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William Bury: Jack the Ripper

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  • Aethelwulf
    replied
    Obviously anybody could have had lots of farthings and a sovreign holder if that was part of a ruse to get the victims on side, but interesting all the same that Bury had:

    Lying on window sill:-
    A bag containing 68 farthings

    In large padlocked box:-
    a sovereign holder:

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  • Aethelwulf
    replied
    Originally posted by Aethelwulf View Post

    Cheers John, there is an updated version below. I realised I misunderstood the reference to where Martin and Ellen lived. Ellen was living in Martin's establishment at 80 Quickett Street, which is off Arnold Road. The ref I found made it sound like two different places.

    I've added the other addresses in Blackthorn St and Swaton Rd. Swaton Rd is where they lodged with Elizabeth Haynes - where she found him kneeling on Ellen with a knife to her throat in an argument about money. That latter is intersting given his proximity to Wilson and his similarity to the description of her attacker, and of course that he actually murdered a woman. Haven't looked in detail yet for any confirmation of the story that Bury stabbed Edward Gough aged 10 to get money. Could well believe that is true though.


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    I had forgotten what was probably Bury's main reasion for wanting money in early 1888. He was sacked in March by Martin for not brining in enough money and he left owing about 17, which in today's money is just short of 1700. I believe this is the money Ellen tried to repay Martin in a pub in Whitechapel - Bury's repsonse was to turn and hit her in the face, charmer that he was.

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  • John Wheat
    replied
    Thanks for the updated Map Aethelwulf.

    Cheers John

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  • Aethelwulf
    replied
    Originally posted by John Wheat View Post
    Thanks for the Map and info Aethelwulf.
    Cheers John, there is an updated version below. I realised I misunderstood the reference to where Martin and Ellen lived. Ellen was living in Martin's establishment at 80 Quickett Street, which is off Arnold Road. The ref I found made it sound like two different places.

    I've added the other addresses in Blackthorn St and Swaton Rd. Swaton Rd is where they lodged with Elizabeth Haynes - where she found him kneeling on Ellen with a knife to her throat in an argument about money. That latter is intersting given his proximity to Wilson and his similarity to the description of her attacker, and of course that he actually murdered a woman. Haven't looked in detail yet for any confirmation of the story that Bury stabbed Edward Gough aged 10 to get money. Could well believe that is true though.


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  • John Wheat
    replied
    Thanks for the Map and info Aethelwulf.

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  • Aethelwulf
    replied
    Map of Bow below:
    • Maidman Street - residence of Ada Wilson - 0.75 mile from Arnold Road
    • Quickett Street - Where Ellen Bury was living when she met Bury
    • Arnold Road - Where James Martin lived. This is where Bury was staying before his marriage, sleeping in the stable or on the kitchen floor. This would have been his location at the time of the Wilson attack (three quarters of a mile away)
    • Spanby Road - The Bury's final address in Bow before leaving for Dundee. They also lived at Swaton Road and Blackthorn Street - both 100 to 200 m from Spanby Road
    • Bow Cemetery - Somewhat dubious dossing site of 'Spring Heel Jack the Whitechapel Murderer'
    • Other - Lee Pond incident - not certain where exactly this is located. Man fitting Bury's age and build washing a bloody knife in Lee's Wharf. Potentially one of the wharfes near Bow Bridge, about a mile east of Bury (newspaer cutting here: https://forum.casebook.org/forum/rip...-pond-incident)
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  • Aethelwulf
    replied
    A Bow reference in the 'Spring Heeled Jack' letter (National Archives: reference MEPO 3/142 ‘Jack’ letter, 4 Oct 1888. ‘Spring Heel Jack The Whitechapel Murderer’). Transcript below (letter is here page 21: https://cdn.nationalarchives.gov.uk/...ktheripper.pdf).

    I'd be interested to know if the date corresponds with any stories about an American. I suspect the ripper kept abreast of all the news and may have reflected this in any letters he may have written (if any are genuine).

    I am an American I have been in London the last ten months and have murdered no less than six women I mean to make a dozen of it now while I am about it I think I may as well have six men in blue to make the number as I see there is a few too many knocking about the east End looking for me but I am close upon their heel every day and will be for some time yet and I was in the crowd at Berners Street watching the blue boys wash the blood marks away sorry to give you so much trouble but what I have sworne to do I will at the cost of my own life at nights I have been sleeping in Bow cemetery one thing I have to tell you know is the policemen who has found the women it is those I mean settleing[sic] as they will not g[et] the chance of giving evidence against me I shall shortly have to shift or [illegible] my quarters from Bow cemetery as I have enlightened you a bit about I have written this on the Embankment near Waterloo. Jack the Ripper I will rip a few more So help my God I Will

    [Image of two knives with blood dripping from them]

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  • Aethelwulf
    replied
    Originally posted by John Wheat View Post

    Eye witnesses are notoriously unreliable and we don't know which witnesses actually saw the Ripper.
    True John. In the grand scheme of things, few inches difference, given Bury would have appeared around in boots and hat 5/4, is neither here nor there. As noted in#182, the police thought he was very like the man seen talking to kelly - this can only really be Aman, and they thought he answered the description given by two other witnesses. Weigh a few inches difference (but remember Levy, Long and Schwartz and Farmer's attacker are all short men) against Bury, the only suspect who is a sexually motivated post mortem mutilator and who police doing the leg work on him believed he was the ripper...

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  • Fleetwood Mac
    replied
    Originally posted by John Wheat View Post

    Eye witnesses are notoriously unreliable and we don't know which witnesses actually saw the Ripper.
    I agree that we don't know which witnesses saw the WM. My view is that the most likely are Lawende, PC Smith and Mary Ann Cox (who I believe described a shorter man).

    I wouldn't necessarily write off witness descriptions as unreliable. One of Peter Sutcliffe's victims who survived the attack gave a remarkably accurate description/photofit.

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  • John Wheat
    replied
    Originally posted by Fleetwood Mac View Post

    Aye but same inference.

    A serial killer placed himself into the hands of the police after he had committed a murder. As I said, that is highly unusual.



    Lawende was taken to be the leading witness of the three at Mitre Square, not Joseph Levy.

    Lawende and PC Smith gave the height as 5'7 to 5'8 which would seem a bit of a leap from Bury.
    Eye witnesses are notoriously unreliable and we don't know which witnesses actually saw the Ripper.

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  • Fleetwood Mac
    replied
    Originally posted by Aethelwulf View Post

    Bury didn't hand himself in, he went to the police to report the death/suicide of his wife.
    Aye but same inference.

    A serial killer placed himself into the hands of the police after he had committed a murder. As I said, that is highly unusual.

    Originally posted by Aethelwulf View Post

    Eyewitness descriptions............important connection points between William Bury
    Lawende was taken to be the leading witness of the three at Mitre Square, not Joseph Levy.

    Lawende and PC Smith gave the height as 5'7 to 5'8 which would seem a bit of a leap from Bury.

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  • Aethelwulf
    replied
    Originally posted by Fleetwood Mac View Post
    It would be highly unusual for a serial killer to voluntarily hand himself to the police (not impossible, however, as a small selection of serial killers have done just that).

    Mind you, Bury didn't confess to being the WM.

    I would say that given the timings involved, there's a decent chance that one of PC Smith's clerk or Lawende's fair man was the WM, which I think would rule out Bury.
    Here (below) is a good comparison between Bury and the various descriptions by Steve Earp (link: http://williambury.org/blog6/the-bury-id/). Sandy/fair facial hair.

    Bury didn't hand himself in, he went to the police to report the death/suicide of his wife. You would think having a team of 12 detectives on Bury over months of work would easily rule him out, but, when talking to detectives who actually worked the case:
    • Hastings reported, “the facts they gathered pointed more and more clearly to Bury being Jack the Ripper, but it was a slow task, entailing months of work, and they had been ordered to make nothing public”
    Eyewitness descriptions must be treated with caution, as they often contain inaccuracies, however there are important connection points between William Bury and many of the ones that exist. According to William Bury’s Dewsbury prison record (Bury had been convicted of vagrancy in 1884), he was 5’2” (37), and according to one newspaper report, he was 5’3” “in his boots” (38). Wearing a hat, then, he would have stood a little over 5’4″. This would have put him just a few inches taller than Annie Chapman and Catherine Eddowes, who were both wearing boots and headgear when they were murdered, and would therefore align him with the height estimates provided by Elizabeth Long and Joseph Levy, who both claimed that the man they saw was only slightly taller than the woman standing next to him. At a little over 5’4”, Bury would also align well with the 5’5” height estimates provided by Israel Schwartz and Caroline Maxwell. William Bury had a dark complexion (39) and dark brown hair (40), but he had a “fair moustache” (41), his facial hair being described as “light sandy-coloured” (42). Long and Maxwell both described a man who was “dark” (43) and Joseph Lawende a man whose moustache was “fair” (44) and “inclining to be sandy” (45). Long described a man “who appeared to be a foreigner” (46) and William Bury was described by a contemporary observer as having “features somewhat of the Jewish or Semitic type” when viewed from the side (47). William Bury was 29 at the time of the Jack the Ripper murders, which makes him a good fit with the age estimates provided by Schwartz, Lawende and Maxwell. Because of the discrepancies among the various eyewitness descriptions, no single person could perfectly fit all of them, but William Bury aligns with them in a number of different ways.

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  • Fleetwood Mac
    replied
    It would be highly unusual for a serial killer to voluntarily hand himself to the police (not impossible, however, as a small selection of serial killers have done just that).

    Mind you, Bury didn't confess to being the WM.

    I would say that given the timings involved, there's a decent chance that one of PC Smith's clerk or Lawende's fair man was the WM, which I think would rule out Bury.
    Last edited by Fleetwood Mac; 09-10-2022, 12:32 PM.

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  • Aethelwulf
    replied
    Originally posted by Harry D View Post
    Goulston Street is on en route from Mitre Square back to Bow. Based on the police testimony, the killer must have ducked inside or loitered around somewhere for up to an hour before he deposited the apron and wrote the graffito. It's possible Bury had somewhere he dossed while out on the lash, or the killer might have been hiding in a nearby warehouse or disused building. Although I don't know why the killer, Bury or no, wouldn't have made a beeline for home after killing Eddowes, rather than returning to the streets when the police were on high alert.
    as the police found out he'd been constantly moving address he could have used some of ellen's money (~40K today) to have several bolt holes.

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  • Harry D
    replied
    Goulston Street is on en route from Mitre Square back to Bow. Based on the police testimony, the killer must have ducked inside or loitered around somewhere for up to an hour before he deposited the apron and wrote the graffito. It's possible Bury had somewhere he dossed while out on the lash, or the killer might have been hiding in a nearby warehouse or disused building. Although I don't know why the killer, Bury or no, wouldn't have made a beeline for home after killing Eddowes, rather than returning to the streets when the police were on high alert.

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