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Carrie Brown/Ameer Ben Ali Discussion Thread Including The Trial & Aftermath

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  • Absolutely How. We have absolutely no reason for believing that, after 10 years, Damon would have become so concerned for justice or so overcome with guilt that he would have come forward with the information about the key. Lee was the key (in a manner of speaking) Perhaps we can add his wife for keeping hold of the key, unbeknown to Damon according to him.
    Regards

    Michael🔎


    " When you eliminate the impossible whatever remains no matter how improbable......is probably a little bit boring "

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    • Mike:

      I'll bet that Damon was aware of the key for every one of the 3,650 days plus that Ali was in jail.
      I can't think of an acceptable reason why he kept it for a decade other than it was merely a souvenir to him.... I hesitate to say it was something to show when he was shooting the shit with his suburban pals because of the significant risks involved. All it would have taken is for one of them to squeal or spread the story to other people outside of his social circle.

      That's why I brought that up ( the souvenir idea)on another thread.

      We can't forget the sons who lived there, either. I'm sure Damon showed the sons the key and had them pledge to silence. The old lady probably just went along with her husband. maintaining the status quo.....
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      • As I just thought it over I think that’s the likeliest interpretation How. What reason would his wife have had for keeping the key without her husbands knowledge? Especially as he’d apparently gone to the trouble of visiting the ERH to check out the keys there. He must have known where the key was. By pretending that he didn’t know that his wife still had the key I wonder if he might have been laying the groundwork for another feeble excuse for why he hadn’t come forward. Perhaps he could have claimed that he’d decided to come forward just after the trial (after some attack of conscience) but he thought that the key had been thrown away or lost and so….no key, no evidence?

        I can’t recall his name but he was lucky that the guy who went with him to the ERH didn’t spill the beans over a beer. Or the servant whose name neither Damon or his wife could recall?

        Another thing that I can’t recall is did Lee ever say when he first learned about the key from Damon? I’d like to have heard that conversation between those two upstanding citizens.
        Regards

        Michael🔎


        " When you eliminate the impossible whatever remains no matter how improbable......is probably a little bit boring "

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        • Perhaps he could have claimed that he’d decided to come forward just after the trial (after some attack of conscience) but he thought that the key had been thrown away or lost and so….no key, no evidence?

          Not a bad theory, Mike....he'd already made 4 excuses ( fear of the farmhand, damage to his reputation, felt Ali deserved to be in jail, and of course the 'advice' of John R .Lee)., so what's one more ?


          I can’t recall his name but he was lucky that the guy who went with him to the ERH didn’t spill the beans over a beer. Or the servant whose name neither Damon or his wife could recall?

          Charles Brennan was his name...he was a 'truck man'....more likely than not employed at the 44 Beekman Street 'Damon & Peets' facility and not a hired hand back in Cranford.

          Damon's wife was never questioned as far as can be determined...but Damon's memory flop ( Imagine not remembering someone's name who had worked in your house) is b.s.

          Which brings up the servant issue....Nina has a list of the servants, shown below, from 1880-1900 and curiously it is NOT a large or complicated file of numerous names. How then could Damon NOT remember the name of the female servant since there weren't a whole hell of a lot of them ?!







          Another thing that I can’t recall is did Lee ever say when he first learned about the key from Damon? I’d like to have heard that conversation between those two upstanding citizens.

          I don't think we'll find that specific date, boss. I think we can exclude the years 1893-1897 when Lee was in Rochester.
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          • Detailed Map of Lower East Side ( Map source, Rumsey, originally located by Rob Clack in 2021).

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            • 'O'Connor's Ranch'.....Brooklyn Citizen April 29, 1891




              4 Chatham Square, The Glenmore Hotel, circa 1900-1910

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              • For a long while, I'd wondered why defense attorneys Levy, Friend, & House didn't subpoena Michael ( or Thomas) Kelly from the Glenmore Hotel when we consider his description of 'C. Kniclo' was a mirror image of Mary Miniter's and that his remark, 'Speaks broken English" was included in the NYPD A.P.B. issued by Inspector Byrnes 4 days or so before Ali was formally charged on
                April 30th. I always thought it would have been a pretty good one-two punch if the defense questioned Miniter and then followed up with Kelly.

                There might be a good reason for that never materializing that's been sitting in front of all concerned all along.

                The trio of counsellors were assigned the task of defending Ali on April 30th by Judge Randolph Martine. They may not have read the ( at most) two paragraph accounts of the Glenmore Man &
                Kelly at all which were in the papers four days prior to Ali being charged and they being assigned the role of Ali's legal representation.
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                • Originally posted by Howard Brown View Post
                  For a long while, I'd wondered why defense attorneys Levy, Friend, & House didn't subpoena Michael ( or Thomas) Kelly from the Glenmore Hotel when we consider his description of 'C. Kniclo' was a mirror image of Mary Miniter's and that his remark, 'Speaks broken English" was included in the NYPD A.P.B. issued by Inspector Byrnes 4 days or so before Ali was formally charged on
                  April 30th. I always thought it would have been a pretty good one-two punch if the defense questioned Miniter and then followed up with Kelly.

                  There might be a good reason for that never materializing that's been sitting in front of all concerned all along.

                  The trio of counsellors were assigned the task of defending Ali on April 30th by Judge Randolph Martine. They may not have read the ( at most) two paragraph accounts of the Glenmore Man &
                  Kelly at all which were in the papers four days prior to Ali being charged and they being assigned the role of Ali's legal representation.
                  I don’t know why I missed this post.

                  Believe it or not How that was a question I’ve been intending to ask for a while. I made some notes (including questions) when I first read The East River Ripper and I’ve just seen that this one is still there? The descriptions given by Kelly and Miniter tie up so well you’d have thought that this one was such a slam dunk it’s difficult to come up with any reason other than them not being aware of it. I still find it hard (maybe close to impossible?) that no one would have drawn their attention to such an important piece of evidence. Even if Kelly was someone that they’d felt might not have been a great performer on the stand it would still have, at the very least, put further doubt in the minds of the jurors. In addition they had the option of using Tiernan too to lend weight to any statement by Kelly.

                  Two men see a bloodied man acting weirdly shortly after a brutal murder had occurred a short distance away and that man’s description tallies exactly with a description given of a man who shared a room with the victim on the night of the murder and who had left the ERH in the early hours!! Even Inspector Clouseau would have been all over that one.

                  I think that this is one of the biggest mysteries of the case for me How. Can you recall if Dekle mentioned it?

                  Regards

                  Michael🔎


                  " When you eliminate the impossible whatever remains no matter how improbable......is probably a little bit boring "

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                  • Mike:

                    Prof. Bob mentioned that ( not in the book but via a communication) that Kelly ( again, a feature found throughout the press reports is the uncertainty of what his first name was...Thomas, Michael, or John, the latter which I found scouring through, of all places, Twitter. That it was also mentioned in a piece putting Fenian fireball O'Donovan Rossa at the Chatham Hotel in the role of manager squashed the matter for me. I'm sticking with Thomas or Michael). might have made a poor witness. For this reason, it has been very difficult for Nina to pinpoint who exactly this Kelly was.

                    Be that as it may, yet another issue surfaces from the overlooking of this potentially crucial witness...or witnesses if we include Tiernan.

                    1. As I suggested, it may all be down to the trio of defense attorneys not reading about or not hearing from another source that there was a corroborative witness to back up Miniter.

                    On a side note related to the above, a long time ago I recall reading the comments made by Byrnes in one NY paper that Miniter's testimony was unreliable because she was a whore, race mixer, and drug slugger. After reading more about the Case, I had an Eureka moment and thought to myself that this was the origin of a decision by the police to 'settle' for Ali
                    since they had had no success in locating C. Knicklo and decided to 'make' him the suspect/killer.
                    This was proved to be incorrect and is one of the biggest reasons I removed 432 threads from the site when I owned it. I still have those threads in PDF but many became polluted by my
                    jumping to the gun and assuming that they police had settled for him. The planted blood theory never made a dent in my thinking.
                    However, I was thankfully proved wrong because back in 2020 I got to read the massive trial transcript and lo and behold, Miniter did not deviate from her original description on the witness
                    stand. She spent 58 days in jail and could easily have changed her description to satisfy the police in order to avoid being hassled by the cops after her release and the trial.
                    In addition, we now know the police didn't give up looking for C. Kniclo. That they arrested Edwin Smith a week after Ali was already named as the culprit because he resembled the man
                    Kelly and Miniter saw proves the police didn't just settle for Ali. I hadn't read the trial transcript and had assumed that Miniter eventually flip flopped on the original description. She didn't.

                    2. It also brings up the issue of why the D.A. went ahead on the prosecution of Ali if the two descriptions were so well aligned. It is likely, and I say this because it is just my opinion, that
                    Ali's laundry lists of lies, his sneaking out ( Fitzgerald told the truth: He had zero reason to invent it) of the hotel, possibly the Mannix affair, the women who came forward very quickly to
                    let the police know about Ali, far from being the 'genial fellow' his friends in Brooklyn described, blood on his person, etc. are reasons any prosecutor will consider good circumstantial reasons
                    to detain and eventually charge someone for a crime of that type. Let's not forget he also said he never knew Brown.

                    One bizarre aspect of the case is that...lets take the side of him not being brought up on significant circumstantial evidence and/or being framed...and look at it this way.
                    Even if that were so, and it is impossible to prove despite what someone out there is trying to do, any circumstantial evidence/frame up led to Formad and Flint providing
                    tangible evidence that he had been in contact with her blood This translates into a good result ( material under nails being found) out of improper and illegal means( frame up).

                    In many murder cases, take the Whitechapel Murders, for example....where there wasn't a solution, wasn't a trial, and where the coroner's reports were truncated.....the opposite is true in the Brown murder , as you well know...a 241 page Coroner's report, an 1,100 page trial transcript, and a number of facts and details overlooked either at the trial for being considered inconsequential or simply dismissed for the sake of brevity.

                    In the WM, to use them as an example once more, someone can say Kozminski was the murderer but have only the opinion, not anything tangible, to base that judgment on. Likewise, with Druitt or whomever one wanted to blame....yet with nothing material ( presence at the crime scene, tangible evidence, concrete eyewitness reports).
                    In the Brown murder, all three of the material items exist..and two iron clad suspects to boot. Our problem is which one of the two was the killer by eliminating the other one which is frankly
                    a harder task than any I can think of by comparison with any other murder case where two men are so equally viable.
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                    • I can understand Dekle’s point about Kelly potentially being a poor witness but I still cant help wondering if that was actually the case? The defence had the unenviable task of defending a man with a terrible reputation in his ‘dealings’ with women and who was an Olympic standard liar who knew Shakespeare and was sleeping in a room an arms length away her when she was murdered. Plus he had blood under his fingernails and on his shirt. You would have thought that the defence would have been keen to clutch at any straw that might have even sown a few seeds of doubt. For me it would have been anything to do with the guy would shared her room. Again it’s only my personal opinion of course but I really struggle to see the defence missing the chance of presenting the Jury with a possible ‘bloodied Kniclo’ wandering across to The Glenmore to clean up.

                      Regards

                      Michael🔎


                      " When you eliminate the impossible whatever remains no matter how improbable......is probably a little bit boring "

                      Comment


                      • I can understand Dekle’s point about Kelly potentially being a poor witness but I still cant help wondering if that was actually the case?

                        Again it’s only my personal opinion of course but I really struggle to see the defence missing the chance of presenting the Jury with a possible ‘bloodied Kniclo’ wandering across to The Glenmore to clean up


                        Both very good points as I also believe the defense had to take any chance to present Ali in a good light....there were no witnesses on his behalf at the trial...with the exception of the worst possible witness in a murder trial in the history of Western Civilization : Ali, himself.

                        Again, Mike, the possibility exists that the defense team did not know about the Kelly Encounter. There were statements within larger articles, not isolated articles specifically discussing Kelly's \
                        early morning encounter.
                        It isn't impossible, to be objective, that Glenmore Man, despite the similarities, wasn't someone else....although I would rather throw down $100,000 towards purchasing the Brooklyn Bridge.
                        As mentioned on another thread, Glenmore Man didn't hide his face, didn't seem concerned with being seen with blood on his person ( even putting his hand down on the desk, not hiding it)
                        and didn't act in the manner C. Kniclo did as described by Miniter...which might have caused Miniter to pay a little more attention to a rank and file, ordinary, every day renter at the ERH.
                        A good way to attract attention is to act as if you don't want it on occasion.
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                        • I certainly think that I’d favour your suggestion, that the defence weren’t aware of the Glenmore incident, than the suggestion that the defence would have intentionally passed up the chance of putting flesh on the Kniclo angle.

                          I forgot to ask How. Did Kelly come forward with his story or was he questioned as part of the investigation of the local area? Not that it really matters I was just curious.
                          Regards

                          Michael🔎


                          " When you eliminate the impossible whatever remains no matter how improbable......is probably a little bit boring "

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                          • Mike:

                            From what I can gather, it appears to me more likely that the press got the story from Kelly after learning that the police interviewed him in their search of the vicinity....which by that time
                            Kelly had to have heard of the murder via Manhattan tom-toms. It would have been at least 8- 10 hours after the murder when everyone would have heard of the crime.
                            This may be why the three minor differences appear in the three newspapers ( Herald, Times, and Evening World) I posted on the Damon thread...
                            Had the Kelly encounter been released by the police to the press in the form of an official & general communique, it would have been difficult, even for the press reporters, to botch it.
                            That they differ slightly indicates, to me at least, that the individual press reporters got their stories from Kelly on their own. I could be wrong.

                            What you asked does matter, Mike....ask yourself why the press reporters slash amateur crime scene analysts didn't reprint the Kelly Encounter in the days and weeks following April 26th, the date the story more or less died on the vine ? They knew the a.p.b. contained a crucial description of Glenmore Man ( speaks broken English) and some of those, particularly the Herald, Charles Edward Russell's paper at the time, questioned the indictment of Ali in several editions ?
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                            • When you get a chance, Mike...let me know what you think in terms of a possible motive for Ali to have killed Brown.
                              Thanks !
                              Nosey.
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                              • I’m no expert on murder How but this crime scene screams ‘serial killer’ to me. It wasn’t just a case of some guy losing it and strangling or stabbing a woman to death in a moment of anger after some kind of argument with the victim. Without wishing to make light of a horrific murder, this guy had serious ‘issues.’ Hence the ripper comparison. So for me this was either a guy who had killed before or who would have been compelled to kill again at some point. So was he the calculating, planning kind who just melted away into the night or the kind who killed in a frenzy and then walked in a daze to another local hotel, still with blood on him, and asked for a free room and a place to wash up?

                                It would be speculation of course but it would be interesting to know if there were any other murders in any way similar to this one in the following weeks, months within feasible travel distance of this one?
                                Regards

                                Michael🔎


                                " When you eliminate the impossible whatever remains no matter how improbable......is probably a little bit boring "

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