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Did Lawende see Kate Eddowes?

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  • Did Lawende see Kate Eddowes?

    Hello all,

    It has been widely accepted that J. Lawende...and 2 friends, saw Kate Eddowes outside Mitre Square in the company of "Sailor Man" at approx 1:35am. It is also accepted that the Police sequestered Lawende and suppressed his testimony at the Inquest, thereby proving that at least the contemporary City Police believed his statement had value to their investigation. We also assume that Lawende, or Schwartz, was the witness used in later line-up ID's arranged by the police, and the alleged ID at the Seaside Home.

    All this seems to make Mr Lawende a very important if not THE most important witness in the "Ripper" related cases, not just the Mitre Square murder.

    But how likely is it that he did see Kate at all?

    There is the time the body is found to deal with, approx 1:43-:44....leaving a very short period of time from 1:35 to lure into the square, kill, mutilate, excise and create a carry out sack from the victims clothing. There is the fact that within 2 weeks of his statement he acknowledged he likely couldnt identify the suspect he saw with the woman. And the fact that he never really got a good look at Kates face....and clothing at 1:30 in the morning in dim lighting almost always will appear as black.

    We have contemporary opinion voiced that suggested the police were surprised at the lack of blood on Kate or at the scene, and that she may have been brought to that location already murdered.

    We know the woman released from Bishopsgate as Jane Kelly of Fashion Street was actually Kate Eddowes, and we know the body found in the square was also identified as the same Ms Eddowes.

    Do we know that the couple Lawende saw included Kate?

    Best regards
    Michael Richards

  • #2
    Neither McWilliam nor Swanson were over enthused about Lawende's statement. That he could not identify the man again, nor identify the victim at the mortuary. Only her clothes appeared similar.
    It wouldn't be wise to place more faith in Lawende than the police officials at the time.
    Regards, Jon S.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Wickerman,
      no I don't think it would.

      Am I right thinking that the other two men were even less sure?

      Jenni
      “be just and fear not”

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Michael W Richards View Post
        There is the time the body is found to deal with, approx 1:43-:44....leaving a very short period of time from 1:35 to lure into the square, kill, mutilate, excise and create a carry out sack from the victims clothing. There is the fact that within 2 weeks of his statement he acknowledged he likely couldnt identify the suspect he saw with the woman. And the fact that he never really got a good look at Kates face....and clothing at 1:30 in the morning in dim lighting almost always will appear as black.
        Regardless of who Lawende saw, the killer had a very short amount of time to do his work in Mitre Square. Even if we ignore the Lawende sighting, his time in the square is circumscribed by police beats.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Damaso Marte View Post
          Regardless of who Lawende saw, the killer had a very short amount of time to do his work in Mitre Square. Even if we ignore the Lawende sighting, his time in the square is circumscribed by police beats.
          The person he saw on the law of averages was probley our killer but with the lighting ,distance and fleeting glimpse would anybody be able to make a proper definitive identification I doubt it
          Last edited by pinkmoon; 09-29-2013, 03:20 AM.
          Three things in life that don't stay hidden for to long ones the sun ones the moon and the other is the truth

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by pinkmoon View Post
            The person he saw on the law of averages was probley our killer but with the lighting ,distance and fleeting glimpse would anybody be able to make a proper definitive identification I doubt it
            Yes, these are legitimate reasons to doubt the identity of the couple Lawende saw.

            Of course, if that couple were NOT Eddowes and her killer, we have two potential witnesses who never came forward. Maybe because they were a John and a prostitute...if so did they disturb the Ripper before a PC could?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Damaso Marte View Post
              Yes, these are legitimate reasons to doubt the identity of the couple Lawende saw.

              Of course, if that couple were NOT Eddowes and her killer, we have two potential witnesses who never came forward. Maybe because they were a John and a prostitute...if so did they disturb the Ripper before a PC could?
              I have always held the believe that the ripper never really had super human powers of invisibility .Lots of people about at that time of the murders were up to no good themselves someone could have seen the murderer at work and not come forward I think that is very possible.
              Three things in life that don't stay hidden for to long ones the sun ones the moon and the other is the truth

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Jenni Shelden View Post
                Hi Wickerman,
                no I don't think it would.

                Am I right thinking that the other two men were even less sure?

                Jenni
                Hi Jenni.

                Yes, you are correct.
                On the one hand we have been inclined to treat Lawende's testimony as significant, while his two friends Levy & Harris, not so much.
                On the other hand, official notes made by McWilliam & Swanson do not betray any measure of excitement over what Lawende saw.

                Part of the reason we trust that Lawende must have seen the killer is because we have a press article which informs us that the police sequestered him away from the public. Some have thought this was for his protection, but I suspect the real reason was just to keep the press away from him.
                Then we have another press story from 1891 where we are led to believe that the Mitre Square witness (presumably Lawende), was called upon to identify Sadler.
                The witness in this article is unnamed, and as we have no confirmation of this via existing police files, the possibility exists that this claim is in error.

                In summary, the reason we have put a great deal of faith in Lawende is mostly due to press reports, not official police files.
                And, just as a reminder, as I mentioned earlier, neither McWilliam nor Swanson conveyed any measure of hope with respect to Lawende when making their reports to their respective superiors.
                Regards, Jon S.

                Comment


                • #9
                  2 quick prelims

                  Hello Mike. You raise some interesting questions.

                  A couple of preliminary points:

                  1. I believe Byfield referred to "Mary Ann Kelly" of 6 Fashion st.

                  2. The notion that she was transported to the square post mortem seems not to have made it beyond inquest.

                  Cheers.
                  LC

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    involved

                    Hello Damaso.

                    "Of course, if that couple were NOT Eddowes and her killer, we have two potential witnesses who never came forward."

                    Quite. But surely not uncommon? Many wish NOT to become involved.

                    Cheers.
                    LC

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      local

                      Kosminski seems to be the local "nutter" wandering round eating from the gutter so surely he would have been well known in the areas of the murders.Of all the witnesses not one states that they have seen this man before wandering round the area.
                      Three things in life that don't stay hidden for to long ones the sun ones the moon and the other is the truth

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by pinkmoon View Post
                        Kosminski seems to be the local "nutter" wandering round eating from the gutter so surely he would have been well known in the areas of the murders.Of all the witnesses not one states that they have seen this man before wandering round the area.
                        Maybe because there is nothing to confirm he was acting that way at the time of the murders?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hi all- Good to be back...

                          There is nothing 'concrete' to suggest that Kosminski was grubbing around the gutters.
                          Lawende and his two compatriots had left the club and were making their way home via Mitre Sq. when for some reason- we know not what -

                          Lawende's attention was caught by the couple at the end of Church Passage - the other two didn't seem overly interested...... but Lawende 'clocked' certain details, such as the hand on the chest, the 'sailorly' appearance etc etc.

                          I do wonder if poor Kate hadn't been found later that night it would have been so clear in his memory and quite so relevant, would he have mentioned anything else apart from the 'dodgy characters' comment to the other two chums, or would he have forgotten it altogether, if the Press hadn't exploded the following day!

                          Anyway - our thoughts should be with Liz and Kate this evening
                          'Would you like to see my African curiosities?'

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Michael W Richards View Post
                            Hello all,

                            It has been widely accepted that J. Lawende...and 2 friends, saw Kate Eddowes outside Mitre Square in the company of "Sailor Man" at approx 1:35am. It is also accepted that the Police sequestered Lawende and suppressed his testimony at the Inquest, thereby proving that at least the contemporary City Police believed his statement had value to their investigation. We also assume that Lawende, or Schwartz, was the witness used in later line-up ID's arranged by the police, and the alleged ID at the Seaside Home.

                            All this seems to make Mr Lawende a very important if not THE most important witness in the "Ripper" related cases, not just the Mitre Square murder.

                            But how likely is it that he did see Kate at all?

                            There is the time the body is found to deal with, approx 1:43-:44....leaving a very short period of time from 1:35 to lure into the square, kill, mutilate, excise and create a carry out sack from the victims clothing. There is the fact that within 2 weeks of his statement he acknowledged he likely couldnt identify the suspect he saw with the woman. And the fact that he never really got a good look at Kates face....and clothing at 1:30 in the morning in dim lighting almost always will appear as black.

                            We have contemporary opinion voiced that suggested the police were surprised at the lack of blood on Kate or at the scene, and that she may have been brought to that location already murdered.

                            We know the woman released from Bishopsgate as Jane Kelly of Fashion Street was actually Kate Eddowes, and we know the body found in the square was also identified as the same Ms Eddowes.

                            Do we know that the couple Lawende saw included Kate?

                            Best regards
                            Probably. He was wearing a peaked cap
                            "Is all that we see or seem
                            but a dream within a dream?"

                            -Edgar Allan Poe


                            "...the man and the peaked cap he is said to have worn
                            quite tallies with the descriptions I got of him."

                            -Frederick G. Abberline

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Thanks for the responses thus far. I thought the timing of a thread about Kate was appropriate.

                              Id like to address Observers post first....what the man was wearing has little if any bearing on whether or not he was in Kates presence,... we could assume if the descriptions had matched any earlier "suspect" sightings to the letter that this may be the man and he may be attempting to lure another unfortunate...however, it doesnt and we have no hard evidence to show us that Kate was there outside the square, or that she was soliciting.

                              To Lynn....I get confused with the pawn ticket alias at times, Jane Kelly and Mary Ann Kelly. I recognize that the police suspicions that she may have been brought to that location were short lived, it is interesting though that there was a carriageway access to the spot where she was found.

                              I think much of this depends on the veracity of PC Watkins myself, and PC Harvey.

                              Cheers
                              Michael Richards

                              Comment

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