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  • Mary Berkin

    The new information about Donald Swanson's granddaughter, Mary Berkin, posted on jtrforums.com has been mentioned elsewhere, but I think it deserves its own thread.

    First there was a newspaper report from 2006 posted by Howard Brown, which said:
    Mary Berkin, Swanson's granddaughter, said the case was commonly discussed by her family.
    "It was general knowledge that my grandfather knew the name of the killer, and that there was no evidence except from a Jewish man who would not give evidence for ethical reasons," she said.

    http://www.jtrforums.com/showpost.ph...55&postcount=1

    And now there is further confirmation supplied by Mary Berkin to Adam Wood. Mary recalls an occasion when the case was discussed at tea around 1934/5:
    From what I heard I gathered that Grandfather had been in charge of the case, knew who was the perpetrator but couldn't bring him to justice without the co- operation of one who might have had knowledge of the suspect's movements. That someone was a fellow Jew who declined on religious grounds. The 'proof ' was that the crimes ceased when the suspect was sent away from London.
    http://www.jtrforums.com/showpost.ph...4&postcount=11

  • #2
    Originally posted by Chris View Post
    The 'proof ' was that the crimes ceased when the suspect was sent away from London.[/I]
    I can't help wondering if something actually did happen around March 1889, as Macnaghten seemed to think. Especially as the timing seems to tie in roughly speaking with the dates of Cox's surveillance of a suspect for 3 months after the Kelly murder.

    Rob

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    • #3
      Originally posted by robhouse View Post
      I can't help wondering if something actually did happen around March 1889, as Macnaghten seemed to think. Especially as the timing seems to tie in roughly speaking with the dates of Cox's surveillance of a suspect for 3 months after the Kelly murder.
      I'm a bit sceptical about whether Cox was watching Aaron, but I do think it would go a long way towards making sense of things if Aaron was sent to the 'Seaside Home' (not the police one, obviously) as a patient in March 1889.

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      • #4
        But if the identification occurred in early 1889, Aaron would not have been incarcerated soon afterwards.

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        • #5
          I can't imagine that those cops thought they were unnoticed while conducting such a surveillance. No Jew in the neighborhood would not instantly spot some random gentile that suddenly pops up wherever they go.

          So was this a "I'm going to be sneaky and watch him while he doesn't know" kind of surveillance, or the "I'm going to stand here and let you know that I know what you did" kind of surveillance?
          The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Robert View Post
            But if the identification occurred in early 1889, Aaron would not have been incarcerated soon afterwards.
            No - I don't think there's really any way of reconciling Macnaghten's date of March 1889 with Swanson's statement that Kosminski was sent to the workhouse and Colney Hatch "a very short time" after the identification. But perhaps it's more likely that Swanson, post 1910 (and perhaps quite a bit later), could have been misremembering the sequence of events, than that Macnaghten in 1894 could have been mistaken about whether they took place several months before he joined the force, or a year or two after.

            And isn't the whole idea about the cessation of the crimes being 'proof' that they had the right man a bit difficult if the date in question was early February 1891?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Errata View Post
              So was this a "I'm going to be sneaky and watch him while he doesn't know" kind of surveillance, or the "I'm going to stand here and let you know that I know what you did" kind of surveillance?
              Cox's surveillance was definitely intended to be the former.

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              • #8
                Hi Chris

                OK, but the "proof" would have to be, not that the suspect was sent away from London, but that the suspect knew he had been identified. After all, if Aaron was indeed sent to a convalescent home or private mental home in March 1889, he had to be back in London by December to walk the dog. And as far as we know, he stayed in London thereafter. So he would have been able to recommence the crimes at any point after December 1889 (and maybe before) except for the period in 1890 when he was off the streets.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Robert View Post
                  OK, but the "proof" would have to be, not that the suspect was sent away from London, but that the suspect knew he had been identified.
                  And of course that is what Swanson actually says: "And after this identification which suspect knew, no other murder of this kind took place in London."

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                  • #10
                    Yes....I just hope there wasn't a murder in Hove.

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                    • #11
                      As a former Brighton inhabitant...

                      Who'd be alive to notice Robert?

                      All the best

                      Dave

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                      • #12
                        Mary Berkin's words suggest that the police could not charge the suspect..

                        "..... without the co- operation of one who might have had knowledge of the suspect's movements.

                        As was pointed out elsewhere, one who has knowledge of the suspects movements does not seem to imply an eye-witness to a particular crime.

                        The 'proof ' was that the crimes ceased when the suspect was sent away from London.
                        If the 'proof' really was, that the suspect knew he was identified, as opposed to Berkin's belief that it was due to him being "sent away", we apparently have further proof that recollections (Anderson, Swanson, Berkin) are not to be trusted.

                        Regards, Jon S.
                        Regards, Jon S.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Wickerman View Post
                          As was pointed out elsewhere, one who has knowledge of the suspects movements does not seem to imply an eye-witness to a particular crime.
                          That's not surprising, is it, considering that we know there wasn't an eyewitness to any of the Whitechapel Murders? But naturally it could include someone who saw the suspect near to the scene of one of the crimes.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            If any trust is to be placed in Mary Berkin's recollections, then it must surely and logically be concluded once and for all that the "Seaside Home" witness was NOT Lawende, either of his colleagues or Schwartz. Unless by having seen Kosminski in the Square or elsewhere they could place him - but that is not the inference I place on what she is reported to have said.

                            We are clearly looking for a Jewish (?) witness otherwise unnamed (or at least so far unrecognised) in the surviving papers.

                            That i think is a point worth noting.

                            Phil H

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              It seems Mary suggests that the cessation was due to the killer "being sent away", she doesnt say "being locked away". Which to me suggests that she is saying the assumed killer was sent away by the authorities but was not charged or held for any great length of time for any of the crimes.

                              That doesnt sound like the story of someone who was put away in an institution or home, it sounds like the suspect was put on a boat or train and sent somewhere away from London, without the presentation of any specific evidence against him.....something that I highly doubt myself.

                              A witness ID was not enough to convict anyone of anything.

                              Cheers all
                              Michael Richards

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