A definition of the word witness.


Resident of 31 Hanbury Street

Mrs. Elizabeth Bell, who, according to The Wrexham Advertiser of 15th September, 1888, was, "an old lady, [who] sleeps by an open window not twenty feet from the spot [where the body of Annie Chapman was discovered], is certain that no noise was made, as she sleeps very lightly."

In the wake of the discovery of the body of Annie Chapman, journalists were busily interviewing local residents as to whether they knew the murdered woman, or if they had heard anything at the time of the killing.

The Northern Whig, published the following brief interview with Elizabeth Bell on the Monday two days after the murder.

No doubt she was expressing the feelings of many of her neighbours when she told of her horror at what had occurred close to where she was sleeping soundly in her bed:-

Mrs. Elizabeth Bell, of 31, Hanbury Street, stated this morning all she knew of the matter in the following words:-

I have been living here some time, and I wish I bad never come. Such a terrible sight is enough to shock any woman with the hardest heart.

The house is open all night next door, and this poor creature was taken into the yard, and butchered by the same man who committed the others.

We were all roused six o'clock this morning by Adam Osborne calling out, "For God's sake get up; here's a woman murdered." We all got up and huddled on our clothes, and on going into the yard saw the poor creature lying by the steps in the next yard, with her clothes torn and her body gashed in a dreadful manner.

The people in the house next door were all asleep, I believe, and knew nothing of the matter until the police came and roused them up.

I cannot be sure if anybody in the house knew of the murder, or took part in it, but I believe not.

The passage is open all night, and anyone can get in, and no doubt that is what happened."

Source: The Northern Whig, Monday, 10th September, 1888.