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

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  #21  
Old 11-29-2011, 08:36 AM
mariab mariab is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom_Wescott View Post
Because more recent research suggests reporters other than Bulling and Moore were suspected.
If this refers to Hurlbert, this is a wrong path. Check out SPE's post #340 in the Dear Boss thread.
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  #22  
Old 11-29-2011, 11:07 AM
Jonathan H Jonathan H is offline
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I agree, Maria.

If that is what Tom is hinting at -- and it may not be -- then he's on a hiding to nothing.

And we are back to where we started.

That the Littlechild Letter, discovered by Stewart Evans in 1993, is one of the great, revelatory sources of the entire saga.

Though Tumblety, the Ripper suspect -- perhaps the suspect -- was always there in the US newspapers, to be found by the intrepid researcher who had the resources and the time to check, and none had those advantages.

Let me put a question, to anybody.

Are the elements of the 'drowned doctor' of the Edwardian Era, which are so reminiscent of Tumblety, just a coincidence?
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  #23  
Old 11-29-2011, 04:56 PM
mklhawley mklhawley is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisGeorge View Post
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

Hi Chris,

I always look forward to your posts. From your counterpoints, it looks like you are in agreement that when the average well-educated person with no preconceived notions involving the details of the murders reads the Littlechild letter, the conclusion is Littlechild –regardless of the Chief Inspector’s biases- believed Tumblety was a serious JTR suspect.

You know that many ripperologists, including yourself (I just read one of your recent responses on jtrforums) claim Littlechild only meant that Tumblety was merely ‘amongst the suspects’. One example is the argument of Littlechild using ‘a very likely suspect’ and not ‘the very likely suspect’. I wanted the uninformed reader to perceive Littlechild’s intentions and biases. Keep in mind, the result may not have fallen the way I perceived Littlechild’s intentions, but they did. In view of this, the survey was not flawed.

With regards to your first point about Littlechild’s opinion not being Scotland Yard’s opinion, the fact that Sims asked him about the murders certainly shows Littlechild was privy to the high level discussions at headquarters pertaining to JTR. With regards to your point on bias, when Littlechild commented upon Tumblety’s bitter hatred of women, you are claiming it was mere bias, but Littlechild states it was based upon facts (‘a fact on record’). Littlchild was privy to a large folder dedicated to Tumblety. We have no idea what was in it, but he did. Again, ‘a fact on record’. There’s no bias there.

Sincerely,

Mike
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  #24  
Old 11-29-2011, 05:00 PM
Hunter Hunter is offline
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Back to Mike's original post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mklhawley View Post
To me, the divergence of opinions by ripperologists reveals bias. If one has rejected the idea of Tumblety being considered by Scotland Yard an important suspect, it may be because he does not fit into ones idea of who the killer was based upon their assessment of the available evidence, especially if they have had years of research and study behind their belt.
I agree that many people form their own ideas as to who 'Jack the Ripper' was. I also believe- as far as many 'Ripperologists' are concerned- it is a case of competing suspect theories much of the time. But I also believe that taking the Littlechild letter in isolation to see if there is veracity in Tumblety's candidacy is flawed as well. This is evidenced by the opinion of at least one respondent that Littlechild's opinion was Scotland Yard's opinion. This is a complicated case that requires considerable historical understanding of the political/ social/ cultural aspect as well as the police structure/investigation and the evidence that exist. As soon as one develops his/her study to that degree, then opinions are going to be formed based on an individual's understanding of the information acquired.

Unlike most other historical events, this is an unsolved mystery with much needed information missing. Even historians can unwittingly develop a certain 'bias' if they're not careful. I consider Sugden's work as one of the best attempts to start at square one and deal with primary sources. But, even he developed a theory based upon his admiration of Abberline that may have skewed his assessment to some degree.

I admire you're effort here, Mike. The participants did well with the information provided. But, based upon that information alone, the conclusion was already forgone.
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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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  #25  
Old 11-29-2011, 05:22 PM
Hunter Hunter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mklhawley View Post
To Chris George- With regards to your first point about Littlechild’s opinion not being Scotland Yard’s opinion, the fact that Sims asked him about the murders certainly shows Littlechild was privy to the high level discussions at headquarters pertaining to JTR. With regards to your point on bias, when Littlechild commented upon Tumblety’s bitter hatred of women, you are claiming it was mere bias, but Littlechild states it was based upon facts (‘a fact on record’). Littlechild was privy to a large folder dedicated to Tumblety. We have no idea what was in it, but he did. Again, ‘a fact on record’. There’s no bias there.
That Sims asked Littlechild's opinion about the WM shows that Sims probably thought Littlechild was privy to high level discussions... and maybe he was to some extent. But would he know as much as...say... Swanson?

The idea that Littlechild's opinion was based on facts is not clear. In his letter he presents no facts, just his explanation as to the behavior of individuals of Tumblety's ilk and cites other examples of who he believed are similar individuals. All Littlechild offers is his perception of the behavior of Homosexuals and this 'hatred of women', which was a euphemism for such individuals.

Littlechild obviously had studied Krafft-Ebing's work and that author wrote much about homosexuals that has since, proved erroneous. Even Krafft-Ebing, in later years, modified his opinions on this.
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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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  #26  
Old 11-29-2011, 06:44 PM
Tom_Wescott Tom_Wescott is offline
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Maria has no clue what she's talking about. Imagine that. No, I was not referring to Hurlbert.

Yours truly,

Tom Wescott
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  #27  
Old 11-29-2011, 06:47 PM
lynn cates lynn cates is offline
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Hello Tom. Best, I take it?

Cheers.
LC
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  #28  
Old 11-29-2011, 06:48 PM
mklhawley mklhawley is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hunter View Post
Back to Mike's original post.



I agree that many people form their own ideas as to who 'Jack the Ripper' was. I also believe- as far as many 'Ripperologists' are concerned- it is a case of competing suspect theories much of the time. But I also believe that taking the Littlechild letter in isolation to see if there is veracity in Tumblety's candidacy is flawed as well. This is evidenced by the opinion of at least one respondent that Littlechild's opinion was Scotland Yard's opinion. This is a complicated case that requires considerable historical understanding of the political/ social/ cultural aspect as well as the police structure/investigation and the evidence that exist. As soon as one develops his/her study to that degree, then opinions are going to be formed based on an individual's understanding of the information acquired.

Unlike most other historical events, this is an unsolved mystery with much needed information missing. Even historians can unwittingly develop a certain 'bias' if they're not careful. I consider Sugden's work as one of the best attempts to start at square one and deal with primary sources. But, even he developed a theory based upon his admiration of Abberline that may have skewed his assessment to some degree.

I admire you're effort here, Mike. The participants did well with the information provided. But, based upon that information alone, the conclusion was already forgone.
Hi Hunter,

I certainly agree that we cannot take Littlechild’s letter as the only evidence to support Tumblety as a significant suspect, but it being foregone I disagree. By observing posts from non-Tumblety ripperologists for the last year, it’s clear that their skepticism is based upon entrenched misconceptions, such as Inspector Andrews ‘chased’ Tumblety across the Atlantic, Littlechild only meant ‘amongst the suspects’, Walter Dew didn’t know what he was talking about, the US press got it all wrong, Tumblety was a coward, Tumblety was not in the Whitechapel district during the murders, Tumblety was incarcerated during the last murder, or flamboyant Tumblety tried to get into the public limelight in the 1880s. The anti-Tumblety research has produced a number of errors and misconceptions unknown or ignored by ripperologists, and many have recently come to light (Roger Palmer’s article). I have discovered a number of errors (one will be published soon), which I have posted and will be posting in the near future.

Sincerely,

Mike
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  #29  
Old 11-29-2011, 06:48 PM
mariab mariab is offline
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To Tom Wescott:
And I guess you can't give a hint as to what you were referring, then?
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  #30  
Old 11-29-2011, 06:49 PM
Tom_Wescott Tom_Wescott is offline
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Yes. I'm not saying I personally am convinced he wrote it, but there's some pretty good evidence on it, and I'm not sure the evidence against Bulling/Moore equals up. But I think it's pretty clear there was no concensus then or now as to who wrote the 'Dear Boss'.

Yours truly,

Tom Wescott
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