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  • Robert Lees

    With the sad passing of Donald Sutherland today it reminded me of a point. Was Robert Lees at all involved in anything at all in the Jack The Ripper murders? I know he has been added to the Hollywood versions but was wondering if any evidence shows any link at all. Thanks.


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  • #2
    Your post is logged at 8.10. At 8.08 I got a text from my brother telling me that Donald Sutherland had died. Very sad. I think that my first memory of him was in Kelly’s Heroes where he played Oddball.
    Regards

    Sir Herlock Sholmes.

    “A house of delusions is cheap to build but draughty to live in.”

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Geddy2112 View Post
      With the sad passing of Donald Sutherland today it reminded me of a point. Was Robert Lees at all involved in anything at all in the Jack The Ripper murders? I know he has been added to the Hollywood versions but was wondering if any evidence shows any link at all. Thanks.

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      There were these three entries in his diaries mentioning his going to the police to offer to help.


      “Tuesday 2nd October 1888: Offered services to Police to follow up East End murders—called a fool and lunatic. Got trace of man from spot near Berner Street.”

      “Wednesday 3rd October 1888: Went to City Police again—called a madman and fool.”

      “Thursday 4th October 1888: Went to Scotland Yard—same result, but they promised to write me.”



      I’m unsure where I got these from but something tells me that they might have been posted at some point by Simon Wood (my apologies if someone else posted them)

      There was also a story in an American newspaper (Chicago maybe?) mentioning Lees identifying Gull as the ripper but I seem to remember Melvyn Harris being involved in debunking this story? The name Howard as a surname is in my kind too but I’m not certain. I can check tomorrow unless someone else has access to the details. It’s been a while.
      Regards

      Sir Herlock Sholmes.

      “A house of delusions is cheap to build but draughty to live in.”

      Comment


      • #4
        St. Louis Globe-Democrat, 28 April 1895, page 8

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        • #5
          Here's a much later account, that purports to be from Lees himself.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post

            There were these three entries in his diaries mentioning his going to the police to offer to help.


            “Tuesday 2nd October 1888: Offered services to Police to follow up East End murders—called a fool and lunatic. Got trace of man from spot near Berner Street.”

            “Wednesday 3rd October 1888: Went to City Police again—called a madman and fool.”

            “Thursday 4th October 1888: Went to Scotland Yard—same result, but they promised to write me.”



            I’m unsure where I got these from but something tells me that they might have been posted at some point by Simon Wood (my apologies if someone else posted them)

            There was also a story in an American newspaper (Chicago maybe?) mentioning Lees identifying Gull as the ripper but I seem to remember Melvyn Harris being involved in debunking this story? The name Howard as a surname is in my kind too but I’m not certain. I can check tomorrow unless someone else has access to the details. It’s been a while.
            Hi Herlock,

            The Howard reference was to the doctor that allegedly spilled the beans in the USA whilst under the influence of too much alcohol. However, neither he nor Lees revealed the name of the Prominent West End Doctor involved, who was supposedly interred in a private asylum in Islington while a fake funeral was conducted with the body buried at Kensal Green Cemetery. Gull was buried in the churchyard of his childhood home at Thorpe-le-Soken, near Colchester, Essex.

            There is an index of famous people buried at Kensal Green cemetery here:



            However the closest medical candidate would seem to be Sir William McKenzie MD KCB CSI (1811-1895), unless the doctor concerned is not considered to be a famous as has been imagined, or his name is to be found under a different category.

            The other problem with Lees' story is that the murders he describes don't quite reconcile with the recorded details of the actual murders, and number around eighteen. I suppose that we might give a nod and a wink to the possibility that some murders were not reported to the press by the police, but would be, IMO, drawing a very long bow.

            Of course, Henry Gawen Sutton (Dave's suspect) was reported to have died on 9 June 1891 at age 54, and Lees' suspect was said to be a Jekyll/Hyde character - I'll let Dave run with that one.

            Cheers, George
            It's sad that governments are chiefed by the double tongues. There is iron in your words of death for all Comanche to see, and so there is iron in your words of life. It shall be life. - Ten Bears

            All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. - Bladerunner

            ​Disagreeing doesn't have to be disagreeable - Jeff Hamm

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            • #7
              Thanks to Belloc and George for filling in the background.
              Regards

              Sir Herlock Sholmes.

              “A house of delusions is cheap to build but draughty to live in.”

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