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  • #46
    Yes Trevor we already have that photo.
    'It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is. It doesn't matter how smart you are . If it doesn't agree with experiment, its wrong'' . Richard Feynman

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    • #47
      Originally posted by Trevor Marriott View Post

      This should clarify matters

      Click image for larger version

Name:	12.annie chapman murder scene.jpg
Views:	277
Size:	40.4 KB
ID:	789369

      www.trevormarriott.co.uk
      Uh, no. This is a photo from approximately seventy years after the murder. Many things may have changed since 1888, including the number of steps.

      M.

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      • #48
        Originally posted by Mark J D View Post

        Uh, no. This is a photo from approximately seventy years after the murder. Many things may have changed since 1888, including the number of steps.

        M.
        How have the steps changed, did somebody steal one

        www.trevormarriott.co.uk

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        • #49
          Originally posted by Mark J D View Post

          Uh, no. This is a photo from approximately seventy years after the murder. Many things may have changed since 1888, including the number of steps.

          M.
          Well if you have a photo showing this, please share.
          Regards, Jon S.

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          • #50
            Originally posted by Joshua Rogan View Post

            I believe Richardson was talking about the steps to the cellar door when he said to Chandler that he did not go down them, rather than the back door steps. This is borne out by the Daily News report of Chandler's evidence on the 14th, which says;
            "Witness told him that he did not go to the bottom of the steps leading to the cellar. He went to the top, and looked down."

            The same paper reports that the inspector seemed to believe Richardson's evidence;

            "The Coroner closely questioned the inspector as to the visit of young Mr. Richardson to the backyard in Hanbury-street. Evidently Mr. Baxter had not been quite satisfied with the circumstances attending that visit, but from Inspector Chandler's tone and manner, he had himself apparently no doubt that this young man's evidence was reliable. The jury questioned the police-officer with the view of ascertaining whether it may have been possible that when Richardson went to the yard the body might have been laying there without his perceiving it. The inspector thought that it was very possible if he had only gone to the top of the steps. In that case, as the door opened outwards, it might have concealed the body behind it. Richardson, however, had sworn that he sat on the middle step with his feet on the ground, to cut a piece from his shoe, and it was allowed that in this position he must inevitably have seen the murdered woman"

            This is a very interesting presentation. While it is not a transcript based presentation, I think it is lucky for us to have the impressions of those who heard the testimony. Much is lost when only able to review transcripts, as it indicated by the presentation by the journalist that Insp. Chander's "tone and manner" conveyed his belief in Richardson. This is, of course, a subjective impression as it's not so much what Insp. Chandler said, but how he said it. And there is a lot about communication that is carried by tone (intonation of speech changes the same words from a statement to a question; think "I'm going to the movies", which can be said as a statement, or if one adds a rising inflection at the end, becomes a question! - indicating that going to the movies was unexpected, perhaps). Regardless of how one wants to weight this, I do think it is useful to us to consider such things when they come from people who were actually there. Hearing the testimony is to be aware of so much more information than we have available to us - even if we had a 100% accurate written transcript it would still be missing information concerning what was being communicated compared to actually hearing it in person.

            - Jeff

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            • #51
              Originally posted by GBinOz View Post

              Hi Jon,

              Generally I'd agree, but some witness testimony is very hard to believe:

              Joseph Chandler
              [Coroner] Did you see John Richardson? - I saw him about a quarter to seven o'clock. He told me he had been to the house that morning about a quarter to five. He said he came to the back door and looked down to the cellar, to see if all was right, and then went away to his work.
              [Coroner] Did he say anything about cutting his boot? - No.
              [Coroner] Did he say that he was sure the woman was not there at that time? - Yes.
              By the Jury: The back door opens outwards into the yard, and swung on the left hand to the palings where the body was. If Richardson were on the top of the steps he might not have seen the body. He told me he did not go down the steps.

              John Richardson
              [Coroner] Did you go into the yard? - No, the yard door was shut. I opened it and sat on the doorstep, and cut a piece of leather off my boot with an old table-knife, about five inches long.

              [Coroner] Did you sit on the top step? - No, on the middle step; my feet were on the flags of the yard.

              After cutting the leather off my boot I tied my boot up, and went out of the house into the market.

              (recalled)
              produced the knife - a much-worn dessert knife - with which he had cut his boot. He added that as it was not sharp enough he had borrowed another one at the market.

              Richardson initially indicates to Chandler that he gave the cellar door a perfunctory glance and departed.
              At the inquest he introduces the boot cutting story. He stated twice that he actually cut leather from his boot, but no leather shaving were found at the scene and Chandler confirms he made no mention of it to him. He consistently said he did not go into the yard, but the middle step was certainly in the yard. How does one sit on the middle step with one's feet on the flags without going down the steps? When asked to produce the knife he presents a knife that was totally unsuitable for the task and changes the successful shaving of the leather to having been at work afterwards.

              IMO Richardson introduced the boot story to enlarge his role in the matter or to avoid looking foolish for not having noticed the body, but didn't anticipate the Coroner asking to see the knife. I think Chapman's body was already there, as per Phillip's estimate of TOD, and Richardson missed it.

              Cheers, George
              I would disagree on one point: I believe most would interpret sitting on the middle step as not necessarily "going into the yard" especially if someone was recently found brutally mutilated only feet from where your own feet were. Apprehension about being "in the yard" could have affected his testimony. Can't say I blame him. Again, he was under brief suspicion from this boot knife. Just a thought.
              Last edited by Filby; 07-11-2022, 10:39 PM.

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              • #52
                Originally posted by Filby View Post

                I would disagree on one point: I believe most would interpret sitting on the middle step as not necessarily "going into the yard" especially if someone was recently found brutally mutilated only feet from where your own feet were. Apprehension about being "in the yard" could have affected his testimony. Can't say I blame him. Again, he was under brief suspicion from this boot knife. Just a thought.
                I agree. While taken literally, sitting on the steps with your feet on the flagstones is "going down the stairs", and going through the door to do so is going outside (and so literally "into the yard"), people don't always use language based upon a strictly literal definition of each word. "Going down the stairs" is generally used in reference to walking down them until at least standing at the bottom, and often with the added intention of walking further on, which is not what he describes doing. Rather, he seems to have stood at the top of the stairs, looked down into the stairwell to the basement (a different set of steps) to check the lock, which he could see (telling us it was fairly light even at that time by the way), and then sat down on the middle step. That action of sitting on the step would, in his mind, not be going down the stairs, it would be sitting down even though he's using the middle step as his "chair", so to speak. Also, going "into the yard" as he uses it cannot mean the literal interpretation of exiting the house into the outside (and the "yard" technically can be said to refer to the outside) because, of course, he freely admits he's sitting on the steps, which are outside, and therefore technically "in the yard." Therefore, he must mean something else, which was understood by those present because they don't call him up on it. I suspect what he's saying is that he didn't go down the steps and walk out further into the backyard, the area where the grass would be (or the packing crates, etc); basically, he's saying he went no further than to sit on the middle step.

                However, Joshua's post earlier presents the coverage from the Daily News, and he includes the line "Witness told him that he did not go to the bottom of the steps leading to the cellar. He went to the top, and looked down.", which could mean he walked over to the cellar steps to view the lock, so on his return would be when he sat to fit his boot. However, given this report is written in 3rd person (it's not a transcript of Richardson's statements as he gave them), it could be that Richardson meant the top of the steps at the backdoor (not the top of the cellar steps) is where he viewed the lock from. That interpretation is what has generally been suggested, and it is that interpretation that is offered to explain how he might have overlooked the body. Of course, if we take that Daily News presentation as it reads, that Richardson viewed the lock from the top of the cellar steps, then it would be impossible for him not to see Annie if she were there already.

                - Jeff
                Last edited by JeffHamm; 07-12-2022, 02:17 AM.

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                • #53
                  Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post

                  I agree. While taken literally, sitting on the steps with your feet on the flagstones is "going down the stairs", and going through the door to do so is going outside (and so literally "into the yard"), people don't always use language based upon a strictly literal definition of each word. "Going down the stairs" is generally used in reference to walking down them until at least standing at the bottom, and often with the added intention of walking further on, which is not what he describes doing. Rather, he seems to have stood at the top of the stairs, looked down into the stairwell to the basement (a different set of steps) to check the lock, which he could see (telling us it was fairly light even at that time by the way), and then sat down on the middle step. That action of sitting on the step would, in his mind, not be going down the stairs, it would be sitting down even though he's using the middle step as his "chair", so to speak. Also, going "into the yard" as he uses it cannot mean the literal interpretation of exiting the house into the outside (and the "yard" technically can be said to refer to the outside) because, of course, he freely admits he's sitting on the steps, which are outside, and therefore technically "in the yard." Therefore, he must mean something else, which was understood by those present because they don't call him up on it. I suspect what he's saying is that he didn't go down the steps and walk out further into the backyard, the area where the grass would be (or the packing crates, etc); basically, he's saying he went no further than to sit on the middle step.

                  However, Joshua's post earlier presents the coverage from the Daily News, and he includes the line "Witness told him that he did not go to the bottom of the steps leading to the cellar. He went to the top, and looked down.", which could mean he walked over to the cellar steps to view the lock, so on his return would be when he sat to fit his boot. However, given this report is written in 3rd person (it's not a transcript of Richardson's statements as he gave them), it could be that Richardson meant the top of the steps at the backdoor (not the top of the cellar steps) is where he viewed the lock from. That interpretation is what has generally been suggested, and it is that interpretation that is offered to explain how he might have overlooked the body. Of course, if we take that Daily News presentation as it reads, that Richardson viewed the lock from the top of the cellar steps, then it would be impossible for him not to see Annie if she were there already.

                  - Jeff
                  Hi Jeff
                  When discussing the various scenarios in my mind it comes down to the position of the door in relation to where he was standing or sitting. There are certain positions of that door which could have made it impossible for him to have seen the body.

                  And of course we are not able to pinpoint the exact location of the body or how it was found. and which account of Richardson is the truth

                  www.trevormarriott.co.uk
                  Last edited by Trevor Marriott; 07-12-2022, 07:08 AM.

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                  • #54
                    Originally posted by Trevor Marriott View Post

                    Hi Jeff
                    When discussing the various scenarios in my mind it comes down to the position of the door in relation to where he was standing or sitting. There are certain positions of that door which could have made it impossible for him to have seen the body.

                    And of course we are not able to pinpoint the exact location of the body or how it was found. and which account of Richardson is the truth

                    www.trevormarriott.co.uk



                    Joseph Chandler, Inspector H Division Metropolitan Police, deposed: On Saturday morning, at ten minutes past six, I was on duty in Commercial-street. At the corner of Hanbury-street I saw several men running. I beckoned to them. One of them said, "Another woman has been murdered." I at once went with him to 29, Hanbury-street, and through the passage into the yard. There was no one in the yard. I saw the body of a woman lying on the ground on her back. ''Her head was towards the back wall of the house, nearly two feet from the wall, at the bottom of the steps, but six or nine inches away from them. The face was turned to the right side, and the left arm was resting on the left breast. The right hand was lying down the right side''. Deceased's legs were drawn up, and the clothing was above the knees. A portion of the intestines, still connected with the body, were lying above the right shoulder, with some pieces of skin


                    I dont know about you Trevor, but going by what Inspector Chandler said and the picture in post #2 its not hard to see exactly where the body lay.[ I make that to be at the base of the last step, 6/9 inhces away from its edge.]


                    I dont imagine how he could have been wrong or mistaken or for that matter why he would be .
                    Last edited by FISHY1118; 07-12-2022, 08:40 AM.
                    'It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is. It doesn't matter how smart you are . If it doesn't agree with experiment, its wrong'' . Richard Feynman

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Originally posted by Trevor Marriott View Post

                      Hi Jeff
                      When discussing the various scenarios in my mind it comes down to the position of the door in relation to where he was standing or sitting. There are certain positions of that door which could have made it impossible for him to have seen the body.

                      And of course we are not able to pinpoint the exact location of the body or how it was found. and which account of Richardson is the truth

                      www.trevormarriott.co.uk
                      Hi Trevor,

                      Without having the scene to examine directly it's impossible to know if that's true or not, so I can't say it is impossible for Richardson to have sat on the steps, with the door in a certain way that blocked his view. But, from the various photos (admittedly some many years later), combined with the totality of his testimony, I do find it difficult to accept that the stars aligned in the way required for him to have missed seeing her (if she was there of course). Combine that with the doctor admitting that his estimation of the time of death could very well be wrong if he misjudged the cooling effects of the days' conditions (which, to me, reads like he's admitting he was probably wrong, but what it reads like to me is not the same as knowing what he himself intended of course).

                      Basically, I agree it is possible, in the sense that it may not violate the known physics of the universe for it to have happened (him missing her body despite it being there), but I think it so highly improbable that the working hypothesis has to be that she was not there at that time (but we mustn't mistake that for saying it was impossible for her to be there, so if something more turns up, we would be wise to revisit that evaluation.

                      I know we disagree on that, which is fine of course, and it's always good to have someone champion each line that is not impossible (otherwise tunnel vision develops, which is always bad), but as I've said in the past, that's how I weigh the evidence we have available to us (suspect though it may be).

                      Just to follow on unnecessarily, at times I wonder why this is such a contentious issue. Often there are things that people disagree upon that are easy enough to just "agree to disagree". And I think that it may come down to Long's description of the man she saw talking with Annie. It means if Richardson is correct, and Annie is not killed prior to his visit, then Long may have seen JtR, and her description becomes "valid". Problem is, while I think she probably did see Annie and JtR, I also know enough about memory and eye witnesses that her description is probably not entirely "safe" as you put it. She saw a man, from behind, whom she had little reason to note. She may have seen Annie, and it's possible she recognized her (not by name, just someone she's seen before). But as to her description of the man, we have to allow for it to be ... error prone (to be nice). I don't put any stock in her estimation of his age, height is probably ok (relative to Annie's), and general "dress sense", other than that, it's just recall of what was at the time an unimportant event.

                      - Jeff

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post

                        Hi Trevor,

                        Without having the scene to examine directly it's impossible to know if that's true or not, so I can't say it is impossible for Richardson to have sat on the steps, with the door in a certain way that blocked his view. But, from the various photos (admittedly some many years later), combined with the totality of his testimony, I do find it difficult to accept that the stars aligned in the way required for him to have missed seeing her (if she was there of course). Combine that with the doctor admitting that his estimation of the time of death could very well be wrong if he misjudged the cooling effects of the days' conditions (which, to me, reads like he's admitting he was probably wrong, but what it reads like to me is not the same as knowing what he himself intended of course).

                        Basically, I agree it is possible, in the sense that it may not violate the known physics of the universe for it to have happened (him missing her body despite it being there), but I think it so highly improbable that the working hypothesis has to be that she was not there at that time (but we mustn't mistake that for saying it was impossible for her to be there, so if something more turns up, we would be wise to revisit that evaluation.

                        I know we disagree on that, which is fine of course, and it's always good to have someone champion each line that is not impossible (otherwise tunnel vision develops, which is always bad), but as I've said in the past, that's how I weigh the evidence we have available to us (suspect though it may be).

                        Just to follow on unnecessarily, at times I wonder why this is such a contentious issue. Often there are things that people disagree upon that are easy enough to just "agree to disagree". And I think that it may come down to Long's description of the man she saw talking with Annie. It means if Richardson is correct, and Annie is not killed prior to his visit, then Long may have seen JtR, and her description becomes "valid". Problem is, while I think she probably did see Annie and JtR, I also know enough about memory and eye witnesses that her description is probably not entirely "safe" as you put it. She saw a man, from behind, whom she had little reason to note. She may have seen Annie, and it's possible she recognized her (not by name, just someone she's seen before). But as to her description of the man, we have to allow for it to be ... error prone (to be nice). I don't put any stock in her estimation of his age, height is probably ok (relative to Annie's), and general "dress sense", other than that, it's just recall of what was at the time an unimportant event.

                        - Jeff
                        Hi Jeff

                        I note from the Times Inquest testimony of Richardson in which he states "he did not go into the yard but stood on the steps" he mentions nothing about sitting on the steps. He then states he cut a piece of leather off his boot, but still mentions nothing about sitting on the step. The sole pupose of him going to this address at that time of the morning was to check the cellar door which would have been to his immediate right.

                        And of course he makes no mention of cutting a piece of leather from his boot to Insp Chandler.

                        So if he did only stand on the top step and open the door enough for him to look to his right and saw the cellar door was intact he could have missed seeing the body because the angle of the door against the top step would have blocked his view of the body.

                        www.trevormarriott.co.uk

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                        • #57
                          Originally posted by Trevor Marriott View Post

                          Hi Jeff

                          I note from the Times Inquest testimony of Richardson in which he states "he did not go into the yard but stood on the steps" he mentions nothing about sitting on the steps. He then states he cut a piece of leather off his boot, but still mentions nothing about sitting on the step. The sole pupose of him going to this address at that time of the morning was to check the cellar door which would have been to his immediate right.

                          And of course he makes no mention of cutting a piece of leather from his boot to Insp Chandler.

                          So if he did only stand on the top step and open the door enough for him to look to his right and saw the cellar door was intact he could have missed seeing the body because the angle of the door against the top step would have blocked his view of the body.

                          www.trevormarriott.co.uk
                          It's a perfect case of selective editing Trevor.
                          It is not a case of Richardson not 'saying', but only a case of the Times not 'publishing'.
                          We have several examples of the Times not giving adequate coverage of the inquests.
                          Regards, Jon S.

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            May I point out that we don't know WHAT the Hell Richardson SAID? We only have what the reporter/copy editor CHOSE to print from the inquest/interview notes (no tape recorders in 1888, remember?). And this goes for 8/10ths of ALL of the witness reports. Of course, in many cases that's ALL we have to work with, but fanatical theorizing based on the EXACT word choice that YOU would use with YOUR vocabulary is usually just speculation. Yes, I do it myself sometimes, but at least I realize the limitations that I'm working with. Would YOU want to be hung because you miscounted the damn steps or the piece of leather blew away in the two or three days it took for anyone to look for it?

                            Some people just need the obvious signs pointed out to them and they still will try to go out the "ENTER" door.
                            Last edited by C. F. Leon; 07-12-2022, 07:12 PM.

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                            • #59
                              Originally posted by Wickerman View Post

                              It's a perfect case of selective editing Trevor.
                              It is not a case of Richardson not 'saying', but only a case of the Times not 'publishing'.
                              We have several examples of the Times not giving adequate coverage of the inquests.
                              Well it only emphasises what I have said all along that newspaper reports should not be taken on face value.

                              So which version is to be beleived The Times or The telegraph or are they both unsafe to totally rely on?

                              www.trevormarriott.co.uk

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                              • #60
                                Originally posted by C. F. Leon View Post
                                May I point out that we don't know WHAT the Hell Richardson SAID? We only have what the reporter/copy editor CHOSE to print from the inquest/interview notes (no tape recorders in 1888, remember?). And this goes for 8/10ths of ALL of the witness reports. Of course, in many cases that's ALL we have to work with, but fanatical theorizing based on the EXACT word choice that YOU would use with YOUR vocabulary is usually just speculation. Yes, I do it myself sometimes, but at least I realize the limitations that I'm working with. Would YOU want to be hung because you miscounted the damn steps or the piece of leather blew away in the two or three days it took for anyone to look for it?

                                Some people just need the obvious signs pointed out to them and they still will try to go out the "ENTER" door.
                                Hi C.F. Leon,

                                That's very true, we can never re-evaluate the accuracy of any given transcript of the inquest testimony. All records of what people actually said have been made by writing things down by hand, either longhand (as per the official inquest documents), or possibly by short hand, which many journalists would have been trained in. Of course we can't say for sure if a given journalist used shorthand, we can see how when the papers report the inquest in transcript format (as apposed to presenting summaries) they often record a lot more than what is contained in the official inquest documents (like the questions posed, who posed them, and so forth), providing us with more context. But we also see some variation in specific words, and phrases, between the different transcripts.

                                That variation in wording tells us, without any doubt, there are errors introduced between the words the people said and the words that are available to us. Those errors could errors of omission (where words that were said are not in the written transcript), errors of addition (words that are in the transcript were not actually said but were added), and errors of transmission (where a word that was written down is not the word that was said because the transcriber misheard the speaker - the word was not correctly "transmitted" to the receiver).

                                An example of that last type is Barnett's statement of identifying MJK by her eyes and ears. It is oft debated that "ears" is probably a mishearing of "hair". We don't know that was the case, but it is a very valid argument because ears are not something that usually are very identifiable. But maybe there was something unique about her ears that we are simply unaware of, so in the end, we can never know for sure what Barnett said. We are left either having to try and work it out through reasoning, risking the possibility that we get it wrong, or walking away and just concluding the data we have to work with is too incomplete to really do anything with. Those who believe the latter, of course, don't participate here, so I think most of us would generally fall in the first group.

                                Given we do have multiple versions of transcripts for some of the inquests, we have to resort to comparing the different copies. Similar to the above, we can never really be positive if wording differences reflect an error of omission in once source or an error of addition in the other. One example is the difference in the description of the Goulston Street apron piece being described as one corner being wet versus one corner being wet with blood. Those last two words "with blood", could be missing through an omission, or could be an addition by the newspaper (added to clarify what the reporter believed was intended by the speaker, for example). These concerns apply equally to transcripts in the newspapers and the official hand written documents. Just because a transcript was made by an official of the inquest doesn't make their ability to write down what people said perfect. And just because witnesses had to sign those documents doesn't mean that is exactly what they said. How could they possibly remember their exact utterances and insist on edits? And to do so presumes they even read the transcript prior to signing it - most will just trust the official to have made an acceptable recording, and some may not even have been able to read well enough to even make a cursory scan through.

                                Add to that the fact that communication involves more than just the specific words, but also includes intonation, body language, and so forth, what we have available to us is a far reduced set of information, making it even harder for us to know exactly what a speaker meant.

                                Language is incredibly imprecise, but despite that, we can still convey what's in our head to someone else with pretty good efficiency. Sometimes it requires a fair bit of conversation to really hone in on the precise concepts, and so when we try and work out what a speaker intended by a particular utterance we do have to look at more than just that one sentence, and certainly more than just a specific word within that sentence.

                                I think that's one of the interesting aspects of studying the Whitechapel crimes though, as discussions about the various interpretations and possibilities highlight all of this points. It is why two people can look at the same information and yet reach very different conclusions. The data we have is simply very ambiguous at times, and yet we often treat it as if it is precise and that our interpretation must somehow be the right one (because what we understand those words to mean feels to us to be the only things those words could mean ; and sadly, that's just not true).

                                - Jeff

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