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

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  • It wasn’t a blog. I was wrong. It was Cranford Radio on Facebook.

    https://m.facebook.com/CranfordRadio...81169988692993

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    • Thanks Mark....I asked because the remark about the Ripper in her backyard was familiar. That's Bernie Wagenblast's page....he's a good guy who helped out by telling me the time a train would arrive in Cranford on the 24th.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernie_Wagenblast
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      • From the NY Herald, April 27, 1891.. one of the four articles penned by Charles Edward Russell

        It's surprising that Russell is suggesting the police weren't interested in 'Glenmore Man'.

        Michael Kelly, nightman of the hotel, provided a description Miniter didn't which the police used in their all-points bulletin. That he spoke 'broken English'.
        The police did take the Glenmore sighting seriously.

        It's here we also learn that other descriptions of C. Kniclo didn't tally with Miniter's.

        That's strange, since Miniter was the only one who saw the man who entered the hotel with Brown. Not sure what the issue was with Miniter ( we know she was slighted by Byrnes in one newspaper), but she gave the same description on April 24th as she would over two months later at the trial.


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        • Witnesses, even the worst ones, will get the basics right - male/female, white/non-white, native/foreign. Byrne May want to backtrack and throw everything out or not show the hand that he had but I don’t see any major discrepancy in the descriptions. It’s also backed up by the “Dane” with the key 10 years too late but we have hindsight which confirms what we could think of as good foresight at the time.

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          • Witnesses, even the worst ones, will get the basics right - male/female, white/non-white, native/foreign. Byrnes may want to backtrack and throw everything out or not show the hand that he had but I don’t see any major discrepancy in the descriptions. It’s also backed up by the “Dane” with the key 10 years too late but we have hindsight which confirms what we could think of as good foresight at the time.

            Mark....that's my take on matters as well.
            Miniter didn't backtrack on her original description at the trial.
            The problem I have with the Herald article is that Russell is claiming that Byrnes told him that other witnesses gave varying descriptions of C. Kniclo. This doesn't make sense.
            Because the very next day, the Herald contained an article...again a report from Russell... one of the four he was responsible for ( April 26, 27, 28. & 29 ) featuring a conversation with German barber, Henry Decenwether, in which Decenwether's description of the man he saw with Brown just a few hours before she was murdered 'answered somewhat' with the description Miniter provided on April 24th. I've added the PDF...East River Echo Number 98.

            When I gave my opinion that it doesn't make sense is that IF Decenwether gave a description similar to what Miniter and Kelly gave....then who else was there that saw C. Kniclo ? I can think of no one who could be considered a witness. Only Miniter, from all accounts, saw him at the East River Hotel....and Kelly from the Glenmore ( we could add Tiernan, a co-worker, but we don't know if he was even asked) saw Brown and C. Kniclo. together, were questioned. Could someone else have been approached by the police ? Obviously, yes. But the fact is is that there is no inkling of another person being approached.
            What propelled Byrnes to state....or, considering how effed up some reports were, that he was alleged to have stated is that Miniter was a worthless witness ( One paper...forget at the moment...it was a NYC paper) and that she hung out with Celestials doing opium, made her money staring at the ceiling, and low class ? Yet, she was a trooper at the trial and a key person in the case.

            ************************************************** ************************************************** ************************************************** ***********************************

            This aspect of the case in the early days has bugged me for some time now. I think that there was an attempt to break Miniter's description because the police may not have believed there was another man (C. Kniclo) with Brown because the name was admittedly invented by Thompson and most importantly....written in the register after the corpse was discovered on the 24th. He admitted to this at the Coroner Inquest.

            Here's another thought. The other names in the register, as far as we know, were written in prior to the murder...with one possible exception :
            Room 33's entry in the register had 'J. Buckley' written down. That's where Ali had stayed.

            Since Ali was obviously not J. Buckley and prior to the disparaging remarks about Miniter being published....several local whores had ( correctly, as they realized that they all could have been the corpse in room 31) had told reporters and police that Ali and Brown had been together, not only on that day, but on other days as well.....


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            • What’s interesting to me is that the sightings of “C Knicklo” and Glenmore Man were, I believe, 3 hours apart. Doesn’t that suggest an unplanned attack? Would that not also explain some of the “disorganization” in someone you would expect would be somewhat organized in his criminal behaviour.

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              • 1.What’s interesting to me is that the sightings of “C Kniclo” and Glenmore Man were, I believe, 3 hours apart.
                2.Doesn’t that suggest an unplanned attack?
                3.Would that not also explain some of the “disorganization” in someone you would expect would be somewhat organized in his criminal behaviour.


                You're right, Mark...it was a ballpark estimate of three hours between the time C. Kniclo entered the East River Hotel and the time a man who strongly resembled him entered the Glenmore.

                I agree that it doesn't seem to have been your garden variety planned murder if we factor in the time gap. I don't know what others think but if this man...C. Kniclo....was the murderer, then the
                decision to go to a public place ( seen by Miniter) and then go to another place ( Probably a little more risky...the Glenmore/Chatham Square area had policemen walking the beat) where he's seen again by two people ( Kelly and Tiernan )makes me lean towards the option that it wasn't a premeditated murder. Of course, since he didn't live in the lower Manhattan area, he may have had less fear of being apprehended if he could just get across the Hudson River....which he did.


                If we are correct in assuming that C. Kniclo....again, if he was the killer....did not pick up Brown for the purpose of murdering her and that it was unplanned....then the only 'goof' I see him making ( He left the hotel without leaving anything which could identify him....he left the Glenmore without the hotel personnel being sufficiently alarmed by his entrance and departure and gave the police
                information only when they were ( Kelly, that is) asked...and made it to New Jersey without a hitch
                )....is that in going to the Glenmore, his description was carbon copy to what Miniter gave the police. Since he didn't live in Manhattan, he might as well have lived on the Moon since it was naturally assumed he was a local man.

                It is perfectly reasonable to consider that something transpired between Brown and C. Kniclo that had not been planned and resulted in her death. If he merely wanted to murder someone, there were many places down by the waterfront where he could have taken Brown or any other prostitute ( the women who testified against Ali did so primarily because they felt they could have been the victim....regardless of whether Ali was guilty) and killed them. They still had quickie intercourse in alleys ( Ali did with one of the women who testified against him) so getting a room would not really be necessary in a premediated murder scheme.
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                • I read how the Klososky Guy (?) said it was a pre- planned murder because the killer tried to hide in the dark recesses of the public place. It sounds pretty good at first….

                  https://books.google.ca/books?id=3TE...ore%22&f=false

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                  • Can you tell me if Ali came to NY as a passenger or as crew? I’m wondering if NY was a favorite “port of call” as I believe to have been the case with suspect Frank, or if he was actually immigrating? Was it say his “chosen place of settlement” v “port of call”?

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                    • I read how the Klososky Guy (?) said it was a pre- planned murder because the killer tried to hide in the dark recesses of the public place. It sounds pretty good at first….

                      I steer clear of Gordon's 'Klosowski' theory. Total waste of time.

                      Can you tell me if Ali came to NY as a passenger or as crew?

                      Look in the 'Ali In America' thread....I put the ship registry on that page...the first post. Nina found it a few years ago. He was a passenger coming in from Brazil.

                      https://www.jtrforums.com/forum/the-...891#post593534
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                      • Ali was an immigrant passenger and the killer was most likely a discharged sailor from Europe. All things being equal, this makes a huge difference when it comes to a spectacular crime like this one that strikes, even if unwarranted, fear or terror in the neighborhood.

                        I’m big on the outsider theory but it doesn’t include recent immigrants. A sailor would have, let’s say, virtual “landed status”, or something above a new immigrant, while still being able to leave whenever they want.

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                        • Ali was an immigrant passenger and the killer was most likely a discharged sailor from Europe. All things being equal, this makes a huge difference when it comes to a spectacular crime like this one that strikes, even if unwarranted, fear or terror in the neighborhood.

                          Mark...when possible, please elaborate on the differences you feel exist between an immigrant passenger ( Ali ) and immigrant seaman as they pertain to a murder. I be interested.

                          I’m big on the outsider theory but it doesn’t include recent immigrants. A sailor would have, let’s say, virtual “landed status”, or something above a new immigrant, while still being able to leave whenever they want.

                          Unless I'm not reading you right, you are suggesting that since Ali may have had a little more difficulty booking passage on a ship ( as a hired hand) than the Danish Farmhand would, this increases the likelihood of the Farmhand being Brown's murderer ? I is intrigued.

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                          • Outsider Theory as I define it is that any spectacular crime or series of crimes that creates fear or terror in a given area is almost invariably done by an outsider - someone who is a relative outsider compared to the majority of the locals. That’s because even murderous criminals won’t terrorize their own neck of the woods.

                            How long was Ali here? Two years. Frank was about 35. He could have been coming here for 15 years. I usually go with homegrown from a different area than the crime but Frank was a regular who I think could not be considered a local v an outsider. He was around long enough to be jaded rather that settled. Ali would still be wide eyed and bushy tailed by comparison. Ali looked like he might want to settle here.

                            Ultimately, it deals with the question of whether criminals have virtue. Don’t they? They love their families. I know Ali and Frank wouldn’t have had family here but I still don’t think Ali at least would have had it in him. He still had a community that was established.

                            PS Prostitute murders aren’t usually this spectacular, not nowadays. But they were in 1888 and 1891.

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                            • Glad I asked, Mark. Thanks.


                              Outsider Theory as I define it is that any spectacular crime or series of crimes that creates fear or terror in a given area is almost invariably done by an outsider - someone who is a relative outsider compared to the majority of the locals. That’s because even murderous criminals won’t terrorize their own neck of the woods.

                              With all due respect to your opinion, I am not so certain that the underlined remark is entirely true if we consider that the Whitechapel Murders were quite likely a series of murders committed by a local man. While there is no tangible evidence at all against any of the two zillion proposed suspects in the WM as there definitely is with the two in the East River Hotel Murder, the odds seem to favor someone very familiar with the neighborhood in the WM.

                              I also think that the fact that the Brown Murder was, at least as far as we know, a one-off murder ( It, in itself, was a one-off with no definite link to any other murders in the area...presumed links to the WM are unprovable)...and that the public concerns so evident in the WM or Son of Sam murders or any multiple homicide cases did not materialize to the extent that fear and anticipation did in the latter cases originated with the press. One reason for this, I feel, is that there was not another murder coming off the heels of a prior one within a week ( Nichols to Chapman : 8 days). It has also been observed that the press in the NYC focused on Byrnes and the NYPD far more quickly for what they were doing as opposed to what the murderer of Brown might be doing or planning to do. The expected linkage to the WM, which was a natural thing ( murder of an older prostitute, the mutilation, the bottom of the barrel of society) more or less vanishes after a short period of time. By the time of the Coroner Inquest ( 20 days after the murder), nearly all reportage is free of the connection to any other crime.

                              You're right about prostitute murders not usually being as spectacular as the WM and ERH murders were. Actually the Brown murder was a banal affair...the witnesses interrogated banal, the background of the people involved banal and the locale banal....events & personages of a sort we have no desire to be acquainted in unless we are crime researchers or the casual, rubbernecking citizen who happens to see something about the crime in the news and then continues on their way.

                              I would also point out that most criminals who did terrorize towns and cities were ambulatory in 1888 and 1891. I sincerely doubt that very many murderers would hop a ferry and then a train and travel to another state as was quite likely done in the Brown murder. I refer to your cousin Marcus Tullius Cicero's famous remark...:“Exceptio probat regulam in casibus non exceptis”.
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                              • Local is a relative concept determined in relation to the other people in the neighborhood. WC is regularly portrayed as just a slum instead of the Home of the Docks which would pull in outsiders regularly.

                                The White Chapel Murders are deemed to be non-original in nature and inadvertently spectacular, same as the Carrie Brown murder. I'm not sure how accurate that is but it would rule out any type of "terrorism". Hense a banal crime with a banal unknown local seems to be the consensus for the crime although it's officially unsolved.

                                You'd also have to exclude any knowledge of the Ripper crimes on the part of the Brown murderer for it to be inadvertent, although he more than likely sailed at some point around 1888 to and from England.

                                The exception does prove the rule. The only exception I can think of is Eddy Seda who was born in Brooklyn and terrorized Brooklyn. He zip-gunned his own half-sister so he obviously didn't care about terrorizing his family or his neighborhood. Even then I'm not sure how deep his roots there were.

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