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Old 05-18-2017, 12:41 PM
Pierre Pierre is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Orsam View Post
Was PC Neil the source of the Star's comment about blood flowing profusely from the wound, as Fisherman argues, or can we put it down to some journalistic invention?

Well let's just look at what the Globe published in its second edition of 31 August 1888, timed at 12.30pm, based on a Central News agency report:

"SECOND EDITION
GLOBE OFFICE, 367, Strand, 12.30 p.m.
ANOTHER WHITECHAPEL MYSTERY
BRUTAL MURDER OF A WOMAN
The Central News says: - Scarcely have the horror and sensation caused by the discovery of the murdered woman in Whitechapel some short time ago had time to abate, when another discovery is made, which for the brutality exercised on the victim, is even more glaringly outrageous and horrible. The affair up to the present is enveloped in mystery, and the police have as yet no evidence to trace the perpetrators of the outrage. The facts are that as constable John Neil was walking down Bucks-row, Thomas-street, Whitechapel, about a quarter to four o’clock this morning he discovered a woman between 35 and 40 years of age lying at the side of the street with her throat cut from ear to ear. The wound was about two inches wide, and the woman was lying in a pool of blood. She was conveyed to the Whitechapel Mortuary, when it was found that besides the wound in the throat, the lower part of her body was shockingly mutilated, the injuries, which were of a sickening nature, having apparently been effected with a large knife. As the body lies in the mortuary it presents a ghastly sight. The victim is a woman 5ft. 2in. in height. The hands are bruised and bear evidence of having engaged in a severe struggle. There is the impression of a ring having been worn on one of the deceased’s fingers, but there is nothing to show that it had been wrenched from her in a struggle. Some of the front teeth have been knocked out, and the face is bruised on both cheeks, and very much discoloured. The deceased wore a rough brown ulster, with large buttons in front. Her clothes are torn and cut up in several places, bearing evidence of the ferocity with which the murder was committed. The only way by which the police can prosecute an inquiry at present is by finding some one who can identify the deceased and then, if possible, trace those in whose company she was last seen. In Buck’s-row the greatest excitement prevails, and several persons in the neighbourhood state that an affray occurred shortly after midnight, but no screams were heard, nor was anything noticed beyond what might have been considered evidence of an ordinary brawl
."

Now compare that to what appears to have been a story based on that exact same agency report which appeared in the Star that same afternoon (almost certainly in a later edition):

"Scarcely has the horror and sensation caused by the discovery of the murdered woman in Whitechapel recently had time to abate, when another discovery is made, which for the brutality exercised on the victim is even more shocking. As Constable John Neil was walking down Buck's-row, Thomas-street, Whitechapel, about a quarter to four o'clock this morning, he discovered a woman lying at the side of the street with her throat cut from ear to ear. The wound was about two inches wide and blood was flowing profusely. She was immediately conveyed to the Whitechapel mortuary, when it was found that besides the wound in the throat the lower part of the abdomen was completely ripped open and the bowels were protruding. The wound extends nearly to her breast, and must have been effected with a large knife. As the corpse lies in the mortuary, it presents a ghastly sight. The victim seems to be between 35 and 40 years of age, and measures 5ft. 2in. in height. The hands are bruised, and bear evidence of having engaged in a severe struggle. There is the impression of a ring having been worn on one of deceased's fingers, but there is nothing to show that it had been wrenched from her in a struggle. Some of the front teeth have also been knocked out, and the face is bruised on both cheeks and very much discoloured. Deceased wore a rough brown ulster, with large buttons in front. Her clothes are torn and cut up in several places, bearing evidence of the ferocity with which the murder was committed. Several persons in the neighborhood state that an affray occurred shortly after midnight, but no screams were heard, nor anything beyond what might have been considered evidence of an ordinary brawl."

Let's go through them and compare the wording side by side:

Globe: Scarcely have the horror and sensation caused by the discovery of the murdered woman in Whitechapel some short time ago had time to abate, when another discovery is made, which for the brutality exercised on the victim, is even more glaringly outrageous and horrible.
Star: Scarcely has the horror and sensation caused by the discovery of the murdered woman in Whitechapel recently had time to abate, when another discovery is made, which for the brutality exercised on the victim is even more shocking.

Globe: Body found "lying at the side of the street" by "constable John Neil" as he was "walking down Bucks-Row, Thomas-street, Whitechapel" at about quarter to four o'clock and her throat was cut "from ear to ear".
Star: "As Constable John Neil was walking down Buck's-row, Thomas-street, Whitechapel, about a quarter to four o'clock this morning, he discovered a woman lying at the side of the street with her throat cut from ear to ear"

Globe: woman was "between 35 and 40 years of age"
Star: The victim seems to be between 35 and 40 years of age.

Globe: wound about two inches wide.
Star: The wound was about two inches wide.

Globe: the woman was lying in a pool of blood.
Star: blood was flowing profusely.

Globe: She was conveyed to the Whitechapel Mortuary, when it was found that besides the wound in the throat, the lower part of her body was shockingly mutilated.
Star: She was immediately conveyed to the Whitechapel mortuary, when it was found that besides the wound in the throat the lower part of the abdomen was completely ripped open and the bowels were protruding.

Globe: injuries were of a sickening nature having been inflicted with a large knife.
Star: The wound extends nearly to her breast, and must have been effected with a large knife.

Globe: victim is 5ft 2 in. in height.
Star: victim measures 5ft. 2in. in height.

Globe: hands are bruised and bear evidence of having engaged in severe struggle.
Star: The hands are bruised, and bear evidence of having engaged in a severe struggle.

Globe: There is the impression of a ring having been worn on one of the deceased’s fingers, but there is nothing to show that it had been wrenched from her in a struggle.
Star: There is the impression of a ring having been worn on one of deceased's fingers, but there is nothing to show that it had been wrenched from her in a struggle.

Globe: Some of the front teeth have been knocked out, and the face is bruised on both cheeks, and very much discoloured. The deceased wore a rough brown ulster, with large buttons in front.
Star: Some of the front teeth have also been knocked out, and the face is bruised on both cheeks and very much discoloured.

Globe: The deceased wore a rough brown ulster, with large buttons in front.
Star: Deceased wore a rough brown ulster, with large buttons in front.

Globe: Her clothes are torn and cut up in several places, bearing evidence of the ferocity with which the murder was committed.
Star: Her clothes are torn and cut up in several places, bearing evidence of the ferocity with which the murder was committed.

Globe: The only way by which the police can prosecute an inquiry at present is by finding some one who can identify the deceased and then, if possible, trace those in whose company she was last seen.
Star: Not mentioned

Globe: In Buck’s-row the greatest excitement prevails, and several persons in the neighbourhood state that an affray occurred shortly after midnight, but no screams were heard, nor was anything noticed beyond what might have been considered evidence of an ordinary brawl.
Star: Several persons in the neighborhood state that an affray occurred shortly after midnight, but no screams were heard, nor anything beyond what might have been considered evidence of an ordinary brawl.

There can be no doubt, therefore, that the Star's source was the Central News Agency report which was circulating at just after midday on 31 August. The two stories are virtually identical in their facts and wording, although the Star has changed the order around slightly, tinkered with a few words and presented it as its own report.

There are only two significant differences between the reports. Whereas the Star says that "the lower part of the abdomen was completely ripped open and the bowels were protruding", for reasons of taste, to protect the sensibilities of its readers, the Globe appears to have modified this, or used a modified version of the report, to simply say that the lower part was "shockingly mutilated".

But the most interesting difference is that the original Central News report only speaks of Nichols lying in a pool of blood. This must at least create the suspicion that the Star has modified this for journalistic effect to say that the blood was flowing profusely, which is what many have suspected all along.
Do you really mean to say that you do not trust journalists?
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