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East London Advertiser
Saturday, 21 February 1891.

Whatever may be the real strength of the case against John Sadler, there is little reason to doubt that the actual "Ripper" is still at large. We still speak of the assassin as a man, but it now appears possible that the crimes may one day be brought home to a woman. Sadler may be innocent of this particular murder, but, at any rate, the circumstances seem to take it out of the category of the "Ripper's" achievements. The fatal cut in the throat was not done with anything like the hideous dexterity of the other murders. It is not a lunatic who is the author of the crimes. No downright lunatic would have kept quiet for so long a time. Again, it is almost certain that the "Ripper" is not a sailor attached to any vessel in the Port of London, nor a cattle-boat man. Another point to be noted is that there seems very little chance of taking the "Ripper" unless he (or she) be caught in the very act. The sudden and complete disappearance immediately on the doing of the deed is one of the most extraordinary circumstances. The utmost possible use should be made by the police of the class of "unfortunates" from whom all the victims have, without exception, been selected. The spots in Whitechapel chosen by the murderer should be continuously watched. They all lie close together; the "Ripper" has never strayed far from a certain well-known and well-defined area.




As briefly stated in our last issue, a woman was found early on the morning of Friday with her throat cut, under an archway, leading from Swallow-gardens to Ormond-street, Whitechapel.


Detective-sergeants Record and Kuhrd on Saturday night discovered the father of the deceased, James William Cole, in Bermondsey Workhouse, where he has been living for eight years, and Mary Ann Cole, her sister, who lives in Kingsland. The old man, who is very feeble, was taken to the mortuary in a cab, and had no difficulty in identifying the body as that of Frances Cole, his daughter. Another sister, named Selina, is also known to be living at Kingsland. The deceased was at one time engaged as a labeller at a wholesale chemist's factory in the Minories. It has transpired that she left her lodgings in Thrawl-street about five weeks ago, but on Thursday last, between 9 and 10 o'clock, returned and asked her landlady, Mrs. Hague, to let her come back, and promised to pay what she owed. She then went away, but Mrs. Hague subsequently saw her in a public-house at the corner of Montague-street. She was with a man, who was treating her to drink. He was of fair complexion, and had a light moustache. Mrs. Hague also identified the body.


A man named James Sadler was on Saturday arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the murder and detained in custody at the Leman-street Police-station. Sadler had been questioned early in the morning by a police-sergeant, who noticed that his clothes were stained with blood, but, as he gave a plausible account of himself, he was not detained. Later on, when the sergeant received news of the murder, his suspicions were aroused, and he gave information which led to Sadler's arrest. Sadler, who is a ship's fireman, admits having been in the company of the murdered woman, Frances Cole, up to a late hour on Friday night; and on Sunday he was formally charged with the murder.

A second arrest was made at 1 o'clock on Saturday by two officers of the M division, in a street leading from Thames-street. He was a short thin man, in very ragged attire, having the appearance of a seafarer. He was taken direct to Leman-street station and examined, but he gave a satisfactory account of himself, and was released at 4 in the afternoon.


The inquest on the body of the woman Frances Cole was opened on Saturday by Mr. W. E. Baxter, at the Working Lads' Institute, Whitechapel. The summonses to the jury described the deceased as "a woman unknown."

Police-constable Ernest Thompson deposed that he went on duty at 10 o'clock on Thursday night. His beat was in Chamber-street and Preston-street. He went down one of the passages about 2:15 on Friday morning, opposite the Schools in Chambers-street, and found the deceased lying in the roadway. He had heard footsteps when going up Chamber-street. They were going in the direction of Mansell-street at a walking pace, but he saw no one. He was then 80 yards from the arch. Nobody was going in the opposite direction. He could not say if the person whose footsteps he heard had come from the arch. As soon as the constables came up the doctors were sent for. - Police-constable Frederick Higham deposed that he heard a whistle blown about 2:15 on Friday morning. He was then about 250 yards from the arches. He ran to the spot and saw the last witness with the deceased, who was lying in the centre of the roadway. He went for Dr. Oxley, who came shortly afterwards. Witness afterwards searched the vicinity, but saw no person who was likely to have committed the deed. - Police-constable Elliott deposed that he was on duty in plain clothes on the night in question in Royal Mint-street. Shortly after 2 o'clock he heard a whistle blown, and on going to Swallow-gardens saw a constable with his lamp turned on the body of a woman. Had a cry for help been raised he must have heard it, but everything was very quiet till he heard a whistle. - The case was then adjourned.

Mr. Wynne Baxter on Tuesday morning resumed the inquiry. - Superintendent Arnold watched the proceedings on behalf of the police; Mr. Charles Mathew appeared on behalf of the Public Prosecutor; John Thomas Sadler, who is in custody charged with the wilful murder of Cole, was not represented. Very few people were present during the proceedings.

James William Cole, an inmate of the Bermondsey Workhouse, was the first witness called, and deposed that he went to the mortuary on Saturday night and identified the deceased as his daughter, Frances, aged 26. He last saw her alive on Friday, 6th February, when she came to the workhouse. She said she was living at 32, Richard-street, Commercial-road. He had since found this to be untrue. She worked for a wholesale chemist in the Minories. She had a mark on the ear for three or four years as though it had been torn by an earring. When she went to the workhouse she promised to see him again on the following Sunday.

Mary Ann Cole, single, living at 32, Mare-street, deposed that she went to the mortuary on Saturday last and identified the body as that of her sister. She had last seen her on the Friday after Christmas. At her request witness gave her something to eat and drink. She saw the deceased at the mortuary on Sunday. Some of the underclothing worn by her was given her by witness. The hat was trimmed with black crape, and she wore a black long jacket. She did not know the deceased had left her employment.

Peter Lorenzo Hawkes, assistant to his mother, a milliner in Nottingham-street, Bethnal-green, said that between 7 and 8 o'clock on Thursday a woman came into his mother's shop. He had since, on Friday last, identified the deceased as the woman. She asked to be shewn some hats, and witness sold her one, price 1s. 11 1/2d., which she paid for by a two-shilling piece. After she got outside she went away in company with a man who had been looking in at the window. He had been to the mortuary and identified the hat which he saw there as the one he had sold. On Saturday he went to the Leman-street police-station, where he saw 20 or more men, and he then picked out Sadler as the man who had looked through the shop window.

Samuel Harris, a fish-curer, said about 8 o'clock on Thursday he arrived at 8, White's-row, Bethnal Green, where he lodged. On going into the kitchen he saw the deceased before the fire with her head leaning on the table, as though asleep. At about 11:30 a man dressed as a sailor came in the kitchen. He looked round, and then sat down on the form beside the woman. He asked her if she had any money for her lodging, and she waking up replied "No." He then said, "I have been robbed, and if I knew who did it I would do for them." Turning to witness he said: "Can I go up to bed till to-morrow morning?" and he shewed witness a certificate shewing that he was entitled to 4 odd. Witness said he had nothing to do with letting the beds. The man then asked witness to mind the certificate till the next morning, and he replied that he could not. They all three remained in the kitchen till half-past 12, when the man left the house. The deceased followed in a few minutes. He saw no more of them that night. He had identified the man as Sadler, and gave information to the police. When he said he would do for those who had assaulted him he had a fresh bleeding wound over the left eye. He did not notice any particular stains of blood on the man's clothing when he was in the kitchen, nor did he when the man was arrested.

After some further evidence, the inquiry was adjourned till Friday.


At the Thames Police-court on Monday, before Mr. Mead, James Thomas Sadler, 53, described as a ship's fireman, residing at the Victoria lodging-house, Upper East Smithfield, was charged by Detective-Inspector Moore, of the Criminal Investigation Department, with wilfully causing the death of Frances Cole, by cutting her throat with a knife, or some sharp instrument, at Swallow-gardens, on the 13th inst.

Superintendent T. Arnold and Chief Inspector Swanson watched the case on behalf of the Commissioners of Police.

Samuel Harris was the first witness called, and, in answer to the magistrate's clerk, said: I am a fish-curer, and live at 8, White's-row, Spitalfields. I was in my dwelling-house about half-past 9 on Thursday evening. I had been there about an hour and a half when I saw a woman whom I knew by the name of Frances. She was sitting on a form, with her head resting on the table. That was in the kitchen of the lodging-house. About half-past 11 I saw a man come in. The prisoner is that man. He was alone. He looked round the kitchen, in which there were other men and women, and then he sat down by the side of Frances. I heard him ask her if she had any lodging money. She looked up at him and again laid her head on the table, but made no reply. He then said, "I have been robbed, and if I knew who had done it I would do for them." About half-past 12 he went out alone, and the woman still remained in the kitchen. Before he went out he produced a certificate- a money discharge. He asked me to let him go up to bed, and I could take care of the document. I noticed he had to take about 4 odd. About three or four minutes afterwards I saw Frances tuck a black crpe hat under her dress. At the time she was wearing another hat. She then walked out.
By the Clerk: The following afternoon the police took me to the mortuary, and I recognised the woman.
The Prisoner: I wish to jog his memory about what he said about the robbery. The girl was with me when I was robbed. Just read that part again, please.
The Clerk having done so, the accused said: I wish him to verify that statement, or to draw it back - that I would do for them.
Witness: You did say that. Prisoner was drunk, and so was the woman. I noticed he had a bruise over the left eye, and blood was coming from the place where I now see the mark.
The Prisoner: I had a lot of blood on this side, too, which he does not seem to have noticed.

Sergeant W. Edwards said: Shortly before 2 o'clock on Friday morning I was on duty on the Mint Pavement. I saw the prisoner, who, in my opinion, was drunk. I could see he was suffering from a cut over the left eye; and he said he had been knocked about by some men at the dock gates. I asked him how it occurred. He replied, "I was going to my ship, which is lying in the dock, and the gatekeeper refused to admit me, as I dare say I was drunk. The gatekeeper told me if it wasn't for one man, a metropolitan constable, who was there, he would give me what I deserved - a good hiding; and if the officer would only turn his back he would do it then. The constable walked away, when a gang of dock labourers came out of the gates, started on me, knocked me down, and kicked me in the ribs. I believe my ribs are broken." I walked about 30 yards with the prisoner, and I examined his ribs to see if they were broken. I was not satisfied, and offered to take him to the hospital. Constable Hyde came up, and he also examined his ribs, and we then thought he was all right. Prisoner said: "I believe I am not so much hurt as I thought I was," and then he walked towards the Minories. At 2:45 I was informed that the body of a woman had been found. When I saw the prisoner I was about 500 yards from Swallow-gardens. In my opinion, he was certainly drunk. I saw nothing of the woman previously.
The Prisoner: I think he is pretty near the mark. I was drunk and thought I was going the other way.

William Fewell said: I am night porter in the receiving-room of the London Hospital. A little before 5 on Friday morning I was on duty in the receiving-room when the man in the dock came in with a lacerated scalp and a small cut over the eye. I trimmed the hair from the scalp wound, which was on the right side, and also washed his face. I asked him how he came by it, and he replied, "The truth of it is, I have been with a woman and she has done me." I asked him whether it was for much. He replied, "Only for 7s. or 8s. and a watch. I shouldn't have minded that, but they knocked me about." Prisoner was trembling very much, and I asked him why he trembled so. He said. "I am so cold. I have been walking about. Can you give me something to warm me?" I told him I had nothing to give him, and persuaded him to go on to his lodgings. He said, "Unfortunately, I have got none. I have only been on shore one night, and have not secured any." He also told me his ship was lying in the London Dock. I saw there was blood on his hands, and asked him if they were cut. It was some few seconds before he answered, and before doing so he put up his hands and looked at them. He then said, "Yes, my finger is cut. He (or they) had a knife." I looked at the finger and saw that it was only a slight cut. I then said, "All the blood cannot come from that little cut." He replied: "Well, if it didn't come from that it came from my head." I asked him where it happened, and he said, "In Ratcliff-highway, near Leman-street." He also added that he had been into one or two places to get a few halfpence, so that he could buy refreshments, but they chucked him out. If he could borrow a little he would be willing to pay treble for it, as he had 5 to draw. The receiving-room nurse then dressed his wound, as it was too slight for the doctor to be called. As he seemed so queer I let him lie on a sofa, and he went to sleep. He slept for an hour and a-half. Then I woke him up, and told him he would have to go, as I was soon going off duty. I gave him a penny, and he seemed grateful for it, and went away.
Mr. Mead: Do you want to ask the witness any questions?
The Prisoner: There are two or three little things, but I am not in good trim to cross-examine. I am thoroughly hungry and cold. I have had nothing since tea-time last night, and I don't feel fit to take an interest in the proceedings. I have been shifted from one cold cell to another, and my clothes have been taken off me at the will and option of the police and doctors. I have not anything to ask now. I am not fit to do it. There are one or two things wrong in what he says; but I can't ask anything now. I am really too hungry.
Mr. Mead: Now, let us have some evidence about the finding of the body.

Superintendent Arnold said: Shortly after 3 o'clock on the morning of the 13th I went to Swallow-gardens. I there saw the body of the female, with a cut in her throat. She was dead. That is the body which Harris afterwards saw. I now ask for a remand.
Mr. Mead: Have you any questions to ask?
The Prisoner: I should like something to eat.
Superintendent Arnold: You shall have something.
The Prisoner: It's about time.
Mr. Mead: You are remanded until next Tuesday.




This Board met on Monday, at the offices, Great Alie-street, Mr. George Ilsley in the chair, and the following members present:- Messrs. Catmur, Boswell, Rycroft, Van Thal, Hensley, W. C. Johnson, Sparks, Hall, Chillingworth, Bamberger, Karamelli, Harris, Snell, Barham, Legg, Tarling, L.C.C., Barber, Hamilton, Peters, Tate, Wines, Lashmar, and the Rev. J. H. Scott.


The Works Committee recommended that the Surveyor (Mr. La Riviere) be empowered to employ some assistance for supervising the erection of the mortuary, now about to be commenced, at such reasonable expense as the Mortuary Committee may consider desirable. - The SURVEYOR stated that he was ready to commence at once, and the contract would probably be signed at the end of the week. - Mr. CATMUR said they found it necessary to call in some assistance. One man could only do a certain amount of work, and the surveyor had already as much work as he could do. - The report was adopted.


Mr. J. HARRIS asked if any notice had been taken of Canon Bradbury's letter to the Times, in which it was stated the Canon had several times applied to the Board with reference to Little Prescott-street, near where the last crime had been committed, but that he could obtain no answer. - The CLERK replied that there had been some letters received from Canon Bradbury, but they were as complimentary as they well could be. - Mr. HALL rose to a point of order, but the CHAIRMAN ruled that as the matter was of a special character, it could be discussed. - Mr. J. HARRIS remarked the letter stated, it had been previously pointed out that this street was a place where such a crime could be committed. - Mr. KARAMELLI said Whitechapel had been very unfortunate. There were thousands of other places in London where such crimes could be perpetrated. In this street there was a lamp at one end and a lamp at the other, throwing a light right through. What more could be done? - Mr. RYCROFT (the chairman of the Lighting Committee) said that as far as the lighting of Swallow-gardens was concerned the committee had inspected that archway 18 months ago, and they were of opinion that as a light was thrown right through that there was sufficient light, although personally he had suggested that a lamp should be placed in the centre of the arch. With regard to Little Prescott-street that was a difficult place to deal with, and it was a question whether or not the matter should be referred to the committee with a view of approaching the railway company in the matter of altering or widening the place. The evil nuisances of that particular locality were beyond description. - The CLERK suggested that the matter respecting the negotiations with the railway company should be discussed in committee. - Mr. J. HALL pointed out how many persons and children used these narrow thoroughfares in the day time. - Mr. SNELL confirmed several remarks as to the bad character of the place, and the motion to refer the matter to committee was agreed to unanimously.

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