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Old June 22nd, 2017, 11:54 PM   #1
Anna Morris
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Default Seaside Home ID, Simple Ideas...

I have read lots of discussions about the Seaside Home ID, some of them quite acrimonious. I never could accept that the reluctant witness was a policeman, resident at the home. There could have been a Jewish policeman but I suspect his career would have ended real fast if he refused to give evidence--to avoid having an execution (of a fellow Jew) on his conscience--against JtR no less. It would have been so simple for a policeman to say it was awful dark and he could not be sure, therefore he shouldn't give evidence.

I always figured the simple answer was that the witness was one of the Jewish witnesses on the night of the double event. Maybe Joseph Hyam Levy or Israel Schwartz. Levy because he seemed to recognise the man and woman together near Mite Square, made a strong statement to his companions and then said he didn't mean anything by it! I think Levy would have been very capable of saying he didn't get a good look, couldn't remember, etc.

Schwartz makes more sense. Police tried to keep his address secret but a "Star" reporter bragged about getting it and getting an interview. Schwartz must have been new to the country as he seemed to not know English. He had a wife and I think I have read they had a new baby.

So he was stuck in the East End with a small family. He claimed the assailant of Liz called out "Lipski". He ran away in fear even though he later gave information to the police, which ended up with the press at his door. He didn't testify at the inquest and we don't know any more about him or what happened to him.

Donald Swanson was the one to interview him at the Lehman Street police station. Police considered him an important witness.

After all this drama perhaps Mr. Schwartz thought to move on to Canada or America or back where he came from.

If so it would make sense for the police to ensure he was available if a suspect turned up. I always thought the witness at the SSH was someone who worked there. Or perhaps he worked in the vicinity. Maybe someone got him a job far away from London but where he could be contacted easily.

Apparently the police could not compel either the suspect or witness. The suspect was "sent with great difficulty", not taken in handcuffs. Did they offer the suspect and his brother free tickets to the seaside? For whatever reason the witness did not have to go to London. As others have noted, the SSH would have provided an environment controlled by police should an ID be successful and an arrest made.

It seems like Schwartz had some idea of the importance of the name Lipski. Surely he learned more after the reports hit the papers. For reasons I do not understand, the Lipski case was divisive and controversial, even called anti-Semitic, though victim, perpetrator and witnesses were all fellow Jews. Some persisted to believe Lipski was innocent and a victim of gentile justice.

All that fits in with a Jewish witness who did not want to testify against a fellow Jew, who did not want to deal with the aftermath of a hanging, on his conscience or otherwise concerning social life or future employment. I would think a recently immigrated person would be more reticent to get so deeply involved than would an established resident like Levy. If I am right that the witness was Schwartz, maybe he wanted to help and was honest in his answers while thinking surely the authorities could find another way to convict the suspect.

For what it's worth these are some points I have been pondering.
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Old June 23rd, 2017, 01:41 AM   #2
Lynn Cates
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Hello Anna. These are good things to think about.

But I wonder what there would have been in Schwartz's testimony (given its veracity) that would have gotten a fellow Jew a dirty look--let alone a trip to the gallows?

Cheers.
LC
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Old June 23rd, 2017, 03:57 AM   #3
Trevor Marriott
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I have read lots of discussions about the Seaside Home ID, some of them quite acrimonious. I never could accept that the reluctant witness was a policeman, resident at the home. There could have been a Jewish policeman but I suspect his career would have ended real fast if he refused to give evidence--to avoid having an execution (of a fellow Jew) on his conscience--against JtR no less. It would have been so simple for a policeman to say it was awful dark and he could not be sure, therefore he shouldn't give evidence.

I always figured the simple answer was that the witness was one of the Jewish witnesses on the night of the double event. Maybe Joseph Hyam Levy or Israel Schwartz. Levy because he seemed to recognise the man and woman together near Mite Square, made a strong statement to his companions and then said he didn't mean anything by it! I think Levy would have been very capable of saying he didn't get a good look, couldn't remember, etc.

Schwartz makes more sense. Police tried to keep his address secret but a "Star" reporter bragged about getting it and getting an interview. Schwartz must have been new to the country as he seemed to not know English. He had a wife and I think I have read they had a new baby.

So he was stuck in the East End with a small family. He claimed the assailant of Liz called out "Lipski". He ran away in fear even though he later gave information to the police, which ended up with the press at his door. He didn't testify at the inquest and we don't know any more about him or what happened to him.

Donald Swanson was the one to interview him at the Lehman Street police station. Police considered him an important witness.

After all this drama perhaps Mr. Schwartz thought to move on to Canada or America or back where he came from.

If so it would make sense for the police to ensure he was available if a suspect turned up. I always thought the witness at the SSH was someone who worked there. Or perhaps he worked in the vicinity. Maybe someone got him a job far away from London but where he could be contacted easily.

Apparently the police could not compel either the suspect or witness. The suspect was "sent with great difficulty", not taken in handcuffs. Did they offer the suspect and his brother free tickets to the seaside? For whatever reason the witness did not have to go to London. As others have noted, the SSH would have provided an environment controlled by police should an ID be successful and an arrest made.

It seems like Schwartz had some idea of the importance of the name Lipski. Surely he learned more after the reports hit the papers. For reasons I do not understand, the Lipski case was divisive and controversial, even called anti-Semitic, though victim, perpetrator and witnesses were all fellow Jews. Some persisted to believe Lipski was innocent and a victim of gentile justice.

All that fits in with a Jewish witness who did not want to testify against a fellow Jew, who did not want to deal with the aftermath of a hanging, on his conscience or otherwise concerning social life or future employment. I would think a recently immigrated person would be more reticent to get so deeply involved than would an established resident like Levy. If I am right that the witness was Schwartz, maybe he wanted to help and was honest in his answers while thinking surely the authorities could find another way to convict the suspect.

For what it's worth these are some points I have been pondering.
Anna
A few points to mention
1. No witness ever saw the crimes being committed
2. Schwartz evidence at best could have been he saw a man and a woman in the street near to the murder spot having an argument, and then throwing her to the floor. No evidence that the female was Stride. So even it it were ever proven that the female was Stride that ID evidence on its own would not be enough to get anyone hanged.
3. The same would apply to Lawende and his evidence of what he saw, not enough to get anyone hanged
4. As to Anderson, he clearly lied through his teeth in his book about having a witness and a positive ID taking place, because up until his book was published in 1910 he had been telling one and all that the police did not have any idea who the killer was.
5. So that being said it brings into question all that Swanson is "purported" to have written in the marginalia!
6. It should also be noted that other than Anderson and Swanson no other persons, police officials, or otherwise ever mentions this important ID parade which is hard to believe that no one else was involved or appeared to know of it ever taking place, or the important outcome in the way it has been described. Macnaghten was in charge of Swanson so you would have expected him to know about this mythical ID parade but he never at any time mentions it ever having taken place.

If Kosminski was ever taken to a seaside home, who took him? I cannot for one moment imagining the police knocking on his door and saying "excuse me Aaron would you mind accompanying us to Brighton we think you are JTR and want a witness to try to identify you"

Clearly Aaron Kosminski was never arrested. If he had ever been taken voluntarily or otherwise and there had been such a positive ID would the police have just brought him back and took him home leaving him to his own devices, no they wouldn't.

And another nail in the ID coffin is that the Kosminski mentioned by Macnaghten in his memo has never ever been proved to be Aaron Kosminski, and finally in The Aberconway Version of the original memo he eliminates that person named Kosminski from any further suspicion.

So that should rule out any further suspicion against that Kosminski.

Major Smith head of the CIty police in his memoirs in 1910 stated that they had no clues about the killer, which you would not expect if all that is alleged to have taken place which the City police were involved in did in fact take place.

Food for thought, people are too ready to accept what some of the police officials said back then as being gospel, but believe it or not police officers do tell lies. Anderson is a prime example.

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Old June 23rd, 2017, 10:56 AM   #4
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Hello Anna. These are good things to think about.

But I wonder what there would have been in Schwartz's testimony (given its veracity) that would have gotten a fellow Jew a dirty look--let alone a trip to the gallows?

Cheers.
LC
I actually thought about that and a few other things. What did ANY Jewish witness--that we know about--have to offer that was so important?

I don't know how circumstantial evidence works in British courts. If there was other evidence against a suspect and one of the Jewish witnesses could place the man near a murder at about the time the murder took place, it could be the final piece of evidence needed for a conviction. Prosecutors build cases brick by brick. Maybe the case was shaky to begin with. I have long believed an issue with a Jewish witness is that Jews are not supposed to give evidence unless they actually see a crime take place. (This comment brought on some discussion a while back and someone who I think knows more than me said this is overly simplistic and somewhat incorrect. Still, as far as I know there is an element of accuracy here.)

Another possibility is the witness was Nathan Shine who told family years later that he had seen a man bending over Stride with a knife in his hand. Supposedly he did not go to the police and we have no idea if this tale is true. I am fascinated with this information but it is one more dead end.

Then there is my other point to ponder, if Shine and Schwartz were the same people. Probably not and their stories differ enough to indicate two different perspectives yet they also parallel each other in some aspects. Schwartz said he had been walking down the street, etc. Shine had exited the club through Dutfield's Yard, etc. Schwartz gave the impression of being a performer and the socialist club had had entertainment that night. I'd sure like to know more but can't find more.

(I'll reply to Trevor after I go over some of my notes.)
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Old June 23rd, 2017, 02:31 PM   #5
Lynn Cates
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Hello Anna. Thanks.

On the other hand, if the witness were Wirtkofsky (as I have maintained for some years), then we would have:

1. A positive ID at a home.

2. A fellow who hated prostitutes.

3. The ID done by another Jew--Lowenheim.

Too simple?

Cheers.
LC
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Old June 23rd, 2017, 03:46 PM   #6
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Trevor: All sorts of angles can be argued about the Seaside Home ID, including that it never happened and that there is something wrong with the Swanson marginalia.

Like I posted in another thread, concerning Aaron Kosminski, I always end up with yeah...but. I just cannot accept Aaron as Jack. Beyond that nobody knows what "Kosminski" means in either Swanson or MacNaughten. Names among immigrant Jews were very fluid. Polish is a difficult language. Heaven knows what was heard and subsequently written down. We can add here that Israel Lipski was Israel Lobulsk but adopted the name Lipski from his friends and landlords the Lipskis. Lobulsk is Russian, Lipski is Polish. Maybe the Kosminski in question adopted the name for some reason or other.

HOWEVER between Anderson, Swanson and MacNaughten there was a Polish suspect, probably Jewish.

My theory on what did anyone know for sure is that investigators had a list of probable JtR's and they did their best to account for all of them. We know for example that James Kelly's mother-in-law had a rough time from the police soon after MJK's murder. William Bury was investigated after he killed his wife. Tumblety was investigated. Druitt came to someone's attention. There was Sagar's Butcher's Row suspect. Yet circa 1902 Abberline surmised that Koslowski--a Pole who IMO looked Jewish--was likely to have been Jack. The Polish Jewish suspect was one of many on a list and in the end nobody knows anything for sure.

A number of your points are true. As far as we know no witness could give evidence that alone would convict a murderer. (Did Nathan Shine see a man bending over Stride with a knife in his hand? We don't know and apparently he did not go to the police.) It is possible though that a witness had information that would be the last nail in the coffin so to speak. What if there was a lot of incriminating evidence against a suspect and a witness could place that suspect at a crime scene minutes before murder? Another thought here is that both murders in the Double Event were almost absolutely timed. TOD for Polly, Annie and Mary were less defined though Polly must have been killed about the time she was found. A positive sighting of a suspect near/with Liz or Kate could be important. Here we would call it a circumstantial case and many people have been convicted on such. I do not know if the British system has more stringent requirements. Beyond a reasonable doubt means what is reasonable to a reasonable man (person). If a suspect had a closet full of bloody clothes, a bloody knife AND was seen with a victim moments before murder a reasonable man on a jury might convict.

I do not find it untruthful that Anderson denied for a number of years, knowing an identification for JtR, only later to tell his version of the identification. I would assume police policy would have been not to share inside information. At some time Anderson believed he could go as far as he did. Anderson should be taken with a grain of salt but I do find what he said about the witness identifying the suspect, "the moment he was confronted with him," to be intriguing. We could put emphasis on the word "confronted", or not. At least on the surface it could indicate an uncomfortable set-up similar to what the marginalia detail.

Swanson wrote deliberately and carefully. I will never be able to analyse 1888 police procedures and a number of other things but I do know quite a bit about writing and word usage. First, Swanson tells us about an incident that must have been somewhat embarrassing for the CID. A suspect--JTR nonetheless!!!-- who was SENT, not TAKEN to a reluctant witness somewhere at the seaside! (Stewart Evans may have been the first to point out the difference between sent and taken, etc.) The suspect was, "sent with difficulty by us." Gosh, imagine what the press could have done with that! CID was so incompetent they had to give train tickets to the JTR suspect and give him a holiday at the seaside in order to effect an ID by a witness who wouldn't testify!

I don't blame anyone for keeping that quiet!

The marginalia is unemotional and tells a story there is no point in telling if there was not some truth there. The suspect was subsequently watched by police and we know from Sagar that there was such an effort. I suppose then as well as now, there are times when there just is not enough evidence to detain a suspect. Today many times police can find a petty crime in a suspect's background that can lead to temporary detention. That was much less likely in 1888.

Without evidence sufficient to detain the suspect, it must have been a very weak case. Perhaps the witness placing the suspect near a victim could have secured an arrest at least. Maybe that alone was the purpose of the ID, to detain the suspect while the case was built. If it was all that shaky, so much the more reason for a Jewish witness not to cooperate, not to help create a controversial case against a fellow Jew. Not to participate in another Lipski affair.

I do however have one question about the marginalia. It is written that the suspect was removed to an asylum with "his hands tied behind his back." Hand cuffs were invented then. Surely police used them? Or do we take it that the suspect's family restrained him and delivered him to an asylum?

Anyway my original post is Point(s) to Ponder meaning I think what I wrote is worth considering but I have no sources to back it up. I do believe there was an attempted ID with a Jewish witness who refused to testify. If we put any weight on Anderson's use of the word "confronted", it could indicate something a bit unusual, or not.
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Old June 23rd, 2017, 05:05 PM   #7
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..Swanson tells us about an incident that must have been somewhat embarrassing for the CID. A suspect--JTR nonetheless!!!-- who was SENT, not TAKEN to a reluctant witness somewhere at the seaside! (Stewart Evans may have been the first to point out the difference between sent and taken, etc.) The suspect was, "sent with difficulty by us." Gosh, imagine what the press could have done with that! CID was so incompetent they had to give train tickets to the JTR suspect and give him a holiday at the seaside in order to effect an ID by a witness who wouldn't testify!
Anna, the City CID were likely the ones who took Kosminski to the place of identification. After all, they then returned him to his brother's house and kept watch on him. And how far up the City Police Force chain-of-command was this surveillance order given? Who would have known about it?
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Old June 23rd, 2017, 05:35 PM   #8
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Anna, the City CID were likely the ones who took Kosminski to the place of identification. After all, they then returned him to his brother's house and kept watch on him. And how far up the City Police Force chain-of-command was this surveillance order given? Who would have known about it?
That's the way I take it. Swanson's marginalia speaks with familiarity of the operation. "With difficulty BY US." I assume "us" was CID. If it happened I would assume as few as possible knew about it. It was probably a big gamble. If the witness came through there would be a highly publicized arrest. If not, the scenario was ludicrous. Indeed I do not see how such an operation could have been justified to the people and press unless an arrest and preferrably a conviction ensued. Only then would the CID be heroes, failing they would have been laughable clowns, Keystone Kops before the movies were invented.

I think the difficulty was in convincing the suspect to go along since the police did not seem to have power over him.

(I read some more of your excellent dissertations while researching my Point to Ponder. I found Martin Kosminski mentioned. Your in depth work covers so much!)
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Old June 23rd, 2017, 05:47 PM   #9
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Hi all,

I've no wish to cross swords with anyone on this issue, but I see no real reason to doubt that an identification of sorts took place.

If we only had Anderson's word on this issue I would, myself, be dubious as to the veracity of Anderson's claims. However, that's not the case. As I've stated on numerous occasions people always attack Anderson (often without foundation) regarding his statements on Jack the Ripper, accusing him, variously, of braggadocio, senility, or of being a downright liar. Swanson is not so easy a target: Why on earth would a highly intelligent, experienced, police officer like Swanson confirm (in his marginalia) Anderson's claims? Even if Swanson disagreed with what Anderson said in his memoirs regarding Jack the Ripper the very fact the he felt impelled to confirm and record Anderson's claims speaks volumes.

Of course this doesn't mean that Kosminski was Jack the Ripper, but it does mean that an i.d. of a suspect named Kosminski did take place, and that Anderson believed this man to have been Jack the Ripper. It also seems likely that Swanson believed the same.

Much would, I imagine, have hinged on the person(s) who conducted the i.d., and Anderson and Swanson's faith in their ability. Perhaps either Anderson or Swanson, or both, were directly involved in the i.d. We just don't know, and perhaps we never will.

Regarding the authenticity of the marginalia: all that can be said is that it comes from an impeccable source and has been subjected to testing by professionals who affirm the handwriting as being Donald Swanson's.

My regards,

Sean.
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Old June 23rd, 2017, 09:58 PM   #10
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One other point I should have made in the beginning is Swanson's use of the word "us". The suspect was, "sent with difficulty by us." In using that tiny word Swanson puts himself in the action. Maybe he did not make the decision to do it and maybe he was not involved but he was willing to be a part of it in the rememberance.

He could have been evasive and used terms like, "it was decided," "a course of action was determined," or simply say the suspect was sent with difficulty. Whether or not the decision was wise, foolhardy, desperate or a complete failure, Swanson was willing to admit it had happened and he counts himself in the group that made the decision.

This is another reason to believe something like this actually happened IMO.
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