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Old 03-20-2011, 09:14 PM
YankeeSergeant YankeeSergeant is offline
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Upstate New york, USA
Posts: 252
Question A thought

Originally Posted by jonwilson View Post
Were these written by the same person you think? I noticed there are spelling mistakes on both of them and the writing seems the same to me. I could be wrong, but has anyone seen both of these letters and compared the two? If you have, do you think they are written by the same hand?
While researching Lusk and his role for my novel I read in Paul Begg's Jack the Ripper the text of the post card and from Hell letters sent to Lusk. It appears to me that the punctuation and speeling mistakes are not unintentional in the two messages. For example, the way knife is spelled inthe From Hell letter Someone who was illiterate or spelling phonetically would likely spell knife "nife" rather than knif as the letter does. I believe this also applies to people speaking English as a second tongue as well as those who cannot read. I see in the two missives an attempt to divert suspicion and make it appear that someone (possibly Irish) is the author rather than someone who is literate in English. I can't comment on the authenticity of the letters. they well may have been hoaxes along with the rest of the letters but have we considered that the post card and letter were an attempt to divert Lusk's and the police's attention elsewhere?
Neil "Those who forget History are doomed to repeat it." - Santayana
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Old 03-21-2011, 07:43 PM
Tom_Wescott Tom_Wescott is offline
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 6,676

Hi all,

Both the 'From Hell' letter and 'Openshaw' letter seem to have had companion missives, but they were not each other. In the case of 'From hell', it was the 'Box of toys' postcard, received by Lusk two days prior to 'From Hell' hell. It starts, 'Say Boss, you seem rare frightened...' This refers no doubt to an incident reported in the press (and given front page coverage by the Penny Illustrated News on 10/13) whereby Lusk's house was visited by a strange man who subsequently found him in a pub and creeped him out. The men of the WVC and the reporter from the Evening News who saw both letters side by side said they were in the same hand. Unfortunately, no facsimile of the 'Box of Toys' postcard exists for us to compare.

In the case of the Openshaw letter, another letter had been received prior (I can't recall the date) that reads 'HAVE YOU SEEN THE DEVIL' in pasted letters. Unless we are to suppose such a unique phrase appeared coincidentally in two 'Ripper' letters, we might assume both this letter and the 'Openshaw' letter were from the same source.

Yours truly,

Tom Wescott
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