THE WHITECHAPEL HORROR.
A SAD FAMILY HISTORY DISCLOSED.
Last evening, after the inquest on Mary Ann Nicholls, the eldest son of the deceased woman arrived at the Whitechapel mortuary and recognised the body as that of his mother. He was respectably dressed, and seemed much affected at her untimely end. He is by trade an engineer, and lives with his grandfather, Mr. Walker, but for some time had not been on speaking terms with his father. The family history, by those who know them, is stated to have been a sad one. When the separation between the deceased and her husband took place on account of alleged infidelity, Mr. Walker did what he could for her children. After the separation took place the deceased went to live with a man named Tom Drew, who is a smith living at Walworth. He knew her before she was married, and was her sweetheart before Nicholls. About an hour after the son arrived, her husband, Mr. W. Nicholls, came to see the body. He is a machinist, working at Perkins and Bacon's, printers, Fleet-street. When the meeting between the father and son took place, neither of them spoke to each other, till the deceased's father said to Mr. Nicholls, "Well, here is your son, you see. I have taken care of him, and made a man of him." The father then spoke to him and said, "Well, I really did not know him; he has so grown and altered." Then the husband went in to the mortuary to see if he recognised the deceased. He came out ashy white, and simply said, "Well, there is no mistake about it. It has come to a sad end at last." A bystander stated to our representative :- There was no recrimination between any of them. She did not live with Drew long, for she made away with some of his goods for drink; then he abandoned her, and she went to the workhouse for food. She got a situation at Wandsworth, but she purloined things there, till at last she gradually sank till she had to take up her quarters and become the associate of the evil characters that infest the place where she was found.
Despite the policeman's assertion that he was the first to discover the body, Mr. Paul last night repeated the statement made to our representative on Friday evening that he and another man found the corpse long before the police. He says the policeman he spoke to was not belonging to that beat. Every word he had said was true.
Up till midnight there was no arrest, but the police state they have various informations which possibly may give a clue, but which are barely to be relied on.
At Liverpool yesterday a man named Neill was charged with a terrible assault on his wife. Prisoner went home yesterday, and on his wife refusing to give him money he knocked her down, knelt on her stomach, and dashed her head on the flags. He then placed a box upon her stomach, and jumped on it. Finally he threatened to roast her, and raked out cinders from the fire on to her bare limbs. She lies in a hopeless state.
As a consequence of the heavy rains of the past few days there has been a renewal of the floods in the East-end of London, and on Wednesday many of the inhabitants of the Isle of Dogs, Plaistow, and Stratford were again compelled to leave their houses. The West Ham fire brigade were called out at an early hour to pump out the water in the basements and cellars. The great tract of grass land lying east of Stratford was again submerged, the cattle and pigs finding nothing but a mere fringe of grass to feed upon. Wanstead-flats were in parts almost impassable. The crops in Essex have been seriously damaged by Tuesday's and Wednesday's rain, and much of the wheat which had been stacked will be unfit for use.
A VICTIM OF RUFFIANISM. - Police-constable Greenough, of the West Ham police, was at the beginning of the year set upon by a gang of ruffians and brutally kicked, one of them striking him with a soldier's belt, the buckle of which cut through the officer's helmet, and laying open the scalp, fractured the skull. His injuries have resulted in total paralysis of one side of the body. He has therefore been compelled to quit the force on a very small pension, and the man who so brutally assailed him has completed his six months' imprisonment, and is none the worse for it. Greenough has a family, and representations are about to be made to Scotland-yard that, looking at the fearful odds he had to encounter in the course of his duty, something should be done to compensate him for his gallantry.
CUTTING OFF BULLOCKS' TAILS. - Mr. Saunders, at Clerkenwell police-court, on Friday, sentenced to one month's hard labour two lads - John Ellis, of 60, Roman-road, Islington, and Frank Smith, Adam's-cottages, York-road - for cutting off parts of the tails of 15 bullocks standing in the lairs of the Metropolitan cattle-market, and subsequently offering the hair for sale.
It was notified in the Gazette, on Tuesday, that Mr. James Monro, C.B., Assistant Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis, had resigned, and that he is to be succeeded by Mr. Robert Anderson, LL.D., barrister-at-law.
Mr. Saunders, one of the stipendiary magistrates at Worship-street police-court, had his watch snatched from him shortly after leaving the court on Wednesday. The offender was a youth of 16 or 17 years of age. Mr. Saunders, who is rather infirm, was unable to follow the thief. The watch, which he valued at 5l., was a silver hunting-case lever, made by John Bath.
AN OLD-STANDING CHARGE OF FRAUD - Roland Gideon Israel Barnet, described as a theatrical agent, was charged at Wandsworth police-court, on Friday, with fraudulently obtaining a sum of 45l. from a butcher at Tooting. The warrant upon which defendant was arrested was issued as long ago as 1879, and it was stated that during the interval he had at times resided in England without any concealment. Mr. Plowden refused to allow the case to be withdrawn, and remanded the defendant.
Following on the murder committed in Whitechapel early in August, the fearful crime brought to light in Buck's-row, on Friday morning, has naturally roused great excitement in the neighbourhood. At the inquest held yesterday by Mr. Wynne E. Baxter, the coroner for East Middlesex, little light was thrown on the circumstances surrounding the ghastly death of Mary Ann Nicholls. Police-constable Neil stated in evidence that he found the body of the deceased in Buck's-row, Whitechapel, about four o'clock in the morning, in a horribly mutilated state. Later on Dr. Llewellyn was called, and a primary examination of the body disclosed a most horrible crime. The throat of the poor woman was found to be completely severed, and other fearful injuries had been inflicted upon her, any one of which was sufficient to cause death. It is hardly to be wondered at that the series of frightful outrages committed in Whitechapel has caused a general panic amongst the inhabitants of that neighbourhood. All the energies of the local police force are now being directed towards the solution of the mystery, but unfortunately there is at present only a slight clue to work upon. There are several theories regarding the murder, and the work of the detective department is rendered all the more difficult by the fact that the body was evidently dragged to the spot where it was found after the fatal injuries had been inflicted. Taking into consideration the evidence given by Mr. Edward Walker, the father of the murdered woman, it is palpable that the motive of the crime could not have been mere robbery; for it is only quite lately that Mrs. Nicholls had left Lambeth workhouse, and, so far as is known, there were no valuables in her possession. The diabolical injuries inflicted on the poor woman lend some weight to the idea that the murder was the work of a madman; and if this be the case it is to be hoped that the wretch may be captured before he commits further outrages. A third theory is that the frequent robberies and occasional murders which have lately taken place in the East-end are the work of a number of young ruffians known as the "High Rip Gang." Recent events have shown that even the West-end of London is not free from this form of crime, and both Liverpool and Manchester share the evil repute of the metropolis in this regard. A very serious duty is cast upon the police by this last undiscovered murder in Whitechapel, and public confidence will receive a severe shock unless the perpetrator of the crime is speedily brought to justice. The fact that the murdered woman was a person in humble circumstances must not deter the authorities from using every effort to solve the horrible mystery. A substantial reward should in the first place be offered for any information bearing on the crime, and all the energies of Scotland-yard must be brought to bear on the case. If the murderer of Mary Ann Nicholls is allowed to go undiscovered, a grave slur will be cast upon Sir Charles Warren's force.
A murder excelling in atrocity any that has disgraced even the East-end was discovered on Friday in a street off Whitechapel-road. Between three and four in the morning the body of a murdered woman was found lying in the gutter in Buck's-row. It presented a horrible spectacle. The throat had been cut right open from ear to ear, the instrument with which the deed was done tracing the throat from left to right. The wound was about two inches wide, and blood was flowing profusely. She was immediately conveyed to the Whitechapel mortuary, when it was found that besides the wound in the throat the lower part of the abdomen was completely ripped open with the bowels protruding. The wound extended nearly to her breast, and must have been effected with a large knife. The body was warm when discovered.
The brutality of the murder is beyond conception and beyond description. The throat was cut in two gashes, the instrument having been a sharp one, but used in a most ferocious and reckless way. There was a gash under the left ear, reaching nearly to the centre of the throat. Along half its length, however, it was accompanied by another one which reached around under the other ear, making a wide and horrible hole, and nearly severing the head from the body. The ghastliness of this cut, however, paled into insignificance alongside the other. No murder was ever more ferociously and more brutally done. The knife, which must have been a large and sharp one, was jobbed into the deceased at the lower part of the abdomen, and then drawn upwards twice. It was early evident that the murder was committed some distance from the place where the body was found. This was in Buck's-row, about midway down its length. Buck's-row is a short street occupied half by factories and half by dwellings. Halfway down the street is the house of Mrs. Green. Next to it is a large stable-yard, whose wide closed gateway is next to the house. In front of this gateway the woman was found. Constable Neill, who was the first policeman to see the body, immediately after woke the Green family, and asked them if they had heard any unusual noise. Neither Mrs. Green, her son, or her daughter, all of whom were sleeping within a few feet of where the body lay, had heard any outcry. All agreed that the night was unusually quiet.
"I should have heard it had there been any, I think," said Mrs. Green, when interviewed, "for I have trouble with my heart, and am a very light sleeper. My son went down as soon as the body was taken away and washed away the bloodstains on the pavement. There was quite a little pool, though I understand most of it soaked into the woman's dress. I looked out and saw the body as it lay there. It was lying straight across the gateway, its head towards me. It was not lying in a heap as if it had fallen, but on its back and straight as if it had been laid there. I could not tell at first whether it was a man or a woman; but James, my son, who went downstairs, returned and told me it was a woman. This was four o'clock on Friday morning."
Across the row lives a Mr. Perkins, whose wife is not very well. They sleep in the front room, and either Mr. Perkins or his wife was awake at short intervals up to four o'clock on Friday morning. Neither heard the slightest sound in the street, and both agreed that it was an unusually quite night, as there are sometimes brawls and fights or drunken men passing the house, which disturb their sleep. They were sure that there was no outcry loud enough to be heard a few feet away. The watchman in Schneider's factory, just above the Perkins's, heard nothing.
The detectives at once searched the stable-yard and every vacant space in the vicinity in the hope of discovering some clue. None appeared, however. They kept a sharp look-out for the knife with which the deed was done, but found no trace of it. Everything seemed to indicate that the murder was actually committed some distance away. The people living in Brady-street were thrown into a state of excitement on the terrible news spreading. Brady-street is a long thoroughfare that runs to the left from the bottom of Buck's-row. Early on Friday morning fresh blood stains were observed for quite a distance along the side walks. There would be drop after drop two or three feet, and sometimes six feet apart for a distance, and then a larger pool or splash. As soon as the murder became known a lively interest was taken in these blood-stains, and they began to be traced. They were soon found to be on both sides of the street, and it was afterwards seen that the bleeding person had travelled or been carried in a zig-zag line. The trail was easily followed down Brady-street for 150 yards to Honey's-mews. In front of the gateway there was a large stain, looking as if the bleeding person had fallen against the wall and lain there. From here to the foot of Buck's-row, in which the body was found, the trail of blood was clearly marked. It was wet on Friday morning, and at noon, although the sun had dried it, and there had been many feet passing over it, it was still plainly discernible. The zig-zag direction it took crossing and re-crossing the street was and is a matter of mystery. In the space of a hundred yards the woman crossed the narrow street twice, and whenever she crossed a larger stain of blood in place of the drops indicated that she had stopped.
Although neither Mrs. Green nor Mr. Perkins heard any noise, there are a number of people who early on Friday morning heard the screams of the victim. None of them paid any particular attention to them, however, except Mrs. Colwell, who lives midway between Buck's-row and the next turning. She said, "I was awakened early on Friday morning by my little girl, who said someone was trying to get into the house. I listened, and heard screams. They were in a woman's voice, and, though frightened, were faint-like, as would be natural if she were running. She was screaming, 'Murder, police! Murder, police! Murder, police!' She screamed this five or six times, and seemed to be getting further and further away (toward the bottom of Buck's-row) all the time. I heard no other voice and no other steps. She seemed to be all alone. I think I would have heard the steps if anybody had been running after her, unless they were running on tiptoe."
Shortly after noon on Friday some men while searching the pavement in Buck's-row, above the gateway, in a different direction to that from which the woman came, or was brought, found two large spots of blood, and each about the size of a shilling. The first was about 25 feet from the gateway and the second 10 feet beyond. Both were a few inches from the kerb in the roadway and clearly defined. It was at once agreed they came either from the hands or the clothing of the murderer as he went away, and that they resulted from the squeezing out some blood-soaked clothing. Our representative discovered, however, on making inquiries the same night, that at a house near where the blood spots were a man, early on the morning of the tragedy, had made a murderous assault on his wife and cut her throat. She was carried to the London hospital, and it is very probable some blood dripped from her.
After the body was removed to the mortuary of the parish, in Old Montagu-street, Whitechapel, steps were taken to secure, if possible, identification, but at first with little prospect of success. The clothing was of a common description, but the skirt of one petticoat and the band of another article bore the stencil stamp of Lambeth workhouse. The only articles in the pockets were a comb and a piece of looking-glass. The latter led the police to conclude that the murdered woman was an inhabitant of the numerous lodging-houses of the neighbourhood, and officers were despatched to make inquiries about, as well as other officers to Lambeth to get the matron to see the body, with a view to identification. The latter, however, could not do so, and said that the clothing might have been issued any time during the past two or three years. As the news of the murder spread, however, first one woman and then another came forward to view the body, and at length it was found that a woman answering the description of the murdered woman had lodged in a common lodging-house, 18, Thrawl-street, Spitalfields. Women from that place were fetched, and they identified the deceased as "Polly," who had shared a room with three other women in the place on the usual terms of such houses - nightly payment of 4d. each, each woman having a separate bed. It was gathered that the deceased had led the life of an "unfortunate" whilst lodging in the house, which was only for about three weeks past. Nothing more was known of her by them, but when she presented herself for her lodging on Thursday night she was turned away because she had not the money. She was then the worse for drink but not drunk, and turned away laughing, saying, "I'll soon get my 'doss' money. See what a jolly bonnet I've got now." She was wearing a bonnet which she had not been seen with before, and left the lodging-house door. A woman of the neighbourhood saw her later - she told the police even as late as 2.30 on Friday morning, in Whitechapel-road, opposite the church, and at the corner of Osborne-street - at a quarter to four she was found within 500 yards of the spot, murdered. The people of the lodging-house knew her as "Polly," but about half-past seven on Friday evening a woman named Mary Anne Monk, at present an inmate of Lambeth workhouse, was taken to the mortuary and identified the body as that of Mary Ann Nicholls, also called "Polly" Nicholls. She knew her, she said, as they were inmates of the Lambeth workhouse together in April and May last, the deceased having been passed there from another workhouse. On the 12th of May, according to Monk, Nicholls left the workhouse to take a situation as servant at Ingleside, Wandsworth-common. It afterwards became known that Nicholls betrayed her trust as domestic servant, by stealing 3l. from her employer, and absconding. From that time she had been wandering about. Monk met her, she said, about six weeks ago, when herself out of the workhouse, and drank with her. She was sure the deceased was "Polly" Nicholls, and having twice viewed the features as it lay in a shell, maintained her opinion. Yesterday the father went and viewed the body, and formally identified it as that of Mary Ann Nicholls, aged 42.
According to one correspondent: The police theory is that a sort of "high rip" gang exists in the neighbourhood, which, "blackmailing" women of the "unfortunate" class, takes vengeance on those who do not find money for them. They base that surmise on the fact that within 12 months two other women have been murdered in the district by almost similar means - one as recently as the 6th of August last - and left in the gutter of the street in the early hours of the morning. A second theory is that the woman was murdered in a house where she had gone on an immoral errand, and killed whilst undressed, her clothes being huddled on the body, which was afterwards conveyed out to be deposited in the street. Colour is lent to this by the small quantity, comparatively, of blood found in the clothes, and by the fact that the clothes are not cut. If the woman was murdered on the spot where the body was found, it is almost impossible to believe she would not have aroused the neighbourhood by her screams; Buck's-row being a street tenanted all down one side by a respectable class, superior to many of the surrounding streets, the other side having a blank wall bounding a warehouse. An interview was had with Dr. Llewellyn, who was formerly a house surgeon of the London hospital, and he most courteously gave his opinion of the manner of the murder. In effect he said that the woman was killed by the cuts in the throat - there are two, and the throat is divided back to the vertebrae. He had called the attention of the police to the smallness of the quantity of blood on the spot where he saw the body, and yet the gashes in the abdomen laid the body right open. The weapon used would scarcely have been a sailor's jack knife but a pointed weapon with a stout back, such as a cork cutter's or shoemaker's knife. In Dr. Llewellyn's opinion it was not an exceptionally long-bladed weapon. He does not believe that the woman was seized from behind and her throat cut, but thinks a hand was held across her mouth, and the knife then used, possibly by a left-handed man, as the bruising on the face of deceased is such as would result from the mouth being covered with the right hand. He made a second examination of the body in the mortuary, and on that based his conclusion.
Charlotte Colville, who lives about the middle of Brady-street, made the following statement to our representative on Friday night :- I am 11 years of age, and sleep with my mother. Early this (Friday) morning, before it was light, I heard terrible cries of "Murder! Murder! Police! Police! Murder!" They seemed a good way down Brady-street to the right, where the marks of bloody hands are. Then the sounds came up the street towards our house, and I heard a scuffling and a bumping against our shutters. I got out of bed and woke my mother. The woman kept on calling out "Murder! Police!" and the sounds went on in the direction of Buck's-row, where the body was found. I am sure the first sounds seemed to come from where the blood-stains of hands are on the wall.
Mrs. Colville said that her little girl woke her, and she heard the woman's cries, but the rows go on every night, and people are constantly being knocked down and robbed by the fearful gangs about. It would not be safe for anyone to get out of their beds to go and interfere. People have done so, and only been terribly ill-treated.
On Friday night Mr. Robert Paul, a carman, on his return from work, made the following statement to our representative. He said :- It was exactly a quarter to four when I passed up Buck's-row to my work as a carman for Covent-garden market. It was dark, and I was hurrying along, when I saw a man standing where the woman was. He came a little towards me, but as I knew the dangerous character of the locality I tried to give him a wide berth. Few people like to come up and down here without being on their guard, for there are such terrible gangs about. There have been many knocked down and robbed at that spot. The man, however, came towards me and said, "Come and look at this woman." I went and found the woman lying on her back. I laid hold of her wrist and found that she was dead and the hands cold. It was too dark to see the blood about her. I thought that she had been outraged, and had died in the struggle. I was obliged to be punctual at my work, so I went on and told the other man I would send the first policeman I saw. I saw one in Church-row, just at the top of Buck's-row, who was going round calling people up, and I told him what I had seen, and I asked him to come, but he did not say whether he should come or not. He continued calling the people up, which I thought was a great shame, after I had told him the woman was dead. The woman was so cold that she must have been dead some time, and either she had been lying there, left to die, or she must have been murdered somewhere else and carried there. If she had been lying there long enough to get so cold as she was when I saw her, it shows that no policeman on the beat had been down there for a long time. If a policeman had been there he must have seen her, for she was plain enough to see. Her bonnet was lying about two feet from her head.
Mr. Baxter opened an inquiry at the Working Lads' institute, Whitechapel-road, yesterday, into the circumstances attending the death of the woman. - Inspector Helston, who has the case in hand, attended, with other officers, on behalf of the Criminal Investigation department. - After being sworn in the jury proceeded to view the body, which lay in the parish mortuary close by.
Edward Walker was the first witness called, and said :- I live at 15, Maidwell-street, Albany-road, Camberwell, and I have no occupation. I was a smith when I was at work, but I am not now. I have seen the body in the mortuary, and to the best of my belief it is my daughter, but I have not seen her for three years. I recognise her by her general appearance and by a little mark she had on her forehead when a child. She also had either one or two teeth out, the same as the woman I have just seen. My daughter's name was Mary Ann Nicholls, and she had been married 22 years, being 42 years of age. Her husband's name was William Nicholls, and he is alive. He is a machinist, and lives at Coburg-road, Old Kent-road. They have been living apart for some length of time, about seven or eight years. I last heard of her before Easter. She wrote to me.
The letter, which was dated April 17, 1888, was read by the coroner, and referred to a place which the deceased had gone to at Wandsworth.
The Coroner: When did you last see her alive? - Witness: Two years ago last June.
Was she then in a good situation? - I don't know. I was not on speaking terms with her. She had been living with me three or four years previously, but thought she could better herself, so I let her go.
What did she do after she left you? - I don't know.
This letter seems to suggest that she was in a decent situation. - She had only just gone there.
Was she a sober woman? - Well, at times she drank, and that was why we did not agree.
Was she fast? - No; I never heard of anything of that sort. She used to go with some young women and men that she knew, but I never heard of anything improper.
Have you any idea what she has been doing lately? - I have not the slightest idea.
She must have drank heavily for you to turn her out of doors? - I never turned her out. She had no need to be like this while I had a home for her.
How is it that she and her husband were not living together? - Witness: When she was confined her husband took on with the young woman who came to nurse her, and they parted, he living with the nurse, by whom he has another family.
The Coroner: Have you any reasonable doubt that this is your daughter?
Witness: No, I have not. I know nothing about her acquaintance, or what she had been doing for a living. I had no idea she was over here in this part of the town. She has had five children, the eldest being 21 years old, and the youngest eight or nine years. One of them lives with me, and the other four are with their father.
The Coroner: Has she ever lived with anybody since she left her husband?
Witness: I believe she was once stopping with a man in York-street, Walworth. His name was Drew, and he was a smith by trade. He is living there now, I believe. The parish of Lambeth summoned her husband for the keep of the children, but the summons was dismissed, as it was proved that she was then living with another man. I don't know who that man was.
The Coroner: Was she ever in the workhouse?
Witness: Yes, sir - Lambeth workhouse, in April last, and from there to a situation at Wandsworth.
By the Jury: The husband resides at Coburg-road, Old Kent-road. I don't know if he knows of her death.
Coroner: Is there anything you know of likely to throw any light upon this affair?
Witness: No; I don't think she had any enemies; she was too good for that. She had been more good to others than herself.
John Neill, police-constable 97 J, was sworn, and said: Yesterday morning I was proceeding down Buck's-row, Whitechapel, going towards Brady-street. There was not a soul about. I had been round there half an hour previous, and I saw no one then. I was on the left hand side of the street, when I noticed a figure lying in the street. It was dark at the time, though there was a street lamp shining at the end of the row. I went across and found the deceased lying outside a gateway, her head towards the east. The gateway was closed. It was about nine or ten feet high, and led to some stables. There were houses from the gateway eastward, and the School Board school occupies the westward. On the opposite side of the road is Essex wharf. Deceased was lying lengthways along the street, her left hand touching the gate. I examined the body by the aid of my lamp, and noticed blood oozing from a wound in the throat. She was lying on her back, with her clothes disarranged. I felt her arm, which was quite warm from the joints upwards. Her eyes were wide open. Her bonnet was off and lying at her side, close to the left hand. I heard a constable passing Brady-street, so I called him. I did not whistle. I said to him, "Run at once for Dr. Llewellyn," and seeing another constable in Baker's-row, I immediately sent for the ambulance. The doctor arrived in a very short time. I had in the meantime rung the bell at Essex wharf, and asked if any disturbance had been heard. The reply was "No." Serjeant Kirby came after, and he knocked. The doctor looked at the woman, and then said, "Move the woman to the mortuary. She is dead, and I will make a further examination of her." We then placed her on the ambulance, and moved her there. Inspector Spratley came to the mortuary, and while taking a description of the deceased examined her clothes, and found that she was disembowelled. This had not been noticed by any of them before. On the body was found a piece of comb and a bit of looking-glass. No money was found, but an unmarked white handkerchief was found in her pocket. There was a pool of blood just where her neck was lying. The blood was then running from the wound in her neck.
The Coroner: Did you hear any noise that night?
Witness: No, I heard nothing. The farthest I had been that night was just through the Whitechapel-road and up Baker's-row. I was never far away from the spot.
The Coroner: Whitechapel-road is busy in the early morning, I believe. Could anybody have escaped that way?
Witness: Oh, yes, sir. I saw a number of women in the main road going home. At that time anyone could have got away.
The Coroner: Someone searched the ground, I believe?
Witness: Yes, I examined it while the doctor was being sent for.
Inspector Spratley: I examined the road, sir, in daylight.
A Juryman (to witness): Did you see a trap in the road at all?
Juryman: Knowing that the body was warm, did it not strike you that it might just have been laid there, and that the woman was killed elsewhere?
Witness: I examined the road, but did not see the mark of wheels. The first to arrive on the scene after I had discovered the body were two men who work at a slaughter-house opposite. They said they knew nothing of the affair, and that they had not heard any screams. I had previously seen the men at work. That would be about a quarter-past three, or half-an-hour before I found the body.
Henry Llewellyn, 152, Whitechapel-road, surgeon, was next called, and said: On Friday morning I was called by the last witness to Buck's-row at about four o'clock. The constable told me what I was wanted for. On reaching Buck's-row I found the deceased woman lying flat on her back in the pathway, her legs extended. I found she was quite dead, and that she had severe injuries to her throat. Her hands and wrists were cold, but the body and lower extremities were quite warm. I examined her chest and felt her heart. It was dark at the time. I believe that she had not been dead more than half an hour. I am quite certain that the injuries to her neck were not self-inflicted. There was very little blood round the neck. There were no marks of any struggle or of blood, as if the body had been dragged. I told the police to take her to the mortuary, and I would make another examination. About an hour later I was sent for by the inspector to see the injuries he had discovered on the body. I went, and saw that the abdomen was cut very extensively. I have this (Saturday) morning made a post-mortem of the body. I found it to be that of a female about 40 to 45 years. Five of the teeth are missing, and there is a slight laceration of the tongue. On the right side of the face there was a bruise running along the lower part of the jaw. It might have been caused by a blow with the fist or pressure by the thumb. On the left side of the face there was a circular bruise, which also might have been done by the pressure of the fingers. On the left side of the neck, about an inch below the jaw, there was an incision about four inches long and running from a point immediately below the ear. An inch below on the same side, and commencing about an inch in front of it, was a circular incision terminating at a point about three inches below the right jaw. This incision completely severs all the tissues down to the vertebrae. The large vessels of the neck on both sides were severed. The incision is about eight inches long. These cuts must have been caused with a long-bladed knife, moderately sharp, and used with great violence. No blood at all was found on the breast, either of the body or clothes. There were no injuries about the body till just about the lower part of the abdomen. Two or three inches from the left side was a wound running in a jagged manner. It was a very deep wound, and the tissues were cut through. There were several incisions running across the abdomen. On the right side there were also three or four similar cuts running downwards. All these had been caused by a knife, which had been used violently and been used downwards. The injuries were from left to right, and might have been done by a left-handed person. All the injuries had been done by the same instrument and possibly by a left-handed man.
A Juror: How long should you think anyone would be inflicting such injuries? - About five minutes.
Should you think the murder was committed by anyone who understood anatomy? - I should think by someone who knew something of it; for whoever did it has attacked all the vital parts.
A Juror: Should you think it was done by a clasp knife or a butcher's knife, or what? - It must have been a strong knife. I cannot say what kind of knife.
Coroner: There was no smell of drink? - No; and there was none in the stomach. - Coroner: Must she of necessity have screamed? - No; I think the wound would have caused instantaneous death.
The coroner said it was a most shocking case.
The inquest was then adjourned till Monday.
|Press Reports: Lloyds Weekly News - 2 September 1888|
|Home: Timeline - Mary Ann Nichols|
|Dissertations: Old Wounds: Re-examining the Bucks Row Murder|
|Dissertations: The Riddle of New Cottage|
|Message Boards: Mary Ann Nichols|
|Official Documents: Bucks Row - Census Listings|
|Official Documents: Polly Nichol's Inquest|
|Press Reports: Atchison Daily Globe - 3 September 1888|
|Press Reports: Austin Statesman - 05 September 1888|
|Press Reports: British Daily Whig - 1 September 1888|
|Press Reports: Daily News - 1 September 1888|
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|Press Reports: East London Observer - 1 September 1888|
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|Press Reports: Eastern Argus - 1 September 1888|
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|Press Reports: Evening News - 1 September 1888|
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|Press Reports: Fort Wayne Gazette - 2 September 1888|
|Press Reports: Freemans Journal and Daily Commercial Advertiser - 1 Sept...|
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|Press Reports: Grimsby Observer - no date|
|Press Reports: Illustrated Police News - 22 September 1888|
|Press Reports: Illustrated Police News - 8 September 1888|
|Press Reports: Irish Times - 18 September 1888|
|Press Reports: Irish Times - 24 September 1888|
|Press Reports: Lloyds Weekly News - 9 September 1888|
|Press Reports: Manchester Guardian - 1 September 1888|
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|Press Reports: Morning Advertiser - 1 September 1888|
|Press Reports: Morning Advertiser - 18 September 1888|
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|Press Reports: New York Times - 1 September 1888|
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|Press Reports: Penny Illustrated Paper - 22 September 1888|
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|Press Reports: Times [London] - 1 September 1888|
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|Press Reports: Times [London] - 27 April 1866|
|Press Reports: Times [London] - 3 September 1888|
|Press Reports: Times [London] - 4 September 1888|
|Press Reports: Walthamstow and Leyton Guardian - 8 September 1888|
|Press Reports: Weekly Herald - 7 September 1888|
|Press Reports: Woodford Times - 21 September 1888|
|Press Reports: Woodford Times - 28 September 1888|
|Press Reports: Woodford Times - 7 September 1888|
|Victims: Mary Ann 'Polly' Nichols|
|Victims: Testimonies of Charles Cross and PC John Neil|
|Victorian London: Buck's Row|
|Witnesses: Henry Tomkins, James Mumford and Charles Brittain|
|Roland Gideon Israel Barnett|
|Press Reports: Star - 28 September 1888|
|Press Reports: Thanet Advertiser - 5 January 1889|
|Press Reports: Wandsworth and Battersea District Times - 15 September 18...|