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Go Back   Casebook Forums > Ripper Discussions > Suspects > Hutchinson, George

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  #361  
Old 07-17-2018, 05:21 PM
Ben Ben is offline
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Hi Jon,

Going back to your earlier observation regarding the role of the groom, almost 50,000 of London’s horses (the vast majority of them, that is) were engaged in the transport industry at the time - pulling hansom cabs, omnibuses etc. Statistics therefore favour Hutchinson the groom (if such he ever truly was) being employed in that particular line of equine endeavour; and while this would have included the usual feeding, watering, mucking-out etc, his duties weren’t exactly on a par with tending the king’s prize stallions at Balmoral.

So your hastily googled list of groomsman’s duties and ideal attributes - relating exclusively to modern times, and to purely recreational horsey use by wealthy people, typically called Claudia - might not compare terribly well to an average day in Hutchinson’s alleged former trade. Likewise, the chances of him ever “present(ing) horses at shows” or being required to be fastidiously turned-out himself must be considered quite remote.

We realise that “police use pocketbooks”, Jon. Bit weird then that Hutchinson’s mystery policeman, to whom the Astrakhan/Kelly sighting was allegedly first related on the Sunday following the murder, neither made use of his trusty pocketbook at this most auspicious of moments, nor informed his superiors.

It’s essentially a case of accepting the above and thus positing the existence of a monstrously negligent yet mysteriously untraceable policeman, or Hutchinson lied.

Contrary to your earlier statement, we have a very good “idea (about) the level of lighting”; we know roughly where the lamps were positioned, as well as how much light they were capable of emitting, i.e. a naked flame only prior to the invention of the mantle in 1891. We also know that tests for photographic memory don’t require anything approaching Hutchinson’s self-alleged feat of memorisation to garner a positive result.

As for being in “good company” in expressing doubts over Hutchinson’s account, magistrate Bob Hinton communicated with numerous policemen, both serving and retired, and all were sceptical of Hutchinson’s tale; so as a fellow sceptic, I’d say I’m in pretty good “company” already. Added to which, we also have contemporary expressions of this very scepticism, coinciding very neatly with both the reported discrediting of Hutchinson’s account and the concomitant abandoning of the search for Astrakhan man. Still no evidence for this “hunt” for Astrakhan man that you mentioned a few pages back, and which supposedly extended beyond mid-November 1888.

You accuse me of “trying” the argument that details of Lewis’s sighting were available for Hutchinson to hear or read about prior to his coming forward, but I assure you the argument did not originate with me. I merely happen to agree with it because the alternative proposal - that it was somehow impossible for anyone so motivated to ascertain such details, even if it meant simply registering which witnesses were due to attend or had attended - is demonstrably absurd and unimaginative. He wouldn’t have needed to be physically in attendance at the inquest itself; he need only have observed Lewis enter the building - the crowds thronging around the town hall offering ample opportunity for concealment.

If you’re still wondering why Hutchinson didn’t describe a less lavishly-attired suspect, the reason is obvious, and contained in Abberline’s report. He was “surprised at seeing a man so well dressed in her company, which caused him to watch them”. If you take away the “well-dressed” aspect, his very excuse for loitering on Dorset Street (as observed by Lewis) is rendered null and void.

Otherwise, the description “borrows” extensively from contemporary descriptions of “leather apron”.

Last edited by Ben : 07-17-2018 at 05:28 PM.
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  #362  
Old 07-17-2018, 05:23 PM
Ben Ben is offline
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Finally, and I really do beseech you on this one, you’ve got to stop with the Sarah Lewis seeing a couple “pass up” the court nonsense. It absolutely, emphatically, and factually did not happen, as all police, press and inquest sources confirm bar ONE instance of simple, editorial error on the part of ONE newspaper - the same newspaper that got other stuff totally wrong about the Kelly murder.

What are you finding so terribly difficult about the standard, logical practice - employed by all researchers and historians - of discarding one dubious source if and when it says something completely different to the overwhelming majority of quality sources? Only the Daily News, in a commonplace instance of accidental, innocent misreporting, had Sarah Lewis’s couple entering the court itself. All other sources, including (most crucially) her police statement, make very clear that the couple in question went along Dorset Street in an east-west direction and were “further on” (i.e. further west) from where the widewake man was loitering.

Were it otherwise, Lewis would have been called upon to attempt an identification with Kelly’s body, if only to see if the basics correlated with her “hatless” woman, such as hair colour/length, age and height.

Nobody but you thinks Lewis’s couple entered the court itself, and I dare say you’d side with everyone else were it not for this quest of yours to establish some sort of harmony or corroboration between Hutchinson and Lewis.

But here’s the good news - such corroboration exists! The evidence strongly suggests that Hutchinson was the man in the widewake seen by Lewis, thereby placing him at the scene exactly when he said he was. Mission accomplished, surely? Just don’t ruin it by trying to shoehorn in the factually incorrect “couple-up-the-court” nonsense.

You’re making things even worse now by trying to fiddle with the reported times of arrival at the court for Lewis and Hutchinson; “delaying” the latter (because, according to you, he wanted to slow his pace and walk like a policeman?!), whilst “accelerating” the former in order for her to converge with Hutchinson and observe the same couple, stretching things way beyond credulity (and the actual evidence). The fact that both parties gauged the time from church clocks (albeit different ones) affords us at least some degree of precision when assessing their estimates, to the extent that “about 2.00am” and “about 2.30” are probably “about” right, give or take a minute.

As I’ve said, nobody but you argues - or to my knowledge, has ever argued - that Lewis and Hutchinson observed the same couple enters the court. It quite simply did not happen; fact.

One door closes, but who knows? Another may yet open for you in your ongoing crusade to absolve and venerate Hutchinson - and only Hutchinson for some strange, annoying reason. You’re not nearly so bothered about defending the honours of other witnesses suspected of lying or worse, despite some of their cases being promoted far more regularly and aggressively than Hutchinson’s.

Crossmere, Richardson, Kelly and whoever else can go hang as far as you’re concerned, but you treat Hutchinson as your own delicate puppy, to be wrapped up in a nice warm blanket and constantly shielded from the big wide world of legitimate scrutiny and challenge.

All best wishes,
Ben

Last edited by Ben : 07-17-2018 at 05:31 PM.
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  #363  
Old 07-17-2018, 05:38 PM
Ben Ben is offline
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Hi again, Jon.

What’s with this baffling assertion that every theory involving Hutchinson as a suspect has been “taken apart piece by piece”?

The only person remotely interested in attempting to “take apart” any criticism of Hutchinson these days is you, so I can only assume you’re here applauding your own efforts. Trust me, Jon, we’d all like to write our own reviews.

But your self-congratulatory boasting would only be warranted if your “taking apart” crusade hasn’t been so thoroughly “taken apart” itself, as it has, “piece by piece”.

I would fervently hope that before you even begin to “take apart” Senise’s book, you would at least have read it, but I’m doubtful on that score too. Why make reference to “Jewish businesses” when Senise argues very clearly, and to my mind persuasively, that the location of the double event murders - committed in very close proximity to the two buildings most sensitively and intimately associated with Jewish religion and politics* - were deliberately chosen to implicate the Jewish community?

I still find it fascinating that you dismiss Lawende’s sighting, despite clear indications that it was considered by the police the most likely sighting of the ripper in the company of the victim. Lawende believed Eddowes’ clothing was “the same” as that worn by the woman at the end of Church Passage. I’m not sure quite how you’ve been able to determine that the “sighting was too late”, but Dr. Sequeira certainly wouldn’t have considered it so in the context of the length of time likely required to complete the mutilations.

*The International Working Men’s Educational Club and the Great Synagogue in Dutfields Yard and Church Passage respectively.

Last edited by Ben : 07-17-2018 at 05:41 PM.
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  #364  
Old 07-17-2018, 05:53 PM
Ben Ben is offline
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Quote:
“Serial killers are nothing If not risk takers”
Quite right, Abby.

I think however much some of us dismiss the idea of a guilty Hutchinson coming forward on the grounds that it would be imprudent to do so, at least according to their (presumably non-sociopathic) logic, it remains a reality that serial killers have been noted to inject themselves into their own investigations, and in circumstances very similar to what has been proposed of Hutchinson.

Experts in laws enforcement are so familiar with this strategy that they even lay traps to “flush out” their serialist quarry in anticipation of them resorting to it, in some form. Expert opinion and historical precedent must always supersede the layman’s rationale as to what X or Y killer “ought” to have done in a such or such a predicament.

Cheers,
Ben

Last edited by Ben : 07-17-2018 at 05:58 PM.
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  #365  
Old 07-17-2018, 06:02 PM
Ben Ben is offline
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Quote:
“Even if Abberline had been completely duped you would think at least one person higher up would have said "hey Fred, can you believe the B.S this Hutchinson guy is throwing out?"
That’s just it, though, CD.

If Abberline’s report had been greeted with scepticism by his superiors, it would neatly account for the “diminution” Hutchinson’s story suffered shortly after it first appeared. If Swanson et al weren’t as impressed with the veracity of Hutchinson’s tale as Abberline initially was, it was the former top brass whose opinions would have held sway.

Once Hutchinson’s account had been discredited (as per the Echo, 13th and 14th, and the Star, 15th), it was even observed later in the press that “some” of the authorities still clung to the wreckage of Hutchinson as a potential lead. I don’t know if these included Abberline, but regardless of the personnel involved, the total absence of any evidence for a continued Astrak-hunt tells a very clear story; that those with ultimate authority weren’t interested.

I’m afraid all these “hoping for a night with Kelly” and “wanting to rob him” explanations continue to strike very distinct bum notes with me, not least because they rely on the blinged-up Jewish dandy - with absurdly unsubtle bogeyman, pantomime villain attributes - being a genuine entity. It is simply inconceivable that anyone so adorned would have escaped being interfered with in that location, at the height of the ripper scare, with so many policemen and vigilance patrols about.

If the truth was as innocent as a naive hope to stay the night with Kelly (after walking back 12 miles from Romford, with no money, and with the certain knowledge that his lodgings would be closed, naturally), why didn’t he relate as much to the police?

I keep hearing that Hutchinson may have been trying to “intimidate” the man, but why didn’t it work? Why wasn’t Astrakhan-the-Ripper “intimated”, or at the very least motivated to abandon his ripping plans after such a brazen intrusion?

All the best,
Ben

Last edited by Ben : 07-17-2018 at 06:07 PM.
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  #366  
Old 07-17-2018, 07:29 PM
rjpalmer rjpalmer is offline
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Hi Simon. Perhaps you could help me with something. I look inside my trusty Evans and Skinner, then consult my own meager collection of documents, and in both cases I notice that the MEPO files on the Kelly case are exceedingly thin. One might even wish to use the word 'non-existant.'

Similarly, the press became strangely muted after the Kelly case and there is a great lag in reporting until the following summer.

Then we have Fred Abberline. As far as I can tell, what Abberline said or wrote about the case after November 1888 can be written on a single sheet of paper or maybe even an index card.

Yet I keep reading on this thread what Abberline believed, or didn't believe, or undoubtedly believed, etc.

So here's my question. Is someone blowing smoke up my backside or is the volcano acting up again?

Best wishes, RP
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  #367  
Old 07-17-2018, 07:33 PM
Abby Normal Abby Normal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c.d. View Post
Hello Abby,

It makes perfect sense to me if he wanted a place to spend the night and perhaps a free role in the hay. Especially if Mary said I have a customer coming by shortly but I don't know if he is here for a quick one or wants to spend the night and indicated to him that if the customer only wanted a quick one then Hutch was free to spend the night. This would explain his waiting as well as his peering in at the customer as a possible way of intimidating him into thinking Hutch was her pimp and that he was not really welcome here.

c.d.
Not bad cd. Not bad at all.
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"...the man and the peaked cap he is said to have worn
quite tallies with the descriptions I got of him."

-Frederick G. Abberline
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  #368  
Old 07-17-2018, 07:38 PM
Abby Normal Abby Normal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c.d. View Post
Hello Abby,

Very hard to believe that a veteran detective like Abberline didn't harbor at least initial suspicion of Hutch and his story. But Abberline was not acting in a vacuum. His superiors and others at Scotland Yard surely must have been involved as well. Even if Abberline had been completely duped you would think at least one person higher up would have said "hey Fred, can you believe the B.S this Hutchinson guy is throwing out?"

As I have said previously, the more suspicion you can throw at Hutchinson the dumber the police would have to have been to not pick up on it and act accordingly.

c.d.
Hi cd
Well i think there was initial suspician which is why anberline said he interrogated him. And i agree other police were involved and probably did say that to him. Which is why hes dropped like a stone, neber heard from again, and several days his story is reported as being discounted.
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"Is all that we see or seem
but a dream within a dream?"

-Edgar Allan Poe


"...the man and the peaked cap he is said to have worn
quite tallies with the descriptions I got of him."

-Frederick G. Abberline
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  #369  
Old 07-17-2018, 07:57 PM
Wickerman Wickerman is offline
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Hello Ben.

Nice to see you pop in - truly, I'm not being sarky here.
I do appreciate you reviewing past discussions, nothing more exasperating than someone jumping in the middle of an exchange and getting things all out of context.
That said, I'll just pick up on a few points, much of what you commented on is water under the bridge right now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben View Post
Hi Jon,
.... Likewise, the chances of him ever “present(ing) horses at shows” or being required to be fastidiously turned-out himself must be considered quite remote.
Based on what exactly? You seem to know more about Hutchinson's trade than any researcher I can recall. More conjecture is it?

Quote:
We realise that “police use pocketbooks”, Jon. Bit weird then that Hutchinson’s mystery policeman, to whom the Astrakhan/Kelly sighting was allegedly first related on the Sunday following the murder, neither made use of his trusty pocketbook at this most auspicious of moments, nor informed his superiors.
It's the big picture Ben. You take points in isolation and dismiss them without considering what is happening in parallel. As has been mentioned just hours ago, the weekend papers collectively wrote more paragraphs on the late Friday morning sightings by M.Lewis & Maxwell. Therefore the public, and yes the local beat constables who also read the papers, are well aware of the stories that Kelly was alive between 8 & 10 am Friday morning.

Over the weekend the police had no idea what hour the murder took place. So the beat constable has no inside knowledge. He is as much in the dark as Joe Public, yet just as aware of Maxwell's story, and Kelly being alive until 10:00 am.
So then along comes Hutchinson on Sunday morning talking about seeing Kelly at 2:00 am Friday morning. What do you expect the PC to do about a man seeing Kelly 7 hours before her assumed time of death?
He did what any constable would, that is tell him to go tell his story at the station.
Which he apparently chose not to do.

Quote:
Contrary to your earlier statement, we have a very good “idea (about) the level of lighting”; we know roughly where the lamps were positioned, as well as how much light they were capable of emitting, i.e. a naked flame only prior to the invention of the mantle in 1891. We also know that tests for photographic memory don’t require anything approaching Hutchinson’s self-alleged feat of memorisation to garner a positive result.
Ok, so lighting less than adequate? Facial features not clear enough - understood.
Yet then, about Hutchinson seeing Lewis, you write.....

Quote:
He wouldn’t have needed to be physically in attendance at the inquest itself; he need only have observed Lewis enter the building - the crowds thronging around the town hall offering ample opportunity for concealment.
How does he know Lewis -IN POOR LIGHT?, she was across the street.
He couldn't recognise her in the "less than adequate" lighting.
Yet, now the lighting is sufficient for Hutch to recognise a woman 25ft away, but he couldn't do the same 5 minutes earlier with a man right under his nose?
That wasn't too well thought out Ben.
By the way, the crowds were reported to be quite thin outside the court in comparison with previous murders - though you might like to know that.

Quote:
If you’re still wondering why Hutchinson didn’t describe a less lavishly-attired suspect, the reason is obvious, and contained in Abberline’s report. He was “surprised at seeing a man so well dressed in her company, which caused him to watch them”. If you take away the “well-dressed” aspect, his very excuse for loitering on Dorset Street (as observed by Lewis) is rendered null and void.
thats too funny.

Welcome back, your colorful posts were sorely missed, by me at least.
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Last edited by Wickerman : 07-17-2018 at 08:02 PM.
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  #370  
Old 07-17-2018, 08:39 PM
DJA DJA is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben View Post
Quite right, Abby.

I think however much some of us dismiss the idea of a guilty Hutchinson coming forward on the grounds that it would be imprudent to do so, at least according to their (presumably non-sociopathic) logic, it remains a reality that serial killers have been noted to inject themselves into their own investigations, and in circumstances very similar to what has been proposed of Hutchinson.

Experts in laws enforcement are so familiar with this strategy that they even lay traps to “flush out” their serialist quarry in anticipation of them resorting to it, in some form. Expert opinion and historical precedent must always supersede the layman’s rationale as to what X or Y killer “ought” to have done in a such or such a predicament.

Cheers,
Ben
Reckon Jack the Ripper injected himself into the alleged investigation via Hutchinson.

His rough description of Randolph Churchill was a reminder of what would happen if he was "found".

Police knew what was going on.
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