East London Advertiser
Saturday, 14 April 1888.
On Saturday the East Middlesex coroner held an inquiry at the London Hospital, Whitechapel, on the body of Emma Elizabeth Smith, aged 45, a widow, who was brutally assaulted when returning home along the Whitechapel-road on Bank Holiday night. Mary Russell, the deputy of a common lodging-house at which the deceased had been a lodger for some months, said that on Bank Holiday, the deceased left the house in the evening, apparently in good health. She returned between 4 and 5 o’clock the next morning, and she had been shockingly treated by some men. Her face was bleeding, and she said that she was also injured about the lower part of the body. The deceased had often come home with black eyes that men had given her. – Mr. George Haslip, house surgeon, deposed that the deceased was admitted suffering from severe injuries, which he thought had been caused by some blunt instrument. She had been drinking, but was not intoxicated. She had a ruptured pirinium of very recent date, and also some bruises on her head. Her right ear was torn and bleeding. She told witness that at 1:30 that morning she was going by Whitechapel Church when she saw some men coming, and she crossed the road to get out of their way, but they followed her. They assaulted her and robbed her of all the money she had. She could not describe the men, except that one looked a youth of 19. After her admission she gradually sank, and died two days later. The deceased stated that she had not seen any of her friends for 10 years. – The Coroner said from the medical evidence it was clear that the woman had been barbarously murdered. Such a dastardly assault he had never heard of, and it was impossible to imagine a more brutal case. The jury returned a verdict of wilful murder against some person unknown.