George Hutchinson: A Witness as Credible as Any Eyewitness can be Given Credit…

Based on the statement that George Hutchinson gave in regards to the murdered Mary Jane Kelly, it is my opinion that it is perhaps one of the most reliable statements that was given to police. Hutchinson told the police that after she first asked him for a sixpence, he saw Kelly say “alright” to a man holding a parcel—similar to a newspaper parcel that other witnesses described. Hutchinson’s statement would match up with the facts surrounding Mary Kelly’s murder, including times and locations, his description of the man also matched up with other descriptions given, including age and height. However his detailed account of the man has caused many to raise questions about his statement. Was it possible in those dimly lit streets to describe any one person to the degree that Hutchinson described the Ripper? According to Inspector Abberline,

“I have interrogated him this evening and I am of opinion his statement is true. He informed me that he had occasionally given the deceased a few shillings, and that he had known her about 3 years. Also that he was surprised to see a man so well dressed in her company which caused him to watch them.” (Casebook)

The faith Abberline shows in Hutchinson indeed causes me to think that he is a credible witness, and yet why did Hutchinson wait so long to give the police his statement? Three days is a large amount of time to wait before offering this description and information to the police in such a brutal massacre. Was Hutchinson fearful of the real Ripper? It has been suggested that he should be a suspect in the Whitechapel murders, and the idea of him waiting so long outside of Miller’s Court observing the couple in such a way as he depicted is also a point of contention. Was the manner in which the man was dressed so out of place that Hutchinson felt it necessary to watch them as long as he did? Or was Hutchinson romantically interested in Kelly? Perhaps he simply wanted to prove his own reliability and interest in Mary Jane Kelly’s murder to police investigators. Nevertheless, whether Hutchinson was an accomplice, lover, or interested onlooker, his statement to the police does hold many truths to the occurrences proceeding Kelly’s death. Hutchinson I believe is a witness that should be trusted to a large degree, however not to the fullest, as it truly is impossible to trust any eyewitness account in a full relationship to the case.

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