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  • I’m confused as to why some people think that pulling a hat down the over the eyes, Astrakhan-style, would have been a prudent move for a hypothetical Hutchinson the Ripper to have made when Sarah Lewis arrived on the scene. Surely that’s the stupidest move possible in a locality buzzing with police and vigilance committee types, not to mention about as surreptitious as a spy going about his daily espionage in dark glasses and a macintosh, holding up a newspaper with two eye-slits in the middle?

    Hutchinson made sure his Astrakhan creation behaved in such a fashion, yes, but that was to make him appear as overtly “suspicious” as possible. It was essentially another accessory, like the tightly grasped knife-dimensioned parcel.

    If widewake man had drawn his hat down over his eyes in that environment of heightened alert, I could easily envisage Lewis hammering on McCarthy’s door and alerting him to the decidedly dodgy geezer across the street, putting paid to wideawke’s ripping designs.

    Returning to Bundy, he allowed his face to be seen regularly on the night of the Tallahassee murders, first at the nearby bar by women whose suspicion he aroused by leering at them, then later, on the street outside the victims’ hall of residence, when he asked directions to the Holiday Inn from a passer-by. I don’t see how it can be argued that the wideawake man was any less cautious by allowing himself to be seen once, for a brief moment, in a much more populated environment than Tallahassee.

    If he was the killer, he may have been so intent on the grisly task at hand that he was momentarily oblivious to the risk associated with potential eyewitness, just as he had been at Church Passage, only seeking to rectify the situation after the event.

    I wholly reject the notion that if Hutchinson was motivated into coming forward out of bravado, he wouldn’t have stopped. Serial killers with psychologically documented bravado and arrogance have proved themselves more than capable of both “stopping” and coming forward under false guises.

    No, it is not a choice between self-preservation “versus” bravado - who keeps imposing these arbitrary rules and limitations, and why? It could be either or both of these reasons, along with other possibilities including investigative derailment (i.e. in the direction of the already scapegoated Jewish population) and a desire to keep abreast of police progress.

    For those who suggest he was better off abandoning the district altogether, I would suggest researching the behavioural habits of serial killers - especially transportless ones who operate within a small locality - and ascertaining how many of them do an immediate bunk at the first sign of trouble.

    Hutchinson’s claim to have known Kelly was a necessary component, included for the purpose of “explaining” his sustained interest in her movements. How could he have claimed “surprise” at seeing a man so well-dressed in her company - and use that as an excuse for his 45 vigil outside her home - if he admitted that he didn’t know her from Adam? I have absolutely no idea how well Hutchinson knew Kelly, if at all, and it makes not the slightest bit of different to his validity as a suspect.

    Finally, I’m surprised that some people are still of the misapprehension that serial killers require a “reason” to stop killing or pause for a prolonged period. It’s akin to the insistence that Mary Kelly “must” have been the killer’s final victim - an outdated notion that ought to have dispensed with 20 years ago.
    Last edited by Ben; 08-09-2018, 09:48 AM.


    • Hi Ben,

      Small point.

      Never mind Mr. Astrakhan.

      George Hutchinson did not exist.


      Never believe anything until it has been officially denied.


      • Originally posted by Ben View Post
        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.
        The famous description of Leather Apron from The Star of Oct 5:

        “He is five feet four or five inches in height and wears a dark, close-fitting cap. He is thickset and has an unusually thick neck. His hair is black, and closely clipped, his age being about 38 or 40. He has a small, black moustache. The distinguishing feature of his costume is a leather apron, which he always wears, and from which he gets his nickname. His expression is sinister, and seems to be full of terror for the women who describe it. His eyes are small and glittering. His lips are usually parted in a grin which is not only not reassuring, but excessively repellant.”

        Sorry for butting-in, Ben, but it doesn’t sound like a particularly good match to me. Hutch’s man is an inch or two taller, 4 or 5 years younger, nothing whatever is said about him having a thick neck, and he has a hat with a brim as oppose to the Jewish yarmulke (“close fitting cap”). They both have dark hair, true, but so do the vast majority of people. How “full of terror” did Hutchinson wish to portray Kelly at the sight of this ‘sinister’ Jew? She bursts out laughing and kisses him at the entry to the court. You then flippantly dismiss the suspect’s overwhelming essence: his respectable clothing, which you base on the necessity of Hutchinson having to come up with a reason for watching him; but if Hutch truly wanted to implicate a Jew he could have come up with an entirely different excuse, so that argument strikes me as damaging to the entire Senise thesis. Further, Hutchinson doesn’t even insist the man is a Jew; he merely states “Jewish appearance,” which rather weakens the “racist” argument, don’t you think?

        Meanwhile, Hinton states this ‘lie’ is based on a haberdasher’s manikin, Simon Wood implies it’s based on Wynne Baxter, and Senise claims it’s based on Leather Apron! It all sounds a like a lot of moonshine to me.

        P.S. You have no idea why Hutchinson went to Romford. No one does. He may have had business that kept him there until late afternoon, and he may have needed to get back to London by morning or mid-day Friday. He was a casual laborer afterall. Heck, many jobs in the East End were at night so he might have had his clock turned around and slept most of the day Thursday before heading home. It is only suspicious because you wish to make it suspicious. All in my always humble opinion. Regards.
        Last edited by rjpalmer; 08-09-2018, 11:04 AM.


        • Hutch said he went to Romford but what is there to show he "actually" went there? Hutch said he was a friend of Kelly but what is there to show he "actually" was one? Somebody sells a Rolex watch worth 2,000 one would just take the sellers word and not bother to check?

          Last edited by Varqm; 08-09-2018, 12:00 PM.
          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,it started civil society).
          M. Pacana


          • Originally posted by Abby Normal View Post
            And what persons would that be?
            What was peaked-cap man's name?
            Regards, Jon S.


            • Originally posted by Wickerman View Post
              What was peaked-cap man's name?
              probably George Hutchinson ; )

              and at least we have the names of those who saw peaked cap man --unlike your phantom witnesses.
              Last edited by Abby Normal; 08-09-2018, 01:11 PM.
              "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


              • Originally posted by Varqm View Post
                Hutch said he went to Romford but what is there to show he "actually" went there? Hutch said he was a friend of Kelly but what is there to show he "actually" was one? Somebody sells a Rolex watch worth 2,000 one would just take the sellers word and not bother to check?

                Why does it matter?
                What does his walk from Romford have to do with seeing Kelly & her client?
                Where does he say he was her friend?
                Regards, Jon S.


                • Originally posted by Robert St Devil View Post
                  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.
                  Hi Robert.
                  You do make a good point about calling witnesses who actually spoke to Mary as opposed to those who just saw, or thought they saw Mary.

                  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.
                  That story does seem to me like another case of mistaken identity. This woman who lived upstairs with a son was believed to be the victim, or so it seems.
                  There was a couple who occupied the room directly above room 13, but no child is mentioned. This couple were not interviewed because they slept through the whole thing.

                  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.
                  I'm not following your meaning.
                  The "fuller description" means that Hutch provided a more detailed description of this man than the police had on file. Which could mean more facial detail, or the gaiters, watch chain, waist-coat, etc.
                  At least that is how I understood it.

                  It would have been easy for them to believe Hutch was describing a different man, but for some reason unknown to us, according to this notice, the police believed it was the same man who they already had descriptions of.

                  That particular line is worded a little different in some reports.

                  This is the more common version:
                  "This description, which agrees with that given of the person seen with the deceased by others, is much fuller in detail than has yet been in the possession of the police..."

                  "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 possession of the police..."

                  "This description, which substantiates 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 possession of the police..."

                  It was common for some journalists to reword a story bought over the wire, but as we can see the meaning remains the same.
                  Hutchinson was not the first witness to provide a description of this man, so it is possible Astrachan was a regular client, or at least this Friday was not the first time they had met.
                  Regards, Jon S.


                  • Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post
                    Re the 53 statements, need they have been police statements? Just a thought.
                    Ben has argued that the Echo's knowledge of those "53 statements" indicates they had inside knowledge of the investigation. So, at least Ben believes they are police statements, and I agree they likely are, otherwise we would be reading them in the press.

                    I don't see the Echo having knowledge of them indicates "inside knowledge", but more likely police gossip possibly picked up at the station house.
                    If the Echo had published a good number of them, 20, 30, 40 or more of these statements then that would indicate they had a friend on the inside who could pass them police statements.
                    This was not the case, so no inside knowledge.
                    But, to your point - yes, they likely were police statements.
                    Regards, Jon S.


                    • 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.
                      Excuse me for asking, but what makes you think we should know who was mentioned on those statements?
                      Fleming may be mentioned on some of them, and possibly the Britannia-man on others.
                      We don't know over what time window these 'suspects were seen with Kelly, her final 24 or 48 hours, or longer?
                      Quite possibly they mention suspects completely new to us.
                      Regards, Jon S.


                      • Originally posted by Michael W Richards View Post
                        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.
                        I can't see any benefit in "attention seekers" inventing a story that contradicts the known facts from the inquest.

                        The more likely scenario, in my opinion, the police had not spoken with all the residents on the day of the murder.
                        This return visit to Millers Court was initiated by Hutchinson's story. The police had to make sure by returning to those same residents and questioning all of them this time.

                        Surely those 53 accounts you mention contain some repetitive statements, varying as they are retold.
                        They were witness statements, so several of them might concern the same 'suspect'.

                        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.
                        It isn't a case of the law. A second inquest was avoided already by Macdonald doing what he did. The Coroner's Act tends to agree with what Macdonald did, the article in the newspaper had it wrong.

                        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.
                        George doesn't have to face anybody, he's a witness not a suspect. All a second inquest would do is compare his sighting with that of others.
                        The end result would have been the same because the original inquest determined nothing, except that Kelly was dead.
                        Even if they determine she was out after 1:00, they still have no time of death, and no identifiable suspect.

                        Why another story comes out on the 14th is one issue you cant overcome Jon, why is George Hutchinson or/and his story "discredited"?
                        (Psst! - it was the 15th Michael)

                        That story has already been shown to be bogus, not by me, but by the subsequent press reports on the 19th of a continuing investigation of the Astrachan suspect.
                        The police do not investigate "discredited" stories, never have and never will.
                        Did the police continue investigating Packers "discredited" grape story? - No!

                        I know a number of posters are in denial about this, that is one of the pitfalls of a closed mind. They decide what they want to believe and nothing can shake that conviction - not even common sense.
                        The police were still looking for Astrachan 4 days after that bogus "discredited" claim by the Star. How embarrassing for them!

                        The Star didn't even stand by their own claim, the very next day (16th), they published the Gallowey story where they wrote the policeman was looking "for a man of a very different appearance" (different to Blotchy).
                        As there were only two prime suspects - Astrachan & Blotchy, the implication is obvious.
                        So how's that for backpeddling!
                        One day his story is discredited, the next day it is under investigation again!
                        You need a theory a bit more stable than that Michael.

                        53 supporting witness accounts? Although none see him, do they?
                        Which 'him' do you mean, G.H. or Astrachan?
                        Last edited by Wickerman; 08-09-2018, 05:35 PM.
                        Regards, Jon S.


                        • Originally posted by Phil Carter View Post
                          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.

                          Hello Phil.

                          Thankyou for your input.

                          I have trouble with including the SB in this murder. Whereas we know much was either thrown away, used for other purposes, or purloined.
                          Regards, Jon S.


                          • I just saw this....
                            Ben, good grief, you can't be serious!

                            Originally posted by Ben View Post
                            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 "authorities" have already sat down with Hutchinson, they know his story. They also know why he didn't come forward (Abberline is not going to believe him without know this), but the police are not prepared to make the reason public.
                            It is the Echo who do not know the reason, so they assume the police also do not know by offering that poor excuse for theatrics.
                            It's only theatrics Ben. You seriously think Abberline sat there gazing into space musing "I wonder why he didn't come forward".
                            If that's what you truly think your theory is in worse shape than I first thought.

                            Dear, oh dear Ben, that is a terrible argument.
                            Regards, Jon S.


                            • Originally posted by Wickerman View Post
                              Hello Phil.

                              Thankyou for your input.

                              I have trouble with including the SB in this murder. Whereas we know much was either thrown away, used for other purposes, or purloined.
                              Hello Jon,

                              Thank you for your comment.

                              I have to disagree with yours however. Robert Anderson's involvement in asking "outside sources" (Bond) to come in and oversee/deliberate in the Kelly affair and afterwards is one indication.
                              The second is the Irish connection.. Not only to the purported victim herself, but the reported fact that the Irish constabulary were present, and the background of certain other players in the field around 13 Millers Court.
                              Thirdly, the fact that we know through the ledgers of SB involvement in the case.

                              It is without question that should there have been SB involvement, papers and documents would most certainly have been passed on to them by Scotland Yard.

                              Even then, uniformed policemen didn't take too kindly to Special Branch barging in and taking over parts of any inquiry. Much like today. And that resentment still happens in this day and age.

                              Robert Anderson was on quite a power trip...brcause of Warren's resignation amongst other things. There was a power gap. Robert Anderson ran SB as far as I know. And it seems that his going awol previously, having been given the job of supervising the Whitechapel Murders investigation, indicate to me at least him pushing his weight around after the Millers Court debacle.

                              As I said. 53 statements isn't a likely made up figure. Nor a typo. Someone told the Echo that total. Police or witness statements or both... They went missing. Not in the Kelly file...which was sparse as per Stephen Knight.

                              Find out with all certainty where the Bond report actually came from when returned, and you may find out where those 53 statements went IF.... If they were purloined.
                              Along with the pukka autopsy report by Phillips.

                              Chelsea FC. TRUE BLUE. 💙

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


                              • Originally posted by Wickerman View Post
                                Excuse me for asking, but what makes you think we should know who was mentioned on those statements?
                                Fleming may be mentioned on some of them, and possibly the Britannia-man on others.
                                We don't know over what time window these 'suspects were seen with Kelly, her final 24 or 48 hours, or longer?
                                Quite possibly they mention suspects completely new to us.
                                Sorry Wick but to my mind in your post-1127 you say - 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.
                                That to me suggests you think most of these witnesses saw Astrachan?
                                _Is that right or not? Because if it is how come none of these witnesses made a statement at the inquest before hutch came forward, the police wouldn't know they had a star witness waiting in the wings. Remember no descriptions where circulated of Astrachan or indeed hutch[who was tailing them],apart from a vague description by Sarah Lewis [if indeed it was hutch]. To my mind if these 53 witnesses did exist they yes you are right in saying they did see Mary [or someone they thought was her], with different males a day or two before her murder but it is unlikely [again to my mind], that any at all saw her with Astrachan with hutch following them behind at such a crucial time or they would have been asked to appear at the inquest.