Introduction
Victims
Suspects
Witnesses
Ripper Letters
Police Officials
Official Documents
Press Reports
Victorian London
Message Boards
Ripper Media
Authors
Dissertations
Timelines
Games & Diversions
About the Casebook

 Search:
 

Join the Chat Room!

Stride and Packer Log Out | Topics | Search
Moderators | Edit Profile

Casebook: Jack the Ripper - Message Boards » Victims » Elizabeth Stride » Stride and Packer « Previous Next »

Author Message
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

J.Smith
Unregistered guest
Posted on Tuesday, August 02, 2005 - 12:46 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I was reading some info, on another website, about Stride and Mathew Packer.A man walked up to him - face to face - and bought some grapes, then ate them with Long Liz. Soon after she was murdered, and the grape stalk was found by detectives near her body.

Mathew Packer was sent a letter warning him if he talked he would recieve a vistit from Jack the Ripper - who knew his adress. As far as I can tell , Packer has got closer to the ripper than any other witness. Shwarts, Lawnde, and Hutchinson were all much further away. Packer sold him grapes - face to face. If this is undisputibly what occured, than his description must be the standard for JtR. Any serious suspect, must match him. Welcome comment.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Frank van Oploo
Chief Inspector
Username: Franko

Post Number: 712
Registered: 9-2003
Posted on Saturday, August 06, 2005 - 5:38 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi J. Smith,

First of all, although a grape-stalk was allegedly found in the sink in Dutfieldís Yard by two private detectives, thereís no official corroboration of this. Secondly, the contents of Strideís stomach were searched but no traces of any grapes were found.

Furthermore, Packerís original story (on September 30) to the police was that he hadnít seen or heard anything suspicious the night before. He had seen no one standing about or go into the yard. Two days later he gave the private detectives the story you mention and he gave it several times after that, also to Commissioner Charles Warren. Unfortunately, details kept changing throughout all of the accounts, so Iíd say Packerís story is to be taken with a large grain of salt, if it is to be taken at all.

The letter youíre referring to is probably the threatening letter of 6 October, which appears to be in the same hand as the ĎDear Bossí letter and ĎSaucy Jackí postcard. However, itís not clear whom it was intended for and according to a file held at the Public Record Office it was found in the street, meaning that it was never actually posted. Anyway, like the other two communications, this letter was also most likely a hoax.

So, Iím afraid that Packerís story and description of the man he allegedly saw doesnít help us one tiny bit. Or at least, I think it doesn't.

All the best,
Frank
"There's gotta be a lot of reasons why I shouldn't shoot you, but right now I can't think of one."

- Clint Eastwood, in 'The Rookie' (1990)

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Diana
Chief Inspector
Username: Diana

Post Number: 733
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Saturday, August 06, 2005 - 11:25 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I can understand his initial wrong statement of not having seen anything and the later amendment.

During an ordinary day doing ordinary things in a routine manner we don't register much in long term memory. If indeed Packer did sell grapes to JTR, then at the time JTR and Stride were just two more customers in a long string of customers.

When asked by the police later if he had seen anything unusual, the natural answer would be no. If asked whether he saw Jack the Ripper he might have conjured up in his mind an image of a black cape, fangs, drooling and brandishing a knife dripping blood. When he compared that hypothesis to everything in his memory banks there was no match.

It would only be later when he had time to think and when the description of Stride's appearance began to float around (her lip would make her unmistakable) that it would begin to dawn on him that he had perhaps seen something after all.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Howard Brown
Chief Inspector
Username: Howard

Post Number: 776
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Saturday, August 06, 2005 - 1:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I can understand his initial wrong statement of not having seen anything and the later amendment.....but slightly differently.

Packer sees the chance of getting attention ..and cash..his re-evaluation made easy in light that maybe someone will pay for his story.

No grapes found in her digestive system may be as Frank states,evidence of her not being on the recieving end of that particular purchase.

Does anyone know the rate of "breakdown" of grapes in a digestive system ?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

AP Wolf
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Apwolf

Post Number: 2356
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Saturday, August 06, 2005 - 2:38 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I think I mentioned in the Myth that if the grapes had been skinned and pipped - as is common amongst many folk - then there would not have been a hope in hell of finding the actual fruit.
For my money Packer was telling the police the substantial truth, he probably pepped it up a bit for the press, but then hey, who wouldn't?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Frank van Oploo
Chief Inspector
Username: Franko

Post Number: 713
Registered: 9-2003
Posted on Saturday, August 06, 2005 - 2:51 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Diane,

"When asked by the police later if he had seen anything unusual, the natural answer would be no."

I agree that the likely answer would be no. However, according to a report written by sergeant White, who interviewed Packer on the day following the night of the murder, he didn't generally ask if the fruiterer had seen anything unusual, he specifically asked at what time he had closed his shop, if he had seen anything of a man or woman going into the yard, or had seen anyone standing about the street around the time he was closing his shop.

Packer answered that he hadn't and he doesn't seem to have gone to the police before Messrs. Grand and Batchelor visited him 2(!) days later, which one might have expected if what you suggest would be true. Or at least it would have been very convenient for Packer that the 2 private detectives dropped by just when he had come to realise he had perhaps seen something after all.

Although we should be cautious when it comes to newspaper articles, another funny thing is that, when asked by a reporter a couple of days later if the police had come by to interview him and his wife, Packer replied they hadn't asked him a word about it yet!

Anyway, even without his initial story the whole Packer episode remains fishy to me.

All the best,
Frank
"There's gotta be a lot of reasons why I shouldn't shoot you, but right now I can't think of one."

- Clint Eastwood, in 'The Rookie' (1990)

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Stephen Thomas
Unregistered guest
Posted on Sunday, August 07, 2005 - 2:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Packer is simply describing the same person that other witnesses saw with Elizabeth that night, who was her companion for the last two hours of her life. Sugden's description of Packer as a charlatan is most unfair. Given all the descriptions Liz's friend sounds a bit like Cutbush to me.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Caroline Anne Morris
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Caz

Post Number: 2001
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Wednesday, August 10, 2005 - 4:53 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi AP,

I have thought the same thing. Wasn't there a hankie found with fruit juice stains on it?

"Ooh ta ducks, but me teeth ain't up to chewing the skins these days, I'll just suck 'em. Now look, I've got all juice on me chin."

Love,

Caz
X
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

AP Wolf
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Apwolf

Post Number: 2373
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Wednesday, August 10, 2005 - 4:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Caz, I don't honestly remember about the hankie, but I do know the detectives found grape stalks in the street... I guess the pips and pith might have evaded their magnifying glass.
Given the previous confusion concerning the cachous I wouldn't be surprised if she wasn't eating plums and bouncing the stones off Packer's head.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

David O'Flaherty
Chief Inspector
Username: Oberlin

Post Number: 978
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Wednesday, August 10, 2005 - 5:10 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi A.P.

You know, the Daily News talks about grapes on Oct 1, which I believe predates the Packer business by several days. "In her right hand were tightly clasped some grapes, and in her left she held a number of sweetmeats."

It seems to come from Diemschutz: "Her hands were clenched, and when the doctor opened them I saw that she had been holding grapes in one hand and sweetmeats in the other."

Maybe they were knocked to the side by some communist bumping the body, eh? Problem is, I don't believe Blackwell ever mentions seeing grapes. I think it's interesting that they are referenced. I reckon the Daily News reference is what led to Packer's involvement.

Cheers,
Dave

Topics | Last Day | Last Week | Tree View | Search | User List | Help/Instructions | Register now! Administration

Use of these message boards implies agreement and consent to our Terms of Use. The views expressed here in no way reflect the views of the owners and operators of Casebook: Jack the Ripper.
Our old message board content (45,000+ messages) is no longer available online, but a complete archive is available on the Casebook At Home Edition, for 19.99 (US) plus shipping. The "At Home" Edition works just like the real web site, but with absolutely no advertisements. You can browse it anywhere - in the car, on the plane, on your front porch - without ever needing to hook up to an internet connection. Click here to buy the Casebook At Home Edition.