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  • Originally posted by Al Bundy's Eyes View Post
    Jeff, thanks for the above two posts. Very informative. Thanks to JerryD also. Nice work guys.
    Hi Al Bundy's Eyes,

    No worries, and thanks.

    Now, to be fair, Trevor is an experienced homicide detective, and that experience is not something to be dismissed. In many ways, I do see what he's getting at when he points out that the evidence we have to work with is "unsafe". What we have at our disposal is, for the most part, eye witness testimony combined with some expert testimony from the medical profession. It is well known that eye witness testimony is fraught with problems, and when people look at wrongful convictions the most common source of that miscarriage of justice is a result of mistaken identification by eye witnesses. Witness's memories of events are also highly subject to contamination during questioning if the interviews are not done in very specific ways, with a very careful attention to the kinds of language used by the interviewer. These kinds of errors are well known now, but were not known by the police of 1888. Standards, both in medical knowledge and police investigative techniques, have improved hugely since 1888, so everything they did is nowhere near what would be acceptable today.

    If all Trevor was proposing was for people to remember that, and so not to get too convinced that we've "solved it", I would entirely agree with him. However, it's when he then introduces entirely unsupported alternatives, rather than simply saying "while that's what the testimony says, we must remember this is all eye witness testimony, and so we cannot be sure that it's correct" and stop there that I have a problem because he then goes on to suggest "what really happened was <insert something with no evidence at all here>. His "sanitary napkin" idea is not put out as an example to illustrate a point, it's put out with the conviction that this alternative is actually what happened.

    Now, we must also remember, that while mistakes from eye witness testimony is often the cause of miscarriages of justice and wrongful convictions, wrongful convictions are also very rare in the grand scheme of things. That means, the probability that all of our "was wearing an apron" testimonies are wrong is still very very low. As such, while we need to recognize that the data we have is not up to the standards of a modern police investigation, we also have no choice but to constrain our "just so stories" based upon what we have to work with. Trevor's alternative reality story does not do that, and it is constrained by nothing other than it is at least all within the realm of physically possible. But physically possible and probable given the evidence are two entirely different concepts.

    As I've said before, I have no doubt that the quality of the evidence, and the procedures of 1888, and so forth, are so below the standards of a modern investigation that they must frustrate Trevor to no end. I am absolutely certain that if he were involved in this case, in modern times, there are lots of questions he would want to ask of the witnesses, and a lot of procedures he would want far better documentation on. Relying on having to make inferences, with no ability to seek clarification, or even see a photo of the physical evidence being shown and discussed, can only be seen by someone with his background as entirely insufficient.

    But we are not conducting a police investigation. We are doing historical research, and trying to piece together, through the window these written records give us, the best glimpse we can get back to the events of 1888. That window will be foggy, and our images incomplete and distorted in some ways, and certainly not up to the standards one would require to make a legal case. However, our goal is to do our best to use the information we do have, and through careful examination of those testimonies and documents, to see how much we can derive and find the points where the story the data and evidence we have can no longer support us moving further.

    If we just discard the data because it "might" be wrong, then there's no point in even trying to be involved in a historic case like this. Of course it might be wrong, it's eye witness testimony. But if it's wrong, one has to stop. One cannot then say "now that I've dismissed the testimony as wrong I can say anything I want", that is unacceptable. One always needs to build the story with evidential support, and as I've pointed out a few times, the whole "not wearing an apron and it's a sanitary napkin" story has 0 evidence to support it. The original police interpretation was formulated when they had access to a lot more than we do as well. What we have are just glimpses as the entirety of the evidence they had. And there's nothing in what we have that contradicts what they concluded. I accept that if we had to derive the idea ourselves, it might be less wise to support it as strongly as I've done, but given the police of 1888 had more evidence and direct knowledge than we do, then unless the data is blatantly based upon erroneous methods (estimating time of death by touch, for example), then we simply look to see if the evidence strongly contradicts it.

    Some areas, like whether or not Stride was a Ripper victim, I think are fair game for questioning the police theory. I waffle on that one a lot myself, though don't want to go into it here as I'll just end up contradicting myself tomorrow, or in the next post!

    Anyway, as I say, there are a lot of things I actually do, in principle, agree with Trevor about if we view this as if we're conducting a modern police investigation. But if we were, one look at the evidence we have to work with would result in "Ok, we need to start from scratch. Reinterview these people properly. Document the physical evidence better. Get more information from the medical people." and so on. But, as historical research, we have what we have and must do the best we can.

    - Jeff
    Last edited by JeffHamm; 03-23-2021, 08:08 AM.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post
      Thanks to jerryd for putting me onto the London Metropolitan Archives, where I was able to find digital copies of the original inquest for Eddowes.
      Ok, I guess I should retract my salty remarks about their lack of free digitized materials, then


      I think scans of the inquest papers were posted to jtrforums some time ago, too. I remember reading them and comparing them to the transcripts in the Sourcebook.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Kattrup View Post

        Ok, I guess I should retract my salty remarks about their lack of free digitized materials, then


        I think scans of the inquest papers were posted to jtrforums some time ago, too. I remember reading them and comparing them to the transcripts in the Sourcebook.
        Hi Kattrup,

        There appears to be a lot of JtR related materials that are not digitized though (a lot look to be letters received from the public, some trying to be helpful and suggesting things, other reflecting the barrage of hoax letters purporting to be from the Ripper). While these are little to use to us in regards to the actual cases and events (given it is improbable any of them are anything but hoaxes), they would still contain a great deal of interesting information reflecting the thinking of the general public of the day, both in terms of how they thought an investigation should proceed, or what they thought the killer would be like.

        I'm going to try and get better quality versions, but that may involve having to stitch a series of snapshots together, which will be a royal pain.

        By the way, what was your conclusion with regards to the comparison of the originals with the transcribed version in Sourcebook? I was thinking of doing the same thing, but if you've already done the hard work, I would be interested in hearing what you found. Did you note any transcription errors?

        - Jeff

        Comment


        • Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post

          By the way, what was your conclusion with regards to the comparison of the originals with the transcribed version in Sourcebook? I was thinking of doing the same thing, but if you've already done the hard work, I would be interested in hearing what you found. Did you note any transcription errors?
          As I recall, I didn't find any divergences

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Kattrup View Post
            As I recall, I didn't find any divergences
            Excellent. That's good to hear as I consult that a lot, and it's far easier to read than scanned handwritten documents!

            - Jeff

            Comment


            • It appears Jeff,you should have addressed the above to Trevor not myself.What I see in your writings is as much a personnel attack on Trevor,as it is an attempt to explain the circumstances of an incident of the Whitehall murders.He has his style of deliverance,and he is entitled to it,but he also has a wealth of experience to back his claims.
              It does little for his detractors if they claim official backing,and then use different wording while promoting the same claim,and there are instances of that.The official archived reports,as I understand it,were based on notes taken at the inquest.They are not a comprehensive word for word account one would expect a court reporter would compile,but it will be interesting to know who was the author of the archived papers .Does anyone know?
              So please,in future,if anyone wants to address Trevor,then use his name not mine.
              The listing,as I see it,has more than one answer.It is difficult to accept that the possessions,as varied as they are,would all be taken to the morgue ,so it is possible there was more than one list compiled.Fistly separate lists for the clothing worn,and the possessions,then a final one combining the two.If that were the case,it lessens the chance of a mixup or error,and that leaves,in my opinion,one answer, the apron piece was correctly placed among the possessions.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by harry View Post
                It appears Jeff,you should have addressed the above to Trevor not myself.What I see in your writings is as much a personnel attack on Trevor,as it is an attempt to explain the circumstances of an incident of the Whitehall murders.He has his style of deliverance,and he is entitled to it,but he also has a wealth of experience to back his claims.
                It does little for his detractors if they claim official backing,and then use different wording while promoting the same claim,and there are instances of that.The official archived reports,as I understand it,were based on notes taken at the inquest.They are not a comprehensive word for word account one would expect a court reporter would compile,but it will be interesting to know who was the author of the archived papers .Does anyone know?
                So please,in future,if anyone wants to address Trevor,then use his name not mine.
                The listing,as I see it,has more than one answer.It is difficult to accept that the possessions,as varied as they are,would all be taken to the morgue ,so it is possible there was more than one list compiled.Fistly separate lists for the clothing worn,and the possessions,then a final one combining the two.If that were the case,it lessens the chance of a mixup or error,and that leaves,in my opinion,one answer, the apron piece was correctly placed among the possessions.
                Hi harry,

                Sorry, I was initially just commenting on your comment that people were suggesting the list was composed from memory, and then stream of consciousness took over.

                I can see how it would appear that my critism of Trevor's method and approach would appear to be a personal attack, but in the end I'm pointing out the problems in his approach and pointing to specific examples of how he changes his criterion with regards to evidence evaluation. That's not an attack on him, just his methods, backed up by actual examples.

                I do recognize, though, that at times things can get heated, and accusations of "tunnel vision" or "being blinkered" do get bandied about, which are perhaps a bit immature of both of us, but Trevor and I are both pretty thick skinned and I'm sure he is no more bothered by it than I am. Those kind of statements probably should be avoided, if we can. But, just as Trevor has the right to criticize me if I mention testimony from a newspaper coverage of the inquests and he feels that's not acceptable, I get to then point out that he relies on newspapers as well, but only when it suits him. That's what a "debate about methods" looks like, one critiques what is done, but that doesn't mean it's a personal attack on the doer of the done deed (note the alliteration).

                Anyway, as I say, I started off just meaning to point out that compiling the list at a time other than as the clothes were being removed does not mean people are saying he did it from memory, but then I digressed. I do that a lot I'm afraid.

                - Jeff

                Comment


                • Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post
                  Hmmm, after that fairly lengthy post, something has occurred to me.

                  Trevor has posted a few times a challenge to the witness's ability to identify the apron shown at the inquest as being the apron they testify her to be wearing. He argues there is no way they can safely make that claim because, in effect, they have not done an examination of the present apron and moreover, they have to compare it to their memory. As I argued above, I can see how in a trial that argument could be made by a defense lawyer. As I also argued, the whole point being argued for there still assumes she was wearing an apron. It is a very different thing to argue "you cannot be sure THIS is the apron she was wearing" and "you cannot be sure she was wearing an apron AT ALL". Trevor presents the argument as if it leads to the latter conclusion, but at most it only leads to the former.

                  So, given that he's right, the comparison between the presented apron and the apron the witnesses recall her wearing could be viewed as unsafe, to use Trevor's words. It does not call into question the fact that the witnesses still do remember her to be wearing an apron.

                  If, therefore, they are wrong, and the apron portion found at the crime scene was just part of her possessions (as Trevor argues), and was not the one the witnesses recall her wearing, the question now becomes - Where is the apron the witnesses recall her wearing? It's not listed anywhere as being found at the crime scene. Trevor argues it does not exist, and that all of the witnesses are wrong. That being so highly improbable, it would lead us to only one conclusoin, that JtR took that apron away and kept it.

                  So even if one believes that the entirely unsupported speculations of Kate menstruating, urinating herself in the drunk tank, removing and discarding her sanitary napkin in a location she was never seen heading towards, and failing to replace it despite having the item she uses for source material on her, no sign of menstrual blood on her legs (Dr. Brown's testimony states : "No marks of blood below the middle of the body" (I suggest if she was freely menstruating there would be marks of blood down her legs that would have been recorded, but we have a specific statement saying there were none), and goes with all of that and more conjecture to explain the relationship between the portion found at G.S. and the portion found at the crime scene, one is still left with a missing apron - the one multiple witnesses testify to her wearing.

                  I believe, however, the above is far too complicated, and moreover, PC Collard, or the Doctors, who were present when the body was stripped, would have been obliged to point out the apron was not worn by Eddowes but rather was found in her possessions. And so, while technically it is true that one could challenge their statements that they believe the apron produced was the one she was wearing on legal grounds, that doesn't mean they are incorrect - it only means they might not be. But if they're not, there is still a missing apron, the one she was wearing, and what we can infer is that the missing one looks similar to the one produced at the inquest.

                  I anticipate a rather strongly worded rely from Trevor. I feel I should point out that, Trevor has no problem with statements made in written memoirs (which are not under oath) made many years after the fact - he expresses distain at anyone who even hints at the suggestion that Reid might just have gotten it wrong and misremembered that Kelly's heart was missing when he wrote his memoirs (from memory). So memories that suit him, even when many years old, are fine but if something requires recollecting what someone was wearing 4 days ago and they state something against his speculations, we hear all sorts of concern about "4 days ago". Trevor also claims we should just ignore all of the presentations of the inquest testimony that appears in the newspapers here, and yet, vehemently points to the newspapers when they say "no portion of the body was missing" with regards to Kelly, and then resorts to "unreliable news reports" when it is pointed out the very same papers later retract that claim and report that yes, indeed, something was missing (with one paper even stating it was her heart). Again, when newspapers concur with his speculations newspapers are good, and when newspapers do not concur with his speculations, newspapers are bad. I wish to point out, I'm drawing upon the original inquest report for these last two posts, so really, newspapers are playing no part (unless I've inadvertently made a mistake and included something, if so, my fault). This is primarily my concern about Trevor's approach - it becomes unfalsifiable. There is no evidence that could possibly falsify Trevor's speculations because he will always find a way to claim that evidence is unsafe. That is no longer a theory, that is faith.

                  - Jeff
                  I am not going to again repeat what I have said before you have your views and I have mine and no doubt there are some who will still believe you and probably many more that will accept my theory.

                  What I will comment on is your introduction to the missing heart of Kelly to this topic, again this has been gone through many times but I will recap the evidence briefly.

                  Firstly the evidence to show the heart was there in the first place is ambiguous and is not corroborated by any of those persons directly involved at the crime scene, but newspapers do corroborate the fact that no organs were found to be missing as you state. But they also state no organs were missing.

                  But with this heart issue we are simply dealing with one evidential issue, was it there or was it not. With the apron there are a number of different evidential issues being challenged about was she or was she not wearing an apron when she was murdered

                  On the subject of missing heart there is no mention of any missing heart from any other police officer thereafter and Bond doesnt even mention the missing organ in his report to Anderson. So as you are mentioning inferences based on all that weight of evidence it is right to infer that the heart was not taken away by the killer

                  As to Reids recollection years later I am sure this murder especially would have stuck firmly in his mind and would be easier for him to remember whether the heart was missing or not. After all he was head of Whitechapel CID and did attend the crime scene..

                  Now if he had been asked was she wearing a white apron when she was murdered any answer he then gave in the affirmative might be challenged in the same way Eddowes evidence is being challenged. I hope I have made clear my point?



                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Trevor Marriott View Post

                    I am not going to again repeat what I have said before you have your views and I have mine and no doubt there are some who will still believe you and probably many more that will accept my theory.

                    What I will comment on is your introduction to the missing heart of Kelly to this topic, again this has been gone through many times but I will recap the evidence briefly.

                    Firstly the evidence to show the heart was there in the first place is ambiguous and is not corroborated by any of those persons directly involved at the crime scene, but newspapers do corroborate the fact that no organs were found to be missing as you state. But they also state no organs were missing.

                    But with this heart issue we are simply dealing with one evidential issue, was it there or was it not. With the apron there are a number of different evidential issues being challenged about was she or was she not wearing an apron when she was murdered

                    On the subject of missing heart there is no mention of any missing heart from any other police officer thereafter and Bond doesnt even mention the missing organ in his report to Anderson. So as you are mentioning inferences based on all that weight of evidence it is right to infer that the heart was not taken away by the killer

                    As to Reids recollection years later I am sure this murder especially would have stuck firmly in his mind and would be easier for him to remember whether the heart was missing or not. After all he was head of Whitechapel CID and did attend the crime scene..

                    Now if he had been asked was she wearing a white apron when she was murdered any answer he then gave in the affirmative might be challenged in the same way Eddowes evidence is being challenged. I hope I have made clear my point?


                    Hi Trevor,

                    Yes, your point is clear as you have said pretty much what I knew you would, as you have said the same before, as have I. As you say, we do not agree on these issues and each have stated our reasoning behind our positions a fair few times now. While I don't agree with you, nor you with me, I have learned a lot from our discussions as it has required me to relook into things and consider various lines of thought. So, from my own perspective at least, it has been well worth it. But I agree, let's not open more cans of worms and keep this thread on the topic of Kate's apron. Although I suspect you and I have pretty much exhausted what we can discuss between us on this topic and our positions are already well outlined. As with any debate, I'm sure there will be those who agree with you, those with me, those with aspects of both of us, and those who think we're both full of it. If I were to guess, that last group will be the largest. But that's the nature of these things. Anyway, as I've said before, I've enjoyed this and it's forced me to have to consider things over again and while in the end I've not changed my view, I have still reexamined it. That, I think, is the most important thing for someone interested in this case to be willing to do.

                    - Jeff

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Fiver View Post

                      Could you please share the accurate list with the rest of us?

                      Ok, so the actual list has been posted, though it might be a little hard to read.

                      Here it is re-typed.

                      Actual list of possessions made by Insp. Collard at Golden Lane Mortuary.

                      Black straw bonnet trimmed with green & black velvet and black beads, black strings. The bonnet was loosely tied, and had partially fallen from the back of her head, no blood on front, but the back was lying in a pool of blood, which had run from the neck.

                      Black Cloth Jacket, imitation fur edging round coller, fur round sleeves, no blood on front outside, large quantity of blood inside & outside back, outside back very dirty with blood and dirt, 2 outside pockets, trimmed black silk braid & imitation fur.

                      Chintz Skirt 3 flounces, brown button on waistband, Jagged cut 6 inches long from waistband, left side of front, Edges slightly Bloodstained, also Blood on bottom, back & front of skirt.

                      Brown Linsey Dress Bodice, black velvet collar, brown metal buttons down front, blood inside & outside back of neck & shoulders, clean cut bottom of left side, 5 inches long from right to left.

                      Grey Stuff Petticoat, white waist band, cut 1 inch long, thereon in front, Edges blood stained, blood stains on front at bottom of Petticoat.

                      Very Old Green Alpaca Skirt, Jagged cut 10 inches long in front of waistband downward, blood stained inside, front under cut.

                      Very Old Ragged Blue Skirt, red flounce, light twill lining, jagged cut 10 inches long, through waistband, downward, blood stained, inside & outside back and front.

                      White Calico Chemise, very much blood stained all over, apparently torn thus ---/__ in middle of front.

                      Mans White Vest, button to match down front, 2 outside pockets, torn at back, very much Blood stained at back, Blood & other stains on front.

                      No Drawers or Stays.
                      Pair of Mens lace up Boots, mohair laces, right boot has been repaired with red thread, 6 Blood marks on right boot.

                      1 piece of red gauze Silk, various cuts thereon found on neck.

                      1 large White Handkerchief, blood stained.

                      2 Unbleached Calico Pockets, tape strings, cut through also top left hand corners, cut off one.

                      1 Blue Stripe Bed ticking Pocket, waist band, and strings cut through, (all 3 Pockets) Blood stained.

                      1 White Cotton Pocket Handkerchief, red and white birds eye border.

                      1 Pr. Brown ribbed Stockings, feet mended with white.

                      12 pieces of white Rag, some slightly bloodstained.

                      1 piece of white coarse Linen.

                      1 piece of Blue & White Shirting (3 cornered).

                      2 Small Blue Bed ticking Bags.

                      2 Short Clay Pipes (black).

                      1 Tin Box containing Tea.

                      1 do do do Sugar.

                      1 Piece of Flannel & 6 pieces of Soap.

                      1 Small Tooth Comb.

                      1 White Handle Table Knife & 1 Metal Tea Spoon.

                      1 Red Leather Cigarette Case, white metal fittings.

                      1 Tin Match Box, empty.

                      1 piece of Red Flannel containing Pins & Needles.

                      1 Ball of Hemp.

                      1 Piece of old White Apron.

                      Regards, Jon S.

                      Comment


                      • .
                        As to Reids recollection years later I am sure this murder especially would have stuck firmly in his mind and would be easier for him to remember whether the heart was missing or not
                        And yet you find it unbelievable that Hutt and Robinson could recall Kate wearing an apron a mere 4 days earlier?
                        Regards

                        Sir Herlock Sholmes.

                        “A house of delusions is cheap to build but draughty to live in.”

                        Comment


                        • We should notice that the items picked up by Sgt. Jones at Mitre Square:

                          3 small black buttons,
                          a small metal button,
                          a common metal thimble,
                          a small mustard tin containing 2 pawn tickets


                          and the piece of apron found by PC Long at Goulston St., are not shown on Collards list.

                          And rightly so, these items must be separately listed as evidence. It cannot be assumed the items found scattered around her body at the crime scene actually belonged to the victim. Anything could have been dropped by the assailant.

                          Regards, Jon S.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Wickerman View Post

                            Ok, so the actual list has been posted, though it might be a little hard to read.

                            Here it is re-typed.

                            Actual list of possessions made by Insp. Collard at Golden Lane Mortuary.

                            Black straw bonnet trimmed with green & black velvet and black beads, black strings. The bonnet was loosely tied, and had partially fallen from the back of her head, no blood on front, but the back was lying in a pool of blood, which had run from the neck.

                            Black Cloth Jacket, imitation fur edging round coller, fur round sleeves, no blood on front outside, large quantity of blood inside & outside back, outside back very dirty with blood and dirt, 2 outside pockets, trimmed black silk braid & imitation fur.

                            Chintz Skirt 3 flounces, brown button on waistband, Jagged cut 6 inches long from waistband, left side of front, Edges slightly Bloodstained, also Blood on bottom, back & front of skirt.

                            Brown Linsey Dress Bodice, black velvet collar, brown metal buttons down front, blood inside & outside back of neck & shoulders, clean cut bottom of left side, 5 inches long from right to left.

                            Grey Stuff Petticoat, white waist band, cut 1 inch long, thereon in front, Edges blood stained, blood stains on front at bottom of Petticoat.

                            Very Old Green Alpaca Skirt, Jagged cut 10 inches long in front of waistband downward, blood stained inside, front under cut.

                            Very Old Ragged Blue Skirt, red flounce, light twill lining, jagged cut 10 inches long, through waistband, downward, blood stained, inside & outside back and front.

                            White Calico Chemise, very much blood stained all over, apparently torn thus ---/__ in middle of front.

                            Mans White Vest, button to match down front, 2 outside pockets, torn at back, very much Blood stained at back, Blood & other stains on front.

                            No Drawers or Stays.
                            Pair of Mens lace up Boots, mohair laces, right boot has been repaired with red thread, 6 Blood marks on right boot.

                            1 piece of red gauze Silk, various cuts thereon found on neck.

                            1 large White Handkerchief, blood stained.

                            2 Unbleached Calico Pockets, tape strings, cut through also top left hand corners, cut off one.

                            1 Blue Stripe Bed ticking Pocket, waist band, and strings cut through, (all 3 Pockets) Blood stained.

                            1 White Cotton Pocket Handkerchief, red and white birds eye border.

                            1 Pr. Brown ribbed Stockings, feet mended with white.

                            12 pieces of white Rag, some slightly bloodstained.

                            1 piece of white coarse Linen.

                            1 piece of Blue & White Shirting (3 cornered).

                            2 Small Blue Bed ticking Bags.

                            2 Short Clay Pipes (black).

                            1 Tin Box containing Tea.

                            1 do do do Sugar.

                            1 Piece of Flannel & 6 pieces of Soap.

                            1 Small Tooth Comb.

                            1 White Handle Table Knife & 1 Metal Tea Spoon.

                            1 Red Leather Cigarette Case, white metal fittings.

                            1 Tin Match Box, empty.

                            1 piece of Red Flannel containing Pins & Needles.

                            1 Ball of Hemp.

                            1 Piece of old White Apron.
                            Thanks Wickerman. That's much easier.

                            Also, for those with a copy, the original list is transcribed similarly in "The Ultimate Jack the Ripper Companion" by Evans and Skinner.

                            - Jeff

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by harry View Post
                              Well Jon,if Collard didn't make a list as the body was undressed,then he had to rely on memory at any time afterwards.....
                              The pile of clothes are not going anywhere, no need for 'memory', they are still at the mortuary.

                              Regards, Jon S.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Wickerman View Post

                                The pile of clothes are not going anywhere, no need for 'memory', they are still at the mortuary.
                                But if the clothes were taken off as I suggest from top to bottom which they had to have been, and placed in a pile as you suggest. If they came to be listed later then then last piece of clothing taken off would top of the pile and then be the first on the list, so that idea goes down like a lead balloon. Or are you going to suggest they were not placed in a pile but neatly laid out on a table easily recognizable and identifiable?

                                Comment

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