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How realistic was it for JTR to disguise himself as a PC?

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  • How realistic was it for JTR to disguise himself as a PC?

    How realistic was it for JTR to disguise himself as a PC?

    Here today in the States we have a problem with predators disguising themselves as police officers, pulling potential victims to the side of the road and assaulting them. It is not by any means an epidemic, but is realistic enough a danger that I had to school my teenage daughter how to act if an officer in an unmarked car tries to pull her over . . . I suspect you understand.

    I feel certain that everyone on this forum is well aware of all the advantages the murderer would hold if he was actually a PC, so I won't relist them here, but is it possible for Saucy Jacky to have used such a disguise?

    When contemplating the possibility, these questions came to mind and I realized I am quite ignorant on the details of the period.

    1. The industrial revolution created a textile boom and manufactured clothing was readily available, that we know, (even the unfortunates via public charity were not suffering a want of clothing) but for that time would acquiring an unofficial PC uniform be at all realistic?

    2. Was the Metropolitan police force large enough that a PC crossing paths with a 'fellow' officer, he does not recognize, not become suspicious?

    3. By 1888 had the use of a metal badge (a 'copper') been added to the PC uniform (as already in use in the States), and would the milling of a realistic looking fake badge been possible?

    4. Was police protocol commonly enough known that the disguised murderer could act in appropriate manners not to raise the suspicion of fellow PCs, or if rousing suspicion, give the correct replies when challenged?

    5. Did CID entertain this possibly and educate/alert its PCs to the possibility?

    I know that the possibility of JTR being a PC, or that he was an active member of one of the vigilantly groups has been discussed to ad nauseam, but has there been discussion on the possibility of a 'disguised' PC?

    P.S. I don't include the possibility of a retired PC, that again would be the same as suspecting a PC, and all his answer to the above questions (1-4) would be in the affirmative.





  • #2
    There is also the very real possibility that some police officers were corrupt - i.e they were either paid off by local criminal gang bosses or blackmailed etc. And this is the problem when looking at the police investigation of the Whitechapel murders of 1888-1891. Everyone seems to think that Officer A or B has told the truth as to where they were at any given time etc. There will be several coppers looking the other way when stolen goods were being handled. The same whenever a more serious crime was being committed. Criminal gangs were prevalent and like 20th century gangsters, would have also ran their manors in 19th century London. In this climate, a serial murderer would easily get away with.....murder... There is probably more to the Ripper murders than a lone nutcase/bogeyman. Look at the gangs, the corruption, the doss house landlords etc.

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    • #3
      Quite a number dressed as women and even more in plain clothes,so it wouldn't have been very difficult.
      My name is Dave. You cannot reach me through Debs email account

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      • #4
        I think that disguising himself as a PC would have been unnecessary and unlikely - far better to look like an anonymous nobody than to stand out by wearing a uniform. For what they're worth, the vast majority of descriptions given of the possible suspects place the victims in the company of very ordinary men just before they died. The one witness description that differs - Hutchinson's - still describes a civilian.
        Kind regards, Sam Flynn

        "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

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        • #5
          A lot of the Policeman were very familiar on their beat and someone new showing up without an introduction probably wasn't the done thing. I can imagine Pearly Poll after a night out going up to a newby and in her loud voice shouting "ohh you're a new boy aren't ya? "Like ya uniform" wink wink nudge nudge.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Busy Beaver View Post
            A lot of the Policeman were very familiar on their beat and someone new showing up without an introduction probably wasn't the done thing.
            This may have been particularly true for the first two murders, before police numbers were boosted by large numbers of "new faces" from other Divisions.
            Kind regards, Sam Flynn

            "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

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            • #7
              By the time of the Double Event, plenty of PCs had been drafted in from other divisions, who wouldn't have been familiar to or with the locals or even their colleagues. When PC Long found the grafitto in Goulston St it was his first night on that particular beat, possibly his first in Whitechapel. When he left a PC from a neighbouring beat to watch the building, he didn't even know his name, referring to him only by his collar number - 150H.

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              • #8
                It would probably be the thing that if someone didn't look right, or they had no collar number/ID, then they would have been "nicked" there and then and done for impersonating a police officer. Don't think Jack was that daft. Not too sure either if anyone was done during the murders for impersonating. 50% of me thought that Jack may have been a bonafide police officer, but that's for another thread

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                • #9
                  if the ripper was a cop or ex cop he wouldn't be doing it in uniform.
                  "Is all that we see or seem
                  but a dream within a dream?"

                  -Edgar Allan Poe


                  "...the man and the peaked cap he is said to have worn
                  quite tallies with the descriptions I got of him."

                  -Frederick G. Abberline

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                  • #10
                    Beat sergeants would patrol their areas and meet their constables at pre set times, as well as impromptu meetings.

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                    • #11
                      Plus wouldn’t he look out of place soliciting a pros? I would think he might draw more attention than deflect it. Unless of course if he was possibly pretending to arrest the victim...

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                      • #12
                        I think it unlikely that JtR posed as a policeman. We are living in a cynical age where people are more aware of social deviants and the lengths they will go to than the Victorians. Also, a policeman would be more likely to drive away his intended targets than attract them. Jack's persona of well heeled possible client gave him all the power and anonymity he would probably want.
                        SCORPIO

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                        • #13
                          Prostitutes would not try to engage with a policeman in that time period. Keep in mind that Prostitution was not exactly considered to be a legal way to make money back then.

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                          • #14
                            So JTR dressed up in one uniform for the Stride murder and then donned another one for Eddowes?

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                            • #15
                              JTR didn't kill Stride her pimp did. Coroner Baxter is the cause of that misconception and he help Stride's murder get away. He couldn't bare being left out of the excitement so he over stepped his authority (again) and started doing what the police were suppose to be doing. Had he just did his job the way the City of London Coroner had Stride's killer might have been caught. He sent everyone down a rabbit hole and the media just couldn't resist a 'double event' it made JTR demonic, and people still want to believe what is obviously not true because it make JTR special. No serial killer has the courage to confront a possible witness the way Stride's killer did; serial killers are losers, bottom feeders, JTR would never have confronted Schwartz, if he had encounter Schwartz he would have broke off the attempt; no serial killer who knows he has been seen still kills. Serial killers are cowards, they confront no one, that why all of JTR's victims were such soft (weak) targets.

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