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The Good Michael
09-07-2010, 06:39 AM
I am a firm believer that George Hutchinson and Topping Hutchinson are one and the same for reasons that should remain buried on the threads of death. Indeed, I have no doubt this is the case. Yet, does that exonerate Hutchinson? No, it just dampens his suspect worth.

While looking at a contemporary murder suspect, Joran van der Sloot, i wanted to posit some comparisons between him and a possible Hutchinson as MJK murderer scenario.

1. Van der Sloot seems to be a sociopath who can lie as easily as taking a breath to try and save himself. A recent story fo his says that he lied about knowledge of the location of Holloway's body to extort money from her parents.

In a Hutchinson scenario, we have the idea of George extracting a nice sum from the police while showing them the places he saw the victim and the killer. In short, it is the same idea of murder and then the seeking of reward, though in different fashions. It does put a young George Hutchinson into the role of lying sociopath at roughly the same age as van der Sloot.

2. The murder: van der Sloot used the testimony of friends, a pair of brothers, to verify his story, even as ever-changing as it was. Separated and questioned, the core of the story stayed solid enough so that van der Sloot could not be detained for long.

In this scenario, Hutchinson must have been checked out thoroughly by the police, lack of records not withstanding. Could they have spoken to the Barnetts at the Victoria Home, and then the brothers corroborated George's story?

3. van der Sloot was caught on camera at the hotel with Holloway. He new about this somehow, perhpas through friends at the casino/bar, and then concocted his story based upon this knowledge that he had been seen and would surely be a suspect.

Hutchinson was spotted by Lewis and he found out during the court hearings. KNowing that he would be suspected, he, with the help of his friends, concocted a plausible (not too) story and wnet forward to the police.


That's it for now.

Mike

The Good Michael
09-07-2010, 08:26 AM
Oh, part 3 is surmise about Hutchinson's fear of being recognized. It is, of course an argument that the Hutchinsonians often bring to the fore, and is used by myself as a connection to van der Sloot, and isn't necessarily my thinking.

Mike

Rubyretro
09-07-2010, 09:29 AM
Excellent Michael !

As it happens, I have seen a video of Van der sloot giving an interview and I think that everybody should watch such things from time to time, in order to
fully appreciate how normal looking, glib and slippery these liars are;

Just reading that they exist doesn't really bring it home, nor does reading transcripts -and we forget.

We should also bear in mind all those multitude of stories in the papers all the time, about seemingly intelligent educated women who are conned out of their money by men posing as property developers, pilots etc met through
dating sites. They sound stupid on paper, but when you see Van der Sloot
smilingly and fluently lying, you realise a) how plausibly the men must have lied and b) the ability to do that is shockingly not so rare as all that.

People often say 'oh the Police would have seen through Hutchinson in interrogation -and they must have checked him out and been satisfied',
but as in the case of Van der Sloot, I think that he wove in details such as
seeing A Man had a handkerchief, a reason to explain why he was watching MJK's room, and I'm sure that he must have furnished some sort of alibi for
at least one or two of the other murders (see my reply to Chava under
'Comfort Zone'.

It's interesting to see that like Van der Sloot, Hutch also contradicted himself
(he'd supposedly had no money left, but he supposedly tried to get into the Victoria Home but was too late...even though other places would have taken him any time of night)...

Fisherman
09-07-2010, 09:49 AM
Ruby writes:

"It's interesting to see that like Van der Sloot, Hutch also contradicted himself
(he'd supposedly had no money left, but he supposedly tried to get into the Victoria Home but was too late...even though other places would have taken him any time of night)..."

I do not know if you have seen the information that surfaced on another thread recently about the Victoria Home, Ruby? That information contained the fact that if you had slept for six nights at the Victoria Home, you were entitled to one free night. This of course means that our boy may have been in the position where he could demand that free night, and so there is no need to conclude that he was contradicting himself in this issue.

When it comes to Hutch being a possible comparion to van der Sloot, a "normal looking, glib and slippery ... liar", my own conviction is that the very quick dismissal that was bestowed upon Hutch goes to tell a different story; something must have turned up that swore against Hutch´s information, and when it did, the police and the press dropped him like a used diaper. None of them seemed in any fashion interested in picking him up again after that, which pretty much implies that whatever it was that sunk his story, it did not contain any nefarious elements. A suggestion that somebody came forward and proved that Hutch had been somewhere else altogether on the evening, or even an admittance from himself that he had cooked the whole thing up to make a buck or two from it, seem realistic enough to me.
If he had been the cunning, clever mastermind of crime that is implied here, then surely if his story had been broken very quickly, then Hutch would have been somebody in major trouble, instead of a guy that was simply sent on his way with an embarrased shrug of the shoulders on behalf of press and police!

As for Mikes remark that an identification of Hutchinson as Topping - something I agree with in every respect that we have! - does not put him in the clear, that is of course very true. But I do feel that in the end, the whole character of the dismissal of his testimony points away from him as being MJK:s killer.

The best,
Fisherman

The Good Michael
09-07-2010, 10:02 AM
Fisherman,

As you know, I agree with you. I am only helping the Hutchinsonians along with a reasonable comparison to their (possibly) depiction of George. I thing George was just a young buck looking for a buck and not a murderer at all.
Yet, you know that.

Cheers,

Mike

Rubyretro
09-07-2010, 12:09 PM
[QUOTE]the fact that if you had slept for six nights at the Victoria Home, you were entitled to one free night.
Hi, Fishman, I did read this on Casebook...but I just took it to mean 'six nights consecutively' -of course this was an assumption and may be wrong.
I don't see that Hutch could have slept at the Victoria Home the night before, because it would take 12 hours approx to walk to Romford there and back. Even if he took an omnibus there, he would still have to be there very early in the morning to be in line to get work...dawn, I'd think.

It seems far too 'easy' to me if the nights weren't consecutive..but maybe you're right.

When it comes to Hutch being a possible comparison to van der Sloot, a "normal looking, glib and slippery ... liar", my own conviction is that the very quick dismissal that was bestowed upon Hutch goes to tell a different story; something must have turned up that swore against Hutch´s information, and when it did, the police and the press dropped him like a used diaper. None of them seemed in any fashion interested in picking him up again after that, which pretty much implies that whatever it was that sunk his story, it did not contain any nefarious elements.
Well he was a glib enough liar to be taken seriously for a few days - to be taken seriously in interrogation, and waste Police time in having him march round Whitechapel accompanted by two Policeman. He was also 'glib' enough to talk to the Press and have his story printed, without any mocking comments from journalists.
I feel sure that he'd never have put himself under the Police 'spotlight' if he thought that they could find any 'nefarious' elements that he couldn't explain of his own volition in advance (like Van der Sloot with the film).

A suggestion that somebody came forward and proved that Hutch had been somewhere else altogether on the evening, or even an admittance from himself that he had cooked the whole thing up to make a buck or two from it, seem realistic enough to me.
The thing is though, that there was a witness who saw Hutch in Miller's Court..and he must have looked like her description. Indeed, if you were Abberline, the very very first
things that you would check would be Sara Lewis (she was to hand) and in the first hour or so (yet Hutch was taken very seriously in the first days). Since Lewis frequnted Miller's Court, and Hutch regularly lodged just around the corner, I think that he recognised her on the night of MJK's killing, and she subsequently identified him....otherwise Hutch's story would have been thrown out in the first hours, not DAYs. The Police wouldn't have wasted time and money on him : conclusion, they believed that he was the man in Miller's Court.

So why was his story thrown out ? Well, obviously, despite Dave conclusively proving that Toffs did live in Whitechapel , some people would have noticed a man wearing a combination of a horseshoe tiepin and a massive gold watchchain with a red seal ; but nobody came forward to identify the man. Also Hutch giving descriptions to the Press effectively sunk the Police search, since they would have made the man flee : conclusion -it became obvious that Hutch had invented A Man.

If he had been the cunning, clever mastermind of crime that is implied here, then surely if his story had been broken very quickly, then Hutch would have been somebody in major trouble, instead of a guy that was simply sent on his way with an embarrased shrug of the shoulders on behalf of press and police!
However, firstly the Police were looking for a 'monster' after the unbelievable savagery of MJK's murder ( going back to Van der Sloot) but these people do not come over as
'monsters'. Next, they showed Hutch MJK's body -and he must have had suitably shocked reactions (but if he had done that drunk or in an 'altered state' his reactions may have been genuine...or partly). Also I feel sure that he knew that he had an alibi for at least one or two of the other murders (and the Police were looking for one man) -this might have been the reason that I gave to Chava under 'Comfort Zone'..but also if you say he was somehow mixed with Pipeman and BSM, he could have had a false alibi..
and the lot taken together would certainly have him thrown out as a suspect.

As for Mikes remark that an identification of Hutchinson as Topping - something I agree with in every respect that we have! - does not put him in the clear, that is of course very true. But I do feel that in the end, the whole character of the dismissal of his testimony points away from him as being MJK:s killer.
I was a convinced Toppy-ite 'in the beginning' but now I am a convinced 'anti-Toppy' ! There are two people that convinced me otherwise : there is Garry Wroe who explored this possibility and proved that Toppy (aged only 22) had spent years at cost followiing an apprentissage in plumbing, which was the trade of his Father. Hutch was 28 and
was described as an unemployed 'Groom' -why not an unemployed Plumber, if he had a Trade ? Why would Hutch be eking out a living and lodging in the Victoria Home if he was a qualified Plumber ? Why would he work on building sites as a labourer and not a plumber ? How could he have known Mary '5 years' yet be following a (documented) apprentissage elsewhere at the same time ?

A person who is a geneologist (so I think that she knows David is genuine) who follows this site (but doesn't interact) pm'd me to direct me to a thread in which David Knott participated, who is a descendant of Toppy's sister Jane...he admitted that Toppy WAS in the East End in this period, and he DID do other jobs, but David said that he was 99.99% sure that Toppy and Hutch were not the same person -but the Family did not want him to speak about them on the net. He also said that the older members did not remember Reg giving a radio interview -and they feel sure that they would have remembered an extraordinary event like this.

PS: proof that I'm willing to change my mind, if other people's arguments are convincing..

The Good Michael
09-07-2010, 01:00 PM
Ruby,

Gary did not prove anything with regards to apprenticeship. He speculated logically, though there were no hard and fast rules regarding such a thing only traditions. On top of that, there were plenty of workmen who did not apprentice. Yet, this isn't THAT kind of Hutch thread, so I will relent... unless provoked.

Fisherman
09-07-2010, 01:05 PM
Rubyretro writes:

"The thing is though, that there was a witness who saw Hutch in Miller's Court"

To be a lot more exact, Ruby, there was a witness (Lewis) that said that she saw SOMEBODY outside the court, not in it. Please keep in mind that precisely as it is said that Hutch may have heard about the inquest testimony (or been at the inquest himself), and decided to try and save his skin by coming forward with a guilt-deflecting story, he may ALSO have heard about the loiterer WITHOUT EVER HAVING BEEN IN DORSET STREET HIMSELF! He may just have realized that there may have been a reward at hand, nothing more.

"I think that he recognised her on the night of MJK's killing, and she subsequently identified him....otherwise Hutch's story would have been thrown out in the first hours, not DAYs"

Hutch does not even mention any woman passing by, to begin with. And Lewis did not get much of a look at the man she saw, meaning that she would reasonably not be able to identify anybody.

"So why was his story thrown out ? Well, obviously, despite Dave conclusively proving that Toffs did live in Whitechapel , some people would have noticed a man wearing a combination of a horseshoe tiepin and a massive gold watchchain with a red seal ; but nobody came forward to identify the man."

Well, Ruby, it was not as if the streets were crammed with people at the time things went down. And one cannot dismiss a sighting under them circumstances because the man in question was only seen by Hutch. You may compare it to Schwartz´s story - nobody else than him swore to BS man´s existence, but that did not make the police discard him. Long was the only one who saw Chapman and a possible killer in Hanbury Street, but that was good enough for the police anyway.
Also, remember that we are dealing with the East end in a time when the police was not a very popular force - many, many people who would have had interesting testimony to offer, would have refrained from doing so.

"Hutch was 28 and was described as an unemployed 'Groom' -why not an unemployed Plumber"

I find it fascinating, Ruby, that people who have a laugh at the expense of those who believe in Hutchs´story, calling them naive for not realizing that he was telling tall tales, at the same time cannot apply the same critical thinking to his statement of being a former groom.
If he could lie about the former, what would make it impossible to do so about the latter?
Not that I am saying that he could not have been a groom, for that he could. Very few people describe a clear-cut, totally straight occupation line, and there is no need to think that Toppy must have done so.

"How could he have known Mary '5 years' yet be following a (documented) apprentissage elsewhere at the same time ?"

Three years, Ruby. Three. And I´d be very interested to see the personal documents I take it you are referring to, since they have eluded me totally in the past.

"I'm willing to change my mind, if other people's arguments are convincing"

What you need, Ruby, is not arguments. What you need is written evidence. That, at least, is what convinced me beyond any reasonable doubt.

The best,
Fisherman

Rubyretro
09-07-2010, 02:05 PM
Here we go, Fish..

"The thing is though, that there was a witness who saw Hutch in Miller's Court"

To be a lot more exact, Ruby, there was a witness (Lewis) that said that she saw SOMEBODY outside the court, not in it.

She saw somebody leaning against a wall, looking up the Court "as though waiting for somebody" -the person she saw, in that time frame, has got to be entirely suspicious. Why would someone be outside a murder scene, just before the event, fixedly watching the room where a lone vulnerable woman
(the future victim) is going to bed ? Hutch placed himself at the scene, as that man, with a 'suspicious' explanation. He came forward to identify himself , after a man matching his description was seen there by an independant witness; He may have been lying -but the Police initially believed him.

Hutch does not even mention any woman passing by, to begin with. And Lewis did not get much of a look at the man she saw, meaning that she would reasonably not be able to identify anybody.

Well, it would have been a dead giveaway to his motivation in coming forward, wouldn't it -if he had mentioned Sara Lewis? Yet, if she saw him -then he saw her. Her description is good enough; I agree with the people who have mooted that she was someone in the area who passed him often.
She didn't recognise him in the dark -but he recognised her. Garry points out that that if the Police had witheld to the papers certain bits of Lewis's description, hoping to lull the killer into a false sense of security, then he could have been pointed out in the street. I think that he went for 'damage limitation'

And one cannot dismiss a sighting under them circumstances because the man in question was only seen by Hutch. You may compare it to Schwartz´s story - nobody else than him swore to BS man´s existence, but that did not make the police discard him.
Actually there is an independant witness story that saw two men chasing down the street, which corroborates Schwartz's statement.

Long was the only one who saw Chapman and a possible killer in Hanbury Street, but that was good enough for the police anyway.
After reading Wolf Vanderlinden's Dissertation on the subject, he proved to me (anyway), that Mrs Long did not see the killer -and the murder happened more at the hour that was given by the Police Doctor.

"Hutch was 28 and was described as an unemployed 'Groom' -why not an unemployed Plumber"

I find it fascinating, Ruby, that people who have a laugh at the expense of those who believe in Hutchs´story, calling them naive for not realizing that he was telling tall tales, at the same time cannot apply the same critical thinking to his statement of being a former groom.
If he could lie about the former, what would make it impossible to do so about the latter?
Because somebody putting themselves in a position where they might become 'accused' would not lie about facts which have no ostensible bearing on their guilt or otherwise. Why the hell get caught out as a lier on whether you're a plumber or a groom ?? Furthermore having a 'trade' would make you just that little bit more respectable (hence believable) -not to mention self pride in your achievements. Obviously we don't KNOW FOR SURE that Hutch was a 'Groom'..but if he said he was, and it was accepted by the Police and Press that he was, then I think that he was. If he said that he was a Groom, but really a Plumber -I mean WHY ?

"How could he have known Mary '5 years' yet be following a (documented) apprenticeship elsewhere at the same time ?"

Three years, Ruby. Three. And I´d be very interested to see the personal documents I take it you are referring to, since they have eluded me totally in the past.
I'll have to look -I know that Garry PM'd me with the papers showing that Hutch was listed as 'scholar' and 'apprentice', at the family address, at the dates preceding the killings. Given that he later took over the Family trade (as did Reg , I think), his whole career logically follows.

"I'm willing to change my mind, if other people's arguments are convincing"
I reiterate.

What you need, Ruby, is not arguments. What you need is written evidence. That, at least, is what convinced me beyond any reasonable doubt.
Ok, fine -just give me all YOUR written evidence to support your argument.

Fisherman
09-07-2010, 02:32 PM
Ruby:

"He came forward to identify himself , after a man matching his description was seen there by an independant witness"

Thing is, Ruby, neither you nor me know if the description DID match Hutch, the reason being that neither you nor me have ever seen any description of him that stretches beyond "military appearance". So let´s not jump to conclusions here.

"Well, it would have been a dead giveaway to his motivation in coming forward, wouldn't it -if he had mentioned Sara Lewis?"

No, Ruby. It would have been much of a clincher. If Lewis was just steps away from Hutch on that night, then the same thing would apply the other way around. I fail to see why the police would shout blue liar if Hutch confirmed this.

"Actually there is an independant witness story that saw two men chasing down the street, which corroborates Schwartz's statement."

Seemingly, yes. But what I said was that nobody but Schwartz swore to BS:s mans existence, and the two runners would have been Schwartz and Pipeman. No BS.

"After reading Wolf Vanderlinden's Dissertation on the subject, he proved to me (anyway), that Mrs Long did not see the killer"

And a very good suggestion on Wolf Vanderlindens behalf that is - but once again, what I said was that the police accepted Longs story in spite of it being non-corroborated, and I´m afraid that stands no matter what you, me or Wolf Vanderlinden think about the inherent veracity of it. It never enters the discussion.

"Because somebody putting themselves in a position where they might become 'accused' would not lie about facts which have no ostensible bearing on their guilt or otherwise. Why the hell get caught out as a lier on whether you're a plumber or a groom ??"

Ah - progress! Why indeed?

"I know that Garry PM'd me with the papers showing that Hutch was listed as 'scholar' and 'apprentice', at the family address, at the dates preceding the killings. Given that he later took over the Family trade (as did Reg , I think), his whole career logically follows."

If we are not annoyed by the fact that Toppys handwriting matches the Dorset Street witnesses ditto, this is a viable suggestion. But to clinch it, we need to ensure that all the people of the Victorian East end who were once apprentices and who followed up on that apprenticeship to once work in the trade they were apprenticed to, always took the straight route and never deviated from it in any fashion, no matter what external pressure was applied, no matter what internal conflicts with family or tradesmen arose, no matter what love affairs, pecuniar difficulties, changed conditions, criminality etc. occured along the way.

If we, on the other hand, keep the door ajar for such things and take into account that The Dorset Street witness and Topping Hutchinson for some reason shared not only their Christian names and surnames, but also their handwriting, then I would ever so humbly suggest that we may need to reevaluate the whole thing.

"just give me all YOUR written evidence to support your argument"

I don´t have to. All the written evidence we could possibly hope or ask for was put to paper 122 years ago.

The best,
Fisherman

Rubyretro
09-07-2010, 02:50 PM
Grrrrr..Fish !

I have to go to work in a min, until late tonight..when all I really want to do is
reply to you straight away..

Pistols at dawn !

I'll reply tonight !

Ruby x

Fisherman
09-07-2010, 03:04 PM
Happens to all of us, Ruby .. well, most of us, anyways. There will be plenty of time to do battle in times to come, I´m sure.

Take care,
Fisherman

Fleetwood Mac
09-07-2010, 10:49 PM
Mike.....

There was a boatload of people professing to be JTR.

To me....Hutchinson is in that bracket of people coming forward claiming to know something. That really doesn't make him a worthy suspect.

And.....reading Lewis's testimony....nothing interesting in coming forward claiming to be the loitering bloke.

Beyond that......there appears to be nothing connecting Hutchinson to the murders....only his claims of being knocking around outside...even he didn't claim to be the murderer.

So....we have a bloke who at best claims to be loitering.....and thta makes him a worthy suspect?

He's a non starter....unless something else linking him to the murders is discovered......

If you're going to go with Hutchinson....then surely you'd have to consider anyone claiming to see Kelly with a man as a suspect....perhaps Maurice Lewis diverting police attention by virtue of claiming to see her alive after the murder (now there's a theory for yer....and if it turns out to be him then I want me royalties)......

See....the difference is Mike.....there was a raft of willing and able cranks knocking around....hundreds of 'em....but not many convicted of dragging a woman down an alley and stabbing her.....so in the interests of narrowing the field...Hutchinson is in good company....whereas someone like Grainger is among the select few....big difference.....

Rubyretro
09-07-2010, 11:51 PM
Beyond that......there appears to be nothing connecting Hutchinson to the murders....only his claims of being knocking around outside...even he didn't claim to be the murderer.
So....we have a bloke who at best claims to be loitering.....and thta makes him a worthy suspect?

Now then Fleetwood, here's a few questions for YOU :
Why do you think that Hutch is surely the 'favourite suspect' of modern times concerning JtR -and the one about whom the most suspect based books have been written ?

If there was "nothing" to connect him to the murders, it makes you wonder why intelligent people would waste time on him..

Could it possibly be that he is the ONLY suspect definitely placed at the 'scene of crime' at the right time..on a dark rainy night, in the early hours of the morning, standing staring at the room of a woman about to be murdered...and that as soon as he becomes part of the investigation, the murders come to an abrupt stop ?

that is unique amongst all the suspects.

Garry listed all the points adding to a 'profile' of the killer, and demonstrated ably that Hutch matched all the points. We don't just have to believe Garry though..Corey, who's profile of the killer I agree with (even though Corey arrived at a different suspect than me), has listed points that would also apply to Hutch. Really not very distant from Garry's -but with a different 'label'.

Hutch was a liar (does anyone disagree?), and his statements to Police and Press do not bear scrutiny...yet someone's 'choice' of lies are extremely
revealing..

Surely the 'world was his oyster' when it came to an invented description of
the supposed man that he saw going into MJK's room ? Yet he chose a caricatural rich Jew toff portrait..I think that this does link him to the other murders where the killer would appear to wish to cause trouble for Jews by
making it appear as though a Jew was the culprit.

The Good Michael
09-08-2010, 03:13 AM
Mac,

You misread my posts. I don't agree that Hutchinson is a good suspect. I was only looking at similarities between he and van der Sloot IF Hutchinson was the murderer of Kelly.

Mike

claire
09-08-2010, 11:37 AM
Now then Fleetwood, here's a few questions for YOU :
Why do you think that Hutch is surely the 'favourite suspect' of modern times concerning JtR -and the one about whom the most suspect based books have been written ?

If there was "nothing" to connect him to the murders, it makes you wonder why intelligent people would waste time on him..

Could it possibly be that he is the ONLY suspect definitely placed at the 'scene of crime' at the right time..on a dark rainy night, in the early hours of the morning, standing staring at the room of a woman about to be murdered...and that as soon as he becomes part of the investigation, the murders come to an abrupt stop ?

that is unique amongst all the suspects.

.

Ah, the consensus approach...still doesn't mean it's true. Lots of intelligent people, at one point, believed the world was flat. We work with what we have.

As for 'as soon as he becomes part of the investigation, the murders come to an abrupt stop' could equally be said about Lewis, Maxwell, Cox, Prater, Barnett, Mrs Phoenix, Bowyer, McCarthy and a team of others whose names I either don't recall or don't know. It's a meaningless statement.

And, one little thing: he was not seen 'standing staring at the room of a woman about to be murdered.' He was on Dorset-street looking towards Millers-ct. Very different.

Rubyretro
09-08-2010, 01:27 PM
Thing is, Ruby, neither you nor me know if the description DID match Hutch, the reason being that neither you nor me have ever seen any description of him that stretches beyond "military appearance". So let´s not jump to conclusions here

Obviously it's all very sketchy (!) -but none the less I think that we can deduct a few things with near certainty : if Mrs Lewis described the man that she saw loitering as short and stout, then Hutch must have matched the description (even if he HADN'T been the man in Miller's Court, he still must have thought that he matched the description). If he had walked into the Police Station being very tall, or thin and sick, or very different to the description, then I think that the Police would immediately be wary and think that he was a fantasist..at least on a balance of probability, we can take Hutch as being 'short and stout'.

'Stout' we can deduce -also with certainty- is 'muscle bound ' rather than 'fat' or even 'flabby'. You would not describe someone as being 'of military appearance' if they were fat or flabby, just for starters. Next he was working as a labourer, and had apparently humped barrels, and his story about walking back from Romford was accepted -so he must have looked fit and strong. I think that Jack London points out that most of the men employed doing physical work at the time originally came from the country, because generations of East Enders were too slight and undernourished to do undertake hard physical jobs. Also, living in the Victoria Home, I doubt that he had the means to get fat.

So now we have a short muscular chunky young man of approx 28 or 29 (Hutch's given age somewhere).

Then there is the interesting detail of 'Military Appearance'...what would spring to mind for you ? grubby ? slouched unkempt ? dreamy ? languid ? -or smart ? standing up straight ? dapper ? brisk ? fit ? You can disagree with my speculation if you wish, but I do not see how, in any way, the former adjectives could be made to gel with 'military appearance'.

There was another intriguing nuance to 'military appearance' at the time though...I see that soldiers had a terrible reputation for violence and drinking.. I believe that I read (and I will search for the sources if you force me to), that soldiers were un-welcome in alot of establishments, because of a reputation for getting drunk and causing trouble.So 'military appearance' might not be the most flattering description of a man, in this period. It might mean 'hard' and a 'drinker' (and this was a man working as a casual labourer on building sites, moving barrels in a pub, and living in a 'doss house' as a single young man).

Next, we can say a few certain details about Hutch the witness's personality ( which hold true whether he was the man in Miller's Court or not, and whether he was JtR or not) : he liked to be the centre of attention...going far beyond 'helping the Police' for any altruistic reasons, since he gave rather flamboyant descriptions to the Press, which effectively would have alerted a 'real' A Man to make a quick exit. He was also a fluent and articulate story teller -he took the Police in for some days, and he had the Press reporting his stories (and journalists are notorious for being cynical...again, it took them a few days).

Going back to Mike's original Post...watch Van der Sloot in an interview on Youtube, and you can see the similarities clearly..you can also see the similarities with Garry and Corey's 'profiles'.

I know, Fish, that it's easy to dismiss everything that I've said as 'Pure Speculation' -but please demolish my 'sketch' of Hutch point by point, and not just chuck it out 'wholesale'. I maintain that my 'sketch' adds up to a pretty good description of Hutch.

No, Ruby. It would have been much of a clincher. If Lewis was just steps away from Hutch on that night, then the same thing would apply the other way around. I fail to see why the police would shout blue liar if Hutch confirmed this.

Not at all -just like Van der Sloot, I believe that he was crafty and used information that the Police had to support his story; obviously he had seen Lewis, but he waited to see if she testified before coming forward. I'm sure that there were were witnesses who had seen him before -but had never come forward. Or got the description wrong.

"Actually there is an independant witness story that saw two men chasing down the street, which corroborates Schwartz's statement."

Seemingly, yes. But what I said was that nobody but Schwartz swore to BS:s mans existence, and the two runners would have been Schwartz and Pipeman. No BS.
True. Doesn't prove that BS didn't exist though."After reading Wolf Vanderlinden's Dissertation on the subject, he proved to me (anyway), that Mrs Long did not see the killer"

And a very good suggestion on Wolf Vanderlindens behalf that is - but once again, what I said was that the police accepted Longs story in spite of it being non-corroborated, and I´m afraid that stands no matter what you, me or Wolf Vanderlinden think about the inherent veracity of it. It never enters the discussion.

How can you possibly say that 'it never enters the discussion' ? You cast doubt on BS man -but the Police took Schwartz seriously -you can't pick and choose. I've said before -if the Police were so right about all their judgements, then they'd have caught 'Jack'..and we'd not be picking over every aspect of the 'evidence'. As it happens, Vanderlinden bases his arguments on what the witnesses actually stated in 1888 -that is, pure facts- and it was an eye opener to Me(I'd always assumed that there was no doubt that Cadoche had heard noises 'next door' -false !). I'm not going to digress here anyway -suffice to say that, if you take the Doctor as being right, every mystery of the murder in Hanbury melts away.

"Because somebody putting themselves in a position where they might become 'accused' would not lie about facts which have no ostensible bearing on their guilt or otherwise. Why the hell get caught out as a lier on whether you're a plumber or a groom ??"

Ah - progress! Why indeed?
No -I don't think that Hutch would lie on his trade (no reason to)..he was a Groom, and he wasn't a Plumber (by the way, a groom might have a 'military appearance' and horses were a major army resource -a 'Plumber' fits nowhere).

"If we are not annoyed by the fact that Toppys handwriting matches the Dorset Street witnesses ditto, this is a viable suggestion. But to clinch it, we need to ensure that all the people of the Victorian East end who were once apprentices and who followed up on that apprenticeship to once work in the trade they were apprenticed to, always took the straight route and never deviated from it in any fashion, no matter what external pressure was applied, no matter what internal conflicts with family or tradesmen arose, no matter what love affairs, pecuniar difficulties, changed conditions, criminality etc. occured along the way.

The handwriting similarities could be read either way..since people learned to write in a rigid 'parrot fashion', following fashions of their time, there are big similarities -but far from conclusive.

When I was a 'Toppy-ite' I used to make the same argument as you -and indeed, I believe that Toppy did do other things. Still, he was only 22, and it didn't give him enough time to be an apprentice in plumbing ( I can't remember what Garry said -I will check it if you wish -but it took years and money to be qualified. He simply didn't have the time to be 'Hutch').

The example that I've given before is -if I imagine that I followed my Mother into nursing, and took a long time and alot of effort to qualify, and then had a Family row and decided to see 'the Big City'..I certainly might take a cleaning job in a hospital to make ends meet. If I became mixed up in a murder enquiry, I would give my occupation either as 'Nurse', 'currently unemployed Nurse, getting by on odd jobs' or 'Cleaner'..why would I say 'Chef' ? or somesuch ? (bound to be found out as a lie, anyway).

If I was living in digs, ekeing out a precarious living, and cleaning in a Hospital..I'd surely be well placed to know if any nursing jobs came up..and take them. Why an earth wouldn't I, if I was qualified for the job, and it paid better for something less boring and strenuous, not take the nursing job ,?
As a casual labourer, Hutch was in competion from lots of unskilled strong willing workers..desperate to earn a crust. He would have been very well placed to find plumbing jobs; so why didn't he take thm ?

There were loads of immigrants willing to work for very low wages.

Not so many Victorian young men could have afforded to follow a costly apprenticeship for the required time -being well placed in building jobs to know about any plumbers positions, and being so poor that he lodged in a doss house -why didn't he get any work as a plumber ?

Why would he say he was a groom ?

There are pirouhettes that we can do to bang Toppy (the round peg) into the square Hutch hole..but it is so much simpler just to drop the square peg into the square hole (and the same goes for the Wolf Vanderlinden dissertation, what's more).

Rubyretro
09-08-2010, 01:40 PM
Thing is, Ruby, neither you nor me know if the description DID match Hutch, the reason being that neither you nor me have ever seen any description of him that stretches beyond "military appearance". So let´s not jump to conclusions here

Obviously it's all very sketchy (!) -but none the less I think that we can deduct a few things with near certainty : if Mrs Lewis described the man that she saw loitering as short and stout, then Hutch must have matched the description (even if he HADN'T been the man in Miller's Court, he still must have thought that he matched the description). If he had walked into the Police Station being very tall, or thin and sick, or very different to the description, then I think that the Police would immediately be wary and think that he was a fantasist..at least on a balance of probability, we can take Hutch as being 'short and stout'.

'Stout' we can deduce -also with certainty- is 'muscle bound ' rather than 'fat' or even 'flabby'. You would not describe someone as being 'of military appearance' if they were fat or flabby, just for starters. Next he was working as a labourer, and had apparently humped barrels, and his story about walking back from Romford was accepted -so he must have looked fit and strong. I think that Jack London points out that most of the men employed doing physical work at the time originally came from the country, because generations of East Enders were too slight and undernourished to do undertake hard physical jobs. Also, living in the Victoria Home, I doubt that he had the means to get fat.

So now we have a short muscular chunky young man of approx 28 or 29 (Hutch's given age somewhere).

Then there is the interesting detail of 'Military Appearance'...what would spring to mind for you ? grubby ? slouched unkempt ? dreamy ? languid ? -or smart ? standing up straight ? dapper ? brisk ? fit ? You can disagree with my speculation if you wish, but I do not see how, in any way, the former adjectives could be made to gel with 'military appearance'.

There was another intriguing nuance to 'military appearance' at the time though...I see that soldiers had a terrible reputation for violence and drinking.. I believe that I read (and I will search for the sources if you force me to), that soldiers were un-welcome in alot of establishments, because of a reputation for getting drunk and causing trouble.So 'military appearance' might not be the most flattering description of a man, in this period. It might mean 'hard' and a 'drinker' (and this was a man working as a casual labourer on building sites, moving barrels in a pub, and living in a 'doss house' as a single young man).

Next, we can say a few certain details about Hutch the witness's personality ( which hold true whether he was the man in Miller's Court or not, and whether he was JtR or not) : he liked to be the centre of attention...going far beyond 'helping the Police' for any altruistic reasons, since he gave rather flamboyent descriptions to the Press, which effectively would have alerted a 'real' A Man to make a quick exit. He was also a fluent and articulate story teller -he took the Police in for some days, and he had the Press reporting his stories (and journalists are notorious for being cynical...again, it took them a few days).

Going back to Mike's original Post...watch Van der Sloot in an interview on Youtube, and you can see the similarities clearly..you can also see the similarities with Garry and Corey's 'profiles'.

I know, Fish, that it's easy to dismiss everything that I've said as 'Pure Speculation' -but please demolish my 'sketch' of Hutch point by point, and not just chuck it out 'wholesale'. I maintain that my 'sketch' adds up to a pretty good description of Hutch.

No, Ruby. It would have been much of a clincher. If Lewis was just steps away from Hutch on that night, then the same thing would apply the other way around. I fail to see why the police would shout blue liar if Hutch confirmed this.

Not at all -just like Van der Sloot, I believe that he was crafty and used information that the Police had to support his story; obviously he had seen Lewis, but he didn't waited to see if she testified before coming forward. I'm sure that there were were witnesses who had seen him before -but had never come forward. Or got the description wrong.

"Actually there is an independant witness story that saw two men chasing down the street, which corroborates Schwartz's statement."

Seemingly, yes. But what I said was that nobody but Schwartz swore to BS:s mans existence, and the two runners would have been Schwartz and Pipeman. No BS.
True. Doesn't prove that BS didn't exist though.

"After reading Wolf Vanderlinden's Dissertation on the subject, he proved to me (anyway), that Mrs Long did not see the killer"

And a very good suggestion on Wolf Vanderlindens behalf that is - but once again, what I said was that the police accepted Longs story in spite of it being non-corroborated, and I´m afraid that stands no matter what you, me or Wolf Vanderlinden think about the inherent veracity of it. It never enters the discussion.

How can you possibly say that 'it never enters the discussion' ? You cast doubt on BS man -but the Police took Schwartz seriously -you can't pick and choose. I've said before -if the Police were so right about all their judgements, then they'd have caught 'Jack'..and we'd not be picking over every aspect of the 'evidence'. As it happens, Vanderlinden bases his arguments on what the witnesses actually stated in 1888 -that is, pure facts- and it was an eye opener to Me(I'd always assumed that there was no doubt that Cadoche had heard noises 'next door' -false !). I'm not going to digress here anyway -suffice to say that, if you take the Doctor as being right, every mystery of the murder in Hanbury melts away.

"Because somebody putting themselves in a position where they might become 'accused' would not lie about facts which have no ostensible bearing on their guilt or otherwise. Why the hell get caught out as a lier on whether you're a plumber or a groom ??"

Ah - progress! Why indeed?
No -I don't think that Hutch would lie on his trade (no reason to)..he was a Groom, and he wasn't a Plumber (by the way, a groom might have a 'military appearance' and horses were a major army resource -a 'Plumber' fits nowhere).

"If we are not annoyed by the fact that Toppys handwriting matches the Dorset Street witnesses ditto, this is a viable suggestion. But to clinch it, we need to ensure that all the people of the Victorian East end who were once apprentices and who followed up on that apprenticeship to once work in the trade they were apprenticed to, always took the straight route and never deviated from it in any fashion, no matter what external pressure was applied, no matter what internal conflicts with family or tradesmen arose, no matter what love affairs, pecuniar difficulties, changed conditions, criminality etc. occured along the way.

The handwriting similarities could be read either way..since people learned to write in a rigid 'parrot fashion', following fashions of their time, there are big similarities -but far from conclusive.

When I was a 'Toppy-ite' I used to make the same argument as you -and indeed, I believe that Toppy did do other things. Still, he was only 22, and it didn't give him enough time to be an apprentice in plumbing ( I can't remember what Garry said -I will check it if you wish -but it took years and money to be qualified. He simply didn't have the time to be 'Hutch').

The example that I've given before is -if I imagine that I followed my Mother into nursing, and took a long time and alot of effort to qualify, and then had a Family row and decided to see 'the Big City'..I certainly might take a cleaning job in a hospital to make ends meet. If I became mixed up in a murder enquiry, I would give my occupation either as 'Nurse', 'currently unemployed Nurse, getting by on odd jobs' or 'Cleaner'..why would I say 'Chef' ? or somesuch ? (bound to be found out as a lie, anyway).

If I was living in digs, ekeing out a precarious living, and cleaning in a Hospital..I'd surely be well placed to know if any nursing jobs came up..and take them. Why an earth wouldn't I, if I was qualified for the job, and it paid better for something less boring and strenuous, not take the nursing job ,?

As a casual labourer, Hutch was in competion from lots of unskilled strong willing workers..desperate to earn a crust.
There were loads of immigrants willing to work for very low wages.

Not so many Victorian young men could have afforded to follow a costly apprenticeship for the required time -being well placed in building jobs to know about any plumbers positions, and being so poor that he lodged in a doss house -why didn't he get any work as a plumber ?

Why would he say he was a groom ?

There are pirouhettes that we can do to bang Toppy (the round peg) into the square Hutch hole..but it is so much simpler just to drop the square peg into the square hole (and the same goes for the Wolf Vanderlinden dissertation, what's more).

claire
09-08-2010, 02:20 PM
There is also the possibility that, in a moment of rash thinking, he gave an occupation that was distant from his own...the 'ex' is crucial, as there would be no current employer to check that with, but if he said something that he might imagine the local coppers to know something about (eg. something in the building trade), they might ask questions...('oh yeah? who did you work for?') Following that train of thought, they might seek to ask about and discover that, in fact, they hadn't had anyone called Hutchinson working for them, but a man did match that description who went by the name of....whatever.

I expect to be disregarded. I'm quite enjoying becoming nobody. I hope one day to wake and discover I have just become part of my duvet.

Fisherman
09-08-2010, 02:28 PM
Hi Ruby, and welcome back!

"please demolish my 'sketch' of Hutch point by point, and not just chuck it out 'wholesale'."

I do not wish to be rude in any way, Ruby, but I would urge you to ponder what Sarah Lewis said in her official statement to the police, preceding the inquest:

"Between 2 and 3 o'clock this morning I came to stop with the Keylers, at No 2 Miller's Court as I had had a few words with my husband, when I came up the Court there was a man standing over against the lodging house on the opposite side in Dorset Street ["talking to a female" - deleted] but I cannot describe him."

This is what the police had to go by from the outset - a man Lewis could not describe. Therefore, the Met must have reacted with surprise to the fact that Lewis was able to provide the man with a wideawake (not very much of a pointer) and a "not tall" description , hardly laying down much of a rule, and a "stout" addition - which could all be due to a roomy coat, some time later.
You see, Ruby, not only do we lack a description of Hutch - we also lack the same thing about the loiterer to a very large degree, and what little we have was not there from the beginning. Lewis´testimony is important only because she pinpoints a man loitering outside the court, not because it gives us much of an idea what that man looked like. My contention is that anybody ranging from 140 to 175 centimetres and weighing in between 60 and 100 kilograms, roughly, could correspond to this - and that is one hell of a spectre to cover.
Your own assessment of George Hutchinson is a good read, but it remains pure speculation, just as you say yourself.

"I believe that he was crafty and used information that the Police had to support his story"

More of the same, I´m afraid.

"obviously he had seen Lewis"

And again - it is in no way certain that "he" had seen Lewis, at least not if we are speaking of George Hutchinson, the confessed witness. If we are speaking of the loiterer, then yes, he would have seen Lewis in all probability. But to accept that these two men were one and the same is something we cannot allow ourselves to do, however.

"How can you possibly say that 'it never enters the discussion?"

Because it emphatically does not, Ruby. The discussion we are having here rests on my statement that nobody stepped forward to confirm the presence of BS man or Longs man, and still the police bought both their stories. Nothing else.
The Fairclough Street race, if you will, involves two men and two men only, and none of them would have been BS man. Ergo, Schwartz, and Schwartz only spoke of BS. And even if Wolf Vanderlinden is correct in his reasoning, that does not mean that we add another witness who saw Longs man, does it? Ergo, Long and only Long spoke of her Hanbury Street punter.
Point pretty much proven, wouldn´t you say?

"The handwriting similarities could be read either way..since people learned to write in a rigid 'parrot fashion', following fashions of their time, there are big similarities"

Oh, come on, Ruby! The different George Hutchinsons around at that time and stage have been looked at, and they all wrote in wildly different fashions. It is all in the earlier threads on Hutch. The personal traits in handwriting are something that won´t wash off.
You wrote yourself that you were once a convinced Toppyist, more or less. Why was that? Obviously, you once made the decision that the signatures were almost identical.
Then what happened? You came to believe that the circumstances involved would not allow for an identification? But, Ruby, you had already made that identification yourself, had you not? After such a thing, you cannot work "backwards". No matter what you learn, what you think, who influences your thinking und so weiter, the similarities inbetween the signatures will not change one iota - they remain the same, and they force us to ask the very pertinent question:
If the witness was the killer in Dorset Street, how much of a chance is there that he would have used the name "George Hutchinson" if it was not his true identity? It would not have been a spur of the moment thing - the police must have checked his address at the Victoria Home for corroboration.
But let´s say that the name George Hutchinson was just as likely as any other alias, for discussion´s sake.
Next up - if we have a genuine George Hutchinson, whose son confirms that his father had stated that he was the Dorset Street witness - then we must theorize that this genuine George Hutchinson had realized that there was a man who had used the same name as he had, and who had come forward to testify as an important witness in the Ripper case. After that, the genuine George Hutchinson would have taken on the role of the witness, or his son would have come up with a false story along those lines. It´s either or, Ruby. There is NO other way around it, if we don´t want to realize that Toppy was the witness.

Now, such a thing would in itself be a tall tale to top Hutchinsons witness testimony. It would be quite hard to believe.
But that is not all, is it? On top of all this, we have the signatures, where one copies the other, "parrot fashion" as you put it. The two men have similar signatures, more or less! Now, how remarkable is that?

And the reason you offer for this is that the Victorians were all writing in the exact same fashion, more or less!

Well, Ruby, I suggest you turn to the "Hutch in the 1911 census"-thread under suspects, George Hutchinson, page 2 on this site. Then look up post 18, where Sam Flynn lists a number of contemporary Goerge Hutchinsons and provides their signatures – none of which look alike at all! They differ much, in the same fashion as signatures did in the 18:th century, in the 17:th century, in the 16:th ... and today!

After that, I´d be much interested to hear you repeat that argument ...

The best,
Fisherman

Fisherman
09-08-2010, 02:38 PM
Claire writes:

"There is also the possibility that, in a moment of rash thinking, he gave an occupation that was distant from his own...the 'ex' is crucial, as there would be no current employer to check that with, but if he said something that he might imagine the local coppers to know something about (eg. something in the building trade), they might ask questions...('oh yeah? who did you work for?') Following that train of thought, they might seek to ask about and discover that, in fact, they hadn't had anyone called Hutchinson working for them, but a man did match that description who went by the name of....whatever."

Makes a lot of sense to me, Claire ...
... however, unless he was bold enough to state that all the people he had worked for had emigrated to unknown shores or passed away, mourned by no relatives or friends, ANY information on his behalf would be potentially subjected to a follow-up by the Met:
"U-huh, a groom; and who was your employer ...?"
"So, casual labourer - and you worked latest for...?"

A man leaving no footprints at all on the labourmarket would be a man the police took a VERY big interest in, I should think.

Still, this does not mean that he could not have thought along the lines you suggest out of rash thinking, of course.

The best,
Fisherman

Rubyretro
09-08-2010, 02:45 PM
[QUOTE=claire;146464]There is also the possibility that, in a moment of rash thinking, he gave an occupation that was distant from his own...the 'ex' is crucial,
He waited a few days before coming forward, so I think that he thought about what he was going to say, before coming forward.

I agree that the 'ex..' is crucial. Groom was a specialised job as well..what could have made him change jobs ? I'd love to know !! Especially with Garry & Corey suggesting in thir profiles of the murderer , that 'he' would typically have begun by cruelty to animals.

Toppy wasn't an 'ex' plumber -he was just starting his long career.

as there would be no current employer to check that with, but if he said something that he might imagine the local coppers to know something about (eg. something in the building trade), they might ask questions...('oh yeah? who did you work for?')
I'm sure the Police did check, and there would have been clerks ledgers and witnesses , even if he was working casually..;he could afford logings, food and 'occasionally slipping Mary money' (according to him).

Following that train of thought, they might seek to ask about and discover that, in fact, they hadn't had anyone called Hutchinson working for them, but a man did match that description who went by the name of....whatever..
Well.;for 'speculation' that one is pulled out of a hat !

claire
09-08-2010, 02:46 PM
Oh, I agree, Fish...but in some ways, it is easier to say, oh, I used to work for a chap over in Romford than it is to prevaricate a workplace in the neighbourhood--but, as you know, I still fancy Fleming quite a lot, so I am very prejudiced in this regard.

Fisherman
09-08-2010, 03:08 PM
Claire:

" still fancy Fleming quite a lot"

In that case :trowel: we are speaking of truly tall tales, as it stands :wow2:

... but apart from that, Fleming is a very viable bet as far as I´m concerned. But not masquerading as George Hutchinson ...

The best,
Fisherman

claire
09-08-2010, 05:31 PM
I know, I know...but I haven't been sleeping well lately, so am indulging my wildest imaginings here!

Rubyretro
09-09-2010, 02:37 PM
Yes, Fish -it's Me - back for another skirmish ! (and Hello Claire !)

This is what the police had to go by from the outset - a man Lewis could not describe. Therefore, the Met must have reacted with surprise to the fact that Lewis was able to provide the man with a wideawake (not very much of a pointer) and a "not tall" description , hardly laying down much of a rule, and a "stout" addition - which could all be due to a roomy coat, .
I hardly think that the Police would be surprised at all if Mrs Lewis added 3 details at the inquest -infact she probably added them in direct response to close questioning by the Police themselves !

As to whether those elements offer any clues at all, although they may appear vague at first, here are a few constatations :

I went and read a whole load of descriptions of various men involved with the Ripper case, and that description couldn't apply to most of them. That is only to say that whilst you can't pin the Kelly 'loiterer' on anyone from that description, you can exclude truck loads.

You are a bit of a slippery Fishy because you tell me that we have to take what the witnesses say as being what they mean't to say -so going by this, if Lewis said 'stout, then she mean't 'stout'.
Lots of modern teenagers wear very 'roomy' clothes, but they don't look 'stout' any more than Charlie Chaplin looked 'stout' in his roomy clothes, or I look 'stout' if I slip on my husband's overcoat; Clothes hang off you when they're too big.You can't 'turn' her description to suggest that she said 'stout' but the' loiterer' just had roomy clothes !

Still , I must say that looking at the photo of the men in the Victoria Home, they seemed a short and stocky lot ! -( probably because they all did physical labour and were muscle bound and drank beer). Conversely in ordinary street scenes, there are some very 'peaky' weedy looking men.

Which neatly brings me to my last point -in that photo, the men in the Victoria home have mostly peaked caps, with a sprinkling of Billycocks. There are quite alot of men in the photo, as well as clothes hanging on hatstands -yet not one 'Wideawake' to be seen. Unless those men weren't wearing nearly everything they owned, and had suitcases filled with 'Wideawakes' under the table,I would deduce that casual labourers, dockers, market porters etc, lodging in Doss Houses, were not the best market for this style of headgear.

So let's turn to the moment when Hutch walks into the Police Station and identifies himself as the 'loiterer' seen by Lewis. I take it that you would agree that since he slept in a Doss House, he didn't have a fixed room with a wardrobe with it, but had his meagre possessions with him ? The Police had only 3 elements to go on from Lewis, and one must deduce that if they accepted Hutch's story, he must have been 'short', 'stout 'and wearing a 'Wideawake' on his head...or else could produce one squashed up in a pocket or his bag. Infact that hat, and the unusualness of it on the head of a dosser, might have been one element that Hutch feared would identify him if he didn't pre-empt any finger pointing

Your own assessment of George Hutchinson is a good read, but it remains pure speculation, just as you say yourself.Speculation based on logical deduction, my dear Watson.

"obviously he had seen Lewis"

If we are speaking of the loiterer, then yes, he would have seen Lewis in all probability. But to accept that these two men were one and the same is something we cannot allow ourselves to do, however.I'm still convinced they were the same man though..and that hat is a pretty nice clue.

(not digressing to talk about BS and Long here -but I would be pleased to do so on the appropriate threads).

"The handwriting similarities could be read either way..since people learned to write in a rigid 'parrot fashion', following fashions of their time, there are big similarities"

Oh, come on, Ruby! The different George Hutchinsons around at that time and stage have been looked at, and they all wrote in wildly different fashions. It is all in the earlier threads on Hutch. The personal traits in handwriting are something that won´t wash off.
You wrote yourself that you were once a convinced Toppyist, more or less. Why was that? Obviously, you once made the decision that the signatures were almost identical.
Then what happened? You came to believe that the circumstances involved would not allow for an identification? But, Ruby, you had already made that identification yourself, had you not? After such a thing, you cannot work "backwards". No matter what you learn, what you think, who influences your thinking und so weiter, the similarities inbetween the signatures will not change one iota
Well first of all, there ARE very big similarities in the signatures of people in a similar age range, from a similar geographical area, and born in the same era. I had a personal demonstration of this very recently : I've had my signature queried a couple of times..by my son's school, who thought that he must have faked my signature as it didn't look 'adult' (!), and when starting a new job. Infact, the French here are taught to sign with a totally illegible scrawl (it's supposed to be harder to falsify),and seeing french signatures all day at work, I can tell you that you usually can't make out one single letter, let alone have the slightest clue as to what the person's initials or name is. I, on the otherhand, have a clearly legible signature, with capital initials followed by my surname beginning with a capital. I showed my husband the signatures written on friend's letters from England, and there are very big similarities -for the prosaic reason that we were taught that way at (not by the same) school.

My handwriting has changed dramatically from childhood..I was taught to write in primary school with a fountain pen and an italic nib, in a typical slanted angular fashion, in North London. However my writing mutated into the rounded and looped writing which resembles those of my friends, after I grew up in an area where rounded and looped writing was the fashion. It is not so 'personal' as you may think.

I would say that Victorian children would write on a slate, ruling lines on it, and meticulously copying from a blackboard letters, with high letters touching the line above, y's and g's etc going to the line below etc, in a style that was fashionable with their teachers at the time. If they didn't write very much, then they would continue to write in the same way.

Anyway, you asked me what convinced me firstly to be a strong Toppy-ite and then 'repent'.
Let's set it out as a balance sheet:

The Reasons that I (used to) Believe that Hutch = Toppy :

1. Richard Nunweek heard a radio programme with Reg Hutchinson recounting what his Father told him about being the witness George Hutchinson, in an entirely simple, honest, and sincere way and using some telling detail (Wheeling Report). There is nothing to explain why the Hutchinsons would lie, and should not be taken at Face Value.

2. A most similar story was repeated in 'The Ripper and the Royals'

3. Reg Hutchinson mentions his Father talking about "Randolph churchill -or someone like him".Photos of Churchill could correspond to A Man's description. At this period, Churchill had virtually left Newmarket to concentrate on Racing, and was very present at Newmarket. Whilst A Man is surely fictitious (and Churchill evidently not the Ripper), there are none the less strong similarities in Toppy's and Hutch's descriptions of their suspect - a 'horse shoe tie pin and Hutch being an ex-Groom, and Newmarket being just over the border from Essex.could be a suggestion that Hutch was imagining Churchill ("or someone like him") when he described A Man.

4. Hutch said that he had just come back from Essex on the night that Kelly was killed, and the Hutchinson's had strong links to Essex -with Toppy's sister dying there (I think Toppys Father was born in Essex ?).

5. The signatures of Hutch and Toppy are very similar.

6.Both Toppy and Hutch were in their 20s

7; Hutch worked on building sites and Toppy was a plumber.

8.According to David Knott on these Posts, Toppy was in the East End at the time, and did do some other jobs (non specified). I have been assured that Knott is a descendant of Toppy's sister.

9. Serial killers CAN stop killing, and they can marry and have children. (Emile Louis -killer of 7 girls, is one example).

Here is why I changed my mind :

1. Nobody but Richard can vouch or prove that this radio interview ever existed (although I believe entirely that Richard is sincere). Indeed, D. Knott says that the older members of the family feel sure that they would remember if he HAD been on the radio, since this would be something out of the ordinary. In one of my 'fetish' books ('Reincarnation ? : The claims Investigated. by Ian wilson), the author establishes that the most believable 'reincarnation' recovered memories can all be demolished when he traces the source material. The people with the recovered memories are all sincere, and have no knowledge of where they learned the info, but the clinchers are when they repeat the mistakes or 'artistic license' in the original source -they usually begin their 'fantasy' by finding something that makes them feel 'involved' with the subject (in Toppy's case, a name in common).The people are usually artistic (the fact that Toppy married an actress might be a clue). Toppy was educated, and it would have been normal at the time to read up on the case particulrly, not just because of the Dramatic Event -but also the shared name. It was proved to me in these forums that the Wheeler report got the facts wrong and that, unwittingly was one of Toppy's sources
(You can experiment yourself with these' false memories' by using the 'creative section' of hypnotherapy.dot.com.-well worth the money, just to learn the deep relaxation techniques, and then using them for your own creative scenarios, or just for de-stressing).

2. ? Maybe that was the first interview ? Who knows..

3. Well, like the first Post, Toppy probably visualised Churchill -rather than the comic book Jew- when he read the decription of A Man in the papers..or he made the link later. Anyway, I think that was the subconcious image in his mind.

4. Actually, JaneKnott was living in London at the time of the killings. She never lived in Romford anyway. Bob Hinton pointed out that there was major building work going on in Romford at the time when Hutch went looking for work as a labourer.

5. There are heated debates on whether the signatures agree or not -and experts are far from 'unanimous'..basically you can argue either way and always find people to support or dispute your views: The verdict is 'out'.

6. Toppy was only 22 at the time
of the killings. We know for sure when he was a 'scholar', and that he followed an apprenticeship taking some years (and money), into the Family 'Trade'. Hutch said that he'd known Mary (5 ? 3?) years..and I think that's most likely true (surely the Victoria Home, and friends, acquaintances would give a rough clue as to how long they'd known Hutch ? How little work can we assume the Police did on such a major case ?). Toppy simply didn't have 'time' to be Hutch.

7. I've already gone into the Plumber v Groom argument. I can find no logical argument why Toppy would work for 3 years as a casual labourer, living in a Doss House (especially since Toppy couldn't actually have been there), if he was an educated qualified plumber? Why would he give his trade as a Groom (what bearing would that have ? -except to very rapidly expose himself as a liar ?
I mean WHY ?????

8; True -but Knott also went on to say that, although the Family asked him not to Post any details on the internet, after seeing said information on Toppy in the East End, he was 99.99% certain that Toppy could not have been Hutch.

9. Already discussed -if Toppy-as -Hutch worked on building sites as a casual labourer , he would be well placed to know about any plumbing jobs. Since plumbing jobs would have less competition, be better paid, be less gruelling, and give him more 'respect' -just why wouldn't he take them ? IF he had taken them, why did he lodge in the Victoria Home.. and why was he described as an ex-Groom ?

10. Yes, Serial Killers CAN go on to marry, and stop killing, but (taking Emile Louis as an example again), they are very 'dodgy' characters still -example: Louis was 'done' for beating up his first wife and raping his daughter. Toppy, as far as we can tell, appears to have lived an admirable and blameless life -including taking lodgings with 4 Policeman at one point ! Now, I'll add to Toppy:

11; There is a picture of an 'old' Toppy, and physically there appears to be nothing in common AT ALL with the Lewis description of Hutch...nor with my deducted (ok ! speculated!) description of Hutch. I see Hutch as being a nearing-thirty thuggish, racsist trouble maker I've already gone into the various meanings of 'Military Appearance'..and I cannot reconcile this description with 22 year old Toppy, who'd lived a rather privileged life.

12. I cannot reconcile Toppy's 'early life' (what we know of it), with the 'profile' of animal torture/arson/petty crime. Toppy does not fit what we know of the 'signs' for future Serial Killers.

I think that I've replied to you at enough length (!) now, Poisson , I think that you must get the picture on why I changed my mind.. In short, I wore myself out sledgehammering the 'round' Toppy into the 'square' Hutch hole (as I already said). It was a lot less tiring to admit that I was wrong.

Fisherman
09-09-2010, 03:22 PM
Ruby writes:

"you tell me that we have to take what the witnesses say as being what they mean't to say -so going by this, if Lewis said 'stout, then she mean't 'stout'. "

´xcept she did NOT say that to the police - and they would have asked, Ruby, believe you me! Compare to Packer, if you will, and the magically appearing couple ...

"There are quite alot of men in the photo, as well as clothes hanging on hatstands -yet not one 'Wideawake' to be seen."

The "Billycock" and the wideawake was one and the same, Ruby. Look at street photos, and you will see what I mean. Blotchy is one example of a Billycock wearer.

"Speculation based on logical deduction, my dear Watson."

Strange then, that my own logic leads me down a different alley altogether, wouldn´t you say?

"Well first of all, there ARE very big similarities in the signatures of people in a similar age range, from a similar geographical area, and born in the same era."

There will always be similarities, yes, and factors like the ones you name will strenghten them. But it takes us nowhere near any "parroting"! Did you look at the post I told you to? With the different Hutchinsons? If so, what did you see? Could you tell them apart? No? Hmmm?

"5. The signatures of Hutch and Toppy are very similar."

That is the only point that needs to be made. The rest is all very, very secondary, beacuse we always end up with "Yeah, the signatures are a match, but..." and such a "but" is totally redundant. The signatures match, and that is all you need to know. After that, if you know that Toppy was in India on the autumn of 1888, you ALSO know that he made his way home in November.

The best,
Fisherman

Rubyretro
09-09-2010, 04:25 PM
On the left is a 'Wideawake' and the right a 'Billycock'..(you forgot my hobby is vintage clothing..)

The Wideawake has a distinctive wide brim (as the name suggests);

The Billycock is like a Bowler, but with a higher crown.

Rubyretro
09-09-2010, 04:35 PM
I have read all the Posts concerning the signatures..they are similar, but there is no unanimous verdict as to whether they are identical.

Even when I was a Toppyite, I didn't feel able to definitely pronounce upon the matter above quoting other people..because it is too difficult for Me to to come to a solid conclusion for myself : to look at them, the verdict is 'out'.

(x)

Ben
09-09-2010, 05:45 PM
Hi all,

I find the observations regarding der Sloot – who was ostensibly a sociopath and liar, as Michael has indicated - a fascinating one, and the comparison with Hutchinson may well be very apt. I would be reluctant to conclude, though, that the apparent dropping of Hutchinson so soon after his account first appeared on the scene has anything to do with him receiving some sort of alibi for the period of Kelly’s death that placed him elsewhere other than Dorset Street. Firstly, it would have been an unnecessarily suicidal move to claim to be “walking about all night” when he had the opportunity to provide his genuine whereabouts for the generally accepted time of death (3:30am-4.00am) was clearly there, and secondly, the opportunities for actually procuring an alibi for such an ungodly hour were very slim anyway. (Is it likely, after all, that a solitary doss-house resident would have had company at that hour?) I think it rather more likely that Hutchinson dropped from the police radar as a result of glaring inconsistencies between his police and press accounts. There was nothing of a concrete nature to prove that Packer lied in his account, but he was also ditched, so we needn’t expect anything more with regard to Hutchinson and his “ditching”.

Also - and everyone’s mileage may vary on this - I doubt very much that Hutchinson noticed that a witness account had described a potential suspect, pretended that he was the individual described but claimed also to have been just a witness himself. Certainly, I’ve never encountered any comparable example of such behaviour in other criminal investigations. In contrast, there have been cases in which the offenders have recognised themselves in witness accounts, and who subsequently came forward with false excuses for their presence there, whether they were identified by name or not. I have always felt that Hutchinson could easily have been one such individual, and it would render him a decidedly unremarkable serial killer in the annuls of true crime, where this and similar acts of subterfuge aren’t really that odd.

On a separate note, can I make the humblest of requests to those who believe Toppy and the witness to be the same person that they might avoid referring to this opinion as fact? I’d be extremely grateful, as they are quite aware that other contributors to these discussions adhere as strongly to the “Toppy was NOT Hutch” theory as they do to the belief that the signatures match. I’ll say only – and without expecting a counter-argument on a thread largely unconcerned with this issue – that the WADE conference in the early 1990s conducted by an expert in document examination resulted in the conclusion that on the basis of the signatures, Toppy was not the witness in question. The subsequent discussions concerning plumbing apprenticeships etc have only cemented that conclusion, in my view. I’ll reiterate only that a 22-year-old labouring former groom in 1888 was very unlikely to have been a rarely-if-ever-out-of-work plumber by 1891, again, in my view.

But I don’t really want to go over all of this again. The central bullet point of my Toppy-musings today is simply a request to those with a contrary signature-related opinion to my own not to keep insisting on this “match” as something that has been factually established. It creates a misleading impression, when all that really needs to happen is for somebody to provide some links to earlier discussion, like this:

http://forum.casebook.org/showthread.php?t=2204

http://forum.casebook.org/showthread.php?t=2113

That way, everyone is free to make up their own minds, old arguments don’t get repeated, and nobody gets annoyed.

Thanks in advance!

All the best,
Ben

Fisherman
09-09-2010, 09:31 PM
Ruby:

"The Wideawake has a distinctive wide brim (as the name suggests);

The Billycock is like a Bowler, but with a higher crown."

It has been earlier established on these boards that a wideawake and a billycock hat were more or less synonymous in 1888. Both types could have been described by either name, Ruby. Today, we tell them apart. Back then, they didn´t.

"I have read all the Posts concerning the signatures..they are similar, but there is no unanimous verdict as to whether they are identical."

I am not speaking of the witness signatures and Toppys ditto here, Ruby - I am speaking of all the OTHER George Hutchinson signatures. And they are NOT similar at all, as you will find out if you take a look at the post I directed you to.

The best,
Fisherman

Rubyretro
09-09-2010, 09:45 PM
I would be reluctant to conclude, though, that the apparent dropping of Hutchinson so soon after his account first appeared on the scene has anything to do with him receiving some sort of alibi for the period of Kelly’s death that placed him elsewhere other than Dorset Street.

I hope that you don't think it was me who thought that Hutch would invent an alibi for Kelly's murder ?

I DID refer to replying to Chava's good Post, which mooted that the killer
had a 'comfort zone', where he killed on his Whitechapel territory, but often travelled elsewhere outside of the murders.

This made me speculate that had Hutch not been spotted by Lewis and decided to come forward to place himself at the Miller's Court crime scene, presumably everybody in the Victoria Home that knew him would have simply
taken it as 'fact' that he was in Romford.

I imagine that he must have been in Romford at the very start of the previous day looking for work ? and so he must have started off the evening before-or during the night. No one could know that he hadn't, infact, found the work that he'd gone to look for, and had Kelly been found dead, and Lewis not come into the court -no one could have suspected Hutch, since he was ostensibly out of London at the time.

I wondered if this scenario hadn't been used as an 'alibi' for SOME of the other murders ? If the Police checked the dates of the other murders, and Hutch was vouched for as being out of Town at the time..that would be a great 'let off the hook' for him..whilst allowing him to roam the streets between locations.

Fisherman
09-09-2010, 09:46 PM
Ben writes:

"On a separate note, can I make the humblest of requests to those who believe Toppy and the witness to be the same person that they might avoid referring to this opinion as fact?"

That would depend, Ben.
It is not an overall established fact that the signatures are a true match, and there is in fact not enough material to make such a call.
It is, however, an established fact that a top authority (and you know who) has given his wiew that they are a probable match.
As for myself, I will say without hesitation that it is a fact that the signatures resemble each other very much.
I will also press the point that although two handstyles may resemble each other to a very high degree, it is extremely improbable that the owners of two such handstyles will go by the same name, and live at the same time in the same general vicinity.

Weighing these things together, my conclusion is that there is only a very, very small possibility that the signatures did not belong to the same man, and that man was Toppy.

But all of this you have heard before, Ben. What is (slightly) new here is that you ask those who are of my conviction not to speak of it in whatever terms we choose to on the boards. I think that it could be equally requested from my side that you do not deny the obvious likeness inbetween the signatures, Ben, since we are speaking of a completely static phenomenon, and since we have had corroboration of the wiew that the signatures match from a very good authority.
I will not, however, demand any such thing from you or anybody else, and I think it would be fair to ask the same effort from you. I am not saying that it is an on all parts established fact that the signatures match - but I am saying that it is a fact that they are close enough for a top class document examiner to say that he would be very surprised if they were NOT a match, something I believe both you and I know. And just as humbly as you made your request, I will counter with MY request to allow for anybody who chooses to, to refer to these facts.

That is all I have to say, and I trust you have said yours, so ...

The best,
Fisherman

Rubyretro
09-09-2010, 10:18 PM
It has been earlier established on these boards that a wideawake and a billycock hat were more or less synonymous in 1888.

Fish, FISH ! Have pity ! you're not going to make me trawl the internet to download all those pictures and descriptions to prove me right NOW, are you ?
I'm tired (it's an hour later in France and I'm supposed to be doing written work).

I can't imagine who could have contended that these hats were the same thing in 1888 ? They must have been mad ! This happens to be something that I know something about -even the name 'wide awake' is to suggest a wide brim.

To confuse a Bowler and a Billycock over arguments on the 'crown ' height -ok.
But a 'wide awake ' is a totally different hat ! (a Quaker Hat for you Americans ??).

Rubyretro
09-09-2010, 10:37 PM
FISHY ! -you're just getting silly now..and I have so enjoyed Debating with you..really, it is fun for me !

I have never suggested that the signatures are identical nor vice versa -they are similar is as far as I will go. I repeat that they are similar, but 'Expert' opinion is divided : like Ben says, you just can't state as a 'Fact' that the signatures are the same when both of you can provide valid 'proof' to the contrary -there is NO agreement.
(And you can't state as 'Fact' that a 'Wideawake' and a 'Billycock ' are identical either !).

I look forward love to carry on sparring with you -but not on the grounds that Black=White.

Monty
09-09-2010, 10:50 PM
Im at an end so will interject with useless knowledge I have obtained....

....the Billycock was created by a chap called William Coke. It was designed for horse riding as it was sturdy due to the construction techniques used (something to do with boiling and shaping numerous swatches of felt.

Now the Billycock became the favoured choice of hat amongst the building and labouring trade. This due to the fact it gave some degree of protection. It was, in a way, the forerunner of todays safety hat.

Some may note that Lusk, the well known vigilante, is wearing one in the photo of him. And Lusks trade was?

Suffice to say, if you happen to come across one in a victorian photo, chances are the wearer worked in a trade which held a degree of danger to the old noggin.

The bowler on the other hand, and Im not certain here so bear with me, evolved from the Billycock. As William Coke was a well to do person, his friends and peers adopted a 'fashionable' smaller version.

Like I said...I am at a loose end.

Monty
:)

Rubyretro
09-09-2010, 10:59 PM
Very interesting and true Monty -also the forerunner of riding hats.

Yet the 'Wideawake' was a soft hat -the forerunner of Fedoras.

Fisherman
09-09-2010, 11:17 PM
Ruby writes:

"To confuse a Bowler and a Billycock over arguments on the 'crown ' height -ok.
But a 'wide awake ' is a totally different hat ! (a Quaker Hat for you Americans ??)."

I am not confusing anything, Ruby. And I wish that you would check things out before jumping to such conclusions. This is a post by our much esteemed Ben, from another thread:

"Webster's dictionary from 1913 defines a "billycock" thusly:

A round, low-crowned felt hat; a wideawake.

The following is from an 1887 article entitled "The Billycock or Wideawake hat".

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi...en--1----0-all

It may be a case that all billycocks are wideawakes but not all wideawakes are billycocks, but the overall inference is that the two are interchangable. The quaker hat is apparently a type of wideawake, but such headgear would be decidedly out-of-place in the East End.

Ada Wilson's attacker wore a wideawake, and here's how it was depicted in a contemporary sketch:

http://photos.casebook.org/displayim...387&fullsize=1

Best regards,
Ben"

As for your other inference, "you just can't state as a 'Fact' that the signatures are the same when both of you can provide valid 'proof' to the contrary", I think you may need to read my answer to Ben. Putting it otherwise, I once again urge that you would check things out before jumping to conclusions.

The best,
Fisherman

Rubyretro
09-10-2010, 12:12 AM
OMG Fish -you've done a few flips, slimely slipped through my hands ..and splashed back into the water before I even got my hook back !

My rod will be ready.. tomorrow night !!

'till then !

XX

The Good Michael
09-10-2010, 02:37 AM
Ruby,

I'm afraid you've done the obvious. You've decided upon Hutchinson as your suspect. Once a decision like that is made, everything becomes refutable. Logic would suggest that 2 George Hutchinsons in the exact same area and with so spectacularly similar signatures and with the anecdotal evidence of Reginald, and with no other George Hutchinsons on record... logic would suggest that these are the same men. If one has already condemned Hutchinson, of course that kind of logic vanishes.

Cheers,

Mike

Ben
09-10-2010, 03:33 AM
Hi Fish,

“As for myself, I will say without hesitation that it is a fact that the signatures resemble each other very much.”

We’ve discussed this issue enough times now to establish that you feel they match, and I respect your opinion (and Mike’s) a great deal, but to mutate that opinion into fact is no more laudable or productive than for me to declare it as fact that the signatures don’t resemble eachother. I don’t believe they share any significant likeness beyond the fact that they were both scribbled by Victorians whose penmanship was influenced by the era in which they both lived; in addition to which an expert in the field who outlined her findings to a conference doesn’t believe they match, and, frankly, mainstream thinking on the subject since the early 1990s has been to the effect that Toppy was not the witness. I don’t believe this will ever change. All this has led me to the conclusion that Toppy and the witness were not one and the same, but it would be reckless and irresponsible of me to then declare a non-match as “fact”.

I respect and appreciate the observations offered by your contact, but continue to regret that the nature of the material supplied to him was, by his own admission, insufficient to allow for a full expect analysis of the type that was apparently embarked upon by a qualified examiner in the early 1990s. I’m consequently swayed by the latter analysis, for reasons discussed ad nauseam. Once again, I’m not here to deny you a right to your opinion on the subject, but I would ask that you exercise some degree of caution with that naughty F-word. ;)

I agree entirely with your thoughts concerning the wideawake/billycock, incidentally!

All the best,
Ben

Ben
09-10-2010, 03:52 AM
You've decided upon Hutchinson as your suspect. Once a decision like that is made, everything becomes refutable. Logic would suggest that 2 George Hutchinsons in the exact same area and with so spectacularly similar signatures and with the anecdotal evidence of Reginald

I dearly hope that enough people can already see what is so wrong with this condemnation.

Hutchinson is Ruby's suspect of preference based on her interpretation of the evidence.

Toppy is Mike's candidate of preference for the identity of Hutchinson based on his interpretation of the evidence.

But Mike claims to have the monopoly on "logic" in spite of it being perfectly obvious that Ruby could easily, and with equal justification, accuse Mike of harbouring the pre-decided conclusion that there are some "spectacularly similar signatures" and that the "anecdotal evidence of Reginald" somehow lends weight to the Toppy-as-Hutch hypothesis, rather than detracts from it, as most seasoned commentators on the subject accept that it does.

And I'm sorry, but "no other George Hutchinsons on record"...? Where does this come from? Not remotely the case, I'm afraid.

Best regards,
Ben

The Good Michael
09-10-2010, 08:16 AM
Ruby,

Wanted to rephrase that: Once you choose a suspect, it becomes easy to refute anything because your mind is set. It isn't just a Hutchinson thing.
I'm talking about having a solid belief that someone is the killer.

Mike

Fisherman
09-10-2010, 08:46 AM
Ben:

"All this has led me to the conclusion that Toppy and the witness were not one and the same, but it would be reckless and irresponsible of me to then declare a non-match as “fact”."

Think of it this way, Ben: Would you say that it is a fact that the signatures do not resemble each other beyond the point where nothing but a match would be the logical conclusion? Or would you say that it is merely an opinion of yours, and that I may well be correct in stating that this is the case?

The F-word, Ben, applies in many a respect in this discussion, and as I said before, that owes to the fact (!) that we are dealing with a completely static phenomenon. That is a rare thing, since we mostly spend our time on these threads judging what people meant when they said something, trying to establish how close a wideawake and a billycock are, or settling the issue of when Stride took out her cachous, all topics with infinite interpretation possibilities.
The signatures - that is another thing altogether. We cannot say that a letter leans to the left unless it does so. We cannot state that a letter ends with an upward stroke unless it truly does.
We are dealing with a totally static thing, and therefore we do not interpret when we compare - we simply recognize. It is not my "meaning" that for example the initial H:s of the signatures look very much alike - they ARE in fact (!) very much alike.
This similarity was something that was recognized immediately (and it could be no other way - such things do not sink in after a while...) by a number of posters as you well know. You refuted it, along with other posters, which was why I asked for help from a top authority. His verdict was one of a probable match. But since a worded verdict CAN be subjected to "interpretations" about what was meant, such a process was started. And you know how the document examiner in question valued your interpretation, Ben, since he gave his wiew on it.

I do not wish to go into this discussion again with you any more than necessary. We have both given our respective wiews on the earlier threads. I suggest that we let future finds decide who was right and who was wrong. But as we wait for that, I think that we must allow each other to speak our minds in whatever terms we find appropriate. And the only fact I will refrain from stating being establised, is a consensus on a match inbetween the signatures. Such a consensus does not exist, which should be blatantly obvious. No final word has been said on the matter. But that must not mean that it cannot be said that the similarity inbetween Toppys signature and the signatures in the police report is a fact.

As for your statement about Victorians writing in a very similar fashion, I would very much like to see any scientific material proving that point. So far it has been suggested exactly as many times as it has been left unsubstantiated. And there is always the post in which Sam provided a significant number of relevant George Hutchinsons together with their signatures to prove the point that at the very least this particular little group of Victorians did NOT adjust to such a bid.

The best,
Fisherman

The Good Michael
09-10-2010, 09:37 AM
Fisherman,

Remain calm!!!! Don't let IT begin! I beg you!

A Paragon of Peace and Tranquility

Fisherman
09-10-2010, 09:59 AM
Have some faith, Mike ...! I am the pacifist around here, remember?

The best,
Fisherman

Monty
09-10-2010, 10:06 AM
Fish,

Will you kindly show me where, on these boards, it was established Billycocks and Wideawakes were referred to as the same?

Many thanks

Monty
:)

Fisherman
09-10-2010, 10:15 AM
Hi Monty!

Scroll up a little bit, and you will find the post (38), written by Ben, that I refer to.

The best,
Fisherman

Monty
09-10-2010, 11:05 AM
Cheers Fish,

Monty
:)

Fisherman
09-10-2010, 11:20 AM
You´re welcome, Monty!

The best,
Fisherman

Monty
09-10-2010, 11:26 AM
Webster's dictionary from 1913 defines a "billycock" thusly:

A round, low-crowned felt hat; a wideawake.

Interesting albeit misleading.

A Billycock was not a soft felted hat, it was a hard felted hat. Nor did it have a wide brim, as a Wideawake. The clue is in the name.

People of the period would have known the difference. A Billycock is not a wideawake.

http://www.hatshapers.com/Hat%20Dictionary.htm

Monty
:)

Fleetwood Mac
09-10-2010, 12:05 PM
Why do you think that Hutch is surely the 'favourite suspect' of modern times concerning JtR -and the one about whom the most suspect based books have been written ?

If there was "nothing" to connect him to the murders, it makes you wonder why intelligent people would waste time on him..



Assuming this board is a representative sample of suspects and their proponents.....then I'd say Hutchinson is not 'the favourite suspect'.

You have misrepresented my post Ruby.

I said: "beyond claiming to be loitering outside of the court there is nothing to connect him to the murders". And there isn't.....you could speculate about all sorts such as anti-seminism and red neckerchiefs....but it doesn't change the fact that Hutchinson merely claimed to be loitering outside of the court.

No one ID'd him there......no one else saw the man supposedly with Mary.

I've noticed you have a habit of a stretching the evidence in an attempt to lend weight to Hutchinson......such as your comment about watching the room...when in fact he was looking up the court.....and I suppose that in of itself tells a story about just how credible Hutchinson is.



Garry listed all the points adding to a 'profile' of the killer, and demonstrated ably that Hutch matched all the points.



Which are?

Fleetwood Mac
09-10-2010, 12:13 PM
'Stout' we can deduce -also with certainty- is 'muscle bound ' rather than 'fat' or even 'flabby'. You would not describe someone as being 'of military appearance' if they were fat or flabby, just for starters.



Incorrect.

Military appearance could quite easily apply to someone's demeanour.



Next he was working as a labourer, and had apparently humped barrels, and his story about walking back from Romford was accepted -so he must have looked fit and strong.



Again....this is unconvincing.

My Grandma used to walk 8 miles a day to get to school......she was a young lass.....hardly "strong".....if you watch documentaries etc you'll see tribes of Africans and Arabs wandering the plains for days on end.....but they ain't "strong" in the sense that you mean it.




So now we have a short muscular chunky young man of approx 28 or 29 (Hutch's given age somewhere).



No we don't Ruby. We have you putting a few ingredients in the pot and coming up with a recipe of sorts.

Fisherman
09-10-2010, 12:43 PM
Monty writes:

"Interesting albeit misleading.
A Billycock was not a soft felted hat, it was a hard felted hat. Nor did it have a wide brim, as a Wideawake. The clue is in the name.
People of the period would have known the difference. A Billycock is not a wideawake."

I think the safer bet is that people of our time would know the difference, Monty. The dictionary together with the article Ben referred to made it clear that there was an obvious interchangeability inbetween the two types of hats around the time we are dealing with. And if both the editor of the Webster´s dictionary and the ditto of the Te Aroha got it wrong, I fail to see why this could not have been the case with Lewis too.
At any rate, since Lewis set out by not remembering anything when asked by the police, and since she seemingly did not get much of a look at the loiterer, I think it would be a very hasty conclusion to make that he could not have worn a billycock OR a wideawake - or some other type of headgear altogether ...

The best,
Fisherman

Rubyretro
09-10-2010, 01:27 PM
Wanted to rephrase that: Once you choose a suspect, it becomes easy to refute anything because your mind is set. It isn't just a Hutchinson thing.
I'm talking about having a solid belief that someone is the killer.

Mike...I just one thing clear here : I am somebody who is very willing to admit
that I'm wrong,when I accept that I'm wrong, and change my mind. If you need proof of this, I was once a Toppy-ite but changed my mind when considering all the evidence that shows, on balance, that Hutch and Toppy could not be the same person. I have changed my mind on lots of other detail too, and have always said so straight up, when that is the case.

I almost only reply at length to Hutch Posts, but I read with interest all the 'New Posts' everyday, as well as lots of older Posts (as you will know if you ever click on 'Quick Links') but I have yet to read a Post on another
Suspect that has ever convinced me -but my mind is open.

If I was forced to give a second favourite Suspect, then it would be 'unknown'...yet, for me, the buck stops at the Kelly killing as it is the Crescendo -then 'nothing'. Hutchinson appears to me to be the man in the guilty spot, at the guilty time, who fits the profile for the killer...'unknown'
finally forced from the shadows..

Monty
09-10-2010, 01:59 PM
Fisherman,

Im merely pointing out that the two hats are indeed different, both in construction and style.

Are you saying that people today would know the difference between a Wideawake and Billycock? I have to disagree. These hats are most certainly not prevalent in this age, whereas back in 1888 they were fairly common and recognisable.

Monty
:)

Fisherman
09-10-2010, 02:15 PM
Monty:

"Im merely pointing out that the two hats are indeed different, both in construction and style."

Indeed they are, Monty! You know that and I know that. But this knowledge of ours is dated September 10, 2010, a date where no confusion is about any longer in this issue. A century ago, however, we know that dictionaries and papers wrote about "the billycock or the wideawake" as one and the same headgear, quite obviously believing they were interchangeable.

There could be three explanations to this:

1. Our editors could have held a billyckock in one hand and a wideawake in the other, and accepted that both types of hat belonged to the same family of headgear, or ...

2. They could have held ONE of these hats in just the one hand, exclaiming that "This is a billycock, or, as it is also known, a wideawake", or ...

3. They could have foreseen that two Ripperologists would wrestle over it if given the chance, and so they provided that chance, just for jolly.

...and I´ll be damned if I can tell just how it went down. But one thing I DO know, is that one of these alternatives applied, both in the case of Webster´s and the Te Aroha. The interchangeability - that is not around today - was there!

"Are you saying that people today would know the difference between a Wideawake and Billycock? I have to disagree. These hats are most certainly not prevalent in this age, whereas back in 1888 they were fairly common and recognisable."

"People today", Monty, include both the lad skating past your bedroom window in the morning, and the elderly man who used to play piano in a jazz quartet in the 1940:s, sporting a billycock hat on his head. It´s a wide spectre. In the broad sense you would be correct - these hats are not in style today. But what I chiefly meant, was that as they went out of style, they did so as two types of hats that were told apart. Apparently that did not apply in the same degree - if in any degree at all - back in 1888.

The best,
Fisherman

Fisherman
09-10-2010, 02:59 PM
Monty!

This is from "History of Felt hats & Straw hats - Felt dress hats", found on the web. In it, in a chapter concerning itself with American fashion, http://www.hathistory.org/dress/felt.html, it says:

"In the middle decades of the nineteenth century, top hats were required in cities and were sometimes worn by workers with their work clothes. During this period, the "wide-awake", a black felt hat with a broad stiff brim, was very popular in the western states."

Maybe this has some sort of bearing on the issue we are dealing with - here it seems that brim was made of stiff felt, and not soft ditto, they way we today perceive a wideawake. In that case, we would have a hat that would fit in between the billycock and the wideawake as we know them today.

Fashion is a strange thing.

The best,
Fisherman

Ben
09-10-2010, 03:06 PM
“The F-word, Ben, applies in many a respect in this discussion, and as I said before, that owes to the fact (!) that we are dealing with a completely static phenomenon.”

That really doesn’t make any difference, Fish.

Buildings are also a “completely static phenomenon”, but if I were to state as fact that a particular building was ugly when you considered it a thing of architectural beauty, you would surely question my right to mutate what is so obviously an opinion into a fact? From my inexpert analysis of the handwriting samples, I’m of the opinion that the differences are either more plentiful or more significant than the similarities, and an expert in the field of document examination – who also examined the Maybrick diary, and whose views on that subject are accepted and endorsed by the majority – is also of that persuasion. I appreciate that you made contact with another source, but would reiterate that the nature of the material supplied to him was not acceptable for the purposes of an expert analysis – something he keen to point out, much to his credit. I say all this not to ignite another exchange of opinion, but merely to explain how I arrived at a conclusion on this issue, as opposed to recognition of an ironclad fact.

I didn’t make any “statement about Victorians writing in a very similar fashion”. I spoke of “Victorians whose penmanship was influenced by the era in which they both lived” which I thought was a reasonable observation, borne out by evidence of certain habits – the flourished capital letter of a first name or surname being an obvious example. For a quick example of how even static phenomena such as handwriting samples lend themselves to opinions rather than fact, I would dispute the suggestion that the capital H’s resemble each other very strongly since they connect to the adjoining letter u very differently, besides which the first page signature H looks bears no resemblance at all to any of Toppy’s. But that’s strictly by way of illustration, and not an invitation to embark on more repetitive scrutiny of the material!

All the best,
Ben

Monty
09-10-2010, 03:17 PM
Fisherman !!

"In the middle decades of the nineteenth century, top hats were required in cities and were sometimes worn by workers with their work clothes. During this period, the "wide-awake", a black felt hat with a broad stiff brim, was very popular in the western states."

And the width of the brim??

Seems to me it was broad.

The bottom line is that the Billycock was referred to as the Billycock and the Wideawake as the Wideawake.

The two were not questioned, which is an indication the witness and statement taker knew exactly which hat was being referred to.

Monty
:)

Fisherman
09-10-2010, 03:43 PM
Yes, Monty, the width of that particular hart was large - and that goes hand in hand with your assesment.
But the felt in it was hard - and that goes against your statement.

All I am suggesting is that there may have been OTHER varieties too, mixed into the mould. And at the extreme ends of the scale would have been a stiff, smallish billycock hat with a small brim, and a soft-felted wideawake with a brim that would put the Sombrero of the singer in a 1950:s Mexican danceband in the shade.

Furthermore, I am suggesting that Lewis did not come up with ANY hat at all as she met with the police. It was not until the inquest that man or hat took some sort of shape.

"The bottom line is that the Billycock was referred to as the Billycock and the Wideawake as the Wideawake."

...and the Webster´s dictionary spoke of the billycock, or, as it was also known, the wideawake. That was THEIR bottom line back in 1913.

Therefore, I am ever so politely and humbly suggesting that the man Lewis saw opposite the court on that night, may not have worn what we today perceive as a wideawake hat. Then again he may have done so.

... but if this is going to deny me a good start to the weekend, I´d gladly settle for any hat that you suggest: :bobby: :scholar: :kid: :chef: :joker: !

...and I have no difficulty to accept that

A/ If we need to decide on just the one type, the classical wideawake is the better choice. After all, that is the only one we have on record, albeit a wobbly ditto, and

B/ It IS nice to simplyfy matters once in a while!

Have yourself a nice weekend, Monty!

The very best,
Fisherman

Fisherman
09-10-2010, 03:47 PM
Ben!

"That really doesn’t make any difference, Fish.
Buildings are also a “completely static phenomenon”, but if I were to state as fact that a particular building was ugly when you considered it a thing of architectural beauty, you would surely question my right to mutate what is so obviously an opinion into a fact?"

I do not judge the beauty of the "building" we are speaking of, Ben. I count the windows and the doors, I measure the height, I take a look at the type of bricks and the shape of the roof, and I establish how many chimneys it has.

Static. Will be the same next day. Will enable me to tell it apart from any other building that does not correspond exactly to these parametres.

Have a nice weekend, Ben.

The best,
Fisherman

Monty
09-10-2010, 04:54 PM
Fisherman,

The debate of who was wearing what, who saw who wearing whatever then there just really holds no interest for me.

I find it extremely hard to believe that when someone said Billycock they meant Wideawake.

It is simple, there is no need to over complicate.

Monty
:)

Fisherman
09-10-2010, 05:55 PM
Monty:

"The debate of who was wearing what, who saw who wearing whatever then there just really holds no interest for me.
I find it extremely hard to believe that when someone said Billycock they meant Wideawake.
It is simple, there is no need to over complicate."

Hi Monty!

I realize what you are saying. But I think that if we do NOT "complicate" things here to some extent, we miss out on a number of details that may have very much of a bearing on the issue.

To begin with, we know that Sarah Lewis said in the initial police report that she could not describe the man she had seen in Dorset Street.
She would have supplied the police with the information that she had indeed seen a man outside the court, as if keeping a watch on it.
When this information was offered by Lewis, I think we can easily realize what the police must have done. Here they were, with a witness who may possibly have spotted Jack in the waiting to kill his (purportedly) fifth victim. I say that this ensures that questions must have been posed to Lewis about the looks and possible identity of the man.
Was he tall or short?
Thin or sturdy?
Dark or fair?
I cannot possibly see the police forgetting to ask these things! Yet, they came up with absolutely nothing. They drew a total blank; Lewis could not describe the man.

To me, this makes her efforts at the inquest very, very questionable. She may well have believed that what she now stated was what she remembered, but the mind plays curious tricks on us is situations like these, when we feel we need to remember somebody to help the proceedings. And indeed, what she offers is very thin: the man was "not tall - but stout" she said. She could not say what kind of clothes he had been wearing, but she was able to say that his hat was a black wideawake.
These are all things that had dawned on her somewhere inbetween the police report and the inquest. From not having been able to point out one single thing about her man, she suddenly can pinpoint not only the model of his hat, but also the colour.

My own conviction is that this all is something that has taken shape and form inside Lewis´mind. And just how correct it would have been is quite impossible to tell, but research into witness psychology urges us very strongly not to attach to much weight to testimony like this. The inescapable conclusion is that the wideawake you mean she must have meant, may well have been nothing more than a figment of Lewis´imagination.

If we thereafter add the inference that there was some sort of interchangeability inbetween billycock and wideawake, and the very clear fact that at the very least the material (hard or soft felt) changed from wideawake to wideawake, then I think a very fair case can be made for the necessity of challenging Lewis testimony from the inquest.

I would like to offer something for comparison here: In a Swedish experiment, a number of students were attending a lesson in a classroom, held by two lecturers. By their side, a third man was standing for a few minutes, after which he left the classroom. The students were then asked to describe him. There were a good many bids for the trousers, the jacket, the shirt, but the most interesting thing came about when the students were asked about what colour of tie the man had worn.
-Blue, some said.
-No, red! others stated.
-Yellow.
-Brownish!

All kinds of bids were placed. Of course, the man had worn no tie at all. But when the students were asked to comply by offering the colour they had "seen", they readily did so.
And I think that black wideawake may just go very well together with them ties ...

I hope I´m not annoying you too much with this, Monty. I just think that these are important things to keep in mind.

The best,
Fisherman

Simon Wood
09-10-2010, 06:28 PM
Hi Fisherman,

Regarding Sarah Lewis's testimony, who was the female Mr Wideawake was talking to whilst standing alone outside the lodging house opposite Millers Court?

Regards,

Simon

Fisherman
09-10-2010, 06:48 PM
You do ask some tricky questions, Simon. Am I correct in anticipating that you have a bid for her identity yourself...?
By the way, where do we find her? I can´t see her in either police report or inquest material?

The best,
Fisherman

Ben
09-10-2010, 06:55 PM
Hi Fisherman,

I believe the original police report initially had the Wideawake man "talking to a female", but this was crossed out, and all subsequent recountings of Lewis' evidence include the detail that "there was no-one talking to him". This is probably what Simon is referring to. The confusion may have stemmed from the fact that Lewis mentioned another couple at the corner of Dorset Street, outside "Ringers'" whom she passed very shortly before noticing the solitary be-wideawaked figure.

All the best,
Ben

Simon Wood
09-10-2010, 07:40 PM
Hi Fisherman,

Ben's absolutely right in spotting the source of this evidential conundrum.

Sarah Lewis was wearing her Mrs Kennedy hat when she reported seeing people outside the Britannia at the corner of Dorset Street.

We are spoiled for choice as to whom she saw, and when. There are three variations amongst Mrs Kennedy's 11 newspaper appearances–

1. Untimed: 1 man and 2 women [all unidentified]
2. 3.00 am: 1 man (who had earlier accosted her) and Kelly [man recognised, woman identified].
3. 3.30 am: 1 woman and 2 men [all unidentified].

Interesting that at 3.00 am Kelly was in Room 13 with Mr Astrakahn.

Also that it was Abberline who interviewed Sarah Lewis, Mrs Kennedy and George Hutchinson.

Regards,

Simon

Fisherman
09-10-2010, 09:47 PM
Ben writes:

"I believe the original police report initially had the Wideawake man "talking to a female", but this was crossed out, and all subsequent recountings of Lewis' evidence include the detail that "there was no-one talking to him". This is probably what Simon is referring to. The confusion may have stemmed from the fact that Lewis mentioned another couple at the corner of Dorset Street, outside "Ringers'" whom she passed very shortly before noticing the solitary be-wideawaked figure."

U-huh. Thanks for that, Ben! I knew about the couple, but if I have ever read about the woman, it has since slipped my mind...

The best,
Fisherman

Fisherman
09-10-2010, 09:49 PM
Simon:

"Sarah Lewis was wearing her Mrs Kennedy hat when she reported seeing people outside the Britannia at the corner of Dorset Street.
We are spoiled for choice as to whom she saw, and when. There are three variations amongst Mrs Kennedy's 11 newspaper appearances–
1. Untimed: 1 man and 2 women [all unidentified]
2. 3.00 am: 1 man (who had earlier accosted her) and Kelly [man recognised, woman identified].
3. 3.30 am: 1 woman and 2 men [all unidentified].
Interesting that at 3.00 am Kelly was in Room 13 with Mr Astrakahn.
Also that it was Abberline who interviewed Sarah Lewis, Mrs Kennedy and George Hutchinson."

Thanks for that, Simon. Chewing time ...!

The best,
Fisherman

caz
09-14-2010, 02:52 PM
Hi All,

So if Hutch went forward as a direct result of Lewis saying she saw a man wearing a wideawake hat loitering in the vicinity of the latest murder, are people here saying that he did or did not take a wideawake hat with him for his police interview?

We know so very little about how Hutch came across in terms of his physical appearance, and there is nothing at all to indicate whether any sort of mental comparison was made between Hutch and Lewis's man, either by the police or by Hutch himself.

Unless there would have been very few people passing, entering, leaving or just hanging about the court late at night, and unless those who did so could pinpoint, virtually to the second, when they were actually there on the night in question, and whether anyone else was there too, I don't see why it follows that Hutch had to be the man Lewis saw at one point, or that he had to notice her during his own vigil, or had to recognise himself from her witness testimony.

If, for example, he lied about being there, or didn't own or ever wear a wideawake hat, this whole line of speculation is misleading and will not take us anywhere. If, on the other hand, he sat there with Abberline, bold as brass with the same wideawake hat he knew Lewis had seen him wearing, shortly before he entered that room to commit murder (figuring that he would instantly be recognisable as Lewis's man without having to say a word about her, and would be taken for an equally honest witness when telling his own story) it beggars belief that they would not have made the connection and made more of it, at least while he was considered such a potentially vital witness.

You'd think at the very least that Abberline, armed with this intelligence, would go back to Lewis to see if she could remember anything else at all in connection with her lurker, considering his account of Mary taking Mr A back to her room. And yet there is nothing even to hint that Hutch wore a wideawake to the cop shop. Without one, the theory that he was forced out of the shadows because this very item of headgear would have made him identifiable starts to fall apart at the seams.

Love,

Caz
X

Ben
09-14-2010, 03:42 PM
Hi Caz,

It cannot, of course, be proven beyond reasonable doubt that Hutchinson was the man in question, but a strong case can obviously be made in that regard. Hutchinson claimed not only to be standing in the same location – and at the same time - as Lewis had earlier described her loitering man in a wideawake, but engaging in the same activity of watching and apparently waiting for someone to emerge from the entrance to Miller’s Court. Unless anyone wants to argue that such solitary vigils were commonplace at that location - especially at that wee hour of the morning and in miserable weather – it follows that Hutchinson either was the individual seen by Lewis, or knew about her account and wanted to assume the loiterer’s identity for some reason, and I don’t find the latter option at all credible for reasons outlined in an earlier post to this thread.

Moreover, it seems scarcely credible to me that the timing of Hutchinson’s account, coming on the scene so soon after the termination of the inquest, was mere random coincidence, especially when we consider that he could have made himself known at any time over the three days that elapsed between the murder becoming public knowledge and 6.00pm on 12th November, or indeed any time after that.

That said, I agree that he was unlikely to have been “forced out of the shadows because this very item of headgear would have made him identifiable”. As I discovered from some earlier net sleuthing, and as Fisherman has pointed out, the definitions regarding Billycocks, Wideawakes and even Bowlers had become somewhat blurred around the period in question. Ada Wilson described her attacker as having worn a wideawake, and here’s how the headgear was depicted later by the press:

http://photos.casebook.org/displayimage.php?pid=387&fullsize=1

In other words, hardly distinctive and a far cry from the Quaker-style hats I once assumed they were. Interestingly, press sketches of Hutchinson himself featured him sporting similar headgear, although whether this signifies that he wore his “Dorset Street” hat to the interview may never be determined. Even if he did, it’s doubtful in the extreme that this would have rendered him “instantly (..) recognisable as Lewis's man”. That’s not to say the police never inferred a connection between Lewis and the loiterer, and if they did, they may well have made "more of it", but that doesn’t mean that this “Eureka!” moment should have survived in written report form.

All the best,
Ben

Rubyretro
09-14-2010, 04:01 PM
Hi All,

So if Hutch went forward as a direct result of Lewis saying she saw a man wearing a wideawake hat loitering in the vicinity of the latest murder, are people here saying that he did or did not take a wideawake hat with him for his police interview?
Hutch came forward to the Police and identified himself as the witness seen by Lewis lurking in Miller's Court. He did so after Lewis had spoken of a loitrer at the inquest -a man looking down the Court "as if waiting for someone", whom she described as short & stout and wearing a wideawake hat.
There are only 3 possibilities to my mind (and leaving aside any suggestion that Hutch was the killer) :
1)-Hutch didn't know anything about Lewis and came forward spontaneously, in which case his testimony agrees with hers, because he states that he WAS in the Court at that time, and he was looking towards Mary's room, waiting to see if A Man came out.
2)-Hutch heard about Lewis's witness statement, it agreed with his description, he recognised himself and felt obliged to come forward rather than risk an identification as the possible killer.
3) Hutch was nowhere near the Court, but heard about Lewis' witness statement and came forward as an attention seeker

If Hutch were NOT short stout and did NOT own a wideawake hat, in the 3 cases it would have given this result :
1) Mrs Lewis got her description wrong, but Hutch WAS in the Court because he had spontaneously described his actions that night, without knowing anything about anything that she said;
2) Mrs Lewis was right, she had described Hutch, and he came forward as 'damage limitation', recognising himself in her description.
3) Hutch was only an attention seeker, not even there at the stated time, but he felt able to pass himself off as the 'loiterer' because he matched the description given.

We know so very little about how Hutch came across in terms of his physical appearance, and there is nothing at all to indicate whether any sort of mental comparison was made between Hutch and Lewis's man, either by the police or by Hutch himself.
In the immediate days after Hutch coming forward, his story of standing in Miller's Court, watching Mary's room for A Man to come out, at that particular moment in time, was believed because it was seemingly corroborated by Mrs Lewis's statement. Ergo, he matched her description (short/tall, thin, in a saltn'pepper jacket and a flat cap would not do). Proof that the Police believed Hutch, was that they began searching for A Man, marching Hutch around town looking to identify him. Journalists (notoriously cynical) also interviewed Hutch, and believed him -if he had not matched the witness statement of Lewis and her physical description of the 'loiterer', hard bitten journalists would have picked up on the fact straight away.

Unless there would have been very few people passing, entering, leaving or just hanging about the court late at night, and unless those who did so could pinpoint, virtually to the second, when they were actually there on the night in question, and whether anyone else was there too, I don't see why it follows that Hutch had to be the man Lewis saw at one point, or that he had to notice her during his own vigil, or had to recognise himself from her witness testimony.
The early hours of the morning were so lonely, and Miller's Court was so tiny,
that it is impossible that two people in it would not be in very close proximity
and not notice each other. Hutch apparently could overhear A Man and Mary
( who would surely choose to stand some way away from a third person ??)
-Hutch could assert believably that he had heard Mary and A Man talking , because people in the Court would be virtually on top of each other..plus it was silent and echoey). It is totally believable that in an isolated dark spot at that hour, Lewis would scurry past Hutch in a hurry feeling vulnerable, but Hutch would (not feeling physically in danger) notice lots about her, more than she did of him.

If, for example, he lied about being there, or didn't own or ever wear a wideawake hat, this whole line of speculation is misleading and will not take us anywhere. If, on the other hand, he sat there with Abberline, bold as brass with the same wideawake hat he knew Lewis had seen him wearing, shortly before he entered that room to commit murder (figuring that he would instantly be recognisable as Lewis's man without having to say a word about her, and would be taken for an equally honest witness when telling his own story) it beggars belief that they would not have made the connection and made more of it, at least while he was considered such a potentially vital witness.
I can't believe that Hutch had a vast wardrobe, nor, as a Dosser, he didn't have his possessions with him. If the Police believed that he was Lewis's witness then he must have had a wideawake hat with him. The Police did not need to 'make more of it' since Hutch was volunteering that he was the man seen by Lewis -not trying to hide it.
You'd think at the very least that Abberline, armed with this intelligence, would go back to Lewis to see if she could remember anything else at all in connection with her lurker, considering his account of Mary taking Mr A back to her room. And yet there is nothing even to hint that Hutch wore a wideawake to the cop shop. Without one, the theory that he was forced out of the shadows because this very item of headgear would have made him identifiable starts to fall apart at the seams. X
Mrs Lewis evidently didn't remember anything more about the loiterer -but Hutch couldn't be sure of that in advance. He couldn't be sure that Mrs Lewis hadn't actually given the Police more information as to the description of him, than the Police had made public.

Ruby x

richardnunweek
09-14-2010, 09:23 PM
Hello Guys,
Every so often on casebook another thread on our infamous Hutch springs to life, and so it should.
I can say with hand on heart, that anyone that has the time, and inclination, to trace this elusive broadcast of mine[ ie Reg] they will be rewarded if they search through editions of the Radio times between the dates[ sorry about the gap of time, but best to be sure] 1971-1975 up to may that year.
The article explaining the programme figures on the left hand side of one of the Rear pages.
When yours truely, accompanied by my wife, and eldest daughter, visited Brighton University a year or so back, we looked at the relevent editions , but only the pages at the front, that discussed the programmes that week.
That was a huge mistake, as it was the rear , as I now recall.
With regard to that programme, again hand on heart, it was aired at 8pm on a weekday tuesday/wednesday?, it lasted about forty minutes, and it was to the best of my knowledge entitled 'The man that saw jack', or similar.
Near the end of the broadcast there apparently was a taped interview with the son, of the man that saw Jack, ie Hutchinson, who mentioned exactly the same, as was relayed to Fairclough, and which featured in his 'Ripper and the Royals' some 18 years later.
The same sum paid was the same , the someone 'up the social ladder' figured also, and to the best of my memory, the words used, by the alleged son of the witness, said by his father reflecting on the event was.' It was his deepest regret that dispite his efforts in assisting the police, nothing came of it.
Because the radio programme , and the book were nearly two decades apart, and reflected the same, it surely points to Reg Hutchinson, does it not?
Either that or its an amazing coinidence.
Military appearance, indicates a smart type, possibly well groomed...an eye for detail perhaps. rather like Topping[ or what we know of him.
Refering to nobody else of older generation in the family, hearing that broadcast, whats new,.. nobody but me, on Casebook has ever heard it.
But Guys the evidence is there, just research, and you will find. I Should have been succesful, but blew it, but to be honest I dont need convincing because I heard it .
But Casebook does...
Regards Richard.

Rubyretro
09-15-2010, 01:52 PM
Hi Richard -

I have an offer for you !

My Family live right near Brighton and I take a holiday to visit them a couple of times a year. Due to work commitments up until the end of December, the next time will be in January. I will PM you near the date, and if you give me exact instructions, I think that it would be an interesting experience for Me to go to Brighton University and try and track down for you, your radio programme; I would be thrilled for you to get proof that it existed.

In return though, I'd like you to do something for Me. I have a book called 'Reincarnation ? The Claims Investigated' by Ian wilson. I would have bought you a copy, but can't find one...still, if you PM me with your address, I will lend you my sellotaped together copy. It will demonstrate to you, without a shadow of a doubt, how people can read something, identify with what they are reading and visualise it like a film in their mind, and then totally forget, conciously, what they've read. Years later they can dig up this 'film', place themselves in it, and be utterly convinced by the realism of their own 'false memory' that they have lived through the event.

I have no doubt that these people are sincere -and as they are so convinced themselves by what they 'remember', so they are convincing for others. My Mother owns a
copy of the Arnall Bloxham/Jeffery Iverson recordings cited in the book, and by a strange quirk (Edward Ryall* was dead by the time this book was published), Ryall was my 'penfriend' when I was about 16, and I actually went to stay with him at his house near Southend (he must have been around 80 at the time) (yes, I WAS a weird teenager -
a punk rocker with a 'crush' on the Duke of Monmouth !). These people, recounting these fantasies in short, are entirely believable when you hear them BECAUSE THEY BELIEVE THE TRUTH OF WHAT THEY'RE TELLING YOU THEMSELVES.

Yet, at the end of Wilson's book, he cites the published historial novels from which these people constructed their 'memories' : there is not a 'shadow of a doubt' as to the source material, since not only were the novels published before the 'memories' came to the fore, but of course the authors of the novels had done alot of research. Although, the people 'remembering' came out with so much period obscure detail - there wasn't anything which could not be found in the novels. The clincher though, was that they repeated the authors MISTAKES and 'artistic license'.

Interestingly, there is also something in common with the type of person having the 'memories' : they are all 'artistic' 'visual' personalities that that paint, write, act etc.
They are people that empathise with other people. They are touched by having something in common with a character in the novel, and 'identify' with them (they nearly never take the role of the protagonist, but of a minor character...which always makes their story more believable). I think that Toppy has something in common with this type of
person, and I think that the same 'mechanism' is at work :
-Toppy carried a cane, went to the Music Hall and married an Actress (it points to him being 'artistic' ).
-Toppy was educated -he is listed as being a 'scholar', and he could read the papers
-Toppy had a name in common with George Hutchinson, he knew the East End, and one can understand that he would have been attracted to reading about things pertaining to Hutch, at the time, although he may have forgotten doing so. He had a reason for identifying with the witness.
-Although Randolph Churchill has obviously nothing to do with the case, one can imagine that the description of A Man could correspond in Toppy's mind, when he read the
original description -he visualised someone 'very like' Churchill.

The clincher for Me is the Wheeling Report : Richard, you always cite this obscure document as being the 'evidence' both for the Wheeling Report being true (it was confirmed by Toppy years later), and for Toppy's memories of being 'the Witness' being true, because he cites information which could only come from the Wheeling Report. Yet, reading over the forums concerning the payment of the sum of money to Hutch, it seems clear to Me that the Wheeling Report got things wrong -and as in the Reincarnation cases, this is proof of Toppy's 'source' -the Newspapers !

So I will try and find that Radio show for you, Richard, but I don't know what it will prove : I have always believed that Reg was sincere anyway, and I think that
Toppy was sincere ...but he was not the witness George Hutchinson. Every concrete Fact goes to prove that it was nearly impossible for him to have been so (yes, I will go along with 99.99% impossible).

* published book, memories of the Monmouth uprising "Second Time Around" Edward Ryall

Rubyretro
09-15-2010, 02:45 PM
PS : reading back back over my own reply to Richard has brought so many of my own teenage memories flooding back ...I WAS weird :

I must have been one of the only 'hardcore' Punks that tried everything to join the Morris Men (TRUE -I was rejected). (It still 'smarts' all these years later).

I also joined 'The Sealed Knot' -but my Mother wouldn't let Me go away for weekends as a 'camp fire wench' ( I'm just surprised that they allowed Me into their meetings in the Historical village pub -I was underage and had spikey red hair with pictures of Iggy Pop attached everywhere by safteypins).

Thank God that the Pogues arrived on the scene, and I was no longer a 'split personality' , eh ?

richardnunweek
09-16-2010, 09:28 PM
Hi Rubyretro,
I find it hard to agree with you , when suggesting that Regs Father GWTH, actually believed he was the witness GH, Because he had convinced himself, that he was, and that he knew the deseased MJK.
All this was the result of reading newspapers, and he lost all sense of reality.
Dont agree...
The Wheeling reports content regarding payment, I sincerley believe, adds considerable weight, to at the very least Regs honesty, simply because I have heard it privately that he knew absolutely nothing about the Ripper case, he even had to borrow a book on the subject from a younger relative to educate himself.....Hardly likely to have read the Wheeling report I would suggest.
Yet he mentions payment, which no other paper mentioned.
Ah yes.
Fairclough came across the report , and fed him the payment idea.
Fair point.
However Fairclough, was not on Regs scene in the 1970s , when it was mentioned on radio. was he?
So that leaves Topping who conned everyone , including his own mind,who read the wheeling report in 1888, who read the entire Hutchinson statement in 1888, and developed the story , for a chance to get a few pints in later life, informs his own family of this., who never doubted him, according to his close family, even Regs wife believed her father -in laws account.
I have said many times on casebook[ two many] that the only identification of Hutchinson that has come to light since 1888, is Topping, and as that account tallies with all the facts known, I Simply find it conclusive.
We have the witness....GWTH.
Regards Richard.

The Good Michael
09-17-2010, 02:37 AM
Richard,

I agree with you, but that doesn't make him NOT the murderer. If he were, he would need to have been very Joran-like, brininging this back on thread.

Mike

Ben
09-17-2010, 03:59 AM
Hi Richard,

Please understand that the Wheeling Register does not support, in any shape or form, any claim made by Reginald Hutchinson in The Ripper and the Royals, and I am asking nicely. The Wheeling Register claimed that Barnett was drunk at the inquest and that he was living with a woman other than Kelly at the time. Pretty much every other source disputes both of these allegations, and most claim the reverse, especially in the former case. In a headline entitled "Gossip", the Wheeling Register claimed that some clever individual "invented" a description and was paid to accompany police in search of a man fitting that "invented" description, whereas Reg insinuated to Melvyn Fairclough that his father was paid to keep quiet about having seen Lord Randolph Churchill the Ripper in the company of Mary Kelly.

Once again, I couldn't urge more strongly against using a highly dubious contemporary press account from America to bolster an even more dubious claim in a modern book touting the Royal Conspiracy - or rather, an even more outlandish version thereof - as the most viable solution to the ripper murders.

I repeat - and I look forward immensely to banging on about this if ever the issue is raised again - nobody needed to have read the "Wheeling Register" to form a basis for the story about Toppy being paid for his eyewtiness "services". The Wheeling Register does not lend weight to any of Toppy or Reg's claims - most emphatically and irrefutably.

Cheers,
Ben

Rubyretro
09-17-2010, 11:51 AM
Richard,
if Toppy couldn't actually have been the witness, and every known fact about Toppy is in opposition to every description of Hutch (there is not ONE thing that links these men other than a shared common name -and even then not the Topping bit -). Your whole argument reposes on the fact that it MUST be true because Reg said so.

None of us know anything about the integrity of Reg Hutchinson -however, I am totally willing to believe that Reg was telling the absolute truth.

I'm actually being very kind to Reg here -you say that Reg didn't know anything about the case, and had to borrow a book to read up on the subject...I find that rather strange. Jack the Ripper was probably the most infamous murderer in History, and Reg would have to have lived on another planet to have not been familiar with the name and notoriety at least...and there was his Dad not only telling him that he had been standing in Miller's Court on the night of the last murder, that he believed that he had seen the murderer...and he knew the murdered woman ? You'd have thought that Reg would have been full of questions !

"you knew her ? How well ? what was she like ? How come you were living in a Doss House, with no money..when you'd spent so long training to be a plumber and are never out of work now ?" Yet Reg seems to have been strangely incurious :

...he doesn't seem to have had any description of Mary at all, any knowledge of why his Father would have been living in such circumstances, and no urge to find out more about the case by getting a book out of the library or ordering one from the bookshop. Infact , the only things that he seemed able to repeat from his Father, was information that had been published in Newspapers. Fairclough must have been so disappointed in Reg not being able to give him new info, when he surely questioned him, and only things that he could find for himself by 'research' -a bitter blow.

But, no matter, I will believe that Reg was entirely honest, and the one fabulating was Toppy. A Toppy who was 22 at the
time of the immense publicity surrounding the murders, who was educated and able to read newspapers, who's attention was taken by the coincidence that he and the witness shared a name, and who had a very good memory for detail (according to our oracle).

I will also be kind to Toppy and say that he didn't begin telling his son fibs, to make himself more interesting..he had identified himself in his mind with the witness and could visualise the whole scene in Miller's Court in his mind, like a film director with himself as the actor. This is a known mechanism of the mind (I'll still lend you my book if you want), and to a lesser extent one that everyone experiences when they visualise their own childhood memories -those incredibly clear memories of
family holidays, or weddings, often turn out to be false when the facts are checked, photos looked at, parent's questioned etc;

The Wheeling Register, I hear you say :

Well, like Ben said, it made other mistakes..but that sum of money mentioned is entirely unbelievable. Infact 5 WEEKS wages is totally preposterous. We are talking about an unemployed casual worker living in a Doss House in a place of extreme poverty -why an earth would the Police pay him such a fabulously princely sum, when he didn't even have a job
not to go to anyway ? Couldn't they just compel an important witness to assist them ? That they might pay his lodgings and food (expenses) for the day -fair enough. He only accompanied them for a few days though..

I think that Chris Scott pointed out that the exact same sum was supposed to have been offered to Mathew Packer to
close his shop, and help them..boy did those coppers chuck cash about needlessly !

This sounds to me like an 'urban myth' repeated by incredibly poor East Enders, and picked up by the Wheeling Register (if you prefer that Toppy couldn't have read that document, and Fairclough didn't discover it during rsearch and feed it to Reg).

Either way, it helps prove that Toppy's 'memories' were false, because he was repeating an error.

richardnunweek
09-17-2010, 11:55 AM
Hi Ben,
I obviously respect your opinion, however I oppose your view when it comes to the Wheeling Register.
Several points to make.
With regard to Barnett being drunk at the inquest, we are not in a position to say, have we the knowledge how long the inquest took that day, for instance when did JB , give his evidence, did they adjourn for lunch? if that being the case he could have had his fill, then returned to the inquest worst for wear,if not the case his speech impediment could have given that impression.
Also it was claimed that he took of with one of the women witnesses, since the death of kelly, which is entirely possible, infact for all we know they might have been of a ''together appearance at the inquest, and given that impression.
I agree the Wheeling Register is reported to have been a gossip paper, but where does a lot of other news derive from?.
It could also be the reporters opinion that 'some clever individual' invented a story, simply because of the elaborate description[ rather like many do today]
But the payment.
Five times a mans weekly wage...which according to the average rate for a labourer would be approx five pounds, which so happens to tally with both the radio report in the 1970s, and Faircloughs account in 1992, and this report was only featured in this rather obscure edition, descovered only relatively recent.
Unless a rather dubious radio researcher, fed that snippit to Reg Hutchinson as part of a story , which he relayed on the wavelengths in a slot of that 40 minute airing , or the whole story told by Reg was true.
Fairclough could not have been involved as the broadcast was the best part of two decades earlier.
Lets clarify one thing.
The broadcast did suggest that 'Astracan' looked as if he came from higher up the social ladder, but the interview with Reg [ which it had to have been] did not imply that his father said he was paid to keep ''quiet', infact he maintained that his father[ [proven Topping] never revealed why he was paid.
one could speculate all one wishes, but it never came from Toppings lips.
infact the words used allegedly from Topping to his son /family were I quote as best to my ability.
'It was his biggest regret, that dispite all his efforts, nothing came of it'
Which implies to yours truely... assisting the police, and if any payment occured it was proberly from them.
Although one could never rule out a more sinister explanation.. I repeat that suggestion was never made originally, but I suggest was implied to Reg by Fairclough, with the intention of sales, and I have heard privately that Reg was promised a wedge if the book was a success, so naturally spicing up the story would have ok by him.
I too could argue my conviction until domesday, because as I have said .I heard that broadast, I was not imagining, or smoking joints etc.
8pm one weekday evening , and at a guess 1973/4.
Regards Richard.

Rubyretro
09-17-2010, 12:11 PM
I have heard privately that Reg was promised a wedge if the book was a success, so naturally spicing up the story would have ok by him.

Richard, I think that you must be a lovely man, and very honest to tell us that
...and unflinchingly loyal to Reg and Toppy.

I didn't know that bit of info ! It certainly colours our interpretation of what
Fairclough quoted Reg as saying...I certainly hope that you DO find that radio
show (my offer still stands)...because otherwise it will surely make me question who was the fabulator between Toppy and Reg !

claire
09-17-2010, 12:22 PM
You haven't tried the Radio Times Archive, Richard? (Am presuming you have.) If not, why not just drop them a line? You'll be in the best position to describe said programme and someone there might be feeling helpful. enquiries@radiotimesarchive.co.uk

richardnunweek
09-17-2010, 12:23 PM
Hi Rubyretro,
I agree both your good self , and Ben, make valid points for the prosecution, but the fact remains the late Reg, myself , and a handful of Casebook members, are not the only ones that remain faithful, many of the older members of that family still believe the account, infact Regs brother [ still alive?] remembers his father mentioning it.
I agree on one point although.
Five pounds/hundred shillings was a huge sum in 1888, however Jack the Ripper was someone, who the police were desperate to catch, and someone like hutchinson [ who Abberline originally believed] might have led them to the whitechapel fiend, so cheap at the price ?
Informers today are paid huge sums , for important imformation, rewards are substancial also.
Even the reward, for the capture of the Ripper, posted all over the district was hardly a poultry sum in 1888.
Regards Richard.

richardnunweek
09-17-2010, 12:52 PM
Hi Claire,
I personally havent, but someone else did [ name escapes] but the archives got the right subject ie JTR, but the wrong programme, one of the 'Great Victorian episodes which was not the relevant broadcast..
As mentioned previous , myself and two members of my family went to the Brighton University, a year or so back, but we were only alloted a two hour slot, in their librairy and although we searched through four years of radio times editions, we only searched the pages up to the weeks listings , and ignored the rear pages , which as i now know had many write ups also.
I am confident that that is where the article is, and 1973-up to may 75 is to the best of my memory where it will be found.
Regards Richard.

Ben
09-17-2010, 01:26 PM
Hi Richard,

“With regard to Barnett being drunk at the inquest, we are not in a position to say, have we the knowledge how long the inquest took that day, for instance when did JB , give his evidence, did they adjourn for lunch?”

Not enough to secure proof, but there’s such a weight of evidence in support of Barnett not having been “furiously drunk” at the inquest, and such plentiful indications to the contrary, that the claim made in the Wheeling Register must be treated as extremely suspect at best. And no, I doubt very much that Barnett was plied with alcohol when they “adjourned for lunch”. The coroner even congratulated Barnett at the end for having given his evidence “very well”, something he was very unlikely to have done if the witness had been “furiously drunk” when giving it.

Here’s what the Wheeling Register said about Barnett’s post-Kelly romance:

"He was furiously drunk at the inquest and is living with a certain notorious Whitechapel character who testified at the inquest and became enamored of the drunken brute because, as she said, of the romantic interest attaching to him"

Is it remotely plausible that only a newspaper from West Virginia should have picked up on this gossip while all British newspapers overlooked the details that A) Barnett was a drunken brute who gave outward and visible signs of being so, B) Barnett ended up cohabiting with one of the women who gave evidence at the inquest, and C) that the woman in question was a “notorious Whitechapel character”. That’s an entirely difference issue from the question of how far-fetched (or not) the actual claims are. The contentious issue is how every other press source could have failed to pick up on these gossip segments IF they were true.

“It could also be the reporters opinion that 'some clever individual' invented a story, simply because of the elaborate description[ rather like many do today”

Usually, though, the journalists in questions make clear the distinction between opinion and fact, such as that wonderfully understated observation that Hutchinson’s account “engenders a feeling of scepticism”. In this case, however, it was simply stated that that “clever individual” in question had invented a description. Of course, if they were expressing an opinion only, they’d be guilty of recklessly misleading phraseology and arming us with yet another reason not to take their “gossip” seriously.

“Five times a mans weekly wage...which according to the average rate for a labourer would be approx five pounds, which so happens to tally”

Oh no! This again! ;) The police were under the impression that Hutchinson was not in regular employment, and that he would not therefore have been taking home a usual salary. The police would not, therefore, have paid Hutchinson to the tune of five times a non-existent usual salary. So there is no interesting coincidence between the figures provided by the two dubious sources, Ripper and the Royals and The Wheeling Register’s gossip column. That’s even disregarding the outlandish nature of the claim. One can accept that the police might have provided Hutchinson with basic expenses for his efforts, but a huge pay-off such as the one hinted at here? It would have opened the floodgates to any number of bogus witnesses coming forward and expecting to be paid off in a similar fashion.

“but it never came from Toppings lips.”

But what did come from Topping’s lips, according to Fairclough, was an acceptance that the man his father allegedly saw “really was Churchill”.

Until a record emerges of that radio interview, it is simply impermissible as evidence here. I’d only add that a researcher who has been in contact with the Topping Hutchinson family has expressed the view that the radio interview never occurred, at least not as you remembered it.

Best regards,
Ben

richardnunweek
09-17-2010, 02:11 PM
Hello Ben,
Again all valid points, and points I myself may well have made, if not for my recollections of that broadcast.
Because of that I know that Fairclough did not invent the payment, because of the broadcast, I know that the person who spoke on that show was Reg, simply because he said most of the same, some 18 years later in the book.
It is a fact that the late Reg was just a costermonger, who like anybody, welcomed a few extra quid, his knowledge of the case was minimal, apart from the name JTR, and there is no doubt he went along with Fairclough, and Toppings story as a toff, but he most certainly never admitted 18 years earlier that his father ever mentioned a pay off, for sinister reasons, simply he kept quite about where the money came from, but admitted the sum.
Ben.
You keep saying five times salary = nothing, when one is unemployed, but the word equivilent springs to mind.
Regardless of work status, equvilent to five weeks wages, =approx five pounds/hundred shillings.
I am intriqued, you state that no members of the family remember a radio broadcast, at least as I remembered.
Ben we are talking about a broadcast which took place around 36 years ago, on a obscure radio programme, i was only 27 years old then , 63 now , no wonder anybody cant recall it.
Explanation....Not as I heard it? meaning...
Regards Richard.

Ben
09-17-2010, 02:28 PM
Hi Richard,

“You keep saying five times salary = nothing, when one is unemployed, but the word equivilent springs to mind.”

But even this is inapplicable.

The police accepted that Hutchinson was without regular employment at the time. He would not, then, have been taking home a weekly salary or anything “equivalent” to it. Hutchinson could hardly have convinced the police that he was earning the same amount in his temporarily unemployed state, as he had been accustomed to receiving in the capacity of a salaried labourer. So there’s still no interesting similarity between the sums mentioned. Just two dubious sources providing implausible accounts of excessively large and almost certainly fictional pay-offs.

Again, and as frustrating as it may be, the radio interview cannot have any relevance to the discussion until evidence for its existence is produced.

As for Reg, there was never any need for him to "go along with Fairclough" in the latter's effort to assign the ripper toff-status, especially if he was an honest unbiased source revealing what he knew of his father's connections to the case.

Best regards,
Ben

Rubyretro
09-17-2010, 02:46 PM
many of the older members of that family still believe the account, infact Regs brother [ still alive?] remembers his father mentioning it.
The thing is, I don't think that the family all DO believe it. Some time ago, a woman who has studied the geneology of the 'Toppy' Family, PM'd Me bcause
although she still reads Casebook, she doesn't participate anymore, because the arguments get so convoluted and futile. However, seeing that I was interested in Hutch, she only wanted to direct me to some Threads that she felt that I ought to read (because I'm a relatively new member, and wouldn't have read them).

I want to stress here that this person in no way gave me her own opinion on who was JtR, or whatever SHE thought about the case -her interest seemed to lie in researching, and that is all.

One of the threads that she pointed me to as being of great interest, was a thread which David Knot(t) participated in. According to her, David is a member of the 'Toppy' Family, from Toppy's sister, Jane -(I absolutely don't know that this is true, anymore than you know that Reg's story is )-
however, given that Toppy's Family don't talk to Ripperologists, did apparently show all their info to David on the subject, and that neither he or she showed the least hint of being other than reasonable & grounded individuals, I have a tendancy to believe her.

He contended that, although he had promised not to publish private Family info on the net, and although he could say that Toppy WAS in the East End at this time, and that Toppy HAD done other jobs (shades of yourself Richard - limpid), yet looking at all the available information, as a 'betting man' he was "99.99% sure that " Toppy "COULD NOT" have been Hutch.

It was also Knott who said that the older members of the Family could not remember Reg ever having been on the radio -although they feel sure that they would have remembered such an unusual event. It doen't sound to me as if Reg's bother remembered it (which doesn't mean it's not true).

My correspondant went on to say that David only was a member of Casebook for such a very short time, because members simply sneered , walked all over what he was saying, blithly disregarded it all, and engaged in futile prejudiced arguments
(those are my own words, and based on reading all the thread). We should have 'groomed' the guy, and coaxed any info out of him ! -he would have tripped himself up if he was a 'fake'

Even the reward, for the capture of the Ripper, posted all over the district was hardly a poultry sum in 1888.
Regards Richard.[/QUOTE]

No -but that was for the CAPTURE -something concrete -and probably 'private' money. It wasnt for parading around with a '****' (!) n'bull story for a few days out of the public purse.

richardnunweek
09-17-2010, 02:54 PM
Hi Ben,
I have just read page 246 of The Ripper and the Royals, and to be honest Regs account does not differ to much from his 1970s version, in which he mentioned someone higher up[ cant recall the churchill bit , but may have] but he said on both occasions radio, and book, that his father kept his cards close to his chest, and its therefore only speculation why he was paid.
Did he assist the police much more then is known, if that sum was paid proberly 'Yes'
As I mentioned in such a high profile case such as this, a witness that they believed saw the killer up close, would be worth his weight in gold.
Richard.

Rubyretro
09-17-2010, 03:03 PM
"cards to your chest"..it's a writer's or dramatist's device (the reader or 'public' supply the rest from their imaginations -something that the 'audience' find most convincing as a argument, and you don't have to 'bother' to make up).

People who 'play their cards to their chest' are either plain empty, because there IS nothing to discover -or life's natural Drama Queens (the worst is a combination of the two).

Be suspicious, Richard

Rubyretro
09-17-2010, 03:32 PM
Richard
Here is something else to bear in mind when considering Reg/Toppy -

-you are not married to either of them, and you will not be comitting adultery if you are 'unfaithful' to them
-you are not their son, and you are not their Father, and they will not be any loss to you, nor you to them, if you don't believe them (same goes with Maxwell).
-it has absolutely no bearing on your life, or anyone else's, and the 'Real World' will not even notice for a second if you change your mind
-'This Lady's Not For Turning' is possibly one of the stupidest things quoted -it takes more courage to publically change your mind than stick to a wrong descision.

Try and put these things in your head when you consider the evidence over
Toppy/Hutch. Obviously, if you're STILL convinced carry on thinking as you do..

richardnunweek
09-18-2010, 10:28 AM
Hello Rubyretro,
With respect, I am not a person that, is such a novice in life, that I accept everything I see, or hear, as gospel.
It is a absolute fact that no other Hutchinson, apart from Topping, has ever come foreward and made himself known.
It is a absolute fact, that a sum of money [allegedly] was paid to the said gentleman, that is in print, and it can be found in the Wheeling Register,
It is a absolute fact, that a sum of money similar to that article was ,mentioned in the Ripper and the Royals.
And it is a absolute fact that the informant, was one Reg Hutchinson[ late] the picture of his father, that features in the book, used to be in Regs flat.
It is a absolute fact [ at least to me] that my 1970s radio broadcast, featured the same person ie Reg, because the information was the same that featured in Faircloughs book nearly two decades later.
I am not looking for any sinister , or clever explanations, how my mind is reacting, I simply know what reality is, I trust my sanity.
Look at reality, look at the handwriting[ mixed views].
Hutchinson remains an enigma, we dont trust his motives, and doubt his story, and even when the real man stands up to be counted, we dismiss his identity.
Strange...but true.
Regards Richard.

David Knott
09-18-2010, 11:25 AM
Apologies - I have only just come across this thread, otherwise I would have stepped in sooner!

Firstly, I am not related to the Mr Knott who married Toppy's sister Jane.

A couple of years ago I did trace and contact certain descendants of Toppy, to see if they could shed any light on his identification as the witness George Hutchinson. This was purely out of my interest in the JtR case, nothing to do with family connections (I have also contacted numerous other people descended from other characters in the JtR story).

Prior to contacting them I was undecided as to whether Toppy was the witness. After contacting them, I was still undecided. They were able to give some information to suggest that the biographical objections such as location and occupation were not an issue, but at the same time I got the impression that nobody other than Reg knew anything about the story, and even he had never mentioned it before being contacted by Joseph Sickert.

I don't know where the 99.99% came from - I think I was referring to the likelihood of Reg having appeared on the radio, as the family members I contacted felt sure that they would have remembered had that been the case.

I remain undecided as to whether Toppy was the witness, although note that a person alleging to be the daughter in law of Reg's younger brother posted on Casebook to say that her father in law had also heard the story.

David

Fisherman
09-18-2010, 11:30 AM
Thanks for clearing that up, David - much appreciated!

The best,
Fisherman

richardnunweek
09-18-2010, 12:26 PM
Hello David,
Many thanks for that, it at least opens the door for debate.
Appearing on radio in the 1970s was hardly a hugh event, it does not mean live in the studio, a taped message would suffice, and proberly was the case.
The daughter in -law of the younger brother of Reg, did indeed post on Casebook, but rather like Fiona Kendell resented the flak which rained down on her.
Who can blame them , for doing a runner.
Regards Richard.

David Knott
09-18-2010, 12:42 PM
Richard,

As you know, I am inclined to believe that the post by 'JDHutchinson' was genuine, as I managed to ascertain that Reg's younger brother has indeed got a daughter in law with those initials.

As regards the radio broadcast, I really think your memory is playing tricks with you. I spent a day at Colindale going throught the microfilm and all I found was the broadcast on 1 June 1972 "Who was Jack the Ripper". The entry is on page 49 of the 25 May 1972 issue of the Radio Times. It was broadcast on Radio 4, at 8pm on a Thursday, and therefore in those respects matches exactly your recollections, but as we know, the program did not feature an interview with Reg (or anyone else making a similar claim)

The only thing I can think is that it was repeated, and Reg or somebody else had been interviewed in the interim, and this was added on to the end of the broadcast.

David

Ben
09-18-2010, 01:46 PM
Hi Richard,

About these “facts” you’ve referred to above:

“It is a absolute fact that no other Hutchinson, apart from Topping, has ever come foreward and made himself known.”

I'm afraid it isn't. There’s no evidence that Toppy himself ever came forward with a desire to make “himself known”. We know about him from his son, and strictly speaking, we don’t know if Reginald “came forward” as opposed to being simply tracked down by Fairclough and Gorman Sickert. Since very few descendants of ripper personalities have made themselves “known” to researchers and enthusiasts over the years, it wouldn’t be of any significance if Hutchinson’s descendants (assuming he had any) were also included in that vast majority who didn't bother.

“It is a absolute fact, that a sum of money [allegedly] was paid to the said gentleman”

Wait a minute. If something is “alleged” it can’t be a fact, surely? Or do you mean it’s a fact that the Wheeling Register mentioned a pay-off? True enough, but no other newspaper did.

“It is a absolute fact, that a sum of money similar to that article was ,mentioned in the Ripper and the Royals.”

It is absolutely NOT a fact. No sum of money was mentioned in the article. It claimed that he was paid off to the tune of five times his usual salary, which simply couldn’t have happened, because the police had by then accepted that Hutchinson didn’t have a “usual salary”.

You cannot responsibly use the word "fact" in connection with a radio interview that cannot be traced and which nobody else has ever heard of.

What flak "rained down" on JD Hutchinson, incidentally?

Best regards,
Ben

Ben
09-18-2010, 01:59 PM
Hi David,

Good to see you here, and many thanks indeed for those clarifications, and for confirming your initial impressions after having contacted the family:

"Like I said though, for me he probably wasn't the witness. I had a number of objections before I contacted the family, some of which have now disappeared, but others of which are now greater than they were before."

http://forum.casebook.org/showthread.php?p=66223#post66223

All the best,
Ben

richardnunweek
09-18-2010, 02:42 PM
Hello Ben,
Let me put my thoughts into words that are clear.
Since 1888 no name apart from GWTH, has ever been linked to Hutchinson the witness, that has verbally, albeit second hand, spoken out, no other GH, that has been kind of traced, have admitted to being the witness.
The Wheeling register as you correctly mentioned was the only newspaper that quoted a sum of money .
It has been mentioned that the average labourers wage was approx one guinea per week, so five weeks , would be as good as dammed five pounds/hundred shillings.
Even if you dismiss the broadcast, there is still that sum , or near equivient of, mentioned by a person named Reg Hutchinson in Faircloughs book.
You have my absolute word that when I Obtained a copy of The Ripper and the Royals, I most definately was well aware of the hundred shilling figure, before I read the relevant page, also the point that his father never said where he got it.
Also please inform me how would I have in my mind the words'It was my fathers biggest regret that dispite his efforts , nothing came of it.
That was not in Faircloughs book...neither have I ever read an edition of The Wheeling Register,except in the last couple of years on Casebook, and you know amongst others. I have been insistant about that radio broadcast for years now, long before that article was found.
As for JD , I would say to have her father-in laws brother accused as a Liar.a stalker. a pimp, an accomplice, even a killer, would put anybody of, continuing to post.
Regards Richard.

richardnunweek
09-18-2010, 02:55 PM
Hello David,
As you know I have never been certain of the date, I am well aware of that 25th may edition , and it certainly was not the broadcast that I am refering to.
I was a regular listener to the series The Great Victorians of that period, and I used to look for any radio broadcasts to see if Jtr was mentioned, thats how I came across the relevant show , which included, one would imagine a taped message , which apparently was spoken by Reg, or someone acting on his behalf.
The show featured the Toff theory, and at the end, the son of the witness Hutchinson was heard.
Regards Richard.

Ben
09-18-2010, 03:16 PM
Since 1888 no name apart from GWTH, has ever been linked to Hutchinson the witness, that has verbally, albeit second hand, spoken out, no other GH, that has been kind of traced, have admitted to being the witness.

I appreciate this, Richard, but as I explained in my first paragraph of my recent post, I don't see how this lends any weight to his candidacy as the witness, particularly given its assosiation with a notoriously flawed version of an already outlandish conspiracy theory; one that was ultimately rejected by its own author.

It has been mentioned that the average labourers wage was approx one guinea per week

But this ceases to have any relevance if the police were not under the impression that Hutchinson was taking home an "average labourer's wage", and we know they were not. It was the police who, according to the article, were responsible for dishing out this inordinately large sum - the implication being that they were aware of his "usual salary" and knowingly paid him five times that amount. Fortunately for the truth, we have a police report from Abberline which reveals that this wasn't remotely the case.

So there is not an "equivalent" sum or anything resembling it, and it would not, therefore, matter in the slightest whether you heard the broadcast or read the Wheeling Register first.

As for JD , I would say to have her father-in laws brother accused as a Liar.a stalker. a pimp, an accomplice, even a killer, would put anybody of, continuing to post.

I've never heard anyone accuse Toppy of being any of those things.

Best regards,
Ben

Fisherman
09-18-2010, 05:08 PM
Ben writes, to David Knott:

"many thanks indeed for ... confirming your initial impressions after having contacted the family:
´Like I said though, for me he probably wasn't the witness.´"

Hm, Ben - I cannot see David making any such confirmation. From what I got out of David´s posts, he makes no stance towards either side:

"Prior to contacting them I was undecided as to whether Toppy was the witness. After contacting them, I was still undecided ... I remain undecided as to whether Toppy was the witness, although note that a person alleging to be the daughter in law of Reg's younger brother posted on Casebook to say that her father in law had also heard the story."

I don´t know in which manner this confirms an impression of Toppy probably not having been the witness. As far as I can see, he says that he reamins undecided, and my interpretation of that is that he thinks it´s either or - but maybe you can point me to the part you think confirms something else?

The best,
Fisherman

David Knott
09-18-2010, 05:42 PM
I would say, if it helps, that prior to my contacting the family, I would have placed the chances of Toppy being our man at about 30%, and immediately after contacting the family, about the same (albeit for different reasons).

That was two years ago, and prior to the 'JDHutchinson' post.

If that post is genuine, then it allays to some extent my concerns that nobody else in the family seemed to know anything about it, so I would probably say 50% at the present time, maybe more.

When I was tracing Toppy's descendents, I decided to avoid Reg's children and concentrated on Reg's nephews and neices.

Unfortunately, I completely missed the children of Reg's younger brother, firstly because The Ripper and The Royals suggested that Reg was the youngest, and secondly because I was looking for Hutchinsons with a mother's maiden name of Jervis - Ancestry unhelpfully transcribed the younger brother's mother's maiden name as Jarvis.

The family alerted me to the existence of the younger brother, who was still alive in 2008 (don't know if he still is) but I had no intention of badgering an 88 year old man (I was advised that there would have been no point in it anyway). He had never mentioned the Ripper story to any of the family that I contacted.

As I say, I have managed to ascertain that the younger brother has a daughter in law with the initials 'JD' so am inclined to accept her post as genuine. I can think of no reason why it wouldn't be - very few people would have even know that Reg had a younger brother.

Ben
09-18-2010, 06:29 PM
Hi Fish,

I only meant that David was confirming his earlier impression that discussions with the family had left him undecided on the issue. I was quoting a post from July of last year.

While I've no reason to believe that the JDHutchinson post is anything other than genuine, I don't really see how it advances the likelihood of Toppy having been involved in the events of 1888. I rather share Garry Wroe's view as expressed on the Romford thread that: "The problem with the Toppy angle, however, is that, at best, it amounts to second- and third-generation hearsay. And whilst I don’t for a second doubt the sincerity of Toppy’s descendants, they are simply relaying a form of familial folklore for which there is not a shred of evidential corroboration."

It seems slightly odd that the younger brother never mentioned the ripper story to the other members of the family.

Best regards,
Ben

Fisherman
09-18-2010, 06:42 PM
Ben:

"I only meant that David was confirming his earlier impression that discussions with the family had left him undecided on the issue."

Fair enough. And agreed.

"While I've no reason to believe that the JDHutchinson post is anything other than genuine, I don't really see how it advances the likelihood of Toppy having been involved in the events of 1888."

Tecnically correct, of course - no matter how many members of the family says that Toppy took on the role of the witness, it does not in itself make him so. But it would take the pressure off Reg to some extent, showing that he did not make that part up by himself.

"It seems slightly odd that the younger brother never mentioned the ripper story to the other members of the family."

It does, Ben.

The best,
Fisherman

Fisherman
09-18-2010, 06:45 PM
... and thanks once again to David for chiming in and claryfying matters!

The best,
Fisherman

The Good Michael
09-19-2010, 04:53 AM
What is easy to believe is that George Hutchinson was Toppy and that the event in which he gave testimony was a miniscule component of his life. The rest, his signatures, his employment, his marriage, and his fathering of children were the reality of his life. If we look at that small moment in time as a bit of opportunism gone awry instead of as a defining, or damning moment of infamy, much has to be embellished and recreated, and thus, his life becomes something different from the reality.

We judge this man with our 21st century glasses when it was just a small incident and maybe he made a buck or two. Yet, does that define him as a murderer and a liar? I think not. The insignificance of his testimony with regards to the totality of his life, must surely make the incident something that would not have been naturally told to his siblings or children or grandchildren. It was a small thing, and no need to go there.

I imagine a conversation: "Grandpa, you were around in 1888, during the time of the murders, right?" Yes child, I was. A terrible time." "Did you know much about it?" "Oh yes. Many of us knew a few of the victims; poor women who never hurt no one. Tragic it was." "Thanks grandpa."

Today, most people I talk to know nothing about JTR save the idea that he existed and killed people. No one, I repeat, no one knows about Hutchinson's testimony except us. Why? It is small potatoes. It is a non-event except to a few. It does not represent the man in any way unless we fantastically create a scenario in which it does. But I'm no Tolkien, and my fantasies are much smaller.

Cheers,

Mike

Rubyretro
09-19-2010, 10:08 AM
[QUOTE=The Good Michael;147722]What is easy to believe is that George Hutchinson was Toppy and that the event in which he gave testimony was a miniscule component of his life. [QUOTE=The Good Michael;147722]What is easy to believe is that George Hutchinson was Toppy and that the event in which he gave testimony was a miniscule component of his life.

I find this VERY hard to believe.

(I'm working all weekend, and have no time to participate in this Thread now.
I've read it with great interest though, and I must quickly reply to you, Mike).

Toppy was aged 22 at the time of these events. His father had a Trade, there was a family home in somewhere rather nicer than the Whitechapel slums, and we know that he went to school (being listed on a census as a 'scholar') (I'll leave the whole 'plumbing' issue until tomorrow). I think that you must agree that he had a rather privileged upbringing compared to the lives of many of the men who'd grown up in the East End.

Now imagine the reality of Mary Kelly's body when Hutch was taken to identify it (as he was). We've all seen the photos
-now put them into 'technicolour' in your mind's eye. Even patched up by the Doctor's she must have been the most gruesome sight imaginable, and lying in a morgue (an environment that must surely have 'marking' as well); Imagine the odour of the body -it brought back all my memories of dead sheep, when I read the description of Catherine Eddowes's body
being silvery green at the autopsy. Believe me dead animals (and people ) smell..it's a particular smell and it makes you automatically want to throw up. Mary's body had been in a room with intense heat from the fire (enough to melt a kettle), and she would have started decomposing rapidly. The smell of her body, mixed with products used to try and hide the odour
and slow down the decomposition process, must have been something that even experienced men like Abberline would never forget..and I cannot believe that 22 year old Toppy wouldn't have the memory etched into him for life.

He was supposed to have known Mary alive.

He was supposedly outside the room when he saw her go inside with the suspected murderer.

He was at the heart of the investigation for (albeit) a short while. It was a major murder case, that everybody was talking about, worldwide.

He gave interviews to the Press, who must have been clamouring to talk to him.

The name of Jack the Ripper was infamous (and still is), even if you don't know anything about the events

It is small potatoes. It is a non-event except to a few.
We judge this man with our 21st century glasses when it was just a small incident

It certainly is a non-event to most people. But to Toppy (if he were the witness), it beggars belief that it wouldn't be a MAJOR event in his life (which as you say, Mike, was pretty uneventful after that and more taken up with work and family ).

richardnunweek
09-19-2010, 11:01 AM
Hi Ben.
Remember the thread 'The lying eyes of George' which I am sure both of us parcipitated in many times= Liar.
Remember the 'rather good ' book 'From hell' by our own Bob Hinton.? = Stalker, possible killer.
And if memory serves me well, it has been suggested that Hutchinson may have been Kellys pimp, which would explain him watching out for her.
Also it has been suggested that he may have been a lookout for kellys killer.
Infact Ben, what hasnt Hutch been accused of?
One could hardly blame JD for her lack of intrest in this site, I personally not only E-mailed her, but wrote to her at her only known address, but received no response, even though I offered her my sincerity in believing her husbands late uncle.
Once more the payment issue, further explanation.
I believe Topping was paid one hundred shillings for his efforts , I am not in a position to say what those efforts consisted of, was it a few walk abouts, or was it more?
The Wheeling Register, [ mayby rumour based] reported this figure as five times weekly wage, which roughly coincided with Regs claim.
That is it in a nutshell, I am not saying that any amount paid, was Hutchinsons earning potential, just a payment out of police funds, which the words of rumour, or the reporters, interpreted it as was written.
With respect Ben, your arguments are rather nit picking, for instance, when the Wheeling report came out, at least two prominent posters at the time, ie Mr Poster, and our own good Sam Flynn, found it rather favourable to what I had been saying for years, that a payment figure existed, which gave more weight to Regs claims,both on Radio/book.
That report does add more weight, but of course not conclusive...as yet.
I also share The Good Michaels view.
Most people have exiting events in their lives, some extremely traumatic, and both the good ,and bad, stay in ones memories.for Eg, when I was sixteen years old , I worked in a timberyard in Redhill, and I often loaded up Ronnie Biggs vehicle, with wood, as he was a carpenter, but I have only mentioned in proberly a dozen times since, and that was over 47 years ago.
I have also known people that have had aweful accidents , horrible injuries, decapitated etc, but only mention it , if the subject arose, rather like Toppings version of knowing Mjk, and being interviewed.
Of to work now ..yes Sunday morning.
Regards Richard.

David Knott
09-19-2010, 11:36 AM
The suggestion has been made that Toppy, having married into a family perceived to be somewhat posher than his own, would not have spoken much about his former association with East End prostitutes (if, indeed, there was such an association!)

Toppy's mother died in 1880. Toppy's father then got together with a woman more than 20 years his junior, eventually marrying her in the second quarter of 1888. It has also been suggested that Toppy did not get on with his father's new partner, which may be a reason for him leaving the family home.

If correct, it would be natural for him to go to London to find work. His own father had worked as a labourer in the East End before becoming a plumber.

The Good Michael
09-19-2010, 03:05 PM
Ruby,

You seem a little obsessed with Hutchinson and one author's opinions. Take some time off is my suggestion.

Mike

Ben
09-19-2010, 05:47 PM
Hi Richard,

“One could hardly blame JD for her lack of intrest in this site”

She wasn’t disinterested enough not to contribute to the thread, and to be honest, I really resent your continued implications that I was partly responsible for scaring her off, or that I was guilty of raining down “flak”. Yes, based on the evidence I reserve the right to find Hutchinson a suspicious character and to outline the reasons for this opinion if ever the subject comes up and I'm in the mood to discuss it, and I am far from alone in that regard. We have suspect threads to discuss the potential culpability of various ripper candidates, and there will naturally be arguments both against and in favour. You can moan as often as you like that by using suspect threads for their intended purpose, we’re scaring off potential relatives, but I can see any changes about to occur any time soon.

Since I’ve never accused George William Topping Hutchinson or lying or stalking or killing, and nor has anyone else, to my knowledge, it hardly stands to reason that she intimidated off the boards on that basis.

“The Wheeling Register, [ mayby rumour based] reported this figure as five times weekly wage, which roughly coincided with Regs claim.”

Oh, for the love if...No it doesn’t, Richard! I swear on everything I have ever held dear in my life that it doesn’t, and I’ve explained to you a ludicrous number of times WHY it definitely, definitely doesn’t. You accuse me of “nitpicking” which, I must admit, does annoy me rather intensely. I’ve been attempting throughout this thread to disabuse you of this vast, inexplicable confusion you seem to have over the issue of payment, but at no point to you engage with the rebuttal that explains – in increasing detail – why the figures are not compatible. You just repeat the original claim as though it had never been thoroughly refuted, which it has – lots of times. Here you are again:

“five times weekly wage which roughly coincided with Regs claim.”

No it doesn’t. Whose wage? The police didn’t think Hutchinson was taking home a weekly wage, so they wouldn’t have paid him five times a non-existent figure. But I still don’t think you’ll listen, and worse, you’ve resorted to reminding me which “prominent posters” from the past agreed with you at one time or another.

Ben
09-19-2010, 06:16 PM
Hi Mike,

“We judge this man with our 21st century glasses when it was just a small incident and maybe he made a buck or two. Yet, does that define him as a murderer and a liar? I think not.”

It doesn’t “define” him as such, no, but surely we can apply the same logic to most if not all other suspects? If you’ve pre-decided the innocence of any given suspect attached to the ripper crimes, you can argue that their involvement in the Whitechapel murder investigation constituted a mere footnote in their lives (often literally just that, and in many case involving no connection whatsoever to the area in which the murders were committed).

If Hutchinson really did monitor the crime scene of the most brutally dispatched victim in the most famous murder series in history, isn’t that rather a significant “incident”? And even if he wasn’t at the crime scene and lied about his very presence there in order to make a buck or to seek publicity (which I don’t consider remotely plausible for reasons outlined elsewhere), surely this says something about his character and mindset at the time, even if it doesn’t “represent the man” in terms of the totality of his life experience?

I’m of the opinion at that Hutchinson came forward as soon as he discovered he’d been seen by another witness, and I arrived at this opinion because I found that no other explanation satisfactorily accounted for the various coincidences of timing, and because instances of similar behaviour have occurred over the decades since 1888. Whatever this might say about his “character” is merely a by-product of those evidential connections insofar as I've observed them, and that holds true irrespective of the man’s identity. The mistake is when you decide on a person’s identity, decide what sort of personality the individual must have had, and address the evidence with preconceptions of either virtue or naughtiness.

Hi David,

His own father had worked as a labourer in the East End before becoming a plumber.

Thanks for that reminder. I believe this when when Toppy Sr was in his mid teens (14 if memory serves) and when it was not possible (at his age) to be a fully-fledged plumber).

Best regards,
Ben

Rubyretro
09-19-2010, 08:52 PM
Toppy's mother died in 1880. Toppy's father then got together with a woman more than 20 years his junior, eventually marrying her in the second quarter of 1888. It has also been suggested that Toppy did not get on with his father's new partner, which may be a reason for him leaving the family home.

If correct, it would be natural for him to go to London to find work. His own father had worked as a labourer in the East End before becoming a plumber.[/QUOTE]

Hi David! (I am thrilled to see you participating in this thread !!!!) -
here are a few questions...I am fine with the idea that Toppy went to London and did 'any job' to survive, including labouring, because he didn't get on with his new Stepmother (and I argued as much myself when I was a Topp-ite), but there are a few unescapable details which just don't add into the equation -please -what light do you feel able to shed on them ?

1) Toppy was irrefutably aged 22 at the time of the events. Hutch said that he had known Mary for (2 ? 3 ?) years. There is no proof that he knew her -yet that was the reason that the 'witness' gave for following her home and watching the Court, so it is an important detail. That would either mean that Toppy went to London well before the Stepmother made an appearance, he
commuted alot, or he lied. Why would he lie, if he was just an honest witness ?

2) We don't know very much about Hutch, but he was quoted in the papers variously as having been an ex-groom, (a specialised job), having humped barrels in a pub, as well as being a labourer. I think that you will agree that Hutch/Toppy was one busy, dynamic, 22 year old between the Spring and autumn of 1888. Or is every document we have just a lie ? Or were the Police just SO incompetent that they never checked ANYTHING about a man that placed himself at a murder scene with a 'suspicious' witness description ? What do you think ?

3) Physically, we CANNOT get around the fact that Mrs Lewis described the man that she saw as being 'short and stout'.
That Hutch would be 'stout' , I have interpreted as thick set and muscle bound elsewhere (afterall, with all that labouring and barrel humping it makes sense). I looked at the photo of men sitting in the Victoria Home, and yes they are short and stocky.

Then I imagine a 22 year old theatre going ice skater amongst them. I look at Toppy's photo (old)..and my imagination has a real job doing all the pirouhettes needed to make him fit both the Victoria Home/Miller's Court /newspaper image and the Reg/
Toppy photo image...

(I DID have an idea to put to Andrew Lloyd-Webber for a 'music hall' inspired 'Jack the Ripper on ice' show though ...with lots of grimy Victorian sets, swirling dry ice, and Leona Lewis or Alexandra Wotsit as Mary Kelly....)

I can't go on with my questions, because back from work, I now have to produce a family 'roast dinner'..but please try and
answer me, David..

richardnunweek
09-19-2010, 09:50 PM
Hello Ben,
You are getting the wrong end of the stick, I have never suggested you as being a forerunner, in slagging of Hutchinson, whoever he was...,and the nitpicking was not intended to offend, it was just frustration in explaning what I feel is straightforeward to comprehend.
To use your term 'Oh for the love of it'.
I thought I explained myself throughly, but in simple terms let say that the witness Hutchinson[ whoever he was] was paid a sum of money by the police?, which rumour had it represented five weeks wages.
So in steps one wheeling reporter, and quotes that ....
The very fact that a [ alleged] payment was paid , and was not quoted in any other newspaper, suggests to me that rumour had it , [which may, or may not, have been true.]that this was so.
Therefore somebody called Reg Hutchinson had obtained that information, long before Casebook even existed, infact, long before many members were even born.
For someone who knew nothing more then the name JtR, Reg appeared to have been well versed.
I tend to go for the simple route, and plump for the story that Reg told, inherited from his [ proven ] father GWTH.
In order, for what I am saying, to be not plausible, one would have to scenerio the following.
Topping longed for attention, and took a intrest in the murders...fair enough.
Topping realising he shared the same surname as a person that gave a statement to the police, decided that he would become that person , and memorise his statement, so that in later life when the pennies were short, could obtain a few nights out , with tales from the past, he also added the payment rumour as a bonus, as he remebered that, from years back, mayby even read the infamous Wheeling Registe.. and to top it all he said all this bull.. to his own flesh and blood.
Do you believe that Ben?
I have never accused you of quoting Hutchinson as a stalker /possible killer, that was all Bob Hintons doing , and fair play he admitted, he got the wrong man, and i really enjoyed that book incidently.
So there we are Ben, I hope you dont take offence at my posts, I never intend to .
Regards Richard.

David Knott
09-19-2010, 11:01 PM
Ruby,

I'm not sure that I'm any better qualified to answer your questions than anyone else, but here goes...

1&2) Toppys dad remarried in Q2 1888 - it must be reasonable to assume that he had been together with the lady in question for some time prior to that - who knows - could have been 3 years!

3) Perfectly valid observation which I wouldn't disagree with.

David

Ben
09-19-2010, 11:05 PM
Hi Richard,

My apologies for snapping earlier. I went a little overboard, and I’d hate to be responsible for reigniting Toppy tensions!

The only similarity between the Wheeling Register and the R&R claim is that a payment of some description was mentioned. In that respect only do we find compatibility, but most assuredly not in the sums mentioned, as I hope has been clarified by now. This in itself shouldn’t be invested with too much significance. The issue of pay-offs has long been associated with the roles of the police and their informers, and as such, it wouldn’t surprising that tales of Hutchinson being paid for his efforts began to circulate once his account his the press, even if no payment had occurred in reality. Crucially, therefore, neither the Wheeling Register nor the R&R needed to know of each other’s existence to come up with the idea – independently – of a pay-off story.

In both cases, however, we’re dealing with highly dubious sources, and unfortunately, two nil provenance sources don’t equal good provenance. One of them intimated, in a discredited royal conspiracy book, that Hutchinson was paid to keep quiet about having seen Lord Randolph Churchill with Kelly, while the other was not only fully refuted by Abberline’s own handwriting, it was at adds with every other press source which, mysteriously and inexplicably, failed to pick up on this payment rumour.

“Topping longed for attention, and took a intrest in the murders...fair enough.
Topping realising he shared the same surname as a person that gave a statement to the police, decided that he would become that person , and memorise his statement, so that in later life when the pennies were short, could obtain a few nights out , with tales from the past, he also added the payment rumour as a bonus, as he remebered that, from years back, mayby even read the infamous Wheeling Registe.. and to top it all he said all this bull.. to his own flesh and blood.
Do you believe that Ben?”

No, but then that’s because you’ve added prerequisites for the scenario that don’t need to be there in order for it to be perfectly plausible. Why would Toppy have needed to “memorise his statement”? All Reg reported was that he knew one of the victims. Not only is the whole sequence of events, including Mr. Astrakhan, not referred to, even the victim herself is not remembered by name. He didn’t need to "remember" any rumour about payment. Either he or Reg could have made it up, without NEEDING to have any knowledge about the Wheeling Register. They just needed to know that stories of pay-offs are quite commonly allied to stories involving the police and their informers.

So if you take away those unnecessary pre-conditions, it shouldn't be at all unfathomable that Toppy or Reg could have invented the pay-off story independently of any press snippet, especially with "help" from Fairclough and Gorman Sickert, whose eagerness to pin the knife on the toff may well have been ill-concealed.

“I hope you dont take offence at my posts, I never intend to .”

No worries whatsoever, Richard, and apologies again for my snippiness.

Best regards,
Ben

Rubyretro
09-20-2010, 08:05 AM
Ruby,

You seem a little obsessed with Hutchinson and one author's opinions. Take some time off is my suggestion.

Mike

Thanks, Mike for that, you gave me a good laugh -I nearly wet myself !

a) you neatly side stepped answering my Post. Probably because you can't.

b) If you think that I'm "obsessed " with Hutch, it can only be because of the number of replies that I've given concerning him...which you would only know about if you had spent your time reading them ! Maybe YOU need some 'time off' too ?

c) I am so intrigued about the 'one author's opinions' ; what author would that be ? Up until about 2 weeks ago, I had only read one author on the Ripper Case -and that was Stephen Knight (I bought the book, second hand, about a year after it was published). Still, since I've never believed in the Freemasons/Royal Conspiracy thing, I don't think that Knight can be the 'one author' that you can be referring to.

I'm not going to act the innocent..I can very well guess that you must mean
either Garry Wright or Bob Hinton. I actually only read Garry's book about 2 weeks ago (I would have done so before, but I didn't know that you could download it for free). I have ordered and paid for Bob's book from Amazon,
but it is yet to be dispatched (after a month) let alone read. I also ordered Jack the Ripper's London at the same time incidently, which I have yet to read. I have cited Garry a few times -both because I read his Posts with particular attention since they're based on first hand factual research, and not just his opinion, and I did PM him with questions sometimes, for the same reason that I like his Posts. I came to my own conclusions about Hutch, by reading about the Case on Casebook -and THEN became aware and interested in Garry and Bob's opinions ; I certainly didn't read a book and then take the author's opinions as my own !! (which is why I have slightly differing ideas from Garry, as to Hutch's motivations -Bob's I wouldn't know, yet).

Rubyretro
09-20-2010, 08:44 AM
.
Most people have exiting events in their lives, some extremely traumatic, and both the good ,and bad, stay in ones memories.for Eg, when I was sixteen years old , I worked in a timberyard in Redhill, and I often loaded up Ronnie Biggs vehicle, with wood, as he was a carpenter, but I have only mentioned in proberly a dozen times since, and that was over 47 years ago.
I have also known people that have had aweful accidents , horrible injuries, decapitated etc, but only mention it , if the subject arose, rather like Toppings version of knowing Mjk, and being interviewed.

Richard -
there are 'exciting events' and exciting events (and I agree that they stay in one's memory. I don't think that loading up Ronnie Bigg's van, compares to Toppy's 'experience', had he been the witness. Nor that The Great Train Robbery compares to the Whitechapel murders ( you would also have mentioned it alot more, had you been an actual witness to the robbery, and you had been all over the papers).

However, on the 'dozen' or so occasions on which you mentioned your connection with Ronnie Biggs, what were people's reactions ? Didn't they ask you questions ? If you HAD of been at the heart of events, and a witness to the GTR itself, wouldn't those questions have been alot more ?

Don't you think it 'odd' that Reg apparently didn't question Toppy ? -or, if he did, that Fairclough didn't question Reg much ? The only things that Toppy apparently told Reg, were general details that had been printed in the papers
-no personal details at all (the Churchill 'or someone like him' detail was just a description of A Man). The only details that Fairclough got from Reg, likewise, were things that his own researchers could have found out by themselves.

As to not talking about people who've had 'accidents' -it hardly compares to them being victim's of the world's most notorious serial killer, and you viewing the body..and you being a witness who was the last person to see the victim alive.

Rubyretro
09-20-2010, 08:53 AM
Mike -obviously I mean't Garry Wroe, and mixed Stephen Knight with the W in Wroe -impossible to edit now !!!!

apologies to all -particularly Garry !

The Good Michael
09-20-2010, 09:25 AM
Ruby,

I'm kind of argued out about Hutchinson. He has been argued to death and those who find him guilty will not be swayed for whatever reasons they have conjured up or read. We argued for many long months, and when something as simple as the possibilities of two signatures being so similar from the men in question becomes impossible to reconcile, I give up. It's like arguing with religionists who have faith. How can a systematic approach be undergone from my side when I have to battle faith? Impossible and I'm done with it.
But... thanks for playing.

Mike

Rubyretro
09-20-2010, 09:33 AM
1&2) Toppys dad remarried in Q2 1888 - it must be reasonable to assume that he had been together with the lady in question for some time prior to that - who knows - could have been 3 years!
3) Perfectly valid observation which I wouldn't disagree with.

David[/QUOTE]

David thanks for your reply..this question is still worrying away at me though.

I don't know that it is reasonable to assume that Toppy's Dad would have been 'together' with his second wife for a few years before marrying her.
I know that people DID have long courtships, and that working class people DID move into together before marriage...but even so, a man who had been married before and used to a regular sex life, would probably want to replace it pretty rapidly. Given the fact that it must have been difficult to find sex outside of marriage (bar with 'prostitutes'), and he had a regular job, a house to run, children to raise, and the money to afford a household..I'd have thought that he'd be looking to remarry fairly quickly. Financially, having a house and a Trade, he'd have been a 'good catch' for many women.

But who knows -I'm only speculating. So Toppy could have been doing all those macho jobs (I see 'nightwatchman' was another), and gained a 'military appearence' between ages 19-22. Living with those working men in the Victoria Home, would certainly have turned him into a bit of a Hard Man by 1888 ! No wonder he needed a spot of ice skating as a relief -and is it my imagination but, did Toppy also play the violin ?

Garry Wroe seems to think it 'likely' that Toppy qualified as a plumber in 1886,
after an apprenticeship. He's not much given to speculation, so I thought that he was basing his 'likelihood' on some clear indications -but maybe not.

Still we DO know that Toppy was educated, and since he went on to run his own business, we can deduce that he was a bright spark, and a bit artistic (given his hobbies, and the fact that he married an actress). It makes me wonder why, since he must have had superior writing skills, he didn't seek
to use them to get a a better paid and less strenuous job in London -rather than putting himself in competition with all those immigrants coming in who were willing and able to do physical labour for little money ?

What do you think ?

Fisherman
09-20-2010, 09:48 AM
Ruby:

"he must have had superior writing skills"

I think, Ruby, that it would be arguments like these that sort of put people like me and Mike off ever so slightly when it comes to the Toppy issue.

The best,
Fisherman

claire
09-20-2010, 11:17 AM
Rubyretro is completely hung up on the word 'scholar.' She appears to believe this means he'd won an exhibition to Cambridge or something. I used to be fascinated with debating Hutchinson...now, even if one is in agreement with Rubyretro on any point, she reacts as though one is either arguing against her or stupid.

There is no reason to believe that Toppy would have had 'superior writing skills.' He wasn't bloody Dickens by virtue of having spent a few weeks or months in a crappy little school room. Nor should we assume he was particularly bright for having his own company...as anyone who has suffered a crap plumber would know. It appears that certain parties are taking the tiniest behaviour (ice skating, going to school) and dilating them until Toppy becomes an adept in everything he undertakes, thereby giving the lie to his identity with the Kelly case 'witness.'

I think it is perfectly possible for people to keep small events discrete (please disambiguate this homonym before accusing me of stating that I am saying it was on the QT) and not for them to talk about them all the time. Examples are legion and I don't think grandstanding about how 'memorable' certain events are gives any argument for or against Toppy's candidacy here.

Rubyretro
09-20-2010, 01:06 PM
Claire, and Fish..I too get weary of arguing..although I really, really enjoy healthy debate..however, I feel I have to defend myself, so here goes :

I do not think that Toppy was a 'Cambridge Scholar -I think that he stayed in school longer than alot of working class people at the time, and therefore he could read and write better than many, and certainly better than your average labourer

Lot's of people have tried to question the literacy levels of people living in Whitechapel at the time , on these threads -and I have pointed out the fact that schooling was compulsory, and I have seen letters demonstrating that my Great Grandma (who attended the Ragged School in Mile End) was very literate.

However, nobody is surely going to argue about the fact that some people
were/are more literate than others, and that was so in the East End then as now ?

Who could argue that if Toppy benefited from longer schooling (together with the clues about his later life), that he wouldn't be somebody who was more literate than average ? Where is the problem ? Why wouldn't he try to use his skill ?

Running your own business is something admirable that takes alot of work
-I don't need to go into the fact that you need to be able to work out the
accounts... expenses/time spent/money charged/number of customers/investments/rentability and wages of workers if you have them/ material in stock etc, and then have the training and expertise, experience and publicity to make a go of it : starting your business is one thing, making a go of it is another (and Toppy was 'rarely if ever out of work'), and building up a faithful clientele and I presume a reputation.

Your crack about 'crap plumbers' is so snobbish and patronising. Give the man his due !! Plumbers are skilled people, and successful self employed people are admirable, and Toppy appears to be someone who was 'rounded' with some artistic leanings, and a good Family man (who knows about his family relationships, but he stayed married to the same woman and brought up his children without them ending up in Prison or on the streets).

The life of many of the men living in the Victoria Home, by contrast, must have been a series of dead end, casual, physical labour with increasing competition and hand-to-mouth finances. It was not their fault (in many cases), but they didn't have the advantages that Toppy undoubtably did.
Nor did they have the chance to afford to marry and found a foyer, and were obliged to sleep with prostitutes for an outlet for their healthy sexual needs : hence the number of prostitutes to satisfy the demand.

Claire -I don't know why you are so aggressive towards me ? I'm a very mild mannered person, I promise you ! You have successfully made me think twice about bringing Hutch into other Threads..but this is a Hutch Thread , so I don't know why I shouldn't write about him ? On the other hand, if you don't like the subject, why are YOU here ??

ps when it comes to 'grandstanding memorable events', as you so sneeringly put it ...no one has yet
taken the facts and tried to argue that they wouldn't have been memorable events for Toppy (had he been the witness) -except for Richard, who tried to compare it to loading Ronnie Bigg's van with wood ( nothing to do with the GTR)., and I promise you that I will change my mind if you give me a good enough reason to do so.

Fisherman
09-20-2010, 01:16 PM
Ruby:

" I really, really enjoy healthy debate"

So do I, Ruby - that is why I objected.

The best,
Fisherman

Ben
09-20-2010, 01:17 PM
How can a systematic approach be undergone from my side when I have to battle faith?

Well, I'm sorry you feel that's what you've been "battling" against, as opposed to a contrary opinion, the reasons for which have been discussed in considerable detail and have nothing whatsoever to do with "faith". For the record, and speaking only for myself, a recoginition that Hutchinson ought to be considered a reasonable suspect has very little to do with the issue of matching or mismatching signatures.

Rubyretro
09-20-2010, 01:29 PM
Ruby:

" I really, really enjoy healthy debate"

So do I, Ruby - that is why I objected.

The best,
Fisherman

WE agree !
Object all you like with anything I say -only demolish it forensically -don't dismiss it with a one liner because it's difficult to debate ; that's just a coward's way out..

Fisherman
09-20-2010, 01:37 PM
Ben writes:

"For the record, and speaking only for myself, a recoginition that Hutchinson ought to be considered a reasonable suspect has very little to do with the issue of matching or mismatching signatures."

Very much agreed, Ben. The two issues are not really connected. Of course, it can be argued that a man who lived an ordinary family life would perhaps not be as obvious a choice for the Ripper as many other characters, but being Toppy is by no means the same as being in the clear. Then again, to be honest, I do not think that anybody is arguing such a thing.

The best,
Fisherman

Fisherman
09-20-2010, 01:42 PM
Ruby:

"that's just a coward's way out.."

Or, as an alternative, the way out of somebody who hast lost hope to participate in a balanced discussion. One safe sign of this being the case is when the counterpart you are dealing with starts yelling "coward" after you have pointed out that Toppy is not exactly proven to be a writer of "superior writing skills". Only the fewest are.

I think you will find, Ruby, that I have no intentions at all to stay out of the discussion on the whole. None whatsoever, in fact.

The best,
Fisherman

Ben
09-20-2010, 01:52 PM
Then again, to be honest, I do not think that anybody is arguing such a thing.

I don't believe you are, Fish, which is to your credit. I was writing in response to what I took to be another insinuation that the signatures are being falsely dismissed by some because Toppy is somehow considered antithetical to the image of a serial killer. The findings of the ostensibly neutral document examiner, Ms. Iremonger, would of course make a nonsense of the first half of that accusation, and evidence of murderous men who are nonetheless violin-playing family guys certainly dispenses with the second.

Not that I consider Toppy remotely murderous!

All the best,
Ben

Rubyretro
09-20-2010, 02:04 PM
I think you will find, Ruby, that I have no intentions at all to stay out of the discussion on the whole. None whatsoever, in fact.The best,
Fisherman[/QUOTE]

I am very glad to hear it Fish -because I did so enjoy our last 'spat' !

I don't remotely think that Toppy was murderous either ! I can admire HIM on alot of levels: alas not Hutch.

I can't spend all day 'chatting' on Casebook though..so thought that I'd relax with the Leander Analysis for a while (never read it)..I'll be back soon..

Fisherman
09-20-2010, 02:11 PM
Ben:

"I was writing in response to what I took to be another insinuation that the signatures are being falsely dismissed by some because Toppy is somehow considered antithetical to the image of a serial killer."

Numerous serial killers are antithetical to the vulgar picture of such creatures, so, just as you reccommend, we should stay away from clearing anybody unless we have better evidence for it than a life as a family man.

"The findings of the ostensibly neutral document examiner, Ms. Iremonger, would of course make a nonsense of the first half of that accusation..."

Well, Ben, if we are to keep an open mind on issue number one, I think that we may need to do so on issue number two also, by considering what the likewise ostensibly neutral document examiner Frank Leander said on the very same subject.

Quid pro quo, to put it slightly more Hannibalish.

The best,
Fisherman

claire
09-20-2010, 02:21 PM
Oh, I am so sorry. The thing is, you see, every single thread that involves Mary Kelly over the past several months has evolved into a discussion about Hutchinson...and, for me, there is more to the Kelly case than Hutchinson. That is why it is frustrating for a person whose interest may be in the case itself to find that every thread has already degenerated into a Hutch discussion before one even gets there. You can see that it might be frustrating? In the past, people were quite strict about not drifting off topic...now, we can haul Hutch into Kelly, Stride and the development of the Haberdashers' Company. Sorry, but it is troubling, sometimes, when one's interest lies in a particular area.

And, the thing is, with regard to this thread, it would be nice to be able to openly debate a range of possibilities about the character of Hutchinson without being told who he is and who he is not, when as we all know, opinion remains divided on whether Hutchinson was an alias, or was Toppy, or another GH as yet unknown to us.

Lastly, grief, I need to provide a textual analysis to defend myself. Hardly worth it, really, but I *did not say* (snobbishly or patronisingly) that plumbers were crap. I said that anyone who had had a crap plumber would know...blah blah. Plumbers can be crap in just the same way as doctors or teachers or astrophysicists. It's not patronising.

And 'grandstanding memorable events' is not a 'sneering' phrase. I really wish you would learn not to impute according to your own personal interpretations. In fact, you pretty sharply dismissed Richard when he mentioned his associations. What I was, in fact, referring to, was the way that some people choose to make something of an event or experience, and allow it to colour their life, whereas others don't. Clearly, your experiences with dead bodies, animals or otherwise, have coloured your life and would feature in the topics you would share with others. For some others, this is not the case. Now, if (and I don't necessarily think this, it is mere hypothesis) Topping had been our GH, and if he had had involvement in the murder(s), wouldn't that be reason enough to conceal it? And, if he was our GH and was not involved (and I am one of those who believes that there is a fair possibility that he was not directly involved), perhaps he, in the fullness of life, would choose not to define himself with regard to the case. Possible? Possible, also, that he *was* thoroughly disturbed by the events...consider, if he made the event up, that the viewing of the body may have made him regret that? Or even if he had not made it up, perhaps he may have had regrets about getting involved? Perhaps, too, it became a matter of some shame to him. Even if not, there is reason enough to be sufficiently traumatised as to not wish to relive that with younger relatives. It occurs to me that there are at least five things I have seen in my life that I would not wish to discuss with my children, or anyone else for that matter.

I don't see what, in all this, means I don't have any interest in the GH conundrum. Or why it means that, because I don't agree with some of your suppositions, I should not be here. You are, of course, free to appeal to the administrators to ban me from this, or all other topics, if you disagree with this position.

Garry Wroe
09-20-2010, 02:32 PM
I think it is perfectly possible for people to keep small events discrete … and not for them to talk about them all the time. Examples are legion and I don't think grandstanding about how 'memorable' certain events are gives any argument for or against Toppy's candidacy here.
Here, Claire, I feel that you may be overlooking certain contextual elements of Reg’s upbringing. In an era which predated television and even widespread radio ownership, storytelling was an integral part of everyday family life. People sat around the fire on long, cold winter nights and talked. Such was the salience of the Whitechapel Murders within the oral traditions of East London that Jack the Ripper was frequently a favourite topic of discussion. Dan Farson certainly tapped into this oral history during his Ripper researches, and I have come across a number of accounts describing how the exploits of Jack the Ripper were recounted in all their gory detail amongst those who crammed into East London underground stations during the Blitz.

Like Ruby, therefore, I have considerable difficulty in believing that Toppy enjoyed an intimate association with Mary Kelly, observed her with the man likely to have been Jack the Ripper, met and related his story to the near-legendary Inspector Abberline, viewed Kelly’s mutilated remains, and became part of the Ripper manhunt courtesy of his trawling the Whitechapel district in the company of detectives, yet made next to nothing of these extraordinary events in decades of interaction with his children and grandchildren – and all of this in a geographical area wherein even today the crimes of Jack the Ripper assume a special resonance.

You, of course, are entitled to make of this what you will. But to my way of thinking, it simply doesn’t ring true.

Regards.

Garry Wroe.

Fisherman
09-20-2010, 02:58 PM
Garry Wroe writes:

"to my way of thinking, it simply doesn’t ring true"

I can see the logic in what you are saying, Garry. But I think we may need to widen the perspective somewhat before opting for any choice in the issue.

As you may have noticed, I think that the off-hand manner in which Hutch was thrown out by the press may well owe to a feeling of embarassment on their behalf. They dropped him like a used diaper, is how I worded int in a former post, and that is how I perceive it - working as a journalist, I recognize this mechanism from cases where the press has been intentionally mislead, resulting in an awkward feeling when it comes to admitting it in the paper. Very short, very undetailed is the normal outcome.
And if this is what happened in Hutchinsons case, then maybe he did not feel very much like bringing it up in the family - although he may have felt tempted to make a false impression at some stage.

Also, although we apparently have some verification of his silence, Reg´s older siblings are long dead, and we have no way to ask them whether Toppy spoke to them about it all.
Over the years, many things that once seemed very important fall into oblivion, as you will know, Garry. And many a year has passed since the day our boy walked into the interwiew room. It could be that simple.

The best,
Fisherman

The Good Michael
09-20-2010, 03:01 PM
Fisherman,

Yes, yes, yes, but the salmon fishing is great in Kazakhstan regardless of signatures matching, lousy plumbing, and gold chains. Remember to bring your astracan because the weather is cold and the winds blow fast on the Aral Sea.

Mike

claire
09-20-2010, 03:01 PM
Fair enough...but do we know the extent to which that family regaled each other with 'oral histories' (stories) around the fireplace? Lots and lots of people are not particularly communicative, and this tendency hasn't erupted in recent years (the opposite, in fact). In many ways, the supposition that story-telling around the fire is factual isn't necessarily tenable--the point of story-telling is to entertain, really, at least as much as to impart information. I still believe that, even if we accept Toppy's (and I deal in a lot of 'ifs' here) involvement in all the ways you note, there may still be sound and acceptable reason for him not to disclose all the details of that.

Just as, on the other side of the coin, there may be perfectly explainable reason for Reg to invent on Toppy's behalf.

My point is, we just don't know, and I don't think we can impute a man's character or dispensation to disclosure on the basis of suppositions about oral history or a list of future hobbies/occupations. People move on, regardless of how iconic the thing they experienced seems to be to outside parties.

Rubyretro
09-20-2010, 03:08 PM
Oh, I am so sorry. The thing is, you see, every single thread that involves Mary Kelly over the past several months has evolved into a discussion about Hutchinson...
Hardly surprisingly Claire since the Lewis/Hutch thing is a major part of Kelly's murder. This is like complaining that everytime there is a discussion on Stride we discuss Schwartz/BSM and Pipeman or everytime we discuss Eddowes, Lawende always pops up. It's inevitable.

openly debate a range of possibilities about the character of Hutchinson without being told who he is and who he is not,
Well, I'm certainly not 'telling ' you -I don't know. I'm certainly allowed to voice an opinion based on available info. If you have an alternative interpretation of the info (that's all it is -an interpretation), then voice it too. Concerning other suspects, other people frequently voice their interpretations. The Policemen actually involved in the case also only gave interpretations -since they didn't have a clue to who Jack actually was.
If speculation and interpretation were banned from Casebook, then it would have ceased to exist a long time ago -because the Facts are sparse.

Plumbers can be crap in just the same way as doctors or teachers or astrophysicists. It's not patronising.
Hmn ? When the 'crack' comes up in a discussion about literacy and scholars,
and plumbing is a manual 'Trade' I'm inclined to be suspicious of your meaning. Still, that is right, and had you made a cheap snipe at Teachers (for example) then I would have defended them. Still 'crap plumbers' in a discussion about Toppy is still a bit of a personal calumny, and unjustified.

What I was, in fact, referring to, was the way that some people choose to make something of an event or experience, and allow it to colour their life, whereas others don't. Clearly, your experiences with dead bodies, animals or otherwise, have coloured your life and would feature in the topics you would share with others. For some others, this is not the case.
First of all, I think that you've no experience of a decomposing corpse to say that, and either you lack imagination or you're desensitised to photos of MJK's body -the reality would be an unforgettable experience for any normal person.

if he made the event up, that the viewing of the body may have made him regret that? Or even if he had not made it up, perhaps he may have had regrets about getting involved?
oh ? Why did he spend time expanding on the subject to the Press then ? (if he were Hutch).

I don't see what, in all this, means I don't have any interest in the GH conundrum. Or why it means that, because I don't agree with some of your suppositions, I should not be here. You are, of course, free to appeal to the administrators to ban me from this, or all other topics, if you disagree with this position.

I never said that you shouldn't be here Claire -only that you shouldn't go into a Toppy/Hutch discussion Thread if you're (really) not interested in that topic.

claire
09-20-2010, 04:06 PM
Personal calumny? That's going it a bit, isn't it? I was giving an example of how your position that all people who have their own business must be smart could be erroneous.

Here are some examples that I had in mind when I mentioned the sorts of things that people could choose not to allow to colour their lives. I don't normally indulge in this sort of thing, but since I'm getting rather angry with your position that it is fine to interpret whatever I say however you choose and make suppositions about my character, I'm going to. At school, walking home, a friend and I were amongst a small group who came across the completely destroyed body of a woman who had thrown herself off a building. There was local interest, as there tends to be, along with police interest and so forth. I have barely thought of it since. Same with a girl who threw herself under a tube train at Bounds Green when I was a teenager...although it still shocks me the extent to which others on the platform were capable of complete BS to the police in the immediate aftermath. After her death, I discovered my grandmother had been held in a concentration camp. Her husband had died in the same camp. Never mentioned a thing. A family friend was similarly stunned to discover her father had been shot down over France and held as a PoW. She'd never even known he'd been a pilot. When I was in Iraq I was 200 metres away from a car that exploded the contents of its driver all over the interior of the vehicle, its boot blown out and killing passers-by. Do I talk about it? Do I want to? No way. But what one talks about in the first few days or weeks after an incident is substantively different to what you might want to revert to years later.

Lastly, I am really, really resenting this paragraph: 'First of all, I think that you've no experience of a decomposing corpse to say that, and either you lack imagination or you're desensitised to photos of MJK's body -the reality would be an unforgettable experience for any normal person.' One: that's what I mean about grandstanding--I am presuming that we are meant to take, from that, that you have experience of decomposing corpses, hence putting you in a superior position here. Two: lacking imagination? Desensitised? Sorry, but what the heck makes you think you can make those accusations/suppositions about me? What is it? Please let me know. Three: for the last time, I did not say that anyone in GH's position, whoever he was, would 'forget' the experience. I said that he may not choose to allow it to colour or define his life, for a range of reasons.

This, too: 'you shouldn't go into a Toppy/Hutch discussion Thread if you're (really) not interested in that topic.' I 'shouldn't go'?? Well, then, let's see if that holds as a general rule across the boards, because I'm damned certain that there are plenty of people who aren't as keen as you are on topics but routinely post. So, should we all steer clear of those topics, or does your instruction just relate to me?

Rubyretro
09-20-2010, 05:04 PM
Claire -listen..I don't feel superior to anyone, and I don't feel very inferior to anyone either (yes, I feel inferior to people who have gifts that I particularly admire); I'm just 'Me' , I don't have a particular complexe. I'm not very beautiful, not so young, not particularly gifted in anything. I enjoy Casebook because I simply enjoy the debate -and of course I try to defend my point of view (what IS the point otherwise ?). Why do you feel so threatened by me that you need to systematically aggress me ?

I can promise you that I am the most mild and concilitory person that you've ever met..but I don't like being walked over because of that.

Why should I just leave Casebook, if I enjoy it, because 'Claire doesn't want me here'? and why, if I come on these forums, shouldn't I just simply not say what I like, even if 'Claire doesn't like it '?

QUOTE=claire;147852]Personal calumny? That's going it a bit, isn't it? I was giving an example of how your position that all people who have their own business must be smart could be erroneous.
People that make a success of running their own business are not dim, and even if they're 'horrible' they have to be admired on that level. It is insulting to Toppy not to recognise his achievements, and I wonder why they don't correlate with what we know of GH?

We all have seen, or have lived through, very traumamatic things in our lives.
Before deciding that it was too 'bad taste' to get into a 'competition' (you seem to be a competetive person I think) of 'trauma' -I dredged up mine, and I can safely say that it has ruined my afternoon off. Thing is though-it didn't ruin GH's afternoon -he wanted to bask in attention. Accidents and natural events are not the same as Murder either, I would propose.


As it happens, so I do have experience of rotting animal bodies..I shouldn't think that they Smell much different than a humans. Well, a human that eats meat, possibly smells much worse than a vegetable eating animal .

I'm not suggesting that you stay away from any Posts -only that you stay away from Hutch Posts when I discuss Hutch, if it bothers you so much.

claire
09-20-2010, 06:46 PM
Last thing: I have never, ever said that you should leave Casebook. Ever. Please do not insinuate same. I, however, am sick to death of this idiotic debate and will not be lambasted by you. It beggars belief that you would go to these lengths, really. Keep your Hutchinson, whoever you might think him to be. I really am uninterested in competition of any description; I used to be interested in debating this case but now the thought of continuing here sickens me to the stomach, to the extent that I don't even plan to go to the conference now.

I just don't want to be told by someone to 'stay away' 'when [you] discuss X', or that I am competitive, or sneery, or anything else, thanks very much. So I give up. You're just too omnipresent on these boards to make it worth my while staying here...So that's it. No more. And, no, bullying someone off the boards doesn't make you right.

caz
09-21-2010, 06:08 PM
Hi Claire,

I'll be disappointed if you don't come to the conference because of Rubyretro. I was looking forward to meeting you and having a chinwag.

I'm also surprised that you didn't simply ignore her (or put her on 'ignore') when she began to wind you up that much. She's only one poster. When she first arrived she complained about me shortening her username to Rubes, because she didn't like the fact it rhymed with "pubes". :confused: I did wonder then if it was going to be worth my while arguing the toss with her about anything, as we seemed to be on such totally opposite wavelengths. I couldn't care less what anyone wants to call me, but I now address her strictly as Rubyretro since she appears a tad sensitive about it.

If you reconsider, there'll be a drink with your name on it this weekend. :) You don't strike me as someone who would normally let anyone bully you off the boards, so it's something I thought we would have in common.

Along with a dislike of so many unrelated threads (not this one, before they pipe up) being taken over by done-to-death Hutch opinions.

Love,

Caz
X

The Good Michael
09-22-2010, 04:17 AM
Caz,

I like your style.

Mike

claire
09-23-2010, 10:36 AM
Thanks, Caz...I have calmed down now :) Am organising my logistics for the conference and will, at least, make the Saturday. Look forward to seeing you there (yay, drinks :)).

caz
09-28-2010, 06:05 PM
OMG I didn't get you that drink, Claire! I'm sooo embarrassed. :embarassed:

I hope I get another chance if (make that when) you come to a WS1888 meeting.

Good meeting you on Saturday.

Love,

Caz
X

claire
09-28-2010, 06:46 PM
Completely my fault, Caz...had to bail early and didn't like to do that whole embarrassing, 'I'm off now.' 'Are you? Why?' 'Oh, because blah blah boring information re. self.' [Accompanied by embarrassed hair twirling et c.] 'Oh, okay.' (And other dismal first year undergrad dialogue.)

I am really going to try and bribe family into giving me an exit pass for this next WS meeting, and will def. be more sociable next time!

Hope the evening proceedings went with an appropriate lack of decorum ;)

caz
09-29-2010, 11:08 AM
What's decorum? :)

No chance of any on a Hutch thread, is there?

Love,

Caz
X

lynn cates
09-29-2010, 03:57 PM
Hello Caz.

"What's decorum?"

De Coram is one of the most talented artists I've ever seen. At any moment she might pop up and do a sketch of Hutch and, . . . , and, . . . , uhm? Oh, sorry. Wrong one.

Cheers.
LC

D.B.Wagstaff
09-29-2010, 05:37 PM
Actually, there is a rumor of a legend of a family oral tradition that De Coram was, in fact, the interior decorator that not only sketced Hutch but decorated Saucy Jack's bolt-hole on orders from a mysterious person (possibly a Mason-Doctor) supposed have connections to the Royal Family. Find De Coram and we stand a good (or at least as good as we ever have) of finding Jack . . .

Just kidding, folks, please don't come at me with knives (sharp, dull, or of any variety of sizes) or bayonets, or surgical tools. And If I am found dead I was most certainly NOT soliciting anything except a bit of gallows humor.

claire
09-29-2010, 07:36 PM
Stop now, Lynn, thank you ;)

ChainzCooper
09-30-2010, 04:00 AM
Interesting theory that George Hutchinson is Jack the Ripper. But why would he come forward to the police and give this witness statement if he was the killer ? Wouldn't he just not come forward at all?
Jordan

Garry Wroe
09-30-2010, 04:21 AM
If he came to the realization that he had been seen by Sarah Lewis and feared that, like Lawende before her, Sarah's inquest testimony had been underplayed as part of a deliberate police strategy, it is possible that he came forward in order to provide an innocent explanation for his having been sighted close to a crime scene at a time critical to a Ripper murder. Accordingly, his story concerning Kelly's affluent pick-up would have been an attempt to misdirect the police investigation, thereby leaving himself in the clear and the police searching for a nonexistent suspect.

Regards.

Garry Wroe.

ChainzCooper
09-30-2010, 04:42 AM
If he came to the realization that he had been seen by Sarah Lewis and feared that, like Lawende before her, Sarah's inquest testimony had been underplayed as part of a deliberate police strategy, it is possible that he came forward in order to provide an innocent explanation for his having been sighted close to a crime scene at a time critical to a Ripper murder. Accordingly, his story concerning Kelly's affluent pick-up would have been an attempt to misdirect the police investigation, thereby leaving himself in the clear and the police searching for a nonexistent suspect.

Regards.

Garry Wroe.

I understand that but I just think its taking a huge and unnecessary gamble handing yourself over to the police like that. He was interviewed at length by Inspector Abberline. If he slipped up or fumbled any at all don't you think the Detective would have put two and two together figuring out he was Kelly's murderer? Therefore I would tend to believe his story was consistent with Abberline and therefore truthful. I see Hutchinson as the most important witness in this case and not a suspect. But its a fun debate Garry nice talking with you
Jordan

Garry Wroe
09-30-2010, 05:03 AM
But he did slip, Jordan. The day after his police interview a newspaper effectively stated that his story was no longer believed by the authorities. Despite this, however, he doesn't appear to have come under suspicion. Like Packer and others, he seems to have been dismissed as a time waster and forgotten about.

Best wishes.

Garry Wroe.

ChainzCooper
09-30-2010, 05:24 AM
But he did slip, Jordan. The day after his police interview a newspaper effectively stated that his story was no longer believed by the authorities. Despite this, however, he doesn't appear to have come under suspicion. Like Packer and others, he seems to have been dismissed as a time waster and forgotten about.

Best wishes.

Garry Wroe.

But he was believed by Inspector Abberline right? Was the newspaper speaking for him when it referred to authorities? I guess thats what I'm trying to get at but I can see how some may think of him as a suspect. I just don't think he is Jack the Ripper
Jordan

Ben
09-30-2010, 01:08 PM
Hi Jordan,

But he was believed by Inspector Abberline right?

Inspector Abberline expressed his opinion that the statement was true on the evening of 12th November, well before any detailed analysis or "checking up" on Hutchinson's claims could realistically have occurred. The latter had only made his appearance at 6.00pm that evening. As Garry rightly points out, however, the police had apparently dismissed his account by 13th (according to that day's edition of the "Echo"), and on the 15th, The Star ran a brief article dealing with "worthless" stories that have led the police "astray", and in addition to ditching Matthew Packer, they related that Hutchinson's account was "now discredited".

Other serial killers have supplied bogus information to the police - often under the guise of "witnesses" - in order to downplay or mitigate incriminating evidence linking them to the crime in some way, so it wouldn't be unusual for Hutchinson to have adopted a similar ploy if he was the killer.

All the best,
Ben

Fisherman
09-30-2010, 01:36 PM
Garry Wroe:

"But he did slip, Jordan. The day after his police interview a newspaper effectively stated that his story was no longer believed by the authorities. Despite this, however, he doesn't appear to have come under suspicion. Like Packer and others, he seems to have been dismissed as a time waster and forgotten about."

Let´s dissect this a bit:

A/ "He did slip."

Well, either HE slipped, or somebody did the slipping for him. There are two options.

B/ "Despite this, however, he doesn't appear to have come under suspicion. Like Packer and others, he seems to have been dismissed as a time waster and forgotten about."

...meaning that we are either dealing with a very naîve police force - or with surfacing evidence that made it obvious to the police as well as to the press that Hutch did not belong to the investigation. Once again, two choices! And when we make the latter choice, we can take a look at Ben´s post too:

"Inspector Abberline expressed his opinion that the statement was true on the evening of 12th November, well before any detailed analysis or "checking up" on Hutchinson's claims could realistically have occurred. The latter had only made his appearance at 6.00pm that evening."

Now, one of the things I suggest needed no "checking up" was the possibility of an occurence of a man like Astrakhan man. My meaning is that if Abberline swallowed it, hook, line and sinker, then he did so because he was not having much of a problem accepting that such a man could have appeared on Dorset Street. And Abberline was streetwiser than most policemen and detectives! The better argument would be that he grew suspicious of the differences between police report and press articles, when it came to Hutch´s description - but that would not be enough to dismiss him either, at least not before having had a serious discussion with him about it. Very many witness descriptions from the same source differ, and that would have been something Abberline was aware of.
However, if he summoned Hutch once again to clear things up, then he would have done so in full realisation that people confessing to having been at a murder spot and who can later be pinned as liars, are also people the police need to take a very active interest in.

But did he? No, he did not. Just like the obviously lying Packer, Hutchinson was not believed and subsequently discarded. And THAT would have taken evidence on the hands of the police that he could be cleared from suspicion!!

Either Hutch came clear at such a second interrogation and confessed that he had been making things up, delivering a watertight alibi for the night and hour in question, or somebody did it for him. To my mind - and I know that other people for some unfathomable reason choose to use their own minds :shakehead: - this is a much more credible explanation to why Hutch was denied a heroes role in the Ripper affair.

The best,
Fisherman

Ben
09-30-2010, 02:10 PM
...meaning that we are either dealing with a very naîve police force - or with surfacing evidence that made it obvious to the police as well as to the press that Hutch did not belong to the investigation.

Firstly, Fish, it doesn't remotely stand to reason that it would have taken a "very naive police force" to have dismissed Hutchinson as a time-waster as opposed to considering him a potential suspect, even if that judgement was made in error. The fact of the matter is that policing in general was in its infancy in 1888, and they had no experience of serial crime. As such, we can hardly blame them if they failed to deduce that the killer approached the police of his own volition to seek an audience with the police. Publicity-seekers, by contrast, are the bane of any high profile police investigation, and with so many of them cropping up in the form of Packer, Violenia and others, it would have been more than understandable if the police had consigned Hutchinson to this category, even if was done so erroneously.

Of course, it is entirely possible that Hutchinson did find himself under suspicion, but we needn’t expect any record of this to have survived, and in any event, there is a yawning chasm that needs to be bridged between suspecting someone, and having concrete evidence to rule them out conclusively as suspects. The very worst thing we can do is start positing the existence of imaginary evidence, such as “concrete alibis”. Hutchinson was ostensibly a solitary doss house resident – the chances of him having a concrete alibi at 3:30am are absurdly remote. It’s infinitely more likely that IF he were ever under suspicion, the police would not have been in a position to rule him in or out.

“The better argument would be that he grew suspicious of the differences between police report and press articles, when it came to Hutch´s description - but that would not be enough to dismiss him either”

It would have been more than sufficient to attach a severely “reduced importance” (ref 13th November article) to his account, especially given the nature of his press accounts, which included claims that could have been instantly disproved, such as the one involving a policeman he encountered on the Sunday, but who mysteriously neglected to alert his superiors about the Kelly sighting.

Packer was dismissed not because anyone had procured concrete proof that he was lying, but because the police apparently arrived at the consensus opinion that he was, and I rather suspect that the same thing occurred in Hutchinson’s case (with the exception of the "policeman" incident referred to above, of course).

As for the Astrakhan issue, I doubt very much that Abberline’s initial endorsement of the account had anything to do with a prevalence of Astrakhan-types on the streets of Whitechapel. I think it may owe more to a lack of familiarity with the nature of the crimes and the attendant expectation that such a criminal must be a far cry from the norm - in every sense, including physical.

All the best,
Ben

Fisherman
09-30-2010, 02:47 PM
Ben:

"Firstly, Fish, it doesn't remotely stand to reason that it would have taken a "very naive police force" to have dismissed Hutchinson as a time-waster as opposed to considering him a potential suspect, even if that judgement was made in error. The fact of the matter is that policing in general was in its infancy in 1888, and they had no experience of serial crime. As such, we can hardly blame them if they failed to deduce that the killer approached the police of his own volition to seek an audience with the police. Publicity-seekers, by contrast, are the bane of any high profile police investigation, and with so many of them cropping up in the form of Packer, Violenia and others, it would have been more than understandable if the police had consigned Hutchinson to this category, even if was done so erroneously."

I beg to differ, Ben. If the police got wind of Hutch having lied, then they would have been a both bad and naîve police force not to follow up on him. That is an unescapable conclusion, I´m afraid. My contention, though, is that they were neither.
And when it comes to comparing with Packer and Violenia, let´s not loose out of sight the all-important fact that these two were never any suspects! If one of them had been spotted loitering around one of the murder spots at the crucial time, and given obviously false reasons for it, they would have received another interest altoghether by the Met! I think you will agree with that, Ben.

"Of course, it is entirely possible that Hutchinson did find himself under suspicion, but we needn’t expect any record of this to have survived, and in any event, there is a yawning chasm that needs to be bridged between suspecting someone, and having concrete evidence to rule them out conclusively as suspects. The very worst thing we can do is start positing the existence of imaginary evidence, such as “concrete alibis”. Hutchinson was ostensibly a solitary doss house resident – the chances of him having a concrete alibi at 3:30am are absurdly remote."

If, Ben, Hutch had fallen under suspicion, then he would have done so as the only existing suspect that could be proven to have hovered all over the murder place of a Ripper victim, for no accepted reason at all since he was discarded, and that at a stage when the Whitechapel killings was the high-profile case of the century. He would have been a young man who could not satisfy the police as to why he was around as Kelly was cut to pieces, simple as that.
If he was, do you believe it even remotely possible that the police would have opted for him being just a time-waster and thrown him in the bin? And if he was, is it reasonable to believe that this man would not have made any imprint AT ALL as a suspect in the police reports - let alone in the papers?

No, Hutchinson was in all probability a man that was dropped because the police KNEW that he would not have been Kelly´s killer. And it would seem that it did not take numerous interrogations, closely followed by the press, to find that out, for then we would have had it on line. The sequence as well as the outcome of it speaks very clearly for itself.

"It would have been more than sufficient to attach a severely “reduced importance” (ref 13th November article) to his account, especially given the nature of his press accounts, which included claims that could have been instantly disproved, such as the one involving a policeman he encountered on the Sunday, but who mysteriously neglected to alert his superiors about the Kelly sighting."

But that, Ben, would STILL have left us with a man who had a lot of explaining to do - and who was STILL let off the hook effortlessly, more or less, by the looks of it. Unless, of course, the police made him sweat it out thoroughly - but forgot to mention it in reports and memoirs, paralleling a likewise uninterested press. It does not make for a very credible picture. Not at all, in fact.

"Packer was dismissed not because anyone had procured concrete proof that he was lying, but because the police apparently arrived at the consensus opinion that he was, and I rather suspect that the same thing occurred in Hutchinson’s case"

If somebody says "I saw nobody" and follow it up with "I saw her and the killer", we may not necessarily be dealing with a conscious lie - but we are VERY sure that we are dealing with two uncomparable testimonies from the same source. And it does not alter the fact that Packer was not somebody tho whom a suspicion of being the Whitechapel killer would have attached - and THAT makes for an almighty difference!

"As for the Astrakhan issue, I doubt very much that Abberline’s initial endorsement of the account had anything to do with a prevalence of Astrakhan-types on the streets of Whitechapel."

I think it must have had. To deny it would be to accept that ANY type described by Hutchinson would have been accepted by Abberline; A circus acrobat, a Persian prince, a ghillie from river Dee, a leprechaun ... there must have been levels attached to Abberlines judgement of what and who could be expected phenomenons on that street and on that night. Then again, we do not know if Abberline was taken aback by Hutchs suggestion of Astrakhan. He may have asked about it without it having been recorded, of course. But the gist of the matter is that he did not feel it unreconcilable with the events of the night. And that, of course does not prove that he had ever seen a man like Mr A in Dorset Street, only that he allowed for it being possible. But this we can go on debating forever without reaching anywhere. It is a much more open question than the one about why the police would let a potential Ripper on the loose if they were not sure that he was in the clear.

The best, Ben!
Fisherman

Rubyretro
09-30-2010, 02:59 PM
Fish -needless to say, I agree with Garry and Ben.

Still, I've said it before but it's worth repeating..you have to use your imagination to put those photos of Mary Kelly's body into 'reality'. Imagine the murder scene in Kelly's room (as witnessed by Abberline) in colour, with the smell of blood and offal beginning to go off...it might be 'speculation' but I don't think it's 'fantasy' to imagine the effect that scene must have had on Abberline, however "streetwise" he was.

I don't think that it's too wild a guess to think that he must have formed an opinion on Mary Kelly's murderer as not possibly being anyone 'normal'.
Yet as the title of this thread demonstrates, murderers like Van der Sleet
(and go and have look at the recorded TV interview of him) can come over as very cool and normal on the surface.

Abberline also took Hutch to see the body, although it seems incredible that a mere acquaintance would be able to identify anybody from what remained of Mary (not so with her ex-lover, Barnett). Maybe this was to check his reaction ? If Abberline did not consider Hutch a suspect, then we must assume that Hutch's reactions to the body appeared perfectly normal.

We don't know exactly WHY Abberline changed his mind about the veracity of Hutch's statement, nor do we know why he didn't consider him a suspect..
but I think that my explanation is as good as your 'concrete alibi'...and BOTH of us are speculating.

Fisherman
09-30-2010, 03:11 PM
So, the smell and sight of Mary Kelly was what put Hutch in the clear? Abberline was so overcome with emotions that he forgot all he had learnt about police procedure? And all the villains he had put behind bars in the past all corresponded with this insight?

No, Ruby, I do not buy into this for a second. Like I said, the Met was anything but naîve. And though you agree with Garry and Ben, I am not equally sure that they agree with you on this. But let´s ask them!

The best,
Fisherman

Ben
09-30-2010, 03:19 PM
Hi Fish,

“If the police got wind of Hutch having lied, then they would have been a both bad and naîve police force not to follow up on him.”

“Follow up” – yes, I have no doubt that they did precisely that with all inconsistent and dodgy witnesses, Packer included, but that doesn’t mean Hutchinson was automatically assigned suspect-status as a result of that follow-up. More likely, he was dismissed as a two-a-penny publicity-seeker and given little thought afterwards. You say that neither Packer nor Violenia were ever considered suspects, but there’s no evidence that Hutchinson was either, at least not by the contemporary police. If they dismissed him as a publicity-seeker who wasn’t even there when he claimed to be, they can’t also have subscribed to the view that he was spotted by another witness. If, on the other hand, they did make the connection between Hutchinson and Lewis’ loiterer but still treated his account as suspect, then yes, in this scenario, it’s far more likely that suspicion was later attached to him. Unfortunately, if the latter were true, the police would have struggled to convert those suspicions into a tangible result.

Even then it would be rather unlikely for a “still suspicious” Hutchinson to have found a place in memos written years after the murders, especially given his failure to conform to the type of suspect preferred by the police at the time, i.e. foreigners, “insane” people”, or those with connections to the medical and butchering professions. Certainly, if they suspected Hutchinson in the immediate aftermath of the Kelly murder, they would have used discreet surveillance to monitor his movements, and would not, accordingly, have related their suspicions to the papers.

“No, Hutchinson was in all probability a man that was dropped because the police KNEW that he would not have been Kelly´s killer.”

Incredibly unlikely.

Sorry, I can't agree with this one at all.

That would require positing the existence of all sorts of imaginary evidence that needs to exist in order to that theory to work. You’re arguing that Hutchinson MUST have been suspected, and that he MUST have been cleared as a result of those suspicions; that it MUST have happened as a result of some alibi that he MUST have found at 3:30am in the form of some other insomniac at the Victoria Home or on the streets during his walkabout. It’s all deeply unlikely, and far too dependent on filling in the blanks. The reality of “suspicions” in high profile police investigations, including this one, is that very few of them culminate in the firm establishment of guilt or innocence, that’s why we have so many ripper suspect whose innocence cannot be proved despite their having been “suspected” by the police.

We even learn from the press that a "reduced importance" had been attached to Hutchinson's account not because the police had proof that he was elsewhere, but because certain aspects of his account clearly did not add up in the minds of the "authorities".

“there must have been levels attached to Abberlines judgement of what and who could be expected phenomenons on that street and on that night”

My point was that Abberline would have considered the Jack-the-Ripper phenomenon to be very much out-of-the-ordinary, and that consequently, he may have expected the perpetrator to be equally “out-of-the-ordinary” – an expectation that may well have encompassed his appearance. He wouldn’t have ruled out the appearance of such an individual on the streets as “impossible” under ordinary circumstances, but there’s certainly no evidence that he considered it a common occurrence. This very issue was thrashed out here:

http://forum.casebook.org/showthread.php?t=4758&page=3

But this we can go on debating forever without reaching anywhere

Yes, that's my fear too, Fish. I feel like I'm in 2006 again. Agree to disagree methinks!

Best regards,
Ben

Fisherman
09-30-2010, 03:39 PM
Ben:
"I have no doubt that they did precisely that with all inconsistent and dodgy witnesses, Packer included, but that doesn’t mean Hutchinson was automatically assigned suspect-status as a result of that follow-up. More likely, he was dismissed as a two-a-penny publicity-seeker and given little thought afterwards."

But that would add up to an verdict of: "Aha, you were lying about what you did loitering outside Miller´s Court! Oh well, I guess you were just after the publicity then".
Let´s ponder the fact that Hutchinson was quite unique, Ben. By his own admission, the police could nail him to spot and time of the Kelly killing! And much as there were hundreds of loonies around professing to have taken part in the killings in one way or another, NONE of them made up the same sort of suspect that Hutch did.

"You’re arguing that Hutchinson MUST have been suspected, and that he MUST have been cleared as a result of those suspicions, and that it MUST be because of some alibi that he MUST have found at 3:30am in the form of some other insomniac at the Victoria Home or on the streets during his walkabout."

Hmm, let´s get this straight:

No, I am not saying that he must have been a suspect. That only applies if the police could ascertain that he was not telling he truth. In such a case, then yes, he would most certainly have fallen under suspicion, without a doubt. But if his story was cracked by an external source or by himself, providing an alibi, then he would never even have gotten around to becoming a suspect. In such a case, I bet he would have been discarded in just a few words in the press, and never again mentioned by the police, not in any reports and not in any memoirs. Incidentally, this is EXACTLY what happened ...
Further on, his dire need to find an insomniac at the Victoria home only arises if we are sure that he WAS the loiterer. If he was in Banbury or Cropredy - different story altogether! And such a thing, when corroborated by the accomodating people in Banbury or Cropredy, would of course have resulted in him not falling under suspicion, and thus we would get a picture where neither press or police ... well, you get the drift, Ben!

"My point was that Abberline would have considered the Jack-the-Ripper phenomenon to be quite out-of-the-ordinary, and that consequently, he may have expected the perpetrator to be equally “out-of-the-ordinary” – an expectation that may well have encompassed his appearance."

Like I hinted at in my post to Ruby - Abberline had seen a lot, Ben. He would have known that the days of Géricault belonged to the past.

"Agree to disagree methinks!"

Excellent suggestion, Ben. I have had the audacity to use the two words "Wescott" and "wrong" on an adjacent thread, so I will have my hands full at any rate.

The best,
Fisherman

Ben
09-30-2010, 04:09 PM
Hi Fish,

“But that would add up to an verdict of: "Aha, you were lying about what you did loitering outside Miller´s Court! Oh well, I guess you were just after the publicity then".”

Oh no, not at all. Had Hutchinson been dismissed as a publicity-seeker, the verdict was more likely to have been “Aha, you were lying about loitering outside Miller’s Court!” in which case, it wouldn’t be at all unfathomable that he was dismissed as a publicity-seeker. Just to avoid confusion, I agree entirely that if – and it must remain a big “if” - the police felt that Hutchinson was the man seen by Lewis AND lied about his reasons being there, they couldn’t possibly have accused him of mere time-wasting, and would almost certainly have treated him with suspicion. If they didn’t connect Hutchinson with Lewis’ loiterer – and strictly speaking, there’s no evidence that they did* – the publicity-seeker was the logical solution for the police to have arrived at simply because they were the group with which they had become most familiar (i.e. as opposed to serial killers using diversionary tactics, for example).

“In such a case, I bet he would have been discarded in just a few words in the press, and never again mentioned by the police, not in any reports and not in any memoirs. Incidentally, this is EXACTLY what happened ...”

But that wasn’t what happened. The “few words in the press” were concerned with the problems the “authorities” had with the content of Hutchinson’s statement, and the fact that a “reduced importance” had been attached to him (and it) accordingly. No mention whatsoever of any proof that he lied arriving in the form of a cast-iron alibi from far-flung Banbury (or wherever), and if something of this nature had been discovered, it was obviously the salient point to mention. They merely suspected he was lying.

On a tangential note, I still consider it very unlikely that Hutchinson would falsely assume the identity of the Lewis' loiterer for reasons mentioned on page 3 of this thread.

All the best,
Ben

*Potentially revealing, in this regard, in Walter Dew's suggestion that Hutchinson got the wrong day!

Fisherman
09-30-2010, 04:26 PM
Let´s just say that we see things VERY differently, Ben - I think, for example that a "reduced importance" is a wording that tallies extremely well with the press standing with their pants down, as I have stated before: Don´t let on that we have been made fools of, just drop it.

And that, bu the way, is what I am doing now.

The best,
Fisherman

Abby Normal
09-30-2010, 04:52 PM
If he came to the realization that he had been seen by Sarah Lewis and feared that, like Lawende before her, Sarah's inquest testimony had been underplayed as part of a deliberate police strategy, it is possible that he came forward in order to provide an innocent explanation for his having been sighted close to a crime scene at a time critical to a Ripper murder. Accordingly, his story concerning Kelly's affluent pick-up would have been an attempt to misdirect the police investigation, thereby leaving himself in the clear and the police searching for a nonexistent suspect.

Regards.

Garry Wroe.

Bingo.

And this behaviour would be consistant with an earlier attempt to throw off the police, after having been seen by jewish looking witnesses, with the writing of the GSG.

claire
09-30-2010, 05:44 PM
So, let me get this straight (God help me). Ben, you are suggesting that Hutchinson was dropped as a reliable witness by a police force embarrassed by their own credulity, simply on the grounds of a suspicion that he was lying? And this suspicion, you argue, occurs because of a naivete about serial killers, because policing was relatively new?

I don't understand that at all. I don't believe for a moment that anyone would say, 'You know, we have this guy who saw the victim with a potential suspect shortly before we believe the victim was murdered. Still. Sounds a bit dodgy, really. Too good to be true, in many ways. Hmm. You know what? Best drop him as a witness. Tell the papers he led us astray.' 'Alright then, guv, I'll give em a yell. I mean, it's only one of the biggest bloody murder cases in the history of London, after all.' It's not plausible.

In any case, formal policing and investigative work may have been in its infancy, but simple human suspicion certainly wasn't. If someone thought Hutchinson was dodgy as a witness, it strikes me that a person of average mind might then consider the reasons for that to be his potential as a suspect. Grief, anyone with a gin-addled brain cell would wonder whether a chap who said he had seen the victim immediately before her death mightn't possibly have something to do with it.

You note, too, his status as a lone (or solitary--sorry, can't scroll across the pages for the precise word) doss house lodger. But we just don't know that. There is only his statement that that was where he was staying--but there is every chance that he was not. I think Fish's scenario is plausible--sure, we don't have evidence, but we don't have evidence about very much at all. I think it's quite possible that Mrs Hutchinson, whether mother or wife, rolled her eyes, clipped silly Hutch round the ear and hightailed it over to the nearest police station to make sure that her idiot son/husband didn't end up in the frame for something she knew he hadn't done, because XYZ people had seen him elsewhere. Sure, no evidence for it. Sure, follow-up questions would have been asked. But given the ra-ra-ra police had given to Hutchinson when he first showed up, burying the whole matter quietly would be very much their tactic, no?

Quite seriously, in the absence of the complete implausibility of Mr. Astrakhan (which is untenable), or another man coming forward as the loiterer (possible, I guess, but unlikely, as you note), what other possible reason could the police have to drop Hutchinson as a witness if not for evidence he was somewhere else, or a retraction on his part?

Abby Normal
09-30-2010, 05:58 PM
So, let me get this straight (God help me). Ben, you are suggesting that Hutchinson was dropped as a reliable witness by a police force embarrassed by their own credulity, simply on the grounds of a suspicion that he was lying? And this suspicion, you argue, occurs because of a naivete about serial killers, because policing was relatively new?

I don't understand that at all. I don't believe for a moment that anyone would say, 'You know, we have this guy who saw the victim with a potential suspect shortly before we believe the victim was murdered. Still. Sounds a bit dodgy, really. Too good to be true, in many ways. Hmm. You know what? Best drop him as a witness. Tell the papers he led us astray.' 'Alright then, guv, I'll give em a yell. I mean, it's only one of the biggest bloody murder cases in the history of London, after all.' It's not plausible.

In any case, formal policing and investigative work may have been in its infancy, but simple human suspicion certainly wasn't. If someone thought Hutchinson was dodgy as a witness, it strikes me that a person of average mind might then consider the reasons for that to be his potential as a suspect. Grief, anyone with a gin-addled brain cell would wonder whether a chap who said he had seen the victim immediately before her death mightn't possibly have something to do with it.

You note, too, his status as a lone (or solitary--sorry, can't scroll across the pages for the precise word) doss house lodger. But we just don't know that. There is only his statement that that was where he was staying--but there is every chance that he was not. I think Fish's scenario is plausible--sure, we don't have evidence, but we don't have evidence about very much at all. I think it's quite possible that Mrs Hutchinson, whether mother or wife, rolled her eyes, clipped silly Hutch round the ear and hightailed it over to the nearest police station to make sure that her idiot son/husband didn't end up in the frame for something she knew he hadn't done, because XYZ people had seen him elsewhere. Sure, no evidence for it. Sure, follow-up questions would have been asked. But given the ra-ra-ra police had given to Hutchinson when he first showed up, burying the whole matter quietly would be very much their tactic, no?

Quite seriously, in the absence of the complete implausibility of Mr. Astrakhan (which is untenable), or another man coming forward as the loiterer (possible, I guess, but unlikely, as you note), what other possible reason could the police have to drop Hutchinson as a witness if not for evidence he was somewhere else, or a retraction on his part?

Hi Claire
what other possible reason could the police have to drop Hutchinson as a witness if not for evidence he was somewhere else, or a retraction on his part?[/QUOTE]

Maybe they did not "drop" him as a witness, maybe he just sort of petered out.

Ben
09-30-2010, 06:39 PM
“Ben, you are suggesting that Hutchinson was dropped as a reliable witness by a police force embarrassed by their own credulity, simply on the grounds of a suspicion that he was lying?”

No.

I never suggested that the police were “embarrassed by their own credulity” or that they had any reason to be. There’s no dishonour is reassessing a previously held opinion, especially if the initial thumbs-up was passed on a few hours (if that) after Hutchinson first made an appearance. But yes, I am suggesting that he was dropped as a reliable witness “on the grounds of a suspicion that he was lying”, and if you think for one moment that there’s anything even vaguely unusual about that, then I'd strongly encourage you to read up on the cases of Matthew Packer and Emmanuel Violenia, both of whom were “dropped as reliable witnesses” despite the fact that nobody was able to prove that they both lied. The fact is that the police didn’t need proof in order to ditch them – they just arrived at an educated consensus.

“I don't believe for a moment that anyone would say, 'You know, we have this guy who saw the victim with a potential suspect shortly before we believe the victim was murdered. Still. Sounds a bit dodgy, really. Too good to be true, in many ways. Hmm.”

I do wish people wouldn’t do those long invented dialogue things. No, I’ve just finished explaining why I agree, wholeheartedly, that the above does not make for a credible suggestion. If they considered him dodgy but still cast him in the role of Lewis’ loiterer, of course it’s inevitable that he’d end up being suspected. My point was that IF they dismissed him as a publicity-seeker, as appears likely, they cannot have made the connection between Hutchinson and Mr. Wideawake, and quite honestly, anyone still claiming that the police must have been short on brain cells (or some similar exaggerated terminology) to overlook something so obvious need only consider that the connection didn’t seem to have been made until 100 years after the event.

So that’s dealing with the premise that the police dismissed him as a timewaster a la Packer.

But if we’re dealing with a police force that continued to believe that Hutchinson was where he said he was but lied about being there, then it naturally follows that they’d have grounds for suspicion, and in that event, it’s highly doubtful that they were in a position to convert those suspicions into a concrete conclusion: guilty or innocent. It didn’t happen with a vast number of suspects involved with the ripper case, and I don’t know why we’re expecting miracles with Hutchinson. The Green River Killer, Gary Ridgway, was under suspicion for a long time, and for good reason, but it wasn’t until the advent of DNA that it became possible to convert those suspicions into proof.

I don’t understand why we can’t just accept the boring reality that the police had little to go on, and were to a large extent forced to rely on their suspicions only. An acceptance of this obvious proven reality is surely preferable to positing imaginary alibis (events, places and people!) and similar fill-in-the-blanks exercises. There’s really no need, since the simplest explanation, albeit the least interesting, is that whatever the police thought at the time, they were not necessarily in a position to know.

It was the police, incidentally, not Hutchinson who recorded his residence at the Victoria Home, which suggests that this detail, at least, had been verified.

what other possible reason could the police have to drop Hutchinson as a witness if not for evidence he was somewhere else, or a retraction on his part?

We know the reason. Hutchinson was dropped because, as reported in the Daily Echo of 13th November, the "authorities" no longer trusted his account. That's the reason we have in evidence, thus eradicating the need to invent an alternative "reason", and it's exactly what happened with other bogus witnesses.

Hope I helped, even if God couldn't. ;)

All the best,
Ben

Rubyretro
09-30-2010, 08:02 PM
Fish -I will leave the pure facts to Ben and Garry (not that I don't know the Facts, but they have been stated and I don't need to restate them -and Ben and Garry are the experts).

Still since you brought up alibis, -ponder this : Hutch was supposed to be in Romford the night of Kelly's murder.

If he hadn't seen Mrs Lewis, and worried about how much info she might have given the Police about him, everybody would simply have assumed that he hadn't even been in London at the time of the killing.

The Police were looking for one killer for the murders -so maybe he had a similar alibi for one/some of the other killings ? Being 'out of town' woulld be a good one.

If you can speculate on the hypothetical existance of alibis and Police checks ( no CTT cameras), then I can speculate too that.. he might have had alibis..but they might not have mean't much (except when weighted into the equation that the police were
looking more for a wild eyed jewish butcher).

Ben
09-30-2010, 08:12 PM
Hi all,

Just a quick but importmant ammendment to my post above:

"But if we’re dealing with a police force that continued to believe that Hutchinson was where he said he was but lied about his reasons for being there, then it naturally follows that they’d have grounds for suspicion"

Correction in bold.

All the best,
Ben

Fisherman
09-30-2010, 10:37 PM
Ben:

"yes, I am suggesting that he was dropped as a reliable witness “on the grounds of a suspicion that he was lying”, and if you think for one moment that there’s anything even vaguely unusual about that, then I'd strongly encourage you to read up on the cases of Matthew Packer and Emmanuel Violenia, both of whom were “dropped as reliable witnesses” despite the fact that nobody was able to prove that they both lied."

But that, Ben, just brings us back to the fact that neither Packer nor Violenia would have made the suspects list. Hutch is and remains another story altogether, and makes for a very bad comparison with the afore mentioned gentlemen. No matter if they were lying through their teeth, the coppers would not feel that they were potential Ripper material.

"IF they dismissed him as a publicity-seeker, as appears likely, they cannot have made the connection between Hutchinson and Mr. Wideawake"

Wait a sec here, Ben - are you saying that they did NOT connect him with Lewis´ loiterer ...? Or is my English letting me down?

"We know the reason. Hutchinson was dropped because, as reported in the Daily Echo of 13th November, the "authorities" no longer trusted his account. "

But Ben, then we need to ask ourselves WHY they did not trust it - and the answer to that question may very well be that someone gave the story away, exactly like Claire suggests. If they were informed by an external source that his story was bogus, then they would be left with a worthless story - which is how the Star heads it´s article on it:

” the Nov 15 Star:

WHITECHAPEL.
Worthless Stories Lead the Police on False Scents" , grouping Packers ravings with Hutch´s ditto.

The best,
Fisherman

claire
09-30-2010, 10:46 PM
Thanks for the amendment. I just spent five minutes reading and re-reading the original sentence...;)

But seriously, I am surprised that you would use the Packer example as in any way similar to the Hutchinson one. Packer's testimonies diverged from each other so wildly that there was very little consistency amongst them. Different, I think, to Hutchinson, whose statements to the press appeared only to embellish his original statement to the police in small ways. When faced with a witness who ducks in and out of stories, returning to make further statements weeks later, it is far more likely, isn't it, for the police to begin to suspect the veracity of those statements? Hutchinson was a different kettle of crypt-orchids: his story was accepted and then dismissed very rapidly; more rapidly, I would suggest, than is generally the case when police investigating a case like this (not least because of the understandable desire for his account to be true).

I am perfectly happy to accept that the police had very little to go on, as you say. But I would say that, given this, this would make them far more likely to maintain some level of belief in a witness statement for at least 24 hours, unless they had a jolly good reason to disbelieve it.

As for this: 'I do wish people wouldn’t do those long invented dialogue things.' That made me chuckle. :)

Cheers, Ben. Glad you're back.

Fisherman
09-30-2010, 10:50 PM
Ruby:

"Still since you brought up alibis, -ponder this : Hutch was supposed to be in Romford the night of Kelly's murder."

Let´s settle for "evening" instead, Ruby, and I´m with you.

"If he hadn't seen Mrs Lewis..."

Since you speak of speculation, Ruby, you may need to ponder that he actually never spoke of seeing Lewis himself. That remains YOUR speculation. If he was never there in the first place, he could not have seen her at all, of course, and I think that a following slip-up by forgetting to mention her as he lied about having been the loiterer - if that was what he did, I´m theorizing here - would be a very logical thing.

"If you can speculate on the hypothetical existance of alibis and Police checks ( no CTT cameras), then I can speculate too..."

Absolutely, Ruby - feel free! Although I think that Claire makes a very fair point as she echoes my reasoning:

"what other possible reason could the police have to drop Hutchinson as a witness if not for evidence he was somewhere else, or a retraction on his part?"

The answer is simple, I believe - none. But then again, other posters define simplicity in other manners, which is why we are still discussing this.

The best,
Fisherman

richardnunweek
09-30-2010, 11:49 PM
Hello all.
Once again the whole crux of the matter is the true identification of the witness known as G Hutchinson.
Was he a unknown time waster?
Was he a unknown Killer?
Was he Topping?... who existed, and has been nominated by his own flesh and blood.
If the latter, the alleged morals , and dignity of that man, seems unlikely to have been someone who indulged in blood lusts.
Please lets not get to the stage where we dismiss the obvious, ie, Hutch was Topping, and spoke the truth , which leads us to the same old dead end anyway.
After all he was not the only witness, who said they saw the deseased, with a well dressed man .. Bowyer on the wednesday , and associates on the evening of the 8th, mentioned that also.
It is my opinion we are overcooking Hutchinson, and doing that late gentleman no favours.
There was no conspiracy, no Heath [ 40s killer] scenerio, in which he involved himself with the police, which resulted in drawing massive attention to himself, amd consquently being hung...
My beliefs as you know.
Regards Richard.

Natalie Severn
10-01-2010, 12:11 AM
These days I am coming round to the view that this Hutchinson chap was hoping to be Mary Kelly"s new love,replacing the kind gentlemanly Joe Barnett as her live in lover .Hutch or Toppy as I know you like to call him,Richard, seems to have known her only too well.And he was there until 3am, stalking her,standing outside her room soaked to the skin on a cold wet night,"waiting for one of her clients to come out",clearly consumed with jealousy and lust.
He deliberately avoided the inquest.He later inserted himself into the inquiry.
He was guilty Richard admit it,and he was desperately trying to avoid being hanged that"s all----and by hood winking Abberline,he did avoid the noose.
Best
Norma

claire
10-01-2010, 12:38 AM
I definitely don't think that should be discounted as a possibility, Norma, whether one considers MJ as a canonical victim or not. Either way, it's possible to construct plausible psychologies for such a killer. I'm quite sympathetic to the possibilities of either, too. The only real snagging point, for me, is the extent to which Hutchinson (regardless of his actual identity) could have controlled or predicted the police response...it's one thing to take that risk if you just fancied a bit of excitement, and pretended to be at the scene, and quite another to be responsible for the murder and to willingly insert yourself into the investigation. Takes a certain amount of chutzpah and recklessness, I think...although he could hope that his crazy story would seem so crackpot that he was dismissed as a crank, there was always the risk that he would be thoroughly investigated...

Anyhow! Just too many possibilities--and it's bed time for me! :)

Ben
10-01-2010, 03:26 AM
Hi Fish,

“No matter if they were lying through their teeth, the coppers would not feel that they were potential Ripper material.”

Agreed, Fish, but if the coppers were of the persuasion that Hutchinson lied about his very presence there, he wouldn’t have been considered potential ripper material any more than Packer and Violenia. I have been exploring two possibilities: a) that no connection was ever made between Lewis and Hutchinson, and that the latter was dismissed as a time-waster, and b) that they did make the connection, and suspected Hutchinson as a consequence. I then looked at the ramifications of both options.

“Wait a sec here, Ben - are you saying that they did NOT connect him with Lewis´ loiterer ...?”

No. I’m saying we have no evidence that such a connection was made.

“But Ben, then we need to ask ourselves WHY they did not trust it”

Again, Fish, there is no mystery surrounding WHY they did not trust it. We know why. They became suspicious of the nature of Hutchinson’s claims and came to attach a “reduced importance” to them accordingly. It really is a simple as that, and as for the source behind the “discrediting” is concerned, they clearly reference “the authorities” – in other words, the police.

Ben
10-01-2010, 03:44 AM
Thanks for the welcome back, Claire, and I didn't mean to come across as grouchy over the dialogue!

But seriously, I am surprised that you would use the Packer example as in any way similar to the Hutchinson one.

I only made the comparison to illustrate that witnesses can be discredited even in the absence of proof that they were lying. As I've just been discussing with Fish, we know that this was precisely what happened in Hutchinson's case. Even the terminology is suggestive in this regard; Hutchinson's account was accorded "reduced importance" as a result of its dubious content. It wasn't a case of "It's officially false, folks, and here's how the authorities came to find out why" (gosh, I'm on the monologues now! ;)). Crucially, in this case, we know why Hutchinson was discredited, and we know that it wasn't as a result of his account having been officially disproved.

I accept your observation concerning the speed of Hutchinson's ditching, but I strongly suspect that it coincided with the release of his press claims, which vastly undermined his original account and included demonstrably false excuses for not coming forward earlier, such as "Oh, I did tell a policeman about it, but he did nothing".

(There I go again!)

All the best,
Ben

Ben
10-01-2010, 03:58 AM
Once again the whole crux of the matter is the true identification of the witness known as G Hutchinson.

Thing is, it's just not, Rich.

That's very much a separate issue from the one we're discussing.

Hutchinson's account was reportedly "discredited", irrespective of the man's identity. He doesn't get any less discredited if he was a violin-playing plumber from Norwood.

Now, some people believe he was Toppy, and others don't. That's fine. I respect and accept that difference of opinion providing we avoid those bafflingly pointless "Oh why oh why can't we just believe?!?" type of posts that you, in your naughtiness, have been guilty of from time to time. :)

All the best,
Ben

Hunter
10-01-2010, 05:50 AM
Hutchinson's account was reportedly "discredited" by two tabloids that lacked credibility themselves... especially the Star, who started the whole 'Leather Apron' fiasco and had Schwartz being chased by 'Pipeman' with a knife. The rumor mill was rampant in the days following the Kelly murder as the police - learning their lessons from previous murders - were attempting to effect better control over information to the press.

Unlike Packer and even Mrs. Long to some extent, there is no mention in existing police files of Hutchinson's testimony being discredited, and that's what we have to go on... whether they once existed and were subsequently lost or not. Anything beyond that is conjecture.

If the press is to be believed, then we can certainly give credence to the account in the papers of December, that Joseph Isaacs was being watched by police in connection to the Kelly murder as he fit the description given by Hutchinson. He had been arrested for stealing a watch when the story broke that he was also a suspect in the Whitechapel Murders.

Fisherman
10-01-2010, 09:13 AM
Ben:

"I only made the comparison to illustrate that witnesses can be discredited even in the absence of proof that they were lying. As I've just been discussing with Fish, we know that this was precisely what happened in Hutchinson's case. Even the terminology is suggestive in this regard; Hutchinson's account was accorded "reduced importance" as a result of its dubious content. It wasn't a case of "It's officially false, folks, and here's how the authorities came to find out why" (gosh, I'm on the monologues now! ). Crucially, in this case, we know why Hutchinson was discredited, and we know that it wasn't as a result of his account having been officially disproved."

Then this is where we differ very much, Ben. In my wiew, we do not "know" that the precise same thing happened to Hutch as to Packer - that he was dismissed although there was a proven lack of evidence to do so.
There is no such proven lack about. True enough, we do not have it on record that there was conclusive proof putting Hutch in the clear, but the exact same thing applies to the opposite take on things; we have nothing telling us that the proof was not there.

Therefore we are on equal footing here, Ben. You don´t know, and I don´t know. After that, all we can do is to take a look at what we KNOW happened, and draw our conclusions from that.

Equally, we do not in any fashion "know" that it was the inherent qualities that were there from the start in the testimony/the press articles that made the police send Hutch on his way.

Let´s have a refreshed look at what was said in the "London Echo" article:

"From latest inquiries it appears that a very reduced importance seems to be now - in the light of later investigation - attached to a statement made by a person last night that he saw a man with the deceased on the night of the murder. Of course, such a statement should have been made at the inquest, where the evidence, taken on oath, could have been compared with the supposed description of the murderer given by the witnesses. Why, ask the authorities, did not the informant come forward before? As many as fifty-three persons have, in all, made statements as to "suspicious men," each of whom was thought to be Mary Janet Kelly's assassin. The most remarkable thing in regard to the latest statement is, that no one else can be found to say that a man of that description given was seen with the deceased, while, of course, there is the direct testimony of the witnesses at the inquest, that the person seen with the deceased at midnight was of quite a different appearance."

...and this is what Garry Wroe had to say about it on a thread from last year:

"if factual, one can only surmise that it came about as a consequence of a police tip-off, and that Hutchinson had given himself away whilst searching the Whitechapel district with his police escort on the Monday evening. Then, as had been the case with Violenia before him, he was quietly dropped – viewed by the police as persona non grata."

So, a police tip-off is what Garry senses behind it, combined with Hutch giving himself away. At any rate, it says very clearly that Hutchinsons statement had become doubted, not because of it´s inherent qualities, but "in the light of later investigation", that is to say that something surfaced that was not there from the beginning. And that, precisely that, is what I have been saying all along. Also, it seems that what the "authorities" questioned, was not the veracity of the testimony, but the fact that Hutch had waited three days before showing up.

The best,
Fisherman

Natalie Severn
10-01-2010, 01:59 PM
I definitely don't think that should be discounted as a possibility, Norma, whether one considers MJ as a canonical victim or not. Either way, it's possible to construct plausible psychologies for such a killer. I'm quite sympathetic to the possibilities of either, too. The only real snagging point, for me, is the extent to which Hutchinson (regardless of his actual identity) could have controlled or predicted the police response...it's one thing to take that risk if you just fancied a bit of excitement, and pretended to be at the scene, and quite another to be responsible for the murder and to willingly insert yourself into the investigation. Takes a certain amount of chutzpah and recklessness, I think...although he could hope that his crazy story would seem so crackpot that he was dismissed as a crank, there was always the risk that he would be thoroughly investigated...

Anyhow! Just too many possibilities--and it's bed time for me! :)

Hi Claire,
I think that over the years I have become quite convinced that Hutchinson was madly in love with Mary Kelly.There is a section of Alexandre Dumas Fils book on Alphonsine Plessis [the real life prostitute or "sex worker" of his novel "La Dame aux Camelias"/later to become Verdi"s "La Traviata"].
He describes how he wanted to kill her after she came back to him, so none of her other men could have her.He too waited for hours, watching her apartment in The Rue D"Antin [actually the Boulevard de la Madeleine" ] until 4 am one morning for one of her "clients" to come out---and like Hutch left ---he says he was in a terrible state, consumed by jealousy and despair, even though she wanted him to still be her friend,he couldn"t stand her having all these men in her life etc.
So I think Hutch has to be a serious suspect -even though he seems not to have been suspected by police.His appearance and "military bearing" may have deceived Abberline .Why did he want to "insert himself"? Well he may have later been consumed with guilt but still wanted to be part of her .
Best Norma

Ben
10-01-2010, 02:15 PM
Hi Fish,

“In my wiew, we do not "know" that the precise same thing happened to Hutch as to Packer - that he was dismissed although there was a proven lack of evidence to do so.”

As you’ve noted, this is where we have conflicting views, since I don’t really see how the wording of the article allows for any other interpretation other than the one I offered – that the authorities came to doubt the account and dismissed him accordingly. At the very least, we can say that there’s considerably more evidence that he was dismissed for this reason, as opposed to any other alternative. In all honesty, I don’t see the room for doubt on the issue. The article (thanks for providing it, by the way) starts off by informing the reader that a “reduced importance” had been attached to Hutchinson’s statement, and then goes on the outline just WHY this “importance” came to be “reduced”.

“At any rate, it says very clearly that Hutchinsons statement had become doubted, not because of it´s inherent qualities, but "in the light of later investigation", that is to say that something surfaced that was not there from the beginning.”

I really don’t think the article implies this, Fish. You’re quite right to observe that they speak of “later investigation”, but the reasons provided in that same article are clearly the result of those investigations. The “inherent qualities” came to be questioned as a result of investigation, i.e. further analysis.

I quite agree with Garry’s observation that the press were more than likely tipped off by the police, and I certainly accept your observation that Hutchinson’s “delay” seemed to have been a big factor in his dismissal.

All the best,
Ben

Rubyretro
10-01-2010, 02:16 PM
I wouldn't want to advance myself on that, Nathalie..although I think there is something 'different' about the MJK killing, and I get the feeling that her killer /Hutch knew her-even if I open my mind to entertain doubts that they weren't one and the same; for one thing I think that he knew that she now lived alone, and he wouldn't be interrupted if he got into the room.

But 'great chutzpah', and daring, fit's with my idea of the Ripper's personality -allied with self preservation.

Ben
10-01-2010, 02:33 PM
Interesting stuff there, Norma!

I will have to seek out the book in question.

Hi Hunter,

“Hutchinson's account was reportedly "discredited" by two tabloids that lacked credibility themselves”

I would suggest that there’s absolutely no reason to doubt the veracity of two independent press sources attesting to the same observation. Bear in mind that both papers had earlier provided Hutchinson’s full account, with the Star in particular expressing enthusiastic optimism that it might yield results for the investigation. As such, it would hardly have benefited them to then claim falsely that Hutchinson’s account was now discredited. The Star also “discredited” Packer, which we know to be true.

As for an official police memo confirming the discrediting of Hutchinson, we really needn’t expect one. It’s his very absence from the records that tells the story. The individual memos, interviews and reports from senior police officials have been discussed in detail elsewhere in relation to Hutchinson, but all effectively attest to the same observation, and he remains highly conspicuous in his absence. The fact that one of the Jewish witnesses was used in preference to Hutchinson, who alleged a far better, closer and more detailed sighting, is particularly telling.

With regard to Joseph Isaacs, the alleged threats of violence against women, the theft of a watch, and the fact that he lodged a stone's throw from Miller's Court provided more than sufficient impetuses for police interest. He would have attracted police attention irrespective of what he looked like, and crucially, we have no evidence that the police were after him for that reason. Incidentally, I think it highly unlikely that a lowly cigar maker of no fixed abode could have resembled the opulent-looking Mr. Astrakhan very much.

All the best,
Ben

Fisherman
10-01-2010, 02:45 PM
Ben:

"I really don’t think the article implies this, Fish. You’re quite right to observe that they speak of “later investigation”, but the reasons provided in that same article are clearly the result of those investigations. The “inherent qualities” came to be questioned as a result of investigation, i.e. further analysis."

What we need to take a look at here - once again - is the timetable provided, Ben. Abberline interrogated Hutchinson on the 12:th, and came to the conclusion that his tale was truthful.
The day after that, the London Echo carried it´s article.
The day after THAT, the papers revealed Hutchinsons claim to have spoken to a police about his exploits in Dorset Street.

To me, this makes for a far too small timeframe for Abberline to not only start doubting a story he believed in a few hours before, but in fact dismissing Hutchinson altogether. Hutchinsons slightly rambling newspaper accounts were not even on the market yet, remember, so I am having some trouble to see what you mean is hen and what is egg here. Did Abberline grow suspicious because of newspaper accounts that he had not yet seen? Reasonably not. Therefore, his doubts would have started growing the minute Hutch left his room, it would seem. And after that, the London Echo got wind of it, presenting the doubts only the day after.

That, Ben, is a VERY tight schedule. It is also a schedule that would be more or less unique, I think, in having a top ranking officer forming a positive opinion and sending a memo about it to the very top of the police organization, wording things that he believed it was true, only to not just question his own judgement, but actually condemn it on the exact same grounds that made him approve of it before ...?

So no, the verdict must be that this is not a scenario that offers much of credibility to a mind as simple as mine. I opt for making the observation that "in the light of later investigation" very clearly tells us that something happened that was tied not to reflection but investigation - and that means active police work (or sheer luck when a witness enters the localities and vouches for Hutch).
In fact, nothing at all stands in the way for such an interpretation, and after that, the choice inbetween an Abberline who reels drunkenly inbetween interpretations from day one to day two - literally! - and an Abberline that opts for believing in Hutchs story, only to have it disproven by external factors the day after, becomes very easy to make.

If "in the light of later investigation" could ONLY mean that Abberline got cold feet, you would have been right. But as long as the expression not only lends itself eminently to another interpretation, but in fact even seems to encourage it, you move from an unchallengable "would have" to a very frail "could have", as far as I can tell. That does not mean that I will claim that my interpretation is the only reasonable one, the way you claim your ditto is. There is not enough in it to make such a call, quite simply. Fair is fair.

The best,
Fisherman

Ben
10-01-2010, 03:09 PM
Hi Fish,

The timetable makes perfect sense once the timing involved is examined. By 13th November, the police had already come to doubt Hutchinson’s account. By this stage, the “D” word had not been mentioned, but it was observed that a reduced importance was being attached to it. As you correctly note, the police were not then aware of the later embellished press accounts that appeared from the 14th onwards. It’s also clear – again, as you’ve already observed – that the concerns of the police centred, at this stage, not so much around the content of the statement or the discrepancies, but the fact that he had delayed coming forward, and that no other witnesses reported seeing Astrakhan-type suspects.

So the seeds of doubt had already been sown.

Then along come the press versions of his account, which include embellishments, contradictions, and claims (as mentioned earlier) that could easily be checked up upon and proven false. What effect could these press reports have had on the already doubtful police other than confirmation that their earlier doubts had been well-founded? When viewed in this light, the schedule doesn’t appear to be nearly so tight. Instead we see an altogether more gradual “doubting” of Hutchinson’s account, beginning with an acceptance on the evening of 12th and culminating in a discrediting on either the 14th or 15th. The “delay” sowed the seeds of doubt and the dodgy press versions cemented them, hence the transition from “reduced importance” (13th) to “discredited” (15th). It’s surely no coincidence either that the “discredited” reference came so soon after the release of his press account.

In fact, I honestly can’t see how any of this is coincidence.

Again, in the presence of all these very telling indicators that the “discrediting” process was a gradual affair, there has never been any less need for a big, external "something else" for which we have no evidence. There are simply no blanks to fill, especially not with mysterious unrecorded “alibis”! There’s no doubt over the issue of what “later investigation” meant, and we know it wasn’t something mega that put Hutchinson magically in the clear, or else they wouldn’t have said that only a “reduced importance” has been attached to the account. It would have been “no importance whatsoever”. The later investigation clearly referred to the reconsiderations that the article goes on to mention.

All the best,
Ben

Fisherman
10-01-2010, 03:29 PM
Ben:

"It’s also clear – again, as you’ve already observed – that the concerns of the police centred not so much around the content of the statement or the discrepancies, but the fact that he had delayed coming forward, and that no other witnesses reported seeing Astrakhan-type suspects.
So the seeds of doubt had already been sown."

Not only were they sown, Ben - they were fullgrown and harvested, more or less. In no time at all. I find that pretty amazing.
But it is nice to see that you agree that it would seem that neither the discrepancies involved in the later press reports or the story of the policeman Hutch claimed to have spoken to, would have had any influence at all in forming the doubtfulness you mean was clawing it´s way into Abberline´s chest.
So, we are faced with an Abberline who on day one does not think it too strange to believe that Hutch was three days late, nor does he believe that Astrakhan man must have been a conjured-up fake.
But on day two, however - poof! - he suddenly realizes that he had not seen the significance of all this the day before, and sends a wire to the London Echo about it first thing in the morning.

"There’s no doubt over the issue of what “later investigation” meant"

But surely you must have read my posts, Ben? And Claires? We actually DO doubt your version of the events. Very much, actually.

Let´s put it this way, Ben: We KNOW that the Echo - for whatever it´s worth - wrote that the police were doubtful about the veracity of Hutch, and they clearly stated that they put those doubts down to "later investigation". Are you saying that this "later investigation" could not have been the police acting on a tip from somebody, saying that Hutch had been elsewhere on the night, and asking away? Just as one example of thousands that I could formulate, and that would all lend themselves very nicely to corresponding to an activity that could be described as "later investigation". Could it NEVER have been that Hutch himself had contradicted what he had said, as he was out on his nightly walk with the two PC:s, something that had made these PC:s make inquiries that forced Abberline to realize that he could have been wrong? Could that not be the case? Would that not tally exactly with what the Echo stated: that there was police work, investigations, going on, to establish to what degree Hutchinson could be trusted? And could not that police work have turned something up?
I know that you think that this is unnecessary surplus work and that there is no need to fill anything in at all, but since there are those of us who think that your interpretation is less credible in it´s picture of a ping-pongish Abberline, would it not be fair to say that there is nothing at all on record that hinders the suggestion that "investigations" actually meant investigations?
Or MUST we be wrong?

The best,
Fisherman

Rubyretro
10-01-2010, 03:44 PM
There is not enough in it to make such a call, quite simply. Fair is fair.

Fish -I think that there is enough to make a call that Hutch is the best suspect in the Case,and reading regularly other people's assessments of their
favourite suspects, I've never been convinced by an argument in favour of anyone else.

There are lots of details that tie Hutch to the case, and no convincing details that tie anyone else.

If it wasn't Hutch, then it was ' Mr unknown' -only, how to explain why the murders stopped after MJK, if it was 'Mr Unkown' ?

.. and there is a very logical explanation why the murders stopped, if it was Hutch (too close to the investigation).

I have no difficulty explaining why Hutch might have come forward , nor in
seeing why Abberline might believe him at first contact.

As to why Abberline changed his mind, whether it was Hutch's interviews to the papers which were patently false, or 'in light of further investigation' -
it might be one of those things, or both.. and what does 'in light of further investigation' mean ? You don't know, and I don't know.

(It is worth remembering that the Yorkshire Ripper was investigated by Police , and then dismissed, and only caught due to a traffic misdemeanour).

That it was quickly proved that Hutch was a liar, I'm sure would be easy. That he had an alibi..I've already showed that he could have lots of witnesses to give an 'alibi' that he wasn't in London (whilst still being in London). If he was friends with such people as BSM and Pipe, who were up to no good themselvs, he might have false alibis -we cannot know anything about this. In the absence of CTT, DNA testing, finger prints etc, the Police would have a hard job in any investigation where the killer wasn't caught red handed.

The fact remains that we have a witness statement tying a person that fits Hutch's description to a crime scene at the crucial time. We have a person admitting that he is that suspect, fitting the description, and with spurious story. We then have the spate of murders stopping.

claire
10-01-2010, 03:47 PM
'In the light of later investigation' does, really, hint that some investigative process had influenced the police suspicions over Hutchinson's account; that would be the usual interpretation of it. And I'm not sure that I agree that a few hours' consideration of the inherent features of GH's account would really count for 'later investigation.' One slight compromise to this, however, is the press account that, 'from later inquiries, it appears...' Possible, I concede, that the press would enquire of the police as to any developments on the witness statement, and they responded that they were according it 'reduced importance.' The surmise about 'investigation,' therefore, would be that of the press.

Still, it seems unlikely, in my mind, that the police's suspicions about GH had arisen from no real additional information. Certainly, Abberline's initial opinions as to the veracity of the GH statement may not have been shared by other officers, who may have voiced their views to the press. But I still tend to the belief that something came to light that altered police opinion, given that the overwhelming urge must have been to grab at any possible clue (sorry, that sounds a bit archaic, but still) in the first few hours after a new witness statement.

Nevertheless, I agree with you, Norma. There's something somewhat compelling about GH and his need to provide such a detailed account of MJ, careful to note the length of their acquaintanceship, prepared to state that he hung around on a cold, wet night when he knew she was in her room with another man. It is unusual, particularly since, really, for all his careful description of the man he says he saw with MJ, it provides little in the way of an ability to identify a suspect, once that man was stripped of his costume (this, for me, has always been the snagging point of the possibility of Mr A. being a suspect--why would anyone, intent on murder, dress themselves up to the point where they would stand at contrepoint to most others in the district [certainly at that time of night, on that particular street, in that weather]?). My lingering doubt, however, is due to the question of whether GH was 'simply' obsessed with MJ and couldn't give up that obsession, even after her death, or whether that was all part of his own murderous activities.

And, if the latter, do we consider MJ a canonical, or not? (I now recognise I am about to enter the realms of fantasy and speculation, so will desist!)

I am now going to check out the Dumas book...something else to occupy me, rather than work :)

claire
10-01-2010, 03:54 PM
There are lots of details that tie Hutch to the case, and no convincing details that tie anyone else.

If it wasn't Hutch, then it was ' Mr unknown' -only, how to explain why the murders stopped after MJK, if it was 'Mr Unkown' ?


No, there aren't 'lots of details that tie Hutch to the case.' I know that there has been surmise about this, but the only detail that ties GH to the case is his offering himself as a witness in the MJK murder. That is a detail, or link, shared by a sizeable number of others.

Second, it is only opinion, really, and an adherence to the post-hoc C5 theory, that the murders stopped after MJK. Further, even if we accept the C5, there were other unknown individuals who could have quite compelling reasons of their own to quit killing after MJ. What, for instance, do we know of Fleming, for just one example?

These are unanswered issues; it isn't enough to form a coherent scenario and ignore the other possibilities.

Ben
10-01-2010, 03:58 PM
“Not only were they sown, Ben - they were fullgrown and harvested, more or less. In no time at all. I find that pretty amazing.”

But why, Fish?

Hutchinson approached the police at 6.00pm, and Abberline penned his approval that very evening, before any attempt at verifying key aspects of the statement, or even a detailed analysis of its content could realistically have occurred. Clearly, both of those things had occurred to a degree by the following day, with the result being that doubt was now attached to the statement, albeit not the sort of doubt that resulted in the statement being proven false, since the wording of the article makes abundantly clear that this simply did not happen.

We sometimes talk about Abberline as though his was the only relevant voice of approval, or otherwise, for Hutchinson, whereas in reality, the moment Abberline communicated his 12th November missive to his superiors, in was open to external input and analysis. Even so, it isn’t remotely amazing for someone to alter an opinion upon considered reflection and as a result of further investigation and analysis.

I’d rather not get into a semantic debate over what “investigation” meant in the context of 13th November article. I’ve no doubt that the police investigated and analyzed as much as they could between the 12th and 13th, but whatever the results of those investigations were, they most assuredly did not include a revelation that Hutchinson was proven to have been elsewhere at the time of his sighting, or else they would have said so, and they would most assuredly and emphatically not have said that only a “reduced importance” had been attached to his account, if that were the case.

“Could it NEVER have been that Hutch himself had contradicted what he had said, as he was out on his nightly walk with the two PC:s, something that had made these PC:s make inquiries that forced Abberline to realize that he could have been wrong?”

Of course it could, but realizing that he “could have” been makes sense of the article. If Abberline knew for certain that he was wrong, then the article makes no sense whatsoever. Crucially, the 13th November article is to the effect that they were doubtful ONLY. They clearly had not secured proof that Hutchinson was either lying or in the clear.

And “my” version of events, if it can be termed as such, is merely an acknowledgement of what the article actually says. As for you being “wrong”, I can’t prove that, no, but I personally suspect you are. But then wasn’t this why we agreed to disagree earlier? In fact, when did that stop being a good idea?

Best regards,
Ben

Fisherman
10-01-2010, 04:00 PM
Ruby:

"The fact remains that we have a witness statement tying a person that fits Hutch's description to a crime scene at the crucial time. We have a person admitting that he is that suspect, fitting the description, and with spurious story."

Please, Ruby, we have been over this before. We have no such thing as anybody tying Hutchs description to the crime scene! I am perfectly happy to debate all of the material adhering to Hutchinson - but this is no such material, period.

The best,
Fisherman

Fisherman
10-01-2010, 04:05 PM
My post:

“Could it NEVER have been that Hutch himself had contradicted what he had said, as he was out on his nightly walk with the two PC:s, something that had made these PC:s make inquiries that forced Abberline to realize that he could have been wrong?”

Bens answer:

"Of course it could"

Thanks, Ben - I needed to hear that, since you have earlier voiced the opinion that there was no other reasonable interpretation to what happened than yours, and since you stated that there never was any doubt about what "later investigation" meant in this context.

NOW I will merrily leave it at an agreement of a disagreement! :cool_smiley:

The best,
Fisherman

Natalie Severn
10-01-2010, 08:42 PM
I wouldn't want to advance myself on that, Nathalie..although I think there is something 'different' about the MJK killing, and I get the feeling that her killer /Hutch knew her-even if I open my mind to entertain doubts that they weren't one and the same; for one thing I think that he knew that she now lived alone, and he wouldn't be interrupted if he got into the room.

But 'great chutzpah', and daring, fit's with my idea of the Ripper's personality -allied with self preservation.

Hi Rubyretro, But maybe the killer of Mary Kelly wasnt the ripper,who seemed to prefer operating in the open air!
It may have been part of his obsession to plant himself at the police station and keep "in touch" with her through the fall out from her murder!

Natalie Severn
10-01-2010, 08:50 PM
posted by Claire:

My lingering doubt, however, is due to the question of whether GH was 'simply' obsessed with MJ and couldn't give up that obsession, even after her death, or whether that was all part of his own murderous activities
Well Claire,I would see it as a crime of passion---jealousy and obsession, rather than a premeditated act of murder,ie if Hutch committed the murder.But if Hutch was actually Fleming,then it wasnt very long before he was sectioned---thank goodness.
Norma

claire
10-01-2010, 09:02 PM
That would be my interpretation, too, Norma...and that would have to, for me, distinguish it from the other murders, as you note in your reply to Rubyretro. Seems to me that, although all the murders, Stride aside, could be characterised by anger, an obsessed Hutchinson would also, in a warped kind of a way, be a man capable of, and consumed by, love. Seems to me that that is quite different from the look of the others.

However (there always is a 'however' with these cases, aren't there?), would you then consider the removal of the heart to be a copycat, or a natural progression of the 'broken heart' trope? I've no idea; just working through the potential psychologies of such a killer. :)

Natalie Severn
10-01-2010, 09:18 PM
Yes,I think Claire,that the descriptions of the victim"s injuries were spread throughout Whitechapel where there were neighbours who had attended inquests such as John Richardson and his mother in Hanbury Street.The fact that Annie Chapman"s uterus had been taken and Kate Eddowes kidney was missing etc was well known by the 9th November so if Hutch/Fleming was the killer of Mary,he could have focussed on taking the heart because it symbolized complete control of her libidinous life at long last!

The Good Michael
10-02-2010, 11:55 AM
My a$$ really hurts from reading this Hutchinson nonsense. Look, there are those who have believed in Hutchinson's guilt from the get-go, and nothing can change their minds. They have created a new set of logic based upon assumptions. The cart has indeed been placed before the horse and the cart is going nowhere. That is the same as the Hutchinson debate. Little details, that have no bearing upon Hutchinson's guilt or innocence, are cast aside just in case they could cast a shred of doubt upon his guilt. They do and they have, but the pro-hutchers ain't buying it. It saddens me that people can be so unidirectional. But, there you have it and there we are. The cart still ain't going anywhere, so I'm just taking my horse and leaving.

Mike

Rubyretro
10-02-2010, 01:07 PM
You know, Mike, I don't think that it's only Hutch-ites that have a favourite 'theory'..

..I do read all the other Threads , and there are people who believe equally in Tumblety, or 'conspiracies', or believe that one or several of the murders were domestics and not Ripper killings at all.

There are plenty of people who construct 'profiles', and everyone -without exception -'speculates' somewhere. It is inevitable, because we have a myriad of disparate and often contradictory evidence to go on. What is one person's 'pure fact', might be open to different interpretations.

It seems natural to me that when one reads everything about the case, one forms an opinion. This site is to share opinions, and research (but even research is selective and open to opinion...I'm thinking of the MJK/Tottenham type thing). When you give an opinion and people debate it, you have to defend it -either the arguments convince you to change your mind, or they harden those opinions.

I personally relish reading people like Fish, even if I don't agree with him (well, I totally agree with 'middle aged' being 30ish), and Ben's answers, because I'm always open to their arguments, but I find Ben better informed and more convincing.

If people have no opinion on the matter, that is perfectly fine as well.

I have personally backtracked on alot of my former opinions, because I have accepted that other people have stronger arguments -but in the case of Hutch, and the C5, the pros still outweigh the antis for Me.

Ben
10-02-2010, 01:32 PM
The cart still ain't going anywhere, so I'm just taking my horse and leaving.

Well saddle up and off you trot then, Mike.

But you said all this a few posts ago; that you were sick of all these nasty Hutch-hasslers and wanted nothing more to do with these threads, but beack you seem to have come. This had been an enjoyable and courteous exchange so far - amazingly so for Hutchinson threads, but then contrary to your complaints, I haven't seen anyone trying to convince anyone else here of his guilt or innocence. At least, not for a good few pages.

So, with respect, I feel the exasperation is deeply misplaced here and best reserved for Toppy threads. ;)

All the best,
Ben

The Good Michael
10-02-2010, 02:22 PM
Ruby,

Whatever. End of discussion.

Mike

Fisherman
10-02-2010, 02:56 PM
Ruby:

"I personally relish reading people like Fish ... but I find Ben better informed and more convincing."

I´m sure you do, Ruby!

The best,
Fisherman

claire
10-02-2010, 09:43 PM
lol, so much for the ceasefire...and so much for this thread staying interesting. Now, I imagine it's back to the wild theories again, and so long to anyone who won't play ball? Pass the (red) hankie, then.

ChainzCooper
10-03-2010, 04:41 AM
Preach it Michael, preach it
Jordan

caz
10-12-2010, 08:23 PM
Blimey, Hutch was a man, standing around for ages in the cold and the wet (if he wasn’t lying about doing so) and, assuming he was Lewis’s lurker, looking like he was waiting for someone. Now we can either imagine that he was hoping for a freebie from a woman he knew, who was back on the game now Joe was gone and the rent arrears were getting silly (while she was still getting silly on the booze), or he was madly, deeply, passionately in love with this feckless alcoholic prostitute and about to rip her up in a rit of fealous jage, remove her heart and presumably pocket the money she had just been paid by whichever satisfied customer had got him so wound up while he had to wait outside for nearly an hour.

I know which one I find the more plausible, but it’s fine to explore possibilities when we know so very little about Hutch and what was making him tick when he told his story.

Hi Ben, All,

This was arguably the one murder, above all the others, that the police wanted to solve, and quickly, and I just don’t believe that Abberline and co would have dropped Hutch and his account like a hot brick without first being satisfied (not merely suspecting) that he had not after all witnessed and described the last man to enter Mary Kelly’s room before she was found carved up.

Ben, I see you have very sensibly narrowed the Lewis sighting down to two possibilities: the police either believed that she had seen Hutch, very close in time and space to this horrific murder (and therefore he had to remain a person of interest, particularly if their doubts concerned his claim to have been waiting for the man he described or for the reason he gave); or they had reason to doubt he was even there to witness anything at all, and concluded that he was just another publicity-seeking time waster.

I am somewhat surprised, however, after all that has been said on this subject, to find you favouring the latter possibility, because IMHO it leaves you with even less chance of pinning the murder(s) on Hutch. How could the police have had doubts about Hutch being Lewis’s lurker if that’s precisely who he was? Do you see the problem here? Why would they have entertained such doubts, never mind gone with them, when this was such an unmissable opportunity to put this individual close to the scene by his own admission, and while they had him in the palm of their hand, and to screw every last detail from him about his business there and who else he saw?


The fact remains that we have a witness statement tying a person that fits Hutch's description to a crime scene at the crucial time. We have a person admitting that he is that suspect, fitting the description, and with spurious story. We then have the spate of murders stopping.

No, there are no definitely ascertained facts here, Rubyretro. Quite apart from the fact that at least two, if not three more East End unfortunates would be murdered by person or persons unknown, and for no obvious motive, over the next two and a quarter years, we now have Ben quite rightly arguing that it’s entirely plausible that the police made no connection at all between Lewis’s full description of her lurker and the man in front of them calling himself Hutchinson and claiming to have been there in the same time frame. The most obvious explanation for this would be that he didn’t fit Lewis’s description, which could only have added to any doubts that he was actually there when he said he was. I can’t see him being dismissed as a ‘fifteen minutes of fame’ merchant if he bore even a passing resemblance to the lurker as described by Lewis - can anyone?

Love,

Caz
X

The Good Michael
10-12-2010, 08:52 PM
Caz,

You have just reawakened the beast!

Good luck.

Mike

richardnunweek
10-12-2010, 09:26 PM
Hi Guys,
The beast[ or one of them] has awoken.
To go over much trodden ground, it all depends who the real GH was, if Topping, then I would say he was being honest, at least cooperated with the police to assist.
If a unknown GH [ mayby even a false name] then he could have been anything Casebook wants him to be.
Common sense points to Topping [ Flak helmet on] I still maintain I heard Reg[ or Regs version] on Radio 18 years before 'The Ripper and the Royals' was published, so I have a edge on all of you.....How can I not believe it was GWTH.?
If I am wrong, then I stand to be corrected, and if I am wrong, who was George Hutchinson the witness?
Regards Richard.

Ben
10-13-2010, 03:07 AM
Hi Caz,

If you don’t see any mileage in the premise that Hutchinson was “madly, deeply, passionately in love with this feckless alcoholic prostitute” you’ll find absolutely no argument from me. This, to my mind, has always been a superfluous component to the argument in favour of Hutchinson’s potential culpability in the ripper crimes. If Hutchinson really did loiter outside Miller’s Court with the intention of dispatching Mary Kelly within an hour, we needn’t assume he did so out of a burning, jealous lust/love for her. Ted Bundy loitered outside the home of his Tallahassee victims and Dennis Rader monitored the home of the Otero family from a discreet vantage point, but neither of these offenders could be accused of harbouring a “passionate love” for their victims.

They simply watched and waited, as I contend the ripper did.

On the other hand, the “hoping for a freebie” explanation is just as problematic, if not more so. Even if we accept that he embarked upon a 13-mile trek from Romford in foul weather conditions in the certainty that his “usual” lodgings would have closed by the time he arrived back in Whitechapel, is it likely that this “hope” would have extended to a 45-minute futile vigil in the cold and rain, followed by more walking around for the remainder of the night once this “hope” was cruelly dashed, never popping back to see if the Astrakhan man had moved on? That’s a bit too much to take on board, especially when we’re also compelled to accept that Hutchinson never saw fit to ‘fess up to this innocent “hoping for a freebie” excuse when communicating with the police.

“or they had reason to doubt he was even there to witness anything at all, and concluded that he was just another publicity-seeking time waster. I am somewhat surprised, however, after all that has been said on this subject, to find you favouring the latter possibility”

If a witness account didn’t smell right, the most immediate and obvious conclusion (by far) to an 1888 police force deluged with money-grabbers and publicity-seekers was that the latest implausible offering clearly belonged to this group, Even if the bogus-seeming witness claimed to have been near the crime scene at the time of the murder, a la Matthew Packer, the knee-jerk reaction was highly unlikely to have been “Ayup, here’s another serial killer pretending to be a witness. That old chestnut!” There was simply no precedent for such behaviour, and the proverbial “chestnut” was brand new, in this case.

There is no evidence that the contemporary police ever made the connection between Hutchinson and Lewis’ loiterer, and indeed no evidence that such a connection was inferred until the 1980s at the earliest.

Walter Dew suggested that Hutchinson may have mistaken the date of the Astrakhan encounter, but how is that suggestion remotely compatible with generalized police awareness that the key particulars of Hutchinson’s alleged movements tied in so amazingly with those of the man Lewis observed? It seems strange for Dew to have omitted the detail that Hutchinson’s date-confusion just happened to tie in with a man who fitted his location, time, and activity on the night of the murder UNLESS the Lewis-Hutchinson connection was never registered. In which case, there’s nothing at all strange about Dew’s comments. Compare the press and police attention given to Astrakhan, Bethnal Weirdo and Blotchy as against the wideawake man, and it isn’t difficult to see why.

All the best,
Ben

Garry Wroe
10-13-2010, 03:09 AM
Prior to Hutchinson, Caz, Packer was regarded as a witness who interacted with a supposed Ripper victim close in time and space to the site of her murder. Such were the absurdities of Packer’s case-related disclosures that he became discredited. Tellingly, however, he never came under police suspicion.

Earlier still, Violenia claimed to have seen John Pizer threatening to stab Annie Chapman in Hanbury Street during the small hours of Saturday, 8 September. This, of course, placed Violenia himself with a soon to be Ripper victim at a time and venue critical to the subsequent murder. As with Packer, Violenia’s story was disproved. And yet, just like Packer, Violenia never came under police suspicion. Both men were simply considered time-wasters or publicity-seekers and thus undeserving of further time and effort. In short, they were excluded from the investigative equation.

Whilst such an approach might appear to the modern observer to be unprofessional to the point of recklessness, it most certainly prevailed amongst Abberline and his colleagues at the time of the Whitechapel Murders. This being the case, why is it so difficult to believe that Hutchinson was similarly dropped once his Kelly-related claims came to be viewed with ‘reduced importance’?

Regards.

Garry Wroe.

Ben
10-13-2010, 03:23 AM
To go over much trodden ground, it all depends who the real GH was

See here again, Richard, no.

Surprisingly little "depends who the real GH was". You'll be amazed at what little relevance the real identity of Hutchinson has to the present discussion.

Common sense points to Topping [ Flak helmet on]

Flak! Flak! Flak! Here I come, raining down with my ferocious (but necessary) FLAK!

You asked for it, Richard. :)

Casebook Wiki Editor
10-13-2010, 08:09 AM
Prior to Hutchinson, Caz, Packer was regarded as a witness who interacted with a supposed Ripper victim close in time and space to the site of her murder. Such were the absurdities of Packer’s case-related disclosures that he became discredited. Tellingly, however, he never came under police suspicion

I personally would never assume that someone that the police realized was fibbing to them would not then cross their minds as a possible suspect. He did spend some quality time at the Yard so we are not talking about snap decisions.

But Packer had an immediate and airtight alibi: his wife was in the shop with him when he "sold the grapes".

And obviously at 57 years of age, I think he'd be outside our suspicions as well.

Fisherman
10-13-2010, 10:10 AM
Ben:

"Walter Dew suggested that Hutchinson may have mistaken the date of the Astrakhan encounter, but how is that suggestion remotely compatible with generalized police awareness that the key particulars of Hutchinson’s alleged movements tied in so amazingly with those of the man Lewis observed? It seems strange for Dew to have omitted the detail that Hutchinson’s date-confusion just happened to tie in with a man who fitted his location, time, and activity on the night of the murder UNLESS the Lewis-Hutchinson connection was never registered."

I think we need to take two things into consideration here, Ben. To begin with, we both know that Walter Dews book came out when he was 75 years old. In it, he turns Thomas Bowyer into a young fellow, he has Diemschitz entering the club crying: "The Ripper! The Ripper!", etcetera.
I think you will agree with me that if we are to sharpen the pictuce of what happened back in 1888, Walter Dew is not neccessarily the best tool for going about it ...
Moreover, back in 1888, Dew was still a bit of a freshman. He was 25 years old, and not in a commanding position. Therefore, we cannot conclude to which extent he knew about the discussions carried on at a higher level. That is to say that even if there was a discussion going on about whether Hutchinson was Lewis´loiterer or not (and frankly, it would be odd in the extreme if there was not), then that discussion need not have been one that Dew actively took part in.

But that is only one of my two points.

The other one would be to point to what Caz said in her post: If the police invested any faith in Lewis description, and if Hutchinson did NOT fit that description at all - if we, for example, have a shortish, compact guy in the wideawake, while Hutchinson was a lean, tall guy - then the police may immediately have opted for a quite logical verdict of identity disproven. And if THAT was the case, then we are dealing with a scenario where we have two different men in Dorset Street on the night in question, one put there by Lewis´testimony and the other by his own admission. And if so, then I see no problem at all with Dew´s suggestion. On the contrary, in fact, since it relieves us of the problem of having to accept two men standing opposite the court at the approximate same time. And if Lewis´man and Hutchinson were clearly not one and the same, and if we opt for believing in BOTH of them, we need an explanation to why Hutchinson did not say tell Abberline that he had shared the doorway with a short, stout fellow in a wideawake.
So, you see, Dew only becomes a problem if we accept that the police believed that Hutchinson must have been the man Lewis saw. And, of course, if we choose to believe overall in what old Walter said in his book - which is riddled with mistakes.

The best,
Fisherman

richardnunweek
10-13-2010, 01:18 PM
Hi,
I find it somewhat perplexing .that so little attention is made to witnesses statements, we are forever doubting the authenticity of the written word , made at the time , and everyone becomes, either a liar, a timewaster, or completely mistaken.
In the case of Dew , we too dispute his accounts, calling it the recollections of a elderly man.
We assume that when refering to a youth , he obviously was confused, we dispute his account of his time spent at Millers court that morning , even suggesting he wasnt even there.
Dew made it clear that his accounts of 1888 may have been less accurate then he would have liked, but also states that his memory of the morning of the 9th November are 'crystal clear', and will remain with him for ever, as the worst experience of his police service.
Ben,
The identity of George Hutchinson will always be important, albeit mayby not relevant to this thread, I was just suggesting,that if Topping was not our man, and until we trace the real man, as we have no character record to base opinion on , it is free to speculate, all kinds of plots.
But if GWTH, was our man who are we to doubt his word, and integreity, or for that matter the late Reg.
Regards Richard.

Fisherman
10-13-2010, 01:50 PM
Richard!

You write:

"I find it somewhat perplexing .that so little attention is made to witnesses statements, we are forever doubting the authenticity of the written word , made at the time , and everyone becomes, either a liar, a timewaster, or completely mistaken.
In the case of Dew , we too dispute his accounts, calling it the recollections of a elderly man.
We assume that when refering to a youth , he obviously was confused..."

Nobody would have been more delighted than me if we could always work from the assumption that the witness statements involved in the Ripper case were all correct. But we know for sure that Dew WAS mistaken in a number of instances. When it comes to Thomas Bowyer, we know that he was a pensionist with a history of having served with the army in India. He was allegedly born in Surrey around 1825. That makes him around 63 at the time. We have a contemporary, detailed drawing of him, showing that he looked anything but a young man.
But this is how Dew recalls him:
"I was chatting with Inspector Beck, who was in charge of the station, when a young fellow, his eyes bulging out of his head, came panting into the police station...The youth led us a few yards down Dorset Street from Commercial Street, until we came to a court..."

I think your approach to witness testimony - to believe it until proven wrong - is normally a very wise one, Richard, just as I think that too many theorists have chosen a diametrically opposing approach in many an issue. But when we have ample evidence to disprove the testimony given, then we must accept this. It is not to say that any 75-year old man is a bad witness - it is only to point out that we know for a fact that the 75-year old Walter Dew got a number of things terribly wrong.

The best,
Fisherman

Ben
10-13-2010, 03:50 PM
Hi Fisherman,

“Moreover, back in 1888, Dew was still a bit of a freshman. He was 25 years old, and not in a commanding position”

He wouldn’t have been as senior as the really senior people, granted, but if there was widespread acceptance or suspicion that Hutchinson may have been the individual observed by Lewis, I consider it highly doubtful that Dew would have been left out of the loop, as we might assume he would have been if he was merely a bobby on beat, for example. Consequently – and accepting that there are several errors in Dew’s account – I consider this a strong indicator that there was no such general acceptance amongst the police. You’re mileage may vary, of course.

I’m not nailing any firm colours to the mast, however. As you know, we’re already discussed the possibility that the Hutchinson-wideawake connection was made, and that Hutchinson was suspected as a consequence. As viable a possibility as this remains, it’s still a bit too “fill-in-the-blanks” for me. A bit too dependent on lots of conclusions drawn and consequent action taken, neither of which we have any evidence for. It’s no more prudent to assume that the police were infallible, dotting every “i” and crossing every “t”, than it is to assume they must have made errors, particularly when we’re dealing with a police force in its infancy.

The argument over whether the police made X or Y connection is ultimately a rather unproductive one. In the absence of any compelling evidence either way, we can only draw our own tentative conclusions. As it stands, and strictly speaking, there is no evidence that the police made the Hutch-wideawake connection and no evidence that such a connection was ever inferred until 100 years after the event.

“On the contrary, in fact, since it relieves us of the problem of having to accept two men standing opposite the court at the approximate same time.”

Surely it compounds the problem?

Surely, in that scenario, we’re compelled to accept that two separate individuals were standing outside the entrance to Miller’s Court at 2:30am on the night in question, both “watching and waiting” for someone? And we’d be wondering why “lean, tall” Hutchinson, on his identical mission to that of Mr. Wideawake, wasn’t observed by Lewis. Unless I’ve misunderstood the suggested scenario, I find this very implausible, and it still stretches that odd coincidence of Hutchinson’s account of his movements just happening to coincide with the behaviour of the wideawake man as reported by Lewis, and that Hutchinson’s decision to come forward with this information just happened to coincide with the release of Lewis’ information.

But if GWTH, was our man who are we to doubt his word, and integreity

Discerning observers, I should hope, Richard.

The crucial point here is that Hutchinson's identity doesn't alter the elements from 1888 that some consider "doubtful". It doesn't change the content of his statement, for example. And Toppy's "character record" comes from his family, and is necessarily biased.

Best regards,
Ben

Garry Wroe
10-13-2010, 04:38 PM
I personally would never assume that someone [Packer*] that the police realized was fibbing to them would not then cross their minds as a possible suspect. He did spend some quality time at the Yard so we are not talking about snap decisions.
I’m assuming nothing, SRA. Police thinking regarding Packer was clearly defined in a report submitted to the Home Office by Swanson in which it was stated that Packer had ‘unfortunately made different statements so ... any statement he made would be rendered almost valueless as evidence.’ Manifestly, therefore, Packer was still being viewed at senior police level as a witness, albeit one whose claims could not be trusted by dint of their inconsistency. And if he was a witness, he most certainly wasn’t a suspect.

Regards.

Garry Wroe.


My insertion.

Rubyretro
10-13-2010, 04:41 PM
I think that Witness Statements -even if the Witness is the most honest person in the world-are always to be taken with a pinch of salt.

Luckily we have DNA testing finger printing and cameras today.

My two experiences with 'witnessing' (I've already recounted them) proved to me that they are false. Also my experiences of 'creative deep relaxation' prove that you can make crystal clear memories of things that never happened.

If you ask your brain to supply details from your memory, I think that it will supply you with 'an answer' -even if that answer is false- in the same way that that you would be compelled to give an hypnotist 'an answer' to any question posed.

You can experiment yourself with people around you by writing down 'memories' of, say, the last time you went to a pub with your partner
..what time you arrived, who was there, where they were standing, what they drank, what they were wearing, what they said, when they left. I amost guarantee that if you both write things down separately and then compare, that there will be differences...differences which might be crucial in a serious ivestigation.

Even memory card games and that 'object on a tray' game, show that when conciously trying to remember details, it's quite difficult ; so even more difficult when not realising the importance of an event when it's happening.

Is it possible that Dew mixed up Bowyer with Fiona Kendall's Grandfather, whom he might have seen subsequently ?

Fisherman
10-13-2010, 07:28 PM
Hi Ben!

"As it stands, and strictly speaking, there is no evidence that the police made the Hutch-wideawake connection and no evidence that such a connection was ever inferred until 100 years after the event."

There is not, that is correct.
So we are left with the fact that Lewis stated that there had been a man standing opposite Miller´s Court, as if watching it, and this sighting would reasonably have been interpreted by the police as a very possible sighting of the Ripper (though we do not have this on record either, as you will notice).
We are also left with the fact that as the police were wondering about just who the wideawake man could have been, George Hutchinson enters the stage and tells the police that he spent a good deal of the night in question standing opposite Miller´s court, watching it.
Finally we are left with your suggestion that the police may not have noticed that these two separate phenomenons seemingly point in the exact same direction, and my suggestion that they would not have missed such a thing. And quite honestly, the fact that we do not have any documentation pointing the finger in either direction, does not mean that it would be somehow more trustworthy to believe that the connection was not made. To my eye, that would defy logic. But just like you point out, our mileages often differ, Ben.

"Surely it compounds the problem?
Surely, in that scenario, we’re compelled to accept that two separate individuals were standing outside the entrance to Miller’s Court at 2:30am on the night in question, both “watching and waiting” for someone? And we’d be wondering why “lean, tall” Hutchinson, on his identical mission to that of Mr. Wideawake, wasn’t observed by Lewis. Unless I’ve misunderstood the suggested scenario, I find this very implausible, and it still stretches that odd coincidence of Hutchinson’s account of his movements just happening to coincide with the behaviour of the wideawake man as reported by Lewis, and that Hutchinson’s decision to come forward with this information just happened to coincide with the release of Lewis’ information."

Please note, Ben, that this is not any suggestion on MY behalf - it may, however, have been a suggestion on Dews behalf, explaining why he opened up for the possibility of a mistaken date on Hutchinson´s behalf! It would of course be odd if there were two men in Dorset Street on two consecutive days, both seemingly watching Miller´s Court at the same hour - but it would be even more strange if they were there on the same day! And that is why I mean that Dew may have opted for a mistaken date. We must remember that we do not know that the loiterer stood around for 45 minutes. We only know that Hutch SAID that HE did! There is every chance that the wideawake man could have stopped quite briefly on his way through Dorset Street, and if he did it opposite Miller´s Court, it would not be a very odd thing to do to throw a glance in that direction. And if this happened as Lewis passed by, well, then the behaviour of wideawake man may not at all have equalled what Hutch spoke of. Maybe this is how Dew´s thoughts wandered - provided that he theoretically KNEW that the two men were very much unalike each other.
Of course it stretches things a bit, but if Dew felt that he wanted to believe in both Lewis and Hutch, then this may have been how he coped with the problem.

Then again, if Dew KNEW that Hutch was dropped as a time-waster, Ben, then why would he want to place him in Dorset Street at all, fifty years after it all went down...? That too represents a riddle, wouldn´t you say?

The best,
Fisherman

Rubyretro
10-13-2010, 08:17 PM
I think that the simplest explanation is that Hutch followed the case, knew that a witness had testified to 'wideawake hat' man in the court, and he then
presented himself to the Police...with the timings and inference being that he was 'wideawake man'.

It is beyond belief that the Police wouldn't compare Hutch's statement with that of Lewis.

I still contend that if the Abberline was willing to accept Hutch's statement straight off -then he matched the physical description of the man seen in the court...whether or not not he was that man

If the police did not put the 'man in the court' to the top of the suspect list subsequently then I think that, even if they dismissed Hutch, they still believed that Hutch was that man.

Why would they not be looking for Wideawake Man as the prime suspect, otherwise ?

Abby Normal
10-13-2010, 10:31 PM
I think that the simplest explanation is that Hutch followed the case, knew that a witness had testified to 'wideawake hat' man in the court, and he then
presented himself to the Police...with the timings and inference being that he was 'wideawake man'.

It is beyond belief that the Police wouldn't compare Hutch's statement with that of Lewis.

I still contend that if the Abberline was willing to accept Hutch's statement straight off -then he matched the physical description of the man seen in the court...whether or not not he was that man

If the police did not put the 'man in the court' to the top of the suspect list subsequently then I think that, even if they dismissed Hutch, they still believed that Hutch was that man.

Why would they not be looking for Wideawake Man as the prime suspect, otherwise ?

Hi Ruby

I think that the simplest explanation is that Hutch followed the case, knew that a witness had testified to 'wideawake hat' man in the court, and he then
presented himself to the Police...with the timings and inference being that he was 'wideawake man'.

Even simpler-he was telling the truth about being the lurker, whether or not he had any idea about lewis testimoney of Wideawake man.

It is beyond belief that the Police wouldn't compare Hutch's statement with that of Lewis.

Pretty much agree-can't see how they could have missed it. but maybe they did.

I think that more than likely they did match Lewis man with Hutch as one in the same, and instead of a suspect Hutch is now a witness and then hutch was eventually downgraded as even a witness when A-man does not turn up and Hutch changes his story in the press.

Fisherman
10-14-2010, 12:10 AM
Abby:

"I think that more than likely they did match Lewis man with Hutch as one in the same, and instead of a suspect Hutch is now a witness and then hutch was eventually downgraded as even a witness when A-man does not turn up and Hutch changes his story in the press."

If all witnesses who saw somebody at a crime site, somebody who proved hard to find afterwards, were to be discarded as credible witnesses, we would have a strange situation indeed. What if Astrakhan man emigrated to Russia the day after Miller´s Court? Would that make Hutchinson a bad witness per se..? I think not.
Likewise, we know that Hutchinson changed details when speaking to the press - but have a look at the almighty number of details that stayed unchanged! Maybe such a thing would call for a renewed set of questions from thepolice - but it would certainly not render him a dismissal! Even if the suspicion was there on behalf of the police - how would it look if that suspicion was proven wrong afterwards? No, Hutch´s dismissal would have taken a lot more than this, I´m sure.

The best,
Fisherman

Garry Wroe
10-14-2010, 01:54 AM
It is beyond belief that the Police wouldn't compare Hutch's statement with that of Lewis.
I’m not so sure, Ruby. If, for example, investigators regarded Sarah as a somewhat less than upstanding character, they might have been disinclined to accord her story too much in the way of credibility. If they also placed undue weight on Dr Bond’s projected 1:00am to 2:00am time of death, Sarah’s narrative might have been construed as interesting but irrelevant owing to the fact that it entailed a 2:30am sighting of Wideawake – in other words, at least thirty minutes after Kelly was thought to have died. (Bear in mind that a similar situation arose in the Chapman case when ‘civilian’ testimony was all but disregarded when it conflicted with Dr Phillips’ estimated time of death.) It may well be the case, therefore, that when Hutchinson materialized three days later, no-one thought to re-examine Sarah’s seemingly insignificant story concerning the man she observed staring intently into Miller’s Court. And since Hutchinson was apparently discredited within hours, it is unlikely that time and effort would have been wasted in cross-checking the story of a time-waster, even if it had occurred to anyone to so do.

Whilst admittedly speculative, such an interpretation is by no means beyond the bounds of possibility. Indeed, the annals of crime are positively awash with investigations that went awry precisely because of a police failure to recognize the true significance of seemingly insignificant evidence. Hence I’m by no means convinced that the police made the connection between Hutchinson and Sarah Lewis’s Wideawake Man. Given that the press seems to have overlooked it, I think it highly likely that the police did too.

Regards.

Garry Wroe.

Ben
10-14-2010, 02:57 AM
Hi Fish,

this sighting would reasonably have been interpreted by the police as a very possible sighting of the Ripper

I agree, but it’s worth bearing in mind that given the relatively large number of “suspicious” individuals reported in the area, the significance of the Wideawake loiterer could easily have been overlooked. Lewis herself was far more perturbed by the man standing at the corner of Dorset Street outside the Britannia pub, as she took him to have been the same individual who accosted her and a female companion on the Wednesday prior to the murder. The emphasis placed on this individual could easily have overshadowed any potential significance the wideawake man may have had to the investigation, and with Blotchy reported as the last man seen in kelly’s company, that significance would have been reduced even further.

Garry just raised the crucial point that not even the press appeared to have made the connection, despite their demonstrated eagerness exhibited elsewhere to engage with the subject of eyewitness sightings and descriptions. Even the one press article (from the Washington Evening Star) that did drop the veiled hint that the police should consider Hutchinson a viable suspect never alluded to this connection.

Overall, I consider it marginally more likely that the Hutch-wideawake connection was never observed. There’s no evidence that the police or press ever picked up on it, and Dew’s observations make clear that he, at least, was unaware of any connection. These factors may not be decisive in isolation from each other, but tend to make a more compelling case for the non-connection when added together. In my view, at least.

“There is every chance that the wideawake man could have stopped quite briefly on his way through Dorset Street, and if he did it opposite Miller´s Court, it would not be a very odd thing to do to throw a glance in that direction. And if this happened as Lewis passed by, well, then the behaviour of wideawake man may not at all have equalled what Hutch spoke of.”

I accept the observation that we only have Hutchinson’s word for it that he waited there for as long as he claimed. On the other hand, it should be clear from Lewis’ evidence that the lurker was both solitary and stationary, and that he was apparently watching or waiting for someone. All three correspond to Hutchinson’s own claims with regard to his actions and movements. It’s still too much of a “stretch”, even if we accept the “different day” hypothesis. I’m also doubtful in the extreme that Dew should have avoided any mention of Lewis if he knew of this interesting correlation of detail between the two accounts.

“Likewise, we know that Hutchinson changed details when speaking to the press - but have a look at the almighty number of details that stayed unchanged! Maybe such a thing would call for a renewed set of questions from thepolice - but it would certainly not render him a dismissal!”

But we know that the police were already attaching a “very reduced importance” by the 13th November, and very importantly, we know why. The reasons were outlined in the Echo article. It doesn’t require a great deal for a “very reduced importance” to be downgraded further to an outright “dismissal”, and the heavily embellished and contradictory press claims could easily have provided the catalyst for this. It was as though the “authorities” were looking for excuses to consign the account to the dustbin, and it appears that his press offerings may have achieved this. For another instance of not-so-coincidental timing, consider that the The Star’s revelation that the account was “now discredited” came a single day after Hutchinson’s “fuller” account appeared in the newspapers.

So I’m afraid I continue to disagree very strongly that “Hutch´s dismissal would have taken a lot more than this”.

Best regards,
Ben

Fisherman
10-14-2010, 09:17 AM
Ben:

"it’s worth bearing in mind that given the relatively large number of “suspicious” individuals reported in the area, the significance of the Wideawake loiterer could easily have been overlooked."

There is reason to realize that there may have been an element of diluting involved, yes - but I do not think it would have stretched to overlook men standing around outside Miller´s Court, seemingly watching it, at a time when the murder may have been planned and perpetrated.

"Garry just raised the crucial point that not even the press appeared to have made the connection"

Exactly. And that is all-important when trying to understand what happened, the way I see it. It´s either a case of Hutch looking enough alike wideawake man to have been him, and placing himself in a situation where he seemingly corroborates Lewis´testimony - and still he is ignored, not only by the police but also by the investigative forces of the press. In other words, what you yourself and Garry regard as a very hot match for the Ripper, was completely and utterly overlooked by both police and press in spite of the inherent, very obvious qualities as a Ripper suspect. It was a top priority crime, engaging hundreds of coppers and swarms of journalists, all looking for the slightest pointer that could lead them to the Rippers doorstep - and yet, they ALL failed to see this ...?
Or, if you are wrong, we are dealing with a situation where the police did not make the connection and the press did not sniff it up for the very simple reason that there WAS no connection. This could owe to, for example, a total mismatch inbetween Lewis´ loiterer and Hutchinson, or to - as I have stated numerous times - something popping up that effectively closed that particular alley of investigation down.

"Dew’s observations make clear that he, at least, was unaware of any connection"

Exactly once again, Ben! And why was Dew not aware of any connection? That would depend on who you ask. Because the joint forces of the police and the press were unable to put two and two together - that´s your bid. But think a little bit further, Ben: does the fact that Dew does not mention the connection mean that it would not have been made if the circumstances called for it at the time? OR DOES IT SIMPLY MEAN THAT THE POSSIBILITY OF A CONNECTION WERE NEVER REALLY THERE? If Dew KNEW that Hutch and Lewis´loiterer did not match by far, then why would he speak of a connection? If it had been proven that Hutchinson was not in Dorset Street on the night in question, then why would he speak of a connection? Think about it, Ben - if Walter Dew was of the meaning that Hutchinson was an honest witness - and the implications are that he was of that exact meaning - then why would he suggest that he was wrong on the dates, UNLESS HE HAD GOOD REASON TO SUSPECT THAT THIS WAS THE CASE? Unless, that is, the implications were that Hutchinson was NOT the man Lewis testified to?
Nota bene, Walter Dew does not say that Hutchinson was a publicity seeker, he does not speak of a story made up - he takes Hutchinsons testimony at face value, but he is aware that Hutchinsons story was in some manner discredited at the time; therefore he offers the possibility that Hutch had mixed the dates up.
Summing up, Walter Dew does not in any fashion support a wiew that Hutch was a liar or a conscioius time-waster, and he certainly does not strengthen your suggestion of a non-connection either. He points not to a glaringly obvious connection being overlooked, but instead to that connection never being a viable option.

"it should be clear from Lewis’ evidence that the lurker was both solitary and stationary, and that he was apparently watching or waiting for someone"

It IS clear, Ben. What is NOT clear, though, is that he stood there for fortifive minutes, as Hutch claimed to have done. The mistake we may be doing here is to state that Lewis´man did the exact same thing as Hutchinson did, because we cannot possibly know this. A twenty-second stop in a doorway, combined with a glance up the court on the other side of the street does not equal a witnessed-about forty-five minutes of careful watching, does it? For all we know, that may have been all Lewis loiterer did. He may have left Dorset Street the moment she turned the corner.

"It HAS to have been Hutch" is a very dangerous conclusion to draw, all things considered. Not least since we KNOW that Hutchinson was dropped. The implication is that neither police nor press actually believed that he was there - and if you really need Walter Dew to strengthen a suggestion, then how about this one?

"we know that the police were already attaching a “very reduced importance” by the 13th November, and very importantly, we know why."

Not that again, please, Ben. YOU may think that WE know, but let me assure you that WE do nothing of the kind. Please remember that you admitted in an earlier post that my suggestion of something turning up that could have discarded Hutchinson could have something going for it, although you favoured your own version! Let´s not be dogmatic about things that we cannot be dogmatic about.

The best,
Fisherman

Fisherman
10-14-2010, 09:29 AM
Garry Wroe:

"If, for example, investigators regarded Sarah as a somewhat less than upstanding character, they might have been disinclined to accord her story too much in the way of credibility."

But we know, Garry, that the police believed that Lewis´testimony qualified her for the inquest. I really do not think we can get a much better grading of how the police looked upon it.

The best,
Fisherman

Ben
10-14-2010, 03:53 PM
“There is reason to realize that there may have been an element of diluting involved, yes - but I do not think it would have stretched to overlook men standing around outside Miller´s Court”

Not overlooked entirely, Fish, just bypassed in terms of significance, and as Garry has already pointed out, it isn’t remotely unusual in high profile investigations for such details to be given scant attention, even when we’re dealing with comparatively more enlightened and sophisticated times in terms of policing.

“Exactly. And that is all-important when trying to understand what happened, the way I see it. It´s either a case of Hutch looking enough alike wideawake man to have been him, and placing himself in a situation where he seemingly corroborates Lewis´testimony - and still he is ignored, not only by the police but also by the investigative forces of the press.”

Yes, that would be the solution which tallies the most with the extant evidence, and the obvious reality outlined by Garry concerning the all-too-human propensity to overlook important details, especially when deluged with “leads” that need pursuing. It would mean that Hutchinson was erroneously dismissed as a publicity-seeker because such people were – and still are – frequently the bane of any high profile police investigation, and it was simply easier to consign him to that category. A recognition that the Lewis and Hutchinson accounts tallied in that key particular would have given them reason to reassess that view, and what few indicators exist would suggest that this connection was never made, even by the discerning folk at the Evening Star, who believed that Hutchinson himself ought to be considered a suspect on account of his implausible statement.

Tellingly, even they failed to arrive at that “Eureka” moment as far as Lewis’ evidence was concerned.

The “total mismatch” hypothesis doesn’t cut it for me at all. Unlike the above proposal, this is far too predicated on the extraordinary, inexplicable coincidence of two individuals standing in an exposed location in very poor weather conditions at 2:30am on the morning of Kelly’s murder, engaging in ostensibly the same activity of watching and waiting for someone. Even if we accept the vastly implausible “different day” angle, the coincidence is still a stretch.

“OR DOES IT SIMPLY MEAN THAT THE POSSIBILITY OF A CONNECTION WERE NEVER REALLY THERE? If Dew KNEW that Hutch and Lewis´loiterer did not match by far,”

No, I don’t consider this a reasonable suggestion at all. In this scenario, I would at least have expected Dew to allude to this bizarre coincidence of two individuals engaging in identical activity but still being different people. Something along the lines that “We initially believed him because of his compatibility with another witness account, until we found out that...pleuh”. Crucially, he doesn’t appear to have known the reasons for Hutchinson dropping off the map. His opinion that Hutchinson was an honest bloke who got the day wrong constitutes just that: an opinion, thus providing another very good reason, in my view, to avoid the temptation to conjure up the existence of some big, unrecorded “something” that ruled Hutchinson out either as Lewis’ loiterer or the murderer.

The salient observation, again, is that the police were only in a position to opine and speculate in the absence of concrete proof.

We can get rid of the idea, straight away, that any “proof” had been procured to the effect that Hutchinson was not in Dorset Street on the night in question. We know from the Echo article that this was most emphatically not the case, otherwise they would have cited this as a reason for attaching “very reduced importance” to his account, and not all the other reasons that had nothing whatsoever to do with proof that he wasn’t there. Again, if proof had been procured, both the Echo and Walter Dew would not have confined themselves to opinions only.

I never claimed or intimated that Dew was personally of the opinion that Hutchinson was a time-waster or a liar. He would obviously aware that the account had been discredited, and therefore speculated as to why. He clearly was not in the “Know”. But I disagree very strongly with the idea that he knew of the existence of a possible connection with another witness (which he inexplicably failed to mention) and that it had been dismissed. I think it far more likely that he was simply unaware that the connection had ever been inferred – probably because it hasn’t. Once again, the latter explanation is a lot less “fill-in-the-blanks”.

“A twenty-second stop in a doorway, combined with a glance up the court on the other side of the street does not equal a witnessed-about forty-five minutes of careful watching, does it?”

The wideawake man would have been visible from the time Lewis emerged onto Dorset Street from Commercial Street until the moment she entered the interconnecting passage to Miller’s Court. This would have taken roughly 20 seconds, I imagine, and at no point was the individual recorded as being anything other than stationary and solitary. She even made the distinction between the unmoving wideawake man and another couple who “passed along”. But even if this individual did decide, bizarrely, to stop for 20 seconds to peer into a court entrance, it still constitutes a striking coincidence with the actions and movements claimed by Hutchinson at that very time.

"It HAS to have been Hutch" is a very dangerous conclusion to draw, all things considered.”

I have considered “all things”, and although “has to me” implies a level of certainty that none of us is entitled to, I’d say the man was very probably Hutchinson. All other explanations fail to account for the coincidence above referred to, or make unsuccessful (IMO) attempts to downplay that coincidence. I might agree with your “The implication is that neither police nor press actually believed that he was there”, but I’m supremely confident that this had nothing to do with Hutchinson being “a lean, tall guy”!

“YOU may think that WE know, but let me assure you that WE do nothing of the kind. Please remember that you admitted in an earlier post that my suggestion of something turning up that could have discarded Hutchinson”

Well, we certainly know some of the reasons why the police had come to attach a “very reduced importance” to Hutchinson’s account because they are provided immediately afterwards. In that respect, at least, there is no mystery, and it is certainly not “my own version”. We were discussing the various catalysts that might have fuelled this doubt in the first place, and you made the sensible suggestion that Hutchinson may have made a few ill-guarded comments to the police when on his walkabout.

Best regards,
Ben

Garry Wroe
10-14-2010, 03:59 PM
"If, for example, investigators regarded Sarah as a somewhat less than upstanding character, they might have been disinclined to accord her story too much in the way of credibility."

But we know, Garry, that the police believed that Lewis´testimony qualified her for the inquest. I really do not think we can get a much better grading of how the police looked upon it.
A most interesting point, Fish, and one that to my mind is deserving of deeper exploration. To begin with, jurisdiction over inquest proceedings lay not with the police but with the coroner, and it was (and still is) the task of the police to provide the coroner with details of any witness who might provide material information before the court. The decision, therefore, as to who did and who did not appear before the jury lay entirely with the coroner. As such, the fact that Sarah Lewis was called to give evidence should in no way be taken as an indication as to her perceived degree of importance from a police perspective. We know, for example, that Carrie Maxwell was called before the inquest despite the reality that her account was viewed with some scepticism by investigators.

When conducting research for my book prior to the advent of the internet and the extensive indexing of Ripper-related archives, I discovered in the 1881 census returns a fifteen-year-old Sarah Lewis who resided with a sister and their parents at an address in Little Pearl Street. If, as seems likely, this was the Sarah Lewis, we may make a number of deductions. First: Sarah was twenty-two in 1888 and was almost certainly unmarried. This, of course, directly contradicts her claim that she had had a disagreement with her husband on the night in question. Secondly: since the Great/Little Pearl Streets area has been described as ‘particularly rough’, it may be inferred that Sarah was more Mary Kelly than Mary Poppins. And thirdly: her claimed occupation of ‘laundress’ combined with her early morning wanderings suggest that she was a prostitute.

Assuming all of this to be true, we may have an answer as to why the police seemingly failed to accord her narrative the importance it most surely deserved. To this end, compare the way in which investigators treated Mary Cox and Joseph Lawende. Cox viewed Blotchy at close quarters and at a time that was critical in terms of Dr Bond’s projected 1:00am to 2:00am time of death. This sighting was even more salient owing to the fact that several witnesses overheard Kelly singing until 1:00am. Despite this self-evident reality, however, Mary Ann Cox and her description of Kelly’s blotchy-faced drinking cohort were all but brushed aside by the police. Joseph Lawende, on the other hand, was given the Hollywood treatment by investigators. Not only was he sequestered, but part of his inquest evidence was also withheld ‘in the interests of justice’. Yet Lawende sighted Eddowes’ supposed slayer from the other side of the street and from the rear. He also doubted that he would recognize the man again. So how did Lawende come to be seen as a more important witness than Cox?

To my mind there is but one explanation for this discrepancy: social status. Lawende, as the recently discovered photograph bears testimony, was clearly a man of some refinement. He was also a family man, in full employment, and seems to have been a moderate drinker. Mary Ann Cox, conversely, was a common prostitute, a slum-dweller, and almost certainly an alcoholic – an unholy combination that certainly appears to have exerted a negative influence on police thinking. And if this was true of Mary Cox, there is little reason to suppose that Sarah Lewis might have been an exception. In other words, the value of Sarah’s statement was judged not on its own merit, but rather upon the character of the person who supplied it.

As I stated earlier, Fish, you have raised a most interesting issue. And if you are at all sceptical as to the preceding interpretation, I would encourage you to research some of the policing scandals of the Sixties, Seventies and Eighties that revealed similar investigative deficiencies. Be warned, however, that the documented interrogations of alleged rape victims are not for the squeamish.

Regards.

Garry Wroe.

Fisherman
10-14-2010, 04:42 PM
Ben:

"it isn’t remotely unusual in high profile investigations for such details to be given scant attention, even when we’re dealing with comparatively more enlightened and sophisticated times in terms of policing."

Once you go looking for things, Ben, you may certainly find the oddest items where you least expect them. But the fact remains that it would be odd in the extreme if the connection had not been made, if the room was there for it - but I don´t think it was. And that, I suspect, is as far as we are going to get on that point.

"It would mean that Hutchinson was erroneously dismissed as a publicity-seeker because such people were – and still are – frequently the bane of any high profile police investigation"

Well, that very much belongs to the kind of suggestion that qualifies for the kind of answer I just gave. And there were certainly oddballs around a plenty, we all know that. But the character of the testimony given by Lewis earned her a place at the inquest, and we know that Abberline put faith in Hutchinson from the outset. To me, thjat pretty much ensures that a viable connection would not have been missed by all the men involved in the hunt. And that, I suspect, is as far as we are gonna come on that point.

"The “total mismatch” hypothesis doesn’t cut it for me at all. Unlike the above proposal, this is far too predicated on the extraordinary, inexplicable coincidence of two individuals standing in an exposed location in very poor weather conditions at 2:30am on the morning of Kelly’s murder, engaging in ostensibly the same activity of watching and waiting for someone."

Like I said, let´s not make the mistake of believing that wideawake and Hutchinson BOTH stood around for 45 minutes! We simply cannot know what actions wideawake took before and after Lewis´sighting, just as we do not know how much of an observer he was of Miller´s court. Lewis states that he looked up the court as if watching it, but the traditional interpretation of who he was and what he did rests very much on his identification with Hutch, does it not? If he was NOT Hutchinson, then all we have is a man that threw a glance in direction of the court as Lewis passed by. Plus we have the very possible suggestion that Lewis had done a little bit of interpreting herself after the incident, aware that she was that a woman was killed à la the Ripper in that very court!
The "total mismatch" hypothesis actually has a lot going for it, since it would help explaining why Hutch was not taken seriously, and it would explain Dew´s stance.

"In this scenario, I would at least have expected Dew to allude to this bizarre coincidence of two individuals engaging in identical activity but still being different people. Something along the lines that “We initially believed him because of his compatibility with another witness account, until we found out that...pleuh”. "

Sorry, Ben, but we cannot possibly know why Dew chose not to mention why Hutch was left out in the end. It proves nothing, either way. But I think that since Dew does not paint Hutch out as a liar or a time-waster, we are looking at a trivial matter like a mismatch or something rather unsensational, like a mistaken date. Let´s for example ponder the fact that Hutch said that he had returned from Romford. This is something the police would reasonably try to verify. And if that quest ended in somebody down in Romford telling them that yes, he was down here, but no, that was the day before, then there you are.

"Crucially, he doesn’t appear to have known the reasons for Hutchinson dropping off the map."

Hard to tell, I´d say. If the Romford scenario that I suggested applies, then he may well have known about it, and he may have concluded that old George would probably have been wrong about the dates.

"We can get rid of the idea, straight away, that any “proof” had been procured to the effect that Hutchinson was not in Dorset Street on the night in question. We know from the Echo article that this was most emphatically not the case, otherwise they would have cited this as a reason for attaching “very reduced importance” to his account"

No. Once again, we cannot know that. The Echo states ”From latest inquiries it appears that a very reduced importance seems to be now - in the light of later investigation - attached to a statement made by a person last night that he saw a man with the deceased on the night of the murder", and I´m afraid that you are jumping the gun very much when you say that this must mean that the explanation to Hutchinsons dismissal was in print in the statement from the beginning. Once again, apply the Romford testimony suggestion, and you end up with a situation where the police realized that they may need to apply "very reduced importance" to it. They may have found themselves in a situation where Hutch said one thing and a Romford witness the other, and they may have been of the meaning that the latter stood a lot better chance of being correct. After having checked it out, and finding that Hutch WAS indeed wrong, it would have been time for the Star to dismiss him totally. Such a scenario - and dozens of other, likewise plausible scenarios - would tally extremely well with what we´we got.

"But even if this individual did decide, bizarrely, to stop for 20 seconds to peer into a court entrance, it still constitutes a striking coincidence with the actions and movements claimed by Hutchinson at that very time."

It does, Ben. Which is why the police would have spotted it instantly, as would the press. It is a glaringly obvious thing, and it would never have gone amiss - were there not reasons for it. As for wideawake, I have already touched on his role.

"I might agree with your “The implication is that neither police nor press actually believed that he was there”, but I’m supremely confident that this had nothing to do with Hutchinson being “a lean, tall guy”!"

I could not say either way, since I readily admit that I have no description of Hutchinson. The only small pointer we have, seems to tell us that he was NOT a shortish guy, since he stooped down to look Astrakhan in the face. That points more to a tall man than to a short, as has been noted by most in the past.
Any way, I am not "supremely confident" about anything about Hutchinsons looks, so it would seem you have the upper hand here.

"Well, we certainly know some of the reasons why the police had come to attach a “very reduced importance” to Hutchinson’s account because they are provided immediately afterwards."

I answered this in my former post. There is no "we" in this issue.

The best,
Fisherman

Fisherman
10-14-2010, 04:58 PM
Garry Wroe:

"To begin with, jurisdiction over inquest proceedings lay not with the police but with the coroner, and it was (and still is) the task of the police to provide the coroner with details of any witness who might provide material information before the court. The decision, therefore, as to who did and who did not appear before the jury lay entirely with the coroner. As such, the fact that Sarah Lewis was called to give evidence should in no way be taken as an indication as to her perceived degree of importance from a police perspective. We know, for example, that Carrie Maxwell was called before the inquest despite the reality that her account was viewed with some scepticism by investigators."

Technically correct, of course. Just as it would be technically correct to point out that the form and shape that the police clad Lewis wordings in, helped the coroner to make his call.

"In other words, the value of Sarah’s statement was judged not on its own merit, but rather upon the character of the person who supplied it."

That would have been a factor that was weighed in, I fully agree with that. And thanks for the directions to sources that underbuild your arguments, Garry. I have actually read up on numerous things related to the social factors involved in things like these, but a little more can never hurt, can it?

The seemingly crucial point here, however, would be to point out that it would seem that Lewis´testimony was judged so valuable IN SPITE of the fact that she was not court-related or lady Astor´s closest friend, that she still made it to the inquest. It we make the conscious choice of looking at it from this angle, we get a different story.

We may also reflect somewhat about the fact that two probably honest labourers, Best and Gardner, were left out of the inquest proceedings in Stride´s case, whereas the "charwoman" Lane and a number of rowdy gentlemen from the IWMEC were allowed. Social implications aside, there was a job that needed to be done as best as it could. In the Kelly case, that would have meant that Lewis was admitted because she was deemed dependable after having been scrutinized by the police.

The best,
Fisherman

Ben
10-14-2010, 05:38 PM
“But the fact remains that it would be odd in the extreme if the connection had not been made”

With respect, Fish, this isn’t a fact at all. Given the nature of the investigation, the regularity with which publicity-seekers and time-wasters were cropping up, the demonstrated propensity of high profile investigations to overlook seemingly trivial details, and the nascency of policing in general would markedly reduce the "oddity" factor of the police in 1888 failing to have picked up on the Lewis-Hutchinson correlation. Abberline put his faith in Hutchinson “at” the outset, as distinct from “from” it, but we now know how incredibly short-lived this was.

As Garry has suggested, there was no real incentive to cross-reference his already dismissed account with details that had emerged from the inquest, especially if there were already question marks over Lewis’ credibility and character (see Garry's post above). If, however, they were still attaching some importance to Lewis’ account, and were not overly swayed by Bond’s estimation of the time of death (which is a very real possibility), it is likely that the focus was sustained on the Bethnal Green Botherer spotted at the corner of Dorset Street, who Lewis clearly made out to be the more “suspicious” of the two.

But I agree that this as far as we’re likely to progress with this one.

“Like I said, let´s not make the mistake of believing that wideawake and Hutchinson BOTH stood around for 45 minutes!”

Yes, but they didn’t need to have there for the exact same length of time in order for the suggested “coincidence” to be rejected as outlandish, in my view. There is still too much obvious correlation – both in terms of detail, and the fact that Hutchinson delivered his account as soon as Lewis’ information had been publicly divulged – for a link to be dismissed. Whatever the wideawake man was doing immediately before and after Lewis had him in her sights does not enervate the reality that Hutchinson claimed to have been doing precisely what Lewis observed the wideawake man to have been doing at the same time and the same location, and that’s still too much of a coincidence, as is the timing, which is why I’m compelled to conclude that he WAS the man in question, and came forward as soon as he realised he’d been seen. The wideawake man was solitary, stationary and apparently preoccupied with the court, not a “passer-by” throwing a glance in that direction.

“The "total mismatch" hypothesis actually has a lot going for it, since it would help explaining why Hutch was not taken seriously, and it would explain Dew´s stance.”

I don’t understand how you can conclude this. If they “mismatched” totally, they were in a position to prove that Hutchinson was definitely wrong in his testimony, which clearly did not happen, because this reason was not provided in the 13th November Echo article. If something had emerged to prove that Hutchinson was elsewhere on the night in question, the Echo would have a) said so explicitly, and b) reported that the authorities had utterly dismissed the account, not just attached a “very reduced importance” to it.

Again, the article in question provided several clear reasons WHY the account had suffered a diminished importance, and they had nothing to do with all the unnecessary fill-in-the-blank explanations that require the positing of imaginary evidence. And please, the “Romford testimony suggestion”? It really seems out of character for you to conjure up scenarios for which we have no evidence whatsoever, and to your credit, you’re usually the first to criticise people who do resort to this.

We know there wasn’t a “Romford testimony suggestion” because, if there was one, both the Echo article and Dew would have been able to dismiss Hutchinson for definite. There was absolutely no need for the Echo to have reported other, lesser reasons (Hutchinson’s delay, lack of other Astrakhan types, nobody else verifying his account etc) for dismissing Hutchinson when there were far more compelling ones, such as a mysterious “alibi”. The fact that the latter isn’t mentioned is the best indicator we could possibly hope for that nothing of the kind ever emerged.

The fact that they were expressing opinion only is a compelling indicator that they didn’t know the truth of the matter.

It would be an astonishing thing for Hutchinson to lie about leaving Romford when he actually was IN Romford, come to think of it.

Nothing can be proved, of course, and everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but as it stands I utterly reject the “Romford alibi” because not only is there no scrap of evidence to support the contention that anything vaguely like this occurred, there are strong and compelling indications against it

“It does, Ben. Which is why the police would have spotted it instantly, as would the press. It is a glaringly obvious thing, and it would never have gone amiss”

I disagree, for the reasons I’ve already outlined, and for the reasons pointed out by Garry. I haven’t ruled out the possibility that the connection was made, but as I’ve explained, even in that scenario, Hutchinson doesn’t get “ruled out”.

“The only small pointer we have, seems to tell us that he was NOT a shortish guy, since he stooped down to look Astrakhan in the face.”

No.

If they were around the same height, Hutchinson would still have been required to stoop if Astrakhan man was attempting to conceal his face with his hat.

“That points more to a tall man than to a short, as has been noted by most in the past.”

No. Very few people have “noted” this. Certainly not “most”. Right or wrong, the view that Hutchinson was the wideawake man has enjoyed far more widespread and mainstream acceptance.

Best regards,
Ben

Fisherman
10-14-2010, 08:00 PM
Ben:

"With respect, Fish, this isn’t a fact at all. Given the nature of the investigation, the regularity with which publicity-seekers and time-wasters were cropping up, the demonstrated propensity of high profile investigations to overlook seemingly trivial details, and the nascency of policing in general would markedly reduce the "oddity" factor of the police in 1888 failing to have picked up on the Lewis-Hutchinson correlation."

With the same respect, Ben, we simply differ here - I think that it is an absolute fact that it would be very strange if the connection was never made, provided that there was reason to do so. It would come close to not recognizing that the guy in the line-up with blood on his sleeves and a knife in his hand might just be the killer, the way I see it.
But let´s not go here more - we can only get this far, it seems.

"Yes, but they didn’t need to have there for the exact same length of time in order for the suggested “coincidence” to be rejected as outlandish, in my view. There is still too much obvious correlation – both in terms of detail, and the fact that Hutchinson delivered his account as soon as Lewis’ information had been publicly divulged – for a link to be dismissed."

This, Ben, is where you cannot avoid painting yourself into a corner. You mean that one could not fail to see the connection - but you likewise mean that all of the police and all of the press actuallu missed out. It is an awkward stance, and I don´t envy it.
I very much agree that the behavior we know of on behalf of wideawake man seems totally consistent with Hutchinsons movements - or, to be more exact, some seconds of it. No problems there - and I don´t think that the police would have been less clearsighted... Let´s just keep in mind that there are two possibilities that Hutch was not the man:
1. He was there - but on the night before, or
2. He was NOT there.

Both suggestions are viable, although the viability of the first one depends a lot on how much faith we can place in Lewis assertion that the man seemingly watched the court. If she was embroidering ever so little, the odds change.

"I don’t understand how you can conclude this. If they “mismatched” totally, they were in a position to prove that Hutchinson was definitely wrong in his testimony, which clearly did not happen, because this reason was not provided in the 13th November Echo article."

...which could have been due to the police not yet having been able to confirm their suspicions. It would seem, however, that they had reached that goal two days later. What The Echo said or did not say would have depended on what they were told - if the police only said that something had come up that made them doubt the testimony, then the Echo of course not present what that was. Please keep an open mind, Ben!


"It really seems out of character for you to conjure up scenarios for which we have no evidence whatsoever, and to your credit, you’re usually the first to criticise people who do resort to this."

Wow - it seems likewise out of character for you to congratulate me on my debating skills, but I´m not the one to turn such a compliment down! Well, Ben, what I am doing is to try and facilitate for you what could have lain behind the dismissal, since A/ I do not for a moment belive that the story itself was the sole reason for it, and B/you do not seem to be able to take on board what I am saying in a theoretic sense. Therefore, I gave one example of how things may have gone down, and hastened to point out that there would be numerous other scenarios that could explain it.

"It would be an astonishing thing for Hutchinson to lie about leaving Romford when he actually was IN Romford, come to think of it."

It would - but that never was the premise. What I said was that he may have been mistaken on the day, just like Dew says. Perfectly trivial, and happens all the time.

"I disagree, for the reasons I’ve already outlined, and for the reasons pointed out by Garry. I haven’t ruled out the possibility that the connection was made..."

Please observe, Ben, that what I am suggesting is that the connection actually was not made! But I am also saying that if it had been there, the police would have made it. My guess is that as Hutch stepped into Abberline´s room, the good inspector must immediately have thought "could this be Lewis´man?", but then something turned up that made that connection unviable.

Lets also ponder the fact that we had a witness, Lewis, that saw a man that very, very possibly may have been the Ripper. Abberline was aware of that. Let´s then realize that as Abberline was thinking about just who Lewis´man would have been, George Hutchinson stepped in, and presented himself in a role at the same spot, at the same time, and doing the same thing as Lewis said her Ripper suspect had done.

There he was, Abberline. He had a woman who had seen a loiterer outside Kellys room. And he had a man that claimed the role, more or less.

What, Ben, would you have done in such a situation?

I know what I would have done: I would have arranged a meting between the two, and then I would have asked Lewis if Hutchinson culd have been the man she saw. And then, depending on her answer, I would have either dug depeer into Hutch, or I would have been inclined to dismiss him.

We do not have any confrontation between the two on record. Does that mean it never took place? No, it does not. Actually, it would be bad procedure if it did not.

It could have been Lewis that chilled Hutch off. It may have been a Romford man. It may have been any of a great number of potential chillers. And that possibility is so obvious, that it does not call for anybody yelling "Conjecture!", but instead some serious overthought.

"If they were around the same height, Hutchinson would still have been required to stoop if Astrakhan man was attempting to conceal his face with his hat."

But do we have the hat thing on record, Ben? If not, could it still have happened?

Yes, it could - I have no personal problems admitting that it may have happened. But why did not Hutchinson say so, if that was the case? :diablotin: Anyhow, that does not change the fact that NORMALLY when men have to stoop down to have a look at another man´s face, this is due to the stoopers being taller than the men they take a look at. And that remains an unshakable fact. And therefore, what little we have points to Hutchinson PROBABLY being a good deal taller than Astrakhan man.

The best,
Fisherman

caz
10-14-2010, 08:10 PM
Hi Ben,

So the police always told the papers why they were attaching a reduced importance to a witness account? And the press would never dream of guessing why, and stating it as a fact? Or if they did, the police would have promptly set the record straight? You learn something new every day.


Even if we accept that he embarked upon a 13-mile trek from Romford in foul weather conditions in the certainty that his “usual” lodgings would have closed by the time he arrived back in Whitechapel, is it likely that this “hope” would have extended to a 45-minute futile vigil in the cold and rain, followed by more walking around for the remainder of the night once this “hope” was cruelly dashed, never popping back to see if the Astrakhan man had moved on? That’s a bit too much to take on board, especially when we’re also compelled to accept that Hutchinson never saw fit to ‘fess up to this innocent “hoping for a freebie” excuse when communicating with the police.

Well, Ben, assuming Hutch was there at all, it wasn't for his health and he wasn’t running a fruit stall. Do you not think Abberline would at the very least have made a mental note to come back to his stated reason for being there, in the event that his suspect could not be found - or worse, if his whole account could not be trusted? The only way this witness was going to be discarded as not important or no longer credible was if the police did not accept that his suspect had disappeared inside with the victim at the stated hour. It would have been the very last sighting of Mary Kelly alive and with a male companion. And if they didn't accept it, they'd have been fools not to question Hutch’s reasons for telling the tale.

You take an awful lot on board that’s ‘a bit too much’ for others, yet you reject the simple notion that Hutch may have lost track of the time while looking for work in Romford and failing to find any, and could easily have underestimated the return journey time; a longer plod in the dark, feeling dejected, weary and wet.

When he finally made it back (whatever time that was), could he not have bumped into a spreeish Mary asking him for money? He couldn’t spare any so off she went to tap the next likely customer, but she may have hinted that he could stop by later and if she was done for the night she might let him stay out of the kindness of her heart. He need not have seen who finally made it back to her room, but if he turned up later and she was evidently still ‘entertaining’, I can certainly see him giving it 45 minutes before concluding that he wasn’t going to get something for nothing after all. If he didn’t know who was inside and what he looked like, it would explain why it took him time to pluck up the courage to go to the cops, and why he needed to describe an unlikely customer who had made him curious enough to hang around so long. ’Fessing up to wanting a freebie from a woman who was shortly going to be turned into mincemeat was arguably considered a bit too risky.


There is no evidence that the contemporary police ever made the connection between Hutchinson and Lewis’ loiterer, and indeed no evidence that such a connection was inferred until the 1980s at the earliest.

So you don’t think a likely reason for this is that back in 1888 the police had some positive reason not to connect one with the other, but by the 1980s there was nobody left to tell anyone that they needed a check up from the neck up if they fondly imagined that Abberline and co could have totally missed or ignored it if Hutch and Lewis’s lurker had been one and the same?

It seems especially unobservant of them, if, as you assert, there was a:


…generalized police awareness that the key particulars of Hutchinson’s alleged movements tied in so amazingly with those of the man Lewis observed…

In fact, this would indicate that if, as you suspect, they dismissed Hutch as a publicity seeker who wasn’t even there, they must have considered this amazing tying in of movements in order to discard Hutch’s version as bogus.

Once more, in case it's not sinking in, if the police quickly attached a very reduced importance to a sighting of a man entering that room with the victim at gone 2 in the morning of her murder, what does that tell you about their likely feelings towards Hutch and his own 'alleged' movements?

As usual we have reached the push-me pull-you stage, whereby the police had to be in the know one minute and woefully ignorant the next, in exact accordance with whatever argument is currently being made for keeping Hutch in the firing line. If you are wrong about just one aspect of police thinking or intelligence (in both senses), he goes free, presumed innocent.

Love,

Caz
X

richardnunweek
10-14-2010, 11:30 PM
Hi.
I consider Caz's view, that indeed Hutch may have been told by a 'Spreeish' Kelly, en route to Astracan, that she was in desperate need of money, and as he had no place to kip, and if he promised to keep an eye out for her, she would let him doss the rest of the night in her room, as valid.
It appears that she did not have to wait long, being accosted by Astracan, and Hutch duly obliged , but unexpectingly it was not a quickie against a wall, but an invite to room 13, so George duely followed the couple as stated, and after a forty five minute wait, assumed that it not his night, and moved on.
I can see no reason, why that incident could not occur, as if indeed, GH did on occasions help Mary 'out', a favour returned so to speak?
Regards Richard.

richardnunweek
10-14-2010, 11:38 PM
Hi,
I should further add,. that if we alter the previous scenerio, we could have GH actually entering room 13, after seeing Astracan leave.... but he could never admit that for obvious reasons, and what if .. he actually left a hanky there, that he was worried that it could be traced to him .. mayby a distinctive red one.
And it was for that reason he incorporated it into his statement, its possible that Mary was given it, by our George in her room.
Completely innocent, but try convincing a desperate police force.
Hense a liitle fib...
Regards Richard.

Ben
10-15-2010, 04:12 AM
It’s great that we’ve assembled the old team again, and we’re all going in for these very lengthy posts that are only found on Hutchinson threads!

Hi Caz,

“So the police always told the papers why they were attaching a reduced importance to a witness account?”

I don’t know about “always”, but in this case, it’s very apparent that the very nature of the problems the police were having with Hutchinson's account had at least been leaked to the Echo, who outlined the very reasons for the “very reduced importance” that had been attached to the statement. Since they were referring explicitly to doubts that “the authorities” were having with the statement, it’s clear also they the journalists from the Echo were not themselves responsible for inventing them.

“Do you not think Abberline would at the very least have made a mental note to come back to his stated reason for being there, in the event that his suspect could not be found (?)”

As previously explained, both possibilities have been explored; either Hutchinson was believed to have been the man seen by Lewis’ and was suspected as a consequence (which still doesn’t result in a mythical alibi turning up and clearing him), or no connection was made between the two accounts, with Hutchinson being dismissed as one of the many publicity-seekers that encumber high profile investigations such as these. We know the “authorities” were wondering both why he told his tale and why it wasn’t provided at the inquest, and the conclusion they appeared to have arrived at was that Hutchinson belonged in the same burgeoning category as people like Emmanuel Violenia and Matthew Packer; witnesses who claimed to have been present at the crime scene, but whose stories didn’t add up, and who were not consequently suspected of involvement in the ripper crimes (not because they had been ruled out as such).

“and could easily have underestimated the return journey time; a longer plod in the dark, feeling dejected, weary and wet.”

Well, before we wheel on the string ensemble and pity his plight, recall that the doors to the Victoria Home were closed to non-ticket holders by 12:30am, which means we either accept that Hutchinson misjudged the length of his journey by one and a half hours, or that he returned from Romford in wet, miserable conditions in the certainty that his lodgings would not be available upon arrival in Whitechapel.

What are you arguing in favour of, incidentally? That Hutchinson really did tell the honest to goodness truth about returning home from Romford and seeing Kelly with a client? In which case, are we rejecting the strong indications that his account was discredited and casting him in the mould of Mr. Wideawake, or are we doing a Fisherman, and making long tall Hutchinson the man who was proven to have been somewhere else at the time? I’m confused; you both seem to be determined to find excuses for ruling out the possibility of Hutchinson’s involvement in the Kelly murder, but want to get there via very different and not unproblematic routes. It’s as though you’ve gone from A to C, without perhaps giving B sufficient attention.

No, incidentally, I don’t consider it feasible that Kelly hinted out of the kindness of her heart that Hutchinson could stick around after she’d finished with the client, and that Hutchinson decided to stick it out until it became apparent that her heart wasn’t so kind as to extend to letting Hutchinson in after 45 minutes, or that when he gave up on his expectations and left the scene, he didn’t pop back later to check on Miller’s Court, electing instead to walk about all night. It’s also worth nothing, for the umpteenth time that the account was discredited, so whatever clean bill of health we’re willing to give Hutch at this stage, it’s clear that the police didn’t agree.

I also don’t see how inventing an astonishingly implausible description of a client was preferable to “Fessing up to wanting a freebie from a woman”.

“So you don’t think a likely reason for this is that back in 1888 the police had some positive reason not to connect one with the other”

No, I consider it infinitely more likely that either a) the connection was never even noticed or inferred by police or press (for reasons outlined in numerous posts, and which I hope require no repeating), or b) that the connection was made, and Hutchinson was suspected as a consequence, with nothing of a concrete nature to rule him either in or out as the killer. These are the only two palatable explanations to my mind – everything else is far too dependent on filling in the blanks with imaginary hoped-for scenarios which MUST have happened, and which MUST have resulted in X or Y being concluded for definite.

As I’ve stated numerous times, it doesn’t matter whether we accept that the police made the connection or not. Whatever connection they did or did not make, it takes a mightily unnecessary and vaguely annoying stretch to conclude that Hutchinson was ruled out not just as a witness, but as a suspect as well. I’m personally inclined to the view that they overlooked the Hutch-Lewis connection and may have erroneously, if understandably, dismissed him as one of the many publicity-seekers and time-wasters. Either that, or they did make the connection, did suspect him, but lacked the proof either way to rule him in or out. At present, the attempts to take Hutchinson OUT of the “firing line” are predicated on conjured-up alibis and physical descriptions, the recognition of which should give most discerning commentators ample excuse to keep him IN the firing line.

All the best,
Ben

Ben
10-15-2010, 04:30 AM
but an invite to room 13, so George duely followed the couple as stated, and after a forty five minute wait, assumed that it not his night, and moved on.

But moved on where, Richard?

To the streets, of course, where he chose to embark on more "walking about" for the remainder of the night, on top of the 13 miles he allegedly walked from Romford, in cold and wet November conditions.

As you observe, Rich, it really was, "not his night".

But having said that, his account was discredited, so...

Ben
10-15-2010, 05:16 AM
“With the same respect, Ben, we simply differ here - I think that it is an absolute fact that it would be very strange if the connection was never made”

Fisherman, as far as I’m concerned that doesn’t even make sense. There is always going to be subjective debate over what constitutes “strangeness” and to what degree. One’s individual perception of strangeness cannot possibly have a basis in fact, and as such, I regard the sentence; “It’s a fact that X or Y is strange” to be both meaningless and impossible. I personally don’t consider it strange anymore than Garry does. But yes, I intend to embrace fully your suggestion that we’ve exhausted that avenue of disagreement.

Unless!

“You mean that one could not fail to see the connection - but you likewise mean that all of the police and all of the press actuallu missed out. It is an awkward stance, and I don´t envy it.”

I never claimed that the connection was never made. I’ve suggested that it’s entirely possible, for reasons already outlined, that it wasn’t. The extant evidence would suggest that the connection wasn’t made, or at the very least, there is no evidence whatsoever to suggest it was. Again, I must respectfully beg to differ with the assertion that there are two viable possibilities that involve Hutchinson not being the wideawake man. Unfortunately, both suffer from an inability to explain away this coincidence of detail between the Hutchinson and Lewis accounts. Even if she wrongly assumed that the man she saw was preoccupied with the court, it still strikes me as bafflingly odd that a real person would then claim to have been engaging in the activity wrongly discerned by Lewis.

.”..which could have been due to the police not yet having been able to confirm their suspicions.”

But the whole point about the Echo article is that they were outlining the very suspicions that the authorities were harbouring about Hutchinson’s account, despite the fact that they were not confirmed. The doubts were concerned with, amongst other things, the delay in his coming forward and the incompatibility with other witness accounts. If they had a “suspicion” that he’d been elsewhere at the time, they’d doubtless have added this to the mix of “unconfirmed reasons for doubt”.

If one were to take a central bullet point from this current seminar it would be that, in all overwhelming probability, the police were left to speculate and make educated guesses in the absence of concrete proof, and with the latter being such a precious and rare commodity in the investigation into the Whitechapel murders, the very worst thing we can do is conjure up invented proof of events that we hope might explain a certain oddity. That’s what I meant when I paid you that genuine compliment that it was uncharacteristic of you to fall into that trap. Whatever they suspected or didn’t suspect about Hutchinson, the likelihood is that they were never in a position to KNOW.

As for Lewis’ man, again, the few indications we have would suggest that his identity was not an investigative priority, and that he was eclipsed in terms of potential “dodginess” by the likes of the Bethal/Britannia man and Blotchy. As such, I don’t remotely share your certainty that Abberline was in hot pursuit of Lewis’ man, or that he instantly made the connection as soon as Hutchinson appeared. For those of us who study the esoteric area that is Hutchinsonia, Lewis’ man is frequently discussed, digested and chewed over, but it appears that scant attention was paid to him at the time, even by the very few that went public with their suspicions of Hutchinson and who were thus in the best position to infer a connection.

“Anyhow, that does not change the fact that NORMALLY when men have to stoop down to have a look at another man´s face, this is due to the stoopers being taller than the men they take a look at.”

Except when the other person is wearing a hat and is attempting to conceal his face with it, in which case it would be “NORMAL” for someone of the same height to stoop down to get a good look.

“And therefore, what little we have points to Hutchinson PROBABLY being a good deal taller than Astrakhan man.”

I utterly reject this, Fish, and I’m rather relieved that this will never enter into mainstream thinking with regard to Hutchinson’s height. First off, my observation concerning the hat is obviously a reasonable one, and if Hutchinson lied about the Astrakhan encounter anyway (there’s a controversial thought!), doesn’t that render this whole issue delightfully moot? No, I’d say that if we disregard implausible coincidence, Hutchinson was PROBABLY the wideawake man and therefore PROBABLY not tall but stout.

All the best,
Ben

Casebook Wiki Editor
10-15-2010, 07:27 AM
I can see no reason, why that incident could not occur, as if indeed, GH did on occasions help Mary 'out', a favour returned so to speak?
.

Just curious, and an aside to the Great Debate : does any one think this means anything other than he utilized her services when funds allowed ?

Fisherman
10-15-2010, 09:53 AM
Ben writes:

"Fisherman, as far as I’m concerned that doesn’t even make sense. There is always going to be subjective debate over what constitutes “strangeness” and to what degree. One’s individual perception of strangeness cannot possibly have a basis in fact, and as such, I regard the sentence; “It’s a fact that X or Y is strange” to be both meaningless and impossible. I personally don’t consider it strange anymore than Garry does."

The inquest into Mary Kellys death was a very short affair, as you will know, Ben. If we do not count officials like medicos and police officers, nine (9) people were called to that inquest. That was what the joint effort of the coroner and the police had dug up.

Out of these nine, only two offered observations of men that could possibly have been the killer (Cox and Lewis).

Out of these two, only one (Lewis) made the observation at a time that tallied tolerably with the estimated time of Kelly´s death.

After the inquest, but for Hutchinson, nobody came forward to offer any sighting of a possible Ripper at the crucial time.

So, Ben, we have no more than one sighting of a man who was close in both time and space to Kelly at her death. And on top of that, that man was described as watching Miller´s court!

And you, Ben, are suggesting that not a soul in the police force, and not a soul in the press would have been able to realize that if a man came forward, saying that he was in the same spot at the same time, doing the same thing as Lewis´man, then this man would be a contender for being identical with Lewis´man?

It is a complete non-starter, and it baffles me that you fail to realize/admit it. And yes, it IS a fact that it would be odd in the extreme if it had been overlooked, given the parametres involved. It goes way, way beyond any personal interpretations of what is strange and what is not, I´m afraid, at least on the planet where I spend my time.

"I never claimed that the connection was never made. I’ve suggested that it’s entirely possible, for reasons already outlined, that it wasn’t. The extant evidence would suggest that the connection wasn’t made, or at the very least, there is no evidence whatsoever to suggest it was."

That, Ben, could have been me writing. I am of the EXACT same opinion - but for all the different reasons!

-I too never would not claim that the connection was never made - but if it was, it was very soon dispelled.

-I too would say that it is extremely feasible that it was never made - for reasons involved in either an incompatibility inbetween wideawake and Hutch, or owing to evidence surfacing due to further investigation, as the Echo put it.

-I too would say that there is no evidence that the connection was ever made - but I would never even dream of accusing the police and press of being a band of blind nitwits (and I am not saying that you do so intently, only that this is how I look upon it - phew!!)

"the whole point about the Echo article is that they were outlining the very suspicions that the authorities were harbouring about Hutchinson’s account"

YOUR whole point, Ben. It´s not even half of mine. I am a journalist, remember, and I have seen thousands of articles where papers have been forced to settle for writing only that the police has seen reason to do this or that - because the police has STATED that they had seen reason to do this or that, and no more. Any journalist would ask, of course, but when faced with a "Sorry, at this stage, we will not go further into matters", there is only so much you can do. You print what you got, full stop. And let´s not loose sight of the fact that the Echo seemingly was the ONLY paper that got hold of this scoop - it´s not as if there was a press conference, mind you. Instead it would seem that a little something was leaked to one paper only, and to get that much must be regarded as a formidable feat.

"Whatever they suspected or didn’t suspect about Hutchinson, the likelihood is that they were never in a position to KNOW."

They did not believe him after a day or two, let´s agree about that. And in that situation they would let him walk if the reason for not believing him lay in a verified belief that he was not wideawake man.
If, on the other hand, they did believe that he WAS there on the night, but did NOT believe that he had told the truth about what he was doing there, then they would reasonably have ... let´s see, what is it you do with men that are proven to have been at a murder site at the crucial time, and who have displayed a suspicious behaviour ...? Hmm ... wait, now I remember: they are sent home, no questions asked!

I´m afraid, Ben, that I cannot help but to be ironical about this. I will return your compliments and say that apart from all other things that have passed between us, and apart from the very obvious fact that we see things differently at times, I would never claim anything else than a rich intelligence and a solid knowledge about the case on your behalf. That is why I am amazed that you cannot see the almighty flaw in this suggestion. It outsizes an elephant.

But then again, you do not always choose to lean against statistical facts, do you? You agree that men stooping down to look other men in their faces are normally taller than the ones they look at, unless other factors are involved, calling for the stooping (and we have no such factors on record in Hutch´s case). But still, you "utterly reject" when I say that what little we have, points to Hutch being significantly taller than Astrakhan man...? How does that cut?

You can, of course, point to the POSSIBILITY that your "hat" scenario may have applied - but since we have NO information at all lining the stooping thing, as it stands, more points to Hutch being taller than Astrakhan man then against it. It would be slightly "stoopid" and totally statistically unviable to suggest something else, methinks...

the best,
Fisherman

Fisherman
10-15-2010, 11:14 AM
Correction - I just had a renewed look at the Hutchinson statement, and it does say that the man hung down his head with his hat over his eyes as he passed Hutchinson - and so it would be "stoopid" of me to press THAT point any further...!

The best,
Fisherman

Fisherman
10-15-2010, 11:23 AM
Sir Robert Anderson asks:

"does any one think this means anything other than he utilized her services when funds allowed ?"

I think that would depend on how well they knew each other and on what their aquaintance was based. We know that Barnett stated that he had been unable to give Kelly any money at some stage, and that would not have been money for sex in the more direct meaning. The more obvious guess in Hutchinsons case, though, would reasonably be not one of philantropy but of a euphemism. But it may be unwise to regard it as a case closed.

The best,
Fisherman

Rubyretro
10-15-2010, 12:35 PM
Fish, I won't wade into all these details again, perfectly adressed by Ben and Garry, but instead reiterate why I -in my own personal opinion-I suspect Hutch (and I'm only going to address SOME of the reasons !) :

1) I am convinced by the 'anti-semite' link, and the more I find out about the anti-semitism in London at the time, and the more
I see about the thuggy anti-semite thugs hanging about near those clubs, and the more I see about the actual murder sites -the more I think that I'm on the right track. Infact, I see an escalation by the killer leading up to the GSG (probably egged on by the
anti-Jewish demonstrations, the hysteria surrounding jewish suspects, the Chief-Rabbi having to intervene, and the Police looking for a jewish suspect). The GSG reads like a bit of 'overkill' to Me -just to nail the 'message' home.

Hutch gave a clear Jewish suspect to the Police. Apart from saying 'Jewish Appearence' 'foreign Appearence' he put a horseshoe on the suspect. Once, I saw a clear link with being an ex-groom (and maybe that's true as well), but a friend pointed out to me that if you google 'hamsa horsehoe' (try it) you get lists of jewish jewellery ...and (as our friend likes 'overkill' , he had to add in the 'Petticoat Market' detail..which was' 90% Jewish' ). Infact he was at great pains to implicate a Jew in the Kelly murder.

He also lived right near Goulston, and the site of the GSG was on his way back to his lodging house from Mitre Square.
I wouldn't imagine that he fiddled about in the dark with a bit of chalk...but I bet you that he knew that it was there, if he didn't write it earlier.

He could easily have told the Police -man to man- that he was looking for a 'freebie' from Mary- I don't buy that it would have been either embarrasing nor incriminating -he chose to 'invent' a jewish suspect -and I think that was the important bit for him.

It is true that many people were anti-semite...but they didn't get involved in the case, and give a detailed 'dodgy' description of a fictitious suspect to the Police.

2) If the Police attatched 'reduced importance' to Hutch's statement the next day, and if indeed they had 'proof' that he could not have been where he said he was -then why did they take him to identify MJK's body ? By the time that Hutch saw the body, she had already been identified by Barnett and (McCarthy ? the person escapes Me) -who knew her well. Hutch was
supposedly a mere acquaintance...what did it serve (since the body was nearly unrecognisable) to have an 'acquaintance'
identify a body that had already been identified...could it be to gauge his 'reactions' ? In which case, they may have seen
through the fiction of A Man, but they had not found an alibi to eliminate Hutch.

Abberline may have been a 'seasoned' cop, but I persist in saying that he was only human, and he had his own profile in his mind of the killer, and Hutch didn't fit it.

3) What was Hutch doing on the streets at that hour anyway ? He must have had a pretty good idea of the time that it took to get back from Romford. He said that it was too late for the Victoria Home (he said that he had no money left, but he had apparently saved enough for a doss)...but there were other lodging houses open all night.
Why would he want to be on the rainy streets, after a long walk ?

4) The Police assumed that MJK was a Ripper killing, and surely they would want to know where a suspect was on the nights of the other killings? Yet, it bothers Me that Hutch was supposedly in Romford that night, as far as anyone at his lodgings were concerned (if he had found work, he would not have come back). Therefore, he might have used the same trick before..
leaving town to work, telling everyone about it, and then arriving in the early hours to murder..and only arriving at the Victoria
a day or so later..in which case having nothing to show that he was even in London on the dates of the other murders.
That, added to Abberline's 'gut feeling' might have been enough to get him discounted.

5) People often say -'but he would have been 'Mad' to put himself in the 'hot seat' if he were the murderer' ..but does anyone think that the Ripper was Sane ? He might have appeared so -but he couldn't truly have been so.

That the Ripper blended in with everyone else, didn't fit the popular idea of the 'Ripper', was 'risktaking', 'cool under pressure',
'attention seeking', 'anti-semite', lived in the centre of the Ripper murder sites, frequented prostitutes, was single and kept odd hours, was the right age, was physically strong, had a low unsure income (I'm thinking of the money and rings taken from the victims) is my 'profile'...and Hutch fits it like a glove (and that is without adding in that Hutch claimed to know one of the victims, that he was described variously as an 'ex-groom' and having a 'military appearence'..both of which would give him experience with a knife -if there's any truth in his having been a soldier or a groom-, and the former would give him experience working at night, in low light, performing caesarians -a hazard of birthing valuable foals- and so chopping into wombs of mammals .)

And of course, the murders mysteriously stopped when Hutch became known to the investigation.

I could go on (as you can imagine)...but there is nothing..Fish..that you have said..that puts Hutch out of the picture for Me.., even if he was discounted by the Police

The Good Michael
10-15-2010, 12:56 PM
I will just say this: It is absolutely impossible, given Lewis' testimony and Hutchinson's statement, that Hutchinson wasn't checked out and dismissed as Lewis' man. What does this checking out mean? Well, it simply must mean the description given by Lewis had no resemblance to Hutchinson. Unless chimpanzees were on the police force, which seems to be what some folks are suggesting, Hutchinson was checked out and his version was for a time, believed by someone as astute, if we go by Dew's impressions, as Abberline. What the only possibility is if we want to look at Hutchinson as murderer, is that he was a brilliant sociopath who could lie as well as anyone we'd want (or not) to meet. Not only that, but he could (much like Sherlock Holmes) adjust his appearance and height so as not to be accused. This is Joran van der Hutchinson for sure.

Or it's Toppy. But many of us knew that already.

Cheers,

Mike

Rubyretro
10-15-2010, 01:15 PM
But Mike..Lewis's description of Wideawake Man was common knowledge by the time Hutch presented himself to the Police. It was taken seriously because she spoke at the inquest.

I don't think that it is coincidence that Hutch placed himself in the same spot as 'Wide Awake Man' , even if he was only a fantasist.

Personally, I don't think that the Police were "chimpanzees" at all, and neither do I buy that they couldn't make the connection.

Indeed, I think that they took his description seriously initially -and didn't think that he was just a 'timewaster', of which they must have had many- it was precisely because he DID match Lewis's description. So they had a corroboration of a witness as to the presence of another witness (as with Lawende). No wonder that they were excited by his Statement.

Why I think that they then discounted him, I have already explained at length.

Fisherman
10-15-2010, 01:19 PM
Ruby:

"but there is nothing..Fish..that you have said..that puts Hutch out of the picture for Me"

So I´ve noticed, Ruby. And in accordance with that, I will not take up too much of your time discussing the matter with you. But I would like to point to your question:
"If the Police attatched 'reduced importance' to Hutch's statement the next day, and if indeed they had 'proof' that he could not have been where he said he was -then why did they take him to identify MJK's body ? "

The process would have been something that took place over time, Ruby. I am not saying that the proof must have been at hand from the outset, and indeed, the Echo article seems to point to a situation where suspicions were nurtured that Hutch´s testimony may not have been all it initially had promised to be. The article does not categorically state that his testimony had been disproven, only that the journey to a (quite) possible discrediting had been embarked upon. And in that context, if the suspicions had been proven wrong, it would have been foolish not to follow up on Hutchinsons material as quickly and as thoroughly as possible. You will notice that Hutchinson´s journey to the morgue, as well as his police-accompanied travels happen after the Echo´s article, but before the Stars report of a discrediting.

As for the rest of the enigma, I completely concur with what Mike has to say in his post - you do not send potential Rippers on their way without having enough substance for doing so. You just don´t.

The best,
Fisherman

Rubyretro
10-15-2010, 01:23 PM
ps Mike -surely the reason that Wideawake didn't become a major suspect, is that even when Hutch was discredited -the Police STILL accepted that they were one and the same.

They didn't need to hunt for Wideawake -they knew who he was, and they
had eliminated him (erroneously, in my opinion).