3 September 1888
WHAT THE POLICE THINK ABOUT THE CRIME
The murder committed in the early hours of Friday morning of Mary Ann Nicholls has so many points of similarity with the murders of the two other women in the same neighbourhood - one, Martha Turner, as recently as August 7, and the other less than twelve months previously - that the police admit their belief that the three crimes are the work of one individual. All three women were of the same class, and each of them was so poor that robbery could have formed no motive for the crime. The three murders were committed within a distance of 200 yards of each other. The husband visited the mortuary on Saturday and on viewing the corpse, identified it as that of his wife, from whom he had been separated eight years. He stated that she was nearly forty years of age. The husband, who was greatly affected, exclaimed on recognizing the body: "I forgive you, as you are, for what you have been to me."
Inspector Helson yesterday evening said that the report that blood stains were found leading from Brady street to Buck's row was not true. The place was examined by Sergeant Enright and himself on Friday morning, and neither blood stains not wheel marks found to indicate that the body had been deposited where found, the murder being committed elsewhere. Both himself and Inspector Abberline, indeed, had come to the conclusion that it was committed on the spot. That conclusion was fortified by the post mortem examination made by Dr. Llewellyn. At first the small quantity of blood found on the spot suggested that the woman was murdered in a neighbouring house. Dr. Llewellyn, however, is understood to have satisfied himself that the great quantity of blood which must have followed the gashes in the abdomen flowed into the abdominal cavity, but he maintains his opinion that the first wounds were those in the throat, and they would have effectually prevented any screaming. It is, moreover, considered unlikely that the woman could have entered a house, have been murdered, and have been removed to Buck's row within a period of an hour and a quarter. The inquest is to be resumed today. The deceased, it is understood, will be buried tomorrow.
RESUMED INQUEST TODAY
Mr. Wynne E. Baxter this morning resumed the inquiry at the Working Lads' Institute in Whitechapel road into the circumstances attending the death of Mary Ann Nicholls, who was found horribly mutilated at Buck's row, Whitechapel, on Friday morning by police constable Neil.
The first witness called was Inspector John Spratling, who stated that at half past four on Friday, while in hackney road, he first heard of the murder. He went to the police station and then proceeded to the spot. There was a slight stain of blood between the stones. The body had been removed to the mortuary, and there, while taking a description of the deceased's garments, he discovered the injury to the abdomen. He sent for Dr. Llewellyn. There was not a great quantity of blood. The skin of the woman was clean, but there was no evidence of its having been washed. Dr. Llewellyn subsequently came and examined the body. The deceased's linsey dress, ulster, and chemise were stained with blood, but he did not notice blood on any of the other garments. He was not present when the body was stripped. Witness had carefully examined Buck's row, and the neighbourhood to see if he could find any weapon or any other bloodstains on the morning of the murder, but could not find either. A gateman was on duty at the Great Eastern Railway all night, and his box was between fifty and sixty yards from where the deceased was found, but he heard no screams. Witness also spoke to several other persons in the neighbourhood, but no one heard any screaming. Mrs. Green, whose room overlooked the spot, was walking about her bedroom between three and a quarter past on the morning of the murder, but heard nothing.
The foreman of the jury: Was there any other constable on duty on the morning in question who would pass near the spot besides P.C. Neil. who found the body? No; the nearest constable to the spot in his division would be in Praed street. In reply to other questions, witness said he did not notice that the clothes were cut. His impression was that the woman was murdered with her clothes on.
Henry Tomkins, of 12 Coventry street, Bethnal Green, a slaughterer in the employ of Mr. Barber, said he was at work all night on Thursday. He started work between eight and nine on Thursday night, and left off about 4:20 on Friday last. Witness, after leaving the slaughter house, went to Buck's row with Police Constable Thain. There were two others besides himself who were at work in the slaughter house, namely James Mumford and Charles Britton. Witness and Britton left the slaughter house at 12:20 and remained away until 1 a.m. None of them left afterwards until 4:20 on Friday morning. They were all quiet in the slaughter house until two o'clock. The gates were all open. He heard no noise after he returned at one o'clock. He saw no one pass except the policeman at 4L15 a.m. There were several men and women in Whitechapel road as he passed there at one o'clock on the morning in question. If any one had called for assistance at the spot where the deceased was found he would not have heard it, as the slaughterhouse was too far away. When they heard of the murder, witness and Mumford ran to the spot. Britton came on later. The doctor was there when witness arrived and three or four policemen. He believed there were also two men but did not know who they were. He remained at the spot until the body was taken away. At that time there were ten or a dozen persons there.
By the jury: He heard no vehicles pass the slaughter house that morning when he returned at one o'clock.