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Shocking Suicide in a Hospital

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Shocking Suicide in a Hospital

Post by Karen on Mon 1 Aug 2011 - 6:12


Last evening Mr. Baxter held an inquest at the City of London hospital, Victoria-park, relative to the death of Christopher Wheeler, aged 48, a painter, lately living at 151, Great Cambridge-street, Bethnal-green, and latterly an inmate of the above hospital. Sarah Wheeler, the widow, deposed that her husband was admitted to the hospital on Tuesday, the 8th inst. He had been ill for some time past, and in consequence had become very low-spirited. At times he was strange, and would strike his head violently with his hands. Witness went to see him on Thursday, when he appeared better, and said that he felt fit to go to work. On the following morning she heard that he was dead. Eleanor Kolgan, a nurse, stated that she had charge of the deceased at nights. He seemed depressed, but she did not think he meditated suicide. On Friday morning he got up at 4:30, and a quarter of an hour later witness left the ward, leaving him sitting in a chair by the window. She knew that he had a dinner knife, but never thought that he would destroy himself. She afterwards heard that he had killed himself. Emily Hayden, also a nurse, deposed that she took charge of the ward at a quarter to five o'clock. The deceased was still sitting at the window. She left the ward to go into the kitchen, and was followed by a patient, who said that a man in the ward was bleeding. She ran upstairs, where she saw the window open, and the deceased standing on the window-sill. Before she could get to him he threw himself off, and fell into the basement. There was blood on the floor, and she was told that he had cut his throat before he jumped from the window. Dr. Courtaine, medical officer attached to the institution, said that he examined the body. There was an incised wound two inches long in the throat, though not deep enough to cause death. The fall in itself was quite sufficient to account for death. The jury returned a verdict of "Suicide while temporarily insane."

Source: Lloyd's Weekly London Newspaper, May 20, 1888, Page 12

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

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