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The Witnesses + Evidence Inquest testimonies and how they have influenced Ripperology...from Albert Cadosch to a cry of "Oh,Murder !"....from the Goulston Street Graffito to those letters from Hell.

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Old July 17th, 2017, 05:22 PM   #471
Sam Flynn
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Right, I think we'd got to a general agreement that the writing was on the jamb and the piece of apron was on the floor below it.
You can include me out of that agreement, Paul The writing may have been on the jamb, but I'm pretty sure that the apron was in the "passage"... or whatever the technical term is.

Anyhow, like you say, back to the topic of the thread. Was erasing the GSG a mistake?
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Old July 17th, 2017, 06:27 PM   #472
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Right, I think we'd got to a general agreement that the writing was on the jamb and the piece of apron was on the floor below it. Warren was concerned that any covering could have easily been pulled off, but why couldn't a burley constable or two couldn't have prevented that? They only had to keep the covering on until the photographer arrived - or was he concerned about the writing being seen by market traders when the photograph was taken? And was there a railing, or is that supposition? Nobody seems to have mentioned one, and Warren's anxiety about any covering being pulled off would seem to suggest that there wasn't one, because wouldn't a railing have been an obstruction?

Overall, it was Arnold who feared the writing could cause a riot and who had a constable readied with a bucket to erase the writing. As head of H Division one might suppose that he had a finger on the pulse of his commend, so his fears should maybe be treated seriously. Warren simply acted on Arnold's advice and took responsibility for the flack the decision might cause. He was therefore aware of the seriousness of the act.

Returning to the subject of the thread, was the erasure a mistake - by Supt. Arnold?
Hi Paul
It's difficult at this distance of time, for me personally, to excuse the rubbing out. But of course things are different when you are actually on the scene. If Arnold and Warren felt that they couldn't wait for a photographer to be sent for I'd have thought that there was at least something constructive that they could have done. For me that would have been to ensure that an attempt was made to not only record the message but also to duplicate the handwriting and layout of the message. It surely wouldn't have been too large an ask and might have proved useful at some stage.
I wonder if Arnold and Warren ever regretted their decision, if only in private?

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Old July 17th, 2017, 06:29 PM   #473
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You can include me out of that agreement, Paul The writing may have been on the jamb, but I'm pretty sure that the apron was in the "passage"... or whatever the technical term is.

Anyhow, like you say, back to the topic of the thread. Was erasing the GSG a mistake?
Yes, sorry, in the hiatus I'd forgotten that you disagreed with the location of the apron. I think we can talk about the pavement, entranceway (the jamb), and the stairwell (the interior). I must say that I don't think the apron can have been any great distance from the jamb, otherwise there would have been no real reason to connect it to the writing, which the police and the press clearly did. Without a reason to connect the writing to the apron, erasing a random bit of graffiti wouldn't have been any sort of mistake. Of course, a connection could have been made even if the writing and the apron were widely separated, so I suppose it ultimately comes down to what below or underneath the writing actually meant. It's late, I'm tired, I'll probably spend the next hour going through the permutations!
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Old July 17th, 2017, 06:39 PM   #474
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Hi Paul
It's difficult at this distance of time, for me personally, to excuse the rubbing out. But of course things are different when you are actually on the scene. If Arnold and Warren felt that they couldn't wait for a photographer to be sent for I'd have thought that there was at least something constructive that they could have done. For me that would have been to ensure that an attempt was made to not only record the message but also to duplicate the handwriting and layout of the message. It surely wouldn't have been too large an ask and might have proved useful at some stage.
I wonder if Arnold and Warren ever regretted their decision, if only in private?

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Michael
My feeling, and it's no more than that, is that Warren acted entirely on Supt. Arnold's advice. Arnold had already got a constable ready with a bucket of water and was going to give the order to erase the writing himself, but Warren, recognising the magnitude of destroying evidence, delayed the erasure until he arrived on the scene and could give the order himself. The question is, why didn't Arnold think about calling the photographer and take such steps as he could to hide the writing. As you say, though, things probably looked a lot different at the time. We have the advantage of having as broad a picture of what had happened as the surviving sources allow, but what Arnold knew is somewhat open to question, as is the weight he attached to what he knew. Anyway, I must sleep.
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Old July 17th, 2017, 07:07 PM   #475
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I must say that I don't think the apron can have been any great distance from the jamb, otherwise there would have been no real reason to connect it to the writing
Well, we're only talking about a difference of a few feet in the scheme of things. That said, if the apron was in close proximity to the jamb, I'm sure Long's description would indicate as much, e.g "at the entrance"... instead of which he clearly said that it was "in the passage".
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Old July 17th, 2017, 07:55 PM   #476
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My feeling, and it's no more than that, is that Warren acted entirely on Supt. Arnold's advice. Arnold had already got a constable ready with a bucket of water and was going to give the order to erase the writing himself, but Warren, recognising the magnitude of destroying evidence, delayed the erasure until he arrived on the scene and could give the order himself.
Indeed


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The question is, why didn't Arnold think about calling the photographer and take such steps as he could to hide the writing. As you say, though, things probably looked a lot different at the time.
Despite the alleged objections of City Detective Halse, I wonder if any 'at the scene' evidentiary photographs had ever been attempted before. In other words, Arnold may have thought obtaining a photograph would be difficult and impossible without public scrutiny.

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We have the advantage of having as broad a picture of what had happened as the surviving sources allow, but what Arnold knew is somewhat open to question, as is the weight he attached to what he knew...
Yes, and Arnold was not long back from vacation himself. How 'up to speed' on the overall progression of events may be in question. But he had undoubtedly read press reports during his absence, which placed a great deal of emphasis on the Pizer situation and it's aftermath.
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Old July 17th, 2017, 09:33 PM   #477
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I still do not know the logistics of night photography in those days. I think it is possible the flash would not be able to catch the white writing, that it would all be bleached out. If that is so, it would have been necessary to wait until the sun was up to get a photograph.

If the writing could have been photographed in the dark around 3:30-4:30 A.M. I would not think there would be a huge risk of stirring up an anti-Jewish pogrom/riot. Maybe--if I am right about nighttime photography--part of the decision was based on the long wait for appropriate light to get a photo.

Another good question which is off topic here is, why not round up a camera to take pictures of Eddowes' body or simply of the place where she was killed? Surely her demise would not necessarily stir anti-Jewish activity. (Yes, I know it was a different police force, etc.)

I still say erasing the writing was a mistake. I am not sure if what I posted--probably 100 posts back--about PC Long and the spelling of Juwes matters or not. Now I wonder if Long correctly copied that word or if it could have been the way he personally spelled Jews. Maybe I just got the wrong idea about some of his testimony but he was questioned heavily at inquest. Erasure was definitely a mistake, IMO.
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Old July 18th, 2017, 05:05 AM   #478
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I still do not know the logistics of night photography in those days. I think it is possible the flash would not be able to catch the white writing, that it would all be bleached out. If that is so, it would have been necessary to wait until the sun was up to get a photograph.

If the writing could have been photographed in the dark around 3:30-4:30 A.M. I would not think there would be a huge risk of stirring up an anti-Jewish pogrom/riot. Maybe--if I am right about nighttime photography--part of the decision was based on the long wait for appropriate light to get a photo.

Another good question which is off topic here is, why not round up a camera to take pictures of Eddowes' body or simply of the place where she was killed? Surely her demise would not necessarily stir anti-Jewish activity. (Yes, I know it was a different police force, etc.)

I still say erasing the writing was a mistake. I am not sure if what I posted--probably 100 posts back--about PC Long and the spelling of Juwes matters or not. Now I wonder if Long correctly copied that word or if it could have been the way he personally spelled Jews. Maybe I just got the wrong idea about some of his testimony but he was questioned heavily at inquest. Erasure was definitely a mistake, IMO.
Hi Anna

I agree with you that erasure was a mistake. I still feel that, perhaps someone senior, could have ensured that the handwriting was copied and the exact location of the writing and the cloth were recorded (perhaps a diagram) It would have been a useful exercise and quicker than waiting for a photographer.

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Old July 18th, 2017, 05:23 AM   #479
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In an alternative universe how suspicious would we all have been if the senior officer that had the message erased had have been Superintendant Charles Henry Cutbush?!
Did Arnold have a miscreant brother?
Only joking.

Or am I ?



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Old July 18th, 2017, 08:02 AM   #480
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I still do not know the logistics of night photography in those days. I think it is possible the flash would not be able to catch the white writing, that it would all be bleached out. If that is so, it would have been necessary to wait until the sun was up to get a photograph.

If the writing could have been photographed in the dark around 3:30-4:30 A.M. I would not think there would be a huge risk of stirring up an anti-Jewish pogrom/riot. Maybe--if I am right about nighttime photography--part of the decision was based on the long wait for appropriate light to get a photo.
I think you are almost certainly correct that the police were waiting for enough light to be able to take photographs, probable confirmation resting in Warren's statement than any covering could have been torn away. I assume that he was thinking of a covering while they awaited daylight.

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Another good question which is off topic here is, why not round up a camera to take pictures of Eddowes' body or simply of the place where she was killed? Surely her demise would not necessarily stir anti-Jewish activity. (Yes, I know it was a different police force, etc.)

I still say erasing the writing was a mistake. I am not sure if what I posted--probably 100 posts back--about PC Long and the spelling of Juwes matters or not. Now I wonder if Long correctly copied that word or if it could have been the way he personally spelled Jews. Maybe I just got the wrong idea about some of his testimony but he was questioned heavily at inquest. Erasure was definitely a mistake, IMO.
I don't think there is any doubt that erasing the writing was a mistake, although how serious a mistake is open to debate. The question is probably more to do with whether preserving the writing actually struck anyone as important at the time.
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