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East London Advertiser
Saturday, 15 September 1888.


THE Whitechapel murders have attained all the importance of a tragedy. Nothing approaching it has ever happened since De Quincey glorified a very similar accumulation of horrors in "Murder as a Fine Art." The man monster who has been startling Whitechapel for the past four months is a madman. There is no doubt on that point, and the sooner the police make up their minds to catch him the better for their own reputation. In a manner, indeed, the Whitechapel tragedies open up the whole question of our police organisation. The present system combines a good many of the vices of the Continental and American plans without any of their virtues. We are militarising our police, but we do not seem to be able to make either good detectives of them or good local guardians of our lives and property. That is, at all events, the case in London, where Sir Charles Warren, a martinet of apparently a somewhat inefficient type, has, according to the Daily News, committed the double folly of weakening his detective force, and strengthening his ordinary police force from the ranks of reserve men and others of a military or semi-military type. Now, it is obvious that a policy of this kind destroys the two safeguards of a community, so far as the detection of crime is concerned. In the first place it deprives it of a specially trained force, consisting of men of superior intellect and specially adapted powers, for detective purposes. You cannot have a good detective service unless you place it in a position of supreme authority, as it is placed in Paris, and give it precedence over all other branches of the police force. If a detective has to delay acting until he has orders from a superior officer he may lose the one chance he has of following up a likely scent, when it is hot and fresh. In the second place, Sir Charles Warren seems to have committed the additional mistake of substituting for the old parish constable the man with a few years of military service behind him, but with no other qualification for serving the public, as a policeman. Now the result of this is to destroy the most valuable characteristic of the old force as it existed before Sir Robert Peel's Bill. That is to say, the old idea of the policeman was that he was a man appointed by the neighbours to look after their lives and property. He was a hired servant, of course, but still he was a member of the community whose interests he looked after, and had some sort of an acquaintance with every one of the black sheep who were the special objects of his attention. Now this is as far removed from the idea of a centralised bureaucratic police as can well be imagined. Moreover, it is obvious that the guarantee of public safety offered under the old plan is infinitely stronger than that which our new organisation is able to supply. Nothing, indeed, has been more characteristic of the hunt after the Whitechapel murderer than the want of local knowledge displayed by the police. They seem to know little of the bad haunts of the neighbourhood, and still less of the bad characters who infest them. The chances are that if Whitechapel had had a properly organised local force it would long ago have been rid of the ghoul whose midnight murders have roused all London and frightened decent citizens in their beds.


Another murder, of a character even more diabolical than that perpetrated in Bucks-row, Whitechapel was discovered on Saturday in the same neighbourhood. At about 6 o'clock a woman was found lying in a back yard at the foot of a passage leading to a lodging-house in Hanbury-street, Spitalfields. The house is occupied by Mrs. Amelia Richardson, who lets it out to various lodgers, and it seems that the door which admits into this passage, at the foot of which lies the yard where the body was found, is always open for the convenience of the lodgers. Mr. and Mrs. Davis occupy the upper story (the house consisting of three stories). As Mr. Davis was going down to work at the time mentioned, he found a woman lying on her back close to the flight of steps leading into the yard. Her throat was cut open in a fearful manner. So deep, in fact, was the gash that the murderer, evidently thinking he had severed the head from the body, had tied a handkerchief around it. Upon further examination it was found that the woman's body had been completely ripped open, and the heart and other organs placed on the pavement at her side. The fiendish work had been completed by the murderer tying portions of the entrails round his victim's neck. The ground round where the woman lay was covered with clots of thick blood, and the spectacle presented was altogether a sickening one. By those who know the place well it is believed that the woman was murdered in the street and afterwards carried into the passage. This view is, to a certain extent, borne out by the traces of blood, which reach to the street. There is, moreover, nothing in the appearance of the ground to indicate a struggle. Davis, the man who found the body at once communicated with the police at Commercial-street station, and Inspector Chandler and several constables arrived on the scene shortly afterwards, when they found the woman in the condition described. Even at this early hour the news spread rapidly, and great excitement prevailed among the occupants of the adjacent houses. An excited crowd gathered in front of Mrs. Richardson's house, and also around the mortuary in Old Montague-street.

The woman's name was Annie Chapman, alias Sieve. She came from Windsor, and had friends residing at Vauxhall. Her home was a lodging-house at 35, Dorset-street, in Whitechapel. Her husband was a veterinary surgeon, who allowed her 10s. a week, but he died a twelvemonth ago, and, the pension ceasing, she has since earned her living in the streets. She lived for a time with a man named Sieve. She was identified at the mortuary at half-past seven in the morning by Frederick Simmons, a young man living in the same house with her. Simmons identified her without difficulty, first by her handkerchief and then by her face, and said that she had three rings on when she left the house, one a wedding ring and the other two chased. These had disappeared, having evidently been mistaken for gold and stolen by the assassin. For the last nine months she has been sleeping at night, or early in the morning rather, at the common lodging-house, and she was there as recently as 2 o'clock on Saturday morning eating some potatoes. She had not, however, the money to pay for her bed, and at 2 o'clock left with the remark to the keeper of the place, "I'll soon be back again; I'll soon get the money for my doss." This woman's height is exactly five feet. The complexion is fair, with wavy dark brown hair; the eyes are blue, and two lower teeth have been knocked out. The nose is rather large and prominent. The third finger of the left hands bears signs of rings having been wretched off it, and the hands and arms are considerably bruised. The deceased had on laced-up boots and striped stockings. She had on two cotton petticoats, and was otherwise respectably dressed. Nothing was found in her pockets but a handkerchief, and two small combs. The only clue of any value is furnished by Mrs. Fiddymont, wife of the proprietor of the Prince Albert public-house, half a mile from the scene of the murder. Mrs. Fiddymont states that at 7 o'clock in the morning she was standing in the bar talking with another woman, a friend, in the first compartment. Suddenly there came into the middle compartment a man whose rough appearance frightened her. He had on a brown stiff hat, a dark coat and no waistcoat. He came in with his hat down over his eyes, and with his face partly concealed, and asked for half a pint of four ale. She drew the ale, and meanwhile looked at him through the mirror at the back of the bar. As soon as he saw the woman in the other compartment watching him he turned his back, and got the partition between himself and her. The thing that stuck Mrs. Fiddymont particularly was the fact that there were blood spots on the back of his right hand. This, taken in connection with his appearance, caused her uneasiness. She also noticed that his shirt was torn. As soon as he had drunk the ale, which he swallowed at a gulp, he went out. Her friend went out also to watch him. Her friend, Mrs. Mary Chappell, corroborates Mrs. Fiddymont's story. When the man came in the expression of his eyes caught her attention, his look was so startling and terrifying. It frightened Mrs. Fiddymont so that she requested her to stay. He wore a light blue checked shirt, which was torn badly, into rags in fact, on the right shoulder. There was a narrow streak of blood under his right ear, parallel with the edge of his shirt. There was also dried blood between the fingers of his hand. When he went out she slipped out the other door, and watched him as he went towards Bishopsgate-street. She called Joseph Taylor's attention to him, and Joseph Taylor followed him. - Joseph Taylor states that as soon as his attention was attracted to the man he followed him. He walked rapidly, and came alongside him, but did not speak to him. The man was rather thin, about 5ft. 8in. high, and apparently between 40 and 50 years of age. He had a shabby genteel look, pepper and salt trousers which fitted badly, and dark coat. When Taylor came alongside him the man glanced at him, and Taylor's description of the look was, "His eyes were as wild as a hawk's." Taylor is a perfectly reliable man, well known throughout the neighbourhood. The man walked, he says, holding his coat together at the top. He had a nervous and frightened way about him. He wore a ginger-coloured moustache, and had short sandy hair. Taylor ceased to follow him, but watched him as far as Halfmoon-street, where he became lost to view. It is said that "Dark Annie," as the woman was called by her companions, was seen drinking at a tavern in Brick-lane with the man supposed to be her murderer. The barmaid said she opened the place at 5 o'clock, as is customary on a Saturday morning, as Spitalfields Market is in the near vicinity. She was too busy almost to notice whom she served. She might have served the woman; indeed she had been told by those who knew her that she had, but she had no recollection of it, and certainly could not say whether the unfortunate creature was accompanied by a man.


In the course of Saturday night and Sunday morning the police arrested two men on suspicion of being concerned in the crime. One man, whose appearance left little doubt in the minds of his captors that he was the Hanbury-street murderer, was found by an officer in Buck's-row shortly after 1 o'clock in the morning. The man appeared to be hiding in the street, and when accosted by the officer rushed off at the top of his speed. An alarm was raised, and after a sharp race the man was arrested. He was a villainous-looking fellow, with long hair and shaggy beard, dressed only in a pair of ragged blue serge trousers, and an old dirty shirt. He resisted his captors, but was eventually secured and conveyed to Bethnal Green police-station. It was said at the time that he was carrying a long knife concealed in the sleeve of his shirt, but on examination no weapon was found upon him. He gave an account of himself which was in the first instance considered unsatisfactory, but inquiries were immediately set on foot, and in the result the man, who appears to be a common vagrant, was released from custody. The second arrest was effected in Gloucester-street, where a man, aged 40, having the look of a seafarer, was arrested. It was pretty obvious, however, from the replies which he gave and his general appearance, that he was not the man sought for, and after he had spent some time in Commercial-street station he was set at liberty. It is suggested that the first mentioned individual is the person who has been spoken of by Mrs. Fiddymont. On Sunday the greatest excitement prevailed in Whitechapel, and crowds thronged Hanbury-street and the adjoining thoroughfares.

On Sunday night the Scotland-yard authorities had come to a definite conclusion as to the real description of the murderer of two at least of the hapless women found dead at the East End, and the following is the official telegram wired to every station throughout the metropolis and suburbs: "Commercial-street, 8.20 p.m. - Description of a man wanted, who entered the passage of a house at which the murder was committed with a prostitute at 2 a.m., the 8th - Age 37; height, 5ft. 7in.; rather dark beard and moustache; dress, short dark jacket, dark vest and trousers, black scarf, and black felt hat; spoke with a foreign accent." Colonel Monsell, chief constable of the district, visited the locality early in the forenoon, and subsequently inspected the body of the victim in the presence of the local police officers and the divisional surgeon. The police have no doubt that one man is responsible for all the recent murders of women in the district, and they are convinced that the horrible crimes are the work of a madman.

About 9 o'clock on Monday morning a detective arrested a man said to be the person known as "Leather Apron" - who was wanted in connection with the Whitechapel murder -at 22 Mulberry-street, Commercial-street. The real name of the man arrested is John Piser, but his friends deny that he has ever been known under the nickname of "Leather Apron." When the detective called at the house the door was opened by Piser himself. "Just the man I want," and the detective, who charged him on suspicion of being connected with the murder of the woman Chapman. Among his effects were found five knives, such as might be used in his calling of slipper-maker, and also a much more formidable instrument, with a curved blade 5in. long. By trade he is a boot finisher, and for some time he has been living Mulberry-street, with his stepmother (Mrs. Piser) and a married brother, who works as a cabinet-maker. At the Leman-street police-station, where the prisoner was taken, a large force of police were kept in readiness with drawn staves. Only a few people among the crowd outside seemed aware that an arrest had been made, and so quietly did the police act in Mulberry-street, that few even in that neighbourhood connected the arrest with the murder.

A man, whose name is not given, informed the Whitechapel police on Tuesday that he saw two men attacking a woman on Saturday morning, near the scenic of the murder; and on being shewn a number of men, he selected Piser as one of the woman's assailants. But further inquiry convinced the police that the man's statements were not trustworthy, and in the evening Piser was released.

A man has also been arrested at Gravesend in connection with the murder. Between 8 and 9 o'clock on Sunday night Superintendent Berry, of Gravesend, had a communication made to him that there was a suspicious looking individual at the Pope's Head public-house, West-street, and at once dispatched a sergeant to the house. The man was arrested, and taken to the police-station. It was noticed that one of his hands was injured, and on examining it the superintendent said it had evidently been bitten. When asked how he accounted for his hand being in this condition, the man said he was going down Brick-lane, Whitechapel, at half-past 5 o'clock on Saturday morning last, and a woman fell down in a fit. He stooped to pick her up, when she bit him. He then hit her, and as two policemen came up he ran away. Having examined the man's clothing very carefully, Dr. Whitcombe, the police surgeon, was sent for, and the doctor discovered two blood spots on two shirts the man had been carrying in a bundle. The doctor also expressed an opinion that blood had been wiped from off his boots. After being cautioned, the man is alleged to have stated that the woman who bit him was at the back of a lodging-house at the time. He also said that on Thursday night he had slept at the lodging-house in Osborn-street, Whitechapel, but that on Friday he was walking about Whitechapel all night, and that he came from London to Gravesend by road on Sunday; on Monday he stated that his name was William Henry Pigott, and that he was 52 years of age. He further stated that some years ago he lived at Gravesend, his father at one time having held a position there connected with a friendly society. The man appeared to be in a very nervous state. Pigott was subsequently taken to London and detained. Great excitement was manifested in the neighbourhood when his advent became known, and a considerable crowd gathered in the vicinity of the police-station awaiting the result of the investigation. He was examined by several witnesses, who, however, failed to identify him as the man wanted. The divisional surgeon pronounced him to be a lunatic, and he will be removed to an asylum and kept under observation.

Sir Charles Warren on Monday conferred with some of the chief officials respecting the murders. It is rumoured that he had under consideration the advisableness of offering a reward for the apprehension of the murderer. Great indignation prevails in the East End that this means of eliciting information has not been resorted to. So strong did this feeling become that a meeting of the chief local tradesmen was held on Monday, at which an influential committee was appointed, which has issued a notice stating that they will give a substantial reward for the capture of the murderer, or for information leading thereto.


After two days of such intense excitement as prevailed everywhere in East London on Saturday and Sunday, it was only natural that Monday morning should arrive bringing with it more quietness, that in some degree helped to restore the confidence of the people, which had been so sadly shaken. There were not wanting those who looked for some further manifestation of the presence of the "Red Terror," but happily their fearful anticipations were not justified by any fresh tragedy. In Hanbury-street, near the scene of the murder, a large number of persons had assembled as early as 9 o'clock, while there was also a small crowd round the mortuary in Montague-street, but it was almost too early for any repetition of the sciences, which at times were disgraceful, of Saturday. There was considerable uncertainty as to the time fixed for holding the inquest, and this doubtless accounted for the absence of any demonstration outside the Working Lads' Institute in the Whitechapel-road, where it was well known the inquest would take place. The two previous inquests had been held here and the place has, therefore, acquired a certain kind of notoriety. Half-past 9 was rumoured as the hour for the proceedings to begin, but 10 o'clock was entered upon the jurors' summonses. Shortly after 9 o'clock some police constables arrived, together with a few pressmen, and these appearances upon the scene considerably interfered with the labours of a few industrious charwomen who were sweeping out the hall. A word may be said as to the great advantage there is in selecting such a place as the Lads' Institute for coroner's inquiries. The hall is lofty and light, while there is plenty of room for everyone. The improvement upon the custom of hiring a public house room is manifest, and the new departure inaugurated by Mr. Wynne Baxter cannot be regretted. Up till half-past 9 the only arrivals were the reporters; but soon the jurymen began to drop in by twos and threes, and took their seats at the back of the hall to wait until when they were called upon to discharge their judicial duties. Some of the witnesses by this time arrived, and they all presented a very different appearance to what they did in the mortuary yard on Saturday morning, when they identified the body of the poor unfortunate woman, for the information of the police. They were now clean and as neatly dressed as their positions in life and means enabled them. By this time the news that the inquest was being held got wind, and the idlers in Montague and Hanbury-streets made a move to the main thoroughfare. None of them dared to venture past the guardians of law and order, who were stationed at the end of the stone passage leading into the building, but they stood staring stolidly up at the pretty edifice which was opened by their Royal Highnesses the Prince and Princess of Wales some two years ago. The "Move on, please" from the constables on duty in the road was continually heard, and their well-timed exertion prevented any congestion of the pavement traffic. Mr. Banks, the coroner's officer, at length arrived with his ubiquitous black bag, and Mr. George Collier, the deputy coroner, quickly followed him. First of all it was thought that Mr. Collier was going to conduct the inquiry, but Mr. Wynne Baxter's entrance soon dispelled that idea. In a quick business-like way the preliminaries were soon got through, the jurymen were seated in their usual places in the right hand corner of the room and the police officials on the other side facing them. The jurymen were then sworn, their names being Messrs. Dawson, Knight, Upton, Gardiner, Wall, Hunt, Statham, Mead, Hawkins, Wood, Ford, Latier, Carter, Neville, Chamberlain, Kemp, Silvan, and Birks. Mr. Thorpe was unanimously selected as foreman. The coroner and his deputy then accompanied the jurymen to view the body, a necessary but painful task, which was quickly accomplished. On the return through the streets they were followed by a large crowd, which on reaching the Institute, had to be dispersed by the police. The coroner settled down to business after everyone had obtained a seat, and the inquiry, which naturally was of a somewhat introductory character commenced. The first witness was John Davis, a carman, who lives at 29, Hanbury-street, the place where the murder was committed. The coroner was very sharp on the main points, and several times expressed his surprise at the action of the police. First, in not preparing a plan; and secondly, that some of the men who were said to be in the street at the time were not known by the police. - Amelia Palmer, a common looking woman, was also examined, but nothing of real importance was disclosed. - After Timothy Donovan and John Evans had given their evidence, Mr. Wynne Baxter abruptly adjourned the inquest until Wednesday, when the most important part of the evidence was given. The proceedings on Monday did not occupy much time, but for hours afterwards groups of men and women lingered outside discussing the probabilities and improbabilities of the dreadful tragedy.

In the Alexandra-room of the Working Lads' Institute the adjourned inquest was held on Wednesday afternoon. Shortly after 2 o'clock the proceedings commenced. Of course, the first to arrive on the scene was the coroner's officer, Mr. Banks, and after him came the jurymen dropping in by twos and threes. Beyond a few constables standing outside the doors there was nothing unusual in the appearance of the Whitechapel-road, near the building to indicate the important inquiry about to take place. Notwithstanding the sensational announcements, in the daily papers, that a fresh clue had been discovered, the people of the East End seemed to take no extra amount of interest in the proceedings. Very few strangers were present in the room, the public being fully represented by the 20 or 30 pressmen, who were in attendance. Upon the arrival of Mr. Wynne Baxter, the serious business began, after some private conversation between the coroner and the other officials, which evidently related to the conduct of the inquiry. The names of the jurymen having been called over, Mr. Banks announced "all present," although Mr. Gardiner had not answered to his name, but it was found afterwards that he was properly represented by a commissionaire, who had failed to respond to the name of his employer. The first witness was Fountaine Smith, a respectably dressed man, of dark complexion, who stated the deceased was his eldest sister. He gave his evidence in such a low tone as to be all but inaudible two yards off. The coroner, however, seemed to be satisfied, and after this evidence, which is given in another column, he was dismissed, and a working man, James Kent, living at Cable-street, Shadwell, was sworn. He was a witness of an altogether different stamp. He was quite certain that all he deposed was fact, and helped to produce the impression that what he said was correct by the loud, clear and decided tones in which he spoke. The plan which the coroner had asked for on the first occasion was now forthcoming, and by its aid Kent was able fully explain the position in which the poor unfortunate woman was found on Saturday morning. Witness went fully into details which were of a very dreadful character. The evidence of this witness was given in very exhaustive manner, and nothing was left for the jury to elicit from him. His fellow workman, James Green, of 26, Acland-street, Burdett-road, was also examined, and he corroborated in a satisfactory manner the evidence of Kent. Both were packing-case makers engaged on the premises adjoining 29, Hanbury-street, where the murdered woman was found. The next witness was Amelia Richardson, who occupies the lower half of No. 29, Hanbury-street. She is of short stature and was quietly dressed in black. Contrary to expectation this witness was clear and precise in her testimony, generally answering directly the questions of the coroner without volunteering any extraneous information, a drawback which is very often met with in voluble persons. The chief point of interest her evidence was the statement that she was very wakeful at night-time, and that on the 7th inst. the previous day to the murder, she must have been awake quite half the night. But she heard no noise whatever during that time. This is one of the most mysterious points in the whole series of the murders. Though they were all committed in close proximity - indeed within a few yards - of sleeping people no strange noise was heard and not any of the sleepers were disturbed. Mrs. Richardson was under examination some considerable time, during which she was kept standing, evidently much to her distress. It would only have been common kindness to have offered her a chair, considering that she is now at an advanced age; but this little attention did not seem to strike the officials or the jurymen as being at all necessary. Mrs. Harriet Hardiman, of the same house in Hanbury-street, a catsmeat saleswoman, was the next witness. She was dressed in keeping with her position in life. This witness also gave her evidence in a concise manner, and stated that although she occupied the ground floor of the house she heard no noise during the night in question. John Richardson, the son of Mrs. Amelia Richardson, having been sworn, deposed to the facts which are already well known. He spoke in a rather husky voice, and once or twice he was closely cross-questioned by the coroner in order to get a perfectly accurate statement of what took place upon the discovery of the crime. The statements of this witness as to his having found people in the passage and on the landing, evidently for an immoral purpose, occasioned the recall at the instance of the jury, of Mrs. Richardson, when she was further examined on the way her house was conducted. She again emphatically said that she had no suspicion that any part of the premises was at any time used for wrong purposes. Mrs. Richardson also stated that her son occasionally wore a leather apron. She washed it on Thursday the 6th inst., underneath the tap in the yard. It had not been worn for a month. This leather apron was taken away by the police on Saturday morning. This part of her evidence was listened to with the greatest attention and the coroner made some comment on the coincidence of a leather apron being worn by her son, and the words as applying to the man called by the sobriquet, who was at one time thought to be the man "wanted." After this came the most exciting part of the inquiry. John Piser, the man who was arrested as being "Leather Apron," was called. He is a Hebrew, and was sworn in the Hebrew form. Until the time came for his examination he was kept outside the room in the passage, in the company of Detective-sergeant Thicke, of the H division, and several police constables. Piser is rather a short man, but thickset. He is very dark, and has the appearance of a Jewish Pole. His hair is black, corresponding with his moustache and closely cut whiskers. The stubble on his cheeks and chin shewed that his face had been a stranger to the razor for some days. He looks strongly built, and appeared to be fully conscious of the position in which he stood. Sergeant Thicke accompanied him into the room. Giving his address as 22, Mulberry-street, Commercial-road, he admitted he was known as "Leather Apron." He accounted for his whereabouts on the night of the last murder by saying he was in 22, Mulberry-street, but it was after some little pressure, that his exact lodging on the night of August 30th, the time of the second murder - the one in Buck's-row - was ascertained. From his statement he was at Crossman's lodging house in the Holloway-road. He arrived there about a quarter-past 2 on the Friday morning. The more minute details of his evidence are given elsewhere. Piser had first expressed a wish to vindicate his character, and the coroner said an opportunity should be given him. When his evidence was concluded, he made a series of little bows to Mr. Wynne Baxter and the jury, and then retired to the end of the room, where he sat until the end of the inquest. The coroner remarked that it would only be fair to have his statements corroborated. Detective-sergeant William Thicke, of the H division, a smart looking officer, who has worked at these terrible cases night and day for the past fortnight, then gave evidence of arrest, and stated that when people in the neighbourhood of Whitechapel spoke of "Leather Apron," they meant the man Piser. It transpired that the man Piser was released at half-past 9 on Tuesday evening. Piser looked somewhat pale and worried after giving his evidence, though throughout he was perfectly cool and collected. He displayed not the slightest symptoms of insanity, and chatted freely and affably with Sergeant Thicke with whom he sat until the adjournment of the inquiry. He then left in company with the detective, who evidently had to see him home, for a large crowd had gathered outside the building, and he was recognised at once, and the murmurs and mutterings which greeted his appearance boded no good. The only other evidence given was that of Henry John Holland, and the proceedings, after lasting some three hours, were adjourned until the following day, Thursday.


Mr. Wynne E. Baxter, the coroner for South East Middlesex, opened on Monday an inquest on the body of the murdered woman. Inspectors Helson and Abberline attended on behalf of the police. The jury, having been sworn, proceeded to view the body which lay in the Whitechapel Mortuary. A crowd had gathered outside, and followed the jury to the mortuary. - John Davies, carman, living at 29, Hanbury-street, described how he found the body at the back of the house on Saturday morning. He was awake from 3 until 5 o'clock that morning, when he fell off to sleep again until a quarter to 6 o'clock, when the bell rang. He then got up and had a cup of tea and went downstairs to go out in the back-yard. The house faces in Hanbury-street. On the ground floor there is a front door leading into a passage which runs through into the yard. There is a door leading into the yard at the end of the passage. Neither of the doors can be locked and the witness had never found them locked. Anyone who knew where the latch of the front is could open the door and go along the passage into the back yard. The yard door was shut when the witness got down on Saturday morning. He could not say how it was closed, whether it was latched or not. The front street door was wide open, thrown back against the wall. He was not surprised to find the front door open, as he often found it open, and the back door as well. The yard is about five or six yards square, and is separated from the next houses on both sides by wooden fences about 5ft. 6in. Directly he opened the back door leading into the yard, he saw a woman lying near the fence. She was lying flat on her back, with her clothes up above her knees. He ran back along the passage to the front door, and called two men whose names he did not know, but whom he knew by sight. They came, and then they all went and fetched the police. He had never seen the woman before. He was not the first down that day, because a man named Thompson had to get up and go to work at about half-past 3. He had heard of women being in the yard who did not belong to the house, but had never seen any, having been there only a fortnight. He had not heard any unusual noise before he found the body. - Amelia Palmer, giving her address as 30, Dorset-street, the common lodging-house in which the deceased frequently slept, said she was a married woman, but her husband, who was formerly a soldier and then a dock labourer, had an accident, and so she went out to work for the Jews, washing and charring. She had known the deceased well for quite five years. She was the widow of Fredrick Chapman, who was a veterinary surgeon at Windsor, and who died about 18 months ago. Deceased had lived apart from him for the last four years. She was without any settled home, and lived chiefly in the common lodging-houses of the East End. Two years ago she lived at 30, Dorset-street, with a man who made wire sieves, and at that time she was receiving 10s. a week from her husband. The payment was stopped about 18 months ago, at which time she found her husband had died. The deceased was nicknamed "Mrs. Sivvy," because the man with whom she was living made sieves. Witness last saw the sievemaker about 18 months ago in the City, when he had told her that he left the deceased, and that he was living in the neighbourhood of Notting Hill. Since that time Mrs. Chapman had been living in the neighbourhood of Spitalfields. Witness saw her on the proceeding Monday in Dorset-street, and she stated that she was ill. She had a bruise on one of her temples, and opened her dress shewing some bruises on her chest. She said she and another woman who sold books were acquainted with a man called "Harry the Hawker." On Saturday, the 1st of September, she was with a man named Ted Stanley in a beershop. Harry the Hawker was there also, under the influence of drink. He put down a two shilling piece to pay for some drink. The woman who sold books picked it up and put down a penny, and there was a scuffle; and the same evening this woman met the deceased and struck her in the face and the breast. Witness saw the deceased again on Tuesday afternoon, September 4th. She was walking by the side of Spitalfields Church, and said she felt no better, and that she should go into a casual ward for a few days in order to pull herself round. She said she had not had anything to eat, and witness gave her 2d., and told her not to get any rum, as she knew that she was addicted to drink. She used to do casual work, make antimacassars, and sell flowers in the street, but witness was afraid that she was not particular how she got a living. On Friday she used to go to Stratford in order to sell these things, and on that afternoon witness met her again at about 5 o'clock when she appeared to be perfectly sober. She said she had been in the casual ward and felt too ill for anything, and added: "It is no use giving way, I must pull myself together and get some money for my lodgings." That was the last time witness saw her alive. The deceased was a very straightforward woman when she was sober, but she was often the worse for drink, though she could not take much. Since the death of her husband she seemed to live a very irregular life. She had a sister and a mother living, but they were not on friendly terms. - Timothy Donovan, of 37, Dorset-street, Spitalfields, said he was deputy of the lodging-house there. Deceased had lodged at that house during the last four months. She was not there during last week, except on Friday afternoon, when she asked to be allowed to go down to the kitchen. She told him she had been in the infirmary. He afterwards saw her about half-past 1 o'clock on Saturday morning, when she stated she had not sufficient to pay for her bed adding, "Don't let it; I shan't be long before I am in." He did not see her again alive. She had been drinking, but she could walk straight. She was generally the worse for drink, on Saturdays. He had not seen her in company with any man that night. He knew she did go with a man who was said to be a pensioner and of soldierly appearance. She had brought other men to the house. The pensioner and the deceased stayed at the house. The pensioner had told him not to let her in if she was with any other man. The pensioner and the deceased stayed at the house on Sunday night, the 2nd of September. The pensioner was sometimes dressed as a dock labourer, and was at other times attired in a gentlemanly manner. The deceased was on good terms with the other lodgers. On the 28th of August, however, she got into a fight with another woman in the kitchen. - John Evans, the watchman at the lodging-house, gave corroborative evidence. The deceased told him that she had been over to see her sister at Vauxhall on Friday. He had never heard any one threaten her or heard her express fear of anyone. He had never heard the women in the lodging-house say that they had been threatened or asked for money by strangers. - The inquiry was then adjourned.


The inquest was resumed on Wednesday. - Fontaine Smith said: I have seen the body in the mortuary and recognised it as that of my eldest sister, Annie. Her husband's occupation was that of a coachman. She lived separate from her husband three or four years. Her age was 47 this month. I last saw her alive shortly before her death. I met her promiscuously in Commercial-street. Her husband died on Christmas Day, 1886. When I saw her last she recognised me, and borrowed 2s. of me, or rather I gave it to her. She did not say where she was living, only that she was not doing anything, and that she wanted money for her lodging. I did not know anything about her associates. - Further evidence was then given by occupants of 29, Hanbury-street, concerning the discovery of the body. For the most part it corroborated that already given by the witness Davies. - Amelia Richardson, a widow, living at 29, Hanbury-street, deposed: I rent half of the house. I carry on a packing-case business at the shop with my son, aged 37, and a man named Francis Tyler. They come to work about 6, but on this occasion the man did not come until 8. I sent for him. He is often late. My son lives in John-street, Spitalfields, and works in the market. I did not see him before 6 o'clock. At about 6 a.m. my grandson, Thomas Richardson, aged 14, who lives with me, got up. I sent him down to see what was the matter, as there was so much noise in passage. He came back and said: "Oh, mother, there is a woman murdered!" I went down immediately and saw the body lying in the yard. There was no one in the yard at the time. There were people in the passage. Soon after a constable arrived and took possession of the place. The constable was the first person to go into the yard that I know of. I occupy the first floor front room, and my grandson slept in the same room on Friday night. I went to bed at about half-past 9. I am a very wakeful woman, am awake half of the night. I think I was awake half Friday night. I am sure that I awoke at 3, and only dosed afterwards. I heard no noise during the night. In the back parlour I was cooking on Friday night. I locked it up at half-past 9 and took the key up with me. It was still locked when I came down in the morning. Mr. Thomson his wife, and an adopted little girl occupy the second floor front. Mr. Thomson is a carpenter. On Saturday morning I called Mr. Thomson at 10 minutes or a quarter to 4 o'clock. I heard him come down, and I said, "Good Morning, Thomson," as he passed my room about 4 o'clock. I heard him leave the house, and he did not go into the back-yard. When I went down on Saturday morning, all the tenants were in the house except Mr. Thomson and Mr. Davies. The front and back doors are always left open. You only have to raise the latch with your finger and you can go in any of the houses about there. The houses in that quarter are all let out in these rooms. A month ago there was a man on the stairs, and Mr. Thomson found him there about half-past 3 or 4 o'clock in the morning. The man said he was staying there till morning, and then he was going to the market. - Could you hear any one going through the passage? - Yes. I did not hear anyone on Saturday morning. - Is it not customary for persons to go through? - Yes; people do frequently go through into the back yard. - You still adhere to your statement that on Saturday morning no one did go through to the yard? - Yes; if they did go through they must have gone very quietly. - John Piser, who was sworn after the Hebrew fashion, deposed: I am a shoemaker, and reside at 22, Mulberry-street, Commercial-road, East, I go by the nickname of "Leather Apron." On Thursday night last I arrived at 22, Mulberry-street, Commercial-road East, from the West End of the town. I reached Mulberry-street at a quarter before 11 o'clock. My brother, sister and stepmother live there. I remained indoors there until I was arrested by a sergeant of police on Monday last. I had never left the house from the time I entered it until I was apprehended. - Why did you remain indoors? - Because my brother advised me to do so. - You were the subject of suspicion, were you not? - I was the subject of a false suspicion. - The Coroner: You stayed in on the advice of your friends. That was not the best advice that could be given you? - Piser: I will tell you the reason why. I should have been torn to pieces. I have been released, and am not now in custody. I wish to vindicate my character to the whole world. - The Coroner: I have called you partly in your own interest in order to give you opportunity of doing so. Where were you on the Thursday, the 30th of August? - I was in the Holloway-road. - Were you not staying in any house? - Yes, I do not know the number of the house, but it was Crossman's common lodging-house. On Thursday the 30th of August, or the Friday, I was staying in a common lodging-house, called the Round House, in Holloway-road. I slept there for the night. I went into the lodging-house about 2:15 on Friday morning, and went out at 11 that morning. On Thursday night I had my supper at the same house. I went out as far as the Seven Sisters-road, and went down the Holloway-road; and on returning saw the reflection of a fire. When I had come as far as the church in Holloway-road the lodging-house keeper of the Round House and one or two constables were talking together. I asked the constable where the fire was, and he said it was a far way off from there. I asked where he thought it was, and he said it was down about the Albert Docks. It was then about half-past 1, to the best of my recollection. I went as far as the Highbury railway station on the same side of the way, and returned back and went into the lodging-house. I asked the watchman if my bed was let. He said they did not keep beds open after 11. I paid in fourpence, and sat for a while on the form in the kitchen smoking a pipe and then went to bed, and got up at 11 o'clock. Did they turn you out? - The dayman came up and told us to get up, as he wanted to make the beds. I got up at once and dressed and went down into the kitchen. - Is there anything else you want to say? - Nothing else, sir. - What did you mean by the West End of town from whence you came on the 6th inst.? - Peter-street, Westminster, where there is another lodging-house. - The Coroner: I think it only fair to say that the statements of the witness have been corroborated. - The Foreman of the Jury; I think the jury are of opinion that he is cleared. - Piser: Sergeant Thicke, who arrested me, has known me for 18 years. - The Coroner: Well, well, I do not think it is necessary for you to say anymore. - After some further evidence the inquiry was again adjourned.


The inquiry was resumed on Thursday, when Inspector Chandler was the first witness. He said he was called to the scene of the murder at 10 minutes past 6 on Saturday morning, by a man who came running up to him, with the words, "Another woman has been murdered." He found the deceased lying at the bottom of the backyard steps with her legs drawn up, and her clothing thrown above her knees. A portion of the intestines, still connected by a coil with the body, was thrown over her left shoulder. There were also pieces of skin lying by the head, also over the shoulder. Witness remained in charge of the body and the yard, and sent for the divisional surgeon, and also to the police-station for the ambulance and further assistance. When the constable arrived he removed all onlookers from the passage leading into the yard, and saw that nobody touched the body till the doctor arrived. After the body had been removed witness saw lying in the yard the piece of coarse muslin produced, a small toothcomb, and a pocket comb in a paper case. They were lying near the feet of the body. A small piece of paper, a portion of an envelope, had also been lying near the head, that containing two pills. On the envelope were the words "Sussex Regiment," embossed in blue. On the address side of the envelope was the letter "M," in a man's hand writing, the rest being torn away. There was a postmark indicating that it was a London letter. Also in the yard there was a leather apron, about 2ft. from the water tap. This had been shewn to the doctor. There was a further piece of flat steel, which had been identified by Mrs. Richardson as a spring belonging to her, while the apron had also been claimed by her. There were not in the yard any appearances of a struggle that witnesses could find. The foreman of the jury said he should like to mention the matter of a reward. Steps had been taken locally for the offering of a reward, but he thought that if the Government were to offer a reward something might be found out. - The coroner said he did not speak with any real knowledge, but he was told that the government had determined not to give rewards for the future, not in this particular case, but in the case of murders generally. - After some police evidence of a formal character, Dr. Phillips, the divisional surgeon, was then sworn. He said he was called by the police at 20 minutes past 6 a.m. to 29, Hanbury-street. He found the dead body of the female in possession of the police lying in the back yard on the left hand of the steps. The face was swollen and turned on the right side; and the tongue protruded between the front teeth, and not beyond the lips. He searched the yard, and found the small piece of muslin and the other articles mentioned by Inspector Chandler at the feet of the body, apparently as if arranged there in order. The body was cold, except under the intestines remaining in the body. The stiffness of the limbs was not marked, but had commenced. He noticed that the throat was severed deeply, and that the incision through the skin was jagged. In the back wall of the house between the steps and the palings, about 18 inches from the ground, were about six patches of blood, varying in size from a sixpenny-piece to a small point; and on the palings there were smears of blood. The doctor here made an emphatic protest against having to make his post-mortem examination under the great disadvantage which he was occasioned by the fact that there was no mortuary, but only an inadequate shed. Proceeding, he said the body had evidently been attended to since its removal to the shed - probably washed. He noticed a bruise over the right temple and two distinct bruises, each the size of the top of a man's thumb, on the fore-part of the chest. The finger-nails were turgid and the lips also. There was an abrasion over the first joint of the ring finger with distinct markings of a ring or rings - probably the latter. The throat had been cut all the way round. The incisions had apparently been made from the left side. It looked as if an attempt had been made to cut off the head. There were various other mutilations of the body, but he was of the opinion that they occurred subsequently to death. From these appearances he was of opinion that the breathing was interfered with previous to death, and that death arose from syncope, failure of the heart's action, in consequence of the loss of blood caused by the severance at the throat. The wounds were such as would be produced by a somewhat long-bladed knife, like a slaughterman's, and there were indications that the murderer had some anatomical knowledge. - The inquest was again adjourned.


The principal officers engaged in investigating the Whitechapel murders, were summoned to Scotland-yard on Thursday, and conferred with the chief officials. Later in the day Mr. Bruce, Assistant Commissioner, and Colonel Monsell, Chief Constable, paid a private visit to Whitechapel without notifying the local officials of their intention to do so. They visited the scene of the Buck's-row murder as well as Hanbury-street, and made many inquiries. They spent nearly a quarter of an hour at No. 29, Hanbury-street and minutely inspected the house and the yard in which the body of Mrs. Chapman was found. The police have satisfied themselves that the man Pigott could have had nothing to do with the murders. His movements have been fully accounted for, and he is no longer under surveillance. Most of the street doors in Hanbury-street and the neighbourhood heretofore left on the latch all night, have now been fitted with locks and the lodgers supplied with keys. No further arrests have been made. The man arrested at Holloway has been removed to the asylum at Bow. His friends give him an indifferent character. He has been missing from home for nearly two months, and it is known that he has been in the habit of carrying several large butchers' knives about him. Inquiries are now being made with a view to tracing his movements during the past two months. The police and detective force are really doing their utmost to trace the guilty person. There is no ground for the suspicion that the police are lukewarm in the matter. The streets are carefully watched all day and extra men are stationed at various points at night time. Detective Thicke, who has been most energetic in following up the clues has worked arduously in his difficult calling, and no discredit is attached to him for not having been successful, at present, in finding Stanley. It was regarded as possible that, after the statements made at the inquest on Thursday, the pensioner who is spoken of as having been so frequently in the company of the deceased woman Chapman might have come forward to give evidence. However, up to the time of going to press, he had not placed himself in communication with the police, nor had the efforts of the authorities to discover his whereabouts or establish his exact identity proved successful.


The arrangements for the funeral of the poor woman were carried out with the utmost secrecy, and the time fixed for the ceremony was known only to the relatives of deceased and the undertaker, Mr. H. Hawes, of Hunt-street, Mile-end, New Town. All the expenses were met by the relatives, the funeral being a private one. On Friday morning at 7 o'clock, a hearse was sent to the mortuary in Montague-street, and the body was quietly removed by the undertaker's men. There was no crowd or excitement as the matter had been kept profoundly secret. The coffin in which the body was placed was black covered elm coffin, and the plate bore the words "Annie Chapman, died September 8th, aged 48 years." The hearse then drove round to Hunt-street, where it waited till 9 o'clock, when a start was made for Manor Park Cemetery, the interment taking place there. No mourning coaches followed, as the relatives and friends of the deceased met the body at the cemetery. All the arrangements were carried out most satisfactorily, and there was no hitch of any kind.

Related pages:
  Annie Chapman
       Home: Timeline - Annie Chapman 
       Dissertations: Cadosch The Other Side of the Fence 
       Dissertations: Considerable Doubt and the Death of Annie Chapman 
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       Dissertations: The Pensioner, and a Brief History of Fort Elson 
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       Message Boards: Annie Chapman, Jack the Ripper Victim: A Short Biography 
       Official Documents: Annie Chapman's Inquest 
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       Ripper Media: Annie Chapman, Jack the Ripper Victim: A Short Biography 
       Ripper Media: Dark Annie (Piston Baroque) 
       Victims: Annie Chapman 
       Victims: Testimonies of Elizabeth Long and Albert Cadoche 
       Victorian London: Hanbury Street 
  John Pizer
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       Ripper Media: Jack the Ripper: A Suspect Guide - John Pizer 
  Mrs. Fiddymont
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       Ripper Media: Jack the Ripper: A Cast of Thousands - Mrs. Fiddymont