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Dan Norder
02-18-2008, 02:16 AM
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Kosminski, Aaron


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Tim_308
11th January 2006, 03:13 AM
This suspect has always fascinated me because he's actually named and seems to fit a certain profile having been institutionalized. There was a really good thread on him called soemthing like "Re-examining Aaron Kosminski as a Suspect" and I hope to do that here.

Is there any information on his physical appearance like height, weight, hair color, build, etc?

Are there any real concrete reasons to suspect him as the killer besides contemporary suspicion?

Are there any real concrete reasons that can help rule him out as a suspect?

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AmateurSleuth
11th January 2006, 03:47 AM
Hi Tim:

If Aaron Kosminski was Jack The Ripper, then why was he sent to Colney Hatch Lunatic Asylum which was a minimum security institution? A man who had the immensity of violence as Jack possessed would be sent to Broadmoor Lunatic Asylum. Also, what prostitute would service a lunatic who eats out of gutters and doesn't wash himself? Kosminski did not have money to offer to prostitutes. He was just afraid of other people as they were of him. He was a harmless lunatic according to the Colney Hatch Asylum warders. He was never violent in the asylum, except for one incident where he threw a chair. So what, everybody loses it once in a while. There are better suspects out there!!

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Tim_308
11th January 2006, 03:55 AM
Hi Karen,

I wasn't really posting that I thought he was the greatest suspect, I just wanted to start a discussion.

However, I must say that I find it quite ridiculous to base this suspect's propensity towards violence on a little itty bitty scribbled line or two that stated he was harmless and once threw a chair.

If somebody told me that a person was or had been institutionalized, I would assume that they were unpredictable and possibly dangerous, it doesn't matter what they are in there for.

Prostitutes at that time appear to barely have been in a better mental, physical, or economic state than Aaron Kosminski.

Everything else you said is speculation. Somebody that murders prostitutes could easily be a non-violent person at ALL other times.

If you put two people in a room and one looked and acted totally normal and the other ate bread out of a toilet and one of them was "definitely" guilty of a crime. Which one would you pick?

Tim

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AmateurSleuth
11th January 2006, 04:11 AM
Hi Tim:

You may find it ridiculous but if you read the document from Robert Anderson, it says, "Kosminski was the "suspect"". The word suspect is in quotes. It doesn't say, "Kosminski was the murderer/ripper". He was a suspect along with hundreds or even thousands of others. These documents from police officials must be read carefully and also between the lines.

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snelson
11th January 2006, 04:49 AM
It might be helpful to read the actual documents concerning Kosminski. All of you need to do so more sleuthing.

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snelson
11th January 2006, 04:58 AM
More questions and suggested answers re: A?R:

There is a possible connection of the murderer through Martin Kosminski to Joseph Hyam Levy. The general corner of Mitre Square where the murder took place is a lamp penumbra, which a prostitute and client would likely chose over the other areas of the Square. If the body was found DIRECTLY behind the one house of the three that was associated with Levy, then possibly this placement has some meaning concerning Levy.

Discussion: The house was formerly occupied by the cigar-maker, Lewis Levy in the late 1870s. He was a relative of JHL?s wife. The house had been unoccupied for several years prior to the murders. It is tempting to think that the killer used the house on occasions. I?m not suggesting that the Ripper killed Eddowes in this house nor fled to this house after killing Eddowes, but that he many have used it prior meeting her and he knew that that part of the Square would be the most inconspicuous place to do his deed. This same Lewis Levy shows up at no. 5 Sion Square, several doors away from the Abrahams family, in the 1891 census. And here?s one last interesting point: Morris Lubnowski apparently died in 1919, the same year Aaron died. This is suggested by the Post Office Directory listings, which show Maurice (Morris) Lubnowski-Cohen last living at 5 Ashcroft Road in 1919, while his wife and several children live on at this address until 1931.

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Tim_308
11th January 2006, 04:59 AM
All I was doing was starting a thread for Kosminsky, and this lady is attacking me like I'm trying to sell a book. I don't know who the ripper is. But I do know that to kill prostitutes doesn't mean somebody has to be a raving lunatic 24/7

Tim

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AmateurSleuth
11th January 2006, 05:10 AM
I am not attacking anyone - actually you did by calling me ridiculous. I just said that I disagree with you. That is not an attack. I think Kosminski is an interesting suspect too but I just don't think that he was the Ripper.

As to institutionalization though, it was not until the 1960's that they stopped putting everyone who exhibited odd tendencies in asylums. People were institutionalized for depression, bipolar disorder, and catatonia. Just because these people were in institutions doesn't mean that they were dangerous or could murder others. You said that if someone is institutionalized then they are dangerous. That's not true.

I know that Kosminski could not take care of himself anymore and that's why he was put away. But the Ripper committed violent acts, so why would a Ripper suspect be sent to a minimal security institution?

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AmateurSleuth
11th January 2006, 05:32 AM
Hi everyone:

Why do people get angry and show angry emoticons when posting? If you are getting angry listening to others' opinions then you are taking this whole thing way too seriously. This is a place for people to come and speak to each other. We may not always agree with each other but you need to take things with a grain of salt. Also, using terms like ridiculous, stupid, retarded etc is very childish. If you don't agree with someone then tell them, " I don't agree with you." By the way, I have read all the official documents and I have taken them with a grain of salt too.

Question: why is there no Aaron Kosminski in the 1881 Census for any country in the world? I found a Martin and a Samuel, but no Aaron?

Dan Norder
02-18-2008, 02:17 AM
rapunzel676
11th January 2006, 05:40 AM
I suspect (pun not intended, but there it is) that Stephen's going to create some hard and fast categories here, but I thought I'd clear up some misconceptions in the meantime.

Broadmoor was for those who had actually been arrested and tried for violent crimes. It was an institution for the criminally insane, not simply the insane. Kosminski, if he is indeed Anderson's suspect, was not convicted of any crime. Therefore, there were no grounds for sending him to Broadmoor.

Furthermore, I'd like to know where it says Colney Hatch was a "minimum security" institution. I didn't know Victorian institutions were categorized as such. David Cohen was institutionalized there, and as Martin Fido has demonstrated, Cohen most definitely showed violent tendencies.

I might also add that it was Swanson, not Anderson, who wrote that "Kosminski was the suspect." Anderson said that the identity of the Ripper was "a definitely ascertained fact." He never referred to Kosminski by name.

Mr. Nelson is right. A little more sleuthing is definitely in order.

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AmateurSleuth
11th January 2006, 06:29 AM
I agree too that more sleuthing is in order. There is a lot of information to read and more that hasn't been discovered yet. And yes, you're right - it was the Swanson Marginalia. I got the names mixed up - it is 1:00 am after all.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, including me, and everyone is allowed to make mistakes. It's just that Aaron Kosminski obviously was a Ripper suspect because of his strange behaviour, not because he committed any violent acts. Give me one example of a violent crime committed by Kosminski. I believe that there was a lot of anti-semitism in the East End at that time, including police.
It's the same thing today, when a black person is stopped by police because of his race.

I am going to leave the discussion at this as there are too many sensitive people getting upset.

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jason_connachan
11th January 2006, 09:26 AM
rapunzel, AmateurSleuth

I believe AP (apologies AP if it wasnt you) recently posted that Colney Hatch did also contain lunatics who were considered very dangerous to the public, as well as the more harmless lunatics.

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AmateurSleuth
11th January 2006, 11:13 AM
Hi Jason:

Then, I stand corrected. Thank you. I can admit when I'm wrong and can apologize when I hurt people. But don't you think that Aaron Kosminski's behaviour of eating out of gutters etc.. makes him a little too obvious to be the Ripper. I think that Jack was able to hide his insanity behind a mask of sanity.

And thanks again for the correction - I like being corrected. :oops:

P.S. Kosminski would have never eaten Eddowes' kidney unless he fished it out of the gutters. Could Kosminski have even written the Lusk letter - I understood that he spoke nothing but Yiddish.

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jason_connachan
11th January 2006, 01:02 PM
Amateursleuth

It all depends on when he went on his downward spiral into "madness".

No doubt he was able to function reasonably up until some point in his life. The "eating out of the gutter" Kosminski does not sound like the Ripper; the Kosminski who claimed to know "the movements of all mankind" does contain an element of Ripper like symptoms imo.

We dont know for certain if he could speak any English or not, but i would expect Jack to have had at least a reasonable use of the language.

One point i have against Kosminski being the Ripper - there are no suggestions on his case notes that the staff who looked after him were warned of suspiscions against him. I would have thought some notes would have existed about him possibly being a suspect of the Ripper crimes.

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Tim_308
11th January 2006, 04:38 PM
Karen,

I never said that "institutionalized people are dangerous", I said that if you told me that a particular person were institutionalized and somebody told me so, I'd personally be on the lookout for danger. Stop putting words in people's mouth.

Tim

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AmateurSleuth
11th January 2006, 06:39 PM
Whatever Whatever Whatever Whatever Whatever

5 word rule

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Tim_308
11th January 2006, 11:10 PM
Jason said:

"I would have thought some notes would have existed about him possibly being a suspect of the Ripper crimes."

I agree.

Tim

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How Brown
12th January 2006, 05:13 AM
Dear Jason:

You are correct sir.

Hyam Hyams not only stabbed his wife and gave his mother a blow to the head with a hatchet,but he stabbed a medico in Colney Hatch as well. The stabbing was to the man's neck.

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Ian
12th January 2006, 09:02 PM
Hi everyone.

Fascinating posts.

The only point I'd like to question is regarding the likelihood of prostitutes "doing business" with someone that eats out of gutters. Not nice I'm sure we'd all agree. However, how certain is it that prostitutes wouldn't have serviced such a person? These were women that we're broke, often in ill health and who'd do practically anything for the price of gin. My point being that as long as the client had the money they were after I'd assume these women wouldn't really care it's unlikely any of them were that worried about hygiene especially if they'd been at the gin before going to work.

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robert
12th January 2006, 09:23 PM
Hi Ian

I don't think it's certain that he was eating out of gutters in 1888, though he may have been. In any case, if a prostitute met someone who was shabby-genteel, rather confused, and apparently harmless, they might have been interested in him from the point of view of robbing him.

Robert

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Tim_308
12th January 2006, 09:59 PM
For some reason, I don't think prostitutes are very "picky" about their clients.

If somebody has money, they don't care if they eat out of gutters, cat butts, or saw dust covered floors.

Tim

Dan Norder
02-18-2008, 02:17 AM
jeffl
26th January 2006, 05:48 PM
As its the hundredth anversary of the memoranda, I'm doing a little diiging arould the Kosminski thread which I've been reading with interest..

Firstly is there any reason to beleive that the Ripper had anything to do with writing any of the letters? If Kosminski couldnt write it hardly rules him out.

Is there actually any proof that the ripper took organs from his victims, Bond may state 'Heart missing' but when did it go? Could these organs have disappeared at the mortuary? its possible.

There may not have been any records of Aron being dangerous in 1892 but who knows what his mental state was four years earlier.

Isn't his inclusion because he was the only suspect who was identified as being at the murder scene but the identifier refused to testify against him?

Yours Jeff

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jeffl
27th January 2006, 10:52 AM
Hi everyone just a quick update following my last post.

Acording to the A to Z Kosminski had attacks of his illness in 1885, 1888, and 1890. It would therefore be reasonable to assume that he had periods of recovery which steadily got worse into the 1990's.

The A to Z lists his profession as Hairdresser, could this mean Aron was a Barber? A barbers roll in the 19th century cover far wider duties including surgery.

As I can see there is no proof that Aron was infact eating from the gutter in 1888. Surely it would be useful to know more about Arons illness which sounds to me like some form of scitsophrenia (sorry about spelling).

I have been considering some of the witness discriptions which would obviously rule out carroty mostache man, but if Aron was better presented as shabby gentile man than surely he would fit some discriptions including Hutchinsons.

Is it not also possible that Abberline had also made a mistake confussing Polish jew hairdressers? Kosminski and klosowski could be confused.

And lastly I also wonder whether the reason that Aron is often dismissed is because he is a much less romantic conclusion to the crime. Be honest wouldnt you rather it was Druitt or Tumblety?

Surely if Warren was trying to stop riots in the Eastend it would explain why they were happy for things to calm down quietly?

Wouldnt a lone jewish madman explain alot?

Just a thought

Jeff:eek:

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jason_connachan
27th January 2006, 11:45 AM
jeff

I agree that Kosminski is often dismissed as a strong candidate - a middle class Ripper is far more appealling i suppose. Its also far easier to write a suspect based Ripper book on a candidate who's life has already been well documented.

The Whitechapel murderer was in all likelihood a Kosminski type; working class, local, and as mad as a hatter(at times). Wether Kosminski is our man, the jury is still out.

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jeffl
27th January 2006, 07:23 PM
Hi Jason hoping you will jion this debate given the hundredth aniversary of Andersons memoranda.

Like you, for me, Jack has always been a local boy, I'm therefore interested in Kosminski.

Given that Maybricks about to be tested, and Patricia Cornwall is going to dig her own grave this summmer, I'm interested in some for and againsts for Aron as number one suspect.

Hoping to do a little more digging.

If he is then we can rule out Ada Wilsons attact and Emma Smith is probably out anyway. Leaving Annie Milwood.

My case is that Martha Tabram fits the bill and should be cannonized.

And that Aron Kosminski is the most likely suspect...given that I'm uncertain about Druitt...going wrong direction after Mitre Sq or Ostrog.

Obviously the shabbey gentile appearance of the other witness statements needs to find Aron in better appearance in 1888. But I beleive this is possible and would welcome any comments about Arons possible mental condition, his occupation and whether it was possible for him to fit the bill at the time of the attacks.

Jeff

PS. If we consider Aron, I think we must also consider Stride a Victim.

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Pinkerton
27th January 2006, 11:01 PM
My first registered post...wahoo!

The Whitechapel murderer was in all likelihood a Kosminski type; working class, local, and as mad as a hatter(at times).

I agree with the "working class" and "local" part but not the "mad as a hatter". I don't agree with any of the JTR as "madman" theories (Kosminski, Cohen, Hyams, etc.). Here are my reasons.

1--This person got away with most likely FIVE OR MORE murders within a densely populated urban area. The bodies were not moved, some were likely strangled, and most mutulated where they were found. This person obviously had their wits about them and planned their escape wisely. This was not an unorganized lunatic who went through a "manic" spell and start attacking prostitutes randomly. To avoid capture in such a crowded area, and in multiple instances, I believe took some forethought and cunning. Of course luck was on his side as well.

2--Prosititutes during this time period were TERRIFIED of JTK. There were many instances of prostitutes screaming and going ballistic over any type of odd behavior in a "client". Yes, they often needed to get money for the night for a place to sleep, or alcohol, etc... But at the same time they were most likely looking for ANY type of odd behavior in a client as a way to avoid JTK--a strange accent, manner of dress, odd behavior, etc. And I have no doubt that many even turned away clients due to these fears. In fact they were probably looking more likely during this period to look for guys that appeared more "safe". Repeat clients, guys they knew, local guys they had seen before, guys with families, guys who had previously been vetted by their friends, military men, etc. Of course picking up some strangers was probably unavoidable but I'm sure they tried to be more "selective" than usual in this process. Mary Kelley most likely allowed JTK into her place of residence during the HEIGHT of the Ripper scare! And according to Joe Barnett she was terrified of JTK. This to me indicates she had a level of trust with this client. He may have been someone she knew or was a repeat client. It's unlikely she allowed a lunatic into her place, or that strange guy down the street who likes to talk to himself aloud. Or a "strange" foreigner (American, jewish immigrant, upper class man with a top hat, etc.).

3--Serial killers who kill prostitutes in the overwhelming number of cases are NOT lunatics. Arthur Shawcross, Gary Ridgway, John Eric Armstrong, Robert Pickton, Robert Lee Yates, Charles Albright etc... They are sexual sadists who get off on hurting, controlling, and murdering women. They aren't people who eat trash out of the street, suffer hullicinations, epileptic fits, attack policemen or orderlies, etc. And let's not forget that policemen of that time were not familiar with the behavioral characteristics of serial killers who preyed upon prostitutes. This is one of the reasons that so many of them suspected "lunatics" who were going through "violent fits".

4--If you look at a list of serial killers who avoided being caught for a long period of time before being captured, they tended to have one thing in common--they blended in and had a very unremarkable appearance. They were personable, many had families, jobs, etc...They weren't unstable individuals with a long history of mental health breakdowns. Dennis Rader, Ted Bundy, Gary Ridgway, Robert Lee Yates, etc...

Of course there are exceptions to all of these points but if you base the identity of JTK on probability it points away from the "lunatic" theory. My guess would be that either JTK stopped killing due to either incarceration or physical illness (or both). He either was incarcerated in the East End for another crime, or moved away at some point and was incarcerated elsewhere. And long stints in 19th century English prisons could destroy a person's health very quickly.

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benh
27th January 2006, 11:24 PM
Hey Pinkerton,

An excellent debut submissin in the world of Registered Posts! Good points all round. I find myself in particular agreement with Reason No. 2.

Best Regards,
Ben

Dan Norder
02-18-2008, 02:18 AM
jason_connachan
28th January 2006, 12:47 AM
I agree with much of your post Pinkerton.

I was being slightly tongue in cheek when describing the killer as mad-as-a-hatter. He certainly had severe psychological problems which affected him in his day to day life. He could however, mostly hide the affects of his condition from his peers(at least for a time).

His psychological imbalance makes it less likely(but not entirely impossible) that he lived a long and fulfilling life afterwards. To me, this makes both Barnett and GH less of a suspect.

As far as Kosminski goes, i have no problem with him showing virtually no signs of violence during his incarceration. He seems physically and psychologically a broken man at this stage. The same can be said about him eating out of the gutter.

His "knowing the movements of all mankind" is another, more intriguing matter altogether.....................

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robhouse
28th January 2006, 01:50 AM
Well, I wrote an article on Kosminski, so I just figured I'd post the link on these new message boards... I hope this may answer some questions. I personally think Kosminski is the most likely of the known suspects to have been Jack the Ripper.

Rob House

http://roberthouse.com/other/ak2/ak3.html

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rapunzel676
28th January 2006, 02:29 AM
I think you all might consider doing a deeper investigation into the nature of schizophrenia--particularly the paranoid variety--before outright dismissing Kosminski or anyone like him simply because he was judged mentally ill. Your opinion of what constitutes mental illness is clearly quite different from the reality, both legal and otherwise. Paranoid schizophrenics can be extremely high-functioning and appear more or less "normal," hiding or at least managing their illness for years undetected. Remember the movie A Beautiful Mind? John Nash was floridly schizophrenic for years; he was also a genuis who, while considered somewhat eccentric, functioned quite well in society (he both attended and taught at Harvard) until his psychosis became so acute that it attracted the attention of those around him.

This is not to say that Kosminski was another Nash. His illness may have always manifested the way it did. He may have never been a danger to himself or others, despite having threatened his sister with a knife and once attacking an orderly with a chair. It is quite possibly he was harmless. The vast majority of schizophrenics are. It is also quite possible that he managed to function more or less normally at a certain level but, over time, deteriorated to such an extent that he became unable to take care of himself. Remember, he wasn't institutionalized until 1891. It is also possible that he was violent at one time but, to borrow from Macnaghten, "his mind gave way altogether" at one point. It's very difficult to tell from the sparse records we have at our disposal. But it would be a mistake to dismiss him altogether as a suspect simply because of a preconceived notion you may have about what constitutes a so-called "lunatic." This is particularly true when his candidacy is supported by sources like Swanson and Anderson, whatever you may think of them.

On another note, as I mentioned earlier, being mentally ill does not automatically make someone dangerous, or even appear to be dangerous. Furthermore, when you're homeless and don't know where your next meal is coming from, you might not be so picky about your clientele no matter how scared you are. An empty stomach can be one heck of a motivator.

It is true that the majority of serial killers of the past century have been sociopaths with sadistic tendencies. However, this is not universally true. Check out Ed Gein for an example of a truly mentally ill serial killer; or Richard Trenton Chase, whose crimes are eerily reminiscient of the Ripper's. John Linley Frazier is another example of a psychotic serial killer. Granted, it's rare, but it does happen, and simply because the Ripper wasn't caught does not automatically mean he didn't fit into this category.

One more point: I think there is some confusion about a certain term used to describe the Ripper. The word is genteel, or, displaying traits and manners associated with the gentry or upper class, not gentile, a word Jews use to describe non-Jews. Thus, an individual whose appearance was of a "shabby genteel" nature would appear respectable, with fair social standing, but not particularly wealthy. :hair2:

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jeffl
29th January 2006, 02:29 AM
Hi Everyone

Firstly you will have to excuse my sense of humour but I almost wet myself with my classic size 10's and my spelling errors. Please do forgive me. I suffer from dyslexia and spelling is not my best tallent when I've not access to 'word' and a spell check at work.....given the sensitive nature of the Gentile Genteel conections I can only appologuise but I realy did only mean genteel.

But back to Kosminski. I'm hoping that everyone has taken the time to read Rod Houses link which is absolutely facinating. It does of course raise questions. I'd like to know Glen Andersons veiws on Arons possible mental state..but I think what Rob has made plain in this article is certainly eye opening.

I of course have no problems including Tabram. The circles are of cours of interest but we must allow for the fact that the victims themselves almost certainly took Jack to the final murder scene from where ever they met him.

Can we also be clear that Jack stangled his victims. They were dead before he started to mutilate with the knife...this explains the lack of blood at the scenes with the exception of Tabram..who was probably not dead, she woke during the knife attack..which explains why the attack differs from the later victims.

Strangly I've had conversations on other threads about Old Montigue Street being of importance as a means of get away/access and this would rather seem to be confirmed by Rob's thesis.

I agree that we need to know more about Arons mental condition...however I thick the fact that Kosminski, given what we know, fits the profile makes him more interesting than Chapman or even Druitt.

I'd rearly liker to know Rob if you beleive that there is more that we can learn about Kosminski from reseach and records and where you beleive we should be looking. I have passed on your thesis to some interested parties, hope this is OK, and will be discussing further with Richard Jones and the Begg this week.

For me however this was a facinating read, many many thanks for your post. Perhaps some time the most obvious and under our nose solution...is indeed the simplest answer.

Does the letter you discussed still exist?

I promise to thread with more sensitivity and spelling care in furture and many thanks for starting the ball rolling. I guess one of the biggest problems when trying to profile sexual killers is that it is still a very new science/art and theres still much we dont know.

Iim interested in any other pre-Tabram attacks and how they fit your model, I beleive Richard has some so I will get back to you all...make sure you read Robs link.

Good night all many thanks Jeff

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jeffl
29th January 2006, 02:52 AM
PS PS. Rob I guess this is a long shot but given the knowns about Strides attack..is there any possibilty that Aron could have been involved with other people in these attacks? Could he have been part of a group and then branch out alone? or do you see Aron as a complete loner who would have nothing to do with other youths.

I guess Im thinking hear of Emma Smith...could Aron have been part of a gang in the early stages?

Jeff

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Dan Norder
02-18-2008, 02:19 AM
Pinkerton
29th January 2006, 11:07 PM
An excellent debut submissin in the world of Registered Posts! Good points all round. I find myself in particular agreement with Reason No. 2.

Thanks benh. I'm a longtime reader of Casebook, I just haven't really posted much.

I was being slightly tongue in cheek when describing the killer as mad-as-a-hatter. He certainly had severe psychological problems which affected him in his day to day life. He could however, mostly hide the affects of his condition from his peers(at least for a time).

Right, I see what you're saying. Serial killers like Ted Bundy ARE "mad as hatters" in some sense. One of the main thrusts of my argument is to distinguish the "luncatic" as most people of the 19th century would expect (what we now expect to mean schizophrenia, or a severe form of manic depression) from the sociopath (thanks rapunzel676, that was the term I was hunting for). This distinction was not well understood in the 19th century. Most sociopaths can blend in to the general population without standing out too much. They can more effectively compartmentalize their behavior so as to appear normal unlike most schizophrenics. Those who know them may think them a little odd or eccentric but aren't usually aware of their sociopathic tendencies.

Schizophrenics on the other hand would have a MUCH more difficult time not standing out from your average Joe. Many suffer from audio hallucinations, paranoia, and thought disassociation. And of course in the 19th century there was absolutely NO effective treatment for their condition, such as the antipsychotic drugs of today that allow many schizophrenics to be highly functional. I take your point rapunzel676 about people with a more mild form of schizophrenia that allows them to be highly
functional (and thus could appear more normal to most). Though I would argue that someone like John Nash was very exceptional in this regard (because of his extraordinary intelligence). There have been serial killers who were schizophrenic, though as you point out we now know that the vast majority are not--they're sociopaths. Among some who were schizophrenics include Anatoly Onoprienko, Herb Mullin, and Juan Corona (whether Ed Gein was actually schizophrenic is questionable though he was diagnosed as such). I can't think of any schizophrenic serial killers who targeted prostitutes, though there may have been some I'm not aware of. Serial killers who kill prostitutes are almost always sociopaths, and specifically sexual sadists.

My main point though is that if you base the judgement of JTK on probability it is unlikely that JTK was a schizophrenic like Kosminsky appeared to be (though I wouldn't completely rule him out). And the fact that JTK killed so many people in such a crowded area and got away with it leads one to believe he didn't stand out. And I can't see someone like Ed Gein (had a "weirdo" demeanor and appearance), Francis Tumblety (American accent and eccentric appearance), Kosminsky (schizophenic, most likely had a thick accent), George Chapman ("foreign" appearance, accent), or most recent Jewish emigrants (don't forget the degree of anti-semitism among the native East Enders) propositioning FIVE different prostitutes in the middle of the night during the summer of 1888. Even had they not been scared off by these men I dare say they wouldn't invite them into their residence (like Kelley), in someone's fenced off back yard (Chapman), or way off the beaten path so far off the road (Eddowes in Mitre Square). Granted that hungry people might likely take such a chance but this did not appear to be the case for these women (most of them had showed signs of eating that very night). I also don't believe ANY witnesses reported JTK suspects having a discernable accent, though a couple did mention a "foreign" appearance.

Just my 2 cents.

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jeffl
30th January 2006, 12:20 PM
Hi Pinkerton

Your two cents are more than welcome. The fact is that when we consider the Ripper crimes hundred years odd later we are all given to interpret the facts as they are known. Whether we beleive one witness or another is always guided by the suspect we are considering. We have to fill holes and check if its possible for a suspect to fit the knowns or partly knowns.

What I think is interesting about Robert Houses reconsideration is that it gives us some new considerations about Aron's possible mental condition at the time of the murders. I for one have always dismissed Kosminski because I had an image of some one living in the gutter totally mad and largely incoherant. Someone who would smell and not be very attractive even to a drunk hungry prostitute.

This may not have been the case at all. If he was living with his family he may have been working and litterate at the time. We just have know way of knowing given the known facts. However it is in the realms of possibility that he could have been the killer. His living location at Sion Sq is certainly interesting given what is known about the last location of the victims, especially the early ones Tabram and Nicols who were both placed near to Whitchappel high street and close to Arons residence.

What you must also remember is that what all the victims actually had in common was an addiction to drink and had been drinking before their murder. This can make your attitude very differant..Kelly may have been more affraid while sobber. I've also been following the Hutchinson debate on another thread. His discription could potentially fit Aron if he was wearing his brother in laws suit..as we have no photographs its difficult to say although I know Richard Jones recently interveiwed a decendant of the Kaminski family and it would be interesting to see if there was possibilty of family photos..close relatives, that may give us a ruff idea of resemblance.

I was hoping to retrace and time the murder scenes to Arons address this week but unfortunately I had my car smashed into last night and I'm temporarily without transport. Oh the joys of East London. I've had conversations with Monty on another thread about Old Montigue street as the Rippers means of access and there does seem to be access close to Sion Sq across Whitechappel Road..to Old Montigue Street...obviously this doesnt prove anything but its interesting to see how Aron could fit in.

Rob if your reading this I'm interested to know what you think about Aron as a youth being part of a gang. It would have been very dangerous for him to walk the streets of Whitchappel in these districts at night alone even if he was Jack the Ripper...safefy in numbers?

Catch you tate-ers Jeff

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jeffl
30th January 2006, 12:53 PM
PS PS sorry just another thought...Robert your article mentions Aron's occupation as hairdresser and then Hospital orderly. I was just wondering where this information came from? and given what your article says about the Nicols murder whether any body had checked employment records of the London Hospital, if they have such a thing....Is it possible he worked there?

Jeff

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jason_connachan
30th January 2006, 01:14 PM
A very good post Pinkerton.

I have to admit to being out of my depth when posting about the psychological make-up of serial killers.

A huge difference between today and 1888 would be the lack of effective drug treatments they had then.

Does anyone have an opinion on how the lack of drug treatments may have affected Jack(or Kosminski)? I realise this largely depends on knowing his specific psychological problems. One thing that immediately comes to mind would be a far quicker deterioration in his condition than would be the case today?

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Mr Poster
30th January 2006, 01:23 PM
Hi ho

Nice posts indeed Pinkerton.

My main point though is that if you base the judgement of JTK on probability it is unlikely that JTK was a schizophrenic like Kosminsky appeared to be (though I wouldn't completely rule him out).

Very nice to see probability getting a mention. An under used tool indeed.

Mr P

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jeffl
30th January 2006, 04:12 PM
Hi Mr P

Have been following yours threads on Maybrick and Hutchinson with interest. While I agree that the probability of a scitsophrenic (sorry about spelling) is unlikely that is not to say that it not a possibility.

Dosnt probability not work so well when your working backwards...there was loads of stuff about this with reguards to inteligent design and Darwinian evolution on the TV last week.

Without more specific information on Kasminski's actual condition it is hard to speculate....what Robert Houses article demonstrates...and please do check it out as I'd like to know your opinion...is that it is possible for Aron to have been functional enough at the time of the murders.

Going to far into probabilities is to much like the 'tin match box emptie' argument and Paul Begg's pionting out the chances for finding the red (is it hankercheif, my memory is hazey) red something.

My piont is why something is possible then it should be explored even if it is improbable, which is an entirely differant case...especially when dealing with the number of variables in the Ripper case..

Confussed..yes perhaps I'd better get back to work..I'm sure I know what I'm trying to say but its not coming out very clearly. Perhaps its a scientist/Artist thing..

Personally I've always worked to the theory that just when you think things cant probably get any worse...sods law suggests they will if they possibly can.

All the best Mr P. Good luck with the tests.

Yours Jeff

Dan Norder
02-18-2008, 02:20 AM
robhouse
30th January 2006, 05:12 PM
Jeff,
Sorry I didnt reply sooner, but I was away from the computer all weekend (for a change). I have considered the possibility that Kosminski was part of a gang, but there is no evidence to support it. As far as Aaron's occupation... the asylum records lists his occupation as hairdresser. George Sims, in his 1907 article "My Criminal Museum", speaks of the Polish Jew (certainly Kosminski) who "had at one time been employed in a hospital in Poland. He was known to be a lunatic at the time of the murders, and some time afterwards he betrayed such undoubted signs of homicidal mania that he was sent to a lunatic asylum. " It is likely that Sims got this information from MacNaughton, but there are no records that support this. I do believe that it is possible to do more research on Kosminski, which may support a theory of Kosminski as the Ripper. I am currently working on a few new avenues of research regarding Kosminski. For example, I was recently interested in the possibility that Kosminski may have been an assistant Feldscher, which, depending on how you define the term, means either barber-surgeon or a sort of country doctor. This would explain Sims' statement, and also Aaron's becoming a hairdresser or barber. I do believe it may be possible to find hospital records for Aaron's employment in a hospital in Poland, although this is a long shot. I have a few other things in the works, but I have not been too focused on it lately. I am hoping that I will be able to dig up some new material and possibly turn this into a book at some point.

Rob House

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jeffl
30th January 2006, 05:51 PM
Hi Rob

Yes i had considered the term hairdresser, it does seem to have differant conitations at the time. A barber could forefil a number of fuctions including surgery..its interesting that George Chapman was listed as a barber and had studied as a surgeon in Poland.

As I mentioned has anybody ever searched the London Hospital records...if we could establish that Aron had work then I think it would help to clarify just how fuctional he was.

I've been doing some research into Peter Sutcliffe and Schitzophenia this afternoon....it appears the americans have 15 types and the Brits only six..but then there a strange lot :1grin:

This link may be interesting on the subject: http://www.newint.org/issue132/keynote.htm

It would appear that schitzophenia is not dangerous initself but it is possible for them to become dangerous given the write circumstances which would seem to agree with your article.

I.m more interested however in your circles and plan to time some of the walks if possible...once I have the car back..

Anyway I'm very intersted in anything new that could be dug up...working on something in its early stanges..

Will speak soon Many thanks

Jeff

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rapunzel676
30th January 2006, 08:58 PM
Funny how I suggested a few posts back that Kosminski could have been a highly functioning schizophrenic and was virtually ignored. . .I also said schizophrenics weren't dangerous as a rule and. . .oh well, you get the point. I guess in order to be taken seriously by some folks you have to be in possession of a certain apparatus which I fundamentally lack. ;)

At any rate, at the risk of further wasting my breath (figuratively speaking), I just wanted to address a couple of points Pinkerton made in response to my previous post. With regard to the Ripper's ability to "blend" into the environment, it seems odd to me to assume that simply because someone is a little odd or eccentric or (gasp!) foreign he wouldn't necessarily blend into the environment. Perhaps not as well and not as completely as others, but this wasn't a tightly-knit community anymore where everyone knew everyone. As I said before, a great many (particularly paranoid) schizophrenics and others afflicted with disorders that make them psychotic at times (not all the time, I might add) can function at more or less a normal level for long periods of time. They get married, hold down jobs, go about their daily lives like everyone else. Everyone seems to be stuck on this sterotype of the slack-jawed, drooling idiot, lurching around the streets talking to himself. Sure, if you talk to them for long enough you might notice something is a bit "off," but that's what's so insidious and terrifying about mental illness: Sometimes you just can't tell. Sometimes, even when they're floridly psychotic, they sound so convincing that you might even begin to buy into their delusional system. Paranoid schizophrenics often have high intellects, which is what often makes them so good at hiding their illness for so long.

On another note, I find it sad and ironic that any of us-sitting in our warm, clean, comfortable homes with full bellies, knowing full well where our next meal is coming from--could ever hope to understand what life was like for the Ripper's victims. Do you honestly think that they would have turned anyone away, if it meant a place to sleep for the night, or a pint of beer? Not to undermine the fact that they were victims, but most of them were also down-on-their-luck alcoholics with no visible means of support, no homes, and very little hope of ever making a meaningful living. Okay, so Annie Chapman had a potato that night. By all accounts it was the only meal she'd had all day, and for all she knew it was the only meal she'd have all week. So the Ripper comes along, and maybe he's a little odd, or a Jew (and if you think prostitutes didn't go with Jewish or other foreign clients you've got another thing coming--money is money, honey), or whatever, but he's flashing cash, and it's already 3 am and a cold night and you haven't gotten the money for your bed yet. . .what can it hurt? Desperate times call for desperate measures, and these were very desperate women. Look at Gary Ridgway's victims. Most of them weren't in nearly as desperate a situation as the Ripper's victims, and even when they knew there was a killer on the loose, even when they thought he seemed strange and they felt like they couldn't trust him, even when he'd been seen with women who were known Green River victims, they went with him anyway. Prostitution is by nature a very risky business, and when you're as desperate as some of these women were, you can't really afford to be all that choosy.

As far as the accent thing goes, well, I have to ask: How many people actually reported hearing the Ripper speak, and for how long? Elizabeth Long heard a man ask Annie Chapman "Will you?" Judging by his appearance she thought he was foreign, but she said his back was turned to her, so one has to wonder if she was basing her conclusion less on his appearance and more on his voice. Okay, who else? Matthew Packer, who (over the course of many retellings) said the man who bought grapes from him had an American accent. Guess he stood out a little. Of course, how reliable is Packer as a witness? Not very. Then there's William Marshall, who reported hearing a man tell Elizabeth Stride "You would say anything but your prayers," around an hour before she was found dead. This guy did have a proper English accent, but he was probably the guy she left the pub with at 11 but not the one Israel Schwartz saw her with just before she was killed. Oh, and as for Schwartz, the guy he heard said one word, "Lipski!" and then Schwartz ran off. If the Lipski-shouting man was the Ripper, he certainly wasn't doing much to "blend in" that night! Let's see, who else? The man George Hutchinson saw with Mary Kelly--good old Astrakhan Man, who told Kelly she would be all right for what he had told her. Hutchinson, for all his wealth of detail, didn't describe the man in question as having an accent, although he did say Kelly's client was "foreign-looking."

And there you have it. Proof enough--if you believe the witnesses, that is--that the Ripper's victims would and did accept "foreigners" as clients, some of whom may or may not have had accents. Only Matthew Packer seemed to hear the man speak long enough to tell, and he certainly isn't the most reliable witness in the bunch.

By the way, one of the standard drug "treatments" (if you can call it that) for psychosis, mania, and other assorted mental difficulties was chloral hydrate, a central nervous system depressant used to tranquilize and/or sedate unruly patients. Basically, when given enough of it, people were sent into a stupor or simply went to sleep. Opiate-based sedatives were also used as a means of controlling individuals having psychotic and/or manic episodes. It wasn't really until after the Second World War that effective anti-psychotic medications began to appear, and although it was actually first recognized as a semi-effective treatment for depression in the 1880s, lithium wasn't used to treat the manic side of bipolar disorder until the 1950s. So back in Kosminski's time, it was basically chloral hydrate and manual restraints until you fell asleep or wore yourself out or died. :hair2:

Dan Norder
02-18-2008, 02:20 AM
jeffl
31st January 2006, 11:19 AM
Infact the link I posted yesterday would seem to bear out everything you said about schitzophrenics. They are basically not dangerous. As a dyslexic I was horrified by a report that the majority of prisoneers studied in a scotish prison suffered from dyslexia...does that mean dyslexics are more likely to commit crime...no but it does mean that people suffering the condition in certain areas are more likely to be left behind and experience other factors that lead that way.

Your comments on treatments for schitsophrenics is also spot on from what I can gather. Kaminski probably faired far better when on the street receiving no medication. Schitsophrenics as serieal killers are rare but they exist, probably as a result of there upbringing or environment. Schitsophrenia may not even be a deases but a differant mental condition like dyslexia.

So if anybody is guilty of having miss read Aron Kaminski's ability to commit these crimes it was me. One of the things I've never been able to understand is why a terrifying killer like Jack the Ripper would be completely harmless once locked in an asylum...of course my own projection and missunderstanding. If we look at a known schtsophrenic serieal killer like Peter Sutcliffe we discover that he has been a model prisoneer..apart from people attacking him of course.

So I think we can assume the possibility of Aron Kaminski commiting such crimes. Our main problem is that we know very little about him. Location wise his consideration makes alot of sense. Your run through the witness statements was again spot on. Matthew Packers grape story grows ever longer and would seem unreliable while Elizebeth Longs story seems fairly consistant, but I think you'd really have to do alot of work to accurately establish Annie Chapmans time of death. But on the whole Aron would appear to be a better suspect than most as long as you dismiss the Carrotty mostche man.

If Robert Houses assertion that Kaminski had been as a hospital porter or even trainee surgeon could be proved through records I think this would be very interesting. Astablishing Arons ability to work and function would alter the general missconseptions. So as he says records in Poland..perhaps even the London Hospital (any conections of a student with Lusk?)

Just as an asside I know that there are no records of Aron working with others but if you take into account the lipski call...its interesting to note the Peter Sutcliffe originally toured his prostitutes haunts with his brother in law commiting strange attempted acts of violence and only became a lone killer later on.

Anyway Rapunzel your posts have helped me alot reconsidering Aron over the past week so many thanks. Catch you all soon. Jeff

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jeffl
31st January 2006, 11:30 AM
Hi Rapunzel

Sorry about this...the computer cut off the first pargraph of my post which should have started thanking you for your contributions..the way it starts at present sounds rather rude which was not my intention...I then posted an appology which was again sucked into the eithor. Hopefully this post will find its way...thanks again read on. bloody technology :1grin: Yours Jeff
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robhouse
31st January 2006, 04:22 PM
Jeff,

Just a couple quick thoughts. Aaron's occupation in London is listed as hairdresser, which at this time apparently was synonimous with the term barber. So it is likely that at some point he was working as a hairdresser... possibly as an assistant in a barber shop or something like that. By the time he was committed, he had apparently been unemployed for "years", whatever that means... 2 or 3 years? More? The only suggestion that Aaron worked in a hospital in Poland is the statement by Sims. This statement is pretty vague. I have been wondering if perhaps Aaron worked as an assistant Feldscher, and if something was sort of lost in translation, either in the police's misunderstanding or Sims' interpretation. At the time, the police were interested in finding suspects who may have had some surgical knowledge, so it is likely that they would have asked about Aaron's work history... "Did he ever work in a hospital?"... "Yes, he was an assistant to the local doctor, who performed minor surgeries and home remedies"... etc. Something like that.

As far as working in a London hospital, I doubt it. The Jews were a pretty distinct underclass in London at the time. They were mainly employed in trades such as tailor, bootmaker, etc. I think I can look this up when I get home (employment statistics for Jews), but I cannot picture Aaron working in a London hospital.

Rob H

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jeffl
31st January 2006, 05:43 PM
Cheers Rob

Your probably correct, it was your observation about getting lost in the roads behind the London Hospital after the Nicols murder that gotten me thinking.

Given the jewish work ethic its hard to imagine the family letting Aron sit around doing nothing all day, mad or not, he was probably doing something to earn a keep. If your a tailor or tradesman its easy enough to start a shop in the attic and I guess many did but what does an ex-barber do? Perhaps he sweep the floor for George Chapman?

Would the hospital have taken on any casual labour, cleaners etc ? I beleive that the Hospital has a small museum. My freind Richard has a meeting there next week so I have asked him to ask questions just incase. However you are probably correct about needing to check things out in Poland. Did they have birth records and would Kosminski's birth certificate still exist somewhere? That might give you a town or a logical place to start searching local hospital records. Bit of a needle in a hay stack.

THe idea of hairdresser being a miss translation however would make sense.

Catch you soon Jeff

:1grin: :)

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robhouse
31st January 2006, 07:26 PM
Jeff,

Quick response to your point about the Jewish work ethic... there was a very high unemployment rate among Jews in the East End in the 1880s, so Aaron's unemployed status would not have been unusual.

Rob H

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jeffl
1st February 2006, 11:03 AM
HI Rob

Yes I'm complete with that. I guess what I was really getting at was the black economy. What actually constituted unemployment at the time. I should think techniqually our victims were also unemployed. However Kate had just returned from hop picking and sold match boxes. Didn't Stride have a scam about being a widow from a boat disarster...some have even suggested that Stride was conning money from a lady who identified her body as her sister at the inquest. Surely if the women turned there hands to anything so did the men.

Even if you were unemployed you had to eat. Were charity had outs the only way? Did they barter their services?

Sorry if I'm sounding a little Mary Antonette here...I just not see Aron sitting around doing nothing. If nothing else there were oyster and cockle beds a days walk down the Thames. der... I forgotten shell fish arnt coasha....Irish decent...anyway you get my piont, he must have done something surely if we assume he's able to commit the crimes..other than take food from the gutter...left overs at Spittlefield?

Casual work at the Docks or was that only us navies allowed?:1grin:

Are you saying that unemployed ment doing absolutely nothing in 1888 or was that just the official statistic?

Jeff

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caz
2nd February 2006, 12:24 PM
Hi Pinkerton,

Granted that hungry people might likely take such a chance but this did not appear to be the case for these women (most of them had showed signs of eating that very night).

That's a fair point. The victims who had eaten on the night they died can't have been desperately hungry when they encountered Jack - unless he was the one who provided their last meals as an enticement.

I do agree with Erin that an East End unfortunate would not have shied away from any man who could offer her a few pence/food/drink/clothing or trinkets - unless his appearance and/or behaviour happened to match her own mental picture of the killer on the loose. And that might have put potential victims off approaching, or going with, 'Leather Apron' types at the height of the scare (as Tom Westcott suggested on another thread) - or anyone they suspected of not having two ha'pennies to rub together. Prostitutes are the women who will not die horribly for nothing.

So how tempting a proposition would a Kosminski type have been for an average unfortunate by the beginning of September 1888?

Love,

Caz
X

Dan Norder
02-18-2008, 02:21 AM
jeffl
3rd February 2006, 10:48 AM
Hi Caz

I'm sure its mentioned that some of the victims were malnurished. Eddows certainly was, and may not have been a professional prostitute (what ever that meant) but took tricks when need must. What we can all be certain of is that they were desperate enough to go with Jack the Ripper.

The question in hand therefore is the perceived threat the women had (which would have grown after each murder particularly in Kelly's case) and a perseption on the street of the killer. Would say a Maybrick, Druitt, Gullish type character appeared more of a threat, than a foreigner like Tumbelty, a local like Barnett or a Polish Jew like Aron Kasminski.

Given that, I for one, always had the image of Kaminski being very poor disheveled and eating from the gutter....the piont that has been made by Rob House is that we do not know Kaminski's condition at this time. He may have been more presentable, may have been able to speak english, may have trained as a feldsher in Poland and probably had a roof over his head. Which put him in a better position than most of his victims who were reduced to dos houses.

We know that any Chapman boasted shed earned her dos money several times and spent it on drink, she cant have been that choosey, my guess is the first that came along. Martham Tabra had spent the evening drinking and Kelly was certainly a little worse for ware. We also dont know whether Kaminski could have been a previous client known to his victims. They could have known their killer which would have made them less suspicious.

If Kaminski was Jack then he had been on these streets walking them at night for some time, a few years, its quite possible he was known in the area and by his victims. The problem I guess is if he had no source of income he wouldn't have had much money to spend on prostitutes.

Now if someone could prove Kaminski did some work that might be another matter.

What we must consider despite his potencial appearance, is whether his stong accent would have put off the victims. I think that we must remember that this was a time with high emergration and Kasminski's accident would have been very common on the streets at that time, not at all out of place. Stride was outside a Polish workmans club.

My guess is that Kaminski type clients would have been fairly common, perhaps far more common than the Rich Genteel clients like Sickert that we are so often asked to consider.

Yours Jeff

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Brogden
7th March 2006, 12:33 AM
Sorry if this has been mentioned before but I have only skim read the final couple of posts (its getting late here and sleep is calling).

Having read the many points raised with regards to schizophrenia and their ability to function in 'normal' society does anyone have any information on whether or not they can be affected by 'triggers'.

For example, say someone is suffering from a mild case of schizophrenia, is it possible for them to deteriorate rapidly when faced with certain situations therefore leaving them no longer able to keep it under control only to then return to apparent 'normality' when that 'trigger' is removed?

I ask as the thought arose in my mind that maybe Kosminsky was able to disguise his mania for the majority of the time only to turn into a violent killer when faced with the possibility of close female intimacy i.e sex with a prostitute.

I suppose this in turn would lead to questions surrounding his relationships with women in normal circumstances and if he tended to shy away from female companionship and associate mainly with males. I seem to recall an incident when Kosminsky pulled a knife on his sister - what was this caused by?

Sorry if this seems to be a silly post but I'd thought i'd throw it out in the open to see if anyone else has any thoughts on it.

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Glenn L Andersson
7th March 2006, 01:09 AM
Hi all,

I just came across this thread and I must agree with Jeff, that that was a bloody good post by Rapunzel above and spot on!

a great many (particularly paranoid) schizophrenics and others afflicted with disorders that make them psychotic at times (not all the time, I might add) can function at more or less a normal level for long periods of time. They get married, hold down jobs, go about their daily lives like everyone else. Everyone seems to be stuck on this sterotype of the slack-jawed, drooling idiot, lurching around the streets talking to himself. Sure, if you talk to them for long enough you might notice something is a bit "off," but that's what's so insidious and terrifying about mental illness: Sometimes you just can't tell. Sometimes, even when they're floridly psychotic, they sound so convincing that you might even begin to buy into their delusional system. Paranoid schizophrenics often have high intellects, which is what often makes them so good at hiding their illness for so long.


This is exactly how it is, and I have myself seen this up close, since I had friends in Sweden suffering from paranoid schizofrenia as well as manic depression.
They can appear quite uninteresting and 'normal' to those who do not know them or on longer range, but you can sense that something is wrong when you get to know them better. Then they can totally flip out when they get at their worst and you won't know what to expect.

I would agree with the notion, that most of the clients that were 'entertained' by the prostitutes in east End, might have been rather shady characters, some of them probably drunk and abusive, some of them dirty, some of them a bit better, like lower middle class with a job, some of them even slightly crazy.
As Rapunzel says, they couldn't really afford to turn anyone down. Every customer was a threat to them, they knew that, but they really didn't have much chocie, unless they wanted to sleep out in the street (which, especially during the Ripper scare, might not have been a very pleasant alternative). No wonder they drinked themselves pissed.

This is why knowledge about the sociohistorical context is important; without trying to get deep into these women's sittuation and the society they lived in, it is very hard to understand some of the aspects of the Ripper case.

Brogden (Hi there!) puts forward very interesting questions here. personally, I don't have the knowledge enough in order to establish how something can trigger a possoble schizofrenic into certain things - I assume some things can, but I am afraid I can't deliver a scientific answer.

I can understand Rapunzel's frustration, because I have myself time and time again repeated some points regarding schizofrenic criminals, but with rather small response. We have had at least one serial killer in my native Sweden who have been paranoid schizofrenic (and who didn't take his medication), and who eluded the police for 15 years and finally got caught because a workmate found his behaviour a bit odd, but on the whole none of his neighbours or workmates under all these years suspected anything - he was only referred to as 'the loner with the dog'.
His schizofrenia was not - as in many other cases where serial killers are concerned - a scam to fool the court, but he was diagnosed with this disease long before his first known crime was committed.

the same thing with the young guy who some years ago killed the Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh in a shopping mall in front of several people and then walked out. His departure was a bit odd, first running into a barber's shop wanting to get his hair cut, then ran out after having dropped the knife in a waste basket.
So far his behaviour seems totally disorganised, but then all of a sudden he appears to get more rational; he tries to hide his clothes in a wood by digging a hole and bury them and then he lies to his mother and his freinds about where he has been and tries to cover up his crime. For a while he managed to fool people to the extent that the police actually arrested someone else, until his mother finally suspected what he had done and contacted the police.
In court he even appeared shrewd and answered cleverly and avodied the most crucial questions.

This guy had also a long history of this illness and again, he had been diagnosed with this long before the crime was committed so his illness was no lie.

the most interesting American case I usually bring up, is that of Hadden Clark, who again had a long established record of this illness and who again didn't take his medication.
He got caught after several years and after several murders, and it wasn't until his last murder was under investigation that the others were discovered. He fooled the police for years, and in the interview room he appeared just like a psychopath; playing games with the police, were in control, avoided certain questions etc.

So yes - a paranoid schizofrenic can display a shrewd and rational behaviour and if such a criminal can elude the modern police force for 10 to 15 years, I would say the police force of 1888 would be practically helpless.

Therefore I can not rule out people like Kosminski.
As has been pointed out, we don't know how his status was in 1888, or how his environment perceived him. The incident with threatning his sister with aknife is interesting and indicates that could be violent during the time he still spent with his family. if this was a one-time incident is impossible to say.

But I would be very careful about ruling anyone out with paranoid schizofrenia just because one expects them to run around with foam coming out their mounth, because that is clearly a myth.
Most schizofrenics are harmless people, but the subgroup who are labelled 'paranoid' sees and hear threats, which makes them more likely to react violently.
They ARE quite capable of acting rational and even to commit serial killing, even if they are in a minority.

All the best

Dan Norder
02-18-2008, 02:23 AM
Pinkerton
7th March 2006, 04:47 AM
I think my earlier post was a bit misinterpreted. As I said I would never completely rule someone like Kosminksi out. I'm simply going on pure probability. I would pose these questions to illustrate my point.

Have there ever been schizophrenic serial killers? Yes

Do most serial killers suffer from schizophrenia? No

Are a large percentage of serial killers schizophrenic? No

Are most serial killers who prey upon women sexual sadists? Yes

Aren't the OVERWHELMING majority of serial killers who prey upon prostitutes sexual sadists? Yes

Were the police and criminologists in 1888 aware of the overwhelming prevelence of the sexual sadist for this type of crime? I don't believe so.

Was sexual sadism well understood in 1888? No

Was schizophrenia well understood in 1888? No

Isn't it likely that an inordinate amount of attention in 1888 was paid to suspects who were believed to be "lunatics" (language of the time) or who showed clear signs of an obvious mentally illness? Yes

Couldn't this have contributed to ignoring more seemingly sane suspects? Yes

Are there people with a more mild form of schizophrenia that allows them to be much higher functioning? Yes. About half of diagnosed patients with shizophrenia have a milder form of cognitive impairment according to literature. Of course at the same time we must remember there were NO effective treatments at the time.

Doesn't the fact the Kosminski was later institutionalised for the rest of his life, experienced aural hallucinations, ate from gutters, and was severly withdrawn suggest a more severe form of schizophrenia? Yes

Couldn't Kosminkski have been in the earliest stages of schizophrenia during the JTR killings thus not being as symptomatic, and thus not standing out? Yes

Wasn't Kosminski's behavior while institutionalized described as largely non-violent and non-confrontational? Yes

Didn't Kosminkski live with a household of relatives during the murders? Yes

According to the articles on this site, Kosminksi was born around 1864 or 1865, moved to London around 1881 or 1882. So for only 6 or 7 years of his life (between 24-25 years of age in 1888) did he live in Britain. Therefore it's likely he either didn't speak English, spoke a little, or spoke English but with a very thick accent. Anti-semitism was rampant at this time period, and I believe that many are overestimating just how "integrated" Jews were in Whitechapel at this time (though I could be mistaken). Bearing all this mind wouldn't this have given a prostitute second thoughts about picking someone up like Kosminski? Yes

Would it have ruled it out? No

Incidentally I would acknowledge that my last argument is the weakest. A prostitute desperate for money might just as likely not be too picky about her clients if she needed money badly enough. I guess this largely depends on how easily she can get a client and thus choose to be at least somewhat selective. But my instincts just tell me that a Jew, with most likely a thick accent or poor command of English (still considered quite "foreign" to most poor English natives incidentally), has a history of mental disorders, and who lives with a large family, did NOT go out in the middle of the night, kill five prostitutes, and make it back to the family homestead in the morning. "Isaac, our mentally ill son was away during most of the night and came back in the early morning hours again...Oh yeah and another prostitute died again last night. And Aaron mentioned that he got blood on his clothes again from hanging out with his friend Israel the butcher." ;)

But my main argument again is that Kosminski COULD have been the killer. But based on probability the killer was most likely a sexual sadist WITHOUT schizophrenia, who most likely lived in the area. And the fact that he got away in SUCH a crowded area (regardless of the fact that it was late at night) to me suggests that he probably didn't stand out in any way. Just like a long list of modern day serial killers...BTK, Green River Killer, Ted Bundy, etc, etc...

Just my opinion for what it's worth.

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Glenn L Andersson
7th March 2006, 10:07 PM
Pinkerton,

Just a pointer:

Are most serial killers who prey upon women sexual sadists? Yes

Aren't the OVERWHELMING majority of serial killers who prey upon prostitutes sexual sadists? Yes

Were the police and criminologists in 1888 aware of the overwhelming prevelence of the sexual sadist for this type of crime? I don't believe so.

Was sexual sadism well understood in 1888? No

The Ripper may have been a sexual serial killer - that is under debate and no fixed truth - but he was NO sadist, in the correct meaning of the term.
So therefore the argument about sexual sadism is irrelevant.

All the best

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dannorder
7th March 2006, 10:50 PM
The Ripper may have been a sexual serial killer - that is under debate and no fixed truth - but he was NO sadist, in the correct meaning of the term.

And unfortunately you still believe this with no real reason to do so.

Only a sadist who wants to get caught or who isn't able to think things through rationally tortures someone in densely populated areas (probably in each case with people in their homes no more than 30 feet away) on the streets so that the victims can scream and bring help.

So you can rule out an incredibly idiotic (or psychotic/delusional) sadist as being the Ripper, but you can't rules out the vast majority of them.

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jeffl
8th March 2006, 11:08 PM
Hi Pinkerton

I've read through your pionts and agree with them.

Surely what has been concluded is the fact that it is possible for Jack the Ripper to have been a paraniod schitzophrenic.

The statists are irrelevant....statistically Jack was right handed because most people are.

What has been established is that Kosminski could have been functional and capable at the time of the murders.

It is the weight and balance of the other evidence, maginalia, location of address, work as barber?hairdresser/trainy surgeon, and possible ID. that make Aron of interest.

We must balance the evidence. But its possible for these crimes to have been committed by a person suffering from a number of mental problems...you only require ONE...the possibility is enough.

For my money he still sits number one by a long shot over the other suspects.

Lets wish Rob House the best with future research.

Jeff

Guess Druitts is two, just wish there was more on him?

Catch you all soon. Good night

:1cool:

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Glenn L Andersson
8th March 2006, 11:22 PM
And unfortunately you still believe this with no real reason to do so.

Only a sadist who wants to get caught or who isn't able to think things through rationally tortures someone in densely populated areas (probably in each case with people in their homes no more than 30 feet away) on the streets so that the victims can scream and bring help.

So you can rule out an incredibly idiotic (or psychotic/delusional) sadist as being the Ripper, but you can't rules out the vast majority of them.

Dan,
A sadist is a sadist because it is a sexual driving force and a need; most people try to obtain that regardless of the obstacles - it is generally nothing that they appear to be quite likely to control. It would be very little point for a sadist killer to perform his crimes if they didn't give him the reward he was after.

Did you actually think that through or did you just wanted to make your voice heard?

Dan Norder
02-18-2008, 02:24 AM
dannorder
9th March 2006, 02:41 AM
Sorry, Glenn, but the whole point of sadism is what a person wants to do and not necessarily what they can get away with. H.H. Holmes, for example, built his own little torture castle with sound proof rooms so he could go get his sadistic homicidal desires all worked out. A sadist without the opportunity to do fully what he or she wants to do makes do with what they can. Someone killing on the streets of Whitechapel couldn't do what Holmes could do. They could have the exact same desires and motives but different end results.

The APA's definition of sadism, for example, does not demand that they actually act out these fantasies on a living person. It says they have desires to do so, and that they either do it, or do something that adversely impacts their functioning as a result of it. Those people are both sadists. Put them both in a situation where they know they can get away with it without getting caught and then they both probably do the same thing, but that's not what we're talking about here... we're talking about the real world, where cops can hunt you down, capture you and hang you if you are busy torturing a woman like you (or the hypothetical killer with that motivation anyway) want to on a Whitechapel Street.

Furthermore, and this is the most interesting point considering your claims that the Ripper couldn't have been a sadist by definition, there is a specific professional term for those people who kill someone so that they can mutilate the body. You know what that term is? It's necrosadism. It's a combination of the sexual sadism paraphilia and necrophilia (part of the Paraphilia Not Otherwise Specified cluster of disorders) in the DSM's professional criteria.

In other words, this very thing that you claim has nothing to do with sadism is defined by the American Psychiatric Association as a form of sadism.

So, while I can't say for sure that the Ripper was definitely a sadist, the idea that he definitely wasn't by definition of the term is just complete nonsense.

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Glenn L Andersson
9th March 2006, 03:06 AM
Dan,

I don't know what it is whith yiu and your obsession with debating terminology and semantics, but is this meant to go on and on in endless circles like on Radka's thread (although I agreed with you there for once)?

Get real here. We are not talking about what APA is defining as a sadist or what the Ripper could have been between the four walls oh his home- we are talking about if the Ripper's crimes display any signs of sexual sadism, and they certainly do not.

Of course we can't know what he was like in private or if he had any special means to fulfil his other fantasies - if he had any .But that is total speculation not based on any crime scene facts. With that kind of reasoning you could call any unknown criminal a sexual sadist.
We have to go with what we see, and we definitely see no signs of sexual sadism IN HIS CRIMES. If he was, he wouldn't likely be that keen on killing his victims so quickly, because that definitely would kill any sadist's fantasies of seeing his victims in pain. If he was a sadist there would be nothing stopping him from committing his crimes during other circumstances and make other choices. Crimes could be performed in a lot of ways even back in 1888, although you seem to imply that ripping up old ragged prostitutes on the streets on risky locations would be the only option for a mutilating offender at the time.

Yes, I know about necrosadism but that is not what we are discussing here - don't try to go there. The poster was clearly referring to the term sexual sadism, and that is a term that is used sloppily and inaccurately, somtiems only because it sounds mean enough and because other well know serial killers are sexual sadists. It is one of the most abused terms in criminal history.

Now, please don't turn a thread about Kosminski into an academic fight about terminology.

All the best

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jeffl
9th March 2006, 02:37 PM
Hi Guys

well stranely after posting last night after posting I turned on the TV adn watched a 'Perfect Mind' with russel Crow which is a rather god film deeling with paraniod schitzophenia.

Firstly let me say I agree with Glenn on this one..there is no direct sign of sexual sadism...(and I have been to the odd Fetish Club, which mainly deel with Sado-masicism, although I do know the odd sexual sadist, and like the majority they are also largely harmless)...I digress

Surely you all have to except that the Jack the Ripper crimes dispite 130 odd years are basically unique. I'm sure your all going tp quote this serial killer or that but nothing compares to what happened then or since.

Jack could well have suffered from a mental illness that we can today recognise...BUT...other factors, his time, environment, his up bringing made him unique. There is no other signature that compares as an exact comparison.

Our other problem is that its even difficult to pin piont that signature as we cant even be sure which of the victims were Jacks.

I realize that many would disagree with me but I count six deffinates..

Starting with tabram and ending with Kelly...theres quiet a range here..

Nothing actually adds up roundly...which is why I'm convinced Jack either deid or was locked up after the murders. And I dont buy anyother reasons for committing these murders other than he was compelled and got some sort of gratification out of committing them.....Body parts, and creating 'painted' porn pictures don't add up.

So we watch 'Perfact Mind' and conclude that a genious can suffer and be harmless....yes...But surely the environment this killer was bought up in is equally as important to the final destination of the killers state of mind.

We have to balance a number of 'what ifs' and unknown factors....

Kosminski, for me ticks the most boxes. Druitt just dosnt quite feel right, but I cant put my finger on why...

Sickert, Maybrick, Tumbelty...no they dont add up.

and if Barnet were the killer, where are his next victims?

This was not a normal crime...at least I dont think so..

A sereies of coincidences that created a killer that never existed?

No he was there alright...ever the ellusive.

Catch ya taters..

Jeff

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robhouse
16th March 2006, 04:19 PM
I have some new information on Aaron Kozminsky, which will be published in the upcoming Ripperologist. After that, I will post it on the message boards.

Rob H

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jeffl
17th March 2006, 02:21 PM
Rob thats great news. Any idea when that is due and how to get a copy from somewhere..

Is it now published on the net or something?

I asume it wont be in WH Smiths.

Yours Jeff

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robhouse
17th March 2006, 03:12 PM
Jeff,
I am going to post the info here on casebook after it is published in Ripperologist.
Rob H

Dan Norder
02-18-2008, 02:25 AM
jason_connachan
18th March 2006, 05:27 AM
I have some new information on Aaron Kozminsky, which will be published in the upcoming Ripperologist. After that, I will post it on the message boards.

Rob H

Glad to hear that some further information may be coming to light regarding Kosminski.

As Jeff said, Kosminski ticks most boxes on the type of person i presume the Whitechapel killer to have been.

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robert
31st March 2006, 02:03 PM
Hi Rob

Congratulations on your important breakthrough, published in the latest Rip.

Robert

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jeffl
31st March 2006, 03:14 PM
Hi Rob

I dont suppose there is any chance you could post the information?

Yours Jeff

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How Brown
31st March 2006, 11:09 PM
Ditto to Robert Linford's remarks....a very big ditto.

Great work,Robert House.:)

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adamwood
1st April 2006, 07:44 AM
Jeff and all

We'll be supplying Rob's important work as the sample article for issue 65 of Ripperologist. You'll have to subscribe to see the images though!

Adam
Ripperologist magazine
www.ripperologist.info

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jeffl
5th April 2006, 12:15 PM
Hi Adam

My poor old home computer just doesnt seem able to open the test article..which I assume is the one I need to open.

Is there any possibility of purchasing a copy of Ripperologist anywhere?

I have a credit card available..

ANy help much appreciated.

Jeff

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Nicole_000
9th May 2006, 01:51 AM
Aaron Kominski is my greatest suspect.
Why?
Because I do not believe that a sane person could have committed the crimes.
But I do believe that he had to have had. From what I have read about him, he was just a civillian, if that's the right word. Though insane. He was a hairdresser, which, OK, doesn't send you to death row, but he had experience with sharp instruments.

PS Does Ripperologist accept submissions?

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Jimmy
13th July 2006, 01:29 PM
Well folks, it seems like it's all over*. This is from the ITN news website and the report was broadcast today on the luchtime news.

The TV report didn't really give much more away than this, but did have brief interviews with Richard Jones and Bill Fishman.


Jack the Ripper mystery solved

http://www.itn.co.uk/news/storyaafa584b85d032e79a4f0a85c6022d39.jpg 10.14AM, Thu Jul 13 2006
A 120-year-old mystery could be solved later when the identity of Victorian murderer Jack the Ripper is revealed. (Picture: Metropolitan Police)
Documents from the original investigation discovered by a relative of the officer in charge appear to have shed new light on the notorious case.
Chief Inspector Donald Swanson never caught the killer who stalked Whitechapel, east London, in 1888.
The Ripper claimed the lives of at least five women, all prostitutes, during his reign of terror.
Documents loaned to Scotland Yard's Crime Museum by a relative of Mr Swanson provide a name suspected of the crimes.
The museum, which is the oldest of its kind in the world, is being relaunched following a revamp.
There have been a number of theories circulated about the Ripper but it is not known exactly how many women he killed, since he was never caught.
His victims were either strangled or stabbed, with some of the bodies badly mutilated and even having organs removed. Some believed he had medical training.

Anybody else see it?

Jimmy

*Not

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Jimmy
13th July 2006, 01:31 PM
Just seen the Swanson thread. I'm late as usual!

J:confused:

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easy12
14th July 2006, 06:42 PM
Hi from a "newbie",
I have just been reading the very interesting threads on the suspect Aaron Kosminski and I noticed that he was described as being a Lunatic in 1888.I cannot recall if that was a modern interpretation or a quote from the period.If the latter then surely it means that he was outwardly displaying his Lunacy to the extent that people recognised the fact and that would surely rule him out as a potential customer of the victims and the ability to evade capture after his crimes.I would assume that he would have blood on him after his deeds and would not be in possesion of an extensive wardrobe so that he could not be caught in the offending apparell,especially after the Mary Kelly incident.:D Mmmm then there is the witness at the Police Convalescent Home in Hove.It is conflicting isn't it :confused: I believe I also read somewhere that the witness at the Police Home in Hove spent the night in a Jewish Convalescent Home,would this be traceable, I wonder,so that the witness could be identified.I would imagine that this home would also be in the Hove area.
I should state that I do not have a definate opinion of who "Jack" was yet and Aaron Kosminski obviously cannot be ruled out.I think I have a long road ahead,one which many of your "Posters" are already miles down,so forgive me if I stumble in a few potholes every now and again.
Dave

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George Hutchinson
20th November 2006, 07:41 PM
For Suzi...

You'll love these two. Sorry for hijacking the thread for a moment but I 'need' to put them here.

I've found 2 rare images of Aaron Kosminski before and after incarceration. I was at the South of England Postcard Fair a couple of months back and discovered these two beauties...

Before...

5114

After...

5115

I believe that's Fred Abberline doing the garden.

PHILIP

Dan Norder
02-18-2008, 02:27 AM
snelson
18th February 2007, 07:07 AM

Here's some Q and A stuff regarding Kosminski that I was involved with over the past few years:

In 1890 Aaron was being to some extent cared for by his extended family, and that various groups were more or less overseeing him at various times. It would be nice if we could conclusively determine which family he stayed with, when and for how long. Can there be any reasonable approximation of where he was before he went into the workhouse the first time? During the Terror? In the years following his immigration? Is there any way we could trace his movements from immigration to his first stay at the workhouse?

The family may have moved during this time? Swanson says only that ?Kosminski? was watched at his brother?s house, he doesn?t necessarily mean that the brother and his family was also there. The police may have arranged with the brother to watch Kosminski, as he (Aaron) stayed there alone. The police would have to make arrangments for new living accomodations for the family. Much of the lack of information on Aaron?s whereabouts is because of the scant written records, and most of them consist of second or possibly, third-hand information. Aaron and his sisters came to London in late 1881 or early 1882 (the later in his burial record), so Aaron would not have appeared in the 1881 census. Unfortunately, no addresses for Aaron are recorded, so there doesn?t appear to be any known way to trace Aaron?s movements just before, during, and after the murders. The reason is probably because he was a ?dependent?, who apparently never worked; therefore he would not be listed in the postal directories. Extensive searches were done of the directories and local registries during the period from 1886 to 1892, and thus far no ?Aaron Kosminski? pops up anywhere.

Possibly anybody in the family clan could have been taking care of Aaron and making workhouse arrangements, giving misinformation on the record books. Was July 1890 actually Aaron Kosminski?s first Workhouse visit? If Aaron went into the workhouse from 16 Greenfield Street, then, maybe the people who accompanied him at his admission said that he was coming in from 3 Sion Square instead. And if he hadn?t worked for years, why waste time sending him to a Workhouse for rehabilitation? Wasn?t the purpose of a workhouse for production?

The family may have tried to care for or rehabilitate Aaron in the Spring of 1890, but then after he was discharged into the care of his brother after the first workhouse stay, it became apparent that it was a useless endeavor. It certainly isn?t out of the question that many unstable people were in fact, admitted to Workhouses. A good many were probably deemed ?insane? by Victorian definitions, and sent back out on the streets. The Sims reference to ?a Pole of curious habits and strange disposition who was the sole occupant of certain premises in Whitechapel after night-fall? could suggest that his relatives came to visit or check up on him at daytime. But when it came time give information to workhouse/asylum authorities, they preferred to say that he lived alone.

July 1890 was probably Aaron?s first Workhouse visit and it was probably at this time that the Workhouse authorities either A) examined Aaron, found him to be an unsuitable candidate for the Workhouse and relinquished him to his family, or B) Contacted the police, who came to the Workhouse and interviewed the authorities and family relatives, before alerting Anderson. If (B), then Anderson would have quickly arranged for the Hove Identification and Aaron would have been wisked away (this does not explain how they were able to contact the witness so quickly and send him to Hove as well.) But would the police return him to his brother?s house and watch him for 6 months, until he was returned to the Workhouse again in February 1891? This doesn?t make sense and a six month surveillance could amount to naught. I favor something along the lines of (A), where his behavior culminates to the point of the knife threat (I would say sometime in January to early February 1891), when the ?brother? contacts the Workhouse authorities or police directly and they take him first to the Workhouse, then to the Seaside Home, after which he is returned to the brother?s house (possibly without the rest of brother?s family) and watched ?for a very short time??probably only 2 or 3 days, maybe a week at the most, before he goes into the asylum.

Perhaps Aaron?s relatives had tried to give him a last chance to work - to force him to be productive under coercive conditions. But if true, why didn't they take these steps before he became seriously disturbed? Anderson may have wanted the same authorities who examined Aaron back in July to look at him again to see if there was any discernable change - further mental deterioration, etc. This may have been done to see if the police could legally interrogate Aaron or force some kind of confession. But when it was determined at the workhouse that he was a lunatic, Anderson had no choice but to send him to the asylum. During the brief period of time that he was being watched at his brother?s house, Anderson was likely conferring with the medical authorities and the reluctant witness in a last ditch effort to bring a criminal charges against him. When it soon became apparent that it wasn?t going to happen, Kosminski goes to the asylum.

Imagine the affect on the brother and his family knowing that police are watching their every move. Something ignited the transfer of Kosminski to Hove. This may have been either a combination of the witness coming forward, or being sought out, or the suspect?s brother finally going to police (perhaps Jacob Cohen?) because of his hopeless condition. This may have been done to try to disavow attachment or responsibility for a suspected murderer.

Some time before Aaron was re-admitted to the Workhouse in February 1891, Morris Lubnowski and his family had left no. 16 Greenfield Street, leaving Aaron to live alone. They may have moved because Aaron was becoming progressively more demented, (masturbating in public, etc.), finally culminated with the knife threat to his sister. When Aaron was returned to the Workhouse Infirmary on February 4, 1891, his address was given as 16 Greenfield Street. It is pretty suspicious that the Lubnowskis leave Greenfield Street sometime just after the Terror and pop up on New Street under the name ?Cohen? just as Aaron is going into the asylum. I would also note that both the Abrahams and Lubnowskis were raising young children at the time, and that neither family were too keen on having him around their house.

Was the City CID watching the Abrahams' house and did the Abrahams' think THIS was troublesome? There is no information which sister was threatened with a knife or when. It is hard to imagine they left him behind-who would have taken care of him? He's been with family for some time, why would family abandon him? Perhaps they were desperately trying to get their distance from him in light of police interest, but I can't imagine an inhumane abandonment unless he were decidedly violent, and this characteristic does not appear in asylum records. Besides, wouldn't they want to keep tabs on him, to keep him from further killing? Perhaps Aaron simply rotated back to the Abrahams,' or in fact accompanied the Lubnowski's to New Street. Or, perhaps Aaron left the Lubnowskis to roam the streets of his own accord before they moved. This would be typical of a paranoid schizophrenic. Perhaps he'd dilapidated to the point that the family considered him harmless by then. Aaron may have become too troublesome for the Abrahams, so it was decided to have him live with his eldest sister and her family after he was discharged.

We shouldn?t forget the testimony of Jacob Cohen. And the masturbation was confirmed by Macnaghten (who probably got it from police files) and that Anderson in his correspondence to the Jewish Chronicle, was absolutely adamant that he engaged in such behavior and that it was cause of his madness (it probably wasn?t that uncommon a practice of lunatics or imbeciles ? Hyam Hyams, a married man, practiced ?self abuse? and ?painted his walls with filth?. So too, did the cigar maker, Joseph Isaacs, who was briefly suspected by Abberline). It is harder to say what Kosminski?s mental condition was in late 1888, but he could still have been functional enough to engage prostitutes in conversation, then swiftly, calmly and noiselessly, kill them. He might have still been able to manage on his own in a reduced sense during the Terror. Aaron probably did go from household to household in between bouts of wandering the streets. I wouldn't think that any one group would consider it their sole responsibility to care for him in any event. An untreated paranoid schizophrenic is a lot to handle. But it?s still a bit hard to envision a 23-year old who had only lived in London for 6 years accomplishing what he allegedly did.

Matters and events are apparently getting compounded, and it becomes harder to separate what's what. Is there a person who is taking on the name Wolf Kosminski, or is Wolf Kosminski a feint? They may have cobbled together Wolf from Woolf Abrahams and Kosminski from Aaron Kosminski, possibly to make it look like Woolf Abrahams would have been in charge of matters if the commitment were to have been later questioned, when in fact Woolf Abrahams had not been involved with it. Did this putative committing person exist or did he not? If he did, who was he?



post continues...

Dan Norder
02-18-2008, 02:29 AM
snelson's post continues...

Either ?Wolf? 1) existed as Kosminski?s brother, 2) existed as his brother-in-law, 3) was a name fabricated by relatives, or 4) was actually ?Jacob Cohen?, who gave evidence to authorities and the police as his ?brother? at the Workhouse and under his real name in the asylum (confidential-- Colney Hatch records; more accessible?Workhouse records.)
I?m still looking for ?Wolf Kosminski? in the 1891 census, and a descendent is positive that a family member was the suspect.

On the one hand Isaac Kosminski, Daniel Kosminski, Morris Lubnowski, Woolf Abrahams or Martin Kosminski? Or on the other Joseph Hyam Levy, or Robert Anderson? Can we determine anything that may help resolve these questions from the records? The first time to Hove, the second to Colney Hatch. Deals are being made, influence applied, secrets kept, distances maintained. Nobody knows more than they have to know. Who else could the suspect realistically be? If it is another Kosminski, I'd think that we would need to show at least some specific data about that person's movements to support this position. A perspective on these questions may provide closure concerning the stakeout and other questions.

There are twelve known adult males surnamed ?Kosminski? living in London in 1891. Several of these guys weren?t in London during the terror (but that still doesn?t mean that one of them couldn?t have been the suspect?s actual brother). One guy, in particular, Abraham Kosminski, is really interesting. He lived on Langdale St., in St. Georges, very near a couple of other Kosminskis. He died of Bright?s disease in 1894 at the age of 42. There?s also H.W. Abrahams, who signed Aaron?s death certificate (this could be Woolf Abrahams) and several interesting shop keepers emerged from a review of the Butchers? Row directories, Abrahms, Gluckstein and Salmon. And three butchers, any one of whom may have employed the city suspect: Morris Bosman, Frederick Louisson or Solomon De Leuw.

Given the information that we have, it probably was Aaron who was Anderson?s suspect. However, Swanson, Anderson (by his son, Arthur) and Abberline all said that a man was suspected who had died in an asylum. Through Macnaghten and Swanson we know that this man was ?Kosminski?. Anderson told his son that the man had died in an asylum (and Aaron was still alive when Anderson died in 1918). There may have been somebody else named ?Kosminski? who fits the bill better than Aaron. A good candidate would be a 40-year old boot and shoe-maker, Isaac(s) Kosminskie, who lived in the Brunswick buildings on Goulston Street, across the street and down (south) from the where the piece of apron was dropped. This guy and his family completely disappear in the 1901 census. They are the only ?Kosminski? family I have found to be missing between the 1891 and 1901 census in London.

There are also about a dozen other Kosminskis in the 1891 census, anyone of which could have harbored the Kosminski murder suspect, including the hairdresser, Daniel Kosminski. You have to ask the question, if Anderson and a few others believed that Kosminski was the Ripper, would they have allowed his actual name to be recorded in admissions registers and asylum case-note files? And the workhouse records are even less secure than asylum records, but there in the Mile End records we find Aaron Kosminski?s name. It is possible that the suspect, Kosminski was, via instructions from Anderson to the authorities, sent to the asylum under an alias? How else explain why the police officials thought that Kosminski had died in the asylum? Begg gives a possible answer, that when Aaron was transferred from Colney Hatch to Leavesden in April 1894, this became garbled in communication to police that he had died in Colney Hatch.

It would seem the City likely was staking out Aaron's family's house BEFORE the identification. This MAY be what Swanson is referring to when he uses the term "with difficulty." The difficulty would thus have been the spiriting of Aaron away outside the awareness of the watching City policemen. The alternative explanation is that the City didn't begin watching the house until AFTER the identification, having somehow gotten wind of the MET's interest in Aaron because of the identification, perhaps by someone at the Seaside Home leaking the information to them.

Swanson talks of the City CID watching the house after the identification, but he doesn't say that the City was NOT watching it before. When he says Aaron "was sent by us with difficulty," this may mean, as Begg has interpreted, that the Met (Anderson and Swanson) needed a means by which to deceive the City as to the identification.

The Sagar and Cox accounts of the City surveillance on the suspect probably pertained to the time period before he was hauled off to the Seaside Home. The MET had to covertly send him to Hove because Anderson wanted total control over the transactions. This may have involved Anderson secretly arranging for Aaron to be sent from the workhouse to Hove, as opposed to openly picking him up wherever he was living and taking him to Hove, especially since he may have been wandering in and out of his brother?s house (or shop?) at the time.

Why DID the City drop interest in their suspect on Aaron's incarceration? There is nothing in the evidence to explain this. Did Sagar say why they dropped interest in his man? Is it related in any way to what Anderson and Swanson say about the identification? The fact the City dropped interest would seem on the surface to indicate their suspect was no one other than Aaron. If the City was NOT watching before the identification, then what happened to cause them to watch later? The implication would be that they got wind of the identification and decided to then begin watching, but why would they do this? Wouldn't they figure that the Met had attended to the matter and left it at that? Why would they break the borough rules and covertly station people inside Met territory beginning AFTER the identification?

It is possible that the City Police may have been watching Kosminski before the Hove Identification, as well as after. Because after the identification and the surveillance, the City Police were told the suspect could not be charged because of a faulty identification. This scenario strongly suggests that it was the City Police who first picked up information on Kosminski, and then for whatever reasons, the MET obtained slightly different (and better?) information and they decide to quickly act on it. I think that after the positive identification, but with no forthcoming evidence from the witness, Anderson decided let the City Police know what had happened, so they could resume watch on him. If the City Police were involved in the surveillance of Kosminski from before the Identification, they better knew the suspect?s habits anyway, so they could follow him more successfully.

After a time, the suspect?s ?friends? thought it advisable that he should be removed to an asylum. Some of the City Police involved in the surveillance didn?t know the full details of the suspect having been ?removed? to the seaside home and the asylum, or if he had even been arrested. From Cox?s account of the suspect and his fate, it is likely that he didn?t know what ultimately happened to the suspect after he stopped his nightly prowls. Sagar may have known a little more because he echoes what the MET Police said about Kosminski being sent to the asylum. Sagar conferred with the MET nightly at the Leman Street station during the surveillance of the brother?s house and probably debriefed his City colleagues daily on the suspect?s observed activities, but then Sagar had heard little else after he was suddenly told that the suspect had been locked away for good as a lunatic. It is likely that Sagar then debriefed his superior, City Assistant Commissioner Henry Smith, but Smith could discover no further details other than that the MET had put a suspect in an asylum with no obtainable evidence to secure a conviction. It?s a case of who had the most clout or who was the more ambitious of the two forces, translated to the personalities of Major Henry Smith vs. Robert Anderson. And who was in a stronger position to know the facts (City- one murder victim, MET- more than one murder victim). In succeeding years, Smith, like other police officials involved in the case, only recalled that the Ripper was never caught, but should have been.

Did the Kosminski family know the stakeout was composed of City police? How would they think to try to take advantage of internecine rivalry between the City and the MET, they being foreigners likely without much understanding of how London municipal politics worked? How could they think the City would go away and leave them alone if Aaron were deemed the murderer by the MET? If the City had some conviction on the possible guilt of the psychopath himself, why would the family think it would simply drop interest in him upon Aaron's incarceration?

It seems to me that the MET may have known something on their own about Aaron, and that they might as well have received this information before the identification. The witness observes the City Police watching the house and goes to the MET instead. The MET had to inform the family that they were taking Aaron to the Seaside Home to be identified. An informant probably went to the MET directly before the Identification, and they had better information than the City Police possessed.

same post continues below...

Dan Norder
02-18-2008, 02:30 AM
snelson's post continues...

There seems little way to account for the witness going to the Met because the City was staking out the psychopath. Perhaps one could say the family and the psychopath became desperate when they saw the plainclothes City policemen, but why would they formulate such an unusual plan? (On the other hand, perhaps the family did not formulate it, perhaps it was the witness' idea, for the witness' separate reasons. In this case the stakeout would have served as an excuse for the witness to put the plan into motion, not the specific cause of the generation of the plan.) Could Anderson have had a deal with the witness to not arrest Aaron?

Possibly, but the way Anderson and Swanson recount the incident, they were taken by complete surprise at the witness? refusal to testify after he had positively identified the suspect. If the witness was told that the suspect would just be locked away, not brought to justice, then it is conceivable that a prior agreement could have been worked out. But Anderson said that the point of the identification was to secure evidence against the suspect and Swanson wrote that the witness feared his evidence would hang the suspect.

I believe that Levy is the best candidate for Anderson?s witness. Look at the statistics; 12 Kosminski men in London in 1891; fewer (less than 4) in 1877, when Levy sponsors Martin Kosminski?s British Naturalization application. So during the murders, there were between 4 and 12 men in all of London named Kosminski. And Levy sees someone near Mitre Square, and Sims says that a ?policeman? saw the Pole near Mitre square, who could only later be identifed by height and build (when referring to Kosminski). Ergo, Levy knew Martin K., Martin K. knew another man named Kosminski, this man was also know to Levy and his general appearance could be collaborated by a cop.

Sugden bought the "mother" feint in his book. Since the first name of the mother is not given, this may indicate that the person or persons seeing to Aaron's admission to Leavesden did not know Aaron's mother's first name. Therefore Aaron's real sisters and his putative real brother perhaps were not involved with this step, because they would know her first name. In other words if Matilda Kosminski Lubnowski or Betsy Kosminski Abrahams impersonated their mother, or if Wolf Kosminski were Aaron's real brother, they'd possibly give their mother's correct first name. The absence of a first name on a document of this sort should be noted.

The implication here is that there was a ?mother? living at 63 New Street, or somewhere else, in London. She may have lived with ?Wolf? and/or come to London sometime between the April 1891 Census and 1894. Certainly, I would agree that it is possible Betsy or Matilda impersonated their mother, or some relative could have just said that the next-of-kin was his ?mother?, who may have still have been alive and living in Poland for all we know. I?m not sure how Golda Abrahams (in the 1901 census) fits in [this was subsequently answered by Chris Scott/Rob House'sm researches - Golda was Aaron's mother].


I'm interested in your [Kosminski] contact. What kind of things does he say? Does he speak of having schizophrenia in his family? Can he provide any documents from the lives of these people?

Yes I think he can. One part that struck me was that he said that Wolf was a ?mean and cruel? man who ill-used his grandson (the father of my contact?s wife) at the age of 16. Also that Myer, the son of Wolf Kosminski, changed his name to Myer Woolf because of the Kosminski ?stigma.?

There is a possible connection of the murderer through Martin Kosminski to Joseph Hyam Levy. The general corner of Mitre Square where the murder took place is a lamp penumbra, which a prostitute and client would likely chose over the other areas of the Square. If the body was found DIRECTLY behind the one house of the three that was associated with Levy, then possibly this placement has some meaning concerning Levy.

The house was formerly occupied by the cigar-maker, Lewis Levy in the late 1870s. He was a relative of JHL?s wife. The house had been unoccupied for several years prior to the murders. It is tempting to think that the killer used the house on occasions. I?m not suggesting that the Ripper killed Eddowes in this house nor fled to this house after killing Eddowes, but that he many have used it prior meeting her and he knew that that part of the Square would be the most inconspicuous place to do his deed. This same Lewis Levy shows up at no. 5 Sion Square, several doors away from the Abrahams family, in the 1891 census. And here?s one last interesting point: Morris Lubnowski apparently died in 1919, the same year Aaron died. This is suggested by the Post Office Directory listings, which show Maurice (Morris) Lubnowski-Cohen last living at 5 Ashcroft Road in 1919, while his wife and several children live on at this address until 1931. Was there some sort of symbiotic relationship?

Dan Norder
02-18-2008, 02:30 AM
cappuccina
18th February 2007, 04:37 PM
...a lot of information/thoughts down here...

One thing I see here on the boards too is that he may have had an uncle who was a furrier...

I have always wondered if JtR could have trained as a furrier (I've also thought of him as a feldsher, but I've already mentioned that), for the following reaons, most of which are based on my great-uncle Moishe (Mo) who was a furrier:

1. He would have the agility to use a knife quickly, coupled with some crude anotomical knowledge;

2. He would have dressed nicely, even though he may not have had a lot of money. Many furriers also sewed beautiful clothes (as they had that talent and training), either for themselves/families, or as a side business. In addiiton, My great-uncle Mo always wore unique items he had made out of fur, kind of as an advertisement, like a fur vest, or a fur "greek Fisherman's cap"...

3. #2 would explain the nice clothes, and the Astrakhan coat, for example...Also, many furriers were also trained in haberdashery - would explain his nice hats, too, given his relative poverty...

Even if JtR were too mentally ill to work regularly, which I think was the case, he might have worked as a furrier's assistant from time to time...Maybe they paid him by giving him clothes instead of money as well...

Just some thoughts...

Oh, and here are some traditional furrier's tools:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Antique-Stocks-Brass-Furrier-Cutting-Tool-Fur-Knife-Old_W0QQitemZ150092712355QQihZ005QQcategoryZ1461QQ ssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
(Antique Furrier's Knife)

http://www.martor.com/industry_knifes.html?&L=0&cHash=0b8eb712f5&user_produkte_pi3[showUid]=512&user_produkte_pi3[sort_field]=_nr&user_produkte_pi3[sort_typ]=up&user_produkte_pi3[view]=details
(Modern Day Furrier's Knife)

http://www.20thcenturylondon.org.uk/server.php?show=conObject.4139
(Other old tools)

Furrier's knives are well-made and sharp as hell...

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harry
19th February 2007, 07:53 AM
Perhaps before considering Kosminsky solely on the strength of his name being in some book,it would be well to offer substancial proof that he was ever identified, at any establishment.A statement claiming so,means nothing in itself,it is just a statement.It needs supporting proof,and to date none has been offered.

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cgp100
19th February 2007, 09:55 AM
Perhaps before considering Kosminsky solely on the strength of his name being in some book,it would be well to offer substancial proof that he was ever identified, at any establishment.A statement claiming so,means nothing in itself,it is just a statement.It needs supporting proof,and to date none has been offered.

To be fair, I don't think anyone here is claiming Aaron Kozminski was the Ripper. People are just discussing him as a possible suspect. Surely that's reasonable, considering not only Anderson's and Swanson's comments, but also Macnaghten's description of him as a "strong 'suspect'".

On the identification, I don't think you can expect miracles. But people are researching Kozminski as well as discussing him, and quite a lot of new background information on him has been discovered over the last few years. Maybe some more pertinent information will be found in the future.

Chris Phillips

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jason_connachan
19th February 2007, 10:32 AM
Perhaps before considering Kosminsky solely on the strength of his name being in some book,it would be well to offer substancial proof that he was ever identified, at any establishment.A statement claiming so,means nothing in itself,it is just a statement.It needs supporting proof,and to date none has been offered.


Swanson does nothing to contradict Anderson's statement on Kosminski's identification. These were Swanson's personal notes on the ID claim. It's a pity Swanson did not elaborate though.

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harry
20th February 2007, 09:11 AM
Swanson really does nothing to support Anderson's statement either.Of course he does name a person ,and a place where an identification alledgedly took place,although which building he meant is as obscure as the witness making the identification, the people who took him there,and the date it occured.

When two such intelligent and senior officers fail to supply such basic information,it might be prudent to question whether the truth is being stated.
Sure the information might well have once resided in now lost files,but having so once resided,it would have been available to other officers,and as none has so much as hinted at their existence,again one must question why.

I have my opinion,others are entitled to theirs.

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cgp100
20th February 2007, 10:12 AM
When two such intelligent and senior officers fail to supply such basic information,it might be prudent to question whether the truth is being stated.
Sure the information might well have once resided in now lost files,but having so once resided,it would have been available to other officers,and as none has so much as hinted at their existence,again one must question why.

Certainly there are contradictions - you could have mentioned that Anderson says the identification took place in an asylum, which seems unlikely to have been described by Swanson as "the Seaside Home" - but I don't think it's fair to question the veracity of the story because of the lack of details.

Anderson was writing for public consumption, and doesn't identify his suspect (though he says he was tempted to do so), so it's only natural that he doesn't give more details about the identification.

And Swanson was writing privately (presumably) for his own benefit about things he already knew.

On the whole our evidence about what senior officers thought is so incidental and fragmentary that it would be dangerous to conclude that two of them are lying because the same information isn't corroborated by others.

Chris Phillips

Dan Norder
02-18-2008, 02:31 AM
hzl
13th March 2007, 06:40 PM
Prince Albert?
Lewis Carroll?
The Easter Bunny?
Dr. Neill Cream?
Montague Druitt?
James Maybrick?
Donald Duck?
Walter Sickert?
Porky Pig?
R. D. Stephenson?
F. Tumblety?
or
Betty Boop?


4. Which suspect(s), if any, do you believe are most likely to have been the murderer, and why?

Begg :

Robert Anderson, the Assistant Commissioner C.I.D. at the time of the murders, three times stated that the identity of Jack the Ripper was known - it was 'a definitely ascertained fact' - and that the murderer was a Polish Jew who escaped being brought to justice because he was committed to a mental institution. Chief Inspector Swanson, who had overall responsibility for the Ripper investigation, gives tacit support to Anderson and identified Anderson's suspect as a man called "Kosminski". I am convinced that "Kosminski" was Aaron Kosminski - in my opinion a decisive pointer to that identification is Anderson's statement that the suspect indulged in 'utterly unmentionable vices', which corresponds with the 'self-abuse' referred to in Kosminski's medical notes (and, incidentally, to the 'solitary vices' attributed to 'Kosminski' in the Macnaghten Memorandum).
There are problems in accepting that Aaron Kosminski was the Ripper, notably the fact that he appears not to have been identified until 1891 and also his non-violent behaviour in the asylum. Neither really gives me a problem. As discussed in an IRC session in December 1996, is there any reason for supposing that a serial killer has to be violent when in prison or in an asylum? And, while the date may devalue the worth of an eye-witness identification, I'm sure that point would have been fully appreciated by Anderson and Swanson at the time. Also, we don't know what other 'evidence' the police had against the suspect - and they obviously had 'evidence', because they wouldn't have taken him for identification without a reason for doing so.
So, here we have the head of the CID and the senior investigating officer both saying that the Ripper's identity was known - was 'a definitely ascertained fact'. I think their suspect has to be top of the suspect list, *has* to be the prime candidate for further research. I don't know whether he was Jack the Ripper, but Anderson clearly thought so. We may never know why he was so certain, but Anderson probably knew more about this case than I or anyone else does, so I think we should listen to him with care and consideration rather than flippantly dismiss him as a liar or wishful thinker.
What is very important for me is the consideration that Anderson and Swanson would have known the evidence against *all* the most serious Police suspects. They'd have known the evidence against Ostrog, Tumblety, and even George Chapman (assuming he was ever a real Police suspect). Now, both men thought that Kosminski was the most likely candidate. If you think about it, even if they were wrong, even if their conclusion was based on flimsy evidence, what does their conclusion say about the evidence against other suspects? I mean, if Anderson knew all about the evidence against, say, Tumblety, he still thought Kosminski was more likely to have been the Ripper. This inevitably devalues Tumblety as a suspect. Anderson may have been wrong about the Polish Jew, his evidence may have been no good, but he nevertheless thought it better than the evidence against other suspects.

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Simon Wood
13th March 2007, 06:46 PM
Hi HZI,

It's a matter of record that Anderson was an accomplished liar. As a member of what could loosely be termed the Security Services, it was an essential part of his job description.

Simon

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Natalie Severn
13th March 2007, 08:16 PM
The important question here for me is why did Anderson decide to kiss but not tell?
"I know who the Ripper was" boasts Anderson in his autobiography ,but then, rather unsportingly , whispers "Ah! but mum"s the word"-fingers on lips !--- teasingly he gives a few clues---"The Ripper-he was a low level Jew who resided among his people ... was caged in an asylum where he had been taken with his hands tied behind his back [because he indulged in "solitary vices"?] and he died soon after ".

Next we have Macnaghten- and he really takes the biscuit too! He "knew the identity of the Ripper" - hints it was Druitt and not Kosminski,[or Ostrog or Cutbush]----and actually he had it from "private information".OK, so it arrived some time afterwards and what could Macnaghten do-being mindful of the hurt it could cause his family not to mention "the public good" - he burnt it- !

Well- it seems pretty clear what was going on actually because if you think about it, it really wasnt going to look too good to the public or to anyone else , that these Police Chiefs, one of them in charge of the Investigation at the time, hadnt any more idea who the Ripper was than you or me.
Put yourself in his shoes.If you were Anderson,in particular, how do you justify your autobiography if you were in charge of the Ripper Investigation at the time of the murders and yet you never caught him?
Best say you knew all along but couldnt tell!
Natalie;)

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cgp100
11th September 2007, 09:31 PM
I've finally managed to clarify some of the ancestry of Zena Shine, the lady who has been suggested as a possible great niece of Aaron Kozminski.

I don't want to post any details relating to living people, but from the information about Mrs Shine on Richard Jones's DVD "Unmasking Jack the Ripper" (2005), together with data from the civil registration indexes and personal announcements in the Jewish Chronicle, it's clear that Zena Shine's mother, Tillie or Tilly, was one of at least four Kosminsky siblings:

(1) Michael, born 22 February 1896, death registered March quarter 1977.
Married, June quarter 1919, Kate Sorsky, who died 14 January 1974.

(2) Tilly or Tillie, born c. 1901, died [8?] March 1968.
Married, September quarter 1923, Nathan Saunders.

(3) Nathan (known as Nathan Kaye), born c. 1905, died [19??] August 1965.
Married Katie.

(4) Rachel, born 3 June 1906, died 23 October 1988.
Married Willie Swayne (Swerdloff).

Beyond that, we can say with a reasonable degree of certainty that these four were children of Louis or Lewis Kosminsky, a butcher who came to England around the turn of the century. This is mentioned in a letter published in the Jewish Chronicle in 2002, and written by a woman giving only her initial, her maiden name of Kosminsky, and a partial address. This is sufficient to identify her, and her rare forename matches that of one of the daughters of Michael Kosminsky.

According to the letter, the writer's grandfather, Louis Kosminsky, had to fight opposition to get into this country in the 1890s. He was a butcher and his wife kept a sweet shop in Christian Street. They scrimped and saved for the writer's father and his brothers to attend the Jews' Free School. (In fact it seems likely that Louis came to England somewhat later than this, as I haven't been able to find an entry for him in the 1901 census.)

Confirmation that the letter was indeed written by Michael's daughter comes from an entry in the Jews' Free School register (LMA/4046/C/01/002) showing the admission on 1 February 1904 of a Michael Kosminsky, born 11 May 1896, whose parent or guardian was Lewis, of 16 Newcastle Pl. Michael left the school on 13 May 1910. (Note the discrepancy of nearly 3 months between the date of birth given in the register and that above, from the death registration index.)

This is the only one of the children of Louis/Lewis who appears in the admission register (unfortunately there is a gap between 1908 and 1913, which period includes Nathan's likely date of admission).

From this I think we can be reasonably sure that Mrs Shine's grandfather was not a brother of Aaron Kozminski. I should say that from the interview on the DVD she herself struck me as perfectly genuine, but I thought her impressions had clearly been coloured by the suggestions made to her by researchers, which were ultimately based on nothing more than that her grandfather shared Aaron's surname.

Chris Phillips

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jdpegg
11th September 2007, 09:38 PM
Hey Chris,

oh well, it was a nice thought while it lasted (or not depending on how you want to think about it)

just shows how bad assumption can be

Jen

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cgp100
11th September 2007, 09:45 PM
Confirmation that the letter was indeed written by Michael's daughter comes from an entry in the Jews' Free School register (LMA/4046/C/01/002) showing the admission on 1 February 1904 of a Michael Kosminsky, born 11 May 1896, whose parent or guardian was Lewis, of 16 Newcastle Pl. Michael left the school on 13 May 1910. (Note the discrepancy of nearly 3 months between the date of birth given in the register and that above, from the death registration index.)

Incidentally, there is a naturalisation application by an M. Kosminsky, born 10/05/1896, with covering dates 1946 Jan 01 - 1948 Dec 31, which would presumably indicate where Michael was born (National Archives, HO 405/30859). Unfortunately it's much too recent to be accessible.

Chris Phillips

Chris
01-20-2009, 05:56 PM
Here is a transcript of Aaron's entry in the 1911 census [of Leavesden Asylum]:

Aaron Kozminski / Patient / [?]46 / Do [i.e. Formerly] Hairdresser /

[RG14/7739, registration district 140, sub-district 4, enumeration district 7, page 7.
The page is stained and difficult to read. The columns relating to details of marriage and place of birth have been left blank. The information in the final column, headed "Infirmity", has been deemed sensitive and will not be released until 2012.]

Robert
01-20-2009, 06:28 PM
Thanks Chris. It probably just says "lunatic."

Chris
01-20-2009, 07:22 PM
Thanks Chris. It probably just says "lunatic."

Yes - that's what it said in 1891 and 1901. Though "imbecile" is also a possibility, and other records describe him as such.

I should also have thanked Robert for the tip on how to search without specifying a surname, as the website's transcript calls him "Kozminki", which would otherwise have rendered him unfindable.

Sam Flynn
01-20-2009, 11:05 PM
Yes - that's what it said in 1891 and 1901. Though "imbecile" is also a possibility, and other records describe him as such.I suppose it's too much to hope that it actually said "Anderson's Suspect" ;)

robhouse
06-08-2009, 10:59 PM
According to Jacob Cohen's testimony which appears on Houchin's certificate, Aaron Kozminski "drinks water from the tap ".

Does anyone have thoughts on what this means. For that matter, what was the state of Victorian plumbing at the time? Was there indoor plumbing in East End residences? What was the "tap"? And why would drinking from the tap be considered support for an insanity diagnosis?

Thanks for any help.

Rob House

robhouse
06-08-2009, 11:22 PM
Another question has popped into my head.

In a case note, at Colney Hatch, Sep 18, 1893, is recorded:

Believes he is under protection of [?]Russian [?]Consolate.

But acording to my notes, this entry was deleted. Or perhaps just the words "Russian Consolate" were deleted? I am wondering... why was this deleted? This is the only note that specifically describes one of Aaron's delusions while in the asylum... except for the references to his instinct. Why was it deleted?

I have not seen the original document unfortunately.

Rob House

Chris
06-08-2009, 11:57 PM
According to Jacob Cohen's testimony which appears on Houchin's certificate, Aaron Kozminski "drinks water from the tap ".

Does anyone have thoughts on what this means. For that matter, what was the state of Victorian plumbing at the time? Was there indoor plumbing in East End residences? What was the "tap"? And why would drinking from the tap be considered support for an insanity diagnosis?


I can't answer the question about plumbing (though the London Encyclopaedia indicates that in the early 1860s the water supply for a large minority of the inhabitants of Whitechapel was via [communal] stand taps which operated for only a limited period six days a week).

Jacob Cohen said "he goes about the streets and picks up bits of bread out of the gutter, and eats them, he drinks water from the tap & he refuses food at the hands of others." I have assumed that the reason he drank water from the tap (and perhaps the reason he ate bread from the gutter) was the same reason he refused food at the hands of others - that he had some kind of paranoid delusion that people were trying to poison him.

Chris
06-08-2009, 11:59 PM
In a case note, at Colney Hatch, Sep 18, 1893, is recorded:

Believes he is under protection of [?]Russian [?]Consolate.

But acording to my notes, this entry was deleted. Or perhaps just the words "Russian Consolate" were deleted? I am wondering... why was this deleted? This is the only note that specifically describes one of Aaron's delusions while in the asylum... except for the references to his instinct. Why was it deleted?

According to my notes it was the whole entry that was deleted.

I can only guess, but perhaps the writer felt he had gone into inappropriate detail about Aaron's delusions. Generally the entries are very brief.

robhouse
06-09-2009, 12:16 AM
Chris,

Thanks for your replies. I agree with your interpretation of why Aaron refused to eat food, and why he drank at the tap. It clearly had something to do with his delusions... and apparently he thought he was "ill and his cure consists in refusing food." This could suggest a paranoid fear he was being poisoned.

But I am still unsure what the tap was? If I understand correctly, there would be a public water tap in the street somewhere... was this tap intended for drinking water? Cohen seems to sugest drinking from the tap indicated insanity, so I assume most people did not do this. If not where did the East Enders get their drinking water... assuming they drank water and not just beer etc.

As to the deleted Russian Consolate remark... I was thinking along the same lines... that the notes were intended to be general only. I assume this would be true for all patients, not just Kozminski. But I suppose examing other patient entries might shed some light on this.

Rob H

Rob H

Rob Clack
06-09-2009, 01:06 AM
A lot of Horse troughs had a drinking tap on the end of them. Like this example:

5782

There were also drinking fountains in parks and church yards
5783

and there was of course Aldgate Pump.
5784

Rob

Natalie Severn
06-09-2009, 01:30 AM
Hi Rob,
I have always thought that it meant he didnt want to drink from cups or mugs.There was a fairly substantial water system in operation by the 1870"s in London and elsewhere but a house in the area we discuss would probably obtain their water from the nearest water pump of which there were large numbers, several of which can still be seen in Spitalfields.People would pull on the pump or turn the tap to draw water into a large jug,sometimes a bucket.Outside Christchurch itself in Commercial Street, there is a spring that served both a Victorian "tap" or water jet from a water fountain,and there is a water trough for horses too near it,which has a feature like a tap to fill the trough.There is also the famous ,and much more ancient Aldwych pump,next to Mitre Street/Mitre Square .Throughout London , a number of " Victorian Urinals" were constructed in the 1800"s usually below street level,one of which still stands outside Christchurch ,[though now recently converted into some kind of meeting room] but which would have then been a basement/Wash Room facing Millers Court/Dorset Street.Such urinals usually contained at least two wash basins with a tap for washing hands as well as the urinals for having a pee.
Aaron would have had a number of water fountains,each with a tap or water jet to drink from in the street.[In Notting Hill some of these original ,Victorian water fountains were still in operation until quite recently,they were clearly linked up to the underground fresh water supply].

Its a fairly common obsession amongst people with OCD to refuse to drink from cups other people have used,so Aaron would not have been on his own "drinking from taps".

Regarding the Russian Consolate remark,is it possible somebody had needed to check this out and later discovered it was just a figment of his imagination?
Best
Norma

I have just noticed my post crossed with Rob"s----good pics there!

The Good Michael
06-09-2009, 03:47 AM
I wonder if most adults knew to boil water before drinking, and that would be one reason tea was so popular. I would suspect that Jews with their dietary laws would understand about bacteria, or at least unhealthfulness of not preparing things properly. Perhaps drinking from a tap by adults who should know better, and from a Jew's point of view, would be seen as particularly peculiar.

Cheers,

Mike

Christine
06-09-2009, 04:34 AM
One of the reasons people drank so much alcohol was that alcohol kills the bacteria. A lot of what they drank was much less potent than what we tend to drink today so they could take more of it.

I always took "he drinks water from the tap" to mean that he doesn't eat in pubs like most people would. Someone like Mary Jane Kelly didn't have a proper kitchen--she could make tea or cook up something simple, but she did most of her eating in pubs and from takeaway, as did the other victims. I assume a lot of people would drink from the taps, as in those pictures, if they were thirsty.

The Good Michael
06-09-2009, 08:19 AM
Christine,

Of course all that is understood. My contention or query is regarding what someone thought of another who drank from a tap, as if in and of itself it was a sign of lunacy. Also if amongst Jews it was even more damning due to their adherence (often) to dietary laws.

Cheers,

Mike

Robert
06-09-2009, 12:53 PM
It looks as though eating bread from the gutters was not only unhygienic but irreligious too.

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Is_bread_kosher

Christine
06-09-2009, 04:56 PM
There's nothing I know of in kosher laws that prohibits drinking water as non-kosher. All the sources I looked at say that all plain water is automatically kosher, and you can drink it anytime--the exceptions are water that has been used to cook food and water that has been used in religious ritual (i.e., holy water).

Jewish laws are not mainly about health, they're about not following other people's religion and customs and avoiding things that seem not to fit, i.e. bats are prohibited because they fly like birds but have fur like mice. The things prohibited are as a group not less healthy than the things allowed. Everyone points to pork because (in the LV ear certainly) pork was so dangerous because people fed garbage to their pigs. But in ancient times wild pig would not have been noticeably more dangerous than other foods.

Random pieces of bread, certainly, would not be kosher, and even if it were, I don't think you could find enough bread in the gutters to live on. I've assumed that the bread was just one of the various random foods Kosminski ate off the street, but it's at least possible that he had some sort of internal permission to eat bread but not meat because he thought the bread was "more kosher" than the meat.

What's more, I don't think keeping kosher was all that common by 1888, although I'm not aware of any figures. Trollope's novels are full of Jews eating with gentiles.

Rosey O'Ryan
06-09-2009, 06:10 PM
Hi all,
Perhaps having contacted the Russian Consul and receiving information that Aaron was delusional with regard to his claims at Colney Hatch, this statement was 'deleted'.
So, Aaron could well be the source in Russian Imperial circles for the existence of a Bolshevik-Jewish plot to overthrow the world order...by means of magical powers! [Gulp] Or, a cunning plan to cover up his royal Russian lineage! It all fits!
Rosey :-)

Jeff Leahy
06-10-2009, 01:00 AM
Following this train of thought I contacted the Russian embassy a few tears ago to see if they had any record of Aaron contacting them..

There would appear to be no surviving records from the period.

Pirate