Ripper Letters
Police Officials
Official Documents
Press Reports
Victorian London
Message Boards
Ripper Media
Games & Diversions
Photo Archive
Ripper Wiki
Casebook Examiner
Ripper Podcast
About the Casebook


Most Recent Posts:
Witnesses: Our Charles Cross - by miss marple 28 minutes ago.
Motive, Method and Madness: What was occuring in 1888? - by miss marple 53 minutes ago.
Witnesses: Our Charles Cross - by Sam Flynn 2 hours ago.
Ripperologist: Ripperologist 161 April/May 2018 - by Ginger 7 hours ago.
Witnesses: Our Charles Cross - by GUT 10 hours ago.
Witnesses: Our Charles Cross - by GUT 10 hours ago.

Most Popular Threads:
Witnesses: Caroline Maxwell Alibi ? - (16 posts)
Witnesses: Our Charles Cross - (7 posts)
Motive, Method and Madness: What was occuring in 1888? - (6 posts)
General Suspect Discussion: Favorite suspect/s? - (3 posts)
General Discussion: Mug Shots from 1908-1911 - (3 posts)
Mary Jane Kelly: Mary Kellys Inquest - (2 posts)

Wiki Updates:
Robert Sagar
Edit: Chris
May 9, 2015, 12:32 am
Online newspaper archives
Edit: Chris
Nov 26, 2014, 10:25 am
Joseph Lawende
Edit: Chris
Mar 9, 2014, 10:12 am
Miscellaneous research resources
Edit: Chris
Feb 13, 2014, 9:28 am
Charles Cross
Edit: John Bennett
Sep 4, 2013, 8:20 pm

Most Recent Blogs:
February 19, 2016, 11:12 am.
Chris George: RipperCon in Baltimore, April 8-10, 2016
February 10, 2016, 2:55 pm.
Mike Covell: Hull Prison Visit
October 10, 2015, 8:04 am.
August 9, 2015, 3:10 am.
November 14, 2014, 10:02 am.
Mike Covell: Mike’s Book Releases
March 17, 2014, 3:18 am.
   More Ripper Blogs »

Unmasking Jack the Ripper
"Perhaps the best Jack the Ripper documentary produced in recent years." North American and European DVD formats both available.
Buy now!

John Neil

Error creating thumbnail: Unable to save thumbnail to destination
PC John Neil as depicted in a contemporary illustration.

Police Constable John Neil, 97J

Witness at Mary Ann Nichols' inquest.

Born 1850, County Cork, Ireland. Joined Metropolitan Police in 1875, warrant no.59168. Served in J-division (Bethnal Green) throughout his career[1]. Married to Mary (b.1850) with two daughters, Henrietta (b.1880) and Julia (b.1881)[2]

PC Neil discovered the body of Mary Ann Nichols whilst on beat duty at approximately 3.45am, 31st August 1888. He had walked from Thomas Street into Buck's Row and was heading eastwards towards Brady Street. Hearing PC John Thain walking along Brady Street, he summoned him with his lamp and later, he was joined by PC Jonas Mizen who had been alerted to the discovery of Nichols' body by the carmen Charles Cross and Robert Paul. It is likely that Neil missed Cross and Paul by minutes and testified that he saw nobody about. The furthest he had been from the murder spot all night was Baker's Row.

With the aid of his lamp, he noticed the wound to Nichols' throat and that blood was still oozing out. He felt her arm, which he claimed was still warm and noted that her eyes were wide open. Her bonnet was lying nearby. He immediately despatched PC Thain to fetch Dr. Rees Ralph Llewellyn and told PC Mizen to fetch the ambulance.

Whilst waiting for Dr. Llewellyn, he was joined by Henry Tomkins, James Mumford and Charles Bretton who worked at Harrison, Barber & Co, horse slaughterers in nearby Winthrop Street and who he had seen at 3.15am, ie thirty minutes before finding Nichols' body. Neil also rung the bell of Essex Wharf to enquire if a disturbance had been heard, to which the answer was 'no', as well as examining the area around the body, on which he found no traces of wheel-marks. PC Neil remained with the body (in accordance with procedure) until it was removed to the mortuary.[3]

In 1889, John Neil was a reserve police officer, JR 11.[4]

He retired from service in 1897 after receiving an injury whilst on duty.


  1. The Jack the Ripper A-Z, Paul Begg, Martin Fido, Keith Skinner (Headline 1996)
  2. Census reports 1891
  3. Inquest report, The Times, 3rd September 1888
  4. Old Bailey trial, 16th September 1889

This page is part of the Wiki: Jack the Ripper project. If you would like to view or make edits to the wiki source, you may view the original wiki page at: