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Go Back   Casebook Forums > Ripper Discussions > Suspects > Barnett, Joseph

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  #1  
Old 03-13-2009, 04:50 PM
GordonH GordonH is offline
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Default Was Barnett Irish?

If the Lusk letter is genuine then it means that the writer was either Irish or making himself appear to be Irish.

Where did Barnett come from?
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  #2  
Old 03-13-2009, 04:52 PM
ChrisGeorge ChrisGeorge is offline
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Hi GordonH

I believe Barnett was of Irish background but not, I think, born in Ireland. He probably spoke with a Cockney accent. Interestingly, Barnett is also a common Jewish name.

Chris
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  #3  
Old 03-13-2009, 04:54 PM
GordonH GordonH is offline
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Interesting.

What is your view on the Lusk letter and kidney?

Its the only one of the letters that I would consider to be possibly genuine, but even then I am sitting on the fence as human organs were not as difficult to obtain in those days.
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Old 03-13-2009, 05:03 PM
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Ive got the local Post Office Street Directory for 1882 here, and there do seem to be rather a lot of Barnett's living in Whitechapel. There clearly is a Jewish connection, I've come across one Joseph Barnett whose wife's maiden name is Cohen. There are a bunch of fruit merchants living on Mitre Square at the time who are clearly Barnetts of Jewish descent. Ancilliary information, but it all adds to the picture, I guess.
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Old 03-13-2009, 05:09 PM
GordonH GordonH is offline
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My concern about the Lusk letter is: do people actually write the way they speak?

I would say in general that they don't. When someone writes a letter, even a not very well educated person, they tend to put on a "telephone voice" type of writing rather than writing in their own vernacular.

There is one exception to this, a well known actor and comedian whom I used to deal with professionally who wrote letters exactly as he spoke, pouring out a stream of consciousness that verged on rambling.

If the Lusk letter had not come with the piece of kidney then I would probably view it as a fake. Its the kidney that really pushes it into the area of credibility, with the proviso that organs were easier to obtain then.
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Old 03-13-2009, 05:32 PM
ChrisGeorge ChrisGeorge is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GordonH View Post
My concern about the Lusk letter is: do people actually write the way they speak?
I believe the letter is written in stage Irish. It's not the way an Irishman would actually write it but the way an Irishman would be portrayed on stage or in the cartoons of the day. The Openshaw letter is similarly written in such a vein, but more Cockney as with Dear Boss. Somebody or several people were having a lot of fun. Were any of these letters from the killer? Many people believe the kidney was a practical joke. I'm undecided although again the mock "accent" in the Lusk and Openshaw letters might lead one to believe the whole package, the "From Hell" letter plus half a kidney was a joke and not by the killer.

Chris
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Old 03-13-2009, 05:44 PM
Jon Guy Jon Guy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GordonH View Post
Where did Barnett come from?
Hello Gordon

Joseph Barnett was born and bred Whitechapel. I think it was Osborn St where he was born.
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Old 03-13-2009, 05:52 PM
Debra A Debra A is offline
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Hi Jon,
Barnett was born in Hairbrain court, but I think he did live on Osborn St at some point.
Hairbrain Court was heavily populated with Irish immigrants.
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Old 03-13-2009, 06:07 PM
ChrisGeorge ChrisGeorge is offline
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See this from Mister Google on the Stage Irishman
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Old 03-13-2009, 11:40 PM
Sam Flynn Sam Flynn is offline
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Quote:
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Interestingly, Barnett is also a common Jewish name.
... an adopted English form of "Baruch", I believe.
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