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  • Violenia's identification

    Emanuel Delbast Violenia claimed to have seen a man in Hanbury Street arguing with a woman and threatening her with a knife, shortly before Chapman was murdered. At Leman St police station, he confidently picked out John Piser from a line-up.
    But his story was subsequently discredited, apparently not holding up to cross examination, or possibly he failed to identify the body of Chapman as the woman he saw.

    If his story was untrue, how was he able to so confidently identify Piser?

    Lucky guess? Did he have a grudge against him? Was he tipped the wink by Thick?

    Pall Mall Gazette 12 Sept;
    "The latest reports as to the search for the murderer are not of a hopeful character. A half-Spaniard and half-Bulgarian, who gave the name of Emanuel Delbast Violenia, waited on the police yesterday. He stated that he, his wife, and two children tramped from Manchester to London with the view of being able to emigrate to Australia, and took up their abode in one of the lodging-houses in Hanbury-street. Early last Saturday morning, walking alone along Hanbury-street, he noticed a man and woman quarrelling in a very excited manner. Violenia distinctly heard the man threaten to kill the woman by sticking a knife into her. They passed on and Violenia went to his lodging. After the murder he communicated what he had seen to the police. At one o'clock yesterday afternoon Sergeant Thicke, assisted by Inspector Cansby, placed about a dozen men, the greater portion of whom were Jews, in the yard of the Leman-street police-station. Pizer was then brought out and allowed to place himself among the assembled men. He is a man of short stature, with black whiskers and shaven chin. Violenia was then brought into the yard. Having keenly scrutinized all the faces before him, he went up to Pizer and identified him as the man whom he heard threaten a woman on the night of the murder. Subsequently, cross-examination so discredited Violenia's evidence that it was wholly distrusted by the police, and Pizer was set at liberty."


    Star 11 Sept
    "Just before one o'clock this afternoon 11 men passing by Leman-street Police-station were asked and consented to go into the station-yard for a few minutes. Piser was brought out, and put amongst them. A middle-aged man, with a face of negro cast, but not black, was then asked whether he could "identify the man," and unhesitatingly he picked out Piser.
    "What," said Piser, "you know me?"
    But an inspector raised a warning hand, and without anything else being said the men dispersed and Piser was led back to his room."

    Times 12 Sept
    "A half-Spaniard and half-Bulgarian, who gave the name of Emanuel Delbast Violenia, waited on the police with respect to this inquiry. He stated that he, his wife, and two children tramped from Manchester to London with the view of being able to emigrate to Australia, and took up their abode in one of the lodging-houses in Hanbury-street. Early last Saturday morning, walking alone along Hanbury-street, he noticed a man and woman quarrelling in a very excited manner. Violenia distinctly heard the man threaten to kill the woman by sticking a knife into her. They passed on, and Violenia went to his lodging. After the murder he communicated what he had seen to the police. At 1 o'clock yesterday afternoon Sergeant Thicke, assisted by Inspector Canaby, placed about a dozen men, the greater portion of whom were Jews, in the yard of the Leman-street Police-station. Pizer was then brought out and allowed to place himself where he thought proper among the assembled men. He is a man of short stature, with black whiskers and shaven chin. Violenia, who had been accommodated in one of the lower rooms of the station-house, was then brought up into the yard. Having keenly scrutinized all the faces before him, he at once, without any hesitation or doubt whatever, went up to Pizer and identified him as the man whom he heard threaten a woman on the night of the murder. Pizer, who has not been allowed to have communication with any of his friends, was then taken back to the station-house. It was then decided, with the approval of Detective-Inspector Abberline, that Violenia should be taken to the Whitechapel mortuary to see whether he could identify the deceased woman as the one he had seen in Pizer's company early on Saturday morning. The result is not announced, but it is believed that he was unable to identify her. Subsequently, cross-examination so discredited Violenia's evidence that it was wholly distrusted by the police, and Pizer was set at liberty."

  • #2
    Hi Joshua,

    I was just reading back to refresh my memory as to the details surrounding Pizer. It’s the order of events that I’m unclear about.

    Local prostitutes tell the police about a man called ‘Leather Apron’ threatening them.

    Thick says that he’s certain that Leather Apron is Pizer.

    The story gets out and The Star mentions Leather Apron on 5th September which tips off Pizer to go into hiding.

    On the 10th September Thick arrests Pizer in Mulberry Street.

    Pizer provides cast iron alibi’s and is released.


    So does this mean that the police were already looking for Pizer (after he was named by Thick) and had taken him in for questioning when Violenia conveniently arrives on the scene with his story about a man attacking a woman in Hanbury Street? He then identifies Pizer, who they just happen to have in custody, but is discredited (I assume due to Pizer’s alibi’s?)

    Have I got this wrong?
    Regards

    Herlock






    "Crime is common. Logic is rare. Therefore it is upon the logic rather than upon the crime that you should dwell.”

    Comment


    • #3
      Pizer was first suspected for the Nichols murder.
      I can't find any sketches of Pizer in the papers for August or first week of Sept.
      So, if Violenia didn't know what Pizer looked like, the reason he was able to pick Pizer out of the lineup must lie elsewhere.
      Regards, Jon S.

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi Herlock,

        Pizer did not go into hiding.

        Sunset on Thursday 6th September 1888 marked the start of Rosh Hashanah, Jewish New Year. Prayers and festive meals would continue in the Pizer household at 22 Mulberry Street until sunset on Saturday 8th September.

        Sergeant Thick arrested Pizer at this address on the morning of Monday 10th September.

        Regards,

        Simon
        Never believe anything until it has been officially denied.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Wickerman View Post
          Pizer was first suspected for the Nichols murder.
          I can't find any sketches of Pizer in the papers for August or first week of Sept.
          So, if Violenia didn't know what Pizer looked like, the reason he was able to pick Pizer out of the lineup must lie elsewhere.
          Good point, although it was Leather Apron that was suspected rather than Piser, but only by the public and press, not the police.
          There is a sketch from the Star which is labelled Piser, but I think is actually of Piggott. At any rate, Piser himself said
          "The Star has published a portrait intended to represent me, but it has no more resemblance to me than it has to the man in the moon."

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post
            Hi Joshua,

            I was just reading back to refresh my memory as to the details surrounding Pizer. It’s the order of events that I’m unclear about.

            Local prostitutes tell the police about a man called ‘Leather Apron’ threatening them.

            Thick says that he’s certain that Leather Apron is Pizer.

            The story gets out and The Star mentions Leather Apron on 5th September which tips off Pizer to go into hiding.

            On the 10th September Thick arrests Pizer in Mulberry Street.

            Pizer provides cast iron alibi’s and is released.


            So does this mean that the police were already looking for Pizer (after he was named by Thick) and had taken him in for questioning when Violenia conveniently arrives on the scene with his story about a man attacking a woman in Hanbury Street? He then identifies Pizer, who they just happen to have in custody, but is discredited (I assume due to Pizer’s alibi’s?)

            Have I got this wrong?
            More or less ok, I think. I'm not sure when the police started to search for Leather Apron, the press only say that women gossiped and told reporters about him until the 6th, when the Star reported that a woman pointed him out to two PCs but they let him go. After that the police started searching lodging houses for him, possibly out of embarrassment or just to eliminate him. When Thick arrested Piser, he said he'd been looking for him for several days but only heard that morning where to find him.

            ​​​

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Simon Wood View Post
              Pizer did not go into hiding.

              Sunset on Thursday 6th September 1888 marked the start of Rosh Hashanah, Jewish New Year. Prayers and festive meals would continue in the Pizer household at 22 Mulberry Street until sunset on Saturday 8th September.

              Sergeant Thick arrested Pizer at this address on the morning of Monday 10th September.
              He may or may not have gone into hiding intentionally with his family, but when asked by the coroner why he didn't go out he didn't say he was celebrating the holiday;

              Morning Advertiser 13 Sept
              "[Piser] I had never left the house from the time I entered it until I was apprehended.

              Why did you remain indoors ? -Because my brother advised me to do so.

              You were the subject of suspicion, were you not? -I was the object of a false suspicion.

              The Coroner. -You stayed in at the advice of your friends. That was not the best advice that could be given you.

              Piser. -I will tell the reason why -I should have been torn to pieces."

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi Joshua,

                Torn to pieces by whom? A howling mob of people who knew him to be Leather Apron?

                This idea doesn’t fly. Everyone who knew John Pizer denied that he was Leather Apron or had ever been known by that name.

                A Press Association report in Freeman’s Journal and Daily Commercial Advertiser, 13th September 1888, quoted Pizer as saying—

                "He [Sergeant Thick] said, You know you are ‘Leather Apron,’ or words to that effect. Up to that moment I did not know I was called by that name.”

                “Is John Pizer the much-talked-of ‘Leather Apron’? asked the Star. John Pizer, John Pizer’'s step-mother, step-brother, step-sister and neighbors all say ‘No’."

                Regards,

                Simon
                Last edited by Simon Wood; 04-16-2019, 03:49 AM.
                Never believe anything until it has been officially denied.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Simon Wood View Post
                  Torn to pieces by whom? A howling mob of people who knew him to be Leather Apron?
                  Not knew, necessarily, they only needed to suspect he was. Just look at the number of people in the aftermath of the murders who were arrested by the police to stop them being attacked by a howling mob, simply because they were acting strangely, or looked a bit odd. How much angrier would the mob be if they looked jewish and wore a leather apron?

                  This idea doesn’t fly. Everyone who knew John Pizer denied that he was Leather Apron or had ever been known by that name.

                  A Press Association report in Freeman’s Journal and Daily Commercial Advertiser, 13th September 1888, quoted Pizer as saying—

                  "He [Sergeant Thick] said, You know you are ‘Leather Apron,’ or words to that effect. Up to that moment I did not know I was called by that name.”
                  Yes, as he goes on to say "​​​​​​None of my neighbours have ever called me by it."
                  Which is fair enough, why would they? They knew his name. So he might not actually have known.
                  Yet he may have suspected. He admits he had been accused on the street of being the Buck's Row murderer. He admits he wore a leather apron for work. And if he read the papers that week he could hardly have failed to notice that this Leather Apron character was being accused of being the murderer. It shows a singular lack of imagination not to connect the dots.

                  “Is John Pizer the much-talked-of ‘Leather Apron’? asked the Star. John Pizer, John Pizer’'s step-mother, step-brother, step-sister and neighbors all say ‘No’."
                  Hmmm....it is a remarkable fact that people of that class in the East End will not give up one of their number to Gentile justice.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hi Joshua,

                    Do you believe that John Pizer was the 'Leather Apron' who allegedly exercised a sway over East End unfortunates who ply their trade after 12 o'clock at night that is based on universal terror. He has kicked, injured, bruised, and terrified a hundred of them who are ready to testify to the outrages [paraphrased from Lloyds Weekly London Newspaper, 9th September 1888]?

                    Mentor didn't think much of SRA's assertion that Jews were unwilling to give up one of their number to Gentile justice.

                    Regards,

                    Simon
                    Never believe anything until it has been officially denied.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Maybe they investigated the wrong man, Simon.

                      Within a year, Violena is in an Oxford prison, convicted of indecent assault.


                      Click image for larger version

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                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hi RJ,

                        A good thought, but it appears that only a Jew fitted the bill when it came to Leather Apron.

                        "His [Leather Apron's] name nobody knows, but all are united in the belief that he is a Jew, or of Jewish parentage, his face being of a marked Hebrew type. His hair is black, his age being about 38 or 40" [LWLN, 9th September 1888].

                        By contrast, Emanuel Delbast Violena had a most distinctive appearance. The 63-year old immigrant was described as a “middle-aged man, with a face of negro cast, but not black.” He was also described as “half-Spaniard and half-Bulgarian.

                        It must have been quite a night.

                        I lä maika'i iä 'oe,

                        Simon
                        Last edited by Simon Wood; 04-16-2019, 06:06 PM.
                        Never believe anything until it has been officially denied.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Here's the court case. Violina seems to have had a thing for little girls, along with burglary, and falsely accusing the local Jewish chaps. Nice guy. He had recently landed in Hanbury Street and was supposedly on his way to Australia. What happened to the land down under? And why exactly is this guy a worse suspect than Hutchinson? Everything Hutch supposedly did, this guy actually did do! Cheers.

                          Oxfordshire Weekly News, 3 July, 1889.

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                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hi RJ,

                            Australia?

                            Oh boy! This guy was truly lost.

                            I don't recall Hutchinson being guilty of odious assaults upon young girls.

                            Regards,

                            Simon
                            Never believe anything until it has been officially denied.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Simon Wood View Post

                              I don't recall Hutchinson being guilty of odious assaults upon young girls.
                              It was boys, actually. A long story, written up by a guy named Stephen Senise and discussed on the "Hutchinson" threads. George supposedly falsely implicated Jews in the WC Murders, killed the women himself, and then headed down to Oz, where he molested a couple of school-boys. Conjecture, obviously, but Violina, by contrast, seems to have been the "real deal."

                              Comment

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