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William Bury: Jack the Ripper

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  • Originally posted by Aethelwulf View Post

    Is this really that significant though? Prior to being involved as witnesses had any of those people ever been asked to estimate the height of a stranger based on recollections they were asked for after the fact and did not know would be important at the time? Did they even know their own height in feet an inches? It was late at night, seen from a distance in what probably wasn't great light. Would you be confident to discriminate what is actually a small height difference based on a quick look that you didn't know would be needed later? Can you be sure the cap didn't add any height? Surely anything that hid the hairline would add degree of uncertainty?

    I do think Levy is likely to be more reliable, given the context of other witnesses that seem to point to a shorter rather than taller man. He wasn't paying much attention, why would he as he didn't know what was to come. He didn't notice the clothes but could say they were basically the same height. If Lawende was so eagle-eyed he didn't notice that by his description the man would have towered over little Eddowes.

    I totally agree Lawende et al. did see the ripper but if you are going to quote Lawende with such certainty you should caveat it with Levy's statement. It is also worth remembering that Bury also fits other descriptions - respectable dress, Jewish look (whatever that means), powerful chest (broad shoulders?).
    I didn’t say that it was massively important Wolf just that it’s a point worth mentioning; just as you mentioned other quotes about potential,sightings. We are left to assess. All I’m saying is that it’s just a pint to mention/consider.

    I don’t really see how we could favour a witness that, by his own admission, wasn’t paying attention over a witness that appeared to have been. There are also questions to be asked about the other two witnesses that you quoted. BS man, even if he killed Stride, is not certain to have been the ripper and Long saw her two after Cadosch had heard noises from the yard. No fatal objections of course but just points that have to be taken into consideration.

    So all that I’d say is that when we evaluate Bury it would be a valid point to mention height as a minor point. Accepting of course that witnesses, like Lawende, can certainly have been mistaken. But we have also to point out that there was a lamp nearby and he wasn’t far away from the two and he’d noticed enough to give at least a basic description of the man. And his description makes the ripper 8 or 10 inches taller that Eddowes.

    Regards

    Herlock Sholmes

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post

      I didn’t say that it was massively important Wolf just that it’s a point worth mentioning; just as you mentioned other quotes about potential,sightings. We are left to assess. All I’m saying is that it’s just a pint to mention/consider.

      I don’t really see how we could favour a witness that, by his own admission, wasn’t paying attention over a witness that appeared to have been. There are also questions to be asked about the other two witnesses that you quoted. BS man, even if he killed Stride, is not certain to have been the ripper and Long saw her two after Cadosch had heard noises from the yard. No fatal objections of course but just points that have to be taken into consideration.

      So all that I’d say is that when we evaluate Bury it would be a valid point to mention height as a minor point. Accepting of course that witnesses, like Lawende, can certainly have been mistaken. But we have also to point out that there was a lamp nearby and he wasn’t far away from the two and he’d noticed enough to give at least a basic description of the man. And his description makes the ripper 8 or 10 inches taller that Eddowes.
      There is also the issue that we are not comparing like for like. For Bury, we have a two accurate or 'true' measurements of his height with and without boots. For Lawende's man, we have an estimate of his perceived height, not his true height. We can guess at how tall Bury might have appeared with a hat but we don't know how tall a stranger making a quick estimate would perceive him to be. Although you say the ripper was 8 or 10 inches taller that Eddowes, we have the same issue. Eddowes' height is known, compared to the perceived height of the man. Going back to Levy, he didn't make an estimate of the actual height, probably because he wasn't paying enough attention, but he was able to scale the man against the woman, and they were similar. We will have to agree to disagree but I think that is probably the more accurate.

      In terms of Bury's potential involvement with Eddowes, the height question is minor compared to the more important issue of the very specific and basically identical wound that is reported on Eddowes and Ellen Bury. I believe this shows Bury working from previous experience. I know you disagree. There is also the abdominal wound that became ragged towards one end, similar to Nicholls. Going back to Eddowes, there is also the curiosity of Bury's handwriting being similar to parts of From Hell. I'm pretty sure you won't have much time for that but as you say, all factors should be considered.

      Comment


      • While I can see why people think it's Bury, the problem is the most basic. If he was 5-2, he was too short. Napoleon was 5-2. If Napoleon had been seen by multiple witnesses in Whitechapel, at least a few would have described him as short. There also is a question of whether a small killer would attack strangers in so close physically.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Ghost View Post
          While I can see why people think it's Bury, the problem is the most basic. If he was 5-2, he was too short. Napoleon was 5-2. If Napoleon had been seen by multiple witnesses in Whitechapel, at least a few would have described him as short. There also is a question of whether a small killer would attack strangers in so close physically.
          I not sure why this is an issue to be honest. As I said in the post above, you are comparing two different measurements: an accurate police record height of Bury and a load of guesses for the witnesses. As I also said, had any of these witnesses ever been asked to estimate the height of a stranger before? Did they know their own height? The Levy estimate is better than Lawende's IMO (but see Herlock's posts for the other view) as he scaled the man against the woman (she was 4-11) and he said the man was about 3 inches taller. The overall impression I get from the different witnesses (excluding Levy) is a man 5-5 to 5-7. We also have a report Bury was 5-3 in his boots, plus a hat, plus witnesses probable lack of ability to accurate guess heights after the fact when they saw something they didn't know would be important. Bury could easily have appeared 5-5 to 5-6 in boots and a range of hats. to me, we are getting into the territory of 'Lech's missing minutes' - the margins are too fine to discriminate. Take into account light, angles...

          In terms of the attacks, in all cases we are talking about women who have been described as drunk at some point prior. They encounter a short, respectably dressed man, described as having sharp features and good looking. He may have even flashed some of Ellen's cash as an incentive. They accompanied the ripper because they were confident he was safe and normal looking. They were taken unawares. Bury was also described as having a 'powerful chest' and the FBI profile also suggests the ripper would have been above or below average height (not sure why that is a factor - perhaps a target for bullies, lack of success with women - don't know).

          Comment


          • Personally, I'm not convinced that any of the witnesses saw Jack.

            Bury's height is potentially a point against his candidacy, but I don't see it as a knock out blow.

            The same applies to Tumblety at the other end of the spectrum.

            It's worth considering for sure, but it doesn't automatically exonerate them.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Ms Diddles View Post
              Personally, I'm not convinced that any of the witnesses saw Jack.

              Bury's height is potentially a point against his candidacy, but I don't see it as a knock out blow.

              The same applies to Tumblety at the other end of the spectrum.

              It's worth considering for sure, but it doesn't automatically exonerate them.
              Agree it doesn't rule them out, but it is a big (or small) negative in my view.

              Comment


              • I seem to remember multiple descriptions that the man was 'stout' which for me means short but broad shouldered, now not quite sure who said but it was more than one of them, and Bury was stout we know.

                I would like to know how hats convey impression of added height, because it's rare now and we disregard them
                ​​​ but everyone wore them back then.

                ​​​​ So I don't think the argument that bury was too short is a bad point, I've pondered it myself, but I place value in the hat giving a few more inches he would have looked 5 ft 5 with a hat I'm convinced and that's about where i place jtr, there are non canniocal victims like Wilson, Farmer put the man as short 5 ft 3 if I recall correctly. Hats the line infantary used to wear great big ones to give impression that they were bigger men.


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                • Wulf what prison record for vagrancy? I quite interested in Burys early life, i trawled through newspapers from 1880 and a drunk vagrant William bury crops up in a few northern towns being fined but I was never sure it was the same WB, there was also an alleged sexual assault on a mill worker involving a gang one of which was a William Henry Bury again no way of knowing it was him I can upload these reports if you think worth while, I not search for Berry though.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Wiggins View Post
                    Wulf what prison record for vagrancy? I quite interested in Burys early life, i trawled through newspapers from 1880 and a drunk vagrant William bury crops up in a few northern towns being fined but I was never sure it was the same WB, there was also an alleged sexual assault on a mill worker involving a gang one of which was a William Henry Bury again no way of knowing it was him I can upload these reports if you think worth while, I not search for Berry though.
                    Took it from the Bury website (text below). Just guessing but I reckon it probs came from Ancestry - I turned up some prison records when I was looking into my own family history (only for debt, nothing exciting)! You can access ancestry free in most council libraries - that's what I was doing. Sounds interesting - post away. Might be worth looking for Berry as well as Bury and Berry have the same origin and are pronounced the same. Again, I had similar with my own surname where it was being used interchangeably with another spelling, but means the same.

                    'Recently, however, I discovered a prison record which indicates that Bury was actually 5 feet 2 inches tall. Register no. 2795 in West Yorkshire Prison Records, 1801-1914 shows that a William Henry Bury spent two weeks in prison in 1884 after being convicted of vagrancy. While there was more than one William Henry Bury alive in the United Kingdom at that time, there are a number of reasons to believe that this was the William Henry Bury who is the subject of this website. The prison record indicates that the age is right (25), the hair color is right (brown), the occupation is right (warehouseman) and the place of birth is right as well (Stourbridge). Further, the place of committal is given as Dewsbury, and according to an article in the February 16, 1889 Staffordshire Advertiser, Bury “is said for some time to have been at Dewsbury”(3).

                    Comment


                    • Click image for larger version

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                      This may be a little early 1882 for our WHB
                      Last edited by Wiggins; 01-25-2022, 12:27 AM.

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                      • the rest i found wasnt really that interesting but i will upload later, but my search was no means complete and they are adding more to their database all the time.

                        Comment


                        • going back to the height question i think im going to get my brother in law (who is a bit of a short arse), to stand in the market square under a lamp with a hat on.
                          and im going to ask all the drunk people coming out of the pub how tall he looks.
                          Then i will publish results of the survey here.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Ms Diddles View Post
                            Personally, I'm not convinced that any of the witnesses saw Jack.

                            Bury's height is potentially a point against his candidacy, but I don't see it as a knock out blow.

                            The same applies to Tumblety at the other end of the spectrum.

                            It's worth considering for sure, but it doesn't automatically exonerate them.
                            Hi Ms D, surely the best "possible/probable" * sighting of the killer is Mr Blotchy, seen by Mrs Cox.

                            * Delete where applicable.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by barnflatwyngarde View Post

                              Hi Ms D, surely the best "possible/probable" * sighting of the killer is Mr Blotchy, seen by Mrs Cox.

                              * Delete where applicable.
                              Agreed Barn!

                              He's certainly one of the better bets.

                              I'm still not positive he's our guy though.

                              As with so much in this case, I'm lodged firmly on the fence!

                              Comment


                              • most witnesses describe the ripper as short and stout. on the night of the double event most witnesses describe the ripper as wearing a peaked cap, including schwarz and lawende and company so imho both sightings were the ripper.
                                the ripper was a short stout man who wore a peaked cap the night of the double event.
                                lawende was tjerefore more than likely a tad off on his estimate.
                                schwartz witnessed an incident that sounds very bury like to me.
                                bury is a good suspect, or one of the least weak.
                                "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

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