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Shoreditch Stabbing

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Shoreditch Stabbing

Post by Karen on Mon 18 Jul 2011 - 20:28


The death of Ellen Collins, thirty-five years old, wife of a bricklayer's labourer, living at 5, Clifton-place, Finsbury, who died at Commercial-street Police-station on Boxing night, was inquired into yesterday by Dr. Wynn Westcott at the Shoreditch Coroner's Court.
Dr. George Bagster Phillips, of 2, Spital-square, the divisional surgeon, stated that on Bank Holiday he was called to see the deceased at Commercial-street Police-station at nine o'clock in the evening. There was blood upon her clothing, which had a hole in it in the front upper part of the chest, as if it had been cut with a knife. On examining her witness found a wound on the left forearm about two inches above the wrist. It was a clean cut wound, but not severe. There was also a wound between the second and third rib.
He called deceased's attention to the wounds, and she said, "I did them myself." Witness said, "What? Did them yourself?" and she answered, "Yes, I did them. I was very drunk." Having arrested the hemorhage and dressed the two wounds he left. At 9:30 he was again called to the station, and found the woman dead.
The Coroner: When you first saw her was she under the influence of drink?
Witness: Undoubtedly. Continuing, witness said the post-mortem examination showed a bruising at the back of the scalp. On tracing the wound in the chest he found that it penetrated the right ventricle of the heart. The pericardium was distended with blood, and this was the immediate cause of death.
Witness stated that he had known women to stab themselves in the breast during a fit of frenzy or drunkenness.
Mary Maher, of 5, Clifton-place, the wife of a labourer, identified the body as that of her daughter, who was married, but separated from her husband. On Bank Holiday deceased left home about 3:30 p.m. with a friend, and witness next heard of her death. She was sober when she went out. About eleven p.m. on Saturday witness met the deceased's husband in the Gun public-house, Spitalfields, when he said deceased had been locked up, but he never said anything about his having injured her. He did, however, say, "No money can bail her out, because she's flattened by now." Turning to witness's friend he showed a knife and said, "That's what done it."
Margaret Midlin, a married sister of deceased, deposed that on Saturday night she and a woman named Wheatley were in the Gun when Collins, who was drinking in the bar, said, "Your sister Nell has been locked up. I have done for her," and then showing a clasp knife, added, "I have flattened her out."
The Coroner: What does that mean?
Witness: That he had killed her.
The Coroner: To flatten a person out means killing, then?
Witness: Yes, that's what we understand it to mean.
Thomas Midlin, husband of the last witness, gave corroborative evidence.
Hannah Holland, a school-girl, of 5, Clifton-place, said that about seven p.m. on Saturday she met the deceased in Primrose-street, when the latter said, "Johnny Collins has threatened to stab me tonight."
On the application of the police, the inquiry was adjourned.

Collins, who lives at 36, Chambord-street, Bethnal-green, was brought up at Worship-street yesterday charged with the wilful murder of his wife Ellen, by stabbing her in the breast at Brick-lane, Spitalfields.
Inspector White explained that Mr. Keppell, who would defend the prisoner, had to attend the inquest on the deceased woman, and he therefore asked for a remand on formal evidence. The inspector said that he found the prisoner detained at Commercial-street station on Monday night, and told him that he would be charged with the murder of his wife. The charge was read to him, and the prisoner replied, "No," meaning that he had not stabbed his wife.
Prisoner was remanded, bail being refused.

Source: Daily Mail, Wednesday December 30, 1896, Page 2

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

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