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Morning Advertiser (London)
1 October 1888

The bodies of two women, both with their throats cut, and one of them abdominally mutilated in the horrible way with which the public are now familiar, were found early yesterday morning, the first in a dark yard in Berner street, Commercial road, Whitechapel, and the second in the overshadowed corner of Mitre square, Aldgate, just within the City boundary. The non mutilation of the first victim, who is believed to be an "unfortunate" named Annie Morris, was due, it is thought, to the murderer's being disturbed at his work, a theory to which further colour is given by the fact that life had been extinct for some twenty minutes when the body was discovered. Mitre square is distant ten minutes' walk from Berner street, and the murderer - for it is tolerably clear that one man killed both women - must have lost no time in singling out and despatching his second victim, whose remains were discovered about half an hour after those of the first. No clue to the miscreant has yet been obtained. The inquest on Morris will be opened this morning, and that on the other woman probably tomorrow.

It is our painful duty to record this morning two murders, the news of which will thrill the community with a feeling of horror bordering upon affright. In the first two hours of Sunday two women were savagely done to death in the streets of this crowded city. Both murders were obviously by the same hand, and each was committed within ten minutes' walk of the other. Horror is heaped upon horror's head. The first shock of the news gives rise to thoughts unutterable. But those thoughts must not be allowed dominance. The necessity of the hour is to keep cool. Hopelessness may well be the first effect of these awful crimes; but such an effect must be banished. Panic must be repressed. Society must not hang down its hands in weakness and confess itself appalled. It must strengthen itself with a determination to at any cost render the repetition of such crimes as now smear the London streets with blood impossible. And it must bend all its energies to track out the miscreant, and relax not until justice shall have been meted out to him. To this end the facts of the crimes must be clearly understood, and for a clear understanding of them they must first be calmly and dispassionately examined.

The inference is irresistible that the perpetrator of the Berner street and the Mitre square murders is also the perpetrator of the Hanbury street and Buck's row murders, not to go further back in the series of atrocious crimes which during the last year have befouled the East end. So far as the facts can be as yet ascertained, the victims are women of the streets. The condition of the clothing of both of them makes any idea that robbery was the motive for the crime utterly untenable. The very manner of the murders makes that suggestion now past argument. The woman found in Mitre square was ripped up even as the woman found in the backyard of 29 Hanbury street, three weeks ago. Her intestines were placed about her head, and mutilations had been effected in the abdominal region, obviously with the intention of securing the organ that was found to be missing in the remains of Annie Chapman, and to obtain which, the Coroner felt forced to conclude, was the sole motive for the crime. The woman murdered in the yard in Berner street was not mutilated in this horrible way; but the absence of mutilation does not argue against the fact that her death is due to the same hand by which her unfortunate sister in Mitre square was killed. The crimes were committed in what may be described as the same locality, and but a brief interval elapsed between the two. The intention, no doubt, was to mutilate the Berner street unfortunate in the same way as Annie Chapman had been mutilated. The throat was cut in the same terrible and determined manner, and, it is to be presumed, by the same knife used upon the bodies of the other women. As the injuries topped at this point, the reason is probably to be found in the fact that the miscreant was in some way disturbed. He could not have taken fright. He left the murdered woman either choosing not to accomplish his purpose upon her, or fancying it was not safe to do so, and went on his way in search of another victim. The circumstances show the exercise of thought. The yard in which the Berner street murder was committed, though it must have been a secluded place, yet at that hour of the morning it was not, according to the testimony of the inhabitants, a likely place to choose for either immorality or murder. And on Saturday night this was notably so, for a Jewish club at the corner of the yard was holding revelry at the very time the crime was discovered, and only twenty minutes before members of the club had come out to get a breath of fresh air and had seen nothing unusual. The yard was stocked with costermongers' barrows, and one o'clock is not late for those articles to be trundled home. There was nothing out of the ordinary in Diemshitz driving his pony into the yard at the time he did, or in the fact that the owners of the adjoining houses were not all abed. The murderer must have thought of the risks he ran after he had cut the woman's throat. They did not unnerve him. He had probably gathered from the evidence in the Chapman inquest with what impunity a murder could be committed in the midst of an East end population, so he made off with cool daring. How cool and how audacious can be imagined, for the woman whom he decoyed into a dark co0rner of Mitre square would scarcely have suffered herself to walk ten paces with him had there been anything about his demeanour to arouse suspicion. Then she may have been worse for liquor; but the probability of that is not so great as the probability that, like the other women of her class in the East end, she was keenly alive to the danger any woman now runs who trusts herself to an unknown man. He cut this woman's throat as he had cut the other's, and upon her - probably at the very moment Berner street was ringing with the cry of horror at the finding of his victim there - wreaked his murderous desire. The ease with which the murderer effected his escape is nothing short of astonishing. After the experience of the last nine months in East London, and especially after the Hanbury street murder, one would have imagined that the concentration of the police force of the metropolis upon the murder district would have been such as to render impossible the escape of the miscreant. We should have thought there would have been a policeman in almost every secluded street, and that the constable's lantern would have been every moment flashing upon the dark nooks and crannies. Yet this does not appear to be so. The police may be able to show that they have done everything that was possible for mortal men to do not only in bringing the author of these crimes to justice, but in preventing him from continuing his work. But here is the fact that. at a time when the police may reasonably be supposed to be exercising their greatest vigilance, an undetected murderer goes into the district of his recent crimes, murders one woman, and then walks through the streets, and shortly afterwards murders and mutilates another. One murder is discovered by a policeman, but the other is not. The miscreant flits mysteriously through the streets, and no one sees him save the poor wretches to whom his presence is death. The police have no suspicions when he passes them - and that he must have passed one, on his way from Berner street to Mitre square is clear. We do not say, as yet, that the police are actually in fault; but the force is called upon to cope with a state of things for which it is apparently inadequate.


Yesterday morning the consternation which had been caused by the recent murders in Whitechapel was renewed and intensified by the discovery of the bodies of two more murdered women. The terrible character of the crimes, and the locality and the manner in which the murders were committed, point very strongly to the conclusion that the same miscreant who was responsible for at least two of the previous murders is also guilty of the present crimes. It will be remembered that the first of the series of murders was committed so far back as last Christmas, when a woman, whose identity was never discovered, was found murdered in or near Whitechapel. There were circumstances of peculiar barbarity about the mode in which the body was treated. This fact did not attract so much attention at the time as it did when on August the 7th last a woman named Martha Turner, aged 35, was found dead on the first floor landing of some model dwellings in Spitalfields, with 39 bayonet or dagger wounds on the body. On the 31st of the same month the woman Nichols, an unfortunate, was found dead in Buck's row, Whitechapel. With this probably begins the series of crimes which have lately horrified and terrified the public, for the mutilation of the body was done with so much technical skill and audacity as to suggest a definite but extraordinary, and, at the same time, unexplained purpose. What that object was the Coroner recently suggested in the summing up at the inquest on the woman Chapman, who was murdered in the same district, and under similar circumstances, on September the 8th. That crime created almost a panic, which had scarcely died away when it became known yesterday that two more murders of apparently the same kind, had been committed under circumstances detailed hereunder.


The scene of the first of Saturday night's outrages is a narrow court in Berner street E., a quiet thoroughfare, running from Commercial road down to the London, Tilbury, and Southend Railway. At the entrance to the court are a pair of large wooden gates, in one of which is a small wicket for use when the gates are closed. At the hour when the murderer accomplished his purpose these gates were open; indeed, according to the testimony of those living near, the entrance to the court is seldom closed. For a distance of 18 to 20 feet from the street there is a dead wall on each side of the court, the effect of which is to enshroud the intervening space in absolute darkness after sunset. Further back some light is thrown into the court from the windows of a workmen's club, which occupies the whole length of the court on the right, and from a number of cottages occupied mainly by tailors and cigarette makers on the left. At the time when the murder was committed, however, the lights in all of the dwelling houses in question had been extinguished, whilst such illumination as came from the club, being from the upper storey, would fall on the cottages opposite, and would serve only to intensify the gloom of the rest of the court. From the position in which the body was found it is believed that as soon as the murderer had got his victim in the dark shadow near the entrance to the court he threw her to the ground, and with one gash cut her throat from ear to ear. It is thought that the wound was inflicted after and not before the woman fell, as there are sever bruises on her left temple and left cheek, suggesting that she must have been forcibly thrown to the ground. When discovered the body was lying as if the woman has fallen forward, her feet being about a couple of yards from the street, and her head in a gutter which runs down the right hand side of the court, close to the wall. She lay on her left side, face downwards, her position being such that although the court at that part is only nine feet wide, a person walking up the middle might have passed the recumbent body without noticing it. The condition of the corpse, however, and several other circumstances which came to light in the course of yesterday prove pretty conclusively that no considerable period elapsed between the committal of the murder and the discovery of the body. In fact, it is conjectured that the assassin was disturbed while at his ghastly work, and made off before he had completed his designs. All the features of the case connect the tragedy with that which took place three quarters of an hour later a few streets distant. The obvious poverty of the woman, her total lack of jewellery, and the soiled condition of her clothing are entirely opposed to the theory that robbery could have been the motive, and the secrecy and despatch with which the crime was effected are equally good evidence that the murder was not the result of an ordinary street brawl. At the club referred to above - the International Workmen's Educational Club - which is an offshoot of the Socialist League, and the rendezvous of a number of foreign residents, chiefly Russians, Poles, and continental Jews of various nationalities, it is customary on Saturday nights to have friendly discussions on topics of mutual interest, and to wind up the evening's entertainment with songs &c. The proceedings commenced on Saturday about 8.30 with a discussion on the necessity of Socialism amongst Jews. This was kept up until about eleven o'clock, when a considerable portion of the company left for their respective homes. Between twenty and thirty remained behind, and the usual concert which followed had not concluded when the intelligence was brought in by the steward of the club that a woman had been murdered within a few yards of them, and within earshot of their jovial songs. The people residing in the cottages on the other side of the court were all indoors, and most of them in bed by midnight. Several of these persons remember lying awake and listening to the singing, and they also remember the concert coming to an abrupt termination; but during the whole of the time from retiring to rest until the body was discovered no one heard anything like a scream or a cry of distress. It was Lewis Diemshitz, the steward of the club, who found the body. Diemshitz, who is a traveller in cheap jewellery, had spent the day at Westow hill Marker, near the Crystal Palace, in pursuance of his avocation, and had driven home at his usual hour, reaching Berner street at one o'clock. On turning into the gateway he had some difficulty with his pony, the animal being apparently determined to avoid the right hand wall. For the moment Diemshitz did not think much of the occurrence, because he knew the pony was given to shying, and he thought perhaps some mud or refuse was in the way. The pony, however, obstinately refused to go straight; so the driver pulled him up to see what was in the way. Failing to distinguish anything in the darkness, Diemshitz poked about with the handle of the whip, and immediately discovered that some large obstacle was in his path. To jump down and strike a match was the work of a second, and then it became apparent that something serious had taken place. Without waiting to see whether the woman whose body he saw was insensible or dead, Diemshitz entered the club by the side door higher up the court, and informed those in the concert room upstairs that something had happened in the yard. A member of the club named Kozebrodski, but familiarly known as Isaacs, returned with Diemshitz into the court, and the former struck a match while the latter lifted the body up. It was at once apparent that the woman was dead. The body was still warm, and the clothes were wet from the recent rain, but the heart had ceased to beat, and the stream of blood on the gutter, terminating in a hideous pool near the club door, showed but too plainly what had happened. Both ran off without delay to find a policeman, and at the same time other members of the club, who had by this found their way into the court, went off with the same object in different directions. The search was for some time fruitless. At last, however, after a considerable delay, a constable, 252 H, was found in Commercial road. With the aid of a policeman's whistle more constables were quickly on the spot, and the gates at the entrance to the court having been closed, and a guard set on all the exits of the club and the cottages, the superintendent of the district and the divisional surgeon were sent for. In a few minutes Dr. Phillips was at the scene of the murder, and a brief examination showed that life had been extinct for some minutes only. Careful note having been taken of the position of the body, it was removed to the parish mortuary of St. George's in the East, Cable street, to await identification. A representative, who has seen the corpse, states that the woman appears to be about 30 years of age. Her hair is very dark, with a tendency to curl, and her complexion is also dark. Her features are sharp and somewhat pinched, as though she had endured considerable privations recently, an impression confirmed by the entire absence of the kind of ornaments commonly affected by women of her station. She wore a rusty black dress of the cheap kind of sateen, with a velveteen bodice, over which was a black diagonal worsted jacket with fur trimming. Her bonnet, which had fallen from her head, was of black crape, and inside, apparently with the object of making the article fir more closely to the head, was folded a copy of an evening newspaper. In her right hand were tightly clasped some grapes, and in her left hand she held a number of sweetmeats. Both the jacket and the bodice were open near the top, but in other respects the clothes were not disarranged. The linen was clean, and in tolerably good repair, but some articles were missing. The cut in the woman's throat, which was the cause of death, was evidently effected with a very sharp instrument, and was made with one rapid movement of the knife, which was apparently drawn across the throat rather obliquely from left to right. In its passage it severed the windpipe, the carotid arteries, and the jugular veins. As the body lies in the mortuary the head seems to be almost severed, the gash being about three inches long and of nearly the same depth. In the pocket of the woman's dress were discovered two handkerchiefs (a gentleman's and a lady's), a brass thimble, and a skein of black darning worsted. In addition to Dr. Phillips, the body was examined both before and after removal to the mortuary by Dr. Kaye and Dr. Blackwell, both of whom reside in the vicinity of Berner street. On the arrival of the superintendent from Leman street police station, which took place almost simultaneously with that of the divisional surgeon, steps were immediately taken to ascertain whether the members of the club were in any way connected with the murder. The names and addresses of all the men present were taken, and a rigorous search of persons and premises was instituted, much to the annoyance of the members. The residents in the court had to submit to a similar scrutiny. In neither case, however, was any incriminating evidence discovered. It was five o'clock before the police had finished their investigations at the club, for in addition to the search referred to above, inquiries were made which resulted in a number of written statements which had to be signed by members. The fact that another murder had been committed soon became known in the neighbourhood, and long before daybreak the usually quiet thoroughfare was the scene of great excitement. Extra police had to be posted right along the street, and even with this precaution locomotion from an early hour was a matter of extreme difficulty. A large crowd followed the body to the mortuary, and here again it was found necessary to take unusual precautions to keep back the crowd. As the news circulated further afield immense numbers of people flocked to Whitechapel, and before noon the neighbourhood of Aldgate and Commercial road was literally invaded by persons curious to see the spots selected for this and the other murders in the series. Several matters have transpired which tend to fix precisely the time at which the unfortunate woman was murdered. Morris Eagle, one of the members of the club, left Berner street about twelve o'clock, and after taking his sweetheart home returned to the club at about twenty minutes to one, with the intention of having supper. He walked up the yard and entered the club by the side entrance, but neither saw nor heard anything to make him suspect foul play was going on. He might have passed the body in the darkness, but the probability is that he would have stumbled over it if the murder had been committed before that time. Another member of the club - A Russian named Joseph Lave - feeling oppressed by the smoke in the large room, went down into the court about twenty minutes before the body was discovered, and walked about in the open air for five minutes or more. He strolled into the street, which was very quiet at the time, and returned to the concert room without having encountered anything unusual. During the day there were many persons at the mortuary, but nobody succeeded in identifying the body. Several policemen on duty in the district declare that they have seen the deceased about the locality, and it is believed that she belonged to the "unfortunate" class. Mr. Wynne Baxter, the coroner of the district, was communicated with as soon as the details were ascertained, and he has fixes the inquest for today at 11 o'clock at the Vestry hall, Cable street. It is believed in police circles that the murderer was disturbed at his work by the arrival of Diemshitz, and that he made off as soon as he heard the cart at the top of the street. Sir Charles Warren and Major Smith, of the City Police, visited the scene of the murder in the course of the morning.

The following description has been circulated by the police of a man said to have been seen in the company of deceased during Saturday evening:- "Age 28. Slight. Height 5ft 8in. Complexion dark. No whiskers. Black diagonal coat, hard felt hat, collar and tie. Carried newspaper parcel. Respectable appearance."

Lewis Diemshitz has made the following statement:- "I have been steward of the International Club for six or seven years. I am also a traveller in common jewellery. I went yesterday (Saturday) to Westow hill Market, a place I usually visit on Saturdays, and I got back about one o'clock this (Sunday) morning. My usual time for getting home from market is between one and two in the morning. I drove home in my own trap. My pony is rather shy, and as I turned into the yard it struck me that he bore too much to the left hand said, against the wall. I bent my head to see what he was shying at, and I noticed that the ground was not level. I saw a little heap, which I thought might perhaps be some mud swept together. I touched the heap with the handle of my whip, and then I found that it was not mud. I jumped off the trap and struck a match, when I saw it was the body of a woman. I did not wait to see whether she was drunk or dead, but ran indoors and asked whether my wife was there. I did this because I knew my wife had rather a weak constitution, and anything of that kind shocks her. I saw my wife was sitting downstairs, and I at once informed the members that something had happened in the yard. I did not tell them whether the woman was murdered or drunk because I did not then know. A member named Isaacs went down to the yard with me, and we struck a match and saw the blood right from the gate up the yard. Then we both went for the police, but unfortunately it was several minutes before we could find a constable. At last another member of the club named Eagle, who ran out after us and went in a different direction, found one somewhere in Commercial road. This policeman blew his whistle and several more policemen came, and soon after the doctors arrived. The woman seemed to be about twenty seven or twenty eight years old. She was a little better dressed, I should say, then the woman who was last murdered. Her clothes were not disarranged. She had a flower in the bosom of her dress. In one hand she had some grapes and in the other some sweets. She was grasping them tightly. I had never seen her before. She was removed at about a quarter to five to the Cable street mortuary. When I first saw her she was lying on her left side two yards from the entrance, with her feet towards the street. I do not keep my trap in the yard, but I keep my goods at the club."

Morris Eagle states:- "I am a Russian, and am a traveller in the jewellery line. I am a member of the club, and was present last (Saturday) night at the discussion. I went away about 12 o'clock, to take my young lady home. I was away with her about 40 minutes, and then I came back to the club with the intention of having supper. There were plenty of people about then, both men and women. The front door of the club was closed when I returned, so I passed through the yard and entered at the back. I walked up the middle of the yard. I noticed nothing then. After I had been in the club 20 minutes the steward came in and said there was a woman lying in the yard. I went down into the yard and saw the blood, and afterwards assisted to find the police."

Joseph Lave says:- "I am a Russian, and have recently arrived in England from the United States. I am residing temporarily at the club. About twenty minutes before the alarm I went down into the yard to get a breath of fresh air. I walked about for five minutes or more, and went as far as the street. Everything was very quiet at the time, and I noticed nothing wrong."

Mrs. Mortimer, living at 36 Berner street, four doors from the scene of the tragedy, says:- "I was standing at the door of my house nearly the whole time between half past twelve and one o'clock this (Saturday) morning, and I did not notice anything unusual. I had just gone indoors and was preparing to go to bed, when I heard a commotion outside, and immediately ran out thinking that there was another row at the Socialists' club close by. I went to see what was the matter, and was informed that another dreadful murder had been committed in the yard adjoining the club house. On going inside I saw the body of a woman lying huddled up just inside the gates, with her throat cut from ear to ear. A man touched her face, and said it was quite warm, so the deed must have been done while I was standing at the door of my house. There was certainly no noise made, and I did not observe anyone enter the gates. It was just after one o'clock when I went out, and the only man whom I had seen pass through the street previously was a young man carrying a black shiny bag who walked very fast down the street from the Commercial road. He looked up at the club, and then went round the corner by the board school. I was told that the manager or steward of the club had discovered the woman on his return home in his pony cart. He drove through the gates, and my opinion is that he interrupted that murderer, who must have made his escape immediately under cover of the cart. If a man had come out of the yard before one o'clock I must have seen him. It was almost incredible to me that the thing could be done without the steward's wife hearing the noise, for she was sitting in the kitchen, from which a window opens four yards from the spot where the woman was found. The body was lying slightly on one side with the legs a little drawn up as if in pain, the clothes being slightly disarranged, so that the legs were partly visible. The woman appeared to me to be respectable, judging by her clothes, and in her hand were found a bunch of grapes and some sweets. A young man and his sweetheart were standing at the corner of the street, about twenty yards away, before and after the woman must have been murdered, but they told me they did not hear a sound. Charles Letchford, living at 30 Berner street, says:- "I passed through the street at half past 12, and everything seemed to me to be going on as usual, and my sister was standing at the door at ten minutes to one, but did not see anyone pass by. I heard the commotion when the body was found, and heard the policemen's whistles, but did not take any notice of the matter, as disturbances are very frequent at the club, and I thought it was only another row."

In an interview with a representative of the Press, Dr. Blackwell made a statement in which he said that about ten minutes past one he was called by a policeman to 40 Berner street, where he found the body of the murdered woman. Her head had been almost severed from her body. The body was perfectly warm, and life could not have been extinct more than 20 minutes. It did not appear to him that the woman was Jewess. She was more like an Irish woman. He roughly examined her, and found no other injuries; but this he could not definitely state until he had made a further examination. The deceased had on a black velvet jacket and a black dress; in her hand she held a box of cachous, whilst pinned in her dress was a flower. Altogether, judging from her appearance, he considered that she belonged to the "unfortunate" class. He had no doubt that the same man committed both murders. In his opinion the man is a maniac, but one at least accustomed to use a heavy knife. His belief was that as the woman held the sweets in her left hand her head was dragged back by means of a silk handkerchief, which she wore round her neck, and that her throat was then cut. One of the woman's hands was smeared with blood, and this was evidently done in the struggle. He had, however, no doubt that the woman's windpipe being completely cut through, she was thus rendered unable to make any sound. Dr. Blackwell added that it did not follow that the murderer would be bespattered with blood, for as he was sufficiently cunning in other things, he could contrive to avoid coming in contact with the blood by reaching well forward. The authorities at Leman street police street are very reticent, and stated, in reply to any inquiry late last evening, that they had no further information to impart. It is pretty certain, however, that the murdered woman has been identified. A woman who is known as "One Armed Liz," living in a common lodging house in Flower and Dean street, informed a representative of the Press that she accompanied Sergeant Thicke to St. George's mortuary and had identified the body as that of Annie Morris, an unfortunate, living in a common lodging house in the neighbourhood of Flower and Dean street. "One Armed Liz" refused to give further information, as she said she had been instructed to keep the matter to herself.


Shortly before two o'clock yesterday morning, or about three quarters of an hour after the crime described above, it was discovered that a second woman had been horrible murdered and mutilated in Mitre square, Aldgate, within the City boundaries, but on the confined of the now notorious district. Police constable Watkins (No 881 of the City police) was going around his beat when, turning his lantern upon the darkest corner of Mitre square, he saw the body of a woman, apparently lifeless, in a pool of blood. He at once blew his whistle, and several persons being attracted to the spot, he despatched messengers for medical and police aid. Inspector Collard, who was in command at the time at Bishopsgate police station, only a short distance off, quickly arrived, followed a few moments later by Mr. G W Sequeira, surgeon, of 34 Jewry street, and Dr. Gordon Brown, the divisional police doctor, of Finsbury circus. The scene disclosed was a most horrible one. The woman, who was apparently about forty years of age, was lying on her back quite dead, although her body was still warm. Her head was inclined to the left side, her left leg being extended, whilst the right was flexed. Both arms were extended. The throat was cut half way round, revealing a dreadful wound, from which blood had flowed in great quantity, staining the pavement for some distance round. Across the right cheek to the nose was another gash, and a part of the right ear had been cut off. Following the plan in the Whitechapel murders, the miscreant was not content with merely killing his victim. The poor woman's clothes had been pulled up over her chest, the abdomen ripped completely open, and part of the intestines laid on her neck. After careful notice had been taken of the position of the body when found, it was conveyed to the City mortuary, in Golden lane. Here a more extended examination was made. The murdered woman was about five feet in height, and evidently belonged to that "unfortunate" class of which the women murdered in Whitechapel were members. Indeed, one of the policemen who saw the body expressed his confident opinion that he had seen the woman several times walking in the neighbourhood of Aldgate High street. She was of dark complexion, with auburn hair and hazel eyes, and was dressed in shabby dark clothes. She wore a black cloth jacket with imitation fur collar and three large metal buttons. Her dress was made of green chintz, the pattern consisting of Michaelmas daisies. In addition she had on a thin white vest, light drab linsey skirt, a very old dark green alpaca petticoat, white chemise, brown ribbed stockings (mended at the feet with white material), black straw bonnet, trimmed with black beads and green and black velvet, and a large white handkerchief round the neck. In the pockets of the dress a peculiar collection of articles was found. Besides a small pocket containing tea and other articles, which people who frequent the common lodging houses are accustomed to carry, the police found a white pocket handkerchief, a blunt bone handled table knife, a short clay pipe, and a red cigarette case with white metal fittings. The knife bore no traces of blood, so could have no connexion with the crime. When the news of this additional murder became known, the excitement in the crowded district of Aldgate was intense. Usually a busy place on a Sunday morning, Houndsditch and the connecting thoroughfares presented a particularly animated appearance, men with barrows vending fruit and eatables doing a brisk trade. Crowds flocked to the entrances to the square where the body had been discovered, but the police refused admittance to all but a privileged few. Sir Charles Warren visited the spot at a very early hour, and made himself thoroughly conversant with the details of the affair. Major Smith (acting superintendent of the City Police), Superintendent Foster, Detective Inspector M'William (chief of the City Detective Department), and Detective sergeants Downes and Outram also attended during the morning. A little while after the finding of the body all traces of blood had been washed away, by direction of the authorities, and there was little to indicate the terrible crime which had taken place. Mitre square is an enclosed place in the rear of St Katherine Cree Church, Leadenhall street. It has three entrances, the principal one, and the only one having a carriage way, is at the southern end, leading into Mitre street, a turning out of Aldgate High street. There is a narrow court in the north east corner leading into Duke street, and another one at the north west, by which foot passengers cane reach St James's square, otherwise known as the Orange Market. Mitre square contains only two dwelling houses, in one of which singularly enough, a City policeman lives, whilst the other is uninhabited. The other buildings, of which there are only three, are large warehouses. In the south east corner, and near to the entrance from Mitre street, is the back yard of some premises in Aldgate, but the railings are closely boarded. It was just under these that the woman was found, quite hidden from sight by the shadow cast by the corner of the adjoining house. The officer who found the body is positive that it could not have been there more than a quarter of an hour before he discovered it. He is timed to "work his beat", as it is called, in from ten to fifteen minutes, and is spoken of by his superior officers as a most trustworthy man. The police theory is that the man and woman who had met in Aldgate watched the policeman pass round the square, and they then entered it for an immoral purpose. Whilst the woman lay on the ground her throat was cut as described above, causing instant death. The murderer then hurriedly proceeded to mutilate the body, for the wounds, though so ghastly, do not appear to have been caused so skilfully and deliberately as in the case of the murder of Annie Chapman, in Hanbury street. Five minutes, some of the doctors think, would have sufficed for the completion of the murderer's work, and he was thus enabled to leave the ground before the return of the policeman on duty. None of the police on duty early yesterday morning appear to have had particular attention drawn to the man and woman together, and this appears strange at first, when it is remarked that within the last few weeks the police have been keeping a particularly keen watch upon suspicious couples. Much effusion of blood was probably prevented by the woman being on her back at the time of the outrage; and leaving the square by either of the courts, the murderer would be able to pass quickly away without exciting observation. Not the slightest scream or noise was heard. A watchman is employed at one of the warehouses in the square, and in a direct line but a few yards away on the other side of the square a City policeman was sleeping. Many people would be about in the immediate neighbourhood even at this early hour, making preparations for the market which takes place every Sunday in Middlesex street (formerly Petticoat lane), and in adjacent thoroughfares. All yesterday crowds thronged the streets leading to Mitre square, and the police in the neighbourhood of the square under Inspector Izzard and Sergeants Dunham and Phelps, and other officers, were fully occupied in keeping back the excited and curious people. The woman up to last night had not been identified, and the police admit that they have no information which can be termed a clue.

A man, named Albert Baskert (sic), has made the following statement:- "I was in the Three Nuns Hotel, Aldgate, on Saturday night, when a man got into conversation with me. He asked me questions which now appear to me to have some bearings upon the recent murder. He wanted to know whether I knew what sort of loose women used the public bar at the house, when they usually left the street outside, and where they were in the habit of going. He asked further questions, and, from his manner, seemed up to no good purpose. He appeared to be a "shabby genteel" sort of person, and was dressed in black clothes. He wore a black felt hat, and carried a black bag. We came out together at closing time (twelve o'clock), and I left him outside Aldgate railway station."

Morris, the night watchman in Mitre square, has made a statement in which he said that about a quarter to two o'clock the policeman upon the beat knocked at the door of the warehouse. When he replied the constable said, "For God's sake, man, come and assist me; another woman has been ripped open." He said, "All right, keep yourself cool while I light a lamp." Having done so he accompanied the constable to the south west corner of the square, where he saw a woman lying stretched out upon the pavement with her throat cut and horribly mutilated. He then left the constable and proceeded into Aldgate, where he blew his whistle and other police officers soon made their appearance. The whole shape of the woman was marked out in blood upon the pavement. In addition to her throat being cut there were two slashed across the face, one of the cuts almost completely severing the nose. The woman's face was so mutilated that he could not describe what she was like. She wore a dark skirt and a black bonnet, and her appearance was exceedingly shabby. The strangest part of the whole thing was that he did not hear the slightest sound. As a rule he could hear the footsteps of the policeman as he passed on his beat every quarter of an hour, so the it appeared impossible that the woman could have uttered any sound without his detecting it. It was only on that night that he remarked to some policeman that he wished the "butcher" would come round Mitre square, and he would give him a doing; yet the "butcher" had come, and he was perfectly ignorant of it.

Mr. Foster, the superintendent of the City Police, upon being called upon last night by a representative of the Press, expressed his willingness to afford any information in his power - that is, any information it would be safe to publish. Shortly before three o'clock yesterday morning, he said, he was called up from bed by a report that a terrible murder had been committed just inside the City boundary, on the eastern side. Measures had already been taken to detect, if possible, the murderer, and these he supplemented by sending out a force of detectives and uniform men. He stated that Police constable Watkins, No 801, who is an old, steady, and careful officer, was on night duty in the neighbourhood of Houndsditch, Mitre square being part of his beat. At half past one he passed through the square and looked well around, but the space seemed to be positively empty. The square is well lighted with two lamps, but the corner in which the woman was found is overshadowed by two empty houses, but still the officer feels certain there was nothing in the corner at that time. It is part of his duty to look into this corner, and he is certain he did look in. A quarter of an hour later he again passed through the square, and then was horrified to see a woman with her throat fearfully gashed lying there in a pool of blood. On turning his light full on he further found that she had been disembowelled. Parts of her entrails were lying on the pavement and another portion was twisted round her throat. He blew his whistle, and in a few second other officers came running up, and medical aid was summoned. Two sides of the square are formed by the extensive warehouses of Messrs. Kerney (sic) and Tonge, and Superintendent Foster says the watchman who was on duty in these buildings avers that the square was very quiet at the time and he did not hear the slightest sound of anything unusual. Near the scene of the murder there is also a night fire station, and the several men who were on duty state that they heard nothing to attract their attention. A number of persons living within a few yards have also been questioned with a similar result, and they further say they saw nothing of a man and woman about the place. The superintendent further said Constable Watkins is a most reliable man, and is no doubt correct about the time. Asked whether it was possible for a woman to have been murdered somewhere else and then carried to the corner, Mr. Foster says he is convinced in his own mind that the murder was committed on the spot where the woman was found. The blood was all in one place, and the body could not have been carried about without leaving a trail of blood behind. Her head was lying within a few inches of the wall, but there were no blood stains upon the wall. He leans to the view that the murderer must have carried marks of the crime away with him. From an inspection of the body he feels sure that the murderer must have carried out the crime in a very short space of time, that he must have gone about it in a most determined manner but yet with perfect coolness, and, having completed his ghastly work, walked quietly away. The cuts are very clean, but have been inflicted with a very sharp weapon, used with great force. The superintendent adds that the closest search was made for a clue, but the result was that absolutely nothing was discovered.

The unfortunate woman had not been identified. The post mortem examination of the body, which took place at the mortuary, Golden lane, and was conducted by Dr. Phillips, Dr. Gordon Brown, and Mr. G W Sequeira, occupied nearly four hours, but as to its results the doctors decline to speak. The inquest has not been fixed, but it will probably take place tomorrow.

Related pages:
  Catherine Eddowes
       Home: Timeline - Catherine Eddowes 
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       Official Documents: Catherine Eddowes's Inquest 
       Official Documents: Mitre Square - Census Listings 
       Press Reports: Alderley and Wilmslow Advertiser - 5 October 1888 
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       Ripper Media: Catherine Eddowes: Jack the Ripper Victim 
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       Witnesses: Dr. Frederick Gordon Brown 
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  Elizabeth Stride
       Home: Timeline - Elizabeth Stride 
       Dissertations: Blackwells Testimony – An Estimation of How Stride Was ... 
       Dissertations: Elisabeth Gustafsdotters Last Stride 
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       Official Documents: Elizabeth Stride's Inquest 
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       Ripper Media: Jack the Rippers Tredje Offer 
       Victims: Elizabeth Stride 
       Victorian London: Berner Street 
       Witnesses: Dr. Frederick William Blackwell 
       Witnesses: J. Best and John Gardner 
       Witnesses: James Brown 
       Witnesses: Thomas Bates 
  Louis Diemschutz
       Press Reports: East London Advertiser - 27 April 1889 
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