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  • Originally posted by Scott Nelson View Post
    Then there's this from Macnaghten (referring to Kosminski): "This man in appearance strongly resembled the individual seen by the City P.C. near Mitre Square." Where did this come from?
    I think to much is being read into this uncorrobrated statement, if a city Pc had seen a man coming out of the square/near to, at the material time he would have been called as a witness to the inquest and would have had to give a description of the man. Again we see another example of statements police officers made back then being accepted without question.

    The reality of the Miter Square murder in my opinion is that Pc Harvey disturbed the killer as he came down Church Passage and the killer made good his escape via Mitre Street, that being said he was lucky not to be seen by Pc Watkins who came back into the square via Mitre Street.

    The killer would have had seen and heard Pc Harvey coming down the passage. Pc Harvey would not have been able to see into the square as he was coming down the passage due to the gas lamp at Kearley and Tonges shining in his eyes as he came down the passage giving the killer time to escape

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    • Originally posted by Trevor Marriott View Post

      I think to much is being read into this uncorrobrated statement, if a city Pc had seen a man coming out of the square/near to, at the material time he would have been called as a witness to the inquest and would have had to give a description of the man. Again we see another example of statements police officers made back then being accepted without question.

      The reality of the Miter Square murder in my opinion is that Pc Harvey disturbed the killer as he came down Church Passage and the killer made good his escape via Mitre Street, that being said he was lucky not to be seen by Pc Watkins who came back into the square via Mitre Street.

      The killer would have had seen and heard Pc Harvey coming down the passage. Pc Harvey would not have been able to see into the square as he was coming down the passage due to the gas lamp at Kearley and Tonges shining in his eyes as he came down the passage giving the killer time to escape

      www.trevormarriott.co.uk
      Hi Trevor,

      Yes, that's pretty much the scenerio we've been looking at. A curious idea came out of that, which fit with the recreation based upon that idea exactly (JtR flees upon PC Harvey's arrival) which was that JtR goes south on Mitre, then ducked into the Smith's Building passage that some of have suggested connected Mitre Street to Leadenhall Street.

      If that passage actually existed and did provide a through way between those streets, then the timing looks right for PC Watkins and JtR to have met in passing there.

      There are a number of tales of PC Watkins meeting a man in an ally just before finding the body, and that passage would fit those stories, and the location and timing looked good. However, as you say (and we've discussed), the stories themselves are unverified, told many years after the fact (and not by PC Watkins), and so are probably nothing more than rumours. But if true it would also correspond to that statement by McN. We were collecting versions of statements that might all correspond to the same event, and McN's statement is just one of them.

      We've been looking at this to see if there's any substance to suggest the idea may be one of those things worth considering though. The first thing is to verify the passage actually did allow public access from Mitre Street to Leadenhall, otherwise it's a no go. And, we've reached the point where it's looking like that passage did not provide that as it does not show up on either the Goad maps or the OS maps.

      As such, it's looking like the location that appeared to fit the general details and might provide a possible location for the event is not going to fit after all. Unless the passageway can be verified to have provided access between the streets, which it looks like it didn't, then there's no reason to change the interpretation that McN's statement was probably a mistake and refers to PC Smith from Berner Street, and the other stories about PC Watkins are just that - stories.

      - Jeff

      Comment


      • Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post
        Unless the passageway can be verified to have provided access between the streets, which it looks like it didn't, then there's no reason to change the interpretation that McN's statement was probably a mistake and refers to PC Smith from Berner Street, and the other stories about PC Watkins are just that - stories.
        Who first came up with the interpretation that Macnaghten was confusing PC Smith in Berner Street with another PC witness in or near Mitre Square? It's been the mantra of Ripperology ever since whenever. But maybe there wasn't any confusion??

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Scott Nelson View Post

          Who first came up with the interpretation that Macnaghten was confusing PC Smith in Berner Street with another PC witness in or near Mitre Square? It's been the mantra of Ripperology ever since whenever. But maybe there wasn't any confusion??
          Hi Scott. Paul Begg makes the suggestion in Uncensored Facts (1989) p. 170. Off hand, I don't recall if there was an earlier source.

          He points out that Macnaghten also stated in a draft of the memo that Stride's murderer had been 'disturbed by some Jews who drove up to a Club.'

          Two different Jewish clubs that night, two different murders.

          It's not an unreasonable suggestion. What gives me moment for pause is that Sagar also repeats the story of a PC near Mitre Square.

          On the other hand, if we simply turn 'Jews' into 'Jew,' we have an accurate description of Diemschutz driving his cart into Dutfield's Yard, next to the Club.
          Last edited by rjpalmer; 01-19-2022, 07:52 PM.

          Comment


          • Hi Scott,

            Originally posted by Scott Nelson View Post

            Who first came up with the interpretation that Macnaghten was confusing PC Smith in Berner Street with another PC witness in or near Mitre Square? It's been the mantra of Ripperology ever since whenever. But maybe there wasn't any confusion??
            I don't know who first suggested that to be honest. It's been around for as long as I can recall though. But, if there wasn't any confusion, and PC Watkins did see a man in a passageway who the police had reason to suspect to be JtR, then locating that passageway would be necessary. The contemporary evidence makes the passage to St. James Place unsuitable, as it does not appear there would be enough time for the murder to take place by the time PC Watkins patrols that area. I suppose, though, if PC Watkins saw a man come out of St. James Place on his round before the murder, then one could suggest that man might have then gone up Church Passage and bumps into Eddowes there and Lawende et co. only come out after they meet (if the CPC couple is them, of course). Alternatively, Eddowes enters Mitre Square alone, and encounters JtR in Mitre Square, etc.

            If the encounter occurs after the murder, though, then the passageway has to be near the end of PC Watkins beat. The Smith's Building passage, while it looked promising on some maps (as they show it as linking Mitre Street with Leadenhall), does not look like it actually did according to the OS and Goad maps, which are considered the more reliable ones. So if that isn't actually a through passage then it can't be the location of the encounter. And if there is no suitable location, then the story, as told, cannot be true.

            There is nothing surviving in the police letters to HO, etc, that indicates that a city PC had spotted someone they were interested in looking for, and that too is not good.

            Without something, such as locating a suitable location for the events to have happened, or a report pointing to a city PC "suspect" (or Person of Interest), then we are left with no evidence that these stories are anything but rumours. And it may be that the McN. document is the original source of those rumours! That McN transposed PC Smith from the Berner Street murder to the Mitre Square murder of the same night, which would make him a "City PC". That would lead to gossip and stories, and over time that unnamed city PC becomes Watkins, and details get added in the telling (blending in the "Church Passage Couple" to make the encounter in a passage type thing), and years later we see the result of that.

            We're left with stories for which we have not found a suitable location, and for which we have no surviving document by the police to verify it other than the McN document. And without the first two of those, the McN document is viewed as a translocation of PC Smith. So, it's possible, rather than identification the location of a real event, we may have identified the source of these rumours.

            I think at the moment, the latter of those is the more likely. But as I've indicated already, I'm happy to reconsider that if we can get something new. I thought we might have, but it appears once examined, that didn't pan out.

            - Jeff

            Comment


            • Hmmm, I think something like this has been proposed before. But Morris testifies that he opened the door to Mitre Square during his cleaning a couple minutes before PC Watkins finds Eddowes. And that's about the same time PC Harvey patrols Church Passage. I suppose it is possible that Morris opens the door first, and this alerts JtR to get out of there. So he heads along the dark side of the Square and exits out through Church Passage, passing PC Harvey in the process. PC Harvey has no reason to stop him, nothings happened yet. Then, shortly afterwards PC Watkins find the body and Morris runs out and blows his whistle resulting in PC Harvey comes running up Mitre Street in response to Morris's whistle.

              And over time, PC Harvey gets forgotten, and PC Watkins becomes both the one who sees the man and who finds the body, etc.

              That would "work", but it's so fantastic and Hollywood that I think we would need some evidence from the time, some lost police document resurfaces for example, before it was given any real consideration. It does, at least, involve a known passage that connects to Mitre Square.

              - Jeff

              Comment


              • I think Gavin Bromley, in one of his Mitre Square articles, has the Ripper exiting the square through the Church Passage, but not running into Harvey. For those who believe Lawende and company passed Eddowes and the Ripper at the Duke Street side of the passage minutes earlier, this means the Ripper wasn't hesitant about returning back through the passage and running into more people on the street.

                Comment


                • Hi Scott,

                  Originally posted by Scott Nelson View Post
                  I think Gavin Bromley, in one of his Mitre Square articles, has the Ripper exiting the square through the Church Passage, but not running into Harvey. For those who believe Lawende and company passed Eddowes and the Ripper at the Duke Street side of the passage minutes earlier, this means the Ripper wasn't hesitant about returning back through the passage and running into more people on the street.
                  We know Lawende and co. saw the Church Passage Couple, and PC Harvey's testimony indicates they were not there when he patrolled Church Passage, so we know they've moved off at some point. We don't know for sure when or where, of course, but coupled with the weak identification of Eddowes' clothing, the implication is of course they moved to the crime scene at some point after Lawende and co. moved on. Of course, I'm open to other possibilities, but at the moment the evidence we have, though weak and inferential in nature, leans towards the CPC being Eddowes and JtR, but as I say, that's far from a firm conclusion.

                  I agree that JtR could have decided to return that way, particularly if Morris' opening the door occurred before PC Harvey's patrol (though I tend to believe he would have fled away from the building, but I suppose it depends on how the door opened - if fleeing towards Mitre Street would pass in front of the open door, he might go up the side to keep the door between him and the view into the building, for example). In the recreation I included exiting through Church Passage, but with JtR waiting until PC Harvey exits, and that does "work" (he could come out and then head in the opposite direction. But of course, then we don't have a PC sighting of JtR in a passage, which is probably the key detail. I suppose placing the location of the meeting in a passage could be an embellishment over the years though, and if the meeting is allowed to happen anywhere, including in the streets, then it could be easy to see how JtR could have passed by either PC Harvey or PC Watkins. But the testimonies we have do not indicate they saw anyone at the appropriate times, so we would need another contemporary and preferably official source to show otherwise.

                  There are a lot of possible options that I didn't include in the recreations of course, as the various possibilities are infinite as one includes more and more details and options. When I put them together I was looking for times and routes that would allow for JtR to leave the area without being seen because I was limiting my examinations to those options and not considering these "PC sighting stories". To examine these stories, we need to have Eddowes and JtR at the crime scene long enough for the murder to occur, and for JtR to leave the scene and then pass by a PC prior to the discovery of the body. And if we hold to the point that that meeting has to be in a passage way, then we're down to very few options as to location.

                  Church Passage would be one possible location of course, as PC Harvey would not be aware of the murder at that time. The Smith's Building passage seemed good but it looks like it wasn't a through passage, making it unsuitable. The passage to St. James Place wouldn't result in a meeting with either of the PC's, so unless there was another PC that we do not know about patrolling that location, it's looking to me like we're running out of options. That leaves us with Church Passage and PC Harvey, which are still in the running but it's unsupported speculation. We can't use the stories as evidence, they are what we are testing, so we need a new, independent source of information that verifies at least Church Passage as the location, or PC Harvey's involvement; I'm doubtful that will happen unless some new documents are uncovered somewhere, such as the missing suspect file. Alternatively, if it were to be proved that the Smith's Building passage actually was a through passage, despite the OS and Goad maps indicating it was not, then that would reintroduce that location as well. I'm not hopeful of that either, but again, more than willing to reassess things if new evidence were ever to arise.

                  - Jeff

                  Comment


                  • Prior to continuing south on Duke Street, PC Harvey turned right onto Little Duke Street, walked about halfway west, then turned around and walked back to Duke Street (before going down Church Passage). At his turn-around point on Little Duke Street, he would've faced St. James Place, and may have seen somebody emerging from St. James Passage.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Scott Nelson View Post
                      Prior to continuing south on Duke Street, PC Harvey turned right onto Little Duke Street, walked about halfway west, then turned around and walked back to Duke Street (before going down Church Passage). At his turn-around point on Little Duke Street, he would've faced St. James Place, and may have seen somebody emerging from St. James Passage.
                      Hi Scott,

                      I don't think the passage exit would be visible from outside st James place itself due to the angles. He might have seen someone coming out of St James itself though, but there is Blenkinsop in the news saying he didn't see anyone come from miter square, and he was in st James itself.

                      - Jeff

                      Comment


                      • I think it would have been, Jeff. Blenkingsop saw some people pass through the St. James court, but hadn't really taken any further notice.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post

                          Hi Scott,

                          I don't think the passage exit would be visible from outside st James place itself due to the angles. He might have seen someone coming out of St James itself though, but there is Blenkinsop in the news saying he didn't see anyone come from miter square, and he was in st James itself.

                          - Jeff
                          Jeff,

                          Here is the quote in the Star for Blenkingsop.

                          James Blenkingsop, who was on duty as a watchman in St. James's-place (leading to the square), where some street improvements are taking place, states that about half-past one a respectably-dressed man came up to him and said, "Have you seen a man and a woman go through here?" "I didn't take any notice," returned Blenkingsop. "I have seen some people pass." The murdered woman was found lying on her back, and presented..."

                          He stated he saw "some people pass" but it does not say pass into or out of Mitre Square.


                          EDIT: Sorry Scott, I see you posted this already.

                          Comment


                          • Hi Scott,

                            Originally posted by Scott Nelson View Post
                            I think it would have been, Jeff. Blenkingsop saw some people pass through the St. James court, but hadn't really taken any further notice.
                            I had another look at the map, and I hadn't really noticed that Duke continues right to St. James Place (I don't know why, but I always saw that as part of SJP, so I wasn't including that section. Any graphic of PC Harvey's Patrol that I've seen doesn't show him doing that stretch (PC Watkins does as he exits St James Place), which is why I thought he couldn't see the passage. If he patroled that bit, then yes, if not, then no.

                            True, Blenkinsop does mention he saw some people pass, though took no notice. I suppose it could be JtR exited that way and it didn't register with him.

                            - Jeff

                            Comment


                            • Hi jerryd,

                              Originally posted by jerryd View Post

                              Jeff,

                              Here is the quote in the Star for Blenkingsop.

                              James Blenkingsop, who was on duty as a watchman in St. James's-place (leading to the square), where some street improvements are taking place, states that about half-past one a respectably-dressed man came up to him and said, "Have you seen a man and a woman go through here?" "I didn't take any notice," returned Blenkingsop. "I have seen some people pass." The murdered woman was found lying on her back, and presented..."

                              He stated he saw "some people pass" but it does not say pass into or out of Mitre Square.


                              EDIT: Sorry Scott, I see you posted this already.
                              Yes, I had misrecalled the wording. So, given his wording, it is possible that someone (JtR) exits the passage and it didn't register with him I guess.

                              - Jeff

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post
                                Hi jerryd,



                                Yes, I had misrecalled the wording. So, given his wording, it is possible that someone (JtR) exits the passage and it didn't register with him I guess.

                                - Jeff
                                I dont think that was the case, if the killer was still in situ when harvey came down church passage and was forced to make his escape, Miter St was the nearest point of exit. The St james passage would have meant possibly the killer passing across the line of sight of Harvey.

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