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  • 'Leather Apron' Discussion

    With my book offering a chunk to LA, recent essays by Simon Wood and Lynn Cates, and now Mike Covell's e-book dedicated solely to Leather Apron, I thought it might be good to get a discussion going on this character. I'll get it started by pointing out that I believe Sgt. William Thick blatantly lied in naming Pizer as Leather Apron and I also think that just prior to this, Pearly Poll did the same thing.

    Yours truly,

    Tom Wescott

  • #2
    Much appreciated Tom....

    This link ( Leather Apron thread ) contains numerous articles on Leather Apron, just in case they may be needed during the discussion..

    http://www.jtrforums.com/forumdisplay.php?f=655

    Side note....I, for one, am hoping Mike's Kindle/book becomes available to those outside the UK in the near future.
    To Join JTR Forums :
    Contact [email protected]

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Howard Brown View Post
      Much appreciated Tom....

      This link ( Leather Apron thread ) contains numerous articles on Leather Apron, just in case they may be needed during the discussion..

      http://www.jtrforums.com/forumdisplay.php?f=655

      Side note....I, for one, am hoping Mike's Kindle/book becomes available to those outside the UK in the near future.
      It is. How do you think I bought it?

      Yours truly,

      Tom Wescott

      Comment


      • #4
        Link to Mike's Leather Apron work on amazon.com...

        http://www.amazon.com/Leather-Apron-...r+apron+covell

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks a lot Tom....I'm glad you told me because I thought it wasn't available yet !!!
          Picking it up now on Kindle.
          Got it.
          Thanks again Tom....
          To Join JTR Forums :
          Contact [email protected]

          Comment


          • #6
            blunder

            Hello Tom. Thanks for starting this thread.

            Not sure whether Thick lied, but I certainly believe he committed a blunder--perhaps the biggest one of that entire investigation. Had the police stayed with it and found the lad extorting money from prostitutes, I think they would have found their murderer.

            Cheers.
            LC

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Lynn Cates View Post
              Hello Tom. Thanks for starting this thread.

              Not sure whether Thick lied, but I certainly believe he committed a blunder--perhaps the biggest one of that entire investigation. Had the police stayed with it and found the lad extorting money from prostitutes, I think they would have found their murderer.

              Cheers.
              LC
              Hi Ed. It seems that Pizer was never known as Leather Apron. Had Thick been told a rumor and acted on it, I would not be quick to accuse him of lying. But he says he knew Pizer for 18 years and had always known him as Leather Apron. Not one other source bears this out. They all go against it. So yes, he must have been lying. He 'fit up' Pizer. And keep in mind that Thick did not come forward with his Pizer knowledge until AFTER the Church Street women condemned Pizer as Leather Apron. There must be a connection here between these women and Thick. Add in the mix Stalwart Man who most likely was Eyewitness and I'd say we have a pretty good clue. That letter from Eyewitness MIGHT be the only actual real Jack the Ripper letter.

              Yours truly,

              Tom Wescott

              Comment


              • #8
                Returning to Thick. He put his neck on the line condemning Pizer. The press were all over it. Then comes forth Violinia and his lies. And who was the man in charge of that? Thick. Since we know that Violinia's story was hogwash, how is it possible he picked Pizer out of a line-up of 12 to 24 men? He must have been told who to pick and what to say. And we're left with only two coppers to choose from who were handling that line-up, and one happened to be Thick.

                Pizer threatened to sue Violinia, the press, and anyone who blackened his name. He made good on his threat to sue the press, but he never again mentioned Violinia or the police. This after they struck a deal to leave him alone and let him publicly clear his name, in exchange for agreeing to say he was known as Leather Apron. Funny that.

                Yours truly,

                Tom Wescott

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hazlewood

                  Hello Tom. Thanks. (I think you were addressing me, not Ed.)

                  It does look rather forceful.

                  Wonder if this is what precipitated the Hazlewood letter?

                  Cheers.
                  LC

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hi Lynn. I have no idea why I called you Ed. You've been called a lot of things on these boards, but I'm sure I'm the first to call you Ed. Sorry about that.

                    The Hazlewood letter came the next year. I would imagine Hazlewood knew something about Thick's criminal bent (it couldn't have been a very well-kept secret) and put a few things together in his own mind to conclude Thick was the Ripper. Certainly when you set someone up for something, one reason might be to cover your own ass? But in Thick's case I don't think that was his motive.

                    It's also quite possible that Hazlewood had a personal beef with Thick and was striking out. Or it might be a combination of this and a legitimate suspicion of Thick.

                    But you're the Isenschidt expert around these parts. Could you please tell us a bit about William Thick's role in the Isenschmidt investigation? And would you agree with me that Abberline was far more interested in Isenschmidt as Leather Apron than in Pizer?

                    Yours truly,

                    Tom Wescott

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Making the gravy Thick.

                      Hello Tom. Thanks. (It's OK.)

                      I agree that Thick makes a poor killer. But it is decidedly odd that the investigation took the turn it did on account of Thick's error.

                      Regarding Abberline, he seems to have accepted Thick's identification of Piser as "Leather Apron." (He must have believed Thick when he said he had known Piser for years and that he was "Leather Apron.") This is in his report of 19 September (p. 63 "Ultimate"). In the same report he talks about Isenschmid wandering the streets with his two knives.

                      According to Inspector Helson, Abberline sent Thick to Upper Holloway to make inquiries. Jacob had already been transferred to the infirmary and from thence to Grove Hall. Thick--as Helson says--continued the investigation.

                      So it seems that Thick must have known the facts in the case from Dr. Mickle.

                      Wish I had his charts from Grove Hall. I could compare them to his Colney Hatch charts.

                      Cheers.
                      LC

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hi Lynn. Police reports are a horrible way to deduce what an officer actually believed, particularly on such an explosive issue as Thick's fitting a witness up. Abberline was present for the interrogation of Violinia, so he knew what was up. Obviously, none of this could be put in a report.

                        The error Thick made was forgetting that the press were hot on his tail. That was the wrench in the works. The irony is, the very men Pizer ended up suing were the ones who saved his ass.

                        Yours truly,

                        Tom Wescott

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Lynn Cates
                          According to Inspector Helson, Abberline sent Thick to Upper Holloway to make inquiries. Jacob had already been transferred to the infirmary and from thence to Grove Hall. Thick--as Helson says--continued the investigation.

                          So it seems that Thick must have known the facts in the case from Dr. Mickle.

                          Wish I had his charts from Grove Hall. I could compare them to his Colney Hatch charts.
                          Do you think that Thick's simultaneous (or nearly so) efforts to frame Pizer might have compromised his investigation of Jacob?

                          Yours truly,

                          Tom Wescott

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            papers

                            Hello Tom. Thanks.

                            Agreed. And yes, it WAS ironic. The papers actually did a huge favour for Piser.

                            Cheers.
                            LC

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Leather Apron and Mrs. Fiddymont

                              Hello (again) Tom. Thanks.

                              Well, it certainly diverted it. I paste below an excerpt from "The Star" for 10 September. (It was in answer to another question on the other site.) This is where Thick REALLY should have focused the investigation--not on poor old Piser.

                              Cheers.
                              LC

                              There are two general clues to the murderer at the present time. The first deals with the famous, or infamous "Leather Apron," whose name is on everybody's lips in the Whitechapel district. The case against "Leather Apron," briefly summed up, is as follows: - That the murders are evidently the work of a maniac, and this man is quite crazy enough to fall within that class. His beastly brutality, manifested in his attacks on Whitechapel street-walkers are quite in keeping with the late fiendish deeds. He disappeared from his accustomed haunts just about the time of the George-yard murder, has not been in any of the lodging-houses in which he has slept for years, and since that murder has been seen only once or twice in a district in which he is known by sight to many. Furthermore a man exactly answering his description was found one night sleeping on the steps in the very house and in the very passage through which the victim of Saturday was led to her death. Jews who are driven to sleep in passage ways are not common even in Whitechapel, and there is little question that the party with the Hebrew face who was found asleep in the passage at 29, Hanbury-street, was the redoubtable "Leather Apron."

                              THE OTHER CLUE
                              is that of the man who went into the Prince Albert public-house with bloody hands, a torn shirt, and a bloodstreak on his neck. Mrs. Chappell, who saw the man along with Mrs. Fiddymont, was a customer, not friend of the latter, and the two stories of the man, which were independent of each other, agreed perfectly. Mrs. Fiddymont yesterday added to her previous statement the fact that the back of the man's head was grimy, as if it had been bloody, and had been dampened or spit upon in the endeavor to rub the blood off instead of washing it. The dried blood between the fingers was thus clear, though the back of the hand held only three or four small distinct spots. The man did not look in the least like a butcher, and no theory born of his appearance could account for his bloody hands at seven a.m.
                              Joseph Taylor also had some facts to add to his account of Saturday. Mr. Taylor is a cautious and entirely reliable man, and freely told all he knew to two detectives on Saturday. He says that as he entered the public-house Mrs. Fiddymont said that a man had just left whom she would like to give in charge on suspicion of the murder. Taylor went out a moment later without any particular intention of

                              FOLLOWING THE MAN,
                              whom Mrs. Chappell pointed out to him. The man was going towards Bishopsgate, however, and, as this was Taylor's direction, he increased his pace.
                              "It was all I could do to overtake him," he said yesterday, "and I am not a bad walker myself. The man walked very rapidly, however, with a peculiar springy walk that I would recognise again. He carried himself very erect, like a horse soldier. He had a ginger-colored moustache, longer than mine and curling a little at the ends. His shoulders were very square and his neck rather long. He was neither stout nor thin, and seemed between 30 and 40 years old. His face was medium in stoutness. There were faint hollows under the cheekbones. One thing that impressed me was that the man

                              SEEMED BEWILDERED.
                              He crossed Brushfield-street three times in going from the Prince Albert to the next street, which was Bishopsgate. He clearly did not know where he was going. When he reached Bishopsgate, he stood at the corner and looked up and down the street undecided. Then he made up his mind and started across Brushfield-street rapidly, and kept on down Bishopsgate towards Liverpool-street. I followed as far as Half-Moon street, where my work was, and watched him for some time from the corner, but he kept straight on. I assure you that when I came alongside of him his look was enough to frighten any woman. His eyes were wild-looking and staring. He held his coat together at the chin with both hands, the collar being buttoned up, and everything about his appearance was exceedingly strange.

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