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Leaving Aside the "Name Issue"

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  • wigngown
    replied
    Patrick S,

    A well thought out post and in all probability that's what happened.

    I applaud Fishermans dogged determination & his efforts but I think Lechmeres sum total involvement in the killings is that he was unfortunate enough to find a recently slain Polly Nicholls.

    Best regards.

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  • Billiou
    replied
    Originally posted by Patrick S View Post
    I’d like to move away from the “name issue” for a time and examine the other aspects August 31, 1888 that have been used to indict Cross/Lechmere as Jack the Ripper. So, let’s put names aside and assume – for the sake of argument – that Cross/Lechmere was hiding something and was dishonest in relating his name as Cross.

    First, let’s first take a look at what we know of Mary Ann “Polly” Nichols’ last known movements on the morning of her murder. We know that at about 2:30am Emily Holland was returning to Wilmott’s lodging house after going to see the fire at Dible and Co., Engineers, at the dry dock in Shadwell. She encountered Nichols at the corner of Osborne Street and Whitechapel Road. Nichols was drunk. She told Holland that she’d earned the amount needed her nightly lodgings several times, but had spent it. Holland asked Nichols to return to Wilmott’s and spend the night with her. Nichols refused. “I’ll be back soon”, Nichols said, and disappeared down Whitechapel Road. We know that she would be found dead in Buck’s Row sometime around 3:45am. Thus, it’s likely she met her killer within an hour of speaking with Emily Holland.

    When we look at the times given by Cross/Lechmere for his movements on the morning of August 31, 1888, we see that they reconcile perfectly with his distance and route to work, allowing him to arrive a few minutes ahead of the time (4:00am) he was expected for work at Pickford's. He allowed thirty minutes for what was – at a reasonable pace – a 24-25 minute walk. He knew that a delay of more than a few minutes would put him "behind time". Anyone who commutes any distance to work by automobile knows this. If you hit particularly heavy traffic or must stop to refuel you know, without checking the time you realize, "I'm going to be late". In my view, the information given by Cross/Lechmere here seems consistent, plausible, and – in all likelihood – truthful.

    Cross/Lechmere goes on to tell us that, at approximately 3:45am, he entered Buck’s Row. He stated that he “discerned on the opposite side (of the roadway) something lying against the gateway, but he could not at once make out what it was. He thought it was a tarpaulin sheet. He walked into the middle of the road, and saw that it was the figure of a woman. He then heard the footsteps of a man going up Buck's Row, about forty yards away, in the direction that he (Cross/Lechmere) himself had come from.”

    It may be instructive here to try and view what came next from the perspective of Robert Paul. Paul stated that he quickened his pace as he entered Buck’s Row. “Few people like to come up and down here without being on their guard, for there are such terrible gangs about.” He spotted a man standing short distance ahead of him. When he attempted to walk around him, the man approached him, touched his shoulder, and said, “Come and look at this woman.” Robert Paul accompanied Cross/Lechmere a short distance where the two men found, lying on her back in the darkness of Buck’s Row, the body of “Polly” Nichols. Paul felt Nichols’ hands and face and found them cold. Her clothes were “disarranged” and he “helped to pull them down”. He placed his hand on her heart and thought he detected movement, albeit very slight. “I think she is breathing, but very little if she is”, he said. Paul suggested that they prop her up, but Cross/Lechmere refused to touch her. Neither man wished to be late for work, and after spending approximately two minutes in Buck’s Row, the two men agreed to continue on together, in hopes of finding a policeman.

    Without presuming that Cross/Lechmere had killed Nichols’, there is nothing suspicious at all about his behavior in Buck’s Row. He approached Paul and asked him to “come and see this woman”. If he were the killer and was indeed interrupted in the act of mutilating the victim, he would have stowed the murder weapon on his person. He would have had no way of knowing if he had blood on his clothing (Buck’s Row was quite dark), and – perhaps more importantly – his hands. He’d just killed and begun disemboweling a human being and hid the knife in his clothing. It seems less than reasonable to assume that his first plan of action would be to approach a man attempting to avoid him, touch that man’s shoulder with his (very likely) blood covered hands, and ask him to come and see his victim. What’s more, when he was given an opportunity to move the victim, thus providing a very reasonable explanation for any blood that he may have had on his hands and clothing, he refused. It’s been alleged these were the actions of psychopath. Yet, we have not one shred of evidence that tells us that Cross/Lechmere was a man of ill-humor, much less a psychopath.

    The two men walked together for several minutes and in Baker’s Row near, Old Montague Street, the two men found Police Constable (PC) Jonas Mizen, forty years old, and a fifteen year veteran of the Metropolitan Police. Both Cross/Lechmere and Paul stated that they immediately informed PC Mizen that a woman was lying in Buck’s Row, and that she may be dead. “She looks to me to be either dead or drunk; but for my part I think she is dead", Cross/Lechmere stated he told Mizen at the inquest into Nichols’ death. Paul in a statement to ‘Lloyd’s Weekly News’ stated flatly, “I told him the woman was dead.” Mizen, in his own inquest testimony disagreed, saying that he was told only that a woman was lying in Buck’s Row. As we know, some controversy arose (that would intensify some 120 years later) when Mizen testified at the inquest that he was told that he was “wanted by a policeman in Buck's Row, where a woman was lying.” Cross/Lechmere testified that he said no such thing:

    A Juryman: “Did you tell Constable Mizen that another constable wanted him in Buck's Row?”

    Witness: “No, because I did not see a policeman in Buck's Row.”

    Robert Paul, in both his statement to “Lloyd’s Weekly” and in his inquest testimony, makes no mention of either man telling PC Mizen that a policeman was waiting in Buck’s Row. Both Lechmere and Paul offer similar descriptions of Mizen’s reaction upon hearing their information. Lechmere stated that he replied, “Alright” and walked on. Paul states, “I told him what I had seen, and I asked him to come, but he did not say whether he should come or not. He continued calling the people up…”

    PC Mizen, on the other hand, relates things very differently. He stated that “at a quarter past 4 on Friday morning he was in Hanbury-street, Baker's-row, and a man passing said "You are wanted in Baker's (sic)-row." The man, named Cross, stated that a woman had been found there. In going to the spot he saw Constable Neil, and by the direction of the latter he went for the ambulance. When Cross spoke to witness he was accompanied by another man, and both of them afterwards went down Hanbury-street. Cross simply said he was wanted by a policeman, and did not say anything about a murder having been committed. He denied that before he went to Buck's-row he continued knocking people up.”

    Let’s exclude everything we are told by Cross/Lechmere and focus only on those points where Paul and Mizen disagree. Paul makes no mention of Mizen having been told only that he was wanted by a policeman. In fact, Paul’s statement (which preceded Cross/Lechmere’s statement) goes into some detail with respect to what Mizen was told: “I told him what I had seen, and I asked him to come, but he did not say whether he should come or not. He continued calling the people up, which I thought was a great shame, after I had told him the woman was dead.”

    This leaves us to try and answer a very simple question: Who is lying here, Mizen or Paul? In order to answer this question, I believe we must ask another: Who had reason to lie, Mizen or Paul? I can come up with no reason for Paul to lie or make inflammatory comments about Mizen. If Mizen had acted as he (Mizen) claimed he did, why would Paul have voiced such strong condemnation of Mizen’s actions? In the absence of any further information regarding Paul’s possible motivations, we use simple logic. And logic tells us that he would not have. Now we must ask, why would Mizen lie? I think that the answer is undeniably obvious. He lied to justify his less than urgent response upon having been told that a woman was lying, likely dead, in Buck’s Row. Claiming he was told only that he was policeman “wanted” him in Buck’s Row, he justifies his not having asked either man a single question and his less than prompt appearance in Buck’s Row. Although, Mizen does go to the further trouble of telling us he did not continue “knocking-up”.

    In my view, any objective reading of Cross/Lechmere’s words and actions – as he represented them and as they were corroborated by Paul – both in Buck’s Row and Baker’s Row –do nothing to cast any suspicion on him as the killer of Nichols.
    Apart from Mizen, I tend to agree with the overall take on what you have written.

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  • Billiou
    replied
    Originally posted by Patrick S View Post
    “She looks to me to be either dead or drunk; but for my part I think she is dead", Cross/Lechmere stated he told Mizen at the inquest into Nichols’ death. Paul in a statement to ‘Lloyd’s Weekly News’ stated flatly, “I told him the woman was dead.” Mizen, in his own inquest testimony disagreed, saying that he was told only that a woman was lying in Buck’s Row. As we know, some controversy arose (that would intensify some 120 years later) when Mizen testified at the inquest that he was told that he was “wanted by a policeman in Buck's Row, where a woman was lying.” Cross/Lechmere testified that he said no such thing:

    A Juryman: “Did you tell Constable Mizen that another constable wanted him in Buck's Row?”

    Witness: “No, because I did not see a policeman in Buck's Row.”
    Could it be simply that Mizen, in his own mind, took the term "you're wanted in Buck's Row" to mean a "policeman wanted him"? And at the time he heard "dead and drunk", would not necessarily be a reason to immediately drop everything and run there..... You know, "a woman dead with her throat cut" would have been different. Remember both Paul and Cross "thought" she may be dead as a result of an "outrage", not a vicious murder. And where did the "drunk" come from anyway? Did they smell drink on her?

    So I think maybe Mizen quoted what he "thought" he heard, and as both Paul and Cross confirmed they didn't say that, it was merely him being human.

    On a general note not directed at anyone, I don't think we should expect all the witnesses to remember exactly what they said or did. There has to be some leeway given to human error and weaknesses. We don't all have a photographic memory, and the same with what we have said in the past. Some people can remember exactly word for word, others won't. So I have come to the realisation that trying to forensically dissect everything said probably leads no-where.

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  • Patrick S
    replied
    [QUOTE=Pierre;378171]
    Originally posted by Patrick S View Post

    Hi Patrick,

    I am sorry to say this, but you treat the sources in a terribly anti-historical way.

    You do not use any source criticism at all. You write:



    Firstly, you have to understand that there is a tendency in the sources for the statements of Robert Paul.

    I wrote about this tendency recently in a post to Fisherman. This is what I wrote:



    Now Patrick, you also try to argue from the same meaningless point of view that has been used by Fisherman: so called "logic". But logic is a scientific construction and not something found in sources from 1888!

    So please, use historical source criticism.

    Another problem: We can not know anything about WHY Paul said the things he said. We can not know WHY he wanted to criticize the police.

    But he probably had his own reasons, since this is what he did.

    You must take this into consideration before you treat the statements of Mizen as Fisherman treats the statements of Lechmere:

    "He is a liar"!

    I very often find many of your arguments reasonable and interesting.

    But we analyse sources from 1888. They are full of bias, tendencies and errors. They do not put forward "evidence" to us. Evidence if what we establish by using internal and external source criticism - after having understood the bias, tendencies and errors of the sources.

    Otherwise, this whole discussion is meaningless.

    Kind regards, Pierre
    That sounds about right. I think. Wait. What?

    Leave a comment:


  • Ausgirl
    replied
    Originally posted by Damaso Marte View Post
    something you cannot say for, say, Druitt or Thompson.
    But Thompson could see through Kelly's window, from his own!

    Anyway. I don't see a need for people to sneer at each other's methods or filters for viewing the crimes. I think all have merit, if people don't start up with arrogant willy-swinging, with the wild and mostly baseless claims and the like.

    Though its getting my goat, the number of times this bloody historical source stuff is being chucked about like Pollock's paint on every thread.

    I don't think it's utterly *ridiculous* to eyeball a man who was found next to a body. Ok, it's a bit silly, I think, to proclaim him the Ripper (case solved!) based on what's being currently presented. Not a suspect, imo, as much as a potential person of interest? Idk. But I've no problem with the idea being discussed. Is it really so grievous?
    Last edited by Ausgirl; 04-22-2016, 07:57 PM.

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  • Damaso Marte
    replied
    I don’t think you need an understanding of source criticism to understand the OP’s point. All Patrick S is really saying is:

    (1) If Cross was the Ripper, he must have left his house earlier than he claimed.
    (2) By talking to a witness, refusing to touch the body, and talking to a police officer, Cross was not acting like we’d expect a murderer to
    (3) The “Mizen Scam” claims can be better explained by Mizen trying to cover up his loggygagging on the night of the murder

    I’m not particularly moved by (1) and (2). If Cross were the Ripper he could have easily told a plausible lie about what time he left home. We also can’t prove that Nichols met her killer at any particular time, all sorts of things other than meeting the Ripper could have delayed her between 2:30 and 3:30, perhaps another client.

    For (2), yes, if I had just killed Nichols and heard Paul coming, I would have gotten the hell out of Buck’s Row, and not talked to any cops I encountered on my way! This seems like the obvious way to minimize my risk. But the same risk aversion that leads me to run away from Paul is also why I will never actually murder a prostitute in an alley. Who knows what a person with enough gall to commit a murder on an open street would do in that situation – maybe they would play along.

    At the end of the day, Cross can be placed in Whitechapel at the time of the murders, something you cannot say for, say, Druitt or Thompson. Cross can be placed at a murder scene, which you cannot say for even a top-shelf suspect like Aaron Kosminsky.

    That’s not to say I am a convert to the Crossmere theory – in fact, I just thought of a new argument against Cross that I might make into a new thread – but I think critics of the theory are overplaying their hand.

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  • Monty
    replied
    There needs to be an understanding of the material in its historical context.

    Some do not, as is shown in their error strewn interpretation.

    Monty

    Leave a comment:


  • GUT
    replied
    Originally posted by Pierre View Post
    That is not the point, GUT. The point is that if we want knowledge from the sources, we have to use source criticism. That is just a simple and well established methodological fact.

    I am no one. I am not interesting. But history is, if it is history and not fiction.
    And you know nothing about history according to real historians that have read some of your posts.

    Leave a comment:


  • Pierre
    replied
    Originally posted by GUT View Post
    And if you don't do things the way the great historian wants you to you must be wrong.
    That is not the point, GUT. The point is that if we want knowledge from the sources, we have to use source criticism. That is just a simple and well established methodological fact.

    I am no one. I am not interesting. But history is, if it is history and not fiction.

    Leave a comment:


  • GUT
    replied
    And if you don't do things the way the great historian wants you to you must be wrong.

    Leave a comment:


  • Pierre
    replied
    [QUOTE=Patrick S;378153]

    Hi Patrick,

    I am sorry to say this, but you treat the sources in a terribly anti-historical way.

    You do not use any source criticism at all. You write:

    I can come up with no reason for Paul to lie or make inflammatory comments about Mizen. If Mizen had acted as he (Mizen) claimed he did, why would Paul have voiced such strong condemnation of Mizen’s actions?
    Firstly, you have to understand that there is a tendency in the sources for the statements of Robert Paul.

    I wrote about this tendency recently in a post to Fisherman. This is what I wrote:

    I have been analysing what should be - from a source critical perspective - your most important sources for the base of your hypothesis that Lechmere was Jack the Ripper.

    The sources are

    1) The article in Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper - Sunday 02 September 1888
    2) The police summary of Abberline19 September 1888
    3) The police summary of Swanson 19 October 1888

    We start with the article in Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper.

    The source has a tendency which signifies that the witness is systematically making strong remarks aimed at being used for criticizing the police.

    Here are the examples:

    ”The dangerous character of the locality”

    ”....being on guard, for there are many terrible gangs about.”

    ”There have been many knocked down and robbed at that spot”.

    Paul is making strong remarks about the area where the police work.

    ”She was dead and the hands cold”.

    ”I thought that she had been outraged, and had died in the struggle”

    These are strong statements and the witness sounds as if he is 100 percent certain. This does not mean the statement is without tendency. As we will se, he makes the statements for criticising the police.

    ”He (the policeman) continued calling the people up, which I thought was a great shame, after I had told him the woman was dead.

    The woman was so cold she must have been dead some time and either she had been lying there, left to die, or she must have been murdered somewhere else and carried there.

    If she had been lying there long enough to get so cold as she was when I saw her, it shows that no policeman on the beat had been down there for a long time."

    The tendency of the witness is clear. He is criticizing the police. The police is the object of ”A great shame”.

    So the first source has a tendency, which dominates the whole narrative in the article. Therefore, this source is not a reliable source and should be discarded.
    Now Patrick, you also try to argue from the same meaningless point of view that has been used by Fisherman: so called "logic". But logic is a scientific construction and not something found in sources from 1888!

    So please, use historical source criticism.

    Another problem: We can not know anything about WHY Paul said the things he said. We can not know WHY he wanted to criticize the police.

    But he probably had his own reasons, since this is what he did.

    You must take this into consideration before you treat the statements of Mizen as Fisherman treats the statements of Lechmere:

    "He is a liar"!

    I very often find many of your arguments reasonable and interesting.

    But we analyse sources from 1888. They are full of bias, tendencies and errors. They do not put forward "evidence" to us. Evidence if what we establish by using internal and external source criticism - after having understood the bias, tendencies and errors of the sources.

    Otherwise, this whole discussion is meaningless.

    Kind regards, Pierre
    Last edited by Pierre; 04-22-2016, 01:26 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • John Wheat
    replied
    I agree Patrick. Its getting really boring now loads of threads on Crossmere and nothing indicating Crossmere is guilty of killing Nichols let alone any of the other C5 murders.

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