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  • Kosminski: Does he fit witness discriptions of JTR (recovered thread)

    This is G o o g l e's cache of http://forum.casebook.org/archive/index.php/t-4635.html as retrieved on 16 Jan 2008 16:49:53 GMT.
    G o o g l e's cache is the snapshot that we took of the page as we crawled the web.

    Kosminski: Does he fit witness discriptions of JTR


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    jeffl
    9th August 2007, 12:57 PM
    Hello Kosmo fans

    I guess it?s over five years now that I?ve been tinkering around on casebook and in that time I?ve only started two threads. But due to the fact that I feel I?m going rather ?off? topic on the ?double event thread? I thought I?d try starting my third in case anybody else out there has the same current interest as myself. So lets start:

    Firstly let me say that I believe that it is probable that the Met policeman probably had a fair idea who ?Jack the Ripper? was and were unable to prosecute. And by that reasoning I believe that Aron Kosminski is the most credible suspect. I applaud the work done by Rob House and Chris Philips on this subject but find myself coming back to several key questions if we are to believe that this suspect will ever be proved to be ?Jack the Ripper?


    In order to except that Aaron was ?Jack the Ripper? we must firstly believe that he was the person identified at the Seaside home.
    We must also except that the most probable witness to have identified Aaron was Schwartz. And this in itself presents all sorts of problems. (This is one of the reasons I have been following the ?Double Event thread with such interest)
    If Schwartz was that person who identified Aaron then we must almost certainly have to except that Schwartz witnessed the murder of Elizabeth Stride. Which leads me to the following question.
    Is there any reason to believe that Aaron Kosminski and Broad Shoulders (BS) are one and the same person?
    Why would Aaron shout ?Lipski? ?
    And finally is there any other evidence that connects Aaron Kosminski?s appearance to witness statements? I am thinking particularly here of the ?Carroty Moustache? witness statements and Lawende statement?
    Please Note that I am currently working from Paul Begg's the FACTS chapter twenty One which out lines some of these problems in detail. Of particular interest is a comment in asylum records about Aaron?s weight: 17th May 1915 7st 8lbs 10oz and death weight 5th February 1919: 6st 12lbs.

    Assuming that all that was left of Aaron by this time was skin and bones is there any way that we could estimate the height or size of this man when he was fully fit? As apart from that I can find no other description of Aaron in life?For instance is there any family reference to the possibility that someone of Aaron's ethnic extraction might have had ?red? or ?Carroty? appearance? (Can we all leave out the Welsh gags for now ).

    I do know that some people of ?Jewish? extraction can have red hair, but I believe it is rather rare.

    So I guess what I?m trying to start here is a much more general discussion about whether Aaron Kosminski fits the known descriptions of ?Jack the Ripper?. And possibly also if we consider Aaron as jtR if we should also re-look at later murders such as Alice McKenzie and ask the question. Why the Gap after the death of Mary Jane Kelly?

    Please note that I am not saying Aaron was the Ripper, I?m just interested in how some of Rob and Chris?s recent discoveries might shed new light on his Ripper candidacy. And hoping to see if Aaron may or may not fit the bill?so I welcome fore's and against's and will try and keep this discussion thread with humour and good will to all posters. Many thanks for your time, opinions and thoughts.

    Yours Jeff

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    Gill Woodward
    9th August 2007, 02:12 PM
    I'm still very new, not to mention a complete shrinking violet, so please be gentle with me.

    No other witness besides Mary Cox described a suspect with red hair so I think her man can more or less be eliminated from the enquiry.

    The body weights recorded in the asylums are meaningless as Kos had been incarcerated for over 20 years and had only been eating scraps apparently before he was certified. But Schwarz' man was only 5 foot 5 so even if Kos was a bit plump like Schwartz' man in 1888 he still would not be very heavy.

    Why should 'Lipski' need be an anti-Semitic insult necessarily? That was just Schwartz' interpretation. Perhaps it could have been a kind of battle-cry, i.e. 'watch me do to this disgusting whore what my hero the great Lipski did', or simply 'vengeance for Lipski'.

    I walked down Greenfield Road where most of his siblings seem to have been living and was quite taken-aback at how close it is to Berner (Henriques) Street, just the other side of Commercial Road.

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    Ben
    9th August 2007, 02:36 PM
    Hi Jeff,

    Age might be a problem as far as Kosminski's compatibility with eyewitness evidence goes; particularly with regard to the double event, where there was some uniformity as to age - with most witnesses offering an estimation of 30, or thereabouts. Unfortunately, the value of a witness recollection will diminish considerably over time, and two years is a long stretch. The question is whether or not the police had anything more on Kosminski bedies this ID, and the alleged knife threat towards his sister.

    Best regards,
    Ben

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    robhouse
    9th August 2007, 02:37 PM
    The statement by Harry Cox is interesting to look at... Cox was a city detective who kept surveillance on a suspect. He said that they used a cover story that they were "factory inspectors looking for tailors and capmakers who employed boys and girls under age, and pointing out the evils accruing from the sweaters' system". This ties in well with Kozminski's supposed residence on Greenfield St (after his first visit to Mile End). Cox also gives a brief description of the man they were watching: "The man we suspected was about five feet size inches in height, with short, black, curly hair, and he had a habit of taking late walks abroad. He occupied several shops in the East End, but from time to time he became insane, and was forced to spend a portion of his time in an asylum in Surrey."

    Cox's suspect could have been Kozminski, but it is inconclusive at this time where he was.

    Rob H

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    robhouse
    9th August 2007, 02:39 PM
    Here is the whole article:

    Thomson's Weekly News
    Dec 1, 1906

    The Truth about the Whitechapel Mysteries told by Harry Cox
    Ex-Detective Inspector, London City Police. Specially written for "Thomson's Weekly News"

    It is only upon certain conditions that I have agreed to deal with the great Whitechapel crimes of fifteen years ago. Much has been written regarding the identity of the man who planned and successfully carried out the outrage...

    It is my intention the relate several of my experiences while keeping this fellow under observation.

    We had many people under observation while the murders were being perpetrated, but it was not until the discovery of the body of Mary Kelly had been made that we seemed to get upon the trail. Certain investigations made by several of our cleverest detectives made it apparent to us that a man living in the East End of London was not unlikely to have been connected with the crimes.

    To understand the reason we must first of all understand the motive of the Whitechapel crimes. The motive was, there can not be the slightst doubt, revenge. Not merely revenge on the few poor unfortunate victims of the knife, but revenge on womankind. It was not a lust for blood, as many people have imagined.

    The murderer was a misogynist, who at some time or another had been wronged by a woman. And the fact that his victims were of the lowest class proves, I think, that he was not, as has been stated, an educated man who had suddenly gone mad. He belonged to their own class.

    Had he been wronged by a woman occypying a higher stage in society the murders would in all probability have taken place in the West End, the victims have been members of the fashionable demi-monde.

    The man we suspected was about five feet size inches in height, with short, black, curly hair, and he had a habit of taking late walks abroad. He occupied several shops in the East End, but from time to time he became insane, and was forced to spend a portion of his time in an asylum in Surrey.

    While the Whitechapel murders were being perpetrated his place of business was in a certain street, and after the last murder I was on duty in this street for nearly three months.

    There were several other officers with me, and I think there can be no harm in stating that the opinion of most of them was that the man they were watching had something to do with the crimes. You can imagine that never once did we allow him to quit our sight. The least slip and another brutal crime might have been perpetrated under our very noses. It was not easy to forget that already one of them had taken place at the very moment when one of our smartest colleagues was passing the top of the dimly lit street.

    The Jews in the street soon became aware of our presence. It was impossible to hide ourselves. They became suddenly alarmed, panic stricken, and I can tell you that at nights we ran a considerable risk. We carried our lives in our hands so to speak, and at last we had to partly take the alarmed inhabitants into our confidence, and so throw them off the scent. We told them we were factory inspectors looking for tailors and capmakers who employed boys and girls under age, and pointing out the evils accruing from the sweaters' system asked them to co-operate with us in destroying it.

    They readily promised to do so, although we knew well that they had no intention of helping us. Every man was as bad as another. Day after day we used to sit and chat with them, drinking their coffee, smoking their excellent cigarettes, and partaking of Kosher rum. Before many weeks had passed we were quite friendly with them, and knew that we could carry out our observations unmolested. I am sure they never once suspected that we were police detectives on the trail of the mysterious murderer; otherwise they would not have discussed the crimes with us as openly as they did.

    We had the use of a house opposite the shop of the man we suspected, and, disguised, of course, we frequently stopped across in the role of customers.

    Every newspaper loudly demanded that we should arouse from our slumber, and the public had lashed themselves into a state of fury and fear. The terror soon spread to the provinces too. Whenever a small crime was committed it was asserted that the Ripper had shifted his ground, and warning letters were received by many a nterror stricken woman. The latter were of course the work of cruel practical jokers. The fact, by the way, that the murderer never shifted his ground rather inclines to the belief that he was a mad, poverty stricken inhabitant of some slum in the East End.

    I shall never forget one occasion when I had to shadow our man during one of his late walks. As I watched him from the house opposite one night, it suddenly struck me that there was a wilder look than usual on his evil countenance, and I felt that something was about to happen. When darkness set in I saw him come forth from the door of his little shop and glance furtively around to see if he were being watched. I allowed him to get right out of the street before I left the house, and then I set off after him. I followed him to Lehman Street, and there I saw him enter a shop which I knew was the abode of a number of criminals well known to the police.

    He did not stay long. For about a quarter of an hour I hung about keeping my eye on the door, and at last I was rewarded by seeing him emerging alone.

    He made his way down to St George's in the East End, and there to my astonishment I saw him stop and speak to a drunken woman.

    I crouched in a doorway and held my breath. Was he going to throw himself right into my waiting arms? He passed on after a moment or two, and on I slunk after him.

    As I passed the woman she laughed and shouted something after me, which, however, I did not catch.

    My man was evidently of opinion that he might be followed every minute. Now and again he turned his head and glanced over his shoulder, and consequently I had the greatest difficulty in keeping behind him.

    I had to work my way along, now with my back to the wall, now pausing and making little runs for a sheltering doorway. Not far from where the model lodging house stands he met another woman, and for a considerable distance he walked along with her.

    Just as I was beginning to prepare myself for a terrible ordeal, however, he pushed her away from him and set off at a rapid pace.

    In the end he brought me, tired, weary, and nerve-strung, back to the street he had left where he disappeared into his own house.

    Next morning I beheld him busy as usual. It is indeed very strange that as soon as this madman was put under observation, the mysterious crimes ceased, and that very soon he removed from his usual haunts and gave up his nightly prowls. He was never arrested for the reason that not the slightest scrap of evidence could be found to connect him with the crimes.

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    jeffl
    9th August 2007, 03:53 PM
    I'm still very new, not to mention a complete shrinking violet, so please be gentle with me..

    Thats OK Gill welcome aboard. And thank you for your observations.

    No other witness besides Mary Cox described a suspect with red hair so I think her man can more or less be eliminated from the enquiry...

    This is true with reguard to the cannon. But if you take into account Ada Wilson and Brown mostaches you get:

    5'7", stout, long black diagonal coat which reached almost to his heels. James brown.

    Aged 30, 5'5", brown haired, fair complexion, small brown moustache, full face, broad shoulders, dark jacket and trousers, black cap with peak. Schwartz

    Aged 30, 5'7", fair complexion, brown moustache, salt-and-pepper coat, red neckerchief, grey peaked cloth cap. Sailor-like. Lawende

    Short, stout man, shabbily dressed. Billycock hat, blotchy face, carroty moustache, holding quart can of beer Mary Anne Cox


    On March 28, 1888, while home alone at 19 Maidman Street, Wilson answered a knock at the door to find a man of about 30 years of age, 5ft 6ins in height, with a sunburnt face and a fair moustache. He was wearing a dark coat, light trousers and a wideawake hat. ADA Wilson attacker





    The body weights recorded in the asylums are meaningless as Kos had been incarcerated for over 20 years and had only been eating scraps apparently before he was certified. But Schwarz' man was only 5 foot 5 so even if Kos was a bit plump like Schwartz' man in 1888 he still would not be very heavy....

    Quite True.

    Hi Rob, thanks for taking the time to post. "about five feet size inches in height, with short, black, curly hair, " do you think this is meant to read 5' 5'' in height?



    Why should 'Lipski' need be an anti-Semitic insult necessarily? That was just Schwartz' interpretation. Perhaps it could have been a kind of battle-cry, i.e. 'watch me do to this disgusting whore what my hero the great Lipski did', or simply 'vengeance for Lipski'..

    That just dosnt make sense to me. Surely 'Lipski' was aimed at Schwartz himself? and as has been mentioned on a William Morris thread..Lipski was the subject of a speach at the Berner club..cant help thinking it doesnt make sense.

    Hi Ben, of all the descriptions age worries me the least. Largely because I'm so crap at estimating peoples age. But 5' 5'' to 5' 7'' seems to be a common theme in witness statements. And given Rob's post can we assume that 'its possible that this was Aarons hieght given the weight 6st 12lbs (assuming skin and bones) at the time of his death?

    Yours Jeff

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    Ben
    9th August 2007, 04:17 PM
    Hi Jeff,

    "of all the descriptions age worries me the least. Largely because I'm so crap at estimating peoples age"

    The regularity with which the 30ish age-bracket crops up ought not to be dismissed too lightly, though. You're quite right to say that age can be miscalculated, but in this instance, we'd be talking about a hefty handful of witnesses all misjudging his age by about seven years (with nobody guessing younger, or mid-twenties, for example).

    Best regards,
    Ben

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    jeffl
    9th August 2007, 04:26 PM
    Hi Ben

    I agree that this is a problem when consider Aaron. Of couse it's often argued that Kosminski's appearance was wild a shabby due to him eating from the gutter. But as proponants of Kosminski often piont out that he could have been quite respectable in 1888, I dont think you can argue the case both ways...either he was normal, and probably looked his age or he looked older and disheveled...

    either way a agree that this is a problem.

    Hi Rob

    Paul Begg argues the case that Schwartz is the most likely witness at the seaside home...do you concor with this accessment 'Rob' or are there any other possibilities?

    Jeff

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    cd
    9th August 2007, 05:11 PM
    Regardless of whether it was Schwartz or Lawende at the Seaside Home, I just can't see the police accepting that the witness could identify the suspect but was reluctant to do so for religious reasons (if that was the actual case). I think he would have been leaned on very hard and a great deal of pressure would have been put on him. I just can't see the witness walking away with a "well, thanks for coming in anyway."

    c.d.

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    miss marple
    9th August 2007, 07:15 PM
    Hi All,
    Lets get real, So you are taking seriously that a crazy guy, solitary, filthy, unwashed who only ate food out of the gutter, who never worked and later in the asylum was described as 'incoherent, apathetic and unoccupied, and who had hallucinations, was a sophisticated serial killer, who could approach prostitutes, chat them up and lull them into a false sense of security, kill them effectively, escape without a sound and plan his murders. Sorry I don't get it. Miss Maple

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    baron
    9th August 2007, 08:42 PM
    Miss Marple,

    Your post was the height of misrepresentation and ignorance. In fact, it was so blatantly stupid that I have to put you on ignore until you apologize to me for having had my eyeballs seared by their exposure to such a burning blast of nonsense.

    Mike

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    miss marple
    9th August 2007, 10:36 PM
    Hi Mike.
    You are a pompous twat.Read Sugden. Miss Marple

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    baron
    9th August 2007, 11:09 PM
    Hi Mike.
    You are a pompous twat.Read Sugden. Miss Marple

    Apology accepted. For the record, I'm certain you know everything about Kosminski in 1888.

    Mike

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    jason_connachan
    10th August 2007, 12:21 AM
    Apology accepted. For the record, I'm certain you know everything about Kosminski in 1888.

    Mike


    rofl at your comment baron.

    MissMarple, your proof of this sophistication is?

    btw why cant serial killers are solitary or lazy?

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    miss marple
    10th August 2007, 09:22 AM
    Miss Marple,

    Your post was the height of misrepresentation and ignorance. In fact, it was so blatantly stupid that I have to put you on ignore until you apologize to me for having had my eyeballs seared by their exposure to such a burning blast of nonsense.

    Mike
    Hi Mike, and Jason.
    Mike i was pissed off because your comments were unfair.If Jack was a psycopath which implies a degree of manipulation, organisation and an ability to function normally [all the modern serial killers i can think of worked, and some were partnered] Poor, antisocial crazy stinking Kosminski with series mental health issues, [ there is no evidence he was a psyco ] would have been just as weird in 1888 as he would be released into the community today.There are many such roaming around our town, but they are not dangerous.I simply doubted whether he had the organisational abilities to committ a series of highly sophisticated murders without being caught. Also if he was only five foot high and later was recorded as only weighing 7 and six stone, even with a few extra pounds he was a frail thing. Not really ripper material. The motiveless serial killer was a new phonomen, and Macnaughten and the other cops did not know what they were looking for, they had no profiling, so a crazy guy was as good a guess as any. Thats what I mean. Miss Marple

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    Mr Poster
    10th August 2007, 10:02 AM
    Hi ho Miss marple

    I suppose I could leave this alone but now that I have opened this window I might as well use it........


    If Jack was a psycopath which implies a degree of manipulation, organisation and an ability to function normally

    You'll have to back this up.

    Poor, antisocial crazy stinking Kosminski with series mental health issues, [ there is no evidence he was a psyco ]

    I'm not fully sure I get this.....

    would have been just as weird in 1888 as he would be released into the community today.

    In a world where children were shoved up chimneys, rag pickers and sh!t gatherers were common, women scrabbled in piles of offal for scraps, and all the other well documented freakery, oddness and general bizarre Victorian behavior.....I seriously doubt that.

    There are many such roaming around our town, but they are not dangerous.

    Where do you live exactly?

    I simply doubted whether he had the organisational abilities to committ a series of highly sophisticated murders without being caught.

    Who said they were highly sophisticated as opposed to just wanton slashing and mutilation?

    Also if he was only five foot high and later was recorded as only weighing 7 and six stone, even with a few extra pounds he was a frail thing. Not really ripper material.

    I assume you mean relative to his victimes? Who were predominantly drunk, sick or small. Except Stride who he didnt quite finish and kelly who was caught with her knickers down, buck naked and presumably flat on her back, possibly asleep? A midget could probably have done th eripper murders so I dont know why his "frailty" has anything to do with it.

    The motiveless serial killer was a new phonomen,

    How do you know?


    and Macnaughten and the other cops did not know what they were looking for, they had no profiling,

    I'll leave that alone........although I could easily go at it.

    p

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    cgp100
    10th August 2007, 10:56 AM
    Also if he was only five foot high and later was recorded as only weighing 7 and six stone, even with a few extra pounds he was a frail thing.

    Just to be clear about the facts -

    Unfortunately I don't think we have any information about Aaron Kozminski's physical appearance, beyond the weights recorded at Leavesden Asylum.

    The height mentioned by Rob was 5 feet 6 inches, and that related to the suspect observed by Harry Cox.

    On the weights (7st 10lb 8oz in May 1915, 6st 12lb in February 1919), although Sugden notes that he was still described as in good health as late as 1916, in the absence of more direct information I think it would be dangerous to assume this would be anywhere near his weight in 1888 - particularly as his refusal to eat food provided by others was noted as early as 1891.

    (One of the questions asked by Jeff originally was whether this minimal weight of 6st 12lb could tell us anything useful about his height. If anyone could answer that, it would be interesting.)

    Of course, Aaron Kozminski's age is now known exactly - he turned 23 during September 1888 - and was significantly lower than the estimates by witnesses. However, I'm puzzled by the idea that there's a consensus among the witnesses on this question. On the contrary, the range seems very large - for example, PC Smith put the age of the man he saw as low as 28, while at the other extreme Elizabeth Long said her man appeared to be over 40.

    We do have one direct statement that the Polish Jewish suspect was "the height and build of the man ... seen on the night of the murder", by G. R. Sims, in 1907. But Sims's witness was the "policeman who got a glimpse of Jack in Mitre Court", so this clearly derives from Macnaghten's confused statement, and may be no more than a rewording of his "in appearance strongly resembled" in the Aberconway draft.

    Chris Phillips

    Dan Norder
    Ripper Notes: The International Journal for Ripper Studies
    Web site: www.RipperNotes.com - Email: dannorder@gmail.com

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    Gill Woodward
    10th August 2007, 01:17 PM
    Another interesting witness to consider is Mrs Long. Now she isn't qualified to give much of a visual description having only seen her suspect from the rear, but she did hear his voice quite distinctly and got the impression he was a foreigner. I assume she must have heard something like 'vill you' rather than 'will you'. Kosminski had been in England for about 6 years so would have a working knowledge of English but almost certainly a foreign accent.

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    jeffl
    10th August 2007, 01:21 PM
    Miss Marple,
    Your post was the height of misrepresentation and ignorance. In fact, it was so blatantly stupid that I have to put you on ignore until you apologize to me for having had my eyeballs seared by their exposure to such a burning blast of nonsense. Mike

    Mike, this sought of post does nothing to help a sensible debate on whether Aaron could have been Jack. This is of course the classic responce used by people when dismissing Aaron Kosminski as the Ripper. So thanks Miss Marple, lets just try and clear it up and move on to what I feel are more pressing problems:

    Kosminski's asylum records are classic symtoms of a condition known as Paraniod Schitzophrenia. (you will have to excuse my lack of spell check today, hope thats correct) Lets firstly state that it is very rare for serial killers to fit into this catigory they are much more likely to be Manic Depressives or sociopaths. Psychopaths are also rare but usually concidered potencially more dangerous than schitzophrenics.

    Paranoid Schitsophrenics range vastly and most are NOT dangerous. Some can be highly organized and intellegent (Watch Russel Crow in a 'Perfect Mind') Most commonly suffers experience, Illusions of Grandur, vioces in the head, and sometimes visual and auditary illusion.

    Interestingly Paraniod Schitzophrenics can become dossial once they are locked up. Peter Sutcliff has never been a dangerous prisoneer. Although it should also be stated that he has received modern medication which appears to aleviate the symptoms (hes got very fat), which Aaron had NOT.

    The other thing about this condition is that it comes in Waves. In other words the condition can become accute for a period of time and then improve. Which might be consistant with Aaron coming in and out of the asylum at first.

    So please can we put the problem of Aarons Schitzoprenia to one side for now and concintrate on the thrust of this thread. Which is:

    Does Aaron Kosminski fit what else is known about Jack the Ripper?

    And Did Schwartz see Elizebeth Stride murdered and was he the witness at the sea side home?

    Also the question raised as to why Schwartz would refuse to give evidence is also interesting? exactly the sort of question I was hoping would come up.

    Many thanks again for all your comments.

    Yours Jeff

    PS Chris, I know that Richard Jones in his DVD interveiwed a relative of the Kosminski family, are you aware whether or not any family photos exist of Aaron's relatives? I'm not saying that they would help with what Aaron looked like but might give a general idea of family height and colouring?

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    Ben
    10th August 2007, 02:44 PM
    Hi Gill,

    but she did hear his voice quite distinctly and got the impression he was a foreigner. I assume she must have heard something like 'vill you' rather than 'will you'

    Mrs. Long never stated that her man's accent sounded foreign. She said he "looked" like a foreigner, which, given her rear view of the suspect, ought to be treated with a pinch of salt.

    Best regards,
    Ben

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    Gill Woodward
    10th August 2007, 04:43 PM
    And Did Schwartz see Elizebeth Stride murdered and was he the witness at the sea side home?

    Also the question raised as to why Schwartz would refuse to give evidence is also interesting? exactly the sort of question I was hoping would come up.


    When I was pondering this I came up with this scenario:
    Schwartz: (visibly reacting and thinking) That's the schmuck I saw in Berner Street!
    Swanson: I see you have recognised the varmint Mr Schwartz. We would like you to testify in an affidavit.
    Kos: (questioning Swanson's parentage in Yiddish)
    Schwartz: (thinks) He's Jewish! (aloud) Sorry, don't recognise him, never seen him before.

    So Schwartz could not be prosecuted for obstructing the course of justice or whatever because they could not prove it.

    But there's also a more straightforward explanation too. Kosminski is returned from the seaside home sometime around January 1891, the furious Anderson is in the process of getting a sub-poena to force Schwartz to give evidence, the long-suffering family finally get rid of Aaron by having him certified and therefore put beyond the reaches of the judicial process, and Anderson hits the roof and has it in for the family ever after. In fact, this would also work as a theory whether it was Schwartz or Lawende.

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    miss marple
    10th August 2007, 05:32 PM
    Hi All ,
    Firstly thanks Jeffi for the schzecophenia stuff ,that does seen to be what Kosminski suffered from[ hallucinations, personal neglect etc ]and usually not dangerous.I 'm just sounding off based on what we know. Wheras Jack appears to have been a psycoapath.A ruthless killer with no morality or empathy, with a hatred of women and a high degree of planning[ he was successful, because hey, he never got caught. He was silent and quick and dissappeared back into shadows.He was probably quite self confident that he would not get caught. Some people discribe him as disoraganised but he seems pretty organised to me, chose his victims carefully, dispached them quickly and disappeared.
    Mr Poster, one of the reasons I intuitively dont feel right about Kosminski is that in England there is a policy of care in the community and many mentally disturbed people are roaming the streets. Where i live in Bedford there are a few well known disturbed people, they smell pretty bad, some shout or talk to themselves and one has recieved asbos for aggressive behaviour. Everyone knows who they are, they are not regarded as dangerous, just a nusience.The people in the east end were not idiots, they would have been aware of crazy people. There were tramps, beggers and others even lower down the social scale than our girls. Kosmniski had never worked, whereas the customers of the girls were working men who could stand them a drink etc. Wheras the bloke who is going to kill you is probably quite good looking, well dressed and buys you a drink. Prostitutes still went off with Sutcliffe at the height of the murders because he presented himself well and did nt seem the type.A lot of Serial killers seemed to be sucessful with women [ eg good at manipulating them]and had no shortage of wives or girlfriends.
    Mr Poster. The modern serial killer [ motiveless or sexual mass murders[seems to have emerged towards the end of the 19th century. Before that the majority of murders were domestic[ anger or jealousy ]or or for gain. Mass murderers were mostly poisoners who murdered family members and friends for profit. Palmer, Prichard and Mrs Cotton etc. The Radcliff Highway murders of 1813 were exceptional, but that was one family slaughtered at one time. After the Ripper we have,Holmes, Cream, Chapman, Deeming, Kurten, Haigh, Christie, Heath, Brady, Nielson. Sutclffe, Wests etc etc Plus all the american and european ones, too many to mention. I find it interesting that the serial killer emerged at the same time as the tabloid press . Im sure your'll disagree with me.but at least I ve answered you. Miss Marple

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    cgp100
    10th August 2007, 08:33 PM
    PS Chris, I know that Richard Jones in his DVD interveiwed a relative of the Kosminski family, are you aware whether or not any family photos exist of Aaron's relatives? I'm not saying that they would help with what Aaron looked like but might give a general idea of family height and colouring?

    It appears that Zena Shine, who was interviewed for the DVD, was related to a Kozminski family, but - given that the suggestion was that her grandfather was a brother of Aaron Kozminski - it's difficult to see how it can be the right one, because Aaron's brothers were known in England as Abrahams, not Kozminski (except for workhouse/asylum purposes).

    I'm afraid I don't know of any family photographs that would allow height to be estimated.

    Chris Phillips

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    Natalie Severn
    10th August 2007, 10:25 PM
    Hi Folks,
    Interestingly psychopaths do not as a rule commit murder.Another name for the psychopath is "plausible rogue'....typically a con man who leaves behind a trail of chaos.
    By contrast the paranoid schizophrenic does "sometimes" commit murder in response to his or her "voices"or "commands".These voices are actually "heard"by the sufferer who will act on them.Kosminski appears to have heard "voices"of some kind from his "Universal Power who knows all things-the refusal to eat normally or wash etc was probably in direct response.Some of his thinking is recorded in his hospital records.
    In 1888 there were no medications to stop psychotic episodes as there are today.The person was removed to an asylum where ,in the more advanced ,progressive institutions such as Colney Hatch,streess was kept to a minimum.Even so, patients were often left as human wrecks by the furious onslaught of the illness that eventually "burnt them out".It sounds to me like Aaron Kosminski was already "burnt out" when he arrived at Colney Hatch.
    Paranoid schizophrenia is the illness which gives rise, still today, to some of the most gruesome murders we hear about in the press and on TV.
    Best
    Natalie

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    Celesta
    11th August 2007, 12:29 AM
    Why should 'Lipski' need be an anti-Semitic insult necessarily? That was just Schwartz' interpretation. Perhaps it could have been a kind of battle-cry, i.e. 'watch me do to this disgusting whore what my hero the great Lipski did', or simply 'vengeance for Lipski'.

    I walked down Greenfield Road where most of his siblings seem to have been living and was quite taken-aback at how close it is to Berner (Henriques) Street, just the other side of Commercial Road.[/quote]


    Hello Gill,

    I'm new to this thread and so I'm probably being redundant. I, too, have wondered if the "Lipski" shout might also be some sort of "battle-cry," cry of defiance, or possibly of revenge. This character was determined to call attention to himself. If he didn't kill her, (though I think he did,) I wonder if he was just showing off.

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    Marky
    11th August 2007, 10:48 AM
    It appears that Zena Shine, who was interviewed for the DVD, was related to a Kozminski family, but - given that the suggestion was that her grandfather was a brother of Aaron Kozminski - it's difficult to see how it can be the right one, because Aaron's brothers were known in England as Abrahams, not Kozminski (except for workhouse/asylum purposes).
    Chris Phillips

    - Shine? Any connection to Nathan Shine, perchance?

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    Mr Poster
    11th August 2007, 11:05 AM
    Hi ho Mrs M.

    The people in the east end were not idiots, they would have been aware of crazy people.

    True.

    There were tramps, beggers and others even lower down the social scale than our girls.

    Im no expert in the social demographics of the LVP but a broken prostitute with no home, not the price of a bed and a willingness to sell themselves for the price of a drink is a begger and a tramp.

    Kosmniski had never worked, whereas the customers of the girls were working men who could stand them a drink etc.

    Not having worked regularly does not mean Kosminski could not have gotten the three pence (or assumed the appearance of a man who had three pence) necessary to buy one of these girls.

    Wheras the bloke who is going to kill you is probably quite good looking, well dressed and buys you a drink.

    There is no evidence that the guy who killed these women bought them a drink, met them in a pub or otherwise. No evidence he was well dressed or good looking.

    Prostitutes still went off with Sutcliffe at the height of the murders because he presented himself well and did nt seem the type.

    If you have evidence that the facts of pertinence can be extrapolated to the LVP then I agree. If not, then I dont.

    A lot of Serial killers seemed to be sucessful with women [ eg good at manipulating them]and had no shortage of wives or girlfriends.

    You are assuming JtR was a serial killer in the mould as you understand them.

    Mr Poster. The modern serial killer [ motiveless or sexual mass murders[seems to have emerged towards the end of the 19th century.

    You have no evidence for that. Coverage of them or perhaps recognition of them seems to have emerged in the 19th century but I have yet to see convincing evidence that they didnt exist long before that.

    Before that the majority of murders were domestic[ anger or jealousy ]or or for gain.

    Again, no evidence for this at all.

    Mass murderers were mostly poisoners who murdered family members and friends for profit.

    Gil de Rais (assuming he was guilty) is the first that springs randomly to mind...

    After the Ripper we have,Holmes, Cream, Chapman, Deeming, Kurten, Haigh, Christie, Heath, Brady, Nielson. Sutclffe, Wests etc etc Plus all the american and european ones, too many to mention.

    Its the ones before the ripper that point out the flaw in your argument.

    As an example, how would you imagine the death of 5 prostitutes a la jtR in th eperiod 1300 to 1500 would have been viewed ? Most probably the work of demons, devils and assorted hobgoblins. Or the revenge of God. Or the work of Satan. Or an alignment of Jupiter and Mars. Or a pox verily visited upon them by the witch in the woods. The lack of a record of "serial killers" is most likely due to such events being ascribed to agents which we now find ridiculous but were perfectly logical and realistic to people then.


    I find it interesting that the serial killer emerged at the same time as the tabloid press .

    Its interesting that the serial killer was invented at the same time as the tabloid press. Not that he emerged.

    Im sure your'll disagree with me.but at least I ve answered you.

    I do, you have.

    p

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    cgp100
    11th August 2007, 11:07 AM
    - Shine? Any connection to Nathan Shine, perchance?

    If I understand correctly Shine wasn't her maiden name, so any connection would have to be coincidental.

    Chris Phillips

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    Gill Woodward
    11th August 2007, 12:49 PM
    http://www.schitzophrenia.biz/index.html

    I read this article on schitzophrenia and found I was ticking boxes all over the place, yes that's our Aaron all right.

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    miss marple
    11th August 2007, 07:07 PM
    Hi Mr POSTER
    Maybe i ve read accounts of different murders to you. You say there is no evidence that serial killing was not common before THE RIPPER. You have no evidence that it was. I ve read hundreds of accounts from Newgate Calenders, lives of hangman, famous cases etc and the motives for murder appeared simpler before the end of the 19th century, crueltly, anger, jealously and murder for profit , but the serial killer who targets usually women[ but also gay men and children] kills repeatly,usually with a complex sexual motif and gains pleasure from the the act of killing, appears to be a modern phomenon .The vast number of this type of killer appears to have emerged in the last century
    if you go back several hundred years to societies where torture and mutilation were common and the public could watch beheadings, public torture, burnings, hanging, drawing and quartering , perhaps certain people got there kicks that way. I m just throwing out an idea for discussion.

    Regarding the prostitutes and the drink. To say we have no evidence that they were bought drinks dosnt make sense.They came from a pub culture. [New Thead ..The Importance of Pubs in east end society] Drinking was part of the transaction process,also getting a man to by you a drink is a good way to find out how much money he has. I 'm sure in their own heads they were not whores, but being 'nice' to a man in exchange for a drink, a bit of money and a laugh.We know blotchy bought mary a drink. We know they were drink dependent and lot of what income they earned went on drink, its the only way to deaden their dreary existence, anyone who's sat in a pub socialising and drinking knows how good it is and some east end pubs were incredibly glamerous, gaslit, stained glass, comfortable seats.We know how frequently they visited pubs. Most of the socialising in the east end, would take place in the pub. Good place to meet men, [ mary met Joe in a pub] get bought drinks and maybe see a music hall act. Considering how often they got drunk, a few of those drinks were bought by men. One thing has never changed, the ease with which women can get men to buy them a drink.
    Also from the descriptions of the men seen with the women, they were reasonably dressed working men.I'm not saying they were good looking[ i said Sutcliff was good looking] but they would have been presentable.Why would the women they want to pick up a smelly badly dressed tramp, with no money? Your just insulting them. They may have been at the bottom of the scale, but they had relationships, were quite good looking [eddowes, stride and kelly] sassy women who seemed to have no trouble attracting punters. They knew their market. Thats my female perspective. Miss M

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    Natalie Severn
    11th August 2007, 07:38 PM
    Miss Marple and Mr P,
    Having read your posts I agree mostly with Miss Marple here.
    I would add that Polly Nichols too ,was referred to by a fellow lodger as someone who was at pains to be clean vis a vis washing herself regularly etc.

    Two journalists separately saw her in the mortuary and separately commented on her fine features viz [she was].. "possessing delicate features and high cheek bones"... and .." looking about 30"----ie a lot younger than she was.Her father also remarked on her youthful appearance .Polly was literate and could express herself in a competent and fluent written style-unusual for those times.I believe all the victims were literate in fact.
    Best
    Natalie

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    miss marple
    11th August 2007, 08:16 PM
    Hi Nats;
    Yes, its interesting that except for Mary Kelly, unless she was older than 25. the other victims were regarded as younger looking than their age, which considering the ravages of poverty, drink and poor diet is quite an achievement. Looking at the structure of Stride's face she had a garboesque beauty.What could they have been under different circumstances.Miss M

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    Natalie Severn
    11th August 2007, 08:40 PM
    Miss Marple,
    It was possibly the demon drink! Alcoholics are often childlike and often look younger than their years----unlike narcotic users!
    Seriously not suggesting any one try it as an elixir of youth! The grim reaper is usually urgently waiting to harvest his smooth skinned crop!
    Natalie

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    robert
    11th August 2007, 09:20 PM
    It may be nothing, but I'm a little puzzled as to why there is no mention of force-feeding in Kosminski's case notes. Here we have a man who supposedly refused to accept food from his own family, preferring to search the gutters for nourishment. So when he goes into an institution, what happens? I can't believe the doctors left crusts of bread dotted around for him to "find".

    Robert

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    Natalie Severn
    11th August 2007, 10:05 PM
    Hi Robert,
    The first thing they did at Colney Hatch most likely was to calm Aaron down and encourage him to eat in a sociable manner.He was very thin latterly so perhaps this was always difficult but he survived some twenty years so he must have begun to eat at some point.I doubt he was force fed there as there are no records saying this.
    As I have mentioned before I went to several lectures on the management of the Victorian Psychiatric Hospitals of Colney Hatch and St Bernards Hanwell some years ago and learned that these were very advanced institutions run along very liberal and humanitarian lines---remember AP chiding me over this by drawing attention to a dreadful fire that took place there---thought by some to have been due to hospital negligence.The problem may have been to do with a patient suffering from pyromania being given too much freedom too soon .
    Anyway, they rarely used restraints and tried to concentrate on encouraging normal behaviour and drawing the patient away from his or her fantasy life through therapeutic real work on the hospital estate and participation in social involvement putting on plays, going on picnics , playing group games etc.
    Natalie

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    jeffl
    11th August 2007, 10:45 PM
    Yo Miss Marple I could kiss you and have your babies, keep those questions coming babe!

    Why am I over excited...well since your chance comments I got into conversation with my baby brother today, who it appears has recently qualified in psycheatic care, and apparently sanction his first patient this week.

    So I started asking him questions about Aaron Kosminski with some interesting answers. He has agreed to look and Aarons records and see if he can shed any further light on the subject. So I'm getting everything together for him. So if anyone has any questions I'll be happy to pass them on.

    The following out of that conversation was particularly interesting and may have some baring on Robs question.

    Apparantly Paranoid Schitzophrenia usually develops in sufferers between the age of 19 and 27. So 23 would be slap bang in the middle of when you would expect the illness to develop. Note that I use the term illness. This condition is NOT like other psychotic conditions which are NON cureable. This is why schitzophrenics are treated in the community today.

    The other important thing is that the condition is greatly effected by alchol. If Aaron was drinking he could have had huge swings in the condition.

    Once placed in the asylum if he did not have access to alchol there would have been a marked differance in his behaviour.

    As a teenager Aaron could have been to all intensive purposes completely normal. Remember Aaron trained as a feild surgeon in Poland. My brother seemed fairly sure that Aaron was showing classic symptoms but wants to see more information. The idea that his food was piosoned is a classic apparently.

    There can be great swings in the condition particularly in this key 19 to 27 period.

    I will get as much together as possible and get back to you all with these findings. As I said I've never had any problems with Aarons condition but this could help us understand what happened at the seaside home. If Aarons condition was not ameadiately apparent it could explain why Swanson was even bothered trying to get an identification...perhaps by the end of it they all realized that 'Jack the Ripper' was innocent?

    Yours Jeff

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    jeffl
    11th August 2007, 11:02 PM
    PS Just one other quick comment. Rob and Chris appear to have established that far from being poor Aarons family were actually fairly well off. If they were using Aaron as a night watchman in their premises. Then he may not have been totally without money and may have had access to fairly reasonable clothing, they were after all in the tailoring business.

    Aaron Kosminski might have been well presented. Again I say watch 'A Beautiful mind'. Far from being dirty and deshevalled he may have been cleaner than the average person on the Street?

    Just start thinking Paraniod Schitzophren rather than simply mad man.

    Jeff

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    Natalie Severn
    11th August 2007, 11:10 PM
    Hi Jeff,
    My mother was an Art Therapist and worked in a big Psychiatric Hospital in the North West of England.She worked frequently with patients suffering from the illness of paranoid schizophrenia and I myself worked in her studio department during a period on secondment in my studies.I will be very interested to hear any of the more recent information on the illness.
    Best
    Natalie

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    jeffl
    11th August 2007, 11:21 PM
    It will be interesting to see what he turns up. Never thought he'd be off any use.

    I'm going to get up early and go for a run. Then pop for a pint at the Old Plantation Kent tomorrow lunch.

    Catch you all later.

    Jeff xx

    Dan Norder
    Ripper Notes: The International Journal for Ripper Studies
    Web site: www.RipperNotes.com - Email: dannorder@gmail.com

    Comment


    • #3
      Mrs. Fiddymont
      12th August 2007, 07:20 AM
      For what it's worth, I grew up with a Jewish boy who had natural red hair--so while yes it is uncommon, it is not impossible for Jewish men (or women) to be red-headed or even blonde and blue-eyed (look at actress Goldie Hawn, for example!!)

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      Mr Poster
      12th August 2007, 09:03 AM
      Hi ho Mrs M./Natalie

      Maybe i ve read accounts of different murders to you. You say there is no evidence that serial killing was not common before THE RIPPER. You have no evidence that it was.

      Recently Sam F logically argued that mental conditions produced by such things as chemical imbalances in the brain and other physiological conditions were also prevalent throughout the course of human history. And I agree (we were not in agreement as to things such as "mental" conditions produced by environmental factors).

      In so far as at least a proportion of people-who-kill-more-than-one (the term "serial killer" is skewing the argument, it being a contentious term) may have been influenced by such physiologically based conditions such as schizophrenia, it is borderline ridiculous to suggest that "serial killing" only popped up in modern times given that the mental conditions that may lead to at least some people killing more than one have existed for eons.

      To suggest that "serial killing" is a modern phenomenon is a conceit.

      If you think it is thus, perhaps you would like to hazard a guess as to which modern conditions precipitated its emergence?

      I ve read hundreds of accounts from Newgate Calenders, lives of hangman, famous cases etc and the motives for murder appeared simpler before the end of the 19th century, crueltly, anger, jealously and murder for profit

      It is a conceit to think that modern "serial killers" have complex motives. The only reason you think they do is because you read the sort of pap that needs them to have.

      Their motives are made "complex" to sell books and give the appearance of "expertise". There is nothing more complex about th emotive of someone who kills more than one in the 20th century than one in the 16th century.

      but the serial killer who targets usually women[ but also gay men and children] kills repeatly,usually with a complex sexual motif and gains pleasure from the the act of killing, appears to be a modern phomenon .The vast number of this type of killer appears to have emerged in the last century

      This confirms you are a victim of popular culture and clever marketing of nonsense.

      To say we have no evidence that they were bought drinks dosnt make sense.

      It does.....but I guess you will now present some evidence?

      They came from a pub culture.

      Thats not evidence.

      Drinking was part of the transaction process,also getting a man to by you a drink is a good way to find out how much money he has.

      Not evidence, probably not even true unless you have precise information as to the "fact" that street walkers accosted their men, got them to go back in th epub to get them a drink, then out into the street to do th edeed.

      I 'm sure in their own heads they were not whores, but being 'nice' to a man in exchange for a drink, a bit of money and a laugh.

      Sentimental

      We know blotchy bought mary a drink.

      Unless you have evidence as to what was in that can, no we dont.

      We know they were drink dependent and lot of what income they earned went on drink, its the only way to deaden their dreary existence, anyone who's sat in a pub socialising and drinking knows how good it is and some east end pubs were incredibly glamerous, gaslit, stained glass, comfortable seats.

      This is irrelevant.

      We know how frequently they visited pubs.

      So is this.

      Most of the socialising in the east end, would take place in the pub. Good place to meet men, [ mary met Joe in a pub] get bought drinks and maybe see a music hall act.

      But we know they were accosting men in the street! Seeing as the pubs were not open 24/7, at least three of the victims were looking (and found) "custom" at times where buying them a drink was virtually impossible. So its complete nonsense to suggest that buying a drink was part of the transaction.

      Considering how often they got drunk, a few of those drinks were bought by men. One thing has never changed, the ease with which women can get men to buy them a drink.

      And you still have not shown that jack buying them a drink (as you suggested) was even remotely likely to have occurred. And then you used this confection to try and eliminate Kosminski.

      Your just insulting them.

      Classic! The last refuge of the hopeless! When your argument goes down the toilet, start bleating about "the women are being insulted!" like its some kind of talisman to ward off people pointing out the flaws in your "argument" . Seen it before, it was pathetic then, its even more pathetic now.


      Hi ho Natalie

      I would add that Polly Nichols too ,was referred to by a fellow lodger as someone who was at pains to be clean vis a vis washing herself regularly etc.

      1. Thats a view put by someone saying nice things of the dead.
      2. Its only true in so far as none of the women being prostitutes is likely to have been true.
      3. Victorian cleanliness is perhaps not the same as our cleanliness.

      As to literacy and the like......it matters not a jot what anyone was like before they ended up at th ebottom. All that matters is that they were firmly at the bottom, having assumed that lifestyle, and presumably having fallen so far and so long, they had assumed that lifestyle and cleanliness was hardly part and parcel of it. She may have been clean, literate and a good dinner guest before she hit the bottle. I doubt very much that she was after.

      p

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      cgp100
      12th August 2007, 10:05 AM
      Remember Aaron trained as a feild surgeon in Poland.

      We have to be a bit careful about this claim. Sims said that "He had at one time been employed in a hospital in Poland" (referring to the Polish Jewish suspect), but we don't have confirmation of this from any official source. It was Chapman/Klosowski who was employed as a feldscher in Poland.

      In all likelihood, Aaron accompanied Woolf Abrahams and Morris Cohen when they came to England in June 1881, when Aaron would have been only 15. We also know that the Cohens' two eldest children were born in Germany, so apparently they must have left Poland by about 1879 at the latest. This suggests Aaron would have been very young - 13 or less - when he left Poland.

      For comparison, we know that Klosowski's surgical apprenticeship began in 1880 - and he had been born 3 months later than Aaron, in a neighbouring town.

      Chris Phillips

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      Natalie Severn
      12th August 2007, 11:17 AM
      Mr P,
      When I stated that a fellow lodger said Polly always kept herself clean I was accepting the recorded word of her friend and fellow lodger.You have chosen to refute her statement from the basis of "probability" .You can"t prove the witness was making it up from this position any more than I can prove that she wasnt!
      However I accept that at the point she was murdered Polly Nichols had reached rock bottom.So had Annie Chapman and Kate Eddowes.Mary wasnt far behind either since she was at the point in rent arrears that would have normally meant her eviction and subsequent homelessness.

      Best
      Natalie

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      Mr Poster
      12th August 2007, 11:29 AM
      Hi Natalie

      You have chosen to refute her statement from the basis of "probability" .You can"t prove the witness was making it up from this position any more than I can prove that she wasnt!

      That is true. However I can assess the veracity of the claim in the context of other statements or claims made in relation to the victims by their peers. As many of the claims made are very likely to be false (re: their status as prostitutes, their drinking habits etc.), the balance of probabilities is that this claim must be taken with a pinch of salt or at least viewed as a slight but well meaning exaggeration.

      My only experience of rock bottom alcoholics lends me to beleive that personal hygiene is one of the first things to go by the wayside as one slips into drink fuelled destitution.

      Combining that with the safe to assume level of personal hygiene in people with no money, no permanent abode, few changes of clothes and who existed in the days before shower gels and wet wipes and I would say its a reasonable conclusion that Polly wasnt exactly spotless.

      p

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      Natalie Severn
      12th August 2007, 11:58 AM
      Mr Poster,
      It is possible that once a person is literally "on their way out" or actually dying from alcoholism, then" cleanliness" ,along with everything else ,goes out the window---as indeed it tends to do with all us humans when we reach the point of no return!
      However so far as assuming that all alcoholics are dirty,nothing is further from reality.Many alcoholics also have OCD -often meaning they wash ,organise and house keep to the point of tyrannous perfection.The addiction itself is a compulsive disorder and when as often it does, manifests itself in such obsessions such as these the drinking sometimes appears to be an temporary effort to avoid such self imposed tyranny-although that is never all there is to it.The tyranny usually has its source in the family.I fancy Polly"s father was a touch despotic.
      Best
      Natalie

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      jeffl
      13th August 2007, 01:24 PM
      Good morning everyone.

      Well I?ve had a busy weekend trying to get my head around Schizophrenia and some interesting conversations:

      I spoke at further length with my brother and had not realized that he has been working with schizophrenics for some time. So his observations were very useful:

      Firstly it appears that there are no hard and fast rules and even the causes of schizophrenia are not fully understood. It is generally thought to be caused by chemical imbalances in the brain. Although some experts believe that some people may have a genetic disposition towards the illness it is widely believed that it is environment and stress that seems to have an adverse effect in some people. (This may be relevant to Mr P?s and Nat?s discussion both being correct to a point: Serial killers always existed but we would expect a significant rise in cases (which are rare anyway) in stressful over crowded conditions) My brother deals with a number of patients and say?s there are some recurring themes. The increase in ?Skunk? and ?marrowana? abuse has lead to an up turn in the cases of Psychosis. (Alcohol abuse is also a key factor).

      Schizophrenics typically go through a number of fazes. Which he described as starting in very late teens to about 27 years old. Many of the patients he has treated would be considered high academic achievers in there teenage years but may also have been considered loners. Interestingly he said he?d be interested in the patient?s family background, mother, father and siblings and any traumatising events in their lives.

      He has treated a number of university students who have started the illness because they were unable to cope with the change in environment and pressure of work. Early twenties is the time he would most expect to see this illness develop. Up until this point it is unlikely that the patient would have shown any signs of being ill and for all intensive purpose appear normal, even high achiever.

      He described what he called the beginning as Psychotic episodes. These can range from a few weeks to a few months. As my brother knows nothing about the Jack the Ripper case he asked how long the murders went on for, believing that they had been committed over several years. I explain approximately 12 weeks, which he found interesting and said he would expect that would be consistent with what he would expect from a schizophrenics psychotic episode. These episodes would come in waves and get progressively worse to the point of total collapse.

      He also described patients, which he described as burnt out schizophrenics. These were typically in their thirties, forties, fifties. Eventually the patients will revert into themselves. These schizophrenics lose the ability of social interaction. It is difficult to hold a conversation with them. They lose their sense of humour (although he described one that had not) none of these were dangerous. A common theme was believing that they were people of great importance or members of the Royal family, so if Aaron was the Ripper Stephen Knight might have been right all along, from a point of view.

      Just a quick thought about Schwartz discribbing BS as drunk, my brother says that alcohol mix with schizophrenic condition can make patients dangerous.

      Anyway I am passing over as much information as I have on Aaron to see what he makes of everything. He did say that in terms of the murder scenes he would recommend a modern Forensic Psychologist looking into the crime.

      I also popped into the Old Plantation Pub for a pint with Paul Begg and ran some of these ideas past him. (Paul is looking much better after his recent heart problem and it was good to see him well and busy adding final finishes to the new A to Z) Paul described a meeting with the Psychologist who work on the TV series Cracker and confirmed much of what my brother had said. However he also pointed out that he had been told that it?s possible that the murderer was kept by the murders from total break down. In other words the subjects total collapse may not have happened until the sufferer is prevented from killing.

      So if Aaron were the killer you?d expect these killings to be the start of the psychotic episodes.

      If so this may give some explanation to the time lapse in the suasion of the murders i.e. Kelly?s death and Aaron?s imprisonment. I feel that further exploration with a modern Forensic Psychologist might be of further interest.

      Paul also pointed out that if the police arrested Aaron for identification in 1891 when he was clearly mad and eating from the gutter it is probable that they had some other evidence for suspecting him or connecting him to the crime, which they had to investigate.

      It must have become evident at some point that they were never going to be able to bring a prosecution.

      Of course while Paul did not feel that there was any problem with Aaron?s mental condition being consistent with someone likely to have committed these crimes. Or indeed with the possibility that Schwartz was the witness at the seaside home. He did point out that No one has ever explained why Swanson believed that Kosminski died shortly after he was put into the asylum.

      It was at this point that my partner was rather keen to get off to her uncles Bar BQ so I was sort of dragged away with a thousand more questions.

      Yours Jeff

      Many thanks for that information Chris. Is it not possible to confirm when Aaron worked at in the hospital? Are there any surviving records?

      Also re: Mrs Shine. Surely as Aaron came from such a large family there must be some surviving relatives somewhere? Has anybody traced the modern lines of the family? sorry if I'm asking the obvious here. Yours Jeff

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      Gill Woodward
      14th August 2007, 09:59 AM
      Excessive alcohol intake could explain a bit of plumpness. Note I'm not talking obesity here, just podgy beer gut, and perhaps a plump face ('full' face I believe Schwartz' expression), and William Marshall's suspect was a bit stout too. And I cannot see there is any problem with the same man being a seven stone weakling 25 years of raging mental illness and institutionalisation later.

      A bit of extra weight could also give the impression of greater age. A former work colleague whom I'd not seen for a while came to see me recently. He has gained weight since I last saw him and has quite a paunch on him. I know he is only in his mid twenties but could pass for 30. (God I hope he doesn't read this, he'll recognise himself.)

      Note that there's also an interesting debate going on at the moment about whether the From Hell letter writer was drunk.

      I've also read somewhere that substance abuse can exacerbate the symptoms of a condition like scizophrenia. Substance abuse is just the sort of thing you might use unoccupied premises at night for.

      And incidentally, I'm a bit sick of this 'not dangerous to others' crap. Of course he flipping wasn't. He didn't have a sodding knife with him in Leavesden did he. A bit useless without that. The only weapons he'd have would be his bare fists and the occasional chair. If he picked a fight with a female inmate (which I very much doubt he'd dare) and she gave as good as he dealt, he'd whimper into a corner and wet himself the cowardly wimp.

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      Natalie Severn
      14th August 2007, 11:08 AM
      Hi Jeff,
      Great post and thanks for all that hard work and research.Also very glad to know Paul Begg is so much better----I met him on a Whitechapel outing last year and hadnt realised he had been ill to that extent.If you see him again please pass on my good wishes.
      Some really good information here.It makes you wonder about Aaron,but Paul is ofcourse right----why say he had died?Was it to protect Leavesdon from
      press and public curiosity?
      I am equally interested in Thomas Cutbush myself----another paranoid schizophrenic that we know for certain was violent and used a knife.
      Best
      Natalie


      Gill,
      I can understand your frustration here but I think that in cases where the illness "burnt itself out" before modern day medication, the person was left so severely wrecked by the illness that they became mere ghostly configurations.Very tragic figures indeed.Speech was incoherent,eyes often vacant etc I saw such cases at a psychiatric hospital my mother worked in
      in the early seventies.The people who you would refer to as "burnt out "schizophrenics were usually mere shadows of themselves-though some had been doctors,scholars and the like when they were well.
      Moreover,poor Aaron would not have been anymore in charge of his
      behaviour, if indeed he was having a psychotic episode and he was the ripper [and we do not KNOW he was the Ripper,it is Roberet Anderson who said he was].Diminished responsibility etc would have been the condition described.If it was Kosminski then he was no more in charge of himself and his behaviour at the time than you or I are of our dreams.
      Best
      Natalie

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      jeffl
      14th August 2007, 01:30 PM
      Excessive alcohol intake could explain a bit of plumpness. Note I'm not talking obesity here, just podgy beer gut, and perhaps a plump face ('full' face I believe Schwartz' expression), and William Marshall's suspect was a bit stout too. And I cannot see there is any problem with the same man being a seven stone weakling 25 years of raging mental illness and institutionalisation later..

      An intetresting observation Gill. Certainly Chris and Robs observations about his family having more money than previously thought might suggest that there is no reason why Aaron couldnt have been over weight. It could be a question for my brother. Are Schitzophrenics prone to put on weight during childhood/teenage years? Certainly we know that dressive personalities can be prone to over eating and putting on weight. I'm nort suggesting that it proves anything but certainly could make it a possibility.

      A bit of extra weight could also give the impression of greater age..

      Again an interesting observation. Would extra weight make Aaron look older?

      Note that there's also an interesting debate going on at the moment about whether the From Hell letter writer was drunk...

      I personally beleive it is very unlikely that Aaron wrote any letters. I cant think of a case of Paraniod Schizophrenics having done so. unless anyone knows better. The dear boss letter probably was writen by a drunk however, check out Tom Cullen.

      I've also read somewhere that substance abuse can exacerbate the symptoms of a condition like scizophrenia. Substance abuse is just the sort of thing you might use unoccupied premises at night for....

      Again my brother mentioned substance abuse. Many of his current patients appear to have psychosis from Marajuana intake. I ask about Victorian substance such as luwdenam. He was non commital as to how these substances would effect the patient. But admitted that itis possibloe that they my be taken at first to eleaviate symptoms by the sufferer only to make things worse in the long run. Its also interesting to note the Chris Philips says its possible Aaron worked in a hospital. If this is the case Aaron my have had some knowledge about such substances (please note however I'm not suggesting Aaron required medical knowledge but working in a hospital my have effected his state of mind)

      And incidentally, I'm a bit sick of this 'not dangerous to others' crap. Of course he flipping wasn't. He didn't have a sodding knife with him in Leavesden did he. A bit useless without that. The only weapons he'd have would be his bare fists and the occasional chair. If he picked a fight with a female inmate (which I very much doubt he'd dare) and she gave as good as he dealt, he'd whimper into a corner and wet himself the cowardly wimp.

      As Natalie has pionted out Gill. If Aaron had of had a knife he still would have been completely harmless. Burnt out Schizophrenics find it almost impossible to do anything. They just sit and stear for most of the time. THe important thing to remember is that they are very differant in differant phazes of the illness. Jack only existed for 12 weeks.

      Natalie uses the expression of 'Dream State' and thats almost what psychotic episodes must be like.....living inside a dream where anything can happen. The sufferer coming in and out of conciousness. Awake but dreaming. They have no real grasp on reality.

      In the early stages they enter what is called psychotic episodes which can last a few weeks. Mostly the sufferer is more dangerous to themselves than anybody else. But when mix with other substances they can become violant.

      Mostly the suffer has intense feelings of persicussion or paranioia.

      There was a terrible story last week of a mother who killed her own daughter because she was convinced it was not hers. Even though te father had warned authorities this would happen...she simply wasnt in control of herself.

      Yours Jeff

      PS Hi Nat. The problem with that is that Swanson was making notes to himself and never expected them to be published. So why would he try and protect anyone?

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      jeffl
      14th August 2007, 03:44 PM
      PS just as a bit of fun some of you might like to try this test.

      http://www.psywww.com/selfquiz/ch12mcq.htm#13q10

      Yours Jeff

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      cgp100
      16th August 2007, 11:06 PM
      And incidentally, I'm a bit sick of this 'not dangerous to others' crap. Of course he flipping wasn't. He didn't have a sodding knife with him in Leavesden did he. A bit useless without that. The only weapons he'd have would be his bare fists and the occasional chair. If he picked a fight with a female inmate (which I very much doubt he'd dare) and she gave as good as he dealt, he'd whimper into a corner and wet himself the cowardly wimp.

      I think it's important to distinguish what we know about Aaron Kozminski from what was claimed about him by Anderson and others.

      All we really know is that he had the misfortune to become mentally ill, and - as far as violent tendencies are concerned - that on one occasion he is said to have threatened his sister with a knife, and that on another he tried to hit an attendant with a chair.

      Despite what Macnaghten says, we don't know from any contemporary source that he had a hatred of women, and we certainly don't know that he committed the Whitechapel Murders - or that he was a "cowardly wimp".

      Chris Phillips

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      Natalie Severn
      16th August 2007, 11:29 PM
      Moreover Anderson seems to have had his heart set on a Jewish suspect and by the sound of things became a bit disturbed himself at that time if there seemed to be people unwilling to go along with his theories.A reading of the Rose Mylett case illustrates the extent of his Idee Fixe where he took on about 5 police surgeons including the chief to try to prove Rose had not been murdered.
      Natalie

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      cgp100
      16th August 2007, 11:42 PM
      A common theme was believing that they were people of great importance or members of the Royal family, so if Aaron was the Ripper Stephen Knight might have been right all along, from a point of view.
      I couldn't help thinking of a note in the Colney Hatch Case Book - deleted and presumably for that reason not mentioned by Sugden or Begg:
      Believes he is under protection of Russian Consolate
      [H12/CH/B13/39]

      Just a quick thought about Schwartz discribbing BS as drunk, my brother says that alcohol mix with schizophrenic condition can make patients dangerous.
      Though regarding alcohol or other drugs, there is no mention of this in any of the records. I'd have thought it would be mentioned if there were any evidence of alcoholism or drug abuse.

      Many thanks for that information Chris. Is it not possible to confirm when Aaron worked at in the hospital? Are there any surviving records?
      My feeling is that we have to be sceptical about Sims's statement unless it can be backed up by records.

      When I first read in Sugden's book about Klosowski's/Chapman's career, I wondered whether there might be a chance of following up Aaron's career in Polish records, but it turned out that the evidence about Chapman all came from documents in his possession when he was arrested, not from Polish archives.

      Also re: Mrs Shine. Surely as Aaron came from such a large family there must be some surviving relatives somewhere? Has anybody traced the modern lines of the family? sorry if I'm asking the obvious here.

      This is something we're working on, but obviously we must have regard to the privacy of the family and the confidentiality of any information we're offered.

      Chris Phillips

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      robhouse
      17th August 2007, 03:50 PM
      Chris,

      That was a great find, finding the W. Kozminski, brother, and Mrs. Kozminski, mother in the Register of Lunatics book. It is indeed important to see that there are still new things to find in the records. I also think it is very interesting that Aaron "Believes he is under protection of Russian Consolate". This gives us a small new piece of insight into the character of his delusions.

      What do you mean when you say that this is "deleted" in the Colney Hatch Case Book? Do you mean that the text is crossed out? Even if this were the case, I do not see why it was not noted before...

      Regarding the Sims' statement that he once worked in a hospital in Poland, I personally believe that there may be some truth in the statement, but on the other hand it is possible that Sims is confusing Kozminski with Chapman. It is however possible that Aaron worked as an assistant to a feldscher, as it was common for jewish youths to work at a young age in the shtetls of the Pale of Settlement.

      Also, on McNaghten's statement that Kozminski was homicidal with a great hatred for women... in this too, I assume there is some truth, although the source for this information is lost. I assume that there was some information that the police received that would have backed this up, and that it would have been in Aaron's police suspect file. However, we will probably never know the source of this information.

      Rob House

      Dan Norder
      Ripper Notes: The International Journal for Ripper Studies
      Web site: www.RipperNotes.com - Email: dannorder@gmail.com

      Comment


      • #4
        robert
        17th August 2007, 05:57 PM
        One possible reason for the deletion of the consulate item might be that they discovered that there was a grain of truth in it - that Aaron or his family really had made some sort of contact with the consulate. This in turn might have been in protest at unwanted police interest in him. But without diplomatic source evidence it's difficult to work out what, if anything, was going on.

        Robert

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        avrilsp
        17th August 2007, 06:10 PM

        I must agree with Miss Marples reasoning. Added to those points, I have read in quite a few accounts that Kosminski did not speak English, so he would have a hard time chatting to the ladies.

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        robhouse
        17th August 2007, 06:49 PM
        Hello Avrilsp,

        On his Colney Hatch Admission entry it reads:

        "EDUCATION: [R & W]" meaning reads and writes English. Also, as it is apparent that he expressed the nature of his delusions to the workers at Colney Hatch etc, it is clear that he was speaking English when he did so.

        for example: "Answers questions fairly but is inclined to be reticent and morose"
        "Refused to be bathed the other day as his "Instinct" forbade him." etc.
        Rob H

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        Sam Flynn
        17th August 2007, 09:00 PM

        I must agree with Miss Marples reasoning. Added to those points, I have read in quite a few accounts that Kosminski did not speak English, so he would have a hard time chatting to the ladies.
        You may be thinking of Klosowski, Avril. There is some doubt that Klosowski spoke much English at all at the time of the Ripper murders, and it's even possible that he had not acquired a grasp of the language until around the early/mid 1890s.

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        jason_connachan
        17th August 2007, 10:35 PM
        Moreover Anderson seems to have had his heart set on a Jewish suspect and by the sound of things became a bit disturbed himself at that time if there seemed to be people unwilling to go along with his theories.A reading of the Rose Mylett case illustrates the extent of his Idee Fixe where he took on about 5 police surgeons including the chief to try to prove Rose had not been murdered.
        Natalie


        I dont now enough of his reaction to the Rose Mylett case to comment. But Anderson did allow MacNaghten to not only disagree openly with him, but also to talk with journalists about his suspect, Dr D. MacNaghten was also allowed to send his memoranda, without, as far as we know, any pressure from Anderson not to.

        None of this suggests Anderson was unwilling to let others disagree with him.

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        Natalie Severn
        17th August 2007, 11:18 PM
        I dont now enough of his reaction to the Rose Mylett case to comment. But Anderson did allow MacNaghten to not only disagree openly with him, but also to talk with journalists about his suspect, Dr D. MacNaghten was also allowed to send his memoranda, without, as far as we know, any pressure from Anderson not to.

        None of this suggests Anderson was unwilling to let others disagree with him.

        True,Jason but Macnaghten would have been his equal as a gentleman and member of the elite.He wouldnt have been able to dismiss Macnaghten publicly very easily without appearing disloyal to him and to James Monroe ,Macnaghten"s friend of many years.
        Anyway I am thinking of the lengths he went to to contradict the findings of Dr Brownfield and Dr Harris in the first instance,later Dr Hebbert by visiting the mortuary personally to carry out an examination of Rose Mylett"s wounds[found dead in December 1888].Only Dr Bond,called in personally by Anderson,agreed with Anderson that it was not murder.Even the Surgeon in Chief of the Metropolitan Police,Dr Alexander MacKellar disagreed with Anderson"s observations who after all was a non-Medic.
        So to have gone to such extraordinary lengths to disprove the findings of these doctors tells us something of his determination to see things in a rather infexible , over insistent way.
        Best
        Natalie

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        jeffl
        24th August 2007, 02:23 PM
        I couldn't help thinking of a note in the Colney Hatch Case Book - deleted and presumably for that reason not mentioned by Sugden or Begg:
        Believes he is under protection of Russian Consolate
        [H12/CH/B13/39]


        Though regarding alcohol or other drugs, there is no mention of this in any of the records. I'd have thought it would be mentioned if there were any evidence of alcoholism or drug abuse.


        My feeling is that we have to be sceptical about Sims's statement unless it can be backed up by records.

        When I first read in Sugden's book about Klosowski's/Chapman's career, I wondered whether there might be a chance of following up Aaron's career in Polish records, but it turned out that the evidence about Chapman all came from documents in his possession when he was arrested, not from Polish archives.



        This is something we're working on, but obviously we must have regard to the privacy of the family and the confidentiality of any information we're offered.

        Chris Phillips

        Many thanks for that input Chris.

        I am hoping to catch up with my brother again this weekend and will mention the delussion of 'working for the Russians' which is very interesting.

        It recalls to mind again the film 'A beautiful mind' in which the lead character, suffering from Schizophrenia is convinced that he is working for the CIA. To which he is passing on 'imagined' information. Again I would say classic symptoms.

        Its also interesting that the suspect 'Ostrog' was also said to be a 'Mad Russian' doctor. And I wonder how much verbal confussion had taken place about the suspect?

        I dont see why there would be any mention of drug and alchol abuse if Aron had been cut off from any suply by the time he was placed into the asylum.

        The piont I was getting at is that even small amounts of alchol might make a sufferer considerably more dangerous when the 'psychotic episodes' first start to manifest themselves.

        The import thing here is that it is always claimed that Aron does not fit the pattern of the killer. The piont I am trying to clarify is that Aron very much fits the way we would expect a Paraniod Schitzophrenic commiting these crimes, to behave.

        What we appear to have are classic syptoms and behavior of a man suffering Schitzophrenia.

        What i'm also hoping to establish through 'Forensic Psychology' is that the Jack the Ripper crimes were probably commit by someone suffering from 'Paraniod Schitzophrenia...

        Catch you all later and many thanks for your time.

        Jeff

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        Plang
        3rd September 2007, 02:37 AM
        red hair? a beautiful mind ? eating out of gutters? Is that so. All I can say is all this 'information' makes my brain hurt. Lets start from the beginning on why Kosminski is a suspect in the first place. I'll get back to you.

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        jeffl
        5th September 2007, 02:32 PM
        The only person who fits that discription, leaving Martin Fido's theories asside, is Aaron Kosminski.

        The question is does he fit the profile of Jack the Ripper from what we know about him? And I beleive that he does when you look seriously at the way we would expect a Paraniod Schizophrenic to have behaved.

        The other question is who identified Swansons suspect?

        Clearly we have three options

        1. A city policeman. Who we do not know about. This might explain why the identification was made at a police converlesant home. But which home?

        2. Lawende. If it was Lawende would he have been asked to identify the killer of Coles after having identified Kosminski? Did he have a good look at the killer? He does discribe his suspect as having a brown mostache so clearly he saw his face.

        3. Schwartz. If we except schwartz then we must except that BS was infact Aaron Kosminski and that BS was Jack the Ripper.

        Well there it is in a nut shell. Who identified Kosminski? and could Kosminski look like the discription given by Lawende or Schwartz? (obviouly the PC gives us another problem)

        As for Aarons mental state I think we can except that it seems consistant with someone suffering from Schitzophrenia and the crime scenes are consistant with having been committed by someone suffering from this condition. The 12 week period being consistant with an early psychotic episode that we would expect to get worse if not treated with correct medication. ie general periodic psychotic episodes, slowly getting worse until he reached a relatively harmless state known as 'Schizophrenic burn out'.

        Yours Jeff

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        jeffl
        5th September 2007, 02:48 PM
        PS.

        The othr thing that is interesting here is Chris Philips comments that Aaron beleived he was 'Working for the Russians'

        To my knowledge this has never been mentioned in any publication. If there is any truth in Simms suggestion that Aaron had worked as a doctor, and aaron beleived he was working for teh Russians, it could explain some of the police confussion about this in general.

        A Russian Doctor?

        Is that what aaron told everyone? Please remeber that Paraniod Schizophrenics are often highly intelligent before the condition sets in and often extremely plausable in their delussions.

        Jeff

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        jeffl
        5th September 2007, 03:00 PM
        PS PS (sorry about this)

        Does anybody know if there was any early sujestions about Russian involvement in the crimes ie as early as Emma Smith or Martha Tabram? in the news papers?

        Is it possible that aaron's delussions (which could have been very intricate and real to Aaron) could have been the reasoning behind the attacks?

        Just that my brother descibed to pateints that both beleived that they were working for Lord Mount battan, and their illness started about the time of his assinasion. Both were not conected and both had very convincing stories.

        Just a wild thought process

        Jeff

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        cgp100
        5th September 2007, 06:55 PM
        The othr thing that is interesting here is Chris Philips comments that Aaron beleived he was 'Working for the Russians'

        I wouldn't interpret "Believes he is under protection of Russian Consolate" to mean "working for the Russians". I'd have thought it meant he had a delusion [?] that the Russian Consulate was taking an interest in his case, as he was a Russian subject.

        Incidentally, Fishman (East End 1888, p. 142) mentions a case where two Lithuanian immigrants who had been found in an empty property were charged before a magistrate. Their evidence was interpreted by Warrant Officer Rabinowitz 141 K, who said "A great many of these Russians have come over to England lately; there is one in the workhouse now, and though communicated with, the Russian consul will not do anything".

        That sounds to me as though someone had tried to get the Russian consul to make a contribution to the support of the workhouse inmate. If so, I'm not surprised he declined, but perhaps Aaron's belief wasn't a complete delusion.

        Chris Phillips

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        robert
        5th September 2007, 08:15 PM
        The Russian consulate angle deals a blow to any idea of Kosminski being a Berner St club devotee, I'd have thought. I doubt if the Consulate would have had any interest in helping radicals.

        Robert

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        jeffl
        7th September 2007, 12:13 PM
        Hi Guys

        But why would a Polish Jew, who had lived in Germany and London beleive the Russian consulate would be able to help him? It doesnt make sense to me unless you factor in Paraniod Schizophenia.

        Then we have a classic symptom 'delussion of Grandier'.

        You have to understand that there are very very few cases of Paraniod Schitzophrenic serial killers. I know everyone sites Sutcliffe but actually he does NOT fit the classic partern.

        Interesting however it would appear that Aaron Kosminski could almost be a text book case, given what we know.

        Unlike Personality disorder serial killers, schizophrenia is an illness that is treatable with modern medicians. This means that it is very difficult to compare with modern cases...I figure that the best place to search for new cases would be developing communities like China.

        However I do beleive that if we try and understand this illness and its patterns we may be able to open up some doors. I'm thinking about the way organs and possessions were arranged at the murder scenes.

        So what I'm interested in is my brother sating he would expect to find that Aaron had some delussion of being a person of importance (often member of teh Royal family today) or working on behalf of someone important.

        The other thing of interest here, from what Chris is saying, is was Aaron encially taken seriously enough by the authorities to check Aarons story to see if he really was working with or under the protection of the Russian consolate? Did they beleive he was conected to the Russians? And might that explain some of the other police beleifs that the Ripper was a Russian Doctor?

        Please note Im not saying that Aaron was working for the Russians just that we would expect him to hold some sort of beleif or conection of importance that he was. ie a classic delussion, strongly held that others might even beleive to be true.

        Thank you for your replies.

        Yours Jeff

        PS are either of you going to conferance? I have decided to make the tip back to me old college stumping ground...Wolverhampton

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        jeffl
        7th September 2007, 12:49 PM
        PS always posting with to much haste..

        http://tntn.essortment.com/historybelarus_rnql.htm

        I just realized that I was making the assumption that Aaron was polish, then it occured to me that I didnt know exactly where he was born, in geographical and historical terms. So he could well have been under the authority of Russian consulate if he were from Belorus, which came under Russian control in 1820 and again in 1863.

        Still if his family had fled Poland because of the Progroms it is difficult to beleive he would seek protection from the Russians.

        Am I missing something here? just give me a kick if I'm being stupid.

        Yours Jeff

        PS PS intrestingly there was a great TV programme last night on Belarus. Natasha Kaminski was talking about her family murdered by the Nazi's in the Second World war...........Any family connection to Kosminski? now that would have made an interesting BBC documentary

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        robert
        7th September 2007, 12:56 PM
        Hi Jeff

        No, I won't be at the conference.

        My Polish geography is none too good (in fact, non-existent) but I do know that Poland was carved up three times in the late eighteenth century by Austria, Prussia and Russia. Then, after the defeat of Napoleon, quite a large chunk of Poland disappeared into the Russian Empire, only to regain a precarious independence after WW1. Perhaps Aaron came from Polish lands ruled by the Russians, or alternatively somehow imagined himself an agent provocateur or spy working on behalf of the Russians vis-a-vis the Berner St Club.

        Robert

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        jason_connachan
        7th September 2007, 01:08 PM
        Jeff

        As i understand, and as Robert has said, the Russian Polish border changed often during the Nineteenth Century. If Kosminski's nationality was in doubt it's understandable why he tried to claim Russian proptection. The Russians would have far more influence than any small Polish consulate.

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        jeffl
        7th September 2007, 01:18 PM
        Very true Jason,

        I still dont see, given the Russian persecution of Polish Jewish families why Aaron or anyone in his family (who presumably had fled poland to get away from the Russians), why they would seek protection from them, unless it was part of aarons delussions.

        Jeff

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        Grey Hunter
        7th September 2007, 01:21 PM
        The other question is who identified Swansons suspect?

        Clearly we have three options

        1. A city policeman. Who we do not know about. This might explain why the identification was made at a police converlesant home. But which home?

        2. Lawende. If it was Lawende would he have been asked to identify the killer of Coles after having identified Kosminski? Did he have a good look at the killer? He does discribe his suspect as having a brown mostache so clearly he saw his face.

        3. Schwartz. If we except schwartz then we must except that BS was infact Aaron Kosminski and that BS was Jack the Ripper.



        I am surprised that statements like this are still being made -

        1. There was no City policeman witness, of this there is no doubt from the surviving official records. There was, however, a City Police witness, i.e. Lawende, as observed above.

        2. The newspaper report leaves little doubt that the witness used in the attempted identification of Sadler was Lawende. This indicates that the police were obviously clutching at straws in attempting this identification, over two years after the event - Lawende stated at the time of the inquest "I doubt whether I should know him again." Also the identification of the couple as killer and victim, apart from the coincidence of the timing and location, was Eddowes's identification by her clothing only. Any half-decent defence counsel would have made short work of this piece of 'evidence.'

        3. I do not understand the reasoning here. We have no physical description of Kosminski and only a basic description furnished by Schwartz. Again any defence counsel would immediately question whether the sighting, arguably a full 15 minutes before the murder, was even killer and victim. Schwartz, like Hutchinson, apparently soon dropped from the pages of history and one has to question whether he retained his credibility as a witness in the ensuing days.

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        cgp100
        7th September 2007, 01:23 PM
        Yes, the area of Poland that Aaron came from was under Russian rule, and unlike other members of his family he had not been naturalised, so technically speaking he would have remained a Russian subject.

        Chris Phillips

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        robert
        7th September 2007, 02:59 PM
        Just to add one thing : although people might be known as Polish, at this particular time Poland did not exist as a country - at least as far as I understand it.

        Robert

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        jeffl
        7th September 2007, 04:36 PM
        Hi Chris

        I do see what you are saying, that it may just have been natural for the authorities to have assumed Kosminski was a Russian subject and made contact rather than Kosminski claiming that he 'wanted to see a member of the consulate'.

        It still seems rather baffling that his family would want to have anything to do with the Russians, given some of Rob House's speculaion about the family having been affected by the progroms...

        I guess it would be interesting to know more about why the family that left Poland/Belarus and if they were deffinately Russian citzens.

        Hi Grey Hunter

        I'm simply trying to get the possiblilities of Aaron Kosminski's identification. I'm not stating that any of these theories are CORRECT just that they have been put forward as arguments by variously well known Ripper theoryists/Historians.

        I've been reading an article created by Andy Alliffe called 'On and Off duty' which tackels some of these possibilities. This article concludes:

        So was it possible Jack teh Ripper suspect identified at the Seaside home in Hove-Brighton or StMargrets Bay Dover?

        It then lists 10 points as a hypothesis. It concludes that Morley House is a more likely place for the identification to have taken place than the usually sited seaside home in Brighten. Piont ten also spectulates. And I quote:

        "Following Stewart Evan's theory of a police cover story, I beleive that the witness may not have been Joseph Lawende, but the 'unidentified city police constable' already convalescing at Morley House, or indeed as yet, an unknown convelesing city worker who may have witnessed the murderous events in mitre square."

        So for anybody trying to communicate the Aaron Kosminski story concicely to people who are not as in touch with the Ripper story as others, I'd say that getting to the grips of these three pionts is fairly key once you establish that Swanson's story is pritty clear.

        ie. 1. The police beleived that they new the identy of Jack the Ripper.

        2. Two of the most senior seem to agree that a suspect was identified at a seaside home.

        3. The most probable witness is one of three, most probably Schwartz.

        4. Swanson names Kosminski.

        5. The most probable Kosminski is Aaron Kosminski.

        6. Aaron Kosminski has often been dismissed as a possiblity because he dosnt fit what people expect the 'Ripper' would be like.

        i'm simply claiming that actually he does fit the patern of a Paraniod Schizophrenic serial killer and trying to peice together the best fore and againsts his consideration.

        I'm fully aware that there are a number of good arguments Fore and Against Aaron Kosminski and that even a number of leading Ripperologists have differant veiws on this subject. I have know problem with that and welcome any veiws you may have on the subject.

        I'd guess that Schwartz is the best chioce but as has been discussed on the double Event thread at length, it raises the question of Strides time of death...which is disputed hotly.

        But these three witness possibilities are the only ones out there to my knowledge and I stand by there consideration.

        Many thanks for your time. All have a good weekend.

        Yours Jeff

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        robhouse
        7th September 2007, 07:38 PM
        Just a couple clarifications:

        1. There is no evidence that the Kozminskis were directly affected by (or victims of) the anti-jewish pogroms in Russia in 1881. It is likely that their emigration to London in early 1881 was motivated by the harshly anti-semitic atmosphere in Russia, and perhaps by FEAR of falling victim to pogroms. The Russian Jews were generally treated very harshly by forced conscription laws, being forced to live in certain areas, being forbidden to work in certain occupations etc. (For example, the oppressive "May Laws," which were legislated by the Czar at the time). The bad conditions for jews in Russia, combined with an increase in anti-semitism, and the outbreak of pogroms... these factors combined to cause the massive wave of Jewish emigration from Russia at this time.

        2. That being said, it is possible that the Kozminskis were in fact victims of the pogroms OR that they would have witnessed these attacks. However, there is no evidence for this. In fct, there is no evidence that tells us where the Kozminskis were living in Russia between 1865 and 1881. It is likely that they were living in Klodawa (in the extreme western part of Russia, and the Pale of Settlement, near the German border), but this is not known for sure. It is possible that they moved to a larger nearby town such as Lodz or Warsaw.

        3. I have tried with lack of success, to find out an exact list of towns where pogroms occurred in Russia after May 1881. I am not sure if this information exists, but I assume it does, and this would help in determining how likely it was that the Kozminskis were directly affected by the Pogroms.

        4. "The pogroms often began in cities and then spread to shtetles, small towns with about 1000 people, centered around a synagogue and marketplace, within the Pale of Jewish Settlement (Kniesmeyer and Brecher)." -
        http://econc10.bu.edu/economic_syste...l_Identity.htm

        4. I am attaching an image of a map that I believe indicates the location of pogroms in russia at this time. Because of sloppy research on my part, I didn't make a note of the source of this map, and thus I can't remember where I got this from. Klodawa is in blue. Note that the 200 Pogroms were said to have occurred in 1881, so this map is mainly an approximation.

        Rob House

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        cgp100
        7th September 2007, 08:46 PM
        I guess it would be interesting to know more about why the family that left Poland/Belarus and if they were deffinately Russian citzens.

        We can at least be sure that Aaron's family were originally Russian subjects. This is made explicit in the naturalisation applications of his brothers Isaac ("a subject of the Emperor of Russia") and Woolf ("A subject of Russia"), and his relations Morris Lubnowski Cohen ("A subject of Russia") and Israel Lubnowski Cohen ("A subject of Russian Empire"), who were both born in Klodawa, like Aaron.

        Following on from what Rob posted, it's difficult to know where Aaron and his siblings were between his birth in 1865 and their arrival in England in 1881, although we do know that his father died at Klodawa in 1874, leaving a widow and three children (my suspicion is that this means three unmarried children still living alone - if so, probably Blimbe, Woolf and Aaron). We know that Aaron's elder brother Isaac had come to England before this, about 1871, and also that Aaron's sister Matilda and her husband were in Germany by about 1879, when their eldest son was born. But we don't know whether Aaron and Woolf left Poland with Matilda, or whether they waited until 1881 and all came to England together. And their mother Golda seems not to have come to England until the early 1890s.

        As for why they left, one possibility is that the men wished to avoid being conscripted into the Russian army. The "Moving Here" website includes a case history of a Lithuanian near-contemporary of Aaron who came to England in 1880 for this reason:
        http://www.movinghere.org.uk/galleri...n_freeman1.htm

        Chris Phillips

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        robhouse
        7th September 2007, 10:06 PM
        Yes, I had forgotten Abram's death certificate. So, the more accurate statement is that we do not know much about Aaron's whereabouts from 1874 to 1881, when he presumably entered England. Chris's statements regarding his siblings' whereabouts is entirely correct. In all likelihood, Aaron and Woolf were probably in Klodawa during that time, although the possibility exists that they either moved elsewhere in Russia, or moved to Germany for a brief period along with Morris and Matilda.

        Rob H

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        jeffl
        9th September 2007, 01:54 PM
        Hello Chris and Rob

        I was just thinking about the Russian Consulate 1888-91 ?

        I was wondering if either of you have thought of checking their records for Aron Kosminski?

        As far as I can tell the Russian Consulate was left rather without purpose after 1916 but continued to wok as a trade organisation: Wilcox House, 42 Southwark Street London Se1 1UN.

        http://tntn.essortment.com/historybelarus_rnql.htm

        If Aron or his family did make an application for help perhaps they'd still have records of this? They seem to have stuff back as far as Elizebeth the first.

        Anyway just a thought. Many thanks for that information Rob. Trust you watched Natasha Kaminski's journey back to Belrus this week. Very moving stuff. Most of the family that remained were executed by the Nazi's during the second world war..so its a good chance that if you find Kosminski's relatives out there they would have perished at this time too..not many survived.

        Yours Jeff

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        jeffl
        9th September 2007, 01:57 PM
        http://www.rbcc.com/about/rbcc_history.html

        sorry I copied wrong website conect

        Jeff
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        jeffl
        10th September 2007, 12:44 PM
        Hi all

        Just to let you know that I have contacted the RBcc to see if they have any records dating from 1890. They were very helpful. I will let you know the results later when they get back to me...even if they were not involved they may be able to tell us who was...

        Yours Jeff

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        jeffl
        10th September 2007, 01:12 PM
        Hi all

        I've just had another conversation with the RCBB. Unfortunatly they only have records as far back as 1916 and were uncertain what would have happened to information before this time. So I guess i've drawn a blank unless anyone has any other ideas. I cant beleive that records would have been destroyed Immediately but I'd think the only way of knowing for sure would be to send a letter to the Kremlin.

        If the consulate did have contact about Aaron then there must have been a case file somewhere. Yours Jeff
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        jason_connachan
        10th September 2007, 03:34 PM
        Hi all

        I've just had another conversation with the RCBB. Unfortunatly they only have records as far back as 1916 and were uncertain what would have happened to information before this time. So I guess i've drawn a blank unless anyone has any other ideas. I cant beleive that records would have been destroyed Immediately but I'd think the only way of knowing for sure would be to send a letter to the Kremlin.

        If the consulate did have contact about Aaron then there must have been a case file somewhere. Yours Jeff

        I was about to suggest records were probably destroyed in a panic before the Bolsheviks took over the consulate. But i dont think there would have been any Bolshevik official presence until the 1920's at least. Still, it is a coincidence that the cut off date is so close to 1917.

        Dan Norder
        Ripper Notes: The International Journal for Ripper Studies
        Web site: www.RipperNotes.com - Email: dannorder@gmail.com

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