Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Metropolitan Police Files

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Metropolitan Police Files

    I haven't read anything recent yet but I came across an article indicating that one of the major questions regarding the Ripper case are these sets of files that have never been released to the public. They've said it's due to keeping informants confidential. Is that accurate even after so much time has passed? What files are they talking about? Also, it mentioned new suspects, does anyone know whom those would be? Again, this is something I JUST came across and thought to run by you all

  • #2
    Hi Clark.

    I think you mean the Special Branch files? These may have been destroyed recently, I'm not too clear on what exactly has happened to them, but if not they are closed to the public. It's a bit of a misnomer to say that they were kept closed solely because of the names of informants within them. It's probably more correct to say that no one wanted current or future informants to have to wonder if their identities would be released at sometime in the future instead of being kept secret forever. However, some information has come out regarding these files.

    We know that Special Branch was asked for information about various suspects of Irish background at the time of the murders. We even have a few names (William McGrath for example) but they seem to be merely Irishmen suspected because someone at the Met thought they were suspicious. Lindsay Clutterbuck, a serving Special Branch officer, was able to look through the files for his Ph. D thesis and wrote, briefly, about files regarding the Ripper investigation. Other than saying that the case made against Tumblety by Stewart Evans and Paul Gainey was not supported in the files, he also seemingly confirmed that Macnaghten had an Irish suspect (unnamed by Clutterbuck but clues lead to John Walsh) and that is about all. We will probably never know for sure.

    Wolf.

    Comment


    • #3
      Trevor Marriott, I believe, was trying to get some files from Special Branch a few years back but was refused access based on some nonsensical objection over compromising witness identities. Apparently, to provide those files would compromise existing paid informant schemes. A cold serial killer case from over 130 years ago would prevent informants from using a system that might reveal their identities over a century later.

      Here is an online newspaper article from 2011 that explains it:
      https://www.independent.ie/world-new...-26732638.html
      "When the legend becomes fact... print the legend"
      - The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi Clark


        Wolf Vanderlinden has replied about the contents, as for their status, I believe it's the following:

        Trevor Marriott asked for access to some Special Branch ledgers, and was denied access. Not due to a nonsensical objection, but due to UK security services policy of NEVER revealing informants' identities. Why? Because doing so would impede recruiting new informants, they think.


        A few years after Marriott's access application was turned down, the ledgers were offered to the National Archives, who deemed them of little historical worth and declined them. They were therefore routinely destroyed.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Kattrup View Post
          Hi Clark


          Wolf Vanderlinden has replied about the contents, as for their status, I believe it's the following:

          Trevor Marriott asked for access to some Special Branch ledgers, and was denied access. Not due to a nonsensical objection, but due to UK security services policy of NEVER revealing informants' identities. Why? Because doing so would impede recruiting new informants, they think.


          A few years after Marriott's access application was turned down, the ledgers were offered to the National Archives, who deemed them of little historical worth and declined them. They were therefore routinely destroyed.
          Thats not quite correct, the ledgers were offered to the national archives long before I made the request to have them made public and the archives refused to have them on the basis that they were of no pubic interest.

          Although I did not view them in their unredcated form there was several references to the ripper case and suspects found in the redcated versions, but I found no smoking gun within them, A full review of my attempt to get them made public can be found in the chapter on my book on the Special Branch files along with a review of the suspects named in the files. https://amzn.to/2CKnzqt

          According to The Met Police these ledgers have now been officially destroyed in line with the policy of not retaining old records.

          Why I suggest there is no smoking gun in them with regards to the identity of the Ripper. A serving Met Special Branch officer did have full access to the unredcated records for the purpose of preparing a thesis for a doctorate. In the thesis he does refer to the handful of Ripper references found within them but corroborates the fact that there is no smoking gun nor anything to positive to point to the killer.

          These records were in effect an early police collators system with one line references to a main file appertaining to information given to the police from a varierty of sources which may or may not have been accurate.

          www.trevormarriott.co.uk

          Click image for larger version

Name:	Picture 15 Register Extract un redcated.JPG
Views:	130
Size:	34.3 KB
ID:	759249

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Kattrup View Post

            A few years after Marriott's access application was turned down, the ledgers were offered to the National Archives, who deemed them of little historical worth and declined them. They were therefore routinely destroyed.
            “Little historical worth.” Spoken like a true archivist. By whose definition were those files of no historical value? So valueless that it took an expensive court case to seem they were too important to share with the public but yet worthless historically.

            The arguments for why this happened remain nonsensical to me. Clark feel free to draw your own conclusions.
            "When the legend becomes fact... print the legend"
            - The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Trevor Marriott View Post

              Thats not quite correct, the ledgers were offered to the national archives long before I made the request to have them made public and the archives refused to have them on the basis that they were of no pubic interest.

              Although I did not view them in their unredcated form there was several references to the ripper case and suspects found in the redcated versions, but I found no smoking gun within them, A full review of my attempt to get them made public can be found in the chapter on my book on the Special Branch files along with a review of the suspects named in the files. https://amzn.to/2CKnzqt

              According to The Met Police these ledgers have now been officially destroyed in line with the policy of not retaining old records.

              Why I suggest there is no smoking gun in them with regards to the identity of the Ripper. A serving Met Special Branch officer did have full access to the unredcated records for the purpose of preparing a thesis for a doctorate. In the thesis he does refer to the handful of Ripper references found within them but corroborates the fact that there is no smoking gun nor anything to positive to point to the killer.

              These records were in effect an early police collators system with one line references to a main file appertaining to information given to the police from a varierty of sources which may or may not have been accurate.

              www.trevormarriott.co.uk

              Click image for larger version  Name:	Picture 15 Register Extract un redcated.JPG Views:	0 Size:	34.3 KB ID:	759249
              I was not aware the files were offered to the National Archives prior to your court case Trevor. That puts a different slant on things. Also Kattrup’s assertion that the files were of ‘little historical value’ is not the same as ‘in the public interests’. Of course I argue solving a cold serial murder case is very much in the public interest.

              As for the ‘smoking gun’, who honestly believed that there would be a ledger marked “our best suspects and why”? It’s another data source. Another mine to dig for nuggets of corroborating evidence. Were people paid for certain information? Could that have put a different perspective on the other information we have? No disrespect to the student doing his dissertation but did he truly know what he was looking at or what for? Imagine if some of the research talent on these sites had the same access.

              I find it astonishing people who claim to profess a love of historical facts are happy with the outcome of this whole debacle around the ledgers. Surely this is gold to you?
              Last edited by erobitha; 05-28-2021, 10:03 AM.
              "When the legend becomes fact... print the legend"
              - The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Trevor Marriott View Post

                Thats not quite correct, the ledgers were offered to the national archives long before I made the request to have them made public and the archives refused to have them on the basis that they were of no pubic interest.

                Although I did not view them in their unredcated form there was several references to the ripper case and suspects found in the redcated versions, but I found no smoking gun within them, A full review of my attempt to get them made public can be found in the chapter on my book on the Special Branch files along with a review of the suspects named in the files. https://amzn.to/2CKnzqt

                According to The Met Police these ledgers have now been officially destroyed in line with the policy of not retaining old records.

                Why I suggest there is no smoking gun in them with regards to the identity of the Ripper. A serving Met Special Branch officer did have full access to the unredcated records for the purpose of preparing a thesis for a doctorate. In the thesis he does refer to the handful of Ripper references found within them but corroborates the fact that there is no smoking gun nor anything to positive to point to the killer.

                These records were in effect an early police collators system with one line references to a main file appertaining to information given to the police from a varierty of sources which may or may not have been accurate.
                Thank you for clarifying, Trevor. Your efforts in this particular regard have certainly earned my respect.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by erobitha View Post

                  “Little historical worth.” Spoken like a true archivist.
                  Thank you (I am an archivist IRL)
                  Originally posted by erobitha View Post
                  By whose definition were those files of no historical value? So valueless that it took an expensive court case to seem they were too important to share with the public but yet worthless historically.

                  The arguments for why this happened remain nonsensical to me. Clark feel free to draw your own conclusions.
                  I would guess that historical value is assigned to files based probably on legislation authorising someone like the Keeper of the Records or whatever title to issue circulars to various levels of government detailing which files are to be kept and which to be destroyed.

                  To the extent that UK security services protocol is nonsensical, I think the only thing to do about it is for UK-based posters to contact their local parlamentarians and push for a change.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Kattrup View Post
                    Thank you (I am an archivist IRL)


                    I would guess that historical value is assigned to files based probably on legislation authorising someone like the Keeper of the Records or whatever title to issue circulars to various levels of government detailing which files are to be kept and which to be destroyed.

                    To the extent that UK security services protocol is nonsensical, I think the only thing to do about it is for UK-based posters to contact their local parlamentarians and push for a change.
                    From my knowledge of the contents I would have to say they were the most informative and invaluable records I have seen they gave the true picture as to how Special Branch was formed and how they conducted their activities in the LVP, and it is criminal that they were destroyed. When fully analayzed there were only a handful of informants names recorded and most of them were pseudonyms, so with the help of Simon Wood we effcetively proved that no living relative of those named could be traced in the 21st Century which was one of the objections rasied by the police for not releasing them.

                    For those stiill intersted I would recommend reading the thesis penned by Lindsay Clutterbuck a then serving Chief Inspector in Special Branch titled "An accident of history? : the evolution of counter terrorism methodology in the Metropolitan Police from 1829 to 1901, with particular reference to the influence of extreme Irish Nationalist activity" which is availble on line from The University of Portsmouth

                    The other issue was that the infamous Felicity Lowdes managed to view them in unredcated form and she signed and undertaking not to publish anything from them and she reneged on that undertaking and published extracts on her website which clearly aggravated the situation.

                    Had there been any smoking guns in the records I am sure Clutterbuck would have been the first to make them public

                    www.trevormarriott.co.uk
                    Last edited by Trevor Marriott; 05-28-2021, 12:56 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I genuinely get the feeling that the answers are all there but no one will get access to them. Files that are filed away and forgotten. Things that people have long forgotten are even there. I think the answers are there, it's just no one has looked, and/or they're forgotten, OR they're in plain sight and no one gets to see them or something

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        There are many cases where the case isn't "solved" per say but may as well be. For instance, the little known "unsolved" case of Charlie Chop off. There was plenty of evidence pointing to a particular suspect, so much so that he's all but assured to be the offender himself, but there wasn't enough to bring to trial or close the case. But if one reads the available information he's all but assured to be the offender. Another such example would be the so called Doodler killer from, I think, San Francisco, they had someone in custody that they were quite certain was the offender but no one would ID or speak against him. My point is, I get the feeling that there are files out there that either were in existence, or still are, that may all but point to someone being the Ripper but they didn't have the evidence to bring said person to definitively say; yeah this is the guy.

                        Comment

                        Working...
                        X