Orsam Books

The Howlercast Part 2: The Twelve Constables

This is the part of the Howlercast in which Michael Hawley (MH) is questioned by host Jonathan Menges (JM) about the issue of the 12 constables.  I think it's appropriate for it to be published in font 'Comic Sans MS'. We start at 1 hour and 22 minutes into the recording:

JM: I want to also talk about the whole twelve detectives…

MH: Oh yes.

JM: ...being, although this was not a question submitted by a listener I should point out, it’s something that’s in your book and I follow the Casebook message boards, as we all know, so in your book you state that extra constables were summoned to search the train stations and inspect American travellers’ luggage in an attempt to find evidence against Tumblety, is what you suggest, but from the correspondence that was posted on Casebook, by Prowse and Monro and folks like that, the extra constables that were requested seemed to have been intended for passengers coming from America to Liverpool and then proceeding to London in an attempt to search for, like, explosives, as opposed to Tumblety who was, whichever way he was going, was going in the opposite direction so to me there didn’t seem to be any indication that they were requesting to search Americans’ baggage outgoing, they were concerned with searching American passengers’ baggage incoming, so would you like to address that one for us?

MH: Yes, sure the - now what I reported on was from Andrew Cook’s book with the - and Andrew Cook made a comment and mentioned about this report around November 20th 1888 of assigning these constables.  Now, you’re exactly right and when you look at the reports on Casebook that - and there are a ton of them now, I mean multiple pages where that, those twelve constables were absolutely assigned for what you said, but that was for the dates between the 1st March 1889 and February 28th 1890.  That’s not what Andrew Cook was – his, Andrew Cook’s concern was, when you read that November 20th 1888 report, it says that those additional constables, it says in that particular report it states that this year long reassignment – it doesn’t say “year-long” but it was basically that date – he says, does not take into account the twelve police constables who will be required for duty at Euston Station and St Pancras. So it says it does not take into account that, meaning the report about the November 20th, this right here is suggesting that they will be using some before those dates but all those correspondences between Home Office and Scotland Yard is for the enduring or the year-long event which is fine but that’s not what Andrew Cook was concerned about, he said that the ones that it was not taking into account, he was thinking that, again this is November 20th, so that would have been that it suggests that there were some people there before and so -

JM: Well the correspondence that as far as I can tell that initially started the request for the inspection of Americans’ luggage for explosives was in the spring of 1888 so it would have been even months prior to the Whitechapel murders even commencing, now whether it went on to 89 and 90 I don’t know.  So are you saying that there was two separate requests that –

MH: No, I’m saying there was only one request, all those requests are for the March 1889 and 1890 which is exactly what all that correspondence was but Andrew Cook’s comments was the part where it says it does not take into account that. What he’s talking about is that there was something happening that does not take into account that, who will be required for the next year. So he said that was curious. So that’s what I said was cur- I said kind of basically the same thing as Andrew Cook is that - now by the way when I was making the comment about -

JM: Now, explain to me again, I’m kind of confused. What does - I don’t have Andrew’s book in front of me, and it’s been years since I spoke to him – so what does he exactly say?

MH: So it’s a Home Office, apparently it’s 144 dash 222 dash 49500M, that particular one talks about, that report there says does not take into account the twelve PCs, the twelve PCs who will be required for next year. So all the correspondence before the Ripper murders and all that, focuses on: they need funding for a year-long twelve constables.  So that would not have nothing to do with Francis Tumblety but in this case it enhances (?) it when it says it does not take into account those.  That means that Home Office and them have knowledge of having some constables at these stations.  Now, the counter to that was that when he said this, and there is a November 23rd Board of Customs to the Secretary of State approval, talking about the new arrangements still to be worked out so when it says “still to be worked out” that must not mean that there were some constables that were, you know, already by November 20th at those stations but there were some constables that were at the stations maybe between there and the beginning of when they needed that year-long funding, so my point was that when I read that was there was that there was this suspicious little statement about “it does not take into account those” so there must be some constables that are there around that time. Were they for Francis Tumblety?  Well they might not be, that’s why it was only a side comment saying curiously this was going on at the same time. So -

JM: And regardless of you know what they attempted to do, your book indicates that by travelling to visit his relatives in Bath he was probably dropping off a lot of his luggage.

MH: And surgical knives! (laughs)

JM: Yeah, so whether they deployed extra constables to search for Tumblety’s belongings or not, he was able to circumvent that whole effort anyway by possibly depositing them with his relatives and you know he wasn’t - they didn’t catch him with anything anyway so it’s all kind of a moot point.

MH: Again, the comment - that particular spot right there, I could have completely eliminated the discussion with Andrew Cook’s comment about the twelve constables and it would bear no impact upon Littlechild having knowledge of Tumblety making it to Boulogne and this complete issue. So that was just one more thing that:  how curious that Andrew Cook talked about that so I wanted to add that. 

COMMENTARY

It's hard to know where to start responding to all this because there is so much to say.  But let's first have a look at the key letter from Colonel Pearson of 20 November 1888.  This is the first page:

And this is the second page:

 

Here's the transcript:

Sir,

With reference to your letter of the 13th inst., A49500M, the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis has to transmit, for the information of the Secretary of State, the accompanying Return shewing the number of Officers of each rank who will probably be employed at the cost of the special vote between the 1st March, 1889, and the 28th February, 1890.

This Return does not take into account the 12 Police Constables who will be required for duty at Euston and St. Pancras Stations for the proposed examination of the luggage of passengers from America.


I am,
Sir,
Your most obedient servant,
[Signed R.L.O. Pearson]
Assistant Commissioner -
For the Commissioner 

We have seen that Hawley focuses on this particular sentence:

'This Return does not take into account the 12 Police Constables who will be required for duty at Euston and St. Pancras Stations for the proposed examination of the luggage of passengers from America.'

The meaning of the sentence is very clear:  The calculated Return of the number of constables to be employed under the 'special' budget between 1st March 1889 and 28th February doesn't take into account the 12 constables whose deployment was being proposed to examine the luggage of passengers arriving in the UK from the United States.  So, to put it in the most simple terms, if there were 1,000 constables proposed to be employed on special duties from 1 March 1889 to 28 February 1890, the total number of constables to be employed would be 1,012 once those additional 12 constables were taken into account.

In fact, the actual number budgeted for in the 1889/90 Return supplied by Colonel Pearson was 295 constables, to which 12 would obviously need to be added for luggage searches at the railway stations to make 307 in total (plus a further 26 sergeants, 10 inspectors and 1 chief inspector). The words 'does not take into account' don't change the meaning of what those 12 constables were going to do (and Hawley now accepts that they were not to be deployed to hunt for Tumblety) nor do they add a single more constable into the equation.

So why does he keep referring to the words 'does not take into account' in the Howlercast?    Surely he can speak and read English.  Yet, perhaps not, for he says this in the Howlercast:

'So it says it does not take into account that, meaning the report about the November 20th, this right here is suggesting that they will be using some before those dates' 

This is just wrong as a matter of plain English.  There is no such suggestion in Colonel Pearson's words. He is obviously talking about a future event, hence he is saying that the Return does not take into account the 12 constables who 'will be' required for duty at Euston and St Pancras.  There is no other possible interpretation of his words. If the extra constables to which he is referring were to be used prior to 1 March 1889, they would be irrelevant to the point he is making in his letter to the Home Office which is solely that the constables were not in the projected Return of constables for the twelve month period from 1 March 1889.  Any use of those constables prior to this date would obviously have affected the previous Return for the period 1 March 1888 to 28 February 1889 but that is not what Colonel Pearson is addressing. Hence there is no suggestion in the words 'does not take into account' of any constables being deployed prior to 1 March 1889 (and certainly not of any constables other than the 12 constables to be deployed at the train stations) for that would not make any sense.  Colonel Pearson was only talking of the total calculation of constables to be deployed on special duties in the future, i.e. in the year 1889/90.

It's worse than this though because Hawley wasn't telling the truth to Jonathan Menges, and the listeners of the Howlercast, about how Andrew Cook dealt with this document in his 2011 book, 'M: MI5's First Spymaster'.  For what Cook said was this (emphasis in original):

'What is certain, though odd, is that around 20 November, twelve extra constables were deployed at Euston and St Pancras Stations in order to examine the belongings of passengers arriving from America'.

That is literally all Cook says about the subject of the 12 constables in his book.  In writing this, he hadn't even seen Colonel Pearson's letter to the Home Office of 20 November 1888 because his footnote reference to the above sentence makes clear that he was relying on a summary of that letter by Bernard Porter as published in his 1987 book 'Origins of the Vigilant State' (although Cook wrongly uses the phrase 'quoted by Bernard Porter' when Porter was not quoting from the letter but summarizing its contents, and Cook even gives a wrong reference to the file in which the letter is contained, citing TNA HO 144/208/A49500M instead of the correct reference of TNA HO 144/222/A49500M, which correct reference was provided by Porter). 

For completeness, this is what Porter said in 'Origins of the Vigilant State', at page 91, about Colonel Pearson's letter, in the context of a discussion about what the government's counter-subversive agencies were up to in the late 1880s:

'In November 1888 twelve extra constables were put on to examining the belongings of passengers from America arriving at Euston and St Pancras Stations'.

His footnote reference here states: 'Pearson to Home under-secretary, 20 November 1888, HO 144/222/A49500M, sub 3' (a footnote repeated exactly by Cook, save for the mis-transcription of 208 for 222 - 208 being a number in Porter's next footnote reference relating to a different file). 

That's ALL Porter said hence that is ALL that Cook knew about Pearson's letter when he wrote his 2011 book (which was first published in 2006) . And from Porter's summary of Pearson's letter, allied with the footnote reference in Porter's book giving the date of that letter, Cook became aware that, on 20 November 1888, Colonel Pearson mentioned the deployment of 12 constables in a letter to the Home Office.  He hadn't done any research into the matter, or looked into the background of the letter, so knew nothing more than what was said in the text of the letter as summarized by Porter.  He misunderstood, and thus misrepresented, the meaning of the letter as saying that 12 constables were deployed 'around 20 November' because the letter, which he had never read, was not saying that.  But one thing Cook did not do was express any surprise or curiosity about the words 'does not take into account' in Colonel Pearson's letter.  This is not terribly surprising, for, never having actually read the letter, he didn't even know those words were in it! Yet, as we have seen, Hawley said this in the Howlercast:

'Andrew Cook’s comments was the part where it says it does not take into account that. What he’s talking about is that there was something happening that does not take into account that, who will be required for the next year. So he said that was curious.'

We can see that this was completely untrue.   Andrew Cook said nothing about either the letter or the Return not taking any constables (or anything) into account.  He did not, therefore, say that he was 'curious' about those words; no doubt because he didn't know they existed (although, if he had, one assumes he would have been able to read English and would thus have understood what those words meant).  He didn't even use the word 'curious' at all.  What he was saying was 'odd' was something different, namely that 12 constables were being deployed (as he thought) at this time to examine the baggage of passengers arriving into England from America, whereas he would have expected them to have been interested in passengers leaving the country for America or, rather, just one passenger leaving the country for America, i.e. Francis Tumblety.

Of course, what Cook thought should have been happening is neither here nor there.  He didn't understand the purpose of the proposed deployment of the 12 constables. He didn't know that their deployment had originally been requested months earlier by a major railway company and that this request had subsequently been pressed by a major shipping company in order to speed the passage of travellers from America through customs.  Nor did he understand that the date of Colonel Pearson's letter of 20 November 1888 had nothing whatsoever to do with events that were occurring in November 1888 and, thus, nothing to do with Tumblety.  Even if Cook had checked Porter's reference (which, of course, he didn't) he would have found that the letter is in a file in the National Archives concerning Special Police Estimates for the year 1889-1890, not in a file about baggage searching, and contained no further information about the 12 constables. But the point here is that Hawley has blatantly misrepresented what Cook said about Pearson's letter.  And he obviously did so in order to throw dust into the eyes of Jonathan Menges, and indeed into the eyes (and ears) of everyone listening to the broadcast, because otherwise he had nothing else to say other than to admit that he got it all completely wrong, something which he appears to be incapable of doing.

Even when Menges asked him directly as to what Cook had said, i.e.: 'I don't have Andrew's book in front of me...so what exactly does he say?'we can see that Hawley completely evaded and ignored the question and simply waffled on about the location of Pearson's letter in the National Archives, not informing Menges at all of what Cook actually said about it in his book. It's no wonder he refused to tell Menges what was in Cook's book.  Had he done so, it would have revealed that everything he had told Menges up to that point was untrue.

We, however, have now seen what Andrew Cook said about Colonel Pearson's letter in the 2011 version of his book which was read by Hawley.  What did Hawley subsequently say about it in his 2016 book 'The Ripper's Haunts'? Well, having claimed that Tumblety probably absconded on 20 November, Hawley said:  

'Unsurprisingly, police constables were reassigned to watch train stations on November 20.'  

So Andrew Cook's vague (and inaccurate) mention of 'around 20 November' for the reassignment has now become 'on November 20'. Then Hawley went on to say this: 

'Researcher and biographer, Andrew Cook, in his book, M: MI5's First Spymaster (2011), reported a correspondence between Scotland Yard senior official Lieutenant Pearson and the home under-secretary, which pertained to deploying twelve extra constables at two train stations on November 20, 1888, in order to "examine the belongings of passengers arriving from America." Scotland Yard never admitted Tumblety was a suspect in the Whitechapel murder case (although it was later confirmed by the statements of three Scotland Yard officials) and they certainly did not want his name on any official correspondence to the home officer (sic). The timing of this reassignment combined with the fact that the American would likely escape on the train is certainly suggestive that the deployment of extra constables was for Tumblety.'

Having established in his own mind that these extra constables were deployed for Tumblety (thus disregarding Cook's statement that the constables were supposed to be examining the belongings of passengers arriving from America, not those leaving Britain to go to America), Hawley then said:
Scotland Yard, fearing Tumblety was attempting to leave the country, would have not only populated the train stations with constables, they would also have searched the harbors. In view of this, Littlechild’s statement of Tumblety being sighted out of England in Boulogne was likely on November 20, 1888.

'Scotland Yard fearing Tumblety was attempting to leave the country, would not only have populated the train stations with constables, they would also have searched the harbors.'  

So we can see that it's Hawley, not Cook, who first  suggested that the deployment of extra constables was 'for Tumblety'.  It's Hawley, not Cook, who first claimed that Scotland Yard in November 1888 populated train stations with constables out of a fear that Tumblety was attempting to leave the country. And, again, we can see that Hawley says absolutely nothing about the words 'does not take into account' in Colonel Pearson's letter. Indeed, he almost certainly didn't even know of the existence of those words given that (like Cook) he appears not to have seen Colonel Pearson's letter at any time before he wrote his 2016 book, relying entirely on Cook's summary of it which, as we have seen, was really Porter's summary. 

With this in mind, it's instructive to remind ourselves what Hawley said in the Howlercast about this:

'Andrew Cook’s comments was the part where it says it does not take into account that. What he’s talking about is that there was something happening that does not take into account that, who will be required for the next year. So he said that was curious. So that’s what I said was cur- I said kind of basically the same thing as Andrew Cook...'  

You can see that Hawley was about to say, 'that's what I said was curious' before pulling out of the sentence and saying instead, 'I said basically the same thing as Andrew Cook'.  But, of course, Andrew Cook, as we have seen, never said that the words 'does not take into account' , which he didn't even mention, were curious.  In fact, as I've already mentioned, he didn't say that anything was 'curious'. He used the word 'odd' but that was only in respect of the fact that the 12 constables were to be deployed to search the baggage of passengers coming from America, something which he didn't understand the reasons behind.  Moreover, Hawley himself never said anything about the words 'does not take into account' in his own book so that if he truly had a memory of Andrew Cook saying that those words were 'curious' he must have known that he himself hadn't, in fact, followed Cook in saying the same thing.

What we see from Hawley in the Howlercast is an attempt to throw all blame for his own mistake onto Andrew Cook.  But what Hawley did in his 2016 book was go much further than Andrew Cook did, as he directly linked the deployment of the 12 constables (which HE says occurred on 20 November, compared with Cook saying it occurred 'around' this date) to a supposed search for Tumblety on 20 November.  Inexcusably, he did so on the basis of no additional research into, or understanding of, Colonel Pearson's letter, simply relying on Cook's brief and inaccurate (in respect of the dating) summary while, at the same time, ignoring or rejecting the information provided by Cook that the only passengers whose luggage was to be searched was those arriving from America.  It's Hawley who has decided to switch this around by falsely suggesting that the police were really looking for someone leaving Britain for America, namely Tumblety. 

But Hawley wants to make clear that he was doing no more than repeating Cook.  Thus, he said in the Howlercast:

'Yes, sure the - now what I reported on was from Andrew Cook’s book with the - and Andrew Cook made a comment and mentioned about this report around November 20th 1888 of assigning these constables'.   

This is a total failure on his part to take responsibility for what he included in his own book. 

But, well, okay, one could say that Hawley was misled by Cook's account of Colonel Pearson's letter and that he was entitled to rely on what Cook had published about it without checking that what Cook said was accurate (albeit that, inexcusably, Hawley decided to interpret the information provided by Cook as bearing the direct opposite meaning of what Cook himself said the constables were supposed to be doing!).   The real problem is that shortly after publication of his book in September 2016, Hawley became aware that what Cook had said wasn't accurate and, at the same time, he became aware that the proposed deployment of the 12 constables had nothing to do with Francis Tumblety.  I know this because it was me who made him aware of it in my article published on this website entitled 'The English Detective' which can be found here.   This article was published on 29 September 2016, well in advance of Hawley's second book, published in May 2018.

Hawley confirmed that he had read my article on the same day it was published in a typically ridiculous post on the Censorship Forum on the same day (29 September 2016) when he wrote:

'Hi David,

I actually predicted you would respond to my English detective piece in the Ripper's Haunts because it actually rebutted an earlier argument of yours. As everyone knows, you can't let an argument go without a response.  Have you figured that out about yourself?  I was surprised it took you this long.  And I actually predicted this rebuttal as well; long on detail, but there remains a flaw. Does anyone else see it?'

We don't need to concern ourselves about this imaginary 'flaw' in my article - something Hawley has yet to reveal nearly three years later - because the point is that Hawley was confirming he had read my article and was thus now aware of his error about the 12 constables.  It is, therefore, inexplicable that he tried to keep the point alive in his 2018 book in which, after noting that Tumblety requested over £260 from his bank on 20 November 1888, he wrote:

'Coincidentally, Scotland Yard senior official Lieutenant Colonel Pearson reported to the Home Undersecretary about deploying twelve extra constables at two train stations on November 20, 1888, in order to "examine the belongings of passengers arriving from America." Officially, Tumblety was never reported as a suspect, so it would not be a surprise that his name was absent from any correspondence'.

I don't think anyone who has read my articles about the quality of Hawley's work will be surprised to discover that Hawley has misquoted Colonel Pearson's letter.  Even when he wrote his 2018 book, he evidently still hadn't seen that letter.  I quoted only one sentence from it in my September 2016 article as follows:

'Colonel Pearson (on behalf of the Commissioner) stated in a letter to the Home Office that a projected return of police numbers for the period 1 March 1889 to 28 February 1890 'does not take into account the 12 Police Constables who will be required for duty at the Euston and St Pancras Stations' (HO 144/222/A49500M)' 

The quote used by Hawley in his book, namely 'examine the belongings of passengers arriving from America' is nothing more than Andrew Cook's summary of Bernard Porter's summary of Pearson's letter. Pearson himself wrote of 'the proposed examination of the luggage of passengers from America.'  With Hawley inaccurately and inexplicably wrapping quotation marks around the words, 'examine the belongings of passengers arriving from America', which words do not appear in Pearson's letter, this suggests that Hawley was continuing to write about a letter that he'd never seen. 

Even worse is that, despite his decision not to repeat the claim that the deployment of 12 constables was for Tumblety, and the introduction of the word 'coincidentally', he is still clearly trying to say that Colonel Pearson's letter was about Tumblety, which can be the only reason why he tells us that Tumblety's name wasn't mentioned in that letter, i.e. because he was not officially a suspect (although why on earth that would make any difference at a time when, according to Hawley, Tumblety was attempting to abscond from a criminal charge at the Old Bailey is hard to fathom).  He is clearly trying to say to his readers that, despite Colonel Pearson's letter referring to searches of the belongings of incoming passengers, this wasn't the true reason for the deployment of the 12 constables and that Tumblety's name was being deliberately kept out of official correspondence.

What possible justification could Hawley, when writing his second book, have for continuing to suggest that the 12 constables were being deployed to search for Tumblety?  At the time of writing his book, he knows from my 2016 article, which he has read, that the proposed deployment of the 12 constables arose out of an application by travel companies for baggage of American passengers arriving in Liverpool to be inspected in London which had been brought to the attention of the Home Office in March 1888, long before the start of the Ripper murders, and dragged on through the year.  He knows too, because I made it clear in my article, that the 12 constables were not deployed as of 20 November 1888 nor were they deployed at any time during 1888 while Tumblety was in the country.  He also knows from my article that Colonel Pearson's letter of 20 November was doing no more than noting that, if the 12 constables were deployed, there was an administrative and/or budgetary issue to be resolved because they had not been included in the Return then being prepared of constables to be deployed for special duties in the following year.  So why is he still referring to Colonel Pearson's letter which is completely irrelevant to anything to do with Tumblety?

That question wasn't answered in the Howlercast.  Yet, for anyone who had bought 'The Ripper's Haunts' and then went on to buy 'Jack The Ripper Suspect: Dr. Francis Tumblety', how could they possibly know from reading those books that the deployment of the 12 constables had no connection with Tumblety's flight from justice?  Hawley's second book isn't even a new edition of his first one.  It's supposed to be read separately from it.  As Hawley stated in the Casebook Censorship Forum on 4 May 2018 regarding his second book, 'It is a stand-alone book'.  So anyone reading either one or both of his books would have been left with the clear impression that, as of 20 November 2018, Scotland Yard was deploying extra constables at two London train stations to try and prevent their prime Jack the Ripper suspect from leaving the country.  Yet Hawley knows that this is absolutely not true!!

We can see this very clearly from Hawley's comments in the Howlercast when he tells Menges that he accepts that the extra constables were deployed (or to be deployed)  only to search baggage of passengers entering the UK from America.  He knows it!  So what is a mention of those constables doing in his book on Tumblety?

***** 

Now that we've considered the background to the Howlercast - and anyone who wants to read the entire sequence of correspondence from 1888 and 1889 relating to this issue can find it here - let's go through Hawley's Howlercast answers line by line:

'Yes, sure the - now what I reported on was from Andrew Cook’s book with the - and Andrew Cook made a comment and mentioned about this report around November 20th 1888 of assigning these constables.' - COMMENT: No, this is wrong. Andrew Cook didn't say anything about a 'report'.  He was talking about a letter from Colonel Pearson to the Home Office (which he hadn't read).  And what Andrew Cook mentioned in his book was that it was odd that the constables were being deployed to search baggage of incoming passengers to the UK rather than search for Tumblety.

'Now, you’re exactly right and when you look at the reports on Casebook that - and there are a ton of them now, I mean multiple pages' - COMMENT: Does Hawley have a problem with multiple pages of evidence?  Had he read multiple pages of evidence prior to writing his two books perhaps there would not be so many howlers in them!

'where that, those twelve constables were absolutely assigned for what you said' - COMMENT: Based on the documents I had posted on the Censorship Forum, Menges had said that the 12 constables were assigned for searching the baggage of passengers arriving from America. Hawley is here admitting that they were 'absolutely assigned' for this purpose.  So why doesn't he just put his hands up at this point and say that he got it all wrong in his books which suggest that they were assigned in connection with a search for Tumblety?

'but that was for the dates between the 1st March 1889 and February 28th 1890.' - COMMENT - No, that is wrong.  No date was ever given for the assignment of the 12 constables. Colonel Pearson was referring to the Return of constables on special duty for the period 1 March 1889 to 28 February 1890 and noting that the 12 proposed constables were not currently included in that Return.  The 1889/90 period mentioned by Pearson is unconnected to the proposed period of deployment of the 12 constables (which was unspecified).  However, that's not really the issue here.  In using the word 'But' , Hawley is attempting to caveat his admission that the 12 constables were deployed to search baggage of incoming passengers from America, as if the period of deployment being between 1 March 1889 and 28 February 1890 somehow helps him.  Yet, if the 12 constables were only going to start searching baggage in March 1889, it makes it even less likely that they had anything to do with Tumblety, so his word 'But' is inappropriate.  It should have been 'Furthermore', showing that the point was even more against him, not in his favour in any way, which is the impression he is trying to give to Menges and his listeners.

'That’s not what Andrew Cook was – his, Andrew Cook’s concern was, when you read that November 20th 1888 report, it says that those additional constables, it says in that particular report it states that this year long reassignment – it doesn’t say “year-long” but it was basically that date'  - COMMENT: No, that is wrong.  It wasn't 'basically' a year long reassignment at all.  And, to repeat the point, Colonel Pearson did not write a 'report', it was a short letter to the Home Office.  The only reason Hawley had even read that letter was because, by this time, I had posted a transcript of it on the Casebook Censorship Forum in amongst the multiple pages of evidence that he seems to dislike so much.

'he says, does not take into account the twelve police constables who will be required for duty at Euston Station and St Pancras. So it says it does not take into account that, meaning the report about the November 20th, this right here is suggesting that they will be using some before those dates'. - COMMENT: No, that is a false statement because Colonel Pearson is not in any way suggesting in his letter that the 12 constables will be used before those dates, but, even if he was (and they certainly could have been), it would have been the same 12 constables for which Hawley has already agreed that their deployment was to search the baggage of incoming passengers from American, not outgoing ones.

'but all those correspondences between Home Office and Scotland Yard is for the enduring or the year-long event which is fine but that’s not what Andrew Cook was concerned about, he said that the ones that it was not taking into account, he was thinking that, again this is November 20th, so that would have been that it suggests that there were some people there before and so' - COMMENT: No, that is false.  Andrew Cook didn't say, or refer to,'the ones that it was not taking into account' or anything like it. He wasn't suggesting that there would have been 'some people there before'.  Cook, having misunderstood the letter, of which he had only read Porter's summary, had believed that constables were being deployed 'around 20 November' simply because that was the date of Colonel Pearson's letter which had referred to the fact that 12 constables would be required at two London stations. 

'No, I’m saying there was only one request, all those requests are for the March 1889 and 1890 which is exactly what all that correspondence was but Andrew Cook’s comments was the part where it says it does not take into account that. What he’s talking about is that there was something happening that does not take into account that, who will be required for the next year. So he said that was curious. So that’s what I said was cur- I said kind of basically the same thing as Andrew Cook is that - now by the way when I was making the comment about -' - COMMENT: This is all factually untrue.  Cook didn't say that anything in Colonel Pearson's letter was curious, let alone the part where Pearson says that the Return for 1889/90 does not take into account the proposed 12 additional constables.  The meaning of that statement is crystal clear, mundane, straightforward and uncontroversial so no-one in their right mind would say it is curious.  Cook wasn't actually aware of this part of Pearson's letter, because he hadn't read it, but even if he had, he would undoubtedly not have done so.

'So it’s a Home Office, apparently it’s 144 dash 222 dash 49500M, that particular one talks about, that report there says does not take into account the twelve PCs, the twelve PCs who will be required for next year.' - COMMENT: This is not responsive to the question he was being asked by Menges which was: what exactly did Cook say in his book?  In any event, there are no dashes in the document reference, they are oblique strokes (or slashes), the document is not a report and the letter of Colonel Pearson does not say that the 12 PCs will be required for next year, albeit that the reason he has mentioned them is obviously because he thinks that they may be required to carry out their baggage inspection duties during the period 1 March 1889 to 28 February 1890 (but he isn't certain about this, which would explain why he hasn't included them in the enclosed Return). 

'So all the correspondence before the Ripper murders and all that, focuses on: they need funding for a year-long twelve constables.  So that would not have nothing to do with Francis Tumblety' - COMMENT: That's right.  Once we eliminate the double negative it's just about the first true thing he has said so far, albeit that it was not 'a year-long twelve constables'.  No time period was ever specified about how long the constables would be needed.

'but in this case it enhances (?) it when it says it does not take into account those.  That means that Home Office and them have knowledge of having some constables at these stations.' - COMMENT: I call gibberish here.  The fact that the 1889/90 Return provided by Colonel Pearson does not take into account the 12 constables, does not, in any way, mean that the Home Office had knowledge of already having some constables stationed at Euston and St Pancras stations.  In reality, no constables had yet been deployed at those stations.  Final arrangements for their use as at 20 November 1888 were still to be made (and the Home Secretary didn't inform the Receiver that he had sanctioned a temporary augmentation to the Metropolitan Police Force of these 12 constables until 16 January 1889).

'Now, the counter to that was that when he said this, and there is a November 23rd Board of Customs to the Secretary of State approval, talking about the new arrangements still to be worked out so when it says “still to be worked out” that must not mean that there were some constables that were, you know, already by November 20th at those stations but there were some constables that were at the stations maybe between there and the beginning of when they needed that year-long funding' - COMMENT: Is this statement capable of being understood?  I don't think so.  The meaning of the words 'still to be worked out'  (which, as I explain below, are my own words, so I am a position of authority to speak about them) is no more and no less than that the arrangements for deploying the extra twelve constables were still to be worked out.  It isn't suggesting that any further deployment of additional constables was involved, unless you are quite mad.  In any case, the words 'still to be worked out', purportedly quoted by Hawley from a Board of Customs letter, are not to be found in any correspondence of the period.  He was actually quoting ME from my own summary of a letter dated 23 November 1888 from the Home Secretary to the Board of Customs in my 2016 article The English Detective.  As I said in that article, 'The Board of Customs was only informed on 23 November 1888 of the Secretary of State's approval to the new arrangements with the practical details still to be worked out (HO 65/63).'  While it's good to see Hawley paying close attention to what I said in my article, to the extent of memorizing and then repeating some of it during the Howlercast, it's somewhat surprising that he not only fails to understand what I was saying but confuses my words with those of the Secretary of State!! It's a shame he didn't read what I wrote properly because there was no 'November 23rd Board of Customs to the Secretary of State approval'.  What happened on that date is that the Secretary of State informed the Board of Customs that he had withdrawn his objections to the deployment of the 12 constables and that the Commissioner of Police was ready to implement their deployment when required (see 12 Constables: The Evidence They Tried to Ban). As I mentioned in my 2016 article, the practical details at this stage were still to be worked out. We know this because five days later, on 28 November, the Board of Customs wrote to the Home Office saying that the Board were speaking to the railway companies concerned, 'in order to make the necessary arrangements for the introduction of the new system'. How Hawley can think or suggest that this means that any constables were conceivably deployed before this date (which is what he seems to be doing) is beyond human understanding.

'so my point was that when I read that was there was that there was this suspicious little statement about “it does not take into account those” so there must be some constables that are there around that time.'- COMMENT: There is nothing at all suspicious about Colonel Pearson's statement that the 1889/90 Return of constables on special duty did not take into account those 12 constables who had not yet been deployed but whose deployment was anticipated in the near future.  Furthermore, it's plain that Hawley had not read Colonel Pearson's letter containing that statement prior to writing his 2016 book.  He evidently only read the bit about the 1889/90 Return not taking into account the 12 constables after I posted an extract from the letter in my article on this website on 29 September 2016 (and then a full transcript of it on the Casebook Censorship Forum on 9 May 2018).  So his claim that this is what made him suspicious, which would be ridiculous even if he had read Pearson's letter, cannot possibly be true.  His second book makes no mentions of the words that he now says he found so curious and suspicious, nor does that book say anything more than he said in his first book. It's something he has grasped onto like a drowning man clinging to a twig in the hope that it will keep him afloat.  But even if he had read and considered those words, they cannot possibly give him an excuse for including a mention of the 12 constables in his latest book about Tumblety.

'Were they for Francis Tumblety?  Well they might not be, that’s why it was only a side comment saying curiously this was going on at the same time' - COMMENT: It's extraordinary that as late as June 2018 Hawley is saying only that the twelve constables 'might not' have been for Francis Tumblety.  But the point I have been making, and which Hawley should have admitted, is that they were definitely not for Francis Tumblety! Hawley knew this when he read my article on 29 September 2016.  He should not have attempted to mislead the readers of his 2018 book into thinking that they might have had anything to do with Tumblety nor should he have claimed that there was a 'crack' in my argument on the Forum.  Further, he doesn't say in his 2018 book that it is 'curious' or 'suspicious' that the deployment of constables was going on at the same time as Tumblety was fleeing the country (which, as a matter of fact, it wasn't); he used the word 'coincidentally' with respect to the timing of Colonel Pearson's letter but then went on to explain that the reason why Tumblety's name was not mentioned in the letter was because he was not officially a suspect, thus maintaining the fiction that the 12 constables were being deployed to search for Tumblety.

'Again, the comment - that particular spot right there, I could have completely eliminated the discussion with Andrew Cook’s comment about the twelve constables' COMMENT: It just begs the question of WHY he included it in both his books.  Did he have belief in it or not?  If he could have eliminated it without it having any effect on the rest of his book(s) why didn't he do so?  One is driven to the conclusion that he wanted the readers of his books to believe that Scotland Yard deployed officers at train stations on 20 November specifically to detain and arrest a fleeing Tumblety who, they believed, was the Whitechapel murderer.  Further, it would seem that the reason he felt the need to rely on evidence which he knew did not in any way support that belief was because of the lack of evidence showing that Tumblety was Scotland Yard's prime suspect at this time.

'and it would bear no impact upon Littlechild having knowledge of Tumblety making it to Boulogne and this complete issue.' COMMENT: The issue of the 12 constables is separate from the issue of Littlechild's knowledge of Tumblety making it to Boulogne. The key point about the 12 constables is surely that if they HAD been deployed to hunt for Tumblety, as Hawley claims in his book, it would be an incredible and major indicator that Scotland Yard treated him as a prime suspect for the Whitechapel murders in November 1888.  There is simply no other evidence (including Littlechild's letter) which does this! No doubt that is why Hawley could not bear to let the point go, despite knowing by the time he wrote his 2018 book that it was a false point.  Equally, this is no doubt why, even after he wrote his 2018 book, when I further demonstrated that the 12 constables had nothing to do with Tumblety, he tried to pretend there was a 'crack' in my argument. Equally, this is no doubt why he babbled such babbling incomprehensible nonsense about these 12 constables during the Howlercast.

'So that was just one more thing that: how curious that Andrew Cook talked about that so I wanted to add that.' COMMENT: This isn't true.  We've seen what Hawley wrote in his books about this issue.  He didn't even mention Andrew Cook in his second book! In his first book, he didn't say 'how curious that Andrew Cook talked about that' or anything like it.  What he stated, as fact, in his first book was that, 'police constables were reassigned to watch train stations on November 20', and,'The timing of this reassignment combined with the fact that the American would likely escape on the train is certainly suggestive that the deployment of extra constables was for Tumblety.'  That is about as far away from saying 'how curious that Andrew Cook spoke of the twelve constables' as it is possible to be.

Hawley's website is called 'searching for the truth with a broken flashlight' (dot com).  But does Hawley actually care about the truth?  Is that genuinely what he is searching for? For, despite the multiple opportunities offered to him by Jonathan Menges (not to mention the multiple opportunities I gave him on the Censorship Forum, at a time when I was able to ask him questions) he has never admitted to making a mistake about this issue (or any other issue as far as I'm aware) in his books and has never admitted that the intended deployment of 12 constables mentioned in Colonel Pearson's letter of 20 November had absolutely nothing to do with Tumblety or any other individual trying to escape from justice.  On the contrary, he stated there was a 'crack' in my own argument (although he obviously didn't manage to find the time to tell Jonathan Menges what that was). While it was fun to listen to Hawley wriggle and squirm, and basically attempt to dissemble and bluff his way out of an uncomfortable situation, he should have simply just told the truth. 

When he was interviewed by Jonathan Menges for the Howlercast in the first week of June he had had plenty of time to prepare.  I had originally raised the issue about his second book a month earlier in the Forum (having raised the issue about his first book back in September 2016).  So there is no question of him being taken by surprise and being unable to check the facts. But considering the string of pure nonsense, gibberish even, that he spoke in the Howlercast, he gives the impression of not understanding any of the underlying facts.  It raises the question of whether Hawley is ever prepared to read documents properly.  All the evidence was there. Did he read it?  Did he understand it?  Unfortunately, we will probably never get answers to these questions because asking a protected author like Mike Hawley any questions of this nature on the Casebook Censorship Forum (which is certainly the only place where I could have done it) is strictly prohibited.

But it goes even deeper and wider than this because how is a reader of Hawley's book supposed to be able to trust him about issues where they, themselves, have not read the primary documents?  If he maintains reliance on one document which he knows does not support Tumblety's candidature as Jack the Ripper - and we've seen his complete inability to sensibly and honestly justify his reliance on that document - how do we know he is not relying on other documents in the same way? It's a real problem.  I certainly haven't seen all the documents referred to in his book so I can't check what he says about them; and, frankly, on most occasions when I have checked his claims against original source material they fall down. Until Hawley comes forward with some sensible answers about the 12 constables I'm not sure it's possible to trust him on other aspects of the case. 

David Barrat
25 May 2019 

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