Search

3.30am latest, August 31, 1888: Mutilated body of woman Polly Nichols in Buck’s Row horror!

PUBLISHED: 03:30 31 August 2013 | UPDATED: 12:58 03 October 2013

Finding the body of Polly Nichols in Buck's-row

Finding the body of Polly Nichols in Buck's-row

Archant

The body of the woman Polly Nichols is found mutilated today at 3.30am, August 31, 1888, on the cobbled carriageway in front of a stable entrance at Essex Wharf in Buck’s-row, behind Whitechapel railway station.

She is discovered by a cart-driver who gives his name to police as Charles Cross, who lives in Duveton-street, off Cambridge Heath-road, six minutes away. He is on his way to work at Pickford’s depot behind Liverpool Street station when Polly is slain.

Another cart-driver on his way to work, Robert Paul, approaches and Cross points out the body.

They go in search of a policeman and find Constable Jonas Mizen at the corner of Vallance-road, then continue on their way to work.

Constable Mizen approaches the body in Buck’s-row, while another officer is coming from the other direction, Constable John Neil. A third officer also arrives at the scene.

They knock on doors hoping to find witnesses. Three horse slaughterers from a knacker’s yard close-by in Winthrop-street on night-work hear or see nothing before Polly Nichols’ body is discovered. Nor do the families living in the terraced workmen’s cottages along Buck’s-row.

Surgeon Henry Llewellyn arrives at four o’clock and estimates the woman has been dead 30 minutes. Her throat had been slit twice, her abdomen mutilated with one deep jagged wound with several incisions caused by a 6ins or 8ins blade.

The small amount of blood at the crime scene surprises him, about “enough to fill two large wine glasses, or half-a-pint at the most.”

Death was instant and the stomach injuries would have taken less than five minutes to carry out by her killer after she was dead, he estimates.

Press reports the next day link Nichols’ killing to Martha Tabram’s murder at George Yard Buildings on August 6, and possibly Emma Smith’s death in Osborn-street back on April 3, suggesting it might be the dastardly work of the same gang.

Smith had lived long enough after she was attacked in Osborn-street to tell police she had been set upon by three thugs, but the link is soon ruled out.

Nichols’ murder is initially investigated by detectives from Bethnal Green Road police station, inspectors John Spratling and Joseph Helson, who have little success.

Suspicions of a serial killer at large in the East End results in senior Scotland Yard detectives being drafted in by the Metropolitan Police Commissioner to coordinate the manhunt, led by Inspector Frederick Abberline, backed by inspectors Henry Moore and Walter Andrews.

But they are no nearer to tracking down the killer, soon to be dubbed by the press ‘Jack the Ripper’.

Latest East London News Stories

I recently met with the new police officers the council is funding in the borough and discussed with them the steps being taken to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour across Tower Hamlets.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

The pioneer of the Race Relations Act is among leading figures in the education and legal professions addressing today’s diversity and leadership lecture and scholarship awards at the University of Law in Moorgate.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Letters, contributions and comments sent in to the Advertiser this week.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Meet the emergency team at the London Independent Hospital in Stepney Green who are on official standby for the World Taekwondo grand prix and World Para Taekwondo championships.

Friday, October 20, 2017

A teenager drifting towards street crime after being expelled from his east London college has won second place in the ‘Young Builder of the Year’ awards at a Houses of Parliament ceremony.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Wondering what the weather has in store for us this weekend? Watch our three-minute Met Office video forecast.

Friday, October 20, 2017

There will be no TfL Rail services this weekend as engineers continue carrying out track and station improvement works to prepare the line for Crossrail.

Friday, October 20, 2017

More that 7,300 households have been caught without a TV licence across east London in the past 12 months, according to latest figures.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now