4 September 1888
Further evidence was yesterday taken in the inquiry concerning the death of MARY ANN NICHOLLS, the victims of the brutal murder in Whitechapel. The inquest was again adjourned.
Tuesday, September 4th, 1888
"Another Whitechapel Outrage"
The Central News says another desperate assault, which stopped only just short of murder, was committed upon a woman in Whitechapel on Saturday night. The victim was leaving the Foresters' Music Hall, Cambridge Heath Road, when she was accosted by a well-dressed man, who asked her to accompany him, and requesting her to walk a short distance with him as he wanted to meet a friend. They had reached a point near to the scene of the murder of the woman Nicholls, when the man violently seized his companion by the throat and dragged her down a court. He was immediately joined by a gang of women and men, who stripped the unfortunate woman of her necklace, earrings, and brooch. Her purse was also taken, and she was brutally assaulted. Upon attempting to shout for aid one of the gang laid a large knife across her throat, remarking "We will serve you as we did the others." She was eventually released. The police have been informed, and are prosecuting inquiries into the matter.
Tuesday, September 4th, 1888
"The Tragedy in Whitechapel -- The Inquest"
Mr. Wynne E. Baxter, the coroner for South-east Middlesex, resumed at ten o'clock yesterday morning, at The Working Lad's Institute, Whitechapel, the inquiry into the circumstances attending the death of Mary Ann Nicholls, aged 42, whose body, terribly mutilated, was found in Buck's Row, Whitechapel, early on the morning of Friday last. Inspectors Helson and Abberline attended for the police; Detective Sergeant Enright, of Scotland Yard, was also in attendance.-- Inspector Spratling, of the J division, deposed that at about four o'clock on Friday morning, while in Hackney Road, he received information as to the finding of the body of the deceased. Before he reached the spot the body had been removed to the mortuary. While he was taking a description there he discovered the injuries to the abdomen, and at once sent for Dr. Llewellyn. While describing the clothes which were on the body, the witness said that the corsets had no cuts on them.-- The Coroner. Were they fastened when you saw them? Yes, they were fastened at the back.-- Were they fastened at the front? This is a most important point. I did not remove them from the body, so could not say.-- Well, who can give us this information, or shall we have to examine them for ourselves? Inspector Helson can tell you more about it. The witness added that he had examined Buck's Row and Green-street, but found no bloodstains in either. He subsequently examined the East London District Railway embankment and the Great Eastern Railway yard for blood stains and weapons, but found none. By the jury: It occurred to him that the woman had been murdered with her clothes on; but he could not say whether the clothes bore cuts corresponding with those on the body.-- The Coroner: I have avoided asking the witness questions on the point because he has admitted that he did not examine the clothing. H. Tomkins, of No. 12, Covernty-street, Bethnal Green, said he was at work in the slaughter-house in Winthorp-street about nine o'clock on the previous night, and left off work at about four o'clock on Friday morning. He did not go straight home, as was his usual custom, but went to Buck's Row, as a police constable passed the slaughter-house and stated there had been a murder there. The gates of the slaughter-house were open all night, so that anyone could walk into the place. None of the men employed there left the building between the hours of one and four o'clock, and none of them heard any unusal (sic) noise.-- Inspector Helson, J division, gave a description of the deceased's clothing. The back of the bodice of the dress, he said, had absorbed a large quantity of blood, but there was none upon the petticoats. There was no evidence of the body having been washed, and there were no cuts in the clothing. It would have been possible to inflict the wounds while the clothing was on, and without cutting it. There was no cut under the stays. In making a search for blood stains he saw nothing except some marks in Brady-street, which might have been taken for blood marks. By the jury: He was of opinion that the woman was murdered in her clothes, and that the murder was committed where the body was found. The clothes were not disarranged as they would have been if the body had been carried some distance.-- Charles Cross, a carman in the service of Messrs. Pickford, stated that he discovered the body when going to work. From the position in which the body was lying, his first impression was that the woman had been outraged.-- William Nicholls, of Coburg Road, Old Kent Road, said he was a machinist. The deceased was his wife. They had been living apart for over eight years, and he last saw her alive about three years ago. He did not know what she had been doing during that time.-- Jane Hodden, of 13, Thrawl Street, said the deceased lodged with her for about six weeks, till eight nights ago. On the day of the murder, the witness saw her in Whitechapel Road, when she said that she should leave her lodgings, as they allowed men and woman to stay together. The witness said she did nto think the deceased was leading a fast life, in fact she seemed very much afraid of it.-- Mary Ann Monks, an inmate of the Lambeth Workhouse, stated that six or seven years ago the deceased was an inmate of that institution.-- At the conclusion of this witness's evidence the inquiry was adjourned for a fortnight.
The murder of Mary Ann Nicholls has so many points of similarity with the murder or two other women in the same neighbourhood recently that the police admit their belief that the three crimes are the work of one individual. All three women were of the class called "unfortunates,' each so very poor that robbery could have been no motive for the crime. Each was murdered in a similar fashion, and all three murders were committed within a distance of 300 yards of each other. These facts have led the police to almost abandon the idea of a gang being abroad to wreak vengeance on women of this class for not supplying them with money. Detective Inspector Abberline, of the Criminal Investigation Department, and Detective Inspector Helson, J Division, are both of opinion that only one person, and that a man, had a hand in the latest murder. It is considered unlikely that the woman could have entered a house, been murdered, and removed to Buck's Row within a period of one hour and a quarter. The woman who last saw her alive, and whose name is Nelly Holland, was a fellow-lodger with the deceased in Thrawl-street, and is positive as to the time being 2.30. Police Constable Neil, who found the body, reports the time as 3.45. Buck's Row is a secluded place, from having tenements on one side only. The constable has been severely questioned as to his "working" of his "beat" on that night, and states that he was last on the spot where he found the body not more than half an hour previously -- that is to say, at 3.15. The beat is a very short one, and quickly walked over would not occupy more than twelve minutes. He neither heard a cry nor saw any person. Moreover, there are three watchmen on duty at night close to the spot, and none of them heard a cry to cause alarm. It is not true, says Constable Neil, who is a man of nearly 20 years' service, that he was called to the body by two men. He came upon it as he walked, and flashing his lantern to examine it, he was answered by the lights from two other constables at either end of the street. These constables had seen no men leaving the spot.