Casebook: Jack the Ripper - Main
   

Introduction
Victims
Suspects
Witnesses
Ripper Letters
Police Officials
Official Documents
Press Reports
Victorian London
Message Boards
Ripper Media
Authors
Dissertations
Timelines
Games & Diversions
Photo Archive
Ripper Wiki
Casebook Examiner
Ripper Podcast
About the Casebook

Most Recent Posts:
Mary Jane Kelly: Mary Kellys husband - by Wickerman 2 hours ago.
Mary Ann Nichols: Double throat cuts - by Wickerman 4 hours ago.
Other: Two London Murder Mysteries - by Abby Normal 5 hours ago.
Lechmere/Cross, Charles: The Nature of Evidence - by harry 5 hours ago.
Motive, Method and Madness: Apron placement as intimidation? - by Abby Normal 5 hours ago.
General Suspect Discussion: HH Hollmes - by Abby Normal 5 hours ago.

Most Popular Threads:
Lechmere/Cross, Charles: The Nature of Evidence - (103 posts)
Mary Ann Nichols: Double throat cuts - (57 posts)
Other: Two London Murder Mysteries - (10 posts)
Audio -- Visual: Exorcist and JTR - (7 posts)
Motive, Method and Madness: Apron placement as intimidation? - (6 posts)
General Suspect Discussion: HH Hollmes - (5 posts)

Wiki Updates:
Robert Sagar
Edit: Chris
May 9, 2015, 12:32 am
Online newspaper archives
Edit: Chris
Nov 26, 2014, 10:25 am
Joseph Lawende
Edit: Chris
Mar 9, 2014, 10:12 am
Miscellaneous research resources
Edit: Chris
Feb 13, 2014, 9:28 am
Charles Cross
Edit: John Bennett
Sep 4, 2013, 8:20 pm

Most Recent Blogs:
Mike Covell: A DECADE IN THE MAKING.
February 19, 2016, 11:12 am.
Chris George: RipperCon in Baltimore, April 8-10, 2016
February 10, 2016, 2:55 pm.
Mike Covell: Hull Prison Visit
October 10, 2015, 8:04 am.
Mike Covell: NEW ADVENTURES IN RESEARCH
August 9, 2015, 3:10 am.
Mike Covell: UPDDATES FOR THE PAST 11 MONTHS
November 14, 2014, 10:02 am.
Mike Covell: Mike’s Book Releases
March 17, 2014, 3:18 am.

Go Back   Casebook Forums > Ripper Discussions > General Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #51  
Old 05-28-2017, 05:40 PM
Richard Patterson Richard Patterson is offline
Detective
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Australia
Posts: 466
Default

Hi Herlock,

I do not know why so many so strongly oppose Thompson as a jtr candidate either. It is doubly odd that so many forum members, who are great researchers, invest so much time in discussing suspects who, as you say, have nothing going for them, apart from being in the area, and ignore Thompson.

Often I have been with groups who dwell on Lechmere, Levy, Hutchinson, Mann, Barnett and go to great lengths showing connections between these suspects and the crimes, yet they ignore the mentally unsound, ex-medical student, who lived up the street from Kelly. Thompson, who had a dissecting scalpel, was in Spitalsfields solely to find a prostitute, and had already written very gruesome poetry which feature disembowelment.

I agree that more research on Thompson should be done. To be honest, I have pulled away from research for the moment. As you know from already reading my book, there is enough to seriously consider him as a suspect. Yet, the constant criticism is in bad taste and attacking Thompson's legacy, to think he might be the Ripper. Many here are so adamant that they will not even look at my book, that I wonder what is the use. Why find more to show Thompson's candidacy, when most people on Casebook are happy to ignore what I have found already? I feel that anything more that I find on Thompson will just be wasted since the immediate reaction seems to be "Yawn. Here we go, another self-promoting, theorist blaming a well known Victorian." The accusation being that I fit the facts to my suspect.

That's just my opinion for what it is worth.
__________________
Author of

"Jack the Ripper, The Works of Francis Thompson"

http://www.francisjthompson.com/
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
  #52  
Old 05-28-2017, 06:27 PM
jerryd jerryd is offline
Sergeant
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 729
Default

Hi Richard,

Congratulations on your book reviews! I do have a question regarding the prostitute. Do any sources state the year/s she left him and the year/s he went in search for her?

I found a source that states she had actually found him and nursed him back to health after he wandered aimlessly in front of a cab and was trampled over, and then she fled. The biographer goes on to say;

"...and into this last act [leaving him] may be interpreted the tenderest, the noblest, even if mute, tribute of her withered heart to the true, the chaste character of Francis Thompson...."

The biographer also goes on to quote from "A Child's Kiss" written by FT the following portion which actually talks about the cab incident.

Forlorn, and faint, and stark,
I had endured through watches of the dark
The abashless inquisition of each star,
Yea, was the outcast mark
Of all those heavenly passers' scrutiny;
Stood bound and helplessly
For Time to shoot his barbèd minutes at me;
Suffered the trampling hoof of every hour
In night's slow-wheelèd car;
Until the tardy dawn dragged me at length
From under those dread wheels; and, bled of strength,
I waited the inevitable last.
Then there came past
A child; like thee, a spring-flower; but a flower
Fallen from the budded coronal of Spring,
And through the city-streets blown withering.
She passed,—O brave, sad, lovingest, tender thing!—
And of her own scant pittance did she give,
That I might eat and live:
Then fled, a swift and trackless fugitive.
Therefore I kissed in thee
The heart of Childhood, so divine for me;
And her, through what sore ways,
And what unchildish days,
Borne from me now, as then, a trackless fugitive.
Therefore I kissed in thee
Her, child! and innocency,
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
  #53  
Old 05-28-2017, 07:39 PM
Richard Patterson Richard Patterson is offline
Detective
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Australia
Posts: 466
Default

The verse that you are quoting is part of Thompson's longest poem, named Sister Songs, completed in 1896. I have read variations of the story of how Thompson and his prostitute met, including this one in which he was rescued, from a pedestrian accident. I know that Thompson was struck by a cab, in his later years, after the murders and sustained a head injury. My feeling is that he used that experience in Sister Songs as a metaphor for the life sustaining assistance his prostitute gave him.

The sources of when Thompson first met his prostitute and when they breakup occurred, are derived ultimately from Thompson, but several books, place the time-frame as meeting in June of 1887 and parting June of 1888. The Life of Francis Thompson, 1913 edition, by Everard Meynell is a good book to read. It was written by the son of his editor and the son knew Thompson for many years.

Thanks for showing an interest jerryd.
__________________
Author of

"Jack the Ripper, The Works of Francis Thompson"

http://www.francisjthompson.com/
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
  #54  
Old 05-28-2017, 07:48 PM
jerryd jerryd is offline
Sergeant
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 729
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Patterson View Post
The verse that you are quoting is part of Thompson's longest poem, named Sister Songs, completed in 1896. I have read variations of the story of how Thompson and his prostitute met, including this one in which he was rescued, from a pedestrian accident. I know that Thompson was struck by a cab, in his later years, after the murders and sustained a head injury. My feeling is that he used that experience in Sister Songs as a metaphor for the life sustaining assistance his prostitute gave him.

The sources of when Thompson first met his prostitute and when they breakup occurred, are derived ultimately from Thompson, but several books, place the time-frame as meeting in June of 1887 and parting June of 1888. The Life of Francis Thompson, 1913 edition, by Everard Meynell is a good book to read. It was written by the son of his editor and the son knew Thompson for many years.

Thanks for showing an interest jerryd.
Thanks Richard,

The biographer also had this to say; which speaks highly of Thompson's character.

"Lest these lines seems to convey any sinister intimation, a word here may be pertinent: Be it known that at no time, even among those who in after years may have been unfriendly to Francis Thompson, even among his "enemies"- if, indeed, he ever had any-no word, not even a suggestion, has ever been uttered to stain his beautiful character with the stigma of shame"
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
  #55  
Old 05-28-2017, 11:50 PM
Richard Patterson Richard Patterson is offline
Detective
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Australia
Posts: 466
Default

Thanks jerryd for the quote on Thompson's character. What the biographer has to say is in line with most biographies on him, written while he was alive or in the first years after his death.

In fact such reminders of just how pure and wholesome and incapable of harm Thompson seemed to have been crop up often. Which is strange, because most other people, who are the subject of biographies, do not seem to need these added reminders. I could show plenty that goes against this image of the sinless poet image, that were published before and after Thompson's death, but they are already in my book.
Thanks again for showing an interest.
__________________
Author of

"Jack the Ripper, The Works of Francis Thompson"

http://www.francisjthompson.com/
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
  #56  
Old 05-29-2017, 02:02 AM
Herlock Sholmes Herlock Sholmes is offline
Detective
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: The West Midlands
Posts: 379
Default

Hi Jerryd

It's worthwhile recalling the opinion that everyone held of 'golden boy' Ted Bundy until they found out that he was a vicious serial killer. Until they are exposed most killers are considered by the people that know then to be normal, decent people. Of course some are thought of as weirdo's and loners but mostly no one considers them dangerous.

Hi Richard

Another couple of 'boxes' that I could have ticked are facts that profilers often mention in their assessments.
a) an inability to hold down a steady job and
b) difficulty in forming and maintaining relationships with the opposite sex.

Regards
HS
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
  #57  
Old 05-29-2017, 02:32 AM
Richard Patterson Richard Patterson is offline
Detective
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Australia
Posts: 466
Unhappy

rue story.
I had a dream last night that I was speaking to Mary Kelly the night before she died. I was telling her to watch out for Francis Thompson. The homeless poet who lived up the street from her, but she would not hear a word of it. I told her he says he keeps a dissecting scalpel and tells people it is razor sharp, just so that he can shave. She said he had always been a gentleman whenever they had met. I said to Mary that he is here to find a prostitute like her, but that his, who had gotten to know him, had fled from him. Mary replied, that it was only because Frank was sometimes awkward and shy. As you might expect of anyone living on streets once he failed thrice to become a doctor and surgeon. I warned her that he had written brutal poems on slaughtering corrupt women. 'So what?' She asked. I pressed on and said he was planning a story in which his hero sacrifices a woman, killing her with a knife, in a deal with the devil to become a writer. Mary Kelly shook her dark red hair and a frown came over her pale face. As if she balanced possibilities, then said ‘No. Frank is just an artist, and fancies himself a daring poet.” I reminded her about the Ripper. How he had recently killed four other women, and how this all started happening just after Thompson moved into the area. Still, I could not persuade her. ‘A murderer he cannot be, Richard, for he is always so exhausted. And see how his arms and legs are thin!” My dream ended with me knowing that the next night would be her last and in hope, that if not the sun, she would at least see the moon.

“Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.”
__________________
Author of

"Jack the Ripper, The Works of Francis Thompson"

http://www.francisjthompson.com/
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
  #58  
Old 05-29-2017, 08:56 AM
Herlock Sholmes Herlock Sholmes is offline
Detective
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: The West Midlands
Posts: 379
Default

Beware the quiet man.

Like Prufrock.

Regards

HS
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
  #59  
Old 05-29-2017, 09:53 AM
Pcdunn Pcdunn is offline
Inspector
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Colorado, USA
Posts: 1,385
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Patterson View Post
You are fortunate to be a librarian with so many books at your ready disposal. Perhaps you could read one on Thompson. You might want to start with.

“Francis Thompson. A Critical Biography.” Paul Van Kuykendal Thomson’s 1973 book.

You have written, ‘Thompson attended six years of medical school because his father was a doctor who wanted him to follow in his footsteps.’

On page 30 of “A Critical Biography,” Anyone can read.

“It seems quite clear from what he later told Wilfrid Blunt that Thompson was in no sense placed in the position of having to agree to a stern paternal insistence that, having failed to become a priest, he should follow Dr. Thompson’s professional example. On the contrary, it appears to have been his mother’s wish that since her son could serve at the alter of God, he should choose “the next best thing” and serve God’s afflicted creatures.”

Your claim, that the poet’s training as doctor was his father’s wish, is not a fact.

I note that you think it is a fact Thompson had no real interest in becoming a doctor.You think it is a fact that Thompson's rhetoric is not unusual for the time-period.

You might want to check your sources and where they have gained their information or you could save yourself the effort and just read my book.
Hello, Mr. Patterson, my apologies for this delayed response. And thank you for suggesting a source on Thompson's life. There are less than twenty biographies on the poet, most written between 1912 and 1988, as I discovered from a WorldCat search. I will post the results in a separate post, to assist Casebook readers wanting to find out more about Francis Thompson.
__________________
Pat D.
---------------
Von Konigswald: Jack the Ripper plays shuffleboard. -- Happy Birthday, Wanda June by Kurt Vonnegut, c.1970.
---------------
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
  #60  
Old 05-29-2017, 10:26 AM
jerryd jerryd is offline
Sergeant
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 729
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post
Hi Jerryd

It's worthwhile recalling the opinion that everyone held of 'golden boy' Ted Bundy until they found out that he was a vicious serial killer. Until they are exposed most killers are considered by the people that know then to be normal, decent people. Of course some are thought of as weirdo's and loners but mostly no one considers them dangerous.
Hi HS,

I agree. I was trying to point out that from what I have read on Thompson's prostitute, she seemed more of the nurturing type and felt sorry for him as she was in the same situation in life as he was. She seemed to see the potential in him and let him go because she felt she would hold him back from his moving forward. It appears others, too, saw the inner Francis Thompson, the poet, and never viewed him as anything but quiet, frail and innocent.

On the other hand, I have held in the back of my mind from Richard's research, a possibility that due to his opium use and desperation he could have snapped. In 1889 FT wrote an essay [Shelley] about the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. It was in 1889 that the Chelsea based Elizabeth Jackson was mutilated and thrown in the Thames. Her thigh was found wrapped and discarded into the garden of the Shelley estate in Chelsea. Elizabeth was known to sleep rough on the embankment and it was recorded that Francis Thompson was known to do the same. He was also said to wander near Charing Cross. The new Scotland Yard police building was across the street from the Charing Cross post office. It was another site of a torso deposit. It was also said that FT often wandered up Edgeware Road. Edgeware Road (before it turned into Maida Vale) crossed the Regents Canal at a point just west of where some of the body parts from the Rainham Mystery appeared in St Pancras Lock on the Regent's Canal in Chalk Farm.

All of this is coincidental, of course, but food for thought none-the-less!
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 11:25 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.