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Plausibility of Kosminski

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  • #61
    Originally posted by Chris View Post
    No doubt a line-by-line comparison between the draft and the final version would be enlightening.
    There's a side-by-side comparison of the Scotland Yard version and the Aberconway draft printed in Paul Begg's JTR: The Definitive History, Chris. I've typed them out below, albeit not quite side-by-side (not sure whether that would work on a bulletin board!) but one section on top of one another. Any typos are purely mine:


    Aberconway: No-one ever saw the Whitechapel murderer (unless possibly it was the City PC who was a beat [sic] near Mitre Square) and no proof could in any way ever be brought against anyone, although very many homicidal maniacs were at one time, or another, suspected. I enumerate the ases of 3 men against whom Police held very reasonable suspicion. Personally, after much careful & deliberate consideration, I am inclined to exonerate the last 2, but I have always held strong opinions regarding no. 1, and the more I think the matter over, the stronger do these suspicions become. The truth, however, will never be known, and did indeed, at one time lie at the bottom of the Thames if my conjections [sic] be correct.

    Scotland Yard: No one ever saw the Whitechapel murderer, many homicidal maniacs were suspected, but no shadow of proof could be thrown on any one. I may mention the cases of 3 men, any one of whom would have been more likely than Cutbush to have committed this series of murders.


    Aberconway: No. 1. Mr M.J. Druitt, a doctor of about 41 years of age & of fairly good family, who disappeared at the time of the Miller's Court murder, and whose body was found floating in the Thames on 31st Dec.; i.e. 7 weeks after the said murder. The body was said to have been in the water for a month, or more - on it was found a season ticket between Blackheath & London. From private information I have little doubt but that his own family suspected this man of being the Whitechapel murderer; it was alleged that he was sexually insane.

    Scotland Yard: (1) A Mr M.J. Druitt, said to be a doctor & of good family, who disappeared at the time of the Miller's Court murder, & whose body (which was said to have been upwards of a month in the water) was found in the Thames on 31st Dec., or about 7 weeks after that murder. He was sexually insane and from private inf I have little doubt but that his own family believed him to have been the murderer.


    Aberconway: No. 2. Koskminski, a Polish Jew, who lived in the very heart of the district where the murders were committed. He had become insane owing to many years indulgence in solitary vices. He had a great hatred of women, with strong homicidal tendencies. He was (and I believe still is) detained in a lunatic asylum about March 1889. This man in appearance strongly resembled the individual seen by the City PC near Mitre Square.

    Scotland Yard: (2) Koskminsi, a Polish Jew, & resident in Whitechapel. This man became insane owing to many years indulgence in solitary vices. He had a great hatred of women, specially of the prostitute class, & had strong homicidal tendencies; he was removed to a lunatic asylum about March 1889. There were many circs connected with this man which made him a strong 'suspect'.


    Aberconway: No. 3. Michael Ostrog, a mad Russian & a convict & unquestionably a homicidal maniac. This man was said to have been habitually cruel to women, & for a long time was known to have carried about with him surgical knives & other instruments; his antecedents were of the very worst & his whereabouts at the time of the Whitechape [sic] murders could never be satisfactorily accounted for. He is still alive.

    Scotland Yard: (3) Michael Ostrog, a Russian doctor, and a convict, who was subsequently detained in a lunatic asylum as a homicidal maniac. The man's antecedents were of the worst possible type, and his whereabouts at the time of the murders could never be ascertained.
    Last edited by Sam Flynn; 09-25-2008, 12:42 AM.
    Kind regards, Sam Flynn

    "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

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    • #62
      Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post
      There's a side-by-side comparison of the Scotland Yard version and the Aberconway draft printed in Paul Begg's JTR: The Definitive History, Chris. I've typed them out below, albeit not quite side-by-side (not sure whether that would work on a bulletin board!) but one section on top of one another.
      Thanks for that, but - sorry if I wasn't clear - I was actually thinking of the rest of the memoranda, not the section on the victims (and the preceding paragraph).

      The bit that Sugden quotes from the draft has "three Jews drove up to an Anarchist Club in Berners Street" (p. 406) against the official version's "some Jews who drove up to a club", which is what makes me think there might be interesting differences between the two throughout the text.

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      • #63
        Originally posted by Chris View Post
        Thanks for that, but - sorry if I wasn't clear - I was actually thinking of the rest of the memoranda, not the section on the victims (and the preceding paragraph).
        Apologies, Chris - but at least there are some interesting differences in the suspects section, as a starter
        Kind regards, Sam Flynn

        "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

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        • #64
          Originally posted by Chris View Post
          This is something else I've been curious about for a while - has the transcript ever been published in full? I think all I have ever seen is the section relating to the suspects and an odd phrase from the earlier part quoted by Sugden.

          No doubt a line-by-line comparison between the draft and the final version would be enlightening.
          theres a link here to the memo (also a pdf/acrobat file):

          http://www.casebook.org/official_documents/memo.html
          if mickey's a mouse, and pluto's a dog, whats goofy?

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          • #65
            Originally posted by joelhall View Post
            theres a link here to the memo (also a pdf/acrobat file)
            Thanks, Joel - we still need a copy of the full Aberconway version, though, in order to make the comparison.
            Kind regards, Sam Flynn

            "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

            Comment


            • #66
              i was led to believe this no longer exists?
              if mickey's a mouse, and pluto's a dog, whats goofy?

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              • #67
                you know it really seems to me that kosminskis background is the difference here. because there are less records of his life, i believe he remains a suspect simply because we cannot prove he didnt do it, rather than because he have evidence against him.

                the faults in the memo against the other 2 are apparent as we have the means to check the information, but this is trickier with kosminski.

                i always adhere to the principle that to prove something its better to attempt to disprove it. thats what we should do with kosminski to see if his case holds weight.

                joel
                if mickey's a mouse, and pluto's a dog, whats goofy?

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                • #68
                  I believe so but question: were Mcnaughton and Andersson looking at the same set of of information in regards to Kosminski and if the info was strong
                  why did they differ on who was the best suspect.
                  Clearly the first human laws (way older and already established) spawned organized religion's morality - from which it's writers only copied/stole,ex. you cannot kill,rob,steal (forced,it started civil society).
                  M. Pacana

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                  • #69
                    Originally posted by Varqm View Post
                    I believe so but question: were Mcnaughton and Andersson looking at the same set of of information in regards to Kosminski and if the info was strong
                    why did they differ on who was the best suspect.
                    Therer could of course be all sorts of reasons why they came to different conclusions.

                    But if Robs theory/speculation about the Crawford letter being an introduction to kosminski's sister was correct. then Anderson would hve had diret contact with someone saying 'I think my brother is the Ripper'

                    That sort of thing sticks in your mind

                    The same might be true of McNaughten re: Druitt

                    Perhaps the answer to your question wsa they were both acting on personal experiences?

                    Pirate

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                    • #70
                      Personal Opinion

                      Originally posted by Varqm View Post
                      I believe so but question: were Mcnaughton and Andersson looking at the same set of of information in regards to Kosminski and if the info was strong
                      why did they differ on who was the best suspect.
                      Because there was no good evidence for any particular suspect they were left, as are we, with information that is subject to different personal interpretation and subjective opinion on its value. Ergo there was, and is, only speculation and opinion to provide the answers.

                      Using a modern parallel, Ripper authors and historians Paul Begg and Martin Fido using the same historical material and much similar reasoning have signally failed to agree on a suspect. Their theorising is heavily Anderson-based. Paul Begg prefers Aaron Kosminki as the best suspect whilst Martin Fido cannot see how it could possibly have been Aaron Kosminski and plumps for his own 'David Cohen' theory which, in turn, Paul Begg feels is untenable.
                      SPE

                      Treat me gently I'm a newbie.

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                      • #71
                        I have a new image of paul and Martin dressed as McNaughten and Anderson I think Paul would have to be McNaughten

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                        • #72
                          Originally posted by Pirate Jack View Post
                          I have a new image of paul and Martin dressed as McNaughten and Anderson I think Paul would have to be McNaughten
                          ....-so ,Jeff, you see Martin as being like Anderson ? Interesting comparison since Anderson"s greatest talent as a "Spymaster" was as a "Master of "Disinformation"......................!
                          Best
                          Norma
                          Last edited by Natalie Severn; 09-25-2008, 07:25 PM.

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                          • #73
                            No Norma, Martin is an expert on Anderson. I'm happy to pass any questions on or you could just try the PM system.

                            As you well know I don't really have a formed opinion about Anderson, but I dont think that effects Kosminski as a suspect.

                            I am however happy to discuss Charles Stewart Parnell

                            Pirate

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                            • #74
                              A small question for Natalie... from what sources other than The Lighter side of my Official Life, On Criminals and Crime, Christy Campbell, and various Ripper books do you base your opiniuon of Anderson?
                              (I note from another board that you have an M.Phil. My own alma mater is the only university I am aware of offering that degree, as it is the only one that can leave me condemned to C.S. Lewis's contempt for "B.Litteracy" as inferior to illiteracy! Ave!
                              Martin F

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                              • #75
                                For what it is worth, I think Kosminski is more than a plausible suspect.

                                He is, along with Druitt and Tumblety, one of the strongest suspects because, like the English Gentleman and the Irish-American Confidence Man, he was suspected by senior police.

                                And not just any policemen.

                                The head of CID at the time of the murders [admittedly ill and abroad for much of the 'autumn of terror'] and the operational head of the investigation into the Whitechapel Murders of 1888 to 1891, both believed, or came to believe, it was Aaron Kosminski.

                                They committed this opinion, in print and under their own names, and thus they are critical primary sources albeit writing much later than the actual era of the crimes.

                                According to Macnaghten's 1890's Report(s) to the Home Office [though never sent there, and in two significantly different versions] Kosminski was mad, homicidal, hated prostitutes, and unlike Dr T and Druitt actually lived in the East End. The young Pole also allegedly resembled the suspect described by the best witness on the night of the 'double event' whom -- for possibly labyrinthine reasons -- Macnaghten turned from a German-Jewish trader into a Gentile beat cop.

                                Of course the reason this is not a slam dunk for Kosminski as 'Jack' is that Anderson never named Kosminski, though it is more than likely, due to the 'Marginalia', that this is to whom he is referring. He also never committed his opinion to any official document [which has survived at least].

                                Swanson, presumbaly around 1910 but possibly even later, wrote some annotations in his copy of Anderson's memoirs, naming Kosminski.

                                That cuts both ways. Being an ultra-private source [for his eyes only] Swanson may have felt liberated to be candid. On the other hand, it does not carry the official heft that even the enigmatic Macnaghten Report enjoys, at least the 'saifd to be a doctor' version which was placed in the Scotland Yard files. After all, you can scribble what you like in your own home -- it never has to be measured against anything.

                                I subscribe to the Evans/Rumbelow theory of suspect confusion which they cogently and brilliantly argued in 'Scotland Yard Investigates'. It is in my opinion one of the greatest and most lucid peices of deductive reasonsing that the mystery has ever produced.

                                Yet I do not think it knocks Kosminski out of contention as one of the most likely, if not the likeliest suspect to have been the Ripper.

                                I am not going to this marvellous theory justice, summarising it quickly here, and therefore I urge people to get the book and not judge its merits on my summary.

                                But I will try.

                                Stewart Evans and Don Rumbelow argue that the sub-mystery as to why the [un-named] Jewish witness identification -- and treachery -- of Kosminski at the 'Seaside Home' appears in no official records, and nobody else's memoirs, nor in Macnaghten's Report(s), is that it never happened.

                                Not that Swanson, who probably supplied the story to the desk-bound Anderson, is being deceitful. Rather his aging, fading, inevitably self-serving memory has fused together two different suspects. Aaron Kosminski, incarcerated for life on Feb 7th 1891 and believed by his loved ones to be the Fiend, has become fused with Tom Sadler, the burly, Gentile sailor arrested later in the same month for the Whitechapel murder of prostitute Frances Coles on the 13th.

                                The Sailor's Home [or Seaman's Home] where witnesses were brought from to identify Sadler has evolved, in Swanson's imperfect memory, into the Seaside Police Hospital. The disappointment of Joseph Lawende not identifying Sadler, and the latter being discharged in a flurry of adverse media coverage, has become fused with eventual knowledge about Kosminski.

                                I would add that I think that the line in the 'Swanson Marginalia' about there being no murders of this kind afterwards, is a giveaway that he is remembering the Coles murder -- which of course happened after Kosminski was permanently incarcerated.

                                I would also add that I think the origin of the idea of a police identification is partly Macnaghten's fault. His turning the Jewish witness into a beat cop has percolated in Swanson's memory and produced as a sort of corrective to Macnaghten -- plus the Sailor's Home -- not an identification BY a policeman but rather AT a police locale.

                                I would also add that Swanson may have, in his memory jumble, fastened onto Lawende actually saying 'yes, this is the man', but that was Lawende standing before Williamm Grant Grainger -- years later. Nevertheless, Swanson, perhaps still bitter at the humiliation over the Sadler debacle, turned Lawende into the Judas figure of the story by making Sadler cease to exist and replacing him with Kosminski.

                                I would also add that I think Anderson and Swanson were sincere in choosing Kosminski. But Swanson shows a deserpate lunge in his old age to really believe that they had the fiend in their clutches, but they were let down by an unhelpful witness. His memory is not completely wrong. They did have the Fiend. He was in Colney Hatch. Practically around the corner!

                                This over-reach of the 'Seaside Home' is, I think, an expression not only of acute desperation but ALSO of a frustrated certainty about Kosminski.

                                This where I perhaps part company with Evans and Rumbelow.

                                Rightly or wrongly, I think that the key to the whole mystery is understanding that Druitt and Kosminski were too-late suspects. Both came from family leaks that they believed their members, one dead and the other locked-up, to be the Ripper. They could not both be right. Swanson, for reasons lost to us, made the judgement that the Kosminskis, not the Druitts, were correct [Macnaghten went the other way, of course.]

                                Part of this bureaucratic sleight-of-hand involved Macnaghten backdating when Kosminski was institutionalised. Feb 1891 is way too embarassing and could cause trouble with their Liberal masters by 1894. Instead, it becomes 'March 1889' -- the month Sadler was grudgingly let go after Lawende let them downin 1891.

                                At least in the 'Aberconway Version' Macnaghten knows that Kosminski is still alive in the asylum.

                                The Macnaghten Report, filed version, was written to conceal from the Home Office that these two prime suspects were only discovered when it was too late to do anything about them. Anderson's sporadic comments about this suspect, between 1894 and 1910, are always grumpy -- even for him. Again, I think this reflects a sense of impotence that they had him, but they did not have him.

                                Not because of any witness, but because they were not the French and could not simply arrest a mental patient whom they knew -- but the doctors did not -- that his family were certain this really was 'Jack the Ripper'.

                                Swanson's memory has Kosminski dying soon after he is put in an asylum, again trying to eradicate him as he had Sadler from existence, desperately wishing the Polish Jew had died -- when in fact he lived until 1919.

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