View Full Version : Ep #31 Scene Of A Crime: The Dutfields Yard Photograph

10-30-2008, 07:55 AM
A Discussion Thread for...

Episode #31 of Rippercast-

Scene Of A Crime: The Dutfields Yard Photograph

Thanks to Philip Hutchinson, Rob Clack, John Bennett for being our special guests.

And thanks to Robert McLaughlin, Chris Scott, Mike Covell, Gareth Williams and Ally Ryder for appearing for this episode!

We do this for you, the listeners.



Mike Covell
10-30-2008, 11:27 AM
The Hull News - Saturday October 6th 1888,

Berner-street is a quite thoroughfare running from Commercial-road down to London, Tilbury, and Southend Railway. At the entrance to the court are a pair of large wooden gates, in one of which is a small wicket for use when the gates are closed. At the hour when the murderer accomplished his purpose these gates were open-indeed, according to the testimony of those living near, the entrance to the court is seldom closed. For a distance of 18 or 20 feet from the street there is a dead wall on each side of the court, the effect is to enshroud the intervening space in absolute darkness after sunset. Farther back some light is thrown into the court from the windows of a workingmen’s club which occupies the whole length of the court on the right, and from a number of cottages occupied by mainly tailors and cigarette makers on the left. At the time when the murder was committed, however, the lights in all of the dwelling-houses in question had been extinguished, while such illumination as came from the club, being from the upper storey, would fall on the cottages opposite, and would only serve to intensify the gloom of the rest of the court. From the position in which the body was found it is believed that the moment the murderer had got his victim in the dark shadow near the entrance to the court he threw her to the ground, and with one gash severed her throat from ear to ear.
The hypothesis that the wound was inflicted after and not before the woman fell is supported by the fact that there are severe bruises on her left temple and left cheek, this showing that force must have been used to prostrate her, which would not have been necessary had her throat already been cut. When discovered the body was lying as if the woman had fallen forward, her feet being a couple of yards from the street, and her head in a gutter which runs down the right side of the wall close to the wall. The woman lay on her left side, face downwards, her position being such that although the court at that point is only nine feet wide, a person walking up the middle might have passed the recumbent body without notice. The condition of the corpse, however, and several other circumstances which have come to light during the week, prove pretty conclusively that no considerable period elapsed between committal of the murder and discovery of the body- in fact, it is pretty general conjectured that the assassin was disturbed whilst at his ghastly work, and made off before he had completed his designs. All of the features of the case go to connect the tragedy with that which took place three-quarters of an hour later a few streets distant. The obvious poverty of the woman, her total lack of jewellery or ornaments and the soiled condition of her clothing, entirely oppose the theory that robbery could have been a motive, and the secrecy and despatch with which the crime was affected are equally good evidence that the murder was not the result of an ordinary street brawl. At the club before reffered to the International Workmen’s Educational Club, which is an off-shoot of the Socialist League and a rendezvous of a number of foreign residents chiefly Russians and Poles and continental Jews of various nationalities, it is customary on Saturday nights to have friendly discussions on topics of mutual interest, and to wind up the evening’s entertainment with songs, &c. The proceedings commenced on Saturday about 8-20 with a discussion on the necessity for Socialism among Jews.
This was kept up until about eleven o’clock when a considerable portion of the company left their respective homes. Between 20 and 30 remained behind, and the usual concert which followed was not concluded when the intelligence was brought in by the steward of the club that a woman had been done to death within a few yards of them and within earshot of the jovial songs. The people residing in the cottages on the other side of the court where all indoors, and most of them in bed by midnight. Several of these persons remember lying awake and listening to the singing, and they also remember the concert coming to an abrupt termination, but during the whole of the time from retiring to rest until the body was discovered no one heard anything in nature of a scream or woman’s cry of distress. It was Lewis Diemstritz, the steward of the club, who found the body. Diemstritz, who is a traveller in cheap jewellery, had spent the day at Westbw Hall, near Crystal Palace, in pursuance of his avocation, and had driven home at his usual hour, reaching Berner-street at one o’clock. On turning into the gateway he had some difficulty with his pony, the animal apparently determined to avoid the right hand wall. For the moment Diemstritz did not think too much of the occurrence because he knew the pony was given to shying, and he thought perhaps some mud or refuse was in the way. The pony, however, obstinately refused to go straight, so the driver pulled him up to see what was in the way. Failing to discern anything in the darkness, Diemstritz poked about with the handle of the whip and immediately discovered that some large obstacle was in his path. He at once jumped down a struck a match, and then it became at once apparent that something serious had taken place. Without waiting to see whether the dead woman, whose body he saw, was drunk or dead, Diemstritz entered the club by the side door, higher up the court, and informed those in the concert room upstairs that something had happened in the yard. A member of the club named Kozebrodski, but familiarly known as “Isaacs,” returned with Diemstritz into the court, and the former struck a match while the latter lifted the body up. The body was still warm, and the clothes enveloping it were wet from the recent rain, but the heart had ceased to beat, and the stream of blood in the gutter, terminating in a hideous pool near the club door, showed but too plainly what had happened. Both men ran off without delay to find a
policeman, and at the same time other members of the club, who had by this time found their way into the court went off with the same object in different directions. The search, was for some time fruitless. At last, however, after considerable delay, a constable was found in Commercial-road.

Cap'n Jack
10-31-2008, 12:31 AM
Your point being what, Mike?
And where the **** is the radio show anyway?

John Bennett
10-31-2008, 12:49 AM
Your point being what, Mike?
And where the **** is the radio show anyway?

http://www.rippernet.com/Rippercast/Podcast/Entries/2008/10/27_Scene_Of_A_Crime%3A_The_Dutfields_Yard_Photogra ph.html

Cap'n Jack
10-31-2008, 01:19 AM
Thank you John.
It would have been useful for JM to have provided the link in his first post, as he normally does.
I've got a busy weekend, but will try to tune in on Monday.
I bet it is a treat!

Mike Covell
10-31-2008, 11:52 AM
Your point being what, Mike?
And where the **** is the radio show anyway?

My point being that this was a newspaper report I quoted during the show, and have therefore posted it to enable people to read it in it's entirety.

Cap'n Jack
11-01-2008, 10:25 AM
Surely I misheard George when he said that the 'original' image had taken several lengthy journeys through Photo Shop to enhance the image?

11-01-2008, 01:29 PM
The original had some damage to it, AP. Phil went ahead and restored it. Even without the restoration on the original print, everything he describes about it can be accurately seen.