26 July 1889
Yesterday, Mr. A. Braxton Hicks, Mid Surrey Coroner, resumed and concluded the inquiry at the Star and Garter, Church-road, Battersea, into the circumstances of the death of ELIZABETH JACKSON, aged 24, portions of whose mutilated remains had been found in the River Thames, on the Embankment, and it Battersea Park.
Inspector Tunbridge watched the case as before on the part of the Criminal Investigation Department, and stated that he had been placed in charge of the case, assisted by other officers, after the discovery of a portion of the thigh on the 4th of June. Orders were at once given to the Thames police to watch the river, with a view both of discovering any further portion of the remains and of arresting any person found depositing them. Prior to this the local police had been actively moving in the matter. The police were now of the opinion that the whole of the remains had been deposited at the same time, although they could not have formed that opinion at the time. A woodcut of a name found on a pair of drawers, in which one of the portions of the body was found, and of the remains was prepared and circulated by the Press, with the result that the identity of the deceased as Elizabeth Jackson was established, both by personal description and by the clothing in which the remains were discovered. As soon as the body was identified the police directed their attention to finding the man Faircloth, and a woodcut from a photograph of the man taken at Ipswich, together with his description, was got out and circulated in every town and village in England, and by means of this description he was traced through Dorsetshire into Devonshire until he was found in Ottery St. Mary by Inspector Moore. He at once gave a detailed statement of his movements from the time he left the woman on the 28th of April until he was found, and since he had given his evidence before the Coroner Inspector Moore and Sergeant Turrell went over the ground said to have been traversed by Faircloth, visiting Biggleswade, Hitchin, High Wycombe, St. Albans, Great Marlow, Reading, Odiham, and other places. It had been conclusively shown that on the night of the 3d of Jane (the last time the deceased was seen alive) Faircloth was staying at the Goat at High Wycombe, and he had spent the two previous nights at Watford. He was traced to all the places he had named, and at all of them he had been calling at various mills with the view of getting employment, and the police had quite satisfied themselves that he had not been in London or near London for at least ten days before and after the disappearance of the deceased. Throughout the whole of the time he had been wearing the conspicuous striped jacket in which he left London, and had been passing in his own name. With regard to the absence of the head of the deceased, the Thames had been repeatedly dragged, both above and below Albert-bridge, as well as the ornamental waters in Battersea Park and the shrubberies there. All empty and unfinished houses in the neighborhood had been searched, and the dustmen and others had been warned as to finding any bloodstained garments or anything of that sort, but all their labours had had no result. Every clue that had been suggested to them by the public, the Press, and the Coroner himself had been followed out where practicable. In conducting their researches they had travelled over many counties, and in fact had been hard at work ever since the matter had been first placed in their hands, no opportunity of tracing the perpetrator of the crime having been left untried. With regard to the drawers bearing the name “L. E. Fisher” on the band, and which the man Faircloth had stated had been bought at a lodging house at Ipswich. It had been found that they belong originally to a domestic servant at Kirkley; near Lowestoft, and had been sold as rags by her mother while staying near her daughter in November last. She was traced to Byker, near Newcastle, and the father, who had marked the clothing and recognized his handwriting, to Bill Quay, on the Tyne.
The CORONER, in summing up, said there was no doubt that the woman must have died under circumstances which were exceptionally suspicious, for had she died in the ordinary way it would have been wholly unnecessary to have disposed of the body in this revolting manner, and he could not help saying that it was through the energy of the police that the woman’s identity had been so soon and so clearly established.
The jury returned a verdict of “Wilful murder against some person or persons unknown,” and expressed their opinion that the conduct of the police engaged in the case was worthy of great commendation.