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

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  • #31
    Hi Fish: Regarding who pulled the skirts down, it depends on which inquest reports you trust.

    Daily Telegraph (Sept 18):

    Robert Baul [Paul]: "The clothes were disarranged, and he helped pull them down."

    Helped? Helped whom? I doubt it was Polly Nichols.

    So I assume Paul helped Cross pull them down, though I acknowledge most people have Paul doing it completely on his own.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by Joshua Rogan View Post
      PC Neil's testimony is where the description "Her eyes were wide open" comes from.
      Yes, I know that, Joshua. What I am asking is whether the carmen actively denied having seen her eyes open. Frank says that "the carmen werenīt able to see her eyes wide open", and I am asking myself whether they actually professed to this themselves or whether it is something that is extrapolated from Neils testimony. There are a number of factors that must be weighed into the matter, one of them being that you can be unconscious with your eyes wide open. Presumably, you can be very drunk and have your eyes open too. There is also the matter of the position of the head on Nichols; if it was turned away from the carmen to a degree, then it may have been hard to see the eyes, whereas the neck was cut all the way around and the wound was a gaping one.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
        Hi Fish: Regarding who pulled the skirts down, it depends on which inquest reports you trust.

        Daily Telegraph (Sept 18):

        Robert Baul [Paul]: "The clothes were disarranged, and he helped pull them down."

        Helped? Helped whom? I doubt it was Polly Nichols.

        So I assume Paul helped Cross pull them down, though I acknowledge most people have Paul doing it completely on his own.
        Yes, R J, it WAS Nichols Paul helped. She could not do it herself and so he assisted, thatīs how it reads. The full sentence is actually ""The clothes were disarranged, and he helped to pull them down", so there should be a "to" added. That little word changes the apparition of the meaning, Iīd say - "he helped pull them down" seems to be more indicative of a joint effort that "he helped to pull them down". At least that is how I read it.

        Please read all the articles and you will see that it is beyond any real doubt that Paul and Paul alone pulled the clothing down in combination with the examination made by the carmen. Both carmen are very clear about it, and you will see that when reading up about it.
        The Echo, Lechmere speaking: When I found her, her clothes were above her knees. There did not seem to be much clothing. The other man pulled her clothes down before he left.
        Illustrated Police News, Lechmere speaking: The other man tried to pull her clothes down to cover her legs, but they did not seem as if they would come down.

        The Times, Paul speaking: While he was pulling the clothes down he touched the breast, and then fancied he felt a slight movement.

        There is actually one source that seems to endorse your opinion, the Morning Advertiser, where it says, Lechmere speaking: When I found her clothes were up above her knees we tried to pull them over her, but they did not seem as if they would come down.

        Here, Lechmere speaks about "we", but from the other sources it seems clear that there was just one man doing the pulling, and so either the wording in the Morning Advertiser is wrong, or Lechmere used "we" in a collective sense; Paul did the pulling but there was a consensus about it.
        Last edited by Fisherman; 12-27-2020, 01:34 PM.

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        • #34
          Hi Fish - I can concede the point that it may have been Paul alone, but surely this really doesn't change things? The clothing was up, and it was pulled down.

          This is how Yost, Chisholm, and DiGrazia interpret it:

          "When discovered by Charles Cross and Robert Paul, Nichols' skirts had been pushed up to her waistline by her killer. They pulled them down slightly to preserve her modesty, but in the process covered up her abdominal mutilations."

          I don't think that's far removed from how most people interpret the events. Perhaps I'll have to go back and cast my net wider, but if I'm wrong, I'm wrong in good company. More anon.
          Last edited by rjpalmer; 12-27-2020, 01:34 PM.

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          • #35
            P.S. The clothing being 'disarranged': 'disarranged' is the exact word used to describe the clothing of Tabram/Chapman, so it's descriptive value is broad.

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            • #36
              Hi R J. Just a final example of who did the pulling, from the Eastern Argus, Lechmere speaking:
              The man suggested that we should move her, but I would not touch her. He then tried to pull her clothes down to cover her legs, but they did not seem as if they would come down.

              That should do the trick - if it had not already been done. Now to your next points:

              The clothing had been pushed up to her waistline by her killer, it says in the quote you make. But there is no substantiation for such a suggestion. No contemporary source at all tells us that the clothing was thus far up. The sources we have all are unanimous in saying that the clothing was between her knees and her abdomen. Some say it more clearly: her legs were exposed and that was it.
              If the carmen found the clothing pulled up to the waistline, they would have seen a lot of blood and gore since much of the wounds would be visible - should we accept that they missed out on it...? Or that Lechmere kept quiet about it when telling Mizen?

              If people interpret the events like that, they are interpreting things from a vantage point that has no anchoring in the sources. Ergo, they will be distorting the evidence and creating a picture that cannot be created from the existing, true evidence.

              Should we do our Ripperology like that? Clearly, the authors you refer to have not done their homework. That should be criticized, not commended and accepted, R J!

              Just like you say, the clothing was up and then it came down; it was up to the thighs and then it came down to the knees. Thatīs all there is to it. The wounds were hidden from sight, and if Lechmere had decided to con Paul to get away with murder, it makes a world of sense that this was so.
              Last edited by Fisherman; 12-27-2020, 01:54 PM.

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              • #37
                Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
                P.S. The clothing being 'disarranged': 'disarranged' is the exact word used to describe the clothing of Tabram/Chapman, so it's descriptive value is broad.
                Disarranged is a VERY wide description. A gust of wind can produce it - or an eviscerating serial killer. It has little or no definition value in the context we are looking at.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by Fisherman View Post

                  Yes, I know that, Joshua. What I am asking is whether the carmen actively denied having seen her eyes open. Frank says that "the carmen werenīt able to see her eyes wide open", and I am asking myself whether they actually professed to this themselves or whether it is something that is extrapolated from Neils testimony. There are a number of factors that must be weighed into the matter, one of them being that you can be unconscious with your eyes wide open. Presumably, you can be very drunk and have your eyes open too. There is also the matter of the position of the head on Nichols; if it was turned away from the carmen to a degree, then it may have been hard to see the eyes, whereas the neck was cut all the way around and the wound was a gaping one.
                  Whoops, apologies. This language thing is tricky, words can be interpreted in so many different ways...
                  I dont recall either carman mentioning her eyes. I do think wide open eyes would be the sort of thing I'd expect people to mention, if they had noticed. It certainly seemed to make an impression on Neil, but then, he had a lamp.

                  I'm struggling to picture how you think her throat wound was concealed under her clothing, yet was uncovered by trying to pull her skirt a little further down. What clothing do you think covered her throat?

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                  • #39
                    Hereīs the same mistake, from Richard Jonesī site

                    "Her skirts were pulled up around her waist and a bonnet, which she had evidently been wearing, lay on the ground close to her head."

                    This is really not good research. It is the exact opposite. Letīs look at the sources:

                    Daily News, Lechmere speaking: "The woman's legs were uncovered. Her bonnet was off, but close to her head."

                    Est London Observer, Lechmere speaking: "The woman's legs were uncovered. Her bonnet was off, but close to her head."

                    The Echo, Lechmere speaking: "When I found her, her clothes were above her knees."

                    Illustrated Police News, Lechmere speaking: "The other man tried to pull her clothes down to cover her legs, but they did not seem as if they would come down."

                    Morning Advertiser, Lechmere speaking: "When I found her clothes were up above her knees..."

                    The Star, Lechmere speaking: "Before they left the body the other man tried to pull the clothes over the woman's knees..."

                    The Times, Robert Paul speaking: "Her clothes were raised almost up to her stomach."

                    Can anybody tell me at what stage the clothing crept up "around Polly Nicholsīs waist"? It is abundantly clear that they only went a far as the thighs, but that has seemingly not stood in the way of Richard Jonesī imagination.

                    Before we have a clear and factbased view of this matter, Lechmereīs potential culpability is not judged from a correct perspective. I urge everybody with a genuine interest in the case to actually look for themselves what applies and what does not.




                    Last edited by Fisherman; 12-27-2020, 03:05 PM.

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Joshua Rogan View Post

                      Whoops, apologies.

                      Anybody who apologizes and actually makes the effort to check things out factually is a hero in my world, Joshua!

                      This language thing is tricky, words can be interpreted in so many different ways...
                      I dont recall either carman mentioning her eyes. I do think wide open eyes would be the sort of thing I'd expect people to mention, if they had noticed. It certainly seemed to make an impression on Neil, but then, he had a lamp.

                      Yes, he had a lamp - and his examination would have been a lot more thorough. If Nicholsīs head was turned to a degree towards the wooden gate, then maybe the carmen could not easily make out her eyes, whereas Neil certainly would secure himself a look at her face.

                      I'm struggling to picture how you think her throat wound was concealed under her clothing, yet was uncovered by trying to pull her skirt a little further down. What clothing do you think covered her throat?
                      Nichols wore an ulster and a frock. Both of these garments would have gone from her neckline down to her lower legs, just above her feet - when standing up. Both of them could have served the purpose of covering the neck wound. And both of them could have come down as Paul pulled from the foot end. It all depends on how she was lying on the garments on the pavement. At any rate, if Lechmere was the killer, he would not settle for covering the abdominal wounds only if he aimed to con Paul. All the wounds needed to be covered up in such a case. And actually, the wounds to the throat would be the more likely give-away if not covered; it would present a dark gash against a white neck, plus we tend to look people in the face more than in the genital region. Then again, I think that Lechmere secured the place up at the neck for himself and left the lower parts to Paul.
                      Last edited by Fisherman; 12-27-2020, 03:01 PM.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Fisherman View Post
                        Hereīs the same mistake, from Richard Jonesī site

                        "Her skirts were pulled up around her waist and a bonnet, which she had evidently been wearing, lay on the ground close to her head."

                        This is really not good research. It is the exact opposite. Letīs look at the sources:

                        Daily News, Lechmere speaking: "The woman's legs were uncovered. Her bonnet was off, but close to her head."

                        Est London Observer, Lechmere speaking: "The woman's legs were uncovered. Her bonnet was off, but close to her head."

                        The Echo, Lechmere speaking: "When I found her, her clothes were above her knees."

                        Illustrated Police News, Lechmere speaking: "The other man tried to pull her clothes down to cover her legs, but they did not seem as if they would come down."

                        Morning Advertiser, Lechmere speaking: "When I found her clothes were up above her knees..."

                        The Star, Lechmere speaking: "Before they left the body the other man tried to pull the clothes over the woman's knees..."

                        The Times, Robert Paul speaking: "Her clothes were raised almost up to her stomach."

                        Can anybody tell me at what stage the clothing crept up around Polly Nicholsīs waist? It is abundantly clear that they only went a far as the thighs, but that has seemingly not stood in the way of Richard Jonesī imagination.

                        Before we have a clear and factbased view of this matter, Lechmereīs potential culpability is not judged from a correct perspective. I urge everybody with a genuine interest in the case to actually look for themselves what applies and what does not.
                        "Above the knees" is the same expression used in some reports of the position of Chapman's skirts. Therefore I don't think we can conclude this was an exact description of their height. I think the reporters, if not the witnesses, often exercised some discretion in their descriptions.

                        Eg, Inspector Chandler: "Deceased's legs were drawn up, and the clothing was above the knees."




                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Fisherman View Post
                          Nichols wore an ulster and a frock. Both of these garments would have gone from her neckline down to her lower legs, just above her feet - when standing up. Both of them could have served the purpose of covering the neck wound. And both of them could have come down as Paul pulled from the foot end.
                          I'm not sure a frock would move enough when worn lying down, but I'll give you the ulster.

                          the wounds to the throat would be the more likely give-away if not covered; it would present a dark gash against a white
                          Fair enough. But if it was too dark to see any blood, as Paul said, I can imagine that a dark strip around the throat, if noticed, could easily be interpreted as, say, a neckerchief, in the gloom.

                          Then again, I think that Lechmere secured the place up at the neck for himself and left the lower parts to Paul.
                          I'm not sure how you can conclude this. Paul says he touched her face and her breast (as well as her hand). None of these can be described as lower parts, and two of them are adjacent to the throat, so Paul clearly had to be in that vicinity.

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Joshua Rogan View Post

                            "Above the knees" is the same expression used in some reports of the position of Chapman's skirts. Therefore I don't think we can conclude this was an exact description of their height. I think the reporters, if not the witnesses, often exercised some discretion in their descriptions.

                            Eg, Inspector Chandler: "Deceased's legs were drawn up, and the clothing was above the knees."



                            Once the clothing are over the knees and the legs are drawn up, it goes without saying that the lower abdomen is exposed. This was not made any secret of at the inquest either. Phillips was dry and exact in his description: "The left arm was across the left breast, and the legs were drawn up, the feet resting on the ground, and the knees turned outwards." Nothing discrete about that!

                            Brown follows suit at the Eddowes inquest:
                            (The body) was lying in the position described by Watkins, on its back, the head turned to the left shoulder, the arms by the side of the body, as if they had fallen there. Both palms were upwards, the fingers slightly bent. A thimble was lying near. The clothes were thrown up. The bonnet was at the back of the head. There was great disfigurement of the face. The throat was cut across. Below the cut was a neckerchief. The upper part of the dress had been torn open.

                            I donīt think we should take it upon ourselves to alter the facts for suggestions in another direction entirely and blame it on victorian prudence. There is nothing at all suggesting that the clothing was "around her waist" - it is a total invention, as far as I understand, and one that should not be allowed to stand with no evidence to strengthen it other than a claim that "maybe the victorians were ashamed to allow for it being mentioned". The facts are that the dress was up over the legs of Nichols, whereas the abdominal wounds were hidden.

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Originally posted by Joshua Rogan View Post

                              I'm not sure a frock would move enough when worn lying down, but I'll give you the ulster.

                              Fair enough. The ulster was always going to be the garment that was the likelisést one to have been pulled on by Paul since it was the outermost one. I only mentioned the frock becasue it was the only other garment that stretched from the neck to the lower legs. Therefore, the two garments in combination cover the options for the suggestion that the gash to the neck was covered and that Paul pulled the coverage down.

                              Fair enough. But if it was too dark to see any blood, as Paul said, I can imagine that a dark strip around the throat, if noticed, could easily be interpreted as, say, a neckerchief, in the gloom.

                              A one or two-inch wide gash around the neck would reasonably look like a cut throat. Cut throats were not uncommon in the East End, and since the woman was on her back, it should have been a logical possibility that needed checking. And it was NOT too dark to see the blood. If they could see the hat, they could see the blood. The reason this was said was likely that it was a logical assumption to make; "Although I now know there would have been blood, I did not see any blood, ergo it was too dark for me to see it". The assumption that it was not visible since it was hidden from sight was not a likely one to make, was it?

                              I'm not sure how you can conclude this. Paul says he touched her face and her breast (as well as her hand). None of these can be described as lower parts, and two of them are adjacent to the throat, so Paul clearly had to be in that vicinity.
                              I donīt conclude it as a fact. As I said, I think this was so. Lechmere felt her face and Paul felt her chest as per the DT, and that seems to point to Lechmere being further up the body, for example. Paul pulled the clothes from her foot end. In the Morning Advertiser, we have further pointers in the same direction, with Lechmere saying "I bent over her head and touched her hand, which was cold", so the inference is there. Does it really say that Paul touched her face? Which source says that, Joshua?
                              Edit: Just saw the Times, saying about Paul:
                              Witness felt her hands and face, and they were cold.
                              Then again, in the DT it says: The man touched witness on the shoulder and asked him to look at the woman, who was lying across the gateway. He felt her hands and face, and they were cold.
                              ... and that seems to tell us that Lechmere was the one feeling the hands and face. This is, as pointed out, further confirmed by Lechmereīs own testimony in the same paper:
                              They both crossed over to the body, and witness took hold of the woman's hands, which were cold and limp. Witness said, "I believe she is dead." He touched her face, which felt warm. The other man, placing his hand on her heart, said "I think she is breathing, but very little if she is."
                              The Times is in line with this when reporting what Lechmere said:

                              Witness, having felt one of the deceased woman's hands and finding it cold, said "I believe she is dead." The other man, having put his hand over her heart, said "I think she is breathing."
                              Last edited by Fisherman; 12-27-2020, 04:15 PM.

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Yes, the Times is where Paul is reported as touching her hands, facr and breast. It also says he put his head near to her mouth (presumably) to try and hear breathing. So either one of them (at least) is lying or misremembering, or they both touched her face at some point;

                                Times 18 Sept
                                Robert Baul (Paul): "Witness went with him, and saw a woman lying right across the gateway. Her clothes were raised almost up to her stomach. Witness felt her hands and face, and they were cold. He knelt down to see if he could hear her breathe, but could not, and he thought she was dead. It was very dark, and he did not notice any blood. They agreed that the best thing they could do would be to tell the first policeman they met. He could not see whether the clothes were torn, and did not feel any other part of her body except the hands and face. They looked to see if there was a constable, but one was not to be seen. While he was pulling the clothes down he touched the breast, and then fancied he felt a slight movement."

                                You are correct about the blood though!

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