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Why is the possibility of Lechmere interrupting the ripper so often discarded?

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  • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
    Did you ever think of looking at it from a psychological angle?

    Maybe Old Man Lechmere had been known as a complete bastard, and 'Cross' had shown young Charles particular kindness, so he adopted that name.

    The author of 'In Cold Blood' was born Truman Persons, and used that name until the age of 8. 'Capote' was his step-father.

    I knew a kid growing up who had refused to use the name of the father who had abandoned him, and who was also known as a notorious junkie.

    I don't think it's as rare as people think, particularly if the mother has a lot of men coming in and out of her life.

    Recently, an American football player changed his name to reflect that of his maternal grandmother--the woman who had raised him. It was a sign of respect.

    The starting point is that avoiding to disclose the name you are registered by is a disadvantage for any suspect in a criminal case when discussing a potential culpability. It is not as if hiding away your true name is a point in favour of innocence, is it?

    As for the suggested respect; don’ t you think it is odd that he was only respectful to his nineteen-year dead stepfather in combination with violent death?
    Last edited by Fisherman; 01-18-2021, 04:36 PM.

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    • A further point would be that Truman Capote used his taken name in all walks of life. He didn’ t call himself Capote only when bumping into murder victims, did he? And that football player, what about him? Does he only use his alternative name when watching football? Or has he stretched it to other spheres of life, do you know?

      This issue is not as easily sidestepped as some will have it, I’ m afraid. We are speaking of a man who seemingly ONLY used his alias in combination with sudden and violent death. And much as we find all sorts of motivations for altering a name whe we look broadly at the issue, there is a very clear overrepresentation of criminals in the group of people who fail to give their true names when we narrow the perspective down and look at criminal activities only.

      I would have thought that distinction should go without saying?

      Oh, and "Old Man Lechmere" was out of Charlesī life very early on, so Charles would not have had much of a recollection of him. I believe John Allen Lechmere, complete bastard or not, was out of the picture already in the 1851 census, when Charles was only two years old. Plus it would be odd if Charles only shunned him when stepping over dead people, wouldnīt it?
      Last edited by Fisherman; 01-18-2021, 05:20 PM.

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      • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
        Did you ever think of looking at it from a psychological angle?

        Maybe Old Man Lechmere had been known as a complete bastard, and 'Cross' had shown young Charles particular kindness, so he adopted that name.

        The author of 'In Cold Blood' was born Truman Persons, and used that name until the age of 8. 'Capote' was his step-father.

        I knew a kid growing up who had refused to use the name of the father who had abandoned him, and who was also known as a notorious junkie.

        I don't think it's as rare as people think, particularly if the mother has a lot of men coming in and out of her life.

        Recently, an American football player changed his name to reflect that of his maternal grandmother--the woman who had raised him. It was a sign of respect.

        I think old man Lechmere did a runner while Charlie was just a dot. But even if he had had a downer on his birth father’s name for some reason why use it virtually all the time except on 1/2 occasions?

        Look at those occasions, I’d say:

        The first (possibly) was when he ran over and killed a small child and gave evidence at the subsequent inquest. Details of the inquest appeared in the papers.

        The second was when he discovered the dead body of a prostitute and gave evidence at the subsequent inquest. Details of the inquest appeared in the papers. (Boy did they!)

        If you hate your father because he treated you or mother badly, and as a consequence you've ditched his name, why register your kids at school in that name (etc., etc...)?


        Comment


        • Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post
          If you hate your father because he treated you or mother badly, and as a consequence you've ditched his name, why register your kids at school in that name (etc., etc...)?
          Because he never legally changed his name?

          And I'm not insisting Charles hated his father; this was true of the kid I knew, but Cross may have barely even remembered his own father, and his assumed name was more in deference to Cross.

          The United States President Gerald Ford makes an interesting example.

          Ford was born Leslie King, Jr., but his father was an abusive drunk, so his mother left him a couple of weeks after young Leslie's birth. Two years on she marries Gerald R. Ford, a businessman, and they start calling the boy "Gerald R. Ford, Jr.," even though he was never legally adopted.

          When 'Ford' turns 22, he takes it upon himself to legally change his name, but what if he hadn't? Would he have christened his children Ford, or christened them King?

          I don't know. I'm assuming such decisions are made on a case by case basis, and it may have depended on what relationship young 'Gerald' may have had (or not have had) with the rest of his 'King' family.

          Some people are very sensitive about names.

          Anyway, I am not insisting this is the 'correct' answer. We don't know. It's an open question: what is more psychologically accurate:

          "Charles Cross (born Lechmere)"

          or

          "Charles Lechmere alias Cross"?


          Comment


          • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post


            The United States President Gerald Ford makes an interesting example.

            Ford was born Leslie King, Jr., but his father was an abusive drunk, so his mother left him a couple of weeks after young Leslie's birth. Two years on she marries Gerald R. Ford, a businessman, and they start calling the boy "Gerald R. Ford, Jr.," even though he was never legally adopted.

            When 'Ford' turns 22, he takes it upon himself to legally change his name, but what if he hadn't? Would he have christened his children Ford, or christened them King?

            And, not least, would he have called himself King on every occasion he dealt with the authorities but for the instances when he was involved in cases of violent death?

            Anyway, I am not insisting this is the 'correct' answer. We don't know. It's an open question: what is more psychologically accurate:

            "Charles Cross (born Lechmere)"

            or

            "Charles Lechmere alias Cross"?

            The carman didnīt offer up either of those choices to the police, though. He gave one name only, and it was one he otherwise never used in authority contacts and one by which he was not registered.
            Call me a cynic, but that is perhaps not the best way to suggest innocence.
            Last edited by Fisherman; 01-18-2021, 09:00 PM.

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            • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
              Did you ever think of looking at it from a psychological angle?

              Maybe Old Man Lechmere had been known as a complete bastard, and 'Cross' had shown young Charles particular kindness, so he adopted that name.

              The author of 'In Cold Blood' was born Truman Persons, and used that name until the age of 8. 'Capote' was his step-father.

              I knew a kid growing up who had refused to use the name of the father who had abandoned him, and who was also known as a notorious junkie.

              I don't think it's as rare as people think, particularly if the mother has a lot of men coming in and out of her life.

              Recently, an American football player changed his name to reflect that of his maternal grandmother--the woman who had raised him. It was a sign of respect.

              As another example of name changes there are the two sons of Charles Albert Cadosch, both of whom changed their surname to French (their mother's maiden name). Frederick did so by deed poll so I suspect that his brother did likewise although I don't know that for certain. Cadosch deserted his wife on at least two occasions, the last time being permanent - and followed by a bigamous marriage. I can understand why his sons might be justifiably angry. The use of alias names was not uncommon in the 19th century (Elizabeth Long aka Darrell/Durrell is another case in point, ditto Annie Chapman aka Sievey) so is not, on its own proof of nefarious activity. Lechmere's use of his stepfather's surname is not, of itself, suspicious. The strongest plank in the Lechmere argument IMHO is the closeness of the estimated TOD to when he was present at the crime scene. Either he killed Nichols or he came very close to catching the person who did. Whichever view one subscribes to, I think it has to be conceded that it's arguable either way.
              "It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data. Insensibly one begins twisting facts to suit theories instead of theories to suit facts." Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (as Sherlock Holmes).

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              • Whilst I don't share his confidence in the guilt of Lechmere it's only fair to point out that Fisherman is not, despite claims to the contrary, the only person who holds that opinion; he's just the most vociferous of the claimants. (I'm hoping I've worded that in a way that won't start an argument).
                "It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data. Insensibly one begins twisting facts to suit theories instead of theories to suit facts." Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (as Sherlock Holmes).

                Comment


                • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post

                  Because he never legally changed his name?

                  And I'm not insisting Charles hated his father; this was true of the kid I knew, but Cross may have barely even remembered his own father, and his assumed name was more in deference to Cross.

                  The United States President Gerald Ford makes an interesting example.

                  Ford was born Leslie King, Jr., but his father was an abusive drunk, so his mother left him a couple of weeks after young Leslie's birth. Two years on she marries Gerald R. Ford, a businessman, and they start calling the boy "Gerald R. Ford, Jr.," even though he was never legally adopted.

                  When 'Ford' turns 22, he takes it upon himself to legally change his name, but what if he hadn't? Would he have christened his children Ford, or christened them King?

                  I don't know. I'm assuming such decisions are made on a case by case basis, and it may have depended on what relationship young 'Gerald' may have had (or not have had) with the rest of his 'King' family.

                  Some people are very sensitive about names.

                  Anyway, I am not insisting this is the 'correct' answer. We don't know. It's an open question: what is more psychologically accurate:

                  "Charles Cross (born Lechmere)"

                  or

                  "Charles Lechmere alias Cross"?

                  Shortly after she bigamously married Thomas Cross, Louisa had her two children Christened, and their father’s name was recorded as Lechmere. When Charles married he gave his name and that of his father as Lechmere. Every birth registration, christening and school registration for every one of his children was done in the name of Lechmere. When he registered to vote he called himself Lechmere. Throughout his adult life he gave his name to census officials as Lechmere. When he died and was buried his name was recorded as Lechmere. I believe there was also one or more entries in trade directories in the name of Lechmere.

                  With all that in mind, the fact that there are only two records of his using Cross and that was on two occasions when he gave evidence at inquests is really odd. It makes absolutely no sense that someone might think it appropriate to provide the name on his birth cert to BMD registrars, electoral and census officials the Church and his numerous childrens’ various schools and feel it appropriate to give the surname of his long-dead stepfather to the police and the coroner.

                  Of course, we can’t be 100% sure that the Pickfords Charles Cross who killed a child in 1876(?) was the same man who gave evidence at Polly Nichols’ inquest. But I think it’s highly likely. Two similar incidents and two exceptions to his lifetime habit of identifying himself by the name of Lechmere to authority.

                  That’s odd. And the anomaly remains.






                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Fisherman View Post

                    The carman didnīt offer up either of those choices to the police, though. He gave one name only, and it was one he otherwise never used in authority contacts and one by which he was not registered.
                    Call me a cynic, but that is perhaps not the best way to suggest innocence.
                    It's perhaps not the best way to suggest guilt either. How do you know he didn't offer up those choices to the police? How do you know he gave one name only? You don't; it's unknowable. You surmise these things and you may be right - but you may also be wrong.

                    Stay Safe. Happy New Year. Your Lechmere argument is not without merit but this name thing is the weakest plank in the structure.
                    "It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data. Insensibly one begins twisting facts to suit theories instead of theories to suit facts." Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (as Sherlock Holmes).

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post
                      It makes absolutely no sense that someone might think it appropriate to provide the name on his birth cert to BMD registrars, electoral and census officials the Church and his numerous childrens’ various schools and feel it appropriate to give the surname of his long-dead stepfather to the police and the coroner.
                      It certainly could make sense, whether it makes sense today is another matter entirely.

                      Charles Allen Cross used a name he was perfectly entitled to use in one context, and in another, used another. Not uncommon, not illegal, not suspicious, not anything at all.

                      But this has been pointed out before, so rather than discuss it again, I suggest a rereading of this post.

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                      • No one is disputing that theoretically Cross can be the killer of Nichols.Realistically however it has to be proven by evidence.Whoever was the Killer had to be in her presence when she was killed.This raises a number of questions.Who was that person,where and how and at what time did he meet and kill her.Cross cannot be that person unless his evidence can be proven to be false,so he should not be classed as suspect for the same reason.In a case of murder ,only police can determine who is a suspect,so it is misleading to claim that Cross was or is suspect.

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                        • Originally posted by harry View Post
                          No one is disputing that theoretically Cross can be the killer of Nichols.Realistically however it has to be proven by evidence.Whoever was the Killer had to be in her presence when she was killed.This raises a number of questions.Who was that person,where and how and at what time did he meet and kill her.Cross cannot be that person unless his evidence can be proven to be false,so he should not be classed as suspect for the same reason.In a case of murder ,only police can determine who is a suspect,so it is misleading to claim that Cross was or is suspect.
                          Actually, Lechmere can be the killer even if his testimony cannot be proven false. It is instead only if that testimony is proven correct that he cannot be the killer.
                          The police corps who seemingly failed to investigate him in 1888 is no longer in existence and todays police would not investigate a 133 year old case. You seem to think that means that Lechmere cannot have suspect status. I’ m afraid that is wrong, since it would disenable any new evidence to have an impact, and that would of course be folly.
                          If it helps, Andy Griffiths, who IS a police, described the case against Lechmere as totally relevant.

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                          • Originally posted by Bridewell View Post

                            It's perhaps not the best way to suggest guilt either. How do you know he didn't offer up those choices to the police? How do you know he gave one name only? You don't; it's unknowable. You surmise these things and you may be right - but you may also be wrong.

                            Stay Safe. Happy New Year. Your Lechmere argument is not without merit but this name thing is the weakest plank in the structure.
                            I am not saying it is a given in either direction. I am saying the name issue cannot be lifted out of the equation. And I am saying that it is a better argument for potential guilt than for potential innocence; the argument ”But he seems to have hidden his real name, so he must be innocent” does not make any sense, does it? As Gary points out, the fact that he only used the name Cross in combination with inquests is and remains an anomaly.
                            As you say, other parameters are definitely more important. But the case against Lechmere is built on - among other things - a large number of anomalies, inconsistencies and possible lies, and so we should look at the whole pile of such things, without sorting anything away in advance. Something that looks vaguely suspicious will take on another hue if it is added to many other matters of the same character.

                            You take care too!
                            Last edited by Fisherman; 01-19-2021, 06:36 AM.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by bridewell View Post
                              whilst i don't share his confidence in the guilt of lechmere it's only fair to point out that fisherman is not, despite claims to the contrary, the only person who holds that opinion; he's just the most vociferous of the claimants. (i'm hoping i've worded that in a way that won't start an argument).
                              What???

                              ...
                              Last edited by Fisherman; 01-19-2021, 06:23 AM.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Kattrup View Post

                                It certainly could make sense, whether it makes sense today is another matter entirely.

                                Charles Allen Cross used a name he was perfectly entitled to use in one context, and in another, used another. Not uncommon, not illegal, not suspicious, not anything at all.

                                But this has been pointed out before, so rather than discuss it again, I suggest a rereading of this post.
                                Do you think it is a common and unsuspicious thing when an innocent person who is involved in two cases of violent death gives another name to the police than the one he or she is registered by and always otherwise uses in authority contacts, while at the same time not disclosing his or her real name?

                                You see, THAT is what the question is specifically about. It is not about whether people sometimes use aliases, or whether we are entitled to call ourselves Uncle Scrooge on Thursdays, should we wish to.
                                Last edited by Fisherman; 01-19-2021, 06:52 AM.

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