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Go Back   Casebook Forums > Ripper Discussions > Suspects > Levy, Jacob

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  #161  
Old 05-17-2016, 02:05 PM
Errata Errata is offline
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Not really sure what to say Errata - can I say 10% he had syphilis, no. but taken from his medical notes and his actions, then add in the opinion of the Doctors of the time i'm not really sure there is much doubt.

Just to even things out as I do feel we are normally at loggerheads, this is one thing me and my dad disagree on in all our research. Dad (Jimi) believes Jacob had syphilis AND something else that increased his symptoms/mania.
At least it's friendly loggerheads

And there are a lot of things that can make mental illness worse, there are even things that make bacterial infections worse. It's an interesting case because to my understanding, syphilis is a lot like clockwork in its predictability of most of the progression, and Levy sort of skews off a bit.

I just find it interesting.
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  #162  
Old 05-17-2016, 02:15 PM
Abby Normal Abby Normal is offline
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Hi Abby

Yes they were definitely cousins. We found that Jacob and Joseph were first cousins.

If you take Jacob's father, Joseph Levy and Joseph Hyam Levy's father, Hyam Levy you find they are brothers, both having the same parents - Isaac and Sarah Levy.

Have you read the other thread Jacob the Ripper, it is in the General suspect thread. That has a lot of info on Jacob and his family we've done over the years, although feel free to ask anything here if you prefer.
Wow-Ok. well that's impressive. I thought the connection was tenous at best-but it seems you guys have nailed it down though.

so he does have something that ties him to the case-much more solid suspect IMHO now!

I will certainly check out the other thread, but if you have the time could you just give me us a quick bullet type nutshell of the main things that point to him being the ripper.

I'll start:

-His cousin was one of Lawendes companions on the night of the sighting, and if recognized may have been the reason for Levy's reluctance to talk about it.

-
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  #163  
Old 05-17-2016, 02:33 PM
tji tji is offline
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At least it's friendly loggerheads

And there are a lot of things that can make mental illness worse, there are even things that make bacterial infections worse. It's an interesting case because to my understanding, syphilis is a lot like clockwork in its predictability of most of the progression, and Levy sort of skews off a bit.

I just find it interesting.
Oops obviously that 10% should have read 100% sorry


I personally just believe that he does fit into the acceptable parameters of syphilis and especially the final '5 year stage.'

That's not to say I'm saying i'm right and you're wrong, just that my opinion is different.
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  #164  
Old 05-17-2016, 02:47 PM
tji tji is offline
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Wow-Ok. well that's impressive. I thought the connection was tenous at best-but it seems you guys have nailed it down though.
In Mark Kings dissertation he does point out the names and indicates how interesting it woudl be if they could be proved to be family but I don't believe he ever actually got that far. Luckily for us the internet now allows us a lot more access to records a lot easier and managed to find the link.


Quote:
so he does have something that ties him to the case-much more solid suspect IMHO now!


Quote:
I will certainly check out the other thread, but if you have the time could you just give me us a quick bullet type nutshell of the main things that point to him being the ripper.

I'll start:

-His cousin was one of Lawendes companions on the night of the sighting, and if recognized may have been the reason for Levy's reluctance to talk about it.
He was a butcher - giving him access to knives and ways to dispose of bloody garment etc and also of course anatomical knowledge (to a degree)

He lived in the area all his life and must have known all the alleyways etc.

Professor Canter stated that through Geographical profiling puts the killer in Middlesex Street the epicentre for the killings......this is where Jacob lived in 1888.

He died of syphilis.

He died in an asylum in 1891.

Jacobs mother died in May of 1888.

His brother committed suicide when Jacob was 17 by hanging himself in their bedroom. All indicators are Jacob found him there.

These are jut a few
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  #165  
Old 05-23-2016, 07:06 PM
dantheman dantheman is offline
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Hi All
Hi JG76
If I may.....
Of course i think Jacob is a strong suspect, the only major thing against him being no.1 is that he is not mentioned in any police report that we know of.
As myself and Tj stated-:
Jacob was the right height stated by his cousin, the witness Joseph Hyam Levy.
He wandered aimlessly at night
He had the necessary knife skills.
Jacobs death certificate stated that he died from syphillis, probably contracted from prostitutes.
he had a traumatic upbringing, probably being involved in cutting up dead animals from a young age.
Jacob discovered his elder brothers body hanging in his bedroom at the age of 19.
He was jailed in 1886, were he attempted suicide.
He lost the respect of his Jewish traders.
Looking at his medical reports it is easy to deduce that Jacob was schizophrenic.
Jacobs mother, Caroline, died inMay 1888, a common stressor.

You also mention about Jacobs children being possibly disfigured. Well within his intake file (A/H10/2/11/438) to brentwood asylum in 1886 it seems he cannot remember the name of his youngest child. Doesn't seem to be a lot of attachment there.

Keep Well
Jimi
I agree for the most part. However, Levy not being mentioned by the police should hold little weight in regards to him being a "person of interest". I mean Dennis Raider wasn't mentioned or included in any police reports until he was caught.
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  #166  
Old 05-24-2016, 08:59 AM
Harry D Harry D is offline
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I agree for the most part. However, Levy not being mentioned by the police should hold little weight in regards to him being a "person of interest". I mean Dennis Raider wasn't mentioned or included in any police reports until he was caught.
Exactly, that's no barometer of a credible suspect or not. Macnaghten named Ostrog and he was most decidedly not the Ripper.
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  #167  
Old 05-25-2016, 05:30 AM
Abby Normal Abby Normal is offline
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I agree for the most part. However, Levy not being mentioned by the police should hold little weight in regards to him being a "person of interest". I mean Dennis Raider wasn't mentioned or included in any police reports until he was caught.
agree for the most part. however, I think there something to be said for police suspicion, except not so much for the higher ups and there theories later on-ie. swanson, Anderson and MM.

My previous problem is that nothing really ties Levy to the case, except for being the cousin of one of the witnesses-which is at least something.
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quite tallies with the descriptions I got of him."

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  #168  
Old 05-25-2016, 10:44 AM
Errata Errata is offline
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agree for the most part. however, I think there something to be said for police suspicion, except not so much for the higher ups and there theories later on-ie. swanson, Anderson and MM.

My previous problem is that nothing really ties Levy to the case, except for being the cousin of one of the witnesses-which is at least something.
I get that finding someone with an apparent clear motive can trump an actual tie to the case. I mean, thousands of people in London had some tie they could tell stories about. "My cousin saw..." "The street I take for work.." "My neighbor the policeman..." none of who make it into records. But a tie exists. So that doesn't bother me so much as long as we aren't talking about a Van Gogh type situation.

Personally I think if Levy had Neurosyphillis that bad, he would have terrible shakes. It's just part of the disease. I think that rules him out, as TJI and I have discussed before. But thats just my objection based on admittedly not his specific case. And I don't think the motive fits very well, and that is based on his specific case, but admittedly its a response to an argument TJI has never made. Other people make it, but that's different. Any "it wasn't neurosyphilis" is more an intellectual exercise rather than a real argument. I think the argument could be made, but that certainly doesn't clear him of being the killer.

Which all is to say that while I don' think he did it, for several reasons, I think he is a good suspect. Which is one of the reasons I sort of butt in now and again. Any good suspect needs someone to defend them in some small way. I'm a little protective of mentally ill suspects, so from time to time I'll at least butt heads just to at least make sure that expectations are realistic. Which I don't do for ridiculous suspects.

See T? My opposition is a tribute to your work
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  #169  
Old 11-30-2016, 10:30 AM
dantheman dantheman is offline
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It is however a myth that children with congenital syphilis have any specific physical deformity. A myth played on by the video game Sherlock Holmes vs. Jack the Ripper.

Not a myth at all, numerous sources that I've checked say the deformity is real. Congenital syphilis can cause bone deformity, incisor teeth, saddle nose (collapse of bony part of nose), frontal bossing (prominence of brow bridge), and Protruding mandible just to name a few. Here's a few sources.

http://www.cdc.gov/std/syphilis/stdf...l-syphilis.htm

https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/001344.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congenital_syphilis
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  #170  
Old 12-12-2017, 06:24 PM
Xoferbean01 Xoferbean01 is offline
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I'm not here to poo-poo all over these Levy theories because they are solid, valid and deserve investigation but I take such issue with people passing "circumstance" off as evidence. I see it way too much and it drives me mad.

There is NO evidence. NONE to support the Jacob Levy theory. Does that mean it wasn't him? No. Does it mean we should dig deeper? Yes. Is it OBVIOUSLY Levy? Of course not (and anybody that states otherwise isn't truly interested in investigating the identity of JtR). There is very little evidence at all in this case but that shouldn't deter is but it does mean we ought to be far more cautious with some of these statements.

As far as I can tell the "evidence" (people use that term to describe this) is just circumstance that would have applied to many many people.

Butcher - many butchers around Whitechapel, many Jewish. And besides, the butchery part of it is fairly irrelevant. Whether the killer had anatomical knowledge or not is heavily disputed and therefore this information shouldn't be used when fashioning a suspect. If JtR turned out to be a butcher or a fishmonger then that would be fine but I am not convinced that it is an integral part of his profile purely because we heard many differing views from coroners about the knowledge and expertise shown so if experts couldn't decide back then when they were examining the body I think it's dangerous for us to make that decision for them. It's inconclusive.

Joseph Levy (the witness) - again, like the above part I think we just have to treat this as inconclusive. Levy was not a credible witness at the time so for us to decide over a century later that we're going to assume what he really meant is crazy to me. Again, I'm not trying to poo-poo this too much. I'm just trying to bring it back down to earth. There's far too much conjecture and if we're going to start using as "evidence" what Joseph DIDN'T say to the police then I think it's an insanely slippery slope. As with the coroner's testimonies I find the witness statements too lacking in credibility also for them to be used with any conviction. We have to decide that the man seen with Eddowes WAS indeed JtR, again, we don't know this. We have several witnesses who saw "a man" with a victim shortly before they died - all differing descriptions. We don't know if these witnesses all saw the same man or were simply describing clients or acquaintances who weren't the murderer but had been with the victim in their final hours. I admit the description by Joseph being that "the man" was 3 inches taller than Eddowes fits perfectly and is more reliable than some of the other height estimates. However, the main point here with regards to Levy is that we don't KNOW that the man he saw was the killer and furthermore, eyewitness testimony is notoriously unreliable. So to look at the testimony and then some 2nd and 3rd hand comments that he MIGHT have known something more is an extremely sketchy investigative practice that we ought to not be using. We also don't know enough about Joseph Levy, perhaps he was bragging or trying to impress people that he saw or knew more than he'd let on. Or maybe even if he was his cousin he was trying to screw Jacob? You could say: "Joseph Levy recognized Jacob yet didn't tell the police. However, he let on to some people that he had recognized the suspect as his cousin Jacob and wanted to protect his family and his community from coming under too much suspicion so he didn't formally identify him." This is very speculative. You could just as easily say: "Joseph Levy didn't recognize the man he saw with the victim and was honest in his testimony. His butcher's shop was very close by and his cousin was most likely a competitor. He and his cousin didn't get along and Joseph saw an opportunity to undermine his cousin by spreading rumors that he was the Ripper." We're assuming far too many things about Joseph Levy's personality, character and motivations. We don't know either way but we can't use this testimony or "information". Simply, the testimony is not reliable or credible and shouldn't be used in our profile.

Syphillis - again, far too much conjecture. How often have we really heard of a "revenge motive" in serial killers? I don't think I ever have but there is a lot of speculation with JtR on it and I'm not sure why we do that. Serial killers kill for two or three main reasons - for sexual gratification and/or to assert their control and power over their victim. They sometimes give a motive when caught that is secondary and usually more of an excuse - "prostitutes are disgusting, I was doing God's work and cleaning the streets of them" etc. Really? You were just doing society a favor? Please! We rarely give this "motive" credibility and it's really just a killer using an excuse for his sick acts. Serial killers often target prostitutes because they are vulnerable, rarely missed and easily persuaded to go with them. We rarely surmise that prostitution had an impact on their crimes and we don't assign this "revenge motive" logic to any others so to do it here doesn't make sense to me. At the time perhaps but with so much hindsight and what we now know abut serial murders that we didn't know in 1888 it is disappointing to me that the relevance of syphillis or the theory of a specifically anti-prostitute motive still persists. The theory being that Levy got syphillis, it drove him mad and he was driven to kill the part of society that destroyed his life. I personally don't buy this part of the argument as I don't think it's relevant at all. Whether JtR suffered from syphillis and it was driving him mad isn't conclusive at all so I don't know why we use this and cite it as a fact. Also, I find the idea of a man who caught a disease from a dirty prostitute taking his revenge by rummaging his hands inside the diseased cavities of her body not logical at all. To me the mutilations suggest more of a macabre fascination with womanhood than anything. Someone sexually inexperienced perhaps (or impotent) who thinks this is the only way for him to be with a woman and learn about them. That last part is MY speculation though.

Was JtR Jewish? Possibly, probably. Does that mean somebody being Jewish makes them a better suspect? Not exactly.

Jacob Levy was a Jewish butcher who wandered the streets at night. There are three factors here that I've seen people describe as "evidence". Whitechapel was a predominantly Jewish area. Being Jewish in Whitechapel doesn't mean you are more likely to be JtR, it means you are more likely to be a resident of Whitechapel. Butchers would often start work at 4 or 5am so in order to get to work on time he'd have to wander the streets at night! So would many many many working-class tradesman.

I feel like some of the things people describe as "evidence" towards Levy would have been true of hundreds if not thousands of residents. It's not even circumstantial evidence. It's just circumstance.

Anyway, I'm very impressed with a lot of the research that has gone on into this suspect and I personally do think he's viable and he fits certain profiles and descriptions. I just think we ought to be a little more careful describing some of these things as evidence. As far as I can tell this suspect's candidacy is mostly built on circumstance, assumptions and unreliable or not-credible testimony and I have yet to see anything that separates him from the other candidates. I can't rule him out but I can't get on board with anything other than "yes, he seems to fit certain profiles and was in Whitechapel at the time" but I find that same statement is true for thousands of people.

Proponents of Levy state that the fact he's a Jewish butcher with syphillis who was "probably" identified by Joseph Levy is evidence but none of these things mean that he's JtR and I'd love to see how quickly Levy's defense team would get these charges thrown out.

The potential syphilis is irrelevant, the eyewitness testimony is beyond unreliable and the fact he was a butcher neither strengthens or weakens his candidacy.

Sorry for my long post. I'm not good at keeping things short.
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