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THe Littlechild Letter.

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  • Jonathan H
    replied
    To Simon

    Yes, I doubt that Tumblety was ever cleared, in any substantive or official sense, because I think Littlechild would have mentioned this to Sims [or would that have been going too far in making a fool of his social 'superior'?]

    The 1891 agitation over Tom Sadler can be viewed as evidence that Tumblety, at some point, indeed had been cleared, or that certain people at Scotland Yard, like Anderson and Swanson, hoped that the very fact the Ripper had struck again with Frances Coles was the moment of the Confidence Man's being cleared. Until of course, that all blew up in their faces.

    From that moment Anderson seems to have committed himself to a foreign, Jewish, poor wretch rather than the foreign, Irish, affluent swine.

    To me, it is significant that when Macnaghten prepared the official version of his Report in 1894, and the suspects should have been the doctor [Tumblety] and the local Jew [Pizer] and the sailor [Sadler], instead we have Druitt-Kosminski-Ostrog -- who?

    The wording gives the impression that these were 'homicidal maniacs' who were suspected of being the fiend allegedly before they died, or were institutionalised [Sadler is mentioned but as a footnote when he was, briefly, nothing of the kind in 1891].

    In his own memoirs, Macnaghten restored himself as a source consistent with the primary ones on Coles/Sadler by conceding what he does not in that official document -- apparently sent nowhere and seen by nobody -- that Druitt was not contemporaneously suspected [but we know that Tumblety sure was?] until 'some years after' he had killed himself.

    Something missed by many people is that the Aberconway version, rightly viewed as less accurate in its details, nevertheless has the more accurate lines about the suspects being suspected 'at one time or another' [eg. potentially posthumously or post-incarceration] and that no 'proof' could be 'brought against them' [eg. due to being dead or incarcerated] rather than that no proof existed at all, not even its 'shadow'.

    By the time of the Aberconway document Druitt is well on his way to evolving into a more Tumbletyesque figure of the Edwardian Era [see: Sims]. Whether deliberate, or unconscious, it suggests that, no, The American was never cleared as Littlechild confirms, by the time the latter tries to disentangle the historical 'Dr T' from Sims' mythical 'Dr D'.

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  • Simon Wood
    replied
    Hi Jonathan,

    For either Druitt or the low-class Polish Jew to have been guilty, Tumblety had to have been innocent.

    When exactly was Tumblety cleared of suspicion?

    Regards,

    Simon
    Last edited by Simon Wood; 09-25-2010, 05:41 PM. Reason: spolling mistook

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  • Jonathan H
    replied
    J G Littlechild was a great police officer, and his 1913 letter to Sims is one of the most fascinating and priceless sources regarding the Jack the Ripper saga.

    It is not a colourful sideshow, nor a misleading 'red herring'. It is Jack the Ripper mystery; a breakthrough source which takes us right into the heart of the labyrinth of the contradictory surviving fragments.

    Via Littlechild we glimpse Scotland Yard's original chief suspect of 1888, though always there in the US media but remaining dormant to a succession of researchers who were limited by time, or funds, or geography -- or all three burdens.

    Mind you, the American Confidence Man's mythologised identity has always been right in front of us -- though this could not have been known by the public without a tip-off -- ever since Major Griffths, and then George Sims, promulgated the 'Drowned Doctor' chief suspect, which was Littlechild's essential, subversive point he was gingerly making to the famous writer.

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  • Simon Wood
    replied
    Hi Stewart,

    That's all I'm interested in, too.

    All these disparate pieces of information, however contradictory they may be to mainstream thought and belief, are part of our challenge in constructing an accurate picture of the times, events and all the characters involved.

    Regards,

    Simon

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  • Stewart P Evans
    replied
    Accuracy

    Originally posted by Simon Wood View Post
    ...
    PS. Stewart, I promise not to bring up the story of JGL bribing Dr. O'Brien.
    You 'bring up' whatever stories you wish, Im just interested in accuracy - and honesty.

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  • Simon Wood
    replied
    Hi Trevor,

    No. There's nothing much of interest in Littlechild's reminiscences.

    Regards,

    AP Wood

    PS. Stewart, I promise not to bring up the story of JGL bribing Dr. O'Brien.

    Leave a comment:


  • Trevor Marriott
    replied
    Originally posted by Stewart P Evans View Post
    As you well know, Littlechild was a Chief Inspector and Departmental head with an office in Scotland Yard. He could choose how involved he got in physical activity. However, he didn't suffer a 'nervous breakdown', just a deterioration in general health due to stress. 'I went off in my health' means his health went downhill, not that he was off work. At least that's what he indicates, but the probability is that he was merely looking for early retirement with the benefit of the new pension rules. As a ex-police officer you should understand that.
    Does he mention anything about his health in his later book of which i do not have a copy

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  • Stewart P Evans
    replied
    Early Retirement

    Originally posted by Trevor Marriott View Post
    But of course he could have been on light duties which as you know entails officers doing less strenuos jobs sometimes in different departments.
    Anyone who suffers a nervous breakdown cannot function correctly. Those who are heading for such a breakdown are not usullay able to identify it themselves and are prone to "losing the plot" in advance of the actual breakdown. When that happens they are prone to doing all sorts of out of character things.
    Does Littlechild not mention anything about this breakdown in his book ?
    There are many entries in the Special Branch registers and ledgers relating to Littlechild it wil be interesting as, and when, an if, I ever get to examine them what they reveal as they may give us a clearer picture on exactly what he was doing during the period of the murders,
    ...
    As you well know, Littlechild was a Chief Inspector and Departmental head with an office in Scotland Yard. He could choose how involved he got in physical activity. However, he didn't suffer a 'nervous breakdown', just a deterioration in general health due to stress. 'I went off in my health' means his health went downhill, not that he was off work. At least that's what he indicates, but the probability is that he was merely looking for early retirement with the benefit of the new pension rules. As a ex-police officer you should understand that.
    Last edited by Stewart P Evans; 09-24-2010, 02:45 PM.

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  • Trevor Marriott
    replied
    Originally posted by Stewart P Evans View Post
    Dear A. P. Wood, there is no evidence that Littlechild went off sick at all at the time of the murders. Sick leave was published in Police Orders and none for Littlechild appears. However, the Orders do show him to have been working in November 1888. That one reference to his disposition of health is a general reference but did not mean that he actually went off work sick with his problem. He was working up for retirement on pension.
    But of course he could have been on light duties which as you know entails officers doing less strenuos jobs sometimes in different departments.

    Anyone who suffers a nervous breakdown cannot function correctly. Those who are heading for such a breakdown are not usullay able to identify it themselves and are prone to "losing the plot" in advance of the actual breakdown. When that happens they are prone to doing all sorts of out of character things.

    Does Littlechild not mention anything about this breakdown in his book ?

    There are many entries in the Special Branch registers and ledgers relating to Littlechild it wil be interesting as, and when, an if, I ever get to examine them what they reveal as they may give us a clearer picture on exactly what he was doing during the period of the murders,

    On that note I am still waiting on a decison notice being served on me from the Freedom Of Information Office. As to what that decison is I wait with baited breath. However I canot see his being resolved quickly if they decide in my favour then the Met Police will no doubt want to take it to an appeal, likewise if they rule in favour of the met Police I will do the same.

    In any event that process is likely to take many months.
    Last edited by Trevor Marriott; 09-24-2010, 12:22 PM.

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  • Stewart P Evans
    replied
    Littlechild

    Originally posted by Simon Wood View Post
    ...
    If on his recovery and return to work Littlechild was "brought up to date" on the WM it follows that there must have been something to implicate Tumblety as the Ripper in the "large dossier concerning him at Scotland Yard"....
    Dear A. P. Wood, there is no evidence that Littlechild went off sick at all at the time of the murders. Sick leave was published in Police Orders and none for Littlechild appears. However, the Orders do show him to have been working in November 1888. That one reference to his disposition of health is a general reference but did not mean that he actually went off work sick with his problem. He was working up for retirement on pension.

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  • Johnr
    replied
    Now I'm REALLY confused...

    Boy oh Boy,.

    And I thought Alice In Wonderland was a harder book to read than Ullyses

    Anyone for a 'hot potato'? ( Littlechild liked them!).

    But James Monro didn't.

    Have you all considered just who the latter considered as chief suspect?
    (See Howells & Skinner "The Ripper Legacy".).

    JOHN RUFFELS.

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  • Jonathan H
    replied
    To John R

    Thanks, and that's why I don't think Littlechild was serious about the American suspect killing himself, or anybody believing he had. It is just my opinion, but I think he was trying to leave the humiliated Sims with something.

    To Simon

    I think the stronger argument that at some point after 1888 Tumblety, rightly or wrongly, was cleared in the minds of Anderson and Swanson is the police agitation over Tom Sadler in 1891, and the setting up of the 'confrontation' with a Ripper eyewitness -- almost certainly Lawende.

    Why bother to do all that, that is to invite more public ridicule over this case, if you still firmly believe that the best suspect is safely hunkered down in North America?

    On the other hand, we might expect Littlechild to mention this fact to a famous journalist, in case he made a further fool of himself?

    He does not.

    Also, the agitation over Sadler could be seen as official desperation to quash the Tumbelty fumble, once and for all. I don't mean in any corrupt way, just the forlorn hope that Jack is this sailor and not the Confidence Man who fled. And it failed at the first test.

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  • Simon Wood
    replied
    Hi Mike,

    Whether or not Scotland Yard cared to admit such an "embarrassment", Anderson et al had to be clear in their own minds about Tumblety. To have simply swept him under the carpet before going on to incriminate three other people would have been an act which defied any semblance of moral or civil law.

    Regards,

    Simon
    Last edited by Simon Wood; 09-23-2010, 11:23 PM. Reason: spolling mistook

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  • mklhawley
    replied
    Sorry about the typos. I wish there was an edit button!

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  • mklhawley
    replied
    Hi Simon,

    If on his recovery and return to work Littlechild was "brought up to date" on the WM it follows that there must have been something to implicate Tumblety as the Ripper in the "large dossier concerning him at Scotland Yard".
    Agreed.

    And if he was the Ripper it makes it all the more inexplicable that Anderson should as a "definitely ascertained fact" pin the murders on a low-class Polish Jew.
    Youíre talking about the same guy that purposely deceived the public by authoring the Parnell letters. My Anderson fashion, IMO he is again being deceptive.

    However, for Anderson [or Macnaghten for that matter] to have been right Tumblety must have been cleared of any suspicion in the WM.
    I disagree with this. Scotland Yard lost their man, and it would be pie in the face to admit it. Besides, ďif Tumblety was JTR, heís no longer our problem, just as long as we let American authorities know about it.Ē

    So as Inspector Andrews never went anywhere near New York in search of him how and when was his innocence established?
    Andrews had no intentions going to NYC. His intentions were to do begin the background investigation on him in Canada. Iím sure we will all enjoy Rogerís part three.

    Sincerely,

    Mike

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