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Jack's Escape from Mitre Square

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  • Monty love that colour image of church passage gives one a real sense of the dark passage and lighting conditions

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    • Originally posted by jerryd View Post
      THE EVENING NEWS
      MONDAY, OCTOBER 1, 1888


      Running from the north-east corner of the square is a covered passage leading to St. James's-place, otherwise known as the "Orange Market," where three men of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade are always on duty at a fire escape station until daybreak.

      St James passage was a risky escape, imo.

      Also, where was this man? Or was this Blenkinsop?



      I've read a version of this clip many times over, but just yesterday noticed (in this clip, unlike other reports of the same I've read) he includes himself in finding the body. That's either a press mistake or a freudian slip.
      20 yds (60 ft) doesn't even reach across the square from where the body was found.
      Regards, Jon S.

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      • Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post

        The couple on Duke Street/Church Passage are spotted within minutes of PC Watkins stated last time of patrolling Mitre Square. No other couple could enter Mitre Square prior to that, and there's very little time for the Duke Street couple to have gone in earlier without being spotted by PC Watkins.
        As the news story provided earlier suggested, Eddowes and the Ripper may have waited for Watkins to leave the square, then they enter from Mitre Street.

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        • Originally posted by Scott Nelson View Post

          As the news story provided earlier suggested, Eddowes and the Ripper may have waited for Watkins to leave the square, then they enter from Mitre Street.
          Hi Scott Nelson,

          Sorry, which news story are you referring to? The "sewer forman" story doesn't mention seeing a couple, it only says the body was found near where he was (20 yards). As Wickerman points out, that's not enough to cover the square, and as they were engaged in sweeping the streets in Algate, that's probably where he was, which is much more than 20 yards. Distance estimation aside, nothing in that article mentions a couple being spotted before the murder and it only talks about finding of the body and no sounds being heard prior. Are you referring to a different one? I could easily have missed it and would like to check it out if you are. Thanks.

          - Jeff

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          • Originally posted by Wickerman View Post

            20 yds (60 ft) doesn't even reach across the square from where the body was found.
            Mitre Street is my guess.

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            • Originally posted by Monty View Post
              The firestation was being converted from a wooden to a brick building at the time. Hence Blenkingsopps presence.

              Monty
              The Star doesn't go into any real detail as to what Blenkingsop was watching.

              "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,...."

              This is a view of the firestation looking from Kings Street end of St. James Place. The covered passage to Mitre Square is just right of centre in the background.

              Regards, Jon S.

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              • The story doesn't say anything about the discovery of the body or the sewer foreman, it is only suggesting that the City Police thought Mitre Street was the access point for the Ripper and Eddowes.

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                • Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post

                  ...... They are, however, ideally situated to observe him on his patrol, wait a minute or two for him to clear the area, (get spotted by Lawende et company during that period), and then enter and cross over to the darkest corner. If anything, their position explains how the maximum amount of time can be allotted to them.
                  Hi Jeff.

                  The above quote is altogether opposite from how I see it, if I'm understanding your point. In fact I would say it serves more against the Duke St. couple than for them.

                  If the Duke Street couple were Eddowes & the killer. They have to walk 85ft down the full length of the passage, then 70+ft across the square.
                  Unless they are hurrying as if to catch a bus, this walk is going to take 2-3 minutes.

                  We know from Watkins testimony that his beat required him to enter Mitre Square from Mitre Street, circle the square, then exit again via Mitre Street.
                  The Duke St. couple are standing 85ft away up Church Passage, from that vantage point they cannot possibly know when Mitre Square is being patrolled, they cannot see any constable enter or leave the square. They would need to be at the bottom end to monitor Watkins, but Lawende saw them at the top end about 1:35, and the couple we're not setting off to walk towards the square at that point.
                  So, we need to add 2-3 minutes after Lawende turned his back on the couple, but by this time Watkins is halfway through his beat (1:35 + 2 or 3 minutes = 1:38). The body is discovered at 1:44.



                  Last edited by Wickerman; 05-14-2019, 11:32 PM.
                  Regards, Jon S.

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                  • Originally posted by Wickerman View Post

                    Hi Jeff.

                    The above quote is altogether opposite from how I see it, if I'm understanding your point. In fact I would say it serves more against the Duke St. couple than for them.

                    If the Duke Street couple were Eddowes & the killer. They have to walk 85ft down the full length of the passage, then 70+ft across the square.
                    Unless they are hurrying as if to catch a bus, this walk is going to take 2-3 minutes.

                    We know from Watkins testimony that his beat required him to enter Mitre Square from Mitre Street, circle the square, then exit again via Mitre Street.
                    The Duke St. couple are standing 85ft away up Church Passage, from that vantage point they cannot possibly know when Mitre Square is being patrolled, they cannot see any constable enter or leave the square. They would need to be at the bottom end to monitor Watkins, but Lawende saw them at the top end about 1:35, and the couple we're not setting off to walk towards the square at that point.
                    So, we need to add 2-3 minutes after Lawende turned his back on the couple, but by this time Watkins is halfway through his beat (1:35 + 2 or 3 minutes = 1:38). The body is discovered at 1:44.
                    Hi Wickerman,

                    The Mitre Street end of Church Passage was lit by a gas lamp, making PC Watkins visible as he passes that end I would think. Also, between Levy and Lawende's testimony, the time of the sighting is between 1:33 and 1:35 (Levy testifies they waited 3-4 minutes, Lowende estimates 5). We also have to account for the fact that clocks and times are not standardized in these testimonies, so PC Watkins estimate of passing through at 1:30 would be by a different clock than Lawende and Levy's 1:30. Allowiing a 2 or 3 minute range of error in those estimates, and holding PC Watkin's as the "standard", then we're looking at things like Lawende's 1:30 could be PC Watkin's 1:27 or 1:28. Even if those clocks were synchronized, someone saying we left at 1:30, based on looking at a clock with hands in the club, doesn't really mean the hands were exactly at 1:30, and 1:28 (for example) would be possible. (Allow for the clocks to be out of sync and we're seeing how Lawende's 1:30 could even have been PC Watkin's 1:25 or 1:26! - and of course it could go the other way too, but I'm looking at things to determine if it could be a possible sighting, as a false sighting doesn't really require anything other than false sightings do occur).

                    In addition, we have testimony (news reports, not great I know) that nobody entered from St. James's Place, and we know PC Watkins patrolled Mitre Street and doesn't report any couples having been spotted, we've also in possession of some evidence that tends to exclude the only two other possible entrances.

                    Basically, what I'm saying is, that the reported times are all within the range of measurement error one would expect given the type of evidence we have. And, as we have some other, admittedly not particularly strong evidence, that Lawende and Levy both identified Eddowes' clothing, and other, again not particularly strong evidence, that tends to preclude the other to points of entry. So based upon the evidence we do have, it does seem to point to an actual sighting. But because some of that evidence is weak, we also can't be 100% positive.

                    I think, though, that it is safe to assert that the evidence, allowing for margins of error in the reported times, and so forth, allows for an explanation of how the murder could have occurred within the limited time window that it had to have occurred (during PC Watkins short patrol time of 12-14 minutes). There is nothing in the evidence that makes it impossible time wise, and there are weak pointers towards it being probable from sources independent of the reported times .

                    That's my view, and I hope I'm being clear here, I'm not saying your opposite conclusion is wrong despite it being different from mine. I can see how one could come to the conclusion it was not likely to be Eddowes and JtR, I just don't get there and I see it as being a likely, but not 100% definite, sighting.

                    - Jeff
                    Last edited by JeffHamm; 05-15-2019, 12:14 AM.

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                    • I've been floating about the board lately just reading some threads (old and new) but this one has particularly grabbed my attention over the last few days. My initial thought was that it seemed more logical for the killer to exit into Mitre Street and go south onto Aldgate High Street rather than north. Going north along Mitre Street or across to St James Place would lead a more complicated escape routes for someone who appears to think so methodically.

                      As chance would have it, I had the afternoon off work yesterday so took the time to have a little wander around the Mitre Street and Aldgate area. It was the first time I have ever gone to this location so it was completely fresh to me as a space. Aside from the obvious changes - new glass covered buildings and sculptural additions - there is still a good sense of the dimensions and a little imagination provide a starting point. A walk south away from the square at my own usual pace didn't take long at all, so someone going at only a slightly quicker cantor would easily get to the corner of Mitre Street and Aldgate High Street in no more than 20 seconds. It's possible for PC Watkins, coming from the street west of Mitre Street, to see someone - the killer - walking away at a normal pace from him eastwards along Aldgate High Street but not think anything of it at that point. By the time PC Watkins comes across the body the killer could be well away from the site either further down Aldgate High Street or even skipping across to Jewry Street or Minories before allowing time to pass before taking a route to Goulston Street. Here the piece of apron is dropped, the graffiti is dawbed and the killer either remains hidden in a space on Goulston Street or continues north and east to location unknown.

                      To me it feels the more logical route. Especially if the killer is observant of regular police beats.

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                      • Originally posted by Wickerman View Post

                        Hi Jeff.

                        The above quote is altogether opposite from how I see it, if I'm understanding your point. In fact I would say it serves more against the Duke St. couple than for them.

                        If the Duke Street couple were Eddowes & the killer. They have to walk 85ft down the full length of the passage, then 70+ft across the square.
                        Unless they are hurrying as if to catch a bus, this walk is going to take 2-3 minutes.

                        We know from Watkins testimony that his beat required him to enter Mitre Square from Mitre Street, circle the square, then exit again via Mitre Street.
                        The Duke St. couple are standing 85ft away up Church Passage, from that vantage point they cannot possibly know when Mitre Square is being patrolled, they cannot see any constable enter or leave the square. They would need to be at the bottom end to monitor Watkins, but Lawende saw them at the top end about 1:35, and the couple we're not setting off to walk towards the square at that point.
                        So, we need to add 2-3 minutes after Lawende turned his back on the couple, but by this time Watkins is halfway through his beat (1:35 + 2 or 3 minutes = 1:38). The body is discovered at 1:44.


                        I walked between the corner of Dukes Place (formally Duke Street and location of the Imperial Club), crossed the road, went along St James Passage (formally Church Passage) and down to the end at Mitre Street twice. Took maybe 90 seconds, if that, and I wasn't rushing.

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                        • Originally posted by Curious Cat View Post

                          I walked between the corner of Dukes Place (formally Duke Street and location of the Imperial Club), crossed the road, went along St James Passage (formally Church Passage) and down to the end at Mitre Street twice. Took maybe 90 seconds, if that, and I wasn't rushing.
                          Its interesting to have your on the ground perspective Curious, thank you for that. The real issue here is the almost orchestrated way the timings appear to be. No-one crosses anyones path, no-one hears anything, its as if the area is cleared and monitored. There is the little issue of the Post Office Robbery that night too. Sometime that weekend that robbery happened, not hard to imagine they might have been breaking in through the adjacent building that night.

                          In fact I don't have a real problem with that spot being chosen for Kate and someone to meet because that person was involved in that same robbery and was maybe a lookout. I do think her intentions upon her release were to hasten to a meeting spot, and again, I don't see any problem with an originally earlier time. Someone who needed to make her quiet would wait, particularly if they knew the policies of the city police when it came to D & D's. If she had been arrested in the East End, who knows what the canary might have sung?
                          Michael Richards

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                          • Sorry to disappoint you Jeff, but doctor brown was wrong in his estimated time to mutilate Eddows . Do you know how long it takes to remove a human kidney IN THE DARK ? , ITS A VERY DIFFICULT ORGAN TO GET TOO, SURROUNDED BY A FATTY MEMBRANE AND OTHER ORGANS . WHICH BY THE WAY WERE WITH OUT DAMAGE , A VERY SKILFUL HAND WAS AT WORK HERE NOT A BUTCHER . JUST THE TIME ALONE TRYING TO FIND AND CUT IT OUT GOES WAY BEYOND FIVE MINUTES, NOT TOO MENTION ALL THE OTHER MUTILATION TIME THAT WAS NEEDED.AT CHAPMANS INQUEST DR GEORGE BAGSTER PHILLIPS SAYS... QUOTE, I THINK I CAN GUIDE YOU BY SAYING MYSELF COULD NOT HAVE PERFORMED ALL THE INJURIES I SAW ON THAT WOMEN AND EFFECT THEM EVEN WITHOUT A STRUGGLE UNDER QUARTER OF AN HOUR. ITS SAFE TOO SAY EDDOWS WAS WORSE THAN CHAPMAN AS FAR AS HER INJURIES GO.

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                            • Originally posted by FISHY1118 View Post
                              Sorry to disappoint you Jeff, but doctor brown was wrong in his estimated time to mutilate Eddows . Do you know how long it takes to remove a human kidney IN THE DARK ? , ITS A VERY DIFFICULT ORGAN TO GET TOO, SURROUNDED BY A FATTY MEMBRANE AND OTHER ORGANS . WHICH BY THE WAY WERE WITH OUT DAMAGE , A VERY SKILFUL HAND WAS AT WORK HERE NOT A BUTCHER . JUST THE TIME ALONE TRYING TO FIND AND CUT IT OUT GOES WAY BEYOND FIVE MINUTES, NOT TOO MENTION ALL THE OTHER MUTILATION TIME THAT WAS NEEDED.AT CHAPMANS INQUEST DR GEORGE BAGSTER PHILLIPS SAYS... QUOTE, I THINK I CAN GUIDE YOU BY SAYING MYSELF COULD NOT HAVE PERFORMED ALL THE INJURIES I SAW ON THAT WOMEN AND EFFECT THEM EVEN WITHOUT A STRUGGLE UNDER QUARTER OF AN HOUR. ITS SAFE TOO SAY EDDOWS WAS WORSE THAN CHAPMAN AS FAR AS HER INJURIES GO.
                              So let me get this straight. You're saying it took even more time, to commit the murder? You've got a 14 minute window to worth with. Fit it it in. The 5 minutes already makes it tight, but go ahead, make it work, accounting for all the other testimony in some way. If you have to throw most of it out altogether, well, ...

                              - Jeff

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                              • I'm still fascinated with the fact that no one heard anything. You don't just slice someone's throat like a Tarantino movie. And there was no blood splatter, if I recall? It is likely that the Ripper incapacitated his victims beforehand. Strangling someone isn't a piece of cake. There would be a scuffle but incredibly no one heard a penny drop. All I will say is that JTR must have been powerfully built / had some kind of combat training.

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