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Another River Mystery

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Another River Mystery

Post by Karen on Mon 18 Jul 2011 - 20:02


A tragedy, which apparently has to be added to the long list of unsolved Thames murders, was inquired into yesterday at the Whitechapel Coroner's-court, the deceased being an unidentified man, about forty years of age, whose body was found floating in the Thames off Carron Wharf, Whitechapel, early on Thursday morning.
Inspector Henry Murray, Thames police, stationed at Wapping, proved finding the body about 8:30 a.m. There was a rope fastened round the neck, body and wrist. The body was in a nude condition. Deceased was 6ft. 4in. in height, and had black hair and brown moustache. The body had been in the water three weeks or a month.
Dr. George Bagster Phillips, of 2, Spital-square, stated that the deceased must have been a very powerful man, and the cord which enveloped the neck, chest, and extremities was a puzzle, but the deceased could not have himself fastened it in such a manner. The body was too far decomposed to admit of a post-mortem examination being of any value, but witness thought he was justified in saying that the cord had been tied round the body during life, and that death was


rather than submersion. The protrusion of the tongue, and the evident congestion of the head were the chief reasons for the opinion expressed. It was a very complicated case, and if an autopsy had been of any value witness certainly would have made one.
The Coroner: It seems impossible that a man of this extraordinary character could disappear from the community without it being noticed.
The Doctor: It certainly does. I am convinced he could not have done it himself.
Inspector Murray, recalled, stated that the rope round the body was a ship's heaving line. He had sometimes seen men tied up in a similar fashion on board ship for a lark when a man was drunk. It was high tide at six o'clock that morning, and witness was of opinion that the body had only just risen. If it had floated before it would have come down the river.
The coroner remarked that if he saw any possibility of obtaining any further evidence he should adjourn the inquiry, as the facts strongly pointed to murder. However, the police did not see any chance of being able to throw any light upon the case, and he should leave the matter in the hands of the jury.
The jury eventually returned the following verdict, "That the deceased was found dead, that he died from strangulation, but whether amounting to murder the evidence fails to prove."

Source: Daily Mail, Saturday August 7, 1897, page 3

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

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