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Letīs talk about that identification again

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  • Letīs talk about that identification again

    I am bringing this question over from another thread, on which it had only peripheral bearing. Itīs all about the so called Seaside Home identification and a problem that attaches to it.

    The Met took their witness to the Seaside home. Ask Stewart Evans and heīll say it happened in 1891. Ask Rob House, and he will suggest July 1890.

    In February of 1891, Frances Coles was killed, on Met territory. Subsequently, Lawende was brought in to try and identify Thomas Sadler as the man from Church Passage.

    So we have an identification that was a moral success, according to Anderson, at the approximate same time. If it was Lawende who was the witness, then he pointed his finger at a 25-year old Jew and said "It was him".

    And still, we are to believe that the same police force thought it credible that he would point out a 50 year old British sailor...?

    How could he do that, if he had already made it clear that a 25-year old Jew was who he saw in Church passage? Why would the Met even try it, since there could have been no chance of making it work?

    So either the identification was a complete failure if the witness was Lawende (goodbye Aaron Kosminski!) or the witness was NOT Lawende.

    Any takers?

    The best,
    Fisherman

  • #2
    Originally posted by Fisherman View Post
    I am bringing this question over from another thread, on which it had only peripheral bearing. Itīs all about the so called Seaside Home identification and a problem that attaches to it.

    The Met took their witness to the Seaside home. Ask Stewart Evans and heīll say it happened in 1891. Ask Rob House, and he will suggest July 1890.

    In February of 1891, Frances Coles was killed, on Met territory. Subsequently, Lawende was brought in to try and identify Thomas Sadler as the man from Church Passage.

    So we have an identification that was a moral success, according to Anderson, at the approximate same time. If it was Lawende who was the witness, then he pointed his finger at a 25-year old Jew and said "It was him".

    And still, we are to believe that the same police force thought it credible that he would point out a 50 year old British sailor...?

    How could he do that, if he had already made it clear that a 25-year old Jew was who he saw in Church passage? Why would the Met even try it, since there could have been no chance of making it work?

    So either the identification was a complete failure if the witness was Lawende (goodbye Aaron Kosminski!) or the witness was NOT Lawende.

    Any takers?

    The best,
    Fisherman
    Hi Fish
    It's a good point. But I think the witness was still Lawende. I think that it has more to do with Anderson and with the passage of time, wishful thinking, and perhaps Anderson's ego that the ID became more positive in his mind than it really was.
    "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


    • #3
      Originally posted by Abby Normal View Post
      Hi Fish
      It's a good point. But I think the witness was still Lawende. I think that it has more to do with Anderson and with the passage of time, wishful thinking, and perhaps Anderson's ego that the ID became more positive in his mind than it really was.
      I much agree with that, Abby. But as the ID:s went down, Anderson was still in his prime, and they were perhaps just days apart for all we know.

      Kosminski was admitted to the workhouse on February 4:th 1891, and sent on to Colney Hatch a week before Sadler was put before Lawende, so it seems very improbable that the two ID:s were the other way around (Sadler first and Kos after that). Meaning that the Met, if Anderson was right, believed that the 25-year old Jewish Kosminski and the 50 year-old Brit Sadler were interchangable appearancewise...?

      No way. It defies logical thinking.

      The best,
      Fisherman

      Comment


      • #4
        Kosminski

        Hello Fisherman,

        Something struck me in the middle of the night (not JTR lol) concerning the statement that the witness was supposed to have refused to identify the suspect on the grounds that he didn't want to be responsible for the hanging of a fellow jew. But would an insane suspect be hanged? I don't think so. Surely he would have been found unfit to plead? And Laverne, or whoever, would surely have known this.

        Best wishes,
        C4

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by curious4 View Post
          Hello Fisherman,

          Something struck me in the middle of the night (not JTR lol) concerning the statement that the witness was supposed to have refused to identify the suspect on the grounds that he didn't want to be responsible for the hanging of a fellow jew. But would an insane suspect be hanged? I don't think so. Surely he would have been found unfit to plead? And Laverne, or whoever, would surely have known this.

          Best wishes,
          C4
          Iīm afraid that there is a very good chance that the suspect was not certifiedly insane at the time when the witness met him. In Kosminskiīs case, for example, it was not until Dr King asessed him on February 6:th 1891 that he became certifiedly insane, and the ID process could have taken place before this, of course. Moreover, Iīm not sure how aquainted the average Eastender was with the finer points of law relating to the death penalty.

          All the best,
          Fisherman

          Comment


          • #6
            Witness

            Hello Fisherman,

            I disagree. Lavende was a successful businessman and naturalised englishman who spoke english. Not your average east-ender and likely to have had some knowledge of the law. Kosminski was not certified insane until 1891, but was admitted to the workhouse in July 1890 as "able-bodied but insane". He was released three days later "into the care" of his brother - which would not have been the case had he been sane. Later, presumably when his brother could no longer cope, he was certified insane in 1891. As far as I can see, the first step to having someone commited to a mental hospital was to have them admitted to the workhouse for assessment (will try to look into this).

            Best wishes,
            C4

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by curious4 View Post
              Hello Fisherman,

              I disagree. Lavende was a successful businessman and naturalised englishman who spoke english. Not your average east-ender and likely to have had some knowledge of the law. Kosminski was not certified insane until 1891, but was admitted to the workhouse in July 1890 as "able-bodied but insane". He was released three days later "into the care" of his brother - which would not have been the case had he been sane. Later, presumably when his brother could no longer cope, he was certified insane in 1891. As far as I can see, the first step to having someone commited to a mental hospital was to have them admitted to the workhouse for assessment (will try to look into this).

              Best wishes,
              C4
              On the whole, you may be correct of course - but I still think that Lawende may have harboured a fear that the suspect could have hung by means of his testimony.
              One wonders, however, why the policemen behind the ID-process did not tell him how it all worked...! What fear Lawende should have been left with, should have been the fear of riots, nothing else. So that ID stuff is full of holes and anomalies as far as I can see.

              All the best,
              Fisherman

              Comment


              • #8
                Full of holes

                With you there!

                Cheers,
                C4

                Comment


                • #9
                  reasoning

                  Hello Christer. Thanks for starting this thread.

                  "So either the identification was a complete failure if the witness was Lawende (goodbye Aaron Kosminski!) or the witness was NOT Lawende."

                  Try though I might, I can find no way around your reasoning here.

                  Cheers.
                  LC

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    There is a mistake on my behalf that needs clearing up. It īs in post one, where I state that Stewart Evans would opt for 1891 as the time when the Seaside home identification was made.

                    I very clearly got that wrong, as has been brought to my attention. I therefore apologize to Mr Evans for having misrepresented him.

                    As for the thread premises otherwise, this mistake on my behalf does not have any impact on the overall topic, luckily. That, however, does not mean that we should not try and get all details right. Once again, therefore, my apologies to the participators of the thread but first and foremost to Stewart Evans!

                    Fisherman

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I am doubtful that there was a Seaside Home identification.
                      I slightly dubious about the whole thing ever happening.
                      If the reference to it can be taken at face value as genuinely representing the memory of Swanson, then I think he was very muddled up, as the reference would have been written a long time after the events concerned and he was going on memory.
                      Furthermore as he had to look at all the paperwork relating to the Whitechapel Murders I strongly suspect that he suffered from information overload and his mind would have become muddled up between events involving different people and different locations and at different years and times.
                      What we know of this identification makes no sense on any level, which supports my view that Swanson was muddled up.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The above opinion of Swanson flies in the face of what is known of him, his work, what his peers state and his families perception.

                        However, y'all know him better than any of those I mention.

                        Monty




                        Author of Capturing Jack the Ripper.

                        http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/1445621622

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hi Monty!
                          I say what I see!

                          I'm sure his family held DSS in high regard.

                          I am aware that this case was unprecedented for the police at that time. It was literally without precedent.
                          The methodology of how best to conduct such a case was unknown.
                          The police had to make it up as they went along.
                          Swanson seemed to them to be a methodical kind of guy and so he was given the job of sifting through and making sense of all the incoming and outgoing paperwork – all the crank letters all the leads, all the local reports, all the instructions. Without an adequate and established filing system for dealing with this it could only have one consequence. It all passed through his desk. In the Yorkshire Ripper investigation with their card index system, and a big team of experienced detectives there was also information overload.
                          He worked long hours – very long hours and then had to liaise with the City Police into the small hours, and then start again next morning with inadequate sleep.
                          For DSS to have avoided muddle he would have had to have been superhuman. And he wasn’t.

                          PS 'most people' seem to think DSS was 'incharge' of the investigation and he blatantly wasn't - no matter how many people say he was and how high and mighty they think they are. This sort of blinkered thinking is not unknown in human endeavour.
                          Last edited by Lechmere; 02-22-2013, 05:31 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Most people would be correct Edward,

                            Swanson was an experienced Investigator with many years experience. He was involved in many cases and often multitasked on more than one during any given period.

                            Each case within this series was treated as a seperate investigation, as with all murder cases no matter what. This case was not the first multiple murder case of its kind, so to state it was unprecidented isn't entirely correct.

                            His structured approach and his phenominal ability to recall and analyse made him prime for the role as Chief Investigator. Warren was no fool, he saw Swanson as the ideal man to Co-ordinate and collate. It wasn't by chance he was chosen.

                            You have misinterpreted Warrens report and questioned Swansons position in the case. That's up to you, the simple fact is you are plain wrong. Swanson has the record, the experience and his involvement in the case is clear, and recorded.

                            Monty




                            Author of Capturing Jack the Ripper.

                            http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/1445621622

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Hi Monty,

                              Interesting.

                              Could you cite an earlier example of Swanson's "structured approach and his phenomenal ability to recall and analyse"?

                              Regards,

                              Simon
                              Never believe anything until it has been officially denied.

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