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Caroline Maxwell Alibi ?

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  • Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post
    As carried by most newspapers, the relevant part of Prater's inquest testimony boils down to just one snippet, namely "the room above". Now, "the" ("thuh") is often a mishearing of "a" ("uh"), and indeed some newspapers have her referring to "a room above", which demonstrates that there is ambiguity even among the sources that we have. Many reports stating that she occupied "a room above the deceased" in any case, which would be congruent with her having lived at the front of the property.

    The Telegraph gives us more than one snippet of info, in that it preserves specific information that places Prater "at the front" and "above the shed" of 26 Dorset Street. These are not the kind of thing a person mishears or makes up - on the contrary, they are quite unambiguous and, in terms of the "shed", quite unique to 26 Dorset Street. Where did the Telegraph get this information from, if not from Prater herself?

    As to "at the front", we have corroborative evidence outside the Telegraph, in that a number of reports have her saying that she didn't pay attention to the cry of "Murder!" because such cries "are often heard at the rear of the lodging-house where the windows look into Miller's Court".

    The lodging-house she mentions can't be Crossingham's on the opposite side of Dorset Street because (a) it wasn't the rear of Crossingham's that faced Miller's Court, but the front; and (b) even if that weren't the case, the windows couldn't have looked into Miller's Court unless Crossingham's was a sky-scraper.

    The lodging-house she mentions can't be AN Other establishment towering behind Miller's Court, its windows looming over it, as there was no such building at the rear.

    Therefore, the lodging-house Prater referred to, in multiple sources, had to be 26 Dorset Street itself, and the windows that "looked into Miller's Court" were those at the back of 26 Dorset Street, including Kelly's and whoever it was rented the room above her. The latter wasn't Prater because, as we've seen, she occupied the "front room over the shed". Anyone living in the room above Kelly would have referred to the cry of "Murder!" as being "in the Court" - not, as Prater puts it, "at the rear of the lodging-house"; similarly, a person living in one of the back rooms would have referred to the cry of "Murder!" as being "outside my window" - not, as Prater put it, "where the windows look into Miller's Court".

    When describing the screams, her language is clearly that of someone who lived at some remove from the source of the sound, not someone who was directly over it. And, thanks to the Daily Telegraph, her very words placed her at the front of the property, explicitly and unambiguously so.
    You're cherry picking certain news reports and glossing them into 'your' truth there I'm afraid.

    Did you hear beds or tables being pulled about ? - None whatever. I went asleep, and was awake again at five a.m. I passed down the stairs, and saw some men harnessing horses. At a quarter to six I was in the Ten Bells

    Why on earth would she be asked about tables and chairs being moved around unless she was directly over or next to Kelly ..... and we know she wasn't next to her.

    "Oh - murder!" in a faint voice. It seemed to proceed from the court

    From the front of the house she would not know if a sound came from the court at all .
    If it came from Kelly's room she may have known , and been able to determine a sound coming from the direction of the stairway but no , she said it came from the court , not Kelly's room .

    You heard no singing downstairs ? - None whatever. I should have heard the singing distinctly. It was quite quiet at half-past one o'clock.

    Even the downstairs there suggests Kelly's room .... not singing coming from the warehouse .
    Which is where you believe her "downstairs" was .

    I will repeat from said report ....... again

    It is supposed that she met the murderer in Commercial-street. The pair would have reached Miller's-court about midnight, but they were not seen to enter the house. The street-door was closed, but the woman had a latchkey.

    Do you believe that to be entirely accurate ?
    Just requires a yes or no answer really
    You can lead a horse to water.....


    • Originally posted by Wickerman View Post
      True, they could have been standing anywhere down the side of the Britannia pub, it's just the doorway is at the corner so I guess I assumed that would be where they were standing.
      Maxwell does say "I saw them in the distance".
      The distance given (16 yds or 25 yds) was in the context of from "her door" (14 Dorset St.) to somewhere outside the Britannia (I thought, on the corner).
      Oddly enough 16 yds just reaches Millers Court passage from the doorway of No.14.
      The 25 yds does not even reach the Britannia building, it falls about 30 ft short of the nearest corner of the Britannia.
      Abberline was way out, unless the context is all wrong.

      I double checked the distance from the court passage to the corner of the Britannia. It is about 120 ft +/-, the scale on the Goads map is not the most accurate.
      Good stuff. Perhaps if Abberline had a third guess he'd have been on the money. Unless of course he knew something we don't, ie where everyone was standing.

      I also noticed the address given by Maxwell, "14 Dorset St." is not actually opposite the passage, but one unit west, so even farther away from the Britannia.
      Good point. It's always bothered me that she worked at no.15 Dorset St but didn't sleep there. That's like a publican not drinking his own ale. But now I think about it, I seem to recall that Commercial Chambers (no.15) was for men only so that could explain it.

      Considering they were practically neighbors, Maxwell does say she had not seen "Kelly" (if that is who it was), for three weeks prior to this Friday morning.
      Yes, but not all that surprising if they'd only spoken on two previous occasions. Mary was apparrently a late riser, and I suspect Maxwell was generally asleep by the time she got up


      • It's looks like the Press Reports search is all screwed up.
        Regards, Jon S.