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Go Back   Casebook Forums > Ripper Discussions > Police Officials and Procedures > Littlechild, Chief Inspector John George

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  #11  
Old 11-29-2011, 12:46 AM
Hunter Hunter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mklhawley View Post
Of course you did not comment upon the results of the survey.
Hi Mike,

You're right... and I should have included a comment on the original intent of the thread as you obviously put some thoughful work into it.

I think, based on Littlechild's letter, the overwhelming opinions that Jack Littlechild considered Tumblety a 'likely suspect' was a valid interpretation of the text and some of the other opinions reflect a lack of knowlege of predispositons in the Victorian world.

Participent No. 1 was very astute.
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When evidence is not to be had, theories abound. Even the most plausible of them do not carry conviction- London Times Nov. 10.1888
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  #12  
Old 11-29-2011, 02:40 AM
mklhawley mklhawley is offline
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Thanks Hunter for your comments. Interestingly, that particular participant is the CSI instructor.

And thanks Jonathan for your comments. You are about 8 JTR books ahead of me in your reading. I just bought Spiro's book online. Someday I'll catch up to you!

Sincerely,
Mike
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  #13  
Old 11-29-2011, 03:48 AM
ChrisGeorge ChrisGeorge is offline
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Hi Mike

Interesting survey. But several things:

First, I think we should take Littlechild at his word that he thought Tumblety a "very likely" suspect or that Scotland Yard thought that the man was a very likely suspect... although note that those are not the same thing -- that is Littlechild might personally have thought Tumblety was a leading suspect but others at the Yard might not have been so persuaded.

Second, Mike, you are talking about people having bias when it comes to Tumblety, but the Littlechild letter itself is full of bias, and it is partly that bias that your respondents are responding to. For example, that Tumblety had an extreme hatred against women. Yes, such had been reported about the man, but it might not actually have been as marked in the man as made out. Also that sexual deviants are capable of sadism and murder. A dodgy premise, I should say. And last that Tumblety was believed to have killed himself and the murders stopped. Now we know the last bit is untrue, i.e., the truth is that Dr T. did not kill himself after the last murder, but your respondents are dutifully responding to this bit in the letter as if it is true!

So then what value does your survey really have, Mike? I should think the above shows that it is seriously flawed. Sorry, my friend.

All the best

Chris
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Last edited by ChrisGeorge : 11-29-2011 at 03:59 AM.
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  #14  
Old 11-29-2011, 04:07 AM
Tom_Wescott Tom_Wescott is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mklhawley
The phrase 'amongst the suspects' is merely creating the backdrop for his next phrase 'a very likely one'.
Actually, isn't 'a very likely one' preceeded by 'to my mind'? As Littlechild did not speak for the police (though arguably he could have done a better job than some of those who did), the letter reflects his personal opinion, which is fine, but without supporting evidence it can't be said he was the or even A primary suspect. Maybe he was the big suspect in Dec 1888, as you and Jonathan say, but the quickest way to relieve the rest of us of our 'bias' against that argument is to prove it to us.

By the way, I very much enjoyed the interview with you that you posted a link to. You're pretty radical in your thinking (non-Ripper wise).

Yours truly,

Tom Wescott
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  #15  
Old 11-29-2011, 05:11 AM
Jonathan H Jonathan H is offline
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To Mike

The 'proof' which Tom wants is right in front of us, and has been since 'The Lodger' was published in 1995, and confirmed by subsequent research by the likes of Joe Chechuti and R J Palmer, who have added to the obvious: that Tumblety was a major Ripper suspect, if not the police suspect of 1888 (that is not the same as saying he was the murderer).

Historical methodology says that if a source goes against its expected bias then it is potentially more relibale than one that does.

Littlechild would be expected to be ignorant of Druitt -- which he is -- and could have left it at that.

Instead he goes against the expected bias of always defending Scotland Yard by admitting an embarrassment. Of course this is not his personal-professional humiliation but a parallel dept. eg. CID, and involves the failure of a conceited chief, that is Anderson. And yet Littlechild knew he was writing to a writer who might publish the truth and set the record straight about the suicided chief suspect -- whose status the retired cop does not challenge.

The above is one of the most misunderstood elements of the letter.

Another is that when Littlechild, in his own hand, adds that bit about Griffiths and Anderson he is not alluding to 'Kosminski' but to Tumblety.

He means that Anderson 'only thought he knew' about 'Dr D'; who is either made up, completely minor, or a garbled version of 'Dr T' -- as the initals do rhyme.

Francis Tumblety could not be named in the British press, or identified without attendant risk of a libel suit down the track. When the affluent, under-employed, dodgy doctor spectaulcarly resurfaced for the public in 1898 he was libel-proofed against any such trouble -- he was even implied to be English.
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  #16  
Old 11-29-2011, 06:39 AM
Hunter Hunter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan H View Post
...Another is that when Littlechild, in his own hand, adds that bit about Griffiths and Anderson he is not alluding to 'Kosminski' but to Tumblety.

He means that Anderson 'only thought he knew' about 'Dr D'; who is either made up, completely minor, or a garbled version of 'Dr T' -- as the initals do rhyme.
I believe that Sims had probably mentioned all three suspects Griffiths' had already referred to and Littlechild was briefly responding to all as an amalgamation of a sort. He was a bit perplexed in the beginning about 'Dr. D' and launches into a theory about a doctor he was familiar with. At the end, he is responding to what was, by then, known to be Anderson's 'Polish Jew' suspect... adding his personal belief than Griffiths got this from Anderson and Anderson 'only thought he knew, because Anderson's book had been added to the mix by then and Littlechild was undoubtedly very familiar with it.
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When evidence is not to be had, theories abound. Even the most plausible of them do not carry conviction- London Times Nov. 10.1888
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  #17  
Old 11-29-2011, 06:57 AM
Tom_Wescott Tom_Wescott is offline
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Hi all. Clearly, Sims had read Griffiths book and Sims was asking about the various theories mentioned. Littlechild (wrong) suggests Anderson as Griffith's source, when in fact it was Macnaghten. Littlechild seems strangely separated from everyone else regarding the Ripper. Perhaps that's because he wasn't that involved in the case nor had much curiosity in the years following.

Yours truly,

Tom Wescott
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  #18  
Old 11-29-2011, 07:20 AM
Jonathan H Jonathan H is offline
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To Hunter and Tom

I think you are both wide of the mark.

Look at the letter again and consider Sims' extant writings on this subject, especially his 1907 piece -- his largest.

In that Sims asserts that the 'two' leading 'theories' involved a middle-aged, English doctor, who took his own life, and a young, American medical student who went on living.

The Polish Jew theory is of no importance.

In 1903, Sims mentions Griffiths in 1903; as having seen the Commissioner's allegedly definitive Home Office Report.

It is easy to see how Littlechild, knowing nothing of Mac's machinations, could think this must be a reference to some report about Tumblety for the H.O. by Anderson.

I think the opposite of you, Tom, no surprise there.

Far from being out of the loop, Littlchild saw himself -- rightly -- as being very much involved with the Ripper case: he knew, and had hunted, the real chief suspect, and he knew and remembered the name of the letter hoaxer.

What he was out of the loop was the whole Druitt tale which happened 'some years after' he took his own life. In his own peculiar way, Sims was both out of the loop.

They don't know it but the pair are talking past each other about two entirely different suspects.
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  #19  
Old 11-29-2011, 08:00 AM
Tom_Wescott Tom_Wescott is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan H
and he knew and remembered the name of the letter hoaxer.
Did he? Because more recent research suggests reporters other than Bulling and Moore were suspected.

Yours truly,

Tom Wescott
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  #20  
Old 11-29-2011, 08:11 AM
Jonathan H Jonathan H is offline
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Go on ...?
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