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There's Something Wrong with the Swanson Marginalia

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  • #61
    Anderson's Blackwood's Magazine memoirs are also discussed in Wilson/Odell Summing Up and Verdict (1987) pgs 103-104 of the paperback. And in the Facts and Theories section at the end of the book (pg. 345-346) it says:
    in Blackwood's Magazine [...] give a similar account to that in his book of the same title but a footnote adds that a witness identified the Ripper who was 'Caged in an aslyum...but when he learned that the suspect was a fellow Jew declined to swear to him'.

    I can scan the relevant pages if needed.

    JM
    Last edited by jmenges; 03-15-2009, 04:51 PM.

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    • #62
      Originally posted by jmenges View Post
      Anderson's Blackwood's Magazine memoirs are also discussed in Wilson/Odell Summing Up and Verdict (1987) pgs 103-104 of the paperback. And in the Facts and Theories section at the end of the book (pg. 345-346) it says:
      in Blackwood's Magazine [...] give a similar account to that in his book of the same title but a footnote adds that a witness identified the Ripper who was 'Caged in an aslyum...but when he learned that the suspect was a fellow Jew declined to swear to him'.
      Well spotted. That section of the book doesn't seem to be included in the index. It's curious that nevertheless in the body of the text, Wilson and Odell - like Howells and Skinner - seem to favour Rumbelow's Violina/Violenia identification for Anderson's witness.

      I am not sure whether "Summing Up and Verdict" had appeared by the time Jim Swanson contacted the Daily Telegraph to tell them about the marginalia. The Amazon website gives the month of publication as October, and according to information posted previously by Stewart Evans, Swanson contacted the Telegraph in response to an article published on 3 October. Charles Nevin's article about the marginalia appeared on 19 October.

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      • #63
        I can't really see an apparently perfectly respectable elderly man, who had had years in which he could, if he wanted, have forged an account of how Swanson decided it was Druitt, or Dr Stanley, etc, suddenly rushing out and buying the very latest Ripper thinking, reading it and using it to forge an account based on it - then publicising it. All in the space of a few days/weeks.

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        • #64
          Robert,

          IF it was a forgery, you would have the time frame wrong. I doubt the idea of a forgery occurred first, then he rushed out and bought a book and forged it. *IF* it was a forgery, no doubt, the book was bought, read and the idea of the forgery sprang from it. It would not take an excessive amount of time to write the actual forged portion.

          And it may just be that he didn't do it regarding Druitt or the like because he recognized the inanity of those suspects, whereas Kosminski, an insane, locked up poor person made a much more plausible suspect.

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

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          • #65
            Hi Ally

            This question began with Chris's post number 8 on this thread
            http://forum.casebook.org/showthread.php?t=2355
            and I was addressing Chris's point from his post 60 on the current thread.

            I only have the 1989 paperback copy of Fido's book, and I gather that the 1987 version was different. However it still presumably names Kaminsky as JTR, rather than Kosminski. I don't know precisely when in 1987 Fido's book was published, but wouldn't a forger basing his forgery on Fido's book have written "Kaminsky was the suspect"?

            The timescale is much tighter with the Wilson/Odell book, which was apparently published in October. Even if it was published on October 1st, it would give only a few days for any forger to read it - or at least pick out the best bits from it - and then do his work. The forger would have had to be very up to date, and a fair bit impetuous, to work like this. I don't really see an elderly man behaving like this.

            Perhaps Stewart or someone else could tell us if Mr Swanson was known to keep up to date with the JTR world and whether he had a pre-1987 JTR book collection, e.g. Cullen, Farson, Knight.

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            • #66
              I have an odd question...In some ways to me the signatures look similar, in some ways not...

              Do we know if he had a slight tremor or something like Parkinson's or some other neurological condtion at the end of his life?

              The marginalia look to me to be the work of someone who had more difficulty holding a pencil and perhaps a slight tremor...
              Cheers,
              cappuccina

              "Don't make me get my flying monkeys!"

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              • #67
                Originally posted by Robert View Post
                This question began with Chris's post number 8 on this thread
                http://forum.casebook.org/showthread.php?t=2355
                and I was addressing Chris's point from his post 60 on the current thread.

                I only have the 1989 paperback copy of Fido's book, and I gather that the 1987 version was different. However it still presumably names Kaminsky as JTR, rather than Kosminski. I don't know precisely when in 1987 Fido's book was published, but wouldn't a forger basing his forgery on Fido's book have written "Kaminsky was the suspect"?
                I suppose that would depend whether he wanted to follow Fido's theory, or present a different one.

                But my point really was that - although, as Rob C points out, Fido did mention the Blackwood's version - it seems he didn't quote it or say anything that would indicate to the reader that Anderson's witness was Jewish. And Fido's own theory was that the witness was a "City PC".

                So to my mind the fact that the marginalia imply that the witness was Jewish, and that this was the reason he refused to give evidence - as does the Blackwood's version - is a strong point against the notion that they could have been a fake based on Fido's book.

                Fido's book seems to have been published in September, by the way.

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                • #68
                  Originally posted by Robert View Post
                  However [the first edition of Fido's book] still presumably names Kaminsky as JTR, rather than Kosminski.
                  It does identify Kaminsky, Rob (1st hardback edn., 1987). What might interest "marginalists", however, is that the book also tells of Kosminski's initial internment in Mile End Workhouse¹, before being taken to Colney Hatch. I believe that this was the first time these details had been made public, but I am happy to be corrected on that point.

                  ¹ NB, not Stepney Workhouse, but perhaps "synonymous" with it in the loosest sense... not that I want to reopen that particular debate here!
                  Kind regards, Sam Flynn

                  "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

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                  • #69
                    Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post
                    It does identify Kaminsky, Rob (1st hardback edn., 1987). What might interest "marginalists", however, is that the book also tells of Kosminski's initial internment in Mile End Workhouse¹, before being taken to Colney Hatch. I believe that this was the first time these details had been made public, but I am happy to be corrected on that point.

                    ¹ NB, not Stepney Workhouse, but perhaps "synonymous" with it in the loosest sense... not that I want to reopen that particular debate here!
                    I think that's right, except that as far as I can see, Fido mentions only the visit to the workhouse infirmary in July 1890, not the admission in February 1891 immediately preceding his commital to Colney Hatch. However, in the appendix Fido does say that he was certified by the medical officer of Mile End Old Town Union.

                    I think all this information came from the Colney Hatch records, not from those of the workhouse.

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                    • #70
                      Originally posted by Chris View Post
                      I think that's right, except that as far as I can see, Fido mentions only the visit to the workhouse infirmary in July 1890, not the admission in February 1891 immediately preceding his commital to Colney Hatch. However, in the appendix Fido does say that he was certified by the medical officer of Mile End Old Town Union.
                      Thanks, Chris - it's not so much the specific timings as the sequence of "Mile End Workhouse Infirmary/Colney Hatch", that I found interesting in this context.
                      Kind regards, Sam Flynn

                      "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        Might not Fido"s book itself,if Kaminski was his named suspect ,have stimulated an irritated urge to correct error ?
                        If the reader already knew the name of the suspect was Kosminski, [from the Macnaghten 1894 report, family hearsay or whatever] he or she may at first have decided simply to "correct" an "error" recently read in "a new book on JtR " by inserting their own end notes together with the correct name "Kosminski".The "initials" just possibly "followed" naturally!
                        He sounds a little bit naive in some ways----how old was he ---exactly?

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                        • #72
                          Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post
                          Thanks, Chris - it's not so much the specific timings as the sequence of "Mile End Workhouse Infirmary/Colney Hatch", that I found interesting in this context.
                          Certainly there are points of contact - though surely that's only to be expected if the "marginalia" and Fido are dealing with the same events - but looking at the details, there are a lot of things in the "marginalia" that don't sit well with the idea that a hypothetical faker could have based them on Fido's book.

                          Maybe a close reading of the appendix would have indicated to someone who knew about Victorian procedure that there must indeed have been another visit to the workhouse immediately before the suspect was committed to Colney Hatch, even thought it's not explicitly stated by Fido. But I still don't understand at all why a modern faker would have altered Fido's "Mile End Old Town Workhouse" to "Stepney Workhouse", which despite Paul Begg's special pleading would naturally indicate Stepney Union Workhouse, a quite separate institution.

                          And then there's the question of the witness being Jewish, and the statement that the suspect died soon after being committed, which are equally at odds with the version presented by Fido.

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                          • #73
                            Jim Swanson

                            Gentlemen, Ladies:

                            A fascinating discussion ... I must point out, though, once again, as the then Daily Telegraph journalist concerned, that Jim Swanson was not paid any money for the story ... My understanding is that the News of the World would have been interested if the killer had been named as the Duke of Clarence or the Archbishop of Canterbury, but that an unknown Polish Jew didn't, if you'll pardon the expression, quite cut it ... for what it's worth, Jim Swanson also seemed to me a pretty straight kind of guy who then decided to give the story to the newspaper he read and trusted ... and I'm fairly sure, too, that M Fido's book came out some time after my article ...Regards, Charles N

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                            • #74
                              Originally posted by Natalie Severn View Post
                              Might not Fido"s book itself,if Kaminski was his named suspect ,have stimulated an irritated urge to correct error ?
                              If the reader already knew the name of the suspect was Kosminski, [from the Macnaghten 1894 report, family hearsay or whatever] he or she may at first have decided simply to "correct" an "error" recently read in "a new book on JtR " by inserting their own end notes together with the correct name "Kosminski".The "initials" just possibly "followed" naturally!
                              He sounds a little bit naive in some ways----how old was he ---exactly?
                              Hi Nats,

                              I must admit, the slightly odd sentence construction reads to me like the stress was meant to be on the name, as in:

                              Kosminski was the suspect [in question].

                              This would be subtly different in meaning from simply observing that:

                              The suspect was [a man named] Kosminski.

                              It does seem to imply some kind of correction, which would make little sense on the surface. But it could make sense if Swanson had come across what he considered to be an incorrect reference, a few years down the line, that had been made somewhere else, but having nobody to share it with at the time (either because it would be telling 'tales out of school', or nobody knew enough, or had enough interest by then), he made do with this private 'note to self' to correct the error he had noted elsewhere.

                              Alternatively, if Swanson did have an old police chum or two to chew the cud with, could it have arisen from a discussion about the old days, after which he felt the need to emphasise, for his own record, that it was Kosminski who was the suspect Anderson had in mind, and not whoever else's name may have come up?

                              Love,

                              Caz
                              X
                              Last edited by caz; 03-18-2009, 05:43 PM.
                              "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


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                              • #75
                                Along similar lines, another suggestion that's been made to me is that Swanson in his old age may have had difficulty recalling the suspect's name, and may have noted it down after either remembering it himself or being reminded of it by someone else. In that case the sense of the final sentence would be "Kosminski was the suspect's name."

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