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Murder Of John Gill

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Murder Of John Gill

Post by Karen on Sun 3 Oct 2010 - 20:19

IS IT JACK THE RIPPER?

Dr. Forbes Winslow states that he has received the following letter: -
"22, Hammersmith-road, Chelsea. - Sir, - I defy you to find out who has done the Whitechapel murder in the summer - not the last one. You had better look out for yourself, or else Jack the R. may do you something in your house too, before the end of December. Mind, now, the 9th of November, there may be another murder, so look out, old Sir Funk. Tell all London another ripper open will take place about the 8th or 9th proxime, not in Whitechapel, but in London - perhaps in Clapham or the West-end. Write to the Poste Restante, Charing-cross. Address to P.S.R. Lunigi."
The chairman of the Whitechapel Vigilance committee has been favoured with a still more remarkable production: -
"Dear Boss, - You are one too many for me this time. Whitechapel is too well watched. I could not bring a job off on the 18th. However, I intend to do the next job indoors. - Yours in haste, JACK THE RIPPER."
The author of the letter, "Lunigi," while requesting any reply to be sent to the Charing-cross post-office, writes, as will be seen above under the address, 22, Hammersmith-road, Chelsea, but it appears from inquiry that there is no such place in the locality.

THE BRADFORD MURDER.

Interest has been revived in the shocking murder of the body John Gill, at Mauningham, Bradford, in December last, by the receipt of a letter by the Rev. J. Whitaker, vicar of Cononley, from a man at Duston hill, Leeds. The Rev. gentleman and others have just had a long interview with the man, who alleges that the murder was committed by five boys, and the particulars were given to him by a man who could not rest because of the guilty knowledge of the facts. He refused to give exact particulars at present, and says he is tracing the murderers himself. The matter has been placed in the hands of a local solicitor.

HUMANITY TO BE SHOWN THE WAIFS OF LONDON.

So many poor women and young girls have recently been found by the police wandering about the streets and at railway stations friendless, and without even the means of obtaining a shelter - some of them having travelled long distances - that Mr. Munro, the Chief Commissioner of Police, has issued an order that all these waifs are to be at once taken to the nearest police-station, when the inspector on duty will communicate with the secretary of the St. Giles's Christian mission, who will receive them into one of the mission homes until permanently relieved and cared for, the mission defraying all the expenses. The new police order has the merit of humanity.

Source: Lloyd's Weekly London Newspaper, November 3, 1889, Page 2


Last edited by Karen on Fri 19 Nov 2010 - 22:30; edited 1 time in total

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William Barrett Arrested On Suspicion

Post by Karen on Fri 19 Nov 2010 - 22:29

BRADFORD ATROCITY.
EXTRAORDINARY ASSERTIONS.

BLOWS AND SAWING IN THE NIGHT.
THE LIGHT IN THE STABLE.

BARRETT'S MENTAL CONDITION.

The Bradford tragedy still absorbs all the attention of the busy Yorkshire town. The interest is being naturally sharpened by the assiduity of the police, by the exciting reports, and by the remarkable stories which are being told in connection with the horrible affair.

BARRETT'S WHEREABOUTS - THE STAINED CLOTH.

It is noteworthy that, through all this, the police still profess a certain confidence in their theory, and that no one else has been arrested. All kinds of reports are being associated with the prisoner. Information is said to have been received by the police as to the alleged existence of insanity in his family, and it is, of course, possible that this may raise a new and important point in the case. It is said that he is subject to sudden and apparently causeless fits of temper. As an instance of this tendency, it is stated that he has been seen to strike a horse with a spade without the slightest provocation. It is stated, too, that a definite witness has been obtained who will give evidence as to having seen the boy with the milkman at a later hour than the breakfast hour, they at this time going in an opposite direction to Walmer-villa. So persistent is the watch on Barrett, and so ready the disposition to discover evidence, that it is now remembered that, after being first taken to the Town-hall, he yawned. The suggestion from this is that he had but little sleep. With all these rumours - some of them painfully ludicrous - it appears that the police do not now place much reliance on the cloth which was produced in Court on Saturday last. It is said, however, that three other cloths have been found in the stable upon which the evidence is more decisive. These have, however, been washed and rewashed, and the process of analysis has been difficult.

"TELL HER I HAVE A CLEAR CONSCIENCE."

Meantime - notwithstanding all the assertions and the police declaration that they have evidence which go a great deal towards strengthening the case - Barrett remains confident. "Tell her," he is said to have remarked, referring to his wife, "I have a clear conscience, and shall come out all right in the end." The police, however, are said to characterise his conduct as "utter indifference." Beyond Barrett's confidence, a statement has been issued tracing his whereabouts for almost every hour of Thursday and Friday. His friends - who declare him a perfectly rational and respectable man - declared it an utter impossibility that he could have committed the crime.

THE SERVANT GIRL'S STORY.

An important statement has, however, been forwarded by a Correspondent, which, it is declared, will be made in the Police-court. It is as follows:
"Reference has been made to the fact that one of the girls at the Friendless Girls' Home, Belle Vue, in the rear of which the stable occupied by Mr. Wolfenden, and used by Barrett, is situated, has made a statement, which is regarded as of the utmost importance. The girl is about 16 years of age, and is in the habit of rising early in the morning to attend to household duties. On Friday morning last she says she was downstairs at half-past five o'clock. Shortly after six she entered the scullery of the house, and, to her surprise, noticed that there was a light in the stable. She not only noticed the light particularly, but she heard some one in the stable whistling and hammering. She was in the scullery for about three minutes, and all that time the whistling and hammering continued. The whistling was not that of a continued tune, but was varied. With regard to the hammering, the girl's statement is of great interest and importance. She is certain that the sound was not that of iron coming in contact with either wood, iron, or stone, but that the blows were of a dull, deadened character, as if some soft substance was being struck. The girl left the scullery, and proceeded to her work in other parts of the house. A remarkable feature of her statement is that she never before saw a light in the stable before seven o'clock in the morning. She is positive on this point."

A SOUND AS OF "SAWING."

"Important, however, as this statement may be considered, other information has been obtained which (says the Correspondent) is of even greater significance. It seems that at midnight on Friday, or one or two o'clock on Saturday morning, a lady in the house was lying awake in a bedroom which overlooks the stable. She heard a most peculiar noise coming from the direction of the stable, and such was the feeling of uneasiness which it caused her that she sat up in bed. She listened attentively, and then ascertained that the sound was of an almost indescribable nature. It was of a soft, see-saw character, as if something was being rubbed over a rough surface. In a word, the sound was like that produced by sawing. After the "sawing" had gone on for some time it ceased, and the next that the lady heard was the sound of footsteps - footsteps, too, that, in her judgment, were not those of the policeman on the beat. She subsequently fell asleep, but so keen was the impression left upon her mind by what she had undergone that on Saturday morning, when she went downstairs, she made known her experience during the night. By that time the mutilated remains of Gill had been found in the recess at the back of Mellor-street, but of this fact the lady was in profound ignorance. The Friendless Girls' Home is at No. 11, Belle Vue, and the scullery which has been mentioned is exactly opposite the stables; but although the windows of the scullery and stable face each other and are separated by a space of only a very few yards, had attempts been made by looking through the window of the scullery to see what was being done by the individual who was whistling and hammering, or when the "sawing" was going on, it would have been of no avail, because the lower part of the stable window is occupied by one of the wooden ventilating frames which are common to stables, and the glass in the upper portion is opaque."

"NO DOUBT AS TO THE MOTIVE."

The doctors who have examined the body so frequently since it was found have completed their work, and as far as they are concerned the remains are no longer required, and would probably have been handed to the parents for burial. It has, however, been considered advisable to institute a medical examination in the interests of the prisoner, and for the purpose Dr. Hime, of Bradford, the late medical officer of health, and Dr. Roberts, of Keighley, have had access to the mortuary, and have made an examination in the presence of Mr. Lodge, the police surgeon. It now appears that one of the lungs has been missing, and it is only recently that it was discovered in the stomach with the ears. There are other portions of the body still wanting. The remains will probably be handed to the parents on Friday. One Correspondent declares that the result of the post-mortem examination is to leave little doubt as to the motive for the crime. Evidence has been discovered which proves that the lad sustained a severe fright before he was stabbed to the heart, and the assumption is that while in its preliminary stages the mutilation was effected for a purpose. The subsequent hacking about was intended to the make the police identify the murder with the author of the Whitechapel tragedies. The circumstances of the crime, however, precluded from the first the idea that the criminal could have been a stranger to the locality, and all the inquiries of the police have been based on this assumption. The line of defence will, as we say, be to demonstrate, by the evidence of persons who saw and conversed with Barrett at various times during Thursday and Friday, that it was physically impossible for him to have committed the crime.

BARRETT IN THE DOCK.
HIS DEMEANOUR IN COURT.
THE EVIDENCE AGAINST HIM.

The Magisterial examination of William Barrett, who was arrested on suspicion in connection with the murder of the boy Gill on Saturday last, was resumed at the Bradford Borough Court today. Great interest was displayed in the case, the doors of the Court being besieged long before the time fixed for the commencement of the proceedings; and within two or three minutes of the doors being opened every available seat was occupied. There was also an unusually large attendance of reporters. The Mayor (Alderman Moulson) presided on the Bench, and he was supported by nine other Justices of the Peace. Mr. Withers, Chief Constable of the borough, conducted the case on behalf of the police. Mr. Craven, solicitor, and Mr. Freeman, solicitor, appeared for the prisoner and the relatives of the deceased respectively. It was nearly half-past eleven when the prisoner was placed in the dock. On entering the Court Barrett, who had one hand in his trousers' pocket, leaned carelessly upon the rail in front of the dock, and, having glanced coolly around, concentrated his attention on Mr. Withers, who immediately arose to open the case for the police.

THE CHIEF CONSTABLE'S STATEMENT.

The Chief Constable, having recapitulated the main features in reference to which evidence was given at the previous hearing, stated that he was prepared to call witnesses to prove that the deceased was in the milkman's cart until he completed his round on Thursday morning. The peculiar circumstance about the prisoner's statement that the boy left him before the completion of his deliveries to go to breakfast was that inquiries had elicited information that the boy had never before gone home to breakfast before the round was finished. Half-a-dozen witnesses could be called to prove that the deceased was in the man's company after 8:30 on Thursday morning.

LIGHT AND NOISE IN THE STABLE.

Prisoner said he did not leave home until seven o'clock on Thursday morning. A witness, however, would be called to prove that he went to his stable at 5:30, and a girl residing in the house adjoining would state that she saw a light in the stable at 6:25 - a much earlier time than usual on a Friday. Mrs. Gill, the mother of the deceased, told prisoner at 10:30 that if he did not say something about her boy detectives would see him in the morning. A witness would be called to show that half-an-hour later a light was burning in the stable. At one o'clock the matron of the Servants' Home, which was opposite the stable, was awakened by a peculiar noise as of scraping and swilling in the stable. She sat up in bed and listened for about twenty minutes, when she heard the stable door shut, and some person walk away.

THE INQUIRY AT GILL'S HOUSE.

At 6:30 the next morning the prisoner called at Gill's house. He did not come up the street as if going to work, but from the direction of the stable; and in coming to Gill's house he must have passed within forty yards of where the body was discovered. The condition in which the parcel was made up proved that it could not have been carried far, and the fact of all the clothes being removed showed that the boy must have been killed in some building and not in the street.

ONE OF THE STAINS - OF BLOOD.

With reference to the condition of the prisoner's stable when the police entered it, it was certainly singular that swilling had been done in so thorough a fashion. On the stable being thoroughly overhauled, three pieces of cloth were found. They had been recently washed and were discoloured with stains, which, in one case at least, the borough analyst would prove to be the result of blood. The most serious part of the case was the question of motive, and certain details as to the mutilation threw considerable light on this. Mr. Withers proceeded to state that he would prove that the prisoner was a man of strong passions. Having remarked on the peculiarity of the circumstance that two doctors had examined the prisoner at the request of his own solicitor, the Chief Constable concluded by stating that, on the evidence of which he had given an outline, he would ask for a remand for eight days.

BOY'S FATHER IN THE BOX.

Evidence was then taken in support of this statement. - Thomas Gill, father of the deceased, recalled, stated that when the prisoner called on him on Saturday morning he came from the direction of the stable. He opened the door, and said, "Have you heard anything of Johnnie?" He replied that he had not, but that detectives would be looking out. Barrett then walked away in the direction of his home. He must have passed at the end of the back-street where the body was found on his way down Thorncliffe-road. - Mr. Craven intimated that he would reserve his cross-examination, and probably, also, that of other witnesses.

MRS. GILL'S CONVERSATION WITH BARRETT.

Mrs. Gill, who was greatly affected whilst in the box, repeated her statements as to the last time she saw her son, and also respecting the prisoner's statement about him between the disappearance and the discovery. At no time, she said, when her son had not to go to school, did he return home to breakfast at 8:30. He used to come home just before dinner with the intimation that the prisoner had given him bread-and-milk. Mrs. Kershaw, a neighbour, was with witness at 10:30 on Friday night, when they met the prisoner in Thorncliffe-road. Witness asked the prisoner if he could tell her anything of Johnnie. He replied, "No"; and she (witness) said that he would have to tell the detectives something in the morning when they came to see him.
Mrs. Kershaw corroborated Mrs. Gill's statement as to her conversation with the prisoner on Friday night.
As Mr. Withers proceeded with his description of the evidence the prisoner's demeanour underwent considerable alteration. His apparent indifference gave place to an air of anxious interest, and during the remainder of the morning he followed the evidence with the closest attention.

SEEN WITH BARRETT IN THE MORNING.

Alice Peal, cook at a house opposite 9, Walmer-villas, where the deceased is stated to have left the prisoner, deposed that the boy remained in the cart while the milkman made a call after delivering at No. 9. - Nellie Pearson, a single woman, stated that the deceased delivered the milk at her house a few minutes before ten, the prisoner remaining outside with the cart. At the conclusion of this witness's examination, the Court adjourned for luncheon.

Source: The Echo, Wednesday January 2, 1889, Page 3

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Body Found By Joseph Buckle

Post by Karen on Sat 20 Nov 2010 - 23:31

On Saturday the body of a boy was found at Bradford horribly mutilated. About 7:30 in the morning one Joseph Buckle, a butcher's assistant, went to his master's stable, and after attending to the horse saw a heap of something in the corner outside near the coach-house. Getting a light, he found it was a dead body, and on his fetching a policeman it was found to be that of a boy, John Gill, aged eight, the son of a cabman, who resides about 100 yards off. The boy appears to have been killed by two deep stabs in the chest, and he must have been previously stripped, for none of his clothes were injured by the knife. Both his legs had been hacked off without any knowledge of anatomy and laid beside the body, which was found wrapped up in the boy's coat. Parts of the abdomen had been removed and the heart had been plucked out and thrust under the chin. Also one ear had been cut off. No trace of blood being discovered, it seems that the murder took place elsewhere, and the remains were subsequently brought to the spot where they were found. The boy had been missing since Thursday morning, when, as he frequently did, he accompanied a milkman called Barrett, on his rounds. As Barrett was last seen with the boy, he was arrested by the police. But the evidence against him does not amount to much, so far as it has been disclosed. Some canvas and other things in his stable, which he cleaned out on Saturday, are being examined to see whether there are any traces of blood. In his house was found a large bread knife, which had clearly been used for other purposes than that of bread cutting, and which was cleaned by Mrs. Barrett on Saturday. On the one hand it is said that Barrett cannot account for all his time, and on the other that he can.

Source: The Guardian, January 2, 1889, Page 7

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Is He Innocent?

Post by Karen on Sat 20 Nov 2010 - 23:57

A terrible crime was discovered at Bradford early on Saturday morning. A boy named Gill, aged eight years, who had been missing for two days, was found dead and shockingly mutilated in a stable, only a few yards from his parents' residence. The deceased was last seen alive in the company of a milkman named Barrett, who was in the habit of taking him on his rounds in his cart. Barrett is in custody. The mutilation surpasses in its ghastly details the Whitechapel butcheries. The police are said to have much evidence as to the crime, but there is an impression in Bradford that Barrett is innocent.

Source: The Nonconformist And Independent, January 3, 1889, Page 21

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The Inquest of Gill

Post by Karen on Sun 6 Feb 2011 - 16:56

BRADFORD MUTILATION CASE.
THE PRISONER AGAIN BROUGHT UP.

On Wednesday William Barrett, aged 23, milkman, was again examined at Bradford on suspicion of being concerned in the murder and mutilation of the little boy, John Gill.
The chief constable having recapitulated the main features in reference to which evidence was given at the previous hearing, stated that he was prepared to call witnesses to prove that the deceased was in the milkman's cart until the latter completed his round on Thursday morning. The peculiar circumstance about the prisoner's statement that the boy left him before the completion of his deliveries in order to go to breakfast was that inquiries had elicited information that the boy had never before gone home to breakfast before the round was completed. Half-a-dozen witnesses would be called to prove that the deceased was in Barrett's company after half-past eight on Thursday morning. The prisoner said he did not leave home until seven o'clock on Friday morning, but witnesses would be called to prove that he went to his stable at half-past five o'clock, and a girl residing in the house adjoining would state that she saw a light in the stable at 6:25, a much earlier time than usual. On Friday night Mrs. Gill, mother of the deceased, told the prisoner at 10:30 that if he did not say something about her boy, the detectives would see him in the morning. Witnesses would be called to show that half-an-hour later a light was burning in the stable. At one o'clock the matron of the Servants' home opposite the stable was awakened by a peculiar noise, as of scraping and swilling in the stable. She sat up in bed and listened for about 20 minutes, when she heard the stable door shut and some person walk out. At 6:30 the next morning the prisoner called at Gill's house, but did not come up the street as if going to work, but from the direction of the stable. On coming to Gill's house he must have passed within 40 yards of where the body was discovered. The condition in which the parcel was made up proved beyond doubt that it could not have been carried far. With reference to the condition of the prisoner's stable when the police entered, it was peculiar that the swilling had been done in so thorough a fashion.On the stable being thoroughly overhauled three pieces of cloth were found which had been recently washed, and which were discoloured with stains which in one case, at least, the borough analyst would prove to be blood stains. The most serious point of the case was the question of motive; and certain details as to the mutilation threw considerable light on this. Mr. Withers proceeded to state that he would prove that the prisoner was a man of strong animal passions. Having remarked on the peculiarity of the circumstance that two doctors had examined the prisoner at the request of his own solicitor, the chief constable concluded by stating that on the evidence of which he had given an outline he would ask for a remand for eight days.
Thomas Gill, father of the deceased, recalled, stated that when the prisoner called on him on Saturday morning he came from the direction of the stable. He opened the door and said, "Have you heard anything of Johnnie?" The witness replied that he had not, but that the detectives would be looking out. Barrett then walked away in the direction of his home. He must have passed the end of the back street where the body was found on his way down Thorncliffe-road.
Mr. Craven intimated that he would reserve his examination, and probably also that of the other witnesses.
Mrs. Gill, who was greatly affected while in the box, repeated her statement as to the last time she saw her son and also respecting the prisoner's statements about him between the disappearance and discovery of the lad. At no time when her son had not to go to school did he return home to breakfast at 8:30. He used to come home just before dinner with the intimation that the prisoner had given him some bread and milk. Mrs. Kershaw, a neighbour, was with the witness at 10:30 on Friday night when they met the prisoner in Thorncliffe-road. The witness asked the prisoner if he could tell her anything of Johnnie. He replied, "No," and the witness said that he would have to tell the detectives something in the morning when they came to see him.
Mrs. Kershaw corroborated Mrs. Gill's statement as to her conversation with the prisoner on Friday night.
Alice Peal, cook at the house opposite 9, Welmer-villas, where deceased is stated to have left the prisoner, deposed that the boy returned in the cart while the milkman made a call after delivering at No. 9.
Nellie Pearson, single woman, stated that the deceased delivered the milk at her house a few minutes before 10, the prisoner remaining with the cart.
At the conclusion of this witness's examination the court adjourned for luncheon.

A young lady named Pearson, residing at 15, Bertram-road, half-a-mile from Walmer-villas, where the prisoner says the boy left him, stated that on Wednesday night she slept at Birkenshaw, near Bradford. The following morning she returned to Bradford, arriving about 20 minutes to 25 minutes past nine. From the station she walked to the tramway, and took the car to the bottom of St. Paul's-road, and from thence walked home, and arrived there about 10 minutes to 10. She took her jacket off, and then went to the door and received the milk from a little boy. She had seen the body at the mortuary, and identified it as the boy.
Elizabeth Cragg, the wife of Thomas Cragg, coachman, of 22, Bishop-street, said she knew the prisoner. On Thursday, Dec. 27th, he came about 10:45 a.m. to her house with the milk. He was in a great hurry, and smelt a little of drink, though he did not look any the worse for it, and she excused him because it was Christmas time. The prisoner also looked a little cross. The drink he smelt of was strong, and she thought it was rum.
Theresa Lindley, a mill hand, said she resided at 19, Bateman-street, next door to the prisoner. On Friday morning, Dec. 28, she went out about half-past five in the morning. She saw "the man next door, and thought that was the man," pointing to the prisoner. He was coming out of the gate leading from his own house, and he went down the street and up Thorncliffe-road. On reaching Manningham-lane he turned towards the town, Bellevue being in the same direction. Witness went to her work, which lay in the opposite direction. She returned home in the course of an hour and a half, and made a communication to her father.
Evidence was then given by the police as to the finding of the body, after which
Lizzie Jefferson, a maid at the Servants' Home, which is in Bellevue, and the back of which exactly faces Barrett's stable, deposed that shortly before half-past six on Friday morning, while in the scullery of the home, the window of which is only a few feet from the one window in the stable, she saw a light in the latter place. She had never before observed a light there so early. She did not see the prisoner. She had noticed the deceased boy in the stable several times.
A draper named Benjamin Abbot, who occupies a shop at the bottom of Bellevue, stated that about 11 o'clock on Friday night he saw a light in the stable - a most unusual thing. He was almost sure he had seen a light there on a previous occasion at about the same hour.
Mrs. Kendall, matron of the home, who occupies a bedroom facing the stable, said that on Friday night or Saturday morning - so far as she could guess between one and three o'clock on Saturday morning - she heard peculiar sounds like brushing or scraping proceeding from the stable. She got up and listened, and heard it continue for eight or 10 minutes, and afterwards heard footsteps pass the yard gate, and go quickly down in the direction of Manningham-lane.
Police-constable Firth, in whose custody the prisoner was given after his apprehension, said that while he had charge of Barrett the latter made two statements, in the first of which he told about the lad accompanying him on his round and finally leaving him in Walmer-villas. The following was the second statement made by the prisoner: "The sister to John Gill has been with me to the station several times for milk, but having read of outrages on girls I would not have her any more, and have sent her away from the cart many times."
Detective King gave evidence as to the condition of Barrett's stable floor when the police took possession of it, and also as to the finding of certain wrappers and rugs in the stable.
Mr. Rimmington, the borough analyst, having stated that he had found indications of blood on some of the rugs found in the stable,
The chief constable said that on the evidence adduced he had to ask for a remand for a week.
After some objection to such a long adjournment on the part of the prisoner's solicitor, the chief constable said he intended to place the case in the hands of the Treasury, and the prisoner was then remanded till Wednesday.

OPENING OF THE INQUEST.

The Bradford Borough coroner, Mr. J.G. Hutchinson, opened an inquest on Monday at the Coroner's court in the Town hall on the body of the lad John Gill. No one, except the persons immediately interested in the proceedings, was admitted to the court. Thomas Gill, cabman, father to the deceased, was the only witness called, and gave evidence as to the boy's identity. He last saw the lad alive on the Thursday morning at a quarter past seven. He was then in the house. Witness sent him to the stable-yard to tell the horse-keeper to put a horse in his cab. He came back in a minute or two and said, "Your horse is in its stall ready." Witness went to work leaving the lad in the house, and did not see him again till he was taken down to the mortuary on Saturday morning and shown the dead body. After this brief examination the chief constable applied for an adjournment. It would, he pointed out, be inconvenient to the police that the matter should be gone into fully just at present. The proceedings were consequently adjourned to Friday, the 11th inst.
The funeral of the murdered boy Gill took place at Windhill Cemetery, Bradford, on Friday, a large number of people following to the grave.

A STRANGE STORY.

A Bradford correspondent early this week communicated the following strange story, which had caused much local excitement. He said: - A story came to the knowledge of the Bradford police on the morning on which the boy John Gill was first missed, and regarding which they have kept the strictest silence. On Wednesday night, a tailor named Cahill, of 324, Heaton-road - a thoroughfare in the suburb where the body was found, but about half-a-mile further from town and in a very isolated position - went to a ball with his wife. Upon his return, about 10 o'clock on Thursday morning, an hour and a half after the boy was last seen with the milkman Barrett, he found that his house had been entered. The furniture had been pulled about and turned upside down; a number of articles of various kinds had been thrown in a heap upon the table in the living room, and upon another table was a sight which struck him with horror. Two carving-knives were placed crosswise on the table, and upon them was a card, on one side of which was written,

"Half-past nine - look out - Jack the Ripper has been," whilst on the other side were the words, "I have removed down the canal side, please drop in. Yours truly, SUICIDE."


There was a large tin can full of water on the same table, and the whole surface of the table was saturated with water. The clock in the living room was stopped, and the fingers indicating the time stated on the card - half past nine. Nothing had been removed from the house except a bottle of rum. Another bottle of rum had been removed from the cupboard, and some of its contents had been poured into two glasses, which were left upon the table almost empty. The story is narrated by Mr. Cahill himself. Mr. Cahill has been compelled to obtain another house, the shock of the discovery having so unnerved his wife that she will not stay in the house without constant company.
The receipt of the above news caused some sensation in London, but the very next day it was discovered that the whole affair was a hoax and practical joke played upon Mr. Cahill by a relative.

Source: Lloyd's Weekly London Newspaper, January 6, 1889, Page 3

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Re: Murder Of John Gill

Post by Karen on Sat 4 Jun 2011 - 0:57

ANOTHER MURDER.

A boy of eight years has been found murdered at Bradford and worse mutilated than the Whitechapel victims.

Source: The North China Herald and S.C. and C. Gazette, January 18, 1889, Page 54

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Re: Murder Of John Gill

Post by Karen on Sun 24 Mar 2013 - 18:05

A TERRIBLE CRIME.
BOY MURDERED AND MUTILATED AT BRADFORD.

On Saturday morning, at Bradford, Yorks., a boy named John Gill, eight years of age, was found to have been foully murdered and his body mutilated. He had been missing for two days, as will be seen from the following advertisement which appeared in one of the local papers:
"Lost on Thursday morning a boy, John Gill, aged eight. Was last seen sliding near Walmer-villas at 8:30 a.m. Had on navy blue top coat (with brass buttons on), midshipman's cap, plaid knickerbocker suit, laced boots, red and white stockings; complexion fair. Home, 41, Thorncliffe-road."
On the morning named the boy was seen in the company of a milkman. That was not, according to some accounts, the last seen or heard of him alive, for he was subsequently observed, as stated in the advertisement, sliding, when he was in the company of a number of other boys. The discovery
of his dead body is thus deposed to by Joseph Buckle, a butcher's assistant, of Mellor-street, Bradford:
"I am employed by Mr. James Berwick, of the Market-hall, Bradford, who has a stable and coachhouse in Thorncliffe-road near to where the body was found. I was there last night about nine o'clock, but saw nothing unusual at that time. This morning I went into the stable, and after attending
to the horse I took some manure out into the yard in front of the coach-house, where there is a manure pit. I had thrown the manure in when I saw a heap of something propped up in the corner between the wall and the coach-house door. I could not make out what it was at the time, so I got a
light and then saw it was a dead body. I just noticed that one ear was cut off, and was alarmed, and went for a man in the bake-house. He saw the body, and we went for a policeman together. We soon found one. I believe his number was 56. He saw the body, and I then went for a doctor, who came
and also saw the body. I noticed that the body was tied up in a jacket or some piece of clothing with a leather belt strapped round it. I stopped at the place for some time and did not care to look at the body. I did not know it was cut up or injured. I left it in charge of the policeman."
The discovery was made about 7:30 a.m. The bundle discovered, turned out, on examination, to be a bundle of fragments of a human body which had been mutilated in a frightful manner. An alarm was made and there was soon a crowd of people from the surrounding neighbourhood, which is thickly
populated. The utmost excitement prevailed. Notwithstanding the extent of the mutilation the features were discernable and the body was quickly identified as that of the boy Gill, whose residence was not above 100 yards from the spot where the discovery was made. Not only was one ear cut off and
missing, but the whole of the lower parts of the abdomen had been removed and the heart had been plucked out and thrust under the chin, and the legs had both been hacked off and laid on each side of the body. The thighs rested by the side of the head. The coat of the boy covered the mangled remains,
which were tied together with his braces. Chief Constable Witters and the police surgeon, Dr. Lodge, were summoned to the scene, and one of the first things done was to photograph the body before its removal and also its surroundings. The body was afterwards conveyed to the mortuary and in the course
of the afternoon was very carefully examined by Dr. Lodge. Mr. Dobson, the chief detective-inspector, set to work and every inquiry as to the matter was made. No trace of blood could be discovered, and it seemed pretty evident that the actual murder had not taken place near the stable itself. The idea prevails
that the body must have been removed there after the murder, and during the dark, certainly after nine o'clock on Friday night when the stable, as stated, was visited by Mr. Berwick's assistant.
One of the wrappings found with the body bears the name of "W. Mason, Derby-road, Liverpool."
Inquiries being made among the police on the beat, it was established that the body must have been placed in the court between 4:30 and 7:30, because at 4:30 the constable on duty in Mellor-street tried the doors of the coach-house and stood on the very spot where the bundle was found. A further means of narrowing
the investigation is afforded by the fact that shortly after five o'clock the operatives employed in the various mills in the vicinity would all be astir, so that after that time a person carrying a large package such as that discovered could hardly have escaped unnoticed. The milkman being the last person seen in the
deceased's company, the attention of the detectives was naturally first turned in his direction, and certain circumstances having transpired which, in the opinion of the chief constable, required explanation, a man named Barrett was on Saturday afternoon arrested on suspicion of Johnny Gill's murder. The evidence against
Barrett is purely circumstantial, and the prisoner strenuously asserts his innocence. The main points relied upon by the police are that the boy was never seen after leaving Barrett, although Mr. Gill's house was only a minute's walk away; that a bread knife found at Barrett's house corresponds in a remarkable manner with the wounds
found on the murdered boy's breast; that the floor of the stable in which Barrett keeps his horse was on Saturday morning subjected to a thorough cleansing with water; and that between half-past six, the time Barrett left home on Saturday morning and half-past seven, when the body was found, the prisoner would have had ample time to
go to the stable, carry the body to the entry, and commence his usual duties at the usual time. The bread knife referred to has a blade about 8in. in length and 1-1/2in. in width, with a peculiar curvature at the point. It is alleged that the stabs made near the heart of the deceased are precisely such as would be inflicted by the knife
in question; and it is also stated that the knife, which has evidently been used for other purposes than that of cutting bread, show signs of having been recently cleaned in a hasty and imperfect manner, leaving visible, especially towards the point, certain dark stains. The recent swilling of the floor of Barrett's stable suggests to the
detectives the theory that this was the scene of the murder and mutilation. A piece of packing canvas was found in the stable when the police overhauled the building, and a number of dark stains on this appeared to be corroborative evidence; but up to the present the detectives have failed to prove the presence of blood. Another point to which
some importance is attached by the police also requires to be settled. An examination of the canvas with a magnifying glass revealed the fact that a number of fine hairs were adhering to the material. These have been carefully picked off and have been submitted to the borough analyst for microscopical examination, the ordinary lens proving insufficient
to decide whether the hairs are human or not. Two or three other clues are in the possession of the police, but in each case the indications point to the probability of the culprit being a person well acquainted with the neighbourhood.
Barrett's wife visited him in his cell on Saturday evening. She was perfectly cool during the interview, and expressed her firm conviction that the police would be compelled to set her husband at liberty almost immediately for want of evidence to connect him with the crime. Barrett's explanation of the stains on the packing canvas was that it had been used
as a horse cloth, and had become discoloured through falling from the horse.

ACCUSED BEFORE THE MAGISTRATES.

On Saturday afternoon William Barrett, 23, of Bateman-street, Bradford, was brought before the borough magistrates at the Bradford Town Hall, on suspicion of the wilful murder of John Gill. The magistrates on the bench were Mr. A. Briggs, Mr. Jas. Burnley, and Mr. John Cass.
Prisoner did not seem in any way affected by his position, but paid a keen attention to all that transpired. Both the father and mother of the lad, who were called as witnesses, were very much affected.
Mr. Withers, Chief Constable, in submitting to the Bench an outline of the evidence, which he had to call, said: When I took the prisoner into custody this morning he said that the boy had accompanied him to Walmer-villas, Manningham-lane, a spot about 200 yards from where the lad lived, and that then the latter left him, saying that he would go home to breakfast.
I believe the fact is that prisoner had only one other place to deliver milk at after Walmer-villas, and then his journey was at an end. It does seem odd that the boy should leave the prisoner before he had finished his round; and singularly to say the child was never seen, so far as can be ascertained, by anyone else from that time until his dead body was found. The
accused having had the boy in his company last of any known person, I felt it my duty, from that and other facts which I gleaned early this morning, to take him into custody on suspicion. Now, I intend to call two witnesses to prove that the boy was seen at Manningham Railway-station with Barrett, and also in Queen's-road, and then I shall make a statement as to what prisoner
said regarding the boy leaving him at Walmer-villas. This man lives at the bottom of Thorncliffe-road, and last night, so far as my inquiry goes I found he was working until about five minutes to ten. Now, to go from this man's home to where the boy lived is hardly a minute's walk - it certainly is not three - and on inquiring of his wife this morning I found it was 25
minutes to eleven before he got home. The defendant has charge of a house the stable for which is at the back of Bellevue, and from the stable to the one where the prisoner works is not more than 150 yards. I went to the stable myself this morning with Sergeant Frank, and the first thing that struck me was that three parts of the stable floor near the top was all wet, as if it had
been swilled, and under the tap was a can containing clean water. We struck a few matches, and with the light of these we searched the place, but did not find anything at that time. After taking this man into custody I directed two other officers to go and make a search, which was done, and in one part of the stable they found a sheet of harden. Upon examination of the sheet we were struck
by certain marks which Mr. Rimmington, the borough analyst, thought possibly might indicate the presence of blood. When this sheet was placed before the prisoner he denied all knowlege of it, but afterwards he said he had a sheet of packing something similar given him by his mistress for a horse cover. As the result of a further search in the house a very formidable knife was found. There were
two wounds upon the body, and the knife is about the dimension of the wounds. When the weapon was shown to Barrett he denied all knowledge of it at first, but afterwards corrected the statement, saying that his wife had bought a knife somewhere or other of a similar description. It has evidently been cleaned, and only recently. In conclusion the Chief Constable pointed out that prisoner left home
on Saturday morning at 6:30, but did not reach the dairy until seven. On his way he would have to pass within 30 yards of the spot where the body was found.
Thomas Gill, cabman, 41, Thorncliffe-road, said: I have seen the dead body of my son at the mortuary. He was eight years of age. I know the prisoner, and have seen my son in his company. Prisoner: He has been with me many a time, has he not?
Witness: Yes
Prisoner: And since Thursday I have been to inquire about him many times a day? - Yes.
Prisoner: I have asked about him two or three times a day. That is all I know about the boy. He has gone with me many a time.
Mary Ann Gill said: Deceased was my son, and would have been eight years of age next February. I last saw him alive at 20 minutes to seven o'clock last Thursday morning. He was with the prisoner. The latter was leading his horse and cart down the street. I saw him stop, and my son got into the cart. I have never seen my boy since.
When did you see the prisoner after that? - I saw him several times during the day.
On Thursday? - Yes.
Do you remember what you said to him? - Yes, sir.
What did you say the first time you saw him? - I first of all sent the girls, and the boy said he was out delivering milk.
When did you see the prisoner yourself? - It would be about three o'clock in the afternoon.
What did you say to him? - I asked him whether he had seen my son, and he said he had left him to go to breakfast, adding that he went sliding down the road.
Did he say where he had left him? - Walmer-villas.
Mr. Withers: How far is that place from your house?
Mrs. Gill: It would be 200 yards.
Did you see the prisoner again? - I saw him when he was putting his horse and cart in at five o'clock. I thought the lad might have gone to join him there. I asked him if he had seen him and he replied, "No."
Did he say anything further? - No.
Did you see the prisoner again? - He came at night and asked if he had come. There was a woman present, and she said it was wrong to keep the boy away from his meals so long.
Do you remember Friday morning? - Yes; he called on Friday morning, but did not call during the day.
Do you remember what he said? - Prisoner asked if he had come, and I said, "No." He said nothing further, and went to his work.
When did he call again? - He did not call till the following morning.
What time did he call this morning? - My husband saw him.
The father of the deceased was then recalled, and examined by Mr. Withers. Did you see the prisoner this morning? - Yes. I think it was about 6:30.
What did he say? - He said, "Have you heard anything of John?"
What did you say? - I replied, "No. I have been to the Town Hall, and the detectives will be looking after him."
How far is the place where the body was found from your house? - Rather better than 50 yards.
In going up to work at the dairy, how near would the prisoner go to the passage? - He would go quite close to the end of it.
Where the body was found? - Yes.
I want you to be particular as to the time. Was it about 6:30? - Yes, sir.
Evidence having been given respecting the discovery of the body, and in support of the Chief Constable's statements concerning the harden and the bread knife, a remand was granted until Wednesday, prisoner being told that if he desired to consult with his friends the police would assist him to do so.

LATER PARTICULARS.

Telegraphing from Bradford on Sunday night a correspondent says: - The excitement caused yesterday by the discovery of the boy's mutilated remains has shown no sign of abatement today. The spot where the body was found has today been visited by hundreds of people. There is a strong feeling in the neighbourhood of Thorncliffe-road, despite the suspicious circumstances to which the Chief Constable directed the attention
of the magistrates yesterday, that the prisoner Barrett is guiltless of any attempt to injure the boy. Those who know him best give him an excellent character for steadiness and sobriety, and declare that he is the last man in the world to commit murder. A reporter visited Mrs. Barrett today and found her perfectly tranquil and collected. She said, "I have no doubt whatever of my husband's innocence." On being questioned
as to the bread-knife she stated that the police came to the house yesterday and asked to be allowed to examine her cutlery. She showed the detectives where the table knives were kept, and they selected the most formidable one they could find, and took it away. She affirms that the breadknife was cleaned regularly with the other cutlery at the end of the week. The report which gained currency on Saturday that another murder
had taken place at Kildwick probably arose out of the fact that Barrett's employer, Mr. Wolfenden, owns a farm in that village. Evidence having been given at the police-court to show that Barrett was much later than usual in reaching home after going his rounds on Friday night, Mr. Wolfenden has made a statement to the effect that Barrett was engaged much later than usual that evening printing butter for Saturday's market.
Late last night, Barrett's clothes having been fetched from his house, an examination of them was made, with the result that blood-stains were discovered on one of his shirts. It is understood, however, that the prisoner was able to give a satisfactory explanation of this circumstance. Opposite the entry where the body was found is a cottage tenanted by an old man named Dodsworth and his son. It appears that Mr. Dodsworth is an invalid,
and a light is kept burning in his bedroom all night on this account. On Friday night Mr. Dodsworth went to bed at a quarter past eleven, but he was awake the greater part of the night. The old man states that he got out of bed several times before daybreak, but at no period during the night did he hear any movement in the street. The post-mortem examination, which was commenced yesterday afternoon, was resumed today at the mortuary, and
I am informed that several points upon which doubt was entertained at the preliminary stage have now been satisfactorily cleared up.
In a later telegram the correspondent says: I understand that the police have made several discoveries in the course of the investigation which are regarded as important links in the chain of evidence against Barrett. A large number of plain-clothes men have been prosecuting inquiries respecting the prisoner's antecedents and habits, and it is alleged, with what truth remains to be seen, that facts have transpird which go some way towards clearing
up the question of motive. The police themselves display unusual reticence, the only information officially communicated being that the case is considerably stronger than would appear from the police-court proceedings. It will be remembered that according to Barrett's statement the boy left him at Walmer-villas just before the last delivery of milk, but it is now alleged that this statement is incorrect, and that Johnny Gill was seen with the milkman
at a subsequent period. The stable in which Barrett's horse is accommodated, and which has been in possession of the police since Saturday night, has been subjected to a minute examination, as has also the drain connected with it, and it is understood that certain of the important discoveries referred to above are the result of this scrutiny. The services of Mr. Rimmington, borough analyst, have again been sought, and traces of blood are said to have been found
under suspicious circumstances. Not much importance is attached to the hairs found on the packing canvas picked up in the stable. It has been satisfactorily established that the canvas has been used for covering the horse, and the borough analyst is said to be of opinion that the hairs adhering to the material have been rubbed off the back of the animal.
The Bradford and London police have been in active communication, it being thought possible that the London assassin had made for the country. The metropolitan police were, it appears, led to this conclusion by two strange coincidences. The first was that shortly before the last murder in East London the police received one of the common anonymous letters purporting to come from "Jack the Ripper," in which he said he should commit another murder, and then go into the country
for the benefit of his health. A second letter, however, received by the police, now some few weeks ago, was of a very revolting character. In this letter the writer said, in coarse terms, "After I have done with the women, I am going to begin on the males." The letters bore the Tottenham postmark.

OPENING OF THE INQUEST.

The inquest on the body of the boy John Gill, eight years of age, who was murdered and mutilated under the circumstances related above, was formally opened on Monday afternoon. There was a crowded attendance. Mr. J. Freeman appeared on behalf of the relatives of the deceased, and Mr. Craven for the prisoner, the milkman Barrett. The only evidence taken was as to the identity
of the deceased, Thomas Gill, cabdriver, of 41, Thorncliffe-road, Bradford, speaking as to the boy being his son. The Chief Constable, Mr. Withers, applied for a remand till Friday at 9:30 a.m., and this was granted. The utmost interest is still taken in the investigation of the murder, but the police are very reticent. On Monday the police found in the Bellevue stables, the scene of the discovery,
a hammer, and as some blunt instrument was evidently used in severing the joints it is supposed that this hammer may have served the purpose. The prisoner Barrett treats the case with great indifference. He is reported to have been heard singing in his cell, and he laughs and converses freely with the police on the matter. There prevails a general belief, in which the parents of the lad share, that Barrett
could not have committed so foul a murder. It is now satisfactorily ascertained that the deceased was stabbed twice in the left breast, and Dr. Lodge states that these stabs were sufficient to kill an elephant, and were the immediate cause of death. The legs, it is believed, were chopped off for convenience. The jacket, waistcoat, and coat being removed before the stabbing was done. A knife was evidently used
in the stabbing, and this must have been blunt and broad. The greatest sympathy with the parents of the murdered lad is expressed on every hand. The lad was a general favourite. He was a regular attendant at the Kirkgate Wesleyan Sunday School, and had many friends there. Indeed, public reference was, on Sunday, made at the chapel to the poor lad's death. On the other hand, the prisoner Barrett also seems to have been
a quiet and inoffensive man. For about nine months previous to March last he was employed as a farm labourer by Mr. Wolfendale at Cross Hills. Mr. Wolfendale gives him a most excellent character, and states that he was not addicted to drink and seldom used profane language. He is a tall, well-built young man, and might aptly be described as a typical agricultural labourer.

At Bradford Borough Police-court on Wednesday William Barrett, milkman, aged 23, was again brought up in custody on suspicion of having murdered the boy Gill. Mr. Armitage presided, and there was a full attendance of magistrates. It having become known that important evidence would be given, great public interest was evinced in the case, and many people were unable to obtain admission to court. Prisoner on entering the dock
displayed remarkable nonchanlance, but as the day wore on and new facts were disclosed his demeanour underwent considerable alteration, and during the whole of the afternoon he leaned as far forward as possible, and followed the evidence with eager attention. Mr. Withers, Chief Constable, conducted the case on behalf of the police. Mr. Craven, solicitor, appeared for the prisoner, and Mr. Freeman, solicitor, watched the case on
behalf of the relatives of the murdered boy.
Mr. Withers, in his opening statement, briefly recapitulated the circumstances under which the deceased left home on Thursday morning, and then proceeded to give an outline of the new evidence which he proposed to submit. He said witnesses would be called to prove that the boy was in Barrett's cart after the time prisoner said he left it. It was a peculiar thing that prior to the morning in question the boy had never gone home
to breakfast when he had been round with Barrett. It seemed odd that he should have done so on Thursday. A witness would be called who would state positively that Gill delivered milk at her house for Barrett shortly before ten o'clock that morning, and three persons would come forward and state that they had seen Barrett with the boy after half-past eight, when the prisoner said the boy left him. It would be proved that although the prisoner
said he did not leave home between ten on Thursday night and seven on Friday morning, that he was seen walking from his house in the direction of his stable at half-past five on Friday morning. Another witness would swear that there was a light in the stable at 25 minutes past six. On Friday evening Mrs. Gill met the prisoner, and asked if he knew where her boy was. She added, "You will have to know, for the detectives are coming up in the morning,
and you will have to tell them something." The prisoner replied, "All right," and walked away. A draper, who passed the stable on the way home at night, would prove that there was a light in the building at eleven that evening, and another witness, who lived at the Servants' Home at the back of the stable, would give important evidence respecting the noises she heard during the same night. At 6:30 on Saturday morning Barrett called on Mr. Gill, and it
would be shown that he was then going towards his home and not coming from it, as might have been expected. In coming down the street, moreover, the prisoner must have passed within 40 yards of the spot where the body was found an hour later. The state of the boy's clothes was sufficient to show that he was not murdered in the street, but in some building. Three pieces of textile fabric had been discovered in the stable, and in one case at least the borough analyst
had found blood thereon. The most serious part of the case was the question of motive, and in this connection the nature of the mutilation was a matter which was very material. Having referred to the fact that two doctors had made an examination of the prisoner on behalf of the defence, Mr. Withers having produced evidence in support of his opening, the proceedings were adjourned until next Wednesday.
Mr. Craven protested against so long an adjournment; but Mr. Withers intimated that it was absolutely necessary for the police to have a considerable period to complete their investigations. Moreover, the case was of so serious a character that it would be necessary for him to consult with the Treasury about it.

Source: Aberystwyth Observer, 5 January 1889, Page 9

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Re: Murder Of John Gill

Post by Karen on Mon 25 Mar 2013 - 1:50

HORRIBLE MURDER OF A BOY AT BRADFORD.
A MAN ARRESTED.

The epidemic of murder and mutilation which has spread consternation in the East-end of London has at length broken out in the provinces, and although the crime discovered on the morning of the 29th ult. at Bradford has, from the methods of the assassin and the sex of the victim, apparently no direct connection with the Whitechapel outrages, there can be little doubt that the mind of the culprit has been strongly influenced by recent occurences in the metropolis.
The problem of motive is, if possible, even more difficult of solution in this case than in the case of the murdered women in Whitechapel. A cheerful, inoffensive lad, of respectable parentage, strikes up an intimacy with his mother's milkman. One morning the boy leaves home between seven and eight o'clock for the purpose of accompanying the milkman on his rounds, a circumstance which occasions no comment, as it has frequently happened before. According to the milkman,
the boy parts company with him just before the last call is made, and goes in the direction of his mother's house, which is then about 200 yards distant. The mother, however, never sees her son alive again, but exactly 48 hours after the lad left his home his body, mutilated in the most ghastly manner, is discovered within a stone's throw of his mother's house. Such is the crime at Bradford. As far as can be seen it is impossible that the tragedy could have been prompted
by any feelings of revenge against either the boy or his parents. The name of the murdered boy was John Gill. He was eight years of age, smart, bright, and intelligent almost beyond his years, and with his schoolfellows he was extremely popular. His father, a cabdriver well-known and respected in Bradford, lives in Thorncliffe-road, a thoroughfare running from Manningham-lane, the chief residential district of the town, to the Midland Railway, and it was in a back street
jutting out of Thorncliffe-road that his son's remains were found.

On Thursday morning of last week the boy told his mother that he was going for a ride with Barrett, a milkman who serves families in this part of Bradford. Mrs. Gill knew that her son was on friendly terms with Barrett, and was in the habit of going with him to the adjacent railway station to fetch his milk, and she thought nothing of the incident. "Johnny" (as he was familiarly called by his friends and playmates) waited at the door until Barrett passed on his way to the station,
which was at half-past seven, when he climbed into the cart and went off. Independent witnesses have come forward to state that they saw the boy with Barrett at the railway station, and also subsequently, whilst the milk was being delivered at the customers' houses; in fact, Barrett himself admits that "Johnny" remained with him until all the calls but one had been made, when the cart drew up at Walmer-villas, where the last customer resides. The boy, Barrett affirms, jumped down and
said he would run home and get his breakfast. As had already been indicated, the boy then disappeared for two days. Finding he did not return for his morning meal, his mother made inquiries amongst the neighbours, but to no avail. Nobody had seen or heard anything of him from the moment he was alleged to have left the milkman. On the Friday morning, no trace of the missing boy having been found, the following advertisement was inserted in a local paper: "Lost, on Thursday morning, boy,
John Gill, aged eight. Was last seen sliding in Walmer-villas at half-past eight a.m. Had on navy blue topcoat (with brass buttons on), midshipman's cap, plaid knickerbocker suit, laced boots, red and black stockings; complexion fair. Home, 41, Thorncliffe-road." The day passed with no sign of the boy, and Mr. and Mrs. Gill retired at night well-nigh distraught with apprehension, but never suspected that their doubts would be set at rest in a way so heart-rending and revolting the next
morning. Mrs. Gill did not see anything of Barrett from the time that the boy left with him on the Thursday morning until about three o'clock the same afternoon, when, in reply to her questions, he said the boy left him while his cart was at Walmer-villas. He also said that Johnny was sliding as he ran down Thorncliffe-street and on the following morning Barrett again called on the Gills to ask if anything had been heard of the boy.
The discovery of the dead body was made at half-past seven on the morning of the 29th inst. by a youth named Joseph Bucke, was acts as stableman for Mr. Berwick, a butcher, renting certain out-buildings in Mellor-street, near Thorncliffe-road. Some yards down Mellor-street, on the right hand side going from Thorncliffe-road, is an entry, about 10ft. wide by 15ft. deep, at the extremity of which stands a coach-house, closed with large wooden doors. The buildings on each side of the entry are
stables, that to the right being used by Mr. Berwick. It was not quite daylight when Bucke arrived at his master's stable, but he commenced at once his daily work, the first part of which was to clear out the manure, and throw it into a kind of tank made for that purpose on the other side of the entry. Whilst doing this the youth noticed something bulky lying close up to the left-hand door of the coachhouse. In the uncertain light it was impossible to distinguish its precise shape or appearance;
but at first he thought it was a bundle of old clothes which someone had thrown away. On closer inspection his surmise appeared to be correct, for on top of the parcel lay a boy's overcoat. He lifted a corner of the garment, and was horrified to discover first a dismembered human leg, then what appeared to be a severed ear, and finally on completely removing the coat, the trunk of a child's body, mutilated in a manner impossible to minutely describe. Bucke raised the alarm, and, being in the midst
of a thickly populated district, the yard was soon crowded. The features were readily recognised as those of Johnny Gill, whose parents were quickly apprised of his fate. The news of the tragedy spread like wildfire, and people hurried to the spot in scores, but as soon as Chief-constable Withers arrived on the scene the police took possession, and the commotion ceased to some extent. Nevertheless the excitement continued for a considerable period, and long after the unfortunate lad's body had been
removed to the mortuary it was found necessary to keep an extra force of constables on duty to maintain order. As soon as the police surgeon, Mr. Lodge, had seen the remains the coat was replaced as nearly as possible in the position in which Bucke found it, and the bundle was photographed, after which it was carried on a foot ambulance to the mortuary, where a careful examination was made. It was found that both legs had been severed from the body at the thighs, the operation of dismemberment having
evidently been performed by some person having more than an elementary knowledge of anatomy. The throat was not cut, nor was the face disfigured, but both ears were sliced off and a deep vertical cut ran from just below the chin to the lowest extremity of the abdomen. On the left breast were two deep and wide stabs. A portion of the intestines as well as the heart had been plucked out and placed around the neck, and other portions of the body had been cut away and removed. The surgical theory is that
death resulted from the stabs in the region of the heart, and that the mutilations were effected after the body had become cold. The boy's trousers and shirt were placed in the bundle with the remains, and the braces were used to hold the parcel together. On the entry being examined for traces of blood it was at once clear that the spot where the body was found had not been the scene of the murder. Even the ground where the parcel had rested was free from any discolouration, a proof that the boy must have
been dead sometime before his remains were deposited under the shadow of the coach-house. Inquiries being made amongst the police on the beat, it was also established that the body must have been placed in the court between half-past four and half-past seven, because at half-past four the constable on duty in Mellor-street tried the doors of the coach-house and stood on the very spot where the bundle was found. A further means of narrowing the investigation is afforded by the fact that shortly after five o'clock
the operatives employed in the various mills in the vicinity would be astir, so that after that time a person carrying a large package, such as that discovered, could hardly have escaped unnoticed. The milkman being the last person seen in the deceased's company the attention of the detectives was naturally first turned in his direction, and certain circumstances having transpired, which, in the opinion of the Chief Constable, required explanation, Barrett was arrested on suspicion of having committed the murder.
The evidence against Barrett was purely circumstantial, and the prisoner strenuously asserted his innocence. The main points alleged by the police are that the boy was never seen after leaving Barrett, although Mr. Gill's house was only a minute's walk away; that a bread-knife found at Barrett's house corresponded in a remarkable manner with the wounds found in the murdered boy's breast, that the floor of the stable in which Barrett keeps his horse was on the morning of the 29th ult. subjected to a thorough
cleansing with water, and that between half-past six - the time Barrett left home - and half-past seven, when the body was found, the prisoner would have had ample time to go to the stable, carry the body to the entry and commence his usual duties at the usual time. The bread-knife referred to has a blade about 8in. in length and 1-1/2in. in width, with a peculiar curvature at the point. It is alleged that the stabs made near the heart of the deceased are precisely such as would be inflicted by the knife in question,
and it is also further alleged that the knife, which has evidently been used for other purposes than that of cutting bread, shows signs of having been recently cleaned in a hasty and imperfect manner, leaving visible, especially towards the point, certain dark stains. The recent swilling of the floor of Barrett's stable suggested to the detectives the possibility that this might have been the scene of the murder and mutilation. A piece of packing canvas was found in the stable when the police overhauled the building,
and a number of dark stains on this were regarded with suspicion, but up to the writing of this report the detectives have failed to prove the presence of blood. Another point to which some importance is attached by the police also requires to be settled. An examination of the canvas with a magnifying glass revealed the fact that a number of fine hairs were adhering to the material. These have been carefully picked off, and have been submitted to the borough analyst for microscopical examination, the ordinary lens proving
insufficient to decide whether the hairs are human or not. After an examination of the hairs with the aid of his pocket magnifying-glass, the borough analyst called attention to the fact that each strand tapered off to a fine point. This, he said, was rather opposed to the supposition that the hair came from a human head which was periodically submitted to the shears of the barber. He declined, however, to give a positive opinion after a cursory examination of this kind, and he also preferred to defer pronouncing his judgment
as to the colour of the hair. Two or three other clues are in the possession of the police, but in each case the indications point to the probability of the culprit being a person well acquainted with the neighbourhood.
The statement of the policeman on duty in Mellor-street that he tried the doors at half-past four on the morning of the 29th ult. is corroborated by some men employed in an adjacent bakehouse, who happened to be coming out with their first batch of bread at the time the constable was passing. Barrett's wife has visited him in his cell. She was perfectly cool during the interview, and expressed her firm conviction that the police would be compelled to set him at liberty almost immediately for want of evidence to connect him with the crime.
It is stated that the boots of the murdered boy were found, one on the stump of each thigh, and that one of the dissevered ears had been placed in his stomach. Barrett's explanation of the stains on the packing canvas is that it had been used as a horse cloth, and has become discoloured through falling from the horse's back to the floor of the stable.
Mrs. Kershaw, a neighbour of Mr. Gill, made the following statement: I was out on Saturday morning about half-past eight when I met a cabman coming out of Whittaker's-yard. He said, "Have you found him yet?" I said, "No." The cabman then said, "I think they have found him, he's dead." I then came back to Mrs. Gill, who had not yet come downstairs. This was about half-past eight o'clock. I asked Mrs. Gill's little daughter to ask her father to come. When he came I told him that they had found the boy. I then went away.
It was the little boy Sam who told the mother first. I had been up till five o'clock with the parents, who were in a state of great anxiety. I was a friend of the Gills. They were in a fearful state. The lad was a great favourite with the milkman. He had always gone with the milkman for a pastime. The deceased was at school up to the Christmas holidays. He was a boy of the most obedient kind, and was much loved by his parents.
Ruth Gill, aged 13, says: When I left the house this morning about a quarter-past eight o'clock, my parents did not know my brother was dead. When I was on the way to my work at the mill I saw a crowd in Thorncliffe-road. I asked a man what was the matter. A man told me to go on to my work. There was a girl with me, and I asked her if she knew. She said she did not, but afterwards told me that my brother was dead. Her words were "John is murdered." I went on to my work, but came back again. On reaching home I ascertained that my brother was dead.
I think it was my little brother Sam who told my mother first of the affair. My parents knew nothing of the matter when I left. They had been very anxious and had been up all night. I saw my brother last on the Thursday morning before I went to my work. He was in his bed, and asked to get up to accompany the milkman. I knew that he afterwards went away with the dairyman, with whom he was a great favourite.
Joseph Bucke, butcher's assistant, who first discovered the body, states: I am employed by Mr. James Berwick, of the Market Hall, who has a stable and coach-house in Thorncliffe-road, near to where the body was found. I was there last Friday night about nine o'clock, but saw nothing unusual at the time. On Saturday morning I went to the stable as usual to look after Mr. Berwick's horse. That was a little before seven o'clock. I went into the stable, and after attending to the horse, I took some manure out into the yard in front of the coach-house, where
there is a manure-pit. I had thrown the manure in, when I saw a heap of something propped up in the corner between the wall and the coach-house door. I could not make out what it was at the time, so I got a light, and then saw that it was a dead body. I just noticed that one ear was cut off. I was alarmed and went for a man in the bakehouse close by. He saw the body, and we went for a policeman together. We soon found one. He saw the body and I then went for a doctor, who came and also saw the body. I noticed that the body was tied up in a jacket or some piece of
clothing with a leather belt strapped round it. I stopped about the place for some time, but did not care to look at the body. I don't know how it was cut up or injured.

BARRETT BEFORE THE MAGISTRATES.

William Barrett was brought before the borough magistrates, at the Bradford Town Hall, on suspicion of the wilful murder of John Gill. The magistrates on the bench were Mr. A. Briggs, Mr. James Burnley, and Mr. John Cass. None but the officials of the Court and the parties directly interested were present. The prisoner did not seem in any way affected by his position, but paid keen attention to all that transpired. Both the father and mother of the lad, who were called as witnesses, were very much affected. Thomas Gill, cabman, said: I have seen the dead body of my son
at the mortuary. He was eight years of age. I know the prisoner, and have seen my son in his company.
Prisoner: He has been with me many a time, has he not?
Witness: Yes.
And since Thursday I have been to inquire about him many a time a day? - Yes.
Mary Ann Gill said: Deceased was my son, and would have been eight years of age next February. I last saw him alive at 20 minutes to seven o'clock last Thursday morning. He was with the prisoner. The prisoner was leading his horse and cart down the street. I saw him stop, and my boy got into the cart. I have never seen my boy since. Some further questions were put by the prisoner to the witness, and evidence having been given respecting the discovery of the body, and in support of the chief constable's statements concerning the garden and the bread-knife, a remand was granted.
Prisoner was told that if he desired to consult with his friends the police would assist him to do so. There is a strong feeling in the neighbourhood of Thorncliffe-road that the prisoner Barrett is guiltless of any attempt to injure the boy. Those who know him best give him an excellent character for steadiness and sobriety, and declare that he is the last man in the world to commit murder. Mrs. Barrett, wife of the accused, on being questioned as to the bread-knife stated that the police came to the house and asked to be allowed to examine her cutlery. She showed the detectives
where the table knives were kept, and they selected the most formidable one they could find and took it away. She affirms that the bread-knife was cleaned regularly with the other cutlery at the end of the week. A report which gained currency that another murder had taken place at Kildwick probably arose out of the fact that Barrett's employer, Mr. Wolfenden, owns a farm in that village. Evidence having been given at the police-court to show that Barrett was much later than usual in reaching home after going his rounds on the Friday night, Mr. Wolfenden has made a statement to the effect
that Barrett was engaged much later than usual that evening printing butter for next day's market.
Barrett's clothes having been fetched from his house, an examination of them was made, with the result that bloodstains were discovered on one of his shirts. It is understood, however, that the prisoner was able to give a satisfactory explanation of this circumstance. Opposite the entry where the body was found is a cottage tenanted by an old man named Dodsworth and his son. From the fact that a light was seen in this house during the whole of Friday night the rumour went forth that the building was the haunt of dangerous characters, who might possibly have had something to do with the tragedy.
From inquiries made since, however, it appears that Mr. Dodsworth is an invalid, and the light is kept burning in his bedroom all night on this account. On Friday night Mr. Dodsworth went to bed at 11:15, but he was awake the greater part of the night, and his testimony is valuable as showing that the movements of the assassin must have been rapid and cat-like. The old man states that he got out of bed several times before daybreak, but at no period during the night did he hear any movement in the street. The post-mortem examination, which was commenced on Saturday afternoon, was resumed on Sunday at
the mortuary, and it is stated that several points upon which doubts were entertained at the preliminary stage have now been satisfactorily cleared up.

THE INQUEST OPENED.

The Bradford Borough Coroner, Mr. J.G. Hutchinson, opened an inquest on the afternoon of the 31st ult. at the Coroner's Court in the Town Hall on the body of the lad John Gill, eight years of age, who was found lying murdered and shockingly mutilated at the back of Mellor-street, Thorncliffe-road, on Saturday morning. Mr. Craven, of the firm of Weatherhead and Burr, represented the prisoner, W. Barrett; and Mr. Freeman watched the proceedings on behalf of the parents of the child. The Chief Constable, Mr. J. Withers, attended to represent the police. No one, except the persons immediately interested in the
proceedings, was admitted to the court. Thomas Gill, cabman, father to the deceased, was the only witness called, and gave evidence as to the boy's identity. He last saw the lad alive on the Thursday morning at a quarter-past seven. He was then in the house. Witness sent him to the stable-yard to tell the horse-keeper to put a horse in his cab. He came back in a minute or two, and said, "Your horse is in its stall ready." Witness went to work, leaving the lad in the house, and did not see him again till he was taken down to the mortuary on Saturday morning and shown the dead body. After this brief examination
the Chief Constable applied for an adjournment. It would, he pointed out, be inconvenient to the police that the matter should be gone into fully just at present. The proceedings were consequently adjourned.

A STRANGE STORY.

A Bradford correspondent telegraphs: A remarkable story came to the knowledge of the Bradford police some time on Thursday of last week on the morning of which the boy John Gill was first missed, and regarding which they have kept the strictest silence. On Wednesday night last a tailor named Cahill, of 324, Heaton-road, a thoroughfare in the suburb where the body was found, but about half a mile further from town and in a very isolated position - went to a ball with his wife. Upon his return about ten o'clock on Thursday morning, an hour and a half after the boy was last seen with the milkman Barrett, he found
that his house had been entered. The furniture had been pulled about and turned upside down; a number of articles of various kinds had been thrown in a heap upon the table in the living room; and upon another table was a sight which struck him with horror. A couple of carving knives were placed crosswise on the table, and upon them was a card, on one side of which was written "Half-past 9 - look out - Jack the Ripper has been," whilst on the other side were the words "I have removed down to the canal side. Please drop in. Yours truly, SUICIDE." There was a large tin can full of water on the same table, and the whole
surface of the table was saturated with water. The clock in the living room was stopped, and the fingers indicated the time stated on the card, half-past nine. Nothing had been removed from the house, except a bottle of rum. Another bottle of rum had been removed from the cupboard, and some of its contents had been poured into two glasses, which were left upon the table almost empty. The story is narrated by Mr. Cahill himself. Mr. Cahill has been compelled to obtain another house, the shock of the discovery having unnerved his wife that she will not stay in the house without constant company.

Source: Cardigan Observer, and General Advertiser For the Counties of Cardigan, Carmarthen and Pembroke, 5 January 1889, Page 2

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