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Did JTR live in a lodging house?

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  • Did JTR live in a lodging house?

    Ok all,

    Since we got off point in the census thread.....I thought I'd reopen the discussion because I think it's an interesting one. I tend to agree with Ben that JTR was an East end 'nobody' who plied his trade out of necessity. He probably lived in a lodging house or somewhat crowded dwelling where it would have been near impossible to bring a woman home without detection. I do think he enjoyed the thrill of displaying his handiwork in the open though. I also think the leg position was the result of the carving of the belly rather than some orchestrated pose. These 'doss' houses must have been pretty nasty dwellings to allow a JTR entrance without fanfare but apparently they were just that.............

    Sincerely,

    Greg

  • #2
    Perhaps we should look through the census

    I cannot begin to imagine just how awful these lodging and common lodging houses were. To have nothing more than a bed and perhaps a stool, to have to wash in the same sink as every other guest and their clothes, and to have to gather in a kitchen to get warm! Must have been truly awful!
    Regards Mike

    Comment


    • #3
      Agreed all round, Greg.

      According to Charles Booth's poverty map, many of the streets which boasted a high concentration of doss houses were shaded dark to signify a "vicious (i.e. lots of vice) and semi-criminal" element. Obviously, that wouldn't have been the case if these esteemed establishments were subject to routine checks for good behaviour!

      All the best,
      Ben

      Comment


      • #4
        There are two separate issues here and two different points I was trying to make in the previous thread.

        1--The geographic profiler picked a location based on where the victims LIVED. My point is that this might be skewed based on the fact that MOST prostitutes of the area lived in this area. Besides MJK, NONE were killed in this area. If one wanted to pick up prostitutes they went to this area to do it. This DOES NOT necessarily translate to the KILLER living in this area.

        2--I don't believe the killer would have necessarily LIVED in this area, NOR do I believe it likely that the killer lived in a lodging house.

        Ben, you've kind of taken the extreme opposite point of view to my point. I also doubt that the killer lived ALONE in his own residence. As you rightly postulate, if he did he likely would have killed his victim at his residence. Also, you would be in a SMALL minority to live in a house ALONE in this area--most people simply couldn't afford it.

        I've always thought that the killer most likely lived in a house with an immediete family (wife, possibly children), extended family, and/or had other families living in the same house with rented rooms (not as crowded as a doss house). A good example would be a house like that on 29 Hanbury St. A family owned the house but had borders in various rooms (some with families, some single). However, unlike lodging houses of the area, there were not a set of "procedures" that were followed. A person who lived at 29 Hanbury St could come back at any time over the night without attracting attention, and no questions asked (within reason).

        On the other hand a lodging house had definite procedures that are followed, including having a deputy that sees who comes in and who goes out. The owners of these places KNEW what kind of clientele they were dealing with and most certainly didn't trust ANY of the lodgers. Many closed their doors after a certain time and wouldn't allow borders who hadn't already paid. Others would allow borders to come in in the middle of the night but they usually had to pay the deputy (unless they paid in advance), or at the very least they passed by the deputy. And of course there were no private rooms. From what I've read they were also regulated by the state (much more so than the small private rentals like on 29 Hanbury St.). Of course such regulation could often be lax. However the owners did have a certain amount of concern about the police, and losing their licenses due to not following certain security procedures. I've read of a few cases in the newspapers of the time and in Old Bailey records of judges excoriating lodging house deputies for lax enforcement of rules and regulations.

        And as you say these doss houses were absolutely CRAMMED full of people, including people in the common areas, like the kitchen, at all hours of the night. And while you have a point about being "lost in the crowd", this has its limits. Wouldn't you agree that it would be MUCH easier to pull of the killings of JTR if one lived in a rented room of a place like 29 Hanbury St. than a lodging house crammed full of people? Think about it. I could come back to 29 Hanbury St. at 3 or 4 AM without waking a soul. If I had a wife and kids they would be fast asleep. You could just tell the wife that you went out drinking and would come home any damn time you felt like it (this was the attitude of many men of the time).

        Also take into account that the police gave the third degree to EVERY lodging house deputy in the area during the Autumn of Terror. You hear this time and again in the testimony at the inquests, and police descriptions. And the question they always asked was "Did you have any lodgers who came back in the middle of the night during the night of the murders?!". And the collective answer always seemed to be a definitive "NO". Of course they could have been mistaken, or simply dishonest. But one gets the feeling from this testimony that it wasn't common for lodgers to walk in at all hours of the night without attracting attention.

        Now of course I can't definitely prove that the killer couldn't have lived in a one of these East End lodging houses. However statistically I think it is much less likely.
        Jeff

        Comment


        • #5
          Hello

          The following is the testimony of Wilkinson, the Deputy Keeper of the Lodging House where Kelly and Eddowes lived.

          I agree that there were conditions and rules but Wilkinson himself states that someone may have bought a bed after two.

          By a Juryman: I don't take the names of the lodgers, but I know my "regulars." If a man comes and takes a bed I put the number of the bed down in my book, but not his name. Of course I know the names of my regular customers.
          Mr. Crawford: Did any one come into your lodging-house and take a bed between one and two o'clock on the Sunday morning? - No stranger came in then.
          [Crawford] Did any one come into your lodging-house about that hour? - No; two detectives came about three, and asked if I had any women out.
          [Crawford] Did anyone come into your lodging-house about two o'clock on Sunday morning whom you did not recognise? - I cannot say; I could tell by my book, which can soon be produced.
          The deputy was dispatched for his book, with which after an interval he returned. It merely showed, however, that there were fifty-two beds occupied in the house on Saturday night. There were only six strangers. He could not say whether any one took a bed about two o'clock on Sunday morning. He had sometimes over 100 persons sleeping in the house at once. They paid for their beds, and were asked no questions.

          Comment


          • #6
            Hello

            If you haven`t read it before, the following is to be found in the Dissertations Menu, sorry don`t know how to post a proper link.

            A fascinating piece on conditions in a Spitalfield Lodging House :

            An East End Lodging House in the 1880s
            Subjects: Lodging Houses - Gerry Nixon -

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Pinkerton View Post
              The geographic profiler picked a location based on where the victims LIVED.
              Is that true, Pinkerton, or was it based on where the victims DIED? Genuine question.
              If one wanted to pick up prostitutes they went to this area to do it.
              That seems incorrect on two counts: Firstly, Spitalfields wasn't some kind of "sex tourist's paradise" - there were numerous other districts nearby where prostitutes could be found; Secondly, the street walkers of Spitalfields didn't necessarily confine their "beats" to the dead centre of the district, as any cursory glance at the murder locations (canonical or otherwise) will show.
              Kind regards, Sam Flynn

              "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

              Comment


              • #8
                Crowded House.....

                You could just tell the wife that you went out drinking and would come home any damn time you felt like it (this was the attitude of many men of the time).
                This has changed? ............................Just kidding...............

                Good work Pinkerton.........I don't know a great deal about these lodging houses so I was hoping for some new information....I agree that 29 Hanbury seems more likely...........in fact one dissertation stated that a suspect (Hardiman I think?) worked there and/or his mother lived there at 1 time.....

                Maybe JTR lived at 29 Hanbury? Nothing like carving up a woman in the backyard and then stumbling back upstairs to bed.........!

                Sincerely,

                Greg

                Comment


                • #9
                  The geographic profiler picked a location based on where the victims LIVED. My point is that this might be skewed based on the fact that MOST prostitutes of the area lived in this area. Besides MJK, NONE were killed in this area. If one wanted to pick up prostitutes they went to this area to do it
                  Are we sure about this, Pinkerton?

                  I'm almost certain that the Rossmo profile (and Canter's, I believe) worked from the basis of where the victims were found, not where they lived. However, since the murders were all quite closely clustered, the profile would not have altered appreciably, even if the victims' residences was the criterion being fed into the system.

                  It is by no means proven that the killer lived in the area, but based on what we know from other serial cases, it would seem a good deal more likely than not, and since a hefty portion of the populace lived in lodging houses, I don't consider it remotely unlikely that the killer was similarly domiciled.

                  Shared/family accomodation is a possibility, but with the numbers being smaller, the chances of the killer's noctural activities being noticed would have increased considerably, especially if he was answerable to a spouse. If he lived in a residence similar to #29 Hanbury Street, for example, the chances of him having a private room were pretty remote. More likely, he would have been sharing with more than one family member, and unlike with a 500-strong lodging house, there was a stronger likelihood of those few family members registering something amiss.

                  I really wouldn't look upon the lodging house "proceedures" as anything remotely stringent or "crime-proof". As I mentioned earlier, it's a known fact that the opposite was the case; with the lodging houses in question being popular with the criminal fraternity that clearly proliferated the district. Take the Sadler episode; he was brutally duffed up and robbed by a gang of a ruffians who bolted directly into a lodging houses following the assault. Clearly, there was no formal proceedures in place that would have impeded the escape of those attackers/robbers.

                  "Vicious" and "semi-criminal" were the words Charles Booth used to describe the localities in which lodging houses were especially prolific. This wouldn't have been the case if the proceedures for deterring this crime and vice were satisfactorily in place. The owners of the places didn't care much about what went on there - and most didn't even live there - but the on-site managers and deputies clearly allowed - or couldn't prevent - these places from becoming obvious meccas for the criminally-coerced.

                  Very few lodging houses offered a pay-in-advance policy. Most were open all night on a pay-as-you-go basis, while the better places issued tickets to be purchased during the day or week. The deputy was there was to collect the money, which was the primary concern of those running the establishments.

                  And of course there were no private rooms
                  Actually, the Victoria Home had the facility of private cubicle-type rooms to be purchased for a couple of pence extra, thus providing - at the very least - a visual shield for potentially prying eyes, but again, with so many lodgers using these places on an average night, sheer numbers provided an obstacle for any one lodger being singled out for random scrutiny.

                  Wouldn't you agree that it would be MUCH easier to pull of the killings of JTR if one lived in a rented room of a place like 29 Hanbury St. than a lodging house crammed full of people?
                  No, I think the absolute reverse is true.

                  In a Hanbury Street-style affair, you're one of only a handful. You're not lost in a crowd. You're noticed a great deal more, courtesy of the small numbers. You're having to creep in. You're having to answer to people - tell them where you're going and, inevitably, they're going to record your absences and register the time, which couldn't happen in a larger lodging house, unimpeded by family commitments.

                  Did you have any lodgers who came back in the middle of the night during the night of the murders?!". And the collective answer always seemed to be a definitive "NO". Of course they could have been mistaken, or simply dishonest.
                  Well, exactly. They could were. Far better to say "No" than admit to the very sort of casual sloppiness that had earned their type of establishment a reputation as meccas for theives and vagabonds. Lodgers walking in at all hours of the night would not have attracted attention because it happened all the time for many years, given different working schedules. You even had lodgers heading out to work at that time.

                  However statistically I think it is much less likely.
                  No, based on the above, I'd have to disagree very strongly.
                  Last edited by Ben; 10-01-2008, 09:21 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    There are, of course, other possibilities that may offer a good explanation to the Rippers ability to slip away unnoticed. Maybe we don´t have to assume that he withdrew to a lodging house or a tenement house after his strikes. Maybe there was a piece available to him that fit in between the street killings and his home.
                    Now, I am not going to agree with Cats Meat Man that George Morrisson had a finger involved in the Ripper deeds, but I think his occupation as a night watchman offers an interesting possibility. If the Ripper held that kind of a position, offering him the privacy of, say, a warehouse or something like that, it could offer a place to clean himself up and conceal any trophies and perhaps his weapon/s. Morrisson would not have been the only night watchman around - there must have been lots of them, all minding their own little private universes after closing time.

                    The best,
                    Fisherman

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Pinkerton ..good points.

                      You have to remember that the day when Nichols and Chapman were killed the general populace did not know there was a serial killer so they were not looking for one.
                      Only during the double event and - possibly Mary Kelly, although that was late early morning enough there were people in the market or up and about already he could just mingle and go - would I think it would be compelling if the killer could just go in a lodging house after a kill. So at that one early morning if the killer was partly well known to the people around the lodging house, perhaps some drunk,some smelly,some having conversations in the kitchen,etc..who would have known?
                      I think despite the murders they would have been more focused on their own life/problems than so-called solving the case. In any case when somebody arrives at the lodging house at say 2:00 a.m. what would be the factors people look for in order to distinguish a killer from a non-killer?
                      Clearly the first human laws (way older and already established) spawned organized religion's morality - from which it's writers only copied/stole,ex. you cannot kill,rob,steal (forced, otherwise people run back to the hills,no towns).
                      M. Pacana

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hello Varmq!

                        A bloody heart in his pocket, to begin with...

                        All the best
                        Jukka
                        "When I know all about everything, I am old. And it's a very, very long way to go!"

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          If he was in a lodging house for the entire series of murders then i think,not only would he be noticed with the blood etc but also his mood and personality POSSIBLY would be changing .

                          There are a lot of people coming and going in these places so yes he could mingle with them,but,he also stood a very good chance of people seeing something suspicious...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hello Halomanuk!

                            Though the next question sounds like Agatha Christie, I have to ask it anyway:

                            How about "A murder in a lodging house"?

                            Meaning, someone could have begun to know too much within this scenario...

                            All the best
                            Jukka
                            "When I know all about everything, I am old. And it's a very, very long way to go!"

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Of course, the "beauty" of lodging-houses was (a) there were loads of them all over town; (b) you needn't have returned to the same one every night; and (c) you needn't have returned to one at all if you didn't have the money/inclination to do so. Not a bad setup for one wishing to remain anonymous.
                              Kind regards, Sam Flynn

                              "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

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