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

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  • Markus Aurelius Franzoi
    replied
    Here’s a YouTube video of how to operate a mortise lock with push buttons.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=K9eMUZfgG54

    Leave a comment:


  • Howard Brown
    replied
    Even if it was available, being able all along to lock the door with a button and without a key goes against the whole tenor of the narrative before and after the discovery of the key.

    Not if a person depressed a button on the inside doorknob and pulled it shut behind him.
    Mark....a quick comment about the key ;
    The police theory was that the key was left in the room by C. Kniclo.
    When Ali was searched at the police station, he obviously he did not have the key. No one would have expected him to hang on to it or for anyone to have hung on to the key, for that matter.
    It had been 20 hours since the discovery of Brown's body...an ample amount of time for anyone to dispose of it.

    One of the reasons I have always found it surprising that some newspapers sketched the key is that it's hard to imagine the last person with the key to have retained it and would have been expected to be found with it. You'd think that by the time that the newspapers hit the street on April 24th, the key would have been disposed of in some way....not kept.

    Leave a comment:


  • Markus Aurelius Franzoi
    replied
    When you both say that it looks like a certain type of lock wouldn’t have been available in 1891 you aren’t saying that Ali (if he was the last person to leave room 31 alive) couldn’t have locked the door are you?

    Only I'm ready to say that. It might be presumptuous to say that categorically he couldn’t have locked the door but I think it's definitely true that he could not have locked the door with a push button mortise unless it was available and in use.

    That it was available hasn't been proven. Neither has it been proven that they were in use. I would say it’s highly unlikely given the history of “entry hardware”.

    Even if it was available, being able all along to lock the door with a button and without a key goes against the whole tenor of the narrative before and after the discovery of the key.

    Leave a comment:


  • Howard Brown
    replied
    Mark:

    All I know is this.
    Mary Corcoran opened the door the next morning with a key.
    Richard Underwood said ( without giving a source ) that the door was a button door. Prof. Dekle mentions it in his book and gave a source.
    I went and found examples of these types of door locks and posted one yesterday and a few months back. Whether they were in use in April 1891, I do not know.

    My final input on this is that I do not know for certain what sort of door Room 31 had.
    It had been proposed by the prosecution that Ali waited until C. Kniclo left : went to Room 31 : murdered her : locked the door on his way out.
    This infers either that the door was left unlocked by C. Kniclo as Ali had no key to Room 31 or Brown let him in and Ali somehow locked it on his way out and waited up in his room with a candle burning virtually all night.
    I do not know which one actually happened, if you believe Ali got back in the room as I most certainly do, but one of them did.

    If you believe C. Kniclo murdered her and locked the door on his way out.....which he had to do if Corcoran unlocked it in the morning.....then that's another way of pursuing this.

    I did not state categorically that the doors were button type or mortise....I only went with what Underwood and Dekle stated in their books ( Bob gives a link) and provided examples.
    I hope this explains things.

    Leave a comment:


  • Markus Aurelius Franzoi
    replied
    I actually did see the second source as well so I saw both. The IdigHardware site was one of the first ones I saw which states categorically that the key can't lock the door.

    You can exit by turning the lever on the inside or enter by using a key in the outside cylinder, but in order to change the outside lever from locked to unlocked (or vice versa), you need to use the buttons on the edge of the door. There are different styles among the different lock manufacturers – on some locks it is a toggle switch, others use 2 buttons.
    Green, Lori. “Toggle Buttons.” iDigHardware.
    https://idighardware.com/2016/03/wwyd-toggle-buttons/

    Doesn't this make a difference in the story, if not in the entry of a secondary suspect, but in the police response to the question of the key vis-à-vis the importance that the press said was placed on it by the police?

    Leave a comment:


  • Michael Banks
    replied
    Originally posted by Howard Brown View Post
    When you both say that it looks like a certain type of lock wouldn’t have been available in 1891 you aren’t saying that Ali (if he was the last person to leave room 31 alive) couldn’t have locked the door are you?

    Mike,.,,,you might have misread a comment I made, but I didn't say a certain type of lock wouldn't have been available in 1891. I don't know what type of lock was on the door, to be honest. I provided a jpeg of one in use in the early 20th century which was probably in use during the late Gilded Age. I simply couldn't find one ( where I said 'neither could I') on the Internet yesterday, but that does not mean one doesn't exist. As I think of it, I believe I copied a photo of a door with an apparatus affixed to it which might have been the type there at the ERH. I'll look when I get home.

    I believe Ali did lock the door on his way out but not with a key ( obviously ). To me, there's no question he had contact with her corpse.
    Thanks How, I was assuming that I’d misinterpreted what had been said. That’s the problem with missing lots of posts then trying quickly to catch up. I should have read more carefully.

    Leave a comment:


  • Markus Aurelius Franzoi
    replied
    Howard,

    Can you show me any evidence saying those locks can be locked with a key?

    Even Dekle’s first source, Lori Green, says it can’t.

    Leave a comment:


  • Howard Brown
    replied

    Does it change anything if Ali or C Kniclo or Carrie, or Mannix or the desk clerk for that matter, could not lock the door with a key?

    Of course they could lock the door with a key. The button lock enables someone leaving the room to lock the door without a key. A person on the inside can still open and close and lock the door from the inside. But once outside and having locked it with the button lock/mortise lock/whatever.....it can only be re-opened with a key....or by someone on the inside.

    Leave a comment:


  • Howard Brown
    replied
    When you both say that it looks like a certain type of lock wouldn’t have been available in 1891 you aren’t saying that Ali (if he was the last person to leave room 31 alive) couldn’t have locked the door are you?

    Mike,.,,,you might have misread a comment I made, but I didn't say a certain type of lock wouldn't have been available in 1891. I don't know what type of lock was on the door, to be honest. I provided a jpeg of one in use in the early 20th century which was probably in use during the late Gilded Age. I simply couldn't find one ( where I said 'neither could I') on the Internet yesterday, but that does not mean one doesn't exist. As I think of it, I believe I copied a photo of a door with an apparatus affixed to it which might have been the type there at the ERH. I'll look when I get home.

    I believe Ali did lock the door on his way out but not with a key ( obviously ). To me, there's no question he had contact with her corpse.

    Leave a comment:


  • Michael Banks
    replied
    Ok guys can I be ‘idiot for the day’ and ask for a summary on the lock business please? There are certain things that I’m not good with (some on here and over on Casebook would say that there are more) and two of them are medical stuff and engineering-related stuff. When you both say that it looks like a certain type of lock wouldn’t have been available in 1891 you aren’t saying that Ali (if he was the last person to leave room 31 alive) couldn’t have locked the door are you? We aren’t exonerating Ali completely? Or are we saying that it looks like one particular type wasn’t available but the ERH could still have had a type of lock that allowed guests to lock the door without using a key?

    My apologies for the dumb question. I’d like to blame the uncommonly hot weather that we’re experiencing in the UK but I’d be just as useless on these subjects in a foot of snow.

    Leave a comment:


  • Markus Aurelius Franzoi
    replied
    I actually did see the second source as well. The IdigHardware site was one of the first ones I saw which states categorically that the key can't lock the door.

    You can exit by turning the lever on the inside or enter by using a key in the outside cylinder, but in order to change the outside lever from locked to unlocked (or vice versa), you need to use the buttons on the edge of the door. There are different styles among the different lock manufacturers – on some locks it is a toggle switch, others use 2 buttons.
    Doesn't this make a difference, if not in the entry of a secondary suspect, but in the police response to the question of the key vis-à-vis the importance that the press said was placed on it by the police?


    Leave a comment:


  • Markus Aurelius Franzoi
    replied
    Good work on your end. Neither could I. In between looking for Mannix related stuff, I also tried. Prof. Dekle did provide a link to a source which you also copied in a previous post.

    Here is the full bibliography for the footnotes. Both are online sources which I don't mind at all. I've already seen the second site. It doesn't mention if you can or need to lock the door with the key, only that you need a key to get in when the door is locked with the mechanism. To me, it makes sense Dekle didn't use a source that would say the key can't lock the door. I haven't looked at the iDigHardware site.

    Green, Lori. “Toggle Buttons.” iDigHardware.
    https://idighardware.com/2016/03/wwyd-toggle-buttons/

    “The Evolution of Entry Hardware.” Old House [Journal] Online.
    https://www.oldhouseonline.com/garde...-entryhardware

    Leave a comment:


  • Markus Aurelius Franzoi
    replied
    Originally posted by Michael Banks View Post

    It seems to me that it’s quite possible that the ERH could have had button locks Mark but I agree that the 2 quotes don’t appear to provide evidence for them. Mannix could simply have locked his wife in using the key.
    I agree with everything you say, Michael. But I remember now that everything I’ve read about the button locks say that the key cannot lock the door. It can only unlock it.

    The button or toggle is the only actual locking mechanism. Unless I’m missing anything about a mortise lock key that can switch the buttons at the same time, that’s it.

    I’m not sure I see a point in having a dual locking mechanism like that where you can lock it with a key or a button when you leave. I think the point is to leave the key behind unless you want to return and get in without waking anyone.

    Does it change anything if Ali or C Kniclo or Carrie, or Mannix or the desk clerk for that matter, could not lock the door with a key?

    Leave a comment:


  • Howard Brown
    replied
    Nothing in that article proves the lock was a push button mortise lock. It doesn’t even say Mannix “left her locked in the room”.

    Mark....it bothered me to the extent I came home from work early to see if any other reference to the incident with Mannix were available. If I say I looked through 50 papers today thoroughly, that's an underestimate. I couldn't find anything other than the above and the 1897 clipping where his wife stabbed him ( Mike remembers that one).

    I take it the hotel was demolished, otherwise you would have gone there.

    I sure would have. It's a housing project now. It was demolished over 114 years ago. Mike Banks is old enough to have gone there to see it cannonballed.

    Herman Jager became the owner of the Fourth Ward/East River Hotel sometime in the late 1860's or early 1870's.

    Wolf said it was probably built circa 1851. Obviously they didn’t renovate the doors as they still had skeleton keys in 1891.

    I attached two PDFs...one with some stories from the Hotel and another about the condition of Deutsches Schauspiel in June 1891 ( NY Herald). The ERH was the first site in Manhattan where immigrant Germans conducted theatrical programs. Actually, it was earlier than '1851'....it was 1843.

    I can’t find any push button mortise locks per-90s. They were popular apparently in the 10s and 20s through the 30s. A lot of the ones available online are c. 1910s-20s.

    Good work on your end. Neither could I. In between looking for Mannix related stuff, I also tried. Prof. Dekle did provide a link to a source which you also copied in a previous post.


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

    It seems to me that it’s quite possible that the ERH could have had button locks Mark but I agree that the 2 quotes don’t appear to provide evidence for them. Mannix could simply have locked his wife in using the key.

    I agree with the underlined, Mike. I don't believe it's as complicated as things are turning out to be. With or without the button locks, Mannix could have simply locked her in until he came home.
    She'd have to leave it unlocked when she went to use the restroom and I sho' nuff hope she had enough to eat until he got back. Shifts as a coal heaver were at least 8 hours long. No toilet facilities, no refrigerators, no nuttin' in those rooms.
    Attached Files

    Leave a comment:


  • Michael Banks
    replied
    Originally posted by Markus Aurelius Franzoi View Post
    I don't think this was good evidence for button locks. Does anyone else?
    It seems to me that it’s quite possible that the ERH could have had button locks Mark but I agree that the 2 quotes don’t appear to provide evidence for them. Mannix could simply have locked his wife in using the key.

    Leave a comment:

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