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  • Originally posted by Doctored Whatsit View Post
    Hi everyone, my first post! This thread seems to be an interesting one.

    Christer, who appears to me to have no genuine factual evidence of guilt, but mostly assumptions based on perceived coincidences, wants us to prove Charles is innocent. Obviously that is impossible, as he well knows, but in law the defence merely has to demonstrate "reasonable doubt". That, I think, is easy.

    Christer opens his prosecution by suggesting firstly that Charles was interrupted by the arrival of Paul, thereby preventing major mutilation of the corpse, and secondly that only Charles spoke to PC Mizen, that Charles said he was wanted by a policeman and that Paul was some distance away, didn't speak, and therefore couldn't hear that Charles lied to Mizen. He then suggests that as he considers that Charles is JtR, we should reconsider the events through the eyes of Paul. OK, let's do that!

    Paul's first account appeared in Lloyd's Weekly, where he described the finding of the corpse, and the subsequent events. He said," I laid hold of her wrist and found that she was dead and the hands cold...." then on finding Mizen, "I told him what I had seen, and I asked him to come... He continued calling people up ... I had told him the woman was dead.... so cold that she must have been dead for some time...". I note that Charles had also said that Paul told Mizen that Nichols was dead. So Charles and Paul tell fairly similar stories, except that Lloyd's Weekly gives their witness "star-billing". So, rather than suggesting he had interrupted Charles and prevented any mutilations, Paul says the corpse was stone cold and had been dead for some time! Then he clearly says that he spoke to Mizen himself, agreeing with Charles version of events. So by accepting Paul's account, as Christer asked us to do, we have two dents kicked into Christer's prosecution case at the very start. Of course, it is very possible that the journalist exaggerated Paul's story, but unlikely that he wrote a complete fabrication. Paul says Nichols was dead and cold and that he told Mizen this.

    At the inquest Paul softened his story somewhat, and added a bit about a possible movement, but still said that her hands and face were cold, he could not hear her breathe and thought she was dead. They met a policeman, and told him what they had seen. Not much there for Christer, really.

    Christer makes quite a bit out of his allegation that oddly neither Charles nor Paul were aware of each other's presence until Paul was almost upon Charles. I actually cannot find any evidence at all that Charles or Paul actually said anything about not seeing or hearing the other man. But as they were just two men walking to work in the darkness, why should they look out for, or take any notice of each other? I don't think they were ever asked whether they had heard or seen each other in the minutes before the discovery.

    If Charles was JtR, he went looking for a policeman, in the company of another man who would ensure that they would indeed speak to a policeman, when he would very likely have fresh blood on his hands and clothes, and with the blood-stained murder weapon in his pocket! Mr Supercool, or a brainless idiot? The reader can decide!

    Christer makes a great deal out of the suggestion that Charles lied to Mizen, but as both Charles and Paul say they spoke to Mizen, and both say that Paul said that he thought Nichols was dead, I think we should be looking at the reliability of PC Mizen himself. Mizen was in a bit of bother and he knew it. He became aware that he was accused of continuing with his knocking up after being advised of the finding of the body. Knocking up was something that police officers were allowed to do, but it was a private arrangement, for which those awakened would pay the officer. This was an accepted practice, but police business had always to be paramount, and therefore Mizen was accused of not putting his duty first. That was awkward, but even worse potentially, was the fact that two men had advised him about a murder, and he hadn't asked them for their names, addresses, or even asked them anything about the incident. He was in trouble! What a stroke of luck that another PC had found the body! If Mizen had been told that another PC wanted him, surely he would have advised that PC on arriving that he had come because he had been told by the men the PC sent? He said nothing. Mizen is squirming like a worm on a hook - he needs the "he was sent for" story, or he's in deep trouble! Frankly, I am reluctant to believe Mizen at all.

    At the inquest on 17th September 1888, Inspector Spratling admitted that the police had not yet made enquiries at all of the houses in Bucks Row, a significant failure, but witnesses had said that it had been a quiet night and nothing had been heard. Odd! This was subsequently explained by Harriet Lilley at number 7, who heard whispered voices while a goods train passed by, some gasps, a moan, and then silence. She didn't note the time, but the goods train had to be the 3. 07 am from New Cross, which would have passed within a minute or two either side of 3. 30 am. This ties up very neatly, does it not? JtR grasps the opportunity of murdering his victim with any sounds being drowned by the passing train, no-one else hears anything, and at 3. 45 am Paul describes a body with cold hands and face. A 3. 30 - 3. 35 am murder doesn't really stretch the doctor's estimated time of death as being up to 30 minutes before 4. 05 am. This doesn't absolutely exonerate Charles, but what was he doing for the next 10-15 minutes up to 3.45 am if he was JtR? There is no doubt that the Eddowes murder demonstrated just how much mutilation JtR could inflict in about 5 minutes. I have more than "reasonable doubt" so far!

    Then we have the alleged significant anomaly of the name. I have referred to Charles throughout, avoiding using both Cross and Lechmere. So let's consider this aspect. Lechmere senior abandoned his family when Charles was an infant, and so Charles never knew his father. We can ask ourselves what respect would Charles have had for his father and the Lechmere name? Would his mother have told him "Your father was a wonderful man, you should be proud to be a Lechmere like him", or possibly he was a "bastard who didn't give a toss about his family"? The reader is free to choose the more likely scenario. For me, I believe that it is unlikely that Charles had any good feelings about his father or the name Lechmere, although he knew it was his legal name, and would have to be used on birth, marriage and death certificates, and perhaps legally binding agreements, maybe the purchase or rental of a house etc. But that is not the issue here. What we need to understand is what name he used in his ordinary everyday life, with his friends, neighbours and at work.

    Charles had a step-father Thomas Cross, the only father-figure he ever had, from 1858 continuing until Charles started work for Pickfords which was about 1868 or maybe a year or two earlier. We know that there is evidence that the family used the surname Cross, in a census for example, and we would find it logical that local people would think of Mr and Mrs Cross and the Cross children. Christer thinks it highly suspicious that Charles used the name Cross at the inquest of a child killed in 1876. Actually, I reach the exact opposite conclusion. This inquest was a very serious legal issue involving Charles, his employers Pickfords, and the police. There must have been much discussion at the time amongst these three, and yet Charles gave evidence, unqueried in the name of Cross. I cannot believe that this would have been possible if Charles was working for Pickfords as Lechmere - Pickfords or the police would have said something, surely! So for me, this is not suspicious, on the contrary, it is powerful evidence that Charles was using the surname Cross at work, was therefore known as Cross by his workmates, and probably most other people close to him, some of whom might have known his birthname was Lechmere. Christer makes a great deal out of the many examples - over 100 he says - that prove that Charles used the name Lechmere. Unfortunately, he doesn't reveal them in his book. What is absolutely necessary for Christer to demonstrate here however, is evidence that in ordinary everyday life, and at work, Charles was openly using the name Lechmere, between say 1876 and 1888. Legal documents and the like, and other periods of time are quite irrelevant. I haven't seen such evidence, but I accept that it could exist, and Christer could have a point here if he can demonstrate this. Otherwise, I feel he is wrong.

    Much again is made of the allegedly huge suspicion caused by the fact that Tabram, Nichols, Chapman and Kelly were murdered on Charles' route to work. This requires so many leaps of faith. Is it universally agreed that JtR's modus operandi was that he was a man who started work every day in the early hours, but some days would get up even earlier than usual, in order to seek out a prostitute, lure her into a dark alley, and commit his atrocities, put the murder weapon in his pocket, and possibly with hands and clothes smeared with fresh blood, go to work and do a full shift as if nothing had happened. Not everyone's most likely scenario, I suspect. And did he have a policeman knocking him up every day, and did he ask the policeman to give him an earlier call some days? (Only joking). Is it agreed that these four women were all vitims of JtR? Nope, Tabram may well not be. And some are unsure about Kelly. Is it agreed that all four were killed at about 3. 45 am? Nope. Is it known that Charles worked the same shift each day, or that he used the exact routes, or that he even worked those days? Nope. Furthermore, I don't think anyone claims that Kelly was killed by someone making a five minute detour on his way to work! So what are we left with? Er ... Charles says he found the body of Nichols on his way to work ... that's it really!

    There are many eye-witness statements in the Tabram, Chapman and Kelly cases, but strangely, no-one describes seeing a carman in his working clothes.

    Having said all of the above, I am clearly of the opinion that Charles has no case to answer so far. However, I do accept that it is reasonable to consider him as a possible suspect. After all is said and done, he only needs to be in the UK at the time to be a better proposition than some, and he was even in London. I am one of those people who sees a case being weakened, not strengthened by lots of talk about possibilities and coincidences, when a close scrutiny suggests there is no case to answer. Such as, "Was it a coincidence that he was found standing alone and in close proximity to the freshly killed Polly Nichols?" and, "Was it a fluke that Robert Paul happened to arrive at the precise point in time that would supply a convenient alibi for Charles Lechmere?" As Charles could not make Paul arrive at any given time, then yes it was a fluke, and do we assume that Paul gives Charles an alibi, surely he doesn't. "Did Charles Lechmere simply forget to tell PC Mizen that he himself was the finder of Polly Nichols?" PC Mizen didn't ask any questions did he? We don't know what was said exactly, but both Charles and Paul say they spoke to Mizen, so a lie is extremely unlikely.

    That's more than enough - must be boring for you all to read so much from a novice. So till next time....


    And i will give your post the first like!



    The Baron


    Comment


    • From Christers post:

      It should be added that it is very clear that the police initially did not believe Robert Pauls claims in Lloyds Weekly (It is not true, said PC Neil...), but as luck would have it, Lechmere was not willing to bank on the police dismissing Paul, and so he came forward to stomp out whatever fire the article could perhaps start. And that had two consequences, the way I see it:
      1. The inquest and the police were inclined to believe in a man who willingly sought them out on his own account, and...
      2. We got the chane to nail him for murder more than a hundred years after his deeds.]


      This may singularly the most ridiculous thing you've ever said about this.

      The police dismiss the whole affair with Paul in Lloyds Weekly, but that's not good enough so Cross intentionally comes forward to scuttle any backlash from a newspaper article thus exposing himself to the public? Super Cross in action again! Wow. Here I go again stroking egos. Enough for me I think.

      Columbo

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Columbo View Post
        From Christers post:

        It should be added that it is very clear that the police initially did not believe Robert Pauls claims in Lloyds Weekly (It is not true, said PC Neil...), but as luck would have it, Lechmere was not willing to bank on the police dismissing Paul, and so he came forward to stomp out whatever fire the article could perhaps start. And that had two consequences, the way I see it:
        1. The inquest and the police were inclined to believe in a man who willingly sought them out on his own account, and...
        2. We got the chane to nail him for murder more than a hundred years after his deeds.]


        This may singularly the most ridiculous thing you've ever said about this.

        The police dismiss the whole affair with Paul in Lloyds Weekly, but that's not good enough so Cross intentionally comes forward to scuttle any backlash from a newspaper article thus exposing himself to the public? Super Cross in action again! Wow. Here I go again stroking egos. Enough for me I think.

        Columbo


        Sophistry


        Cross stood in front of the jury freely, gave a false name, contardicted Mizen and denied saying anything about another policeman in Buck's row, he was so confident that he went killing again and on his way to work again and at the same time again in 5 days!!!


        I read some fairy tales that were much better than this.


        Sophistry: the use of fallacious arguments, especially with the intention of deceiving.



        The Baron

        Comment


        • Originally posted by The Baron View Post



          Sophistry


          Cross stood in front of the jury freely, gave a false name, contardicted Mizen and denied saying anything about another policeman in Buck's row, he was so confident that he went killing again and on his way to work again and at the same time again in 5 days!!!


          I read some fairy tales that were much better than this.


          Sophistry: the use of fallacious arguments, especially with the intention of deceiving.



          The Baron
          I have to admit, this has been a very educational thread

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Templarkommando View Post
            However, once we start saying that a mixture of suspects killed the canonical five, there becomes a philosophical argument that the character we have dubbed "Jack the Ripper" didn't really exist as an individual to begin with because he was sort of a construct of the products of multiple killers. Of course, this doesn't preclude Lechmere's guilt per se - I suppose it's possible - in a strictly modal sense - that Lechmere was guilty of none of the Whitechapel murders, but then later murdered someone else. Providing this sort of evidence of innocence probably falls outside the scope of your intent though, so I'm assuming we're talking about murders involving the Jack the Ripper investigation and no others.
            That would be a reasonable assumption, but Fisherman is claiming that Charles Lechmere murdered the the canonical five. And Martha Tabram. And that Lechmere was also the Torso Killer.

            Unfortunately for Fisherman, Lechmere has an alibi for the killing of Annie Chapman. And Lechmere has an alibi for the depositing of the Pinchin Street Torso. But why let facts get in the way of a perfectly good theory?

            Unlike your average mystery novel we don't have a clear set of victims. My personal guess is:
            * Annie Millwood - possible
            * Martha Tabram - probable
            * Polly Nichols - definite
            * Annie Chapman - definite
            * Elizabeth Stride - probable
            * Catherine Eddowes - definite
            * Mary Jane Kelly - very probable
            * Alice McKenzie - possible

            I also think that the "Jack the Ripper" persona was the creation of letter writers and bore little if any resemblance to the real serial killer. The "Dear Boss", "Saucy Jack", and "From Hell" captured the public's attention and provided an enduring infamy for the Ripper long after his contemporary, the Torso Killer, was generally forgotten.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Fiver View Post

              That would be a reasonable assumption, but Fisherman is claiming that Charles Lechmere murdered the the canonical five. And Martha Tabram. And that Lechmere was also the Torso Killer.

              Unfortunately for Fisherman, Lechmere has an alibi for the killing of Annie Chapman. And Lechmere has an alibi for the depositing of the Pinchin Street Torso. But why let facts get in the way of a perfectly good theory?

              Unlike your average mystery novel we don't have a clear set of victims. My personal guess is:
              * Annie Millwood - possible
              * Martha Tabram - probable
              * Polly Nichols - definite
              * Annie Chapman - definite
              * Elizabeth Stride - probable
              * Catherine Eddowes - definite
              * Mary Jane Kelly - very probable
              * Alice McKenzie - possible

              I also think that the "Jack the Ripper" persona was the creation of letter writers and bore little if any resemblance to the real serial killer. The "Dear Boss", "Saucy Jack", and "From Hell" captured the public's attention and provided an enduring infamy for the Ripper long after his contemporary, the Torso Killer, was generally forgotten.
              Strictly speaking, Charles doesn't have an alibi for Chapman's murder. Assuming a Richardson/ Cadosch TOD, well, we don't know his actual shifts or time of commuting. But if a theory is based on killing en commute, that's shaky ground. Hence the reliance on Phillip's TOD, based on what are undoubtedly dubious methods. And the total dismissal of Richardson.

              There's also the possibility of him killing after clocking on, but that's a weaker argument again.

              But, if Phillips was right, then Charles heading up that street, at around that time, is within the window of his killing. Not a solid alibi. Hears your evidence, takes your choice.

              For me, it's the Stride/ Eddowes killings that are particularly problematic.

              For the record, I've read Christer's book, and recommended it, still do. I've made these points to him previously on the boards, and although we don't agree, it's never been an obstacle to us having our own opinions. As for the OP, evidence of innocence is virtually none. Evidence of guilt is a different matter, much debated. Evidence of anything JtR is debated.
              Thems the Vagaries.....

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Fisherman View Post
                Caz tells us that a guilty Lechmere could not have known that a PC would be at the scene when Mizen arrived, and so, Caz says, if there had been no PC in Bucks Row as Mizen got to the murder site, it would have set off immediate alarm bells. And to boot, we are told, even IF there was a PC in place as Mizen arrived, any conversation between the two could easily have disclosed the bluff and the hunt would have been on.

                Sounds very logical, all of it - but it misses out on one very important point. The fact is that Lechmere of course KNEW full well that there was never any PC in Bucks Row as he and Paul examined the body. Therefore, he would also have known that even if he was lucky enough to have a PC actually arriving at the scene before Mizen got there (which was what happened, of course) there was never any possibility that this PC would profess to having been the one who sent Lechmere and Paul to fetch another PC.

                So what does this mean? It means, of course, that Lechmere was never going to persist in claiming that another PC had been in place as he and Paul were at the murder site. Not under any circumstances. He was ALWAYS going to deny having said it, REGARDLESS if there actually was a PC there when Mizen arrived or not. He could never say "Neil was the PC who was there", because Neil had no idea about the carmen and would of course deny having met them if Lechmere had made such a claim!
                Your theory does not refute Caz, it reinforces how correct Caz' post was.

                This supposed "plan" of Lechmere's makes no sense whatsoever. If not for the lucky happenstance of PC Neil's presence, even PC Mizen would have changed from seeing Lechmere as a helpful bystander to a prime suspect. And PC Mizen would be 100% guaranteed to believe himself, not Charles Lechmere. In addition to lacking the psychic powers to know PC Neil had found Nichols' body, there is no way that Lechmere could expect Robert Paul, a complete stranger, to commit perjury for Lechmere against the sworn word of PC Mizen.

                If Lechmere lied to PC Mizen, Mizen wouldn't even have to reach Nichols body to know Lechmere was lying. If found, Lechmere would expect to be stopped and searched - a very bad thing for someone who might have bloodstains on him and would almost still have a bloody knife on him.

                If Lechmere was a lying murderer, the clock was ticking. He needed to get as far as possible from PC Mizen before the alarm was raised. He needed to ditch Robert Paul so he could get rid of the bloody knife without being seen and at least take off his carman's cap so he was harder to recognize. He needed to hide down some side street or get on the most traveled street he can (likely Whitechapel Road) and blend in among the crowd.

                Instead, Lechmere continues to walk down Hanbury Street with Robert Paul until the reach Corbet's Court. That's reasonable behavior for an innocent, but a stunningly stupid thing for the killer of Polly Nichols to do.

                Make up your mind - is Lechmere quickwitted, clever serial killer or a complete idiot?

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Fisherman View Post
                  And in order not to get searched or be brought back to the site, he invents the lie about the second PC, a lie that is vital to enable him to pass the police unsearched (he still carries the knife on his person). He must reasonably have assumed that there probably would be no PC in place as Mizen got to Bucks Row, but that matters very little - he has managed to get past Mizen and will have time to get rid of the murder weapon and check his clothing at his leisure, no questions asked.
                  Lechmere would only have the chance to get rid of the murder weapon and check his clothing at his leisure if he was alone. Instead, Lechemre walked down Hanbury Street street with Robert Paul - past Queen Street and King Edward Street and Dunk Street and Great Garden Street. And Lombard Street and Spelman Street and Spital Street and Brick Lane and Wilkes Street. Then finally part company at Hanbury Street and Corbets Court.

                  At which point Lechmere would be across the street from Spitalfields Market.

                  So much for being alone to get rid of the murder weapon and check his clothing at his leisure.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Fisherman View Post
                    But if he is sought out and found by the police, he will serve the lie that Mizen must have misunderstood him because he never said anything about any PC in place.
                    This only works if the police don't find Robert Paul and if Paul is willing to lie under oath to protect a complete stranger.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Fisherman View Post
                      The vital matter in all of this is that Lechmere had to produce a lie that would take him past the police without passing on the information that he himself was the finder, that the woman was likely dead and that he and only he was the one who spoke to Mizen. And so we end up with Mizen saying that one man spoke to him, said nothing about any death or suicide but claimed that another PC was already in place, while Lechmere said that both he and Paul talked to Mizen, that both men said that Nichols was probably dead and that he never said anything about another PC.
                      You start with the false premise that only Lechmere spoke to PC Mizen.

                      Robert Paul said he spoke to PC Mizen "He continued calling the people up, which I thought was a great shame, after I had told him the woman was dead."

                      Again, your theory has more holes than a fishing net.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by caz View Post

                        The point is, Fish, that a guilty Lechmere could not have known that a policeman would be at the scene when PC Mizen arrived. Arriving to find the woman horribly murdered, with no copper in sight, would immediately have set Mizen's alarm bells ringing and his whistle blasting out. If, by chance, a policeman was there when Mizen arrived, happy days [excuse the fish related pun], but only if there was no carmen related conversation between the two PCs - something Lechmere could not guarantee, even if he shared your reasoning and hoped Mizen would keep it buttoned.

                        Love,

                        Caz lo
                        X
                        Hi Caz,

                        But how far forward would a guilty Lechmere with a bloody knife in his pocket have been thinking? Getting swiftly past Mizen would have been his top priority, and suggesting that there was another copper on the scene would seem a reasonable choice of action in those circumstances. Better the whistles start blowing when you’re some distance away than that you are effectively detained by a PC with incriminating evidence on your person.

                        Gary












                        Comment


                        • I think Caz's point is rather shrewd.

                          It isn't so much that it couldn't have been a reasonable strategy, done in the heat of the moment, it's that believing in this alleged 'scam' forces us to swallow a coincidence. There was another copper on the scene when Mizen finally arrived in Buck's Row--something Lechmere could not have predicted.

                          By contrast, if we accept that Lechmere didn't 'scam' Mizen, and Mizen simply wanted to downplay his own indifference, the coincidence disappears. By now Mizen knew that another officer had found Nichols, and he could use that to his advantage when trying to defend himself against the very public allegations of continuing to knock people up.

                          It might not be a huge coincidence to swallow, but it is a coincidence nevertheless, and tips the scale towards Mizen being the one telling the white lie retroactively (and making a slight error in logic while doing so).


                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
                            I think Caz's point is rather shrewd.

                            It isn't so much that it couldn't have been a reasonable strategy, done in the heat of the moment, it's that believing in this alleged 'scam' forces us to swallow a coincidence. There was another copper on the scene when Mizen finally arrived in Buck's Row--something Lechmere could not have predicted.

                            By contrast, if we accept that Lechmere didn't 'scam' Mizen, and Mizen simply wanted to downplay his own indifference, the coincidence disappears. By now Mizen knew that another officer had found Nichols, and he could use that to his advantage when trying to defend himself against the very public allegations of continuing to knock people up.

                            It might not be a huge coincidence to swallow, but it is a coincidence nevertheless, and tips the scale towards Mizen being the one telling the white lie retroactively (and making a slight error in logic while doing so).
                            I think the most palatable explanation is that Lechmere told Mizen he was “wanted” in Buck’s Row, and when Mizen already found a copper on the scene he misremembered what he was told. A form of cognitive bias and nothing else.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
                              I think Caz's point is rather shrewd.

                              It isn't so much that it couldn't have been a reasonable strategy, done in the heat of the moment, it's that believing in this alleged 'scam' forces us to swallow a coincidence. There was another copper on the scene when Mizen finally arrived in Buck's Row--something Lechmere could not have predicted.

                              By contrast, if we accept that Lechmere didn't 'scam' Mizen, and Mizen simply wanted to downplay his own indifference, the coincidence disappears. By now Mizen knew that another officer had found Nichols, and he could use that to his advantage when trying to defend himself against the very public allegations of continuing to knock people up.

                              It might not be a huge coincidence to swallow, but it is a coincidence nevertheless, and tips the scale towards Mizen being the one telling the white lie retroactively (and making a slight error in logic while doing so).

                              It’s another unresolved anomaly - the kind juries don’t like.



                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Harry D View Post

                                I think the most palatable explanation is that Lechmere told Mizen he was “wanted” in Buck’s Row, and when Mizen already found a copper on the scene he misremembered what he was told. A form of cognitive bias and nothing else.
                                I agree. And even if he had mentioned a fictitious policeman to Mizen, that might have just been a ruse to avoid being delayed on his way to work.

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