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  • #61
    Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post

    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
    Hi Jeff
    You are so right. the problem is that the variations in some of the witness testimony has a major impact on important aspects of each of the murders.

    A classic example is the case being discussed where time of death is a major issue.

    www.trevormarriott.co.uk

    Comment


    • #62
      Originally posted by Trevor Marriott View Post

      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
      Not the Times, their coverage is given in the third-person, so there will be a degree of summary in each sentence.
      Not that the Times coverage is wrong, but verbatim coverage normally provides more detail.

      The Daily Telegraph offers verbatim exchanges in part of Richardson's testimony, likewise does the Daily News & Morning Advertiser, so I would go with those three newspapers and collate them together to see if we can assemble a reasonable conversation.
      We would then apply what is published in the Times to see if what they wrote is consistent with what we have.
      It's a lot of work but it is necessary to build up an acceptable picture of what passed between the coroner and Richardson.
      Regards, Jon S.

      Comment


      • #63
        Originally posted by Trevor Marriott View Post

        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
        Above is what he told Chandler immediately after the event. Come the inquest there is an all new and improved version. He claimed the day before he had unsuccessfully attempted a boot repair. Arriving at Hanbury St on the morning of the murder he decides that his boot is still bothering him and, rather than wait two minutes to effect a repair at his workplace, he testifies that he cut leather off his boot while sitting on the steps.When the coroner took an interest in the fact that he carried a knife, he produced a knife that was obviously incapable of cutting leather (even though he testified he had done so), or inflicting on Chapman the injuries that were visited upon her.

        Baxter decided to take the word of three witnesses over two professional men - Phillips and Chandler, but Swanson and Scotland Yard took the opposite viewpoint. Had Richardson stuck with the story that Trevor quoted it would have been taken as of little import, but his embellished story became the crucial evidence relied upon to discredit Phillips. I view Phillip's comment about the coldness of the morning and the blood loss as being an explanation for his decision rather that and alternative.

        Cheers, George
        “Contrariwise,” continued Tweedledee, “if it was so, it might be, and if it were so, it would be but as it isn’t, it ain’t. That’s logic.”

        “Oh, you can't help that,” said the Cat: “we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.” “How do you know I'm mad?” said Alice. “You must be,” said the Cat, or you wouldn't have come here.”

        Comment


        • #64
          Originally posted by GBinOz View Post

          Above is what he told Chandler immediately after the event. Come the inquest there is an all new and improved version. He claimed the day before he had unsuccessfully attempted a boot repair. Arriving at Hanbury St on the morning of the murder he decides that his boot is still bothering him and, rather than wait two minutes to effect a repair at his workplace, he testifies that he cut leather off his boot while sitting on the steps.When the coroner took an interest in the fact that he carried a knife, he produced a knife that was obviously incapable of cutting leather (even though he testified he had done so), or inflicting on Chapman the injuries that were visited upon her.

          Baxter decided to take the word of three witnesses over two professional men - Phillips and Chandler, but Swanson and Scotland Yard took the opposite viewpoint. Had Richardson stuck with the story that Trevor quoted it would have been taken as of little import, but his embellished story became the crucial evidence relied upon to discredit Phillips. I view Phillip's comment about the coldness of the morning and the blood loss as being an explanation for his decision rather that and alternative.

          Cheers, George
          ''Immediately after the event''.



          Hi George . This is the part thats always bothered me as far as Richardson is concerned . This was just an hour after the discovery of the body, how on earth does he not tell the boot story when questioned by Chandler ?. Yet some 12 days later at the inquest we get this long drawn senario about his poor old boot!! .

          I think in this case , Richardson stood on the landing/first step poked his head out, looked to his right to check the lock on the cellar door all the while holding the door open on a 40 degree angle thus blocking his view of Chapmans body .

          We have Chandlers statement that all but suggest this is what happened .


          Question, How cold of a morning was it on the Eddowes murder compared to that of Chapmans ?
          Last edited by FISHY1118; 07-13-2022, 03:56 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


          • #65
            Originally posted by FISHY1118 View Post

            I think in this case , Richardson stood on the landing/first step poked his head out, looked to his right to check the lock on the cellar door all the while holding the door open on a 40 degree angle thus blocking his view of Chapmans body .

            We have Chandlers statement that all but suggest this is what happened .
            I totally agree with you

            www.trevormarriott.co.uk

            Comment


            • #66
              Originally posted by FISHY1118 View Post

              ''Immediately after the event''.



              Hi George . This is the part thats always bothered me as far as Richardson is concerned . This was just an hour after the discovery of the body, how on earth does he not tell the boot story when questioned by Chandler ?. Yet some 12 days later at the inquest we get this long drawn senario about his poor old boot!! .

              I think in this case , Richardson stood on the landing/first step poked his head out, looked to his right to check the lock on the cellar door all the while holding the door open on a 40 degree angle thus blocking his view of Chapmans body .

              We have Chandlers statement that all but suggest this is what happened .


              Question, How cold of a morning was it on the Eddowes murder compared to that of Chapmans ?
              Hi Fishy,

              Many people want their moment in the sun, their 15 minutes of fame. Richardson's experience could not achieve that goal without embellishment, and I agree with your assessment. Richardson's mother, when asked, testified that the lock could be seen from the top step of the doorway. The comparison with Eddowes body temperature vindicates Phillip's conclusions.

              Cheers, George
              “Contrariwise,” continued Tweedledee, “if it was so, it might be, and if it were so, it would be but as it isn’t, it ain’t. That’s logic.”

              “Oh, you can't help that,” said the Cat: “we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.” “How do you know I'm mad?” said Alice. “You must be,” said the Cat, or you wouldn't have come here.”

              Comment


              • #67
                Hi Trevor,

                Can you comment on Richardson as a POI in this murder?

                Cheers, George
                “Contrariwise,” continued Tweedledee, “if it was so, it might be, and if it were so, it would be but as it isn’t, it ain’t. That’s logic.”

                “Oh, you can't help that,” said the Cat: “we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.” “How do you know I'm mad?” said Alice. “You must be,” said the Cat, or you wouldn't have come here.”

                Comment


                • #68
                  Originally posted by GBinOz View Post

                  Hi Fishy,

                  Many people want their moment in the sun, their 15 minutes of fame. Richardson's experience could not achieve that goal without embellishment, and I agree with your assessment. Richardson's mother, when asked, testified that the lock could be seen from the top step of the doorway. The comparison with Eddowes body temperature vindicates Phillip's conclusions.

                  Cheers, George
                  So you agree with his opinion when giving a T.O. D for Annie Chapman?


                  '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


                  • #69
                    Originally posted by GBinOz View Post
                    Hi Trevor,

                    Can you comment on Richardson as a POI in this murder?

                    Cheers, George
                    Well if Dr Phillips is correct about the time of death and Richardson could account for his movements leading up to the body being found and they could be verified then no, he in my opinion would not be a person of interest. When a murder occurs someone has to find the body!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                    I dont think that there is any information as to whether or not he was married or who he lived with at the address given but I am sure someone who has access to census records will be able to answer those questions.

                    It is highly unlikely that any killer would be stupid enough to kill in his own back yard.

                    It is clear that Chapmans murder was committed by the same killer as the other victims and we have none of them being committed at the time consistent with the conflciting witness testimony which has caused researchers to suggest a much later time than Phillips

                    My personal opinion at this time is that he is not a person of interest

                    www.trevormarriott.co.uk




                    Comment


                    • #70
                      Originally posted by FISHY1118 View Post

                      ......I think in this case , Richardson stood on the landing/first step poked his head out, looked to his right to check the lock on the cellar door all the while holding the door open on a 40 degree angle thus blocking his view of Chapmans body .
                      I'm not so sure he could have.
                      Here is a sketch that shows the type of canopy installed over the cellar steps.



                      Except, that it is shown a little too high, it appears to cover the lower part of the ground floor window.
                      Yet, here below we have a photo where we can see pattern marks on the wall beneath the ground floor window that suggest where a canopy attached to the wall formed a roof over the cellar steps.



                      This canopy would restrict the view of anyone standing in the house doorway, Richardson would have had to be lower down. The marks on the wall suggest the canopy was barely a little higher than the top house step.
                      Richardson would need to be lower, as you would in sitting on a step to see under the canopy.
                      Regards, Jon S.

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        Originally posted by FISHY1118 View Post





                        As these drawings show if indeed Richardson stood on the step and he only opened the door 35degrees, on that angle he only needed to look hard to his right to check the cellar door. And look into the yard without glancing to his left to spot Chapmans body

                        From the height of the steps he would have had to look straight down and slighly to his left to see her body , remembering he only went to check the cellar down, which he might have done many times befor. He knew just a slight opening of the door then put his head around would allow him to see the cellar door lock easily.

                        So i believe its just possible he did miss chapmans body .

                        That is of course we believe Insp Chandler when he said Richardson made no mention of sitting on the step to cut the leather from his boot .

                        Just a foot note , notice the gap in the paleings of the fence and the height ? Albert Cadosch

                        A further consultation of the detectives engaged in the case was held this morning, and an officer again visited the back-yard of No. 29, Hanbury-street, and made a careful inspection of the palings leading from that house to No. 27, where resides the young man Cadosh, who stated at the inquest that he heard sounds proceed from the spot where the body lay at a quarter-past five on the morning of the murder. An examination of the fence shows that immediately over the place in the yard there is an aperture in the palings by which the dead body could have been plainly visible, while anyone moving in the yard might easily have been seen.14 Echo Sept 20th 1888.

                        But as these pics show the cover for the entrance to the cellar isnt quite as elaborate as your pic , Richardson could still have easily seen the lock without too much difficulty .

                        That extra step in that pic doesnt bode well for its accuracy either. Just saying.
                        Last edited by FISHY1118; 07-13-2022, 12:59 PM.
                        '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


                        • #72
                          Originally posted by FISHY1118 View Post


                          But as these pics show the cover for the entrance to the cellar isnt quite as elaborate as your pic , Richardson could still have easily seen the lock without too much difficulty .

                          That extra step in that pic doesnt bode well for its accuracy either. Just saying.
                          You must have noticed how many versions there are of that canopy?
                          Journalists only described the scene to the artist, which accounts for the variety.
                          My concern is in the photograph.
                          The level of the marks beneath the window shows where some kind of roof/canopy touched the wall. It was almost the same height or just a little above the top step of the house.
                          None of the sketches I have seen show a canopy so low, so none of them are reliable, in my view.
                          Regards, Jon S.

                          Comment


                          • #73
                            It has to be worth asking the question ‘why would John Richardson have lied about sitting on that step?’ If he’d wanted an excuse for not seeing the body why didn’t he just say that he’d opened the door slightly and looked to his right to check the cellar, leaving open the possibility that he might have missed it? Why invent a story where he places himself at the scene of an horrific murder in possession of a knife with no one else around?

                            All that we have is the fact that Chandler said:

                            “[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.”

                            Is it possible that the Richardson didn’t mention sitting on the step to cut his boot to Chandler? Yes, I’d say that it was possible but it’s also possible that he mentioned sitting on the step but didn’t mention why he’d sat on the step. That wouldn’t have been a lie but the omission of a detail which didn’t seem relevant at the time. As we can see from the above quote, Chandler only mentions that Richardson didn’t mention ‘cutting the boot.’ It’s also worth remembering that the conversation between Chandler and Richardson took place in the passageway of number 29 during the initial period of the investigation with people going in and out and with Chandler having to cope with all manner of interruptions and distractions. Is it impossible therefore that he might simply have misremembered what Richardson had actually said to him? Should we just assume that it was the Police Officer that was correct? I’d say that we have absolutely no way of judging who was correct but it would have been entirely understandable if Chandler had indeed misremembered what Richardson had actually said.

                            Reminding ourselves again that Richardson appears to have had no reason to have lied it’s worth remembering how confident that he was that he couldn’t simply have missed the body.

                            [Coroner] How long were you there? - About two minutes at most.
                            [Coroner] Was it light? - It was getting light, but I could see all over the place.
                            [Coroner] Did you notice whether there was any object outside? - I could not have failed to notice the deceased had she been lying there then. I saw the body two or three minutes before the doctor came. I was then in the adjoining yard.

                            So we know that he’d actually seen the body in situ from the yard next door. He therefore knew it’s exact location and exactly how much floor space the corpse had taken up. He was totally familiar with the size and layout of the yard and of the size of the door and so couldn’t have failed to have been aware of any possibility of the body being obscured by that door. But he was absolutely adamant that he couldn’t possibly have missed a body had it been there at the time. He had no doubt at all. He also had no reason that I can see for dismissing a possibility if it had been a possibility.

                            So do we assume that Richardson was lying (for what reason?) or that he was an idiot (on what basis?) just to confirm a Doctor’s TOD estimation which we know for a fact to have been little more that guesswork in 1888? Or just because this murder might have occurred later that the others when there could have be other reasons for this? Then of course we have Cadosch hearing sounds from an empty yard after Richardson had left for work. All witnesses have questions to answer of course but it’s worth remembering that although witnesses can be mistaken most give their honest opinions of events and they weren’t all idiots and they usually don’t have reasons for lying.
                            Regards

                            Sir Herlock Sholmes

                            “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.”

                            Comment


                            • #74
                              Originally posted by Wickerman View Post

                              You must have noticed how many versions there are of that canopy?
                              Journalists only described the scene to the artist, which accounts for the variety.
                              My concern is in the photograph.
                              The level of the marks beneath the window shows where some kind of roof/canopy touched the wall. It was almost the same height or just a little above the top step of the house.
                              None of the sketches I have seen show a canopy so low, so none of them are reliable, in my view.
                              We would be on fairly shaky ground if we’re relying on sketches Wick.
                              Regards

                              Sir Herlock Sholmes

                              “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.”

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                Eastern Post Sep 15, 1888:

                                Coroner & John Richardson: Did you go into the yard at all? - Not at all, sir.
                                I thought you went there to see that the cellar was all right? - Yes; but you don't need to go into the yard to see that. You can see the padlock of the cellar door from the back door steps.

                                Mrs. Richardson, recalled in her son's absence: Do you understand that he goes down to the cellar door? - No, he can see from the steps.


                                Phillips observed that Chapman's body was cold and rigor mortis was just beginning when he examined the body at 6:30AM. Brown said that Eddowes body was still quite warm with no rigor mortis when he examined it at 2:20AM, and estimated she had been dead roughly 40 minutes.
                                I remain unconvinced that an extra 20 minutes made that much difference in body temperature and rigor. So, to answer your question Fishy, I believe Phillip's ToD estimate of 2 hours or more.

                                Cheers, George
                                “Contrariwise,” continued Tweedledee, “if it was so, it might be, and if it were so, it would be but as it isn’t, it ain’t. That’s logic.”

                                “Oh, you can't help that,” said the Cat: “we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.” “How do you know I'm mad?” said Alice. “You must be,” said the Cat, or you wouldn't have come here.”

                                Comment

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