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Casebook: Jack the Ripper - Message Boards » Witnesses » Long, Elizabeth » Elizabeth's description « Previous Next »

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Martin Anderson
Sergeant
Username: Scouse

Post Number: 34
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Thursday, August 11, 2005 - 8:41 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It is oft quoted, that Elizabeth Long alias Elizabeth Durrell held the first true recorded sighting of the man believed to be Jack the Ripper. This is quite startling considering the de-emphasis placed on her account. Some of this is due to the discrepancies between her and Cadoche's timings, but this is understandable under the circumstances. She certainly did not have a watch as ascertained by the following phrase: "I knew the time, because I heard the brewer's clock strike half-past five just before I got to the street." (Daily Times 20 Sep pg2)
If we accept that Cadoche also did not have a watch, this would clear up the discrepancy. Don't forget, we all have watches now, but in the good old days, a watch was a small sign of affluence.
What she testified however reveals several arousing facts and not pieces of fiction, attributed to the assassin.
Firstly, before all, she acknowledges that the cutthroat had his back to her. Therefore he was a man. This immeditately discounts any Jill the Ripper theories and such nonsensical spanners in the works.
Next, she seconded that he was a foreigner and here the trouble starts. This falls into place with many other theories and witness descriptions however this cannot be taken as proof - simply because he had his back to her. Surely an affirmation of race would need a facial identification, would it not? Correct me if I'm wrong, perhaps Italians have longer mullets or there are bigger Ties in Bangkok and perhaps the English have a larger grasp of Shakespeare also - certainly true of my Scouse 'eritage and our silent h's.
However her next sentence leads me on to my main point and cannot be discounted - this is crux of the matter. Her official transcript at the inquest is as follows:
"He appeared to be a little taller than the woman and looked like a foreigner"
This is recorded at the time in the Times. Its authenticity is beyond doubt and diligent cross-examination would have given credence to the statement at the inquest.
Then my question to you, my dear listeners, or those that care to listen is this. Annie Chapman was the woman that was murdered. She was a short and stout woman recorded at 5ft. A little taller than this would have been 5ft1 or 5ft2 - maybe 5ft3 at most? Yet most of the other suspects are around 5ft7 or taller which is slightly taller to say the least.
If we really give admission to Elizabeth Long's statement as being the truth then surely the notorious killer was 5ft2 at most or maybe 5ft3 at large (excuse the pun). I think her decription is most definitive because the misanthrope was measured up against his victim whereas other witnesses 'guesstimated', for want of a better word.
Other sources of fact for this description include 'The Ultimate Jack the Ripper Sourcebook' (Evans & Skinner) and if it is questionable then please let me know.
Before I retire for the night, I must hasten to add that I was partially misled by Elizabeth's description on this very board. Her description here is as follows:
"Dark complexion, brown deerstalker hat, possibly a dark overcoat. Aged over 40, somewhat taller than Chapman. A foreigner of "shabby genteel."" (click on witnesses and scroll down to Long).
I understand that this is a summation of her description but excuse me if I am wrong but the phrase 'somewhat taller than Chapman" leads one to believe that the suspect could be 5ft7 or 5ft8 or even 6ft2 if I am not mistaken? Does anyone know where this description came from and is it right? If not can it be discounted and possibly removed as it appears that it is unbounded by fact, a big no-no!
Martin Anderson
Analyst
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Dan Norder
Chief Inspector
Username: Dannorder

Post Number: 829
Registered: 4-2004
Posted on Friday, August 12, 2005 - 7:10 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Martin,

As far as heights go, and where the various heights came from in these witness description, Don Souden had a piece covering that very topic (and related concerns) in the most recent issue of Ripper Notes.

Another major point to consider is whether the person Long reported seeing was even Jack the Ripper at all. Wolf Vanderlinden goes into detail on this in the April issue, and that happens to be available for free here online: Considerable Doubt and the Death of Annie Chapman.

As far as the "somewhat taller than Chapman" summary given on this site, I think you are probably not putting the same slant on "somewhat" as it was intended. I can't imagine how 6 foot 2 could be considered "somewhat taller" than 5 foot tall. Even 5 foot 7 would be pushing it. I didn't think that's just an American connotation of the word (and I say that being American and knowing that Stephen is as well), but it could be. There'd be "somewhat taller," plain old "taller" and then "much taller," right?
Dan Norder, Editor
Ripper Notes: The International Journal for Ripper Studies
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Neil Holmes
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Posted on Friday, August 12, 2005 - 9:18 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Why was Mrs Long on Hanbury Street in the first plase? She told the inquest that she lived in Church St and was going to the market (presumably Spitalfields)The quickest route would have taken her due west down Church St and over Commercial Street to get there. Instead she chose to go 'round the houses' viz east onto Brick Lane, due north, then a left turn onto Hanbury St. Perhaps she had to go to a Chandlers shop (or pay a visit to someone on the lane- who knows what she did or why she took that route, but it seems that nobody questioned her motive for doing so)
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Martin Anderson
Sergeant
Username: Scouse

Post Number: 38
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Friday, August 12, 2005 - 9:32 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dan,
If 'somewhat' taller than Chapman means that he was only a little bit taller, then it certainly contravenes my understanding of the word used in that context. I would juxtapose somewhat with the word considerably.
I have checked a few of my friends opinions in casual conversation too, without explaining its relevance and they too would deduce at least 5ft7 and probably more from the phrase "somewhat taller".
Anyway Dan I would say that your entymological reasoning is entirely accurate. The word 'somewhat' used in that particular context has somehow evolved differently which has resulted in entirely different American connotations. The only way to disprove this is for a fellow Englishman to tell me otherwise. Does somewhat taller mean considerably taller to you?
Anyway this is all trivial to me now as you have confirmed that the expression is only intended to mean slightly taller, and so I am detracting from the original point: surely the Whitechapel killer was 5ft 3 at most? Skimming the list of suspects briefly, I can see this would absolve Barnett, Chapman, and Tumblety as their heights are 5ft7 and above. It would also question the reliability of many other witness' descriptions.
Neil,
I don't know the layout of the roads that well unfortunately, but I am sure she went that way for an obvious reason maybe known only to herself. I often take a longer route coming back to my house to avoid main roads or to pass a post box for example.
Martin Anderson
Analyst
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Martin Anderson
Sergeant
Username: Scouse

Post Number: 39
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Friday, August 12, 2005 - 9:38 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dan,
If 'somewhat' taller than Chapman means that he was only a little bit taller, then it certainly contravenes my understanding of the word used in that context. I would juxtapose somewhat with the word considerably.
I have checked a few of my friends opinions in casual conversation too, without explaining its relevance and they too would deduce at least 5ft7 and probably more from the phrase "somewhat taller".
Anyway Dan I would say that your entymological reasoning is entirely accurate. The word 'somewhat' used in that particular context has somehow evolved differently which has resulted in entirely different American connotations. The only way to disprove this is for a fellow Englishman to tell me otherwise. Does somewhat taller mean considerably taller to you?
Anyway this is all trivial to me now as you have confirmed that the expression is only intended to mean slightly taller, and so I am detracting from the original point: surely the Whitechapel killer was 5ft 3 at most? Skimming the list of suspects briefly, I can see this would absolve Barnett, Chapman, and Tumblety as their heights are 5ft7 and above. It would also question the reliability of many other witness' descriptions.
Neil,
I don't know the layout of the roads that well unfortunately, but I am sure she went that way for an obvious reason maybe known only to herself. I often take a longer route coming back to my house to avoid main roads or to pass a post box for example.
Martin Anderson
Analyst
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Martin Anderson
Sergeant
Username: Scouse

Post Number: 40
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Friday, August 12, 2005 - 9:41 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dan,
If 'somewhat' taller than Chapman means that he was only a little bit taller, then it certainly contravenes my understanding of the word used in that context. I would juxtapose somewhat with the word considerably.
I have checked a few of my friends opinions in casual conversation too, without explaining its relevance and they too would deduce at least 5ft7 and probably more from the phrase "somewhat taller".
Anyway Dan I would say that your entymological reasoning is entirely accurate. The word 'somewhat' used in that particular context has somehow evolved differently which has resulted in entirely different American connotations. The only way to disprove this is for a fellow Englishman to tell me otherwise. Does somewhat taller mean considerably taller to you?
Anyway this is all trivial to me now as you have confirmed that the expression is only intended to mean slightly taller, and so I am detracting from the original point: surely the Whitechapel killer was 5ft 3 at most? Skimming the list of suspects briefly, I can see this would absolve Barnett, Chapman, and Tumblety as their heights are 5ft7 and above. It would also question the reliability of many other witness' descriptions.
Neil,
I don't know the layout of the roads that well unfortunately, but I am sure she went that way for an obvious reason maybe known only to herself. I often take a longer route coming back to my house to avoid main roads or to pass a post box for example.
Martin Anderson
Analyst
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David Cartwright
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Posted on Tuesday, August 16, 2005 - 12:21 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Martin.

I am an Englishman, and speaking from the point of view of my part of the country, "somewhat" taller would be regarded as "considerably", rather than "slightly".
I hope this helps.

Best wishes.
DAVID C.
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Martin Anderson
Sergeant
Username: Scouse

Post Number: 45
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Tuesday, August 16, 2005 - 6:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hello David,

Thanks for that - I was starting to think I was going mad.
So here we have Stride talking to a short man, just before her death. Anyone remember the witness Caroline Maxwell saying she saw Mary Kelly with a short man of 5ft 3? - if she really did see this then it is undoubtedly her murderer.

I am starting to see a picture of a short young, powerfully aggresive man who hated prostitutes. He had an aura of gentleness or handsomeness otherwise those women would never have gone with him at that particular time. Maybe his distemper was a testament that he once used their services?
Finally, he was a man that was able to slip back into society as ostensibly as other serial killers before and after.
Martin Anderson
Analyst
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Donald Souden
Chief Inspector
Username: Supe

Post Number: 683
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, August 16, 2005 - 7:38 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Martin,

This must be another instance of the USA and Britain being two nations divided by a common language because over here in the States Dan is defintely correct. Common American usage would suggest in that context that "somewhat taller" would mean the individual was taller, but not all that much so.

As it is, however, the difficulty in parsing Long's words only makes manifest again how generally unreliable the Ripper suspect descriptions are. As Stewart Evans points out brilliantly in the July Ripper Notes, the police in Whitechapel did a poor job of interrogating witnesses and failed to elicit sufficient information. Just another of the "if only, but. . ." situations that clutter this case.

Don.
"He was so bad at foreign languages he needed subtitles to watch Marcel Marceau."
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Donald Souden
Chief Inspector
Username: Supe

Post Number: 684
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, August 16, 2005 - 7:53 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Martin,

As for Mrs. Maxwell (a controversial witness to be sure), in the written statement she gave the police on November 9 she said she saw Kelly talking to a man outside Ringers who was "age about 30, height about 5 ft. 5 in., stout, dressed as a Market Porter." She went on to state she was some distance away and could not identify him.

At the inquest she said "I could not describe the man . . . the man was not a tall man -- he had on dark clothes and a sort of plaid coat"

Make of that what you wish.

Don.
"He was so bad at foreign languages he needed subtitles to watch Marcel Marceau."
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Jeff Hamm
Chief Inspector
Username: Jeffhamm

Post Number: 678
Registered: 7-2003
Posted on Tuesday, August 16, 2005 - 7:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Moreover, one must always keep in mind that eye-witness testimony is highly unreliable. Especially in situations where there is no reason for the eye-witness to take particular notice of the individual. In this case, Long would have no reason for paying particular attention to two random individuals spotted on her walk. Only later, when she hears of the murder, would she try and remember what she saw. As such, what she recalls may bear little resemblance to what she actually saw. For example, she may very well have actually heard the clock strike after she passed the individuals but her memory could easily transplant this event to an earlier point (as she entered the street). Or even, she may have heard the 1/4 past the hour chime (if there was one) rather than the 1/2 past. The individual she saw may have been stooping slightly, making him appear closer to Annie's height and she simply failed to recall this detail, and so on.

In the end, given all of the known problems with this kind of testimony (that relies upon our quite unreliable memories), Long's description could very well describe the same individual as reported by others. And, of course, she could be describing someelse entirely.

- Jeff
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Martin Anderson
Sergeant
Username: Scouse

Post Number: 47
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Tuesday, August 16, 2005 - 8:13 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Don,

Thanks for your thoughts. One idea that occurred to me was the main reason Mrs Maxwell was controversial was because her timings didn't fit the time of death given by the experts. But the doctors were wrong before. I seem to recall Dr Bagster Philips saying one victim had died at a time when she was seen well and alive for sure.

Yes the somewhat taller confused me. Elizabeth Long said he was "slightly taller"
"...a little taller than the woman and in her opinion looked like a foreigner" (Home Office report, date stamped 25th October 1888)
"...looked to be a little taller than deceased" (The Times, 20th Sept 1888 page 3)

So she never said the phrase "somewhat taller" which has a totally different meaning in England. Strange language.
Martin Anderson
Analyst
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Martin Anderson
Sergeant
Username: Scouse

Post Number: 48
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Tuesday, August 16, 2005 - 8:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hello Jeff,

Shouldn't Elizabeth be given a lot more credit for saying the man was a little taller than Chapman, rather than estimating he was 5ft3 etc? This is a detail much easier to remember as she used Chapman herself to measure the man's height, and her height was definitely ascertained.
Your points on witness descriptions are entirely agreeable however, but if we don't trust people's accounts, then what do we have?
Martin Anderson
Analyst
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Jeff Hamm
Chief Inspector
Username: Jeffhamm

Post Number: 679
Registered: 7-2003
Posted on Tuesday, August 16, 2005 - 10:41 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Martin,

When Long says that the man was slightly taller than the woman, she is simply reporting how she remembers the height relationship. If, for example, the man was bending slightly while talking to the woman, she might remember him as being shorter (or closer to her height) than he actually was.

Her testimony, I believe, was given in good faith, and she isn't providing exact details that might make her suspect of being overly inventive (as per Hutchinson's testimony). However, accurately telling us "what she remembers" is hugely different from "accurately remembering what she saw." I believe the "Innocence Project" in the US (where DNA evidence is used to prove convicted individuals were not the person responsible for a given crime) has found that of the cases where a wrongful conviction can be proven, something like 75% of the convictions were based primarily on faulty eye-witness testimony (combined with other factors I think, like poor lineup procedures and such). In at least one case there were 7 eyewitnesses all saying "That's the guy", and the DNA evidence proved all 7 were wrong.

Anyway, Long is trying to describe someone she had no particular reason to pay much attention to. As such, her recollection of their relative height, the person's age, etc must be viewed as highly unreliable.

In Dan's post of Friday, August 12, 2005 - 7:10 am, he provides a link to Wolf Vanderlinden's article where he suggests doubt about Annie Chapman's time of death, and where he suggests she may have died closer to 4:30 or earlier. Such a time corresponds more with the Doctor's opinions, but contradicts Long, Cadosch, and the testimony of John Richardson (the guy who cuts his boot on the step).

He makes some very good points, and does show that the medical information we have supports a time closer to 4:30.

To summarise:
1) Rigor is noted as just starting when the doctor examines the body. Rigor normally onsets 2-4 hours after death, but the onset of rigor is slowed by cool temperatures (and can halt altogether below 10 degrees C). Annie Chapman was examined by Dr. Phillips at 6:30 am, so taking the minimum normal time for rigor onset, we're dealing with a time of death 2 hours previous, so 4:30, and with the cold temperatures one could argue for even earlier.

2) Dr. Phillips noted that Annie Chapman's stomach contained a little food. She was reported to have eaten a potatoe just before going out to look for some money for her bed. Wolf has made some inquiries, and current medical opinion suggests that this meal would have been fully digested (out of the stomach) in 30 minutes to 3 hours. 3 hours places the time around 4:30 as well.

So, two sources of medical information indicate a time of death around 4:30 am. Neither, however, is without problem.
The first is that although normal onset time is between 2 and 4 hours, it is not unusal for rigor to start sooner than 2 hours. For example, in the article below (which I just include the abstract, or summary), the onset of rigor during winter seems to have started in at least one case in as little as 1 hour 15 minutes. That would place Annie's time of death around 5:15 (although it's not quite winter for Annie's death). Also, in a study conducted in the 1800's, it was found that Rigor could be complete (not just starting) in as little as 2 hours (see section on Rigor Mortis at the following web site: http://www.dundee.ac.uk/forensicmedicine/llb/timedeath.htm ) and by 4 hours, in 41% of the cases studied, rigor was complete.

Rigor's onset can be slowed by cooler temperatures, but it can be speeded up by other factors (muscle use prior to death; if Annie was struggling while being strangled, this might speed up rigor onset, although asphyxiation tends to delay it's onset). There is also something called "Cadaveric spasms", or instantaneous rigor which apparently can occur in sudden violent deaths. As such, the "rigor" noted in Annie may have been related to this phenomenon, I don't know. Reading the information at the above web-site these spasms are common in the forarms and hands.

What I'm getting at, therefore, is that if the time of death was based only upon noting the onset of rigor, there is lots of room for error based upon this information by itself.

As for the food in her stomach, we unfortunately do not know what the food was. If it were potatoes, then ok, we could probably assume with some safty that we're dealing with the meal she had prior to going out. Unfortunately, her whereabouts are unknown between the time she left the doss house and the time she was found murdered. Although the police did try and track down where she was, without success (which could mean she was killed much ealier), she may also have wondered around all over the place, and ate at some location outside of their search area. Perhaps she did find a customer, and perhaps she did get some food. We just do not know what she did, and since we do not know what the food was that was found in her stomach, we cannot be sure it was, in fact, the remains of the pototo we know she ate at the doss house.

Finally, Wolf makes some excellent points in showing why Long and Cadosch's testimony could be unrelated to the case (Long could easily be mistaken, and did not see Annie; Cadosch does indicate he's not certain the word "no" came from the backyard of #29). That really only leaves John Richardson's claim of cutting his boot.

I am not convinced his testimony is quite as "changing" as it is presented. Yes, he initially says he went to check the lock, and does not mention sitting down to repair his boot. It's not until later that he adds this detail. However, his original statement sounds like he was describing why he was there. His purpose for going to #29 and to the backyard was to check the lock. His sitting down to fix his boot was simply something he did while he had the oppertunity (he didn't go there in order to fix his boot, he went to check the lock). It would not be too surprising if he was a bit reluctant to mention the fact that he was there with a knife on his person. However, once it became apparent that people might conclude that he just didn't see the body, then by mentioning the fact that he sat down to fix his boot he's ensuring that what he knows gets across. It forces him to introduce the fact that he had a knife at the time, probaby draws more attention to himself as a suspect than he would like, but he may have been doing so because he knows it is important to figure out if the body was there before or after his arrival. If he did sit down and fix his boot, then I think it's safe to conclude Annie was not there at 4:50 (the time he states he did all this boot repair).

Now, he also could be "glory hunting", which is indicated in Wolf's article. And, from some other testimony that we have (Packer, for instance), glory hunting was not unheard of. However, it's a strange sort of glory hunting in this case. He's not claiming to have seen anything, but rather the opposite. He's claiming to have seen nothing. Somehow, that seems less "glorious" to me. Still, it makes his testimony very important and that would provide the "glory".

Anyway, the medical testimony about rigor mortis is insufficient to determine a time of death because by itself there is too much variation in this measure to draw any conclusion. There are so many factors that have to be considered, and so much information that was simply not availabe at the time (or more importantly to us), that all we can say for sure is that Annie was killed at some time before the doctor examined her, and probably less than 48 hours previoius (when Rigor should have dissipated). Not really much use.

The food in her stomach could have come from a later meal. Or, 4 hours later (5:30, she ate at 1:30), is only 1 hour longer than some of the times indicated by Wolf's medical opinions. If, for example, Annie's illness delays digestion, or digestion is delayed by chronic malnutrition, etc, then the small remains of food found may not be inconsistent with 5:30 ish. (NOTE: I have no idea if either of these slow or speed up rates of digestion. These are questions I have, not answers).

The fact that he whereabouts is unknown between the time she left the doss house and the time she was found leaves open the possibility that she did, in fact, eat somewhere. Since where she was had never been established, it follows that she could have alive and eating somewhere just as much as it follows that she could have been dead and in the backyard of #29.

In the end, it's John Richardsons testimony that is, and was, most critical. If you believe him, then Annie Chapman was killed sometime after 4:50 am, which probably means around 5:30 am. If you do not believe him when he claims to have sat down to fix his boot, and think that he just opened the door and looked at the lock (making up the boot fixing part), then she could have been killed at anytime after she left the doss house.

- Jeff

Here's the abstract of an interesting article I found on the web that indicates a few things about Rigor Mortis.

References:
ABSTRACT: For estimation of the time since death of a body, the onset, duration and sequence of rigor mortis were studied in 376 subjects. Insummer, average time of onset of rigor mortis varied from 1 hour 47 minutes in the eyelids (40 minutes to 3 hours 15 minutes) to 8 hours 32 minutes in the toes (6 hours 10 minutes to 11 hours 45 minutes). For its disappearance the average time was between 12 hours 32 minutes in the eyelids (9 hours 15 minutes to 16 hours 50 minutes) to 25 hours 39 minutes in the toes (21 hours 50 minutes to 32 hours 10 minutes). During winter the average time of onset was between 2 hours 26 minutes in the eyelids (1 hour 15 minutes to 3 hours 40 minutes) to 10 hours 23 minutes in the toes (9 hours to 12 hours 50 minutes) and for its disappearance average time was 23 hours 50 minutes in the eyelids (18 hours 20 minutes to 29 hours 30 minutes) to 38 hours 54 minutes in the toes (32 hours 15 minutes to 46hours 50minutes). Averageduration of rigor mortisin summer varied from 10 hours 45 minutes in the eyelids (8 hours 35 minutes to 14 hours 35 minutes) to 17 hours 7 minutes in the toes (15 hours 40 minutes to 20 hours 25 minutes) while in winter its average duration was between 21 hours 24 minutes in the eyelids (range 17 hours 5 minutes to 25 hours 50 minutes) to 28 hours 31 minutes in the toes (23 hours 15 minutes to 34 hours 45 minutes). Sequence of development of rigor mortis in various muscles was found unreliable.
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Frank van Oploo
Chief Inspector
Username: Franko

Post Number: 726
Registered: 9-2003
Posted on Thursday, August 18, 2005 - 5:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Martin,

I have just one small comment on something you wrote:
"He had an aura of gentleness or handsomeness otherwise those women would never have gone with him at that particular time."

I think this is a misconception. These women didn't really need any charming, gentleness or handsomeness to go with a John. Not that it wouldn't be appreciated, but I think that as long as the Johns showed them the money and didn't act too weird or aggressive they would probably go with them. They didn't really have that much of a choice if they wanted to survive. Of course this doesn't mean that the Ripper couldn't have had an aura of gentleness or handsomeness.

All the best,
Frank
"There's gotta be a lot of reasons why I shouldn't shoot you, but right now I can't think of one."

- Clint Eastwood, in 'The Rookie' (1990)

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Martin Anderson
Sergeant
Username: Scouse

Post Number: 50
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Thursday, August 18, 2005 - 7:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hello Jeff,
There was so much in your last posting that it took me a while to take it all in. I shall have to start referring to you as the postman. He always brings me so much post... but that's another story..ebay!
With regard to Vanderlinden's article posted very wisely by Don, and which I did take the time to read, despite contrary belief, I would say Elizabeth may have been wrong about the time, but I don't think so. She didn't see much but I still think she is one of the most crucial witnesses. (I'll probably be castigated for that later).

The fact that Chapman may have died about 4:30am or earlier is corroborated by Dr Bagster Phillips whose controversial time of death was in contention with that given by Bond on more than one occasion. Due to there being more than one witness before Chapman's death i.e. Long, Cadoche - v.strongly and Richardson - I would say this casts a favourable vote towards Dr Bond and perhaps Phillips is not the doyen he is made out to be? I perused the rigor mortis links and am I meant to conclude that it casts a favourable vote towards Phillips? It seems to edge that way. However it left me feeling very informed but still confused.

Anyway, we are straying towards other matters.

I think John Richardson just happened to live extremely close to where the murder was commmitted and happened to hear nothing. This happens to strengthen Long's claim that she saw Chapman talking to a man 45 minutes later, don't you agree? It seems very clear to me.

Then you move onto another subject to establish timings. You said the knowledge about rigor mortis and establishes time of death between 2 and 48 hours previous to Phillips' post mortem - no S-H-I-T sherlock!

I'm not saying all medical knowledge is tongue in cheek, far from it. However much of it has to be applied to controlled environments and alas this is unfortunately where it only ever really applies. You never have laboratory-type environments in the real world. It presents a rough guide but can never give a definite answer which is why common sense and rough judgments prevail.

To conclude, I am not going to confer timings when everything points towards time of death being at 4:30am. I mean 5:30p.m. No really, I think TOD was at 5:30pm.
I end up feeling slightly confused in which direction you are going with all this but you do admit that you are simply questioning the evidence. So why do you conclude by agreeing that Chapman probably died at 5:30 which is what I said all along. Doesn't most of the the evidence point towards that?

With regard to Richardson, I understand your point that if he simply sat down and looked at the lock without physically checking it, then he might have overlooked a body in the yard. I remember being able to look at our back lock from my living room window and being able to discern whether the lock was drawn across in the narrow gap where door meets wall leaving a few mms room for error. I was right every time but it was only possible when there was still a little daylight. Postulating personal experiences, however, does not strengthen claims despite the contrariwise, as neither does using big words and well (in-)formed arguments. What matters is a rational of logic with which I am the most blessed, thank God, and also a lot of hard hard graft which I feel is attributable to Martin Fido and Chris Scott who are the unsung heroes of dredge and I feel a tribute should be made to the likes of these.

To conclude, Long is crucial because it contravenes what most of the other witnesses say and I don't think she was in the habit of glory-hunting. What she said was short but very, very sweet. She didn't try to make things up or say things when she wasn't sure, like me, she just said it like it is.
Martin Anderson
Analyst
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Martin Anderson
Detective Sergeant
Username: Scouse

Post Number: 51
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Thursday, August 18, 2005 - 7:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

p.s. Jeff
You have earned an inch of respect from me for what it's worth. You are obviously very knowledgeable and I respect your opinions, even if they contradict with mine own. Except they don't or maybe they do - actually I don't know where you come from! But you are very interesting and informative and I have learnt a few things which is always worth a few bob. Thanks pal.
Martin Anderson
Analyst
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Martin Anderson
Detective Sergeant
Username: Scouse

Post Number: 52
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Thursday, August 18, 2005 - 8:30 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Frank,

Although under normal circumstances, prostitutes would normally go with just about anyone - by late October it was far from normal circumstances. He must have gave them that extra bit of assurance that perhaps Ted Bundy (I don't know if you are familiar with him) gave his victims. I think he was 'probably' handsome, and entirely at ease with his victims. I say probably but this is not an ascertained fact.

But this is far from definitive and you may be right. He may have been the ugliest pug on the block and yet they still somehow decided to take their chances and...

Hey everyone, looks does NOT equal veracity. I hope not anyway, as I am told I am not the most gifted when it comes to looks.

You brought up the term "John" - is this a Dutch term? Yes, they were probably looking for possible customers so maybe they were very naive anyway.
Anderson
That's right. All thoughts copyright of Anderson. No relation to Andersson.

Martin Anderson
Analyst
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Donald Souden
Chief Inspector
Username: Supe

Post Number: 688
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, August 18, 2005 - 9:00 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Martin,

Whenever considering JtR's approach to women and how wary they may have been it must be borne in mind that Nichols, Chapman, Eddowes and Kelly were, for several different reasons, all quite desperate for money just before they were murdered. Stride may not have been in the same situation, but then she is considered the most dubious among the Canonical Five.

Incidentally, John is a commonly used term for a prostitute's client. As far as I know its roots are not Dutch.

Don.
"He was so bad at foreign languages he needed subtitles to watch Marcel Marceau."
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Martin Anderson
Detective Sergeant
Username: Scouse

Post Number: 54
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Thursday, August 18, 2005 - 9:24 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Cheers Don,

You are truely informing me of facts that I knew...and then forgot. It's amazing how one can preponder important circumstances and go over them again and again and finally come to the conclusion that what I knew in the first place is where I have arrived!

BTW we have hit on another colloquialism I believe. I am not familiar with the term "John" and of course, so I shouldn't be, but I fancy this is another foreign influence and I beg someone of English-speaking influence to explain its terms.

Its roots are not Dutch - I was displaying a cautionary trajection in believing John was of the Dutch narrative, not that it really matters of course.

On another matter, what is this 'Ripper Notes' to which you keep referring? How do I get a look as I'm not familiar with it and would like to subscribe. Please let me know.

p.s. who is editor of Ripper Notes?


Martin Anderson
Analyst
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Donald Souden
Chief Inspector
Username: Supe

Post Number: 689
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, August 18, 2005 - 10:02 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Martin,

Just slide up this thread to an August 12 message from Dan Norder. He is the esteemed editor and if you click on the Ripper Notes in his signature section I'm sure you'll get all the necessary info.

Cheers in return,

Don.
"He was so bad at foreign languages he needed subtitles to watch Marcel Marceau."
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Howard Brown
Chief Inspector
Username: Howard

Post Number: 813
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Thursday, August 18, 2005 - 10:12 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hey Martin !

Ripper Notes is edited by Dan Norder. Ripperologist is edited by Paul Begg.

I get them both....you should consider getting them too..Great investments. The WS1888 Magazine is also informative.

Just out of curiosity...since you are partial to Kosminski and Cutbush....

You stated..."Finally, he[ JTR ] was a man that was able to slip back into society as ostensibly as other serial killers before and after..."

Not being a wiseguy...but had these men ever fitted in with society ? Kosminski and Cutbush,regardless of their credibility in this instance [ of being JTR ], aren't the types of people who "fit" back into society as modern s.k.'s are.

Thanks for your time...
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Martin Anderson
Detective Sergeant
Username: Scouse

Post Number: 58
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Thursday, August 18, 2005 - 11:06 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Howard,
Thanks for picking up on that point. I wrote it off-hand but do still stick by it.

I think, without straying from the point, that existing serials are hard to encumber but they do give the illusion that they are 'fitting in'. Without knowing one personaly, it's pretty difficult to pin it down more than this. Here in Liverpool we often remark on how people who knew the accused as "he was such a nice-guy. He lived alone. He was so polite when we met him in the street."

However I was very taken in by AP Wolf's argument for Cutbush for a long time. In fact, I still don't see how he couldn't be JtR other than providing an argument against. By moving him from place to place and deliberately delivering him a favourable verdict against all odds it is obvious that the police wanted to attract attention away from him.

The Kosmnski theory can never be written off because this is the definitive article. It was Anderson himself who named Kosminski in his notes as the man was identified by a witness. If so, then this was a man who cannot be adjourned and I don't see how a man in charge of the Met and in charge of an admissionable case would want to name a man out of the blue. Kosminski WAS the man. Unfortunately, even the police did not know who Kosminski was. His name may have been Kosminski, Cohen or Kaminski - thanks to Chris we now know a little bit more about Kaminsky. Just see his recent postings for example. Just click your fingers, and he delivers the goods.
Martin Anderson
Analyst
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Jeff Hamm
Chief Inspector
Username: Jeffhamm

Post Number: 684
Registered: 7-2003
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2005 - 12:53 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Martin,

I admit that I tend to wobble back and forth on most issues. This is mostly because the information we have to work with is so incomplete. I find it hard to be definate about any issue as a result.

But, I don't think I concluded that Annie was killed at 5:30am, rather I think the important issue boils down to John Richardson's testimony. If you believe that John Richardson's testimony about sitting down and fixing his boot reflects an actual event, and was not a false embellishment given in order to increase his "glory", then Annie was killed after his visit. However, if you believe John Richardson's "boot story" is false, and he just added it to increase his "glory", then Annie could have been killed well before he checked the lock.

The medicial evidence is, unfortunately, simply not based upon reliable enough observations to definately place the time of death as being prior to the time of John Richardson's visit, therefore, the question hinges on his reliability.

So, I guess I would suggest that the most important witness in this case is John Richardson. If Annie was killed before his visit, then Long's testimony is clearly unhelpful, and Cadosch heard someone from some other yard (as he indicated might have been the case). However, if Annie was killed around 5:30ish, then Long's statement may indeed refer to Annie and her killer, but given the circumstances of her sighting, it's utility and accuracy as a description would still be highly suspect.

So, I don't conclude that Annie must have died at 5:30 (or there abouts), rather my conclusion is conditional on the validity of the informaton we have from John Richardson. Unfortunately, there is no way to verifiy if what John Richardson said was, or was not, true. Therefore, I find I cannot conclude for sure when Annie was killed.

- Jeff
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Howard Brown
Chief Inspector
Username: Howard

Post Number: 815
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2005 - 4:44 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dear Martin...

Just a brief comment..

You said above, "It was Anderson himself who named Kosminski in his notes as the man was identified by a witness."

Not a problem,but you are slightly in error here. It was in Donald Swanson's personal copy of "The Lighter Side of My Official Life.." by Sir Robert Anderson, that we first heard of the name of Kosminski. At no time does Anderson ever state Kosminski's name as being the person identified at The Seaside Home.

For what its worth,I enjoy A.P.'s recent [ with Chris and Natalie's efforts too ] Cutbush thread and her work likewise.

I wasn't trying to be snide with "pointing" anything out to you,Martin. I hope it wasn't taken that way... Its just that these two suspects appear to have been higher maintenence than say a Stephenson,a Druitt,a Sickert or other self-reliant suspects [ anyone who worked steadily,for example ]. These two,around the time of the murders,especially Kosminski,would probably been put on a shorter leash than the regular person. Just an opinion.
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Martin Anderson
Detective Sergeant
Username: Scouse

Post Number: 61
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2005 - 8:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hey Howard,

It was a gaff on my part and I don't need to look it up to know you are correct. Anderson's suspect was simply referred to as, well the suspect, a Polish jew, and the individual.

It certainly wasn't taken in any way except someone trying to clear the facts up and I'm sure that's how it was intended. Thanks again for clearing that up. I enjoy having these discussions and of course, I'm learning more and more with everyone's comments.

Out of interest, do you know when Swanson would have pencilled Kosminski's name into the margin? It would have definitely been later than the date of the book (1910) and therefore Swanson is recalling facts which had long ago passed. This would increase the chance of the name Kosminski being confused with Kos-something else-ski.

Best,
Martin Anderson
Analyst
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Howard Brown
Chief Inspector
Username: Howard

Post Number: 822
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2005 - 8:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dear Martin...

No sir,I don't know the exact year it was written in,in Swanson's copy. I would tend to think that it was written within that year, 1910, or maybe in 1911. Maybe someone does know what year it was written in with certainty,like Mr. Begg or Evans...or someone else.

In any event,it was at least 22 years after the last C5 murder and 20 [correct me if I am wrong ] after the Seaside identification.

Sorry to be lame in the clutch,Martin...
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Tim_308
Unregistered guest
Posted on Wednesday, December 07, 2005 - 3:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Speculating on what "somewhat taller" means without knowing the exact circumstances of the situation is quite silly. For example:

1) We don't know at what angle Long was looking from. Was she on higher ground, lower ground, even ground?

2) We don't know what kind of shoes Chapman was wearing or what kind of shoes the killer was wearing. Did she have on healed boots? Was the killer wearing flat shoes? We can be sure they weren't bare foot.

3) When they say Chapman was 5', do they mean w/out her shoes on? Do they mean when she is laying on a table dead?

4) Was the killer leaning at all, hunched over, purposely trying to appear shorter?

Come on, why do you waste so much time on nonsensical speculation when you don't have facts to work with. The only thing we can actually be sure of was that the killer appeared to be somewhat taller than Chapman from Long's vantage point.

Certainly somewhat taller indicates at least 3-5" taller. If somebody was only 1" or 2" taller they would appear to be the same height from any kind of distance.

Speculation on this is pretty silly w/out the facts.

Tim
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George Hutchinson
Chief Inspector
Username: Philip

Post Number: 918
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Thursday, December 08, 2005 - 5:01 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Tim -

Whilst I appreciate the substance of some of what you're saying it does strike me as pretty rich to be calling frequent and respected posters 'silly' when you make 2 rather inadequate gaffs yourself.

Firstly, you say we don't know what sort of ground Long was standing on - of COURSE we do! It was totally flat, as it is today.

The other point is that you ask was Chapman 5' with or without her shoes. Frankly, I have never heard of anyone's measurement being taken including their shoes. You might as well say Cream was 6'8" in his top hat.

Though I think the notion of the killer purposefully trying to appear shorter is unlikely as it would have made him stand out, your other points are, however, valid.

PHILIP
Tour guides do it loudly in front of a crowd!
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Tim_308
Unregistered guest
Posted on Friday, December 09, 2005 - 2:58 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Philip,

I was not trying to ruffle anybody's feathers. I did not say that the poster was "silly" I said that the topic was "silly."

I will accept that the suspect and witness were on equal ground as it appears that you must have seen the site in person to know this. So, I stand corrected on that point, although I did not know this and I did not know that it was known.

However, I will have to disagree with your second point. I am not sure whether you are American or British, but by your sig line I am guessing British (if not, I'm sorry for assuming). In the United States we use a system called BMI to determine healthy weights for people based on their height and weight. At the doctor's office there is a chart used to determine an individual's BMI (body mass index). This system has been around for 50 yrs or so, although it has very recently been somewhat debated. At any rate, my point is that ALL heights were calculated by adding one inch to the individual's height for shoes. So, please take into account that there is a major system that DOES include shoes in height calculation, feel free to look this up and verify it at the National Institute of Health (In fact this point is one of the reasons that the system is being removed). I don't know the historic rule for height calculation, certainly heights weren't measured and recorded at doctor visits in the EE of London in 1888 for prostitutes, were they?

Furthermore, was the height measured while she was dead on a table, while she was alive, or was it given as a general height by her or others at some time but never actually measured?

If she were measured at death while lying on a slab the measurement would have been different, by how much, i don't know, but the spine is uncompressed at a lying rest.

In any case, although I still think that the height of Chapman including shoes or not is debatable, my main point is that we don't know what kind of shoes any of the involved people were wearing.

For example if Chapman was 5'0" tall w/out shoes and the suspect was 5'6" tall w/out shoes. We have a suspect that is exactly 6 inches taller than the witness.

If the heights were the same but Chapman was wearing 2" healed boots and the suspect was wearing thin shoes adding only 1/2" to his height, we have a Chapman standing 5'2" and the suspect standing 5'6 1/2" Now we have a suspect standing only 4 1/2" taller than the victim.

If we add other variables (all totally speculative, but possible), such as the suspect was slightly leaning reducing his height by another half inch and Chapman was looking right into his face, standing chin up head high adding 1/2" to her height we now have a suspect only 3 1/2 " taller.

Furthermore, how tall was E. Long and what shoes was she wearing. What if Long was 5'11" (tall for a woman) and wearing 2" heals making her 6'.1" On level ground she is now looking down at both the suspect and victim which may make the heights of the two appear closer to each other. If Long was 4'11" the appearance would be distorted the other way.

Additionally if the killer was wearing a hat it may have distorted his actual height because one couldn't tell exactly where the top of his head was. All of these slight differences make it difficult to say something so bold as what the original poster said in my opinion. It would be much more progrssive to debate what I just said than to just take Long's description as absolute fact without considering more realistic variables.

And one other point, after having received training at a fincanical institution regarding robberies. One of the first things we learned was that height was one of the most difficult things for witnesses to assess, hence that is why we have those colored bars with numbers by doors, so that cameras and witnesses can mark height. Long did not give an actual height either.

There are so many things we don't know. Did Long have 20/20 vision? Did she have an astigmatism? Was she drinking?

My biggest argument would be that we don't know what kind of shoes any body was wearing.

Not looking for confrontaion, just healthy debate,

Tim

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