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Harrison Barber—Horse Slaughterers

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  • Here's the original - far less dodgy-looking:

    Click image for larger version

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    • Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post
      Hi Christer,

      I've been trying to put it into words all morning.

      I thought it might be the hooded eyes or the cruel curve of the mouth, but they are just incidental. I think that what I find disturbing is the calmness, the impression of great self-control. It's more than just the stiffness of a 'camera face'. I get the impression that the man has self-knowledge that he cannot share with the world.

      Which all sounds a load of old tosh now I've written it down. I'm probably just projecting the suspicions that you and Ed have raised on to the image of a contented old family man.

      Or am I?

      Gary.
      Well, to me it does not sound like tosh at all, since I share the impression you have. Not about the look of the man, but absolutely about the posture.
      Once I realized that there was a picture of him, I asked myself what I had been expecting to see. I arrived at the conclusion that arrogance, defiance, control, superiority, scorn - these are elements that I think may have been present within Lechmere if he was the killer. So it was interesting to see if the photo would come anywhere near any of these things.

      And boy, did it do just that...!

      I hasten to add that people can look arrogant, defiant, controlling, superior and scornful, and be very innocent anyway.

      Thanks for your answer, Mr Barnett. You´ve mentioned your feelings about the photo before, and I was curious!
      "In these matters it is the little things that tell the tales" - Coroner Wynne Baxter during the Nichols inquest.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post
        You may recognise this charmer.
        Charlie Peace, the time-travelling Victorian thief! A blast from the past, in more ways than one
        Kind regards, Sam Flynn

        "Suche Nullen"
        (F. Nietzsche)

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post
          Trying to read a person's character from a photograph is just about as useful as feeling the bumps on their head. Indeed, the two relevant "methodologies" - physiognomy and phrenology - are somewhat related, and both are lacking in credibility.
          Yes, absolutely - and I think these matters were in part responsible for why the killer was never caught, even.
          But to me, it´s not about the physiognomy, it´s about the impression and posture. And there is nothing conclusive about that either, I know that quite well - it´s just that this old man sits perfectly with my preconceived notions (or prejudice, if you like).

          There is also the fact that very many of these old people in old photos so often all look the same, posturewise: Standing upright, arms along the sides, a sort of half-military tension pose. The photographer has control of what is going on.

          But not Charles Lechmere. Not in the least. He is in control himself.
          "In these matters it is the little things that tell the tales" - Coroner Wynne Baxter during the Nichols inquest.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Christer Holmgren View Post
            Well, to me it does not sound like tosh at all, since I share the impression you have. Not about the look of the man, but absolutely about the posture.
            So, someone's posture can be used to discern their character? I wouldn't believe everything you read in Shakespeare, Fish, or Victor Hugo for that matter
            Kind regards, Sam Flynn

            "Suche Nullen"
            (F. Nietzsche)

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post
              So, someone's posture can be used to discern their character? I wouldn't believe everything you read in Shakespeare, Fish, or Victor Hugo for that matter
              Yes, of course somebody´s posture can say something about the character of that person. I would have thought that goes without saying?

              It is another thing altogether how much you can read into a posture, and many elements can play a role - the circumstances the photo was taken under, for example.

              But that does not detract from how a posture can point to a specific character. And that is something that has been used in the propaganda, as I believe you will be familar with.

              Take a look at, for example, Benito Mussolini and the pictures taken of him. What do they portray? A weak, huddling man, anxious not to need to take any form of responsibility? Or a strong man, ready to act and rule Italy?

              This is of course propaganda, and as such it can be very misleading. But to the question we are discussing, that is of no relevance - it applies that there are postures that we read as saying something about a person. And this stems from empirical truths.

              Only today, I was at the beach with my dog, where we participate in a Facebook group, organizing dog walks. On the beach, 70-80 dogs of all kinds were let loose, and when that happens, you very quickly see which dogs take command and which dogs are much less dominant. And that is evident in the posture. End of.

              I have two requests now, Gareth!

              1. I would like for you to comment on this.

              2. I would very much dislike for you to say "Ha! There goes that idiot who thinks he can tell serial killers from nice people by looking at the posture!"

              All I am saying is that I believe that Charles Lechmere was the killer. I also believe that he was a man who was arrogant, dominant, intelligent and very self-secure - possibly a bit of a narcissist, even. And I also think that the photo of Lechmere portrays a man who looks very self-secure and relaxed, slightly arrogant and not easy to impress.

              That is ALL, Gareth, so there is no field day ahead of pointing to me as a latter-day criminal anthropologist.
              "In these matters it is the little things that tell the tales" - Coroner Wynne Baxter during the Nichols inquest.

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              • Fish, any chance we could have a reminder of the photo?

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                • Originally posted by Robert Linford View Post
                  Fish, any chance we could have a reminder of the photo?
                  Sorry, no - I do not have the rights, and so I would not have been able to furnish it even if I had it.
                  "In these matters it is the little things that tell the tales" - Coroner Wynne Baxter during the Nichols inquest.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Robert Linford View Post
                    Fish, any chance we could have a reminder of the photo?
                    Rob,

                    It's on Ancestry.

                    Gary.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Christer Holmgren View Post
                      Well, to me it does not sound like tosh at all, since I share the impression you have. Not about the look of the man, but absolutely about the posture.
                      Once I realized that there was a picture of him, I asked myself what I had been expecting to see. I arrived at the conclusion that arrogance, defiance, control, superiority, scorn - these are elements that I think may have been present within Lechmere if he was the killer. So it was interesting to see if the photo would come anywhere near any of these things.

                      And boy, did it do just that...!

                      I hasten to add that people can look arrogant, defiant, controlling, superior and scornful, and be very innocent anyway.

                      Thanks for your answer, Mr Barnett. You´ve mentioned your feelings about the photo before, and I was curious!

                      I could/should have added disdain. I know it's not scientific, but that's the impression I get.

                      Comment


                      • Thanks Gary. Half length, standing. Looks like he's leaning on something.

                        What would be good would be if the owner(s) showed the photo to 20 random people and asked their opinion without letting on who he was.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Robert Linford View Post
                          Thanks Gary. Half length, standing. Looks like he's leaning on something.

                          What would be good would be if the owner(s) showed the photo to 20 random people and asked their opinion without letting on who he was.
                          What opinion? The impression he gives? If so, I have done that already. Not to 20 people, perhaps, but to quite a few. The reactions have been mixed - words that have been mentioned are for example impressive, dashing, scary, relaxed, arrogant, "a fine old man" (said by a woman who was 90 herself), intimidating, awe-inspiring and such.

                          "Cuddly" never came up, though.

                          ... it is all very unscientific, of course - but nevertheless interesting.
                          "In these matters it is the little things that tell the tales" - Coroner Wynne Baxter during the Nichols inquest.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Christer Holmgren View Post
                            Yes, of course somebody´s posture can say something about the character of that person. I would have thought that goes without saying?
                            You actually believe that, Fish? Ye gods! I thought that such tripe would have died out with the demise of Nazi eugenics, but evidently I was wrong.
                            Take a look at, for example, Benito Mussolini and the pictures taken of him. What do they portray? A weak, huddling man, anxious not to need to take any form of responsibility? Or a strong man, ready to act and rule Italy?
                            It tells me that Mussolini and/or his photographers wanted to portray a certain image of their great leader. The image can tell us nothing about the man's true character at all.
                            Kind regards, Sam Flynn

                            "Suche Nullen"
                            (F. Nietzsche)

                            Comment


                            • Mussolini was an imposture.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Robert Linford View Post
                                Mussolini was an imposture.
                                ...or an imposthume, to use a word rarely seen outside the King James Bible
                                Kind regards, Sam Flynn

                                "Suche Nullen"
                                (F. Nietzsche)

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