Ok, thanks for the home movies of the damned. It would have been less creepy with sound. But kudos to your wife for standing in as victim. I usually have to catch my fiance unawares. You murdered her with such friendliness and cheer.
There's nothing wrong there, that I'm sure of. I just don't think it had to happen like that. I don't think it's the only option, but without understanding what the hell was going on with her, I can't pose an alternative really. It's a very odd situation because we don't know what she knew or what her intentions were. If she had every reason to believe that door would be unlocked, that opens it up to others knowing that, and a possible ambush. So it could have been premeditated murder. If she didn't know that at all and was at no point told, then she may have ducked back into a quiet place to settle herself, and whoever found her there either followed her, or was there in no connection with her.
And I don't know how the gates opened, and that would be useful to know.
But we are looking really at two general scenarios. The first is an abattoir set up. You herd an animal into a blind corner and kill it there. It requires purpose and forethought. So if this is the case, whoever killed her meant to kill her.
The other is the Aeschylus scenario. Which is one of my favorite tall tales, where the playwright was killed when an eagle mistook his bald head for a rock and dropped a turtle on him to break open the shell, killing him and presumably the turtle. And an Aeschylus scenario is one where the death cannot be foreseen nor avoided. She walks into the alley, and someone is already there, and they kill her for reasons known only to them. Maybe it was a serial killer who thought she would do. Maybe she walked in on a psychotic break and some poor bastard swung at her with a knife just to get her to go away and he killed her. Or maybe it was cultists making a sacrifice to the sewer gods. Either way, she didn't have to be the victim, she could not have prevented it, and no part of it was foreseeable.
If it's the abattoir scenario, that we might sort out, but that's not Jack, and it's likely not a single killer.
If it's the Aeschylus scenario... well imagine the turtle corpse was lost to history so we have a dead playwright with his head stoved in by nothing and nobody. What are the odds we guess that a turtle was involved? I don't have high hopes if this was a random (ish) act.
Everything else requires mysterious choices. Not even bad ones, bad decisions we can predict. I'm talking just baffling decisions. Who picks up a John after an assault and takes him to a business that is still technically open right next to a door still theoretically in use when you can go 50 yards any other direction and be guaranteed of privacy?
Any other scenario requires more variables than we can ever account for. She was either not afraid of her killer, which if the Schwartz story is true she should be afraid of everybody for at least an hour, just chemically speaking. This was not a large space. Apparently she was attacked and died right where she was found, except that while a throat cut like that kills very quickly, it's not instantaneous. And if she knew and trusted her killer, she actually would have seen that she was in danger before she would see it with a stranger. Which meant she ignored it, and I can't think of anything in her life experience that would tell her to ignore those warning signs. I might, you might. We don't live under constant threat. She did.
It's not the best place to kill someone, as evidenced by how quickly she was found. She was not the best victim candidate, especially if we believe Schwartz. She is on alert. No part of the position of her body makes sense. She did not scream, and she had been vocal before, so she was not one of those silent victims.
What you taped was a scenario based on normal choices. If she had had a normal day, was going about her normal business, if she was in fact soliciting even, your scenario makes perfect sense. But it wasn't a normal day even before she was killed. Even if we don't believe Schwartz. She should not have made those choices. So now we have to try and make sense of the choices she made, and they don't make sense. Something is wrong. It's the cachous, it's the mud on the head but not the body, it's the position of the body, it's the scarf. None of it adds up into one cohesive picture.
We don't have the turtle, I think is what I'm saying. We don't have the piece that makes this make sense.
The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
I agree that Dutfield's Yard was not the ideal place to commit a murder, but I think you could argue that it was a better option than Buck's Row, Mitre Square and Hanbury Street. The main advantage is that it was cloaked in pitch black darkness and, even if the killer was JtR, the assailant probably required very little time to carry out his intentions. It was probably shear bad luck that he was interrupted by Louis D, if indeed that was the case.
"And I don't know how the gates opened, and that would be useful to know."
Oh, that's easy enough. They were often kept open.
Yes but did they swing in or out, or was in both? I would imagine they swung in, we tend to push things open, but if they swung both ways (pardon the phrase), then were they pushed open from the yard or from the street? It affects visibility and even if no one walked past, someone could have, so why is she so damned close to the street and not further back? I wondering if he wasn't worried about being seen because of the angle of the gate. Sort of like how sight lines work in a theater. Angle a curtain properly and someone standing side stage can see everything on the stage without the audience seeing them. Which would be an extremely sophisticated move. Most killers shut the door if they don't want to be seen. They don't rely on sight lines.
Because I frankly have no idea why the killer would make a go of it right there. And it's pretty specifically right there. And I feel like there has to be more than a drain to recommend it. Three feet southwest against the wall would have put her out of sight from the street and likely out of the way of traffic. She isn't in a place where it might take a bit to discover her body. But she also isn't right in front of the gates in a screw you type move. But she was likely positioned the way she was. I feel like there has to be a reason for right there where she was, and maybe I could figure it out if I knew every tiny detail.
Probably not though.
The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
"Right, so she grasps at her throat with both hands, which suggests the cachous would not be in her hand at this time, so where were they?"
Why not in her hands? Her hands would clench and move towards her throat/neck. In fact, this is essential to my narrative.
Well, my concern is an application of special pleading.
If it can be argued that Stride could not have held onto those cachous while being thrown down by BS-man, I don't think it is fair to then claim that she could have held onto them while grasping at the scarf being pulled tight around her throat.
I think the instinct to let go of anything in her hand, to free up the fingers to pull and scratch at the scarf would be overwhelming.
"This is why the packet was found between the fingers of her left hand, they slipped out from under her cuff and lodged between the thumb and forefinger."
Most unlikely. See why?
Tucking a handkerchief or something small up the sleeve, when you have no pockets, was a very common practice for the ladies, in the day.
Hello Jon. Thanks. I agree about special pleading.
"If it can be argued that Stride could not have held onto those cachous while being thrown down by BS-man, I don't think it is fair to then claim that she could have held onto them while grasping at the scarf being pulled tight around her throat."
Actually, I agree. But, as I have observed, her hands clenched and moved towards her throat. This, however, was a furtive movement as her throat was cut immediately. So, I don't think she EVER opened her fingers.