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St. James Gazette
London, England
5 October 1888


The Press Association's Bishop Stortford correspondent telegraphs:-

A man has been arrested at Tiptree heath on suspicion of being concerned in the Whitechapel murders. He was met by Police Sergeant Creswell, of whom he asked alms. He objected to be searched, and insisted on keeping his hand in his pocket. He was taken to Kelvedon, and it was seen that the appearance of the man answered the description circulated by the Metropolitan Police of the Whitechapel murderer in almost every particular. He was detained in custody. The number of detectives on duty in the Whitechapel district last night was as large as ever, and there were also about fifty working men on voluntary patrol duty. The local Vigilance Committees have charge of the patrol movement, and they hope to arrange matters so that no man shall be required to give more than one night per week to the work. The excitement and indignation in the East End of London was last night increased by the evidence given yesterday at the inquest of the woman murdered in Mitre square.

The British Medical Journal says:- "The theory started by the coroner (Mr. Wynne Baxter) - not altogether without justification on the information conveyed to him - that the work of the assassin was carried out under the impulse of pseudo -scientific mania, is exploded by the first attempt at serious investigation. It is true that inquiries were made at one or two medical schools early last year by a foreign physician, who was spending some time in London, as to the possibility of securing certain parts of the body for the purpose of scientific investigation. No large sum, however, was offered. The person in question was a physician of the highest respectability, and exceedingly well accredited to this country by the best authorities in his own, and he left London fully eighteen months ago. There was never any real foundation for the hypothesis, and the information communicated, which was not at all of the nature which the public had been led to believe, was due to the erroneous interpretation by a minor official of a question which he had overheard, and to which a negative reply was given.

This theory may be at once dismissed and is, we believe, no longer entertained even by its author. The discovery of the assassin cannot, we believe, be long delayed. He is undoubtedly insane."

A correspondent of the Daily Telegraph, combating the idea that the murderer is a madman, says :- "I have had a larger practical acquaintance with homicidal maniacs than Dr. Forbes Winslow ever had, for I have lived with them, and I emphatically assert that this series of crimes is the work of no lunatic, homicidal or otherwise. There is too much coherence of idea, too much fixity of purpose, too much self control displayed. Insanity has its saving clauses, and this is one of them. These atrocities are the handiwork of no individual, but of a confederacy. This explains everything: the amazing audacity, the ease with which detection has been evaded, and the commission of two consecutive murders in one night, obviously by the same agency, but not, possibly, by the same hand."


The Standard, writing with reference to the attacks made on the police in connection with the murders, says :- It is needless to inquire what motive underlies the attacks which have been made on Mr. Matthews and Sir Charles Warren. The matter was grave enough, one would have thought, to suggest reserve even to professional manufacturers of melodramatic sensation. But there is no accounting for fancy. The writers who demand the instant dismissal of a group of officials have absolutely nothing to back their absurd ultimatum with except the circumstance that, as yet, the Whitechapel murderer has not been discovered. We are all sorry for that indisputable fact; but the community has not, on that account, lost all control of its senses and called for vengeance on this or that functionary. The ill conditioned voyager on board ship who proposes to cure the bad weather by throwing the captain overboard does not find among the passengers many to agree with him. Those who have been pandering to the feeling of unreasoning discontent which they hoped could be blown into a flame have had a severe disappointment. Remembering the strange story of Jackson's wanderings, while he was still the object of a hue and cry, and how little pains he took to veil his identity, we ought not to assume that the Whitechapel murderer has surrounded himself with any elaborate atmosphere of mystery. While the whole of England was ringing with the story of Lefroy's crime and escape, the object of pursuit was, it will be remembered, quietly living in lodgings in London under circumstances which one would have thought would have led to his instant denunciation. The fact is that, much as we talk about publicity in these days, there are whole households, nay whole streetfuls of households, which are only casually in touch with the world of daily newspapers. The very few people who are bold enough to make specific suggestions of remissness against the detectives may safely be put to refute each other. They all overlook the simple truth that half a dozen hypotheses, each more plausible than their own, might be broached as to the way in which the murders were committed, which would render it, on the ordinary doctrine of chances, impossible that any vigilance on the part of the constables could either have thwarted the assassin or prevented his escape. The assumption of these wiseacres is that the police ought to have provided for contingencies which no human intelligence could have foreseen, and have displayed, not only a preternatural sagacity, but the ubiquity of the heroes of a fairy tale. Sir Charles Warren is told that he must mass half his force in the vicinity of the notorious spots. If he were weak enough to comply with the peremptory demands, and if a murder were next committed in the quarters from which he had withdrawn the men transferred to Whitechapel, he would be held up by these very infallible critics to execration for taking their advice. It is the mystery which shrouds the circumstances of the Whitechapel tragedies that invests them with such absorbing interest. But what does "mystery" mean? The absence surely not only of explanation, but of the means of elucidation. Yet the notion underlying the clamour against Scotland yard is that, because the case baffles solution, Sir Charles Warren may reasonably be expected to solve it. That is not the way in which men with a proper sense of responsibility judge the conduct of public servants. It will time to blame the Home Office or Scotland Yard when it is proved that human wit could have divined or anticipated the horrible secret of the East End murders.


The inquest on the body of Catherine Eddowes, alias Conway, alias Kelly, found murdered in Mitre square, Aldgate, on Sunday morning last, was opened before Mr. S.F. Langham, the City coroner, at the City Mortuary, Golden lane, yesterday morning. Major Smith, Assistant Police Commissioner, and Superintendent Foster represented the City Police Force. Mr. Crawford, the City solicitor, said he appeared for the police authorities, and if it was necessary he hoped the coroner would allow him to put questions during the inquiry. The coroner assented.

Eliza Gold, residing at 6 Thrawl street, Spitalfields, a widow, identified the deceased as her sister. Her name was Catherine Eddowes. She was a single woman, about forty three years of age, and had been living for some years with John Kelly. She last saw the deceased alive four or five weeks ago. The deceased used to get her living by hawking, and was of sober habits.

Before she lived with Kelly she had lived with a man named Conway, and had had two children by him. Conway had been in the army and was a pensioner. He used to go out hawking things.

The coroner: Did they part on good or bad terms? The witness could not say. She could not say whether the deceased ever saw Conway since she parted with him. She had no doubt that the deceased was her sister. She had not seen Conway for seven or eight years. When she last saw the deceased and Kelly together they were living on happy terms in Flower and Dean street.

John Kelly, a labourer, said that he earned a living by being about the markets. He identified the deceased. He knew here as Catherine Conway, and had lived with her for seven years. The deceased used to hawk things about the street. She lived with him at Cooney's lodging house, 55 Flower and Dean street. He was in her company at two o'clock on Saturday afternoon in Houndsditch. They parted on very good terms, and she told him she was going over to Bermondsey to see if she could find her daughter Annie, the daughter she had had by the man Conway. She promised him she would return by four o'clock. She did not return. He did not know of any one with whom she was at variance, or who was likely to injure her. He had never seen Conway, nor did he know whether the deceased saw him after they departed.

By Mr. Crawford: He did not know with whom the deceased had been in company on Saturday afternoon, or who paid for her drink.

She left him some months ago in consequence of a few words, but only remained away a few hours. They had had no angry words on Saturday about money. He slept at the house on Friday night, but the deceased was not with him, as she had not the money for her lodgings. She slept at the casual ward, Mile end. He did not slept (sic) at the lodging house during the rest of the week. On Monday night he was in Kent hopping, and the deceased was with him. They came up to town on Thursday night and slept at the Shoe lane casual ward. They were together all Friday until the afternoon, when he earned sixpence. He wanted her to remain with him, but she insisted on his going to the lodging house while she went to Mile end. She was aware that some tea and coffee were found on her. She had got them with part of the half crown which he obtained through pawning a pair of boots.

They spent the rest of the money for drink and food. She was quite sober when she left him. She had never brought money to him in the morning which she had earned at night.

Frederick William Wilkinson, tenant of the lodging house, 55 Flower and Dean street, identified the deceased. He had known her and Kelly for six or seven years. They passed as man and wife, and were always on very good terms. They quarrelled now and again, but not violently, when the deceased was in drink. He saw the deceased on the Friday before her death, and the Saturday morning between ten and eleven o'clock. He had no knowledge of her walking the streets at night.

By Mr. Crawford: He never knew of a quarrel between Kelly and another man as to the deceased. No stranger took a bed at his lodgings between one and two o'clock on Sunday morning.

Police Constable Watkins gave evidence as to the finding of the body.

Frederick William Foster, 26 Old Jewry, produced a plan of the square. In examination by Mr. Crawford, the witness said that the direct route from Mitre square to Flower and Dean street would be through Goulstone street. Mr. Crawford said that evidence would be given to the effect that a portion of the woman's apron was afterwards found in Gouldstone street, and the jury would at once see the importance of the evidence just given.

Dr. Gordon Brown, surgeon to the City of London Police, described the results of his examination of the body. There was great disfigurement of the face. The throat was cut across, and below the cut was a neckerchief. The upper part of the dress at the chest had been pulled open. The witness then described the terrible injuries inflicted upon the deceased. The woman had been dead only a few minutes, certainly not more than thirty or forty. Dr. Phillips also saw the body on its arrival at the Golden lane mortuary. A post mortem examination was made at half past two on Sunday afternoon, the results of which the witness described at length. The throat was cut right across to the extent of six or seven inches, and the large vessels on each side of the neck were severed. The larynx was severed just below the vocal cords; all the deep structures were severed to the bone. The cause of death was hemorrhage from the throat, and death must have been immediate. There were other mutilations after death. The injuries on the lower portions of the body must have been made after death, and there would not be much blood on the hands of the murderer. The cuts were made by some one probably kneeling on the right side and below the middle of the body. The left kidney had been carefully taken out and carried away, and he came to the conclusion that some one who knew the position of the kidneys had done it. The uterus was cut through, with the exception of about three quarters of an inch, and the rest, with some portions of the ligaments, had been removed. He believed the woman was lying on the ground when the injuries were inflicted. The injuries must have been done with a sharp pointed knife at least six inches long. The perpetrator must have had considerable knowledge of the position of particular organs in the body and the way of removing them. The parts removed could be of no use for a professional purpose. A person who was accustomed to cut up animals would have such a knowledge.

Mr. Crawford: Do you think the perpetrator was disturbed while he was at work? I think he had sufficient time, or he would not have nicked the lower eyelids. It would have occupied at least five minutes.

Can you as a professional man assign any reason why these parts of the body should be taken away? I cannot. I feel sure there was no struggle, and am not surprised that the deceased made no noise. The witness further said that he did not think there would be much blood on the man's hands. He had examined a portion of an apron found on the deceased with blood spots upon it of recent origin. He had also seen another portion of the apron found in Gouldstone street, which had smears of blood upon it as if hands or a knife had been wiped upon it. The mutilation of the face he thought was simply to disfigure the corpse. He would examine the stomach to see if any drug had been administered.

The inquest was then adjourned until half past ten o'clock next Thursday.

Related pages:
  Catherine Eddowes
       Home: Timeline - Catherine Eddowes 
       Dissertations: A Piece of Apron, Some Chalk Graffiti and a Lost Hour 
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       Dissertations: The Funeral of Catherine Eddowes 
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       Message Boards: Catherine Eddowes 
       Official Documents: Catherine Eddowes's Inquest 
       Official Documents: Mitre Square - Census Listings 
       Press Reports: Alderley and Wilmslow Advertiser - 5 October 1888 
       Press Reports: British Daily Whig - 1 October 1888 
       Press Reports: City Press - 10 October 1888 
       Press Reports: City Press - 13 October 1888 
       Press Reports: City Press - 17 October 1888 
       Press Reports: City Press - 3 October 1888 
       Press Reports: City Press - 6 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Daily News - 1 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Daily News - 12 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Daily News - 2 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Daily News - 4 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Daily News - 5 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Daily News - 6 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Daily Telegraph - 12 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Daily Telegraph - 5 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Daily Telegraph - 9 October 1888 
       Press Reports: East London Advertiser - 13 October 1888 
       Press Reports: East London Advertiser - 6 October 1888 
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       Press Reports: Echo - 1 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Echo - 11 October 1888 
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       Press Reports: Evening News - 11 October 1888 
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       Press Reports: Evening News - 20 October 1888 
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       Press Reports: Evening News - 4 October 1888 
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       Press Reports: Freemans Journal and Daily Commercial Advertiser - 4 Octo... 
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       Press Reports: Illustrated Police News - 20 October 1888 
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       Press Reports: Lloyds Weekly News - 30 September 1888 
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       Press Reports: Morning Advertiser - 11 October 1888 
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       Press Reports: Munster News - 6 October 1888 
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       Press Reports: Police Gazette - 19 October 1888 
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       Press Reports: St. James Gazette - 1 October 1888 
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       Ripper Media: Catherine Eddowes: Jack the Ripper Victim 
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       Victims: Catherine Eddowes: Her Last Known Movements and Discovery... 
       Victorian London: Mitre Square 
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       Witnesses: Emily Birrell 
       Witnesses: James Blenkingsop