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Barbarous Assault

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Barbarous Assault

Post by Karen on Fri 19 Nov 2010 - 0:18



Mr. E. Wynne Baxter investigated a case today which he characterised as "one of the most dastardly assaults ever heard of," and a murder "of a most barbarous nature." The inquiry was held at the London Hospital, Whitechapel, and it was into the circumstances surrounding the death of Emma Elizabeth Smith, aged 45, a widow, lately living at 18, George-street, Spitalfields. - Mary Russell stated that deceased had been a lodger at 18, George-street, for some months. Deceased got her living on the streets. When she returned home one night she told witness that she had been thrown out of a window. On Bank Holiday deceased left the house in the evening. She returned home between four and five o'clock the next morning severely injured, and said she had been shockingly treated by some men.


Mr. George Haslip, house-surgeon, deposed that deceased was admitted suffering from severe injuries. She had been drinking, but was not intoxicated. She had some bruises on her head, and her right ear was torn and bleeding. She told witness that at 1:30 that morning she was going by Whitechapel Church, when she saw some men coming. She crossed the road to get out of their way, but they followed her. They assaulted her, robbed her of all the money she had, and then criminally assaulted her. She could not say if they used a knife. She could not describe them, except that one looked a youth of 19. After her admission to the hospital


On Wednesday morning witness had made a post-mortem, and found that the injuries had been caused by some blunt instrument which had been used with great force. The instrument had penetrated the peritoneum, and so set up peritonitis that it caused death. Deceased stated that she had not seen any of her friends for ten years.
The Coroner said that from the medical evidence it was clear that the woman had been barbarously murdered. Such a dastardly assault he had never heard of, and it was impossible to imagine a more brutal case.
The Jury returned a verdict of wilful murder against some persons unknown.
In the course of the inquest Chief Inspector West stated that he had made inquiries of all the constables who were on duty in the neighbourhood, but had been unable to discover any one who witnessed or had heard of the outrage.

Source: The Echo, Saturday April 7, 1888, Page 3

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

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