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Could Jack have killed some of the torso victims?

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  • This may be old news to you all (I am new here) but let me make sure; are you familiar with this particular crank letter, I have never seen it before? I pulled it from a Minnesota newspaper but it is obviously a clip from a London newspaper, but I don't know which one.

    I think we can conclude that the writer was familiar with the Whitehall event and the Dear Boss letter.

    It was postmarked Portsmouth, November 28th. If you have not see it you might find the threat interesting. It is as though he is promising us there will be a Pinchin Street torso.

    I have no clue what "same handwriting" the newspaper is referring to, maybe the 'From Hell' letter or maybe 'Dear Boss'

    I find it interesting that he brags about having "plenty of time to do it properly" -- that is something we today often note about the Mary Kelly murder.

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    • Originally posted by APerno View Post
      It is as though he is promising us there will be a Pinchin Street torso.
      Thanks - a new one on me, and intriguing, although if it had said "head and legs" it'd have been nearer the mark for Pinchin. Also, given that the writer was clearly gloating over the Ripper's dismantling of Mary Kelly, it might well be that the author had in mind a thorough cutting-up of a body in situ, rather than depositing a torso as such.

      Interesting that "mustache" is spelled the American way in this transcript. Was it thus written in the original letter, I wonder?
      it is obviously a clip from a London newspaper
      I'm not so sure about that.
      Kind regards, Sam Flynn

      "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

      Comment


      • Mmm, intreresting. I can"t find the letter with a cursory search in Letter's from Hell, nor the press reports, but there are a couple of possibly related letters from around the same time.

        Firstly, it may be worth noting that a young boy - Percy Serle - had his throat cut in the street in Portsmouth on the 26th Nov, just two days before this letter was written.

        The Morning Advertiser 29th Nov carries the following letter, which may refer to the Portsmouth letter, and be by the same writer;
        "Mr. Saunders, the presiding magistrate, yesterday received a letter purporting to come from "jack the Ripper," which bore the Hastings post mark, and which was addressed to "Head Magistrate, Police Court, Whitechapel." It read as follows:

        "Dear Boss,

        It is no use looking for me in London or in Portsmouth, for I have reached Hastings now, but I shant be long before I get in London again, back to my work again, but not the man with the black moustache. Ha! ha! ha!

        Yours, ‘JACK THE RIPPER’""

        nb. different spelling of moustache, though.

        The same paper also refers to a letter to the Staffordshire Constabulary, whose writer threatens to cut the arms off his next victim.

        As Sam has pointed out, the Pinchin St Torso had the head and legs removed, not the head and arms, but a (hastily written) letter from Paddington dated 20th (or 24th) November says "I am going to her head off and her legs off" the next victim.

        A letter from Manchester 22 Nov purports to be from Jack and mentions an earlier letter signed J Ripper from Portsmouth written shortly after the Kelly murder. But I'm not sure whether he's claiming credit for it or claiming that it's a fake.

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        • Yea there is no way to know if an American newspaper editor altered the spelling of "moustache" or not. Does anyone know if this letter is archived in the Casebook inventory?

          I am surprised to learn that there are several letters all originating from Portsmouth (I never knew that) and that a Portsmouth boy was found with his throat slit is interesting considering there was also an attack on an adolescent boy in the London area (who was also dismembered and scattered about).

          Referring back to the original Dear Boss letter, didn't the police react to the use of "HA! HA! as being an Americanism and sent them off interviewing Americans (cowboys and Indians from a wild west show that was currently performing in the London area?)

          Can any of the Brits enlighten me if this is true: that "HA! HA!" is not a common British slang term?

          P.S. How come Casebook's spell check recognizes "mustache" but does not recognize "moustache" ? -- Same with "color" and "colour" I assume Casebook originates from England but I guess the software comes from the States.

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          • Hello APerno

            It wasn't that "ha! ha!" is/was an Americanism, but "boss" was. (Not that it was unheard of in Britain, but it originated, and was more commonly used, in America.)
            Kind regards, Sam Flynn

            "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

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            • Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post
              Hello APerno

              It wasn't that "ha! ha!" is/was an Americanism, but "boss" was. (Not that it was unheard of in Britain, but it originated, and was more commonly used, in America.)
              Point of trivia here Gareth.
              Years ago I researched the story of Mathew Hopkins, aka, Witchfinder General. Back in the day in East Anglia calling someone "Boss" was quite common, it was an English expression that migrated to the US with the Pilgrim Fathers.

              Regards, Jon S.

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              • Interesting. The OED gives its etymology as deriving from the Dutch baas (master), with American citations dating back to the 17th century. That being the case, it's perhaps a coin-toss as to whether it was the Dutch or the Pilgrim Fathers who introduced the word to America.
                Kind regards, Sam Flynn

                "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

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                • OK, I am sorry I got you guys going on this, but why then did CID believe the letter may have been written by an American?

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                  • The idea that the author was American extended beyond the police, as these two letters published in the Evening News on Oct 8th 1888 illustrate:

                    Sir - I have been considered somewhat of an expert in handwriting, and having carefully examined the facsimile of the letter you published a couple of days ago, signed "Jack the Ripper," have no hesitation in saying that it bears every evidence of being American - what is known in the States as the Spenserian style - the capitals especially bear out this idea, not only so, but the whole phraseology is Yankee, and it would indeed be strange should it eventually prove to be the work of the real murderer himself, and the more so should the monster fiend turn out to be the same inhuman wretch who perpetrated a series of similar horrible crimes in Texas some time ago. At all events the hint might be worth looking into, and every American of a suspicious character watched.

                    I am, &c.,
                    G.E.
                    October 7.


                    Sir - I have examined the writing with the facsimile letters of "Jack the Ripper" in your issue of the 4th inst., and am perfectly satisfied that the writer was educated in the public schools of one of the Southwestern States of America. I judge that from the writing, and the expressions used. I am of opinion that he is of the mechanic class, and that the police had better look for him in one of the better class lodging houses or third class hotels, since men of his class in America would not sleep in the dens of Whitechapel. Having seen a great deal of American life, and having observed the mechanical class during investigations into industrial pursuits in that country, I feel sure that I am right. The man has been, in my opinion, infatuated with some women of the town. who first robbed him, and then deserted him, and this is his revenge.

                    I am, &c.,
                    An Observer.
                    Kind regards, Sam Flynn

                    "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

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                    • Sorry, just realised that this thread's gone a wee bit off-topic.
                      Kind regards, Sam Flynn

                      "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

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                      • My fault, sorry about that.

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                        • Originally posted by APerno View Post
                          My fault, sorry about that.
                          No probs. You asked some interesting questions
                          Kind regards, Sam Flynn

                          "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post
                            it's perhaps a coin-toss as to whether it was the Dutch or the Pilgrim Fathers who introduced the word to America.
                            Or perhaps both, since I believe the Pilgrim Fathers lived in the Netherlands before sailing for the new world.
                            ​​​​​

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                            • Originally posted by Joshua Rogan View Post

                              Or perhaps both, since I believe the Pilgrim Fathers lived in the Netherlands before sailing for the new world.
                              ​​​​​
                              Forbes Winslow was a direct descendant of a Pilgrim Father. Edward Winslow sailed on the Mayflower and signed the Mayflower Compact with his brother, Gilbert.

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                              • Originally posted by jerryd View Post

                                Forbes Winslow was a direct descendant of a Pilgrim Father. Edward Winslow sailed on the Mayflower and signed the Mayflower Compact with his brother, Gilbert.
                                Excellent jerry!

                                A couple more digressions and we'll be right back on topic again.

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