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An hypothesis about Hutchinson that could discard him as a suspect

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  • An hypothesis about Hutchinson that could discard him as a suspect

    Something hit me recently, and I'm probably not the first to come with the idea.

    I've been reading The Darkest Streets and The Worst Street in London, just to get some context about pauperism in late Victorian London.

    A few things jumped in front of my eyes (unfortunately, I can't remember to which of the two books they relate)
    - Garotting: There were several cases where prostitutes would lure men only for them to be welcomed by muggers who would take their money, jewelry and clothes.
    - Spitalfields: There was even more resentment in Spitalfields against the Jewish community, mostly because many buildings were bought in the Southern part to be torned down, and housing for Jewish families built instead.
    - Dorset Street: people were very suspicious of rich/higher class people on Dorset Street.

    Now, let's imagine that Hutchinson did say the truth. Would it be far fetched to think that the reason he described the man so well, and waited in front of Miller's Court was because he had the intention of robbing him?

    Which also makes him reluctant to talk to police until he hears that someone spotted him and gave description at the inquest.

    Not saying he was a recurring criminal.
    Is it progress when a cannibal uses a fork?
    - Stanislaw Jerzy Lee

  • #2
    I'm not sure that a meaningful motive has been established for Hutch in killing MJK. He could have been a vagrant - he certainly seemed to have a tendency to walk the streets at night and maybe was just looking for some shelter. Accomplice - who knows?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by SirJohnFalstaff View Post
      Now, let's imagine that Hutchinson did say the truth. Would it be far fetched to think that the reason he described the man so well, and waited in front of Miller's Court was because he had the intention of robbing him?
      That interpretation has been put forward before. Which cannot be ruled out if Hutch had simply lost patience after nearly an hour and then left to seek his fortune elsewhere.
      That possibility does not make him the killer of Mary Kelly though.

      The suggestion also assumes robbery was his motive, and Mary had nothing worth stealing, unless we are supposed to entertain the idea he killed her for the 6d(?) she may have earned by servicing Astrachan?

      Which also makes him reluctant to talk to police until he hears that someone spotted him and gave description at the inquest.
      Not really, the description given of the loiterer is not sufficiently unique to identify anyone in particular.
      Regards, Jon S.

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi SirJohn,

        Would it be far fetched to think that the reason he described the man so well, and waited in front of Miller's Court was because he had the intention of robbing him?
        Yes, it would be deeply far-fetched because it would require extreme stupidity on the part of both Hutchinson and Astrakhan. If the former wished to conceal his secret "robbing" motive, why risk creating suspicion by drawing attention to such expensive clothes and accessories? Such was the reputation of that part of Spitalfields during that period in history, it would require a level of imprudence as yet unknown to civilisation to wander into that environment bedecked in a "thick gold watch chain" that somehow managed to reveal itself under two coats in the darkness of a London Street at night.

        Hutchinson's statement was very quickly discredited following further "investigations" by the police, and the Astrakhan suspect was evidently not considered a potential "ripper".

        None of which addresses the question of Hutchinson's own potential culpability, and I'm afraid I'm at a loss as to understand why the proposal is supposed to "discard him as a suspect". Obviously, if any one of the proposed candidates was engaging in some form of activity other than brutal murder at a time when the murders in question were supposed to have been committed, they are innocent pf those murders. If Druitt was sound asleep in Dorset in the small hours of 31st August, he didn't kill Nichols. If Tumblety was spending time with a young man in Kensington on 7th September, he didn't kill Chapman. And yes, if Hutchinson was loitering outside Kelly's flat with the intent of robbing her secretly murderous pretend-client in the small hours of the 9th November, then he didn't kill Kelly.

        You'll note, though, that only the last mentioned was in the right place at the right time.

        All the best,
        Ben
        Last edited by Ben; 12-26-2015, 07:18 PM.

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        • #5
          Not really, the description given of the loiterer is not sufficiently unique to identify anyone in particular.
          It doesn't need to have been.

          The fact that you can't describe someone very well doesn't mean you're incapable of recognising him or her again.

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          • #6
            To recognise his features she would have to have seen his features. Lewis said she couldn't describe him, no age, facial hair, height, complexion, nothing to assist in recognition.
            Regards, Jon S.

            Comment


            • #7
              Once again (in fact, probably many more times), she told police that she could not describe him, not that she didn't see his face. In addition, Lawende's description had been deliberately suppressed at the Eddowes inquest. If Hutchinson was aware of this ploy from following inquest press coverage, he might have assumed that Lewis' seemingly vague description was another example of it.

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              • #8
                Ah, so now she saw his face but couldn't describe what she saw.....?
                Oh what a tangled web we weave...

                Lawende's description was requested to be suppressed, Lewis's was not.
                Regards, Jon S.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Ah, so now she saw his face but couldn't describe what she saw.....?
                  Either that or she sensibly decided that "bloke with moustache" would not have helped the police much.
                  Lawende's description was requested to be suppressed, Lewis's was not.
                  Which, from the perspective of an avid follower of the inquest proceedings, could just as easily imply that the police decided not to advertised the "suppression" on the latter occasion.

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                  • #10
                    Or maybe the more likely solution is a modern theorist, who makes it up as he goes....
                    Regards, Jon S.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Ben View Post
                      Hi SirJohn,



                      Yes, it would be deeply far-fetched because it would require extreme stupidity on the part of both Hutchinson and Astrakhan. If the former wished to conceal his secret "robbing" motive, why risk creating suspicion by drawing attention to such expensive clothes and accessories?
                      Yeah, but think about the timeline. Astrakan man wasn't robbed, and Hutchinson went to the police a few days later.
                      Still supposing that Hutch is right, that he did know MJK, then he had plenty of time to ponder about the risk of people suspecting him of being a criminal or help finding the murderer of MJK/ clearing him out of the murder inquiry.
                      Is it progress when a cannibal uses a fork?
                      - Stanislaw Jerzy Lee

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Wickerman View Post
                        To recognise his features she would have to have seen his features. Lewis said she couldn't describe him, no age, facial hair, height, complexion, nothing to assist in recognition.
                        Research literature from within psychology abounds with examples of test subjects seeing but not remembering. It was also established long ago that human recognition far outperforms recall. The modern cognitive interview was evolved to overcome such problems, with the result that it has become perhaps the single most effective technique in the area of eyewitness information elicitition.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The argument presupposes that Hutchinson had to come forward or suspicions about his presence in the vicinity of the murder could cause trouble for him.

                          Lawende did not come forward, the police had to track him down. The authorities had to locate many witnesses. So the presupposition against Hutchinson quite predictably fails to convince, which makes this could-she or couldn't-she, recognise him rather mute.
                          Regards, Jon S.

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                          • #14
                            Smoke and mirrors. Read your quotation and my response to it.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Wickerman View Post
                              The argument presupposes that Hutchinson had to come forward or suspicions about his presence in the vicinity of the murder could cause trouble for him.

                              Lawende did not come forward, the police had to track him down. The authorities had to locate many witnesses. So the presupposition against Hutchinson quite predictably fails to convince, which makes this could-she or couldn't-she, recognise him rather mute.
                              Hi Jon,

                              Blotchy chose to stay well away, which is understandable because he was definitely seen going into the room with the victim. He had to rely on Mrs Cox not seeing him again, recognising him and screaming for the police. It must have suited him down to the ground to have someone like Hutch come forward and put Mary back on the streets after his own encounter, and with a man who could not have looked more different. I still wonder if this was no coincidence but a nice little earner for Hutch. He and Blotchy could have known one another and been regular visitors to Dorset Street.

                              The trouble for Hutch, if he did know Mary and Miller's Court reasonably well, and is meant to have entered the room uninvited and killed her some time after Blotchy had left, is that he could not have been 100% certain that nobody could have watched him entering or leaving, and perhaps even recognised him. If he came forward because he considered Sarah Lewis to be a potentially dangerous witness, he took a risk that nobody else had seen him doing something more directly incriminating, eg while his attention was fully on gaining entry.

                              On the other hand, if Hutch was indeed hanging around hoping to mug Mary's latest client as he left, and possibly end up in her bed as a bonus, his reluctance to come forward straight away would have been understandable, even though he must have realised the man was very possibly the maniac and needed to be stopped. I can also see why Hutch might big up the man's bling in case he was forced to admit his real motives for following the couple. His 45-minute wait would look all the more credible if his target appeared to be of above average means for the district.

                              Love,

                              Caz
                              X
                              "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


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