14 September 1888
The adjourned inquest upon the body of Annie Chapman was resumed yesterday by Mr. Wynne Baxter, in the Working Lads' Institute, Whitechapel road.
The following further evidence was taken.
Joseph Chandler, police inspector, stated - About ten minutes to six o'clock on Saturday morning I was on duty in Commercial street, at the corner of Hanbury street. I saw several men running up Hanbury street, who beckoned to me. One of them said, "Another woman has been murdered." I at once went with him to the house, 29 Hanbury street. I went through the passage to the yard. There were several people about, but not in the yard. I saw the body of a woman lying on the ground on her back. Her head was towards the back wall of the house, about two feet back, at the bottom of the steps. Her face was turned on to the right side, with the left hand resting on the left breast, which was not exposed. The right hand was lying down by her side. The legs were drawn up, and the clothing above the knees.
Was the body lying parallel with the fencing? - With the fencing dividing the two yards. I remained there in charge and sent for the divisional surgeon, the ambulance, and further assistance. When constables came, I removed all parties from the passage, and saw that nobody touched the body until the doctor arrived. I obtained some sacking from some of the neighbours to cover the body until the arrival of the doctor.
What time did he arrive? - About half past six. Her examined the body, and ordered its removal to the mortuary. We put it on the ambulance. After the body had been removed I examined the yard, and I found some pieces of coarse muslin, a small tooth comb, and a pocket hair comb in leather case. I produce these things. There was lying near the feet of the woman a small piece of paper; a portion of an envelope I also found near her head. There was a seal, and on the flap there were in embossed letters the words "Sussex Regiment." On the other side of the envelope was the letter M in writing. It was in a man's writing. There was no postage stamp, but there was a post office stamp, "London, 23rd August, 1888." There was another stamp, but it was indistinct. On the front were written the letters "S.P." There were no other marks.
Did you find anything else in the yard? - There was a leather apron lying in the yard saturated with water, almost two feet from the water tap. That was shown to the doctor. There was a nail box - a box commonly used by case makers for holding their nails. It was empty. There was also a flat piece of steel, which has since been identified by Mrs. Richardson as her property. It was lying close to the body. The nail box has also been identified by Mrs. Richardson as her property.
What was the material of the part of the yard where the body was found? - It was partly earth, and there were some flat and some round stones.
Was there any appearance of a struggle there? - No.
Are the palings strongly erected? - No; very temporary.
Would they support the weight of a man getting over them? - Well, they might.
Was there any evidence of anybody having recently got over them - any breakage, or anything of that sort? - No, not in the least. There have been some breakages in the neighbouring fences since. I examined the adjoining yards at the time, and none of the palings was then broken. The palings in the yard, near the head of the body, were stained with blood. There were marks discovered on Tuesday afternoon on the wall of the house No. 25. They have been seen by Dr. Phillips.
Were there any drops of blood elsewhere outside the yard? - No; a careful examination has been made, but no such traces have been found. The blood stains were in the neighbourhood of the body only. There were also a few spots of blood on the back wall of the house at the bend of the body about two feet from the ground. They were spots rather than splashes. They were all together.
Did you search the body? - I searched the clothing at the mortuary. The outside jacket - a long black jacket coming down to the knees - had blood stains on it. There were blood stains round the neck of it, both inside and out, and two or three spots on the left arm.
Was there any evidence of a scuffle? - No. There was no pocket in the jacket, in fact there were no pockets in any of the clothing at all. The pocket was worn under the skirt. (Witness produced this pocket, which was one of coarse material, with two divisions.) It was torn down the front, and also at the side. It was quite empty. The dress was a black skirt. There was a little blood on the outside, at the back, caused by the woman having lain amongst the blood. There were also two petticoats.
Were they blood stained? - Very little. There were two bodices. They were stained with blood round the neck.
Had they been injured? - No, there did not appear to be a cut in the clothing at all. The chemise was stained with blood at the bottom and more or less all over. There was no corset. She had striped stockings and laced up boots, all old. None of her clothing was torn. Her boots were on her feet. The stockings were not blood stained.
Did you see young Richardson? - I saw him later on in the morning, about a quarter to seven o'clock. His name is John. He was in the passage of 29 Hanbury street at the time. He told me he had been at the house at five o'clock.
Did he say what he went there for? - He said he went to the back door and looked round to see that all was right, and then went away to his work at the market.
Did he say anything about cutting his boot? - No.
Did he say he was sure the woman was not there at the time? - Yes.
In answer to the Foreman, the witness said the back door opened so that young Richardson might not have seen the body at the time, even if it was there, as the door might cover the sight of it.
The Foreman - Some evidence has been given about an envelope, with the name of regiment upon it, and something was said about a pensioner named Stanley. Are you going to produce that person?
Witness - We have not been able to find him.
The Foreman - There is evidence that he had been with the woman week after week, and staying with her night after night. It is very important that he should be found.
Witness - The parties were requested to communicate with the police if he came back. Every inquiry has been made, but nobody seems to know anything about him.
The coroner - I should think if the pensioner knows his own business he would come forward himself.
A Juror - I suppose the police have the portion of the envelope referred to, and it can be produced? - Witness: It is in possession of the police, and can be produced.
Police sergeant Baugham (sic) said: On Saturday I conveyed the body of the deceased from 29 Hanbury street to the Whitechapel mortuary on a police ambulance. I placed it in the shed where the shells are, but still on the stretcher of the ambulance. Sergeant Thicke viewed the body and described it to me, and I took the description in writing. Two women, who came from a lodging house in 35 Dorset street, were also present; but I did not see them touch either the clothing or the body. Sergeant Thicke touched the clothing, but I did not see him touch the body. He remarked to the women, "You understand women's clothing, and you can describe it." There were several people there to identify the body.
Inspector Chandler, recalled, said he reached the mortuary a few minutes after seven o'clock.
Did the body appear to have been disturbed at all? - No. I did not wait until the doctor arrived, but I left Constable Barnes outside to assist the mortuary keeper in taking care of the body.
Robert Marne said - I am an inmate of the Whitechapel Union Workhouse, and have charge of the mortuary. On Saturday I received the body of the deceased about seven o'clock in the morning. I remained at the mortuary until Dr. Phillips arrived, about two o'clock/ The door of the mortuary was locked during the time except when two nurses from the infirmary came and undressed the body. The police looked at the clothing before the body was taken off the stretcher. I am sure no one touched the body until the nurses did so.
By a Juror - I had the keys of the mortuary while I was there, and I gave them to the police when I left.
The Coroner and the Jury concurred in expressing their dissatisfaction at the existing mortuaries in the East end, a district where such provision was more required, but was less satisfactory than anywhere else.
Witness (continuing) - I picked up a handkerchief (produced), which came off the body, and gave it to Dr. Phillips. At his request, I put it in some water. I did not see the handkerchief taken off the body. It looked as if it had been taken off the throat.
Did you see it taken off the throat? - No.
Then you are guessing? - Yes.
The Coroner - Your guesses are worth nothing.
The Foreman - His evidence is worth nothing.
Dr. Phillips said the handkerchief was spoken to by two other witnesses who were present.
Timothy Donovan, deputy of the lodging house at 35 Dorset street, said - I recognise the handkerchief produced as one which the deceased used to wear. She bought it from a lodger about a week or fortnight ago. She was wearing it on the Saturday morning when she left the lodging house. She was wearing it three corner wise round her neck, with a black woollen sort of scarf underneath. It was tied in front in a knot.
The Foreman - Would you recognise the pensioner, Ted Stanley, if you saw him?
A Juror - Ted Stanley is not the pensioner.
The Foreman understood he was, and repeated the question.
Witness - I would recognise "Harry the Hawker," if I saw him, but not Ted Stanley.
The Foreman asked who was the man who was drinking with some women in a public house?
The Coroner referred back to evidence where both Ted Stanley and "Harry the Hawker" were spoken of as being in the public house with some women, and said there was nothing to show that they were the same person.
The Foreman said he referred to the pensioner - the man who regularly came to see and live with the deceased. That man ought to be produced.
The Coroner concurred.
The Foreman (to the witness) - Would you recognise the pensioner if you saw him?
Witness - Yes.
The Coroner - Have you seen him since Saturday?
Witness - No.
Why did you not send him on to the police? - He would not stop.
The Foreman: What was he like? Witness: He had a soldierly appearance. He dressed differently at different times, and did not always look so gentlemanly.
Dr. G.B. Phillips said - I have been divisional police surgeon for twenty three years. On Saturday I was called by the police at 6.20 a.m. to go to 29 Hanbury street. I arrived there by half past six. I found the dead body of a woman in the possession of the police, lying in the back yard on her back, on the left hand of the steps that lead from the passage of the house into the yard. The head was about six inches in front of the level of the bottom step, and her feet were towards a shed, which proved to be one containing wood, at the bottom of the yard. The left arm was placed across the left breast, the legs were drawn up, the feet resting on the ground, and the knees turned outwards. The face was swollen and turned on the right side. The tongue protruded between the front teeth, but not beyond the lips. The tongue was evidently much swollen. The teeth were perfect, so far as the first molar top and bottom, and very fine teeth they were. I searched the yard, and found a piece of coarse muslin, a small tooth comb, and a pocket comb in a paper case, lying at the foot of the woman near the paling, and they apparently had been arranged there in order. I delivered these things into the keeping of the police. I also found a leather apron. The body was cold except that there was a certain remaining heat under the intestines that remained in the body. The stiffness of the limbs was not marked, but it was evidently commencing. The throat was severed deeply, the incision through the skin was jagged and reached right round the neck. On the back wall of the house, between the steps and the palings which bounded the yard on the left side, about 18 inches from the found, there were about six patches of blood varying in size from a sixpenny piece to a small point, and on the wooden palings between the yard in question and the next there were smears of blood corresponding to where the head of the deceased lay. This was about 14 inches in front and immediately above the part where the blood lay that had flowed from the neck, which blood was well clotted. Soon after two o'clock on Saturday afternoon I went to the labour yard of Whitechapel Union for the purpose of further examining the body and making the usual examination. That examination I proceeded to make, and here I must state that it was under great disadvantage that I did it. As on many occasions I have met with the same difficulty, I now raise my protest that members of my profession should be called upon to perform their duties under these inadequate circumstances.
The Coroner - The mortuary is not fitted for a post mortem examination? Witness: There is no adequate convenience.
The Foreman - I think we can all endorse the doctor's opinion of it.
Witness - At certain seasons of the year it is most dangerous to the operator.
The Coroner - As a matter of fact, there is no public mortuary for the City of London up to Bow. There is one at Mile end, a very nice mortuary; but it belongs to the workhouse. They have an adequate one for their own purposes, but they will not allow it to be used for general purposes.
Witness, continuing:- The body had evidently been attended to since its removal to the mortuary - probably partially washed. I noticed the same protrusion of the tongue, a bruise over the right malar bone, and reaching over the temple and the upper eyelid. There were (sic) a bruise under the clavicle, and two distinct bruises (each the size of the top of a man's thumb) on the forepart of the chest. The stiffness of the limbs was now well marked. There was a bruise over the middle carpal bone of the first finger of the right hand. The finger nails were turgid; the lips also. There was an old scar of long standing on the left of the frontal bone. The stiffness was more noticeable on the left side, and especially in the fingers, where were partly closed. There was an abrasion over the bend of the first joint of the ring finger. There were distinct markings of a ring or rings - probably the latter - and there were small sores on the fingers. The head being opened showed that the membranes of the brain were opaque, and the veins and tissues coated with blood of a dark character. The front had been severed, and the entire structures from the bony portion of the vertebral or spinal column had been separated. The incisions of the skin indicated that they had been made from the left side of the neck on a line with the angle of the jaw, carried entirely round, and again in front of the neck, and ending at a point about midway between the jaw and the sternal or breast bone on the right side. There were two distinct cuts on the body of the vertebrae on the left side of the spine. They were parallel to each other, and separated about half an inch. There were appearances as if an attempt had been made to separate the bones of the neck. There are various other mutilations of the body, but I am of opinion that they occurred subsequently to the death of the woman, and subsequently to the large escape of blood from the neck.
Witness added that he was prepared to go into further details as to the mutilation, but he did not think they were of a nature fit for publication.
The Coroner observed that the object of the inquiry was to ascertain not only the cause of death, but the means by which it was effected. Supposing any one was charged with the crime, the details would have to come out at the trial, and it might be matter for comment that the same evidence was not given at the inquest.
Witness - I am entirely in your hands.
The Coroner - We will postpone that for the present. You can give your opinion as to how the death was caused.
Witness - From these appearances I am of opinion that the breathing was interfered with previous to death, and that death arose from syncope, or failure of the heart's action in consequence of the loss of blood.
What sort of instrument must have been used? Would it have been the same for the abdomen as the throat? - Very probably. It must have been a very sharp knife, probably with a thin, narrow blade, and must have been at least six to eight inches in length - probably longer. The appearance of the wounds did not give me the impression that they had been caused by such an instrument as a bayonet or sword bayonet.
Would such an instrument as a medical man uses for post mortem purposes have caused them? - Yes, but the ordinary post mortem case would probably nor contain such an instrument.
Would any instrument that a slaughterer uses have caused them? - Yes, well ground down.
Would the knife of a cobbler or of one employed in the leather trade have caused them? - I think the blade of the knives used in the leather trade would not be long enough.
Was there any anatomical knowledge displayed? - I think there was. There were indications of it; my own impression is that anatomical knowledge was only less displayed or indicated in consequence of the haste. The person evidently was hindered from making a more complete dissection in consequence of the haste.
Is the whole of the body there? - No, the absent portions are parts of the abdomen.
Are those portions such as would require anatomical knowledge to extract? - I think the mode in which they were extracted did show some anatomical knowledge.
You do not think that those parts could have been lost in the transit of the body to the mortuary? - I was not present at the transit. I carefully closed up the clothes of the woman. The parts were excised from the body without doubt, but they might have been lost.
How long had the deceased been dead when you first saw the body? - I should say at least two hours, and probably more, but it is right in connection with that opinion to say that it was a fairly cold morning, and that the body would be more apt to cool rapidly from its having lost the greater portion of its blood.
Was there in your opinion any evidence of any struggle? - No, not about the body of the woman; but you must not forget the smearing of the blood upon the palings.
In your opinion, did she enter the yard alive? - I am positive of it. After I made a thorough search of the passage and the approach to the house I saw no marks of blood, which must have been traceable if she had not entered the yard alive. That was when I visited the premises in the morning. I discovered the apron, and there were no evidences of blood upon it. It had the appearance to my eye of not having been unfolded recently. I was shown some stains on the wall of No. 25 Hanbury street on Wednesday morning. To the eye of a novice they no doubt look like blood, but I have not been able to trace any signs of blood. I have not quite finished my investigation into the last circumstance, but I am almost convinced that I shall find that it is not blood.
We have not had any result of your examination of the internal organs; were they diseased? - Yes, but that had nothing to do with the cause of death. She was far advanced in disease of the lungs and of the membranes of the brain. The disease of the lungs was of long standing. The stomach contained a meal of food, but there were no signs of her having indulged largely in alcohol. Although she was fatty, I think there were signs that she had been badly fed. I am convinced that she had not taken any strong alcohol some hours before her death.
The Coroner - None of these injuries, I suppose, was self inflicted?
Witness - The injuries which were the immediate cause of death were certainly not self inflicted. The marks on the face were evidently recent, particularly about the chin. The bruises in front of the temple and on the chest were of longer standing, probably of days. I am clearly of opinion that the person who cut the deceased's throat took hold of her by the chin, and then commenced the incision from left to right.
Could that be done so instantaneously that a person could not cry out? - By pressure on the throat no doubt it would be possible.
The Foreman - There would probably be suffocation?
Witness was understood to express consent.
Mary Elizabeth Simonds, a resident nurse at the Whitechapel Infirmary, said on the morning of the murder she attended at the mortuary with the senior nurse. They stripped the body of the deceased, and washed off the stains of blood. There was some blood about the chest, and it seemed to have run down from the throat. She found the pocket which had been produced tied round the waist of the deceased. There were no tears or cuts in the clothes.
Inspector Chandler said he did not instruct the nurses to strip and wash the body.
The inquest was further adjourned to Wednesday, at two o'clock.
The principal officers engaged in investigating the Whitechapel murders, were summoned to Scotland yard yesterday, and conferred with the chief officials. Late 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 of 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.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE STANDARD.
Sir - Yesterday, at eleven a.m., a gentleman was seized and robbed of everything in Hanbury street. At five p.m., an old man, of seventy years, was attacked and served in the same way in Chicksand street. At ten a.m. today, a man rushed into a baker's shop, at the corner of Hanbury street and King Edward street, and ran off with the till and its contents.
All these occurred within one hundred yards of each other, and midway between the scenes of the last two horrible murders.
I am, Sir, your obedient servant,
The inquest on the murdered woman Chapman was resumed yesterday, when the police and the surgeon were examined. The latter gentleman expressed the opinion that the wounds were such as would be produced by a somewhat long bladed knife, like a slaughterman's, and that there were indications that the murderer had some anatomical knowledge. The inquest was again adjourned.