A definition of witness.


Based At 68, Brick Lane, Whitechapel.

Dr. Timothy Robert Killeen (the newspapers variously misspelt his name as Keeling and Keleene), was based at 68, Brick Lane, and, being the closest medic to George Yard, where the body of Martha Tabram was discovered on 7th August, 1888, he was sent for to pronounce life extinct and to perform a cursory assessment of the injuries she had received..

The East London Observer, published his inquest testimony on Saturday, 11th August, 1888:-

Dr. T. R. Keeling gave his evidence as follows:-

I am a fully qualified doctor practising at Brick-lane, and was called to the deceased on the morning of the 7th of August at about half-past five. I found her dead.

On examining the body externally I found no less than thirty-nine punctured wounds.

From my examination of the body it seemed to be that of a woman about 36 years of age, and was well nourished. I have since made a post-mortem examination of the body. The brain was healthy; the left lung was penetrated is five places, and the right lung in two places, but the lungs were otherwise perfectly healthy. The heart was rather fatty, and was penetrated in one place, bet there was otherwise nothing in the heart to cause death, although there was some blood in the pericardium. The liver was healthy, but was penetrated in five places, the spleen was perfectly healthy, and was penetrated in two places; both the kidneys were perfectly healthy; the stomach was also perfectly healthy, but was penetrated in six places; the intestines were healthy, and so were all the other organs.

The lower portion of the body was penetrated in one place, the wound being three inches in length and one in depth.

From appearances, there was no reason to suggest that recent intimacy had taken place.

I don't think that all the wounds were inflicted with the same instrument, because there was one wound on the breast bone which did not correspond with the other wounds on the body.

The instrument with which the wounds were inflicted would most probably be an ordinary knife, but a knife would not cause such a wound as that on the breast bone. That wound, I should think, would have been inflicted with some form of a dagger.

I am of of the opinion that the wounds were inflicted during life, and from the direction which they took it is my opinion, that although some of them could have been self-inflicted, yet, there were others which could not have been so inflicted. The wounds generally would have been inflicted by a right-headed person.

There was so sign whatever of any struggle having taken place; and there was a deal of blood between the legs, which were separated.

Death was due to hemorrhage and loss of blood."

Source: East London Observer, Saturday, 11th August, 1888.