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  #1  
Old 03-11-2012, 12:35 AM
Bridewell Bridewell is offline
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Default Was Stephen White Thinking of Dutfields?

I was unsure whether to post this under the officer or the scene, so apologies if this is not appropriate for "Scene of the Crimes":

I have been wondering about the strange incident referred to in an item in the People's Journal on 27th September 1919 wherein a "Scotland Yard Man" alludes to one of Stephen White's reports:

“For five nights we had been watching a certain alley just behind the Whitechapel Road. It could only be entered from where we had two men posted in hiding, and persons entering the alley were under observation by the two men. It was a bitter cold night when I arrived at the scene to take the report of the two men in hiding. I was turning away when I saw a man coming out of the alley. He was walking quickly but noiselessly, apparently wearing rubber shoes, which were rather rare in those days. I stood aside to let the man pass, and as he came under the wall lamp I got a good look at him.
“He was about five feet ten inches in height, and was dressed rather shabbily, though it was obvious that the material of his clothes was good. Evidently a man who had seen better days. I thought, but men who had seen better days are common enough down East, and that of itself was not sufficient to justify me in stopping him. His face was long and thin, nostrils rather delicate, and his hair was jet black. His complexion was inclined to be sallow, and altogether the man was foreign. The most striking thing about him, however, was the extraordinary brilliance of his eyes. They looked like two luminous glow worms coming through the darkness. The man was slightly bent at the shoulders, though he was obviously quite young - about 33, at the most - and gave one the idea of having been a student or professional man. His hands were snow white, and fingers long and tapering.
Man With Musical Voice.
“As the man passed me at the lamp I had an uneasy feeling that there was something more than usually sinister about him, and I was strongly moved to find some pretext for detaining him; but the more I thought it over, the more was I forced to the conclusion that it was not in keeping with British police methods that I should do so. My only excuse for interfering with the passage of this man would have been his association with the man we were looking for, and I had no real grounds for connecting him with the murder. It is true I had a sort of intuition that the man was not quite right. Still, if one acted on intuition in the police force, there would be more frequent outcries about interference with the liberty of subject, and at that time the police were criticised enough to make it undesirable to take risks.
“The man stumbled a few feet away from me, and I made that an excuse for engaging him in conversation. He turned sharply at the sound of my voice, and scowled at me in a surly fashion, but he said ‘Good-night’ and agreed with me that it was cold.
“His voice was a surprise to me. It was soft and musical, with just a tinge of melancholy in it, and it was a voice of a man of culture - a voice altogether out of keeping with the squalid surroundings of the East End.
“As he turned away, one of the police officers came out of the house he had been in, and walked a few paces into the darkness of the alley. ‘Hello! what is this?’ he cried, and then he called in startled tones to me to come along.
“In the East End we are used to shocking sights, but the sight I saw made the blood in my veins turn to ice. At the end of the cul-de-sac, huddled against the wall, there was the body of a woman, and a pool of blood was streaming along the gutter from her body. It was clearly another of those terrible murders I remembered the man I had seen, and I started after him as fast as I could run, but he was lost to sight in the dark labyrinth of East End mean streets.”

None of the C5 scenes really fits, although I'm aware that many think Mitre Square is the best fit. If the non-C5 murders are included, it is tempting to think of Castle Alley.

Is there any mileage in the possibility of Dutfields Yard? We know that White was directly involved in the investigation of the Stride murder (Packer). White speaks of chasing a man through "the dark labyrinth of East End mean streets". Schwartz spoke of being chased by a man who emerged from a pub doorway. It's not "just behind the Whitechapel Road", but nor is anywhere else. It is, however, the sort of location which the Metropolitan Police might have had under observation. It would be embarrassing, to say the least, if one of the murders was committed while cops on observations were momentarily distracted.

There are obviously problems with this but, if the White report is not a complete fiction (a distinct possibility), the incident must have happened at the scene of some murder somewhere. Might this be one explanation for the failure to present Schwartz as a witness at the Stride inquest? Just a thought. (White is the right age to be BS Man & might have glamorised the person he saw in later reminiscences ).
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Last edited by Bridewell : 03-11-2012 at 12:39 AM. Reason: Error
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  #2  
Old 03-11-2012, 01:12 AM
Robert Robert is offline
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Hi Bridewell

According to your scenario, White would be Pipeman rather than BS man, yes?

Anyway, one objection to it is that it would mean that the police found Stride's body and then abandoned it (because there wasn't a policeman there when Diemschutz arrived). That would be odd behaviour by the police. If you throw in the bit about White chasing Schwarz, then White would be chasing a putative murderer before he knew there'd been a murder.
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Old 03-11-2012, 01:51 AM
Phil Carter Phil Carter is offline
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Hello Bridewell,

Quote:
...one of the C5 scenes really fits, although I'm aware that many think Mitre Square is the best fit. If the non-C5 murders are included, it is tempting to think of Castle Alley.
Having no lean on this either way, I would be very surprised to hear of another murder in such vein that, outside of the known C5, because of the story given above by White, he would certainly be involved at the inquest.

Knowing the dilligence of many researchers in this field, I very much doubt if another, un-noticed murder involving White had not been discovered, and the resulting inquest testimony not made available to all.

As regards Mitre Square, it would probably be a stretch of the imagination to call it a cul-de-sac? With three exit possibilities?

As regards Castle Alley, the inquest testimony can be found here

http://www.casebook.org/official_doc...mackenzie.html

You will notice that the 5 policemen called to give evidence or make statements at this inquest are PC Allen 423H, PC Andrews 272H, PS Badham 31H, PC Neve 101H and DI Reid H division. White is not among them.

kindly

Phil
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  #4  
Old 03-11-2012, 01:57 AM
Bridewell Bridewell is offline
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Originally Posted by Robert View Post
Hi Bridewell

According to your scenario, White would be Pipeman rather than BS man, yes?

Anyway, one objection to it is that it would mean that the police found Stride's body and then abandoned it (because there wasn't a policeman there when Diemschutz arrived). That would be odd behaviour by the police. If you throw in the bit about White chasing Schwarz, then White would be chasing a putative murderer before he knew there'd been a murder.


Sorry, Robert. Yes, it was Pipeman I meant. I think I was trying to work out, while I was typing, how BS and his role would fit. Serves me right for brain-storming!

The police leaving a body would be contrary to orders, certainly, but that doesn't necessarily mean it didn't happen.


If you throw in the bit about White chasing Schwarz, then White would be chasing a putative murderer before he knew there'd been a murder.

Either that, or he would be retrospectively justifying having chased an innocent man. Personally, I think it more likely that White was painting a picture of himself as the man who came closest to catching the Ripper - either that or the whole story was just another journalistic invention.



Best Wishes, Bridewell
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  #5  
Old 04-22-2012, 10:58 AM
Fleetwood Mac Fleetwood Mac is offline
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Supposedly, White repored the night as 'bitterly cold' - would this not rule out a murder in July?

Plus, Castle Alley had two entrances, and I'd imagine that White would have known this.
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Old 04-22-2012, 11:23 AM
PaulB PaulB is offline
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As is noted in the A to Z, a version of the story that appeared in the East London Advertiser (27 September 1919) explicitly states that White did not see the murderer and gives quite a different account of his movements: ‘His experience of murders was perhaps unique. He was engaged on the whole of the Jack the Ripper crimes which caused such a grim sensation among East Enders. One night he was on what appeared to be a certain clue to the mysterious murderer of women in the Whitechapel region. He kept watch in an East End street, but the murderer’s movements were not in accordance with anticipation. For about ten minutes only he left the street, and to his amazement he found on his return that a woman had been stabbed. He saw no man anywhere, and the mystery became even more baffling. As is well known, Jack the Ripper was never discovered.’

It is interesting that in this account a woman had been stabbed. And that a specific individual was expected but didn't do as anticipated.
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Old 04-22-2012, 11:49 AM
Fleetwood Mac Fleetwood Mac is offline
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My only excuse for interfering with the passage of this man would have been his association with the man we were looking for, and I had no real grounds for connecting him with the murder.

This bit from the first report is interesting.

Does this mean:

a) A murder had taken place earlier in the night (at that point in White's recollections, a murder had not taken place in the vicinity)?

b) 'Associate' suggests they were looking for a specific individual and this man wasn't him?

In terms of the second report. Does this suggest he had to pass that way? Possibly returning home? And, "movements not as anticipated" suggests he entered the street from an unexpected entrance?
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Old 04-22-2012, 12:22 PM
Jon Guy Jon Guy is offline
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Hi FM
Quote:
Supposedly, White repored the night as 'bitterly cold' - would this not rule out a murder in July?
It did start raining at 12.45 and McKenzie was wearing a woollen shawl around her shoulders (just as Kelly was in Nov).

Quote:
Plus, Castle Alley had two entrances, and I'd imagine that White would have known this.
I would imagine White was familiar with Castle Alley but it is interesting that Castle Alley gave the impression from Wentworth St that it was not a through road, and the narrow covered entrance from the Whitechapel Rd end was apparently not that obvious as an exit.
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Old 04-22-2012, 04:34 PM
Fleetwood Mac Fleetwood Mac is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Guy View Post
Hi FM


It did start raining at 12.45 and McKenzie was wearing a woollen shawl around her shoulders (just as Kelly was in Nov).



I would imagine White was familiar with Castle Alley but it is interesting that Castle Alley gave the impression from Wentworth St that it was not a through road, and the narrow covered entrance from the Whitechapel Rd end was apparently not that obvious as an exit.
Hi Jon,

I appreciate this is down to interpretation but:

Rain in July is not a bitterly cold night.

I would imagine it would have been described as a wet night; at a push a cold, wet night.

Bitterly cold speaks to me of winter.

Was the supposed alley not described as a cul-de-sac? Either White didn't know there was another entrance/exit (I'd be surprised considering they'd decided to keep watch there), or that wasn't the alley in question.

I'm a touch lost as to why they would keep watch at a specific location. The only thing that would make sense to me is that they'd been watching him and he spent some time in that spot, i.e there was a club there, or he used prostitutes there. I doubt it would be where he lived as it would be pushing it to stab someone outside of his home.
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Old 05-03-2012, 03:13 PM
Bridewell Bridewell is offline
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Quote:
Bitterly cold speaks to me of winter.
Hi Fleetwood,

I'm of the same mind, but it does throw up the anomaly of this mysterious stranger who quite obviously, despite the bitterly cold weather, did not wear gloves:

Quote:
His hands were snow white, and fingers long and tapering.
If this is anything other than a fictional (or exaggerated) account, it would suggest that the killer (if, indeed, that's who it was) wore gloves to kill, then removed them when leaving the scene - as opposed to the other way round.

Regards, Bridewell.
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