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Ripperologist: September 2009 Issue # 106

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  • #16
    Thanks C.G....

    If Thicke knew him by that name ... here again I feel another issue is raised....the one where you mention others being known by that term of endearment of which I have no doubt you're correct....what delineated Pizer from others that were likewise known by that name ?

    If the post supplied by Mr. E ( Mr. Sugden's reference ) is based on a fact and not rumor, then Pizer was likely a no-goodnik to begin with. Thats probably what delineated him, I would suppose. I guess the overall point I'm trying to make CG is that there had to be a reason for Thicke to pick him out of the number of others ( even if only one or two men) known by that handle...other than some random,stab in the dark, selection of just one guy in the neighborhood with that given nickname. Oh well.
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    • #17
      A Minor Point

      A minor point maybe, but Sergeant William Thick spelt his name without an 'e'. Here's his signature -

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      • #18
        Whoops. Thats what I get for using Mr. B's spelling of the name...
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        • #19
          Hi Howard

          Pizer does indeed appear to have had a bad reputation. He is believed to have been the man called "John Pozer" who attacked boot finisher James Willis in Morgan Street, St. George's-in-the East, in July 1887, for which he was sentenced to six months hard labor. He was also charged with indecent assault at Thames Magistrates on 4 August 1888, although the case was dismissed.

          Chris
          Christopher T. George, Lyricist & Co-Author, "Jack the Musical"
          https://www.facebook.com/JackTheMusical/ Hear sample song at https://tinyurl.com/y8h4envx.

          Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conferences, April 2016 and 2018.
          Hear RipperCon 2016 & 2018 talks at http://www.casebook.org/podcast/.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by How Brown View Post
            Whoops. Thats what I get for using Mr. B's spelling of the name...
            Wotch it, Mr. Brown, you'll be getting into the Thick of things. . . .

            Chris
            Christopher T. George, Lyricist & Co-Author, "Jack the Musical"
            https://www.facebook.com/JackTheMusical/ Hear sample song at https://tinyurl.com/y8h4envx.

            Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conferences, April 2016 and 2018.
            Hear RipperCon 2016 & 2018 talks at http://www.casebook.org/podcast/.

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            • #21
              Inspector Helson

              The first mention of Pizer in the official reports was by Inspector Joseph Helson on 7 September 1888.

              As you can see, he states, "...a man named Jack Pizer, alias Leather Apron, has, for some considerable period been in the habit of ill-using prostitutes in this, and other parts of the Metropolis..."

              Now this is a very specific statement and really leaves no room for misinterpretation.

              You can argue semantics all you like, say that the date is a couple of days after the press mention 'Leather Apron', but it really should not be read in any other way.

              This is a summary report by Helson, which gives the results of police inquiries thus far and the information in it is obviously of an earlier date. Police reports really must take precedence over the press and this is the case here and, indeed, is what Sugden has done.

              Later events such as the lack of any police reference to, or search for, another 'Leather Apron' must indeed confirm this.

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              • #22
                Thank you CG...because I was too lazy to hunt those two incidents down.

                So, if he had had a run in during August, its understandable that Thick could have had his name fresh in his mind....
                **********************************







                I think we had a thread around here somewhere once with a discussion on Pizer's alibi for Nichols' murder. I believe I mentioned that it was Pizer's good fortune that the Dock Fire occurred that night, providing everyone in the East End with a date or point of reference for where they were when Nichols was killed. Likewise, that family provided alibi for the Chapman murder. Not that he was guilty and the alibis's weren't sufficient...but......
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                • #23
                  Thats the one, Mr. E !

                  The Helson report on Pizer was the incident that I couldn't pinpoint because I forgot the name of the police officer ( Inspector)... Thank you very very much. I was reluctant to say with definitiveness that there was a report on Pizer for that reason.

                  I believe that there was sufficient reason for Thick to pick him out of any number of other men known as Leather Apron.
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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Chris G. View Post
                    Hi Debs

                    As per the definition previously supplied by SPE on these boards, snob is an old term for shoemaker, so I think that is consistent with Pizer's trade of slippermaker -- that it refers to his occupation rather than being a reflection of his character as an uppity or snobby person, i.e., they were saying mad shoemaker or slippermaker.

                    Chris
                    Thanks for the reply.Chris,

                    As you may have gathered from the original thread that SPE posted the 'snob' definition on, I was pretty much sure that is what the term referred to before Stewart kindly posted the definition. What I was trying to find out by asking the question here is, if, in your's, or anyone else's opinion, the "mad snob" nickname could give more weight to the idea that Pizer himself was the man they were talking about when mentioning Leather Apron.
                    Like you say, a number of people of different professions wore leather aprons, but the 'snob' nickname specifically ties leather apron to shoemaking.

                    Debs

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Debra Arif View Post
                      Thanks for the reply.Chris,

                      As you may have gathered from the original thread that SPE posted the 'snob' definition on, I was pretty much sure that is what the term referred to before Stewart kindly posted the definition. What I was trying to find out by asking the question here is, if, in your's, or anyone else's opinion, the "mad snob" nickname could give more weight to the idea that Pizer himself was the man they were talking about when mentioning Leather Apron.
                      Like you say, a number of people of different professions wore leather aprons, but the 'snob' nickname specifically ties leather apron to shoemaking.

                      Debs
                      The description of the suspect in Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper of September 9, 1888 describes a man who was evidently younger than Pizer and with a black moustache, but evidently not a beard -- Pizer was 38 and had a pronounced beard, see below the contemporary sketch of him:

                      'At first the police attached little importance to the story of "Leather Apron," but after the appearance of the above letter the detectives showed their regret at the stupidity of the constable in failing to arrest him by eagerly searching different lodging-houses and casual wards for this "Leather Apron." A chase has now begun in earnest. He was last seen outside the Leigh Hoy public-house in Spitalfields. In addition to being known as "Leather Apron" he is also known as the "Mad Snob." The police description of him is:- Aged 30 years; height, 5ft. 3in.; complexion, dark, sallow; hair and moustache black; thick set; dressed in old and dirty clothing; and is of Jewish appearance. The inquiries of our special representative led to the discovery that he is the son of a fairly well-to-do Russian Jew, but he is discarded by the Jewish fraternities as one who is a disgrace to their tribe.'



                      John Pizer from a contemporary newspaper sketch

                      Dare we say that, in retrospect, the hunt for Leather Apron and the subsequent arrest of Pizer was a case of racial profiling, whipped up by media hysteria, and perhaps some police bungling as well?

                      Asked at the inquest into Annie Chapman's murder why he hid in his house during the hunt for the suspect Leather Apron, Pizer replied, "I should have been torn to pieces [by the mob] if I had gone out." The Irish Times, 13 September 1888. Compensation subsequently paid to Pizer by the press might imply everyone knew a mistake had been made, quite apart from the fact that the workman was able to clear his name by having alibis for the nights of the Nichols and Chapman murders.

                      Chris
                      Christopher T. George, Lyricist & Co-Author, "Jack the Musical"
                      https://www.facebook.com/JackTheMusical/ Hear sample song at https://tinyurl.com/y8h4envx.

                      Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conferences, April 2016 and 2018.
                      Hear RipperCon 2016 & 2018 talks at http://www.casebook.org/podcast/.

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                      • #26
                        Facts

                        Originally posted by Chris G. View Post
                        ...
                        Dare we say that, in retrospect, the hunt for Leather Apron and the subsequent arrest of Pizer was a case of racial profiling, whipped up by media hysteria, and perhaps some police bungling as well?
                        Chris
                        Let's not fly in the face of the facts Chris. What police bungling do you suggest there was? And how can you suggest that it was 'racial profiling' when the police were sent in Pizer's direction by women who stated that he had been threatening them?

                        The police reports clearly indicate that the local women had identified Pizer, alias 'Leather Apron', as the individual involved. The police made enquiries to trace him, did so, and arrested him. He was quickly cleared and released when it was found that he had a perfectly good alibi. He was only being sought as a suspect anyway, the police clearly stated there was no evidence that he was the murderer.

                        The police are very explicit on all this and make no suggestion that he had been mistaken for any other individual nor that they were still seeking 'Leather Apron' after his release.

                        On 19 September (twelve days after Helson's report) a report by Abberline bears all this out, he states -

                        "In the course of our inquiries amongs the numerous women of the same class as the deceased it was ascertained that a feeling of terror existed against a man known as Leather Apron who it appeared have [sic] for a considerable time past been levying blackmail and ill-using them if his demands were not complied with although there was no evidence to connect him with the murder. It was however thought desirable to find him and interrogate him as to his movements on the night in question, and with that view searching enquiries were made at all common lodging-houses in various parts of the Metropolis but through the publicity given in the "Star" and other newspapers the man was made acquainted with the fact that he was being sought for and it was not until the 10th inst. that he was discovered when it was found that he had been concealed by his relatives."

                        This is all very specific and clear and is borne out by the events that unfolded. When you start speculating on reports in the press, adapting often conflicting press reports and making unfounded statements like 'perhaps some police bungling' you are on truly shaky ground.

                        What is interesting too is the fact that Abberline comments on how the press publicity has hindered the police by tipping off Pizer that they were looking for him and sending him into hiding. It was shortly after this that Abberline was keen to restrict information getting through to the press.

                        Also we have a Jewish family concealing a Jewish suspect which is probably something that Anderson had in mind when he spoke of "...it is a remarkable fact that people of that class in the East End will not give up one of their number to Gentile justice."

                        Abberline's report -


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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by SPE View Post
                          Let's not fly in the face of the facts Chris. What police bungling do you suggest there was? And how can you suggest that it was 'racial profiling' when the police were sent in Pizer's direction by women who stated that he had been threatening them?

                          The police reports clearly indicate that the local women had identified Pizer, alias 'Leather Apron', as the individual involved. The police made enquiries to trace him, did so, and arrested him. He was quickly cleared and released when it was found that he had a perfectly good alibi. He was only being sought as a suspect anyway, the police clearly stated there was no evidence that he was the murderer.

                          The police are very explicit on all this and make no suggestion that he had been mistaken for any other individual nor that they were still seeking 'Leather Apron' after his release.

                          On 19 September (twelve days after Helson's report) a report by Abberline bears all this out, he states -

                          "In the course of our inquiries amongs the numerous women of the same class as the deceased it was ascertained that a feeling of terror existed against a man known as Leather Apron who it appeared have [sic] for a considerable time past been levying blackmail and ill-using them if his demands were not complied with although there was no evidence to connect him with the murder. It was however thought desirable to find him and interrogate him as to his movements on the night in question, and with that view searching enquiries were made at all common lodging-houses in various parts of the Metropolis but through the publicity given in the "Star" and other newspapers the man was made acquainted with the fact that he was being sought for and it was not until the 10th inst. that he was discovered when it was found that he had been concealed by his relatives."

                          This is all very specific and clear and is borne out by the events that unfolded. When you start speculating on reports in the press, adapting often conflicting press reports and making unfounded statements like 'perhaps some police bungling' you are on truly shaky ground.

                          What is interesting too is the fact that Abberline comments on how the press publicity has hindered the police by tipping off Pizer that they were looking for him and sending him into hiding. It was shortly after this that Abberline was keen to restrict information getting through to the press.

                          Also we have a Jewish family concealing a Jewish suspect which is probably something that Anderson had in mind when he spoke of "...it is a remarkable fact that people of that class in the East End will not give up one of their number to Gentile justice."

                          Abberline's report -

                          [ATTACH]6743[/ATTACH]

                          [ATTACH]6744[/ATTACH]

                          Hello SPE

                          Thanks for that post. You maintain that the police record is clear, and it appears to be, to an extent. However, how much of the police pursuit of Leather Apron was due to the intrusion of the press in spreading the story of Leather Apron as a likely suspect for the murderer?

                          As Paul and I wrote in our article, it is not entirely clear from the record, whether it be in official police stories or in press reports, that the Leather Apron candidacy was exaggerated by the press or whether it was already out there on the streets, spread by rumor. Did the police have actual reports from women that Pizer accosted them? The identification parade that was done for Pizer was not definitive, so it must be said that the police probably did not have any solid evidence that Pizer was the man who was pestering women.

                          And if they had evidence that Pizer was blackmailing women why didn't they charge him with that, and take it to trial? It's a bit like the case against Thomas Bulling, believed by certain police officials to have been written Dear Boss, but never charged with that. It's all very well to say such and such information in police reports or later police reminiscences is indicative of what happened, but if there were no criminal actions taken, such talk seems empty and not proof at all.

                          Chris
                          Christopher T. George, Lyricist & Co-Author, "Jack the Musical"
                          https://www.facebook.com/JackTheMusical/ Hear sample song at https://tinyurl.com/y8h4envx.

                          Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conferences, April 2016 and 2018.
                          Hear RipperCon 2016 & 2018 talks at http://www.casebook.org/podcast/.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by SPE View Post

                            What is interesting too is the fact that Abberline comments on how the press publicity has hindered the police by tipping off Pizer that they were looking for him and sending him into hiding. It was shortly after this that Abberline was keen to restrict information getting through to the press.

                            Also we have a Jewish family concealing a Jewish suspect which is probably something that Anderson had in mind when he spoke of "...it is a remarkable fact that people of that class in the East End will not give up one of their number to Gentile justice."

                            Hi SPE

                            I agree with these statements absolutely... and here I suppose I must depart from the theories of my friend Mr. Begg, in that I do think that Sir Robert Anderson could well have been remembering the Pizer episode when he said a suspect was protected by his own people or to quote Anderson, "...it is a remarkable fact that people of that class in the East End will not give up one of their number to Gentile justice." We know that happened with Pizer, or at least that they provided an alibi for him for the time during the Chapman murder, but we don't know it happened with Kosminski or Cohen, numerous books and articles contending that was the case notwithstanding.

                            Chris
                            Christopher T. George, Lyricist & Co-Author, "Jack the Musical"
                            https://www.facebook.com/JackTheMusical/ Hear sample song at https://tinyurl.com/y8h4envx.

                            Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conferences, April 2016 and 2018.
                            Hear RipperCon 2016 & 2018 talks at http://www.casebook.org/podcast/.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Speculate

                              Originally posted by Chris G. View Post
                              Hello SPE
                              Thanks for that post. You maintain that the police record is clear, and it appears to be, to an extent. However, how much of the police pursuit of Leather Apron was due to the intrusion of the press in spreading the story of Leather Apron as a likely suspect for the murderer?
                              As Paul and I wrote in our article, it is not entirely clear from the record, whether it be in official police stories or in press reports, that the Leather Apron candidacy was exaggerated by the press or whether it was already out there on the streets, spread by rumor. Did the police have actual reports from women that Pizer accosted them? The identification parade that was done for Pizer was not definitive, so it must be said that the police probably did not have any solid evidence that Pizer was the man who was pestering women.
                              And if they had evidence that Pizer was blackmailing women why didn't they charge him with that, and take it to trial? It's a bit like the case against Thomas Bulling, believed by certain police officials to have been written Dear Boss, but never charged with that. It's all very well to say such and such information in police reports or later police reminiscences is indicative of what happened, but if there were no criminal actions taken, such talk seems empty and not proof at all.
                              Chris
                              Yes, it is always more fun to speculate from myriad press reports rather than those dry old, factual, police reports. I noticed there wasn't much mention of police reports in the piece.

                              The police record is clear - what isn't clear about it? The police reports, all of them, indicate that the enquiries to trace Pizer were due to the allegations made by the women and nothing to do with the press. They also indicate that the 'intrusion of the press' merely hindered and delayed their locating of Pizer. Anything beyond this is pure speculation and your article reflects this. You just pose a series of rhetorical questions. I return to my original premise, the police reports are clear and unequivocal. It is misleading to omit them from your article.

                              It is pointless to quote results of identification parades - in reality witnesses who have been brave in identifying a suspect to the police are less brave when confronted with the suspect in person. The witness Violenia was shown to be untrustworthy and we know nothing of any other witnesses. The identity parade was not held to identify the man who had been 'ill using' the women (that was already established and no one was pressing charges for that). The identity parade was held to identify Pizer as the man Violenia had allegedly seen with Nichols.

                              However, the police were not stupid. The police weren't actually that interested in the women's claims of blackmail, that would have been the word of the individual woman involved in each case against Pizer and he would simply deny it. What the police were interested in was the fact that here was a man who had allegedly been 'ill-using' prostitutes and whom the women themselves thought could be the murderer. I doubt that any of them would have pressed charges anyway, I rarely had dealings with prostitute who would, when I dealt with such cases of threats.

                              It cannot be compared with the case of Bulling, which was merely cited as a case of the general belief at Scotland Yard that he had written the 'Dear Boss' correspondence - not that it could be proved that he had. The only way to prove he had would have been an admission or a witness who had seen him do so. And the police knew that - hence there was never an attempt at prosecution. No one claimed there was proof!

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                              • #30
                                From the sidelines here...I think half o' the world is reading this thread !

                                Monty, pass the popcorn and don't get any on the rug !

                                Great exchanges Mr. E & CG...
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