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  • Jacob Levy asylum records

    Hi all

    As promised, these are the asylum records for Jacob. I will go in dates so the first one is the intake records from Brentwood asylum in 1886. Unfortunately it looks like his actual medical records where lost in a fire at the asylum, but the intake records does have some interesting information in it.

    Thanks to ChrisP for letting me use his transcribed notes. (A lot easier to understand than my own!)

    (1) Warrant of Removal from Prison to Asylum
    Pressing
    Registered No. of Prisoner - X 10341
    Name - Jacob Levy
    Offence of which convicted - Receiving stolen goods.
    Date of conviction - 5th April 1886.
    Court - Central Criminal Court.
    Sentence - 12 calendar months hard labour
    Asylum in which confined at date of this Warrant. - Chelmsford
    Date when certified to be insane - 21st May 1886.

    to be removed from the said Prison to Essex County Lunatic Asylum
    Godfrey Lushington
    Under Secretary of State.
    Whitehall,
    25th day of May 1886.
    To The Governor of H.M. Prison at Chelmsford
    AND
    To the Superintendent of Essex County Lunatic Asylum. Brentwood

    [dorse:]

    26 May 1886 admitted
    He is in a state of Melancholia, cries without adequate
    cause - is very despondent - From the fact that he attempted
    suicide by strangulation at Gaol & that a Brother committed
    suicide and Insanity is hereditary in his family I consider
    him suicidal & insane
    He is in fair health & condition
    G. A.
    June 1 86

    (.) STATEMENT respecting Criminal Lunatics, to be filled up and transmitted to the
    Medical Superintendent with every Criminal Lunatic.
    Name - Jacob Levy
    Age - 30
    Date of admission - Convicted 5 Ap 1886. (transferred to Chelmsford Prison 19.4.86)
    Former occupation - Butcher
    From whence brought - Holloway Prison
    Married, single, or widower - Married
    How many children - 4
    Age of youngest - Unknown.
    Whether first attack - Yes
    Duration of existing attack - About three weeks.
    State of bodily health - Good.


    Whether suicidal or dangerous to others - Suicidal
    Supposed cause- Fretting about business & family.
    Chief delusions or indications of insanity. ...
    1. Facts indicating insanity observed by himself [Medical Officer] Rambling and incoherent talking. Restlessness & insomnia
    2. Other facts (if any) communicated to him by others, stating from whom such information is derived
    By temporary Warder [?]Wade Attempted suicide by strangling. Shouting, restless & talking at night. Violence. Incessantly talking of imaginary people.
    Whether subject to epilepsy - No
    Whether of temperate habits - Believed to be temperate.
    Degree of education - [????] Well??
    Religious persuasion - Jew
    Crime - Felony
    When and where tried - C.C.C. (Central Criminal Ct)
    Verdict of jury - Guilty
    Sentence - 12 C. mos.
    H.M. Prison, Chelmsford
    Date, May 26. 1886.
    (Signed) EH[???]Carter Medical Officer.

    [dorse:]
    6720
    26/5/86
    Jacob Levy
    Prison Commrs
    Sentence expires
    4 April 1887.
    Disd 3/2/87

    (.) Warrant of Absolute Discharge.
    Registered No. of Criminal Lunatic X 10341
    Name Jacob Levy
    Offence of which convicted Receiving stolen goods
    Date of conviction 5 April 1886
    Court Central Criminal Court
    Sentence 12 cal. mos. H.L.
    Asylum in which confined at date of this Warrant Brentwood
    Date of Warrant of removal to the said Asylum 25 May 1886.
    [Signed] Henry Matthews One of Her Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State.
    Whitehall, 31st. day of January 1887


    To The Superintendent of The County Lunatic Asylum. at Brentwood. Essex
    (.) X 10341/2
    Whitehall, 31st. January 1887
    [Acknowledges receipt of letter of the] 22nd instant enclosing
    a certificate that the criminal lunatic
    Jacob Levy is now of sound mind
    and fit for discharge; and I am
    to transmit to you, herewith, under
    all the circumstances of the case,
    a warrant authorizing his absolute
    discharge, under section 5 of the Criminal
    Lunatics Act 1884, from your Asylum.
    I am, Sir,
    Your obedient Servant,
    Godfrey Lushington
    [To] The Superintendent
    of the County Asylum
    at Brentwood,
    Essex.

    Tracy
    It's not about what you know....it's about what you can find out

  • #2
    thanks

    Hello TJ. Nice work. Thanks for posting this.

    Interesting that he was violent AND suicidal.

    Cheers.
    LC

    Comment


    • #3
      "From the fact that he attempted suicide by strangulation at Gaol & that a Brother committed suicide and Insanity is hereditary in his family I consider
      him suicidal & insane."

      This just kills me. He attempts suicide, which is not in and of itself any kind of indicator of sanity. However, because his brother committed suicide and members of his family have been insane, then he gets a diagnosis of insanity.

      The only person who mentions violence is a Temporary Warder (and I'm not exactly sure how that is a temporary gig, but whatever). His report says "Attempted suicide by strangling. Shouting, restless & talking at night. Violence. Incessantly talking of imaginary people."

      Now I admit. Imaginary people is never a good sign, sanity wise. Suicide isn't an indicator of sanity, it's an indicator of despair. Shouting restless and talking at night? Violence? In a prison? Thats newsworthy. I mean come on.

      I'm not angry at the information, I'm angry at the total lack of diagnostic criteria. And even that I knew, it just pisses me off every time. Basically this guy engaged in perfectly normal behavior for someone who screwed up royally and went to jail. He acts normally in jail until he fails to commit suicide. That's why he gets thrown in asylum. Nobody remarks on his behavior for the month and a half he was there until the suicide attempt. And he may have been severely mentally ill. But nobody cared until presumably he almost got his guard fired by killing himself under his nose. Or maybe he wasn't mentally ill. Maybe he tried to kill himself and then spent the next year alternately raging and despairing about how he screwed up his life, which is perfectly normal.

      He's out in less than a year. And I know that in 1899 that required at least six weeks (usually three months) of symptom free behavior. So he wasn't insane in the conventional sense. And probably not a relapsing remitting sense like Bipolar, because they would have seen an improvement and then a relapse before and not trusted it. But he wasn't psychotic. That doesn't improve or go away in six months or so.

      These records don't add up. Not that I think they are wrong, but the doctor reports some pretty severe symptoms being related to him by a guard, and then he's sane in nine months. The doctor admits his diagnosis is based on family history and not observed behavior. He doesn't say I've watched this guy and he's nuts. He essentially says I've watched this guy, but because of his family history I'm going to err on the side of caution and go ahead and call him nuts. That's never a good sign.

      I mean Levy may have been as mad as a hatter for all I know. But he may have been perfectly sane for all the Superintendent knew. He judged Levy on the wrong criteria. Common enough occurrence. Still happens today. But it means no reputable psychiatrist with even the the slightest about of knowledge on the history of the profession can ever tell us if Levy was really mentally ill. Or if he even had some abnormal issues. Kosminski for better or for worse has a proper evaluation floating around. We could debate a diagnosis, but clearly Kosminski was in crisis. This is not the equivalent for Levy. All we can say for sure is Levy experienced at least one brief moment of crippling despair. And despite the fact that this is nothing new, it still makes me sad. Because I could believe Levy was the Ripper because he was a dick (if he was a dick). But now I feel sorry for him.
      The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

      Comment


      • #4
        mental illness

        Hello Errata. Two quick questions.

        1. Do you consider despair a sign of mental illness?

        2. If "insanity" (the diagnosis) were a blanket term, including mental illness, would your opinion differ?

        Cheers.
        LC

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by lynn cates View Post
          Hello Errata. Two quick questions.

          1. Do you consider despair a sign of mental illness?

          2. If "insanity" (the diagnosis) were a blanket term, including mental illness, would your opinion differ?

          Cheers.
          LC
          1: No I don't. And neither does the science of psychiatry. It's an emotion. And like any emotion can be perfectly appropriate or not. Despair can be a sign of a mental illness in conjunction with several other factors, including listlessness, lack of self care, loss of appetite, change in weight, etc. Then we could say it was a symptom of clinical depression. But if a loved one is dying, you despair. If you cause a negative change in circumstance in your life, you despair. If you get diagnosed with an incurable illness, you despair. Go to jail, despair. It's an appropriate emotional reaction. It's the inappropriate emotional reaction that's a better indicator. It's dysfunction you look for. Despair for no reason can be a problem. Despair for a good reason can still be a problem, but it doesn't indicate a mental illness.

          2: No, it wouldn't change my opinion. Insanity still implies inappropriate emotional reactions or behavior. Slapping someone for paying you a compliment would be a broad example. Despair is normal. Even suicide attempts are normal. Suicide implies the absence of hope. And the absence of hope may end up being short lived, and thus tragic, but it is perfectly normal. Everybody has things they don't want to face, and may not have the option of not facing. If Levy couldn't cope with prison, which actually requires a personality rewrite thats rather famous amongst sociologists, then suicide may have seemed a better option. If he couldn't face the shame in his community, suicide may have been preferable. And despite the very well reasoned objections that most cultures have to suicide, we can't say that the person attempting it is wrong. We may call them a coward, we may test them for illness, we may slap them in a hospital. We don't want people to kill themselves. But we can't ever say that suicide is not the right answer for someone else. Often it isn't, but sometimes it is. Sometimes people are very good judges of what their future holds. Socially, suicide is a terrible thing. But the truth is, even today a psychiatrist cannot tell someone that their suicide attempt is a sign of a deeper problem. It might be, but no one ever gets a diagnosis of suicidal. It's not a disease. It's not even necessarily indicative of a disease. Suicide is a social dysfunction. Not a psychiatric dysfunction. Which is not to say I'm advocating it unless a person wants to live on in the memory of others as a cautionary tale of shortsightedness. But the survival instinct is not psychiatric. It's social. Suicide has been a common and perfectly honorable death in many cultures. It's not a problem with the brain. It is not illogical, it does not necessarily imply dysfunction. It simply violates our idea that life is preferable to death.
          The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

          Comment


          • #6
            Hello all,

            I have a question that perhaps someone will know the answer to.

            I noticed that Godfrey Lushington, Under Secretary of State, well known within the genre, signed the said letter of release.

            Was it normal for this man to sign ALL such release letters of ALL such "criminal lunatics"? Through the whole land?

            Phil
            Chelsea FC. TRUE BLUE. 💙


            Justice for the 96 = achieved
            Accountability? ....

            Comment


            • #7
              Hi Lynn

              Yeah we thought it was something worth considering, shame we can't locate the prison records.


              Errata

              You seem to be reading a lot from what is posted.

              This is the intake record, not the more substantial medical record. We don't know what detail they did (or did not) go into with the medical records, but this is an overview.

              Hi Phil

              Yes we noticed this and are looking into it but as of yet we don't know for definite, but I suspect that it probably was the case that a 'higher up' would have to sign off on the patients.
              It's not about what you know....it's about what you can find out

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by tji View Post

                Errata

                You seem to be reading a lot from what is posted.

                This is the intake record, not the more substantial medical record. We don't know what detail they did (or did not) go into with the medical records, but this is an overview.
                I know. But it does state the reason for commitment. It's why I say he may have been crazy, his records would show that, and of course, you don't have them. But the guy who decides whether or not this guy goes into an asylum made his decision based on family history. And that's just sad. It may have been a good idea, it may have been a bad idea. But it was based on flawed logic.

                John Dee correctly deduced that the plague was coming from the rats. He said it was because rats were under the auspice of the moon, as was disease, therefore.. etc. No. And we'll throw in a "Huh?" for good measure. So he was right, but he was right in a way that made it kind of beside the point that he was right. Bad reasoning. And I have no idea how that whole line of thinking resulted in rats as opposed to cats or fish or whatever, but rats it was. And he was right, but let's face it. He was right out of blind luck.

                Levy could have been mentally ill. He could have benefited enormously from his time in the hospital. We don't know. But if he did, it was not thanks to the superintendent. That guy was pulling a Dee. And it may have been the best information at the time, but it was the best of bad information. He didn't cite a history of disturbance in the patient. He cited a history of disturbance in the family. Either because there was no history in the patient, or because he thought for some reason that the family history was more important. The behavior cited barring the suicide attempt is normal given the circumstances, and even the suicide attempt isn't really unusual. So of course his medical records could shed a lot of light on this, but if you look at the intake form for Kosminski, you see the kind of detail you could reasonably expect. That detail isn't on this one. It's worrisome.

                And it's nothing to do with your find, or the fact the medical records don't exist anymore. You did a fantastic thing. It just brings up the inherent horror that comes from thinking about the idea that someone could be institutionalized for bad reasons. Even if Levy was legitimately ill, the reasons Levy were admitted for could easily apply to a perfectly sane man. Gives me the willies.
                The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

                Comment


                • #9
                  With thanks to Debra Arif for locating this. This is the intake record for Jacob to Stone Asylum in 1890.



                  Register of lunatics, 1890
                  Order for Admission to the City of London Lunatic Asylum, Stone ...
                  No 2,001
                  In Re Levy, Jacob
                  Aged 34
                  JUSTICE'S ORDER. (See Finance Rota papers for 26th August 1890)
                  Relieving Officer Mr. W. Bosher
                  Admitted into the Asylum 15th day of August 1890
                  Of death in the Asylum 23 [changed to 29th?] July 1891
                  Names and addresses of relatives (if any)
                  (Wife) Sarah Levy
                  36 Middlesex Street
                  Aldgate EC.
                  Date of Notice sent to relatives
                  Admission 18th day of August 1890
                  Death 31 July 1891



                  [Line drawn through this]
                  [Stamp changed in red to CL[U] 18 AUG 90 RECEIVED]
                  To the Guardians of the Poor of the City of London Union ...
                  Whereas Jacob Levy a Pauper chargeable to the City of London Poor Law Union, and deemed to be person of unsound mind was this day brought before me [etc] and I thereupon called to my assistance Henry James Sequera [Sequeira] a Surgeon, who has personally examined [him] and has certified that [he] is person of unsound mind [etc I have by an Order caused him] to be conveyed by (b) W. Bosher relieving officer [etc] to the Lunatic Asylum ... at Stone ...
                  This is ... to require and order you ... to pay ... unto the said Henry James Sequeira the Sum of one Guinea ... and the Sum of one pound eight shillings & ten pence unto the said Walter Bosher ...
                  ... 15th August 1890 at the Guildhall Justice Rooms ...
                  Geo Rot Tyler


                  [RECEPTION ORDER]
                  I George Robert Tyler, Esquire being an alderman & Justice of the Peace of the City of London having called to my assistance [etc] Jacob Levy of 36 Middlesex St Aldgate ... person of unsound mind ... hereby direct you to receive ... [etc; same date]
                  To Dr [?]Ernest W White Medical Superintendent of the City of London Lunatic Asylum at Stone ...


                  [Order with stamp changed in red to 18 AUG 90 RECEIVED
                  Whereas I ... on the 14th day of August received notice ... that Jacob Levy ... is deemed to be person of unsound mind I therefore hereby order and require you to bring [him] before me, on the 15th ... at Eleven o'clock in the forenoon, at the Guildhall Justice Rooms ...
                  [at the Guildhall Justice Rooms 14th August 1890]
                  James Whitehead

                  The Guardians ... to W. Bosher R O re Jacob Levy (a Lunatic)
                  [Expenses for bringing Jacob Levy to the Guildhall and thence to the Asylum by cab and rail (special compt)
                  Total £1.8.10]


                  STATEMENT OF PARTICULARS
                  Name of patient, with christian name at length Levy Jacob
                  Sex and age 34 years
                  Married, single or widowed Married
                  Rank, profession, or previous occupation (if any) Butcher
                  Religious persuasion Hebrew
                  Residence at or immediately previous to the date hereof 36 Middlesex St Aldgate
                  Whether first attack No
                  Age on first attack 30 years
                  When and where previously under care and treatment as a lunatic, idiot, or person of unsound mind Essex County Asylum 1886
                  Duration of existing attack Some time
                  Supposed cause Not Known
                  Whether subject to epilepsy No
                  Whether suicidal No
                  Whether dangerous to other, and in what way No
                  Whether any near relative has been afflicted with insanity Yes. Elder brother cut his throat
                  Union to which lunatic is chargeable City of London
                  Names, christian names, and full postal addresses of one or more relatives of the patient Sarah Levy (Wife)
                  36 Middlesex St
                  Aldgate E.C
                  (Signed) W. Bosher Relieving Officer [etc]
                  15th August 1890


                  CERTIFICATE OF MEDICAL PRACTITIONER
                  In the matter of Jacob Levy
                  of 36 Middlesex Street Aldgate E.
                  in the City of London
                  Butcher
                  an alleged lunatic.
                  I the undersigned Henry James Sequeira
                  do hereby certify ...
                  On the 14th day of August 1890
                  at 36 Middlesex Street, Aldgate E.
                  in the City of London
                  I personally examined Jacob Levy
                  and came to the conclusion that he is person of unsound mind
                  and a proper person to be taken charge of and detailed under care and treatment.
                  3. I formed this conclusion on the following grounds, viz.:-
                  (a) Facts indicating insanity observed by myself at the time of examination viz.
                  Known patient several years, formerly shrewd business man, now quite
                  incapable of carrying on same, giving wrong change & money back for things
                  bought. Says he feels a something within him, impelling him to take every
                  thing he sees. Feels that if he is not restrained he will do some violence to some one
                  Complains of hearing strange noises.
                  (b) Facts communicated by others viz.:-
                  Wife (Sarah Levy 36 Middlesex St
                  Deposes:- That he has nearly ruined her business, being quite incapable of
                  taking care of money. Makes away with every penny he can put his hands on.
                  Orders goods indiscriminately & is continually taking other peoples goods, carrying
                  them off. Wanders away from home for hours without any purpose. Does not sleep at
                  night, raves & is continually fancying someone is going to do him bodily harm.
                  [He] appeared to me to be in a fit condition ... to be removed to an asylum ...
                  14th August 1890
                  H. J. Sequeira
                  of 34 Jewry Street Aldgate London E.
                  CITY OF LONDON UNION.
                  61, BARTHOLOMEW CLOSE, E.C.
                  16th day of Augt 1890


                  GENTLEMEN
                  I have to inform you that on the 15th
                  day of Augt I removed Jacob Levy
                  to the City of London Lunatic
                  Asylum, near Dartford, Kent.
                  The name and address of the nearest known
                  relative or friend is-
                  Sarah Levy "Wife"
                  36 Middlesex St
                  Aldgate
                  [unsigned] Relieving Officer ...


                  [Draft notification 18th Augt 1890 to Mrs Sarah Levy 36 Middlesex Street Aldgate
                  that her husband has been removed to the City of London Lunatic Asylum at Stone.
                  Frederick W. Crane, Clerk.


                  [Note 31st July 1891 informing her that her husband died at the Asylum on the 29th July 1891.
                  F. W. Crane

                  With envelope addressed to Mrs Sarah Levy 36 Middlesex Street Aldgate E, marked Gone Away.

                  August 4th 1891
                  re Jacob Levy deceased
                  Sir
                  I saw the widow Mrs. Levy yesterday she is staying with her sister in law Mrs Barnett, 87 Middlesex St. she was aware of the death.
                  ...
                  [?]J A Chapman R [?]O
                  [to F. W. Crane, Clerk]


                  CITY OF LONDON LUNATIC ASYLUM ...
                  NOTICE OF DEATH ...
                  Jacob Levy a Pauper Patient admitted into this Asylum on the Fifteenth
                  day of August 1890, died therein in the presence of Attendant
                  Wm. Hewlett and Mrs. Levy (wife) on the Twenty Ninth day of July 1891.
                  Dated the Thirtieth day of July 1891.
                  Signed Alfred Hobley
                  Clerk of the Asylum.
                  I Certify that the apparent cause of Death of the said Jacob Levy [as ascertained by post-mortem examination - deleted], was
                  Exhaustion from General Paralysis of the Insane
                  Signed Ernest W White
                  Medical Superintendent
                  To the Guardians [etc]


                  Draft notification 31 July 1891 to his widow of his death.
                  It's not about what you know....it's about what you can find out

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Isn't it interesting to note how his brother's death is described here!
                    It's not about what you know....it's about what you can find out

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Two screws loose...

                      Thanks for posting this stuff you all..

                      Says he feels a something within him, impelling him to take every
                      thing he sees. Feels that if he is not restrained he will do some violence to some one Complains of hearing strange noises.
                      Would these be characteristics of a ripper? Hmmm, little of value left on many victims. Surely just a coincidence…
                      Makes away with every penny he can put his hands on. Orders goods indiscriminately & is continually taking other peoples goods, carrying them off. Wanders away from home for hours without any purpose. Does not sleep at night, raves & is continually fancying someone is going to do him bodily harm.
                      Hmmm again, does he really wander without purpose? This description reminds me of The serial killer Richard Chase who roamed California in the late 70’s.. It does make one wonder if the ripper was a similar character (to Chase).

                      Chase was probably a co-morbid schizo/psychopath, a condition well documented in Rob House’s book. He was a horrible mutilating monster dubbed the Vampire.

                      Not sure if Koz or Lynn’s JI fits this co-morbid bill as well?


                      Greg

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        This is Jacob's medical records from Stone asylum


                        Date of Removal, Discharge, or Death. 29 [July 1891]
                        Date of last Admission. 15 Augt 1890
                        No. in Register of Patients 1860
                        CHRISTIAN AND SURNAME AT LENGTH. Jacob Levy
                        Sex. [M]
                        DISCHARGED.
                        REMOVAL [etc]
                        Died. [M]
                        Assigned Cause of Death. Exhaustion from General Paralysis of the Insane
                        Age at Death. 35 [changed from 25?]
                        OBSERVATIONS.
                        [CLA/001/B/04/025, Stone Asylum, Register of Removals, Discharges and Deaths, male and female patients 1891-1895]

                        (a) Name Jacob Levy
                        Age & sex 34 years - male
                        Social Condition married
                        No. in Register 1860
                        Admitted. Augt 15th 1890
                        Previous occupation. Butcher
                        Address of Friends, Sarah Levy (wife) [36 Middlesex St. Aldgate [S deleted in black?] E.C. deleted in red] [red:] 87 Middlesex St. Aldgate
                        Religion Hebrew
                        Education Good
                        __________________________________________________ _____________________________________________
                        (b) State on admission Habit of Body Temperament
                        Expressn of Countenance Restless
                        Vascr & Respy organs Normal
                        Abdominal Viscera Normal Pulse 95 Tongue Clean
                        Skin &c Covered with scratches also deeply a wound upon right buttock
                        wound upon left index finger
                        stained with copper coloured discolouration Bruises & other injuries Two marks
                        most likely syphilitic of recent boils on back
                        Epileptic No Suicidal No Dangerous No
                        __________________________________________________ __________________________________________
                        (c) Phenomena of disorder manner & period of attack &c
                        Known patient several years: formerly shrewd business man, now quite
                        incapable of carrying on the same, giving wrong change & money back
                        for things bought Says he feels a something within him impelling him
                        to take everything he sees Feels that if he is not restrained he will do
                        some violence to some one. Complains of hearing strange noises
                        Wife (Sarah Levy 36 Middlesex St deposes That he has nearly ruined her
                        business being quite incapable of taking care of money. Makes away
                        with every penny he can put his hand on, orders goods indiscriminately
                        & is continually taking other peoples goods carrying them off. Wanders away
                        from home for hours with out any purpose. Does not sleep at night raves
                        and is continually fancying someone is going to do him bodily harm.
                        __________________________________________________ __________________________________________
                        (b) previous history Has had a previous attack. Was sentenced to 18month imprisonment
                        in 1886 but was sent from prison to Essex County Asylum
                        Duration of attack.- "Some time"
                        Hereditary predisposition.- Eldest brother was insane & committed suicide
                        Previous attacks.- One in 1886
                        __________________________________________________ __________________________________________
                        Form of Insanity.- Mania supposed cause.- Hereditary
                        Bodily health - Good Height.- 5ft.3in Weight 9st.3lbs
                        PM refused in event of death
                        __________________________________________________ __________________________________________


                        August 18th.
                        His wife visited him today & says that he recently took
                        to drink, and that was the first thing that attracted
                        her attention to his mental condition he then wasted
                        his money pawned his goods & from being a good
                        husband & father became neglectful & unkind
                        [August] 21st.
                        [inserted in red:] Return to Commissrs in Lunacy - "
                        He is suffering from mania says that he feels
                        compelled to do acts contrary to the dictates of his
                        conscience by a power which he cannot withstand
                        Has delusions as to his own importance, such
                        as - it being in his power to give great grants
                        of land & money He is free from disease of
                        lungs & heart, & with the exception of evidence
                        of [a deleted] syphilitic disease he is in good health [red:] "
                        [August] 27th
                        has been well-behaved since admission - at that time he suffered
                        from Insomnia - now he sleeps well and takes food with a keen
                        relish - he is loquacious, & apparently does not feel his position
                        at all - there is a "nonchalance" in his manner wh: is most unfitted
                        to his condition - [or deleted?] and [something illegible deleted - undefined?] wh: suggests that he is conscious
                        of a feeling of exaltation - Works on the farm daily.
                        Septr 4th [red below:] 10st 0lb
                        No material change - slight improvement - feels that he is
                        much better & is asking when he may go Home again.
                        [Septr] 10th
                        No change to note - October 11th No change of importance.
                        Octr 26th
                        The last 2 or 3 days has seemed "out of sorts" - today had an attack of
                        giddiness & faintness - Heart normal - attack lasted only a few minutes
                        is very depressed - crying - can give no reason for this - lost his appetite
                        [underlined:] pupils are unequal - left much larger - inactive - irregular - epiphora -
                        (iritis?.) Rx. Liq Donovan's 15 min: 3 times a day.-
                        Novr 8th
                        had an epileptiform attack today - convulsions were confined
                        almost entirely to the left side - was not unconscious - has felt giddy
                        for 2 or 3 days - left pupil much enlarged -
                        contind page 94

                        1890 Decr 4 [red below:] 9st 3lb.
                        Jacob Levy. continued from p. 32.
                        For the last few days has had an eczematous eruption on
                        both thighs, resembling Scabies - it is yielding to Ung: Sulphuris -
                        no change mentally - always bright & lively - no despondency since
                        last note. A. H. Syree
                        Dec 30th
                        Eczematous erruption [very deleted?] quite well, patient is very
                        contented with himself & things about him A Lyons
                        1891 January 31st
                        Has been transferred to No 4 Ward. Works on the farm. Is
                        in the same exhalted state A. Lyons.
                        March 6th [red below:] 10st.
                        Still very exalted. Pupils markedly unequal. A Lyons.
                        May 5th
                        Has had a boil on his neck which is now getting better, on
                        Tinct Ferri Perchlor etc. A Lyons.
                        [May 25th deleted]
                        July 15th '91 [below:] 8st 7
                        Is much worse mentally. Is losing strength & weight in
                        spite of special feeding. Pupils very unequal. [?N G] Evans.
                        July 22nd.
                        Is weaker & very troublesome, requires two or three
                        attendants to dress & undress him. Requires to be
                        spoon fed. N [?G] Evans
                        July 29th.
                        Had an epileptiform attack at 8 a.m. When seen at 8.30
                        pulse & respiration very rapid & feeble. Pulse 120. Resp. 40
                        [On?] examination no physical signs of pulmonary congestion.
                        there are bruises on left arm & over [inner?] end of L. sternum
                        also [inserted: (slight)] over pelvis at the back caused by falling. Apparently
                        some [above: (slight)] tenderness over right side of chest [inserted: but no bruising or other sign of injury] He resisted
                        examination vigorously
                        at 5 p.m. Resp. 40 moist sounds all over backs of both
                        lungs. Pulse cannot be counted at wrist (140 at [brachial?]).
                        he gradually sank & died at 7.52 p.m. N [G?] Evans
                        See Page 95

                        From Page 94 Jacob Levy
                        July 30/91 Statement to Coroner this day
                        "Jacob Levy - Male - 35 - Butcher - 36 Middlesex St
                        Aldgate. 7.52 PM - July 29/91 - [red above: Cause of Death] Exhaustion from
                        General Paralysis of the Insane - In the Male
                        Infirmary since May 29th last - [red above: Duration of Disease] Some years -
                        [red above: PM] No - Permission refused - [red above: Present at Death] Charge Attt. Wm. Hewlett
                        & Mrs. Levy (wife) - "
                        30th. July 1891 - Ernest W. White
                        Dead 29.VII.91
                        [CLA/001/B/02/009, Stone Asylum, Case Book Males No 9 (male admissions 1890-1891)]
                        It's not about what you know....it's about what you can find out

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The idea that Levy was a kleptomaniac is terribly interesting. It has little bearing on whether or not he was the Ripper, but it's one of those control disorders, like anorexia or certain OCDs. It does not strike strong personalities typically, which would mean Levy may have been easily bullied.

                          Also, he was tiny! I know men were smaller back then, but 5'3? 129 pounds? Can a man that small take down a woman the size of Polly Nichols? That's literally the size of my niece and she bounces right off me. If he was the Ripper, we're going to have to adjust a lot of attack theories.

                          The report refers to syphilitic boils. And I honestly don't know what that means, since boils are not a symptom of syphilis. The best I can come up with is that the doctor meant chancres, but there are no chancres beyond the primary stage. Which by definition would have to be long over before neurosyphilis kicks in. There are a couple of other references to symptoms of syphilis, but not symptoms that would be present during General Paresis of the Insane. So I'm not exactly sure what conclusion to draw from this.

                          But here's an odd idea. Some of the herpetic viruses, especially shingles does cause all of those symptoms. It can also cause encephalitis, thus madness, and then death. Shingles was known then, so I'm not sure why they would say syphilis instead of that. It's weird.

                          He's clearly suffering from something when he goes in. And he has mood swings. But I couldn't speculate as to the cause. It is not the typical GPI, though. I know that. There is no mention of four or five primary symptoms of GPI. Whether it's atypical or something else entirely I imagine we will never know.
                          The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hi Greg

                            It is tantalising isn't it, he seems to fit a lot of criteria but we just can't 'nail' him to anything

                            I will be honest and say I am not sure Greg, I haven't had much time this last few month to look at Jacob Iscensmidt - sorry Lynn - not through lack of interest but health problems - but hopefully things will work out and will be back on the boards again.
                            It's not about what you know....it's about what you can find out

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Solid as air...

                              Thanks tji, hopefully you'll soon return to full health...

                              There are some strange similarities between JI and JL....perhaps even Koz and Cohen..........maybe our brilliant authorities conflated some of the above........?

                              As for Errata's claim of JL being small, I said this once also but people chastised me. There are some strong wiry little b*stards...like jockeys...throw in manual labor and a little fellow can have arms like steel cables.....Chapman could have outweighed the ripper but probably couldn't out bench press him....

                              Clever Trevor's Feigenbaum was a little sucker too...

                              And remember that Joseph Levy said the fellow at Mitre Square was about 3 inches higher than the woman. Eddowes was 5'0"......

                              Intriguing but like grasping at air tji et al...


                              Greg

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