Wednesday, 3 October 1888
The mysteries of crime in London multiply. Again to-day the public are startled by the report that another awful deed of wickedness, similar in character to its predecessors, has been accomplished, though in this instance the scene is shifted from the infamous district of Whitechapel to the Thames Embankment, nearing the West End. In that locality what is described as a neatly done up parcel was yesterday afternoon discovered by some workmen, and upon being opened portions of the body of a female were found. Nothing but the trunk remained, the head and extremities being missing. It was a clear case of murder, but the evidence so far as it now is available tends to show that the deed has not recently been committed. The popular impulse is to trace this crime to the same source as that of the Whitechapel butcheries, but there is medical testimony to favour the theory that the murder had been committed independently of the fell conspiracy which in that abandoned quarter of the metropolis is supposed to exist. The details of this further abominable act are fully described in other columns to-day, and they are too painful to follow. They cannot be read without a shudder of horror, nor is it any wonder that, coming after the recital of the fiendish acts that have already astonished the community, they should intensify the panic now existing. The black records of the Newgate Calendar might be searched in vain for a parallel to this triumph of iniquity. Undetected crime has brought forth its vile progeny. The plague spreads and no means have been found to check it. All the vigilance of the detective and police forces seems powerless to track the evil to its source, and while this is the manifest experience, how can it be hoped that a period can be set to the propagation of the moral disease. All that has transpired during the past few months in the known districts of London where crime is actually taught and practised as a profession suggests the inevitable conclusion that insufficient value is rendered for the vast sums yearly paid out of the public purse for the maintenance of the police and detective forces. What have they been doing? Their duty is not merely to track a particular crime, but by exercise of highly-paid vigilance to prevent such outrages as those with which we have so frightfully been made familiar. Their industry and assiduity have broken down, and the public stand face to face with the shocking circumstance that with all their practically unlimited resources they have failed. How, under such circumstances, can it be said that panic is unjustifiable, and what excuse can be offered for the officials under the government of the HOME SECRETARY, who have failed conspicuously to satisfy the public of their absolute determination to pursue the criminal, irrespective of official precedents inapplicable in such a case, to the very end?
It is impossible to suppose that the English people will any longer tolerate this feebleness of the law. The question is of small consequence whether a series of crimes have been committed by a single individual or by a gang of miscreants. What is wanted is police activity, and not detective theory, and in tracking the villainy to its fountain-head no means should be left unemployed, whether justified by official "precedent" or not. I the pass to which things have come the public will refuse to be misled by mere phrases and red-tape processes. They want to find the criminal or criminals, and are prepared to sanction the most extreme measures that may be proposed leading to discovery. Never has such a reproach been cast upon the police and detective forces of London. Their resources of enterprise and of activity seem to be paralysed, and the acumen that they have displayed in far more complicated instances is notably at fault. We do not think that the murderous gang or the individual - if such a fiend in human shape exists - can ultimately escape the outraged laws of humanity, but the impunity that is presently enjoyed cannot be considered as other than a direct incentive to crime in the most ghastly aspects of which the public are aware. Hitherto the Executive Government have trusted too much to the personal discretion of the HOME SECRETARY, and though perhaps the disposition may be unjust to saddle him with the gravest weight of responsibility, there can be no doubt that the failure to offer officially a reward for the discovery of the criminals has disappointed the common sense of equity, and has bred unpopular impressions for which the Government will assuredly be held accountable.
No sooner do we appear to be recovering from the shock of one horror than another supercedes it. To-night the principal thoroughfares are thronged with newspaper-vendors shrieking themselves hoarse with crying the latest hideous discovery. Since 6 o'clock this evening the public mind has another gruesome item to ponder over, and the excitement caused by Sunday's crimes is worked up to fever pitch by the intelligence of the dreadful discovery on the Embankment. No sooner had the news of the affair got wind than thousands of curious sightseers flocked to the scene, and notwithstanding that the plot of ground is boarded off from the footpath, which prevents anyone from actually seeing the spot where the body was found, the Embankment up to midnight was rendered almost impassable. How the trunk of the murdered woman was carried to the place without attracting the attention of the police, who are posted all along the thoroughfare, and round the approaches to Westminster Bridge, is at the present moment puzzling the authorities at Scotland Yard, as the foreman and workmen positively declare that it must have been placed there since they left work on Saturday.
The general opinion with regard to this latest horror is that it is distinct from the East End tragedies, and appears to have some connection with the recently discovered arms in Pimlico and Lambeth. One theory advanced is that the murderer, who was probably endeavouring to get rid of his victim's body in fragments, became alarmed by the news of Sunday's murders, and fearing that the police in pursuing their inquiries with regard to these crimes might unearth his secret, resolved at all hazards to free himself at once of his horrible encumbrance.
This is now the ninth mysterious murder in London, and notwithstanding the Home Secretary's decision published this morning, not to offer either a Government reward for the apprehension of the criminal, or a free pardon to any accomplice who did not actually commit the murder, it is to-night thought that Mr Mathews will in this last case have to offer a reward, if only to quiet public opinion, which is n some danger of losing all confidence in the judgement and the sympathy of the authorities, irrational as such a sentiment may be. However, there is now something like a thousand pounds to be got by delivering up the White chapel "monster" to justice, and if anybody has reasonable suspicions or valuable information which he has not yet communicated to the police here is a strong incentive to stir him to action.
Something may be hoped for from this, though indignation has been so thoroughly aroused in the East End that it can be hardly necessary to sharpen the faculties of the population by tempting their cupidity, and so for accomplices, it is hardly likely that the murderer has any. With regard to the Embankment affair, the complexion of the crime appears to be entirely different.
At the present moment the authorities are being embarrassed with a thousand and one suggestions, many of which are absurdly grotesque. First of all comes the suggestion of the employment of bloodhounds, which, considering that the pavement where the dead woman was found has been carefully cleansed, would be next to useless; besides all trace of the scent has been trodden out. Another idea is to draw a cordon of police round the area of the murders and make a house to house search. This again comes a trifle late.
DISCOVERY OF A WOMAN'S MUTILATED BODY
Another ghastly discovery was made in London this afternoon. About twenty minutes past 3 o'clock a carpenter named Frederick Wildborn, employed by Messrs J. Grover and Sons, builders, of Pimlico, who are the contractors for the new Metropolitan Police headquarters on the Thames Embankment, was working on the foundation when he came across a neatly done-up parcel which was secreted in one of the cellars. Wildborn was in search of timber when he found the parcel, which was tied up in paper, and measured about two and a half feet long by about two feet in width. It was opened, and the body of a woman very much decomposed was found carefully wrapped in a piece of cloth which is supposed to be a black petticoat. The trunk was minus the head, both arms, and both legs, and presented a ghastly spectacle. The officials of the works were immediately apprised of the discovery, and the police were fetched.
Dr. Bond, the Divisional Surgeon to the division and several other medical gentlemen were communicated with, and subsequently examined the remains, which were handed over to the care of some police officers who were told off to see that it was not disturbed.
From what can be ascertained, the conclusion has been arrived at by the medical men that the remains are those of the woman whose arms have recently been discovered in different parts of the metropolis.
Dr. Nevill, who examined the arm of a female found a few weeks ago in the Thames, off Ebury Bridge, said on that occasion that he did not think that it had been skilfully taken from the body, and this fact would appear to favour the theory that that arm, together with the one found in the grounds of the Blind Asylum in the Lambeth road last week, belong to the trunk discovered to-day, for it is stated that the limbs appear to have been taken from the body found this afternoon in anything but a skilful manner.
The building which is in course of erection is the new police depot for London, the present scattered headquarters of the Metropolitan Police Force and the Criminal Investigation Department in Scotland Yard and Whitehall place having been found too small for the requirements of our police system. The builders have been working on the site for some considerable time now, but have only just completed the foundation. It was originally the site for the National Opera House, and extends from the Thames Embankment through to Cannon row, Parliament street, at the back of St. Stephen's Club and the Westminster Bridge Station on the District Railway. The prevailing opinion is that to place the body where it was found the person conveying it must have scaled the eight feet hoarding which encloses the works, and carefully avoiding the watchmen who do duty by night, must have dropped it where it was found. There appears to be little doubt that the parcel had been in the cellar for some considerable time.
A man employed upon the works who as one of the first to see the remains, made the following statement:- "I went down into one of the cellars which is about 20 feet by 15 feet in size, to look round when I saw the parcel lying in a corner as though it had been thrown there carelessly. I might say that the cellar is really a part of the half-finished basement of what are to be the new police offices. The parcel was a paper one which could easily be carried under the arm. When the parcel was opened, I saw that it contained the trunk of a woman wrapped up in a coarse cloth. In cutting off the legs a portion of the abdomen had been cut away. The head and arms were also cut off close to the trunk. The police have been digging up rubbish and any place where it seems likely any more remains could be hidden, but I don't think they have found anything more. The contents of the parcel were very much decomposed, and looked to me as though they had been in the place where they were found for three weeks or a month. My opinion is that the person putting the parcel where it was found must have got over the hoarding in Cannon row and tehn thrown the bundle down."
Another workman said that the parcel was discovered by a man who he only knows by the name of "George" who went down to get some lumber. In his opinion the parcel had been there for quite three weeks, as it was terribly decomposed.
Another workman who has a thorough knowledge of the facts connected with the finding of the ghastly remains has made the following statement:- "As one of our carpenters was putting away his tools at about 5 o'clock last (Monday) night in one of the vaults which are to form the foundation of the main building of the new offices which are to accommodate the police, he saw what seemed to be a heap of paper. As it is very dark in this particular spot even during the day the matter somehow did not appear to strike him as curious or out of the way, his passing thoughts being that it was merely a bundle of canvas which was being used on the works. He consequently mentioned the matter to no one, and having left his tools came away and went home, thinking no more about the mysterious parcel which was to reveal another dreadful crime, probably perpetrated within a hundred yards of King street Police Station, about two or three hundred yards form the present offices of the Criminal Investigation Department and within fifty yards of the Houses of Parliament. This morning when he went to get his tools he became aware of a very peculiar smell proceeding from the dark corner, but at the time made no attempts to ascertain the source. The matter, however, had taken possession of his mind, and later on in the day he mentioned the circumstance to one or two of his fellow workmen. They at once decided to tell the foreman. This was done, and the foreman accompanied by some of the men, proceeded to the spot. One of the labourers was called to shift the parcel, which was then opened, and the on-lookers were horrified to find that it contained a human body. The legs, arms, and head were missing and the body presented a most sickening spectacle It had evidently been dead for many days, and decomposition was far advanced. I never saw such a dreadful sight in my life, and the smell was dreadful. After we had got over the first surprise and nausea we sent for the police, and a doctor was also sent for. We could see that the body was that of a full-grown woman, and when the doctor came he said the same thing. Almost immediately after that Dr. Bond, of the Middlesex Hospital, came and saw the body. He found that it was very brown, and I believe he said that it was the body from which the arms found in the Thames a few days ago had been cut. The body was wrapped in what looked like part of an old black dress of very common material, and it is a very strange thing that other parts of the same dress have been found in other parts of the yard. The police took possession of the remains and gave orders that no stranger was to be admitted to the enclosure." "How long do I think it possible the body could have been lying there?" "Well, it could not have been where we found it above two or three days, because men are frequently passing the spot. The place is very dark and it is possible that it may have escaped notice on that account, but now I come to think of it, I know for a fact it was not there last Friday, because we had occasion to do something at that very spot." Asked for his opinion as to how the parcel got into such a curious place, our informant seemed quite taken aback at the simplicity of the question, but said that he could not possibly conceive. The person who put the bundle there could not very well have got into the enclosure from the embankment side, as not only would the risk of detection be very great, but he would stand a good chance of breaking his neck. He further stated that the parcel must have been got in from the Cannon row side - a very dark and lonely spot, although within twenty yards of the main thoroughfare, through which passes all the traffic going south-west from London, but he cannot imagine how the person could get past the watchman.
When the discovery became known some fifty or sixty people assembled round the hoarding which encloses the new works. At half-past 7 this evening, when the police arrived with an ambulance, large crowds were on the spot, and followed the corpse on its way to the mortuary. Dr. Bond did not make an examination of the body to-night. On being asked by a reporter his opinion as to whether the arms referred to belonged to the body just discovered, the doctor said that of course it was impossible for him to make any definite statement until the morning, when he will make a post-mortem examination. There was, however, a possibility of the limbs and trunk being those of the same person, a fact which is eagerly looked forward to by the police authorities, who are prosecuting inquiries in the case now known as the Pimlico mystery.
A later account says that there is no doubt now that the portion of the body of a woman found upon the new police offices in course of erection upon the Thames Embankment is connected with a terrible murder. From the way in which the body has been treated, it is impossible that it could have been spirited away from the dissecting room after having answered the purposes of lawful operations. Dr. Bond, the police divisional surgeon, who had the trunk handed over to him, had it conveyed to the mortuary this evening. This was not done, however, before a careful examination of the remains had been made by Dr. Bond and Mr Charles Hibbert. Persons who have seen the trunk describe it as being in a particularly advanced stage of decomposition, so much so that it was pronounced dangerous by the medical gentlemen present for anyone to touch it with the naked hand. One end was quite black, and upon it being taken to the mortuary disinfectants were freely used, and it was placed in spirit to await the post-mortem examination, which will take place at an early hour to-morrow morning. An extraordinary fact is that the lower portion of the trunk from the ribs has been removed. It is pronounced by the medical gentlemen to have belonged to a remarkably fine young woman, and this at once gives good grounds to the theory that it belonged to the body of which the arm was found on the 11th ult. in the Thames, near Grosvenor road, formed a part. It will be remembered that on that date the right arm of a woman was discovered in the river, and upon Dr. Nevill having it submitted to him for inspection he pronounced it to have belonged to a female of apparently from 25 to 30 years of age. This limb had been in the water for about three days, so that if to-day's discovery is connected with it, the date of the murder would be somewhere about the 8th of September, upon which day the body of Annie Chapman was discovered in Hanbury street Whitechapel. Has the mystery then any connection with the series of murders which have been perpetrated in Whitechapel? This question naturally occurs when it is known that certain portions of the abdomen are missing. But there is also another theory equally well founded. It is that the young woman of whose body portions are now coming to light in such a mysterious manner has been the victim of an unlawful operation, and in order to conceal this the miscreant removed that portion of the body which would undoubtedly have decided such a point. Perhaps, however, the scientific examination may yet throw light upon this point, seeing that the body has been dismembered in such a careless manner. The woman to which the arm first discovered belonged must have been in a different station in life to the Whitechapel victims, for the contour of the whole limb and the delicacy of the hand clearly indicated this. Then again there is the discovery of a woman's arm in the grounds of the Blind Asylum in South London, which took place but a few days back, and about which the police authorities have been so reticent. Anyhow it is suggested that all the portions found were in a state which would fix the date of the murder at about September 8th. So far this is practically the chief clue which the police have. The next is that the woman in all probability belonged to Pimlico, for it is in and around this district that the first and last discoveries have been made.
The condition of the remains found to-day affords however but a slight clue as to the complexion of the woman. The hair upon the arm pointed to a dark woman, but without a careful examination Dr. Bond was quite unable to say whether such was the case with the blackened and highly decomposed human flesh which has just been submitted to him.
No information has been received by the police, so far as can be ascertained, that would assist them in establishing the identity of the young woman, and this is generally believed to indicate that she must have been a member of that numerous class who have separated themselves from their friends owing to their mode of living.
Dr Neville, the divisional police surgeon for Pimlico, who examined the arm of a woman found in the Thames as above stated on the 11th September, has not yet been called to see the trunk of the woman found to-day, neither does he expect to be called. He states that in his opinion the time which Dr. Bond allows for the decease of this mutilated victim would agree with his own conclusions that the woman, whoever she may be, had been dead about the same period. Dr. Neville states that there would be no difficulty in ascertaining whether the arm belonged to the remains found to-day. He came to the conclusion when he examined the limb submitted to him that it was of a big woman. Dr. Bond also avers that the remains submitted to him are those of a woman of no small stature. Since Dr. Neville examined the arm it has been kept in preservation at Ebury street mortuary, and he suggests that by comparing the arm with the trunk it could be discovered without difficulty whether or not they were portions of the same person's body. The same idea applies to the arm discovered in Lambeth. At the present, of course, this is only supposition on the part of the medical man, but nevertheless, there appears good ground for the belief.
It is beyond a doubt a case of murder, and the reticence of the police would appear to show their ignorance as regards the affair. They have no clue, and there seems very little possibility of their obtaining one in which case publicity would be the best detective, but this they appear to ignore. In answer to inquiries at King street and Scotland Yard (both the police and the criminal investigation departments) they assert that they "know nothing" except that a body has been found. The authorities are already in possession of the measurement and proportion of the mysterious arms which have been discovered, and to-morrow at the termination of the post-mortem examination they will be possessed of the dimensions of the upper portion of the trunk, from which, when compared, it may be possible for them to trace a female answering the description in the records of "missing" persons.
The police think they have obtained a clue to the identity of the woman murdered in Mitre square. She is supposed to be the person who as taken to the police station a short time ago for drunkenness. She then gave the name of Kelly, and said she lived at 6 Fashion street. One of the pawn tickets found near the body was made out to Jane Kelly, of 6 Dorset street. Up to the present, however, there is no information of anyone being missing from either of those addresses. The authorities at the chief office of the city police had a man detained there on suspicion to-day, but the explanation he gave was satisfactory, and he has been released. This evening, indeed, no one remained in custody in connection with either murder, although two men were arrested this morning.
Great excitement still prevails in the neighbourhood, where general satisfaction is expressed at the offer of large rewards.
Information has been received that the woman Stride, or "Long Liz," was seen in the company of a man on Saturday evening, and a description of him has been circulated. He is said to be 28 years of age, about five feet seven in height, and of dark complexion. The police, it is stated, attach considerable importance to the discovery of a pair of trousers at Nelson Tavern, Kentish town, on Monday morning. A large number of detectives are engaged in following up the information in their possession with a view to tracing the missing article of clothing, and as an illustration of the energy with which they are working it may be mentioned that on Monday night thy called up from their beds several persons whose names are connected with the discovery. They have, however, been unable up to the present to trace the trousers, which are described as being made of blue cloth. The paper in which they were wrapped, and which was stained with blood, was on Monday night handed over to Divisional Police Surgeon Dr. Downes for examination, and it is understood that it has since been conveyed to Scotland Yard to be analysed, as it is thought that the stains are those of human blood.
This afternoon Mr Wynne Baxter resumed the inquest at the Vestry Hall in Cable street, St. George's in the East, on the body of Elizabeth Stride, who was found murdered in a yard in Berner street on Sunday morning. The event occasioned no excitement, and the proceedings were delayed for twenty minutes in consequence of the late arrival of some jurymen.
Police-Constable Henry Lamb, 252H, said that on Sunday morning about 1 o'clock, he was in Commercial road when two men came to him, running and shouting. They said, as he moved towards them, "Come on; there's been another murder." He asked "Where?" And as they got to the corner of Berne street they pointed up the street and said, "There." He ran to the spot indicated, and, entering the gateway of 40 Berner street, he saw something dark on the right hand side, close to the gate. He turned his light on and found it was a woman with her throat cut, and apparently dead. He sent to the office for another constable. There were a number of people in the yard when he arrived - perhaps twenty or thirty, but there was no one touching the body or near it. As he turned the light on the crowd gathered round the body. He begged them to stand back lest they might get some blood on themselves and thus get into trouble. He felt the face and arm of the deceased and found they were slightly warm. He then blew his whistle. The deceased was lying on her left side, her left arm lying by her side. Her right arm was lying across her breast. The body was about five or six inches away from the wall. The clothes were not disturbed; the boots were scarcely visible. There as no appearance of a struggle. Some of the blood on the ground was congealed, and some was still liquid. Dr. Blackwell, who was the first medical man to arrive, examined the body. He (the witness) went into the club and examined all the persons present to see if their clothes had any marks of blood, but he found no traces of blood. He also examined the cottages in the yard, and found all the inhabitants to be in bed. As he was in the yard for some time by himself it would have been quite possible for anyone to have escaped from among the people standing around while he examined the body. Still he thought it more likely that the culprit escaped before he arrived. The place was not on his beat, and therefore he had not passed the yard before during the night.
Detective Inspector Reid, in answer to the Coroner, stated that all the policemen at the fixed points were changed at 1 o'clock a.m.
The Coroner thought that was important, as the Hanbury street case took place just as the police were changing duty.
Edward Spooner, 26 Fairclough street, a horse-keeper, stated that on Sunday morning between 12.30 and 1 o'clock he was outside the Beehive public house, at the corner of Christian street and Fairclough street with a young woman. They had been standing there about 25 minutes when two Jews came along shouting out "Murder, Police." They ran as far as Grove street, and turned back. The witness stopped them, and asked what was the matter. Hey replied, "There is a woman murdered," and the witness then returned with them into the yard in Berner street. He saw the deceased lying just inside the gate, and about 15 people in the yard, all standing around the body. A match was struck, but he saw the woman before that was done. He lifted the deceased's chin with his hand. He saw the wound in her throat, from which blood was flowing on to her breast. The deceased had a piece of paper in her hand folded up. So many people came "flocking" in that witness could not see whether anyone went out of the yard. He noticed that deceased's legs were drawn up. When Police Constable Lamb arrived he, with the aid of witness, fastened the gates.
Mary Malcolm, 10 Eagle street, Red Lion square, Holborn, wife of Andrew Malcolm, a tailor, said _ I have seen the body at the mortuary. It is that of my sister, Elizabeth Watts.
The Coroner - There is no doubt about it?
Witness - Not the slightest, although I certainly did have my doubts at first. I last saw the deceased alive on Thursday last at a quarter to 7 in the evening. She had come to me to the place where I work in Red Lion street to ask me for a little assistance, which I had been in the habit of rendering for the last five years. I gave her a shilling and a little short black jacket, but that is not the one that was found on the body. She was only a few moments with me. She did not say where she was going. She was 37 on the 27th of last month. I don't know where she was living, but I understood it was in lodginghouses at the east end of the Commercial road.
The Coroner - Did you know what she was doing for a living?
The Witness - I had my doubts. She was quite sober when she came to see me, but drink was unfortunately her failing. She was married, her husband being the son of Mr Watts, a large wholesale wine and spirit merchant, Walcot street, Bath. I believe his name is Edward. The husband is now in America, his father having sent him away owing to his wife's misconduct. That was seven or eight years ago. Her husband caught her with a porter and sent her home to my poor mother with the two children - a boy and a girl. My mother died in 1883, and the little girl is dead. The boy was sent to a boarding school by the grandfather. She was not subject to epileptic fits. Only drunken fits. She was once charged at the Thames Police Court with drunkenness, and I believe she got off because she was believed to have epileptic fits.
The Coroner - Has she at any time told you of trouble she was in with any man? Oh yes, sir. She lived with a man. He kept a coffee-house in Poplar. This man went to sea, and was wrecked about a year and a half ago on the Island of St. Paul. She has not lived with anyone since then to my knowledge; but there is a man who says he lived with her. I can tell you his name to-morrow.
Have you ever heard anyone threaten her?
The witness (crying) - Oh, no, sir. She was too good for that. Continuing - She said my sister's name was "Long Liz." She always came to me every Saturday when I gave her 2s. The Thursday visit was unusual, and she did not come on Saturday. It was the first time she had missed coming on the Saturday for two years. I thought it extraordinary. She used to meet me at 4 o'clock in the afternoon at the corner of Chancery lane. I was there last Saturday at 3.30, and waited until 5 o'clock. On Sunday morning, when I read the paper, I had a presentiment as she had not turned up the day before. I felt I must go into Whitechapel and the police directed me to the St. George's Mortuary. It was between 9 and 10 o'clock at night, and I could not recognise her by gaslight. I however did so the next day.
The Coroner - You say you had a presentiment? Yes. I was lying in bed on Sunday morning and there was a "kind of a crusher," a heavy fall, and three distinct kisses on my face. Then, when I read the account in the paper later on I felt sure it was my sister who had been murdered. There is a small black mark on one of my sisters legs. It has been there since her youth, and I saw it when identifying her. It was the bite of an adder. When children together we were rolling down a hill of newly-mown grass, when an adder bit me on the finger (mark shown), then turned and bit my sister's leg. There is no one who could recognise her except my sister, who lives at Folkstone, and my brother who resides at Bath. The witness, weeping bitterly, exclaimed, "Oh! the disgrace it would be to my poor sister; she is a lady. It is my brother who must come up."
Answering further questions the witness said there is no one who works with me who could identify her, for in my pride I always kept her to myself. I did not notice what she wore, for I was always grateful to get rid of her. She was always in trouble with me, and left one of her own babies naked outside my door.
The Coroner - What, one of the two you mentioned? Oh no, she had some policeman up for it. I believe she took it to bath, where it died.
The Coroner - It is important you should be sure it is your sister. You know there are a lot of complications here, and although I do not want to stir up muddy water, we of course want to find out anyone who might have been the cause of her death.
The Witness - I am sure my brother could recognise her by the adder bite.
The Coroner - As you first doubted whether the deceased was your sister, I think you had better go to the corner of Chancery lane at the same time next Saturday, to see if after all she turns up.
The Witness - Yes, I will, but I am sure it is her.
Dr Frederick L. Blackwell, surgeon, 100 Commercial road, stated that on Sunday morning last, at ten minutes past one, he was called by a policeman to go to Berner street. My assistant, Mr. Johnston, returned with the constable and I followed. I found the woman lying on her left side, completely across the yard. Her feet were against the wall on the right side of the yard passage, her head resting in the cartwheel rut. Her feet were about three yards from the gateway. The neck and chest were quite warm, also the legs and the face, the latter slightly so. There were no rings or marks of them on her hands. The appearance of the face was quite placid. Round her neck was a check silk scarf, the bow of which was turned to the left side, and pulled very tight. There was a long incision in the neck commenced on the left side 2½ inches below the angle of the jaw, and almost in a line with it.
The inquest was adjourned until to-morrow.
Up till a late hour this evening no further arrests had been made in connection with the Whitechapel murders. The man taken into custody in the city shortly after 12 o'clock was released later in the day, having given a perfectly satisfactory account of himself. The Mitre square victim has not yet been identified, although a large number of persons have viewed the body. A strong impression prevails that the unfortunate woman did not live in Whitechapel, but was on her way home to a more distant locality when she met the murderer.
Although Mrs Malcolm gave evidence at the inquest to-day stating that the Berner-street victim was her sister, there is reason to believe that she has been mistaken. A reporter had an interview this evening with a man who has positively identified the murdered woman as a woman with whom he cohabited for over three years. He is most positive in his assertion, while Mrs Malcolm at first hesitated a good deal before declaring that the victim was her sister. Mrs Malcolm only saw her sister occasionally, while the man referred to lived with the woman up to a few months ago.
Mrs Mary Malcolm, who was examined at the coroner's inquiry this afternoon, to-night made an important statement to a representative of the Press. She stated that she had again seen the body, and she was confident it was that of her sister. She could not answer all the questions put to her by the coroner because she was so upset that her memory failed her, and she had reasons for not wishing to answer others. She now volunteered a statement, in the course of which she said her sister, when a young woman, entered the service of Mr Watts, at Bath. Her young master became enamoured of her. He afterwards married her secretly, and subsequently introduced her to his family as his wife. They at first recognised her, but she was fond of drink, and then became intimate with the porter. Her husband sent her home to her mother, where she remained till after the birth of a child. When she returned to her husband's house at Bath she found the home sold up, her husband having in the meantime been sent to America by his father. The family discharged her, and in her poverty she became acquainted with a policeman by whom she had a child in Holloway Workhouse. After that she became acquainted with a man at Poplar. Mrs Malcolm knew that man, but she had reasons for withholding his name . Stride was not the man. When reminded that by not disclosing all the circumstances she knew she might be defeating the ends of justice, Mrs Malcolm said she did not think she was doing so, but if she thought so she would tell all. When her sister lived with the man he kept a coffee shop at Poplar. They quarrelled, and he attempted to stab her. He afterwards shipped for New Zealand, but was wrecked off the Island of St. Paul. He was one of the few who were saved, and eventually he succeeded in reaching New Zealand. It was possible that he had since returned to England. She did not disclose those matters to the coroner, one reason being that the man was very respectably connected at Poplar, where he had relatives living who are shipbuilders and shipowners. She finally disclosed the name and was advised to reveal everything to the authorities.
William Waddell, who was arrested on Monday on suspicion of murdering the woman Beetmore, at Birtley, Gateshead, was brought up at Newcastle yesterday and remanded.