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Go Back   Casebook Forums > Ripper Discussions > Police Officials and Procedures > General Police Discussion

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  #21  
Old 08-20-2017, 01:11 PM
Wickerman Wickerman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Orsam View Post
Right, yes, this is a copy of a page from the copy depositions held at the London Metropolitan Archives as part of the Coroner's Papers for the North Eastern District and as transcribed in the Ultimate JTR Sourcebook. They are not, however, the original signed depositions but a handwritten (but official) transcript.
Ok, so let me ask you this.
Are you aware of, or have you come across entire official copies made of any inquests before?
If so, for what reason was this done?

And, if I can sneak in a short off-topic question here.
In cases at criminal courts (like the Old Bailey), when testimony was recorded in short-hand, how would the testimony be signed by each witness?
Obviously they will not sign a document they cannot read, so would they come back at a later date to sign the official but re-written long-hand version of what they said?
Or, was a long-hand version taken down by someone else on the same day in addition to the short-hand version during the trial?
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  #22  
Old 08-20-2017, 01:18 PM
Pierre Pierre is offline
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And your hypothesis for the transcription presented to the public, if you have one?

And where are the originals?
I take it you have no answer.
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  #23  
Old 08-20-2017, 01:24 PM
Wickerman Wickerman is offline
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Pierre.

It isn't fair to expect anyone to know what happened to any of the mountains of official paperwork that has vanished in this case.
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  #24  
Old 08-20-2017, 01:26 PM
Pierre Pierre is offline
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Pierre.

It isn't fair to expect anyone to know what happened to any of the mountains of official paperwork that has vanished in this case.
Dear Wickerman,

I do not expect David to know it. Just asking.

Yes, paperwork has vanished.

Good night.

Pierre
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  #25  
Old 08-20-2017, 01:29 PM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
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Let me try and answer all these questions.

Lets start with the Coroner's Act 1887 S.5(3) dealing with cases of murder or manslaughter:

"The Coroner shall deliver the inquisition, depositions and recognizances, with a certificate under his hand that the same has been taken before him, to the proper officer of the Court in which the trial is to be, before or at the opening of the Court."

So in this case, had the murderer of Kelly actually been caught, the original depositions would have been sent to the Old Bailey. As this would have been such an important murder trial, the papers of the Old Bailey would inevitably have been preserved and would be available today at the National Archives (like many others).

The Coroner would probably have retained copies for himself.

Now, there was obviously no arrest in this case but we should note the following in Jervis on Coroners:

"By a circular from the Home Office in September 1884, coroners were requested, in all cases in which a verdict of murder of manslaughter should be returned, to send a copy of the depositions to the Director of Public Prosecutions with or without any remarks which the coroner might think fit to offer."

Wynne Baxter certainly followed this circular very dutifully and had copies made of the Tabram, Nichols, Chapman and Stride depositions which were sent to the DPP (as I've previously mentioned on this board). These would have been professionally printed and I've seen a non-Ripper example of one of Baxter's printed inquests.

Otherwise, I've seen lots (and that is more than a few) of original depositions in the Old Bailey files.

But to state the obvious, there were no photocopiers in those days so the cheapest way of making copies of anything was for a clerk to write them out by hand.

Evidence at the Old Bailey was taken down by shorthand writers (and by the judge in his notebook) - the process was different and did not involve depositions.
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  #26  
Old 08-20-2017, 04:06 PM
Wickerman Wickerman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Orsam View Post

Now, there was obviously no arrest in this case but we should note the following in Jervis on Coroners:

"By a circular from the Home Office in September 1884, coroners were requested, in all cases in which a verdict of murder of manslaughter should be returned, to send a copy of the depositions to the Director of Public Prosecutions with or without any remarks which the coroner might think fit to offer."
So that solves the question of a coroner making copies.


Quote:
But to state the obvious, there were no photocopiers in those days so the cheapest way of making copies of anything was for a clerk to write them out by hand.
Letter copying machines had been around for a century.
The police made handbills by the hundreds.

Quote:
Evidence at the Old Bailey was taken down by shorthand writers (and by the judge in his notebook) - the process was different and did not involve depositions.
Ok, you lost me with this.
Witnesses did give testimony at the Old Bailey. Why would they not be expected to sign their statements?
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  #27  
Old 08-20-2017, 04:14 PM
GUT GUT is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wickerman View Post
Ok, so let me ask you this.
Are you aware of, or have you come across entire official copies made of any inquests before?
If so, for what reason was this done?

And, if I can sneak in a short off-topic question here.
In cases at criminal courts (like the Old Bailey), when testimony was recorded in short-hand, how would the testimony be signed by each witness?
Obviously they will not sign a document they cannot read, so would they come back at a later date to sign the official but re-written long-hand version of what they said?
Or, was a long-hand version taken down by someone else on the same day in addition to the short-hand version during the trial?
It not signed, even to this day. Sure some Courts may rely on Affidavits (which are signed) and Statements (which are signed) but the oral evidence is given on Oath or Affirmation and either recorded via electronic means or in shorthand (often on a machine sometimes by hand). The Judge will also take notes of parts s/he considers important, none of this is ever signed.
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  #28  
Old 08-20-2017, 04:16 PM
GUT GUT is offline
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Originally Posted by Wickerman View Post



Ok, you lost me with this.
Witnesses did give testimony at the Old Bailey. Why would they not be expected to sign their statements?
Because it was oral evidence given on Oath, often never transcribed, but left in its original form.
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  #29  
Old 08-20-2017, 04:57 PM
Joshua Rogan Joshua Rogan is offline
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Originally Posted by GUT View Post
The Judge will also take notes of parts s/he considers important, none of this is ever signed.
I seem to recall one paper reporting (I think Dr Phillips' evidence at the Chapman inquest) something like "the evidence was given carefully line by line so the coroner could write it all down".
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  #30  
Old 08-20-2017, 05:11 PM
Wickerman Wickerman is offline
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Because it was oral evidence given on Oath, often never transcribed, but left in its original form.
Thanks GUT.
So, oral evidence given on oath at an inquest is signed because......?
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