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1905 Sunday Chronicle report

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  • 1905 Sunday Chronicle report

    Here's an interesting article from the Nelson Evening Mail (New Zealand), 4 January 1906, quoting a claim from the Sunday Chronicle (presumably from late in 1905) by a "well-known Scotland Yard detective" that the police had identified the killer as a respectable family man "engaged in a large way of business in the City of London" who had come close to being arrested but instead was confined to an asylum with the consent of his family and the knowledge of the police. It ends with the approved formula: "Since that man's removal there has not been another such crime in London ..."

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  • #2
    Very interesting.... hmm.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by robhouse View Post
      Very interesting.... hmm.
      Yes, I think it is. It's a pity the detective isn't named. (I assume the New Zealand paper would have kept the name if there was one in the original report.)

      I should mention that when I did a Google search to check whether this had been seen before, it displayed a snippet of text, apparently from the same article, on this site:
      http://karenkpoulin1.spaces.live.com/blog/
      But when I followed the link to the blog I was unable to find the article.

      Comment


      • #4
        "Day after day"? Really? Don't think so.

        The bit about business interests in the East End could quite accurately describe James Maybrick, but lets not go there, eh?

        But any copper who was around Whitechapel in 1888 could have dined out - and probably did - on his reminiscences, true or imagined, of the Ripper Case.

        Cheers,

        Graham
        We are suffering from a plethora of surmise, conjecture and hypothesis. - Sherlock Holmes, The Adventure Of Silver Blaze

        Comment


        • #5
          combination

          Hello Chris. This seems to combine elements of both Druitt and Kosminski. Is it possible that someone read Sims' account and conflated it with other snippets passim?

          The best.
          LC

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          • #6
            Very interesting item, Chris. I've been racking my brains but it doesn't particularly remind me of anyone. Not Druitt, Kosminski, Gull, Cutbush or anyone else.

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            • #7
              Here's the original report from the Sunday Chronicle of 15 October 1905 (page 5). It doesn't contain any more about the Ripper suspect, but the "well-known Scotland Yard detective" has quite a lot more to say about other matters, some of which may be pertinent.

              BRAND OF CAIN.
              ___________

              Known Murderers Who Are Not Arrested.
              ___________

              WHY THE POLICE FAIL.
              ___________

              The extraordinary murder of Mary Money in a Surrey tunnel is by no means the only murder problem in comparatively recent years which has not been solved. At the present time there are many murderers at large.

              To account for these failures on the part of the police may appear difficult. But there are certain considerations which do not occur to the general mind - considerations which at least explain if they do not altogether excuse.

              "It is easy to suspect a man," said a well-known Scotland Yard detective to a representative of the "Sunday Chronicle." "Frequently it is not difficult to suspect the right man. But unless there is an unbroken chain of circumstances connecting the suspected person with the actual crime it is both useless and harmful to make an arrest.

              "Again, there are often people who could, if they would, supply these missing links, but the ordinary man or woman hesitates very much before giving evidence which may cost [sic] a fellow-being - murderer though he may be - to lose his life.

              "Often we cannot take credit for finding the man, because suspicion, however strong, without legal proof has to be kept quiet.

              "We have thus frequently to submit to the public verdict that we have utterly failed in some important case when as a matter of fact we have morally suceeded.

              "Perhaps the most terrible crime during the last decade which was not followed by a conviction was the killing and mutilating of a number of unfortunate women in Whitechapel. Day after day these murders occurred. Failure again? Yes. But listen to this.

              "We found our man. He was engaged in a large way of business in the city of London, was married, had a family, and was generally respected. For some time he had been known as eccentric, and various escapades had caused his friends a good deal of anxiety.

              "Frequently, as we learned later, he stayed out all night about the time when these outrages were committed. His description agreed with that of a man seen in Dorset-street, Whitechapel, on the night when Mary Jane Kelly was cut to pieces, and at that time he was very near to actual arrest by a policeman.

              "His family knew of the circumstances, knew that he was not only a madman, but a man possessed of considerable surgical knowledge, and with their full consent and the knowledge of the police he was put away in an asylum.

              LOST BY MOMENTS.

              "Since that man's removal there has not been another such crime in London, though we had another undetected criminal in the same neighbourhood five years ago, Mrs. Austin being murdered and mutilated in Dorset-street. The crime was somewhat similar, but it is absurd to suggest, as it has been suggested, that it was the work of the madman of the "Ripper" crimes. Mrs. Austin's body was mutilated, but by no means in the same skilful way.

              "The murder of Miss Camp on the London and South-Western Railway has been recalled by the most recent railway tragedy. In that case there was no conviction; not even an arrest.

              "We went very near to an arrest there - how near the public will never know. Perhaps you have heard, however, that there is an official record that conviction, or even arrest, was impossible owing to a certain man who was seen drinking in a public-house near Vauxhall Station not being traced at once. The detectives engaged would have done better if they had been communicated with earlier. As it happened necessary evidence was lost through delay.

              DRIVEN TO SUICIDE.

              "Of course we watch these suspects carefully. But we cannot interfere with them. Unless they are known as habitual wrongdoers we lose sight of them in time. No good, so far as I can see, can come of 'shadowing' a man who perhaps has killed another in a fit of passion. That type of man is not in the least likely to commit murder again.

              "In dealing with murder cases the police have to be very wary. A precipitate act, though it may not lead to a man leaving the country - for there is little benefit in that - may lead to the guilty person's suicide. There are on record several cases in which a police officer has 'shadowed' too thoroughly, and a despairing and terror-stricken suspect has taken refuge in self-destruction.

              "When the police are being condemned," added the official, "for seeming inactivity it should be remembered that to charge a man or woman with murder necessitates publicity, and if the charge is found to be unproven not only do the police suffer in credit, but there is a great deal of personal trouble. Unless we have a strong case we do not arrest. We content ourselves with asking a suspected person to accompany us to the police station to answer a few questions. The person so invited pleases himself how he answers the questions.

              "It is perhaps a cynical fact that murderers still at large have paid these visits, and, benefiting by the absence of evidence which would be admissable before a jury, have walked the world again as free men."

              Comment


              • #8
                One month earlier in the same paper, the three men mentioned in the Macnaghten Memoranda were discussed.

                http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi...EM19051207.2.5

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                • #9
                  The story also has many of the same elements or expressions in Henry Cox's account in Thompson's Weekly News, December 1, 1906 -- roughly one year later. Cox, however, was not a Scotland Yard detective.

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                  • #10
                    Great stuff, guys. It might be possible to identify the 'well-known detective' by the other cases he was working. As for the suspect, who do we know who was involved in business in London in a 'large way', who was 'generally respected', who was 'married with a family', and might have dressed like George Hutchinson's man? Whoever this person was, he apparently embarrassed his family with his 'escapades' prior to the murders. So, these escapades probably made the papers.

                    This ring any bells?

                    Howard,

                    It appears that the Macnaghten memoranda really made the rounds back in the day. That was a more detailed synopsis than most we see from that period.

                    Yours truly,

                    Tom Wescott

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                    • #11
                      Sounds like Klosowski. Not completely, but as there are no dates given in the article, we could maybe stuff him in there. It also could be some kind of Cutbush/Klosowski combination.

                      Whatever. It's really great reading.

                      Cheers,

                      Mike
                      huh?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Tom:

                        I didn't have the chance to place the actual article on the boards as I had to split for work...but yes, it certainly does seem that the MM was being shuttled around in ways we as a community wouldn't have expected considering the supposed confidentiality of the document...good point.

                        You stated:

                        " Whoever this person was, he apparently embarrassed his family with his 'escapades' prior to the murders. So, these escapades probably made the papers."

                        One problem that we might have to contend with is whether or not the person in the article Chris Phillips found was connected or not and if connected to the extent that whatever proclivities or behavior he demonstrated were either newsworthy and/or if the family could, by their status, get the stories squashed.

                        Tom...isn't this a little like the McSweeney episode within the Cleveland Torso Murderer case ? Where the Ness-suspect was able to have strings pulled for him indefinitely....

                        Later........

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                        • #13
                          Hi Howard,

                          I don't know if it's so much string-pulling as it is the lack of a smoking gun. It says he was almost arrested after the Kelly murder. That should help us narrow him down, assuming the suspect appears anywhere at all in the written record, and I imagine he does.

                          Yours truly,

                          Tom Wescott

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Scott Nelson View Post
                            The story also has many of the same elements or expressions in Henry Cox's account in Thompson's Weekly News, December 1, 1906 -- roughly one year later. Cox, however, was not a Scotland Yard detective.
                            There certainly seem to be similarities with Cox's suspect (and perhaps Sagar's), and no insuperable inconsistencies. But as you say, unless there is some disinformation going on, it doesn't seem to be Cox who is speaking - for another thing the "well-known Scotland Yard detective" seems much more definite than Cox that "we found our man".

                            Originally posted by Tom_Wescott View Post
                            Great stuff, guys. It might be possible to identify the 'well-known detective' by the other cases he was working.
                            What I found striking was that the "detective" coupled with the Ripper killings exactly the same case mentioned by Anderson in his 1908 Daily Chronicle article - the Elizabeth Camp murder - and made very similar points about the delay in informing the CID and the consequent loss of evidence:

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                            It's also curious that the Whitechapel Murders are referred to as "the most terrible crime during the last decade", when in fact they took place about 17 years before the publication of the article. I wondered whether an account from the late 1890s might possibly have been re-used here with some skilful (and some not so skilful) editing to bring it up to date.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Howard Brown View Post
                              ... it certainly does seem that the MM was being shuttled around in ways we as a community wouldn't have expected considering the supposed confidentiality of the document...good point.
                              However, I think in this case there was no information beyond what could have been gleaned from what was published by Arthur Griffiths in Mysteries of Police and Crime (1898).

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