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

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  • Originally posted by Mark J D View Post
    ...this stuff about Nichols' stays is wrong...
    From Evans & Skinner, 2001 paperback:

    "Inspector Helston [sic], J Division, deposed that […] he proceeded to the mortuary, where he saw deceased, who had her clothing on. He saw the things removed. The bodice of the dress was buttoned down to the middle and the stays were fastened. […] The wounds on the abdomen were visible with the stays on, and that proved they could have been inflicted while the stays were on the deceased."

    So, the stays were fastened, and with them on the wounds were visible. Does that mean the stays were long and loose, and the killer lifted them up and poked the knife underneath? No, because unlike the charming item depicted the other day, Nichols' stays were not the full-length kind...

    "James Hatfield said he assisted the last witness in undressing the deceased. […] Although he had said deceased wore no stays he would not be surprised to find she had stays on.
    "The Foreman. – Why, you tried the stays on the body of the deceased in my presence at the mortuary, and you said they were short. Witness admitted his memory was bad."

    M.

    Click image for larger version  Name:	stays.JPG Views:	0 Size:	98.5 KB ID:	781662
    Last edited by Mark J D; 02-17-2022, 09:35 AM.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Doctored Whatsit View Post

      There is , as far as I am aware, no evidence whatever that even suggests that CAL was unaware that Paul was approaching. In fact, CAL said that if there was someone moving off in Buck's Row he must have heard him. How could he be so absolutely certain that he must have heard footsteps in front of him? One obvious answer is because, in the silence of the night, he could clearly hear the footsteps behind him. Otherwise he would be guessing, but he wasn't guessing, he said he was certain. So, my guess is that he heard Paul's footsteps behind him, and waited a short time for him to appear. Ok, of course I could be wrong, but if so, how could CAL be so certain?
      I think we’re in complete agreement, DW, only that we’ve been looking at things from different angles.

      I look at it from the order in which Lechmere gave his two statements and, therefore, begin with his statement that it was only when he’d recognized the figure as the body of a woman, that he heard Paul and that Paul, at that point, was about 40 yards off. This suggests that he didn’t hear Paul until that moment or, at least, that’s what it suggests to me.

      If we then look at his statement that “he thought that, had anyone left the body after he had turned into Buck's Row, he would have heard them”, we see that it doesn’t match with the first statement, because, there, he’s saying that he would have heard someone moving away from a maximum of about 130 yards away from him (from Brady Street to the crime scene). Therefore, this statement might well have provoked a question like “But didn’t you hear Paul, then, before you realized the figure was actually a woman?”.

      What strikes me (just as it strikes you), is that Lechmere didn’t merely say that he didn’t hear or see anybody ahead of him, but that he would have heard someone, had there been someone. So, indeed, how could he be so certain?
      Last edited by FrankO; 02-17-2022, 10:35 AM.
      "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


      • Originally posted by FrankO View Post
        I think we’re in complete agreement, DW, only that we’ve been looking at things from different angles.

        I look at it from the order in which Lechmere gave his two statements and, therefore, begin with his statement that it was only when he’d recognized the figure as the body of a woman, that he heard Paul and that Paul, at that point, was about 40 yards off. This suggests that he didn’t hear Paul until that moment or, at least, that’s what it suggests to me.

        If we then look at his statement that “he thought that, had anyone left the body after he had turned into Buck's Row, he would have heard them”, we see that it doesn’t match with the first statement, because, there, he’s saying that he would have heard someone moving away from a maximum of about 130 yards away from him (from Brady Street to the crime scene). Therefore, this statement might well have provoked a question like “But didn’t you hear Paul, then, before you realized the figure was actually a woman?”.

        What strikes me (just as it strikes you), is that Lechmere didn’t merely say that he didn’t hear or see anybody ahead of him, but that he would have heard someone, had there been someone. So, indeed, how could he be so certain?

        The other thing about CAL's comment that he must have heard someone moving away is his apparent belief that this person would have worn hob-nailed boots or something similar as was usually the case with working class men, of course. Presumably, if JtR wore rubber soles or something similar, the story would be different.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Mark J D View Post

          Paul had by that stage pulled Nichols' clothes a little further down. This likely exposed the throat -- the killer's original attempt to cover which was probably the reason the clothes were found in the position they were: low enough to hide the abdominal wounds, high enough to cover the throat wounds.

          M.
          He then heard the footsteps of a man going up Buck's-row, about forty yards away, in the direction that he himself had come from [ Inquest testimony ],

          So from 40 yards away Lech goes to the front of the body and pulls Polly's clothes down to hide the abdominal injuries. He then realises that could expose the neck wounds , so he goes back to the top of the body to pull her clothing back up to cover the neck wounds. Then he would have to go back to the base of the body to check that he hasn't pulled the clothes too far up as to expose the abdominal injuries again before moving to the centre of the street . All this while making sure his knife is hidden and possibly wiped off of blood plus making sure there was no blood on his hands.
          All this while the person from 40 yards away gets closer , a person who could easily have been a policeman I may add .

          You think that as is your prerogative.

          I personally think that once he heard footsteps he would have walked quickly away , trying his hardest not to be spotted. Just like in all the other ripper murders , where i may add he was seen , not once moving away from the crime , even though he was in a few tight spots.


          Comment


          • Originally posted by FrankO View Post
            I think we’re in complete agreement, DW, only that we’ve been looking at things from different angles.

            I look at it from the order in which Lechmere gave his two statements and, therefore, begin with his statement that it was only when he’d recognized the figure as the body of a woman, that he heard Paul and that Paul, at that point, was about 40 yards off. This suggests that he didn’t hear Paul until that moment or, at least, that’s what it suggests to me.

            If we then look at his statement that “he thought that, had anyone left the body after he had turned into Buck's Row, he would have heard them”, we see that it doesn’t match with the first statement, because, there, he’s saying that he would have heard someone moving away from a maximum of about 130 yards away from him (from Brady Street to the crime scene). Therefore, this statement might well have provoked a question like “But didn’t you hear Paul, then, before you realized the figure was actually a woman?”.

            What strikes me (just as it strikes you), is that Lechmere didn’t merely say that he didn’t hear or see anybody ahead of him, but that he would have heard someone, had there been someone. So, indeed, how could he be so certain?
            It seems to me that Cross/Lechmere probably didn't notice Paul's footsteps until he stopped walking himself because his own footsteps would be louder, masking the sound of Paul walking 40 or so yards behind him. His confidence that he would have heard someone leaving the scene doesn't mean he's correct in his belief, it only indicates the strength of his belief, not it's accuracy. Given he heard Paul's footsteps it is probably not surprising he believes he would have similarly heard someone leaving the scene. At no point does he say where in Buck's Row he would have heard them, meaning he doesn't say "Had someone fled as I entered Buck's Row I'm sure I would have heard them" after all. Rather, it comes across to me that he's saying something like "Had someone fled the scene about the time I noticed what I thought was a tarpaulin I must have heard them", because of course he's much closer to the body than Paul was to him when he had stopped and heard Paul. Given he's that close, though, why not indicate he would have seen them? I think he's getting at the idea that he didn't hear someone running off in the distance (i.e. someone who had rounded the corner). Running, of course, would be louder than walking, so again, his confidence would be derived from how he could hear Paul walking behind him once he himself stopped moving, and so is sure he would have also heard anybody else nearby had there been someone. Doesn't mean he's correct, only that he believes he would have heard them.

            PC Neil also hears PC Thain at the end of Buck's Row, but PC Neil, like Cross/Lechmere, has by that time stopped his own patrol and is examining the body. Had he been walking he may not have heard PC Thain at that distance. Footsteps are not going to thunder down the street, but rather break the otherwise silence of the night when one is standing still and not themselves making noise.

            Personally, I'm not too surprised he's confident in his belief. People often believe, quite strongly, things that could very easily be false. By false here I just mean, the acoustics of the area might actually have made it unlikely for him to hear someone who had made it out of sight while conversely made it easier to hear someone coming down Buck's Row. Importantly, though, even if he is wrong in his belief, and it would have been unlikely for him to hear someone ahead of him, that doesn't mean there was actually someone ahead of him. The killer may have been gone before he entered Buck's Row, or left upon his entry (as the killer is not walking and cutting would not make a lot of noise that means her killer could have heard him coming once he entered the street, just as PC Neil heard PC Thain's passing).

            - Jeff

            Comment


            • Thanks for the picture of a bodice, Mark, but we are talking about stays.

              If you read the history of the garment you posted you'll see she made it thus ...

              Click image for larger version  Name:	Edwardian-Working-Woman-Outfit-2-1.jpg Views:	0 Size:	110.6 KB ID:	781734
              "Here I’m wearing an Edwardian working woman outfit."
              (My emphasis)

              For comfort, she modified it, saying she used these paintings of women wearing bodices as a reference.

              Click image for larger version  Name:	Joseph_Julien_bodice.jpg Views:	0 Size:	50.9 KB ID:	781735
              Click image for larger version  Name:	Screen Shot 2022-02-18 at 12.18.14 pm.png Views:	0 Size:	29.8 KB ID:	781736

              (https://www.sewhistorically.com/vict...ck-wool-stays/)

              Note, in the back shot, just how long the garment extends down.

              Last edited by drstrange169; 02-18-2022, 01:49 AM.
              dustymiller
              aka drstrange

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              • Helson and an unnamed jury member noted Mrs Nichols stays were shorter than normal.
                Working from that premise, it's unlikely Mrs Nichols stays extended as far down as the milkmaid next to the cow in the previous picture. I'm guessing Mrs Nichols's stopped around the waist.

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                Here are the generally accepted wounds to Mrs Nichols (the second picture was drawn by Christer, just avoid any claims of bias).

                Clearly the stays would have to be a bra for the killer to have not lifted them to inflict the main cut.
                dustymiller
                aka drstrange

                Comment


                • Originally posted by drstrange169 View Post
                  Note, in the back shot, just how long the garment extends down.
                  We are talking one of these...

                  Click image for larger version

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                  Yes, no longer fashionable by 1888. Which is why it comes to be worn by a penniless, homeless woman who gets her clothes from workhouses.

                  M.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post
                    It seems to me that Cross/Lechmere probably didn't notice Paul's footsteps until he stopped walking himself because his own footsteps would be louder, masking the sound of Paul walking 40 or so yards behind him. His confidence that he would have heard someone leaving the scene doesn't mean he's correct in his belief, it only indicates the strength of his belief, not it's accuracy.
                    Agreed all around, Jeff.

                    At no point does he say where in Buck's Row he would have heard them, meaning he doesn't say "Had someone fled as I entered Buck's Row I'm sure I would have heard them" after all.
                    He, indeed, doesn’t say that, but he says something close to it. What he says, means that he would have heard them at any point after turning into Buck’s Row, i.e. also at, say, 70, 80, 90, 100, 110, 120 and at 130 yards from the body. That's the part that interests me, especially with a guilty Lechmere in mind.

                    Personally, I'm not too surprised he's confident in his belief. People often believe, quite strongly, things that could very easily be false.
                    I agree, Jeff. If Lechmere was innocent, then something like this is the explanation behind his remark that he would have heard somebody, had there been somebody. However, seeing what this remark means and the question it could, therefore, have provoked, it’s not the explanation if Lechmere was guilty. Why, if guilty, would he have said such a thing, when it would have been better if he'd just said that he saw or heard nobody? What did he have to gain by putting it like he did and not just saying he saw and heard nobody? Because I don't see any gain (instead, I only see a risk), I'm saying he might just as well have said that he had heard somebody moving away from the body. That, besides the same risk, would at least have had a gain.

                    The best,
                    Frank
                    Last edited by FrankO; 02-18-2022, 09:55 AM.
                    "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


                    • Originally posted by drstrange169 View Post
                      Clearly the stays would have to be a bra for the killer to have not lifted them to inflict the main cut.
                      See previous photo.

                      As for the weirdness that is:

                      "-- Why, you tried the stays on the body of the deceased in my presence at the mortuary, and you said they were short",

                      the only sane interpretation is that the stays were so unexpectedly short that this was a point of significant interest to people who were present.

                      M.
                      Last edited by Mark J D; 02-18-2022, 09:43 AM.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by drstrange169 View Post
                        ... it's unlikely Mrs Nichols stays extended as far down as the milkmaid next to the cow in the previous picture. I'm guessing Mrs Nichols's stopped around the waist. [...] Clearly the stays would have to be a bra for the killer to have not lifted them to inflict the main cut.
                        No. The top of the long cut evidently reached under the short stays to some extent. Telegraph: "The stays did not fit very tightly, for he was able to see the wounds without unfastening them." (Note: It would be perverse in the extreme to try and argue from this that those lower wounds were underneath notably short stays. Someone will do it, though...)

                        M.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by drstrange169 View Post
                          Helson and an unnamed jury member noted Mrs Nichols stays were shorter than normal.
                          Working from that premise, it's unlikely Mrs Nichols stays extended as far down as the milkmaid next to the cow in the previous picture. I'm guessing Mrs Nichols's stopped around the waist.

                          Click image for larger version

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                          Here are the generally accepted wounds to Mrs Nichols (the second picture was drawn by Christer, just avoid any claims of bias).

                          Clearly the stays would have to be a bra for the killer to have not lifted them to inflict the main cut.
                          Hi,

                          Am I missing something? I went and re-read Dr. L's inquest statement here, and at the end of it he describes the abdominal wounds as follows:

                          "...There were no injuries about the body till just about the lower part of the abdomen. Two or three inches from the left side was a wound running in a jagged manner. It was a very deep wound, and the tissues were cut through. There were several incisions running across the abdomen. On the right side there were also three or four similar cuts running downwards. All these had been caused by a knife, which had been used violently and been used downwards. The wounds were from left to right, and might have been done by a left-handed person. All the injuries had been done by the same instrument."

                          In both diagrams, there's a long incision indicated starting from about the breast bone and running to the pubes, but I can't see anything in his description that corresponds to that one? Is the description in The Daily Telegraph, Monday, September 3, 1888 missing something found elsewhere?

                          - Jeff

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by FrankO View Post
                            ...
                            He, indeed, doesn’t say that, but he says something close to it. What he says, means that he would have heard them at any point after turning into Buck’s Row, i.e. also at, say, 70, 80, 90, 100, 110, 120 and at 130 yards from the body. That's the part that interests me, especially with a guilty Lechmere in mind.

                            ...
                            Ah, yes, I went back and re-read the wording, and in Dr. W's post he's got

                            "Cal said that had anyone left the body after he got into Buck's Row he must have heard him."

                            which I agree literally means the same as from the point he entered. However, that to me points more to "overstating/over confidence" in his belief rather than an accurate assessment of the acoustics. Still, as you say, it seems an odd thing for a guilty person to do, insist there was nobody else in the area, given that his guilty knowledge would let him know that's not what he wants the police to be thinking - that he was the only person there! A guilty person knows they were there alone, and saying he heard, or may have heard, someone at the other end of the street as he entered would be a natural way to try and get the police thinking about someone other than himself. An innocent person, however, wouldn't be thinking the police would suspect them because of course they themself knows that they are innocent and so view what they're saying as conveying the situation as they recall.

                            Anyway, what he could/couldn't have heard (particularly while he's walking) in reality and what he believes he could/couldn't have heard are in all likelihood two different things. But confidently stating there was nobody else about does seem far more riskier than suggesting someone was moving away from him somewhere down in the darkness.

                            - Jeff

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Darryl Kenyon View Post
                              ... So from 40 yards away Lech goes to the front of the body and pulls Polly's clothes down to hide the abdominal injuries. He then realises that could expose the neck wounds , so he goes back to the top of the body to pull her clothing back up to cover the neck wounds. Then he would have to go back to the base of the body to check that he hasn't pulled the clothes too far up as to expose the abdominal injuries again...
                              The hypothesis under discussion is that JtR was Charles Lechmere. Not that he was Stan Laurel.

                              M.
                              Last edited by Mark J D; 02-18-2022, 11:02 AM.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Mark J D View Post

                                The hypothesis under discussion is that JtR was Charles Lechmere. Not that he was Stan Laurel.

                                M.
                                But your suggestions make him look like a comedian

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