VIctims/Suspects

 

Martha Tabram

Arguably the first victim of Jack the Ripper Martha Tabram was killed on the 7th August 1888, her body was discovered in George Yard Buildings at 4.50 am by John  Reeves on the first floor landing laying in a pool of blood. He found P Barrett who immediately found another constable to run for a Dr in nearby Brick Lane. At 5.30am Dr Keleene examined Martha’s body and estimated that she had died around 2.30am. She had been stabbed 39 times in the lungs, breasts, stomach, liver & spleen all but one of these wounds had been made by a relatively small knife a penknife for example. One wound was made by a different knife penetrating the breast bone this knife had a strong,  longer blade a dagger, a bayonet, bone-ing knife or surgical knife.

At 10pm the previous evening Martha Tabram and Mary Anne Connelly “Pearly Poll”  had been seen in the Two Brewers pub in Brick Lane, they were then seen in varios Pubs around the area, it is rumoured that the last Pub they visited was the Angel & Crown on the Corner of Whitechapel High Rd and Osborn St when they came out they separated and Pearly Poll took her solider into Angel Alley for sexual services it is presumed. When she had finished she left him on the corner of George Yard and  Whitechapel High Rd and turned toward Whitechapel.

At 1.40am Joseph Mahoney and his wife Elizabeth returned home to their flat at 47 George Yard Buildings in George Yard, a narrow alleyway just off Whitechapel High St which had many further courts and small alleys branching off, lived in by the poorest of the poor in doss houses. mrs Mahoney returned downstairs to fetch some supper from a shop in Thrawl St, on the unlit stairway she did not see anyone or anything.

At 2.00am PC Barrett saw a Grenadier Guardsman standing in George Yard about halfway up on the righthand side he asked him what he was doing loitering and the soldier told him he was waiting for his friend who had gone off with a girl.

At 3.30am Alfred Crow a cab driver entered George Yard Buildings where he lived at No 35 he climbed the stairs and saw a body on the first floor landing. Homeless people often slept on the landing so he took no notice.  Just an hour later the body was discovered so that was most likely Martha laying there dead.

Mary ann Nichols (Polly)

On 31st August 1888 Charles Cross was passing through Buck’s Row on his way to work, outside a stableyard gateway on the opposite side of the street he saw what he thought was a piece of tarpaulin, thinking it may prove useful he crossed the road to examine it and discovered it was the body of a woman. Almost immediately he hear someone approaching and as the man came into view he called to him “Come and look  I think it’s a woman.” Robert Paul crossed the road and joined him, neither man could see the injuries to the body at this stage as the lack of lighting made this impossible (one light at the far end of the row of cottages next to the gate). Cross felt her hand which was cold “I think she’s dead” he said. Robert Paul though he detected a faint pulse and heartbeat, he wanted to move the body but Cross wouldn’t touch her. They were now running late and decided to look for a policeman to deal with it. They left Buck’s Row, only moments before PC Neil entered it, he saw the bundle by the gate shone his lamp on it and saw her dead eyes looking up at him.

In the meantime, within a few minutes. Cross and Paul had met PC Jonas Mizen and sent him to investigate this body. They parted company and continued on to work, they had nevre met before this morning..

At 3.47am PC Thain was passing the end of Buck’s Row and was heard by PC Neil who flashed his lamp. As soon as he arrived where Polly lay PC Neil Told him to fetch a doctor and off he went. Pc Mizen arrived in Buck’s Row to find Pc Neil with the body and was sent to fetch a hand ambulance. Pc Neil asked at Essex Wharf if they had heard anything and Sergeant Kirby arrived and knocked on the door of New Cottage next to the gateway Mrs Green the occupant, shouted  from the window ” I haven’t heard anything unusual.”

PC Neil looked for blood trails on the floor in case the body had been dragged there from elsewhere. the body was removed to the Whitechapel mortuary, where the body was  stripped and washed, despite instructions that it was not to be touched. Her throat had been cut twice, one four inch and one eight inch cuts, they had reached through the vertebrae, there were also several incision across the stomach . Dr Llewellyn who examined the body said it showed, that it was someone with rough anatomical knowledge, he thought she had been seized from behind his hand across her mouth and the other weilding the knife. A finger bore the impression of a ring, which was not found but did not appeare to have been wrenched off at the time of the attack.  Labels on her clothing pointed to her being a resident of Lambeth Workhouse but although she had been in and out of there many times  when the matron viewed the body she was unable to recognise her.

Eventually she was identified by a fellow lodger Emily Holland of 18 Thrawl St, a common lodging house where she rented they rented beds. Emily had seen her earlier that night about 2:00 am when Polly had been thrown out of the lodging house for not having fourpence to pay for her bed. later on at 7:30am she was identified again by an inmate of Lambeth Workhouse Mary Ann Monk.

 

 

 

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