18 September 1888
INQUEST ON MRS. NICHOLLS
The inquest on Mary Ann Nicholls, who was found murdered in Buck's Row, Whitechapel, on the 31st of August, was resumed before Mr. Wynne Baxter yesterday.
Dr. Llewellyn, recalled, stated that he had examined the body since the previous hearing, and had found a very old scar on the forehead. The deceased had not worn rings for five or six months.
Mrs. Emma Green, stated that she lived in Buck's row, and heard no unusual noise during the night in question, although she was a light sleeper. Noisy people, she said, often passed through the street during the night. Thomas Eade (sic), signalman, deposed that on the fifth inst. he was in Cambridge Heath road, and when just opposite the Foresters' Arms at about noon he saw a man on the opposite side of the street whose peculiar appearance attracted his attention. He seemed to have a wooden arm. The witness caught sight of a knife which was partly concealed in the man's trousers pocket. Three other men stood by, and the witness called upon them to arrest him. They refused to do so, and the man, knowing that the witness was following him, quickened his pace and disappeared. The man had not been found. He was apparently a mechanic, and was a muscular man.
Walter Purkiss stated that he lived opposite where the body was found. Neither he nor his wife heard any unusual noise that night. He was awake about a quarter of an hour before the police called him. It was light enough for him to see the body. If the deceased had called out he must have heard her.
Alfred Malshaw said he was employed by the Whitechapel Board of Works. On Thursday, the 30th of August, he was in Winthorpe (sic) street acting as watchman at some sewage works. He was not asleep between the hours of three and four on the morning of the murder. He saw nobody about at that time, and he did not hear any cries for assistance. Had the deceased cried out, he was not sure he would have heard her.
Police constable Thain said that he passed the end of Buck's row about every thirty minutes. There was nothing to attract his attention until 3.45 a.m. He was then signalled by another police constable's light. He answered and ran to the spot where the deceased was found. He found Neal bending over the body. Neal said, "For God's sake, Jack, go and call a doctor." He went and called Dr. Llewellyn. When he got back there were two workmen and Constable Neal beside the body. He saw a quantity of blood all congealed. When he picked her up the deceased appeared to be covered with blood as far as the waist.
John Hall, carman, said that he lived at 30 Foster street, Whitechapel. On Friday, the 31st of August, he left home just before a quarter to four o'clock. He was passing through Buck's row when he saw a man standing in the middle of the road. As the witness approached the man came on to the pavement. The man touched him on the shoulder and said, "Come and look at this woman here." The witness went with him and saw a woman lying across the gateway. Her hands and face were cold. He knelt down to see if he could hear her breathe, but he could not. They agreed that the best course to pursue was to tell the first policeman they met. They both walked on and met a policeman at the corner of Montague street. He had not met any one before that.
The inquiry was adjourned until Saturday next.
The foreman of the jury said that if a substantial reward had been offered in the first case he believed that the last two murders would never have been perpetrated. Of the matter was put before the Home Secretary, and a large reward was promised, he (the foreman) would willingly give £25. Had the murdered persons belonged to the rich and aristocratic class, a reward would immediately have been offered.
The coroner said he could not agree with the last remarks of the foreman, as he believed that the Government cared just as much for the lives of the poor as for the lives of the rich.