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  • George Hutchinson Revisited

    If George Hutchinson’s statement can be believed, we have probably the most detailed witness description of Jack the Ripper. He claims to have seen MJK meet a man that she took back to her room at around 2.00am, an hour or two before her estimated time of death. He hung around until nearly 3.00am and saw no-one leave. It is therefore highly probable that the man George Hutchinson claimed to have seen was MJK’s murderer. However, his statement is widely questioned and not universally accepted and I think it useful to revisit that.

    One challenge against Hutchinson’s statement is that he gave no reason for waiting for the best part of an hour outside MJK’s room and it might be considered an odd thing to do. We, therefore, cannot know for certain why he waited. I think, though, based on his statement, we can speculate at least one plausible reason. He claims MJK asked him for some money, which he had sometimes given her in the past, but on this occasion replied he had no money (having spent it all on a trip to Romford). She replied that she must go and find some money. She then met the man she took back to her room. He also later told Inspector Abberline ‘that he was surprised to see a man so well dressed in her company which caused him to watch them.’ From Hutchinson’s perspective then he is likely to surmise that MJK had found a wealthy punter who she might provide services to, perhaps in about 30 mins. A good target to steal from after he left who would be unlikely to go the police to report the theft due to his activities that night. However, after 45 minutes he would have concluded the man might be staying the night and so he left.

    This might also explain another challenge to Hutchinson’s statement, which is why did he leave it three days to give his statement to the police. He certainly wasn't going to tell them he was waiting to commit a crime and perhaps thought it best to keep his counsel. The reason I think he changed his mind was due to the testimony of Sarah Lewis. She stated that she saw a man hanging around outside MJK’s room between 2.00am and 3.00am. This must have been George Hutchinson. I could not find her statement reported in the press prior to the inquest. It is, in my opinion, no coincidence that Hutchinson made his statement later the same day she made her statement. He was probably worried that she might be able to identify him and he needed to get his explanation for being in Miller’s Court to the police ahead of being identified and potentially being considered connected to the murder.

    In addition, Inspector Abberline stated that ‘I have interrogated him (George Hutchinson) this evening and I am of the opinion his statement is true’’. We do not have the details of the interrogation, but Abberline was experienced and considered accomplished, so I do not think we can dismiss his conclusions lightly.

    Last edited by etenguy; 05-27-2021, 12:06 AM.

  • #2
    My first thought on seeing this new thread was, ....is someone having a laugh?
    But I see the length of that first post suggests otherwise, my best advise Eten is, fasten your seat belt.


    Seriously though, you are aware how these questions have been done to death over the past, maybe fifteen years?
    On the plus side, there must be enough new members to justify revisiting the subject, and we should always entertain new input from new members.

    I take Hutchinson as being basically honest. Stewart Evans who had taken statements himself as part of his duty on the Met. did not see anything suspicious about the depth of detail afforded by Hutchinson in his statement.
    That said, I also agree Hutchinson may 'possibly' have had an ulterior motive for hanging about as long as he did. That in itself does not take away from the legitimacy of his statement to police.

    Regards, Jon S.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by etenguy View Post
      If George Hutchinson’s statement can be believed, we have probably the most detailed witness description of Jack the Ripper. He claims to have seen MJK meet a man that she took back to her room at around 2.00am, an hour or two before her estimated time of death. He hung around until nearly 3.00am and saw no-one leave. It is therefore highly probable that the man George Hutchinson claimed to have seen was MJK’s murderer. However, his statement is widely questioned and not universally accepted and I think it useful to revisit that.

      One challenge against Hutchinson’s statement is that he gave no reason for waiting for the best part of an hour outside MJK’s room and it might be considered an odd thing to do. We, therefore, cannot know for certain why he waited. I think, though, based on his statement, we can speculate at least one plausible reason. He claims MJK asked him for some money, which he had sometimes given her in the past, but on this occasion replied he had no money (having spent it all on a trip to Romford). She replied that she must go and find some money. She then met the man she took back to her room. He also later told Inspector Abberline ‘that he was surprised to see a man so well dressed in her company which caused him to watch them.’ From Hutchinson’s perspective then he is likely to surmise that MJK had found a wealthy punter who she might provide services to, perhaps in about 30 mins. A good target to steal from after he left who would be unlikely to go the police to report the theft due to his activities that night. However, after 45 minutes he would have concluded the man might be staying the night and so he left.

      This might also explain another challenge to Hutchinson’s statement, which is why did he leave it three days to give his statement to the police. He certainly wasn't going to tell them he was waiting to commit a crime and perhaps thought it best to keep his counsel. The reason I think he changed his mind was due to the testimony of Sarah Lewis. She stated that she saw a man hanging around outside MJK’s room between 2.00am and 3.00am. This must have been George Hutchinson. I could not find her statement reported in the press prior to the inquest. It is, in my opinion, no coincidence that Hutchinson made his statement later the same day she made her statement. He was probably worried that she might be able to identify him and he needed to get his explanation for being in Miller’s Court to the police ahead of being identified and potentially being considered connected to the murder.

      In addition, Inspector Abberline stated that ‘I have interrogated him (George Hutchinson) this evening and I am of the opinion his statement is true’’. We do not have the details of the interrogation, but Abberline was experienced and considered accomplished, so I do not think we can dismiss his conclusions lightly.
      if hutch was telling tje truth then more than likely he saw the ripper. yet youll find no one on here who seriously considers a man as the ripper, eventhough they say they beleive hutch. weird. why is that?
      ill tell you why... because in their heart of hearts they know its bull ****.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by etenguy View Post

        This might also explain another challenge to Hutchinson’s statement, which is why did he leave it three days to give his statement to the police.

        In addition, Inspector Abberline stated that ‘I have interrogated him (George Hutchinson) this evening and I am of the opinion his statement is true’’.
        Would Abberline have known of and had checked Hutchinson's claim to have spoken to a policeman about it, on Sunday morning?

        Pall Mall Gazette, Nov 14:

        Last evening a man named George Hutchinson, a groom, who is now working as a labourer, made the following statement to a reporter, and his description of the murderer agrees in every particular with that already furnished by the police and published yesterday morning:-

        "On Thursday I had been to Romford, and I returned from there about two o'clock on Friday morning, having walked all the way. I came down Whitechapel road into Commercial street. As I passed Thrawl street I passed a man standing at the corner of the street, and as I went towards Flower and Dean street, I met the woman Kelly, whom I knew very well, having been in her company a number of times. She said, "Mr. Hutchinson, can you lend me sixpence?" I said, "I cannot, as I am spent out, going down to Romford." She then walked on towards Thrawl street, saying, "I must go and look for some money." The man who was standing at the corner of Thrawl street then came towards her, put his hand on her shoulder, and said something to her which I did not hear; they both burst out laughing. He put his hand again on her shoulder and they both walked slowly towards me. I walked on to the corner of Fashion street, near the public house. As they came by me his arm was still on her shoulder. He had a soft felt hat on, and this was drawn down somewhat over his eyes. I put down my head to look him in the face, and he turned and looked at me very sternly. They walked across the road to Dorset street. I followed them across, and stood at the corner of Dorset street. They stood at the corner of Miller's court for about three minutes. Kelly spoke to the man in a loud voice, saying, "I have lost my handkerchief." He pulled a red handkerchief out of his pocket and gave it to Kelly, and they went up the court together. I went to look up the court to see if I could see them, but could not. I stood there for three-quarters of an hour to see if they came down again, but they did not, and so I went away. My suspicions were aroused by seeing the man so well dressed, but I had no suspicion that he was the murderer. The man was about 5ft. 6in. in height, and about thirty-four or thirty five years of age, with dark complexion, and dark moustache, turned up at the ends. He was wearing a long, dark coat, trimmed with astrachan (sic), a white collar, with black necktie, in which was affixed a horseshoe pin. He wore a park of dark "spats" with light buttons, over button boots, and displayed from his waistcoat a massive gold chain. His watch chain had a big seal, with a red stone hanging from it. He had a heavy moustache, curled up, dark eyes, and bushy eyebrows. He had no side whiskers and his chin was clean shaven. He looked like a foreigner. I went up the court, and stayed there a couple of minutes, but did not see any light in the house, or hear any noise. I was out on Monday night until three o'clock looking for him. I could swear to the man anywhere. I told one policeman on Sunday morning what I had seen, but did not go to the police station. I told one of the lodgers here about it on Monday, and he advised me to go to police station, which I did at night. The man carried a small parcel in his hand about eight inches long, and it had a strap around it. He had it tightly grasped in his left hand. It looked as though it was covered with dark American cloth. He carried in his right hand, which he left upon the woman's shoulder, a pair of brown kid gloves. One thing I noticed, and that was that he walked very softly. I believe that he lives in the neighbourhood, and I fancied that I saw him in Petticoat lane on Sunday morning, but I was not certain. I have been to the Shoreditch mortuary, and recognized the body as that of the woman Kelly, whom I saw at two o'clock on Friday morning. Kelly did not seem to me to be drunk, but was a little spreeish. After I left the court I walked about all night, as the place where I usually sleep was closed. I came in as soon as it opened in the morning. When I left the corner of Miller's court the clock struck three. One policeman went by the Commercial street end of Dorset street while I was standing there, but not one came down Dorset street.
        Andrew's the man, that is not blamed for nothing

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by NotBlamedForNothing View Post

          Would Abberline have known of and had checked Hutchinson's claim to have spoken to a policeman about it, on Sunday morning?
          Hutchinson doesn't say where he was on Sunday morning, but as he was unemployed, a likely place would be working at a Sunday Market.

          A constable would be required to put some particulars down in his pocketbook if approached by a person with that kind of information.
          So yes, Abberline could have identified the officer & retrieved his pocketbook.

          One small point, a constable assigned to a market would be 'on-point', which means he cannot leave. You may recall the morning of Chapman's murder, a witness ran to the market and told the policeman there had been a murder, but the constable could not leave.
          Regards, Jon S.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Wickerman View Post

            A constable would be required to put some particulars down in his pocketbook if approached by a person with that kind of information.
            So yes, Abberline could have identified the officer & retrieved his pocketbook.
            Right, so the notion that Hutchinson waited 3 days to make a statement, is a little misleading.

            Hutchinson's mentioning of the brown kid gloves, is pretty interesting, considered against the next paragraph in the same edition of the PMG …

            A paragraph in the morning papers states that the police have received from Mr. Samuel Osborne, wire worker, 20, Garden row, London road, a statement to the effect that he was walking along St. Paul's churchyard yesterday behind a respectably dressed man, when a parcel, wrapped in a newspaper, fell from the man's coat. Osborne told him that he had dropped something; but the man denied that the parcel belonged to him. Osborne picked up the parcel, and found that it contained a knife, having a peculiarly shaped handle and a thick blade, six or seven inches long, with stains upon it resembling blood. The parcel also contained a brown kid glove, smeared with similar stains on both sides. Osborne found a constable, and together they searched for the mysterious individual, but without success. The parcel, says the paragraph, was handed to the City police authorities, "who, however, attach no importance to the matter." What on earth could be more important, after the statement made by the man Hutchinson and quoted above?
            Andrew's the man, that is not blamed for nothing

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Abby Normal View Post
              if hutch was telling tje truth then more than likely he saw the ripper. yet youll find no one on here who seriously considers a man as the ripper, eventhough they say they beleive hutch. weird. why is that?
              ill tell you why... because in their heart of hearts they know its bull ****.
              One can believe Hutchinson yet consider the man seen innocent. He could have been simply a customer.

              I see no reason to disbelieve Hutchinson. That does not mean I am certain Astrakhan Man was the ripper. He's a good candidate, though.

              Comment


              • #8
                Not a massively important point but I wonder why Kelly needed money at 2.00 am?
                Regards

                Sir Herlock Sholmes



                "The most confused you will ever get is when you try to convince your heart and spirit of something your mind knows is a lie.”

                ”The absence of doubt is not necessarily a sign of the presence of truth.”

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Kattrup View Post

                  One can believe Hutchinson yet consider the man seen innocent. He could have been simply a customer.

                  I see no reason to disbelieve Hutchinson. That does not mean I am certain Astrakhan Man was the ripper. He's a good candidate, though.
                  If it wasn't for the statement of Mrs Kennedy yes, but as her claim to have seen Kelly outside the Britannia again, about 3:00 am, lets Astrachan off the hook.
                  Astrachan was not the last person to be seen with Kelly that morning.

                  Mrs. Kennedy is confident that the man whom she noticed speaking to the woman Kelly at three o'clock on Friday morning is identical with the person who accosted her on the previous Wednesday.
                  Evening News, 10 Nov. 1888.
                  Last edited by Wickerman; 05-27-2021, 11:39 AM.
                  Regards, Jon S.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Wickerman View Post

                    If it wasn't for the statement of Mrs Kennedy yes, but as her claim to have seen Kelly outside the Britannia again, about 3:00 am, lets Astrachan off the hook.
                    Astrachan was not the last person to be seen with Kelly that morning.

                    Mrs. Kennedy is confident that the man whom she noticed speaking to the woman Kelly at three o'clock on Friday morning is identical with the person who accosted her on the previous Wednesday.
                    Evening News, 10 Nov. 1888.
                    Yes...could still be Astrakhan man, though. Both Hutchinson and Kennedy mention a long dark coat, a dark moustache, hat, and that he walked funny.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I believe Astrakhan Man was actually A Victim. The Star, Oct 15:

                      Thieves, it seems, are becoming emboldened by the common talk of the inadequate protection afforded by our police. "A Victim" writes :- Last evening, in Clerkenwell-road, my progress was stopped by a procession. Whilst crossing the road to get to a tramcar I was attacked by about eight roughs, who tried to throw me down, but unsuccessfully. I considered myself fortunate in escaping, but I discovered upon rebuttoning my overcoat that my gold watch and the greatest portion of a very heavy gold chain had been abstracted. I write this to show the need for carrying a stick and a police whistle, and also to rouse the energy of the police.
                      Andrew's the man, that is not blamed for nothing

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Some dots should not be connected

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post
                          Not a massively important point but I wonder why Kelly needed money at 2.00 am?
                          Hey Herlock, I hope you are well. I would hazard a guess the money was for a fish and potato pie and possibly a pint.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Wickerman View Post

                            If it wasn't for the statement of Mrs Kennedy yes, but as her claim to have seen Kelly outside the Britannia again, about 3:00 am, lets Astrachan off the hook.
                            Astrachan was not the last person to be seen with Kelly that morning.

                            Mrs. Kennedy is confident that the man whom she noticed speaking to the woman Kelly at three o'clock on Friday morning is identical with the person who accosted her on the previous Wednesday.
                            Evening News, 10 Nov. 1888.
                            Hi Wickerman

                            It is interesting that Hutchinson states Kelly was in her room at 3.00am, the same time Mrs Kennedy states she saw her at the Britannia. While the pub was quite close by and we can allow Mrs Kennedy some lee-way with the time - it seems likely Kelly was still with the same man if she was at the pub, else she would have to had found another well dressed man to drink with in a very short time.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by etenguy View Post

                              Hey Herlock, I hope you are well. I would hazard a guess the money was for a fish and potato pie and possibly a pint.
                              Hi Eten
                              Regards

                              Sir Herlock Sholmes



                              "The most confused you will ever get is when you try to convince your heart and spirit of something your mind knows is a lie.”

                              ”The absence of doubt is not necessarily a sign of the presence of truth.”

                              Comment

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