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  • #61
    The flower was white, a sprig of maidenfern framing it.
    Michael Richards

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    • #62
      "My wife tells me you wouldn't get a rose around Oct. 1st. in England, wrong climate"

      Hi John, please advise your wife that on 29th November in my small suburban garden we currently have no fewer than five rose bushes in bloom...of course, current day roses are a "different breed" to those available in 1888, but I suppose hothouse types, though expensive, would've been available!

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      • #63
        130 years ago the climate was cooler.
        Regards, Jon S.

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        • #64
          1888 had a cold Autumn.
          Rose growers were in Terror.
          Sumfin' like that.
          I'm goin' now.
          My name is Dave. You cannot reach me through Debs email account

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          • #65
            Seeing as it's a slow day here, I looked up the contemporary press. The Peterborough Standard of Sat. 22nd Sept. 1888 reported the success of Rose competitions with as many as 41 first prize honours won by the blooms of the Padholme Nurseries across England, namely at; Crystal Palace, Alexandra Palace, at Darli8ngton, Manchester, Birkenhead, Hitchin, Boston, Uppingham, Bedford, Nuneaton, etc., etc.

            A second article reports a successful Harvest Festival on Wednesday (19th) in town at St. Mary's Church where the service was brightly coloured by the presence of; White Dahlias, Virginian Creeper, White & Red Chrysanthemums, Sun-flowers, "posies of Roses" with choice ferns, scarlet Geraniums and Cream Roses....

            Doncha jus' luv'it when yer spouse is wrong...
            I'll let her know....

            On second thoughts, maybe not....

            Regards, Jon S.

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            • #66
              Evening News: Did you notice the woman so that you would know her again?
              Matthew Packer: Yes. I saw that she was dressed in dark clothes, looked a middle aged woman, and carried a white flower in her hand. I saw that as plain as anything could be, and I am sure I should know the woman again. I was taken today to the see the dead body of a woman lying in Golden land mortuary, but I can swear that wasn't the woman that stood at my shop window on Saturday night.

              So Packer said the woman with the man buying grapes, held a white flower.
              That Evening News edition of Oct 4, also discussed the discrepancies in the reported flower colour.

              There is one seeming discrepancy between the story of Packer and the facts as published; it has been reported that a red flower was found in the murdered woman's bosom, and Packer states that she wore a white flower. This is sufficiently easy of explanation since Packer does not say that the woman wore only a white flower, but that the attention was particularly drawn to the white flower from its standing out against the black of her dress, and the absence of the flower from her jacket when found by the police is unimportant in view of the evidence of Miss Harstein who subsequently saw fragments of it in the passage.

              The reference to a red flower is interesting - I can't find Lamb making any reference to the flower in any paper, let alone the colour of it, Spooner said it was red and white, and Smith and Reid do not testify until the 5th, yet the EN reporter is aware of the flower being reported as being red.
              So who gave this information about the flower's colour? Did it come from the police directly? Maybe someone from the club told them (Arbeter Fraint said it was red).
              Evidently the EN reporter thought it was important enough to mention that Packer's reference to a white flower had been contradicted by an alternative report with at least some authority, even though that info did not seem to make into the papers (either that, or my research skills need improving).

              Now consider how the reporter explains away the contradiction - by supposing there might have been more than one flower, and that only the white flower (against the black dress) was seen by Packer, and which ends up destroyed.

              Wikipedia: Human vision is unable to distinguish color in conditions of either high brightness or very low brightness. In conditions with insufficient light levels, color perception ranges from achromatic to ultimately black.

              So the EN reporter's explanation makes some sense.
              This snippet is from the St James Gazette, Oct 1:

              The body when found was quite warm. In one hand was clutched a box of sweets, and at her breast were pinned two dahlias.

              So the white flower might still have a flicker of life in it.
              The obvious questions are; where did it go, and if the white flower and grapes were real, who was the customer, and where does he live? Echo, Oct 18:

              An Echo reporter called yesterday afternoon upon Mr. Packer, the Berner-street fruiterer, where the murderer bought the grapes for Elizabeth Stride. It now appears that the man was known by Mr. Packer, who positively asserted, "I had seen him in this district several times before, and if you ask me where he lives I can tell you within a little. He lodges not a great way from the house where Lipski, who was hanged for poisoning a woman, lived." "How many times have you seen him?" was asked Mr. Packer. "About twenty; and I have not seen him since the murder."

              Other than Packer, only Spooner mentions the colour white when referring to the flower.
              Prior to Spooner's arrival in the yard, Kozebrodsky and Diemschitz are adamant that they see grapes in Stride's right hand.
              (Fanny Mortimer also mentions grapes in hand, but it's hard to tell if this is a first or second-hand account.)
              After Spooner observes the victim close-up, there are no further observations of grapes.

              Surely though, what I'm implying might have occurred must be false when considering that neither the white flower nor the grapes were found either on Stride, or elsewhere in the yard.
              Yet Spooner could have scattered the flower petals, thrown the rest of the flower in the gutter, and hoped the petals went unnoticed and/or blew away.
              However, doing similar with the grapes would not be an option - if the grapes were found they could easily be linked to their sale at Packer's shop, and therefore to the buyer (by his description).
              So what did he do with the grapes? Simple; he ate them.
              Andrew's the man, that is not blamed for nothing

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              • #67
                Originally posted by Wickerman View Post
                130 years ago the climate was cooler.
                Two months worth of cooler?

                (Edit) I note your subsequent undertaking (or not!) to re-educate your good lady...frankly I wouldn't...your remaining term may prove longer and happier
                Last edited by Cogidubnus; 11-30-2020, 06:22 PM.

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                • #68
                  A really nice Canadian,by the name of David Suzuki,was in Oz ~ 30 years ago.
                  He used this area around the Otway Ranges' inland foothills as a prediction of climate change.
                  Crikey,did he underplay that.
                  The change has been astounding.
                  My name is Dave. You cannot reach me through Debs email account

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                  • #69
                    Originally posted by Cogidubnus View Post

                    Two months worth of cooler?

                    (Edit) I note your subsequent undertaking (or not!) to re-educate your good lady...frankly I wouldn't...your remaining term may prove longer and happier
                    Agreed, quite possibly one of my smarter decisions.
                    Regards, Jon S.

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                    • #70
                      Dr. Phillips: I am convinced that the deceased had not swallowed either skin or seed of a grape within many hours of her death.

                      The Star, Oct 5:

                      The grape story is effectually disposed of by the statement of the authorities at Leman-street to a Star reporter. In the first place the police have no evidence that any grapes were found on the site of the Berners-street murder, and, moreover, Dr. Phillip's post mortem disclosed no trace of grapes or grapestones in Elizabeth Stride's stomach.

                      Note that the police reference is to grapes - not grape skins and seeds.

                      Walter Dew (written 1935):

                      The Berners Street murder yielded a clue which, for a time, raised the hopes of us all. Our inquiries brought to light the important fact that a few minutes-or at any rate a very short time before her death Elizabeth Stride, or "Long Liz", as she was known to her intimates, had actually been seen in the company of a man.

                      This evidence was supplied by a man who kept a small fruit shop in Berners Street. His story was that in the early hours of that Sunday morning he had sold the couple some grapes.

                      The real value of the fruit vendor's information lay in the fact that he swore he had seen the woman's companion before and would recognize him if he saw him again.

                      Unfortunately his story was backed by a description of the man which could only be described as vague. It might have applied equally to thousands of men.

                      Then came dramatic corroboration of his story. In the little Berners Street court, quite close to the spot where the body was found, detectives searching every inch of the ground came upon a number of grape skins and stones.

                      The obvious deduction was that these were the remains of the grapes which Long Liz's " companion had bought at the fruit shop, and that she had probably been eating them right up to the moment of her death.

                      The only alternative - which hardly seemed feasible - was that at that time of the night - or early morning - Mrs. Stride had got rid of one man and sought the companionship of another.



                      So if there were grapes skins and seeds in the yard, and Liz Stride consumed no grapes that evening, who ate the grapes?
                      Andrew's the man, that is not blamed for nothing

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                      • #71
                        Another reference to a red rose, is in Donald Swanson's report dated October 19.

                        From enquiries made it was found that at:-
                        12.35 a.m. 30th P.C. 452H Smith saw a man and a woman the latter with a red rose talking in Berner Street, this P.C. on seeing the body identified it as being that of the woman whom he had seen & thus he describes the man as age about 28. ht. 5ft, 7 in: comp: dark, small moustache, dress black diagonal coat, hard felt hat, white collar and tie.


                        A quick summary...

                        Arbeter Fraint: She wore a red flower on her breast.

                        D-I Reid: Fastened on the right side was a small bunch of flowers, consisting of maidenhair fern and a red rose.

                        PC Smith (via Swanson): Smith saw a man and a woman the latter with a red rose talking in Berner Street...

                        Ed Spooner: I could see that she had a piece of paper doubled up in her right hand, and a red and white flower pinned on to her jacket.


                        Also worth considering, is the meaning or symbolism of red flowers, and the red rose in particular.

                        It is a symbol of Socialism. Wikipedia: Since the 1880s, the red rose has been a symbol of socialism. The origin of the rose as a symbol of socialism relates to its association with the color red. Since at least 1848, red was associated with socialism.

                        It is a symbol of romance: It's no surprise that a bouquet of red roses is the symbol for passion during courtship. Red is an undeniable symbol of love and romance, primarily because the color red is associated with the heart. Red also represents the color of flushed cheeks. In addition to desire, red can also represent strength and courage, two very important characteristics when you're about to go on that first date.

                        Source: Flower Color Meanings & Symbolism
                        Andrew's the man, that is not blamed for nothing

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                        • #72
                          There's a simple explanation here. Jack the Ripper's Mum was from Lancashire, while his Dad was a Yorkshire man.

                          We need to look for a man wearing a flat cap and walking his whippet, while tucking into a bowl of hot pot.
                          "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


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                          • #73
                            Matthew Packer gave the following statement at Scotland Yard:

                            "On Sat. night [29 September] about 11:00pm, a young man from 25-30, about 5'-7", with long black coat buttoned up, soft felt hat, kind of Yankee hat, rather broad shoulders, rather quick in speaking, rough voice. I sold him 1/2 pound black grapes, 3d. A woman came up with 'him from Back Church end (the lower end of street). She was dressed in black frock & jacket, fur round bottom of jacket, a black crepe bonnet, she was playing with a flower like a geranium white outside & red inside. I identify the woman at the St. George's Mortuary as the one I saw that night.

                            "They passed by as though they were going up [to] Commercial Rd, but instead of going up they crossed to the other side of the road to the Board School, & were there for about 1/2 an hour till I should say 11:30, talking to one another. I then shut up my shutters. before they passed over opposite to my shop, they went near to the club for a few minutes apparently listening to the music. I saw no more of them after I shut my shutters.

                            "I put the man down as a young clerk. he had a frock coat on - no gloves. He was about 1 1/2" or 2" or 3" - a little bit higher than she was."



                            So we have the following flower colour descriptions:

                            PC Smith: red

                            D-I Reid: red

                            The Workers Friend: red

                            Edward Spooner: red and white

                            Matthew Packer: red and white


                            Regarding the purchaser of the grapes, Packer said:

                            … if you ask me where he lives I can tell you within a little. He lodges not a great way from the house where Lipski, who was hanged for poisoning a woman, lived.

                            According to The Echo, Oct 20:

                            The police called on Mr. Packer, of 44, Berner-street, yesterday morning; and later on an Echo reporter also saw him as to what had transpired. Mr. Packer was rather reticent; but, when asked his opinion as to where the murderer lodged - for he had seen him several times before the fatal night - remarked, "In the next street."

                            Edward Spooner lived at 26 Fairclough street.


                            In his memoir, Walter Dew said:

                            In the little Berners Street court, quite close to the spot where the body was found, detectives searching every inch of the ground came upon a number of grape skins and stones.

                            At the inquest, Edward Spooner said:

                            I stood by the side of the deceased about five minutes, till Police-constable Lamb came. …
                            As soon as Police-constable Lamb arrived I stepped back. I helped him to fasten the gate.



                            Given all the above, I surmise the following …

                            Edward Spooner purchased the grapes later seen by Diemschitz, Kozebrodsky, and possibly Mortimer, when they were removed from Stride's right hand.

                            Edward Spooner ate at least some of those grapes, while in Dutfield's Yard.


                            By the way, of all the people in Dutfield's Yard when PC Lamb reached the victim, including some senior club figures, why do you suppose Lamb chose Spooner to help him close the gates?
                            Andrew's the man, that is not blamed for nothing

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                            • #74
                              How dark was the street end of Dutfield's Yard passageway, on murder night?

                              Louis Diemschitz, after pulling up his pony, Daily News:

                              ... I noticed that there was something unusual about the ground, but I could not tell what it was except that it was not level. I mean that there was something there like a little heap. But I thought it was only mud or something of that kind, and did not take much notice of it. However, I touched it with my whip-handle, and then I was able to tell that it was not mud. I wanted to see what it was, so jumped out of the trap and struck a match. Then I saw that there was a woman lying there. At that time I took no further notice, and didn't know whether she was drunk or dead.

                              The Echo:

                              The steward of the International and Educational Club reached the gate just as the clock struck one. "It was very dark," he said. "There is no light near here, and the darkness is consequently much more intense between these two walls" - pointing to the walls of the Club and a house on the other side of the yard- "than out in the street. The gate was pushed back, and the wheel of my cart bumped against something. I struck a match to see what it was, but the wind blew it out. However, the flash was enough to show me that the person was on the ground either asleep or dead. I struck another match, and then (pursued the steward) the scene that burst upon me completely appalled me.

                              So with no artificial light source, Stride was indistinguishable from a pile of mud, at quite close range. With the transient light of a burning match, Louis could see it was a woman (or maybe just a human), but could not tell if she were asleep, drunk or dead.

                              So what was Edward Spooner's experience of going to Dutfield's Yard?

                              I saw two Jews come running along and shouting out "Murder" and "Police." They then ran as far as Grove-street and turned back. I stopped them and asked what was the matter. They replied, "A woman has been murdered." I then went round with them to Berner-street, and into Dutfield's yard, adjoining No. 40, Berner-street. I saw a woman lying just inside the gate. At that time there were about 15 people in the yard, and they were all standing round the body. The majority of them appeared to be Jews. No one touched the body. One of them struck a match, and I lifted up the chin of the deceased with my hand.
                              ...
                              Directly I got inside the yard I could see that it was a woman lying on the ground.


                              So on entering the yard, Spooner could see there were about 15 people there, most of them Jewish. Rather amazingly, he could not only see the 'little heap' that Diemschitz saw, but he could immediately tell it was a woman. Even more amazingly, he could apparently see this was the case before someone struck a match!

                              Apparently, this anomaly can be explained by the influence of expectations - Spooner was expecting to see a dead woman, so in spite of the fact that he crossed from mild street light into intense darkness, and in spite of the fact that that the victim was facing a wall (and thus away from him), and just inches from it, just expecting to see a woman lying on the ground would supposedly be enough to overcome these seemingly insurmountable barriers.

                              Okay, so what were PC Lamb's expectations?

                              About 1 o'clock, as near as I can tell, on Sunday morning I was in the Commercial-road, between Christian-street and Batty-street. Two men came running towards me. I went towards them and heard them say, "Come on! There has been another murder."

                              So according to the expectations theory, Lamb should have had little trouble in perceiving the victim on the ground, immediately on his arrival...

                              I went into the gateway of No. 40, Berner-street and saw something dark lying on the right-hand side, close to the gates. I turned my light on and found it was a woman. I saw that her throat was cut, and she appeared to be dead.

                              So what's going on here? Three possible explanations...

                              1. Mr Muddle-Head: Just as Spooner was confused about his times, and the cachous hand, he also badly misremembered what he was initially able to see.

                              2. He was somehow already aware that Stride was dead, and knew what the 'little heap' actually was, as soon as he saw it.

                              3. He had a lantern of his own - just like the bobbies.

                              #2 will probably be dismissed immediately, as will #3 - why on earth would Spooner, standing on the corner of Christian and Fairclough streets, and talking to a young woman, be holding a lantern? Perhaps James Brown, of 35 Fairclough street, could give us a clue...

                              When I heard screams of "Police" and "Murder" I opened the window, but could not see any one and the screams ceased. The cries were those of moving persons, and appeared to be going in the direction of Grove-street. Shortly afterwards I saw a policeman standing at the corner of Christian-street. I heard a man opposite call out to the constable that he was wanted. I then saw the policeman run along to Berner-street.

                              Andrew's the man, that is not blamed for nothing

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                Originally posted by NotBlamedForNothing View Post
                                Matthew Packer gave the following statement at Scotland Yard:

                                "On Sat. night [29 September] about 11:00pm, a young man from 25-30, about 5'-7", with long black coat buttoned up, soft felt hat, kind of Yankee hat, rather broad shoulders, rather quick in speaking, rough voice. I sold him 1/2 pound black grapes, 3d. A woman came up with 'him from Back Church end (the lower end of street). She was dressed in black frock & jacket, fur round bottom of jacket, a black crepe bonnet, she was playing with a flower like a geranium white outside & red inside. I identify the woman at the St. George's Mortuary as the one I saw that night.

                                "They passed by as though they were going up [to] Commercial Rd, but instead of going up they crossed to the other side of the road to the Board School, & were there for about 1/2 an hour till I should say 11:30, talking to one another. I then shut up my shutters. before they passed over opposite to my shop, they went near to the club for a few minutes apparently listening to the music. I saw no more of them after I shut my shutters.

                                "I put the man down as a young clerk. he had a frock coat on - no gloves. He was about 1 1/2" or 2" or 3" - a little bit higher than she was."



                                So we have the following flower colour descriptions:

                                PC Smith: red

                                D-I Reid: red

                                The Workers Friend: red

                                Edward Spooner: red and white

                                Matthew Packer: red and white


                                Regarding the purchaser of the grapes, Packer said:

                                … if you ask me where he lives I can tell you within a little. He lodges not a great way from the house where Lipski, who was hanged for poisoning a woman, lived.

                                According to The Echo, Oct 20:

                                The police called on Mr. Packer, of 44, Berner-street, yesterday morning; and later on an Echo reporter also saw him as to what had transpired. Mr. Packer was rather reticent; but, when asked his opinion as to where the murderer lodged - for he had seen him several times before the fatal night - remarked, "In the next street."

                                Edward Spooner lived at 26 Fairclough street.


                                In his memoir, Walter Dew said:

                                In the little Berners Street court, quite close to the spot where the body was found, detectives searching every inch of the ground came upon a number of grape skins and stones.

                                At the inquest, Edward Spooner said:

                                I stood by the side of the deceased about five minutes, till Police-constable Lamb came. …
                                As soon as Police-constable Lamb arrived I stepped back. I helped him to fasten the gate.



                                Given all the above, I surmise the following …

                                Edward Spooner purchased the grapes later seen by Diemschitz, Kozebrodsky, and possibly Mortimer, when they were removed from Stride's right hand.

                                Edward Spooner ate at least some of those grapes, while in Dutfield's Yard.


                                By the way, of all the people in Dutfield's Yard when PC Lamb reached the victim, including some senior club figures, why do you suppose Lamb chose Spooner to help him close the gates?
                                And Blackwell saying that there were no grapes? Or that it was shown that Stride hadn’t eaten any grapes?
                                Regards

                                Herlock




                                “...A yellow fog swirls past the window-pane
                                As night descends upon this fabled street:
                                A lonely hansom splashes through the rain,
                                The ghostly gas lamps fail at twenty feet.
                                Here, though the world explode, these two survive,
                                And it is always eighteen ninety-five.”

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