Monday, 24th September 1888
About 9 o'clock yesterday morning the body of a woman named Jane Savage, aged 25, was found on a railway siding near Hutley, five miles south of Newcastle. She had evidently been dead some hours. Her throat was cut from side to side, and there was a horrible gash in the abdomen. The woman lived with her stepfather and her mother, and when last seen was leaving a public house where she had been drinking. There were no signs of a struggle.
THE CASE OF MRS NICHOLLS
INQUEST AND VERDICT
This afternoon Mr Wynne E Baxter, coroner for South-East Middlesex, resumed the inquiry at the Working Lads' Institute, Whitechapel road, into the circumstances attending the death of Mary Ann Nicholls, aged 42, the wife of a machinist, whose body was found fearfully mutilated in Buck's Row, Whitechapel, on August 31.
Thomas Eade, signalman, who gave evidence at the last hearing, said he had found out that the man whom he saw with a knife in the Cambridge road was named Henry James, but the witness had now ascertained that the man did not possess a wooden arm.
The Coroner said the man had been seen and had been prove to be a well-known innocent and harmless lunatic. There was no further evidence forthcoming, and he would therefore proceed to sum up. He pointed out that the death they had been investigating was one of four presenting many points of similarity, all of which had occurred within the space of about five months, and all within a very short distance of the institution in which they were met. All four victims were women of middle age, all were married and had lived apart from their husbands in consequence of intemperate habits, and were at the time of their death leading an irregular life, and eking out a miserable and precarious existence in common lodging houses. In each case the injuries were inflicted after midnight, and in places of public resort, where it would appear impossible but that almost immediate detection would follow the crime, and in each case the inhuman and dastardly criminals were at large in society. As to motive, robbery was out of the question, and there was nothing to suggest jealousy, nor were sounds of quarrelling heard. The woman Smith, who was killed in April last, was robbed by some men who, transformed by drink "to the inglorious likeness of a beast," might have acted as such afterwards. In the case of Chapman, the taking of the abdominal viscera suggested that that was the motive for the crime. Was it not possible that such might have been the object in the case under consideration? He suggested the possibility that the two women might have been murdered by the same man, with the same object, and that in the case of Nicholls the wretch was disturbed before he had accomplished his object, and having failed in the open street tried again within a week in a more secluded place. Should that be so, the audacity and daring was only equalled by the maniacal fanaticism and abhorrent wickedness. One thing, however, was clear, that the injuries were of such a nature that they could not be self-inflicted, and that a murder of a most atrocious character had been committed.
After retiring for 25 minutes, the jury found a verdict of wilful murder against some person or persons unknown.