September 8th, 1888
The horrible details of the murder that was committed so mysteriously in the Whitechapel road last week are as gruesome as anything in E. A. Poe's tales of crime. It is surprising and not at all reassuring to know that a person may be murdered almost in daylight -- for the body of the murdered woman was still warm when it was found at a quarter to four in the morning -- in a densely populated district without anybody being the wiser until the murderer has got a good start. It is little more than three weeks since another woman was found murdered upon the steps of a lodging house in Whitechapel, and the police have altogether failed to discover the doer of that deed. It has been suggested that both crimes are the work of a homicidal lunatic, so utterly causeless and barbarous do they appear. At present they certainly do seem to have a good deal in common with those "Murders in the Rue Morgue" which were found to have been perpetrated by a gorilla.
The body of the woman who was found murdered in Buck's-row, Whitechapel-road, early on the 31st of August has been identified as that of Mary Ann Nicholls, also called "Polly" Nicholls. She and a woman named Monk 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 £3 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. At the coroner's inquest, Edward Walker of Maidwell street, Camberwell, deposed that he had seen the body, and recognized it to be that of his daughter. He recognized her by her having some teeth out in the front and by a scar on her forehead. He had not seen her for three years. She was married about twenty-two years ago. Her husband's name was William Nicholls, and he was still alive. They had been separated for seven or eight years. She was about forty-two years old. The deceased and her husband parted when the youngest child was about a year old. Four of the children are now living at home with their father. The witness heard some time ago that the deceased was living with a man name Thomas Drew, in York-street, Walworth. Drew was a master smith and the witness believed that he was living at York-street now. The deceased was in Lambeth Workhouse in April last, and went from the workhouse to Wandsworth. After further evidence had been taken, the inquiry was adjourned.