12 October 1888
INQUEST AND VERDICT
The adjourned inquest on the body of Catherine Eddowes, alias Kelly, aged forty three, who was found murdered in Mitre square on September 30th was concluded yesterday at the City mortuary, Golden lane, before Mr. S.F. Langham, City coroner. Colonel Sir James Fraser, major Smith, Superintendent Foster and Detective Sergeant Outram represented the police authorities, and Mr. Crawford, the City solicitor, appeared for the London Corporation.
Dr. Sequira was the first witness called. He said he resided at 30, Jury street, Aldgate. He was called to Mitre square on the 30th of September, and was the first medical man to arrive. He reached the place about five minutes to two o'clock. He agreed with the medical evidence already given by Dr. Goodwin (sic) Brown and Mr. Crawford.
Mr. Crawford: From what you have seen have you formed an opinion that the perpetrator of the deed had or had not any design to obtain any particular part of the body? - I have formed the opinion that he had no design on any particular organ.
Judging from the injuries, would you say the murderer had any anatomical skill? - No, I should say not.
Dr. Saunders, medical officer of health and public analyst for the City of London, said he had received the stomach of the deceased for analysis, and had carefully examined its contents, more particularly for poisons of the narcotic class, with negative results. There was not the faintest trace of these or any other poisons. The witness added that he was present at the post mortem examination of the body, and he had formed the opinion that the wounds were inflicted by some one who possessed no great amount of anatomical skill. He agreed with the previous witness that the perpetrator of the deed had no desire to obtain any particular organ.
Annie Phillips, of Dilston grove, Southwark, the wife of a lampblack packer, said she was the daughter of the deceased who had always told her she was married to her father. Her father was Thomas Eddowes, a hawker. He left her mother suddenly, and she did not know what had become of him. They were not on very good terms; but she did not say they would never see him again when he left. She had never seen or heard from him since. He was a teetotaller, and he left the deceased because she took to drink. The witness had not the slightest idea of where he was now. He had never used any threats to the deceased.
Police constable Roberts deposed that on the Saturday night previous to the murder the deceased was lying on the footway in High street, Aldgate, drunk, surrounded by a crowd of people. He set her up against the shutters and she fell down again. He obtained assistance and conveyed her to the Bishopsgate police station, when she was asked what her name was. She replied, "Nothing." She was then wearing an apron which he identified as the one produced, a portion of which was found on the body, another portion being found in Gouldston (sic) street after the murder.
Police constable George Henry Hult said he had care of the prisoners at Bishopsgate street station on the 29th of September, and amongst others the deceased. At five minutes to one o'clock he ascertained that the deceased was sober, and after she gave her name she was discharged. The distance from the station to Mitre square was about 400 yards, and it would take eight minutes to walk it.
George James Morris, watchman of Messrs. Kearley and Tonge, tea dealers, Mitre square, was the next witness. He said that he went on duty at seven o'clock Saturday evening, the 29th of September. At a quarter past or quarter before two o'clock on the following morning Police constable Watkins went to him and in a most agitated manner said: "Oh dear, here is another woman murdered in the corner." He had heard the description already given of the finding of the body, and he agreed with it. When the body was found he ran up Mitre street into Aldgate and blew his whistle for police assistance. He did not see any suspicious person about at the time. He told two constables that there had been another terrible murder in Mitre square.
Mr. Joseph Lewende (sic), commercial traveller, said that on the Saturday night, accompanied by some friends, he passed Church passage, near Mitre square, where he saw a man and a woman together. He saw the woman's back, and did not see her face. The man was taller than the woman. She had on a black jacket and a black bonnet. The man had on a cloth cap with a peak. He had given a description of the man to the police.
Mr. Crawford said, in the interest of justice, he did not desire that this description should be published.
The coroner: Quite right. Would you know the man again? - The witness: I doubt it.
Mr. Crawford: Did either the man or the woman appear in an angry mood? - No: She placed her head on the man's breast as we passed. The witness further said that he had seen the clothes of the deceased and believed they were the same as those worn by the woman he saw in the street.
Mr. Joseph Levy, Hutchinson street, Aldgate, said that he was with the last witness. He could not, however, give a description of the couple. The man was three inches taller than the woman.
Police constable Alfred Long deposed to finding a portion of the deceased's apron in Gouldston street with smears of blood upon it. On a wall in the same street was written, "The Jews are the men that will not be blamed for nothing." The witness reported that fact to the inspector on duty at Commercial street station.
Detective Halse, of the City police, deposed to being sent to Gouldston street to make inquiries about the writing on the wall. Directions were given for photographing the writing, but before it could be done the Metropolitan Police, thinking, as it was Sunday morning, the words might cause a riot of seen by the Jews, or an outbreak against the Jews, had the writing washed out. Inquiries were made at every tenement in the house, but no information could be gathered as to anyone having arrived home late. The witness suggested that only the top line of the writing should be rubbed off. The witness protested about its being erased until Major Smith had seen it; but of course it was on metropolitan ground, and the Metropolitan Police suggested that likelihood of a riot. The writing was in a good round hand, upon the black dado of the passage wall, and appeared to have been recently written. The capital letters were about three quarters of an inch in height, the others being in proportion. He took the words down as: "The Juews (sic) are not the men that will be blamed for nothing."
A juryman complained that the police, after finding the piece of apron in Gouldston street, had not prosecuted their inquiries by searching the model dwellings. The clue had been kept up to that time, and then it was lost.
Mr. Crawford said that he could call witnesses to prove that a vigilant search was made in all the dwelling houses in and around Gouldston street.
Police constable Long, having returned with his book, gave a copy of the writing from the wall. He said his attention was afterwards called to the fact that the word Jews was spelled "Juews". After he found the piece of apron he searched the staircases leading into the buildings, but he made no inquiries from the tenants. The writing was rubbed out about five o'clock in the morning.
The jury returned a verdict that the deceased was murdered by some person or persons unknown.