8 September 1888
Another brutal case of murder and mutilation in the East-end! That is the intelligence with which we are greeted this morning, and, so far as can be ascertained at this moment, the particulars are very much the same in their revolting character as those which accompanied the slaughter of the poor creature in Buck's-row, Whitechapel, a week ago. This time the scene of the discovery is Brown's-lane (formerly Hambro-street), Spitalfields, sufficiently near to the locality of the late crime to give colour to the theory that these horrors are the work of the same gang of ruffians. The tragedy discovered at six o'clock this morning makes the third case of murder and hideous mutilation of defenceless women within the last month, and in a comparatively narrow area. But the most significant feature of these butcheries, so far at least as the public is concerned, has been the utter inability of the police to find any clue to the perpetrators of them. There is, however, a gleam of hope now that the murderer or murderers may be brought to justice, for it is stated that near the body of the woman done to death with such inhuman ferocity this morning was discovered a large knife stained with blood and a leather apron. With such a clue in their hands the detectives of the Metropolis ought surely to be able to run the murderer to earth. They are now placed on their mettle with a fair chance of removing from the public mind the feeling of alarm and insecurity which naturally arises where a number of undiscovered atrocities of this nature exist. It is to be hoped they will be speedily successful.
ANOTHER EAST END MURDER
EARLY THIS MORNING IN SPITALFIELDS.
A WOMAN'S THROAT CUT AND
HER BODY RIPPED OPEN.
THE LEATHER APRON FOUND.
THE ENTRAILS AND THE
HEART CUT OUT.
About a quarter to six this morning the body of a woman was found behind a door in a backyard in Brown's-lane (late Hambro-street) Brick-lane, Spitalfields. Her throat, as in the Whitechapel murder, was cut, and her body ripped down the front. The similarity of this to the preceding murders leads us to believe they are all the work of one man. The affair has created immense excitement in the district.
The house at the door of which the body was found is occupied by a Mrs. Emilia 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. A Mr. and Mrs. Davis occupy the upper storey (the house consisting of three storeys), and as Mr. Davis was going down to work, at the time already mentioned, he found a woman lying on her back, close up to the flight of steps leading into the yard. Her throat was cut open in a fearful manner- so deep, in fact, that the murderer, evidently thinking that he had severed the head from the body, tied a handkerchief round it, so as to keep it on. It was also found that her abdomen had been completely ripped open, and her bowels, heart, and other entrails were lying at her side. The fiendish work was completed by the murderer tying part of the entrails round the poor woman's neck and head. The place on which she was lying was found covered with clots of thick blood, most horrible to look at. The supposition finds ready acceptance that the poor woman was murdered outside and taken into this yard, by those who knew the place well. This is upheld by the fact that spots of blood are lying thick in the narrow passage leading from the street into the yard, and the blood marks where the body was found must have been caused by its being deposited there, there being no signs of any struggle having taken place in the vicinity. Davis, the lodger who found the body, immediately communicated with the police at the Commercial-street Station, and Inspector Chandler and several constables arrived on the scene in a short time when they found the woman in the condition described.
Even at this early hour the news spread quickly, and great excitement prevailed among the occupants of the adjoining houses. An excited crowd gathered in front of Mrs. Richardson's house, and also around the mortuary in Old Montagu-street, to which the body was quickly removed.
As the corpse lies in the rough coffin in which it has been placed in the mortuary, the same coffin in which the unfortunate Mrs. Nicholls was put, it presents an appearance which cannot but evoke pity for the victim and indignation at the brutal murder to an extreme degree.
The body is that of a woman evidently of about 45 years of age. The height is five feet exactly. The complexion is fair with wavy dark brown hair. The eyes are blue, and two teeth have been knocked out in the lower jaw. The nose is rather large and prominent. The third finger of the left hand bore signs of rings having been wrenched off it, and the hands and arms were considerably bruised.
Emilia Richardson, the woman who rents the house, stated in an interview that the murder was beyond all description in its horrible details. The abdomen had been fairly ripped open, it seemed to her, by the hand of some fiend or maniac, who gloated in the horribleness of the deed. Deceased had laced-up boots on, 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 excitement in the vicinity is intense, and innumerable rumours are flying about. One report has it that a leather apron and a long knife have been found near the place where the body lay, belonging, it is said, to a man whose name is unknown, but who is surnamed "Leather Apron," and evidently known in the district.
A further report states that another woman was nearly murdered early in the morning, and was taken to the hospital in a dying condition. Several persons who were lodging in the house, and who were found in the vicinity where the body was found, were taken to the Commercial-street Station, and are now being closely examined, especially the women who were last with deceased. The police authorities are extremely reticent owing to the fact that any statement might get about which would help the murderer to elude detection. There can be little doubt now that this latest murder is one of the series of fiendish atrocities on women which have been going on for the past few months, this making the fourth case in this short time, all in the same district. It is thought that in this case the victim must have been murdered outside, or in a neighbouring house, and carried into this dark yard, where the murderer evidently thought it was safe from discovery for some time. There is little evidence to show that the murder was committed on the premises where the body was found, as the marks of blood were all found in one place, viz., where the police discovered the body. The only other marks are those found in the passage close to the flight of steps, and these may have been caused in removing the body to the mortuary. The police, however, in this case, have more facts and evidence to go on, and they are sanguine that the murderer will soon be found out. Looking at the corpse no one could think otherwise than that the murder had been committed by a maniac or wretch of the lowest type of humanity.
The murdered woman was known among her companions as "Dark Annie," and gave her name as Annie Sievey, but it is not yet known whether this was her correct name. She was a prostitute and had been recently living at a common lodging-house at Dorset-street, which is near by the scene of last night's atrocious crime. Deceased formerly lived with a sieve-maker in the East-end of London as his wife. The excitement in the district grows in intensity as the day draws on. Crowds have gathered at various points in the vicinity, and the prevalent feeling is one bordering on panic. Rumours are plentiful, but the report of a second murder this morning is entirely unfounded.
The East-end of London has again been the scene of a most atrocious murder, which in its leading features is almost identical with that committed in Buck's-row a few days ago. The victim is a woman, evidently belonging to a low class of prostitute, and aged about 40. Her throat is cut clean to the vertebra, just as was that of the unfortunate Mrs. Nicholls, and her abdomen is ripped and gashed in an almost precisely similar to that of the previous unfortunate victim.
The scene of the murder is the backyard of a lodging house kept by a Mrs. Richardson, at 28, Hanbury-street, Spitalfields.
At six o'clock this morning one of the lodgers, named Davis, a porter at Leadenhall Market, had occasion to go into the back yard, and there found the unfortunate woman lying quite dead. Her throat was cut in the manner we have described, and she was lying on her back in a great pool of blood. Her clothes were turned up above her knees, and her entrails were protruding through most horrible wounds in the abdomen. Davis at once gave information to the police, who quickly appeared, and removed the body.
The most intense excitement prevails in the neighbourhood, and it is the universal opinion that the murderer of this latest victim is the same man who murdered Mrs. Nicholls, if not also of the two other women who were murdered earlier in the year.
As the morning wore on, and the news of the terrible tragedy spread over the neighbourhood, Hanbury-street, which is perhaps, better known by its old name of Brown's-lane, became densely crowded by excited and eager people. At every court end, and almost at every door, knots of people were gathered discussing the all-absorbing topic, and Mrs. Richardson's house, where the murder was committed, was simply besieged; so also was the mortuary in which the dead woman is now lying.
The latest information goes to show quite clearly that the murder was actually committed in the back-yard of No. 18, Hanbury-street. The front door of this house is never locked at night, as some of the lodgers come home very late at night, and others have to go to their work early in the morning; and for their convenience the door is always left on the latch. The passage from the front door to the yard is perfectly straight and no one who was at all acquainted with the configuration of the house would have any difficulty in walking straight into the yard at any hour. The probability is the murderer met the woman in the streets at an early hour in the morning, and induced her to go with him into the yard for an immoral purpose, and that as she was lying on the ground the murderer with one gash of a heavy knife inflicted the fearful wound on the throat, which must have proved almost immediately fatal, as both the jugular vein and the carotid artery were completely severed.
The other theory, that the murder was committed in the street, and then concealed in the yard of No. 18, is disproved by the fact that, whereas there is a horrible mass of clotted blood lying on the spot where the body was found there are no blood-stains whatever, either in the passage of the house or anywhere else in the neighbourhood. In the dress of the dead woman two farthings were found, so brightly polished as to lead to the belief that they were intended to be passed as half-sovereigns, and it is probable that they were given to her by the murderer as an inducement for her to accompany him.
This morning our representative interviewed the man Davis, by whom the body was discovered. He is a carman, employed by Mr. Wisdom, a fruiterer and greengrocer in Leadenhall Market. His story is that shortly before six a.m. he had occasion to go into the back, and as soon as he opened the door he saw the woman's body lying on the ground. The face was deluged with blood to such an extent that he did not notice the wound in the throat. Her petticoats were turned up, and the lower portion of her body was quite visible. Davis, who is an old and somewhat feeble-looking man, says he only stayed to notice that her bowels were protruding, and that then he dashed straight away to the police-station, about a couple of hundred yards from the scene of the murder, and there gave information to the police. He did not even wait to arouse any of the other inmates of the house, who only became acquainted with the fact that the ghastly tragedy had been committed after the arrival of the police.
The deceased woman used to live with a sieve maker in Dorset-street, and was known to her acquaintances as "Annie Sievey," a nickname derived from her paramour's trade.
It is reported that two men have identified the body found in Spitalfields as that of a woman named Ellen Clarke, with whom they were drinking last night.
The Scotland-yard authorities state that the circumstances in connection with the murder justify the police in believing that it has been committed by the same person or persons who murdered Mary Ann Nichols. The matter, however, is surrounded with mystery, and the police have had but little time to make inquiries. The police at Commercial-street Station are in charge of the inquiry, but a large body of detectives are scouring the district.
At about 11.45 a man was arrested near the City-road, and was taken to Kingsland-road Police-station by six policemen. It was reported that he was the murderer.
The excitement in Spitalfields is now rendering the people almost frantic. Two ordinary prisoners were arrested for trifling offences this morning, and on each occasion a maddened crowd ran after police shouting "The murderer's caught." Another man injured in a quarrel and carried to the police station on a stretcher received similar attention, the crowd fairly mobbing the station, and declining to disperse. As a matter of fact no arrests have been made up to noon though the police are more hopeful on this than on the last occasion. Deceased, it transpires, was unable to pay her lodging money last night, and went on to the streets again to get it. She was then under the influence of liquor, and was seen drinking again in the early hours of the morning.
Shortly after ten o'clock, this morning, a rumour was current in the East-end, that the body of a young woman, with her throat cut, had been found in the graveyard attached to St. Philip's Church, at the back of the London Hospital. A representative of The Evening News was dispatched to make inquiries in the neighbourhood and was assured by the police that there was no foundation for this extraordinary story. It probably had its origin in the panic which had seized the district upon the discovery of the atrocious butchery of the unfortunate creature who was found in Brown's-lane this morning. So quickly, however, had this second rumour spread that before eleven o'clock a large number of inquiries as to its veracity had been made both at the London Hospital and the Whitechapel Mortuary in Old Montague-street.
NINE IN A ROOM TWELVE FEET SQUARE.
NINE IN A ROOM TWELVE FEET SQUARE.
Dr. Macdonald held an inquest, yesterday afternoon, at the Paul's Head public-house, Spitalfields, on the body of Joseph Meckleburg, aged four months, the son of a costermonger, living at 2, Butler-street, Spitalfields. - From the evidence of the mother it appeared that on Tuesday night she went to bed with the deceased, who was in good health. On the following morning the deceased was found dead in bed. It was stated that the parents and their seven children lived together in one room about 12ft. square, for which they paid 4s. 6d. a week rent. - Dr. Hume, who was called in after death, deposed that the child had been suffocated, most probably be overlying. - The jury returned a verdict of Accidental death, and added a rider that the sanitary authorities were most lax in their duties to allow a family of nine to live and sleep in so small a room, and that the overcrowding which prevails in the East-end ought to be inquired into, and something done to alleviate it. - The coroner said he was of the same opinion himself, and would put the matter before the proper authorities.