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from which a corresponding passage led past the door of the Connoways on the right and the Laws on the left, straight up to Burke's door, inside which a second passage, turning sharply to the right, led past the Connoways' wall up to another door which admitted you into the room itself. It was meanly furnished, with a press cupboard between the window and the fireplace, a solitary chair, a truckle bed, and some common cooking utensils; while at the foot of the bed against the wall was a heap of straw and litter. At the back of the house was a piece of waste ground, by which the stair could be approached from the adjacent closes without going through the common passage, thus affording easy communication with Hare's house.
After one or two unimportant witnesses, the prosecution called the shopboy, who remembered a beggar woman coming into his master's shop on the Friday morning, and that Burke said she must be some relation of his mother's, offered her breakfast, and took her away with him. Later on in the day Burke had come back and selected an old tea-box, like the one in which the body was found, and Mrs. Hare fetched it away.
Mrs. Connoway said that about midday on the Friday she went into Burke's room and saw a stranger woman supping porridge by the fire, while McDougal was washing some clothes for her. Later on she went again to Burke's room, and found the stranger there alone. She was the worse for liquor, and wanted to go out and try and find her son; but witness induced her to come to her own room, where she became very communicative, talked about Ireland and the kindness of Docherty, as she called Burke, who had promised to give her a bed and her supper. Soon Hare and his wife came in, and were joined by McDouga). Mrs. Hare produced a bottle of whisky, of which they all partook, and then Hare and McDougal and the beggar woman got to dancing. When the party broke up, the latter refused to go until ' Docherty' had returned, and it was not till between ten and eleven that he was seen in the passage, and then she got up and followed him. Witness went to bed, but her slumbers were disturbed by sounds of fighting in Burke's room. In the morning she went in there, and found him with Mrs. Law, McDougal, and a lad called Brogan. They were drinking spirits, and, before the bottle was empty, Burke tossed the contents up to the ceiling, so that some of it fell on the bed and heap of straw. Witness asked McDougal what had become of the old woman, and she said
'Burke and her had been ow'r friendly together,' and she had kicked her out of the house. Before they separated McDougal had testified to the general hilarity by singing a song. About six in the evening Mrs. Gray came in and told her that she had found a dead body under the straw, and she went off to see for berself, but was too frightened to do more than look into the room. Later on, Burke came in, and her husband told him there was a report he had murdered the woman, and that Gray had seen a corpse in the house and gone for the police. Burke replied he did not regard what all Scotland said about him, but he would look for Gray; and he was going out up the stair when the police gripped him.
The Dean of Faculty asked a question or two, and Mrs. Law was then called. Her evidence was for the most part in corroboration of Mrs. Connoway; but she spoke more strongly as to the scuffling and fighting, during which the only voice she was sensible of was Burke's; in the morning McDougal had asked her if she had heard Burke and Hare fighting through the night time. She had been shown the body in the police court and recognised it as the same woman she had seen in Burke's house on the Friday,
Next came Hugh Alston. He lived in the same "land' as Burke ; above the sunken flat was the shop, and above that his own flat. On the evening of Friday he was coming home about 11.30, when, in the passage on the line of the street, he heard from beneath the voices of two men quarrelling and fighting, and a woman's cry of murder.' He went down the stair and along the passage as far as Connoway's door. Above the sound of fighting there was a strong female voice calling 'murder,' and ‘for God's sake get the police, but not in that way as I would consider her in imminent danger herself.' It continued for a moment, and then there was something gave a cry as if proceeding from a person or animal that had been strangled.' This noise ceased, but the men continued quarrelling, and the female voice still cried murder,' and there was the sound of a hard slapping on the outer door leading into the passage. Witness went for the police, but could not find one, and then, as quiet was restored, he retired to his own flat. In answer to the Lord Justice Clerk, he said that the voice which cried 'murder' and police' was distinct from that of the person uttering the strangled cry.
Elizabeth Paterson, sister of the man who kept Dr. Knox's museum, said that about ten on the Friday night Burke came to their house inquiring for her brother, who was out. The latter told the court that he came home on the stroke of twelve, found Burke at the door, and accompanied him to the room in the Westport, where were the two Hares and McDougal. In a low voice Burke said that he had procured something for the doctor, and pointed to a heap of straw by the bed. Witness saw nothing, but concluded that a body was concealed there. Next morning Burke came again, and was referred by him to Dr. Knox. Towards midday he saw him in Surgeon Square, standing by the doctor, who gave orders that if he brought any package witness was to take it. About seven o'clock Burke, Hare, and a porter appeared with an old tea-box, which they carried into a cellar ; and witness walked out to Knox's house at Newington, and received 51., which he divided between Burke and Hare, telling them to call on Monday and receive the balance, the usual price being 8l. On the Sabbath morning he went with the police to the cellar in Surgeon Square. In the box they found the body of an elderly female; it was quite fresh, and had never been interred, and was doubled up, with the head pressed down on the breast. The face was very livid ; blood had flowed from the mouth; the lips and nose were dark-coloured, but there were no marks of bruises on the body, and the appearance of the countenance indicated strangulation or suffocation. In cross-examination the witness said that Knox had had previous dealings in dead bodies both with Burke and Hare, and that they seemed to act conjointly. The bodies brought both by them and others were frequently those of persons who had not been buried. McDougal was near enough to hear Burke say he had got something for the doctor. All the occupants of the room seemed to be in a state of intoxication.
John Brogan said he had come into Burke's room, and slept there the rest of the night. In the morning the Grays appeared, and other neighbours, one of whom asked what had become of the spae wife,' to which McDougal said she had been very * sashous' in the night, and that when Burke and Hare began fighting, she had run to the door and roared out 'murder,' and so she had kicked her out for an old Irish limmer.
The Grays were called next. It was between five and six on the Friday evening that Burke told them they must sleep for the
night at Hare's, and he would pay for their lodging. Mrs. Gray was in and out of the house all the afternoon, and described Docherty as wishing to go away, but being detained by McDougal and induced to lie down and take a sleep. About nine the next morning Burke invited them back, and she corroborated the story of the drinking and the sprinkling of the whisky, and added that Burke had taken some in a cup and crawled under the bed with it, and that when she groped to fetch some potatoes from under the bed he told her to keep away. When it grew dark, and she was alone in the room with her husband, she resolved to examine the straw-heap on which the whisky had been poured, and on pulling it up, she found the naked body of a woman, lying on her right side, with blood on her face. They threw back the straw over the body, and as they were leaving the room, McDougal came in. Gray asked her what she had got in the house. She fell on her knees and implored him that he would not inform of what he had seen. "She offered me a few shillings to put me over till Monday, and there never would be å week after that but I might be worth 101. Gray said his conscience would not allow him, and on McDougal repeating the offer to Mrs. Gray, the latter said, 'God forbid that my husband should be worth that for dead bodies. They all went out into the street together, and met Mrs. Hare, who inquired what they Fere making a noise about, whereupon they adjourned to a public house, shortly after which Gray went to the police. In crossexamination Mrs. Gray added that, after she had rejected the hush-money, McDougal had said to her, ‘My God! how can I help it?' but nothing as to how Docherty had come by her death.
M'Culloch, the porter, said that he went to Burke's house soon after six on the Saturday night, and that a body was taken from under some straw by Burke and Hare, and forced into an old tea-box, which he carried to Surgeon Square. A constable named Fisher deposed to the arrest of Burke and McDougal, to the identification of the body, to the finding of the deceased's clothes at Burke's house, and to the presence of fresh blood in
The time had now come to produce the actual eye-witnesses and partakers of the crime. Their appearance has been portrayed by a master hand.
'Hare,' says Christopher North,' was the most brutal man ever subjected to my sight, and at first look seemingly an idiot. His dull, dead blackish eyes, wide apart, one rather higher up than the other, his large coarse-lipped mouth, his
high broad cheek-bones, and sunken cheeks, each of which when he laughed which he did often-collapsed into a perpendicular-hollow, shooting up ghastly from chin to cheek-bone-all steeped in a sullenness and squalor not born of the jail, but native to the almost deformed face of the leering miscreant.' Burke ' was a neat little man of about five feet five, well-proportioned, round-bodied, but narrow-chested-arms rather thin, small wrists and a moderate-sized hand, no mass of muscle anywhere about his limbs or frame, but vigorously necked, with hard forehead and cheek-bone-a very active but not a powerful man. Nothing repulsive about him, to ordinary observers at least, and certainly not deficient in intelligence.' The women were poor, miserable, bony, skinns, scranky, wizened jades both, without the most distant approach to goodlookingness, either in any parů of their form or any feature of their face; peevish, sulky, savage and cruel, and evidently familiar from earliest life with all the woe and wretchedness of guilt and pollution.'
Lord Meadowbank administered the oath to Hare, and told him that he was only to speak to the death of Mrs. Campbell; to which he replied by asking, 'Tould woman, sir?' and then plunged into the grisly story. He had known the prisoners for a twelvemonth, and at midday on the Friday he was told by Burke to go down to his house and see the shot that he had for the doctors. He did so, saw the deceased, and late in the evening came back to the sunk flat, where there was singing and dancing and drinking in Connoway's room, till McDougal asked him and his wife to take a dram in her room, and by-andby Burke joined them, followed by the old woman. They all got 'pretty hearty,' when Burke struck him, and they began to fight, rolling over and over on the bed, his wife and McDougal trying to separate them. The stranger was frightened, and said she would not see Burke abused, and ran twice to the door crying 'murder' and 'police, but each time McDougal fetched her back. Then in the struggle witness gave her a push and she fell over a stool ; she was too drunk to rise, but called on Burke to be quiet, and the latter, rising from the floor, got stridelegs on her and kept in her breath, pressing down her head with his breast and putting one hand under her nose and the other under her chin. She cried out at first and then moaned, but Burke did not relax his grasp, and in ten minutes she was quite dead. They stripped the body, doubled her up, tied her head to her feet, and covered her with the straw. The women had jumped up and fled into the passage when they heard the first screech, making no effort to interfere, nor when they came back did they ask any questions.
Cockburn cross-examined, for on Hare's evidence practically depended the criminality of McDougal. Almost his first question was, 'Have you been connected in supplying the doctors with subjects upon other occasions ?' To this the Lord Advocate ob