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Why Did The Police Discount Hutchinson's Statement So Quickly?

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  • #91
    A couple of things...

    Hi All

    First, with regard to Mrs Cox's niece - points of similarity between this oral history and Hutchinson's witness statement are not necessarily surprising - since that very description was published in the contemporary press, which one presumes could be, and was, read by many - and in addition, circulated further by oral means. Thus points of similarity in this case may not be significant in terms of identifying the murderer.

    Second, with regard to the key - I think to say 'it is' indicative of premeditation on the part of the killer of Mary Kelly if we assume he had the key (and this does seem likely) is a little too strong. It may be. That is one explanation - with very important implications. Another is, as Richard has pointed out, that the murderer took the key off the victim - she having found the key herself. We cannot know which it was - and I expect this has already been well covered by other threads elsewhere on this forum.

    Jane x

    Comment


    • #92
      Hello Jane, Garry.
      Obviously I am well aware of all the threads on the key, that have been discussed over the years, however when one looks at it, it would appear that the police simply could not figure out how to open the door, like Kelly and Barnett used to, although that seems madness to me.
      If the door was locked with a key , it would have been mentioned as a significant point at the inquest, especially as her common -law told the police the key had been missing for some time.
      I could understand if fingerprinting was a issue, and the police did not wish to touch the lock, but that obviously was not the case here.
      Its almost if the police were wasting time away, two and a quarter hours at a crime scene without entry is absurd, awaiting bloodhounds as an excuse is sheer incompetance.
      There has to be more to events that morning then we are aware of.
      Regards Richard.

      Comment


      • #93
        Hi Fisherman,

        To my mind, all of this has itīs origin in the naming of Randolph Churchill, and if Randolph Churchill was named by Toppy for the simple reason that his name was the first that sprung to mind when he needed to put a name to being high up societyīs ladder, then there has never been any real and relevant reason to point either Toppy or Reg out as anything but bad illustrators.
        They would have to be pretty atrocious illustrators to dredge up a figure from the English aristrocracy as an Astrakhan-man comparison when nobody even vaguely similar was described by George Hutchinson. By identifiying the Jewish-looking Astrakhan man as someone who ostensibly "lived in the neighbourhood", Hutchinson effectively invalidated any potential comparison between the suspect described and an English toff from the upper classes.

        Just like Sam, I am quite convinced that Toppy was the witness; I think the signatures put it beyond reasonable doubt.
        I think most of us have resigned themselves to your stance on this by now, so no need to keep reinforcing it!

        The same applies to the suggestion that Toppy would have been asked to write his full name in the police protocol. To me it is quite obvious that he simply chose not to.
        Although, as Bob Hinton observed, it was "police protocol" to include full names, or at the very least full initials, when recording statement signatures. There wouldn't have been much choice in the matter, unless a strictly hypothetical Toppy-as-Hutch deliberately wished to conceal them for some reason.

        Best regards,
        Ben
        Last edited by Ben; 06-30-2009, 02:54 AM.

        Comment


        • #94
          Originally posted by richardnunweek View Post
          Hello Jane, Garry.
          Obviously I am well aware of all the threads on the key, that have been discussed over the years, however when one looks at it, it would appear that the police simply could not figure out how to open the door, like Kelly and Barnett used to, although that seems madness to me.
          If the door was locked with a key , it would have been mentioned as a significant point at the inquest, especially as her common -law told the police the key had been missing for some time.
          I could understand if fingerprinting was a issue, and the police did not wish to touch the lock, but that obviously was not the case here.
          Its almost if the police were wasting time away, two and a quarter hours at a crime scene without entry is absurd, awaiting bloodhounds as an excuse is sheer incompetance.
          There has to be more to events that morning then we are aware of.
          Regards Richard.
          Agreed Richard.

          I think Abberline admitted it would have been fairly easy to open the door after it had been explained to him. No hint from Abberline that the murderer used a missing key.

          If he had, the investigation would have taken a very different turn.

          Comment


          • #95
            Ben writes:

            "They would have to be pretty atrocious illustrators to dredge up a figure from the English aristrocracy as an Astrakhan-man comparison when nobody even vaguely similar was described by George Hutchinson. By identifiying the Jewish-looking Astrakhan man as someone who ostensibly "lived in the neighbourhood", Hutchinson effectively invalidated any potential comparison between the suspect described and an English toff from the upper classes."

            Been over this once or twice, have we not, Ben?
            Irrespective of that, it still stands that we must allow for people to be lousy illustrators - such things are extremely common.
            And, of course, it also belongs to the discussion that when we compare Hutchinsons original description of Astrakhan man with his later decision to use Churchill as a means to point out that he spoke of someone higher up the social ranks, it may well apply that Hutchinson perhaps never had seen Churchill - OR Astrakhan man. The latter may well have been an invention from beginning to end.
            Craving logic from Toppy/Hutch (yes, yes, I know...) with such a background does not work to any significant extent, and dismissing Toppys mentioning of Churchill is something we just canīt do.
            To my mind, the surrounding circumstances when it comes to the dismissal of Hutchinson in the Star speaks of embarrasment or annoyance on behalf of the press - I have said before that this is the reaction of a paper that has been the subject of a prank, and that does not wish to be the laugh of the press world. Reasonably, playing a prank on the police would be a risky thing to do, and therefore we may be dealing with something else, but the typical reaction is there. It is as if it had been found out that Hutchinson was an imbecile with a previous record of very flawed storytelling or something like that.
            A development where the police were able to crack Hutchīs story or where Astrakhan man was found and cleared or something like that, is not a credible one, I feel - that would have made a good story in the papers, and they had invested heavily in Hutchinson and his story. Moreover, the papers were very eager to write about the Whitechapel murders. That is why I say that in some respect the papers - and quite possibly the police - were caught with their pants down in the Hutchinson affair, and they were none to eager to tell the story afterwards.
            Consequentially, we may be dealing with a man (Hutch/Toppy) who said that he was there and who claimed that he had seen a very unexpected character with Kelly - but who may well have telling a load of crap.

            And if this was what happened, we have a man who has claimed fame in the Ripper saga without any real reason at all. Therefore, his fictitious character - if that he was - may have gone through any sort of metamorphosis as he told the story. And maybe the Royal conspiracy (or any other surfacing thoughts along the line that the Ripper belonged to the top of society) may have had an impact on Toppys story as it was passed down to his children, many years down the road.

            The more I look at this, the more trivial it seems to have spoken of Randolph Churchill on Toppys behalf, and the less damning it becomes that Reg recalled it as he dealt with Fairclough. Once we realize that Toppy may have been the man who signed the police protocol without being the Dorset Street witness other than in a bogus story, we can also easily see the outlines of how Churchill entered the Ripper saga.
            It all remains very fluffy and utterly unproven - no need to point that out to me! - but with a picture like this, the pieces fall in place nicely.

            "as Bob Hinton observed, it was "police protocol" to include full names, or at the very least full initials, when recording statement signatures. There wouldn't have been much choice in the matter, unless a strictly hypothetical Toppy-as-Hutch deliberately wished to conceal them for some reason."

            Returning, as I often do, to the Palme assasination in 1986, it was police procedure at that time to take down a written protocol of the events. And never is it of greater importance that this is done, than when the prime minister is killed!
            And still, for some reason nobody wrote that protocol! It was forgotten, for some unfathomable reason.

            In the case with the signatures in the police protocol connected to the Kelly murder, we have a signature that has been matched to that of Toppy by a very renowned authority. That means that the signatures are very much alike, at least in the two-dimensional version. Therefore, if we accept that the writer WAS Toppy - and I do accept that - the simple and obvious truth is that no middle names or initials were written.
            My guess, in spite of Bob Hintons assertion, is that a search of this kind of material would turn up many more signatures where middle names or initials were left out. And the reasons for it would be many and differing.
            And how about that marriage certificate? Was it not common procedure to write all names on that too, seeing as it was a paper of legal bearing?

            The best,
            Fisherman
            Last edited by Fisherman; 06-30-2009, 10:18 AM.

            Comment


            • #96
              Irrespective of that, it still stands that we must allow for people to be lousy illustrators - such things are extremely common.
              We must allow for it as a possibility, Fish - just a very remote one, in my view.

              The latter may well have been an invention from beginning to end
              Quite possibly, but it is rather too coincidental for me that the particular comparison alluded to just happened to coincide with the Royal conspiratorial musings of Melvyn Fairclough. Even if you argue that Toppy was the witness, lied about everything, and became heavily confused about which lies he told in later years, that awkward coincidence remains. Since I don't consider that coincidence to be a random one, I'm inclined to the view that Reg was responsible for the Churchillian nonsense, especially if there was the promise of public exposure and payment if he played along.

              But this is all rather severely off-topic.

              I have said before that this is the reaction of a paper that has been the subject of a prank
              But none of the individual papers were the subject of a prank. They were simply printing information fed to them by the press association, as opposed to claiming a personal scoop as the Star did in the case of Packer. If it turned out to be a complete prank, the individual papers were perfectly at liberty to divulge as much without so much as a trace of egg on their journalistic faces. It wasn't their story, so they needn't have got upset it if it turned out to be nonsense.

              Of course, none of that happened.

              Instead, it would appear from the article provided by Garry that the "discrediting" process appears to have arisen from generalized mistrust, on the part of the police, of Hutchinson's story, as opposed to something that proved conclusively that he lied and wasn't there. Had the latter ocured, there was nothing preventing them from saying so. The Astrakhan-alibi scenario doesn't work for the same reason, as you pointed out.

              It is very unlikely that Hutchinson lied about his actual presence there, since it would fail to account for the coincidence of detail with Sarah Lewis' account.

              Returning, as I often do, to the Palme assasination in 1986, it was police procedure at that time to take down a written protocol of the events. And never is it of greater importance that this is done, than when the prime minister is killed!
              Granted, but citing one well-known example of an occasion in which protocol wasn't followed doesn't invalidate the fact that it is followed the vast majority of the time. On balance, therefore, I'm inclined to believe that the correct procedure - as outlined by Bob - was followed in the case of Hutchinson's statement.

              In the case with the signatures in the police protocol connected to the Kelly murder, we have a signature that has been matched to that of Toppy by a very renowned authority.
              He didn't say any such thing in his initial commentary on the signatures, so if he changed his tune to eventually declaring them a "match" (he didn't), I'm not really inclined to trust him. Of course, another renowned authority examined the signatures and came to the conclusion that they didn't match. So no, I have no reason to believe they are "very much alike" at all.

              But we're not doing this again, not here at least.

              Therefore, if we accept that the writer WAS Toppy - and I do accept that - the simple and obvious truth is that no middle names or initials were written.
              But you see, once again, we're getting back to that earlier concern I expressed that you may be allowing your "signatures conquer all" mentality to explain away all other objections to his second-hand hearsay claim to witness notoriety. The trouble with this is that as soon as you address an objection with "Yes, but the signatures match", I'll simply respond with "No, they don't" and observe that the original objection still stands on that basis. In that event, we'll end up having another repetetive signature discussion on the wrong thread, and I don't relish that prospect.

              And how about that marriage certificate? Was it not common procedure to write all names on that too, seeing as it was a paper of legal bearing
              Absolutely, which is why Toppy wrote his full name on his marriage certificate. "William Topping" has been chopped off for the purpose of the various comparison montages posted on the 1911 thread.

              My own suggestion is that we return to the premise is this thread, which isn't concerned with Toppy signatures.

              All the best,
              Ben
              Last edited by Ben; 06-30-2009, 01:32 PM.

              Comment


              • #97
                Bewn writes:

                "We must allow for it as a possibility, Fish - just a very remote one, in my view."

                You judge it, if you can, Ben - I canīt.

                " Even if you argue that Toppy was the witness, lied about everything, and became heavily confused about which lies he told in later years, that awkward coincidence remains"

                Who said anything about Toppy getting confused? My suggestion is that Toppy could have, quite easily, changed Astrakhan man into something more Churchillesque TO MEET THE DESIRES OF THE PREVAILING FASHION. That would have been a very unconfused thing to do.
                To go along with my suggestion, though, I also propose that Churchills entering the stage in Toppys story may well have had quite an early origin.

                "citing one well-known example of an occasion in which protocol wasn't followed doesn't invalidate the fact that it is followed the vast majority of the time. On balance, therefore, I'm inclined to believe that the correct procedure - as outlined by Bob - was followed in the case of Hutchinson's statement."

                And a very wise thing to do it would be, Ben - up til the moment when you take a look at the signatures and realize that procedures were not followed on this particular occasion.

                "He didn't say any such thing in his initial commentary on the signatures"

                He worded it differently by saying that a match could not be ruled out, later on revealing that this wording was the standard wording of his department when a positive hit on the lower end of the scale was at hand. This you have treated as if Leander was reeling from side to side in his judgement, which of course is not the case at all. What it reflects is up to every discerning poster to decide for himself.
                That said - and not before - I will happily drop that particular subject too.

                "you see, once again, we're getting back to that earlier concern I expressed that you may be allowing your "signatures conquer all" mentality to explain away all other objections to his second-hand hearsay claim to witness notoriety"

                I see, Ben. I do, however, see other things than the ones YOU see. Among the things I see is the fact that one can be sure that da Vinci painted Mona Lisa without being impossible to convince that it was in fact Rafael who did it - if the proof is there to say so.
                I also see that you are very inclined to speak of me as someone who will "explain away" things given the chance, and "fit" the evidence to suit me. Moreover I see perfectly well why you choose to do so, and Iīd be very surprised if I did not share that vision with a good deal of other posters who think themselves entirely entitled to a conviction without being painted out as less trustworthy.

                I do not NEED to "fit" the evidence, Ben. It fit itself when Toppy signed that protocol in a manner that leaves me with no grounds to question that he was the witness. And I donīt need to "explain away" anything; the ones who are faced with two signatures that tally are the ones who are left with that specific trouble.
                Whether you or I relish the prospect of discussing the matter or not has very little to do with the factualities - they donīt change because we dislike each others wiews. But I will say that I am fully aware that it is useless to argue about it with you, and I will agree that there will come nothing good from such a thing, least of all for the other posters around.

                "My own suggestion is that we return to the premise is this thread"

                Gladly. My contribution abut the signatures was - as you will know - made in a reply to Garry Wroe, who brought the subject up. And the significance of the question will mean that it is going to surface again, whenever Hutchinson is discussed. Some topics will - at least to me - be of a mere academic interest, given this.
                As for the core issue of this thread, I stand by my suggestion that the reason for the Hutchinson scenario being so apparently "hushed" may well lie in a mutual humiliated feeling on behalf of the police and the press that they had been led astray.

                The best,
                Fisherman

                Comment


                • #98
                  Just to elaborate on what I mean when I say that the police and press seemed to have felt humiliated, I think a way of exemplifying this would be to theorize that the police could have subjected Hutchinson to some sort of test that established that he did not know who Kelly was or what she looked like. If, for instance (and purely theoretically) he was shown a photo of somebody else than Kelly, and if he was fed the wrongful information that the pic WAS one of Kelly, he may have given away that he had no idea of how Kelly really looked.
                  In such an instance, both police and press would quickly agree that he was probably an attention-seeker, since he had actually stated that he knew Kelly well. It would, however, be hard to prove that he had intentionally led them astray, and they would have had better things to do than to waste any further time on Hutchinson, once they realized that he was a bluff. Also, it would be embarrasing for Abberline and the press to admit that they had been taken for a ride, and so they would probably act in exactly the way they did - drop it and leave it uncommented.

                  That is the sort of thing I think we are looking at here. And Garry Wroeīs suggestion that the police escorting Hutchinson around the East End in search of Astrakhan man may well have been the ones who realized that Hutchinson was a fraud, more or less, is a very sound one, I believe.

                  The best,
                  Fisherman

                  Comment


                  • #99
                    Who said anything about Toppy getting confused? My suggestion is that Toppy could have, quite easily, changed Astrakhan man into something more Churchillesque TO MEET THE DESIRES OF THE PREVAILING FASHION.
                    Yes, but the "prevailing fashion" for upperclass Englishmen being favoured candidates for Jack the Ripper only became popular well after Toppy's death. He couldn't possibly have pandered to any prevailing fashions he wouldn't have been alive to experience, unlike Reg, who just happened to deliver the perfect upperclass gentleman candidate to a theorist who had made it perfectly clear, pre-interview, that his forthcoming non-fiction book intended to implicate precisely this group.

                    Coincidence? I'm strongly disinclined to think so.

                    And a very wise thing to do it would be, Ben - up til the moment when you take a look at the signatures and realize that procedures were not followed on this particular occasion.
                    I've looked at the signatures, and they have cemented my view that procedures were more than likely to have been followed correctly on this occasions.

                    He worded it differently by saying that a match could not be ruled out, later on revealing that this wording was the standard wording of his department when a positive hit on the lower end of the scale was at hand.
                    If you say something "cannot be ruled out", you're declaring it "not impossible", a stance which accurately reflects my own on the subject of the signatures. If he then upgraded to "probable", I'm afraid he radically altered the stance from his initial commentary, and the defence that "his department" are continually in the habit of altering clear-cut unambiguous definitions to mean something completely different is thoroughly unimpressive.

                    That said - and not before - I will happily drop that particular subject too
                    Thanks. I'll do the same.

                    the ones who are faced with two signatures that tally are the ones who are left with that specific trouble
                    Well, I haven't been faced with any such thing, so I'm left in no such trouble.

                    I've simply noticed a trend, that's all. Whenever an objection is raised to the Toppy-as-Hutch theory, you'll debate it for a while before ultimately resorting to the signatures. That's nothing remotely to do with you being "untrustworthy". It's just a recognition of the futility of the exercise, and of the inevitability that all Toppy-related discussions will eventually result in a repetetive argument about signatures and document examiners.

                    Best regards,
                    Ben

                    Comment


                    • Meanwhile, back on topic ()....

                      I agree, it is entirely possible that the police chose to draw a discreet veil over the Hutchinson issue when the initial enthusiam for his evidence diluted to doubt and, shortly thereafter, to the ultimate rejection of his account. Certain aspects of his account were easy to contradict, such as his patently bogus claim to have approached a policeman on sunday to whom he recounted the Dorset Street sighting, but failed to go to the police station. Since policemen patrolled a delineated beat on those days, it would have been a simple case of tracking down the policeman in question and checking with him.

                      If false, they would have caught Hutchinson out in an obvious lie.

                      All the best,
                      Ben
                      Last edited by Ben; 06-30-2009, 03:15 PM.

                      Comment


                      • Hi Fisherman

                        I don't think there's a problem with your theory per se, but I think Hutchinson must have been an extraordinarily bold bluffer if he was caught out over knowing Mary Kelly, since he volunteered to go the day following his statement to the mortuary and identify her in the company of police. Whether murderer or bystander, he surely can't have been that stupid?

                        Even if he was a timewaster who just wanted a look at the dead body, I can't quite see how he would have been caught out there - couldn't he have just said 'Oh yes, that's Mary alright' ? Would the police have been any the wiser?

                        Many things are possible - maybe Hutchinson's evidence was counteracted by another witness who came forward in response to his account who was also there and told a different tale? (just speculating here). Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Sarah Lewis say there were other people around (of which Hutchinson made no mention). Perhaps this happened and he was forced to admit that he was never there in the first place but just (say) wanted a look at the dead body?

                        Maybe, on the other hand, the 'discrediting' of Hutchinson has nothing much to do with him at all - maybe it was just that on balance his story had too many mismatches with other witness testimony - and was discounted on that basis.

                        Although the sudden turnaround with regard to Hutchinson's testimony does seem to warrant something a little more dramatic.

                        That's my contribution for the day, such as it is - Jane x

                        Comment


                        • Ben:

                          "the "prevailing fashion" for upperclass Englishmen being favoured candidates for Jack the Ripper only became popular well after Toppy's death"

                          Though I have seen efforts to trace the Royal conspiracy to the sixties, I think we must be well aware that we did have the well-to-do doctor suggested even before Jack was through with his killings. I donīt find it in any way impossible that the general suggestion that Jack may have been someone from the upper class may have surfaced very early on - without specifically pinning the Royals.

                          "If you say something "cannot be ruled out", you're declaring it "not impossible", a stance which accurately reflects my own on the subject of the signatures. If he then upgraded to "probable", I'm afraid he radically altered the stance from his initial commentary"

                          Ben, what you are doing here is trusting your own semantics. And Leander made it pretty clear that his department had another interpretation of "cannot be ruled out" - it was a way of saying that a hit was at hand.
                          He was very adamant in telling us this.

                          Of course, you have two options here. You either believe that the phrase never meant to point to a hit, in which case you choose to call Leander a liar. Or you say thank you very much for elaborating and making things clear to a layman. There exists, of course, a third possibility, and that would be that I am a liar, and that I "fit" the evidence in this case. Since the SKL and Leander are publically advertised on the net, I think that anybody can find out for themselves if this third possibility applies or not.

                          As for the other two, the best way to establish which option would be the true one is to take a look at Leanders position, reputation and career and ask yourself for what reason he would lie in this case.

                          I canīt come up with any such reason at all, but perhaps you can?

                          I can understand if a poster uses a method of discrediting people when he needs to play down the value of evidence given. And there is no rule telling us that we may not engage in such things. Itīs just that when it amounts to trying to paint a very serious and thoroughly respected researcher like Leander out as either a totally unbelieveable nitwit or a liar, and when such a methodology involves telling the other posters around that anybody who has reached a conclusion of his own on a matter where others are still undecided, is a character that is likely to fit evidence and explain away things, I think the time has come to protest and point out that it is not a very civil behaviour.
                          Keeping in mind that Leander nailed the exact meaning of the phrase "cannot be ruled out" as a hit on the lower end of the positive scale, he was VERY consistent throughout. You raised doubts about it, and when I asked him whether he meant X or Y, you presented it as evidence of Leander not coming clean whenever his bid went against your own thesis. If he had gone your way,I suppose it would have made him so much more trustworthy, but we cannot judge trustworthyness as something that has to relate in a positive manner to our own convictions.

                          Without much hope of you agreeing, I suggest that we drop the signature subject now and turn to the real issue at hand, where it seems you agree in essence with what I think: that the police and the press felt a mutual desire to treat their finding out that Hutchinson was not coming clean as discreetly as possible.
                          Of course, the policeman business could have been used to establish Hutchinson as a liar. But it would not have been enough to establish that the rest was bogus too - we could have a situation on hand where Hutchinson simply tried to make up for his not going to the police immediately, and thus tried to convince the force that he had been doing his best to help out.

                          To me, the more probable thing would be that the police cracked his story at the heart of it - and one such thing would be to establish that the suggested relationship between Hutch and Kelly was an obvious lie.

                          The best, Ben!
                          Fisherman
                          Last edited by Fisherman; 06-30-2009, 03:48 PM.

                          Comment


                          • Jane Welland writes:

                            "I think Hutchinson must have been an extraordinarily bold bluffer if he was caught out over knowing Mary Kelly, since he volunteered to go the day following his statement to the mortuary and identify her in the company of police. Whether murderer or bystander, he surely can't have been that stupid?"

                            I think we need to ask ourselves how many corpses they had lying around with cut necks, annihilated faces and disembowelled stomach. There would not have been many reasons to make the wrong choice, I believe.
                            It is another thing to try and measure boldness and stupidity. But we DO know that Emmanuel Violenia was prepared to take the risk.

                            "couldn't he have just said 'Oh yes, that's Mary alright' ? Would the police have been any the wiser?"

                            Exactly so.

                            "maybe Hutchinson's evidence was counteracted by another witness who came forward in response to his account who was also there and told a different tale?"

                            Not very likely - to begin with, why have we not heard of this witness? Plus we know that peoples timing was quite often very much off - take a look at Spooner in the Stride case, for example.
                            I have also suggested that a witness may have appeared - but my suggestion is not that such a witness may have spoken not of where Hutchinson was NOT on the night, but instead of where he WAS - somewhere else altogether, perhaps. Such a thing, though, would probably have emerged in the press reports.

                            "Maybe, on the other hand, the 'discrediting' of Hutchinson has nothing much to do with him at all - maybe it was just that on balance his story had too many mismatches with other witness testimony - and was discounted on that basis.
                            Although the sudden turnaround with regard to Hutchinson's testimony does seem to warrant something a little more dramatic."

                            I think the latter suggestion is the more credible one, and I agree very much with that suggestion of yours. Something very tangible and obvious would have turned up, and that something would have caused a good deal of sighing on behalf of press and police methinks.

                            The best, Jane!
                            Fisherman

                            Comment


                            • How interesting...

                              So when Fisherman tells me he is glad to let a particular issue drop, what he really means is that he's only prepared to let it drop if he gets the last word. Unfortunately, that's a rather forlorn hope.

                              Though I have seen efforts to trace the Royal conspiracy to the sixties, I think we must be well aware that we did have the well-to-do doctor suggested even before Jack was through with his killings
                              But there was no "prevailing trend" of English aristocrats and royalty being accused of the Whitechapel murders during Toppy's lifetime. He died in 1938, and the royal conspiracy nonsense didn't reach its zenith until decades later. It would be an odd coincidence indeed if the publication of Toppy's heavily revised image of Mr. Astrakhan just happened to coincide with the ludicrous theory about to be published. I'd say it's far more likely that Reg himself threw in the Churchill detail because he knew it was what Fairclough wanted to hear.

                              And Leander made it pretty clear that his department had another interpretation of "cannot be ruled out" - it was a way of saying that a hit was at hand. He was very adamant in telling us this
                              In which case, he was very wrong in saying so.

                              Being "adamant" about something so patently false doesn't detract in the slightest from its wrongness.

                              There are no other interpretations for "cannot be ruled out" other than "not impossible", unless of course, Leander was deliberately intending his comments to be deeply sarcastic. The justfication for hideously misappropriating such an unambiguous phrase to the extent that it takes on a completely different meaning to the one provided by the dictionary; "That's what we say in our department" just won't avail.

                              You cannot alter basic definitions on the unacceptable basis that some institutions bizarrely misinterpret and misuse them on a regular basis, and that Leader must belong to one such institution. Unfortunately for this argument, you cannot change written communication and dictionary definitions. If anyone uses "cannot be ruled out" to mean "probable", they are misappropriating a phrase to a drastic extent, ill-becoming of any expert. He or she is simply not saying what s/he means. “Cannot be ruled out” means the same thing to the man on the street as it does to the expert analyst or any other functioning human being with a basic understanding of written communication.

                              You either believe that the phrase never meant to point to a hit, in which case you choose to call Leander a liar
                              Not a liar, but one who succumbed to pressure, as well as misleading and erroneous information. Any value in Leader's first letter, which everyone will agree was the very picture of circumspection when it first appeared, was effectively eradicated courtesy of those subsequent drastic revisions. If he was truly responsible for all the posts you claim he was responsible for, we are obliged to take a dim view of an "expert" who succumbs to pressure and bias; of an "expert" who becomes progressively more Toppy-endorsing with each bombardment.

                              You seem oddly hell-bent on dredging this up again on an unrelated topic, long after it was thrashed out in excriciating detail, but since we're on the infernal topic again, I remain bemused by the manner in which Leander appeared to appropriate almost identical phrases to the ones you used. As soon as I pointed out that he said no such thing, you'd contact Leander again, and the disputed phrase would mysteriously appear.

                              Without much hope of you agreeing, I suggest that we drop the signature subject now and turn to the real issue at hand
                              I made precisely this suggestion in the post preceeding yours, so why didn't you agree to it then? I agree, let's drop the issue now. There. You've said it. I've said it. You also said: I am fully aware that it is useless to argue about it with you, and I will agree that there will come nothing good from such a thing, least of all for the other posters around. Wise words, and it's high time we both embraced that advice.

                              Of course, the policeman business could have been used to establish Hutchinson as a liar. But it would not have been enough to establish that the rest was bogus too
                              No, but it may have led them to believe that it was. False witnesses are rarely dismissed because absolute proof had been procured to establish that they were lying. More often, the police simply arrive at a consensus that the witness in question wasn't telling the truth. Packer and Violenia were both dismissed as bogus witnesses, but most assuredly not on the basis that they were proven to have lied or been elsewhere. It was simply a question of using police discernment to separate the what from the chaff, and they clearly felt that Hutchinson belonged in the latter category.

                              Something very tangible and obvious would have turned up, and that something would have caused a good deal of sighing on behalf of press and police methinks.
                              It really wouldn't have been required.

                              The Echo simply reported that the police were entertaining grave doubts as to his veracity, not that the police had established proof to rule him out. There's really no reason to envisage some bombshell having emerged to establish conclusively that a witness lied.

                              Best regards,
                              Ben
                              Last edited by Ben; 06-30-2009, 04:42 PM.

                              Comment


                              • Hi Fisherman.

                                You are, of course, perfectly entitled to your opinion with respect to the Toppy as Hutchinson debate. Unfortunately, based purely on evidential grounds, it is an opinion with which I cannot concur. As for the prospecting analogy mentioned in one of your recent posts, I’d caution you to ensure that the Toppy nugget isn’t, in fact, just another handful of fools gold.

                                Hi Richard.

                                As a point of clarification, I should point out that the delay in entering Kelly’s room was a tactical decision based on the advice of Dr Phillips, who, believing the arrival of the bloodhounds to be imminent, suggested that ingress might corrupt the killer’s scent and therefore render the dogs useless as an investigative option.

                                Remember, too, that Abberline did not attend the crime scene alone. Also present were Phillips and Arnold, as well as an assemblage of less senior police officers and, of course, the photographer. The notion, then, that not a single member of this retinue recognized that access to the room could have been expedited by simply sliding back a bolt that lay within easy reach of the window is, quite frankly, preposterous. Equally, both Abberline and Phillips consistently referred to the room as having been not bolted, but locked.

                                In point of fact, Abberline was questioned at the inquest about the missing key, but became somewhat evasive. My personal belief is that the key, in the event of an arrest, could have represented a potential evidential link between the suspect and Mary Jane. Although purely speculative, such a surmise does accord with the methodology of a police force that had no recourse to fingerprinting as well as other forensic procedures that are commonplace today. Hence it is more than possible that the issue of the key was deliberately underplayed so as not to alert the offender to its investigative significance.

                                There are, of course, those who refuse to countenance any possibility that the killer somehow came into possession of Mary Jane’s key and used it to lock the room upon his crime scene departure. But the evidence, albeit circumstantial, is fairly compelling. And why would Abberline have referred in newspaper interviews to his search for a missing key if the door had been merely bolted?

                                Regards.

                                Garry Wroe.

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