A definition of witness.


Called To See Elizabeth Stride's Body

Edward Johnston was the assistant to doctors Kay and Blackwell, at 100, Commercial Road.

At a little after 1am, on 30th September, 1888, Police Constable Collins called on him and informed him of the murder of Elizabeth Stride.

Having woken Dr. Blackwell to inform him of the murder, Johnston headed around to Dutfield's Yard, where he saw the body lying on the ground.

He described the scene at the inquest into Elizabeth Stride's death.

The Western Daily Press, published his testimony in its edition of Thursday, 4th October, 1888:-

Edward Johnston, called and examined - I live at 100, Commercial Road, and am assistant to Drs. Kay and Blackwell at that address.

On Sunday morning last, at a few minutes past one o'clock, I received a call from Constable 436H.

After informing Dr. Blackwell, who was in bed, of the case, I accompanied the constable.

In the yard adjoining No. 40, I was shown the figure of a woman lying on the left aide. There was crowd of people in the yard and some police. No one touching her.

There was very little light. What light there was came from the policemen's lanterns.

I examined the woman, and found a deep incision on the throat.

The Coroner: "Was there blood coming from the wound?"

Witness: "No; it had stopped. I also felt the body to see if it was warm, and found it all warm except the hands.

The Coroner: "Was it you that undid the dress?"

Witness: "Yes; I undid the dress to see whether the chest was warm. I did not move the head at all. I left it exactly as I found it. The body itself was not moved while I was there. The knees were bent, and were nearer the wall than the head, but the feet may have been farther away."

The Coroner: "Did you notice the blood?"

Witness: "Yes; there was stream blood. There was very little clotted blood near the neck. I noticed blood on one of the hands when Dr. Phillips examined the body, but not at the time.

The left hand was lying away from the body, and the arm was bent. The right arm was also bent, and lying on the body.

There was no mark of anyone having stepped on the stream blood.

The bonnet of the deceased was lying on the ground by the side of the head - beyond her head, in fact."

Source: The Western Daily Press, Thursday, 4th October, 1888.