14 September 1888
The resumed inquiry into the death of Annie Chapman was held at the Working Lads' Institute yesterday, by Mr. Wynne E. Baxter, the coroner for the district. Inspectors Helson, Chandler and Abberline again appeared for the police authorities.
Inspector Joseph Chandler deposed that he was called by some men on Saturday morning and told that another woman had been murdered, in Hanbury street. He at once proceeded there and saw the deceased lying at the bottom of the steps leading to the yard. He sent for the divisional surgeon, Dr.Phillips, and for the ambulance. The body was then removed to the mortuary, where the witness searched it. He also searched the yard and there found two pocket combs and a piece of muslin. A piece of an envelope that contained two pills was also discovered. On the back there was a seal with the words "Sussex Regiment" on it in embossed letters. On the reverse side was the letter "M" in writing. It appeared to be a man's handwriting. The postmark was "London, Aug. 23, 1888." All these articles were found near where the woman's feet had been. In the yard was also found a leather apron, which had since been identified by Mrs. Richardson as belonging to her son. The paling which surrounds the yard was very weak and hardly strong enough to bear any one climbing over it. He had examined it, but none of it was then broken. Near the head of the body there were marks of blood on the wall. There was not the slightest trace of blood anywhere outside the yard. At the mortuary he examined the clothing worn by the deceased, and found blood stains on the neck of the jacket and also on the left arm. The jacket was buttoned. A loose picket that was fastened under the skirt was empty, and torn down the front and at the side.
By the jury: The back yard door at 29, Hanbury street, opens outward to the left, and if young John Richardson had only stood on the top step he might not have seen the body, as the door would interfere with his view. Questioned further, the witness said that the police had been unable to find the man Stanley, who used to stay with the deceased on Saturday nights.
The foreman asked why the Government did not offer a reward for the apprehension of the guilty party.
The coroner said he believed that the money was spent in a different way, but still with the same object in view.
Dr. George Bagster Phillips, of 2, Spital square, divisional surgeon of police, said that on Saturday, the 8th of September, he was called by the police at 6.20 a.m. to 29, Hanbury street. He arrived there within ten minutes, and found the dead body of a female in the possession of the police, lying in the back yard. The face was swollen and turned on the right side. The body was mutilated in a shocking manner. There was a large quantity of blood by the left shoulder. Ho found in the yard, which he examined, a piece of muslin and two combs which had evidently been carefully arranged and placed against the side of the yard. He noticed that the throat was severed, and that the incision through the skin was jagged and reached right round the neck. On the back wall of the house, between the steps and the paling, about eighteen inches from the ground, were several patches of blood, and on the wooden paling dividing the two yards were smears of blood corresponding to where the deceased's head lay. Soon after two o'clock on the same day he went to make a post mortem examination of the body. He was surprised to find that the body had been stripped and was lying on the table. It was with great difficulty that he made the examination. The body had evidently been attended to after its removal to the mortuary - probably partially washed. He found two distinct bruises, each the size of a man's thumb, on the chest. There was a bruise on the left eyelid. There was an abrasion on the upper joint of the ring finger, and distinct marking of a ring or rings. The head being opened showed that the membranes of the brain were full of blood. The throat had been cut as before described, and the skin had been entirely severed all the way round to the spine. The incisions had been made from the left side of the neck and carried entirely round. It also seemed as if an attempt had been made to separate the bones of the neck. There were many other frightful injuries; but he was of opinion that they were subsequent to the death of the woman, which resulted from the flow of blood from the neck. The injuries must have been inflicted with a long sharp knife with a thin blade. A bayonet could not have caused the injuries. A slaughterman's knife, well ground down, would inflict similar injuries. The knives used in the leather trade would not be long enough. There was indication of anatomical knowledge; but it appeared as if the work had been done in great haste. He was of opinion that when he saw the body the woman had been dead two hours, probably more. There was no evidence about the body of any struggle having taken place. The witness said he was positive that the deceased entered the yard alive. He made a thorough search of the passage, but failed to find the slightest trace of blood.
By the coroner: He examined the apron found in the yard. There was no trace of blood on it. He was convinced that the woman had not taken any strong alcohol for some hours before her death. He thought that whoever cut the deceased's throat took hold of her by the chin and then commenced the incision from left to right. The tongue protruding showed signs of suffocation, and round the throat of the deceased he found a cloth (produced). It was soaked in blood which flowed from the neck.
Mary Elizabeth Simmons, a nurse at the Whitechapel Infirmary, described the clothes worn by the deceased, which she assisted to take off. No portion of the body was thrown away with the clothes as far as she knew.
The inquiry was adjourned until Wednesday next.
A MYSTERIOUS PROWLER
The Press Association says: A statement was made last night to a reporter by a woman named Lloyd, living in Heath street, Commercial road, which may possibly prove of some importance. While standing outside a neighbour's door about half past ten on Monday night she heard her daughter, who was sitting in the door step, scream, and on looking round saw a man walk hurriedly away. The daughter states that the man peered into her face, and that she saw a large knife at his side. A lady living opposite stated that a similar incident took place outside her house. The man was short of stature, with a sandy beard, and wore a cloth cap. The woman drew the attention of some men who were passing to the strange man, and they pursued him some distance until he turned up a bye street, and, after assuming a threatening attitude, suddenly disappeared.