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  • Cutbush - Too Easily Dismissed As A Suspect?

    When people talk about their lists of likeliest suspects we get a variety of names that are so consistent that most of us could have a reasonable guess at the ones that most often appear on a top ten. One name that rarely gets mentioned these days though is Thomas Hayne Cutbush. I’ve thought for a while that he’s a decent suspect and I’ve intended to have a second look to refresh my memory so I re-read David Bullock’s book and looked through some old threads on here and over on JTTForums. My opinion is that Cutbush is too easily dismissed as a suspect. Compared to some that have emerged in recent years like Endacott, Hardiman, Mann and Bachert, he’s just way ahead. I think that he’s worth considering.

    Age - He was 22 at the time of the murders so a little younger than the killer is generally expected to have been, but I don’t see it as much of an issue.

    Private life - His father left when he was born so he was looked after and fussed over by his mother and her sister - he was academically unremarkable - eccentric - his aunt said that he used to look after bullied children

    General Description - 5’9” tall - slightly built - dark complexion - short whiskers - piercing dark blue eyes - so close to some of the descriptions - physically fit, scaled walls and fences.

    Local Knowledge - Worked at various jobs in the East End, including one job where he travelled the area selling advertising space. (It’s worth mentioning that when Inspector Race mentioned having this knowledge he denied it)

    Medical/Anatomical Knowledge - Had an obsessive interest in anatomy, had books and was always doing gruesome anatomical drawings, claimed that he wanted to enter the medical profession

    Connection to prostitutes - Claimed that a prostitute gave him syphilis even though a Doctor said that he didn’t have it. Cutbush threatened to kill him.

    Violence - Tried to slit his mothers throat - attacked two women with a large knife, stabbing one in the lower back - his aunt said that he’d taken a knife to a servant girl before being disturbed - pushed an old man downstairs because he commented that Cutbush was always looking in the mirror - his aunt told a journalist that before 1888 he had a relationship with a woman/prostitute which ended after he brutally attacked and raped her - he owned several knives - he assaulted a fellow inmate at Broadmoor - a solicitor said that Cutbush intended to murder him -

    Mental state - He was sent to Broadmoor for life (something that has been seen as ‘strange’ considering that he was only charged with attacking two women. Others committing offences as serious got far less severe sentences so was there a reason for this?) - His aunt and mother said that he had an evil temper - very obsessive - vindictive - could think on his feet.

    Habits - Was known to walk the streets at night returning in the early hours covered in mud and blood - he drew graphic anatomical images of mutilated women - he was obsessed with the idea that a prostitute had given him syphilis causing lesions on his face and threatened to kill the Doctor who said that he hadn’t got it - he talked to anyone that would listen about horrible disease and their causes and cures - he loved to shock - repeatedly sacked from jobs due to poor timekeeping

    Additional points - in Cutbush’s attic room Inspector Race found bloodied clothing covered in turpentine stuffed up the chimney - although he’d worked extensively in the East End he denied, when asked by Race, any knowledge of the area - when arrested by Race, Cutbush asked him if it was to do with the Mile End job? Race knew nothing of this but years later learned of an incident of a man fitting Cutbush’s description going into a pub and sitting next to a prostitute who ended up screaming that he was the ripper - he made several references to ‘laying girls out’ - journalists saw the papers of the Barrister and Solicitor at Cutbush’s trial, both suspected him of being the ripper - why for only two attacks was he made a category A prisoner and placed among the most dangerous inmates? There are a few more things that I won’t go into as this is already quite s long post.

    Cutbush appears to have way more going for him as a suspect than most so why is he pretty much ignored?

    ……

    I do have one question though, it’s said that he had dark eyes but in his photograph he has light eyes? Why?
    Regards

    Sir Herlock Sholmes

    “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.”

  • #2
    Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post
    When people talk about their lists of likeliest suspects we get a variety of names that are so consistent that most of us could have a reasonable guess at the ones that most often appear on a top ten. One name that rarely gets mentioned these days though is Thomas Hayne Cutbush. I’ve thought for a while that he’s a decent suspect and I’ve intended to have a second look to refresh my memory so I re-read David Bullock’s book and looked through some old threads on here and over on JTTForums. My opinion is that Cutbush is too easily dismissed as a suspect. Compared to some that have emerged in recent years like Endacott, Hardiman, Mann and Bachert, he’s just way ahead. I think that he’s worth considering.

    Age - He was 22 at the time of the murders so a little younger than the killer is generally expected to have been, but I don’t see it as much of an issue.

    Private life - His father left when he was born so he was looked after and fussed over by his mother and her sister - he was academically unremarkable - eccentric - his aunt said that he used to look after bullied children

    General Description - 5’9” tall - slightly built - dark complexion - short whiskers - piercing dark blue eyes - so close to some of the descriptions - physically fit, scaled walls and fences.

    Local Knowledge - Worked at various jobs in the East End, including one job where he travelled the area selling advertising space. (It’s worth mentioning that when Inspector Race mentioned having this knowledge he denied it)

    Medical/Anatomical Knowledge - Had an obsessive interest in anatomy, had books and was always doing gruesome anatomical drawings, claimed that he wanted to enter the medical profession

    Connection to prostitutes - Claimed that a prostitute gave him syphilis even though a Doctor said that he didn’t have it. Cutbush threatened to kill him.

    Violence - Tried to slit his mothers throat - attacked two women with a large knife, stabbing one in the lower back - his aunt said that he’d taken a knife to a servant girl before being disturbed - pushed an old man downstairs because he commented that Cutbush was always looking in the mirror - his aunt told a journalist that before 1888 he had a relationship with a woman/prostitute which ended after he brutally attacked and raped her - he owned several knives - he assaulted a fellow inmate at Broadmoor - a solicitor said that Cutbush intended to murder him -

    Mental state - He was sent to Broadmoor for life (something that has been seen as ‘strange’ considering that he was only charged with attacking two women. Others committing offences as serious got far less severe sentences so was there a reason for this?) - His aunt and mother said that he had an evil temper - very obsessive - vindictive - could think on his feet.

    Habits - Was known to walk the streets at night returning in the early hours covered in mud and blood - he drew graphic anatomical images of mutilated women - he was obsessed with the idea that a prostitute had given him syphilis causing lesions on his face and threatened to kill the Doctor who said that he hadn’t got it - he talked to anyone that would listen about horrible disease and their causes and cures - he loved to shock - repeatedly sacked from jobs due to poor timekeeping

    Additional points - in Cutbush’s attic room Inspector Race found bloodied clothing covered in turpentine stuffed up the chimney - although he’d worked extensively in the East End he denied, when asked by Race, any knowledge of the area - when arrested by Race, Cutbush asked him if it was to do with the Mile End job? Race knew nothing of this but years later learned of an incident of a man fitting Cutbush’s description going into a pub and sitting next to a prostitute who ended up screaming that he was the ripper - he made several references to ‘laying girls out’ - journalists saw the papers of the Barrister and Solicitor at Cutbush’s trial, both suspected him of being the ripper - why for only two attacks was he made a category A prisoner and placed among the most dangerous inmates? There are a few more things that I won’t go into as this is already quite s long post.

    Cutbush appears to have way more going for him as a suspect than most so why is he pretty much ignored?

    ……

    I do have one question though, it’s said that he had dark eyes but in his photograph he has light eyes? Why?
    Hi Herlock
    Ive always thought he was a valid suspect (albeit something of a long shot), I just thought there wasnt much known about him. where does all this detail come from (other than whats in the MM)? is it totally verified? when was he arrested and or become a ripper suspect?
    can you post his photo?
    Last edited by Abby Normal; 08-22-2022, 02:52 PM.
    "Is all that we see or seem
    but a dream within a dream?"

    -Edgar Allan Poe


    "...the man and the peaked cap he is said to have worn
    quite tallies with the descriptions I got of him."

    -Frederick G. Abberline

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post
      I do have one question though, it’s said that he had dark eyes but in his photograph he has light eyes? Why?
      Because the photograph Bullock uses isn't actually Cutbush.

      New Cutbush Book : The Man Who Would Be Jack: The Hunt For Jack The Ripper - Jack The Ripper Forums - Ripperology For The 21st Century (jtrforums.com)

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks Roger.

        That explains that little mystery.
        Regards

        Sir Herlock Sholmes

        “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.”

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Abby Normal View Post

          Hi Herlock
          Ive always thought he was a valid suspect (albeit something of a long shot), I just thought there wasnt much known about him. where does all this detail come from (other than whats in the MM)? is it totally verified? when was he arrested and or become a ripper suspect?
          can you post his photo?
          Hi Abby,

          I re-read Bullock’s bookin which he gives no sources which is a poor show of course. I also took a look at some older treads too, both on here and JTRForums so I’d be perfectly happy if anyone could show that any of the stuff that I posted can be shown to have been wrong.

          He was incarcerate in the Lunatic Ward of the Lambeth Infirmary after 4 armed orderlies nabbed his while he was in bed. He’d attempted to slit his mothers throat with a Bowie knife. He lived in an attic room in Albert Street, Kennington with his mother Kate and his aunt Clara. His father had run off to New Zealand when he was born and married bigamously. Cutbush escaped later the same day and while he was on the run attacked two women. Stabbing one in the lower back. Apparently he became Scotland Yards most wanted man. 2 officers lay in wait and caught him on the 9th as he was trying to return home via the back garden.

          He was put on trial on April 14th and found ‘unstable’ but not so insane that he didn’t know what he was doing. He ended up being sent to Broadmoor for life but the question was asked “why such a hefty sentence?” The inference being - did they think that he was the ripper?

          Race became convinced that he was the ripper (some might say obsessed) but he took his theory to CI Chisholm and CC MacNaghten but they rejected it. He then approached The Sun in 1893 leading to 2 journalists, Kennedy Jones and Louis Tracy were put on the case by T.P. O’Conner which led to the 1894 articled.
          Regards

          Sir Herlock Sholmes

          “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.”

          Comment


          • #6
            There is certainly some unsubstantiated stuff in the book though Abby. Like a story that came from Woodhall. And a story of a guy selling tea to Nichols before she died (in the company of a man called Jim) No sources is a big downside though and an unforgivable one. So I guess that what I’d say is that we could do with a good book on Cutbush by a responsible author because I think that he’s worthy of one.
            Regards

            Sir Herlock Sholmes

            “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.”

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post

              Hi Abby,

              I re-read Bullock’s bookin which he gives no sources which is a poor show of course. I also took a look at some older treads too, both on here and JTRForums so I’d be perfectly happy if anyone could show that any of the stuff that I posted can be shown to have been wrong.

              He was incarcerate in the Lunatic Ward of the Lambeth Infirmary after 4 armed orderlies nabbed his while he was in bed. He’d attempted to slit his mothers throat with a Bowie knife. He lived in an attic room in Albert Street, Kennington with his mother Kate and his aunt Clara. His father had run off to New Zealand when he was born and married bigamously. Cutbush escaped later the same day and while he was on the run attacked two women. Stabbing one in the lower back. Apparently he became Scotland Yards most wanted man. 2 officers lay in wait and caught him on the 9th as he was trying to return home via the back garden.

              He was put on trial on April 14th and found ‘unstable’ but not so insane that he didn’t know what he was doing. He ended up being sent to Broadmoor for life but the question was asked “why such a hefty sentence?” The inference being - did they think that he was the ripper?

              Race became convinced that he was the ripper (some might say obsessed) but he took his theory to CI Chisholm and CC MacNaghten but they rejected it. He then approached The Sun in 1893 leading to 2 journalists, Kennedy Jones and Louis Tracy were put on the case by T.P. O’Conner which led to the 1894 articled.
              thanks herlock
              if even half that stuff is true, then he makes a very valid suspect. thanks for providing dates, but can you provide years? i know next to nothing about him other than the MM. where was he during the autumn of terror? was he even in London?

              any hand writing examples?

              also, so no photo?
              Last edited by Abby Normal; 08-22-2022, 04:33 PM.
              "Is all that we see or seem
              but a dream within a dream?"

              -Edgar Allan Poe


              "...the man and the peaked cap he is said to have worn
              quite tallies with the descriptions I got of him."

              -Frederick G. Abberline

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Abby Normal View Post

                thanks herlock
                if even half that stuff is true, then he makes a very valid suspect. thanks for providing dates, but can you provide years? i know next to nothing about him other than the MM. where was he during the autumn of terror? was he even in London?

                any hand writing examples?

                also, so no photo?
                No handwriting examples or photo.

                His trial was 14th April 1891. Bullock says that Cutbush worked as a clerk for a tea company in the East End in 1888 as well as other jobs before and after though he provides no sources. Bullock also says that on April 19th 1891 Lloyd’s Weekly News demanded an investigation into Cutbush saying “In certain police circles there is growing feeling that it (the Cutbush case) may in the end prove to be in some way connected with the darker and more tragic mysteries of the East End.”
                Regards

                Sir Herlock Sholmes

                “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.”

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post
                  And a story of a guy selling tea to Nichols before she died (in the company of a man called Jim) No sources is a big downside though and an unforgivable one.
                  This story was reported, although the witness only said it was someone who fitted her description. I seem to recall he later viewed the body and said it wasn't the same woman, but I may have imagined that.

                  Echo 1 Sept;

                  "WHO IS JIM?
                  There is another point of some importance upon which the police rely. It is the statement of John Morgan, a coffee-stall keeper, who says that a woman, whose description answers to that given to him of the victim, called at his stall-three minutes' walk from Buck's-row-early yesterday morning. She was accompanied by a man whom she addressed as Jim. They appeared as if they had had a quarrel. The woman did all she could to pacify him. This morning our reporter had an interview with Mr. John Morgan, at the house where he lodges, 62, Oxford-street, near Bethnal-green-road. He said: It was half-past three or a quarter to four o'clock yesterday morning, when a woman, whom I knew was an immoral character, came to my stall and a man was with her. I am to-day to go to the mortuary before the inquest and see if I can identify her as the one who came there. Well, she was with a man, like a labourer, between 5ft. 4in. and 5ft. 6in. in height, with dark hair and short beard. He and the woman had words. Having had a cup of tea the woman said, "Come on, Jim, let's get home." Then they went away, and I did not think anything more of the occurrence until I heard of this dreadful affair at Buck's-row, near where it was. My stall is at the corner of Cambridge Heath-road. I have seen the woman several times, and could therefore identify her if she is the one I fancy it is. I did not hear any screams-at least, nothing to speak of."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post

                    Medical/Anatomical Knowledge - Had an obsessive interest in anatomy, had books and was always doing gruesome anatomical drawings, claimed that he wanted to enter the medical profession
                    Assuming the murderer was a one man band, I think that person was a fantasist. The sort of person who read a lot of books and was experimenting in his own fashion.

                    But, is there anything beyond The Sun newspaper report to suggest that Cutbush was obsessed with anatomy?

                    I'd love to hear it because this is the type of person I have in mind, assuming it was a lone murderer.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Joshua Rogan View Post

                      This story was reported, although the witness only said it was someone who fitted her description. I seem to recall he later viewed the body and said it wasn't the same woman, but I may have imagined that.
                      You're not imagining it, Joshua. The man was brought to the mortuary and the woman he saw on the Whitechapel Road with "Jim" was not Polly Nichols.

                      --much to the chagrin of Cutbush and Maybrick theorists who have both milked this canard.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Fleetwood Mac View Post

                        Assuming the murderer was a one man band, I think that person was a fantasist. The sort of person who read a lot of books and was experimenting in his own fashion.

                        But, is there anything beyond The Sun newspaper report to suggest that Cutbush was obsessed with anatomy?

                        I'd love to hear it because this is the type of person I have in mind, assuming it was a lone murderer.
                        Bullock provides no sources so it rightly leaves him open for criticism. He says that his aunt and mother mention his anatomical drawings and that Inspector Race took some away with him which he showed to the journalists who wrote the 1894 series of articles. He also says that one of his employers criticised him for drawing when he should have been working but again, no sources. There are still some threads on here and JTRForums that I haven’t read so it’s possible that the information lies in research done on these. I just think that he’s a suspect that might deserve a better but than Bullock’s. Someone who can weed out the facts from the stories. Or at least put stories/rumours into context.
                        Regards

                        Sir Herlock Sholmes

                        “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.”

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Rob Clack was rightly critical of the book and I just noticed this quote from him:

                          “It's a shame Howard because Cutbush really needs a good book written about him.”
                          Regards

                          Sir Herlock Sholmes

                          “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.”

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post
                            When people talk about their lists of likeliest suspects we get a variety of names that are so consistent that most of us could have a reasonable guess at the ones that most often appear on a top ten. One name that rarely gets mentioned these days though is Thomas Hayne Cutbush. I’ve thought for a while that he’s a decent suspect and I’ve intended to have a second look to refresh my memory so I re-read David Bullock’s book and looked through some old threads on here and over on JTTForums. My opinion is that Cutbush is too easily dismissed as a suspect. Compared to some that have emerged in recent years like Endacott, Hardiman, Mann and Bachert, he’s just way ahead. I think that he’s worth considering.

                            Age - He was 22 at the time of the murders so a little younger than the killer is generally expected to have been, but I don’t see it as much of an issue.

                            Private life - His father left when he was born so he was looked after and fussed over by his mother and her sister - he was academically unremarkable - eccentric - his aunt said that he used to look after bullied children

                            General Description - 5’9” tall - slightly built - dark complexion - short whiskers - piercing dark blue eyes - so close to some of the descriptions - physically fit, scaled walls and fences.

                            Local Knowledge - Worked at various jobs in the East End, including one job where he travelled the area selling advertising space. (It’s worth mentioning that when Inspector Race mentioned having this knowledge he denied it)

                            Medical/Anatomical Knowledge - Had an obsessive interest in anatomy, had books and was always doing gruesome anatomical drawings, claimed that he wanted to enter the medical profession

                            Connection to prostitutes - Claimed that a prostitute gave him syphilis even though a Doctor said that he didn’t have it. Cutbush threatened to kill him.

                            Violence - Tried to slit his mothers throat - attacked two women with a large knife, stabbing one in the lower back - his aunt said that he’d taken a knife to a servant girl before being disturbed - pushed an old man downstairs because he commented that Cutbush was always looking in the mirror - his aunt told a journalist that before 1888 he had a relationship with a woman/prostitute which ended after he brutally attacked and raped her - he owned several knives - he assaulted a fellow inmate at Broadmoor - a solicitor said that Cutbush intended to murder him -

                            Mental state - He was sent to Broadmoor for life (something that has been seen as ‘strange’ considering that he was only charged with attacking two women. Others committing offences as serious got far less severe sentences so was there a reason for this?) - His aunt and mother said that he had an evil temper - very obsessive - vindictive - could think on his feet.

                            Habits - Was known to walk the streets at night returning in the early hours covered in mud and blood - he drew graphic anatomical images of mutilated women - he was obsessed with the idea that a prostitute had given him syphilis causing lesions on his face and threatened to kill the Doctor who said that he hadn’t got it - he talked to anyone that would listen about horrible disease and their causes and cures - he loved to shock - repeatedly sacked from jobs due to poor timekeeping

                            Additional points - in Cutbush’s attic room Inspector Race found bloodied clothing covered in turpentine stuffed up the chimney - although he’d worked extensively in the East End he denied, when asked by Race, any knowledge of the area - when arrested by Race, Cutbush asked him if it was to do with the Mile End job? Race knew nothing of this but years later learned of an incident of a man fitting Cutbush’s description going into a pub and sitting next to a prostitute who ended up screaming that he was the ripper - he made several references to ‘laying girls out’ - journalists saw the papers of the Barrister and Solicitor at Cutbush’s trial, both suspected him of being the ripper - why for only two attacks was he made a category A prisoner and placed among the most dangerous inmates? There are a few more things that I won’t go into as this is already quite s long post.

                            Cutbush appears to have way more going for him as a suspect than most so why is he pretty much ignored?

                            ……

                            I do have one question though, it’s said that he had dark eyes but in his photograph he has light eyes? Why?
                            good and interesting post. my points are:
                            • it's one thing some freak fantasizing and drawing about mutilations, and another thing entirely going through with mutilations in a way that was consistent with injuries to other victims (there is, as far as I know, only one suspect that did this)
                            • i don't think jtr was some evil genius but did cutbush have the calm and guile to evade capture, and ability to appear utterly normal to his victims and put them at ease - e.g., would kelly have invited cutbush back to her room?
                            ?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Aethelwulf View Post

                              good and interesting post. my points are:
                              • it's one thing some freak fantasizing and drawing about mutilations, and another thing entirely going through with mutilations in a way that was consistent with injuries to other victims (there is, as far as I know, only one suspect that did this)
                              • i don't think jtr was some evil genius but did cutbush have the calm and guile to evade capture, and ability to appear utterly normal to his victims and put them at ease - e.g., would kelly have invited cutbush back to her room?
                              ?
                              I wouldn’t dispute your first point Wulf. The point about evading capture is also a fair one. Bullock relates the story of Cutbush escaping after attacking Isabella Anderson, one of the two he attacked whilst on the run. At 10pm a clerk called Robert Smith was walking along the Kennington Road when he heard a woman’s screams. Isabella Anderson was approaching him telling him that she’d felt a tug from behind then heard the sound of a knife cutting through her garments. Whilst talking she saw Cutbush running in the opposite direction and she pointed him out to Smith who gave chase. Cutbush ran into a milkman who he told that he’d been larking around with a girl and that her relatives were after him. The milkman agreed to hide him. If true (if) then it shows the ability to think on his feet. Or just lucky that he found a gullible milkman

                              Theres also a story of him being on holiday or at least during one of those periods where his mother sent him away due to his behaviour, possibly Norfolk? (I could be wrong on detail here Wulf because I don’t have the book with me) He ended up befriending a family called Crotty? He persuaded them that he was a medical man in need of rest after living a fast life. The man of the house ended up letting him treat 3 or 4 family members. So he wasn’t the drooling type but he was certainly ‘strange,’ ‘obsessive,’ ‘paranoid,’ and had a short fuse which could and sometimes did lead to violence. Doesn’t make him the ripper though of course. I find him intriguing though.
                              Regards

                              Sir Herlock Sholmes

                              “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.”

                              Comment

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