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Go Back   Casebook Forums > Ripper Discussions > Police Officials and Procedures > Macnaghten, Sir Melville

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  #1  
Old 05-15-2016, 05:28 AM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
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Default Macnaghten's Motive

In another thread, there has been some discussion about Macnaghten's motive (assuming he was JTR) and it has been said that he was denied employment in the Metropolitan Police force in 1887. I believe this is based on the below misleading (and possibly factually wrong) statement that can be found on this site on the page for Macnaghten:

"1887 : Returns to England and is offered the job of Assistant Chief Constable in the Metropolitan Police by James Monro but his appointment is blocked by Commissioner Warren."

I suspect that the entry is saying is that Macnaghten returned to England from India in 1887 and was subsequently offered a appointment (in 1888) which was blocked.

I don't know enough about Macnaghten's life to say whether it is correct that he returned from India in 1887 but I note that, in his memoirs, the 1914 publication "Days of My years", he gives the impression that it was in 1888.

What is certain, however, is that there was no job offer in 1887 and that his appointment as Assistant Chief Constable was sanctioned at the end of March 1888 and then subsequently blocked by Sir Charles Warren in April 1888.

For anyone interested, I set this out in the fourth part of my Suckered! Quadrilogy:

http://www.orsam.co.uk/082239part4.htm
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Old 05-15-2016, 07:16 AM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
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Amazingly, since I posted the above, the statement that Macnaghten "was denied a position in 1887" has been repeated in the other thread. This is not true. He wasn't denied a position until the spring of 1888.
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Old 05-15-2016, 10:16 AM
Pierre Pierre is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Orsam View Post
Amazingly, since I posted the above, the statement that Macnaghten "was denied a position in 1887" has been repeated in the other thread. This is not true. He wasn't denied a position until the spring of 1888.
Thanks, David. As I said, I have not researched Macnaghten so I know almost nothing about him.

Regards, Pierre
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Old 05-15-2016, 10:54 AM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pierre View Post
Thanks, David. As I said, I have not researched Macnaghten so I know almost nothing about him.
No problem Pierre. I wasn't aware that you had ever said that you had not researched Macnaghten.

While you are here, can I ask you this: What is your view about the suggestion that Macnaghten might have had a motive to commit the Whitechapel murders in order to humiliate Sir Charles Warren because Sir Charles had blocked his appointment as Assistant Chief Constable?

Would you say it's complete nonsense or plausible and worthy of investigation?
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Old 05-15-2016, 11:13 AM
Pierre Pierre is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Orsam View Post
No problem Pierre. I wasn't aware that you had ever said that you had not researched Macnaghten.

While you are here, can I ask you this: What is your view about the suggestion that Macnaghten might have had a motive to commit the Whitechapel murders in order to humiliate Sir Charles Warren because Sir Charles had blocked his appointment as Assistant Chief Constable?

Would you say it's complete nonsense or plausible and worthy of investigation?
I do not think that a blocking of an appointment per definition would be enough to start murdering and mutilating women in Whitechapel. On the other hand, who am I to say what was a sufficient motive?

Serial killers have a range of motives and we would probably not think any of them, or at least very few, would be sufficient to start murdering people.

But when we research the past, it is very difficult to believe in a weak motive or in some seemingly irrational motive since we need good, solid sources with a strong substantial significance.

On the other hand, such sources are rare. Perhaps the most common ones are those used where someone is hypothesized as having been "mad"/ "a lunatic", although these sources do not say anything about the motive. They merely give a causal explanation.

Also, sources with motive explanations could be put in one box together with other such sources. Was it common in 1888 for appointments to be blocked? Was it common for people to experience that type of disappointment?

If it was, it was nothing specific. And the murderer is specific.

But as I said, who am I to say what would have been a motive for Macnaghten? So if anyone thinks that Macnaghten had a motive, I think he should go on an research it. There is nothing we can not research.

Regards, Pierre
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Old 05-15-2016, 11:46 AM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pierre View Post
Also, sources with motive explanations could be put in one box together with other such sources. Was it common in 1888 for appointments to be blocked? Was it common for people to experience that type of disappointment?
As a factual matter I think I can answer this question at least.

What happened to Macnaghten was very unusual because his appointment had actually been approved by Sir Charles Warren and sanctioned by the Secretary of State and he had been told by Monro that he had got the job only for Sir Charles to change his mind and block the appointment, yet no-one was prepared to tell Macnaghten why there had been such a u-turn.

So there was nothing common about this experience. But does it provide any motive for Macnaghten to have committed murder?

I must say Pierre I was surprised to read you saying "who am I to say what was a sufficient motive?" because I thought you regarded yourself as being possessed with sufficient ability to identify the motive for the JTR murders.

There is certainly not much point in researching this further if the motive is ridiculous but does the fact that such an experience was very unusual help us at all?
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Old 05-15-2016, 12:28 PM
Harry D Harry D is offline
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He wanted to frame Druitt.
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Old 05-15-2016, 12:32 PM
Pierre Pierre is offline
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[quote=David Orsam;381197]As a factual matter I think I can answer this question at least.

What happened to Macnaghten was very unusual because his appointment had actually been approved by Sir Charles Warren and sanctioned by the Secretary of State and he had been told by Monro that he had got the job only for Sir Charles to change his mind and block the appointment, yet no-one was prepared to tell Macnaghten why there had been such a u-turn.

So there was nothing common about this experience. But does it provide any motive for Macnaghten to have committed murder?

Quote:
I must say Pierre I was surprised to read you saying "who am I to say what was a sufficient motive?" because I thought you regarded yourself as being possessed with sufficient ability to identify the motive for the JTR murders.

Yes, David, I was thinking you might say something like that. But now I am speaking about my knowledge about a motive for Macnaghten, you see.


Quote:
There is certainly not much point in researching this further if the motive is ridiculous but does the fact that such an experience was very unusual help us at all?
Well, I think anyone who has an hypothesis about such an experience being unusual and regarding it a possible motive for murder could research it.

Regards, Pierre
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Old 05-15-2016, 12:56 PM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pierre View Post

Yes, David, I was thinking you might say something like that. But now I am speaking about my knowledge about a motive for Macnaghten, you see.
I'm not sure that I do see what you mean Pierre. The point I'm driving at is whether the disappointment of not getting a senior job at Scotland Yard would be enough to drive a man (who ended up being the Assistant Commissioner of the CID) to murdering and mutilating a number of prostitutes in order to humiliate the Commissioner of Police who blocked him from that job.

So it involves a general issue about human nature as much as a specific understanding about Macnaghten himself.

If it helps, the notion seems quite ridiculous and far fetched to me. But who am I to argue if you think it is worth investigating further?
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Old 05-15-2016, 12:59 PM
Mayerling Mayerling is offline
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Originally Posted by Harry D View Post
He wanted to frame Druitt.
Yes, because he was jealous of not being trained to be a barrister, nor teaching in a small public school. So why not commit at least five blood curdling murders within three months, and risk capture, exposure, and disgrace, unless he could succeed in disgracing Druitt. Makes sense.

Jeff
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