I thought it was a comment by Monro to his son, at least as claimed by the son, rather than 'notes'?
Hard to say what, if anything the 'hot potato' was referring to? Warren's resignation perhaps? Or, Druitt and/or Kosminski being found too late? That Scotland Yard had been fruitlessly chasing a murderer who was actually dead, or fled, or locked-up, for two years -- as shown by the desperate failure of the case against Tom Sadler.
Since it 'seems' to have been a judgment Monro made during the 1888 -- 1891 Ripper hunt, perhaps it referred -- as others such as Stewart Evans have suggested -- to the embarassment of Scotland Yard's Tumblety fumble.
In my opinion, for what it is worth, Tumblety, the flamboyant fabulist, the very opposite of the modern conception of the serial killer as a nobody who blandly blends in [eg. like Druitt?] is the great 'what if' of the whole mystery.
A contemporaneous suspect whose very absence from British police sources [except of course Littlechild, in private and in old age] is like a black hole sucking eveything into its vortex.
For example, did Macnaghten want to write Druitt, Kosminski and ... Tumblety but, over-ruled by Anderson, he had to rope in Ostrog the Unlikely, as a poor, poor substitute for the real foreign, flim flam medico?
Is the 'Drowned Doctor' Super-suspect of Griffiths, and especially Sims, really a mythical overlay to hide not just Druitt but also, or even mainly Tumblety? That the police debacle over the suspicious, Irish-American Quack, becomes, by Sims, the super-efficient Ripper sleuths practically pushing a deviant, affluent, middle-aged, under-employed, male-friends-only, 'English' doctor into the Thames? That the Ripper murders actually ended with this doctor's 'exit' after the Kelly horror, and before the last day of 1888.
Was Druitt really a tragic, innocent man, who killed himself due to an hereditary mental instability? Was his identity appropriated by Macnaghten to write about Tumblety without seeming to? A front to hide the Tumblety disgrace? [Was Macnaghten, in fact, mistaken or misled into thinking that Druitt WAS Tumblety? But how could he confuse a Yank with an Englishman? Would Anderson and Swanson lie so blatantly to mislead an insufferably nosy subordinate?]
Anyhow, was Tumblety the 'hot potato'?
That the cops had the best Ripper suspect of all actually in their hands, arrested and in a cell, but without evidence and/or a confession they had to let him go. Within 48 hours the most horrific murder was committed. Tumblety was rearrested, and this time charged with homosexual offences, which they would stick.
Of course Dr T jumped bail. In NYC Inspector Andrews discreetly liaised, I theorise, with NYC police and discovered that any chance that perhaps their homicide detectives would take an interest in Tumblety was not forthcoming.
From that moment on Scotland Yard began putting the toothpaste back in the tube where Tumblety wad concerned. They had already prevented any local coverage of this suspect, by Fleet St. tabloids, by pushing the national security button.
He was never to be mentioned in any document pertaining to the Ripper inquiry. It may have even been put about that he was dead, and by his own hand.
If the above is correct then that's all pretty hot?
Hello Jonathan. Yes, those remarks were to his son and concerned, if I am not mistaken, his personal notes. He was worried over their final disposition.
Those are some interesting theories. I wonder if the "hot" part had to do with a situation, reflected in some remarks by Abberline (?), that one would need to look for the Ripper far up in society? Of course any hint of scandal concerning a "fairly good family" might represent a "hot potato."
After Kelly escaped in Jan 88, Monro inquired to Broadmoor about him. So Monro was aware of him, And police went to Cottage Lane looking for James Kelly right after the Miller's Court tragedy, although we don't know which branch of detectives. But it doesn't matter. The secret, sensitive case of the lunatic wife murderer at large, and Monro being fully aware of it, and taking steps to find him, could, in all likelyhood be his Hot Potato - no matter how you garnish it.
Hello All. I was wondering if perhaps there was a connection (not to be confused with a "recent connection"--couldn't resist) between Monro's "hot potato" and the evidence which Sir MM admitted to destroying?
Actually the Thanet Advertiser, 5 January, 1889, also without mentioning Tumblety by name, gives the same information as the Pall Mall Gazette. The Advertiser doubts that Scotland Yard believes that the Ripper had fled to America, however.
Why didn’t the majority of the British press report on Tumblety? That’s the 64,000 dollar question. Timing might have had something to do with it. The attack on Annie Farmer and the murder of Rose Mylett after Tumblety had left London (which kept the Ripper scare going in the press although the police investigation was winding down) might have coloured things.
There is also the question if Tumblety was ever arrested for the Whitechapel Murders at all. Tim Riordan has stated that he doesn’t believe he ever was. I believe he was but for a some trifling reason (Tumblety himself stated it was merely because he fit a description the police were using) and that he was questioned and then soon released. It possibly wasn’t until later that someone (Littlechild?) put arrest + foreigner + doctor + sexual psychopath (i.e. a Victorian understanding of any sexual proclivity beyond what was considered “normal”) = Jack the Ripper. In short, the British press, other than the Pall Mall Gazette and the Thanet Advertiser, might have felt there was actually no real story there.
Was this, therefore, Monro’s “hot potato?” Possibly, but only if there is a lot more evidence to show that Tumblety was generally considered a serious suspect at Scotland Yard.