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Was Sickert's father also a killer?

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  • Was Sickert's father also a killer?

    I was researching the Coram Street murder of 1872 - the similarities to the Ripper case have been discussed on this site, and include the fact that the victim was a young prostitute who was found with her throat cut - and came across the following report in 'Famous Crimes: Past & Present'. I'm not convinced it means anything, but I thought the possible link to the art world (and perhaps to Oswald Sickert?) was intriguing nonetheless. Though the age given is wrong, the killer was described as 'a German'; Sickert, of course, was Danish-German. The writer was a man who knew murdered woman, Clara Burton, and was rushing to the house of some mutual friends to find out if she had indeed been killed:

    "On leaving my residence in Camden Town I had hailed the first cab I saw, and instructed the man to drive me to Argyle Square, King's Cross, for I knew by calling at a certain house there I could ascertain positively whether the murdered woman was, as I suspected, the same Clara known to our set. I was proceeding down College Street when I recognised the burly figure of a man whose identity there was no mistaking. It was an old friend of mine, an artist, who since those days has made a name for himself. Should I here describe his appearance, many of my readers would have no doubt as to whom I refer, so let it suffice to say that in the '70s he was a very conspicuous figure in Bohemian circles, and a right jolly good and most entertaining fellow… My friend, I could see with half an eye, had been dining out and making a night of it, so I pulled up my cab, jumped out, and after the usual salutation offered him a lift. I shall never forget the expression on his face. He was as pale as death, and there was strange look about his eyes. Clutching me by the arm with his powerful grip, he bent down, and in a low, sepulchral tone said, 'Yes, give me a lift – give me a lift. Drive me to the nearest police station. I am going to give myself up for the Great Coram Street Murder!'

    My feelings here may be better imagined than described. Here was one of my dearest old friends confessing such a crime. I hardly knew how to act. Could he be joking? It was hardly a matter for that, and his face was so white and his manner so earnest that I scarcely knew what to think. However, I soon made up my mind. Getting my friend into the cab, I told the man to drive to his address, which was only a mile or two away… All the way along he was muttering, "Blood!" "Murder!" "Coram Street!" "Poor girl!" "Police station!" and I soon discovered that he had been keeping up Christmas in a merrier manner than at first noticed. At length we arrived at his door, and I managed to induce him to enter and saw him to his room, giving instructions that he was by no reason to be disturbed until my return. He seemed dazed, and I left him sleeping on the couch. I shall never forget the state of mind I was in, for this had been a terrible shock, so I more than ever determined to clear up, as far as possible, the whole mysterious matter, and drove to Argyle Street."

    [To find out more, he visited some mutual friends – who, it transpired, had been with Clara and the man thought to be her murderer on that fatal Christmas Eve.]

    "It appeared that the poor girl went straight to the Alhambra, where she must have met her murderer. At Regent Circus two barmaids [one of them his friend] got into the same omnibus in which the deceased travelled with the man to Hunter Street, where they alighted. The girls were in conversation during the journey, and the barmaids were able to describe the murderer minutely. This was very thing I desired, and, with suppressed excitement, I listened. 'Our friends tell us,' said my Scotch hostess, between her sobs, 'that the wretch appeared to be about twenty-five years of age, was about 5ft 9in in height, and had a swarthy complexion, with blotches or pimples on his face. He wore a dark brown overcoat and a billy-**** hat, and although he only spoke once or twice in the omnibus, they both agreed that he was a foreigner.'

    "Thank heaven! I muttered to myself, for this description of the girl's companion was as unlike my artist friend as it would be possible to imagine, and I left relieved."

    "...When I arrived at [my friend's] residence I found that he had slept himself back to his senses, and when I upbraided him for his folly in his unpardonable self-accusation, he roared with laughter, considering it an immense joke. I learned afterwards, though, that he really had accused himself to the police, and the marvel is to this day that he was allowed to go at large."

  • #2
    Faulty title to thread

    By calling your thread "Was Sickerts father also a killer?" you are implying that Sickert was a killer.

    What is your evidence for this?

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    • #3
      Maybe they read Patricia Cornwell's book. It can be very convincing if you are a new to the case. It had me convinced. Until I continued my own investigation and read other information.

      Comment


      • #4
        Archive footage

        http://www.casebook.org/forum/messages/4920/16844.html
        allisvanityandvexationofspirit

        Comment


        • #5
          apologies for the calumny, Mr O. Sickert

          i decided to go for a spicy, devil's advocate type header... I thought Cornwell's book was well written and easy to read, but I don't necessarily subscribe to her view - and I must confess to being quite new to the field too (as you correctly guessed) so everyone on here will know more about the case than me. So no arguments as yet, but thank you for writing on my thread - i feel pretty proud to have added something to this excellent site.

          [ - Postmortem again...]
          Last edited by Holmes; 05-28-2010, 12:47 PM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by DanaeChantel View Post
            Maybe they read Patricia Cornwell's book. It can be very convincing if you are a new to the case. It had me convinced. Until I continued my own investigation and read other information.
            Sickert wrote letters claiming to be the killer. So the writer does have a basis for making the statement.

            You may not like it, but Cornwell has uncovered the only objective evidence in the case: the stationary for some of these letters came from the same batch that Sickert owned.

            Some might claim that this does not make one a serial killer. But it's rather odd for someone to write and take credit if credit is undeserved.

            And I have yet to see where in his lifetime, Sickert attempted to claim credit for another's work.

            Comment


            • #7
              Some might claim that this does not make one a serial killer. But it's rather odd for someone to write and take credit if credit is undeserved.
              Hi BTCG,

              A number of people claimed to have been the Ripper, literally hundreds if all the hoax letters are included. It's not at all unusual for people to claim responsibility for crimes they haven't committed - including murder.

              Regards, Bridewell.
              "It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data. Insensibly one begins twisting facts to suit theories instead of theories to suit facts." Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (as Sherlock Holmes).

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Bridewell View Post
                Hi BTCG,

                A number of people claimed to have been the Ripper, literally hundreds if all the hoax letters are included. It's not at all unusual for people to claim responsibility for crimes they haven't committed - including murder.

                Regards, Bridewell.
                Can you identify other writers, or is this just a theory?

                I believe I read of one woman who was prosectuted for this, but the details were sketchy, and if I recall, it was more that she made claims to the police that were untrue so as to incriminate her husband.
                Last edited by BTCG; 08-01-2012, 05:59 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Holmes View Post
                  i decided to go for a spicy, devil's advocate type header... I thought Cornwell's book was well written and easy to read, but I don't necessarily subscribe to her view - and I must confess to being quite new to the field too (as you correctly guessed) so everyone on here will know more about the case than me. So no arguments as yet, but thank you for writing on my thread - i feel pretty proud to have added something to this excellent site.

                  [ - Postmortem again...]
                  No apology needed. Sickert's stationary was used to pen Ripper letters taking credit for the murders.

                  When someone takes credit, the burden shifts to those involved to disprove it.

                  The only defense would seem to be to make the claim that someone else gained access to his stationary. This person must have been an able forger, as the drawing in many Ripper letters appear to have been made by someone with quite an artist's hand, simiar to Sickerts.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Other Writers

                    Can you identify other writers, or is this just a theory?
                    Other writers? Other than who? No, I can't identify who wrote the numerous hoax letters.

                    Sickert's stationary was used to pen Ripper letters taking credit for the murders.
                    I thought it was supposed to be stationery from the same batch as that used by Sickert (interesting if true). What is the evidence which takes us one step further and identifies it as being Sickert's own stationery?

                    Regards, Bridewell.
                    "It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data. Insensibly one begins twisting facts to suit theories instead of theories to suit facts." Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (as Sherlock Holmes).

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by BTCG View Post
                      Sickert wrote letters claiming to be the killer. So the writer does have a basis for making the statement.

                      You may not like it, but Cornwell has uncovered the only objective evidence in the case: the stationary for some of these letters came from the same batch that Sickert owned.

                      Some might claim that this does not make one a serial killer. But it's rather odd for someone to write and take credit if credit is undeserved.

                      And I have yet to see where in his lifetime, Sickert attempted to claim credit for another's work.
                      It has not been proven that Sickert wrote those letters. The stationery only came from the same batch and Sickert was not the only customer to receive paper from that batch.

                      Strange as it may seem, it is not at all odd for someone to take the credit for being a killer in these circumstances. As has bee pointed out by others, hundreds of letters were sent to the police claiming to be from the killer. Are you saying that Sickert wrote ALL of the letters received by the police, including the most famous of these, in which the sobriquet 'Jack the Ripper' was first used?

                      Finally, do you believe Cornwell's suggestion that the objective for Sickert carrying out these killings was an impairment to his penis?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Limehouse View Post
                        It has not been proven that Sickert wrote those letters. The stationery only came from the same batch and Sickert was not the only customer to receive paper from that batch.

                        Strange as it may seem, it is not at all odd for someone to take the credit for being a killer in these circumstances. As has bee pointed out by others, hundreds of letters were sent to the police claiming to be from the killer. Are you saying that Sickert wrote ALL of the letters received by the police, including the most famous of these, in which the sobriquet 'Jack the Ripper' was first used?

                        Finally, do you believe Cornwell's suggestion that the objective for Sickert carrying out these killings was an impairment to his penis?
                        It has, to the experts satisfaction. Did they witness the process? I would agree, no.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Limehouse View Post
                          It has not been proven that Sickert wrote those letters. The stationery only came from the same batch and Sickert was not the only customer to receive paper from that batch.

                          Strange as it may seem, it is not at all odd for someone to take the credit for being a killer in these circumstances. As has bee pointed out by others, hundreds of letters were sent to the police claiming to be from the killer. Are you saying that Sickert wrote ALL of the letters received by the police, including the most famous of these, in which the sobriquet 'Jack the Ripper' was first used?

                          Finally, do you believe Cornwell's suggestion that the objective for Sickert carrying out these killings was an impairment to his penis?
                          No. I believe his opium addiction, and subsequent withdrawal are a more likely explanation.

                          Although I dispise the 'trust me' type anecdotal, I can say, as one who had cervical spine surgery on Jan 17 2014, and had metal plates and screws put in my body, that coming off opium based pain medication will drive you crazy. Especially so, in one's inability to achieve paradoxical sleep.
                          Last edited by BTCG; 04-17-2014, 08:32 PM. Reason: spelling error

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by BTCG View Post
                            No. I believe his opium addiction, and subsequent withdrawal are a more likely explanation.

                            Although I dispise the 'trust me' type anecdotal, I can say, as one who had cervical spine surgery on Jan 17 2014, and had metal plates and screws put in my body, that coming off opium based pain medication will drive you crazy. Especially so, in one's inability to achieve paradoxical sleep.
                            And yet, (one would hope) this experience has not driven you to commit a series of extremely violent murders - so why Sickert?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Limehouse View Post
                              And yet, (one would hope) this experience has not driven you to commit a series of extremely violent murders - so why Sickert?
                              Read my post again, but more closely.

                              We now have synthetic drugs to ease withdrawal. We have counseling.

                              Sickert was a byproduct of a system without checks and balances: everything was easy access. Quitting such behavior in this type of environment was next to impossible.

                              A quick heads-up: get a copy of 'Confessions of an opium eater'. It's an real eye opener as to how one can delude oneself while under the influence..

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