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Go Back   Casebook Forums > Ripper Discussions > Police Officials and Procedures > Anderson, Sir Robert

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  #1  
Old 06-04-2008, 12:40 AM
celee celee is offline
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Default Did Anderson Know

Hi,

Okay, is it now the standard believe that Anderson fabricated the eyewitness and that Swanson's notes in his copy of Andersons book is a forgery?

Your friend, Brad
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  #2  
Old 06-04-2008, 02:13 AM
Natalie Severn Natalie Severn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by celee View Post
Hi,

Okay, is it now the standard believe that Anderson fabricated the eyewitness and that Swanson's notes in his copy of Andersons book is a forgery?

Your friend, Brad
Given Anderson spent his life as a SPYMASTER ,the whole thrust of his work was about "disinformation".....and "entrapment plots".
Judge for yourself Brad.
I know nothing about Swanson except that Anderson was his boss, and that his grandson sold the story of the notes to the News of the World.
Best

Last edited by Natalie Severn : 06-04-2008 at 02:17 AM.
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  #3  
Old 06-04-2008, 08:36 AM
Stewart P Evans Stewart P Evans is offline
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Default Standard Belief

Quote:
Originally Posted by celee View Post
Hi,
Okay, is it now the standard believe that Anderson fabricated the eyewitness and that Swanson's notes in his copy of Andersons book is a forgery?
Your friend, Brad
No, it is not now the standard belief that Anderson fabricated the eyewitness and that the 'Swanson marginalia' is fake. Like most other aspects of this complex subject there is rather more to it than that. It is too long and involved to go into here but there are, as with most things, two sides to the story. In Paul Begg's recommended book The Facts you may read the pro-Anderson/Swanson argument which is well covered and for the opposite view there is a thorough analysis in the 'Did Anderson Know?' chapter of Scotland Yard Investigates.

The problem is that since around the time of the centenary the 'Swanson marginalia' has been, by many, accepted without question when, actually, there are aspects to it that raise questions. Also Anderson's word has also been assumed to be beyond questioning with such descriptions as "he had a peculiarly scrupulous regard for the truth and would never have lied directly though when he thought anti-social criminals were involved he was prepared to mislead with half-truths or mental reservation" (A-Z) and the closing paragraph in his entry in the same book "Anderson may have been quite wrong. But persistent attempts to disprove his statements by denigrating his character are almost on a par with the outdated game of abusing and dismissing the police as a whole (and Warren in particular) in order to allow irresponsible theorising from some other source." With such proclamations in this reference work it has been, by and large, accepted that Anderson's was the best opinion and that he was the best person in a position to know.

However, Anderson is his own worst enemy in some ways. What was described as a theory as early as 1895 became a 'definitely ascertained fact' in his 1910 book. The sustained championing of Anderson by Martin Fido and Paul Begg since 1987 has been hugely influential in establishing his credentials and his 'Polish Jew' solution to the crimes. A close study of Anderson and his works, however, tends to raise more questions than it answers. It is complex which is why I recommend a thorough study of both sides of the debate which are now available. Matters have not been helped by the omission from leading Ripper reference works of certain material that militates against Anderson theorising. For instance Anderson's interview with R. Harding Davies that appeared in the Pall Mall Gazette of 4 November 1889 is totally missing from the A-Z. We may ask why, for that interview seems very relevant and is attached below.

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It will be seen that here, in August 1889, Anderson is talking about "...our failure to find Jack the Ripper." Other relevant texts were also omitted and this is remedied in a timeline of police commentary that appears in Scotland Yard Investigates. For a proper analysis of Anderson and his proclamations it is necessary for the reader to have access to all the available material and to draw his/her own conclusions.
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Last edited by Stewart P Evans : 06-04-2008 at 08:53 AM.
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  #4  
Old 06-04-2008, 03:34 PM
sdreid sdreid is offline
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Hi all,

It's likely we won't find out but it looks like a big CYA from Anderson. In about all the famous unsolved serial killer cases, there's some cop who claims he really knows who the killer was but has some excuse. They are just embarrassed that they couldn't solve it and are trying to save face.
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  #5  
Old 06-04-2008, 06:51 PM
Carrotty Nell Carrotty Nell is offline
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Yes... but that doesn't account for McNaghton (forget Swanson for now) who effectively backs up what Anderson says. McNaghten describes an identical suspect, using different language. They are clearly the same suspect - a Whitechapel resident Polish Jew committed to an asylum - but McNaghten uses different phrases - e.g. solitary vices as opposed to unmentionable vices - which indicates he is not merely using Anderson as a source. And of course he gives the suspect a very specific name. Furthermore the Memorandum was not intended to be seen by the public - so it cannot be dismissed as a public relations exercise.
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Old 06-04-2008, 10:25 PM
Natalie Severn Natalie Severn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carrotty Nell View Post
Yes... but that doesn't account for McNaghton (forget Swanson for now) who effectively backs up what Anderson says. McNaghten describes an identical suspect, using different language. They are clearly the same suspect - a Whitechapel resident Polish Jew committed to an asylum - but McNaghten uses different phrases - e.g. solitary vices as opposed to unmentionable vices - which indicates he is not merely using Anderson as a source. And of course he gives the suspect a very specific name. Furthermore the Memorandum was not intended to be seen by the public - so it cannot be dismissed as a public relations exercise.
Yes, Macnaghten does appear to give Anderson"s suspect some credence,he includes him AMONGST those he thinks are more likely than Thomas Cutbush to be the Ripper.But he insists there was "NO SHADOW OF PROOF" about any of them ----and very importantly here ,that DRUITT is more likely than Kosminski to be the Ripper!
So in short,all the memorandum seems to prove is that in 1894 neither Macnaghten nor Anderson knew who the ripper was but it was of crucial importance to put out a piece of "disinformation"----which would steer all eyes away from Thomas Cutbush!
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  #7  
Old 06-04-2008, 11:44 PM
celee celee is offline
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Hi,

Okay, I am going to take a stand and believe Anderson or at least that a person named Kosminski was a person of interest. I think that he may have been Identified by Shwartz or someone else. However the witness was doubted by Abberline and Monroe and others who worked the case. I also choose to believe Swanson's remarks are genuine.

I thought I read were the city police followed a man around London. A story very similiar to Anderson's

Your friend, Brad

Last edited by celee : 06-04-2008 at 11:53 PM.
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  #8  
Old 06-05-2008, 12:15 AM
Natalie Severn Natalie Severn is offline
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Hi Brad,
Well ofcourse thats your business but if you state it on here then its likely it will be challenged .
Stewart Evans above post [9.36 am]sets the situation out very clearly and in the true spirit of scientific enquiry.He presents the actual evidence ----and the evidence has Anderson stating in November 1889 that they did NOT know the identity of Jack the Ripper.
Now Anderson may have been lying in November 1889,but if he was ,then how can we believe him later when he said they did know and that it was a "definitely ascertained fact"? Or if he is telling the truth in November 1889,and they did not know,what do we make of his later assertion that they had known his identity and it was a "definitely ascertained fact"?
I think it rather unscientific to simply "trust" Anderson"s word, given the documented evidence that exists about Anderson"s peculiar relationship with the truth , to trust Anderson"s "word" on anything during these years is possibly very unwise.He may have decided to "bamboozle "Swanson over Jack"s identity for all we know which could be the reason for Swanson"s bafflement about which suspect he was referring to---after all,no one else we know of was talking about Kosminski being Jack the Ripper in 1910!
best

Last edited by Natalie Severn : 06-05-2008 at 12:25 AM.
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  #9  
Old 06-05-2008, 12:37 AM
Stewart P Evans Stewart P Evans is offline
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Default Not Good Enough

Quote:
Originally Posted by celee View Post
Hi,
Okay, I am going to take a stand and believe Anderson or at least that a person named Kosminski was a person of interest. I think that he may have been Identified by Shwartz or someone else. However the witness was doubted by Abberline and Monroe and others who worked the case. I also choose to believe Swanson's remarks are genuine.
I thought I read were the city police followed a man around London. A story very similiar to Anderson's
Your friend, Brad
We know that 'a person named Kosminski was a person of interest.' That's why we are discussing him. He was named by Macnaghten in his report of 23 February 1894, along with M. J. Druitt and Michael Ostrog. Macnaghten also tells us that he was a Polish Jew and resident in Whitechapel and that he was insane all of which ties in with Aaron Kosminski. However, Macnaghten qualifies this with the caveat that 'no shadow of proof could be thrown on [him].' Most telling against Anderson's claims is the fact that Macnaghten rejected Kosminski as the best of these suspects in favour of Druitt.

The story of Kosminski being subjected to identification can be sourced only to Anderson's 1910 book and Swanson's pencilled notes in that book. No other police officer appears to have been aware of any such attempted identification so the witness could hardly 'be doubted by Abberline, Monro and others who worked on the case' as they appeared to know nothing of any such witness. Also Swanson's annotations at the rear of the Anderson book are flawed, as was his apparent statement in May 1895 that the culprit was by then dead. There are too many flaws and contradictions in the Polish Jew story for it to be accepted as the final answer.

It would appear that you have not read all the source material on this as you are asking about the City suspect being followed and that story has been published in full in more than one book and is available, also, on the Casebook. It simply is not good enough to choose to 'believe' anyone's story unless you have read, assessed and internalised all the available material.
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  #10  
Old 06-05-2008, 12:43 AM
jason_c jason_c is offline
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I dont understand the significance now being placed on Anderson's 1889 interview. What little we know of Kosminski suggests that he wasnt suspected until some time after the Kelly murder. A year or more afterwards is often suggested.

Last edited by jason_c : 06-05-2008 at 12:48 AM.
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