August 10, 1888
"The Murder in Whitechapel"
Yesterday afternoon Mr. G. Collier, Deputy Coroner for the South-Eastern Division of Middlesex, opened an inquiry at the Working Lads' Institute, Whitechapel-road, respecting the death of the woman who was found on Tuesday last, with 39 stabs on her body, at George-yard-buildings, Whitechapel.
Detective-Inspector Reid, H Division, watched the case on behalf of the Criminal Investigation Department.
Alfred George Crow, cabdriver, 35, George-yard-buildings, deposed that he got home at half-past 3 on Tuesday morning. As he was passing the first-floor landing he saw a body lying on the ground. He took no notice, as he was accustomed to seeing people lying about there. He did not then know whether the person was alive or dead. He got up at half past 9, and when he went down the staircase the body was not there. Witness heard no noise while he was in bed.
John S. Reeves, of 37, George-yard-buildings, a waterside labourer, said that on Tuesday morning he left home at a quarter to 5 to seek for work. When he reached the first-floor landing he found the deceased lying on her back in a pool of blood. He was frightened, and did not examine her, but at once gave information to the police. He did not know the deceased. The deceased's clothes were disarranged, as though she had had a struggle with some one. Witness saw no footmarks on the staircase, nor did he find a knife or other weapon.
Police-constable Thomas Barrett, 226 H, said that the last witness called his attention to the body of the deceased. He sent for a doctor, who pronounced life extinct.
Dr. T.R. Killeen, of 68, Brick-lane, said that he was called to the deceased, and found her dead. She had 39 stabs on the body. She had been dead some three hours. Her age was about 36, and the body was very well nourished. Witness had since made a post mortem examination of the body. The left lung was penetrated in five places, and the right lung was penetrated in two places. The heart, which was rather fatty, was penetrated in one place, and that would be sufficient to cause death. The liver was healthy, but was penetrated in five places, the spleen was penetrated in two places, and the stomach, which was perfectly healthy, was penetrated in six places. The witness did not think all the wounds were inflicted with the same instrument. The wounds generally might have been inflicted with a knife, but such an instrument could not have inflicted one of the wounds, which went through the chest-bone. His opinion was that one of the wounds was inflicted by some kind of dagger, and that all of them had been caused during life.
The CORONER said he was in hopes that the body would be identified, but three women had identified it under three different names. He therefore proposed to leave the question open until the next occasion. The case would be left in the hands of Detective-Inspector Reid, who would endeavour to discover the perpetrator of this (illegible) murder. It was one of the most dreadful murders any one could imagine. The man must have been a perfect savage to inflict such a number of wounds on a defenceless woman in such a way. The inquiry would be adjourned for a fortnight.
The case was then adjourned.