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Abberline's Role In the Ripper Murders

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  • Abberline's Role In the Ripper Murders

    Not to beat this to death but of course we all know that Abberline is penned as "The head investigator" of the ripper murders, as far as the films are concerned. But I was just flipping through my copy of A To Z when I stumbled upon the entry for Abberline that said:

    "Metropolitan Police Investigator in charge of detectives on the ground in the Whitechapel murders Investigation. Often wrongly described as the officer in charge of the case (See Dr. Robert Anderson; Chief Inspector Swanson0"

    But John Eddlestons "Jack The Ripper: An Encyclopedia" States differently:

    Abberline, Inspector Frederick George
    One of the most experienced officers involved in the Whitechapel murders, he is believed by some, erroneously, to have been in overall charge of the case. Nefore the murders, in 1873, Abberline was promoted to inspector and then transferred to the H Division, where he remained until 1887, when he was transferred to A Division and then to Scotland Yard. After the murder of Mary An Nichols he was seconded (Temporarily assigned) back to the Whitechapel area because of his unprecedented local knoelwedge; once the series of deaths had been established, he was placed in charge of the detectives investigating the murders. Years later Abberline came to accept that Severin Klosowski, alias George Chapman, was Jack The Ripper


    And alongside those two books I have the "Jack The Ripper and the Whitechapel murders" By Stewart P. Evans and Keith Skinner which include the reproduced letters and police documents from the Public Record Office and they include:

    -Report by Inspector Abberline of Scotland Yard on the Nichols and Chapman Murders
    -Report by Inspector Abberline on the Kelly murder and inquest.

    And mainly my question(s) is this. Was Abberline more involved in the investigation than we know? Since he was involved what specific part did he play? We do of course know he atleast had some big involvement and afterall had one of the more knowledgable aspects in the east end.

    Regards,
    Justin
    They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night. - Edgar Allan Poe

  • #2
    Pall Mall Gazette 31/03/1903

    Hiya , Can anyone tell me or speculate what recent documentary evidence Abberline may have been referring to..."that put the ignorance of Scotland Yard as to the perpetrator beyond a shadow if a doubt." For some reason i have been reading over and over again that chapter in The Ultimate Jack the Ripper by Evans and Skinner.
    " ON A HOT SUMMERS NITE, WOULD YOU OFFER YOUR THROAT TO WITH THE RED ROSES ?"

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    • #3
      jd - Abberline was head of the Whitechapel CID (H Diviusion) for many years, and had been transferred to Scotland Yard some time before the Ripper case began. When it proved difficult, and fell between two Divisions initially, (H Whitechapel and J Bethnal Green) Abberline was sent back to the East End where he outranked the Divisional CID heads and (presumably) united the detective investigation. Abberline would then appear to have been the principal liaison between the detectives on the ground and Scotland Yard, where Swanson was the desk officer who collated all the information that came in. Abberline was sent to make important arrests and to investigate things like the "missing" medical student. He interviewed important witnesses like Schwartz. His own account of giving sixpences to prostitutes on the streets at night so that they could go to the safety of lodging houses suggests that he did some personal detective patrolling.
      It used to be believed that the closure of the files for 100 years folowing 1892 meant that Abberline's retirement marked the end of the case. But we now know that this was a bureaucratic decision taken in the 1950s and based on the ruling that sensitive case files shuld be closed for 100 years from the last active paper on the file. (So Macnaghten's Cutbush related memoranda were retrospective, not active papers).
      gizmo - we wish we knew! (Just as we wish we knew what the evidence was that Macnaghten believed lay at the bottom of the Thames, and what was the exact information that came to him leading him to decide Druitt was the most probable Ripper). Some scholars, like Philip Sugden, think Abberline's proximity to the case and decisive utteance mean that he should be seen as the most reliable police officer giving an opinion on it. Other (of whom I am one) think his confident anad erroneous assertions about the Ripper's motive for removing uteruses vitiates his testimony and makes him unreliable. It is interesting to see, a a matter of fact, how bluntly assertive practically all the policemen who commented are. Macnaghten - perhaps the most amiable of them - is very firm in avowing the number of murders the Ripper committed ("to give him is due"); Anderson is tetchy abut any disagreement with him and any public opinions he doesn't like; Littlechild, while reasonably tentative about his own suspect, is quite flat in saying "Anderson only thought he knew" (which, as I think other people have pointed out ,is a tautology: all of us only think we know what we are sure is true: it goes no distance to show one way or the other whether those who disagree with us are correct). Warren's huffing and puffing in response to Policeman X's anonymous pamphlet, harrumphing about the left wing demontrators, is more evidence of the authoritarian tendencies encouraged by high military and police rank, especially given his private liberal and intellectual personality. The sound of certainty is pretty much the sound of blimpishness with all of them, and it is vital to look at the provable accuracy or inaccuracy of what they say, and to find out everything possible about their private personalities to decide how much weight to give their opinions.
      All the best,
      Martin F

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      • #4
        Originally posted by gizmo View Post
        Hiya , Can anyone tell me or speculate what recent documentary evidence Abberline may have been referring to..."that put the ignorance of Scotland Yard as to the perpetrator beyond a shadow if a doubt." For some reason i have been reading over and over again that chapter in The Ultimate Jack the Ripper by Evans and Skinner.
        Im thinking it was some sort of bulletin or memo naming recent and or prior suspects.

        Whatever it was it seems to have been observed by an independent witness wich seems to get Abberline "off the hook" so to speak. Whether Abberline was reliable or not in some areas I think in this area he has proven himself with some sort of reasonably acceptable documentation.

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        • #5
          Hi is there any body out there that feels the same way as I do,I belive that Inspector Frederick Abberline was in fact Jack The Ripper."
          I am new to this group,so still finding my two left feet.
          Cazz

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          • #6
            Originally posted by cazzbailey View Post
            Hi is there any body out there that feels the same way as I do,I belive that Inspector Frederick Abberline was in fact Jack The Ripper."
            I am new to this group,so still finding my two left feet.
            Cazz
            Hi Cazz,

            Welcome to the boards. The answer to your question is no.

            Why do you believe that Abberline was the Ripper?

            c.d.

            Comment


            • #7
              Well having read all that I can over and over (and there is prob still a lot more),there are a lot of things that stand out to me,Abberlines first wife was called Martha,the Rippers 2nd victim was also called Martha (but was also known as Emma),Abberlines 2nd wife was called Emma the Rippers 1st victim (I belive was a Ripper victim) was called Emma
              Walking the streets all through the night into the early hours (an ideal oppertunaty to do what he wanted),in the hope of some clue he could find so he said?giving money to unfortunates to get a room to get them off the streets?(there would have been many on the streets, he would not have been able to afford such many hand outs) knowing whitechapel like the back of his hand?working on clocks etc(taking things to pieces too see what makes them tick) in a Ripper letter saying that he the ripper was right under there nose,no entries in his scrap book about the Ripper case?No children in the marriage was there a problem with Emma or did the problem lay with him,why is there so little known about him,for someone who was so great,He gained his position in the police because of the Ripper case,even though he did not solve it he was treated as if he had?there were only some things that were known only to the police and the Ripper that went into some of the Ripper letters,I belive that there were a lot of clues left by the Ripper,like when the Ripper almost severed Catherine E nose from her face,it was sort of saying (As plain as the nose on your face) to who I am, the stabbing of her eyes (eye lids) is to say (but you can not see for looking) was the sexual and the reproductive organs attact because he could not have children,was he ever abused?
              But most of all is Abberlines hand writing in my view the hand writing from Abberlines scrap book writen by him is very very similar to some of the Ripper letters,take a look at the way the word THE is written,look at the letter I and the letter E,I would say its by the same hand?
              Why he commited these crimes could be a number of things,he could have had a bipolar manic depression episode (I have seen this happen) to a very normal person,If he were taking any drugs or drinking this would also alter his state of mind,he could have wanted fame, notoriety,promotion,adulation he gained all this and more because of the Ripper case,before this case he was a Mr Nobody,and nobody would have dared point the finger at this great man.

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              • #8
                I have to say that I never thought of it like that. Also, bear in mind that Abberline was married to two women and the victims were women. Makes you think.

                c.d.

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                • #9
                  Hi Cazzbailey,

                  Which Abberline scrapbook are you referencing?

                  Regards,

                  Simon

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by c.d. View Post
                    I have to say that I never thought of it like that. Also, bear in mind that Abberline was married to two women and the victims were women...
                    ...but not at the same time, CD!

                    It's worth repeating that Abberline was only brought back to H Division after the third in the series of "Whitechapel Murders" (remember that Smith and Tabram were part of that series), and after the first largely-undisputed "Ripper" murder proper, that of Polly Nichols. Not that this rules him out completely, of course

                    That Abberline should be suspected at all is probably due to the fact that he's possibly the most "famous" protagonist in the case, apart from the Ripper himself (Gull and Prince Albert Victor notwithstanding). Abberline is certainly the police officer about whom newcomers to the case have heard the most, thanks to popular books and movies. Truth is, his role in the case - although undeniably useful at the time - has been somewhat inflated over the years.
                    Last edited by Sam Flynn; 11-05-2008, 11:15 PM.
                    Kind regards, Sam Flynn

                    "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

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                    • #11
                      [QUOTE=Sam Flynn;52485]...but not at the same time, CD!

                      Hi Sam,

                      But what if he was a closet bigamist and was unable to fulfill his lifelong dream of two wives? How incredibly frustrating for him. Way more so than some fricken fristula on the schwanz. And that frustration could have led to...well, you get the idea.

                      "I have two wives and I think it is big of me to admit it."

                      c.d.

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                      • #12
                        It was Abberline !!!

                        But is it just coincidence that Leman St police station is equidistant to Berner St and Mitre Sq. Mitre Sq also been the logical route home to Clapham from Whitechapel ?

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                        • #13
                          The Scrapbook is Abberlines Private Cuttings book,held at the Metropolitan Police Service
                          Cazz

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                          • #14
                            [QUOTE=Sam Flynn;52485]...but not at the same time, CD!

                            Talk about your "double event" !!!

                            c.d.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              It's worth repeating that Abberline was only brought back to H Division after the third in the series of "Whitechapel Murders" (remember that Smith and Tabram were part of that series), and after the first largely-undisputed "Ripper" murder proper, that of Polly Nichols. Not that this rules him out completely, of course

                              Yes but did he start this all off so as to get his feet through the door (By the way It worked)
                              Cazz

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