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  • The "Sun" Reports on Thomas Cutbush

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    Casebook: Jack the Ripper - Forums > Ripper Discussions > Suspects > Cutbush, Thomas > The 'Sun' reports on Thomas Cutbush

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    PDAView Full Version : The 'Sun' reports on Thomas Cutbush


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    apwolf24th May 2006, 06:30 PM
    As I've just been reading once again through these reports I was wondering whether Grey Hunter might have the original copies of the newspaper reports and could fill in the missing and 'illegible' sections?
    It is frustrating not to have some of the important detail that might be missing.

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    apwolf29th May 2006, 11:20 PM
    ‘I have had the series of Sun newspaper reports on Cutbush for many years and have never thought of them as casting any light on the identity of Jack the Ripper.’
    Posted by someone on the ’Education Forums’ on June 8th 2005 at 8.47 am.
    Well?

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    apwolf26th July 2006, 10:20 PM
    Interested to note that the somewhat barmy - but nonetheless officially recognised during the LVP for his efforts with lunatics and the like - Forbes Winslow did firmly believe that his suspect had been locked up in Broadmoor in 1890.
    The year might be wrong but the place is right.
    This statement from Forbes Winslow was forced out of him by a newspaper.
    I wonder whether it was the Sun?

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    tom_wescott26th July 2006, 10:39 PM
    AP,

    There's so much info on Cutbush scattered in various threads over the boards. Is there any possibility you and/or Robert might put all this together someday? Maybe a new book? It's very difficult for those of us on the sidelines to keep up with.

    Yours truly,

    Tom Wescott

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    Natalie Severn26th July 2006, 10:52 PM
    Hi Ap,
    It is interesting this point you raise.He was convinced too that Jack was from the upper rather than lower stratas of society...what made him think this as early as Sept 12th 1888 -a view that corresponded to the view of Hughes Hallett as early as the night after the Tabram murder ?

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    apwolf26th July 2006, 11:31 PM
    Tom
    Robert and myself have certainly discussed the possibilities of producing a new volume on the entire Cutbush issue. And part of me would dearly love to do that, for I regard Robert as the finest gem in the entire market.
    But there is the rebel in me, you know the one, the rebel who has no time for publishers and their ilk, and I'm afraid the rebel wins everytime.
    I've done my day with the yankee dollar.
    But I would support Robert 100% if he produced his own volume and would even contribute to it gladly without any financial or copyright issues.
    But not me.
    I've retired.

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    tom_wescott26th July 2006, 11:48 PM
    Tom
    Robert and myself have certainly discussed the possibilities of producing a new volume on the entire Cutbush issue. And part of me would dearly love to do that, for I regard Robert as the finest gem in the entire market.
    But there is the rebel in me, you know the one, the rebel who has no time for publishers and their ilk, and I'm afraid the rebel wins everytime.
    I've done my day with the yankee dollar.
    But I would support Robert 100% if he produced his own volume and would even contribute to it gladly without any financial or copyright issues.
    But not me.
    I've retired.

    You could co-author it with him and STILL be the rebel by letting Robert keep all the money. (if he goes for that Robert, I want my 10% ~~ As for publishing, just publish it yourself. No input from a publisher at all. Self-publishing lends itself PERFECTLY to solidly researched volumes that are of interest to mainly a niche market like ours. Unfortunately, it's more often than not the worst books imaginable that get put out.

    Yours truly,

    Tom Wescott

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    robert27th July 2006, 08:34 AM
    Hi Tom

    Yes, we were going to co-write a book and AP got as far as doing the introduction. The fact that it didn't come to fruition is really my fault, as various personal situations beyond my control made it difficult for me to concentrate.

    I wouldn't mind giving it a bash, if AP will help. Any Yankee dollars earned (and I doubt if there'll be any) could be converted into Spanish brandy, the ultimate in liquid assets. However, as AP will tell you, there are still several research avenues that remain to be explored, so it's still evolving.

    Robert

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    tom_wescott27th July 2006, 04:56 PM
    Hi Tom

    Yes, we were going to co-write a book and AP got as far as doing the introduction. The fact that it didn't come to fruition is really my fault, as various personal situations beyond my control made it difficult for me to concentrate.

    I wouldn't mind giving it a bash, if AP will help. Any Yankee dollars earned (and I doubt if there'll be any) could be converted into Spanish brandy, the ultimate in liquid assets. However, as AP will tell you, there are still several research avenues that remain to be explored, so it's still evolving.

    Robert

    Robert,

    That is indeed good news. I'm certain the project would be fun for you both and I'm equally certain it would be enjoyed by many, many readers, which isn't such a bad incentive in itself.

    Yours truly,

    Tom Wescott

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    robert27th July 2006, 05:19 PM
    Tom, thanks very much for that. Hopefully in the next year, something will appear.

    Robert

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    hrak27th July 2006, 06:57 PM
    Dear Robert and AP,
    As a Casebook lurker, I am an avid reader of your postings, including your joustings with Tom W. I'm not sure how big your readership would be, but I would certainly be one of the throng clamouring for a coherant exposition of the Cutbush story as unravelled to date.

    PS to AP. I have seen you refer to your preference for Cairns in December. I do hope your hosts there have tried to entice you to visit in September for the Amateur Racing Carnival - the locals tend to dress a little better and there's less chance of being knocked over by a cyclone or stung by a lethal jellyfish.

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    robert27th July 2006, 07:41 PM
    Thanks Hilton. I should mention the great contribution made by other posters, especially Debra, Natalie and Chris.

    In the end it may turn out to be just the tale of a sad young man who was a few names short of a directory, but like Druitt contemplating the Thames, we're determined to get to the bottom of it.

    Robert

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    hrak27th July 2006, 07:50 PM
    Yes, Robert. Kudos to Chris, Natalie and Debra.
    I am at this moment looking across my balcony onto the Brisbane River. Like the Thames and JtR, it is indeed murky but it continues to flow.

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    apwolf19th October 2007, 10:36 PM
    And this flows too:

    'Walthamstow and Leyton Guardian (UK)
    Saturday, 10 August 1889

    THE WHITECHAPEL MURDER.
    The police have just had a severe disappointment, says a London correspondent, in connection with their search for the Whitechapel murderer. They received information of a man exactly answering the description of the person they are looking for. He was a lunatic, and learnt the butchering trade in his father's shop, had become a medical student on his father's death, had absented himself from home frequently at nights without giving any explanation of where he had been, and had written an extraordinary series of letters to the rector of his parish, which parish was in direct communication by a straight line of tram-rails with the very circle within which all the diabolical crimes have been perpetrated. Those letters indicated clearly that the writer was a lewd-minded lunatic, such as the murderer must be, and there occurred in them such ominous and coincidental expressions as threats to "rip up" both his mother and the rector. In fact, every conceivable circumstance about him exactly fitted in with a rational theory of the crimes with him as the chief actor in them, until one discovery upset the entire superstructure. He was at liberty during the whole of the murders except the last of all, when he was safe under lock and key in a private asylum. Until that false link in the chain was found the police certainly regarded the clues as the best they have had all along. Of course, there yet remains the contingency that this latest murder was the work of a fresh assassin, and Dr. Phillips inclines to that opinion from the nature of the mutilations. '

    Tom-Tom bang a drum.

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  • #2
    20th October 2007, 04:59 AM
    This is a very interesting article I hadn't read before. It illustrates how quickly suspicion could fall off a suspect if he had an ironclad alibi for just one of the murders.

    AP,

    Do you think this is referring to Thomas Cutbush? If so, why?

    Yours truly,

    Tom Wescott

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    robert20th October 2007, 08:48 AM
    Hi AP

    Intriguing find, but there are certain details that worry me. The idea of Tom becoming a medical student on his father's death (1886) might sound attractive, except that we know that as late as the early 1890s the Times and the Gazette had notices appealing for Tom's father to come forward to explain his east end property interests. So apparently Tom's mother didn't know that her husband had died in 1886 until later on.

    Also, as far as we know, his father never ran a butcher's shop.

    Robert

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    Stephen Thomas20th October 2007, 09:02 AM
    A good find, AP

    Given the date of the article it would seem that this interesting fellow was only incarcerated at the time of the Alice MacKenzie murder three weeks earlier. I wonder who he was?

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    Natalie Severn20th October 2007, 10:04 AM
    The above words were uttered by a tall thin young man who it seems was Thomas Cutbush.He had approached a young couple after being seen lurking in the vicinity of a ruined building in North london.He was tall and thin and about 33 and had approached a young couple .This was 10.30 at night in March 1891 and we know he was in the bin by 5 March 1891 and soon after sent to Broadmoor for the criminally insane.
    Its possible Cutbush told the police he was a "medical man", that he thought his father was dead [and his father did die in 1886 and he may have known this but not his mother-he was way out of the control of his mother and his aunt who had no idea where he was most of the time.
    Curious all of this.

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    robert20th October 2007, 12:33 PM
    Hi Nats

    Or, as there appears to be some confusion in the various sources as to whether Tom's father had died or emigrated, perhaps Kate told Tom that his father was dead - long dead. We could even speculate that Tom discovered the true story of his father's desertion of the family around 1888, and that this contributed to his mental illness. Whatever he knew about his father, it's clear that in the 80s he lost both his grandparents (we don't know whether he was attached to them) and his mother seems to have had something going with Mr Petrolie. I wish we knew more!

    Robert

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    apwolf20th October 2007, 04:39 PM
    Thanks everyone, yes it is a most intriguing find.
    What I find of abiding interest is that we seem here, in 1889, to have the seed that later germinated into the - much later - 'Macnaghten Memo' and the 'Sun' reports.
    The points of similarity are:
    The young man was a lunatic.
    He absented himself from home frequently at nights.
    He had written an extraordinary series of letters.
    Threatened to 'rip-up' his mother.
    He was in an asylum sometime after 1888.

    Now if that isn't Thomas Cutbush then I'm the Maharaja of Cooch Behar!

    The 'medical student' would also fit young Thomas; and yes he probably did believe his father to be dead... the butcher's shop is just about the only thing that doesn't fit, but I do wonder whether amongst the properties owned by his father in Whitechapel there might have been a butcher's shop?
    One of the properties was certainly a shop.
    I must look into this at once.

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    Natalie Severn20th October 2007, 04:51 PM
    Hi All,
    Whats quite likely is that the press -and the public -needed a "butcher" somewhere in their story and simply invented that bit.The Police files of 1888 at Kew are filled with references to police chasing "doctors" to France, Liverpool, Scotland etc many of them never to be heard of again.So its clear doctors -and for similar reasons probably "butchers" too, were at the top of their list for suspected occupations of the ripper !

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    mariag20th October 2007, 05:11 PM
    Given Thomas's obsessive study of medical books, it's quite possible that he would think of himself and refer to himself as a "medical man".

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    apwolf20th October 2007, 05:19 PM
    Robert
    could you do me the favour of posting the law report concerning the whereabouts of TTC and the properties in question?
    I can't find the beggar now!

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    robert20th October 2007, 05:47 PM
    Linking you to Chris's post where he transcribes it, AP.



    http://www.casebook.org/forum/messages/4922/12127.html

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    aspallek20th October 2007, 06:18 PM
    Thanks everyone, yes it is a most intriguing find.
    What I find of abiding interest is that we seem here, in 1889, to have the seed that later germinated into the - much later - 'Macnaghten Memo' and the 'Sun' reports.
    The points of similarity are:
    The young man was a lunatic.
    He absented himself from home frequently at nights.
    He had written an extraordinary series of letters.
    Threatened to 'rip-up' his mother.
    He was in an asylum sometime after 1888.

    Now if that isn't Thomas Cutbush then I'm the Maharaja of Cooch Behar!

    The 'medical student' would also fit young Thomas; and yes he probably did believe his father to be dead... the butcher's shop is just about the only thing that doesn't fit, but I do wonder whether amongst the properties owned by his father in Whitechapel there might have been a butcher's shop?
    One of the properties was certainly a shop.
    I must look into this at once.

    Maybe I'm missing something but I don't see any direct connection to the Macnaghten memo. There is, however, a rather striking literal tie to Sir Melville's Days of my years. Macnaghten writes: "he absented himself from home at certain times." There may be nothing to this but the wording it somewhat peculiar and may point to an original police source behind both this article and Macnaghten.

    Of course, what is glaringly missing from this article in conncetion with Macnaghten is any mention of the suspect committing suicide or dying shortly after the last murder.

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    apwolf20th October 2007, 06:41 PM
    Thanks Robert
    reading through the old thread reminded me of several things.
    Firstly there was a 'Henry Cutbush (pork butcher') in Clerkenwell at this time; and then I did find that funny little token on E-Bay which had been issued by a butcher named Cutbush in Billingsgate Market around 1888.
    Looking at the Cutbush properties in Fieldgate Street once again, we musn't forget the immediate proximity to the Jewish synagogue located there, and the fact that 'kosher' butchers were based in that street for that very reason.
    Our old mate, Jacob Levy, butcher, was right next door - almost - at 11 Fieldgate Street... nodding neighbours with the Kosminski's at 13 Fieldgate; and one must also remember the Cutbush property that straddled between Fieldgate and the Whitechapel Road at 35 Fieldgate, general store.

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    Celesta20th October 2007, 07:40 PM
    Hi Tom

    Yes, we were going to co-write a book and AP got as far as doing the introduction. The fact that it didn't come to fruition is really my fault, as various personal situations beyond my control made it difficult for me to concentrate.

    I wouldn't mind giving it a bash, if AP will help. Any Yankee dollars earned (and I doubt if there'll be any) could be converted into Spanish brandy, the ultimate in liquid assets. However, as AP will tell you, there are still several research avenues that remain to be explored, so it's still evolving.

    Robert

    Hi Robert,

    Being somewhat new to this Casebook, I had gotten the impression that Cutbush was suspect non-grata but did not understand why. To avoid yet another display of my own ignorance I have kept quiet on the topic. From what I know of Cutbush, much of which came from an article by one A. P. Wolf, I believed him to be a major knife-wielding nutcase and an obvious suspect in the Ripper cases. Is he or isn't he a viable suspect? I would be very interested in what you all might have to say about Robert, as long as I can get my hands on the book here in yankee-dollar land.

    Take care.

    Celesta

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    aspallek20th October 2007, 07:52 PM
    I thought this was interesting in light of the mention of letters sent to a rector in the article posted by AP above:

    The City Press (London)
    Wednesday, 19 December 1888.
    THE RECENT MURDERS.
    It is stated that the City police are making searching inquiries into what they regard as "the most important clue" yet obtained. The clergyman at the head of one of the metropolitan missions received a letter from a man who had attended the services conducted by him, but whom he had not seen for some time. The letter was in three different styles of writing, but it has been proved that it was penned by the same hand, and the interesting fact is that it most minutely tallies with the writings on the post-cards which were circulated by the police. The letter was first of all taken to the Scotland-yard authorities, and all the attendant circumstances explained, but, owing to the many false scents they are put upon, the matter was not taken up. The letter was then submitted to the detective department of the City police, and, after carefully considering the matter, Mr. McWilliams [sic], who has the case in hand, said, as mentioned in the opening, that it was the most important clue they had as yet received.

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    apwolf20th October 2007, 08:50 PM
    Nice one, Andy, now we are smoking and stoking a good trail.

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    Natalie Severn20th October 2007, 08:55 PM
    Thanks Robert-I had noted it and think it very possible his mother concealed the truth from him about his father!
    Thanks too to Andy for that mention-I had never seen it-interesting!


    Hi Celesta,
    He is a plausible suspect-see AP Wolf"s, "Jack the Myth", which AP kindly allowed to be posted here on Casebook.Also threads here on Casebook.
    The Sun Articles of 1894 which I got hold of and Chris transcribed for the casebook give a lot of background to his candidature.
    The Inspector concerned with passing information to the press appears to have been Inspector Reid- Macnaghten in his memorandum gives details that Reid has held onto Cutbush"s knife for over 3 years and asks why this is etc.He goes on to refute the Sun"s claims.
    Cutbush was dismissed as a suspect for JtR by Macnaghten largely on the basis that the offences for which he was sentenced to LIFE in BROADMOOR were "very minor" compared to the ripper"s savagery.He had attacked young women in the streets of Kennington with a bowie knife.Mostly this had involved him creeping up behind them and thrusting the knife into their buttocks.
    Cutbush was though,quite apart from these attacks, a violently homicidal man.He had almost killed a man he worked with who had the temerity to laugh at him - he being a complete narcissist who was forever looking at himself in mirrors.Another time, Cutbush had crept up on a doctor in his surgery and threatened him with a knife or a pistol for prescribing the wrong medicine.
    He was a paranoid schizophrenic who thought doctors were out to poison him.

    Best Wishes
    Natalie

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    Celesta20th October 2007, 09:28 PM
    Thanks Robert-I had noted it and think it very possible his mother concealed the truth from him about his father!
    Thanks too to Andy for that mention-I had never seen it-interesting!


    Hi Celesta,
    He is a plausible suspect-see AP Wolf"s, "Jack the Myth", which AP kindly allowed to be posted here on Casebook.Also threads here on Casebook.
    The Sun Articles of 1894 which I got hold of and Chris transcribed for the casebook give a lot of background to his candidature.

    Best Wishes
    Natalie

    Hi Nats,

    Thanks. I did read "Jack the Myth," which set me to wondering about this character. That he did the weird things you describe and yet suspicion didn't stick to him, in an historical sense, as much as it seems to have stuck to others, bothers me in light of his obvious violent tendencies. I believe that 'bloody clothing' was found in his chimney. Or is that a myth? Oh, for a time machine. I would really like to see those clothes, wouldn't you, Natalie?

    Take care.

    C.

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    Natalie Severn20th October 2007, 09:40 PM
    Celesta,
    It may have been something to do with preconceptions about the type of killer JtR was added to the fact that Macnaghten states clearly he believes him to be one of their men"s nephews.Supt. Charles Cutbush was said to be his uncle and Supt Cutbush worked on the Ripper case initially.
    Good to chat with you again Celeste!
    N

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