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The Chapman Murder in the Evening Post

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  • The Chapman Murder in the Evening Post

    Having previously transcribed the Evening Post reports on the Nichols murder, I have now transcribed them as below in respect of the Chapman murder in the hope that someone might find them helpful:

    Saturday, September 8, 1888


    A Fourth Terrible Tragedy Perpetrated at the East End


    An Exciting Arrest – An Innocent Man Nearly Torn to Pieces

    The woman who was found at about six o’clock this morning murdered and mutilated in the backyard of a house in Hanbury-street, Commercial-street, Spitalfields, has been identified as Annie Sivy, Siffey, or Sivie. She was known in the neighbourhood by a man sounding like those syllables, and there is little doubt that she was a woman of ill-fame. The house in the back yard of which the murder was committed is a three-storied dwelling let out in single tenements. The number is 29, and it is three doors from a public house called the Black Swan. The street is comparatively wide, and runs directly from the main road in which Spitalfields Church stands, and this opening of it almost faces the market. It is a poor street, but not so poor and repellent as many in the neighbourhood. The houses are old and dirty, but the people in the street seem of a poor and hard-working class. From an early hour this morning the street was crossed with people. Two policemen kept the door. Our reporter was permitted to enter the house. The passage was wide and about 30 feet long. On the right were two rooms, one of which was used as a bedroom. At the end, down two or three steps, was the back yard, a space about 15 feet square. It was paved with stones like the streets of old provincial towns, and at the back was a shed used as a workshop by a packing-case maker, who occupies a room in the house. The yard was fenced with rough planks. Behind the door from the passage leading to the yard, and just behind a few steps, the body of the woman was found. It was discovered by a man named Davis, who went out into the yard at about a quarter to six. Another man in the house had gone into the yard an hour earlier, but the body was not there then. Davis at once aroused the house, and went for the police, without staying to examine the body. One of the lodgers, a woman, said that on looking out of a back window into the yard she saw the woman lying crowded up in the corner. Her throat was cut from ear to ear, and her clothes were up, exposing her body. The abdomen had been ripped up from the groin to the breast. The heart and liver, according to the description of another lodger, who saw the horrible sight, were behind the head, having evidently been placed there by the murderer, and the viscera was scattered along the side of the corpse. The throat was cut from ear to ear; the body and clothes were covered with blood, and blood soaked the ground beneath. When the police arrived the body was taken to the mortuary, and the lodgers covered the gore-stained ground with rough sacks, and placed a large packing-case over them to hide the terrible spot. No noise or cry was heard by any of the lodgers during the night and earl morning.

    From all accounts the woman was about 35 or 45, years of age and there is no doubt she was an unfortunate, and had gone though the house with a man for an immoral purpose. The house, like many of them in the street and neighbourhood, is always open. The door was never kept shut through the night, and it would thus be an easy matter to pass through the passage unnoticed, though it is to be observed that the murder must have been committed between five and six o’clock, when night at this season has just passed into daylight. The woman, it is said, was seen drinking with a man about half-past-four in a public house near the market known as the Ten Bells. She lived in Dorset-street, a turning out of the main road on the market side, and almost facing the church, and was a regular customer of a large common lodging-house there. She was known to the people in the street by her name of Sivey, but one woman who was questioned by our reporter averred that her real name was Annie Chapman. This person described the deceased as a woman of about 40 years, and a widow. Her husband, from whom she had lived apart for the last three or four years was a soldier stationed at Windsor, and had died a short time since. She had two children, one a girl at school in France, and the other, a boy, and a cripple at some school in England, which the murdered woman used occasionally to visit. She used to do a little bonnet-making and sell a few flowers, but on the whole was a far superior sort of woman to those which whom she mixed. She used to frequent public-houses, and was often seen in the company of various men.

    Timothy Donovan, the keeper at the lodging-house previously referred to, said Annie Sivey - which was the name he knew her by – had been in the habit of lodging at the house for the last three or four months. She used to pay 8d. a night, and always had the money. The last time he saw her was last night or rather this morning at about a quarter to two o’clock; she was not very drunk, but still she had been drinking. She said she did not have any money, and he let her go downstairs to the kitchen. She came up again presently, and said that she had been in the infirmary for the past week. Then she said she would go out again, remarking that she would not be long, and asked Donovan to keep a bed for her, which he promised to do. He saw nothing more of her until he saw her body at the mortuary. She was, he said, a woman well liked by the other habitual lodgers. From her conversation at different times, he concluded that her husband was a soldier, and that she had been in a good position as a married woman. Indeed, he said that she was a well-educated woman, was accustomed to read in her leisure time, and, from her manner of conversation, was of an altogether superior class to the general run of women who live between the streets and the lodging houses of the East-end. When she left him early this morning she wore two rings, and these, it is said, were found to have been wrenched from the fingers.

    The awful tragedy has created quite a panic in the neighbourhood. Groups of people were standing at their doors discussing the circumstances, and everyone expressed opinion that the crime is the work of the same fiendish hand to whom the previous murders in the same locality were attributed. It is clear that the woman, after leaving Donovan, spent the hours till the market public houses opened, in the streets, and that she was in the Ten Bells drinking with a man before five o’clock, though she was not noticed by the barmaid, who at that time of the morning, when the bar was full of market men, was busily occupied. Then she must have gone down Hanbury-street with the man, and seeing the door of the house 29 open, passed through the passage with him into the back yard where, in what must have been at that time of the morning broad daylight, she was savagely done to death.

    As illustrating the excitement in the neighbourhood, an incident that occurred this morning opposite Spitalfields Church may be worth relating. An elderly woman, quarrelling with her husband, was knocked down by him, and in the fall cut her head on the pavement. A policeman was speedily on the spot, and went to her assistance. People standing and passing in the neighbourhood saw his movement and rushed after him. In the space of a few moments there was a vast and excited crowd surging around the policeman and the prostrate woman, whose iron-grey hair was smeared with the blood that flowed from her injury. Those persons on the inner line of the crowd passed on the information back that a woman was on the pavement with a broken head and was covered with blood, and the impression prevailed for some minutes that another murder had been attempted. By the time the additional policemen had reached the scene the crowd had assumed large proportions, and the struggle to get to the centre to see what had really happened was fierce and unruly. It was some time before the facts became known and the crowd relaxed the intensity of its interest.


    As an EVENING POST reporter was proceeding in a cab about Commercial-road, E, from the Whitechapel-road, in the direction of the scene of the tragedy, his cab was just entering the open space in front of the Spitalfields market when a man about five foot high, with a hunted look, dashed in front of the horse, with a little individual, armed with a short policeman’s baton, immediately behind him, and a crowd of people following up behind. The pursuer was just making a grab at his man when a burly individual, who looked like a butcher, seized hold of the former and tried to wrench his baton from his hand. But the detective – whether he was an amateur or otherwise did not appear – nimbly threw his aggressor and bounded after his man. By this time the latter had 30 or 40 yards start, and had turned down a side street, which was full of people. As no hue or cry had been raised, there was no attempt to impede his progress. With the natural impulse of such people to aid the escape of an offender, they opened a way for him. His pursuer, however, was fleet of foot, and dashed through the street. By the time our reporter was able to intimate to the cabman his desire to follow on and see what it all meant, the cabman, who could see what was going on, ejaculated, “they’ve got him, sir, and are bringing him back.” In a few minutes he appeared, this time in the hands of two stalwart policemen, with an escort of police behind, and his captor triumphant by his side. A roar went up from the thousands of people who had gathered around, “That’s the murderer.” There was a rush towards him, and captive and police were hustled by an excited mob. The two policemen had a firm grip of him by the collar and by the arm.

    The place where he was arrested was within three or four hundred yards of the scene of the murder, and about the same distance to the Whitechapel-road. The police in charge of him immediately proceeded towards the Commercial-road East Police-station, and found it a difficult matter to get there; because not only did thousands of people flock to the place, the rumour of the arrest spreading like wildfire through the market and its crowded precincts; but there was a very heavy traffic along the street, causing frequent blocks, and the crowd were growing more clamorous for vengeance every moment. The police did all they could to protect their man, but they could not hinder the men and women too stalking him with violence. He squirmed and struggled in the hands of the police under the shower of blows, and looked as a man might be expected to look who was in momentary expectation of being lynched. Once the police had to get him behind our reporter’s cab and another vehicle to save him from more violent treatment, and they seemed immensely relieved when the gloomy portals of the station were near at hand. A large form of police came out and cleared a passage, through which the wretched man, who by this time appeared more dead than alive, was hurried. The heavy doors closed behind him, and a howl of execration rent the air.

    A moment afterwards there was again a sense of tremendous excitement. Four men came by bearing aloft a stretcher, on which was a body with the head covered with blood, followed by a couple of policemen. “Another victim, another victim,” shrieked the mob. The injured person lifted up his head and, gazed around in amazement. It was then seen that it was a man, and it promptly transpiring that he had been injured by an accident, the excitement soon cooled down. Large crowds, however, still remained in the vicinity of the station.


    Once inside the station it transpired that the captured man was not the murderer.


    The Whitechapel mortuary in Old Montague-street again provoked a scene of agitated curiosity this morning, and people flocked around either to see anything that could be seen, or to hear any fresh items of intelligence on the great subject of the moment. The body had been removed here early in the morning, and occupied the same position as that of the recent victim in Buck’s-row. Strict orders had come down from headquarters that no one was to be allowed in the yard under any circumstances whatever. The woman had been identified, and there was an end to the matter. The order was strictly adhered to, except in the case of Dr Phillips, of Spital-square, the divisional doctor, who was called in to see and examine the body. He is of opinion that, as in the previous murder, the first wound inflicted was that in the throat which was of so deadly a character that it would cause instant death. The other mutilations were caused subsequently, and apparently immediately afterwards. There was the same fiendish ripping-open of the abdomen up to the breast-bone, with further gashes on the breast which had enabled the murderer to remove the heart. It should be added that a large knife stained with blood and a leather apron were discovered near the body, and from this fact, as well as from the appearance and description of the man, he was believed to be the person about whom the police were warned by Whitechapel women, but whom they allowed to slip through their fingers.


    On inquiry at the Commercial-street station this afternoon, an EVENING POST reporter ascertained that the police, who had been making inquiries all the morning, had absolutely no clue at all to work upon. No one appears to have seen the murderer leave the premises; and the police have been unable to ascertain how the deceased spent the house which elapsed between the time she was last seen alive and the discovery of the murder.

    Monday, September 10, 1888


    Inquest To-day on the Latest Whitechapel Victim


    The Murderer of the Four Women Supposed to be Still at Large.

    The scene of the fourth of the series of diabolical murders in Whitechapel continues a source of unabated interest. During the whole of yesterday visitors surveyed the outside of the “cats’ meat shop,” and this owner did a good trade amongst those anxious to get a glimpse of the yard where the murdered woman was discovered. The police remained in charge, with strict orders not to admit any but persons residing in the house; but with a score of tenants and a shop in the basement this was no easy matter, especially as some of the tenants had no compunction about earning an honest shilling by introducing “friends”. Half-a-dozen residents also did a roaring trade in the street. This morning the police are still in charge, but the place is much quieter. The dense fog which prevailed until just prior to the opening of the inquest contributed as much as anything to this result.

    The police have gained little or no information as to the deceased. They have not been able to discover any relatives, and therefore the names of Chapman and Sivey must be taken as subject to correction. Undoubtedly the deceased has been known by both these names, but they may prove only to be aliases. The coroner adopted that of Annie Chapman in the depositions.

    Mr Wynne Baxter, who held the inquest on the body of Mary Ann Nicholls, opened the inquiry this morning at the Working Lads’ Institute, Whitechapel-road, upon the body of Annie Chapman, alias Annie Sivey, who was found butchered in Hanbury-street on Saturday morning. Mr Collier, deputy-coroner of the East London district, in which the body was found, was also present. Notwithstanding the presence of half-a-dozen policemen around the Institute door, no crowd collected, and there was no attendance of the general public at the inquiry.

    The jury having viewed the body.

    John Davis said he had lived at 29, Hanbury-street a fortnight, and was a carman. He occupied one room at the front, at the top of the house, with his wife and three sons. On Friday night he went to bed at eight o’clock, and his wife went to bed about half an hour afterwards. His sons went to bed at different times, the last one at about a quarter to 11. There was a long window in the room, made when it was used as a weaving shed. He was awake from three o’clock to five and fell off to sleep again. He was confident of the time because there was a clock in the room. At a quarter to six, the Spitalfields clock struck. He got up and had a cup of tea which his wife made, and then went down to the back yard. The house faced Hanbury-street, and the front door opened into the street, the front room being used as a cats’ meat shop. The passage from the front door led into the yard, and there were one or two steps down into the yard. Neither of the doors were ever locked. There was a latch on the front door, but it could be opened by anyone who knew where it was. The door was not always latched; he had often found it wide open. When he went into the yard he noticed that the door was shut. The front door was wide open, but he was not surprised at that. When he opened the door he saw a woman lying down behind it, and close to the rough wooden fence which divided the yards. Her head was between the steps and the fence, and her legs towards the wood-shed at the bottom of the yard. Her clothes were up over her body, and he saw that she was terribly mutilated. He did not go into the yard, but ran to the front door and saw two men who work at Mr Bailey’s packing-case maker. They came in and saw the body. He did not know the names of the men.

    The Coroner asked the police if these men had been found, and was told they were not.

    The Coroner said they must be found, and told witness he must find them with the aid of the police.

    Witness proceeded to state the two men were waiting outside the workshop before commencing work. They did not go into the yard, but went to the door and “saw the sight”. They then ran into the street to find a policeman, witness going to the Commercial-street Police-station. He did not inform anyone in the house of what he had discovered. When he got to Commercial-street station he saw an inspector, who sent off some constables. After this witness returned to Hanbury-street, and went past the door, but did not go in. He saw the constables there. He had never seen the woman before, and had never seen women in the passage, though Mrs Richardson, another tenant, said they were there frequently. He heard no noise at all during the night.

    Amelia Farmer said she lived in Dorset-street, Spitalfields, in a common lodging-house. She has been there four years, and was married to Henry Farmer, a pensioner. Witness worked for the Jews – washing and charing. She had known deceased well for about five years. She was the widow of Frederick Chapman, who lived at Windsor. He was a veterinary surgeon and used to send her a postal order every week for 10s. They had lived apart for four years or more. She lived in various places – mostly in common lodging-houses, in the neighbourhood of Spitalfields. Amongst other places she lived about two years at 30, Dorset-street, with a man who made wire sieves. At that time she was receiving 10s. a week from her husband. The payment stopped about 18 months ago, and on making inquiries she ascertained that her husband was dead. She ascertained this either from her husband’s brother or sister, in Oxford-street, Whitechapel. She was nick-named Mrs Sivey in Dorset-street. She (witness) saw this man about 18 months ago in the City. She then knew him well by sight. He left the deceased and went to live in the neighbourhood of Notting Hill. Since that time she had been living in the same neighbourhood, and witness saw her on Monday last standing in the road opposite 25, Dorset-street, where she lived. She had been staying there, and had no bonnet or jacket on. She had a black eye and said she felt very ill. She had also a bruise on the right-hand side of her face, on the temple, and a bruise on her chest. She said she had received it from a woman who sold books, and who was jealous of her because she was acquainted with a very respectable man named Ted Stanley. There had been a quarrel in the street, when the deceased, the woman, a man named Harry Hawker, and Ted Stanley were together. The squabble was about a two-shilling piece which one of the men had put on the counter to pay for drink, and which was removed. On the following morning she saw the deceased near Spitalfields Church, and she saw her again in the afternoon. She then said she felt no better, and should go into the casual-ward for a day or two. Witness said to her, “You look very bad; have you had anything to eat?” She said, “No, I have not had a cup of tea to-day”. Witness gave her 3d, and told her to go and get some tea, but not to have any rum. She was fond of rum, and was often the worse for drink. She did crochet work and made antimacassars for a living and also sold flowers. Witness was afraid she also went on the streets at night. In fact, deceased had told her she did. On Friday she used to go to Stratford to sell anything she had to sell, but on Friday afternoon witness saw her in Dorset-street. She appeared quite sober, but said she had been too ill to do any work. About ten minutes afterwards witness saw her at the same place, when she said, “It’s no use my going away. I must get some money, or I shall have no lodgings.” Nothing more was said, and that was the last time witness saw her alive. On the Friday afternoon deceased said she had been in the casual ward, but did not say which one. She was well known in the casual ward.

    Did you consider her a drunken woman? She was a very straightforward woman when she was sober, and a very industrious, clever little woman.
    Timothy Donovan said he lived at 35, Dorset-street, Spitalfields, and was the deputy of the lodging-house there. He saw the body of the deceased on Saturday and recognised it as that of a woman who had lodged at the house during the last few months. She had not been there at all last week until Friday afternoon, when she asked to be allowed to go down into the kitchen. The deceased went into the kitchen. She explained her absence during the week by saying that she had been in the infirmary. On the Saturday morning at half-past one, witness was sitting in his office when deceased again entered his house and sent down into the kitchen. He sent the watchman’s “missis” to her to ask her if she wanted a bed. Deceased came up to the office and said, “I have not sufficient for a bed.” She then went out, saying she should not be long, and asked him to keep her bed. The lodging money was 8d. She was eating potatoes as she went out. She stood in the street a minute, again calling out, “Never mind Tim, I shall soon be back; don’t let my bed.” He did not see her again alive. It was then a quarter or ten minutes to two. The watchman saw her go down Brushfield Street. I passed the word to her that she could find money for her beer but not for her bed. She said she had only been to the top of the street. She did not say if anyone had given it to her. He understood her to mean she had been to the Ringers public-house. She was not with any man that night. He did not know whether she was in the habit of walking the streets. She had brought men to the house and he had refused to admit them. One man used to stay with her regularly from Saturday to Tuesday. He was a pensioner, but witness did not know his name. The last time the pensioner was at the house was Sunday, September 2. Sometimes he was dressed like a dock-labourer and at others he would have a gentlemanly appearance. Deceased always used to find him at the top of the street.

    John Evans, the watchman, said he had recognised the body as that of Annie Chapman. When she left the house, as the last witness stated, he watched her go up the court – called Paternoster-row – into Brushfield-street, towards Spitalfields Church. He had heard deceased say whilst in the kitchen the first time she had been over to her sister’s at Vauxhall. She sent one of the lodgers out for a pint of beer. He had heard of the row she had had with another woman, and saw the marks on her face. He had not heard anyone threaten her.

    The inquest was then adjourned until Wednesday, the 13th inst., at two o’clock.


    A representative of THE EVENING POST called at Leman-street Police-station this morning to make inquiries relative to the rumoured arrest of a man known as “Leather Apron.” A policeman at the door refused him admission to the inspector, saying that he had positive instructions to admit no reporters. Asked whether an arrest had been made, he said he knew nothing about it, and persistently gave that answer to every question put to him. At length he was induced to take our representative’s card in to the inspector, and that gentleman gave our representative an audience in the courtyard. He admitted that an arrest had been made, but at first declined to given any information as to whether the man arrested answer to the description of the man known as “Leather Apron” on the ground that the facts about the man were meagre and had not been yet properly investigated. He said, however, that there were some grounds for suspecting that the man was “Leather Apron,” and that Detective-sergeant Thicke of the H division, acting upon those grounds had brought him into the station before 10 o’clock. Sergeant Thicke had arrested him shortly after nine at a house in Mulberry-street, but there had not been time for formal identification. The man, the inspector said, was possibly between 40 and 45 years of age and about 5ft. 4 in. in height. So far as could be judged he appeared perfectly sane.

    Sergeant Thicke could not be found at the station, and our representative went therefore to the scene of the arrest. Mulberry-street is a terracing out of Commercial-road, and is a narrow, dirty, and wretched street. The houses are small, and are evidently let out in single tenements. The street was full of a motley, dirty East-end crowd. The house where the arrest was made is no. 22, and when our representative gained admission he found the lower part occupied by a Jewish family named Pizer. Mrs Pizer, the landlady, said the man arrested in the morning was her stepson, and was a shoemaker. He had lived with her off and on for the last 16 years or so. He was a man of 35 or 36 years of age, and was born in England. Some time since he had been away ill at a hospital through a carbuncle forming on his neck, and after that spent some time in a convalescent home. He returned to Mulberry-street on Thursday last, and had been staying there since. He had worked for years at a shoemaker’s opposite, and was, according to the accounts of persons in the house, a hard-working steady man. He went to the police-station quickly. People living in the street say that the man cannot be “Leather Apron,” and they deny that there was anything about his behaviour to lead them to suppose that he was a man of the stamp that would prowl the streets at night for the purpose of blackmailing women. It does not seem probable, speaking only upon such facts as our representative could collect, and disregarding any secret information the police may, perhaps, possess, that the right man has yet been caught.

    A correspondent telegraphs this morning that a man has been arrested at Gravesend in connection with the murder. Between eight and nine o’clock last night Superintendent Berry, of Gravesend, had a communication made to him that there was a suspicious-looking individual at the Pope’s Head public-house, West-street, and at once despatched a sergeant to the house, and the man was arrested and taken to the police station. It was noticed that one of his hands was bad, and on examining it the superintendent said that it had evidently been bitten. When asked how he accounted for his hand being in this condition, the man said he was going down Brick-lane, Whitechapel, at half-past four o’clock on Saturday morning last, and a woman fell down in a fit. He stopped to pick her up when she bit him. Having examined the man’s clothing very carefully, Dr Whitcombe, the police surgeon, was sent for, and the doctor discovered blood spots on two shirts which the man was carrying in a bundle. The doctor also expressed an opinion that blood had been wiped from off his boots. After being cautioned, the man is alleged to have stated that the woman who bit him was at the back of a lodging-house at the time. He also said that on Thursday night he slept at a lodging house in Osborne-street, Whitechapel, but that on Friday he was walking about Whitechapel all night, and that he came from London to Gravesend by road yesterday. This morning he states that his name is William Henry Pigott (sic) and that he is 52 years of age. He further said that some years ago he lived at Gravesend, his father having at one time held a position there connected with a friendly society. The man appears to be in a very nervous state. Detective-sergeant Abberley has arrived at Gravesend from Scotland Yard.

    The man Piggott was brought to Commercial-street Police–station shortly after noon, and is detained in custody. During the afternoon a number of people who had given descriptions of “Leather Apron” attended at the station, but stated that the prisoner was not the man. This, coupled with an emphatic statement by the police that his clothing is not bespattered with blood, considerably discounts the importance of the capture. None of the persons who were brought to the station identified the man either as “Leather Apron” or anyone else. In consequence of the arrest large numbers of people were congregated around the station during the afternoon, but nothing of special interest transpired.

    Piggott has since been pronounced insane.

    Reports are constantly arriving at headquarters of men whose descriptions resemble that of the murderer being arrested. No fewer than seven persons have been in custody in different parts of the East-end on suspicion. The police at the various centres have, however, received strict instructions from Scotland-yard not to communicate details to the press, and it has not yet transpired whether either of the arrests is likely to lead to the identification of the culprit. We have been informed that in more than one case a brief investigation has proved that the person suspected could have no connection with the outrage, and he has accordingly immediately been released.

    Tuesday, September 11, 1888


    No Present Prospect of the Capture of the Assassin


    One result of the failure of the numerous arrests of yesterday to bring the mysterious tragedies in Whitechapel nearer to a solution has been greatly to reduce the excitement in the locality of the murder. The frequent arrests and reported arrests kept the excitement of the people at fever-heat all day yesterday. To-day, however, a stranger might pass through without noticing that anything unusual was on foot. Even around the now renowned cat’s-meat shop in Hanbury-street, where the last victim was found, there are but a few stray loiterers. The policemen who have hitherto been in charge of the premises have either been removed or keep out of sight. The inhabitants of the domicile are able to go in and out of the place without being closely questioned as to the why and wherefore of their entrance and exit, and the cat’s meat man disposes of his stock-in-trade without let or hindrance. The same serenity which prevails in Hanbury-street is also characteristic of Commercial-street, where at the police-station the detectives who are on the blood trail meet from time to time to compare notes and exchange items of news. There was a lot of new faces to be seen amongst them to-day. Sir Charles Warren’s return to active duty has resulted in the removal to other scenes of labour of several of the men who had nothing to show as the result of their inquiries, and the importation of new genius. Detective Thicke, whose capture of Pizer yesterday gave him a little temporary notoriety, is to be seen bobbing in and out of the station on mysterious errands beat. Groups of detectives are also to be dropped upon in unexpected places in close confab, but, despite all statements to the contrary, it does not appear that any large number of detectives are upon the work, whilst the uniformed force are strictly confined to their patrol duty.

    The arrests of yesterday proved to be very signal failures. Pizer, about whom the police had great hopes, had no difficulty in satisfying them he was not the man. A more unlikely man they could not have got hold of, and his arrest appears to be solely due to the mistaken zeal of Detective Thicke, who, on hearing a description of the man who is now notorious by the nickname of “Leather Apron” said he knew him and could lay his hand on him in a minute. He went straight away and arrested this unfortunate man Pizer – a weakly individual, who earns a living, when he is well enough to work, as a boot-finisher. The clothes saturated with blood and the terrible weapons found upon him were soon found to be simply the off-spring of somebody’s too exuberant fancy. The blood-stains, as was stated in last night’s EVENING POST, had no existence in fact, and the murderous weapons turned out to be only the ordinary knives in daily use by men of his occupation. Pizer was, in fact, released almost as promptly as he was arrested.

    Piggott, who was arrested at Gravesend, is now in the Whitechapel Infirmary under detention as a man of unsound mind. He had not been at the Commercial-street Station long before it was ascertained that he was in a lodging-house in Whitechapel on the night of the crime, and could not possibly have been the murderer. The traces of blood upon his clothes were greatly magnified, and the real facts about him appear to be that he has been on a prolonged drinking bout, and is suffering from delirium tremens. He will only be detained until the effects of this have worn off.

    With regard to the other five arrests, the police are, not unnaturally, very reticent. But there does not appear to have been the slightest ground for detaining the men, and the present state of affairs is that, beyond Pigott (sic), there is no one at all under arrest, and the police are practically without any clue at all.

    “Leather Apron” whether guilty or not, has discreetly disappeared from the neighbourhood, and has left not the slightest trace. The police now affect to discount the importance of the search for him, though they do not conceal the fact that they would be glad to lay their hands on him. They say that though he bears an enviable reputation, and has undoubtedly been levying blackmail upon the unfortunate women who gain a precarious livelihood in Whitechapel, nothing is known of him which supports the theory that he is the murderer.

    In consequence of a very general feeling in the neighbourhood that a reward ought to have been offered for information, a meeting of local tradesmen was held yesterday, at which a committee of 16 gentlemen, with Mr. J. Aaron as secretary, was appointed to act independently of the police. They issued a notice last night stating that they would give a substantial reward for the capture of the murderer, or information heading thereto. The movement is being warmly taken up, and it is believed that a large sum will be subscribed in a few days. It is also in contemplation to appoint a vigilance committee to patrol the streets at night.


    Mr S. Montagu, M.P., has offered £100 as a reward for the capture of the Whitechapel murders, and has asked Superintendent Arnold to issue notice to that effect.

    Wednesday, September 12, 1888


    The Supposed Blood Trail Examined and Found Wanting


    Resumed Inquest – Finding of the Body – Evidence of “Leather Apron”

    The latest development of the Hanbury-street tragedy is the supposed discovery of a blood trail in adjoining premises. The allegation this morning is that a little girl, playing in the yard at No. 25, the next house but one to the scene of the murder, noticed some peculiar marks on the wall and path. She communicated the discovery to Detective-Inspector Chandler, who was in the yard of No. 27 making a plan for the use of the coroner, and it is said that the result of a careful investigation was the discovery of a trail leading to the yard, and evidence of the murderer having beaten his blood-saturated coat against the wall. THE EVENING POST reporter has investigated the matter this morning, and found that this theory must be accepted with a considerable amount of reserve. On applying to the police he ascertained that some marks had been discovered, but no importance was attached to them; they had “something to do with a sewer”. Proceeding to the house he had no difficulty in getting to the back yard where the marks are. So little importance do the police attach to them that the constable was near the spot, and anyone was at liberty to go and cart them away. The yard is much the same kind as that in which this murder was committed. This wall is a brick “boundary” on the further side from the scene of the murder. There are certainly some extensive marks on the wall near the door; but what appears to be fatal to the theory of a clue is that they are too extensive. Over an area of four or five feet, and extending nearly to the earth, the mortar is filled with a viscid reddish-looking substance, which seems to bear a resemblance to blood. There are also stains on the intervening bricks, but what they are is not quite evident. The earth near to the wall is stained red over a considerable patch, close to this wall, and extending outward to a distance varying from half an inch to three inches. Altogether the marks are such as would be caused by a bucket of something being thrown against the wall. It is difficult to realise that a murderer’s coat, however saturated, could have left such a quantity behind by beating the garment against the bricks, and not have also left considerable stains upon the fences over which he climbed, and the intervening ground. To have been in such a condition, blood must have dripped from the coat in considerable quantities, but only a few marks at all suspicious can be found. The paper containing blood-stains was found on the other side of a very high wall in a cooper’s yard - so high that it scarcely seems feasible it could have been thrown over. At present, in the absence of a scientific examination of the marks, it is impossible to say by what they were actually caused, and therefore too much reliance must not be placed on the importance of the discovery.


    Pizer, otherwise “Leather Apron,” was interviewed this morning at 22, Mulberry-street, Whitechapel. He was released from Leman-street at half-past eight last evening. The ex-prisoner, in reply to questions put to him, said, “Whatever particulars the world at large, the police authorities, and the public wish to know as to my whereabouts and as to where I was staying when those atrocious and horrible crimes were committed, I am quite willing to give. I came into this house at a quarter to 11 o’clock on Thursday night last. I knocked at the door, my sister opened it. She was rather surprised to see me, but it is usual at Jewish holiday times to pay visits to friends. My sister’s young man was present. I shook hands with him. We had some conversation about work. My sister first went to bed, and put the bolt on the latch. Anybody that goes out of the house after the door is latched cannot get in again. From Thursday night until I was arrested I never left the house except to go into the yard. I was several times seen going into the yard by a next door neighbour. On Monday last Sergeant Thicke came here. I opened the door. He said I was wanted and I asked what for. He replied, ‘You know what for. You will have to come with me.’ I said ‘Very well, sir; I’ll go down to the station with you with the greatest of pleasure.’”

    “Did he charge you,” asked the reporter, “or tell you what you were wanted for?”

    “He said ‘You know you are “Leather Apron” or words to that effect. Up to that moment I did not know that I was called by that name. I have been in the habit of wearing an apron. I have worn it arising from my employment but not recently. I was quite surprised when Sergeant Thicke called me by the name of ‘Leather Apron.’ When I arrived at the police-station the police searched me, naturally, I suppose, and in the usual way. They took everything from me, which, I suppose, is according to the customs and laws of the country. They found nothing in my possession that would incriminate me, thank God, or connect me with the crime that I have unfortunately been placed in custody upon. I know of no crime. I have been connected with no crime, and my character will bear the strictest investigation, both by my co-religionists and Gentiles whom I have worked for. I am generally most of my time here, except when I go away to get anything that might be beneficial to me. I occasionally stayed at a lodging house-chambers – but not in Dorset-street.”

    “Before you came to 22, Mulberry-street, on Thursday night, where had you been staying?”

    “In the early part of last week I was at Holloway and it was from Holloway that I came on Thursday. Last Sunday week I was accosted in Church-street by two females unknown to me. One asked me, ‘Are you the man?’ – presumably referring to the Buck’s-row murder. I said ‘God forbid, my good woman.’ A stalwart man then came up and said, ‘Come on, man, and treat me to half a pint.’ I went on. I am not the man who is said to have been seen in a public-house on Saturday morning. I don’t know Mrs. Fiddyman’s public-house. I was totally ignorant of such a name as ‘Mrs Sivey’ until it was published. I don’t know such a woman. Between 11 and 12 o’clock yesterday a man came to Leman-street Police-station. One of the authorities asked me if I had any objection to go out to see if I could be identified. I at once went into the station yard. There were several men there. One of them I know to be a boot-finisher. He is a stout, stalwart man of negro cast. He came towards me, and without saying a word, he deliberately placed his hand on my shoulder. I promptly replied, ‘I don’t know you – you are mistaken.’ His statement that he saw me threaten a woman in Hanbury-street is false, for, as I can prove, as I have already said, that I never left this place from Thursday night until the time I was arrested. One of the evening papers has published a portrait intended to represent me, but it has no more resemblance to me than it has to the man in the moon. I have been told that I shall be wanted at the inquest this afternoon. I was quite ready to go and make a full statement as to my whereabouts. I shall see if I cannot legally proceed against those who have made statements about me. The charges made against me have quite broken my spirits, and I am afraid I shall have to place myself under medical treatment for some time.”


    This afternoon, Mr. Wynne Baxter resumed his inquest at the Lads’ Industrial Institute, Whitechapel-road, on the body of Annie Chapman, the latest of the victims of the Whitechapel murderer.

    Fontain Smith, printer’s warehouseman, of Bartholomew-close, said he had seen the body of the deceased at the mortuary, and recognised it as that of his sister. Her married name was Annie Chapman. She married John Chapman, who lived at Windsor, and was head coachman in a gentleman’s family. They had been separated for about three years. Deceased was 47 years of age. He last saw her alive a fortnight ago, when he met her promiscuously in Commercial-street, when he gave her 2s. Her husband died at Christmas 1886. She did not say where she was living. All she said was that she was not doing anything, and wanted the money for her lodging. Witness knew nothing as to her resources.

    James Kent, of 20, Drew’s-blocks, Shadwell, said he was a packing-case maker, and worked for Mr. Bailey, of Hanbury-street, Spitalfields, which was behind the houses where the murder took place. He went to work at six o’clock. On Saturday he got there between 10 minutes and quarter-past six. The clock of Spitalfields church struck six as he was entering Brick-lane. When he got to the gate of the yard the gate was open, but he stood for a minute, as he usually did, until some of the others came up. An elderly man named Davies, ran into the street from his house a door or two below, and said, “Men, come here.” James Green and others went with witness at the time. Witness and Green went to No. 29 Hanbury-street, through the passage to the back door and saw a woman lying in the yard at the bottom of the steps. She was lying flat upon the ground between the steps and the palisading, with her head towards the house. Her clothes were thrown back, but not over her face. Witness went back into the street whilst Davies went for a constable. No one went into the yard until Inspector Chandler came, it being apparent that the woman was dead. Her face and hands were smeared with blood, as if she had struggled.

    Asked to explain this, he said she looked as though she had been lying on her back and had “fought for her throat.”

    Continuing, witness said her legs were wide apart. There were marks of blood upon them. Her inside was protruding and it looked as though her inside had been dragged out and thrown at her. He went out and had some brandy, and then went to the shop to get a piece of canvas to throw over her body. When he went back to the house a mob had made a rush, the news having spread. An inspector was in possession of the yard, and kept the door shut.

    Amelia Richardson said she lived at 29, Hanbury-street, and was a widow. She rented the lower half of the house, and carried on the business of a packing-case maker there. She employed her son, and a man named Francis Tyler, who had worked for her for many years. Her son lived in John-street Spitalfields, and also worked in the market. About six o’clock her grandson, who lived with her in the same room, and was 14 years of age, ran upstairs and said there was a woman murdered in the yard. He had gone down to see what was the cause of so many people going through the passage. The constable was the first person to go into the yard. She was a very wakeful woman, and was awake half the night on Friday. She woke at three, and only dozed afterwards, but she heard no noise at all.

    John Richardson said he lived at No.2 John-street, and was a porter in the market, and travelled for orders for his mother. He left the house at a quarter to five on Saturday and went to Hanbury-street to see that the workshop was all right. He had done so regularly on ever market morning since the workshop had been broken into. He went into the yard, and sat on the step while he cut a piece of leather off his boot. He then left the house, closing the front door as he went. It was not thoroughly light at that time, but it was getting light, and he could see all over the place. If the body had been there he could not have failed to see it. He saw the body from the adjoining yard shortly before the doctor attended – a man in the market having told him of the murder. He had often seen persons go through into the yard for an improper purpose, and had caught them in the act.

    Mrs Richardson, recalled, said her son usually wore a leather apron in the workshop. It had got covered with mildew, and witness washed it under the tap in the yard on Thursday. It was left there, and was found there on Saturday morning by the police, who took charge of it. There was also a pan of clean water under the tap all night, and it looked as though it had not been disturbed.

    John Pizer, of 22, Mulberry-street, Commercial-road, an inoffensive looking man in evident ill health was then called. On being sworn he produced a book from his pocket, which looked like an account-book, and he was sworn upon it. No one looked at the book to see what it was and he immediately slipped it back in his pocket. In answer to the coroner, he said he was known as “Leather Apron”.

    Where were you on Friday night? - On Friday night I was at 22, Mulberry street. I was there on Thursday night.

    Where from? - From the west-end of the town.

    Who lives there? – My step mother and brother.

    When did you go out? I remained indoors then until I was arrested by Sergeant Thicke on Monday last.

    You say you never left the house? - Never left the house.

    Why did you remain indoors? - My brother advised me to remain indoors.

    There was suspicion against you? - I was the object of a false suspicion.

    The Coroner – It was not the best advice that could be given you.

    Witness: I was afraid I should be torn to pieces.

    You are released? – Yes, sir. I have been released, but wish to vindicate my character.

    The Coroner: You are called here partly to your own interests to give you an opportunity of doing so.

    Can you tell us where you were on Thursday, the 30th August? Witness (slowly) That would be Bank Holiday.

    No, the Thursday before you went to Mulberry-street? – (after a pause) – In the Holloway-road.

    You had better say exactly where you were – I was in that neighbourhood.

    In any house? In Crossman’s common lodging house, called the Round House.

    Did you sleep the night there? - Yes.

    What time did you go in? - It was the night of the London Dock fire. I went in at two or a quarter past.

    When did you leave it? At 11 o’clock next day.

    Where were you before two o’clock? – On Thursday night at 11 o’clock he had his supper at that house. After that he spoke to a police constable who was talking to Mr Crossland about the fire. He went as far as the Highbury station road returned and went into the lodging-house. Having paid 4d for a bed, he sat up for a little time smoking his pipe and then went to bed. Since then he had been staying at Peter-street, Westminster.

    The Coroner said it was only fair to state these statements could be corroborated.

    The Foreman said the jury were of opinion that the man was free from suspicion.

    The inquest was not concluded when we went to press.

    Thursday, September 13, 1888


    No News, No Clues; but Plenty of Suggestions for the Police

    The inquest on the body of Annie Chapman, the victim in the Hanbury-street tragedy, was resumed at the Working Lads’ Institute, Whitechapel-road, this afternoon, before Mr Wynne Baxter.

    Inspector Chandler said that on Saturday morning, about ten minutes past six, he was on duty in Commercial-street, at the corner of Hanbury-street. Several men were running up the street, and one of them said, “Another woman has been murdered”. He returned with them to the house No.29 Hanbury-street. In the yard was the body of the deceased, lying about 2ft. from the back wall of the house, and between the steps and the fence. The face was turned to the right side, the left hand rested on the breast, and the right was lying down on the right side. The legs were drawn up and the clothing above the knees. A portion of the intestines, still connected with the body, were lying above the right shoulder, with some pieces of skin. There were also some pieces of skin lying above the left shoulder in a pool of blood. He remained there and sent for the divisional surgeon (Mr. Phillips) and to the station for the ambulance and further assistance. When other constables arrived he cleared the passage of the people who had collected there, and saw that no one touched the body until the doctor arrived. He covered the body with sacking pending the arrival of the doctor. Mr Philips arrived about half-past six, and examined the body. It was then taken to the mortuary. After the body had been removed he found a piece of coarse muslin and two combs lying near the feet of the body. There was also a small piece of paper, and a portion of an envelope, lying near her head, containing two pills. On the back of the envelope was a seal with the words “Sussex Regiment”. There was no appearance of a struggle. The palisading was not strong, but would doubtless bear the weight of a man. There was no evidence of anyone having got over, and there were no marks of blood on the wood or in the adjoining yard. A careful search was made, but no trace could be found of any. At the mortuary he searched the clothing. Her jacket, which was a long black one, was stained with blood, round the neck, both on the inside and out, and there were two or three spots upon the left arm. A large pocket she wore under her skirt was torn down the front and side. It was empty. Except round the neck there were very few bloodstains on the clothes, nor were there any marks of cuts. She wore no corsets.

    In answer to the foreman the witness said he had not been able to trace the pensioner Stanley who used to go and see the deceased.

    The Foreman: He is a most important witness. He has been connected with her week after week, and he is not produced.

    Witness: there is no one who can give us the least idea who he is. I told the deputy at the lodging house to let me know when he came, but he did not.
    Sergeant Barratt gave evidence as to conveying the body of the deceased to the Whitechapel Mortuary; and Robert Mansell, the mortuary keeper, an inmate of the Whitechapel Workhouse, proved that no one touched it before it was seen by the doctor, with the exception of its being undressed by two nurses from the infirmary.

    The Coroner complained that Whitechapel did not possess a proper mortuary. This was simply a shed belonging to the parish, and should not be used as a mortuary. The East-end, which wanted mortuaries more than any other part of London, was most deficient in them. Bodies thrown up in the river had to be put in boxes in Wapping, which was in the same area.

    In answer to the foreman, the Coroner said he understood the Government had determined not to offer rewards in future – not in this case in particular, but generally.

    The handkerchief which was around the neck of the deceased, and was saturated with blood, was identified by Timothy Donovan as one that deceased used to wear. She bought it of (sic) a lodger in the kitchen.

    Mr. G.B. Phillips, divisional surgeon, said he was called by the police at 6.20 to see the body of the deceased at 29, Hanbury-street, and arrived there in ten minutes. He described how he found the body lying. The face was swollen, and the tongue protruded through the front teeth, but not beyond the lips. The tongue was evidently much swollen. The front teeth were perfect, and very fine teeth they were. The small intestines and part of the cover, together with part of the larger intestines were lying on the ground on the right side of the body above the right shoulder, but still attached to the remaining portion inside the body. Two flaps of the wall of the abdomen were lying in a pool of blood above the left shoulder. The body was cold except that there was a certain remaining heat under the intestine that was still in the body. The rigor mortis was not marked, but was evidently commencing. The throat was cut, the incision through the skin being jagged, and reaching around the neck. On Saturday afternoon he made a post-mortem examination. He was surprised to find that the body had been stripped, and was lying ready for examination on the table. It was under great disadvantage he made the examination, and he protested against members of his profession being called upon to make examinations in such a place. There was no adequate convenience, the place was most unfit; and at certain seasons of the year it was dangerous to the operator.

    The Coroner: As a matter of fact there is no mortuary between the City of London and Bow.

    Proceeding with his description, the doctor gave at great length the technical details of the post mortem appearance and the body internally and externally.

    The inquiry was again adjourned.

    Friday, September 14, 1888


    Mystery and Police Remain in Status Quo at Spitalfields

    The funeral of Annie Chapman, the last victim of the Whitechapel murderer, took place early this morning. The utmost secrecy was observed in the arrangements, and none but the undertaker, police and relatives of the deceased know anything about it. Shortly after seven o’clock a hearse drove up outside the mortuary in Montague-street, and the body was quickly removed. At nine o’clock a start was made for Manor Park Cemetery, the place selected by the friends of the deceased for the internment, but no coaches followed, as it was desired that public attention should not be attracted. Mr. Smith and other relatives met the body at the mortuary and service was duly performed in the ordinary manner. The remains of the deceased were enclosed in a black-covered elm coffin, which bore the words “Annie Chapman, died September 8, 1888, aged 48 years”.


    Information is to hand that a statement was made last night to a reporter by a young person named Lloyd, living in Heath-street, Commercial road East, which may possibly prove of some importance. While standing outside a neighbour’s door, about 10.30 on Monday night she heard her daughter, who was sitting on the doorstep, scream, and on looking round saw a man walk hurriedly away. The daughter states that the man peered into her face, and she perceived a large knife at his side. A lady living opposite stated that a similar incident took place outside her house. The man was short of stature, with a sandy beard, and wore a cloth cap. The woman drew the attention of some men who were passing to the strange man, and they pursued him some distance until he turned up a bye street, and after assuming a threatening attitude, he suddenly disappeared.

    It is significant, says a later communication, that the description of the man who was chased into a bye street exactly agrees with the description of a strange man seen in Flower and Dean-street, Whitechapel, on Sunday afternoon, with whom a woman named Lyons went into a neighbouring public house, and whose suspicious behaviour, coupled with the fact that he carried a large knife, led the woman to communicate with the Commercial-street police.

    The principal officers involved in investigating the Whitechapel murders were summoned to Scotland Yard yesterday, and conferred with the chief officials. Later in the day Mr. Bruce, Assistant Commissioner, and Colonel Monsell, Chief Constable, paid a private visit to Whitechapel without notifying the local officials of their intention to do so. They visited the scene of the Buck’s-row murder, as well as Hanbury-street, and made many inquiries. They spent nearly a quarter of an hour at No.29, Hanbury-street, and minutely inspected the house and the yard in which the body of Mrs. Chapman was found.

    The police have satisfied themselves that the man Pigott (sic) could have had nothing to do with the murders. His movements have been fully accounted for, and he is no longer under surveillance. Most of the street doors in Hanbury-street and the neighbourhood, heretofore left on the latch all night, have now been fitted with locks, and the lodgers supplied with keys.

    No further arrests have been made. The man arrested at Holloway has been removed to the asylum at Bow. His friends gave him an indifferent character. He has been missing from home for nearly two months, and it is known that he has been in the habit of carrying several large butchers’ knives about him. Inquiries are now being made with a view to tracing his movements during the past two months.

    The blood stained newspapers which were found in Bailey’s yard, close to Hanbury-street, and upon which it is conjectured the Spitalfields murderer wiped his hands after committing his fearful crime, have been subjected to analysis, and the stains this morning are certified to be those of human blood. The police who made the search state distinctly that the paper was not there when they made the search on Saturday, and though they have been closely cross-examined on this point, they adhere to their statement. It is not clear, moreover, that the murderer could have thrown the newspapers in the spot where they were found from the backyard on Hanbury-street; but if he threw the paper, which was rolled up into a round mass, over the wall, it might easily have been blown, or kicked, into the corner in which it was found.

    Saturday, September 15, 1888


    Stanley, the Pensioner, Comes Forward and Makes a Statement


    Last night was an anxious one in Whitechapel. It was a sort of anniversary of the crimes, and the question on every tongue was, Would the sun rise this morning upon another grim horror without hope of discovering the perpetrator? The police shared the general feeling, and extra police were put on in the streets with a view of making the murderer feel he could not be out of the reach of police surveillance. Whether he was daunted by these preparations or not it is impossible to say, but the night passed without a recurrence of the horrid sensation which for two weeks in succession has filled not only Whitechapel and Spitalfields, but the whole country with horror. So anxious are the police to bring home the crime to the murderer that the members of the H division, it is reported, have actually subscribed amongst themselves a sum of £50 to supplement the reward of £100 offered by Mr. Samuel Montagu, M.P.

    In addition to the police precautions it is well known that many of the women of the neighbourhood whose poverty urges them to pursue their wretched career at night, go about armed with knives sharpened into terrible weapons. Medical students and others seeking distinction and fame also prowl around the streets, well armed, hunting for the murderer.
    Edward Stanley, the pensioner, who was referred to at the inquest as being on intimate relations with the murdered woman Chapman, made a statement to the police last night at the Commercial-street Police-station. His explanation of his proceedings is regarded as perfectly satisfactory, and as affording no possible ground for associating him in any way with the recent outrage. In view of his relations with the deceased woman, Stanley felt considerable diffidence in coming forward, but after the expressions of opinion by the coroner at the inquest on Thursday, he placed himself in indirect communication with the police. It was by arrangement that he subsequently proceeded to Commercial-street Police-station. Stanley has given the police a full account of his whereabouts since he last saw the deceased woman, which was on the Sunday proceeding the murder. Since then he has been following his usual employment, and has taken no steps to conceal his movements. The man is described as superior to the ordinary run of those who frequent the lodging houses of Spitalfields. He states that he has known Chapman for about two years, and denies that she was of a quarrelsome disposition. So far as he is aware there was no man with whom she was on bad terms, or who would have any reason for seeking her life. Stanley will attend the inquest when the proceedings are resumed, though his evidence is not expected to throw much light on the tragedy. Yesterday morning a telegram was received from the police at Brentford, stating that a pensioner there answered the description of Stanley, and a detective was at once dispatched to make inquiries. When, however, the real Stanley had appeared further investigation was abandoned.

    The feeling of alarm in the neighbourhood has been greatly fermented during the past two or three days by the statements that repulsive-looking men armed with knives have been met with in the streets and that women and children have been frightened by them. Yesterday, Mrs Lloyd, of Heath-street, Commercial-road, stated that on Monday, at about 11 p.m. a man, whom she considered mad, ran down Heath-street, a narrow thoroughfare, pursued by some youths. They called to her, “Look what he has behind him.” Mrs Lloyd ran indoors and armed herself with a poker; but her daughter, a girl of about 16 years of age, who remained on the step, saw that the man, who crossed the street and peered in her face, held a knife behind him. He was followed by the youths into Commercial-road, and was there lost to view. It is stated that this individual corresponds with a man who was seen on Sunday afternoon, in Flower and Dean-street, by a woman, who says that he carried a large knife. He was short in stature, with a sandy beard, and wore a cloth cap, and he behaved very strangely. Last evening a man named Edward McKenna, answering almost exactly this description, was apprehended by the police, and taken to Commercial-street Police-station. The man gave an address at 15, Brick-lane, Whitechapel. The most suspicious article found upon him was a small table-knife, rather the worse for wear, which McKenna asserts he uses for the purpose of cutting his food. According to his own statement, which is fairly detailed, the man has recently been on tramp in Kent, and has only just returned to London. He gains a living by peddling lace and other small articles. The police do not attach great importance to the arrest, but have detained McKenna for inquiries. As Mrs. Lloyd and her daughter had not put themselves in communication with the police, and the number of their home in Heath-street had to be ascertained, McKenna was not confronted by them last night, but probably will be today.

    The funeral of Annie Chapman took place early yesterday morning, and none but the undertaker, police, and relatives of the deceased knew anything about the arrangements. Shortly after seven o’clock a hearse drew up outside the mortuary in Montague-street and the body was quickly removed. At nine o’clock a start was made for Manor Park Cemetery. No coaches followed, as it was desired that public attention should not be attracted. Mr Smith and other relatives met the body at the cemetery. The black-covered elm coffin bore the words, “Annie Chapman, died September 8 1888, aged 48 years”.

    Wednesday, September 19, 1888


    Resumed Inquest on Annie Chapman – Shocking Medical Details

    Mr. Wynne Baxter, the coroner for the Eastern Division of Middlesex, resumed this afternoon, at the Working Lads’ Institute, Whitechapel-road, the inquiry into the circumstances attending the death of Annie Chapman, who was found murdered last Saturday week, in the back yard of 29, Hanbury –street, Spitalfields.

    Eliza Cooper of 5, Dorset-street, was the first witness. She said she knew the deceased, and had had a quarrel with her the Tuesday before her death, in consequence of something that happened the Saturday previous. She related the cause of the quarrel, which was of a very trivial nature, and said that she came to blows with the deceased, hitting her on the cheek, and causing a bruise. She last saw the deceased alive on Wednesday, when she was wearing three rings. The rings were all brass. They were worn on the middle finger of the left hand. She knew the deceased associated with a man named Stanley, and with one called “Harry the Hawker.” The deceased used to bring men casually into the lodging-house.

    Dr. Phillips, recalled, was addressed by the coroner, who said that, for reasons which he need not enumerate, it was necessary, however painful it might be, that all the medical evidence should appear on the records of the Court. Dr. Phillips then proceeded to give his evidence. He said, in support of his statement last week that the woman had been caught hold of by the chin before her throat was cut, that the examination had revealed three scratches on the left side of the lower jaw. There was a bruise on the upper part of the right cheek, and both bruise and scratches were of recent date. Leaving that part of his evidence, the doctor said that before going further he must say that to give the public the details he was about to give would, in his opinion, be thwarting the ends of justice.

    The Coroner said the evidence must be taken, and ordered women and boys in the court to leave.

    Dr. Phillips pressed his view that the evidence should not be taken. It would not, he said, elucidate the cause of death.

    The Coroner said that was a medical opinion, and was probably right, but might possibly be rebutted by other medical opinion. The evidence must be taken. The responsibility for publishing it rested upon the Press. He did not feel that he was responsible.

    Dr. Phillips then resumed his evidence. He said the abdominal wall had been removed in three portions. From the placing and adjusting of these three flaps of skin it was evident that a portion of skin surrounding and constituting the naval was wanting. Dr. Phillips went into elaborate physiological details of the abdominal injuries. Two-thirds of the bladder were absent and could nowhere be traced. It was evident that these absent portions, together with the division of the large intestine, were the result of the same excising cut. Hence his opinion that the length of the weapon was at least five to six inches, probably more. The appearance of the cuts confirmed him in the opinion that the instrument, like that which divided the structure of the neck, had been of a very sharp character. The mode of removal of the abdominal wall indicated a certain amount of anatomical knowledge. The injuries in the womb showed greater anatomical knowledge, insomuch as the womb was removed in its entirety.

    The Coroner: Can you give me any indication of the time the infliction must have taken?

    Dr Phillips; I myself could not have performed all the injuries on the woman, even without a struggle, under a quarter of an hour. Surgically, they might occupy an hour. The whole object was to obtain possession of the womb. The injuries to the face were consistent with partial suffocation.

    Elizabeth Long, of 3, Church-row, Whitechapel, was then called. She said she saw the deceased on the morning of Saturday, September 8, at half-past five, as she was going to Spitalfields Market. She was sure of the time, because the brewer’s clock struck the half-hour. She passed through Hanbury-street on the same side as No. 29. There she saw “a gentleman and a lady” on the pavement talking. The man’s back was turned towards Brick-lane, and the woman’s back towards Spitalfields Market. The couple were a few yards from No. 29. She saw the woman’s face, and recognised it again in the mortuary. She was sure it was the same person. She did not see the man’s face and could not recognize him. She noticed that he was dark and had a brown deerstalker hat turned up on one side. From what she could see of his shoulders as she passed she thought he had no a dark coat, but was not certain. The man was a full-grown man, and looked to be over forty years of age. He was a little taller than the woman. He looked, so far as she could see, like a foreigner. He looked in dress shabby genteel. The couple were talking loudly, and she (witness) overheard the man say to the woman, “Will you?” and the woman said, “Yes.”. That was all witness heard, and she passed right on, leaving them standing there, and did not look back. Both stood very firmly, and she (sic) was nothing to indicate that either of them were the worse for drink. It was not by any means an unusual thing to see a man and woman talking together at that hour in the morning, hence she did not pay any particular attention to the occurrence.

    Edward Stanley, who said he was known also as “the pensioner,” gave evidence to the effect that he sometimes visited the deceased. He last saw her on Sunday, September 2, between two and three in the afternoon. She was then wearing rings of brass, he thought. He was not the man, as had been stated, who was in the habit of staying with the deceased from Saturday to Monday. He evaded a question whether or not he was a pensioner.

    Timothy Donovan, the lodging-house deputy, recalled, was confronted with Stanley, and, in answer to the Coroner, said Stanley was known to him as “the pensioner,” and it was he who used to come to the lodging house with the deceased from Saturday to Monday. This might have been done for six or seven Saturdays. Stanley was last there on Saturday, September 1 and stayed there till Monday.

    The Coroner: What have you got to say to that, Stanley?

    Stanley: Please cross it all out; it is all wrong. I was at Gosport from August 6 to September 1. I met deceased that night at the corner of Brushfield-street. I could not have been with the deceased six or seven Saturdays.

    The inquiry had not concluded when our reporter left.

    Wednesday, September 26, 1888


    Astounding Revelations by the Coroner- The Verdict

    Mr Wynne Baxter resumed the inquiry this afternoon at the Working Lads’ Institute, Whitechapel-road, into the death of Annie Chapman, or Sivvie, the woman who was murdered in the back yard of 29, Hanbury-street, Spitalfields.

    No further evidence was taken, and the coroner proceeded to address the jury. After re-calling the principal facts elicited during the inquiry, he said he attracted no importance to the discrepancy as to the time at which the deceased was despatched. In reference to the body there (sic) two things were missing. Her rings had been wrenched from her fingers and had not been found, and the uterus has been taken from the abdomen. The body had not been dissected, but the injuries had been made by someone who had considerable anatomical skill and knowledge. The organ had been taken by one who knew where to find it, what difficulties he would have to contend against, and how he should use his knife, as to abstract the organ without injury to it. No unskilled person could have known where to find it, or have recognized it when it was found. For instance, no mere slaughterer of animals could have carried out the operation. It must have been someone accustomed to the post mortem room. The conclusion that the desire was to possess the missing anatomical organ seemed overwhelming. With regard to the abstraction of the organ, he said: The difficulty in believing that the purport of the murderer was the possession of the uterus is natural. It is abhorrent to our feelings to conclude that a life should be taken for so slight an object. It has been suggested that the criminal is a lunatic with morbid feelings, but the object of the murderer appears palpably shown by the facts and it is not necessary to assume lunacy for it is clear that there is a market for the missing organ. Within a few hours of the issue of the morning papers containing a report of the medical evidence given at the last sitting of the court, I received a communication from an officer of one of our great medical schools, that they had information which might or might not have a distinct bearing on our inquiry. I attended, and was informed by the sub curator of the Pathological Museum that some months ago an American had called on him, and asked him to procure an example of specimens of the organ that was missing in the deceased. He stated his willingness to give £20 a piece for each specimen. He stated that his object was to have an actual specimen with each copy of a publication on which he was then engaged. He was told that his request was impossible to be complied with, but he still urged it. He wished the organs preserved, not in spirits of wine, the usual medium, but in glycerine, in order to preserve them in a flaccid condition, and he wished them sent to America direct. It is known that this request was repeated to another institution of a similar character. Now is it not possible that knowledge of this demand may have incited some abandoned wretch to possess himself of a specimen? It seems beyond belief that such inhuman wickedness could enter into the mind of any man; but, unfortunately, our criminal annals prove that every crime is possible. I at once communicated my information to the Detective Department at Scotland Yard. In conclusion, he remarked that it was not too much to hope that the ingenuity of the detective force would succeed in unearthing this monster, for it is not as if there were no clue to the character of the criminal or the cause of the crime. His anatomical knowledge carried him out of the category of a common criminal, for that knowledge could only have been obtained by assisting at post mortems. Then the class in which search must be made, although a large one, was limited.

    The jury returned a verdict of wilful murder against some person or persons unknown.

    Thursday, September 27, 1888


    Revival of Excitement in the East end – The Coroner’s Clue

    As a consequence of the startling statement made by the Coroner yesterday, public interest in the fate of the unfortunate Annie Chapman has been stimulated afresh, and to-day the subject occupies the foremost place in conversation. The clue afforded by the Coroner is, of course, being followed up by the police, who have now had the information in their possession for a week, but it has not transpired whether they have yet led to any tangible result. The inquiries of the police would necessarily extend to America, and on that account it may be some time before fresh facts could be in the hands of the public. An important point yet to be made clear is as to whether the subject of the murderer was the same in the cases of the woman Nicholls and of Annie Chapman. The Coroner in the former case, when he summed up last Saturday, appeared to think that it was, and at the time of expressing that opinion he must have been in receipt of an important communication from the sub-curator of the Pathological Museum attached to one of the metropolitan hospitals, to which he referred in his summing-up on the body of Annie Chapman. The opinion he expressed last Saturday on Nicholls’ case thus carries weight. The “shabby genteel” man who was seen in Chapman’s company shortly before her murder is being sought for, but up to the present, without success.

    From inquiries made at some of the great medical institutions, it has been ascertained that requests similar to that of the American gentleman have before been made, but the peculiar conditions attaching to those requests could not possibly be complied with unless the operation were performed before or immediately after death. Ever since the coroner communicated the facts to the police authorities no stone has been left unturned to follow up the clue, and active inquiries are still proceeding.

  • #2
    Thank you for transcribing. That must have taken a while to type.
    - Ginger


    • #3
      Originally posted by Ginger View Post
      Thank you for transcribing. That must have taken a while to type.
      Just seen this, thanks, yeah it did a bit. My favourite part is where Pizer supposedly swears his oath on an "account-book" that he pulls out of his pocket and no-one in the courtroom (other than the journalist) seems to notice or question it.


      • #4
        Would the journalist have known what a Jewish Bible looked like?

        Given that transcribing these texts is also a labor of love, it would be a shame if all this hard work becomes obscure over time.
        It might be best to approach Admin. and ask to have your transcripts included in the Casebook Press Section.
        Leaving them here on various threads they will become lost in the course of time.

        I just looked, two other press versions report that Pizer "was sworn in the Jewish manner", presumably it means "affirmed". What book does a Jew use when affirming, perhaps he carried his own?
        Last edited by Wickerman; 01-10-2015, 03:38 PM.
        Regards, Jon S.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Wickerman View Post
          Would the journalist have known what a Jewish Bible looked like?

          Given that transcribing these texts is also a labor of love, it would be a shame if all this hard work becomes obscure over time.
          It might be best to approach Admin. and ask to have your transcripts included in the Casebook Press Section.
          Leaving them here on various threads they will become lost in the course of time.

          I just looked, two other press versions report that Pizer "was sworn in the Jewish manner", presumably it means "affirmed". What book does a Jew use when affirming, perhaps he carried his own?
          Now that's a darned good idea.
          G U T

          There are two ways to be fooled, one is to believe what isn't true, the other is to refuse to believe that which is true.


          • #6
            Originally posted by Wickerman View Post
            Would the journalist have known what a Jewish Bible looked like?
            I just looked, two other press versions report that Pizer "was sworn in the Jewish manner", presumably it means "affirmed". What book does a Jew use when affirming, perhaps he carried his own?
            I'm sure he was using a religious book, rather than an actual account book (!), it's just that he supposedly whips it out of his pocket and no-one seems to check. That's what amused me. Certainly in the modern world the appropriate book would be provided to him by a court official.

            As for the procedure at the time, I happened to make a note of this when I checked the 1880 edition of Jervis on Coroners at the British Library which says:

            "A Jew is sworn upon the Pentateuch, a Turk upon the Koran, and each witness according to the peculiar form of his religion".

            As for the transcripts of the reports, I only started this to get the evidence of the Nichols inquest on the board, then I was PM'd by someone to ask if I had any more so I've done the Chapman one too. I'm now working on the double event and maybe when I've finished them all it might be worth getting them on press reports. Most of the lists in the press reports section are complete so I wouldn't want anyone to be misled that mine are comprehensive of everything re. the murders in the Evening Post. Also, it's good to have discussions (like this one) about the contents I think.


            • #7
              Originally posted by David Orsam View Post

              As for the procedure at the time, I happened to make a note of this when I checked the 1880 edition of Jervis on Coroners at the British Library which says:

              "A Jew is sworn upon the Pentateuch, a Turk upon the Koran, and each witness according to the peculiar form of his religion".
              Yes, I was thinking it couldn't be anything else but the Torah (Pent.), I just couldn't find anything definitive to say that.
              The reporter was likely judging the book by its shape or size.

              Most of the lists in the press reports section are complete so I wouldn't want anyone to be misled that mine are comprehensive of everything re. the murders in the Evening Post.
              The beauty of having a variety is that you get a better overview of court reports. No single press coverage is complete, they all edit the coverage to some extent. I am a firm believer in collating press reports, not following one out of preference. You are adding to our better understanding of the content which is to your credit.
              I have a question for you, not related to this thread, can I PM you ?
              Regards, Jon S.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Wickerman View Post
                I have a question for you, not related to this thread, can I PM you ?


                • #9
                  Is there connection between the pensioner and the Sussex regiment envelope? I read in an archive thread a post by Chris Scott where he found a connection between Emma smith n a pensioner from the Sussex regiment?


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by David Orsam
                    I'm sure he was using a religious book, rather than an actual account book (!)
                    Originally posted by Wickerman View Post
                    Yes, I was thinking it couldn't be anything else but the Torah (Pent.), I just couldn't find anything definitive to say that.
                    The reporter was likely judging the book by its shape or size.
                    Why couldn't it be an account book as stated? The article reads very clearly: John Pizer, of 22, Mulberry-street, Commercial-road, an inoffensive looking man in evident ill health was then called. On being sworn he produced a book from his pocket, which looked like an account-book, and he was sworn upon it. No one looked at the book to see what it was and he immediately slipped it back in his pocket. In answer to the coroner, he said he was known as “Leather Apron”.

                    As I illustrated quite plainly in The Bank Holiday Murders, Pizer stood up and told a lie when he said he was known as Leather Apron. He had to do so. If a religious man it would make sense that he would not want to swear an oath to God and then lie. But an oath to an account book wouldn't pose much a moral quandry.

                    Yours truly,

                    Tom Wescott


                    • #11
                      Personally speaking, I'd be amazed if Pizer had the chutzpah to swear his oath on an account book and I would have expected it to have at least been a book containing Hebrew text in case the coroner, or someone, had asked to look at it. I also rather imagine that the swearing procedure had been discussed beforehand so that the coroner knew what was coming. Having said that, I have been amazed before in my life and I would absolutely love it if it were true that he swore the oath on an account book, or similar, because it's just so darn amusing.

                      As for Pizer lying about being known as "Leather Apron", I haven't yet acquired your book Tom - although I certainly will be doing so, and from the snippets of info you have revealed in the other thread, it looks extremely interesting and in a different league to a normal JTR book - but I was naturally intrigued by the fact that Pizer denied being Leather Apron in his press interview on the Wednesday morning but then instantly admitted it at the inquest later that same day. I had assumed in my own mind that the answer was to be found in this statement:

                      "Up to that moment I did not know that I was called by that name. I have been in the habit of wearing an apron. I have worn it arising from my employment but not recently."

                      In other words, he hadn't known he was called "Leather Apron" until the police told him he was and, having been told this was the case, he admitted it in the inquest. But maybe I'm taking him too literally and there might be another answer. It may even be in your book!


                      • #12
                        I originally assumed the Torah would be too big to fit in a pocket. But if they can do it now, I guess they could do it then :



                        • #13
                          Hi David, I think you mentioned you haven't yet read my book? When you do my point will be clearer. Pizer's testimony at the inquest was indeed discussed and decided before hand, so his swearing on something other than holy scripture may indeed have been agreed to. Bottom line is, Pizer produced his own book - which appeared not to be a holy book to the reporter who was probably no stranger to seeing people of all religions sworn in at inquests - and then hurriedly put the book back into his pocket. This all makes perfect sense when added along to the wealth of information I present in my book regarding the Pizer episode.

                          Yours truly,

                          Tom Wescott


                          • #14
                            What does a Victorian account book look like and why would Pizer being carrying one? What does a pocket sized Jewish prayer book look like and is it substantially different looking from an account book? Presumably Baxter, the jury and sundry officials would have been nearer to the witness box than the press.

                            If he was intent on deception, how do we know which questions in his testimony he intended to lie about?

                            Methinks it must be harvest season as straws are being clutched at.
                            aka drstrange

                            "Whenever an expert says something that bolsters the Lechmere theory, it is not my task to disprove him ..."


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by drstrange169 View Post
                              What does a Victorian account book look like and why would Pizer being carrying one? What does a pocket sized Jewish prayer book look like and is it substantially different looking from an account book? Presumably Baxter, the jury and sundry officials would have been nearer to the witness box than the press.

                              If he was intent on deception, how do we know which questions in his testimony he intended to lie about?

                              Methinks it must be harvest season as straws are being clutched at.
                              Well it might work if the Coroner and his staff were as stupid as some want us to believe the police were.
                              G U T

                              There are two ways to be fooled, one is to believe what isn't true, the other is to refuse to believe that which is true.