'Oh I have lost my hankerchief'.
Two points that spring to mind are, the term 'Oh' [ as in 'Oh murder']
Hello, Richard. I find your point here interesting, espescially since Maxwell quotes Kelly as saying, "Oh! I do feel so bad! Oh Carry I feel so bad!" But I can't find the "Oh" in the handkerchief quote. The sources I have just say, "I've lost my . . .."
Yes, but a handkerchief had many uses, and in those days and for a long time afterwards 'handkerchief' also meant 'scarf' or 'neckchief'. A lot of working-class people of both genders wore a handkerchief around their necks. So I wouldn't bet the farm on Kelly having a cold...
So where did it go? It's not mentioned at the scene at all, and I think they would look for it among the burnt bits of cloth after what he told them. Even if it burned, material charrs and rarely gets entirely destroyed. They should have been able to find some evidence of it but if they did, it's not mentioned. Maybe another reason not to lend a huge amount of credence to this guy?
Hi Chava! Long time no bump into, here! I, too, have wondered about this little hankie. I wonder if it might have been burned along with some of the items that were burned. Assuming, of course, GH wasn't making it up. Those little kerchiefs were popular. Take care. C.
"What our ancestors would really be thinking, if they were alive today, is: "Why is it so dark in here?"" From Pyramids by Sir Terry Pratchett, a British National Treasure.
Actually those kerchiefs weren't all that little. I'd say they were at least 18" square and were used for all kinds of things. Even if it were burnt, I'd guess bits of it would be left and could be identified. My guess is that was the detail that sank Hutchinson's witness statement. Someone probably noted that the scarf was missing and pointed that out to Abberline etc. It's a shame, because Hutchinson's statement was as good as a play. You could see it all happen. But he got carried away and the whole thing just fell apart. The sad thing is that he may well have seen Kelly with a man. But he embellished and embellished. He heard everything they said to each other. He saw every detail, every speck on that horseshoe tiepin. By the time he finished he was totally unbelievable IMO.
The simple fact we all forget, Victorian eyeset was used to the light that us in modern times cannot comprehend, they were use to gaslight/candlelight, and therefore items of colour, would have been described as seen, and not thought of as suspicious by the media/police during that period.
for this to be correct you would have to re write the laws of physics dealing with light transmission.
The human eye in comparison with some animal eyes are very poor collectors of lightwaves.
In the dark or near dark all light colours appear grey to us and all dark colours appear black.
This issue was up on the old boards too, and that time I contributed a little something that I think may go to explain the riddle of the red hanky (although I do not believe in Hutchinsons evidence...)
We know that Hutch claimed that he took a really good look at Astrakhan man. He himself described how he stooped down to look him in the face, meaning that he would not have been more than the fewest of feet from him.
If Astrakhan was wearing his hanky in his waistcoat pocket, it may have been very clearly visible at that time. There is of course also the chance that there may have been additional light coming from a window or streetlamp at the very spot where the supposed encounter took place. Afterwards, he of course did not need to discern the colur of the hanky in the darkness outside the court, and from a distance; if he had picked up on it before, that would be it. After all, nobody questions Hutch´s pointing out of a similarly red stone seal on the goldchain he was supposedly wearing; we just assume he saw it and recognized the colour at the close encounter.
This, I feel, means that we can hardly rule Hutch out on the hanky issue.
Last edited by Fisherman : 04-02-2008 at 12:58 PM.
Absolutely right, if Gh clearly described the hankerchief to the police as red, then he must have had good reason for doing so, and you mentioned a possible one,
I still maintain that Victorian eyesight was more observant then ours in darkness, not because of laws of 'Physics'.but people had a knack of describing items because of way of life, also because that was normal, the media, and the police would not have applied modern day reasoning.
Of course the hankerchief could have been, according to todays reckoning, not red, but so what, the witness described red, and went in his statement.
So whats the big deal?.
Yes, but the handkerchief is still missing in action, so its colour is moot. If it had been burned in the fire, there would still be identifiable bits left--they certainly could identify the other bits of material in there.
IF there is truth - whole or partial - in Hutchinson's account is a whole different matter but, if there were, then the man seen with Kelly must have been only too aware that Hutchinson was taking a much more than casual interest in the couple. Hutchinson staring him determinedly in the face and following the couple into Dorset Street could not have gone unnoticed.
The alleged handing over of the handkerchief took place in Dorset Street itself before the couple went up the court to Kelly's room. If Hutchinson was close enough to hear what Kelly at least was saying ("Alright my dear. come along, you will be comfortable) then I think it's a fair bet the man knew that Hutchinson was there, following them.
In light of the above, would not the most logical explanantion of the fate of the red handkerchief be that the killer took it with him when he left?