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Go Back   Casebook Forums > Ripper Discussions > Suspects > Kidney, Michael

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  #1  
Old 03-24-2009, 08:28 PM
Tom_Wescott Tom_Wescott is offline
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Default Michael Kidney's Theory

This thread is not to discuss the idea that Michael Kidney killed Liz Stride. Instead, it is to analyze the 'theory' that Michael Kidney held back from the inquest jury. Following is the exchange between Kidney and coroner Baxter on this point, as reported by the Daily Telegraph of Oct. 4th, 1888:


You know of nobody whom she was likely to have complications with or fall foul of? - No, but I think the police authorities are very much to blame, or they would have got the man who murdered her. At Leman-street Police-station, on Monday night, I asked for a detective to give information to get the man.
What information had you? - I could give information that would enable the detectives to discover the man at any time.

Then will you give us your information now? - I told the inspector on duty at the police-station that I could give information provided he would let me have a young, strange detective to act on it, and he would not give me one.

What do you think should be inquired into? - I might have given information that would have led to a great deal if I had been provided with a strange young detective.

Inspector Reid: When you went to Leman-street and saw the inspector on duty, were you intoxicated? - Yes; I asked for a young detective, and he would not let me have one, and I told him that he was uncivil. (Laughter.)

You have been in the army, and I believe have a good pension? - Only the reserve.

A Juror: Have you got any information for a detective? - I am a great lover of discipline, sir. (Laughter.)

The Coroner: Had you any information that required the service of a detective? - Yes. I thought that if I had one, privately, he could get more information than I could myself. The parties I obtained my information from knew me, and I thought someone else would be able to derive more from them.

Inspector Reid: Will you give me the information directly, if you will not give it to the coroner? - I believe I could catch the man if I had a detective under my command.

The Coroner: You cannot expect that. I have had over a hundred letters making suggestions, and I dare say all the writers would like to have a detective at their service. (Laughter.)

Witness: I have information which I think might be of use to the police.

The Coroner: You had better give it, then.

Witness: I believe that, if I could place the policeman myself, the man would be captured.

The Coroner: You must know that the police would not be placed at the disposal of a man the worse for drink.

Witness: If I were at liberty to place 100 men about this city the murderer would be caught in the act.

Inspector Reid: But you have no information to give to the police?

Witness: No, I will keep it to myself.


A fact that always struck me as odd is that Michael Kidney arrived at the Leman Street police station intoxicated and in a cab. It must have been a very rare occurence to find drunk East End waterside laborers riding about town in a hansom cab. This, in turn, made me think of Le Grand and Batchelor escorting Matthew Packer around to various locations in their cab. As Le Grand seemed to have been everywhere around Berner Street in the days following the murder, it occurred to me quite some time ago that he may have tracked Michael Kidney down and taken him to the police station. It's possible the two men were already acquainted prior to the murder. Consider the following article from the same newspaper of the day before, where a member of the vigilance committee that employed Le Grand is describing a somewhat similar theory held by a few members of the committee.

A member of the Vigilance Committee informed our representative last night that a great deal of information about the state of the streets, and suspicious men who frequent them, had been collected by them, and they believed that at least some of it might turn out of value. Although many people think differently, he and some of his colleagues consider that the murders were not the work of one man, or, at all events, that he had associates. Their belief is that at least four or five men were engaged in the murderous plot, and it was in the hope of inducing one of them to turn informer that the committee were so anxious that the Home Secretary should offer a reward. This opinion, however, was formed when what is now known as the "medical requirement" hypothesis gained credence. Several members of the committee even thought they were on the track of the gang, but investigations have neither substantiated the theory nor led to the unravelling of the mystery. Nevertheless, the Vigilance Committee, under the presidency of Mr. George Lusk, continues to meet daily, and focus, as it were, the sentiments of the inhabitants.

I have my own thoughts on the above, but I thought I'd first see what others had to say on the matter, and what can be gleaned from the details provided above by both Kidney and the unnamed vigilance committee man.

Yours truly,

Tom Wescott
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Old 03-24-2009, 11:04 PM
Jon Guy Jon Guy is offline
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Hi Tom

How do you know Kidney arrived in a cab ?
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Old 03-24-2009, 11:11 PM
Simon Wood Simon Wood is offline
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Hi Tom,

How do you know Le Grand and Batchelor escorted Matthew Packer around to various locations in their cab?

Regards,

Simon
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Old 03-24-2009, 11:14 PM
Scott Nelson Scott Nelson is offline
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How do you know Kidney, Grand, Batchelor or Packer had ever seen a cab before?
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Old 03-24-2009, 11:27 PM
Supe Supe is offline
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Tom,

Details provided by Kidney? He provided no details, and in that regard soundsvery much like a politician--then and now--as he evades every question with ever escalating bluster.

Don.
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Old 03-24-2009, 11:35 PM
Tom_Wescott Tom_Wescott is offline
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Jon, Simon, Scott,

Because Albert Bachert told me so.

Supe,

He dropped some hints. We know that sometime between the murder and his arrival at the police station, SOMEONE told him something that he found quite credible, but that someone would not give him all the details they knew. Therefore, he wanted a young, 'strange' detective to infiltrate this group for more information. It seems to me he definitely believed in some theory as to how Liz was murdered, although I can't say I put any credence in it.

Yours truly,

Tom Wescott
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Old 03-24-2009, 11:54 PM
Supe Supe is offline
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Tom,

Uh huh, I catch your drift. And by "strange" he evidently meant not known in the area, as opposed to one quite odd, of which there may have been many.

Don.
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Old 03-25-2009, 12:01 AM
Mitch Rowe Mitch Rowe is offline
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And that was last we ever heard of his theory?
He never went to the press with it? Even after MJK died? If I were a policeman and a guy came in drunk off the street telling me a story like that I would figure he just heard a rumor in a tavern somewhere.
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Old 03-25-2009, 12:09 AM
Tom_Wescott Tom_Wescott is offline
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Even if the guy's girlfriend was one of the latest murders? And yes, to my knowledge that's the last we hear of the theory. Since it wasn't HIS theory, but one he'd been told, apparently in confidence, I imagine that's why he didn't expound, but instead felt that putting a detective in the midst of his informants would elicit additional information.

Yours truly,

Tom Wescott
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Old 03-25-2009, 12:41 AM
Mitch Rowe Mitch Rowe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom_Wescott View Post
Even if the guy's girlfriend was one of the latest murders? And yes, to my knowledge that's the last we hear of the theory. Since it wasn't HIS theory, but one he'd been told, apparently in confidence, I imagine that's why he didn't expound, but instead felt that putting a detective in the midst of his informants would elicit additional information.

Yours truly,

Tom Wescott
If he had come in bright and early and completely sober the next day Im sure they would have paid more attention. If police were already locked into the JTR was disturbed with Stride and JTR picks Eddowes at random theory then they arent gonna pay much attention to what he has to say. Plus Kate only just gets out of jail then she is killed. What could her boyfriend know about that? Unless he suspected one of Kates long time customers he must have been going on a theory he heard in the streets.
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