20 September 1888
INQUEST ON ANNIE CHAPMAN
The adjourned inquest on the body of Annie Chapman was resumed at the Working Lads' Institute, Whitechapel, yesterday afternoon, before Mr. E. Wynne Baxter, coroner for South East Middlesex.
Eliza Cooper, hawker, lodging at 35 Dorset street, Spitalfields, was the first witness called.
She said she had known the deceased, and had had a quarrel with her on the Tuesday before her death. On the previous Saturday the deceased brought the man Stanley to the house. Stanley gave the deceased 2s. and treated the witness at the same time. On the Tuesday the witness asked the deceased for her soap, and she threw her a halfpenny. Afterwards they went to a public house known as The Ringers, where the quarrel was renewed. The deceased scratched the witness's face, and she in return struck the deceased above the left eyebrow, and the mark showed afterwards. The last time she saw the deceased alive was on Wednesday, the 5th of September, in the Ringers public house. She was then wearing three brass rings. She had never seen the deceased wear a wedding ring. She had known the deceased for fifteen months, and knew she associated with Stanley, Harry the Hawker, and several others. The witness could not tell whether nay of these person were missing.
The coroner recalled Dr. Bagster Phillips, and said it was desirable that all the results of the post mortem examination should be put upon the record.
Dr. Phillips then stated the further results of the examination. There were three scratches below the lower jaw and bruises on the face. He thought the face was bruised at the same time that the incision in the throat was made. he believed that to make public the further results of the examination would thwart the ends of justice.
The coroner: Justice has had a long time. However, I think that ladies and boys should leave the court. We have to decide the cause of death. and are bound to take all possible evidence. Whether this evidence ought to be made public is a matter of responsibility for the press. I don't see that I am responsible on that point.
The foreman: The jury are of opinion that the evidence which the doctor wishes kept back ought to be given.
The coroner: I must say this is the first time I have ever heard a request that evidence should be kept back.
Dr. Phillips: I am entirely in your hands, sir.
The coroner: I have delayed calling for this evidence so that the interests of justice might be served. But it is a fortnight since the murder, and justice has had some little time to avenge itself.
Dr. Phillips: The evidence will not elucidate the cause of death.
The coroner: That is a matter of opinion.
Dr. Phillips: Death took place before the injury was effected.
The coroner (decidedly): That is a matter of opinion, doctor, and it is an opinion which might be rebutted by other medical evidence.
Dr. Phillips then asked that his evidence given on the first day should be read over. This having been done, Dr. Phillips gave additional evidence in detail; but it is mainly unfit for publication, beyond the fact that several vital portions of the body were missing. The doctor added that the weapon used must have been at least from five to six inches long, and probably longer. It must have been very sharp, and the mode in which the abdominal wall was removed indicated a certain amount of anatomical skill. There were also other indications that the murderer had made certain calculations consequent upon the possession of anatomical knowledge.
The coroner: How long would all the injuries take to inflict?
The witness: I could not have performed all the injuries, even without a struggle being made, under a quarter of an hour. If I had done it in a deliberate way, such as would fall to the duty of a surgeon, it would probably have taken the best part of an hour.
The foreman: It has occurred to the jury whether if the eyes of the deceased had been photographed they would have been found to retain any impression of the murderer.
Dr. Phillips: I have no particular opinion upon that point. I was asked about it very early in the case, and I gave my opinion that the operation would be useless, especially in this case; and also as the use of a bloodhound, which was suggested. I think the blood of the murdered woman would be more likely to be traced than the murderer.
The coroner: Were the injuries to the neck such as might have produced insensibility?
The witness: Yes; they were consistent with partial suffocation.
Elizabeth Long, of Church row, Whitechapel, said that on Saturday the 8th of September, she was passing 29 Hanbury street, on her road to Spitalfields market at half past five o'clock in the morning, when she saw a man and woman on the pavement talking. She had seen the deceased at the mortuary and identified her as the woman she saw in the street. The man was dark, wore a brown hat, and was a little taller than the deceased. He looked like a foreigner, and was dressed in a shabby genteel style. The parties were talking loudly and he asked the woman, "Will you?" and she replied. "Yes."
Edward Stanley, of 1 Osborn place, bricklayer's labourer, said he was known as "the Pensioner/" He knew the deceased, and sometimes visited her. He saw her last on Sunday, the 2nd of September, between the hours of one and three in the afternoon. She was then wearing two rings. He did not know that the deceased was on bad terms with any one. He was not in receipt of a pension, nor had he been in the West Sussex regiment. He denied that he had stayed with the deceased from Saturday to Monday.
Tim Donovan, the deputy of the lodging house, recalled, said that the last witness used to come with the deceased to 35 Direst street on Saturday and stay until the Monday following. He ordered the witness not to let the bed to any one else. He had been there six or seven times.
Stanley said this statement was not correct. He was at Gosport from the 6th of August until the 1st of September. He went to the house in Dorset street, when he heard that the deceased had been murdered, and expressed his surprise. He voluntarily went to the Commercial street police station and offered to give evidence.
Albert Cadoche, 27 Hanbury street, carpenter, said he got up about half past five o'clock on the morning of the murder. He was in the yard adjoining that in which the murder took place at twenty minutes past five o'clock, said he heard a voice say, "No!", apparently close by. He went indoors, and again went into the yard, and he heard a sort of fall against the fence which divided No 27 from 29. He did not look to see what it was. He did not hear the rustling of any clothes. He did not see a man and woman standing the street when he left the house to go to his work.
William Stevens, painter, 35 Dorset street, said he last saw the deceased about twenty minutes past twelve o'clock on the morning of the murder. She was in the kitchen, and not the worse for drink. She had rings on her fingers.