November 16th, 1888
ANOTHER LONDON HORROR.
A WOMAN FIENDISHLY MUTILATED.
The "Pall Mall Gazette" of Friday last says -- Another shocking murder of the now too well-known type was perpetrated this forenoon in Spitalfields, within a couple of hundred yards of the scene of the Hanbury Street barbarity. Accurate details of the affair are difficult to discover, the police, as usual, placing every obstacle in the way of the investigations of the journalists. But all the floating reports go to prove that there has been committed a murder far surpassing in fiendish atrocity all the long catalogue of terrible crimes with which the East End of London has been familiarized within the past three or four months.
The scene of the murder is in Dorset Street, which opens, we believe, in front of Spitalfields Church. It is in the same locality as the Jewish concert hall at which occurred a shockingly fatal fire panic two or three years ago, and lies off Commercial Street within a hundred yards of Toynbee Hall.
A woman, some twenty-six years of age, named Mary Jane Kelly, it appears, has lived for the past three or four months in a front room on the second floor of a house up an alley known as Cartin's-court. This poor woman was in service a considerable time ago, but since she came to reside in Dorset Street, she had been generally recognised by her neighbours as a person who, like so many unfortunate members of her sex in the eastern end of the town, managed to live a wretched existence by the practice of immortality (sic) under the most degrading conditions. Kelly was alive, according to some accounts, as late as ten o'clock this forenoon. Between eight and ten o'clock she was in the street at least once, according to some reports twice. She is said to have been drinking in a public-house, shortly after eight o'clock; then there is a story that she was out buying her supply of morning milk. It is surmised in some quarters that a man had spent the night with her; the more general impression is that the murderer made her acquaintance in the public-house and accompanied her back to her house.
There the chain of knowledge breaks. When it is caught up again, the woman is discovered dead on her bed, cut and hacked in the most terrible fashion that the imagination can readily conceive. Shortly before eleven o'clock the landlord of the house, who occupies a small huckster's shop at the entrance to the court, called at the house to collect the rent. Nobody answering his summons, the landlord broke in the door. Then a horrible spectacle met his view. The woman's body lay upon her bed mutilated completely beyond all description. The head rested upon the floor, away from the body; an arm lay apart from the trunk; the lower part of the body was opened up in the most inhuman and shocking way; and the entrails lay in a sickening manner about the bed. It is not surprising that the landlord left the room in a fainting state, and that all who subsequently saw the body feel absolutely unable to dwell upon its appearance.
The murderer does not appear to have been identified in any fashion. But his determination and coolness is evidenced by the fact that he had locked the door and taken away the key.