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What makes Druitt a viable suspect?

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  • Originally posted by Simon Wood View Post
    Hi Jon,

    "No-one here is suggesting that Mac must have had some private information, if that were our suggestion then the burden of proof would lie with us."

    Really? He didn't?

    I'm glad you've finally owned up to the burden of proof being on you.

    I won't be holding my breath.

    Regards,

    Simon
    How so?
    Regards, Jon S.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Wickerman View Post

      Obs. I'm not wholly convinced about anything in this case. Some possibilities are more likely than others, thats all.
      One of the dilemma's I have is I am still not 100% convinced Stride was a Ripper victim, yet one of the best descriptions for Druitt being the Ripper was given in the Stride case - hence my dilemma.
      You're obviously referring to PC Smith's suspect. What about Schwartz's suspect? Considerably not as well dressed as PC Smith's suspect.

      Originally posted by Wickerman View Post
      However, as to Spicer's story, if it is true, all I was pointing out is the normal assumption that the killer had to be heading for home on the night of the double murder may not be correct. He could have been looking for victim number three.
      As I pointed out above, surely proof of identity would have needed to be provided before a release could be effected

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Wickerman View Post

        Yes, absolutely.
        And often verification was merely by an officer being sent to the address given and someone living there confirmed the name of the man in custody did live there.
        Hardly foolproof, right?
        How would merely finding out that an arrested suspect lived at a certain address exonerate him?

        In the case of Spicer, are you saying that should it have been Druitt, and he gave a false name, then he had an accomplice who confirmed that he was An Other?

        Comment


        • Originally posted by PaulB View Post

          If the ‘private information’ existed, and nobody has shown good reason to suppose that it didn’t, then my guess is that serious information about a suspect would have circulated through the normal channels in the normal way, therefore Anderson would probably have known about it. Others, such as Neil, would know better than I about what Anderson would have been told, which my guess would be a summary, further details being given if requested.

          I am wary of concluding that Anderson wasn't impressed by the evidence against Druitt, as I am about concluding that Macnaghten wasn't impressed by the evidence against Kosminski. A lot depends on how much they knew and what weight they attached to it.
          Thanks Paul, that's interesting. If I understand you correctly, then we can't be certain what either man knew about each other's favourite suspect and so we can't eliminate anyone on that basis. Just about sums up this case, doesn't it?

          Comment


          • Doesn't the MM tell us what the private information was about? It reads (one version at least) "From private information I have little doubt but that his own family suspected this man of being the Whitechapel murderer; it was alleged that he was sexually insane." I know that gets reworded a bit, but I believe the gist is always that the private information was concerning his family's suspicions. So, basically, someone told him that the family suspected him, not that the private information was any sort of real evidence, just passing on the family's concerns. Sexually insane could indicate suspicions of homosexuality at the time, and that would be sufficient in 1888 to wonder what else might be kept secret by MJD. Whatever it was, though, McNaughton doesn't seem 100% convinced that the family even suspected MJD (he has little doubt, rather than no doubt). I find it hard to read that any other way, that the private information was just the passing on of what could be called a rumor of the family having concerns he might have been involved. But that happens a lot, and with his suicide, might simply have been something they feared when trying to understand why he killed himself.

            - Jeff

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Observer View Post

              How would merely finding out that an arrested suspect lived at a certain address exonerate him?
              Setting a suspect free doesn't exonerate him.

              But, with respect to the detail, I read such an account concerning one suspect in the press. ie;.....That an address in some-such-place was provided, and a constable being sent to the named address was able to confirm the suspects identity, he was at once set at liberty (or words to that effect).
              So, it didn't seem to be a lengthy process, perhaps more a matter of the police learning where he can be found if the need should arise in the future?

              In the case of Spicer, are you saying that should it have been Druitt, and he gave a false name, then he had an accomplice who confirmed that he was An Other?
              We read the man arrested by Spicer was a respected doctor who gave a Brixton address.
              Whether Spicer really saw this same man at Liverpool Station years later may be just a little hyperbole. Basically Spicer claiming he knew better than his superiors.
              Clearly, if he did then the man couldn't have been Druitt, but was it hyperbole or not?
              You might notice Spicer's description seems to be somewhat influenced by the Astrachan suspect.
              Regards, Jon S.

              Comment


              • Hi Jon,

                Surely, that is what I should be asking you.

                Look at what you wrote.

                Regards,

                Simon
                Never believe anything until it has been officially denied.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post
                  Doesn't the MM tell us what the private information was about? It reads (one version at least) "From private information I have little doubt but that his own family suspected this man of being the Whitechapel murderer; it was alleged that he was sexually insane." I know that gets reworded a bit, but I believe the gist is always that the private information was concerning his family's suspicions.
                  Hi Jeff.
                  I extracted this sentence above because I think what Mac. 'actually' wrote may indicate some detail not otherwise noticed.

                  In takling about Druitt, Mac. wrote:
                  "He was sexually insane and from private information I have little doubt but that his own family believed him to have been the murderer."

                  The first point is a definitive statement (He was sexually insane) which Mac. made quite separate from the 'private information' which he presents as hearsay.
                  This leads me to speculate that he had two sources. The diagnosis (sexually insane) came from a doctor, not the family. The hearsay came from the family, in my view likely William Druitt.

                  A good number of posts were made here (on Casebook) attempting to define what 'sexually insane' meant in the late 19th century. It wasn't specifically homosexuality, the nearest definition, if I recall correctly, was deriving a sexual high from physical violence against another.


                  Whatever it was, though, McNaughton doesn't seem 100% convinced that the family even suspected MJD (he has little doubt, rather than no doubt).
                  that may be more the result of what is known as 'the great British understatement' - I'm sure you've heard of it?
                  Though I agree, Mac. was not totally convinced to the point of suggesting he had received proof.

                  Regards, Jon S.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Simon Wood View Post
                    Hi Jon,

                    Surely, that is what I should be asking you.

                    Look at what you wrote.

                    Regards,

                    Simon
                    Hi Simon.

                    I don't think you read what I wrote.

                    Originally posted by Wickerman View Post

                    Simon, the case has already been made by Mac. it is part of the historical record.

                    If you are the one making the charge that this info. never existed, the burden is on you to prove your case.
                    No-one here is suggesting that Mac must have had some private information, if that were our suggestion then the burden of proof would lie with us.
                    However, as the claim was made by Mac. and the information can be reasonably said to no longer exist then anyone today contesting what he wrote must provide evidence in support of their contention.

                    Like I said, no-one here on Casebook (that I know of) has made the claim that Mac. must have had some private information. The claim was made by Mac. not anyone here. Repeating a century old quote from an official source does not transfer the onus to the modern theorist. The quote is part of the historical record and requires no confirmation today by any theorist.
                    However, if anyone chooses to contest Mac's claim then the onus is purely upon them to justify their contention with evidence.
                    You're argument is with what Mac. wrote, not with what I wrote (or anyone else?).
                    Regards, Jon S.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Wickerman View Post

                      Hi Jeff.
                      I extracted this sentence above because I think what Mac. 'actually' wrote may indicate some detail not otherwise noticed.

                      In takling about Druitt, Mac. wrote:
                      "He was sexually insane and from private information I have little doubt but that his own family believed him to have been the murderer."

                      The first point is a definitive statement (He was sexually insane) which Mac. made quite separate from the 'private information' which he presents as hearsay.
                      This leads me to speculate that he had two sources. The diagnosis (sexually insane) came from a doctor, not the family. The hearsay came from the family, in my view likely William Druitt.

                      A good number of posts were made here (on Casebook) attempting to define what 'sexually insane' meant in the late 19th century. It wasn't specifically homosexuality, the nearest definition, if I recall correctly, was deriving a sexual high from physical violence against another.




                      that may be more the result of what is known as 'the great British understatement' - I'm sure you've heard of it?
                      Though I agree, Mac. was not totally convinced to the point of suggesting he had received proof.
                      Yes, there are a couple of different versions/drafts of the MM, and in one there is just the alleging of sexual insanity, and in another, presumably revised version, he's more definite (the version you quote). What we don't know is the reason for the revision, was the allegation better supported, was it simply an oversight to leave out alleged, was it just because his belief increased but with no further substantiated evidence to support that? etc

                      And yes, the "little doubt" vs "no doubt" hinges upon a literal and strict adherence to the wording, but people often use language more loosely than the dictionary. I can easily see someone being convinced of something using the phrase "I have little doubt", but even then, it's still just indicating that he believes what someone told him about the family having concerns that MJD might have been JTR. He clearly wasn't given anything of strong evidential value, otherwise there's no need to list two more "suspects" who he presents as better than Cutbush.

                      It appears, since it was never actually sent (there's no stamps of having been received, etc), that he was preparing a response for an expected request that never eventuated. Whether or not he would then have verified, and corrected, the erroneous details he had concerning the various persons of interest he listed we can never know. But the fact that he's made quite substantial errors of fact indicate he's working from memory, and since it appears it was never sent, suggests they were only preparatory documents. I think they reveal his thoughts during reflection on the case, and of bits of information he recalled, but knowing how many unintential errors I also personally make when doing that, I like to think that's not surprising. Had he submitted it as an official document, then he could be validly called upon to answer for the errors, but otherwise, they could just reflect errors of working from memory of details he would be expected to verify before submitting his reply.

                      And yes, I think the phrase "sexually insane" covered a wide range of conditions, including as you point out sexual associations with violence. I think it also encompassed homosexuality, and possibly even just someone with a high sex drive or perhaps even someone with no interest in sex at all?. But I'm not sure of the last two.

                      - Jeff

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post

                        And yes, I think the phrase "sexually insane" covered a wide range of conditions, including as you point out sexual associations with violence. I think it also encompassed homosexuality, and possibly even just someone with a high sex drive or perhaps even someone with no interest in sex at all?. But I'm not sure of the last two.

                        - Jeff
                        Some past discussions on the meaning of Sexually Insane.
                        https://forum.casebook.org/forum/rip...exually-insane
                        https://forum.casebook.org/forum/rip...sane-revisited

                        In the second link some sources have been lost, but you can look up the references.
                        Last edited by Wickerman; 04-26-2019, 02:16 AM.
                        Regards, Jon S.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Wickerman View Post

                          Some past discussions on the meaning of Sexually Insane.
                          https://forum.casebook.org/forum/rip...exually-insane
                          https://forum.casebook.org/forum/rip...sane-revisited

                          In the second link some sources have been lost, but you can look up the references.
                          Thanks! I have a bit of reading ahead.

                          - Jeff

                          Comment


                          • Interesting discussions in those links. There's a specific term "sexual mania" used to refer to sexual excitement associated with violence, and then there's the broader umbrella term "sexually insane", which would include, but not be limited to, sexual mania. So, if McNaughten had information, or rumor, of something that hinted at what might have been one form of sexual insanity for MJD, and given it's likely he considered JtR to suffer from sexual mania, he may have assumed those with one form of sexual "insanity" are more apt to also have another. That's not a safe inference, but I could see someone of that era making that leap.

                            Now, sexual insanity seems like it might have been a term that would be applied to anything considered deviant at the time. Hence the usual speculations about whether or not MJD was homosexual, or a pedophile, etc as a reason for losing his teaching job.

                            But, what if the private information, which concerns the passing on of the family's supposed suspicions that MJD was JtR, also included information of something the family knew, and had just discovered, about MJD, which also formed in part the basis of their worries about him possibly being JtR? It could be something quite different from MJD being homosexual, for which there is nothing but speculation. He wasn't married, but that's hardly proof he was homosexual (in fact, I believe many homosexuals were apt to marry to assist in hiding that very fact - but of course not all would). Anyway, I was thinking that if when MJD's brother found his suicide note, he might have found something else too. Maybe a collection of pornographic postcards, and MJD being an unmarried heterosexual male, perhaps frustrated one at that, may have developed a taste for such things. These could also have been found at his work, resulting in his dismissal, and a collection of such things would also be something that McNaughten could later "destroy". If a collection of pornography was considered evidence of sexual deviance, MJD becomes alleged to be sexually insane (and if it was a large collection then one might change their mind and consider alleged to be not strong enough). Finding this might have disturbed his family enough to wonder what other secrets MJD might have had, and given his suicide, worried that he might have been connected to the JtR murders.

                            Yes, I'm widely speculating here. And no, I don't think the above should be viewed as anything other than a "what if" story. However, I present it only as a possible counter-"what if" story to MJD being homosexual, for which there is as little evidence. Also, even though the above is a work of fiction, it might describe the general gist of things, in that something that qualified as "suggesting sexual insanity" in a broad sense being discovered (signs he was chronically masturbating, for example, though I would doubt that given he also sounds like he was suffering from depression, so sexual drive would likely be down - the above pornography collection having been assembled prior to his depressive episode would still exist though) could lead a distraught family to imagine other distressing possibilities.

                            - Jeff

                            Comment


                            • Hi Jon,

                              Macnaghten claimed to be privy to 'private information'. That is his claim and nobody else's.

                              Druittists unquestioningly cleave to Macnaghten's claim. He is not here to defend his corner. But Druittists are. They are Macnaghten's apologists, and must, therefore, be able to justify what he said.

                              Yet so far the best anyone has come up with is that Macnaghten must have had this 'private information' or he wouldn't have mentioned it.

                              It's not my task to prove that Macnaghten did not say something which he may not have originally said.

                              Regards,

                              Simon
                              Never believe anything until it has been officially denied.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Wickerman View Post

                                Some past discussions on the meaning of Sexually Insane.
                                https://forum.casebook.org/forum/rip...exually-insane
                                https://forum.casebook.org/forum/rip...sane-revisited

                                In the second link some sources have been lost, but you can look up the references.
                                What evidence could MM have gathered for him to write this with regards to Kosminski "This man became insane owing to many years indulgence in solitary vices" There is nothing in Kosminksi`s asylum records to corroborate this statement

                                So now we have two insane suspects both mentioned by the same desk bound senior officer and both apparently sexually insane !!!!!!! and then we have
                                A homicidal maniac who was not homicidal

                                The more you read deeper into the MM and closely analyze what was written the more you realize that it is totally unsafe to rely on.

                                www.trevormarriott.co.uk

                                Comment

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