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View Full Version : ID event of Kosminski-Did it take place or not?


Abby Normal
04-13-2012, 10:58 PM
It would be interesting to see how many people here think whether the ID of Aaron Kosminski took place or not. I was rather surprised to learn that many here do not beleive that the ID even took place at all, including if i am not mistaken, Mr. Evans.

I think it did:

Stated by both Anderson and Swanson
It is included as part of a series of events-sent by us.....afterwards...etc.
Includes such details as "with difficulty", "and he knew he was identified".

I also, think that more likely than not, Swanson was present.

However, i think the outcome of a very positive ID was misremembered, misinterpreted or maybe even embellished by Anderson and or Swanson.

What say you? Please- if you think it did or did not take place, give reasons.

lynn cates
04-13-2012, 11:06 PM
Hello Abby. When you mention Sir Robert, I take it you refer to a particular event which he names, and not the name "Kosminski"? So far as is known, he never got beyond, "low class Polish Jew."

Kosminski WAS named by Sir MLM and is also mentioned in the Marginalia--seemingly as an afterthought.

Cheers.
LC

Abby Normal
04-13-2012, 11:32 PM
Hello Abby. When you mention Sir Robert, I take it you refer to a particular event which he names, and not the name "Kosminski"? So far as is known, he never got beyond, "low class Polish Jew."

Kosminski WAS named by Sir MLM and is also mentioned in the Marginalia--seemingly as an afterthought.

Cheers.
LC

Hi LC
Yes.

Speaking of MM. he also wrote of Kos "This individual in appearance strongly resembled the individual seen by the City PC near Mitre Square."

I think this statement also indicates that an ID did take place as MM probably is referring to the ID (although he appears to get the other details wrong).

lynn cates
04-13-2012, 11:48 PM
Hello Abby. To play devil's advocate, if an ID had taken place, why talk of similarity? Why not, "This man was IDed by the City PC"?

By the way, any suggestions on whom that PC was?

Cheers.
LC

Cogidubnus
04-14-2012, 12:09 AM
Wouldn't it be handy if it were James Harvey? :laugh4:

Dave

lynn cates
04-14-2012, 12:14 AM
Hello Dave. Quite. Then he could be dismissed when it was later found out that he HAD seen something at 1:42 but had perjured himself.

Unfortunately, no evidence either way.

Cheers.
LC

Jonathan H
04-14-2012, 12:40 AM
No, I do not believe on currently available sources that the alleged positive identification of 'Kosminski' by a treacherous, Jewish witness ever took place.

I subscribe to the brilliant theory of Stewart Evans and Don Rumbelow in 'Jack the Ripper--Scotland Yard Investigates' (2006) that it is Anderson and/or Swanson (one repeating the other's opinion) that it is the failed identification of Ripper suspect Tom Sadler and his 'confrontation' by Jewish witness Joseph Lawende being sincerely mis-remembered.

That the disappointing events of early 1891 are being revised and redacted back into late 1888.

It no more literally happened than Aaron Kosminski was sectioned in early 1889, or that he was conveniently deceased -- which arguably the same sources also mistakenly assert.

Wickerman
04-14-2012, 02:14 AM
Hello Dave. Quite. Then he could be dismissed when it was later found out that he HAD seen something at 1:42 but had perjured himself.


But why perjure himself?
The same question goes for both Watkins & Harvey. There is no reason either should not tell the court if they saw a man that night.

Can you think of one?

This issue raises the story given by Sagar. That a well-dressed man was seen leaving the square that night, but Sagar implies Watkins was the man who saw him.
If Sagar's story is true, or accurate, then it suggests the police knew what Watkins saw, not that Watkins withheld information. Which, in turn, suggests he was requested to say nothing.
Which raises the ultimate question, why?

The trouble with this PC in Mitre Sq. story (Sagar-Macnaghten), we don't know which is the chicken and which is the egg.

Regards, Jon S.

Wickerman
04-14-2012, 02:28 AM
It would be interesting to see how many people here think whether the ID of Aaron Kosminski took place or not.

I think an ID did take place, I'm just not convinced it involved a Kosminski.

If a Kosminski was suspected, Aaron has become the convenient scape-goat because he was committed. However, Aaron was too young, either one of his older brothers fit the "middle-aged" description better than the 23 year old Aaron.

Aaron did suffer from a type of mania which according to some specialists does appear in other family members, to greater or lesser degree.
Just because he was the one who was committed does not mean he is the only family member who suffered. He may have just had more visible symptoms.
I have no reason to suspect the Kosminski's but I think too much has been made of Aaron's condition, as a result he becomes the obvious choice, but not necessarily the correct one.

Regards, Jon S.

lynn cates
04-14-2012, 02:42 AM
Hello Jonathan. I think their conjecture an excellent one as well. It fits many loose pieces into the puzzle.

Cheers.
LC

lynn cates
04-14-2012, 02:44 AM
Hello Jon.

"But why perjure himself?
The same question goes for both Watkins & Harvey. There is no reason either should not tell the court if they saw a man that night.

Can you think of one?"

How about not wishing to make a weak moment of cowardice known?

Cheers.
LC

Wickerman
04-14-2012, 03:05 AM
Hello Jon.

How about not wishing to make a weak moment of cowardice known?

Cheers.
LC

Hello Lynn.

Do you remember Sagar's story? Macnaghten doesn't say anything worthwhile on this issue but Sagar tells the story of a City PC who passed a man coming out of the square..

A police officer met a well-known man of Jewish appearance coming out of the court near the square, and a few moments after fell over the body.
Daily News, 9 Jan. 1905.

A police officer met a well dressed man of Jewish appearance coming out of the court. Continuing on his patrol he came across the woman's body.
Seattle Daily Times, 4 Feb. 1905.

When a policeman discovers a body he is required to stay with it until help arrives, so he cannot just turn around and give chase to this stranger, who may have quite innocently just walked through the square not seeing the body over in the dark corner.
There would be no suggestion of cowardice in this scenario.

Regards, Jon S.

booth
04-14-2012, 03:15 AM
I'm inclined to believe that an ID event of some sort did take place. Swanson seems to think it did, he was privy to a lot of information that we can only dream of knowing about, information that has been lost or perhaps was never officially "logged". It's entirely possible that the answer to this whole mystery has really been within our grasp for a while now and we haven't taken notice of it for whatever personal reasons. Put it this way, I'm more likely to believe a police inspector who was involved in the original investigation rather than someone writing about the investigation 124 years later...

lynn cates
04-14-2012, 04:12 AM
Hello Jon. Sure, I remember the Sagar story.

If Harvey had witnessed Kate's demise (I don't believe he did) a natural reaction would be to retreat.

That was my ONLY suggestion. And of course, had it happened, he would be hesitant to relate it.

Cheers.
LC

lynn cates
04-14-2012, 04:25 AM
Hello Booth.

"It's entirely possible that the answer to this whole mystery has really been within our grasp for a while now and we haven't taken notice of it for whatever personal reasons. "

I tend to agree. Any particular ideas?

Cheers.
LC

Wickerman
04-14-2012, 07:08 AM
I'm inclined to believe that an ID event of some sort did take place. Swanson seems to think it did, he was privy to a lot of information that we can only dream of knowing about, information that has been lost or perhaps was never officially "logged". It's entirely possible that the answer to this whole mystery has really been within our grasp for a while now and we haven't taken notice of it for whatever personal reasons. Put it this way, I'm more likely to believe a police inspector who was involved in the original investigation rather than someone writing about the investigation 124 years later...

I agree with the point you are making, except that I think we do not have what you need. If I'm understanding you correctly, you are suggesting that either Anderson or Swanson were directly involved so you trust their words over any latter-day author?

Anderson almost certainly was not involved in any ID, and Swanson most likely was not. They both had desk jobs.
If the Met. police were involved the actual figures present might be Abberline & Reid, but no-one senior to Abberline.
If it was a City police initiative then perhaps McWilliams?

Regards, Jon S.

Scott Nelson
04-14-2012, 08:20 AM
Sagar also said that the suspect he watched was committed by his "friends" to an asylum. And the murders stopped. What Swanson said as well.

Sagar: Identification being impossible, he was committed to an asylum.

Was Swanson and Sagar referring to the same person?

booth
04-14-2012, 01:41 PM
Hi all of you,

My point was that Swanson obviously knew something had gone on, something had happened involving an identification that was not public knowledge but it was known to perhaps only a few select police officials. Swanson and Anderson may only have had desk jobs, but their positions would have certainly put them in a position where they would be privvy to info that would otherwise be kept from general circulation.

When I first read of Swanson's notes in Paul Begg's book (a long time ago it seems now!) I tried to understand what would have prompted a retired police inspector to write what he knew, in pencil in the margins and end notes of a book he had, about possibly the biggest police investigation this country had seen up to that point. Swanson was involved in that investigation. He was the Yard's chief inspector involved with the case and if information had come to light about any suspect he would have had to know about it, as the Yard would then be involved in trying to get the suspect prosecuted. He would have been in a "need to know" position. At some point after Mary Kelly's murder information comes to him about a suspect, information that upon investigation appears to be a chance of a positive ID of a suspect. What happens after that is lost to us now. If it was documented then it's been filed away very well, as no-one has seen it since. Maybe it was destroyed, stolen, who knows?

What we do know is that at some point long after the murders Swanson reads Anderson's book. He reads what Anderson has to say about a suspect being identified but no conviction is brought against him. Swanson writes down his own knowledge of the situation. It seemed to me that he was writing it down because he needed to (pure speculation on my part), that perhaps he "needed to get it off his chest" (again, my own speculation). He knows that an ID did take place, he knows that a suspect was found, he KNOWS that Jack the Ripper was caught BUT they never got him in court, they never got him to the gallows because their witness refused to testify. He was the chief inspector on the biggest murder case in British criminal history and as far the public is concerned, Scotland Yard didn't solve it. But Swanson knows that they did, sort of, and Anderson knows that they did, sort of, and it must really have frustrated them to know what they knew and not be able to make the suspect's name public. So Swanson, at the end of his notes names the suspect. He has carried that name around with him for a long time and he needs to put it down on paper.

That's all speculation. I wasn't there, no-one else was there. All we have is a book, written by somebody else, with notes written by it's owner. No-one can know for sure why he wrote what he wrote.

But let's speculate just one more time. What if it's all true?

Jon, I certainly don't think Swanson or Anderson were there at the ID, but they certainly would have known about it if it had happened.

Lynn, I think maybe people should have given Anderson more credit. Perhaps Ripperologists should have been trying to find his Polish Jew all these years instead of pinning the murders on any passing Royal, Freemason, doctor, artist or whoever the current suspect is.

I've read these forums for a long time and it's only recently that I've decided to stick my nose in and start talking about the case. So please be gentle with me! I've had a fascination with the case for a looong time, and I have my own theories. It's great to be able to have this chance to talk about them.

my best, Rich

lynn cates
04-14-2012, 02:44 PM
Hello Booth. Thanks.

"Perhaps Ripperologists should have been trying to find his Polish Jew all these years instead of pinning the murders on any passing Royal, Freemason, doctor, artist or whoever the current suspect is."

Many have. Shall we discuss their results up to the present? (heh-heh)

Cheers.
LC

booth
04-14-2012, 03:33 PM
Hi Lynn,

"Perhaps Ripperologists should have been trying to find his Polish Jew all these years instead of pinning the murders on any passing Royal, Freemason, doctor, artist or whoever the current suspect is.".......oops

Yeah, maybe I could have phrased that a bit better....:1embarassed:

The first Ripper book I ever read was Martin Fido's, and for a while I really thought David Cohen was a good suspect. In fact, if it wasn't for Swanson naming a Kosminski as a suspect, then David Cohen would still be my favourite. I went through a phase where I tried to read as many books as possible to get an answer. I'm sure none of us would be here on the forums if there wasn't an obsessional element to our interest in the case, and I did become obsessed. My local library probably thought I was slightly weird with the amount of Ripper books I asked them to order for me. So I never believed the "celebrity Ripper" theories that have popped up over the years. I've always believed that the answer was in Whitechapel - a local man, possibly with a minor criminal record, but certainly below the radar of suspicion, and not at all obviously maniacal or murderous. I wish Swanson had sharpened his pencil a bit more and left us a few more clues....

So yeah, I was perhaps a bit sweeping and dismissive in my earlier statement about all the effort put in over the years. Please forgive me, I'm new in the neighbourhood...

I just get frustrated, like recently, when I hear of a new book and the author claims to have outstanding new evidence and then it turns out that lo and behold VAN GOGH was the Ripper. I mean, come on?! Really?? And this is then put forward as the new suspect by the press ( I think the Van Gogh thing appeared on the BBC website) and it all turns out to be very silly.

cheers,
Rich

Cogidubnus
04-14-2012, 04:03 PM
I'm sure none of us would be here on the forums if there wasn't an obsessional element to our interest in the case, and I did become obsessed.

Hi Rich...ain't that just the truth?

And I suppose the flipside is that, at this distance of time, if someone ever does come up with a valid answer, there'll always be the rest of us to cry foul anyway!

All the best

Dave

booth
04-14-2012, 04:18 PM
Hi Dave,

Absolutely! We all have our favourite theories and I'm sure nothing less than a signed confession and possibly a pic of the suspect with a bloody knife will change minds!

I think given the distance of time a lot of us are just going to have to "agree to disagree" and to be honest I enjoy the different theories, even the outlandish ones, as it keeps the case alive and sometimes very useful info appears as a result of the research. I do get slightly depressed reading the forums sometimes as they appear to be used as platforms for personal attacks and quite childish behaviour. We are all on here because we share a common, albeit slightly morbid, interest in a fascinating mystery. Some people tend to take it a bit too far and regard differing opinions as personal attacks.

I'm not as obssessed as I was (at least I don't think I am!) but it's still a fascinating case.

best wishes,

Rich

lynn cates
04-14-2012, 06:35 PM
Hello Rich. No, I didn't see dismissive. Of course, there is a good bit of nonsense about the WCM, but the old posters here are almost immune.

"I never believed the "celebrity Ripper" theories that have popped up over the years."

Nor yet I. You're a wise man.

Cheers.
LC

Wickerman
04-14-2012, 11:03 PM
Scott.
There's a case to be made for Macnaghten, Anderson, Swanson & Sagar all being influenced by a similar story, but where lays the original?

lynn cates
04-14-2012, 11:14 PM
Hello Jon. That is PRECISELY what I want to know.

Sounds almost like something that happened at Mitre sq but was not revealed until later.

Cheers.
LC

Stephen Thomas
04-14-2012, 11:18 PM
I subscribe to the brilliant theory of Stewart Evans and Don Rumbelow in 'Jack the Ripper--Scotland Yard Investigates' (2006) that it is Anderson and/or Swanson (one repeating the other's opinion) that it is the failed identification of Ripper suspect Tom Sadler and his 'confrontation' by Jewish witness Joseph Lawende being sincerely mis-remembered.



Well, I wouldn't exactly call that a 'brilliant theory'.

More like 'clutching at straws' to my mind.

I was disappointed by Evans and Rumbelow coming up with this claptrap.

But I suppose it might boost a Druittist's theory.

Cogidubnus
04-14-2012, 11:24 PM
Sounds almost like something that happened at Mitre sq but was not revealed until later.

Hi Lynn

Yes I have a feeling (no more than that) that something was going on at Mitre Square that night...some kind of trap perhaps, but one from which the killer escaped...got no evidence for that, but as we previously surmised the later summary and (ill-documented) dismissal of Harvey is suggestive...

Dave

Wickerman
04-14-2012, 11:25 PM
Jon, I certainly don't think Swanson or Anderson were there at the ID, but they certainly would have known about it if it had happened.


Rich.
I'm not disputing them knowing about the ID. We do possess writings from October 1888 where Anderson claims the police have no clue. Swanson makes no insinuation that the police have a particular suspect and Reid also claims the police had no clue whatsoever.
The ID must have taken place long after the Ripper crimes.

I am not convinced that recollections (memoirs) given 20+ years later are necessarily accurate as to the specifics. In general yes, an ID took place (apparently), but when, where & concerning whom?
Those questions I think are still debatable.

Regards, Jon S.

Cogidubnus
04-14-2012, 11:30 PM
More like 'clutching at straws' to my mind.

I was disappointed by Evans and Rumbelow coming up with this claptrap.

But I suppose it might boost a Druittist's theory.

Hi Stephen

Yes, me too...it's just about the most disappointing aspect of an otherwise brilliant book...

But the whole Seaside Home thing is so puzzling anyway

Dave

lynn cates
04-14-2012, 11:52 PM
Hello Dave. Yes, suggestive. But so many suggestions.

Cheers.
LC

booth
04-15-2012, 02:40 AM
Hi all,

Nor yet I. You're a wise man.

Thank you Lynn, kind words.

The ID must have taken place long after the Ripper crimes.

Jon, I think it may have been the case that it happened some time after the Kelly murder, how long we may never know.

I am not convinced that recollections (memoirs) given 20+ years later are necessarily accurate as to the specifics. In general yes, an ID took place (apparently), but when, where & concerning whom?
Those questions I think are still debatable.

Yes, I agree to a point. If I was to write a memoir about my life 20 years ago I would struggle to get all the facts right, and would probably base a lot of it on generalised memories rather than spot on facts. We cannot accept everything written by Anderson or Swanson as absolute gospel. What I can accept however is that given the nature of the case, they are more likely to get certain facts right, because they were important then and they are still important to them. So, Swanson knows that a Kosminski was positively identified, and has known for a long time, and writes it down in his copy of Anderson's book. Because? who knows, perhaps he just "needed to". I don't know, we will never know.

My memoirs of 20 years ago would be sketchy about certain facts, and like I said, based probably on generalised memories. I was in college at the time, away from home for the first time and enjoying myself immensely! I went to lots of pubs, clubs and parties and cannot remember every single one. However, I do remember with quite surprising detail the long weekend we went to Prague for a college trip. Certain important events stick in the mind I guess, and perhaps this is what Swanson experienced when he read Anderson's book, memories of events that he had carried around for a long time.

Like so much about this case, that is speculation, and the constant guessing and theorising is what makes this all enjoyable for me. I've just spent the evening reading a thread about whether there was one, two or three killers. Lots of different opinions, all interesting and informative. I'm tempted to stick my toe in those waters with my own opinions, even though it may get bitten off. There are some sharks swimming around these forums with very snappy teeth.

best wishes, Rich

Cogidubnus
04-15-2012, 02:48 AM
Rich

For me, you've pretty near said it all...

Bless you mate!

Dave

booth
04-15-2012, 02:59 AM
Rich

For me, you've pretty near said it all...

Bless you mate!

Thank you mate :smiley:

Rich

lynn cates
04-15-2012, 04:19 AM
Hello Rich. Feel free to discuss. I'm a harmless old fogey.

Cheers.
LC

Wickerman
04-15-2012, 04:39 AM
Good post Rich.


So, Swanson knows that a Kosminski was positively identified, and has known for a long time, and writes it down in his copy of Anderson's book. Because? who knows, perhaps he just "needed to". I don't know, we will never know.

Just to re-iterate my concern about Kosminski.
Swanson names a Kosminski, there were three Kosminski brothers, and all three went under the surname of Abrahams.

We have stories (Det. Cox) which suggests one of the Kosminski's was under surveillance, but we don't know which one, and we don't know when the surveillance took place, or for how long.
We have assumed it was Aaron because he was the one who was subsequently placed in an asylum by an older brother, but not by the police.


In 1888, Aaron was only 23 years old, none of the suspects seen by witnesses are described as being so young.
Isaac was 37 years old.
Woolf was about 28 years old.

Should we assume that Swanson had the right Kosminski in mind?

Regards, Jon S.

lynn cates
04-15-2012, 05:23 AM
Hello Jon.

"Should we assume that Swanson had the right Kosminski in mind?"

Well, I never have. Mac records cognomen only, and I need not reiterate my personal "problem" with the "marginalia."

Cheers.
LC

booth
04-15-2012, 10:59 PM
Thank you Lynn and Jon, much appreciated.

In 1888, Aaron was only 23 years old, none of the suspects seen by witnesses are described as being so young.
Isaac was 37 years old.
Woolf was about 28 years old.

Should we assume that Swanson had the right Kosminski in mind?

Jon, therein lies the mystery, and what a tantalising and frustrating mystery it is! The simple truth is, we don't know. The facts, as they are, suggest not. I don't count myself as an expert at all, and a lot of far more capable researchers have investigated this matter and presented information that does not support Aaron as the suspect. Was it one of the other brothers mentioned? Was there another Kosminski, whose identity has so far eluded us as far as the hospital records are concerned? Unlikely, but not impossible.

As far as my personal opinion is concerned, I am not entirely comfortable with the Kosminski ID situation as it stands, as Aaron has been put forward by many as the Kosminski that Swanson was talking about. However, referring back to the original question that started this post, I still think that an ID took place, and that as far as Swanson was concerned a Kosminski was identified at that ID.

If you don't mind, can we take another look at what Swanson wrote please?


"...because the suspect was also a Jew and also because his evidence would convict the suspect, and witness would be the means of murderer being hanged which he did not wish to be left on his mind...And after this identification which suspect knew, no other murder of this kind took place in London...after the suspect had been identified at the Seaside Home where he had been sent by us with great difficulty in order to subject him to identification, and he knew he was identified. On suspect's return to his brother's house in Whitechapel he was watched by police (City CID) by day & night. In a very short time the suspect with his hands tied behind his back, he was sent to Stepney Workhouse and then to Colney Hatch and died shortly afterwards - Kosminski was the suspect - DSS"

Now when I read this first, and subsequent times since, I always read it as Swanson "clearing his mind" of what he knew. Whether he wrote it for anyone else to read after is open to opinion. I always regard it as this (please allow me to indulge in a lot of speculation for this!):

Swanson has a copy of Anderson's book and has read the passages about the Whitechapel Murders, and has needed to set a few things straight for his own personal satisfaction. The way he writes it, it doesn't make sense straight away. There are no references to documents that would prove any of it, there are no dates, names or even a great amount of detail that pads it out. It still strikes me as someone writing down what he knows to expand on Anderson's statements, not for any personal gain as far as I can tell, apart from perhaps setting things straight in his own mind. The fact that he names a Kosminski at the end strikes me as a personal admission - This is what I know, this is the man we caught, this is how we caught him,this is his name and to be honest, if I was Swanson, I probably would not be happy with the outcome of the investigation, and the fact they didn't get a concrete conviction in a court of law, so that is why he specifies at the start the whole "witness refusing to testify" part of the story. What he writes here is very specific and detailed compared with the rest of the marginalia. I always read that part as pretty much "look we had him, but our witness wouldn't let us hang him, so we had to take care of it another way".

I hope this has made sense, I've had it all rattling around in my brain for a long time! A lot of speculation, a lot of personal opinion, I know. The thing is, until something else comes along, it maybe that the Swanson marginalia is perhaps the closest we'll ever get to what people have been looking for all these years.

Who was Jack the Ripper? We don't know. Was it Aaron Kosminski? Probably not. Was a Kosminski ID'd by the police? Yes, I think so. Swanson certainly thought so. We just have to find out who exactly he was.......I don't think we know yet.

best wishes, Rich

Fleetwood Mac
04-15-2012, 11:07 PM
Anderson's comment: "if we had the powers of the French police we would have caught/convicted him" (or something to that effect), has always intrigued me.

What did he mean?

That they could have entered his home and found incriminating evidence? Presumably not. I'm guessing a warrant could have been obtained in those days.

That they could have forced the man to give evidence? Possibly.

Fleetwood Mac
04-15-2012, 11:11 PM
Swanson seems to make a distinction between the suspect being Jewish and not wanting it left on his mind, i.e. one doesn't seem to follow the other judging by the word 'also' as opposed to 'which meant'.

It seems that the witness did not want it on his mind regardless of whether or not the suspect was Jewish. Does this mean the witness and suspect were acquinated, closely even?

If so, does it follow that the witness was closely acquainted with the person/s who took the suspect to the asylum? In the interests of cause and effect, it would be highly coincidental if the ID did not cause the family to take him the asylum, given "in a short space of time". Why would they suddenly decide he needs to be incarcerated. Presumably his condition did not change enough in a "short space of time" to make a difference.

Was there a trade off? We're not prepared for him to hang, but we will give him up to incarceration. It seems the witness was a very reluctant witness, and if he knew the suspect it would explain the "with great difficulty" comment.

lynn cates
04-15-2012, 11:22 PM
Hello Rich. Actually, yours is one of the least bad goes that I have seen.

As it stands, the marginalia is confusing. I sometimes wonder whether we would not be better off without it?

Cheers.
LC

lynn cates
04-15-2012, 11:25 PM
Hello Mac.

"Anderson's comment: "if we had the powers of the French police we would have caught/convicted him" (or something to that effect), has always intrigued me.

What did he mean?"

My interpretation is not flattering. I think Sir Robert is trying to jack up (no pun intended) a case fraught with lack of evidence and to make it look like he was on top of things.

Cheers.
LC

Errata
04-15-2012, 11:38 PM
I always thought it was odd that personal notes were composed in a way that had a dramatic reveal at the end. He writes "the suspect" several times, and at the end announces "The suspect was Kosminski". That's just peculiar. It should read

"...because Kosminski was also a Jew and also because his evidence would convict Kosminski, and witness would be the means of murderer being hanged which he did not wish to be left on his mind...And after this identification which Kosminski knew of, no other murder of this kind took place in London...after Kosminski had been identified at the Seaside Home where he had been sent by us with great difficulty in order to subject him to identification, and he knew he was identified. On Kosminski's return to his brother's house in Whitechapel he was watched by police (City CID) by day & night. In a very short time Kosminski with his hands tied behind his back, he was sent to Stepney Workhouse and then to Colney Hatch and died shortly afterwards- DSS"

At least that would be the most natural ordering of thoughts.

lynn cates
04-16-2012, 12:15 AM
Hello Errata. Precisely! As written, it sounds like an afterthought.

Cheers.
LC

Errata
04-16-2012, 04:32 AM
Actually it sounds a lot like the preface to a book. Which would make sense if it was in his own book, or was written in the margins of a manuscript someone had asked him to write a preface...

It's just odd composition. Like the first part and that last "The suspect was Kosminski" was added later.

Abby Normal
04-16-2012, 05:48 PM
Thank you Lynn and Jon, much appreciated.



Jon, therein lies the mystery, and what a tantalising and frustrating mystery it is! The simple truth is, we don't know. The facts, as they are, suggest not. I don't count myself as an expert at all, and a lot of far more capable researchers have investigated this matter and presented information that does not support Aaron as the suspect. Was it one of the other brothers mentioned? Was there another Kosminski, whose identity has so far eluded us as far as the hospital records are concerned? Unlikely, but not impossible.

As far as my personal opinion is concerned, I am not entirely comfortable with the Kosminski ID situation as it stands, as Aaron has been put forward by many as the Kosminski that Swanson was talking about. However, referring back to the original question that started this post, I still think that an ID took place, and that as far as Swanson was concerned a Kosminski was identified at that ID.

If you don't mind, can we take another look at what Swanson wrote please?




Now when I read this first, and subsequent times since, I always read it as Swanson "clearing his mind" of what he knew. Whether he wrote it for anyone else to read after is open to opinion. I always regard it as this (please allow me to indulge in a lot of speculation for this!):

Swanson has a copy of Anderson's book and has read the passages about the Whitechapel Murders, and has needed to set a few things straight for his own personal satisfaction. The way he writes it, it doesn't make sense straight away. There are no references to documents that would prove any of it, there are no dates, names or even a great amount of detail that pads it out. It still strikes me as someone writing down what he knows to expand on Anderson's statements, not for any personal gain as far as I can tell, apart from perhaps setting things straight in his own mind. The fact that he names a Kosminski at the end strikes me as a personal admission - This is what I know, this is the man we caught, this is how we caught him,this is his name and to be honest, if I was Swanson, I probably would not be happy with the outcome of the investigation, and the fact they didn't get a concrete conviction in a court of law, so that is why he specifies at the start the whole "witness refusing to testify" part of the story. What he writes here is very specific and detailed compared with the rest of the marginalia. I always read that part as pretty much "look we had him, but our witness wouldn't let us hang him, so we had to take care of it another way".

I hope this has made sense, I've had it all rattling around in my brain for a long time! A lot of speculation, a lot of personal opinion, I know. The thing is, until something else comes along, it maybe that the Swanson marginalia is perhaps the closest we'll ever get to what people have been looking for all these years.

Who was Jack the Ripper? We don't know. Was it Aaron Kosminski? Probably not. Was a Kosminski ID'd by the police? Yes, I think so. Swanson certainly thought so. We just have to find out who exactly he was.......I don't think we know yet.

best wishes, Rich

Hi Booth
Good posts.

"Kosminski was the suspect"

Boom. To me this statement seals it. he was a suspect only, probably a strong one in Swanson's mind, but at the end of the day just a suspect.

Scott Nelson
04-16-2012, 06:13 PM
"...David was the suspect." -DSS

ChrisGeorge
04-16-2012, 06:35 PM
Hi Booth
Good posts.

"Kosminski was the suspect"

Boom. To me this statement seals it. he was a suspect only, probably a strong one in Swanson's mind, but at the end of the day just a suspect.

Yes but this makes it sound as if it seals the deal. But we are talking about some private annotations made in Swanson's copy of his boss's book. It by no means implies that it was a "strong" suspect in Swanson's mind. We just don't know that. All we know is that Swanson was making a notation, for his own information, to give the name to the suspect that Anderson had not named in the printed text of his book. It might seem to be a strong endorsement of the statement Anderson was making but might not be at all. It merely provides some verification of Anderson's story and tells us who was meant -- "Kosminski", presumably meaning Aaron Kosminski.

Best regards

Chris

ChrisGeorge
04-16-2012, 06:44 PM
Hello Mac.

"Anderson's comment: "if we had the powers of the French police we would have caught/convicted him" (or something to that effect), has always intrigued me.

What did he mean?"

My interpretation is not flattering. I think Sir Robert is trying to jack up (no pun intended) a case fraught with lack of evidence and to make it look like he was on top of things.

Cheers.
LC

Hello Lynn

The passage that you are thinking of is the following one in Anderson's autobiography, The Lighter Side of My Official Life (http://www.casebook.org/ripper_media/book_reviews/police_and_forensic_science/book_detail.html?id=50344ed116379d3f5b790853b330a5 7b):

"And if the Police here had powers such as the French Police possess, the murderer would have been brought to justice."

I would agree with your interpretation. It's another statement that papers over the inadequacies of Scotland Yard's investigation. "We would have had him if only. . . ."

Best regards

Chris

Abby Normal
04-16-2012, 07:12 PM
Yes but this makes it sound as if it seals the deal. But we are talking about some private annotations made in Swanson's copy of his boss's book. It by no means implies that it was a "strong" suspect in Swanson's mind. We just don't know that. All we know is that Swanson was making a notation, for his own information, to give the name to the suspect that Anderson had not named in the printed text of his book. It might seem to be a strong endorsement of the statement Anderson was making but might not be at all. It merely provides some verification of Anderson's story and tells us who was meant -- "Kosminski", presumably meaning Aaron Kosminski.

Best regards

Chris

Hi Chris

I was specifically responding to Booth's post in which he wrote this:

The fact that he names a Kosminski at the end strikes me as a personal admission - This is what I know, this is the man we caught, this is how we caught him,this is his name and to be honest, if I was Swanson, I probably would not be happy with the outcome of the investigation, and the fact they didn't get a concrete conviction in a court of law, so that is why he specifies at the start the whole "witness refusing to testify" part of the story. What he writes here is very specific and detailed compared with the rest of the marginalia. I always read that part as pretty much "look we had him, but our witness wouldn't let us hang him, so we had to take care of it another way".

I read this as Booths interpretation of Swansons marginalia as being along the line of Anderson's "definitely ascertained fact" that is- Swanson also thought they had there man-case solved.

My response was merely to say it does not appear swanson was going that far.

Your interpretation seems not to go far enough.

All we know is that Swanson was making a notation, for his own information, to give the name to the suspect that Anderson had not named in the printed text of his book. It might seem to be a strong endorsement of the statement Anderson was making but might not be at all. It merely provides some verification of Anderson's story and tells us who was meant -- "Kosminski", presumably meaning Aaron Kosminski.

"...and he knew he was identified"
"..no other murder took place.."

IMHO seems to indicate more than just "some verification of Anderson's story and tells us who was meant -- "Kosminski",

lynn cates
04-16-2012, 08:52 PM
Hello Chris. Thanks for that.

Did you, perchance, catch Christy Campbell's cute assessment of Sir Robert?

"But for once, he was telling the truth."

Cheers.
LC