In March 1892 it was being widely reported that Deeming may have beenJack the Ripper. The Belfast Newsletter (the story copied by other papers) refuted this by reporting that a Detective at Scotland Yard had claimed that the Ripper was now serving a prison term of 20 years in Portland Prison after being convicted of blackmailing elderly women a few months previously.
This unnamed convict proved to be Charles Le Grand. He was committed to 20 years penal servitude for blackmailing elderly women in November 1891.
A similar newspaper report was circulating in 1889, claiming the Ripper was in prison after being convicted of another offence-Le Grand was also serving two years for blackmail at this this time too.
An article detailing the past and current research on this contemporary suspect was written by Tom Wescott and published in the Casebook Examiner issue two, June 2010.
Legrand was a small time conman, sometime private investigator and pimp.
He's been suggested as a suspect because he was a) a criminal involved with prostitutes and b) Involved (as an 'investigator') with the Whitechapel murders.
Aside from that there is nothing to commend him as a viable suspect. Also the fact that he wandered the streets of the murder scenes asking questions of witnesses, yet there are no reports of anybody actually implicating him seem enough to eliminate him.
He is nevertheless a very interesting character and the lack of concrete information on him prior to 1888 makes him a bit of an enigma.
I've done a bit of digging into Legrand myself and come up with some interesting co-incidences, which upon further research, will most likely turn out to be just that -co-incidences! (I'll post them on the main Legrand thread later)
Anybody who is interested in con men of the era would be well advised to look up a chap called Harry Benson (nothing to do with JTR but fascinating anyway)