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Littlechild Ltr Survey Complete - Absent Bias?

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  • As we all know...

    Originally posted by Simon Wood View Post
    ...
    "My visitor handed me a written statement in which his conclusions were clearly set forth, together with the facts and calculations on which they were based; and, I am bound to say, this theory—for theory it, of necessity, is—struck me as being remarkably ingenious and worthy of the closest attention.
    "Besides the written statement, this gentleman showed me copies of a number of letters that he had received from various persons in response to the representations he had made. It appeared that he had communicated his ideas to the proper authorities, and that they had given them every attention.
    "Of course, the theory set forth by my visitor may be a correct one or it may not. Nothing, however, has occurred to prove it fallacious during the many months that have elapsed since the last of this terrible series of crimes.
    "As I have said, I cannot take the reader into my confidence over this matter, as, possibly, in doing so I might be hampering the future course of justice. One statement, however, I may make, and, inasmuch as it is calculated to allay public fears, I do so with great pleasure. The cessation of the East End murders dates from the time when certain action was taken as a result of the promulgation of these ideas."
    ENDS
    February 1891—Farquharson.
    ...
    Simon
    As we all know (or should do), the visitor referred to here was the persistent early Ripperologist E.K. Larkins, Anderson's 'troublesome busybody' with his Portuguese sailor(s) theory.
    SPE

    Treat me gently I'm a newbie.

    Comment


    • Hi Stewart,

      I said you knew a thing or three.

      I didn't know that, so excuse me while I stand in the corner for the rest of the lesson.

      Regards,

      Simon
      Never believe anything until it has been officially denied.

      Comment


      • To be quite honest...

        Originally posted by Simon Wood View Post
        Hi Stewart,
        I said you knew a thing or three.
        I didn't know that, so excuse me while I stand in the corner for the rest of the lesson.
        Regards,
        Simon
        To be quite honest Simon I am heartily sick of Ripperology and the nonsense it carries with it. I may soon retire from the subject altogether and let it go its merry way.
        SPE

        Treat me gently I'm a newbie.

        Comment


        • To Simon

          Can you cut and paste what you are talking about re: Sims as I cannot find what you are referring to? Or, show me the sources you are referring to so I can look them up myself.

          I hope you are right?

          To Lynn

          Oh, for sure and if Macnaghten had given us more on this there would be no 'Ripperology' at all.

          This is about all we have, and it understndably inspires multiple interpretations:

          'The Bristol Times and Mirror', Feb 11th, 1891

          "I give a curious story for what it is worth. There is a West of England member who in private declares that he has solved the mystery of 'Jack the Ripper.' His theory - and he repeats it with so much emphasis that it might almost be called his doctrine - is that 'Jack the Ripper' committed suicide on the night of his last murder. I can't give details, for fear of a libel action; but the story is so circumstantial that a good many people believe it. He states that a man with blood-stained clothes committed suicide on the night of the last murder, and he asserts that the man was the son of a surgeon, who suffered from homicidal mania. I do not know what the police think of the story, but I believe that before long a clean breast will be made, and that the accusation will be sifted thoroughly."

          Notice claims that the writer claims to have witheld the libellous details.

          Except for one more referenc the following year -- in which Farquharason was named -- the story vanished (an 1892 article by another Tory backbencher who claims that the 'West of England' MP story is probably wrong since a top police source alleges that they are watchihg a chief suspect day and night, and have prevented more muders.)

          Dagonet (Sims) in 'The Referee', Feb 16th, 1902

          'The homicidal maniac who

          Shocked the World as Jack the Ripper

          had been once - I am not sure that it was not twice - in a lunatic asylum. At the time his dead body was found in the Thames, his friends, who were terrified at his disappearance from their midst, were endeavouring to have him found and placed under restraint again.'


          And on April 5th 1903 Sims wrote I think a veiled version of Macnaghten meeting with the Druitts, or a Druitt in 1891 -- not that Sims knew this:

          'A little more than a month later the body of the man suspected by the chiefs at the Yard, and by his own friends, who were in communication with the Yard, was found in the Thames. The body had been in the water about a month.'


          And again on Sept 22nd 1907 in [B]Lloyds Weekly -- My Criminal Museum: Who was Jack the Ripper? Sims refers to this encounter between Mac and the family in veiled form:

          'The doctor had been an inmate of a lunatic asylum for some time, and had been liberated and regained his complete freedom.

          After the maniacal murder in Miller's-court the doctor disappeared from the place in which he had been living, and his disappearance caused inquiries to be made concerning him by his friends who had, there is reason to believe, their own suspicions about him, and these inquiries were made through the proper authorities.


          'A month after the last murder the body of the doctor was found in the Thames. There was everything about it to suggest that it had been in the river for nearly a month.'

          Then Macnaghten came from behind his famous crony and began to finally speak and write about the case, in public, himself.

          Washington Post (Washington, D.C.)
          4 June 1913


          'FATE OF JACK THE RIPPER
          Retiring British Official Says Once Famous Criminal Committed Suicide
          London Cable to the New York Tribune
          The fact that "Jack the Ripper", the man who terrorized the East End of London by the murder of seven women during 1888, committed suicide, is now confirmed by Sir Melville Macnaughten, head of the criminal investigation department of Scotland Yard, who retired on Saturday after 24 years' service.

          Sir Melville says:

          "It is one of the greatest regrets of my life that "Jack the Ripper" committed suicide six months before I joined the force.

          That remarkable man was one of the most fascinating of criminals. Of course, he was a maniac, but I have a very clear idea as to who he was and how he committed suicide, but that, with other secrets, will never be revealed by me."


          (interestingly in 'The Daily Mail' version of this story, Mac claims that he started at the Force on May 24th 1889. In his 1914 memoirs he denies ever saying what he did say, that he regreeted being 'six months too late to have a go at' hunting the fiend. But in that book he moves the date of his start to June 1st 1889 -- which is virtually six months to the day that Druitt took his own life?)

          With this more candid version if you think about what he was up to with Sims in the previous fourteen years:

          Pittsburgh Press
          6 July 1913


          'Following out his observation regarding the necessity of the ideal detective "keeping his mouth shut," Macnaughton (sic) carried into retirement with him knowledge of the identity of perhaps the greatest criminal of the age, Jack the Ripper, who terrorized Whitechapel in 1888 by the fiendish mutilation and murder of seven women.
          "He was a maniac, of course, but not the man whom the world generally suspected," said Sir Melville. "He committed suicide six months before I entered the department, and it is the one great regret of my career that I wasn't on the force when it all happened. My knowledge of his identity and the circumstances of his suicide came to me subsequently. As no good purpose could be served by publicity, I destroyed before I left Scotland Yard every scrap of paper bearing on the case. No one else will ever know who the criminal was - nor my reasons for keeping silent."



          And in 1914. 'Mac' somewhat undercut 'Tatcho's' tale:

          Sir Melville Macnaghten
          'Days of My Years', Chapter IV: 'Laying the Ghost of Jack the Ripper',

          'Although, as I shall endeavour to show in this chapter, the Whitechapel murderer, in all probability, put an end to himself soon after the Dorset Street affair in November i888, certain facts, pointing to this conclusion, were not in possession of the police till some years after I became a detective officer.'

          I am just putting together two bits of data:

          Mac's information received 'some years after ...', plus Sims' claims that the 'friends' (eg. family) were in touch with the Yard on this matter -- and for 'Yard' read just Mac and all his proprietorial assertions ('... came to me subsequently ...').

          Comment


          • Hi Stewart,

            You'd be sorely missed.

            Regards,

            Simon
            Never believe anything until it has been officially denied.

            Comment


            • good

              Hello Jonathan. Thanks.

              "Oh, for sure and if Macnaghten had given us more on this there would be no 'Ripperology' at all."

              But perhaps that's a GOOD thing? (heh-heh)

              Cheers.
              LC

              Comment


              • Hi Jonathan,

                My fault. Mea Culpa.

                On 29th March Sims was quoting Abberline from the 24th March, not 31st March 1903.

                Put it down to the onset of Old-Timers disease.

                Regards,

                Simon
                Never believe anything until it has been officially denied.

                Comment


                • Dear Simon

                  No need to apologise, especially to me: eg. the Druitt Leper.

                  I make mistakes all the time.

                  For example Stewart is probably right and I am probably wrong about the 'Balfour' bit.

                  I would still argue that, as a textual comparison, this is still a tantalizing co-incidence:

                  'Sir Melville Macnaghten appears to identify the Ripper with the leader of a plot to assassinate Mr. Balfour at the Irish Office.’ (Browne, 1956)

                  'I incline to the belief that the individual . . . committed suicide on or about the 10th of November 1888, after he had knocked out a Commissioner of Police and very nearly settled the hash of one of Her Majesty's principal Secretaries of State.' (Macnaghten, 1914)

                  And the 'hash' was not 'settled', so to speak, in either case.

                  My one, tiny triumph is finally finding an example of Mac (via Sims) knowing something outside of P.C. Moulson's Report (eg. other than the train pass) which is true of the real Montie.

                  That his brother was searching for him, which becomes veiled as the friends searching for the doctor.

                  Most people believe that this so-called 'triumph' is very, very, very tiny indeed ...

                  Comment


                  • Hi Jonathan,

                    There was certainly no shortage of reported plots to assassinate Balfour.

                    And he was a guest at the Lord Mayor's banquet on 9th November 1888.

                    Regards,

                    Simon
                    Never believe anything until it has been officially denied.

                    Comment


                    • How fascinating Simon!

                      Balfour was at the Lord Mayor's Day celebrations, spoilt by the fiend's most appalling murder, and at some future point Mac seems to have connected the murderer to a plot to kill the minister of state?

                      Comment


                      • Hi Jonathan,

                        Yep, them's the facts.

                        I've often wondered if LMD may have been Balfour's closest call.

                        Regards,

                        Joe Friday
                        Never believe anything until it has been officially denied.

                        Comment


                        • Jaded

                          Originally posted by Simon Wood View Post
                          Hi Stewart,
                          You'd be sorely missed.
                          Regards,
                          Simon
                          Simon, thank you for that, appreciated.

                          I am old, jaded, cynical and have little stomach for the fight. There are some enthusiastic young whipper-snappers about and I really don't wish to put them off as they do some great work. I think that Jonathan's approach is great and brings much new thinking and often causes me to re-assess my ideas. I don't want to put anyone off with my sometimes (unintended) waspy responses, but I often feel I've had enough.

                          You are that little bit older than me and seem to be able to stay the course whilst still introducing some new and valuable material. If I don't always participate I'll hang around and watch.
                          SPE

                          Treat me gently I'm a newbie.

                          Comment


                          • To Stewart

                            Your work on this subject is second to none and there is nothing to be cynical about (weariness is quite another matter) and outside of the 'community' your books, and interviews and article are very much enjoyed and admired.

                            I had 'The Lodger' before I knew this sire existed. And so that book was the first time I had even read the entire Littlechild Letter. I was already amazed by the 'Secret History' doco which showed that a middle-aged medico pursued by police was the likely prime suspect of 1888.

                            Then I read the entire letter and discovered that Littlechild had claimed that it was 'believed' -- by somebody -- that Dr. Tumblety had taken his own life (well, that certainly obliterates the Andrews' trip) and thus was even closer to the 'drowned doctor'. And where di that tale come from?

                            'The Lodger' introduced me to George Sims, in greater depth, and I was amazed by the fictional portrait he had spun for the public which seemed to to me to be bits of Druitt and bits of Tumblety (nobody agrees, I know, including yourself, and that's fair enough) cobbled together to create a tale which enhanced the Yard's reputation.

                            Fascinating stuff and a boon for me and my students in a succession of history classes,

                            To Simon 'Joe Friday' Wood

                            It's not a 'fact' that Macnaghten identified the leader of an assassination plot with the fiend. Historical methodology needs more than one secondary source when it is in conflict with all other primary sources. Even when a single primary source is anomalously alone it is to be treated with great caution (eg. Dr. T's alleged marriage to a prostitute by a single Us tabloid).

                            It might be true that Browne saw something in a classified file, but it might not be -- it might be a misunderstanding since we cannot access what he accessed, if there is anything to access?

                            This subject, far from being a set of 'facts', is rather a wilderness of mirrors, of lonely men and women, in small rooms, eating stale sandwiches and drinking staler beer, wearing out their eyes trying to read dusty, forgotten sources in the quest for the Holy Grail of final proof ...

                            Jonathan 'George Smiley' Hainsworth

                            Comment


                            • problem

                              Hello Jonathan.

                              "This subject, far from being a set of 'facts', is rather a wilderness of mirrors . . ."

                              Quite right. But isn't that, in itself, an indication that something, somewhere, is decidedly wrong?

                              Cheers.
                              LC

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Jonathan H View Post
                                This subject, far from being a set of 'facts', is rather a wilderness of mirrors, of lonely men and women, in small rooms, eating stale sandwiches and drinking staler beer, wearing out their eyes trying to read dusty, forgotten sources in the quest for the Holy Grail of final proof ...

                                Jonathan 'George Smiley' Hainsworth
                                Hi Jonathan

                                This might be one of the truest things that you have yet written. I know I am suffering from eye strain.

                                Kind regards

                                Chris
                                Christopher T. George
                                Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conference
                                just held in Baltimore, April 7-8, 2018.
                                For information about RipperCon, go to http://rippercon.com/
                                RipperCon 2018 talks can now be heard at http://www.casebook.org/podcast/

                                Comment

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