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  • Lord Orsam

Ask Orsam...about Lechmere/Cross

Updated: Sep 30, 2023

Q. Lord Orsam, I see that there has been a response on JTR Forums to your 'Name Issue Part 3' Blog post from earlier today.

A. Yes, I've seen it. A typically rushed and incoherent response to a single case study while trying to weasel his way out of reading the entire piece.

Q. Can you take us through why you say it's incoherent?

A. Yes, certainly. The first point made is that Richard Collier, 'nevertheless thought it appropriate to use the name Bark when making a claim against his employers who seemingly only knew him as Collier'.

Q. What does that tell us?

A. Nothing. We know that Collier married using the name of Bark, so of course he knew his birth name. When he filed legal proceedings he (or his solicitors) obviously felt he needed to issue the writ in his birth name to ensure that it was legally valid. The last thing he would have wanted is for the defendant's lawyer to make a technical point that the claim had to fail if issued in the name of Collier because that wasn't his 'real' name. It can't be compared in any way with the situation of a witness at a inquest giving evidence who found a body on his way to work. There was no danger of such evidence being found to be invalid and, even if it was (which it wouldn't have been), Charles Lechmere wouldn't have suffered any loss.

Q. So why is this point being mentioned?

A. I really have no idea.

Q. Then the point is made that, when he was arrested for being drunk and disorderly or for beating his wife, it was in the name of Bark.

A. Yes, it's exactly the point I made in the blog. In respect of all his criminal proceedings, just like on all other official documents, he used the name Bark yet was known to his employers as Collier. That's the key thing. I'm saying that this could be exactly the same for Lechmere being known to his employers as Carman Cross, even though the name 'Lechmere' was used on all known official documents. With there being no Carman Lechmere, how could he have said he was a carman working for Pickfords in the name of Charles Lechmere when no such employee existed? It contrasts with Bark who wasn't ever arrested in connection with his work for Hornsby.

Q. We are next told this: 'As for the sole disclosure of the name Collier at time of the accident, do you imagine Bark was personally interviewed by the press and deliberately chose not to reveal his ‘real’ name? Isn’t it more likely that the press got wind of the incident via the hospital and obtained their info from there and from Bark’s workplace? If so, how is that in any way comparable to the Cross/Lechmere scenario, where he did deliberately conceal his real name from the police and the coroner?*'

A. This is all misdirection. How the press learnt the victim's name is neither here nor there. The name of 'Collier' wasn't a disclosure. I don't even know what that means. It's a fact that Bark was known to his employers as 'Collier'. That's why he was said to be 'Richard Collier'. It's got nothing to do with whether this information came from Bark or from his employers. There is no doubt that Richard Bark was known to his employers as Richard Collier. I already posted an extract from the Stamford Mercury of 20 June 1890 in which it was stated that the plaintiff, 'was known in the employ of defendants as Richard Collier'. The plaintiff also confirmed this in his uncontradicted testimony on oath and, while normally referred to as the plaintiff during the hearing, we find that at one point in the questioning of one witness, he was called 'Collier', hence from the Grantham Journal of 21 June 1890:

So to answer the question as to how it is directly comparable to the Cross/Lechmere scenario, the comparison is obviously that we have a person here known to his employers in one surname yet using a different surname on all known official records so that (to mention one example) he was known to his employers by a different surname to the surname of his children, something which was said by our critic to have been almost impossible.

Q . What's that asterisk at the end of the final sentence?

A. It takes us to a very strange comment: *For some reason, [Lord Orsam] chose to show press reports from a week after the accident. It had occurred on Saturday 25th, January and as early as the following Monday (27th) the Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer reported on the incident, named the victim Collier and described him as remaining in a ‘precarious condition’. The poor chap was probably barely conscious (if at all) when the press identified him. So, as far I can tell, there is not a single example of Bark himself using the name Collier when dealing with authority.

Q. Why didn't you use the Yorkshire Post report?

A. The simple answer as to why I used press reports from the Sleaford Gazette and Grantham Chronicle was because I wanted to use local papers within the county of Lincolnshire, not from the different county of Yorkshire. Not that it matters in any way because the victim was named as Collier in all the newspapers on all the dates. The dates of the reports I used is irrelevant and makes absolutely no difference to anything It's equally irrelevant whether he was in a 'precarious condition' or barely conscious when identified in the press. The point, which I suppose I need to repeat, although I thought it was obvious, is that Richard Bark was known to his employers as Richard Collier, which is why his accident at the workplace of his employers was reported in that name. If the relevance of that isn't understood it's hard to make it clearer but the lack of understanding merely confirms what I said in my concluding remarks (apparently not read by this individual), namely that, "those who claim that Charles should have used the name Lechmere simply ignore the possibility that he was registered as Charles Allen Cross at Pickfords. They breeze past it, presumably assuming it wasn't the case, or thinking it doesn't matter." How right was I?

Q. Apparently, says the critic, the case of Richard Bark "proves my point perfectly. Bark’s lowly antecedents couldn’t have been more different from those of CAL and yet even he seemingly considered it inappropriate to use his assumed surname when dealing with authority. Lechmere seemingly didn’t. Why might that have been?" How does it prove his point perfectly?

A. I just don't know. I think he was throwing words together in the hope that no one would think about what he was saying. I have no idea what 'Bark's lowly antecedents' have to do with anything or what was so special about Lechmere's antecedents or why anyone's antecedents are relevant to this. It entirely misses the critical point that Richard Bark was known to his employers as Richard Collier. So what is the implication if Charles Lechmere was known to his employers as Charles Cross? That's the question the critic should be asking.

Q. Could you just respond to his point about 'dealing with authority'?

A. Sure. It's neither here nor there. This issue doesn't have anything to do with dealing with authority. Richard Collier married in the name of his mother, Bark, pretending it was his father's name, possibly because, like most men, he worried that the wedding would be invalid (or even illegal) if he didn't use his birth name. So he would then continue to use that surname on 'official' registrations of births, marriages and deaths (and on the census). But this doesn't change the fact that he continued to be known as Collier at work, at least by his employers. Moreover, when giving evidence at an inquest, Lechmere/Cross wasn't 'dealing with authority', he was testifying about what he saw in Buck's Row while on his way to work.

Q. I see that the critic concludes: "You’ll forgive me if I don’t wade through the other examples. Do you forgive him, Lord Orsam?"

A. No, I don't. It's another pathetic cop-out by someone who is probably fully aware of what I went on to say about the case or Robert Stables in which (unlike Bark) Stables used his stepfather's name during court proceedings and who wants to avoid having to comment about that. Not to mention that it gets him out of responding to what I said about Henry David Reynolds. In this respect, questions have to be asked as to how he, an expert in genealogical research (apparently), wasn't aware of the full history of the man, or did he withhold that information? As for the transparent way he wants to get out of having to respond to the full article (and what kind of person doesn't even read a full article on a subject about which they are supposed to be interested?), we saw the same tactic used recently by the bag lady to pretend she wasn't going to read a full article on the basis of a typo. Our critic couldn't even find a typo, so he had to come up with an even more spurious reason to pretend not to read the entire blog (one which isn't really even explained other than that he didn't agree that the first case study contradicted his case). I mean, you'd think it would be important to read the concluding remarks to understand what I was saying, but not this guy.

Q. Lord Orsam, he's made some more posts?

A. Okay, let's keep calm, what's he saying now?

Q. Well in the first one he's asked "what is the point of producing endless examples of people who didn’t do what Lechmere did?"

A. What he evidently doesn't like is the fact of me producing 'endless examples' of men with two surnames, especially examples of men who were known to their employers under one surname while using a different surname in the official records, and especially when some examples involve men with children who were known by one surname while the individual in question was commonly known by another name. I don't think he is as dense as he is presenting himself. He must see the significance of this and how utterly damning it is for his case against Lechmere.

Q. He's also posted another example of a 'Richard Bark' being charged for an extortion offence. Is this significant?

A. No, I posted plenty of examples of Bark being charged under that name. The reason I didn't include the 1877 incident is that the offence was committed in Harrowby, whereas every other incident involving our Richard Bark occurred in Spittlegate, so I couldn't be entirely sure it was the same man. Spittlegate and Harrowby are not too far from each other but obviously not the same place. I'd be perfectly happy if it was the same man, it matters not. But what's so interesting and revealing is that our critic is off onto the BNA doing his own checking about Richard Bark. Why is he doing this if the case study is so insignificant, as he claims?

Q. He's also asked this question: "when you read [Lord Orsam's] account of the use of the Collier name in the reports of the accident, did you assume that he had given that name to the press?" What does he mean?

A. Well I'm not responsible for what people "assume" when they read my articles, especially those who read parts of them very quickly and then don't read the conclusions (or at least pretend not to). At no point in the entire blog post did I state or imply that Collier himself had given that name to the press. The question of how the press came to report his name was Collier is of no relevance. What is relevant is that it leads on to the confirmed fact that Bark was known to his employers as Collier. That's what it shows. That's why his accident was reported in the name of Richard Collier, because it happened while he was working. And that's what is relevant to Charles Lechmere who might well have been known to his own employer as Charles Cross.

Q. He also says this: "All that this and so many of the other examples come down to is that people were occasionally known by their stepfather’s surname. We really didn’t need [Lord Orsam] to drain a lake of ink to discover that, did we?" It looks to me like he's missed the point here. Is that right?

A. Oh yes. How to miss the point in one easy lesson. What the example of Bark shows is not that he was "occasionally" known by his stepfather's surname. It shows that he was known to his employers by his stepfather's surname while using his birth name for all known official records including the birth certificates of his own children. That's not hard to understand, I don't think. Furthermore, as I stated at the outset of both my 'name issue' posts, the reason I got involved in the first place was to challenge the claim that to use one's stepfather's surname was to use a "false" name. Did our critic miss that or does he have comprehension problems?

Q. Our critic also asks a question: "One last question on this, what in your opinion is the value of the Bark example? What does it prove?"

A. It's very odd. I already posted the answer in the case study:

What we have here then is a situation where a man who was known while a child and young man as Richard Collier, and who evidently obtained employment with R. Hornsby & Sons under that name, continued to be known by his employer as Richard Collier even though he married as Richard Bark and even though he appeared in all known official records thereafter as Richard Bark, including census, marriage and birth and court records. Clearly, the fact that his children were all known as 'Bark' didn't stop him being known at work as 'Collier'. As we have seen, when he was involved in a bad accident at work, the local newspapers reported his name as 'Richard Collier'. Had he not decided to sue his employer, for which he used his birth name, we would have no idea today that the man known to his employer as Richard Collier who had that accident was actually going about (officially) under the name of Richard Bark.

If the had read the concluding remarks of my blog (which he claims not to have done) he would have seen how this ties into Charles Lechmere, hence:

The unfortunate fact is that we don't know, and will almost certainly never know, by what name Charles Lechmere was recorded in the books of Pickfords. But if it was Charles Cross, as is certainly quite possible, this would render the entire discussion about why he used the name Cross redundant. It would have been a perfectly reasonable, and perhaps even obvious, name to have used at the inquest while identifying himself as an employee of Pickfords.

Apart from this being so obvious that I shouldn't need to repeat it, I provided a number of case studies in the blog post, so why is he only focused on one of them? What is he trying to avoid?

Q. Lord Orsam, I see that a strange attack has been launched on you in JTR Forums by the Lechmere critic.

A. Yes, I'm aware of it. Utterly bizarre.

Q. The nub of his allegation is that your research is 'obviously flawed' and that your 'attempts at unsupported subterfuge are laughably transparent' because, he says, 'His recent Richard Bark nonsense must surely have destroyed any credibility he may have had. If he was attempting to compare Bark to Lechmere, why didn’t he reveal that when Bark was first reported as Collier in the press he was unlikely to have been conscious?' What does he mean by all this?

A. It's perfectly obvious that this person, in his haste to try and find imaginary 'flaws' in my research, has totally misunderstood the point I was making about Richard Bark. Indeed, the Viz character 'Major Misunderstanding' could not have got it more wrong.

Q. Could you explain where he has gone wrong, Lord Orsam?

A. He seems to think that my point was that Richard Bark, in his hospital bed, was asked his name by press reporters and decided only to 'disclose' that his name was Richard Collier, so that the situation is in some way analogous to Charles Lechmere standing in the witness box at an inquest and only 'disclosing' that his name was Charles Cross.

Q. I must say I didn't understand you to be saying that, Lord Orsam.

A. No, because you read what I was saying properly. That strange point never even occurred to me. It would have been completely daft to compare someone informally speaking to reporters in a hospital to someone speaking under oath to a coroner and his jury at an inquest. In any event, there is absolutely no evidence as to how the press obtained the name Richard Collier. It could have come from the hospital or from Richard's employers or from his family etc. I certainly didn't suggest that it came directly from Richard. In the absence of evidence, I wouldn't even have begun to make this point but even if I had - which I didn't - the idea that an earlier Yorkshire newspaper report which merely described Collier's condition as 'precarious' (which has literally no bearing on whether he was conscious or not at the time) would, in any way, have undermined that point, in circumstances where it was obviously a serious accident, is preposterous, but, like I say, that point wasn't being made, suggested or implied by me in my blog post.

Q. No, I read you to be saying nothing more than that the example of Richard Bark showed that a man could be 'officially' known as one name yet known to his employers under another name.

A. Yes, that's precisely the point, it's exactly what I said, and I don't know how he missed it.

Q. So there was no attempt at unsupported subterfuge?

A. Of course not. It's the most absurd allegation I've read from him ye, out of a large pool of absurd allegations.

Q. And what is described as the 'Richard Bark nonsense' hasn't destroyed your credibility?

A. I'm quite sure it hasn't! And, of course, it isn't nonsense, when read properly.

Q. So when the question is posed of, 'Research flaw or subterfuge?', for which, 'You pays your money and you takes your choice', the answer is neither?

A. Correct. On this new blog I'm trying to my best to moderate my language and, indeed to respond as if I was writing on JTR Forums itself, under their rules, but it's hard to avoid using the expression absolutely barking mad to describe his question.

Q. I'm thinking 'unhinged', Lord Orsam.

A. Yes, that's another good word. It seems to happen every time from this quarter when triggered. His cognitive functions visibly deteriorate in front of our very eyes.

Q. I see that he launched an even wider attack on you in the same post, saying, 'I’m assuming that Lord O’s inflated reputation stems from his Diary efforts, something I know little or nothing about. Whenever he extends beyond that, though, he seems to fail miserably.'

A. As people who were around at the time will know, I first posted on the Casebook Forum in late 2014. My first posts were about none other than Charles Lechmere, and won high praise from none other than Christer Holmgren aka Fisherman. I made my 'reputation', such as it is, during 2015 with many posts on a number of subjects but especially from my Suckered! Trilogy articles during that year. My first posts on the subject of the Maybrick diary were not made until August 2016. So it's yet another failure of understanding by this poster who continually seems to comment on topics about which he knows nothing, which is strange for someone who is supposed to be a researcher.

Q. It's been a very curious performance so far, there's no doubt about that.

A. Of course, when it comes to subterfuge, one has to wonder why he hasn't even mentioned my case study about Walter Scott aka Reynolds and the research into Henry David Reynolds which was expressly drawn to his attention by Kattrup in the 'Lord Orsam Blog' thread on JTR Forums.

Q. It's almost like he's deliberately avoiding it, Lord Orsam?

A. One might think that he's worried that his own research is flawed or that questions will be raised as to why he didn't mention Reynolds' other aliases.

Q. And I seem to recall that in your blog you actually reproduced one of his JTR Forums posts and responded directly to it?

A. Yes, I did. It's kind of strange that he doesn't want to offer up any kind of response, especially in circumstances in which I was accusing him of posting misleading information.

Q. But he's claiming that he hasn't even read that far, isn't he?

A. I suppose one could ask why he hasn't read it, and if it is: Strange lack of curiosity or subterfuge?

Q. I think I know the answer!

A. Me too.

Q. Well Kattrup has now further alerted him to the Reynolds case study in the Henry David Reynolds thread, pointing out that he had expressly requested more information about him (which I've provided), so we'll have to see what happens.

A. Absolutely.

Q. Ah, I see there's been a response?

A. Oh really, so what does he say about Henry David Reynolds?

Q. Oh, nothing at all. He's completely ducked it.

A. So what does he say?

Q. Well he says, 'My ‘theory’ is that CAL would have thought it appropriate to disclose his real name, but chose not to.' He then adds a false statement which states: 'I’m grateful to you and his lordship for proving that many people thought that way.'

A. Yes, he's still fixated with the concept of disclosure, which I wasn't addressing with Richard Bark but, that is addressed in the cases of Charles Willie Mathews and Walter Scott which he's ignoring. I also addressed the 'disclosure' point in the case of Charles Taylor in Part 2. Then in Part 3, I explained that, from all the examples provided by myself and Kattrup, there is no known case of anyone disclosing their alternative name in court proceedings without a good reason. He's ignored all that. And I guess, if he's telling the truth, he hasn't even read me saying it.

Q. I see he's also been hurling abuse at you, calling you 'Lord Bile'.

A. Yes, I'm surprised it's allowed. He's not allowed to hurl abuse at the webmaster of (and previously had a post deleted when he did so) but the webmaster of is presumably fair game. What does he say about 'Lord Bile' then?

Q. He asks if Lord Bile has 'disproved my theory'?

A. Remind me of his theory, please.

Q. As I've already mentioned, it's that 'CAL would have thought it appropriate to disclose his real name, but chose not to.'

A. Well, no one can possibly ever know what was in the mind of Charles Lechmere/Cross at the time he testified at the inquest so this critic can say whatever he likes about that and it can never be disproved. My point has always been that if Charles Lechmere had been known to his employers as 'Charles Cross' it would explain very well why he gave his name as Charles Cross at the inquest, in circumstances where his employer's name was relevant bearing in mind that he was on his way to work at Pickfords when he discovered the body of Nichols. I wasn't aiming to prove or disprove anything, but the case of Richard Bark gives us an example of an individual who was known to his employers by a different name as on his official records. What this critic needs to do is either concede that it was possible that Lechmere might have been known to his employers as Cross, and then explain the consequences of that, or, if he refuses to concede, explain why he doesn't think it was possible in the case of Lechmere/Cross.

Q. Thank you Lord -

A. And if I may continue, the cases of both Bark and Stables show us that it doesn't matter what surname was given to someone's children at birth, and was used on official documents, a person could still be commonly known (or known to some) by a different name, which was something that the critic has steadfastly denied.

Q. Thank you. I must say in conclusion that he does seem determined to avoid mentioning Henry David Reynolds, even in a thread entitled 'Henry David Reynolds' and even though he had earlier asked if anyone had any more information about Henry David Reynolds. Do you not find that odd?

A. It is certainly very curious.

Q. Oh Lord Orsam, he had a little think about it for half an hour then came back with: 'I think my take on the name issue is more of a pair of hypotheses than a theory. I suspect CAL deliberately omitted his real name either because he didn’t want to besmirch the prestigious Lechmere name or because he feared that providing both his real name and his former stepfather’s name would have revealed his mother’s bigamy.' What do you say about this?

A. He can formulate whatever hypotheses he likes about Charles Lechmere but I simply can't understand why he's telling us about them in a thread entitled 'Henry David Reynolds'. Does he think he's still in the 'Lord Orsam Blog' thread?

Q. Good point but what about the substance of his suspicions?

A. Well, again, he can have whatever suspicions he wants but there is zero material on which to base them When you haven't got any evidence at all, it's no more than pure speculation which is incapable of being proved or disproved. There's as much reason to think that CAL hated the name 'Lechmere' but was stuck with it because it was his birth name and he felt he had to use it when marrying. Perhaps, outside of official documents, in his real life, he preferred to be called Charles Cross. It's something we've seen to be the case with plenty of other men, so why not him? But I don't even need to go that far because it may be an even narrower case of him being known at Pickfords as 'Cross', having started work there when his grandfather was alive. One can't simply ignore this possibility.

Q. What about the bigamy point?

A. The fact that he puts forward an alternative hypothesis pretty much demonstrates the amount of faith he has in his first one. I can't personally see how him saying that his birth name was Charles Lechmere would have revealed his mother's bigamy but the problem with it is that it assumes that there was an obligation for him to reveal that his birth name was Lechmere in circumstances where identifying himself as Charles Cross might well have been perfectly appropriate.

Q. Which is what he doesn't deal with?

A. Exactly. He refuses to grasp the point about Charles being known as Charles Cross at Pickfords. If that was the case, the mystery practically solves itself. There's no need to come up with all kinds of fanciful hypotheses. The case of Richard Bark simply provides an example of someone proven to be known by one name by their employer and another name on official documents, thus showing how possible it was that Lechmere was known to Pickfords as Carman Cross. The case of Walter Scott aka Reynolds, which one would think is rather more appropriate for discussion in a thread about his brother, provides an example of someone giving evidence under his stepfather's name who didn't feel he needed to provide his 'real' name too.

Q. Lord Orsam, I've seen a lot of chatter on the boards recently about whether it's possible for blood to ooze profusely. Do you have any comment about this?

A. Yes, I certainly do. But we should first break down the two words being used here. To ooze means to trickle out or flow slowly. Here is the Cambridge Dictionary definition:

So it's all about the rate of flow. It's slow.

Q. Got it.

A. Whereas "profusely" has nothing to do with the rate of flow. It's all about the volume. As the Cambridge Dictionary shows us:

Q. So to ooze profusely is merely a large amount of blood oozing from a body?

A. Exactly. It's not a word that would usually be used to described blood oozing, especially as some dictionaries (e.g. the Oxford English Dictionary) say that ooze can also mean to flow slowly in small quantities, but, in theory, I suppose, it's possible for there to be so much blood oozing that one could say, inelegantly, that it's oozing profusely.

Q. So does it matter if there was blood oozing profusely from the wound of Mary Ann Nichols as observed by PC Neil?

A. The irony is that if there was a large volume of blood having oozed from Nichols' wound when observed by Neil, it would suggest that the murder had occurred some time earlier, well before Cross and Paul had arrived at the scene.

Q. So it would tend to exonerate Cross?

A. Absolutely. With such a fatal wound as was inflicted on Nichols, you would first expect there first to be a rapid flow of blood, then it would slow down over time to a trickle, or an oozing, but obviously if there is a large amount of blood having oozed from the body, that would place the murder back in time, so it wouldn't help the case against Cross if the blood had been observed oozing profusely?

Q. Was the blood, in fact, observed oozing profusely?

A. Absolutely not! We have the clearest possible evidence of PC Neil at the Nichols inquest that he saw the blood oozing from her wound. That's all he said and, of course, this means it was trickling slowly from the body. There is no other meaning.

Q. Which suggests that the period of the blood actually fast flowing from the body was over.

A. Yes, so there had been a passage of time between her murder and her discovery by PC Neil.

Q. Can that tell us when the murder had occurred?

A. Not really, but it does mean that it could easily have been 10 or 15 minutes before Neil found it.

Q. Which means that she could have been murdered before Cross found her?

A. Indeed, and this is why Christer Holmgren can't even bring himself to use the word "ooze", despite that being the actual word in evidence. He uses any other sort of ambiguous term such as flowing or running because he wants the blood to have been moving at a faster rate than a trickle, which, as I've mentioned, is what "ooze" means.

Q. Why does he do that?

A. Are you concentrating? I've already explained it. The faster the flow of blood the more recent the time of death which means he can frame Cross for the murder. Even when he speaks to his experts he studiously avoids telling them that the blood was oozing at about 3.45am which is when PC Neil said he first saw the body. He tries to bamboozle them by asking about "bleeding" which is misleading because it suggests the type of blood flow that would come from a living body with a heartbeat, not the type of oozing that can go on for some time after death.

Q. So it's part of a frame-up of Cross?

A. Yes, he is trying to manipulate the evidence against Cross by changing or ignoring the word used by the witness to describe the slow rate of flow of the blood.

Q. But, returning to the concept of blood oozing profusely, Christer Holmgren tells us that PC Neil "is on record as having used the expression "profusely" about the blood flow in the interviews made on the day before the first inquest day?" Is that true?

A. No, it's not. And not only is it false but six years ago Christer Holmgren admitted it was false after I demonstrated that it was a reporter or editor who inserted the word "profusely" into a story about what PC Neil had discovered.

Q. Oh yes, tell me more about that?

A. Sure. I demonstrated six years ago that the first report about PC Neil's discovery was published in the Globe's 12.30pm edition on 31 August 1888 from a Central News agency report.

Q. This is the interview with PC Neil?

A. Ha ha ha! Oh my dear boy. There is no evidence of any interview. All we know is that the Central News reporter (writing for the Globe) had been informed by someone what PC Neil had discovered in the early hours of that morning. Whether that was from PC Neil himself (which seems unlikely) or from a police source is unknown.

Q. I see, so what did the report say?

A. Its report stated that Nichols was "lying in a pool of blood".

Q. Right, so no mention of a profuse amount of blood?

A. No, but the interesting thing is that the exact same report which appeared in that early edition of the Globe was republished in the fourth editions of the Star and Pall Mall Gazette later that day almost word for word identical (and all beginning "Scarcely has the horror and sensation caused by the discovery of the murdered woman in Whitechapel...") except that the phrase "lying in a pool of blood" had been changed to "blood was flowing profusely". Here is the Star:

And here is the Pall Mall Gazette:

Q. So someone at the Central News had simply interpreted "pool of blood" as meaning that the blood was "flowing profusely" and has added that into the report?

A. Yes, that's what it looks like. That expression certainly didn't appear in the earliest report from the Central News. It was a later addition.

Q. Shouldn't someone inform Christer Holmgren about this?

A. Well my dear boy, that's the extraordinary thing. He already knows it!

Q. What do you mean?

A. Following my demonstration six years ago that the words "flowing profusely" had been added to the Central News story in a later report, Christer Holmgren posted to say that he accepted by conclusion and that "profusely" wasn't a word used by PC Neil.

Q. Seriously?

A. Yes, here is the post:

Q. So he knows it!

A. Yes, and it gets better. He then went on to say that, "This means that the probable thing is that the term profusely was added by a reporter" and that the likelihood was that "profusely was not used by either Neil or the police". He was very clear in saying that "the term profusely should be regarded as having been added by a journalist…because denying the obvious would be silly."

Q. So how comes he said only the other day that PC Neil is on record as having used the word "profusely"?

A. It is one of life's mysteries. It certainly isn't a statement of truth.

Q. But Christer wouldn't lie would he? Isn't he a man of integrity?

A. He's someone who likes to play with words.

Q. As you've demonstrated, though, even if PC Neil thought that the blood was oozing profusely, it doesn't strengthen the case against Cross/Lechmere at all, does it?

A. No, on the contrary, it weakens it. But it's a pointless discussion because when PC Neil gave evidence under oath all he said was that the blood was oozing. He didn’t mention the amount of blood oozing, just the rate of flow, which, as we know, is that it was slow.

Q. There's one other strange thing that I noticed Christer saying the other day. He said, "It is demonstrably true that the time most likely to be the correct one when somebody says "around 3.30" IS 3.30." Can that be right?

A. No, once again, it's the exact opposite. If someone says that something has happened at around or about 3.30 this means that 3.30 is the least likely time for that thing to have occurred. Had the thing occurred at 3.30 that's the time one would give. A person would say it happened at 3.30 or at exactly 3.30. But when someone says at about 3.30 it's probably going to be a time on either side of 3.30, quite possibly a number of minutes away from that time.

Q. What does he mean when he uses the expression "demonstrably true"?

A. He can only mean demonstrably untrue.

To be continued as appropriate...

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