London, United Kingdom
Sunday, 12 August 1888
TO THE EDITOR OF "THE PEOPLE."
Sir, - Having on several occasions been favoured by you with the publication of my letters, I feel sure you will do me the honour of inserting this. It is of and for the police I write. Having been in conversation with several members of that well organised force, whose courtesy and bearing none can speak against save the audacious and loquacious socialistic lawbreaker, whose shameless boldness transgress all the bounds of modesty and decorum, I find to my surprise that, no matter what services a constable has done, he is only entitled to seven bare days' holiday the year. My authority states that he has been a member of the force for over twenty-five years, and even now, after all that length of service, he is only entitled to the same leave as the man who joined a year ago. Now, sir, I think this is a great shame. Not that I would reduce the number of days for one year's service; far from it, I think they ought to have a fortnight at the least; but I really do say that we Londoners, whose interests, property - aye, whose very lives - are guarded by the ever watchful eye of the police, at all hours of the day and night, ought not to begrudge anything in the way of reasonable reciprocation. I feel sure the majority of the citizens of this vast metropolis would willingly consent to pay them for a fortnight's holiday, which every man is reasonably entitled to after twelve months' hard labour. Moreover, who among us has longer hours than the policeman? Often sixteen and twenty hours out of the twenty-four, and when off duty has always to hold himself in readiness to go on duty. Rather than the police should be deficient of their health and pay, I am sure there are a number like myself who would willingly volunteer themselves as "specials" to deputise for them. - Yours, &c.,
Pollen-street, Hanover-street, August 8
Supposed Murder of a Woman.
Early on Tuesday morning John Reeves, who lives at 37, George Yard Building, Whitechapel, was coming downstairs to go to work, when he discovered the body of a woman lying in a pool of blood on the first-floor landing. Reeves at once called in Constable Barrett, 26 H, who was on his beat in the vicinity of George Yard, and Dr. Keeling, of Brick-lane, was communicated with and promptly arrived. He made an examination of the woman, and pronounced life extinct, giving it as his opinion that she had been brutally murdered, there being knife wounds on her breast, stomach, and abdomen. It is stated that there were a great many wounds in various parts of the body, which was that of a woman apparently between 35 and 40 years of age, about 5ft. 3in. in height, complexion and hair dark, and wore a dark green skirt, a brown petticoat, a long black jacket, and a black bonnet. The woman is unknown to any of the occupants of the tenements on the landing on which the deceased was found, and disturbance of any kind was heard during the night. The circumstances of the tragedy are there fore mysterious, and the body has been removed to the Whitechapel Mortuary; and Inspector Elliston, of the Commercial-street Police Station, has placed the case in the hands of Inspector Reid, of the Criminal Investigation Department.
Mr. George Collier, the deputy coroner for South-East Middlesex, opened an inquiry at the Working Lads' Institute, Whitechapel, on Thursday, on the body of Martha Turner, aged 35, a single woman, being described as lately living at 4, Star-place. Commercial-road. - Previous to calling the first witness the coroner said that the body had been identified that morning, but he had just been informed that the two persons also identified it as quite a different person, and under those circumstances he thought the question of identity had better be left till the last. - Elizabeth Mahoney, of 47, George Yard Buildings, Whitechapel, the wife of a carman, stated that on the night of bank holiday she was out with some friends. She returned shortly before two in the morning with her husband, and afterwards left the house to try and get some supper at the chandler's shop. The stairs were then perfectly clear of any obstacle, and were the same on her return so far as she could see. She and her husband heard no noise during the night, but at ten o'clock she was told that a murder had been committed in the building. There was no light on the staircase. The spot where the body had been found had been pointed out to her. She was not sure it was not there at two o'clock as she went in, as it was in the wide part of the stairs, and quite in the dark. - Alfred George Crow, a cab driver, of 35, George Yard Buildings, deposed that on Tuesday morning he returned home from work at half past three. On his way up the stairs he saw somebody lying on the first landing.
so he passed on and went to bed. He did not know whether the person was dead or alive when he passed. - John Saunders Reeves, 37, George Yard Buildings, a waterside labourer, deposed that on Tuesday morning he left home at five o'clock to go in search of work. On the first floor landing he saw a female lying in a pool of blood. She lay on her back, and seemed dead. He at once gave notice to the police. The woman was a perfect stranger to the witness. Her clothes were all disarranged, as if she had had a struggle with some one. The witness did not notice any instrument lying about. - Police-constable Barrett, 226 H, deposed to being called by the last witness to view the body of the deceased. She was lying on her back, and before she was moved a doctor was sent for, and on arrival pronounced life extinct. The woman's hands were clenched, but did not contain anything. Her clothes were thrown up, and it appeared as if she hand been outraged.
Dr. Timothy Robert Keeling, 28, Brick-lane, stated that the he was called to the deceased and found her dead. He examined the body and found thirty-nine punctured wounds. There were no less than nine in the throat and seventeen in the breast. She appeared to have been dead three hours. The body was well nourished. He had since made a post mortem examination, and found the left lung penetrated in five places, and the right lung in two places. The heart had been penetrated but only in one place, otherwise it was quite healthy. The liver was healthy, but penetrated in five places, and the spleen was penetrated in two places. The stomach was penetrated in six places. In the witness's opinion the wounds were not inflicted with the same instrument, there being a deep wound in the breast from some long, strong instrument, while most of the others were done apparently with a penknife. The large wound could have been caused by a sword-bayonet or dagger. It was impossible for the whole of the wounds to be self-inflicted. Death was due to loss of blood consequent on the injuries. - At the conclusion of this witness's evidence, the inquiry was adjourned.