Whether Hutchinson was telling the truth or not, Mr Astrakhan was certainly "good copy". That being the case, why would the Star - more commercially aware than most papers - publish a story about Hutchinson's description being discredited* if there wasn't some truth behind it?
* albeit discredited by "some" authorities, it seems.
Kind regards, Sam Flynn
"Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)