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Question re Police Description of Suspect

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  • Question re Police Description of Suspect

    Hi can I pick your brains please.

    A number of papers on 10th September 1888 have a description of a suspect that was circulated by police. This is an extract from one....

    Description of a man wanted, who entered a passage of the house at which the murder was committed with a prostitute, at two a.m. the 8th. Aged thirty-seven, height 5 ft. 7 in., rather dark, beard and moustache; dress, short dark jacket, dark vest and trousers, black scarf and black felt hat; spoke with a foreign accent

    This description is different to the one given by Mrs Long in her evidence, and the one recorded from her in Swanson's report.

    Do we know where this may have come from?



  • #2
    Don't worry.... Phillip Sugden had the answer.


    • #3
      Yes, but Sugden dismissed the report from having any relevance to the Chapman murder because of Mrs. Richardson's statement that the sighting occurred one month before. The man slept on the stairs and, she said, "I believe on other nights as well."

      This same man could have been there on the 8th and met Annie as she came through the front door, possibly to sleep on the stairs as well.


      • #4
        Witnesses can give wildy different descriptions of the same person without being untruthful. Recollections vary. Police officers working under pressure, as they were, can be prone to pushing witnesses to recall detail they simply can't provide. Mrs Long (Durrell/Darrell), if memory serves, described a man over forty (not that far removed from thirty-seven) and of "foreign" appearance. What she saw was nothing out of the ordinary so she had no particular reason to take much notice of either the man or the woman at the time. I think she only saw her man from the rear too? These could be honest and truthful descriptions provided by two individual witnesses, but with one (or both) being mistaken in some of the detail.

        The press report may have added imaginative detail as well of course. Certainly can't discount it.
        I won't always agree but I'll try not to be disagreeable.


        • #5
          Good to see you on here Steven. I enjoy your YouTube videos, but we need more of them!