Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Does The Star Article Show That Schwartz Was Discredited?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Does The Star Article Show That Schwartz Was Discredited?

    The following is the text of an article published in The Star shortly after the murder of Liz Stride on Berner Street:

    Information which may be important was given to the Leman-street police late yesterday afternoon by an Hungarian concerning this murder. This foreigner was well dressed, and had the appearance of being in the theatrical line. He could not speak a word of English, but came to the police-station accompanied by a friend, who acted as an interpreter. He gave his name and address, but the police have not disclosed them. A Star man, however, got wind of his call, and ran him to earth in Backchurch-lane. The reporter's Hungarian was quite as imperfect as the foreigner's English, but an interpreter was at hand, and the man's story was retold just as he had given it to the police. It is, in fact, to the effect that he saw the whole thing. It seems that he had gone out for the day, and his wife had expected to move, during his absence, from their lodgings in Berner-street to others in Backchurch-lane. When he came homewards about a quarter before one he first walked down Berner-street to see if his wife had moved. As he turned the corner from Commercial-road he noticed some distance in front of him a man walking as if partially intoxicated. He walked on behind him, and presently he noticed a woman standing in the entrance to the alley way where the body was afterwards found. The half-tipsy man halted and spoke to her. The Hungarian saw him put his hand on her shoulder and push her back into the passage, but, feeling rather timid of getting mixed up in quarrels, he crossed to the other side of the street. Before he had gone many yards, however, he heard the sound of a quarrel, and turned back to learn what was the matter, but just as he stepped from the kerb. A second man came out of the doorway of the public-house a few doors off, and shouting out some sort of warning to the man who was with the woman, rushed forward as if to attack the intruder. The Hungarian states positively that he saw a knife in this second man's hand, but he waited to see no more. He fled incontinently, to his new lodgings. He described the man with the woman as about 30 years of age, rather stoutly built, and wearing a brown moustache. He was dressed respectably in dark clothes and felt hat. The man who came at him with a knife he also describes, but not in detail. He says he was taller than the other, but not so stout, and that his moustaches were red. Both men seem to belong to the same grade of society. The police have arrested one man answering the description the Hungarian furnishes. This prisoner has not been charged, but is held for inquiries to be made. The truth of the man's statement is not wholly accepted. (My block type)

    Is this last sentence a reference to Israel Schwartz as is often claimed to be the case? I don't think so.

    In the rest of the article (with one exception early in the piece) Schwartz is referred to throughout as either "he", "the Hungarian" or "the Foreigner".
    The men he saw (BS Man & Pipeman) are referred to as "a man walking as if partially intoxicated", "the half-tipsy man", "a second man", "the man who was with the woman", "the second man", "the man with the woman" & "the man who came at him with a knife".

    The final three sentences, long after the single reference to Schwartz as anything other than "Hungarian" or "foreigner", are as follows:

    "The police have arrested one man answering the description the Hungarian furnishes. This prisoner has not been charged, but is held for enquiries to be made. The truth of the man's statement is not wholly accepted".

    Surely the statement which is "not wholly accepted" is that of the man in custody who has not been charged "but is held for inquiries to be made". Had he admitted guilt he would have been charged. Clearly he did not do so and gave an account claiming his innocence. Had this been verified he would have been immediately released - yet he wasn't. I contend that it was his statement which was "not wholly accepted" and the investigation of which necessitated his continued detention.
    Last edited by Bridewell; 01-22-2015, 04:50 PM.
    "It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data. Insensibly one begins twisting facts to suit theories instead of theories to suit facts." Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (as Sherlock Holmes).

  • #2
    Yes, I take it as the truth of the prisoner's statement is not wholly accepted.
    Shame we are no wiser who this 'prisoner' was.
    Regards, Jon S.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Wickerman View Post
      Yes, I take it as the truth of the prisoner's statement is not wholly accepted.
      Shame we are no wiser who this 'prisoner' was.
      Thanks, Jon. It irks me somewhat when this passage is quoted in an attempt to show that Schwartz was discredited.
      "It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data. Insensibly one begins twisting facts to suit theories instead of theories to suit facts." Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (as Sherlock Holmes).

      Comment


      • #4
        Even if it can be shown that Schwartz's story was discredited we would still need to know the reason why. Was he lying or was it because he was not sure what he saw along with the whole translation problem?

        c.d.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Bridewell View Post
          Surely the statement which is "not wholly accepted" is that of the man in custody who has not been charged "but is held for inquiries to be made". Had he admitted guilt he would have been charged. Clearly he did not do so and gave an account claiming his innocence. Had this been verified he would have been immediately released - yet he wasn't. I contend that it was his statement which was "not wholly accepted" and the investigation of which necessitated his continued detention.
          I agree.

          But the Star report the following day (2 October) does seem to suggest Schwartz's story was doubted by the police:
          In the matter of the Hungarian who said he saw a struggle between a man and a woman in the passage where the Stride body was afterwards found,
          the Leman-street police have reason to doubt the truth of the story. They arrested one man on the description thus obtained, and a second on
          that furnished from another source, but they are not likely to act further on the same information without additional facts.


          On the other hand of course we have Swanson on 19 October saying:
          If Schwartz is to be believed, and the police report of his statement
          casts no doubt upon it ...

          Comment


          • #6
            Swanson's remark though, does not address the subsequent investigation that must have followed his statement.
            He appears to be saying the statement itself is satisfactory, but takes it no further.

            Then there is this sentence..

            "The police authorities have received an important statement in reference to the Berner-street crime. It is to the effect that a man between 35 and 40 years of age, and of fair complexion, was seen to throw the murdered woman to the ground. It was thought by the person who witnessed this that it was a man and his wife quarrelling, and consequently no notice was taken of it."
            The Echo, 1 Oct. 1888.
            (my bold)

            This didn't appear to be Schwartz's interpretation so, who are they talking about?
            Regards, Jon S.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Wickerman View Post
              Swanson's remark though, does not address the subsequent investigation that must have followed his statement.
              He appears to be saying the statement itself is satisfactory, but takes it no further.
              But if he had been aware - as he surely would have been - of further investigation that did cast doubt on Schwartz's credibility, would he have written what he did?

              If he'd been reporting to me, and had said what he did, in the knowledge that there was reason to doubt Schwartz's word, I would have made sure that was the last report he made.

              Comment


              • #8
                Perhaps there was a mix-up, and the Star October 2nd article is still shackled by their article of the previous day - if the Star thought that Schwarz was saying that a man ran out of the pub with a knife, and the police said that they doubted that this happened, then maybe, as far as the Star was concerned, the police doubted Schwarz's story.

                Maybe the man who thought the quarrel was a domestic dispute, was Pipeman ('the prisoner')?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Chris View Post
                  But if he had been aware - as he surely would have been - of further investigation that did cast doubt on Schwartz's credibility, would he have written what he did?

                  If he'd been reporting to me, and had said what he did, in the knowledge that there was reason to doubt Schwartz's word, I would have made sure that was the last report he made.
                  I would hazard a guess Chris, that if Swanson had written this report for yourself, you would have received it in much the same way as his superiors did.

                  We have a somewhat similar example in Swanson's report of the Chapman case where he writes:

                  "If the evidence of Dr. Phillips is correct as to time of death, it is difficult to understand how it was that Richardson did not see the body when he went into the yard at 4.45 am. but as his clothes were examined, the house searched and his statement taken in which there was not a shred of evidence, suspicion could not rest upon him.."

                  Here Swanson also expressed no doubt about Richardson's statement, and leaves the reader to believe Dr. Phillips must be in error.

                  Yet a few lines later we read:

                  "Again if the evidence of Mrs. Long is correct that she saw the deceased at 5.30 am then the evidence of Dr. Phillips as to probable time of death is incorrect. He was called and saw the body at 6.20 am and he then gives it as his opinion that death occurred about two hours earlier, viz 4.20 am. hence the evidence of Mrs. Long which appeared to be so important to the Coroner, must be looked upon with some amount of doubt, which is to be regretted".

                  See how Swanson shifts, from suggesting Richardson's statement must be viable and therefore Dr. Phillips in error, to Mrs Long's statement must be in error as Dr Phillips opinion is preferred.

                  This to me reads like Swanson has compiled his 19th Oct. report from notes taken at varying times throughout the investigation, he does not provide a reliable summary of what the police believe. Swanson's contradictory references to Richardson, Phillips & Long leave something to be desired.

                  It is because of this that I wonder if his remarks on Schwartz's "reliable statement" was not the actual last word.
                  Regards, Jon S.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    But with regard to Phillips, Swanson explicitly sets out the conflicts with the other evidence. That's what I think he would have done if the police had had reason to doubt Schwartz's veracity.

                    As for how Swanson's superiors received his report, if there was no reason to doubt Schwartz's veracity, it really doesn't tell us anything. (Nor does it tell us anything if there was reason to doubt it, and they didn't know about it.)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      suspicions

                      Hello Jon.

                      "This to me reads like Swanson has compiled his 19th Oct. report from notes taken at varying times throughout the investigation, he does not provide a reliable summary of what the police believe. Swanson's contradictory references to Richardson, Phillips & Long leave something to be desired."

                      Bingo.

                      "It is because of this that I wonder if his remarks on Schwartz's "reliable statement" was not the actual last word."

                      I think (for what little it's worth) that Abberline's interrogation left no reason to doubt Schwartz. It was only AFTER the investigation was pursued that suspicions arose.

                      I believe Swanson was aware of the "Leman position" and it was this that precipitated his "If his statement is to be believed . . .".

                      But one of the most telling factors--at least in my mind--is that the club, in their very next "Arbeter Fraint," never even hinted at Schwartz's story. An excellent strategy GIVEN they were the ones who concocted it and who now were timid about being involved.

                      Cheers.
                      LC

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Considering that Israel is completely absent from all remaining records pertaining to the Inquest into Liz Strides murder, and considering that his story, IF true, would be by far the most compelling account of any witness in any Ripper murder due to the approximated time of her cut and the location of the alleged altercation, one might wonder what that last sentence really referred to. In context, it seems the prisoner...but lets be clear here, Israels story was given officially Sunday night. Which means the arrest and interrogation of anyone would have taken place after the police caught up with the "suspects". Liz Strides Inquest opened Monday morning.

                        Any see or hear of any ongoing investigation into alleged thugs on that day?

                        How about on Tuesday,...when a woman claiming that the deceased, who had already been identified, was someone else? They gave Malcom a long time to deal with a story the police already knew was inaccurate. Stalling while they investigated the story Israel gave? Yet no mention...hmm.

                        Israels story is believed by a few policemen, one of which who also believes Hutchinson later on...a later discredited witness. There is however no evidence that what Israel described ever occurred.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hi All,

                          If Israel Schwartz's statement had been amenable to the police he would have appeared at the inquest.

                          But had he appeared at the inquest the 1.00 am mutilandum interruptus story upon which the idea of a double-event so heavily depended would have been blown out of the water.

                          Ergo! Exit Schwartz.

                          Regards,

                          Simon
                          Never believe anything until it has been officially denied.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Simon Wood View Post
                            Hi All,

                            If Israel Schwartz's statement had been amenable to the police he would have appeared at the inquest.

                            But had he appeared at the inquest the 1.00 am mutilandum interruptus story upon which the idea of a double-event so heavily depended would have been blown out of the water.

                            Ergo! Exit Schwartz.

                            Regards,

                            Simon
                            Well I guess that settles it then. No need to consider other possibilities that were both possible and reasonably probable.

                            c.d.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              But one of the most telling factors--at least in my mind--is that the club, in their very next "Arbeter Fraint," never even hinted at Schwartz's story. An excellent strategy GIVEN they were the ones who concocted it and who now were timid about being involved.

                              You've got to hand it to the club members. Those boys knew how to put a conspiracy together in no time flat with no messing around. Damn near textbook.

                              c.d.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X