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What makes Druitt a viable suspect?

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  • Originally posted by John G View Post

    Hi Paul,

    Many thanks for the reply, and apologises for the late response. Yes, I find Macnaughton generally frustrating, i.e. for the factual errors he makes and for his vagueness, although to be fair, he presumably had to consider the issue of confidentiality.

    I think the "private information" has to be differentiated from the information that was in the possession of the police, as that information wouldn't have been "private."

    I also find comments he made about the private information a little odd: why does he say that he had, "little doubt but that his own family believed him to be the murderer." As Sugden pointed out in his book, this means he wasn't certain. But why? If the source was a family member, the source isn't going to say something along the lines of, "I'm almost certain that I believe Druitt was the murderer". That would be nonsensical. If it wasn't a family member, then it's tantamount to hearsay so, in that case, why didn't he interview the family to confirm the information?

    Then there's the comments about Druitt being a doctor. Of course, he didn't say that he was a doctor, but that he was "said to be a doctor and of good family." Said by who? The source of his private information? If so, he couldn't have been that well acquainted with the family because he gets his profession completely wrong!
    Hi John
    Your questions are really what this is all about - looking at the source, asking questions of it, and evaluating the answers to see where they lead. I suggested back in 1988 that Macnaghten's 'little doubt' probably means that the source of his 'private information' was not a member of Druitt's family. But that doesn't mean it was hearsay either, but have been a conclusion Macnaghten reached for himself from what the information said.
    Similarly, 'said to be a doctor'; Macnaghten knew details such as the train ticket, but not Druitt's profession, which leads to the conclusion that he took his information from a source that knew details relating to the discovery of the body, but which pre-dated the inquest at which correct details about Druitt were given. I thought the most likely source was therefore PC Moulson's report about the discovery of the body. Why he would have used that, of course, is an entirely different matter, but it makes the errors much less significant than some have recently been arguing.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Wickerman View Post

      Hi Simon.

      Placing the two versions within the same 10 day window is fine, but there must be a way of determining internally, which document came first.
      If you write an initial copy, then proof read it, you normally end up with a corrected proof copy and a more sober version as the final document.

      Take for instance where we have this line in the A.V.

      And now with regard to the 4 additional murders asertied ? [ascribed written underneath] by the “Sun” writer to the “Ripper”

      It appears the writer proof read the A.V. and correct "aserted" with "ascribed", which is correct if the A.V. is the first draft.
      In the official copy at Scotland Yard we read:

      "With regard to the 4 additional murders ascribed by the writer in the Sun to the Whitechapel fiend:"

      Also, when speculating on the fate of the murderer after Millers Court, in the A.V. Mac. provides a subjective opinion:

      "...as a less likely alternative, was found to be so helplessly insane by his relatives, that they, suspecting the worst, had him confined in some Lunatic Asylum."

      But, in the S.Y. version the subjective opinion is correctly removed and replaced with:

      "...as a possible alternative, was found to be so hopelessly mad by his relations, that he was by them confined in some asylum."

      You'll notice any reference to the "Ripper" in the A.V. is replaced with the more sober "man" or "murderer", which is correct in the S.Y. version As Ripper is the colloquial identification and assumes one man was responsible, whereas 'man' or 'murderer' is more neutral.

      Comparing these documents line for line is fascinating and only serves to support the view that the A.V. is the proof copy and not intended to be the final document.
      That's how I understand it too, it is usually the shorter document that is the more recent. the author having removed from drafts any personal opinion and extraneous detail.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by harry View Post
        We are not discussing a court case Herlock,we are discussing a family's suspicions.Those suspicions cannot be proven to have been investigated. Mac doesn't express a conclusion based on the contents of the message.His comments only express a belief of honesty on the part of the family.You,like others,are dishonestly introducing claims that were never made,,and ignoring the words of police officers of that time,who claim there was no proofs and no suspects.Mac himself declares there was no proofs against anyone.You going to insist he didn't know what he was talking about,or that he was wrong.Police jargon is the only sensible way of determining suspect,and I'll repeat how that is obtained.Suspicion,investigation,conclusion. It has never been shown there was an investigation into the Druitt family's suspicions of guilt,so there can never be a conclusion as to guilt,and guilt is an essential element of suspect. My dictionary say's so.
        Harry,
        Nobody can discuss the family's suspicions because we don't know what they were or even if they had any.
        It doesn't make any diffence whether it can be proven that they were investigated.
        Macnaghten didn't have to express anything about the content of the message. That he did not do so, doesn't mean he didn't have any and that he'd have been happy to discuss them in an appropriate place.
        His comments do not express a belief in the family's honesty, it is a simple statement of what he thought they thought.
        macnaghten says there were no proofs, but that doesn't mean there wasn't evidence.

        One more try: our purpose is to understand what was going on when this series of murder were committed in the 19th century and to some extent this involves understanding what people meant. In the 19th century 'suspect' had a clear meaning (which happens to be the way the vast majority of people understand it today and is how it is defined in the dictionary), but you want 'suspect' to be used in a way that it is almost exclusively used by 21st century policemen and which implies greater, more solid evidence than is meant by the word as it was and is generally used. You will therefore either invest the 19th century use of 'suspect' with a meaning that was not intended and will probably be completely midleading, or you will be making a value call on the quality of the evidence (deciding that a suspect was a 'person of interest', not a 'suspect') before you know what that evidence is or, in some cases, when the evidence no longer exists. Neither action recommends itself. Understand what a 19th century person meant by a word, do not impose a 21st century meaning on that person.

        21st century police jargon is absolutely NOT 'the only sensible way of determining a suspect'.

        (We could categorise or rank suspects according to 21st century police definitions, but it would be difficult of impossible when we have insufficient information to judge the quality of the information the police possessed, or when we have to evaluate the evidence, so it can be misleading.)

        Comment


        • Originally posted by PaulB View Post

          That's how I understand it too, it is usually the shorter document that is the more recent. the author having removed from drafts any personal opinion and extraneous detail.
          I’d be cautious with this method of dating them, I’ve seen too many cases where the revision is actually an expansion on the earlier document.
          G U T

          There are two ways to be fooled, one is to believe what isn't true, the other is to refuse to believe that which is true.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by GUT View Post

            I’d be cautious with this method of dating them, I’ve seen too many cases where the revision is actually an expansion on the earlier document.
            Indeed, that's possible. However, in this instance, the Aberconway Version contains more subjective content. This was more than likely watered down on reflection, resulting in the more balanced/cautious tone of the Scotland Yard version.
            Kind regards, Sam Flynn

            "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post

              Indeed, that's possible. However, in this instance, the Aberconway Version contains more subjective content. This was more than likely watered down on reflection, resulting in the more balanced/cautious tone of the Scotland Yard version.
              I actually agree that that was probably the order, just the methodology being discussed was, in my opinion, questionable.
              G U T

              There are two ways to be fooled, one is to believe what isn't true, the other is to refuse to believe that which is true.

              Comment


              • Gut,
                I do not wish you to adopt police jargon.Where have I said that.It is comments like yours,false as they are.that is spoiling this thread.

                RJ,
                I do not understand your gibberish.What point were you trying to make?

                Paul,
                Who is discussing the family's suspicions? Whether we know what they were,or whether they had any is immaterial.What we can discuss is MM's reference to them,that is real.It is,as far as I have read, the only information that connects Druitt to the ripper murders in any form,but thanks,you have now strengthened a case for Druitt non inclusion as a suspect,because we do not know what they were or even if they(the family had any).

                Comment


                • Originally posted by GUT View Post

                  I’d be cautious with this method of dating them, I’ve seen too many cases where the revision is actually an expansion on the earlier document.
                  Yes, caution is always recommended, and this isn't down to a simple word count where the fewer the words decides that the whether the document is the most recent or not. A lot depends on various factors, among them the type of document, intended audience, and what's been added and deleted. In a formal or semi-formal document such as a report, brevity is the usual ideal, and the writer tries to avoid committing themselves to anything, so extraneous information, speculation and personal opinion is deleted. Additional factual detail can be added.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by harry View Post
                    Paul, Who is discussing the family's suspicions?
                    Er, you are. You wrote, 'We are not discussing a court case Herlock,we are discussing a family's suspicions.Those suspicions cannot be proven to have been investigated.'

                    Originally posted by harry View Post
                    Whether we know what they were,or whether they had any is immaterial.
                    Well, that didn't appear to be the case as far as you were concerned and it still doesn't; you are saying that I have weakened the case against Druitt because I've said we don't know what the family's suspicions were or even if they had any. Of course, our ignorance about what the family thought or, indeed, if they thought anything at all, doesn't strengthen or diminish the case for Druitt.

                    Originally posted by harry View Post
                    What we can discuss is MM's reference to them,that is real.It is,as far as I have read, the only information that connects Druitt to the ripper murders in any form,but thanks,you have now strengthened a case for Druitt non inclusion as a suspect,because we do not know what they were or even if they(the family had any).
                    Yes, we can discuss that, but all Macnaghten said was that from private information he had little doubt that they believed Druitt was the murderer. That doesn't mean the information came from the family, as you appear to think, it has no bearing on the honesty of the family or Macnaghten's opinion of their honesty, and there is no reason to think it was the only information implicating Druitt that the police possessed - in fact, Macnaghten refers to information having been received by the police some years after mid-1889, which could be and probably was distinct from the private info.


                    Comment


                    • I[/QUOTE]

                      The dictionary basically says - one who is suspected. It doesn’t specify by whom.

                      We are not discussing a court case Herlock,we are discussing a family's suspicions.Those suspicions cannot be proven to have been investigated.
                      Why are you happy to stress the fact that we’re not discussing a court case and yet you get belligerent when we point out that we’re not part of a police investigation either.

                      Mac doesn't express a conclusion based on the contents of the message.His comments only express a belief of honesty on the part of the family.You,like others,are dishonestly introducing claims that were never made,
                      He believed that Druitt was a likely suspect. A belief that he still held at his retirement. There’s no dishonesty here Harry. Efforts to exonerate Druitt or discredit Macnaghten have known no bounds. We’ve had Trevor saying that if Druitt was gay then he was unlikely to have been the ripper - despite the fact that there’s no evidence that he was gay. Then we’ve had The Baron trying the thoroughly dishonest “well it’s proven that Mackenzie was a ripper victim therefore Druitt couldn’t have been guilty,” - despite the obvious fact that she isn’t proven as a victim. Then we have you and Trevor obsessing over the word suspect. Tell me honestly Harry, would using the phrases ‘person of interest’ or ‘suspect’ make a blind bit of difference to how we looked at and debated the case? The answer is a very obvious no. There’s no point on trying to insist on a term. It’s simply a waste of time.

                      ,and ignoring the words of police officers of that time,who claim there was no proofs and no suspects.Mac himself declares there was no proofs against anyone.
                      As you have been told Harry, because there was no proof it doesn’t mean that there was no evidence. That evidence might have been very good.

                      [QUOTE]
                      Originally posted by harry View Post
                      You going to insist he didn't know what he was talking about,or that he was wrong.
                      No Harry, I believe that Mac knew what he was talking about and that he had good reason for believing Druitt a likely suspect until the end of his life. Other explanations are much less believable. I’ve listed some but strangely no one responded.

                      Police jargon is the only sensible way of determining suspect,and I'll repeat how that is obtained.Suspicion,investigation,conclusion.
                      Theres nothing sensible about it Harry. The police arrive at there list of suspects often as a team effort and each suspect remains one until he or she can be exonerated. So my questions are:

                      How do we decide on who merits the title suspect? What if myself, yourself and Wickerman separately investigate a suspect and Wick and I come the conclusion that there’s nothing there however you feel that he’s a strong suspect. Where do we go? Suspect or not? Who decides? It’s pointless nonsense Harry. We, as individuals, choose whether we suspect or not (and how strongly or weakly.) If someone is suspected then they are a suspect. It’s the only way.

                      t has never been shown there was an investigation into the Druitt family's suspicions of guilt,so there can never be a conclusion as to guilt,
                      So what are you saying Harry? Who would you say deserve the title suspect. From what you’re saying, it’s pretty much Kosminski and Tumblety as police suspects (as you obviously, and very conveniently, dismiss Macnaghten?) Its as if you won’t consider anything unless there’s cctv footage of it.

                      and guilt is an essential element of suspect. My dictionary say's so.
                      You must regret posting that last part Harry? Suspects aren’t necessarily guilty just possibly so.
                      Regards

                      Herlock






                      "Crime is common. Logic is rare. Therefore it is upon the logic rather than upon the crime that you should dwell.”

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by harry View Post
                        Gut,
                        I do not wish you to adopt police jargon.Where have I said that.It is comments like yours,false as they are.that is spoiling this thread.
                        As an aside, Harry, if you do not wish to adopt police jargon, why have you been arguing interminably in favour of using the 21st century police meaning of 'suspect', which is jargon, and advocating that we dispense with the dictionary definition of that word that everyone understands and is how the word was used in the 19th century.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post

                          In the same spirit, we should probably not call witnesses witnesses, because we do not know whether they witnessed a suspect or merely an innocent bystander.

                          Lawende, Schwartz, Long, Hutchinson, etc. should be considered "observers of interest."
                          Regards

                          Herlock






                          "Crime is common. Logic is rare. Therefore it is upon the logic rather than upon the crime that you should dwell.”

                          Comment


                          • . Macnaghten knew details such as the train ticket, but not Druitt's profession, which leads to the conclusion that he took his information from a source that knew details relating to the discovery of the body, but which pre-dated the inquest at which correct details about Druitt were given. I thought the most likely source was therefore PC Moulson's report about the discovery of the body. Why he would have used that, of course, is an entirely different matter, but it makes the errors much less significant than some have recently been arguing.
                            I also think that it’s worth noting Paul the very specific 41 instead of 31. Coincidence or connection? Was Mac told 31 but after checking Moulson’s report which said the body looked like a man of about 40 he mistakenly wrote 41? It’s not exactly a massive howler is it?
                            Regards

                            Herlock






                            "Crime is common. Logic is rare. Therefore it is upon the logic rather than upon the crime that you should dwell.”

                            Comment


                            • There can be no doubt that in the nineteenth century the criminal law process heavily favoured the prosecution, resulting in miscarriages of justices, such as the notorious Adolph Beck case. That's why the Criminal Appeal Court was estsblished in 1907.

                              The aforementioned Beck case highlights just how little was required to secure a conviction. Thus, Beck was convicted on the basis of, " unreliable methods of identification, erroneous eye witness testimony, and a rush to convict the accused": Wikipedia, citing Coates 1999. This, of course, has echoes of what happened to Kosminski, and suggests it would have been possible, if not likely, to secure a conviction based on the avalable evidence (of course, he was determined to be insane, so the issue didn't arise.)

                              Considering context, it's easy to see why McNaughton considered that there was ample evidence for Druitt to be considered a viable suspect.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by John G View Post
                                There can be no doubt that in the nineteenth century the criminal law process heavily favoured the prosecution, resulting in miscarriages of justices, such as the notorious Adolph Beck case. That's why the Criminal Appeal Court was estsblished in 1907.

                                The aforementioned Beck case highlights just how little was required to secure a conviction. Thus, Beck was convicted on the basis of, " unreliable methods of identification, erroneous eye witness testimony, and a rush to convict the accused": Wikipedia, citing Coates 1999. This, of course, has echoes of what happened to Kosminski, and suggests it would have been possible, if not likely, to secure a conviction based on the avalable evidence (of course, he was determined to be insane, so the issue didn't arise.)

                                Considering context, it's easy to see why McNaughton considered that there was ample evidence for Druitt to be considered a viable suspect.
                                There is another issue which has been overlooked which involves seniot police officers including MM

                                This evidence comes from official police sources and is contained in a Home Office file numbered HO 144/221A49301G, and is with The National Archives. This file relates to the payment of additional expenses to police officers drafted into Whitechapel at the time of the murders. It has been long suggested that a short time after the Mary Kelly murder in November 1888 the police operation in Whitechapel was wound down. (Druitt) ?

                                The truth is that this file shows that the police who were drafted into Whitechapel were kept on at great additional expense long after the Mary Kelly murder. In fact they were not wound down for some considerable time after the Kelly murder.

                                In July 1889 in Whitechapel there was still a compliment of three sergeants and thirty-nine constables from other divisions outside Whitechapel, that decreased slightly in January 1890 to three sergeants and twenty-six constables and in March 1890 it was reduced even more to two sergeants and eleven constables which may indicate that they clearly suspected the murder of Alice McKenzie in July 1889 as being the work of the Ripper.

                                This same file contains memos from many senior officers regarding the concerns over the cost of this extra manpower. Clearly this shows that up until then the police did not have any clue as to the identity of Jack the Ripper or any suspicions about a "suspect"

                                This also shows that authorization for the extra manpower to be sustained would have come from the likes of MM.

                                So taking all that into account we are entitled to draw and inference, that the private information, along with his strong opinions are not reliable, otherwise he would not have been an obvious party to authorizing the continued manpower and being a part of the concerns raised by senior officers.

                                www.trevormarriott.co.uk

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