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New Suspect named in Special Branch Ledgers

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  • #31
    Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post

    I think the month with hard labour was for attempting to stab the woman. For the PC, the magistrate gave him a strongly worded talking-to.
    Served him right!

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    • #32
      Originally posted by Trevor Marriott View Post
      I have come across another named suspect from the Special Branch registers which I will share with the community

      It was an entry generated by Police Sergeant Leonard who was a Whitechapel police officer likely as not was seconded to Special Branch. The entry read “P Johnson said to be Jack the Ripper” I could find no further information on this man other than census records show that there was a Peter Johnson who was born in 1839 and resided in Thrawl Street Spitalfields. Nothing more is known on this man, other than he was recorded as being single and shown as a general dealer. Another possibility is that the P referred to Phillip. In which case there was a Phillip Johnson shown on the census records as living in Whitechapel, his occupation was described as a skin dresser he would have been 42 years of age in 1888 and a single man. The information source cannot be corroborated as Sgt Leonard may have simply been given this information in the course of his duties which is not helped by no Christian name being given.

      www.trevormarriott.co.uk


      Hi, Trevor.

      Would the fact that Sgt Leonard refers to this individual only by his initial, rather than his given name, suggest that this "P Johnson said to be Jack the Ripper" was someone already widely known within SB circles and thus someone whose full name he wouldn't need to give them?
      "It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data. Insensibly one begins twisting facts to suit theories instead of theories to suit facts." Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (as Sherlock Holmes).

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      • #33
        Originally posted by Bridewell View Post

        Hi, Trevor.

        Would the fact that Sgt Leonard refers to this individual only by his initial, rather than his given name, suggest that this "P Johnson said to be Jack the Ripper" was someone already widely known within SB circles and thus someone whose full name he wouldn't need to give them?
        Hi
        I don't know the answer to that. I would call these registers an early collators system for SB so it would depend on how the info was recorded, but of course we do not know what, if any action was taken as a result of this information being recorded because the main file to which this entry related to is now long gone.

        www.trevormarriott.co.uk

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        • #34
          Originally posted by Bridewell View Post

          Hi, Trevor.

          Would the fact that Sgt Leonard refers to this individual only by his initial, rather than his given name, suggest that this "P Johnson said to be Jack the Ripper" was someone already widely known within SB circles and thus someone whose full name he wouldn't need to give them?
          Or just that it was all the Sgt had been told in the form of second hand information.
          G U T

          There are two ways to be fooled, one is to believe what isn't true, the other is to refuse to believe that which is true.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by GUT View Post

            Or just that it was all the Sgt had been told in the form of second hand information.
            That is another possibility. In my early days in the police, the collators system included just such types of information which was automatically recorded

            Trevor

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            • #36
              Originally posted by Trevor Marriott View Post

              That is another possibility. In my early days in the police, the collators system included just such types of information which was automatically recorded

              Trevor
              To be clear I suspect that MAY have been just first initial rather than full name. Or even that the Sgt didn’t think much of the information at first, but later thought, “That needs to be recorded” and then couldn’t remember if he was told Peter, Paul, Philip or whatever.
              G U T

              There are two ways to be fooled, one is to believe what isn't true, the other is to refuse to believe that which is true.

              Comment


              • #37
                There
                Originally posted by GUT View Post

                To be clear I suspect that MAY have been just first initial rather than full name. Or even that the Sgt didn’t think much of the information at first, but later thought, “That needs to be recorded” and then couldn’t remember if he was told Peter, Paul, Philip or whatever.
                There was an awful lot of hearsay along with malicious information that was recorded but without access to the follow-up files we can only work with what we have.

                www.trevormarriott.co.uk

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                • #38
                  Interesting that the Phillip Johnson that Trevor mentioned was a skin dresser. Skin dressers, otherwise known as fellmongers, were highly skilled at skinning and butchering animals (usually cattle) and possessed knives as tools of their trade although the flensing knives that they used tended to be shorter with sturdier pointed blades rather than the long narrow bladed knife that Dr Bagster Phillips proposed at the inquests. They also tended to be fairly conspicuous in the community because they stank of rancid animal fat that that clung to their persons and their clothing so that most people gave them a wide berth. I discovered all this when I was researching fellmongers many years ago.

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