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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

    It is becoming something of a habit for advocates of the Lechmere theory to leave off the 1861 Census when making these statements.

    Is that fair play?

    Here is Lechmere, as a youth, being referred to as Charles Cross in the 1861 Census, while living with his "stepfather," Thomas Cross. If Lechmere's deposition can be believed, he also joined Pickford & Co. during his stepfather's lifetime--which could well be relevant.

    The 1861 census was taken on 7 April--a Sunday night--so there is every reason to believe the family would have been home. The adults could have called him "Lechmere" if that is the name he used.

    There are many examples of stepparents that did give the child's birthname in the census.

    The "Cross" family did not.

    Does that not count for anything?
    A simple oversight on my part, RJ. How do you envisage the census process to have worked? Do you think someone called at each house on the Sunday and asked for the information from the householders?

    I don’t think the 1861 census record when CAL a child, does count for much, because the chances are that he had no knowledge of what had been written on the household schedule by Thomas Cross, or possibly by Maria Lechmere (she was still legally married to John Lechmere you may remember).

    Comment


    • So, what occurred to Thomas Cross as being the correct surname to provide in relation to his stepchildren in 1871 subsequently became the name CAL thought it was appropriate to provide when dealing with the police and giving evidence at inquests?



      Comment


      • The way the 1861 census worked was that schedules were delivered to each and every household in the land a few days before the census date. The head of each household was responsible for recording the details of all those who spent the census night within his household on the schedule. These household schedules were collected the following day or shortly thereafter.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post

          Isn’t the point about the name that he didn’t use a name that would have been more appropriate for him to have used? Apart from the inquests into two violent deaths, every other document that carried his name had it as Lechmere.

          And as for his having knife skills, it’s a fact that his family were involved in horse butchery from at least 1891. That he carried horse meat on his cart is a distinct possibility. Lots of it came into Broad Street from the provinces. His son certainly transported it a few years later. His mother and oldest daughter ran a horse flesh shop and the family continued in that line until WWII.


          I've never questioned Lechmere's knife skills.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by John Wheat View Post

            I've never questioned Lechmere's knife skills.
            Isn’t it covered by your detailed analysis of his suspect status?

            Hi Abby

            Frankly I find the whole Lechmere theory silly. All it boils down to is a man finding a body. The rest is just bull ****.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post
              The way the 1861 census worked was that schedules were delivered to each and every household in the land a few days before the census date. The head of each household was responsible for recording the details of all those who spent the census night within his household on the schedule. These household schedules were collected the following day or shortly thereafter.
              hi gary
              i wouldnt fret on this issue too much. The issue is what name he normally went by at the time of the nichols murder(which was lechmere), not 27 years earlier.
              "Is all that we see or seem
              but a dream within a dream?"

              -Edgar Allan Poe


              "...the man and the peaked cap he is said to have worn
              quite tallies with the descriptions I got of him."

              -Frederick G. Abberline

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Abby Normal View Post

                agree al
                i find these arguments by the lechmerians a little silly.

                on the other hand i find the he couldnt have been the ripper because he lived a normal family man life idea worse than silly.
                Hi Abby , Just to clarify that point to which i made about ''Normal family man '' ill try and put it in the context that id hoped others would see.

                Of course im not suggesting that Lechmere, good old fashion mr nice guy with a wife and family couldnt be jtr, of course as we know these type of killers existed , history tells us that .

                But when listed with all the points as to why Lechmere makes a poor candidate for the killer, and there are Soooooo many that i have mentioned. On top of all them ,when you add the ''family man'' part, living for 32 years after kelly , having 12 kids , for me it kinda nails the door shut in Lechmeres case ..cheers Fishy.
                'It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is. It doesn't matter how smart you are . If it doesn't agree with experiment, its wrong'' . Richard Feynman

                Comment


                • Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post

                  Isn’t it covered by your detailed analysis of his suspect status?

                  Hi Abby

                  Frankly I find the whole Lechmere theory silly. All it boils down to is a man finding a body. The rest is just bull ****.
                  No not really.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by FISHY1118 View Post

                    Hi Abby , Just to clarify that point to which i made about ''Normal family man '' ill try and put it in the context that id hoped others would see.

                    Of course im not suggesting that Lechmere, good old fashion mr nice guy with a wife and family couldnt be jtr, of course as we know these type of killers existed , history tells us that .

                    But when listed with all the points as to why Lechmere makes a poor candidate for the killer, and there are Soooooo many that i have mentioned. On top of all them ,when you add the ''family man'' part, living for 32 years after kelly , having 12 kids , for me it kinda nails the door shut in Lechmeres case ..cheers Fishy.
                    I have to say I'm with you on this one. I know they can just stop but I just find it unlikely in this case that the murders start from nowhere and then suddenly stop. For the latter and think suspects that are no longer about for whatever reason make more sense. I'm not struck on the insane/asylum line as I think jtr was largely in control and cunning. You know where I think the obvious answer lies, for discussion elsewhere though.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Aethelwulf View Post

                      I have to say I'm with you on this one. I know they can just stop but I just find it unlikely in this case that the murders start from nowhere and then suddenly stop. For the latter and think suspects that are no longer about for whatever reason make more sense. I'm not struck on the insane/asylum line as I think jtr was largely in control and cunning. You know where I think the obvious answer lies, for discussion elsewhere though.
                      Happy to hear them .P.M with the details .
                      'It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is. It doesn't matter how smart you are . If it doesn't agree with experiment, its wrong'' . Richard Feynman

                      Comment


                      • It is one thing to interpret Lechmere's actions as evasive or suspicious, it's another to make bold claims that he's the suspect par excellence or that he was categorically JTR. Although personally, I don't see how a man who stopped the first passer-by and attended the inquest could be viewed as shady.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Newbie View Post
                          It depends on when you would start timing Paul's walk up Buck's row to the body:
                          walking from the intersection of Brady & Buck's row (100 meters plus) will take a bit more than a minute at a normal pace;
                          Walking at a speed of 5 km/hr and the distance to Brady Street being 120 metres, it would have taken Paul 86 seconds to arrive at the crime scene. Just under 80 seconds if he walked at a speed of 5.5 km/hr and around 72 seconds if he walked at a speed of 6 km/hr.

                          Remember Paul thought immediately that the woman had been outraged (raped) when he looked at the body....he would have easily & rapidly
                          speculated that the steps walking ahead would be that of the rapist.
                          Of the rapist?? Anyway, Paul could only have known a murder had been committed after he’d reached the body, not before.

                          However, what matters is not how quickly Paul would have reacted, its what the perpetrator might think....and he would not exactly know where Paul was on Buck's row when he had to make his decision.
                          No, what matters is what Lechmere could have expected from Paul. And that would have been that Paul wouldn’t scream bloody murder right after he would have heard Lechmere walk away from the body. But that, instead, he would have had some time to get away before Paul would raise any alarm.

                          If Lechmere would have listened for sounds while working on Nichols, he would have heard Paul entering Buck’s Row. Only if he didn’t pay attention to his surroundings and would only have heard him when he’d already covered some distance in Buck’s Row, he would not have known exactly where Paul was, but he could have guessed.

                          We have to remember that, if Lechmere was guilty, he was able to estimate that he would have had enough time to arrange the body the way he thought he had to, put away the knife, move away silently from the body and wait for Paul before Paul would be able to see him (although he couldn’t actually know whether or not Paul hadn’t seen OR heard him).

                          So, Lechmere, apparently, was able to estimate how far away Paul was in the situation where he’d decided to stay put. And, apparently, after arranging the body, putting his knife away and taking up his position in the middle of the road, Paul was still some 30-40 yards (or some 20 seconds, at least) away from him.

                          Some suggest that Paul might have missed seeing the body (entirely possible), or if he had seen the body, would not have done anything (also quite possible); but a murderer would not imagine that his murder victim was inconspicuous, nor that the approaching individual would be indifferent: he would most likely expect the exact opposite.
                          True enough, but it wouldn’t change the fact that he would have known he had some time to get away. If he approximately knew where Neil would have been when he walked away from the body, there would have been very little risk indeed: he could have escaped through Wood’s Buildings. If, however, he wouldn’t know where Neil was at that point, it would have been riskier to walk away, but he would know he’d still have some time before Paul could raise any alarm. And he could have used his psychopathic coolness and quick-thinking while getting away, too. But, of course, deciding to get away would depend on how far Lechmere estimated Paul to be away from him when he first heard him.

                          It would have been a long, long walk to safety for Lech, before he could get definitively away.
                          It was about 135 metres from the crime scene, through Wood’s Buildings to Whitechapel Road, where he could blend in with the other people walking to work or returning home from work. That’s not a long, long walk.

                          When I said that Neil (possibly) was around the intersection of Buck's row & Baker street, it means that Lech couldn't be certain exactly where Neil was: he might have already passed by Buck's row while heading up Baker street, or he could be approaching that intersection. Sound waves diffract around the edges of buildings, so it wouldn't be silence unless PC Neil was on Buck's row.
                          So? If Neil heard Lechmere over 200 metres away, he wouldn’t have thought anything about it and Paul wouldn’t have arrived at the body yet, so he couldn’t have raised an alarm yet.

                          Winthrop would have been safer, because Lech is heading towards Neil (possibly) for only 50 or so yards, before doubling back. The route you suggest would take him further up Buck's row and potentially closer to a police constable (& if he ran in the early morning hours, it would be bound to make any PC think he was up to no good).
                          No, my route would take him into Winthrop Street and then immediately take a right turn into Wood’s Buildings, which was situated directly south of the board school.

                          Click image for larger version

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                          I mentioned that heading towards the stranger Paul could have been the best of all choices, who probably wouldn't be able to give a decent identification, but Lech would be heading away from PC Neil, and the constable heading up Brady wouldn't be at the Brady/Buck's row intersection for another 7 minutes.
                          I disagree, Newbie. If Lechmere more or less knew where Neil (or Thain, for that matter) was when he heard Paul for the first time, then walking away and escaping through Wood’s Buildings would have been the safest option. Mind you, I don’t think Lechmere, if he was the killer, knew where Neil would have been approximately at any given time. Only if he’d seen him shortly before arriving at the crime scene, he could have had some idea of where he would have been some minutes later.
                          "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 Harry D View Post
                            It is one thing to interpret Lechmere's actions as evasive or suspicious, it's another to make bold claims that he's the suspect par excellence or that he was categorically JTR. Although personally, I don't see how a man who stopped the first passer-by and attended the inquest could be viewed as shady.


                            I would agree with that assessment.


                            And then you sweep everything under the rug and characterize it as a matter of encountering a body, stopping the first passer-by, and being a good citizen by attending the inquest.


                            First, I don't buy that Lech went to the inquest out of a sense of civic duty: no one dares qualify it in those terms, but that is essentially the argument. Guilty or innocent, he went for the same reason: fear of being discovered and then of being suspected for not coming forth…so, it is a very weak argument. If it was his concern for the prostrate woman that summoned his boldness to accost Paul, then why did he abandon the body so soon? In his very own testimony (if we can trust the accuracy of its transcription), he expresses a belief that she might have been ‘outraged’ and an uncertainty as to her state. A stranger, suddenly appearing from behind in a dangerous location at that hour with a hint of violence having occurred might give others a sense of caution; but Lech approaches him out of a sense of concern for the woman?

                            This strains credulity.


                            So, why do you think Lech accosted Paul instead of just hailing him? And why do you think Lech attended the inquest? And why, when he probably hired someone to take his spot at work that day, do you think he attended the inquest in his work clothes, given his upbringing? And why did he give the name of Charles Cross, when that was neither his official name, nor the name people seemed to know him by? And why did all but one newspaper fail to give his address....which was unusual for that assemblage of witnesses? And why is there no knowledge among his ancestors that Lech found Polly Nichols' body? And why, after approaching Paul at that unusual hour, and leading Paul to the body out of supposed concern, did he suddenly disengage from it all by refusing to touch the body & continue with the examination? Again, based on his own testimony at the inquest, he didn’t know if she was dead, but suspected grave injury.


                            And why, when given the wonderful acoustics of that narrow street, did Paul never acknowledge hearing Lechmere, and Lechmere only acknowledge hearing Paul at very close range, when it suited his explanation of standing in the middle of the street waiting for Paul?


                            This is not just one or two curiosities, it is a whole repetition, as one would expect if someone is not being truthful.


                            Not easy questions to answer for those who consider Lech an innocent, concerned citizen who just happened to have stumbled on a body seconds before Paul's arrival. At least some here are trying to lend an interpretation that brings the facts together, other than a shoulder shrug and declaration that we should move on.


                            In my mind, staying next to the murder victim is far more plausible than not hearing the footsteps of a man walking in hobnailed boots on stone pavement, some 50 yards away, for over a minute going up Brady and then Buck's row. In dark, quiet, gang ridden streets with little visibility, that seems implausible. The alert brain is a remarkable instrument, ever attentive for new sights and sounds, tuning repetitive sounds and sights out; and Paul said that one walks down those streets on their guard.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by FrankO View Post
                              Walking at a speed of 5 km/hr and the distance to Brady Street being 120 metres, it would have taken Paul 86 seconds to arrive at the crime scene. Just under 80 seconds if he walked at a speed of 5.5 km/hr and around 72 seconds if he walked at a speed of 6 km/hr.


                              Of the rapist?? Anyway, Paul could only have known a murder had been committed after he’d reached the body, not before.


                              No, what matters is what Lechmere could have expected from Paul. And that would have been that Paul wouldn’t scream bloody murder right after he would have heard Lechmere walk away from the body. But that, instead, he would have had some time to get away before Paul would raise any alarm.

                              If Lechmere would have listened for sounds while working on Nichols, he would have heard Paul entering Buck’s Row. Only if he didn’t pay attention to his surroundings and would only have heard him when he’d already covered some distance in Buck’s Row, he would not have known exactly where Paul was, but he could have guessed.

                              We have to remember that, if Lechmere was guilty, he was able to estimate that he would have had enough time to arrange the body the way he thought he had to, put away the knife, move away silently from the body and wait for Paul before Paul would be able to see him (although he couldn’t actually know whether or not Paul hadn’t seen OR heard him).

                              So, Lechmere, apparently, was able to estimate how far away Paul was in the situation where he’d decided to stay put. And, apparently, after arranging the body, putting his knife away and taking up his position in the middle of the road, Paul was still some 30-40 yards (or some 20 seconds, at least) away from him.


                              True enough, but it wouldn’t change the fact that he would have known he had some time to get away. If he approximately knew where Neil would have been when he walked away from the body, there would have been very little risk indeed: he could have escaped through Wood’s Buildings. If, however, he wouldn’t know where Neil was at that point, it would have been riskier to walk away, but he would know he’d still have some time before Paul could raise any alarm. And he could have used his psychopathic coolness and quick-thinking while getting away, too. But, of course, deciding to get away would depend on how far Lechmere estimated Paul to be away from him when he first heard him.


                              It was about 135 metres from the crime scene, through Wood’s Buildings to Whitechapel Road, where he could blend in with the other people walking to work or returning home from work. That’s not a long, long walk.


                              So? If Neil heard Lechmere over 200 metres away, he wouldn’t have thought anything about it and Paul wouldn’t have arrived at the body yet, so he couldn’t have raised an alarm yet.


                              No, my route would take him into Winthrop Street and then immediately take a right turn into Wood’s Buildings, which was situated directly south of the board school.

                              Click image for larger version  Name:	Crime scene to Whitechapel Road through Wood's Buildings.JPG Views:	63 Size:	179.6 KB ID:	786393


                              I disagree, Newbie. If Lechmere more or less knew where Neil (or Thain, for that matter) was when he heard Paul for the first time, then walking away and escaping through Wood’s Buildings would have been the safest option. Mind you, I don’t think Lechmere, if he was the killer, knew where Neil would have been approximately at any given time. Only if he’d seen him shortly before arriving at the crime scene, he could have had some idea of where he would have been some minutes later.
                              I think you are making an assumption that contradicts a possible opinion you might entertain about what Lech noticed and failed to notice.

                              Innocent Lech could only just hear Paul's footsteps from no farther than 40 yards away, guilty Lech could hear them all the way up the street. My expectation is that both Lech's could hear footsteps as far as the intersection with Brady Street.

                              So innocent Lech is lying about what he heard; let's focus on guilty Lech. He might have stumbled on the body, examined it, knew the woman to be dead, heard the footsteps entering the street, feared that he would be accused of the crime and attempted a bluff by just going back a minute in time; or, he might have killed Polly Nichols and heard the footsteps entering the street. It doesn't matter, either party would ask himself the question, how far away are those footsteps? Being at first distracted, he could have easily imagined not having heard them at first. The initial part of Buck's row would be an excellent acoustic channel: narrow and aligned with a continuous formation of stone buildings with no alcoves or side streets, and a stone pavement. The intensity of sound waves traveling from the base upwards would not diminish appreciably in comparison to broader streets or open fields. So, there would be a problem in accurately determining distance based on the strength of the signal; and one's tendency would be to imagine the footsteps are closer than they actually are. So Lech would have thought that Paul was closer than he actually was, and decided to bluff it.
                              There also might be initial confusion on which way the steps were coming. I broached upon it a while ago: ears parallel to the street could not distinguish it easily, sound coming into both ears simultaneously from either direction, and Polly Nichol's body was aligned so that the killer's ears would be roughly parallel if he situated himself between her legs. The body was also aligned in the direction the killer might expect the unexpected traveler.....i doubt that was by chance, but that part doesn't interest us.

                              Now, you or I can have a bird's eye view of the matter; but what is not important is our ability to estimate perfectly distances and escape times, it is a criminal (or an innocent) making a snap decision - and one he didn't expect to make if he was the murderer (not expecting Paul to arrive at that time). Guilty Lech's decision to stay put would have been made with the idea that he could easily explain why he was there around that time; and since he didn't disembowel his victim (killer or not killer), his hands would have been clean enough - nothing that couldn't be wiped off. These were not exactly IBM executives heading off to work in starched collars.

                              In my opinion, heading down Woods Buildings is not that big a difference from Winthrop, except with one caveat: how many times do you think Lech passed down that street? Maybe never? In all likelihood running down streets you have never traveled before seems like panic - initially heading towards a PC where you didn't know exactly where he might be, but had expectations that he was somewhere ahead. Maybe, PC Neil cut up Court Street - no one can be exactly certain today.

                              As for your point that fleeing to the entrance of Winthrop and then the Wood's buildings would have been quicker than arranging the body and stealthily moving towards the middle of the street, i would disagree: one would take much, much longer. Lech would have had maybe 5 - 10 seconds to process everything and make a decision....you would need to take that into account, unless you think he fled madly in any direction at the first hint of an approaching sound.

                              Do you think the criminal entertained the possibility that the stranger would not notice the body, or having noticed it wouldn't be that alarmed or interested?
                              In my mind, that wouldn't be likely; to the killer, it would be like a stranger not noticing a building was on fire.

                              And finally, most options Lech could have chosen probably would have worked out. Flight would have been option #1, but as i have suggested, the unexpected arrival of Paul and not being clear initially on his distance and direction would have compelled Lech to choose option #2.

                              If i missed one of your other points, notify me.
                              Last edited by Newbie; 05-26-2022, 04:38 PM.

                              Comment


                              • One other thing,

                                there was a discussion on the amount of time blood would flow out of the neck, given the trauma to that area.
                                Someone, who attempted thoroughness in analyzing the time component to the crime scene, posited that at minimum, JtR (if not Lech) was only 30 seconds ahead of Lechmere when he vacated the body, and stealthily headed off towards Baker Street; so, the time (at minimum) in which he severed the neck would have been only 30 seconds earlier than the time that Lech would have done it, if Lech were the murderer.

                                Once again, this does not conform to Lechmere's own testimony, in which he responded to a question of not hearing anyone on Buck's row once he turned onto it; nor to our expectations of the hearing capabilities of an average person in that location.

                                If you think JtR was disturbed during his post murder activities on Buck's row, that would mean Lech did not hear the footsteps of the person who disturbed him. And Lech testified that he could hear things all the way up the street (probably a correct assessment). So, assuming the disturber was walking towards Baker's street, since Lech & Paul did not report seeing/hearing him, that would mean the disturber was 2 - 3 minutes ahead of Lech, at minimum.

                                If Paul came across Lech & the body at 3:38 am (using innocent Lech's stated starting time and estimating), then Lech would have turned up Buck's row at 3:36-3:37 am. That means that the disturber, at latest, would have turned up Buck's row at 3:33 - 3:34 am. Although there is some dispute as to whether the killer slashed the throat before stabbing and carving the abdomen, i tend to believe that the M.O.
                                was to slash the throat first: this would immediately incapacitate the victim, & reduce the amount of blood in the abdomen area. So, go back another a minute upon being disturbed in which he cut the throat - this would leave at latest a time of 3:32 - 3:33 am in which the fatal cut was made.

                                That means blood would be flowing out of the neck wound, at minimum, for 12 - 13 minutes, if Lech was not the killer.

                                And then the disturber either did not notice it, did not report it to the police, inexplicably turned around, or that the disturber was a resident. Since the police were probably pretty thorough in asking residents about hearing something, or poking their head outside for a bit, this is unlikely.

                                Or PC Neil was incorrect about his assessment of blood flowing;
                                or JtR / the disturber, was someone who could afford soft leather heels.
                                Last edited by Newbie; 05-26-2022, 05:55 PM.

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