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Timothy Killeen

Dr. Timothy Robert Killeen (variously spelt Keeling or Keleene).

Witness at Martha Tabram's inquest.

LRCS (Ireland) 1885, Lic.K.Q.Coll.Phys. 1886. Registered 3rd December 1886. In 1887 his address was given as Kilcornan House, Kilkishen, Co. Clare[1].

Living at 68 Brick Lane in 1888, Dr. Killeen was called to the scene of Tabram's murder at George Yard Buildings, arriving at at about 5.30am on 7th August 1888.

In his witness testimony, Dr. Killeen stated that Martha Tabram had 39 stabs on the body. She had been dead some three hours. Her age was about 36 and the body was very well nourished. Dr. Killeen had since made a post-mortem examination of the body. The left lung was penetrated in five places, and the right lung was penetrated in two places. The heart, which was rather fatty, was penetrated in one place, and that would be sufficient to cause death. The liver was healthy, but was penetrated in five places, the spleen was penetrated in two places, and the stomach, which was perfectly healthy, was penetrated in six places. Dr. Killeen did not think all the wounds were inflicted with the same instrument. The wounds generally might have been inflicted by a knife, but such an instrument could not have inflicted one of the wounds, which went through the chest-bone. His opinion was that one of the wounds was inflicted by some kind of dagger, and that all of them were caused during life[2].

Further coverage of the inquest revealed more medical evidence:

He had since made a post mortem examination, and on opening the head found there was an effusion of blood between the scalp and the bone. The brain was pale but healthy... There was food in the process of digestion in the stomach. Dr. Keeling then described where the wounds had been made, and in answer to questions stated positively that there were no signs of there having been recent connexion. In his opinion the wounds were caused by a knife, or some such instrument, but there was a wound on the chest bone which could not have been caused by a knife. An ordinary penknife could have made most of the wounds, but the puncture in the chest must have been made with a sword bayonet or a dagger. The wounds, he was of the opinion, were inflicted during life, and it was impossible for them all to have been self-inflicted, though some of them might have been. Then in reply to questions from the coroner as to whether he could tell whether the wounds were made by a right or left-handed person, the doctor said one of the wounds might have been made by a left-handed man, but not the others.[3]

Dr. Killeen's tenure in East London appears short; from 1891 his address is listed as Clonfeigh, Ennis, Co. Clare[4]


  1. Medical Register 1887
  2. Inquest report, The Times, 9th August 1888
  3. Inquest report, East London Advertiser, 11th August 1888
  4. Medical Registers 1891-1907

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