"Fish, you've been following me around a heck of a lot recently"
Ben, do me the favour of not regarding me as a "Follower of Ben". A year ago I had one heck of a brawl with Tom Wescott, and he did exactly the same thing as you are doing now: he thought that I for some reason was after his own precious butt. I was not - he had been trying to press a point on the Stride case, and to my mind he was doing it in a way that did not concern itself with the factual evidence in too flattering a manner. That, however, was something he seemed much more reluctant to discuss than what he seemed to think was a fixation on my behalf to his person.
To me, that reeked of a self-picture that was, let´s say, slightly overinflated. Don´t step into that same trap, Ben. Though it is true that we have been debating the same subjects a number of times, let me assure you that it has had nothing to do with your person, no matter how fascinating a character you may prove to be. And that will apply in the future too. Just as it will apply that my being a Scandinavian does not automatically mean that I cannot make a point out here. If you have a problem with Scandinavians, I am sorry, cause there is precious little I can do about my heritage.
Now, as for the topic - which still interests me and which I will take the liberty to discuss with ANYONE who shares that interest, I stand by my thoughts that it is more credible to see a loitering Fleming as an innocent bystander than as Ripper/killer. If he was there, and if he was seen, surely he could have nursed a fear that the police would be much interested in a person who had been Kellys lover and who, added to this, had a reputation of having maltreated her. Therefore it would make perfect sense to swop Fleming for Hutchinson, as far as I am concerned.
As for the length of 5 ft 7, it equals 170 centimeters, and back then, that would not have made up a short man. That aside, it would not make a very long man either, admittedly opening up for a possibility that he WAS the man seen by Lewis.
To get back to the point...
Fleming apparently shifted from Bethnal Green to Whitechapel 15 months before 16 november 1889...which gives the noteworthy date of August 1888.
Unfortunately, we don't know at which period nor how many times he did visit and / or "ill-use" Kelly.
But the fact that Barnett and Venturney are quite vague about him suggests that these "visits" were not that much "recent" (Houla! Broken-English comes back strong...sorry!).
And if Fleming ceased to visit Mary once he was living near to her...that would obviously enforce suspicion, no?
A year ago I had one heck of a brawl with Tom Wescott, and he did exactly the same thing as you are doing now
Well, funnily enough, our recent exchanges did remind me of that. I'm sure it's not intentional on your part, and I appreciate your taking the trouble to discuss various aspects of the case with me. It just seems that recently we've been getting into an awful lot of petty exchanges and derailing a lot of threads as a consequence.
If you're prepared to entertain the prospect of violent, mad Fleming loitering outside the victim's flat and then concealing his identity for self-preservation purposes, good, I agree that's a reasonable possibility, but I don't think it makes the slightest semblence of sense to then posit the existence of a completely new person and claim that he did it instead. No need. If we've got a legitimately suspicious character for Kelly's murder and/or the ripper, surely he'll do? We can't have too many stalker/weirdos descending on her at once.
Anyway, let's agree to disagree?
I've no problem with Scandinavians. I'm descended from them.
I firmly believe that somebody who pays visits to his ex-girlfriend and occasionnally ill-use her show a great interest...
So I see no good reasons to imagine that Fleming ceased to have an interest in Mary once he started living close to her.
All the best too,
"funnily enough, our recent exchanges did remind me of that"
Not me. Different thing altogether. When/if you are wrong and have it pointed out to you, you adjust to that. Tom Wescott - a man of vast knowledge and much fresh thinking on the case, and a man who I believe has truly advanced the case at numerous occasions - decided that he would rather call me names and yell at me than admit that he had been in error. That still stands.
I am having problems with your wiew on my suggestion of Fleming masquerading as Hutch. Actually, I am not sure if we misunderstand each other somehow.
If I am correct, you are of the opinion that Fleming may have been involved in the murder/the actual killer of Mary Kelly. And in order to throw suspicion off, when he found out about Lewis´ statement, he decided to come forward masquerading as Hutchinson, making up a story about Astrakhan man.
If so, I do not see why my suggestion should be so outlandish? If he knew that a person had been spotted, obviously watching the court, why would he go to the police and say "Hi, I am Mary´s former lover, who used to beat her up, and I am the guy that was seen outside Miller´s Court on the night of the murder." Even if he was innocent, surely that would have involved significant risks?
By the way, we may be jumping the gun if we speak of "violent, mad Fleming", since we do not really know his condition at the time of the crimes.
Like I said, we may have a misunderstanding here. So I don´t even know if it is time to agree to disagree. But one thing is for sure:
"I've no problem with Scandinavians. I'm descended from them."