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The Catherine Eddows enigma

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  • The Catherine Eddows enigma

    Catherine, who has various descriptions from friends saying she was only drunk occasionally, was not a street walker, is in my veiw the odd one out. I know that Liz Stride's killing has it's own oddness, but Cath ? Was she a prostitute or not? Why was she outside 29 Aldgate High street? 20.00pm. Semiconcious, drunk out of her head. So drunk she had to be virtually carried by two coppers.
    She is put in a cell and sleeps.
    So she got some money. We don't know how or who from, but it was enough to get her proper drunk. Or was it? How could someone so drunk, be sober four and a half hours later? Had she been half drunk then knocked out earlier? Was she onto someone? When she left the police station she did not head for home but back toward Aldgate. Knowing she was going to get trouble from Kelly, was she trying to get some money to placate him? Not as a prostitute but as a blackmailer? Noone saw her between leaving the police station and Mitre square, so could she have gone to a nearby house, been killed, dumped and then mutilated? Is that why the body was not seen before?
    If she was not a prostitute, then why would she go into a dark square with a strange man? What other business would require such privacy? Questions. Any answers?

  • #2
    How about . . . ?

    Hello Miakaal.

    “Was she a prostitute or not?"

    Well, she was not virginal. Had she earned a few coins now and again? I should be surprised otherwise. Was she soliciting when killed? Common sense says, “No.” Try to imagine all that had happened to her in the last few hours happening to you. How would you feel? Ready for a customer?

    “Why was she outside 29 Aldgate High street? 20.00pm. Semiconcious, drunk out of her head. So drunk she had to be virtually carried by two coppers.”

    Likely because she had had too much to drink at The Bull Inn.

    “She is put in a cell and sleeps.”

    And sings a bit.

    “So she got some money.”

    Indeed? Then your information is a good bit better than mine.

    “We don't know how or who from, but it was enough to get her proper drunk. Or was it?”

    Again, this goes beyond my information.

    “How could someone so drunk, be sober four and a half hours later?”

    It can happen.

    “Had she been half drunk then knocked out earlier?”

    Doubful; or, better, no reason to assume that.

    “Was she onto someone?”

    Whom? And for what?

    “When she left the police station she did not head for home but back toward Aldgate. Knowing she was going to get trouble from Kelly, was she trying to get some money to placate him?”

    Well, would 4d do that? (“Look, Honey—see what I got?”)

    “Not as a prostitute but as a blackmailer?”

    Well, would she make such a decision on the spur of the moment? “Let’s see, I can go home but . . . say, I wonder if . . .”

    “No one saw her between leaving the police station and Mitre square”

    So far as we know.

    “so could she have gone to a nearby house, been killed, dumped and then mutilated? Is that why the body was not seen before?”

    Unlikely. What about blood flow whilst being moved?

    “If she was not a prostitute, then why would she go into a dark square with a strange man?”

    To talk, perhaps?

    “What other business would require such privacy?”

    Vide supra.

    Cheers.
    LC

    Comment


    • #3
      Hello Miakaal,

      It is a puzzle, isn´t it? For a start (just spinning a thread here) imagine that she wasn´t really drunk but in need of a safe place to spend the evening, as she had a date/an appointment with someone later. She was very concerned with the time when she left (could probably have got a rough idea from hearing the church clocks during the evening) and went off in an entirely different direction to home. Imagine that she really did say (as quoted from one source) that she knew who the Whitechapel murderer was and wanted to claim the reward. Could she be meeting someone she obviously trusted to discuss this? If so she was sadly and tragically wrong.

      She and Kelly were apparently very attached to each other, so I don´t think she would need to placate him.

      Why otherwise would she have got herself released in the middle of the night. Not to get money for a roof over her head - she already had one, not to go to Mile End for a bed - ditto, nor to get a drink ("too late for you to get any more to drink"). She could just have stayed where she was and tried to beg, borrow or get money another way the next morning. Kate was streetwise and bright, unlikely she would wander the streets aimlessly at night - she was acutely aware of the dangers.

      Best wishes,
      C4
      Last edited by curious4; 01-30-2013, 02:34 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi Lynn, thanks I was laughing my head off!
        Hi Curious4, like what your saying mate, I should admit I am a great fan of the useless but enjoyable "What if?" school of history. Your summary has got the "what if?" cogs spinning madly!!

        Comment


        • #5
          Well, the coroner said she had Bright's disease. That was a term that in modern medicine describes a collection of kidney diseases, and there are two things about it worth mentioning.

          In 1888, people thought it was caused by chronic alcoholism. It isn't. One cause that was probably pretty common back then was a serious bout of strep. We might be able to find out whether or not Eddowes ever had Scarlet Fever, but it's really irrelevant. The main point is that based on her having this disease, the coroner may have assumed she drank more than she did, and therefore had a higher tolerance for alcohol than she did.

          The other point is that some diseases now, which are called other things, and were then called Bright's disease, affected the pancreas, so in addition to being drunk, she may have had very low blood sugar, which can make a person appear intoxicated, although if she had eaten, and the food was still in her stomach, the problem could have corrected itself.

          Also, I don't know about other people, but it takes very little alcohol for me to feel pretty sloppy (I try not to get drunk, but two mixed drinks close together will put me under the table); the flip side of that is I sober up quickly. I think that tends to be true of women more than men, and Eddowes wasn't a large woman.

          Comment


          • #6
            The Coroners report says that her liver was healthy very little in the bladder, and very little in the stomach. I know what you are saying about how drink can effect in different ways, but is there anything there to suggest she was a regular drinker, or had been drinking a few hours earlier?
            Did someone buy her a drink that evening before she collapsed, and if so why have they not come foreward? We have her movements all day except when she collapsed and when she left the police station, what I am asking is could they be connected?

            Comment


            • #7
              urine/ you're out

              Hello Miakaal. I thought she was found to have about 4 ounces of urine in the bladder?

              Cheers.
              LC

              Comment


              • #8
                Well, to a certain extent we know she was a regular drinker because everyone was. The water wasn't safe in most poor areas. But a regular drinker doesn't mean an alcoholic, and she didn't have any extraordinary signs of being one, unless it was a relatively new thing for her. But not being an alcoholic doesn't mean she didn't overdo it once in a while, which evidently she did.

                Drunkenness has many stages. The desperately altered state of someone who is stumbling, slurring, etc. doesn't last that long. Maybe two hours. A person achieves the semblance of sobriety long before they achieve actual sobriety. A person can walk, talk, make sense and still be impaired. Even quite impaired, when it comes to judgement and cognition. Today drunks are held until they are hungover. The hangover is the bodies way of telling you that a: you are officially sober and b: you damaged yourself pretty badly. Sleep accelerates the sobering up process a little bit, (it's a brain thing) but only the gross motor function part. The alcohol is still in there screwing with neurochemicals, and that doesn't end until the alcohol breaks down.
                The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

                Comment


                • #9
                  No one must hear....

                  Also, I don't know about other people, but it takes very little alcohol for me to feel pretty sloppy (I try not to get drunk, but two mixed drinks close together will put me under the table); the flip side of that is I sober up quickly. I think that tends to be true of women more than men, and Eddowes wasn't a large woman.
                  I completely agree with this miakaal4. Women have less dehydrogenase, an enzyme that breaks down alcohol in the stomach. Also, body size, prior drinking history and other factors come into play. I suspect Kate could be snockered on a couple of 4 ounce glasses of gin.


                  “If she was not a prostitute, then why would she go into a dark square with a strange man?”

                  To talk, perhaps?
                  It would have to be a very private conversation indeed Lynn, if the dark corner of Mitre Square was required.

                  Does anyone know if the night watchman or the cops said that this corner of Mitre Square was a regular prostitute servicing station?


                  Greg

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The corner of Mitre square had something in common with the Nichols, and Stride murders, a pair of double wooden gates. Used by the prospective victims to get behind out of peering Copper's eyes?

                    Regards

                    Observer

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      yup

                      Hello Greg. Thanks.

                      "It would have to be a very private conversation indeed Lynn, if the dark corner of Mitre Square was required."

                      Indeed.

                      Cheers.
                      LC

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hello All

                        Transporting a body (even in the middle of the night) would tend to cause more than a few problems. Slinging poor dead Catherine over your shoulder and carrying her around would of course arouse suspicion. Other means of transport (such as a cart or barrow) would be noisy and attract attention. Someone would recall hearing a cart or barrow making noise as it rolled over cobblestone streets (or in the cobbled square itself). Nobody seems to have heard any noises, not even a cry or gasp. She was most probably murdered where she was found in Mitre Square.

                        Nobody knows why she was in that dark corner with her murderer. A private conversation could take place on a deserted street, or in a doorway (out in the open). I don’t think that one would need a dark, secluded corner to have a private conversation.

                        Edward

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by GregBaron View Post
                          I completely agree with this miakaal4. Women have less dehydrogenase, an enzyme that breaks down alcohol in the stomach. Also, body size, prior drinking history and other factors come into play. I suspect Kate could be snockered on a couple of 4 ounce glasses of gin.
                          Actually, I said that bit about her being a small woman.

                          And, IIRC, the policeman told her she'd be released "When you can take care of yourself," not "When you are stone cold sober." So, he wasn't waiting for her to blow a 0 on the breathalyer (speaking figuratively), he was just waiting for her not to walk into posts. Also, drunks have trouble orienting themselves (another brain thing; they literally have trouble knowing whether they just made a half turn of a quarter turn), so it would be very easy for a still-pretty-drunk Eddowes to get lost walking home in the dark. Without knowing why, the policeman might know from experience that people released to soon get lost.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            And, IIRC, the policeman told her she'd be released "When you can take care of yourself," not "When you are stone cold sober."
                            Hi Rivkah,

                            Eddowes wasn't charged, so was almost certainly treated as being simply drunk, rather than 'drunk & disorderly'. In those circumstances, normal procedure would be, as you say - and as Hutt did - to release when she was capable of looking after herself.
                            Regards, Bridewell.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Hello all,

                              Ive always been interested in a small detail within the fictional account of Fairy Fay, the woman no-one seems to be able to identify but was supposedly killed...(according to Reynolds News, Oct 29th, 1950),... the day after Christmas in 1887.

                              The article claimed that she was taking a short cut home from a Mitre Square Pub. Its claimed that the pub didnt exist, I dont know who has disproved that portion of the article, but a possible pub in Mitre Square might be interesting in the case of Kate.

                              Mitre Square was almost deserted, there were abandoned and unoccupied buildings within its confines. We have Mr Clapp at #5 I believe, then theres PC Pearce at #3, but I dont recall reading about any other residents of the court at the time of Kate murder.

                              Is it possible an illegal pub was operating in one of the unused warehouses there? Maybe the type that doesnt open regularly, to avoid legal attention, but on occasion.

                              Best regards
                              Michael Richards

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