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  • Originally posted by jerryd View Post

    Jeff.

    If you look at the Goads map there are actually two places marked as #36 Mitre Street. One is a Carp (Carpenter Shop I assume) and it also says at that location "Bk Arch". I'm not sure if that is brick arch or back arch, Could it have been a fully/partially arched area leading to the courtyard which then led to the archway of #75 Leadenhall?

    As far as the bloodstains, I'll have to look back at the reports on that. Maybe it was "said" to be paint. I know two doors in Mitre Street had supposed bloodstains.
    Ok, it's worth looking further into. If an ally between the two streets did exist, then this is another possible escape route. And curiously, one that would provide some credence to the Watkin's man. I still think we need to view that story with some caution, though. Simulations are just that, so while consistent with, it's not "proof". If we could trace the Watkin's man back closer to 1888 someday, that would be great. I keep hoping some new information will surface, with things like this in it. Until then, it's all just tantalisingly vague.

    - Jeff

    Comment


    • So, I went back and had a look at post 184 of this thread:

      https://forum.casebook.org/forum/rip...192#post711192

      The first map CuriousCat links to does seem to verify that passage went all the way through to Mitre Street, so it appears to have been there.

      I've circled it below, near the bottom 1/3rd .

      This is interesting food for thought.

      - Jeff

      Click image for larger version

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      • Originally posted by jerryd View Post
        PC Langdon of the City force told of the Watkins story (standing aside to let a man pass in an alley shortly before the discovery of the murder) in a retirement article in 1912.

        * City PC E.T. Langdon Retires ( With Article) - Jack The Ripper Forums - Ripperology For The 21st Century (jtrforums.com)
        Thanks for this Jerry. The later newspaper I can't locate now had more details, including the 7 minute calculation to get from the scene of the crime to the St. James Place alley location where Watkins let the man pass by (not 7 minutes total to complete the beat).

        Jeff, I don't think the story was referring to an alley location off of Mitre and Leadenhall Streets. It's pretty clear to me the location of the encounter was in St. James Place. This has striking parallels to the Stephen White story, as I alluded to.

        One could speculate that Watkins spent extra time in Sugar Bakers Lane or chatting to one of the firemen in St. James square, before resuming his patrol and seeing the man emerge from the passage.

        The "bloodstains" on 36 Mitre Street turned out to be melted wax, so that's a false trail.

        Comment


        • Hi Scott,

          Originally posted by Scott Nelson View Post

          Thanks for this Jerry. The later newspaper I can't locate now had more details, including the 7 minute calculation to get from the scene of the crime to the St. James Place alley location where Watkins let the man pass by (not 7 minutes total to complete the beat).

          Jeff, I don't think the story was referring to an alley location off of Mitre and Leadenhall Streets. It's pretty clear to me the location of the encounter was in St. James Place. This has striking parallels to the Stephen White story, as I alluded to.

          One could speculate that Watkins spent extra time in Sugar Bakers Lane or chatting to one of the firemen in St. James square, before resuming his patrol and seeing the man emerge from the passage.

          The "bloodstains" on 36 Mitre Street turned out to be melted wax, so that's a false trail.
          Yah, I realise the story you're talking about places things in St. James Place 7 minutes after he patrolled Mitre Square. The problem we have is that story is told in 1950, and not even by PC Watkins. Even the version Jerry links us to, which also has 7 minutes referred to (but in the version Jerry links to that refers to PC Watkin's entire beat cycle, and that story comes from 1912). Neither of those stories, though, correspond to the information we get from PC Watkins himself, who in 1888 tells us it took him 14 minutes to complete his patrol. If he's still in St. James Place at 7 minutes, he cannot complete his patrol in 14 minutes. There's too much distance to cover. And if the 7 minutes is wrong, and this happened much sooner after his patrol of Mitre Square, there's not enough time for the murder to occur (particularly as it appears it was raining hard enough to prevent Lawende et co to wait before leaving the club until at least 1:33 by their testimony (though if we treat that as an estimation, that could be shorter). It appears the murder happened after the rain I believe, so once we factor all that in, there isn't enough time for the murder to happen if PC Watkins is in St. James Place since he needs enough time to complete his patrol in 14 minutes total. Also, there are news reports where Blenkinsop, who was on watch in St. James Place, indicating nobody came out of that passageway during the times of interest.

          So something is not right. The details in this story do not align with what we know with greater confidence. But that doesn't necessarily mean there isn't a kernel of truth to it. It could just be the specifics are wrong.

          We're dealing with 2nd hand information at best after all. We're not getting this story from PC Watkins himself, and we get these stories at least 24 years after the fact, and 62 years in the case of the one you recall. Given that, we need to be very sceptical about whether or not this is even a real event - meaning would PC Watkins himself have verified that he did indeed pass a man in an alley during his patrol that night, or would he say "no, that never happened, it's just some rumour that has somehow taken hold". There is certainly nothing in PC Watkin's testimony to hint at such an encounter, nor is there anything in the surviving police files to suggest this information was something the police were holding back but investigating.

          But to keep an open mind on it, because of course maybe PC Watkins would say "yes, I did pass a fellow in a passageway", then I went looking to see where other passageways were located that were in locations that would give enough time for the murder to occur, and when JtR was estimated to be on the move (due to PC Harvey's arrival). That is what made me recall the Leadenhall passage. I used the simulation routines to then see where my "theoretical JtR's" would be at the time that PC Watkin's reaches that area, and that's what suggested that "South on Mitre Street" version of JtR looked interesting.

          That passage is located such that PC Watkins would complete his beat shortly afterwards, there is enough time for the murder to occur, PC Havey has already triggered JtR's flight from the scene, and appears to have done so at the time that would indeed allow for PC Watkins to encounter him in that passage. It's also a passage that connects to Mitre Street, not Mitre Square. Another aspect that connects that passage to the versions we have, the passage connects to Mitre xxx.

          So while I agree, it's a different passage, occurring at a different time, given the 2nd hand nature of the stories, coupled with the long passage of time, it looks to me like if there is any truth at all to this story, then I would suggest it probably happened in that passage connecting Mitre Street to Leadenhall Street, not the one connecting Mitre Square to St. James Place. But for the same reasons just given, I'm pretty sceptical it happened at all and I'm viewing this entirely as a hypothesis that needs further verification. If we could trace this story back and find a contemporary version of it told in 1888, and ideally from PC Watkins, well, that might change things. What I think we have here, though, is enough information to suggest it as a target for further research in an attempt to locate the origins of the "Watkin's man" story. I do think it is interesting, though, how it marries up with the recreation without any adjustments at all.

          - Jeff

          Comment


          • The thing to keep in mind, also, is that all we have is Watkins' inquest testimony of what happened, not what he told his superiors after the murder. There may have been a slight cover-up if the City Police were concerned that one of their men had let a suspicious man escape.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Scott Nelson View Post
              The thing to keep in mind, also, is that all we have is Watkins' inquest testimony of what happened, not what he told his superiors after the murder. There may have been a slight cover-up if the City Police were concerned that one of their men had let a suspicious man escape.
              Sure, but of course, at the time PC Watkins is supposed to have met this fellow, there was nothing to be suspicious about. I'm not sure "cover up" would occur per se, but if this did happen, I could see the police keeping the information out of the press, especially if PC Watkins was able to provide a good description. The police were not keen on letting the public know such details. Basically, to avoid tipping off a suspect that the police know what he looks like, etc. Of course, the other explanation for it not appearing in PC Watkin's inquest testimony is because it is just a false rumour. That's the question, though, isn't it?

              - Jeff

              Comment


              • Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post
                Sure, but of course, at the time PC Watkins is supposed to have met this fellow, there was nothing to be suspicious about.
                I think there would have been (slight) suspicion if a man was out by himself at that time.

                Comment


                • And yes, the encounter with the man emerging from the alley may have never happened. Also, the city police had a theory that the Ripper and Eddowes watched Watkins leave Mitre Square while they waited in Aldgate. Then they entered the square afterwards. This would give the Ripper a bit more time with the victim and invalidate the sighting by Lawende.

                  Comment


                  • Hi Scott,

                    Originally posted by Scott Nelson View Post

                    I think there would have been (slight) suspicion if a man was out by himself at that time.
                    Maybe, but suspicion of what? As far as PC Watkins was aware, it was a quiet night at that point. And, Blenkinsop does indicate he had seen people about in St. James Place, and we see Lawende et co. are out (ok, that's a group of 3, but people are on the move). It is, after all, only 1:30 ish, so in a large city like London, there will be people about. Seeing someone might have him take note (so he might have had a description they wanted held from the public), but at the time he wouldn't be suspicious just for being there. As I say, I'm not even convinced it's not just a rumour that got started somehow, but there are some interesting possibilities. If these events can be traced back to 1888, or a version traced to PC Watkins telling it at least, then that would be really cool. As I say, I think tracking the origins of this story looks like something worth pursuing, and if it can be tracked back closer to 1888, we may see how the details have evolved over time. Would be interesting to compare the 1912 version with the 1950 version, for example, as we already know some of the details are different (with respect to what the 7 minutes applies to for example).

                    There's also the "white hands man" story, which sounds similar, but it's not PC Watkins who spots the fellow in the ally (isn't that supposed to be Henry Smith? Or have I misremembered that- it's been a long time since I've read that one or seen it mentioned in a thread, so I've forgotten how that one goes exactly, and who told it). We also have other hypocraphal stories though, like Henry Smith's "blood in the sink" story, and the "flesh hanging from the walls" in Miller's Court. Without being able to trace this closer to 1888, "Watkins man" may simply be a variation of the "white hands man" story, and neither may be anything more than stories. While the recreation does give a possible location for such an event, which I think is interesting, it's not enough to call the story "verified". It is, however, enough to suggest it is worth looking into. That's the utility of recreations and simulations, they can suggest if something appears plausible, but of course, by themselves they are just "well, this fits with everything else easily" or "this doesn't fit with how we understand things". In the latter case in particular, it might be because the new information is wrong or because our current understanding is wrong. Given the testimonies all meld well together, I think we're pretty close to the events at Mitre Square, but obviously only one of those JtR's at most could have occurred on the night (and I'm sure there are other possibilities I've not covered). But all "fit" the simulation, but that doesn't make all of them "true". So the story appears to "fit" the simulation (in that there is a plausible passageway where it might have occurred), but like the above Jack's, that doesn't mean it's true; most, maybe all, our Jack's are false even though they all "fit". It's a test of "plausibility", not proof of "reality".



                    - Jeff

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post
                      Also, there are news reports where Blenkinsop, who was on watch in St. James Place, indicating nobody came out of that passageway during the times of interest.
                      Hi Jeff.

                      A very nitpicking point, but isn't there only one source for Blenkinsop? Star, 1 October 1888? I ask because I've looked for an alternative account over the years, and I don't recall ever finding one.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Scott Nelson View Post
                        And yes, the encounter with the man emerging from the alley may have never happened. Also, the city police had a theory that the Ripper and Eddowes watched Watkins leave Mitre Square while they waited in Aldgate. Then they entered the square afterwards. This would give the Ripper a bit more time with the victim and invalidate the sighting by Lawende.
                        True. I focused on the church passage couple as that gets covered the most. But, given Lawende & co. are waiting for the rain to stop before moving from the club, it suggests a downpour at 1:30 until 1:33-1:35 (pending on the end time). I really can't see Eddowes taking a punter into Mitre Square during rain that was hard enough to prevent Lawende, Leve, and Harris from heading home. As such, if they start in Aldgate, they're still unlikely to move to the crime scene until after the rain lets up, and Aldgate is further from the crime scene than the CPC. There is, however, a covered passage on the east side of Mitre Street towards Aldgate where they could have sheltered. That is still further than the CPC, but close enough to "work". Sheltering under the St.James Passage does get them the closest but it's hard to figure out how they get there since PC Watkins doesn't see anyone in that passage when he patrols, and Blenkisop doesn't see anyone go into the passage at that other end.

                        While there's not enough to draw any firm conclusions, I think it points more in favour of the CPC being a real sighting, but I can't rule out the idea they came from Aldgate and sheltered part way up Mitre Street, or that they did somehow get in the St. James Passageway. Also, I can't prove they even took shelter, but I would think if the murder happened during the downpour, it would have been evident at the crime scene examination (there would be signs that she had been on the ground while it was raining hard, etc) but there's nothing to indicate that (which I think fits with normal human behaviour of waiting out the heavy could burst).

                        - Jeff

                        Comment


                        • Hi rj,

                          Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post

                          Hi Jeff.

                          A very nitpicking point, but isn't there only one source for Blenkinsop? Star, 1 October 1888? I ask because I've looked for an alternative account over the years, and I don't recall ever finding one.
                          I'm not sure, but that sounds right to me. Also, he doesn't come across as being positive that nobody entered or exited the St. James Passage at times we might be interested in, and there are some other details that seem wrong (i.e. he says he was asked about a man and woman passing through at 1:30, but that's before the murder, and is most likely a detective asking questions after the murder). Either that's the reporter mistranscribing things (maybe it should be 2:30 when he was asked?), or the event is unrelated to the crime at all, or ....

                          We're on the fringe of what we know, and dealing with a lot of information that is of questionable quality. I think we can make suggestions about how things might fit, but in the end, I don't think we can draw any real firm conclusions. Anything, from me at least, here is entirely to be viewed as speculations. If Blenkinsop is considered unreliable (which he may be) then St. James Passage becomes an entirely plausible entrance and exit (though as an exit, JtR is still sort of heading towards PC Harvey, and that seems unlikely to me; but hey, maybe not to JtR).

                          - Jeff

                          Comment


                          • We also have this account from Detective Robert Sagar. Though the details in the two accounts (Langdon and Sagar) differ, it makes me wonder if there is a kernel of truth to a policeman running into a potential suspect that night.

                            "A police officer met a well-known man of Jewish appearance coming out of the court near the square, and a few moments after fell over the body. He blew his whistle, and other officers running up, they set off in pursuit of the man who had just left."

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by jerryd View Post
                              ... "A police officer met a well-known man of Jewish appearance coming out of the court near the square, and a few moments after fell over the body. He blew his whistle, and other officers running up, they set off in pursuit of the man who had just left."
                              Hi Jerry. Sorry to be a nuisance; but I've heard contradictory things about the police blowing whistles at Mitre Square. Is it something that could or couldn't have happened? Do you have a nugget relating to this?

                              Thanks for all thoughts.

                              Mark D.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Mark J D View Post

                                Hi Jerry. Sorry to be a nuisance; but I've heard contradictory things about the police blowing whistles at Mitre Square. Is it something that could or couldn't have happened? Do you have a nugget relating to this?

                                Thanks for all thoughts.

                                Mark D.
                                Hi Mark.

                                Never a need to apologize. You are NOT a nuisance,

                                I think Sagar got that part wrong. And probably a lot of the rest of it, too. George Morris blew the whistle according to testimony and alerted Harvey and Collard while Watkins stayed at the body. I guess my point is, there were a few rumors going around at the time, by boots on the ground, that a policeman saw/bumped into a potential suspect. None of this comes up in the official stuff, but where did these rumors begin? i,e PC Langdon, Detective Sagar and Sergeant White. Is there some truth in it if these men that were on the force at the time are saying what they are saying?

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