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  • Charles Lechmere and the Pinchin Street torso

    Brought over from another thread, here´s a post that explores the possible links between the carman Charles Lechmere and the body found in a railway arch on Pinchin Street in September 1889:

    If one speculates that Charles Lechmere was the Ripper, then the Pinchin Street torso is a case one cannot dismiss out of hand as having been a deed of Lechmere´s. That is not to say that there can be any certainty that this was so.

    Keeping it as short as possible:

    -The torso was found at a very short distance from Lechmere´s mother´s dwellings in Cable Street.
    -Phillips said that there were great similarities (or something to that effect) in how the neck had been cut, comparing it to Kelly.
    -The police worked from the assumption that the killer had come from the south (the Cable Street side), since there was fencing about that made it less credible that he had come from the north.
    -Lechmere´s mother ran a cat´s meat business in 1891. When she started out in the business has not been established. But she would have had access to tools useful in dismembering a corpse.
    -At the approximate time of the murder, I believe Lechmere´s mother´s husband, Joseph Forsdyke, was very ill and hospitalized, thus she was perhaps tending him in the hospital, leaving her flat uninhabited.
    -The Pinchin Street torso killing deviates from the other torso slayings, in that there was no distributing of body parts all over town discovered. It was therefore perhaps never performed in this manner.
    -It was thought by the police that the torso had been carried manually to where it was found in a sack, and not by means of transporting it on a horse-drawn carriage. No such carriage was heard or noticed (there were three men sleeping in the arch adjacent to where the torso was found), and there were marks on the body that seemed to tally with have being set off by the coarse cloth in a sack. And if the body was carried there manually, then one would not expect the transport distance to have been anything but short. And the distance from 147 Cable Street to the arch was very short.
    -There was a gash in the abdomen of the victim.

    Now, I may have gotten something wrong here, since I am working from the top of my head. And - as I said - I am not at all certain that she belongs to the Ripper´s tally. I feel she MAY have, and I would include her if I must guess. But God knows there are many, many differences that are hard to explain. Had it not been for the Pinchin Street case (and my stance that Lechmere makes a good bid for the Ripper´s role), there would be nothing much to cling on to to couple the two series.

    All the best,
    Christer
    "In these matters it is the little things that tell the tales" - Coroner Wynne Baxter during the Nichols inquest.

  • #2
    From another thread, a post by Tom Wescott:

    I'm curious as to Ed's suggestion that Lech alone out of all the suspects meets the criteria of the torso killer. Presumably he's looked at some of the other torso cases as well.

    Yours truly,

    Tom Wescott


    I think we must leave it to Edward to elaborate on this. As I have already said, to my mind the possible connection lies in the Pinchin Street deed, whereas the other torso killings do not readily lend themselves to an interpretation of being the Ripper´s.

    Of course, if one accepts the chain of thought I speak of, that Lechmere may have been the killer and that there are obvious reasons to look at the Pinchin Street case in this context, then it becomes apparent that one must also take a renewed look at all the torso cases.
    There is also the fact that Lechmere was a carman, presumably bouncing between Pickfords depots. And there was a depot not far from Rainham, for exemple. And there was a uterus missing in the Whitehall case.

    But all in all, the details that may couple the other torso cases, apart from the Pinchin Street one, to Lechmere are faint, as far as I have been able to conclude. I don´t know how deep Edward has delved into the matter, and if he has more to add in this errand.

    All the best,
    Christer
    "In these matters it is the little things that tell the tales" - Coroner Wynne Baxter during the Nichols inquest.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Christer,

      I had done a bit of research into Whitehall and Pinchin Street about a year or so back, but going from memory:

      Originally posted by Christer Holmgren View Post
      -The police worked from the assumption that the killer had come from the south (the Cable Street side), since there was fencing about that made it less credible that he had come from the north.
      I don't believe they did make that assumption, unless I've forgotten it, but from research I have done(looking at maps and walking the area), it's impossible to say which way he came to dump the torso. I will say that it is my opinion that it is very unlikely he came from the southern end of Back Church Lane.

      Originally posted by Christer Holmgren View Post
      -The Pinchin Street torso killing deviates from the other torso slayings, in that there was no distributing of body parts all over town discovered. It was therefore perhaps never performed in this manner.
      Well obviously the other parts were dumped somewhere, they have just never been found.

      Originally posted by Christer Holmgren View Post
      -It was thought by the police that the torso had been carried manually to where it was found in a sack, and not by means of transporting it on a horse-drawn carriage. No such carriage was heard or noticed (there were three men sleeping in the arch adjacent to where the torso was found), and there were marks on the body that seemed to tally with have being set off by the coarse cloth in a sack. And if the body was carried there manually, then one would not expect the transport distance to have been anything but short. And the distance from 147 Cable Street to the arch was very short.
      It's possible that a cart was used to the entrance of the arch and the body was carried from there.

      Regards

      Rob

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi Christer

        I would think that my reaction to the idea that Lechmere could have been the killer of the woman who was the Pinchin Street Torso victim might be similar to how others will feel about the notion -- like a body rejecting a transplanted organ. Also, while the acts of serial killers are clearly bizarre and twisted, the idea that the killer might deposit his victim's remains near his mother's front door seems particularly twisted and unlikely. Just my gut reaction.

        Best regards

        Chris
        Christopher T. George, Lyricist & Co-Author, "Jack the Musical"
        https://www.facebook.com/JackTheMusical/ Hear sample song at https://tinyurl.com/y8h4envx.

        Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conferences, April 2016 and 2018.
        Hear RipperCon 2016 & 2018 talks at http://www.casebook.org/podcast/.

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi Christer. I appreciate the research you've put into this, particularly the bits about Lechmere's mother and stepfather. I personally don't think that all the torso cases could be related. Some go back to 1874 and I believe there were cases far beyond 1890. And I don't believe there's a 'canon' to go by as a guide. But I do think we're compelled to conclude that at least a few cases were perpetrated by the same man/men. This person was very keen on making sure the women were not identified. He was in no rush in his 'operation' on the victims and in no danger of discovery, so clearly he had rooms. He had a dark sense of humor and put himself at greater risk than necessary, in some cases, in disposing of the body parts.

          All in all I see some strong similarities between the Torso man and JTR, but I also see stark difference. JTR took great risk in committing his murders, but he wanted them found, and couldn't care less if the women were identified. This means one of two things: 1) We're looking at different killers with different motives, or 2) we're looking at the same killer(s) operating from different motives.

          Yours truly,

          Tom Wescott

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Tom_Wescott View Post
            Hi Christer. I appreciate the research you've put into this, particularly the bits about Lechmere's mother and stepfather. I personally don't think that all the torso cases could be related. Some go back to 1874 and I believe there were cases far beyond 1890. And I don't believe there's a 'canon' to go by as a guide. But I do think we're compelled to conclude that at least a few cases were perpetrated by the same man/men. This person was very keen on making sure the women were not identified. He was in no rush in his 'operation' on the victims and in no danger of discovery, so clearly he had rooms. He had a dark sense of humor and put himself at greater risk than necessary, in some cases, in disposing of the body parts.

            All in all I see some strong similarities between the Torso man and JTR, but I also see stark difference. JTR took great risk in committing his murders, but he wanted them found, and couldn't care less if the women were identified. This means one of two things: 1) We're looking at different killers with different motives, or 2) we're looking at the same killer(s) operating from different motives.

            Yours truly,

            Tom Wescott
            Before you get too carried away talking about murders I think you should first establish that the torsos were the subject of murders and not something else less sinister.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Trevor Marriott View Post
              Before you get too carried away talking about murders I think you should first establish that the torsos were the subject of murders and not something else less sinister.
              Less sinister?

              That's one hell of a slip of a knife Trev. Or were they dismembered at the mortuary?

              Monty

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Trevor Marriott View Post
                Before you get too carried away talking about murders I think you should first establish that the torsos were the subject of murders and not something else less sinister.
                It was established legally in the case of two of them at their inquests.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Tom_Wescott View Post
                  Hi Christer. I appreciate the research you've put into this, particularly the bits about Lechmere's mother and stepfather. I personally don't think that all the torso cases could be related. Some go back to 1874 and I believe there were cases far beyond 1890. And I don't believe there's a 'canon' to go by as a guide. But I do think we're compelled to conclude that at least a few cases were perpetrated by the same man/men. This person was very keen on making sure the women were not identified. He was in no rush in his 'operation' on the victims and in no danger of discovery, so clearly he had rooms. He had a dark sense of humor and put himself at greater risk than necessary, in some cases, in disposing of the body parts.

                  All in all I see some strong similarities between the Torso man and JTR, but I also see stark difference. JTR took great risk in committing his murders, but he wanted them found, and couldn't care less if the women were identified. This means one of two things: 1) We're looking at different killers with different motives, or 2) we're looking at the same killer(s) operating from different motives.

                  Yours truly,

                  Tom Wescott
                  Drs. Bond and Hebbert linked the Rainham, Whitehall,Jackson and Pinchin Street cases specifically (Bond worked on earlier cases) by the two implements used , a sharp knife and fine toothed saw, the fact that all the joints were neatly disarticulated and not hacked open with an axe as in previous cases, the remains were dismembered shortly after death and none of the remains in these four cases had been burned or boiled prior to dumping.
                  If one compares the description of Jackson's mutilations as described by Hebbert and Bond, with MJk's they are strikingly similar-more so than the neck injuries between MJK and the Pinchin Street victim.

                  Bond and Hebbert did put the expertise shown down to a butcher or knacker as a medical man never gets to practice opening joints and removing limbs very often and this guy looked practised.

                  Pickford's didn't have a depot at Chelsea though where Jackson's killer supposedly had a place.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks, Debs. Very informative and good food for thought.

                    Yours truly,

                    Tom Wescott

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      [quote=Trevor Marriott] Before you get too carried away talking about murders I think you should first establish that the torsos were the subject of murders and not something else less sinister.[quote]

                      Hi Trevor. I was saved this work by the doctors at the time.

                      Yours truly,

                      Tom Wescott

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Here's the comparison of MJK and Jackson:

                        Mary Kelly-The skin and tissues of the abdomen from the costal arch to the pubes were removed in three large flaps.{ .........} the flap of skin, including the external organs of generation, and part of the right buttock. The neck was cut through the skin and other tissues right down to the vertebrae, the fifth and sixth being deeply notched


                        Elizabeth Jackson-The flaps of skin and subcutaneous tissue consisted of two long, irregular slips taken from the abdominal walls. The left piece included the umbilicus, the greater part of the mons veneris the left labium majus, and labium minus The right piece included the rest of the mons veneris, the right labium majus and minus[the external organs of generation], and part of the skin of the right buttock.
                        Head and neck taken off opposite the 6th cervical vertebra.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I haven’t fully gone through the pros and cons of Charles Lechmere being potentially responsible for some of the torsos as well as the Ripper murders, but he is about the only suspect who potentially could have.

                          The Pinchin Street connection is the key – not only did his mother live a couple of streets away, not only was she running a cat’s meat business which the family continued up until the 1930s, but Forsdike died soon after – suggesting (only suggesting) he may have been ill and possibly not at home when the Pinchin Street murder took place (presuming it was a murder of course).

                          Also Lechmere’s mother lived in Pinchin Street at the time of the 1881 census.
                          Also Charles Lechmere lived in Pinchin Street at the time of the 1861 census, when it was called Thomas Street and he was notoriously named as Charles Cross by his then living step father Thomas Cross.

                          The police seem to have targeted their enquiries in the Cable Street area for some reason.

                          Who can fathom why a serial killer does what he does and where he does it? Saying they wouldn’t do this or that or it would be sick to do such and such is somewhat besides the point.
                          They do.

                          There was a Pickfords office at Brompton Road – which some might classify as Chelsea.
                          There was also an office in Munster Road Fulham, one by Victoria Station, another just over the river in Vauxhall, another in Balham, near Battersea.

                          Looking at the unsolved murders in the London area as a whole and matching them to potential suspects, I think you have to say that there is potential for Charles Lechmere to have carried out most of the knife attacks on prostitutes that took place in the late 1880s and early 1890s.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Debra Arif View Post
                            It was established legally in the case of two of them at their inquests.
                            We have argued this before "establisled legally" if you mean with regards to Elizabeth Jackson go back and read your dissertation on casebook. The verdict of wilful murder was as a result of the coroner directing the jury to return that verdict. That was against what the doctors had intimated in the first instance and then at the last minute they gave a different opinion based on no new eveidence in the interim period.

                            I also refer to your dissertation

                            Dr Bond was instantly of the opinion that the body part was that of a young woman and that an attempt had been made to carry out an illegal operation, which had been successful.

                            Dr Thomas Bond handed the coroner a lengthy report on the medical findings and the description of the woman was again repeated including the fact that she was pregnant by about seven to eight months and undelivered at the time of her death, the unborn child having been removed, by an incision into the uterus after the mother's death. Dr Bond went on to state that as part of the stomach was missing there was no way of knowing if the victim had been administered drugs of any kind, but he had seen no trace of instruments having been used for an unlawful purpose. The cause of death could not be determined as the head, throat, lungs and heart had never been recovered,

                            The Coroner then stated that was all the evidence. He remarked that this case was somewhat different to the cases that had unfortunately occurred in Whitechapel. This was a case in which a woman had died under circumstances that in themselves were excessively suspicious. He went on to say that everything on the body pointed to the conclusion that the body was that of Elizabeth Jackson and suggested to the jury that a verdict of wilful murder, by some person or persons unknown should be returned.

                            Now after all of that how you can say for certain that her death was murder amazes me. If she was murdered in the park as someone suggested why would the killer simply not leave her body at the scene.

                            If yoyu cannot determine a casue of death the correct verdict should have been "found dead" !

                            Rainham Torso

                            From another reserachers dissertation

                            In May of 1887, in the Thames River Valley village of Rainham, when workers pulled from the river a bundle containing the torso of a female. Throughout May and June, numerous parts from the same body showed up in various parts of London -until a complete body, minus head and upper chest, was reconstructed.

                            Medical men, including Police Surgeon Dr. Thomas Bond, gave their opinion that a degree of medical knowledge was evident, however, in their view, the body was no dissected for medical purposes. The doctors could not give a cause of death or show that a violent act had taken place, so the jury returned a verdict of "found dead"

                            Whitehall Mystery

                            The medical men involved, along with Dr. Bond, agreed that a degree of medical knowledge had been used, but they could give no evidence pointing to the method of death. Dr. Charles Hibbert, who examined one of the arms, stated that, "I thought the arm was cut off by a person who, while he was not necessarily an anatomist, certainly knew what he was doing-who knew where the joints were and cut them pretty regularly." At the inquest, the jury, despite the fact that an obvious murder had taken place, returned a verdict of "Found Dead."

                            So for you and others to publicly state that these were murders is wrong they are nothing more than "Suspicious deaths" and plausible explanations can be put forward which could negate the wilful murder suggestion.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              [QUOTE=Tom_Wescott;198705][quote=Trevor Marriott] Before you get too carried away talking about murders I think you should first establish that the torsos were the subject of murders and not something else less sinister.

                              Hi Trevor. I was saved this work by the doctors at the time.

                              Yours truly,

                              Tom Wescott
                              Well then you obvioulsy didnet read the report thoroughly or were not able to assess and evaluate them correctly.

                              Comment

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