Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Was John Richardson A Reliable Witness?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #91
    Originally posted by Michael W Richards View Post

    Fisherman, the witness are not all over the place...your confusing that with your morphing killer running around killing everyone in a variety of ways.

    Why would I confuse the three witnesses with a killer, Michael? They are not remotely connected to each other, not least because none of the three witnesses saw or heard or came close to him. And although it may come as a surprise to you, serial killers who change their killing methods are thirteeen per dozen. A killer who dispatches a dozen victims in pretty similar manner is blaha-blaha in that context. It is only in the mind of the ignorant such a killer takes the shape of something incomprehensible.

    Richardson establishes that she wasn't dead before 5 in that specific spot

    No, he claims to have been around and says that he belives he would have seen the body if it was there. Thta is not equal to establishing anything more than having let yur mouth go until there is corroboration. And there is not.

    , Cadosche establishes that someone was on that spot and alive at 5:15

    No, he claims to have heard people, but there is just as little corroboration for what he said as there is for Richardson. Plus Long places Chapman outside No 29 at 5.30, so we know that something is amiss. Very much so. Itīs called corroboration.

    , and Davis establishes that the victim was found on that spot before 6am.

    Ah - you leave out Long! Why? Pray tell us?

    I frankly don't care if people want to ignore the obvious witness established facts, but please just don't pester me with the complaints that it doesn't fit your own theories.
    I care when people ignore the obvious, though, so Iīd advice against it. And the pestering, Michael, is mutual, is it not?

    Comment


    • #92
      Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post

      The questions that I’m asking are why he apparently changed his story? Does it imply that he lied about sitting on the step?

      The thing about people changing their stories is that they become less reliable. Take, for instance, Sarah Lewis - if she had not said from the outset that she could not describe the loiterer, the forthcoming description she nevertheless delivered at the inquest would have been something that one could perhaps invest in. Once we know the background, the testimony becomes tainted and less trustworthy. That must apply to Richardson too, thatīs the way it goes, simple as that. Polls or not.

      I don’t see how it affects whether he sat on the step or not because he wasn’t claiming to have borrowed a sharper knife and then returned to the step.

      Since we know that he did not have the implement to cut leather from his boot, as per his own admittance, it of course becomes less likely that he sat at the steps. It follows, quite logically and simply. He may of course have sat down, thinking that the knife would do the job, that much I must admit - but overall, once you do not have a sharp enough knife, you actually have no reason at all to sit down to cut leather from your boot. Surely, that makes sense?
      Couple that to the unlucky coincidence that Chandler said that Richardson had claimed to have stood at the top of the stairs instead of going down them to sit down, and the case for richardson being trustworthy is in tatters. Any prosecution would celebrate these circumstances in champagne. Once again, we cannot rule out that he did sit on the steps, but a very good case can be made for Richardson having made that part up.


      So the second knife work was away from number 29 which doesn’t back up his story. So why did he say this unless there was an explanation. Like he might have done some work on his boot with his own knife and then more work with the sharper one. If people lie they usually have a good reason (in their mind at least) for doing so. The story of the second knife doesn’t benefit Richardson. So why are we assuming a sinister motivation when there could be an innocent explanation?
      It cannot be ruled out that he did "some work" on his boot, but that is something we must invent on his behalf He never said anything about it himself. And once we know that, the damage is done and the testimony badly shaken.

      The reason we must accept the possibility of a "sinister" explanation is that we know that these cases are rife with attention-seekers. That does not mean that we must assume that the sinister alternative is more likely to be true than the innocent one. But it certainly means that we must keep both avenues open.

      At the end of the day, we must always go with our gut feelings when the evidence is not conclusive. My own gut feeling is that Richardson boosted his own role. It seems to me that he told Chandler that he never walked down the stairs, and he realized that this did not make much of an imprint on matters. But if you claimed to have been sitting on the stairs, you would get more attention, and specifically if you claim to have had total control over the yard and seen everything there was to see - that would ensure a lot of attention on your behalf.
      So I think he was there, but I donīt think he did what he said he did. I find him unreliable on account of the leather cutting business, but if I was to vote in the poll, I would have to vote "unsure". I have chosen not to vote, though.

      Comment


      • #93
        Originally posted by Fisherman View Post

        I care when people ignore the obvious, though, so Iīd advice against it. And the pestering, Michael, is mutual, is it not?
        All Ill respond to is Long....since there are people in that backyard, on the spot where the victim is murdered, between 5:15 and 5:20, they would have had to leave, get seen by Long, and then come back into the yard. Probable….certainly not, not even likely.

        The pestering refers to over arching conclusions that are used in every individual argument Fisherman, you wont concede a point if Lechmere is off the hook for any murder.
        Michael Richards

        Comment


        • #94
          Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post
          ...such as the idea of someone being warped enough to disembowel a woman on the street and just leaving it at that, only for someone else to crudely remove one or two of her organs later, for example.
          Yup. Just like that Sam
          Regards

          Herlock






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

          Comment


          • #95
            Originally posted by Fisherman View Post

            It cannot be ruled out that he did "some work" on his boot, but that is something we must invent on his behalf He never said anything about it himself. And once we know that, the damage is done and the testimony badly shaken.

            The reason we must accept the possibility of a "sinister" explanation is that we know that these cases are rife with attention-seekers. That does not mean that we must assume that the sinister alternative is more likely to be true than the innocent one. But it certainly means that we must keep both avenues open.

            At the end of the day, we must always go with our gut feelings when the evidence is not conclusive. My own gut feeling is that Richardson boosted his own role. It seems to me that he told Chandler that he never walked down the stairs, and he realized that this did not make much of an imprint on matters. But if you claimed to have been sitting on the stairs, you would get more attention, and specifically if you claim to have had total control over the yard and seen everything there was to see - that would ensure a lot of attention on your behalf.
            So I think he was there, but I donīt think he did what he said he did. I find him unreliable on account of the leather cutting business, but if I was to vote in the poll, I would have to vote "unsure". I have chosen not to vote, though.
            We have to accept the possibility that any witness might lie. This shouldn’t really need saying but it gets us nowhere.

            Ill say again though that I still haven’t heard an explanation for this supposed lie about the knife. What was the reason? He presented his knife and it was pointed out that it wasn’t very sharp which brought into question whether he could have used it to have repaired his shoe. So Richardson says that he borrowed a knife from someone at the market? So why didn’t the Coroner say “oh, so you didn’t repair your shoe and didn’t have any reason to sit on the step?” Why didn’t he point out this apparent discrepancy?

            Couldn’t this simply be an error of reporting or an error of communication? I’ll say it again - people overwhelmingly usually lie for a reason and I see no reason for this lie. Therefore I suspect that it wasn’t actually a lie.

            And subsequently Richardson’s statement about sitting on the step was clear as a bell and 100% confident. And yes I’ll use that word again...for Richardson to have ‘not realised’ that the door might have concealed the body would have made him a complete imbecile. And we have no evidence for that of course.
            Regards

            Herlock






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

            Comment


            • #96
              Originally posted by Fisherman View Post

              There you go.
              Fisherman, I wasn't quoting him when I said he worked on his boot, I'm just describing what he did. And he also described having to cut more later, at work. So it's clear, that whatever was wrong with his boot, was still bothering him, which means whatever he tried to do wasn't complete. That is just describing, in simple terms, what he testifies to, though not by repeating him verbatim. What I stated is, therefore, a truthful summary of his testimony.

              I'll leave the ad hominems unaddressed as they are just the indications of someone admitting they are out of any rational ideas to counter with.

              - Jeff

              Comment


              • #97
                Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post

                Fisherman, I wasn't quoting him when I said he worked on his boot, I'm just describing what he did.

                Yes. And changing what he said to a phrasing speaking about "working on his boot". Surely you can see what that does to the overall issue?

                And he also described having to cut more later, at work. So it's clear, that whatever was wrong with his boot, was still bothering him, which means whatever he tried to do wasn't complete. That is just describing, in simple terms, what he testifies to, though not by repeating him verbatim. What I stated is, therefore, a truthful summary of his testimony.

                I cannot agree, Iīm afraid. The testimony Richardson gave did not reflect what had happened. Regardless of how much you would like it to.

                I'll leave the ad hominems unaddressed as they are just the indications of someone admitting they are out of any rational ideas to counter with.

                - Jeff
                Adress away, by all means. If I am anything, thatīs rational. Rational enough to tell two differeing versions of a testimony apart, at the very least.

                Comment


                • #98
                  Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post

                  We have to accept the possibility that any witness might lie. This shouldn’t really need saying but it gets us nowhere.

                  It does, actually. It opens up for a wider understanding of the conditions involved. If we were to deny that Richardson could have lied, we would tamper with the facts.

                  Ill say again though that I still haven’t heard an explanation for this supposed lie about the knife. What was the reason? He presented his knife and it was pointed out that it wasn’t very sharp which brought into question whether he could have used it to have repaired his shoe. So Richardson says that he borrowed a knife from someone at the market? So why didn’t the Coroner say “oh, so you didn’t repair your shoe and didn’t have any reason to sit on the step?” Why didn’t he point out this apparent discrepancy?

                  It is really not for me to say. The coroner had dug the truth out at long last, and he was probably content with that.

                  Couldn’t this simply be an error of reporting or an error of communication?

                  The reports are all very alike, so it would be very odd if the papers all got it wrong. Whether Ricahrdson got it wrong or wheter he never intended to get it right in the first place is written in the stars.

                  I’ll say it again - people overwhelmingly usually lie for a reason and I see no reason for this lie. Therefore I suspect that it wasn’t actually a lie.

                  If he DID cut the leather with a sharper knife and wanted to keep that from the inquest by means of producing another knife than the one he cut with, it is certainly a lie. If he simply embellished a meagre story by inventing the stairs scenario, it is also a lie. I donīt think we can take it upon us to decide that there was no reason to lie. There are obvious possibilities as well as there may be hidden ones. I myself will certainly keep it open.

                  And subsequently Richardson’s statement about sitting on the step was clear as a bell and 100% confident.

                  "Subsequently"? You mean at the inquest, and not ion conversation with Chandler, I take it?

                  And yes I’ll use that word again...for Richardson to have ‘not realised’ that the door might have concealed the body would have made him a complete imbecile. And we have no evidence for that of course.
                  Sigh. Must I really add that we have no evidence to the contrary either? Must I really point out that very intelligent people have been mistaken many times? It has nothing to do with being imbecile and everything to do with a simple misjudgment.

                  Comment


                  • #99
                    Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post

                    We have to accept the possibility that any witness might lie. This shouldn’t really need saying but it gets us nowhere.

                    Ill say again though that I still haven’t heard an explanation for this supposed lie about the knife. What was the reason? He presented his knife and it was pointed out that it wasn’t very sharp which brought into question whether he could have used it to have repaired his shoe. So Richardson says that he borrowed a knife from someone at the market? So why didn’t the Coroner say “oh, so you didn’t repair your shoe and didn’t have any reason to sit on the step?” Why didn’t he point out this apparent discrepancy?

                    Couldn’t this simply be an error of reporting or an error of communication? I’ll say it again - people overwhelmingly usually lie for a reason and I see no reason for this lie. Therefore I suspect that it wasn’t actually a lie.

                    And subsequently Richardson’s statement about sitting on the step was clear as a bell and 100% confident. And yes I’ll use that word again...for Richardson to have ‘not realised’ that the door might have concealed the body would have made him a complete imbecile. And we have no evidence for that of course.
                    My take is that there's no evidence he did lie, but rather, the whole part of his testimony concerning his DIY boot repair is exactly the kind of details that come out when questioning a witness and probing for details.

                    Richardson's first statement, which is filtered through PC Chandler's re-telling from memory, is that Richardson stated he was at #29 at 4:50ish, checked the basement door, and went to work. At that time there was no body. I think Richardson also said he didn't go into the yard.

                    Why didn't he mention boot repair in his first report to Chandler? Well, why would he? It's an active crime scene, he's only just arrived, and describing unrelated minutia of his activities is not going to be a priority. He conveys the most important information, I was there at 4:50, I had a view of the area when checking the basement door (his main reason for going there in the first place), and he left and went to work all around 4:50 am, at which point he was certain there was no body.

                    Under questioning, Richardson later adds the finer details of his activities, that he sat on the steps, feet on the flagstones, to try and remove some leather from his boot that was causing some sort of discomfort. Sitting on the steps is not what is meant by "going into the yard", which would entail, you know, actually going into the yard itself. So he hasn't contradicted his first statement, though some like to twist the meaning of casual language to try and suggest he did. This detail comes out as it becomes important to know what he did in order to assess how likely it might be that he simply did not see Annie's body. Richardson testifies that when he left he didn't close the back door as it closes itself, so if Richardson sat on the steps, the door would have closed behind him while doing so, making it impossible for the door to block his view.

                    And again, he's not going to continue to describe the success or not of his boot repair attempt, as that is entirely irrelevant to the murder. The fact that he needed to make some additional cuts, with a sharper knife, only comes out as a digression when the coroner mentions the knife he produced was not very sharp (and therefore couldn't be the murder weapon). There is nothing in that that contradicts his claim he removed some leather while on the steps, it just indicates that the dull knife wasn't sufficient to fix whatever was bothering him entirely. Not surprising as it wouldn't make a clean cut, or would leave some bits that still needed to be removed. So when at work he borrowed a sharper knife and cleaned up the last bits. And again, there is nothing that contradicts what he said earlier at all, and to present his statements as contradictions is to grossly misrepresent his testimony.

                    Yes, we get more details added. That's what questioning does, and why one probes witnesses for further details.

                    So I don't see how anything he says can be properly classified as a lie, not even one by omission, because I see nothing to indicate he was deliberately holding back information he thought important. He doesn't, for example, go into the details of "how many strokes of the knife he made? How large was the piece of leather he removed? What exactly was the issue with the boot? Which boot, left or right?" nor does he indicate "which hand did he use to open the door with? How many steps from the front door to the back did he make?" or any other such minuscule details, and nobody is shocked by any of those missing details.

                    People claim the details of his boot repair are suspicious, ironically, because it is those details that greatly increase our confidence with respect to whether or not Annie was there because if Annie was there Richardson would have seen her while sitting on the steps doing this trivial activity of sorting out an uncomfortable boot. For some, that must be covered up.

                    - Jeff




                    Comment


                    • . "Subsequently"? You mean at the inquest, and not ion conversation with Chandler, I take it?
                      The conversation that was unrecorded and uncorroborated and to which Richardson never got the right of reply. From which Chandler made a statement which might easily have been a misunderstanding of what Richardson actually said. A statement that, even if true, was probably just a less detailed version of events (understandably so in those circumstances) A statement which contradicts what Richardson said under oath and without prompting at the Inquest.
                      Regards

                      Herlock






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

                      Comment



                      • Sigh. Must I really add that we have no evidence to the contrary either? Must I really point out that very intelligent people have been mistaken many times? It has nothing to do with being imbecile and everything to do with a simple misjudgment.

                        You don’t actually need to point this out Fish but seeing as you have...this wouldn’t have been such a simple error as you well know. Richardson knew where the body lay and in what position therefore he had a good idea of the floor space it would have taken up. We can assume that Richardson realised that you cannot see through a wooden door. We can also assume that he knew the size of the door. We can also assume that he knew where he’d sat in relation to the door.

                        And so we can safely conclude that if Richardson said that he couldn’t possibly have missed a body had it been there then that was the case. I find it inconceivable that he could have been mistaken.
                        Regards

                        Herlock






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

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post

                          My take is that there's no evidence he did lie, but rather, the whole part of his testimony concerning his DIY boot repair is exactly the kind of details that come out when questioning a witness and probing for details.

                          Richardson's first statement, which is filtered through PC Chandler's re-telling from memory, is that Richardson stated he was at #29 at 4:50ish, checked the basement door, and went to work. At that time there was no body. I think Richardson also said he didn't go into the yard.

                          Why didn't he mention boot repair in his first report to Chandler? Well, why would he? It's an active crime scene, he's only just arrived, and describing unrelated minutia of his activities is not going to be a priority. He conveys the most important information, I was there at 4:50, I had a view of the area when checking the basement door (his main reason for going there in the first place), and he left and went to work all around 4:50 am, at which point he was certain there was no body.

                          Under questioning, Richardson later adds the finer details of his activities, that he sat on the steps, feet on the flagstones, to try and remove some leather from his boot that was causing some sort of discomfort. Sitting on the steps is not what is meant by "going into the yard", which would entail, you know, actually going into the yard itself. So he hasn't contradicted his first statement, though some like to twist the meaning of casual language to try and suggest he did. This detail comes out as it becomes important to know what he did in order to assess how likely it might be that he simply did not see Annie's body. Richardson testifies that when he left he didn't close the back door as it closes itself, so if Richardson sat on the steps, the door would have closed behind him while doing so, making it impossible for the door to block his view.

                          And again, he's not going to continue to describe the success or not of his boot repair attempt, as that is entirely irrelevant to the murder. The fact that he needed to make some additional cuts, with a sharper knife, only comes out as a digression when the coroner mentions the knife he produced was not very sharp (and therefore couldn't be the murder weapon). There is nothing in that that contradicts his claim he removed some leather while on the steps, it just indicates that the dull knife wasn't sufficient to fix whatever was bothering him entirely. Not surprising as it wouldn't make a clean cut, or would leave some bits that still needed to be removed. So when at work he borrowed a sharper knife and cleaned up the last bits. And again, there is nothing that contradicts what he said earlier at all, and to present his statements as contradictions is to grossly misrepresent his testimony.

                          Yes, we get more details added. That's what questioning does, and why one probes witnesses for further details.

                          So I don't see how anything he says can be properly classified as a lie, not even one by omission, because I see nothing to indicate he was deliberately holding back information he thought important. He doesn't, for example, go into the details of "how many strokes of the knife he made? How large was the piece of leather he removed? What exactly was the issue with the boot? Which boot, left or right?" nor does he indicate "which hand did he use to open the door with? How many steps from the front door to the back did he make?" or any other such minuscule details, and nobody is shocked by any of those missing details.

                          People claim the details of his boot repair are suspicious, ironically, because it is those details that greatly increase our confidence with respect to whether or not Annie was there because if Annie was there Richardson would have seen her while sitting on the steps doing this trivial activity of sorting out an uncomfortable boot. For some, that must be covered up.

                          - Jeff



                          A good summing up Jeff.

                          If the mention of the second knife at the Inquest strikes us as a little strange then I can’t help asking why the Coroner didn’t immediately say “hold on, you said that you’d fixed your shoe on the steps. Are you now saying that you didn’t?”

                          Might this point to an error in wording somewhere along the line? And that, at the time, the Coroner knew exactly what Richardson had meant?
                          Regards

                          Herlock






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

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post

                            A good summing up Jeff.

                            If the mention of the second knife at the Inquest strikes us as a little strange then I can’t help asking why the Coroner didn’t immediately say “hold on, you said that you’d fixed your shoe on the steps. Are you now saying that you didn’t?”

                            Might this point to an error in wording somewhere along the line? And that, at the time, the Coroner knew exactly what Richardson had meant?
                            The Coroner's statements indicate that Richardson's claim to have cut some leather from his boot on the steps was not considered at all at odds with him saying he had to cut more later, something that is manifestly obvious, particularly if he used a knife that wasn't up to the job in the first attempt. Richardson never says "ok, I didn't actually cut any leather from my boot at #29", which would be changing his story and be suspicious. He simply states he had to cut more. There is nothing at all contradictory in what Richardson actually says he did, despite claims to the contrary that are therefore incorrect statements.

                            - Jeff

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post

                              My take is that there's no evidence he did lie, but rather, the whole part of his testimony concerning his DIY boot repair is exactly the kind of details that come out when questioning a witness and probing for details.

                              Richardson's first statement, which is filtered through PC Chandler's re-telling from memory, is that Richardson stated he was at #29 at 4:50ish, checked the basement door, and went to work. At that time there was no body. I think Richardson also said he didn't go into the yard.

                              Why didn't he mention boot repair in his first report to Chandler? Well, why would he? It's an active crime scene, he's only just arrived, and describing unrelated minutia of his activities is not going to be a priority. He conveys the most important information, I was there at 4:50, I had a view of the area when checking the basement door (his main reason for going there in the first place), and he left and went to work all around 4:50 am, at which point he was certain there was no body.

                              Under questioning, Richardson later adds the finer details of his activities, that he sat on the steps, feet on the flagstones, to try and remove some leather from his boot that was causing some sort of discomfort. Sitting on the steps is not what is meant by "going into the yard", which would entail, you know, actually going into the yard itself. So he hasn't contradicted his first statement, though some like to twist the meaning of casual language to try and suggest he did. This detail comes out as it becomes important to know what he did in order to assess how likely it might be that he simply did not see Annie's body. Richardson testifies that when he left he didn't close the back door as it closes itself, so if Richardson sat on the steps, the door would have closed behind him while doing so, making it impossible for the door to block his view.

                              And again, he's not going to continue to describe the success or not of his boot repair attempt, as that is entirely irrelevant to the murder. The fact that he needed to make some additional cuts, with a sharper knife, only comes out as a digression when the coroner mentions the knife he produced was not very sharp (and therefore couldn't be the murder weapon). There is nothing in that that contradicts his claim he removed some leather while on the steps, it just indicates that the dull knife wasn't sufficient to fix whatever was bothering him entirely. Not surprising as it wouldn't make a clean cut, or would leave some bits that still needed to be removed. So when at work he borrowed a sharper knife and cleaned up the last bits. And again, there is nothing that contradicts what he said earlier at all, and to present his statements as contradictions is to grossly misrepresent his testimony.

                              Yes, we get more details added. That's what questioning does, and why one probes witnesses for further details.

                              So I don't see how anything he says can be properly classified as a lie, not even one by omission, because I see nothing to indicate he was deliberately holding back information he thought important. He doesn't, for example, go into the details of "how many strokes of the knife he made? How large was the piece of leather he removed? What exactly was the issue with the boot? Which boot, left or right?" nor does he indicate "which hand did he use to open the door with? How many steps from the front door to the back did he make?" or any other such minuscule details, and nobody is shocked by any of those missing details.

                              People claim the details of his boot repair are suspicious, ironically, because it is those details that greatly increase our confidence with respect to whether or not Annie was there because if Annie was there Richardson would have seen her while sitting on the steps doing this trivial activity of sorting out an uncomfortable boot. For some, that must be covered up.

                              - Jeff
                              Richardson was less than economical with the truth surrounding his actions that is a fact, and 130 years later we are no nearer establishing the truth. So all we are left with are many modern day researchers readily accepting the conflicting witness testimony, and who keep coming out with their own explanations and beliefs from a list made up of "What if`s" "maybe`s" "I think" "perhaps" "Could have" all seen when someone challenges the conflicting evidence which they seek to rely on.

                              We have seen countless posters wanting to show that Phillips got the time of death wrong. We know that TOD were in those days nothing more than guesswork. But who knows he might have guessed right.

                              If it is accepted that there is a conflict in the witness testimony, then that testimony has to be ruled as unsafe, because 130 years later those conflicts cannot be proved to be right or wrong. I say unsafe and not totally disregarded.

                              www.trevormarriott.co.uk

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Trevor Marriott View Post

                                Richardson was less than economical with the truth
                                There is no proof of this. His statements, individually, and taken as a whole, are entirely internally consistent. There is no independent evidence to suggest what he states was untrue. There may be some wording conflicts in the newspapers, but as they all are supposed to be reporting what he said, if there's conflict between them with regards to specific wording that only points to the unreliability of the newspapers.

                                surrounding his actions that is a fact, and 130 years later we are no nearer establishing the truth. So all we are left with are many modern day researchers readily accepting the conflicting witness testimony,
                                We're not discussing potential conflicts between witnesses here, just Richardson's statements. Conflict between witness statements are inevitable, because no two people will describe or remember the same event in exactly the same way.
                                and who keep coming out with their own explanations and beliefs from a list made up of "What if`s" "maybe`s" "I think" "perhaps" "Could have" all seen when someone challenges the conflicting evidence which they seek to rely on.
                                Interesting, so we won't see any of these from you

                                We have seen countless posters wanting to show that Phillips got the time of death wrong. We know that TOD were in those days nothing more than guesswork. But who knows he might have guessed right.
                                Oh dear, very next statement you end with "he might have guessed right.", even after pointing out that it was "nothing more than guesswork." Yes, guessing has a chance level of being right, but any guess has a chance level of being right. You could pick a time out of a hat, right now, and have the same chance level of being right. Are you advocating we put stock in your hat?

                                If it is accepted that there is a conflict in the witness testimony, then that testimony has to be ruled as unsafe, because 130 years later those conflicts cannot be proved to be right or wrong. I say unsafe and not totally disregarded.
                                Which is what examining the statements, and where conflicts occur, requires one to examine things objectively, neither with the goal of accepting it nor with the goal of rejecting it. If the conflict can be resolved with minimal, and unexceptional, "tweaks" (for lack of a better word) to the statements, then the testimony can be viewed as safe in other regards, but the specific details surrounding the "tweaked bit" might be open for concern. I hate to dredge up the ToD example again, but as you mentioned it above I'll use it here to illustrate what I mean (even though this is a conflict between witnesses and not within a witness statement). Phillips' stated ToD was guesswork, as you stated above. His time conflicts with Richardson and Cadosche's times (and Long's, but her statement is more removed and for many reasons more open to concern; it's also not necessary for the present purposes). Since you and I agree Phillips' ToD is guesswork, then given the nature of guesses it's more likely he's wrong than right. Now, given Cadosche didn't guess the time he passed the Spitalfields clock (5:32), we know his time for that event is safe, and given we know the distance from his house to the cloks would only require 2 or 3 minutes to walk, that indicates the times he gives are also safe. I'm not sure what Richardson based his times on, so they could be viewed as somewhat suspect with regards to their precision, but as he left #29 to go to work, and his start time would be known (presumably recorded somewhere? I don't have source material with me at the moment, sorry), it's probably ok to afford his time a reasonable level of accuracy - though one might want to suggest some sort of +-5 minute time window let's say, unless we have something that justifies something more or less then that - something other than "he might have got it wrong" of course. From those two witnesses, the ToD is narrowed down to between 4:50ish (when Richardson leaves) and around the time Cadosch here's the bump on the fence (around 5:30ish). That conflicts with Phillips' guess, but given that both of those witness statements are internally consistent, with nothing to substatiate the hypothesis "they could be wrong", we are left only with the conclusion that the evidence is in favour of a ToD between 4:50 and 5:30, which further refines to "5:30ish", pending non the precision one wishes to give to Cadoschs time. I would suggest 5:25+-5 minutes to be a reasonably safe inference. However, that is not to say there isn't also reason to remember the over-arching princple that "witness testimony is unwise to rely on completely, no matter how convincing it may seem", and so while the evidence we have points to a ToD around 5:25+-5 minutes type thing, it is not advocated that other avenues be entirely dismissed. They just don't have any real support in the evidence, they only have the standard caution.

                                - Jeff

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X