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Would the bloodhounds have saved Warren's career ?

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  • Would the bloodhounds have saved Warren's career ?

    Does anyone here think that,had the bloodhounds,Barnaby and Burgho, been used after the trials (where Sir Charles Warren himself was a 'target-man') to track the ripper,they may have saved his police career ?

    Or were things too far gone at that stage.It would have been interesting to see how the dogs would have been at 13 Millers Court,where they may just have picked up a scent or some clue.

  • #2
    I don't think it would have saved his career - he had already resigned for different reasons

    It would have been interesting to see where any trail led on the day - but the bloodhounds were unavailable

    Either the Ripper was not worried about the use of the hounds, or he knew they were unavailable/useless in Whitechapel (according to Mr Brough)


    • #3
      I should have said that if the bloodhounds were used earlier,maybe at the 'double event' maybe things would have been different.


      • #4
        The main reason the bloodhounds werent considered reliable is that police thought there were just too many people around for the dogs to be able to discern between them. So they thought the dogs would start out OK but lose the trail quickly.

        We now know that is very very far from the truth. However we know this now because training is far better and more specialized. So its pretty much unpredictable and probably not likely the dogs could have helped.

        A possible reason why the door to 13 millers was smashed down could have been because no one wanted to touch the door handles? Seems to me like a good place to get a scent. maybe the dogs trainer had mentioned something like that?

        George Sims claimed he had been tracked and identified by the dogs. I think he was probably fibbing though.


        • #5
          I believe at the time that no dog existed who had been trained to follow a "clean shoe" over paved roads. The clean shoe referred to the scent of a man in boots or shoes with no blood on them.

          Edwin Brough, bloodhound trainer, professed that such a dog could be trained in the future

          All contemporary trials were done over grass/leaves etc in which the dogs were successful

          I have seen modern bloodhounds track over concrete so I think it would have been a good option if such a dog was available

          Rather than the amount of people crossing the track, I think the amount of blood in the area due to the presence of slaughter houses and the like was the main consideration

          The popular bloodhound story at the time would probably have been regarding the "Lincoln bloodhound" which was used by police and parishioners to track sheep stealers. It successfully tracked the sheep carcasses on a number of occasions and was talked about widely in the press prior to 1888.


          • #6
            My father was a highly regarded police tracker-dog handler and trainer for 30 years, retiring just over a decade ago. When I described the conditions around Dorset Street/Miller's Court to him - with this very question in mind - he was extremely doubtful that the hounds would have succeeded. Indeed, he reckoned that the best-trained dogs he'd ever had (and he'd worked with some excellent dogs in his career) would probably have failed.

            The environments most conducive to a dog's success are fields, forests etc., where not too many other human scents are likely to have accumulated over time. The crowded streets of Spitalfields would have presented a cacophony of smells sufficient to confuse the hell out of most dogs. The time factor would have played a part, too - needless to say, it's much preferred if the trail is as fresh as possible, but several hours had passed since the departure of Mary's killer, which in itself would have posed a challenge in even the best conditions.
            Kind regards, Sam Flynn

            "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)


            • #7
              There you go... can't really argue with that


              • #8
                The fear of the use of bloodhounds is another story...


                • #9

                  Originally posted by halomanuk View Post
                  I should have said that if the bloodhounds were used earlier,maybe at the 'double event' maybe things would have been different.
                  Yep.They would have caught JTR.
                  We would have to find something else to do with our spare time!


                  • #10

                    Despite their name, bloodhounds do not track the scent of blood , so slaughterhouses, abbatoirs and the like would not throw them off (even as someone a while ago claimed that menstruating women would disorient them). What they track is the scent of molecular-sized skin particles that, like unseen dandruff, we humans are always leaving in our wake.

                    I will defer to Sam's story of the inefficability of using the dogs at Miller's Court, but there are examples in the States of bloodhounds performing amazing feats of tracking.

                    As it was, the dog's owner and the Met had a dispute over money so they were never used. Might have been interesting at least.

                    "To expose [the Senator] is rather like performing acts of charity among the deserving poor; it needs to be done and it makes one feel good, but it does nothing to end the problem."


                    • #11
                      It is so frustrating to know what they might have is amazing how politics and other issues get in the way of even something as vile and important as this was..


                      • #12
                        I know next to nothing about dogs but I seriously doubt that bloodhounds would have been of any use in Miller's Court.
                        The body was discovered far too late, it was daytime and the streets were already crowdy.

                        But had PC Watkins patrolled with Burgho or Barnaby...



                        • #13
                          Well, of course!


                          • #14
                            Whose scent would the dogs have followed? Probably was a good idea when first thought of but it was left too late to be practical. Wouldn't have saved Warren. He was dead meat long before Miller's Ct.


                            • #15
                              Well the predominant scent would be the blood and MJK obviously,but,the next recent scent would have to be the Ripper as he spent quite a bit of time in there.
                              They wouldn't have had much to lose by trying it !!