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The Strange Death Of Montague John Druitt

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  • Originally posted by Ms Diddles View Post

    The argument for Druitt as the Ripper is one of the most frustrating and infuriating (but also intriguing) in this whole case IMO.

    It feels like there are so many pieces of evidence which could shed light on the case, but they're just out of reach.

    Why was Druitt fired from Valentine's school?
    What were the full contents of the suicide note?
    Did Druitt ever volunteer in Whitechapel (Toynbee Hall or similar)?
    What was M's "Private Information"?
    Is there a link to the Tukes asylum in Chiswick?
    What on earth is in that letter from Tuke to the police?
    Why buy a return ticket when commiting suicide?
    Why did William lie in stating there were no other family members?

    Etc etc etc etc... .

    The answers to many of these questions may actually be of no consequence, but some may be really significant.


    ​​​​​​​
    Then you have Monty’s uncle James who was writing a memoir and family history but abruptly stopped in early November only to start again in 1894. Then you have his aunts emotional letter saying that she’d visited Cavendish Square and talks about an ‘encumbrance.’ Cavendish Square was where the Earl Of Crawford lived so might she have been the woman mentioned in the Crawford Letter? Then we have Rear Admiral Fleet saying that many locals believed that the ripper was from Blackheath (did some rumour emanate from the school?)

    None of it evidence of guilt of course but for me there are so many things that make Druitt intriguing as a suspect.
    Regards

    Sir Herlock Sholmes



    "The most confused you will ever get is when you try to convince your heart and spirit of something your mind knows is a lie.”

    ”The absence of doubt is not necessarily a sign of the presence of truth.”

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Ms Diddles View Post

      "In 1882 he married Adelaide Sutton, the daughter of another doctor".

      Henry??
      Yes.

      Have a careful read of all four Wikis and you will see the links behind the letter to the police.

      Sutton was blackmailed due to his sexual orientation.
      He panicked and murdered Nichols.

      Click image for larger version

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ID:	768721 Sutton's residence.
      My name is Dave. You cannot reach me through Debs email account

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      • Black Swan, 23 Hanbury Street, Spitalfields E1
        My name is Dave. You cannot reach me through Debs email account

        Comment


        • Originally posted by DJA View Post

          Yes.

          Have a careful read of all four Wikis and you will see the links behind the letter to the police.

          Sutton was blackmailed due to his sexual orientation.
          He panicked and murdered Nichols.

          Click image for larger version

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ID:	768721 Sutton's residence.
          Hmmmmmm!

          Reading and pondering, Dave.....!

          I'm not usually a big fan of impressionism, but HS Tukes work is really rather good.

          I was interested also to see that he was born in Lawrence St, York.

          I know it well.

          Back to the reading and pondering.......

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post

            Then you have Monty’s uncle James who was writing a memoir and family history but abruptly stopped in early November only to start again in 1894. Then you have his aunts emotional letter saying that she’d visited Cavendish Square and talks about an ‘encumbrance.’ Cavendish Square was where the Earl Of Crawford lived so might she have been the woman mentioned in the Crawford Letter? Then we have Rear Admiral Fleet saying that many locals believed that the ripper was from Blackheath (did some rumour emanate from the school?)

            None of it evidence of guilt of course but for me there are so many things that make Druitt intriguing as a suspect.
            Tantalising and infuriating in equal measure, isn't it?!

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Ms Diddles View Post

              Tantalising and infuriating in equal measure, isn't it?!
              Certainly is.
              Regards

              Sir Herlock Sholmes



              "The most confused you will ever get is when you try to convince your heart and spirit of something your mind knows is a lie.”

              ”The absence of doubt is not necessarily a sign of the presence of truth.”

              Comment


              • Does JH mention the potential connection between the Revered Charles Druitt and Sir Charles Warren? Through their involvement in the Palestine Exploration fund?

                It has been a few years since I dug that out and emailed him. As I recall, a Druitt had contributed to the quarterly magazine that the PEF issued. Some time in 1883.

                ​​​​​​His interest in the PEF was also mentioned in his obituary, while Warren gave a talk on the subject at Toynbee Hall as late as 1886.


                The speculation is obviously that either Charles Druitt or Montague Druitt's brother in law, also a vicar in the east end had informed Warren. As I recall, Warren was one of the few, if not the only, senior policeman involved in the case who did not speculate on the identity of the Ripper. I think it's also reasonable to speculate that as someone presumably well informed about the case, whatever he was told, if he was told, was compelling. IF he was the source.

                How Macnaghten came by his information is not known. I don't accept that the wrong information in the memorandum was an attempt to 'hide' Druitt I believe he simply wrote down what he thought he knew.

                There were a few things I didn't follow up on. Later in life, his sister died by defenestration, i.e. she fell through a window. I could only find a short article on the inquest. Suicide had been mooted I believe, but I never checked the date to see if the Ripper had become a sensation again through the publication of a book or other media.


                ​​
                Last edited by martin wilson; 09-20-2021, 11:58 AM.

                Comment


                • I don’t have the book with me Martin but I can’t recall mention of the PEF though I’ve read about it somewhere.

                  Monty’s sister Georgina (who married the Reverend William Hough) committed suicide in 1933.
                  Regards

                  Sir Herlock Sholmes



                  "The most confused you will ever get is when you try to convince your heart and spirit of something your mind knows is a lie.”

                  ”The absence of doubt is not necessarily a sign of the presence of truth.”

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post

                    As far as I can recall George his only connect to the asylum was a family one. To be honest I don’t have any books with me at the moment to refresh my memory but you’re right that the actually day of his suicide can’t be stated with certainty. As Monty was sacked from the school on November 30th we don’t know if he was allowed a period of time to find somewhere else to live or whether he was told to leave immediately? So was he still at the school or living elsewhere? Was he staying at the asylum or perhaps at Kings Bench Walk? If his friends say that they hadn’t seen him since the 3rd and that this caused them concern it could of course be that Monty called in every day or most days to see if there was any work for him? We don’t know.

                    A couple of things are interesting (to me at least) The friend that contacted Monty’s brother William to tell him that he was missing was never mentioned by name. Even at the Inquest no one mentions his name. I’m certainly not attempting to read too much into this but it’s just curious that he was never actually named. The other point is that only part of Druitt’s suicide note is ever read out or published. This of course might simply have been for reasons of family privacy but omissions can’t but help leave us wondering what the rest of the note contained? I might also mention that his brother claimed that, apart from him, Monty had no other relatives, which wasn’t even close to being true. Possibly he was trying to shield other family members but he’d already admitted at the Inquest that his mother was confined.
                    Hi Herlock,

                    Monty was sacked from the school on Friday, 30th November. William found the "suicide" note at the residence at the school. Monty was on the train to Hammersmith on Saturday, 1 December, so the note, if it was written as a result of his sacking, could have only been written on the evening of Friday the 30th or the morning of Saturday 1 December. The wording of the note, which isn't really a suicide note as it does convey any intent, is then decidedly odd.

                    "Since Friday I felt I was going to be like mother, and the best thing for me was to die."

                    For a note supposedly written so close to the event, I would have expected "Since this morning" or "Since yesterday". My suspicion is that the note was either written by Monty before Friday 30th (MJK murder was Friday 9 Nov), or by someone else sometime after Saturday 1st Dec.

                    From the Inquest: Witness heard from a friend on the 11th of December that deceased had not been heard of at his chambers for more than a week.

                    Saturday 1st Dec is more than a week from 11 Dec, so maybe Monty called in at KBW before catching the train to Hammersmith. Is there any reason to believe that he returned from Hammersmith? Had he done so, wouldn't he have used his return ticket? That makes it most likely he went to the asylum at Chiswick. It is not know how long he spent there before he meet his demise in the Thames. It could have been a short visit or a stay of a few days, but one is tempted to believe not past the 4th Dec. However had this date carved on his tombstone was apparently in possession of knowledge to which we are not privy.

                    I listened to Jonathan Hainsworth & Christine Ward-Agius on Most Notorious, and was under whelmed. Newspaper reports of a vicarage confession and a French asylum story are elevated from speculation to be presented as fact. The Spicer story, which was nonsense when written 40 years after the event, is presented as having been Monty. McNaughten is no longer mistaken in his memorandum, but was deliberately misleading and, according to Hainsworth, everyone knew at the time that Monty was JtR. I trust McNaughten's "private information" was based on more than this rumour and conjecture.

                    I am yet to be persuaded of Monty's candidature for JtR, but my interest is piqued. Lawende's description doesn't match Monty for stout build or fair moustache. Every photo of Monty I have seen, and that of his brother, shows a dark moustache, but maybe Lawende wasn't looking at JtR. I am very suspicious of William and note that A-Z quotes Andrew Holloway as proposing that William murdered Monty to get control of the family estates, and invented a bogus story that Monty was the Ripper to divert attention.

                    Cheers, George

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by GBinOz View Post

                      Hi Herlock,

                      Monty was sacked from the school on Friday, 30th November. William found the "suicide" note at the residence at the school. Monty was on the train to Hammersmith on Saturday, 1 December, so the note, if it was written as a result of his sacking, could have only been written on the evening of Friday the 30th or the morning of Saturday 1 December. The wording of the note, which isn't really a suicide note as it does convey any intent, is then decidedly odd.

                      "Since Friday I felt I was going to be like mother, and the best thing for me was to die."

                      For a note supposedly written so close to the event, I would have expected "Since this morning" or "Since yesterday". My suspicion is that the note was either written by Monty before Friday 30th (MJK murder was Friday 9 Nov), or by someone else sometime after Saturday 1st Dec.

                      From the Inquest: Witness heard from a friend on the 11th of December that deceased had not been heard of at his chambers for more than a week.

                      Saturday 1st Dec is more than a week from 11 Dec, so maybe Monty called in at KBW before catching the train to Hammersmith. Is there any reason to believe that he returned from Hammersmith? Had he done so, wouldn't he have used his return ticket? That makes it most likely he went to the asylum at Chiswick. It is not know how long he spent there before he meet his demise in the Thames. It could have been a short visit or a stay of a few days, but one is tempted to believe not past the 4th Dec. However had this date carved on his tombstone was apparently in possession of knowledge to which we are not privy.

                      I listened to Jonathan Hainsworth & Christine Ward-Agius on Most Notorious, and was under whelmed. Newspaper reports of a vicarage confession and a French asylum story are elevated from speculation to be presented as fact. The Spicer story, which was nonsense when written 40 years after the event, is presented as having been Monty. McNaughten is no longer mistaken in his memorandum, but was deliberately misleading and, according to Hainsworth, everyone knew at the time that Monty was JtR. I trust McNaughten's "private information" was based on more than this rumour and conjecture.

                      I am yet to be persuaded of Monty's candidature for JtR, but my interest is piqued. Lawende's description doesn't match Monty for stout build or fair moustache. Every photo of Monty I have seen, and that of his brother, shows a dark moustache, but maybe Lawende wasn't looking at JtR. I am very suspicious of William and note that A-Z quotes Andrew Holloway as proposing that William murdered Monty to get control of the family estates, and invented a bogus story that Monty was the Ripper to divert attention.

                      Cheers, George
                      I don’t recall the suggestion that William killed Monty to get control of the family estates but it doesn’t really make sense as William already had complete control so it’s difficult to see how Monty could have made any kind of challenge. He’d been left an amount in his fathers will but had already been given a considerable chunk of it to fund his legal training (from memory I think that it was around 500) Plus, at a time when family honour and reputation was all would it have been likely that someone would have falsely claimed that the ripper was one of their own?

                      It might have come across that way but in his book JH admits that he’s speculating but he believes that all of these things Farquharson, the Priest, the asylum story, Majendie and other points all potentially point to Druitt. Whether we accept JH’s suggestion that MM sought to protect the Druitt family or not I still think that there’s easily enough to make Druitt an intriguing suspect. As I’ve said before I have no issue at all if anyone has the opinion that you hold at the moment but I’ve never understood why some dismiss him out of hand and are of the opinion that he’s not worthy of consideration or discussion. As Roger Palmer once asked ‘how could anyone be so incurious?’ So I certainly wouldn’t claim that it’s game over but could Druitt have been the ripper? I’d say yes. But he might not have been of course.

                      The question that I always put forward is that if MM was simply putting together a list of ‘better than Cutbush’ suspects why choose Druitt of all people? He seems such an unlikely choice….unless he at least felt that he had good reason to (whether mistakenly or correctly)
                      Regards

                      Sir Herlock Sholmes



                      "The most confused you will ever get is when you try to convince your heart and spirit of something your mind knows is a lie.”

                      ”The absence of doubt is not necessarily a sign of the presence of truth.”

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post
                        but I’ve never understood why some dismiss him out of hand and are of the opinion that he’s not worthy of consideration or discussion. As Roger Palmer once asked ‘how could anyone be so incurious?’
                        Hi Herlock

                        I've been reading more about Druitt as a result of this thread, but by no means fully up to speed. So far, I'm struggling to find him a strong candidate for JtR, but of course do not dismiss him. That may change (strong candidate) as I learn more. What does strike me at the moment, is the strange circumstances of his death. I wondered whether there is any post/book you could point me to that explores best whether he committed suicide or was murdered. The overwhelming reading I have done so far seems to simply accept it was suicide - but there is enough strangeness about this (the cheques, the return ticket, potentially missing days, location of body when found, the stones in the pocket) that murder seems a possibility. It was the stones in the pocket that I thought was odd to start with and on checking I came across a study that found that only 3% of drowning suicides used weights ( https://www.sciencedirect.com/scienc...52928X20300202 ). I'm not sure it affects his candidacy one way or the other but it is something I have not found much information about. What is your view, as someone who is well versed about Druitt?

                        Comment


                        • Hi Eten,

                          I can’t think of any article or particular part of a book that focuses on Druitt’s death. I’m certainly not suggesting that he was killed but that’s it’s something that can’t be ruled out as a possibility but then again there are many things that can’t be ruled out. Might he have confessed to William and then committed suicide because William threatened to go to the police? Who knows?

                          The two books that I could recommend are the ones by Jon Hainsworth and David Anderson. On the face of it Druitt doesn’t appear a promising candidate but firstly there’s absolutely nothing that counts him out (no matter what talk of cricket matches might be raised, it’s been conclusively proven that nothing counts him out.) So it’s down to MacNaghten and his private info which we don’t know the details of of course. Lots of hints, pointers and conjecture of course. Personally I can’t accept that MacNaghten simply plucked Druitt out of thin air and added him to his list.
                          Regards

                          Sir Herlock Sholmes



                          "The most confused you will ever get is when you try to convince your heart and spirit of something your mind knows is a lie.”

                          ”The absence of doubt is not necessarily a sign of the presence of truth.”

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by etenguy View Post

                            Hi Herlock

                            I've been reading more about Druitt as a result of this thread, but by no means fully up to speed. So far, I'm struggling to find him a strong candidate for JtR, but of course do not dismiss him. That may change (strong candidate) as I learn more. What does strike me at the moment, is the strange circumstances of his death. I wondered whether there is any post/book you could point me to that explores best whether he committed suicide or was murdered. The overwhelming reading I have done so far seems to simply accept it was suicide - but there is enough strangeness about this (the cheques, the return ticket, potentially missing days, location of body when found, the stones in the pocket) that murder seems a possibility. It was the stones in the pocket that I thought was odd to start with and on checking I came across a study that found that only 3% of drowning suicides used weights ( https://www.sciencedirect.com/scienc...52928X20300202 ). I'm not sure it affects his candidacy one way or the other but it is something I have not found much information about. What is your view, as someone who is well versed about Druitt?
                            My approach on every aspect of this case is to look at the simplest explanation. This is very simplistic but I think when you're dealing with 133 year old mystery, with missing data and documents and a lot of unknowns, it is the best option. For Druitt, the question is: did anything significant happen in his private life that could have had an adverse impact on his mental health, and lead to suicide? Yes, he committed a serious offence in his school job and was sacked. That is the simplest explanation. There is the police interest, but for any suspect I put police interest/lack of interest bottom of my factors to consider. For the simple reason history is full of examples of people that have been wrongly convicted and guilty people that were investigated and released. If you deviate from the simplest explanation things become complicated and uncertain. For example, for Lechmere, if you deviate from the simplest explanation that he was a man on his way to work who found a body, you have to start dismissing some very solid evidence that places the Chapman ToD at around 5.30, probably discount Tabram, and start conjuring with timings and conversations. For Druitt, you have people suggesting some sort of bizarre conspiracy theory. Druitt is also a very, very long way removed from the FBI profile. I know people have a bit of a hissy fit when the profile is mentioned but the profile was written by those who, I would suggest, know more about this subject than we do. It is a serious consideration. It is not the be all and end all, but it is, I think, a useful tool to evaluate suspects.

                            There is also a line in the MM that I find concerning: 'I have always held strong opinions regarding him, and the more I think the matter over, the stronger do these opinions become'. 'The more I think things over' sounds very like what we all do on here - pure speculation based on very little. It sounds like Mac had no real evidence to me.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Aethelwulf View Post

                              My approach on every aspect of this case is to look at the simplest explanation. This is very simplistic but I think when you're dealing with 133 year old mystery, with missing data and documents and a lot of unknowns, it is the best option. For Druitt, the question is: did anything significant happen in his private life that could have had an adverse impact on his mental health, and lead to suicide? Yes, he committed a serious offence in his school job and was sacked. That is the simplest explanation. There is the police interest, but for any suspect I put police interest/lack of interest bottom of my factors to consider. For the simple reason history is full of examples of people that have been wrongly convicted and guilty people that were investigated and released. If you deviate from the simplest explanation things become complicated and uncertain. For example, for Lechmere, if you deviate from the simplest explanation that he was a man on his way to work who found a body, you have to start dismissing some very solid evidence that places the Chapman ToD at around 5.30, probably discount Tabram, and start conjuring with timings and conversations. For Druitt, you have people suggesting some sort of bizarre conspiracy theory. Druitt is also a very, very long way removed from the FBI profile. I know people have a bit of a hissy fit when the profile is mentioned but the profile was written by those who, I would suggest, know more about this subject than we do. It is a serious consideration. It is not the be all and end all, but it is, I think, a useful tool to evaluate suspects.

                              There is also a line in the MM that I find concerning: 'I have always held strong opinions regarding him, and the more I think the matter over, the stronger do these opinions become'. 'The more I think things over' sounds very like what we all do on here - pure speculation based on very little. It sounds like Mac had no real evidence to me.
                              The problem is that we don’t know what he did to get sacked and of course we can only conjecture. In doing so one suggestion is pretty much as likely as the next. The one that most suggest is that he got up to something untoward with one or more of the boys. It’s certainly possible. But so is the suggestion that his behaviour became erratic. Or that he became violent. Or that he’d been seen in Whitechapel in the company of a prostitute.

                              Im sorry Wulf but it’s easy to say that you put police interest at the bottom of your list knowing that the suspect that you proclaim as guilty as charged what interviewed and exonerated by the police. The fact that Druitt was top of MacNaghten’s list simply cannot be brushed aside especially when he spoke of ‘private info.’ How could this senior police man have gotten private information about a member of this family? One of his closest friends was related by marriage to the family. Annoying though it may be the fact that Druitt and Kosminski were were mentioned as very serious suspects by very senior police officers cannot be avoided and leaves these two our likeliest candidates IMO.

                              When FBI profiles become close to infallible then perhaps we will place more weight on them. Until then they’re just generalities. How is Druitt so far away from the ‘profile?’ At the end of the day he was a young, physically fit, intelligent guy with mental health issues. How do we know what he might have gotten up to during his life up until then? How do we know that he wasn’t seriously abused by someone? How do we know that he couldn’t function in a normal sexual way with women? (He was unmarried at 31 after all) I see nothing about Druitt that raises doubts. Unknowns….certainly. Guilty…..who knows. But he might have been. MacNaghten certainly thought so as did others.
                              Regards

                              Sir Herlock Sholmes



                              "The most confused you will ever get is when you try to convince your heart and spirit of something your mind knows is a lie.”

                              ”The absence of doubt is not necessarily a sign of the presence of truth.”

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post

                                The problem is that we don’t know what he did to get sacked
                                Hi Herlock,

                                Strictly speaking, we can't be sure when he got sacked either. From a report of the inquest:
                                Witness then went to London to make inquiries, and at Blackheath he found that deceased had got into serious trouble at the school, and had been dismissed. That was on the 30th of December.

                                Whether the date refers to the date of dismissal or the date of William's arrival at Blackheath, it is likely a mistake. The note found by William at Monty's residence could have been written by Monty no later than the morning of 1 Dec. and if it is referring to Fri 30 Nov it is very curiously phrased:
                                "Since Friday I felt I was going to be like mother, and the best thing for me was to die."

                                If he was referring to 30 Nov it would be more usual to say "Since yesterday". If not, there could be two possibilities.
                                1. He had visited his mother at the asylum on a Friday previous to the 30th and, in the six days following that visit, expressed in the note his fear of deteriorating in an asylum like his mother.
                                2. That he was referring to Friday 9 Nov and feared his inherited madness was pushing him to commit acts with which his conscience could not cope.

                                Otherwise it could be just the date and not the month that was a mistake and it was meant to refer to William's visit to Blackheath.

                                It is possible that he suicided over his distress at seeing a major decline in his mother's mental state and the fact that mental illness ran in his family, and had nothing to do with his dismissal. It may have been as simple as that he was dismissed because his successful legal practice was demanding too much of his time and he was neglecting his school duties. It was William, that I can see, that was stating that the reason was "serious".

                                Cheers, George
                                Last edited by GBinOz; 09-23-2021, 01:47 AM.

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