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  • POLLY NICHOLS: some questions

    Question 1

    On page 207 of the latest edition of the A-Z, under the entry on Emily Holland, the text says, in relation to her last conversation with Polly Nichols:

    "[Nichols] was off to earn [her doss money] again and refused to accompany Holland back to Thrawl Street, saying she wanted to go somewhere where she could share a bed with a man (i.e. Flower and Dean Street)."

    I have never come across the BOLDED part of that statement before - and it seems to me to be of potential importance. Does anyone know what the source is?

    The usual wording given, in every book I have consulted (which is most of the work on JtR since the late 60s) is that she had spent her doss money 3 times already that day.

    The Sourcebook, p32 of the p/back edition, reproduces the report by Swanson, and on p 51, The Times report, which reads:

    ""...[Nichols] was going about to get some money to pay her lodgings, and she would soon be back." No mention of wanting a place where she could share a bed with a man, or implications of F&D St. Sugden, p 45 (p/back edition) also does not mention this.

    So where does the statement come from? It seems to me of potential importance because:

    a) it could mean that she had a man in mind to share a bed with (and might pay?); and,

    b) that during the course of the night she had for some reason determined NOT to return to 18 Thrawl St, at least that night (from which she had been turned away earlier saying "I'll soon get my doss money... "(A-Z p 375) which rather implies she intended to return there). If so what had happened - allowing for the fact that she was inebriated - to change her mind?

    I recognise that the A-Z (p 375) asserts very categorically that Nichols had been living from 24 August-30 August at the "White House", 56 Flower and Dean St. But Holland was much more vague - see below. Note that Swanson's report (Sourcebook p 32), gives her address as 18 Thrawl Street. Also, if Polly had not been living at the Thrawl St lodging house for the previous few nights and yet had gone there earlier that night (to be turned away) why did she do that?

    If she had a man in mind - with whom she intended to share a bed (as the A-Z entry might imply), could he have been her killer? Did she know him and his haunts? [I doubt it, frankly, but I'd like to clear this up.]

    One possible source of the confusion may be the testimony of Holland (called Jane Oram by The Times - Sourcebook p42) which says that "Holland" was told by Nichols that "she was living where men and women were allowed to sleep" [which is past tense not indicative of an intention later] but added that she should come back and live with witness. Witness believed deceased stated she had been living in Flowery Dean-street[sic]."

    This again - though ambiguous - seems to contradict the A-Z's confident assertion both in regard to their last conversation and Nichols' last place of abode.

    Can anyone shed light on any of this?

    Question 2:

    I asked this on another (old) thread but it seems to have been ignored.

    Can anyone tell me (or direct me to a source) where the reason for Charles Lechmere/Cross being ruled out as a suspect, then and now?

    He was found (by Paul) bending over the (allegedly) still warm body of Nichols - no one else was ever found in this position viz a viz a Ripper victim! He gave a false name to police (which seems to have been a unique circumstance). His route to work could have taken him directly along Hanbury St, past No 29 where Chapman was killed a week later.

    I have never seen any alibi or reasoning as to why he is not considered a suspect?

    If he has been exhonerated because he has been looked at in connection only with the "canonical five", how would he stack up if (say) only Nichols, Chapman and Eddowes were involved?

    Again I'd be grateful for any light others can shed on this, and also for views.

    Thanks

    Phil

  • #2
    answers

    Hello Phil. Regarding #1, I think you are correct to identify "The Times" article of September 4 as the most likely source for the claim.

    Regarding #2, you might have a go at this.

    http://www.casebook.org/dissertation...html#highlight

    Cheers.
    LC

    Comment


    • #3
      [QUOTE=Phil H;175824]
      One possible source of the confusion may be the testimony of Holland (called Jane Oram by The Times - Sourcebook p42) which says that "Holland" was told by Nichols that "she was living where men and women were allowed to sleep" [which is past tense not indicative of an intention later] but added that she should come back and live with witness. Witness believed deceased stated she had been living in Flowery Dean-street[sic]."

      Hi Phil H,
      I've probably got the wrong end of the stick, but to my mind 'she was living where men and women were allowed to sleep' actually is meant in the present tense. I'm an expat and have had to learn Swedish but I'm sure that when I was young and living in Chatham, Kent (one of the Medway towns where many Eastenders came to live and work in the Dockyard in the 19th century) we would have said the same when telling someone else where another person had said she was living. 'Cath said she was living where men and women were allowed to sleep' - Cath herself had said 'I'm living where men and women are allowed to sleep'.

      My memory might be failing me and having two languages in one's head on a daily basis does lead to confusion at times, but I thought I'd mention it 'just in case'.

      Love
      Carol

      Comment


      • #4
        Lynn

        Thanks very much for the link.

        I had read that dissertation and have it on file, though I have not looked at it in a while.

        It may have been that which started my mind playing with ideas - in which case I owe MICHAEL CONNOR an acknowledgement. here it is, sincerely and with apologies.

        But essentially that article states in detail the ideas that have been nagging at me. What I have not seen is any refutation of that idea.

        If there is not one - I am sure I have seen him dismissed somewhere, but long ago - I find it strange that there is so little interest in a man who was found standing over a newly assaulted woman, and who then gave a false name! Surely he must be a prime suspect unless there is clear evidence to dismiss him in any/all of the other cases.

        Thanks again,

        Phil

        Comment


        • #5
          missus est

          Hello Phil. If I had to venture a guess about why Cross/Lechmere were dismissed, I should think it some combination of the following.

          1. Not finding a murder weapon.

          (Of course, it is not impossible that he could have concealed such.)

          2. Lack of blood stains.

          (Of course, it is barely possible that she could have been killed without a single drop being on the assailant. I suppose it also possible that the constables neglected to search him, or search him thoroughly.)

          Cheers.
          LC

          Comment


          • #6
            Yes..

            But if he did have some blood on him - not necessarily so much - it could be explained easily enough by him in those circumstances, couldn't it?

            As for his supplying the police with a false name; was he the only one? I think there are other possible instances - and other witnesses appear to have supplied the police with other false information - Mary Ann Connelly, for example, who seems to have lied about her address, and possibly her age (so who knows what else?)

            Possibly the reason for these falsehoods is that those involved didn't want to be involved. Perhaps they had something to hide, maybe - but it needn't have had anything to do with murder.

            I'm just playing Devil's Advocate, really. I think this is an interesting idea - I look forward to seeing how this thread develops.

            Comment


            • #7
              Lynn and others,

              I'm going to play a sort of Devil's advocate role now - in that I'm going to argue something of which I am not convinced for argument's sake:

              Is it possible that the solution to this whole case has been staring us in the face since 1888?

              A man is found standing over a murdered woman, who's body is still warm.

              It is still dark enough that the body can apparently believeably be mistaken for a tarpaulin.

              No one else is seen leaving the scene, yet the body is said to be "still warm".

              There is no mention of Lechmere/Cross being searched or interrogated. No mention of him being asked if he was carrying a weapon. If there were any bloodstains, a dark jacket or coat might hide them at that stage of the morning - there is no mention of the police having looked too intently.

              The next murder is on his same possible route to work, at about the right time of day (I increasingly tend to put the timing of Chapman's murder when it was still dark).

              Eddowes was also killed not far off his usual haunts as a driver in Broad St.

              This is so obvious a circumstantial case as I have seen in studying JtR. If we leave out Stride and MJK (both of which I - and I think others - now question as JtR killings) we have a man known to be about at the right time of day in two instances.

              Maybe I am missing something important here - but I see no evidence from the surviving files that he was ever questioned as a suspect, investigated or cleared.

              If today we spend columns of these boards considering Hutchinson as a possible "Jack" then why isn't Cross/Lechmere also being discussed/debated in the same way?

              Just a thought - but see my caveat at the top of this post.

              Phil

              Comment


              • #8
                going to work

                Hello Phil. I can see no a priori reason to rule him out as a slayer. A caveat, however:

                "we have a man known to be about at the right time of day in two instances."

                But do we REALLY know that he went to work on the day Chapman was killed? If yes, do we know he took his usual route?

                Cheers.
                LC

                Comment


                • #9
                  ... do we REALLY know that he went to work on the day Chapman was killed? If yes, do we know he took his usual route?

                  At this remove in time, could we ever discover such a thing? Could we of Joe Barnett, whom we know the police interviewed.

                  I don't think Lechmere/Cross is ever likely to be "provable" as a suspect.

                  My question is really why such a man has never been considered except on a handful of occasions (the dissertation etc), when the circumstantial "facts" present an amazing picture!

                  Phil

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hi Phil,

                    So let me get this straight.

                    Cross kills Nichols.

                    Cross then hears Paul approaching and hides in the shadows.

                    Cross then calls Paul over to the body.

                    Cross states to Paul he believes the woman to be dead, he himself.

                    Paul states he detects life.

                    They both go and notify a Policeman together.


                    Do you see where I'm going?

                    Monty
                    Monty

                    https://forum.casebook.org/core/imag...t/evilgrin.gif

                    Author of Capturing Jack the Ripper.

                    http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/1445621622

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hi Monty

                      Trust your having a good weekend.

                      As you know I dont think Cross/Lechmere the ripper...however

                      One thing has always puzzled me about his evidence....

                      He didnt see any blood or notice the slit throat?

                      It was to dark he thought her a tarp?

                      Yet Poly's body was almost directly opposite a street light/Lap?

                      Just doesn't add up for me.

                      Yours Pirate

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Those pesky Whitechapel Board of Work lamps Jeff.

                        Monty
                        Monty

                        https://forum.casebook.org/core/imag...t/evilgrin.gif

                        Author of Capturing Jack the Ripper.

                        http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/1445621622

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Monty View Post
                          Those pesky Whitechapel Board of Work lamps Jeff.

                          Monty
                          Only way to find out is a walk up river in the dark to the pub...(next time your in Kent)

                          if we fall in and drown it means our eyes cant adapt....

                          if we come home drunk...who cares

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Do you see where I'm going?

                            No Monty I don't - please speak plainly.

                            Phil

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              time and place

                              Hello Phil.

                              "At this remove in time, could we ever discover such a thing?"

                              I think it unlikely. So perhaps one can say of Cross, he was in the area where one killing occurred and at the right time. And, perhaps, he was in a second.

                              Cheers.
                              LC

                              Comment

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