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  • Roy Corduroy
    started a topic Joseph Isaacs

    Joseph Isaacs

    Good evening,

    Here on Casebook: Summary and press reports.

    http://www.casebook.org/ripper_media...morley/92.html

    Time Line: 1888 Nov 5 (approx) Joseph Isaacs takes room at Paternoster-Row, Spitalfields

    Nov 9 Mary Jane Kelly found murdered, Miller's Court, house to house inspections commence. Mary Cusins mentions Isaacs to police. He disappears.

    Nov 12 Joseph Isaacs prosecuted in Barnet Police Court and sentenced to 21 days hard labor.(1)

    Dec 3 He is released from jail at Barnet

    Dec 5 He returns to Spitalfields lodging house to get his violin bow. Cusins followed him to nearby Levenson shop where he stole a watch and ran away.

    Dec 6 Detective William Record arrests him in Drury Lane. He is taken to police station

    Dec 17 He is again charged with an offence at Barnet

    1889 - Jan 2 Isaacs, still in police custody, is taken to court where he is tried and sentenced to three months' imprisonment for the robbery of Levensohn's shop.
    ---
    He was in jail in Barnet from Nov 12 to Dec 3. During that time, Annie Farmer was attacked at George St., Spitalfields. He was in police custody from when he was arrested Dec 6 to his court appearance Jan 2, 1889. He must have been taken back to Barnet on Dec 17 to have an additional charged lodged against him there. While he was in custody this time, Rose Mylett died in Poplar.

    (1) London Met Archives (L.M.A.) County of London North, Calendars of Conviction and Despositions 1889, 2 Jan 1889 - procesution by Julius Levenson/Levenshon for theft of a watch. From the depositions in this case, held in the MSJ/CD series, it would seem that Isaacs was earlier prosecuted in the Barnet Police Court on 12 Nov. and again on 17 Dec., in the same court, by 'John Bennet" for an offence that is unspecified.

    Roy

  • rjpalmer
    replied
    Many thanks, that should cover it. The drunken housebreaker in Peckham was listed as being in his mid-forties in 1887; 46, I think.

    Although not the Ripper, Isaacs is an interesting character and well worth the study. His antics remind me a bit of Ostrog.

    Leave a comment:


  • Wickerman
    replied
    Hi RJ

    I have a bit of a file on this particular Joseph Isaacs.
    I found several sources which point to a D.o.B. of 1859.
    He was committed to Armley Jail in Leeds in 1887, age given as 29.
    There is also census records which give him as 23 in 1881.
    I found a Birth Index Record for a Joseph Isaacs in Apr-May-Jun of 1859.
    A St. Giles Workhouse Register has a Joseph Isaacs, age 40 in 1899.
    Also, a County of Essex Record of convictions has him aged 45 in 1904.

    That covers most of what I have regarding his possible birth year.

    Leave a comment:


  • Wickerman
    replied
    Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
    Hi Wickerman--not overly important, perhaps, but do you recall off-hand if you found a conclusive age/birth year for Joseph Isaacs, the police imposter?

    There seems to have been two sneak theives named Joseph Isaacs operating at the same time. Your man was sentenced to 3 months in late September, but according to Old Bailey on-line and contemporary news articles, another Joseph Isaacs was given three months with hard labour in October, 1887 for housebreaking in Peckham-on-the-Rye. Stole a coat and then passing out drunk.
    Correct. I found the same two Joseph Isaacs, the same two you mention.
    The Joseph Isaacs who impersonated a detective in Dover (and resided at Little Paternoster Court, Dorset St.) is recorded in the St. Albans Prison register as 33 yrs old in 1894.

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  • rjpalmer
    replied
    Originally posted by Wickerman View Post
    A week later on 26th Sept. 1887, a brief report contained in The Manchester Evening News informs us that on this date Joseph Isaacs was committed to 3 months imprisonment for the charge described above.
    Hi Wickerman--not overly important, perhaps, but do you recall off-hand if you found a conclusive age/birth year for Joseph Isaacs, the police imposter?

    There seems to have been two sneak theives named Joseph Isaacs operating at the same time. Your man was sentenced to 3 months in late September, but according to Old Bailey on-line and contemporary news articles, another Joseph Isaacs was given three months with hard labour in October, 1887 for housebreaking in Peckham-on-the-Rye. Stole a coat and then passing out drunk.

    Leave a comment:


  • Wickerman
    replied
    Originally posted by Roy Corduroy View Post
    Thanks, Wick and those who helped you in straightening it out. He wasn't back in court those other days.

    This of course is the key find:
    Key indeed, especially for anyone who subscribes to the "wrong-day" theory to explain Hutchinson's story.

    Leave a comment:


  • Wickerman
    replied
    Originally posted by Scott Nelson View Post
    Who else appeared in court Dec. 7th?
    There isn't a list of names.

    Leave a comment:


  • Scott Nelson
    replied
    Originally posted by Wickerman View Post
    He was eventually released on Dec 3rd, committed a theft and subsequently re-arrested on Dec 6th, appeared in court Dec. 7th, held on remand until being brought back to court on Dec 14th, where he was sentenced to 3 months hard labor.
    Who else appeared in court Dec. 7th?

    Leave a comment:


  • Roy Corduroy
    replied
    Thanks, Wick and those who helped you in straightening it out. He wasn't back in court those other days.

    This of course is the key find:

    Originally posted by Wickerman View Post
    The Barnet Press.
    Saturday 10th November, 1888.

    Joseph in Prison. - On the night of the 7th instant Joseph Isaacs, a travelling musician, and apparently an Israelite, lodged at the Green Dragon, High-street, Barnet. He rose early next morning, and walked off with two coats belonging to the landlord's son. He was pursued and overtaken, [ ... ] the Justice of the Peace ordered that the artiste be kept in durance vile till Monday, when he will be brought up at the Barnet Police-court and charged.
    - which Aberline discovered soon enough.

    Thanks again,

    Roy

    Leave a comment:


  • Wickerman
    replied
    Hi Ben.
    Yes, that would appear to close the question of Isaacs involvement in the Millers Court murder.

    As you mention the author van Onselen, in his The Fox and the Flies, a few corrections must be made to the claims put forward in his book, which was also used as the basis for the first post in this thread.

    Example:
    Dec 17 He is again charged with an offence at Barnet

    And:

    1889 - Jan 2 Isaacs, still in police custody, is taken to court where he is tried and sentenced to three months' imprisonment for the robbery of Levensohn's shop.

    Both assertions stem from a misunderstanding of the surviving paperwork.

    Joseph Isaacs only appeared in court at Barnet once, the day of his sentence, Nov. 12th.
    There was no further appearance on Dec. 17th.

    This date, Dec 17th, is taken from the London Metropolitan Archives, the date is stamped on the case files received from Barnet. Essentially this is nothing more than a filing date.

    All petty sessions and police courts (Barnet/Worship-street, etc.) held onto their case records for several weeks after the case is concluded, before eventually filing them in bulk with Middlesex County Sessions for archiving.
    Several case files through November are all stamped with the same date, Dec 17th, which is the date Middlesex received the package.

    Likewise, the date Jan 2nd, 1889, is the filing date stamped across a bundle of files from Worship Street Police Court which contained, among other files, the paperwork from two court sittings, Dec. 7th and Dec. 14th, where Joseph Isaacs appeared in court.

    Therefore, also the footnote in post 1 is in error.
    He was in jail in Barnet from Nov 12 to Dec 3. During that time, Annie Farmer was attacked at George St., Spitalfields. He was in police custody from when he was arrested Dec 6 to his court appearance Jan 2, 1889. He must have been taken back to Barnet on Dec 17 to have an additional charged lodged against him there. While he was in custody this time, Rose Mylett died in Poplar.
    Isaacs was arrested on Nov. 8th, held in police custody (at either Barnet or Holloway) until the 12th, then brought back to Barnet police court to be sentenced to 21 days hard labor, at Holloway.

    He was eventually released on Dec 3rd, committed a theft and subsequently re-arrested on Dec 6th, appeared in court Dec. 7th, held on remand until being brought back to court on Dec 14th, where he was sentenced to 3 months hard labor.
    Last edited by Wickerman; 10-22-2015, 10:03 AM.

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  • RockySullivan
    replied
    Originally posted by Harry D View Post
    Not to be confused with Isaac Jacob, the guy stopped by police after Alice McKenzie's body was found. I almost made that mistake once.
    Isaac Jacob

    Witness at Alice McKenzie's inquest.

    Isaac Lewis Jacob, a boot-maker of 12 Newcastle Street, Whitechapel, was seen and stopped by Walter Andrews (PC) after he (Andrews) had discovered the body of Alice McKenzie in Castle Alley shortly after 12.50am, 17th July 1889.

    His inquest statement read:

    "About ten minutes to 1 this morning I left home to buy some supper in M'Carthy's in Dorset-street. I had occasion to pass Newcastle-place into Old Castle-street. When I got to Cocoanut-place a constable ran up to me; I stopped. He said, "Where have you been?" I replied, "I have been nowhere, I am just going on an errand, and have just left my home." The constable then said, "Come with me; there has been a murder committed." I went with him and when we got to Old Castle-street he blew his whistle. I believe a sergeant then came up. We then hurried down to the lamp-post in Castle-alley. I saw a woman lying there in a pool of blood, with a wound in the throat, and another wound in the side. I waited there until another police-constable came, and afterwards saw the body removed. Then I went home.

    [Coroner] Did you see any one before you saw the constable? - No, sir.

    [Coroner] Does your house look over Castle-alley? - No. That is Castle-street. [Newcastle Street]. I had not been there during the night."[1]


    One may reasonably assume that Jacob was on his way to John McCarthy's shop at 27 Dorset Street.

    -

    Weird how he was going to McCarthy's...

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  • Ben
    replied
    A great find, Jon, and many thanks indeed for the information.

    Isaacs was a contemporary and legitimate ripper suspect, courtesy of his criminal activity and residence in the immediate vicinity of the murder region, which is a good deal more than can be said of other ripper "suspects" touted as such. Your latest research on this "prevaricating artiste" is certainly impressive, and would doubtless have dissuaded Mr. Van Onselen from his published conclusions had the former been available when the "The Fox and the Flies" went to print. Isaacs's story has certain parallels with that of "D'onston Stephenson" - particularly with regard to the issue of incarceration - and I hope you'll consider publishing on the subject.

    All the best,
    Ben
    Last edited by Ben; 10-21-2015, 04:55 PM.

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  • Wickerman
    replied
    Joseph Isaacs, his arrest and remand.

    The Barnet Press.
    Saturday 10th November, 1888.

    Joseph in Prison. - On the night of the 7th instant Joseph Isaacs, a travelling musician, and apparently an Israelite, lodged at the Green Dragon, High-street, Barnet. He rose early next morning, and walked off with two coats belonging to the landlord's son. He was pursued and overtaken, but we regret to say that so far from expressing his contrition, Joseph added to his offence that of prevarication. It did not take the police long to discover that the address he gave was false, and a stern Pharaoh in the shape of the Justice of the Peace ordered that the artiste be kept in durance vile till Monday, when he will be brought up at the Barnet Police-court and charged.

    [note: "in durance vile" - held in custody]

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  • Harry D
    replied
    Not to be confused with Isaac Jacob, the guy stopped by police after Alice McKenzie's body was found. I almost made that mistake once.

    Leave a comment:


  • Wickerman
    replied
    Joseph Isaacs, theft of two coats.

    The Barnet Press
    Saturday, 17 November, 1888.


    Monday, November 12th, Barnet Petty Sessions.

    Joseph Isaacs, an itinerant musician, was charged with having, on November 8th, stolen from the Green Dragon Inn, High-street, Barnet, two coats, of the value of 30s, the property of John Bennett.
    - Prosecutor said he was the son of Mr John Bennett, landlord of the Green Dragon Inn. On the night of November 7th prisoner called at the house and asked if he could be accommodated for the night. A bed was provided, and he remained. Next morning he came downstairs and asked to be allowed to clean his boots, but apparently he had only done this for the purpose of seeing who was about, for under some trifling pretence he returned to his room, and was seen to leave the house shortly afterwards. Witness was suspicious of the man, and at once went upstairs and missed two coats which had been there on the previous night. As the result of information received, he started down the New-road in pursuit of prisoner, and after running for about a mile came in sight of him.
    When prisoner found he was being pursued he took off a coat, threw it into the road, and commenced to run. Witness whistled to a Mr Fraser to stop the man, and he did so. When asked for the second coat prisoner denied having it, although he was actually wearing it at the time. He was then given into custody and charged. The value of the two coats was 30s.
    - Prisoner stated in defence that he took the coats in mistake, and did not return with them because he knew he was coming back that way in the evening; he also urged that had he meditated theft he should have returned to London, and not have walked in the very direction which he had told the prosecutor he intended to take.
    - The Chairman said the Bench considered the case fully proved, and sentenced prisoner to twenty-one days hard labour.

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