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  • John Richardson sitting on the step

    I was thinking about John Richardson sitting on the top step in the backyard of 29 Hanbury St, leaning forward and cutting the bit of leather off his boot.

    I was struck by the similarity in Richardson`s body position and location in the yard to the Ripper`s position over Chapman at the foot of the steps.

    Just kicking this around,but what if Richardson was the killer of Chapman, at the time Dr Phillips suggested. At that time it was just getting light and perhaps Richardson may have been spooked that someone from a distant window may have seen him and when he returned to the scene of the crime and came up with the "cutting leather off his shoe" story to explain why, if he`d been seen, he had been hunched over in that corner of the yard.

    Yeah, I know Chapman`s head was between the steps and fence, and Richardson was sitting on the top step but they`re still very close in proximity.

    Just some food for thought ...
    Last edited by Jon Guy; 08-03-2012, 09:41 AM.

  • #2
    John Richardson remains for me one of the (many) great enigmas in this case, and would certainly have a lot of explaining to do if I were able to time-travel myself back to East London 1888 and play detective. (Like how do you cut leather off your boot with a blunt table knife, for one.)

    Cheers!
    Harry
    aye aye! keep yer 'and on yer pfennig!

    Comment


    • #3
      versions

      Hello Jon. An interesting thought.

      If I recall properly, Richardson's first version had him standing and cutting; his second version, sitting and cutting; his last version sitting and trying to cut.

      If that is correct and he were the assailant, and his body placement described as it was for the motive you suggest, it seems he would have omitted the first version and gone directly to the second.

      One gets the feeling that the emendation from one to two was designed to make his witness "more meaningful."

      Cheers.
      LC

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      • #4
        Hi Lynn

        Thanks for your reply!!

        Who did Richardson give the first story to, was it Insp Chandler in the passageway of number 29?

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        • #5
          Baxter

          Hello Jon. Thanks.

          Seems it was at inquest--so I presume Baxter.

          Cheers.
          LC

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi Harry

            Originally posted by Harry the Hawker View Post
            John Richardson remains for me one of the (many) great enigmas in this case, and would certainly have a lot of explaining to do if I were able to time-travel myself back to East London 1888 and play detective. (Like how do you cut leather off your boot with a blunt table knife, for one.)
            Have you noticed how Pipeman`s description is very similar to John Richardson. Although, Pipeman`s description is fairly generic, Richardson was a tall man with brown hair and a brown moustache.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by lynn cates View Post
              Seems it was at inquest--so I presume Baxter.
              When I get home I`ll have to check what he said to Chandler in the passageway. But, I suppose a detail like standing or sitting may not have seemed an important detail to recall for Richardson.

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              • #8
                portrayal

                Hello Jon. Thanks.

                It may well be a trivial point. But if he hatched the story in case someone saw him crouched over the body, it seems that he would never portray himself as standing.

                Cheers.
                LC

                Comment


                • #9
                  Indeed, but I doubt Richardson had your mental faculties, Lynn, and the final version off his story has him sitting down.

                  But it`s probably nothing, because like Chas Cross in Bucks Row, he had a perfectly innocent and reasonable reason to have been there.

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                  • #10
                    ah!

                    Hello Jon. Thanks for the kind remarks.

                    Point taken--a faux pas with respect to calculations on his behalf? And I like how you summarise the situation. Tend to agree.

                    Cheers.
                    LC

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Jon Guy:

                      "it`s probably nothing, because like Chas Cross in Bucks Row, he had a perfectly innocent and reasonable reason to have been there."

                      Then Ed Kemper probably didnīt kill his grandparents either. He had a perfectly innocent and reasonable reason to be there, right? And all the highway killers, like Bonin, for example, werenīt killers either, by the same logic. Come to think of it, very many serialists have had perfectly legit reasons to be where they were when they decided to grab the opportunity. Thatīs why these men are so hard to catch.

                      Of course, Jon, having a legitimate reason to be on a murder spot always helps when speaking to the police. But the reverse also applies - if you want to stay undetected, what better place to kill than somewhere you had legitimate reason to be? Like Hanbury Street. Like Berner Street. Like Mitre Square. Like Dorset Street.

                      Itīs not until the death toll rises and we can begin to see a geographical pattern that a legitimate path on behalf of a person may switch from a good alibi into something rather detrimental. And that is exactly what we have on display in the Lechmere case.

                      Anyway, good try! And I think your Richardson proposal is somewhat congenially thought out! Back to that aim of the thread!

                      The best,
                      Fisherman

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                      • #12
                        Im curious, just what is the evidence for suggesting Richardson may have killed and mutilated Annie Chapman Jon? That he sat and bent on the steps isnt much to use as springboard for that idea. Does he have some unknown violent past?

                        Cross may well have had a reason for being where he was but I would offer that his behavior upon finding Polly seems to me rather odd. I would think anyone who found a dead woman would stay with the body or call out for help, regardless of the time.

                        Best regards,

                        Mike R
                        Michael Richards

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          case

                          Hello Mike. I think the case for Richardson could be:

                          1. He carried a knife.

                          2. He owned a leather apron.

                          3. His testimony as to time and place contradicts Dr. Phillips' TOD for Annie.

                          The stooping posture argument was merely exploratory--if I understand the intent of the thread. The idea is, roughly, given that John killed Annie, and he thought he had been spotted in that posture (ie, over the body and crouching) would it not be prudent to testify that he had assumed EXACTLY that posture but in innocuous circumstances, thus possibly defusing such later testimony?

                          Cheers.
                          LC

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            If a witness had seen Richardson crouching over the body, that witness would also have seen the body itself. Why, then, did Richardson claim that stubbornly the body had not been there yet?

                            When he thought he was seen, the cleverest thing to do would be what is imputed to Cross: Pretending he just found the victim and fetching help.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Hi K453

                              The body of Chapman was so close to the fence she would have only been visible from houses to the east of number 29, and then at a closer look, only the feet would have been visible as the Ripper was, I believe, working from Chapman`s right side.

                              Now, my point is that if the old neighbour Adam, at number 31, for example, peered casually out of his dirty window and saw Richardson crouched over in the corner of the yard, and he would recognise Richardson as he worked at number 29, then I am suggesting Richardson may have made up the story to cover any sightings of him in the yard by nosey neighbours.
                              Now, old Adam may not have seen the body at the time, and like everyone else was not aware of the murder till 6.00am, and had then told the Police that the only person he saw was big Johhny Richardson.
                              Remember that despite Long and Cadosch, Dr Phillips put the TOD a lot earlier, at roughly the time that Richardson was messing about in the yard.

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