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Audioboom : Murder of Johnny Gill ( December 1888, Bradford, England)

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  • #16
    How far would it have been from where Barbara was last seen to Turner's house? I am curious how he could have, would have transported his victim(s). How far from where Johnny was last seen to Turner's residence?

    Turner was a weaver? Johnny's sister Ruth had worked at a mill in the mornings before school. Connexion?

    According to the author on this podcast, Ruth had quit working in the mill because of the bad things that happened to children in the newspapers, which was information from Barrett. I hope I wrote that understandably. She considered that to be a strange statement by Barrett but what if there was something to it?

    How did the press handle crimes against children in those days? Are there other reports from the area about such crimes prior to Johhny's murder? I would suppose if a family was concerned it would pertain to more local stories than what might be happening in London or Wales.

    If there was concern about these things, and considering Johnny's murder in 1888, why in the world did Barbara's parents allow their five year old daughter to run around without some supervision?

    Turner had to be guilty of Barbara's murder. His own statement that a man from the quarry dropped the body off at his home and he didn't know what to do with it, rather admits his guilt, not to mention the rest of it. That said, he had a very twisted mind and must have started doing things to children prior to this.

    Johhny's clothes were off when he was stabbed. Had Turner--or someone else--been grooming children to comply with perversion? Johnny had eaten a current bun just before being killed, a treat in return for disrobing? Did Johnny take off his own clothes then object loudly and did that lead to his demise?

    Considering the amount of street children in Victorian times, why would Turner or any other such criminal choose children that were loved, cared for and would be missed? In the case of Barbara, was he trying to harm her whole family? We can ponder also why Johnny's body ended up 50 meters from his home. Unless one accepts the idea of the crime taking place in the stable, the remains must have been transported. Transporting freight, boxes, bags to a stable would not necessarily be suspicious IMO. I am sure there were ample places to dispose of bodies in the area, like rivers, mill ponds, quarries and probably a number of things I can't imagine.

    The killer(s) of both Johnny and Barbara wanted to create outrage and horror; he/they wanted attention of the worst kind.
    The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Anna Morris View Post
      How far would it have been from where Barbara was last seen to Turner's house? I am curious how he could have, would have transported his victim(s). How far from where Johnny was last seen to Turner's residence?
      Hi Anna,

      I will look further into the distance between Turner's house and where Barbara was last seen when I get a chance. The course of events went like this, though. After Turner murdered little Barbara, he took her home (Horsforth) and placed her body in the coal cellar. Then, after his mother Ann discovered the body in the cellar, they both travelled 5/6 miles down the road to Leeds and deposited the body where it was discovered by PC William Moss wrapped in a shawl. One news report says, Ann said a terrier dog followed them and persistently sniffed at the tin box as they went.

      As far as Johnny Gill goes, I don't have absolute proof yet but I'm pretty confident Turner was living in Shipley at the time of Gill's murder. That would put him about 3 miles from Johnny's house.

      I am with you on the weaver point. Bradford was a town with fabric mills. Turner worked for a fabric mill at the time of the Waterhouse murder (Messrs. Lonsdale Mills). Turner may have had every reason to go down there to look for work or deliveries, etc. His relatives all say he was very violent.

      Here is an interesting read on this case that gives a few more details than the papers. It's called Billington: Victorian Executioner. Chapter Two, Worse than Helen.

      https://books.google.com/books?id=N7...sforth&f=false

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      • #18
        Very interesting, Jerry. This begins with a comment about mixing up childrens' names. Other accounts give Barbara's full name as Barbara Whitham Waterhouse. Was she related to the other little girl who went for sandwiches or was it a mix up?

        I am not sure what "completely divided muscles" of both groins means but it sounds reminiscent of other murders where there were "flaps" of skin from the abdomen.

        Jerry, it sounds like you have done a lot of research on this and that you could write a book.

        I have a major opinion of heinous killers, whether JtR, Walter Turner or others. It is that by the time they commit heinous murders that get noticed, they have spent years doing other criminal acts, perhaps murder, rape or attempted murder. I continue to be dismayed that we cannot seem to find JtR's early career. I bet Walter Turner's early career could be traced at least somewhat. I believe police, press and general population were reasonably ignorant about pedophiles in those days. Even in my young years such people were considered strange, weirdos, creepy, etc. but the bases of their crimes were poorly understood and never discussed.

        A fleeting thought is that England is not very big, say compared to the distances we have here in the western U.S. From top to bottom I compare the distance in terms I can visualize as from Spokane, Washington to the Idaho/Nevada border. My point is that is not a huge distance even in days of rail travel. People then and now, here and there, travelled those distances fairly easily. So I wonder if Walter ever went to London to look for work or something...

        And I remember Martha Tabram was also called Turner but as I have understood it, Turner was an inaccuracy.

        It would be a bad thing to start making tenuous connexions and come up with wrong answers. My guess is Walter's abnormal affinities had to do with children. (Do we guess from Johnny's murder that the killer wished he had caught a little girl?) I would guess he didn't have the courage to really attack an awake, grown woman. He managed to mess up cutting his wife's throat when she was asleep.
        The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

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        • #19
          Jerry: I find the one statement on the podcast very interesting; that Johnny's sister Ruth quit working in the MILL in the mornings before school, BECAUSE of the bad things that happen to children in newspapers. This is attributed to Barrett.

          If I wanted to write an article or book I would sift through those old, local papers and tie the old case to the problem of predators on children, then and now. My only source of British papers is the Welsh papers.

          Then too, journalism is about proximity. Considering the distances I mentioned in my last post, Leeds has proximity to London, etc. If a gruesome murder happened in Spokane, WA, the Boise, ID papers would sure cover it. What terms did the press use for outrages against children? The word pedophile wasn't exactly invented yet, was it, except the roots there are Greek? I'm sure the word was invented but it wasn't used much?

          Maybe the Leeds paper had some little paragraphs about children being lured away for something bad. Think Pied Piper type stuff.
          The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

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          • #20
            Howard,

            Let me know if I am way off track for this thread and I will stop. I know this was about the podcast and I sidetracked it to the same murder/different killer.

            Below is a current map showing the Black Bull Inn, Horsforth. Digging a little, I found the Black Bull was also known as Alma Yard which was the home of Barbara Waterhouse. The green arrow pointing to a brick structure is now #2 Back Lane. The red arrow when zooming in shows a bricked over (foundation) and on the pole is a #1. I'm pretty sure that was the home of Walter Lewis Turner in 1891 at 1, Back Lane, Horsforth and has since been demolished.

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            • #21
              Not at all Jerry...
              By all means continue...
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              • #22
                They were basically neighbors it appears.

                In 1888 he would have lived several miles from where Johnny was last seen? But the boy was on a milk run with the milkman. Where did the milk run end?
                The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Anna Morris View Post
                  They were basically neighbors it appears.

                  In 1888 he would have lived several miles from where Johnny was last seen? But the boy was on a milk run with the milkman. Where did the milk run end?
                  If I'm reading all the reports correct Anna, he left the milkman at Walmer Villas to go get breakfast. That is the point furthest south on this map and I measured north to Saltaire Road in Shipley. Please note, the point I directed on Saltaire Road is NOT the address of Turner, although, he did live on that road. I just haven't pinpointed his exact address yet. The measured distance is 2.12 miles.

                  Also on this map left of Walmer Villas is Heaton Road. This is an interesting post by Howard. https://www.jtrforums.com/showthread.php?p=318786

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                  • #24
                    So if the boy was heading home... It was said the child had been looking for odd jobs to "put pennies in the penny bank." (Sadly I picture him planning to put some of those pennies in the collection plate at Sunday school. He was a good boy.) It was suggested he may have stopped for an odd job. Maybe someone offered him a currant bun and a penny to....

                    Putting all our information together here, we practically have a book in all the various posts. If we could only find some new information from papers or something.
                    The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Anna Morris View Post
                      So if the boy was heading home... It was said the child had been looking for odd jobs to "put pennies in the penny bank." (Sadly I picture him planning to put some of those pennies in the collection plate at Sunday school. He was a good boy.) It was suggested he may have stopped for an odd job. Maybe someone offered him a currant bun and a penny to....

                      Putting all our information together here, we practically have a book in all the various posts. If we could only find some new information from papers or something.
                      Anna,

                      Johnny Gill's body was washed inside and out before it was placed near the stable. There was no significant blood found. Turner could have walked to Shipley with the boy in about an hour? Washing the dead body in Shipley would help keep the blood from dripping out of the parcel as much when he walked back to Bradford with the parcel. IIRC, Johnny was almost completely drained of his blood.

                      Now, in that time frame, Turner could have asked the boy where he lived, where the milkman's stable was, etc. Dropping the body off at the stable of the last person known to be with Johnny would be a good way to throw attention onto someone else as the murderer. Which is exactly what happened. We know Turner wasn't opposed to walking great distances with dead bodies in hand.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Jerry Dunlop View Post
                        Anna,

                        Johnny Gill's body was washed inside and out before it was placed near the stable. There was no significant blood found. Turner could have walked to Shipley with the boy in about an hour? Washing the dead body in Shipley would help keep the blood from dripping out of the parcel as much when he walked back to Bradford with the parcel. IIRC, Johnny was almost completely drained of his blood.

                        Now, in that time frame, Turner could have asked the boy where he lived, where the milkman's stable was, etc. Dropping the body off at the stable of the last person known to be with Johnny would be a good way to throw attention onto someone else as the murderer. Which is exactly what happened. We know Turner wasn't opposed to walking great distances with dead bodies in hand.
                        Of course if he walked much of a distance with Johnny someone would have noticed I think. In one of the old posts someone wrote that...well, some road or intersection that figures in this...was more crowded back then than it is now.

                        Did Turner WALK much distance with a body? He and his mom were changing houses and there was an item about them loading their furniture... It didn't say into what but one would assume a cart? He and his mother did walk the trunk or tin box to the spot where the remains were left. As I understand it the trunk had been left in Walter's brother's store and was walked from there to the dump spot. I have no idea how far that would have been.

                        Both murders share the detail of the remains being packaged in neat bundles.

                        Since Walter's excuse was that a guy named John who worked or lived in a quarry dropped off the body...., do we wonder if any of his murderous activities took place in a quarry? Like blood draining?

                        I also find it curious that his mother thought to get chloride of lime to better deal with the body. How strange! It seems she should have had the decency to run screaming into the street. Or simply run away if she wanted to spare her son.
                        The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

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                        • #27
                          The Black Bull 1891 I believe.

                          Click image for larger version

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                          Rob

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Anna Morris View Post
                            Did Turner WALK much distance with a body? He and his mom were changing houses and there was an item about them loading their furniture... It didn't say into what but one would assume a cart? He and his mother did walk the trunk or tin box to the spot where the remains were left. As I understand it the trunk had been left in Walter's brother's store and was walked from there to the dump spot. I have no idea how far that would have been.
                            Anna,

                            Barbara went missing in Horsforth which is 6 miles north of where her body was found in Leeds. Her body was initially placed in the coal cellar of their house in Horsforth. Ann Turner does say she was in the process of looking for a different house, due to dampness and rats, but that was in Horsforth. Ann Turner had a deaf sister that lived with her husband in Leeds. The husband owned the shop where they brought the body and then from there they moved it near the town hall in Leeds. As I stated earlier, a terrier was following them and sniffing the tin box as they traveled to Leeds. On the return trip back to Horsforth and in her statement to Inspector Sowerby she say's this, in part.

                            "We brought the bundle with us and left in the street in the heart of the Town Hall. We then walked home, and arrived about 1 o'clock. We brought the bundle in a tin box to Leeds and left the box at the railway station. I have not seen it since."

                            She hadn't seen it since because Walter offered it to his brother in law and when he didn't want it, Walter burned it.

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                            • #29
                              Nice one Rob and thanks! That seems to match up with all the pictures I've seen. The frame around the door, the two chimneys and the more recent Black Bull sign covering up the middle window. The buildings on each side match nicely with modern pictures as well.

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                              • #30
                                Great photo, Rob....thanks very much !
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