I note that Robert thinks this thread is in peril of being "hijacked". That, supposedly, cannot refer to me, since I cannot possibly hijack a thread about Bucks Row and Charles Lechmere by discussing Bucks Row and Charles Lechmere.
However, I have no problems giving Steve whatever space and time he needs to flesh out his message. So I will leave him to it, with no interruptions from my side, unless he specifically asks for any comments, in which case I may comment.
When he has posted all he has to say, I really can´t tell if Robert wants me to stay away from the thread without commenting on it; we will see. Maybe defending a theroy on a suiting thread has advanced to hijacking these days.
I humbly predict that Charles Lechmere will be as good a suspect after Steves efforts a he was before them. I don´t think that the carman can be ruled out on account of the time issues, or that the blood evidence will in any way point away from him, regardless of Steves interpretation.
Steve has on a number of occasions pointed out that I do not have any specific right to choose how the matters involved should be looked upon. It is therefore interesting to hear him say that he aims to meet statements with facts. Maybe it´s an effort in the vein of Donald Trump, ho has a tendency to speak of "alternative facts", I don´t know. It´s not as if the Lechmere theory is not grounded in facts.
Regardless of which, I fear those who anticipate the removal of Charles Lechmere from the list of suspect are in for a major disappointment.
Now I leave the word to Steve. I wouldn´t want Robert to feel I am hijacking the thread.
Just in case it was missed by some the aim of posting in 3 sections is to allow for debate on each of the sections independently of the overall view.
The first section in particular will be mainly figures both distances between set points and options for walking speeds.
Therefore debate should mainly be if the figures used are reliable and accurate to a yard or so and discussion on what speeds should be accepted as possible and what should not.
In a few places where thes figures either strengthen or challenge a position already discussed on the forums I point this out, but say we it will be discussed in detail in part 3.
I think we will advance best by keeping to that and I appreciate what Christer as posted about waiting until the postings are up in full.
I will be eagerly awaiting response to the first section and I will make it clear when all of that is posted.
Bucks Row Project - Part 1 : Debunking Timing Issues
While others may disagree I feel that is not possible to give exact or even near absolute timings for the events in Bucks Row with any degree of certainty. The evidence is too diverse to allow one to be sure.
We have timings from 3 police officers:
Neil claim to find the body at 3.45
Mizen claims her meets Paul and Lechmere at about 3.45
Thain claims he saw Neil signaling, again at about 3.45
We have timings from Lechmere who says he left home about 3.30.
We have several timings from Paul, he leaves home at 3.44 or close to, he arrives in Bucks Row at 3.45 and it takes less than four minutes from seeing Nichols until the time he meets Mizen.
Finally we have Dr Llewellyn who claims he is called at about 4am.
From that we can see that both Paul and Neil claim to have been in Bucks Row at 3.45 and that obviously is not true.
In addition both Mizen and Thain mention 3.45 in their statements and while not allowing exact timings may help in some ways.
And we similar cannot be anywhere near sure of the time Paul met Lechmere.
Lechmere's comments of leaving about 3.30 allow far too much leeway given we do not know which route he took and there are several possibilities. Some of which are far faster than others.
It does not follow that one will always take the fastest route between two points, we are therefore left to guess which he took and then exactly how long it took him, Of course this all happened 129 years ago, so one has any idea of his normal walking speed and anything we suggest are just estimates based on commonly available modern data.
However while it may be impossible to set absolute times it is possible to determine relative times to a reasonable degree of accuracy.
For instance we know the distances involved, we know where persons encountered others and we also know the pace police were meant to walk at. Finally we have those modern calculations for walking speeds, which if anything may result in faster times than in 1888.
I base that statement on the changes in humans since 1888 physically, general fitness and improved performance.
We can therefore estimate the time it may have taken Lechmere to walk from home to the murder site on various routes.
We can also estimate how long it took Paul to walk from his home to where he saw Lechmere and we can see how far in front of him Lechmere needed to be if they were not to notice each other earlier.
We can see if this is reasonable and if there is more time for Lechmere than needed.
We will need to guesstimate the time of their exchange in Bucks row
We can estimate how long it would have taken Paul and Lechmere to pass a point where Neil could have seen them.
Routes for Neil's beat have been discussed and I shall use the one from thread “PC Neil’s Route”, suggested by FrankO in post #43 as my base for work on PC Neil.
We can therefore using the standard police night beat rate, make suggestions of where Neil may have been when they passed such points. A good hint here is that he must arrive before Mizen.
We can estimate at what time after discovery Thain would have got to Dr Llewellyn and how this may compare to the Doctors timing.
We can estimate how long it took for Paul and Lechmere to reach Mizen.
We will have to guesstimate how long the exchange between the three took.
We can estimate how long it took Mizen at standard rate and at faster rates to reach Bucks Row. We must have him arriving after Neil.
We can estimate the time Mizen took to get an ambulance.
This will give a relative time to the discovery of the body, until Mizen sees and describes running blood. The same applies to Neil.
This information will allow us to look at what has been called “the blood Evidence” and to see if it holds up when applied against realistic timings,
The information I have used to produce the following data tables are:
Both the 1;1,056 1893-1895 and the OS six inch 1888-1913.
Distances were measured using the on site tool. And locations checked by use of the Google overlay on the site.
I must at this point state that due to the failings of my track pad on my laptop, these measurements may not be 100%, I have measured each route quoted 3 times and have had to use a average. It is therefore possible that some of the measurement may be 10 foot, that is 3 yards, out, however given the timings used this should not be of great importance.
The Internet was searched for information on walking rates:
A good walking rate is described by many sites as being between 2mph to 4mph and the general consensus is that modern man on average walks at 3.1 mile per hour.
4mph to 5mph is described as brisk or fast walking ( but not as fast as race walking).
Over 5mph is described as jogging on many sites, however it would can also be seen as very fast walking.
The regulation night time beat walking speed for a police officer is reported as being 3mph, and these beats were checked by beat sergeants. However it should be noted that the daytime speed was only 2.5mph and some have argued that this could also be used at night.
Therefore rather than annoy anyone I have included speeds at both speeds where I think it is needed.
The formulas used to arrive at the timings used are:
1 mile = 1760 yards this is the constant.
To arrive at the speed in yards per minute, for say 3mph the formula is:
1760 x 3(mile per hour) / 60 (minutes in an hour)
1760 x 3 = 5280 yards / 60 =88yards per minute.
To arrive at the time taken for a particular distance the formula used is:
D (distance) divided by yards per minute= time in minutes as a decimal, this is then multiplied by 60 (seconds in a minute ) to give the actual seconds taken.
When decimals have been at 4 or below I have rounded down and 5 and above have been rounded up.
In these postings to save on space and to make reading easier the figures are given as minutes and seconds unless the timing is less than a minute when it is just given as seconds.
The full figures will be posted on the upcoming blog.
I have also used data openly available on the forum, posted by many users, and I would like to acknowledge the work of some:
David Orsam, Fisherman, FrankO and drstrange169.
Could I ask that comments on this first section do not go off on debates about the various theories but look at the timings purely as that.
I have given a variety of speeds and have settled on one myself, that of course is open to debate.
In some places where the data suggests that a commonly held view is possibly incorrect I have commented but would be grateful if in depth discussions on such issues could wait until part 3 of the project.
So lets us begin by looking at the possible route Lechmere took from his home in Doveton street to Nichols body in Bucks Row.
This has been much discussed over the years and of course there are many possible routes.
A Television documentary “The Missing Evidence” featuring Christer Holmgren, that’s our very own Fisherman from this site, made several interesting comments and observations
The voice over on the documentary claimed: “ the street layout is the same now as it was over a century ago” this is untrue much has changed:
The Western end of Doveton Street which in 1888 provide direct access to Cambridge Heath Road is gone
So is Oxford Street on the western side of Cambridge Heath Road
Buckhurst Street now terminates on the northern side of Headlam Street( Northampton Street in 1888)
In 1888 there was a continuation on the southern side of Headlam Street which lead directly into Darling Row, the Western end of this was Bath Street, which is now replaced by a vast supermarket, although there is still access to Brady Street; it is not the same as in 1888.
The voice over is therefore very misleading and the first thing to be debunked.
In that documentary Christer and Andy Griffiths, a former murder squad police officer, commence a walk along a possible route, from Lechmere’s home at 22 Doveton street to the murder site in Bucks Row. The route is reported to take 7.07 minutes.
However this is much debated for several reasons, perhaps the most important being that the exact route taken has never been publicly disclosed, even the one displayed on the documentary as a map is not shown from beginning to end.
Below are six possible routes, some long, some short. It is suspected by some that the route used in the documentary was the one marked route 5 below; however I believe route 6 is equally plausible, and while slightly longer may have been more convenient.
Christer has said the route was not walked fast:
“on a different note, Andy and I did NOT walk briskly. We walked at a very normal pace, not hurring, not getting lazy”.
This of course tells us very little, however if the purpose of the re-enactment was to suggest a time Lechmere may have used, we can use it as a starting point, if that was not the aim, I see little use in the re-enactment taking place..
The final column in the table below records how this time that Christer walked, translates into yards per a minute for each of the following routes.
The average male speed to day is quoted on the internet as 3.1mph, Christer was obviously walking faster than this, and one could go for a speed of 3.5 miles and hour as a good walking speed, certainly somewhere between 3-4 mile an hour seems probably as the speed Lechmere may have walked at. However we cannot know and so various possible timings are used in the following tables, 3, 4 and 5 miles an hour.
I will use the following abbreviations in these charts:
mph = miles per hour.
Ypm = yards per minute
An interesting route is that labelled 4 above it is suggested by the site:
This route attempts to give a solution to the “Parson street” comment by Lechmere,
the site claims :
“this route would have been one of the most convenient for him to take”
that however is very debatable, it easily being the longest of the 6 routes listed.
The site while saying he left home at 3.30 then claims this route would have him in Bucks Row at 3.35.
However such a journey would need to be conducted at a rate of 198.4 yards per a minute, that is very close to an hourly rate of 7mph which equates to 205.33 ypm. Such a speed is I suggest unrealistic, we are talking of 21st Olympic walking speeds.
From the above table it seems that routes 1, 5 and 6 are easily the quickest and the timed walk by Christer fits nicely in with a reasonable speed for any of those routes.
It must be stressed however that I certainly have no idea, if one of these routes was the one used for the documentary, but each as its merits.
After much consideration, for practical purposes, I have gone for a speed of marginally over 3.5mph, but below 4mph, in all possible conclusions in this report, favouring 102.5 – 105 ypm (3.5 – 3.59mph).
This is of course open to debate, but seems a good starting point, people in the 1880’s being slower and smaller overall than their modern day counterparts, as can be seen from history.( the increase n athletic performance is a good indicator for this.).
The next Table looks at what speed may Paul and Lechmere may have been walking at,
I have already suggested a time of 3.5mph.
However one data set is not enough to base an hypothesis on and expect it to be accepted as a good estimate.
So again, to repeat the current accepted average walking speed is about 3.1 mph.
In my previous calculations I have gone for a slightly faster time, somewhere between 3 and 4 miles per an hour.
Does looking at the longer distances Paul and Lechmere walked that morning give us any more information.?
Lechmere said he left later than normal, his normal time being 3.20
Paul also claimed he was late.
So just how long would it have taken Lechmere to walk to work on a normal day at a normal (3.1mph) pace?(for ease of use I have actually used 3mph, so at 3.1 the times would be a little shorter)
We do not know the exact route he took up until Bucks Row, we know he went down Hanbury Street, after which he had two possible alternatives to reach Liverpool street/ Broad street.
One via lamb Street and Spital Square into Bishopsgate and the other via Commercial street into Brushfield Street and into Bishopsgate.
One point I must add, I have been unable on the old maps to find the actual entrance into the Pickfords depot and so a couple of minutes need to be added to the below figures, however as will be seen if walking at the suggested rates there is still time to get to work by 4am, with either a 3,30 or 3.20 start
The distances and possible walking times for the whole route are given in the table below as a 6 route option, this is based on Lechmere’s possible initial route up to Bucks row as discussed previously, a common route is used until the end of Hanbury Street and each given optional route is given a further two optional end routes.
Both the 1;1,056 1893-1895 and the OS six inch 1888-1913
Distances were measured using the on site tool
And again I must stress these distances are not absolute, however they should be no more than a a couple of yards out at most.
From the above it is clear that Lechmere even if leaving at 3.30 would arrive on time if he went a pace of just over 3.5mph. So the previous choice of between 3-4 mph seems reasonable.
An exact pace is of course impossible to predict, but if he walked on that morning at 3.5mph or just over that is 102.5 - 105 yards per a minute he would arrive on time at 4am.
Interestingly David Barrat (Orsam) has walked these distances above and achieved times of :
31 minutes from Doveton street to Liverpool street/ Broad street walking slowly and 24 minutes walking at a faster pace.
He also walking at a “very fast pace” managed to go from the murder site to Liverpool street in 13minutes 30 seconds.
On the same journey he manage the distance from the murder site to Paul’s place of work, Corbet Court, formerly Corbet place in 8 minutes and one second, this can be compared to the table below.
This is very useful, for it suggests that even walking at what David calls the quickest pace he could, he did not hit 5 mph on that route.
Let us now look at Paul:
His journey from his home to his place of work is easier to calculate it is 1371 yards
so a quick table to show his possible times that day
From the above it seems reasonable to accept that even if he was in Bucks Row at 3.45 as he claimed he would still arrive at work before his start time by just going slightly faster than 3mph.
From this information it seems reasonable to suggest that there was no need to really hurry for either man, and both could have reached their goals by walking at a moderate pace, no need to be rushing.
After looking at both the distances and times for the 3 above tables, I feel comfortable with a speed for Paul and Lechmere that morning of 102.5-105 ypm or just over 3.5 miles per hour.
Its a guess of course, but an educated one, base on and supported by both science and present day examples.
He lived at 30 Foster street, in looking at how likely to miss Lechmere he was, we need to see how far behind he may have been at varying speeds.
From the above
We can see that contrary to the often expressed idea that Paul should have seen Lechmere, if Lechmere was only a few yards in front of him, either in Bath Street or Brady Street this is not the case.
It is clear that Lechmere could have been in Bath Street, having past the junction with Foster Street as Paul left home, and thus unseen.
Alternatively he could have been in Brady Street or entering Bucks Row as as Paul walked down Foster Street and entered Bath Street himself.
The Documentary gave the very strong impression that there was no way that this could have been the case, that is now debunked.
We are not sure of the lighting conditions in Bucks Row, and so cannot be sure at what distance Lechmere would have become visible to Paul.
This of course does not look at the issue of Paul’s perception and if he was actually actively looking as he walked down Bucks Row.
If one takes Lechmere’s description of events at face value, he noticed the body and at first was not sure what it was and so took another look and slowed down walking and stopped.
At that point he heard footsteps behind him, turned and saw Paul at a distance which he estimated at 40 yards. This of course is only an estimation by Lechmere and we need too accept that, however this suggests that Paul was about 20-30 seconds behind according to Lechmere, Paul not providing a distance when he first saw Lechmere, neither does he at any point claim that Lechmere is standing over or crouching by the body, this we will look at in more detail in part 3.
We may also add on maybe as much as 10 seconds for the period when Lechmere first saw the body according to him, and slowed,looked and apparently stopped walking
We may therefore reasonably place Lechmere up to 30-40 seconds in front of Paul.
From the above table this would place Lechmere in Bath Street heading towards the junction with Brady Street, when Paul leaves home. When Paul reaches Bath Street himself, Lechmere would be out of sight having just entered Brady Street.
This seems reasonable and a viable scenario.
Further information is in the table below.
We can further see that Paul could easily have reached his work place if he had been in Bucks Row at the time he claimed – 3.45am, without any need to hurry, this helps to strengthen the case for a walking speed of 3.5mph.
We can now look at the time it may have taken Lechmere and Paul once they left the body to reach not only Mizen, but several other points as well, using the 3 basic speeds and my assumed speed.
We can now see that once Paul and Lechmere left Nichols, it would have taken at the very fastest over two minutes to reach Mizen, however that is walking at a very brisk pace which is not consistent with the walking speeds already discussed.
Again we can see that at the rate of 3.5mph this distance can be covered in around 3 minutes.
We must also now look at how long the walk back to Bucks Row may have taken PC Mizen.
Standard Police night beat rate was 3 miles per hour, however given that he was told he was required in Bucks Row, and we are not at this point in the project looking at exactly what he may have been told, only that he left his beat because of an incident.
At standard rate it would take him over 3 and a half minutes, however being that he was reacting to an incident, but did not necessarily see it as an emergency, it is fair to assume that he went faster than this, for the present I will assume, and that he walked back to Bucks Row at the same speed as Paul and Lechmere.
Also of some importance is the position of Paul and Lechmere in relation to PC Neil.
There are two places on Bucks Row where they could have passed him, without being seen, either as they passed the bottom of Thomas Street or as they passed the bottom of Queen Ann Street
Therefore we should note the likely time for Paul and Lechmere to reach these points.
We can now look at possible timings and indeed placement for PC Neil
PC Neil’s beat, based on map in thread “PC Neils route” post #43
We can see that his route was up and down streets and in and out of alleys and courts
He did not hear of see Paul or Lechmere, and that may help in positioning him at the time they passed.
It seems probable that if he was on the portion of his beat going South down Thomas Street he would have seen or heard them, he did not. Therefore he is either in the section of his beat before of after this.
I have therefore excluded his route down Thomas Street south from the tables.
We should I feel assume that he is walking at an average speed of 3mph, as per regulation, but we of course must realise that this may vary over short sections of the beat.
It should be noted however that some, from time to time have suggested that the daytime pace was used even at night, that is 2.5 miles per hour, I therefore for completeness have included a data set for this speed as well above.
Lets start at the point where he was the shortest distance from Bucks Row but unable to see it.
That would be just about half way up the right hand side of Queen Ann Street, the road as a bend and the view to Bucks Row is clearly obstructed.
From the previous table, we can see using the rate of 3.5mph that Lechmere and Paul arrive at the bottom of Queen Ann Street and pass it approx 1 minute after leaving the body of Nichols.
As they pass, the bend would prevent them from seeing Neil if he is on the part of his beat from the top of said street to the middle of the street.
We can see from the above table that at 3mph, if Neil is at the suggest point in Queen Ann Street, he is approximately 2 minutes from the body of Nichols and approx 45 seconds from the junction with Bucks Row, by the time he reaches that junction the carmen will have travelled another 77+ yards and be well past the junction with Thomas Street, and possible out of sight (alas not knowing the level of lighting we cannot be sure).It may with some justification be argued that if Neil could later see Mizen, he should have seen Paul and Lechmere, there are several explanations, such as he did not look towards Bakers Row as he entered Bucks row, or perhaps he saw PC Mizen’s lamp, both are possible, however the easier explanation is that he was slightly further towards the northern end of Queen Ann Street when Lechmere and Paul passed, maybe 20-25 seconds further away than suggested.
Of course this is only one possibility and there are others.
One point which struck me when doing this was that after passing Queen Ann Street it will take the carmen approximately another 2 minutes to reach PC Mizen. And by a strange coincidence it will take Neil the same time to reach the body of Nichols.
Remember that Neil said that he found the body at 3.45, and Mizen claimed he meet the two carmen at the same time.
We now see this happening in this case, we cannot be sure of the absolute time, however the two policemen are agreeing on relative times in this scenario.
We can now take a look at Pc Thain, he was seen passing the junction with Brady Street/Bucks Row by PC Neil, who signalled to him by means of his lamp.
Thain moved down Bucks Row and was sent by Neil to get a doctor.
It has been suggested that as Neil said “run at once to Dr Llewellyn” this should not be taken as literally meaning run. The term is often used to mean to go quickly such as “I am just running to the shops” or just “running to the post box”, such usage is common, to argue otherwise demonstrates a literal interpretation of the language and not an everyday one.
It has also been suggested that Thain had been spending time at the local Slaughter House in Winthrop street, this is based on the issue of his collecting his cape and that the slaughter men said he had informed them of the murder. He denied this course of events.
However if it did happen, and there is no obvious reason for his cape to be at the slaughter house, such a collection and passing of information could probably only have happened on Thain’s way to Dr Llewellyn.
For this reason I have included both possibilities in the table below.
One issue is how fast would Thain have reached Neil, I would suggest he would see the signal as indicating urgent help required and would therefore have hurried the 124yards to Neil.
The time of 5mph, which I rarely feel is reasonable does in this situation seem so. It is a short distance, and 50 seconds sounds reasonable.
However as commented on above, it was clear to both Neil and Thain that tNichols was dead, and so while urgent there was no need to hurry at the same pace Thain had just used, when going for Llewellyn .
Therefore I would suggest that 4mph is the most reasonable pace, but 5mph cannot be completely ignored.
There is another issue which we can have no idea of, that is how long it took, Doctor Llewellyn, once he was woken by Thain, to get dressed and leave his home, it must surely have taken several minutes and I shall apply 2, 3, 4 and 5 minutes to my timings.
We can now suggest a time table:
Time from signal until arriving at Neil 50 seconds
Time to get to Dr Llewellyn (no detour) at 4mph 2min 7seconds
time to return with Dr Llewellyn at 4mph 2min 7 seconds
To this we can add the time mentioned above for Llewellyn to get himself ready
Of course we have allowed for no time for the exchange between Neil and Thain, this however would not be long certainly no more than 30 seconds, probably less.
Therefore Llewellyn arrives at the site 7-10 minutes after Neil signals to Thain. There is of course no way of knowing for sure just how long after discovering the body Neil sees Thain, but less than 1 minutes seems possible.
(If Thain is correct about his time of 3.45 which is open to question, but does fit that given by Neil, which in turn seems to fit with Mizen. We have Llewellyn arriving at between 7 and 10 minutes later, that would be 3.52 – 3.55 +) .
The second alternative is to allow for the suggested detour, this at 4mph gives us a time of :
Time from signal until arriving at Neil 50 seconds
Time to get to Dr Llewellyn ( detour) at 4mph 3min 37seconds
time to return with Dr Llewellyn at 4mph 2min 7 seconds
Total 6 minutes 34 seconds. Apply the same times for Llewellyn we arrive at:
However if the detour took place we must allow for an exchange between Thain and the slaughter men, when combined with a possible exchange with Neil as well, we should allow a minimum of 1 minute and add this to the time.
This gives an arrival time for Llewellyn up to 12 and a half minutes after Thain sees Neil
We are very close to Llewellyn stated time of 4am.
If of course Thain walked to Llewellyn at less than 4mph, the time of arrival of Llewellyn would be later.
The reverse of course applies if Thain walked at 5mph; while possible, I feel this is unlikely, and even more so that Llewellyn would have returned at this rate, being older and having just woken.
When PC Mizen arrived at Bucks Row he was asked to go and get an ambulance, Inspector Abberline tell us this was from Bethnal Green Police station.
Once again using the maps quoted earlier it is possible to look at this and decided on the two most direct routes.
* route no longer exists but speed for route 1 used
** route walked by David Barrat.
We must take into account that while Mizen may not have pushed the ambulance himself, it cannot be discounted and certainly he returned with it. This was heavy and it is likely it would not take as short a time on the return journey as that going to get it.
We must also allow for some interaction at the station, given that others returned with him, and the time to actually get the ambulance which may only have been a few seconds, but could conceivable be longer.
David Barrat who posts as David Orsam has walked the first of the two routes and did this in exactly 7mins which suggests he is walking at 5mph, the route has not changed since 1888.
So assuming that Mizen could do this in the same time we have a return time of :
7 minutes trip to station.
7 minutes trip back.
Interaction 2 minutes we have a return time of 16minutes
However it is more likely that the trip would take longer and 4 miles an hour is probably the best that could be achieved over the distance, possible much slower, this gives us a return time of over 19 minutes.
This will have serious implication for the next section of the project.