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  • Charles Letchford

    Daily News, Oct 1:

    Charles Letchford, living at 30, Berners-street says: "I passed through the street at half-past 12, and everything seemed to me to be going on as usual, and my sister was standing at the door at 10 minutes to one, but did not see anyone pass by. I heard the commotion when the body was found, and heard the policemen's whistles, but did not take any notice of the matter, as disturbances are very frequent at the club, and I thought it was only another row."

    I'll discuss the quote in 3 parts.

    "I passed through the street at half-past 12, and everything seemed to me to be going on as usual..."

    Consider this in relation to PC Smith's inquest testimony.

    S: I was last in Berner-street about half-past 12 or 12:35.
    ...
    C: When you were in Berner-street the previous time did you see any one?
    S: Yes, a man and a woman.
    C: Was the latter anything like the deceased?
    S: Yes, I saw her face. I have seen the deceased in the mortuary, and I feel certain it is the same person.
    C: Was she on the pavement?
    S: Yes, a few yards up Berner-street on the opposite side to where she was found.
    C: Did you see the man who was talking to her?
    S: Yes; I noticed he had a newspaper parcel in his hand. It was about 18in. in length and 6in. or 8in. in width. He was about 5ft. 7in. as near as I could say. He had on a hard felt deerstalker hat of dark colour and dark clothes.
    C: What kind of coat was it?
    S: An overcoat. He wore dark trousers.
    C: Did you overhear any conversation?
    S: No.
    C: Did he seem sober?
    S: Yes. I did not see much of the face of the man except that he had no whiskers.
    C: Can you form any idea as to his age?
    S: About 28 years.
    C: Can you give any idea as to what he was?
    S: No, sir, I cannot. He was of respectable appearance. I noticed the woman had a flower in her jacket.


    Letchford and Smith's timings, match to within 5 minutes. What are the chances it were Charles Letchford who was holding the newspaper parcel, and in the company of Liz Stride?

    "...and my sister was standing at the door at 10 minutes to one, but did not see anyone pass by."

    An unusually short time, considering the half hour doorstep period mentioned by William Marshall, and the nearly whole of a half hour period mentioned by Fanny Mortimer. Or was it that Letchford was implying that something significant occurred at 12:50? Apparently not, because the sister, he tells us, did not see anyone pass by at that time. Although, is it not the case that a passer-by is not quite the point - what we really want to know is; did the sister see anyone entering or exiting the yard?

    "I heard the commotion when the body was found, and heard the policemen's whistles, but did not take any notice of the matter, as disturbances are very frequent at the club, and I thought it was only another row."

    Quite a contrast to both Fanny Mortimer, and Abraham Herschburg...

    I was one of those who first saw the murdered woman. It was about a quarter to 1 o'clock, I should think, when I heard a policeman's whistle blown, and came down to see what was the matter in the gateway.

    Herschburg also tells us...

    There was a row there last Sunday night. It went on till about 2 in the morning, and in the end two people were arrested.

    So quite a gap between the commencement of the row, and the arrival of the police. Yet when the equivalent gap was much less, very early in the morning of September 30, Letchford tells us he did not take any notice of the matter.

    So who was the sister standing at the door at 12:50? There is thread/post by Barnaby's Assistant, which cover's this question in detail, and provides a great deal of information on the Letchford family - Letchford's Sister. Read the whole thing. BA narrows the sister down to one of three women...

    So which sister had been at the door that night about 10 minutes before Elizabeth Stride’s body was found?

    There are three candidates:

    Florence, 28 at the time, who had just given birth between 24 and 48 hours earlier, possibly just needing a break or a short walk even if it was just as far as the front door. Maybe little Harry was in her arms at the time.

    Maud, 26, who was 7 months pregnant at the time with Ada Susan, though not living at 30 Berner Street. While reference to ‘the’ door rather than ‘her’ door suggests that Charles was referring to 30 Berner Street rather than another house where one of his sisters may have lived, it could be that if Maud was still living in Berner Street, she may have been stood at her own door.
    Alternatively she may have been at 30 Berner Street at the time to visit or help her sister with her newborn child.

    Finally, there’s Lizzie, about 21 at the time, who was still living at 30 Berner Street and who may have been walking about a little earlier with her boyfriend, Hermann for half an hour.
    So returning to the issue of Parcelman, had that indeed been Charles Letchford, then what might have been the purpose of the parcel? A simple explanation would be that it was a sort of work bag - just adequate to contain some lunch or dinner, and perhaps some personal belongings. Which raises the questions; what was Letchford's occupation, and where was he working on the night of the double event? Barnaby's Assistant tells us the following...

    Christmas Day weddings were to be a feature for the family over the years and Charles was married on this day in 1889 to Sarah Ann Grant at Christ Church, Spitalfields.

    The record gives the following details:
    Charles Edward Michael Letchford, 24, Barman, 17 Hanbury St., father Edward Letchford, labourer

    Sarah Ann Grant 22, 10 Booth St, father George Grant, bricklayer.

    The witnesses were Henry Letchford (Charles’ then 19 year old brother, who was also a witness at Lizzie’s wedding) and Martha Grant, Sarah’s sister.

    17 Hanbury Street was just a few doors away from 29 Hanbury Street on the same (odd-numbered) side of the road on the corner with Wilkes Street. It was actually a public house, the Weaver’s Arms, so this was likely Charles’ place of work and not necessarily his place of residence. It is possible that he was working at the Weaver’s Arms the previous year, maybe returning home from there in the early hours of 30 September 1888 and, who knows, perhaps he’d had one drink too many.
    So Letchford was likely working as a barman, a few doors away from 29 Hanbury street.

    I suggest taking a look at this post by JeffHamm, regarding geographic profiling. Focusing on the second map, it can be seen that Letchford lived in the lower-right orange zone, and worked in the yellow zone.

    Perhaps Letchford actually did take notice of the commotion and police whistles, and told the women of the household, who were preoccupied with a newborn, that he was going outside to investigate. When later asked to explain the quote in the newspaper, he tells the household that he wanted to avoid the possibility of being questioned by the police, as to what he had seen or heard. Little do the others know the real reason for Charles wanting to avoid the attention of the police.
    Andrew's the man, that is not blamed for nothing

  • #2
    Originally posted by NotBlamedForNothing View Post

    Letchford and Smith's timings, match to within 5 minutes. What are the chances it were Charles Letchford who was holding the newspaper parcel, and in the company of Liz Stride?
    A woman who lives two doors from the club has made an important statement. It appears that shortly before a quarter to one o'clock she heard the measured, heavy tramp of a policeman passing the house on his beat. Immediately afterwards she went to the street-door, with the intention of shooting the bolts, though she remained standing there for ten minutes before she did so. During the ten minutes she saw no one enter or leave the neighbouring yard, and she feels sure that had any one done so she could not have overlooked the fact. The quiet and deserted character of the street appears even to have struck her at the time.

    If she had really gone to her door immediately on hearing Smith's passing, she cannot have missed seeing Stride and Parcelman. So unless they scurried into the yard within seconds of Fanny opening her door, we are not getting the full story. Yet supposing they did make it into the yard just before Fanny had a chance to see them do so, they are then in the yard before 12:40, according to Smith's timing. So then what are we to make of the testimony and comments of Eagle and Lave?

    Did Fanny Mortimer avoid dobbing in a neighbor?
    Andrew's the man, that is not blamed for nothing

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by NotBlamedForNothing View Post

      A woman who lives two doors from the club has made an important statement. It appears that shortly before a quarter to one o'clock she heard the measured, heavy tramp of a policeman passing the house on his beat. Immediately afterwards she went to the street-door, with the intention of shooting the bolts, though she remained standing there for ten minutes before she did so. During the ten minutes she saw no one enter or leave the neighbouring yard, and she feels sure that had any one done so she could not have overlooked the fact. The quiet and deserted character of the street appears even to have struck her at the time.

      If she had really gone to her door immediately on hearing Smith's passing, she cannot have missed seeing Stride and Parcelman. So unless they scurried into the yard within seconds of Fanny opening her door, we are not getting the full story. Yet supposing they did make it into the yard just before Fanny had a chance to see them do so, they are then in the yard before 12:40, according to Smith's timing. So then what are we to make of the testimony and comments of Eagle and Lave?

      Did Fanny Mortimer avoid dobbing in a neighbor?
      No, is the short answer.

      The emboldened part is typical of you. Another example of taking things as being ‘exact.’

      All that would have been needed was Fanny to have gone onto her doorstep 30 seconds or even a minute after Smith passed and Stride and Parcelman could easily have been around the corner in Fairclough Street and out of Fanny’s sight. They could even have begun walking toward the corner as Smith passed.
      Regards

      Sir Herlock Sholmes



      “Conspiracy theorists, she knew, were paranoid by definition, and usually with good reason – they were indeed being watched, largely because they were standing on an upturned bucket, haranguing the sheeple about their wingnut delusions.”

      “If you argue with a madman, it is extremely probable that you will get the worst of it; for in many ways his mind moves all the quicker for not being delayed by the things that go with good judgment.”

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post

        No, is the short answer.

        The emboldened part is typical of you. Another example of taking things as being ‘exact.’
        It's just that the word 'immediately', has an exact meaning:
        1. at once; instantly.
        2. without any intervening time or space.

        So given the definition of immediately, she probably should have seen them. If that word can't be taken at face value here, then what else in that report should be questioned for its accuracy?

        All that would have been needed was Fanny to have gone onto her doorstep 30 seconds or even a minute after Smith passed and Stride and Parcelman could easily have been around the corner in Fairclough Street and out of Fanny’s sight. They could even have begun walking toward the corner as Smith passed.
        Needed? Needed by who? People who don't want the case to be solved?

        Yet what happens if we don't grant this 'needed' 30-60 seconds? What happens if we at least wonder why they would have started moving almost the instant Smith passes, but with enough of a delay that he doesn't notice, but not enough for them to remain in Fanny's visual range? Why should the meaning of the report be changed, to get a preferred outcome?

        Also, why do you mention the possibility of going into Fairclough street, and not into the yard or anywhere else? Did anyone see them there? Is this another preferred scenario?
        Andrew's the man, that is not blamed for nothing

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by NotBlamedForNothing View Post
          Did Fanny Mortimer avoid dobbing in a neighbor?
          Or a former near-neighbour whose mother still lived a few blocks away...?

          I'm glad you brought up the 'not dobbing in someone she knew' angle -- because when, a few months back, someone found a wide-awake Berner Street resident known to have known the Lechmeres (was it a Marshall? Or a Mortimer? Or someone else?), there were triumphant shouts that Lechmere couldn't possibly have passed by unrecognised, and therefore that he wasn't the killer (again).

          But now, of course, we're not talking about Lechmere -- so saying that the killer could have been recognised by someone who chose *to look the other way* is all *fine and dandy*...

          I'm not being nasty. I'm just pointing out the way things do and don't work. And, for what it's worth, I reckon you have a good thought there.

          M.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by NotBlamedForNothing View Post

            It's just that the word 'immediately', has an exact meaning:
            1. at once; instantly.
            2. without any intervening time or space.

            So given the definition of immediately, she probably should have seen them. If that word can't be taken at face value here, then what else in that report should be questioned for its accuracy?



            Needed? Needed by who? People who don't want the case to be solved?

            Yet what happens if we don't grant this 'needed' 30-60 seconds? What happens if we at least wonder why they would have started moving almost the instant Smith passes, but with enough of a delay that he doesn't notice, but not enough for them to remain in Fanny's visual range? Why should the meaning of the report be changed, to get a preferred outcome?

            Also, why do you mention the possibility of going into Fairclough street, and not into the yard or anywhere else? Did anyone see them there? Is this another preferred scenario?
            No. Why don’t you get this?

            All that I’m talking about are reasonable, plausible explanations and interpretations. When you produce something that can’t possibly have had a reasonable, prosaic explanation then I might start to get excited. Again you fixate on a word, thistle ‘needed.’ It’s a word. When we write a sentence most of us don’t spend an hour over it or consult and expert on language. Language isn’t always used precisely. Surely you can see this. Look at how many times people use the word ‘literally’ inappropriately. Very obviously what I meant was that all it would have taken was Fanny going on to her door 30 seconds or 45 seconds after Smith passed and this would have meant that they would have had enough time to have walked out of Fanny’s sight.
            Regards

            Sir Herlock Sholmes



            “Conspiracy theorists, she knew, were paranoid by definition, and usually with good reason – they were indeed being watched, largely because they were standing on an upturned bucket, haranguing the sheeple about their wingnut delusions.”

            “If you argue with a madman, it is extremely probable that you will get the worst of it; for in many ways his mind moves all the quicker for not being delayed by the things that go with good judgment.”

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Mark J D View Post

              Or a former near-neighbour whose mother still lived a few blocks away...?

              I'm glad you brought up the 'not dobbing in someone she knew' angle -- because when, a few months back, someone found a wide-awake Berner Street resident known to have known the Lechmeres (was it a Marshall? Or a Mortimer? Or someone else?), there were triumphant shouts that Lechmere couldn't possibly have passed by unrecognised, and therefore that he wasn't the killer (again).

              But now, of course, we're not talking about Lechmere -- so saying that the killer could have been recognised by someone who chose *to look the other way* is all *fine and dandy*...

              I'm not being nasty. I'm just pointing out the way things do and don't work. And, for what it's worth, I reckon you have a good thought there.

              M.
              Thanks Mark. Given Mortimer's claim to having been standing at her door nearly the whole time between 12:30 and 1am, without seeing anything unusual, it's odd that the 'turn a blind eye' angle has received little or no attention. As for things being fine and dandy, now that Lechmere is not the subject, what can you point to that supports this? Is it a flurry of at least partially supportive posts?
              Andrew's the man, that is not blamed for nothing

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post

                No. Why don’t you get this?
                What I get is that as usual, you're hell-bent on defending the conventional wisdom.

                All that I’m talking about are reasonable, plausible explanations and interpretations. When you produce something that can’t possibly have had a reasonable, prosaic explanation then I might start to get excited. Again you fixate on a word, thistle ‘needed.’ It’s a word. When we write a sentence most of us don’t spend an hour over it or consult and expert on language. Language isn’t always used precisely. Surely you can see this. Look at how many times people use the word ‘literally’ inappropriately. Very obviously what I meant was that all it would have taken was Fanny going on to her door 30 seconds or 45 seconds after Smith passed and this would have meant that they would have had enough time to have walked out of Fanny’s sight.
                When Smith witnessed the couple, they were stationary. Why should we assume the exquisite timing required to not have been seen moving away from the location they were seen at by Smith, by either Smith or Mortimer? If they had been standing across the road from the Mortimer's door, talking quietly, then it is just as reasonable and plausible to assume that they continued doing this for some time, rather than immediately moving away. In fact, it is perhaps more reasonable to suppose that they stayed put for some time after Smith had passed, given Eagle's testimony...

                C: Did you see anyone about in Berner-street?
                E: I dare say I did, but I do not remember them.


                Eagle estimated he returned to the club at 12:35 or 12:40. Who do we dare suppose he saw on Berner street?
                Andrew's the man, that is not blamed for nothing

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by NotBlamedForNothing View Post

                  A woman who lives two doors from the club has made an important statement. It appears that shortly before a quarter to one o'clock she heard the measured, heavy tramp of a policeman passing the house on his beat. Immediately afterwards she went to the street-door, with the intention of shooting the bolts, though she remained standing there for ten minutes before she did so. During the ten minutes she saw no one enter or leave the neighbouring yard, and she feels sure that had any one done so she could not have overlooked the fact. The quiet and deserted character of the street appears even to have struck her at the time.

                  If she had really gone to her door immediately on hearing Smith's passing, she cannot have missed seeing Stride and Parcelman. So unless they scurried into the yard within seconds of Fanny opening her door, we are not getting the full story. Yet supposing they did make it into the yard just before Fanny had a chance to see them do so, they are then in the yard before 12:40, according to Smith's timing. So then what are we to make of the testimony and comments of Eagle and Lave?

                  Did Fanny Mortimer avoid dobbing in a neighbor?
                  Hi NBFN,

                  The footsteps were, of course, presumed to be that of a PC, but Fanny did not say she saw a PC. Given the estimates of the time for when she went out, and the estimates of PC Smith's patrol, it is certainly plausible that it was PC Smith's footsteps. So, for now, let's go with that as being correct.

                  If she did immediately go out upon hearing PC Smith's footsteps, she would have seen PC Smith (he would have been right there), but she didn't. Therefore, she couldn't have gone out immediately in the dictionary sense of the word, but rather in the way people use it, as in "not long afterwards". And, as you point out, given PC Smith saw a couple across from the yard when he went by, and Fanny did not see that couple, again, she could not have gone out "immediately" in the dictionary sense.

                  That means, some amount of time passed between hearing the footsteps, and her going to the door. Also, we do not know if the word immediately was used by Fanny, or was chosen by the reporter (the above is not presented as a quote by Fanny, and so the word choice may simply reflect the reporter's presentation).

                  Given the word "immediately" is not being used in the way the dictionary defines it, it must therefore refer to a concept indicating "a sufficiently short enough time that I will call it immediate" that is idiosyncratically held by whoever the I is; Fanny or the reporter. It doesn't really matter which, because we have no way of knowing that person's idiosyncratic definition. All we know is that it isn't the same as the dictionary's version.

                  But, we can probably make some inferences. The amount of time that passed must be sufficiently long that PC Smith is no longer in view. And, if it's long enough for PC Smith to avoid being seen, then it's long enough for the couple to move off as well. My guess would be, particularly if one believes Stride was engaged in casual prostitution, that the passing of the PC would have prompted them to move in the opposite direction, towards Fairclough. Perhaps to observe PC Smith from that vantage waiting for him to exit Berner's Street. I can't rule out them moving to the ally beside the club, but I would think they might avoid doing so simply because if PC Smith were to turn and spot them, that might prompt his return (something I would think they would be trying to avoid under the above circumstances in particular).

                  I'm not stating the above as a fact, as obviously we don't know where they went, but what is clear is that Fanny did not come out exactly as PC Smith's footsteps passed her door, which would be the dictionary's immediately, so there is an unknown gap of time in there. And that unknown gap is long enough for PC Smith to vacate the area, and given Stride and parcel man are in the same location, that means there is enough time for them to likewise vacate the area. Fanny didn't hear more footsteps go by, so it doesn't appear they went north (though I suppose they could have if, during the unknown gap of time, Fanny went into another room to get something, a coat or shawl to wear outside for example, and so she didn't hear them pass), which possibly leaves the ally or south. North also feels problematic as it would mean PC Smith didn't turn to see who was coming up behind him. If they went south, that would be a short distance, and he would be less likely to be alerted by footsteps retreating from him than following him.

                  Given we have club members returning after PC Smith passed, and Stride is not dead in the ally when they do so, even if Stride and Parcelman went to the ally, they appear to have moved on after that and before the club members return. Since Fanny didn't see the club members return, she had to have gone inside before that, or I suppose one could suggest the club members returned before PC Smith's patrol (but I don't think that is generally considered as one of the options).

                  What we're left with, is that during the time Fanny was not on her doorstep, the couple seen by PC Smith left the area, and it doesn't look like they went to the ally. It seems unlikely they went towards Commercial, though it's possible and shouldn't be ruled out. But, from what we know, the most probable location for them to have moved to is southerly, towards Fairclough. That would not take long, minimizing the the duration of the unknown gap of time one has to ascribe to the word immediately, which in all likelihood is the reporters anyway, and so would be highly questionable as to the validity of it even being used.

                  That's how it seems to me, for whatever that's worth.

                  - Jeff
                  Last edited by JeffHamm; 11-22-2021, 04:49 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    "I passed through the street at half-past 12, and everything seemed to me to be going on as usual..."

                    If Letchford were living at #30 that night, and came home from work on Hanbury street after the pub closed at midnight, why would he have passed through Berner street? To pass through a street, implies traversing most if not all of that street. Regardless of the end of the street that he entered from, he seemingly had no need to pass through it. This suggests he may not have been on his way home at 12.30. In that case, what was he doing?
                    Andrew's the man, that is not blamed for nothing

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post

                      If she did immediately go out upon hearing PC Smith's footsteps, she would have seen PC Smith (he would have been right there), but she didn't. Therefore, she couldn't have gone out immediately in the dictionary sense of the word, but rather in the way people use it, as in "not long afterwards".
                      Hi Jeff.

                      There are two problems here. Your interpretation is as though the report says...

                      ...she heard the measured, heavy tramp of a policeman passing the house on his beat, and immediately she went to the street-door...

                      It actually says...

                      ...she heard the measured, heavy tramp of a policeman passing the house on his beat. Immediately afterwards she went to the street-door...

                      That is not the same thing. The other issue is your claim that people use the word 'immediately', not in the dictionary sense, but as in 'not long afterwards'. Let's take a real world example:

                      Mother to children playing outside: Come inside immediately!

                      Does she want the kids in now, or quite soon?

                      And, as you point out, given PC Smith saw a couple across from the yard when he went by, and Fanny did not see that couple, again, she could not have gone out "immediately" in the dictionary sense.
                      That is, if Fanny is to be believed. Is Fanny to be believed?

                      I only noticed one person passing, just before I turned in. That was a young man walking up Berner-street, carrying a black bag in his hand.
                      He was respectably dressed, but was a stranger to me. He might ha' been coming from the Socialist Club.


                      Apparently, it depends.

                      That means, some amount of time passed between hearing the footsteps, and her going to the door. Also, we do not know if the word immediately was used by Fanny, or was chosen by the reporter (the above is not presented as a quote by Fanny, and so the word choice may simply reflect the reporter's presentation).
                      Which of these is true...?

                      ...she said that in about four minutes' time she heard Diemschitz's pony cart pass the house...

                      ...I've calculated that in about four minutes' time she heard Diemschitz's pony cart pass the house...


                      It seems to me that almost everyone supposes the first. In that case, let's be consistent...

                      I heard the measured, heavy tramp of a policeman passing the house on his beat. Immediately afterwards I went to the street-door...

                      Given the word "immediately" is not being used in the way the dictionary defines it, it must therefore refer to a concept indicating "a sufficiently short enough time that I will call it immediate" that is idiosyncratically held by whoever the I is; Fanny or the reporter. It doesn't really matter which, because we have no way of knowing that person's idiosyncratic definition. All we know is that it isn't the same as the dictionary's version.
                      You're possibly forgetting something of key importance, which possibly undermines the idea that the word immediately is not being used in the dictionary sense. That is, we all know who Smith witnessed as he passed, but the reporter had no clue. Consider what the report supposes about the policeman...

                      Presuming that the body did not lie in the yard when the policeman passed-and it could hardly, it is thought, have escaped his notice-and presuming also that the assassin and his victim did not enter the yard while the woman stood at the door, it follows that they must have entered it within a minute or two before the arrival of the pony trap.

                      He clearly has no idea who the policeman had walked past, and therefore could not have any notion that his use of the word 'immediately', was likely to suggest something very interesting. This is a pre-inquest report, so he is not to blame. Regardless, why wouldn't Fanny have phrased things in a way such that he wrote something like 'shortly afterwards', or 'not long afterwards'?

                      Perhaps the issue is the origins of the report. Who did Fanny speak to - the reporter, or someone else?
                      Last edited by NotBlamedForNothing; 11-22-2021, 10:20 AM.
                      Andrew's the man, that is not blamed for nothing

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by NotBlamedForNothing View Post

                        Hi Jeff.

                        There are two problems here. Your interpretation is as though the report says...

                        ...she heard the measured, heavy tramp of a policeman passing the house on his beat, and immediately she went to the street-door...

                        It actually says...

                        ...she heard the measured, heavy tramp of a policeman passing the house on his beat. Immediately afterwards she went to the street-door...

                        That is not the same thing. The other issue is your claim that people use the word 'immediately', not in the dictionary sense, but as in 'not long afterwards'. Let's take a real world example:

                        Mother to children playing outside: Come inside immediately!

                        Does she want the kids in now, or quite soon?



                        That is, if Fanny is to be believed. Is Fanny to be believed?

                        I only noticed one person passing, just before I turned in. That was a young man walking up Berner-street, carrying a black bag in his hand.
                        He was respectably dressed, but was a stranger to me. He might ha' been coming from the Socialist Club.


                        Apparently, it depends.



                        Which of these is true...?

                        ...she said that in about four minutes' time she heard Diemschitz's pony cart pass the house...

                        ...I've calculated that in about four minutes' time she heard Diemschitz's pony cart pass the house...


                        It seems to me that almost everyone supposes the first. In that case, let's be consistent...

                        I heard the measured, heavy tramp of a policeman passing the house on his beat. Immediately afterwards I went to the street-door...



                        You're possibly forgetting something of key importance, which possibly undermines the idea that the word immediately is not being used in the dictionary sense. That is, we all know who Smith witnessed as he passed, but the reporter had no clue. Consider what the report supposes about the policeman...

                        Presuming that the body did not lie in the yard when the policeman passed-and it could hardly, it is thought, have escaped his notice-and presuming also that the assassin and his victim did not enter the yard while the woman stood at the door, it follows that they must have entered it within a minute or two before the arrival of the pony trap.

                        He clearly has no idea who the policeman had walked past, and therefore could not have any notion that his use of the word 'immediately', was likely to suggest something very interesting. This is a pre-inquest report, so he is not to blame. Regardless, why wouldn't Fanny have phrased things in a way such that he wrote something like 'shortly afterwards', or 'not long afterwards'?

                        Perhaps the issue is the origins of the report. Who did Fanny speak to - the reporter, or someone else?
                        You really do want this ‘immediately’ to mean that she ran onto the doorstep the second that she heard Smith pass don’t you? This is wish-thinking of course. Jeff’s post was well thought out and entirely reasonable and fair (as usual) so I just can’t see your objections as anything other than a desire for ‘immediately’ to have meant ‘the second after.’ Spoken language doesn’t follow those exact interpretations. You used the ‘mother to children’ example but how many times have has someone said “it took me hours to sort it out,” when it was actually 90 minutes. How can you claim that ‘immediately afterwards’ couldn’t allow for 30 seconds or 45 seconds? This is just the way spoken language is. Would she have bothered saying ‘30 seconds later’ or ‘45 seconds later’ or was ‘immediately’ simply the most convenient word for ‘very soon after?’ This kind of nitpicking gets us nowhere.
                        Regards

                        Sir Herlock Sholmes



                        “Conspiracy theorists, she knew, were paranoid by definition, and usually with good reason – they were indeed being watched, largely because they were standing on an upturned bucket, haranguing the sheeple about their wingnut delusions.”

                        “If you argue with a madman, it is extremely probable that you will get the worst of it; for in many ways his mind moves all the quicker for not being delayed by the things that go with good judgment.”

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by NotBlamedForNothing View Post
                          "I passed through the street at half-past 12, and everything seemed to me to be going on as usual..."

                          If Letchford were living at #30 that night, and came home from work on Hanbury street after the pub closed at midnight, why would he have passed through Berner street? To pass through a street, implies traversing most if not all of that street. Regardless of the end of the street that he entered from, he seemingly had no need to pass through it. This suggests he may not have been on his way home at 12.30. In that case, what was he doing?
                          Do we know for an absolutely certainty where he worked? I know some people who do bar work that work at, say, The King’s Head on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and The Red Lion on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sunday lunchtimes. Can we tie him down for certain to one pub?
                          Regards

                          Sir Herlock Sholmes



                          “Conspiracy theorists, she knew, were paranoid by definition, and usually with good reason – they were indeed being watched, largely because they were standing on an upturned bucket, haranguing the sheeple about their wingnut delusions.”

                          “If you argue with a madman, it is extremely probable that you will get the worst of it; for in many ways his mind moves all the quicker for not being delayed by the things that go with good judgment.”

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post

                            You really do want this ‘immediately’ to mean that she ran onto the doorstep the second that she heard Smith pass don’t you? This is wish-thinking of course. Jeff’s post was well thought out and entirely reasonable and fair (as usual) so I just can’t see your objections as anything other than a desire for ‘immediately’ to have meant ‘the second after.’ Spoken language doesn’t follow those exact interpretations. You used the ‘mother to children’ example but how many times have has someone said “it took me hours to sort it out,” when it was actually 90 minutes. How can you claim that ‘immediately afterwards’ couldn’t allow for 30 seconds or 45 seconds? This is just the way spoken language is. Would she have bothered saying ‘30 seconds later’ or ‘45 seconds later’ or was ‘immediately’ simply the most convenient word for ‘very soon after?’ This kind of nitpicking gets us nowhere.
                            Or is it you who are nitpicking? It's interesting that it was you admonished myself multiple times about ignoring this report. Now when I take literally, you're still whinging!

                            I'm not obliged to suppose that immediately does not mean the definition of immediately. Nor am I obliged to suppose that interpreting immediately to mean 'long enough for them to get away', also means it was necessarily used for that purpose. If you don't like that, that's your problem.
                            Andrew's the man, that is not blamed for nothing

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by NotBlamedForNothing View Post

                              Or is it you who are nitpicking? It's interesting that it was you admonished myself multiple times about ignoring this report. Now when I take literally, you're still whinging!

                              I'm not obliged to suppose that immediately does not mean the definition of immediately. Nor am I obliged to suppose that interpreting immediately to mean 'long enough for them to get away', also means it was necessarily used for that purpose. If you don't like that, that's your problem.
                              It’s no problem

                              Its expected.
                              Regards

                              Sir Herlock Sholmes



                              “Conspiracy theorists, she knew, were paranoid by definition, and usually with good reason – they were indeed being watched, largely because they were standing on an upturned bucket, haranguing the sheeple about their wingnut delusions.”

                              “If you argue with a madman, it is extremely probable that you will get the worst of it; for in many ways his mind moves all the quicker for not being delayed by the things that go with good judgment.”

                              Comment

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