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  • The Swanson Marginalia

    This thread unfortunately lost much information and was originally a discussion about the authenticity of the Marginalia. I will attempt to retrieve more in the coming days. If anyone wishes to repost any information, please do so.



    jeffl has just posted in the Swanson, Chief Inspector Donald forum of Casebook: Jack the Ripper - Forums under the title of The 'Swanson Marginalia'.
    This thread is located at http://forum.casebook.org/showthread.php?t=97
    Here is the message that has just been posted:
    ***************
    ---Quote (Originally by Grey Hunter)---
    Dr. Christopher Davies, who actually confirmed my findings, stating, "What was interesting about analysing the book was that it had been annotated twice in two different pencils at different times, which does raise the question of how reliable the second set of notes were because they were made some years later."
    ---End Quote---
    Hi Grey Hunter
    I believe it was I that asked the question about the Marginalia at conferance. i still have it on tape and will try and get you a copy now that i have Final Cut Pro set up at home...just been busy trying to pay the morgage!
    However I was curious about the above quote. It seems to suggest that Dr Christopher Davies believes that the second set of notes were writen "some years later".
    I find this rather a curious conclusion. Surely no one knows if the second set of notes were writen 'Some years later' or simply in the time it took to go to the bathroom, pick up another pencil and continue writing.
    Surely if Dr Smith could accertain the break between the two sets of hand writing he should have been more specific.
    Surely our experience of the Maybrick Diary should tell us almost nothing can be gaged about the time the writing was actually committed (excuse Kosminski pun) to paper?
    Yours Jeff
    PS Many thanks again for all your time and interesting posts on the Marginalia...even from chelsea fans... love to stinky..





    snelson has just posted in the Swanson, Chief Inspector Donald forum of Casebook: Jack the Ripper - Forums under the title of The 'Swanson Marginalia'.
    This thread is located at http://forum.casebook.org/showthread.php?t=97
    Here is the message that has just been posted:
    ***************
    "With the possible exception of some sort of vernacular (perhaps used by Swanson), the Mile End Old Town Workhouse was never known as "Stepney Workhouse"."
    I've always thought this and have argued that Swanson wouldn't have misnamed the Workhouse and mistakenly thought that the suspect had died soon after admission to the asylum.
    However, Paul Begg, in The Facts, p. 378, writes that "the expanding Borough of Stepney absorbed Mile End Old Town in 1901, so when Swanson wrote nine years later, Mile End Old Town Workhouse was Stepney Workhouse."
    Maybe a search of the Stepney Union, St. Leonard Street, records could reveal something (I don't think that Fido or Sugden covered these records, assuming that they still exist). Rob House accessed the Bromley (Stepney) Sick Asylum records and found Thomas Murray.
    ***************

    Quote (Originally by jeffl)---
    PS Many thanks again for all your time and interesting posts on the Marginalia...even from chelsea fans... love to stinky..
    ---End Quote---
    Watch It, Jeff !!!
    My ten year-old son, by the way, has loaded his iPod with Cockney Rejects and Sham 69. He says his favourite song is Borstal Breakout.



    ---Quote (Originally by snelson)---
    However, Paul Begg, in The Facts, p. 378, writes that "the expanding Borough of Stepney absorbed Mile End Old Town in 1901, so when Swanson wrote nine years later, Mile End Old Town Workhouse was Stepney Workhouse."
    ---End Quote---
    "was": Begg's emphasis.
    Hi Scott,
    I was acutely aware of Begg's assertion, when typing my initial post to this thread.




    cgp100 has just posted in the Swanson, Chief Inspector Donald forum of Casebook: Jack the Ripper - Forums under the title of The 'Swanson Marginalia'.
    This thread is located at http://forum.casebook.org/showthread.php?t=97
    Here is the message that has just been posted:
    ***************
    ---Quote (Originally by Septic Blue)---
    *_The Bottom Line_**:* With the possible exception of some sort of vernacular (perhaps used by Swanson), Mile End Old Town Workhouse was never known as “Stepney Workhouse”.
    ---End Quote---

    I'm sure you're absolutely right as far as the official designation goes. And there would have to be solid evidence before anyone could accept that MEOT Workhouse was known unofficially as Stepney Workhouse.

    But I think it's fair to point out that the possibility isn't as outlandish as it may sound, because MEOT Workhouse was close to Stepney Green - the area that was known as Stepney, and where the word "Stepney" is likely to be printed on a map - whereas the Stepney Union Workhouse was more than a mile further east, in the area known as Bromley by Bow.

    Chris Phillips
    ***************




    jeffl has just posted in the Swanson, Chief Inspector Donald forum of Casebook: Jack the Ripper - Forums under the title of The 'Swanson Marginalia'.
    This thread is located at http://forum.casebook.org/showthread.php?t=97
    Here is the message that has just been posted:
    ***************
    [quote=Septic Blue;135010]Watch It, Jeff !!!
    My ten year-old son, by the way, has loaded his iPod with Cockney Rejects and Sham 69. He says his favourite song is Borstal Breakout.
    He'll be singing and blowing those bubbles next! true eastender
    Seriously, your always going to have problems with anything that relies on oral history, or how places may have been known at differant times. You've only got to check the Maybrick thread for that.
    You could be correct. Obviously Fideo, doesn't think Swanson meant Aaron Kosminski.
    But it is possible, as Chris pionts out, Swanson new exactly what he was saying by Stepney work house. And for my money Aaron is still the best suspect...certainly he fits how you would expect a scitzophrenic serial killer to behave if he was Jack.
    The marginalia is the most important evidence there is...
    Jeff
    ***************

    Let all Oz be agreed;
    I'm Wicked through and through.

  • #2
    I have managed to retrieve all of the data from this thread from January 2006 to December 2007. I will begin reposting it, please bear with me, there is a lot of it. Unfortunately it is text only, without any of the images posted. Also, being straight text, where people have quoted in posts this just shows up as normal text which can be a little confusing.
    Last edited by Ash; 02-18-2008, 03:47 AM.
    Say hello: http://www.myspace.com/alansharpauthor

    Comment


    • #3
      Grey Hunter
      14th January 2006, 04:09 PM
      The so-called 'Swanson Marginalia' is a crucial part of the 'Kosminski as a suspect' argument, or, indeed, much of the 'Polish Jew suspect' theorising. I thought that a thread to discuss this particular aspect of the case would be interesting, even useful.

      Does anyone have any thoughts on Swanson's influential annotated copy of Anderson's book?
      ________________________________________
      Grey Hunter
      14th January 2006, 04:30 PM
      Here is the marginalia on page 138 of the book.

      55

      As you can see it is very faded now, I shall see if I can do a better copy.
      ________________________________________
      Grey Hunter
      14th January 2006, 04:37 PM
      And the annotaion on the rear free endpaper.

      56

      Again not very clear I'm afraid.
      ________________________________________
      Grey Hunter
      14th January 2006, 04:42 PM
      Here's the important last sentence of the endpaper annotation.

      57
      ________________________________________
      How Brown
      14th January 2006, 05:05 PM
      Dear Grey Hunter :



      Perhaps you could elucidate on your opinions of why the most hunted man in history would be such an apparent problem for the authorities to reveal?

      I'm aware of the arguments based on some potential legalities being violated,but in all seriousness,why would they worry about pointing out an insane culprit ? What possible damage would that have done to the Crown, if his family objected ? Seriously?
      ________________________________________
      Grey Hunter
      14th January 2006, 05:06 PM
      Here's an early photocopy of the rear endpaper annotation.

      58
      ________________________________________
      Grey Hunter
      14th January 2006, 05:38 PM
      Thank you howard.

      And therein lies the rub.

      The reasons why the authorities had a problem in publicly revealing the names of the suspects is pretty obvious - they were only suspects! In other words they lacked proof against any suspect and could not give publicity to names such as Kosminski, insane or not, and Druitt without a backlash.

      We all know the complex pro and con arguments and how involved they can get. Suffice to say a couple of Scotland Yard officers could not act alone and in secret without others having the same knowledge. The mere fact that Anderson favoured his Polish Jew suspect whilst Macnaghten always favoured Druitt is proof in black and white that there was no consensus at Scotland Yard; and that all we are talking about are theories and not 'definitely ascertained facts.'
      ________________________________________
      robert
      15th January 2006, 10:31 AM
      Could I ask a question? (and apologies if I've already asked this on the old Boards - I have a mind like a sieve lately) : the marginalia were initialled 'DSS.' Did Swanson initial any of his other annotations in the book?

      Robert
      ________________________________________
      George Hutchinson
      15th January 2006, 11:11 AM
      Dear everyone,

      In spite of repeated requests, someone with a certain agenda chose to ignore those requests and attempt to identify Grey Hunter.

      Unfortunately, Grey Hunter has now withdrawn from the boards and will NOT be returning.

      This is permanent. I think maybe sometimes Free Speech on these boards should not be available to those whose sole intent is to completely ruin things for everybody else. I shall be e-mailing Spryder about this issue.

      PHILIP
      ________________________________________
      How Brown
      15th January 2006, 12:37 PM
      Phil:

      Please contact him and ask him to reconsider. Maybe the person who went after him personally by name was not aware of his wishes. After all,its still early for the new format of the boards. Give it a try,Phil. Please?
      ________________________________________
      robert
      15th January 2006, 12:40 PM
      We can ill afford to lose posters like Grey Hunter.

      Robert
      ________________________________________
      chrisjd
      15th January 2006, 12:49 PM
      please stop spreading it further and take it behind the scenes.

      Christian
      ________________________________________
      rclack
      15th January 2006, 02:13 PM
      Hi Robert.

      I've got this example of Swanson's signiture

      82

      Rob
      ________________________________________
      Ally
      15th January 2006, 02:14 PM
      Dear everyone,

      In spite of repeated requests, someone with a certain agenda chose to ignore those requests and attempt to identify Grey Hunter.



      What repeated requests? One of the handy search features on this forum is that we can view all posts ever composed by a poster. After searching, I found ONE post written by him on his welcome thread. Not everyone reads every single post written by every single poster and memorizes their particular preferences. I had no idea that he wished to be called exclusively Grey Hunter and I probably would have referred to him by his given name if I had replied here, which is what I came here to do.

      If Grey Hunter really did not want his identity known, he had the option of a.) picking a new name that no one knew him under or b.) if he wanted to be known as Grey Hunter posting a line in his signature asking to be referred to only as Grey Hunter. He did neither of those things. I respect what Grey Hunter has to contribute to these boards tremendously, but he can't expect that people will be mind-readers and know what he wants and when he wants it or to even follow it. If people know who you are, they are going to call you by name. It's that simple. If he truly doesn't wish to be known, he can pick a new name and post under it. If he wants people to know who he is but lashes out at them should they ever happen to call him that, that's just unreasonable.
      ________________________________________
      robert
      15th January 2006, 02:24 PM
      Hi Rob

      Is that from the book? I can't actually see it, though one of Grey Hunter's images has just shown up for the first time. I must try and sort my computer out.

      Robert
      Say hello: http://www.myspace.com/alansharpauthor

      Comment


      • #4
        rclack
        15th January 2006, 02:28 PM
        Hi Robert,

        It's from a Telegram he signed. It is dated May 27 1901

        Rob
        ________________________________________
        Ally
        15th January 2006, 02:33 PM
        Edited because: Never mind. I asked when it was dated but it was answered in Rob's latest post.
        ________________________________________
        Ally
        15th January 2006, 02:37 PM
        So why don't we all just quit beating around the bush and get to what this topic is really about. Was the marginalia forged? Now I understand that it has a supposedly impeccable provenance, etc. But of course discrepancies stand out like the DSS doesn't look anything like his signature, the Kosminski line seems awkward and somewhat out of place and tacked on etc.

        So rather than doing the dance, let's just weigh in on whether we think it is forged or not.

        Takers?
        ________________________________________
        bobhinton
        15th January 2006, 03:00 PM
        Oh Lord - not more secret squirrel nonsense!

        HIR
        ________________________________________
        suzi
        15th January 2006, 03:14 PM
        Passwords at the ready! No slacking now!!!!!!

        Suzi
        ________________________________________
        suzi
        15th January 2006, 03:18 PM
        Rob C
        Thanks for that sample (!) of Swanson's handwriting.it does of course fit with the Copperplate remplate which Ive been rattling on about on another thread but cant find it at the mo!
        Strangely anonymous this well taught Copperplate hand isn't it?


        Suzi (MIFAP)
        ________________________________________
        suzi
        15th January 2006, 03:19 PM
        Template too!!!!!
        ________________________________________
        George Hutchinson
        15th January 2006, 03:35 PM
        Hi Bob -

        The issue was nothing to do with Grey Hunter being 'outed'. As he has pointed out to me, people who need to know his ID know. It's not a secret. The 'mystery' is more so people who aren't in the field who might choose to abuse that knowledge are left in the dark.

        Grey Hunter's issue was actually to do with the rudeness of a certain post which has now been removed. Debate and challenge are healthy. Nastiness serves no purpose. There are too many unpleasant people in this community.

        PHILIP
        ________________________________________
        jdpegg
        15th January 2006, 04:28 PM
        Ally,

        well i don't suppose its authenticity has ever been properly established has it?

        Jenni
        ________________________________________
        jason_connachan
        15th January 2006, 04:58 PM
        So why don't we all just quit beating around the bush and get to what this topic is really about. Was the marginalia forged? Now I understand that it has a supposedly impeccable provenance, etc. But of course discrepancies stand out like the DSS doesn't look anything like his signature, the Kosminski line seems awkward and somewhat out of place and tacked on etc.

        So rather than doing the dance, let's just weigh in on whether we think it is forged or not.

        Takers?
        Im not doubting its authenticity, but the Kosminki line almost seems an afterthought by Swanson.
        ________________________________________
        How Brown
        15th January 2006, 05:50 PM
        Ally;

        No idea if it was forged.

        What stands out for me is that Swanson wrote that the suspect was fingered and then incarcerated, and Anderson has it that the suspect was incarcerated and then identified.

        Good question....
        ________________________________________
        Grey Hunter
        15th January 2006, 06:39 PM
        Here is Swanson's signature from a letter, in my collection, written to Anderson.

        86
        ________________________________________
        apwolf
        15th January 2006, 07:07 PM
        While we are at comparing signatures and the like, Grey Hunter, any chance of comparing the Littlechild signature that I found recently in other annotations of a different connexion, with more recognised material that might be around?
        Just to keep things neat.
        Must say Iím enjoying the material you are putting up here, and elsewhere.
        ________________________________________
        Grey Hunter
        15th January 2006, 07:20 PM
        Yes, I shall post Littlechild's signature on a separate thread. As regards the Swanson Marginalia, my intention was to establish a timeline as regards its provenance and publication. However, as we have seemingly 'rushed headlong' into handwriting samples, here is a longer example written by Swanson.

        87

        It's interesting to see how it does vary slightly from the previous example.
        ________________________________________
        Glenn L Andersson
        15th January 2006, 07:29 PM
        Grey Hunter,

        "It's interesting to see how it does vary slightly from the previous example."

        Indeed it does, and I must say it does so to an extent that it makes me slightly puzzled. If the one in the marginalia is genuine, could the reason for the discrepancy be that the marginalia is written when he was much older?

        I must say that this is a subject that has not before entered my mind. Are we here faced with the possibility that the marginalia might in fact be a fake???? I know, for some this is probably to beat in open doors, but I must admit I have never heard of the idea that it might not be genuine, but indeed how knows?
        Anyway, provocing thoughts here.
        ________________________________________
        Ally
        15th January 2006, 07:39 PM
        Considering the examples posted by Rob and Grey, I have to say that I can see similarities in how the D S and S are written in all three of those, slight differences on the D in one but still the high arching underside. I see no similarity to the DSS in the memorabilia. I suppose we could be looking at time differences, perhaps age made his writing more shaky? I think it would be interesting if we could put the four samples back on the thread in one post in chronological order, if that would be possible?
        ________________________________________
        Grey Hunter
        15th January 2006, 07:43 PM
        It is not unusual for handwriting to vary, especially as one gets older. However, basic structures usually remain the same. Certainly age is a factor, and as people get older their handwriting very often deteriorates.

        I started this thread to analyse the first appearance of the marginalia and its subsequent dissemination to the public. However, it seems to have quickly devolved into the question of whether it is authentic or not. It is a very important and influential item of Ripper documentation, therefore its authenticity is of the utmost concern. Indeed its influence was immediately felt when it was first published just before the Ripper centenary in 1987. It had the effect of turning previous Ripper thinking about as regards the then most popular viable Ripper suspects. Prior to 1988 Druitt had held sway amongst the leading authorities as the most probable Ripper. After 1988 Kosminski quickly became the favourite, directly as a result of the 'Swanson Marginalia.' As we know, both Druitt and Kosminski had been named by Macnaghten in his 1894 memorandum.

        It would be interesting to hear the opinion of posters on this rather important subject.
        ________________________________________
        Ally
        15th January 2006, 07:50 PM
        This is something else that has been niggling at me which is absolutely petty and stupid but none the less, irritating to me. We may have to bring in Mr. Omlor to answer this question, but what is the predominance of people initialing their marginalia? I mean I write "marginalia" in my textbooks all the time and don't feel the need to initialize it. Was he in the habit of initializing all his margin notes? Do people do this? Why?

        I realize this is a really idiotic question overall, but it was something I have been thinking about whenever the subject of the marginalia arises.
        ________________________________________
        rapunzel676
        15th January 2006, 08:08 PM
        I'm no expert, but I just don't see an appreciable difference between the known signatures and the initialing at the end of the marginalia except perhaps that which could be attributed to age and the haste with which it was written. Furthermore, I don't know if it's true of everyone, but when I've initialed something, the result doesn't necessarily resemble my ordinary signature--which itself is subject to a number of minute variations in each of its incarnations. Also, it might be worth noting that our signatures on official documents can vary from those in informal correspondence or rough notes.

        Again, just my opinion, but I just don't see the marginalia as anything but very rough notes, written in haste by a retired police official, possibly for nothing more than personal satisfaction or, more likely, family and friends. If he'd intended them for mass consumption, one would think a man as organized and efficient as Swanson, with his significant knowledge of the case, would have written something more similar in form and content to the Macnaghten memoranda.
        ________________________________________
        Lyn
        15th January 2006, 08:11 PM
        Ally,

        I don't consider that to be a petty question -- in fact, I'd like to know how common the initialing of marginalia was during the late Victorian period.

        I personally never initial mine.

        Lyn
        Say hello: http://www.myspace.com/alansharpauthor

        Comment


        • #5
          Grey Hunter
          15th January 2006, 08:24 PM
          The only aim that anyone should have in regard to this is to establish good provenance and the probablility of all the writing being in the hand of Donald Swanson himself. It is a plus that this copy of The Lighter Side of My Official Life is still in the hands of the Swanson family which greatly reduces the possibility of someone else writing it.

          However, it is because of its historical importance that the point should be clarified, for the entry on it in The Jack the Ripper A-Z states -

          "Paul Harrison's suggestion that the marginalia may not be genuine is completely unfounded. Their provenance is established beyond a peradventure, and the handwriting has been confirmed as Swanson's by the Home Office document examiner."

          This comment was as a result of suspicions stated by Harrison in his book Jack the Ripper The Mystery Solved, 1991.

          The problem is that Harrison's suggestion must raise the unfortunate extrapolation that if the notes aren't genuine then the person responsible for writing them belongs to a very limited number. I have to confess that the one thing that I was never very happy about was the very convenient sentence 'Kosminski was the suspect - DSS' at the very end of the endpaper annotation. Not so long ago when I raised the possibility of a question over the authenticity of the marginalia the response I received was almost hysterical and the cry of 'libel' was even raised.

          However, my concern is merely that the marginalia has never really been questioned, nor properly authenticated. Great if it is genuine, then we all know that we are not wasting our time putting the information it contains into our theorising and speculation.

          It is interesting to see that a Home Office document examiner has confirmed the handwriting as Swanson's, but surely such an expert cannot confirm that. He may say that in his opinion it is Swanson's or that it appears to be. The rest of us non-experts may only assess what it looks like but our opinion wouldn't carry too much weight. As I understand it, and I am happy to be corrected if I am wrong, the document examiner's pronouncement has never been published, and I believe that he examined only a photocopy of the marginalia and a photocopy of Swanson's handwriting from the official records whereas in such examinations only originals should be used.
          ________________________________________
          How Brown
          15th January 2006, 08:41 PM
          Ally:

          Lyn's right. Its an outstanding question. Who does initial their own private material?

          Grey Hunter:

          Your post raises the question...What about samples of other marginalia Swanson may have written being compared to this specific one? Would James Swanson permit such a test using the original and not a photocopy?
          ________________________________________
          bobhinton
          15th January 2006, 08:41 PM
          I've just been looking at the two Swanson signatures above, one from the telegram and one from the Marginalia.

          I've got to say I would be very surprised if they were done by the same person.

          Secondly, please can we have less of the 'secret squirrel' nonsense? All this prima donna stuff about secret identities is really rather tiresome!
          ________________________________________
          robert
          15th January 2006, 08:48 PM
          If there is a question mark over the authenticity of the marginalia, I suppose this might relate to either the whole of it, or just the final sentence.

          NB I am not accusing anybody of tampering with it.

          Robert
          ________________________________________
          Natalie Severn
          15th January 2006, 09:07 PM
          My own view/guess is that the Swanson marginalia is a piece of guesswork by Swanson---stemming from another piece of guesswork by Anderson.IMHO it went along the lines of," My boss Anderson knew all along
          and said it from the start that it was a "low class Polish Jew".I know who he was referring to....it wasnt a,b or c it was this chap named Kosminski-a right odd ball who ate out of gutters/was much taken up with "solitary vices" and he was identified[I reckon this is where it went completely pear shaped and whatever happened there ,at the Hove Seaside Home ,I cant believe
          anybody there identified the real Whitechapel murderer] . As Grey Hunter says above if they had known who it was there would have been consensus at least between Macnaghten and Anderson.Also we would know for certain they knew.
          I reckon Monro, Anderson, Littlechild and a lot of the others involved were simply up to their necks in Jubilee Plots, the Special Inquiry of October 1888 etc which must have taken priority over everything else at this point and they wouldnt have had time or energy to have been paying that kind of close minute by minute attention to this case.Abberline was giving it his all ...and you dont hear of him suggesting any of these suspects.On the contrary he pooh poohs the idea saying its all poppycock.
          Natalie
          ________________________________________
          apwolf
          15th January 2006, 09:27 PM
          I do know that it is not uncommon to come across volumes from this time period which have been scrawled upon by some of the people we discuss, and they do invariably place a signature on those jottings, almost as if they are getting their own back for some imagined or very real slight from their days in service together.
          Perhaps they knew that one day history would bring them to account?
          My real gut feeling is that I would have been happier finding this Swanson document in somewhere like the Harvard Law Library, locked away just after it was written, rather than with the family.
          I have a family of my own.
          I get hypothermia when I think what they might do with my documentia.
          ________________________________________
          Grey Hunter
          15th January 2006, 10:32 PM
          As I said, the idea here was to explore the emergence of the marginalia and its immense influence on Ripper thinking and theorising. It is quite amazing how this aspect of the story has been largely ignored over the years. Kosminski as a Ripper suspect had first been named in a Ripper book in 1965 with the publication of Tom Cullen's Autumn of Terror, in which the Aberconway version of the Macnaghten memoranda was published. In 1968, a year after I first visited the Ripper murder sites, I acquired my first set of Major Arthur Griffith's Mysteries of Police and Crime, illustrated 3-volume version (c. 1902), and it seemed pretty clear to me that the three Ripper suspects described by Griffiths but not named, were the same three as had appeared in Cullen's book in the Macnaghten draft. Druitt was, probably because of Cullen's influence, my favoured suspect.

          Donald Swanson had five children and the father of Jim Swanson was the eldest of these. The last of Donald Swanson's children to die was Alice Julia in 1981. Jim Swanson was her executor and amongst all the material he had to deal with were the papers relating to the appointment of Donald Swanson to take charge of the Whitechapel murders investigation and Anderson's book which had been presented to Donald Swanson by Anderson. Jim Swanson read the papers and looked at the book and came across his grandfather's pencil written notes that disclosed the identity of the Ripper. Things then remained that way until October 1987.

          To be continued...
          ________________________________________
          rclack
          15th January 2006, 10:47 PM
          Hi Grey Hunter

          A lot of the Ripper letters were initialed by Donald Swanson. Are there any clear examples out there that we can use to compare?

          Rob
          Say hello: http://www.myspace.com/alansharpauthor

          Comment


          • #6
            Grey Hunter
            15th January 2006, 10:55 PM
            Hi Rob,

            Yes there are, I have about three hundred photographs of the Ripper letters and I shall be sorting some out in due course and posting them.

            Best Wishes,

            GH
            ________________________________________
            rclack
            15th January 2006, 11:00 PM
            Thank you,

            All the best

            Rob
            ________________________________________
            Grey Hunter
            15th January 2006, 11:12 PM
            How, sorry I missed your earlier query, I'm afraid Jim Swanson died some time ago and the book is in the hands of his son who lives in the western part of the country. As I said I have an original page of a letter written by Donald Swanson to Anderson in my collection, and I can post the whole page if readers would like to see it. GH
            ________________________________________
            Grey Hunter
            16th January 2006, 07:30 AM
            1987 was a very busy year Ripper-wise. It was almost the centenary of the murders and there were many articles in the newspapers during this period. There also appeared to be a race for the publication of centenary books and seven Ripper books were published that year. Amongst them was Martin Fido's very good The Crimes Detection and Death of Jack the Ripper. It was pioneering in that it was the first book to develop the theory of a Polish Jew suspect being Jack the Ripper. He was the first to research the asylum records and he identified what he thought to be a likely Ripper in David Cohen. He also discovered one Aaron Kosminski whose name did not appear in the records until 1891 and Fido thought that he must be Anderson's Polish Jew and Macnaghten's Kosminski, although he did not think that he could be the Ripper. For the first time this information was published and set the basis for further research along these lines. A review of Fido's book by Colin Wilson was published and in this it was stated that Assistant Commissioner Anderson had declared confidently that he knew the Ripper's identity, that his suspect was a Polish Jew, and that Melville Macnaghten had made 'a famous list of three major suspects,' including Montague John Druitt, and a Polish Jew called Kosminski. This review was read by Jim Swanson as well as an article that appeared in the Daily Telegraph of 3 October 1987. On reading this latter piece Jim Swanson thought that it was "a lot of rubbish about Jack the Ripper" and that "As I had the proof of Jack's identity I felt it only fair to my Grand father & Anderson to make the facts known. Firstly to get some recognition of the part my Grand father played and secondly that the most senior people at Scotland Yard were on the ball and were completely satisfied they knew his identity and that he had been safely put away." Swanson was right that up until this time Ripper authors had not recognised the important part his grandfather had played in the Ripper investigation and Swanson was fairly low profile in the so far published books on the case, not appearing at all in some. Jim Swanson had amongst his grandfather's papers, as we have seen, the handwritten report by the Commissioner, Sir Charles Warren, putting Swanson in overall charge of the Whitechapel murders investigation. It was time he felt to redress the situation, and set the record straight.

            To be continued...
            ________________________________________
            harry
            16th January 2006, 07:34 AM
            As a police officer,Swanson would no doubt be familiar with initialising additions or deletions in statements or documents passing through his control.So initialising the marginela may have been as much habit or thouroughness when dealing in personnel matters.

            So nothing in the fact that it was done in that instance,appears out of place,and as others have said,other factors may account for differences in the appearance of the initials.
            ________________________________________
            Grey Hunter
            16th January 2006, 09:36 AM
            Jim Swanson got in touch with Charles Nevin of the Daily Telegraph and invited him to come and see his grandfather's papers. Nevin accepted the invitation and the result was his famous article in the Daily Telegraph of October 19, 1987, publishing for the first time the 'Swanson marginalia.' However, Nevin noted the caveats involved in accepting the marginalia without question. He mentioned that Aaron Kosminski was not committed until 1891, three years after the murders took place, that Swanson had written that Kosminski died shortly afterwards, when in fact he did not die until 1919, that the Seaside Home did not open until 1890 and so on, citing Martin Fido's book and saying that Fido was intrigued by the Swanson notes but still unconvinced. This resulted in Fido writing a letter to the paper, from Penzance, that was published under the heading 'Muddle over suspects.' In this letter Fido stated that it was misleading to say that he was "intrigued but unconvinced" by Chief Inspector Swanson's crucial identification. Fido was 'quite convinced' that Swanson completely confirmed his thesis that Aaron Kosminski who lived at "his brother's house in Whitechapel" was somehow confused with David Cohen, who probably committed the Whitechapel murders and "in a very short time...was taken to Stepney Workhouse and then to Colney Hatch and died shortly afterwards." The final words describing Cohen and no other pauper lunatic or Colney Hatch inmate. According to Fido the reference to the City CID suggested that the Met and the City followed up 'Cohen and Kozminski respectively but came to believe that they were the same man whose name had been correctly identfied by the City force who had traced his residence and brother. Therefore as the City knew the actual Kozminski to be innocent Col. Smith was outraged when he found Anderson apparently accusing him twenty years after the event.
            It was a very propitious time for the Swanson marginalia to appear in the public forum, especially as the first Ripper book mentioning the Polish Jew suspect was already published and another was to appear the following year.

            To be continued...
            ________________________________________
            monty
            16th January 2006, 10:36 AM
            An obvious question, if a hoax, is why?

            I guess GH will come to that.

            Monty


            PS Bob, why the stress? and How do I know you are indeed Bob Hinton??
            ________________________________________
            Grey Hunter
            16th January 2006, 10:45 AM
            Monty, This thread wasn't started to prove anything a hoax, it was to fully explore the appearance of the Swanson marginalia in a proper timeline together with many details of that appearance never before published. It does, of course, touch upon, as it should, the level of authenticity of the marginalia, especially as this was questioned by Paul Harrison back in 1991 and commented upon in the A-Z. Added to this others, including myself, have raised the question of the authenticity of the whole, especially as very few people have seen the original and it is too important not to be accepted without question. As to why something should be hoaxed, you should know better than to ask such a thing.
            GH
            ________________________________________
            monty
            16th January 2006, 12:48 PM
            Monty, This thread wasn't started to prove anything a hoax, it was to fully explore the appearance of the Swanson marginalia in a proper timeline together with many details of that appearance never before published. It does, of course, touch upon, as it should, the level of authenticity of the marginalia, especially as this was questioned by Paul Harrison back in 1991 and commented upon in the A-Z. Added to this others, including myself, have raised the question of the authenticity of the whole, especially as very few people have seen the original and it is too important not to be accepted without question. As to why something should be hoaxed, you should know better than to ask such a thing.
            GH

            GH,

            I understand why this thread exists but as you state youself, it does touch upon authenticity. And if the authenticity is being questioned by Paul Harrison, yourself or whoever then surely the why must be pondered also, no?

            I agree, far too important just to be accepted on face value. After all, we only have to look at Jennis work regarding the paperwork on Williams. Its important to verify documents that support theories.

            And you would think Id no better, wouldnt you?

            Cheers
            Monty
            Say hello: http://www.myspace.com/alansharpauthor

            Comment


            • #7
              Grey Hunter
              16th January 2006, 01:09 PM
              In the actual centenary year another Ripper book appeared and it was one of the best centenary offerings. It was Paul Begg's Jack the Ripper The Uncensored Facts. As the Swanson marginalia had appeared the year before it was possible for Begg to be the first to publish, in full in a Ripper book, the Swanson marginalia.

              Begg was in touch with Jim Swanson and was able to gain access to the Anderson book and sections of the marginalia were reproduced in his book. Unlike Fido, Begg was of the opinion that the marginalia must refer to Aaron Kosminski and he produced a detailed summary of all the available material on this aspect quoting both Anderson and Swanson at length. There were now two books detailing the Polish Jew suspect arguments and the stage was set for the Ripper world to re-assess the most likely Ripper candidate.

              1988 also saw the Police History Society's annual conference held at the City of London's Wood Street Police station, on 24 September. It was a Jack the Ripper 'special' and a panel of invited speakers including Robin Odell, Donald Rumbelow, Colin Wilson, Paul Begg, Martin Fido and Keith Skinner, all of whom had recently produced Ripper books, was present. It was chaired by Donald Rumbelow. Never had there been such a gathering of Ripper authorities and each member of the panel discussed an aspect of the case which included the recently discovered Swanson marginalia and and the perceived three main suspects Druitt, Kosminski and Cohen. Also present were James Swanson and Joseph Gorman 'Sickert.' Druitt was voted most likely Ripper suspect, but his days were numbered. A new era of Ripper research was about to be ushered in by three authors who had very recently met each other. They were Paul Begg, Martin Fido and Keith Skinner.

              Martin Fido's well researched book of 1987 and his revelations about Polish Jew suspects were groundbreaking and added much information to the previously meagre knowledge of Kosminski. Paul Begg's 1988 book was no less important and contained scrupulous sourcing and useful historical background material. Although ostensibly a reference work, it was heavily pro-Anderson and decidedly favoured Kosminski as a suspect. As well as publishing the Swanson marginalia in full for the first time, it also suggested many avenues for future researchers to follow in seeking an answer to the Polish Jew conundrum posed by Anderson and Swanson. An example is Begg's discovery of the fact that Joseph Levy, one of the three Jews leaving the Imperial Club in Duke Street just before Eddowes' murder, and who saw what appeared to be the murdered woman with a suspect, had stood as referee for a Polish Jew applicant for naturalisation in 1877. That applicant was a Martin Kosminski, and a Kosminski was also a Ripper suspect named by Macnaghten and in the Swanson marginalia (and by implication Anderson), unfortunately without mention of a first name. Fido's research had revealed the incarceration of the imbecile Aaron Kosminski in 1891 and he seemed almost certainly to be the Kosminski referred to in the aforementioned references. Begg was disappointed to find that no family connection could be made between the 1877 applicant Martin, and the asylum inmate Aaron; they were apparently different families. However, Begg speculated that "Martin need not have been the suspect. It could have been a brother or a cousin about whom nothing is at present known. It would be interesting if future research could produce a family link between Martin and Aaron Kosminski." He noted that it could be a 'huge coincidence' that there was a Levy-Kosminski connection but that as it was not a particularly common name the odds against such a coincidence must be considerable. To this day the research on this aspect goes on and the theories based on it continue to be developed.

              To be continued...
              ________________________________________
              mariag
              16th January 2006, 02:32 PM
              Ally brings up a very good point.

              Reasons I can think of to initial marginalia are:

              the book wasn't his and he wanted to make sure that the owner realized who had written in it.

              he had a massive ego so had to put his initials on notes in his own hand in his own book.

              posterity

              someone else wrote the initials to remember who it was who had written the notes.


              I just hope that the marginalia aren't a fake-- I don't know if I can stand any more uncertainty.
              ________________________________________
              Grey Hunter
              16th January 2006, 03:12 PM
              As for Jim Swanson, he remained convinced that the Kosminski named by his grandfather was the Ripper and thought that the differences between his grandfather's statement that "he died shortly afterwards" and the results of Martin Fido's research into the Colney Hatch records did not alter that conviction.

              After the centenary revelations and into the next decade, Kosminski became the preferred suspect amongst the leading Ripper authorities. I too went along with that idea.
              Say hello: http://www.myspace.com/alansharpauthor

              Comment


              • #8
                fido
                16th January 2006, 03:40 PM
                Grateful thanks to Grey Hunter for his many kind remarks.
                A couple of points should perhaps be added to his time line. When Jim Swanson and his brother first acquired their grandfather's copy of Anderson's memoirs and saw the marginalia they immediately recognized the public interest, and offered the information for sale to the News of the World. A reporter took details and they were paid a reasonable fee for the time - something like seventy-five pounds if I remember aright. Shortly after that N o W changed owners or editor, and the new regime didn't use the material. The Swanson brothers felt it was no longer theirs to publish, and when he saw the reviews of new Ripper work in 1987, Jim Swanson didn't contact the Telegraph until he had offered to return the fee to the News of the World and had received their waiver and permission to do what he liked with it. This very characteristic gentlemanliness and honesty typifies the traits that made those of us who met him absolutely convinced that there could be no hanky-panky about Mr Swanson: the provenance was absolutely certain as Mr Swanson was pretty sure his aunt had never even opened the book.
                And then there's the handwriting. Now add to the time line the fact that the Home Office expert received not one but two pieces to compare with the marginalia. Paul Begg was as cautious as Grey Hunter and insisted on sending a phtocopy of the marginalia with a sample of DSS's handwriting for examination. I well remember being called to the telephone in the St Katharine's Dock Yacht Club one night to hear a shocked Paul tell me the marginalia were forged: the Home Office expert said there was not a single point of comparison between the two hands. Now I had seen a great deal of Swanson's handwriting both before and after his retirement, including marginalia in other books and the brief recollections he wrote in a notebook; I also have some post-graduate training in paleography (the deciphering of old hands) and considerable experience of deciphering much more difficult Victorian handwriting than Swanson's (notable Disraeli's scrawl and Dickens's varied fist). I have struggled with "crossed" letters where paper folded to make its own envelope has its message side overwritten at a perpendicular angle to give the space of two pages rather than one. I had no doubt whatsoever that the marginalia were in Swanson's hand, and the provenance was so good that my scholarly training told me this was genuine without a shadow of doubt. I confidently pronounced the Home Office expert absolutely wrong, much to Paul's distress and concern for my sense and sanity. But he looked carefully at the report he had received, and suddenly realized that he had mistakenly sent in a memorandum by some one else as the supposed example of Swanson's handwriting. When he corrected this he received the positive report from the Home Office, and, to echo the confident Inspector Abberline (retd) you may take my word for it, there isn't the remotest possibility that the Swanson marginalia are forged.
                But Grey Hunter's basic question about their proper standing is perfectly sensible. After all, they are in themselves incorrect. They say two things about "Kosminsky" which are categorically not true of Aaron (though they apply to David Cohen): namely that he was taken into care with his hands tied behind his back, and that he died shortly after his incarceration. He also says two things about him which do apply to Aaron and could not possibly apply to Cohen - that his name was Kosminsky and at one time he lived at his brother's house in Whitechapel. This is what led me to assume confidently that I had been correct in postulating that Kosminsky and Cohen had somehow become confused in the minds of the police who knew about them.
                Of course Grey Hunter is perfectly correct to say that, be he Kosminsky or Cohen, the Polish Jew conclusion was in effect only a theory: if it had been the assured conclusion of everyone in Scotland Yard we shouldn't have had Macnaghten and Basil Thompson in the next generation, and apparently Warren at the time, believing some version of the Druitt theory - (possibly even Druitt confused with Ostrog since the idea that he was a medic seems always to have been part of it). The amount of error and confusion in the senior Scotland Yard descriptions of the suspects (and remember the Macnaghten memoranda make errors of detail about every one of the suspects described) proves conclusively that there was no confirmed and agreed Scotland Yard conclusion that the Ripper had been positively identified. Anderson thought this, and Swanson may have agreed with him - (his notes don't say that he did). Anderson may or may not have believed that details about the Polish Jew that applied to two men were actually applying to one. But the reason for giving his conclusion priority rests entirely on a scholarly assessment of the validity of sources: was the source in a position to know what he was talking about? Does his character and personality as evinced in other writings and people's descriptions of him indicate that he would be reliable? Does his evidence conflict with any known facts? On all three counts, Anderson was clearly far and away the best contemporary source offering any theory available in 1987, which is why Paul Begg accepted him as the basis for fingering Kosminsky and I accepted him as the basis for fingering Cohen. Since 1987 the only other contemporary source to emerge who can be compared with him is Littlechild. Unfortunately Littlechild's life and memoirs don't tell us enough for us to be as sure of his reliability as we can be in Anderson's case, though I see no reason to imagine for one moment that he was saying anything he didn't believe to be true and know to reflect things thought by at least some other people at the time of the murders. What counts against his theory is the badness of Tumblety as a suspect.
                When Charles Nevin was consulting me over the Swanson Marginalia,and we were both marvelling at Keith Skinner's skill in spotting the very difficult entry identifying Kosminsky's first treatment in a workhouse infirmary (which had eluded both of us when we individually scanned the creeds book in which it is to be found) he remarked to me that it was not surprising that David Cohen was the most plausible suspect ever proposed: Ripper theory is not known for its plausibility as a rule. Of course Tumblety as a suspect doesn't have the utter absurdity of PAV or Walter Sickert. But a flamboyant quack doctor with a high public profile and a good deal of status satisfaction in his life doesn't fit the psychological profiles of serial killers drawn up by experts as varied as Colin Wilson, Joel Norris and the FBI profilers. The crossover from homosexual molestation to heterosexual mutilating murder is even more extreme than the Chapman shift from ripping stray hookers to poisoning unwanted wives. And the suggestion that Tumblety was at liberty on an unrecorded police bail at the time of MJK's murder is as speculative as anything that has been proposed about any other suspect. Tumblety joins the queue of seriously possible suspects, but I think he's far from its head.
                Nice to be back for a moment, though I don't anticipate revisiting the boards very frequently, alas. The teaching term start again tomorrow.
                Martin Fido
                ________________________________________
                Ally
                16th January 2006, 05:23 PM
                Howdy Martin,

                Good to see you again, even if only briefly. Thanks for the additional details on the marginalia saga, it is appreciated.

                One thing I have to say about claims of "fraud" or "forgery" or fakery in general, not just in this case is the tendency for people to say, as you did, that a person's lack of financial motive is reason to believe that they did not in fact do the "fraud". I have always found this to be a somewhat specious argument as money is not the ONLY reason to do something like this. For instance, if the marginalia was forged (not saying it was) I doubt money would have been the primary motive. Look at the recent scandal involving the South Korean researcher. While he received huged grants based on his work, I doubt that his motive for faking his data had as much to do with financial benefit as with being known as "The Pride of Korea". Acadameia is rife with such instances of people fudging or faking their data to get published, not because they expect to receive huge amounts of money really but because they want the pride of being the one who discovered something really important. Or possibly being able to claim their ancestor was someone who discovered something important.

                Again good to see you again!

                Best wishes,
                Say hello: http://www.myspace.com/alansharpauthor

                Comment


                • #9
                  jdpegg
                  16th January 2006, 05:24 PM
                  Monty,

                  Not only is it important its crucial.

                  Jenni
                  ________________________________________
                  Grey Hunter
                  16th January 2006, 06:00 PM
                  The 1987 Daily Telegraph article publishing the Swanson marginalia.

                  95
                  ________________________________________
                  Grey Hunter
                  16th January 2006, 06:02 PM
                  Martin Fido's letter in response.

                  96
                  ________________________________________
                  Grey Hunter
                  16th January 2006, 06:09 PM
                  First may I say how wonderful it is to see Martin Fido post here and may I wish him my very best and great to hear that he is about to start a new teaching term. It really is great to hear all these additional details from him as the full story of the marginalia has never been told which is what I am trying to establish here. This may sound like so much minutia to some but it really is important detail. Before anyone else rushes to premature conclusions about hoaxes or forgeries, I suggest they wait until the end of this essay. This is important basic Ripper history.
                  ________________________________________
                  Natalie Severn
                  16th January 2006, 06:39 PM
                  Hi Martin,
                  Very Interesting material above.
                  I am unconvinced that Anderson, who didnt after all take an active part in the ripper investigation , was in charge of CID at the time, as well as being on holiday
                  during some of the murders, was THAT reliable a source.
                  He was deeply engaged in other matters of extreme seriousness over that whole Summer/ Autumn and beyond wasnt he?

                  When writing "The Lighter Side of my Official Life" maybe that was his precise mood."Light'?
                  Also maybe he believed it was required of him to be seen as"secretly knowing the identity of the ripper"?
                  Was he ,in fact,while writing "The Lighter Side.etc..."some few years later really taking a very serious, cold, hard, impartial look at the evidence,the facts of the case and all the issues pertaining to the hunt for the Whitechapel murderer?
                  Or was he at the time of writing, also being mindful of how posterity would judge him and his work?
                  This after all was a pretty spectacular" denouement" on his part and his view, as you say yourself,was not shared by everybody familiar with the case.
                  But had he not said anything about the case or hinted that he knew who the ripper was,might people simply have said----well here is another of the police chiefs around at that time who failed to catch the ripper!
                  In other words perhaps he felt it "required" of him to give the impression that" he knew "etc a sort of face saving tactic?


                  Put in this context , Swanson writing stuff in the margins of his revered masters signed autobiography might have simply meant, that it suddenly dawned on him, that Anderson must have "known" all along after all![and it may therefore have been a case of the wishful thinking of Anderson ,followed by wishful believing by Swanson....sort of "ahaah! Dear Old Anderson....so he knew all along and it WAS that Kosminski suspect after all!"- he then initials it because it is such an important moment of revelation to him!
                  Best Natalie
                  PS---Now.. David Cohen was much more like it!
                  ________________________________________
                  Natalie Severn
                  16th January 2006, 06:52 PM
                  Dear Grey Hunter,
                  I do apologise for "rushing in"!
                  I did not see your last post until I had posted the above[which I still stand by].
                  However on seeing your reasoning outlined above,I agree,that in this instance it may be a more productive and valuable exercise to allow the issue to unfold in the way you outline.
                  Best
                  Natalie
                  ________________________________________
                  Grey Hunter
                  16th January 2006, 06:57 PM
                  Martin is someone whose remarks must not go unaddressed so before continuing the 'saga' I shall make some comment on his post.

                  The reasons for Jim Swanson going public with his grandfather's marginalia are as I have given previously, they are contained in a handwritten letter to me. He made no mention of the attempt to sell the story in the News of the World although I was aware it is mentioned in the A-Z. It would be interesting to know the date that he did this. May I also say here that Jim Swanson was a very friendly and gracious gentleman.

                  As regards the examination of the handwriting I would like to make two points here. The first is that handwriting verification is a field for experts and involves their expert and informed opinion. Like many fields of expertise for every result you obtain you can often find another expert to disagree with the conclusion already obtained. The second point is that no handwriting expert would make a proper pronouncement unless he had examined original examples of the writing involved - photocopies or photographs are simply unacceptable for proper analysis as density of ink, pressure on the page/indentation and other factors come into it. The letter from the document examiner has never been published but should contain his full analysis and reasons for his conclusions.

                  This is not a battle of theories either, I want this to be totally objective. In the forty-five years I have been studying the Ripper case I have only ever wanted to know the truth. I too have been through the gamut of suspects and all I know for sure is that there is no hard evidence against any of them. But in 1965 I reached the conclusion that the Macnaghten listed suspects, as they originated from an official source must be the strongest clue. And Druitt was my choice. For the totally objective historian surely must only want the truth if it is possible to obtain it. I must state here that Fido and Begg's work at the time of the centenary swayed me and I dropped Druitt and then preferred Kosminski.

                  However, with increased knowledge comes increased uncertainty. There were things that unsettled me and niggled at my mind over the Polish Jew theorising. For a start I was a little troubled by some of the pro-Anderson and Kosminki theorists setting too much store in what was, after all, just another theory. Also there appeared to be too many assumptions being made without evidence to support them. In the real world an Assistant Commissioner does not get involved in the practical side of identifications. Swanson, if his words were correct, had written as if even he had not attended the identification. He said "where he had been sent by us", when, surely if Swanson had have been involved he would have written "where we took him". The idea of a Whitechapel address being watched by the 'City CID' did not seem right (and I know all the explanations that have been conjured up in an effort to address this), "In a very short time the suspect with his hands tied behind his back, he was sent to Stepney Workhouse..." is simply ungrammatical, all conspired to raise questions in my mind. But not least of all was the totally improper identification described at the most unlikely of locations - 'the Seaside Home.' And we have statements of 'fact' made by the Anderson based theorists such as Anderson investigated Kosminski - this is not a fact, it's an assumption. They also assume that there was an identification at Hove - again this is an assumption and not a fact. Probably the most ridiculous statement I've heard is that Swanson and Anderson acting in concert did all this without the rest of the Yard hierarchy knowing.

                  More to follow...
                  Say hello: http://www.myspace.com/alansharpauthor

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Grey Hunter
                    16th January 2006, 07:16 PM
                    At this point in the proceedings I have an explanation to make. The whole marginalia question has been a bit of a bugbear with me for many years. The main problem being the uncertainty about it. I know that others must feel the same, but in the past there has been almost a fear to raise questions about it. It has always been assumed to be beyond question - even sacrosanct. But at the end of the day they are pencilled notes written in a book published in 1910 - but of huge significance in Ripper research and as they cannot be ignored they have to be addressed. I simply have to get all of this off my chest and, in fairness to all others interested in the case, make all I know available to them. I do not want to influence the conclusions they reach but I must try to be as complete as possible with the detail.
                    ________________________________________
                    Grey Hunter
                    16th January 2006, 07:44 PM
                    Donald Swanson letter to Anderson (from my collection).

                    104
                    ________________________________________
                    Ally
                    16th January 2006, 08:03 PM
                    Grey,

                    I am willing to wait until you are done with your summarization but I was hoping you (or Martin) could provide me with a bit of clarification. Do we know what parts of the text the document examiner used to prove it was the correct handwriting? As it seems it is the initials and the Kosminski line that are in question, do we know if they looked at that bit specifically or just looked at one of the larger passages?
                    ________________________________________
                    suzi
                    16th January 2006, 08:04 PM
                    Hi all-
                    That could well be seen as a different hand,as I posted somewhere else (but am still trying to find it.!).the copperplate hand was well taught, nay drummed into the young at the time ,so 'distinctive' handwriting was far more difficult to distinguish.

                    Suzi
                    ________________________________________
                    suzi
                    16th January 2006, 08:16 PM
                    Right!!!!!!!- have finally found my Copperplate rant its on the Francis Thompson thread

                    Suzi
                    ________________________________________
                    suzi
                    16th January 2006, 08:26 PM
                    Hi
                    Right as Ive no doubt said before but CANT FIND THEM!!!!!!! see my ref on the Thompson thread re Copperplate and the problems therein

                    Suzi
                    ________________________________________
                    suzi
                    16th January 2006, 08:40 PM
                    GH (Grey Hunter)

                    Post the letter would be interesting for purposes of comparison

                    Suzi
                    ________________________________________
                    rjpalmer
                    16th January 2006, 09:39 PM
                    Gray Hunter - I appreciate you bringing this again into the public forum and your generosity in dowloading the key documents. I agree that the Marginalia contains a number of oddities, and also agree with your point that the orginals must be used when attempting to 'authenticate' a document.

                    However, to play the devil's advocate for the moment, let me pose a couple of questions. Granting that the Marginalia was published after Fido's book and the subsequent reviews, was there really enough information presented by Fido to have allowed a theoretical forger to have written the main body of the end-note? In other words, the end note refers to the suspect having a 'brother' in Whitechapel. While the identification of Woolf/Woolfe Kosminski remains problematic, the admission papers do refer to a 'brother' as does the Marginalia; if Fido didn't mention this specifically, it seems like this would necessitate any theoretical forger to have accessed the Workhouse records in question, in which case he would have left a trail.

                    The last phrase 'Kosminski was the suspect' is odd; on the otherhand, don't we have to allow that the main body of the notes seemingly refer to Aaron Kosminski anyway? The link between MM's Kosminski and Anderson's suspect is speculative--I agree with that-- but we are still faced with the fact that the only Kosminski found in asylum records does 'fit' the oddities of the Swanson marginalia ---ie., committed after the founding of the Seaside Home, relatives in Whitechapel, admission papers referring to a 'brother.' This, it seems to me, mitigates against a forgery, as does the fact that Ms. Gurney of the Seaside Home was a personal friend of Anderson...which must be a very obscure fact.

                    This isn't meant to undermine your very apt observations; but looked at strictly rationally, there does appear to be some strong points in favor of the Marginalia being genuine--as well as some peculiarities (as you point out). Comments welcome. Best wishes, RP
                    ________________________________________
                    Glenn L Andersson
                    16th January 2006, 09:45 PM
                    This is really great stuff.

                    Who would have thought that the Casebook Boards would come alive again - as I believe, in the old days - with such vital information and interesting discussions, thanks to some very important posters here. Thanks to Grey Hunter for this and for all the efforts here.

                    And indeed - very enjoyable to see Martin Fido here again. He managed to disappear by the time I became a member on the old boards. Even if the comeback is temporary (which I hope it isn't), the stuff we get from people like this is invaluable.
                    ________________________________________
                    apwolf
                    16th January 2006, 10:30 PM
                    RP
                    Didn't we establish a long time ago that the Seaside Home was established some years before we thought it was?
                    I thought we were looking at three different Seaside Homes that had been established for vexed officers of the Met. force in the Brighton and Hove area during the LVP?
                    This is also detail.
                    ________________________________________
                    Grey Hunter
                    16th January 2006, 10:54 PM
                    I appreciate that there are many questions to be answered and I again must stress that this thread has not been embarked upon to prove a hoax or a forgery. It has been my sole intention to place all the known facts before everyone, whether or not they militate against one view or another, for a fair assessment to be made. The authenticity, or status, of the marginalia is crucial to much serious Ripper theorising and I have no bias either way. If it is totally genuine great, and I am well aware of the points that RJ has raised in relation to it - obviously as I have studied this in depth. As far as the important points raised by Ally go, all I can say is I have never read any detail about how the Home Office expert came to his conclusion, only what has been stated here. His letter, which I believe is owned by Paul Begg, has never been published.

                    I am happy to answer any question to the best of my ability, but please can we leave that until I have finished the essay.
                    ________________________________________
                    Natalie Severn
                    16th January 2006, 10:59 PM
                    Fishy business this Ap.Fishy business!
                    I indeed remember several such postings that you made about the seaside homes.But then I honestly must admit I have never been very impressed by any of these stories of of a Jewish suspect brought from a lunatic asylum to be seen there by a Jewish witness who recognised him but refused to go further.....and all this taking place in a policeman"s rest home in Hove.
                    I can understand when I read certain references to Sir Robert"s thinking on the ripper, why he at one time greatly upset Sir Winston Churchill who on a very different matter apparently chuckled with a reporter about"Anderson"s Fairy Tales".
                    Natalie
                    Say hello: http://www.myspace.com/alansharpauthor

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Grey Hunter
                      16th January 2006, 11:48 PM
                      For many years I had hoped to see the actual Swanson marginalia 'in the flesh.' As the book was still in the Swanson family, and I always feel that approaches to private individuals can be intrusive and unwelcome, I had never taken that step.

                      Eventually circumstances led to the necessity for me to meet Jim Swanson. In July 2000 I finally did get to meet him and to examine the book in question. I travelled down to Surrey and met him at his home set in rolling parkland. He was an elderly gentleman, using a walking stick, and a lot shorter than I had imagined him to be (albeit I had seen him only on television). He was a retired Royal Navy man and was very alert and friendly. Knowing that I was on a Ripper quest he said, "My grandfather knew who it was." He stated he had been amused by all the 'fuss' in 1987 when the marginalia was published, but otherwise had no real interest in the Ripper. He asked what the book would be worth and I said probably thousands but I thought it should stay in the family. He told me that someone at the time had said it would be worth about £7,000 and he had it insured in that amount. I must add here, in fairness to him, that I do not think that the monetary value was a great consideration for him, other than insuring the book against loss. I do not think that he was needful of cash. On the floor, leaning in an orderly row against the wall, were his grandfather's books which included the valuable The Lighter Side of My Official Life by Sir Robert Anderson, one of Anderson's theological books, Anderson's Criminals and Crime, Anderson's biography (first edition in dust wrapper), Eddie Guerin's Crime, and Sweeney's When I Was at Scotland Yard. At the rear of the row of books was a very old bound scrapbook containing early cuttings on Swanson's cases, all pre-Ripper from the 1870s to 1880. In front of these was a tin containing photographs and a small pile of documents. I immediately picked up the Anderson book and examined the marginalia. It seemed strange to be holding the very book that Swanson had owned and that had caused such great interest in Ripperological circles. I also had a look at the original document that had placed Swanson in charge of the Ripper enquiry and a list of the murders in copperplate handwriting. (I shall post images of my photographs of these later).

                      And now to the marginalia. I was very surprised at how faint the pencilled notes were, images I had seen of them previously showed them to be much darker. This isn't meant to imply that something had been done to them, they were just much fainter than I expected them to be. However, the biggest surprise was that the marginalia inside the book on page 138 was written with a grey pencil but with a distinct purplish tinge to it and the writing was indented into the page as if hard pressure had been applied when writing. However, on turning to the notes on the rear free endpaper beginning "continuing from page 138..." it was clear that they were written with a different pencil of a pale grey hue and not indented into the page. There was a slightly different appearance to the writing that could easily be accounted for by the fact that there was much more room to write whereas the writing in the text, of necessity, had to be cramped. I photographed the pages and left after an enjoyable visit with a gracious host and his charming wife.

                      Again, here, I must stress that I am recording facts and not making any interpretation of those facts. It must also be allowed that anyone writing notes may have more than one pencil to hand, and so no one should leap to hasty conclusions. These facts are all part of the puzzle of the marginalia and final analysis, when I have finished this essay, may lead to some possible answers and some sort of consensus of opinion on them. I am sure that you will all find this an interesting exercise and it will also mean that the information that I possess is recorded.
                      ________________________________________
                      fido
                      17th January 2006, 12:11 AM
                      Many thanks to those who have welcomed me back.

                      Paul Begg has reminded me of what I thought was the case, but hesitated to put out from my increasingly elderly memory: he sent the Home Ofice expert a memo from Swanson which had apprently been transcribed by a secretary together with a sample of the marginalia - I would guess, but cannot confirm, the endnote.

                      Of course all Grey Hunter's concerns about the contents of the marginalia are valid: the notes have been a puzzle ever since they emerged. I first met Don Rumbelow on that ocasion, put in touch with him by the Telegraph which wanted us both to confer over them. At the end of our three hours' bewilderment at many of the points Grey Hunter raises, Don offered the conclusion, "All I can say is it shows Kosminsky existed, but he wasn't the Ripper." To this I replied that I'd already written a book saying just that!

                      I don't think the question of money enters into the provenance one way or the other: what does is the sterling honesty of Jim Swanson. Charles Nevin, now with the Independent, may recall the fact that the News of the World had foregone the option of using the material. Mr Swanson certainly told me this fact when I met him and he recapitulated the history of the document, which I remember as being common knowledge to those of us who saw the marginalia even before I met him. The interesting new fact Mr Swanson offered was that his grandfather was remembered as spending his retirement largely in a greenhouse or potting shed tying fishing flies and "writing". When I asked what he was writing I was told it was annotations in his books like those in the Anderson memoirs. (The Ripper notes aren't the only ones in that book, though they are far and away the longest. I can't remember now whether there are more others than that identifying Macnaghten as the officer who annoyed Anderson by fussing over a threatening letter). I don't think anyone who looks at a wide range of samples of Swanson's handwriting with an open mind will have any serious suspicion that the writing is forged.

                      Grey Hunter and others are perfectly correct to point out that Anderson could have been wrong - I said so myself from the outset, adding that he was always opinionated (i.e. he would have insisted on a wrong opinion as firmly as he did on a right one). But he cannot properly be accused of dreaming up or forgetfully and usefully misremembering a positive outcome to make his memoirs impressive: he had been reprimanded by the Home Office before his retirement for including his guarded answer to the Ripper 'mystery' in a paper which is now in the very difficult Home Office box of half-closed files - I think its no.144 - in the PRO. This occurred in about 1901 and the paper was for some sort of criminological conference if I remember rightly.

                      But modern police practice should not be used to assess the activities of 1888. I remember Don telling me that Dew couldn't have been in the CID in 1888: he was too junior. This would be valid today, but in fact Dew had been in H Division CID since 1887. Likewise, Assistant Commissioners today don't get into hands-on detective work (and I see no reason to suppose that either Anderson or Swanson necessarily attended the mysterious ID at the "Seaside Home" in person). But we know for a fact that Macnaghten liked to get down to major crime scenes and have a look at them himself, and we know that Anderson interviewed a suspect and offered him the half-truth that a victim's eyes had been photographed (implying that his image might be trapped on the retina: we don't, alas, know whether this was a Ripper suspect, though I doubt it). We know that Warren interviewed Packer and took notes. So Anderson's opinins are not invalidated by the supposition that he learned nothing except what had been fltered through junior officers for him (even though his own account indicates that this was in a way true of his initial investigation, examining the notebooks).

                      Anderson is a historical not a legal witness. He doesn't prove that anyone in particular was the Ripper, even though, as Philip Sugden pointed out, he is the only contemporary to present any evidence against his suspect. His comments say less than the marginalia, and so, as Paul Begg has noted, his mind may have contained as much error as Swanson's. It is indeed odd that Swanson should initial his notes - I don't know whether he did so in any other case: hecertainly didn't in the memoirs. But the marginalia are hugely important historically, especially for their errors. they show us th degree of confusion and uncertainty that existed in the police at the time, and in my opinion anyone who uses them as evidence of anything except confused thinking by Swanson in retirement - (and the family is quite clear that he kept all his marbles) - really must offer some hypothetical explanation for the factual errors and mysteries like the Seaside Home. I believ I am in fact the only person to have done so. but I recgnize fully that it puts all that part of my argument which depends on Swanson into the realm of hypothesis (and of course I offered an argument for Cohen before the marginalia became public).
                      Say hello: http://www.myspace.com/alansharpauthor

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        fido cont...

                        My own feeling would be that, far from Ripper enthusiasts taking Swanson and Anderson too seriously, there has been a rather desperate attempt to invaidate them, since if they stand as accepted primary historical witnesses exciting and fun theories about freemasons and black magicians and artists and royalty and people's great-uncles all disappear into thin air. Where I myself feel all suspects so far named belong, belong, for Druitt, Kosminsky, Cohen, Tumblety, and at lower levels and possibly having only one victim, Kidney and Barnett, and lower still, Bury. All of us tend to be forced by publishers to make the most vehement case we can for our suspects, hence rather large assertions made by me about Cohen and Gainey and Evans about Tumblety. I have always believd that the late Melvin Harris's strong insistence on Donston's guilt owed more to publisher's needs than scholarly conviction. Shirley Harrison had to accept an introduction to her work from a publisher who didn't think she was quite assertive enough, and Stewart Evans and I have both publicly stepped back from the very firm conclusions drawn in "the Lodger" and "The Crimes Detection and Death of Jack the Ripper". (I don't know where Paul Gainey stands on that).
                        But the possibiity of a brand new real suspect emering from a valid historical source still exists.


                        All the best,

                        Martin Fido
                        ________________________________________
                        fido
                        17th January 2006, 12:15 AM
                        Sorry - the crucial word "except" got omitted from my concluding list of the suspects I see as historically rspectable!
                        MF
                        ________________________________________
                        How Brown
                        17th January 2006, 01:00 AM
                        Dear Mr. Fido:

                        You stated above:

                        "he [ Anderson ] had been reprimanded by the Home Office before his retirement for including his guarded answer to the Ripper 'mystery' in a paper which is now in the very difficult Home Office box of half-closed files - I think its no.144 - in the PRO."

                        Will this file ever be permissible to examine by either the public or an academician from an accredited college as part of a scholarly work? In addition,whom would one approach for the right to peruse the file #144 ? Thank you sir.
                        ________________________________________
                        fido
                        17th January 2006, 02:36 AM
                        Hallo How Brown!

                        I've just glanced quickly into Evans and Skinner's sourcebook, and find so much in there from HO144 that I'm doubting whether it really is the file I meant. That number might have stayed in my head as the Home Office file with the most Ripper-related papers in it.
                        I found a refernce to the Home Office file I wanted in a book on the Special Branch and covert policing - can't remember what it was called or who it was by; only that I got it out of Penzance Public Library 15 or more years ago. (They've probably dumped it into a library sale by now, as it wasn't the sort of book to attract large Cornish readership or justify itself as a necessary reference tool). It referred to a paper that gave some details of Anderson's secret service work, and as people at that time were starting to denigrate him with the claim that he did very little and only managed the single spy Beach, I was interested to see what it had to say. There may have been some restriction on the file - I don't remember now - but I do remember that the librarian at the Public Record Office receiving my order commented that it was a difficult file to get hold of or find one's way into or something. I found what I was looking for - evidence of other spies managed by Anderson: a mother and daughter, I think it was. Also some details on the 1870 attempted Fenian invasion of Canada which the spy infiltrators reported back to London. I was amused to note that this was still supposed to be a closed file: I doubted whether PIRA was likely to mount an attack on Calgary! I see I kept sufficient record of the Anderson material to have entered in the A-Z the existence of the 1901 short article on penology, filed by civil servants along with other irritating examples of Anderson's tendency to publish official information without permission.
                        Anyone may work in the Public Record Office. You probably need to be carrying some simple form of identification. The collected MEPO Ripper papers are now. alas, on microfilm - a very irritating white-on-black one the last time I used them. But since "scholars" ruthlessly purloined papers when they were op;en to the public, I'm not complaining.
                        At no time was I using academic status to gain access to material when doing my Ripper research. Between 1983 and 2001 I was not employed by any university. The Greater London Record Office observed that I was engaged in serious scholarship, and not some sort of will-challenging vexatiously litigious hunt through asylum records, and kindly advised me how to get access to those that were closed under the 100-year rule. If you are genuinely hunting for historical facts you should find librarians gracious and helpful, even if you aren't wearing cap and gown and Balliol cuff links.
                        All the best,
                        Martin F
                        Say hello: http://www.myspace.com/alansharpauthor

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Grey Hunter
                          17th January 2006, 07:40 AM
                          It is really nice to have Martin joining in this debate and giving his opinion on various points. Again I shall have to address what he has said.

                          I agree with Martin, and have stated above, that I don't think that money was a consideration. As to honesty, well when you deal with people over many years you know that it is simply impossible to assess this, and here we are not talking about dishonesty in the context of theft. All I can say, as far as Jim Swanson is concerned, is that he was very respectable, and of excellent character and he gave no reason to suspect that he was anything but straightforward. Again, here, I have to state that I am not trying to prove that he was a hoaxer or forger of the marginalia. I am merely putting all the salient points into this essay for others to assess.

                          The Daily Telegraph involvement is documented well enough but it would be nice to know the date of the News of the World approach - was this stated at the time he approached the Telegraph? Was the question asked?

                          As regards Assistant Commissioners or the Commissioner being involved in the basic investigation of crime I have to make a corrective. There is a lot of difference between visiting a crime scene and being involved in the hands on investigation of the crime. We know that Anderson visited the mortuary to look at the body in the case of the murder of Rose Mylett, when he was attempting to persuade everyone that it was a case of death by natural causes and not murder. But that was not being involved in the investigation and enquiries that were going on. Other late Victorian investigations are well enough documented to show us that they simply didn't do it. That wasn't their function - their function was supervision at the highest level.

                          I was surprised to see Martin still making the error that Warren 'interviewed Packer and took notes.' He did not. The notes referred to by Martin are MEPO 3/140 ff. 215-216 and they are written by the senior Assistant Commissioner Alexander Carmichael Bruce, who has initialled them. These notes are not a statement and they do not indicate that Bruce actually interviewed Packer. The Packer case was one where the rather serious allegation of neglect of duty against the police was being made and had appeared in the press. Packer was a person who should have been seen by the officers investigating the Stride murder but who was alleging he hadn't been and, more than that, he had important evidence of a suspect to give. I am sure that when he went to the Yard he would have been seen by a senior detective, probably an Inspector, and a full statement, signed, would have been taken from him. This statement would then have been read by the Assistant Commissioner to assess the strength of any allegation of police negligence in not interviewing Packer straight after the murder. In doing this he would have made notes of relevant points of what Packer had to say and these are what have survived in the police files. In the event we know that an investigation of Packer's, and the private detectives', allegation was made and it was found that Packer had indeed been seen on the morning after the murder by Sergeant Stephen White, and had had nothing relevant to say.

                          In the Lipski case, a very high profile case which caused the Home Secretary much consternation at the time, we have an example of an identification being conducted, at a hospital, by detectives.

                          When Martin talks of 'Ripper enthusiasts' not taking Swanson and Anderson 'too seriously' and 'there has been a rather desperate attempt to invalidate them...' he is making a rather sweeping generalisation. Amongst Ripper researchers and historians the importance of these two senior officers has never been gainsaid which is the very reason for debates such as this. Much better to 'bottom out' the status and validity of their remarks rather than just accepting them uncritically because of who they are.

                          Again I have to stress, for Martin keeps bringing in other suspects, that this is not a debate about suspect v. suspect, it is a debate about the Swanson marginalia and its status. It is important enough, in my opinion, for the results of the Home Office document examiner's report to be published. For instance, did he reach the same conclusions as I did as to the pencil used for the notes and the pressure applied to the page? If he used only photocopies then he could not have done.

                          It is a nonsense to suggest that I don't know the difference between legal and historical evidence. This old chestnut has been bounced around by Martin in the past. In fact, as it stands the Swanson marginalia can be totally dismissed in a legal sense - for its provenance and continuity cannot be legally proven, despite the fact that we have the history that is being presented here. I don't say that to cast doubt upon it, merely to show that I do consider it important enough to investigate as historical evidence from an important source.

                          Finally may I again say that it is great to see an authority of Martin's stature here, I am sure that all posters on these boards are delighted to see him here - as am I.
                          ________________________________________
                          Grey Hunter
                          17th January 2006, 07:59 AM
                          Apropos of Martin's post about the Special Branch, I can confirm that there are Special Branch files that have not migrated to the National Archives (ex-Public Record Office), and are unavailable to the public in perpetuity. These files do contain references to the Whitechapel murders. One of the best books on the Special Branch is Bernard Porter's academic The Origins of the Vigilant State, The London Metropolitan Police Special Branch before the First World War, London, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1987. Also very good, and with much on Anderson, is Christy Campbell's Fenian Fire, London, HarperCollins, 2002, both of which comment on the closed Special Branch files.

                          I often think that it would be great to have Martin back on these shores, to involve him in some more research into this ongoing mystery could only be beneficial.
                          Say hello: http://www.myspace.com/alansharpauthor

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            monty
                            17th January 2006, 08:52 AM
                            Martin, GH,

                            I have learnt a hell of a lot these past few days. Just wanted to express my gratitude for sharing this information and opinion.

                            I do not know about the rest of you but I have missed these 'discussions'.

                            Monty
                            ________________________________________
                            Mr Poster
                            17th January 2006, 09:26 AM
                            Hello

                            A police officer, reviewer, someone who spends or has spent time reviewing documents may well be in the habit of initialing his comments in the margins to show that it was him who made them.

                            If one is only making notes for ones own use, then maybe not, but would it not be the case that he was in the habit of initialing his comments as he had spent some time previously adding his comments to reports and then passing them on to the next reviewer/person with his initials in place to show it was his comment.

                            Seems reasonable to me.

                            Mr P
                            ________________________________________
                            Grey Hunter
                            17th January 2006, 03:12 PM
                            An early photocopy of the marginalia.

                            119
                            ________________________________________
                            Grey Hunter
                            17th January 2006, 03:16 PM
                            Swanson's initials from the police files.

                            120
                            ________________________________________
                            Grey Hunter
                            17th January 2006, 03:28 PM
                            List owned by Swanson of the Whitechapel murders on official embossed paper.

                            121
                            ________________________________________
                            Grey Hunter
                            17th January 2006, 03:52 PM
                            Regarding the interesting and relevant points raised by RP above, it would be beneficial to take a look at the points mentioned in the endpaper annotations.

                            According to these notes the suspect had been

                            "...identified at the Seaside Home where he had been sent by us with difficulty in order to subject him to identification, and he knew he had been identified."

                            "On suspects return to his brothers house in Whitechapel he was watched by police (City CID) by day & night."

                            "In a very short time the suspect with his hands tied behind his back, he was sent to Colney Hatch and died shortly afterwards-"

                            "Kosminski was the suspect-
                            DSS"

                            Martin's excellent research revealed in his 1987 book the following.

                            "Aaron Kosminski was admitted to Colney Hatch Asylum on 6 February 1891."

                            "...he had not done any work for years."

                            "His brother Wolf was his next-of-kin, and his address was given as 8 Lion [sic] Square, Commercial Road E..."

                            "Kosminski had been treated at Mile End Old Town Workhouse Infirmary in July the previous year, though a note adds that he had been insane for six years..."

                            There is therefore enough information in Martin's 1987 book for someone to compose the endpaper notes from. Again I must hasten to add here that I am not suggesting any sort of fraud, I am merely addressing RP's points and the allegation made by Harrison in his 1991 book. It would not be fair to Jim Swanson to suggest that because at that time he would surely be the only one who could possibly do that, and such a thing cannot be proven.

                            To be continued...
                            ________________________________________
                            Grey Hunter
                            17th January 2006, 04:20 PM
                            RP also mentioned in his post "the fact that Ms. Gurney of the Seaside Home was a personal friend of Anderson...which must be a very obscure fact." I'm not quite sure what relevance he feels this has.

                            Catherine Gurney was a philanthropist and a very religious lady who carried out much Christian work and evangelism with the police. She founded the International Christian Police Association and was involved in the setting up of the Convalescent Police Home in Hove. She was particularly friendly with Sir Edward Bradford, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner (1890-1903) and it would have been surprising if she hadn't known Anderson, and most of the other senior officers at Scotland Yard. I am sure they all attended various functions, dinners and fund-raisers together over the years. When I joined the police force in 1969 I immediately began deductions from my pay towards the Gurney fund, and I was entitled to use the Convalescent Home in Hove should I have needed to.
                            ________________________________________
                            oberlin
                            17th January 2006, 05:05 PM
                            Regarding photocopies of the peniciled notes being darker than the original, that's the result of someone bumping up the darkness setting on the copier, isn't it? I notice the toner splashes at the edges (Xerox jockey over here).

                            I am also interested in the discussion of Anderson. Rather than clutter this thread, I have started another thread, "Perceptions of Sir Robert Anderson":
                            http://www.casebookforum.org/showthr...=1454#post1454

                            Dave O
                            ________________________________________
                            aspallek
                            17th January 2006, 06:22 PM
                            Hello --

                            How wonderful to have such expert researchers as Martin Fido and Grey Hunter posing in this thread! The point I am about to make is not meant in any way to be argumentative or rude: It seems to me to be inconsitent to take Swanson so seriously while rejecting Macnaghten out of hand. Yes, MM did make mistakes about his preferred suspect, M J Druitt. But Swanson also made mistakes about his preferred suspect -- if that suspect is assumed to be Aaron Kosminski. Why accept one and reject the other since both historical witnesses contain material errors? It seems that they should be compared as parallel theories.

                            Many years ago I read Martin's book (and took his walking tour) and was convinced by his Cohen theory. I still believe it is a very plausible theory and quite possibly correct. However, in the last year or two I have become a "cautionary" Druitist -- or rather a proponent of a "Druitt-like" suspect.

                            What my last sentence gets at is this: Martin's idea of two similar suspects being confused in the minds of the police and leading to a conflated identification is plausible. Is it not also plausible that a similar conflation could have occurred with MM's Druitt? Martin suggests a possible confusion of Druitt with Ostrog. The difficulty with that is the they both occur as unique and distinct suspects in MM's memorandum. But are there other "drowned doctor" suspects with whom Druitt may have been confused?

                            Here is where I ususally run into difficulty because I believe we must go back to MacCormack and Woodall and consider that some of what they have written may have in it a kernel of truth. At this point I get lambasted by those who point out the unreliability of these authors -- and yes, I agree (I should have made that clear in my Ripper Notes article last July and I did not, an error which I regret). But the fact that they are unreliable does not mean that everything they have written is necessarily false. Could there be in the writings of these two authors (or somewhere else) a clue to the identity of a "drowned doctor" suspect that could have been confused early on with Druitt?

                            I will continue this discussion under the Druitt thread if there is interest in doing so.

                            Andy S.
                            Say hello: http://www.myspace.com/alansharpauthor

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Natalie Severn
                              17th January 2006, 07:01 PM
                              Thankyou Grey Hunter and Martin for your words on the Swanson Marginalia and related documents.
                              Its just priceless this!
                              Natalie
                              ________________________________________
                              How Brown
                              18th January 2006, 03:05 AM
                              Dear GH or Mr.Fido...

                              Not germane to the topic,but is Catherine Gurney related to Edmund Gurney,the man who committed suicide in Brighton in June of 1888 ?

                              Thank you....
                              ________________________________________
                              rjpalmer
                              18th January 2006, 04:52 PM
                              Grey Hunter - Thanks for confirming that Fido mentioned Kosminski's brother in the 1987 edition; I was unclear on that point because I only have access to the later edition. It certainly weakens that particular argument (not that it's really an argument).

                              In regards to Ms. Gurney, I think this is relevant. The Marginilia puts the alleged indentification in a very surprising location to say the least(!). Not only that, but it's a location that goes directly against the published account given by Anderson. Yet, Ms. Gurney was on friendly terms with Anderson and she is named specifically in the biography of Anderson by his son; if the Marginalia wasn't on the up-and-up this allusion was rather fortuitous. I think Begg discovered in the minutes of the annual meeting of the Home that there were two guests staying at the Home on 'special request' in 1891. Obviously, we don't know that this has anything whatsoever to do with the Marginalia's claims.

                              But my points aren't meant to undermine your very valid observations; I'm merely trying to think it through--as I have been since this was first raised two or three years ago. I agree with you 100% that the Home Office document examiner's report should be made public; further, I think Mr. Swanson's claims about contacting the News of the World need to be clarified. Surely he told someone that he had Jack the Ripper's name in a book?
                              ________________________________________
                              Grey Hunter
                              18th January 2006, 07:47 PM
                              How, I don't know of any relationship.

                              RJ, The Seaside Home really was a big thing in the police force and would be known about by every officer. As I said, Catherine Gurney would have been known by the senior officers at the Yard and I am not sure how you feel that the fact that Anderson knew her would have a bearing on the Seaside Home being mentioned in the marginalia.
                              ________________________________________
                              sreid
                              19th January 2006, 01:54 AM
                              Has anyone ever explained exactly how Anderson's witness knew that the suspect was Jewish?

                              Stan
                              ________________________________________
                              ellen
                              19th January 2006, 03:58 AM
                              Grey Hunter, Mr.Fido, et al,

                              This thread is more than I can consume reading it off my computer screen.. I am going to have to print it out, read it carefully and make my own marginalia to get my thought in order.

                              Many thanks to all of you for such a wonderful intellectial exercise so late on a Wednesday night. This is going to keep me awake for several hours.
                              ________________________________________
                              ellen
                              19th January 2006, 04:08 AM
                              Hi Grey Hunter,

                              1. Thank you for returning.... very enjoyable thread & postings.

                              2. I find it confusing that the senior police officials were at odds with each other in their books and interviews. It's almost as if they all knew the real murderer, but needed to cover it up (Supt. Cutbush?) and had trouble keeping their stories straight in their retirement years.

                              3. They all wanted to "one-up" each other but just couldn't put out the real Jack the Ripper for whatever reason (Prince Eddy?).

                              Mr. Fido, I have several of your books and will buy more as you write them. You have always been the most generous of "Ripperologists" and have done much to encourage us amatures (Grey Hunter is not encluded in this amature ranking, of course). So I thank you and hope to meet you some day at a Ripper Conference.
                              ________________________________________
                              aspallek
                              19th January 2006, 05:31 AM
                              OK, apparently no one wants to bite on by Why Kosminski but not Druitt question. Fair enough.

                              As to the marginalia, I, too, have noted the awkwardness of Swanson's last sentence structure -- "Kosminski was the suspect." One would have expected him to have written simply, "The suspect's name was Kosminski." Perhaps the unusual structure was just Swanson's attempt at being dramatic rather than matter-of-fact. But it almost sounds as if he is emphasizing the name "Kosminski" over against other possibilities or known suspect -- as if he were saying "(It's not who you think, but rather) Kosminski was the suspect."
                              ________________________________________
                              Grey Hunter
                              19th January 2006, 07:12 AM
                              Sorry for my inactivity on this thread, I have been very busy. I think that the same applies to Martin and it really was great that he took time out from his busy schedule to post on here.

                              Andy, I don't think that you were being ignored when you asked why Swanson is being taken so seriously whilst Macnaghten was being rejected out of hand. I appreciate that there has been a tendency for some to reject Macnaghten in light of apparent mistakes in his memorandum but, as you say, Swanson apparently made mistakes also. I don't reject Macnaghten 'out of hand' and I don't think that I have indicated that I do. In fact I've probably suggested the opposite. There is nothing wrong in being a 'cautionary Druitist,' after all I used to be one myself! But this is not a Druitt thread, it was started to assess the marginalia.

                              I do not think, however, that there is any reason to think that there was any other 'drowned doctor' suspect. Indeed, we know that Druitt did not emerge as a suspect until after the murders, the first mention of him being 1894. What must not be forgotten is Macnaghten's cautionary caveat "No one ever saw the Whitechapel murderer, many homicidal maniacs were suspected, but no shadow of proof could be thrown on any one." He then goes on to suggest Druitt, Kosminski and Ostrog as "more likely" than Cutbush, which is a bit hard to understand in the case of Ostrog but that comment may have related to the suspicion that had attached itself to him in 1888 because of his perceived mental state.

                              As to 'how did Anderson's witness know that the suspect was Jewish?' Well that may have been patently obvious and it is not really a question that I have the time to explore here.

                              Yes, it is confusing that the senior police officials were at odds with each other in their books and interviews, but doesn't that tell us something? That's right, they didn't actually know who the Ripper was and they all had their own views and ideas.

                              I shall try to round off this thread soon, please bear with me.
                              ________________________________________
                              robert
                              19th January 2006, 10:24 AM
                              Andy, or perhaps as if Swanson was saying 'Kosminski was the suspect, and not the witness.'?

                              Robert
                              Say hello: http://www.myspace.com/alansharpauthor

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