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Mary Ann Godstone

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Mary Ann Godstone

Post by Karen on Tue 1 Feb 2011 - 21:54

ATTEMPTED MURDER NEAR PLUMSTEAD.
A WOMAN STABBED 17 TIMES.

The Woolwich and Camberwell police have this week been making inquiries in connection with the attempted murder of a single woman, named Mary Ann Godstone, aged 24, of Camberwell, was found at a quarter to five on Monday morning near the Plumstead Railway Station in an exhausted condition, and bleeding from a number of cuts and stabs. She was conveyed by a constable to Woolwich Police-station, where the police-surgeon dressed her wounds. There was a cut extending from ear to ear round the chin. She was able to speak, and said that her assailant made an attempt to cut her throat, but that she stooped her head tightly down, and in the darkness he drew the knife round her chin instead of across her throat. The surgeon also found 16 or 17 other cuts and stabs. She made a statement to the effect that she met by appointment a young man. She had a child she was anxious to see, but whose whereabouts had been concealed from her. The man told her that the child was at his sister's at Plumstead, and he offered to take her there. She fell in with the suggestion, and they started between ten and eleven p.m. to walk to Plumstead. Instead of stopping at the latter place he took her a mile beyond, on to Bostal Heath, a lonely open space. They reached Bostal Heath about three o'clock in the morning, and without any preliminary threats he took out his pocket-knife and drew it across her throat. She struggled to get possession of the knife, but could only get hold of the blade, and in drawing it back from her both her hands were severely cut. After having been cut and stabbed 17 times she wrested the knife from him, and having thrown it away in the darkness, she succeeded in escaping without knowing what became of him. She then made her way in the direction of Plumstead, and after walking some distance came to a house, where she knocked to beg for a drink of water; but it being four o'clock, she got no answer, and went on in the direction of London, when she met the constable referred to. As soon as possible several officers of the Criminal Investigation Department turned out in search of the assailant. They tracked drops of blood to Bostal Heath, where they found signs of a severe struggle having taken place, and some of the torn clothing of the young woman; but on scouring the heath and adjacent woods, they found no traces of the young man. The medical superintendent at the infirmary states that the wounds are not of a dangerous character, and that there is every probability of the young woman's recovery, the knife used being fortunately blunt. The police, in searching Bostal Heath, have succeeded in finding the knife and Godstone's hat and jacket. Later on a young man named Charles Laud Jearum, aged 26, residing at Walworth, was arrested and taken to Woolwich Union Infirmary, Plumstead, where he was identified by Godstone as the man who stabbed her. She stated that Jearum had been for a long while keeping company with her sister.

Source: The Courier and London & Middlesex Counties Gazette, March 2, 1889, Page 7

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