I went to bed with my wife about eleven o'clock on Saturday night in a back room on the second floor.
Coroner - During the night did you hear any noise or disturbance of any kind? - No.
When did you first hear that anything had happened? - When I first heard of the murder between five and six in the morning.
By Mr. Crawford - An old lady acting as nurse was the only other person in the house. She was sleeping at the top of the house, which is three stories high.
Richard Pearce, police constable, living at No 3, Mitre square, stated: I went to bed on the Saturday night at twenty minutes past twelve. I did not hear any noise or disturbance. At twenty minutes past two in the morning I was called by a constable, who told me of the murder. From my windows I could see the place where the body was found plainly.
By Mr. Crawford - There is no other house occupied in the square. There are only my wife and family of small children in the house, and I keep a light burning all night in case they wake up.
Joseph Lawende - I live at No 25, Norfolk road, Dalston, and am a commercial traveller. On the night of the 29th I was in the Imperial Club, with Mr. Joseph Levy and Mr. Harry Harris. We could not get home because it was raining. At half past one we left to go out, and left the house about five minutes later. We saw a man and a woman at the corner of Church passage, in Duck street, which leads to Mitre square.
Coroner - Were they talking at the time? - She was standing with her face towards the man. I only saw her back. She had her hand on his chest.
What sort of woman was she? - I could not see her face, but the man was taller than she was.
Did you notice how she was dressed? - I noticed she had a black jacket and a black bonnet. I have seen the articles at the police station, and I recognise them as the sort of dress worn by that woman.
Can you tell what sort of a man this was? - He had a cloth cap on, with a peak of the same material.
Mr. Crawford - Unless the jury particularly wish it, I have special reason for not giving details of the appearance of this man.
The Jury - No.
The Coroner (to witness) - You have given a special description of this man to the police? - Yes. Do you think you would know him again? - I doubt it, sir.
By Mr. Crawford - The club is 16 and 17 Duke street, about 15 or 16 feet from where they were standing at Church passage.
By what did you fix the time? - By seeing the club clock and my own watch. It was five minutes after the half hour when we came out, and to the best of my belief it was twenty five to two when we saw these persons.
Did you hear anything said? - No, not a word.
Did either of them appear in an angry mood? - No.
Was there anything about them or their movements that attracted your attention? - No, except that Mr. Levy said the court ought to be watched, and I took particular notice of a man and a woman talking there.
Was her arm on his breast as if she were pushing him away? - No; they were standing very quietly.
You were not curious enough to look back to see where they went? - No.
Joseph Hyam Levy, sworn in Jewish fashion, said - I live at 1 Hutchinson street, Aldgate, and am a butcher. I was with the last witness and Harris at the Imperial Club on the 29th, and left with them about half past one. It might be about three or four minutes past the half hour when we came out. I saw a man and woman standing at the corner of Church passage, but I did not take any further notice of them, thinking that persons standing at that time in the morning in a dark passage were not up to much good. So I walked on. I was at home at twenty minutes to two.
Coroner - What height was the man? - He might be about three inches taller than the woman.
Can you give any description of wither of them? - I cannot. I only fix the time by the club clock.
By the Foreman - The place was badly lighted. There is a much better light there now than there was then - I can say that. I said when I came out of the club to Mr. Harris, "I don't like going home by myself when I see these sort of characters about. I'm off."
A Juror - Is it an unusual thing to see a man and woman there at that hour in the morning? - It is unusual for me to be out at that time. I am usually at home at eleven.
Mr. Crawford - What was there terrible in their appearance? - I did not say that.
Your fear was about yourself? - Not exactly.
You simply buttoned up your coat and hurried on? - Yes.
Constable Alfred Long, 254 A of the Metropolitan Police, said - I was on duty in Goulston street, Whitechapel, on Sunday, Sept. 30, about 2.55 a.m., when I found a portion of a woman's apron (produced). There were blood stains on it, and one portion of it was wet. It was lying in the passage leading to the staircase of 118 and 119, which is a model dwelling house. Above it on the wall was written in chalk, "The Jews are the men that will not be blamed for nothing." I at once searched the staircase and areas of the building, but found nothing else. I then took the apron to the Commercial road police station, and reported to the inspector on duty.
The Coroner - Had you been past the part previously to discovering the apron? - I had passed that part about 2.20.
Are you able to say whether the apron was there then? - The apron was not there at the time.
Mr. Crawford - I want you to repeat the words on the wall. Have you not put the words in the wrong place? Was it not "The Jews are not the men that will be blamed for nothing"? - "The Jews are not the men that will be blamed for nothing."
You did not copy from the wall? - Yes, I copied from the wall into my pocket book.
How have you spelt the word "Jews"? - J-e-w-s.
Is it not possible it was "juwees"? - It is possible I might have written it wrongly.
Were not the words "The juwees are not the men that will be blamed for nothing?" - "The Jews are not the men that will be blamed for nothing."
Which did you see first, the piece of apron or the words on the wall? - The apron.
What called your attention to the writing on the wall? - From searching to see of there were any marks of blood.
And it appeared to have been recently written? - That I could not form an opinion upon. I did not go into the dwelling house, but simply up the staircase.
You made no inquiry in the dwelling house itself? - No.
(Long was directed to proceed to Westminster for his pocket book.)
Daniel Halse, detective officer of the City Police - On Saturday, the 29th of last month, from instructions received from the detective office, 26 Old Jewry, I directed a number of plain clothes officers to patrol the City all night. At about two minutes to two on Sunday morning I was called to Houndsditch by Aldgate Church, in company with Detectives Outram and Marriott. I heard a woman had been murdered in Mitre square. We ran there and saw the body. I immediately gave instructions to have the neighbourhood searched and every man stopped and examined. I went by way of Middlesex street, in the east end of the City, into Wentworth street, where I stopped two men. They gave me a satisfactory account of themselves and I allowed them to depart. I came through Goulston street about twenty minutes past two, where the apron was found, and then went back to Mitre square. I saw the deceased stripped, and noticed that a portion of the apron was missing. I accompanied Major Smith back to the station, when we heard that a piece of apron had been found in Goulston street. I then went to Leman street Police station with Detective Hunt, and from there to Goulston street, and saw the place where it was found. I saw some chalk writing on the wall on black facia. I remained there while Hunt went on to arrange for having the writing photographed. Directions were given for that purpose, but it was thought it might cause a riot if the Jews saw it on the Sunday morning, or an outbreak against the Jews. We decided to have it rubbed out, as the people were then bringing stalls out into Goulston street to get a prominent position. When Hunt returned with Mr. McWilliams an inquiry was made at every tenement in the building, but we gained no tidings of any one going in after the murder.
By. Mr. Crawford - Before stopping the two men in Wentworth street I had not passed over the spot where the piece of apron was found. I suggested that the top line of the writing should be taken out. The metropolitan officer suggested the word "Jews" should be taken out.
Before it was taken out you had taken note of it? - As plain as I could see it in the dark - for I had no light - I wrote down "The Juwees are not the men that will be blamed for nothing."
Did the writing appear to have been recently written? - Yes. It was written in white chalk on black facia.
By the Jury - It was the suggestion of the Metropolitan Police that it should be rubbed out, and it was on their ground.
Mr. Crawford - I am obliged to ask this question. Did you protest against its being rubbed out? - I did, sir. I protested.
A juror - How did you account for its being recent? - Because it seemed fresh, and if it had been long written it would have been rubbed by people passing. It was written on the black brick in good schoolboy's handwriting. The capitals would be under an inch high, and italics in proportion. The bricks are painted black up to about four feet high, like a dado, and above that are white.
Mr. Crawford - With the exception of a few questions to Long, that is the whole of the evidence I have to offer on the part of the police, but if there is any particular point the jury thinks can be cleared up, I shall be happy to answer.
A Juror - It appears strange that a policeman should find a piece of apron and then no further inquiry should be made. They had got a clue up to that point, and there it is lost utterly.
Mr. Crawford - You have heard what the constable said. I have witnesses to show that diligent search was made of every part of the premises in Goulston street.
The Juror - That is an answer to my question.
Mr. Crawford - Long, who found the apron, is one of the metropolitan police. He has gone to fetch his pocket book.
Proceedings were suspended until the return of the constable.
On the return of Long he was further examined by Mr. Crawford - Have you got your book? - Yes.
Does it contain the entry you made at the time from the writing on the wall? - Yes. "The Jews are the men that will not be blamed for nothing."
I see you use the word "Jews"? - Yes, but the inspector remarked that the word was "Juwees."
Why did you write J-e-w-s? - This was before the inspector made the remark.
At all events there was a discrepancy between you and what the inspector thought the word was? - Yes.
That was the only mistake the inspector pointed out? - Yes.
I want to know what you did the moment you found the piece of apron - I at once searched the staircases leading to the buildings.
Did you make any inquiry at any of the tenements? - No.
How many staircases are there? - Six or seven. There is one leads down and the other up. I searched every one.
And found no trace? - No.
Or any recent footmarks? - No trace whatever. It would be about three o'clock when I searched the staircases. I then proceeded to the station.
Before proceeding to the station, had you heard of any murder having been committed? - Yes.
It is common knowledge that two murders were committed that morning, which had you heard of? - Of the one in Mitre square. When I left I left in charge of the stair Constable 190 of the H Division of the metropolitan police. I told him to observe if any one left or entered. I returned to the building about five o'clock.
Had the writing been rubbed out? - No, it was rubbed out in my presence ay half past five.
Did you hear any one object to its being rubbed out? - No; it was beginning to get daylight. It was not quite daylight.
A Juror - Having heard of a murder, and subsequently found a piece of apron with blood upon it, did it not appear to you that it might be as well to examine some of the rooms of the building? - No, sir. I did not expect the man had committed the murder in the passage, but I though the body might have been hidden there.
The juror added that he did not wish to reflect on the police, for the City police especially had acted creditably, but it did appear strange that the buildings were not examined.
Witness said that he acted as he thought best according to his knowledge.
Mr. Crawford - You thought you were more likely to find the body that to find the actual murderer?
Witness - Yes. No one left the building before I returned with the inspector.
Mr. Crawford remarked that he could carry the matter no further at present.
The Coroner observed that he did not see any necessity for the inquest being again adjourned. All the evidence was before the jury which the police were in a position to give, and it was better that the matter should be left in their hands, and that the jury should return an open verdict against some person unknown. The medical evidence clearly showed that this fiendish murder was effected by cutting the carotid artery, which precluded the victim from giving any alarm whatever. She was seen alive at 1.30, and was found dead at 1.44, leaving only fourteen minutes unaccounted for. The story of her life was a painful one, but there was nothing to suggest that Conway had anything to do with the murder, while Kelly was certainly in bed at the lodging house at the time it was committed. He believed it was best to leave the matter to the police, and he ventured to hope that through the magnificent reward offered by the City the man would speedily be brought to justice who had committed this atrocious crime.
The jury, after momentary deliberation, returned a verdict of "Wilful murder against some person unknown."
The Coroner, on behalf of himself and the jury, said he wished to thank Mr. Crawford and the police for the able assistance they had rendered in the inquiry.
Mr. Crawford said the police had simply done their duty.
The jury presented their fees to Mrs. Phillips, daughter of the murdered woman.
An arrest, which at one time was thought might prove of an important character, was effected yesterday at Elham, near Hythe. The master of the workhouse had his suspicions excited over a casual who answered the description of the man wanted, and who was decently dressed with black coat, trousers and hat. Blood was found on the trousers and shirt, the cuffs of which had been ripped off. He gave three or four different names, and most contradictory statements as to his previous movements. Supt. Maxted (?) communicated with the London police. The Scotland yard authorities, however, speedily satisfied themselves that the man could have had nothing to do with the Whitechapel murders; and he will be set at liberty in due course. No arrests were made yesterday within the metropolitan district, and no persons are now in custody in connection with the East end atrocities. Public attention is at present absorbed with the revelations made at the inquest on the Mitre square victim, which have caused a profound sensation in the East end. It will be remembered that the first announcement respecting the writing on the wall in Goulstone street was made on Monday last, and an attempt was made at the time to throw doubts upon the accuracy of the statement. It is now added that the order to erase the words on the wall was given by a very highly placed officer, in the Metropolitan police force with the humane intention of averting an increase of the anti Jewish feeling which at the time was unfortunately but undoubtedly very general in the East end of London. So real were the apprehensions of the police authorities in this connection that on the Sunday night of the murders the chief police stations in the East end were reinforced by fifty constables each. It is obvious, however, that every purpose would have secured by the obliteration of the offensive inscription after it had been photographed, and the feeling is general and most marked that the officer by whose orders the sponge was passed over the wall was guilty, to say the least, of a very grave error of judgement.
The following letter has been received by Mr. Metcalfe, the vestry clerk of Whitechapel, from the Home Office, in reply to a resolution of the vestry asking the Hon. Mr. Matthews to give every possible facility for the speedy arrest of the murderer:
"Whitehall, Oct. 10, 1888.
I am directed by the Secretary of State to acknowledge your letter of the 4th inst., forwarding a copy of a resolution passed at a vestry meeting of the parish of St. Mary's, Whitechapel, expressing sorrow at the recent murders in the East end of London, and urging Her Majesty's Government to use their utmost endeavours to discover the criminal. I am instructed to state that Mr. Matthews shares the feeling of the vestry with regard to these murders, and that he has given directions, and that the police have instructions to exercise any and every power they possess, and even to use an amount of discretion with regard to suspected persons, in their efforts to discover the criminal. And I am further to state that the Secretary of State, after personal conference with the Commissioners of Police, at which the whole of the difficulties have been fully discussed, is satisfied that no means has been or will be spared in tracing the offender and bringing him to justice.
I am, Sir, yours &c.,
E. Leigh Pemberton.
T. Metcalfe, Esq., Vestry Clerk, Whitechapel."
The following curious story is vouched for as being strictly correct, at least so far as the young lady referred to is concerned: On Wednesday evening a young lady was walking along Shiel road, Liverpool, not far from Shiel Park, when she was topped by an elderly woman, aged about 60, who in an agitated and excited manner urged her most earnestly not to go into the park. She explained that a few minutes previously she had been resting on one of the seats in the park, when she was accosted by a respectable looking man dressed in a black coat, light trousers, and a soft felt hat, who inquired if she knew if there were any loose woman about the neighbourhood, and immediately afterwards produced a knife with a long, thin blade, and stated he intended to kill as many women in Liverpool as in London, adding that he would send the ears of the first victim to the editor of the Liverpool Daily Post. The old woman, who was trembling violently as she related this story. stated that she was so terribly frightened that she hardly knew how she got away from the man. She could not see either a policeman or a park keeper. In addition to warning the young lady, she appears to have mentioned the matter to some workmen whom she met afterwards in Shiel road.
The steamers leaving Liverpool for American and other ports are now being carefully watched by the police, and the passengers are closely scrutinised by detectives, there being an idea that the perpetrator of the Whitechapel murders may endeavour to make his escape via Liverpool.
The Belfast Evening Telegraph yesterday afternoon published the following letter which it received by that afternoon's post:
I have arrived in your city, as London is too warm for me just now, so that Belfast _____ had better look out, for I intend to commence operations on Saturday night. I have spotted some nice fat ones who will cut up well. I am longing to begin, for I love my work.
Jack the Ripper."
The communication, which is written in red ink and bears several blotches, evidently made in imitation of blood, is stamped with the Belfast post mark.
Our Paris correspondent telegraphs: The Whitechapel murders have not only been here a newspaper sensation of the first magnitude, but have got on weak brains and set madmen and lovers of practical jokes writing to the Prefect of Police. M. Goron, the head of the Criminal Investigation Department, receives letters written from both. The following was received by him yesterday:
The inquest on the body of Catherine Eddowes, who was recently murdered in Mitre square, was resumed before the City Coroner, Mr. Langham, yesterday. Dr. Saunders, public analyst for the City, stated that he had examined the stomach and contents, and failed to find the slightest trace of poison. Annie Phillips, a young married woman, said that the deceased was her mother. Her father was alive, and, as she believed, living with her brothers, but she did not know their address. Police evidence was also given showing that the deceased, who had been locked up for drunkenness, was discharged from the Bishopsgate police station at one o'clock on the morning of the murder, and that she was then wearing an apron, a portion of which was afterwards picked up saturated with blood in several places. On a wall near where the apron was found some one had written in chalk, "The Jews (or Juwees) are the men that will not be blamed for nothing." This was rubbed out by order of the metropolitan police. The jury returned a verdict of "Wilful murder against some person unknown."
The inquest on Catherine Eddowes, the woman murdered in Mitre square, came to a close yesterday with a verdict of murder against some person unknown. Practically the world known nothing more of this crime than it did on the morning when it was first announced. We have some details about the victim, few or none about the murderer. The "person unknown" has every right to his designation. All that is told about him is of the negative sort. In the opinion of the medical witnesses, he had not inflicted the mutilations for the removal of any particular organ of the body, and moreover he was not possessed of anatomical skill. If there is anything to add to this, it is that the man, who was in all probability the murderer, was seen talking to a woman in the immediate neighbourhood of the crime about ten minutes before the body was found. A special description of this man has been given to the police, it was withheld, by permission, from the Coroner, but the witness who saw him doubts whether he would know him again. Beyond that we have no evidence tending to identification. The rest bears in great part on the murdered woman's way of life. And what a way of life it was! Take the night of her death. She is found drunk on the pavement at 8.30 on Saturday night, and is locked up at 9. At a quarter past 12 she has slept off the worst effects of her debauch, and she is heard singing softly to herself in the police cell, and asking when she will be let out. She knows the habits of the place perfectly, and is on quite easy terms with the gaoler. At one in the morning on Sunday, the 30th September, which is to be her last upon earth, the prison door is opened, and she is once more sent forth into the streets. The police know that it is useless to trouble the magistrate with cases of this sort, and the "cases" are equally aware of the fact. They are quite friendly and civil on both sides. "Please pull it to," says the gaoler at Bishopsgate street, as the captive opens the door to pass out. "All right. Good night, old cock," returns the captive, and that transaction is at an end. It is too late to get any more drink, but in half an hour from this the wretched creature is plying her trade in Church passage, and at 1.44 she is found lying on the pavement in Mitre square in the manner which has been too often described. Her story - the stories of nearly all the women who have been killed in this particular way, are perhaps the most awful revelations of a social condition that have every been made public. They are awful from first to last, in the remoter details, as well as in those more particularly relating to the eve of the crime. Before Eddowes got drunk she had taken temporary leave of the man with whom she lived. They were destitute, and they separated for a time, each to shift as each could. At parting the man took off his boots, and the woman walked into a pawnshop with them, to raise a few shillings. They shared the money and said goodbye. The woman was a mother of three children by another man - still living. The children, young men and women, kept out of her way. They kept out of one another's way. The father keeps, more or less, out of the way of all of them. If the Coroner's Jury were inquiring into the lives of a tribe of savages these particulars would be thought very curious reading by the scientific world. The witnesses seem to have the weakest possible sense of the sacredness of the family tie. The daughter had heard that she was born in wedlock, but she had never seen the marriage lines. The father cannot be found, but the police are to make fresh efforts to discover him. He knew that his wife or paramour had taken up with another man.
But this evidence, strange as it is, was not the strangest offered yesterday. An hour after the finding of the body, the police picked up a piece if the blood stained apron, in the passage of a common lodging house hard by. This was known: what follows is absolutely startling. On the black wall of the passage, and just above the shred of blood stained apron, was written in white chalk: "The Jews are not the men that will be blamed for nothing" - or words to that effect. It was presumably written by the murderer. It was almost certainly written to put the police on a false scent. But, written as it was, it was a piece of precious evidence, and the first duty of the police was to preserve it with the aid of the camera. Instead of doing this, their first care was to rub it out! It seems incredible, but the fact, as stated in evidence, unfortunately admits of no dispute. The motive of this melancholy blunder was entirely praiseworthy. The police were afraid of raising a brutal prejudice against the Jews. It never occurred to them that they might, as one of the witnesses suggested, have attained that object by the erasure of a single word. It never occurred to them that a curtain or tarpaulin thrown over the inscription, with a couple of policemen to take charge of it until the arrival of the photographer, would have secured the end they had in view. Nothing occurred to them, or rather a good deal occurred, but every suggestion of prudence and common sense was deliberately set aside. It is clear that the man who murdered Catherine Eddowes carried away a piece of her blood stained clothing to Goulston street, Whitechapel, and that his hand, still red with her blood, wrote something on a wall. The something written has been lost for ever and those by whose agency it was lost are the men whose special function is the discovery of crime. There has never been a confession of more hopeless incompetence, even in that force over which Sir Charles Warren has the honour to preside.