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

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  #1261  
Old 08-20-2018, 01:00 PM
Abby Normal Abby Normal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjpalmer View Post
"A man, apparently of the labouring class, but of a military appearance, who knew the deceased, last night lodged with the police a long and detailed statement of an incident which attracted his attention on the day in question. The following is a summary of the statement, and it may be said that notwithstanding examination and re-examination by the police, the man's story cannot be shaken, and so circumstantial and straightforward were his assertions that the police believe they have at length been placed in possession of facts which will open up a new line of investigation..."

--Daily News 13/10/88

It sure doesn't sound as though the police quickly and easily accepted Hutchinson's story; on the contrary, he was grilled repeatedly, but stuck to his guns. Obvious support for this exists in the MEPO files. A statement to Badham wasn't enough; Abberline came over and grilled Hutchinson as well. It also raises the spectre that Hutchison's story would have been quietly investigated for confirmation, since it was initially doubted.

Further, there is no direct evidence Hutchinson's story was quickly disgarded or debunked for the simple reason that the relevant MEPO files no longer exist. If we merely went by the press reports, it would similarly appear as though the witness Israel Schwartz had his 5 minutes of fame and then was dropped like a hot penny, never to be mentioned again; in reality, in the MEPO files, Schwartz is still being discussed by Swanson nearly 3 weeks later, as he muses about the two men Schwartz described and wonders which is a better suspect.

Often claims in the press about this or that incident being dismissed is merely the police trying to put a 'lid' on a story that they are still actively investigating. It can't be taken at face value unless there is some sort of confirmation in an actual internal report. I put no stock whatsoever in the claim Hutch was debunked. If he had been shown to have been lying he would have been slapped with at least 14 days with hard labor for making a false statement to the police.
as were packer and Violenia?

Schwartz had the issue of being a foreigner, needing a translator etc. and we know he was still being discussed three weeks later.

Plus some have convincingly put forward he was the witness to the Koz ID.

re hutch-we cant keep blaming lost files-that's really weak argument IMHO. we have no idea if anything else was in there at all about him.


but I agree with you and DK-I believe they might have had first doubts but came to believed him initially. But So what? He drops faster than any other witness. This from someone who SHOULD have been the best witness they had by far.
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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."

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  #1262  
Old 08-20-2018, 01:08 PM
Wickerman Wickerman is offline
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Originally Posted by Darryl Kenyon View Post
..... He probably knew that there were no sightings of Mary between 2 and 3 due to the inquest earlier and possibly no witnesses in the newspaper reports beforehand. The fact that the police grilled him, and his story cannot be shaken, to me suggest they themselves had it in their minds that his story might be a little too good to be true.
This idea that "he knew because of the inquest" never seems to be fully explained. It's treated like a big black hole of unending possibilities, yet the practicalities of how he separates the witnesses from the jurists, and who gave testimony, and what that testimony was, is always ignored.
If he read the early edition of the papers, which I think more likely, then he only obtained part of the story.

One of the details he learned was that a witness called Cox saw the murderer at midnight (the Star), he would know this was not true, so off he goes to Commercials street station to tell them they had it wrong.
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  #1263  
Old 08-20-2018, 01:15 PM
Ben Ben is online now
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Hi RJ,

Quote:
It also raises the spectre that Hutchison's story would have been quietly investigated for confirmation, since it was initially doubted.
I’m not sure what aspect of Hutchinson’s account could realistically have been “confirmed”, quietly or otherwise. Short of a handful of insomniacs peering out of their windows at convenient times during his alleged Commercial Street walkabout, his reported activities were largely unverifiable. Moreover, Abberline penned his missive of approval on the evening of the 12th, which, bearing in mind Hutchinson had only made himself known at 6.00pm that same evening, meant that detectives couldn’t have had any time to investigate his various claims.

As Abby says, we can’t keep invoking the spectre of “lost reports” and insisting they equate to the “evidence” we’re hoping must have existed once upon a time. I can just as easily claim that Hutchinson wrote a murder confession, which has also been conveniently “lost”.

I find it curious that you accept without question the uncorroborated 13th November Daily News report, and yet dismiss three separate reports - two from the Echo and one from the Star - attesting to Hutchinson’s discrediting. You compare his treatment in the press to that of Schwartz, but nowhere in the latter case to we find a single reference to his importance suffering a “diminution” because of doubts surrounding his credibility.

In the case of the Echo reports, they are based on a proven communication with the police.

As I’ve already mentioned, Hutchinson would only have been given several hard days’ labour if they could prove he was lying, which was next to impossible.

All the best,
Ben

Last edited by Ben : 08-20-2018 at 01:23 PM.
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  #1264  
Old 08-20-2018, 02:26 PM
rjpalmer rjpalmer is offline
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Originally Posted by Abby Normal View Post
we cant keep blaming lost files-that's really weak argument IMHO. we have no idea if anything else was in there at all about him.
Exactly. And no one is 'blaming' anything. It is a simple statement of fact.

We have precisely ONE internal report discussing police opinion about Hutchinson.

And what does that one report state, Abby? Any guesses?

Yup, you guessed it! Abberline grilled the witness and ended up believing him.

Up against this we have vague claims in the press stating the witness was discreditted without any official confirmation that this was, in fact, the case.

It's called the historical method. Try it sometime. The official documents always get precident over vague claims in the press.

It's really that simple. And two years later "gullible" Fred Abberline was promoted to Chief Inspector.
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  #1265  
Old 08-20-2018, 02:31 PM
rjpalmer rjpalmer is offline
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Originally Posted by Varqm View Post
I gather you believe in Caroline Maxwell who's story also cannot be shaken,ignoring the doctor's estimated time of death and the "murder" cry".
Apples and oranges. Nothing in Hutchinson's story contradicts either the cry of murder or contemporary medical opinion.

You seem to be falling into the same trap as Walter Dew. Maxwell was wrong, so Hutchinson must have been wrong, too. In reality, the logic is bizarre considering that the two sightings were some six hours apart, and the medical evidence in no way disagreed with Hutchinson, and modern medical opinion might not even disagree with Maxwell (Dr. Hocking, et al).
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  #1266  
Old 08-20-2018, 02:46 PM
rjpalmer rjpalmer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben View Post
I’m not sure what aspect of Hutchinson’s account could realistically have been “confirmed”, quietly or otherwise.
That he walked back from Romford. That his usual digs were closed. That he knew Kelly for three years. That he contacted a PC on Sunday, etc. etc.


But really, Ben, I'm still amused by your belief that the murderer hiding out in common lodging houses would have been ideal! Sir Robert Anderson would have bucked-you back down to a fixed-point PC for that sort of thinking. The conclusions Scotland Yard came to was that the Ripper either had a private room or was being protected by his family. Yet you have him walking blood-stained into a communal dormitory, kidney and bloody knife in hand? Any port in a storm, I guess, but somehow I suspect that if it was ever show that Hutchinson had a private room you'd be the first to latch on to that as an excellent development, greatly strengthening the case against him.
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  #1267  
Old 08-20-2018, 02:59 PM
Ben Ben is online now
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Hi Herlock,

Interestingly, it appears that Hutchinson’s description was very consistent with contemporary caricatures of the generic wealthy Jew, as depicted in Punch and elsewhere. The following extract is from Anti-Semitism in British Society, 1879-1939 by Colin Holmes:

A recent study of cartoons and caricatures of the Irish maintains that “Victorian political cartoons were closely linked to popular prejudices about all manner of people and issues” and it is not without interest to consider the portrayal of Jews in Punch...there was a prominent stress upon Jews as oblivious of any interest except that of material gain...a number of drawings appeared which were intended to create an image of Jews as “sharp boys”.

...The depictions also carried with them an implicit assumption that Jews lacked cultural finesse, that to them art was merely another trading commodity, and this was further underlined when an artist by “a mere alteration of titles” was depicted as achieving a sale of unmarketable pictures - to a plutocratic Jewish buyer, well built, dressed in an Astrakhan coat, and flourishing an ample, ready cheque book.


All the best,
Ben
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  #1268  
Old 08-20-2018, 03:15 PM
Herlock Sholmes Herlock Sholmes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben View Post
Hi Herlock,

Interestingly, it appears that Hutchinson’s description was very consistent with contemporary caricatures of the generic wealthy Jew, as depicted in Punch and elsewhere. The following extract is from Anti-Semitism in British Society, 1879-1939 by Colin Holmes:

A recent study of cartoons and caricatures of the Irish maintains that “Victorian political cartoons were closely linked to popular prejudices about all manner of people and issues” and it is not without interest to consider the portrayal of Jews in Punch...there was a prominent stress upon Jews as oblivious of any interest except that of material gain...a number of drawings appeared which were intended to create an image of Jews as “sharp boys”.

...The depictions also carried with them an implicit assumption that Jews lacked cultural finesse, that to them art was merely another trading commodity, and this was further underlined when an artist by “a mere alteration of titles” was depicted as achieving a sale of unmarketable pictures - to a plutocratic Jewish buyer, well built, dressed in an Astrakhan coat, and flourishing an ample, ready cheque book.


All the best,
Ben
Thanks for the info Ben
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  #1269  
Old 08-20-2018, 05:03 PM
Wickerman Wickerman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben View Post

A story may be “discredited” without being proven false. I have never claimed that Hutchinson was “proved” a liar; only that he was suspected of having lied.
Ben.
You are trying to have your cake and eat it too.
The only way a story is discredited is, if it has already been investigated. "Discredited" is a conclusion, not a temporary opinion at half-time.
Suspicion is what causes an investigation, so if, in your opinion, the police were suspicious of his story then they were still investigating his story.
Trying to argue that the police were suspicious of him, but gave up investigating this witness who admitted to being the last known person with the victim, is patently absurd.


Quote:
What was “bogus” about the Star’s report that Hutchinson had been discredited? What possible motive are you ascribing to them for falsely devaluing the account, bearing in mind the same newspaper had enthusiastically published it the previous morning?
The Star exaggerated the opinion of their contemporary - the Echo, who reported that Hutchinson's story was devalued.
This is how competition between equals is conducted, one trying to out-do the other.

Quote:
In what respect are any of those suspects “in keeping” with Astrakhan man?
As the article suggests, a dark foreigner, and to quote the article:
"...they are very much more consistent with the description they afterwards received".
Referring to the Hutchinson suspect.


Quote:
No, NOT meaning Astrakhan.

We’ve been over this a million times. The man observed by Galloway was “working in concert with the police”, and the policeman he encountered simply fobbed him off. Not to be misconstrued as evidence supporting a continued hunt for Astrakhan man.
"Fobbing him off" is saying, "I am looking for someone else". This constable made a particular point about the attire being quite different to that of Blotchy.
There is no-one else under suspicion in this murder, just the two - Blotchy & Astrachan.


Quote:
Where’s your evidence that any “copying” occurred, as opposed to two different newspapers independently obtaining their information from the same source? The Echo had no reason to “copy” any other paper when they were in direct and proven communication with the police.
This is where some knowledge of how the press functioned in the 19th century would help you understand. The article appeared in more than one morning newspaper, it was purchased by telegraph from an agency.
Evening papers simply copied morning papers to save money, telegraph was expensive. Both the Star & Echo published articles copied from the morning papers.
Naturally, you will argue that the evening papers had pots of money to throw away, instead of copying articles for free they would prefer to pay for them.


Quote:
Another reason the Echo were in possession of details unavailable to their “morning contemporaries” was simple chronology - the “later investigations” that had so drastically reduced Hutchinson’s credibility had not yet occurred,....
Correct, and that "later investigations" is from a different article, not the one we are discussing. Apples & Oranges Ben, keep them separate.

The rest of your post is inaccurate & conjecture, not worth responding to.
You're cherry-picking of press articles only exposes how desperate your theory has become.
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  #1270  
Old 08-21-2018, 05:27 AM
Herlock Sholmes Herlock Sholmes is offline
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Just a few questions that I’ve always had that lead me to my own opinion that neither Hutchinson or Astrakhan Man were likely murderers.

Wouldn’t Mary have been angry and have likely told Hutchinson off for potentially scaring off a client by acting in an intimidating way toward him?

Why was Hutchinson so interested in Astrakhan Man when he knew that Mary was a prostitute with clients?

How could Hutchinson after such a fleeting look, in a dark street, have been able to notice that Astrakhan Man had dark eyelashes?

Would a man that lived in dosshouses have been able to give Mary ‘a few shillings?’ Would he have ever had that kind of cash to spare?

If Sara Lewis looked across the narrow street and saw Hutchinson standing there looking back across at Miller’s Court is it not likely that he would have feared being identified (especially if he was a regular in the area [he said that he knew Mary[) and that this would make it unlikely that he would have gone on to murder?

Would Astrakhan Man have gone on to kill Mary after being so closely observed by Hutchinson; to the extent that he stopped down to stare in his face?

If Astrakhan Man had been so closely observed by the annoying Hutchinson then isn’t it likely that he’d have been checking over his shoulder to make sure that he’d gone? Wouldn’t he have then noticed that the persistent Hutchinson was following them and so been discouraged from murder?

Could Hutchinson simply have been hoping to ask Mary to put him up for the night and that’s why he loitered around?

Wasn’t it fortunate that no other witness saw anyone like the very identifiable Astrakhan Man in relation to any of the other murders?

Was SL ever asked to identify H and if not, why not?

Would a murderer who avoided capture have dressed as well as Astrakhan Man when he was operating in such deprived areas?

~

I’ve always had the impression that Hutchinson was quite a sad figure. Possibly a man that had a bit of a ‘thing’ for Mary? Maybe he had given her a few pennies in the past (which he exaggerated to shillings) and on that night he might have hoped for a return favour of a room for the night (even a night on Mary’s floor would have been better than the streets?) If this was why he waited across the street from Miller’s Court (fully expecting her client to leave) he might have been annoyed that it had looked like her client was staying the night so he left. He then felt guilty when he learned that his ‘friend’ had been brutally murdered so he came up with the Astrakhan Man story, about how he confronted this suspicious character and even heroically stood guard outside Miller’s Court because he was concerned for her safety and he only left because it appeared that Mary had asked Astrakhan Man to stay the night. He might also have been concerned that Sara Lewis could have identified him? He then gave the police a description of a Jewish looking semi-toff which confirmed to the general conception of the killer being a foreigner. It’s just my opinion but I can’t see either Hutchinson or Astrakhan Man as a likely Jack.
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