AN EARLY VICTIM OF JACK THE RIPPER?
On Saturday, February 25th 1888 a thirty-eight-year-old widow named Annie Millwood, who lived in White's Row, Spitalfields, was admitted to the Whitechapel Workhouse Infirmary suffering from stab wounds to her legs and the lower part of her abdomen.
According to the 7th April edition of the East London Post and City Chronicle Annie Millwood:
“;...stated that she had been attacked by a man who she did not know, and who stabbed her with a clasp knife which he took from his pocket.
No one appears to have seen the attack, and as far as at present is ascertained there is only the woman’s statement to bear out the allegations of an attack, though that she had been stabbed cannot be denied.
After her admission to the infirmary deceased progressed favourably, and was sent to the South Grove Workhouse, but while engaged in some occupation at the rear of the building she was observed to fall, and on assistance being given it was found that she was dead...”
HER DEATH NOT RELATED TO THE ATTACK
At her subsequent inquest it was apparent that her death was not related to the injuries she had sustained in the assault, and the jury returned a verdict of death from natural causes.
WAS THIS THE WORK OF THE RIPPER?
That does not, however, preclude her from being an early victim of Jack the Ripper.
Her attacker had certainly targeted her lower abdominal region as would happen with Martha Tabram, a later victim of a viscous and fatal attack, and as would happen with three of the later canonical victims.
The problem is that the information concerning the attack on Annie Millwood is sparse and what we know of it is based solely on her account of what happened an account which, it has been suggested, may have been a fiction intended to conceal the fact that her injuries were self inflicted.