The Murder of Mary Ann Polly Nichols, a Whitechapel Murder Victim by Jack the Ripper

Topics: Jack The Ripper

My newspaper is from Times (London) titled “Another Murder in Whitechapel”. A body of a female was found murdered in the early morning in Whitechapel. The woman was called Polly, but after a bit more investigating they learned her name was Mary Ann “Polly” Nicholls. The woman that identified her, “…knew her, she said, as they were inmates of the Lambeth Workhouse together in April and May last, the deceased having been passed there from another workhouse” (SRP 2). Mary Ann Nicholls was going from place to place.

She worked as a servant, but betrayed their trust after stealing. She eventually turned to prostitution. Before she died, she was trying to get a free drink because she had no money. “She was wearing a bonnet which she had not been seen with before,” and they found her body with this bonnet by her side. This is about all they mention of what she was wearing, but one can assume she wore poorer clothes (SRP 2).

She used to be an inmate of the Lambeth Workhouse. This is a place that helped those that could not support themselves get work and have a place to stay. On the night of September 1, 1888, “… Police-constable Neill, 97), when in Buck’s-row, Whitechapel, came upon the body of a woman lying on a part of the footway, and on stooping to raise her up in the belief that she was drunk he discovered that her throat was cut almost from ear to ear. She was dead but still warm” (SRP 2).

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He called for a doctor, and she was pronounced dead at the scene. The constable asked if there had been any signs of a struggle. No one in the surrounding area heard anything out of the usual. Also, the lack of blood at the crime scene was out of the ordinary.

They believe that the woman could have been dumped there, which would explain the lack of blood and screaming. In the letter to the editor was an interview between Mary Ann’s tather and the coroner. He was there to confirm her body. From the sounds of it Mary Ann lived a troubled life. Her father had not seen or spoken to her for three years. He hoped that by not letting her live with him she would get her live together. Apparently, she is married with children, but her husband cheated on her. This ultimately led her to go off the deep end. She would be gone for long periods of time, and the court awarded her husband custody of the kids.

She then moved in with her fathe, but she was an avid drinker which caused her father to kick her out. This was probably around the time she became an inmate at Lambeth Workhouse. Edward Walker, her father, could identify her handwriting. In another interview with the coroner, police-constable John Neil explained how he found her body. He said, “I examined the body by the aid of my lamp, and noticed blood oozing from a wound in the throat. She was lying on her back, with her clothes disarranged. I felt her arm, which was quite warm from the joints upwards. Her eyes were wide open. Her bonnet was off and lying at her side, close to the left hand” (SRP 2). After this is when he called for the doctor.

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The Murder of Mary Ann Polly Nichols, a Whitechapel Murder Victim by Jack the Ripper. (2023, Feb 26). Retrieved from

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