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  • #76
    Originally posted by DJA View Post


    Those are of Mitre Square and 29 Hanbury Street.
    You're right of course, the plate appears in reverse for the backyard of Hanbury St. - thanks.
    Regards, Jon S.

    Comment


    • #77
      Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post

      Hi Dr. John,

      I've considered it, but as neither PC Watkins nor PC Harvey reports passing anyone, I've considered routes where JtR passes them to be ruled out; obviously, there's no rule that says you have to agree with that decision. But my reasoning is that had the PC Watkins passed anyone just before finding Eddowes, he would have taken note that he saw someone. He was on patrol, so even though he would have had no reason to stop someone, he would have noted their presence, and then, at the very least, sent someone in that direction at the first opportunity. I do recall there's some "myth" story, of a suspect being met in an alley with "white hands" or something like that, but I can't locate it. If JtR fled down Church passage and passed PC Harvey, for example, that could fit some aspects of that story, but it's not PC Harvey who was supposed to have had this encounter. As such, and as I also don't put any stock in that story, I'm pretty sure that JtR fled either through St. James's Place or out to Mitre Street and then north. My preference is now for Mitre Street, as the firemen who were in St. James's Place state nobody came out of the Mitre Square passage. While they could have simply missed someone, we still have at least some reason to put a preference towards the other available exit.

      - Jeff
      Hi Jeff,

      The best study of the Mitre Square attack that I have found was done some years ago by Gavin Bromley and published in Ripperologist Issue 74, and discussed in the succeeding issue 75 (105). He focused on the two police officers, PCs Watkins and Harvey, and his microscopic study took into account the routes of each PC, the times involved, the lighting, etc. In effect, it's an autopsy of the entire event from start to finish, illustrated by maps, drawings, etc. His conclusions were similar to mine, give or take a minute or so. Clearly, one or the other of the PCs had to have entered the square while Jack was still there and simply missed seeing him due to the fact the killing happened in the darkest part of the square. My feeling is that as Watkins returned to the square, he could observe Mitre Street from Aldgate for at least a minute before entering the square, during which time he could have observed anyone headed East away from the square. Having once been a copper myself, I viewed Watkins with a critical eye, knowing full well it would not be out of character for him to have stopped for a cup of tea with his watchman friend or, perhaps more likely, that he came across the shocking specter of a crazed killer holding a bloody knife charging toward him in the darkness and simply ran for his life. Bromley went into some detail on Watkins' early problems on the police force, but I don't for a moment doubt the officer's bravery or ability to defend himself. Still, in that situation, surprised in the dark by a madman holding a bloody knife, and being armed with only a truncheon at my side, a wife and children at home, what would he do? Then I recalled something either Swanson or Anderson wrote which spoke of only two witnesses who actually saw the Ripper and could identify him, one of whom he referred to as the "City PC." Most Ripper students have decided he was confused and really meant Metro PC William Smith, at the scene of the Stride murder. But would he make such a mistake? At any rate, that led me to at least consider the possibility that Watkins encountered the Ripper and might have given some information to his superiors that was not made public since it would have reflected badly on the City police. I took a lot of heat from others on Casebook when I suggested my theory, some likely from present or former officers who saw it as an insult to a brave copper. Having been a copper once myself, I can understand that, but I also know police officers are human, with wives and children at home. Seeing a butchered woman on the ground, bathed in blood, and facing likelihood of imminent death before I could even draw a club, I pondered what Watkins might do. At any rate, that's my take on it. If you can't find the Ripperologist issues, let me know and I'll email them to you.

      Dr. John
      "We reach. We grasp. And what is left at the end? A shadow."
      Sherlock Holmes, The Retired Colourman

      Comment


      • #78
        Originally posted by Wickerman View Post

        My Dear Watson, I take it you are familiar with the story by Det. Stephen White?

        https://forum.casebook.org/forum/rip...477#post708477
        My Dear Wickerman, I am indeed familiar with Det. White's story, except that I always felt he was referring to Castle Alley where Alice McKenzie was murdered. I recall giving a lot of credence to his story and felt he may have encountered her killer, just as he described. My problem was that his description of the man didn't fit with the fellow seen talking with Eddowes at Mitre Square. Has something caused you to link his story with Mitre Square?

        Dr. John
        "We reach. We grasp. And what is left at the end? A shadow."
        Sherlock Holmes, The Retired Colourman

        Comment


        • #79
          Originally posted by Dr. John Watson View Post

          Hi Jeff,

          The best study of the Mitre Square attack that I have found was done some years ago by Gavin Bromley and published in Ripperologist Issue 74, and discussed in the succeeding issue 75 (105). He focused on the two police officers, PCs Watkins and Harvey, and his microscopic study took into account the routes of each PC, the times involved, the lighting, etc. In effect, it's an autopsy of the entire event from start to finish, illustrated by maps, drawings, etc. His conclusions were similar to mine, give or take a minute or so. Clearly, one or the other of the PCs had to have entered the square while Jack was still there and simply missed seeing him due to the fact the killing happened in the darkest part of the square. My feeling is that as Watkins returned to the square, he could observe Mitre Street from Aldgate for at least a minute before entering the square, during which time he could have observed anyone headed East away from the square. Having once been a copper myself, I viewed Watkins with a critical eye, knowing full well it would not be out of character for him to have stopped for a cup of tea with his watchman friend or, perhaps more likely, that he came across the shocking specter of a crazed killer holding a bloody knife charging toward him in the darkness and simply ran for his life. Bromley went into some detail on Watkins' early problems on the police force, but I don't for a moment doubt the officer's bravery or ability to defend himself. Still, in that situation, surprised in the dark by a madman holding a bloody knife, and being armed with only a truncheon at my side, a wife and children at home, what would he do? Then I recalled something either Swanson or Anderson wrote which spoke of only two witnesses who actually saw the Ripper and could identify him, one of whom he referred to as the "City PC." Most Ripper students have decided he was confused and really meant Metro PC William Smith, at the scene of the Stride murder. But would he make such a mistake? At any rate, that led me to at least consider the possibility that Watkins encountered the Ripper and might have given some information to his superiors that was not made public since it would have reflected badly on the City police. I took a lot of heat from others on Casebook when I suggested my theory, some likely from present or former officers who saw it as an insult to a brave copper. Having been a copper once myself, I can understand that, but I also know police officers are human, with wives and children at home. Seeing a butchered woman on the ground, bathed in blood, and facing likelihood of imminent death before I could even draw a club, I pondered what Watkins might do. At any rate, that's my take on it. If you can't find the Ripperologist issues, let me know and I'll email them to you.

          Dr. John
          Hi Dr. John,

          Interesting ideas, and while I suspect if PC Watkin's did see a madman, bloodied, and with a knife, even if he fled but later reported the incident to higher ups (making the reference to City PC sighting actual, rather than a confusion with the Met PC sighting), there would be a bit more buzz about it in the files. There's quite a bit of back and forth on a few topics, i.e. Leather Apron, and various POIs held and eventually cleared, discussions on Schwartz's statement particularly Lipski, and so forth), and I would think such a definite sighting would be noticed. I also think that such a sighting would have led to an immediate directing those PCs who responded to the summons to Mitre Square in a definite search direction, though perhaps based on a story like "I passed someone ..." and omitting the details of fleeing, etc.

          However, the reference to the City PC sighting is something I had overlooked, as that has generally been discussed as erroneous allocation. I suppose, that could point to a sighting by either PC Harvey or PC Watkins, though again, I am a bit hesitant because of the lack of any activity post-finding Eddowes that seems to direct people after the person sighted. One possible explanation could be that such a sighting was close enough to Algate (and I'm thinking of just a "sighting in passing" rather than a fleeing situation, combined with the shock of then finding Eddowes, that it wasn't until later that he recalled "Oh my, I saw that fellow right at the end of Mitre Street!" type thing).

          I've tended towards St. James's Place or North on Mitre Street (away from PC Watkins) because those routes would explain why he wasn't spotted by either Watkins or Harvey. Also, both indicate a direction that makes contact with Goulston Street more probable than heading south towards Algate. While St. James's Place has the nicety of the more direct route to Goulston, there is some evidence to suggest the apron wasn't deposited there until quite some time later. I've generally been of the view it was just missed the first time, but if I'm wrong on that, then the north out of Mitre Square might work better (i.e. heads to a bolt hole, washes up, and then, heads out and gets rid of the piece of apron some distance from his bolt hole. My concern there is that it would imply he's heading right back into the thick of it, with a piece of incriminating evidence. I suppose he could be planning on explaining it as "I found this over at X, and heard of the murder and was bringing it to you", but that seems quite unlikely, particularly if he's left a kidney and uterus back at his residence.

          Certainly, the timings of the beats and the murder are such that Church Passage or South on Mitre Street would certainly lead to him being seen prior to the discovery of Eddowes. I also think it is entirely possible for JtR to have been in Mitre Square while PC Harvey patrolled Church Passage, so if Harvey didn't see JtR and turned around and headed back down Church Passage, I think it implausible that JtR would then follow out that way, knowing there's a PC right there. While part of me wants to argue "he might follow because he knows PC Harvey won't be coming back that way any time soon, and he could quietly follow, check where PC Harvey is, and then go the other way", the risk of being heard seems to play against that as a choice. I may be evaluating that wrong, of course. But I think that leaves only PC Watkins on the table with regards to spotting JtR, and before I would want to boost that beyond the "not impossible box", I would want something a bit more tangible given there are two exits from Mitre Square that would explain why PC Watkin's didn't spot him (and not spotting him would explain why we have nothing tangible - but I recognize absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, and we know some evidence that was available has gone missing, etc.)


          This, of course, is just my personal view. A lot of it is based upon my own subjective ideas of the probabilities and so forth, and I'm not suggesting that anyone has to agree with me.

          - Jeff

          Comment


          • #80
            Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post

            Hi Dr. John,

            Interesting ideas, and while I suspect if PC Watkin's did see a madman, bloodied, and with a knife, even if he fled but later reported the incident to higher ups (making the reference to City PC sighting actual, rather than a confusion with the Met PC sighting), there would be a bit more buzz about it in the files. There's quite a bit of back and forth on a few topics, i.e. Leather Apron, and various POIs held and eventually cleared, discussions on Schwartz's statement particularly Lipski, and so forth), and I would think such a definite sighting would be noticed. I also think that such a sighting would have led to an immediate directing those PCs who responded to the summons to Mitre Square in a definite search direction, though perhaps based on a story like "I passed someone ..." and omitting the details of fleeing, etc.

            However, the reference to the City PC sighting is something I had overlooked, as that has generally been discussed as erroneous allocation. I suppose, that could point to a sighting by either PC Harvey or PC Watkins, though again, I am a bit hesitant because of the lack of any activity post-finding Eddowes that seems to direct people after the person sighted. One possible explanation could be that such a sighting was close enough to Algate (and I'm thinking of just a "sighting in passing" rather than a fleeing situation, combined with the shock of then finding Eddowes, that it wasn't until later that he recalled "Oh my, I saw that fellow right at the end of Mitre Street!" type thing).

            I've tended towards St. James's Place or North on Mitre Street (away from PC Watkins) because those routes would explain why he wasn't spotted by either Watkins or Harvey. Also, both indicate a direction that makes contact with Goulston Street more probable than heading south towards Algate. While St. James's Place has the nicety of the more direct route to Goulston, there is some evidence to suggest the apron wasn't deposited there until quite some time later. I've generally been of the view it was just missed the first time, but if I'm wrong on that, then the north out of Mitre Square might work better (i.e. heads to a bolt hole, washes up, and then, heads out and gets rid of the piece of apron some distance from his bolt hole. My concern there is that it would imply he's heading right back into the thick of it, with a piece of incriminating evidence. I suppose he could be planning on explaining it as "I found this over at X, and heard of the murder and was bringing it to you", but that seems quite unlikely, particularly if he's left a kidney and uterus back at his residence.

            Certainly, the timings of the beats and the murder are such that Church Passage or South on Mitre Street would certainly lead to him being seen prior to the discovery of Eddowes. I also think it is entirely possible for JtR to have been in Mitre Square while PC Harvey patrolled Church Passage, so if Harvey didn't see JtR and turned around and headed back down Church Passage, I think it implausible that JtR would then follow out that way, knowing there's a PC right there. While part of me wants to argue "he might follow because he knows PC Harvey won't be coming back that way any time soon, and he could quietly follow, check where PC Harvey is, and then go the other way", the risk of being heard seems to play against that as a choice. I may be evaluating that wrong, of course. But I think that leaves only PC Watkins on the table with regards to spotting JtR, and before I would want to boost that beyond the "not impossible box", I would want something a bit more tangible given there are two exits from Mitre Square that would explain why PC Watkin's didn't spot him (and not spotting him would explain why we have nothing tangible - but I recognize absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, and we know some evidence that was available has gone missing, etc.)


            This, of course, is just my personal view. A lot of it is based upon my own subjective ideas of the probabilities and so forth, and I'm not suggesting that anyone has to agree with me.

            - Jeff
            There are some researchers who would have us believe that the killer saw, and heard Pc Harvey coming down Church passage and didnt flee, but stayed and fronted it out, and then continued with his mutilations. It would have been a very brave and foolish man to do that not knowing if Pc Harvey was going to continue down that path in his direction and come upon him in the act.

            I still don't buy the beat knowledge theory.

            As to missing evidence I dont buy that also in respect of this case, there was enough police officers involved in this case to have been in the know, to disclose any important evidence at the time or in later years. There were missing files we are told, but did they contain evidence not made public, I would be very surprised if they did.

            I hate to say this for fear of waking the dead, this but this information on the mythical police officer comes from MM in his memo is it safe to rely on ?

            www.trevormarriott.co.uk

            Comment


            • #81
              Originally posted by Trevor Marriott View Post

              There are some researchers who would have us believe that the killer saw, and heard Pc Harvey coming down Church passage and didnt flee, but stayed and fronted it out, and then continued with his mutilations. It would have been a very brave and foolish man to do that not knowing if Pc Harvey was going to continue down that path in his direction and come upon him in the act.
              I tend to agree, particularly if PC Harvey was heard coming down Church Passage. That would be a trigger for JtR to flee. On the remote possibility that JtR did not hear PC Harvey until he reached the end (and I stress, this I consider remote), then JtR would only be aware of PC Harvey when he entered the area illuminated by the gas lamp at the end of the passage. That lamp, however, would impede PC Harvey's view into the square, and JtR would see that PC Harvey was turning to leave and retreat back down the passage. Once his back is turned, JtR would then immediately leave, taking care to make little sound, and to me the most logical exit at that point is out into Mitre Street as it's the nearest exit available, and the furthest from PC Harvey.


              I still don't buy the beat knowledge theory.
              I think this comes in many flavours. I don't buy the "PC Harvey and PC Mizen's specific beats were known, and timed to the minute", but I do buy that local knowledge of beats being around 15 minutes in duration. So, once a PC was known to pass a location, that would mean there was generally a 15 minute window. The risk, of course, is that in this case, PC Watkins beat was a bit shorter than that (12-14 minutes) and PC Harvey's beat covered Church Passage, so potentially had a view into the square. Anyway, the "beat knowledge" theory of the "generally 10-15 minute window" variety I think is logical and reasonable to presume as "local knowledge", particularly for those with illegal activities in mind.


              As to missing evidence I dont buy that also in respect of this case, there was enough police officers involved in this case to have been in the know, to disclose any important evidence at the time or in later years. There were missing files we are told, but did they contain evidence not made public, I would be very surprised if they did.
              Yes, as I indicate above, I'm not in favour of postulating evidence and then postulating it has gone missing just to make a case for a possible alternative. I acknowledge there are files, containing information, that are missing (such as the suspect file), but as we do not know what is in them, until those files are found (hopefully) I try to generally work with what we have. As the evidence available changes (such as files rediscovered), then interpretations are either further supported or shown to be insufficient.


              I hate to say this for fear of waking the dead, this but this information on the mythical police officer comes from MM in his memo is it safe to rely on ?

              www.trevormarriott.co.uk
              Well, technically, nothing written down only once is safe to rely on. There is a report from Sir Charles Warren (dated 6th November, 1888) to the Home Office, in which he states "...that the opinion arrived at upon the evidence given by Schwartz at the inquest in Elizabeth Stride's case ...", and we know that Schwartz did not give evidence at the Stride Inquest. I suspect this is a poor phrasing of his intent, and that while the opinion was arrived at the inquest, Schwartz's evidence was not given there but rather inquest testimony and such informed their opinion of Schwartz's previously recorded statement. Otherwise, we would have to suggest that Schwartz gave testimony that was barred from publication, and that the press did not indicate there was any evidence given in such a manner, and that Baxter, who was adamant that all evidence be given during the Chapman inquest would consent to evidence being withheld from public record in the very next inquest without so much as a "by your leave". During summing up Baxter reminds the jury that 3 witnesses report seeing a woman they identified at Stride before the murder, and he names those 3 witnesses as William Marshal, PC Smith, and James Brown, so there's no question that Schwartz isn't one of them, and leaves no room for a 4th "unnamed witness". In other words, even official reports, written at the time, by officials with immediate access to the information, have errors of fact in them; and pretty glaring ones at that.

              - Jeff

              Comment


              • #82
                Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post

                I tend to agree, particularly if PC Harvey was heard coming down Church Passage. That would be a trigger for JtR to flee. On the remote possibility that JtR did not hear PC Harvey until he reached the end (and I stress, this I consider remote), then JtR would only be aware of PC Harvey when he entered the area illuminated by the gas lamp at the end of the passage. That lamp, however, would impede PC Harvey's view into the square, and JtR would see that PC Harvey was turning to leave and retreat back down the passage. Once his back is turned, JtR would then immediately leave, taking care to make little sound, and to me the most logical exit at that point is out into Mitre Street as it's the nearest exit available, and the furthest from PC Harvey.



                I think this comes in many flavours. I don't buy the "PC Harvey and PC Mizen's specific beats were known, and timed to the minute", but I do buy that local knowledge of beats being around 15 minutes in duration. So, once a PC was known to pass a location, that would mean there was generally a 15 minute window. The risk, of course, is that in this case, PC Watkins beat was a bit shorter than that (12-14 minutes) and PC Harvey's beat covered Church Passage, so potentially had a view into the square. Anyway, the "beat knowledge" theory of the "generally 10-15 minute window" variety I think is logical and reasonable to presume as "local knowledge", particularly for those with illegal activities in mind.



                Yes, as I indicate above, I'm not in favour of postulating evidence and then postulating it has gone missing just to make a case for a possible alternative. I acknowledge there are files, containing information, that are missing (such as the suspect file), but as we do not know what is in them, until those files are found (hopefully) I try to generally work with what we have. As the evidence available changes (such as files rediscovered), then interpretations are either further supported or shown to be insufficient.



                Well, technically, nothing written down only once is safe to rely on. There is a report from Sir Charles Warren (dated 6th November, 1888) to the Home Office, in which he states "...that the opinion arrived at upon the evidence given by Schwartz at the inquest in Elizabeth Stride's case ...", and we know that Schwartz did not give evidence at the Stride Inquest. I suspect this is a poor phrasing of his intent, and that while the opinion was arrived at the inquest, Schwartz's evidence was not given there but rather inquest testimony and such informed their opinion of Schwartz's previously recorded statement. Otherwise, we would have to suggest that Schwartz gave testimony that was barred from publication, and that the press did not indicate there was any evidence given in such a manner, and that Baxter, who was adamant that all evidence be given during the Chapman inquest would consent to evidence being withheld from public record in the very next inquest without so much as a "by your leave". During summing up Baxter reminds the jury that 3 witnesses report seeing a woman they identified at Stride before the murder, and he names those 3 witnesses as William Marshal, PC Smith, and James Brown, so there's no question that Schwartz isn't one of them, and leaves no room for a 4th "unnamed witness". In other words, even official reports, written at the time, by officials with immediate access to the information, have errors of fact in them; and pretty glaring ones at that.

                - Jeff
                Jeff
                There was also a street lamp at the other end of Church Passage, so I would imagine Pc Harvey could have been seen and heard from a much greater distance than you suggest.

                Perhaps the victims knew the beat times, but would a killer who killed in different locations know beat timings ?

                You are right to work with what we have to with, too much wild speculation in Ripperolgy

                As I have said before in the early hours there were lots of quiet secluded places to go which probably never saw a policemen during the night hours so why risk going to an area where it was known that police patrolled every 15 mins. So another reason to perhaps rule out beat timings.

                As to the content of the missing files, was there anything in them in the first place ? By reason of the fact that many senior officers who were involved state in later years they didn't have any clue. perhaps there was nothing in them in the first place?

                www.trevormarriott.co.uk

                Comment


                • #83
                  Originally posted by Trevor Marriott View Post

                  Jeff
                  There was also a street lamp at the other end of Church Passage, so I would imagine Pc Harvey could have been seen and heard from a much greater distance than you suggest.
                  Possibly. there's a post earlier suggesting the lighting at that end of Church Passage was quite poor, but it might have been sufficient to make him visible. Given the body position, though, JtR would have to be busy looking over his shoulder to check out the passage, but that's not exactly out of the question either. If he did spot PC Harvey upon his Entrance to Church Passage, JtR may have then cut the apron and fled, needing the apron to clean up while on the run. And that has a certain appeal to it. Also, as I've suggested before, if Morris opened the door shortly before PC Harvey arrives, JtR could be on the move at that point, just in time to avoid the whole PC Harvey scenario. PC Harvey says he heard the whistle blow about 3 or 4 minutes after patrolling Church Passage, and it was Morris who blew the whistle (so PC Watkins had to find Eddowes, get Morris, both go back and check the body, then Morris runs off and blows the whistle. So if Morris opened the door a couple minutes before PC Watkins came to get him, as he testified, that puts the door opening in the same rough time frame as PC Harvey coming up the passage, so either of those could trigger JtR's flight.


                  Perhaps the victims knew the beat times, but would a killer who killed in different locations know beat timings ?
                  I think the beat timings were a fairly general thing for the Whitechapel area (there are requests for extra funding of patrols, as there was concern due to some beats being longer, in the 30 minute plus range, which was deemed insufficient). So I think the general "10-15 minute" rule would be the rule of thumb for the entire area where the crimes were committed. I don't think there was the underworld version of "the knowledge" though, particularly as they did change some of the beats occasionally, and would sometimes just reverse the direction of the patrol.


                  You are right to work with what we have to with, too much wild speculation in Ripperolgy
                  I think speculation to a point is necessary, but it should still be constrained by the evidence, such as it is, that we have. And, it should definitely be recognized as such. I know I try and present things in a way that indicates I'm speculating, and often I find it can be a useful way to test some ideas by holding something unknown to be true and see what follows, and then compare that with what follows if you hold something to be false. While creativity can always "find a way" to come up with a story that fits either, quite often one of those stories is a bit more unbelievable, or requires a lot more complicated speculations to be added to "make it work". I find that sort of comparison, where you really try to make both work as best as possible, and then compare the results of those speculations, to sometimes point to which of the two unknowns seems more plausible. But that's just an approach I use, and what I find to be the more plausible is not universally agreed upon (seriously, I'm shocked too! ha ha)


                  As I have said before in the early hours there were lots of quiet secluded places to go which probably never saw a policemen during the night hours so why risk going to an area where it was known that police patrolled every 15 mins. So another reason to perhaps rule out beat timings.
                  To me, though, that would require knowing a particular area is not patrolled, and that is the sort of thing a "general knowledge of 10-15 minute patrols" doesn't give you. It doesn't tell you "this area is never patrolled". But, if you see a PC go by, then you know you have 10-15 minutes. Knowing a place is not patrolled does require specific knowledge, knowing you have 10-15 minutes before a PC comes back, means you just need to see him once, then start timing. Again, general knowledge is, I think, a reasonable thing to assume people had, specific knowledge of this particular beat, or lack there of, then just raises the question of why Nichols wasn't in a "non-patrolled area", or why "Stride wasn't in a non-patrolled area", and so forth. (Only Chapman and Kelly, by virtue of being in a backyard and indoors could be said to be in non-patrolled areas).


                  As to the content of the missing files, was there anything in them in the first place ?

                  By reason of the fact that many senior officers who were involved state in later years they didn't have any clue. perhaps there was nothing in them in the first place?

                  www.trevormarriott.co.uk
                  Well, I doubt the files were of blank pages, so there's something in them. Now, whether or not what's in them is useful or informative, that's the big question. But as wel know, it is often the situation that cold cases that end up being solved is the result of a fresh set of eyes looking over existing file information and picking up on a lead that was missed the first time. So who knows? Until the files are recovered, the big question remains an unanswerable question.

                  - Jeff


                  Comment


                  • #84
                    Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post

                    Hi Dr. John,

                    Interesting ideas, and while I suspect if PC Watkin's did see a madman, bloodied, and with a knife, even if he fled but later reported the incident to higher ups (making the reference to City PC sighting actual, rather than a confusion with the Met PC sighting), there would be a bit more buzz about it in the files. There's quite a bit of back and forth on a few topics, i.e. Leather Apron, and various POIs held and eventually cleared, discussions on Schwartz's statement particularly Lipski, and so forth), and I would think such a definite sighting would be noticed. I also think that such a sighting would have led to an immediate directing those PCs who responded to the summons to Mitre Square in a definite search direction, though perhaps based on a story like "I passed someone ..." and omitting the details of fleeing, etc.

                    However, the reference to the City PC sighting is something I had overlooked, as that has generally been discussed as erroneous allocation. I suppose, that could point to a sighting by either PC Harvey or PC Watkins, though again, I am a bit hesitant because of the lack of any activity post-finding Eddowes that seems to direct people after the person sighted. One possible explanation could be that such a sighting was close enough to Algate (and I'm thinking of just a "sighting in passing" rather than a fleeing situation, combined with the shock of then finding Eddowes, that it wasn't until later that he recalled "Oh my, I saw that fellow right at the end of Mitre Street!" type thing).

                    I've tended towards St. James's Place or North on Mitre Street (away from PC Watkins) because those routes would explain why he wasn't spotted by either Watkins or Harvey. Also, both indicate a direction that makes contact with Goulston Street more probable than heading south towards Algate. While St. James's Place has the nicety of the more direct route to Goulston, there is some evidence to suggest the apron wasn't deposited there until quite some time later. I've generally been of the view it was just missed the first time, but if I'm wrong on that, then the north out of Mitre Square might work better (i.e. heads to a bolt hole, washes up, and then, heads out and gets rid of the piece of apron some distance from his bolt hole. My concern there is that it would imply he's heading right back into the thick of it, with a piece of incriminating evidence. I suppose he could be planning on explaining it as "I found this over at X, and heard of the murder and was bringing it to you", but that seems quite unlikely, particularly if he's left a kidney and uterus back at his residence.

                    Certainly, the timings of the beats and the murder are such that Church Passage or South on Mitre Street would certainly lead to him being seen prior to the discovery of Eddowes. I also think it is entirely possible for JtR to have been in Mitre Square while PC Harvey patrolled Church Passage, so if Harvey didn't see JtR and turned around and headed back down Church Passage, I think it implausible that JtR would then follow out that way, knowing there's a PC right there. While part of me wants to argue "he might follow because he knows PC Harvey won't be coming back that way any time soon, and he could quietly follow, check where PC Harvey is, and then go the other way", the risk of being heard seems to play against that as a choice. I may be evaluating that wrong, of course. But I think that leaves only PC Watkins on the table with regards to spotting JtR, and before I would want to boost that beyond the "not impossible box", I would want something a bit more tangible given there are two exits from Mitre Square that would explain why PC Watkin's didn't spot him (and not spotting him would explain why we have nothing tangible - but I recognize absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, and we know some evidence that was available has gone missing, etc.)


                    This, of course, is just my personal view. A lot of it is based upon my own subjective ideas of the probabilities and so forth, and I'm not suggesting that anyone has to agree with me.

                    - Jeff
                    Jeff.

                    Mitre Square is a virtual prison yard with only three available exits. The spot picked by the Ripper to do the deed was the darkest corner of the square and happens to be only a few feet from an exit. If I were him, I'd want to remove myself from the square as quickly as possible after the killing, and that would be out that exit onto Mitre Street. Turning left and crossing Aldgate would remove himself completely from connection with the Square. As an alternative, he could have heard Watkins footsteps and had time to hoist himself over the nearby gate before Watkins discovered Eddowes' body, then clambered back over the fence, out the exit and across Aldgate before Morris blew his whistle alerting the others. We'll never know, of course, but still fun to ponder!

                    Dr. John
                    "We reach. We grasp. And what is left at the end? A shadow."
                    Sherlock Holmes, The Retired Colourman

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                    • #85
                      Originally posted by Trevor Marriott View Post

                      There are some researchers who would have us believe that the killer saw, and heard Pc Harvey coming down Church passage and didnt flee, but stayed and fronted it out, and then continued with his mutilations. It would have been a very brave and foolish man to do that not knowing if Pc Harvey was going to continue down that path in his direction and come upon him in the act.

                      I still don't buy the beat knowledge theory.

                      As to missing evidence I dont buy that also in respect of this case, there was enough police officers involved in this case to have been in the know, to disclose any important evidence at the time or in later years. There were missing files we are told, but did they contain evidence not made public, I would be very surprised if they did.

                      I hate to say this for fear of waking the dead, this but this information on the mythical police officer comes from MM in his memo is it safe to rely on ?

                      www.trevormarriott.co.uk
                      Hi Trevor!

                      Gavin Bromley's report goes into detail describing what Harvey likely saw (or didn't see) when he reached the end of Church passage. Considering the likelihood that Eddowes' mutilated body was lying on the walk and the real possibility that JTR was huddled over her, Bromley postulated that lack of sufficient lighting would have prevented Harvey from seeing either one. It's also possible that JTR was too busy to even notice Harvey. As for missing records, suppose Watkins did encounter JTR, and did eventually admit that to his superior, certainly any written acknowledgment of that would have been highly classified and among the first records to be destroyed.

                      Dr. John
                      "We reach. We grasp. And what is left at the end? A shadow."
                      Sherlock Holmes, The Retired Colourman

                      Comment


                      • #86
                        Originally posted by Dr. John Watson View Post

                        Hi Trevor!

                        Gavin Bromley's report goes into detail describing what Harvey likely saw (or didn't see) when he reached the end of Church passage. Considering the likelihood that Eddowes' mutilated body was lying on the walk and the real possibility that JTR was huddled over her, Bromley postulated that lack of sufficient lighting would have prevented Harvey from seeing either one. It's also possible that JTR was too busy to even notice Harvey.
                        Does the article go into what vans or carts might have been parked in the square overnight? If there were any they could easily have obscured the corner from direct observation from the passage.

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                        • #87
                          Originally posted by Dr. John Watson View Post

                          My Dear Wickerman, I am indeed familiar with Det. White's story, except that I always felt he was referring to Castle Alley where Alice McKenzie was murdered. I recall giving a lot of credence to his story and felt he may have encountered her killer, just as he described. My problem was that his description of the man didn't fit with the fellow seen talking with Eddowes at Mitre Square. Has something caused you to link his story with Mitre Square?

                          Dr. John
                          Elementary my dear Watson, in Castle Alley I see no cul-de-sac. Yet Mitre Sq. lends itself more readily, if not entirely accurately, to such a description.
                          Also, McKenzie's body was not "huddled against the wall", a more fitting description for the body of Eddowes, though not entirely accurate either.

                          It's not a perfect fit for any of the Whitechapel murders, though the piece about a police officer coming out of a house and expressing shock at the state of the body, does not fit the McKenzie murder. However, Watkins did come from the wharehouse across the square and express shock on seeing the state of the body.
                          It's largely in the eye of the beholder, but I have heard others express the opinion the story has more similarity with Mitre Square than any other murder.

                          The fact the man Sgt. White saw exiting the alley did not in any way resemble the man seen by Lawende is of no consequence to me, I'm reasonably confident Lawende did not see Eddowes & her killer that night. The timing is just too tight, bordering on the unlikely.
                          Regards, Jon S.

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                          • #88
                            Originally posted by Wickerman View Post

                            I'm reasonably confident Lawende did not see Eddowes & her killer that night. The timing is just too tight, bordering on the unlikely.
                            But then the police officers timings, and their movement (if correct) suggest that they were the killer and Eddowes, because there would have been no other time or opportunity for the killer and Eddowes to have gone into the square, and for the killer to have done all that he is supposed to have done. The timings as they are known struggle with all of that.

                            www.trevormarriott.co.uk

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                            • #89
                              Originally posted by Dr. John Watson View Post

                              Jeff.

                              Mitre Square is a virtual prison yard with only three available exits. The spot picked by the Ripper to do the deed was the darkest corner of the square and happens to be only a few feet from an exit. If I were him, I'd want to remove myself from the square as quickly as possible after the killing, and that would be out that exit onto Mitre Street. Turning left and crossing Aldgate would remove himself completely from connection with the Square. As an alternative, he could have heard Watkins footsteps and had time to hoist himself over the nearby gate before Watkins discovered Eddowes' body, then clambered back over the fence, out the exit and across Aldgate before Morris blew his whistle alerting the others. We'll never know, of course, but still fun to ponder!

                              Dr. John
                              Hi Dr. John,

                              Yes, I think the Mitre Street exit the most probable as well. That's a recent change in my thinking, as previously I thought what seems to be the prevailing view of exiting out though St. James's Place to be likely because that gives the most direct route to Goulston Street, where the apron was found. So we know at some point he ends up there. I tended to go with the notion that it was dropped very shortly after the murder, and while the PC who found it does say he didn't notice it on his previous visit to that location, it seemed possible it could have been overlooked.

                              If it was overlooked, which of course I don't know, I do think St. James's Place is the most likely route, but I think he could get there out through Mitre Street, and by going norrth, and circling back around. Alternatively, if it wasn't overlooked, and it was deposited much later, then north on Mitre Street keeps him in the vicinity and may be an indication of where his bolt hole was. (North of Mitre Square, but West of Commercial type region).

                              It's not impossible that south to Algate also allows him to get back to Gouston, but it seems to me, if he fled that way to clear the area, heading back in to the fray to discard the apron seems less likely to me. So while I can't say it's impossible, the two safe routes (Mitre Street and north or St. James's Place and East) seem to connect with the apron's location with a better fit, in my opinion of course. St. James's Place, however, does have reports from firemen in the square saying nobody came out of Mitre Square, which tends to rule against that route, but as it's not firemen's job to keep watch, that really just tells us they didn't take notice of anyone, and so it's not conclusive.

                              Personally, I think the noise of climbing the fence, twice, and fleeing would be impossible to cover and that option can be safely ruled out. The fence would be there to deter entrance, so it's not going to be easy to do noiselessly especially if in a hurry. If he heard PC Watkin's coming in and had enough time to go over the fence to hide, I think he would have just bolted down Church Passage (as that's the closest exit away from PC Watkin's entrance), despite PC Harvey having just been there. Perhaps, though, that tells him that passage is clear for now. I don't think the option of "he didn't see PC Harvey as his back was to Church Passage while engaged in the mutilations" works because I would think the noise of performing the mutilations would have alerted PC Harvey of activity in that corner, despite PC H not being able to see into the square). Also, given that there are two events, close in time, either of which would be a valid reason for JtR to flee (PC Harvey's patrol of Church Passage and Morris opening the door while cleaning up), JtR has reason to flee a few minutes before PC Watkins gets there. Based upon the estimated relative positions of PC Watkins and PC Harvey, when PC Harvey is in Church Passage, PC Watkins is still about 2 minutes away from entering Mitre Street, which means if JtR left around that time (either because of PC Harvey himself, or because of the door opening), then JtR can head out into Mitre Street, continue in that general direction of travel (north) and be out of sight before PC Watkins has a chance to see him. It's nip and tuck, but can work. The St. James's Place exit has much more breathing room, and so is more "robust" against errors in the estimated positions, etc.

                              - Jeff

                              Comment


                              • #90
                                Originally posted by Dr. John Watson View Post

                                Hi Trevor!

                                Gavin Bromley's report goes into detail describing what Harvey likely saw (or didn't see) when he reached the end of Church passage. Considering the likelihood that Eddowes' mutilated body was lying on the walk and the real possibility that JTR was huddled over her, Bromley postulated that lack of sufficient lighting would have prevented Harvey from seeing either one. It's also possible that JTR was too busy to even notice Harvey. As for missing records, suppose Watkins did encounter JTR, and did eventually admit that to his superior, certainly any written acknowledgment of that would have been highly classified and among the first records to be destroyed.

                                Dr. John
                                The attached reconstruction of Church Passage gives us an idea of what light was being emitted from the two gas lamps, and I again suggest that the killer would have seen and heard Harvey, and made good his escape long before Harvey got to the entrance to the square. Harvey is coming down the passage the light from Kearley and Tonges gas lamp would be right in his eyes. he could not make any adjustment until after he passed by the light and had a chance to refocus his eyes back to the darkness, It was the dead of night no other noises anyone in the corner of the square could not have failed to hear and see Harvey long before Harvey even had a chance to see him.

                                www.trevormarriott.co.uk Click image for larger version

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