18 September 1888
Mr. Wynne E. Baxter, the Coroner for Southeast Middlesex, resumed yesterday, at the Working Lads' Institute, Whitechapel road, the inquest on Mary Ann Nichols, 42, the wife of a machinist, lately living at Coburg road, Old Kent road, whose body, shockingly mutilated, was found lying in a gateway in Buck's row, Whitechapel, early on the morning of Friday, the 31st ult.
Dr. Llewellyn, recalled, said that after he had given his evidence on the last occasion he visited the mortuary and made a further examination of the body. He discovered a scar on the forehead of old standing. He did not believe that any portion of the body was missing.
The Coroner: Do you know if she wore rings? - Witness: There were marks of rings on the fingers, but I do not think she had worn any for five or six weeks.
Emma Green, of New Cottage, Buck's row, said - I am a widow and occupy the cottage next to where the deceased was found. I have a daughter and two sons living with me. On the night before the murder I went to bed about eleven o'clock, my children going about an hour earlier. My bedroom is on the first floor, and I do not remember waking till I heard a knock at the street door.
The Coroner: What time was that?
Witness: I should think about four o'clock. I opened the window and looked out. There were several constables near my door.
Coroner: Did you see any body on the ground?
Witness: I saw something like a body but it was very dark at the time, and I could hardly distinguish it.
Coroner: I may take it that you heard no noise during the night?
Witness: None of us heard any.
Coroner: Are you a heavy sleeper?
Witness: A very light sleeper.
I suppose there are bad women in the neighbourhood?
Witness: Often women come by, but I don't believe there is a disorderly house in Buck's row.
A Juror: There are some in Thomas street, are there not?
Witness: I don't know of any. I seldom go out after dark.
The Coroner: Do you know that your son went out to wash the blood away?
Witness: Yes. I thought it had better be done directly the body was moved. A constable went into the yard with my son, and they returned with a broom, and washed the stains away.
Thomas Eade said - I am a signalman in the employ of the East London Railway. On the 8th Sept. I was going down the Cambridge Heath road about twelve noon when I saw a man on the opposite side of the street to the Foresters' Music hall. He had a peculiar appearance as if he had a wooden arm. I passed him once or twice, and as he put his hand in his pocket, I caught sight of the blade of a knife, which was up his sleeve. I saw about four inches of steel. After speaking to some men I followed him to give him into custody, but he slipped down some street, and I lost sight of him. He was a man about 5ft 8in high, 35 years of age, with dark moustaches and whiskers; he wore a dark brown jacket, white overalls, and a double peaked cap.
Coroner: How did he walk?
Witness: As though he had got stiff knees; that was what made me notice him first.
Coroner: Were his overalls dirty?
No, they were perfectly clean.
Coroner: You did not see what kind of a knife it was?
No, not exactly; the blade was about two and a half inches wife, I think.
Walter Purkis was next called, and said - I live at Essex Wharf Buck's row, and am manager to Messrs. Brown and Co. My house is immediately opposite the gate where the deceased was found.
The Coroner: Who were in the house on the night of the 30th ult.?
Witness: Myself and family and the servant. I sleep in the front room on the second floor and the children at the back of the house. On that night I went to bed about a quarter past eleven.
The Coroner: Did you sleep during the night?
Witness: I was awake several times, but mostly before two o'clock.
The Coroner: When did you wake?
I was called up by the police at about a quarter to four.
The Coroner: Did you or your wife hear any sound during the night?
Witness: No, not a sound; it was unusually quiet. When the police called me I opened the window and went down. I could see all there was to see from my window. There were two or three men besides the constables.
The Coroner: Now supposing the woman had called out or there had been any quarrelling should you have heard it?
Witness: Oh yes, I should have been sure to have heard it.
Edward Mulsham (sic), night watchman at the Whitechapel District Board of Works, said - On the night of the murder I was in Winthorpe (sic) street during the whole of the night. I did not leave till about five minutes to six in the morning. I was in the open street watching some drainage work.
The Coroner: Do you go to sleep?
Witness: Sometimes I do.
The Coroner: Were you asleep between three and six o'clock?
Witness: I don't think I was. There was no one about whatever, and I heard no cries for assistance or other noise. The slaughter house is about 50 yards from where I was. About twenty to five a man coming past said, "I say, old man, a woman has been murdered up yonder." On going to the spot I saw the deceased and a doctor examining her.
The Coroner: Would you have heard any cry from where the woman lay?
Witness: I can't say that I should. I saw nothing suspicious during the night.
The Coroner: Was there any man running away?
Witness: No, sir. It is very quiet after eleven o'clock, and I should have noticed anyone running away. You don't see a policeman often in that quarter.
The Coroner: Did you see any that night?
The Witness: I think I saw two that night.
Police constable Niel (sic) stood up, and witness identified him as one of the constables he saw patrolling his beat that night.
A Juror: How often do the constables pass round?
Witness: About once in two hours, I should think.
Police constable John Thain, 96J, said - I was on duty in Brady street on the morning of the murder, and passed the end of Buck's row every thirty minutes. Nothing attracted my attention until 3.45 a.m. when I was signalled by another constable in Buck's row. I went to him and found him standing by the body of a woman. He said to me, "Run and fetch the doctor," and I went. Dr. Llewellyn returned with me. I stayed in the street when they took the body to the mortuary.
The Coroner: You were there when the blood was removed?
The Coroner: Was there a very large quantity on the flags?
Witness: There was a large clot near the wall, and blood was running into the gutter. When I picked deceased up, her back, as far as the waist, was covered with blood.
The Coroner: Did you search the neighbourhood?
Witness: Yes; I searched the East London Railway, District Railway, and South Eastern Railway, but found nothing suspicious - not even a knife.
Robert Paul, Forster street, Whitechapel, said - I am a carman, and on the morning of the murder I left home just before a quarter to four. As I was passing up Buck's row I saw a man standing in the roadway, When I got close to him, he said, "Come and look at this woman;" and together we went across the road. There was a woman lying across the gateway, with her clothes disarranged. I felt her hands and face; they were cold. I sent the other man for a policeman.
James Hatfield, an inmate of the Whitechapel Union, said - I was sent to undress the body after it was in the mortuary. Being unable to undo the dress, we cut it off. I can't say if there were any stays with the clothing.
Inspector Spratling - I have been making inquiries into this matter.
The Coroner: Have you been to every house in Buck's row?
Witness - No; but if anything had come to light down there we should have heard of it. I have seen all the watchmen in the neighbourhood, and they neither saw nor heard anything on the morning in question. The Board school ground has been searched, but nothing likely to throw any light on the matter was discovered.
Inspector Helson - We have had a constable in the street for a week, but nothing was gained by it.
The inquiry was adjourned until Saturday next.
The Foreman of the Jury said that if a substantial reward had been offered in the first case he believed that the last two murders would never have been perpetrated. If the matter was put before the Home Secretary, and a large reward was promised, he (the Foreman) would willingly give £25. Had the murdered persons belonged to the rich and aristocratic class, a reward would immediately have been offered.
The Coroner said he could not agree with the last remarks of the Foreman, as he believed that the Government cared just as much for the lives of the poor as for the lives of the rich.
A labourer, named Edward Quinn, aged 35, was placed in the dock, before Mr. Fenwick, charged, nominally, with being drunk at the police station. His face and hands were much bruised, and, when charged, he was much bloodstained. The Magistrate was about disposing of the case briefly, when the Prisoner remarked that he had a complaint to make, and he stated it as follows:-
On Saturday I was at a bar down by the Arsenal, at Woolwich, having a drink. I had stumbled over something in the street just before, and had cut my face and knuckles, as you see, and I had bled a good lot. While at the bar a big, tall man came in and sat beside me, and looked at me. He got m in tow, and gave me some beer and tobacco, and than he said, "I mean to charge you with the Whitechapel murders." I thought it was a joke, and laughed; but he said he was serious, and pointed to the blood about me. I said, "Nonsense; is that all the clue you have got?" He then dropped the subject, and took me for a walk until we got to the police station, where he charged me with the Whitechapel murders.
Mr. Fenwick: Were you not drunk?
Quinn: Certainly not, sir.
Mr. Fenwick: You will be remanded until tomorrow.
Quinn: This is rather rough. I am dragged a mile to the station, and looked up, and I am to wait another day with all this suspicion of murder hanging over my head.
Mr. Fenwick: I will take your own bail in £5 for your reappearance.
Quinn: I object to the whole thing. Me murder a woman! I could not murder a cat (laughter).
The Prisoner was then release on his recognisances.