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Sampson Silas Salmon

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  • Sampson Silas Salmon

    There's a young man here who might warrant a second look.

    Initially I'd ruled him out owing to the fact that he seemed to be elsewhere at the time of the murders, however, diligent research by somebody better than me at such things might prove otherwise, then again it might not.

    Sampson Silas Salmon was executed in 19th. February 1901 at Newate for cutting the throat of Lucy Smith in her home at Bow, nearly severing the head. Link to case below:

    Apart from the similarities in the crime (noting also the differences), I was attracted to Salmon for the following resons:

    1) The Tabram killing may have been comitted by a soldier (P.C. Barret states a private of the guards age 22-26 height 5ft 9-10 no medals, one good conduct badge, Connely describes a private of the guuards but later believes him to be a private of the Coldstream Guards)

    At the time of this event Salmon was a 5ft 8in tall 21 year old private of the RMLI with one good conduct badge and no medals

    2) The FBI profile on JTR suggests a deprived upbringing, a tendency to violence when drunk and the possibility of infection with syphilis (noting here the limits of profiling as an investigative tool)

    Salmon ticks all of these boxes

    In the light of the above we may have a subject worthy of further investigation; the key question must be: Where was Salmon on the nights of the cannonical murders:

    Service records indicate that between 6th April and 7th November 1888 he was aboard HMS Duke of Wellington, then a supply ship in Plymouth - this should catagorically rule him out,but :-

    During this period of service he was DSQ (Discharged to Sick Quaters), there is a slim possibilty that such discharge would have been to either the marine infirmary at Woolwich or the Royal Herbert Hospital, which would place him fairly close at the time.

    Another seemingly fatal flaw would be that he appears to have returned to Chatham on 8th November 1888 ruling him out for the MJK murder.

    Having turned up the above I had given up on this suspect until a recent conversation with a friend who is a fairly competent amateur geneologist. She suggests that military service records were often simplified (she used another term which I won't repeat here) due to the obligation to show continuous service and it was quite concievable for a marine to be sent from his ship to a hospital and from there either to another ship or back to barracks with the time spent in hospital not being shown in the record.

    The unlikley story therefore follows that Salmon was DSQ to London sometime before the Tabram murder, was then a patient there (Most patients were not at this time confined to bed) returning to Chatham after the MJK murder the dates simply being glossed over by a clerk somewhere. Personally I don't buy it and as I write it down it seems even more absurd. But if somebody out there can shed some light on 1888 military venereal medicine and perhaps obtain some medical records of this 'suspect' they might hit an unlikley jackpot.

    Personally I've had enough of Sampson Silas Salmon so there's a few other chaps I'll be looking at:

    The Manzi Brothers (Charles and Joseph) - The firestarters of Butcher Row
    PC George Samuel Cooke - the wife murderer
    Albert Laermans - The fake doctor and abortionist
    William Anthony - Whitechapels serial arsonist

    If anybody knows about these individuals to count them in or out let me know.

    One more thing. If pigs do indeed fly and Salmon is Jack - You heard it here first

  • #2
    Hi Harry Poland,

    interesting character, thanks.
    Unviable as a Ripper suspect, as it seems, though his name is terrific.



    • #3
      Hi DVV You're right - great name, lousy suspect.

      I'll probably try to get hold of more of his service record before finally letting him go.

      What I'm currently doing is using the FBI profile on JTR, (although i'm not a big fan of profiling its a good starting point), and looking through previous and subsequent criminal cases to find offenders that seem to fit, then trying to either eliminate or implicate each candidate. To be honest I've not met with much success but I have learned two things:

      1) When you have a suspect you like you'll do anything to try and twist the evidence to make him fit - Its given me a greater sympathy for the police both historic and modern who when put under pressure to get a result end up fitting somebody up.

      2) The victorians were'nt so very different to us. The courts were full of street robbery and vehicular manslaugher only it was pocket watches rather than mobile phones and carts rather than cars.

      Each case you read becomes more and more human as you become more immersed. I suspect that if we ever do find the real ripper his story will be more a tale of tragedy than evil.

      I'm now looking into Walter Wise

      and Ernest Payne

      All the best HP


      • #4
        Hi Harry,

        "The victorians weren't so very different to us."

        They were and they weren't. In many respects, I find there very different, more than other people in more remote times and areas...

        Not to say that you couldn't compare Jack with other serial killers.
        Which ones, that's another question...



        • #5
          So my Grandfather's brother Sampson has been considered. We have often speculated if he was Jack the Ripper but like yourself saw that he was on board The Duke of Wellington during the murders, or not as it seems. He tried to murder, with a knife, a woman a few years earlier but was stopped, so it seems the murder of his cousin was not an isolated incident. I'm more of a family historian but have found the reading on this site fascinating.


          • #6
            Hello Ansonfish, and welcome,

            I guess H Poland will be pleased to read your post and will have a few questions...



            • #7
              There is another problem too.

              1) The Tabram killing may have been comitted by a soldier (P.C. Barret states a private of the guards age 22-26 height 5ft 9-10 no medals, one good conduct badge, Connely describes a private of the guuards but later believes him to be a private of the Coldstream Guards)

              At the time of this event Salmon was a 5ft 8in tall 21 year old private of the RMLI with one good conduct badge and no medals

              The RMLI uniform was quite different from a Guards uniform. Different colored trousers, and different insignia on the jacket.
              protohistorian-Where would we be without Stewart Evans or Paul Begg,Kieth Skinner, Martin Fido,or Donald Rumbelow?

              Sox-Knee deep in Princes & Painters with Fenian ties who did not mutilate the women at the scene, but waited with baited breath outside the mortuary to carry out their evil plots before rushing home for tea with the wife...who would later poison them of course


              • #8
                Ansonfish - Wow, I never expected a reply to this post such as yours.

                I think that the chances of Samson Silas Salmon being Jack are very remote but of all of the 'suspects' I've considered Salmon is the one who has intregued me the most, at first as a suspect and then as I looked further as an individual. If you have any information on Salmon it would be greatly apreciated for my own records. I would like to know more about him before I 'close the book' on him. The court records mention that a full medical history was presented to the court. If this history is preserved and it details what treatments he recieved for what ailments and more importantly when and where he was treated. When I get time I'm going to see if these records are held at the Fleet Air Arm Museum. If I do get them I will be glad to pass them onto you.


                Thanks for this I suspected that this may be the case but I know very little about historic military uniforms or any good reference sources of them.

                Out of interest and clutching at straws: How different were the uniforms and how unlikely would it be for a PC Barret to be able to mistake the two in conditions of darkness?


                • #9
                  Sampson Silas Salmon, Royal Marine record
                  Born 13 2 1868
                  5 foot 7ins, fair complexion, scar on left temple
                  Private Salmon
                  Enlisted 13 7 1886
                  Depot Walmer 30 7 1886 to 31 12 1886
                  Chatham Dockyard 24 3 1887
                  Duke of Welliington 6 4 1888 to 7 11 1888

                  Mercury 6 3 1889 to 31 12 1889
                  Mercury 1 1 1890 to 8 5 1890
                  Howe 9 5 1890 to 31 12 1890
                  Howe 1 1 1891 to 30 9 1891
                  Chatham 1 10 1891 to 31 12 1891
                  Chatham 1 1 1892 to 6 4 1892
                  Audacious 7 4 1892 to 23 9 1892
                  Chatham 24 9 1892
                  Discharged 8 11 1892

                  Cells 16 2 1889 7 days
                  Cells 5 6 1890 10days
                  Cells 24 6 1890 14 days
                  Imprisoned 8 7 1890 21days
                  Imprisoned 3 11 1890 90days
                  2nd Class 5 6 1890 246days
                  Indifferent character 1 1 1890
                  .................................................. .................................................. .

                  For the attack on Eliza Lewin at Sawbridgeworth.
                  Herts Assizes 25th June 1897 (wounding)
                  And 4 summary convictions for drunkeness and assaulting police.

                  if you want any more (police illustrated's drawing of murder)best to do it by email


                  • #10
                    Dear Sam



                    • #11
                      Is it possible to "calmly ejaculate"?


                      • #12
                        mystery solved

                        Hello Robert. If you are married and British, of course.



                        • #13