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Could the Whitechapel Murderer have been a Police Officer?

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  • Meet Ze Monster
    replied
    Originally posted by Wickerman View Post
    If he was a Met. constable, who killed Eddowes on City turf?
    another good reason to discount a cop. I get that we're all speculating etc... which is part of the fun but this one doesn't stand up to scrutiny yrev well. Next thing people will be saying it was Lusk!!

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  • Wickerman
    replied
    If he was a Met. constable, who killed Eddowes on City turf?

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  • caz
    replied
    I think the killer was someone who could come and go as he pleased, and would not have been missed by family or work colleagues, for example, whenever he was out by himself looking for opportunities. I would tend not to suspect those in regular work, whose hours were long or unsocial, and had to be accounted for. A man has to sleep and eat!

    This thread made me think of the terrifying ordeal of Sarah Everard, who was murdered by a serving police officer who used Covid lockdown rules to put her under false arrest and get her into his vehicle without a struggle. I don't know what she could have done to defend herself, even if she knew something wasn't right with the arrest. You don't argue with a copper - unless his name is Trevor and he's discussing Eddowes's apron.

    In theory, I suppose the Whitechapel Murderer could have done something similar and told a victim she was under arrest - for loitering, begging, soliciting or being drunk in charge of an invisible fire engine. But these women's circumstances were very different, and such tactics probably weren't necessary.

    Love,

    Caz
    X

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  • Damaso Marte
    replied
    I agree with the consensus: it is extremely unlikely that the murders were committed by a police officer on their beat or in their uniform. Whether the killer did or did not work as a police officer while not ripping is a different question and one we simply cannot answer.

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  • Meet Ze Monster
    replied
    Originally posted by Greenway View Post

    I agree the women would most likely suggest the spot to do business. I would think the women would know the local police very well, but non to my knowledge have extensive arrest records for prostitution, despite being quite busy by most accounts.
    A conspiracy theorist might say; these killings were an attempt by the authorities to clean up the streets or scare the prostitutes off the streets anyway. It's a bit too deep throat for me though! If a policeman was suspected and it was even discovered and covered up by the top fuzz, then wow, you've got another terrible Ripper movie waiting to happen! I can't really subscribe to the copper theory, though because this wasn't a Miss Marple mystery and I doubt anyone in charge of that investigation had any clue. Warren even resigned over it, which makes me think surely he would have sooner exposed the cover up and cleared his own name than surrender his post?

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  • Greenway
    replied
    Originally posted by Meet Ze Monster View Post

    It's not impossible. But truthfully, the only real suspicion over a policeman Ripper lies in the apparent ease of escape. I still maintain that the killer was led by the women who were very knowledgable of the beats, and really, his attacks where not entirely uninterrupted if we consider of Nichols' and Stride's in particular.

    I agree the women would most likely suggest the spot to do business. I would think the women would know the local police very well, but non to my knowledge have extensive arrest records for prostitution, despite being quite busy by most accounts.

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  • Meet Ze Monster
    replied
    Originally posted by Michael W Richards View Post

    What about any one of the plain clothed officers working during that period? For example, the three detectives searching alleys near Mitre Square the Double Event night, the detectives working under Abberline, detectives working for HMG on Parnell business? Lots of policemen who didnt have to be visually a give away, but some of who the street walkers might have known. Someone who doesnt on the surface present a threat. Someone they thought was just a potential client.

    It reminds me of DeSalvos method of gaining access to some women....uniforms, pretending to be someone who was supposed to be there doing their job.
    It's not impossible. But truthfully, the only real suspicion over a policeman Ripper lies in the apparent ease of escape. I still maintain that the killer was led by the women who were very knowledgable of the beats, and really, his attacks where not entirely uninterrupted if we consider of Nichols' and Stride's in particular.


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  • bolo
    replied
    Hi Michael,

    Originally posted by Michael W Richards View Post

    What about any one of the plain clothed officers working during that period? For example, the three detectives searching alleys near Mitre Square the Double Event night, the detectives working under Abberline, detectives working for HMG on Parnell business? Lots of policemen who didnt have to be visually a give away, but some of who the street walkers might have known. Someone who doesnt on the surface present a threat. Someone they thought was just a potential client.

    It reminds me of DeSalvos method of gaining access to some women....uniforms, pretending to be someone who was supposed to be there doing their job.
    after I had read Henry Mayhew's London Labour and the London Poor, my views on a Jack the Copper had changed quite a bit. No matter if it was costermongers, water cress girls, chimney sweeps, streetwalkers, eel and pea soup vendors or coffee stall keepers, they all had one thing in common: A not very high opinion on the police force, to put it mildly. There also were areas in Whitechapel, mostly of the black variety according to the Booth map, where even policemen did not dare to go alone, so I think a policeman in uniform or plain clothes would not have had any advantages over normal people there in terms of getting in/around/away.

    Gre,

    Boris

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  • Michael W Richards
    replied
    Originally posted by Meet Ze Monster View Post
    I think the women knew the police beats, rather than the Ripper. It's pretty certain that they chose the location where they met their end. I did toy with the idea of a PC Ripper also, but a couple of points kind of turned me off it. 1) A uniformed police officer would not be approached by a prostitute just as one who approaches a working girl would raise suspicion and distrust. The Ripper needed to appear as a regular Joe to acquire his targets. 2) a plain clothes officer would be admittedly harder to discount, but as far as I'm aware, plain clothes PCs only turned up in response to the killings. I think the idea of a PC Ripper evaporates quickly under these proposals.
    What about any one of the plain clothed officers working during that period? For example, the three detectives searching alleys near Mitre Square the Double Event night, the detectives working under Abberline, detectives working for HMG on Parnell business? Lots of policemen who didnt have to be visually a give away, but some of who the street walkers might have known. Someone who doesnt on the surface present a threat. Someone they thought was just a potential client.

    It reminds me of DeSalvos method of gaining access to some women....uniforms, pretending to be someone who was supposed to be there doing their job.

    Leave a comment:


  • Greenway
    replied
    Originally posted by Sunny Delight View Post
    Nothing can ever be ruled out I suppose. I have been wondering though if the reason the Ripper got though the whole period was due to an ability to show his badge, to anyone who sought to stop him and question him as he made his escape? Knowledge of patrols would be important but I am sure his victims would have known them as well- part of the job. The only other possibility is that the Ripper was just miraculously lucky. Or maybe by the time the alarm was raised he was already back home in the centre of Whitechapel. On the night of the double event how did he escape has always been my main question and the only option rather than miraculously lucky is he was a Police Officer who could produce his badge to get home scot free.
    I think he had a couple of advantages - the poorly lit streets combined with the 'warren' like geography would mean that he could quickly disappear at a seconds warning. And people (especially police officers) wore shoes that would be audible on the cobbled streets from a distance. If the killer wasn't making much noise and listening for footsteps I think it would be quite hard to catch him in the act.

    I suspect he lived very close by and was very quickly off the streets.
    Last edited by Greenway; 10-20-2021, 05:06 PM.

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  • Sunny Delight
    replied
    Nothing can ever be ruled out I suppose. I have been wondering though if the reason the Ripper got though the whole period was due to an ability to show his badge, to anyone who sought to stop him and question him as he made his escape? Knowledge of patrols would be important but I am sure his victims would have known them as well- part of the job. The only other possibility is that the Ripper was just miraculously lucky. Or maybe by the time the alarm was raised he was already back home in the centre of Whitechapel. On the night of the double event how did he escape has always been my main question and the only option rather than miraculously lucky is he was a Police Officer who could produce his badge to get home scot free.

    Leave a comment:


  • Meet Ze Monster
    replied
    I think the women knew the police beats, rather than the Ripper. It's pretty certain that they chose the location where they met their end. I did toy with the idea of a PC Ripper also, but a couple of points kind of turned me off it. 1) A uniformed police officer would not be approached by a prostitute just as one who approaches a working girl would raise suspicion and distrust. The Ripper needed to appear as a regular Joe to acquire his targets. 2) a plain clothes officer would be admittedly harder to discount, but as far as I'm aware, plain clothes PCs only turned up in response to the killings. I think the idea of a PC Ripper evaporates quickly under these proposals.

    Leave a comment:


  • Losmandris
    replied
    I think the nature of what it was to be a policeman back then compared to now makes this unlikely. Of course possible but I somehow suspect the women who worked the streets would have recognised a copper from a mile off. Would have made no difference if he was plain clothed, they would have steered well clear.

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  • Herlock Sholmes
    replied
    Originally posted by bolo View Post
    Hey Herlock,



    you don't have to be an ex-policeman to know about beats in a certain area, I guess it wasn't too hard to observe constables on their beats and note the timings down over the course of a few weeks in order to learn about beat changes, etc.

    Then again, being friends with a member of the police is another matter that might be worth discussing. Even though it might be theoretically feasible, I do not believe in a Jack the Copper, it brings in more problems than it solves.

    Gre,

    Boris
    Hi Boris,

    True enough and I’m certainly not proposing that he was a police officer or ex-police officer but, like many things, it’s a possibility.

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  • bolo
    replied
    Hey Herlock,

    Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post
    Hi Sunny and Boris,

    Very little is impossible in this case so I’d certainly say that the possibility exists. Maybe it was a Constable who’d been dismissed from the force? He’d have possessed the knowledge of police beats and known the streets and as the Mitre Square murder was a closest run thing, as far as avoiding running into a PC, maybe a former City Of London PC? I don’t know if anyone’s ever researched sacked COL police officers?
    you don't have to be an ex-policeman to know about beats in a certain area, I guess it wasn't too hard to observe constables on their beats and note the timings down over the course of a few weeks in order to learn about beat changes, etc.

    Then again, being friends with a member of the police is another matter that might be worth discussing. Even though it might be theoretically feasible, I do not believe in a Jack the Copper, it brings in more problems than it solves.

    Gre,

    Boris

    Leave a comment:

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