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

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  • A. But Fitzgerald found the door locked How?

    B. I think that would be at least possible. Ali might have heard him leave the room and assumed that he’d left the hotel.

    C/D Both possible How but I’d have to say that no matter how much of a low life Ali was, would he have had the stomach to go rooting around a horribly mutilated corpse for a few pennies? Not many would imo but it’s not an impossibility. And if he’d thought that she was just asleep (in the poor lighting) would he have hoped to have robbed her without her waking up and raising hell? This is why I tend to favour Ali hearing Kniclo leave, sneaking into number 31 then climbing onto the bed to try and wake Brown up for sex, getting blood on him in the process.

    If we assume that Kniclo was Glenmore Man (and I’m pretty sure that we agree on that point) and we know that the Glenmore was a 5 minute walk away from the ERH then it’s difficult to see him loitering after the murder so I’m guessing that he’d have left the ERH at perhaps 1.45 or even later. So I’d think that if Ali had entered number 31 just after the murder it’s perhaps difficult to see him sticking around for 3 hours before sneaking out. Although the body would have been unlikely to have been discovered for a few hours would he have risked it? So I think I’d favour Ali waking up at perhaps 4.30 or 4.45 then deciding to ‘try his luck’ with Brown; hoping that her ‘friend’ had gone?

    I find it far too much of a stretch to claim that Ali was completely innocent and uninvolved (planted blood etc) but what I still find really strange is Ali being arrested so close to the ERH. Why hadn’t he headed over to lie low with Jenalli? Ali was hardly Professor Moriarty but surely this would be item number one in the ‘How To Avoid Arrest’ handbook. Get as far away as possible and hide. But no, Lang finds him 3 blocks away and with a woman around (Lopez) that knew him. Innocent or stupid? I have to go with stupid.
    Regards

    Michael🔎


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

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    • A. But Fitzgerald found the door locked How?

      Mike....I should have mentioned the possibility that the Hotel had button-operated locks. This was mentioned in Richard Underwood's 2017 book, Gaslight Lawyers. Sorry for forgetting, boss. Ali could have locked the door on his way out without an actual key, if I understand the procedure correctly. After all, he was a regular in the hotel.
      This may have been a way for someone to leave the room with a key leaving the door unlocked and someone else entering and leaving and locking it upon their departure. If I understand correctly, you can lock a button operated lock without a key but not unlock it by depressing another button from the outside.


      So I think I’d favour Ali waking up at perhaps 4.30 or 4.45 then deciding to ‘try his luck’ with Brown; hoping that her ‘friend’ had gone?

      Possible, Mike....might be what happened. It is unusual for a man who just burgled a corpse or in fact, murdered someone, to hang around, although there was a witness ( Miniter ) to confirm that Ali wasn't the original client. Read the remarks about the Mannix story later in this post.



      I find it far too much of a stretch to claim that Ali was completely innocent and uninvolved (planted blood etc) but what I still find really strange is Ali being arrested so close to the ERH. Why hadn’t he headed over to lie low with Jenalli? Ali was hardly Professor Moriarty but surely this would be item number one in the ‘How To Avoid Arrest’ handbook. Get as far away as possible and hide. But no, Lang finds him 3 blocks away and with a woman around (Lopez) that knew him. Innocent or stupid? I have to go with stupid.

      I go with option two : stupid. Since he wasn't the original client, perhaps he felt that no one would connect him with her murder or him being in the room.
      It is weird that he didn't just walk over the Brooklyn Bridge to South Brooklyn during the 19-20 hours between the murder and his arrest.


      If we assume that Kniclo was Glenmore Man (and I’m pretty sure that we agree on that point) and we know that the Glenmore was a 5 minute walk away from the ERH then it’s difficult to see him loitering after the murder so I’m guessing that he’d have left the ERH at perhaps 1.45 or even later. So I’d think that if Ali had entered number 31 just after the murder it’s perhaps difficult to see him sticking around for 3 hours before sneaking out. Although the body would have been unlikely to have been discovered for a few hours would he have risked it? So I think I’d favour Ali waking up at perhaps 4.30 or 4.45 then deciding to ‘try his luck’ with Brown; hoping that her ‘friend’ had gone?

      This is where the story told by Mannix comes into the mix and is fairly important.

      Mannix said that when he went upstairs to the fifth floor he saw Ali nodded out in the hallway.... on Thursday night. Apparently, Ali was a little shitfaced.
      Why?
      Because if the story is true and the date (Thursday night) was reported correctly, then Ali might have schlepped into Room 31 still under the effect of alcohol
      and returned to Room 33 after this 'sobering up moment' to consider what to do. The candle burned down in his room ( remember the issue over how far down it had melted at the trial ? ) as if it had burned for quite some time. It was a whole candle when he received it. Again. like you, I cannot understand why he didn't make it over to Brooklyn.


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      • This is a PDF of a fictional mystery written by FREDERICK VAN RENSSELAER DEY (1861-1922) in which the East River Hotel is referenced within the story. It has zero connection to the Brown Murder and is the only story that I've ever seen in which the East River Hotel is part of the backdrop of a fictional story.
        When the story appeared in this Denison ( Iowa) Review ( 1909 ), the Hotel was already, as they say, a goner.

        The Bigelow Murder Mystery

        P.S. Anyone familiar with the 'Nick Carter' mysteries which began in the late 1880's may not be aware that it was Dey who penned approximately 1,100 stories of that popular series for Street & Smith Magazine.


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        • I’d forgotten about the possibility of the button operated lock How. Fair point of course.

          The Mannix story is an interesting one which, if true, certainly makes your suggestion plausible. I have to ask though, how drunk would Ali have had to have been if he couldn’t even make it the few further feet to room 33? Fitzgerald didn’t mention Ali being drunk but then again they hardly had an in-depth conversation when he handed over the key. Why would Mannix have lied on this point though?
          Regards

          Michael🔎


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

          Comment


          • I have to ask though, how drunk would Ali have had to have been if he couldn’t even make it the few further feet to room 33?
            Fitzgerald didn’t mention Ali being drunk but then again they hardly had an in-depth conversation when he handed over the key.
            Why would Mannix have lied on this point though?


            Walking up to the fifth floor for someone intoxicated...yeah, I can see him temporarily konked out and flopped down on to the floor...although not for very long.
            This is why I suggested a while back that that report which came out on the 24th or 25th mentioning the Mannix incident may have gotten the days wrong. It may have transpired the day before on a Wednesday night. I agree with you that it is curious he couldn't make the extra effort to get into his room instead of crashing on the floor.
            One thing I considered was that he was eavesdropping and Mannix snuck up on him. Probably not though.

            True, Fitz didn't mention whether he was buzzed or not. Most men probably were when they went in the hotel. I don't recall offhand if
            the attorneys asked him during the trial if he sized Ali up as being intoxicated. Sort of like asking a woman working in a brothel if she's 'done this sort of thing before'.

            I don't think Mannix lied, Mike. We question why Kelly wasn't subpoenaed by the defense....maybe the prosecution should have subpoenaed the Mannixes. Not certain if the police actively looked for Nellie English, but she testified as to Ali's peculiar habit of
            sneaking around the fifth floor eavesdropping and going into rooms....having one or both of the Mannixes testify would have bolstered whatever English testified to. The prosecution wouldn't have had to go look for the Mannixes as they were still in the
            hotel.
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            • Before I forget, Mike..

              This is from the New York Daily Tribune, exactly 11 years after Brown's body was discovered.

              In this piece, you'll see that Ali claims the police pricked his foot with a knife during a search of his person....and that this is how blood was found in his sock.

              It's funny...but at no time did this incident get mentioned by any of the defense attorneys at the inquest or trial. Actually, it isn't funny but rather a typical lie
              told by Ali.

              We know that had the police employed the 'third degree' to Ali, we'd definitely have read about it in the two official ( coroner inquest and trial transcript) reports.
              That's because they didn't use any force.
              We know that had the police taken his hands and immersed them in Brown's blood, we'd have heard about it. Since it was of such significance to the prosecution's
              case, we'd have heard howls of outrage had the police done something like that. The case would most likely have been dismissed and charges filed against the
              person responsible for doing such a thing.

              New York Daily Tribune
              April 24, 1902
              *****************



              There's a couple articles in which he expressed his desire to stay in NYC....and an equal number in which
              he is glad he's being sent back to Algeria.
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              • Originally posted by Howard Brown View Post
                I have to ask though, how drunk would Ali have had to have been if he couldn’t even make it the few further feet to room 33?
                Fitzgerald didn’t mention Ali being drunk but then again they hardly had an in-depth conversation when he handed over the key.
                Why would Mannix have lied on this point though?


                Walking up to the fifth floor for someone intoxicated...yeah, I can see him temporarily konked out and flopped down on to the floor...although not for very long.
                This is why I suggested a while back that that report which came out on the 24th or 25th mentioning the Mannix incident may have gotten the days wrong. It may have transpired the day before on a Wednesday night. I agree with you that it is curious he couldn't make the extra effort to get into his room instead of crashing on the floor.
                One thing I considered was that he was eavesdropping and Mannix snuck up on him. Probably not though.

                True, Fitz didn't mention whether he was buzzed or not. Most men probably were when they went in the hotel. I don't recall offhand if
                the attorneys asked him during the trial if he sized Ali up as being intoxicated. Sort of like asking a woman working in a brothel if she's 'done this sort of thing before'.

                I don't think Mannix lied, Mike. We question why Kelly wasn't subpoenaed by the defense....maybe the prosecution should have subpoenaed the Mannixes. Not certain if the police actively looked for Nellie English, but she testified as to Ali's peculiar habit of
                sneaking around the fifth floor eavesdropping and going into rooms....having one or both of the Mannixes testify would have bolstered whatever English testified to. The prosecution wouldn't have had to go look for the Mannixes as they were still in the
                hotel.
                I don’t think that Mannix lied either How but perhaps it was someone else passed out drunk? You’re right about Fitzgerald though. He’d probably have been more likely to have made a point if a customer was actually sober. I think id need some serious anaesthetising before I could have been induced to have spent a night there.

                I can’t remember when Mannix came forward with his story about Ali being asleepHow?
                Regards

                Michael🔎


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

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Howard Brown View Post
                  Before I forget, Mike..

                  This is from the New York Daily Tribune, exactly 11 years after Brown's body was discovered.

                  In this piece, you'll see that Ali claims the police pricked his foot with a knife during a search of his person....and that this is how blood was found in his sock.

                  It's funny...but at no time did this incident get mentioned by any of the defense attorneys at the inquest or trial. Actually, it isn't funny but rather a typical lie
                  told by Ali.

                  We know that had the police employed the 'third degree' to Ali, we'd definitely have read about it in the two official ( coroner inquest and trial transcript) reports.
                  That's because they didn't use any force.
                  We know that had the police taken his hands and immersed them in Brown's blood, we'd have heard about it. Since it was of such significance to the prosecution's
                  case, we'd have heard howls of outrage had the police done something like that. The case would most likely have been dismissed and charges filed against the
                  person responsible for doing such a thing.

                  New York Daily Tribune
                  April 24, 1902
                  *****************



                  There's a couple articles in which he expressed his desire to stay in NYC....and an equal number in which
                  he is glad he's being sent back to Algeria.
                  Perhaps he just forgot the foot-pricking incident How. It’s easily done…..your facing the electric chair……the prosecution say that you have blood on your sock….. you have a perfectly innocent explanation……you just forget to mention it.
                  Regards

                  Michael🔎


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

                  Comment


                  • I don’t think that Mannix lied either How but perhaps it was someone else passed out drunk? You’re right about Fitzgerald though. He’d probably have been more likely to have made a point if a customer was actually sober. I think I'd need some serious anesthetizing before I could have been induced to have spent a night there.

                    I'd need a gas mask. Otherwise, I ain't going in, buddy.

                    I can’t remember when Mannix came forward with his story about Ali being asleep How?

                    It's here in the NY Evening World, April 25, 1891
                    It also mentions, once more, that this incident occurred on Thursday night ( the night C. Kniclo, Brown, and Ali were all on the fifth floor at one point or the other)
                    I have a gut feeling they meant Wednesday, but obviously cannot prove it.



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                    • It would be valuable if we knew when Mannix got home. Unfortunately, no record of when is known.
                      Ali entered the hotel and paid Fitzgerald the 25 cents after C. Kniclo & Brown went to their room.
                      If the story as reported is accurate, Ali hit the floor instead of his room while Brown and C. Kniclo were in Room 31.
                      Ali had to have gone to his room that night and we know that by the remainder of the candle...a 'green' ( unused) candle, which was discussed at the trial.
                      Hypothetically, if C. Kniclo murdered her and Ali had not gone to his room yet, C. Kniclo may very well have walked right past Ali while he was still on the floor. In fact, it is possible that C. Kniclo leaving the room is what woke Ali up.
                      The candle burning down so much can be explained thusly : Ali goes back to his room, lights the candle...leaves at 5 AM...sneaks out to be more accurate....and left the candle burning. The discovery of Brown's body was at least a good 8 hours after the actual murder. Sufficient time to burn a cheap candle ( It ain't the Waldorf)
                      issued by a cheap hotel down to its base.
                      Why Mannix, a coal heaver, didn't beat the living shit out of Ali, drunk or sober, is a mystery, too.
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                      • "If I had my choice I would kill every reporter in the world, but I am sure we would be getting reports from Hell before breakfast."
                        General W.T. Sherman

                        Maybe not kill them but request that some have a little curiosity like the pencil pusher in the following.
                        Why didn't the reporter who submitted the article in which Ali claimed the police pricked his foot while taking his socks off.....ask Ali
                        why would someone else would even need to use a knife to remove his socks and why, for Pete's sake, didn't he remove his own socks ?
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                        • Originally posted by Howard Brown View Post
                          It would be valuable if we knew when Mannix got home. Unfortunately, no record of when is known.
                          Ali entered the hotel and paid Fitzgerald the 25 cents after C. Kniclo & Brown went to their room.
                          If the story as reported is accurate, Ali hit the floor instead of his room while Brown and C. Kniclo were in Room 31.
                          Ali had to have gone to his room that night and we know that by the remainder of the candle...a 'green' ( unused) candle, which was discussed at the trial.
                          Hypothetically, if C. Kniclo murdered her and Ali had not gone to his room yet, C. Kniclo may very well have walked right past Ali while he was still on the floor. In fact, it is possible that C. Kniclo leaving the room is what woke Ali up.
                          The candle burning down so much can be explained thusly : Ali goes back to his room, lights the candle...leaves at 5 AM...sneaks out to be more accurate....and left the candle burning. The discovery of Brown's body was at least a good 8 hours after the actual murder. Sufficient time to burn a cheap candle ( It ain't the Waldorf)
                          issued by a cheap hotel down to its base.
                          Why Mannix, a coal heaver, didn't beat the living shit out of Ali, drunk or sober, is a mystery, too.
                          Yeah we can’t make any deductions from the candle because of your explanation. It had ample time to have burned down by the time his room was entered.

                          It’s almost tempting to get into ‘scenario’ territory and ask if Ali might have gotten Brown’s blood on him after a scuffle with Kniclo but I won’t go there.

                          At the moment I’m tending toward Mannix being mistaken. That there was some guy lying drunk but it wasn’t Ali but to be honest How I can’t give any real reason why it couldn’t have been him. Perhaps I might edge toward saying that even though Fitzgerald would have been more than used to seeing drunks (of both sexes) wouldn’t Ali have had to have been so far gone as to have made it obvious to anyone seeing him? Then again, a short, almost monosyllabic exchange of words….who knows? Even if true Mannix evidence would have been no help to Ali in court. Defence - too drunk to have killed Brown, Prosecution - in a drunken rage. Another ‘undecided’ in the case How.
                          Regards

                          Michael🔎


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

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Howard Brown View Post
                            "If I had my choice I would kill every reporter in the world, but I am sure we would be getting reports from Hell before breakfast."
                            General W.T. Sherman

                            Maybe not kill them but request that some have a little curiosity like the pencil pusher in the following.
                            Why didn't the reporter who submitted the article in which Ali claimed the police pricked his foot while taking his socks off.....ask Ali
                            why would someone else would even need to use a knife to remove his socks and why, for Pete's sake, didn't he remove his own socks ?
                            Unless he’d had them on so long a knife was needed to scrape them off.

                            Apologise to Nina for me that your dinner has just gone in the bin.
                            Regards

                            Michael🔎


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

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                            • Mike:

                              You may be right, but IMHO it's a little more likely that the reporter got the day wrong. Mannix evidently knew who Ali was due to the incident on Wednesday ( April 22nd) to state that it was him there on the floor of the hotel on what was reported as Thursday ( the 23rd). In any event, another potential witness of importance unused
                              by one side or the other in the case.

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                              • Originally posted by Howard Brown View Post
                                Mike:

                                You may be right, but IMHO it's a little more likely that the reporter got the day wrong. Mannix evidently knew who Ali was due to the incident on Wednesday ( April 22nd) to state that it was him there on the floor of the hotel on what was reported as Thursday ( the 23rd). In any event, another potential witness of importance unused
                                by one side or the other in the case.
                                I think that your suggestion is more likely to have been the case How. The list of unused witnesses grows.
                                Regards

                                Michael🔎


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

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