24 August 1888
Mr. George Collier, coroner, resumed his inquiry yesterday, at the Working Lads' Institute, into the circumstances attending the death of a woman, supposed to be Martha Turner, aged thirty five, a hawker, lately living off Commercial road, E., who was discovered early on the morning of Tuesday, the 7th inst., lying dead on the first floor landing of some model dwellings known as George yard buildings, Commercial street, Spitalfields. The woman when found presented a shocking appearance, her body being covered with stab wounds to the number of thirty nine, some of which had been done with a bayonet. How the body came to be there is a mystery which the police as yet have not solved. It is a singular coincidence that the murder was committed during Bank Holiday night, and is almost identical with another murder which was perpetrated near the same spot on the night of the previous Bank Holiday. The victims were both what are called "unfortunates", and their murderers have up till now evaded capture. One witness examined yesterday was another woman of the same class, who seems to have been the last to see the deceased alive, and then she was with a soldier. The coroner, in summing up, said that the crime was one of the most brutal that had occurred for some years. For a poor defenceless woman to be outraged and stabbed in such a manner was almost beyond belief. They could only come to one conclusion, and that was that the deceased was brutally and cruelly murdered. The police would endeavour to bring home the crime to the guilty party. The jury returned a verdict of wilful murder against some person or persons unknown.