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  #1  
Old 11-30-2015, 12:31 AM
Defective Detective Defective Detective is offline
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Default 'Ripper' letters which disavow or don't acknowledge the 'Ripper' sobriquet

A vast majority of the crank letters sent after the 'Dear Boss' letter of 25 September 1888 used the 'Jack The Ripper' title to identify its author. This is useful, as the preponderance of evidence suggests that 'Dear Boss' was authored by Tom Bullen of the Central News. Accordingly, the Whitechapel murderer likely didn't regard himself as 'Jack The Ripper'.

However, there were several letters which made no reference to that title, most famously the
'From Hell' letter of October 16 and October 29th's letter to Dr. Openshaw.

There were several other letters which did not include the 'Ripper' pen name, and one (to my knowledge) actively disavowing it. I find these letters much more interesting and plausible than any signed by 'Jack', and I'd like a list available of them. Here's every one found in Letters From Hell, transcribed as given in the book (I am also excluding any letters with a 'Dear Boss' salutation):


"Sep 24 1888

Dear sir
I do wish to give myself up I am in misery with nightmare I am the man who committed all these murders in the last six months my name is so [silhouette of coffin] and so I am a horse slauterer and work at Name [blocked out] address [blocked out] I have found the woman I wanted that is chapman and I done what I called slautered her but if any one comes I will surrender but I am not going to walk to the station by myself so I am yours truly

[second page] keep the Boro road clear or I might take a trip up there
photo [silhouette of a knife] knife
this is the knife that I done these murders with it is a small handle with a long blade sharpe both sides"


"Oct 1st 1888

MR STAR
as you take greate interest in the Murders I am the one that did it wouldent you like to see me but you shant just yet I mean to do some more yet I have done 6 I am going to do 14 More then go back to america the next time i shall do 3 in one night I dont live a thousand miles from the spot not in a common lodging house
Yours in luck

THE BUTCHER."


"Friday Oct 5/10/8

A WARNING
At midnight - a woman will be murdered at the High Level St.
Be on your guard
Leather - Apron"


"10/11/88
WELL YOU SEE I'VE KEPT MY WORD, AND DONE FOR THE ONE I SAID I WOULD. I SUPPOSE YOU TOOK NO NOTICE OF WHAT I SAID. THOSE OTHER LETTERS WERE NOT WRITTEN BY ME AT ALL AND HAS SOME ONE HAS BEEN KIND ENOUGH TO GIVE ME THE NAME OF "JACK THE RIPPER" I'LL ACCEPT IT AND ACT UP TO IT. LOOK OUT FOR THE NEXT
P.S. YOU CAN'T TRACE ME BY THIS WRITING SO ITS NO USE ON THE POLICE STATIONS"


22 October 1888

"One of the two women I told you about is a Chelsea girl and the other a Battersea girl. I had to over come great difficulties in bringing the bodies where I hid them. I am now in Battersea.
Good bye ta ta."


28 November 1888

"(This letter is written on the inside of an opened up envelope)
(Top flap)
kilburn
lodging
house

Gentlemen
this is the first note you have ever had from the real man. but that dont matter for i am not yet done my number is sixteen in this country six i have done and the rest I mean to do if it is to hot in the east I will come to the west I went in the hide park the other night and found some nice little dears but it was to light from the moon to do business but you will hear
[left flap]
of one there
praps
before you
get this
they have had
me and i will
have them

[right flap]
Yours
[?]
the black
brunswick
boy"


"(This letter is undated, addressed to James Fraser of the City police.)

[missing] Fraser [drawing of heart] hart [drawing of face] poor annie [drawing of rings] rings I have those in
my Possession
good luck
You may trouble as long as you like for I mean doing my work I mean pollishing 10 more off before I stop the game. So I dont care a dam for you or any body else. I mean doing it. I aint a maniac as you say I am to dam clever for you Written from who you would like to know [drawing of knife] my knife"


For myself, I do find the September 24th letter intriguing (if for no other reason than that it was sent before 'Dear Boss' made Ripper-writing a thing), as well as the October 11th letter, which is the only I've seen that suggests that the murderer didn't invent the title of 'Jack The Ripper' himself, although I suppose that the 28 November letter does so implicitly. My own personal judgment is that, if any of the letters are authentic, it's one of these three for those reasons, plus the 'From Hell' and Openshaw letters.

Are there any I've missed?

Last edited by Defective Detective : 11-30-2015 at 12:52 AM.
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  #2  
Old 11-30-2015, 01:39 AM
GUT GUT is offline
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I tend to agree that if any letters are genuine they probably don't have JtR, unless he DID write the 1st one.

From Hell and Openshaw have me flip flopping.
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  #3  
Old 11-30-2015, 01:59 AM
Defective Detective Defective Detective is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GUT View Post
I tend to agree that if any letters are genuine they probably don't have JtR, unless he DID write the 1st one.

From Hell and Openshaw have me flip flopping.
By "the first one", do you mean 'Dear Boss' (the first letter to use 'Jack The Ripper'), or the 24 September letter, which to my knowledge is the very first letter written to claim responsibility for any of the Whitechapel murders?
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  #4  
Old 11-30-2015, 02:19 AM
GUT GUT is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Defective Detective View Post
By "the first one", do you mean 'Dear Boss' (the first letter to use 'Jack The Ripper'), or the 24 September letter, which to my knowledge is the very first letter written to claim responsibility for any of the Whitechapel murders?
The 1st using the name.
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  #5  
Old 11-30-2015, 11:06 AM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Defective Detective View Post
as well as the October 11th letter
10/11/88 is 10 November 1888, not 11 October.
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  #6  
Old 11-30-2015, 05:40 PM
Defective Detective Defective Detective is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Orsam View Post
10/11/88 is 10 November 1888, not 11 October.


Ah, haha, quite. >.>
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  #7  
Old 11-30-2015, 05:53 PM
DJA DJA is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GUT View Post
From Hell and Openshaw have me flip flopping.
Reckon From Hell and Old Boss were fair dinkum.
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Last edited by DJA : 11-30-2015 at 05:56 PM. Reason: fair added.
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  #8  
Old 11-30-2015, 06:34 PM
Defective Detective Defective Detective is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJA View Post
Reckon From Hell and Old Boss were fair dinkum.
My personal opinion is that 'From Hell' is much more likely to be an authentic communication from the killer than 'Dear Boss', for the given reason.

That said, some of these others strike me as almost equally plausible, "10/11/88" in particular. Of course, some of the more likely letters are mutually exclusive - if "10/11/88" is authentic, for instance, then 'From Hell' cannot be, as its author explicitly denied writing "THOSE OTHER LETTERS".

A useful exercise - and one which I'm really not qualified myself to undertake, being only middlingly familiar with the case and the letters altogether - would be to go through each letter that's superficially plausible - if the letter claims sixteen murders to date, as some do, then it probably isn't - and decide which letters, if any, are not mutually exclusive. For example, "10/11/88", if authentic, precludes any of the other letters, as does the 28 November letter written on the envelope ("this is the first note you have ever had from the real man").

Then we can look at which letters probably came from the same hand. 'From Hell' and the Openshaw letter were probably composed by the same individual, owing to similarity of handwriting and subject matter and its being addressed to someone examining the portion of liver sent out with 'From Hell', although there is some controversy over this.

I've looked closely at the available resources, and nobody actually seems to have undertaken a systematic examination of the known Ripper letters with a view to winnowing down the possibly authentic communications. Largely this seems to be because researchers either disregard the very possibility of a communicant murderer (as do most contemporary researchers) or uncritically accept the majority as authentic (as was the case with many Ripperologists some decades ago, before the sheer number of letters was commonly known, or as Patricia Cornwell has latterly).

Myself, I think it's probable that the killer didn't write anything, but I don't feel nearly so confident in saying that as most of us. Certainly I think the existence of a letter claiming responsibility for Annie Chapman's murder a day before 'Dear Boss' set off a firestorm of crank letters, the "done what I called slautered her" letter of 24 September, has never been adequately explained or even popularized. To my mind, that letter ought to get much more attention than 'Dear Boss' has. But I don't believe that letter has ever been subjected to a thorough forensic examination (seeing if there's anything under the inked-out portions, for example). I think it got short shrift even on the Rippercast episode about the letters.

If anyone actually were interested in analyzing some of the more plausible letters, let me know.

Last edited by Defective Detective : 11-30-2015 at 06:57 PM.
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  #9  
Old 11-30-2015, 06:51 PM
DJA DJA is offline
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Some here are looking through a mikerscope a smidge differently.
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  #10  
Old 11-30-2015, 07:00 PM
The Good Michael The Good Michael is offline
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All of the letters listed shown here seem contrived to me. The September 24th one starts out ok, but ends with the threat of more killing after already having said he was done with it. It's as if the letter writer is covering all bases, so to speak and also seems contrived.

Mike
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