Alexander, Jane

Alexander, Jane             1889 August 24th            Devizes

Suicide of a Young Woman at Devizes

Curious Revelations

At the inquest on the body of a young woman named Jane Alexander, who committed suicide, some extraordinary revelations were made. The deceased had been taken out of the canal, and removed to the workhouse infirmary, where she appeared to have quite recovered from the effects of the immersion. Dangerous symptoms, however, intervened, and she died rather suddenly, and under such circumstances as to lead the medical man to suspect the presence of an irritant poison. Her box was searched, and there, pinned to the inside of a hat, was a piece of paper containing the words, “My death is owing to red Whitey. I see him last night and spoke to him. I hope the girl he has now got will do her best for him. I always liked him but his love was not for me. Goodbye to all my friends. I hope we shall meet in heaven.” There was also a pot of vermin killer, about half empty, and a quantity of jam in a pot. The post mortem examination revealed the usual symptoms attending phosphorous poisoning, and the medical man, G S A Waylen, gave it as his opinion that the death of deceased was due to a dose of irritant poison, probably phosphorous which was the chief constituent of vermin killer. This was one of the slowest and most irregular of poisons in its actions, and it was probable that deceased had taken the poison before she left her situation at Bath on the 18th last, but that it had remained inert in the system for a week or more.

After hearing the evidence the jury returned a verdict that deceased had died from a dose of irritant poison, probably phosphorous, and that when she took the dose she was laboring from tempory insanity. The jury gave their fees to the cottage hospital.


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