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From Hell Letter DECODED

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  • #91
    Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post
    Very few people would go to the National Archive and plough through hundreds of microfiche images on a whim.
    Before there was the internet, libraries and archives were one of my chief sources of entertainment. I can't even begin to guess the number of afternoons I spent in library basements just randomly reading through reels of microfilm, delighted when I found something weird or unexpected. These days, or course, I can do the same thing from home, a few minutes here and there, without having to dedicate an entire afternoon to my fun.
    - Ginger

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    • #92
      Originally posted by Abby Normal View Post
      Im not so quick to dismiss this letter. perhaps the ripper wrote it and the police basically ignored, so he wrote to the press agency next to get his attention.
      It's full of quotes from later letters, and whoever wrote it tried, and miserably failed, to emulate the handwriting of the Lusk letter. It's an obvious hoax by someone who had seen that letter, which wasn't available to the public until the latter part of the 20th century.
      the microfiche thing also kind of bolsters his story.
      Assuming it's actually on the microfiche. Even if it is, we'd have to determine when the paper files were scanned onto fiche, and whether there have been any opportunities for someone to have planted the bogus letter before, or during, that time.
      Kind regards, Sam Flynn

      "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

      Comment


      • #93
        Originally posted by Ginger View Post

        Before there was the internet, libraries and archives were one of my chief sources of entertainment. I can't even begin to guess the number of afternoons I spent in library basements just randomly reading through reels of microfilm, delighted when I found something weird or unexpected.
        Indeed, but the main point of my post was this: "It's just as well for us, then, that someone found this ground-breaking letter on just such a visit."

        To put that in context, Dear Boss has for over a century been held to be the original letter that gave the world's most famous serial killer his legendary name. All the sources attested to that, and all the experts were agreed on that. Therefore, what happened on that one lucky visit to the microfilm library is the ripperological equivalent of finding a signed copy of the American Declaration of Independence dated 21st June 1776.
        Last edited by Sam Flynn; 04-30-2019, 08:13 PM.
        Kind regards, Sam Flynn

        "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

        Comment


        • #94
          Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post
          It's full of quotes from later letters, and whoever wrote it tried, and miserably failed, to emulate the handwriting of the Lusk letter. It's an obvious hoax by someone who had seen that letter, which wasn't available to the public until the latter part of the 20th century.

          Assuming it's actually on the microfiche. Even if it is, we'd have to determine when the paper files were scanned onto fiche, and whether there have been any opportunities for someone to have planted the bogus letter before, or during, that time.
          or written by someone who used the same phrases and lettering so it appears in later letters again. I know that when people write when they are impaired it affects everything about how they write-more spelling mistakes, hand writing sloppy, exaggerated flourishes. Ive often felt if the ripper wrote both dear boss and from hell, he wrote from hell when he was extremely messed up. same may apply to this letter.


          but of course you totally ignored my comments and question on procedures for viewing archival material, and how easy or not would it have been to slip something in.
          because like I said, it would have been near impossible to do it when I worked in the archive room at my college.

          anyone know?

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          • #95
            Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post
            the ripperological equivalent of finding a signed copy of the American Declaration of Independence dated 21st June 1776.
            ...and finding it within a few weeks of the musical 1776 opening up on Broadway!

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            • #96
              Has The Rookie Detective left the building? He hasn’t posted since the 26th.

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              • #97
                Originally posted by Abby Normal View Post

                or written by someone who used the same phrases and lettering so it appears in later letters again. I know that when people write when they are impaired it affects everything about how they write-more spelling mistakes, hand writing sloppy, exaggerated flourishes. Ive often felt if the ripper wrote both dear boss and from hell, he wrote from hell when he was extremely messed up. same may apply to this letter.
                Certainly, people who spend a lot of time writing develop an identifiable style in their overall organization, sentence structure, and word choices. The repeated use of certain phrases is part of that.

                In a case like this, though, where you have, included in one letter, a number of phrases which appeared alone or in twos in other letters which belong to the corpus of which this one is purported to belong, that does make one wonder if it's not a pastiche. It seems to fit too well, as it were. One has the sense of a writer trying to copy a style. It may well be genuine, but from what I've seen and heard so far, I'm sceptical.

                "From Hell", on the other hand... I don't think stress, impairment, etc, accounts for the tone and execution. Not a bit of it. I think the writer is playing a character. Read the letter out loud, and read and pronounce it as you think the author would have done. To me at least, it sounds like an overacted shanty Irish villain in a stage melodrama, drunk and dissolute, gloating that he's put one over on his betters. I can picture him alone, in a room like Mary Kelly's, clad in greasy, shabby clothes, hunched over a battered deal table writing slowly and laboriously by the dim light of a tallow candle.

                Writing dialogue phonetically to mimic the way characters spoke was a staple of Victorian fiction. I think that's exactly what's going on here. I don't think the letter writer, whether the murderer or not, is stressed or impaired - I think he's having fun, revelling in playing the character that the popular imagination has assigned the Ripper.
                - Ginger

                Comment


                • #98
                  Originally posted by Abby Normal View Post

                  but of course you totally ignored my comments and question on procedures for viewing archival material, and how easy or not would it have been to slip something in.
                  I couldn't possibly comment, because I don't know the procedures of the microfilming section of the Public Records Office were in the 1960s, 70s or 80s, or whenever the paper files were finally committed to microfilm - such procedures aren't infallible, however. I know this because I have considerable experience of document imaging, whether the images are held on microfilm or as digital files.
                  Kind regards, Sam Flynn

                  "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

                  Comment


                  • #99
                    Originally posted by Abby Normal View Post

                    yup. hes pulling a classic pierre!
                    I wonder if we will ever forget Pierre?
                    G U T

                    There are two ways to be fooled, one is to believe what isn't true, the other is to refuse to believe that which is true.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by GUT View Post

                      I wonder if we will ever forget Pierre?
                      So long as people keep carrying on about him, I daresay not.
                      - Ginger

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Ginger View Post

                        Certainly, people who spend a lot of time writing develop an identifiable style in their overall organization, sentence structure, and word choices. The repeated use of certain phrases is part of that.

                        In a case like this, though, where you have, included in one letter, a number of phrases which appeared alone or in twos in other letters which belong to the corpus of which this one is purported to belong, that does make one wonder if it's not a pastiche. It seems to fit too well, as it were. One has the sense of a writer trying to copy a style. It may well be genuine, but from what I've seen and heard so far, I'm sceptical.

                        "From Hell", on the other hand... I don't think stress, impairment, etc, accounts for the tone and execution. Not a bit of it. I think the writer is playing a character. Read the letter out loud, and read and pronounce it as you think the author would have done. To me at least, it sounds like an overacted shanty Irish villain in a stage melodrama, drunk and dissolute, gloating that he's put one over on his betters. I can picture him alone, in a room like Mary Kelly's, clad in greasy, shabby clothes, hunched over a battered deal table writing slowly and laboriously by the dim light of a tallow candle.

                        Writing dialogue phonetically to mimic the way characters spoke was a staple of Victorian fiction. I think that's exactly what's going on here. I don't think the letter writer, whether the murderer or not, is stressed or impaired - I think he's having fun, revelling in playing the character that the popular imagination has assigned the Ripper.
                        Yes. I do recall being ridiculed on here once when i made the oh so goshe and what was the word? Simplistic,it was when i made the suggestion that barnett may have been the ripper when i noted that he recently got dumped by kelly and it was her heart that subsequently went missing. Oh how sophmoric of me! Well until proven otherwise i take what people to say and do to heart. Usually they speak the truth. So i guess the writer of from hell sent a stage prop heart to lisk while spouting shakespearian sonnets? No. It stank to high heaven and was a rotting human kidney, a real one, not made up by dickens or poe.

                        And kemper ripped his mothers larynx out because she bitched at him all the time and tried to stuff it down the garbage disposal. I guess thats to pendantic too.

                        serial killers write letters. They do all the time. And when theres proof like pieces of cab drivers bloody shirt, unfortunates bloody aprons, knowledge only the killer would know and the like youd only be a fool to discount them as clues because of some stupid preconceived notions of how when or why a serial killer would write said letter.
                        the logic is weird to them anyway, so just follow the other evidence .

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Abby Normal View Post

                          Yes. I do recall being ridiculed on here once when i made the oh so goshe and what was the word? Simplistic,it was when i made the suggestion that barnett may have been the ripper when i noted that he recently got dumped by kelly and it was her heart that subsequently went missing. Oh how sophmoric of me! Well until proven otherwise i take what people to say and do to heart. Usually they speak the truth. So i guess the writer of from hell sent a stage prop heart to lisk while spouting shakespearian sonnets? No. It stank to high heaven and was a rotting human kidney, a real one, not made up by dickens or poe.

                          And kemper ripped his mothers larynx out because she bitched at him all the time and tried to stuff it down the garbage disposal. I guess thats to pendantic too.

                          serial killers write letters. They do all the time. And when theres proof like pieces of cab drivers bloody shirt, unfortunates bloody aprons, knowledge only the killer would know and the like youd only be a fool to discount them as clues because of some stupid preconceived notions of how when or why a serial killer would write said letter.
                          the logic is weird to them anyway, so just follow the other evidence .
                          I don't recall the exchange. If I did say something to make you think I was ridiculing you, then I apologize without reservation. That was not my intent.

                          FWIW, I do believe, as I've said previously, that "From Hell" was probably written by the Ripper. I wouldn't go so far as to consider it a certainty, but on preponderance of evidence, that seems far and away the most reasonable conjecture. That being said, the point I was attempting to make was that whoever wrote it, Ripper or otherwise, I don't see the poor penmanship, erratic spelling, etc, as indicative of stress or impairment. I think the author is playing with his audience, and having a high old time doing so.
                          - Ginger

                          Comment


                          • I’m on the fence but believe if any letter was written by the killer it was “From Hell”
                            G U T

                            There are two ways to be fooled, one is to believe what isn't true, the other is to refuse to believe that which is true.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Ginger View Post

                              I don't recall the exchange. If I did say something to make you think I was ridiculing you, then I apologize without reservation. That was not my intent.

                              FWIW, I do believe, as I've said previously, that "From Hell" was probably written by the Ripper. I wouldn't go so far as to consider it a certainty, but on preponderance of evidence, that seems far and away the most reasonable conjecture. That being said, the point I was attempting to make was that whoever wrote it, Ripper or otherwise, I don't see the poor penmanship, erratic spelling, etc, as indicative of stress or impairment. I think the author is playing with his audience, and having a high old time doing so.
                              Hi Ginger
                              Im sorry-I don't believe it was you, sorry if I sounded like it. And I agree, I do believe too out of all the letters From Hell is most likely to be genuine. And while I also agree the author was playing with the audience, I do see evidence of impairment in From Hell-the sloppy writing, misspelled words, exaggerated flourishes, but no big wup on that one-its a minor point.

                              and I guess the main point I was making was that this sept letter-I think it deserves a name-Ill call it the "Pal Jacky" letter-was found in the archives. Perhaps it was planted, perhaps not. I just don't think it should be discounted out of hand, especially since it has similarities to From Hell.
                              Last edited by Abby Normal; 05-01-2019, 01:59 PM.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by GUT View Post
                                I’m on the fence but believe if any letter was written by the killer it was “From Hell”
                                yup agree with you there. I lean toward from hell and and or dear boss being authentic. I also think the Openshaw letter, the Winters Coming letter of 1896 and this Pal Jacky letter have a chance, but lean more toward them not being real.

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