We know from “Fisherman”, et al that much of their “evidence” against Lechmere is based upon the testimony of PC Jonas Mizen, the presumptive victim of now infamous “Mizen Scam”. Yet, when one analyzes the information it’s clear that there was a “Mizen Scam” and it was Jonas Mizen or orchestrated it, and he did so for very simply and understandable reasons.
What do we know of PC Mizen’s behavior upon being informed that “a woman was lying in Buck’s Row”? Both Lechmere and Paul offer similar descriptions of Mizen’s reaction upon hearing this information. Lechmere stated that he replied, “Alright” and walked on. Paul states, “I told him what I had seen, and I asked him to come, but he did not say whether he should come or not. He continued calling the people up…”
Both Lechmere and Paul stated that they informed PC Mizen that the woman in Buck’s Row may be dead. Lechmere stated in his inquest testimony that he told Mizen, “She looks to me to be either dead or drunk; but for my part I think she is dead." Paul in his statement to ‘Lloyd’s Weekly’ flatly stated, “I had told him the woman was dead.” Mizen, however, contended that he was told only that a woman was “lying in Buck’s Row”, stating that he was told, “You are wanted by a policeman in Buck's Row, where a woman was lying.”
This brings us to another major inconsistency. Mizen claimed at the inquest that he was told that he was “wanted by a policeman in Buck's Row”. It’s been suggested that such a statement may have led Mizen to assume that Lechmere and Paul had been interrogated and released by a policeman already on the scene in Buck’s Row. Thus, he (Mizen) let the men go on their way, forgoing questioning them further, or searching either man. However, neither Paul nor Lechmere agree with Mizen on this point. Lechmere testified after Mizen, on day two of the Nichols’ inquest. He was asked directly if he’d told Mizen another policeman was awaiting him in Buck’s Row. This exchange was published in Telegraph on Tuesday, September 4:
A Juryman: “Did you tell Constable Mizen that another constable wanted him in Buck's Row?”
Witness: “No, because I did not see a policeman in Buck's Row.”
Robert Paul’s statement in Lloyd’s makes no mention of a policeman waiting in Buck’s Row.
“I told him what I had seen, and I asked him to come, but he did not say whether he should come or not. He continued calling the people up, which I thought was a great shame, after I had told him the woman was dead. The woman was so cold that she must have been dead some time, and either she had been lying there, left to die, or she must have been murdered somewhere else and carried there. If she had been lying there long enough to get so cold as she was when I saw her, it shows that no policeman on the beat had been down there for a long time. If a policeman had been there he must have seen her, for she was plain enough to see.”
Paul makes it clear that no policeman was present in Buck’s Row. In fact, he stresses that he believes that the police had not been doing their jobs effectively inferring that the police had not been adequately patrolling the area.
The available information tells us that PC Jonas Mizen was likely not forthcoming about his meeting with Charles Lechmere and Robert Paul on the morning of the Nichols’ murder. Further, Mizen did not relate even a mention of his meeting Lechmere and Paul to PC Neil at the scene. He also did not inform his superiors – it seems – as PC Neil testified on Saturday, September 1, that he and he alone discovered “Polly” Nichols body. PC Mizen was not called to give testimony in the inquest until Monday, September 3, the day after Robert Paul’s interview appeared in ‘Lloyd’s Weekly’. Paul stated in his interview that he “saw (a policeman) in Church Row, just at the top of Buck's Row, who was going round calling people up, and I told him what I had seen, and I asked him to come….” It is reasonable to assume that Paul’s statement either compelled Mizen to share his encounter with Paul and the heretofore unnamed “other man” in Bakers Row, or Mizen had been asked about Paul’s statement by his superiors. Duty rosters would easily have identified the PC on duty “in Church Row, just at the top of Buck's Row” at 3:45am on August 31.
Based upon what we know, it’s obvious that PC Mizen was not truthful about many details of what occurred in Baker’s Row. His reasons for being less than honest is understandable, albeit not the sinister reasons many researches may hope for. It’s clear the Mizen assumed that the two men he’d met in Baker’s Row had simply come across a woman lying drunk on the pavement. He continued “calling people up” for work. He reacted with no urgency whatsoever. He asked the men no questions. He didn’t ask their names. He was in no great hurry to report to Buck’s Row. Stating that he was told a PC was already on the scene absolves him somewhat. Stating that he not told the woman was dead, makes his lack of action somewhat more understandable. Mizen’s untruthful statements were made to protect his job and his reputation. It’s clear to anyone willing to see the obvious.
I'm sorry. But I'm still unclear as what point "Rainbow" was making. If the issue is that Mizen responded "Alright", I'd concede that's he likely did so, in that neither Paul nor Lechmere indicated that Mizen completely ignored them and offered no response at all.
I believe that Mizen's statements at the Nichols' inquest were intended to shield himself (and the Met) from criticism and embarrassment due to the lack of seriousness and urgency he displayed in Baker's Row.
In order to understand PC Mizen’s behavior, we must first look at the night of the Nichol’s murder in the context of it's time and place.
“Polly” Nichols is generally considered to have been the first victim of “Jack the Ripper”. Thus, what has become known as ‘The Autumn of Terror’ hadn’t yet begun. However, there had already been several previous incidents that had both the police and public on heightened alert, and the Met's inability to catch the perpetrator(s) had brought them criticism from both the media and the public.
On February 28, 1888, 38 year old Annie Millwood was attached by a man she described as a stranger. She was stabbed with a knife in the “legs and lower torso”. She was admitted to Whitechapel Workhouse Infirmary. She recovered and was released on March 21. However, ten days later Millwood collapsed and died. The coroner determined the cause of death as, “'sudden effusion into the pericardium from the rupture of the left pulmonary artery through ulceration.”
On March 28, 1888, Ada Wilson answered a knock at the door of her home. A man used force to enter and demanded money. Wilson refused. She was stabbed twice in the throat. Wilson survived her injuries.
On April 3, 1888, Emma Smith reported that she was attacked by three or four “youths”. She was raped and beaten, and robbed. Her assailants thrust a blunt object into her vagina, tearing her perineum. She was able to return to her lodging house. She was admitted to the London Hospital where she died of her injuries for days later.
On August 7, 1888, Martha Tabram was found murdered in the George Yard Buildings. She had been stabbed thirty-nine times, primarily about the abdomen, breasts, and pelvic area.
On the morning that PC Jonas Mizen was informed that a woman was lying in Buck’s Row it had been a little more than three weeks since Martha Tabram has been found murdered but a short distance from Buck’s Row. Her murder was preceded that year by three further attacks on women. Despite all this, it seems likely that PC Mizen felt that the situation in Buck’s Row was not a serious one. His actions indicate that he likely found it far more likely that the woman the men had seen was passed out, drunk. The men had not noticed her wounds, thus they’d not reported them to Mizen. Lechmere had said that Nichols “looks to me to be either dead or drunk”. Mizen might reasonably have assumed the latter. What we know of Mizen’s actions upon hearing the men’s information indicate just that.
Not at all, it is a disaster to say that he has been told “You are wanted by a policeman in Buck's Row, where a woman was lying.”
comparing to a simple 'Alright' answer..
if he wanted to protect his job, he only had to tell the truth - if that was the truth and he hasn't been informed that a policeman wants him in Bucks Row
but thanks, that is another important point about Lechmere guilt
I'm sorry. I'm having a very difficult time understanding your point. It seems that you believe it would have been better for Mizen to "tell the truth" if the truth had been that he were NOT informed that a policeman was waiting in Buck's Row. Is that correct?