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Was John Richardson A Reliable Witness?

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  • #61
    Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post

    Believe it or not Fish I wasn’t having a dig. You said this:



    and that if we had this alternative in th poll it would get a lot of votes. I was simply pointed out that this option is in fact available. The third option is ‘unsure.’
    I didnīt think you were having a dig - I just donīt like how there seemingly can be no productive exchange between the two of us.

    Comment


    • #62
      Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post

      Id never claim that a poll gives us a conclusive solution to a debated issue.
      Great. Agreed.

      Comment


      • #63
        Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post

        I think even the shoe cutting remains consistent. Once he provides more details about what he did at 4:50, that brings in his describing he sat on the stairs and what he did there at that time.

        Thatīs very forgiving of you. He actually said that he sat on the stairs and cut the leather from his boot, and once he was done with the cutting he laced up his boots and went out of the backyard. Helping Richardson along by claiming that this is the same story as "I trieds to cut the leather, but could not do so, so I had to get to the market and borrrow a sharp knife" is way too rich to my taste. They are two materially different stories.

        It would be strange to go on and start describing more details about what he did later in another unrelated place with regards to trying to sort out an uncomfortable boot when the topic is a mutlation murder in the back yard of his mother's property.

        It would be easiest to just say what happened regardless of the topic of the inquest. It is not as if "more details" added would alter the fact that he told a different story thatn the truth.

        That detail comes out only in response to the commet that the knife he brought was pretty dull, etc.

        I am sorry, but I just donīt buy it. We cannot help out to any degree to make things fit. Baxter was in that business, we should avoid it.

        That line of the conversation is a digression from the main topic of the murder, but those digressions give a more complete picture of what his activities were and would provide something for the investigators to check and verify or not. If they were not verified, then that would arouse suspicion in him, and he might end up being looked at differently by the police as a result. He wasn't, but whether that's because the details were not investigated or because they checked out we don't know because it's not in the recorded evidence we have. I agree that it's probable they followed it up based upon how they followed up other such things, but that doesn't change the fact we don't have a record of it.

        There are many things that remain unrecorded but accepted as fact. And for good reasons.

        And I think the police did believe him, certainly the coroner's summing up emphasized the testimony of the withnesses (including Richardson) over the conflicting, and caveated, estimate given by Dr. Phillips.

        The Star was of a different meaning on the 13:th: "Considerable doubt is being thrown on the evidence of John Richardson, who stated that he was almost on the exact spot where the body was found at a quarter to five on Saturday morning, and no signs of the murder were then apparent. It is now beginning to be believed that the woman was brought to the backyard in Hanbury-street some time earlier."
        As I said, Baxter also dabbled in the "letīs help the witnesses along"-business. But we can disagree over this until we are bue in the face.


        But the police are also obliged to follow up all possibilities, and so have to investigate based upon both possibilities, even if they think one more likely than the other.

        Or the other more likely than the one.

        Otherwise, it's a badly done investigation and I think the police did the best they could and went to great efforts to follow up as much as possible. that doesn't mean something might have been overlooked, of course, which happens all the time because there are so many lines to follow. Cold cases are often solved, in part, because a fresh set of eyes sees a line of inquiry that wasn't followed to completion and as a result something new gets uncovered.

        Ooops. We ... agree...?

        I really don't think the police believed he could have missed the body if he sat on the steps as he said.

        I really do think they did.

        But as I mentioned above, they are obliged to consider the estimate given by Phillips, even if they think Phillip's own caution (mentioning it was cool, and blood loss resulting in faster cooling, etc), makes his estimate the less reliable one. Considering something because they are obliged to doesn't mean they considered it likely.

        That was Baxters take on things. There was no such caveat allowing for a TOD at 5.30. Nowhere near it, in fact. But that has been done to death and needs no repeating.

        As for them not asking if he looked behind the door, I suppose it depends upon how literal one takes the "Did you look behind the door" as a question.

        Indeed. They may have asked him, quite simply, his exact position/s in the yard and extrapolated from that. But The overall aim must have been to establish which areas of the yeard he will and will not have seen.

        If Richardson, in his description of what he saw, included a statement "I could see the whole yard and there was no body there", he effectively answers the question without it being asked.

        No, he does not. Because he could NOT see the whole yard, and the police knew that - the door must have obscured something, regardles of the size of that area. So there was never any question of Richardsom having seen every inch. The expression "I can see all of Prague from this mountain" is a generalistic one, it does not mean that we can see every street, every windowsill etc.

        I agree, though, that they would have wanted to find out how sure he was that the body wasn't there, and Richardson states it very emphatically that Annie wasn't there at the time he was.

        Just like many people are certain - and wrong - in other cases. It is one thing to say "I saw her!" becasue that cannot be questioned. Saying "She was not there" is another matter, because it is a "negative" observation.

        What we have is Richardson's testimony that he was sure there was no body there at 4:50.

        And Phillips assertion that she was dead at that stage. If you want to go there again?

        And the descriptions of what he did during his visit unfold in a way that does not look suspicious.

        To you. There are many details that do not seem kosher to me. So we disagree.

        More details come out about things he did that are less and less directly related to the main topic (the murder) and are more incidental, and normal, activities of a day to day nature. And from what he describes, there is no reason to believe he simply missed seeing a body beside him. Either one has to reject his testimony by arguing he's made it all up, for which there is no evidence, or argue that he was way out on the time (again, no evidence for that), or that Annie was murdered before 4;50 am.

        - Jeff
        There is a door. There is a medico. There is the normal timing of the killer. There is the wish on many peoples behalf to get a little limelight. There is the darkness that prevailed. There is the fact that Richardsons attention should have been to his right and not his left. Thoise are ample reasons to believe he was wrong. And yes, arguing that Annie was murdered before 4.50 is the logical thing to do, as far as Iīm concerned. It has great and logical support in Phillips.

        Can we do the next exchange a bit shorter?

        Comment


        • #64
          Originally posted by John G View Post

          Of course, Herlock, it's also been argued that Nichols was also murdered at a time when people were going to work. And her body was discovered on a pavement, therefore in a public area, i.e. not a location where her assailant would have any privacy.
          We dont know the time Nichols was murdered !

          www.trevormarriott.co.uk

          Comment


          • #65
            Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post

            You should read your own posts, Trev, as I was responding to your response to Herlock:



            Mrs Long seeing a man and woman standing and talking outside 29 Hanbury Streeet is very different from one man among many walking the streets of Whitechapel after the murder.
            But if we dont know the exact time of death, Mrs Longs statement is irrelevant, because if it were around 2am then no one would have seen the killer walking around as there was not likely to be many people still walking the streets in the area of Hanbury Street, and if it were 5am then there would be solo men walking around on their way to work, so what is your point ?

            www.trevormarriott.co.uk

            Comment


            • #66
              Originally posted by Fisherman View Post

              There is a door. There is a medico. There is the normal timing of the killer. There is the wish on many peoples behalf to get a little limelight. There is the darkness that prevailed. There is the fact that Richardsons attention should have been to his right and not his left. Thoise are ample reasons to believe he was wrong. And yes, arguing that Annie was murdered before 4.50 is the logical thing to do, as far as Iīm concerned. It has great and logical support in Phillips.

              Can we do the next exchange a bit shorter?
              The cutting of the boot leather isn't a big change in his story. He says he worked on his boot while sitting on the steps, then goes to work. He later indicates the knife was too blunt for the job, and he fixes it up. Nothing in that means he failed entirely to trim his boot, and as he went to work he realized the job was not complete and so fixes it more. It's hardly a material change in the story, which is a digression from the topic. If he went on to include all that, and then on to say how great his boots felt for the rest of the day, that would be strange. it was drawn out through questioning, which is what questioning is for.

              And no, no need to go into the debate around Phillip's ToD, just pointing out that in his testimony he does state that it is important to note that it was a cool morning and with the large amount of blood loss the body may have cooled more rapidly. Basically, he was pointing to all the important factors that have been argued to cast doubt upon the precision of his estimate. In short, he himself indicates caution. That being said, the police need to investigate based upon all the evidence they have, so of course they must entertain both the possibility that Phillips' concerns and warnings about the time are wrong and his time was right, or that his warnings are valid and his time should be viewed with respect to the rest of the evidence. Similarly, they need to evaluate whether or not eyewitnesses are justified in their confidence of what they report or not, and so forth. Just as we are all doing here. I see nothing overly remarkable in Richerdson's testimony to suggest his statements are inaccurate, you do, that's the nature of interpretation.

              As for the door obscuring things, the door is at the top of the steps, it cannot obscure the area below the steps, where the body would have been. Particularly if Richardson sat on teh 2nd step, with his feet on the flagstones, as he said he did. I see no way to reasonable assert that he could have missed it, and so the only way to conclude that is, I believe, to conclude he was deliberately lining. And without evidence that he was fabricating things, that strikes me as dismissing evidence "just because" rather than dismissing it because it is shown to be false.

              - jeff

              Comment


              • #67
                Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post

                The cutting of the boot leather isn't a big change in his story. He says he worked on his boot while sitting on the steps, then goes to work.

                No, he does not. That is a version offered by you to enable the versions to come together. But the truth of the matter is that he did not say that he "worked on his boot", he said he successfully cut leather from it, after which he laced the boot up and went to work!
                You are doing a Baxter here, looking for a phrasing that allows for us to accept that Richardson was not misinforming us. But he was, and there is no way around it.
                The whole issue at hand is to determine (as if it could be done!) whether Richardson was reliable or not, and the issue of the cut leather is extremely important in that context. Trying to defuse that by moving the goalposts out of the playing field will not do.

                As I have pointed out, a persons reliability cannot be gauged until there is something to gauge it by. A seller of commodities who has a net-shop can only be judged as reliable when the goods we buy turns up and looks like what we ordered. And in Richardsons case, there are zero points where a reliability is established by way of checking out if he delivers or not. But there IS a point where we can see that he did NOT deliver: he wrongfully claimed to have cut leather from his boot in the backyard, while the truth of the matter was that he did not do so.


                He later indicates the knife was too blunt for the job, and he fixes it up. Nothing in that means he failed entirely to trim his boot, and as he went to work he realized the job was not complete and so fixes it more. It's hardly a material change in the story, which is a digression from the topic. If he went on to include all that, and then on to say how great his boots felt for the rest of the day, that would be strange. it was drawn out through questioning, which is what questioning is for.

                Here is the exchange: I opened it and sat on the doorstep, and cut a piece of leather off my boot with an old table-knife, about five inches long. I kept the knife upstairs at John-street. I had been feeding a rabbit with a carrot that I had cut up, and I put the knife in my pocket. I do not usually carry it there. After cutting the leather off my boot I tied my boot up, and went out of the house into the market.
                This is a story telling us that he succesfully did the cutting he needed to do, while in fact he could not cut the leather at all with his knife. Ergo, he misinforms us. Lies, if you will. Once again, there is no way around it. It IS a material change in the story.


                And no, no need to go into the debate around Phillip's ToD, just pointing out that in his testimony he does state that it is important to note that it was a cool morning and with the large amount of blood loss the body may have cooled more rapidly. Basically, he was pointing to all the important factors that have been argued to cast doubt upon the precision of his estimate. In short, he himself indicates caution.

                And so you went into the debate about it anyway, didnīt you? Fine. Iīll join you.
                Bagster Phillips never allowed for a second less than two hours. That was his absolute minimum. He said so. AND he said that he really did not think that it was only two hours, he thought that it was probably MORE than two hours - BUT since the morning was cold and the damage large, he could see his way through to accepting as short a time as two hours only.

                Baxter then produced an abomination in consciously misinterpreting what Phillips said, but the police would not have it. Swanson said that if Phillips was right, then Long must be wrong. If Swanson thought that Phillips had said that the circumstances allowed for a TOD around 5.30, he would and could not have said what he did. No-doctor-will-in-the-same-sentence-say-that-an-absolute-minimum-of-time-is-two-hours-but-it-may-be-only-one-hour! If he thinks it can be one hour only, then THAT will be the minimum time given. Because then THAT would be the minimum time, whereas two hours would be TWICE the minimum time.
                What you need to ask yourself is this: When Phillips said "She had been dead for at least two hours..." - was he aware of the circumstances at that time? Had he had opportunity to weigh them into his verdict at that stage? Or did the surrounding circumstances and their potential influence only dawn upon him as he reached the "but it is fair to say that..." stadium? In the exact same sentence?

                It is a very clear and simple matter, but of course, siding with Baxter and throwing logic to the wind is what it takes before we can move Long and Cadosch into the equation, so guess what...?


                That being said, the police need to investigate based upon all the evidence they have, so of course they must entertain both the possibility that Phillips' concerns and warnings about the time are wrong and his time was right, or that his warnings are valid and his time should be viewed with respect to the rest of the evidence.

                No, that is not entirely true. If Phillips had said that he was willing to accept a TOD at 5.30, the police could feel reasonably certain that Chapman died around 5.30, given the witnesses. It would have narrowed their working field down significantly, although they would - as all forces do - say that they searched all avenues. Sadly, since Phillips knew that no body would look like Chapman after having been dead for an hour only, he did not offer any such possibility.

                Similarly, they need to evaluate whether or not eyewitnesses are justified in their confidence of what they report or not, and so forth.

                Yes, but with a go ahead from Phillips, the three witnesses would point to a corroboration. Itīs only when we realize what Phillips DID say (which was never what Baxter conjured up) that this "corroboration" takes on itīs true nature.

                Just as we are all doing here. I see nothing overly remarkable in Richerdson's testimony to suggest his statements are inaccurate, you do, that's the nature of interpretation.

                It IS inaccurate on the leather cutting business. But people will deny the facts if it suits them. That is another side of "interpretation".

                As for the door obscuring things, the door is at the top of the steps, it cannot obscure the area below the steps, where the body would have been.

                Patently false. Of course it can. A magazine held up to the side of a persons face could do that. It is the door AND the stairs that in combination will hide the body from a number of angles.

                Particularly if Richardson sat on teh 2nd step, with his feet on the flagstones, as he said he did. I see no way to reasonable assert that he could have missed it, and so the only way to conclude that is, I believe, to conclude he was deliberately lining. And without evidence that he was fabricating things, that strikes me as dismissing evidence "just because" rather than dismissing it because it is shown to be false.

                - jeff
                If you cannot see how it works, you simply have not checked it in detail. And not knowing what we speak about was never a good starting point for accusing others of dismissing evidence. Quite the contrary, in fact.
                Last edited by Fisherman; 10-22-2019, 05:52 AM.

                Comment


                • #68
                  Originally posted by Trevor Marriott View Post

                  We dont know the time Nichols was murdered !

                  www.trevormarriott.co.uk
                  I think Christer would disagree! But if Lechmere wasn't responsible then, at the very least, it must have been reasonably light at the time the body wss discovered because he claimed to have noticed it from the opposite side of the street ( and didn't Paul say that she might still have been breathing, or that her heart might have been beating faintly, when he examined the body?

                  In any event, we don't know the time that any of the victims were murdered, so I don't think that argument gets us very far.
                  Last edited by John G; 10-22-2019, 06:42 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    Originally posted by John G View Post

                    I think Christer would disagree! But if Lechmere wasn't responsible then, at the very least, it must have been reasonably light at the time the body wss discovered because he claimed to have noticed it from the opposite side of the street ( and didn't Paul say that she might still have been breathing, or that her heart might have been beating faintly, when he examined the body?

                    In any event, we don't know the time that any of the victims were murdered, so I don't think that argument gets us very far.
                    Its not about what time the body was discovered its what time the murder took place. I previously stated that there were no other murders that took place as late as Chapmans is alleged to have taken place, You quoted Nichols as being that late, that may not have been the case, and I personally dont think it was.

                    www.trevormarriott.co.uk

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      Originally posted by Trevor Marriott View Post

                      Its not about what time the body was discovered its what time the murder took place. I previously stated that there were no other murders that took place as late as Chapmans is alleged to have taken place, You quoted Nichols as being that late, that may not have been the case, and I personally dont think it was.

                      www.trevormarriott.co.uk
                      I believe Nichols may have been killed around 3:45 and Chapman sometime after 5:00am. However, regarding your argument that no victim was killed as late as Chapman: what about Kelly? According to pilar of the community Caroline Maxwell, she was still alive at 8:30, so much later than when Chapman must have been killed. ( I know this doesn't accord with ToD estimates at the time but we both know how unreliable they were).

                      And you could just as easily argue that no victim was killed as early as Stride, or if you reject Stride as Ripper victim, then Eddowes. Once again, I don't think the argument gets us very far.

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        Originally posted by John G View Post

                        I believe Nichols may have been killed around 3:45 and Chapman sometime after 5:00am. However, regarding your argument that no victim was killed as late as Chapman: what about Kelly? According to pilar of the community Caroline Maxwell, she was still alive at 8:30, so much later than when Chapman must have been killed. ( I know this doesn't accord with ToD estimates at the time but we both know how unreliable they were).

                        And you could just as easily argue that no victim was killed as early as Stride, or if you reject Stride as Ripper victim, then Eddowes. Once again, I don't think the argument gets us very far.
                        It does because of all the uncertainty of the TOD of Chapman. If no other victim was killed as late as she was supposed to have been killed, then it goes some way to suggest Chapman was not killed as late as people suggest, and that Phillips may have been right with his estimated TOD.

                        Yes the TOD`s are as unreliable, as are some of the witness testimony being used to try to estimated the TOD`s Yet people are still content to accept them as being correct.

                        www.trevormarriott.co.uk



                        Comment


                        • #72
                          Originally posted by Fisherman View Post

                          If you cannot see how it works, you simply have not checked it in detail. And not knowing what we speak about was never a good starting point for accusing others of dismissing evidence. Quite the contrary, in fact.
                          I realize you have a different take on it, however, despite your conclusion I have, in fact, looked at it in detail. Also, I didn't say he didn't cut any leather from his boot, I said he worked on his boot and went to work, and later claims he had to do more repairs because the knife wasn't sharp enough. From that it is clear the repair wasn't complete, apparently because the knife was too dull and it didn't do the job fully, but that doesn't mean he failed to remove anything at all. Do try and understand what I'm saying rather than simply trying to find a way to misinterpret it.

                          And no, I'm not going to go into the Phillips distraction again here, as that's for another thread. I see no need to simply repeat the whole thing again. There's no need to suggest logic is being thrown to the wind simply because someone doesn't agree with your interpretation by the way. If disagreeing with you is what you consider throwing logic to the wind, then I could say the same in return (that's how logic works after all), and since we're both therefore, being illogical, there's no point in discussion on that point as illogical arguments are bound to be wrong.

                          We have very different approaches to how to evaluate the evidence, and what works for you doesn't work for me, and vice versa.

                          - Jeff

                          Comment


                          • #73
                            Can anyone give us a convincing reason why Richardson might have lied about the knife?

                            Id suggest that if we cannot come up with a plausible reason then this would considerably reduce the chances of it being a lie and increase the chances of it being some kind of misunderstanding.
                            Regards

                            Herlock






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

                            Comment


                            • #74
                              - I just donīt like how there seemingly can be no productive exchange between the two of us.
                              You mean that it irritates you that I won’t just agree with everything you say.
                              Regards

                              Herlock






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

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                Originally posted by John G View Post

                                what about Kelly? According to pilar of the community Caroline Maxwell, she was still alive at 8:30
                                Even if she wasn't, then we still have Prater and Lewis's evidence pointing to Kelly having been killed at 4AM, which lies between Nichols' probable time of death and the 5:20-ish TOD suggested for Chapman. Seen in light of these three murders, perhaps it's the "Double Event" that is the outlier.
                                Kind regards, Sam Flynn

                                "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

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