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Go Back   Casebook Forums > Ripper Discussions > Police Officials and Procedures > Littlechild, Chief Inspector John George

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  #21  
Old 06-18-2013, 06:30 PM
moonbegger moonbegger is offline
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Hello Mike ,

Quote:
Superintendent Campbell received a cable dispatch yesterday from Mr. Anderson, the deputy chief of the London Police, asking him to make some inquiries about Francis Tumblety, who is under arrest in England on the charge of indecent assault.
As a matter of interest Mike , and baring in mind the issues regarding evidence , and how much it would take to gain a conviction against the murderer . What possible assistance regarding Tumblety"s crime history in the US , was Anderson hoping to unearth ? Even if he had been roaming around Boston Slashing out at various unfortunates in his past , What good would it do Scotland yard at that present moment ?

If the Police at the time did not have enough circumstantial evidence to Charge him with at least one of the murders, at the very heart of the crime , what could they have possibly been hoping for from Campbell & Co ?

And furthermore , is it not a possibility that the whole French suicide episode, was just a cover story created by those in charge , who may well have been feeling a little responsible, for dropping that " Hot potato" in the first place !

cheers

moonbegger
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  #22  
Old 06-18-2013, 08:02 PM
mklhawley mklhawley is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moonbegger View Post
Hello Mike ,



As a matter of interest Mike , and baring in mind the issues regarding evidence , and how much it would take to gain a conviction against the murderer . What possible assistance regarding Tumblety"s crime history in the US , was Anderson hoping to unearth ? Even if he had been roaming around Boston Slashing out at various unfortunates in his past , What good would it do Scotland yard at that present moment ?

If the Police at the time did not have enough circumstantial evidence to Charge him with at least one of the murders, at the very heart of the crime , what could they have possibly been hoping for from Campbell & Co ?

And furthermore , is it not a possibility that the whole French suicide episode, was just a cover story created by those in charge , who may well have been feeling a little responsible, for dropping that " Hot potato" in the first place !

cheers

moonbegger
Hi Moonbegger,

Reported was that Anderson, among other things, was attempting to get documents with Tumblety's handwriting clearly to compare them with Ripper letters. Roger Palmer does a great job explaining further details in his three-part article.

With regards to the French suicide episode, no one else in charge admitted to the Tumblety affair. As Jonathan has pointed out, by commenting upon the whole issue, Littlechild was acknowledging Scoltand Yard's failure.

Sincerely,

Mike
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  #23  
Old 06-19-2013, 02:57 AM
Jonathan H Jonathan H is offline
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Chers Mike.

To Moonbegger

As R J Plamer argued in 'Inspector Andrews Revisited' sending a top cop to do a background check, even abroad, on a major suspect for high profile crimes was not unusual (eg. Neill Cream)

That's possible: the French suicide as cover-up for a ****-up.

I just think the suicide element only appeared when Druitt was found [posthumously] by Mac in early 1891.

By then, after the McKenzie murder of mid-1889, Dr Tumblety had been 'exonerated' and discarded.

Only the dissemination to the public by Griffiths-Sims (Mac again) of a deranged, middle-aged doctor who did not realy work but was fabulously wealthy -- and with Kelly, not Coles as the revised final victim -- did Tumblety make a comeback, at least for Littlechild.

Which leaves unresolved whether Littlechild was trying to sugar-the-pill for the police's rep by claiming that it was 'believed' Dr T had taken his own life in France (I don't think so) or that he had been misled by somebody (eg. Mac of course) that Tumblety probably killed himself and thus airbrushing out Andrews' trip which became embarrassingly embroiled with the Parnell business and turned up nothing useful about Tumblety.

Druitt was rumoured to have gone abroad, while he had really taken his own life. Tumblety had gone aboad -- but was rumoured to have taken his own life.

Druitt was a young Englishman while Tumblety was a middle-aged American, yet these features have been swapped around in Sims' 1907 piece for 'Lloyds Weekly'.

Macnaghten's capacity to mix-and-match details about different suspects can arguably be seen in the Camp case too (in his 1914 memoirs a young, English barrister suspect for Camp causes him
to mention 'Thames', 'Blackheath' and 'wandering' -- and some unidentified cop told a reporter, in 1897, that the best suspect for the railway murder had instantly drowned himself in the Thames.)
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  #24  
Old 06-19-2013, 05:26 PM
moonbegger moonbegger is offline
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Thanks Mike & Jonathan ,

That's a lot of food for thought ! Although I still don't quite understand , why they would have been grasping at very feeble straws of handwriting similarity , and how it would have strengthened their hold on him .. Even with the Lusk ketter & organ , I fail to see how they could have pinned anything on him from that alone .

I would have thought an ID by the sub-curator of the pathological museum would have been a more bountiful avenue to pursue .

Quote:
There was overwhelming evidence to show that the criminal had so mutilated the body that he could possess himself of one of the organs. The coroner, in commenting on this, said that he had been told by the sub-curator of the pathological museum connected with one of the great medical schools that some few months before an American had called upon him and asked him to procure a number of specimens. He stated his willingness to give 20 for each. Although the strange visitor was told that his wish was impossible of fulfillment, he still urged his request. It was known that the request was repeated at another institution of a similar character in London.
Also Abberline's opinion on the suicide malarkey ..

Quote:
you must understand that we have never believed all those stories about Jack the Ripper being dead, or that he was a lunatic, or anything of that kind.'It is a remarkable thing," Mr. Abberline pointed out, "that after the Whitechapel horrors America should have been the place where a similar kind of murder began, as though the miscreant had not fully supplied the demand of the American agent.
cheers

moonbegger
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  #25  
Old 06-19-2013, 10:35 PM
Jonathan H Jonathan H is offline
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To Moonbegger

It is always a big call to second guess a primary source.

Unless you have a collision of primary sources -- which happens all the time -- and you have to make your best choice.

In 1903 Abberline, from retirement and under his own name, denounced the 'drowned man' solution as almost nothing.

A medical student had taken his own life just after the final murder --Kelly -- and in a Home Office Report it was made quite clear that there was nothing to incriminate that 'suspect' apart from the timing of his self-murder.

Somewhat paradoxically Abberline also argues that since patrols were still going in 1889, the police had not even ascertained that the fiend might have stopped (then when exactly, for Abberline, did Kelly become the final victim and not Coles -- and why?)

The problem is that nearly everything Abberline says about the drowned young doctor does not match Druitt, except the drowned part after Kelly (and perhaps being young, but not that young). Druitt was not a medical man, not a police suspect in 1888, or 1889 (not until early 1891) and was not the subject of a Home Office Report ever sent to that dept. of state.

Not did the timing of his suicide fit the cessation of the murders which happened after Coles in 1891. By then druitt had been deceased for over two years (to make that fit, Kelly had to retrospectively be the final victim -- and that this was known to the police at the time).

Abberline was arguably out of the loop by the time Macnaghten belatedly discovered Druitt, and the giveaway is his use of 'we' ; meaning the entire police rejectedthe drowned man hype.

He is so ignorant that the drowned man is Macnaghten's chief suspect -- Abberline was not alone about this -- that in the same interview he says he was writing a note to Mac, by then the Assistant Commissioner (CID), to tell him that Chapman is the likely Jack (he is also ignorant that Sir Robert Anderson favours the locked-up lunatic solution, suggesting that these suspects were known to the upper echelon but not below).

I subscribe to the theory (I first saw it in the A to Z) that Abberline is talking about the insane medical student Sanders, who was a suspect in 1888, and who from the police point of view went missing (with his mother), and who was the subject of a Home Office Report.

The objection to that theory is that the police did not think Sanders had killed himself, let alone in the Thames.

One obvious possibility is that Abberline is simply bragging, because he has to or else these loose ends will ruin his Chpamn solution with the reporter.

Another is that there are tantilizing textual similarities between what Abberline says in 1903 and what Jack Littlelchild writes to Sims in 1913.

In the sense that both retired cops are claiming that the real medical man was different from what the press are asserting (actually just Sims) but that he [probably] did kill himself.

In Littlechild's case he was an Irish-American suspect who was arrested on a morals charge and then jumped his bail, and was 'believed' to have killed himself maybe in France.

But Tumblety lived and died of old age in 1903.

The suicide element is exclusively from Druitt.

The only police figure who seems to know anything about Druitt is Macnaghten.

In Abberline's case it is a young medical student, by implication mentally deranged, who was the subject of an 1888 Home Office Report and who drowned himself, suggestively, right after the Kelly murder.

But John Sanders simply moved homes, was sectioned and died a few years later of natural causes.

The suicide-drowned element is exclusively from Druitt.

Only Mac knew about Druitt.

My theory is that Macnaghten told Littlechild that Tumblety had probably taken his own life after fleeing, while telling Abberline that Sanders had drowned himself in the Thames.

It's no good saying that was all a bit risky -- eg. what if Littlechild and Abberline conferred at a police reunion about their medico suicides? Because it worked. Talking out of three sides of his mouth worked for Mac to both reveal and yet to obfuscate.

Incredibly it works to this day ...
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  #26  
Old 06-20-2013, 06:11 PM
Cogidubnus Cogidubnus is offline
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Has Mac not simply (perhaps conveniently) conflated Druitt and Tumblety - The young man conveniently drowned in the Thames, and the "Sexually Insane" Doctor? Just a passing thought...

All the best

Dave
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  #27  
Old 06-20-2013, 10:36 PM
Jonathan H Jonathan H is offline
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To Dave

That maybe what he did.

Took two weak suspects and combined them to create a Super-suspect who never literally existed but which served a propagandist purpose, and was a handy stick with which to beat [the hated] Anderson.

This can be argued from the way Mac seems to have done something similar in his memoirs with the 1897 Camp murder; combined a young, deranged barrister with a dodgy working class fellow both of whom were arguably cleared -- a case whch Macnaghten even more directly claims credit for solving in his memoirs.
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  #28  
Old 06-20-2013, 11:18 PM
Cogidubnus Cogidubnus is offline
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Hi Jonathon

Which leads in turn to some interesting conclusions?

Dave
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  #29  
Old 06-21-2013, 02:12 AM
Jonathan H Jonathan H is offline
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Yes ...?

What are the 'some interesting conclusions'?
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  #30  
Old 06-21-2013, 06:02 PM
Cogidubnus Cogidubnus is offline
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Just wondering aloud Jonathan...but if you won't speculate on the possibilities it unlocks...

Once you start pulling out the odd threads, you never know quite what might become untangled. For example, just how much did Mac really know about Tumblety and what were his sources?

Did Andrew find out more than we've previously suspected? Just how much did LIttlechild know of his own account, and how much had he been fed?

Going further, has the entire MM (prepared for one purpose, but put aside unused for another), become purely a facesaving contingency designed to protect his much loved department?

There's no evidence for any of it, of course, so it remains purely wild speculation...and that's probably for a thread other than a Tumblety one anyway!

All the best

Dave
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