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Was Druitt Murdered?

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Was Druitt Murdered?

Post by Karen on Thu 4 Nov 2010 - 19:34

Montague John Druitt's body was found floating in the Thames on or about December 31, 1888. I have been attempting to locate a mention of the discovery of his body in the various contemporary newspapers and have found this. Two men were found at the same time but it is the second account that is the most interesting to me, and this body would have been in the water since on or about December 12, 1888.


An inquest was held on Saturday at the Town hall, Shoreditch, by Dr. Macdonald, on the body of William John Gardner, aged 39, a chairmaker, lately living at 12, Queen's-street, Bethnal-green, whose body was found floating in the Regent's canal on Thursday last. Amelia Gardner, widow of the deceased, stated that she last saw her husband on the 17th of December, when he left home to go to work. He never returned, and she heard nothing of him till Thursday, when his body was recovered from the Regent's canal. She knew that he was troubled about money matters, but he never threatened to commit suicide. Police-constable Benjamin Brown, 35 G, deposed to examining the body after Joseph Milton, of Park-place, had recovered it from the canal. There were no marks of violence, but the face had been nibbled at by the fishes. No papers or anything to lead them as to how he got into the water were found. The jury returned a verdict "That deceased was found drowned, but how he got into the water there was no evidence to show."

Dr. Macdonald held another inquest at the Mermaid tavern, Mare-street, Hackney, on the body of a man unknown, which was found in the Regent's canal, near the Ion-bridge, Clapton, on Thursday last. Alfred Higgins, 28, Cherry-garden-row, Hackney, said on Thursday last he was passing the gas works at Cambridge-heath with a barge. He stopped to let another barge pass and when he moved on the line pulled up the body of a man, which balanced on the rope for some time and then fell off and disappeared. He could not find it again, so went and told a policeman. Police-constable James Butler, 445 J, deposed that, having procured drags, he secured the body. On searching the clothing he found a key, a stud, and a pocket-handkerchief, but no money. Nothing likely to lead to the identification of the deceased was found. Dr. White, of 14, Portland-place, Clapton, deposed that he examined the body. There was a wound on the right eyebrow, a large scalp wound at the back of the head, and the chest was staved in. The right arm was broken, and all the ribs crushed, but these injuries he thought had been inflicted after death. The cause of death was drowning, and the body had been in the water nearly a month. The jury returned an open verdict of "Found drowned."

Source: Lloyd's Weekly London Newspaper, January 20, 1889, Page 3

Karen Trenouth
Author of: "Epiphany of the Whitechapel Murders"
Author of: "Jack the Ripper: The Satanic Team"

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