Wolf, no offense, really, but to be perfectly blunt, these are the sort of weak arguments that lead many people to suspect that you have a personal agenda, rather than are attempting any sort of serious analysis.
These "hundreds of articles" you referred to earlier on this thread consist largely of advertisements, cursory court proceedings, descriptions of people who once saw Tumilty wandering down the sidewalk in a military uniform, a couple of manslaughter cases where he didn't even appear before the Coroner, people who remember him handing out barrels of flour 30 years earlier etc, etc. None of them actually mention his voice, but you attempt to make it sound like there was some sort of unspoken consensus or some hidden meaning to be gleaned from this fact. But of course, you and I both know there isn't. They didn't mention his toe nails, either, so from that we can draw conclusions about what his toe nails looked like?
By contrast, the one account that actually specifically describes the tenor of his voice states that it was effeminate. It describes the very thing that you implied didn't exist.
It is hardly surprising that Victorian era journalist seldom spoke of such things. But after FT's 1888 troubles in London and after the Cleveland Street scandal of 1889, when such things became topical, it became more relevant and thus it was mentioned by the Washington Post in 1890. Even Tim Riordan--who I personally believe often misinterpretted the data--called this "revealing." If you can't figure it out, let me spell it out for you. Many people in the United States had long suspected Tumilty's sexual proclivities, but they never stated it openly. After it was stated in the world press in 1888 that he had run afoul of the Crimes Against the Persons Act, they no longer held their tongues. So when FT was picked up on suspicion in D.C. in Novemeber 1890, the police strongly suspected that he was crusing for young males, hence the journalist felt it relevant to metion that he spoke in an "effeminate voice." The Washington Post reporter is giving you a not so subtle clue, Wolf. Even Riordan picked up on it, but you wish to dismiss this. "it tells us little." Horse pucky. It tells us a lot or at least it tells me a lot. But the most relevant point is that this was published 15 years before the 1905 court proceedings, which, of course, entirely demolishes your original comments made on these boards. Yet, to your way of thinking THE ONLY ACCOUNT WE CURRENTLY HAVE of the actual tenor of FT's voice before 1905 means "very little." Why? Obviously because you want it to mean "very little." Enough said.
No, I didn't mention Tumblety's height. Why would I? It's irrelevant, but evidently you seem to believe that being 6' or 6' 1" is evidence that he isn't intersexed. If that's your genetic kite, feel free to fly it, but don't expect me to endorse it or even comment on it. As Simon Wood might say, "it need not detain us."
Frankly, I don't even feel like responding to your strange Dunham theory. I may have misstated FitzSimon's role in the litigation, but you are misstating Dunham's actual modus operandi. If I recall, what he and his cronies did was find probate cases where there were either no claimants, or there were claimants that didn't wish to proceed. They would then file suit themselves and use impostors, etc. Is that what you are suggesting happened in the 1905 case? Based on what evidence? Or are you simply spreading random doubts? And yes, Dunham was exposed. He was so spectacularly exposed that a hundred years later he had a biography wrtten about him. How is this relevant? John Dillinger robbed banks. In fact, Dillinger robbed lots of banks. How does that make Joe Blow a bank robber? If you truly wish this to be your historical argument, let 'er Rip. But don't expect many people to endorse it if you're not going to offer more than a few half-baked innuendoes. The average student of the case has become far too sophisticated for such vague arguments. Further, it is going to be very difficult for you to come back later and claim you looked at the evidence carefully, impartially, and dispassionately when you already began weaving random doubts before it was even presented in its entirety. I plan on withdrawing from this conversation. I believe that these new developments may be far too important to be undermined by random speculation beforehand. I am withholding judgement until I actually see all the data. Have a good afternoon. The floor is yours.
Two weeks gone and I’m still waiting for you to provide the evidence that my files contained the Washington Post article, that I found it, yet ignored it, and that I, therefor attempted to mislead people with my post. Are you still looking? Or what? Can’t wait to see what you will come up with.
By the way, I did subsequently find the Washington Post article online. There’s an interesting thing: remember I was pointing out that the physical descriptions of Tumblety given in the depositions did not seem to be supported by hundreds of newspaper articles, printed over more than a 50 year span? Remember that Tumblety’s supposed womanish figure was not supported anywhere? Well, what do you think Mr. Palmer decided not to mention from the Washington Post article? The line “Dr. Tumblety is an enormous man, over six feet in height, with broad shoulders.” Why not, since that was one of the things we were discussing? Looks like cherry picking to me. Want to comment?
Wolf! You're back!
Your two weeks "tic tock" clock is a red herring, so enjoy your broken clock.
Speaking of Fitzsimmons faux pas, the Mary who received $10,000 was Michael's sister, not wife. Charles Fitzsimmons was on the list also, and he was an upstanding General who lived out his life in Chicago. He was a very upstanding citizen.
Wolf, get over it. The volume of recent evidence (not just the St. Louis evidence by the way. There is more, so enjoy the future.) confirms that Stewart Evans was right all along, and those who made their ripperology name by allegedly debunking his Tumblety discoveries have been found to be dead wrong.
Of course you have to say Norris was paid off, but you also have to say his attorney Frank Widner was paid off (a man Riordan claims was absolutely right), four other attorneys and a judge (all of whom know the consequences of lying under sworn testimony). The same side of the court battle who used these witnesses also used a priest and a mother superior.
Your argument has gaping holes in it just like your argument that human-hater meant Tumblety was gay.
First off, what I consider to be a very important finding:
Who here thinks that the St. Louis Tumblety probate records are a brand new discovery? I was sure led to believe this.
I first heard about the St. Louis records (I thought) when I read the Tumblety: The Hidden Truth board here on the Casebook. In the very first post Jonathan stated “Tumblety: The Hidden Truth interviews author Michael Hawley and researcher Brian Young about the contents of over 600 pages of Saint Louis County legal documents that have been recently discovered…”
This was emphasised when I read Joe Chetcuti’s article Uniting Jack and Jill in the August issue of the Whitechapel Society Journal. Joe writes “Thanks to the efforts of Mike [Hawley] and his colleagues, over 900 pages of court testimony was located in America. This is new material…The plan was for Mike to reveal the discoveries at the September 2017 Liverpool Ripper Conference…Mike was subsequently compelled to disclose the general nature of this ground-breaking work…
It turns out, however, that this “brand new discovery” isn’t so new after all. This “ground-breaking work” was first carried out by author Tim Riordan. Apparently he was the first to discover the St. Louis probate records and the first to write about them in chapter 17 of his excellent 2009 book Prince of Quacks. It’s even clearly listed in his bibliography under “Public Records: St. Louis City Probate Court. 1903 – 1908 probate Papers Related to the Estate of Francis Tumblety, case no. 29083.”
Hawley must know that Riordan was the first to find and use the probate records because we know he has read Riordan’s book and he has recently mentioned Riordan’s work in connection with the Baltimore lawyer Frank Widner. Widner is mentioned in Riordan’s book in chapters 16 and 17, the chapter that discusses the St. Louis probate records.
Here are the problems that I have with Norris and his statement:
Norris, by the way, worked for the New Orleans Police Department for decades with his brother. They received awards for their achievements and were very respected. Norris was responsible for the classified cable transmissions going to the Chief of Police. He does not sound like a liar to me. Mike Hawley Post #37.
I’m glad I wasn’t drinking anything when I read this or I would have done a spit take. Would this be the same New Orleans Police Department that was called the most corrupt in America? There have been several books written about the legendary corruption, bribery, kickbacks, protection rackets, vote rigging etc. of the New Orleans Police in the late 1800’s/turn of the last century, when Norris was working there. Here are only a couple of samples easily found on the internet:
“By the late 19th century, the New Orleans police force had deteriorated into a notoriously corrupt, undersized, and underfunded organization.” The Social History of Crime and Punishment in America: An Encyclopedia
Edited by Wilbur R. Miller, SAGE Publications, 2012.
“When national Republican leaders refused to back its legitimacy in 1877, Redeemers in Louisiana not only disbanded the remarkable experiment [in racially integrated policing] but also allowed the city police force to deteriorate until it became by the end of his period one of the most corrupt, violent, and disgraceful departments in the nation. In a bargain to keep taxes low and the black population downtrodden, city authorities allowed the police to ally themselves with organized crime and brutal oppressors of African Americans. In 1900, with one of their usual overreactions, New Orleans police officers ignited the Robert Charles Riot that heralded the twentieth century's succession of massive race riots.”
Review on h-net.org by Joseph Logsdon of Dennis C. Rousey’s Policing the Southern City: New Orleans 1805 – 1889, Louisiana State University Press, 1996.
Pointing out that Norris worked for the N.O.P.D., at a time when massive department wide corruption was the norm, is an indictment of his character rather than evidence of his trustworthiness.
It is a rambling and confusing testimony to be sure…but it’s because, in my opinion, because he was extremely nervous because he admits in it he was (or at least for “favors” was) homosexual…and other unsavory things he was involved in…things that could have cost him his wife and career…he stood to lose a lot and gain nothing (he wasn’t in the will and wasn’t claiming he should be) so…why would he lie and admit these things about himself… Steadmund Brand Post #21.
…but in the case of Norris…he had far more to lose than to gain…they wouldn’t have offered him THAT much money…and Norris…come[s] across terrified…which make me lean even more towards truthful…in some respect…only because he incriminates himself… Steadmund Brand Post #25.
I suppose that hypothetically Norris might have stood to lose a lot but, realistically, did he? He wasn’t on trial, he wasn’t being grilled or examined for being an homosexual, he worked for the police and he was only giving a deposition in a probate case that was going to take place in another State (where, presumably, no one cared). All he had to do to not incriminate himself was to not incriminate himself. It was that simple.
You state that “he admits in it he was (or at least for “favors” was) homosexual.” Does he admit that? Openly and with unambiguous words that could lead to his arrest? Something like “I am an homosexual and have had sex with male partners on several occasions? I haven’t actually read where he does admit this in words that could be legally used against him, although, admittedly, you have read the full deposition while I haven’t.
What I have read is that Norris seems to do a lot of covering his ass (pun intended) like where he says that Tumblety locked the door to his room, pulled a knife on him and then turned the gas low. Norris stated that Tumblety said “You cannot get out of this room while I have this,” meaning the knife. Tumblety then fondled Norris and exposed himself. Norris, therefore, was helpless because Tumblety was armed but he “made up my mind right then and there that he would have to kill me, as I don’t go up against those kind of people.”
No incriminating confession there. Norris could be absolved of participation in illegal sexual activities because he was forced by Tumblety and his knife and was not a willing participant. This allowed him to speak about what went on without incriminating himself.
In London, in 1888, Tumblety was charged with using “Force and Arms” while committing indecent assault against four men for the very same reason. If the four men were forced by Tumblety, and not willing participants, then they could testify as witnesses and not face prosecution themselves. It was, like Norris’s phantom knives, a lie in order for the police and Crown to get what they wanted.
If Norris didn’t actually incriminate himself then it proves what I said earlier. If he did actually incriminate himself, and he was in danger of losing everything, then why wasn’t he arrested, put on trial and lose his family and his career? It’s a bit of a Catch 22 then, where Norris, hypothetically, might have got into trouble but, in actual fact, didn’t.
You mention that Norris seemed to be nervous when giving his deposition. Actually, you say that “in your opinion” Norris was “extremely nervous” because he was admitting his homosexuality (although it strikes me that he was trying very hard not to admit to his homosexuality) and that this was one of the reasons why his testimony was rambling and confused. So, no actual evidence but in your opinion this is what was going on. Well, that’s hard to prove if you are only offering your opinions (as you are).
Here’s my opinion, neither more nor less valid than yours: Norris, if he was nervous, was nervous because he was lying while giving his deposition and was afraid that he might get caught out in a lie. What would that have meant legally? Probably nothing, not even a slap on the wrist, but it would mean that Norris wouldn’t get paid for his testimony.
The truth, however, will probably never be known and the answer might lie with some combination of Norris’s trying to point to Tumblety’s homosexuality, while hiding his own, while trying to work in as many falsehoods as he could about Tumblety that would satisfy the lawyers trying to get the St. Louis will annulled.
You also state “in fact, it appears that Norris was stating that he discussed the Whitechapel Murders with Tumblety in 1881, 7 years before they actually happened, which is a neat trick.” well that is WONG, and I have explained this multiple times…it just seems you don’t want to listen…the testimony Norris gives is testimony about all the years he knew Tumblety…not just what happened in 1881…but thru all the years he knew him…
It’s not that I don’t want to listen it’s that telling me something over and over isn’t the same as convincing me that you’re right, especially if you’ve read Norris’s deposition. In fact, in order for you to be right you have to ignore what Norris himself actually said (congratulations, you are now a true, bona fide Tumblety supporter).
Norris states that he met Tumblety, he thought, “in 1880, during Mardi-Gras” (it was actually 1881). So there is a starting date for what comes next. Norris then tells an almost uninterrupted story about the night of that first meeting:
He met Tumblety at the St. Charles Theatre during Mardi Gras (late February to early March), Tumblety sat next to him. Norris and his friend went for drinks during the intermission, Tumblety followed them and introduced himself. Tumblety took Norris to Lamothe’s for supper and asked him to go to his room “at the St. Charles Hotel” so that Norris could write a letter for him. Norris begged off saying it was late. However, Norris then states that “I excused myself to him, and went on the side, and told my friend, ‘I will take a chance, I haven’t got anything, and I will take a chance and write this letter for him,’ and I asked my friend to wait for me” (taken in context, the same friend, on the same night, that Norris met Tumblety at the theatre). Norris went up to Tumblety’s hotel room at “the St. Charles hotel,” where Tumblety ordered beer and, Norris thought, tried to get him drunk. Tumblety showed Norris a large trunk and “a velvet vest which had, I judge, four – three or four medals on each side – they looked to me like gold medals. He told me they were awarded to him by the English Government.” He also saw, Norris claimed, “a sort of tray in the trunk, and there were all sorts of large knives in there, surgical instruments – that is, I did not know what they were at the time.”
At this point Norris digresses for the first time by mentioning that “After that he was arrested, supposed to be a bad character; it was a sort of put up job at the time, to find out what he really was.” This references Tumblety’s arrest on 24 March, 1881 for picking the pocket of one Henry Govan.
Norris then returns to where he left off, with the supposed knives and the first night he met Tumblety, by stating “There were large knives in the trunk.” At this point Tumblety felt Norris’s pulse and legs, handed Norris a cigar, telling Norris to throw away the cigarette that he was smoking “saying it was bad to smoke cigarettes.” Tumblety then says to Norris “the trouble with young men are those cigarettes, and those confounded Street Walkers. He said, if he had his way they would all be disemboweled.” This causes Norris to state “Now, I read and new of the White Chapel business and did know it at the time.” “At the time,” according to Norris’s narrative, was still the night that he first met Tumblety at the theatre in 1881. 7 years BEFORE the Whitechapel Murders.
Norris then “got a little scared of this man” and “I went over to the Chief of Police, and told him of this fellow, and he told me that reminds him of the big tall man that he read of in the Chicago Herald, and Pittsburg Dispatch, as being Jack the Ripper, and I said, he answers the description. And seeing, and noticing the way he spoke, and how he acted – he never frequented the street in the daytime; he used to walk the streets all hours of the night. When I spoke to him about the numerous women that had been killed around White Chapel, he said, 'Yes, I was there when it all happened' Norris then said “Well, after he told me that, I tried to shun him, and he sent me notes and letters, and even came to the office after me.”
It was at this point that Norris starts talking generally about their time together. This is when Norris talks about Tumblety taking him to his room, locking the door and supposedly brandishing a knife in an attempt to force Norris to have sex with him, at which point Norris makes the statement that “he would have to kill me, as I don’t go up against those kind of people.” Norris also states that Tumblety exposed himself and Norris supposedly saw that he was a “morphadite.”
At this point of the story Tumblety was living in a private boarding house on Canal Street (Norris says No. 190 Canal). Tumblety moved here sometime before the 22nd of March, 1881, the day he met Henry Govan (so, again, Norris is talking about events that happened in 1881).
This is followed by the direct question to Norris “What time did all this take place?” “All this,” meaning the date of Norris’s narrative to this point.
Norris answers “This happened in 1881 or 1880.” “IN 1881 OR 1880.”
This is clear and unambiguous. There is no confusion evident in Norris’s statement up to this point. If you take Norris’s statement at face value, if you go by what Norris actually said (without tampering with the deposition, editing in words, claiming confusion were none seems evident, spinning and twisting Norris etc.) then Norris says that Tumblety talked about the Whitechapel Murders in 1881. Which is a neat trick, as I said earlier.
All of this on the same night that Norris first met Tumblety – sometime between 25 February, 1881, when Tumblety arrived in New Orleans, and the 7th of March, when Mardi Gras ended in 1881.
Since the bit about the Whitechapel Murders can’t be true, given the date, Norris is obviously lying. And what, in context, is he lying about? Tumblety’s talk about wanting to disembowel prostitutes.
By 1905, when Norris made his statement, he had been working for the New Orleans Police Department for almost 20 years. In New Orleans the police worked out of Station Houses and the newspapers contracted this to “Stations.” This is surely what Norris would have called his place of work, unless he worked at police headquarters in which case he would say “the Central Station,” as they did in New Orleans.
Now look what Norris says in this part of his deposition, after he had gone to the Chief of Police and supposedly later talked some more to Tumblety about the Whitechapel Murders,:
“Well, after he told me that, I tried to shun him, and he sent me notes and letters, and even came to the office after me.”
Tumblety “even came to the office” after him. Not to his “Station” (or Police Station, or Station House etc.), which is what he would have said if he had talked to Tumblety AFTER 1888, but to his “office.” Now look at what Norris says about where he was working in 1881:
“I was then employed by the American District Telegraph Office…”
So, one more bit of evidence showing that Norris was saying that he talked to Tumblety about the Whitechapel Murders in 1881, when he was working at the telegraph office.
And, to add to this thought, what was the likelihood that Tumblety would have gone (had he and Norris discussed the Whitechapel Murders after 1888, and Norris had somehow forgotten that he had worked for the police) to a Police Station House (you know, that place full of cops) in order to continue to badger Norris while attempting to persuade him to sleep with him? Highly unlikely, I would have thought.