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Joseph Chandler was born c. 1850. He was originally a carman, but joined Scotland Yard in 1873. By 1888 he was an Inspector for the Metropolitan Police serving in H division. On the morning of September 8th, 1888 he arrived in Hanbury Street where Annie Chapman lay murdered. He had been standing at the corner of Hanbury Street and Commercial Street at about 6:10 that morning, when several men ran by him heading away from Hanbury Street and told him another murder had been committed. He arrived at the scene at about 6:13, alerted Scotland Yard, called for reinforcements and the Divisional Surgeon, Dr. George Bagster Phillips, and covered the body with loose sacking. At about 6:40 after the body had been examined and was being removed, Chandler and Phillips searched the yard, discovering the contents of her pockets which had apparently been arranged purposefully, as well as a torn envelope bearing the seal of the Royal Sussex Regiment, among other things. At about 6:45 he was involved in interviewing at least one witness, John Richardson. At about 7:02 he arrived at the mortuary, took a description of the deceased's clothing and departed again. On September 13th he testified at the inquest into her murder. In 1892 he was demoted to Sergeant because he was found drunk on duty. He retired in 1898. In 1901 he was employed as a Watcher for a commercial employer, HM Customs.
In 1874 he married Martha Harris, with whom he would have 5 children, the last of whom was born in 1892. He died in 1923 at the age of 73.