9 November 1888
Mr. Matthews, last night, announced that he had rapped Sir Charles Warren's knuckles. It certainly is not a dignified proceeding for a Commissioner of Police to discuss matters pertaining to his office in the pages of a magazine. When Sir Charles lately gave a public lecture he might have anticipated that the Socialist would justify themselves by going to howl him down. In the same Way a police official who writes on police administration lays himself upon the attacks.
WOMAN CUT TO PIECES
BODY FOUND THIS MORNING
EXCITEMENT IN WHITECHAPEL
EXTRAORDINARY POLICE PRECAUTIONS
HIDEOUS MUTILATIONS OF BODY AND FACE
WHERE ARE THE BLOODHOUNDS?
There has been another terrible crime in the East-end - a crime surrounded by all the horror associated with the recent tragedies in the same district, and intensified by a loathsomeness of detail impossible almost to be conceived. In this case, a woman's body- terribly mutilated - has been found in Miller's-court, Dorset-street, Commercial-street, and that under circumstances whose mystery is as deep as that connected with the previous crimes. That there has been a murder - and that of a hideous character - there cannot be any doubt. Already the public suspicion declares that it is concealed by so mysterious a cloud. This suspicion is sharpened by the fact that the scene of his last terrible exploit - presuming it be his exploit, and that the body was found - is only a few minutes' walk from Hanbury-street and Osborn-street. The details of this crime are very revolting in their horror. "Why, Sir," said a man who saw the body to an Echo representative, "anything more horrifying than the sight in the room where we found the body could not be conceived." This fellow only portrayed in a minor degree the surroundings of this last terrorising crime.
Our reporter writes: - Whitechapel is panic-stricken. a murder as horrible in its details as any yet committed in the East-end and resembling the recent atrocities perpetrated there, was discovered this morning shortly before eleven o'clock in a room at a place known as Miller's court, a turning out of Dorset-street, Commercial-street. So reticent are the police in the matter, and such are the extraordinary precautions taken by the police to preserve whatever clue may be left, that the roads adjacent are blocked by the authorities, and only those persons having any business in the immediate vicinity are allowed to enter the purlieus of the spot where the tragedy has occurred. The court where the murder has been taken place is an alley, the house where the body was found being overlook by a mews - No. 25 Dorset-street. Inspector Abberline, Inspector Beck, Detective-sergeants, Thicke and White, together with other officers sent specially over from Scotland - yard, are now searching all the houses within a stone's throw of No. 25, Dorset-street. At every street corner excited groups of people are conversing about this, the latest East-end mystery.
In spite of the extraordinary precautions taken by the police authorities to keep secret the facts connected with the dreadful mutilation, detail connected with the crime are oozing out, and from special inquiries made at Whitechapel by an Echo reporter this afternoon, it appears that the poor girl had rented one room at the house for about fifteen months. The premises were not used strictly as a lodging-house . for it was unregistered, it is believed- but were let to separate tenants, who paid small weekly sums for each room. The house belongs to Mr. McCarthy, who keeps a chandler's shop common lodging - houses in the district, notably one in which "Pearly Poll", Mod Sullivan, and other women - incidentally mentioned in the inquiries relating to the atrocities - were accustomed to live.
The young woman found murdered this morning was abut 23 years of age, and was only known to Mr. McCarthy as Mary Jane. In this wretched locality, where the common usage - even the ordinary decencies - of life are unrecognised in the "moral" code of the wretched women who lead a life of shame, their very surnames are often unknown to their associates, and even their Christian names are not known to them.
The murder is one of the most horrible character, worse than any oh the preceding. The woman was found lying either in the second floor front room or in the passage leading to it, the one arm extended, and the other lying across her breast, which was ripen open, and the breast cut off. The flesh on her legs was cut down in strips, the thighs being almost bare to the bone. Her head hat been - so one informant - severed from the body. When the police entered the room, it was lying on the floor. The das was also mutilated beyond recognition, and her ears were cut oh. To increase the horrible picture which the head presented, the lips hat - so one story goes - been cut away.
To still further aggravate the demoniacal character of the deed, the poor creature was not only disembowelled, but the uterus and other parts were found by the doctors to be missing - just as in the terrible outrages which preceded it.
Lately the deceased woman had been living with a man supposed by Nr. McCarthy to be her husband. He recently left her. It is conjectured that meeting the murderer last night, he decoyed her to the house and then perpetrated the crime in the stillness of the night. No sound was heard, or any cries of distress.
From later information obtained by an Echo reporter this afternoon, it seems that it was shortly after ten o'clock when a man in Mr. McCarthy's employ went to the house for the purpose of collecting the rent from the girl. The front door was fastened, and repeated knocks were not answered. The man then went to the window, which was unfastened, pushed aside the curtains, and saw the body of the deceased. He at once ran back to Mr. McCarthy, and the police were informed. Then information was conveyed to the Commercial-street and Leman-street police stations, and Sir Charles Warren was at once informed of the dreadful occurrence. Mr. Superintendent Arnold, Inspector Abberline, Inspector Beck, Inspector Reid, Detective-sergeants Thicke and Stephen White, at once gave instructions for a thorough search to be made, not only in the house where the murder was committed, but also of the houses adjacent.
The news of the tragedy spread like wildfire, and soon every street was blocked near the locality - Wentworth-street Middlesex-street, and White's-row-street - were excited groups of bystanders living in the immediate vicinity could not for sometime form the faintest conjecture as to who the victim was, for the police gave peremptory instructions to everyone not to allude to the circumstances in the faintest way. Dr. Phillips was especially emphatic in his desire that the investigations should not to be made known. Mr. Thomas Bond, surgeon, of Westminster, accompanied by another medical man, who assisted the post-mortem examination of the remains at Whitehall, paid a visit to the sights, the medical men themselves were appalled at the barbarities of the crime. The doctors formed an almost unanimous decision that the murderer possessed some anatomical knowledge either of human beings or animals. There is little doubt amongst the authorities now but that the monster who is the perpetrator of these crimes is a homicidal maniac of the worst and most dangerous form, and it is feared by the officials engaged in the case that murders of the same character will continue to be committed until the miscreant is actually captured at his diabolic work.
Another of our reporters writes: - The terrible murder which was committed in Whitechapel this morning has had the effect of throwing the population of Whitechapel and Aldgate into a state of panic. As our reporter made his way the pathways were lined with crowds of people. The editions of the evening papers were being eagerly bought up, and the details o the fearful event discussed. Lord Mayor's Show Day is generally a "draw" for the East-end pageant lovers, and by all these who can afford it, it is observed as a holiday. Bu the news of the tragedy enacted this morning had driven all thoughts of the Lord Mayor's Show out of the minds of the people. One subject alone possessed their thoughts - the sudden renewal of the ghastly exploits of the murderous maniac who has made Whitechapel his hunting-ground.
Dorset-street is a narrow street running out of Commercial-street, between Whitechapel and Shoreditch. The street is half composed of warehouses and half of lodging-houses. Opposite the house in which the murder was committed stands the Commercial-street Chambers for men - a big substantial building, which should accommodate many men of a night. The other side of the Chambers is a warehouse of Messrs. Bayne and Wright, milk contractors. The house in which the murder was committed stands up a narrow court which at the further end terminates in a cul-de-sac. Up to the present the police refuse the Press any information. Two stalwart constables guard the entrance to the court. The members of the Press are even denied admittance to the court. There are about eight houses in the court. The houses are chiefly tenanted by the poorer class of Irish people. The landlord of Carter's-court keeps a chandler's shop in Dorset-street. By the side of his shop is the court, where stand the house where the murder was committed.
A friend of the murdered woman's spoke as follows to our reporter: - "I have known the murdered woman for some considerable time. She was an unfortunate, and given to drink. Her age would be somewhere about 26, and she had led her present life for about seven years. I have known her frequent the common lodging-houses of the locality. I believe she has been in custody a good many times for drunkenness. I cannot say that she had been for any length of time with any one particular man, but I have heard that she lived with a man. She was always shabbily dressed, but against this she was clean in her personal habits. She was on fairly good terms with the other people in the Dorset-street, who Number, I should say, about fifty."
The victim Mary Jane Kelly, between 26 and 23 years of age, was seen between eight and half-past this morning going for milk. After half-past eight no sound was heard from the room in the house in which she lived. The house is situated in Carter's-court. The lad who went up to the woman's room to collect the rent, knocked, and was greeted by no answer. Pushing the door open a horrible sight met his gaze. The woman's body was found lying on the bed. The room was a small one. Horrible to relate the head was absolutely severed from the body. In the words of our informant. "The head was loose, the arm was out of the body, and laid on the woman's bosom. The flesh was cut from the face." So terrible is the disfigurement that is s impossible to recognise the woman. Only in outward shape does she bear any resemblance to a human being.
But the chapter of horrors is as yet hardly begun. Her abdomen was slit across in an upward direction from left to right, the wound, it is said, extending from near the left groin to above the right ilium - to use a technical phrase. Another horror. The skin was peeled of the body in strips, just as was done to her face. The entrails were also disturbed, a portion being placed between her feet. A search has been made for the missing other portions. The ghoul, in stripping the skin and flesh from the woman's body, had, when his frantic desire for cruelty is satiated, placed the pieces of flesh and strips of skin on a table standing near the bed.
The murdered woman is said to have been a woman of extremely quarrelsome tendencies. She was, it is hardly necessary to say, extremely poor. She belonged, morally, and in every other respect, to the class to which Annie Chapman belonged. Singular to relate, the murdered woman, Annie Chapman, was a friend of Mary Jane Kelly.
Mary Ann Kelly was seen about the streets at one o'clock this morning. The murdered woman had one child, a little boy of between six and seven. The little fellow lived with his mother. This poor child was sent out this morning, when the mother returned to the room with the assassin. The gossip of the neighbourhood, or rather of the very court in which the house is situated, is to the effect that the man who is suspected of having committed the murder sent the child out to buy sweets and playing he found the place in commotion, for his mother had been discovered lifeless and bleeding, and the murder had fled. There is no trace whatever of the murderer. Not so much as a scrap of paper, a bag, or a knife is left to allow possible clue.
The Press Association says: - At half past ten this morning the dead body of a woman was found in an untenanted outhouse or shed in Dorset-court, Dorset-street, Commercial-street, Spitalfields. It had evidently been there for some hours, but several scavengers who were in the court at nine o'clock this morning declare that the body was not there then. They might, however, have been mistaken as the place is very dark. An alarm was immediately raised, and an inspector f police and a number of constables were soon on the spot. It is remarkable that Dorset-court is exactly opposite the house in Dorset-street, in which the unfortunate woman, Annie Chapman, used to lodge. The discovery created the greatest excitement in the neighbourhood, and crowds quickly gathered at the scene.
The Press Association, in a later account, says: - The victim was a woman of the unfortunate class, like the victims of the previous murders. She was a young woman who had occupied a room in a house in Dorset-court, and when found dead, about half-past ten, she was lying in the passage, with her head in the room. No details of the injuries can at present be obtained, but there are rumours that the body is terrible mutilated. Bloodhounds were sent for by the police immediately they heard the crime of the crime. The murdered woman was about 21 years of age, and he neighbours say that she was of genteel appearance, but they do not know her name or anything about her, except that recently she lived with a man from whom she is now separated. This man was sent for, and at once identified the body.
The crime was first discovered by a young man named McCarthy, who went to the house this morning with his mother to collect the rent. On opening the front door he saw a body lying in the passage, and he immediately closed the door again and drew his mother away, saying, "Mother, there is another murder." An alarm was soon raised, ant the police at once too possession of the house, and refused admission to all except officials.
Morris Lewis, a tailor, states that he was playing "pitch and toes" in the court at nine o'clock this morning, and an hour before that he had seen the woman leave the house, and return with some milk. There is no evidence as to who was in the house with her.
The Press Association, in a still later account, says the division surgeon arrived at the scene of the murder at five minutes to two o'clock, accompanied by Mr. Dukos, another doctor, and they at once proceeded to view the body. The streets in the vicinity of the crime are crowded with people eagerly discussing the latest horror, the women of a certain class being simply panic-stricken that another of their number had been killed in such a brutal manner. It is confidently stated that the deceased was seen after ten o'clock this morning in company with a paramour, when they were both drinking at the public-house at the corner of Dorset-street. Her name is Mary Jane Kelly, and the man she lived with sells oranges in the streets. After speaking to her in the public-house, he left there for the purpose of vending oranges, and he states that he did not see her again until her corpse was discovered.
The mutilations of the body reveal such a shocking state of things (says the Press Association reporter) as has probably never been equalled in the annals of crime. The head was not lying apart from the body, but was hanging by a mere thread. Both ears and the nose were cut of. All the flesh was stripped completely off the tights, and the woman was not only disembowelled, but the womb and other parts are missing similar to the previous murders in the locality.
Dr. Bond, ob Westminster Hospital, is now (wrote this reporter at 2.40) in the room with the other doctors; and the body is now being photographed. A post-mortem examination will afterwards be made in the same room. Dr. J. K. Gabe, ob Mecklenburgh-square, has seen the body; but, in reply to questions put to him by the Press Association representative, he declines to give any details. He merely says that he has seen a great deal in dissecting-rooms, but that he never in his life saw such a horrible sight as the murdered woman presents.