20 September 1888
The inquest into the latest of the Whitechapel murder cases was resumed yesterday, when among those who gave evidence were the man who has been spoken of as "the pensioner;" a woman who saw the deceased talking to a man in Hanbury street a few minutes before she is believed to have been murdered; and Dr. Phillips, who stated that important portions of the body were missing. The inquest was adjourned till next Wednesday.
The Queen went out yesterday morning, accompanied by Princess Beatrice, and in the afternoon Her Majesty drove to the Linn of Muich, accompanied by Princess Alice of Hesse, and attended by the Hon. Harriet Phipps.
Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Albany visited the Queen.
Prince Albert Victor of Wales went out deerstalking.
We do not see why any one in the East end or West end either, should be angry at the Home Secretary's refusal to offer a reward for information that might lead to the conviction of the Whitechapel murderer. In the first place we cannot believe that anybody with the remotest suspicions of a murderer so inhuman would hesitate for a moment to convey them to the police, and that without thought of reward. Therefore, the offer would probably be useless. In the next place the Home Secretary's assurance about past experience is conclusive. If rewards were given for information about crimes we might expect people to withhold until the reward was offered what it was their duty to make known at once. Much time would thus be lost in tracing the criminal, who would have the start of the informer. Other objections to such rewards are easily conceived; but it is enough to point out the bad lesson they teach the people. Good citizens should not need any inducement to denounce criminals.
Yesterday Mr. Wynne E. Baxter resumed, at the Working Lads' Institute, Whitechapel road, the inquest into the murder of Annie Chapman, aged 48, who was found dead and horribly mutilated in the back yard of the house, 29 Hanbury street, Spitalfields, about six o'clock on the morning of the 8th inst.
Eliza Cooper deposed that she lodged at 35 Dorset street, Spitalfields, and was a hawker. She quarrelled with the deceased on the Tuesday before her death. That was on the 4th of September. On the previous Saturday the deceased brought Stanley with her to 35 Dorset street, where she took a piece of soap belonging to the witness and lent it to Stanley, but did not return it. On the Tuesday morning she met the deceased again in the kitchen at 35 Dorset street, and said to her, "Perhaps you'll return my soap." The deceased replied, "Never mind your soap. Here's a halfpenny." They began to quarrel but went to a neighbouring public house, called The Ringers, where the quarrel was continued. The deceased slapped the witness's face, and the witness gave her a blow on the chest. She last saw her alive on the following day in the same public house. The deceased was then wearing three brass rings on the third finger of the left hand. She had never had a gold wedding ring during the fifteen months that the witness had known her. She associated with the man Stanley, with Harry the Hawker, and several others.
Questioned by jurymen, the witness could not sat whether any of the "several other" men that the deceased knew were missing. She used to being them to the lodging house.
Dr. G.B. Phillips, divisional police surgeon, having been recalled, the Coroner said that since the last meeting he had come to the conclusion that all the evidence which the witness could give in consequence of having made the post mortem examination should be on the records of the Court. However painful that course might be, it was necessary in the interests of justice.
Dr. Phillips bowed to this decision, but regretted that the Coroner had felt bound to come to it. Proceeding to give his evidence, the witness said that on the last occasion he mentioned that there were several reasons why it appeared that whoever cut the deceased's throat seized her by the chin when doing so. On the left side below the lower jaw there were three scratches of recent age. There was a bruise on the right cheek, and a well marked bruise at a point corresponding with the abrasions on the left side. He had watched these bruises, and found that they became much more distinct. As for the injuries to the abdomen he thought that to give the details would thwart the ends of justice.
The Coroner - Justice has had a long time to work in, but I see ladies and boys in the court, and at all events I feel bound to say that they ought to leave.
The direction having been complied with, the Coroner remarked that they were bound to take evidence regarding the injuries to the parts of the body other than the head and throat; but whether it ought to be made public or not was for the consideration of the Press.
The Foreman - The jury are of opinion that the evidence which the doctor wished to keep back should be heard.
The Coroner had never before heard of a request to keep back evidence at an inquest.
Dr. Phillips - I leave myself entirely in the hands of the Court.
The Coroner - I delayed the evidence in question as long as possible because I understood you to say that there were reasons which you knew, but which I don't know, why that course was desirable in the interests of justice. It is now however nearly a fortnight since the death, and therefore justice has had some little time to avenge itself.
Dr. Phillips remarked that details respecting the injuries to the abdomen would not elucidate the cause of death, because death took place before they were affected.
The Coroner had no doubt that the doctor's opinion was right, but after all it might possible be contradicted by another medical opinion.
Dr. Phillips then gave details respecting the injuries to the body, stating among other things that important portions of the anatomy were missing when the deceased was found. In his opinion the weapon used was five or six inches long if not more, and was very sharp. The perpetrator must have had some anatomical knowledge. Had the witness been dissecting, with nothing to struggle against, he could not have carried out in less than a quarter of an hour such cutting operations as had been performed on the deceased; and if he had worked with the deliberation due to a surgical operation he would probably have taken the best part of an hour.
The Foreman of the Jury - If a photograph had been taken of the eyes might it have shown the portrait of the murderer?
Dr. Phillips was understood to say that he had no practical experience which would enable him to answer his question.
The Foreman - Might not bloodhounds have been used?
Dr. Phillips - My opinion was asked on that point early in the case, and I said it would be useless. Bloodhounds would be more likely to trace the blood of the deceased than anything else.
In answer to the Coroner, Dr. Phillips said the symptoms which he found in the body were consistent with partial suffocation.
Elizabeth Long deposed that she was a married woman living at 3 Church Row. On the morning of the murder she was going along Hanbury street on her way to Spitalfields Market. A neighbouring clock had just struck half past five. She saw a man come to a woman and stand and talk with her near No. 29. The witness saw the woman's face. She had never seen her before, but she recognised the deceased when she saw her in the mortuary as the same person.
The Coroner - Are you sure?
The Witness - Oh, yes.
The Coroner - Did you see the man's face?
The witness replied that she did not, and she could not recognise him again. He was, however, dark complexioned and was wearing a brown deerstalker hat. She thought he was wearing a dark coat, but could not be sure.
Was he a man or a boy? - Oh, he was a man over forty, as far as I could tell. He seemed to be a little taller than the deceased. He looked to me like a foreigner, as well as I could make out.
Was he a labourer or what? - He looked what I should call shabby genteel.
Were they talking loud? - Yes; I heard him say, "Will you?" and she said, "Yes." That is all I heard.
Did you see where they went to? - Oh no, sir! I left them standing and went to my work.
Did they appear sober? - I don't know, sir. I did not take particular notice of them. I did not see anything that made me think they were the worse for drink.
Was it not unusual to see a man and a woman talking together at that hour? - No; I see lots of them.
The Foreman remarked that, according to the doctor, the deceased had been dead about two hours when found at six o'clock.
The Coroner - Yes; but he qualified it very much.
The witness, questioned further, was quite sure that it was half past five when she saw the deceased talking to a man in Hanbury street.
Edward Stanley, No. 1 Oswald place, Oswald street, Spitalfields, said he was a bricklayer's labourer but was known as "The Pensioner." He had visited the deceased once or twice at the lodging house, 35 Dorset street, and had been with her elsewhere a few times. He last saw alive on Sunday, the 2nd inst., between one and three o'clock in the afternoon. She was then wearing two rings, which he was inclined to think were brass. He did not know that she was on bad terms with anybody. On the occasion that he referred to she had a black eye, and she said something to him about having a quarrel.
A Juror - Are you the man that went to the lodging house in Dorset street with her week after week?
The Witness - No, sir, I have never done so; only once or twice.
The Coroner - Are you a pensioner?
The Witness - Can I not object to that question? It has nothing to do with the case.
The Coroner - Yes it has. It was aid that the man she used to meet had just been to draw his pension.
The Witness - Then it was not me.
Have you ever belonged to the Royal Sussex Regiment? - No.
Timothy Donovan, the deputy at the lodging house, was recalled and said that Edward Stanley, then present, was the man whom he called the pensioner. It was he that used to come to the lodging house with the deceased and stay with her from Saturday to Monday. He had also told the witness not to let her in if she had any other man with her. Saturday, September 1st, was the last time that witness saw him with the deceased.
The Coroner - What have you to say to that, Mr. Stanley?
Stanley - You can cross it all out, sir. You are talking to an honest man when you talk to me, sir - a man that speaks the truth. I was at Gosport from the 8th August to September 1st, so I could not have been with the deceased.
Albert Cadosch, carpenter, testified that he lived at 27 Hanbury street, next door to the house at the back of which the deceased was found. On that morning he got up about a quarter past five and went into the back yard. As he was returning into the house he heard a voice quite near. He could not be sure that it came from the yard of No. 29. Three or four minutes the witness was again in the yard of the house in which he lived, and heard "a sort of fall" against the fence. He did not look to see what it was.
The Coroner - Had you heard any previous noise? - No, sir.
Did you then leave the house? - Yes, sir, to go to work. It was about two minutes after half past five.
At that time in the morning do you often hear people in these yards? - Now and then. They make packing cases at 29, and I sometimes hear them.
The Foreman - Had you not the curiosity to look over the palings when you heard the fall?
The Witness - Well, now and then a packing case falls against the palings, and I did not think that there was anything wrong.
William Stevens, painter, lodging at 35 Dorset street, said he knew the deceased and last saw her alive about twenty minutes past midnight of the day before her murder. She was in the kitchen of the lodging house. She was not the worse for drink. Her rings were on her fingers. He did not know of anyone that she was on bad terms with.
The Coroner - It is a question now whether the jury will give their verdict on an early date or adjourn for some time to await the result of police inquiries.
A Juror - is there any chance of a Government reward?
The Coroner shook his head, apparently to indicate that he did not know.
The Foreman - Mr. Montagu, M.P., has offered a reward.
The Juror - There is more dignity about a Government reward.
The inquest was adjourned till Wednesday at 2.30, with the understanding that it would be completed then.
The indignation at the East end owing to the attitude of the Home Office is rapidly increasing, and yesterday morning a meeting of the Vigilance Committee, of which Mr. Lusk is president, met again at 74 Mile End road, for the purpose of receiving the reports of their honorary officers in the matter. From the statements of Mr. Aarons, Mr. B. Harris, Mr. Cohen, and the President himself, there appeared to be some thousands of the better classes at the East end who believe that a substantial Government reward would bring about the apprehension of the murderer, and all donors or non-donors to the reward fund, now steadily increasing, were loud in their denunciation of the police authorities and the Home Office for declining to offer a reward.
The Secretary said that on the 15th inst. the Committee sent a letter to the Home Secretary, which was to the following effect:- "At a meeting of the Committee of Gentlemen held at 74 Mile End road, E., it was resolved to approach you upon the subject of the reward we are about to offer for the discovery of the author or authors of the late atrocities in the East end of London, and to ask you, sir, to augment our fund for the said purpose, or kindly state your reasons for refusing." To this letter he had received the following communication:-
"Whitehall, Sept. 17, 1888.
Sir, - I am directed by the Secretary of State to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 16th inst. with reference to the question of the offer of a reward for the discovery of the perpetrators of the recent murders in Whitechapel, and I am to inform you that, had the Secretary of State considered the case a proper one for the offer of a reward, he would at once have offered one on behalf of the Government, but that the practice of offering rewards for the discovery of criminals was discontinued some years ago, because experience showed that such offers of reward tended to produce more harm than good, and the Secretary of state is satisfied that there is nothing in the circumstances of the present case to justify a departure from this rule.
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
G. Leigh Pemberton.
Mr. B. Harris, The Crown, 74 Mile End road, E."
The landlord of the hotel in Finsbury, where the man Weitzel, now in custody charged with attempting to stab a youth in Whitechapel, stayed at various times, has made the following statement to a Press representative:- "I must say I have been very suspicious of the man since the last murder at Whitechapel. On the day after that event, that is Sunday, he called here about nine o'clock in a very dirty state and asked to be allowed to wash. He said he had been out all night, and began to talk about the Spitalfields affair. He wore a felt hat, a dirty greyish suit, and yellow seaside slippers. He brought with him a case of razors and a large pair of scissors, and after a time he wanted to shave me. I did not like the way he went on, and refused. Previous to this I had not seen him for about 18 months, and he made most contradictory statements as to where he had been. I did not see whether he had any blood on his hands, as has been said, for I did not watch him very closely and wanted to get him out of the place is as soon as possible. He is a most extraordinary man, is always in a bad temper, and grinds his teeth with rage at any little thing which puts him out. I believe he has some knowledge of anatomy, as he was for some time an assistant to some doctors in the German army, and helped to dissect bodies. He always carries some razors and a pair of scissors with him, and when he came here again on Monday night last he produced them. He was annoyed because I would not let him sleep here, and threw down the razors in a passion, swearing at the same time. If there had been a policeman near, I should have given him into custody. I noticed on this occasion a great change in his dress. Whereas on the former visit he looked very untidy, he was this time wearing a top hat, and looked rather smart. He has told me that he had been living in the West end, but I believe he is well known at the cheap lodging houses in Whitechapel. From what he has said to me, I knew he was in the habit of associating with low women. On Monday last he remained here till about one o'clock, and I then turned him out, as he is a very disagreeable fellow and very dirty in his habits. The police have not been to see me yet about him."