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  • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
    The point is that the Lechmere theory is based almost entirely on personal interpretation.
    So which of these matters are "personal interpretation", R J?

    - He did not give the name he otherwise gave to authorities, his registered one, when testifying at the inquest.
    - He was alone with the body of Polly Nichols for an undetermined amount of time.
    - He was found with the body at a remove in time that is entirely consisent with being the killer.
    - He walked through the killing fields of Whitechapel/Spitalfields on a daily basis.
    - His home in Doveton Street was situated so that not one but two bloodied rags found after Eddowesīmurder and the dumping of the Pinchin Street torso were found inbetween the murder/dumping sites and it.
    - He disagreed with PC Mizen about a number of things, and in a way that would be perfectly suited to take him past the police.
    - He did not tell PC Mizen that he himself was the finder of the body, but is instead recorded as having said that "a body has been found in Bucks Row".
    - The body of Polly Nichols had the wounds to the abdomen covered by her clothing when found.
    - He declined to help Paul prop Nichols up when asked.
    - He gave timings for his departure from home that do not fit with when he was present in Bucks Row.

    Are these matters "personal interpretations" from my side? Or do they belong to the recorded evidence in the case?

    If we are going to speak of personal interpretations, we must delve into the conclusions I draw from the material above: That Charles Lechmere was the (extremely) likely killer of Polly Nichols.

    If you can tell me how either of the points above -or all of them! - speak against that conclusion, then my personal interpretation needs to be questioned. But letīs not pretend that personal interpretation is all there is. There is a solid case, built on numerous factors. A prima facie case that suggests that Charles Lechmere was the killer. That, at least, was James Scobies "personal interpretation"...
    Last edited by Fisherman; 10-23-2021, 07:55 AM.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by harry View Post
      Now neither Paul nor Cross.when they set out to find a policeman,knew that a crime had been committed.
      Speaking about personal interpretations...

      Comment


      • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post

        Who said anything about "jostling people in a busy market?" A little cliché, don't you think? People in India literally walk up to you and grab you by the elbow. It's a different society.

        Why India remains a 'touchy-feely' society (dailyo.in)

        And did Lechmere "approach" Paul, or did he merely try to get his attention?



        The number struck me as small, as well, but it comes from the research of Helena Wojtczak, who some here will remember. If you have another number, by all means post it.

        29 Hanbury Street isn't in SGE, but there were nine rooms and 17 people living there, so that equates to less than 2 per room. But, like the Lechmere household, it's merely anecdotal evidence. I wouldn't necessarily wish to equate 'decent' with the number of tenants.


        One possible source, of course, is the 1845 survey undertaken by the Statistical Society of London into conditions in the NE quarter of STGITE. It’s a fascinating document, but it became rapidly out of date with the arrival of large numbers of first Irish, then Jewish immigrants into the area. The table shows how few Catholic and Jewish households the area contained in 1845.

        This was very much the area in which Charles Lechmere grew up. In the 1860’s it became the sub-parish of St John the Evangelist-in-the-East. Sadly for our twisted purposes, the trade of prostitution was explicitly omitted from the survey except for a handful of women who lived in otherwise respectable households.

        In 1845, the average number of people to a room in the area was indeed 2.00. I’m intrigued by how Helena used this data (if she did) in connection with (presumably) George Chapman. It would be a bit like discussing a modern day Brick Lane Bangladeshi man in the context of 1900 statistics for Spitalfields.

        https://www.jstor.org/stable/2337956...o_tab_contents
        Attached Files
        Last edited by MrBarnett; 10-23-2021, 08:13 AM.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post

          Does Helena provide a source for the household density of STGITE in the 1860s/70s? I’d like to see that.
          No she doesn't. I think you'd have better luck in one of Fishman's books. It was just a number that stuck in my mind.

          I would caution that immigrant 'replacement' of the native population doesn't invariably mean higher population density. It may or it may not.

          But back to the original point. An average of 2 people per room is a very high density rate--6 people in a three-room house isn't my idea of spacious living--but if you want to raise it even higher, 3 per room or whatever number, then it supports my contention all the more. People growing up in overpopulated areas--and Lechmere falls into that category--are going to be less 'standoffish' than their modern counterparts, out of sheer conditioning and necessity. It's seems like a rather minor point; I was just wondering if our fellow poster who sees a man tapping a stranger on the shoulder as being odd or menacing wasn't seeing it from a different cultural perspective, and thus misinterpreting it. Paul admits that he was initially disturbed by 'Cross' waiting for him in the middle of the road at that hour, but he doesn't voice any disapproval of having been touched on the shoulder.

          Further, commonsense would suggest that the higher the population density, the more unlikely it would be that someone is successfully abducting, murdering, and dismembering women in the district. Wainwright up in the Whitechapel Road got away with it, initially, but he was a middle class bloke with privacy. Living in SGE and being the Ripper would be a difficult juggling act in itself, but if a theorist is going to have our local yokel also chopping up women in his lodgings and them transporting them to Chelsea or wherever else, it starts to become difficult to take it seriously. Which I suppose is why the Lechmere theorists have a tendency to imply that Ma Lechmere was in-on-the-act. I see from an old post that Mr. Stowe evidently believes that she may have even murdered Thomas Cross. Or maybe he meant Charlie did it; not sure.
          Last edited by rjpalmer; 10-23-2021, 11:42 AM.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Fisherman View Post

            So which of these matters are "personal interpretation", R J?
            All of them, other than Lechmere using the name 'Cross' at the inquest. But I don't think we need to go through it for the hundreth time.

            A man declining to shift a body on the pavement is a 'fact.' Whether it is deeply sinister or entirely reasonable is a matter of interpretation.

            There are many reasons he could have declined to shift the body, including the accident he had been involved in, what was it? 1876?

            Comment


            • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post

              Hi Frank,

              No offense, but I prefer it this way:

              Paul suggests to prop Nichols up, but Lechmere declines, suggesting that one of them should go fetch a policeman.

              Paul refuses, as going to search for a policeman would take too much time.

              Do you see the subtle difference?

              I don't see why there is any reason to make Lechmere out to be the difficult one. Why not Paul? The word "refuses" is the one the Lechmere theorists use, but it's loaded. There are any number of reasons why a person might think shifting a body on the sidewalk is not a good idea. Fear of having the woman's head fall off is surely among the least likely.
              No offense taken, Roger. In fact, as a Dutchman, I thank you for pointing me to the difference between the two.

              Cheers,
              Frank
              "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 rjpalmer View Post

                All of them, other than Lechmere using the name 'Cross' at the inquest. But I don't think we need to go through it for the hundreth time.

                On the contrary - I am certain that we must go through them as long as you claim they are "personal interpretations". Take, for instance, the matter that he walked through Whitechapel/Spitalfields on his daily trek to work. How is that a personal interpretation on my behalf, instead of a fact? How is it a personal interpretation on my behalf that he declined to help Paul prop Nichols up, when we have on record that this was so? How is it a personal interpretation of mine that Nichols clothing covered the wounds to the abdomen as Paul arrived at the site, when we have it on record?
                Do you even know what a personal interpretation IS? And donīt blame me for asking the question, you led it on yourself.

                These matters are not interpretations at all, they are on record as facts. Itīs not until a theory is based on caserelated information and facts that the element of personal interpretation is introduced.

                You then make a meal of how personal interpretation is part of the theory as if it was a bad thing. Can you tell me which theory does NOT rely on personal interpretation? They all do, donīt they? And there is nothing wrong with basing a theory on personal interpretation. It is no weakness or flaw. Of course, personal interpretations can be based on more or less decisive case facts and thus make for a more or less trustworthy theory. But stating "Itīs personal interpretation" when I say that somebody with a smoking gun in his hand standing over a recently shot person is a prime suspect is counterproductive in the extreme. And disingenuous.

                I hope you understand how this works now. It would save us a lot of unneccessary quibbling.


                A man declining to shift a body on the pavement is a 'fact.' Whether it is deeply sinister or entirely reasonable is a matter of interpretation.

                Aaaah, will you look at that - you DO understand how it works!! You just got it asswards in the first passage of yours! Yes, R J, a man declining to help prop somebody up is a fact when we have it on record. It is not a personal interpretation at all. Which is why you are massively wrong when you write that the points I made are all personal interpretations but for the name.
                As for the degree to which it was likely sinister, THAT is a matter of interpretation. But as always, if we start (theoretically) by looking at it as a 50/50 chance of being innocent/sinister, the recioe for determining it as closely as we possibly can lies in looking at whether or not there are OTHER matters that do not look quite right. And we both know that they are around in heaps. Therefore, the refusal to help prop Nichols up efends itīs place as a possible sinister act, and the more examples there are of other matters that are consistent with guilt, the greater that possibility becomes.
                It is NOT rocket science, other than in ripperology. I ripperology, the most obvious of matters can be denied.


                There are many reasons he could have declined to shift the body, including the accident he had been involved in, what was it? 1876?
                See the above.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post

                  Living in SGE and being the Ripper would be a difficult juggling act in itself, but if a theorist is going to have our local yokel also chopping up women in his lodgings and them transporting them to Chelsea or wherever else, it starts to become difficult to take it seriously.
                  So you are reasoning that the closer to his own doorstep he dumped his victims, the happier the culprit would be? How do you reconcile that with how we know that for example Ridgway - who killed in his own home - transported his victims far afield from it? Just like a range of other serialists have done? Why did they not drop them in their own doorsteps instead?

                  On the Torsdo killer specifically: have you noticed that there were body parts dumped all over London? How does that NOT prove that the killer was ready and willing to transport the parts extensively?

                  As for whether or not a killer can vary inbetween dimsmeberment and non-dismemberment murders, all yu have to do is to read up on criminal history and the answer is there.

                  Is this perhaps where you once again make the point that it would be an uncommon thing to do...?

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Fisherman View Post
                    Hmm. I donīt see that at all, Frank. I agree that "fetched" seems to indicate getting a PC and returning with him, and I think you are right in pointing out that it would be a time-consuming exercise for Paul, who abstained from the idea for that reason.
                    Hi Chirster,
                    I looked it up in the dictionary and found that it indeed means “go for and then bring back (someone or something)”, so Paul undoubtedly abstained from the idea for the reason it was too time-consuming.

                    But where and how does the idea that it was Lechmereīs suggestion come into play?? If it was like that, why did not Lechmer say so: "I suggested that the other man should fetch a policeman, but he said he was behind in time and would not do so".
                    Likewise, why, if Paul was actually the instigator, did he not say: “I suggested that the other man should fetch a policeman, but he said he was behind time, too” or something alike?

                    The fact that it wasn’t reported as having been said doesn’t mean that Lechmere didn’t say anything about it. The fact that – out of a dozen or so - there are only two newspapers who included in his statement something like “Let us go on and alert the first policeman we see” supports this. And according to Paul’s statement he, Paul, also agreed that the best thing for them to do was to alert the first policeman they met. There’s nothing in Lechmere’s statement versions about this either. So, are we to believe either Lechmere or Paul (or anyone else for that matter) only said the things that we find in their statement versions? I, for one, don’t think so.

                    Then, here’s what Lechmere said, again: “He merely said that he would have fetched a policeman but he was behind time.”

                    If you read it like this “He merely said that he would have fetched a policeman but he was behind time.”, then you might conclude that it was Paul who suggested to go for the police. If, however, it’s supposed to be clear that it MUST be read like this, as you seem to suggest, this would be bad for a guilty Lechmere who wanted to look good. Because then, of course, it would be clear that Paul was the one who suggested to fetch a policeman. So, why say it at all?

                    If, however, you’d read it like this “He merely said that he would have fetched a policeman but he was behind time.”, then you might conclude that it was Lechmere who suggested it and that Paul replied that he would have done so, if only he wasn’t behind time already.
                    Since we, unfortunately, don’t know everything that was and wasn’t said and how, both your and my interpretation/reading are equally possible.

                    Letīs begin from the end. I would say that the lie about the other PC is another matter than the lie about who instigated the search for a PC. The lie about the other PC has no discussion between Mizen and Lechmere behind it and it is a total contradiction. It cannot be missed, it stands out like a sore thumb.
                    I agree that it’s quite different in that there was no discussion: Mizen said this and Lechmere said another thing.

                    The matter about who made the first suggestion was something that was discussed, and so it is much easier to muddle.
                    Indeed, it’s quite a bit more difficult to reconstruct what was said between them and who said what and at what point.

                    This is what I mean:
                    Paul: -What should we do?
                    Lechmere: -I donīt know, maybe we...
                    Paul: -Maybe we should get help?
                    Lechmere: -The police, you mean?
                    Paul: -Yes, why not! Letīs get a PC.
                    And lo and behold, the one first mentioning the word "police" is not the one first suggesting to go and get them.
                    I see what you mean (except that nothing of the discussion you suggest above is recognizable in their various statement versions - but that, probably wasn't your point).

                    As for cutting away parts of the testimony given that we feel make our points less good, Frank, I think you know where I am going. It is on record, and so we have it on record that Robert Paul in some sources claim that HE was the instigator and that he in no case claims that Lechmere was the instigator.
                    If we take both of Paul’s ‘instigating’ phrases, then we immediately see that they neutralize each other. In the one case he says this, whilst in the other he says the opposite. Furthermore, we know for a fact that neither suggestion/action was actually taken: Paul didn’t go for a policeman on his own and he didn’t send Lechmere to go for a policeman on his own, either.

                    Or do you really believe Paul sent Lechmere for a policeman? I, for one, don’t. Whoever ‘translated’ what Paul actually said as “I sent the other man for a policeman” clearly wasn’t doing the best job he could, so the only thing we can say about this quote is that Paul, at some point during the discussion, probably asked/proposed/suggested to Lechmere to go for a PC, but NOT necessarily that he was the instigator of the suggestion to begin with.
                    And opposed to Lechmere’s phrase “You had better go on, and if you see a policeman tell him.”, we have two different versions of Lechmere saying “let us go on”, making it quite doubtful that he in reality said “You had better go on” or something alike.

                    According to the PC, Lechmere only told him about how the woman was likely drunk.
                    Actually, according to the evidence, Mizen never said Lechmere only told him about how the woman was likely drunk. According to Mizen’s statement versions Lechmere told him there was a woman lying in Buck’s Row (or even, that a woman had been found, if you prefer that) - and nothing more. What he furthermore stated is that Lechmere didn’t say anything about a murder or suicide. What sticks out like a sore thumb is that Mizen didn’t use the word “death”. Might it suggest that Lechmere did, in fact, tell Mizen the woman may have been dead?

                    Both of these matters sit extremely well with an intention of getting past the police unsearched and uninvestigated. Further to this, it seems very apparent that Lechmere never once said that he (or, for that matter, he and Paul) were the finders of the body, leaving Mizen to - very naturally - feel that the phantom PC was the man who did it.
                    True, but this would also go quite well with two innocent carmen not wanting to arrive at work too late and, perhaps, risking loosing their job.

                    Once we see how Lechmere also finds it very hard to agree with Paul about the proceedings in Bucks Row, it would be foolhardy not to go and fetch some really red cloth and start sewing up a really big flag. Can we agree on that? We donīt have to agree on how Lechmere was the killer, but surely you must agree that there is more than ample reason to point a finger in his direction?
                    Only if you put a disproportionate amount of stock, the way I see it, in the questionable quotes by Paul and Lechmere, then we might see how Lechmere and Paul contradict each other. Otherwise, I don’t see that, Christer. I stand by my view that lying about who first suggested to go for the police seems too unimportant to me to take such a huge risk. I see too great an imbalance between what Lechmere is supposed to have gained by telling such a lie and the risk he took by telling it. After all, he had already come forward of his own volition, that way already gaining a fair amount of credibility. So, why take the additional risk in order to only possibly gain just a tad more of it? I don’t see it.

                    All the best,
                    Frank

                    "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 Fisherman View Post

                      So you are reasoning that the closer to his own doorstep he dumped his victims, the happier the culprit would be? How do you reconcile that with how we know that for example Ridgway - who killed in his own home - transported his victims far afield from it? Just like a range of other serialists have done? Why did they not drop them in their own doorsteps instead?
                      With all due respect, Christer, you and Gary are the ones who appear to be suggesting that Lechmere murdered a woman in a shed and then dumped her torso a mere 30 yards away. Wouldn't that be akin to putting a flashing neon light above the shed?

                      As for Ridgway--a different country, a different century, a different population density, different circumstances (the age of the automobile), and in an age where there were now many different 'serialists' that he could emulate and imitate. With 'Jack' we are dealing with a different kettle of fish, and I'm afraid that I consider the use of these modern examples to be counter to a legitimate historical approach.

                      Wainwright, once he attempted to transport the body parts from the Whitechapel Road to Southwark, was immediately apprehended. He was, of course, arrogant enough to have asked someone to help him, but the fact remains that it would be exceedingly difficult to 'get away with it' in a district as crowded as SGE.


                      Comment


                      • Hi Christer--one more thing. I'm going to withdraw from this discussion for about a month, as I think I should read your full book. My apologies for the delay. I'll put in an order, along with a few others that I've been putting off: the L'Anstons' book about Jacob Levy, Hainsworth & Ward-Agius's book on Druitt, and, now, Robert Clack's new book. I'm also going to read David Barrat's book on The Camden Town Murder, which I own, but have been sidetracked from reading. My head should be swimming by then, but I'll get back to you. RP

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by FrankO View Post

                          No offense taken, Roger. In fact, as a Dutchman, I thank you for pointing me to the difference between the two.

                          Cheers,
                          Frank
                          Your English is fine, Frank, and infinitely better than my Dutch! (You also struck me as far too polite to be an American...) Cheers.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post

                            With all due respect, Christer, you and Gary are the ones who appear to be suggesting that Lechmere murdered a woman in a shed and then dumped her torso a mere 30 yards away. Wouldn't that be akin to putting a flashing neon light above the shed?

                            As for Ridgway--a different country, a different century, a different population density, different circumstances (the age of the automobile), and in an age where there were now many different 'serialists' that he could emulate and imitate. With 'Jack' we are dealing with a different kettle of fish, and I'm afraid that I consider the use of these modern examples to be counter to a legitimate historical approach.

                            Wainwright, once he attempted to transport the body parts from the Whitechapel Road to Southwark, was immediately apprehended. He was, of course, arrogant enough to have asked someone to help him, but the fact remains that it would be exceedingly difficult to 'get away with it' in a district as crowded as SGE.

                            No, R J, the difficulty of getting away with it in Saint Georges or any other East End dsitrict would not increase with the stretch. If he put the body parts on a cart and covered them with a tarpaulin, then. how whould he be more likely to be found out in the second or third street than in the first? The two instances where danger is relevant is the loading and the dumping sequence - the stretch inbetween them is irrelevant.

                            As for Ridgway, as you put it, no matter that it is a different time and setting, the fact that criminals try to distance themselves from daminig evidence is and remains universal.

                            You bring up the shed in Backcurch Lane and try to make me look as if I was the one suggesting that serialists have a flair for dumping bodies on their own doorsteps. The Pinchin Street murder, though, differs from the other torso murders. To begin with, it was seemingly the only one where the body was transported to the dumping site manually, with no cart involved. To carry on, I think that Lechmere deliberately chose the venue of Pinchin Street. Number three, he did not live in the street, he lived miles away.

                            So Iīd say what you say about Ridgway, but with what I consider a better reason: Thereīs a difference.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post

                              With all due respect, Christer, you and Gary are the ones who appear to be suggesting that Lechmere murdered a woman in a shed and then dumped her torso a mere 30 yards away. Wouldn't that be akin to putting a flashing neon light above the shed?

                              As for Ridgway--a different country, a different century, a different population density, different circumstances (the age of the automobile), and in an age where there were now many different 'serialists' that he could emulate and imitate. With 'Jack' we are dealing with a different kettle of fish, and I'm afraid that I consider the use of these modern examples to be counter to a legitimate historical approach.

                              Wainwright, once he attempted to transport the body parts from the Whitechapel Road to Southwark, was immediately apprehended. He was, of course, arrogant enough to have asked someone to help him, but the fact remains that it would be exceedingly difficult to 'get away with it' in a district as crowded as SGE.

                              I’m pleased to see you acknowledge the neon light that flashed above the cats meat sheds.

                              The route from the sheds to the Pinchin Street arch was almost devoid of habitation. Someone travelled at least partly through STGITE with the torso. If the torso was carried rather than carted to the arch, it could not have come from very far away. Somewhere in STGITE or equally crowded Whitechapel presumably. But perhaps the body was brought from some out of the way place and through the teeming East End for disposal.

                              You reject the comparisons to modern serialists and yet are happy to quote a population density quoted by Helena without having any idea of what period it relates to?

                              That part of STGITE was chosen for the 1845 survey because it was considered representative of other working class areas of London but wasn’t an area with the worst social conditions.






                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Fisherman View Post

                                No, R J, the difficulty of getting away with it in Saint Georges or any other East End dsitrict would not increase with the stretch. If he put the body parts on a cart and covered them with a tarpaulin, then. how whould he be more likely to be found out in the second or third street than in the first? The two instances where danger is relevant is the loading and the dumping sequence - the stretch inbetween them is irrelevant.

                                As for Ridgway, as you put it, no matter that it is a different time and setting, the fact that criminals try to distance themselves from daminig evidence is and remains universal.

                                You bring up the shed in Backcurch Lane and try to make me look as if I was the one suggesting that serialists have a flair for dumping bodies on their own doorsteps. The Pinchin Street murder, though, differs from the other torso murders. To begin with, it was seemingly the only one where the body was transported to the dumping site manually, with no cart involved. To carry on, I think that Lechmere deliberately chose the venue of Pinchin Street. Number three, he did not live in the street, he lived miles away.

                                So Iīd say what you say about Ridgway, but with what I consider a better reason: Thereīs a difference.
                                We might also add that if he was only known to the police as Mr Cross from MEOT, and the sheds were occupied by someone named Lechmere, his connection to it might not be immediately apparent.

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