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Description of Dutfield Yard

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Description of Dutfield Yard

Post by Karen on Sun 31 Oct 2010 - 5:15

The metropolis has again been shocked by the commission of murders in the Whitechapel district - this time two in the same night. And as before there is the same mystery, the murderer escaping without leaving anything behind him that has as yet served as a clue to a discovery. On Saturday night, about one o'clock, a steward of a Socialist club was returning home with a pony and barrow, and drove through the passage leading from Berner-street to a small yard adjoining his house. Noticing his pony to shy he thought there was something in the dark passage, and striking a match he saw a woman lying a few feet from the entrance. Going into the club he fetched some members, and on their return they found that the woman had had her throat cut, and blood was streaming down the stones of the passage. The body when found was quite warm. In one hand was clutched some grapes, in the other a box of sweets, and at her breast were pinned two dahlias. The cut in her throat was about 3in. long and 3in. deep, and appears to have been effected with a very sharp weapon. The woman has been identified as Elizabeth Watts, whose husband had gone to America some years ago on account of her intemperate habits. Living in a common lodging-house not far off she was in the habit of frequenting the neighbourhood, where she went by the name of "Long Lizzie." At the entrance to the passage is a pair of large wooden gates, in one of which is a wicket for use when they are closed. It is said that these gates are as often left open as closed. For a distance of 18ft. or 20ft. from the street there is a dead wall on each side, the effect of which is to make the passage dark after sunset. The Socialist club runs the length of the court on one side, and some cottages, occupied mainly by tailors and cigarette makers, are on the other side. There is also a factory in the court. The club in question is the "International Workmen's Educational Club," an offshoot of the Socialist League and a rendezvous of a number of foreigners, chiefly Russians, Poles, and Jews of various nationalities. On Saturday night it is customary to have friendly discussions on some subjects and to wind up the evening with songs, &c. That evening a discussion had been held on the necessity for Socialism among Jews. On the discussion's ending about eleven o'clock, some twenty or thirty remained to carry on a concert, and singing was going on when the woman's body was found. About half-an-hour before a member had left the club with his "young lady," and on his return had entered the passage, but had not observed anything.
The second murder took place in Mitre-square, which is in the confines of the City, not far from Liverpool-street Station and within a mile of Berner-street. A constable had patrolled the square about 1:35 on Saturday night, and on returning at 1:45 he found a woman lying in the south-western corner, a dark one, with her throat cut. In this case there had been a mutilation of the body somewhat similar to two of the previous cases. Moreover, the face had been very much disfigured, and part of one ear had been cut off. In the mutilation of the abdomen some anatomical skill is said to have been shown, but the work seems to have been done much more rapidly and roughly than in the two previous cases. The square is chiefly occupied by business firms who have warehouses there. Some of the houses are just now unoccupied, but in one, strange to say, dwells an ex-policeman, who heard no disturbance. Three streets or passages lead into the square, so that the murderer was liable to be interrupted at any moment by a passer-by.
These fresh murders seem to militate against the remarkable theory propounded by the coroner, Mr. Wynne Baxter, on Wednesday, at the conclusion of the inquest on Mrs. Chapman. He said he had been informed by the sub-curator of the Pathological Museum that some months ago an American had called on him and asked him to procure a number of specimens of the organ that was missing from the woman's body. The American had stated his willingness to give 20 pounds a piece for each specimen, his object being to issue an actual specimen with each copy of a publication on which he was then engaged. The coroner asked if it was not possible that the knowledge of this demand might have incited some inhuman wretch to possess himself of a specimen. Besides the manifest difficulties in this theory, some eminent doctors have, however, pointed out that specimens can be obtained for a mere trifle at the dissecting-rooms.

In the north there has been more success in finding the man who has been sought for, as being suspected of being guilty of the murder and mutilation of Jane Beetmoor on Birtley Fell, North Durham, on the night of Saturday, September 22nd. On Monday he was taken at Yetholm, in Roxburghshire, Scotland. It appears that on Thursday he called at the shop of a cast-off clothes dealer at Berwick, and changed the suit he was wearing for another, receiving five shillings in addition. To account for his wish to change his clothes he said that he was hard up. The arrest was made by Mr. William Stenhouse, a wool dealer, Yetholm, who met with the man on a lonely road leading out of Yetholm, on the hills by way of Halterburn. On being questioned the man admitted that his name was Waddle, that he came from Birtley, and stated that the woman Savage (or Beetmoor) was his wife. He professed to be looking for harvesting, but Mr. Stenhouse remarked that he would not get what he wanted among the hills, and offered him work if he would return. Quite willingly he retraced his footsteps, and Mr. Stenhouse conveyed him directly and without resistance to the police-station where he was locked up.

Source: The Guardian, October 3, 1888, Page 1449

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

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