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  #1  
Old 12-28-2015, 06:16 AM
MysterySinger MysterySinger is offline
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Default Mishter Lusk

Why do you suppose the kidney was sent to Lusk? Why did the letter adopt a mock Irish tone?
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  #2  
Old 12-28-2015, 07:02 PM
Pcdunn Pcdunn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MysterySinger View Post
Why do you suppose the kidney was sent to Lusk? Why did the letter adopt a mock Irish tone?
Good questions, Mystery. There is some controversy about the package to Lusk and the letter accompanying it. Some people aren't sure it is not a hoax.

If the Ripper did write the letter and send the kidney, he was probably intending to taunt the Vigiliance group that Lusk led.

I suppose the Irish "tone" of the letter may have been intended to cast blame on the Irish (possibly due to the Fenian troubles)-- why do you think it was sent to Lusk?
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  #3  
Old 12-28-2015, 07:09 PM
GUT GUT is offline
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Firstly we need to establish if it was sent by Jacky boy.

Next was the "Irish tone" mock or genuine?

Was the Kidney from a victim?


Or was it all just someone out for a lark, or who had some other issue with Lusk, or was it near on Munchhausen's by Lusk?
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There are two ways to be fooled, one is to believe what isn't true, the other is to refuse to believe that which is true.
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  #4  
Old 12-29-2015, 04:34 AM
Rosella Rosella is offline
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The Irish Question, Parnell, Home Rule and the Government's Special Commission, which sat after September 1888 into 1889, were very much in the news at the time of Eddowes death, so that could explain the tone of the Lusk letter. An attempt perhaps, to smear Fenianism and the Irish.

On the other hand the writer could have gone to a penny gaff the evening before, seen a stage Irishman in a play there and decided to imitate the character as a joke. I don't think the writer was likely to be Irish, but who knows.
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  #5  
Old 12-29-2015, 05:13 AM
Harry D Harry D is offline
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Simply, really. Lusk was the head of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee who tasked themselves with patrolling the streets on the look-out for the Ripper. Whitechapel was a den of iniquity where no end of criminal activity went down. The vigilance committee were no doubt stepping on the toes of the local crooks and they responded by stalking his home, threatening him in person and sending a letter purporting to be from the killer himself.
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  #6  
Old 12-29-2015, 01:26 PM
GUT GUT is offline
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Originally Posted by Harry D View Post
Simply, really. Lusk was the head of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee who tasked themselves with patrolling the streets on the look-out for the Ripper. Whitechapel was a den of iniquity where no end of criminal activity went down. The vigilance committee were no doubt stepping on the toes of the local crooks and they responded by stalking his home, threatening him in person and sending a letter purporting to be from the killer himself.


We need an agree button.
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  #7  
Old 12-29-2015, 01:46 PM
Michael W Richards Michael W Richards is offline
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For anyone interested here is a letter Lusk sent encouraging reward money for some information on the killings, Daily Telegraph, Oct 1st;

"SIR - As members of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee, who communicated without result with the Home Secretary with the view of obtaining, on behalf of the public at large, the offer of a Government reward for the apprehension and conviction of the assassin or assassins in the recent East-end atrocities, we shall be glad if you will allow us to state that the Committee do not for one moment doubt the sincerity of the Home Secretary in refusing the said offer, as he apparently believes that it would not meet with a successful result. If you would, however, consider that in the case of the Phoenix Park murders the man Carey, who was surrounded by, we may say, a whole society steeped in crime, the money tempted him to betray his associates, in our opinion if Mr. Matthews could see his way clear to coincide with our views the Government offer would be successful. The reward should be ample for securing the informer from revenge, which would be a very great inducement in the matter; in addition to which such offer would convince the poor and humble residents of our East-end that the Government authorities are as much anxious to avenge the blood of these unfortunate victims as they were the assassination of Lord Cavendish and Mr. Burke. - Apologising for trespassing on your valuable space, we beg to subscribe ourselves, faithfully yours,

GEORGE LUSK
JOSEPH AARONS.


1, 2, and 3, Alderney-road, Mile-end, E.,
Sept. 29 "

Notice how he dredges up the Phoenix Park affair.....just as the Parnell Commission was having hearings about possible Parliamentary involvement in this incident. And how disparaging he refers to "a whole society steeped in crime."
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  #8  
Old 12-29-2015, 04:10 PM
GUT GUT is offline
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Thanks Michael.
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  #9  
Old 12-30-2015, 12:45 AM
Mayerling Mayerling is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael W Richards View Post
For anyone interested here is a letter Lusk sent encouraging reward money for some information on the killings, Daily Telegraph, Oct 1st;

"SIR - As members of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee, who communicated without result with the Home Secretary with the view of obtaining, on behalf of the public at large, the offer of a Government reward for the apprehension and conviction of the assassin or assassins in the recent East-end atrocities, we shall be glad if you will allow us to state that the Committee do not for one moment doubt the sincerity of the Home Secretary in refusing the said offer, as he apparently believes that it would not meet with a successful result. If you would, however, consider that in the case of the Phoenix Park murders the man Carey, who was surrounded by, we may say, a whole society steeped in crime, the money tempted him to betray his associates, in our opinion if Mr. Matthews could see his way clear to coincide with our views the Government offer would be successful. The reward should be ample for securing the informer from revenge, which would be a very great inducement in the matter; in addition to which such offer would convince the poor and humble residents of our East-end that the Government authorities are as much anxious to avenge the blood of these unfortunate victims as they were the assassination of Lord Cavendish and Mr. Burke. - Apologising for trespassing on your valuable space, we beg to subscribe ourselves, faithfully yours,

GEORGE LUSK
JOSEPH AARONS.


1, 2, and 3, Alderney-road, Mile-end, E.,
Sept. 29 "

Notice how he dredges up the Phoenix Park affair.....just as the Parnell Commission was having hearings about possible Parliamentary involvement in this incident. And how disparaging he refers to "a whole society steeped in crime."
Thanks for publishing the whole letter Michael. It is interesting to see how Lusk brings up the Phoenix Park murders. The reason for the interest leading to the Parnell Commission of Parliament was the publication (in the Times of London) of the letters supposedly by Parnell which approved the assassination of Cavendish and Burke. So there is a tie-in there to get the Government's interest in the possible reward for any to inform.

However, it also shows that the memories in 1888 of Lusk and his associate Joseph Aarons (who I suspect was a local Jewish merchant or businessman) were a bit short. Phoenix Park occurred in May 1882, six and a half years before this letter went out. The "Carey" referred to is "James Carey" whose biography was in the old version of the Dictionary of National Biography. He was an elected official of the government of Dublin who was also a member of the group called "The Invincibles". In fact, he was the head of that group.
He was also the one who saw Cavendish and Burke taking their stroll in the Park that day, and giving the signal to the killers to attack (by the way, apparently they were only going after Burke, a native Irishman they felt had betrayed his countryman by taking his permanent job as under secretary - Cavendish made the selfless mistake of running to Burke's side, and was killed before the murderers knew whom he was; there had been a long series of killings in Ireland of overly greedy landlords like the Earl of Leitrim in 1878, and Lord Mountmorres in 1881, which horrified the British, but no British officials had been targeted as yet*).

[*It should be added that Lord Frederick Cavendish, by taking the job of Chief Secretary to Ireland, was actually a member of the British Cabinet. More then that - he was the brother of the richest nobleman in England, the Whig Party leader and cabinet officer Lord Hartington - later 8th Duke of Devonshire; and Cavendish was married to the niece of Prime Minister Gladstone.]

Carey's decision to turn informer was based in part on greed, due to the size of the reward, but more likely the realization that others in the Invincibles might decide to do the same thing. As he was so deeply involved in two government assassinations, he saw that if he was noble and stuck to any so-called political principles, he'd be convicted and executed. So he turned informer before anyone else could.

As a matter of historical record, Carey's action did not help him. He did testify at the trial that led to the execution of five members of the gang. But he was not admired for what he did, and there were those whom sought his demise. The government sent him to settle with his family in the Natal colony in Africa, as far away from Ireland as they could find to bury him in. And in the end he was buried there - he was shot by one Patrick O'Donald (I think that is his name) on board a ship off the south east coast of Africa in September 1883. In December, after a trial in London, Carey's killer was hanged.

Given how deeply Carey was involved in killing Cavendish and Burke, his turning informer makes sense, but it involved absolving him from the involvement in planning and carrying out the assassinations. One can imagine what the nature of an informant involved in the Ripper killings would have been that the government would similarly have had to swallow. But it wasn't totally impossible to see it. Besides Carey, in Edinburgh in 1829, William Hare would turn state's evidence against his partner William Burke, and as a result Hare would not hang for one of the dozen or so murders committed by them from 1827 to 1829 to sell cadavers to Dr. Robert Knox.

Jeff
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  #10  
Old 12-30-2015, 01:53 PM
MysterySinger MysterySinger is offline
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Thanks for the very good responses so far. I wondered why someone was trying to "mock" Mr Lusk and why send him the letter and kidney when other letters had gone to the Police for example.

Whoever did send it went to a lot of trouble to obtain a human kidney (I think that was the opinion) and bother to write a letter in that tone as well as risk identification by sending it simply to mock the head of the Vigilance Committee or at least their efforts in trying to bring the murders to an end.

I wondered whether there might have been something else underlying it - treading on the toes of local villains might be one reason - were there others?
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