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Charles Cross (Lechmere)

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  • Fiver
    replied
    Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post
    You've seen it mentioned that some Pickfords drivers worked 14hrs + shifts and have assumed that must have applied to all of them?
    Nope. Pickfords drivers said it applied to all of them. I've read the 29 July 1891 Standard. where cartmen from Pickfords and other delivery companies said that they "had to work from fourteen to eighteen hours per day with no allowance for overtime". They were planning on demanding overtime for shifts longer than 12 hours.

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  • Fiver
    replied
    Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post
    There is a certain amount of evidence that leans towards Lechmere carrying horseflesh on his cart and making deliveries to Harrison, Barber in Bethnal Green.
    Feel free to provide any evidence that Charles Lechmere typically carried horseflesh as a cargo. Pickords was a general goods service, not a meatpacking plant.

    And Harrison, Barber did not take deliveries of horse meat. They were horse slaughterers who bought horses, killed them, and processed the bodies. Harrison, Barber produced about 70 tones of horsemeat a week. Bones were processed to produce oil for candlemaking, lubrication, and leather treatment. Powdered bones were processed into fertilizer. Skin and hooves were sold to glue makers or button makers. Horsehair was sold to upholsterers or became fishing lines. Hides became leather goods. Even the horseshoes were recycled.

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  • MrBarnett
    replied
    Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post

    There is a certain amount of evidence that leans towards Lechmere carrying horseflesh on his cart and making deliveries to Harrison, Barber in Bethnal Green. That’s not a great distance from Broad Street and could have entailed a route along Hanbury Street.









    In a nutshell:



    The head of Pickford’s Horse Department was on the Board of Directors of Harrison, Barber and Harrison, Barber had the contract to process Pickford’s superannuated nags.

    HB imported provincial horseflesh into London and there is evidence of Pickford’s vans laden with provincial horseflesh standing outside Broad Street Station. Tons of the stuff arrived into the capital every week.

    The Lechmere family had a long-standing connection to the horseflesh trade. Maria (Lechmere/Cross?/Forsdike?) ran a cat’s meat shop in the Highway, and one of Charles’s sons is on record as having been a cats meat carter/salesman. At one stage that son lived in Winthrop Street a few doors away from HB’s yard. I believe the address - 4, Winthrop Street - had housed HB men previously.*

    *I’ll check that out.

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  • MrBarnett
    replied
    Originally posted by Fiver View Post

    It's a 14 to 18 hour shift. Pickford's vans typically had a van boy or van guard to prevent pilferage. Grabbing a bite or answering a call of nature takes a lot less time than finding a victim, going somewhere with them, mutilating the body, finding somewhere to clean up privately, cleaning up, and then heading back to the cart.And returning with obvious fresh blood on him would raise questions for every remaining customer and his coworkers when he returned to the Broad Street Station.
    You’ve seen it mentioned that some Pickfords drivers worked 14hrs + shifts and have assumed that must have applied to all of them?

    You’ve seen it mentioned (possibly by me on numerous occasions) that Pickfords employed van guards to protect valuable and easily portable goods and have assumed they did so on every journey of every cart in their fleet, irrespective of what the load was?

    Picture the scene: Lechmere rocks up at Harrison, Barber’s railway arch with a van load of fresh horse flesh and HB’s men look askance at him because he has what appears to be a blood smear on his apron. He in turn has his suspicions about them because they have incriminating-looking stains on their clothes.

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  • MrBarnett
    replied


    There is a certain amount of evidence that leans towards Lechmere carrying horseflesh on his cart and making deliveries to Harrison, Barber in Bethnal Green. That’s not a great distance from Broad Street and could have entailed a route along Hanbury Street.










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  • MrBarnett
    replied
    Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post

    Hi Gary,

    We know he had to be at work by 4:00. Chapman, based upon eye/ear witnesses, is killed well after that, around 5:25-5:30 type thing. Therefore, he's at work at the time she most likely was killed. That, by definition, is evidence leaning towards him being excluded, in part because his work can take him all over the place in London and most places would put him out of the area. We don't know where he was, of course, but that just means we have to give each possible location equal probability that it might be where he was, and Hanbury street is only one stacked up against all of his possible destinations to drop off goods, which must have numbered in the dozens. So, knowing he's at work favours an alibi more than it favours guilt, which is described as leaning in favour of an alibi. But, for the alibi to be confirmed as rock solid would require we had more actual details about his movements rather than rely on chance probability models, so while the evidence we have leans towards an alibi it does not conclusively lock that alibi down. That is why if we were investigating this today we would want to further follow up on his duties and locations and work schedule, etc. And who knows, maybe the police of the time did that and we just don't know about it.

    Simply because our investigation could uncover information that makes the alibi fall apart doesn't mean the current evidence isn't leaning in his favour; our investigation has not yet produced any evidence one way or the other - it's only generated speculations about how that evidence might possibly look.

    - Jeff
    So, Jeff, he was as likely to have been in Hanbury Street as anywhere else in a London? I’m sure Christer will be happy to hear that.

    The fact is, that we don’t even know what his start time was on 8th September. The 4.00 start on 31st August is suggestive of a delivery to early morning markets. Perhaps he had a regular route or routes, perhaps not. Perhaps the goods he carried were sufficiently valuable to warrant a van guard, perhaps not. Perhaps his daily routine involved numerous trips back and forth from Broad Street with a loaded/unloaded van and afforded the opportunity of a brief stop off somewhere, perhaps not.

    Any talk of an alibi for Chapman is pretty meaningless unless it’s based on evidence that makes it highly improbable that Lechmere could have been in the vicinity of Hanbury Street around 5/5.30.





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  • Fiver
    replied
    Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post
    I'm lost - how do we have evidence that leans in favour of his having an alibi? He was a cart driver, delivering who knows what to who knows where or when. In a twelve-hour shift, say, do we imagine he never had the opportunity to leave his cart to answer a call of nature or to get a bite to eat or a drink?
    It's a 14 to 18 hour shift. Pickford's vans typically had a van boy or van guard to prevent pilferage. Grabbing a bite or answering a call of nature takes a lot less time than finding a victim, going somewhere with them, mutilating the body, finding somewhere to clean up privately, cleaning up, and then heading back to the cart.And returning with obvious fresh blood on him would raise questions for every remaining customer and his coworkers when he returned to the Broad Street Station.

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  • JeffHamm
    replied
    Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post
    Hi Jeff,

    I’m lost - how do we have evidence that leans in favour of his having an alibi? He was a cart driver, delivering who knows what to who knows where or when. In a twelve-hour shift, say, do we imagine he never had the opportunity to leave his cart to answer a call of nature or to get a bite to eat or a drink?

    Gary
    Hi Gary,

    We know he had to be at work by 4:00. Chapman, based upon eye/ear witnesses, is killed well after that, around 5:25-5:30 type thing. Therefore, he's at work at the time she most likely was killed. That, by definition, is evidence leaning towards him being excluded, in part because his work can take him all over the place in London and most places would put him out of the area. We don't know where he was, of course, but that just means we have to give each possible location equal probability that it might be where he was, and Hanbury street is only one stacked up against all of his possible destinations to drop off goods, which must have numbered in the dozens. So, knowing he's at work favours an alibi more than it favours guilt, which is described as leaning in favour of an alibi. But, for the alibi to be confirmed as rock solid would require we had more actual details about his movements rather than rely on chance probability models, so while the evidence we have leans towards an alibi it does not conclusively lock that alibi down. That is why if we were investigating this today we would want to further follow up on his duties and locations and work schedule, etc. And who knows, maybe the police of the time did that and we just don't know about it.

    Simply because our investigation could uncover information that makes the alibi fall apart doesn't mean the current evidence isn't leaning in his favour; our investigation has not yet produced any evidence one way or the other - it's only generated speculations about how that evidence might possibly look.

    - Jeff

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  • harry
    replied
    How many persons could produce an alibi for the murders.How many needed to?
    If this is another attempt,since all others have failed,to show Cross as suspect,it's a dismal faiure.He didn't need an alibi.He was never advised by the police he was suspect.

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  • MrBarnett
    replied
    Hi Jeff,

    I’m lost - how do we have evidence that leans in favour of his having an alibi? He was a cart driver, delivering who knows what to who knows where or when. In a twelve-hour shift, say, do we imagine he never had the opportunity to leave his cart to answer a call of nature or to get a bite to eat or a drink?

    Gary























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  • JeffHamm
    replied
    Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post



    Jeff,

    My take on the name thing is that he was concealing the name Lechmere for reasons other than concealing his ID from the police.

    As for the lack of reports of carts in the vicinity of Hanbury Street, do you imagine there weren’t any near Spitalfields Market, just across the road from Hanbury Street, at that time in the morning? I think there would have been. You can call that speculation if you wish.

    My point, though, was that Lechmere has no known alibi for the time it seems most likely that Chapman was killed. We have no idea where he or his cart were at that time. Nor do we know whether he worked with a van guard.

    Gary
    Hi Gary,

    Oh, ok, I got you on the name thing. But if he's not trying to conceal his identity from the police, it's hardly incriminating (i.e. Eddowes' giving the police a false name and address was to conceal from them her identity so her identity could not be connected to the fact she was arrested for drunkeness, etc. Minor offense, of course, but she was preventing her being connected to that in the future, while Cross/Lechmere does no such thing). If he's not trying to hide from the police, it's not for reasons that can be presented as evidence of his guilt.

    And, true, the at work alibi is not cast in stone, and if we could there would still be lots to do to follow up on that. However, we can't follow it up. What we have, however, is evidence that leans in favour of him having an alibi, and really, with JtR, that's pretty much all we ever have. We also have information that indicates that van guards were often with the carmen, again, leaning towards him being unable to just skip off and commit a murder. And parking his cart over by the market, then walking over to Hanbury Street, etc, leaves his cart unattended, open to the theft of goods, or increasing his delay for his expected return if it was empty. While not impossible to argue around, we do not even have mention of his cart being in the vicinity and we have to make an assumption it was, and simultaneously, make an assumption it was simply not reported. While the latter might not really be all that implausible, given the market nearby as you mention, it still means we're speculating evidence to have existed and then also speculating a reason for why we don't have it. If we can do that to argue for his guilt, then it gets countered by speculation that he was elsewhere, and the police had cleared him, but those records are part of what was lost over time. A speculative argument has no teeth, because speculation is easy and unconstrained by anything but our imaginations (see anagrams, Lewis Carrol). As such, theories that require we go against the direction in which the evidence we do have leans have to be viewed as weaker (less supported) than those that go with the flow. In short, I agree we do not have evidence to call his alibi fully confirmed, but what we have is evidence in a direction against his guilt and it requires speculation to circumvent it. That tells us this is a weakness in the theory as a whole. Whether or not it is a fatal weakness to the theory is a different issue.

    That's my take, anyway.

    - Jeff
    Last edited by JeffHamm; 07-31-2021, 12:45 AM.

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  • MrBarnett
    replied
    Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post

    Hi Mr. Barnett,

    If he was trying to hide his identity, going to the police himself seems a bit naff, particularly as Paul's newspaper appearance barely even indicates he was there. Also, giving his correct address, place of employment, etc, seems a bit daft for someone who otherwise in the theory context is cunning, quick witted, and so forth. Using a name, for which there is also a direct link to him, isn't exactly disappearing into the shadows. There's nothing about using the name "Cross" rather than "Lechmere" that conceals who he is from the police.

    As for his alibi, no where do we have any reports of delivery carts spotted near the vicinity of Hanbury Street. We also have reason to believe there would have been someone with him protecting the contents of the cart (that shows up in some discussions). If he kills Chapman at the time indicated by the eye/ear witnesses, which seems the most probable ToD, then his cart cannot be placed in the vicinity other than through speculation. There's nothing to place him there other than supposition, and that is equally balanced to the negative by simply making other speculative choices (not alone on his deliveries, no cart in the area, etc).

    When we get to make up the evidence through speculation, then we have to accept that valid counter-arguments simply need to speculate different evidence.

    With the evidence we have, however, none of it forces us towards a guilty conclusion and many, including myself, believe the evidence we have is easier to understand if he's innocent because his actions in Buck's row easily follow if he's innocent, and there is no real evidence of him being anywhere in the vicinity of any other crime, only speculation.

    - Jeff


    Jeff,

    My take on the name thing is that he was concealing the name Lechmere for reasons other than concealing his ID from the police.

    As for the lack of reports of carts in the vicinity of Hanbury Street, do you imagine there weren’t any near Spitalfields Market, just across the road from Hanbury Street, at that time in the morning? I think there would have been. You can call that speculation if you wish.

    My point, though, was that Lechmere has no known alibi for the time it seems most likely that Chapman was killed. We have no idea where he or his cart were at that time. Nor do we know whether he worked with a van guard.

    Gary
    Last edited by MrBarnett; 07-30-2021, 11:28 PM.

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  • JeffHamm
    replied
    Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post


    How on earth does Lechmere have an alibi for the Chapman murder?

    ‘At work’ for him was driving around the streets of London and stopping to make deliveries. Where? We don’t know. When? We don’t know? Did he work alone, or with a van guard? We don’t know. Lechmere has no known alibi for Chapman.

    And as for his ‘occasional’ use of the name Cross, that’s something else we don’t know. Yes, a Pickford’s carman using that name gave evidence at an inquest into the death of a child in Islington in 1876, and we’ve been unable to find a better fit for that driver than Charles Lechmere, but it’s stretching the meagre facts to say that he ‘occasionally’ used the name Cross. And even if he did, it does not address the question of why in this formal situation he did not also mention the name he appears to have used almost exclusively in formal situations.

    Hi Mr. Barnett,

    If he was trying to hide his identity, going to the police himself seems a bit naff, particularly as Paul's newspaper appearance barely even indicates he was there. Also, giving his correct address, place of employment, etc, seems a bit daft for someone who otherwise in the theory context is cunning, quick witted, and so forth. Using a name, for which there is also a direct link to him, isn't exactly disappearing into the shadows. There's nothing about using the name "Cross" rather than "Lechmere" that conceals who he is from the police.

    As for his alibi, no where do we have any reports of delivery carts spotted near the vicinity of Hanbury Street. We also have reason to believe there would have been someone with him protecting the contents of the cart (that shows up in some discussions). If he kills Chapman at the time indicated by the eye/ear witnesses, which seems the most probable ToD, then his cart cannot be placed in the vicinity other than through speculation. There's nothing to place him there other than supposition, and that is equally balanced to the negative by simply making other speculative choices (not alone on his deliveries, no cart in the area, etc).

    When we get to make up the evidence through speculation, then we have to accept that valid counter-arguments simply need to speculate different evidence.

    With the evidence we have, however, none of it forces us towards a guilty conclusion and many, including myself, believe the evidence we have is easier to understand if he's innocent because his actions in Buck's row easily follow if he's innocent, and there is no real evidence of him being anywhere in the vicinity of any other crime, only speculation.

    - Jeff

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  • Harry D
    replied
    Originally posted by Abby Normal View Post

    exactly gary
    Lech has no alibi for any of the murders. the claim is ludicrous. and as a matter of fact he has an anti alibi for the nichols murder-he very much is in the frame for her murder.
    Are you out the closet as a Lechmerian now, Abby?

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  • Columbo
    replied
    Originally posted by Abby Normal View Post

    exactly gary
    Lech has no alibi for any of the murders. the claim is ludicrous. and as a matter of fact he has an anti alibi for the nichols murder-he very much is in the frame for her murder.
    He doesn't need an alibi, he's was never in the frame for the murder to begin with..

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