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Old July 22nd, 2017, 03:17 PM   #1
Jerry Dunlop
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Default Castle Alley-A new perspective

First off, the photographs in this post were taken from Casebook posts from Rob Clack, so I want to thank him for finding these over the years. The photo with the "x" is one I had never seen until today.

There has been much discussion over the years of all the intricate alleys and byways in Castle Alley and thus providing many options for the killer to escape. I wanted to address that idea in this post by getting into the detail of Castle Alley with the aid of Rob's photographs.

First off, the area we know as Castle Alley (where McKenzie's body was found), is the lower or southern half of another street named Old Castle Street. The break point where the two streets merged was the Three Crowns Public House. Castle alley itself was about 170 yards long from Whitechapel High Street to the Three Crowns to the north. The entrance at Whitechapel High Street was about 3 feet wide. Unless one knew what was behind the 3 foot entrance they would have never known the alley even existed. On the night of Alice McKenzie's murder there was a fixed point officer near this entrance.

Castle Alley From Whitechapel High Street.
From The Penny Illustrated Paper. July 27th 1889.
Copyright, The British Library Board.

At the other end of the Alley was the Three Crowns Public House. The Three Crowns was about the halfway point of the entirety of the street which ran from Whitechapel High Street, to the south, and Wentworth Street, to the north. Walking from the High Street entrance, heading north, once you reached the Three Crowns the street changed names to Old Castle Street which continued up to Wentworth.

This is a view of the Three Crowns looking from the north (Old Castle Street) toward the south into the alley. The small pole on the right is about where Andrews and Badham met (see same pole on last picture in this post). Here is Andrews inquest testimony on the subject: Police-constable Walter Andrews, 272 H, said, - About ten minutes to 1 this morning I saw Sergeant Badlam at the corner of Old Castle-street, leading into Castle-alley. That was on the opposite corner of the publichouse. The sergeant said, "All right," and I said the same. I then proceeded up Castle-alley, and tried the doors on the west side of the alley. While doing so I noticed a woman lying on the pavement. Her head was lying eastward, and was on the edge of the kerbstone, with her feet towards the building, which was a wheelwright's shop and warehouse.

The building on the immediate right with the doorway is the Board School. Further down on the right you can see three buildings in the near distance. One smaller sandwiched in between a lighter building and one with a chimney. The lighter building is the back of the wash houses and about where the sandwiched building meets the chimney building is where Alice was murdered.(see Ed Stow's map below; the bottom of the blue line is the murder spot)

This sketch shows the sandwiched building and the chimney building.

This last picture is the one I had not seen before. The "x" is actually pretty close to the spot PC Walter Andrews and Sergeant Badham met at about 12:48/50. In the Three Crowns picture above, the view is reversed. This view is from Castle Alley looking north into old Castle Street with the Three Crowns on the right. You can see the 4 stack chimney on top which matches the other picture. You can also faintly see the Three Crowns sign hanging from above. The Board School is on the left. You can also just get a glimpse on the far right of the hoarding seen in the other picture.

To sum this all up and get to my point, go back and look at the Three Crowns picture looking toward the murder scene and compare that to the goad map of Ed Stow's. You can see that it was not very far at all from where Andrews met Badham and where Alice was being murdered under a lamp. If the killer was disturbed by the two policemen he would surely have been seen or heard I would think. After all, Andrews heard the footsteps of Isaac Lewis Jacobs standing at the body of Alice almost all the way to Wentworth Street.
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