The Victims (Jack the Ripper) Part 6

Catherine Eddowes

Sunday, 30 September 1888 At 1:30 A.M. on 30 September, Constable Edward Watkins’s beat took him into Mitre Square in the City of London. Although close to the busy neighborhoods of Duke Street and Aldgate, the square was very quiet at night and poorly lit. There were only two lights in the square itself: one outside Kearley and Tongue’s warehouse in the northwest corner, close to a passage that led to St. James’s Place; the other on the wall at the entrance to Church Passage, which led into Duke Street. There was a third lamp outside the square, on the corner of Mitre Street, but it threw little light into Mitre Square itself because much of its glow was obstructed by Mr. Taylor’s shop on the corner.

Few people lived or worked in the square. The only family living there was that of Constable Pearse. His home, number 3 Mitre Square, lay between an empty house and Kearley and Tongue’s on one side and another warehouse, that of Williams and Co., on the other. There were three houses next to Taylor’s shop, but these were all empty, and the shop itself was left locked up and deserted at night. The rest of the square consisted of warehouses that did have watchmen, but for the most part Mitre Square was empty, and that was just how Constable Watkins found it at 1:30 A.M.

After walking through the square and checking it carefully, Watkins left via St. James’s Place. Turning right, he passed up Duke Street, which turned right upon itself. Watkins continued along Duke Street and turned back toward St. James’s Square, then walked down King Street and Creechurch Place, turning left at St. Katharine Cree Church into Lead-enhall Street and then passing around into Mitre Street and back into Mitre Square. The entire beat took him about 14 minutes so that at 1:44 A.M. he was again turning into Mitre Square. This time the Square was not deserted, for in the southernmost corner, the darkest part of the place, lay the body of a woman clearly picked out by the lantern on Watkins’s belt. She had been savagely mutilated.

Watkins ran across to Kearley and Tongue’s warehouse, for he knew that the night watchman there, George James Morris, was a retired police officer. Watkins found the door to the warehouse ajar, pushed it open, and found Morris sweeping the steps that led down toward the door.

"For God’s sake, mate, come to my assistance," cried Watkins.

"What’s the matter?" asked Morris, to which Watkins replied, "Oh, dear, there’s another woman cut to pieces."

Collecting his own lamp, Morris followed Watkins out into the square and looked at the woman’s body. Then, while Watkins stood guard, Morris ran out through Mitre Street and turned left into Aldgate, all the while blowing his whistle to attract attention. He soon found two constables, James Thomas Holland and James Harvey, who had beats adjacent to Watkins’s.

Constable Holland ran for medical assistance. The nearest surgery was that of Dr. George William Sequeira at 34 Jewry Street, Aldgate, and by the time Holland had called that gentleman out it was 1:55 A.M. Dr. Sequeira reached Mitre Square soon afterward but didn’t touch the body. It was plain that the poor woman was beyond all human aid, and he believed it would be better if the first detailed examination were made by the official police surgeon.

The corner of Mitre Square where Catherine Eddowes was butchered. It was at the top of Church Passage that she was seen by Joseph Lawende talking to a man who was almost certainly her killer.

The corner of Mitre Square where Catherine Eddowes was butchered. It was at the top of Church Passage that she was seen by Joseph Lawende talking to a man who was almost certainly her killer.

The holder of that office, Dr. Frederick Gordon Brown, arrived at the square at 2:18 A.M. Before this, at about 2:03 A.M., Inspector Edward Collard had arrived, having been alerted at Bishopsgate Police Station. Once Dr. Brown had made his examination, he ordered that the body be moved to the City Mortuary in Golden Lane.

Other officers had arrived on the scene by this time. At 1:58 A.M., three plain-clothes detectives, Sergeant Robert Outram, Constable Daniel Halse, and Constable Edward Marriott, had been on the corner of Houndsditch and Aldgate High Street, having just been busy searching passageways and houses a few streets away as part of the police effort to trace the Whitechapel killer. Alerted to the fact that there had been a murder in Mitre Square, they ran to the spot and then set out in different directions to see if they could find the miscreant.

Only Constable Halse would later be called to give his testimony at the inquest. He left the square and traveled through Middlesex Street and on into Wentworth Street. There he saw two men; stopped them; and, satisfied with their explanation as to what they were doing at that time, allowed them to go on their way. From Wentworth Street he walked into Goul-ston Street, by which time it was after 2:15 A.M. Having found nothing, he returned to Mitre Square to report and to receive further instructions from his superiors.

When he reached the square, Halse received news that a discovery had been made, so he and another officer, Detective Constable Baxter Hunt, went immediately to Leman Street Police Station to find out more. They were directed to Goulston Street, where they spoke to Constable Alfred Long.

Constable Long’s beat took him through 108-119 Wentworth Model Dwellings, close to the junction of Goul-ston Street and Wentworth Street, every half hour or so. At 2:20 A.M. he had seen nothing out of the ordinary, but at 2:55 A.M. he had spotted a piece of apron on the right-hand side of the open doorway. Just above the apron, written in white chalk on the black brick fascia, was a message that read:

The Juwes are The men That Will not be Blamed for nothing Long had left a fellow constable from a nearby beat to guard the writing while he took the piece of apron to Commercial Street Police Station. Other stations, including Leman Street, were notified of the find.

Halse now stayed with the graffito while Detective Hunt returned to Mitre Square to report to Inspector James McWilliam. The inspector ordered that the writing be photographed and sent Hunt back to Goulston Street with instructions that he and Halse should carry out a thorough search of the premises. The search revealed nothing, and the writing never was photographed. The erasure of what might have proved to be a crucial clue is discussed in the "Miscellaneous" section of this topic. Suffice it to say here that Sir Charles Warren, the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, and Superintendent Thomas Arnold, the head of H Division, agreed that the writing should be sponged from the wall, and their decision was carried out at 5:30 A.M., despite Halse’s objections.

Catherine Eddowes lying in the mortuary. She was certainly a victim of Jack the Ripper, and many believe her to be the second of two women he killed on the night of the so-called double event, 30 September 1888. Although her killer had but a few minutes to complete his work, Catherine was subjected to appalling mutilations.

Catherine Eddowes lying in the mortuary. She was certainly a victim of Jack the Ripper, and many believe her to be the second of two women he killed on the night of the so-called double event, 30 September 1888. Although her killer had but a few minutes to complete his work, Catherine was subjected to appalling mutilations.

The apron, meanwhile, had been handed over to Dr. Brown, and he took it to the Golden Lane mortuary to compare it with the clothing the dead woman was wearing. Inspector McWilliam was present when the garment was compared to a cut apron worn by the victim. The match was exact, even down to a seam that corresponded in both pieces. There could be no doubt that the killer had cut the piece of apron from the dead woman, probably used it to wipe his hands, and later discarded it in Goulston Street. If Constable Long was correct when he stated that he had not seen the apron at 2:20 A.M., then the murderer must have dropped it after that time, which seems to indicate that he was on the streets after the discovery of the body at 1:44 A.M. until at least 2:21 A.M.

Identifying the dead woman proved to be relatively simple. A mustard tin found near her body contained two pawn tickets for items pledged at the shop of Joseph Jones at 31 Church Street, Spital-fields. The pawned items turned out to be a man’s flannel shirt, pledged on 31 August in the name of Emily Birrell of 52 Whites Row, and a pair of man’s boots, pledged on 28 September in the name of Jane Kelly of 6 Dorset Street.

Police checks showed that both names and addresses were false, but the reports of these two items and the fact that the victim had the letters "T. C." tattooed in blue on her left forearm brought John Kelly, a laborer, to the Bishopsgate Police Station on 2 October.

Kelly said he believed the Mitre Square victim was a woman he had been living with for seven years, mostly at Cooney’s lodging house at 55 Flower and Dean Street. Taken to view the body, Kelly confirmed the identification and said the woman was Kate Conway, who sometimes called herself by his surname, Kelly.

With this name to work from, the police were able to establish that in fact the dead woman’s correct name had been Catherine, or more commonly Kate, Eddowes.

Catherine Eddowes had been born to George and Catharine Eddowes in Wolverhampton on 14 April 1842. In December 1844, when Catherine was just two, the family moved to London and by 1851 was living at 35 West Street, Nelson Street, Bermondsey. Four years later, on 17 November 1855, Catherine’s mother died and the large family was dispersed. Catherine was sent to live with an aunt, Elizabeth Eddowes, in Wolver-hampton.

It seems that Kate was not happy with her aunt, for a few months later she ran away to Birmingham, where she moved in with another relative, an uncle, Thomas Eddowes. Not long afterward she met Thomas Conway, the man whose initials were tattooed on her arm, and they started living together.

Although Conway and Catherine never married, they stayed together until 1880, or perhaps 1881, and she bore him three children: a daughter, Annie, and two sons. The family came back to London, and it was there that the couple separated. Catherine met John Kelly at the Flower and Dean Street lodging house in 1881. She kept in touch with her daughter, whose married name was Phillips, for some time, but Catherine’s constant demands for money created some friction between them. When Annie moved in 1886, she didn’t bother to give her mother her new address. Consequently, by 1888 mother and daughter had not met for two years.

John Kelly was able to give the police further information about Catherine Eddowes. She had three sisters living in London. Two of these, Eliza Gold, who lived at 6 Thrawl Street, and Emma Jones of 20 Bridgewater Place, hadn’t been friendly toward Catherine, again possibly owing to her habit of trying to borrow money. The third sister, Elizabeth Fisher of 33 Hatcliffe Street, Greenwich, had seen Catherine from time to time.

Referring to the events of the past few days, Kelly told the police that he and Catherine had spent much of the autumn in Hunton, near Maidstone, hop-picking. They had made some money, and Kelly had bought himself a new pair of boots. However, by Thursday, 27 September, they were back in London and had no money, meaning they couldn’t afford their usual lodging house and had to sleep at the Casual Ward in Mile End.

On Friday, 28 September, Kelly managed to earn sixpence doing some laboring work. He gave fourpence to Catherine so she could have a single bed at Cooney’s, Kelly himself having the intention of going back to Mile End, but Catherine wouldn’t hear of it. She insisted that Kelly should have the bed and she would go to the Casual Ward, and after some discussion Kelly agreed rather reluctantly.

On Saturday, 30 September, Catherine and Kelly met again, still without much money to their names. Kelly announced that he would pawn his new boots. Catherine protested, but this time Kelly would not be moved, and the boots were exchanged at the pawnbroker’s shop for 2 shillings and sixpence. The couple then had some breakfast at the Flower and Dean lodging house, bought some tea and sugar, and at 2 P.M. parted in Hounds-ditch, Catherine announcing that she intended to visit her daughter, Annie. One of the last things Kelly said to Catherine was a warning about the killer who was stalking the streets. Catherine replied, "Don’t you fear for me. I’ll take care of myself, and I shan’t fall into his hands."

This conversation, or one very similar to it, was reported in different circumstances. A report in the East London Observer of 13 October refers to a supposed conversation between Catherine and the superintendent of the Casual Ward at Mile End. According to this article, Catherine commented that she and Kelly had returned from hop-picking because she believed she knew the identity of the killer and was going to claim the reward. Told that she might well become his next victim, Catherine replied, "Oh no fear of that." This report cannot be substantiated from any other source so must be said to be unreliable; yet some writers have claimed as a fact that Catherine Eddowes knew who the Ripper was. Those writers seem to have missed a rather obvious point: If Catherine did know the identity of the killer, then she must have met him, by accident or design, close to Mitre Square and then walked into that dark, secluded corner with him. This scenario is hardly likely, and it must be accepted that Catherine did not know who Jack the Ripper was.

When Catherine and Kelly parted in Houndsditch at 2 P.M. on 29 September she had no money, but she must have earned some in the next few hours because at 8:30 P.M. she was drunk and incapable. Constable Louis Robinson noticed a small crowd of people around 29 Aldgate High Street and, pushing his way through, found Catherine lying on the pavement. The constable picked her up and leaned her back against some shutters, but she slid sideways, so Robinson called over a fellow officer, Constable George Simmons, and together they took her to Bishopsgate Police Station. Of course, at this time neither officer knew the identity of the woman they had arrested. Upon their arrival at the station at 8:45 P.M., Catherine was asked her name and replied, "Nothing," so she was placed in a cell to recover. One hour later, at 9:45 P.M., Constable George Hutt came on duty and visited the cells several times during the next couple of hours to check on the prisoners.

By 11:45 P.M. Catherine was awake and singing softly to herself. By the time of the next check, at 12:30 A.M. on 30 September, she was asking when she would be allowed to leave, and Hutt told her, "Shortly." Catherine retorted, "I am capable of taking care of myself now." Less than half an hour later the desk officer, Sergeant James George Byfield, told Constable Hutt to see if any of the prisoners were fit to be discharged. That instruction led Hutt to unlock Catherine’s cell and take her up to the office, where she asked him what time it was.

"Too late for you to get any more drink," replied Hutt, but Catherine persisted in asking the time and was then told that it was just on 1 o’clock. Catherine mused, "I shall get a damned fine hiding when I get home, then." Hutt responded, "And serve you right. You have no right to get drunk."

Asked for her name and address, Catherine said she was Mary Ann Kelly and lived at 6 Fashion Street. After this information was noted she was formally discharged, and Constable Hutt held the door open for her as she left. He watched her walk down the passage that led to the main street doors and asked her to pull them closed behind her. She shouted back, "All right. Good night, old cock," and Hutt noticed that she turned left, toward Houndsditch. It would later be said that Mitre Square was just eight minutes’ walk away, meaning Catherine could have arrived there as early as 1:10 A.M.

It appears that Catherine was seen close to Mitre Square. After the murder a house-to-house inquiry brought three witnesses to the attention of the police: Joseph Lawende, Joseph Hyam Levy, and Harry Harris. These three men had spent the night of 29 September at the Imperial Club at 16-17 Duke’s Place. They left about 1:30 A.M. on the 30th, and as they came into the street Lawende noticed a man and a woman standing at the corner of Church Passage, which led into Mitre Square.

For some reason that was never made plain, Levy seemed disturbed by the couple and remarked to his companions that he didn’t like walking home alone when there were such people about. However, he did not take particular notice of the couple, for he was unable to offer any description of the man and woman, nor could Harris. Lawende did take a closer look and noticed that the woman, who had her back to him, was wearing a black jacket and bonnet and was quite small. She rested one hand on the man’s chest, and their conversation was quiet. The man was facing Lawende, so Lawende’s description of him was more detailed. According to later newspaper reports he was about 30 years old, 5 feet 7 or 8 inches tall and of medium build, with a fair complexion and mustache. He wore a pepper-and-salt loose jacket, a gray cloth cap with a peak, and a reddish neckerchief tied in a knot. Lawende thought he looked like a sailor.

Though he had not seen the woman’s face, Lawende was later shown Catherine Eddowes’s clothing and believed it was the same as that worn by the woman he had seen. If this is true, then we know that Catherine was alive, with a man, at the top of Church Passage at 1:35 A.M., and her body was found by Constable Watkins just nine minutes later. This means that the man Lawende saw must almost certainly have been the killer.

In fact, the time of the murder might well be narrowed down even further. Constable James Harvey had a beat that took him down Duke Street and along Church Passage. He did not actually go into Mitre Square but, having reached the junction of the square with Church Passage, turned and retraced his steps back into Duke Street. According to his reckoning he walked down Church Passage at 1:41 or 1:42 A.M., looked into the square, and saw nothing. How is this information to be explained?

In the first place, Harvey’s timing is approximate. He guessed at the time he would have looked into Mitre Square by the time he passed the post office clock, which he said was about 1:28 or 1:29 A.M. Assuming, for the moment, that his timing was accurate, then when Harvey looked into Mitre Square Catherine Ed-dowes’s body must have been lying in the far corner. Her killer might have still been there, hiding in the shadows. The corner where the murder took place was the darkest part of the square. An alternative explanation is that Catherine’s body was lying in the dark and the killer had already made good his escape. However, this idea can be discounted because the minimum time required to inflict the mutilations, according to the medical evidence, would have been three minutes. So if Harvey did look into the square when he said he did, the killer must still have been there.

There is, however, a third possibility. Harvey was dismissed from the police on 1 July 1889 for reasons that are not known. This detail suggests that he was not the ideal police officer and hence may not have been as methodical in his duties as he should have been. Therefore, might another explanation be that Harvey skipped part of his beat in order to save himself a little time? Suppose Harvey patrolled the rather more public area of Duke Street but as he approached Church Passage, which had a light at the far end, all he did was look down the passage toward Mitre Square? After all, he knew that another officer, Constable Watkins, made a careful patrol of the square itself; surely all he had to worry about was Church Passage, and he could see down that plainly enough from Duke Street. Once the murder occurred, Harvey had no choice but to lie, saying he had walked down the passage at the time he was supposed to and had seen nothing in the square.

Whatever the truth of this incident, we can draw up a tentative timetable for the events leading to Catherine Eddowes’s murder:

29 September

2 P.M.—She parts, penniless, from John Kelly in Houndsditch.

8:30 P.M.—She is arrested for being drunk in Aldgate High Street.

8:45 P.M.—She arrives at Bishopsgate Police Station.

30 September

1:02 A.M.— Catherine is released from the police station.

1:10 A.M.—The earliest time Catherine could have arrived at Mitre Square.

1:30 A.M.—Constable Watkins patrols Mitre Square and finds nothing.

1:30 A.M.—A woman believed to be Catherine is seen at the junction of Duke Street and Church Passage by Lawende and his friends.

1:40 A.M.—Latest possible time of death, according to Dr. Sequeira.

1:41 A.M.—The time Constable Harvey said he looked into Mitre Square.

1:44 A.M.—Constable Watkins finds Catherine’s body.

2:20 A.M.—Constable Long patrols Wentworth Model Dwellings and finds nothing.

2:55 A.M.—Long finds the apron and the graffito.

The latter time seems to confuse many authors. Even if the Ripper had left the square by another route as Constable Watkins entered it through Mitre Street, he would still have been out of Mitre Square at 1:44 A.M. If we assume that Constable Long was diligent enough at 2:20 A.M. to have seen the apron had it been there, then the earliest it could have been deposited was 2:21 A.M. Does this time lapse mean that Jack walked the streets, carrying his trophies, for at least 37 minutes and possibly as long as 70 minutes if the apron was not left until 2:54 A.M.? Furthermore, does it prove that the Ripper’s escape route from Mitre Square was northeast toward some hideaway? It is my opinion that it does not.

Is it not more reasonable to assume that the killer returned to his home or lodgings almost immediately after the Mitre Square murder? We know from the apron that he was probably stained with blood and fecal matter, so cleaning up would be a priority. Jack likely returned home, cleaned himself up, possibly changed his clothing, and then left home again, carrying nothing but the piece of apron. He discarded the scrap in the doorway, possibly also writing the message on the wall, sometime between 2:20 A.M. and 2:55 A.M. Why would he do so? His only reason would have been to throw the police off the scent by making them think that his base was to the northeast, possibly somewhere around Brick Lane. If this were the case, then his real base would probably have been relatively close to Goulston Street and Went-worth Street.

The inquest on Catherine Eddowes opened before Coroner Samuel Frederick Langham at the Golden Lane mortuary on 4 October, when most of the evidence was heard. There was only one adjournment, and the proceedings were concluded one week later, on 11 October.

The medical evidence was obviously crucially important. The postmortem had been conducted by Dr. Brown on Sunday, 30 September. Also present were Dr. Sequeira, Dr. William Sedgwick Saunders, and Dr. Phillips. I will consider each of the medical opinions in turn, beginning with Dr. Brown’s findings as he entered Mitre Square at about 2:18 A.M. that Sunday. According to his notes taken at the time, the body was on its back; the head turned to the left shoulder; the arms by the sides of the body as if they had fallen there, both palms upwards, the fingers slightly bent; a thimble was lying off the finger on the right side; the clothes drawn up above the abdomen; the thighs were naked; left leg extended in a line with the body; the abdomen was exposed; right leg bent at the thigh and knee; the bonnet was at the back of the head; great disfigurement of face; the throat cut across; below the cut was a neckerchief; the upper part of the dress was pulled open a little way; the abdomen was all exposed; the intestines were drawn out to a large extent and placed over the right shoulder; they were smeared over with some feculant matter; a piece of about two feet was quite detached from the body and placed between the body and the left arm, apparently by design; the lobe and auricle of the right ear was cut obliquely through; there was a quantity of clotted blood on the pavement on the left side of the neck, round the shoulder and upper part of arm, and fluid blood serum which had flowed under the neck to the right shoulder, the pavement sloping in that direction; body was quite warm; no death stiffening had taken place; she must have been dead most likely within the half hour; we looked for superficial bruises and saw none; no blood on the skin of the abdomen or secretion of any kind on the thighs; no spurting of blood on the bricks or pavement around; no marks of blood below the middle of the body; several buttons were found in the clotted blood after the body was removed; there was no blood on the front of the clothes; there were no traces of recent connection.

When it came to the postmortem report, Dr. Brown was even more detailed.

The throat was cut across to the extent of about six or seven inches. A superficial cut commenced about an inch and a half below the lobe and about two and a half inches below and behind the left ear and extended across the throat to about three inches below the lobe of the right ear. The big muscle across the throat was divided through on the left side. The large vessels on the left side of the neck were severed. The larynx was severed below the vocal cord. All the deep structures were severed to the bone, the knife marking intervertebral cartilages. The sheath of the vessels on the right side was just opened. The carotid artery had a fine hole opening. The internal jugular vein was opened an inch and a half, not divided. The blood vessels contained clot. All these injuries were performed by a sharp instrument like a knife and pointed.

We examined the abdomen. The front walls were laid open from the breast bone to the pubes. The cut commenced opposite the ensiform cartilage. The incision went upwards, not penetrating the skin that was over the sternum. It then divided the ensiform cartilage. The knife must have cut obliquely at the expense of the front surface of that cartilage.

Behind this the liver was stabbed as if by the point of a sharp instrument. Below this was another incision into the liver of about two and a half inches, and below this the left lobe of the liver was slit through by a vertical cut. Two cuts were shewn by a jagging of the skin on the left side.

The abdominal walls were divided in the middle line to within quarter of an inch of the navel. The cut then took a horizontal course for two inches and a half towards the right side. It then divided round the navel on the left side and made a parallel incision to the former horizontal incision, leaving the navel on a tongue of skin. Attached to the navel was two and a half inches of the lower part of the rectus muscle on the left side of the abdomen. The incision then took an oblique direction to the right and was shelving. The incision went down the right side of the vagina and rectum for half an inch behind the rectum.

There was a stab of about an inch on the left groin. This was done by a pointed instrument. Below this was a cut of three inches going through all the tissues making a wound of the perineum about the same extent.

An inch below the crease of the thigh was a cut extending from the anterior spine of the ilium obliquely down the inner side of the left thigh and separating the left labium, forming a flap of skin up to the groin. The left rectus muscle was not detached.

There was a flap of skin formed from the right thigh attaching the right labium and extending up the spine of the ilium. The muscles on the right side inserted into the Poupart’s ligament were cut through.

The skin was retracted through the whole of the cut in the abdomen, but the vessels were not clotted. Nor had there been any appreciable bleeding from the vessel. I draw the conclusion that the cut was made after death, and there would not be much blood on the murderer. The cut was made by someone on right side of body, kneeling below the middle of the body.

I removed the content of the stomach and placed it in a jar for further examination. There seemed very little in it in the way of food or fluid, but from the cut end partly digested farinaceous food escaped.

The intestines had been detached to a large extent from the mesentery. About two feet of the colon was cut away. The sigmoid flexure was invaginated into the rectum very tightly.

Right kidney pale, bloodless, with slight congestion of the base of the pyramids.

There was a cut from the upper part of the slit on the under surface of the liver to the left side, and another cut at right angles to this, which were about an inch and a half deep and two and a half inches long. Liver itself was healthy.

The gall bladder contained bile. The pancreas was cut but not through on the left side of the spinal column. Three and a half inches of the lower border of the spleen by half an inch was attached only to the peritoneum.

The peritoneal lining was cut through on the left side and the left kidney carefully taken out and removed. The left renal artery was cut through. I should say that someone who knew the position of the kidney must have done it. The lining membrane over the uterus was cut through. The womb was cut through horizontally, leaving a stump of three quarters of an inch. The rest of the womb had been taken away with some of the ligaments. The vagina and cervix of the womb was uninjured.

The bladder was healthy and uninjured, and contained three or four ounces of water. There was a tongue-like cut through the anterior wall of the abdominal aorta. The other organs were healthy. There were no indications of connection.

The face was very much mutilated. There was a cut about quarter of an inch through the lower left eyelid dividing the structures completely through. The upper eyelid on that side, there was a scratch through the skin on the left upper eyelid near to the angle of the nose. The right eyelid was cut through to about half an inch. There was a deep cut over the bridge of the nose extending from the left border of the nasal bone down near to the angle of the jaw on the right side across the cheek. This cut went into the bone and divided all the structures of the cheek except the mucous membrane of the mouth. The tip of the nose was quite detached from the nose by an oblique cut from the bottom of the nasal bone to where the wings of the nose join on to the face. A cut from this divided the upper lip and extended through the substance of the gum over the right upper lateral incisor tooth. About half an inch from the top of the nose was another oblique cut. There was a cut on the right angle of the mouth, as if by the cut of a point of a knife. The cut extended an inch and a half parallel with lower lip. There was on each side of cheek a cut which peeled up the skin forming a triangular flap about an inch and a half. On the left cheek there were two abrasions of the epithelium.

There was a little mud on the left cheek.

Two slight abrasions of the epithelium under the left ear.

A number of questions were put to Dr. Brown. In reply he explained his opinion that the killer had inflicted the throat wound first, while Catherine was lying on the ground. The knife used was sharp and pointed and at least 6 inches long.

Referring to the degree of anatomical knowledge exhibited by the murderer, Dr. Brown said the killer showed considerable knowledge of the position of the various organs and how they might be removed but that someone used to cutting up animals would have this level of skill. He believed that the killer must have taken about five minutes over the murder and mutilations. Finally, turning to the piece of apron found in Goulston Street, Dr. Brown stated that it certainly had been cut from the apron Catherine Eddowes was wearing when she died.

Dr. Sequeira, the first medical practitioner on the scene, agreed with Dr. Brown’s findings, but when asked about the murderer’s surgical expertise, he stated that he saw no evidence of surgical skill whatsoever. Furthermore, he did not believe the killer was searching for any particular organ to remove but had merely happened to take away the kidney and part of the uterus.

The difference of opinion between these two doctors deserves a little more consideration. In his report to the inquest Dr. Brown based his assumption of even a slight degree of skill, such as that exhibited by a slaughterman, on the belief that Catherine’s murderer had specifically sought to remove a kidney. If that were the case, then Brown’s assumption would have been correct. However, if the Ripper merely sought to collect trophies, then any organ would suffice and Sequeira’s opinion would carry greater weight. If we look at the one previous case in which organs had been removed, that of Annie Chapman, we see that the killer took totally different organs. This discrepancy indicates that Jack was nothing more than a trophy taker, in which case the level of his surgical skill may have been even less than Dr. Brown believed.

Another mortuary photograph of Catherine Eddowes. Her body was stitched following the postmortem and then hung upon pegs in the wall so that this picture could be taken. The stitching gives some indication of the ferocity of her wounds. One of her kidneys had been removed and taken away by her killer.

Another mortuary photograph of Catherine Eddowes. Her body was stitched following the postmortem and then hung upon pegs in the wall so that this picture could be taken. The stitching gives some indication of the ferocity of her wounds. One of her kidneys had been removed and taken away by her killer.

A close-up of Catherine Eddowes's face showing some of the mutilations after postmortem stitching. Catherine's killer cut off part of her apron, which he used to wipe his hands. This scrap was deposited in Goulston Street, close to a graffito that many authors have seen as a message from the killer.

A close-up of Catherine Eddowes’s face showing some of the mutilations after postmortem stitching. Catherine’s killer cut off part of her apron, which he used to wipe his hands. This scrap was deposited in Goulston Street, close to a graffito that many authors have seen as a message from the killer.

Dr. Saunders also gave evidence at the inquest, and he too believed that there was no evidence of surgical skill. He had examined Catherine’s stomach contents for traces of any narcotic or drug that might have been used to render her senseless but had found nothing.

Dr. Phillips, the last of the four who had been at the postmortem, did not give evidence at the inquest, but a report from Chief Inspector Swanson gave Phillips’s opinion. He too saw no degree of particular anatomical knowledge, but he believed that the killer might just as likely be a hunter, butcher, or slaughterman as a student of surgery. In short, according to the best medical evidence, Jack the Ripper appeared to have shown no special skills in his butchery of Catherine Eddowes. The final topic of Catherine Eddowes’s life took place on 8 October 1888, when she was laid to rest in the City of London Cemetery at Ilford. Crowds lined the streets, and hundreds gathered about the grave to see her body committed to the ground.

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