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Go Back   Casebook Forums > Ripper Discussions > Police Officials and Procedures > Swanson, Chief Inspector Donald

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  #21  
Old 02-18-2008, 04:09 AM
Ash Ash is offline
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Grey Hunter
23rd January 2006, 11:43 AM
'The Metropolitan Police search area' has become something of a bugbear for Ripper theorists and, if accepted at face value, is something of an anomaly. The 'house-to-house' search that was set up after the Berner Street murder did not, indeed, include the area south of Whitechapel High Street and Whitechapel Road. But, I have already addressed this problem, and on more than one occasion. To suggest that the area between Commercial Road and Whitechapel Road should be omitted from enquiries that concerned the murder in Berner Street is a patent nonsense. The simple answer is that all properties surrounding Berner Street, probably from the railway lines north to Whitechapel High Street and Whitechapel Road were checked on Sunday 30 September and Monday 1 October in the house to house enquiry that we know immediately followed the Stride murder. Then, when a more extensive search was proposed bringing in the properties to the north, there was no need to check the houses that had already been done - hence they weren't included in the area defined for the later search. In fact I have actually been involved in a murder enquiry where we did exactly that. We made house to house enquiries in the area of the murder on the day it happened, then later extended the search to a wider area, obviously not checking those already done.

When the police made any connection must remain in the realms of speculation, such as the example given above. But threatening a family member with a knife, especially when a person with mental problems is involved, is quite common and we do not even know if the police were made aware of this. As has been argued by so many others, so many times, especially in detail by Scott Nelson, the permutations involving the Kosminski family are endless and, without any supporting evidence, impossible to resolve. Here we enter the world of the theorist with a favourite suspect. Too many 'likelies,' 'could haves,' 'looks as thoughs,' for my liking.
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Whitechapel Student
23rd January 2006, 12:12 PM
Too many 'likelies,' 'could haves,' 'looks as thoughs,' for my liking.
Of course.

Though, to be fair, there were already two 'may haves' in the sentence of yours I quoted.
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Grey Hunter
23rd January 2006, 12:25 PM
I agree - and that is the very reason that I don't like to speculate. But people keep asking me questions...
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aspallek
23rd January 2006, 04:59 PM
Grey Hunter --

You make the point that as a result of the Marginalia, Kosminski replaced Druitt as the primary suspect. I suppose that is true, although I would argue that the result of the Marginalia does not favor Kosminski over Druitt when you carefully examine what it true and what is in error in both Anderson/Swanson and Macnaghten.

However, I think that just maybe the Marginalia were an attempt to do just what you have attributed to them -- only it occurred some 70 or so years later. Considering the very real possibility that has come to light in this discussion, viz. that the endpaper note was written some considerable time after the note in the text, let me postulate a possibility (sorry, I know you don't like "positing" and "postulating" but that's what I'm all about ):

Macnaghten receives and reads a new copy of Anderson's book in 1910. At this time (1910) he makes his notes in the text. Four years now pass and Macnaghten's autobiography comes out. In 1914 Swanson reads Macnaghten's book and sees in it a refutation of Anderson's suspect, or at least of Swanson's perception of who Anderson's suspect was (Macnaghten states that the killer was never detained in an asylum). To "set the record straight" Swanson now makes his endpaper note, specifically naming Kosminski. Why do I say "to set the record straight"? Obviously, Swanson did not publish his information, yet he did leave behind the memoir for future generations. Does anyone know whether Swanson suffered an "event," such as a stroke perhaps, between the years 1910 and 1914 that might have somewhat altered his handwriting?

Chris --

I respectfully but firmly disagree with you in your opinion that Swanson merely identifies Anderson's suspect but does not necessarily agree that Kosminski is actually the killer. Swanson goes to great lengths to indicate that the suspect knew he was identified and and a result no further murders took place. Clearly Swanson believes that the suspect, Kosminski, was the murderer.
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Grey Hunter
23rd January 2006, 06:12 PM
Andy,

An interesting idea and a possibility. It does strike me though that the writing on the endpaper is an elderly hand, rather than someone who is still only 62 years old. I do not know of a serious 'event' suffered by Swanson and there is no mention of one in his obituary. His cause of death was arteria scherosis and heart failure asthenia and as far as is known he was relatively healthy until his death. Jim Swanson did not see much of his grandfather as Jim was born in Gibraltar and did not move to the UK and come to know him until 1923, when Jim would have been very young. He did say that he did not recognise his grandfather from the photographs taken of him that we have all seen, so he must have aged, understandably, a lot by the time he was 76. Jim would have known him only about a year when he died. Donald Swanson returned year after year to his native Scotland for his holidays and enjoyed fishing on sea, loch or river.
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Marlowe
23rd January 2006, 06:13 PM
Hello,

Isn't it possible that the Convalescent Seaside Home was the 'asylum' that Anderson was referring to?
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rjpalmer
23rd January 2006, 06:23 PM
Mr. Spallek writes:

"Swanson goes to great lengths to indicate that the suspect knew he was identified and and a result no further murders took place. Clearly Swanson believes that the suspect, Kosminski, was the murderer."

Ah, but there's the rub. Belief is one thing, certainty is another. If Swanson was so certain Kosminski was the murderer, why did he make the no-brainer comment that 'no other murders' occurred in London? This is not the statement of a man who is convinced, but rather the statement of a man who is trying to convince himself. Besides, the statement is clearly false. Swanson seems to be forgetting that Ms. Coles was killed days after Kosminski's confinement.

In regards to the comments of "Whitechapel Student", it is worth noting that Swanson is something of a casual writer. So much so, that someone at the Home Office commented on the confusion in Swanson's famous 'double event' report of October 19th. His report about Sadler's wife is also rather confused and vague at times.

If you'll notice, the Marginialia is written in the vernacular. The Police Convalescent Home becomes the "Seaside Home," and Mile End becomes "Stepney." Presuming this is Swanson's work, how can we be certain that the suspect's brother's house in "Whitechapel" means "H Division"? Could he be actually referring to the far edge of the City of London's turf in East Aldgate as "Whitechapel"? This seems to make more sense to me, though I concede the Workhouse records list Kosminski as coming from the Greenfield Street address. We are all handicapped by not knowing if Woolfe/Woolf Kosminski is a real person or a confusion. If the former, he might have been in City territory. Best wishes, RP
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  #22  
Old 02-18-2008, 04:10 AM
Ash Ash is offline
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aspallek
23rd January 2006, 07:03 PM
RJ,

I think context and common sense dictate that when Swanson says "no other murders took place" he meant no other murders attributed to the Ripper occurred after the identification. Clearly other murders did occur in London! As to how certain Swanson was, I have no way of knowing. His text doesn't strike me as one trying to convince himself, however. His final statement: "Kosminski was the suspect" seems rather definitive. Of course, even if Swanson was certain of Kosminki's guilt that doesn't mean that he was correct.

Grey Hunter,

Yes the more I think about it the more I suppose my earlier postulation is rather "on the edge." Swanson's note "Continuing from page 138" on the face seems a good indication that the marginalia were written in a single sitting.

It occurs to me that the writing of both notes were difficult tasks physically, but difficult in different ways. The note on p. 138 is written at the very bottom of the page, between the last line of text and the bottom edge of the book in a space roughly the equivalent of about 5 lines of printed text. In your scan, the bottom edge of the book is visible near the binding on the left so I know that this note was written at the very bottom of the page. If the book were laying flat on a desk or table this would be extremely difficult because there would be no surface level with the book on which to lay his wrist -- especially as he got to the very bottom of the page. Try this on any thick book. It would be easier if he held the book in his lap while writing because he could arrange his leg in such a way as to support his wrist. But the opposite is true about writing on the endpaper. Writing on the endpaper of a hardcover book is difficult if that book is in your lap. The back cover tends to rock and shift on your leg because it has no pages behind it to add rigidity and support. That could explain the somewhat "unsteady" hand as well as the apparent difference in darkness of the writing, etc. One question: was Swanson right-handed or left-handed? His handwriting appears to me to be right-handed, judging from the slant. Since the text note was written on the right-facing page this almost requires him to be holding the book on his lap. A left-handed person could rest his wrist on the left-facing page while writing on the right but a right-handed person would have nothing on which to rest his wrist.

To sum up: I presume that Swanson was holding Anderson's book on his lap when he wrote the note on p. 138. He probably continued to hold the book this while continuing his note on the endpaper, which caused the note to appear different and in a more unsteady hand. I think I like this better than my previous suggestion.
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robert
23rd January 2006, 08:10 PM
Doesn't Swanson say "no other murder of this kind (my italics) took place in London"?

The psychology of it feels a bit strange to me. If the suspect had wits enough to refrain from murder because he knew he'd been identified, it's odd that he should be taken away "in a very short time" in an apparently manic condition ("with his hands tied behind his back"). A rather sudden collapse!

Robert
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Whitechapel Student
24th January 2006, 10:51 PM
His cause of death was arteria scherosis and heart failure asthenia and as far as is known he was relatively healthy until his death.
It may be worth bearing in mind that among the common symptoms of arteriosclerosis are confusion, severe memory problems and ultimately dementia.
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aspallek
25th January 2006, 03:52 PM
It may be worth bearing in mind that among the common symptoms of arteriosclerosis are confusion, severe memory problems and ultimately dementia.

Yes, but Mr. Swanson was not afflicted with this condition until very late in life -- many years after Anderson's book was published and many years after the probable date of his marginalia.
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Marlowe
26th January 2006, 08:45 PM
Great discussion! Thanks to Grey Hunter and Mr. Fido for their contributions which has raised a few questions in my mind.

( 1) Robert Anderson chose to write 'caged in an asylum' instead of 'committed' to an asylum when referring to the indentification. Why? Possibly because the 'Convalescent Police Seaside Home' was the 'asylum' that Anderson was referring to. In this scenario, the suspect would have been placed in a room at the Seaside Home (an asylum) thus permitting the witness to safely indentify the suspect, who may have been violently resisting his transfer, judging from Swanson's words, "with difficulty".

So, was the Seaside Home, which was a convalescent home, the 'asylum' referred to by Robert Anderson? This passage is from the Columbia Guide to Standard American English: 1993, regarding the words, house and home:
..."Nor is this the only euphemistic entanglement the highly charged word home has been involved in: the terms convalescent home, retirement home, and nursing home are in such universal use that the more explicit, informative asylum, convalescent hospital, retirement center, or nursing hospital are no longer current."

Swanson may have been simply clarifying the Anderson referrence to an asylum, which in this case was the Seaside Home. This interpretation would help to explain the most confusing aspect of the Swanson Marginalia as well as help to support its authenticity.

(2) Why would a forger, with access to the more precise and therefore more historically valuable full name of "Aaron Kosminski", choose instead to use only the suspect's last name? I can't think of any explanation other than Aaron was NOT the suspect and the marginalia is not a forgery. The "suspect" was possibly a Roma (as Aaron may have been also) that used or had only one name, which further explains why Macnaghten used only the last name of "Kosminski" as well. The odds of two officers, by mere chance, writing only the last name of a suspect, seem quite long to me. And when factoring in that Swanson said the suspect had died, obviously long before Aaron did, the probability is even greater still that Aaron was not the "suspect" in question.

In short, from the information that was presented here by Grey Hunter and Mr. Fido, I would argue that Aaron was not the suspect; the convalescent Seaside Home was the 'asylum' that Anderson was referring to and the marginalia is not a forgery.

ROM
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sreid
26th January 2006, 10:20 PM
Hi ROM,

Are there any Jews in that culture? I've never heard of any but maybe I'm not fully informed in the matter.

Best wishes,

Stan
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Marlowe
26th January 2006, 11:26 PM
Hi Stan,

The answer that might best fit this situation is there are those that say they're Jewish while at the same time their religion wouldn't exactly resemble Judaism. And I've wondered is this what Robert Anderson was hinting at when he wrote:

"In saying that he was a Polish Jew I am merely stating a definitely ascertained fact. And my words are meant to specify race, not religion."

So, there might be something more complicated going on here. A Jewish Christian perhaps, or some other variation? But one thing is certain, gypsies have little attachment to names. So it's quite possible, if Kosminski could be described as such, for him to have had one name or ten.
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  #23  
Old 02-18-2008, 04:13 AM
Ash Ash is offline
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sreid
26th January 2006, 11:38 PM
Thanks ROM,

So, for all practical purposes, the name "Kosminski" could be completely meaningless both in the context of that culture and legally.

The lack of a first name when referring to this guy has always bothered me and I've asked that question on here before without any satisfactory response.

Stan
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aspallek
31st January 2006, 05:30 PM
Hi Stan,

The answer that might best fit this situation is there are those that say they're Jewish while at the same time their religion wouldn't exactly resemble Judaism. And I've wondered is this what Robert Anderson was hinting at when he wrote:

"In saying that he was a Polish Jew I am merely stating a definitely ascertained fact. And my words are meant to specify race, not religion."

So, there might be something more complicated going on here. A Jewish Christian perhaps, or some other variation? But one thing is certain, gypsies have little attachment to names. So it's quite possible, if Kosminski could be described as such, for him to have had one name or ten.

Anderson had come under criticism previously for hinting that the killer was a Jew. This was a time of great sensitivity and there were always fears of strating a Jewish uprising in the East End. Thus Anderson clarifies, in order to protect himself, that he is merely using the term "Jew" as physical indentifier rather than a religious one.
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Marlowe
31st January 2006, 10:19 PM
"...as physical indentifier"? :-) So, the Jewish people of London must have drew a collective sigh of relief when Anderson tactfully 'clarifed' that Jack the Ripper was IN FACT "only" racially a Jew? ;-)

What he was saying, in essence, was...'I'm not referring to the religious practices of someone lower than a brute.' I was saying that there is room in what he said for something more complicated, perhaps. But that in any event, Kosminski was probably a gypsy, Jewish or not. (Not very PC, I know, sorry)
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How Brown
31st January 2006, 10:24 PM
Little confused here....

What would be the beneficial or "kinder,gentler" difference if Anderson made a recanting to the original reference to a Jew in a religious sense to then a claim of a Jew in a physio-ethnic sense ? The rank and file non-Jewish native of the East End would not make any sort of distinction if they were to organize some sort of mini-pogrom. They wouldn't have to look for yarmulkehs or prayer shawls to locate Jews.

People from the East [ Slavs,Ashkenazim,Magyars ] all "looked alike" to the basically Nordic population of London. This was before the days of assimilation by intermarriage.



Anderson was actually pinpointing Jews even more with the "physical" identification. The "Jewish" type...stocky,swarthy,big nose,the whole bit.

Maybe it was unintentional,but Anderson's change of terms sounds even more pointing to me.....

Dear Marlowe:

You can bet a double decker corned beef on rye that Kosminski was not a Gypsy. The Rom people originally hail from India.
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aspallek
31st January 2006, 10:24 PM
"...as physical indentifier"?

OK, that may not have been my best choice of words ever. The point is that Anderson was reacting to having sort of "put his foot in his mouth" with earlier statement that were interpreted to imply that all (or most) who are religiously Jews are brutish. He is trying to distance himself from his earlier statements.
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Marlowe
31st January 2006, 10:44 PM
Howard -- you're on! And I'm willing to bet alot more than that!!! But it's early yet...so are you willing to bet that Aaron wasn't Kosminski -- because he wasn't :-) I can book alot of bets on that one.
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How Brown
31st January 2006, 10:59 PM
Dear Marlowe:

I always hedge my bets when it comes to food....so a corned beef is it for now,pal



I'll owe you a corned beef hoagie with slimy hot peppers,if you tell me whom Aaron was,if not Kosminski..

..but you have to tell me first.
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Marlowe
31st January 2006, 11:06 PM
Oh, he was "a" kosminski...he just wasn't "THE" KOSMINSKI...

O.k so, I'll buy the scotch on that one. LOL
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How Brown
31st January 2006, 11:26 PM
Marlowe:

Make it a beer buddy...I can't handle that hard stuff...

Andrew:

I see your point in that he didn't want to offend the religious and established Jews [ read: Jews that would retaliate with various forms of protest to Anderson's higher ups...with a degree of success since they had clout].
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aspallek
1st February 2006, 04:24 PM
Marlowe:
Andrew:

I see your point in that he didn't want to offend the religious and established Jews [ read: Jews that would retaliate with various forms of protest to Anderson's higher ups...with a degree of success since they had clout].

Spot on. You said it much better than I.
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Grey Hunter
1st February 2006, 09:19 PM
In my collection of letters to Anderson is this one written on 19 February 1895 by the Chief Rabbi Dr. Herman Adler, at which time they were on the best of terms.
455
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How Brown
1st February 2006, 11:46 PM
Dear Andrew:

I just recieved some support in the form of an email from a pretty astute Ripperologist who offered this to what you mentioned.

It was suggested and probably correctly,that Anderson meant Anglicized Jews as opposed to recent immigrant Jews,in his follow up. In light of Grey Hunter's post above,Anderson appears to have been very familiar with prominent Jews like Dr. Hermann Adler [ Hey,Grey ! Since when did Dr.Adler lose an "n" in his first name? ] as the graciously deposited post above shows.

My take on your initial post was based on the "surface" impression one could get from "just looking" at it without knowing Anderson's friendship with assimilated Jews. If one looks at it without this knowledge,it could appear denigratory. It isn't. I was wrong. I'll go now...
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aspallek
2nd February 2006, 12:37 AM
That is interesting. Apparently, Anderson was able to read Hebrew (and obviously much better than I). But I think I remember that at the time of the serialized pre-release version of Anderson's memoirs he received some criticism for labeling the killer as a Jew.
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Magpie
2nd February 2006, 05:16 AM
Perhaps I'm off base here, but perhaps what Anderson was referring to was a Socialist Jew--somebody who was Jewish but had no religious convictions.
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Magpie
2nd February 2006, 05:35 AM
I respectfully but firmly disagree with you in your opinion that Swanson merely identifies Anderson's suspect but does not necessarily agree that Kosminski is actually the killer. Swanson goes to great lengths to indicate that the suspect knew he was identified and and a result no further murders took place. Clearly Swanson believes that the suspect, Kosminski, was the murderer.

I would point out that Mcnaughten suggested it was Druitt because there were no more murders after Druitt disappeared, and Littlechild believed that Tumblety was the killer because there were no more murders after Tumblety fled the country.

If a modern researcher was to put forward a new suspect entirely based on the coincidence of their suspect being killed, incarcerated or leaving London shortly after the last murder, they would be ridiculed. The fact that Swanson was closely involved in the case makes the marginalia very significant, but it seems to be that he was unwilling to commit himself to naming Kosminski as anything more than a suspect.

Even in his own book, free from any requirement to provide evidence or defend his position, he couldn't bring himself to write "Kosminski was the killer", and that distinction can't be brushed aside.
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  #24  
Old 02-18-2008, 04:14 AM
Ash Ash is offline
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Grey Hunter
2nd February 2006, 07:27 AM
Yes, I thought that 'Herman' had the extra 'n' and looked it up in Professor Bill Fishman's East End Jewish Radicals 1875-1914, where I found it to be 'Herman.'
464
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tom_wescott
2nd February 2006, 04:51 PM
Hello all,

Anderson is often painted with the anti-Semite brush, but I think he is a far cry from the Klansman he's portrayed to be. Also, his views must be taken into context with the time in which he lived. Consider the following excerpt from the book 'Bloody Foreigners' which came out a few years ago:

'In 1880, the Jewish Chronicle stated: "They have no right to isolate themselves from their English co-religionists. They should hasten to assimilate themselves completely." The following year, the paper repeated itself: "If they intend to remain in England, if they wish to become members of our community, we have a right to demand that they will show signs of an earnest wish for a complete amalgamation with the aims and feelings of their hosts."

And this is coming from a Jewish newspaper! But expecting immigrants to "when in Rome..." is a standard view, and doesn't in any way betray a sense of anti-Semitism.

Yours truly,

Tom Wescott
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Magpie
2nd February 2006, 07:48 PM
I'm just up to speed right now, so pardon me if this has been brought up before, but is it possible that Swanson is the reason for Kosminki appearing in both McNaughten's report and (unnamed) in Anderson's memoirs? Something in the nature of Swanson lobbying for his pet suspect?
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aspallek
2nd February 2006, 08:08 PM
I would point out that Mcnaughten suggested it was Druitt because there were no more murders after Druitt disappeared, and Littlechild believed that Tumblety was the killer because there were no more murders after Tumblety fled the country.

If a modern researcher was to put forward a new suspect entirely based on the coincidence of their suspect being killed, incarcerated or leaving London shortly after the last murder, they would be ridiculed. The fact that Swanson was closely involved in the case makes the marginalia very significant, but it seems to be that he was unwilling to commit himself to naming Kosminski as anything more than a suspect.

Even in his own book, free from any requirement to provide evidence or defend his position, he couldn't bring himself to write "Kosminski was the killer", and that distinction can't be brushed aside.

Well now, a couple of things. It is not accurate to say that Macnaghten thought Druitt was the killer just because no more murders occurred after Druitt died. That was part of his reasoning but another big part was the "private information" Macnaghten had that Druitt's family suspected him of being the killer. The whole key to understanding Druitt as a suspect, I believe, is to realize that he was never a police suspect during his lifetime. He only emerged as a suspect after his death, which explains why there are no papers regarding investigations into Druitt, etc. There would have been no investigation since the suspect was already dead. [Today there might indeed be inquiries in the event that a suspect was already dead but it would be very pragmatically Victorian not to bother with that].

As to why Swanson identified Kosminski as "the suspect" rather than "the killer" I will admit that you have a possibility in suggesting that Swanson was less than sure. I think it is much more likely, however, that Swanson is merely taking up Anderson's terminology. Anderson refers to "the suspect" as the person who was identified, so Swanson merely takes up the same term and says that Kosminski was "the suspect." I suppose it is a matter of how one reads the written notes but I see in them someone who is quite sure that Kosminski is the guilty man. Frankly, why bother to write the marginalia at all if you are only identifying a suspect whose guilt you are not of?
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How Brown
2nd February 2006, 10:27 PM
Tom:

One can make an anti-immigrant or, to cover all bases, an anti-"other" remark and not engage in belligerence to the "other" and not be conscious of it. . In the case of Anderson's comment,if we didn't know differently now,perhaps his comment could be seen that way. Thats really all I meant [ not that that matters ]. Thanks for the excerpt.

Disraeli said that "every nation gets the Jews it deserves..". That tongue in cheek statement by the Jewish P.M. may have been taken seriously by the leaders of the Jewish community,with the fear that anarchist Jews and socialist Jews would be seen by the English as "The Jews" or archetypically representative of the whole of the Jews in London/The U.K.
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Magpie
2nd February 2006, 10:52 PM
Hi aspallek.

Thanks for your reply. Just to clarify, the context of my comment was not to suggest that McNaughten thought Druitt was the killer only because of the timing of Druitt's death. I'm sure that Swanson had other reasons to believe Kosminski was the killer too.

All I was trying to point out was that the previous poster 's assertion Swanson was naming Kosminski as the killer solely because of the timing of his incarceration would not and has not been an acceptable argument for any other suspect, or indeed for any other police official at that time.

I don't doubt that Swanson's had a good reason to suspect Kosminski--likewise I have little doubt that McNaughten also had what he considered "proof" about Druitt--but we don't know what it was, precisely, so we can't comment on it's worth. So we are left with what they did say explicitly: the proximaty effect.
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chrisg
3rd February 2006, 04:39 PM
Hi Magpie

Did Macnaghten et al. really have "good reasons" to suspect Druitt or Kosminski or were Swanson, MacNaghten, and Anderson really just clutching at straws, naming suspects that were better suspects than hundreds of other bad or weak suspects? In other words the best of a bad crop, given that if we accept the statements of Major Henry Smith, Inspector Edmund Reid, and Chief Inspector George Frederick Abberline, that the police really did not know who the killer was?

Chris
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Old 02-18-2008, 04:15 AM
Ash Ash is offline
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Magpie
4th February 2006, 03:13 AM
Hi Magpie

Did Macnaghten et al. really have "good reasons" to suspect Druitt or Kosminski or were Swanson, MacNaghten, and Anderson really just clutching at straws, naming suspects that were better suspects than hundreds of other bad or weak suspects? In other words the best of a bad crop, given that if we accept the statements of Major Henry Smith, Inspector Edmund Reid, and Chief Inspector George Frederick Abberline, that the police really did not know who the killer was?

Chris

Hey Chris, long time no see.

Within the context of this particular conversation, I merely meant that Swanson and the chaps had what they believed were good reason's for their conclusions (and the fact that they still couldn't agree says a lot).

I'm with you 100% that they were likely pimping for their "pet suspects" and like I mentioned, since there's no surviving evidence as to what informed their belief, then we are left with "and after the suspect died/was locked up/left the country there were no further murders" . And as I said in the first instance, that would be considered a weak argument if put forward by any other researcher about any other suspect.

My question (and I'd value your opinin on this) was whether it was possible that Swanson's enthusiasm for Kosminski as a suspect was the reason he appeared in both MacNaghten's (25 years and I STILL can't spell his name) and Anderson's accounts. Since neither of them had any particular "hands-on" involvement they were relying on Swanson's opinion about the case.
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Celee
5th February 2006, 04:36 AM
Hi all,

I think the obvious answer is, what ever information Anderson and Swanson knew regarding Kosminski was not enough to convince Macnaughten that Kosminski was the ripper for certain. I feel Macnaughten thought Kosminski a viable suspect. He did put Kosminski's name on his short list of suspects.

I was under the opinion that Anderson and Swanson worked close together. I think what ever information Swanson knew regarding Kosminski, Anderson also knew. I feel they both were under th opinion that Kosminski was the ripper.

I feel that James Monroe was the source of Macnaughtens private information concerning Druitt. I think Monroe thought Druitt was the ripper. The question I have is, did Monroe and Macnaughten share this information with Anderson and Swanson. I do not believe in coverups, but if there was a coverup it would involve Druitt. Macnaughten admitts to destroying information regarding Druitt. If they did share the information with Anderson and Swanson then obviously the information was not conclusive enough to convince the detectives.

Littlechild is the wild card. If it is true that Macnaughten had seen information that connected The ripper with the leader of an assasination plot of Mr. Balfour, then surely Littlechild would have known this information, and yet Littlechild names Tumblety as a likely suspect.

The safe answer is they had know conclusive evidence against anyone. They had there suspects, but they just did not know.

Your frind, Brad
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charles nevin
6th February 2006, 02:40 PM
ladies and gentlemen, as the then daily telegraph reporter cited in earlier messages, it seemed courteous to add what i can to this discussion, which, sadly, is not a great deal. but i completely agree with what has already been said about mr swanson and his integrity. i can confirm, too, that he had approached the news of the world; but i do not recall the detail about his offering to pay the now back, nor why the paper had decided not to take the story further. i may have known, and, somewhere there is a notebook, and if it comes to hand, i'll get back to you. my feeling at this remove is in accord with m fido (to whom regards): the swanson memo was a bit opaque for a punchy tabloid read, and "Ripper Revealed: Unknown Pole Did It" would not have seemed a particularly surefire winner, circulation-wise. regards to you all; may your trails never go cold, charles n.

ps the telegraph, of course, didn't pay mr swanson anything; nor did he ask: my impression of his motives is exactly as reported by others. he approached me because i had written a piece about the forthcoming ripper centenary which had appeared on the front of the then weekend section the previous saturday. i did get one other intriguing call as a result from a "mr d s goffee" who claimed to know all about michael ostrog, but the secretary took the number down wrongly, and i couldn't get hold of him. newspapers, eh?CN

pps i now see the ostrog message also mentioned a Joe Gorse (?) a criminologist ...
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Grey Hunter
6th February 2006, 06:43 PM
It's very nice to see such a distinguished 'old hack' as Mr. Nevin making an appearance on this thread, and his recollections are greatly appreciated.

To enlighten him on a couple of post scriptive points, D. Stuart Goffee, whom I believe once worked for the Daily Mail, is a long-time Ripper researcher (amongst the many other subjects he has researched) and he has located a wealth of information. I believe he lays claim to be the first to discover the identity of Ostrog (apropos of whom we all now know, thanks to Phil Sugden, was not Jack the Ripper). The Joe 'Gorse' mentioned by Mr. Nevin was, of course, the late lamented criminological publisher and author Joe Gaute, who counted amongst his triumphs The Murderers' Who's Who, and who accepted Jack the Ripper: The Final Solution, on behalf of Harrap, from the late Stephen Knight.
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Grey Hunter
6th February 2007, 01:31 PM
As the current Ripperologist thread has turned into another debate on 'The Swanson Marginalia' I felt that it would be better to resurrect this thread for that purpose as it is more appropriate.

The debate was revived in view of the piece in the current issue of Ripperologist (No. 75) which gives a few comments made by the Metropolitan Police handwriting analyst, Dr. Christopher Davies. He is reported as stating, "What was interesting about analysing the book was that it had been annotated twice in two different pencils at different times, which does raise the question of how reliable the second set of notes were, because they were made some years later." He added, "There are enough similarities between the writing in the book and that found in the ledger to suggest that it probably was Swanson's writing, although in the second - later - set, there are small differences. These could be attributed to the ageing process and either a mental or physical deterioration, but we cannot be completely certain that is the explanation." [emphasis in bold mine]

Now if you read the above remarks carefully they do not really dispel the doubts that exist about these annotations. No expert in this field is capable of unequivocally attributing any such handwriting definitely to a specified person. He can only give his expert opinion. But look at the doubts above raised by what Dr. Davies has said!

The big question must be as to why these differences in the two sets of handwriting in these notes were not noted or questioned at the time the 'marginalia' appeared in 1987/8. I spotted them immediately when I examined the book 'in the flesh', for the first time, in July 2000. In the 1996 edition of the A-Z it states, "Paul Harrison's suggestion that the marginalia may not be genuine is completely unfounded. Their provenance is established beyond a peradventure, and the handwriting has been confirmed as Swanson's by the Home Office document examiner." So just why were these discrepancies in the 'marginalia' handwriting not noted before? And, as I have noted, no expert is able to confirm who wrote an old piece of writing - more especially when working with photocopies!
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Old 02-18-2008, 04:16 AM
Ash Ash is offline
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chrisg
6th February 2007, 02:24 PM
Hi Grey Hunter et al.

Grey Hunter, thanks for reviving this thread. As we stated in the Ripperologist 75 Jan 2007 (http://forum.casebook.org/showthread.php?t=3674) thread, there is no real reason to suspect that Swanson did not make all of these annotations. The handwriting expert Dr. Christopher Davies was just making the observation that in all likelihood age accounts for variations in the handwriting. No expert can say with 100% certainty that two pieces of writing are by the same person, particularly when they are evidently written years apart.

What I do find a bit curious though is why, if the 1996 edition of the A-Z is correct, when it states (as you quoted) that, "Paul Harrison's suggestion that the marginalia may not be genuine is completely unfounded. Their provenance is established beyond a peradventure, and the handwriting has been confirmed as Swanson's by the Home Office document examiner" (emphasis mine), the Met would seek to have the handwriting examined once again by a handwriting expert. Any thoughts, GH?

Chris
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auspirograph
6th February 2007, 02:28 PM
No doubt that this important and critical issue on what is one of the most relevant documents on the unsolved Whitechapel Murders by the Police Official in charge of the case at the time will be effectively addressed in the upcoming revised edition of the A-Z.
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Grey Hunter
6th February 2007, 03:22 PM
Chris, the Swanson owned annotated copy of The Lighter Side of My Official Life was privately owned and in no way anything to do with the Metropolitan Police and, as such, was a totally unofficial 'document'. As I understand it the Home Office document examiner was not making the handwriting comparison in an official capacity, but was merely looking at two examples of photocopied handwriting, sent to him, I believe, by Paul Begg. He then pronounced that they appeared to be in the same hand. If an author (Harrison) chooses to cast doubt on what other authors have claimed regarding documentation that supports their own theories, then that is hardly a matter for the Metropolitan Police to become involved with, not least of all for the financial considerations involved as well as supplying authors with free grist for their mill.

For more detail on this claimed Home Office document examiner's establishing of the handwriting as being Swanson's 'beyond a peradventure' you should address your query to Paul Begg whom, I believe, still has the said examiner's letter but which letter has never been published.
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chrisg
6th February 2007, 03:27 PM
Thanks for those clarifications, GH. Much appreciated.

Chris
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Grey Hunter
6th February 2007, 03:38 PM
No problem Chris. I note that in the post above you state "there is no reason to suspect that Swanson did not make all these annotations." With all due respect I have to disagree with that conclusive statement, and I do feel that I know a little bit more than you about this topic.

In fact if your statement is true then this whole thread is a bit of a waste of time. I have to query why you so emphatically believe this. Christopher Davies' conclusion was hardly emphatic - "It is most likely to be Swanson, but I'm sure the report will be cause for lively debate among those interested in the case."
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apwolf
6th February 2007, 04:07 PM
What I was put in mind of, Grey, when reading through this thread was the other Swanson Marginalia that I found some considerable time ago in another volume where Swanson scribbles down his thoughts in the margins - and elsewhere - on the Fenians and explosives.
You know I can't now even remember the name of the volume but I'm quite sure they were posted on the old boards.
As there would be absolutely no question of a modern forgery in this case, as the book has been held at an institution in the USA since the early 1900's, could not a useful comparison be made between the example I found and those discussed here?
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Grey Hunter
6th February 2007, 04:35 PM
Hi ap, No, I don't know, maybe Stephen can help. As I have stated earlier in this thread I'm not out to prove fakery, but rather to clear up doubts and suspicions that some obviously have.

I have a problem with the fact that when the 'Swanson Marginalia' first appeared and was used by different authors it was accepted without question and queried by no one. The A-Z presented it as immaculate and beyond question and the reasons that do exist for questioning it were not voiced or pointed out. Nor was the letter by the Home Office document examiner confirming the writing as Swanson's ever published. Readers were merely expected to believe what they read.

A similar presentation has now been shown in the current issue of Ripperologist. We have seen the caveats stated by Christopher Davies yet whoever wrote this piece in Ripperologist introduces it with the words "After comparing the notes with a report written by Swanson, Dr Davies concluded Swanson was the author of the marginalia." Surely, to be accurate, it should have read "...Dr Davies concluded it is most likely to be Swanson."

All this may sound like semantics, but it's not. True the piece contains the words of Christopher Davies, but why 'prime' readers beforehand by giving his conclusion as positive and unqualified? After all he used the words "most likely" to qualify it himself, and that is far from an unqualified positive.
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apwolf
6th February 2007, 04:54 PM
Thanks Grey, but I'm afraid it is a case of silly old me.
Of course I was referring to the 'Littlechild' marginalia which I found, so I don't think a comparison would be of much use!
I'll go back to reading The Times.

By the way I think your effort and intention here to be eminently laudable.
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cgp100
6th February 2007, 04:55 PM
As there would be absolutely no question of a modern forgery in this case, as the book has been held at an institution in the USA since the early 1900's, could not a useful comparison be made between the example I found and those discussed here?

If the idea is that Swanson's writing deteriorated as he got older, one obvious thing would be to compare the signature on his will (assuming he left one) with the initials at the rear of the volume.

Chris Phillips
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Old 02-18-2008, 04:19 AM
Ash Ash is offline
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Grey Hunter
6th February 2007, 05:35 PM
A bit of Swanson biography to assist with dates etc. Donald Sutherland Swanson was born in 1848 and joined the Metropolitan Police Force in 1868. He retired in 1903. He died at the age of 76 on 25 November 1924. Therefore, he was 62 in 1910 when The Lighter Side of My Official Life was published. We do not know when the annotations were made in his copy of the book.
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chrisg
6th February 2007, 05:42 PM
No problem Chris. I note that in the post above you state "there is no reason to suspect that Swanson did not make all these annotations." With all due respect I have to disagree with that conclusive statement, and I do feel that I know a little bit more than you about this topic.

In fact if your statement is true then this whole thread is a bit of a waste of time. I have to query why you so emphatically believe this. Christopher Davies' conclusion was hardly emphatic - "It is most likely to be Swanson, but I'm sure the report will be cause for lively debate among those interested in the case."

Hi GH

Granted you know more about the topic than I do. I am not claiming any differently, GH.

Since we were not there at the time, neither of us can say that Donald Swanson made those annotations. And neither can Dr. Christopher Davies. The best that he can say is what he said is that in his opinion, and as we discussed before, the writing was likely to have been done by Swanson but that because of the changes due to age and different writing implement he could not say with total certainty.

And I do grant you that of course we should hold out the possibility that it might have been another person entirely who wrote the additional annotations. We would be foolish not to think that could have happened.

Chris
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Grey Hunter
6th February 2007, 05:55 PM
Thank you Chris, what you have written in the preceding post is more or less what I was getting at. So why does the piece in Ripperologist state - " After comparing the notes with a report written by Swanson, Dr Davies concluded Swanson was the author of the marginalia."? As one of the editors of Ripperologist perhaps you could explain this.
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chrisg
6th February 2007, 06:19 PM
Hello GH

I agree that possibly the opening sentence of our "I Beg to Report" item in Ripperologist 75 reporting the work of Dr. Christopher Davies on the Swanson marginalia possibly should have been more reserved, although I think the following information in the article makes clear that Dr. Davies was not that certain. Our article was based on the January 19, 2007 ic South London article about the matter which says, "After comparing the book with a report written by Swanson, Dr Davies decided he was the author of the note pointing the finger at Kosminski." See

http://icsouthlondon.icnetwork.co.uk...name_page.html

Chris
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Grey Hunter
6th February 2007, 06:58 PM
Thanks for that clarification Chris. I did point out that the piece in Ripperologist contained the remarks by Christopher Davies that contradicted the specific statement that he had 'concluded Swanson was the author of the marginalia.' I can understand a press report being less than accurate and opting for the more conclusive and 'better for copy' version that Dr Davies' conclusion was positive. However, the piece in Ripperologist was not sourced and, for all anyone would know, may have been based on contact with Dr Davies. It just seems a bit cavalier to use that phraseology in the magazine.
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chrisg
6th February 2007, 07:02 PM
Thanks for that clarification Chris. I did point out that the piece in Ripperologist contained the remarks by Christopher Davies that contradicted the specific statement that he had 'concluded Swanson was the author of the marginalia.' I can understand a press report being less than accurate and opting for the more conclusive and 'better for copy' version that Dr Davies' conclusion was positive. However, the piece in Ripperologist was not sourced and, for all anyone would know, may have been based on contact with Dr Davies. It just seems a bit cavalier to use that phraseology in the magazine.

Hello GH

I must correct you. The piece in Ripperologist is sourced. The source appears below the article if you look at page 67 of Ripperologist 75 January 2007.

Chris
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Grey Hunter
6th February 2007, 07:34 PM
Sorry Chris, I don't subscribe to Ripperologist. But thanks for correcting me. However the part in question is not worded as per the news item so I presume that someone constructed and re-worded it from the published piece.
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fido
11th February 2007, 02:04 PM
Hearing, with regret, that Grey Hunter was leaving the boards again, I came back for a quick scan to see why. I hope it was nothing to do with this thread, which seems to have been conducted with proper decorum. But I note that I'm referred to (critically,I infer), and the A-Z is called in question at various points. The new edition of A-Z is not, I think, a proper place to get into controversial responsive arguments, so I'm taking a little ill-spared time to explain here why we said (and I still maintain, without committing my fellow-authors) that the genuineness of the Swanson marghinalia as the work of Donald Sutherland Swanson is clear beyond a peradventure.
Three elements have to be considered in assessing the reliability of a document: its provenance; its physical nature; its contents.
The provenance of the Swanson marghinalia is impeccable. It passed from Swanson to his daughter on his death, and from her to her nephews when she died. They immediately offered the information to the News of the World and accepted a cheque for seventy-five pounds, after which, to their frustration,the information was never published. In 1987, seeing press reports of renewed interest in the Ripper case, Jim Swanson very honourably requested permission from the News of the World to make the notes public, and on receiving it showed the book free of charge to the Daily Telegraph's (then) reporter Charles Nevin. No member of the Swanson family has ever been suspected or accused of any sort of jiggery-pokery of any kind. None has ever attempted to profit seriously by the notes - the cheque from the News of the World was not of a size to invite forgery or tamperinig by people in perfectly satisfactory financial circumstances. So any suggestion that the notes were by anyone but DSS has to postulate a manipulator or forger who either gained secret access to the Swanson family bookshelves and left a set of notes in the volume to await detection, or was a member of the family acting absolutely uncharacteristically. Since Grey Hunter and Dr Davies have fascinatingly revealed that the endpaper notes were written in a different pencil at a different time from the notes in the margins of the text, we must assume that the endpaper (later) notes would be the definite forgery and the marginal notes might or might not be genuine workof DSS. And in that case we also have to assume a forger who takes as information from the published matter on the Ripper the name 'Kosminski', and nothing else at all. I submit that these postulations are so implauiable that no serious historian would give them the light of day. It is what we mean by calling a provenance impeccable. By contrast, when I first talked with Robert Smith about the Maybrick Diary I asked him what its provenance was, and he replied sadly, "About as bad as possible." And that indeed sums up the sorry story of 'Got it from a deceased drinking companion who wouldn't tell me what it was or where he got it from.' (This was before we heard about Ann Graham's infamous cupboard). That provenance invited suspicion immediately.
The physical state of the notes then becomes the next consideration. The discovery that they were written on different occasions and with different pencils is indeed fascinating. But it is not incompatible with Jim Swanson's memory of his grandfather (as told to me): that in his retirement the old man spent a lot of time in a greenhouse or potting shed - (I can't remember precisely) - tying fishing flies and 'writing', by which was meant, it was explained, reading and annotating his books. A previous contributor to this thread has noted seeing just such similar marginalia in another volume belonging to DSS. Thus far the physical status is matching the provenance and offers nothing particularly difficult to accept, since many of us who read our books more than once and make occasional notes in them may have additional or second thoughts and note these too. And the scenario even helps to explain the slightly puzzling syntax of the first sentence on the endpaper, which reads initially like a direct continuation from the marginal note, but then apears to be instead a continuation into the second endpaper sentence.
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Old 02-18-2008, 04:20 AM
Ash Ash is offline
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fido cont...

And what about Swanson's handwriting? Well, Grey Hunter and I have seen a good deal of it on the Scotland Yard files: it sounds as though Dr Davies (like Richard Totty earlier) only saw one sample for comparison purposes. Swanson's handwriting is reasonably distinctive. There is, in fact, no one else leaving minutes and memoranda on the files with whom one would easily confuse it. The initials D.S.S. are appended to many of his memos. And they are manifestly formed in exactly the same way whenever written and exactly the same way as the initials in the endpaper notes
[A brief note on document examinartion. I have some training in paleography (the decipherment of old handwritings): it was a compulsory component in the Oxford postgraduate degree B.Litt in the days when I took it. A vital stage is to look at each individual letter to see how it is formed. For the purposes of deciphement this is done in the hope that a letter in a legible word (where, say, the legible letters Sw nson offer the certainty that the illegible letter is an a) and then seeing whether an illegible letter in an undecipherable word is formed in the same way. A glance at a facsimile of the Lusk letter will show anyone how this functions. Look at every i and o in the letter: then look at the address 'Dear Sor'. It is obvious that the writer wrote and intended 'Sor' and not 'Sir'. If you have read (say) Lovett's offensive comedy of Irishness 'Handy Andy', you will then see that 'Sor', 'prasarved' and 'Mishter' combine to propose a silly 'stage' brogue, as though Irishmen wrote a phonetic imitation of their accent. Now, as Grey Hunter rightly says, a document examiner's opinion is only his opinion, and the badness of some document examiners is revealed by one who, some years ago, wrote an analytical commentary on the Lusk letter, yet trabscribed 'Sir'. With that point given, I end the methodological digression and return to Swanson.]
A casual glance indicates that the hand and initials appear to be Swanson's, as familiarized in MEPO files. A character-by-character inspection reveals no discrepancy in the letter formations. Therefore, any proposal of tampering now has to postulate a highly skilled forger capable of making an expert imitation of DSS's hand. (This is a much more difficult job than convincingly disguising one's own hand. Haigh the acid bath murderer who forged powers of attorney with his victims' 'signatures' was a far more accomplished forger than Madeleine Smith, acquitted of poisoning her discarded lover, though she had very adroitly addressed her secret correspondence to him in a variety of apparently completely different hands). Adding this to the provenance leads us into the conclusion that the unlikelihood of the notes being by anyone other than DSS is so great that one may safely put it beyond a peradventure.
Since the content is mysterious, containing strange errors of fact (Kosmiski died soon after entering the asylum) and places that are hard to establish with certainty (the Seaside Home; Mile End Infirmary) and deductive hypthesis is inevitable in trying to explain them, I referred to setting up the red herring of a possible forger as 'muddying the waters': distracting valid research and commentary on the real historical problems posed by the notes into a pointless and unnecessary discussion. My phrase, apparently offended GH, and he further wrongly interpreted as a threat my friendly intentioned warning that British libel laws are a sort of blackmailers' charter (as I know to my cost, having twice had proceeding started or threatened by convicted criminals - respectively an armed robber convicted of manslaughter and a confidence trickster, the former of whom ultimately became a good friend and admitted that his whole effort was to secure money from publlshers who would willingly shell out a reasonable small amount rather than incur the horrific costs of mounting a court defence against someone incapable of meeting their costs). My warning was offered because a statement that a document that had never left the hands of the Swanson family had been tampered with might be interprted as libelling Mr Swanson. This, of course, no longer as applies as Mr Swanson has died.
I feel as firmly as I ever did that all discussion postulating that the Swanson marginalia are not genuine is a waste of time and should be consigned to File 13 with Maybrick. But I hope that this strong disagreement will not be interpreted as virulent attack.
Martin Fido
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Ally
11th February 2007, 03:30 PM
Howdy Martin.

Always glad to take the other side into consideration. I am sure others appreciate it as well.
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rjpalmer
12th February 2007, 01:21 AM
Martin - Many thanks. Forgive me, I don't know if you time to read all the posts on the marginalia (some of them are inconveniently over on the Ripperologist 75 thread), or have time to respond, but I'd like to make sure that we are all on the same page...


" Since Grey Hunter and Dr Davies have fascinatingly revealed that the endpaper notes were written in a different pencil at a different time from the notes in the margins of the text..."

This is somewhat ambiguous. Do we know this? You see, as noted elsewhere, I'm not entirely sure if it has been determined that the endnotes are in a different pencil than both sets of notes on pg. 138.

Bear with me a moment while I become tedious.

For the sake of convenience, the Swanson annotations can be divided into three parts.

1. The annotation in the left margin of pg. 138. (grey)
2. The 'foot-note' on the bottom of pg. 138 (blue)
3. The 'end-note' continuing on the back fly-leaf. (grey)

The 'odd man out' is the footnoe on pg. 138. I think the photographs show this quite clearly.

http://www.casebook.org/images/marginalia4.jpg

It is much less certain whether or not the end-notes are in a different pencil from the margin notes on pg. 138. It appears to me (and Chris Phillips makes the same suggestion) that the end-notes might, in fact, be entirely compatible with the margin notes. They are in the same colour of pencil, the handwriting seems to have the same 'tremor,' and the same thought is continued.

(p. 138) "and after this identification which suspect knew....."

(endnote) "After the suspect had been identified at the Seaside Home where he had been sent by us with difficulty in order to subject him to identification, and he knew he was identified..."

These two notes evidenlty go together. As I say, the 'odd man out' is the footnote on pg. 138.

Further, the footnote is independently initialed "DSS," whereas the margin note isn't, which suggests the latter is connected to the end-note, which is also initialed.

In short, I tend to agree with Chris Phillips' that the blue 'footnote' on pg. 138 is the original annotation. The writing is more crisp. It's written in a different pencil. It doesn't seem to be expressing the same thought as the other two. My guess is that both the margin note on pg. 138 and the endnotes where written at the same time--a later date. But perhaps Grey Hunter or Dr. Davies have drawn a different conclusion based on something else they're seeing. Best wishes, RP
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Old 02-18-2008, 04:21 AM
Ash Ash is offline
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fido
12th February 2007, 12:37 PM
Agreethat the 3-point division is a useful and sensible starting-point for discussion of the notes, RJP. And would add that the reiterted 'the suspect knew' could well be adduced to suggest that, whenever the ID took place, it explained the cessation of the murders. (Cf Green River and BTK murderers, who stopped when the chase was too close. This, of course, reduces the value of one of my own earliest arguments in favour of Cohen). There would follow, of ourse, lengthy argument as to whether Kosminski's state of mind allowed him such self-control... etc, etc etc....
But I'm not gettingnto all that: merely hoping that as little time as possible will be spent on the totally improbable suggestion that anyone but Swanson had a hand in writing the notes.
Martin F
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chrisg
12th February 2007, 01:13 PM
Hi Martin

Many thanks for providing such a detailed explanation and background to your firm belief that the Swanson marginalia are genuine. Your posts on this issue are much appreciated.

Chris
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robert
12th February 2007, 01:24 PM
Hi all

It's strange that Swanson seems to be adducing the suspect's awareness of the identification as an explanation for the end of the murders - one would have thought that the police surveillance would have been explanation enough (assuming that there wasn't the odd night when they "lost" him).

Robert
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Grey Hunter
26th December 2007, 01:25 PM
Here are early photocopies of the Swanson annotations (page 138, top and rear free endpaper, bottom) -

9985
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RJM
26th December 2007, 03:15 PM
GH,

Any particular reason for reposting these images you originally put on on page 1, or are you just bored this particular Boxing Day!

Hope the hoiday season is treating you well.
All the very best,

Robert
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Sox
26th December 2007, 04:22 PM
Is a certain suspension of belief required here?

If all this is true, then we have to believe that at least two senior officers were involved in complicity. Taking an innocent man, apparently by force, to an illegal ID parade (that is supposing they actually did a 'parade') at a private location.

Moreover, they obviously do not inform other senior officers of the results of all this subtefuge. According to Anderson & Swanson Jack the Ripper is identified by a witness and, not only do they let him go free, but they allow fellow officers to continue to hunt for this 'unknown' killer.

If Anderson and/or Swanson held such a firm belief as to the identity of Jack the Ripper then, I suggest, that it is beyond belief that they would keep their fellows in the dark about it. That serves NO purpose at all.

Now it is all well and good to 'investigate' Swansons writings, but until someone comes up with an explanation as to why two senior police officers would be involved in complicity, then I think that any such investigation is utterly irrelevant.

Now we come to the meat.

They claim that this witness identifies Jack the Ripper. With the exception of Liz Stride, no attack on any of the victims is ever witnessed. So unless this witness is identifying the man who attacked Liz Stride then it is no identification at all. If the witness Id's the man seen with Kate Eddowes/Mary Kelly/Annie Chapman just before they die, then such an identification would be useless without some kind of corroboration - which they obviously did not have.

And so to my ultimate question.

If this witness could identify a man, seen with a victim just before she is killed, then why is this suspect not arrested on sus, taken to a police station, and placed in a legal identity parade?

Such a man would, without question, be subject to arrest until, at the very least, the police could investigate him further. Suspects were arrested, and held until questioned, under far less incriminating circumstances throughout the autumn of terror.

Not one of the men seen with any of the victims prior to her death was ever identified, and yet these notes beg us to believe that Anderson & Swanson had just such a man within their grasp. These same notes ask us to believe that not only did they not arrest this man, on any charge, but that they did not inform their fellows of his existance either....and in the next breath many authors will claim, that if all this is true, that Anderson & Swanson were responsible & competant policemen. I am sorry to be a doubting Thomas but all this simply beggars belief.
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Natalie Severn
26th December 2007, 04:36 PM
GH,

Any particular reason for reposting these images you originally put on on page 1, or are you just bored this particular Boxing Day!

Hope the hoiday season is treating you well.
All the very best,

Robert

I must admit that to me this older photocopier reveals a different tempo to the writing between one and the other.For example the writing in the margins appears to be concise-it says what it needs to say briefly,concisely,whereas the writing on the endpaper is like -the writer is "overegging the pudding"a bit.The letter formation is a bit uneasy and there are inconsistencies in the lettering sometimes----look at the "3" in page "38" its all twists and curls.Some of the "c"s are closed so they look like "o"s,while others are open and match the letter formation from the margins.
We also have a curious sort of "capital" in "afterwards"-like a lower case "a"
writ large so it looks like a capital in the middle of a sentence----whereas in the margin notes neither a capital "A" or a big "a" starts the note in the side margin which begins with "after" --- quite a different look to it somehow.
Finally Swanson"s initials appear different in the two sets of notes.In the margin notes a full stop follows each initial whereas in the endpaper notes no full stop follows any of his three initials.

PS also in the second sample note the spaced out presentation of the word "dif ficulty" and the same thing happening in the word "identi fication" immediately underneath-----note that no such separation occurs in the margin notes above them.

(the end)
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Old 09-12-2016, 02:01 PM
YomRippur YomRippur is offline
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Sorry for bringing up an old thread (in case an apology is needed). But I'm in the camp which believed Swanson's writing may not necessarily indicate his certainty of Kosminski's guilt. Although "Kosminski was the suspect" sounds pretty definitive, it would have sounded even more definitive if he had written "Kosminski was the murderer". I think Swanson was simply reporting on what he saw. The fact that he was a suspect was simply an observation. His belief that the witness refusing to identify Kosminski because he was a fellow Jew could also be Swanson's way of grasping at straws and ending up succumbing to prejudices at the time. It could simply be that the witness refused to identify Kosminski because he didn't think he was the killer. All we know is that Swanson believed Kosminski was the killer, but "believed" may also mean "didn't really know".
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