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Other murders in 1888

Posted by Jenny Phillips, Jack the Ripper Tour Guide on Monday, June 15, 2020 Under: Victorian

Other murders in 1888

In 1888 there was a population of 5.5 million people in London. Murder was not that common as there were only 28 killings that year. At least six of these were crimes committed by Jack the Ripper! What about the other killings which are rarely mentioned? 


Apart from Martha Tabram, Mary Anne Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes and Mary Jane Kelly, who were these other women? Well, the first was Emma Smith, a prostitute, who on 3rd April that year was attacked in the street. She managed to stagger back to the lodging house where she was staying 18 George St Spitalfields, with her face and head battered and bruised, and bleeding from her ear which was split. She said she had been attacked and was taken to the London Hospital, where she told the doctor she had been attacked by three youths who followed and robbed her. They had forced an object (probably a walking stick) into her vagina and ruptured the lining of the stomach cavity. She died the following day of peritonitis. 


Prior to this, two other women had been attacked but survived. This was originally listed as the first of the Whitechapel Murders, as the killings by Jack the Ripper were known at that time. On 25th April, Mrs Ann Smith stood before the magistrate to declare that her daughter Elizabeth, a 25-year old machinist had disappeared. The police were hesitant to investigate without evidence of foul play. Only 24 hours later the police came to tell her that they had dragged Elizabeth’s body out of the River Lee, near Millfields. She had been with her fiancé William Stead to the pleasure ground there, had gone off drunk and upset, and returned sometime later. They had quarrelled and Stead had slapped her. She had left him again, met a group of men, and later accused them of stealing her purse. She had left and two followed her, George Anthony and Charles Cantor. George Anthony told the police he left her with Cantor who refused to give a statement on the advice of his solicitor. As there was no evidence of a struggle, there was no way to say how she drowned, and so an open verdict was reached. 


On 20th December that year Rose Mylett was found outside Clark’s Yard by Police Sergeant Robert Golding and another officer. She had been strangled by a piece of cord. Questions were raised in the newspapers as to whether Jack had adopted a new method. As money was found in her pocket the motive could not have been robbery!

In : Victorian 


Tags: whitechapel  1888 
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