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The Torsos Bodies and body parts found in the Thames River as well as in other locations prior to, during, and after the more celebrated Whitechapel Murders

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Old December 22nd, 2014, 04:48 PM   #1
Jerry Dunlop
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Default John Arnold- Pinchin Street Torso

This excerpt has been posted many times but I am using it for a specific address. (Thanks to NEMO for the write up) (Bold emphasis mine)

John Arnold after coming clean stated he lived at No. 2 Harvey's Building, Strand, in September 1889. Coincidentally (or not), William Wallace Brodie, after admitting being the murderer of Alice McKenzie was found to be living at No. 2 Harvey's Building, Strand, in July of 1889. Could it be possible that Brodie was the man Arnold got his information from about the Pinchin torso, two days before it appeared? Brodie is said to be a tall, powerfully-built man. He could possibly be connected to the torso murders unless this is another, incredible coincidence. This case seems to have it's share of 'em.

Incidentally, the best I could find is that No. 2 Harvey's Building was located near 429 Strand. Here is a
link to the map.


John Arnold
a.k.a. John Cleary, John Leary, John Kemp, Denis Lynch
John Arnold was an enigmatic character involved in the investigation of the Pinchin Street torso murder of 10 September 1889 - indeed for a time he was a top suspect in the case.

Arnold's story begins two days before the discovery of the Pinchin Street torso, in the early morning hours of Sunday, 8 September 1889. At approximately 1.05am, a man named John Cleary, giving his address as 21 Whitehorse Yard, Drury Lane, arrived at the London offices of the New York Herald. He said he had information on a new Jack the Ripper murder which had just been discovered in Backchurch lane. According to Cleary, the mutilated body had been discovered by a constable nearly two hours earlier at around 11.20pm. He himself had heard of the discovery via a Police Inspector, whom he had bumped into on Whitechapel High Street. Cleary then asked if he would receive a monetary reward for his information.

Two reporters took down his story and hurried down to the street with Cleary to call a hansom cab. At this point, Cleary slightly modified his story, saying his informant was not a police inspector, but "an ex-member of the police force." He then drew even more suspicion from the reporters as he refused to follow them to the site of the alleged murder. At this point Cleary left the scene and the reporters hurried toward Backchurch lane.

When the Herald men arrived at the scene they found no trace of murder. They questioned two police officers who were patrolling the area, but neither had heard of any disturbances. The reporters made one last fruitless search of the area, but nothing was to be found. They returned to their offices and filed a report, after which the incident was quickly forgotten.

But when news of the Pinchin Street torso broke two days later, the Cleary debacle suddenly became of utmost importance. Pinchin street is an extension of Backchurch lane, and in fact the mutilated torso was discovered very near to where the two 'intersect'. The fact that this man 'predicted' a mutilation-murder in that location just two days earlier seemed like more than mere coincidence. John Cleary was no longer a crank. He was now a prime suspect.

A search was immediately begun at 21 Whitehorse yard, but no one at that residence had ever heard of a John Cleary. On Wednesday, 11 September the New York Herald published a description of the man who had come to their offices on Sunday morning:

He was a young man, apparently between twenty-five and twenty-eight years of age. He was short, his height being about 5 ft. 4in. He was of medium build, and weighed about 140 lb. He was light-complexioned, had a small fair moustache and blue eyes. On his left cheek was an inflamed spot, which looked as if a boil had lately been there and was healing. He wore a dark coat and waistcoat. His shirt was not seen, the space at the throat being covered by a dirty white handkerchief tied about his neck. His trousers were dark velveteen, so soiled at the knees as to indicate that he blacked shoes. His hat was a round, black, stiff felt. He walked with a shuffle and spoke in the usual fashion of the developing citizens of Whitechapel, whom, in all respects, he resembled.
A report by Chief Inspector Swanson (MEPO 3/140, ff. 153-157) states that further investigation at 21 Whitehorse yard revealed that the agent who rented apartments there, a Mr. Yates, said he knew a young man named 'Leary' who had lived there until three weeks earlier, when he had been evicted for not paying his rent. Yates said that Leary was now living in Strand Buildings and that he worked for a greengrocer in Newcastle Street named Mapley. Upon investigation, the grocer Mapley said he had never known a man named Leary, but that they did have a man who once lived in Whitehorse yard and was now living at Strand Buildings. Mapley gave this man's name as Denis Lynch.

Lynch was found at No. 5, Strand Buildings, living with another man's wife. He apparently admitted to using the alias 'Leary', but asserted that he had never called at the New York Herald. Lynch was brought before Mr. Fletcher, one of the Herald reporters who had originally spoken with John Cleary, but Fletcher positively stated that Lynch was not the same man.
Swanson completed his report by stating that a woman was found "insensible" in High Street at 12 midnight on the night of 7 September, and that this occurrence may have given rise to the false report of another Jack the Ripper murder. He further noted that High Street was sometimes known as "Church lane." Nevertheless he urged that the search continue for the mysterious John Cleary.

Swanson later added a post-script to his report of 12 September, mentioning that there were reports of "some writing on a wall abt. Cleary". According to R. Michael Gordon, chalked messages were found near the crime scene which read: "John Cleary is a fool."

On the 12th September at around 1pm, a Mr. Miller from the Star newspaper arrived at Leman Street Station, asking questions about the Cleary statement. Miller said that he believed this man to have been an ex-compositor, "formerly attached to The Globe office; age 35, ht. 6ft., comp. fresh, hair and heavy moustache dark, bald, medium build, speaks peculiar, as though he has no roof to his mouth; who about 4 months ago was residing at 2 Savoy Buildings, Strand." Inspector Henry Moore noted that this was the same Mr. Miller who had found "the thigh of Annie Jackson which was thrown into garden on Thames Embankment." This presumably refers to the victim more commonly known as Elizabeth Jackson. Parts of her body had washed up in the Thames between May and June 1889.

Finally, it seemed, the mystery was solved. On 13 September, a newsvendor named John Arnold gave himself up to police at Whitehall place, after having read about the Cleary incident in the New York Herald (the paper he sold for a living). Arnold was a resident of No. 2 Harveys Buildings, Strand. He admitted that on Saturday, the evening of 7 September, he had been drinking at the King Lud public house. Soon after he left the pub he was approached near Fleet Street by "a man dressed as a soldier". This man told him, "Hurry up with your papers, another horrible murder ... in Backchurch Lane." Arnold said he immediately ran up to the offices of the New York Herald to report the information, but that he did not wish to follow the reporters to the scene of the crime because it was past 1am and his lodgings would soon close for the night.

According to Arnold, he gave the reporters the name 'John Kemp' (not Cleary), and the address 21 Whitehorse Yard, where he had lived previously. The false name was given, he said, because he did not want his wife to know where he was staying.
Arnold described the soldier he met:

... a man dressed as a soldier, in black uniform, black cord shoulder strap, lightish buttons, cheese cutter cap, brass ornament in front of cap like a horn. Cannot say whether there was a band round or not, age about 35 to 36. Height 5ft. 6 or 7. compl. fair. Fair moustache, good looking, carrying a brown paper parcel about 6 or 8 inches long... I cannot say if he belonged to the regulars or volunteers... If I talked to the soldier for ten minutes or so, I might recognise his voice, but I am not certain that I could identify him from a number of persons.
Swanson remarked that this description most closely ressembled that of a "Commissionaire".

Apparently, John Arnold had been known to the police in the district, as he had a reputation for drinking and gambling. He had also deserted his wife and received 21 days imprisonment as a result. Still, Swanson remarked, "I have never heard of him being dishonest. That he could be in any way connected with others or by himself in a murder is to me improbable." He also thought it might be useful to set up an trial with the Commissionaires, to see if Arnold could confirm that this was indeed the type of uniform his "soldier" had been wearing. No reports follow to indicate whether or not this trial did indeed take place.

Apparently, that is where the story of John Arnold comes to an end. He was not called to the inquest, which concluded on 24 September.
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Old December 22nd, 2014, 04:59 PM   #2
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Default Brodie

Here is the piece on Brodie lodging at No. 2 Harvey's Building, Strand


Times (London)
Monday, 29 July 1889
POLICE.
At the THAMES Police-court, on Saturday, WILLIAM WALLACE BRODIE, 33, having no occupation and no settled abode, was charged with being a wandering lunatic. He was further charged, on his own confession, with having murdered Alice Mackenzie in Castle-alley, Whitechapel, on the 16th inst. Detective Inspectors Moore and Reid, watched the case on behalf of the Criminal Investigation Department. On the evening of Thursday week the prisoner, who is a tall, powerfully-built man, went to the Leman-street Police-station and stated to Inspector Pinhorn that he wished to give himself up for the murder of the woman on Tuesday night, but he declined to say anything about "the other eight or nine." The prisoner afterwards repeated his confession to Detective Inspector Moore, to whom he also made a long statement of a rambling character. Inspector Moore said he had made inquiries into the case. The prisoner left England for the Cape last year. On August 31 Mary Ann Nicholls was murdered in Buck's-row. When at the Cape the prisoner gave himself up as the Whitechapel murderer. He worked his passage home from the Cape, and there was no doubt that he was in bed at Harvey's-buildings on the night of the murder. On the 17th he was charged at the Mansion-house, with annoying his brother and was bound over to keep the peace. George Savage, 2, Harvey's-buildings, Strand, said he saw the prisoner on Tuesday week at about 11 o'clock at night. He was very drunk, and said he was going to stay there. He went to bed and remained there till the next morning. Witness put him to bed himself, and was sure he did not leave the house during the night. Mr. Lushington said he had a letter from the doctor of the prison stating that when the prisoner was admitted he was not responsible for his actions. He was now sane. The prisoner, who deserved to be punished for what he had done would now be discharged. The prisoner was immediately re-arrested by Inspector Moore on a charge of fraud.
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Old December 22nd, 2014, 05:09 PM   #3
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Default Another Brodie Clipping

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi...H18890911.2.20

Some news reports had him age 53. This one has him age 33 which might coincide with the following record. (Not sure yet)

Name:William Wallace Brodie
Event Typeeath
Registration Quarter:Jul-Aug-Sep
Registration Year:1892
Registration District:Hampstead
County:London
Event Place:Hampstead, London, England
Age (available after 1866):35
Birth Year (Estimated): 1857
Volume: 1A
Page: 394
Line Number: 254
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Old December 23rd, 2014, 04:07 AM   #4
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That's interesting about the address. Thanks for posting this, Jerry.
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Old December 23rd, 2014, 11:38 AM   #5
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I think it's very interesting too. Brodie arrived in Whitechapel in August of 1888 after serving 11 of 14 years in prison. He supposedly stayed in the area until Sept 6th, 1888 when he left for South Africa. An interesting side note is he told Inspector Moore he left for South Africa in December, not September.

Source Book shows the police checking the records of the Union Steam Ship Company showing him leaving on September 6th on the SS Athenian and returning to Southampton on the SS Trojan in July of 1889. (I am trying to find passenger lists for the Athenian.) This would make sense considering these Steam Ships left every other Thursday for the Cape of Good Hope. September 6th was indeed a Thursday. However, December 6th was also a Thursday. That is why I want to find the passenger list.

When he returned to England in 1889 he ended up at the Waterloo Station which is very near the address at No. 2 Harvey's Building. This could explain somewhat why he chose that area to find a bed. I haven't found any connection between Brodie and Arnold yet other than the fact they lived at the same address, near, or possibly at the same time, which I find interesting.

The Whitehall Mystery occurred in October of 1888 yet the body, if I remember correctly, had been dead for a couple of months. Since Brodie arrived in August to the area he could be a person of interest. The Pinchin Torso incident occurred in Sept of 1889 when Brodie was back from South Africa.

Another side note. Even though I believe Brodie to come across as insane, the doctor said he was sane. He seems to say things that make no sense at all. Maybe on purpose? But he did admit to the Whitechapel murders, twice! Once in England and once in South Africa. I am wondering if he could be part of a group of men that carried out these murders together. John Arnold worked closely with the press. A possible ripper letter writing candidate?

And last, in one press report the following was quoted,"When the prisoner was brought up at the last sessions he behaved in a very violent manner, and stated that he was one of the Whitechapel murderers." Maybe he knew more than we think?

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Old December 23rd, 2014, 12:31 PM   #6
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There may be a little spanner in the works, Jerry. Brodie was charged on 29th July 1889 with obtaining goods by false pretences (a watch) the court calendar says he was tried in Sept and got 6 calendar months in Pentonville.

The Whitehall case dated from late August btw according to Bond and Hebbert. Early September at least as the arm belonging to the torso was found in the Thames around that time.
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Old December 23rd, 2014, 01:21 PM   #7
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I forgot to add the significant bit, duh. Brodie was on remand from the time of his arrest and being charged on 20th July 89 (when he confessed to McKenzie's murder too) until his trial on 11th Sept. 89 when he got 6 months. The time in remand may have been knocked off his sentence so that would make his eventual release Dec 89.
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Old December 23rd, 2014, 04:21 PM   #8
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Thanks Debs!

That is quite a big spanner! (That sounds wrong, just wrong)

The address issue still has me intrigued though. Thanks for your contribution to the thread.

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Old December 23rd, 2014, 04:28 PM   #9
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It sounds like it was a lodging house.
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Old December 23rd, 2014, 07:40 PM   #10
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This must be it under division E :

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/hitch/gendocs/lodging.html

I think Booth says 5d a night, fairly respectable. Eyes not too good at the moment.

http://booth.lse.ac.uk/notebooks/b354/jpg/157.html
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