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The Whitechapel Murders of 1888: Another Dead End? Interview with John Malcolm

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  • The Whitechapel Murders of 1888: Another Dead End? Interview with John Malcolm

    We welcome to the show John Malcolm, author of the book 'The Whitechapel Murders of 1888: Another Dead End?' to discuss Sir Robert Anderson, his Polish Jew suspect, and Aaron Kosminski.
    A roundtable with Paul Begg, Steve Blomer, Jon Rees and Jonathan Menges.

    Click image for larger version  Name:	865fbc1b-4196-4b1a-ad9a-bbacd75d1fd4.jpg Views:	0 Size:	14.3 KB ID:	717523

    Available now to stream or download from the following link:

    http://www.casebook.org/podcast/listen.html?id=234

    Also available in Apple & Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict, Castbox, Stitcher
    and wherever else 90 minute audio chats about Sir Robert Anderson can be found.

    Thank you to John for being on the show...

    and thank you for listening,



    JM

  • #2
    If the police were deliberately withholding and/or issuing contradictory or confusing statements on the Ripper's identity by plan (to keep his family from disgrace and the Jewish Community from experiencing repercussions), why did Swanson, in notes to himself, say that Kosminski "died shortly afterwards" when he was committed to Colney Hatch Asylum?

    The reasoning here being that there would have been no need for Swanson to privately write that Kosminski had died if there was nobody else to share this information with or deliberately misinform).

    Comment


    • #3
      Very good point, Scott. But why would Swanson write notes to himself? I would think that he would have assumed these notes would be (or might be) seen, eventually, by someone else. Otherwise, what would have been the point? These speculative ideas are not without moments of doubt, just something that has intrigued me and something that makes sense to me, and could make sense in the big picture. I'm very open to suggestions. And of course, just because I feel strongly about it today, doesn't mean that I'm every bit as likely to be wrong.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by John Malcolm View Post
        Very good point, Scott. But why would Swanson write notes to himself? I would think that he would have assumed these notes would be (or might be) seen, eventually, by someone else. Otherwise, what would have been the point? These speculative ideas are not without moments of doubt, just something that has intrigued me and something that makes sense to me, and could make sense in the big picture. I'm very open to suggestions. And of course, just because I feel strongly about it today, doesn't mean that I'm every bit as likely to be wrong.
        There is a strong suspicion that Swanson may not have been the author of all the notes in the marginalia !

        www.trevormarriott.co.uk

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by John Malcolm View Post
          Very good point, Scott. But why would Swanson write notes to himself? I would think that he would have assumed these notes would be (or might be) seen, eventually, by someone else.
          If he wanted to people to read his notes, it's sometimes occurred to me that Swanson could have penned a separate "Swanson Memorandum" at any time, rather than wait for Anderson's book to come out.

          Which reminds me... For those who have seen the book itself: are there other marginalia, or is it just the ones we know about?
          Kind regards, Sam Flynn

          "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

          Comment


          • #6
            I do know that Swanson added notes in the margins of Anderson's Criminals and Crime. Adam posted one image over on Howard’s site.
            https://www.jtrforums.com/showthread.php?t=17345

            JM

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by John Malcolm View Post
              Very good point, Scott. But why would Swanson write notes to himself? I would think that he would have assumed these notes would be (or might be) seen, eventually, by someone else. Otherwise, what would have been the point? These speculative ideas are not without moments of doubt, just something that has intrigued me and something that makes sense to me, and could make sense in the big picture. I'm very open to suggestions. And of course, just because I feel strongly about it today, doesn't mean that I'm every bit as likely to be wrong.
              Should have read "...doesn't mean that I'm not every bit as likely to be wrong."

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by jmenges View Post
                I do know that Swanson added notes in the margins of Anderson's Criminals and Crime. Adam posted one image over on Howard’s site.
                https://www.jtrforums.com/showthread.php?t=17345

                JM
                Thanks, Jon.
                Kind regards, Sam Flynn

                "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Anderson likely formed the "conclusion" about the Ripper based on Dr. Thomas Bond's report to Scotland Yard on the murder of MJK:

                  "...he would probably be solitary and eccentric in his habits, also he is most likely to be a man without regular occupation, but with some small income or pension.

                  He is possibly living among respectable persons who have some knowledge of his character and habits and who may have grounds for suspicion that he is not quite right in his mind at times.

                  Such persons would probably be unwilling to communicate suspicions to the police for fear of trouble of notoriety, whereas if there were a prospect of reward it might overcome their scruples."

                  Following the house-to-house search, the police found that Kosminski fit the bill.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I don't doubt that Bond's report was influential, but I'm more of the opinion that it only reinforced what the police had already concluded. I've always understood that the house-to-house searches mentioned by Anderson are those that took place after the murders in Berner St. and Mitre Square and before the murder of MJK.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Bond's report, written on Nov. 10th, also profiled the methods of the mutilations which Anderson thought very useful. Although Bond was not a criminal investigator, Anderson certainly would have embraced the Doctor's portrayal of the Ripper's lifestyle and used it in "our diagnosis." Anderson's "result" happened some time after the murder of MJK. The house-to-house search didn't turn up anything, except for the probability that the Ripper was being concealed by "his people."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Now about my complimentary copy of your book...when am I going to get it?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by John Malcolm View Post

                          Should have read "...doesn't mean that I'm not every bit as likely to be wrong."
                          Hello, quote not related-

                          To what degree are you more specifically interested in the theology of Robert Anderson?

                          Are you interested insofar as it informs his character and as how this might ascertain to his impressions upon the case?

                          As far as I am aware you referenced a lack of understanding during the podcast and I was wondering what precisely about it might help illuminate some factors of it pertaining to the matter at hand and more precisely to the case itself.

                          Is there a belief, perhaps, that his Presbyterian beliefs may have influenced somehow his apparent certainty in some matters over others?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Scott Nelson View Post
                            Now about my complimentary copy of your book...when am I going to get it?
                            Send your email address and I'll send the PDF. j.goblin@comcast.net

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Please pardon me for not being quite sharp enough to completely decipher your questions.

                              Originally posted by Takod View Post

                              To what degree are you more specifically interested in the theology of Robert Anderson?

                              Are you interested insofar as it informs his character and as how this might ascertain to his impressions upon the case?
                              I'm not interested, at all, in Anderson's theology. I plod through it begrudgingly because it's necessary, it's just not my cup of tea. I understand his general beliefs, to an extent, which in my opinion would have no influence whatsoever (or bearing) on how he would have approached the case. Or how he would have impressed upon it. His strong spiritual convictions certainly give evidence of his character, in the most "moral" sense. These convictions belie any suggestion that Anderson would have gone to great lengths to scapegoat any race, religion, or individual - especially for any personal satisfaction, recognition or gain.

                              Although he references his professional career(s) often in his many non-secular works, there is a clear separation from these works when it comes to his writings on conundrums of crime, etc.


                              As far as I am aware you referenced a lack of understanding during the podcast and I was wondering what precisely about it might help illuminate some factors of it pertaining to the matter at hand and more precisely to the case itself.

                              I'm not sure whether or not this is a rhetorical question, but I'll attempt to address it, either way.

                              Yes, I duly acknowledge that quite often I have no f...ing idea what he's talking about, but he goes to great pains to qualify every intricate detail. He tackles biblical questions methodologically, backs up his conclusions, and welcomes all challenges. In this respect, one could highlight the precision of his thinking and writing, when it comes to the most serious subjects. His "Lighter Side" was a departure, to some extent, from this precision, but he was, again, open and responsive to challenges. Anderson was rarely haphazard with his (especially) written remarks. This is quite obvious and relative to why we should give more consideration to his words than we generally do (regarding the Whitechapel murders).

                              This is how I initially interpreted the last question, as if it was rhetorical:

                              "You don't understand Anderson's religious views, which would make your understanding of his character questionable, which would then cast even more doubt on your judgement of Anderson's reliability, hence, your whole argument falls apart."

                              If this was the case, I would disagree.

                              Is there a belief, perhaps, that his Presbyterian beliefs may have influenced somehow his apparent certainty in some matters over others?
                              As far as his "Presbyterian" beliefs, they would reflect his conviction to his biblical interpretations, but I don't think this would apply in any way, whatsoever, to the entirely different form of critical thinking that was necessary in his professional capacities. There was no place for "divine intervention" in criminal concerns. Anderson was adept at differentiating the two, in my humble and foggy opinion, of course.




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