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Mackenzie Inquest

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Mackenzie Inquest

Post by Karen on Sun 31 Oct 2010 - 16:19


Mr. Baxter opened an inquest on the body of the murdered woman on Wednesday evening at the Working Lads' institute, Whitechapel-road. The jury viewed the body at the Montague-street mortuary, close by.
John M'Cormack said: I live at 54, Gun-street, Spitalfields, a common lodging-house. I am a porter. I have seen the body in the mortuary. I recognise it as that of Alice Mackenzie, aged about 40 years. She has been living with me six or seven years as my wife.
How do you recognise her? - By the thumb of the right hand, which has been crushed at the tip, the nail being half off. I recognised her face by the scar on the forehead. I have seen the clothes, and know them as hers, and I recognised her boots. She told me she came from Peterborough. I don't know whether she had any children.
Did she do anything for a living? - She worked very hard as a charwoman for a living.
When did you last see her alive? - Between three and four o'clock on Tuesday afternoon. I was in bed at the time, and she left me to pay the rent of the room, 8d., for one night. I gave her 1s. 8d. altogether. I did not see her again until I saw the body in the mortuary. The deputy told me that my old woman was lying dead there.
Was she sober when she left? - Perfectly sober, sir.
How came you in bed at four o'clock in the afternoon? - My work is early in the morning. I went to sleep when I came home.
Had she been to work that day? - No.
When did she last go to work? - On Monday, at least she said so; but I didn't believe it.
What time did she come home? - About seven o'clock. She did not go out again.
Why did you disbelieve her statement? - Because I know she didn't go to work (laughter). I was told by others that she had not been at work.
Did she often come home late at night? - Not to my knowledge. She was always at home until last night.
Did you have any words with her then? - I had a few words, which upset her.
Did she say she would walk the streets? - She told me nothing of what she was about to do.
Did you not go to the deputy and ask whether she had paid the money? - I did; between 10:30 o'clock and 11 p.m. The deputy said she had not done so.
Did you say, "What am I to do? Am I to go and walk the streets too?" - Yes, that is what I said. She (the deputy) said, "No, don't you go." I went upstairs and went to bed, and got up today at my usual time.
Did you think she had gone out looking for money? - I can't say anything about that.
Inspector Reid: Was the deceased a great smoker? - Yes; she used to smoke a great deal. I could not tell what sort of a pipe she smoked.
The Coroner: Have you ever seen her smoke? - Yes, she might smoke one pipe or another. I can't tell what sort of one she smoked. It was not a long pipe.
Was it a short one or a long one? - I don't know anything at all about it?
Was it a clay or a wooden pipe? - It was always a clay pipe. She used to smoke in bed.
Elizabeth Ryder, the deputy of 52 and 54, Gun-street, a married woman, deposed: My husband is a cooper. I act as deputy of the common lodging-house, and identify the body of the deceased as that of Mrs. Mackenzie, who has been living at the house for twelve months, on and off, as the wife of John M'Cormack, the last witness. There is no doubt about this woman having been Mackenzie. I recognised the odd stockings the deceased was wearing, as I gave them to her. I last saw her between eight and nine on Tuesday night passing through the kitchen into the street. She was not wearing a bonnet or hat. She did not speak to me. She had been in the lodging-house all day. I did not hear of any disagreement. She never wore a bonnet. She had her shawl on - a light one. I have seen it in the mortuary. Deceased was not in the habit of being out late at night, and, as far as I know, she got her living honestly, and not upon the streets. The last witness came to me last night, between 11 and 12 o'clock, and asked me if I had seen her since eight or nine o'clock. I replied, "No." He then inquired whether she had paid the lodging, and I said she had not. He said, "What am I to do?" and I answered, "Don't stay in the kitchen, but go to bed." He said, "I had a couple of words with her, and I sent her down to pay the lodging." I said, "You know what she is; she will soon be home." She was the worse for drink. She had had a good drop during the day, and was intoxicated when her husband came home. She was more or less drunk when she left the house at night. I had seen her in that state before, but she never went out on those occasions. I thought it strange for her to go out, but made no remark to her.
Have you seen her smoke? - Yes; she borrowed pipes in the kitchen. They were generally short clay ones. She bought her own tobacco. The lodging-house closes at two a.m. I waited up this morning till 3:30 o'clock for the deceased and another young woman to come home.
Has the other woman come home? - No. They did not go out together. She was called Mogg Cheeks. They had nothing to do with each other. I have never seen deceased with any other man than her husband. Between three and four she went out, met him, and then returned. At eight p.m. she was by herself. When deceased was not staying in my house she and M'Cormack were together in a furnished room at Crossingham's, White's-row.
Inspector Reid, replying to the jury, said efforts would be made to find Cheeks.
Joseph Allen, police-constable 423 H, stated: This (Wednesday) morning I was in Castle-alley until 20 minutes past 12, when I passed through. I was there for five minutes. I entered through the archway leading from the Whitechapel High-street. I had something to eat under the lamp where the deceased was found. Afterwards I went into Wentworth-street. There was no one in Castle-alley during the five minutes I was there. There were two wagons close to the lamp; I could not swear there was no one in them. I did not look into them. One of the wagons was an open one. Everything was very quiet.
There are the backs of some cottages in New Castle-street with their upper windows looking over the alley? - Yes; the lower windows were hidden by a paling. There were lights in some of the windows. I could not say whether any of the windows were open. I heard no sound from them. The houses are tenanted.
On leaving the alley you met a constable? - Yes; Police-constable 272 H, Walter Andrews. I met him in Wentworth-street, about 100 yards from the alley. I told him of a man who wanted to be called at five o'clock. Andrews then went on to Goulston-street. I had entered the alley at about 12:15 this (Wednesday) morning. The landlord of the Three Crowns was closing the house and wished me "Good night." I then went towards Commercial-street, and met Police-serjeant 31, Badham, who told me a murder had been committed in Castle-alley, and instructed me to go to the station for the inspector and to call the doctor. It was five minutes to one o'clock as I passed the church on the way to the station.
Walter Andrews, police-constable 272 H, said: About 10 minutes to one this (Wednesday) morning I saw Serjeant Badham at the corner of Old Castle-street, leading off Castle-alley, and he said, "All right," which is a bye-word, and I replied, "All right." I then proceeded up Old Castle-street in the direction of Castle-alley. As I was trying the doors on the right hand, or west side of the alley, I noticed a woman lying on the pavement, and I saw at once what it was. Her head was lying eastwards, on the edge of the kerbstone, and her feet were towards the building - a wheelwright's shop and warehouse. The body was not disturbed before the doctor arrived. It was about two feet from the lamp.
Was there any wagon in the road? - There were two standing underneath the lamp-post in the roadway on the same side. One was a four-wheeled street scavenging wagon, and the other a brewer's dray.
Would these wagons hide the body from the cottages opposite? - Yes; as it was underneath the scavenging wagon that the woman's head lay. The wheels of the wagon were close to the kerb. The woman's clothing was thrown up, exposing her body. The face was uncovered. Blood was running from the left side of her neck. I touched the body; it was quite warm. I blew a whistle, and Serjeant Badham arrived in two or three minutes. I was ordered to stay by the body, and not allow anyone to touch it. Dr. Phillips came at five or 10 past one.
Had you seen anyone? - There was not a soul in the alley. After I found the body I heard a footstep coming from New Castle-place, and I saw a young man named Isaac Lewis Jacobs, No. 12, New Castle-place. I asked him where he was going, and he said he was going to Wentworth-street to fetch something for his supper. He was carrying a plate. He came back with me to the body, and stayed there until Serjeant Badham appeared.
Had you been in the alley before? - Yes; between 20 and 25 past 12. This was before I found the body. As Police-constable Allen came out I went in, and was there between two and three minutes. Nobody was there then. After leaving the alley I went halfway to Goulston-street, and then down the other side, returning into Old Castle-street and through into Castle-alley. At 25 past 12 I passed from the alley into New Castle-street, up one side of the High-street, Whitechapel, and into Goulston-street, returning into Whitechapel High-street. Then I went into Middlesex-street, into Wentworth-street again, when I saw Serjeant Badham, as I stated at the commencement of my evidence. This would have taken 27 minutes.
Did you meet anyone to attract attention? - There were people in Whitechapel High-street, but there were none in Middlesex-street and Goulston-street, and no one attracted my notice.
By the Jury: Do you think she was drawn to the spot or killed on the spot? - I think she was killed on the spot, and had been standing against the van, and then slipped or forced down.
The coroner thought they had better wait for an expert's opinion upon this point.
By the Jury: There was no trail of blood. I have been on the beat for a fortnight. People often slept in the vans, and we turned them out. I have not seen the alley used for immoral purposes. There were six or seven vans, besides several barrows. The wagons are brought to be repaired. The front door of the public-house, the Three Crowns, was not closed at 20 minutes past 12; the back one was shut. I did not notice whether anyone was there or not.
Isaac Lewis Jacobs, of 12, New Castle-place, a bootmaker, testified: This (Wednesday) morning I left home at about 10 minutes to one to buy some supper at M'Carthy's, in Dorset-street. I passed through New Castle-place, which leads out of Old Castle-street. When I got to Cocoanut-place a constable came to me and said, "Where have you been?" I said, "I am going on an errand." He told me to go with him, as a murder had been committed. I went with him to Old Castle-street, where he blew his whistle, and a serjeant came up, and we hurried to the spot in Castle-alley, where a woman was lying in a pool of blood, with a wound in the throat and another in the side, below the right breast. I waited until the police-constable came and the body was removed. I then went home.
Did you see anybody when you left your house until you were called by the constable? - No. My house does not overlook Castle-alley; that is New Castle-street, and New Castle-place is at the back of that.
Police-serjeant Badham, 31 H, gave evidence: At twelve minutes to one this (Wednesday) morning I met Police-constable Andrews as I went visiting Old Castle-street. We exchanged "All right," and I left and went to visit another man on an adjoining beat. When I reached the corner of Bell-lane, about 150 yards away, I heard a whistle blown twice. I listened for a second to ascertain from where it came, and then rushed along Wentworth-street to Old Castle-street. Andrews shouted "Come on, quick!" I pulled my cape off and ran after him. I saw a woman lying on the west side of the pavement, as already described. I obtained the assistance of other constables at once, and blocked the ends of the alley, and gave instructions for the doctor and inspector on duty to be called. I also directed Police-constable 101 to search the place and the surrounding streets at once, and Police-constable 272 to remain with the body. Inspector Reid and Superintendent Arnold and other police arrived and made search. I acquainted the superintendent, and told other constables to make inquiry at lodging-houses, coffee-houses, and places where men were likely to go in the neighbourhood, which was done. In the meantime the doctor arrived. I also looked myself, and found no trace of any person who might have committed the murder.
By the Jury: The deceased is not a known character.
George Neve, police-constable, 101 H: At five minutes to one I met Serjeant Badham in Commercial-street, and he told me to hurry to Castle-alley. He told me to search all round. I did so in New Castle-place and New Castle-street, and it was all quiet. I went into Castle-alley. I searched the vans there, and looked over the hoarding at the back of the cottages in New Castle-street, and no one was there. I heard no sound from the cottages.
By the Jury: I have seen the deceased about the streets the worse for drink. I have known her for 12 months past.
By the Coroner: I have seen her between 11 and 12 o'clock at night.
Replying to the jury, witness added that he had seen her talking to men in Gun-street and Brick-lane. He did not see her that evening.
Sarah Frances Smith, living at the Whitechapel baths and washhouses, the wife of an ex-policeman, the superintendent of the baths of which she was manageress, said: The baths back upon Castle-alley, and the window of my room looks in that direction near to the lamp. I went to bed on Wednesday morning about 12:15 o'clock or half-past. I had not been to sleep when I was called up. I heard a knock at the door and a whistle. My window was not open and I heard no noise.
If there had been any noise in the alley would you have heard it? - Distinctly. The bedstead stands with its head against the wall next to Castle-alley. My husband was in bed, I was reading.
At this stage the court was adjourned.


This (Thursday) morning Detective-inspector Reid deposed that at five minutes past one on Wednesday morning he was called to Castle-alley. On arriving at the back of the baths he saw the deceased woman lying on the ground. She had a cut at the left side of the throat, and a quantity of blood on the head. Blood was also running down the gutter. She was lying on her back. He felt her face and found it was warm. The alley was blocked by the police, who were searching the surrounding neighbourhood. The superintendent of the baths and his wife and the engineers had not heard anything unusual. After the surgeon had examined the body it was put on an ambulance. Underneath the body was found a piece of clay pipe containing some unburnt tobacco. The witness also found a farthing. There was blood on both. The body was taken to the mortuary and the description circulated before five o'clock. He produced a plan of Castle-alley with the spots marked out.


The following are the dates of the previous Whitechapel murders: -

1. Emma Elizabeth Smith, 45, had a walking-stick or iron-tipped stake thrust into her body, near Osborne-street, Whitechapel, April 3, 1888.
2. Martha Tabram, 35, stabbed in 39 places, at George-yard-buildings, Commercial-street, Spitalfields, August 7.
3. Mary Ann Nicholls, 47, had her throat cut and body mutilated, in Buck's-row, Whitechapel, August 31.
4. Annie Chapman, 47, her throat cut and body mutilated, in Hanbury-street, Spitalfields, September 8.
5. Elizabeth Watts, or Stride, discovered with her throat cut in Berner-street, Whitechapel, on Sunday morning, September 30.
6. Catherine Eddowes, alias Conway, alias Kelly, found with her throat cut and body mutilated in Mitre-square, Aldgate, also on Sunday morning, September 30.
7. Mary Jane Kelly, hacked to pieces at Miller's-court, Whitechapel, last Lord Mayor's Day, November 9.

Source: Lloyd's Weekly London Newspaper, July 21, 1889, Page 7

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

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