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Poll: does the evidence support the contention that Hutchinson mistook the day

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  • Poll: does the evidence support the contention that Hutchinson mistook the day

    Ok...i thought i would put a poll out there so that those who are shy of contributing to the often-virulent Hutchinson debates could have at least a yes/no/undecided say in the matter.

    The question is whether, considering the evidence, it is plausible that Hutchinson forgot the day. Not possible. Plausible.

    A brief summary of what I can see to be the for and against arguments, not intending to go into much detail...


    For forgetting the days:

    Memoirs of a policeman fifty years after the event in which an amiguous comment was made, aligning Maxwell and Hutchinson and mentioning 'date and time'.

    That the weather was allegedly too bad for anybody to have been walking about the streets all night as Hutchinson claimed to have done.

    That people often do make muddles of things.



    Against forgetting the day:


    His official statement, which states categorically which day it was.

    Lewis' corroborating statement saying she saw someone resembling Hutchinson at a time and place when he states he was there, this person doing exactly what Hutchinson states he was doing.

    No evidence he had a poor memory.

    Unlikely that anyone would forget a day on which a three year old friend had been murdered, especially if he believed he had seen the man who quite possibly had been responsible for murdering her; also Lord Mayor's Show and Romford trek to fix date in his memory.


    I'm sure there is lots more.

    Just want to get an idea of how popular this theory is, and how plausible in general casebookers find the theory. Your choices won't be made public.
    38
    no
    60.53%
    23
    yes
    26.32%
    10
    undecided
    13.16%
    5
    Last edited by babybird67; 02-26-2011, 11:54 PM.
    babybird

    There is only one happiness in life葉o love and be loved.

    George Sand

  • #2
    Hi Jen,

    A very good idea to start a poll, it will be interesting to see how the very lively debate on the 'Did Hutchinson get the day wrong thread' has affected people's opinions on the matter.

    I have been following it from the beginning, but because it was such a massive thread, I'm sure some evidence has got buried along the way or missed by some people. I'm sure I must have missed some.

    Your initial post is a great start. I am wondering whether it might also help if posters from both sides of the debate put forward some (or hopefully all) of the written evidence to support their case up on this thread, so that people can see at a glance what the evidence is. By that I mean actual written evidence, i.e Dew's comments verbatim, the actual excerpt of the weather forecast, modern expert opinion on memory loss, contemporary police reports, witness statements, press reports etc.,. Sometimes the actual evidence gets lost amongst the personal observations and opinions put forward on threads.

    A good way to do this might be for anyone who has evidence for either side to just post up citing the source, who said it, and what they said verbatim, and adding only the very briefest of introductions to each piece of evidence, such as 'This shows such and such'. One or two sentences should be quite sufficient. Otherwise we could find ourselves with another thousand page thread! It will also make sure that the debate doesn't get too heated.

    Anyway, it's going to be a very interesting poll. I hope that people take the time to tick a box.

    Hugs

    Janie

    xxxxx

    By the way I did think of another one in favour of Hutchinson getting the day wrong - that is, that the weather that night didn't agree with Hutchinson's statement. Hopefully someone will post up both the portion of Hutchinson's statement and the actual weather forecast to compare the two.
    Last edited by Jane Coram; 02-27-2011, 02:34 AM.
    I'm not afraid of heights, swimming or love - just falling, drowning and rejection.

    Comment


    • #3
      hi Janie

      thanks for taking the time to reply and respond to the poll.

      Yes I didn't want a repeat of the other thread so maybe as you suggest people could just put brief pieces of evidence for and against on this one so people making up their minds can decide?

      Excellent idea to do so. Evidence without commentary...hmmm maybe we could start a new trend with your idea.

      love and hugs

      Jen xxxx
      babybird

      There is only one happiness in life葉o love and be loved.

      George Sand

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi,

        Perhaps I should start the ball rolling.

        Here is Abberline's report on Hutchinson's statement. It was submitted along with the report. It can be found on page 377 of the Ultimate Source book (hardback edition). I'm afraid I don't have the paperback version, but it should be easy to find. I've duplicated it in full so that it is in context.

        Ref. MEPO 3/40, ff. 230-2.

        Metropolitan Police,
        Criminal Investigation Department,
        Scotland Yard
        12th November 1888

        I beg to report than an inquest was held this day at the Shoreditch Town Hall before Mr. Macdonald M.P. Coroner on the body of Marie Jeanette Kelly, found murdered at No. 13 room, Miller's Court, Dorset Street, Spitalfields. A number of witnesses were called who clearly established the identity of the deceased.
        The Coroner remarked that in his opinion it was unnecessary to adjourn the inquiry and the jurty returned a verdict of 'wilful murder against some person or persons unknown.'

        An important statement has been made by a man named George Hutchinson, which I forward herewith. I have interrogated him this evening and I am of the opinion his statement is true. He informed me that he had occasionally given the deceased a few shillings, and that he had known her for about three years. Also that he was surprised to see a man so well dressed in her company, which caused him to watch them. He can identify the man, and arrangement was at once made for two officers to accompany him around the district for a few hours tonight with a view of finding the man if possible.

        Hutchinson is at present in no regular employment, and he has promised to go with an officer tomorrow morning at 11.30 am to the Shoreditch mortuary to identify the deceased. Several arrests have been made on suspicion of being connected with the recent murders, but the various persons detained have been able to satisfactorily account for their movements and were released.

        F.G. Abberline Inspr
        T Arnold Supt.
        I'm not afraid of heights, swimming or love - just falling, drowning and rejection.

        Comment


        • #5
          Here is a transcript of the statement. I've separated it into paragraphs simply to make it easier to read. The relevant point is, of course, that Hutchinson states quite categorically that it was the 9th in the statement.

          At 6.00pm on 12th November 1888, he went to Commercial Street Police Station and gave the following statement to Sgt Edward Badham, 31H:


          About 2 am 9th I was coming by Thrawl Street, Commercial Street, and saw just before I got to Flower and Dean Street I saw the murdered woman Kelly. And she said to me Hutchinson will you lend me sixpence. I said I cant I have spent all my money going down to Romford. She said Good morning I must go and find some money. She went away toward Thrawl Street. A man coming in the opposite direction to Kelly tapped her on the shoulder and said something to her. They both burst out laughing. I heard her say alright to him. And the man said you will be alright for what I have told you. He then placed his right hand around her shoulders. He also had a kind of a small parcel in his left hand with a kind of strap round it. I stood against the lamp of the Queen痴 Head Public House and watched him.

          They both then came past me and the man hid down his head with his hat over his eyes. I stooped down and looked him in the face. He looked at me stern. They both went into Dorset Street I followed them. They both stood at the corner of the Court for about 3 minutes. He said something to her. She said alright my dear come along you will be comfortable He then placed his arm on her shoulder and gave her a kiss. She said she had lost her handkercheif he then pulled his handkercheif a red one out and gave it to her. They both then went up the court together. I then went to the Court to see if I could see them, but could not. I stood there for about three quarters of an hour to see if they came out they did not so I went away.

          Description age about 34 or 35. height 5ft6 complexion pale, dark eyes and eye lashes slight moustache, curled up each end, and hair dark, very surley looking dress long dark coat, collar and cuffs trimmed astracan. And a dark jacket under. Light waistcoat dark trousers dark felt hat turned down in the middle. Button boots and gaiters with white buttons. Wore a very thick gold chain white linen collar. Black tie with horse shoe pin. Respectable appearance walked very sharp. Jewish appearance. Can be identified.
          I'm not afraid of heights, swimming or love - just falling, drowning and rejection.

          Comment


          • #6
            This poll should say, "Does the evidence suggest the possibility that Hutchinson mistook the day."

            Yes, it does.


            Mike
            huh?

            Comment


            • #7
              no it shouldnt

              if you want a poll to ask that question by all means make one Mike.

              I want people to look at the evidence and come to an informed and rational conclusion as to whether it is 'plausible' or likely that date confusion explains the discrepancies many people find in Hutchinson's testimony and its later discrediting.

              After all, it is 'possible' that God exists: nobody yet has provided any evidence that he does though.
              babybird

              There is only one happiness in life葉o love and be loved.

              George Sand

              Comment


              • #8
                hi Janie

                a couple of excellent posts with some strong evidence that Hutchinson was quite clear about the date he stood outside Millers Court and witnessed Mary Kelly with Astrakhan man. Thanks!

                Maybe Ben or Garry could post some excerpts from the newspapers relate Hutchinson's account giving the same date as his statement?

                Thanks for getting the ball rolling so brilliantly! Must have taken a while to copy that information out but its invaluable for evaluating what we have as evidence.

                love Jen xxx
                babybird

                There is only one happiness in life葉o love and be loved.

                George Sand

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by babybird67 View Post
                  Maybe Ben or Garry could post some excerpts from the newspapers relate Hutchinson's account giving the same date as his statement?
                  Hi Jen,

                  Since Ben and Garry haven't chimed in yet, I thought I'd post some newspaper 'clippings' on Hutchinson's account.

                  Daily News, 13 November 1888:
                  AN IMPORTANT STATEMENT.
                  DESCRIPTION OF THE PROBABLE MURDERER
                  .
                  Yesterday evening the police received information of a most important nature which not only establishes a clue to the perpetrator of the Dorset-street murder, but places the authorities in possession of an accurate and full description of a person who was seen in company with the murdered woman during the night on which she met her death. A man, apparently of the labouring class, but of a military appearance, who knew the deceased, last night lodged with the police a long and detailed statement of an incident which attracted his attention on the day in question. The following is a summary of the statement, and it may be said that notwithstanding examination and re-examination by the police, the man's story cannot be shaken, and so circumstantial and straightforward were his assertions that the police believe they have at length been placed in possession of facts which will open up a new line of investigation, and probably enable them to track the criminal. This man states that on the morning of the 9th instant he saw the deceased woman, Mary Janet Kelly, in Commercial-street, Spitalfields (the vicinity of where the murder was committed), in company with a man of respectable appearance. The man was about 5 feet 6 inches in height, and 34 or 35 years of age, with dark complexion and dark moustache curled up at the ends. He was wearing a long dark coat trimmed with astrakhan, a white collar with black necktie, in which was affixed a horseshoe pin. He wore a pair of dark gaiters with light buttons, over button boots, and displayed from his waistcoat a massive gold chain. The highly respectable appearance of this individual was in such great contrast to that of the woman that few people could have failed to remark them at that hour of the morning. 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 the possession of the police, and the importance they attach to this man's story may be imagined when it is mentioned that it was forwarded to the headquarters of the H Division as soon as completed by a special detective. Detectives Abberline, Nairn, and Moore were present when this message arrived, and an investigation was immediately set on foot.



                  Daily News, 14 November 1888
                  The following important statement was made last evening by George Hutchinson, a groom by trade, but now working as a labourer. Hutchinson said:-
                  On Thursday last I had been to Romford, in Essex, and I returned from there about two o'clock on Friday morning, having walked all the way. I came down Whitechapel road into Commercial street. As I passed Thrawl street I passed a man standing at the corner of the street, and as I went towards Flower and Dean street I met the woman Kelly, whom I knew very well, having been in her company a number of times. She said, "Mr. Hutchinson, can you lend me sixpence?" I said, "I cannot, as I am spent out going down to Romford." She then walked on towards Thrawl street, saying, "I must go and look for some money." The man who was standing at the corner of Thrawl street then came towards her and put his hand on her shoulder, and said something to her which I did not hear, and they both burst out laughing. He put his hand again on her shoulder and they both walked slowly towards me. I walked on to the corner of Fashion street, near the public house. As they came by me his arm was still on her shoulder. He had a soft felt hat on, and this was drawn down somewhat over his eyes. I put down my head to look him in the face, and he turned and looked at me very sternly, and they walked across the road to Dorset street. I followed them across and stood at the corner of Dorset street. They stood at the corner of Miller's court for about three minutes. Kelly spoke to the man in a loud voice, saying, "I have lost my handkerchief." He pulled a red handkerchief out of his pocket, and gave it to Kelly, and they both went up the court together. I went to look up the court to see if I could see them, but could not. I stood there for three quarters of an hour to see if they came down again, but they did not, and so I went away. My suspicions were aroused by seeing a man so well dressed, but I had no suspicion that he was the murderer. The man was about 5ft 8in 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 black necktie, in which was affixed a horseshow pin. He wore a pair of dark "spats" with light buttons over button boots, and displayed from his waistcoat a massive gold chain. His watch chain had a big seal with a red stone hanging from it. He had a heavy moustache, curled up, and dark eyes and bushy eyebrows. He had no side whiskers, and his chin was clean shaven. He looked like a foreigner. I went up the court and stayed there a couple of minutes, but did not see any light in the house or hear any noise. I was out last night until three o'clock looking for him. I could swear to the man anywhere. I told one policeman on Sunday morning what I had seen, but did not go to the police station. I told one of the lodgers here about it yesterday, and he advised me to go to the police station, which I did last night. The man I saw did not look as though he would attack another one. He carried a small parcel in his hand, about eight inches long, and it had a strap round it. He had it tightly grasped in his left hand. It looked as though it was covered with dark American cloth. He carried in his right hand, which he laid upon the woman's shoulder, a pair of brown kid gloves. One thing I noticed, and that was that he walked very softly. I believe that he lives in the neighbourhood, and I fancied that I saw him in Petticoat lane on Sunday morning, but I was not certain. I went down to the Shoreditch mortuary today and recognised the body as being that of the woman Kelly, whom I saw at two o'clock on Friday morning. Kelly did not seem to me to be drunk, but was a bit "spreeish." I was quite sober, not having had anything to drink all day. After I left the court I walked about all night, as the place where I usually sleep was closed. I came in as soon as it opened in the morning. I am able to fix the time, as it was between ten and five minutes to two o'clock as I came by Whitechapel Church. When I left the corner of Miller's court the clock struck three o'clock. One policeman went by the Commercial street end of Dorset street while I was standing there, but not one came down Dorset street. I saw one man go into a lodging house in Dorset street, but no one else. I have been looking for the man all day.
                  It will be observed that the description of the supposed murderer given by Hutchinson agrees in every particular with that already furnished by the police, and published yesterday morning. There is not the slightest reason to doubt Hutchinson's veracity, and it is therefore highly probable that at length the police are in possession of a reliable description of the murderer.


                  Daily Telegraph, 13 November 1888
                  A circumstantial statement was made last night by a labouring man who knew the deceased, which was very minute in its particulars regarding a man seen in company with the woman Kelly early on the morning of the 9th inst. According to this description the individual in question was of respectable appearance, about 5ft 6in in height, and 34 or 35 years of age, with dark complexion and dark moustache curled up at the ends. He wore a long dark coat trimmed with astrachan, a white collar with black necktie, in which was affixed a horse-shoe pin, and he had on a pair of dark gaiters with light buttons over button boots, and displayed from his waistcoat a massive gold chain. It has not been ascertained why the witness did not make this statement - so much fuller and so different from the others that have been given - immediately after the murder was discovered.

                  All the best,
                  Frank
                  "You can rob me, you can starve me and you can beat me and you can kill me. Just don't bore me."
                  Clint Eastwood as Gunny in "Heartbreak Ridge"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    thanks Frank

                    most welcome contributions. Keep them coming.
                    babybird

                    There is only one happiness in life葉o love and be loved.

                    George Sand

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      interesting points

                      Originally posted by FrankO View Post
                      Hi Jen,

                      Since Ben and Garry haven't chimed in yet, I thought I'd post some newspaper 'clippings' on Hutchinson's account.

                      Daily News, 13 November 1888:
                      [I]AN IMPORTANT STATEMENT.
                      DESCRIPTION OF THE PROBABLE MURDERER
                      .
                      The following is a summary of the statement, and it may be said that notwithstanding examination and re-examination by the police, the man's story cannot be shaken
                      So the particulars were gone over several times. It seems that Hutchinson remained adamant that his testiomony was correct in all particulars.

                      This man states that on the morning of the 9th instant he saw the deceased woman, Mary Janet Kelly, in Commercial-street, Spitalfields
                      My emphasis. He seems certain enough of the date here.

                      The highly respectable appearance of this individual was in such great contrast to that of the woman that few people could have failed to remark them at that hour of the morning.
                      And yet nobody else reports seeing her with anyone resembling such a person. Interesting.



                      Daily News, 14 November 1888
                      [I]The following important statement was made last evening by George Hutchinson, a groom by trade, but now working as a labourer. Hutchinson said:-
                      On Thursday last I had been to Romford, in Essex,
                      I feel it is important that Hutchinson mentions the day of the week and not just the date. He seems quite clear it was Thursday night here.

                      and I returned from there about two o'clock on Friday morning,
                      Again, very specific. This report is from 14th November so we know that if the Police had established he had the wrong day, surely the newspapers still wouldn't be reporting as if this was a valid witness sighting?


                      Daily Telegraph, 13 November 1888
                      It has not been ascertained why the witness did not make this statement - so much fuller and so different from the others that have been given - immediately after the murder was discovered.
                      Yes...interesting...

                      thanks Frank.

                      Jen x
                      babybird

                      There is only one happiness in life葉o love and be loved.

                      George Sand

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hi Jen,

                        Great idea for a thread! I like the idea of setting aside a place where the relevant sources can simply be provided, rather than debated over at length. You, Frank and Jane have done an excellent job so far, but I thought it might be worth including the Echo and Star reports that illustrate, to my satisfaction, that Hutchinson’s discrediting had nothing whatsoever to do with any suspicion on the part of the police that he had confused the date.

                        The Echo – 13th November 1888

                        The sensational story. The police opinion of it

                        From latest inquiries it appears that a very reduced importance seems to be now - in the light of later investigation - attached to a statement made by a person last night that he saw a man with the deceased on the night of the murder. 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? 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. The most remarkable thing in regard to the latest statement is, that no one else can be found to say that a man of that description given was seen with the deceased, while, of course, there is the direct testimony of the witnesses at the inquest, that the person seen with the deceased at midnight was of quite a different appearance.


                        The Star – 15th November 1888

                        Worthless Stories Lead the Police on False Scents - Scares also Keep Them Busy.

                        ….The reporter to whom Packer made his statement sent off a copy of it to the Home Secretary, and also to the Chief Commissioner of the City Police. This morning it was officially stated that the information has not led to any result.

                        Another story now discredited is that of the man Hutchinson, who said that on Friday morning last he saw Kelly with a dark-complexioned, middle-aged, foreign-looking, bushy-eyebrowed gentleman, with the dark moustache turned up at the ends, who wore the soft felt hat, the long dark coat, trimmed with astrachan, the black necktie, with horseshoe pin, and the button boots, and displayed a massive gold watch-chain, with large seal and a red stone attached.

                        As we have already said, the only piece of information of any value which has yet transpired is the description given by the widow Cox of a man - short, stout, with a blotchy face and a carroty moustache - who at midnight on Thursday went with the murdered woman into her room.


                        All the best,
                        Ben

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hi,

                          You know, this thread has taught me a good lesson. It shows that no matter how many times you go over the reports you still miss really important points.
                          That quote from the Daily News 14th November completely bypassed me - and I've read that report dozens of times over the years. I honestly never realised that he had ever stated that he went to Romford on 'Thursday last'.

                          You live and learn.

                          Thanks for posting that up Frank.

                          Hugs

                          Janie

                          xxxxx
                          Last edited by Jane Coram; 02-27-2011, 07:49 PM.
                          I'm not afraid of heights, swimming or love - just falling, drowning and rejection.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Jane:

                            "I honestly never realised that he had ever stated that he went to Romford on 'Thursday last'."

                            Donエt forget, though, that George Hutchinson knew when he went to the police that Kelly had been killed in the early morning of the Friday. If he was mistakenly of the meaning that he had met her on the day she was killed, then he would arguably reason that the Romford trip would have been on Thursday. There is no need to take for granted that he planned and went through with a Thursday trip; he may just as well have gone to Romford without having kept track of the days, and only opted for saying Thursday since that tallied with his potential misconception that he saw Kelly on the morning of her murder. The bottom line is that we donエt know where the verdict of Thursday came from, do we?

                            The best,
                            Fisherman

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Fisherman View Post
                              The bottom line is that we donエt know where the verdict of Thursday came from, do we?
                              Indeed we don't, Fish. On the other hand, he put himself in a risky spot by coming forward, regardless of whether or not he actually was there on the night/morning in question.

                              All the best, Fish!
                              Frank
                              "You can rob me, you can starve me and you can beat me and you can kill me. Just don't bore me."
                              Clint Eastwood as Gunny in "Heartbreak Ridge"

                              Comment

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