18 September 1888
Yesterday Mr. Waynne Baxter resumed the adjourned inquest on the body of Mary Ann Nicholls, who was found murdered in Buck's row, Whitechapel, on the morning of the 31st, August. Thomas Eade, a signalman, stated that on Saturday the 8th September he saw a man whose appearance he described, in Cambridge road. The man was holding his arm in a peculiar manner, and Eade on observing him more closely saw the blade of a knife projecting from his sleeve. Eade followed him, but lost sight of him. Evidence was given by some residents in the locality and by a watchman, to the effect that no disturbance was heard in the neighbourhood on the morning of the murder. The inquest was adjourned.
Mr. Wynne E. Baxter, the coroner for South-East Middlesex, resumed yesterday afternoon the inquiry at the Working Lads' Institute, Whitechapel-road, into the circumstances attending the death of Mary Ann Nichols, 43, the wife of a machinist, lately living at Coburg-road, Old Kent-road, whose body, shockingly mutilated, was found lying in a gateway in Buck's-row. Whitechapel, early on the morning of Friday, the 31st ult. Inspectors Helson and Abberline attended for the Commissioners of Police.
Dr. Llewellyn, recalled, said that after he had given his evidence on the last occasion he visited the mortuary and made a further examination of the body. He discovered a scar on the forehead of old standing. He did not believe that any portion of the body was missing.
The Coroner. -- Do you know if she wore rings? -- Witness: There were marks of rings on the fingers, but I do not think she had worn any for five or six weeks.
Emma Green, of New Cottage, Buck's-row, deposed -- I am a widow, and occupy the cottage next to where the deceased was found. I have a daughter and two sons living with me. On the night before the murder I went to bed about eleven o'clock, my children going about an hour earlier. My bedroom is on the first floor, and I do not remember waking till I heard a knock at the street door.
The Coroner: What time was that? -- Witness: I should think about four o'clock. I opened the window and looked out. There were several constables near my door.
Coroner: Did you see anybody on the ground? -- Witness: I saw something like a body, but it was very dark at the time, and I could hardly distinguish it.
Coroner: I may take it that you heard no noise during the night? -- Witness: None of us heard any.
Coroner: Are you a heavy sleeper? -- Witness: A very light sleeper.
The Coroner: Do you know that your son went out to wash the blood away. -- Witness: Yes; I thought it had better be done directly the body was moved. A constable went into my yard with my son, and they returned with a broom and washed the stains away.
Thomas Eade said -- I am a signalman in the employ of the East London Railway. On the 8th of September I was going down the Cambridge-heath-road about twelve noon when I saw a man on the opposite side of the street to the Foresters' Music-hall. He had a peculiar appearance, as if he had a wooden arm. I passed him once or twice, and as he put his hand in his pocket I caught sight of the blade of a knife, which was up his sleeve. I saw about four inches of steel. After speaking to some men, I followed him to give him into custody, but he slipped down some street, and I lost sight of him. He was a man about 5ft. 8in. high, 35 years of age, dark moustaches and whiskers. He wore a dark brown jacket, white overalls, and a double-peaked cap.
The Coroner. -- How did he walk?
Witness. -- As though he had got stiff knees -- that was what made me notice him first.
The Coroner. -- Were his overalls dirty? -- No, they were perfectly clean.
The Coroner. -- You did not see what kind of knife it was? -- No, not exactly; the blade was about 2 1/2 inches wide, I think.
Walter Purkis was next called, and said -- I live at Essex Wharf, Buck's-row, and am manager to Messrs. Brown and Co. My house is immediately opposite the gate where the deceased was found.
The Coroner. -- Who were in the house on the night of the 30th ult.? Witness: -- myself and family, and the servant. I sleep in the front room on the second floor, and the children at the back of the house. On that night I went to bed about a quarter-past eleven.
The Coroner. -- Did you sleep during the night? -- Witness. -- I was awake several times, but mostly before two o'clock.
The Coroner. -- When did you wake? -- I was called up by the police at about a quarter to four.
The Coroner. -- Did you or your wife hear any sound during the night? -- Witness: No, not a sound; it was unusually quiet. When the police called me I opened the window and went down. I could see all there was to see from the window. There were two or three men besides the constables.
The Coroner. -- Now, supposing the woman had called out or there had been any quarreling should you have heard it? -- Witness: Oh yes, I should have been sure to have heard it.
Edward Muleham, night watchman at the Whitechapel District Board of Works, said -- On the night of the murder I was in Winthorpe-street during the whole of the night. I did not leave till about five minutes to six in the morning. I was in the open street, watching some drainage works.
The Coroner. -- Do you go to sleep? -- Witness: Sometimes I do.
The Coroner. -- Were you alseep between three and six o'clock? -- Witness: I don't think I was. There was no one about whatever, and I heard no cries for assistance or other noise. The slaughterhouse is about fifty yards from where I was. About twenty minutes to five a man coming past said, "I say, old man, a woman has been murdered up yonder." On going to the spot I saw the deceased, and a doctor examining her.
The Coroner. -- Would you have heard any cry from where the woman lay? -- Witness: I can't say that I should. I saw nothing suspicious during the night.
The Coroner. -- Was there any man running away? -- No, sir. It is very quiet after eleven o'clock, and I should have noticed anyone running away. You don't see a policeman often in that quarter.
The Coroner. -- Did you see any that night? -- The Witness. -- I think I saw two that night.
Police-constable Neil stood up, and witness identified him as one of the constables he saw patrolling his beat that night.
A Juror. -- How often do the constables pass round? -- Witness: About once in two hours, I should think.
Police-constable John Thain, 96 J, said. -- I was on duty in Brady-street on the morning of the murder, and passed the end of Buck's-row every thirty minutes. Nothing attracted my attention until 3.45 a.m., when I was signalled by another constable in Buck's-row. I went to him and found him standing by the body of a woman. He said to me, "Run and fetch the doctor," and I went. Dr. Llewellyn returned with me.I stayed in the street when they took the body to the mortuary.
The Coroner: You were there when the blood was removed? -- Witness: Yes.
The Coroner: Was there a very large quantity on the flags? -- Witness: There was a large clot near the wall, and blood was running into the gutter. When I picked deceased up, her back, as far as the waist, was covered with blood.
The Coroner: Did you search the neighbourhood? -- Witness: Yes; I swearched the East London Railway, District Railway, and South-Eastern Railway, but found nothing suspicious, not even a knife.
Robert Paul, Forster-street, Whitechapel. -- I am a carman, and on the morning of the murder I left home just before a quarter to four. As I was passing up Buck's-row I saw a man standing in the roadway. When I got close up to him, he said, "Come and look at this woman;" and together we went across the road. There was a woman lying across the gateway, with her clothes disarranged. I felt her hands and face; they were cold. I sent the other man for a policeman.
James Hatfield, an inmate of the Whitechapel Union, said -- I was sent to undress the body after it was in the mortuary. Being unable to undo the dress we cut it off. I cannot say if there were any stays with the clothing.
Inspector Spratling. -- I have been making inquiries into this matter.
The Coroner. -- have you been to every house in Buck's-row?
Witness. -- No; but if anything had come to light down there we should have heard of it. I have seen all the watchmen in the neighbourhood, and they neither saw nor heard anything on the morning in question. The Board school ground has been searched, but nothing likely to throw any light on the matter was discovered.
Inspector Helson. -- We have had a constable in the street for a week, but nothing was gained by it.
The foreman of the jury said that if a substantial reward had been offered in the first case he believed that the last two murders would never have been perpetrated. If the matter was put before the Home Secretary, and a large reward was promised, he (the foreman) would willingly give 25L. Had the murdered persons belonged to the rich and aristocratic class, a reward would immediately have been offered.
The Coroner said he could not agree with the last remarks of the foreman, as he believed that the Government cared just as much for the lives of the poor as for the lives of the rich.
The inquest was adjourned until Saturday.
Last evening, at a meeting held in the large hall at the Working Lads' Institute, Whitechapel-road, Mr. C. Tarling presiding, Mr. C. Montagu, in addressing his constituents, referred to the recent murders in Whitechapel, and said that the crimes had sent a shudder of horror throughout the whole of England. It was to be hoped that it would be ascertained that the murderer was a madman, and it was also to be hoped that the speedy capture of the criminal would relieve the very strong feeling of alarm felt by everyone in the district. Mr. Montagu proceeded to explain why he had offered a reward of 100L. for the detection of the murderer, and said that after he heard of the murders he drove to the Leman-street police station, and he was not then aware that the Government had abandoned the system of offering rewards. He found that Superintendent Arnold was out of town, and knowing that the Home Secretary was also out of town, and that some delay might result, he offered Inspector West a written undertaking to pay 100L. for the apprehension of the murderer. He was told that the offer would be communicated to the Commissioners of Police, and to the Home Office. This he believed had been done; and that morning he had written to the police authorities begging that they would at once have printed and posted at his expense a sufficient number of placards to give publicity to his offer.
At Woolwich Police-court, yesterday, a labourer named Edward Quinn, 35, was placed in the dock, before Mr. Fenwick, charged, nominally, with being disorderly at the police-station. His face and hands were much bruised, and, when charged, were much bloodstained. -- The magistrate was about disposing of the case briefly, when the prisoner remarked that he had a complaint to make, and stated as follows: -- On Saturday I was at a bar by the Arsenal at Woolwich, having a drink; I had stumbled over something in the street, just before, and had cut my face and knuckles as you see, and I had bled a good lot. While at the bar a big, tall man, came in and stood beside me and looked at me. He got me in tow, and gave me some beer and tobacco, and then he said, "I mean to charge you with the Whitechapel murders." I thought it was a joke, and laughed; but he said he was serious, and pointed to the blood about me. I said, "Nonsense, is that all the clue you have got?" He then dropped the subject, and took me for a walk, until we got to the police-station, where he charged me with the Whitechapel murders. -- Mr. Fenwick: Were you not drunk? -- Quinn: Certainly not, sir. -- Mr. Fenwick: You will be remanded until to-morrow. -- Quinn: This is rather rough. I am dragged a mile to the station and locked up, and I am to wait another day with all this suspicion of murder hanging over my head. -- Mr. Fenwick: I will take your own bail in 5L. for your reappearance. -- Quinn: I object to the whole thing. Me murder a woman! I couldn't murder a cat. -- (Laughter.) -- The prisoner was then released on his own recognisances.