John Neil Arrives on the Scene | PC Neil is the First Police Constable to see the Body

At about a quarter past three in the morning of Friday 31 August PC John Neil (97J, Bethnal Green Division of the London Metropolitan Police), a native of Cork in Ireland, walked eastward along Buck’s Row, seeing nothing unusual, encountered two men employed at the slaughterhouse opposite the place where he later found the body lying. Neither of these men heard a sound while they were working. Half an hour later Neil was back on Buck’s Row, and according to the testimony that he have at the inquest the following day (Saturday 1 September 1888) he “was never far away from the spot [where he discovered the body],” and it was then that he came upon the body of the woman.

A InfoHe saw that the woman was lying on her back and that her bonnet was on the ground close to her left hand. Blood was still oozing from a wound on her throat, but her arms, from the joints upwards, were still quite warm. He saw PC John Thain (96J, Bethnal Green) passing along Brady Street to the east and signalled him with his torch so as not to raise an alarm at about a quarter to four in the morning. Neil then directed Thain to get Dr. Rees Ralph Llewellyn who lived nearby. Very shortly after this PC Jonas Mizen (56H, Whitechapel) arrived on the scene and was dispatched by PC Neil for an ambulance. According to Mizen (Inquest testimony, Monday 3 September 1888) Charles Cross and Robert Paul met him and informed him that another officer was looking for him. Cross denied this in his own testimony. Thain returned with the doctor at about ten minutes to four in the morning.

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