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Go Back   Casebook Forums > Ripper Discussions > Suspects > General Suspect Discussion

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  #1  
Old 08-14-2018, 08:22 PM
Emma Carew Emma Carew is offline
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Default Sergeant Thick's Sketchy Connections?

Does it seem odd to anyone else that Sergeant William Thick was connected, indirectly or directly, to all the victims? I know his name has been mentioned as a suspect before, but I don't think he's one of the "favorites" for having committed the murders--and he should be!

His brother Morgan, a former policeman and bartender, lived on Key Street near Buck's Row. William Thick himself was heavily involved in the Annie Chapman investigation, arrested Joseph Pizer, whom he'd known for ages--and then was seen chatting with Pizer and escorting him home after the inquest. Pizer was quickly and thoroughly cleared of all charges.

Elizabeth Stride's murder took place very close to Thick's home in Nottingham Place. He was also connected to Catherine Eddowes: Thick had, about seven years earlier, been convinced to put in a good word for two men named Jack McCarthy and Jimmy Smith, who had been arrested for illegal prizefighting. Jimmy Smith owned Cooney's Lodging, where John Kelly--Eddowes's longtime partner--lived. The other prizefighting detainee, Jack McCarthy, was the landlord of Mary Jane Kelly.

These might seem like tenuous connections, but there are so many of them, and to all of the victims, that I have to wonder. Even if Thick himself wasn't a killer, could he not have been covering for one or more men whom he knew, as he'd done before for prizefighting? Granted, prizefighting is a minor infraction, but "Johnny Upright" Thick had already shown himself willing to help out a friend when it goes against the letter of the law. Morgan, perhaps, who'd been discharged for inappropriate conduct? Either Jimmy Smith or Jack McCarthy--or both--who were both connected to the Ripper's last two victims?
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Old 08-14-2018, 09:56 PM
Varqm Varqm is offline
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Interesting.The first thought that came to my mind was there are lots of unrelated crimes going on in a big area.

"These might seem like tenuous connections, but there are so many of them"

True.There had to be something more,those things that you mentioned are not exactly "murderous". What are the others?

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Old 08-14-2018, 11:25 PM
Sam Flynn Sam Flynn is offline
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It's almost inevitable that a resident local policeman could be found to have some tenuous connections with local people, places and events.
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Old 08-14-2018, 11:57 PM
MrBarnett MrBarnett is offline
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And there's a slight difference between giving a character reference to men involved in a minor infraction of the law and covering for the perpetrator of the most notorious series of murders in history.

Apparently McCarthy and Smith had once stepped in to defend Thick against a group of men who were trying to spring their mate after he had been arrested by Thick in a lodging house. He was simply returning a favour, no doubt with the blessing of his superiors who knew the value of having such influential local men on side.

I see nothing whatsoever suspicious in Thick's behaviour, though some have tried to spin it thus.
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Old 08-15-2018, 01:16 AM
MrBarnett MrBarnett is offline
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This is the incident I'm talking about. With that in mind, how suspicious is it that Thick was prepared to give McCarthy, Smith etc a character reference when they committed a 'minor infraction' of the law?

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(Sorry, I didn't make a note of the source)
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Old 08-15-2018, 01:26 AM
MrBarnett MrBarnett is offline
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What desperadoes those 'Lords of Spitalfields' were. They put themselves in harm's way to defend their local coppers, arranged a marginally illegal sporting event and let out cheap beds/rooms to those who couldn't afford anything better.

Considering the living conditions that someone like John McCarthy likely experienced as a child, he can surely be forgiven for not providing his 'guests' with 5-star accommodation.
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