East London Advertiser
Saturday, 17 November 1888.
Early on Friday morning another shocking murder was perpetrated in the East-end of London, the crime being carried out in a most horrible manner. This is the seventh which has occurred, and the character of the mutilations leaves very little doubt that the murderer in this instance is the same person who has committed the previous ones. The scene of this last atrocity is at No. 26, Dorset-street, Spitalfields, about 200 yards distant from 35, Hanbury-street, where the unfortunate woman, Mary Ann Nichols, was murdered. Although the victim, whose name is Mary Ann (or Mary Jane) Kelly, resides at the above number, the entrance to the room occupies is up a narrow court, in which are some half-a-dozen houses, and which is known as Miller's court; it is entirely separated from the other portion of the house, and has an entrance leading into the court. The house is rented by John M'Carthy, who keeps a small general shop at No. 27, Dorset-street, and the whole of the rooms are let out to tenants of a very poor class. Nearly the whole of the houses in this street are common lodging houses, and the one opposite where this murder was enacted has accommodation for some 300 men, and is fully occupied every night. About 12 months ago Kelly, who was about 24 years of age, and who was considered a good looking young woman, of fair and fresh-coloured complexion, came to Mr. M'Carthy with a man named Joseph Barnett or Kelly, who, she stated was a porter employed at the Spitalfields Market. They rented a room on the ground floor, the same in which the poor woman was murdered, at a rental of 4s. a week. It had been noticed that the woman was somewhat addicted to drink, but Mr. M'Carthy denied having any knowledge that she had been leading a loose or immoral life. About a fortnight ago she had a quarrel with Kelly, and, after blows had been exchanged, the man left the house, or rather room, and did not return. Since then the woman has supported herself as best she could, and the police have ascertained that she has been walking the streets. About 1 o'clock on Friday morning a person living in the court opposite to the room occupied by the murdered woman heard her singing "Sweet Violets," but is unable to say whether anyone else was with her at the time.
A woman named Kennedy however, states about 3 o'clock in the morning she entered Dorset-street on her way to her parents' house, which is situated immediately opposite that in which the murder was committed. She noticed three persons at the corner of the street near the Britannia public-house. There was a young man, respectably dressed, and with a dark moustache, talking to a woman whom she did not know, and also a woman poorly clad, without any headgear. The man and woman appeared the be the worst for liquor, and she heard the man ask, "Are you coming?" Whereupon the woman appeared to be obstinate, and turned in an opposite direction to which the man apparently wished to go. Mrs. Kennedy went on her way and nothing unusual occurred until about half-an-hour later. She did not retire immediately she reached her parents' house and between half-past 3 and a quarter to 4 she heard a cry of "Murder" in a woman's voice, proceed from the direction in which Mary Kelly's room was situated. As the cry was not repeated she took no further notice of the circumstance.
Mrs. Kennedy supplemented this statement by the following: "On Wednesday evening, about 8 o' clock, I and my sister were in the neighbourhood of Bethnal Green-road, when we were accosted by a very suspicious looking man about 40 years of age. He was five feet seven inches high, wore a short jacket, over which he had a long top-coat. He had a black mustache and wore a billycock hat. He invited us to accompany him into a lonely spot, as he was known about there, and there was a policeman looking at him." She asserts that no policeman was in sight. He made several strange remarks, and appeared to be agitated. He was very white in the face and made every endeavour to prevent them looking him straight in the face. He carried a black bag. He avoided walking with them, and led the way into a very dark thoroughfare, at the back of the workhouse, inviting them to follow, which they did. He then pushed open a small door in a pair of large gates, and requested one of them to follow him, remarking, "I only want one of you," whereupon the women became suspicious. He acted in a very strange and suspicious manner, and refused to leave his bag in possession of one of the females. Both women became alarmed at his actions, and escaped, at the same time raising the alarm of "Jack the Ripper." A gentleman who was passing is stated to have intercepted the man, while the women made their escape. Mrs. Kennedy asserts that the man whom she saw on Friday morning with the woman at the corner of Dorset-street resembled very closely the individual who caused such alarm on the night in question, and that she would recognise him again if confronted with him. This description of the man suspected of the murder tallies exactly with that in the possession of the police, and there is very little doubt that the murderer entered the murdered woman's house late on Thursday night or early on Friday morning.
At a quarter to 11, as the woman was 35s. in arrears with her rent, Mr. M'Carthy said to a man employed by him in his shop, "Go to No. 13 (meaning the room occupied by Kelly) and try to get some rent." The man did as he was directed, and on knocking at the door was unable to obtain an answer. He then tried the handle of the door, and found it was locked. On looking through the keyhole he found the key was missing. Through a broken pane of glass he could see the woman lying on the bed naked, covered with blood, and apparently dead. The police were sent for, and Superintendent Arnold, having satisfied himself that the woman was dead, ordered one of the windows to be entirely removed.
then presented itself. The poor woman lay on her back on the bed, entirely naked. Her throat was cut from ear to ear, right down to the spinal column. The ears and nose had been cut clean off. The breasts had also been cleanly cut off and placed on a table which was by the side of the bed. The stomach and abdomen had been ripped open, while the face was slashed about, so that the features were beyond all recognition. The kidneys and heart had also been removed from the body, and placed on the table by the side of the breasts. The liver had likewise been removed, and laid on the right thigh. The lower portion of the body and the uterus had been cut out, and the thighs had been cut. A more horrible or sickening sight could not be imagined. The clothes of the woman were lying by the side of the bed, as though they had been taken off and laid down in the ordinary manner. The bedclothes had been turned down, and this was probably done by the murderer after he had cut his victim's throat. There was no appearance of a struggle having taken place, and, although a careful search of the room was made, no knife or instrument of any kind was found. It was reported that bloodhounds would be laid on to endeavour to trace the murderer, but for some reason this project was not carried out, and, of course, after the streets became thronged with people, that would have had no practical result.
A somewhat important fact has been pointed out, which puts a fresh complexion on the theory of the murders. It appears that the cattle boats bringing live freight to London are in the habit of coming into the Thames on Thursday or Fridays, and leave again for the Continent on Sundays or Mondays. It has already been a matter of comment that the recent revolting crimes have been committed at the week's end, and an opinion has been formed among some of the detectives that the murderer is a drover or butcher employed on one of these boats - of which there are many -and that he periodically appears and disappears with one of the steamers. This theory is held to be of much importance by those engaged in this investigation, who believe that the murderer does not reside in the locality, or even in this country at all. It is pointed out that at the inquests on the previous victims, the coroners had expressed the opinion that the knowledge of physiology possessed by a butcher would have been sufficient to enable him to find and cut out the parts of the body which in several cases were abstracted.
The police made two fruitless arrests in connection with the murder. One man was accused by some woman late on the night of the crime of being the murderer; but was released after a short detention, his statements being satisfactorily verified. The second arrest was made in the small hours of the morning, when a man, apparently a foreigner, was brought to Commercial-street on suspicion. He was also released. The police continue to receive statements from persons who believe they can throw light upon the mysterious side of the murder, but investigations have proved them valueless. On Friday night there was found in the pillar-box at the corner of Northumberland-street and Marylebone-road a letter directed to the police, and its contents were as follows: "Dear Boss, - I shall be busy to-morrow night in Marylebone. I have two booked for blood and --- Yours, JACK THE RIPPER. Look out about 10 o'clock Marylebone-road."
On Monday Dr. Macdonald, M.P., the North-East Middlesex coroner, held an inquest on the body.
Chief Inspectors Abberline, Nairn, and Chandler appeared to represent Sir Charles Warren, the Chief Commissioner of Police, while Detective Inspector Edmund Reid represented the local police. Outside the building a large crowd assembled and the greatest interest was manifested in the proceedings.
The first witness called was Joseph Barnett, labourer. He said he had lived with the deceased about one year and eight months. Her name was Mary Janet Kelly, and her maiden name was Kelly. He had seen the body and identified it by the ears and eyes, which were all that could be seen. They had lived together in room 13, at 9, Miller-court [sic], for about seven or eight months, and he left her last month because she brought a prostitute into the room. It was true that he was out of work at the time, but that had nothing whatever to do with their separation. On the night previous to her murder he saw her at her room, having visited her to see after her welfare. He stayed with her about a quarter of an hour, and they parted on the very best of terms, but did not have any drink together, and both were quite sober. He always found her to be a sober woman, but she had been drunk in his presence. She had told him that she was born in Limerick, and from there she went to Wales. She had not told him how long she was in Wales, but he knew that she had been in London about four years. Her father John Kelly, was a "gaffer" in an iron-foundry. She told him that she had six brothers living at home and one in the army. She said that she had been married when in Carnarvon to a collier, whose name was either Davids or Davis, and that she lived with her husband until he was killed in an explosion. After her husband's death she went to Cardiff to see her cousin. She remained at Cardiff some time, living a bad life with her cousin. Witness had often told her that he considered her cousin was the cause of her downfall. From Cardiff she came to London, where she lived in the West End as the "madam" of a gay house. A gentleman came to her there, and asked if she would like to go to France, as she could do well there. She went to France, but did not remain there long, because she said that she did not like it. When she returned from France she came to Ratcliffe Highway in the East End. From what she said she must have been there some considerable time. He first picked up with her in Commercial-street, Whitechapel. They had a drink together, and he made arrangements to see her on the following day, and they agreed then to remain together. Witness had heard her say that she was frightened to go out. She had never expressed any fear of any particular persons. He lived with her from the time he met her until a fortnight before her death.
Thomas Bowyer, of 37, Dorset-street, Spitalfields, salesman, said that about 11 o'clock on Friday morning last he was requested by his employer Mr. C. McCarthy, to go to "Mary Jane's" room. That was the name she was known by. He went to collect some rent, the deceased being a little in arrears. He knocked twice, and getting no answer, went round by the gutter spout and looked in at a broken window. There was a curtain over it, and put his hand in and pulled up the curtain. He then saw two lumps of flesh lying on the table which was close against the bed. Upon looking a second time he saw the body of a person lying on the bed, and blood on the floor. He at once went back to his master's and told him what he had seen. Both of them then went to the police-station and informed the officials.
James McCarthy was called next, and deposed that he was a grocer and lodging-house keeper. He had known the deceased by the name of Mary Jane Kelly, and he identified her in the mortuary. "How long," asked the coroner, "had the deceased and Joe lived in the room?" "About 18 months," answered the witness. "Did you know they were married or did you try to find out?" asked the coroner again. "No," replied the witness; "I did not think that was necessary." All the furniture belonged to the witness, and the rent was 4s. 6d. per week. The deceased was 29s. in arrears of rent.
Mary Ann Cox stated that she was a widow living at No. 5 room in the same house as the deceased. Witness was an "unfortunate." She last saw the deceased alive just before midnight on Thursday when she was very drunk. She was in the company of a short stout man shabbily dressed. They were going down the court to the deceased's room. He had on a rather long dark coat and had a pot of ale in his hand. He also wore a black billycock hat. His face was rather broad, and he had a full, carrotty beard. Witness saw them going into the house, and she said "Good night, Mary." The deceased said "Good night, I am going to have a song," and then she banged the door. Witness went into her own room and heard the deceased singing, "A violet I picked from mother's grave when a boy." Witness went out in about a quarter of an hour leaving the deceased still singing. When witness came in at 1 o'clock the deceased was still singing. She went out again and returned to her room at 3 o'clock in the morning, but did not sleep a wink during the whole night, and was still awake when the man called for the rent. During the whole night she did not hear any noise of a struggle. She should say the age of the man who was with the deceased was about 35 years.
Mrs. Elizabeth Prater, wife of a boot machinist, who had deserted her for the last five years, lived in a room above that lately occupied by the deceased. She was "out on the streets." When she went to bed on the Thursday evening it was about a quarter past 1 o' clock, but before she retired she barricaded the door with two tables and a chair. She had been having a deal to drink that night, so went to sleep immediately she lay down. Witness had a little black kitten called "Diddles" and at about a quarter past 4 o'clock in the morning it walked on to her face and awakened her. Almost immediately she heard a faint cry of "Oh! Murder!" In the neighborhood it was a common thing to hear a cry of "Murder," so witness took no notice of it. The noise appeared to come from a room under her own. She heard no singing in the house the whole night. She was certain that nobody was singing at 1 o clock.
Caroline Maxwell, 14, Dorset-street, wife of the lodging-house deputy, deposed that she knew that the deceased got her living by prostitution. She was a young woman who kept herself to herself, and did not mix up with anybody. Witness saw her at the entry of the court at about 8 o'clock on the Friday morning and said, "Why, Mary, what brings you up so early?" She replied, "Oh, I do feel so bad, Carrie." Witness said, "Will you have a drink?" but the deceased replied, "No; I have just had a half-pint of ale and I had to fetch it up." Witness saw that she had been vomiting close by where she stood. Witness then left her and said, "I can pity your feelings." Witness went to Bishopsgate-street to get her husband something, and upon her return she saw the deceased talking to a man outside the Britannia public-house at about a quarter to 9 o'clock. The man was dressed in a black suit, and seemed to be of medium height and stout.
Sarah Lewis, living at 24, Great Pearl-street, a laundress, said that she went to Miller's-court on Friday morning at half-past 2 o'clock. When she went into the court she saw a man standing outside the lodging-house door. He was not very tall, but was stout looking. He wore a black suit and had a black hat. The man was looking very eagerly up the court as if he was waiting for somebody to come out. She also saw another rather young looking man. She then went to the house of one of her friends and went to bed there. She did not hear any noise or anybody singing. She woke up about half-past 3 o'clock in the morning because she was sleepless. A little before 4 o'clock she heard a female's voice scream out "Murder!" loudly, and witness thought that it came from the house opposite. It was only one scream. Cries of "Murder!" were so common in Whitechapel that she took no notice of it. On Wednesday night witness was with another woman going down the Bethnal Green-road when they met a man rather respectably dressed, who stopped witness and asked her to go down a court with him. He carried a large black bag. Witness refused to go with the man, who said, "What are you afraid of? Do you think that I have anything in my bag?" He then went away. The time was about half past 8 or 9 o'clock at night. He was dressed in black having on a long overcoat and short coat underneath. He had pepper and salt trousers and wore a big black billycock hat. On Friday, the day that the deceased was found murdered, at about half-past 2 o'clock in the morning, witness saw the man standing in Commercial-street speaking to a woman.
Dr. George B. Phillips, divisional surgeon of police stated that he was called by the police on Friday morning last about 11 o'clock and proceeded to Miller-court. He went into a room having two windows looking out into a court. Two of the panes were broken, and, as the door was locked, he looked through one of the broken windows and satisfied himself that the mutilated corpse lying on the bed was not in need of any immediate attention from him. Thinking that it was advisable that no entrance should be made into the room at that time nothing was done until half-past 1 o'clock, when the door was broken open by Mr. M'Carthy, who was ready with a pickaxe to break it in at any minute. The order for the forcible entry was given by Inspector Arnold. On the door being opened, the body of the woman was found lying on the bed, two-thirds over towards the edge of the bed nearest the door of entry. She was only clad in a linen undergarment, and from his subsequent examination he was sure that the body had been removed, subsequent to the injury that had caused her death, from the side of the bedstead which was touching the wooden partition. The large quantity of blood under the bedstead and the saturated condition of the palliasse, pillows, &c., led witness to the conclusion that it was the severance of the right carotid artery which was the immediate cause of death.
Julia Vanternie, a German said that she lived in Miller-court, and knew the deceased, who was an unfortunate. The man "Joe," who was living with her, objected to her going on the streets. The deceased had lived with another man, whom she was very fond of. She had said to witness, "Joe has been a good fellow to me. I shall have to leave him." On the night of the murder witness felt strange, thinking that she heard noises. The deceased was singing some Irish songs during the night.
Inspector Walter Banks [Beck] said that he was the first police officer on the scene of the murder. He did not give orders to have the door forced, and he did not know who did.
Inspector Abberline stated that he was in charge of this case. He was requested by Dr. Phillips not to have the door forced. They remained until about 1:30 when Superintendent Arnold arrived, who then gave the directions for the forcing of the door. Witness himself looked into the room from the window, and the scene was the same as described by Dr. Phillips. All about the room there was evidence of clothing having been burnt. He should think that the murderer must have put the clothes on the fire so as to have more light in mutilating his victim. - The Coroner left it to the jury, as that was all the evidence that could at present be given, whether there should be an adjournment. - The jury at once returned a verdict of wilful murder against some person or persons unknown.
A remarkable statement was made on Tuesday night by a labourer named Hutchinson, who professes to have been talking with Kelly at 2 o'clock on Friday morning, when she was addressed by the "gentleman" who accompanied her to her room. In the course of his statement Hutchinson said: My suspicions were aroused by seeing the man so well dressed, but I had no suspicion that he was the murderer. The man was about 5ft. 6 in. in height, and 34 or 35 years of age, with dark complexion and dark moustache turned up at the ends. He was wearing a long dark coat, trimmed with Astrachan, a white collar with black necktie, in which was affixed a horseshoe pin. He wore a pair of dark "spats" with light buttons, over button boots, and displayed from his waistcoat a massive gold chain. His watch chain had a big seal with a red stone hanging from it. He had a heavy moustache curled up, and dark eyes and bushy eyebrows. He had no side whiskers and his chin was clean shaven. He looked like a foreigner.
On Monday night the police made a thorough search of the casual wards in the East-end, but no discovery of importance was made. In the course of the night, however, a message was received from the Holborn casual ward that one of the temporary inmates was behaving suspiciously. Constables were sent to the place, and arrested a rough-looking fellow, who gave the name of Thomas Murphy. He was taken to the police-station at Frederick-street, King's Cross-road, where, on being searched, he was found to have in his possession a formidable-looking knife with a blade about 10 inches long. He was detained in custody. Inquiries are again being made at lunatic asylums and workhouse infirmaries, with the object of obtaining a list as complete as possible of men discharged as cured within the last few months, who had previously been afflicted with dangerous mania.
Several men who, while drunk, had charged themselves with being the murderer, were brought before the magistrates on Tuesday, and sent to gaol for 14 days without having the option of paying a fine.
It has been settled that the funeral of the murdered woman Kelly shall take place on Monday next. The hearse will leave the Shoreditch Mortuary at 11 o'clock, and the remains will be interred in Chingford Cemetery.
Though investigation is being made, the police have not yet discovered the men who, it is alleged, had the interview with the fruiterer Packer, and to one of whom the startling statement published yesterday is attributed.
|Press Reports: East London Advertiser - 17 November 1888|
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|George Hutchinson (Br.)|
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|Mary Jane Kelly|
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