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Torso Murders and the Juries Verdicts

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  • Torso Murders and the Juries Verdicts

    The juries for the Whitehall Mystery and the Pinchin Street dump returned different verdicts, from what seems to be very similar evidence.

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    The Whitehall Mystery: from the The Daily Telegraph, Tuesday, October 23rd, 1888)

    The coroner (Mr. John Troutbeck), in summing up the evidence, remarked that after the verdict had been found the police would be left to make inquiries, and, if possible, elucidate the mystery, for it most certainly was one. Most probably the other parts of the body would turn up some day, for, so far as he could see, the aim had been to destroy the possibility of identity rather than to destroy the body.

    The jury returned a verdict of found dead.

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    The Pinchin Street dump: from The Times, Wednesday, September 25th, 1889

    The CORONER (Mr. Wynne E. Baxter), in summing up, observed that they had not been able to produce any evidence as to the identity of the deceased, but the evidence of both medical gentlemen engaged in the case clearly showed that the unfortunate woman had died a violent death. It was a matter of congratulation that the present case did not appear to have any connexion [sic] with the previous murders that had taken place in the district, and the body might have, for ought they knew to the contrary, been brought from the West-end and deposited where it was found.

    The jury at once returned a verdict of "Wilful murder against some person or persons unknown."

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    1. Does anyone feel these events were different enough to warrant different conclusions?

    I wonder if the difference lies in the presiding coroners, Troutbeck vs. Baxter? I have always thought Baxter was over the top in his inquiries, often venturing into areas that should have been left to the police (and not fed to the newspapers through open testimony.)

  • #2
    Originally posted by APerno View Post
    The juries for the Whitehall Mystery and the Pinchin Street dump returned different verdicts, from what seems to be very similar evidence.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Whitehall Mystery: from the The Daily Telegraph, Tuesday, October 23rd, 1888)

    The coroner (Mr. John Troutbeck), in summing up the evidence, remarked that after the verdict had been found the police would be left to make inquiries, and, if possible, elucidate the mystery, for it most certainly was one. Most probably the other parts of the body would turn up some day, for, so far as he could see, the aim had been to destroy the possibility of identity rather than to destroy the body.

    The jury returned a verdict of found dead.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Pinchin Street dump: from The Times, Wednesday, September 25th, 1889

    The CORONER (Mr. Wynne E. Baxter), in summing up, observed that they had not been able to produce any evidence as to the identity of the deceased, but the evidence of both medical gentlemen engaged in the case clearly showed that the unfortunate woman had died a violent death. It was a matter of congratulation that the present case did not appear to have any connexion [sic] with the previous murders that had taken place in the district, and the body might have, for ought they knew to the contrary, been brought from the West-end and deposited where it was found.

    The jury at once returned a verdict of "Wilful murder against some person or persons unknown."

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    1. Does anyone feel these events were different enough to warrant different conclusions?

    I wonder if the difference lies in the presiding coroners, Troutbeck vs. Baxter? I have always thought Baxter was over the top in his inquiries, often venturing into areas that should have been left to the police (and not fed to the newspapers through open testimony.)
    hi AP
    IMHO no they weren't and Whitehall should have been a verdict of murder as all the torsos should have been. at the very least mutilating a corpse is a crime and if they don't have any other verdict that they can give that denotes that and or suspicious/criminal behavior, then the verdict should default to murder, under these circs.
    "Is all that we see or seem
    but a dream within a dream?"

    -Edgar Allan Poe


    "...the man and the peaked cap he is said to have worn
    quite tallies with the descriptions I got of him."

    -Frederick G. Abberline

    Comment


    • #3
      The "found dead" verdict in the Whitehall case was really the only option, since the incomplete remains and advanced state of decomposition meant that Bond was unable to determine a cause of death;

      "Was there anything to indicate the cause of death? - Nothing whatever.
      Could you tell whether death was sudden or lingering? - All I can say is that death was not by suffocation or drowning. Most likely it was from haemorrhage or fainting."

      Arguably it should have been the same in the Pinchin Street case too.

      Comment

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