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The attack on Emily Edith Smith - 5 Nov 1892

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  • #16
    Here is the first article that Debs mentioned.
    Just a note of explanation for non UK casebookers.
    One passage reads:
    Whilst the two were walking along Commercial Road, he said, "There are not many guys about his year. It was entirely different two years ago." "Indeed?" she replied. "Yes, two years ago Jack the Ripper was famous, and he was 'guyed' everywhere here,"

    The attack happened on November 5, known in the UK as Guy Fawkes Night or Bonfire Night as it is the anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament. The "guy" referred to is an effigy of Guy Fawkes that was traditionally made to be burnt on a bonfire and which, in the days leading up to November 5, was used by children to beg for money with the traditional chant of " Penny for the Guy."

    Western Mail
    23 November 1892


    A Morning representative on Tuesday interviewed the girl Smith. She stated that as early as eight o'clock in the morning a representative of an evening contemporary waited upon her. He was all anxiety.
    "Yes," said Miss Smith, "I keep by all I have said. The story in the Morning is true, though, of course, I would sooner not have had so much said about it. Still, if it leads to the detection of the ruffian all will be well, and no people would be more pleased than those who now blame me for going to Scotland Yard. Soon after this," added Miss Smith, "my parents called for me, having received the Morning, and I went away with them to 3 Bingford Street, Caledonian Road, where I was quickly called on by different gentlemen representing newpapers and news agencies. I was tired to death in talking to them, and some of them were certainly not courteous, insinuating that I had made up a lot of lies. I slammed the door in their faces. I am sorry if I was rude, but I really cannot help it."
    Asked if she had recently seen anything of Sergeant Bradshaw, she replied, "Quite enough. He simply haunts me, and no later than today (Tuesday) I went into a restaurant in the Tottenham Court Road to have something to eat, and he also came in and sat beside me."
    "Yes," she replied to a further question, "it was he who accompanied me in my tour over the ground in Whitechapel yesterday, but he has nothing to say for himself, and he is particualrly dull."

    In the course of further conversation, Miss Smith stated that her father had been for some time an invalid. Both he and her stepmother were still greatly angered by her having gone to Scotland Yard, but she continued to persist in her statement that what she had done was for the best. She was determined to bring her assailant to justice, and, so far as Scotland Yard went, she had received nothing but kindness and consideration, especially from Inspector Froest, to whom, it will be remembered, she first made her statement.

    One thing from the story we printed yesterday which is worth relating is in regard to the brooch worn by the girl Smith. It is about the size, in its circular shape, of a five shilling piece, and forms a connecting - or rather a missing - link in the sensational details of the Station Place affair of November 5. The sections of the brooch are attached to a circular rim, or rod, and they represent sprays of violets. Each has its own fastening, and Miss Smith asserts that one of them was violently broken away in the struggle with her would be murderer. It was gone the next morning, anyhow, and the girl is of opinion that when her assailant gripped her by the coat collar and neck he burst the brooch, causing the damage alluded to. It may be mentioned that the girl's neck was extensively bruised after the struggle with the man who threatened to kill her.

    London, Tueday.
    It is quite unnecessary for me to state that the sensational story told by the young woman Smith has been the principal topic of conversation here today. It came like a bolt from the blue. The theory that the "Ripper" had been handed over by his friends to the police as a dangerous lunatic, and was now safely under their charge, had begun to be generally credited as a fact. Today that theory has been shattered. The circumstantial narrative of the woman bore the impress of truth upon it, and every inquiry made today has but confirmed the details of her narrative. The great surprise of every person to whom I have spoken has been about the woman's great power of observation. It certainly was remarkable, but this seems to be a peculiarity of hers. In telling her story to Inspector Froest she was most minute, even drawing the man's features and moustache curl on paper, for the better illustration of her statements.
    "I did not," she said, "notice his boots, nor yet his hands, or the colour of his tie."
    I am surprised that she did not observe the last article of attire, as after I had interviewed her on Saturday night, she commenced her description of me to the police with the remark that I was "a young gentleman with a red tie." On that occasion she was very neatly dressed, and her appearance did not at all suggest the horrible profession which she follows.
    One observation of her attempted murderer - whom every person now believes to be the dreaded "Ripper" - not recorded by the Morning, is particularly significant. Whilst the two were walking along Commercial Road, he said, "There are not many guys about his year. It was entirely different two years ago." "Indeed?" she replied. "Yes, two years ago Jack the Ripper was famous, and he was 'guyed' everywhere here," and as he spoke he laughed quietly to himself. It was this incident which first made Edith Smith suspicious of her companion.

    A representative of the Press Exchange went to the scene of the alleged outrage on Tuesday morning, and found the description tally in all respects, except that it is in the Shadwell district, and not in Whitechapel. The scene of the alleged attempt is within 100 yards of the Shadwell Police Station, and on inquiry there the inspector on duty said he had heard nothing of it, and had not even been communicated with by the authorities at Scotland Yard. A policeman has been specially told off to patrol the passage, which is, no doubt, a dark one in the evening, and a likely spot to be chosen for the purpose of outrage. The people living in the houses opposite to the scene of the alleged attack knew nothing of the matter.


    • #17
      Here is the second article mentioned by Debs:

      Western Mail
      28 November 1892


      The News of the World on Sunday published a copy of a statutory declaration made by Miss Smith as to the truth of her story of the latest Whitechapel outrage. On Saturday afternoon, at 3.45, Miss Smith attended at the offices of the well known Holborn solicitors, Messrs. Peacock and Goddard, of 3 South Square, Gray's Inn, W.C., and made the statutory declaration. The following is a copy of the form of declaration:-
      I, Emily Smith, of 3 Bingfield Street, Caledonian Road, London, do solemnly and sincerely declare that the annexed statement I made today, Saturday, November 26, 1892,
      And I make this solemn declaration, conscientiously believing the same to be true, and by virtue of the provisions of the Statutory Declarations Act, 1835.
      Declared at 3 South Square, Gray's Inn, Holborn, W.C., the 26th day of November, One Thousand Eight Hundred and Ninety Two, before me, Chas. Goddard, a Commissioner for Oaths.
      (Signed) Emily Edith Smith.
      Subjoined is the full statement referred to:-
      "Statement on oath of Emily Edith Smith, the girl above alluded to (spinster, of Fitzroy Street, Tottenham Court Road, London), sworn upon the above date before Charles Goddard (Peacock and Goddard), of No. 3 South Square, Gray's Inn, Holborn, W.C., Commissioner for taking oaths and affidavits.
      "The foregoing statement of what is known as 'the last Whitechapel outrage' is perfectly true, with a few exceptions, and before I proceed I will correct these trifling errors. I am not in possession of a silk gown as described; it is a cheap dress of dark blue alpaca. Flowers I do not wear in my hat, as it is otherwise trimmed, and I am not an unfortunate. It is wrong to say that at the coffee house they had no saucers for the tea they served. They had, but they had no spoons, and the man who was with me stirred my cup with his penknife. This disgusted me, and I quietly dropped the tea upon the ground. I learn that the complaint I lodged in Scotland Yard is all but believed to be untrue. I am fully aware that for making a false declaration I could be sent to gaol for a long term; and though Scotland Yard may treat my story lightly and with doubt, I am prepared to swear to the accuracy of every statement I made on the Embankment to Inspector Froest and Sergeant Freeman.
      "Since my last visit to Scotland Yard, I have had some strange experiences. I admit that in finding the first coffee house in the City, where I went with my assailant, I utterly and completely failed, but in no way else have I not gone over the entire ground with complete success. On the particular occasion to which I refer I went to Whitechapel for the second time in my life, and I was accompanied by two friends who took a very active interest in the affair. Now, this is the weak part of my case, that, though I tried very hard, I could not find the coffee shop I sought, nor have I since with Sergeant Bradshaw.
      "Upon the night I was with the two friends who accompanied me to Whitechapel I told them the landlord of the public house in Sutton Street, when I was in there with my assailant on November 5, tended bar in his shirt sleeves, and that the material of the garment was coloured flannel. When we went there the landlord had on a brown cardingan jacket. One of my friends asked him did he remember, on Guy Fawkes' night, seeing me with a gentleman at about the hour we were there, 5.45 p.m. He looked at me very closely, and said he could not remember. I then asked him could he not recall the incident of my having asked for a small whisky, and his saying that he had only a a beer and wine licence, at the same time recommending his sherry. The landlord replied it was quite a common thing for people to mistake partially licensed houses for fully licensed ones, and that he could not remember. One of my friends then asked did he wear flannel shirts in the bar, to which he replied, 'Nothing but white.' The same friend, almost before he had time to say this, quickly turned up the cuff of the cardigan jacket, and, disclosing a fawn coloured flannel shirt, said, 'You would not call that white?' I then remarked that that was exactly the style of shirt he wore on the night I speak of.
      "Some of the newspapers try to make a point out of the absence of any statement as to what I did after I ran down Sutton Street, and caught the Commercial Road tramcar. Well, I will tell it now for the public, as I did for the private ears of Inspector Froest and Sergeant Freeman in Scotland Yard. I booked at Aldgate for King's Cross, and there a man whom I thought I knew came up and spoke to me. He asked me why I was so frightened, and what was up with me. I had some tea with him, and went on to my home, where I met a girl of about my own age, from whom I had been estranged for some time through a girl's quarrel. I begged her to stay with me as I was so frightened, which she did. I told her, and mother later that night, but not father, fearing it would upset him. He has been an invalid for a long time.
      "Now touching my last Sunday night experience referred to in one of the evening papers, I wish to state that on the evening mentioned I was in the King Lud public house, Ludgate Circus, at about ten o'clock, and whilst having a sandwich and something to drink, two gentlemen were there seen by me, and one of them had a most wonderful resemblance to my would be murderer. I was immediately struck by the likeness, but whilst he had the odd eyes I have described, I could not see the decayed cavities in his 'dog' teeth mentioned in my statement in Scotland Yard. I asked the barmaid, did she notice anything peculiar about his eyes. She said, "Yes, they are odd, and I have seen him stare very hard at you.' I then asked her had she ever seen either of them in the King Lud bar before, and she answered not. She thought they were complete strangers. I followed them out, and they went down into the gentlemen's retiring place at Ludgate Hill. They then went up towards St Paul's, where they picked up two girls, and walked with them up Cheapside, beyond the Bank of England, until they reached a point right opposite a building with an archway, in which the German Bank has offices, and there they stopped. A dense fog was then quickly setting in, and I determined to stay as close as I could to them. They turned back, and after following them I had to go ahead of them, and the man I suspected was one of the first pair. I stood in a doorway for the purpose, if possible, of hearing his voice; there was a laneway or passage nearby, and I heard him distinctly say, "Let us get up this way." The girl said, "I'll do nothing of the kind," or words to that effect. In a second or two the other pair came up, and on the girl mentioned the matter to her girl companion, she heard her say, "No, no, no." They then all proceeded back towards Cheapside, and I followed them; but just before the Bank the fog became that thick that you could scarcely see your hand before you. I lost them in that fog. I told this to Chief Inspector Swanson next day, and he wondered why I did not give the man into custody. I told him I could never see his teeth, but that he was a man with the same eyes, same height, same style of dress, and same walking street, and I honestly now swear that I am all but convinced he was the man who took me from Cheapside to Station Place.
      "I am positive I would be able to identify the man again. To end this statement I will say that throughout the whole of the occurrences above detailed I was perfectly sober. I have never been drunk in my life, and have never been in a court either as a prisoner, a witness, or in any other capacity."


      • #18
        Station Place was the home of the notorious Nod(d)ing family. It and nearby Cornwall Street also had some connection to the brothel-keepers of Breezer’s Hill/Pennington Street.

        Note: SP was actually in St Geo. E rather than Shadwell.
        Last edited by MrBarnett; 10-02-2019, 04:39 PM.