2years ago, on the thread "Alias Fleming and Hutch?", a poster pointed out that the man called "Fleming otherwise Evans" who died in 1920 couldn't be "Mary's" Fleming, whose birth certicate proves that he was born in 1859, and not in 1855.
It was answered that such a discrepancy was meaningless. That was a fair answer, but the problem, in fact, is elsewhere.
First, we know that the lunatic who called himself James Evans (when he was caught at the end of June 1892) was, without doubt, Joseph Fleming born in Bethnal Green in 1859, his mother Henrietta having visited and identified him at Stone.
Simply, when Fleming was found insane, he presented himself as "James Evans, aged 37".
Beside questions about the name (why an alias? why "James Evans"?), questions about the age: why did he make himself 4 years older?
I don't know the reason, but at least we see that James Evans was probably a little bit more than an alias. Something like a character.
Indeed, James Evans didn't vanish, although Henrietta Fleming had long recognised her son. In the 1901 census, there is no Fleming, but one "James Evans, aged 45".
In 1920, the death certificate still gives to Fleming the age of Evans (65).
Does that mean that the medical team or the other patients would have always called him James, or Mr Evans, during 28 years ?
And no wonder if he never recovered!
questions about the age: why did he make himself 4 years older?
4 years is really nothing, at a time when some people weren't really sure how old they were anyway. The variations in age from census to census and other records (see, for example, the Whitechapel Infirmary registers) can be much greater than four years.
I see what you mean, but I'm not really talking about the census. I'm just saying that Fleming certainly knew his age but decided, God knows why, to give 37 years of age to "James Evans" in 1892, when he was caught by the authorities. In the 1891 census, he had given his name as Fleming, aged 32, which was correct. One year later, he said he was 37 and called Evans.
The later documents that mention "James Evans", or "Fleming otherwise Evans", and that systematically make the man about 4 years older than he was, are simply based on how Fleming introced himself when found mad.
Curiously, the false name and the false age did survive Fleming's identification by his mother.
David, do you think he murdered only Mary Kelly for unrequited love, or do you suspect him to be the Ripper? After all, you started this excellent thread, I would value your opinion.
sorry for so late a reply, I may have missed the post.
I'm sincerely not sure that my opinion is of any value, but I clearly see MK as a Ripper victim. A possible scenario discussed above (the Kemper scenario in fact) seems plausible to me, in which case we have not to choose between a domestic affair and the whole ripper's case.
Then the answer of this thread's title would be: both.