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Only one suspect can be shown to have carried a knife.

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Richard Patterson View Post
    John Richardson? Can not be shown to have had a knife of any use. His blunt knife was only fit to cut carrots and it was quickly determined that it could not have been the murder weapon.
    Yes, that`s what he told the police.
    He did sort out that pesky bit of leather in his shoe with a sharper knife at some point that morning.


    Originally posted by Richard Patterson View Post
    William Grant? Can not be shown to have had a knife, apart from 7 years after the murders. Grant cannot even be shown to have been in London during the murder period, and esd most probably 358 miles away in Ireland.
    Was he in Ireland in 1888 ?
    Attacking Spitalfield prostitutes with a crudely fashioned knife puts Grant at the top of any suspect list, until his whereabouts are confirmed.

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by tji View Post
      I think any suspect who wasn't 'caught in the act' would be very careful NOT to be caught with a knife - a guilty conscience is a powerful motivator.

      Tj
      True, but so is pride a powerful driver. Thompson, on his part, boasted that his knife that he carried on his person was razor sharp. Like in the Dear Boss letter with the words 'my knife is nice and sharp, but a guilty conscious, is a powerful motivator too. When asked why he had it Thompson said he used it to shave. Problem solved, with suspicion eased.
      Author of

      "Jack the Ripper, The Works of Francis Thompson"

      http://www.francisjthompson.com/

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by Jon Guy View Post
        Yes, that`s what he told the police.
        He did sort out that pesky bit of leather in his shoe with a sharper knife at some point that morning.




        Was he in Ireland in 1888 ?
        Attacking Spitalfield prostitutes with a crudely fashioned knife puts Grant at the top of any suspect list, until his whereabouts are confirmed.
        Even 7 years later? The closest we can place him near to 1888 is a 1901 census listing him as living on the Isle of Wight.
        Author of

        "Jack the Ripper, The Works of Francis Thompson"

        http://www.francisjthompson.com/

        Comment


        • #19
          Hi Richard

          But if having a knife on you was as common as being able to use the excuse 'to shave' then surely the majority of men worldwide would carry one and thompson would be one of thosands.

          Again it would stand even more to look for those who didn't - guilty conscience.....
          It's not about what you know....it's about what you can find out

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by Richard Patterson View Post
            Trevor. I had great the pleasure in reading your fine book, ‘Jack the Ripper, the Secret Police Files.’ I was particularly interested in what you thought would make a Prime Suspect. In your book. you wrote.

            ‘The “suspect” lived in Whitechapel, the police believed the killer to live locally.’
            Thompson lived in Spitalsfields, at the end of Dorset Street.

            You wrote.
            ‘The “suspect” fits the description of the offender.’
            Thompson fits the descriptions given by Schwartz, Hutchinson, and Sargent Stephen White.

            You wrote,
            ‘The “suspect” was known to carry a knife,’
            Thompson was known to carry a knife. How we know that is from Thompson himself who wrote that he did.

            Your wrote,
            ‘The “suspect” associated with prostitutes.’
            Thompson, just before the murders, had broken up with a prostitute that he had a yearlong relationship with.

            You wrote,
            ‘The “suspect” having been spoken to’
            The acclaimed historian, John Walsh, in his 1968 biography on Thompson, wrote that it is likely that the police may have questioned him on the Ripper murders. In addition, as my book details the ex-medical student with the history of mental illness that Major Henry Smith’s men questioned was probably Francis Thompson.

            You wrote,
            ‘could not give a satisfactory account as to where he was or who he was with on the dates of the murders.’
            Thompson account as to where he was on the Ripper murders was that he was in the East End, with the knife he said he carried, seeking out his prostitute who fled him. Not hardly satisfactory, but more specifically incriminatory.

            Thank you for your assistance Trevor. I hope you can see how much I value the opinion of an ex-detective, assigned to murder cases, who was in the Special Branch.
            Richard,


            Again, you're misleading people. Thompson did not say he was in the East End when the Ripper murders took place. He wrote a description of events outside the Providence Row night shelter and from that you have inferred that he lived there in November, 1888.

            Incidentally, John Walsh did not say it was 'likely' that Thompson had been interviewed as a Ripper suspect, he said it was 'not beyond possibility' that he had been. His reasoning for that was that Thompson was a drug addict, was acquainted with prostitutes and 'most alarming' had been a medical student. I find it odd that you reference this piece of idle musing by Walsh but ignore the fact that he says that Thompson searched for his Chelsea prostitute in the West End between August and September, 1888.

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by tji View Post
              Hi Richard

              But if having a knife on you was as common as being able to use the excuse 'to shave' then surely the majority of men worldwide would carry one and thompson would be one of thosands.

              Again it would stand even more to look for those who didn't - guilty conscience.....
              People would normally use a razor to shave, and not a knife, but of course knives made for one particular purpose might be used for another. A cheese knife to slice cheese or a fish knife to descale a fish are examples. What sort of knife did Thompson claim to keep on his person to shave? It was a dissecting scalpel. A reminder of his days as a medical student. We know what they are designed to be used for. I have a feeling that people carrying knives made to cut into human flesh and remove human organs were a rarity, and in Spitalsfields, where Thompson lived, perhaps unique.
              Author of

              "Jack the Ripper, The Works of Francis Thompson"

              http://www.francisjthompson.com/

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by Richard Patterson View Post
                Even 7 years later? The closest we can place him near to 1888 is a 1901 census listing him as living on the Isle of Wight.
                Where was he living when he was arrested for attacking Alice Graham in Spitalfields?

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by Richard Patterson View Post
                  People would normally use a razor to shave, and not a knife, but of course knives made for one particular purpose might be used for another. A cheese knife to slice cheese or a fish knife to descale a fish are examples. What sort of knife did Thompson claim to keep on his person to shave? It was a dissecting scalpel. A reminder of his days as a medical student. We know what they are designed to be used for. I have a feeling that people carrying knives made to cut into human flesh and remove human organs were a rarity, and in Spitalsfields, where Thompson lived, perhaps unique.
                  There you go again. How does 'I have shaved with a dissecting scalpel before now' become keeping one 'on his person' while in Spitalfields? Is it inconceivable that he might have shaved himself that way while he was a medical student?

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
                    expo facto reasoning
                    That should be ex post facto reasoning, of course. Anyway, if Cutbush could get a knife in 1891, couldn't he get one in 1888? And technically, you don't know when Kosminski threatened his sister with a knife. I think it is reasonable to assume that this was also in 1891, just prior to his trip to the infirmary, but that is merely reasonable speculation.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post
                      There you go again. How does 'I have shaved with a dissecting scalpel before now' become keeping one 'on his person' while in Spitalfields? Is it inconceivable that he might have shaved himself that way while he was a medical student?
                      Because he wrote 'before now' in February 1889. To suppose any other time gap from that date to way back in medical school is speculation without warrant. To suppose he shaved with one at medical school is speculation since I would be right in saying mist medical students do not shave with their dissecting scalpels. It would be more in keeping with a person who had no other means. More in keeping with Thompson the vagrant in London than Thompson the medical student, years earlier in Manchester.
                      Author of

                      "Jack the Ripper, The Works of Francis Thompson"

                      http://www.francisjthompson.com/

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post
                        Richard,


                        Again, you're misleading people. Thompson did not say he was in the East End when the Ripper murders took place. He wrote a description of events outside the Providence Row night shelter and from that you have inferred that he lived there in November, 1888.

                        Incidentally, John Walsh did not say it was 'likely' that Thompson had been interviewed as a Ripper suspect, he said it was 'not beyond possibility' that he had been. His reasoning for that was that Thompson was a drug addict, was acquainted with prostitutes and 'most alarming' had been a medical student. I find it odd that you reference this piece of idle musing by Walsh but ignore the fact that he says that Thompson searched for his Chelsea prostitute in the West End between August and September, 1888.
                        Thank you for correcting me on John Walsh. I wrote from memory, while you checked the facts. You set a fine example of what is the right thing to do.

                        If Thompson was searching for his prostitute in the West End why was he trying to sleep in Spitalsfield in the East End and sleeping in the Salvation Army men's shelter in Limehouse?

                        Thompson wrote that he tried to gain access to Providence Row in Spitalsfield and I have shown that the only plausible time was in November 1888. There is no reason to think he was not admitted.
                        Author of

                        "Jack the Ripper, The Works of Francis Thompson"

                        http://www.francisjthompson.com/

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Jon Guy View Post
                          Where was he living when he was arrested for attacking Alice Graham in Spitalfields?
                          No idea.
                          Author of

                          "Jack the Ripper, The Works of Francis Thompson"

                          http://www.francisjthompson.com/

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
                            That should be ex post facto reasoning, of course. Anyway, if Cutbush could get a knife in 1891, couldn't he get one in 1888? And technically, you don't know when Kosminski threatened his sister with a knife. I think it is reasonable to assume that this was also in 1891, just prior to his trip to the infirmary, but that is merely reasonable speculation.
                            Anyone could get a knife in 1888, you just had to be in 1888, but it can not be shown that Cutbush had a knife in 1888. It is reasonable to assume that Cutbush had a knife 3 years after the time of the Ripper murders, but since it was his sister he threatened, it is reasonable to assume that his threat occurred in a domestic situation, such as in the kitchen of their home where knives are kept. Which leads to the probably conclusion the knife was simply one he picked up on the occasion of the threat and was that is was not something he would carry.
                            Author of

                            "Jack the Ripper, The Works of Francis Thompson"

                            http://www.francisjthompson.com/

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Richard Patterson View Post
                              Because he wrote 'before now' in February 1889. To suppose any other time gap from that date to way back in medical school is speculation without warrant. To suppose he shaved with one at medical school is speculation since I would be right in saying mist medical students do not shave with their dissecting scalpels. It would be more in keeping with a person who had no other means. More in keeping with Thompson the vagrant in London than Thompson the medical student, years earlier in Manchester.
                              I'm not supposing anything - you are. As far as I'm concerned 'before now' could mean at any point between Thompson's medical school days and 1889. It is you who take that as evidence that he carried a knife in 1888, which is what I would call speculation without warrant.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post
                                I'm not supposing anything - you are. As far as I'm concerned 'before now' could mean at any point between Thompson's medical school days and 1889. It is you who take that as evidence that he carried a knife in 1888, which is what I would call speculation without warrant.
                                I take Thompson literally because I do not think it safe to make assumption or interpretation on his use of the words 'before now'. I accept his words as meaning exactly what they suggest. As in prior to that time of writing them (February 1888). Thompson was a writer, poet, and an excellent student of English. I see no reason state otherwise, than he meant proceeding his request for a razor. To do so would risk being misleading and nobody wants to do that about something as important as finding the murderer of so many women. I would not want to lose sleep over worrying I had done the wrong thing and by not taking his words for their intent be surreptitiously defending a multiple murderer.
                                Author of

                                "Jack the Ripper, The Works of Francis Thompson"

                                http://www.francisjthompson.com/

                                Comment

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