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What makes Druitt a viable suspect?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Jonathan H View Post
    To Harry D

    If there was serious doubt linking Druitt to the crime scenes, then his family, an MP, a police chief and a famous true crime writer would not have believed he was the Ripper.

    From two newspaper accounts it appears that Joseph Lawende was used in 1891 and 1895 to confront Ripper suspects: Tom Sadler and William Grant, respectively.

    The 'Seaside Home' confrontation almost certainly never happened. It only enters the extant record in 1910 when Anderson can be shown to have \n unreliable memory. The location-event is a mis-recalling by either Anderson and/or Swanson of the Sailor's Home that was part of the Sadler affair--the sailor was apparently "confronted" with a Jewish witness, e.g. Lawende.

    Hi Jonathan H,

    I'd rather accept some actual facts, at least circumstantial evidence, than credentials.
    Being a senior policeman means little in itself where it comes to favouring a suspect, and also where it comes to people making mistakes.
    Unfortunately we don't seem to have anything beyond the mentioning of this connection. The senior policeman heard it from the local politician who has it from the family. 3rd hand information. And family really isn't the most reliable informant, especially if the suspect doesn't live at home - all the family has on a suspect is behaviour much more previous.
    Grudges run high in families, misinterpretations as well. Be it as it may, in the end it's the testimony of relatives [not on record] that is the counting factor. Not a very convincing one here, as it ran over 3 corners. Nothing in the end to build anything on.
    As for linking Druitt to the crime scene, I'd say there is serious doubt.
    You wrote, 'if there was serious doubt,' no, not if. The question should be 'is there serious evidence.'

    Seaside-home: heartedly agree.

    Comment


    • #17
      Hello, sepiae.

      Originally posted by sepiae View Post
      linking/suicide:
      I absolutely agree there [perhaps you misunderstood me?]. The original question at the start of this thread what could have possibly linked the man in the minds of people in the 1st place, which is what I was trying to answer.
      For me personally Druitt is a terrible suspect.
      No, I catch your drift. It was just a general comment based upon the fact that we have no evidence placing Druitt at any of the crime-scenes. We can debate the logistics of whether Druitt was able to carry out the Nichols murder some six hours before his cricket match in Blackheath, but unless we can put Druitt in the East End on the night of the murders, he's a non-starter. There are better suspects available who we KNOW were residing in the area at the time.

      Originally posted by sepiae View Post
      Lawende:
      actually, and this will sound a lil funny, but I'd more inclined to trust a witness saying precisely that than one who claims an exceptional memory - after all, it was not an encounter that seemed to ask for making a mental note.
      Perhaps, but there's a lot of middle-ground between someone like Lawende who could barely remember the man he saw, and a witness with a photographic 'memory' like Hutch.

      So we're assuming that the Seaside Home story was just Anderson having a senior moment? Well Lawende certainly didn't recognise Sadler, so where does the part of the Jew refusing to name another Jew come into it? Or is that another discrepancy we're putting down to senility?

      Comment


      • #18
        more paragraphs

        Originally posted by Harry D View Post
        Hello, sepiae.

        Perhaps, but there's a lot of middle-ground between someone like Lawende who could barely remember the man he saw, and a witness with a photographic 'memory' like Hutch.

        So we're assuming that the Seaside Home story was just Anderson having a senior moment? Well Lawende certainly didn't recognise Sadler, so where does the part of the Jew refusing to name another Jew come into it? Or is that another discrepancy we're putting down to senility?

        Hi Harry D,

        drift etc: absolutely.

        Lawende: actually, for a passing man at night with little to no reason for attaching a red flag to a pair that was just standing there his description was quite detailed, to a degree I'd expect under the circumstances from a relatively reliable witness.
        His statement read that he wouldn't expect to recognize him - which to me gives it credibility. A face seen under the conditions given might easily get confused with some time passing in between. The general description given was of some value meanwhile.

        Hutchinson: if for the sake of it we for now believe him, a detailed description such as his is possible [some say there should be more, based on better interview-skills of a policeman to be expected, perhaps more would just possibly open the possibility of prompting], and he claimed to have a reason for his attention [suspicion].
        As said, this if we believe him. All in all, such observation gift is rather rare, and not usually employed if one is merely passing a pair in the night.

        Anderson's jew: I confess, I'm a little confused about the issue, put perhaps we needn't be. All that is needed is another jew, someone other than Lawende It appears to have been Lawende with Sadler [I'm not surprised he didn't ID him], which makes it unlikely to have been in the previous case, so...

        Comment


        • #19
          p.s.

          Originally posted by sepiae View Post
          someone other than Lawende

          Levy, for instance

          Comment


          • #20
            To Sepia

            Macnaghten spoke directly to the family, not second or third hand, or so he implies in his memoirs. We also have a veiled version of such a debriefing propagated to the public in the Edwardian era.

            I believe the hands-on police sleuth discovered that the deceased man had confessed to a priest (ho was likely a family member too).

            The chief checked out everything he could about this posthumous suspect, in the most minute detail, and, despite his not wanting it to be true for a number of personal and professional reasons/pressures, he judged it was true--a lucid confession by a guilty man.

            Families are usually the last people to be convinced by the ghastly criminal truth about a fellow member. Not in this case--Druitt enters the extant record as the Ripper, albeit un-named, from the region in which he had grown up.

            I appreciate that this is heresy as much of what is called 'Ripperology' hangs by a slender thread, e.g. 1.) that it was not solved, 2.) that this suspect could not have done it, and that 3.) Macnaghten--completely out of character--did not make a thorough and personal investigation of the appalling allegations against this drowned barrister.

            In a sense this slender thread is Ripperology, and it is cut and voided if the above is shown to be a modern construct (beginning in 1923) totally at odds with the original sources.

            Comment


            • #21
              We have no evidence that places ANY of the suspects at any of the crimes scene's, so that is a wash.

              And Druitt doesn't need to be placed in the East End, many modern suspects can't even be placed in London at the time.
              Druitt did at least hold chambers a short walk away in the Minories, but any suspect could have rented a room somewhere in Whitechapel, a place to clean-up, which no-one would have known about.

              Druitt does appear to be among the most deeply researched candidates and yet given his legal commitments & cricket schedules, nothing has surfaced which rules him out.
              Is Druitt from the right class of person seen by Mrs Long in Hanbury St.?, could he have dressed down as the suspect seen by Lawende?, could he also have been nonchalant and not wore a disguise at all and been the Britannia-man/Bethnal-green-man (near the Kelly murder?).

              Of course he could!

              The "could-have's", as with all suspects, are all there is, so all bias aside we cannot rule him out.
              Last edited by Wickerman; 10-04-2014, 05:46 AM.
              Regards, Jon S.

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by Jonathan H View Post
                To Sepia

                Macnaghten spoke directly to the family, not second or third hand, or so he implies in his memoirs. We also have a veiled version of such a debriefing propagated to the public in the Edwardian era.

                I believe the hands-on police sleuth discovered that the deceased man had confessed to a priest (ho was likely a family member too).

                The chief checked out everything he could about this posthumous suspect, in the most minute detail, and, despite his not wanting it to be true for a number of personal and professional reasons/pressures, he judged it was true--a lucid confession by a guilty man.

                Families are usually the last people to be convinced by the ghastly criminal truth about a fellow member. Not in this case--Druitt enters the extant record as the Ripper, albeit un-named, from the region in which he had grown up.

                I appreciate that this is heresy as much of what is called 'Ripperology' hangs by a slender thread, e.g. 1.) that it was not solved, 2.) that this suspect could not have done it, and that 3.) Macnaghten--completely out of character--did not make a thorough and personal investigation of the appalling allegations against this drowned barrister.

                In a sense this slender thread is Ripperology, and it is cut and voided if the above is shown to be a modern construct (beginning in 1923) totally at odds with the original sources.

                Hi Jonathan H,

                directly spoken/debriefing/confession:
                could you reference these points, pls, Jonathan, as this information has truly escaped me, except for a vague memory of Macnaghten's contact with the family now [which might have been prompted ]?

                family usually being the last to be convinced:
                that really depends, entirely depends. Not all family-ties are good, solid and healthy. I'm occasionally dipping into a book, to stay in Victorian times for now, 'Inconvenient People: Lunacy, Liberty and the Mad-Doctors in Victorian England-Bodley Head' by Sarah Wise, which deals with unjust 'sectioning', and it reads at times like a chronicle of 'bad families', as it were apparently often family members [and spouses] doing their best at having sane relatives committed.

                heresy:
                I don't think of any of it in these terms. Can't think of an application of the word in this field, except outright confabulation, which is not how I think of the differing arguments here.

                I won't be able to reply before Monday, though, got to shoot...

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by Wickerman View Post
                  We have no evidence that places ANY of the suspects at any of the crimes scene's, so that is a wash.

                  And Druitt doesn't need to be placed in the East End, many modern suspects can't even be placed in London at the time.
                  Druitt did at least hold chambers a short walk away in the Minories, but any suspect could have rented a room somewhere in Whitechapel, a place to clean-up, which no-one would have known about.

                  Druitt does appear to be among the most deeply researched candidates and yet given his legal commitments & cricket schedules, nothing has surfaced which rules him out.
                  Is Druitt from the right class of person seen by Mrs Long in Hanbury St.?, could he have dressed down as the suspect seen by Lawende?, could he also have been nonchalant and not wore a disguise at all and been the Britannia-man/Bethnal-green-man (near the Kelly murder?).

                  Of course he could!

                  The "could-have's", as with all suspects, are all there is, so all bias aside we cannot rule him out.

                  Hi Wickerman,

                  not quite such a wash:
                  you're very right, we don't have evidence of any suspect being directly at the crime scene the moment a murder was committed - that would probably mean we have our man.
                  There is a difference, still, between being able to place someone with some certainty in the vicinity, and someone we can't, other than with mere possibility. With Druitt all we can say, he could have possibly made it. As you pointed out, all the 'could-haves'.
                  I asked for evidence directly in response to the 'any doubt' - because yes, doubt there is, in the very least.

                  Everyone, have a good weekend

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Why shouldn't baseless gossip emanate as well from the west country as anywhere else? As in 'poor old Druitt's boy, drowned himself y'know.' Suicide was considered a mortal sin in Victorian England as well as a crime, and something no-one of sound mind would contemplate.

                    From that you might have got speculation about the drowning. It was known there was 'lunacy' in Ann Druitt's family. Add to that perhaps, rumours about his dismissal from Valentine's school, which may have got about.

                    From there it's a hop, skip and a jump as far as rumour an innuendo go. A young man lost his mind, lives in London. Maybe he was 'Jack the Ripper!'? then 'Yes, he probably was!'

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      To Sepiae

                      I will answer you later, chapter and verse.

                      To Wickerman

                      Of course, I agree.

                      To Rosella

                      No. I reject your post entirely.

                      I do not think that is how Sir Melville Macnaghten thought or acted at all. Not according to primary sources by him, on his behalf and about him.

                      He was not going to be bullied by pathetic rumors.

                      Because if it was really that simple, and that shallow, and that shrill, the Chief Constable would have disposed of the [posthumous] allegations against Druitt in an afternoon.

                      Instead, despite all the biases and pressures on him not to agree, he did agree with the family's horrific and bleak assessment.

                      And why shouldn't he? If Druitt confessed. That confession is either the truth or it was a delusion. It was judged by those in-the-know to be the former--unfortunately.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        If Druitt had confessed to his family, I would expect Macnaghten to use that exact word.

                        c.d.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Those-in-the-know didn't include Anderson or Swanson, then? Just Macnaughten, who 'has a very clear idea' in 1913 and 'I have little doubt' in 1894, about Druitt as Jack, but never gives any full or clear explanation why he feels that way.

                          Anderson and Swanson felt just as strongly about their 'poor Polish Jew' being the Ripper.
                          The truth may be in a 1903 Pall Mall Gazette interview about JTR with Abberline, who shows the reporter recent documentary evidence that 'put the ignorance of Scotland Yard as to the perpetrator beyond a shadow of a doubt.'

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by David Andersen View Post
                            He thought he was becoming like Mother.
                            I am just naturally cautious about accepting the contents of a 'suicide note' found by his brother.
                            Regards, Jon S.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              I can't see sir Melville naming Druitt without good cause he seems to be a very well respected police official I just can't see him coming up with Druitt based on a piece of gossip the "gossip" must have come from a very good source like Druitts family.
                              Three things in life that don't stay hidden for to long ones the sun ones the moon and the other is the truth

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by pinkmoon View Post
                                I can't see sir Melville naming Druitt without good cause he seems to be a very well respected police official I just can't see him coming up with Druitt based on a piece of gossip the "gossip" must have come from a very good source like Druitts family.
                                In his memoirs he does imply it was more than gossip.

                                (Re: the murderer's suicide)
                                "....certain facts, pointing to this conclusion, were not in possession of the police till some years after I became a detective officer".
                                Laying the Ghost of Jack the Ripper in, Days of my Years, 1913.

                                These 'facts' (if true) may be quite aside from the suspicions of his family.
                                If the family member(s) harboring those suspicions was, or incuded brother William, then that raises questions about that suicide note.
                                Last edited by Wickerman; 10-04-2014, 03:21 PM.
                                Regards, Jon S.

                                Comment

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