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Old November 10th, 2016, 04:34 PM   #1
Jerry Dunlop
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Default 21, Whitehorse Yard (The mystery of Dennis Lynch)

The London Evening News of September 12th, 1889 contains a detailed account of the search for John Cleary, the mysterious visitor to the Herald office that claimed a woman had been murdered in Backchurch Lane. This alert came a couple of days before the discovery of the torso of a woman in a railway arch at the corner of Pinchin Street and Backchurch lane.

Summary of the news clip:

A few days after the discovery of the Pinchin Torso, the reality of the fact that John Cleary had announced this startling news prior to the murder, Cleary became a wanted man. Detective Donald Swanson set out to find out just who this "John Cleary" character was, and what kind of information he could forward to the police to aid in the investigation and apprehension of the man/men responsible.

Using the help of several reporters, Swanson scoured an area in the West End trying to unearth every John Cleary that could be found. According to the news report, Clearys in the Drury Lane area were as plenty as gas lamps and so they had a large task ahead of them. It seems most of the men named Cleary in the area were related. The most promising was a Stephen Cleary, but he proved to be a false scent.

In the meantime, Swanson found a man and placed a watch on him. After looking at the signature of John Cleary at the Herald office he noticed the "C" in Cleary appeared to be a long flourish leading up to the "L" and marked the man down as "John Leary". He found that while "Leary" did not currently live at 21, Whitehorse-yard, he had recently lived there. Swanson told the reporter (presumably Claude Mellor) that they were to meet at Scotland Yard at 5 o'clock and then proceed to the place of business of Leary so that the reporter could identify him as the John Cleary he had known previously. The reporter arrived at Scotland Yard soon after 5 o'clock and they proceeded to the business where Leary worked.

"They had both been making inquiries during the day and had come upon a set of coincidences that are to say the least decidedly remarkable, and the result was they went to Newcastle Street, Strand and were joined by another Criminal Investigation officer, Mr. Partridge".

The three of them walked up to a little shop looked after by Mr. and Mrs. Matley. Partridge asked Matley if he had a man that did odd jobs for him. Mr. Matley said he had, his name was Dennis Lynch.(Mr Matley was a greengrocer and combined the sales of coal and vegetables to the neighbors with doing odd jobs for Messrs. W.H. Smith and Co with a horse and cart. To drive the horse and do the odd jobs, Matley employs a man.) The detectives asked where Lynch lived and Matley stated at Strand Buildings which was close by. Asked where he had lived before Strand Buildings it was explained by Mrs. Matley he resided in Whitehorse-Yard. She was asked if she knew the number. After a little thought she came to the conclusion the number was 21. They were told Lynch was currently on a job down Kennington Lane and would not return until about 7 p.m. Matley told the detectives Lynch had worked for him about 10 years.

"Mr. Swanson, in the course of a conversation, stated that Dennis Lynch was known in Whitehorse-yard as John Leary. Some of the inhabitants of Whitehorse-yard knew that John Leary worked at Matley's."

Dennis Lynch a few weeks ago had lived at Eversleigh buildings.(My only guess is that this location was near Battersea Park because there is a road with that name in the area) Then he removed to Bears Court (I believe this is near Whitehorse-Yard) and then to Whitehorse-yard. He was at Whitehorse-Yard for 3 or 4 months before removing to 5, Strand Buildings three weeks prior to this meeting with Matley.

At 7 p.m, when Lynch returned, he was greeted by Swanson, Partridge and the reporter(possibly Mellor).

"He was ready and anxious to tell all he knew, but before a straight answer could be got from him the question had to be repeated two or three times.
Did you bring any message from Whitechapel, lately? Mr. Swanson asked.
From Whitechapel? He responded in wonder?
Tell us what you did.
Me? A message from Whitechapel? What about? he asked in turn.
Anything that has happened in Whitechapel?
No. I have not been near the east end in months."


My opinions:

Clearly John Arnold and Dennis Lynch are two different people. One being a newsvendor in Charing Cross his entire life and the other a carman for Matley for the last 10 years. Upon further research I was able to find that W.H. Smith, who Lynch was doing these odd jobs for, was a newspaper distributor. When the railways were booming, around this time, they also distributed advertising, books and newspapers to railway stalls. They also distributed papers by cart to private customers at the West End, whether they be large buyers like clubs or hotels or to individuals content with a solitary Times or Standard. The combination of all these tasks would send Lynch literally all over town with newspaper and book deliveries in a horse and cart. It may also show an undeniable connection with the two men as Lynch would have delivered newspapers to the Charing Cross Post Office where John Arnold was known to peddle. W.H Smith was known to deliver to the GPO's. Also, the most promising census record of John Arnold is in 1881 that matches his age and birth and has him living in none other than Whitehorse-Yard with his wife and two children. Was it there that he became acquainted with Dennis Lynch? I believe John Arnold knew Dennis Lynch because he used Lynch's alias (John Leary) and his address in Whitehorse-Yard. Further, if the two did in fact know each other, what does that say about Dennis Lynch? Was he Arnold's informant of a body in Back-church Lane?

Dennis Lynch was eventually cleared by Swanson, but only because he did not match the description of the man that called at the New York Herald office. Now we know that man was John Arnold because he came forward and admitted it, but that admission was after Lynch's meeting here with Swanson. Could these two men be the mysterious depositors of body parts around London? To answer that we may need to find out if Lynch's travels would have taken him to the railway station in Rainham? IIRC the other parts of her body were found in the West End close to railway stations at Regents Canal, Chalk Farm and Euston Station?

Just some food for thought.
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Old November 10th, 2016, 05:16 PM   #2
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What a MESS! I apologize for not having read much beyond the surface information concerning this matter, but after refreshing through this post, what was the point of any of this? It is too complicated to be a hoax?
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Old November 10th, 2016, 05:38 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anna Morris View Post
What a MESS! I apologize for not having read much beyond the surface information concerning this matter, but after refreshing through this post, what was the point of any of this? It is too complicated to be a hoax?
Hi Anna,

Are you asking what was the point of the investigation into the whereabouts of John Cleary?
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Old November 10th, 2016, 10:31 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Jerry Dunlop View Post
Hi Anna,

Are you asking what was the point of the investigation into the whereabouts of John Cleary?
No. I mean what the heck about Dennis Lynch, John Cleary, announcing a murder that hadn't happened yet, etc. It would be one thing if some joker announced a murder to get attention, but what a twisted path, using another guy's other name, etc. The whole thing reeks. I wonder what was the bigger picture.
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