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  • #16
    Hi RJ,
    How anyone can trust a word Anderson said on the matter really surprises me.Will return to this thread tomorrow.
    Night All

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    • #17
      Does anyone think that the police would have just allowed a person to walk away after identifying the Ripper because he refused to testify. And, if that was an issue with the witness, why would he be stupid enough to make the identification in the first place?
      This my opinion and to the best of my knowledge, that is, if I'm not joking.

      Stan Reid

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      • #18
        Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
        Natalie - What Jason is saying is that since most historians date the investigtion of Aaron Kosminski to late 1890/early 1891 (ie., shortly before his commital) Anderson's November 1889 statement of the 'failure' of the investigation is damning in regards to Cohen, but it is not daming in regards to Aaron Kosminski who, presumably, wan't even on the radar yet.
        I do think it's worth questioning the assumption that Aaron was not suspected until late 1890 or early 1891, though.

        To my mind, it rests mainly on a single phrase in the Swanson Marginalia - "In a very short time [after the 'identification'] ... he was sent to Stepney Workhouse and then to Colney Hatch ..." - which seems to place the 'identification' soon before February 1891.

        But as Swanson was obviously confused about some of the details - for example the phrase quoted above is immediately followed by "... and died shortly afterwards", which certainly doesn't apply to Aaron Kozminski, who survived for another 28 years - I think this should be treated with caution.

        I can think of two other statements that could also be pressed into service:

        (1) Anderson's "caged in an asylum", in the Blackwood's Magazine version of his memoirs. But this was removed from the monograph version, and seems nonsensical in relation to the question of whether a witness would give evidence against the suspect. If Anderson's "asylum" were Swanson's "Seaside Home", then it could hardly be Colney Hatch (or Leavesden either, for that matter).

        (2) Swanson's "Seaside Home" - on the assumption that he was referring to the Convalescent Police Seaside Home, founded in March 1890. But of course that is only an assumption ...

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        • #19
          Hi Chris,

          Originally posted by Chris View Post
          I do think it's worth questioning the assumption that Aaron was not suspected until late 1890 or early 1891, though.
          In a general sense he was, he was in the area of the police sweeps. I'm a rookie at this, and that is my point of reference, the sweeps. But no, there is no specific information that he was particularly suspected until his first mental episode. There is nothing new in that way. As to your other points, again, Kosminski and the Seaside Home by Stewart Evans will answer all those. Or at least to my satisfaction. I try to read it as a whole. The foundation laid, the bullets, the assumptions reached. I can't really take it apart and go point by point.

          Hope this helps,

          Roy
          Sink the Bismark

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          • #20
            1892

            Many have tried to make sense of the various bits of information we have been left by Anderson, Macnaghten and Swanson, as well as other senior police officers who made comment on this baffing mystery. It is a pity that these 'big three' didn't leave more and at least make it easier for us by not having so many contradictions and errors in what they do say.

            The earliest public comment made by Anderson about who the murderer might have been was in an interview published June 1892 when all he said was, "...there is my answer to people who come with fads and theories about these murders. It is impossible to believe they were acts of a sane man - they were those of a maniac revelling in blood."

            This statement reveals some frustration on Anderson's part at the subject of the murders being raised. His 'fads and theories' remark is reminiscent of the way he spoke about the "troublesome faddist" E. K. Larkins back in January 1889. Anderson would most certainly have disliked Ripperologists!

            So we can say that the series of unsolved murders of 1888 was a sore point with Anderson and an inauspicious highlight of the start of his CID career - it was still on his mind in 1910. But does this 1892 piece indicate that Anderson knew the identity of the murderer? It certainly reveals that he thought him insane.
            SPE

            Treat me gently I'm a newbie.

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            • #21
              It looks to me that McNaghten got his 3 suspects from what others may have written or from what he had been told. The Memorandum wasn't released until Anderson already had surmised Kosminski, and Druitt is called a doctor. Surely McNaghten would have at least gotten a detail right about Druitt if he had done his own research. I think we have to take his memorandum as just a comparison, via hearsay, with the viability of 3 suspects against that of Cutbush, and as nothing illuminating or particulalry reliable. And as such, the mention of Kosminski must be simply information that was passed on to him, or that he read from Anderson, and not to be used to lend credence to the Kosmisnki theory, of which I am a proponrnt at times.

              Mike
              huh?

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              • #22
                1894 - French Police Methods

                Anderson's repeated references over the years to the French, or continental, police methods as regards detection of the Whitechapel murders does indicate that he had little or no evidence against any suspect for the murders. In September 1894 Anderson remarked on the French method -

                "You should understand that the Scotland Yard method must always differ widely from the French method, because our law is so entirely different in these matters to that of France.
                "For instance," said Mr. Anderson, using our representative as the corpus vile on which to illustrate this difference in the system of the two countries, "you are walking along the streets of Paris, and are merely suspected as a criminal who has been in the hands of the Police on a previous occasion. The evidence against you may be of the flimsiest possible character - there may really be none at all - but you are seized all the same, and at once subjected to a searching scrutiny at the hands of the Police. Your measurements are taken, your finger-prints, etc., examined, and you are not released until the authorities have satisfied themselves that they have made a mistake. Such a method is repugnant to British law and feeling.
                "Here we cannot drag you to Scotland Yard and examine you in this summary fashion. If there is good reason to suspect you of being a criminal all that can be done is to charge you before a magistrate, and if the charge fails there is no way by which you can be subjected to examination for purposes of identification. We can only use our albums against you if you are remanded..." (Evening News and Post).
                SPE

                Treat me gently I'm a newbie.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Stewart,

                  Thanks for that information. Today, people talk about conservative and liberal judges, or magistrates. I should think law officers would have to be very, very sure before bringing someone before a magistrate about being a serial murderer, else their careers might be hampered or damaged. Is this your opinion? A liberal judge might require more evidence, and a conservative might be harsher toward the officials involved if the evidence fell apart after they made a commitment. Just generalizations, mind you. If the idea of near certainty was the case, surely the only way to gather enough circumstantial information was through constant observation, or to catch the killer in the act. I suspect that, although everyone wanted the fiend apprehended (except the newspapers), they all had to tread a lightly around each other.

                  This idea of observation seems to be a characteristic of interest in Kosminski.
                  I think this concept also fits well with the idea that a man can be seen to be out of his mind through observation, and enough so, that his family must commit him, but there would still be not enough evidence to state that he did something so horrifying as to murder several women. I'm certainly not going to debate the Seaside Home argument, as that goes nowhere. However the viability of Kosminski, or a Kosminski-archetype does seem to increase with the above scenario.

                  Cheers,

                  Mike
                  huh?

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                  • #24
                    We Simply Do Not Know - 1895

                    Originally posted by The Good Michael View Post
                    It looks to me that McNaghten got his 3 suspects from what others may have written or from what he had been told. The Memorandum wasn't released until Anderson already had surmised Kosminski, and Druitt is called a doctor. Surely McNaghten would have at least gotten a detail right about Druitt if he had done his own research. I think we have to take his memorandum as just a comparison, via hearsay, with the viability of 3 suspects against that of Cutbush, and as nothing illuminating or particulalry reliable. And as such, the mention of Kosminski must be simply information that was passed on to him, or that he read from Anderson, and not to be used to lend credence to the Kosmisnki theory, of which I am a proponrnt at times.
                    Mike
                    We simply do not know exactly how Macnaghten got the name of Kosminski and it certainly cannot be assumed that 'Anderson already had surmised Kosminski' and knew of him before Macnaghten. The police had a strict system of hierarchy and methods of working. Although there is an indication that Anderson may have been disdainful of Macnaghten on at least one occasion, Macnaghten joined the C.O. on 1 June 1889 as Assistant Chief Constable and was rapidly made Chief Constable and Anderson's second-in-command and confidential assistant. Theoretically, in an official working sense, both men would have been fully aware of the same intelligence.

                    It is interesting to note that the February 1894 report by Macnaghten naming Druitt, Kosminski and Ostrog was apparently communicated, probably without the names, to their mutual friend Arthur Griffiths who published the details in his 1898 book Mysteries of Police and Crime. Also worthy of note is the fact that Griffiths, in this 1898 reference, said in respect of Druitt, "...the suspicion in this case was stronger..." And this at a time when both Anderson and Macnaghten were still heading the CID at New Scotland Yard. Obviously Anderson would have seen Macnaghten's report and it would seem that Anderson felt Kosminski to be the best of three suspects they had no hard evidence against, whilst Macnaghten, and Griffiths, preferred Druitt.

                    Apropos of Griffiths, in early 1895 he wrote of Anderson, "Much dissatisfaction was vented upon Mr. Anderson at the utterly abortive efforts to discover the perpetrator of the Whitechapel murders. He has himself a perfectly plausible theory that Jack the Ripper was a homicidal maniac, temporarily at large, whose hideous career was cut short by committal to an asylum." No mention of a Polish Jew but, as far as it goes, it does roughly fit the later suspect propounded by Anderson. But was Kosminski a homicidal maniac and was his 'career cut short by committal to an asylum'? After all, Aaron Kosminki was running around free for over two years after the Kelly murder. And Anderson regarded the Kelly murder as the last Ripper killing.
                    Last edited by Stewart P Evans; 06-05-2008, 08:47 AM.
                    SPE

                    Treat me gently I'm a newbie.

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                    • #25
                      Also in 1895

                      Also in 1895 the Pall Mall Gazette of May 7 reported on a 'Whitechapel "Ripping" Case', that of the attack on Alice Graham by William Grant Grainger [sic] on February 10, 1895.

                      The important quote in this piece is as follows, "Since the cessation of the Whitechapel murders there has been no lack of theories accounting for the disappearance of the author of those crimes, "Jack the Ripper," as he is called, in consequence of a series of letters so signed, purporting, rightly or wrongly, to come from the murderer. The theory entitled to most respect, because it was presumably based upon the best knowledge, was that of Chief Inspector Swanson, the officer who was associated with the investigation of all the murders, and Mr. Swanson believed the crimes to have been the work of a man who is now dead."

                      An indicator that the police still did not know who the Ripper was in 1895, certainly not as a 'definitely ascertained fact', is the following in the same piece, "Grainger's crime so much resembled the former outrages that infinite pains were taken to trace his antecedents. Nothing was found, however, to warrant placing him upon his trial for any previous outrage..."

                      In addition to the above, the article indicated that, as with Sadler, an attempt had been made by the police to identify William Grant as the Ripper, "Added to these circumstances there is one person whom the police believe to have actually seen the Whitechapel murderer with a woman a few minutes before that woman's dissected body was found in the street. That person is stated to have identified Grainger as the man he then saw. But obviously identification after so cursory a glance, and after the lapse of so long an interval, could not be reliable; and the inquiries were at length pulled up in a cul-de-sac."

                      This is amazing for here, in 1895 as in 1891, we have the police thinking that they may have the Ripper in custody and making extensive enquiries to that effect. Not only that but, again as in 1891, subjecting him to an identification by a Jewish witness who, apparently, this time identified him. Hardly the actions of a police force who were satisfied that the identity of the Ripper was a 'definitely ascertained fact and that he was 'safely caged in an asylum.' I still think that we have in all this the basic ingredients for the Anderson/Swanson story of an identification of the murderer.
                      SPE

                      Treat me gently I'm a newbie.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Timeline

                        It may be apparent here that I am trying to draw up a detailed timeline for Anderson's quotes on the Ripper here, including other relevant material. Those interested may wish to print out this thread as it will act as a ready reference when they wish to discuss Anderson in the future. Whatever, I hope that it will be useful as an extensive and comprehensive record of the subject.
                        SPE

                        Treat me gently I'm a newbie.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          And very valuable quotes indeed, Stewart. Thanks for this.
                          Personally, I think the conclusions you suggest are very plausible ones. As usual, more information than we realize can often be obtained from the sources available, once we are prepared to look for it (as well as knowing where to look for it), and give that information some serious thought.
                          Very interesting.

                          All the best
                          The Swedes are the Men that Will not Be Blamed for Nothing

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                          • #28
                            Thanks for posting the above quotes Stewart.

                            My own opinion on Anderson is that with time he convinced himself Kosminski was the Ripper. An allegation levelled by some of his critics is that he was under immense pressure to catch JtR, thus leading him to a phantom suspect in Kosminski. For those willing to disregard everything Anderson says about JtR its interesting to note that in the 1889 article it's clear he was willing to admit that both he and the police had failed to catch JtR. He would have been under far less pressure to identify the culprit in later years. Nevertheless he did so.


                            Roy, i have read the dissertation before, thanks for pointing it out.

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                            • #29
                              All Information

                              Originally posted by jason_c View Post
                              Thanks for posting the above quotes Stewart.
                              My own opinion on Anderson is that with time he convinced himself Kosminski was the Ripper. An allegation levelled by some of his critics is that he was under immense pressure to catch JtR, thus leading him to a phantom suspect in Kosminski. For those willing to disregard everything Anderson says about JtR its interesting to note that in the 1889 article it's clear he was willing to admit that both he and the police had failed to catch JtR. He would have been under far less pressure to identify the culprit in later years. Nevertheless he did so.
                              Roy, i have read the dissertation before, thanks for pointing it out.
                              I am only trying to paint the full picture as regards Anderson. In the past key works that cite his credentials and statements have omitted the R. Harding Davis piece, and the later comments which appeared in the Daily Chronicle of September 1, 1908. It is only fair to the reader that all information is presented so that a proper assessment can be made - not an assessment that is made from selected material that omits reports that may militate against Anderson or a particular opinion of the writer. The reader may then draw his own conclusions based on the maximum amount of material available.
                              Last edited by Stewart P Evans; 06-05-2008, 02:50 PM.
                              SPE

                              Treat me gently I'm a newbie.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Natalie Severn View Post
                                Hi Brad,
                                Well ofcourse thats your business but if you state it on here then its likely it will be challenged .
                                Stewart Evans above post [9.36 am]sets the situation out very clearly and in the true spirit of scientific enquiry.He presents the actual evidence ----and the evidence has Anderson stating in November 1889 that they did NOT know the identity of Jack the Ripper.
                                Now Anderson may have been lying in November 1889,but if he was ,then how can we believe him later when he said they did know and that it was a "definitely ascertained fact"? Or if he is telling the truth in November 1889,and they did not know,what do we make of his later assertion that they had known his identity and it was a "definitely ascertained fact"?
                                I think it rather unscientific to simply "trust" Anderson"s word, given the documented evidence that exists about Anderson"s peculiar relationship with the truth , to trust Anderson"s "word" on anything during these years is possibly very unwise.He may have decided to "bamboozle "Swanson over Jack"s identity for all we know which could be the reason for Swanson"s bafflement about which suspect he was referring to---after all,no one else we know of was talking about Kosminski being Jack the Ripper in 1910!
                                best
                                Hi,

                                Okay, If Swanson's comments are not a frogery then does it not stand to reason that Anderson was telling the truth. Swanson would not have known his comments would be published years later. He would have no reason to write misleading information. It is not the credibility of Anderson that is going to prove one way or the other but is the Swanson Marginalia genuine that is the question. If it is genuine then I believe Anderson was telling the truth.

                                Your friend, Brad

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