« EdellinenJatka »
lowing Thursday, and the prisoner his two innocent brothers, and he came there every day. In con- earnestly entreated them to pause sequence of something he saw in before they came to such a dreadhis conduct he put some questions ful conclusion. The learned coun. to him, in answer to wbich he said sel then proceeded to argue that that he was independent, and that the theory set up by the prosecuhis independence consisted of tion was a most monstrous and imhouses in several parts of London. probable one, and that it could He was so dissatisfied with the hardly be possible for a human prisoner's conduct that he advised being to have arrived at such a the deceased not to marry him, pitch of wickedness as to destroy and said he would rather see her a young woman for whom he take a rope and hang herself in always appeared to have expressed his skittle-ground than be united the most ardent affection, and also to such a man. The deceased to kill his own mother and browent away with the prisoner on thers, for the sake of obtaining the 25th of July, and he never the paltry sum of £100. The again saw her alive.
learned counsel next proceeded to Samuel Wells Streeter, the endeavour to show that the story father of the deceased, stated that told by the prisoner of his mother on one occasion the prisoner came having killed his sweetheart and to his house and slept there one the children, and of her having, night; but his daughter had not in a moment of frenzy, also attold him she was going to be mar. tacked him, and that he slew her ried to him.
in self-defence, might possibly be Mr. T. Tanner, a gentleman true, and he said that if any, even connected with the Argus Insu- the smallest doubt, remained upon rance Company, proved that the the point, the prisoner was entitled prisoner made a proposal to insure to the benefit of it. the life of the deceased for £100, Mr. Justice Williams having and in the proposal he described gone over the evidence, particuhimself as having retired from the larly called the attention of the business of a tailor. On the 25th jury to the fact that the prisoner of July the prisoner came to the had himself stated that he wrenchoffice accompanied by a younged the knife from his mother after woman, who paid the premium, she had, as he alleged, murdered and the policy was delivered to the his sweetheart and his two broprisoner. A quarter's premium thers, and, if his story was true, only was paid, which amounted to she was then powerless, and might 108. 2d.
easily have been secured, and there Mr. Best then proceeded to ad- was no necessity to destroy her dress the jury for the prisoner. life. His Lordship also pointed He said it was clear, as stated by out that though it might be crehis learned friend in his opening dible that a person assailed as the address, that they could not con. prisoner described himself to have vict the prisoner upon this charge been, might, in the excitement of without at the same time declar- the moment, have struck his asing by their verdict that he had sailant with the weapon he had committed the horrible crimes of wrested from her; yet here there murdering his own mother and were three stabs, and the throat
was cut in so determined a manner vernor and Chaplain were comthat the wound extended down to pelled to interfere, and advise the the very bones of the neck; and father to withdraw. The entreathis must have been done after the ties of his sisters for a time substabs had been inflicted and the dued him, and he fell into a conpoor woman overpowered.
versation, in which he again asThe jury, with very brief deli- serted his story. But again he beration, returned å verdict of lashed himself into rage against Guilty, and the Judge passed sen- the witness Spice, particularly for tence of death in suitable terms. his declaration that he would The prisoner, who had retained his rather the young woman had self-possession throughout, heard hanged herself than married such his doom unmoved, and walked a man; he declared in his frenzy, from the dock with a firm and de- “One thing only I wish, and that termined step:
is, that I could get hold of this The last hours of this unrelent- man Spice, for I would strike his ing criminal were characterized by head off.” His animosity against the same passions that had im- this witness repeatedly broke out, pelled him to his terrible deeds and indeed seemed to be a fa
-an intensity of selfishness which vourite resort when he wished to blinded him to everything which turn away his thoughts from his did not accord with his own will. inward terror. These paroxysms At first, after his condemnation, of passion were succeeded, somehis strength gave way; but he times, by tears; but though the speedily reassumed his confidence, increasing certainty of his fate that the tale he had concocted somewhat repressed his excitemust prevail, and that they could ment, and he sometimes joined not hang him. For this purpose with apparent fervour in the he addressed memorials to the prayers of the chaplain, he let no Secretary of State, which merely word escape expressive of guilt or repeated his assertion, in nearly contrition. On the morning of the same words, that it was all his his execution he repeated, in effect, mother's doing, and that he had his previous statement, rejecting murdered her in self-defence; nor the exhortations of the chaplain could the warnings of the gaol not to die with a lie in his mouth; authorities, or the exhortations of nor, though he joined mechanically the chaplain, drive from his mind in the devotions, did he show any the one idea that this asseveration evidence of feeling. must prevail. The scene in which He was executed on the 4th of he parted from his family was a September, in front of Horsepainful exhibition of ungovernable monger-lane Gaol. Not a single passion. Between him and his application for reconsideration of father there arose a dreadful alter- his case had been made; he seems cation, in which the wretched man to have inspired a general horror lashed himself into an ungovern- in the public mind; and upwards able fury, denouncing his sur- of 30,000 persons came to witness viving parent as having been a bad his retribution-a larger number father, and a bad husband to his than has been observed at any mother-charges for which there execution since that of the Manappears no foundation. The Go- nings.
THE STEPNEY MURDER. The Stepney murder will re- was collected by irregular agents. main memorable in the annals of From the nature of these collec. crime, for it was attended by a tions she was supposed usually to combination of circumstances, each have a considerable sum of money in itself remarkable, but which, in her house. To complete the considered together, read more notion of her habits it must be like the complicated guilt of a stated that she was extremely French novel or an Adelphi drama timid, and though compelled to than a possible occurrence of real see daily a considerable number of life.
people, she rarely opened the door The victim of this strange tra- until she had reconnoitred her gedy was a widow named Mary visitor; and that in the evening, Emsley, about 70 years of age, re- when she had closed her shutters siding in Grore Road, Stepney. and locked her door, she would She was the widow of a builder never, or very rarely, admit any and house-speculator, who in his person, however well known to lifetime had run up a large number her. She was, moreover, of vio. of those small houses which cover lent temper, and, when angry, the ground in Stratford, Bow, and sulky and eccentric. Bethnal Green. At his decease
Mrs. Emsley was last seen alive he left the whole of his property about 7 o'clock on the evening to his widow, who was consequently of Monday, the 13th August ; two in receipt of a very large income, persons living in the opposite which report probably exaggerated house then observed her sitting at £5000 a-year. She was a at her bedroom window. On the woman of extremely parsimonious following days, Tuesday, Wedneshabits, and dwelt alone in one of her day, and Thursday, numerous perown houses, admitting only the oc. sons called at the bouse, wishing casional assistance of a female ser- to see Mrs. Emsley on various vant. She was particularly acute business; but, as after repeated in the management of her house- knockings no one answered, these property, purchasing the necessary parties went away. In most maierials for repair and decoration neighbourhoods such & circumwhenever she could pick up a bar- stance, with the unaltered appeargain, and employing jobbing work- ance of the house from morning to men--men out of regular employ- night, and from day to day, would ment, or who were willing to work have caused quick suspicion, and "after hours "-in doing the ne. no doubt did latterly cause some cessary work. The workmen thus remark. Several circumstances, engaged were, of course, chiefly however, combined to lull inquiry carpenters, plasterers, and painters. in this case. The neighbourhood The class of houses which formed is so thickly inhabited that appreher property were let to families hension of violence could scarcely of working men, and generally on suggest itself. The strange habits weekly payments. The old woman of the old woman were well known ; collected as much of these as she and as all these unanswered calls could herself manage ; the rest were in the day-time, it was supwas, that Mullins put it in the on the night of the murder he shed for the purpose of making a
went to Stratford for the purpose false accusation against Emm. of collecting rents belonging to This would be proved to the jury the old lady there. Witnesses as clearly as though they had seen would prove that Emm was not the act done, and, if so, it showed out of their company up to nearly the prisoner to be not only guilty 12 o'clock at night; and by a proof one murder, but guilty of an vidential circumstance he was able attempt to destroy the life of to prove not only that Emms was another
person. In the first place, not out of his cottage between Mullins's story was an exceedingly 8 and 9 o'clock—the hour when improbable one. It was exceed- Mullins declared that he had seen ingly improbable that, four weeks bim come out and deposit the after the murder, Emm should go parcel—but he would prove that out of his cottage into the shed he was ill, and did not leave his and there place this evidence of cottage before 10 o'clock that his complicity in the crime. It morning: The falsehood of the was suspicious, too, that he, if prisoner's assertion would weigh the murderer, should not bave de- with the jury in considering the stroyed the cheque which would be other proofs of his guilt. The useless to him and would furnish prisoner was at work on a house such cogent evidence against him. in the neighbourhood up to about Besides the improbability of the 0 o'clock on the evening of the story, it would be shown that murder. He had with him when Mullins was seen about the cottage he left a plasterer's hammer, a day or two before the parcel was which he had been using to knock discovered. Immediately after the away the ceiling; and Dr. Gill, discovery of the parcel, Emm who was called in when the murwas charged with the murder and der was discovered, would state the prisoner was also taken into that it was an instrument which custody. On the mantel-piece of might have caused the wounds in his lodgings, near the Mile-end- the skull, and that upon comparing road, a piece of string was found the edge of the hammer with one exactly corresponding in descrip- of the wounds above the eyebrow, tion with the old apron string it exactly corresponded and fitted. round the outer parcel, and there This hammer was afterwards found was also a piece of cobbler's wax by the police at the prisoner's for waxing string or cord. If the lodgings. At 6 o'clock on the prisoner placed the parcel in the Monday evening the prisoner left shed, he might, knowing Emm to work, intending to return on the be a shoemaker, have intended to following morning. At 8 o'clock bring home the charge against he was seen by a man named Rayhim more strongly; at any rate, mond, at the corner of Grovethe wax was found upon the road, and going in the direction of mantel-piece, and the two facts Mrs. Emsley's house. If innocent, together formed important evi- he would have an opportunity of dence to enable the jury to judge informing the jury, through witwhether Mullins actually did make nesses, where he really was that up the parcel. With regard to right he was not there. It was Emm, it would be showu that noi part of the law or the practice of this country to cast upon this impression should be cut out the prisoner the proof of his in- and laid before the jury. It had nocence ; but if he could give a been discovered that the prisoner reasonable account of his where- had occupied rooms at 12, Little abouts, that would of course rebut Orford-street, Chelsea. He ceased the presumption which otherwise to reside there about the 26th of would be so strong. There was August, and just before he left, the another link in the chain of evi- landlady saw flung out of the windence. At ten minutes past 5 dow a boot, which was afterwards o'clock on the morning of Tues- found in the dusthole. The jury day, August 14, the day after the would see the impression in the murder, the prisoner was met by board and compare it with the a seafaring man named Mitchell boot. Some human hair was found passing through Stepney-green. sticking to the boot. He did not He appeared to be in a state of attach too much importance to great nervous excitement; his the fact. The head of the poor pockets were bulky; and so much woman was dreadfully beaten in, struck was Mitchell with his ap- and it was of course possible that pearance that he, before Mullins some hair might have adhered to was apprehended, gave information the boot of the murderer; but to the police on the subject. Mullins was by trade a plasterer, Then, again, articles had been and it was possible that in the found in his possession, or traced pursuit of his vocation another to him, which pointed clearly to solution might be furnished. bis guilt. Whoever the murderer There was another point of imwas, it seemed unlikely that he portance. There were no marks obtained any great amount of of violent entry, and whoever money, for after Mrs. Emsley's entered last must have been let death 481. in notes, gold, and in by the deceased herself. There silver, were found secreted under was reason to suppose that the some wood and coal in the coal prisoner, who was well known to cellar, and it was pretty clear that her, would have some business the murderer had been baulked there on the night of the murder. of his wished-for plunder. A In the middle of the day the old pencil-case, however, was in the lady had dined with her niece ; possession of the deceased, and and the prisoner, coming to her that pencil-case was disposed of there more than once, had got the by the prisoner's wife only a day keys of some houses upon which or so before he gave information he was at work. One of the keys to the police. The cheque, the was of a remarkable shape; and lenses, the metal spoons, were this key, which was given to him, taken by the murderer from the was found in a basket along with house that night. Near the body, other keys in the old lady's bedon the landing, was a considerable room, in which she had been seen quantity of blood, and in it was sitting at 7 o'clock. Again, the prithe partinl imprint of a nailed soner had assisted on a previous shoe. In matters of this kind Saturday in taking a quantity of eyesight was the best guide, and paper-hangings into the house, and therefore it had been thought these were carried up by him into right that the board containing a room where the body was disVor.. CII.