Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Orgin of "Drowned Doctor" (recovered thread)

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Orgin of "Drowned Doctor" (recovered thread)

    This is G o o g l e's cache of http://forum.casebook.org/archive/index.php/t-3687.html as retrieved on Jan 25, 2008 13:39:11 GMT.
    G o o g l e's cache is the snapshot that we took of the page as we crawled the web.


    Orgin of "Drowned Doctor"


    .

    .

    .
    aspallek
    3rd February 2007, 05:00 PM
    Let's take a fresh approach to this. Let's assume there is nothing to the Bachert tale as related by McCormick. If that is so, then...

    What are the origins of the "drowned doctor" suspect-type?

    When did such a theory first make its appearance around SY?

    Are we to believe that Macnaghten simply made this suspect-type up out of his imagination and assigned it Druitt's identity?

    .

    .

    .
    Grey Hunter
    4th February 2007, 12:05 AM
    Hi Andy, no I'm not following you around. As Macnaghten is the starting point here I suppose that it is necessary to repeat what he wrote on 23 February 1894 -

    (1) A Mr. M. J. Druitt, said to be a doctor & of good family, who disappeared at the time of the Miller's Court murder, & whose body (which was said to have been upwards of a month in the water) was found in the Thames on 31st. Decr., or about 7 weeks after that murder. He was sexually insane and from private inf. I have little doubt but that his own family believed him to have been the murderer.

    This must be your starting point on this quest and contains the requisite ingredients of your suspect type, and it was obviously already firmly established 'around SY' before 23 February 1894, but we don't know how long before.

    What you are seeking is an actual drowned doctor (preferably in the Thames) who might fit the bill better than Druitt. The implication of this, I suppose, is that Macnaghten was totally wrong as to who the suspect was rather than being merely mistaken as to his occupation?

    .

    .

    .
    dannorder
    4th February 2007, 12:24 AM
    If we're open to the idea that "Kosminski" wasn't a Kosminski, Druitt should probably have the same benefit of the doubt at least as a thought experiment. Not that the two situations are exactly the same, of course, but it's worth exploring.

    Of course if someone tries to argue that Ostrog was really just a confused recollection of "Astrakhan" we'll have the hat trick. (Oh man, I might need an intervention. As soon as typed that intending it as a joke it started sounding logical. They both had a thing for watches, anyway...)

    .

    .

    .
    aspallek
    4th February 2007, 12:56 AM
    That's quite alright, GH, follow me around all you please! I've been followed by the likes of far worse.

    OK, you and I agree that the "drowned doctor" theory was already in place at SY before 1894, since Macnaghten drew on it for his memo.

    Next question:

    How long before 1894 was such a theory current at SY?

    No fair saying, "we don't know how long"! Our task is to come up with an estimate or range of dates for the appearance of such a theory at SY. What's the earliest such a theory could have begun?

    Clarification:

    When I speak of a "drowned doctor" or a "Druitt-like" suspect I am speaking of a suspect who either was Druitt himself or that is similar enough to Druitt to have have confused with him. But there may be some differences. He may or may not have been found in the Thames for example. He may or may not have been found on Dec. 31, for example.

    .

    .

    .
    johnr
    4th February 2007, 02:47 AM
    Hello Andy and GH et al,

    I am pleased some latitude has been allowed for just when the "doctor found drowned" spore started to emerge in Ripper discussions.
    I think the newspapers either picked up on street gossip or lower ranked police whispering that they had been ordered to keep their eyes open for a "gent" with medical knowledge.
    From memory, several coroners and inquest witnesses speculated on the Ripper having experience at cutting up human corpses; or at least, knowing his way around a female corpse.The newspapers seized on this, and everyone was on the look-out for a "toff" in a topper and carrying a black bag (to carry his knives in).
    Several retired policemen later reminisced on medical men found loitering in the stews of the East End , who were later released when it was found they could prove they were doctors.
    The respectable Dr Thomas Barnardo was even questioned because he actually knew at least one Ripper victim, had medical knowledge and rescued abandoned street children (some of whom if not alll, were the product of unplanned pregnancies from "hasty local relationships").
    I read that at one stage, groups of East Enders loitered outside the Middlesex Hospital opposite Whitechapel station, eyeing the comings and goings, on the off-chance that Providence would grant them the insight to spot the Ripper amongst the hospital's denizens.
    So the Doctor-As-Ripper theory gradually percolated over the autumn of 1888.
    Just as with most overcrowded cities - and particularly some depressed suburbs - there has always been a chosen site at which to commit suicide.
    A very high mountain, a tall building, a beautiful stretch of a river; in the ocean.
    In London, the most favoured means of suiciding was by hurling oneself into the Thames. Consequently, by the LVP, a well-oiled machinery had been put in place for recovering and identifying persons "found apparently drowned".
    So, when you apply detective logic about why a series of murders by the same hand suddenly ceases, the conclusion usually is:gone abroad or moved to another city in Britain; been locked up in prison; committed to an asylum; died of natural causes; or, committed suicide.
    So if persons discussing the Ripper murders -at that time- believed the perpetrator was a person with medical knowledge, and that the crimes ceased because they had suicided, it was logical in London to assume they
    would throw themselves into the Thames to end it all. Conan Doyle had at least two stories using exactly that form of suicide in his writings.
    I think the "drowned medical man" theory took hold more strongly once the
    interested pursuers realised that the murders had stopped. Then we see a
    host of police memoirs, press discussions and urban myths stating just that.
    So, whilst Macnaghten may have been the first senior police official to articulate that theory, albeit in secret, others later leaked his belief in their own writings.
    But before Macnaghten, there was definitely consideration of such a theory by others.
    JOHN RUFFELS.

    .

    .

    .
    robert
    4th February 2007, 03:13 PM
    GH has doubtless seen this already, but for the benefit of anyone who hasn't, here's an item from the Penny Illustrated Paper, Sept 22nd 1888.

    .

    .

    .
    aspallek
    4th February 2007, 06:45 PM
    Thanks for that clipping, Robert. I have heard that Chiswick lay outside the area patrolled by the Thames Police but I am not certain of this.

    I think we need to pare the "drown doctor" theory down to its basic form. What are the essential elements? I believe the essential elements are these:

    1. Suspect is a doctor or someone with medical training -- or is believed to be.

    2. Suspect committed suicide shortly after the Kelly murder, probably by drowning.

    3. Suspicion kept secret from the public by police.

    4. Police lacked universal agreement on the guilt of the suspect.

    .

    Dan Norder
    Ripper Notes: The International Journal for Ripper Studies
    Web site: www.RipperNotes.com - Email: dannorder@gmail.com

  • #2
    .

    .
    mayerling
    4th February 2007, 07:44 PM
    Hi John,

    I am aware that Conan Doyle did not always accept the idea of a criminal in his stories dying legally by execution. Some (like Abe Slaney in THE ADVENTURE OF THE DANCING MEN) are arrested and imprisoned but not hanged because the Victim is shown to have fired first. But he does drown a few in the early stories:

    1) THE ADVENTURE OF THE FIVE ORANGE PIPS (several cases of drowning)
    2) THE ADVENTURE OF THE RESIDENT PATIENT

    In THE RESIDENT PATIENT, the murderers are former bank robbers who were betrayed by the title character, and after killing him flee England - only to board a boat named the "Norah Creina" which is sunk with all hands. THE RESIDENT PATIENT was written in 1892, and published in the second series of Holmes stories, THE MEMOIRS OF SHERLOCK HOLMES.

    THE FIVE ORANGE PIPS is more interesting. It was in the first series of stories in the Strand Magazine, that was published in 1891 as THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES. Most of them are considered the best tales by Conan Doyle about Holmes. THE ADVENTURE OF THE FIVE ORANGE PIPS has several points of interest.

    1) It is set in the year 1887.

    2) The client who comes to Holmes for help is one John Openshaw (interesting name that), whose father and uncle were both killed in "accidents" in 1883 and 1885. They both received cryptic papers from some body which requested certain papers being returned (and the envelopes included orange pips or pits inside. Openshaw has gone to Scotland Yard with the information when he got a warning, but was laughed at - although directed to see Holmes.

    3) After leaving Holmes (who warns him to be careful) Openshaw is apparently waylaid or misdirected somehow to the Thames and drowned by falling off a bridge.

    4) Holmes discovers the background of the case and pinpoints the killers as members of a ship called the "Lone Star". It is too late to stop the boat, which has fled - but subsequently the shattered sternpost of the ship is sighted in the sea (it has been a very stormy season), and it is supposed that the crew were lost when the "Lone Star" was sunk.

    I would recommend the readers of this to take a gander at THE ADVENTURE OF THE FIVE ORANGE PIPS, especially with the original Strand illustrations by the great Sidney Paget. It is one of the first stories I know of that deals with one criminal organization - one rarely mentioned in British fiction at that time.

    Conan Doyle is not the only writer dealing with odd deaths by drowning. Arthur Morrison uses drowing to dispose of a deluded thief in one of his Martin Hewitt stories. And Oscar Wilde uses it at the conclusion of LORD ARTHUR SAVILLE'S CRIME.

    Best wishes,

    Jeff

    .

    .

    .
    Graham
    4th February 2007, 10:42 PM
    Jeff,

    The 'criminal organisation' to which you refer is, as anyone who knows his Holmes will be aware, the Ku Klux Klan. Even Holmes lowers his voice when identifying this organisation to Watson, so obviously it was a name of ill-omen even in the 1880's. Holmes states that name is onomatapoeic, being derived from the sound made by the cocking of a rifle - I would guess a rifle like the Sharp's, which was 'double-cocked'. He also says that the activities of the Klan had diminished of late - oops!

    By the way, I agree with you that the 'Adventures' represent the very best Holmes stories. Some of them are almost believable....

    As to the 'drowned doctor' myth, just ask anyone who Jack the Ripper was, and unless he or she has read about JtR, the answer will be: a doctor, wasn't it? Inquests, legend, Leonard Matters. They all contributed to it.

    I think that drowning as a means of taking one's own life was, in fiction at least, seen as a civilised and, possibly, a romantic way of doing the deed. All the way from Ophelia down to the present day.

    Cheers,

    Graham

    .

    .

    .
    mayerling
    5th February 2007, 03:19 AM
    Hi Graham,

    I kept the secret organization silent because I didn't want to totally spoil the reading of the short story by anyone else on this thread by giving away part of the plot. But since that is now gone by the boards - I still find it interesting that Conan Doyle mentioned it. By the way, what do you think of his plot twist in his story "THE YELLOW FACE" - that one really is ahead of it's time for 1892.

    I do urge everyone to look at Sidney Paget's drawings for "THE FIVE ORANGE PIPS".

    Best wishes,

    Jeff

    .

    .

    .
    robert
    5th February 2007, 03:44 PM
    Hi Jeff

    And of course there was the infamous individual who may have drowned, or might instead have been killed by his impact with the rock.

    Robert

    .

    .

    .
    mayerling
    5th February 2007, 05:59 PM
    Hi Robert,

    Yes he could have drowned or dashed to death - but if S.H. got out of that mess, why couldn't Pr. J.M. also get out of it - by grabbing hold of the rock he appears to be dashed on, and flipping over it!

    It was easier three years earlier - with some heavy rocks in the pockets of a coat, off Chiswick in the Thames.

    Jeff

    .

    .

    .
    robert
    5th February 2007, 06:52 PM
    Hi Jeff

    Maybe he had a Resurgam stationed on the river bed.

    Robert

    .

    .

    .
    mayerling
    5th February 2007, 07:27 PM
    Well if Pr. J.M. had Col. S.M. ready to try to finish the job on S.H., then he could have had the resurgam ready.

    Jeff

    .

    .

    .
    Graham
    5th February 2007, 08:17 PM
    Jeff,

    Apologies for giving the game away re: the KKK! Never occurred to me that that was the reason you didn't mention it in your post.

    Yes, the twist in The Yellow Face is certainly unusual for the times in which it was written, but on the other hand The Three Gablesis more true to the spirit of the times where race was concerned. Having said that, The Three Gables is rather poor as a story anyway, as were many of the later period
    published as The Case Book.

    One thing about Conan-Doyle that's always slightly puzzled me, is that not once is JtR mentioned in the entire Sherlock Holmes canon, not even as an aside. (Thinking about it, was any real-life case mentioned in or by SH?)

    Cheers,

    Graham

    .

    .

    .
    dannorder
    6th February 2007, 12:42 AM
    >One thing about Conan-Doyle that's always slightly puzzled me, is that not
    >once is JtR mentioned in the entire Sherlock Holmes canon, not even as an
    >aside.

    He mentioned the mysterious giant rat of Sumatra case, which could fit in with some more radical theories of the Ripper...

    .

    Dan Norder
    Ripper Notes: The International Journal for Ripper Studies
    Web site: www.RipperNotes.com - Email: dannorder@gmail.com

    Comment


    • #3
      supe
      6th February 2007, 01:44 AM
      Graham,

      was any real-life case mentioned in or by SH?

      No contemporary case comes immediately to mind, though The Hound of the Baskervilles owed its inception to a remark by his friend Fletcher Robinson "that there was a spectral dog near his home in Dartmoor." And the "Scowrers" in the Valley of Fear were based quite closely on the "Molly McGuires" who were active in the Pennsylvania coal mines of the era.

      Sometimes, however, life imitated art. That is, in January 1893 the Strand magazine printed "The Cardboard Box" in which Holmes discoursed upon the uniqueness (and familial traits) of the human ear. In October and November of the same year the Strand then ran a two-part series of photographs of the ears of the famous.

      Don.

      .

      .

      .
      mayerling
      6th February 2007, 03:24 AM
      Hi all,

      Aside from bits and pieces of actual crimes and events that Doyle uses in his stories, the following are actual references that can be checked:

      THE ADVENTURE OF THE SPECKLED BAND:

      Holmes, descussing the despicable Dr. Grimesby Royatt (of Stokes Moran) says that when a Doctor goes bad he becomes the worst of criminals. "Palmer and Pritchard were at the head of their profession." - Dr. William Palmer (executed in 1856) and Dr. Edwin William Pritchard (executed in 1865) for poisoning, But in fact both were not great as physicians (although Pritchard did write articles for THE LANCET, and wrote a book about his travels to the Fiji Islands).

      THE ADVENTURE OF THE ILLUSTRIOUS CLIENT:

      Holmes makes a comment about criminals and artists, and refers to "Wainwright was no mean artist" and "my old friend Charlie Peace."
      There has been some controversy about this - Wainwright may be meant to refer to the writer and artist (and supposed poisoner and forger) Thomas Griffith Wainewright (d. 1852), who is the subject of Oscar Wilde's essay, "Pen, Pencil, and Poison". But it may be Henry Wainwright, the 1874 murderer of Harriet Lane in Whitechapel. He was a brush manufacturer - and from some internal evidence in the case Conan Doyle may have been thinking of criminals in the 1870s. Also he spelled "Wainwright" without an "e", which is how Henry Wainwright did. Wainwright also gave public readings of poetry, including "The Dream of Eugene Aram" by Thomas Hood.

      Charles Peace (executed 1879 - see this is part of the evidence for the author was thinking of the 1870s) when not killing the husbands of women he pestered, or killing constables, or burglarizing part of England for three years, was very talented - he helped build a device for salvaging (that was patented) and he played a one string violin on stage (as the "Modern Paganini").

      A STUDY IN SCARLET

      A newspaper report on the Lauriston Gardens Murder of 1881 (of Enoch J. Drebber) mentions the Marquis de Brinvilliers (executed 1677). She poisoned a number of members of her family for inheritance reasons, and killed some poor people in an alms house with poisoned food (testing out what her lover was concocting).

      In the Mormon section of the book, there is a hint that John and Lucy Ferrier were survivors of the 1857 Mountain Meadows Massacre.

      The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire:

      There is a reference to the Giant Rat of Sumatra that was on board a boat named "Mathilda Briggs". The "Mathilda Briggs" is named either for the infant daughter of Captain Benjamin Spooner Briggs of the Mary Celeste (of the tragic naval mystery), or is named for the malevelent neighbor and "friend" of Florence Maybrick in the 1889 case. She testified for the prosecution.

      The Valley of Fear:

      The Scowrers are a copy of the Molly Maguires, according to the official version of the story (that Conan Doyle got from William Pinkerton, whose agency destroyed the Mollies). That was from the 1870s.

      There are some other references that would take too long to describe.

      Jeff

      .

      .

      .
      aspallek
      6th February 2007, 03:57 AM
      No offense, guys, but could we get this thread back to its original intent?

      .

      .

      .
      mayerling
      6th February 2007, 04:10 AM
      I have had problems recently with time limits on this website, so I stopped my comments before I ran out of time. Here are some more involved events from the stories.

      You have to remember that Conan Doyle had a habit of combining things to make some wonderful image for the readers that one would not have thought of earlier. This included sensational and criminal events in his stories.

      THE ADVENTURE OF WISTERIA LODGE:

      This story was written about 1908 or so. It is supposed to be from the early 1890s, shortly after "the great hiatus" of 1891 - 1894 when Holmes is supposed to be dead at the Reichenbach Falls. But it is set in 1892. This error was probably the author's but he built up some odd things in the story that suggest he was thinking of the events of 1887 - 1891.

      The story deals with a retired land owner who is supposed to be targeted for death by a secret organization. It turns out he is "the Tiger of San Pedro", a former blood-thirsty tyrant from Latin America. He is pursued by the enemies he made to his English property, and then to Spain, where he and his secretary/right hand man are assassinated in "the Hotel Escurial" in Madrid.

      The Escurial is actually a palace and museum in Spain's capital, but the story combined the following elements:

      1) Rojas, the ruler of Argentina, lived as an English county gentleman for many years after he was overthrown in 1852.

      2) In 1889 Dom Pedro of Brazil (hardly a tyrant - he freed the slaves in Brazil a year he was overthrown; that caused his dip in popularity) was forced to abdicate. He went to Europe and died in 1891.

      3) In 1887 - 89 the Parnell Commission was meeting in England. It ended in 1889 when Richard Pigott was revealed to be the forger of the letters published in the Times of London as written by Parnell. Pigott was followed to Madrid, and blew his brains out in a hotel there to avoid arrest.

      4) The colors of San Pedro are white and green (I think those are the colors - I don't have my copy of the story in front of me). None of the Latin American countries have that combination. But Tsarist Russia did. In 1890 General Michel Seliverskoff, a former Minister of Secret Police of Russia, was assassinated at the Hotel de Bade in Paris.

      Conan Doyle pulled all this together and concocted part of his plot.

      A STUDY IN SCARLET (again)

      I mentioned this in the small essay about the Goulston street graffito in the book WHO WAS JACK THE RIPPER?

      1881 - year (usually given by Sherlockians) of the events in A STUDY IN SCARLET.

      Conan Doyle mentions Thomas Carlyle (who died in 1881), and Watson (in discussing Holmes' musical abilities) uses a cryptic sentence of Holmes' playing causing "trials for my patience." But that may refer to all of the Gilbert and Sullivan music from "Trial By Jury" to "Patience" (the latter being the hit of 1881). It has been shown that the murder of Joseph STANGERson
      (the other victim of the novel) is suggested by the St. Luke Mystery of November 1881, wherein a baker Urban Napoleon STANGER was killed, and a detective named Wendel Scherer helped get the police to arrest Mrs. Stanger and her lover for the murder.

      Finally (and this is what I commented on) a clue in the novel was "R" "A" "C" "H" "E" (the German word for "revenge"). Holmes correctly deduces it as such, but Lestrade insists it was the name "RACHEL", and starts suggesting that a Madame Rachel will turn out to be involved.

      Now this gets complicated a bit.

      Conan Doyle apparently based this on a clue in a case of a police murder from 1882. A policeman named Cole was found killed outside a building that was being burgled. A burglar's chistle was found with the letters "R" "O" "C"
      "K" on it. Two years later an "O" and "R" was found that were to faint to be seen except with a strong magnifying glass. Instead of spelling ROCK, it spelled "ORROCK", the owner of the chistle, and a burglar named Thomas Henry Orrock. He was hanged in 1884 for the murder of Cole (there was other evidence besides the chistle). Doyle reversed the clue.

      This is what I did not include in that article:

      Lestrade, if you recall, insisted a "Madame Rachel" was in the background.
      In his book NAKED IS THE BEST DISGUISE, Dr. Samuel Rosenberg suggested that Conan Doyle was suggesting the actress of Second Empire France, Rachel. She was a great tragedian in her day. But Rosenberg did not know of another Madame Rachel. "Madame Rachel" Leverson, a notorious fraud and early "expert" in woman's cosmetics. Leverson was also a blackmailer, extortionist, and fraud who was in prison several times. She died in prison in 1880.

      So you see, Conan Doyle would combine events and pull them together to set up the age of the story that he was setting. It's fascinating seeing what he does.

      Sometimes he throws a curb to us. In THE ILLUSTRIOUS CLIENT, having had references to the 1870s, he includes a more recent event. The villain in the story is physically mangled by a discarded mistress named Kitty Winter, who we are supposed to sympathize with. The story appears to date from the first decade of the 20th Century, and it is supposed to be in 1902. But in 1902, Kitty Byron stabbed her boyfriend, a stock broker, on a London street on Lord Mayor's Day (a day that had been established for sensational homicides since 1888). The boyfriend had mistreated Kitty, and her lawyer, Sir Henry Dickens (the son of the novelist) defended her so well that while Kitty was found guilty she was given a short prison sentence out of public pressure. Same thing happened to Kitty Winter in the story.

      Best wishes (and there is more)

      Jeff

      Dan Norder
      Ripper Notes: The International Journal for Ripper Studies
      Web site: www.RipperNotes.com - Email: dannorder@gmail.com

      Comment


      • #4
        caz
        6th February 2007, 02:04 PM
        Hi All,

        Some extremely interesting posts lately related to the possible origins of the drowned doctor theory.

        What I have managed to gather from it all (and I'm sure someone will step in if anything I say does not fit with the available evidence) is that many amateur psychologists, from pauper to prince, beat copper to high-ranking policeman, Star reporter to newspaper owner, would have independently fancied, in the months and years following the murder of MJK, that the ripper had to be a medical man whose mind had given way and who could no longer have functioned in any society. Babbling in an asylum or bubbling to the bottom of the Thames would be two of the more natural resting places in the popular imagination of the era.

        Macnaghten is finally beginning to grow on me. He admitted there was no shadow of proof against any one man and even his personal best bet was only put forward as ‘more likely’ to have been the ripper than a certain other named individual. I am thinking that he may have been impressed or influenced by a friend or associate claiming a certain expertise regarding the minds of such killers and saying something like, "Mark my words, there will be a record of this killer, whether it be among the asylum admissions or suicides, and I'd start looking for this record as closely in time as possible to November 9, 1888". Everyone likes to find someone they consider an expert confirming their own hunches. If they already know, respect and admire that person, it's the icing on the cake.

        This icing would have become more solid if a limited number of cases eventually found to fit the basic criteria outlined above threw up Druitt, and if ‘certain facts’ about his life and death, whether accurately reported or not, were hitting some of the right buttons for Macnaghten. The icing was presumably turned to something nearer cement in his mind by the private information he acquired, Druitt’s alleged sexual insanity and the suspicions he believed were held by family members. But he did claim to have destroyed the only record of this information - his own record, which implies that he had not discussed the details with anyone apart from his sources, otherwise how could he have been sure that no one had subsequently made a record of their own?

        And I think that will always stand in the way of anyone who continues to fancy Druitt as the ripper - or claims he is our best suspect. If Macnaghten, by his own admission, is the only one in authority who knew the full extent of any case against Druitt, it was his case and he didn’t make it. And the difficulty is that what might have been considered a good case then, if only all the details had seen the light of day, may actually be no case at all - or at least not one that anyone could reasonably make today. And I’m not seeing any way of getting round that.

        Love,

        Caz
        X

        .

        .

        .
        Grey Hunter
        6th February 2007, 02:12 PM
        Interesting thoughts Caz. It must be remembered that the 'Macnaghten Memoranda' was an official document and was retained in an official file. Anderson, Macnaghten's immediate supervisor, would certainly have been aware of it and with the prominent attention that Macnaghten pays Druitt I am sure that Anderson would have made it his business to know all that Macnaghten knew of this suspect.

        .

        .

        .
        caz
        6th February 2007, 02:37 PM
        Ah, thanks for that, GH.

        So Anderson would have learned the full extent of Macnaghten's case against Druitt - and we all know what Anderson actually believed.

        Love,

        Caz
        XX

        .

        .

        .
        cgp100
        6th February 2007, 02:53 PM
        But he did claim to have destroyed the only record of this information - his own record, which implies that he had not discussed the details with anyone apart from his sources, otherwise how could he have been sure that no one had subsequently made a record of their own?

        Scarcely a very logical argument - after all, how could he have been sure his "sources" hadn't mentioned it to anyone else?

        I think you'll just have to reconcile yourself to the fact that you don't know what Macnaghten's information was or when he received it - only that by 1913-1914 he had become pretty convinced that Druitt was the man.

        Chris Phillips

        .

        .

        .
        Grey Hunter
        6th February 2007, 03:05 PM
        As there was no supportable legal case against any of these suspects, merely suspicions, then favouring one or the other came down to personal opinion - Anderson theorised about one and Macnaghten about another, each preferring, apparently, his own choice of suspect. Macnaghten stated in the memorandum points that showed suspicion against Druitt, and it is inconceivable that Anderson would not have made himself fully au fait with these points. Obviously Anderson preferred the suspicions held against a Polish Jew (presumed to be the Kosminski of this report). But without any hard evidence it really must have boiled down to personal preferences and opinion amongst these senior police officers.

        .

        .

        .
        caz
        6th February 2007, 11:04 PM
        Hi Chris,

        Well to be fair, Macnaghten started it by making a claim that was inherently illogical then. In any case, GH had pointed out that the information would have been discussed with Anderson and I had already acknowledged this before you posted your comment.

        But I'm happy to reconcile myself to the fact that, as GH tells us, whatever information Macnaghten had, and shared, his suspicions were apparently his own, and not shared by Anderson.

        Love,

        Caz
        X

        .

        .

        .
        Graham
        6th February 2007, 11:20 PM
        Caz,

        Is there no escape for you from cgp100?

        Cheers,

        Graham

        .

        .

        .
        cgp100
        6th February 2007, 11:21 PM
        Well to be fair, Macnaghten started it by making a claim that was inherently illogical then.

        Of course.

        But that's no reason for you to (1) swallow what he said, hook, line and sinker and (2) make further illogical deductions of your own from it.

        But I'm happy to reconcile myself to the fact that, as GH tells us, whatever information Macnaghten had, and shared, his suspicions were apparently his own, and not shared by Anderson.

        Sorry to break it to you, but that's not going to come as a huge surprise to anyone with a passing familiarity with the Whitechapel Murders.

        Chris Phillips

        .

        .

        .
        aspallek
        7th February 2007, 04:12 AM
        What is the earliest appearance in the timeline of events of a "drowned doctor suspect?"

        Dan Norder
        Ripper Notes: The International Journal for Ripper Studies
        Web site: www.RipperNotes.com - Email: dannorder@gmail.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Grey Hunter
          7th February 2007, 07:03 AM
          "Whatever information Macnaghten had, and shared, his suspicions were apparently his own, and not shared by Anderson." - Caz

          That's not exactly what I said Caz. Far be it from me to suggest that you are changing my words but what I said was that both men were suspected only and there was not any supportable evidence against either. Ergo Anderson felt the suspicions held against the Polish Jew (presumably Kosminski) were stronger than those entertained against Druitt. That much must be fairly obvious.

          Macnaghten's report makes it clear that no hard evidence existed.

          .

          .

          .
          aspallek
          7th February 2007, 02:56 PM
          When in the timeline of events did Macnaghten believe Druitt "disappeared?"

          .

          .

          .
          aspallek
          7th February 2007, 08:51 PM
          What is the first occurrence of mention being made of a "suspect" with medical ties having committed suicide and where in the timeline does this alleged suicide occur?

          .

          .

          .
          snelson
          7th February 2007, 09:42 PM
          What is the earliest appearance in the timeline of events of a "drowned doctor suspect?"

          According to Macnaghten's obit. in the Reynolds News, May 15, 1921, it was approximately a "few months" before he was made Chief Constable (June 1889).

          When in the timeline of events did Macnaghten believe Druitt "disappeared?"

          Roughly December 1, 1888 (first mentioned on February 23, 1894)

          What is the first occurrence of mention being made of a "suspect" with medical ties having committed suicide and where in the timeline does this alleged suicide occur?

          James Sanders in Sept. 1888???????

          .

          .

          .
          aspallek
          7th February 2007, 10:05 PM
          What is the earliest appearance in the timeline of events of a "drowned doctor suspect?"

          According to Macnaghten's obit. in the Reynolds News, May 15, 1921, it was approximately a "few months" before he was made Chief Constable (June 1889).

          Incorrect. But that is an interesting mention that I had forgotten about. Let's come back to it later.

          When in the timeline of events did Macnaghten believe Druitt "disappeared?"

          Roughly December 1, 1888 (first mentioned on February 23, 1894)

          Incorrect. That's when Druitt actually disappeared.

          What is the first occurrence of mention being made of a "suspect" with medical ties having committed suicide and where in the timeline does this alleged suicide occur?

          James Sanders in Sept. 1888???????

          Let me clarify, sorry. What is the first occurance of mention being made of a "suspect" with medical ties having committed suicide after the final (Kelly) murder and where in the timeline does this alleged suicide occur?

          .

          .

          .
          cgp100
          7th February 2007, 10:43 PM
          I'm not quite sure I've understood the questions properly, but here's my attempt:
          What is the earliest appearance in the timeline of events of a "drowned doctor suspect?"23 February 1894 (Macnaghten's memoranda).

          When in the timeline of events did Macnaghten believe Druitt "disappeared?"At the time of Kelly's murder.

          What is the first occurrence of mention being made of a "suspect" with medical ties having committed suicide and where in the timeline does this alleged suicide occur?February 11, 1891 (Bristol Times and Mirror report).

          On the night of the last murder.

          Chris Phillips

          .

          .

          .
          snelson
          7th February 2007, 10:48 PM
          Sigh........

          I think that you did better than I, Chris. I'll just take my "F" and go home.

          .

          .

          .
          rjpalmer
          7th February 2007, 11:19 PM
          Chris P-- I agree with your answer 100%. Now a comment. It seems to me that a fundamental part of the historian's task is to trace the earliest known source of any given story. In this case, since the earliest known source of the suicidal medico --the Bristol piece--- could very well be a genuine reference to Druitt (who was, afterall, a doctor's son), the idea that there was some generic "drowned doctor" theory pre-dating Druitt becomes nothing more than a theory without any real support. Every other reference to 'a drowned doctor' dates to a time after Macnaghten's theory became known through the writings of Sims and Griffiths.

          "It is almost certain that he escaped by committing suicide at the end of 1888." (Sir John Moylan, 1929)

          "The feelings of the C.I.D. officers at the time was that they were the work of an insane Russian doctor and that the man escaped arrest by committing suicide in the Thames at the end of 1888" (Sir Basil Thomson, 1935)

          Woodhull, (1937), McCormick, (1959) et al.

          If all these tales can be traced back to Macnaghten --or Macnaghten's source-- or garbled versions thereof-- and this certainly appears to be the case--then I can personally see no legitimate reason to argue that Druitt became 'garbled' with anyone else, nor was the consequence of some 'generic theory' of medicos killing themselves or folktales about these events. No evidence to support this whatsover. In otherwords, in this case, the manure cart is definitely behind the pony, not in front of it. And for the life of me, I dont' understand why Druittists would want it any other way. In the general run of things, rumors and garbled stories are based on real events; real events don't spontaneously generate out of folkstories and rumors. But in these post-modernists times, many seem to forget that. Druitt's drowning was, afterall, a reality. Thus, I think one needs to concentrate of 'the thing itself', and not get bogged down with theories based on what are mere shadows of 'the thing.'

          .

          .

          .
          aspallek
          7th February 2007, 11:30 PM
          No grades being given on this one.

          #1. I wasn't asking when the first mention appeared. I was asking where in the timeline does first drowned doctor suicide (after the Kelly murder) occur? This would be "White Eyes," the fanciful rendering of the Dr. Holt incident by Edwin Woodhall in 1937. Dr. Holt's escapades happened on November 11, 1888.

          #2 Chris gets a cigar. Macnaghten believed (first mentioned in 1894) that Druitt disappeared (committed suicide) on or right after the Kelly murder, November 10, 1888.

          #3 Another cigar for Chris. The account of MP from the "West of England" (1891) says that the suspect, the son of a surgeon, committed suicide on the night of the last murder, November 10, 1888.

          Beginning to see a pattern?

          Let's add one more. Donald McCormick (1950s) relates the story of a police official telling Bachert in March 1889 that the Ripper was fished out of the Thames three months earlier. This account does not give an estimate of the date the suicide took place but clearly must be before about Jan. 1, 1889.

          I'm not saying that I believe any or all of these stories to be true. But they do form a pattern. There could be many explanations for such a pattern but it does exist.

          Dan Norder
          Ripper Notes: The International Journal for Ripper Studies
          Web site: www.RipperNotes.com - Email: dannorder@gmail.com

          Comment


          • #6
            aspallek
            7th February 2007, 11:42 PM
            If all these tales can be traced back to Macnaghten --or Macnaghten's source-- or garbled versions thereof-- and this certainly appears to be the case--then I can personally see no legitimate reason to argue that Druitt became 'garbled' with anyone else, nor was the consequence of some 'generic theory' of medicos killing themselves or folktales about these events. No evidence to support this whatsover. In otherwords, in this case, the manure cart is definitely behind the pony, not in front of it. And for the life of me, I dont' understand why Druittists would want it any other way. In the general run of things, rumors and garbled stories are based on real events; real events don't spontaneously generate out of folkstories and rumors. But in these post-modernists times, many seem to forget that. Druitt's drowning was, afterall, a reality. Thus, I think one needs to concentrate of 'the thing itself', and not get bogged down with theories based on what are mere shadows of 'the thing.'

            RJ --

            Yes, Druitt's body was found in the Thames on December 31, 1888. No doubt about that. I'm not arguing that his identity was confused with someone else but I am postulating it as a possibility. I'm not suggesting that it is likely. The reason for such a postulation being as follows:

            1. Macnaghten makes certain errors regarding Druitt that are surprising unless the name "Druitt" was already misapplied to a different suicide victim by the time the information is passed on to Macnaghten.

            2. Druitt does not seem to fit the description of the homicidal maniac or even the "sexually insane", "sexual maniac" Sir Melville describes. The comments in his autobiography appear less to describe the real Druitt. Druitt has no known violent tendencies.

            3. Macnaghten was not a stupid man and was in the know as to police matter including he Ripper investigation.

            4. There is other tradition regarding a "drowned doctor" suspect type.

            When two people tell essentially the same story, one writing later than the other, there are three logical possibilities:

            1. The later writer copied from the earlier writer.
            2. The two writers employed a common source.
            3. The two writers independently had the same first-hand knowledge.

            .

            .

            .
            mayerling
            8th February 2007, 03:02 AM
            Hi Andy,

            I keep in mind what Tom Cullen said when introducing the issue of Druitt in AUTUMN OF TERROR.

            Cullen begins by mentioning how Leonard Matters rejected the Jack the Ripper suicide theory, and that how McCormick claimed that the proof was that there was no article in any of the London major dailies of the recovery of a drowned doctor between Mary Kelly's death and the end of December 1888. McCormick apparently also checked the obituary columns of these papers and the MEDICAL DIRECTORIES OF 1889 and 1890. Cullen regrets that McCormick did not "cast his net" further, and then points out the notice of Druitt's body's recovery in the COUNTY OF INDEPENDENT for Wednesday, January 2, 1889.

            When I first saw the problems of Druitt's suicide and the errors found in Macnaughten's memorandum (especially calling Druitt a doctor), I started trying to see if somehow a doctor could have died by drowning in that period who was overlooked. But I did not look only in THE TIMES or PALL MALL GAZETTE. I looked at Boase's MODERN ENGLISH BIOGRAPHY. Oddly enough I did find a person who was drowned, but long after Macnaughten wrote the memorandum. In 1899 or 1900 some well known veterinarian died drowned in a small puddle. Hardly the Thames.

            There is one thing that crosses my mind - Cullen is basing his comments on an acceptance of McCormick's book as a major piece of "truthfully intended research" that we all are now seriously questioning. Of course, since Cullen wrote his book there have been other writers on Druitt or the Ripper who have perused the major London papers - but did they really make as a search as Cullen thought McCormick did? In short, have the major papers really been searched as they should have been?

            My guess is they have been, but I keep wondering. Why the fact the Doctor is so emphasized in these accounts - was it because Druitt's father was a doctor? Or was it a suspect who really was a Doctor?

            There is one other thing I have found that has nothing to do with drowned doctors or Druitt in 1888. I have found someone who died within two years of MacNaughten's memorandum by drowning, but not in the Thames - in another famous European river. The man looked a bit like Druitt - he could have been a younger of Druitt. Yet I have never found a connection between this man and Druitt. He was not a doctor either, but he was prominent in his day.

            Best wishes,

            Jeff

            .

            .

            .
            davida
            8th February 2007, 03:06 AM
            Hello All
            It may be possible to narrow the timeline a bit here Andy. We do know that MacNaghten himself closed the Jack the Ripper file at SY in 1892. Two years before the memo. This suggests to me that he already had his 'evidence of a factual nature' as well as his private information indicating the Druitt familys concerns at the time he closed the file.In 1892.
            David

            .

            .

            .
            snelson
            8th February 2007, 04:44 AM
            Andy, you're making it far too complicated.

            I have provided the simplest, most concise explanation to date for the origins of the suspicions of Druitt. I can't post a showthread link or some reason, so I'll have to waste server space by re-posting what I'd written on a similar thread;

            ...that the police were monitoring suspicious suicides throughout the series of Whitechapel Murders (probably beginning after the Chapman murder, when they realized that a serial murderer was at large.) After a couple of years, or specifically after the Coles murder, they came to the conclusion that the killer was no longer active in the East End and went back through their records of suicides and found that Druitt's was the "best fit" of the bunch - McKenzie and Coles not being attributed to Ripper killings. Later suspicions from Druitt's family passed on to Macnaghten confirmed to him that Druitt's drowning was at the right time and roughly the right place.

            I don't think that there's anything more to it than that, even considering the possibility that the Bristol Times & Mirror report of February 11, 1891 (two days before the murder of Francis Coles), concerned Druitt.

            .

            .

            .
            aspallek
            8th February 2007, 05:13 AM
            Andy, you're making it far too complicated.

            I'm not making anything complicated. I fully concur that the simplest answer is probably the correct one. I'm just saying there's a pattern here that needs to be looked at.

            .

            .

            .
            cgp100
            8th February 2007, 09:25 AM
            ... Later suspicions from Druitt's family passed on to Macnaghten confirmed to him that Druitt's drowning was at the right time and roughly the right place.

            I don't think that there's anything more to it than that, even considering the possibility that the Bristol Times & Mirror report of February 11, 1891 (two days before the murder of Francis Coles), concerned Druitt.

            I do agree that the drowned doctor story surely derived from Macnaghten's mistaken belief that Druitt was a doctor, and that this would have strengthened its acceptance among those who favoured a "mad doctor" hypothesis.

            But I don't quite follow the comment above. Surely the police would - in your scenario - already know the time and place of Druitt's suicide, and the information provided by the family must have gone beyond that - and Macnaghten's suggestion that they suspected him of being the murderer points in the same direction.

            On the general idea, I don't have the statistics, but wouldn't there have been other more plausible suicides in the weeks following Kelly's death? I don't see that a barrister/teacher living in Blackheath would immediately leap to the police's attention. And the other fly in the ointment is the Bristol Times and Mirror article, which certainly reads like a rumour circulating at Westminster before being brought to the police's attention.

            Chris Phillips

            .

            .

            .
            aspallek
            8th February 2007, 02:34 PM
            Chris --


            I do agree that the drowned doctor story surely derived from Macnaghten's mistaken belief that Druitt was a doctor, and that this would have strengthened its acceptance among those who favoured a "mad doctor" hypothesis.

            Trouble with this is would Woodhall in the 1930's have known about Macnaghten's theory?

            Yes, there were other suicides during the time in question. Somewhere back on the old message boards I searched through the Times and listed all those I found mentioned there. No doubt there were others not mentioned in the Times.

            By the way, we don't know that Macnaghten got any information from Druitt's family. He only said that from private information he had no doubt that Druitt's family suspected him. He didn't say who gave him the "private information."

            .

            .

            .
            cgp100
            8th February 2007, 03:40 PM
            Trouble with this is would Woodhall in the 1930's have known about Macnaghten's theory?
            I don't think there's any difficulty there, as the essential features of Macnaghten's theory had been published by Arthur Griffiths in Mysteries of Police and Crime in 1898, and also by Sims. Evidently it had also been noted in the Ripper literature, as it was discussed by Leonard Matters in 1929 (according to Cullen).

            By the way, we don't know that Macnaghten got any information from Druitt's family. He only said that from private information he had no doubt that Druitt's family suspected him. He didn't say who gave him the "private information."
            Yes, I agree. I shouldn't have phrased my post so as to suggest that the information came directly from the family.

            Chris Phillips

            Dan Norder
            Ripper Notes: The International Journal for Ripper Studies
            Web site: www.RipperNotes.com - Email: dannorder@gmail.com

            Comment


            • #7
              aspallek
              8th February 2007, 04:28 PM
              I don't think there's any difficulty there, as the essential features of Macnaghten's theory had been published by Arthur Griffiths in Mysteries of Police and Crime in 1898, and also by Sims. Evidently it had also been noted in the Ripper literature, as it was discussed by Leonard Matters in 1929 (according to Cullen).

              That's true. Perhaps all roads do lead back to Macnaghten as the first recorded story of a drowned doctor after all, as much as I would like to believe otherwise. Still, I don't think he invented it. He must have gotten it from somewhere.

              I'm not sure where the 1891 news story fits in. It does talk about the son of a surgeon and so it is tempting to apply it to Druitt. Yet the story says nothing about drowning and it seems to describe more of a "lodger" suspect-type.

              .

              .

              .
              manicpreacher
              11th February 2007, 05:59 PM
              Hi,

              It might interest anybody interested that this was the subject of my talk to the 'Whitechapel Society 1888' meeting a week ago.

              We ended up having a really interesting discussion afterwards.

              All will be written up in the next issue of the 'Whitechapel Society 1888' Journal which will be out in April.

              Manicpreacher.

              .

              .

              .
              caz
              13th February 2007, 04:54 PM
              "Whatever information Macnaghten had, and shared, his suspicions were apparently his own, and not shared by Anderson." - Caz

              That's not exactly what I said Caz. Far be it from me to suggest that you are changing my words but what I said was that both men were suspected only and there was not any supportable evidence against either. Ergo Anderson felt the suspicions held against the Polish Jew (presumably Kosminski) were stronger than those entertained against Druitt. That much must be fairly obvious.

              Macnaghten's report makes it clear that no hard evidence existed.

              Ok, very many belated apologies to GH. It certainly was never my intention to misrepresent what he was saying. I must take my own medicine in future and stick to direct quotes.

              GH did write this:

              I am sure that Anderson would have made it his business to know all that Macnaghten knew of this suspect.

              And this:

              Anderson theorised about one and Macnaghten about another, each preferring, apparently, his own choice of suspect.

              And with respect I didn’t refer to ‘evidence’ as such, but the ‘information’ Macnaghten himself referred to, and the fact that regardless of what this information consisted of, Anderson’s preferred suspect was not Druitt.

              Hope that’s finally a bit clearer than mud, even if it is reduced right down from my original speculative post to stating no more than the bleedin’ obvious for most readers.

              In any case, I don’t suppose it can hurt to keep clarifying the positions held by the senior police officers in the case while exploring their individual reasons for holding them.

              As you were, chaps.

              Love,

              Caz
              X

              .

              .

              .
              johnr
              22nd March 2007, 12:20 PM
              Hello All,
              To my disappointment, there seems to have been almost no further discussion of contemporary suspicion of persons with medical knowledge.
              Except for one mention of a medical student from St John's Wood (?)- if my raggle-taggle memory is to be relied upon! Dr Saunders.
              So, I wonder if Andy Spallek is agreeable to splitting up his question about the first mention of a "drowned doctor who suicided in the Thames"?
              You see, I believe, quite early on, there was police and press speculation about the Ripper being a medical man. (That would be the first section of my splitting up of Andy's question) .
              Secondly, after the Mary Kelly murder, some police - well, Macnaghten certainly considered this aspect later -turned to the likliehood of the murders having ceased because the Ripper had done away with himself.
              (This theory seems to have persisted way past the Macnaghten Memorandum
              admittedly, trotted out by Macnaghten's close chums, Griffiths, and Sims).
              In fact, as Chris Phillips pointed out, Macnaghten's suspicions of Druitt seemed to have hardened around 1913 -1915.
              And, if you read the Littlechild letter to Sims, it is possible to discern traces of an earlier discussion (or newspaper article by Sims) in which a doctor who drowned , or took his own life after the Millers Court murder, was considered by Sims. Thereby prompting Sims to quizz Littlechild about any JTR suspect with the vague name " Dr. D". Not pre-1894 though.
              Notice, Littlechild in his letter to Sims, draws attention to another medical man suspect, who is believed to have jumped bail to Boulogne and subsequently, possibly, suicided.
              Surely, the police, after Inquest suggestions of the earlier Ripper murders having been at the hand of one familiar with the female anatomy, would have started investigating suspect medical people. Not to mention "gents" with black bags. These efforts would have predated 1894.
              JOHN RUFFELS.

              Dan Norder
              Ripper Notes: The International Journal for Ripper Studies
              Web site: www.RipperNotes.com - Email: dannorder@gmail.com

              Comment


              • #8
                Juju B
                24th March 2007, 04:06 PM
                Hello All,

                You see, I believe, quite early on, there was police and press speculation about the Ripper being a medical man.....
                Secondly, after the Mary Kelly murder, some police - well, Macnaghten certainly considered this aspect later -turned to the likliehood of the murders having ceased because the Ripper had done away with himself.
                (This theory seems to have persisted way past the Macnaghten Memorandum



                Yes - and I think the timing would be interesting here.

                To those police authorities who, like Abberline, included Tabram in the series, immediately after the Millers Court the intervals between Killings were 21, 8, 22, and 40 days.

                After Stride & Eddowes, the expectation must surely have been high that another murder would take place within the next 4 weeks, during October. Because of the 'double event', the perception was that they were dealing with a perpetrator whose need to not only kill, but follow through on the mutilations, was an urgent compulsion he had to satisfy. The MJK killing would perhaps have extended the perception on how frequently the murderer needed to feed that appetite, but the expectation then, one would assume, would have been of another killing within 50 days or so of Mary Kelly's.

                That didn't happen, but while it would probably have taken a further 20 - 30 days for them to begin to realistically conjecture the killings might be at an end, I suspect the police were already beginning to wonder by around that 50 day mark what was going on with the killer, and hypothesise as to why he hadn't yet struck again. Given the theories that the Ripper was a medical man, a reported suicide surfacing at that point (52 days after Kelly's death), judged to have been in the water at least a month, who was a professional man with a medical family background, and a family history of mental instability, might well have caught police attention, and prompted the compilation of the Home Office file Abberline refers to.

                In the 1903 Pall Mall Gazette interview, he seems to link the existence of such a file to a suicide, implying it was the discovery of the body that was the only reason for it's existence. Probably then, this file would have been opened very soon after the corpse was found. What it might have consisted off can only be conjectured - it might have been as little as a newspaper report of the inquest, with a covering note pointing out the possible significance of the timing, or something in the way of a more substantial investigation into Druitt.

                "Yes," said Mr. Abberline, "I know all about that story. But what does it amount to? Simply this. Soon after the last murder in Whitechapel the body of a young doctor was found in the Thames, but there is absolutely nothing beyond the fact that he was found at that time to incriminate him. A report was made to the Home Office about the matter, but that it was 'considered final and conclusive' is going altogether beyond the truth. Seeing that the same kind of murders began in America afterwards, there is much more reason to think the man emigrated. Then again,the fact that several months after December, 1888, when the student's body was found, the detectives were told still to hold themselves in readiness for further investigations seems to point to the conclusion that Scotland Yard did not in any way consider the evidence as final."

                While Abberline dismisses him as a suspect, that would seem to confirm that he believed 'evidence' regarding a "young doctor who was drowned in the Thames" already existed in Scotland Yard within 'months' of December 1888 - just (in his judgement), not very strong evidence, and certainly not strong enough to persuade him and his colleagues within SY that the killer might not still have been alive and at large at that time.

                Interestingly, if the December drowned corpse he is referring to was Druitt's (as seems likely), Abberline makes the same error as Macnaghten, in beleving the corpse to be a medical man. This could be because :
                Whoever compiled the file made this error, or expressed themselves ambiguously, and the mistake got perpetuated
                word that the drowned son of a doctor had been investigated was circulating in SY, and got conflated with the Jack as medical man theory
                Macnaghten (or before him someone else, and Macnaghten himself reproduced that error) mis-reported the contents of the file. Abberline's memory of its precise contents (concerning a suspect he didn't find credible, and saw as evidence minor and marginal to the investigation) wasn't accurate enough at a remove of 14 years to correct.
                He may have never seen the file/evidence at first hand, and only knew of its existence and it's detail by report. He refers to the activities of SY on the case in 1889 as though he is removed from them (he deduces they couldn't have found the drowned doctor theory persuasive, rather than asserts they didn't), so presumably was not working on the case himself then.
                He is at least aware that the body was not that of a fully qualified doctor (he also refers to the student's body, as well as a young doctor ), and simply didn't think it important enough to trouble making the corpse's true professional standing plain, when the 'myth' had long since hardened into the idea of a drowned doctor, and gained widespread public currency as such.If he's remembering and being reported accurately as to how things stood in 1889 at SY though, a 'drowned doctor' theory must have existed by around the summer of that year, probably starting fairly soon after the discovery of Druitt's body.

                .

                .

                .


                aspallek
                27th March 2007, 05:32 PM
                Juju,

                You have made many of the same observations and even used some of the same language (i.e., "conflated") that I have used in explaining my position on this matter. Thank you for the reinforcement. You've also added an interesting and valuable insight into Abberline's comments.

                We should acknowledge that it's entirely possible that Abberline's memory was fading so many years later but we have to go cautiously by what he said as it was reported.

                Abberline's language indicates that some evidence existed within months (at the latest) of December 1888 regarding the drowning victim but that Abberline considered the evidence to be quite unconvincing. But his words also imply that some people thought it was convincing, since he goes to considerable lengths to dispute it. The "evidence" might be merely the timing of the suicide and the victim's (supposed) medical expertise, which is really not evidence in the legal sense. But that's beside the point. It points to the conclusion that this drowning victim was considered as a possibility for being Jack the Ripper. This is why -- and I know this is an unpopular opinion -- I am just not ready to dismiss completely either the Bachert story or the Woodhall story as being completely without basis in fact. I just have this nagging perception that there is something there.

                Abberline also says that there was a report to the Home Office about this matter, i.e. the drowned doctor/medical student. He doesn't say from whom the Report originated. Presumably it was SY but could it have been the Special Branch? Then again, if so (and if the victim was in fact Druitt), why didn't Littlechild know of it? This report is very unlikely to have been the Macnaghten memorandum because that document deals only in small part about Druitt and is not likely to be considered a report "about the matter," i.e. about the drowning victim suspect.

                The remaining question is whether Abberline's drowning victim and Druitt are one and the same. It seems very likely that they are but we should not rush to that conclusion. One would expect the discovery of a drowned doctor in the Thames to be reported in the Times but we find none in December 1888. But it's not that simple. One would also expect the discovery of a drown barrister in the Thames to be reported in that newspaper, yet Druitt's discovery is not reported there. There may have been some complexities to this matter, such as the Victorian sensibilities and sensitivities to humiliating a respectable family by reporting the suicide of one of it members. Thus the quest must continue for a drowned doctor or medical student also discovered in December 1888 whose identity could have been confused with that of Montague Druitt.

                Stewart, if you are reading this you are probably enjoying a chuckle at my expense or shaking your head in disapproval but I still think there may be more to this than first meets the eye.

                Dan Norder
                Ripper Notes: The International Journal for Ripper Studies
                Web site: www.RipperNotes.com - Email: dannorder@gmail.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  aspallek
                  27th March 2007, 06:05 PM
                  Continuing...

                  Here are two possible reconstructions of what may have happened:

                  (1) Druitt's body is found on December 31, 1888 and erroneously reported to police as being that of a doctor. This would be an understandable mistake but, once made, a difficult one to erase from the story. This comes at a time when no Ripper murder had been committed in seven weeks and the police must have been wondering what had happened to the killer. A Victorian impression existed that, as a madman, he likely committed suicide. When a suicide was found (Druitt) with supposed medical knowledge, this was noted as possibly being Jack the Ripper but was not universally believed to be. Still, a report was sent to the Home Office noting this possibility. This report has not survived, or at least has not yet re-surfaced.

                  In August of 1889, Melville Macnaghten joins SY. He soon receives information regarding the Ripper murders and, particularly, police leads. These would include such "possibilities" as the drowned doctor (i.e., Druitt). Sir Melville "files" this information away in his mind and does nothing with it for the time being. A few years later, Macnaghten received "private information" from someone (not necessarily a member of Druitt's family , but possible so), that Druitt's family suspected him of being Jack the Ripper and perhaps a few other facts about Druitt. Macnaghten puts this "new" information together with his recollections of what he learned upon joining SY and the somewhat distorted picture of Druitt emerges as his leading suspect.

                  (2) This is basically the same scenario as #1 except that an actual drowned doctor is found in the Thames. This fact is noted by Macnaghten in 1889 and "filed" in his memory. When he receives his private information regarding Druitt sometime later, Sir Melville assumes that this is the same person as the drowned doctor he remembered hearing about in 1889. The added complication makes this scenario less likely than #1 but it is still a possibility.

                  .

                  .

                  .
                  cgp100
                  27th March 2007, 06:29 PM
                  Abberline also says that there was a report to the Home Office about this matter, i.e. the drowned doctor/medical student. He doesn't say from whom the Report originated. Presumably it was SY but could it have been the Special Branch? Then again, if so (and if the victim was in fact Druitt), why didn't Littlechild know of it? This report is very unlikely to have been the Macnaghten memorandum because that document deals only in small part about Druitt and is not likely to be considered a report "about the matter," i.e. about the drowning victim suspect.

                  In the article to which Abberline is responding, Sims mentions "the report to the Home Office" and in the next sentence refers to it as "the report made by the Commissioner of Police".

                  Abberline confirms that a report was sent to the Home Office, and doesn't dissent from Sims's attribution of the report to "the Commissioner of Police".

                  Scott Nelson has suggested Sims meant the Macnaghten Memoranda, and that it's Macnaghten's later status as Assistant Commissioner that's being referred to.

                  A little while ago I checked the Home Office registers of incoming correspondence (i.e. the lists of incoming letters - only a fraction of the actual documents has been preserved), but couldn't find any mention of anything that sounded like the Macnaghten Memoranda in early 1894. Of course, Sims may simply have been mistaken about the report's destination. Or maybe a separate report really was made to the Home Office about Druitt at some time.

                  Chris Phillips

                  .

                  .

                  .
                  aspallek
                  27th March 2007, 07:57 PM
                  In the article to which Abberline is responding, Sims mentions "the report to the Home Office" and in the next sentence refers to it as "the report made by the Commissioner of Police".

                  Abberline confirms that a report was sent to the Home Office, and doesn't dissent from Sims's attribution of the report to "the Commissioner of Police".

                  Thank you, Chris. I hadn't picked up on that. I don't think this report could be the Macnaghten memo for the reasons I mentioned above and the fact that this memo was not addressed to the HO. I also think it sounds as if this report was sent shortly after the police became aware of the suicide and not years later. To me that seems to be the tone of what Abberline is saying.

                  By not dissenting from Sims' position that the report was made by the Commissioner of Police, Abberline could be assenting to it. But he could also be expressing a rather repressed disagreement, to the effect "Yes there was a report but it was not made by the commissioner." At any rate, the report would presumably have been sent under the Commissioner's (Monro's) signature but could have been compiled by any high-ranking official. We can assume it was from SY rather than City police, since City police did not report to the Home Office. I don't know what to make of there being no record of it being received by the HO. Perhaps it was written but never sent. Perhaps someone was charged with preparing such a report -- and maybe that person interviewed Abberline himself -- but the report was never completed or submitted. But there was at least the belief that a report was sent and Abberline confirms this belief.

                  .

                  .

                  .
                  dougie
                  28th March 2007, 11:16 PM
                  As regards Druitt,I wonder how much, druitts actual death has to do with the lack of official records regarding any evidence of his guilt. Wasnt there a possibly similar set of circumstances relating to the "jack the stripper" murders here in britain in the 1960s.According to the story ,the police had narrowed their search down to 3 people,then finally 1, a security guard,who the police felt certain was the killer. The security guard committed suicide before ,or rather immediately before being arrested,and although the police(again according to the story) had apparently conclusive proof of his guilt,he could not be named,or even hinted at because his death obviously denied him the chance to defend himself against the allegations....i believe this was and still is a principle of british justice. Now whether or not the documentary evidence the police must of had in their possession(regarding said security guard) was destroyed as well ive no way of knowing obviously, but if it is in fact a practice carried ouyt in those circumstances,then it might explain,at least in part,the lack of documented evidence relating to druitt.

                  .

                  .

                  .
                  Graham
                  28th March 2007, 11:31 PM
                  There was, apparently, an 'East India Company' connection between the Druitt and Macnaghten families, and I just wonder if perhaps Sir Melville's description of Druitt as a 'doctor' might have been a gentlemanly ruse to avert suspicion away from Montague of that ilk. Unless Sir Melville had some kind of inside information that is long lost, I could never quite link the finding of Druitt's drowned corpse with the identity of JtR.

                  Is there any actual record of a doctor being found drowned in The Thames during the relevant period?

                  Dan Norder
                  Ripper Notes: The International Journal for Ripper Studies
                  Web site: www.RipperNotes.com - Email: dannorder@gmail.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Juju B
                    29th March 2007, 12:23 AM


                    Continuing...

                    Here are two possible reconstructions of what may have happened:

                    (1) Druitt's body is found on December 31, 1888 and erroneously reported to police as being that of a doctor. This would be an understandable mistake but, once made, a difficult one to erase from the story. This comes at a time when no Ripper murder had been committed in seven weeks and the police must have been wondering what had happened to the killer. A Victorian impression existed that, as a madman, he likely committed suicide. When a suicide was found (Druitt) with supposed medical knowledge, this was noted as possibly being Jack the Ripper but was not universally believed to be. Still, a report was sent to the Home Office noting this possibility. This report has not survived, or at least has not yet re-surfaced.

                    In August of 1889, Melville Macnaghten joins SY. He soon receives information regarding the Ripper murders and, particularly, police leads. These would include such "possibilities" as the drowned doctor (i.e., Druitt). Sir Melville "files" this information away in his mind and does nothing with it for the time being. A few years later, Macnaghten received "private information" from someone (not necessarily a member of Druitt's family, but possible so), that Druitt's family suspected him of being Jack the Ripper and perhaps a few other facts about Druitt. Macnaghten puts this "new" information together with his recollections of what he learned upon joining SY and the somewhat distorted picture of Druitt emerges as his leading suspect.

                    (2) This is basically the same scenario as #1 except that an actual drowned doctor is found in the Thames. This fact is noted by Macnaghten in 1889 and "filed" in his memory. When he receives his private information regarding Druitt sometime later, Sir Melville assumes that this is the same person as the drowned doctor he remembered hearing about in 1889. The added complication makes this scenario less likely than #1 but it is still a possibility.


                    Hi Andy

                    your elegant exposition as to how Druitt came to be 'in the frame' in the first place, and the way Macnaghten may subsequently have picked up the story, is very much along the lines that I think events may have panned out.

                    "A few years later, Macnaghten received "private information" from someone (not necessarily a member of Druitt's family , but possible so), that Druitt's family suspected him of being Jack the Ripper and perhaps a few other facts about Druitt. Macnaghten puts this "new" information together with his recollections of what he learned upon joining SY and the somewhat distorted picture of Druitt emerges as his leading suspect."

                    The most intriguing questions, then, of course, are: what the heck was that private information, and how reliable was the source?

                    I have wondered whether whatever it may have been was connected with the West Country Member story. If an MP was actively circulating this story, it may well have got back to Macnaghten, given that the 'establishment' of the great and good in LVP London was little more than a large village, with many overlapping contacts and social networks. The irony of this, if it were the case, could be that the WCM may have originally come upon the idea himself from gossip from a source within the police force, and then used his West Country connections to arrive at his belief that Druitt's family had had their own fears about what might have been behind Monty's suicide, and learned something of the nature of the family's shaky mental history. If this is so, what Macnaghten might have taken for independent corroboration of the Druitt as Drowned Doctor theory, may actually have been a recycling (with embroidery) of original Police suspicions.

                    Sequence then that I could envisage would be:
                    Monty comes to police attention when his body washes up at period they are wondering why Ripper has not struck since MJK
                    File is opened on him; possibly some basic enquiries are made into his background and circumstances
                    Rumour gains circulation in SY of a Drowned Doctor suspect
                    Rumour passes into wider circulation among 'Establishment' network
                    West Country MP is intrigued and sounds out his constituency contacts, to be told the whole family were prone to insanity, and either that the family had specific fears about his involvement in the Whitechapel murders, or merely that something 'shameful' surrounded Monty's death that the family tried to suppress.
                    He interprets whatever he hears as confirmatory evidence of Druitt as Ripper (people constantly manage to convince themselves they have cracked the killer's identity on far flimsier circumstantial 'evidence' ), and begins circulating his own pimped up story himself, in the conviction he has discovered the killer.
                    Macnaghten gets to hear a version of this secondary story, from a source he sees as credible, and takes it as independent corroboration that the original Drowned Doctor suspect he'd heard of (in the way you outline) on joining the force, was a) probably indeed the Killer, and b) that Druitt therefore was the most likely candidate of the 'front runners' as her knew them.All speculation, but such a sequence seems to me one explanation to plausibly account for how Druitt may have eventually come to be the major suspect he is.

                    Even if true it wouldn't take us any further forward in whether he was guilty of the crimes or not, of course, as we still have no idea what exactly the nature of the family suspicion, and the grounds for it, may have been - if the family did in fact harbour such a belief at all, and that element was not largely inference, distortion and embroidery along the chain of the rumour's development.

                    Dan Norder
                    Ripper Notes: The International Journal for Ripper Studies
                    Web site: www.RipperNotes.com - Email: dannorder@gmail.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Juju B
                      29th March 2007, 12:37 AM
                      "The remaining question is whether Abberline's drowning victim and Druitt are one and the same. It seems very likely that they are but we should not rush to that conclusion. One would expect the discovery of a drowned doctor in the Thames to be reported in the Times but we find none in December 1888. But it's not that simple. One would also expect the discovery of a drown barrister in the Thames to be reported in that newspaper, yet Druitt's discovery is not reported there. There may have been some complexities to this matter, such as the Victorian sensibilities and sensitivities to humiliating a respectable family by reporting the suicide of one of it members. Thus the quest must continue for a drowned doctor or medical student also discovered in December 1888 whose identity could have been confused with that of Montague Druitt"

                      I may have this completely ar$e about face, but I have a vague recollection (from way back, so it is very vague) of a discussion of some kind of official register of the bodies fished from the Thames, not just contemporary newspaper reports. This (if I'm not making it up) also didn't show any likely candidates for the Drowned Doctor, other than Druitt. I agree we can't discount the possibility his was not the body referred to, but as Macnaghten so clearly identifies the body as his, I think, as long as we bear in mind it's not established beyond doubt (since Mac was not immune from errors regarding the details of the individual), it remains a reasonable working assumption that it was.

                      Personally, I think the word Doctor was such a trigger in this case, given the rumours all through the autumn of 1888 that the killer was a medical man, it's mere appearance in relation to Monty (as his father's profession) would resonate, and be enough to lead to the confusion. To some extent, people pick up on and hear/remember what they expect or want to - that's simply how the human brain works.

                      He was the drowned son of a doctor.
                      He was a drowned doctor's son.

                      If you express it the second, ambiguous way, the confusion becomes even more explicable.

                      The absence of a report in the Times as to Monty's death is puzzling - it seems a strange oversight. The more so as I can't actually see it's omission being due to a sense of consideration for the family's feelings. I think the standards of professional journalism at the Thunderer were generally higher than that. No doubt APW could furnish us with examples of reports of similar sad and socially painful events, that didn't elicit that kind of editorial delicacy, so it rather begs the question of why the Druitt clan would have had their feelings spared, when others of the same class and standing didn't. The most such families could expect was a restrained and unsensational reporting of the facts of the case, I think. I'm not saying I don't believe The Times would withhold reports if they were persuaded there was a good reason, just I don't think - unless it can be shown they habitually self censored in parallel circumstances - that a simple case like this, of personal tragedy in a respectable family, would persuade them to that discretion.

                      It's tempting to speculate as to whether a hint might have gone out from SY to the editorial staff, that this case might, in the public interest, be best left unreported, as there may be more to it than at first met the eye. But that would be purely conjecture, and unless MJD was already under scutiny prior to his body fetching up at Chiswick, I can't see that scenario as all that likely either. On the grounds that ****-up is usually a more likely explanation than conspiracy for anomalies of that kind, it may of course just be that coming at the tail end of the Christmas/N Year holidays (when staffing levels may have been a little thinner than normal?), reports of that suicide got overlooked. But I'd prefer a better explanation than that, if anyone has one.

                      The Bachert story - it fits in with the drowned Doctor theory so well it is hard to resist the idea, I agree, that there may have been a nugget of truth in it. Unfortunately, the source is now so discredited, even if that particular story is true it almost becomes counter productive to cite it in discussion of any theory. I think we just have to hold it 'on file', so to speak, as an intriguing footnote, in the absence of further, more reliable corroborative evidence for it.

                      .

                      .

                      .

                      johnsavage
                      29th March 2007, 01:02 AM
                      Hi Juju B,

                      I think the explanation of why The Times carried no report of Monty's death is probably quite simple. They either never received any reports of the inquest, or if they did, then decided it was not an item of sufficient importance for them to publish.

                      We must remember that at the time there was no suspicion of MJD, and from the reports published in local papers the inquest was into a straightforward drowning/suicide.

                      Rgds
                      John

                      .

                      .

                      .
                      cgp100
                      29th March 2007, 01:27 AM
                      I may have this completely ar$e about face, but I have a vague recollection (from way back, so it is very vague) of a discussion of some kind of official register of the bodies fished from the Thames, not just contemporary newspaper reports. This (if I'm not making it up) also didn't show any likely candidates for the Drowned Doctor, other than Druitt.

                      It may be the register kept by the Thames River Police you're thinking of. I believe Druitt's body was too far upstream to come under their jurisdiction. Whether anyone has searched the register for alternative suspects I don't know.

                      Chris Phillips

                      Dan Norder
                      Ripper Notes: The International Journal for Ripper Studies
                      Web site: www.RipperNotes.com - Email: dannorder@gmail.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Juju B
                        29th March 2007, 02:52 AM
                        Hi Juju B,

                        I think the explanation of why The Times carried no report of Monty's death is probably quite simple. They either never received any reports of the inquest, or if they did, then decided it was not an item of sufficient importance for them to publish.

                        We must remember that at the time there was no suspicion of MJD, and from the reports published in local papers the inquest was into a straightforward drowning/suicide.

                        Rgds
                        John

                        It could be so, John - but given The Times was to some extent the voice and reflection of the concerns of Middle England, and the 'establishment', I would have thought, like Andy, that it was reasonable toexpect the discovery of a drowned barrister in the Thames to be reported in that newspaper. Wouldn't little filler stories like that have been their bread and butter to some extent, for people to tut over their kippers at, and speculate whether it was the same chap who was up at Oxford with young Alfred? And wouldn't there have been some press arrangement for gathering notification of inquests, as there would have been with other court proceedings?

                        But I'm just guessing - maybe it was all done on a hit and miss basis, and how good the story was, if it did come to journalistic attention.

                        .

                        .

                        .
                        Juju B
                        29th March 2007, 03:05 AM
                        Thanks Chris - it may have been that register I'm thinking of. I honestly can't remember - except whichever it was, someone had searched it, and I had the impression Monty's record had been found in it, and a couple of others that didn't really sound likely candidates. I could very easily be mis-remembering those points though.

                        If it was that one (or another register that also only covered part of the river), it obviously wouldn't have meant much that no other likely suicide was found to fit the bill.

                        .

                        .

                        .
                        aspallek
                        29th March 2007, 06:04 AM
                        There was, apparently, an 'East India Company' connection between the Druitt and Macnaghten families, and I just wonder if perhaps Sir Melville's description of Druitt as a 'doctor' might have been a gentlemanly ruse to avert suspicion away from Montague of that ilk. Unless Sir Melville had some kind of inside information that is long lost, I could never quite link the finding of Druitt's drowned corpse with the identity of JtR.

                        There was, indeed, an East India connection between these two families but it did not extend to Sir Melville's and Montgue's generations. In my opinion, the link is not terribly strong.

                        Is there any actual record of a doctor being found drowned in The Thames during the relevant period?

                        None that we know of. Druitt's body was indeed too far upstream to be under the jurisdiction of the Thames Police. It is puzzling that it went unreported in the Times since that paper often covered the suicides of people from completely ordinary families. A barrister's suicide should have been reported.

                        .

                        .

                        .
                        aspallek
                        29th March 2007, 06:12 AM
                        The most intriguing questions, then, of course, are: what the heck was that private information, and how reliable was the source?

                        Yes, that is the most immediate question that needs to be answered. There are, of course, many possibilities. None can be proved; all remain theories.

                        At the moment I am favoring a certain individual as the source of this private information. This person was a classmate to Melville Macnaghten at Eton, had Dorset connections (Wimborne Minster in particular), certainly knew members of the Druitt family, lived within sight of Montague Druitt at Blackheath, had legal chambers in the same set of buildings as Montague, and also had ties to the West of England during the relevant period. Of course, nothing can be proved unless some letter or document might turn up someday.

                        .

                        .

                        .
                        johnsavage
                        30th March 2007, 12:56 AM
                        Hi Juju,

                        I agree that it would be reasonable to expect a report of the MJD inquest to have been published in The Times. At the same time I also think that there is nothing suspicious in the fact that they did not report of it.

                        The system employed by Dr. Diplock (and I beleive other coroners) was to post a notice at his office informing journalists of upcoming inquests, and clearly someone from the local newspapers must have read this, otherwise there woluld be no newspaper reports of the inquest. Local newspapers could pass on there reports to the national daily papers, and it would be up to the editors of such nationals to choose any stories they found newsworthy. So we have two possibilities, either the local newspaper didn't pass on the information, or The Times editors did not deem it of sufficient interest. The Times would not have been in much need of "filler" articles, as much of their reporting was lengthy detailed reports of major national and international news.

                        I took a little time today to look through The Times in the days after the inquest, and there are only a handful of inquest reports that week, two or three in London, one in Birmingham and one in Wales; none of them were suicides. Also there were a couple of reports of deaths caused in tragic accidents, such as a man who died whilst out in a boat shooting, off Brighton.

                        There is also a daily column detailing the deaths of various people, but no mention of Monty.

                        Rgds
                        John

                        .

                        .

                        .
                        aspallek
                        30th March 2007, 01:08 AM
                        Hi John,

                        It's not necessarily a report of the inquest that I'd be expecting to see but rather a short article detailing the discovery of the body on Dec. 31. Perhaps the New Year holiday had something to do with its omission.

                        Dan Norder
                        Ripper Notes: The International Journal for Ripper Studies
                        Web site: www.RipperNotes.com - Email: dannorder@gmail.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          johnsavage
                          30th March 2007, 01:48 AM
                          Hi Andy,

                          I am sure that the New Year holiday would not have helped matters. But again I have to say that a body fished out of the Thames may not have been that news worthy. Had the body been mutilated or defiled in some other way, I guess it would have interested, at least, papers like the Evening News or Star.

                          Rgds
                          John

                          .

                          .

                          .
                          robert
                          30th March 2007, 06:29 PM
                          Hi all

                          There are some surprising omissions in the Times. The one that immediately springs to mind (apart from Monty) is the absence of any mention of the suicide of (Retd) Supt Cutbush.

                          Robert

                          .

                          .

                          .
                          aspallek
                          30th March 2007, 10:18 PM
                          That's why I wondered if there was some Victorian sensitivity toward these things in an upscale paper like the Times.

                          .

                          .

                          .
                          Graham
                          30th March 2007, 10:36 PM
                          There was, indeed, an East India connection between these two families but it did not extend to Sir Melville's and Montgue's generations. In my opinion, the link is not terribly strong.



                          None that we know of. Druitt's body was indeed too far upstream to be under the jurisdiction of the Thames Police. It is puzzling that it went unreported in the Times since that paper often covered the suicides of people from completely ordinary families. A barrister's suicide should have been reported.

                          Andy,

                          Perhaps not to Montague's generation, but surely certainly to Sir Melville's.
                          I might suggest that in those far-off days, family connections however tenuous meant much more, perhaps, than they do today. As in Sir Joseph Porter's "sisters and cousins and aunts" in HMS Pinafore. I would suggest that even distant members of a family tried to ride the bandwagon of a successful member, contacts being of prime importance.

                          Cheers,

                          Graham

                          .

                          .

                          .
                          robert
                          31st March 2007, 07:00 AM
                          I know I've seen at least one suicide of a barrister reported in the Times from the 1880s or 90s. Remarkably enough, he jumped off a train (don't tell Edward G Robinson!).

                          Robert

                          .

                          .

                          .
                          aspallek
                          31st March 2007, 07:26 AM
                          Andy,

                          Perhaps not to Montague's generation, but surely certainly to Sir Melville's.
                          I might suggest that in those far-off days, family connections however tenuous meant much more, perhaps, than they do today. As in Sir Joseph Porter's "sisters and cousins and aunts" in HMS Pinafore. I would suggest that even distant members of a family tried to ride the bandwagon of a successful member, contacts being of prime importance.

                          Sir Melville and Montague were of the same generation. Macnaghten was born in 1853 and Druitt in 1857. We lose sight of the fact that Macnaghten was not some doddering old fool when he joined SY in 1889 but rather a young man of about 36.

                          Yes, family ties were more important then, I suspect. But Macnaghten had spent his early adult years in India and probably did not get to knew the Druitt family. However, the tie is an interesting one and holds possibilities.

                          .

                          .

                          .
                          robert
                          31st March 2007, 07:49 AM
                          The cricket tie might be the most important one.

                          Robert

                          .

                          .

                          .
                          johnr
                          31st March 2007, 12:43 PM
                          Hello All,
                          The Old School Tie was the tie which bound Upper Class persons the strongest.
                          But Winchester wasn't Eton.
                          And as for the East India Company links with Druitt/Macnaghten: the latter had the stronger claim. The Druitt's link was through the Mayos. And that a generation back or across.
                          Sir Melville seems to have severed ties with the East India Company when his father's estate at Ovingdean, Sussex, was broken up.
                          You see, despite his time in India, Sir Melville was a town mouse, not a country mouse.
                          So, I cannot see the strong East India links which some people use to argue as the "private information" route from the Druitt family to Sir Melville's ears.
                          JOHN RUFFELS.

                          .

                          .

                          .
                          Graham
                          31st March 2007, 12:54 PM
                          Andy S,

                          Touch of brain-off when I wrote that Druitt and Sir M were a generation apart, or thereabouts. Funny, but I do see Sir M as a bit of a tweedy old dust-badger, but I guess this is because existing photos of him show him in later life.

                          Cheers,

                          Graham

                          Dan Norder
                          Ripper Notes: The International Journal for Ripper Studies
                          Web site: www.RipperNotes.com - Email: dannorder@gmail.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            robert
                            31st March 2007, 02:41 PM
                            Hi John R

                            What's the situation re Eric H?

                            Robert

                            .

                            .

                            .
                            aspallek
                            31st March 2007, 03:33 PM
                            Graham,

                            No worries. I had always done the same until recently. I think it is indeed because of the existing photos. But I think it's important to note that Sir Melville was a young man in the prime of life when he was dealing with the Whitechapel murders.

                            John,

                            Regarding school ties, Eaton and all that. What if I could show you someone who was at Eton with Macnaghten, had definite ties to the Druitt family and lived within sight of Montague?

                            .

                            .

                            .
                            johnr
                            6th April 2007, 07:17 AM
                            Hello Andy Spallek,
                            A great discussion on this thread. Thus helping us to clarify our thinking on the Druitt-as-JTR theory.
                            Firstly, I must apologise for not realising this thread had not fizzled out on the 7th March.I glanced at the last postings on the Forum page, and made that wrongful assumption. So, I did not see your kind offer to point me towards an Eton contemporary of Macnaghten's who had close links by propinquity as well as the East India Company, too Montague Druitt.
                            Yes please, tell me more.

                            Lastly, I think to a lot of Londoners in the LVP, (not least of whom would I include, Dorset-boy Frederick Abberline,) if they had heard of the name Druitt, would have associated it with the successful editor of a London medical journal and author (through several editions) of a book on the beneficial effects of wine for good health, ROBERT DRUITT (FRCS)born 4 December, 1814, died London 15th May, 1883.

                            This man was involved for some government authority in an official inquiry into the state of sanitation of dwellings in the East End of London. And along with his brother, WILLIAM DRUITT, Montague's father, was descended from a three hundred year old dynasty of Dorset medical men.
                            (By coincidence, his own mother was a Mayo: a name which today, is strongly linked to medicine because of a distant relative of the Druitt's, the Mayo Clinic. But at that time, the Mayos were chiefly known as educators).

                            So, it would have been quite understandable for people to have linked Montague Druitt to the medical profession, when they heard his name.
                            JOHN RUFFELS.

                            .

                            .

                            .
                            mayerling
                            7th April 2007, 05:09 AM
                            Hi Robert,

                            Robinson never said that a man could not commit suicide by jumping off a train. He (or rather his character Barton Keyes) argued that never has a man died by getting tangled in his crutches and falling from a train observation car onto the tracks while the train was travelling at five miles an hour!

                            Jeff

                            .

                            .

                            .
                            robert
                            7th April 2007, 01:21 PM
                            Ah Jeff, so people did commit suicide by jumping off trains then. Let's hope there were no suicide/murders combined (driver jumps off).

                            Robert

                            .

                            .

                            .
                            aspallek
                            10th April 2007, 10:03 PM
                            Hello Andy Spallek,
                            A great discussion on this thread. Thus helping us to clarify our thinking on the Druitt-as-JTR theory.
                            Firstly, I must apologise for not realising this thread had not fizzled out on the 7th March.I glanced at the last postings on the Forum page, and made that wrongful assumption. So, I did not see your kind offer to point me towards an Eton contemporary of Macnaghten's who had close links by propinquity as well as the East India Company, too Montague Druitt.
                            Yes please, tell me more.

                            OK, John, the story goes something like this:

                            A young man by the name of John Henry Lonsdale attended Eton in the 1870's. He was the son of an Anglican clergyman and the grandson of the Bishop of Litchfield. His aunt was married to Edmund Beckett, who designed the clockworks for Big Ben and who would become the first Baronet Grimthorpe. Also attending Eton and in the same class was a young man by the name of Melville Leslie Macnaghten.

                            Macnaghten goes on to manage his father's tea plantations in India while Lonsdale attends Trinity College, Cambridge and studies at the bar. Lonsdale becomes a barrister and leases chambers at 1 King's Bench Walk (some sources say it was no. 4 but Kelly's has him at no. 1), in the same buildings as Montague Druitt's chambers. Young Lonsdale takes quarters at 5 Eliot Cottages in Blackheath, within sight and a few seconds' walk from Druitt's residence at Valentine's school at 9 Eliot Place. Lonsdale and Montague Druitt certainly would have known one another.

                            In 1887, Lonsdale follows his family tradition and turns from law to Church work. He is ordained a deacon and assigned to none other a post than Wimborne Minster, the Druitt family's home congregation. He marries a local Dorset girl at Wimborne Minster in December 1888, while Montague's body lay undiscovered at the bottom of the Thames, but is re-assigned just in time to miss officiating at Montague's funeral. He goes on to serve a number of parishes in Dorset and at some time must have made the acquaintance of Montague's cousin Charles Druitt, who was also a clergyman. We assume this because we know that some of Charles' possessions were stolen from Lonsdale.

                            At one point, Lonsdale is assigned to a parish near Somerset and has recently left that location when we read of the "West of England MP" who claims to know the identity of Jack the Ripper. There is more, but you'll have to await my upcoming article for the rest.

                            One very possible scenario is that Lonsdale knew Montague well and also was in touch with his surviving family. At some point Lonsdale ran into his old classmate, Sir Melville and mentioned to him, off the record, his suspicions about Montague as well as the Druitt family's suspicions. Thus possibly the source of Macnaghten's "private information."

                            You can see photographs of Lonsdale's grave and a couple of his parishes on the "John Henry Lonsdale" thread.

                            .

                            .

                            .
                            johnr
                            21st April 2007, 10:47 AM
                            Thanks Andy,
                            For all those interesting links between Montague Druitt, John H Lonsdale and Sir Melville Macnaghten.
                            You have done a great deal of work. Congratulations. Naturally, I was unaware of most of it. And am looking forward to reading the bits you have presumeably, held back till publication.
                            Just two points though: just how close geograpically, were Lonsdale's chambers to 9 Kings Bench Walk? Whilst they may have been physically in the same building. From memory, all the chambers addresses were arranged in long rows forming one building.That is, those neighbouring each other.
                            I am impressed with the extraordinary dogging of Druitt's footsteps in his career, by Lonsdale - or vice versa -, but if you have a look at Felix Wanostracht's life and his career, there are extraordinary parallels to the MJD trajectory there too. (Ideally, see Leighton's biog. of Montague Druitt for this last, just reminding you, as I am sure you are already familiar with it).
                            Either way, well done. It has certainly needed someone to examine Lonsdale's extraordinary -seeming shadowing of MJD.
                            JOHN RUFFELS.

                            Dan Norder
                            Ripper Notes: The International Journal for Ripper Studies
                            Web site: www.RipperNotes.com - Email: dannorder@gmail.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              aspallek
                              23rd April 2007, 04:31 AM
                              Hi John,

                              One caveat: I am not suggesting that Lonsdale was "shadowing" Druitt; only that there lives had an interesting parallel and near-parallel run.

                              As to your question about King's Bench Walk. Next time you are in London, take a walk down there, it's a beautiful area (or have a look at Google Earth), as it's a little hard to explain. King's Bench Walk and the Paper Buildings form more or less a Square, King's Bench Walk forming the East and North ends and the Paper Buildings forming the West end. Druitt's chambers would have been near the southeastern end of the square while Lonsdale (at no. 1) would actually have been in a portion of the KBW buildings that extended north out of the square toward Mitre Court. So they were no particularly close. Nevertheless, they would have seen one another. If Howells/Skinner and Leighton are correct in that Lonsdale at some time had chambers at no. 4 KBW, he would have been much closer to Druitt. Incidentally, James FitzJames Stephen had champers in the Paper Buildings and one of his sons, a brother to J.K., had chambers in KBW.

                              I wasn't so impressed with any connections to Wanostracht.

                              .

                              .

                              .
                              johnr
                              24th April 2007, 10:48 AM
                              Greetings Andrew,
                              I can understand your not being tooo impressed with Felix W's curious & coincidental links with MJD's world.
                              But boy am I impressed with the fact James Fitjames Stephen had champers in a building nearby to Montague Druitt.
                              (Just joking AS).
                              JOHN RUFFELS.

                              .

                              .

                              .
                              tom_wescott
                              8th May 2007, 03:23 AM
                              Hello all,

                              For what it's worth, a fellow named A.P. Woods (no, I'm not making that up, nor am I drinking some Fine Spanish Brandy as I write this) worked in the first half of the 20th century as a guard along the River Thames. He was a Londoner and was 11 years old in 1888. His father was also a riverman and they lived in Gravesend at the time. Circa 1944 he wrote a memoir called 'I Guarded the Waterfront' where he touches upon his memory of the Ripper scare and he mentions the following:

                              'The police held the belief that a certain man who committed suicide in the Thames at the end of 1888 was the real criminal, and other murders that came after were merely imitative.'

                              I was looking through an old notebook for notes on something else when I came across some this note written in my scribbled handwriting. I'm not certain now what my source was, but anyway, there you go.

                              Yours truly,

                              Tom Wescott

                              .

                              .

                              .
                              aspallek
                              8th May 2007, 02:39 PM
                              Nice find, Tom. I've located Woods' book on abebooks.com but it is a little pricey for me. I'm trying to get access to a copy via interlibrary loan.

                              Of course, Woods could have gotten this much information by reading Griffiths and I suppose this is the source of his information. However, his father might also have been privy to police gossip in 1889 or thereabouts.

                              .

                              .

                              .
                              aspallek
                              18th May 2007, 08:44 PM
                              A picture of our author with companion, A.P. Woods:

                              .

                              .

                              .
                              aspallek
                              18th May 2007, 08:56 PM
                              Woods' book is an interesting read. Quite a bit of information about body recovery from the Thames. I can't find a date of publication but in the foreward he describes London as "battle scarred" so I presume it is about 1945-1950. The author was born in 1877.

                              Here is the part in which he discusses Jack the Ripper. What murder sight is he talking about in Jubilee Street and who is the Gravesend suspect?

                              .

                              .

                              .
                              Graham
                              18th May 2007, 09:09 PM
                              Jubilee St runs from Commercial Road north to Mile End Rd (extension of Commercial Rd), and well to the east of the easternmost murder-site at Bucks Row. Surely the crowds wouldn't have extended this far, 48 hours after Nicholls' murder? I Googled 'Jubilee St' and got nothing relevant.

                              Interesting, though.

                              Cheers,

                              Graham

                              .

                              .

                              .
                              aspallek
                              18th May 2007, 09:16 PM
                              It looks as if Woods may have got his information from Griffiths, however there is something a little different.

                              First, Woods' statement that the "police held to the belief" seems to indicate that this was a widespread theory and not the feelings of one man or a few men. Griffiths says the police narrowed the list of suspect down to (Macnaghten's) three, of which the drowned doctor was the best fit. Woods is stronger, saying the police believed the drowned man was JtR. He doesn't say that the drowned man was a doctor, which is significant since he had just discussed the belief that JtR was a doctor.

                              Second, Woods says that the suspect "committed suicide" at the end of 1888. This, too, is significant because Griffiths implies that the suspect committed suicide shortly after the Kelly murder and his body was found on Dec. 31. Woods discusses a number of other cases in his book of bodies recovered after weeks in the Thames, so why not mention this with regard to Druitt if Griffiths is his source?

                              Third, his suggestion that the post-1888 murders were "merely imitative" smacks of the Macnaghten memorandum itself rather than Griffiths.

                              .

                              .

                              .
                              aspallek
                              21st May 2007, 04:02 AM
                              So, does anyone know which Ripper murder (or potential Ripper murder) Woods is referring to in connection with Jubilee Street?

                              Anybody know the identity of the Gravesend suspect?

                              .

                              .

                              .
                              aspallek
                              22nd May 2007, 02:27 AM
                              Grey Hunter has just informed me that the Gravesend suspect was William Piggott. I knew about Piggott but I had forgotten that he was from Gravesend.

                              My guess on the Jubilee Street murder scene is that, if it refers to a canonical murder, it must be Stride. The double event is the only one that was discovered on Sunday morning and Mitre Square is too distant. Still, it seems odd that Woods and his father would be travelling at such an odd hour in the middle of the night.

                              Dan Norder
                              Ripper Notes: The International Journal for Ripper Studies
                              Web site: www.RipperNotes.com - Email: dannorder@gmail.com

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X