Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

The Trial and Crimes, Background of Ethel Le Neve

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • The Trial and Crimes, Background of Ethel Le Neve

    Innocent dupe, Murderer or just accomplice. This is the thread for all things pertaining to Ethel Le Neve.

  • #2
    Naive young girl probably sums it up the best.....Le Neve can't be an accomplice to a murder that never happened.

    Cheers,
    Adam.

    Comment


    • #3
      Adam, exceedingly odd way to commit suicide, wouldn't
      you say? The finding of hyoscine rules out a natural death,
      and although the ingestion of the poison could have
      been accidental, the fileting and burial of the remains
      could not have been. That leaves either suicide or
      murder and since you've already decided there was
      no murder...

      Le Neve was hardly naive and in no sense of the
      words a "young girl". She was nearly thirty, had
      been living on her own in London for several years
      (in an age when respectable women were expected
      to live with their parents until they could be safely
      married off) and during that time, conducted an affair
      with a married man.

      From start to finish, Le Neve's actions scream "consciousness
      of guilt". Cora's sheets were barely cold when Le Neve supplants
      her in the marital bed. She shows no compunction in wearing
      Cora's clothes, furs and jewels even in the presence of Cora's
      friends who were bound to recognize them, going on holiday
      with Crippen and finally cleaning out Cora's bank account of
      £196. How did she know that there was no chance Cora
      would reappear some day to reclaim her belongings? While
      some women, in their haste to escape a bad marriage might
      leave behind their clothes and possibly their furs, but there's
      no way in hell any woman would abandon her jewelry and
      readily available cash, especially in light of Crippen's claims
      that Cora had left him to start a new life. Why did she
      not question the many and varied stories Crippen told
      Cora's friends about her absence?

      And then there's the flight and the masquerade. Why would Le
      Neve feel the need to disguise herself if she thought Cora was
      alive and well somewhere and not buried in the cellar?

      Further, if Dr Wright is to be believed, why would Le Neve spend
      weeks in the Royal College of Surgeon's Library studying up on
      toxicology?

      Le Neve's life post-Crippen was one long lie. She again fled England
      for New York and Toronto, and didn't return for several years. She
      married under a false name, and hid her past from her children and
      probably her husband. And finally, asked her children to bury her
      with a locket containing Crippen's picture. Such life long loyalty
      could be love, but the cynic in me says it's more likely an
      enduring gratitude that he protected her from swinging as he did.

      So no, not naive, at least not in the sense of "innocence".

      Comment


      • #4
        Livia:

        I think you're falling into the all too common trap of viewing things from a 2011 perspective instead of a 1910 one, which is relevant to this case. To have his wife behave in the way she did was a huge embarrassment personally, publically and socially to Crippen. She had been carrying on for years - Crippen worked to pay for singing classes for Cora, helped her whenever she needed it, the man did everything he could in those earlier years. And yet when they took in lodgers, Cora could be found "socialising" with them in the strongest sense of the word. She had an affair with the American, Miller, and generally made life difficult for Hawley. If he was going to murder her, it would have been a long time before 1910 when he found himself in love with Ethel Le Neve.

        But it was still a huge social issue in 1910 and hence the need to lie about Cora's disappearance and eventually to flee with Le Neve in disguise - he stayed for months in Hilldrop Crescent after the "murder" - if he wanted to get out of there he could have done so without much suspicion being attached.

        Naive might indeed be the wrong word to describe her but I can only refer to her wearing Cora's clothing and jewellery and generally being a tag-along to Hawley, seemingly oblivious to anything going on around her and the insinuations her actions might cause - and eventually did cause.

        As for Cora, no need for a murder or a suicide if she ended up alive and well in the US! Technology didn't exist in 1910 to accurately determine the exact dates and details of death and so the remains in the cellar could have been there for a much broader span of time.

        But, since this thread is about Ethel Le Neve and there's already a thread about Crippen's innocence or otherwise, it may be best to leave this thread be....

        Cheers,
        Adam.

        Comment


        • #5
          Livia, Adam,

          Actually Livia, you make a good point. If I was Le neve I wouldn't go around in Cora jewels. I'd be pawning them and Cora's clothes or giving them to Cora's friends and saying that Cora left a note saying that she wanted them to have that piece of jewelry or dress to remember her by. I'd also have Hawley tell her close friends that she really left for America to be with her family because she had syphilis/Cancer what have you and that was why she didn't want to write or anything. Poor dear was ashamed/depressed or too sick.

          I'd also make Hawley go to the bank and empty out the account. I'll never understand why she was the one to do that.

          Comment


          • #6
            Excellent points, Livia!

            Comment


            • #7
              Maybe Ethel and Crippen were simply pragmatists. Crippen was hardly rich enough to buy expensive furs and jewelery for Ethel and if she didn’t object to wearing the one’s he’d bought for Cora then why would Crippen have given a damn?

              And doesn't Ethel wearing the stuff in front of Cora's friends suggest that she didn't think Cora was dead? I can't talk from personal experience, but I'd have thought it a natural instinct to be circumspect when you've murdered someone,

              Comment


              • #8
                Perhaps Ethel didn't know at that point in time, but I do think she might have come to learn the truth, perhaps the night before they both fled after being questioned by Dew?
                I do not think she was involved in the actual murder in any way.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Having said that, there's still the question of which one of them, Crippen or Le Neve, was telling the truth about the night of 2nd February 1910.
                  Crippen claimed Ethel stayed over that night but Ethel denied that at her trial, for obvious reasons.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Adam Went View Post
                    Livia:

                    I think you're falling into the all too common trap of viewing things from a 2011 perspective instead of a 1910 one, which is relevant to this case. To have his wife behave in the way she did was a huge embarrassment personally, publically and socially to Crippen. She had been carrying on for years - Crippen worked to pay for singing classes for Cora, helped her whenever she needed it, the man did everything he could in those earlier years. And yet when they took in lodgers, Cora could be found "socialising" with them in the strongest sense of the word. She had an affair with the American, Miller, and generally made life difficult for Hawley. If he was going to murder her, it would have been a long time before 1910 when he found himself in love with Ethel Le Neve.

                    But it was still a huge social issue in 1910 and hence the need to lie about Cora's disappearance and eventually to flee with Le Neve in disguise - he stayed for months in Hilldrop Crescent after the "murder" - if he wanted to get out of there he could have done so without much suspicion being attached.

                    Naive might indeed be the wrong word to describe her but I can only refer to her wearing Cora's clothing and jewellery and generally being a tag-along to Hawley, seemingly oblivious to anything going on around her and the insinuations her actions might cause - and eventually did cause.

                    As for Cora, no need for a murder or a suicide if she ended up alive and well in the US! Technology didn't exist in 1910 to accurately determine the exact dates and details of death and so the remains in the cellar could have been there for a much broader span of time.

                    But, since this thread is about Ethel Le Neve and there's already a thread about Crippen's innocence or otherwise, it may be best to leave this thread be....

                    Cheers,
                    Adam.
                    The only evidence of Cora behaving in a socially embarrassing
                    fashion comes from Crippen himself. Her friends, the Martinelli's
                    certainly didn't view her as a trollope and neither did the large
                    circle of friends she had in the Ladies Guild. Miller denied there
                    was anything untowards in their friendship and the German
                    student/lodger that she allegedly slept with never confirmed
                    Crippen's allegations. Crippen had a very strong motive to
                    paint Cora's morals in the worst light possible, as he himself
                    had been involved in his own illicit affair for five years prior
                    to Cora's disappearance. I'm well aware of social conventions
                    of 1910, the rule was do what you want, just don't get
                    caught, as exemplified in the highest social circle in England
                    at the time, Edward VII and the Marlborough set.

                    You're missing the point, granted he did stay at Hilldrop
                    (again with Le Neve in residence with him), but the day
                    following his initial interview, Crippen bolted with Le Neve
                    in disguise with whatever remained of Cora's jewelry in
                    his pocket. In fact, Dew and Crippen went to lunch
                    after his questioning, which would be unusual behavior
                    in a policeman of Dew's experience had he harbored
                    any suspicions against Crippen. Crippen knew he'd told
                    several people differing accounts of Cora's whereabouts,
                    and he rightly assumed it wouldn't take Dew long to
                    realize this too. Again, consciousness of guilt.

                    Le Neve was not as oblivious as you'd have us believe.
                    She knew she was fleeing the country in disguise, she
                    knew she'd been seen sporting Cora's clothing and jewelry,
                    she knew she'd cleaned out one of Cora's bank accounts,
                    she knew that Dew was aware she was living in Cora's house
                    with Cora's husband. She knew Cora had disappeared
                    and a body had been found in the cellar. But what she
                    knew above all else was, she was in it up to her eyeballs
                    and the jig was up. Again, consciousness of guilt.

                    There is no evidence that Cora was ever seen or heard
                    from again, so that's mere speculation on your part. Scraps
                    of Crippen's pajama top were found with the remains and
                    according to the fellow who sold them, that particular
                    item had only been manufactured within the last two
                    years prior to the discovery of the body. That's well
                    within Crippen's tenancy at Hilldrop. His clothes, his
                    house, his missing wife. Just because the technology
                    didn't exist, doesn't mean common sense didn't either.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Excellent post Livia.

                      Crippen could have chosen to take Ethel down with him, but instead he took the whole thing upon himself, thus saving her bacon.

                      Regards.

                      Paul

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Livia:

                        Cora's social "adventures" have been well documented in the past - there's no denying that she regularly acted in a way which was socially unacceptable for the time and also an embarrassment for Crippen. This wasn't new to 1910, it had been going on for years.....so why would Crippen decide to kill her just at the point that it was evident that she would be leaving and he could permanently be with Le Neve?

                        Did you know that the captain who dobbed in Crippen and Le Neve, Henry Kendall, was captain of the Empress Of Ireland 4 years later when she collided with the Storstad and sank, killing well over 1,000 people? Karma, anyone?

                        Cora could well have been heard from again - but no longer as Cora Crippen. The letter, hoax or not, does exist and it would be interesting to know why anybody would want to hoax a letter like that from the US. As I said in the other thread, there's just too many parts of this case that don't add up for it to simply be a coincidence....

                        And as I also said, let's please try and keep the Crippen discussion, if it must go on, to one thread....

                        Cheers,
                        Adam.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Well I think somebody who was nuts or really ornery wrote that supposed letter from Cora to Crippen. Shoot for all we know it was one of Crippen's friends or family trying to save his bacon.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The people the Crippens socialized with were retired show
                            people. Their standards of morality were far more lax than
                            most everyone else's, then and now. Anyway, Crippen's
                            repeated business failures and his long term affair with
                            Le Neve were equally socially embarrassing, no? Cora had
                            been salting away money under the name Belle Elmore
                            for years. She accumulated almost a thousand pounds
                            in various accounts. She applied for withdrawal from
                            the Charing Cross Bank, the largest of these accounts.
                            Meanwhile, Crippen had less than two hundred pounds
                            to his name, a failing business and a greedy mistress
                            on his hands. He wanted Cora gone alright, just not
                            with the marital assets or a right to claim 20% of any
                            of his future earnings.

                            Yes, I knew that, but some kind of Neptunian Karma?
                            Seriously? What did the other thousand casualties do
                            to deserve death by drowning? As a theory, that would
                            be laughable if it weren't tragic, Adam. But if we're
                            applying the rules of karma here, what did Crippen
                            do to deserve hanging?

                            But Cora was never heard from again, and you have
                            not one bit of evidence that she was, under any name,
                            not by her friends and not by her family, with whom she
                            corresponded frequently. In fact, I read a few newspaper
                            articles about the letter received by her family on April 7th,
                            written by Crippen telling them of her death in the States.
                            They were shocked and perplexed by the contents of this
                            letter since the family had received a letter weeks
                            prior to the 7th from Cora herself, telling them she was
                            in fine health but with no mention of any plans to travel to
                            the States. Apparently, Crippen was unaware Cora had
                            written to them.

                            But speaking of letters (and to return to the subject of
                            Le Neve), I read on www.drcrippen.co.uk that the letter
                            delivered by Le Neve on February 2nd or 3rd, telling the
                            Ladies Guild of Cora's resignation and allegedly written
                            by Cora (but obviously not in her handwriting) was signed
                            Belle Ellmore. Cora had used this stage name for years, and
                            it's hard to believe that Crippen would not have been aware
                            that Elmore was spelled with only one "L", so it begs the question,
                            who wrote it?

                            At the same site, there's a more detailed synopsis of
                            Le Neve's trial than is available at the Old Bailey site.
                            The presecutor makes much of Le Neve's landlady's
                            statement that she was nervously prostrate and in a
                            state of horror somewhere towards the end of January,
                            but seems to have considerably cheered up by
                            February 1st. Le Neve's defense makes much of the fact
                            that the landlady was vague as to the actual date of this
                            incident. But no matter which side you come down on, it
                            makes for interesting reading.

                            Liv

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Great research Livia! I gotta say you are a crack Crippenologist, I have found all your posts on Crippen very enlightening and wanted to say a quick word of thanks to you and Deb plus Paul, Adam too for helping dispel all the rumors and false leads. =-)

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X