Born in 1862 Michigan USA to an industrious working family who owned a thriving business young Hawley grew up rich. He had desired to study medicine and left the family home in Coldwater to seek out a student course which brought him to the University of Michigan and passed all to qualify as an MD with degree in Homeopathy and so then traveled to Cleveland hospital to further his education. His job chance came in New York office of Homeopathic company drug dept. Here he met his wife an Irish Nurse ,one Charlotte Bell. Within a year their child was born. A boy they named Otto. All was fine and happy days until in 1892 Charlotte died of apoplexy leaving Crippen stunned and lonely with a child he was finding so difficult to help with the pressures of his job. His parents came to his rescue and took the child over. A life In sunny California was really the best thing leaving their hard working son to make his way in the world.
Some time later Crippen saw a stage play and fell head long in lust with Cora Turner who filled his heart as well as the stage. The real story thus must start here as we must quickly go on to the marriage and what was his end.
So thank you, we can look at this together now. We are at Crippens front door. He is packing up his goods, to her disgust. They cannot afford to stay, his job at the Chemistry plant is over and she too Cora is struggling on the London stage. Larger that life itself is Cora who uses the stage name Belle Elmore. Then we must look closer. Come close and see her birth name is Polish. Kunigunde Mackamotzki she was named. A real man eater of a woman born in Brooklyn and able to be a changing witch to the gentle Doctors ways. He then finds employ with a company who want a man in their London offices. Crippen a dedicated medical man was offered the job and he willingly accepted the promotion to general manager in the London office.
They are now installed in another house situated in the less popular area of London but happier as he is now earning an excellent wage of 3 pounds a week. Belle has become treasurer of the stage ladies group. But as we gaze into their midst nothing is happy between them. he is beginning to see her as a wife who wants extra sexual love.He knows now that Cora is really with him for safe life and cash income she will never truly make for herself. He calls home early this one day as he is excited with his progress he is stunned now to witness his own wife being sexually gratified by a young man on Crippens own bed. enough is enough he is broken. They argue violently as Cora has a temper and no reasonable excuse. How indeed could she be anything to him now. The end is there. Her man and her leave that house the party is over and Cora Crippen in the arms of her new man vanish from our tale.
He sits and thinks it all over in his mind. his job must come first his father trained him that way and now in his mind that would save him. Forget her and make his own way gladly. That is the face of misery changing slowly to bliss my friends.
He moves on but fate is before him.It is his able secretary one English rose called Ethel le Neve. She had worked alongside him at the Homeopathic company since the beginning He was becoming fascinated by her. Now his job was finished the excuse his wife problems interfered with his work. He falls into Ethels open arms and they become as one, deeply in love.
She eventually moves in with him.We see her dressing in Coras clothes and in her earrings and broaches Ethel even appears in front of some of Coras friends. People are talking all around that area of London. Many knew Cora and loved her high spirits ,yet did not live with such a demon.. Look now for truth to tell beyond the curtain a group who had been close to his wife are now asking questions. Instead of thinking positive this weaker man makes up stories. She is in America , she is dead. You see he is at his wits end. Why we ask.? Well! dear readers it was worse than shame for a wife to run off with another man in that era of time . it could have ruined him. Is he being instructed by Ethel too but the tale he told is reported to police
Ethel is at work .Here we see Crippen reading a medical book.Suddenly the police are here at his front door.They had been informed that Cora had died. Hawley Crippen is stunned. He starts to tell of his shame in finding Cora in bed with an actor half her age. The police see his point and willingly believe that poor man. They wish him well and leave. we see Crippen collapse with the strain.Ethel is not there.
Ethel knows that Cora could return suddenly and so the two decide to go and find Cora so Ethel could marry her man. She is believed by Crippen to be in Canada so they decided to go there. At this moment they had no idea that the friendly police had turned turtle and soon would be planning a man hunt even without proof, without a body. a drain on the public purse and a ship ride for Inspector Dew of the yard. Crippen was a marked man now.
The house that Hawley had rented had been legally terminated by Crippen days before the police had called on him. He had paid all debts and was now free. Inside that house police were pulling to bits each room in turn.. Nothing, nothing at all found after a long day one, with even the cellar floor dug up.Not one speck of proof that any one had been killed.
Day two morning: The police are opening up. In the cellar a lump of fleshy skin is found that was not there on lock up the day before.The police are stunned but are told that it is evidence by Dew who was in charge of this case.
Stay with me now as this is coming fast to conclusion and you know too what happened in that cellar from facts at court but the way it really worked is found in police notes.
A radio signal was being sent by a Captain Kendall of the ship Montrose . On board Crippen, bound for Quebec, had shaved off his great heavy trained mustache and had dressed Ethel as his son. Using the name Robinson, after reading newspapers, that he was now a fugitive. The wired message from Kendall was conveyed to the police from White Star Line in Liverpool and onward now goes Inspector Dew of Scotland Yard. He races to Liverpool to catch the steamer express mail ship SS. Laurentic that landed in Quebec a day prior to Montrose.
Dressed as a Pilot officer Dew boarded the Montrose ,Robinson and son pointed out and Dew went in fast to make his arrest. Crippen said nothing. Ethel was only concerned about Crippens nerves.
So now my dear friends I must say my peace. If in fact Crippen had traveled to his native America via New York , which was a cheaper trip he would have not been arrested and as a real US Citizen no one could have arrested him. Sailing to Canada was British territory .He knew that himself. So why did he book the tickets? Did he believe Cora could be found?
You see if he had, as they insist, killed her; what happened to the body? A big woman twice his size and powerful in voice and body. Did he poison her and cut her throat.Cut her up like a fish and cart her to a Canal, by barrow as he had no car in 1908.-10. Did he bury her in the park. Is she stuffed up the next door chimney? Police searched all over but still after 108 years no Cora ever came to light. Strange as if he had dumped the body off a bridge into the Thames river ,even then some of her in not all would have come to the surface eventually. Even bricked down. No body can be lost and let us face it what time did he have to effect all of this work. He certainly attended work every day happy clean and helpful. Seems hard to believe he was a killer.
His trial ; Typically he was more concerned about Ethel than he was about the court. He refused to allow her to be his witness which would have freed him. He saw her being connected to his problem would not help her case. He also knew Cora was not going to rush to his aid.
He went to his death telling the world that he was now face to face with God I believe that one day facts will be forth coming to prove my innocence. He wrote this to Ethel and they then hanged him that same hour 23rd November 1910
Ethel was found not guilty in under 12 minutes. She vanished from life. She had visited Crippen ever day even to the morning of his death and followed up each time with a letter. Crippen was buried in Pentonville Prison London UK in his coffin as he had asked all Ethel letters and her photograph on his breast. His will left his belongings to Ethel.
One point to mention that Captain Kendall statement claims Crippen had shaved off his great lip growth of a mustache yet two weeks later it was grown back in court? Seems Kendall was not observant at all.He never saw them but someone told him about Crippen being a passenger. To have mustache like Crippen had takes years to grow and train.
Ethel changed her name and eventually married. No one knew anything of her old life not even her family. She died in the August heat of 1967 she was 84. In her will she had asked for Crippens photograph to be in her coffin. Her son on finding out who is dear mother was made sure that she was cremated.
Crippen had been known as a hard working doctor with a mild gentle manner who many said was nice to know but few believed he was innocent?
My words are always the same. Motive, location, body. No body ever found no case to answer so police most surely fabricated the case with false evidence in every way
Today in our own time and age a letter was found in suppressed police files from 1910 on the Doctor Crippen case .It is a letter from Cora to Crippen that arrived as sentencing was due .It says I will not aid you from your death. It was treated as a hoax by Inspector Dew and his team but it should have been handed to Crippens solicitor or Crippen himself. Then as it would prove that Crippen did not murder his second wife Cora Turner they decided against saving him.
This year 2018 we find a Professor David Foran testing Coras stored skin as many times as needed to discover match to Coras family in Canada and failed each time to match at all. Foran insists all test prove also the the Y factor proves the body part was that of a male.He states that he has no interest in the Dr Crippen case only the fact that he is right is all he wants to be known for.
I texted Michigan university and a message for Professor David Foran to be asked to comment but many weeks later I find no reply to my request.
All I can say is more than an element of human doubt exists and if Crippen was tried in court today he would walk free. He did himself no favours running wild making this case the very first ever wire across the Atlantic arrest.
What I believe , well! on facts only my guess is he was innocent as he claimed. For all we know Cora did go to her family in Canada. if so no wonder her body never resurfaced in London.
Thank you once again for your company in this look back at history.
One judge who will know the truth will one day judge us all.
Yours always dear people
Sir Kevin Parr Baronet .
Copyright Kevin Parr Bt