Jack The Ripper: The Only Clue

 The body was removed on the back of an ambulance, which was just a table, stretcher thing with wheels on it at the time. This time, it was taken to Golden Lane Mortuary, about a mile that way on Brackley Street, up next to Auld Street Tube Station. When they did get to the mortuary, they did have a camera.

As a result, I'm going to show you some photographs here of Catherine Eddowes in the mortuary on the night she died. They're really not very nice, I'm going to show you them anyway. If you don't want to see things like this, you're going to want to look the other way. In all seriousness, the second two photographs in particular that I'm going to show you here are nasty.

They're way worse than the first two. You won't have seen them before. But the first two aren't nice either. You ready? The picture on the left is Catherine Eddowes on the back of the ambulance as she arrived at the mortuary. The picture on the right, it's a bit pixelated, that one, is... the  post-mortem had taken place.

Now, something I think is particularly disturbing about this picture on the right in particular, if you ignore the injuries and the violence and whatnot, obviously Dr. Brown has re-stitched that injury up the front there. Something I think is particularly disturbing about that picture is how emaciated and It's like, these people weren't high-class escorts, running around the East End, making a fortune, living the high life.

These people were forced into a dire situation, to avoid starving to death in the streets. It's every bit as nasty as Ted Bundy, or Peter Sutcliffe, or Jeffrey Dahmer, or Fred West, or anybody else we've heard about since. These were people's wives, mothers, children. Catherine Eddowes had a husband and three kids.

Look what somebody did to her in the corner here. She was also only five feet tall. She wasn't much of a match for most fully grown men. I always think it's worth mentioning that in no file in the entire Jack the Ripper case was Catherine Eddowes ever said to be a prostitute. But, when they got her to the mortuary, they realised that her left kidney and her entire womb were missing.

Whoever the killer was, he'd ripped them from inside her and taken them with him. He'd also taken nearly half of a white apron she was wearing. It had been torn from her at the crime scene here, covered in blood, and he'd taken that with him too. But, it's the missing part of her apron and it'll be particularly interesting because we don't know where the killer went leaving Berner Street to arrive here in Mitre Square.

It's a 12-minute walk, I promise I've done it myself, and it took him 40, 45 minutes to get here. So we don't know where he went on his scenic trip around the East End to arrive here in Mitre Square, but we do know where he would go upon leaving. He would go back that way. Where are we now? Uh, Goulston Street,

The missing part of Catherine's apron would later be found covered in blood and feculent matter. According to Dr. Brown, lying here in the entrance of 108 to 119 Wentworth dwellings just down the road on Goulston Street. It's the only point in the entire case. The killer left the clue with his own hand for us all to find nobody disputes that it really was a missing part of the apron.

So, in a moment, we're gonna head up there. These were the. Model dwellings for people who were down on their luck back in the day. Yeah. Yeah. So, I mean, we're directly opposite the apartment block, tenement block, on Goulston Street, where the apron was discarded. And I'm looking about 25 metres off the pavement into an entry.

About a metre wide. And it's dark. There's light coming from street lamps above us. There's light coming from the apartments above where we're looking. But you can't see anything in that passageway. If somebody was lying there, motionless or whatever, you would not see them. In perfect weather, with 21st-century lighting, we still can't see into that recess.

Correct. And we were expecting that police officer who walked past the passageway where Catherine Eddowes was being killed or had been killed and we're expecting that police officer to have seen something if he'd looked down there and it's just not gonna happen. If he walked down there, yes but he, he looked down from the lighting on the street where he was, uh, and he saw nothing.

The passageway was there. There was a single oil lamp used to hang on the wall there at the end. So I think for the sake of argument, and I wasn't there, he could have just walked across the end there, got to the end of the passage, looked down, he'd have seen the whole passage to the oil lamp and gone, yeah, it's fine, and just walked on.

If he did do that. That would explain how he managed to miss it here, but he probably didn't want to say that at the inquest. If he did actually walk to the end there, and did shine his lamp around like he claims he did, it seems amazing that he could have possibly missed a murder going on in the corner.

Particularly when it... Would he have been aware of the murder? No, no, no, he would not. No, uh, so, uh, for... example, uh, PC Watkins here, he said, dude, at the point where he came back in and discovered the body here, he had no idea. Just, it was just a routine patrol. Yes. So there was, there was a, as the case was going on, uh, they were bringing in like any available policemen from out, uh, around London was being brought in.

So as there were plenty of police on the beat anyway, but as the case goes on, there's, there's more of them. And it's like, uh, yeah. But he said, yeah, PC Watkins had no idea when he was walking along here, he was totally unaware of what happened up there. But yes. I think he surely didn't actually walk to the end of the patch that he claimed he did.

But that is what he said. But, uh, yeah. Well, we'll do though. Yeah. We'll take a stroll down the road here, the railings are all painted grey now...

So does that confirm your suspicions then to the bit PC Watkins sort of had a shufty? Yeah. Uh, and then I mean, he sort of explained, I mean you look in the distance here, very narrow passage, pitch dark other than what bit of light you may, uh, be creating.

Um, so well. You can see it now. You would not see anything at where we've just been from the road here. Such a narrow angle of view. Plus it was raining, so there'd be reflections. Well, it was raining heavily as well. So, yeah, your chances of seeing anything, even if... If there was movement, I would imagine, would have been very restricted.

Which gives it a 15-minute sort of period, doesn't it, to, to have, uh, to have done the killing and gone.

These are the buildings where, possibly, the only credible written evidence was left by the killer, who became known as Jack the Ripper. What would you have done if you had discovered the writing and the soiled apron piece here in 1888 outside this building? What would a modern copper do? Well, the soiled apron piece is part of the crime scene, isn't it?

It's evidence from the murder down the road. So you would treat that as a crime scene. The writing on the wall, whether it's... relevant, well it is relevant, but whether it's connected directly to the person that discarded that piece of apron is part of that crime scene and it should be treated as such and managed properly.

Now it's recessed from the actual road so in theory you could screen off that entrance that we're looking at now and this idea that the Traders of the Petticoat Lane Market were going to descend on the place within the next hour or so, and that they should not be made aware of this thing. That could be managed.

Or, they tell the traders of the Petticoat Lane Market they're going to have to open an hour or so later. Because there's a crime scene. They don't need to reveal what exactly is there. They can screen it off. And, I'm sorry, you know, the crime investigation takes precedence over the traders on this section of Petticoat Lane.

What would you have done then? Because, well, we'll walk down to Petticoat Lane now, and it's a matter of... A few yards, isn't it? It's, it's not very far, um, down to a crossroads with Petticoat Lane. What would the police do? What, what would you, what would you advise if you were on the scene at the time? What, what would you advise the SIO to do?

Okay, well, I mean, as I say, the, the SIO is, is probably sort of hours off at the moment. So, these decisions are taken by the, the, the, uh... most senior officer available at that time. I think it was a superintendent. So you're the superintendent on the ground. And you're making that decision. Although it's a, it's a partial decision, because the City of London Police have got an interest in this, even though this is in metropolitan police territory.

They have. Okay. Well, I don't think you'd have the luxury of a superintendent there at five o'clock in the morning now. But you would have, you'd certainly have an inspector, a sergeant, a couple of PC's. And I think looking at this now, we're at the junction of Galston Street and Wentworth Street. Let's be honest, this, this would now be taped off at this point.

Um, there's a couple of bollards there, so this section of the road would be taped off. And probably... Beyond where the items have been discarded. So another 50 meters up there would all be taped off. So no one would go into there without good authority. And we're only talking, we're talking for a couple of hours.

We're not talking, you know, they're not going to be looking at cigarette ends and looking for DNA and things like that. You know, it's a fairly simple, contained... crime scene that has some significance because of the anti-Jewish sentiment on the writing on the wall. But yeah, you could manage this scene quite easily.

A police officer at, uh, at both ends, I'm sorry you're not coming in and anybody leaving, their details are taken and they're spoken to. It'd be done, very simple. And it's done, that kind of crime scene management is done every night of the week, somewhere in a town or city. It's as routine as that, regardless of the forensic opportunities that were available.