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Go Back   Casebook Forums > Ripper Discussions > Suspects > Lechmere/Cross, Charles

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Old 07-18-2017, 04:48 AM
Elamarna Elamarna is offline
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Default The Nature of Evidence

The Nature of Evidence. (Part 1)

I have spent some time now working on Bucks Row and this as involved reading both the remaining sources and the posts on the major forums regarding the case, of course this leads to the candidature of Lechmere as the killer of Nichols and by extension to JtR and according to some the Torso murder having started in those in 1873.

It is clear that the case against Lechmere is based on, or rather uses several types of "evidence" and argument.


1. Hard Factual: this includes all the official records we have relating to the Life of Charles Lechmere. Here we have birth, death and marriage records, census records and apparently all the official documents bearing his name.

This is an outstanding amount of Research most of it I believe by Ed Stow. ( If I am wrong on that apologies here and now to the others involved).

From the point of view of the case, this shows that apart from one census record in his youth he is referred to as Lechmere in all official documents. Unfortunately we appear to have nothing which confirms by which name he was known at Pickfords, his place of work.

We also have the address of his mother at the time of the Ripper Murders. This is close to the Stride site and Pinchin street; However it should be noted at least one other suspect* is also in all probability in the comparable circumstances.


2. The second type of evidence used is what I shall refer to as extrapolation.
This is the taking of known historical facts such Lechmere and Paul meeting with Mizen and then constructing a scenario that has little basis in the available facts, but lots in assumptions and possibilities that fit in with Lechmere as the killer. Of course the nature of this is that it is very difficult to disprove suggestions given the dearth of evidence in general.

Related but not entirely the same is the issue of Robert Paul and his timing of 3.45 for being in Bucks Row. This is accepted as being correct and very accurate by the supporters of Lechmere the killer; this is despite most of what Paul claims, being dismissed as unreliable on almost every other occasion.
However his claim is contrary to the sworn statements of Three separate Police officers, each giving timings which soundly contradict Paul's timing. It is also of interest that the Police, particularly Mizen, are presented as being correct on every other issue by the Lechmere supporters, except this.


Steve

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Old 07-18-2017, 04:51 AM
Elamarna Elamarna is offline
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The Nature of Evidence. (Part 2).


3. Misleading or Incorrect evidence.

Into this category we must include much of the case presented in the documentary the Missing Evidence. This documentary has given many the impression that the case is all but closed.

Statements that the streets have stayed the same is the first but minor issue. This is followed by graphics which suggest that Paul was walking on the southern side of Bucks Row, not supported by the sources and certainly not logical.

We also have claims that there were no easy escape routes and that the area was heavily patrolled by the Police, both are not supported by the facts.

There is also the suggestion that PC Neil arrived within 2 minutes of Lechmere and Paul leaving. Note it is not suggested as about or anything equally vague, but a definitive within. Unfortunately it is clear from a study of the beat of Neil that this was not possible.

However one cannot attack the beat shown on the graphics as it is clear the beat had been misunderstood by many over the years.

Finally the Mizen scam is presented as if there was no real debate on this at the inquest, which of course is untrue.

On the forums we have similar occurrences such as claims that Mizen arrived before Thain by one poster recently.

There is also the unfortunate use of some words or phrases which while they may be used innocently do however have the potential to mislead the casual observer. Such is the use of " the Police" when PC Mizen is actually meant. It is subtle difference, but it gives a very different impression. Let's be clear the above example may be done without an intention to mislead, I fully accept that; however it does!

Finally in this category we have the occasions when general press reports with no indication of the source for the information are portrayed as interviews. The prime example are the early press reports of blood “flowing profusely” from Nichols neck wounds which are sometimes represented as interviews with Neil or another police officer.


Steve

Last edited by Elamarna : 07-18-2017 at 05:15 AM.
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  #3  
Old 07-18-2017, 04:57 AM
Elamarna Elamarna is offline
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The Nature of Evidence. (Part 3)


4. Experts past and present.

There is a great reliance placed on expert opinion both past and present. This to a great extent I applaud, particularly in regards of the present day experts. However I would prefer to have more than a single opinion on each speciality, so as to attempt to provide a balanced view.

Indeed such is done by another poster (Trevor Marriott.) in an attempt to support their own theories, and whilst I do not agree with Trevor on many things, There is whole heartedly support this approach.

This brings me onto the Medical expert used by the pro Lechmere camp.

Jason Payne-James, a very eminent* professional. The views he gives in the Documentary are certainly not controversial. He suggests possible strangulation first and far less extensive abdominal damage than many now accept occurred. However that is fine and in keeping with the general view at the time of the programme.

It is his use after the documentary where we encounter issues for some. He has been used after that program to support what has been called the "blood evidence"; which it is claimed places Lechmere at the scene when the Throat is cut. This is a rare example of a theory on Lechmere which claims to be proven; however it is not, but full discussion of that is for another time.

However The full extent of the conversation, or rather email exchange between Payne-James and Fisherman is unfortunately unclear due to reasons of confidentiality, these we must of course accept and respect.

For many it is not that they disagree with Payne-James, it is more that there is serious questioning of the interpretation of his comments., not least of which is the meaning of bleeding and at what point blood flow/loss is likely to stop.

And this takes us back to one of the experts used by the other poster (Trevor Marriott) mentioned above, one Dr Biggs. His views on bleeding and blood loss differ markedly from that which we are told is that of Dr Payne-James.

It has been said that Biggs is talking generally and so his comments should not be applied to Nichols. However it is clear from the published interview with Biggs that he talks about both general and specific issues.

This above clearly underlines the issues of using a single expert. Further clarification is needed to reach a full conclusion.
To a great extent the other two present day experts often quoted on this forum: Scobie and Griffiths are both giving individual opinions, which while their experience, says must be serious considered needs to be compared to other opinions to get a balanced view.

An issue with all Three present day experts is the total lack of knowledge of what information they were provided with for the Documentary. Indeed the anatomical model/display used by Payne-James was not at all accurate, it included no long vertical cuts, which are clearly included in the Nichols inquest testimony.

We now come to views given by experts and professionals from 1888. These are held in high regard by the pro Lechmere believers.

Firstly we have Dr Llewellyn, who's experience of autopsy is question by several, and whose comments are often far from clear.

His claim that the abdomen attack was first is not supported by any evidence he gives or by the report of Inspector Spratling. However he gives clear details of the Neck wounds, whilst he does not of those to the abdomen..
it is argued that the comment "all the vital areas" must refer to the abdomen however there is nothing in the testimony which points specifically in that direction.

There is often shown a remarkable faith in 19th century medical science and knowledge, this a time when medicine was still in its infancy and what seems glaringly obvious to us today may not have been so then.

An example of this is Llewellyn's comments on the blood going Into the loose tissue. While that may to an extent be plausible for blood flowing from the skin and abdominal wall; such is highly unrealistic for blood from the Aorta or similar large vessel.

And finally we have the attitude towards the Police, or in particular PC Jonas Mizen. Almost everything he says is taken as being factual accurate and above reproach; That is apart from the time he claims he meets Lechmere and Paul.
Mizen says 3.45 which obviously is at odds with Paul's own claim. However on this one occasion Mizen is ignored, it's not so much he is wrong it's just glossed over, airbrushed out of the picture.

And so there we have the types of evidence used in the case against Lechmere.


Steve

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Old 07-18-2017, 05:04 AM
Elamarna Elamarna is offline
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The Nature of Evidence. (Part 4)


How this evidence is then applied is very interesting. Basically it often follows the following pattern.

Take some actual evidence, say the exchange between the Carmen and Mizen.

Take the end result, the conflicting testimonies of Lechmere and Mizen.

Decided that Lechmere lied, and construct a scenario to allow for this; that is Lechmere talks to Mizen out of earshot of Paul.

There is no attempt to prove this theory; indeed it is sometimes actually said that there is no need to prove a theory, it is the responsibility of those who disagree to prove it is not so.

Of course in this case with so little evidence available or which is clear, it is almost impossible to disprove many issues. For instances it is not possible to disprove Mackenzie was a Ripper victim or that Sickert wrote many of the letters to the Police and papers or that the identification at the Seaside Home took place.

The "you must disprove" a theory approach does indeed have it place in this research, but only when it is used in conjunction with the "prove" approach.

It's only when one can both prove a theory and then fail to disprove it, that one truly has a solid hypothesis.
And this is a very major issue with the approach taken with the case against Lechmere. There is much speculation that cannot be disproved, if it's not impossible it must therefore be possible.

However the reverse side of the coin is also true and very revealing; can any of the theories and suggestions made against Lechmere be shown to be proven?


It appears not!


Steve
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Old 07-18-2017, 05:35 AM
Patrick S Patrick S is offline
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Thanks, Steve. Good summation. Along these lines, I once posted here with respect to "consciousness of guilt", how it's used legally, etc. I think it's worth mentioning here in that you touched upon the interactions in Buck's Row and Baker's Row and there's been some discussion here lately about how Cross' behavior might be explained one of two ways: either as that of an innocent man alerting the first passerby that there was a woman lying on the pavement, or as that he was a psychopath, a serial killer, who killed Nichols and acted as he did in order to "bluff is way out".

I think the issues are apparent: we've no evidence that Cross killed Nichols. We've also no evidence that he was psychopath. Of course, that should lead us to conclude he was a man who found a woman lying on the pavement acting without consciousness of guilt. But, then we're asked to deal with the "name issue".

While initially intriguing, the "name issue" has led nowhere. It can be coupled with nothing in order to create reasonable suspicion. There are a host of reasons the man may have gone by the name Cross. He likely went to work at Pickford's no more than a few years after the census you mentioned. He was living with his mother and stepfather, Thomas Cross. Perhaps he WAS known as Cross to Pickford's. Perhaps he preferred the name, even though it was not his legal name. Perhaps he gave both names and the press reported Cross rather than attempt to correctly spell Lechmere (having struggled in their coverage of the Nichols inquest in reporting the names Robert "Baul", PC "Thail", "Malshaw", giving Cross' middle name as Andrew rather than Allen, referring to him as "George" Cross). Perhaps he used the name Cross because his father was a policeman and he felt it might earn him some goodwill. I could go on but the point is make, I think: There are many scenarios available aside from the man being "Jack the Ripper".
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Old 07-18-2017, 06:08 AM
Elamarna Elamarna is offline
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Originally Posted by Patrick S View Post
Thanks, Steve. Good summation. Along these lines, I once posted here with respect to "consciousness of guilt", how it's used legally, etc. I think it's worth mentioning here in that you touched upon the interactions in Buck's Row and Baker's Row and there's been some discussion here lately about how Cross' behavior might be explained one of two ways: either as that of an innocent man alerting the first passerby that there was a woman lying on the pavement, or as that he was a psychopath, a serial killer, who killed Nichols and acted as he did in order to "bluff is way out".

I think the issues are apparent: we've no evidence that Cross killed Nichols. We've also no evidence that he was psychopath. Of course, that should lead us to conclude he was a man who found a woman lying on the pavement acting without consciousness of guilt. But, then we're asked to deal with the "name issue".

While initially intriguing, the "name issue" has led nowhere. It can be coupled with nothing in order to create reasonable suspicion. There are a host of reasons the man may have gone by the name Cross. He likely went to work at Pickford's no more than a few years after the census you mentioned. He was living with his mother and stepfather, Thomas Cross. Perhaps he WAS known as Cross to Pickford's. Perhaps he preferred the name, even though it was not his legal name. Perhaps he gave both names and the press reported Cross rather than attempt to correctly spell Lechmere (having struggled in their coverage of the Nichols inquest in reporting the names Robert "Baul", PC "Thail", "Malshaw", giving Cross' middle name as Andrew rather than Allen, referring to him as "George" Cross). Perhaps he used the name Cross because his father was a policeman and he felt it might earn him some goodwill. I could go on but the point is make, I think: There are many scenarios available aside from the man being "Jack the Ripper".

Hi Patrick, yes i agree with most of that.

the long term project i have been working on, which does not directly address Lechmere's guilt, will when completed offer many alternatives to the various factors.

i had hoped to have part two out by the end of this month but it is now looking like middle of august, just so much work involved.

Part three will offer real alternatives to some of the ideas proposed by the pro Lechmere camp.

In particular the whole issue of the "blood evidence" and the so called "Mizen scam", which i now have a different take on to that which i had only a few months back when i posted part one of the project. these are the two subjects i am clear on at present, hopefully feedback from part two may help with others.

steve
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Old 07-18-2017, 06:21 AM
Patrick S Patrick S is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elamarna View Post
Hi Patrick, yes i agree with most of that.

the long term project i have been working on, which does not directly address Lechmere's guilt, will when completed offer many alternatives to the various factors.

i had hoped to have part two out by the end of this month but it is now looking like middle of august, just so much work involved.

Part three will offer real alternatives to some of the ideas proposed by the pro Lechmere camp.

In particular the whole issue of the "blood evidence" and the so called "Mizen scam", which i now have a different take on to that which i had only a few months back when i posted part one of the project. these are the two subjects i am clear on at present, hopefully feedback from part two may help with others.

steve
I'll be interested to read your work on the "Mizen Scam". I've written quite a bit on it myself. I'll look forward to your analysis.
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Old 07-18-2017, 06:38 AM
Elamarna Elamarna is offline
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I'll be interested to read your work on the "Mizen Scam". I've written quite a bit on it myself. I'll look forward to your analysis.
Patrick

Will hopefully be posting it by October. it will certainly be controversial i think.

in between we have the London conference so i may bounce it off a few people there.



steve
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Old 07-18-2017, 06:43 AM
Patrick S Patrick S is offline
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Patrick

Will hopefully be posting it by October. it will certainly be controversial i think.

in between we have the London conference so i may bounce it off a few people there.



steve
I'll be at that conference, Steve! I'd love to sit down and discuss it.
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Old 07-18-2017, 06:55 AM
Elamarna Elamarna is offline
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I'll be at that conference, Steve! I'd love to sit down and discuss it.
Great, that would be good, i have two bits of evidence, both supporting each other, and two possible scenario one is i think acceptable to many, the other is far more controversial.
the first i am very sure of, the second is good old interpretation.

steve
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