The Other Side of the Night

Jake Peterson

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Mar 11, 2012
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Hi Russell;

Thanks! I'll look into that. I think I saw a book titled that at my local B&N. Will definitely take a closer look next time.

I have been looking to buy some new reading material this year, so now I have a good list from the above posts to consider.
 

Tad G. Fitch

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Dec 31, 2005
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You can sometimes find copies of the out of print books on Abe Books for a decent price. Of course, Amazon sells used copies, but they are often very expensive depending when you look, because copies are rare.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Used bookshops can be a goldmine if you know where to look or just keep your eyes open. The Bailey & Ryan work on the Lusitania was going for over $120 on a lot of the used book websites I checked but a used bookseller I found in Greenville SC had a copy for only $20.

>>Mr. Butler later uses these two above incidents to paint a picture of Lord’s sociopathary.<<

Jake, that's the point where I parted company with a lot of Captain Lord's critics. Whatever his mistakes...and the mistakes of April 14-15 1912 were ultimately some real doozies...I've seen no credible first hand evidence that he was a sociopath. He was simply human.

For my own money, whenever I look into the Californian affair, I get the sense that he was covering for the mistakes of his officers. (I can't prove this of course but very little else makes any sense.) If I'm right then that blows the whole sociopath thing right out of the water since a sociopath would have simply thrown them to the wolves.
 

Jake Peterson

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Yes, I have heard of AbeBooks. I did see some of these above books as used books on Amazon going for as low as $10.

As far as Lord's sociopathy goes, I really can't judge what a sociopath would do, since I never have met one. Butler's definition and ultimate scenarios look, on the surface, to prove their point, but I still would like to hear some more from the Pro-Lordites. I think I'll find Paul Lee's book on Amazon, and have a look for myself.

I did enjoy the first three chapters of this book, as they were most informative about ships in early 20th century/late 19th, and the ship-board life of the captains, and the passengers, delving into background information about Marconi operators and Captains who earn Master's Tickets, and Extra Master's Tickets.

The British Inquiry was another interesting chapter. I liked how Butler was able to use the testimony to prove Capt. Lord's twisting of facts, and roundabout answers. The only complaint I have with the chapter is that the questions aren't numbered as they are in the actual testimony, meaning I'd have to go to Titanic Inquiry Project and read all the testimony until I get to the pertinent questions.
 

Tad G. Fitch

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As a person who has concluded that when one dispassionately looks at the body of evidence as a whole, that it strongly supports that the Californian was in sight of Titanic that night and vice versa, I find Butler's claim that Lord was a sociopath to be beyond ludicrous. And yes, I am qualified to say that considering I am a mental health professional. There is zero evidence to support that claim.

It is one thing to say mistakes were made, the crew on watch should have done more to inform Lord, or to question the attempts of Lord and the crew to cover-up that they had seen rockets after the arrival in Boston, etc., it is quite another to manufacture an argument about Lord as a person such as Butler did in the book in question. However, this is far from the first time that Butler has exaggerated or made up/made unsubstantiated claims in his books.

One thing that I am certain of is that Lord got a bum rap. He deserved criticism for some of his actions, mostly post-sinking, but was certainly not a villain. I agree with Sam Halpern that the officer on watch didn't do enough to bring the Captain up to speed on the situation, and make him fully aware of what was going on. However, Lord having been deemed the obligatory bad guy is a very unfortunate and unfair thing, regardless of whether he made mistakes or not.
 

Jake Peterson

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Well, Matthew said a few posts up that Capt Moore of the MT. Temple may or may not have been the ship in question that the passengers saw.

I just find it curious that Lord is the only scapegoat in the ordeal, when there were 35 other ships in the region. Why wasn't Moore castrated to the level of Lord? After all, both ships were sitting outside an icefield, and one was known to see rockets, and did nothing. What about Birma or the Virginian? They also were in the region, but no one has demolished them of any wrongdoing, although, I beleive, they were at least headed towards Titanic's position.
 

Tad G. Fitch

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Jake, the easiest answer for you is that the Mount Temple was not the vessel seen from the Titanic or the Californian, and that this can be easily proven from the navigational data and other evidence. The burden of proof pertaining to that falls on anyone making the assertion that the Mount Temple was the so-called "mystery ship." Captain Lord was scapegoated because Titanic's rockets were sighted by his vessel, and no action was taken until the following morning. There is no proof whatsoever that any other ship saw Titanic's rockets. Lord shouldn't have been villified, but that is why he received criticism, while Moore didn't, and the crewmembers on the Birma and Virginian did not. However, I will leave that discussion to those who are more interested in the subject.
 
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You can't really compare the actions of Captain Moore and Captain Lord. Moore turned his ship around and made for Titanic's reported position, only stopping when he reached what he believed to be that position and found his way blocked by the ice field, which we now know Titanic was actually on the other side of.

While there were other ships nearby, as far as I have read, only Carpathia, Californian and Mount Temple were nearby enough to respond in reasonable time, although several attempted to anyway (An example being Olympic, who was almost a full day's steaming away). Lord was villified because his ship was by far the closest, even at the longest estimate of distance between him and Titanic, and he failed to act. While I agree with Michael Standart that this inaction was largely due to a failure of his deck officers to communicate with him effectively, the general public isn't going to care.
 

Jake Peterson

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Have any of you ever heard of Kitty Genovese (1935-1964)?

She was murdered by Winston Moseley right outside her apartment after coming home from work. Apparently there were many eyewitnesses who heard her screams but did nothing.

the article goes on to talk about the bystander effect and the diffusion of responsibility effect.

I was wondering if something like that didn't happen that night on the Californian (or the other 35 ships in range, for that matter) that night.

Now, THAT would be an interesting book to buy and read! LOL

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Kitty_Genovese
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>I agree with Sam Halpern that the officer on watch didn't do enough to bring the Captain up to speed on the situation, and make him fully aware of what was going on.<<

I agree with that conclusion as well. Even when taking into account their testimony, it looks to me as if they thought the situation was urgent, they did an abominably poor job of getting it across to their skipper. I suppose Gibson could be given something of a pass. He wasn't exactly the brightest bulb in the light fixture, but Stone should have known better.

The problem? Lord was the captain so he shoulders the responsibility as much for what went wrong as what went right. This burden of command never goes away.
 
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>>the log entries for April 14-15th were missing. Is this actually true?<<

What was missing from the log were the events seen during the middle watch (12 to 4am), when eight rockets were seen over a period of about an hour, and later when three more were seen (those from Carpathia) about 3:20am.

Michael, as you know, Gibson was an apprentice. It was his job to follow orders, which he did. We know from his testimony that he was taking about the events seen with 2/O Stone. However, the only person on the bridge with real responsibility to act was the OOW, who was Stone.
 

Jake Peterson

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>>>>>What was missing from the log were the events seen during the middle watch (12 to 4am), when eight rockets were seen over a period of about an hour, and later when three more were seen (those from Carpathia) about 3:20am.<<<<<

That's what I thought was well. I think Walter Lord mentioned that the entries were missing as well in his chapter on the Californian in his second book.
 

Jim Kalafus

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@ Jake. I've used the Kitty Genovese analogy many times over the years.

>diffusion of responsibility effect

Miss Genovese was an open lesbian, with domestic partner, who had been arrested in a numbers sting a year or two before her murders. Now, this is all supposition, BUT I think there may have been something a lot less psych textbook going on. Neighbors gossip. Open lesbians were not common in desirable middle class residential neighborhood in 1964. The police were intent on finding her killer and not learning the deeper reasons why no one helped her... but it would be surprising if the neighborhood's ALTERNATIVE LIFESTYLES rep WASNT subject of much discussion after playing a minor role in a criminal activity with mob associations. Stories like that grow with each retelling. The witnesses probably "knew" that she was a lesbian with mob ties (the latter half being the part that grew with retellings). Joe Citizen, in 1964, was VERY aware of the number of helpful witnesses who went to sleep with the fishes in the 1940s and 1950s, and I have an ugly hunch that the witnesses knew exactly who was being stabbed and did not want to get involved for reasons of self-preservation. Her sexuality, her ethnicity, and the numbers bust probably caused at least the first round of witnesses to say ITS SOMETHING MOB. GET AWAY FROM THE WINDOW.

It is still a sore point in Kew Gardens. Long term residents, and the children of the adults who did nothing, have the same bizarre revisionist outlook, defensiveness, and selective recall of hardcore Lordites. Kitty, they will tell you, was loud "and always screaming in the streets." Even if that was true, she was screaming "Oh god, he's stabbing me" that night, and witnesses saw her laying in Austin Street with him standing over her. They will also tell you that no single person witnessed the entire crime, as if that is a viable excuse. and that the 38 people who saw or heard something each witnessed a small part of a larger tragedy that they did not comprehend.

Mosely was driving in Hollis, Queens, looking for a woman to kill. He saw Kitty leaving her bartender job, and followed her car as she drove home. Miss Genovese was streetwise. Evidence suggests that she noticed a car tailing her and, at first, probably had that "Funny- that car is still behind me" feeling we've all had when a car has taken the same exit we have followed by the same turn...etc. She may have seen Mosely park...because instead of going to her apartment, she walked up the brightly lit center of Austin Street towards Lefferts Blvd, where there were all night coffee shops and police. She was attacked in the street, seen here, by where the tree on the right stands:
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At least one witness opened his window to yell "Leave her alone." The attacker ran off. Witnesses watched her get up, lean for a bit against the buiding, and then slowly walk towards my vantage point in this photo and turn the corner. At which point they could no longer see her. Show over, back to bed.

296610.jpg

Witnesses in the apartment building which faced THIS facade heard the commotion but did not see the stabbing. They saw Miss Genovese slowly walk its length, and then turn the corner towards where her own apartment was located. They knew something was wrong, but most likely did not know specifically what.


Miss Genovese walked up the pedestrian walkway behind her building, but entered the staircase of a unit other than her own. Witnesses thought they heard her say "Fred" (name changed) and, in fact, a friend of hers named "Fred" lived in the apartment at the top of the stairs. Too weak at that point to walk up the steep flight, she apparently lay down on it.

Witnesses on Austin Street saw the attacker return. They watched him look into the LIRR station waiting room to see if she had hidden there, and watched him open doors along the walkway, until he found the one she was hiding behind. when he found her, her raped her, stabbed her throat so she could not effectively scream, and then stabbed her again before departing.

Her friend, "Fred", heard the entire thing. He fled across the building's roof, to another apartment, and called the police. The police arrived in two minutes. She was still alive then, but died en route to the hospital.

"Fred", to me, was the most Stanley Lord character of the evening. The police were surprised by how evasive, rude, and hostile he was. His cooperation was minimal and grudging. Later, a probable reason surfaced from the mouth of the killer himself. When asked if he was afraid, that night, that the police were already on the way as he entered the fatal stairwell, he responded that he knew no one would help her "any more than the guy who opened the door at the top of the stairs did." "Fred" who claimed only to have heard suspicious sounds from the stairwell, had SEEN the rape, if not the stabbing, and had closed the door.

All very grim, and still a source of debate among the people of Kew Gardens, who return again and again to "nobody saw EVERYTHING" "She was a loud person" "If the police had been summoned twenty minutes earlier she would probably have died anyway" etc etc etc. Which sounds AMAZINGLY like Lordites rationalising the lack of action on April 15, 1912.

I think that the people with the best view of the initial stabbing, who could clearly SEE who it was being attacked, did not get involved because of fear of reprisal. And that the men of the watch, and their oddly uncurious captain, did not get involved because of the ice pack which lay between them and the vessel firing rockets. One might call it justifiable cowardice that led to catastrophic results.
 

Jake Peterson

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Hi Jim;

That was a very interesting read! I take it you live nearby or have read up on it. That was even more informative then the Wikipedia article.

Perhaps "Fred" thought that if he got involved, that he might have been killed or raped as well? At least with the Californian, they would have been nearby picking up survivors, and the ship wouldn't have been effected by the Titanic sinking.

In away, I guess it could be like apples and oranges.

Also want to put this out there: I started reading Lord's testimony at the British Inquiry. Lord had stated that his ship carried 6 lifeboats.

Considering the amount of people in the water, 6 of one and 20 of the other may or may not have made a large dent in the # of survivors, as the Californian might've encouraged the other officers to go back and pick up people.
 

Laura Jay

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I read the review...very informative. What rankled me is this Butler chap who has no background in psychiatry at all ( to my knowledge), has labeled Lord a sociopath. In the here and now the symptoms can be as follows:
not learning from experience
no sense of responsibility
inability to form meaningful relationships
inability to control impulses
lack of moral sense
chronically antisocial behavior
no change in behavior after punishment
emotional immaturity
lack of guilt
self-centeredness
I would point out that Lord was a captain with several people under him and he had responsibilities to them, he had a wife and son. Furthermore, would he have been given a command if he was emotionally immature? Stoicism was a highly prized asset of a captain which meant they wouldn't lose their heads in a crisis.
And finally, how would you act if you were Lord after the disaster and met some of the victims? Disassociated, awkward, etc. This does not excuse his lack of action by no means, but I get worked up after someone tries to brand someone else who doesn't deserve it. It's made me mad since high school.
Getting off the soapbox now. ;)
 
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>>What rankled me is this Butler chap who has no background in psychiatry at all ( to my knowledge), has labeled Lord a sociopath.<<

A lot of people objected to that including a number of people who were critical of Captain Lord otherwise.

I think Lord made one helluva mistake but it wasn't out of malice.
 

Brad Rousse

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Nov 27, 2002
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Allow myself to join the chorus of disappointed, but not surprised, readers of Butler's latest work. I haven't had the "pleasure" of reading Unsinkable but I've heard enough about the man and his methods on ET to be prepared, if you will. I picked this up for half price at the Strand Bookstore for subway/lunch break reading in 2011, and I found myself doubletaking at the leaps in logic and facts Butler made in his work. When he started throwing around the S-word, I recall closing it and using my iPhone's sudoku app for the rest of the subway ride. It soon found itself back on the shelves of the Strand (where it still sits as of my visit yesterday!) shortly thereafter.

For me, the evidence clearly points to the ship sighted from Californian as Titanic, and while Lord was not a complete bumbling stooge, he probably should have made more effort to see what was going on. Of course, even if he knew what was happening in the distance, any impact that could have been made would have been minimal. I would recommend, as has already been done, the appropriate chapter of "Report into the Loss of the SS Titanic" for anyone wanting to know more about the affair. I cannot speak for Dave Gittins as I haven't read it yet, but if his "what if?" timeline is any indication from "Report", he would be another suggestion.