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Oct 10/10 Letter

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  • Oct 10/10 Letter

    This is a letter I have a facsimile of in my 'Casebook' book which has many facsimiles of newspapers, police correspondences &c. There are a few things that confuse me about it:

    The date 10/10? Why bother writing this is you've already written 'Oct? It should have read Oct /88 or something?

    I'm not convinced it's real but another thing that makes no sense to me is that he's written, (from memory) 'This is my photo of Jack the Ripper' and a drawing, and at the other side of the drawing '10 more and up goes the sponge...' what does this even mean?

    Any other thoughts on this writ?
    O have you seen the devle
    with his mikerscope and scalpul
    a lookin at a Kidney
    With a slide cocked up.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Tani View Post
    This is a letter I have a facsimile of in my 'Casebook' book which has many facsimiles of newspapers, police correspondences &c. There are a few things that confuse me about it:

    The date 10/10? Why bother writing this is you've already written 'Oct? It should have read Oct /88 or something?

    I'm not convinced it's real but another thing that makes no sense to me is that he's written, (from memory) 'This is my photo of Jack the Ripper' and a drawing, and at the other side of the drawing '10 more and up goes the sponge...' what does this even mean?

    Any other thoughts on this writ?
    Hi Tani! I was just wondering if you are referring to Pat Corwell's 'Portrait of a Killer' book as your casebook? I've found the "10 more and up goes the sponge" letter in her book but I didn't notice the 10/10 letter you were also referring to.
    Also, the "Up goes the Sponge" is an old phrase thats since gone out of use but it means "Thats it" or "It's over". We use the expression "Throwing in the towel" now-a-days, which means basically the same thing. Thanks to Paul Kearney and Deb Arif on JTR Forums for finding this out.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by RedBundy13 View Post

      Hi Tani! I was just wondering if you are referring to Pat Corwell's 'Portrait of a Killer' book as your casebook? I've found the "10 more and up goes the sponge" letter in her book but I didn't notice the 10/10 letter you were also referring to.
      Also, the "Up goes the Sponge" is an old phrase thats since gone out of use but it means "Thats it" or "It's over". We use the expression "Throwing in the towel" now-a-days, which means basically the same thing. Thanks to Paul Kearney and Deb Arif on JTR Forums for finding this out.
      It's a book by Richard Jones and contains many facsimiles. One is of a letter dated Oct 10/10 and contains this phrase as well as a drawing. It speaks about the author (saying he's JtR) having been in a pub and 'What fun to think the police were waiting for me'. I just found the date odd and wondered also about the contents.

      https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jack-Ripper.../dp/023300257X
      Last edited by Tani; 02-27-2019, 03:32 PM.
      O have you seen the devle
      with his mikerscope and scalpul
      a lookin at a Kidney
      With a slide cocked up.

      Comment


      • #4
        The letter,
        Attached Files
        Last edited by Tani; 02-27-2019, 03:35 PM.
        O have you seen the devle
        with his mikerscope and scalpul
        a lookin at a Kidney
        With a slide cocked up.

        Comment


        • #5
          These are two different letters, I think. Both feature in Letters from Hell.
          The Oct 10/10/88 letter had a clipping from a newspaper pasted at the top, saying HAVE YOU SEEN THE "DEVIL".
          The "photo" of Jack is from a letter dated 12 November, and as Red says, the phrase "up goes the sponge" is an early version of "throw in the towel". Both stem from boxing and mean to quit.
          Interestingly, I believe there was a prize fighter known as George "Sugar" Hutchinson. Witness George Hutchinson went to the police on 12 Nov. Coincidence?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Joshua Rogan View Post
            These are two different letters, I think. Both feature in Letters from Hell.
            The Oct 10/10/88 letter had a clipping from a newspaper pasted at the top, saying HAVE YOU SEEN THE "DEVIL".
            The "photo" of Jack is from a letter dated 12 November, and as Red says, the phrase "up goes the sponge" is an early version of "throw in the towel". Both stem from boxing and mean to quit.
            Interestingly, I believe there was a prize fighter known as George "Sugar" Hutchinson. Witness George Hutchinson went to the police on 12 Nov. Coincidence?
            This is clearly all one postcard though. I would find it odd for them to have printed it this way with two together and considering these are all facsimiles all the letters are separate. The handwriting isn't precisely the same but neither is mine at times!
            Last edited by Tani; 02-27-2019, 03:59 PM.
            O have you seen the devle
            with his mikerscope and scalpul
            a lookin at a Kidney
            With a slide cocked up.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Tani View Post

              This is clearly all one postcard though. I would find it odd for them to have printed it this way with two together and considering these are all facsimiles all the letters are separate. The handwriting isn't precisely the same but neither is mine at times!
              Hey, you're right! Bang goes my Hutchinson the boxer theory.
              ​​​​They do look like photos of one actual letter. These are listed as separate letters with different dates in my book, is this a mistake in Letters from Hell?
              ​​​​​​
              Also, I was referring to another letter marked Oct 10/10, so either this was a common way of writing the date, a common error (I've probably written something similar myself) or the same writer.

              PS didn't see your post until I'd posted mine.
              Last edited by Joshua Rogan; 02-27-2019, 04:10 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Joshua Rogan View Post

                Hey, you're right! Bang goes my Hutchinson the boxer theory.
                ​​​​They do look like photos of one actual letter. These are listed as separate letters with different dates in my book, is this a mistake in Letters from Hell?
                ​​​​​​
                Also, I was referring to another letter marked Oct 10/10, so either this was a common way of writing the date, a common error (I've probably written something similar myself) or the same writer.
                I do not know if it is a mistake or if this facsimile is a mongrel, but I have two and both are the same. I have not seen the other letter you refer to. Photos?
                O have you seen the devle
                with his mikerscope and scalpul
                a lookin at a Kidney
                With a slide cocked up.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Tani View Post
                  The letter,
                  There is an odd phrase in this letter that also crops up in a letter sent on 24th September 1888. As you can see the rather good sketch is referred to, rather strangely IMO as a 'photo'. In a letter dated 24th Sept to Charles Warren there is a crude sketch of a knife with phrase 'photo of the knife' (here page 19 https://webarchive.nationalarchives....ktheripper.pdf. Just seems a very odd phrase to use - is it the same person?

                  This person also seems to have written their name and address and blacked it out in the shape of two coffins. The lower coffin does appear to have text poking out as if something had been written and then blacked out. I wonder if there is any way to scan/retrieve what is under there like they do with old paintings to reveal earlier work? The writer also indicates they were looking specifically for Chapman.


                  Last edited by Aethelwulf; 04-11-2023, 04:35 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Aethelwulf View Post

                    There is an odd phrase in this letter that also crops up in a letter sent on 24th September 1888. As you can see the rather good sketch is referred to, rather strangely IMO as a 'photo'. In a letter dated 24th Sept to Charles Warren there is a crude sketch of a knife with phrase 'photo of the knife' (here page 19 https://webarchive.nationalarchives....ktheripper.pdf. Just seems a very odd phrase to use - is it the same person?

                    This person also seems to have written their name and address and blacked it out in the shape of two coffins. The lower coffin does appear to have text poking out as if something had been written and then blacked out. I wonder if there is any way to scan/retrieve what is under there like they do with old paintings to reveal earlier work? The writer also indicates they were looking specifically for Chapman.


                    Here are the two 'photos'. Looking at the handwriting of both and the weird reference to a sketch as a photo I'm inclined to think the same person wrote both. Interestingly though, the author of the 10th October letter appears to have changed their handwriting from the main letter to the text around the sketch - notably the two different signatures of 'Jack the Ripper'.

                    Click image for larger version

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                    • #11
                      Does anyone know where this letter was posted from/postmark? Looking up the thread it sounds like Letters from Hell has this mistakenly down as two separate letters.

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