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  • Did they work night shifts on roadwork at that time?At least I would expect a night watchman to be present somewhere in Commercial Street.Now night watchmen,in particular,would have been familier with the street walkers.At least one came forward in the Nicholl's killing.

    Comment


    • Ok, it seems the question of Kelly being out after her liaison with Blotchy is under debate. I was actually thinking of saving this for Ben, as the Echo is one of Ben's favourite sources.

      On the 13th Hutchinson's statement is mentioned and the Echo appears to suggest his statement was somewhat devalued because...

      "As many as fifty-three persons have, in all, made statements as to "suspicious men," each of whom was thought to be Mary Janet Kelly's assassin."

      So, where are these "fifty-three" statements incriminating a number of suspects?
      We do not read in the existing official paperwork, or press, of so many suspects.
      There was one or two men seen with Kelly on Thursday night between 10:00 pm & midnight. Then there was Blotchy, perhaps we can be generous and include Kennedy's sighting?

      Even if we include Hutchinson, in total that is only five.
      Where are the other 48 statements of suspects?

      We know from a variety of sources that the police did not share the details of their investigation with the press. So, the question is, how many of those "fifty-three" were sightings of Astrachan by other witnesses?
      Do I hear - "None"?

      As the police are not sharing the details, how would we know?
      How would the press at the time know?
      The honest answer is, they wouldn't know.
      Why was Abberline so sure about Hutchinson's story being believable?

      Here is a clue.

      On the morning of the 13th, before Hutchinson's press statement was even taken, never mind published, we read of a Police Notice widely published (sold) by the Press Association.

      This is from the Times, in it's entirety.
      The last sentence, in bold, is most telling.

      The police yesterday evening received an important piece of information. A man, apparently of the labouring class, with a military appearance, who knew the deceased, stated that on the morning of the 9th inst. he saw her in Commercial-street, Spitalfields (near where the murder was committed), in company with a man of respectable appearance. He was about 5 ft. 6 in. in height, and 34 or 35 years of age, with dark complexion and dark moustache turned up at the ends. He was wearing a long, dark coat, trimmed with astrachan, a white collar with a black necktie, in which was affixed a horse-shoe pin. He wore a pair of dark gaiters with light buttons, over button boots, and displayed from his waistcoat a massive gold chain. His appearance contrasted so markedly with that of the woman that few people could have failed to remark them at that hour of the morning. This description, which confirms that given by others of the person seen in company with the deceased on the morning she was killed, is much fuller in detail than that hitherto in the possession of the police.

      This Notice appears in at least 25+ newspapers that I have located. The description portion is the official police telegram. The information added both before and after the description is by the Press Association.

      There is nothing in any newspapers that suggests any other witnesses saw & described Astrachan. So that last sentence is not press gossip. As all the information provided by the Press Assoc. in that official release came from the police, then this last sentence must also be from the same official source.

      This is the only sure, official statement, that Astrachan was indeed seen by other witnesses. A fact the police did not share with the media.
      Regards, Jon S.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Wickerman View Post
        The Press Association:
        Although no evidence was produced at the inquest as to her having left her room after one o'clock, at which time she was heard singing, the police have obtained statements from several persons who reside in Millers Court, that she was out of her house and in Dorset street between two and three o'clock. It appears almost certain that her life was taken about the last named hour.
        Morning Advertiser, Irish Times, Nov 14th 1888.
        And what persons would that be?
        "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

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post
          Indeed, Abby, but the problem is that there are so few witnesses spread across a small number of hours during the night. Given those circumstances, how can we be sure that Kelly didn't go out again? She was desperate for money, and the rent was due, after all.

          We had to wait some 60 years before CCTV was invented, so the only glimpses we get into Kelly's final hours are via the eyes and ears of a handful of witnesses. What Kelly got up to when there was nobody around to observe her is anyone's guess.
          Considering the time-frame (10pm to 2 or 3am), Gareth, these would seem the ideal hours for a prostitute to seek as many clients as possible {Polly Nicholls: I've already had my doss money 3x}. If these social clubs are going into the wee hours {IWEC, Duke St.}, the main thoroughfares may be an ideal place to accost a prospective client during those early hours.

          I don't know how she spent her last day... possibly sleeping... so no way to gauge her wakefulness in those late/early hours.
          there,s nothing new, only the unexplored

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Wickerman View Post
            Ok, it seems the question of Kelly being out after her liaison with Blotchy is under debate. I was actually thinking of saving this for Ben, as the Echo is one of Ben's favourite sources.

            On the 13th Hutchinson's statement is mentioned and the Echo appears to suggest his statement was somewhat devalued because...

            "As many as fifty-three persons have, in all, made statements as to "suspicious men," each of whom was thought to be Mary Janet Kelly's assassin."

            So, where are these "fifty-three" statements incriminating a number of suspects?
            We do not read in the existing official paperwork, or press, of so many suspects.
            There was one or two men seen with Kelly on Thursday night between 10:00 pm & midnight. Then there was Blotchy, perhaps we can be generous and include Kennedy's sighting?

            Even if we include Hutchinson, in total that is only five.
            Where are the other 48 statements of suspects?

            We know from a variety of sources that the police did not share the details of their investigation with the press. So, the question is, how many of those "fifty-three" were sightings of Astrachan by other witnesses?
            Do I hear - "None"?

            As the police are not sharing the details, how would we know?
            How would the press at the time know?
            The honest answer is, they wouldn't know.
            Why was Abberline so sure about Hutchinson's story being believable?

            Here is a clue.

            On the morning of the 13th, before Hutchinson's press statement was even taken, never mind published, we read of a Police Notice widely published (sold) by the Press Association.

            This is from the Times, in it's entirety.
            The last sentence, in bold, is most telling.

            The police yesterday evening received an important piece of information. A man, apparently of the labouring class, with a military appearance, who knew the deceased, stated that on the morning of the 9th inst. he saw her in Commercial-street, Spitalfields (near where the murder was committed), in company with a man of respectable appearance. He was about 5 ft. 6 in. in height, and 34 or 35 years of age, with dark complexion and dark moustache turned up at the ends. He was wearing a long, dark coat, trimmed with astrachan, a white collar with a black necktie, in which was affixed a horse-shoe pin. He wore a pair of dark gaiters with light buttons, over button boots, and displayed from his waistcoat a massive gold chain. His appearance contrasted so markedly with that of the woman that few people could have failed to remark them at that hour of the morning. This description, which confirms that given by others of the person seen in company with the deceased on the morning she was killed, is much fuller in detail than that hitherto in the possession of the police.

            This Notice appears in at least 25+ newspapers that I have located. The description portion is the official police telegram. The information added both before and after the description is by the Press Association.

            There is nothing in any newspapers that suggests any other witnesses saw & described Astrachan. So that last sentence is not press gossip. As all the information provided by the Press Assoc. in that official release came from the police, then this last sentence must also be from the same official source.

            This is the only sure, official statement, that Astrachan was indeed seen by other witnesses. A fact the police did not share with the media.
            Hello Jon,

            I have queried this" 53 statements " comment on many occasion.
            I can only speak personally, though I believe I quote correctly from Stephen Knight's Final Solution, where it is said that the" Kelly file" is the sparsest of them all", containing very little.
            It will be noted that 53 is a very odd number to invent, and unlikely a typo.
            I was pointed in the direction of Special Branch, (because of the Irish connection) and told, that without doubt, a case for a lot of material being handed over to them could be true, for Irish persons connected purposes. This would explain why many witness statements were and are unseen.
            It is well known that in a lot of cases, SB destroyed a lot of the paperwork themselves, even after hanging on to it.
            The reluctance of SB to let anyone see their papers, due to certain witnesses being informants, is also well known.
            Could any of these combinations explain 53 witness statements going awol? Possibly.
            Possible too that they were purloined from the archives, like the Bond report/and or the unseen official post mortem report on Kelly, by Phillips.

            I don't know the answer, but either is not unreasonable.
            SY are hardly likely to knock on some door in SB run by Anderson and say "Listen old chap, would you mind awfully giving back our case papers?".. Highly unlikely.

            Oh, and we must remember it was at Anderson's request Bond was in the picture at Millers Court anyway, and he who asked Bond to write his C5/6 summary.

            So.. Purloined or Special Branch?
            I will plump for No. 2, because of the Anderson connection.

            Just my thoughts on the matter, for what anyone thinks they are worth.


            Regards


            Phil
            Chelsea FC. TRUE BLUE. 💙


            Justice for the 96 = achieved
            Accountability? ....

            Comment


            • From the pov of the inquest, Jon, the coroner seems to be calling (or would have called) persons who claim to have a direct verbal interaction with Mary {Mary Ann Cox, Caroline Maxwell, (Hutchinson)} in her final hours, so the others in the list of 53 may have been possible sightings of Mary or someone who matched Mary's description around Miller's Court and Dorset Street (between who-knows-which-hours) without any verbal communication passing between the two. She may have very well been out and about after Blotchy but spoke to no one, so the coroner may have called the last person that could be found who talked with Mary Jane, being Mary Ann Cox, establishing that she was known to be alive at 11:45p and possibly through 1am based on her singing. If the police suspected any sightings reported after 1a, it would have been good reason to downplay Cox' Blotchy man as a suspect internal to the department.

              I know that the story was quickly dismissed, but early on, there was a report of Mary Jane having a child that she sent to a neighbor's house. If I remember correctly, she was seen with a respectably dressed man. I don't know how or if it fits, but it could suggest that there was a rumour floating about that Mary Jane was last seen with a character more like Hutchinson's description.

              My problem with "fuller description" is this: if Hutchinson saw when Mary Jane met Aman and then saw him escort her to her apartment, he is not providing a fuller description of the man; he is providing the only description of the man. The only way for it to be a fuller description would be if Mary Jane was seen walking about with a respectably dressed man after Hutchinson had departed.
              there,s nothing new, only the unexplored

              Comment


              • Re the 53 statements, need they have been police statements? Just a thought.
                Kind regards, Sam Flynn

                "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

                Comment


                • None of these 53 witnesses mentions Hutch though. And if for argument's sake, why would they. Hutch himself followed astracan from the minute he met Mary till her going into her room with him. No mention of a suspicious looking man following Mary and her companion up Commercial St into Dorset street a few yards behind, possible accomplice? And would none of these 53 witnesses recognise Hutch anyway since he lived on the very street where astrachan first met, and walked up with Mary? And if for argument's sake all these witnesses saw Mary on Dorset St how come none of them mentions a guy loitering outside the court after they saw Mary go down the passageway with her client. And how come none of them [53], where called to the inquest, even if only to cast doubt on blotchy being the killer.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Wickerman View Post
                    The Press Association:
                    Although no evidence was produced at the inquest as to her having left her room after one o'clock, at which time she was heard singing, the police have obtained statements from several persons who reside in Millers Court, that she was out of her house and in Dorset street between two and three o'clock. It appears almost certain that her life was taken about the last named hour.
                    Morning Advertiser, Irish Times, Nov 14th 1888.
                    I find that interesting in that by the 14th, the Inquest transcripts were well known and within those documents there is nothing to suggest Mary left her room after 11:45pm Thursday. The alleged "statements" might just be after the fact attention seekers. Surely those 53 accounts you mention contain some repetitive statements, varying as they are retold. There was no law preventing them from re-opening the Inquest I believe, and if good solid evidence surfaced after the original proceeding, I cant see why they wouldn't have re-opened it later. Get George to face a few courtyard witnesses, pursue the witnesses claims that they saw Mary out with someone "between 2 and 3", and maybe find someone who knows more about the cry out at about 3:45am, all relevant data in determining her likely TOD and any vetted, viable, potential suspects.

                    Why another story comes out on the 14th is one issue you cant overcome Jon, why is George Hutchinson or/and his story "discredited"?

                    53 supporting witness accounts? Although none see him, do they?
                    Michael Richards

                    Comment


                    • A witness unable to provide any recognisable details, yet claims to be able to recognise him again. The obvious question comes to mind, ....how?
                      Put it this way, Jon, does a person require a scar or facial tattoo or nose ring in order for his face to be recognised on more than one occasion? Clearly not. Surely you’re able to get your head around the concept of “normal”-looking people being unique enough in their facial appearance (as everyone is) to distinguish them from other “normal”-looking people?

                      “If G.H. wanted to throw suspicion on Jews, why pick a description completely at odds with every prior suspect description?”
                      I suggest you obtain yourself a copy of Stephen Senise’s book (the one you’ve been criticising without having read it), which offers a very compelling point-by-point comparison between Astrakhan’s physical particulars and those of “Leather Apron”; the only point of divergence being the former’s well dressed appearance, which formed the basis of Hutchinson’s reason for loitering outside Kelly’s home.

                      Otherwise, Astrakhan’s appearance was very much an amalgamation of all the sinister and suspicious attributes that the press has been attributing to the killer’s likely appearance since the Nichols murder.

                      What sense in borrowing from recent suspect descriptions if they were all describing him? Hardly a sensible move for Hutchinson to have plonked a deerstalker on Astrakhan man when his own deerstalker had been seen on his own head shortly before the murder of Annie Chapman (in an otherwise useless rear-view sighting)?

                      “What was so important to keep G.H. in Whitechapel and go to police telling them a lie, and risk being found out?”
                      Exchange the word “important” for “potentially advantageous” and you’ll have an answer that is perfectly consistent with the behaviour of known serial killers who, generally speaking, continue to operate on their own turf as opposed to “hot-footing” it anywhere else at the sign of trouble. Again, I’m not saying Hutchinson was a serial killer; I’m simply illustrating the folly of the argument that if he was the killer, he would have run away.

                      You don’t even know if he was ever in Romford, less still in a position to “hot-foot” it back there.

                      GH. gave a story to police that he followed a couple into Dorset street, the female being "spree'ish". He had to follow them to be able to hear their exchange at the Millers Court entrance.
                      He had to in order to hear them, yes, but by his own account he didn’t. He claimed to have stood at the corner of Commercial and Dorset Street while this alleged “exchange at the Miller’s Court entrance” took place - too far away to have heard any “exchange” let alone registered any handkerchief colour (or pattern!).

                      Lewis did not say she arrived at the Keyler's at 2:30, she says she was there at 2:30.
                      That’s a meaningless distinction. How long do you think it takes to get from the Britannia to the inside of room #2 Millers Court? Three minutes? I’m afraid you’re doing that thing you do again; elongate and distort the reported times provided by witnesses in order to arrive at some non-existent congruity. Hutchinson arrived at 2.00 as per his account, and Lewis arrived at 2.30 as per hers. It is clear to everyone that the couple Lewis described had nothing to do with Kelly.

                      Walking from Romford has no bearing on his story, it provides no alibi, and G.H. could quite easily have explained why, if asked.
                      You’re damn right it “provides no alibi”. Arriving in the district after an implausibly long walk from a far-flung destination gave him a superficially valid reason for walking the streets of Whitechapel in the small hours, minus an alibi for the murder a short while later. If he “could quite easily have explained why”, it shouldn’t be as difficult as you’re making it to suggest how this monster trek came about.

                      Lets just say he was never at Romford, he made it up, he was having an affair with someone's wife. Now, lets move on....
                      Let’s just say he was never at Romford, he made it up because he needed an excuse for being on the very streets where ripper was active at around the time the latter usually struck. Now, let’s move on....
                      Last edited by Ben; 08-09-2018, 04:33 AM.

                      Comment


                      • When people have nothing else to do, and nowhere to go, they would & did just stand around watching others. This was the East End, nosy neighbors and loiterers are quite normal.
                        You don't need a reason for doing nothing.
                        But Hutchinson did not have “nothing else to do and nowhere to go”. There were scores of lodging houses to secure a bed in, away from the elements, and money to pay for it (according to you, anyway). You certainly need a reason for following a soon-to-be-murdered victim back to her home and then loitering outside it for a prolonged period, and you need it to be good.

                        It is quite clear from the limited replies that (whoever 'they' are?) do indeed have a mistaken perception of what the public believed as the weekend progressed.
                        It doesn’t matter what the “public believed”. It matters only what the witness had seen in relation to the murdered woman’s last movements. It’s only your strange notion that witnesses go out of their way to collate other witness accounts in order to gauge the relevance of their own.

                        I didn’t notice Maxwell behave in such a fashion. I must have missed her response to MacDonald’s caution to be “careful” with her evidence because it was “different to other people’s”. I’m guessing it was: “Oh bugger, is it? I should have listened to everyone else’s gossip that it happened earlier in the morning”.

                        Witnesses only answer questions, they are not allowed to run off at the mouth. The coroner expects them to not speak until they are spoken to. As Bowyer was never asked about seeing anyone in the court at 3:00, he will not offer that info. That is quite obvious.
                        Not this irritating nonsense again, please.

                        “Running at the mouth” in the above case meant voluntarily providing crucial evidence to a murder investigation, something you insist Bowyer would not have done unless asked a specific question. In your view, then, the critical evidence of a man in Miller’s Court at 3.00am would have been lost to history were it not for one journalist from one newspaper asking the “right” question. Silly old police and coroner for failing to ask the only question that might have elicited a response from Bowyer, and silly old cap-doffing Bowyer for failing to provide the information unprompted.

                        Meanwhile, back in the real world, Bowyer never mentioned a 3.00am man in Miller’s Court - in either his police or inquest statements - because he never saw one.

                        There is no suggestion that the Echo communicated with Bowyer directly. It is instead very clear that they were using a second hand source who claimed simply to have heard the tale. I’m afraid you’re doing that thing you do again - dredging up the long-discarded dregs of contemporary gossip and rumour in an effort to find something that might lend support for Astrakhan’s existence.

                        And no, the existence of watch-sellers and coffee shops don’t come to your rescue on that front either.
                        Last edited by Ben; 08-09-2018, 04:37 AM.

                        Comment


                        • "The same source" was the Central News. They handled police telegraph releases, and they also interviewed G.H
                          “The same source” was Hutchinson himself. Some newspapers were of the erroneous belief that there were two independent Astrakhan spotters; the unnamed source on the 13th and the named source on the 14th. The Echo were able to ascertain from the police that both stories had a common origin - George Hutchinson.

                          Contrary to what you appear to be suggesting - and please correct me if I’ve misread you - the police did not sanction the 14th November press interview with Hutchinson. This occurred entirely without the approval of the police, who were understandably anxious to avoid the witness’s name being released.

                          The authorities" had already accepted his statement. And, the police do not require statements to be "given on oath". And never have.
                          Abberline was not the sole police “authority”. The fact that he believed the statement for a short period does not mean his superiors were obliged to accept his judgement. You’re the one constantly quoting from extracts attesting to “divisions” within the police force, and where these divisions occur the views of the upper echelons usually hold sway.

                          I ask again, where is your evidence that the police were still actively pursuing suspects based on Hutchinson’s description after mid-November? I didn’t ask for evidence that some of the police continued to wonder if a discredited statement might be valid after all. The following extract, which you also quote, most certainly did not refer to the Astrakhan man but rather Lawende’s suspect from Church Passage.

                          ”The City police have been making inquiries for this man for weeks past, but without success”

                          So we’re still waiting on evidence for Hutchinson’s story being “investigated” after mid-November.

                          The Echo expressed this apparent devaluing of Hutchinson's story because his suspect was suddenly elevated to being "the suspected murderer" in the morning of the 13th, yet only sharing the position by the afternoon. Hence - devalued, in the eyes of the press.
                          No, not in the eyes of the press - in the eyes of the authorities. Look:

                          ”Of course, such a statement should have been made at the inquest, where the evidence, taken on oath, could have been compared with the supposed description of the murderer given by the witnesses. Why, ask the authorities, did not the informant come forward before?”

                          The Echo were not themselves speculating as to the reason; they were simply and faithfully reporting the views of the “authorities”, which were to the effect that Hutchinson’s dwindling credibility was the reason for his “very reduced importance” - nothing to do with Cox’s evidence.

                          All the best,
                          Ben
                          Last edited by Ben; 08-09-2018, 04:48 AM.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Ben View Post
                            You’re damn right it “provides no alibi”. Arriving in the district after an implausibly long walk from a far-flung destination gave him a superficially valid reason for walking the streets of Whitechapel in the small hours, minus an alibi for the murder a short while later. If he “could quite easily have explained why”, it shouldn’t be as difficult as you’re making it to suggest how this monster trek came about.
                            Why is there anything implausible about walking from Romford to Whitechapel? 14 miles is not a "monster trek", I've walked further than that home after a night out.
                            Many eastenders walked to Kent and back for the hop-picking each year.
                            A pregnant Liz Jackson and her man John Fairclough walked from Colchester to Whitechapel, and that's over 50 miles. He then went on to tramp on foot all around the home counties and beyond in search of work, when the police finally located him he'd reached Devon.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Darryl Kenyon View Post
                              None of these 53 witnesses mentions Hutch though. And if for argument's sake, why would they. Hutch himself followed astracan from the minute he met Mary till her going into her room with him. No mention of a suspicious looking man following Mary and her companion up Commercial St into Dorset street a few yards behind, possible accomplice? And would none of these 53 witnesses recognise Hutch anyway since he lived on the very street where astrachan first met, and walked up with Mary? And if for argument's sake all these witnesses saw Mary on Dorset St how come none of them mentions a guy loitering outside the court after they saw Mary go down the passageway with her client. And how come none of them [53], where called to the inquest, even if only to cast doubt on blotchy being the killer.
                              I thought that same thing about the inquest (since "sightings were used in the other inq.) but then I remembered... different coroner, different agenda. Like I posted, he seemed to only be calling those who had spoken to Mary Jane or heard the "Oh Murder" cry. I'm forming the impression that he may have been out to set her last known moments alive and a time of death. In some ways, Blotchy and Sarah's story of her accoster seem more like "extra" info that was given.
                              there,s nothing new, only the unexplored

                              Comment


                              • Why is there anything implausible about walking from Romford to Whitechapel? 14 miles is not a "monster trek", I've walked further than that home after a night out.
                                How odd. Why?

                                14 miles would certainly qualify as a monster trek given the circumstances - cold, wet, and in the small hours.

                                East enders walked to Kent in the summer to pick hops during their holidays - they were going there for that specific purpose. If Hutchinson’s “specific purpose” was the procurement of lodgings, what was wrong with the accommodation on offer in Romford? If he knew what time his usual lodgings in Whitechapel closed, why walk all that way in the certain knowledge that he couldn’t gain entry upon arrival?

                                The length of the walk isn’t so problematic in isolation from other considerations, such as his motivation for embarking on it in light of the above outlined circumstances.

                                All the best,
                                Ben

                                Comment

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