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Was John Richardson Jack the Ripper?

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  • #76
    Originally posted by Pandora View Post
    Hi all, this is my first post so please be kind! I know that the following theory has been discussed somewhat in threads, but only in passing. As far as I know, there is no thread that is solely dedicated to John Richardson being Jack the Ripper.

    I first started looking at John Richardson (JR) after reading Wolf Vanderlinden's wonderful dissertation 'Considerable Doubt' and the Death of Annie Chapman, as well as the FBI profile by Special Agent John Douglas, who suggested that the suspect known as Jack the Ripper (JtR) might have had the following traits.

    • Aged between 28-36 years old (JR was 36-37)
    • Local, ordinary (JR lived in Whitechapel, was a porter at the Spitalfields Market)
    • Domineering mother/weak or absent father (JR’s mother Amelia was very religious, and ran the family packing business. His father was deceased)
    • Had likely been interviewed during the investigation (JR was interviewed as a witness in the Annie Chapman murder)

    Now I know many people are of the opinion that John Richardson was an honest, albeit slightly forgetful man (when it came to his boot anyway), who happened to be at the murder site not long before Jack arrived with Annie Chapman and killed her. His ever changing testimony regarding the piece of leather he may or may not have cut off his boot, is already well documented & discussed. Instead, what I’d like to offer up, is an alternative to the timeline that I think could go some small way to giving credence to his being the killer. I’m concentrating on the murder of Annie Chapman, as being so close to home, I believe this is the murder that most clearly links him to being JtR.

    If Dr Phillips was correct is his original diagnosis, that Annie had been killed at approx 4:20am, then I believe John Richardson would have had ample time to dissect Annie, and clean himself up before continuing on to work, while still confirming the testimony of witnesses Elizabeth Long & Albert Cadosch.

    1:35-1:45am Annie was last seen at the lodging house, planning on returning soon in order to obtain a bed for the night.

    4:15am (approx) Annie meets John Richardson after failing to make enough (or any) money thus far, and they head towards 29 Hanbury St.

    4:20-5:15am (approx) Annie is murdered & cut up by JR in the yard. He puts on his leather apron (which he kept at Hanbury St) after strangling her, in order to protect his clothing as he cuts her throat before dissecting her. Since she is already dead, there is little blood transfer anyway.

    5:15-5:20am (approx) JR cleans up post-dissection, washing his apron, and cleaning his hands in the nearby bucket, below the tap in the yard. He spends more time cleaning away evidence than he has at the other murder(s), as he knows he will be looked at carefully since the crime is in his mothers yard.

    5:20am (approx) JR is caught by his mother, Amelia Richardson who has heard noises and come downstairs to check the yard. She cries out “No!” in shock at what she sees. This is heard by Albert Cadosch.

    5:25-5:30am (approx) Still being quite dark at this point, Amelia may not see the full carnage, as JR ushers his mother to the front of the house to talk (so as not to wake the residents). He admits to killing “an unfortunate” but perhaps plays it down as being less brutal than it was, perhaps even an accident? He pleads for her to keep his secret, “Will you?” he asks. “Yes”, she replies, as Elizabeth Long walks past.

    5:30-5:35 (approx) He returns to the back yard, to refill the water bucket, now red with blood from where he washed his hands. At this stage Amelia sees the carnage JR has inflicted on Annie, and she faints, falling against the fence. This is again heard by Albert Cadosch.

    5:40am (approx) Having taken his mother back to her bedroom, JR rushes off to Spitalfields market. Once there he hides his knife and whatever other evidence (uterus) he has in his possession.

    5:55am (approx) Annie is discovered by John Davies.

    6:00 -6:25 (approx) JR hears people talking about the murder, and since it is at his mothers, he decides to return to 29 Hanbury so as not to look suspicious.

    6:25am (approx) JR arrives back at 29 Hanbury, just before Dr Phillips.

    Evidence…

    1. JR’s apron was found in the yard, damp/wet.
    2. Even in the dark, JR would have known exactly where the tap & bucket resided in the yard.
    3. JR’s ever changing account of the piece of leather he cut (or didn’t cut) off his boot is suspicious to say the least.
    4. If the timeline is correct, it accounts for all of Codosch, Long & Dr Phillips testimonies.

    My theory is that, in order to protect her son, Amelia lied to the police, and thus created enough reasonable doubt to deter them. She already was the mother of one “lunatic” son (JR’s older brother Thomas, according to the 1871 census) and did not want the stigmatism of being Jack the Rippers mother as well. Also she was very religious, holding prayer groups at 29 Hanbury, so perhaps she even thought she could pray for his recovery. Being so religious, she no doubt was not fond of all the “unfortunates” in Whitechapel, and her influence may have also prejudiced JR against them.

    As for Elizabeth Long confusing the 47 year old Annie Chapman, with the 65 year old Amelia Richardson, I put that down to it being dark, the briefness of her glance in their direction (by her own admission, she “did not take much notice of them”), and the fact that Annie at 47 no doubt looked much older than she was after many years of living hard.

    There are bound to be flaws in my theory, and I look forward to all & any opinions for & against. With no real possibility of conclusive evidence turning up to solve the crime, a healthy discussion is one of the few options we have at our disposal nearly 130 years after the fact.

    For me the biggest question is whether or not the police actually verified what time JR clocked in at work that day? If it was closer to 6am than 5, then at the very least, I think this is a theory worth discussing.

    One other thing I’d really like to know is, what happened to John Richardson post 1888? Does anyone know? I’ve looked, but can’t seem to find out when/where he died.

    And on a side note, John Richardson could have easily travelled from Mitre Square after killing Catherine Eddowes, past Goulston St where he dropped the piece of bloody apron, ON HIS WAY back to where he lived, 2 John St (nowadays 33 Wilkes St) just around the corner from Hanbury St where his mother lived. In fact, if you ask Google Maps to walk you from Mitre Square to 33 Wilkes Street today, the first path it chooses, takes you along Goulston Street. Hardly conclusive, but certainly food for thought.
    I see you've rebranded my theory as your own lol. I suggested the "No" was Mr.s Richardson a while back, you are forgetting that Richardson admitted to carrying a knife in his pocket and that he WAS interviewed as a suspect and viewed with suspicion by the coroner. And also the man who he claimed was the ripper that accosted him the street from the press report, that is the most suspicious part of all. His mother also knew nothing about any robbery, then suddenly remembered the tools had been stolen. Tools were also stolen from Whitehall shortly before the torso. I have repeatedly stated I believe there is a connection between the stolen tools at whitehall and the ones at 29 hanbury. For Richardson to be looked into more closely, the mystery that is Francis Tyler must be uncovered.
    Last edited by RockySullivan; 02-04-2016, 12:05 AM.

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    • #77
      Originally posted by Pandora View Post
      Yes, I have read all the threads on Richardson, many times over. Although a few posters do dance around the idea that Richardson was suspicious, most seem to believe he was just an honest albeit a slightly dim witness. But while some of the posts may have alluded to it, none of the threads are about John Richardson BEING Jack the Ripper, as I stated.

      Cheers,
      Pandora.
      Either you can't read or you haven't read through the thread gut posted. I suspect both.

      Comment


      • #78
        Originally posted by Pandora View Post
        Hi Stan,



        Yes I’ve always thought 29 Hanbury must have had some connection to who Jack was, because it was the only murder site that was a residence. It definitely makes me want to look more closely at the people that lived there, not less.
        Besides 13 dorset...which makes two out of five if you are talking about the canonical five. Please let me know when I can buy a copy of The Rusty Butterknife by Pandora
        Last edited by RockySullivan; 02-04-2016, 12:16 AM.

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        • #79
          Hi Rocky,

          Originally posted by RockySullivan View Post
          I see you've rebranded my theory as your own lol. I suggested the "No" was Mr.s Richardson a while back, you are forgetting that Richardson admitted to carrying a knife in his pocket and that he WAS interviewed as a suspect and viewed with suspicion by the coroner. And also the man who he claimed was the ripper that accosted him the street from the press report, that is the most suspicious part of all. His mother also knew nothing about any robbery, then suddenly remembered the tools had been stolen. Tools were also stolen from Whitehall shortly before the torso. I have repeatedly stated I believe there is a connection between the stolen tools at whitehall and the ones at 29 hanbury. For Richardson to be looked into more closely, the mystery that is Francis Tyler must be uncovered.
          It seems we came to the same idea independently of each other, Iíve had this theory rumbling around in my head for about 2 years now, so no rebranding of your idea happened, sorry you feel that way.

          Either you can't read or you haven't read through the thread gut posted. I suspect both.
          And yes I can read Rocky, there is really no need to be rude. I stand by what I said. You made a post suggesting your theory, but I was referring to threads dedicated to the subject. You could have started this thread yourself, and I would have embraced your ideaís, not accused you of being illiterate.
          Cheers,
          Pandora.

          Comment


          • #80
            Originally posted by Pandora View Post
            Hi GUT,


            Which is why it is my theory, and not yours.


            That is just your opinion though, and notwithstanding, how do we know John Richardson was not initially interviewed as a suspect? Since he placed himself at the crime, at around the time Annie was murdered, I would have thought it very remiss of the police NOT to consider him a suspect first, before deciding he was only a witness.

            Cheers,
            Pandora.
            How do we know he was interviewed as a suspect? We do know that he was. Your theory also doesn't take into account that Richardson started work at 5

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            • #81
              Originally posted by RockySullivan View Post
              Besides 13 dorset...which makes two out of five if you are talking about the canonical five. Please let me know when I can buy a copy of The Rusty Butterknife by Pandora
              Wow. As my grandmother used to say, if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. Goodbye Rocky, I wish you luck in pursuing your theory, and I hope very much not to have to talk to you again.
              Cheers,
              Pandora.

              Comment


              • #82
                Originally posted by Pandora View Post
                Hi Rocky,



                It seems we came to the same idea independently of each other, Iíve had this theory rumbling around in my head for about 2 years now, so no rebranding of your idea happened, sorry you feel that way.



                And yes I can read Rocky, there is really no need to be rude. I stand by what I said. You made a post suggesting your theory, but I was referring to threads dedicated to the subject. You could have started this thread yourself, and I would have embraced your ideaís, not accused you of being illiterate.
                I'm sure many people have suspected John Richardson over the years as he was obviously lying. It might be useful to read through the two (?) Richardson threads

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                • #83
                  Originally posted by Pandora View Post
                  Wow. As my grandmother used to say, if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. Goodbye Rocky, I wish you luck in pursuing your theory, and I hope very much not to have to talk to you again.
                  Hm my grandma used to say "quit cryin and toughen up ya sissy"

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                  • #84
                    Exactly what makes John Richardson a Ripper suspect?

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                    • #85
                      By the way I was only joking when I said MY theory but I thought it was hilarious when you said to gut "this is my theory not yours" ha ha. Yes I did suggest the no heard was Mrs R in the yard but I doubt I'm the first. Credit is certainly due to Wolf for his dissertation most of all. I can't imagine you haven't read the dissertations or understand why you wouldn't read through the inquest and news reports and firstly read through the other Richardson threads if you are so interested in Richardson but if you had youd see he was a POI right off the bat

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                      • #86
                        Originally posted by John Wheat View Post
                        Exactly what makes John Richardson a Ripper suspect?
                        He is on the exact spot where Chapman was killed at the estimated TOD with a knife. Simple as that

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                        • #87
                          Originally posted by RockySullivan View Post
                          He is on the exact spot where Chapman was killed at the estimated TOD with a knife. Simple as that
                          To Rocky

                          So one of the few Ripper suspects to take seriously then. Sounds a much better suspect than Crossmere, Tumblety, Druitt etc.

                          Cheers John

                          Comment


                          • #88
                            Hi,
                            In Ripperology we seem to have gone through the lists of suspects, over the years with no conclusive proof, so now we are paying attention to witnesses, who we can place at the scenes.
                            Hutchinson being at the head, followed by Cross, now Richardson, we have more to consider such as Cadosch, or Schwartz, who also were at the scene of the crime, even Mrs Long?
                            That is why the case of Jack the Ripper is so fascinating, we simply have no idea , who the killer was, and as much as it seems unlikely that a witness , was the murderer, they at least can be placed at the scene.
                            We all know , if the killer is ever revealed to everyone's satisfaction, its likely we will say.''Surely not''.
                            Regards Richard.

                            Comment


                            • #89
                              Originally posted by richardnunweek View Post
                              Hi,
                              In Ripperology we seem to have gone through the lists of suspects, over the years with no conclusive proof, so now we are paying attention to witnesses, who we can place at the scenes.
                              Hutchinson being at the head, followed by Cross, now Richardson, we have more to consider such as Cadosch, or Schwartz, who also were at the scene of the crime, even Mrs Long?
                              That is why the case of Jack the Ripper is so fascinating, we simply have no idea , who the killer was, and as much as it seems unlikely that a witness , was the murderer, they at least can be placed at the scene.
                              We all know , if the killer is ever revealed to everyone's satisfaction, its likely we will say.''Surely not''.
                              Regards Richard.

                              So true.

                              I guess there's also the fact that they are the only ones we can put names to, as opposed to the one I think is really the odds on favorite A N Unknown.
                              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


                              • #90
                                Originally posted by John Wheat View Post
                                Exactly what makes John Richardson a Ripper suspect?
                                Unless you believe Richardson lied (and there is no proof of that) nothing. Not even circumstantial evidence. Being a witness at a crime scene does not make you a legitimate suspect. Anyone that lived in that building could be considered just as guilty.
                                Last edited by SuspectZero; 02-04-2016, 04:46 AM.

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