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Kosminski, Kaminsky and Cohen - Three or One? (recovered)

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  • Kosminski, Kaminsky and Cohen - Three or One? (recovered)

    chris27th August 2006, 08:41 PM
    Let me preface these remarks by saying that I have great respect for Martin Fido and his research which brought to light much valuable and important material. However, there has always been one aspect of Martin's deductions which which I have been less than comfortable and that is the contention that the name "David Cohen" was a Victorian form of "John Doe" i,e, was the default name given to an unidentified or unidentifiable suspect, in this case specifically a Jewish suspect.
    The outline on Casebook of David Cohen phrases this as follows:
    Fido argues that the dangerous schizophrenic "David Cohen" and the elusive Nathan Kaminsky actually are one and the same, and that his name was changed to David Cohen by the police, since they didn't know his identity or didn't bother to spell his name correctly, due to over-crowding and language difficulties.
    The relevant dates at which the individuals Kosminski, Kaminsky and Cohen came to the notice of the authorities are as follows:
    1) Aaron Kosminski:
    12 July 1890: brought to Mile End Old Town Workhouse.
    15 July 1890: Discharged to the care of his "brother."
    4 February 1891: Readmitted to the Workhouse.
    7 February 1891: Admitted to Colney Hatch asylum
    13 April 1894: Moved to Leavesden Asylum
    1919: Dies of gangrene.
    2) Nathan Kaminsky:
    24 March 1888: Admitted to Whitechapel Infirmary for treatment for syphilis.
    12 May 1888: Discharged from the Infirmary
    2) David Cohen:
    7 December 1888: Under named of Aaron Davis Cohen arrested as lunatic wandering at large and sent by court to Infirmary. Noted in Infirmary records as David Cohen.
    21 December 1888: Discharged from Infirmary to Colney Hatch
    20 October 1889: Dies at Colney Hatch
    Now the crucial question is what correspondence is there between the identities of these three seemingly unrelated men?
    Martin Fido's these evolves by the following stages:
    1) Various senior police officials in both private and published writings identified what appears to be be the most favoured police suspect as a Polish Jew. Two of these officials - Swanson and McNaghten - in notes not originally intended for publication gave a name to a Polish Jewish suspect as Kosminski.
    2) The two sources that give the name Kosminski offer the following observations:
    a) McNaghten.
    - Kosminski was resident in Whitechapel
    - He became insane as a result of "solitary vices" (a Victorian euphemism for masturbation)
    - He had a great hatred of women, especially prostitutes
    - He had strong homicidal tendencies
    - He was removed to an asylum about March 1889
    b) Swanson.
    - Swanson agrees with Anderson's assertion that the suspect was identified by the "only person who ever saw the murderer" but this witness would not testify
    - Swanson further adds that the crucial witness was also Jewish and this refusal to testify was because such evidence would hang the suspect
    - The suspect was identified at the Seaside Home where he had been sent by the police
    - The suspect returned to his brother's house in Whitechapel and watched by City CID days and night
    - After a short time the suspect was apprehended and sent to Stepney Workhouse and then to Colney Hatch asylum
    - The suspect died shortly after transfer to Colney Hatch
    - The suspect's name was Kosminski.
    The only time marker we have in either account is McNaghten's statement that the suspect was moved to an asylum about March 1889. If McNaghten and Swanson are indeed talking about the same man, then the whole business of the Seaside Home identification must have occurred before March 1889. Actually this point is twofold in that we must decide whether
    a) Both police officials are describing the same man and
    b) How reliable are the facts related by them both.
    It will be noted that the only date we are given, March 1889, for removal of the suspect to an asylum, does not fit with any of the three men listed above. There is no record of Kaminsky being committed to an asylum, Kosminski was not confined to an asylum until February 1891 and Cohen was admitted in December 1888.
    All of the three men listed are (or are presumed to be) of Jewish origin, or, more specifically of Polish Jewish origin. From the scant information in the surviving records there are few points on which we can compare these three men. However, two on which we can make comparison are their age at admission, their listed trade or profession and their address at admission.
    1) Kosminski:
    In the 1901 Census he is listed under the spelling Kozminski as follows:
    Aaron Kozminski aged 36 born Mile End, London - Hairdresser - Lunatic.
    This would place his date of birth as 1865, which would fit with the ages given on the admission documents.
    His first admission was from 3 Sion Square (July 1890) and his second from 16 Greenfield Street (February 1891).
    2) Nathan Kaminsky
    The full details of the only record we have of him is as follows in the admissions register of the Whitechapel Infirmary:
    Saturday 24 March 1888
    Name: Kaminsky, Nathan
    Age: 23
    Address: 15 Black Lion Yard
    Marital Status: Single
    Trade: Bootmaker
    Cause: Syphilis
    Religion: Hebrew
    Discharged: 12 May 1888
    This would place his date of birth as early 1865 or the latter part of 1864.
    3) David Cohen.
    His record, again from the Infirmary Register, reads as follows:
    Friday 7 December 1888
    Name: Cohen, David
    Age: 23
    Address: PC 31H Thomas Police Constable
    Marital Status: Single
    Trade: Tailor
    Cause: Insane
    Religion: Hebrew
    Discharged: 21 December 1888
    Remarks: To Colney Hatch Asylum.
    The main point in Cohen's record is that no address from which he was admitted is given. This is because he was brought to the Infirmary by the police, namely PC Thomas. However, asylum records note his address as 86 Leman Street. We have already noted that this is most likely an error and should read 84 Leman Street, The Poor Jews' Temporary Shelter.
    His date of birth, according to this record, would be either the last few days of 1864 or 1865.
    I have to state at this point that the excellent research of Robert House has, in my opinion, cleared up much of the mystery of the background and earlier life of Aaron Kosminski. It is my opinion that there can be little doubt that the man researched by Robert, Aron Mordke Kozminski, son of Abram and Golda Kozminki, and the suspect Aaron Kosminski, son of Golda Abrahams, are one and the same person.
    So we have three men, all of the same or similar age. Two of them are listed as tailors and one as a bootmaker. We have two addresses for Kosminski, a different one for Cohen and no address for Kaminsky. The only points of similarity between Kaminsky and Cohen are their age and trade. Can we really assume without further evidence that two 23 year old Jewish tailors living in the same area are, indisputably, one and the same man? To put this into some sort of perspective I did a search of the 1881 census to see how many Polish born tailors were living in London at that time. The answer is 1,740. On the question of age, I did a search of the 1891 census to see how many Polish born men were living in London with a year of birth of 1865 +- one year (to allow for the possibility of an 1864 date of birth). The answer is 787. Of those, 149 were living in Whitechapel. Of those 149, 66 are listed as tailors. Note that this only includes the Whitechapel district, and not Spitalfields, Aldgate and surrounding areas. So, to reiterate, in 1891 there were 66 Polish born tailors living in Whitechapel born in (or within one year of) 1865. From this it seems to me that to assume that two men of the same age and trade (Cohen and Kaminsky) are one and the same person, with no other connecting evidence, stretches credulity.
    I would list my conclusions as follows:
    1) There is no provable or, in my opinion, probable link between David Cohen and Aaron Kosminski. The fact that they differ in name, date of admission to the asylum, the nature of their mental illness, the date of their death - all argue that we are dealing with two different and unrelated individuals.
    2) I can see no provable link between Cohen and Kaminsky. There is no intimation in the evidence we have (which is admittedly scant) that Kaminsky was ever afflicted with mental illness or admitted to an asylum. He was admitted to the Infirmary afflicted with syphilis but we have no way of knowing to what stage of the disease he had advanced. As the causative agent of syphilis, treponema pallidum, was not identified until 1905, diagnosis in 1888 could only have been on the basis of external symptoms. These are as follows:
    1) Primary stage: a chancre develops at the point of origin of the infection. This appears from 2-6 weeks but may take up to 3 months to manifest itself. This will disappear after several weeks.
    2) Secondary stage: 3-6 weeks after the primary stage, a rash, localised or general, will appear. This may be accompanied by swollen glands, fatigue, headache and fever. After this stage, which may be subject to sporadic recurrence, the disease will go into a latent stage at which point external symptoms will disappear.
    3) Tertiary stage: not all those infected will develop the tertiary stage and the time before onset may be from 10 to 30 years.
    An effective treatment for syphilis, an arsenic compound, was not developed until 1906. Therefore, it is likely that Kaminsky would have been diagnosed and treated , such as was available, during the primary or secondary stage of the disease. If he did develop tertiary syphilis, which only occurs in a minority of cases, it would not have been until many years later, if at all.
    Kaminsky was admitted to the Infirmary and treated in March 1888. Cohen was admitted as insane in December 1888, i.e. just under nine months later. If this were the same person then it is not possible that his insanity was syphilitic in origin in such a short space of time as Kaminsky's diagnosis would almost certainly have been based on the primary or secondary stage of the disease with their externally visible symptoms. Kaminsky's age of 23 makes his admission being due to the severe symptoms of tertiary syphilis not viable.
    4) The danger in assuming that David Cohen was a name of convenience is that this would discourage any sustained research for a David Cohen, Aaron David (or David) Cohen if it presumed that he was actually Kaminsky.
    5) We can only accept that Aaron Kosminski was the suspect mentioned by Swanson and McNaghten if we also accept that McNaghten's date of March 1889 for his admission to an asylum is out by nearly two years from the true date of February 1891. The fact that McNaghten was mistaken in basic facts about another suspect he mentioned, Druitt, makes this assertion less problematic than it may appear.
    6) I would agree with Martin Fido in one argument, namely that of the three men whose details his research discovered, the one that seems the most likely superficially on the basis of the nature of his delusional insanity and the date at which he came to the attention of the authorities is David Cohen. That is by no means the same as saying that Cohen had any connection with the murders.
    Can we be sure that Aaron Kosminski was the same as the suspect named by McNaghten and Swanson? In my opinion, the facts that McNaghten (writing only 3 years after Aaron's admission to an asylum) got that date wrong by nearly two years, and that Swanson said that the Kosminski of which he was writing died soon after his admission to Colney Hatch (which happened to Aaron in February 1891) when in fact Aaron survived for another 28 years, cause me severe problems with this identification.
    Finally, to nail my colours to the mast, so to speak, I have to say that in my opinion Cohen, Kaminsky and Kosminski were three separate and unrelated individuals and none of the three had any hand in the Whitechapel murders on the basis of evidence we have at our disposal at this moment. We know considerably more about Aaron Kosminski, but there is still work to be done on David Cohen and Nathan Kaminsky and I currently following various lines on both men. Any results and conclusions I will of course make available via the Message Boards.
    Chris Scott.


    cgp10027th August 2006, 09:26 PM
    So we have three men, all of the same or similar age. Two of them are listed as tailors and one as a bootmaker.

    I'm not sure whether I've missed something, but shouldn't that be one hairdresser, one tailor and one bootmaker?

    Fido argues that casual workers could easily switch between tailoring and bootmaking, but it seems to me to be a significant objection to the KKC theory.

    Can we be sure that Aaron Kosminski was the same as the suspect named by McNaghten and Swanson? In my opinion, the facts that McNaghten (writing only 3 years after Aaron's admission to an asylum) got that date wrong by nearly two years, and that Swanson said that the Kosminski of which he was writing died soon after his admission to Colney Hatch (which happened to Aaron in February 1891) when in fact Aaron survived for another 28 years, cause me severe problems with this identification.

    Although in one version of the memoranda, Macnaghten does say he believes Kosminski is still alive, so in any case one of them was wrong about the date of his death.

    Kozminski was a commoner name than has often been assumed, but I find it difficult to believe these documents are referring to another Kozminski, granted that Aaron fits in several respects - he was committed to Colney Hatch, his symptoms included masturbation, and he lived in his brother [in law]'s house.

    Chris Phillips


    robert27th August 2006, 09:43 PM
    Hi Chris S

    One point about the ages : if the authorities never had any contact with relatives or acquaintances of David Cohen, then we only have the word of a raving lunatic (Cohen himself) to vouch for his age. Though he's unlikely to have been over 30, there does seem to be some latitude from about 18 to 28.

    His trade may be in a different category - perhaps they found some tools or something like that on his person. But unless they found some sort of documentation on him, I would have thought his age was problematic.



    chris27th August 2006, 09:46 PM
    Apologies - I misread my own notes!!!
    Just to clarify, the occupations listed are as follows:
    Kaminsky - Bootmaker
    Cohen - Tailor
    Kosminski - Hairdresser
    Thanks for the correction


    BillyE8th January 2007, 01:19 AM
    So, is Martin Fido still pushing the "Nathan Kaminsky" theory, or what I like to call, the "K something sky theory", or has he gone back to his base "David Cohen" theory? Haven't heard anything from Martin in a while, so I was just curious.

    Somebody, somewhere knows something!


    robhouse8th January 2007, 08:15 AM
    Nice post Chris. I will be interested to see what you can dig up on cohen and Kaminsky. For a minute there, I thought you were going to suggest that Nathan and Aaron were the same person. I would entertain this as a possibility given that their last names are very similar, and even their first names have a similar sound. And they were the same age. However, the different professions and different residences pretty much squashes that theory.

    Rob House


    ash8th January 2007, 08:51 AM

    A further point which should be noted is that Anderson wrote in a footnote in his book:

    I am here assuming that the murder of Alice M'Kenzie on the 17th of July, 1889, was by another hand. I was absent from London when it occurred, but the Chief Commissioner investigated the case on the spot and decided that it was an ordinary murder, and not the work of a sexual maniac.

    This then suggests that at the time of the McKenzie murder, the identification of which he writes had not taken place, otherwise he would not need to assume that it was by another hand, he would have known that it must have been.


    robert8th January 2007, 10:29 AM
    Hi Alan

    I don't know if we can be certain about that. Anderson seems to be saying that the cessation of street murders was due to the police warning the prostitutes that they would not protect them. Then, to counter any objections, he mentions McKenzie and the Poplar "murder," and dismisses them. So, from Anderson's point of view, he has managed to eliminate street Ripper murders and the only Ripper murder to occur was the indoor Kelly murder.

    The remark about "assuming" was made just before he introduced the account of the police investigation and the identification. So might not the "assumption" be more in the manner of a literary assumption - a temporary assumption made before he lets his readers in on the truth about the case?



    chris8th January 2007, 02:45 PM
    Here are some notes I found on the occurrence of Kaminskys (and variants) that may be of interest

    Kaminsky (and variant spellings)
    Persons of that name living in Whitechapel and environs:
    26 Fashion Street, Spitalfields
    Head: Annie Kaminsky (Widow) aged 45 born Russia - Home keeper
    Gabriel aged 22 - Boot maker
    Joseph aged 20 - Cabinet maker
    Abraham aged 17 - Boot maker
    All above born in Russia
    Samuel aged 13 (no place of birth given)
    223 Brunswick Buildings, Goodmans Field, Whitechapel
    Head: Morris Kaminsky aged 30 born Russia - Cap maker (Listed in index as Harris)
    Wife: Estha Cohen Kaminsky aged 26 born Russia
    Annie aged 7
    Softy aged 3
    Abby aged 1
    All born in London
    75 Underwood Street, Mile End
    Head: Sarah Kaminsky (Widow) aged 33 born Russia - Tailor's hand
    Isaac aged 10
    Atty aged 7
    Harriet aged 4
    All born in Whitechapel
    28 Hungerford Street, St George in the East
    Head: Simon Kaminsky aged 33 born Poland - Hairdresser
    Wife: Mary Ann Kaminsky aged 30 born Russia
    1891: No entries under the spelling Kaminsky in the index
    7 James Street, Bethnal Green
    Head: Pizar Kaminsky aged 24 born Moscow - Tailor (This spelling is per the index. the actual entry is spelled Kawensky)
    Wife: Jane Kaminsky aged 22 born Russia
    Blumer (F) aged 2 born Spitalfields
    Rebecca aged 3 months born Bethnal Green Road
    Under spelling KAMINSKI
    52 Shipton Street, Bethnal Green
    Head: Alexander Kaminski aged 56 born Spitalfields - Cordwainer / Bootmaker
    Wife: Caroline Kaminski aged 44 born Shoreditch
    George aged 18 - Cabinet maker
    Albert aged 7
    Caroline aged 6
    Rose M aged 4
    All born in Bethnal Green
    87 Finnis Street, Bethnal Green
    Head: Alexander Kaminski aged 30 born Bethnal Green - Shoemaker (laster) / Bootmaker
    Wife: Florence Kaminski aged 26 born Bethnal Green
    Florence aged 4 born Northampton
    Alexander aged 2 born Bethnal Green
    206 Jessons (?) Buildings, Bethnal Green
    Head: John Kaminski (Widower) aged 58 born Bethnal Green - Shoemaker
    Emma Kaminski aged 11 born Bethnal Green
    7 York Street, Shoreditch
    Head: William Kaminski aged 22 born Bethnal Green - Cabinet maker
    Wife: Minnie Kaminski aged 21 born Mile End
    William aged 2
    George aged 10 months
    Both born in Bethnal Green
    3 Bandon Road, Bethnal Green
    Hannah Kaminski aged 32 born Hackney - Cigar maker
    Head of household:
    George Russell aged 46 - Pastry cook
    22 Warren Place, Bethnal Green
    Head: Joseph Kaminski aged 25 born Bethnal Green - Boot maker
    Wife: Margaret Kaminski aged 25 born India
    29 Church Lane, Whitechapel
    Rachel Kaminski aged 21 born Russia - General servant (Spelling on actual sheet is Kamnitski)
    Head of household:
    Fischal K Abrahamson aged 59 born Russia - Sausage Merchant
    76 Jacob Street, Bethnal Green
    Alexander Kaminski (Widower) aged 46 - Showmaker
    Mary Ann aged 23 - Confectioner
    Seline aged 22 - Musical string maker
    Alexander aged 20 - Shoemaker
    Joseph aged 15 - labourer
    William aged 12
    No place of birth given for any
    25 Umbarston Street, St George in the East
    Head: Jacob Kaminski aged 29 born Poland - Boot finisher
    Wife: Anne Kaminski aged 24 born Poland
    Millie aged 7 born Whitechapel
    Aron aged 5 born Spitalfields
    Samuel aged 2 born Whitechapel
    37 Boston Street, Haggerston
    Head: John Kaminski aged 38 - Shoemaker
    Wife: Julia Kamisnki aged 31
    John aged 15 - Shoe sewer
    Ellen aged 7
    Alfred aged 5
    Hannah aged 3
    All born in London
    Spelling KOMINSKY:
    28 Spital Street, Mile End
    Head: Harris Kominsky aged 70 born Russia - Butcher
    Wife: Zetta Kominsky aged 55 born Russia
    Lewis aged 22 tailor's machinist
    Jacob aged 16 - Tailor's machinist
    Alexander aged 12
    All bron in Russia
    53 Lindley Street, Mile End
    Head: Malko (?) Kaminsky aged 24 - Bootmaker
    Wife: Janey Kaminsky aged 24
    Both born Russia
    (Spelling on sheet is actually Kiminsky)
    55 Lindley Street, Mile End:
    Head: Barnett Kaminsky aged 34 born Russia - Tailor
    Wife: Esther Kaminsky aged 30 born Russia
    Malko aged 18
    Janey aged 14
    Jacob aged 2
    All born London
    (Spelling is actually Kiminsky)
    21 Grove Street, St George in the East
    Head: Davis Kaminsky aged 27 born Russia - Tailor
    Wife: Golda Kaminsky aged 18 born Russia
    (Spelling is actually Kosminsky)
    24 Newbold Street, Mile End
    Head: Simon Kaminsky aged 38 born Russia - Slipper maker
    Wife: Leah Kaminsky aged 36 born Russia
    Barnett aged 8
    Louis aged 8
    Morris aged 4
    Tilly aged 9 months
    All born in Russia
    (Spelling is actually Kominsky)
    Under spelling Kominski
    1a Upper Chapman Street, St George in the East
    Head: Jacob Kominski aged 39 born Russia - Bootmaker
    Wife: Dinah Kominski aged 35 born Russia
    Millie aged 17 born Whitechapel - Fur machinist
    Aaron aged 15 born Whitechapel - Bootmaker
    Samuel aged 12 born St George
    Sarah aged 10 born St George
    Isaac aged 7 born St George
    Annie aged 5 born St George
    13 Winterton Street, St George in the East
    Head: Abraham Kominski ahed 44 born Roumania - Bootmaker
    Wife: Hannah Kominski aged 38 born Roumania
    David aged 20 - Boot machinist
    Samuel aged 12
    Both born in Roumania


    diana8th January 2007, 06:26 PM
    There is a way a person could have third stage syphilis at 23.

    If your mother is infected while she is pregnant with you you can get it that way. If you have it at birth 23 years would be enough time for you to advance to third stage syphilis.

    You might also develop a very pronounced hatred of your mother and if there was neurological damage you might go out and find prostitutes that reminded you of her and er well you know.


    George Hutchinson8th January 2007, 08:36 PM
    Holy Moly... that's the sort of thing that keeps these message boards interesting.

    I've personally never thought that AK was involved. I did think for a long time that NK and DC were the same person but have thought for some time now it is unlikely though not impossible. I find it unlikely that NK could be involved but I generally think anyone taken into custody for being a madman on the streets of Whitechapel shortly after the MJK murder can't be ruled out of being a suspect unless we know their whereabouts.

    For me, DC remains as good a suspect as any.

    Say hello:

  • #2
    A quick note on Ash's earliest posting: as he noted, we do have an address for Kaminsky: in Black Lion Yard.
    The time line of my work explains the cumbersome nature of my original 3-suspect argument (just as you need to study thetime line of Charles van Onselar's work to understand why the most distinguished academic ever to offer a Ripper identification has put forward what seems to be a non-starter in Joseph Silver).
    My FIRST discovery in looking for Kosminsky in workhouse infirmary records (as I hadn't yet got permission to see asylum record) was Nathan Kaminsky. Kosminsky's 1890 infirmary incarceration was recorded in such difficult handwriting that both Charles Nevin and I missed it - (Keith Skinner spotted it) - I had Kaminsky as the closest to the name. And it was one of the forms Dan Farson suggested might have been in the Aberconway papers. (Dan told me he couldn't remember why he was doubtful: we know now it was because of damage to the paper where the name is written). Black Lion Yard was very important, as it is virtually the centre point of the five murder sites. Richard Whittington-Egan expressed huge enthusiasm for the discovery, sayijng he had always felt that some such figure from the immigrant slums was the most probable suspect. Occupation bootmaker was very important, because I had already deduced from an examiation of statements made by Thick, the Echo, Pizer, and Pizer's neighbours, that Pizer was not in fact Leather Apron, but a character worthy of examination who could be used to damp down rising antiSemitism while the police went on looking for the original Jewish suspect. Yet Kaminsky never showed up on the death registers, and an impoverished bootmaker with no known relatives seemed most unlikely to have been able to emigrate further, especiually as it appeared theBoard of Guardians would not have assisted him.
    When it appeared that there was no Kosminsky (since I had only checked asylum records down to 1890), I went carefully over all the entries, and suddenly realized that David Cohen was the one person who fitted Anderson's account - and, moreover, the time of his incarceration fitted my original observation that the time of the cessation of the murders and the position of the Goulston Street apron were the only two circumstantial clues we had as to the Ripper's identity. And Cohen and Kaminsky were exactly the same age. Several Cohens have told me the name was given their families by immigration officials who couldn't be bothered with something long and central European. So I speculated that the two were the same man - (something I would now soft pedal very much, allowing the serious possibility that Kaminsky could indeed have emigrated further) - and noting the House of Lords Committee which found that unskilled Jews were absorbed instantly into tailoring or bootmaking sweatshops to keep them of the rates.
    Then, with my book in proof, I found Kosminsky going into the asylum in 1891! I had to pay for re-setting as I considered this. I retained my commitment to Kaminsky at that time, noting that his name gave a good reason for the police to think that the identically aged Kosminsky was the same man, and everything recorded about Kosminsky suggested that he couldn't possibly have been the Ripper. Unfortunately I didn't spell out this time line of resarch in my first edition, leading people to imagine wrongly that I had first found Kosminsky, and thinking he wouldn't do, gone looking for an alternative (which would have been dubious scholarship).
    AFTER I'd published the Swanson marginalia appeared, and initially I was baffled by this manifest garbling of facts by some one who snbould have known. It was only after sleeping on it that I saw how details that fitted Kosminsky and details that fitted Cohen were both entangled in the notes, and thus Swanson, remarkably, confirmed what i had previously deduced: the Cohen and Kosminsky had been confused with each other. His mention of th City Police further provided a possible reason - one, I may say, which has proved very persuasive to American police officers, used to the ovelapping jurisdictional competition which may occur betwen sherriff's police, state police and federal police.
    All the best,
    Martin F


    • #3
      Originally posted by fido View Post
      I had Kaminsky as the closest to the name. And it was one of the forms Dan Farson suggested might have been in the Aberconway papers. (Dan told me he couldn't remember why he was doubtful: we know now it was because of damage to the paper where the name is written).
      It's a small point, but as Chris Scott mentioned, the alternative form given in Farson's book is Kosmanski.

      And as I mentioned, McCormick (revised edition, paperback, 1970) suggested that Kosminski was "possibly a misspelling for Karminski".

      So this puzzles me. Did Farson give Kaminsky/Karminski as an alternative spelling somewhere else? (If so, it would be puzzling, as it's much further from the original than Kosmanski.) And if McCormick is the source, where did he get the idea that Kosminsky might be a misspelling of Karminski?


      • #4
        Unhappily I no longer own copies of Farson's book in its different editions: various moves and a warehouse fire have seriously disrupted my possessions. Dan didn't correct me when I wrote asking him about this, so I assume I had transcribed correctly from some source. I would willingly be more help if I could. All I can say with certainty is that when I finally saw photocopies of the Aberconway papers, what Dan himself had forgotten was immediately apparent. He couldn't be sure of the name because damaged paper eliminated part of it.
        Martin F


        • #5
          Originally posted by fido View Post
          Unhappily I no longer own copies of Farson's book in its different editions: various moves and a warehouse fire have seriously disrupted my possessions.
          Now I see that fortunately your own book provides part of the answer to the puzzle. You say there (p. 149) "But Farson found considerable uncertainty about the Polish Jew's name, transcribing it as 'Kosmanski' from the notes, and quoting Donald McCormick as offering the further variant 'Karminski' as well as the familiar 'Kosminski' used in the Scotland Yard version."

          Why McCormick suggested Kosminski could be a misreading of Karminski remains a mystery.


          • #6
            So what your saying is that Aaron Kosminski, David Cohen, and Nathan Kasminsky are one and the same? The difference in names was due to: lack of concern on hearing and documenting the correct name, thick un-decypherable accent, or the "John Doe" scenario?

            Ryan Miller