No announcement yet.

Where had the Lusk Letter Been?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Where had the Lusk Letter Been?

    I have photocopies of Sydney, Australia newspapers dated 12th April and 15th April, 1966, which carry sensational articles about the recent discovery in the basement of the London Hospital of a large file related to the Ripper murders.
    (Or at least the Eddowes murder).
    Apparently, Dr (later Sir) Francis Camps, pathologist,and his assistant Sam Hardy, discovered these things- previously unknown and long lost.
    Camps published an article in the "London Hospital Gazette" of that time.
    Unearthed were the drawings prepared for Mr Baxter's Inquest by surveyor, Mr Langham. (In a later edition a graphologist C.M.McLeod,analysed the Lusk letter); A sketch of the corpse and actual mutilations; also mentioned were the Lusk letter and even the poem (" I Am Society's Pillar * ").
    Now, I had read in Dan Farson's book that the original Lusk letter was framed and on the wall at Sir Melville Macnaghten's house;and that contemporary reward posters issued carried a facsimile of the Lusk letter printed on them.
    I believe the original Lusk letter is now in the Metropolitan Police Museum. Is that true?
    The poem, quoted, " Up and down the goddam town* ..." was 'in the possession of Dr Camps'. JOHN RUFFELS.

  • #2
    Hi John. The whereabouts of the actual Lusk letter is unknown. There's been a rumor for sometime that it rests in a private collection in Australia, but no one knows for sure.

    Yours truly,

    Tom Wescott


    • #3
      Thanks Tom

      'Thanks Tom,
      Very inter-esting..
      I wonder how one goes about discovering what is in some secretive Aussie JTR collectors private vaults?
      I made two mistakes in my first post above:-
      It was not Mr Langham whose drawings were unearthed in the London Hospital basement in 1966. But those of City surveyor Frederick Foster.
      He seems to have gone beyond his remit of preparing for the Coroner plans of the layout of the murder scene at Mitre Square.And shortest routes to Goulston Street.
      He went to the mortuary and drew an accurate sketch of the mutilations upon Catharine Eddowe's poor body.
      Needless to say, these along with rediscovered letters, caused great sensation at the time, in the London (and U.S. and Australian New Zealand and Canadian press).
      The second error by me was to say the framed letter on Sir Melville Macnaghten's wall was the Lusk letter: it was not: it was the "Dear Boss" letter. Apolgies. JOHN RUFFELS.


      • #4
        Sensational Articles

        There was a lot of press coverage in April 1966 of the finds at the London Hospital relating to 'Jack the Ripper.'

        The last solid information on the whereabouts of the original 'Lusk' or 'From hell', letter is dated 24 October 1888. Nothing of its subsequent history is known. I have never heard a rumour of it ending up in Australia, although there was a rumour that a Canadian collector had bought it in the 1960s.

        The mention of 'rediscovered letters' is altogether more vague as there is no evidence that any such letters were found at the London Hospital in 1966.

        Treat me gently I'm a newbie.


        • #5
          Stewart, I just found a reply that you made to this same question here in 2004 to Chris Scott....

          "1) The whereabouts of the original letter is not known. It has been stated that it was bought by a Canadian collector in the 60's but there is no evidence to confirm this.

          2) The letter was photographed by the City Police (on loan from the Met Police) between 20 and 24 October 1888 and returned to the Met Police (see HO 144/221/A49301C, ff. 162-170).

          3) It is not known when the original letter was last in the files.

          4) There are only two known copies of the Victorian photograph of the letter. Obviously any publication of the letter may have been produced from a photograph and not the original letter. It appeared in the London Hospital Gazette of April 1966. Most probably this was reproduced from the original photograph in the possession of the Royal London Hospital."

          Seems like that should address what is known about it to this point...I very much appreciate the detail you provide in your posts Mr E.

          My best regards.