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  • Funny if it wasn't true

    Reading around the Whitechapel murders, you come across some amusing tidbits. Thought this would be a good place to collate them.

    I'll start with the policeman (PC Robinson) who was dressed as a woman to keep a Ripper suspect under surveillance near St Pancras. However, he revealed who he was to a man who approached him, and was then attacked. I struggle to picture this chap in women's clothes and wonder why they thought it was necessary. It sounds like an Ealing comedy.

  • #2
    Originally posted by etenguy View Post
    Reading around the Whitechapel murders, you come across some amusing tidbits. Thought this would be a good place to collate them.

    I'll start with the policeman (PC Robinson) who was dressed as a woman to keep a Ripper suspect under surveillance near St Pancras. However, he revealed who he was to a man who approached him, and was then attacked. I struggle to picture this chap in women's clothes and wonder why they thought it was necessary. It sounds like an Ealing comedy.
    Especially when there wasn't a Victorian bobby without facial hair. You can almost imagine him like the Little Britain characters, desperately trying to convince an angry man that "I'm a lady"
    Your evening of swing has been cancelled.

    Comment


    • #3
      I always liked the night watchman at the Nicholls inquest, who when accused of being asleep on the job replied "I don't know. It is thirteen long hours for 3s and find your own coke", much to the amusement of the public.
      Your evening of swing has been cancelled.

      Comment


      • #4
        eddowes making a scene drunkenly mimicing a fire engine lol. classic
        "Is all that we see or seem
        but a dream within a dream?"

        -Edgar Allan Poe


        "...the man and the peaked cap he is said to have worn
        quite tallies with the descriptions I got of him."

        -Frederick G. Abberline

        Comment


        • #5
          My favourite.

          Dr Holt - The White eyed man.



          Taken from the Echo 12 November 1888.



          THE SWEETHEART'S ADVENTURE.

          The demeanour of the populace was strikingly evidenced last night on two separate occasions. Wentworth-street, Commercial-street, is a thoroughfare close to Dorset-street. At about quarter-past nine loud cries of "Murder!" and "Police!" were heard proceeding from George-yard-building. Police-sergeant Irving and Police-constable 22H D were quickly on the spot, and once rushed into the building, which were a large set of model dwellings. In the meantime the street rapidly filled with persons from the adjoining houses, while some of those who lived in the top storey of the buildings clambered onto the roof in order to intercept any person who might attempt to make his escape by that means. After a little inquiry, however, by the officers, the truth came out. It seems that a Mrs. Humphries, who is nearly blind, lives with her daughter on the second floor of the buildings, and about the time mentioned went to the outhouse for the purpose of emptying some slops. As she went in, a young man who is courting her daughter, and was on his way to visit her, slipped out of the place past her. Mrs. Humphries at once asked who it was. The young man, who, it is said, stutters very badly, made some unintelligible answer, and the old lady, who, like her neighbours, was haunted with the terror of "Jack the Ripper," at once gave the alarm, which was promptly responded to. The mistake, however, was soon explained, and quiet restored to the vicinity.

          This story has been amalgamated with the one below it resulting in the myth that Mrs Humphries was scared by Dr William Holt, The White-Eyed man. There is a mention of this in the Ripperologist article written by some unknown a few months ago.

          Here is a full account of the 2 Echo reports for that date so you can see what I mean.


          Echo
          London, U.K.
          12 November 1888



          THIS DAY'S NEWS.
          EAST-END ATROCITIES.
          EXCITING SCENES LAST NIGHT.
          AN AMATUER DETECTIVE'S ADVENTURE.
          ATTEMPT TO LYNCH HIM.
          THE HOUR OF THE CRIME.
          STRANGE AFFAIR ON FISH-STREET-HILL.

          Of course, interest in the terrible crimes of the East-end supersedes all other matters - at least in the district of the horrors. There is but one hope affecting the whole community - that the murderer may be brought to speedy justice. Should he be captured, and should he by any accident fall into the hands of the people, his fate will be certain and inevitable. The consternation and fear which at first seemed to almost paralyse the energy of the district, have given place to a revengeful determination.


          THE SWEETHEART'S ADVENTURE.

          The demeanour of the populace was strikingly evidenced last night on two separate occasions. Wentworth-street, Commercial-street, is a thoroughfare close to Dorset-street. At about quarter-past nine loud cries of "Murder!" and "Police!" were heard proceeding from George-yard-building. Police-sergeant Irving and Police-constable 22H D were quickly on the spot, and once rushed into the building, which were a large set of model dwellings. In the meantime the street rapidly filled with persons from the adjoining houses, while some of those who lived in the top storey of the buildings clambered onto the roof in order to intercept any person who might attempt to make his escape by that means. After a little inquiry, however, by the officers, the truth came out. It seems that a Mrs. Humphries, who is nearly blind, lives with her daughter on the second floor of the buildings, and about the time mentioned went to the outhouse for the purpose of emptying some slops. As she went in, a young man who is courting her daughter, and was on his way to visit her, slipped out of the place past her. Mrs. Humphries at once asked who it was. The young man, who, it is said, stutters very badly, made some unintelligible answer, and the old lady, who, like her neighbours, was haunted with the terror of "Jack the Ripper," at once gave the alarm, which was promptly responded to. The mistake, however, was soon explained, and quiet restored to the vicinity.


          A DOCTOR'S NARROW ESCAPE

          The evil fate which may befall those who interest themselves too deeply in the police business of the matter was strikingly exemplified at a later hour of the night in the same neighbourhood. In this case the hero of the exploit is a gentleman. Who was at first stated to be a doctor, who had taken on himself to discover the perpetrator of the crime through his own exertions. To use the words of a reporter describing the scene:- "About ten o'clock last night the idle and inquisitive crowd, who since the ghastly discovery was made have ? Dorset-street and its immediate neighbourhood had their attention attracted to the extraordinary behaviour of a man who for some short time before had been officiously making inquiries, and generally conducting himself to an unusual manner. Over a pair of good trousers he wore a jersey in place of a coat, and his face was most palpably artificially blacked. His manner led to considerable remark, and at last a cry was raised that he was 'Jack the Ripper.' In the prevailing state of the public mind in the district this was quite enough to flame the anger of those in the street, and he was at once roughly seized by two young men - one a discharged soldier. Fortunately for him, there was a large number of policemen about, both in uniform and plain clothes, by whom he was at once surrounded on the first alarm being given. He at first resisted capture, but, happily for himself, soon realised his position, and consented to go quietly to Leman-street Police-station. Meanwhile, the officers who had him charge had the greatest difficulty in saving their prisoner from the fury of the mob, who amid the wildest excitement made the most desperate endeavours to lynch him. Sticks were raised in a threatening manner, and the man for a while was in great danger. As it was, he was very roughly handled and considerably bruised by the time he reached the police-station, where he gave his name and address, which are withheld by the police authorities. He stated that he was a medical man, and had disguised himself in the absurd manner above described, in order to endeavour to discover and apprehend the perpetrator of the Whitechapel horrors. He also gave such particulars of himself as enabled the police to quickly substantiate their accuracy, and to discharge him after a short detention in the cells."
          Monty

          https://forum.casebook.org/core/imag...t/evilgrin.gif

          Author of Capturing Jack the Ripper.

          http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/1445621622

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Monty View Post
            My favourite.

            Dr Holt - The White eyed man.



            Taken from the Echo 12 November 1888.



            THE SWEETHEART'S ADVENTURE.

            The demeanour of the populace was strikingly evidenced last night on two separate occasions. Wentworth-street, Commercial-street, is a thoroughfare close to Dorset-street. At about quarter-past nine loud cries of "Murder!" and "Police!" were heard proceeding from George-yard-building. Police-sergeant Irving and Police-constable 22H D were quickly on the spot, and once rushed into the building, which were a large set of model dwellings. In the meantime the street rapidly filled with persons from the adjoining houses, while some of those who lived in the top storey of the buildings clambered onto the roof in order to intercept any person who might attempt to make his escape by that means. After a little inquiry, however, by the officers, the truth came out. It seems that a Mrs. Humphries, who is nearly blind, lives with her daughter on the second floor of the buildings, and about the time mentioned went to the outhouse for the purpose of emptying some slops. As she went in, a young man who is courting her daughter, and was on his way to visit her, slipped out of the place past her. Mrs. Humphries at once asked who it was. The young man, who, it is said, stutters very badly, made some unintelligible answer, and the old lady, who, like her neighbours, was haunted with the terror of "Jack the Ripper," at once gave the alarm, which was promptly responded to. The mistake, however, was soon explained, and quiet restored to the vicinity.

            This story has been amalgamated with the one below it resulting in the myth that Mrs Humphries was scared by Dr William Holt, The White-Eyed man. There is a mention of this in the Ripperologist article written by some unknown a few months ago.

            Here is a full account of the 2 Echo reports for that date so you can see what I mean.


            Echo
            London, U.K.
            12 November 1888



            THIS DAY'S NEWS.
            EAST-END ATROCITIES.
            EXCITING SCENES LAST NIGHT.
            AN AMATUER DETECTIVE'S ADVENTURE.
            ATTEMPT TO LYNCH HIM.
            THE HOUR OF THE CRIME.
            STRANGE AFFAIR ON FISH-STREET-HILL.

            Of course, interest in the terrible crimes of the East-end supersedes all other matters - at least in the district of the horrors. There is but one hope affecting the whole community - that the murderer may be brought to speedy justice. Should he be captured, and should he by any accident fall into the hands of the people, his fate will be certain and inevitable. The consternation and fear which at first seemed to almost paralyse the energy of the district, have given place to a revengeful determination.


            THE SWEETHEART'S ADVENTURE.

            The demeanour of the populace was strikingly evidenced last night on two separate occasions. Wentworth-street, Commercial-street, is a thoroughfare close to Dorset-street. At about quarter-past nine loud cries of "Murder!" and "Police!" were heard proceeding from George-yard-building. Police-sergeant Irving and Police-constable 22H D were quickly on the spot, and once rushed into the building, which were a large set of model dwellings. In the meantime the street rapidly filled with persons from the adjoining houses, while some of those who lived in the top storey of the buildings clambered onto the roof in order to intercept any person who might attempt to make his escape by that means. After a little inquiry, however, by the officers, the truth came out. It seems that a Mrs. Humphries, who is nearly blind, lives with her daughter on the second floor of the buildings, and about the time mentioned went to the outhouse for the purpose of emptying some slops. As she went in, a young man who is courting her daughter, and was on his way to visit her, slipped out of the place past her. Mrs. Humphries at once asked who it was. The young man, who, it is said, stutters very badly, made some unintelligible answer, and the old lady, who, like her neighbours, was haunted with the terror of "Jack the Ripper," at once gave the alarm, which was promptly responded to. The mistake, however, was soon explained, and quiet restored to the vicinity.


            A DOCTOR'S NARROW ESCAPE

            The evil fate which may befall those who interest themselves too deeply in the police business of the matter was strikingly exemplified at a later hour of the night in the same neighbourhood. In this case the hero of the exploit is a gentleman. Who was at first stated to be a doctor, who had taken on himself to discover the perpetrator of the crime through his own exertions. To use the words of a reporter describing the scene:- "About ten o'clock last night the idle and inquisitive crowd, who since the ghastly discovery was made have ? Dorset-street and its immediate neighbourhood had their attention attracted to the extraordinary behaviour of a man who for some short time before had been officiously making inquiries, and generally conducting himself to an unusual manner. Over a pair of good trousers he wore a jersey in place of a coat, and his face was most palpably artificially blacked. His manner led to considerable remark, and at last a cry was raised that he was 'Jack the Ripper.' In the prevailing state of the public mind in the district this was quite enough to flame the anger of those in the street, and he was at once roughly seized by two young men - one a discharged soldier. Fortunately for him, there was a large number of policemen about, both in uniform and plain clothes, by whom he was at once surrounded on the first alarm being given. He at first resisted capture, but, happily for himself, soon realised his position, and consented to go quietly to Leman-street Police-station. Meanwhile, the officers who had him charge had the greatest difficulty in saving their prisoner from the fury of the mob, who amid the wildest excitement made the most desperate endeavours to lynch him. Sticks were raised in a threatening manner, and the man for a while was in great danger. As it was, he was very roughly handled and considerably bruised by the time he reached the police-station, where he gave his name and address, which are withheld by the police authorities. He stated that he was a medical man, and had disguised himself in the absurd manner above described, in order to endeavour to discover and apprehend the perpetrator of the Whitechapel horrors. He also gave such particulars of himself as enabled the police to quickly substantiate their accuracy, and to discharge him after a short detention in the cells."
            You couldn’t make it up could you? I wonder what possessed him to think that blacking his face might have aided his detective work?

            Regards

            Herlock






            "Crime is common. Logic is rare. Therefore it is upon the logic rather than upon the crime that you should dwell.”

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Monty View Post
              My favourite.

              Dr Holt - The White eyed man.
              Over a pair of good trousers he wore a jersey in place of a coat, and his face was most palpably artificially blacked. His manner led to considerable remark, ..... He stated that he was a medical man, and had disguised himself in the absurd manner above described, in order to endeavour to discover and apprehend the perpetrator of the Whitechapel horrors. He also gave such particulars of himself as enabled the police to quickly substantiate their accuracy, and to discharge him after a short detention in the cells."
              This is simply ludicrous - a doctor in black face to aid finding the ripper! WTF?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by etenguy View Post

                This is simply ludicrous - a doctor in black face to aid finding the ripper! WTF?
                You can almost hear his Dick Van Dyke accent, "disguise sir?, Wot, no, I'm a cockney"
                Your evening of swing has been cancelled.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Bit early for an Al Jolson tribute act
                  Regards

                  Herlock






                  "Crime is common. Logic is rare. Therefore it is upon the logic rather than upon the crime that you should dwell.”

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Has anyone considered the idea that the murders were all just a hoax to allow certain members of the police force to go out in drag?

                    c.d.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by c.d. View Post
                      Has anyone considered the idea that the murders were all just a hoax to allow certain members of the police force to go out in drag?

                      c.d.
                      I heard less believable theories c.d.
                      Regards

                      Herlock






                      "Crime is common. Logic is rare. Therefore it is upon the logic rather than upon the crime that you should dwell.”

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The content of this excerpt from the London Echo dated 10 October 1888 is not in the least amusing but somehow the very last sentence, juxtaposed with the preceeding paragraph, did make me laugh. It seemed so incongruous, an after thought that someone felt needed to be slipped in.

                        WHITEHALL MURDER
                        FACTS ESTABLISHED
                        A DESCRIPTION OF THE VICTIM



                        The detective police, to whom is committed the duty of investigating the circumstances of the mystery connected with the discovery of the headless and limbless body found in Whitehall, have by the medical evidence given at the inquest been placed in possession of a description of a woman who was the subject of the horrible crime thus committed. As was stated on Monday, a great many cases of missing women have been brought before the police, and the number has caused embarrassment. Now, however, the police have before them the fact that the deceased woman was a plump woman of about 5ft. 8in. or 9in. high; that she had suffered from pleurisy; that she was from 24 years of age upwards; that she had fair skin and dark hair; and that her hand, found with the arm at Pimlico, showed that she had not been used to hard work. Moreover, the police have the fact that the death may have been from six weeks to two months prior to the 2nd of October, which would bring the end of her life to about the 20th of August, and the death moreover is defined as having been one which drained the body of blood. This last point means that wherever the woman met her death - and it was not in the water - the place would be marked with blood. Anxious search is being made for the head.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by c.d. View Post
                          Has anyone considered the idea that the murders were all just a hoax to allow certain members of the police force to go out in drag?
                          If so, it seems that amateur sleuths also took the opportunity to indulge their peccadilloes:

                          “…another arrest was made of a remarkable character. In consequence of these East-end crimes a reporter in Bow determined to play the part of an amateur detective, and he accordingly dressed himself in female attire of a shabby material, in order to look as much as possible like one of the creatures whom the Unknown selects for vengeance. Thus habited, he left his home at midnight. After loitering about shady streets for some hours, and passing wayfarers and detectives without drawing upon himself their particular observation, he made his way into Whitechapel. Here his masculine stride attracted the notice of Police-constable Ludwig, who accosted him with the words, "Stop. Are you not a man? I can see that you are." The amateur detective admitted that he was, and the constable then asked, "Are you one of us?" The masquerader replied that he had no connection whatever with Scotland-yard, and attempted to explain that he had assumed the disguise in his search for news of the murder. Police-constable Ludwig informed him that he would have to go with him to the police-station, and make that explanation to a superior officer. The two accordingly walked together to Leman-street Police-station, where the reporter unfolded his plot to the inspector, who replied that, under the peculiar circumstances, he was sorry he would have to detain him until inquiries were made. A real detective was put upon the antecedents of the amateur one, and as the explanations of the latter were found to be authentic, he was, after an hour and a half's detention, released to resume his proper habiliments.”

                          (Daily Telegraph, 2nd October 1888)
                          Kind regards, Sam Flynn

                          "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I found the article that led me to start this thread, below - but forgot to note its origin (somewhere in the Catherine Eddowes page press reports)

                            WATCHING FOR THE WHITECHAPEL MURDERER.

                            James Phillips, aged 37, and William Jarvis, 40, cab washers, of Hackney road, were charged before Mr. Bros, at the Clerkenwell Police Court on Tuesday, with being concerned together in cutting and wounding Detective sergeant Robinson, of the G Division, in Phoenix place, St. Pancras, early that same morning. Jarvis was further charged with cutting and wounding Henry Doncaster, a private person, on the same occasion. The heads of both prisoners were bound with blood stained bandages, and the face of Sergeant Robinson had surgeon's straps upon wounds around the left eye. Mr. Ricketts, solicitor, appeared for the prisoners.

                            Detective sergeant Robinson said that between twelve and one o'clock on Tuesday morning he was on duty, disguised in female clothing, and in company with Detective sergeant Mather, in ordinary dress. A man named Doncaster and several Italians were watching the actions of a man who was in company with a woman under circumstances of which he had suspicion. They were in Phoenix place. About twenty minutes to one two men (not the prisoners) came up to him and asked him what he was doing there. He answered that he was a police officer, and they went away. Shortly afterwards Jarvis came up to him, and asked, "What are you messing about here for?" Witness took off his woman's hat and answered, "I am a police officer," and added that the other men were with him. Jarvis said, "Oh, you are cats and dogs, are you?" and struck him a violent blow with his fist. He seized Jarvis by the coat, but Jarvis pulled out a knife, and stabbed him over the left eye. He fell to the ground, and Jarvis again stabbed him, as he lay, on the bridge of his nose. Lying on his back, witness drew his truncheon and struck and Jarvis's hand, which held the knife, but the blow so intended missed the hand and struck Jarvis on the head. The prisoner Phillips then kicked him (witness) on the arm, and again in the ribs. Both prisoners ran away, and directly afterwards he saw Jarvis strike Doncaster (who had been assisting witness) on the face, and Doncaster cried out, "I am stabbed." Jarvis then called out, "Come on, George, cats and dogs," and several men came out of the cab yard with pitchforks and other implements, but did not use them. Several constables had by this time arrived, and the prisoners were taken into custody.

                            Mr. Ricketts, in asking for bail, said he expected to be able to show that the struggle was caused by misunderstanding, owing to the failure to inform the prisoners that Robinson was a constable.

                            Mr. Bros remanded the prisoners, refusing bail.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by etenguy View Post
                              Reading around the Whitechapel murders, you come across some amusing tidbits. Thought this would be a good place to collate them.

                              I'll start with the policeman (PC Robinson) who was dressed as a woman to keep a Ripper suspect under surveillance near St Pancras. However, he revealed who he was to a man who approached him, and was then attacked. I struggle to picture this chap in women's clothes and wonder why they thought it was necessary. It sounds like an Ealing comedy.
                              St Pancras is a curious place for a PC to be going undercover in relation to this case. It's a fair distance away from Spitalfields. Patrick Manning seems to have picked up a woman who he accompanied to Dorset Street by cab on Boxing Day 1888, before he was stabbed.
                              Also I seem to recall one time suspect Jacob Isenschmid being involved in affray in house of ill repute on nearby Callington Road.

                              The area around St Pancras maintains a reputation as an area to meet a street worker should you wish to, up until the present day. I think there was a gang operating a hotel in the area as a brothel around the time of Kray's era.

                              The incident seems to suggest the police were watching the red light districts of North London.
                              Last edited by seanr; 10-30-2019, 12:44 AM.

                              Comment

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