I am fairly sure that the belief that the eyes of a murder victim might retain an image of the murderer pre-dates Victorian photography [anyone comment?]. Interestingly, though, the invention of the camera did little to dispel the myth; it may have even strengthened it by providing a ‘scientific’ explanation for the supposed phenomenon. Hence this from 1863:
PHOTOGRAPHY AND MURDER. Mr. Warner a London photographer in a letter to the Photographic News says: “On the 15th ultimo, after reading an account of the murder of the young woman, Emma Jackson, in St. Giles’s, I addressed a letter to Detective-officer James F. Thomson, informing him that ‘if the eye of a murdered person be photographed within a certain time after death upon the retina will be found depicted the last thing that appeared before them, and that in the present case the features of the murderer would most probably be found thereon.’ I exemplified my statement by the fact of my having, four years ago, taken the negative of the eye of a calf a few hours after death; and upon a microscopic examination of the same, I found depicted thereon the lines of the pavement on the slaughter-house floor. The negative is unfortunately broken, and the pieces lost. I enclose you Mr. Thomson’s reply, together with his permission for me to make any use I please of it. The subject is of too great importance and interest to be passed headlessly by, because if the fact were known through the length and breadth of the land, it would, in my estimation, tend materially to decrease that most horrible of all crimes - murder. In reply to the letter spoken of, Detective Thompson wrote: ‘The secret you convey in your letter - photographing the eyes of a murdered person - is one of the greatest importance; but unfortunately it is unavailing in this instance for various reasons, three of which I will give you. 1. Life had been extinct some forty hours prior to my seeing the body of Emma Jackson. 2. The eyes were closed. 3. A post mortem examination has been made, and she has been buried - shell coffin - since Monday last. In conversing with an eminent oculist some four years ago upon this subject, I learned that unless the eyes were photographed within twenty four hours after death no result would be obtained, the object transfixed thereon vanishing in the same manner as an undeveloped negative photograph exposed to light. I did not therefore resort to this expedient.’
The Caledonian Mercury, May 15, 1863
The case of Emma Jackson was a grim precursor of the Jack the Ripper murders, remarkably similar in many ways, though now long forgotten. I have transcribed some of the detail below - beware! some of it is gorily forensic - taken from the Times, although there is much more to read in other papers. It provides a fascinating glimpse into the world of the Victorian brothel; part-time prostitution; how the mid-Victorians described such crimes (in gross detail); the desperation of the police to find a killer - even down to selecting a random drowned body from the Thames; and the willingness of a series of drunks and lunatics to confess to it.
ATROCIOUS MURDER IN ST. GILES’S
Some time on Thursday, probably about midday, an; atrocious murder was perpetrated in George-street, St. Giles’s, one of the worst neighbourhoods in the metropolis. It became notorious about 18 months ago in consequence of an attempt by a cab-driver to get a young woman who had been his fare into one of the brothels there, after hocussing her and robbing her of her clothes and the property she had about her person. In consequence of the resistance offered by the person who was in charge of the house the cabman was prevented from carrying out the worst part of his design, and in consequence of the disturbance which ensued he was captured, tried, and convicted.
The circumstances connected with the murder are not very fully known, but it seems that about 7 o’clock on Thursday morning a man and a young woman, whose name is Emma Jackson, and whose friends live in the neighbourhood of Berwick-street, Soho, went to No.4, George-street, the door of which was opened to them by a servant, who had been aroused from her sleep by the knocking at the door. The man asked for a room, and they were shown up to the back room on the first floor, but the servant, being sleepy, failed to notice their appearance and can give no account of them. As there was perfect quietness in the room during the day no suspicions of any kind were aroused, but at about half-past 5 o’clock is the evening the servant girl went upstairs, and, finding the door unfastened, entered. On the bed she found lying the woman she had let in the same morning with her throat frightfully cut. The bed was saturated and the walls were spattered with blood. She immediately ran down and gave an alarm to the police, and a medical man was called in. He found that is addition to the windpipe having been severed enough of itself to cause death, there was another wound severing the carotid artery, and on the back of the neck two large stabs running obliquely towards each other. All the wounds had been inflicted with great force, and it is very certain that the girl struggled desperately for her life. No noise, however, was heard, a circumstance which is all the more singular on account of there being little coach traffic through the street. Moreover, the landlord, whose practice it was to sit up during the night, was sleeping all day in the back parlour, immediately under the room in which the murder took place. The murderer escaped, but by what means or when, nobody knows. When the body of the murdered woman was discovered life hail been extinct, in the opinion of the surgeon, for at least four or five hours. No instrument was found in the room, and the man, prior to his departure, appears to have carefully collected everything belonging to him.
The deceased, Emma Jackson„ lived with her father, mother, and brother, in a little house immediately behind and connected with No. 10, Berwick-street, a butcher’s shop in the possession of Mr. Andrew Osborn. Her father is a clerk out of employment, and her mother a shirt maker. The deceased is described by those who know her in the neighbourhood as a quiet, peaceable girl, but as being occasionally given to excesses. She would remain at home for weeks working hard, and conducting herself reputably, but at times she would, to use the language of her friends, “break out” and absent herself from home for days together, and go with anybody. She was a shirt maker, and in pursuit of that business earned a decent livelihood. After one of her periodical, fits of irreggularity she returned to her home about three weeks ago, and again prosecuted her ordinary calling until Tuesday last, when she again left home. She was last at her mother’s house in Berwick-street at 8 o’clock on Wednesday evening. About 1 o’clock yesterday morning, long after they had retired to rest, Mr. Osborn’s family was aroused by a violent knocking and ringing at the door. Mr. Osborn on going downstairs found two girls at his door, who communicated to him some of the particulars of the murder of his lodger. They told him that she had had her throat cut, and requested him to accompany them to George-street, where the murder bad been committed. He did not adopt that course, but went and communicated to Emma Jackson’s mother the information he had received. The father and brother were then called, and immediately proceeded, with the police who had by this time arrived, to George-street where they identified the body of the unfortunate woman, who, they stated, was 23 years of age. The girls who had thus communicated the intelligence said they were intimately acquainted with the unfortunate deceased. One of these girls said she had seen Emma Jackson on Thursday morning in the company of a foreigner. who was having his boots cleaned at the corner of Greek-street and Compton-street, and that he had the appearance of a German baker, or sugar baker, with which class of people the neighbourhood abounds. That the murderer lived in the same neighbourhood as the deceased seems to be pretty clear, and the police are making anxious inquiries in that direction.
The murder took place in the first-floor back-room, and the landlord, David George, occupies the back parlour, and has been laid up nine or 10 weeks with palpitation of the heart, which will somewhat account for his not having heard the screams, if there had been any. The Connor murder, committed 10 years ago, took place at No. 11 in the same street. Although every exertion had been made by the police authorities to discover the perpetrator of the murder, up to 11 o’clock last evening they had not succeeded in doing so.
Times 11 April 1863
THE MURDER IN ST. GILES’S. On Saturday evening Dr. Lankester, the coroner for the western division of Middlesex, commenced the inquest into the circumstances connected with the death of the unfortunate prostitute, Emma Jackson, whose murder in a low lodging-house and brothel in St. Giles’s has excited such a painful interest. As will be seen, the inquiry was merely of a preliminary nature, there being very little evidence forthcoming at this early stage of the investigation beyond the usual formal proofs of identification of the body and of the circumstances under which it was found. These were taken at once, with a view to the post mortem examination of the deceased being ordered, that the remains might be removed as soon as possible from the low den in which the poor woman met her death, and round which great crowds have continued to assemble ever since. The event appeared to excite intense interest is the miserable neighbourhood in which it took place, and the tavern room where the inquest was begun was not only crowded to excess, but some hundreds of people were congregated outside while it was proceeding. The jury having been sworn,
The CORONER said he had felt it his duty to call the jury together that evening, for though he by no means anticipated that they could do much more than open the inquiry, yet he had wished that begun at once, in order that the jury might themselves see the body in almost precisely the condition in which it was discovered in the room where the murder had been comitted. He had, the moment that the notice of the death was received by him, directed that the corpse should not be moved or touched till the jury had seen it ; and he was sure he need not impress upon them the importance, after viewing the body, of also examining minutely the apartment in which it lay, and that which closely adjoined it. Having done this, he proposed on their return to take evidence as to the identity of the deceased, and also that of the medical gentleman who was called in upon the discovery of the body, and who would describe to them the condition in which he then found it. After that it would be necessary to adjourn the inquiry for a few days.
The jury then proceeded to view the body—a spectacle of singular horror, as it lay in the dirty, squalid room, on a foul, rumpled bed, soaked through with half-dried blood. The room itself bore no tokens of a struggle, or rather its dirty poverty was such that no struggle short of one which smashed the furniture would leave many traces. Some slight straggle, such as a woman might make in her death agony, had very likely taken place upon the bed, but even this is little more than conjecture. The reason of the remark made by the Coroner as to the necessity of examining the adjoining room was at once apparent to the jury when they had entered the chamber of death. The next room to it, in front of the house, looking out on George-street, was only divided from that in which the body lay by a thin plaster partition, with a frail door in the centre of so slight a kind that a person speaking even softly in one room could, as was proved by actual test, be distinctly heard in the other. Yet two young women were sleeping in this front room on the morning of the murder and heard no sounds of struggling up to the time when they rose from their beds, nor did the proprietor of the house, who was in the room immediately beneath that where the woman died, hear anything unusual, though he was in the lower apartment throughout all the day.
On the return of the jury,
The brother of the murdered woman, John Jackson, was examined, and stated that the age of the deceased was 28, and that she was unmarried. She worked at shirtmaking with her mother, with whom she lived, in Berwick-street, Soho. Witness saw her last alive on Sunday evening, at the Fox, in Wardour-street, where he was employed. She was then with some other persons, and had been drinking a little, though he was not aware that she was in the habit of drinking. The persons with her on that Sunday night were men. He knew nothing of where she was on the Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, though he had seen the men who were with her on the Sunday since that date, and one of them he had seen as recently as that day (Saturday). He had seen the body when it lay, and identified it at once as that of his sister.
Martha Curley, a very quiet and rather a respectable looking young girl, employed as a servant at the brothel where the murder was committed, was the next witness. She said she was servant to Mr. George, who kept the house in George-street. It was what she called a lodging-house. They took in people at all hours, without inquiry as to their characters. She had a young woman to assist her in the house at times, and to answer the door. Her name was Catharine Mulind. She remembered admitting the deceased into the house about 7 o’clock on Thursday morning last. Witness was not up when she came, and the street door was shut. She was made aware of the deceased and a man coming in by a young girl and a man who were going out. The latter called her and she got up, and found the deceased and a man coming up the stairs together. She did not take any particular notice of the man ; he was. about the middle height, but she could not tell his age. He had black clothes on, but she did not notice sufficiently to as whether he had cap on or a hat. The young woman asked her for a bedroom for two hours, and witness showed her and the man into the room on the first floor back—that in which the body was found. They said nothing more to witness. The man paid her a shilling, but did not speak a word that she heard. Witness afterwards put the hasp through the staple in their door on the outside and went to bed. There were two young women sleeping in the room in the front, adjoining that which the deceased and her companion had entered. There is a door leading from the front to the back room, and she thought that any noise made in the back room might easily be heard by those in the front. Witness did not get up again till past 11 o’clock, when Mulind called her. Witness placed the hasp in the staple of the door after the deceased and the man had entered, because it was their custom to do so, to prevent robberies.
Examined by the CORONER.— She first she learnt of the murder was by her sending up Mulind in the afternoon of Thursday to find out why the parties had not left the room. Mulled came rushing downstairs back to her, saying there was a woman murdered in the back room. That was at about a quarter to 5 o’clock. Witness at once ran upstairs with Mulind, and they saw the deceased lying half across the bed, with her feet on the floor. She was lying on her back, with her head towards the foot of the bed. To the best of witness’s recollection, deceased’s arms lay over her chest, and she was covered with blood all over her head and neck. Witness came down at once and told Mr. George, who sent for the police. The body was not moved or touched till the police came, and they saw it exactly as she herself first saw it. When she went into the room after the discovery the back-room window was wide open, but it had been closed down when the police came into the room. The back-yard door was not fastened, and if the man who was with the deceased had dropped from the window into the back yard he could have let himself out by the front door unnoticed.
Mr. John Weekes, surgeon, of 4, High-street, Bloomsbury, said,—I was called by the police at about half-past 5 on Thursday afternoon to the first-floor of No, 4, George-street, St. Giles’s. I there found a woman lying dead on her back on a bed, with her feet, which were rigid, touching the floor. She was lying with her face uppermost, one arm across the chest and the other across the abdomen. She only had on her chemise, and it was turned low below the breasts. Some portions of the bed clothes were quite saturated with blood. These were the upper parts. The neck and back of the deceased were a mass of congealed blood. The arms and hands had very little blood upon them, but I did not notice which had the most. There is blood upon the arms now. I washed the blood from the face and neck, and then examined the body superficially. I found five wounds altogether. On the right side of the neck there were two wounds, one a little above the other. They were both incised wounds and very deep. The first, which is the largest, extended in an oblique direction and quite severed the windpipe. The second, although of less size, had laid open the internal jugular vein. The third and fourth wounds were both at the back of the head, and extended into the bones of the spinal column. The first and second wounds I have described would certainly have caused death ; the third and fourth at the back might not do so. All the wounds are of that character that I think it impossible the deceased could have inflicted them on herself—indeed, I am sure it could not have been done by her. A strict search was made for any knife or instrument with which the wounds might have been inflicted, but none was found. Judging from the oblique character of the wounds, I am quite positive that it was impossible for the deceased to have inflicted them on herself. Supposing the wound which severed the windpipe to have been inflicted first, it would have been almost physically impossible for the deceased to scream or cry out, whereas had either of the wounds in the back of the neck been the first inflicted she could have cried out. I believe the deceased had been dead some five or six hours when I saw her.
At this stage of the proceedings the Coroner stated that he had directed a post mortem examination of the body to be made, as it might possibly turn out that one or other of the wounds beside that which had severed the windpipe had caused death, or even that poison might be detected in the stomach. In order that this examination might be made, and that in the meantime the police, who had the matter in hand, might gather fresh evidence to lay before the Jury on their next meeting, he suggested that the inquiry should stand adjourned to the afternoon of Friday, the 17th.
The inquiry was then adjourned accordingly till that date. Up to last night no person had been arrested on suspicion of having committed this most cruel and deliberate murder. The police-officers charged with the investigation are very properly, and with a view to furthering the ends of justice, keeping secret all the clues which they possess towards discovering the murderer, of whom it is only necessary to say that they have now, from various sources and by joining. together small fragments of material evidence from all quarters, succeeded, they say, in getting a rather full, and, as they believe, an accurate description. We venture to think that the sooner this description is made public the better. Two or three years back when a similarly foul murder to this was committed by a foreigner at a brothel in the Haymarket, it was the publicity given to his description by the press which alone led to the murderer’s detection on board a vessel at Gravesend about to sail on the following day for Montevideo. As in that case, so in the present a widespread knowledge of this murder’s appearance, height and age might be of the last importance to the efforts of justice. Though, as we have said, the police are reserved as to the clues which they possess to the discovery of this cold-blooded ruffian, the public will be glad to hear that at present they feel confident of being able to trace him in the course of a day or so. Only one obstacle perplexes them, but that is a serious one —namely, the absence of any knowledge that any of the poor unfortunate’s companions or intimates entertained ill-will towards her, much less had motives likely to lead to the commission of a murder so determined and apparently so deliberately resolved on. The idea of robbery—the motive in the case of the murder in the Haymarket - is in this instance quite out of the question. The poor woman’s clothes were scarcely decent, and money or ornaments she, of course, had none. At the close of the preliminary inquiry on Saturday a great deal of surprise and almost indignation was evinced by lookers on in the inquest room that the servant Catharine Mulind and the two young women who slept in the front room adjoining that where the murder was committed were not called on as witnesses. We believe that the reason they were not then called was because their testimony, if made public, might have materially interfered with the efforts of the police to arrest the murderer—a reason which, if founded on fact, is of course amply sufficient to have justified the coroner and the police in not calling them. As far as the case has yet been examined into the police are of opinion that the murder was committed early in the morning, certainly before 10 o’clock, and that the first dreadful wounds in the throat were in all probability given as the poor woman was sleeping, and the stabs in the back of the neck as she strove to rise before she fell backwards from weakness and loss of blood. Such a struggle, if the mere death agony of a creature without power to scream or call out may be called a struggle, would make no noise that would attract attention in a den of infamy, where altercations, blows, and cursings must have been frequent enough. That the murderer escaped. by the window is not considered likely. Such an attempt would have so certain to result in detection that it would have been madness for one trying to avoid notice to make it, though such an idea may have crossed the man’s mind on finding the door fastened outside, and he very likely opened the window to reconnoitre in that direction before he abandoned the notion. That he succeeded in opening the door is evident from the witness Catherine Mulind finding it unfastened when she went up at a quarter to 5. No trace of the murderer, no signs of washing himself from blood were in the room, and when once he was free of the house he had ample time before him to destroy all the clothes he wore, which must, more or leas, have been stained with blood. All these things tell sadly against the search of the police, yet, still, as we have said, they express themselves hopefully of being, able to trace he man.
Times April 13, 1863
THE MURDER IN ST. GILES’S
Yesterday afternoon Dr. Lankester resumed the inquiry at the Oporto Stores, Broad-street, Bloomsbury, into the circumstances connected with the murder of Emma Jackson.
The CORONER said that last Saturday he opened the inquest for the purpose of taking the depositions of the principal witnesses.. The brother of the deceased said he knew nothing of the cause of death. The servant of the house said she remembered letting the deceased and a man into the house, but, she being sleepy, did not take any particular notice of the parties. She said that she went upstairs and found the window wide open, but the door locked on the outside. The Coroner then called,
Dr. Weekes, who said that performed a post mortem examination of the body. The face of the deceased was pitted with smallpox. The arms and hands were smeared with blood, and there were slight stains of blood on both thighs. On the left buttock was a mark of the grasp of two fingers. In the neck there were four punctured wounds or stabs, two front and two behind. The first wound, above the centre of the upper bone of the sternum was one inch and a quarter in length, and extended upwards to the left of the trachea, dividing the trachea transversely for nearly three-fourths of its circumference. The second wound was on the right side of the neck, and was three-quarters of an inch in length. There was no wound of the carotid artery. The third wound was a clear transverse cut, seven-eighths of an inch long, and situated exactly in the middle of the left side of the back of the neck. The distance between the third and the fourth wound was an inch and, a half external. There was a considerable effusion of blood on the membranes of the vertebrae, particularly to the right of the spine. There was a very clean cut three quarters of an inch long. The stomach was healthy in appearance. The cause of death, he believed, was partly by suffocation and partly by loss of blood, which had been effused in considerable quantities both from the wound in the internal juggular and the veins in part of the trachea. The wound in the trachea would suffice to prevent the person from screaming, and the wound through the skin would prevent the ready escape of blood, and would naturally assist suffocation. He thought deceased must have been asleep when the first wound was inflicted, which has in the windpipe. After the second wound, he believed the deceased was dragged into the position in which she was found. It was difficult to estimate the quantity of blood that was lost.
By a Juror.—Would the first wound prevent the deceased making a noise?—Witness thought it would.
By the CORONER.—He had no doubt that when he saw the deceased she had been dead from nine to 12 hours, and in his opinion no intercourse had taken place, and that the injuries on the deceased were inflicted by a mere common pocket-knife. He did not think the wounds were inflicted in the position in which the deceased was found, and thought that she must have been placed by her murderer, on receiving the second wound, in the position in which she was found. She could have had no power of resistance or calling out after the windpipe had been separated.
Several witnesses were then called, among whom were Clara Mulinde, the assistant servant at 4, George-street, who gave evidence as to seeing the parties enter the house, but she did not particularly notice them at the time. After some further evidence, the jury returned a verdict of “Wilful murder against some person unknown.”
(From the Globe).
Some information of an important character has reached the city and metropolitan police-stations respecting the supposed murderer of Emma Jackson, and little doubt is entertained of the speedy capture of the man. On the afternoon of the day of the murder (Thursday, the 9th inst.) a man entered a shop in Stratford in a hurried and excited manner, and purchased a new shirt, the one he wore being stained with blood, a circumstance which was remarked upon at the time by the shopkeeper. The man accounted for the fact by saying that he had a severe quarrel with his wife, and that he carried on business in the City-road. Be then left in the direction of Epping Forest, and is supposed by the police to be concealed in some hollow tree there, following in that respect the example of Jonathan Gaynor, who murdered Mrs. White, at Chigwell, a few years ago. The following is the description of the man as given by the police :—About 40 years of age, 5ft. 6in, in height, fresh complexion, rather weather-beaten, dark sandy whiskers, clean shaved under the chin. Wore a pilot coat buttoned close up to the chin. It is supposed by the police that if he can get out of the forest he will make for sea.
The Times April 18, 1863
BOW-STREET — A man of about 5 feet 7 inches in height. stoutly built, but of haggard countenance, with sandy hair and florid complexion, and wearing a “tuft’ or “imperial” on his chin, was brought before Mr. HENRY, charged upon his own confession with being the murderer of Emma Jackson.
John Kell, police constable N 574, stated that about it quarter to 10 o’clock on Tuesday evening he was on duty at the old station-house in Robert-street, Hoxton, when the prisoner entered and said he wished to give himself up for murdering the woman Emma Jackson. in St. Giles’s. Witness told him the inspector had removed to the new station in the Kingsland-road, whither witness offered to accompany the prisoner. As he had no constable to assist him, he sent a cabman to the nearest rank to fetch the waterman. Passing by a public-house, on the way to the station, the. prisoner wanted to go in to get a pint of beer, and as witness would not allow him to do so, he tried to get away, and witness was obliged to hold him very tight. At the station he refused to answer any questions or make any statement. By the inspector’s order the witness took him in a cab to the station-house in Clarke’s-buildings, George-streets St, Giles’s. He had been drinking rather freely, but was not very drunk.
The Prisoner – I was quite drunk. I had been drinking for two or three days, with some friends just returned from abroad. I have no recollection of what occurred. There is not the slightest foundation for what I said. My wife will prove that I was at.home on that night. Some months back I was thrown of a cab, and when I take a little drink it gets into my head.
Inspector Williamson said he had no doubt that the prisoner’s present statement was true, and that he had made the confession in a drunken frolic.
Robert Ward, a carpenter, and Frederic Land, a painter, working for Mr. Davis, a builder, said the prisoner was in the same employ, and was at work with them on a job in Macclesfield-street on the Thursday in Easter week, the day of the murder. Ward said the prisoner came to work at 7 in the morning and was there all day. Land said he saw the prisoner at half-past 7. The prisoner was then discharged.
Mr. Rivolta, solicitor to. the St. Giles Vestry, applied for warrants for the apprehension of the landlord of the house in which the murder was committed, No. 4, George-street, and the keepers of Nos. 2, 3, 5, 6, 9, and 10. in the same street, for keeping brothels and disorderly houses. The warrants were granted, and the inspector of nuisances, Mr. Braddick, was bound over to prosecute at the sessions.
THE MURDER IN BLOOMSBURY .—Yesterday afternoon Mr. John Humphery, coroner for Middlesex, held an inquiry at Hoare and Co.’s taphouse, Lower East Smithfield, respecting the death of a man, aged about 30, who is supposed to have been the murderer of Emma Jackson, in George-street, St. Giles’s, last April. Richard Reilly, examining officer in the Customs, said that last Monday evening he saw the body of the deceased floating past his boat, off the St. Katharine Docks. He assissted in getting it ashore. It appeared to be that of an Englishman rather than of a foreigner. The hands were tied together with twine, apparently by himself. The coat, trousers, and waistcoat matched. They were made of brown and gray crowd tweed. The coat was a lounging coat. The trousers had a Russel cord. A red shirt, a white all-round collar, and a black silk tie completed the dress. When searched, a fusee box, a leather belt, two pieces of comb, and a handkerchief were found in the pockets. No money or knife was found. The deceased was about 5 feet 7 inches in height. Inspector Henry Beckett, Thames police, said he was present when the deceased was found. He produced the articles found upon deceased. The pieces of comb were apparently of caoutchouc, and were of French manufacture. Witness should say that the deceased had been a clerk, not a labouring man nor a sailor. He was respectably dressed, and had on a red Garibaldi shirt. The Coroner said that be should take deceased to be a foreigner from his appearance. The boots had kid tops, and they were certainly more slightly fashioned than was usual with English ones. Mr. Perry, coroner’s officer, said that several detectives had been down to see the body, and they had brought with them Margaret Curling, the servant who had opened the door of the brothel in George-street, Bloomsbury, for Emma Jackson and her murderer, on the morning of the 13th of April, and also William Stokes and Charles Henley who had caught a glimpse of the suspected person. The deceased’s face, however, which on the recovery of the body was as pallid as the hands, had since become so much discoloured that they were unable to identify it. Although they had been subpoenaed they had just gone away without giving evidence. The Coroner said it was essential that they should be sworn and examined, and he should adjourn the inquest for that purpose. Meanwhile, the body should not be buried, but be taken to the workhouse, so that after a minute description of the deceased had gained publicity in the newspapers anyone might have the opportunity of identifying him - a matter of considerable importance, if the deceased was, is supposed, the murderer of Emma Jackson. The comb found in deceased’s pocket was marked “Fauvelle a Paris - caoutchouc.” It was about six, itches long, and was broken in two. A Large white cambric handkerchief was also in the pocket. One comer was torn off, evidently by design, and with the view of getting rid of a name or initials. The Coroner directed that it should be shown to the relatives of the murdered woman. The proceeding were then adjourned.
THE BLOOMSBURY MURDER— On Saturday afternoon Mr. John Humphreys, coroner for Middlesex, concluded, at the Dock Hotel, East Smithfield, the investigation relative to the identification of the man whose body was found opposite the St. Katherine’s Docks, in the river, last Monday, and whose general description appeared closely to correspond with that given of the murderer of Emma Jackson. The Coroner stated that as the change produced in the appearance of the deceased from decomposition had rendered the witnesses unable to form an opinion decisively as to whether he was or was not the suspected man, a new scientific process had been resorted to for the purpose of restoring the features to their pristine shape and hue. The experiment had been so far successful. Margaret Curley, of 4, George-street, St. Giles’s, said that she had examined the deceased since the operation hand been performed, but that she did not recognize him as a person she had ever seen before. Charles Ansley, of 20, Peter-street, St. James’s, said that he did not recognize the deceased. H. Stoke, shoe-black, was certain the body was not that of the man who was with Emma Jackson. Dr. B. Ward Richardson, of 12, Hinde-street, Manchester-square, said that he had, in conjunction with Dr. Edmunds made certain experiments on the body of the deceased. They could not form any opinion as to the time that had elapsed since death. The body seemed to be that of a man 21 years of age, whose beard and moustache had never been shaved. The hands were those of a person who had worked manually. The Coroner said that though the chemical experiments had not been as successful as could have been wished, on account of the extreme decomposition of the body, they had not been fruitless, as they had enabled the witnesses to arrive at the conclusion that he was not the man charged with the commission of the St. Giles’s murder. The jury returned a verdict “that deceased was found drowned in the river, but how he came into the water there was no evidence to show.”
The Times May 11, 1863
BOW-STREET. Edward Collins was brought before Mr. VAUGHAN having given himself up at Harlowe, Essex, as the murderer of Emma Jackson, who was found dead in George-street, St. Giles’s, nearly a year ago.
Mr. WIlliamson, the Chief Inspector of the Detective Department Scotland-yard, said the prisoner was brought to the police-office Scotland-yard by the Inspector Hammond of the Essex Constabulary, to whom he had given himself up at Harlowe. It appeared that he then stated that he had murdered Emma Jackson and was so miserable that he felt prompted to give himself up. He asked whether he was likely to be hanged. He was at first somewhat excited, but subsequently was much worse, and on the way to this court he became very violent. It took four officers to hold him. There was very little doubt that he was insane, and it was not believed that he committed the murder. He certainly did not answer the description of the man who was seen at the house. He now stated that he was not the person.
Mr. VAUGHAN desired that the prisoner should be taken to the workhouse, there to be examined by the medical man as to his state of mind. He also directed that the persons who had seen the alleged murderer should have an opportunity of seeing the prisoner.
The prisoner was then removed.
At BOW-STREET, WILLIAM SQUIRES gave himself into custody for the murder of Emma Jackson, who was found dead in a house in George-street, Bloomsbury, about six years ago, and was charged upon his own confession before Mr. Vaughan yesterday morning, Police Constable 143 E stated that he saw the prisoner in Clarke’s-buildings. He was drunk and shouting out “I am a murderer.” Witness told him he should not say that unless it were true. The prisoner then took an oath that he had been taken to George-street by the woman Emma Jackson, and because she tried to rob him he stabbed her in the neck, not intending to kill her. He was then taken to the police-station and examined by Inspector Harnett, but the prisoner did not then feel inclined to answer the questions put to him. The prisoner in court denied that he had ever murdered Emma Jackson, but admitted that he had told the officer so. The prisoner’s mother stated that when he was intoxicated he was like a madman. Mr. Vaughan remanded the prisoner for a week.
The Times January 25, 1871
ANOTHER CONFESSION OF MURDER. - A man who gave the name of William Squire, apparently about 40 years of age, gave himself into custody at Margate on Thursday night for murdering Emma Jackson, by cutting her throat, in 1862, at Clarke’s-buildings, Tottenham-court-road. Yesterday he was taken before the magistrates on another charge, and when his statement was repeated he neither admitted nor denied it. He is detained for inquiries.
The Times November 8, 1879
At BOW-STREET before Sir James Ingham, WILLIAM SQUIRES a dull-looking poorly-clad man was charged on his own confession with the murder of a woman in George-street, St. Giles’s, in the year 1863. The prisoner gave himself up to Police Constable Perkins, 380 W, in the Atlantic-road, Brixton, and stated that he had met his alleged victim named Emma Jackson in a public-house in neighbourhood of Drury-lane in the summer of 1863. After drinking freely they went to his rooms in George-street, St. Giles’s, and during the night he saw her in the act of robbing him, whereupon he cut her throat with a razor. He afterwards went to America, and it had been supposed that the man who committed the murder was drowned, but he declared that such was not the case, and that he was the person. The prisoner was slightly intoxicated at the time of making the statement, and Mr. Superintendent Thomas said there was no reason to believe what he had said, but a remand was asked for and granted, that inquiries might be made.
The Times March 19, 1880
Inquiries were made, Squires was discharged - again . The murderer of Emma Jackson was never found.