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  • Originally posted by Wickerman View Post
    If it wasn't for what Swanson wrote, would you think there is a mystery there with Schwartz?
    Hi Wickerman,

    Yes, as personally I had not considered Swanson's lengthy summary report until I refreshed my memory of it, which just added more to what I already found to be a mystery.

    We know Abberline interviewed Schwartz, and while he had some doubts about Schwartz's interpretations (who was Lipski directed at by B.S., did Pipeman chase him or just also leave the area? etc), he didn't seem to indicate he questioned the events themselves (Lipski was shouted, pipeman moved in the same direction, etc).

    And given Schwartz's description is not so far off the one Lawende gives, there starts to be enough indications that there could be two genuine sightings that night. Whether that "could be" is true is of course highly debatable, but at this stage of the investigation, I think the police would see that as a potentially important notion to follow up. That would make Schwartz a more important witness to have on record by itself. Also, given he did see an altercation between Stride (he identifies Stride at the mortuary as the woman he saw) and a man only 15 minutes prior to her discovery, that's puts him as the witness with the closest to death last sighting of all the murder save perhaps Lawende et co, but their identification of Eddowes is only of her clothes, so far less convincing it was an actual sighting.

    I think those reasons alone make it a mystery that Schwartz didn't testify at the inquest, and the complete lack of chatter about that, is also strange to me. H.O. shows interest in him, after it was known he didn't testify, and yet the letter as worded suggests he did. Even if we allow for the letter to be a miswording, and interview not inquest was intended, there still does not appear to be any explanation by the police about where Schwartz is. And I can't see any indication they went looking for him, but similarly no indications they lost faith in him is recorded either. It's the complete lack of information, of any sort, that I find unsettling as it leaves us in an absence of evidence situation, which is to be left hanging. That's not fun, and the temptation is to fill in that void with something, but that something is just a guess no matter how satisfying it may be to make the darkness go away.

    Swanson's report, indicating Schwartz identified Stride at the mortuary (I thought I had read that, but couldn't recall where), and the search for families of the name Lipski in the area, all point to a belief in Schwartz. Some of the discussions regarding doubt look to me that they are either referring to how useful he would be in a court, simply because he couldn't say for sure who Lipski was shouted at, and other details. The could both believe him, yet doubt his usefulness as a witness (particularly as they consider the point that there's still 15 minutes unaccounted for, so is the fellow he saw even related to her murder).

    Anyway, I think some of it reflects my indecision over whether or not Stride was even a Ripper victim. I could just be wanting to feel like at least something about her case could be resolved.

    - Jeff

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post

      Happy Easter to you Caz,

      I’ve previously speculated that Schwartz may have felt in fear of reprisals from BS Man and now that I know more about the actual aims of an inquest I’m tending to think that the idea might have more going for it than I’d originally thought. If he’d have expressed his fears to the police they might either have taken it upon themselves not to have passed his name onto the coroner or they might have passed his request onto the Coroner who, taking into consideration how little of value Schwartz could have added to the aims of the inquest, decided not to call him.
      Thanks Herlock.

      It certainly seems like rigid and illogical thinking on Varqm's part, to cling to the argument that Schwartz's story - if believed - would have given the Coroner a legal obligation to call him, and Schwartz a legal obligation to attend, and to conclude from this that the Coroner must not have believed it.

      Could the Coroner have relieved himself of his legal obligations, purely on the basis of his personal disbelief in a witness account?

      Surely Baxter knew the rules, and would have called Schwartz if his account had been potentially important in establishing the facts, regardless of what he thought of the witness personally?

      Love,

      Caz
      X
      "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


      Comment


      • Originally posted by caz View Post

        Thanks Herlock.

        It certainly seems like rigid and illogical thinking on Varqm's part, to cling to the argument that Schwartz's story - if believed - would have given the Coroner a legal obligation to call him, and Schwartz a legal obligation to attend, and to conclude from this that the Coroner must not have believed it.

        Could the Coroner have relieved himself of his legal obligations, purely on the basis of his personal disbelief in a witness account?

        Surely Baxter knew the rules, and would have called Schwartz if his account had been potentially important in establishing the facts, regardless of what he thought of the witness personally?

        Love,

        Caz
        X
        Unless someone can tell me I’m wrong (and I could be) I really struggle with the idea of a Coroner making this kind of judgment call? Surely the Coroner’s court itself was the place to determine the truthfulness of a witness where they would face questions? Why would a Coroner have felt himself a better judge than the police after perhaps reading just that witnesses statement? Can we really imagine a Coroner taking the time and effort to investigate a witness?
        Regards

        Sir Herlock Sholmes



        "Tis but a part we see, and not a whole."

        ”Baroni licitum est dicere troglodytam”

        Comment


        • I see there's a whole list of possible reason's why Schwartz didn't appear at the inquest, but most of the reason's that involve Schwartz avoiding it can be countered with reasoning, like the court can go after him, etc., but they didn't or we would expect to read it in the press.

          What we can't account for is just the simple reason where the coroner just chose not to call him.
          We should all know by now that the choice was the coroner's, nothing to do with the police.
          So, it doesn't matter whether the police believed him, maybe some did, or some didn't, it doesn't matter.

          The coroner decided not to call Schwartz, whether the reason is that he didn't believe him or whether he didn't think it necessary - Schwartz had nothing to add, we may never know.
          All we can reasonably deduce is, Baxter decided not to call Schwartz - forget "why", that bit we will never know.
          Regards, Jon S.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Wickerman View Post
            I see there's a whole list of possible reason's why Schwartz didn't appear at the inquest, but most of the reason's that involve Schwartz avoiding it can be countered with reasoning, like the court can go after him, etc., but they didn't or we would expect to read it in the press.

            What we can't account for is just the simple reason where the coroner just chose not to call him.
            We should all know by now that the choice was the coroner's, nothing to do with the police.
            So, it doesn't matter whether the police believed him, maybe some did, or some didn't, it doesn't matter.

            The coroner decided not to call Schwartz, whether the reason is that he didn't believe him or whether he didn't think it necessary - Schwartz had nothing to add, we may never know.
            All we can reasonably deduce is, Baxter decided not to call Schwartz - forget "why", that bit we will never know.
            actually all we can reasonably conclude was that he wasnt at the inquest. he may have been called and didnt attend
            "Is all that we see or seem
            but a dream within a dream?"

            -Edgar Allan Poe


            "...the man and the peaked cap he is said to have worn
            quite tallies with the descriptions I got of him."

            -Frederick G. Abberline

            Comment


            • If you don't mind Michael, I'd like to throw two-penneth in, others may disagree here, but lets see where it goes.
              Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post

              Unless someone can tell me I’m wrong (and I could be) I really struggle with the idea of a Coroner making this kind of judgment call?
              The coroner is bound with the duty to identify the victim (not the murderer), and to establish by the "where", "when" & "how"
              the victim met their death.
              By the letter of the law, the victim is only dead (at the inquest), until the inquest Jury establishes whether the death was by Suicide, Homicide, or Accidental, there is no murder case to address.
              A case of murder is 'supposed' to kick-off only after the conclusion of the inquest.
              Now, there are obvious contradictions with cases like these murders, they were clearly neither accidental nor self administered, but the legal system is not permitted to take short cuts, we must go through the process.
              Some on Casebook have for a long time confused an inquest with a trial, the rules & process were quite different.

              Surely the Coroner’s court itself was the place to determine the truthfulness of a witness where they would face questions?
              When the witness gave their statement to the police, it was investigated for a degree of truthfulness. Obviously, it can never be guaranteed, but it will have been investigated to a point.
              So, the coroner is relying on the statements handed to him as being relatively truthful.

              Why would a Coroner have felt himself a better judge than the police after perhaps reading just that witnesses statement? Can we really imagine a Coroner taking the time and effort to investigate a witness?
              It wasn't a coroner's job to investigate a witness, his job was to investigate the victim, by using verified statements - taken on oath - in his inquest.

              Other may disagree....

              Regards, Jon S.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post

                Hello Roger,

                But if we take into account, as a Coroner surely would have, what Schwartz could have brought of value to the inquest then he might have felt that he was no loss. There’s nothing that Schwartz could have added that was so vital to the aims of an inquest that it simply couldn’t have been left out. Might the coroner simply have weighed things up? Alternatively mightn’t Schwartz have just ‘done a runner?’ Especially if he felt that he might be in real danger.
                Hi Herlock,

                I wonder if it could have been both. As has been observed by others, nothing that Schwartz claimed to see or hear could have helped the Inquest to establish the essentials of the case. In fact, I would argue that his account, questioned closely as it was by Abberline, might only have served to muddy the waters at best, or proved misleading at worst, because he left the victim alive, and the incident he witnessed may have had nothing whatsoever to do with Stride's death. It would have been speculating to presume it did, and impossible to establish as a fact.

                It wouldn't follow that Schwartz was not called, or that steps were necessarily taken to exclude him, but he could have been most reluctant to attend in any case. After all, he told a tale of feeling so intimidated by BS man, and his supposed accomplice, that he fled the scene, rather than stay to make sure this vulnerable woman was in no mortal danger. Even with no English, he must have been aware of the three recent murders of street women, so one could argue that he had a battle with his conscience over telling his story at all, and initially his conscience won - but his personal safety, and that of his wife, could have taken over when it came to a public appearance. It would have been pretty draconian to threaten him with a fine, if he already felt threatened by a man who could have been the murderer, but there was no way for the Inquest to establish this one way or the other, from what he only thought he had witnessed.

                Love,

                Caz
                X
                "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


                Comment


                • Y'all must know a different Wynne Baxter than I do.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by caz View Post

                    Hi Herlock,

                    I wonder if it could have been both. As has been observed by others, nothing that Schwartz claimed to see or hear could have helped the Inquest to establish the essentials of the case. In fact, I would argue that his account, questioned closely as it was by Abberline, might only have served to muddy the waters at best, or proved misleading at worst, because he left the victim alive, and the incident he witnessed may have had nothing whatsoever to do with Stride's death. It would have been speculating to presume it did, and impossible to establish as a fact.

                    It wouldn't follow that Schwartz was not called, or that steps were necessarily taken to exclude him, but he could have been most reluctant to attend in any case. After all, he told a tale of feeling so intimidated by BS man, and his supposed accomplice, that he fled the scene, rather than stay to make sure this vulnerable woman was in no mortal danger. Even with no English, he must have been aware of the three recent murders of street women, so one could argue that he had a battle with his conscience over telling his story at all, and initially his conscience won - but his personal safety, and that of his wife, could have taken over when it came to a public appearance. It would have been pretty draconian to threaten him with a fine, if he already felt threatened by a man who could have been the murderer, but there was no way for the Inquest to establish this one way or the other, from what he only thought he had witnessed.

                    Love,

                    Caz
                    X
                    If I remember correctly Schwartz didn’t present himself to the police until the evening? Of he course he might have been at work but maybe he was reluctant to stick his head above the parapet and that someone persuaded him that it was his duty to give his evidence? Total speculation of course and so fairly worthless on this issue but at least I’m not presenting as a fact
                    Regards

                    Sir Herlock Sholmes



                    "Tis but a part we see, and not a whole."

                    ”Baroni licitum est dicere troglodytam”

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Wickerman View Post
                      If you don't mind Michael, I'd like to throw two-penneth in, others may disagree here, but lets see where it goes.


                      The coroner is bound with the duty to identify the victim (not the murderer), and to establish by the "where", "when" & "how"
                      the victim met their death.
                      By the letter of the law, the victim is only dead (at the inquest), until the inquest Jury establishes whether the death was by Suicide, Homicide, or Accidental, there is no murder case to address.
                      A case of murder is 'supposed' to kick-off only after the conclusion of the inquest.
                      Now, there are obvious contradictions with cases like these murders, they were clearly neither accidental nor self administered, but the legal system is not permitted to take short cuts, we must go through the process.
                      Some on Casebook have for a long time confused an inquest with a trial, the rules & process were quite different.



                      When the witness gave their statement to the police, it was investigated for a degree of truthfulness. Obviously, it can never be guaranteed, but it will have been investigated to a point.
                      So, the coroner is relying on the statements handed to him as being relatively truthful.



                      It wasn't a coroner's job to investigate a witness, his job was to investigate the victim, by using verified statements - taken on oath - in his inquest.

                      Other may disagree....
                      Makes sense to me Wick.

                      Its been suggested on this thread that the Coroner might have rejected Schwartz as a witness because he himself thought that he was unreliable. I didn’t think that sounded likely at the time. It sounds even less likely now so I’d suggest that one could be eliminated from my list of suggestions? Not that we can ever get to the truth of course.


                      1) The Coroner saw no value in Schwartz evidence in regard to the limited aims of an inquest.
                      2) The Coroner decided that Schwartz evidence wasn’t believable (after reading The Star or after taking the opinion of an officer who mistrusted Schwartz, possibly Reid?) x
                      3) That Reid didn’t pass Schwartz name to the Coroner because he didn’t believe his evidence. (Maybe due to a ‘spat’ with Abberline?)
                      4) That Schwartz was omitted due to a clerical error.
                      5) That Schwartz feigned an illness to avoid attending.
                      6) That Schwartz asked to be excused as he felt threatened by BS Man (and the Coroner, considered this alongside of the fact that Schwartz could have added nothing of real value, agreed)
                      7) That Schwartz went into hiding (perhaps anticipating his summons to appear?)
                      Regards

                      Sir Herlock Sholmes



                      "Tis but a part we see, and not a whole."

                      ”Baroni licitum est dicere troglodytam”

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
                        Y'all must know a different Wynne Baxter than I do.
                        Hi Roger,

                        Why’s that?
                        Regards

                        Sir Herlock Sholmes



                        "Tis but a part we see, and not a whole."

                        ”Baroni licitum est dicere troglodytam”

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post

                          Makes sense to me Wick.

                          Its been suggested on this thread that the Coroner might have rejected Schwartz as a witness because he himself thought that he was unreliable. I didn’t think that sounded likely at the time.

                          I tend to agree.
                          A coroner had broad discretion, the Coroner's Act was not a rigid set of rules. Each coroner could interpret his responsibilities different to the next, Baxter & Macdonald are two extreme examples.

                          My take is, the coroner trusts the statements handed to him, his only concern is, does this witness help my Jury determine the identity of the victim (the 'who'), and the 'where', 'when', & 'how' the victim met their death.
                          In the case of Baxter, he has two witnesses who claim to have seen Stride at different locations, and under different circumstances, but at the same time - 12:45 am.

                          The only reservation I have is that the police never were able to confirm his story. Which is different to saying they didn't believe him. Even though Schwartz gave a statement to police, they had to investigate it, but if they were never able to do that they 'may' have held it back from the coroner as unconfirmed.
                          And, I think Swanson's observation within his 19th Oct. report provides the clue, it's just that his words have been misinterpreted.

                          Regards, Jon S.

                          Comment


                          • Cork Constitution, 24th October 1888—

                            "Mr. Wynne Baxter, the coroner who has sat to inquire into the Whitechapel murders, writes his summing-up and has it printed in advance. It is then sent to the papers direct or distributed to the reporters, and it presents a very goodly show of three long columns in double measure and big type."

                            This tells us that Wynne Baxter had eighteen days in which to consider and typeset his opinion, that nothing was spontaneous, that inquest reporters were spared the task of recording his words, that every newspaper received the same copy, thus obviating any excuse for error or misunderstanding. That's plenty of time for the jury to forget everything it had heard.

                            So why, after the last "i" had been dotted and the last "t" crossed by Baxter, was it necessary to call Constable Walter Stride and Elizabeth [insert married name here] to the inquest?
                            Never believe anything until it has been officially denied.

                            Comment


                            • Hi all,

                              Swanson's report tells us that Schwartz was taken to the morgue and positively identified Stride as the woman he saw being assaulted. I would presume this information would have been included for the coroner to assess. That, to me, suggests that whatever the reason for Schwartz not being a witness at the inquest, would have to rule out explanations that his testimony added no value to the goals of the inquest; one of which is to identify the victim and when she was murdered. While Schwartz cannot identify Stride by name, his testimony would contribute to the conclusion she was alive at 12:45, placing the time of death between 12:45 and 1:00.

                              Given that, I think "option #1" on Herlock's list in post 505 above that reads:
                              1) The Coroner saw no value in Schwartz evidence in regard to the limited aims of an inquest.

                              I can't see that conclusion being drawn by the coroner, Baxter in particular, provided he was of course aware of Schwartz's identification of the body as being the woman he saw.

                              I'm also leaning against ideas about Schwartz not attending due to fear of reprisals from B.S. He gave his story to the press, after all, and so seemed ok with putting his story out in the public domain. I suppose one could suggest he was having second thoughts, which is not all that uncommon, but given we know he told his story to the police and also to the press, his behaviour in those actions doesn't seem to reflect a level of fear of getting involved that would cause him to risk penelty of a fine if he was summoned and didn't attend.

                              His moving to the other side of the street to avoid a confrontation is a different type of fear. While there had been 3 highly publicized murders by that point (Tabram, Nichols, and Chapman), they were still rare events relative to domestic violence, and scuffles in the street, robberies, etc. From what he reports seeing, it would be far more likely that he would have assumed that the latter was what was going on, and like most people, didn't want to get involved. (I believe Paul states somewhere that he stepped aside to avoid Cross as he was coming down Buck's Row, for example, even though at that point there isn't any sort of confrontation going on. That suggests that people were a bit leery of others in the early hours; add to that actual conflict, and Schwartz's behaviour of crossing the street is, sadly, common. Once he found out there was a murder, though, he seems to have chosen to go to the police, which is more than many.

                              So I think option #6
                              6) That Schwartz asked to be excused as he felt threatened by BS Man (and the Coroner, considered this alongside of the fact that Schwartz could have added nothing of real value, agreed)

                              could be argued to be either removed, or more conservatively, at least viewed as the least likely of the remaining options.

                              Based upon Wickerman's explanation of how the inquests worked, though, it is appearing like Schwartz was not called for some reason. However, as he points out, we're left bereft of evidence to guide us as to why. Part of me favours the idea that for reasons unknown Baxter was never given Schwartz as an option, and that is because of the reasons outlined as why I think option 1 could be dismissed. How that could have happened, though, is entirely opaque, and all of our suggestions are just shots into the dark. I find that entirely unsatisfying, but sometimes one has to just mark the map with "here there be monsters" and not risk venturing further.

                              - Jeff


                              Comment


                              • Does it need an appearance at the inquest to decide whether Schwartz lied? Regardless of any other source,what he said to the police,would in all probability,determine how the police reacted.

                                Comment

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