Unsolved Murders

Martha Tabram

Age: 39

Sex: female

Date: 7 Aug 1888

Place: George Yard Buildings, Whitechapel, London

Martha Tabram was stabbed to death at George Yard Buildings, George Yard in Whitechapel. Her body was found at about 3.30am on 7 August 1888.

She had been stabbed about 39 times in the neck, torso and genitals with what was described as a short knife.

She had been a prostitute and had lodged at 19 George Street.

She had earlier been drinking with another prostitute and two soldiers at the Angel and Crown public house on 6 August 1888, after which they paired off at about 11.45pm, with Martha Tabram and on of the soldiers, also described as a 'client', going off into George Yard, a narrow alley wat that connected Wentwirth Street with Whitechapel High Street.

Later, in the early hours of 7 August 1888 a woman heard a scream of 'Murder!', but ignored it as cries like that were said to have been common.

At about 2am, to residents in George Yard Buildings returned home and recalled that they saw nothing on the stairs.

At about the same time a police constable said that he saw a soldier loitering nearby and asked him what he was doing, to which the solider said he was waiting for a friend.

Then, at 3.30m on 7 Augst 1888 a cab driver returned home from a night working and found Martha Tabram lying on a landing above the first flight of stairs in George Yard Buildings, however, due to the poor lighting, he thought that she had been a sleeping vagrant and ignored her.

It wasn't until 5am that the alarm was raised when a dock worker, whilst going off to work, discovered her and realised that she was dead.

A doctor that arrived soon after at about 5.30am and examined her body estimated that she had been dead for about 3 hours.

He said she had been stabbed 39 times, with the following stab injuries:

  • 9 stabs injuries to throat.
  • 5 stabs injuries to left lung.
  • 2 stabs injuries to right lung.
  • 1 stab injury to heart.
  • 5 stabs injuries to liver.
  • 2 stabs injuries to spleen.
  • 6 stabs injuries to stomach.
  • Other wounds to her lower abdomen and genitals.

She had been found lying on her back with her clothing raised to her middle, exposing her lower half, in a sexual position, however, the doctor said that he found no evidence that sexual intercourse had taken place.

During the investigation into her murder several indentification parades of soldiers were held in an effort to identify the soldiers that Martha Tabram had been with earlier in the night as well as the soldier seen by the police constable, but no suspects were found.

It was also noted that whislt it was thought that the soldier that the police constable had seen loitering had been in the Grenadier Guards, that the two soldiers that Martha Tabram had been drinking with in the Angel and Crown public house had been in the Coldstream Guards, after the woman that had been drinking with Martha Tabram said that tey had had worn white cap-bands.

*map pointers are rough estimates based on known location details as per Place field above.

see en.wikipedia.org

see The Whitechapel Murders

see "The Whitechapel Murders." Times [London, England] 24 Sept. 1888: 3. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 6 Apr. 2016.