Originally Posted by Wickerman
As I said to Trevor.
Abberline's, "I am of the opinion his statement is true", was intended to mean Hutchinson needs to be taken seriously. That the story he told is not one of mistaken identity, nor one intended to mislead the authorities.
There was no direct implication that Hutchinson was a suspect who turned out to be innocent in Abberline's mind, that is not what he meant by that comment.
When Abberline assessed the statement, his opinion was that it was the truth. But as stated it was simply an opinion, and at that time he could not prove or disprove it.
As I have stated previously he had no choice other than to say he believed it to be genuine, because this was potentially the first major lead the police had in the case, and for the police to come out and reject it without proof would have caused a public outcry.
Once the press got wind of Hutchinson the police had to accept it as genuine certainly in the first instance, whether through their subsequent inquiries they were able to cast a doubt about it is another matter, but there is nothing recorded to say that was the case.
So you way up what Hutchinson said against what the other witnesses of that night said, and form your own opinion. Of course when doing that we should also bear in mind that many of the witnesses throughout the whole series of murders gave conflicting evidence, and I know that a coroners court is different from a criminal court, but again throughout the many inquests many ambiguities material to the cases arose via witness testimony, which in my opinion should have been clarified and were not, and if they had have been we all might be that much more wiser about these murders.