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

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  • #76
    One more thing ( as usual)...........

    When George Damon surfaced in the news, it apparently roused the reporters who had been there in the corridor of the fifth floor just enough to come forward with their statements declaring they hadn't seen blood where the police found it ten years before.

    It occurs to me that had none of these affiants ( with the exceptions of Damon, Brennan, Lee, and Berbenich) learned of Damon coming forward, they'd never have come forward.

    It may....and this is just a speculation, Mike......be a case of the affiants coming forward since someone ( Damon ) had something potentially better to use in order to attain a pardon for Ali and by adding their two cents into the mix, achieve that goal.

    It may have also been the obvious problem of no one finding C. Kniclo back in 1891. The affiants may have seen this as an even more disturbing aspect of the case, which I know we, in 2021, still do.

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    • #77
      Originally posted by Howard Brown View Post
      One other thing....

      How would the police know how suspect-worthy the man in room 33 was so early on if the blood was planted on the 24th or 25th ? Why that room to plant blood in or on ?
      How would they know he was such a veritable gift of a suspect with all the lies...his habits....track record with the Queens County police...when they didn't know his true name until well after his arrest ?
      Good point. Aren’t we being asked to believe that certain members of the Press pretty much laid a trail to a random door only for the police to later discover that the occupant had the victims blood on him? The Press couldn’t have known anything about Ali.

      Connor said that he first saw the blood in the corridor at 4.00. Do we know what time Schultze and the Press arrived?


      Regards

      MichaelšŸ”Ž


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

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      • #78
        Originally posted by Howard Brown View Post
        I still think it’s possible that Ali might have gone into number 31 looking for sex and got blood on him though. He then thinks that there’s no way he can admit to being in that room and he certainly couldn’t change his story later on. Miniter and Kelly’s descriptions surely can’t be a coincidence? So I think it’s possible that he might not have been the killer. Possible.

        -Mike Banks


        Not only possible to me, Mike...but it's exactly what I think happened.
        I think that in a rare moment of honesty, Ali did tell that interpreter that he only went in the room after she was dead taking or not taking anything...but at least, rifling through the woman's pockets.
        Sure is a far different guy than some people would have us believe....an innocent rube in a foreign land desperately trying to get back home to the wife and children.

        There's still, as we both know, a whole lot of other themes within this case to tackle.
        Thanks for the reply, boss.
        I wonder if there was any truth to the story that Ali said to a reporter in court something like “why would I have tried to rob her because she had no money?”
        Regards

        MichaelšŸ”Ž


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

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        • #79
          Mike:

          'Why would I have tried to rob her because she had no money ?'

          Possibly because he first hand knowledge having gone through her pockets ( turned inside out ) when he went into her room.......
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          • #80
            Mike:

            Schulze arrived after Officers Doran, Griffin, and Captain O'Connor ( Let me check for the exact time and I'll get back to this later...) around 10 AM on the 24th, if I am not mistaken.
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            • #81
              NY Evening World
              June 26, 1891
              ******************
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              • #82
                From Berbenich’s affidavit……

                “That in the year of 1891, I was a resident of the City of New York, being then engaged as a stock clerk by the firm of A. Friedlander & Co., 377 Broadway, New York, and that some time after the murder of one Shakespeare was in company with some friends in a club room at 106 Second Ave., when a reporter, whose name I don’t recollect, made a statement in my presence, that he, with other reporters had made several marks with blood, in the room of “Frenchy,” so as to make it appear that it was a regular Jack-the-Ripper murder, and in order to write a sensational story about it. I understood by the statement made at that time by this reporter that there were no blood spots in “Frenchy’s” room, before these were so made.”

                This really doesn’t make sense. None of them, whether a Police Officer or a Reporter, would have ever come close to seeing anything like what they’d seen in room 31. Who would have thought “we need to make this look more horrific?” And how did a few spots of blood in the corridor and on (and inside) Ali’s room make it appear like ‘a regular Jack-the-Ripper murder?’ If the blood was planted then it was obviously done to specifically point the evidential finger at Ali who, at that time, was a complete unknown to them.

                I get the impression of a bandwagon being jumped on here with the added ‘bonus’ of discrediting the Police. Perhaps someone (Riis?) just said that he hadn’t noticed any blood outside of room 31 which sparked an idea in the head of a Reporter?
                Regards

                MichaelšŸ”Ž


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

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                • #83
                  Sorry for this slow reply to your excellent post, Mike....

                  If there were, as reported in most sources, 9 or 10 members of the press up in the room with Coroner Schulze......and Berbenich's source ( the reporter who told him about what others had done) was correct....then some of the reporters had to be reporters for the NY Sun. Five of the affiants in 1901 were Sun reporters at the time and who claimed that they were there...and Charles Edward Russell, another. This translates into : 9-10 reporters up with Schulze....and 6 of them were affiants.

                  One thing that was unnecessary to do by anyone was to make Room 31 'appear' to have been a 'Jack The Ripper-like murder'. That's just one of the reasons to disbelieve the story and there are others, no doubt.


                  Let me run some things by you that I thought of at work today.

                  At the time I wrote a few comments in the PDF I've added...I didn't take into account that despite my bewilderment at Ali taking the stand, he had every right to...Bob Dekle made a point of letting me know that. It was his neck, not the defense team's. I accept the sage advice of Prof Bob who has 4 decades of legal skill under his belt. I have less than 4 seconds.

                  It's interesting, nonetheless, since there is a conspicuous absence of the names of any of the affiants who would appear a little more than 7 years after this first pardon attempt.
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                  • #84
                    This next PDF is from the New York World, October 4th, 1897.

                    It's just one of several in our repository....but this one is pretty neat. Ali is referred to as the "Pet of The Asylum'

                    It's the second pardon attempt. It, obviously, failed despite some illustrious names found among his support team ( in other articles, that is)

                    Governor Frank Black rejected the pardon appeal. Roswell Flower was Governor before Black in 1893.

                    Edmund Bruemart, Counsel General of France in New York spearheaded this failed attempt.

                    Same as last time, no mention at all of any of the 1901 affiants at this failed attempt to get Frenchy outta jail.

                    NY World
                    October 4, 1897
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                    • #85
                      One more from the second attempt....where the names of those in support, all wealthy men of prominence, are listed
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                      • #86
                        On the third attempt, Ovide Robillard, an attorney, spearheaded this effort. I have added the Sun article from June 2, 1901 in PDF

                        Here's a question :

                        What prevented the affiants who were reporters from coming forward in 1893 and in 1897 if Robillard was successful in locating them in 1901 ? They were all New Yorkers who hadn't been on assignment elsewhere.

                        What was different in 1893 and in 1897 when reports were in dozens of newspapers and the French Counsel was spearheading the second attempt ?

                        What convinced the newspaper affiants to come forward if the same opinions concerning the absence of blood were the same in 1891, 1893, and 1897 ?

                        It would be nice to say that the previous Governors turned the pardon attempts down because they lacked what the third attempt had : something tangible, not hearsay, such as Damon's Key.

                        But the problem is that none of the newspaper men appear to have stepped up in 1893 and in 1897 to even present what would have amounted to hearsay evidence or their personal opinion ( no blood where the police said it was ).

                        There are three 'groups' of affiants. One, being the newspaper men. The second is Berbenich, all by his lonesome. The third was the Damon group.

                        It's difficult to believe that any Governor would hand out a pardon to anyone, not just Ali, on the basis of the content of Berbenich's affidavit.

                        It's a little less difficult to accept the Damon story unless he brought the key with him.

                        What's most interesting is that the newspaper men....all in New York, all active in the press, all up to date on current events, didn't step up until Damon came forward. You have to wonder whether this was coincidental.....and whether if without Damon, if this theory is true, the newspapermen would have ever come forward. Something tells me,"No..."

                        For this reason, I think it more likely that the commutation ( not pardon, once again) of Ali's sentence had less to do with the newspaper affiants than it did with Damon's story.

                        The real mystery is what prevented the newspaper men.....particularly Riis, as Russell had yet to become as prominent as he would become ( He won a Pulitzer Prize and was a co-founder of the NAACP).....from sticking their two cents in back in 1893 and especially, 1897.
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                        • #87
                          My conclusion of the affiants presentation is that they were not lying or trying to shit-stir. I believe they believed in what they were doing and in effect, trying to bring about : the release of Ameer Ben Ali.

                          It might be possible that the large dark cloud over the conviction.....the inability to locate C.Kniclo....which permeates this Case now as it did then....may have been a contributing factor in Governor Odell issuing a commutation regarding Ali's sentence....and not wholly a result of the affiant's testimony.

                          That they didn't see blood, however, does not mean for a New York minute that it wasn't there.
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                          • #88
                            It interesting that Butler, after hearing what Riis and Chamberlain had said about the absence of blood, apparently told this to House at the time of the trial who then decided not to use the information. Surely throwing up any doubt might have helped Ali’s case? The Jury no doubt would been aware that corruption did exist in the police force so why not put doubt in their mind by mentioning “isn’t strange that these men saw no blood but the police found it later on?” Might he have been concerned that this might just have been viewed as a desperate attempt to blacken the name of the police? Especially when someone like Byrnes was involved who I believe had a good reputation? I don’t know. Or could it have been the case that the ‘missing blood’ wasn’t mentioned to House and that Butler only said that it was later so that he could avoid the obvious “why didn’t you mention this at the time” question? Wouldn’t they have been in danger of prosecution for tampering with a crime scene/manufacturing evidence?

                            But if this was true and House, for whatever reason, didn’t use this information at the time of the trial is it possible that they felt that there was no point coming forward for an appeal? Is this valid? I’m unsure. Might they have again thought that this might have been just an attempt at demonising the police? Did the coming forward of Damon persuade them to come forward and that those pushing for a pardon just saw the missing blood story as more fuel for the fire?

                            Apart from all this you’re right of course (as is Dekle) that they might simply have missed the blood, especially as they weren’t looking for it. How long would the reporters have been there after all? Surely they’d have been in a hurry to have gotten their stories in print and so wouldn’t have wanted to loiter around for too long? One reporter though (I can’t recall the name) said that he stayed behind looking over the scene closely and saw no blood. Difficult to explain away if true but was he just making this up in preparation for the “are you certain that you couldn’t just have missed it” question?
                            Regards

                            MichaelšŸ”Ž


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

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                            • #89
                              It interesting that Butler, after hearing what Riis and Chamberlain had said about the absence of blood, apparently told this to House at the time of the trial who then decided not to use the information. Surely throwing up any doubt might have helped Ali’s case?
                              -Mike Banks-


                              Considering that the defense went in to the coroner's inquest with confidence, according to their own statement to the press....and finding out during the actual trial that even more ( Nellie English, for one) damaging testimony was being presented, that they'd try anything. That they didn't call Kelly from The Glenmore sticks in my craw...can't figure that out, but Prof. Dekle believes that it might have been a case of Kelly not being a good witness.

                              The Jury no doubt would been aware that corruption did exist in the police force so why not put doubt in their mind by mentioning “isn’t strange that these men saw no blood but the police found it later on?” Might he have been concerned that this might just have been viewed as a desperate attempt to blacken the name of the police? Especially when someone like Byrnes was involved who I believe had a good reputation? I don’t know.
                              -Mike Banks-


                              Byrnes had a well deserved reputation as an innovator. Modern urban police forces in America are based on his original system. He was and is considered America's greatest 19th century detective. He's also considered the 'missing link' between pre Gilded Age police and the modern F.B.I.

                              Or could it have been the case that the ‘missing blood’ wasn’t mentioned to House and that Butler only said that it was later so that he could avoid the obvious “why didn’t you mention this at the time” question? Wouldn’t they have been in danger of prosecution for tampering with a crime scene/manufacturing evidence?
                              -Mike Banks-


                              Not sure, Mike.....but the reporters...all of them...had ample time to approach House, Friend, or Levy in unison which would have almost commanded the defense to call them as witnesses. All of the reporters were paying attention to the trial as were everyone and his brother in the Big Apple. There simply isn't any excuse (IMHO) for the reporters to have not come forward.

                              In Gaslight Lawyers ( Richard Underwood, 2017) Riis claimed to have been at the scene of the crime BEFORE Schultze arrived...which is strange since Jennings went to the Oak Street police station and not the New York Sun. It's true that reporters hung around police precincts....and in fact, I once thought that the reason the reporters didn't come forward to assist the defense was because they might have felt they'd lose their important spots at the station.....being booted by the precinct Captains....should they go against the police on the blood evidence.

                              I don't believe Riis's claim, to be honest.
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                              • #90
                                But if this was true and House, for whatever reason, didn’t use this information at the time of the trial is it possible that they felt that there was no point coming forward for an appeal? Is this valid? I’m unsure. Might they have again thought that this might have been just an attempt at demonising the police? Did the coming forward of Damon persuade them to come forward and that those pushing for a pardon just saw the missing blood story as more fuel for the fire?
                                -Mike Banks-


                                It is true, Mike, that House did not utilize the information that Chamberlain, Coleman, and Barber...three affiants...gave him. This is just one reason I feel the defense's actions require more scrutiny for how they handled a few things in this case. Prof Dekle, feels they did a competent job, all things considered. On this, I differ a little, since if I was looking up at down, I'd do everything possible to assist possibly the worst client ( and a pro bono one to boot...) in the history of criminal trials.

                                Apart from all this you’re right of course (as is Dekle) that they might simply have missed the blood, especially as they weren’t looking for it. How long would the reporters have been there after all? Surely they’d have been in a hurry to have gotten their stories in print and so wouldn’t have wanted to loiter around for too long? One reporter though (I can’t recall the name) said that he stayed behind looking over the scene closely and saw no blood. Difficult to explain away if true but was he just making this up in preparation for the “are you certain that you couldn’t just have missed it” question?
                                -Mike Banks-

                                Again, where was this enlightened fellow during the decade ahead, since ,if he told the truth, he would have had an even better assessment of the 'bloodless' areas that were in question than the other reporters who didn't linger around ?

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