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The Schwartz/BS Man situation - My opinion only

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  • Why do we continue to place reliance on Fanny Mortimer?

    It was soon after one o'clock when I went out, and the only man whom I had seen pass through the street previously was a young man carrying a black shiny bag, who walked very fast down the street from the Commercial-road. He looked up at the club, and then went around the corner by the Board School. I was told that the manager or steward of the club had discovered the woman on his return home in his pony cart. He drove through the gates, and my opinion is that he interrupted the murderer, who must have made his escape immediately under cover of the cart. If a man had come out of the yard before one o'clock I must have seen him

    So she went onto her doorstep just after 1.00.

    Which means that before that she was indoors.

    And yet she says: “If a man had come out of the yard before one o'clock I must have seen him.”

    And yet this woman is the main prop for the theory that Schwartz lied.

    ​​​​​​……

    Is it really being suggested that this woman wasn’t Fanny Mortimer?

    “Some three doors from the gateway where the body of the first victim was discovered, I saw a clean, respectable-looking woman chatting with one or two neighbours. She was apparently the wife of a well-to-do artisan, and formed a strong contrast to many of those around her. I got into conversation with her and found that she was one of the first on the spot.”
    Regards

    Sir Herlock Sholmes.

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

    Comment


    • .
      If one woman saw Goldstein heading north, and then another saw him heading south, presumably just prior to 1am, at what approximate time was he first spotted?
      Only one woman saw Goldstein. He passed along Berner Street once.
      Regards

      Sir Herlock Sholmes.

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

      Comment


      • Again we are in serious danger of disappearing down yet another rabbit-hole. The problem is that the information that we have available isn’t going to change or get added to and so nitpicking gets us nowhere. So basically we have to ask ourselves one question only. Is there anything that we know for a fact that absolutely disproves the ‘official’ version of events? The answer to that is a resounding ‘no.’ We might also add ‘are there any amount of mysteries that when combined point to something in conflict with the official version?’ Again the answer is a resounding ‘no.’ So we’re constantly being asked to believe the exact opposite to try and shoehorn into place the unlikeliest cover up imaginable. A plan that a six year old could have instantaneously improved upon and that had an alleged motive that doesn’t even deserve the name. Make no mistake, this is what is going on here. Unlike others who are happily prepared to state that Stride’s killer might or might not have been the Ripper the cover up’s originator actively requires the killer not to have been the ripper. And so a cover up was created to fulfil a need. Not because there was evidence for it but because it was actively sought out.

        When we look at Fanny Mortimer, and recognise the different versions of what she did that night that come down to us, and we add the fact that she didn’t see Eagle return or Lave or even Stride arrive at the gateway it becomes blatantly obvious that there are gaps in her availability to view events in Berner Street which make it entirely possible (and so entirely probable in this case) that she could easily have missed the very short in duration Schwartz incident. And there is absolutely no benefit to be gained from saying “ yes but in the Evening Standard of October 7th…..or but if we take the version in the East London Advertiser on October 9th….because we would be indulging in an endless game of tail-chasing where every Press report that differs in any minute way assumes enormous significance.

        There isn’t a single thing that makes the official version even approach ‘unlikely.’ By allowing a margin for error of around 5 minutes or so for all witnesses leaves us a very clear series of events. And yes, the Police had more reason to have been aware of the time than most civilians but that still doesn’t mean that they knew the exact time at any point in time. In 2021 and with a mobile phone in my pocket you could ask me the time 20 times a day and I guarantee that at some point I’d be 20 minutes out. And it would be complete luck if I ever gave the exact time. So to allow a Victorian Constable a bit of leeway should be no hardships or anyone.

        There really was no mystery in Berner Street. Stride was killed and discovered by Diemschutz at 1.00. By someone.
        Regards

        Sir Herlock Sholmes.

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

        Comment


        • Originally posted by bolo View Post
          Hi Herlock, all,



          people bringing in timings and picking the time estimates from witnesses that fit their theories best is not uncommon in Ripperology, even though it not only is rather unscientific but also seems to ignore the fact that average East Enders rarely owned watches. They had to rely on public clocks or clock strikes from church towers and more often than not, it was just guesswork. That's why I take theories that rely on more or less exact timings with a grain of salt.

          Gre,

          Boris
          Not only that, bolo, but even public clocks could/can be out by several minutes on a regular basis. Our nearest pub has a large clock above the door, and when I used to wait for a bus across the road, I always had to check the time by my watch or phone because the pub clock would invariably be wrong, often being out by up to twenty minutes either way. Most annoying for anyone relying on it while waiting for their bus.

          I can't see any advantage for Louis D in lying about what time the clock was showing as he passed it, and it could have landed him in big trouble. The clock itself may not have been showing the right time, and I think that would be a safer argument for anyone with a strong desire to have Louis discover Stride's body before 1am.

          Love,

          Caz
          X
          "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


          Comment


          • Originally posted by Michael W Richards View Post
            Pocket watches, wristwatches and clocks..thats all. And as weve already clearly established, police were mandated to know their beat times, so when Lamb says "before" 1 its highly probable by police official times that night he was accurate. Beats and all schedules had specific timings involved, stop insinuating they were mistaken.

            We can see Louis was "mistaken" though, he clearly did not arrive as he said in his own words..."precisely" at 1. Fanny didnt see anyone arrive at 1 and she was there. To my knowledge, you werent either.
            Wrist watches were almost exclusively made for women until well into the 1880s, when military men decided they needed to tell the time quickly without having to whip out their pocket watches while fighting. For most men, wrist watches did not become commonplace until the early 20th century. But that's a minor point.

            The major one to make is that 1 o'clock is one of the easiest times to note and remember when looking at a clock face. Both hands close to each other pointing skywards. Hard for even a child to be completely mistaken. It's not as if it could have been five past midnight, for example.

            So if Louis noted the time by the clock, mere seconds before turning into the yard, I see nothing remotely suspicious or dishonest in stating that it was "precisely one o'clock". While the clock could have been wrong, that wouldn't have made Louis either mistaken or a rotten liar.

            And where is the evidence that Fanny was definitely, without a doubt, still on her doorstep when the clock Louis referred to showed the time to be "precisely one o'clock"?

            How could she have known exact times while still out on her doorstep, or the exact time she decided to call it a night, even assuming there was a clock keeping perfect time somewhere in the house, so her carman husband didn't need the services of a knocker upper on work days? Did she normally stand on her doorstep, clock in hand to check the time when nothing was happening? She saw Goldstein pass by as she was locking up for the night, then a little while later she remarked to her husband that she could hear the pony and cart, shortly after which she opened up again to see what the commotion was.

            You scoff at Louis for noting the time on a clock as he passed it, but then insist that Fanny would have known she was out on her doorstep at precisely 1am. That would mean she heard the pony and cart between going back in and hearing the commotion, and yet you expect us to believe this was some other pony and cart, which nobody else thought to mention.


            "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


            Comment


            • Originally posted by GBinOz View Post
              From the report of the inquest in the Daily Telegraph:
              Constable Henry Lamb, 252 H division, examined by the coroner, said: Last Sunday morning, shortly before one o'clock, I was on duty in Commercial-road, between Christian-street and Batty-street, when two men came running towards me and shouting.
              Mr. Edward Johnson:
              I live at 100, Commercial-road, and am assistant to Drs. Kaye and Blackwell. On Sunday morning last, at a few minutes past one o'clock, I received a call from Constable 436 H
              Hi George,

              Isn't Lamb simply stating it as a fact that he was on duty in Commercial Road shortly before one o'clock? I think we might be in danger of taking it too literally if we infer that the clock had not moved on one second when he first saw the two men running towards him and shouting. He was setting the scene IMHO, probably with the knowledge that all the commotion had begun from "around 1am". He didn't suddenly arrive in Commercial Road to see the men approaching him. So I read it that he was already there shortly before 1am, to see the men when they ran towards him. He could go by his usual beat times to put himself there just before the hour, in time to see the men, but he was still only estimating if he had no clock or pocket watch to consult.

              Had he said: "Last Sunday morning I was on duty in Commercial Road when, shortly before one o'clock, I saw two men running towards me and shouting", that would have done away with any ambiguity, but the question would then have been how could he have known if it was shortly before the hour, as opposed to on the hour, or shortly past the hour, when the men came into view?

              This might look like special pleading to some, but the language used in those days can often be infuriatingly imprecise to modern eyes, leading to different interpretations of the same words, and we can't ask them to clarify what they meant!

              Love,

              Caz
              X
              "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


              Comment


              • Originally posted by caz View Post

                Wrist watches were almost exclusively made for women until well into the 1880s, when military men decided they needed to tell the time quickly without having to whip out their pocket watches while fighting. For most men, wrist watches did not become commonplace until the early 20th century. But that's a minor point.

                The major one to make is that 1 o'clock is one of the easiest times to note and remember when looking at a clock face. Both hands close to each other pointing skywards. Hard for even a child to be completely mistaken. It's not as if it could have been five past midnight, for example.

                So if Louis noted the time by the clock, mere seconds before turning into the yard, I see nothing remotely suspicious or dishonest in stating that it was "precisely one o'clock". While the clock could have been wrong, that wouldn't have made Louis either mistaken or a rotten liar.

                And where is the evidence that Fanny was definitely, without a doubt, still on her doorstep when the clock Louis referred to showed the time to be "precisely one o'clock"?

                How could she have known exact times while still out on her doorstep, or the exact time she decided to call it a night, even assuming there was a clock keeping perfect time somewhere in the house, so her carman husband didn't need the services of a knocker upper on work days? Did she normally stand on her doorstep, clock in hand to check the time when nothing was happening? She saw Goldstein pass by as she was locking up for the night, then a little while later she remarked to her husband that she could hear the pony and cart, shortly after which she opened up again to see what the commotion was.

                You scoff at Louis for noting the time on a clock as he passed it, but then insist that Fanny would have known she was out on her doorstep at precisely 1am. That would mean she heard the pony and cart between going back in and hearing the commotion, and yet you expect us to believe this was some other pony and cart, which nobody else thought to mention.


                Hi Caz,

                We constantly hear how Fanny couldn’t possible have missed the Schwartz incident which implies that we know for a fact exactly what time she went onto her doorstep and exactly what time she went inside. We both know that we know nothing of the sort though. All that we need to know is that it was entirely possible that she had gone back inside when Schwartz passed and therefore saw nothing. Mortimer simply can’t be used to prove that Schwartz was never in Berner Street. We can add of course that she didn’t see Eagle return at around 12.35 and, more tellingly, she didn’t see Stride arrive at the gateway which had to have been after Eagle had returned.. This tells us that she spent a considerable part of the 30 minutes in question not on her doorstep.

                Michael says that he believes Diemschutz returned at around 12.45 or just before.

                So she was inside at 12.35 to miss Eagle.

                She was inside at 12.45 or just before to miss Diemschutz get back.

                And she was inside whenever Stride arrived at the gates.

                So unless she was in and out every couple of minutes like some malfunctioning cuckoo clock we can only arrive at the conclusion that she spent at least half of the 30 minutes between 12.30 and 1.00 indoors.

                At the risk of sounding like Trevor, Fanny Mortimer is an unreliable witness. Or at least the information that we get from her is unreliable.
                Regards

                Sir Herlock Sholmes.

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

                Comment


                • Originally posted by harry View Post
                  But Herlock,if you did make a cup of tea,that would show an intent existed.Intent,in most murders,is obvious.It is shown quite clearly in the Whitechapel killings.The killer intended to kill.I agree however that it would be difficult to show if killing Stride was the sole intent.
                  I like your thinking, harry.

                  I too think it would be difficult to demonstrate in any meaningful way that killing Stride was only ever the intention, given all the comings and goings in that place and time.

                  Yet Michael Richards wants us to believe in double the amount of comings and goings between 12.30 and 1am.

                  Only if Stride had been killed in a deserted location, with no witnesses for miles around, could we say with confidence that was all her killer ever planned on doing.

                  Love,

                  Caz
                  X​​​​​​​
                  "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post


                    Hi Caz,

                    We constantly hear how Fanny couldn’t possible have missed the Schwartz incident which implies that we know for a fact exactly what time she went onto her doorstep and exactly what time she went inside. We both know that we know nothing of the sort though. All that we need to know is that it was entirely possible that she had gone back inside when Schwartz passed and therefore saw nothing. Mortimer simply can’t be used to prove that Schwartz was never in Berner Street. We can add of course that she didn’t see Eagle return at around 12.35 and, more tellingly, she didn’t see Stride arrive at the gateway which had to have been after Eagle had returned.. This tells us that she spent a considerable part of the 30 minutes in question not on her doorstep.
                    Either that, Herlock, or she was wearing an eye mask and ear plugs in readiness for bed.

                    She didn't see or hear much, for a doorstep dwelling busybody, did she?

                    All these extra dramatic comings and goings Michael wants to shoehorn into Fanny's half hour vigil [almost the whole 30 minutes, wasn't it?], she managed to miss out on completely, while Schwartz is meant to be the worst liar in criminal history, because she happened to miss possibly the most significant scene on murder night, which would have been over in the time it would have taken her to go for a wee in her outdoor privy, or use the gazunder beneath the bed where her husband was snoring.

                    Love,

                    Caz
                    X
                    "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by caz View Post

                      She didn't see or hear much, for a doorstep dwelling busybody, did she?

                      All these extra dramatic comings and goings Michael wants to shoehorn into Fanny's half hour vigil [almost the whole 30 minutes, wasn't it?], she managed to miss out on completely,[...]
                      You do not believe that "these extra dramatic comings and goings" occurred, or at least did not occur when Michael claims they did, and yet Fanny's non-witnessing of these events - supposed or actual - still counts against Fanny's reliability as a witness? That is completely arbitrary.

                      Your reference to "a doorstep dwelling busybody", suggests that you regard Fanny Mortimer with disdain. Presumably she is a threat to things you wish to believe were true, and wish others to also believe.

                      ... while Schwartz is meant to be the worst liar in criminal history, because she happened to miss possibly the most significant scene on murder night, which would have been over in the time it would have taken her to go for a wee in her outdoor privy, or use the gazunder beneath the bed where her husband was snoring.
                      Is that how long it would take? So tell us how long Stride had been standing in the gateway, prior to Schwartz turning into Berner street. Then tell us how long she remained at the gateway after BS had left the scene. Or was BS the murderer? Apparently you know the answer, because it was apparently all over in the time it would take to take a pee.
                      Andrew's the man, who is not blamed for nothing

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by NotBlamedForNothing View Post

                        You may not be concerned with exact times, George, but you are concerned with approximate times...



                        Yet regardless of Charles Letchford making reference to the time 12:50 - as though that time, or approximate time, had some special significance - you are apparently not interested!



                        By the same token, the so-called Schwartz incident may have actually occurred at near to 1am, and not 12:45 as apparently stated by Schwartz. Thus we cannot rely on a time estimate by Schwartz', to conclude that he either is or is not a vital witness. It is not acceptable to take that chance. So he must be summoned to the inquest...



                        I've quoted from all 3 interviews, many times. I even started a thread based on one of them. Presumably you've noticed that your questioning of the identity of the woman involved in the 2 interviews that exclude a name, has not resulted in much discussion. The point is, for some people at least, that the 'heavy, measured tramp' report is regarded as Fanny Mortimer contradicting her named and quoted statement. Israel Schwartz is therefore saved. End of story. As for the report of Goldstein being witnessed walking up Berner street - whoever did the witnessing - this has barely been discussed in the entire history of Casebook.



                        Two doors from the club is #36 - the Mortimer residence. So you must mean the 'Interview with a Neighbour' is with Letchford's sister. Correct? So why does the named quote sound so similar to the interview...?

                        Mortimer: I had just gone indoors and was preparing to go to bed, when I heard a commotion outside, and immediately ran out thinking that there was another row at the Socialists' club close by. I went to see what was the matter, and was informed that another dreadful murder had been committed in the yard adjoining the club house. On going inside I saw the body of a woman lying huddled up just inside the gates, with her throat cut from ear to ear.

                        Neighbour: I was just about going to bed, sir, when I heard a call for the police. I ran to the door, and before I could open it I heard somebody say, 'Come out quick; there's a poor woman here that's had ten inches of cold steel in her.' I hurried out, and saw some two or three people standing in the gateway. ... Then I see a sight that turned me all sick and cold. There was the murdered woman a-lying on her side, with her throat cut across till her head seemed to be hanging by a bit of skin.



                        If one woman saw Goldstein heading north, and then another saw him heading south, presumably just prior to 1am, at what approximate time was he first spotted?
                        Hi NBFN,

                        When I said I am not concerned with time, I phrased that comment badly. I meant that my comments regarding Letchford were concerned only with his non relationship with Mortimer. I am currently of the opinion that Schwartz was genuine in his statement, but the prevailing criticism is that nobody saw him. I adopt Smith's times and believe that Mortimer's clock was running 10 minutes slow. As Frank suggested, she had heard Smith pass often enough to recognise his footfall. This would mean that, if Stride crossed into Dutfields after Smith passed, FM would not have seen her. If Schwartz arrived a little after 12:45, FM missed seeing him. FM said that she heard Diemshitz's cart 4 minutes after leaving her door, and that supports Schwartz's times. The Schwartz incident would have been all over minutes before Diemshitz's pony shied at around 12:50. It should be noted that Schwartz was at the tobacconist corner, on foot, so may have had an opportunity to view the time even if the clock was small and badly lit, but he didn't say he saw the clock, and wasn't on the opposite side of the road in a moving cart in traffic at an oblique angle, so such a suggestion will be discounted.

                        I believe that Lamb was standing over the body at around one o'clock and Smith was at the Commercial Rd/Berner St intersection at about that time. I find the suggestion that Lamb could easily have been out by 6 minutes in order to fit Eagle's guess of time based on a starting point that he could only guess within a 15 minute period over an hour before to be logically flawed. The same applies to the time guesstimates of Brown and Spooner. Hoschberg and Kozebrodski were at least in the club at the time of the discovery of the body, and we know there was at least one clock in the club because Eagle specifically stated that he did not look at it, yet their times are dismissed in favour of wild guesses by others.

                        I am aware that you started the thread " A closer look at Leon Goldstein". I was the final poster on that thread, and I know that new evidence does not sit well with those who are rusted on to traditional theories. The tradition of doorway viewing was common in those days, as was sitting on the front verandah in later years. We don't know how many women stood in doorways that night, only that there were at least two around 12:30 to 1:00. We know that one was Fanny Mortimer, another was Letchford's sister, who was not Fanny Mortimer, and one was the wife of a well to do artisan, which was not Fanny Mortimer, but may have been Letchford's sister. The reports sound similar because they are about the same event. One says she came from the door and prepared for bed, the other didn't relate her door stoop viewing to her bedtime. The third interview was quite different - was there a mistake in the door count?

                        The woman who saw Goldstein headed north did not quote times so we can't deduce anything other than it was before the discovery of the body and, with a 12 minute return trip to the Spectacle coffee house, presumably before the sighting of his journey south.

                        Cheers, George
                        The great enemy of truth is very often not the lie -- deliberate, contrived and dishonest -- but the myth, persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. - John F Kennedy

                        Disagreeing doesn't have to be disagreeable - Jeff Hamm

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post

                          ​​​​​​……

                          Is it really being suggested that this woman wasn’t Fanny Mortimer?

                          “Some three doors from the gateway where the body of the first victim was discovered, I saw a clean, respectable-looking woman chatting with one or two neighbours. She was apparently the wife of a well-to-do artisan, and formed a strong contrast to many of those around her. I got into conversation with her and found that she was one of the first on the spot.”
                          Yes, are you proposing that car men were well-to-do artisans?

                          Cheers, George
                          The great enemy of truth is very often not the lie -- deliberate, contrived and dishonest -- but the myth, persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. - John F Kennedy

                          Disagreeing doesn't have to be disagreeable - Jeff Hamm

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post
                            So basically we have to ask ourselves one question only. Is there anything that we know for a fact that absolutely disproves the ‘official’ version of events? The answer to that is a resounding ‘no.’

                            And yes, the Police had more reason to have been aware of the time than most civilians but that still doesn’t mean that they knew the exact time at any point in time. In 2021 and with a mobile phone in my pocket you could ask me the time 20 times a day and I guarantee that at some point I’d be 20 minutes out. And it would be complete luck if I ever gave the exact time. So to allow a Victorian Constable a bit of leeway should be no hardships or anyone.
                            Herlock....maaate,

                            What would you like to present as absolute fact? Police reports? Anderson, McNaughten, Swanson and Aberline were not unified in their opinions or statements. Press reports? Conflicting reports of inquest statements? If you just assemble the "facts" that agree with your opinion, that does not represent an offical version, it's cognitive bias.

                            I will allow a Victorian Constable leeway of a minute or two, a Victorian clock owner a leeway of 10 minutes or so, and guesstimators of times of an hour or so a leeway of +/- 20 or more minutes.

                            Cheers, George
                            The great enemy of truth is very often not the lie -- deliberate, contrived and dishonest -- but the myth, persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. - John F Kennedy

                            Disagreeing doesn't have to be disagreeable - Jeff Hamm

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by caz View Post

                              Hi George,

                              Isn't Lamb simply stating it as a fact that he was on duty in Commercial Road shortly before one o'clock? I think we might be in danger of taking it too literally if we infer that the clock had not moved on one second when he first saw the two men running towards him and shouting. He was setting the scene IMHO, probably with the knowledge that all the commotion had begun from "around 1am". He didn't suddenly arrive in Commercial Road to see the men approaching him. So I read it that he was already there shortly before 1am, to see the men when they ran towards him. He could go by his usual beat times to put himself there just before the hour, in time to see the men, but he was still only estimating if he had no clock or pocket watch to consult.

                              Had he said: "Last Sunday morning I was on duty in Commercial Road when, shortly before one o'clock, I saw two men running towards me and shouting", that would have done away with any ambiguity, but the question would then have been how could he have known if it was shortly before the hour, as opposed to on the hour, or shortly past the hour, when the men came into view?

                              This might look like special pleading to some, but the language used in those days can often be infuriatingly imprecise to modern eyes, leading to different interpretations of the same words, and we can't ask them to clarify what they meant!

                              Love,

                              Caz
                              X
                              Hi Caz,

                              I can see what you mean and have re-read Lamb's statement a dozen times, but just can't agree with your suggestion. Lamb replied to a question at the inquest saying that he passed the intersection of Commercial Road and Berner Street 6-7 minutes before he arrived at Dutfields yard. (There are those who insist he was 6 minutes out in this estimate.) The tobacconist clock that Diemshitz claimed to have viewed is at that intersection. I am in the minority of those who believe that Lamb is more likely to have looked at that clock on one or both occassions that he passed it than did Diemshitz. So Lamb, on his normal beat, passes that intersection headed east on the way to the fixed point at Grove St. He then turns around and heads west on his normal beat. In his testimony he is stating a time and place for when the two men were running towards him shouting. A minute or two later, at about 1 o'clock, he is in Dutfields yard and Smith stated that he was at the intersection of Commercial Road and Berner Street at one o'clock, the same time that Diemshitz said he was turning into Berner St from Commercial Road. Remembering that in every other statement before the inquest he said he turned into Berner St at his usual time of about one o'clock, except for one statement where he said 12:45 because he came home early due to the rain, are you going to say that Diemshitz was right and two police constables were wrong? That is not to suggest that Diemshitz was deliberately lying. Witnesses are known for sub consciously augmenting what they actually saw and he may have just firmed up his "usual time" for the inquest.

                              I asked Monty the question: how important was correct time to police constables. His reply was very important. I think it is time to determine an answer for the question: How did police constables keep an accurate track on time without pocket watches. I suspect that perhaps the overseeing seargent would set a pocket watch to GMT from the telegraphed time at the local police station and then provide clock corrections for clocks on the PC's rounds, but I'll follow that up.

                              Cheers, George
                              The great enemy of truth is very often not the lie -- deliberate, contrived and dishonest -- but the myth, persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. - John F Kennedy

                              Disagreeing doesn't have to be disagreeable - Jeff Hamm

                              Comment


                              • Hi Caz,

                                Could it be that you are being a little harsh in your description "a doorstep dwelling busybody"? It was a common practice at the time, before radio. In Australia my grandparents often sat on their front porch, as did their neighbours on their's, to watch the goings on in the street and to gossip.

                                I thought it may be helpful to group together in one post the three articles dealing with "doorstep busybodies" from the Evening News of Oct 1 1888:

                                INTERVIEW WITH A NEIGHBOUR.
                                Some three doors from the gateway where the body of the first victim was discovered, I saw a clean, respectable-looking woman chatting with one or two neighbours. She was apparently the wife of a well-to-do artisan, and formed a strong contrast to many of those around her. I got into conversation with her and found that she was one of the first on the spot.
                                TEN INCHES OF COLD STEEL.
                                "I was just about going to bed, sir, when I heard a call for the police. I ran to the door, and before I could open it I heard somebody say, 'Come out quick; there's a poor woman here that's had ten inches of cold steel in her.' I hurried out, and saw some two or three people standing in the gateway. Lewis, the man who looks after the Socialist Club at No. 40, was there, and his wife.

                                "Then I see a sight that turned me all sick and cold. There was the murdered woman a-lying on her side, with her throat cut across till her head seemed to be hanging by a bit of skin. Her legs was drawn up under her, and her head and the upper part of her body was soaked in blood. She was dressed in black as if she was in mourning for somebody.
                                MURDERED WITHIN SOUND OF MUSIC AND DANCING.
                                "Did you hear no sound of quarrelling, no cry for help?" I asked.

                                "Nothing of the sort, sir. I should think I must have heard it if the poor creature screamed at all, for I hadn't long come in from the door when I was roused, as I tell you, by that call for the police. But that was from the people as found the body. Mr. Lewis, who travels in cheap drapery things a bit now and again, had just drove into the yard when his horse shied at something that was lying in the corner. He thought 'twas a bundle of some kind till he got down from his cart and struck a light. Then he saw what it was and gave the alarm."

                                "Was the street quiet at the time?"

                                "Yes, there was hardly anybody moving about, except at the club. There was music and dancing going on there at the very time that that poor creature was being murdered at their very door, as one may say."
                                A MAN WITH A BLACK BAG!
                                " I suppose you did not notice a man and woman pass down the street while you were at the door?"

                                "No, sir. I think I should have noticed them if they had. Particularly if they'd been strangers, at that time o' night. I only noticed one person passing, just before I turned in. That was a young man walking up Berner-street, carrying a black bag in his hand."

                                "Did you observe him closely, or notice anything in his appearance?"

                                "No, I didn't pay particular attention to him. He was respectably dressed, but was a stranger to me. He might ha' been coming from the Socialist Club., A good many young men goes there, of a Saturday night especially."



                                THE SILENCE OF THE MURDERER.
                                When the alarm of murder was raised a young girl had been standing in a bisecting thoroughfare not fifty yards from the spot where the body was found. She had, she said, been standing there for about twenty minutes, talking with her sweetheart, but neither of them heard any unusual noises.
                                A woman who lives two doors from the club has made an important statement. It appears that shortly before a quarter to one o'clock she heard the measured, heavy tramp of a policeman passing the house on his beat. Immediately afterwards she went to the street-door, with the intention of shooting the bolts, though she remained standing there ten minutes before she did so. During the ten minutes she saw no one enter or leave the neighbouring yard, and she feels sure that had any one done so she could not have overlooked the fact. The quiet and deserted character of the street appears even to have struck her at the time. Locking the door, she prepared to retire to bed, in the front room on the ground floor, and it so happened that in about four minutes' time she heard Diemschitz's pony cart pass the house, and remarked upon the circumstance to her husband.


                                Mrs. Mortimer, living at 36, Berner-street, four doors from the scene of the tragedy, says: I was standing at the door of my house nearly the whole time between half-past twelve and one o'clock this (Sunday) morning, and did not notice anything unusual. I had just gone indoors, and was preparing to go to bed, when I heard a commotion outside, and immediately ran out, thinking that there was another row at the Socialists' Club close by. I went to see what was the matter, and was informed that another dreadful murder had been committed in the yard adjoining the club-house, and on going inside I saw the body of a woman lying huddled up just inside the gate with her throat cut from ear to ear. A man touched her face, and said it was quite warm, so that the deed must have been done while I was standing at the door of my house. There was certainly no noise made, and I did not observe any one enter the gates. It was soon after one o'clock when I went out, and the only man whom I had seen pass through the street previously was a young man carrying a black shiny bag, who walked very fast down the street from the Commercial-road. He looked up at the club, and then went around the corner by the Board School. I was told that the manager or steward of the club had discovered the woman on his return home in his pony cart. He drove through the gates, and my opinion is that he interrupted the murderer, who must have made his escape immediately under cover of the cart. If a man had come out of the yard before one o'clock I must have seen him. It was almost incredible to me that the thing could have been done without the steward's wife hearing a noise, for she was sitting in the kitchen, from which a window opens four yards from the spot where the woman was found. The body was lying slightly on one side, with the legs a little drawn up as if in pain, the clothes being slightly disarranged, so that the legs were partly visible. The woman appeared to me to be respectable, judging by her clothes, and in her hand were found a bunch of grapes and some sweets. A young man and his sweetheart were standing at the corner of the street, about twenty yards away, before and after the time the woman must have been murdered, but they told me they did not hear a sound.

                                If anyone knows of reports in other publications, please share.

                                Traditionally it has been thought that all these interviews were with Fanny Mortimer. The red account reads like a report and the green reads like an interview. The red account says she prepared to retire to bed, in the front room on the ground floor. My understanding is that the front room was for entertaining and the bedrooms were upstairs. William Mortimer, her husband died early in 1889, so was his wife caring for a sick man on the ground floor and therefore going back and forth to the door? Note that in the red account there is no mention of her going to the yard. In the green account she arrives at the yard after Spooner, but the blue account has her arriving with only 2 or 3 people in the yard, including Diemshitz and his wife.

                                Let the battle begin:

                                Cheers, George

                                The great enemy of truth is very often not the lie -- deliberate, contrived and dishonest -- but the myth, persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. - John F Kennedy

                                Disagreeing doesn't have to be disagreeable - Jeff Hamm

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