Alexander Palace Forum

Discussions about the Imperial Family and European Royalty => The Final Chapter => Topic started by: JStorey on August 22, 2007, 06:51:57 PM

Title: The Mysterious Case of the Fiat Lorry and Rudolf Lacher
Post by: JStorey on August 22, 2007, 06:51:57 PM
When describing the Ipatiev House, the word "courtyard" turns out to be as misleading to the Romanov story as "corset"

To often, when envisioning the house, we fail to do so taking BOTH wooden palisades into account, along with their corresponding gates.  We imagine the Fiat lorry to have backed into the "courtyard" located within the walls of the Ipatiev property, when - I hope to prove - that was either quite impossible or enormously difficult, particularly under the circumstances.  When rereading the text and thinking of what was really meant by "courtyard", much becomes clear - so much, I believe, that the evidence linking one of the alleged shooters - Rudolf Lacher - is cast into serious doubt.

First, let us examine each item:


THE FIAT LORRY

(http://www.searchfoundationinc.org/Truck_that_carried_Romanov_Remains.jpg)

Article 1: the Fiat lorry - incredibly important to the crime - and yet so rarely examined in any great detail.  "a one-and-a-half ton Fiat, with a flat, open bed of wood slats measuring just 6 by 10 feet and enclosed by wooden side rails." (FOTR, p.300)  Think also about this:  no rear view mirrors, very crude gear and clutch mechanisms, no power steering, poor turning radius (just have a look at the wheels!), low HP


THE IPATIEV HOUSE GATE

(http://www.romanov-memorial.com/Out/Ipatiev_House_24.jpg)

Article 2:  The gate to the house, built in 1897, was never intended for motorcars, but rather carriages; as you can see, it was quite narrow with two sizable stone pillars on each side.


THE NARROW LANE

(http://www.romanov-memorial.com/Out/Ipatiev_House_54.jpg)

Article 3:  This is VERY IMPORTANT:  "Voznesensky Prospect, some FIVE FEET HIGHER than the Ipatiev house, was seperated by a steep bank and a narrow, secondary roadway marked by a small, ornate shrine dedicated to St. Nocholas.

One COULD NOT exit or enter Voznesensky Prospect from the Ipatiev Gate (as is so often described).  One could only turn onto the narrow lane.  Here is another view; you can see, to some extent, the embankment and line of trees separating the smaller road with the broad prospect:

(http://www.romanov-memorial.com/Out/Ipatiev_House_60.jpg)


THE OUTER PALISADE:

(http://www.romanov-memorial.com/Out/Ipatiev_House_32.jpg)

Article 4:  There are many photos, 3D models, etc. of the Ipatiev House; inexplicably none include a crucial part of the landscape:  the external wooden palisade.  Remember there were two fences at the time of the murder, an internal and external.  This created a DRIVEWAY or COURTYARD between the Ipatiev House and Outer Wooden Palisade.


THE PALISADE GATES

(http://www.jeffreystorey.com/outergates.jpg)

Article 5:  The outer palisade lined the steep five foot bank and enclosed the narrow lane; the trees were included within the fence.  Now - this is also very important - there were TWO palisade gates, one to ENTER and one to EXIT the PALISADE:

"The second fence had two gates - one facing the Vosnesensky Lane, the second right opposite them, in the opposite side of the fence, close to the gate of the house...  ...The [second gate] was built when we were there, AS IT WAS FOUND THAT AUTOMOBILES HAD MUCH DIFFICULTY LEAVING THROUGH THE FIRST ENTRANCE ON ACCOUNT OF A STEEP HILL.  That was the reason why the gates facing the Vosnesensky Lane were constructed.  The motor cars entered through both gates, but they left only through the gate facing the Vosnesensky Lane." (Last Days, p.168)

Why was it important?  Because to go the effort of building a second gate meant there was clearly trouble with the first one - and not with trucks, with automobiles.  Notice that the main house gate isn't even mentioned here; it was never used for motorcars.

CONCLUSION:  THE LORRY NEVER PARKED INSIDE THE "COURTYARD" NEXT TO THE HOUSE.  It couldn't: the lane and fence made the confined space TOO NARROW for the turning radius of a long Fiat truck into the narrow house gate.

(http://www.jeffreystorey.com/errant.jpg)

(http://www.jeffreystorey.com/correct.jpg)

Why does this matter?  Because, as I hope to show, it helps create a reasonable doubt for the involvement of one of the alleged shooters, Rudolf Lacher (it also helps us better understand the timing, movement of bodies, etc.). 

In the next post I will explore the actual testimony regarding the location of the Fiat lorry.



Title: Re: The Mysterious Case of the Fiat Lorry and Rudolf Lacher
Post by: Belochka on August 22, 2007, 07:19:06 PM
Thank you very much for this excellent posting.

I look forward to your continuing critical analysis.

Margarita
Title: Re: The Mysterious Case of the Fiat Lorry and Rudolf Lacher
Post by: JStorey on August 22, 2007, 07:46:38 PM
Cont. from previous post...

Let us now examine the testimony by following the journey of the Lorry on the night of the murder from the Ekaterinburg Military Garage to the departure from the Ipatiev House (that is all that concerns me here; the remainder of the night I leave to others).  I quote often from King and Wilson's FOTR as it gives a great blow by blow account.

THE DRIVER

Serge Lyukhanov, official chauffeur to the House of Special Purpose.  This is quite important, as it means he was all too familiar with the difficulties of driving up the hill, turning into the wooden palisade gate, and exiting out the second wooden palisade gate.  He'd done it often with automobiles, and it was likely his complaints which led to the construction of the second palisade gate leading out to Voznesensky Lane.  This, however, was not an automobile, it was a truck, and one about to be weighed down, both literally and figuratively, by a henious crime.

The truck was supposed to have arrived at midnight; instead it arrived at 1:30 a.m.  Having informed Botkin to wake the others, Yurovsky "retreated to his office."

"Within a few minutes, through the open windows, Yurovsky heard Lyukhanov's truck; with the curfew, it was the only vehicle on Voznesensky Prospect.  The Fiat rumbled passed the square and turned through the open gates of the palisade into the sloped courtyard...  Yurovsky told Lyukhanov to drive to the opposite side of the square where he was to wait for further instructions.  He left the Fiat parked next to the cathedral, while he himself stood in the dusty street, smoking; above him stretched the dark sky, dotted with twinkling stars." p.301

Here "courtyard" clearly means the driveway between the outer palisade and the house, not the internal courtyard withing the property walls.  If it was possible to park in the internal courtyard, as so many picture, it would have taken quite an effort.  And in the end Yurovsky would have told him, "Graceful parking job, old boy, now head over to the church and wait for my command", leaving Lyukhanov with another delicate job of getting out again.  The reality was that Yurovsky probably simply called out his direction through the open window and L. drove directly out the 2nd gate.

At this point Yurovsky moves into action handing out pistols, briefing men.  Medvedev makes rounds and informs outside guards.  The Romanovs are ready, Yurovsky brings them into the infamouse cellar room, tells them they "would have to wait until the arrival of a truck; he then disappeared...  Yurovsky found Ermakov, and sent him across Voznesensky Prospect to summon the truck." (p.305)

This is an extremely tense moment; the Romanovs are actually waiting in the little room while all this is taking place!  So getting to the house and parking the truck quickly, particularly given how behind schedule they already are, is CRITICAL.  Here is what happens:

"Lyukhanov hopped into the cab, driving the Fiat across the prospect and through the open courtyard gates [here, again, "courtyard" is used interchangeably].  Because of the steep slope of the courtyard, he decided to BACK THE TRUCK through the gate, leaving it at the top of the incline beneath the archway; once loaded, he worried that the weight of the corpses would prevent the truck from making its way back up the incline and out the gate." (p.305)

The word "gate" and "courtyard" are very ambiguous, considering there are not one but THREE gates, and not one but TWO courtyards.  In truth, Lyukhanov, having been through this before, was worried about the steep slope exiting THE MAIN PALISADE GATE.  Such difficulty, after all, was the precise reason they constructed the second palisade gate.  This places the lorry not in the internal IPATIEV HOUSE COURTYARD but rather in the area in front of the house enclosed by the palisade. 

Let us suppose there was the remote possibility of backing the lorry in the narrow house gate.  It would - at a minimum - have taken several guards, a very patient driver, forward, reverse, forward again, reverse again, wheel cranking, cursing, lurching into gear, etc.  All while the Romanovs sat in a tiny room and wondered what on earth was going on.  No, time was of the essence and even if it were possible, they could not afford to spend it on arduous lorry driving manuevers.  And, for that matter, why?  The entire area was enclosed by a massive fence!

Now, let us examine how the vehicle departs, with its eleven bodies and six additional passengers:

"Lyukhanov started the Fiat's engine, and slowly the truck eased its way up the sloping drive and out of the Ipatiev House courtyard onto Voznesensky Prospect.  It passed down the borad, deserted avenue, bereft of all traffic."  (p.315)

COURTYARD here clearly means the area in front of the house enclosed by the palisade.  For if the lorry were parked in the INTERNAL IPATIEV COURTYARD, according to these directions, in order to turn onto V. Prospect it would have had to drive up a five foot embankment and through a wooden palisade!  Quite unlikely... 

Now imagine the truck parked in the area in front of the house, enclosed by the wooden palisade:  the truck eased up the sloping drive of the narrow lane and turned right out of the front wooden palisade gate onto Voznesensky Prospect.  Voila.

Having placed the lorry correctly, in the next post I will exonerate Rudolf Lacher.
Title: Re: The Mysterious Case of the Fiat Lorry and Rudolf Lacher
Post by: JStorey on August 22, 2007, 07:50:07 PM
Margarita - Thank you very much for reading and I look forward to your thoughts.  Best, Jeff
Title: Re: The Mysterious Case of the Fiat Lorry and Rudolf Lacher
Post by: Belochka on August 22, 2007, 08:00:48 PM
I hope that I will be in the position to do that soon!

Thanks,

Margarita
Title: Re: The Mysterious Case of the Fiat Lorry and Rudolf Lacher
Post by: JStorey on August 22, 2007, 08:59:28 PM
By now, if you have read all my posts, you are very likely dying to know, WHAT DOES ALL THIS HAVE TO DO WITH RUDOLF LACHER?

I will not hesitate any longer. 

First of all, he was a real person; if he has any relatives, they carry with them the burden of the accusation of murder, a burden I hope to dispel, or at least cast all that should be necessary to exonorate him:  REASONABLE DOUBT.

RUDOLF LACHER

Here is his photo:

(http://www.jeffreystorey.com/lacher.jpg)

A good looking chap.  The facts:  Austrian prisoner of war.  "Joined the Habsburg Army in 1914 and was sent to the Carpathian Front.  In 1915 captured by  Russian troops in Galicia and sent to labor camp in Urals.  After the revolution, 'allowed to do work... provided I had authorization'... secured a job in Verkh-Isetsk factory, largely on strength of linguistic talents... speaking German and Russian... acted as official interpreter... rising quickly through the ranks of his comrades until he came to Yurovsky's notice. (FOTR, p.270)


THE ALIBI

He claimed on the night of the murders "Yurovsky had locked him into his room at midnight...  insisted he had watched through the keyhole of his door as the victims passed, noting that all of the grand duchesses were sobbing as they descended the staircase.  Later, he said, after a number of shots, he climbed on his bed and peered out of the window, counting 'eleven bloody bundles' as they were loaded into the waiting Fiat. (p.591)     


THE CASE AGAINST RUDOLF LACHER

"Lacher's room, directly beneath Yurovsky's office, had one small window, with double panes of glass, sunk deeply into the two-foot-thick stone wall; between it and the courtyard gate, into which Lyukhanov had backed the Fiat, the first palisade was attached to the eastern facade of the Ipatiev House and, beyond this, the main stairs, with high conrete piers on either side, further obscuring the view and eliminating any possibilitly that Lacher could have seen what he claimed." (p.591)

The ONLY other evidence is "inferential":  "Netrebin, who recalled that, of his comrades, only Lepa and Verhas did not participate in the shooting." (p.591)


ANALYSIS

Let us look at the case, point by point.  We need to first see where this window and room were located.

(http://www.jeffreystorey.com/window.jpg)

(http://www.jeffreystorey.com/window_02.jpg)

You can see that photos of this window are hard to come by; nevertheless while the stairs obscure a small portion of the line of site, virtually all activity in this area in front of the house, once enclosed by a palisade, is visible from this window.

"Wait a moment!" says the prosecution.  "What about the first palisade!  Did you not read the testimony?  "the first palisade was attached to the eastern facade of the Ipatiev House" thus obscuring his view.

"Have a closer look," says the defense.  "The first palisade meets the wall precisely between the commandant's windows, splitting Lacher's window in two.  He could, in fact, see quite clearly virtually any activity in this outer courtyard."

Here is a muddy photo of the first palisade (this too is often misplaced in models).  You can see (barely) the visible half of the window.  Look closely, it is indeed there.  And more importantly, by viewing the placement of the fence directly between of the upper two windows, based on the location of the window in other posts one can better visualize the 50/50 split.

(http://www.jeffreystorey.com/window_03.jpg)

"But if the lorry was in the internal courtyard..." objects the prosecution weakly.

"No!" says the defense.  "We have spent two previous posts and several hours proving otherwise!"

Recall the approximate location of the lorry, based on evidence and testimony:

(http://www.jeffreystorey.com/correct.jpg)

CONCLUSION

Observe, if you will, his line of sight from said location:

(http://www.jeffreystorey.com/lineofsight.jpg)

"THEREFORE," thunders the defense, "Rudolf Lacher could very well have witnessed the loading of bodies into the lorry.  Given the evidence surrounding the true location of the lorry, it is certainly far from IMPOSSIBLE he did not, casting REASONABLE DOUBT to his involvement in the shooting."

The judge, aroused from his slumber, looks about dazedly and claps the gavel.  "Given the new evidence on the location of the Fiat lorry," he states judiciously (for isn't that judges do), gazing down at Rudolf Lacher.  "You sir, are hereby free to go!"
Title: Re: The Mysterious Case of the Fiat Lorry and Rudolf Lacher
Post by: Annie on August 23, 2007, 12:02:37 PM
Very interesting and I applaud your investigative reporting. Keep up the good work.
Title: Re: The Mysterious Case of the Fiat Lorry and Rudolf Lacher
Post by: JStorey on August 23, 2007, 05:24:37 PM
Thanks Annie!
Title: Re: The Mysterious Case of the Fiat Lorry and Rudolf Lacher
Post by: AGRBear on August 23, 2007, 05:49:00 PM
I think  I remember seeing on a web site a 1916 fiat wih the wooden sides which would give us a better image of the truck.  I'll see if I can find it, again.

AGRBear

PS   1909 Fiat truck: http://www.armyvehicles.dk/fiat18_24hp.htm
1916 Fiat  truck: http://www.armyvehicles.dk/fiattruck1916.htm
Title: Re: The Mysterious Case of the Fiat Lorry and Rudolf Lacher
Post by: Amanda_Misha on August 23, 2007, 07:54:42 PM
Thanks for the information, are very interesting 
Title: Re: The Mysterious Case of the Fiat Lorry and Rudolf Lacher
Post by: dolgoruky18 on September 01, 2007, 08:34:32 AM
Thank you for your postings on the subject of the Fiat truck and the difficulties faced by the driver in entering and leaving the Ipatiev House premises. A very impressive piece of reasoning.
Title: Re: The Mysterious Case of the Fiat Lorry and Rudolf Lacher
Post by: JStorey on September 01, 2007, 06:52:49 PM
Thank you very kindly and I appreciate you reading the whole thread!  Best, Jeff
Title: Re: The Mysterious Case of the Fiat Lorry and Rudolf Lacher
Post by: CorisCapnSkip on September 01, 2007, 07:08:41 PM
Thanks for the details.  It never occurred to me they might not have been in an enclosed courtyard, and therefore possibly visible to people on the street...were anyone looking at such an hour.  Isn't it strange that a Fiat was also involved in Princess Diana's death, and that car has supposedly never surfaced?  Does anyone know the fate of the Fiat which carried the Romanovs on their last journey?
Title: Re: The Mysterious Case of the Fiat Lorry and Rudolf Lacher
Post by: lexi4 on September 01, 2007, 07:50:17 PM
Objection! Cries the Devil's Advocate.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury. The defense as tried to show that Lacher was not involved in the shooting of the IF. He has used charts and maps to present a smoke and mirrors case that would have us believing that his client was locked in a room during the shooting and the loading of the bodies onto the Lorry.
However, he has neglected to address several key points which I will attempt to address here.
1. Lacher had in his possession several items that were known to have belonged to the IF. He had cigarette holder, which belonged to the Tsar; a gold case and an embroidered handkerchief. Items were taken from the IF after the shootings while the bodies were being loaded onto the truck.
2. In his testimony during the Anna Anderson trial, he changed his story three times, but finally insisted that he was locked in his room and watched the grand duchesses sobbing as the went down the staircase.
3. We have the testimony of Netrebin, who said that of all his comrades only Lepa and Verhas did not participate in the shooting. Netrebin would have had no reason to lie.
4. Lacher's room had only one small window with double panes of glass. The first palisade was attached to the east side of the house and beyond this, the main stairs, with high concrete peirs on either side. He could not have seen the bodies from his window. (FOTR p.591.)
Therefore, the defense has not proved reasonable doubt because the preponderance of evidence shows that Mr. Lacher was in fact, one of the shooters. The Devil's Advocate has shown, through Netrebin's testimony has presented clear and convincing evidence in this case. Therefore, the only course a jury can take, it to pronounce Mr. Lacher...guilty!

Jeff,
Great work. Really. I just thought I'd make it fun!
Lexi
Title: Re: The Mysterious Case of the Fiat Lorry and Rudolf Lacher
Post by: CorisCapnSkip on September 02, 2007, 12:55:14 AM
It does seem strange that this man claims to have seen the Grand Duchesses crying before the executions, when according to other accounts the victims had no idea they were about to be executed, but thought they were to be moved to another location.  Weren't they reasonably calm until the order was read--AFTER they were in the basement room?
Title: Re: The Mysterious Case of the Fiat Lorry and Rudolf Lacher
Post by: dolgoruky18 on September 02, 2007, 02:12:15 AM
Rudolf Lacher, when first approached, seemed unwilling to remember anything. But he did ask Anna A.'s lawyer to find out if she remembered "Rudolf" during her time in Ekaterinburg. He also indicated that his testimony was open to financial offers. That testimony was shot to ribbons during cross-examination at the A.A recognition trial in the 1960s. Before his death in 1973, Lacher said: "I served the Russians well. I kept my mouth shut."

Incidentally, an earllier poster mentioned an un-named "magyar" among the burial party. There have been persistent suggestions that this magyar was none other than Imre Nagy, the Hungarian prime minister killed by the Soviets after the Hungarian uprising in 1956.






Title: Re: The Mysterious Case of the Fiat Lorry and Rudolf Lacher
Post by: Alixz on September 02, 2007, 02:59:00 AM
Fascinating.  All points and all information!

The story about Imre Nagy would make a great investigation if there were any way to get more information.

And I am always amazed that so many of the participants of that night lived well into the second half of the twentieth century and beyond!
Title: Re: The Mysterious Case of the Fiat Lorry and Rudolf Lacher
Post by: JStorey on September 02, 2007, 04:11:35 PM
Oh Lexi, but you are a shrewd prosecutor!  Smoke and mirrors indeed!

As defense attorney, for the sake of my client I am compelled to remind you: the burden of proof is to place him in the cellar room at the time of the murder and no where else, a daunting task for which inferential evidence alone will not suffice.  Who says Netrebin considered an Austrian prisoner-of-war one of his comrades?

The most damning testimony against Mr. Lacher remains point 4: 

4. Lacher's room had only one small window with double panes of glass. The first palisade was attached to the east side of the house and beyond this, the main stairs, with high concrete peirs on either side. He could not have seen the bodies from his window. (FOTR p.591.)

I believe I have already proved he could have seen the bodies from the window, based on the correct placement of the Fiat lorry and close scrutiny of the line of sight truly visible from Lacher's window.  It was certainly not physically "impossible" as FOTR maintains.

I am quite concerned Mr. Lacher may not be prepared for my rather substantial bill - this has become quite a trial!
Title: Re: The Mysterious Case of the Fiat Lorry and Rudolf Lacher
Post by: Alixz on September 02, 2007, 06:44:35 PM
So, after the family had been shot, they were carried back upstairs through the main floor and out the main front doorway of the house into the space created between the two palisades.

I don't know why, but I always thought that since one had to go outside to enter the basement room where they were executed, that they would have just taken the bodies out that way and into the side yard where the door to the basement was.

I know there are pictures of that side door on every Ipatiev house thread or site, but right now I don't have one to post.

Or do I have my architecture wrong?

From FOTR page 303:

They followed Yurovsky out of the double doors at the bottom of the staircase and into the courtyard at the side of the house.  He opened a second set of double doors and gestured the prisoners into the basement, down a short flight of steps, through a series of hallways and guardrooms, toward the opposite end of the house."
Page 305:

"Because of the steep slope of the courtyard, he decided to back the truck through the gate, leaving it at the top of the incline beneath the archway; once loaded, he worried that the weight of the corpses would prevent the truck from making its way back up the incline and out the gate.  This meant that the bodies would have to be taken from the murder room, at the opposite, southern end of the ground floor, through the labyrinth of basement rooms, up a short flight of stairs, out into the courtyard,  then carried some forty feet up the incline to the waiting truck."

So JStorey - are you saying that the bodies weren't carried back through the labyrinth of basement rooms and back out through the basement door and into the courtyard a reversal of the way they came in?  That they were carried up onto the main floor and out the front door?  And loaded into the truck at the opposite end of the house from the courtyard and the basement door where they originally entered?
Title: Re: The Mysterious Case of the Fiat Lorry and Rudolf Lacher
Post by: JStorey on September 02, 2007, 08:08:29 PM
I don't know why, but I always thought that since one had to go outside to enter the basement room where they were executed, that they would have just taken the bodies out that way and into the side yard where the door to the basement was.

From the cellar room, the only way to get out of the house was through the labrynth of rooms of the lower floor.  The door directly adjacent to the cellar room was enclosed by the first palisade (that's why they initially built the first palisade, to make the house essentially a "one entrance" fortress, and cancel out the back door.)

So JStorey - are you saying that the bodies weren't carried back through the labyrinth of basement rooms and back out through the basement door and into the courtyard a reversal of the way they came in?  That they were carried up onto the main floor and out the front door?  And loaded into the truck at the opposite end of the house from the courtyard and the basement door where they originally entered?

A good question.  I'm saying they WERE carried back through the labyrinth of basement rooms and out into the internal courtyard, but the lorry wasn't waiting there.  It was waiting outside the house gate in the artificial "courtyard" created by the second palisade (in the front of the house that was once a street - the narrow "Ipatiev" driveway adjacent to Vosnesensky prospect).  It just means they had to carry the bodies a bit further, and it means the lorry was in a position that Rudolf Lacher might have seen it.  I believe, given the turning radius required (the lorry would have had to been completely straight before even entering the gate), that it was impossible for a truck to park in that internal courtyard.  I hope that makes sense; I'm afraid a map is worth a thousand words so if you use my initial post as reference that should help...  - Jeff
Title: Re: The Mysterious Case of the Fiat Lorry and Rudolf Lacher
Post by: lexi4 on September 03, 2007, 11:52:44 AM
Alixz, Good points!

Jeff,
We have a statement from an eye witness that your client was among the shooters.
You have offered no evidence, only speculation, about the location of the lorry.
We also know that items, belonging to the IF, were found in Lacher's possession. We know that the men took items belonging to the IF that night and that Yurovsky forced them to return those items.
And most incredibly you are asking us to beleive that your client, assuming he was locked in his room, could see the bodies from his window. Are we to believe he has x-ray vision? To do that he would have had to be able to see through the concrete piers!

Lexi aka the Devil's advocate.  :)
Title: Re: The Mysterious Case of the Fiat Lorry and Rudolf Lacher
Post by: JStorey on September 03, 2007, 03:50:58 PM
You bring up very good points, Lexi.  And I won't pretend to have the answers to them all, except to say it is pretty inferential stuff, hardly enough to condemn a man for murder.  Let me say this:  I'm not remotely convinced Lacher wasn't one of the shooters, all I'm trying to say is there is simply not enough evidence to say he was

I did find some actual testimony about the location of the lorry. 

"On the street, the truck waited with a pile of jumbled bodies for Yurovsky. He jumped in and drove off with one old man, driving through the gates of the house." - Netrebin, "Memoirs of the Destruction of the Romanovs"

"Gates of the house" means the palisade gates.  Every reference to "courtyard" means the front of the house enclosed by the palisades; all the testimony makes a great deal more sense when viewed as such.

As far as the piers:

And most incredibly you are asking us to beleive that your client, assuming he was locked in his room, could see the bodies from his window. Are we to believe he has x-ray vision? To do that he would have had to be able to see through the concrete piers!

References to the concrete piers refer to the two small, knee-high "piers" on each side of the steps leading up to the front of the house.  You can see them clearly here: 

(http://www.jeffreystorey.com/window_02.jpg)

They would have certainly obscured a small portion of the view, but I don't think much more.  I factored in these piers when I made my "line of sight" diagram in my earlier post.
Title: Re: The Mysterious Case of the Fiat Lorry and Rudolf Lacher
Post by: lexi4 on September 03, 2007, 05:15:33 PM
Jeff,
I don't have the answers either, but the discussion has been fun.
Lexi
Title: Re: The Mysterious Case of the Fiat Lorry and Rudolf Lacher
Post by: JStorey on September 03, 2007, 06:49:14 PM
I agree - it has been fun!  - Jeff
Title: Re: The Mysterious Case of the Fiat Lorry and Rudolf Lacher
Post by: lexi4 on September 03, 2007, 07:20:25 PM
We'll have to come up with something else.
Title: Re: The Mysterious Case of the Fiat Lorry and Rudolf Lacher
Post by: Tania+ on September 03, 2007, 07:41:37 PM
Your excellent presentation of facts already allows us as readers to agree with your statement as posted on Rudolf Lacher :

"First of all, he was a real person; if he has any relatives, they carry with them the burden of the accusation of murder, a burden I hope to dispel, or at least cast all that should be necessary to exonorate him:  REASONABLE DOUBT", that you will be very successful in possibly exonerating him. You are very thorough and complete.

Thank you most kindly for all you have offered to post as well enlighten us as readers. I look forward in days ahead to what new information you will bring to light.

Tatiana+
Title: Re: The Mysterious Case of the Fiat Lorry and Rudolf Lacher
Post by: dolgoruky18 on September 04, 2007, 03:40:36 AM
I have always suspected Lacher of having written the altered quotation from Heine on the wall of he half-cellar in the Ipatiev House.
Title: Re: The Mysterious Case of the Fiat Lorry and Rudolf Lacher
Post by: Alixz on September 04, 2007, 03:48:41 AM
This thread has lead me to do more research on Ipatiev House.

But I still have one question that I have asked on other threads as well.  Facing the front of the house.  The "carriage gate" is to the right of the front or main door.  What is the building that is on the other side of the gate?

From the overhead photos, one can see that it is not connected to the main house.  It does form one side of the courtyard.

Great topic with many interesting points!
Title: Re: The Mysterious Case of the Fiat Lorry and Rudolf Lacher
Post by: lexi4 on September 04, 2007, 10:14:46 AM
I have always suspected Lacher of having written the altered quotation from Heine on the wall of he half-cellar in the Ipatiev House.

That is interesting. Any particular reason for why you have suspected Lacher of doing so???
Title: Re: The Mysterious Case of the Fiat Lorry and Rudolf Lacher
Post by: dolgoruky18 on September 04, 2007, 01:14:07 PM
Re Rudolf Lacher and the quotation from Heine:

Rudolf Lacher was an Austrian  -  or, to be more precise  -  a subject of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at war with Russia from 1914. He was a prisoner-of-war and, for whatever reason, was living and co-operating with the Soviet authority in Ekaterinburg in 1918. He was identified by lawyers acting for Anna A. from grafitti scribbled on one of the walls of the Ipatiev House recording the name of his regiment. The educational level of the average guard at the Ipatiev House being low and the chances of their being acquainted with the works of Heine being almost zero (still less them having the ability to modify the quote with a fairly sophisticated pun), that leaves us with Lacher, well-educated by their standards.

Contrary to belief, the White Russian investigators did find human bodies in the mines around the Ganin pit. They were identified as "Austrians". Presumably they were either deserters or prisoners-of-war shot by the Soviets. Why this was done is anyone's guess  -  but it is strange that Lacher survived to be called as a witness in the A.A. recognition trial in the 1960s. Furthermore, he was, according to another poster, in possession of 'souvenirs from the Ipatiev House.














Title: Re: The Mysterious Case of the Fiat Lorry and Rudolf Lacher
Post by: lexi4 on September 04, 2007, 02:59:55 PM
Thank you Dolgoruky. That is interesting. He was in possession of some items that belonged to the Romanovs. I do remember reading that. Lacher is an interesting study.
Title: Re: The Mysterious Case of the Fiat Lorry and Rudolf Lacher
Post by: JStorey on September 07, 2007, 01:19:29 PM
Wanted to mention something:  as far as the "possession of items" evidence against our Mr. Lacher, there was hardly a man at the Ipatiev House who left without some souvenir.  This included guards both inside and outside the house, members of the Ekaterinburg Soviet, etc. 

Therefore, we can no more implicate Mr. Lacher based on this evidence then we could the Ipatiev House Stove, which contained significantly more items.  Now until now, I have hardly suspected the stove of participation in the crime, but given the extensive list of items found in his possession (for some reason I assume this stove was a he) I have since added him to my list. 

I may have gone completely mad, as I am imagining this stove hobbling around with a Nagan revolver, fleeing my relentless chase.
Title: Re: The Mysterious Case of the Fiat Lorry and Rudolf Lacher
Post by: lexi4 on September 07, 2007, 01:22:34 PM
Jeff,
I knew it! It was the Stove! And here I thought I thought it was the butler.

A question. How do you think Lacher got the items found in his possession?

Lexi
Title: Re: The Mysterious Case of the Fiat Lorry and Rudolf Lacher
Post by: JStorey on September 07, 2007, 01:56:08 PM
There he was hiding in the kitchen the whole time, that crafty fellow! : )

My guess is that the soldiers of the Ipatiev House divvied up most items among themselves in the days after the murders as they were destroying evidence and fleeing the house.  I also think there was alot to go around - there seemed to be an abundence of little gold Faberge cases, photos in expensive frames, trinkets - and that sort of thing.  I mean, what was an everyday item for the Romanovs was something of incredible value to the Ekaterinburg soldiers (and anyone else, for that matter).

I also believe that Yurovsky overstates in his memoir and notes his "don't steal from the bodies" mantra, because when we discuss possible bias in his testimony - of which we generally find little - that is certainly an area where he might be motivated to fudge.  Why?  Because he was instructed to collect and send on whatever jewels he found to his superiors.  He may not have wanted to admit to the Soviet the extent of pilfering that really took place, or at least he wanted to come across as having done everything he could to prevent it.  In truth, once out at the mine and meadow he probably threatened and warned the men, but ultimately could do virtually nothing to control their thievery.  In particular, the timing of his "jewelry meeting" on the night of the murder seems a little problematic to me; it seems the immediate urgency to bury the bodies under cover of darkness would have trumped all else.

Anyhow, I'm rambling...
Title: Re: The Mysterious Case of the Fiat Lorry and Rudolf Lacher
Post by: AGRBear on September 07, 2007, 02:04:17 PM
I can't quite remember, but I think it was drawn out  when Lacher was  asked to testify at AA's trial that he had another souvenirs of Nich. II's  and  it was a cigerette holder which wasn't straight as we think of cigerate holders but bent at the end which gave it a  pipe-like look.   Let  me go check this. Hey, how about that I did remember this right.  See p. 333 of Peter Kurth's book ANASTASIA, THE RIDDLE  OF  ANNA ANDERSON;

>>[Lacher].... open a box containing various articeles that had belonged to the imperial family __ a gold case, a handkerchief or two, and a small cigarette holder, shaped like a tobacco pipe.  It had belong to the Tsar."

As for Austrian prisoner Lacher writting the  Heine poem and adding the little twist ,  I believe it had to be someone who knew German because of the sentence structure. 

"Lacher, who spoke German and Russian, " p. 269-70 THE FATE OF THE ROMANOVS by King and Wilson, "acted as official interpreter,  rising quickly through the ranks of his comrades until he came to Yurovsky's notce."

AGRBear

PS  Don't  jump on me for mentioning AA.   This is about Lacher and this evidence was mentioned in Kurth's book which I find to be very well documented.
Title: Re: The Mysterious Case of the Fiat Lorry and Rudolf Lacher
Post by: AGRBear on September 07, 2007, 02:08:34 PM
There he was hiding in the kitchen the whole time, that crafty fellow! : )

My guess is that the soldiers of the Ipatiev House divvied up most items among themselves in the days after the murders as they were destroying evidence and fleeing the house.  I also think there was alot to go around - there seemed to be an abundence of little gold Faberge cases, photos in expensive frames, trinkets - and that sort of thing.  I mean, what was an everyday item for the Romanovs was something of incredible value to the Ekaterinburg soldiers (and anyone else, for that matter).

I also believe that Yurovsky overstates in his memoir and notes his "don't steal from the bodies" mantra, because when we discuss possible bias in his testimony - of which we generally find little - that is certainly an area where he might be motivated to fudge.  Why?  Because he was instructed to collect and send on whatever jewels he found to his superiors.  He may not have wanted to admit to the Soviet the extent of pilfering that really took place, or at least he wanted to come across as having done everything he could to prevent it.  In truth, once out at the mine and meadow he probably threatened and warned the men, but ultimately could do virtually nothing to control their thievery.  In particular, the timing of his "jewelry meeting" on the night of the murder seems a little problematic to me; it seems the immediate urgency to bury the bodies under cover of darkness would have trumped all else.

Anyhow, I'm rambling...


In  V. V. Alekseyev's  THE LAST ACT OF A TRAGEDY  carries a number of testimonies from people who had items from the Ipatiev House which were collected by OGPU and others.  List are given in some cases and in others just one or two items are mentioned.

AGRBear
Title: Re: The Mysterious Case of the Fiat Lorry and Rudolf Lacher
Post by: JStorey on September 07, 2007, 02:15:33 PM
[Lacher].... open a box containing various articeles that had belonged to the imperial family __ a gold case, a handkerchief or two, and a small cigarette holder, shaped like a tobacco pipe.  It had belong to the Tsar."

As for Austrian prisoner Lacher writting the  Heine poem and adding the little twist ,  I believe it had to be someone who knew German because of the sentence structure. 

All fairly ordinary items, the sorts of things he might have picked up around the house or bartered for.  In other words, given all that was there, he didn't come away with much.

I agree with dolgoruky18 that the Heine poem points to Lacher - well reasoned.
Title: Re: The Mysterious Case of the Fiat Lorry and Rudolf Lacher
Post by: lexi4 on September 07, 2007, 02:36:43 PM
There he was hiding in the kitchen the whole time, that crafty fellow! : )

My guess is that the soldiers of the Ipatiev House divvied up most items among themselves in the days after the murders as they were destroying evidence and fleeing the house.  I also think there was alot to go around - there seemed to be an abundence of little gold Faberge cases, photos in expensive frames, trinkets - and that sort of thing.  I mean, what was an everyday item for the Romanovs was something of incredible value to the Ekaterinburg soldiers (and anyone else, for that matter).

I also believe that Yurovsky overstates in his memoir and notes his "don't steal from the bodies" mantra, because when we discuss possible bias in his testimony - of which we generally find little - that is certainly an area where he might be motivated to fudge.  Why?  Because he was instructed to collect and send on whatever jewels he found to his superiors.  He may not have wanted to admit to the Soviet the extent of pilfering that really took place, or at least he wanted to come across as having done everything he could to prevent it.  In truth, once out at the mine and meadow he probably threatened and warned the men, but ultimately could do virtually nothing to control their thievery.  In particular, the timing of his "jewelry meeting" on the night of the murder seems a little problematic to me; it seems the immediate urgency to bury the bodies under cover of darkness would have trumped all else.

Anyhow, I'm rambling...

I agree that the more pressing issue would have been the bodies. Afterall, they didn't have all night.  :) And there was no way for Yurovsky to know whether or not the soldiers had items stuffed in pockets etc. I wish we knew more about Lacher. Did he have a wife? I would also like to know more about his testimony at the AA trial.
Lexi
Title: Re: The Mysterious Case of the Fiat Lorry and Rudolf Lacher
Post by: JStorey on September 11, 2007, 01:43:12 PM
Wanted to add something of interest:

Remember when Gilliard and Gibbes witnessed Nagorny and the elder Sednev being taken away:

"We saw two carriages drawn up and surrounded by a large number of Red Guards...  Nagorny was... just setting foot on the step with his hand on the side of the carriage when, raising his head, he saw us all there standing motionless a few yards from him.  For a few seconds he looked fixedly at us, then, without a single gesture that might have betrayed us, he took his seat..."

This shows that even before the second palisade fence was built, carriages pulled up in front of the house, and not into the internal courtyard.  It also illustrates one of the primary reasons the second palisade was built in the first place:  to conceal from the public any dubious activities occuring in the narrow lane in front of the house...

I find it such a remarkable window of transitional history...  A brief moment in time when carriages and motorcars actually traversed the same streets - along with Empire and Republic, Old and Modern World.
Title: Re: The Mysterious Case of the Fiat Lorry and Rudolf Lacher
Post by: JStorey on May 03, 2009, 03:58:41 PM
An update:  having just finished H. Rappaport's "The Last Days of the Romanovs", I was pleased to read her correct account of the Fiat lorry and its position in the external courtyard.  Both the procession of bodies and the lorry itself would have been clearly visible to Lacher from his little window, validating his testimony.  Notably Rappaport provides her own list of shooters which does not include Lacher, further distancing him from the original allegation of "almost certainly" being one of the shooters.

There exists not a shred of evidence to implicate him; he is innocent until proven guilty.

I found it interesting also that the revving of the lorry engine during the murder most certainly influenced the events and timing of the remainder of the evening, and ultimately where the IF was buried.  Anyone who knows anything about engines (particularly older ones) is aware that revving an idle vehicle will rapidly increase the temperature and quickly lead to overheating.  Thus before the journey even began the Fiat's radiator was ready to runneth over.  This poor lorry was not up to the task and  repeatedly on the trip out to the original mine destination, finally giving out altogether.