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The Second Sighting of Mathew Packer

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  • The Second Sighting of Mathew Packer

    I was reading Steve Jones book "The Illustrated Police News" recently and found a series of pictures from the period with a small caption stating

    "The Whitechapel Monster Heard of Again!"

    "Packer again see's the man who bought the grapes"


    Does anyone have any ideas about this alleged second sighting as Jones makes no mention of this second sighting?

    I can post the picture of the newspaper's illustrations for those wishing to see the article in it's full context.
    Regards Mike

  • #2
    Hi Mike,
    I think it might relate to this story

    Mr Matthew Packer, who keeps a fruit shop near the gateway where the Berner Street murder was committed, stated on Wednesday that he felt just then greatly alarmed owing to his having seen a man exactly like the one who bought some grapes from him for the murdered woman Stride, a short time before the murder was committed. He alleges that he had often seen the man before the murder, as well as the woman; but he had not seen anyone resembling the man since the murder ___ Saturday night. He was then standing with his fruit stall in the Commercial Road when he observed the man staring him full in the face. After passing and repassing him several times, the man got into the roadway and looked at him in a menacing manner. Packer was so terrified that he left his stall and asked a shoeblack, who was near, to keep his eye on the man. His fear was that the fellow was going to stab him. No sooner, however, had he called the shoeblack's attention to the man than the latter ran away and jumped onto a passing tramcar.
    The Illustrated Police News etc (London, England), Saturday, November 10, 1888


    There's also another interesting incident relating to Packer, reported at the time of the Pinchin Street torso in 1889. Packer claimed to have been attacked on his doorstep by someone mentioning the ripper, he supposedly spent 3 weeks in The London Hospital after the assault. I wonder if anyone has ever verified this story or found Packer in the hospital records at this time.
    ,,`,, Debs ,,`,,

    I am not DJA. He's called Dave.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks Debs,

      It's all very interesting,

      If the report states that Packer saw the man on the Saturday night, would this be the Saturday before the Saturday of the 10th when the Illustrated Police News was published?
      Regards Mike

      Comment


      • #4
        I think that would be right Mike.
        This report appeared in the IPN of the 10th, Packer made the statement on the previous Weds (7th), recounting events of Saturday the 3rd?!
        I couldn't read the word that came before saturday night unfortunately.
        ,,`,, Debs ,,`,,

        I am not DJA. He's called Dave.

        Comment


        • #5
          No problems, I get the gist of the article, just looking at the dates. The hospital visit is interesting too.
          Regards Mike

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi,
            Ive been having a chat with a poster on "Rootschat",he's the GGGgrandson of Matthew Packer and Ann Purdy,(they didn't marry)Their 2 children were Benjamin and Elizabeth,he's the direct descendant of Benjamin....

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by gracie View Post
              Hi,
              Ive been having a chat with a poster on "Rootschat",he's the GGGgrandson of Matthew Packer and Ann Purdy,(they didn't marry)Their 2 children were Benjamin and Elizabeth,he's the direct descendant of Benjamin....
              Hi Gracie,

              Welcome to the boards by the way. Thats an interesting acquaintance to be chatting with....have you been able to ascertain whether any legacy stories are still remembered by the family?

              Best regards

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi Gracie and welcome by the way!-

                You said GGGgrandson. .......My hubby's (born in 1947) great grandmother was born in 1876- The Year of Custer's last stand (There's a great story there!) ....but didn't become a grandmother until 1924..and a great grandmother the year hubby was born!.

                I heard on Radio 2 (must be true!) the other day that the average age for a grandmother today is 42, so Great Grandmother would have been 48 when she became one! (Not a great deal of difference there given the time scale)

                Her father was probably born in the 1840/50's and his father just into the 18th Century...The GGG bit puts her around 1810/20 ish I reckon.

                Of course this could even go back as far as 1790 and 1800 ish bearing in mind no reliable contraception and frequent infant mortality!
                Large families and people died earlier of course!

                Cheers
                Suzi x

                Interesting stuff there re Packer though.
                Last edited by Suzi; 03-13-2009, 08:25 PM.
                'Would you like to see my African curiosities?'

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hi Mike
                  This may refer to a strange story that Packer came up with. His initial story, of course, was of the selling of the grapes to Stride and a man. Later Packer came up with a detailed story of being visited by a group of men who claimed that the Ripper was the cousin of one of them who was wont to use the phrase "Dear Boss."
                  There was also the story that packer was at some point beaten up and, I think, hospitalised but I don't remember the date of that
                  Chris

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks guys, I was transcribing newspaper reports this week and spotted the Second Alleged Packer sighting, which all seem's a little strange.
                    Regards Mike

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Chris Scott View Post
                      Hi Mike
                      This may refer to a strange story that Packer came up with. His initial story, of course, was of the selling of the grapes to Stride and a man. Later Packer came up with a detailed story of being visited by a group of men who claimed that the Ripper was the cousin of one of them who was wont to use the phrase "Dear Boss."
                      There was also the story that packer was at some point beaten up and, I think, hospitalised but I don't remember the date of that
                      Chris
                      Thanks for that Chris. If I recall correctly, the second sighting was later that week after the police went to "re-interview" him, after the press reporting of his accounts and their alleged lack of interest in his story...when money was now on the table funnily enough.

                      Im curious to the answer Suzi might get on her math analysis....

                      Cheers Chris

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Ha! Michael! was typing quickly as hubby was rattling away!

                        Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
                        'Would you like to see my African curiosities?'

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          13th November 1888 Hull and Lincolnshire Times
                          THE WHITECHAPEL MURDERS
                          THE ASSASSIN SEEN IN LONDON

                          The Press Association says a that fresh interest has been aroused in Whitechapel in reference to the recent murders by the statement of Matthew Packers, who keeps a fruit stall near the scene of the Berner-street murder, and from whom the murderer is believed to have bought some grapes for the unfortunate woman, Elizabeth Stride, shortly before the murder. He says that he saw the man last Saturday night standing near his fruit stall and looking at him in a menacing manner. Packer states that being alarmed, he asked a shoeblack standing near to watch the man, who, however, then ran off and jumped on a passing tramcar, and Packer could not leave his stall to follow him. There have been renewed complaints to the police recently from woman who have been accosted by a man resembling the description of the assassin.
                          Regards Mike

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I thought that MP sold his grapes from the front window of his house in Berner Street- where did this stall come from?....did he have a stall at other times that he 'couldn't leave' ?
                            'Would you like to see my African curiosities?'

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              His wife would run the business from his house while he'd be out with a stall in the markets.

                              Yours truly,

                              Tom Wescott

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