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"Did It in Self Defence," Says Killer

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"Did It in Self Defence," Says Killer

Post by Karen on Thu 24 Mar 2011 - 23:52



About an hour and a half after midnight on Friday police-constable William Thompson was stabbed in the neck in Union-street, Whitechapel, and died in a few minutes.
The circumstances were simple.
A Jewish workman named Barnet Abrahams stopped at a coffee-stall in Union-street, off Commercial-road, East, with two women. They were "larking," to use Abrahams' phrase.
Thompson, the policeman, ordered them to move on. What precisely happened then it is difficult to say.
All that the coffee-stall keeper saw was that the women moved away towards Aldgate, while Abrahams went in the direction of Bow. He went slowly, protesting against the constable's interference.
Thompson followed. At the bottom of Union-street it is alleged Abrahams stopped, waited for the policeman, and closed with him. There was a scuffle, and Thompson blew his whistle loudly.
Half-a-dozen policemen on the way to the police-station ran up. They found the two men struggling on the ground, and Thompson's clothes were wet with blood. His hold of the man relaxed. He said, "Hold him, I'm done," and collapsed.
One constable put Thompson in a cab; the others arrested Abrahams.
Within fifty yards of the London Hospital Thompson died. There were two deep stabs in the neck. One had pierced the main artery.
One of the constables saw Abrahams strike Thompson, but whether there was an instrument in his hand he cannot say. An ordinary pocket-knife, dripping with blood, was found close by.
Abrahams was taken to the police-station, struggling violently. There he was charged with feloniously killing and slaying Constable Thompson by stabbing him in the neck with a knife.


Abrahams, it is reported, made a statement in reply to the effect that while larking with the women Thompson ordered him to move on.
Because he did not do so quickly enough Thompson attacked him, and caused the injuries from which he was suffering. Then Abrahams used the knife to protect himself, and he had no intention of killing the man.
Abrahams was charged with murder at the Thames Police-court on Saturday morning.
He is forty-one years old, an English Jew, employed as a cigar-maker, and living at 50, Newark-street, Whitechapel.
He is a short man, with a dejected look, and he did not make a pleasing picture in the dock. He had two black eyes, his nose and ear were bruised, and he declared that there were bruises all over his body.
Mr. Deakin defended him on behalf of the Cigar-Makers' Union, of which Abrahams is a member.
Mr. Deakin asked that only short evidence should be given until after the inquest.
This course was adopted, and after formal evidence the case was adjourned until Friday.
Thompson was about thirty-six years of age. He had been in the force about ten years, and he was known as the only policeman who ever saw "Jack the Ripper."
The last of the "Ripper's" murders took place in Swallow-square. That was on Thompson's beat, and he found the body, which was quite warm.
Ten minutes earlier he had seen the woman with a man, but he did not notice the man sufficiently to give a clear description of him.
Thompson was married and had three children.
The inquest will be opened by Mr. Wynne E. Baxter, the East London coroner, this evening.
A rumour got abroad yesterday that Abrahams had died from his injuries. Scores of people went to the police office to inquire about it, among them prisoner's brother.
"As a matter of fact," said the superintendent, "his chief injuries are two black eyes, and he has not even gone into the infirmary."

Source: Daily Express, London, Monday December 3, 1900, Page 5

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

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