I used to (embarrassingly) believe that he wrote the Dear Boss and Saucy Jacky letters but I've come to my senses since then. I never considered at first that he wrote the From Hell letter until last year due to the illiteracy and believing that the Ripper must've had good grammar and neat handwriting et cetera (though F knows why), but I thankfully came to my senses about that too earlier this year and am now fairly convinced that they're all fake, the Lusk letter included (the only one I'm on the fence about).
The man responsible for the rippings doesn't seem in the least bit funny or like that of a practical joker to me, or to have cared about anything relating to the murders aside from the eviscerating, least of all the impact they had on the public in general. I doubt he even considered that his murders would garner the extent of publicity as they did and probably ended up craping it when they became such a big thing in fear of being caught. He may have looked back on it years later and thought he was a shrewd little bastard but I can't see him being too cocky at the height of the Ripper scare.
As I believe that Jack was an uneducated murdering lunatic who lived locally and worked in some menial job, I think it would be highly likely that he would be illiterate or at least unable to compose such sardonic letters. I think they are all fake but the Lusk one throws me a bit.
interesting that you cite the 'Lindbergh Letter'. This, I think, was written for a specific purpose, not to crow over the crime or to taunt those who were investigating the crime. Without exception, the 'Ripper Letters' fall into the latter category. It would be interesting to know (a) the standard of Hauptmann's spoken English and (b) to see authenticated examples of his written word.
Last edited by Graham : 11-18-2009 at 12:46 AM.
Reason: Ooops - it's "Nell", not "Neil". Pardon me!
I think one of the more important questions to ask regarding the veracity of the letters supposedly penned by the Whitechapel Murderer is.....for what purpose would he write to the authorities? Based on what crime spree is he supposed to be writing clues about? We know some killers developed patterns of writing over the period of many years and after many murders. How many murders did this Jack actually commit to warrant an exchange, perhaps ongoing... as in the case of some modern serial data, with the authorities?
To my untrained eye there are only 2 murders, perhaps 3, that suggest a "Ripper" as revealed by the murder of Polly Nichols. But there are 5 murders that have been attributed to him, one supposedly creating a "Double Event night" inside a single hour for the killer....something quite unique for any killer.
The "From Hell" letter could well be in my opinion a second denial of sorts for the killing that occurred within Dutfields Yard...the first may have been the graffito...."the Jewes (The International Club members) are the Men that will not be blamed for nothing"....and the second bit could be the package and letter to Lusk, which mentions nothing about a second murder on that night....or more importantly, the first murder that he is blamed for on that night.
Its the only specimen connected with the crimes, and may well have come from a woman killed at the same time Kate was. And its from the left kidney...as Kates stolen one was.
Its a very long way to go to hoax something that would require visual and biological matches of a specific organ taken, and so would limit the people who could have sent it.
Meaning...if it was a hoax it almost had to be by med students or coroners.
The letters? We're pretty sure who wrote "Dear Boss" and "Saucy Jack." And although Lusk was perturbed on receiving it, he and most ripperologists regard "From Hell" as a hoax.
With the greatest of respect, Lynn, when I first began researching Hutchinson in the mid-Eighties, every Ripperologist believed him to be a truthful witness. It's a very different story nowadays.
You see, a letter writing serial killer fits some suspects; others not. To assume ANY letter authentic is already to have a certain model of the ripper before our minds. Now, if Stephenson were the ripper, I would be shocked if he hadn't written a letter. If Kaminski were the ripper, then, in his frenzied state of mind and with his English skills, no.
Again, though, Lynn, with respect, the issue of whether the killer may have issued letters to the press or police should not be assessed on the basis of a suspects' list, but rather on the psychology of the man who committed the Whitechapel Murders themselves. On this basis, I would be astonished if our man hadn't entered into some kind of communication with those he considered to have been his adversaries. Contrary to most of those Ripperologists already mentioned, therefore, I think it highly likely that the Lusk letter was indeed genuine.
Hi Garry! I agree that much ought to be made out of the psychology of the killer. Of course, that's difficult.
Again, some personalities would HAVE to send a letter. That would be the melancholy type. When I came back to an interest in the ripper last summer, I looked for a certain personality type for my suspect. One who felt himself superior and who was not a success in his vocation. My "profiling" netted me D'Onston. Of course, I based this on "Dear Boss" as genuine.
But consider that, if Jack were a paranoid schizophrenic (like Cohen possibly) or a schizophrenic (like Kosminski possibly) or a sociopath (like Chapman possibly), there may be a very different verdict with respect to letter writing. Not every personality is the "taunting" type. Some are.