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Dr. Percy Clarke

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Dr. Percy Clarke

Post by Karen on Wed 20 Jul 2011 - 0:44



The East London coroner (Mr. Wynne E. Baxter) opened his inquest yesterday at Stepney into the circumstances of the double murder at the restaurant, No. 62, Hanbury-street, Spitalfields, on Wednesday morning last, the victims being Samuel Millstein, the proprietor, and his wife.
Myer Abramovitch, a Russian, was remanded at Old-street Police Court on Thursday on the charge of wilful murder, Detective-Inspector Wensley having given evidence that the accused said to him: "I done it because I lost all my money at gambling."
The accused arrived in the custody of a warder at 12:15 p.m. He looked careworn and had evidently not shaved for a couple of days.
A woman interpreter was told by the coroner to translate the evidence to the prisoner.
Lewis Herscowatz, who was sworn according to the Jewish form stated that he lived at Church-crescent, South Hackney, and was a linotype operator. The deceased woman Annie Millstein was his wife's sister. Her husband, Solomon Millstein, was about thirty-five years of age. She was thirty-seven or thirty-eight. He thought she had been in England fifteen or sixteen years.


The witness also said that he heard from his wife that gambling was taking place in the cellar of 62, Hanbury-street, and he went to see Mr. and Mrs. Millstein about it, telling them it was not nice for the place and that if they did not stop it he would report it to the police. Mrs. Millstein said she was against it from the beginning and had tried to persuade her husband to sell the business and go to America. Millstein said he was not afraid of the police because they already knew very well that gambling had started there. He said a woman had gone to Leman-street Police Station and reported that gambling was being carried on.
The Coroner: Did he say whether it was profitable or not?
The Witness: He said there was no profit and that he had a partner who said he could bring in another partner. Last Saturday evening Mrs. Millstein begged me to speak to her husband about the gambling. She said: "It does not pay, and I am sick of the noise and cannot bear such men coming into my house." She meant they were a very low class of men. I asked Mr. Millstein to stop the gambling, and I again threatened him. He replied: "I have made up my mind to stop it next week."
The evidence was interpreted from Abramovitch, who interrupted the interpreter and was told be the coroner that he had better not make any statement. He appeared to feel faint, and on the coroner's orders was provided with a chair and given some water.
Five photographs of parts of the house, 62, Hanbury-street and of the dead couple and also a plan were produced.
Asked if he would like to see the plan, the prisoner replied that he "knew it all." Subsequently he looked at the plan. Four of the photographs were shown to him, and the coroner said to the interpreter: "Tell him I have another photograph of Mr. and Mrs. Millstein in different positions. It is a very unpleasant thing to look at, and I will not show it to him unless he really wishes it." The prisoner declined to see this photograph.


Dr. Percy Goodman, of Brick-lane, E., stated that he was called by the police at about 4:30 on the morning of the tragedy. Both Mr. and Mrs. Millstein were then dead. Blood was coming from an incised wound on the right side of the man's chest, and he also had a wound on the scalp. The woman had an incised wound in the chest, another in the abdomen, a wound in the forehead, and a lacerated wound on the scalp. The lower parts of the body were burnt.
The results of the post-mortem examination of the man were given in detail by the witness - wounds on the head and chest and between the second and third ribs. Death was due to shock and hemorrhage from the injuries. The principal injuries could have been caused by a knife similar to the one produced. Very considerable force must have been used, and most probably there was a struggle.
The witness also gave details of the numerous wounds and injuries received by the woman: The cause of death was shock from the injuries and burns. Some could have been caused by the knife produced and the others, on the head, by the fireirons. There was nothing to suggest that death was due to suffocation.


Dr. Percy Clark, divisional police surgeon, said the knife (produced) which was found underneath the bedding was the broad blade of a butcher's knife, sharp and pointed. The handle was found beneath the woman's body. He examined Abramovitch at Leman-street Police Station, and found he had a clean cut wound 2in. in length in the fold of the left thumb, and slight cuts on both hands. Articles of clothing shown to him were very much stained by blood. The striped neckerchief (produced) found on the table in the bedroom in Hanbury-street had blood stains, and smelt strongly of paraffin.
Abraham Rickman, a costume and mantle maker, gave evidence of playing faro in the basement under the front room of the restaurant, a dozen persons being present. On December 24 he lost money and borrowed a sovereign from Mr. Millstein through Joe Goodman, leaving a watch and chain as security. The watch and chain were shown to him by Inspector Wensley on December 28.
At this stage the inquest was adjourned until next Wednesday.

Source: The Daily Mail, Saturday December 30, 1911, Page 3

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

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