17 November, 1888
ANOTHER WHITECHAPEL HORROR.
MORE REVOLTING MUTILATION THAN EVER.
[WITH FULL PAGE ILLUSTRATIONS.]
ON Friday another addition was made to the series of horrible crimes that has created a panic in the East End of London for many weeks past, and has sent a thrill of horror through the country at large. As in the previous cases, the scene of the tragedy lies in the district of Whitechapel, within almost a stone's throw of Hanbury-street, where the unfortunate woman Nicholls (sic) was so brutally put to death. The victim was another of the unfortunate class, who occupied a miserably- furnished room in a court off Dorset-street, a narrow thoroughfare out of Commercial-street, not far removed from the police-station. She had lived in the court for some little time, and was known as Mary Jane Kelly, alias "Ginger." She was a Welsh woman, and it is believed was married, but separated from her husband. Recently she had lived with a man who was known in the neighbourhood as Dan, but the couple parted a few days ago. Since that time the murdered woman had been seen several times walking about the locality, and on more than one occasion has been in the company of men. It is supposed that she met the man who was to be her murderer at a late hour on Thursday night, and that he induced her to allow him to accompany her home. Though there is good reason to believe that the murderer was in the house the whole of the night, he did not carry out his terrible purpose until a period later than half- past eight o'clock on Friday morning. At that time the deceased was seen walking along Dorset-street, and it is supposed that she had left the house for the purpose of purchasing breakfast. She is then said to have appeared cheerful and looking bright and well. Some two hours from this time the unfortunate woman was found lying dead and frightfully mutilated. At half-past eleven o'clock a man went to the room to collect the rent, and failing to gain any answer to his knocking at the door, he looked through the window. It was then seen that the woman was lying naked and bleeding on the bed, and an alarm was at once given.
A policeman was summoned, and he at once took possession of the room, and refused to allow anyone to enter until a medical man had been brought to the spot. When this had been done, a scene more terrible than any of the others that have preceded it was disclosed. Such a shocking state of things was there as has probably never been equalled in the annals of crime. The throat had been cut right across with a knife, nearly severing the head from the body. The abdomen had been ripped partially open, and both of the breasts had been cut from the body. The left arm, like the head, hung to the body by the skin only. The nose had been cut off, the forehead skinned, and the thighs, down to the feet, stripped of the flesh. The abdomen had been slashed with a knife across and downwards, and the liver and entrails wrenched away. The entrails and other portions of the frame were missing, but the liver, etc., it is said, were found placed between the feet of the poor victim. The flesh from the thighs and legs, together with the breasts and nose, had been placed by the murderer on the table, and one of the hands of the dead woman had been pushed into her stomach.
Inspector Beck took charge of the case, and, having sent out all the constables that could be spared to make inquiries, he repaired to Dorset-street, where he established a kind of blockade at Miller's-court, refusing either egress or ingress to the inhabitants. The traffic in Dorset-street was also regulated, and the immense crowds which the news of the murder had attracted thither were prevented from entering the street. The refusal of the police to allow any one to enter or to leave Miller's-court was connected with an intention to put the bloodhounds on the track of the murderer, and it was feared that the scent would be seriously interfered with, if not completely destroyed, if indiscriminate traffic were allowed. The bloodhounds were asked for immediately the discovery was made; but they could not be found.
The victim of the monstrous outrage belonged to the very lowest class. She occupied a cheerless and dismal-looking room on the ground floor or No. 26, Dorset-street. The entrance to her room, however, is from the passage between the houses Nos. 26 and 29, leading into Miller's-court. The room, which was at the back of the house, was very scantily furnished. It contained little besides a bed, a rickety table and a couple of chairs. Both Nos. 26 and 28 are in the occupation of a Mrs. M'Carthy, who carried on the business of a provision dealer at No. 28. It was the son of the landlady who first discovered the murder and gave information to the police. The landlady adheres strictly to the principle of "ready" cash in dealing with the lodgers. It is usually her practise to wait on them in the course of the morning, and receive each day's rent in advance.
Dr. Dukes; Dr. Phillips, of Spital-square; Dr. J. R. Gabe, of Mecklenburg-square; and Dr. Bond, of Westminster Hospital, all saw the body, of which a photograph had been taken, shortly before two o'clock. As it lay on the bed it presented a ghastly spectacle, and so complete had been the mutilation, that it was difficult to tell whether it was that of a man or woman. It lay on its back, with the legs outspread. The face had been so cut and hacked that the features could not be discerned at all. The conclusion was arrived at that the woman's throat had first been cut, causing her instant death, and preventing the possibility of cries.
The body was placed in a plain coffin and removed, shortly before four o'clock, to the mortuary in Shoreditch, in a spring van, followed by a crowd.
Maurice Lewis, a tailor, living in Dorset-street, stated that he had known the deceased woman for the last five years. Her name was Mary Jane Kelly. She was short, stout, and dark; and stood about five feet three inches. He saw her on the previous (Thursday) night, betwen ten and eleven, at the Horn of Plenty in Dorset-street. She was drinking with some woman and also with "Dan," a man selling oranges in Billingsgate and Spitalfields markets, with whom she lived up till as recently as a fortnight ago. He knew her as a woman of the town. One of the woman whom he saw with her was known as Julia. To his knowledge she went home overnight with a man. He seemed to be respectably dressed. Whether or no the man remained all night he could not say. Soon after ten o'clock in the morning he was playing with others at pitch and toss in M'Carthy's-cour, when he heard a lad call out "Copper," and he and his companions rushed away and entered a beer-house at the corner of Dorset- street, known as Ringer's. He was positive than on going in he saw Mary Jane Kelly drinking with some other people, but is not certain whether there was a man amongst them. He went home to Dorset-street on leaving the house, and about half an hour afterwards heard that Kelly had been found in her room murdered. It would then be close upon eleven o'clock.
Dr. J. R. Gabe, of Mecklenburg-square, saw the body, but, in reply to a question put to him, he declined to give any details. He merely said that he had never, in all his life, seen such a horrible sight as the murdered woman presents. In addition to the mutilations already named, it was afterwards ascertained that the forehead and even the cheeks were skinned.
THE DISCOVERY OF THE CRIME.
THE SCENE OF THE MURDER.
Dorset-street, the scene of the murder, runs off Commercial- street, and is almost opposite St. Stephen's Church, Spitalfields. It is a narrow thoroughfare, with barely sufficient room for two vehicles to pass one another. There are several lodging-houses in the street, and there is hardly a house that does not give shelter to lodgers, many of whom come at night and disappear in the morning. The courts leading out of the street are full of lodging-houses. Miller's-court, leading at right angles out of Dorset-street, is a miserable alley, forming a cul de sac. It is known in the locality as M'Carthy's court, on account of being owned by the keeper of the chandler's shop. There are three or four houses of the meanest description, with whitewashed fronts, and approached by a narrow arched passage, not more than a yard and a half wide. The surrounding district is very rough. It is in close vicinity to Spitalfields Market, and within a hundred yards or so of Toynbee Hall.
The most curious item in the entire surroundings is a large placard posted on the walls of the next house to one where the murder was committed offering, in the name of the ILLUSTRATED POLICE NEWS, a reward of POUNDS 100 for the discovery of the diabolical assassin. This is shown in the centre illustrated on our front page together with a plan of the locality. The precise spot where each crime was committed is indicated by a dagger and a numeral.
1. Emma Elizabeth Smith, forty-five, stabbed near
Osborne-street, Whitechapel, April 3rd.
2. Martha Tabram, thirty-five, stabbed in thirty-nine places, at George-yard-buildings, Commercial-street, Spitalfields, August 7th.
3. Mary Ann Nicholls, forty-seven, had her throat cut and body mutilated, in Buck's-row, Whitechapel, August 31st.
4. Annie Chapman, forty-seven, her throat cut and body mutilated, in Hanbury-street, Spitalfields, September 8th.
5. Elizabeth Stride, throat cut in Berner-street, Whitechapel, on Sunday, September 30th.
6. Catherine Eddowes, alias Conway, alias Kelly, mutilated in Mitre-square, Aldgate, also on September 30th.
7. Mary Jeanette Kelly, mutilated in Miller's-court, Whitechapel, November 9th.
There was no appearance of a struggle having taken place, and, although a careful search of the room was made, no knife or instrument of any kind was found. Dr. Phillips, on his arrival, carefully examined the body of the dead woman, and later on again made a second examination in company with Dr. Bond, from Westminster; Dr. Gordon Brown, from the City; Dr. Duke, from Spitalfields; and Dr. Phillip's assistant. Mr. Anderson, the new Commissioner of Police, Detective-Inspectors Reid and Abberline (Scotland-yard), Chief-Inspector West, H Division, and other officers were quickly on the spot. After the examination of the body it was placed in a shell, which was put into a van and conveyed to the Shoreditch mortuary to await an inquest.
From inquiries made among the persons living in the house adjoining the court, and also those residing in rooms in No. 26, it appears clear that no noise of any kind was heard. No suspicious or strange-looking man was seen to enter or leave the murdered woman's room, and up to the present time the occurrence is enveloped in as much mystery as were the previous murders. The man Kelly was quickly found, and his statement ascertained to be correct. After the examination the windows were boarded up and the door padlocked by direction of the police, who had considerable difficulty in keeping the street clear.
WHEN THE WOMAN WAS LAST SEEN ALIVE.
Another account says that she had a little boy, aged about six or seven years, living with her, and latterly she had been in narrow straits, so much so that she is reported to have stated to a companion that she would make away with herself, as she could not bear to see her boy starving. There are conflicting statements as to when the woman was last seen alive. One of them is that of a young woman, who states that at about half- past ten o'clock on Thursday night at the corner of Dorset-street, she met the murdered woman, who said to her that she had no money, and if she could not get any would never go out anymore, but would do away with herself. Soon after they parted, and
A MAN WHO IS DESCRIBED AS RESPECTABLY DRESSED,
THE MURDER COMMITTED AFTER NINE A.M.
If the following statement can be confirmed, it has a very important bearing on the question, "who is the murderer?" because it fixes approximately the time at which the murder was committed. But so many stories have been invented for the sake of gain by people who live in the locality, since these murders became the sensation of the newspapers, that it is difficult to ascertain at once whether they are accurate or otherwise. However, it is the latest statement and it is given on the authority of the Central News:--"Mrs. Maxwell, the wife of the deputy of a lodging-house in Dorset-street, situated just opposite the court where Mary Kelly lived, said to a Central News reporter: 'I assist my husband in his duties, but we live next door, at No. 26 Dorset-street. We had to stay up all night, and yesterday morning, as I was going home, carrying my lantern and other things with me, I saw the woman Kelly standing at the entrance of the court. It was then about half-past eight, and as it was unusual for her to be seen about at that hour I said to her, "Hallo, what are you doing up so early?" She said, "Oh, I'm very bad this morning. I have had the horrors. I have been drinking so much lately." I said to her, "Why don't you go and have half a pint of beer? It will put you right." She replied, "I have just had one, but I am so bad I couldn't keep it down." I didn't know then that she had separated from the man she had been living with, and I thought he had been "paying" her. I then went out in the direction of Bishopsgate to do some errands, and on my return I saw Kelly standing outside the public-house talking to a man. That was the last I saw of her. Who he was I don't know. He was a short, stout man, of about fifty years of age. I did not notice what he had on, but I saw that he wore a kind of plaid coat. I then went indoors to go to bed, as I had been "on duty" all night. Mary Jane (I only know her by that name) was a pleasant little woman, rather stout, fair complexion, and rather pale."
Although rumours were current on Friday that the woman had been seen in the morning, they could not be authenticated, and the opinion of the police was that the woman had been murdered during the night by a man whom she took home to her lodgings. Mrs. Maxwell, however, who knew the deceased well by sight, is empatic both as to the two occasions she saw the deceased on Friday morning, and also as to the conversation reported above. At half-past nine on Friday morning, therefore, the ceased was alive, and, according to her own statement, suffering from a drinking bout. Presumably, between half-past eight and half- past nine she had been drinking with the man who afterwards butchered her, for at the latter hour she was seen talking to a man outside a public-house. At a quarter to eleven the body was discovered in the room which served as lodging, the remains being open to the view of any one who chose to look through the window facing the court. Therefore, assuming Mrs. Maxwell's story to be accurate, the murderer must have walked from the public-house to the victim's lodgings, and in broad daylight killed the woman and performed the most horrible barbarities. He must have removed himself any traces of the crime and walked away from the spot unnoticed. But, having seen the man in broad daylight, Mrs. Maxwell ought to be able to give a description upon which the police can work; and if it be true that murderer and victim were drinking together in the public-house between nine o'clock and half-pass (sic) nine, then the people at the house should be able to partially corroborate Mrs. Maxwell's story and description.
INTENSE EXCITEMENT IN THE EAST-END
On Sunday the excitement created by the murder in Whitechapel had not abated to any appreciable extent, and the streets of the district were crowded, Dorset-square, the scene of the tragedy, being in the afternoon and evening in a practically congested condition. The crowds which extended even into Commercial-street rendered the locomotion all but impossible. Vendors of pamphlets descriptive of the Whitechapel crimes advertised their wares in shrill tones which could be heard even above the cries of the proprietors of fruit barrows and confectionary boxes, who appeared to be doing a thriving trade. Two police-constables guarded the entrance to Miller's-court, where of course the crowd was thickest, and the adjacent shop of the landlord of the house in which the body of the murdered woman had been found was besieged with people anxious to glean further particulars regarding the crime. A very short distance away an itinerant street preacher sought to improve the occasion. The assemblage within and about Dorset-street comprised men and women of various classes, and now and then vehicles drove up containing persons impelled by curiosity to visit the scene of the tragedy.
Great excitement was caused shortly before ten o'clock off Sunday night, in the East-end, by the arrest of a man with a blackened face, who publicly proclaimed himself to be "Jack the Ripper." This was at the cornet of Wentworth-street, Commercial-street, near the scene of the latest crime. Two young men, one a discharged soldier, seized him and the crowds, which always on Sunday night parade this neighbourhood, raised a cry of "Lynch him!" Sticks were raised, and the man was furiously attacked, and but for the timely arrival of the police he would have been seriously injured. The police took him to Leman-street Station. He refused to give any name, but asserted that he was a doctor at St. George's Hospital. His age is about thirty-five years, height five feet seven inches, complexion dark, and dark moustache, and he was wearing spectacles. He wore no waistcoat, but had an ordinary jersey vest beneath his coat. In his pocket he had a double-peaked light check cap, and at the time of his arrest he was bareheaded. It took four constables and four civilians to take him to the station and protect him from the infuriated crowd. He is detained in custody, and it seems that the police attach importance to the arrest, as the man's appearance answers to the police description of the man who is wanted.
The excitement in the neighbourhood of Dorset-street in intense, and some of the low women, with whom the street abounds, appear more like fiends than human beings. The police have naturally great trouble to preserve order, and one constable who is alleged to have struck an onlooker, was so mobbed and hooted that he had to beat a retreat to Commercial-street Police-station, whither he was followed by a large crowd, who were only kept at bay the presence of about half a dozen stalwart constables, who stood at the door and prevented anyone from entering.
AN IMPORTANT STATEMENT
Mrs. Kennedy, who was on the day of the murder staying with her parents at a house facing the room where the mutilated body was found, has made an important statement. She says that about three o'clock on Friday morning she entered Dorset-street on her way to the house of her parents, which is situated immediately opposite that in which the murder was committed. She noticed three persons at the corner of the street near the Britannia. There was a man--a young man, respectably dressed, and with a dark moustache, talking to a woman whom she did not know, and also a female porly clad, and without any head gear. The man and woman appeared to be the worse for liquor, and she heard the man say, "Are you coming?" whereupon the woman, who appeared to be obstinate, turned in an opposite direction to which the man apparently wished her to go. Mrs. Kennedy went on her way, and nothing unusual occurred until about half an hour later. She states that she did not retire to rest immediately after she reached her parents' abode, but sat up, and between half-past three and a quarter to four she heard a cry of "Murder!" in a woman's voice proceed from the direction in which Mary Kelly's room was situated. As the cry was not repeated she took no further notice of the circumstance until the morning, when she found the police in possession of the place, preventing all egress to the occupants of the small houses in this court. When questioned by the police as to what she had heard throughout the night, she made a statement to the above efect. She has since supplemented that statement by the following:--"On Wednesday evening, about eight o'clock, I and my sister were in the neighbourhood of Bethnal-green-road, when we were accosted by a very suspicious-looking man about forty years of age. He was about five feet seven inches high, wore a short jacket, over which he had a long top-coat. He had a black moustache, and wore a billycock hat. He invited us to accompany him into a lonely spot, as he was known about there, and there was a policeman looking at him." She asserts that no policeman was in sight. He made several strange remarks, and appeared to be agitated. He was very white in the face, and made every endeavour to prevent them looking him straight in the face. He carried a black bag. He avoided walking with them, and led the way into a very dark thoroughfare at the back of the workhouse, inviting them to follow, which they did. He then pushed open a small door in a pair of arge gates, and requested one of them to follow him, remarking, "I only want one of you," whereupon the women became suspicious. He acted in a very strange and suspicious manner, and refused to leave his bag in possession of one of the females. Both women became alarmed at his actions, and escaped, at the same time raising an alarm of "Jack the Ripper." A gentleman who was passing is stated to have intercepted the man while the women made their escape. Mrs. Kennedy asserts that the man whom she saw on Friday morning with the woman at the corner of Dorset-street resembled very closely the individual who caused such alarm on the night in question, and that she would recognise him again if confronted with him. There is no cause to doubt this woman's statement.
The following notice was posted in Dorset-street, and at all the police-stations in the Metropolis on Saturday:--
"MURDER -- PARDON -- Whereas, on November 8th or 9th, in
Miller's-court, Dorset-street, Spitalfields, Mary Janet Kelly
was murdered by some person or persons unknown, the Secretary
of State will advise the grant of her Majesty's gracious Pardon
to any accomplice not being a person who contrived or actually
committed the Murder, who shall give such information and
evidence as shall lead to the discovery and conviction of the
person or persons who committed the Murder. (Signed)--
CHARLES WARREN, the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis. Metropolitan Police Office, 4, Whitehall-place, November 10th, 1888."
The inquiry into the cause of death of Mary Janet Kelly, was opened on Monday morning, at eleven o'clock, in the Shoreditch Town Hall, before Dr. Macdonald and a jury of fifteen.
The coroner said, with regard to what the newspapers had said about the jurisdiction, he had not had any communication with Dr. Baxter as to jurisdiction. There was no doubt at all; it was his duty to hold the inquest. A previous murder which took place occurred in his jurisdiction, but the body was taken into the district over which Dr. Baxter had direction, and he of course held the inquest. There was no question whatever as to his right to hold the inquiry.
Joseph Barnett then deposed--I was originally a fish porter, but now I am a labourer. I work at the river side, and carry fish. I lived up to Saturday last at 24, New-street, Bishopsgate. Since Saturday last I have been staying at my sister's, who lives at 21, Portpool-lane, Leather-lane. I have lived with the deceased for year and eight months. Her name was Marie Jeanette. Kelly was her maiden name. I have seen the body of the deceased, and I identify it by the hair and eyes. I am positive that the deceased was the woman with whom I lived, and that her name was Marie.
This witness was subjected to a somewhat lengthy cross-examination, in the course of which all that was known by him of the murdered woman's parentage, history, and her recent mode of life was fully detailed. He left her because she took in an immoral woman to live with her out of compassion. The witness spoke with a stutter, and evidently laboured under great emotion.
Thomas Bowyer said: I live at 37 Dorset-street, Spitalfields. I am a servant to M'Carthy, the owner of a chandler's shop. On Friday morning I went by order of M'Carthy to collect the rent from Mary Jane. I did not know her by any other name. I knocked, but receiving no answer I went round the corner by the gutter-spout, where there is a small pane of glass broken in the large window. There was a curtain before the window, which covered both windows. I pulled the curtain aside and looked in, and saw two lumps of flesh lying on the table in front of the bed and close against it. Afterwards I saw the body of somebody lying on the bed, and blood on the floor. I at once went then very quietly back to my master and I told him what I had seen. "Good God," he said, "do you mean to say that, Harry?" We both went back to the police-station "momently." No, first my master went and looked. At the station we told the police what we had seen. I last saw the deceased alive on Wednesday afternoon in the court.
John M'Carthy corroborated the statements of the last witness.
Mary Ann Cox was the first of the female witnesses called. She said: I live at the last house at the top of the court-- Miller's-court. I am a widow, and get my living on the streets. I've been unfortunate. On Thursday night at 11.45, I last saw the deceased. She was very intoxicated. There was a short, stout man, shabbily dressed, with her, who had a pot of ale in his hand. He had a round black billy-cock hat on. He had a blotchy face, and a full, carrotty moustache. The chin was bare. I followed them up into the court, and said, "Good nigh, Mary." She never turned round, and he banged the door. He had nothing but a quart can of beer in his hand. She said "Goodnight, I'm going to have a song." Then the door was shut, and she sang, "The violet I plucked from my mother's grave when a boy." I remained a quarter of an hour in my room. She was singing all the time. I went out, returned about one o'clock, and she was singing then. In answer to an inquiry by the coroner the witness said: I feel certain that if there had been a cry of "Murder" in the deceased's room after three o'clock in the morning, I should have heard it.
Elizabeth Prater, living at No. 20, Miller's-court, said she heard a cry of "Oh, murder!" between half-past three and four on the morning of the tragedy, as did likewise another woman named Sarah Lewis.
Dr. George Bater Phillips, M.R.C.S., surgeon to the H Division of the Metropolitan Police, minutely described the condition of the room in whcih the murdered woman was discovered. He was of opinion the immediate cause of the death of the deceased was the severance of the right carotid artery, which was inflicted while she was lying at the right side of the bedstead, and her head and neck in the top right-hand corner.
The coroner then intimated that that was the whole of the evidence at present forthcoming. It was for the jury to say whether they desired an adjournment If they could come to a decision as to the cause of death, that was all they had to do. The jury at once returned a verdict of willful murder against some person or persons unknown.
RESIGNATION OF SIR CHARLES WARREN.
In the House of Commons, on Monday, in reply to Mr. Conybere, Mr. Matthews said: I have to inform the hon. member that the Chief Commissioner of Police did on the 8th inst. tender his resignation to her Majesty's Government, and that his resignation has been accepted.