The Case of Dr Crippen – Guilty or Innocent?
In the course of his psychic detective work, Archy Lee has investigated a range of unsolved or mystifying cases, and on more than one occasion has come up with controversial conclusions that challenge those arrived at by the legal system.
One such case was that of Dr Crippen, the infamous doctor hanged in the early 1900s at Pentonville Prison for the alleged poisoning of his wife, Cora. Mutilated remains unearthed in the cellar of their London home during the investigation into her disappearance were claimed to have been hers, on the basis of forensic evidence put forward by pathologist Bernard Spilsbury, and it was largely this evidence that led to Crippen’s conviction and subsequent death sentence, despite his continued protestations of innocence.
Regardless of this apparent proof of Crippen’s guilt, however, Archy has always maintained that he was indeed innocent of the crime he was charged with, insisting that the remains found in the cellar were not those of Crippen’s wife, who, Archy claims, had left her husband and gone to America sometime earlier.
As to whose the remains in the cellar were and why they were there is something we will be writing about elsewhere. But Archy has been consistent in his belief that in this case an innocent man was sent to the gallows. When asked why he’s so insistent that this is the case, Archy has always replied, “Because he [Crippen] keeps telling me he’s innocent.”
When it’s put to him that Crippen would be bound to say that, Archy then replies that it’s not just Crippen who tells him what happened, but also Cora, Crippen’s wife. “She always says that she got bored with him,” says Archy. “He was such a quiet chap, no life or fun about him, and she lost interest and decided to head for America and some excitement.”
If that were the case, why did she just let him be hanged? She must have heard what was going on back in Britain. Why didn’t she come back and tell the authorities she was still alive? Her response to that, as reported by Archy, translates as “You must be joking!” She didn’t know about it until it was too late to do anything, “or so she says,” says Archy. “A bit of a good time girl, really,” he adds. There certainly seems to be evidence of this, with Cora, a musical hall artist, being described as a “blowsy, heavy-drinking nightmare, vain, bullying and promiscuous.”1
And so, for several years, that’s where we left it – as another instance where Archy’s view diverged from that generally accepted. Archy held to his belief, but it couldn’t be proved. That is, until evidence based on new DNA matching techniques began to emerge. In 2007, forensic scientists at the University of Michigan opened up a new investigation into the case, seeking to establish whether the body in the cellar was indeed that of Crippen’s wife. Using DNA from surviving relatives of Cora’s, they arrived at the conclusion that the remains found in the cellar were not only NOT those of Cora, but were in fact those of a male.
Furthermore, in the view of Dr John Trestrail, the toxicologist who led the new research, the mutilated state of the remains also gave forensic pause for thought. Police had found a headless torso with no bones and no genitalia.
To Dr Trestrail, this didn’t fit the usual poisoner’s profile. "It is so unusual that a poisoner would dismember the victim, because a poisoner attempts to get away with murder without leaving any trace. In my database of 1,100 poisoning cases, this is the only one which involves dismemberment," said Dr Trestrail. 2
Further clues emerged during this new research which could be seen as coinciding with Archy’s view of what happened. Cora sang on the British stage under the name of Belle Elmore. This new research revealed that, ten years after the trial, a singer with a similar name (Belle Rose) was registered as living with Cora's sister in New York. Records show that the same woman entered the US through Ellis Island from Bermuda in 1910 shortly after Mrs Crippen disappeared.
‘"Are Belle Rose and Cora Crippen one and the same?" asked Dr Trestrail. "We can't prove any of that - that is another investigation".’3
Crippen protested his innocence to the end, saying that one day, evidence would emerge that would prove he hadn’t committed the crime for which he would face the death sentence. Does this new research support his claim? Many believe so, but it is contested by other experts, who challenge the methodology used in this latest research, saying that it’s flawed. Further investigation will be necessary to establish whether or not the latest findings are reliable.
In the meantime, John Patrick Crippen, a cousin several times removed, continues to campaign to get the case re-opened in order to clear his name.
“With just cause,” says Archy, who remains certain that Crippen was innocent, and believes that in time, proof will emerge that will exonerate him.
This blog is written in order to present instances of Archy’s experiences, and to encourage debate, exploration and investigation into the nature of consciousness. The kinds of questions we want to ask include: If Archy is actually tapping into the past in some way, how is he doing it? What faculty of mind might he be using? And if real, what might it have to say about human consciousness as a whole?
A great deal of legitimate and scientifically-based research goes into this work with Archy. What’s written here isn’t made-up or fraudulent. We ask that you approach it with an open mind. Scepticism is welcomed; cynicism is not.