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Vasiliev, Saviour of Lost Souls?

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  • Vasiliev, Saviour of Lost Souls?

    Hello all,

    There is press and dissertation information available on this Russian suspect here, and I would recommend it to anyone who hasnt reviewed it yet.

    Nicolai(ay) Vasiliev has the distinction of being accused and convicted for 5 assaults/murders of prostitutes with a knife in Paris in 14 days, in the early 1870's...perhaps as late as 1875. He was suggested by newsmen in England and in some International news articles as being the likely perpetrator of The Whitechapel Horrors, and in November-Dec 1888, and was the subject of two American books released at that time on the crimes, "A History of The Whitechapel Murders: A full and Authentic Narrative of the Murders", self published by Richard Fox in New York, and in "Leather Apron, or, The Horrors of Whitechapel London", published in Philidelphia. Both books accused Vasiliev of being the most likely man connected to the murders.

    He stabbed and mutilated prostitutes, leaving their money, belongings, purses, jewels...etc., and was caught redhanded with a street walker he attempted to kill in the Rue Lyon. His crusade against immoral women began in Paris in the early 1870's..again, perhaps as late as 1875, and led him to pursue a young street walker named Madeline, whom he fell in love with, and whom had fled from him. He found her, 2 months later, and stabbed her in the back, killing her. 2 days later, he killed another woman, and 3 days after that, another. Some 5 attacks in 14 days.

    He was pleaded as insane by his lawyer, and incarcerated in an asylum in Bayonne, France so it would appear, and was released in January 1st, 1888. His last known whereabouts were reported to be departing for London just after his release. He disappears from that point.

    Some interesting hi-lites;

    -He was first suggested by the Weekly Herald on Oct 12th, just after the "Double Event".
    -He was insane, and had been institutionalized.
    -He was castrated....something done by his choice, prior to his killings, not by a legal decree.
    -He had a modest income from familial sources, which enabled him to survive without working.
    -He showed animosity towards those women who worked the streets, and called himself "The Saviour of Lost Souls"
    -He was convicted of killing and mutilating "street" women in Paris, in approx 1875.
    -He attacked and killed women outdoors.

    Here is another interesting piece on Russian radicals in France at the time....

    "At that time, the Foreign Bureau of the Tsarist Secret Service, the Okhrana, had its headquarters at the Russian consulate in Paris and maintained a network of agents in Switzerland. The Foreign Bureau used provocation primarily to persuade the French to take action against Russian radicals and cooperate with the Okhrana. The most notorious provocation occurred in Paris in 1890, when an Okhrana operative, Arkadiy Harting, organized a team of bomb-throwers whom he later betrayed to the Sureté. Their heavily publicized arrests helped convince the French public of the dangers posed by Russian radicals in France. "

    Interesting that Anderson takes his rest in Switzerland perhaps.

    Its difficult to put the owness for the crimes on someone who had no history of violence or anarchist ties, heres a man who had killed streetwalkers already, was insane, showed a pre-disposition to coverting or killing street whores, and was on his way to London at the beginning of the year that spawned "The Ripper".

    Best regards all.
    Last edited by perrymason; 11-26-2008, 09:57 PM.

  • #2
    There is quite a full account of the background to this man at
    http://www.casebook.org/press_report...ar/881114.html

    Comment


    • #3
      Hello Mike,
      do you really believe in these murders in Paris? I've always read that this story has never been substantiated. Of course, if you can produce articles from French newspapers, I will change my mind... Let alone the newspapers, I've never come accross novels or short stories inspired by such crimes, though I know quite well French literature of that period.
      I'd add that I can't imagine such a murderer being released, especially in the 19th century. Vacher himself was insane, his case was studied by Lacassagne, but he has been quickly guillotined, hasn't he?

      Amitiés,
      David

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by DVV View Post
        Hello Mike,
        do you really believe in these murders in Paris? I've always read that this story has never been substantiated. Of course, if you can produce articles from French newspapers, I will change my mind... Let alone the newspapers, I've never come accross novels or short stories inspired by such crimes, though I know quite well French literature of that period.
        I'd add that I can't imagine such a murderer being released, especially in the 19th century. Vacher himself was insane, his case was studied by Lacassagne, but he has been quickly guillotined, hasn't he?

        Amitiés,
        David
        Bonjour David,

        Im not sure how much of the story I am willing to surrender my belief to David, but I do feel that to have his name appear as a potential suspect as early as October in London papers, and by December two American books were published, we must have something here. What exactly....I dont know.

        But if its true, and accurate, I think he would be a very viable suspect.

        Cheers David.

        Comment


        • #5
          Bonsoir Mike,
          certainly Wassili belongs to the ripper's story, but why and how...? Is he a man, or a ghost...?
          Amitiés,
          David

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by DVV View Post
            Bonsoir Mike,
            certainly Wassili belongs to the ripper's story, but why and how...? Is he a man, or a ghost...?
            Amitiés,
            David
            Hi David,

            I think we have a "story", and a real man...the problem is, as it was then, is it has been impossible to authenticate elements of the story. That doesnt mean there is no truth there, just that we have yet to produce any.

            If there is truth there, to my mind he would fit the profile of what Jack may have been quite well.

            Cheers David.

            Comment


            • #7
              I'm resurrecting this thread as per Lynn Cates' wishes.

              Quote:
              Originally Posted by lynn cates
              Rereading Butterworth and the story of Cyprien Jagolkovsky reconfirmed for me the capabilities of Mr. Rachkovski.

              I really need to hear the details about this, and I can consult Butterworth only online, not in its entirety. Could you enlighten me on the case of Cyprien Jagolkovsky (perhaps in an email)?

              Quote:
              Originally Posted by lynn cates
              I would be delighted to see anything about Vasilliev. There is no doubt in my mind but that Rachkovski took a pre-existing story and tweaked it to implicate his enemies.

              So you've stated in the Kaufmann thread.
              Quote Lynn Cates:
              The articles published in the Pall Mall Gazette, the Daily Telegraph and the Star resemble other articles planted in newspapers by the Okhrana as part of its provocation campaigns.

              Can you elaborate on which articles planted in the newspapers by the Okhrana you are referring to? Are you referring to Le Courrier Franco-Russe and to the Revue Russe? Do you have precise info on this, are the newspaper issues in question available to you, or do you wish me to look up these newspapers at the Bibliothèque Historique de la ville de Paris?

              Quote:
              Originally Posted by lynn cates
              Would you know:
              1. the origin of the October story about the French killer (who sounds like Vasilliev)?

              Yes, I know about the October 12, 1888 newspaper story and it implicates Nikolai Vasiliev, but I'm not convinced of the accuracy of this newspaper story at all.

              Quote:
              Originally Posted by lynn cates
              2. the date of the original Novosti article on Vasilliev?

              November 17, 1888 (or November 5, 1888 according to the Julian calendar). Are you implying a specific significance for this date?

              Lynn, are you aware of a very short dissertation by Christopher J. Morley (http://www.casebook.org/ripper_media/book_reviews/non-fiction/cjmorley/193.html) which completely lacks footnotes, doesn't quote any sources, and claims that Vasiliev was committed to an asylum in Bayonne, and released as cured on 1 January 1888, whereupon he declared his intention to go to London, but all this solely according to press reports, while there is apparently NO evidence that Vasiliev ever existed (??censuses?), NO records of his arrest or his committal to an asylum, and NO evidence to confirm that a series of murders actually occurred in Paris? I can easily research the criminal records in Paris, IF there are relatively complete records for the year 1888 (the online catalogue implies that there are records, without being very precise).
              Apparently there is also an article by Stepan Poberowsky on Nikolai Vasiliev published in Ripperologist 50. No way for me to get this back issue in print (amazon.uk doesn't feature it anymore), unless some kind soul xeroxes it and sends it to me.

              IF there's proof that Vasiliev existed and travelled from Paris to London in 1888 (and that's a big IF, apparently), we should research a possible connection of him to the IWEC. He's not mentioned in any of the French spy reports (on Whitechapel anarchist activity) that I already have, but there are more spy reports to go through in Paris.
              Most relevant right now would be to consult the Rip 50 issue, I'd say, unless anyone else has relevant information on Vasiliev.
              Best regards,
              Maria

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by DVV View Post
                do you really believe in these murders in Paris? I've always read that this story has never been substantiated. Of course, if you can produce articles from French newspapers, I will change my mind.
                I'd add that I can't imagine such a murderer being released, especially in the 19th century. Vacher himself was insane, his case was studied by Lacassagne.
                Very pertinent 3 years old post from David. I can give it a try at researching the alleged Vasiliev Paris crimes in French newspapers, but I very much doubt the existence of such a murderer having escaped the celebrity of Vacher AND having been released from an asylum.
                Appears to me entirely as a press construction. Orchestrated by the Okhrana?
                Best regards,
                Maria

                Comment


                • #9
                  respondeo quod

                  Hello Maria. First, Pedachenko/Konovalov/Luisovo is likely a garbling of different stories by Le Queux. His "Rasputin" may have been the anarchist "Raspoutina." (I consulted Debs Arif on this one and she thought it likely.)

                  The motive, however, is all wrong. Okhrana worked WITH local police, not AGAINST them.

                  Regarding Jagolkovsky, he was Rachkovski's deep penetration agent (early 20 th c as I recall) who was in on the murder of a general and which was subsequently blamed on anarchists.

                  The articles on Vasilliev are due to the Casebook dissertation (from which I quoted--it is Poberowsky's).

                  My questions to you concerned the date of the Vassiliev story: I am trying to ascertain whether it began BEFORE the death of MJK or AFTER. (My reason should be obvious.)

                  Cheers.
                  LC

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Here is a relevant vintage thread from casebook in 2003, featuring Chris Scott and Pavel Poberowsky. The latter is the author of an article on Vasiliev in Ripperologist #50: http://www.casebook.org/forum/messages/4922/7729.html

                    Lynn, I remember about the potential mix between Rasputin and Rasputina as discussed in your Kaufmann thread, and it makes sense.

                    Quote Lynn cates:
                    The motive, however, is all wrong. Okhrana worked WITH local police, not AGAINST them.

                    Precisely.

                    Was Jagolkovsky an agent in Paris or in London, Lynn?
                    Sorry Lynn, I'm not buying stock into the Mary Kelly alleged political connection. But I'm with you on researching the IWEC connection (and perhaps even a Mitre Square connection).

                    What I wanted to clarify: I don't know if you've already considered this, but EVEN if Vasiliev has never existed (and he probably hasn't), this could most possibly imply an Okhrana campaign. In my opinion, what should be researched is the Okhrana connection to the newspapers which brought forward the Vasiliev story. In other words, we're not dealing with a “I spy with my little eye“ situation here, but with possible manipulation of the press by a foreign agency collaborating with parts of the local police.
                    Last edited by mariab; 03-06-2011, 05:09 PM.
                    Best regards,
                    Maria

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      press

                      Hello Maria. Your last paragraph says it all.

                      Jagolkovsky was originally Geneva based. However, his movements were fluid and he it was who first advised Rachkovski that he needed to do something about the emigres in the east end of London.

                      Cheers.
                      LC

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I'm very glad we completely agree, Lynn.
                        Lynn, the newspapers you referred to, as in The Pall Mall Gazette, The Daily Telegraph, The Star, Le Courrier Franco-Russe, and La Revue Russe, have you been consulting them at www.newspaperarchive.com, and are they all available there, including the French speaking Russian ones? How about The Echo and The North Eastern Daily Gazzette, have you heard anything about planted stories there? The reason I'm asking about the latter two newspapers is that Le Grand has been known to have had access and contribution of stories in these 2 newspapers. The stories he contributed pertained to Packer's testimony and to his (Le Grand's) alleged “discovery“ of a grapestalk and of the alleged residence of the Batty Street Lodger.

                        I assume that your information about planted articles in the press by the Okhrana has its provenance in Butterworth and Fisher? Have you already gone through any of these planted articles? Also, any possibility of getting the names of collaborating journalists? As in, do the planted articles in question include a byline with the journalist's name? Do you also realize that this might be potentially connected to some of the Ripper letters?
                        I most definitely wish to contribute in researching these newspapers, and I should be able to do this in approx. 2 1/2 weeks, from Paris. (Before that, I'm simply covered up to my ears with work, while still catching up on my reading in Ripperology.) I can also research additional French newspapers when in Paris.

                        As for Jagolkovsky's provocatory murder of a general, did it happen in Geneva, in Paris, or in London?
                        I also have it in my mind to keep my eyes open, just in case, for the name Nikolai Vasiliev in anarchist reports and around any of the Berner Street clubs, esp. the IWEC and the St John's Working Mens' Club on Backchurch Lane, around the corner from Berner Street. And I'm referring to Vasiliev NOT as a killer, but as a simple anarchist, smeared by a campaign. I don't think that it would hurt to keep that possibility in mind.
                        Last edited by mariab; 03-06-2011, 10:22 PM.
                        Best regards,
                        Maria

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          etc

                          Hello Maria. He was assassinated in Paris, December 1890. At one time there was a large file on Jagolkovski in the Belgian Surete. But, according to Butterworth, it vanished into thin air. (Again, according to Butterworth, the Okhrana files about London operations disappeared shortly thereafter. Perhaps the blitz?) (heh-heh)

                          By the way, rumour had it (much later of course) that Seliverstov was killed as much for personal motives on Rachkovski's part as for provocation.

                          Yes, my information on the "plants" are from Butterworth and Fischer. And, yes, I believe them related to the "Jack" letters. But many gaps to fill.

                          I must check the papers again to see if I can track down more. (If only I had a bit more free time!)

                          Cheers.
                          LC

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by lynn cates View Post
                            He was assassinated in Paris, December 1890. At one time there was a large file on Jagolkovski in the Belgian Surete. But, according to Butterworth, it vanished into thin air. (Again, according to Butterworth, the Okhrana files about London operations disappeared shortly thereafter. Perhaps the blitz?) (heh-heh)
                            I should have known about this. Pity about the Belgian Sûreté, as I've got their internet link: http://www.archives-democratie.be/node/151

                            Originally posted by lynn cates View Post
                            By the way, rumour had it (much later of course) that Seliverstov was killed as much for personal motives on Rachkovski's part as for provocation.
                            By personal motives, do you mean antagonism and animosity, or something even more personal? (He stole his wife? Kicked his dog? Ate his cake?)

                            Originally posted by lynn cates View Post
                            But many gaps to fill.I must check the papers again to see if I can track down more. (If only I had a bit more free time!)
                            Same here, but after I wrap up this thick pain in the butt French article and polish up the manuscript of my book for publication, it'll be all gravy. The research is the fun, it's the editorial work that bores me to death.
                            Goonight Lynn, and no worries. I promise I'll do 70% of the newspapers research, plus all the boxes at the Paris AN, plus the criminal records and everything in Paris.
                            Last edited by mariab; 03-07-2011, 02:02 AM.
                            Best regards,
                            Maria

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              story

                              Hello Maria. Well, Jagolkovsky came forward about 10 years later and admitted his role. In another 10 years (Butterworth) this motive was alleged. The idea is that Rachkovski saw him as competition.

                              I have pasted a snippet from "The Guardian" December 31, 1890 below. It is based on the planted story by Rachkovski. Unfortunately for Rachkovski, the story fell apart due to an alibi and so he had another one planted.

                              As you can see, the story is already being questioned.

                              Cheers.
                              LC
                              Attached Files

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