Sarah Jane Draper – Full Statement

The full statement of charwoman Sarah Jane Draper. Courtesy of John Gannon.

Analysis:

  • 9 months employment, visiting once weekly = 39 visits total.
  • Last attended on the 7th of January, missed the 14th owing to the death of her husband.
  • No apparent quarrel between Mr. and Mrs. Wallace.
  • Mrs. Wallace helped with the cleaning. Therefore may have performed cleaning duties herself on the week Draper was absent. If the iron bar had gone down the back into a crevice (found by the next family who moved in while renovating, according to Goodman), Julia may have used another similar implement to clean out the cigarette ends such as the kitchen poker claimed missing. Some kind of rod is seen on the fireplace fender though it is apparently not the iron bar.

Some sort of rod is on the fender near where the iron bar would be kept. This object appears to have a handle/knob on it, and therefore may be the missing poker from the fireplace, used as a substitute for the lost iron bar when Mrs. Wallace had cleaned under the grill.

  • While working there, on about 3 occasions (out of the ~39 visits of her employment), Mrs. Wallace had admitted someone into the home and taken them into the parlour for a few minutes. She did not see these people but heard their voices (does not state if male or female).
  • Hats commonly kept on the bed in the “spare” room, which matches the state the bed was found in. The disarray is therefore confined to a couple of pillows on the floor and the bedsheets being pushed aside. Possible changing the bed or mending a sheet? Sewing equipment and material is on the kitchen table.
  • The back door catch is defective, she herself could not always open it and needed assistance from Mrs. Wallace despite having visited numerous times.
  • Does not believe the front door lock was in a faulty state – corroborating Wallace’s state that the front door lock had been in working order. Did Draper have a key or ever lock/unlock it herself? She had never answered the door during her time there she says.
  • Had sent a postcard to tell the Wallaces she would not turn up on the 21st of January, but did in fact show up.
  • Cleaned the room right through, would be very familiar with the house and possibly its contents e.g. the location of the insurance box?
  • Recent death of husband. Circumstances?
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