Some of the information that was presented by the witnesses and the Coroner was, to say the least, startling, and when we read accounts of the inquests today it is still possible to form a mental image of looks of astonishment on the faces of those present as more and more sensational facts came to life.
It was at some of these inquests that the Coroner, Wynne Baxter, frequently struggled to elicit as much information as possible about the crimes from individual police officers who, at times, seemed most reluctant to divulge the facts that there enquiries were bringing to light.
Ultimately, the inquests would become Baxter’s own personal sound box and he often appeared to be openly hostile towards the police and, on occasion, was more than happy to add to the scorn being directed at them by the daily papers.
WHERE THE INQUESTS TOOK PLACE
One of the more interesting buildings to have survived in the area is that of the Working Lads Institute on Whitechapel Road. It was inside this sturdy East End building that the inquests into the deaths of several of the victims took place.
It can be something of a chill to stand outside it, look up, and realise that you are looking at the very walls behind which some of the best known facts on the Jack the Ripper case first came to public attention.
HOW TO GET THERE?
If you want to see the building, simply make your way to Whitechapel Station, turn left as you exit it and you’ll see the former Working Lads Institute just a few doors along on the left.
In fact, if you look closely at the photograph to the right, you’ll see the “TION” of station to the left of the doorway, which should help you gauge its exact location.