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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 February 2nd, 2016, 05:35 PM   #111
Gary Barnett
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Linford View Post
It was all because the lady loves Milk Tray.

Mark Jr's war record is on Ancestry.
Thanks, Rob. It seems he was even more of a rogue than his brother.
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Old February 2nd, 2016, 06:06 PM   #112
Edward Stow
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That view must be looking south down Pereira Street towards the Brewery.
46 was on the left. Actually on the Goad map 48 was listed as a shop - on the corner of the lower half of Pereira Street.
No 30 - the Samuels residence - must be about where the last person on the left is standing.
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Old February 2nd, 2016, 06:22 PM   #113
Robert Linford
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https://www.ideastore.co.uk/digital-...y/index/id/110
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Old February 2nd, 2016, 06:47 PM   #114
Robert Linford
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A similar one, right at the end :

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=...0green&f=false
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Old February 2nd, 2016, 08:58 PM   #115
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You can see it's the same chimney in the Ideas Store picture. But I'm not sure what the big buildings in the background are in the other picture.
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Old February 2nd, 2016, 09:42 PM   #116
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This one's 1919 :

http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/...-photo/3165282
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Old February 5th, 2016, 05:46 PM   #117
Gary Barnett
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A great find by Rob Clack - Billy Maher/Myers/Meers with his hat off:

http://www.jtrforums.com/showthread.php?t=25186
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Old June 9th, 2017, 09:41 AM   #118
Gary Barnett
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In 1909, Billy Maher had two spells in the Whitechapel Infirmary:

11/1 - 26/1

Age - 37
Address - 24, Thrawl Street
Occupation - General labourer
Cause - Mental?
Religion - RC


29/6 - 4/8

Age - 35
Address - 24, Thrawl Street
Occupation - Deputy
Cause - Injury to arm & leg
Religion - RC
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Old January 1st, 2018, 07:07 AM   #119
Gary Barnett
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Default A well-known local character

While he was investigating the murder of Mary Ann Austin in 1901, Inspector Thomas Divall found himself hampered by what he described as the 'reticence' of the staff and lodgers at William Crossingham's lodging house at 35, Dorset Street where the attack had taken place. As events unfolded, it became clear that the lodging house deputies, Henry and Maria Moore, and Daniel Sullivan, Crossingham's brother-in-law, had deliberately lied to the police and the coroner. Sullivan seems to have taken the lead in the deception and to have coerced/convinced others into going along with it.*

Divall expressed his frustration in a report dated 28th May, the day following Austin's death at the London hospital:

A number of persons who were in the Lodging House on the night in question have been seen and interrogated but they have been most reticent in the matter in fact from the Deputy downwards it is evident that they have been doing their level best to baffle police.

Up to the present no information has been obtained as to who the deceased woman is. It, however, seems very clear that her assailent is some well-known local character, otherwise the Deputy and the lodgers (the house being full) would not be so anxious to shield him, if he had been a stranger which they are evidently doing.

Clearly Daniel Sullivan was up to no good - at the very least he tampered with the evidence in a murder case and persuaded others to perjure themselves - but does it plausibly follow that he himself committed the murder? I suppose it's possible that he was the 'well-known local character' to whom Divall was referring, but it's never struck me as likely that he would have carried out such a violent attack on his brother-in-law's premises. If he'd been the sort of violent loose cannon to have done so, would Crossingham had left him as overseer?

There is another candidate, though, who I think warrants consideration, and who ticks far more of the boxes than Daniel Sullivan. His name was William Patrick (Billy) Maher.

Born in Gravel Lane (City) around 1873, Billy Maher seems to have spent most of his adult life in Spitalfields, alternating between (Little) Paternoster Row and Thrawl Street. The 1901 census shows him living at 12, Paternoster Row, a few steps away from the door of Crossingham's 35, Dorset Street premises, so he couldn't have been more 'local'.

In the Curtis Brown 'Blood Alley' article, seemingly written a short while after the Austin murder, Billy is introduced as 'the most notorious character in Dorset Street'. He is described as a resident of Blood Alley, the most conspicuous of any of the crowd, dressed in the ordinary coster garb but with a long, still bleeding gash behind his ear. The swarm of Dorset Street residents who up to that point had been hampering the efforts of Curtis Brown's photographer drew respectfully back to allow Billy to be photographed. In his police memoir, 'Lost London', ex-sergeant Ben Leeson claimed that Billy's name came up on a daily basis at the station (presumably Leman Street). Leeson devoted several pages to Billy and said that a book could have been written about his exploits.

The evidence suggests that Maher may have initially worked for Daniel McCarthy, the brother of Mary Kelly's landlord John McCarthy, and then, after Daniel's death, transferred his allegiance to Daniel's widow, Ann. As well as being John McCarthy's sister-in-law, Ann was William Crossingham's daughter, so as her her minder Billy was very much part of the Dorset Street establishment.

Here are some of the highlights of his career:

In 1892, he stabbed the Boxer John 'Black Jack' Stevens to death at a Kentish hop farm. He claimed it was an accident and, although the medical evidence suggested otherwise, no witnesses came forward to contradict his version of events, so he was acquitted.

In April, 1902 he shot an (as yet) unidentified man in a lodging house. The man had allegedly insulted Ann McCarthy and when Billy 'told him off about it' the man reached for a butcher's knife. Billy promptly pulled a pistol from his back pocket and shot the man in the jaw. When asked whether his victim had refused to press charges against him at Commercial Street police station, Billy replied, 'They refused to take the charge'.

One Ben Leeson anecdote has Maher matched against the infamous 'pocket Hercules' Squibby and coming out on top. Leeson reportedly witnessed him chasing Squibby, whom he describes as 'another well-known character in those parts', out of a house in Dorset Street. Billy threw a knife at Squibby but missed his target. He explained the incident thus:

"He's just been in here, threatening me with a 'chiv', but when he saw me pick up a bigger one, he scooted; I just missed him."

Although the knife had narrowly missed Leeson, he let the matter drop, on the basis that its intended target, Squibby, would be unlikely to press charges against Billy.

Perhaps the most interesting incident of all is the attack on Margaret Sullivan at Crossingham's 20, Dorset Street premises in 1897. Billy and two other men forved their way into the lodging house in the early hours and launched a vicious attack, primarily on Margaret Sullivan but also on William Crossingham's brother 'Bertie' who came to her defence. Billy allegedly took the lead in the assault, stabbing Margaret Sullivan in the head and the side before dragging her down the steps and out into the street. The facts of the incident were disputed in court. On the one hand the motive was said to have been an old grudge between Maher and Sullivan, but it was also suggested that William Crossingham had offered the three attackers 10s to remove Sullivan, who was described as his 'pseudo wife', from the premises. Whatever the motive, it seems the prosecution decided not to pursue the matter, and Maher and his two accomplices were found not guilty. The reluctance of victims and witnesses to pursue Billy in court is a thread that runs through his story.

Just to complete the picture, Billy spent a couple of weeks in the Whitechapel infirmary in January, 1909, the diagnosis of his condition being 'mental'. He died on 12th August, 1925 at St. Peter's Hospital, Whitechapel. His final address was 28, Thrawl Street, Ann McCarthy's lodging house, and his occupation was given as 'night porter at lodging house'.

Could there have been a more local, well-known and characterful individual living in Dorset Street in 1901? With his reputation for extreme violence and his connection to the two main 'guvnors' in the street, is it not likely that if he had carried out the attack on Austin, the staff and residents of Crossingham's would have acted exactly as they in fact did in an attempt to 'shield' him? Would anyone have dared to stand up and say, 'Billy Maher did it'?

There's even a possible motive for Maher to have committed the Austin murder, although I admit it is highly conjectural...

*Anyone interested in the details of the Austin murder should read Rob Clack's comprehensive MURDER, DEATH AND THE LODGING HOUSE: The Strange Case of Mary Ann Austin, which can be found in the dissertations section of Casebook (link below).

Tom Wescott's coverage of the case in The Bank Holiday Murders is also highly recommended.

http://www.casebook.org/dissertation...nn-austin.html
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Old January 1st, 2018, 07:19 AM   #120
Debra Arif
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Thanks for that summary, Gary. I don't really follow the family link with McCarthy but will try and figure it out!
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