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Let´s talk about that identification again

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  • Fisherman
    started a topic Let´s talk about that identification again

    Let´s talk about that identification again

    I am bringing this question over from another thread, on which it had only peripheral bearing. It´s 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 he´ll 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

  • Ben
    replied
    In the event that Swanson disposed of said ethics and mindset upon leaving the police force, to the extent that he willfully ignored that which he witnessed at the ID, then I would call into question Swanson's ability to undertake his duties earlier in his life.
    I wouldn't, Fleets, especially not with regard to Anderson and Swanson, who we know didn't act on their assumption that the witness was withholding the true reason for his refusal to swear to the identification. They would only have been guilty of bad policing or unethical practices had they confronted the witness with their suspicions and demand that he stick to his original positive identification (which is something they would have been compelled to do had the witness stated outright that he was retracting his ID because the suspect was a fellow Jew).

    And when it comes to 'risking prosecution', then you have a choice to make. Your personal ethics or your personal liberty
    Well, if we take the "face value" approach, the witness can't have been too concerned about the "personal liberties" of Jack the Ripper's defenseless victims in being the deciding factor in enabling the murderer to walk free, and his "personal ethics" must have been all over the place - very much in favour of maintaining solidarity with fellow Jews, even if it means getting a mutilating serial killer off the hook. It's one thing to harbour such a warped mindset, but quite another to actually admit to it, and the latter cannot possibly have occurred because the police would not have tolerated it.

    All the best,
    Ben

    Leave a comment:


  • Fleetwood Mac
    replied
    Originally posted by Abby Normal View Post
    So people's memory of past events can't change over time?
    Clearly memory can mislead you. Plenty of people think past summers were 3 months of red hot weather.

    But, you'd have to go some to believe that a pivotal event in your career was nothing like it actually was.

    Leave a comment:


  • Abby Normal
    replied
    Originally posted by Fleetwood Mac View Post
    I would expect that an ex senior police officer would be imbued with operational ethics and would possess a mindset acquired during his time/experience/development as a serving senior police officer.

    In the event that Swanson disposed of said ethics and mindset upon leaving the police force, to the extent that he willfully ignored that which he witnessed at the ID, then I would call into question Swanson's ability to undertake his duties earlier in his life.

    After all, the ability to sift information objectively is pretty fundamental to his earlier position.



    It's only impossible when you begin at the position that it's impossible.

    And when it comes to 'risking prosecution', then you have a choice to make. Your personal ethics or your personal liberty. It has been known for centuries that most people will make a decision based upon the outcome for themselves, while the minority will make a decision based upon principle regardless of the outcome. A sane person certainly can choose principle as the over-riding factor in decision making.
    So people's memory of past events can't change over time?

    Leave a comment:


  • Fleetwood Mac
    replied
    Originally posted by Ben View Post

    Swanson wasn't conducting any "police" work when he annotated a copy of his boss' memoirs years after the murder investigation.

    He cannot, therefore, be accused either of "gross incompetence" or bad policing.

    He was free as a bird to write whatever liked about the identification
    I would expect that an ex senior police officer would be imbued with operational ethics and would possess a mindset acquired during his time/experience/development as a serving senior police officer.

    In the event that Swanson disposed of said ethics and mindset upon leaving the police force, to the extent that he willfully ignored that which he witnessed at the ID, then I would call into question Swanson's ability to undertake his duties earlier in his life.

    After all, the ability to sift information objectively is pretty fundamental to his earlier position.

    Originally posted by Ben View Post

    It is impossible - completely and utterly impossible - to accept that a witness "unhesitatingly identified" a suspect, but then retracted that identification after admitting himself that the reason for this retraction lay in the fact that the suspect was a fellow Jew. No sane person would undermine his credibility and risk prosecution so brazenly, foolishly, and illogically. If the witness had truly identified the suspect, and was truly anxious to avoid that suspect hanging after realising that he was a fellow Jew, he'd have lied about it. He's have said "actually, wait a minute, I don't think this is the guy after all".
    It's only impossible when you begin at the position that it's impossible.

    And when it comes to 'risking prosecution', then you have a choice to make. Your personal ethics or your personal liberty. It has been known for centuries that most people will make a decision based upon the outcome for themselves, while the minority will make a decision based upon principle regardless of the outcome. A sane person certainly can choose principle as the over-riding factor in decision making.

    Leave a comment:


  • The Good Michael
    replied
    Originally posted by Fleetwood Mac View Post

    We can all be led astray in terms of deluding ourselves. I mean you only have to think of the a priori justification which is the catalyst for left-wing thinking.
    Left-wing thinking? No such thing. There's concern for humanity, the ecology, and wealth disparity brought on by many different forms of slavery, but that's just honest thinking. There's right-wing NON-thinking (about others) of course. It's all about "what's in it for me", and it can be seen throughout government, big business, and in the religion control groups.

    Cheers,

    Mike

    Leave a comment:


  • Ben
    replied
    Hi Fleets,

    Of course it does
    No, definitely and irrefutably not.

    Swanson wasn't conducting any "police" work when he annotated a copy of his boss' memoirs years after the murder investigation. He cannot, therefore, be accused either of "gross incompetence" or bad policing. He was free as a bird to write whatever liked about the identification - even if it meant mutating opinion into fact - secure in the knowledge that it had no impact whatsoever on what he did before his retirement in the capacity of an actual police official.

    It is impossible - completely and utterly impossible - to accept that a witness "unhesitatingly identified" a suspect, but then retracted that identification after admitting himself that the reason for this retraction lay in the fact that the suspect was a fellow Jew. No sane person would undermine his credibility and risk prosecution so brazenly, foolishly, and illogically. If the witness had truly identified the suspect, and was truly anxious to avoid that suspect hanging after realising that he was a fellow Jew, he'd have lied about it. He's have said "actually, wait a minute, I don't think this is the guy after all".

    All the best,
    Ben

    Leave a comment:


  • Fleetwood Mac
    replied
    Originally posted by Ben View Post

    Does that make either of them "bad policeman" for writing as much? No, of course not.
    Hi Ben,

    Of course it does.

    We can all be led astray in terms of deluding ourselves. I mean you only have to think of the a priori justification which is the catalyst for left-wing thinking.

    But, what you're suggesting is that Swanson allowed himself to be led astray in the most egotistical of fashions.

    You seem to be thinking that Swanson deliberately ignored what actually happened during the ID event.

    How else can you explain Swanson's conclusion that the witness refused to testify because he was Jewish? There are only two options here: 1) it was as Swanson wrote or 2) there was no such communication from the witness.

    If the latter is the case then Swanson arrived at a firm view which was absolutely not grounded in that which he witnessed. And, seeing as Swanson was in the business of sifting through the evidence objectively, then that would render Swanson grossly incompetent.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ben
    replied
    Hi Lechmere,

    Your arguments here puzzle me, and it's quite clear I'm not alone.

    You accuse me of "pure invention" despite the fact that my views are very much in accordance with mainstream thinking on the subject, whereas yours are brand new and highly controversial. Nothing inherently wrong with that per se, but I thought it worth pointing out in light of your insinuation that I've come up with something extraordinary.

    My position is simply that Anderson and Swanson may have convinced themselves that the witness refused to swear to the identification because of the suspect's fellow Jewishness, as opposed to the far more probable explanation that he simply wasn't sure after several years since the original fleeting sighting (which holds especially true if the witness was Lawende). There is no other credible explanation, or to borrow your expression, "no room" for one. The witness would not have been permitted to refuse to swear to an identification he had just made "unhesitatingly", and unless the witness was a weird weird lunatic, there is no way he would have admitted that the suspect's Jewishness was the reason for his sudden U-turn in refusing to swear. These are obvious realities which, of necessity, demand that the annotations are not taken "at face value". They can't be.

    I find it very bizarre that you're so against trying to make sense of what we've got in terms of Anderson's and Swanson's comments, and consider it preferable instead to take it all at face value first and then chuck it all out - attributing it to fakery or the result of Parkinson's disease! It makes no sense to me. What's the point of adopting a purist approach to a document that you insist was faked? And how do you explain Anderson if you A) don't think any of what he said was true, and B) don't think The Lighter Side of My Official Life was faked (I assume?!)...?

    Dismissing your "fake" explanation then, we're left only with the generally-considered-plausible explanation that the assumptions of Anderson and Swanson had mutated into factoids over time, and that these were reflected in their interviews, books and "annotations". Does that make either of them "bad policeman" for writing as much? No, of course not. Writing memoirs does not involve any "policing". They could write whatever they wanted, providing it didn't have any impact on an active murder investigation.

    All the best,
    Ben

    Leave a comment:


  • Jonathan H
    replied
    Thanks Garry

    for going to that trouble.

    I totally agree with trying to fill in the gaps because we have the beginning, the murders, and then we have the end, the killer was [insert name of favoured police suspect] but the middle is glimpses in the fog.

    None of what you wrote, nevertheless, cuts any ice with me whatsoever -- for what that is worth -- and it amazes me from what a slender thread the Schwarz sub-theory hangs from.

    It's actually a much weaker argument than the Pizer-Vioelena (sic) theory of the mid-1960's.

    Joseph Lawende is the best witness because of the timing between the victim being seen alive and then deceased.

    The meager extant sources show that, arguably, in 1992 Anderson gave an interview -- matching previous sources -- that he was unaware of a chief suspect who was a local Polish madman.

    In 1894, we know that Macnaghten knows about 'Kosminski' and has mixed a real person with fictional elements -- whether by accident or design is a matter of disagreement.

    In 1895, Anderson begins confiding in Major Griffiths that he is pretty sure of the fiend's identity as a locked-up madman -- in the wake of a Ripper suspect being affirmed by a Jewish witness, yet not arrested for those crimes.

    No mention of a witness until 1910.

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  • Garry Wroe
    replied
    I think that Macnaghten simply briefed Anderson, in early 1895, about 'Kosminski' assuring his pious, reactionary boss that he was a ferocious masturabtor, that he was incriminatingly sectioned in early 1889, and was now conveniently deceased.
    Unfortunately, Jonathan, the evidence isn’t there to support such a proposition.

    That Schwartz was Anderson's 'slam dunk' witness is feasible, but in my opinion -- and this time others' too -- not a strong or convincing argument.
    Schwartz got a closer and more sustained view of the man thought to have been the killer than any other witness, Jonathan, on top of which he was the only person to have observed actual violence perpetrated on a soon to be killed victim. Given Anderson’s assertion that the Seaside Home witness was the only informant who ever got a good view of the murderer, along with Swanson’s observation that the witness’s evidence would have been sufficient to have convicted the suspect, no-one other than Schwartz fits the bill.

    Joseph Lawende was used once and perhaps twice, albeit un-named in the press sources. Why not a third time?
    As I’ve said repeatedly, Jonathan, investigators would have discarded no witness who was thought to have seen Jack the Ripper. With this in mind, I have little doubt that Lawende and Long were used whenever a realistic suspect came under police scrutiny – Kosminski included. The point being, however, that the person who identified Kosminski was described by Anderson as the best witness. Since in terms of the quality and duration of the various sightings this could only have been Schwartz, I think it a realistic possibility that Lawende and Long did view Kosminski but failed to identify him.

    Let’s look at this from a different perspective. For a time City investigators clearly regarded Kosminski as a viable suspect. They mounted a round the clock surveillance operation which demonstrably turned up nothing. But this initiative would not have been discontinued on a whim. It would have been terminated only once Major Smith was satisfied that Kosminski was not the man who had killed Kate Eddowes. So how would such a determination have been made? Quite simply, Smith would have called in Lawende.

    And therein lies the problem. Those who promulgate Lawende as Anderson’s witness would have us believe that Lawende identified Kosminski unhesitatingly at the Seaside Home, yet failed to recognize this same man on behalf of Major Smith a week or two later.

    Frankly, this is an argument which to my mind confounds all common sense.

    Besides Scwartz's sighting of a bullying man does not describe a Jewish-featured figure (nor is Knifeman so described) and the figure allegedly used an anti-Semitic epiphet.
    According to Anderson, his witness was unaware that the man he’d sighted was Jewish, which would suggest that the suspect was not overtly Hebrew in appearance.

    And the cry of ’Lipski’?

    Just one more reason why Kosminski was unlikely to have been Broad Shoulders, I’m afraid, Jonathan.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jonathan H
    replied
    To Garry

    I differ with everybody.

    I think that Macnaghten simply briefed Anderson, in early 1895, about 'Kosminski' assuring his pious, reactionary boss that he was a ferocious masturabtor, that he was incriminatingly sectioned in early 1889, and was now conveniently deceased.

    Two of those bits of data are untrue, but it is not Anderson's fault that he was misled by his confidential assistant -- if that is what happened.

    That Schwartz was Anderson's 'slam dunk' witness is feasible, but in my opinion -- and this time others' too -- not a strong or convincing argument.

    Joseph Lawende was used once and perhaps twice, albeit un-named in the press sources. Why not a third time?

    Besides Scwartz's sighting of a bullying man does not describe a Jewish-featured figure (nor is Knifeman so described) and the figure allegedly used an anti-Semitic epiphet.

    Mind you, if people can have Israel Schwarz as the wtitness why can't I have the Vicar talking about the un-named Druitt?

    Leave a comment:


  • Garry Wroe
    replied
    Originally posted by Jonathan H View Post
    To try and make every fragment fit together I subscribe to the theory that Aaron Kosminski was never under surveillance, not was he ever subject to a witness confrontation -- positive or otherwise.
    That's where we differ, Jonathan. I incline to the view that Swanson related events to the best of his knowledge and recollection. As such I have little doubt but that Kosminski was both suspected and investigated, and was at some point identified by Schwartz.

    Originally posted by Jonathan H View Post
    I would like to see debate as to when Anderson and/or Swanson thought this had all happened?
    You and me both, Jonathan.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jonathan H
    replied
    And therein lies the problem, or puzzle, of such scanty and contradictory primary sources.

    To try and make every fragment fit together I subscribe to the theory that Aaron Kosminski was never under surveillance, not was he ever subject to a witness confrontation -- positive or otherwise. I also [provisionally] believe that Anderson (and Swanson) only learned of Aaron's existence in 1895, as their actions prior to that date, otherwise, make no sense.

    Other interpretations are possible.

    You have to make up your own mind as to which is the strongest argument, until at least a document, or artifact, turns up which expands -- or confirms -- our knowledge of this strata of the case.

    Putting all the bits and pieces together we can see that, at least by 1895, Anderson and Swanson believed that the case was pretty much solved, albeit without the evidence ever tested in a courtroom. They held this opinion in 1910 too: a local madman, driven insane by masturbation, who died soon after being sectioned.

    By 1910 they believed that there had been a positive identification, one that would have convinced a jury. Except that for treacherous sectarian-tribal motives the witness refused to testify. However it did not matter: the suspect was 'safely caged' and then deceased.

    I would like to see debate as to when Anderson and/or Swanson thought this had all happened?

    Leave a comment:


  • Garry Wroe
    replied
    In addition to which, Jonathan, Swanson stated that the City conducted a Kosminski-related round the clock undercover operation. Thus Major Smith would not only have been aware of Kosminski contemporaneously, he would have invoked first principles and summoned Lawende to view Kosminski before finally deciding it was safe to abandon the covert investigation. From this we may conclude that the City uncovered little or nothing to implicate Kosminski in the Whitechapel Murders - and yet, presumably based upon the same information, Anderson concluded that Kosminski was Jack the Ripper.

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