Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

What Wynne Baxter Means To The WM

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

  • What Wynne Baxter Means To The WM

    On another thread, John Malcolm mentioned the following in connection with Roderick MacDonald's presiding over the Kelly Inquest.

    "I don't believe it was an accident that this ( Kelly's Inquest ) ended up with MacDonald, instead of the bungling Baxter, who certainly did more harm than good with his handling of his last Whitechapel murder case."

    Based on John's comment, which I for one echo when it comes to the absolutely unnecessary statement expressed at the Chapman Inquest about an American doctor looking to purchase organs.....something that should have been revealed to the police and only the police in my opinion.
    ........
    ................how does the membership assess the efforts of Wynne Baxter and his role in the WM ?

    On a positive note in Baxter's favor in my view, would we have as much material from the Inquests as we have had Roderick MacDonald been the coroner in the cases Baxter presided over ? I think not.

    Lets hear your views.

    Thank You.
    To Join JTR Forums :
    Contact Howard@jtrforums.com

  • #2
    Elizabeth Long viewed a man and a woman talking together near the front of #29 Hanbury Street after 5:30am. After studying Long's testimony, some people determined that the man and woman may have been Chapman and her killer.

    Albert Cadosch claimed he heard something fall against the fence prior to 5:30am, and it was determined by some that Cadosch was hearing the murder of Chapman.

    I wish Baxter would have left things just like that, but instead he tried to glue the two testimonies together.

    It was a lousy decision on his part. He tried to make it sound as if Long saw Chapman first and then Cadosch heard the murder later. Personally, I think Baxter would have been better off by simply paying attention to what Dr. Phillips had said about Chapman's approximate time of death.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for that Joltin Joe.

      Whats your opinion of Baxter and the statement regarding American doctors?

      In my opinion, that was best left from the press....and yet...if he hadn't mentioned it, wouldn't it be to our disadvantage in a way ?
      To Join JTR Forums :
      Contact Howard@jtrforums.com

      Comment


      • #4
        It was Baxter that insisted that certain testimony that the police and doctors were reluctant to give, be given in the Coroner's Court. He was very meticulous and took up quite a bit of police time, whereas other coroners would have, and did, close the case fairly quickly and allow the police to get on with their work.

        On the one hand you could say he was just doing his job the best way he thought he should, and in many cases it has benefited us that details that were supposed to be kept under wraps were brought out in the court because of Baxter, and subsequently printed in the papers. It wouldn't have helped the police in 1888, though.

        Personally I don't think Baxter did too bad of a job. The attention of the press to the details could potentially have brought forward witnesses and information that might not otherwise have done so. We would be heaping praise on him if something that came out in his court led to an arrest and conviction of JTR, he's just been made to look worse because that wasn't the case.

        Cheers,
        Adam.

        Comment


        • #5
          My opinion about Baxter's comment on the American who was said to have attempted to purchase anatomical specimens at 20 quid a piece? In regards to that, I always found this comment from Baxter rather interesting...

          I need hardly say that I at once communicated my information (about the American) to the Detective Department at Scotland Yard. Of course I do not know what use has been made of it...

          It sort of sounded like Baxter was a bit fed up because nothing tangible resulted from his talk with the police. Baxter's next move was to go public with it. I agree with Howard that this information didn't need to be broadcasted at a coroner's inquest.

          Adam Wood wrote a pretty good article on Baxter back in 2005. It will be good to look it over once again.

          Comment


          • #6
            We would be heaping praise on him if something that came out in his court led to an arrest and conviction of JTR, he's just been made to look worse because that wasn't the case. -AW

            There's a kupla big kernels of truth in what you say,Adam. Yet, like Joe, the revelation of the doctor and the uteri should have been kept between him and the police....

            Baxter will be the focus of newspaper trawling beginning tomorrow afternoon over here.
            To Join JTR Forums :
            Contact Howard@jtrforums.com

            Comment


            • #7
              Joe, How:

              The police in 1888 were largely barking up the wrong tree in their search for JTR anyway. It seems as if they were trying to find some raving mad lunatic, someone who they expected to find sitting in a corner babbling to himself and frothing at the mouth, when recent studies show that probably the exact opposite was true. That he was someone that was smart, shrewd and had a Jekyll/Hyde type disguise that avoided suspicion being thrown on him.

              It could be that Baxter considered this himself and was trying to bring forward fresh, insightful information to put the police on the right track. Which could explain his seeming frustration at the police you mentioned, Joe.

              Cheers,
              Adam.

              Comment


              • #8
                Howdy Adam,

                I will give Baxter credit for recognizing right away that there was a major crisis brewing. If you check out Baxter's comments you'll see that he was concerned about the deaths of Emma Smith and Martha Tabram. Colonel Hughes-Hallett was very concerned about these two murders as well, and in Aug 1888 he led an East End investigation. Like Baxter, the Colonel also reported his information to the police, and he got nowhere with it. Hughes-Hallett was adamant in his disdain for the way the CID had handled the case.

                One other man who knew the seriousness of the situation in August was an American reporter in London named James Maitland. When asked about the arrest of Dr. Tumblety, Maitland answered that he spoke with the chief of the secret service of London police about these crimes right after the Tabram murder was committed.

                The best thing I can say for Baxter was that he was very much alert to the crisis even before any of the "canonical five" women were killed.

                Comment


                • #9
                  G'day Joe,

                  Good points.
                  For Baxter and Hughes-Hallett, the Tabram murder was brutal compared to what they would have been used to, and so they were rightly concerned about it. I think the mistake the police made in 1888 was that they didn't try enough different tactics to catch the murderer - for example, sending out the bloodhounds straight after a murder, or better still, fingerprinting - contrary to popular belief, this was available in 1888 and though it was in its infancy and the CID would have had difficulty matching bloody prints with those of a suspect, it was worth a try - extreme cases call for extreme measures. And yet the police seemed to go backwards, if anything - back to the days of house to house searches, offering rewards and pardons, etc. I don't think we can doubt their dedication to the job, they worked tirelessly, but it can be said that all the effort they put in wasn't always where it should have been.

                  Clearly then, Baxter sensed something early, and then later in the case seemed to almost be milking information from the police that they weren't even fully informed on yet. In his own way, he was trying to be productive, but him being productive probably proved to be counter-productive to the police efforts.

                  Cheers,
                  Adam.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by John Malcolm View Post
                    ... You can't compare this with the Eddowes' inquest, because that was under a different jurisdiction, but you can compare this with the Kelly inquest, as I don't believe it was an accident that this ended up with MacDonald, instead of the bungling Baxter, ...
                    Originally posted by John Savage View Post
                    ... certainly Baxter and MacDonald both claimed that Millers Court was within their respective territories and the confusion is understandable because the boundaries had only been altered a few months before. ... it looks like Dorset Street would have been in MacDonald’s territory although so close to the boundary that had Millers Court been on the other side of the road Baxter’s claim might have been the stronger.
                    The boundaries were indisputable; and Baxter had no legitimate claim to the remains of Mary Jane Kelly: None!


                    Whitechapel Registration District / Poor Law Union;
                    Whitechapel District of the Metropolitan Board of Works - 1888 (Click to Enlarge in flickr)
                    Underlying Aerial Imagery: Copyright Google Earth, 2007
                    Overlying Plots, Labels and Color-Shadings: Copyright Colin C. Roberts, 2009

                    Whitechapel Registration District / Poor Law Union;
                    Whitechapel District of the Metropolitan Board of Works:

                    - The Liberty of Norton Folgate (Green) (Coronership of the County of Middlesex, North-East District: Roderick MacDonald)

                    - The Old Artillery Ground (Aqua) (Coronership of Her Majesty's Tower of London: Thomas Ratcliff)

                    - The Parish of Christ Church Spitalfields (Blue) (Coronership of the County of Middlesex, North-East District: Roderick MacDonald)

                    - The Hamlet of Mile End New Town (Orange) (Coronership of the County of Middlesex, South-East District: Wynne Baxter)

                    - The Parish of Holy Trinity ('Minories') (Yellow) (Coronership of Her Majesty's Tower of London: Thomas Ratcliff)

                    - The Parish of St. Mary Whitechapel (Portion within the County of Middlesex, -1889; the County of London, 1889-1965) (Red) (Coronership of the County of Middlesex, South-East District: Wynne Baxter)

                    - The Liberty of Her Majesty's Tower of London (Orange) (Coronership of Her Majesty's Tower of London: Thomas Ratcliff)
                    --- {The Liberty of the Tower}
                    --- {The Precinct of Old Tower Without}
                    --- {The Tower}

                    - The Precinct of St. Katharine (Blue) (Coronership of the County of Middlesex, South-East District: Wynne Baxter)

                    - The Parish of St. Botolph without Aldgate (Portion within the County of Middlesex, -1889; the County of London, 1889-1965) (Green) (Coronership of the County of Middlesex, South-East District: Wynne Baxter)

                    ---

                    The non-shaded (i.e. 'non-Whitechapel') portions of the above image are as follows:

                    Top:

                    - The Parish of St. Leonard Shoreditch (Coronership of the County of Middlesex, North-East District: Roderick MacDonald)

                    - The Parish of St. Matthew Bethnal Green (Coronership of the County of Middlesex, North-East District: Roderick MacDonald)

                    Left:

                    - The City of London (Coronership of the City of London: Samuel Langham)

                    Right (south of Whitechapel Road):

                    - The Hamlet of Mile End Old Town (Coronership of the County of Middlesex, South-East District: Wynne Baxter)

                    - The Parish of St. George in the East (Coronership of the County of Middlesex, South-East District: Wynne Baxter)

                    - The Parish of St. John of Wapping (Coronership of the County of Middlesex, South-East District: Wynne Baxter)

                    - The Parish of St. Paul Shadwell (Coronership of the County of Middlesex, South-East District: Wynne Baxter)

                    ---

                    At no time, did the remains of Mary Jane Kelly lie within Baxter's jurisdiction.

                    In the case of Annie Chapman, however, the remains were discovered within MacDonald's jurisdiction; but then removed to Baxter's jurisdiction.

                    This was probably due to the perceived necessity of removing the decedent from view of the 'public eye', as quickly as possible. In the absence of MacDonald or anyone from his office, the 'H' Division constabulary at the scene of the crime, would probably have been unaware of the Order in Council*, by which the Parish of Christ Church Spitalfields had been placed within MacDonald's jurisdiction.

                    * An Order in Council of May 1888, interestingly - and quite inexplicably - placed the Liberty of Norton Folgate and Parish of Christ Church Spitalfields in the newly established North-East District of the Middlesex County Coronership (i.e. MacDonald's District).

                    "Inexplicably", and indeed impracticably; as the two parochial entities were both components of the Whitechapel District of the Metropolitan Board of Works, which bore the responsibilities of mortuary-accommodation and subsequent burial of its deceased residents, as well as that of any unidentified decedents found within its boundaries. As Norton Folgate and Spitalfields were the only components of this particular District of the Metropolitan Board of Works to fall under the coronial jurisdiction of Roderick MacDonald; any deaths occurring therein, for which inquest proceedings were deemed necessary, inherently became the burden of either the Parish of St. Leonard Shoreditch or the Parish of St. Matthew Bethnal Green.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hi all,

                      I find it interesting that at the time Baxter made his controversial Burke and Hare speculation public during his summation at the Chapman Inquest, a letter to the editor in the local press from a London physician had already suggested the same scenario earlier that same week, and he had included his reasons for thinking it to be a viable premise.

                      He cites a widespread shortage of human organs to those being trained or conducting research in the medical sciences arena. Despite the laws that were enacted a few decades earlier to stem the black market trade in human organs....which in effect gave students access to executed criminal remains or unclaimed workhouse cadavers. Yet Baxter is considered the fall guy for that wild speculation.

                      Maybe his comments were influenced by that letter...or maybe both medical men thought the same thing. But its clear that he wasnt the only one to voice an opinion like that.

                      Best regards all.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hi Colin,

                        Thanks for your very interesting post and your map.

                        Is there any chance that you could zoom in and show just how close the boundaty was with Dorset Street?

                        Rgds
                        John

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Dear Mike:

                          " a letter to the editor in the local press from a London physician had already suggested the same scenario earlier that same week, and he had included his reasons for thinking it to be a viable premise."- M.R.

                          Be that as it may, that it was mentioned in a periodical is quite different than being stated at a victim's Inquest, I'd think. That Baxter repeated it lends a degree of credence to the original comment.

                          Colin:

                          Thats nice work,old man. Thanks for that.
                          To Join JTR Forums :
                          Contact Howard@jtrforums.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by John Savage View Post
                            Is there any chance that you could zoom in ...
                            Click on the image, itself.

                            The closest point of the Spitalfields boundary, to Dorset Street, was just behind the Providence Row Night Refuge & Convent. However, that portion of the boundary distinguished the Parish of Christ Church Spitalfields from the Old Artillery Ground, which fell under the jurisdiction of the Tower Coronership.

                            If Kelly had wanted to spend some time in Baxter's district, she could have stopped in the Princess Alice, for a pint; or dropped in on her friend, George Hutchinson, who would have been across the road, in the Victoria Home.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Thanks Collin, when it comes to maps you're the man.

                              Rgds
                              John

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X