It would be interesting with a new forum on suspects to actually get rid of of some of the more ridiculous suspects eg anyone royal, famous, female,not in the country at the time, no connection with east end ill or dead, and focus on a list of suspects with provable connections with east end,particualy Spitalfields history of odd or violent behaviour against women, height between 5,4 and 5,8, working class, possible experience with a knife
But it aint go to happen in a month of sundays. Extreme Suspects are where its at.All the same old stuff from Sickertists, Maybrickites assorted royalists will be trotted out in an endless loop.Endless repetitions of everything thats gone before. Oh Dear , poor old Sickert, in advance I apologise to your ghost for all the fresh libels that are going to be hurled against you, and the others too.
Great Idea.Running around in circles. It comes down to an "unknown local man or Kosminsky " a name Swanson would have not forgotten despite mistaken info about him. But still just because a suspect was shown in a viewing by a witness does not mean anything especially way after the Kelly murder.
Two excellent dissertations which I hadn't seen before.
Some personal notes on 'Ms' Cornwell's methods, if I may.
From 1969 to 1979 I lived on Broadhurst Gardens in West Hampstead (London NW6) where Sickert was apparently living in 1888. In her book, Cornwell implies that this is a short stroll to Spitalfields when, then as now, it would be a good two hour walk.
More recently I was happy to contribute to a lost thread here about the book 'The Camden Town Murder' by John Barber.
Here's John speaking at the last WS meeting with Philip watching:
Someone on that thread asked if a relevant pub in the case, the Rising Sun, still existed. As I live in the area I was able to check this out. It's now called 'The Rocket' and is on the Euston Road on the corner of Chalton Street.
A plaque on the wall of the pub proved that it was once called the Rising Sun:
Now here's the real point of this post. Before I ventured out to find this particular pub I reached for the the nearest information on the Camden Town Murder which happened to be Cornwell's book in which Sickert is accused not only of being JTR but also of killing Emily Dimmock in the Camden Town Murder.
Here is Cornwell's 'reasoning' as she wants to link Sickert with Dimmock.
There is a pub today on Tottenham Court Road called the Rising Sun. Here it is:
Sickert had a studio round the corner from this pub so Cornwell makes the assumption that this pub is the one mentioned in the case. Pure garbage and put forward as truth. Oh dear.
I know I'm treading on thin ice here. So it seems to go whenever discussing Sickert. First of all, many thanks for the clarification about the Rising Sun. I'm going to be traveling to London in about six months and doing quite a bit of Ripper touring and that's going to help a bit. But in regards to the Camden murder-- Cornwell describes the morning after a certain way, and if you or anyone else has evidence to contradict her then I am very interested in hearing it because I am still fairly new at all this and am just trying to understand. She recounts how as the police were on the scene in front of Emily Dimmock's house with her body still inside, Walter Sickert just happened to come strolling down the street with his artist's supplies in hand and asked what was going on. When told, he became intrigued and asked permission to go inside and sketch the body, which he was given since he was famous and well known by that time, which of course led to his "Camden Town Murder" series of artwork, the implication being that if he was in fact the killer then here was his most audacious act of all, profiting financially from one of his murders. My question- is it a matter of record that Cornwell's account of that morning really did happen? Because if it is, then I have to say that if I had been a detective on the scene that morning I would have eyed Sickert with EXTREME suspicion, and at the very least viewed him as a "person of interest."
the only real problem is, that then as now, there have always been ghoulish people, who want to see a place where a murder appeared, look at all the literature about murders, spring heeled jack, conan doyle, and so many more.
the best book about sickert in my opinion is Matthew Sturgis's excellent biography of the painter, a lot of famous people were fascinated by crime, as now. In the The Yellow House, Paul Gauguin and Vincent van Gogh, who were cooped up together in a little house in rainy Provence during that autumn of 1888, used to talk about a case that was then filling the newspapers. It concerned a mysterious man, going by the name of Prado, accused of cutting the throat of a courtesan.
Gauguin left Arles then he attended Prado's public execution by guillotine in the chilly light of a December dawn – then made a ceramic self portrait, depicting his own severed head.
so there was a deeper fascination especially by artists of the underside of reality. Even Now you have the cases of the wests souvenir hunters going to steal bricks from that house. If he was interested it was because everyone is and was interested in the darker side.
i doubt that sickert ever did the murders, not to say i totally and completely refute the possibility however remote, but from what i know there are more valid suspects.
Absence of Proof doesnt mean Proof of Absence
I used to drink in the Rising Sun in the early eighties. I knew then it was the Dimmock pub. It must have changed its name to rocket in the nineties. As Cornwells book is mostly fiction, I still wonder any one takes it seriously.
IT IS IMPOSSIBLE that Sickert was a killer of any description. I have reads lots of his own writings and art criticism.Any one who has any real knowledge of Sickert's world will understand the absurdity of it. Sickert was many things great artist, writer , teacher, raconnteur, lover of food and wine, a sophisticated social being , much loved with a huge circle of friends and many girlfriends. He was fascinated by the Ripper case, as we all are. [ he was a serious ripperlogist ]and he had a suspect. He used to tell a story of a landlady who had told him of a lodger, she suspected of being the ripper. It was probably a tall tale he told for effect . Osbert Sitwell, a friend of his, recounts this story in detail in the introduction to a collection of Sickert's writings. He adored Sickert and really brings him alive.
I can quote Sitwell's account if anyone is interested.
Please note, I am NOT saying I think Sickert was the Ripper here. I'm actually on the fence about him as a suspect. It's just that a comparison sprang to mind as I was reading your list of Sickert's qualities as a "sophisticated social being" that made it impossible for him to have been a killer.
In America in the 1970s there was a bright young man in the city of Seattle, a real up an comer, a law student with political aspirations who worked on the campaign of a gubernatorial candidate for the state of Washington. It was said that he dreamed of being Governor himself one day. He distinguished himself to the point of being appointed to research and write reports on combatting violent crime for his community. He altruistically volunteered to work manning phones on a suicide hotline. Socially he had many friends who admired him, and he juggled multiple girlfriends at various times. He enjoyed many of the finer things in life and was in many ways looked up to by those around him who assumed he had an extremely prosperous life ahead of him. He too could definitely be considered a "sophisticated social being."
This man's name was Theodore Bundy and he was executed in 1989 as one of the most notorious serial killers in American history, and it turned out that many of his "finer things" were stolen. It may well be that Sickert is blameless of anything, but Bundy stands as a cautionary tale (albeit an extreme one) that no matter how a person appears on the surface, one never knows.
There is no proof that Sickert wrote a single ripper letter and no proof he was even in the country when the ripper murders were being committed. So Cornwell still has her work cut out if she wants to make him worth considering as a suspect again in the future.
Having said that, I am quite sure that if the real Jack is ever identified and turns out to be someone suspected at any time, he will already have been dismissed in a good many minds as an 'IMPOSSIBLE' ripper.
The only 'IMPOSSIBLE' rippers are those with established alibis (which naturally include being six feet under or physically incapacitated).