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Ripperologist Magazine noviembre 2008


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  • 1. RIPPEROLOGIST MAGAZINE Issue 97, November 2008 QUOTE FOR NOVEMBER: ‘So many enemies of promise vie with endless love and care that the wrong buggy is unlikely to turn a St Francis into Jack the Ripper.’ The Daily Telegraph on prams, buggies and other baby carriers. Pushy Parenting, Daily Telegraph, London, UK, 21 November 2008. We would like to acknowledge the valuable assistance given by Features the following people in the production of this issue of Ripperologist: — Rob Clack, Stewart P Evans, Melissa Garrett — . Thank you! Mary Jane Kelly — A Family Tale Chris Scott The views, conclusions and opinions expressed in signed articles, essays, letters and other items published in Mary Jane Kelly: From May Place, Liverpool, to Miller’s Court? Ripperologist are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views, conclusions and opinions of Ripperologist or Dorset Street (Duval Street) Revisited its editors. The views, conclusions and opinions expressed in unsigned articles, essays, news reports, reviews and other An Affair of the Heart: The Case against Joseph Fleming items published in Ripperologist are the responsibility of Christer Holmgren Ripperologist and its editorial team. We occasionally use material we believe has been placed Cutthroat in the public domain. It is not always possible to identify and A detailed examination of the neck wounds sustained by the Whitechapel murder victims contact the copyright holder; if you claim ownership of some- Karyo Magellan thing we have published we will be pleased to make a prop- er acknowledgement. Mary Kelly — Diagrams of wounds The contents of Ripperologist No. 97 November 2008, includ- ing the compilation of all materials and the unsigned articles, The Suspect Series essays, news reports, reviews and other items are copyright © Tumblety: Murderer or Means to a Solution 2008 Ripperologist. The authors of signed articles, essays, let- Stan Russo ters, news reports, reviews and other items retain the copyright of their respective contributions. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No Solved in Minutes? part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval Don Souden system, transmitted or otherwise circulated in any form or by any means, including digital, electronic, printed, mechani- Montie’s Photographer, W. Savage: cal, photocopying, recording or any other, without the prior Winchester College, the Tichborne Case, and King Arthur’s Round Table permission in writing of Ripperologist. The unauthorised reproduction or circulation of this publication or any part The Diary of Jack the Mushroom Hunter thereof, whether for monetary gain or not, is strictly pro- Antonio Ruiz Vega — English Version by Eduardo Zinna hibited and may constitute copyright infringement as defined in domestic laws and international agreements and give rise to civil liability and criminal prosecution. Regulars Press Trawl Chris Scott returns with more from the news from the 19th century News and Views I Beg to Report RIPPEROLOGIST MAGAZINE PO Box 735, Maidstone, Kent, UK ME17 1JF. contact@ripperologist.bizEditorial Team Consultants Advertising Stewart P. Evans; Loretta Lay; Donald Rumbelow; Advertising in Ripperologist costs £50.00 for a full Stephen P. Ryder page and £25.00 for a half-page. All adverts are fullExecutive EditorAdam Wood colour and can include clickable links to your website or email.Editors SubscriptionsChristopher T George; Don Souden Ripperologist is published monthly in electronic for-Managing Editor mat. The cost is £12.00 for six issues. Cheques can SubmissionsJennifer Pegg only be accepted in £ sterling, made payable to We welcome articles on any topic related to Jack the Ripperologist and sent to the address above. The sim- Ripper, the East End of London or Victoriana. PleaseEditors-at-LargePaul Begg; Eduardo Zinna plest and easiest way to subscribe is via PayPal — send your submissions to send to Thank you!Contributing EditorChris ScottArt Director Back IssuesJane Coram Single PDF files of issue 62 onwards are available at £2 each.
  • 2. A World-Famous Case in a Famous Location Editorial by Christopher T. George At the start of this month, the first major exhibition on Jack the Ripper closed at London’sDocklands Museum at Canary Wharf after a duration of five months. I can reveal that we at the Riphave been in contact with the curators to ask them for their thoughts on the event. Specifically, weasked them, did it go as well as they had hoped? Was the line-up of speakers for the talks the rightbalance in hindsight? What will happen with the exhibits, props, artwork panels, etc? We would also like to ask you, our readers, to provide us with your thoughts on the exhibition for an article in theDecember Rip. A ‘post mortem’ as it were. We would like to hear from those of you who went through the exhibition or attended one or more of the associatedtalks. But we also welcome the ideas of you who were not able to go. I have to confess that I am in the latter cate-gory—I was sorely tempted to make a lightning visit to London from my home in the USA just to see it but did not manage itdue to my commitments Stateside and also, of course, because of money considerations in the tanking world economy. Drat! For those of you who like me missed out on the exhibition, what is your opinion of what you have heard about theshow? And anyone, what do you think should be in such an exhibition if there should be a similar event, or even a per-manent exhibition on the case? What could be improved compared to Docklands’ effort? Send your thoughts to us atour new email address of We hear that the target attendance for the Docklands show was 76,000. Hopefully we will hear from the curators and can reveal the actual num- ber that passed through the door. The Whitechapel murders constitute a world-famous case that took place in a famous location. From the many references to ‘Jack’ in the international media, newspapers or electronic media, on blogs, and in everyday conversation, it would seem that people worldwide have at least heard of the Ripper, if only as a stereotypical savage killer. It’s likely also that a hefty number of people know where the murders took place, in the East End of London, even if many could not point out the exact locations of the crimes. Hopefully Docklands will have educated tens of thou- sands more as to the true facts of the case. A few months ago, I read in the Baltimore Examiner that, after the shooting of a young African-American boy, a fireman washed away the blood with a firehose. This description reminded me of the similar descrip- tions in the Whitechapel murders. In regard to the Buck’s Row murder of Polly Nichols, ‘James Green, son of Mrs Green, came outside with a pail of water to wash away the blood from the cobblestones.’1 The killer himself even commented about how the authorities washed the blood away in one murder. That is, if you believe the taunting words of a Ripper letter claim- Ripperologist 97 November 2008 1
  • 3. ing to be from ‘an American’ in regard to the murder of Elizabeth Stride in Dutfield’s Yard: ‘I was in the crowd at Berners Street [sic] watching the blue boys wash the blood marks away. . . .’2 What is it about the Whitechapel murders that keeps them in the forefront of popular imagination after 120 years when so many other crimes have faded from memory? Undoubtedly it is partly the viciousness of the crimes that attract- ed attention. Also the fact that they were committed in a major capital that could justifiably claim in that day to be the most important world capital. And not the least that the killer apparently got clean away after doing his bloody work. We offer a smorgasbord of articles in this issue of the Rip, the last of our series of issues devoted to the sixth-score anniversary of the Autumn of Terror. We will have a detailed look at Dorset Street, the site of the horrific murder and mutilation of Mary Jane Kelly in the low-rent dingy room at 13 Miller’s Court. In truth, there is about as much mystery about the origins of MJK as the mystery of who her killer was. Some would put the murders down to a Royal conspiracy to protect the monarchy and cover up the illegal marriage of the ‘heir to the throne’ Prince Albert Victor, Victoria’s grandson: a notion that leading MJK researcher Chris Scott debunks in offer- ing us ‘Mary Jane Kelly—A Family Tale.’ Another possibility for MJK’s background is discussed in ‘Mary Jane Kelly: From May Place, Liverpool, to Miller’s Court?’ in which we asked Chris to comment on an 1881 Census listing that apparently finds MJK, or a woman with a similar name, in a Roman Catholic reformatory in 1881 in the Liverpool area. In this piece, Chris discusses the many difficulties of MJK research. After Stan Russo’s recent articles examining the Jewish and Doctor theories, Stan looks at the colourful Irish American quack, Dr. Francis Tumblety. No Royals here, but do we detect the distinct odour of Guinness and boiled cabbage? Did the murders involve another type of conspiracy? Christer Holmgren examines the case against little-known suspect Joseph Fleming. If MJK was not murdered by lover Joe Barnett, from whom she was separated, could she have been killed by ex-lover Fleming? ‘Joe the Ripper’, anyone? We were pleased to publish in our October issue Andrew Spallek’s article revealing to you the reader various newly rediscovered photographs of Ripper suspect Montague John Druitt during his time as a pupil at Winchester College. We publish now a follow-up in a piece on ‘Montie’s Photographer’—W. Savage of Winchester which as part of the Savage story will introduce a number of you to the details of yet another famous Victorian mystery, the Tichborne Case. Why wasn’t Jack caught? The popular perception is that the Met and the City Police were bumblers who bungled the case. Rip editor Don Souden looks at the methods of the coppers of the day, the ‘Bluebottles’ as it were—and gives them a passing grade. Feel free to send us your letters to the editor if you disagree with Don’s conclusion. All this and the last of Karyo Magellan’s series on the wounds inflicted on the canonical victims, fiction by Antonio Ruiz Vega translated by Eduardo Zinna, Chris Scott’s Press Trawl, and ‘I Beg to Report’. If you had not realised it before, now you know why you subscribe to the Rip. Enjoy!Christopher T. George is an editor at Ripperologist. He is a former editor of Ripper Notes.Chris has given presentations at both the UK and US Ripper conventions. Chris is also thelyricist and co-writer for Jack: The Musical, written with French musician Erick Sitbon. Heis currently finalizing work on a book on Jack the Ripper and the Jews, expected out in 2009. 1 The Times, 4 September 1888 2 Jack the Ripper letter headed ‘Spring Heel Jack The Whitechapel Murderer’, dated October 4th 1888, MEPO 3/142, p 195. Ripperologist 97 November 2008 2 Ripperologist 97 November 2008
  • 4. Mary Jane Kelly — A Family TaleBy Chris Scott Over the years there have been a number of stories that allege a family connection with the Whitechapel murders. The most direct of these claim that a relative was, or knew, or arrested Jack the Ripper. This type of account has been characterised by the disparaging byline of “my grandfather was Jack the Ripper.” In view of the number of years that have now passed since the Whitechapel murders, perhaps this should be updated to take account of the number of genera- tions that have now passed. Since there are so many unknowns in the Ripper case—who he was, when and how he died, why he stopped, where he lived—the whole arena of these events became a blank canvas on which a plethora of claims, fantasies and bizarre accounts have been painted. Most of these claims have, quite rightly in my opinion, been dismissed as either wildly fantastic or lacking any evidence whatever to support their substance. Within this blank canvas, a breeding ground for speculation, we have one area in which this type of fantastic story has run riot. This is the personage and mystery of the last of the so-called “canonical” victims of the Whitechapel mur- derer, a woman known to criminal history as Mary Jane Kelly. The life and background of this woman remains utterly impenetrable and has resisted all attempts at research to verify even the most basic of facts about her. By way of con- trast, the other four canonical victims—Nichols, Chapman, Stride Contemporary sketch of Joseph Barnett, the main source and Eddowes—have been thoroughly and painstakingly researched— of our information about Mary Kelly. notably by Neal Shelden—and the broad outlines at least of their lives are known and established. That is not to say, of course, that there are not areas of their backgrounds that are still to be dis- covered. But of Mary Kelly we know, as ascertained fact, nothing whatever. It would be a mistake to think that Kelly is actually unique in this respect, in that one of the later victims considered by some to have died by the same hand, Alice McKenzie, is just as mysterious in her background and life as Kelly herself. Although a number of details about Kelly were supplied by peo- ple who knew, or claimed to know her, the principal source of what is alleged about her life and childhood comes from the tes- timony of Joseph Barnett, the man with whom she had lived since Easter of 1887. When a researcher first comes to this account — contained in Barnett’s police statement and his inquest testimo- ny—his version of her life appears to present a positive smorgas- bord of researchable material. Here we have details of Kelly’s Ripperologist 97 November 2008 3
  • 5. family background, her marriage and the various moves she made prior to coming in London. We allegedly know herfather’s name, her place of birth, her husband’s name, his trade, how he died and so on. But, to the researcher’s cha-grin, not one item of this tale checks out, not one detail can be verified by documentation. And it is surely this veryvagueness, this lack of verifiable any fact, which has made Kelly such a prime candidate for speculation, romanticismand fantasy. To this we must add that Kelly, as the last of the canonical victims, has been interpreted in some accounts of themurders as the apogee, in more sense than one, of the series of killings. Firstly, the apogee in the sense of the brutal-ity and extent of the destruction that was wrought on her body, and, secondly, in the sense that she is seen by someas the final target of the killer’s intentions. There have been many examples where the alleged role of Mary Kelly hasbeen woven into a more or less complex version of events surrounding the Whitechapel murders. From the outset it isimportant to differentiate between those accounts that are overtly fictitious and those that are allegedly factual. As anexample of the treatment of Mary Kelly in fiction, a fairly recent example would be the film “From Hell,” starring JohnnyDepp and Heather Graham. In this tale based on the Whitechapel murders, Kelly (played by Graham) is a central char-acter and becomes romantically involved with the handsome and widowed Frederick Abberline, portrayed by Depp. Atthe climax of this version it turns out that the victim found in 13 Millers Court is not Mary Kelly, who ends up back in anidyllic spot in Ireland looking after the young Alice Crook. Of the allegedly factual versions of the murders in which Kelly plays a pivotal role, two examples will suffice. In TheMystery of Jack the Ripper by Leonard Matters, published in 1929, the identity of the Ripper is revealed as a certainDr Stanley. The root cause of the murders is the syphilis infection and subsequent death of Stanley’s beloved son onwhom all his doting father’s hopes rested. It emerges that the source of the fatal syphilis infection in 1886 was Mary Kelly, and it is the hunting down of her by Dr Stanley that precipitates Colourized photograph of Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence the killings. Matters claims that Stanley fled from Britain and eventu- ally died in Buenos Aires in 1918. It was on the basis of a newspaper report that Matters based his story, but this newspaper account has never been traced. We now come to the so-called “Royal Conspiracy” theory. It is some- what misleading to describe this as a theory as it is, rather, a set of the- ories. The Royal Conspiracy story, like the Hydra, although apparently killed off, raises its head in a new incarnation. Here I have neither the space—nor, if the truth be told, the inclination—to go into all the ram- ifications of this complex story. I will briefly summarise what might be called the “classic” version of it. Prince Albert Victor, oldest son of the future Edward VII, is the central character. As a quick aside, I have often seen Albert Victor described as the “heir to the throne.” This is incorrect. He would never have been known by this title in his life- time. Under British Royal custom, there is only ever one heir to the throne at any given time. This heir is designated as “Heir Apparent,” signifying that no subsequent birth can displace him or her from this position. Prince Charles is currently in this position. An “heir presump- tive” is a holder of that position whose claim could be affected by a sub- sequent birth. For example, the present Queen was heir presumptive all the time her father was King, in that if a brother were born, he would have become heir apparent in her place. Albert Victor died in 1892, at which time his father was the Prince of Wales, not King. So Albert Victor was never “heir to the throne.” He was in line to the throne, Ripperologist 97 November 2008 4
  • 6. but that is a different matter. It is alleged that Albert Victor became enamoured of a young womannamed Annie Crook. He undertook a secret (and illegal) marriage withAnnie and they had a daughter, Alice Margaret Crook. The “powers thatbe” in the form of the Government and/or the Freemasons undertookthe murders as a cover up to preserve the stability of the Throne. It wasalleged that Kelly was a witness at the secret marriage, and in some ver-sions she also nursed the child. When the storm broke and Annie wastaken away and secreted in an asylum, Kelly and her East End croniessaw the main chance and instigated a blackmail plot. It was this plotthat precipitated the killings to silence them. I must nail my colours tothe mast, as it were, and state that in my opinion not one version of theHydra-headed Royal Conspiracy theory has any credibility as an accurateexplanation of the killings. It is a classic fairy story, but only that. The very reason that Mary Kelly has been such fertile ground for storyspinning and outright fantasy—and the brief versions above are only afew among many—is that the verifiable facts about her life numberexactly zero. She is a tabula rasa, a blank canvas on which any fancifulversion of the Whitechapel murders can be depicted with no fear ofprovable contradiction regarding Kelly herself. For the fact that nothingis known about Kelly is a two-edged sword. Just as nothing can be Alleged photograph of Annie Crook, from Jack the Ripper the Final Solution, by Stephen Knight.proved about Kelly from the known documentation, so any fanciful ver-sion of Kelly’s role in the events of 1888 cannot be disproved. And, on the basis that the standards of proof and verifi-cation cannot vary from one version of the story to another, we must be equally wary of family stories that allege somepreviously unknown role for Mary Kelly. I use the word “wary” quite deliberately, for the burden of proof still existsundiminished, but any researcher must remember the existence of the possibility that some previously unknown aspectof the Whitechapel case may come to light. New material does come to light even after 120 years, and any student ofthe case who approaches an alleged new tale with the predetermined opinion that “it cannot be true” does a disserv-ice to himself and his material. In my opinion, the greatest requirement for a researcher in any field is an open butcritical mind. And so we come to the Mary Kelly story in which I have been involved personally. This came about in the followingway. In 2005 there was published my book Will the Real Mary Kelly...? which did not seek to provide a definitive or“final” solution to the problem of Kelly’s identity, but, rather, to take a critical look at the orthodox version of her storyas provided by Barnett and to examine some of the myths that have grown up around the Millers Court killing. Afterthe book had been out for some time I was contacted by the lady who is the source of the story I am about to present.Briefly put, she said that there was a story within her family that cast a very interesting light on the identity and fateof Mary Kelly. Would I, she asked, be interested? I think you can guess my answer! However, it was made clear from the beginning that the lady in question did not want to be identified in any waythat would attract the brouhaha that still attends stories pertaining to the Whitechapel murders. Of course, I gave myassurance that this would be respected and I have since done so and will continue to do so. I have to state for therecord that I have been in contact with the lady in question on many occasions and I have absolutely no doubt as toher sincerity and I am as certain as I can be that the story she told has been relayed to me accurately and faithfully.This inevitably leads to a second caveat, one that I have made clear to the lady in question on more than one occa-sion. Even if she has related the story to me accurately as she heard it—and, as stated, I have no reason to believe thatshe has not—that does not make it true. The fact that a family tradition is reported as it was told does not make the Ripperologist 97 November 2008 5
  • 7. factual basis on which that tradition is allegedly based historically true. When my informant was 14 years of age—which, I’m sure she won’t mind me saying, was quite some years ago—shehappened to see a copy of the Millers Court photograph of Kelly’s corpse lying on the bed. She mentioned this to hergrandparents, and was told that the woman in the photograph was not Mary Kelly, that, indeed, Kelly had survivedbeyond 1888, had moved to another part of London and was known to her great-great-grandparents, who were namedAlfred and Sarah Joel. Alfred was born in early 1856, his birth being registered in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire. In vari-ous census returns his place of birth is given as Hull and Butterwick. Interestingly, there is a variance in the spelling ofhis surname in the birth register, it being recorded as Joels. He was the son of John Joel, a carpenter—a trade thatAlfred would follow—and in 1861 the family is listed as follows: North Street, West Butterwick, Lincolnshire Head: John Joel aged 40 born Flixborough, Lincs — Master carpenter Wife: Elizabeth Joel aged 37 born Amcoath, Lincs Children: William aged 14 born Althorp — Apprentice carpenter Betsy aged 9 born Butterwick George Henry aged 7 born Butterwick Alfred 5 born Butterwick Frederick aged 3 born Butterwick Daughter aged under 1 month born Butterwick The woman who was to become Alfred’s wife was born Sarah Newsom in 1859 in Tottenham. Her family is listed in1861 as follows: Park Lane, Tottenham, Middlesex Head: Edward Newsom aged 38 — Dealer in cattle Wife: Mary Newsom aged 28 Children: Elizabeth aged 4 Sarah aged 2 Julia A aged 9 months All the members of the family are listed as born in Tottenham. The only reason I have listed this information in such detail is to show that the source of this Mary Kelly story werereal people from provable backgrounds. Again, I stress, this does not make the story they told true, but demonstratesthat those who originated the tale are traceable. At what point Alfred and Sarah met we do not know, but they married in Edmonton, Essex, in the last quarter of1880. In the 1881 census the couple are listed as follows: Commerce Road, Tottenham Head: Alfred Joel aged 24 born Hull — Carpenter Wife: Sarah Joel aged 21 born Tottenham Ripperologist 97 November 2008 6
  • 8. By 1891 the couple had moved back to Lincolnshire, as follows: 3 Collins Yard, Clee, Grimsby Head: Alfred Joel aged 36 born Butterwick — Joiner Wife: Sarah Joel aged 32 born Tottenham Children: Florence aged 7 Annie aged 5 William A aged 3 Fred aged 1 All children are listed as born in Grimsby. If the place of birth of the four children is correct, then this suggests that the couple moved back to Lincolnshireprior to 1884. Those whom I have been able to trace read as follows: Florence Joel born 1884 in Caistor, Lincs Annie Joel in 1886 in Caistor William Alfred Joel in 1888 in Caistor This shows that throughout the period of the murders the couple were living in Lincolnshire and raises the impor-tant question of how they would have found out about the alleged Kelly story. Of course, Sarah Joel had family tieswith Tottenham and it is possible the couple returned there on occasion. Within four years of the 1891 census both of the couple were dead. Sarah Joel died in 1894 and the details of herdeath are: 1894 Quarter 2 Sarah Ann Joel aged 34 Gainsborough, Lincolnshire In the following year, 1895, Alfred died by his own hand in strange circumstances. The details from his death certifi-cate read as follows: Registration District: Caistor County: Lincoln When and Where Died: 28 November 1895 Workshop of Messrs Nightingale of Convamore Road, Grimsby Name: Alfred Joel Sex: Male Age: 38 years Occupation: Joiner (foreman) late of 343 Convamore Road, Grimsby Cause of Death: Suicide by hanging whilst of unsound mind Informant: Certificate received from Coroner for the Borough of Grimbsy. Inquest held 29 November 1895 When registered: 30 November 1895 Ripperologist 97 November 2008 7
  • 9. A few more details can be gleaned from a short newspaper article I found in, oddly, the Bristol Mercury of 29November 1895: SHOCKING SUICIDE Alfred Joel, foreman for Nightingale and Danby, a building firm at Grimsby, proceeded to his work yesterday morning, pro- cured a sash cord, to which he tied a silk handkerchief, and then hung himself from a beam in the joiners’ shop. He was dead when found half an hour afterwards. The deceased was between 30 and 40 years of age, and leaves a widow and large family. A rather macabre addendum to this newspaper report is a family story relating to Alfred‘s suicide. My informant told me that it is told within the family that Alfred, a carpenter and joiner, made his own coffin prior to taking his own life. However, my grateful thanks are due to Mike Covell who found the following two reports in Hull newspapers, one ofwhich gives substantial detail about Alfred’s suicide:Hull Daily Mail28 November 1895 (Early Edition) FOREMAN HANGED IN WORKSHOP This morning the Grimsby Police report what appears to have been a deliberate case of suicide by Alfred Joel, a foreman join- er, in the employ of Messrs Nightingale and Danby. It is stated that one of the workmen in the same employ, named Thomas Turner, of Ayscough Street, went to Messrs Nightingale and Danby’s workshop this morning, at about 7.10 o’clock, and found Joel hanging by a piece of rope from the ceiling. He immediately cut the man down, and sent for his employers and the police, but when they arrived the man was discovered to be dead. The body was, however, still warm, and it is supposed that deceased went to the workshop between six and seven o’clock as usual, and had then hanged himself. No reason for the suicide has, up to the time of writing, transpired. Deceased was a married man, residing at 343 Convamore Road.Hull Daily Mail28 November 1895 (Late Edition) JOINER’S SUICIDE A joiner named Alfred Joel, of 343 Convamore Road, Grimsby, was found hanging in the workshop of Messrs Nightingale and Danby, on Thursday. The facts were investigated by the Coroner yesterday. The inquest was held in the workshop, and the body of the deceased man was lying in another part of the room. The Coroner, at the commencement of the proceedings, remarked that he had been compelled to accept somewhat hastily improvised accommodation. He had, however, no chance between this and compelling the jury to walk a considerable distance to view the body, for there were, as they knew, no public houses on Mr Heneage’s estate in which an inquest might have been held. He, therefore, had been pleased to accept the offer of Messrs Nightingale and Danby to hold the inquiry in their workshops. Annie Gray, the wife of Harry Gray, engineer, of 308 Convamore Road, said she was aware of the fact that deceased was in debt and it seemed as if this was preying on his mind. His creditors were pressing for their money. Witness was a friend of the family, and was often in the house, so that she knew that the man and his wife were living on bread and butter only, in order to try and get clear of debt. During the last week Joel had received 30s wages, and out of this had paid 16s for rent and back debts. Witness had herself advanced money to pay off a debt and get the bailiffs out of the house during the last month. Ripperologist 97 November 2008 8
  • 10. Thomas Turner, 48 Ayscough Street, said he found deceased hanging by a silk handkerchief round his neck in a part of the room which he pointed out to the jury. The handkerchief was attached to a cord fastened round one of the beams supporting the roof. Witness cut him down, and he was then apparently dead. There was a lad in the shop at the time, and witness asked him to help him, but he dare not approach the body. Another lad was sent for Messrs Nightingale and Danby and for the police. Witness had known that deceased had undergone a considerable amount of trouble recently, and had been considerably depressed. Ernest Needham, an apprentice in the same employ as the last witness, and Christopher Stephenson, yardman at Messrs Nightingale and Danby also gave evidence. Mr George Thomas Danby, in partnership with Mr Nightingale, said deceased had been recently appointed foreman in their works. Witness was aware of the fact that deceased had been in debt, and he had on one occasion relieved him from pecuniary difficulties. The jury decided no further evidence was necessary, and gave a verdict of “Suicide whilst in an unsound state of mind,” adding an expression of sympathy with the wife of the deceased. The Coroner said he could not help regretting that deceased had not taken legal advice with regard to his pecuniary difficul- ties, if it was possible for persons in positions such as his to be relieved from them pressing upon them in the manner in which deceased had suffered. There is one anomaly in these reports in that there is persistent reference to a surviving wife. The comment that Alfred left a widow is false in that his wife had died the previous year, as we saw above. So whomthis “wife” is that the reports refer to is not clear. It seems likely that Sarah died in, or as a result of, childbirth in thata final child is listed in the 1901 census and his birth was registered in exactly the same year and quarter as Sarah’sdeath. When we trace the location of the five now orphaned children of the Joel family in 1901, we find the following: The child Annie was a servant at Cricklade in Wiltshire, and two of the children are listed as orphans: The Seamans and General Orphan Asylum, Hull Frederick Joel (Orphan) aged 11 born Grimsby Percy Joel (Orphan) aged 8 born Grimsby The other two children were living with an uncle in Grimbsy but under a different surname: 9 Haven Street, Grimsby Head: William White aged 49 born Butterwick, Lincs Wife: Betsy White aged 49 born Butterwick Niece: Florence Todd aged 17 born Grimsby — Domestic servant Nephew: William A Todd aged 12 born Grimsby — Errand boy There is one oddity here, in that the child Percy, whose birth may well be related to Sarah’s death, is listed as 8years old in 1901 and born in Grimsby. That would place his birth in or near 1893. The only Percy Joel born anywherenear that period is: 1894 Quarter 2 Percy George Joel Ripperologist 97 November 2008 9
  • 11. This is exactly the same year and quarter as Sarah’s death, but the odd thing is that the birth of this Percy Joel wasregistered in West Ham, which suggests that the family had kept up close links with the area to the east of London. The story runs that the Mary Kelly that this couple knew claimed, at some unknown period after the murders, to bethe Mary Kelly of Millers Court fame. When this claim first surfaced is unknown, but as both the Joels were dead by1895 this gives a comparatively narrow window for this story to have emerged. So, what of this Mary Kelly of Tottenham? What do we know of her? Well, she was Irish, she was named Mary JaneKelly and she was born in very early 1864. I have been sent a copy of her birth certificate and it reads: Depot 107th regiment of Infantry Date of Child’s Birth: 24 January 1864 Place and Date of Birth: Fermoy Baptism date: 2 February 1864 Christian Names of the Child: Mary Jane Parents’ names: Christian: Denis and Jane Surname: KELLY Rank of the father: Colour Sergeant 107th regiment Name of Chaplain or other Clergyman by whom ceremony was performed: J.O. Flaherty Chaplain to the ForcesBirth Certificate of Mary Jane Kelly
  • 12. Fermoy is in County Cork, near the border with County Limerick, and was a garrison town. Mary’s father, Denis Kelly,was a career soldier and the family was certainly mobile. Mary had an older sibling named Matthew, born in 1860, andat that time the family was living in Devon. Again I have been provided with a copy of his birth certificate: Registration District: Stoke Damerel County: Devon When and Where Born: 21 December 1859 Married Men’s Quarters, Raglan Barracks Name: Matthew Samuel Sex: Boy Name of father: Dennis Kelly Name of Mother: Jane Kelly late Quirke formerly Coffey Occupation of father: Colour Sergeant 35th Regiment Informant: Denis Kelly, father, of Married Men’s Quarters, Raglan Barracks, Devonport, Devon When registered: 14 January 1860 The note about Jane Kelly’s name relates to the fact that her maiden name was Coffey and, prior to marrying DenisKelly, she had been married to a man named Quirke. After the birth of Mary I have traced the whereabouts of the family. Rather than Wales, as in the Barnett account,their longest place of residence was the Isle of Man. In 1871 the family was living in Staffordshire: 30 High St, Goldenhill, Oldcott, Staffordshire Head: Denis Kelly aged 38 born Ireland — Pensioner, Staff. Serj. of Volunteers Wife: Jane Kelly aged 36 born Isle of Man Children: Matthew S aged 11 born Devonport, Devon Catherine M aged 9 born Ireland Mary J aged 7 born Ireland John D R aged 5 born Ireland William P aged 2 born Preston, Lancs. Lawrence M T aged 7 months born Goldenhill, Staffs By 1881 the family were living in the Isle of Man: 28 Falcon Street, Onchan, Douglas, Isle of Man Head: Denis Kelly aged 47 born Ireland — Pensioner (Sergt. Major 107th Foot) Wife: Jane Kelly aged 46 born Peel, Isle of Man Children: Catharine M aged 19 born Ireland — Dressmaker Mary J aged 17 born Ireland John D R aged 15 born Ireland — Cabinet maker’s apprentice Paul W aged 12 born England (This is the same as the William P listed in 1871) Lawrence M aged 10 born England Ripperologist 97 November 2008 11
  • 13. The oldest son, Matthew Samuel Kelly, married in Edmonton in Essex to Catherine Standring. The couple and theirchildren are listed in 1891 as follows: 6 Tancred Road, Hornsey Head: Matthew S Kelly aged 31 born Stoke Damerel, Devon — Civil Service Clerk, Audit Dept. Wife: Catherine Kelly aged 33 born Finsbury E.C. Children: Margery aged 4 Denis aged 3 Kathleen aged 1 All born in Wood Green Mary Jane married in 1889 to a man named William Hayes Atkinson at the Crouch Hill Presbyterian Church: Marriage: When Married: 24 August 1889 Name and Surname: William Hayes Atkinson and Mary Jane Kelly Age: William Atkinson 28 years, Mary Jane Kelly 25 years Condition: Atkinson - Bachelor, Kelly — Spinster Rank or Profession: Atkinson — Commercial Traveller Residence at the time of Marriage: Atkinson — ? Villa, Hornsey, Kelly — 36 Daleview Road, Stamford Hill Father’s Name: Atkinson — Joseph Atkinson, Kelly - Denis Kelly Rank or Profession of father: Atkinson — Independent Means, Kelly — Sergeant Major Witnesses: Esther Catherine Atkinson and John Kelly In 1891 the couple are listed as follows: 32 Fairfax road, Hornsey Head: William H Atkinson aged 29 born St Lukes — Commercial Traveller (Stationery) Wife: Mary J Atkinson aged 27 born Ireland Father: Joseph Atkinson aged 72 born Deal — Drug grinder Step Mother: Ann E Atkinson aged 48 born Lynn, Norfolk and in 1901: 52 Heysham Road, Tottenham Head: William H Atkinson aged 39 born Finsbury — Commercial Traveller in Stationery Wife: Mary J Atkinson aged 38 born Fermoy, Ireland Son: Denis aged 4 months born Tottenham Ripperologist 97 November 2008 12
  • 14. Marriage Certificate of Mary Jane married to William Hayes Atkinson at the Crouch Hill Presbyterian Church in 1889: Other addresses quoted for Mary, all in the same area, were Daleview Road (at the time of their marriage), VartryRoad and Warwick Road. Mary lived on until 1912, and the details of her death certificate read as follows: When and Where Died: 8 December 1912 109 Warwick road, New Southgate Name: Mary Jane Atkinson Sex: Female Age: 48 years Occupation: Wife of William Hayes Atkinson, Commercial Traveller Cause of Death: Endocarditis, Cardiac failure. Certified by M Steward Smith M.D. Informant: W H Atkinson, widower of deceased in attendance at 109 Warwick Road, New Southgate When Registered: 9 December 1912 The only child I have been able to trace is the Denis Atkinson mentioned in the 1901 census. His full name was DenisWilliam Atkinson and his birth was registered in the last quarter of 1900 at Edmonton. Whether Mary and William hadmore children is not known at present, but I will continue to look. So, was this the Mary Kelly of Millers Court fame? That is, and probably will remain, unknown. All that can be said withsome degree of certainty is that this woman CLAIMED to be the woman of the same name who allegedly died on 9thNovember 1888. She may have been a fantasist, seeking to impress her neighbours or dine out, metaphorically, on such asensational story. The story is — and the lady who brought this story to me is fully aware of this — full of questions. Ripperologist 97 November 2008 13
  • 15. Death certificate of Mary Jane Atkinson Is it likely that Kelly would have married the year after the Millers Court murder under her real name? Is it likely that the Millers Court Mary Kelly, a Catholic, would have married in a Presbyterian church? Is it likely that Kelly, had she survived Millers Court, would have kept the same name at all? There are so many unknowns, so many questions we would like answered. My reasons for examining this story in suchdetail is twofold: 1) I am satisfied through acquaintance with the lady who told me this story that she did so in good faith. Again, Imust stress, that does not make it true. 2) It is unusual to examine one of these family accounts in such detail and to verify the existence and details of themajor players. There is much research still to be done and this is definitely an ongoing project which I hope will be of interest andthat I will have more to report in the not too distant future! Chris Scott is a contributing editor at the Internet site Casebook: Jack the Ripper and specializes in track- ing down newspaper reports on the case. He is the author of Jack the Ripper — A Cast of Thousands and Will the Real Mary Kelly... His Press Trawl in Ripperologist has uncovered many interesting and unusual snippets from the press for us over the years. Ripperologist 97 November 2008 14
  • 16. Mary Jane Kelly:From May Place, Liverpool,to Miller’s Court? Was Mary Jane Kelly at a girl’s Roman Catholic Reformatory in the Liverpool area, as the 1881Census might suggest? Well at least we know there was a Mary Jane Kelly at the LancashireReformatory School for Roman Catholic Girls in Old Swan, Liverpool, in 1881. Of course whetherthis was the Mary Jane Kelly who was presumably killed in Miller’s Court, Spitalfields, on the nightof 9 November 1888 is quite another question.Here is the 1881 Census record:Mary Jane KellyAge: 16Estimated birth year: 1865Relation: inmateCivil parish: West DerbyCounty: LancashireCountry: EnglandStreet address: Broad Green Roman Catholic Reformatory for GirlsOccupation: Youthful offender (sch)Registration district: West Derby ‘Carrotty Nell’ at Casebook: Jack the Ripper sent us a message noting that this girl’s age is only slightly at variancefrom that of a ‘Mary Jane Kelley’ aged 22 that Philip Sugden found was fined 2s. 6d. at Thames Magistrates Court on19 September 1888 for being drunk and disorderly.1 Of course whether there is any connection between these twowomen with the similar or identical name is not known at this time. As the many researchers who have tried to traceMary Jane Kelly’s origins have discovered, the name is unfortunately extremely common. Chris Scott provided the following additional information about the Lancashire reformatory as given in the 1881 Census: Lancashire Roman Catholic Reformatory for Girls, May Place, Broad Green Road, West Derby [or Old Swan],Lancashire. Head: Anna Maria Donovan aged 43 born Putney — Superintendent; Officers: Catherine Callan aged 25 bornPreston — Headmistress; Mary Lancaster aged 23 born Ireland — Assistant; Annie McCleod aged 29 born York — Sewing;Annie Carter aged 35 born Ireland — Laundress; Mary Ann Rafferty aged 30 born St Helens — Assistant; Margaret AnnRedmond aged 42 born Ireland — Cook.1 Philip Sugden, The Complete Jack the Ripper. London: Robinson Publishing Company, 1995, p 308. Ripperologist 97 November 2008 15
  • 17. Ordnance Survey map of 1893 showing location of the Lancashire Roman Catholic Reformatory for Girls, May Place, Broad Green Lane, OldSwan, Liverpool. Courtesy of anonymouse on the Yo Liverpool Forum at Chris noted, ‘Thirty-six girls are listed, all described as “Youthful Offenders” including Mary Jane Kelly aged 16 birthlocation not known.’ He added, ‘The Superintendent, Anna Maria Donovan, was born in 1837, the daughter of Cornelius Donovan, describedin 1861 as a Professor of Phrenology, and Henrietta Donovan, a schoolmistress. She does not appear to have marriedand is last listed in 1901 visiting an Anne Walshaw in Scarborough. She died in 1916 at age 79 in Lewisham, Kent.’2 A British schools website explains that the Lancashire Roman Catholic Reformatory for Girls was originally begun bythe Sisters of Mercy and located ‘at Blackbrooke House, St. Helens, where it was certified 23rd June 1869. But circum-stances delayed the actual commencement of the school until the following October, when the first girl was admitted.Moved to Liverpool and re-certified 24th November 1876 for 70 girls and again, re-certified 3rd March 1902 for 75 girls.Cessation of certification or closure 1922.’3 The core building that constituted May Place is still in existence, now renovated for sheltered housing. An OwenEllis architects webpage states, ‘The core of the scheme is a late 18th Century house that had been seriously neglect-ed and almost lost under later additions. The original building was uncovered and restored to become the centre of asheltered housing scheme providing 50 self-contained flats around a sunny landscaped courtyard that can be enjoyedby everyone who lives at May Place.’4 In regard to the task of trying to investigate this Liverpool Mary Jane Kelly, Chris Scott told us,2 Chris Scott, email to Ripperologist, 22 November 2008.3 Lancashire Roman Catholic Reformatory for Girls at “May Place, Old Swan,” Owen Ellis architects web page at Ripperologist 97 November 2008 16
  • 18. Modern-day photographs of May Place, Old Swan, Liverpool. It seems somehow fitting that this old mansion, the home at one time (perhaps!) of thefifth canonical victim Mary Jane Kelly, would have had a colourful past. According to the book, A Pictorial History of Old Swan and Tuebrook by ColinGould (Liverpool, UK: Ogre Books, nd), ‘May Place, in Broadgreen Road, was built in about 1760 by a gentleman who was reputedly an African slavetrader and who later married an Indian princess. Later residents were a Mr. Papayanni (a shipowner), Mr. Spence (who allowed the local Methodiststo hold their first meetings in his garden), Mr. Austin (who apparently had 20 children), Reverend Wilson (Chaplain to Lord Derby) and Mr. Walker (awholesale grocer). The house then became a Catholic Girls School and is now St. Vincent’s Hospice [before its present-day incarnation that is, as pic-tured here, newly renovated as sheltered housing].’ Photographs courtesy of Mark Anderson at Yo! Liverpool.
  • 19. I haven’t investigated this particular girl personally — I found her in [the] 1881 census . . . and, glancing at the1871 census, the nearest match is a Mary Jane Kelly born in Liverpool living with her mother, also named Mary, inBolton. But this match is by no means certain, as with anything to do with Kelly! I am, of course, all for investigating any lead on Kelly but for this particular girl I would say the three main prob-lems are:1) We have so little to go on (not even a place of birth) to trace her backwards or forwards.2) Personally I am convinced that the birth name of the woman who died in Miller’s Court was not Mary Jane Kelly andthat is why it has proved so hard to research her.3) According to the orthodox account of [Joe] Barnett, if any reliance is placed on that, at the time of the 1881 cen-sus we would certainly expect the Miller’s Court Mary to be listed under her married name (she should have marriedsome time about 1879) and also to still be living in Wales. According to all the accounts we have she did not leaveWales until some time about 1884.As I see it, there are two choices:1) The Barnett account is substantially true but her name was NOT Mary Jane Kelly or2) The Barnett account is substantially or wholly invented but her name was Mary Jane KellyChris ended by adding, ‘Either eventuality makes researching her a nightmare!’5AcknowledgementsOur thanks to Carrotty Nell at Casebook: Jack the Ripper for her input on this question, as well as to Mark Anderson atYo! Liverpool who informed us in regard to the recent history of the building that housed the reformatory: ‘May Placeused to be called St. Vincent’s Hospice prior to falling into disrepair and reopening under its original name of May Placeas sheltered accommodation. When it was St. Vincent’s Hospice it was run by nuns and was basically an asylum.’ Weare also grateful to hmtaj at Yo! Liverpool for kindly supplying the information on the history of May Place given in thebook by Colin Gould. Got something to say? Got comments on a feature in this issue? Or found new information? Please send your comments to Ripperologist 97 November 2008 18
  • 20. Dorset Street (Duval Street) Revisited The fourth in a series taking a closer look at the murder sites of the canonical five victims of Jack the RipperPenny Illustrated PaperNovember 17th, 1888 THE MURDER OF MARY KELLY IN WHITECHAPEL. Dorset street, lying almost under the shadow of Spitalfields Church, is a short street, composed largely of commonlodging houses, in one of which Annie Chapman, a previous victim, used sometimes to lodge. About half way down thisstreet on the right hand side is Miller’s court, the entrance to which is a narrow arched passage, and within a fewyards of which, by the way, there loomed grimly through the murky air a partly torn down bill announcing a reward of £100 for the discovery of the murderer on the last occa- Commercial Street, showing the Brittania pub on the left hand side and the entrance to Dorset Street sion. There are six two roomed houses in Miller’s court, all of them owned by a grocer, whose shop in Dorset street forms one corner of the entrance to the court. The houses are let out in separate rooms ‘furnished’ — that is to say, there are in each of them a bed and a table, and, perhaps, one or two odds and ends. For these rooms rents are sup- posed to be paid daily, but of course they will sometimes get a good deal in arrears. This was the case with one of the ten- ants, who had occupied a ground floor room on the right hand side of the court for about twelve months. This was the poor young woman, Mary Kelly, the victim of the murderer familiarly called ‘Jack the Ripper.’ Of all the murder sites, Miller’s Court was arguably the most unsavoury in reputation — which, when one considers the com- petition in the area, is quite a dubious accolade. The narrow entrance to Miller’s Court was situated between No. 26 and No. 27 Dorset Street, a short thoroughfare which ran west to east from Crispin Street to Commercial Street. It was lined by old, brick-built properties mainly dating from the late seventeenth or early eighteenth century, most of which were crumbling and fit only for demolition, as were many of the residents. Nos. 26 and 27 were built some time Ripperologist 97 November 2008 19
  • 21. Map of Dorset Street — 1681after 1709, although the exact date is not known, but the architecture would suggest that it was built somewhat later in the18th century. The entrance to Dorset Street was almost directly opposite the famous Christ Church, or more accurately the dis-used graveyard of the church, known affectionately as ‘Itchy Park’, which was used by vagrants to doss in when theycould find nowhere else. The western end of Dorset Street was exactly opposite the Providence Row Night Refuge andConvent, which stood at No. 50 Crispin Street. Tradition alleges that Mary Kelly stayed here for a while, although thereis no evidence to support it. Originally Dorset Street was called ‘Datchett Street’, which later became corrupted to ‘Dorset Street’, and in the17th century the whole area was pasture land covered by footpaths. When the landowners closed the footpaths theybuilt the road that was later to become Dorset Street.1 It was officially given the name ‘Dorset Street’ on 22ndNovember, 1867, (it was unofficially known as Dorset Street before that date) its reputation already established as theplace you didn’t want to visit if you were attached to your pocket watch.1 Paul Begg, Definitive History page 290. Ripperologist 97 November 2008 20
  • 22. Map of Dorset Street as it was in 1888 Much of the area around Dorset Street, and certainly most of the street itself, was run by small-time crooks and ‘bul-lies’, in the form of slum landlords like John McCarthy and Alfred Coates. Alfred Coates, for instance, had a common lodging-house in Flower & Dean Street, Dorset Street’s main rival for the“worst-kept street of the year” award. In addition to his shops, John McCarthy was also the landlord of the propertiesin Miller’s Court — these being referred to as ‘McCarthy’s Rents’ in some newspapers. He also owned the lodging-houseat No. 30. It’s not certain whether or not these rival slum landlords got along together in business, although it’s prob-able they presented a united front against the authorities, covering each others backs if needed — just as was the casein the East End in the 20th century, when the Krays would co-operate with other gangsters in the area, in an uncomfort-able and mistrustful alliance simply for the sake of self-preservation. McCarthy and the other slum landlords were hardlyin competition with each other, in the sense that there were far more weary bodies to occupy their doss houses than theycould possibly ever accomodate. Whether Dorset Street deserved its reputation as ‘The Worst Street in London’, it was certainly one of the most dan-gerous and notorious streets in the area. The Daily News, November 10th, 1888, reports that the lodging-houses therehoused ‘mainly thieves and some of the most degraded women’. Dorset Street and the surrounding streets were oftenreferred to as ‘Tiger Bay’ because of its notorious reputation, and the vicious nature of its residents.2 Rev. Samuel Barnett, who spent many years trying to educate the local poor in the virtues of righteous living, calledthe area the ‘wicked quarter mile’ and Charles Booth, when constructing his poverty map in 1887, designated the area‘black’ — the lowest of his ratings — describing it, justifiably, as ‘vicious and semi-criminal’.2 Ed Fisher, Bluegate Fields [article by reader of] Ripperologist 97 November 2008 21
  • 23. The Providence Row Night Refuge That’s not to say that the entire population of the area were Hellbound; many of the locals were simple, decent folkwho were just trying to make a life of some kind, living on subsistence wages and making the best of a very bad lot,but there was certainly a predominance of those on the wrong side of the law. Inspector Walter Dew wrote in his memoirs that one of the worst problems in the area was the presence of organizedgangs, who extorted money from prostitutes, demanded protection money, and generally made life difficult for theauthorities and locals alike. East Ender Arthur Harding, reflecting back on his life in the area at that time, wrote: Dorset Street had an even worse reputation than Flowery Dean Street. That’s where Jack the Ripper done some ofhis murders. We just used to call it ‘the street’. There was such a large number of doss-houses there that they calledit ‘Dosser’s Street’ and they abbreviated it again just to ‘the street’ which is what we called it. There were doss-houseson one side, furnished rooms on the other. McCarthy owned all the furnished rooms down there. He was an Irishman, abully and a rough guy. Marie Lloyd used to see him, because there was a pub round the corner she used to go to. All his daughters werein show business on account of Marie Lloyd. They had plenty of money. McCarthy lived down there. . .”33 Raphael Samuel (1981) East End Underworld: Chapters in the Life of Arthur Harding, London, Routledge and Kegan Paul page 100 Ripperologist 97 November 2008 22
  • 24. In the Victorian era the word ‘bully’ did not necessarily mean someone that beat up people smaller than themselvesor intimidated weaker individuals, although many of them probably did, quite often and with some enthusiasm. TheVictorian dictionary on gives this definition of it: Bully, a cowardly blustering fellow, pretended husband to a bawd or prostitute. A wider definition in general use by the lower classes was someone who ran a brothel, or some other disreputableestablishment. The slum landlords of Dorset Street generally fitted the bill. An article in the Daily Mail, July 16th, 1901, ran a report confirming that even a decade or more later, Dorset Streetwas still deserving of the title ‘The Worst Street in London’. It gave the account the subheading: ‘Where Our CriminalsAre Trained’. The lodging-houses of Dorset Street and of the district around are the head centres of the shifting criminal popu-lation of London. Of course, the aristocrats of crime — the forger, the counterfeiter, and the like do not come here.In Dorset Street we find more largely the common thief, the pickpocket, the area meak, the man who robs with vio-lence, and the unconvicted murderer. The police have a theory, it seems, that it is better to let these people congre-gate together in one mass where they can be easily be found than to scatter them abroad. And Dorset Street certainlyserves the purpose of a police trap.4 Dorset Street fell within ‘H Division’ of the Metropolitan Police, and was one of the streets that was allegedly dou-ble-patrolled to protect the bobbies on the beat, who were reportedly sometimes set upon and beaten if they daredto venture out on their own. Inspector Walter Dew, who admittedly was not renowned for understating things wrote: ‘A single constable would have been lucky to Outside a typical large common lodging house in Whitechapel reach the other end unscathed’. The fact is, there is at least one report of a con- stable walking down the street on his own, so he was either an outstandingly brave/foolhardy indi- vidual, or as with many of the reminiscences in Dew’s memoirs, a little poetic license was used. For much of the time, residents would hang about in the streets, overspilling from the pubs and music halls that lined the pavements, waiting to get a doss for the night. Most of their lives would have been spent outdoors, as many of the lodging-houses would not allow residents in until a certain time and would throw them out again very sharply in the early morning. Some would be on the streets trying to earn money for the doss, either gambling,5 or in the cases of the women, prostituting themselves — taking their clients to one of the numerous alleys that ran off Dorset Street, for a fourpenny knee-trembler — fourpence being the price of a night’s doss. The street was well-lit from the vast number of lights over the doors of the numerous lodging-houses4 Daily Mail, July 16th, 19015 Daily Telegraph, November 10th, 1888 Ripperologist 97 November 2008 23
  • 25. until about 2.00am, by which time most of the area had either gone home for the night or found a bed in one of the lodging houses.6 Then the street would quieten down for a few hours, and the only people left on the streets were those who could find no lodging or who were on their way to or from work. The vast majority of the buildings in Dorset Street were common lodging-houses, both reg- istered and unregistered, which could hold as many as 1200 men and women on any one night.7 The large, once-luxurious buildings, designed for the wealthy silk-weavers and their families or for prosperous merchants, were ideal for housing several hundred desper- Contemporary sketch of the interior of a typical lodging house in Dorset Street ate individuals on any one night. It was far too easy for any enterprising soul with a few spare pounds to start a lodging-house in the East End in the 1880s. Furniture could be bought for a pittance, as long as they bought only furniture that was completely unsaleable otherwise. Furniture, for instance, that was bought from the Small Pox hospital at King’s Cross when it was pulled down provided enough furniture for four lodging-houses. Small Pox no extra charge.8 Deputies were appointed to run these lodging-houses, and they acted as managers, running them as they saw fit. As long as the landlord received a good return, they were left to their own devices. It’s quite certain that most, if not all of them, were skimming money from the landlord’s takings, and it’s also quite certain that the landlords knew they were; but as long as they didn’t get greedy, then they would turn a blindCrossingham’s, 35 Dorset Street in the late 19th century eye, as any deputy they appointed would be sure to do the same. Deputies could be male or female, or a couple, legally married or other- wise, and it was quite a cushy number for them, with many little perks. These deputies were paid from 7 shillings to 15 shillings a week each, depending on how much they had to do to keep the houses running, which was a good wage considering they also got free bed and board thrown in. Some of the deputies were decent enough, did their jobs conscientiously, and others allowed more or less anything to go on under their roof for a cut of the takings. This included prostitution and fencing of stolen goods. Their job required that they inspect the bedrooms, especially at night, to make sure that nothing untoward was going on, or if it was that they got a share of it; to see there was no trouble, and to keep the place clean. The better of the lodging-houses would not admit anyone after mid- night, and none later than 1.00am, unless they knew them well. There 6 The Scotsman, November 10th, 1888 7 East London Observer, November 10th, 1888 8 London Labour and the London Poor; 1851, 1861-2; Henry Mayhew Ripperologist 97 November 2008 24
  • 26. were exceptions to this where weekly tickets couldbe bought, such as The Victoria Working Men’shome, and then the residents could come and go asthey pleased at any hour. The police would go into the property regularly tomake sure that they were being run properly, andinspectors would be sent to make sure that theywere abiding by the Common Lodging Act of 1851,which had certain regulations that were to be fol-lowed. The authorities certainly turned a blind eye tomuch that went on there, simply because there wasno possible way to prosecute all of the offenders,which probably amounted to 97 percent of the localpopulation. It is also certain that at least some of thepolice officers on the beat were taking bribes to lookthe other way. In reality, the whole lodging-house Contemporary illustration showing the entrance toscheme had a solid foundation of corruption that Miller’s Court and the frontage of McCarthy’s shoppermeated through every facet of the operation. The average takings of a lodging-house would be between 17 shillings and 6d a night and 20 shillings a night, butwhen one considers that many of the lodging houses had 400 beds, at fourpence a time, and were almost always fullup, it’s not hard to work out that a great deal of money could be made by some of the larger lodging-house propri-etors. Landlords like McCarthy and Crossingham were raking money in from many sources. The newspapers at the time reported that the lodging-house owned by William Crossingham, which was directly oppo-site the entrance to Miller’s Court, was the one at which Annie Chapman stayed regularly and which she was evictedfrom on the night of her murder, but in fact the Crossingham’s opposite Mary Kelly’s room was Nos. 16-19 and accom-modated some 300 persons, being fully occupied every night.9 The Crossingham’s at 35 Dorset Street was on the sameside of the road as Miller’s Court, closer to Little Paternoster Row. Other known lodging-houses at the time were Nos. 9, 10, 11-12 and 28-29. In all around 750 beds were officially pro- vided in Dorset St, but in reality, half that A typical one room dwelling for a family in the East End in the late 19th century number again would be lodging there, espe- cially when the weather was too cold to sleep in the open air. Most of the properties that were not registered lodging-houses were rent- ed out to families on a room-by-room basis, with as many as ten people sleeping in one small room. There were very few legitimate businesses in the street, as evidenced by the Post Office Directory of 1888, and those there were solely catered for the needs of the local population of dossers and slum tenants. To all intents and purposes, this meant filling their bellies with 9 Times, November 10th, 1888 Ripperologist 97 November 2008 25
  • 27. Dorset Street in the late 19th centurycheap cooked food and rot-gut alcohol or beer, and providing them with some entertainment while they were consuming it.Apart from the Brittania pub, there was also the Blue Coat Public House at No. 32, run by William James Turner. Just overthe road from Dorset Street was the notorious Ten Bells pub, which Mary often frequented. Grocery shops were sited at Nos. 7 and 36, run by Barnett Price and Alfred Coates respectively. Shopping in DorsetStreet was a risky venture in its own right, as hygiene was hardly high on the shop owner’s list of priorities. If a porkpie dropped on the floor, and it didn’t get snaffled by a passing dog, it was brushed down and put back on the counter.Waste not, want not. Most of the residents of the street would hardly have been bothered anyway, as the alternativewas starving to death. Because of the absence of freezers and refridgerators, shopping had to be done not just on a daily basis, but oftenseveral times a day. The grocers in Dorset Street would have expected to see the local women, particularly, in theirshops every day if not more to purchase not just food, but such things as candles, and firewood. People would gener-ally shop at the grocers nearest their houses, and for the most part the women of Miller’s Court would have usedMcCarthy’s chandlers shop at No. 27 and have been well known by him. Most grocers, if not all, would have allowed credit to certain customers. Having items ‘on tick’ was a way of life formost East Enders at the time, as there were invariably days when they had no money for food, and if the shop ownersknew them well and knew they could be trusted to pay the money when they were able, they would allow them someitems on credit. Mary Kelly was known to be considerably in arrears with her rent, and it’s more than likely that sheowed money in McCarthy’s shop as well. John McCarthy lived in the rooms above the shop with his wife Elizabeth, and children John Jr, Margaret, andElizabeth. His brother, Daniel, also lived with them until 1890, when he took over the grocer’s shop at No. 36, presum-ably from Alfred Coates. Although the premises of Nos. 26 and 27 were large, with several rooms upstairs in each prop- Ripperologist 97 November 2008 26
  • 28. Maps of Dorset Street and New Court — May 1890erty, McCarthy and his family were hardly living in the lap of luxury. There was a coal dealer, Miss Jane Brooks, at No. 39, although it is uncertain when she started in business, provid-ing the other necessity for those living in the cramped and often damp rooms that were let out in places like Miller’sCourt. Coal was relatively cheap at the time; the transport system allowing for plentiful supplies to be delivered toLondon. The coal dust and smaller lumps of coal was within the budget of most families, although it would be usedsparingly. A pennerth of nutty slack went a long way in those days. The Brooks family was resident at No. 39 in or before 1881, so it is possible that they were operating there as earlyas that date, but were just not registered in a directory before then. There is little evidence of other businesses being conducted from Dorset St in the 1880s, but in the 1890s there weretwo milk contractors listed at Nos. 13A and 14A by William Wright and Amos Payne. There were also several stablesalong the street.10 The Brittania public house, on the corner of Dorset Street and Commercial Street, was also known as ‘Mother Ringer’s’— hardly surprisingly as it was owned by “Mother (Mathilda) Ringer,’ who was said to do a great deal of good work in theneighbourhood. It was demolished in 1928 to make room for the expansion of the Spitalfields Market. This was one of the public houses where Mary Kelly was allegedly seen drinking in company with a man shortly beforeher murder. John McCarthy was reported to have said that at 11.00pm on the Thursday night, Mary was seen in theBritannia public house, with a young man with a dark moustache. She was drunk. The young man appeared to be veryrespectable and well dressed. The Horn Of Plenty stood on the opposite end of Dorset Street, on the north corner of Crispin Street and DorsetStreet. Its address was No. 5 Crispin Street, and in 1888 the proprietor was Christopher Bowen. Again, there was prob-ably an uneasy alliance between the various pub landlords, who, although in competition with each other, would stillneed to support one another to survive in business. For instance, if a beer delivery was late, then a landlord wouldoften borrow a barrel of beer from one of the other pubs. Mutual co-operation was a necessity. There were two small courts leading off Dorset Street, Miller’s Court and New Court, which was about midway alongDorset Street, between Nos. 33 and 34. Both were similar in character and allegedly of an even lower class than those10 East London Observer, November 10th, 1888. Ripperologist 97 November 2008 27
  • 29. that frequented the lodging-houses. It was reported in at least one newspaper that ‘the lowest class of unfortunates. Immorality is carried on in these houses, openly and with impunity’.11 These courts seem to have been built to try and alleviate the district’s dire housing situation some time around the 1850s, although the exact date has never been ascertained. The name ‘Miller’s Court’ is first mentioned in the census of 1861, when No. 26 Dorset Street was occupied by a glass-blower named Abraham Barnett. There is a mention of ‘Miller’s Rents’ in Spitalifields situated in exactly the right place in an 1851 directory, so it is possible that it was built as early as 1850. There were only three houses there at that time, though, and not the six that were there in 1888. The plot of land occupied by Miller’s Court would once have been the back yards of Nos. 26 and 27 Dorset Street, at least in part, as the houses were built a considerable time before the court was. The Daily Mail of July 16th, 1901 reported: The lodging-houses are bad, but they are the best side of a bad street. They at least have certain official inspec- tion, and a certain minimum amount of sanitation and decency is there secured. But the furnished rooms so-called are infinitely worse. Farming furnished rooms is exceedingly profitable business. You take seven or eight-roomed houses at a rent of 10s. Or 11s. A week, you place on each door a padlock, and in each room you put a minimum amount of the oldest furniture to be found in the worst second-hand dealers’ in the slums. The fittings of the average furnished room are not worth more than a few shillings. Then you let the rooms out to any comers for 10d. Or 1s. A night. No questions asked. They pay the rent, you hand them theIllustration of Miller’s Court — Lloyds Weekly News, November 11th, 1888 key. If by the next night they have not their 10d. or 1s. Again ready you go round and chuck them out and let a new-comer in. Miller’s Court was approached from Dorset St. via an unlit flagged passage that ran under an arch, little more than a yard wide and about twenty feet long. According to one newspaper: A big man walking through it would bend his head and turn sideways to keep his shoulders from rubbing against the dirty bricks.12 A very big man indeed, if he needed to do an impres- sion of a crab to get through a three foot wide tunnel, but allowing for hyperbole here, it was a narrow passage and certainly it would have been very difficult for two people to pass each other going through it. Roughly half-way down this passage on the right hand side was an entrance and staircase leading to the top floor of No. 26, and then a little further down on the right-hand side the door that led to Mary’s room.13 Directly opposite the entrance to Miller’s Court was Crossingham’s lodging house at Nos. 16-19, which was 11 East London Observer, November 10th, 1888. 12 Evening Star, November 10th, 1888 13 According to The Daily Telegraph, November 10th, 1888 No. 26 had seven rooms. Ripperologist 97 November 2008 28
  • 30. fully occupied on the night of the murder, and which hadpeople standing around outside most of the time — althoughall residents were usually required to be in their beds bymidnight or 1.00am at the very latest, which would meanthat anyone who was going to stay there that night wouldalready be indoors at the time of Mary’s murder. The gaslight outside was extinguished at around 3.00am. There was another well-frequented lodging-house nextdoor to McCarthy’s, at 28-29, that was within a yard ortwo of the entrance to the court; although again, as busyas it was, all the residents would have been tucked in forthe night by 2.00am. Lighting in the court was patchy. There was a gas wall-lamp directly opposite the door to Mary’s room, which wasalight until around 4am., the light from which is thrownnearly on to the passage and which would certainly havethrown light on Mary’s door.14 However, the rest of thecourt would have been in darkness, apart from any mea-gre candle-light filtering from the windows of the houses. In 1888, Miller’s Court had four units on the left (thelast not being used as accommodation, although it’suncertain what it was used for), and three on the right.These were whitewashed to the level of the first floor, tohelp alleviate the dampness, and the windows had greenshutters, which would have been closed at night to staveoff the cold and for extra security.15 The six occupied houses in Miller’s Court were dividedinto upstairs and downstairs rooms, thereby makingtwelve residences in the court rather than six, which iswhy Mary’s room was designated number 13 — althoughstrictly speaking it was not part of Miller’s Court, but theback of No. 26 Dorset Street. Numbering started with No. 1, downstairs on the left,with No. 2 above it, running down the left side and backup on the right so that No. 12 was upstairs, thus making Downstairs room 1: Julia VenturneyMary Kelly’s room No. 13. Upstairs room 2: Mrs Keyler — visiting her that night was Sarah Lewis Somewhere above Mary’s room was No. 20 of 26 Dorset Downstairs room 3: Man engaged as a market porter (Daily Telegraph)Street, although it’s never been worked out how it came Downstairs room 5: Mary Ann Cox Downstairs room 7: John Clarkto be numbered thus, or where it was exactly. The Daily Upstairs room 8: Elizabeth BushmanTelegraph of November 10th, 1888 reports that there wereseven rooms in No. 26, which would mean that there werequite a few rooms upstairs. A woman called Elizabeth14 The Scotsman November 10th 188815 Daily Telegraph November 10th, 1888 Ripperologist 97 November 2008 29
  • 31. Above: Artist’s reconstruction of Miller’s Court. Mary’s room is on the left hand side. Copyright Jane CoramBelow: The interior of 13 Miller’s Court
  • 32. Prater lived there at the time of the murder, along with her kitten Diddles. There were three toilets at the far end of the court for the residents to use, as the houses had no internal plumbing.16 At night, the resi- dents would use a chamber pot or bucket to perform their ablutions, which they would take in the morning and empty down the toilet. It’s hard to imagine what sort of state these toilets would have been in, and probably best not to think about it. Water for washing and cooking would be obtained from the pump, which was directly outside Mary’s window. The dustbins were also located there. Contemporary illustration showing the squalid conditions of Mary’s room. This is possibly one of the better reasons for discounting a daytime murder for Mary, as thepump yard would have been quite busy from about 5.00am onwards with people going to get water. The fact that thepump was literally outside Mary’s window is rather disquieting, as quite a few people would have been getting theirmorning water supply, not realising that just a few feet away lay the terribly mutilated body of Mary Kelly. The houses in the court were mainly let out to women, according to The Daily Telegraph, November 10th, 1888. Manyof these women were prostitutes, although not all of them by any means. There were married women and families livingin the court as well, but the newspapers of the day strongly suggested that many of the women engaged in prostitution andhinted that they did not really swallow the line that McCarthy didn’t know what was going on. Mr. McCarthy, the proprietor of this shop, has no hesitation in avowing his knowledge that all his six houses weretenanted by women of a certain class. They were let out in separate rooms ‘furnished,’ that is to say, there is in eachof them a bed and a table, and, perhaps, one or two odds and ends, all of the roughest and most trumpery descrip-tion, since if any of the things had any appreciable value in the market they would be certain to disappear. For theserooms rents are supposed to be paid daily, but of course they will sometimes get a good deal in arrears.17 It seems unlikely that McCarthy wasn’t aware that many of the women in the court were engaged in prostitution, asthey would have used his shop constantly. He would have seen them going in and out of the court, and could hardlyhave been unaware of some of their nocturnal activities. Of course, he would have had to deny knowledge, as eachcount of allowing a premises to be used for immoral purposes carried a mandatory sentence of one month with hardlabour. He may not have been taking part of their earnings, but it seems very likely that he was happy to take the rentwithout asking too many questions. No. 13 would originally have been either the kitchen/scullery of No. 26, or at least a back parlour, which was partitionedoff at some time to make it into a self contained room for letting. Looking at the crime scene photographs, the partitionwas made up of old bits and pieces of wood, possibly retrieved from slum dwellings in the area as they were demolishedto make way for the new model dwellings. One of the pieces of partition, at least, looks as if it once served as a door. Therent on the room was 4s. 6d. per week, which was 2d a week cheaper than buying a double bed in a doss house. The deplorable state of Mary’s damp and squalid room was typical of such properties, and little was done by the16 Whitechapel Board of Works Annual Report for 187817 Daily News, November 10th, 1888 Ripperologist 97 November 2008 31
  • 33. Illustration from the Pictorial News November 17th, showing the front of number 26 Dorset Street with an open front, supporting the news-paper reports that state that the building was used as a shed to store barrows,landlords to improve the lot of the tenants. The fact that McCarthy was apparently unable to locate a spare key whenrequired is not unlikely, as the attention he paid to the properties was hardly conscientious, judging by the state theywere in. His approach to repairs seems to be quite in keeping with the general attitude of the landlords at the time: Some landlords do repair their tenants’ rooms. Why, cert’nly. Here is a sketch of one and of the repairs we saw thesame day. Rent, 4s. a week; condition indescribable. But notice the repairs: a bit of a box lid nailed across a hole inthe wall big enough for a man’s head to go through, a nail knocked into a window frame beneath which still comes ina little fresh air, and a strip of new paper on a corner of the wall. You can’t see the new paper because it is not up.The lady of the rooms holds it in her hand. The rent collector has just left it for her to put up herself. Its value, ata rough guess, is threepence. This landlord has executed repairs. Items: one piece of a broken soap-box, one yard anda-half of paper, and one nail. And for these repairs he has raised the rent of the room threepence a week.18 Some newpapers at the time reported that the front of No. 26 was a ‘shed’, which McCarthy allowed the homelessto use as a doss on occasion. This suggestion has been largely discredited by photographs of the front of No.26,takenin the 1920s, as it would seem that the frontage at that time was an ordinary house with no access for barrows, mak-ing it impossible to be a storage shed. However, one contemporary newspaper sketch shows the frontage of No. 26 withboarding across it, which seems to be the entrance to a shed, making the story more viable than had been previouslythought.19 Presumably this would mean that the front had been rebuilt at some time between 1888 and the time whenthe photograph was taken by Leonard Matters in the late 1920s. Mary’s room was approximately 12 feet square, although some reports say that it was 12feet x 10feet; either way,it was extremely small and cramped, and was certainly damp and unsanitary. Opposite the door was a small fireplace, and on the right-hand side of that a low cupboard, which contained a small18 How the Poor Live, by George R. Sims, 1883, Preface, Chapter 119 Scotland Yard Investigates, Stewart P. Evans and Don Rumbelow , p. 181. Ripperologist 97 November 2008 32
  • 34. amount of crockery and some stale bread, pathetic reminders of justhow poor Mary was. There were also some empty ginger-beer bottles. On the left of the door were two windows, one of which had a cou-ple of broken panes, stuffed with rags One broken pane was closeenough to the door as to be able to reach through it and unbolt the doorfrom inside, when the only key to the door was lost. The meagre furni-ture in Mary’s room consisted of a small delapidated washstand, twochairs — one of which had a broken back — and two old wooden tables. To the right of the door one of the tables was so close that the doorwould bang into it when opened. Against the make-shift partition wallwas a bed with the headboard against the door wall. Over the fire placethere was a cheap print entitled ‘The Fisherman’s widow’. There has been much discussion about which version of the paintingthis was. Some have suggested that it might have been a cheap blackand white print of the a painting by Frank Bramley, which was firstexhibited in 1888, but it has never been ascertained which version of thepainting it was. It’s also not known whether the print was part of theoriginal furnishings or whether Mary or Joe might have bought it tobrighten up the miserable room a little. A Spring lock and key — Photograph, Bob Hinton The door to the room was fitted with a spring lock, as shown above.This meant that the door could be locked with a key from the outside, but once inside a catch could be dropped to lockthe door securely. If the catch was pushed in, then the door could be left ‘on the jar’ — that is unlocked — so that itcould just be pushed open from outside. It’s likely that the door would be left ‘on the jar’ for much of the time, as there was very little in the room worthstealing, and especially after the key of the door was lost, it would have been far easier to leave it on the latch than tokeep putting an arm through the window to unbolt the door from the inside. If Mary was only popping to a neighbour’sor to a local shop, it’s very likely she would not have dropped the latch, but just left it ‘on the jar’. One of the last people to see Miller’s Court standing was Leonard Matters, who gives this account in his book, TheMystery of Jack the Ripper: “What Dorset Street was like seventy years ago can only be imagined from an inspection of the district today anda walk through narrow lanes and byways leading off Commercial Street and Brick Lane. Duval Street itself is under-going change, and the buildings on the left-hand side going east have nearly all been torn down to make room forextensions to Spitalfields Market. “At the time of my first visit to the neighbourhood most of the houses on the left-hand side of the street wereunoccupied, and some were being demolished. The house in which Kelly was murdered was closed, save for one frontroom still occupied by a dreadful looking slattern who came out of Miller’s Court into the sunlight and blinked at me. “When she saw me focus my camera to get a picture of the front of the house, the old hag swore at me, and shuf-fled away down the passage. “I took what is probably the last photograph of the house to be secured by anybody, for three days later Miller’sCourt and the dilapidated buildings on either side of it were nothing but a heap of bricks and mortar. The housebreak-ers had completely demolished the crumbling wreck of the slum dwelling in which ‘Jack the Ripper’ committed hislast crime! “Miller’s Court, when I saw it, was nothing but a stone flagged passage between two houses, the upper stories ofwhich united and so formed an arch over the entrance. Over this arch there was an iron plate bearing the legend,‘Miller’s Court.’ The passage was three feet wide and about twenty feet long, and at the end of it there was a small Ripperologist 97 November 2008 33
  • 35. Artist’s reconstruction of Miller’s Court looking from the entrance. Mary’s room is on the right hand side. Copyright Jane Coram.paved yard, about fifteen feet square. Abutting on this yard, or ‘court’, was the small back room in which the womanKelly was killed — a dirty, damp and dismal hovel, with boarded-up windows and a padlocked door as though the placehad not been occupied since the crime was committed. “But the strange thing was that nobody in the neighbourhood seemed to know the history of Miller’s Court...”20 It is quite hard to trace the residents of No. 13 Miller’s Court after Mary’s death. The Birmingham Daily Post, July 18th, 1889 ran the following story: It is a somewhat curious coincidence that the room in the court in Dorset Street where Mary Jane Kelly was mur-dered and mutilated on 9th November last, remained empty until Saturday last when it was let to a new tenant,whom the news of the last crime has quite unnerved. From the date of the article, the “last crime” mentioned refers to the death of Alice McKenzie in Castle Alley. The 1891 census shows the following persons being resident at 13 Miller’s Court: Head: Thomas Kelly aged 35 born Spitalfields — Waterside labourer Wife: Ann Kelly born Ireland Head: Elizabeth Harper (Widow) aged 39 born Wapping — Needlewoman Brother: James Harper aged 42 born Finsbury — Firewood bundle maker Head: Mary A Clark (Widow) aged 49 born Lancashire — Laundress Son: Charles Clark aged 13 born Hornsey The problem here is that it’s impossible for that many people to have been living in a room the size of No.13.True, overcrowding was rife at the time and whole families did live in one room, but here we have what would appearto be three different families, and to suggest that they all shared that small room that was only large enough to acco-modate one bed is not really tenable. One possible explanation is that they were not all living in that one room, but in other rooms of No. 26, or were in Ripperologist 97 November 2008 34
  • 36. Contemporary illustration of the discovery of the body of Kitty Ronan.other houses in the court and there was just a mistake with the census. Elizabeth Prater’s old room was renumbered12 at some time between Mary’s murder, and 1909. There has recently been a lengthy debate on the forums about which room Elizabeth Prater actually occupied. Thepress reports generally seem to favour No. 20 being directly above Mary’s room, although at least one detailed reportstates that Elizabeth said that she lived ‘over the shed’ at the front of the building. The Telegraph of 10th November, 1888does state that Prater occupied the front room of the building and that a couple lived in the room directly above No. 13,stating that they slept soundly throughout the night and heard nothing. There seems to be a good argument for both sidesof the debate and at the moment the question has to be labeled ‘unresolved’. Since the death of Mary Kelly, there were other murders in Dorset Street, one of them in the room that was formallyrented by Elizabeth Prater. In 1909, Kitty Ronan was found in bed with her throat cut. It was alleged that Kitty was a prostitute, and — like MaryJane Kelly — her murderer was never found. John McCarthy was still the landlord of the property, and this suggests thatMcCarthy was either incredibly naive, or he was well aware that prostitutes were using his properties for immoral pur-poses. The Illustrated Police News made the most of this murder, and published this account on July 10th, 1909: Several neighbours ran upstairs and found the girl lying in bed with a terrible gash in her throat. The room of thetragedy was the top apartment of a two roomed house. There was about half a dozen white walled houses in the courtand the opposite houses are only a few feet apart. Two doors away on the right hand side near the entrance, is thehouse in which one of the last ‘Jack the Ripper’ murders was committed. Andrew Stevens a 17 year old market porter,who went into the house when the discovery was made told the following story. `I was standing out in the street oppo-site the court about five minutes to twelve last night and I saw Kitty come down the street with a strange man, pass Ripperologist 97 November 2008 35
  • 37. up the court and enter her house. About 12.20am I saw him come down the court again. He looked round sharply onceor twice and the walked briskly up to Commercial Street. From what I remember of him he struck me as being a manof military appearance or perhaps a sailor; but he was well set up.... he had a moustache and was wearing a dark suitand a dark cloth cap. When I went upstairs I saw Kitty was lying in bed fully clothed. There was blood on the bed-clothes. The room did not appear to have been disturbed in any way and there were no signs as if there has been astruggle. It looked to me as if she had been strangled first, and then her throat cut afterwards. On the floor I saw anugly looking knife with blood on the it. It was a pocket knife but the blade was a thin one. I should think it was aboutthree and a half inches long. The point of the knife was about half an inch in length. At the time of the crime thecourt was quite deserted. You can hear everything in the ordinary way, but nobody heard a sound or a scream. The only sound was the footfalls of the man coming out of the court. One of the neighbours I believe heard thesound of footsteps coming down the stairs, but nothing else. According to Walter Dew, Dorset Street was renamed Duval Street on 28th June, 1904, because of the notoriety itearned over the murder of Mary Kelly — but if that is the case, the council certainly took their time in doing it. In 1928, the northern side of the street was demolished to make room for enlargements to Spitalfields Market, withthe southern side being cleared in the 1960s, leaving what was once Dorset/Duval Street as an unnamed and ratherunattractive private alley beside a multi-storey car park.The site of 13 Miller’s Court as it looks today — Photograph, Adam Wood.
  • 38. An Affair of the Heart: The Case against Joseph Fleming By Christer Holmgren More than twenty years ago, I picked up the Swedish translation of Donald Rumbelow’s TheComplete Jack the Ripper at a book sale in Malmö. On the book’s cover were depicted, if mymemory serves me, fourteen women’s faces. I remember thinking ‘Wow, fourteen victims!’ That purchase marked the beginning of my interest in Ripperology. I began much the same as I imagine manyRipperologists do, thinking that it would be exciting to try naming the killer. It didn’t take very long to realise that thiswould not be an easy task. In fact, I have come almost to believe that the more knowledgeable the Ripperologist, theweaker his or her conviction that the case will ever be solved. This is not, however, because of a dearth of suspects. There are hundreds of them, all more or less plausible:Chapman, Cutbush, Druitt, Feigenbaum, Fogelma, Gull, Kosminski, Silver, Tumblety. The list goes on and on, and isadded to regularly. Yet in most cases you can immediately see that there is nothing much behind the allegation. Youare left with a 99-per-cent conviction that it is all a waste of time. But there remains a one-percent nagging suspicion:‘Could it really have been him?’ No matter how one looks at it, there are major reasons not to believe that any of the suspects named was Jack theRipper. If I were to pick a suspect that over the years I have found more compelling than any other, I would say MartinFido’s ‘David Cohen’.1 He has always rung a bell. But other bells chime away from him at the same time. How couldhe communicate with the victims, for example, if he spoke only Yiddish or some little known German or Polish dialect? One of the suspects I always dismissed as unlikely was Joseph Fleming, Mary Jane Kelly’s lover from Bethnal Green.Although I could understand those who argued that he was a contender in her case, I found it hard to believe that hewould have warmed up to the Millers Court murder by slaying a handful of other women who had very little in com-mon with Mary Jane in terms of age or looks. Yet I have now come to the conclusion that I may have been wrong about Fleming. The reason for my changed opin-ion of him has to do with the motives for the murders. Faced with a series of mutilation murders committed by thesame killer, we assume that his motives are the same in every case. In so doing, we are looking at the Ripper case withan almost archaic optic. We assume that the mutilations and the acquisition of organs were the motives behind hisincreasingly violent murders and that he committed all his killings to satisfy these urges. Yet this assumption only holdswater if the same man was responsible for all the killings. If, as many speculate, Mary Kelly does not belong in theRipper’s tally, we may have to look for a different motive in her case. I believe that the victims of the man known as Jack the Ripper were five: Martha Tabram, Polly Nichols, AnnieChapman, Catherine Eddowes and Mary Jane Kelly. I never thought Elizabeth Stride was a Ripper victim. I furthermorebelieve that the last victim, Mary Jane Kelly, did not die for the same reasons as the first four. In order to understand1 Fido, Martin: The Crimes, Detection and Death of Jack the Ripper, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London, 1987. Ripperologist 97 November 2008 37
  • 39. why, it is necessary to accept that Joseph Fleming killed them all. Fleming was a plasterer, a trade that brought him good money. After he split up with Mary Jane, however, his life took a downward spiral. He found what work he could at the docks, or finishing boots, and ended up interned in a lunatic asylum in 1892.2 At the time, Fleming’s mother, Henrietta, informed the asylum that ‘insanity had been in the family for 160 years.’3 Fleming’s medical records say that ‘he had many delusions of persecution and could become very abusive with little or no provo- cation, he resented being questioned or interfered with and suffered from mania’.4 He died on 28 Claybury Asylum August 1920 at the Claybury Mental Hospital.5 Fleming’s mental illness obviously provides a ready reason why he became the Ripper in the first place. History showsthat mentally unsound serial killers may remain undiagnosed until they are caught. Fleming’s difficulties in holding onto a job, combined with his inexplicable move from comfortable quarters at Bethnal Green to inferior lodgings in des-perately poor parts of Whitechapel, indicate that he may have been experiencing problems to fit into society at thevery time of the Ripper murders. While Fleming and Mary Jane Kelly remained fond of each other after breaking up, not all was well between them.Mary Jane told Julia Venturney that a man other than Barnett whose name was also Joe had ‘ill-used’ her on occasion.6Although Julia did not mention the mans surname, there can be little doubt she was referring to Fleming. What shemeant by ‘ill-used’ has been debated vigorously. Linguistically, the expression may mean anything from verbal abuse tophysical violence. Since Fleming was said to have ill-used Mary Jane ‘because she lived with Barnett’, the reason forhis behaviour was obviously jealousy. Clearly, a man who remains attached to a woman for a year and a half after shehas deserted him for another man has an obsessive streak. As to whether Fleming’s sentiments were returned by Mary Jane, it is hard to say. Perhaps she was genuinely fondof him. Then again, she may have been fond only of the money he apparently gave her whenever he could. Of course,if there was true affection between Mary Jane and Fleming, she may well have stayed with Joseph Barnett on accountof his money. But what has this got to do with the theory that Fleming was Mary Jane Kelly’s killer? Virtually everything. Fleming’sobsession with Mary Jane is vital to an understanding of the later course of events. What was the motive for the first four murders? The murders themselves. The killer was driven by his urge to evis-cerate women and pull out their organs, as shown by the tentative cut into Martha Tabram’s lower abdomen, the morelong—reaching injuries in the very same region on Mary Ann Nichols’s body, the successful opening of Annie Chapman’s2 Corporation of London Records Office: City of London Mental Hospital Records: Case Book, Males, Vol. 10, folios 63 and 97, cited in King,Mark: Joseph Fleming, Ripperana No. 13, July 1995.3 King, Mark: Joseph Fleming Part II, Ripperana No. 21, July 1997.4 Ibid.5 Corporation of London Records Office: City of London Mental Hospital Records: Case Book, Males, Vol. 10, folios 63 and 97, cited in King,Mark: Joseph Fleming, Ripperana No. 13, July 1995.6 The Times and the Western Mail, 13 November 1888. Ripperologist 97 November 2008 38
  • 40. abdomen and retrieval of her uterus, and the extensive mutilations of Catherine Eddowes’s body, which included facialcuts. There is an escalation of violence together with growing self-confidence on the killer’s part. Mary Jane’s murder appears as a logical sequel to the previous murders. She was completely butchered and her heartwas taken away. There are clear similarities among the five cases which point to one and the same killer being activein each murder. Yet there are differences between Mary Jane Kelly’s murder and the others, namely:(1) A killing indoors;(2) A victim who was much younger and more attractive than the others;(3) A victim who got undressed and went to bed instead of picking up a punter in the street;(4) An indication from Dr Thomas Bond that the killer may have covered his victim’s face with the bedclothes before he started cutting away;(5) A grotesque overkill; and(6) An organ removed from outside the abdominal cavity, the centre of human reproduction; The last point — the removal of an organ from outside the abdominal cavity — has led many researchers to believethat Mary Jane’s case was a one-off, a domestic victim killed by a spouse or former spouse. They are convinced thatthe virtual destruction of her body shows that a personal connection existed between killer and victim. That does notexplain, however, why the Chapman and Kelly murders resemble each other in some crucial details: the flesh removedfrom the abdomen in a couple of flaps in each case and the Tore Hedinnotches on the victims’ backbone at the place where theirthroats were cut, which indicate that the killer attempted todecapitate them and failed. In my view, however, these problems can be overcome.There is no need to look for two killers — as long as we placeone of Mary Jane Kelly’s lovers in the frame and accept thatthe motive for her death was quite different from what it wasin the other cases. I believe that Mary Jane was killed byJoseph Fleming, her former lover, because he feared beingexposed as the Ripper. There are other examples of this type of behaviour. One isthat of the notorious of the Swedish murderer Tore Hedin.When he learnt that he was going to lose his job and becharged with beating up a former girl friend, Hedin killed hisparents with an axe. He wanted to spare them the shame ofseeing him disgraced. An alternative, and perhaps even more compelling, expla-nation for Fleming’s killing of Mary Jane could be that he hadconfided to her that he was responsible for the Whitechapelmurders. That may have caused her to panic, or say she wouldnever see him again, or do that awakened in him the irre-sistible rage that led him to kill her. In any case, the factorthat triggered off the murder was Fleming’s certainty that he Ripperologist 97 November 2008 39
  • 41. would be exposed as the Ripper. Do we have anything to bolster this assump- tion? Yes, we do. First, we have the asylum records, which indicate that Fleming had many delusions of persecution. Secondly, we have the incident just prior to the murder of Catherine Eddowes, probably the only occasion when somebody saw the Whitechapel killer. As they left the Imperial Club in Duke Street, three Jewish men called Lawende, Harris and Levy saw a man standing with a woman in Church Passage, near Mitre Square. The woman was most probably Eddowes, who within a matter of minutes would be found killed and severely mutilated. If she was Eddowes the man was Jack the Ripper. Lawende Contemporary newspaper sketch of the sighting in Church Passage testified later that he had seen his face. If the man — the Ripper —was Fleming, with his delu-sions of persecution, he realised that he had been seen and could be identified. Furthermore, Lawende stated that the man he saw had the appearance of a sailor. A record from the WhitechapelWorkhouse dated 16 November 1889 indicates that Fleming was taken to the Workhouse because of an injured leg. Onthat occasion he gave his occupation as dock labourer.7 If his occupation one year earlier had been the same, hisappearance may well have been that of a sailor at the time. There is one more point in support of my theory. The very moment that Lawende and his companions laid eyes onFleming in Eddowes’s company, he knew he could be exposed as the Ripper and concluded that the game was up. Ofcourse, he could have killed the three men as well as Eddowes. Perhaps he pondered the possibility. Yet he decidedagainst it. Although the three Jews could mean his downfall, Fleming did not feel he could blame them if theydenounced him. Such assumption may throw some light on the message ‘The Juwes are the men that will not be blamedfor nothing’, which was later found scrawled at the entrance to the Wentworth Model Buildings. The ‘Juwes’ were thethree Jewish men who had seen him with Catherine Eddowes. In this message Fleming accepted that these men woulddo what they had to do, announced that he would not blame them for anything they did and made clear that he wouldnot attempt any violence against them. This is the closest thing to a logical explanation I can find for the so-called Goulston Street Graffito. The Graffitomay or may not be connected with the killings — and a strong case can be made against Fleming even without it — butat least now it makes sense. Which way did the Ripper go after killing Eddowes? Since the police were patrolling Mitre Square’s other exits atabout that time, he could only leave through St James Passage. If he was indeed Fleming, he may next have taken DukeStreet up to Houndsditch, crossed it and continued down Stoney Lane, exiting on the right into Middlesex Street andthen turning first right and then left into New Goulston Street. Having walked the length of that short street, hereached Goulston Street, crossed the road to the right-hand side and landed virtually at the entrance of the Wentworth7 Whitechapel Workhouse Infirmary, Admissions and Discharge Register, GLRO StBg/WH/123/21, cited in King, Mark: Joseph Fleming Part II,Ripperana No. 21, July 1997. Ripperologist 97 November 2008 40
  • 42. Victoria Home George Yard Buildings Wentworth Model Dwellings Go uls ton M Str id eet dl es ex St re t eSt. James’ Place St. James’ Passage Mitre Square Map showing the route that Fleming may have taken on the night of Catherine Eddowes murder Model Buildings, where he stopped to discard the soiled piece from Eddowes’s apron and scrawl the graffito on the wall. He continued along Goulston Street and took a right turn at the next junction, Wentworth Street. From there he was only a few steps away from the Victoria Home at No. 41 Commercial Street. Fleming had lived at the Victoria Home since August 1888, when the Ripper murders began. On his admission to the Whitechapel Workhouse Infirmary on 16 November 1889, he gave 41 Commercial Street (The Victoria Home) as his address. The entry adds that he had 15 months’ residence in the parish of Whitechapel, that is to say, starting in August 1888. The City of London Union Infirmary also had the Victoria Home as Fleming’s address in June 1892.8 The picture painted of the Ripper over the years has been that of a completely fearless man, a cunning killer, a mas- ter of evil with a fixed agenda who after gratifying his gruesome desires vanished into thin air. According to the classi- cal canon, he decided in the early autumn of 1888 that his time had come and went on to fulfil an agenda of slit throats, eviscerations and organ-procuring. So strong and widespread is this belief that it has often been suggested that the Ripper either felt he had achieved his dreadful goal after Mary Jane Kelly’s murder or took his appalling business else- where. To suggest that he could have been outmanoeuvred or somehow frustrated by the police does not sit well with those who regard him as almost superhuman. But this picture is, in all probability, wrong. Just as in any other activity, serial killers start out as neophytes — new- bies. Their first strikes are often spur-of-the-moment actions taken when a sudden combination of external factors pro- vides an opportunity to meet their inner desires. I believe this is exactly what happened in the Ripper case. In fact, we 8 See King, Mark: Joseph Fleming Part II, Ripperana No. 21, July 1997. Ripperologist 97 November 2008 41
  • 43. can nail the crucial moment that derailed our man: the murder of Martha Tabram. One hundred and twenty years after the death of this woman, who is often not regard- ed as a Ripper victim, may finally come to understand what happened to her. The George Yard Buildings stood on the western side of George Yard, today Gunthorpe Street, quite close to the junction with Wentworth Street. The block where the Buildings were located measured roughly 85 x 50 metres. In 1888, it contained a wide variety of houses, shops and other buildings, including churches and vicarages, stables and warehouses, pawnbrokers’ shops and schools, van sheds and small yards, pubs, clubs, tennis courts, college buildings and the still extant Toynbee Hall. Round the corner from the Buildings was the Victoria Home, which stood at number 41 on the western side of Commercial Street. Right opposite the Home was the top north-west- ern stretch of the block where the Buildings were locat- ed, directly facing the Princess Alice Public House.Sketch of the back of George Yard Buildings as it looked in 1888 showing the outside balcony (constructed from the photograph found by John Bennett) At about 4:50 am on 7 August 1888, John Saunders Reeves found Martha Tabram’s body on the first-floor landing of the George Yard Buildings. At 3:30 am, Alfred George Crow had noticed what he thought was somebody sleeping rough on the landing. One and a half hour earlier, at 2 am, a married couple by the name of Mahoney had walked past the spot without noticing any- thing. Dr Robert Thomas Killeen, who examined Tabram’s body, estimated her time of death at about 2:30 am. At 2:00 am, half an hour before the murder, Police Constable Thomas Barrett had encountered a soldier who said he was‘wait- ing for a chum who had gone with a girl’. Many believe that Tabram was this woman. The most widely accepted ver- sion of events is that somehow she caused her punter to go berserk and stab her thirty-nine times. What this scenario does not explain is why she did not cry out and, as the absence of defence wounds in her hands or arms showed, did not fought off her aggressor. This tallies very poorly with a victim who, as Dr Killeen testified at the inquest, was stabbed close to forty times while still alive. The mystery of Tabram’s death has been to a significant extent elucidated by the research of John Bennett, who earlier in 2008 made public a photograph of the back of the George Yard Buildings.9 This photograph shows that the stairs opened at the back of the Buildings on each floor. These openings were arched entrances which had no doors in them. The landings were therefore not inside the Buildings proper but were external galleries. The landing where Tabram’s body lay was on the first-floor gallery or close to it. It is not known what Tabram was doing on the landing at the George Yard Buildings. Perhaps she was having sex with the soldier or, if that had been taken care of earlier, she had gone there to sleep rough. In either case, she may have been visible to anybody watching from a number of possible locations. The block where the George Yard Buildings were located measured roughly 85 x 50 metres. In 1888, it contained a wide variety of houses, shops and other buildings, including churches and vicarages, stables and warehouses, pawnbro- kers’ shops and schools, van sheds and small yards, pubs, clubs, tennis courts, college buildings and the still extant Toynbee Hall. Round the corner from the George Yard Buildings was the Victoria Home, which stood at number 41 on the western side of Commercial Street. Right opposite the Home was the top north-western stretch of the block where 9 Unfortunately, the photograph uncovered by John Bennett cannot be reproduced as an illustration to this article because of copyright rea- sons. Ripperologist 97 November 2008 42
  • 44. Miller’s Court Approx 60 yds George Yard Buildings Victoria Home Back Balcony landingMap showing the distance from the Victoria Home to George Yard BuildingsMartha Tabram was killed, directly facing the Princess Alice Public House. If Joseph Fleming was at the Victoria Home during the night of 6-7 August 1888, as it is reasonable to assume, wecan place him — a very viable Ripper suspect — at a distance of only about sixty yards from the spot where Tabram waskilled.10 If he was in the street rather than at the Home, he could have been even closer. But if that night he wasinside the block next to the one where the Victoria Home was, he could have seen Martha Tabram and the soldier enterthe George Yard Buildings or, depending on his location, watched them together on the Buildings’ first—floor landing.And that may well have triggered off the Ripper within him. Can we place Tabram on that landing or in close proximity to it? A recent article in Ripperologist stated that Tabram’sbody had been found deep inside the building and that much pointed to its being positioned in a covered, dark place in thestairwell.11 There is, however, some evidence that Tabram’s body was instead found very close to the gallery or even in it. The above-mentioned Ripperologist article adds that the staircases in the George Yard Buildings in all probabilitylooked much the same as they did in the neighbouring St George’s House. This means that they would have consistedof a small landing at the back of the house from which the gallery could be reached through an open passage. Threestone steps led up to the gallery. But at St George’s House these openings onto the gallery were quite narrow. The pictures of the back of George YardBuildings show much wider openings. It seems that at St George’s House a narrow passage led from the smallish land-10 It is worth noting in this context that many serial killers begin with a murder committed close to where they live.11 George Yard Revisited, Ripperologist 94, August 2008. Ripperologist 97 November 2008 43
  • 45. ing at the back to another landing at the front which gave access to the front flats. If this holds true for the GeorgeYard Buildings as well, Tabram’s body was found in very close proximity to the opening into the gallery. Alfred GeorgeCrow, one of the very few witnesses to establish a position of the body in relation to any architectural feature of thestaircase, stated that he noticed the body ‘just as [he] turned the landing’.12 Whether the body was lying on the front landing is a moot question. It was so dark that it would not have been pos-sible to see it through the narrow passageway leading there. Nor would it have lain on the passageway itself, since itwould have effectively blocked the way, and we know from Mrs Mahoney’s testimony that the body was found in a spotwhere the staircase was wide enough to pass it without taking notice of it.13 So what remains? Only the space wherethe landing turned, quite close to the gallery or even in it. Crow was not the only witness who mentioned a part of the building close to the body. The Echo of 13 August 1888contains this passage: ‘...Mr Francis Hewitt, the superintendent of the dwellings, who, with his wife, occupies a sleeping apartment atnearly right angles with the place where the dead body lay. Mr Hewitt produced a foot—rule, and measured the dis-tance of his sleeping—place from the stone step in question; it was exactly 12 ft.’ A stone step is mentioned here. Not a flight of stairs, but a single stone step. Where would there be a single stone step on a landing in a staircase? The answer is obvious: at the opening into thegallery. There were three steps leading to the gallery at St George’s House, but Mr Hewitt stated clearly that there wasonly one step at the George Yard Buildings. And there, close to that stone step, is where Martha Tabram’s body was found. At any rate, regardless of where Tabram’s body lay, she might have been subdued and perhaps partially strangledor knocked about the head in the gallery itself. A plausible scenario is that her killer grabbed her by the throat andwrestled her to the ground, where, still with his hands round her throat, he lifted her head and banged it repeatedlyon the concrete landing, rendering her unconscious. It would explain her silence, her protruding tongue, apparent inher mortuary photograph, her clenched fists, and the effusion of blood between skull and scalp. Her killer may subse-quently have dragged her away from the landing and into the darkness, out of sight, before he set about stabbing her. At some point during these proceedings Joseph Fleming may have seen the stabber attacking her. This leads to acompelling scenario that offers an explanation of why no intercourse took place, as Dr Killeen stated, and, above all,suggests a solution to the mystery of why Tabram’s wounds were completely different from those of the canonicalRipper victims. Her wounds were inflicted with two radically dissimilar types of blades: a narrow-bladed knife for mostof the wounds and a significantly sturdier blade for the puncture in her chest which, according to Dr Killeen, was itselfsufficient to cause death. The enraged soldier inflicted the first 37 stabs. Perhaps Tabram had said something derogatory about his physical assetsor made some other disparaging remark along those lines. Maybe she tried to rob him. Furious, the soldier attacked andsubdued her, subjecting her to a flurry of stabs as she lay unconscious. Then he fled the scene, leaving her for dead. Tabram was now lying passive, defenceless and bleeding badly on the landing of the George Yard Buildings. She offeredFleming an opportunity to assuage inner drives which he could hardly resist. He found his way to where she lay, carryinghis own knife, a much larger and sturdier weapon than the soldier’s blade. Lifting her skirts, he placed the edge his knifeagainst her lower abdomen and did what he had always wanted to do: he cut in. He believed that he was thrusting hisknife into a dead body, but he was wrong. As Dr Killeen noted, Tabram was alive throughout her ordeal. As Fleming’s blade entered her flesh, she may have recovered consciousness and started whimpering. Badly shockedat the realisation that she was still alive, Fleming feared that the other tenants might respond to her moans. He musthave come close to panicking and reacted in what to him was the only logical way: he stabbed her through the heartto silence her and ensure that she would not live to point an accusing finger at him. He then made his way back to his12 East London Observer, 11 August 1888.13 Morning Advertiser, 10 August 1888. Ripperologist 97 November 2008 44
  • 46. bed at the Victoria Home, leaving Tabram dead whereshe lay. She bore two wounds produced by his blade:the first, a three-inch wide and one-inch deep cut tothe abdomen; the second, the piercing of her heart.Those who investigated the case were left with aseemingly impenetrable riddle. As Fleming left George Yard Buildings that night,almost betrayed by Tabram’s whimpering, inside himthe seed was growing that would make him the Ripper— a killer who would always ensure that his victimswere quiet while he set about eviscerating them. Let us now return to the points that made Mary JaneKelly’s murder stand out from the other crimes; pointsthat have wanted explaining for the last 120 years andwhich fall into place, as it were, if we give Fleming thekiller’s role.(1) A killing indoors; Close up of the landing at the back of George Yard Buildings Whereas the Ripper’s first four victims met theirdeath in public places, Mary Jane Kelly was killed indoors, in her own room. Fleming was still seeing her, giving hermoney on occasion, and very probably enjoying a continued love affair with her. He also had access to her room.(2) A victim who was much younger and more attractive than the others; Mary Jane was indeed younger and more attractive than the victims the Ripper chose. But Fleming did not chooseher as a victim. He was in love with her. He killed her either to spare her the shame of finding out who he was orbecause she knew who he was and had decided not to see him again or perhaps to denounce him to the police. He didnot make up his mind to kill her until after the Eddowes killing.(3) A victim who got undressed and went to bed instead of picking up a punter in the street; Mary Jane was found dead in her bed, completely naked or wearing only some undergarments. That is how a womangoes to bed with a lover, not with a punter. When Fleming arrived and Mary Jane let him into her room, she in all prob-ability invited him to share her bed, later rolling over and snuggling up in the very corner where he cut her throat.Perhaps he had decided that the night of 9 November would be the appropriate time to confide to her what he haddone. In that case, she may have asked him to leave her alone, whereupon he took out his knife, allowing her onlyenough time to shout ‘Murder’ and try to fend the weapon off. The nicks and cuts on one of her hands may well havebeen defensive wounds.(4) An indication from Dr Thomas Bond that the killer may have covered his victim’s face with the bedclothesbefore he started cutting away. Fleming may have covered Mary Jane’s face with the bedclothes because he could not bear to look at the womanwith whom he was obsessed as he mutilated her.(5) A grotesque overkill; There have been a number of domestic killings where the murderer virtually obliterated the victim, using far moreviolence than was necessary to cause death. A case that springs to mind — an extreme case — is that of Edward DGingerich, an Amish man. It does not make for pleasant reading. In Rockdale Township, Pennsylvania, in March 1993,Gingerich suddenly slammed his fist into his wife Katie’s face, knocking her to the floor, in the presence of their chil-dren. Asked ‘Why did you do this?’ he shouted ‘I am the devil!’ When Gingerich’s brother Dan arrived at the house he Ripperologist 97 November 2008 45
  • 47. saw him pinning down his wife with his knees and pounding her face with his fists. Dan watched in dis- belief as his brother lifted up his right foot and stomped it on Katie’s face. Blood splattered all over the room. Dan tried to restrain his brother physically but, finding himself unable to so, ran out to summon assistance. In the meantime, Gingerich pulled on his work boots and began crushing his foot down on his wife’s head. The right side of her face caved in and her brains were spilling out on to the floor. Gingerich undressed Katie, made a seven-inch incision in her lower abdomen with a kitchen knife, pulled out her lungs, kidneys, stomach, liver, spleen, bladder, uterus and heart and stacked them up in a pile next to her body. On top of the pile he stuck the knife. In 1994, Edward Gingerich was convicted of involuntary homi- cide but found mentally ill. He was sentenced to 21/2 to five years in a prison psychiatric ward. In 1998, with his condition brought under control by medica- The Victoria Home tion and his term served, he was released from prison. (6) An organ removed from outside the abdominal cavity; The killer took away Mary Jane’s heart instead of an organ from the abdominal cavity. Although Fleming took abdom- inal and reproductive organs when he killed out of his ignoble urges, he had killed Mary Jane for another reason alto- gether. The one thing he had always wanted was her heart. To Joseph Fleming, the other victims meant only an oppor- tunity to quench temporarily his base desires. With Mary Jane, however, it was an affair of the heart. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to John Bennett, who found the picture of the back of George Yard buildings which turned my perspective round and who has been very helpful and generous throughout. Thanks are also due to Glenn Andersson, fellow Swede and Ripperologist, who offered help and useful criticism, and last, but not least, to Eduardo Zinna, who patiently guided me through the process of producing this article, and Jane Coram, who provided the artwork that so effectively enhances it. I should also like to acknowledge the work of other authors and researchers who have preceded me, in particular Don Souden who, in Martha Tabram: Does She or Doesn’t She? — Was Martha a victim of Jack the Ripper? published in Ripperologist 94 (August 2008), covered a good deal of the same ground that I have, and Nick Warren, the editor of Ripperana, who in issue 39 (January 2002) of his magazine ended a short essay with the words: ‘Was JTR, therefore, enamoured of Mary Kelly, before everything went wrong, and he stole her heart?’Christer Holmgren is a journalist. He lives in Malmö, Sweden, where he is employed by Sydsvenskan, the fourthlargest morning newspaper in the country. Christer has been interested in the Ripper case for about two and ahalf decades, focusing mainly on his fellow countrywoman Elizabeth Stride. He is a frequent contributor to theJack the Ripper Casebook website, where he has published two dissertations on Stride’s death. This is his firstarticle for Ripperologist. Ripperologist 97 November 2008 46
  • 48. From the Archives Cutthroat A detailed examination of the neck wounds sustained by the Whitechapel murder victims Edited for serialization By Karyo Magellan dorsal aspect right left Diagram 1. Schematic representation of the major structures of the human neck – transverse section at the laryngeal level 1 Skin and subcutis 2 Spine of cervical vertebra 3 Trapezius and other supporting musculature 4 Spinal cord 5 Vertebral disc 6 Sternocleidomastoid muscle 7 Internal jugular vein 8 Common carotid artery 9 Oesophagus 10 Trachea 11 Thyroid cartilage Diagram 2. Diagram 3.Neck wounds to Mary Ann Nichols Neck wounds to Annie Chapman Diagram 4. Diagram 5.Neck wounds to Elizabeth Stride Neck wounds to Catherine Eddowes Ripperologist 97 November 2008 47
  • 49. Mary Jane Kelly Diagram 6. Neck wounds to Mary Jane Kelly Inquest testimony of Dr Phillips1: The mutilated remains of a woman were lying two-thirds over, towards the edge of the bedstead, nearest the door.Deceased had only an under linen garment upon her, and by subsequent examination I am sure the body had beenremoved, after the injury which caused death, from that side of the bedstead which was nearest to the wooden par-tition previously mentioned. The large quantity of blood under the bedstead, the saturated condition of the palliasse,pillow, and sheet at the top corner of the bedstead nearest to the partition leads me to the conclusion that the sev-erance of the right carotid artery, which was the immediate cause of death, was inflicted while the deceased was lyingat the right side of the bedstead and her head and neck in the top right-hand corner. Post mortem report (notes) by Dr Thomas Bond2: The bed clothing at the right corner was saturated with blood, and on the floor beneath was a pool of blood cov-ering about two feet square. The wall by the right side of the bed and in a line with the neck was marked by bloodwhich had struck it in a number of separate splashes. The neck was cut through the skin and other tissues right downto the vertebrae, the fifth and sixth being deeply notched. The skin cuts in the front of the neck showed distinctecchymosis. The air passage was cut at the lower part of the larynx through the cricoid cartilage.1 The Daily Telegraph, 13 November, 18882 MEPO 3/3153, ff.10-18 Ripperologist 97 November 2008 48
  • 50. Conclusion In the cases of Nichols, Chapman, Stride and Eddowes, death was a consequence of exsanguination viathe blood vessels on the left side of the neck, significantly the left carotid artery, which was severed, par-tially or completely, in all four instances. In two instances (Nichols and Chapman) the vessels on both sideswere completely severed. Only a right-handed assailant could have inflicted such wounds and on the bal-ance of probability it seems that the attack must have been from behind with the victims standing. Theabsence of any significant distribution of blood at the crime scene in any instance does not contradict thisassertion – the killer’s technique alone could prevent this as the victim was lowered to the ground, instantlysilenced by shock or by a severed windpipe. In addition, the absence of any signs of a struggle for any ofthese six victims, except Chapman, reinforces the instantaneous and surprise nature of the attack that couldonly be prosecuted from behind with the victim upright. The knife has clearly been drawn across the frontof the throat in some instances, a manoeuvre that would be difficult from the front of the victim and thepassage of the knife around the throat would be impeded with the victim lying on the ground. Mary Jane Kelly received fatal wounds to the right side of the neck and she bled to death from the vesselson that side. This is further reinforced by inquest testimony suggesting that the wall to the right of Kelly andthe bed was splattered with blood as it spurted from the carotid artery. This is also the only instance in whichthere is any evidence of blood spurting from a neck wound regardless as to the supposed position of the victimwhen the wounds were inflicted. Because Kelly was probably to the right of the bed when her throat was cuther killer must have been on the bed to her left. In this position the balance of likelihood is that her killer wasleft-handed, since it would be far more likely that a left-handed assailant would steady the victim’s head or sti-fle her response with his right hand and cut with a knife held in his left hand. There is sufficient evidence from the Whitechapel murder series to suggest that the same individual wasresponsible for several of the murders, but controversy prevails as to the number of victims murdered by thesame killer and, more significantly, was Mary Jane Kelly one of the series? Macnaghten, in his memorandumof 1894, has been regarded as authoritative in ascribing victims to the same serial killer, but his selection isunsubstantiated. On pathology evidence alone it is certainly possible to include Nichols, Chapman, Stride,and Eddowes in the same series. Logically one cannot exclude victims from a series because of what did nothappen to them, because this may have been a function of opportunity rather than intention. Mary Jane Kelly continues to be an anomaly and it is likely that she was murdered by a left-handedassailant. Could the killer have been ambidextrous? This argument is often used by those desperate to rec-oncile the irreconcilable. Two murderers are more likely than one able to cut instinctively and accuratelywith a knife in either hand. This is another contribution to the growing evidence suggesting that the man who murdered Mary JaneKelly was not the same killer who attacked Nichols, Chapman, Stride and Eddowes.For the full article see Ripperologist 61, September 2005. Ripperologist 97 November 2008 49
  • 51. Mary Kelly Dr. Bond’s Post Mortem on Mary Kelly This post-mortem report was written by Dr. Thomas Bond after he examined the remains of Mary Jane Kelly. The report was lost until 1987, when it was returned anony- mously to Scotland Yard. Position of body The body was lying naked in the middle of the bed, the shoulders flat, but the axis of the body inclined to the left side of the bed. The head was turned on the left cheek. The left arm was close to the body with the forearm flexed at a right angle & lying across the abdomen. the right arm was slightly abducted from the body & rest- ed on the mattress, the elbow bent & the forearm supine with the fingers clenched. The legs were wide apart, the left thigh at right angles to the trunk & the right form- ing an obtuse angle with the pubes.The Mary Kelly photograph returned in 1988. The whole of the surface of the abdomenCourtesy of the Evans/Skinner Crime Archive & thighs was removed & the abdominalCavity emptied of its viscera. The breasts were cut off, the arms mutilated by several jagged wounds & the facehacked beyond recognition of the features. The tissues of the neck were severed all round down to the bone. The viscera were found in various parts viz: theuterus & Kidneys with one breast under the head,the other breast by the Rt foot, the Liver betweenthe feet, the intestines by the right side & the spleen by the left side of the body. The flapsremoved from the abdomen and thighs were on atable. The bed clothing at the right corner was saturat-ed with blood, & on the floor beneath was a pool ofblood covering about 2 feet square. The wall by theright side of the bed & in a line with the neck wasmarked by blood which had struck it in a number ofspearate splashes. Ripperologist 97 November 2008 50
  • 52. Postmortem examination The face was gashed in all directions the nose cheeks, eyebrows and ears being partly removed. The lipswere blanched & cut by several incisions running obliquely down to the chin. There were also numerous cutsextending irregularly across all the features. The neck was cut through the skin & other tissues right down to the vertebrae the 5th & 6th being deeplynotched. The skin cuts in the front of the neck showed distinct ecchymosis. The air passage was cut at the lower part of the larynx through the cricoid cartilage. Both breasts were removed by more or less circular incisions, the muscles down to the ribs being attachedto the breasts. The intercostals between the 4th, 5th & 6th ribs were cut through & the contents of the tho-rax visible through the openings. The skin & tissues of the abdomen from the costal arch to the pubes were removed in three large flaps.The right thigh was denuded in front to the bone, the flap of skin, including the external organs of genera-tion & part of the right buttock. The left thigh was stripped of skin, fascia & muscles as far as the knee. The left calf showed a long gash through skin & tissues to the deep muscles & reaching from the knee to 5ins above the ankle. Both arms & forearms had extensive & jagged wounds. The right thumb showed a small superfi- cial incision about 1 in long, with extrava- sation of blood in the skin & there were several abrasions on the back of the hand moreover showing the same condition. On opening the thorax it was found that the right lung was minimally adherent by old firm adhesions. The lower part of the lung was broken & torn away. The left lung was intact: it was adherent at the apex & there were a few adhesions over the side. In the substaces of the lung were several nodules of consolidation. The Pericardium was open below & the Heart absent. In the abdominal cavity was some partial- ly digested food of fish & potatoes & simi- lar food was found in the remains of the stomach attached to the intestines.The second angle photograph of Mary Kelly, taken from behind thebed. Courtesy of the Evans/Skinner Crime Archive. This photographwas returned in 1988. Ripperologist 97 November 2008 51
  • 53. One breast, kidneys and uterus under the head Remains of the Heart missingstomach attached to the intestinesIntestines by the right side One breast by Spleen by the the right foot left foot Liver between the feet Ripperologist 97 November 2008 52
  • 54. The Suspect Series Tumblety: Murderer or Means to a Solution By Stan Russo In the past two articles of this series, I have offered two suspects as the title characters. Bothof these suspects are only suspects in the most general sense, as in at one time they were sus-pects but are no longer real suspects, at least in the minds of the rational or even informedresearcher of the case. The attempt, in both articles, was to show how an idea might be usedincorrectly to reinforce a premise, despite evidence that it is thoroughly flawed at its core. In thecase of the Jewish or Doctor ‘Jack the Ripper’, both were shown to possess, at their core, a fun-damental bigotry that has continued to pervade this unsolved series of murders since the actualmurders took place. In Francis Tumblety, you not only have the ‘Doctor’ angle, but there are a host of other factors that play directlyinto this fundamental bigotry that exists when assessing who Jack the Ripper actually was. These factors includeTumblety’s homosexuality, his prior criminal behavior, his foreign status as an American and of course his connection toIrish terrorism. When Tumblety was brought back into the forefront of this case, all of these factors were used at one Inspector John Littlechild time or another, with some used in conjunction, to proclaim that the search for the secret identity of Jack the Ripper had come to an end. It is ironic in a sense, because looking at Tumblety outside the box, without needing him to be the murderer, could have revealed how integral Francis Tumblety is to discovering who Jack the Ripper was. Despite having been considered a suspect at the time of the murders, it was not until 1993 that Francis Tumblety would become a household name. The document responsible for the re-establishment of Tumblety as a sus- pect was a typewritten letter to the journalist George R. Sims from former Chief Inspector John George Littlechild. Littlechild was the head of the Special Branch from its inception in 1883 until his retirement in 1893. In this letter Littlechild explains to Sims his beliefs about the ‘Jack the Ripper’ murders. The portion relevant to Francis Tumblety is below: ‘I never heard of a Dr. D. in connection with the Whitechapel murders but amongst the suspects, and to my mind a very likely one, was a Dr. T. (which sounds much like D). He was an American quack named Tumblety and was at one time a frequent visitor to London and on these occasions constantly brought under the notice of police, there being a large dossier concerning him at Scotland Yard. Although a ‘Sycopathia Sexualis’ subject Ripperologist 97 November 2008 53
  • 55. he was not known to be a ‘Sadist’ (which the murderer unquestionably was) but his feelings toward women wereremarkable and bitter in the extreme, a fact on record. Tumblety was arrested at the time of the murders in connec-tion with unnatural offences and charged at Marlborough Street, remanded on bail, jumped his bail, and got away toBoulogne. He shortly left Boulogne and was never heard of afterwards. It was believed he committed suicide but cer-tain it is from that time the ‘Ripper’ murders came to an end. Analyzing this part of the letter it must be understood that it was written in 1913, by Littlechild, who was twentyyears removed from police work, and twenty-five years removed from the Jack the Ripper murders. The key points ofthis letter, that is certain phrases contained within, reveal what I believe to be the exact opposite of what those whodiscovered the letter believed it did and, morever, finally reveal the true name of Jack the Ripper. Here are some ofthose key phrases within the document and a re-analysis of what these phrases actually mean: “… but amongst the suspects …”. One can only assume that Littlechild’s meaning in this statement was that therewere a number of suspects, indicating that Tumblety was not the only one. As he had not heard of ‘Dr. D’, meaningDruitt, it must be assumed that this was a list of Special Branch suspects. Littlechild was not known to have had a directrole in the Ripper investigation, so ‘amongst the suspects’ may refer to Special Branch suspects. This implies that therewas a connection between the Special Branch and the Ripper investigation, although the exact extent of that relation-ship may never be fully known. Two corroborating pieces of evidence to this, however, are the September 22nd memo from Henry Matthews indi-cating that Monro could assist the investigation if needed, and Browne or Ralph Strauss viewing documentary evidencethat Melville Macnaghten discovered what appears to be an actual reference to connect the Jack the Ripper murdersto an Irish assassination plot against Balfour. This assassination plot would have been directly under the jurisdiction ofthe Special Branch, further linking the Special Branch to the Ripper murders. Littlechild never names these other sus-pects; rather he states from among those suspects who he believed was Sir Melville Macnaghtenthe most likely one. ‘… and to my mind a very likely one, was a Dr. T. He was an Americanquack named Tumblety …”. Inferentially this statement decidedly comes off as if Littlechild wasmerely choosing the best candidate from this list of suspects. Obviouslythere is no direct proof against any particular suspect, but it is clear thatin Littlechild’s opinion, the best candidate among all candidates wasFrancis Tumblety. This passage also shows that they knew enough back-ground information about Tumblety, Littlechild and the Special Branch inparticular, to know that his medical credentials were questionable at best. “… and was at one time a frequent visitor to London and on theseoccasions constantly brought under the notice of police, there being alarge dossier concerning him at Scotland Yard”. By Littlechild stating that he was a frequent visitor to London impliesthat the Special Branch knew of Tumblety for quite some time, indicat-ing that he was in some way connected to the Fenian movement, the soli-tary reason why the Special Branch would have known Tumblety at all.Tumblety was a regular visitor to London for many years before the incep-tion of the Special Branch, so it is unfortunate that Littlechild does not Ripperologist 97 November 2008 54
  • 56. provide a date for when the Special Branch became aware of Tumblety. “… he was not known as a Sadist (which the murderer unquestionably was) but his feelings toward women were remarkable and bitter in the extreme, a fact on record”. The beginning of this statement is a direct contradiction of Littlechild’s belief in Tumblety as a “very likely suspect”. Stating that Tumblety was not a sadist shows that Littlechild knew enough about Tumblety to identify that he was not a man who gathered pleasure from giving La Bretagne — Tumblety’s escape vessel to Boulogne other people pain, although then he immediate- ly follows by saying that Jack the Ripper was‘unquestionably’ someone of this nature. Why Littlechild mentions Tumblety, who never personally had a vicious assaultcharge leveled against him, much less one of such a violent nature as that of the victims of Jack the Ripper, might lendmore credence to the fact that out of a group of suspects he simply chose Tumblety. “Tumblety was arrested at the time of the murders in connection with unnatural offences and charged atMarlborough Street, remanded on bail, jumped his bail, and got away to Boulogne”. What is of the utmost importance here is that Littlechild presents a chronology of Tumblety’s arrest and fleeing ofthe country. The arrest was on November 7th, his being remanded on bail took place on the 14th, and his jumping ofbail occurred immediately after his release on November 16th. Tumblety caught a ferry to Boulogne, as Littlechild stat-ed, and then a steamer bound for the United States on November 24th. What is missing here is the part of the chronology where Tumblety would have to be released before November 9th,in order to commit the murder in Miller’s Court. His four offences were only misdemeanors, so there would be no rea-son to keep him for nine days, but his arrest then is a mystery in and of itself. If the Special Branch believed Tumbletyto be responsible for the Jack the Ripper murders, then it is safe to say that his arrest was orchestrated, rather thenbeing mere coincidence. There is the possibility that he was released a day or two after the murder in Miller’s Court,as it would have appeared that he was not Jack the Ripper, and once he jumped his bail it appeared to Scotland Yardthat he was in some way involved, and that there was more than one solitary killer. The detractors of the theory that Tumblety was held in prison for the Miller’s Court murder present alternate con-cepts that range from the nature of his offences (which would have demanded his release), to claiming that the Miller’sCourt victim was not murdered by Jack the Ripper. Stating that they could not hold Tumblety on these offences for ninedays is pure nonsense. If the Special Branch believed Tumblety to be involved in the murders, or the solitary murder-er, they could have kept him for as long as they wanted to, nine days only having been a relatively short time. The Special Branch was created to combat terrorism, and evolved into the protection of the Imperial class as monar-chial bodyguards, as well as still combating Irish terrorism. It is safe to say that if they wanted to hold Tumblety for aperiod of time, they—more than any other police force—had the power to do so. Tumblety’s remand on bail onNovember 14th does prohibit him from having been detained for the entire nine day period, yet there is still no offi-cial record of his release on November 7th, or November 8th, as some have suggested must have taken place. These other events are recorded, leading me to believe that they did have Tumblety in police custody during theMiller’s Court murder, and released him shortly thereafter without any record to show for it, in order to cover them- Ripperologist 97 November 2008 55
  • 57. selves for having him in custody longer than necessary under thecurrent charges against him. “He shortly left Boulogne and was never heard of afterwards”.It is true that he left Boulogne a short time after his ferry arrivedthere, and departed for the United States on November 24th. Theproblem here is that Littlechild’s statement that Tumblety ‘wasnever heard of afterwards’, is simply not true. When he arrived inNew York City, the head of the New York Police Department, ChiefInspector Thomas Byrnes, kept him under surveillance, at therequest of Scotland Yard. This is a direct contradiction thatTumblety was lost track of after his leaving Boulogne. The truth isthat the New York Police watched Tumblety’s residence in New York,under the direct supervision of Chief Inspector Byrnes for a periodof time until Tumblety apparently gave them the slip on December6th, approximately one week after he arrived in New York. There was also an unnamed English detective in New York at thistime watching Tumblety. A number of questions pop up as to whythis English detective was in New York at this time? It is obviousthat he was following Tumblety to New York, but how did ScotlandYard know he was on his way there? From Littlechild’s statements,they also knew he went to Boulogne. If they knew this, which theyobviously did, then they assuredly were following Tumblety fromthe time he was bailed on November 16th. Homosexual activity Chief Inspector Thomas Byrnes,was deeply frowned upon, and in fact illegal, but it would not havewarranted surveillance of this nature for these minor offences. This unidentified detective had to be on the same Frenchsteamer as Tumblety, following him as far as he was willing to go. How else did they know he was traveling under thealias ‘Frank Townsend’, the name he used to gain passage on the ship, and how did Chief Inspector Byrnes know to waitfor him in New York? This detective on the ship would easily answer these questions. As far as believing that Francis Tumblety was the murderer, it was really nothing more than a belief. If they had anyproof, they would not have allowed his release on bail, and Chief Inspector Byrnes would have stopped him upon hisarrival in New York. From an interview with Byrnes, he succinctly states that “ … there is no proof of his complicity inthe Whitechapel murders, and the crime for which he was under bond in London is not extraditable”. This quotereveals a great deal, and it is known that Byrnes’s information comes directly from Scotland Yard. Even Scotland Yardwas stating that they had no proof against Tumblety. Byrnes next comment is even more revealing as he reports ofTumblety’s “complicity in the Whitechapel murders”, rather than his committal of the murders. This statement relatesto the issue of actual proof, but if Scotland Yard believed Tumblety was Jack the Ripper, Byrnes would have used adescription other than that. If they had any reason to believe Tumblety had committed any one of these murders they could have had him extra-dited back to London. They were the Special Branch and were solely responsible for controlling and preventing politi-cal crimes, which if they knew of Tumblety from earlier, they could have easily explained his extradition as being of apolitically criminal nature. More important than all of this logical conjecture, if they knew Tumblety was responsiblefor any one of these murders they would not have let him leave the country, or would most assuredly not have lost himin New York on December 6th. “It was believed he committed suicide but certain it is from this time the ‘Ripper’ murders came to an end”. There Ripperologist 97 November 2008 56
  • 58. is no evidence that the Special Branch believed Tumblety committedsuicide aside from this statement by Littlechild. Tumblety lived for fif-teen years after the murders, eventually dying in 1903. WhereTumblety is purported to have committed suicide is not known, but itis apparent that someone informed Littlechild of this, despite it notbeing at all true. Francis Tumblety is an extremely strange character, yet his onlypolice proponent has made critical errors (although nowhere closeto the degree of Melville Macnaghten) and an inferential analysisdemonstrates only Littlechild’s personal belief about Tumblety’spossible guilt rather than any insider knowledge or accepted facts. There is no known event on record where Francis Tumblety hadviolently acted out against women. I see no reason why at the ageof fifty-five Francis Tumblety would change his pattern. Unfortunately, it is simply not that easy. James Monro’s SpecialBranch was still tailing him after he fled the country. The New Yorkpolice were instructed to keep surveillance on Tumblety, as therewas some connection to the murders, but it appears obvious thatthe Special Branch was probably hoping Tumblety would lead them James Monroto somebody, or else why follow him across the Atlantic Oceanbecause of four acts of gross indecency? It is known from researchers Douglas C. Browne and Ralph Strauss that there was a plot to assassinate Balfour thatcame to the attention of the Special Branch at some time around August. James Monro tendered his resignation as theAssistant Commissioner at the beginning of August, but did not follow through with this resignation until the day of MaryAnn Nichols’ murder. It seems as if Monro was waiting for something to happen during August, eerily similar to whatMacnaghten implied of an unnamed police official’s reminiscences. Macnaghten is also listed by Browne and Strauss asseeing some type of documentation connecting Jack the Ripper to an assassination plot against Balfour. The September 22nd memo from Henry Matthews to his private secretary, E. J. Ruggles-Brise, in which Matthews states;“Stimulate the police about Whitechapel murders. Absente Anderson, Monro might be willing to give a hint to the CID peo-ple if needful.” What could this truly mean? If the two matters—the assassination plot against Balfour and the ‘Ripper’ inves-tigation—were connected it would appear that what Monro was working on took precedence over the Whitechapel murders,enough so that Monro could simply supply the police with some information in order to stimulate the CID’s investigation. How does this relate to Francis Tumblety? The Special Branch was gathering information on Tumblety. This is inferentiallyproven by his arrest on November 7th, for four separate acts of gross indecency, ranging as far back as the summer of 1888. So after waiting around for the month of August for something to happen, as Macnaghten had reported that the policereminiscences he had seen specifically stated, Special Branch men were sent to Whitechapel, one of them specificallytasked to inquire about Tumblety. An assassination attempt on Balfour would have evoked memories of the Phoenix ParkMurders, where the Chief Secretary for Ireland, Lord Frederick Cavendish, and his secretary, Thomas Burke, were mur-dered. Cavendish was stabbed repeatedly, similar to how Martha Tabram was murdered, stabbed thirty-nine times, andNichols had her throat cut, but was not disemboweled, which was similar to Thomas Burke. There was perhaps a direct connection, and as researcher Nick Warren suggests, Tumblety might have been the sameman, the mysterious Dr. Hamilton Williams, responsible for purchasing the twelve amputating knives used to assassi-nate Cavendish and Burke in 1882. If the Special Branch believed that Tumblety could have possibly been this Dr.Williams, then the similarities of the first two murders would have led them to the search for any and all information on Ripperologist 97 November 2008 57
  • 59. Tumblety, whom Littlechild states they constantly watched upon his frequentvisits to London. The Phoenix Park murders were a well-known event in both London andIreland, and only six years prior to the Jack the Ripper murders. It wouldnot have been difficult to scare the Special Branch into thinking therewould be a recurrence of that event with Arthur Balfour as the intendedtarget. As a result, this would have enabled the murderer to keep the mur-ders of some unfortunate prostitutes in the background of the politicalagenda, thus allowing the murderer to deal with the inept local constablesand policemen who had not been recruited into the more prestigious intel-ligence branches, if this was indeed the plan. How would the murderer have known to use Tumblety as bait? Even ifTumblety was not the Dr. Williams who purchased the twelve amputatingknives used to assassinate Burke and Cavendish, he might have claimed hewas, particularly if he was trying to impress a young man. He was extremelyboastful by nature and had direct connections to known Fenians in Canada andtherefore most likely Ireland and England, specifically London. Tumblety wasthe sort of character who would have said almost anything to impress a youngman, even taking credit for having a part in the Phoenix Park murders, whetherthat were true or not. In the homosexual underworld of London, concentrat- Tumblety as depicted in the Atchison Daily Globeed directly in the heart of the West End, Tumblety may have been believed tobe this Dr. Williams and that is what might have been his downfall, with specific regard to becoming connected to the Jackthe Ripper murders. Francis Tumblety was not Jack the Ripper. That does not eliminate him from the entirety of the case. Tumblety, inmy opinion, is one of the central figures in this series of unsolved murders and the serious investigation that continues,by some, today. He provides the link between the Special Branch and the Jack the Ripper investigation that few peo-ple have explored past his specific involvement and may hold the ultimate key to unraveling this unsolved series ofmurders. If that winds up being the case, which I personally think it will be, Francis Tumblety, in all his eccentric glory,becomes the most important suspect ever proposed because his connection will lead us to the true murderers. Stan and his wife, Nicole, reside in New York City. He has authored three books: The Jack the Ripper Suspects; The 50 Most Significant Individuals in Recorded History, and The 50 Best Movies for the Movie Fan. In the planning stage is a book about, as Stan puts it, "the biggest jerks in professional sports." As an aside, Stan is probably the biggest Duke University basketball fan north of Cameron Indoor Arena. Ripperologist 97 November 2008 58
  • 60. Solved in Minutes ? By Don Souden “Unsolved crimes such as the notorious Jack the Ripper murders would probably have been solved in minutes using modern techniques.” Jonathan Wright, senior lecturer in forensics, University of Derby.1 Mr. Wright may have been indulging in a bit of hyperbole in order to hype a television series inwhich he will be appearing, but his opinions about the efficacy of the Jack the Ripper investigationconducted by the Metropolitan police (and to a lesser extent the City of London police) may not bethat far from those of many other students of the murders, modern as well as contemporaneouswith the crimes. Much of the criticism of the police about their handling of the murders was polit-ically motivated in 1888, whereas modern critics seem conditioned by movies, television shows anddetective fiction that often make arrest seem but a DNA test away. Would that anything, includingthe course of true love, were as easy as Hollywood depicts it, but the important question remainsof just how good a job the police did in 1888. To examine the police handling of the Ripper murders certain questions must be considered. First of all, it must bedetermined just what the police were capable of in 1888. After all, in an era when even radio was but a dream in theminds of a few it is rather fatuous to argue that a CCTV system would have made short work of Saucy Jack, yet similarlysilly suggestions have been advanced. Having determined what resources were available to the police of the time, thenext step would be an analysis of just how well the forces involved used those resources. This would also include an exam-ination of where the police fell short of the mark. Finally, any analysis of the Ripper investigations should consider whatelse might reasonably have been done to bring Jack to ground. And, that is just what will be undertaken here. A large police force such as the Metropolitan in 1888 had many of the same advantages that accrue today, most notablythe sheer number of men available for turning to almost any task. The Metropolitan, was able to put as many feet on theground in a given area as would be practicable. In this regard they are much like the infantry has been throughout theages: technology may improve and tactics change, but while it may never be glamorous sheer numbers will usually pre-vail. Moreover, at least for the police, such numbers mean a force can do several things exceedingly well. Areas of high crime rates and other dangers can be saturated with patrols; those increased patrols don’t mean that allcrime will cease or that targeted suspects won’t slip through even the tightest cordon, but it makes those outcomes a lotmore difficult. Further, having almost limitless reserves of men on the ground allows a large police force to be quite goodat checking alibis; conducting house-to-house inquiries in both the wake of a crime and as a general expedient; in follow-ing up on tips from informants as well as the public, and in maintaining surveillance of certain people or premises. Of course, there are certain disadvantages inherent in having so large a force as the Metropolitan did in the fall of 1888.First of all, the sheer numbers make such a force rather ponderous and, even with the best of command chains, rather1 Evening Telegraph (Derby, England), October 25, 2008. Ripperologist 97 November 2008 59
  • 61. Bloody Sunday — November 13, 1887, Trafalgar Squareslow to react. In the same way, such a large force, with the myriad of regulations and procedures necessary to keep it func-tioning, stifles any individual initiative or inspired thinking except—possibly—at the very top. Also, as with so many large organizations, performing adequately even the simplest of tasks is dependent upon the ded-ication and intelligence of those at the very bottom of the hierarchal pyramid. And, unlike with computers today, therewere no banks of redundant systems to back up the lowly man on the beat. A single screw-up can destroy the most care-fully planned and otherwise executed operation—then as now. Finally, a large police force like the Metropolitan is subject to any number of other pressures from political groups—govern-mental and public—and this was especially so for the Met. For one thing, at the time of the Ripper murders it was still sufferingfrom the opprobrium of many citizens because it was used to help put down the march by the unemployed on November 13,1887, in Trafalgar Square. Moreover, the Met was directly under the control of the Home Office (the City police were not) andthis meant that when push came to shove, the political interests of Lord Salisbury’s government took precedence over properpolicing—even when it came to Jack the Ripper. Given these considerations, then, just how well did the Metropolitan Police perform during the fall of 1888 and beyond? The Great Blue Pachyderm in Action Likening the Metropolitan police force to an elephant may be more than glib imagery. An elephant is a rather pon-derous creature, slow—almost sluggish—to rouse, but once up and active an elephant moves with surprising speed andclears all in its path with a variety of natural weapons. Of course, changing direction or objectives is a problem, butonce aroused it can be fearsome in its purpose and that might well have described the Met in the fall of 1888. Whether one considers Martha Tabram a JtR victim or not (she almost certainly wasn’t, but that is a different argu-ment and article2) her murder is a reasonable place to begin any examination of police performance during that sadly2 Interested readers should see “Does She or Doesn’t She?” by the author in Ripperologist 94 (August 2008). Ripperologist 97 November 2008 60
  • 62. storied fall 120 years ago. Martha was an alcoholic “unfortunate” of nearly 40 years of age who was found dead on a landing in the George Yard building on the morning of morning of August 7, 1888. She had been stabbed 39 times and the savagery of the assault upon her made a deep impression on all those connected with the case (unmindful at the time of just what corporeal mutilations lay ahead for them) and H division, in whose territory the body was found, immediately launched an investigation. Detective Inspector Edmund Reid was placed in charge and he seems to have been quite diligent in performing that task. Witnesses were sought and interrogated, no less than four identi- ty parades were arranged at military barracks in London and as Chief Inspector Donald S. Swanson wrote in a minute on the case later in September “The enquiry was continued amongst persons of deceased’s class in the East End, but without any success.”3 The importance of the Tabram investigation for this analysis lies mainly in the fact that it was undertaken at all. This does not mean that the Metropolitan police were normally guilty of nonfeasance, but that was a charge levelled later when the body count rose. It was sug- gested by some that the murders of prostitutes in the poverty-stricken East End were not treated with the zeal that would have attended sim- Chief Inspector Donald S. Swanson ilar crimes in the wealthy West End. There is no way to honestly assess that, but the fact is the murder of a single prostitute in the East End,before the Ripper hysteria had begun, was investigated with what seems suitable vigor and effort. While it is not the purpose of this article to examine each subsequent murder in detail, it should be noted that as witheach passing death the efforts by the police increased; partly in response to public clamor but also in part as the resultof the application of good policing methods as they were understood in 1888. Thus, shortly after the murder of “Polly”Nichols on August 31, 1888 Inspector First Class Frederick G. Abberline was transferred from Scotland Yard back to H divi-sion. In fact, the Nichols murder had occurred in J division but the action may be indicative of police thinking at the time. Abberline had served in H division from 1873 to 1887 and was considered perhaps the most street-wise of men inthe CID. Certainly he was very familiar with London’s East End, its inhabitants and especially its evil-doers so to movehim from the Yard back to Leman Street suggests just how seriously the Met took the murder of three prostitutes (thefirst having been Emma Smith in April) in the East End. Moreover, the move gives the impression that even then theMet was inclining to the notion that there may have been some link among the crimes and that someone like Abberline,with his intimate knowledge of the area’s byways and back-alleys, would be a real asset to the ongoing investigations. Things only got more difficult, however, on September 8 when the body of another prostitute—her throat slashed—was found in the backyard of 29 Hanbury Street. This latest murder was all the more horrible and vexing because thevictim, Annie Chapman, was mutilated and had her womb removed. Suddenly, the Metropolitan police had to deal withthat most difficult murderer to apprehend, a serial killer of uncertain motivation. Except that term had yet to beinvented and, whatever good it may do, reams of psychological studies of that sort of killer had yet to be published. Itseems that after the Chapman murder there was a subtle swing by the best police minds from considering the depre-dations the work of gangs, with robbery perhaps the goal, to that of a lone madman whose motive God alone knew. Or,in an era that still had an appreciation for evil incarnate, that perhaps only Satan comprehended. In any case, just when the public panic was beginning to build, the police saw themselves having to solve a crime3 Evans, Stewart P and Keith Skinner; The Ultimate Jack the Ripper Companion, Carroll & Graf (New York), p. 19. Ripperologist 97 November 2008 61
  • 63. for which they had no precedents and for which they were totally unprepared.Nonetheless, they went through the motions assiduously. First, acting on “infor-mation received” (the frantic suggestions of any number of street women), theyarrested John Pizer as the “Leather Apron” who was fingered by many as havingmenaced prostitutes and threatened to “rip them up.” As it was, Pizer was ableto produce an unimpeachable alibi for the night of the Nichols murder (a police-man’s word), though he may well have been the person who had, at other times,threatened prostitutes.4 Then, in quick succession, a number of other suspects were examined by thepolice. These included William Henry Piggott, arrested in Gravesend after loudlydeclaiming against women in a pub; Charles Ludwig, a German hairdresser arrest-ed after trying to stab a coffee-stall proprietor; Jacob Isenschmid, a quite bark-ing mad Swiss butcher, and Oswald Puckridge, a native-born madman releasedfrom an asylum on August 4 and whose whereabouts that fall were not known.None proved to be a very viable suspect, but it is worth keeping in mind severalpoints. One is the due diligence with which the men were investigated. Upon hear-ing of Piggott’s arrest, Abberline travelled to Gravesend to interview the prisoner,while much of the paperwork generated by the Isenschmid investigation remains Contemporary newspaper sketch of Inspector Frederick Abberlineand indicates just how exhaustively he was vetted.5 Moreover, while some recordsremain about these suspects, many others came under scrutiny. Further, it is clear from the type of suspects being considered that the Police recognised they were not dealing with acommon criminal or ordinary murderer, but rather someone who was quite round the bend. Just what sort of dementia wasnagging at the mind of the murderer was not mooted about publicly, though later there would be suggestions of some sortof sexual insanity. For all that, though, no one in charge was yet ready to use that line Adolphe Menjou uttered so matter-of-factly in the film The Sniper: “Bring in all the rapists and perverts, and find out what they’ve been doing lately.”6 Instead, the Met continued to investigate every tip it received, becoming virtually buried in accusations from fam-ily members against mooching relatives and from other informants who sought to settle scores with noisesome neigh-bors. The volume of paperwork generated—both from the public and within the department—must have been truly stag-gering. And all this without computers or copiers or any of the other labor-saving devices available to the police today(and such devices notwithstanding modern police forces often admit to overlooking important clues because they weredrowned in data). It is a wonder that the inspectors on the line, so to speak, would have time for a game of “Clue” farless following leads and checking alibis to solve a growing series of real murders. As mentioned earlier, one of the strengths of a force like the Metropolitan in 1888 was the large number men avail-able and to this end several hundred men from other divisions were drafted into H division, the focal point of the inves-tigation. In 1888 H division was medium-sized, with a nominal duty roster of 30 inspectors, 44 sergeants and 473 con-stables for a total of 548 men.7 Most of the men drafted in were immediately put on patrol, like the feckless PC AlfredLong of Goulston Street graffito “fame,” in the somewhat wan hope that if they couldn’t actually catch Jack in the actof murder, they might at least deter further crimes. Long after the fact former CID Chief Constable Frederick P. Wensleywrote in his memoirs about those efforts “In common with hundreds of others I was drafted [into H division] and wepatrolled the streets—usually in pairs—without any tangible result.”8 Perhaps bringing in more men was futile and per-haps, mindful of Long’s confusion upon finding the apron part, it was counter-productive by not having constables expe-4 For a different view of Pizer as a suspect see “Pizer’s Problem” by Stan Russo; Ripperologist 95 (September 2008).5 Sugden, Philip; The Complete History of Jack the Ripper; Carroll & Graf (New York); pp. 157-162.6 Everson, William K.; The Detective in Film; The Citadel Press (Secaucus, N.J.); p. 99.7 Evans, Stewart P. and Donald Rumbelow; Jack the Ripper: Scotland Yard Investigates; Sutton Publishing Ltd. (Phoenix Hill); p. 269.8 Wensley, Frederick P.; Detective Days; London; p. 4. Ripperologist 97 November 2008 62
  • 64. rienced with the area on patrol, but it was an attempt to make maximum use of resources available, which normallyis all that can be asked. With so many men at their disposal (nominal strength of the entire force in 1888 was more than 13,300)9 theMetropolitan police were also more easily able to do other things. What records we have would indicate that alibis andwhereabouts were checked with dogged diligence. In the same way, large-scale searches could be undertaken. Theseincluded not just thorough house-to-house inquiries in the immediate vicinity and aftermath of a murder (one of which,by the City Police, did uncover Joseph Lawende, who may have seen the Ripper with Kate Eddowes), but more exten-sive and focused searches. These included visiting all the common lodging houses in Whitechapel and talking to morethan 2,000 of their transient tenants. Also marked for special interest were 76 butchers and slaughterers in the area9 Evans and Rumbelow, op. cit.; pp. 269-70. Map showing the extent of the police search areaNorth: Lamb Street, Commercial Street, the Great Eastern Railway West: City boundaryand Buxton Street. East: Albert Street, Dunk Street, Chicksand Street and GreatSouth: Whitechapel High Street Garden Street.
  • 65. and their employers, sailors on ships in the Thames (this done by the Thames Police divi- sion) and even some Gypsies residing in London.10 All these inquiries proved futile and were in response to reports and suggestions in the press and from the public. A much larger and more general house-to-house inquiry was also launched, this time with direction from the top. At first, the Home Secretary Henry Matthews had suggested that every dwelling within a half-mile radius from the center of Whitechapel be subject to a thorough search. This was patently illegal without search war- rants, something that Metropolitan Police Newspaper sketch of the house to house police investigation Commissioner Sir Charles Warren made plain, if in an oblique manner, and the plan waslater modified to include only those dwellings in which the residents agreed to the search. Still, it was a massive undertaking and from October 13 through October 18 plainclothes detectives fanned out with-in the designated area and inspected every residence where they were welcomed (which proved to be, surprisingly, mosteverywhere). They talked to the occupants and landlords, opened cupboards and drawers, looked carefully at knives andeven peeked under beds. They did not find a murderer, but what else they may have uncovered—given the tales thathave come down to us about living conditions in Whitechapel—boggles the mind. But, impressive and intrusive as thesearch may nave been, it provided no immediate results beyond demonstrating to press, public and the government thatthe police were doing their very best to do something. It may just bethat a now-familiar name, like Aaron Kozminski, may have been Chief Otto Schmidt Courtesy of New Canaan Historical Society.recorded by the investigators, but it would have meant nothing then(and may not even signify anything today). And some among the plain-clothes detectives inspecting and inquiring may have come up with abright notion or two, but if the did they were likely stillborn. The Blue Elephant’s Graveyard? The lack of appreciation for initiative brings up the other side ofthe coin, so to speak, and that is the penalty a large paramilitaryorganization, like the Metropolitan Police put on independentthought, far less independent action. Constables, sergeants, evenoften inspectors were not paid to think, even—or perhaps especially—those who did have many more than the normal number of brain cellsfunctioning. It is probably worth noting that almost all the storied“Sherlocks in blue” in fact and fiction, achieved their fame whiletoiling outside a metropolis and often running a little show them-selves. My hometown had just such a menseful man in charge of its10 Sugden; op, cit.; p. 289. Ripperologist 97 November 2008 64
  • 66. H Division, Whitechapel — 1889department for nearly four decades (1910-1948) and the stories about the shrewd and savvy Chief Otto Schmidt aremany. An example that is among my favorites because it must have happened just down the lane from where I grew upinvolved Chief Schmidt sitting on his idling motorcycle on a nice summer day in 1929 when a truck laden with greenbeans passed him and headed up Old Norwalk Road. Schmidt sat there and heard the truck shift once on the hill andthen shift a second time, at which point he sped off after it. His split-second reasoning was that a load of green beanswould not be so heavy as to require shifting gears twice on that shallow hill. Sure enough, when Schmidt stopped thetruck he found under a thin veneer of rotting snap beans many kegs of bootlegged beer. That sort of initiative was not generally accorded a beat constable in Whitechapel in 1888. Instead, he was pretty muchbound by regulations and loathe to take chances. While the story that Sgt. Stephen White supposedly told of his accost-ing the Ripper outside a cul-de-sac wherein lay a victim strikes false notes throughout, one portion sounds true in part: As the man passed me at the lamp I had an uneasy feeling that there was something unusually sinister about him,and I was strongly moved to find some pretext for detaining him; but the more I thought it over, the more I was forcedto the conclusion that it was not in keeping with British police methods that I should do so.11 In fact, one doubts that most constables would have “thought it over” (or even had time to give it thought despiteWhite’s dramatic agonizing). Rather, they would have followed policy and procedure unheedingly. Interestingly, though,reading the memoirs of those at Scotland Yard who made good, like one-time CID Commissioner Arthur Fowler Neil, oneis left with the impression that under a similar situation Neil most definitely would have stopped and held the “unusu-11 The People’s Journal; September 26, 1919. Ripperologist 97 November 2008 65
  • 67. ally sinister” stranger. But then among the prerequisites to make it to the top in the Metropolitan police was a certainamount of daring—and a lot of luck.12 Still, the Metropolitan Police were not above some innovation during the investigation, so long as the instigation (orat least sanction) came from above. A prime example would be the intended use of the bloodhounds “Champion”Barnaby and Burgho. Although that experiment is looked upon with humor by many Ripperologists today this is largelydue to a false story about their getting lost during a test run in Hyde Park. In fact, bloodhounds and human trackershave been used with notable success in criminal investigations, though how effective either two- or four-footed track-ers might have proved in the middle of London is quite uncertain. In any case, the dogs were never put to a test becauseof a dispute over money, but at least the aborted experiment shows some willingness to move beyond the norm. The next question to ask about the performance of the police in the fall of 1888 is what they might have done differ-ently and this truly opens a barrel of nematodes considering how much criticism the force encountered then and continuesto absorb even now, 120 years later. Of course, much of the contemporary disapprobation was politically motivated, suchthat if Abberline and company had trapped and slapped the darbies on Jack in Mary Jane Kelly’s room that fatal Novembermorning the response of a newspaper like the Star would have been something like “What took Warren’s weenies so long?” Many of today’s critics, however, fall into the realm of those with 20/400 hindsight. Certainly not having been therein 1888 (and in most cases having only an affected and defective sense of what life was like back then—at best) theywill sit in an armchair of a Saturday night, secure in a sense that they are much cleverer than that “bumbler Abberline,”and pore over copies of inquest testimony until they find a discrepancy and then mutter archly about “those damnedKeystone Kops.” Okay, that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but it still captures much of the essence of modern-daythought on the efforts of the police to find the Ripper. Indeed, one of the frequent charges against the police is that they failed to seriously consider any of the CanonicFIve victims’s partners—most notably Joseph Barnett and Michael Kidney—as the murderers and that the crimes wereof a “domestic” nature. This accusation, however, may well be off-target when one considers human nature. That is,the majority of murders the Metropolitan police investigated in the last quarter of the 19th Century were domestic innature (with most of the rest occurring in the course of robbery). The police were quite good at “solving” those crimes.With some alibi checking (at which they were good) and a tough interro-gation of the husband/partner/lover (at which they were very good) they Elizabeth Stride’s partner, Michael Kidneywould almost always solve things quickly—sometimes even in minutes.Add to this the element of human nature that we often apply what weknow and do best to a problem, even if seemingly inappropriate, and thelikelihood becomes overwhelming that Kidney and Barnett were putthrough the reliable old wringer by the police. We do know that Barnetthad a many-hour sit down with the police and, since he admitted beingwith Mary Jane Kelly some short time before she was killed, he almostassuredly was given the regular rough regimen of interrogation, witheverything he said dutifully checked. The police made mistakes, but thatthey failed to do something they did often and well—investigate the part-ners of murder victims—seems very unlikely. Not that the police did not make a number of errors and outright blun-ders. One of the most glaring mistakes was not just the lack of a press liai-son office but the seeming inability by the Metropolitan police (the Citypolice were a bit better) to recognize anything was amiss. Part of this mayhave been due to a rapidly developed “bunker mentality” because of the12 Neil, Arthur Fowler; Man-Hunters of Scotland Yard: The Recollections of FortyYears of a Detective’s Life; Doubleday, Doran & Co. (Garden City); passim. Ripperologist 97 November 2008 66
  • 68. constant barrage of criticism from newspapers like the Star and Pall Mall Gazette, and the expectation that nothing positive would be found on the pages of those newspapers regardless of what friendly overtures were made to the press. That said, the attitudes of the police to the press were counterproductive in several ways. As the Star made very plain, the policy of the Metropolitan force was in stark con- trast to that which obtained in the United States: One thing is absolutely certain, and that is that murder- ers will always escape with the ease that now characteris- es their escape in London until the police authorities adopt a different attitude towards the Press. They treat the reporters of the newspapers, who are simply news- gatherers for the great mass of the people, with a snob- bery that would be beneath contempt were it not sense- less to an almost criminal degree. On Saturday they shut the reporters out of the mortuary; they shut them out of the house where the murder was done; the constable at the mortuary door lied to them; some of the inspectors at the offices seemed to wilfully mislead them; they denied Newspaper sketch of the police examining the information which would have done no harm to make pub- writing on the wall of Wentworth Model Dwellings lic, and the withholding of which only tended to increasethe public uneasiness over the affair. In New York, where the escape of a murderer is as rare as it is common over here, reporters are far more activeagents in ferreting out crime than the detectives. They are no more numerous or more intelligent than the reportersof London, but they are given every facility and opportunity to get all the facts and no part of any case is hidden fromthem unless the detectives’ plan makes it necessary to keep it a secret. The consequence is that a large number ofsharp and experienced eyes are focused upon every point of a case, a number of different of different theories devel-op which the reporters follow up, and instances in which the detection of a criminal is due to a newspaper reporterare simply too common to create any particular comment . . . The sooner the police authorities appreciate and act onthis the sooner the Whitechapel fiend will be captured and human life in London a little more safe.13 The Star was more than a little self-serving in its comments and its description of police press relations in the UnitedStates (then or now) was rather generous. Still, the overall points that it made—the need for a rational and more openpolicy toward the press—were quite valid. Certainly greater openness and sharing of information would have cut downconsiderably on some of the more dubious stories that appeared and perhaps forestalled the more sensational follow-up interviews by the press of witnesses like Israel Schwartz and George Hutchinson. The press will always be in anadversarial role when dealing with agencies like the police, but that can be turned to a mutual advantage by a sensi-ble press-relations policy. Such thinking, however, was sadly lacking in the fall of 1888 in Whitechapel. Another part of the investigation that was very poorly handled was the so-called Goulston Street Graffito. Whetherthe chalked message, found in close proximity to a part of Kate Eddowes’s apron was in fact written by Jack the Ripperor not is a question best left to other, more knowledgeable researchers. But, the very propinquity of apron piece andgraffito obviously made them items of great interest. The apron part was very definitely a clue and the confusing ref-13 Star, September 10, 1888 Ripperologist 97 November 2008 67
  • 69. erence to Jews written on the wall might have been, yet neither was handled with much sense or care. Part of this might have been the result of a first sudden and awkward confrontation between the Metropolitan andCity police forces, but the fact remains that no one on either side acted with much reason. Since none of us were thereor have any real sense for just how inflamed were the anti-Semitic tensions in the area at the time it is rather foolishto be critical of Superintendent Arnold’s decision to erase the graffito. He may well have been right in fearing that theregion was a tinderbox and fulminations about the graffito (which, given its vagueness, would soon have mutated intosomething more comprehensible and more calumnious) would cause a pogrom. But, even if Arnold and the others weresimply acting in an anile manner, their prudence was not by itself a mistake. Rather, the blunder lay in not taking thetime (of which there was a sufficiency while the merits of erasure were debated) to make an accurate, artistic render-ing of just what was written along with an accurate sketch of exactly where the graffito was on the wall and its rela-tion to the apron part when found by the hapless PC Long. Not only would it have been nice for researchers today tohave that information (as well as forestalling endless wrangling on the fora message boards), but it would also havesaved the several police officers involved the embarrassment of none of them knowing exactly what was written on thewall. But then the possibility of embarrassment never seemed to deter those involved. More important, perhaps, is that the apron piece was not given more attention at the time. The graffito might—anda mighty big emphasis on might—have had something to do with the murder in Mitre Square, but the bloody piece ofapron most assuredly came from the victim. Yet this one tangible clue seems to have received little attention fromthose conducting the investigation. How it got there and when are questions that can always start a debate whenevertwo or more Ripperologists are gathered together, yet it seems to have been given short shrift at the time. Surely, pho-tographs should have been taken and PC Long hung by his thumbs until he provided a rational account of its discovery.Even conceding that in an era when the apron piece yielded only the most basic of forensic information, its discoveryand condition seem to have received too little attention. As a continuation of the Goulston Street discussion, another area where the police seem to have been lax is that ofphotography. It has been suggested that the City Police, by providing a photographer at Miller’s Court, were more pro-gressive in this regard than their Metropolitan counterparts, but this may be giving them too much credit. Rather thanthe clumsy, childish drawings done of Eddowes in situ in the square, a couple of actual photographs would have beenof considerably more value and would not have posed the problems feared at Goulston Street. That is, the area couldhave been effectively shielded from the public and flash photography would have been quite possible. And in the openair of Mitre Square the flash’s smoky, smoggy residue would have quickly dissipated. Similarly, photographs could have and should have been taken much more often throughout the protracted investiga-tions by both forces. As mentioned previously, both sides of both pieces of Eddowes’s apron could easily have been pho-tographed as well as many other places and things. And the point is that photography had been around long enough for theaccuracy and permanency of its renderings to have recommended itself to the police. But, as was discussed earlier, largeforces like the Metropolitan are subject to inertia and the difficulty in adopting new ideas seems in direct proportion totheir size. If the City Police were, indeed, more progressive in the area of photography one reason for that might well havebeen its smaller size. As it is, both forces badly under-utilised the valuable tool of photography in the hunt for the Ripper. Another contemporary criticism of the Metropolitan Police—and one that continues to confound latter-dayresearchers—is concerned with the refusal to offer a reward and the laggard offer of a pardon to any confederates ofthe murderer. The whole reward cum pardon conundrum is fully covered elsewhere,14 but it is fair to say that the mat-ter was well out of the hands of the Metropolitan throughout the Ripper’s reign of terror. The Home Office wasadamantly against any reward being offered and the eventual pardon offer was engineered by the cabinet as a politi-cal expedient. It should also be noted that the City Police did offer a reward (which, with other, private rewardstotalled more than £1,200) to no apparent avail.14 See “Pardon Me” by Don Souden; Ripperologist 82 (August 2007). Ripperologist 97 November 2008 68
  • 70. Blue Jumbo needed a mate One simple thing that the police might have done, but which they most assuredly would have considered “impossi- ble” at that time, is the use of women as auxiliary police officers. Not, as was so often suggested to the police, in the role of decoys (serving as a “tethered kid” to lure an alligator or Jack the Ripper is not something to be lightly wished upon an enemy, far less the fair maidens of Albion), but rather as interrogation aides. As an example, those who don’t think the female residents of Miller’s Court knew a lot more than they told the police are few and far between and a sympathetic female might well have elicited a lot more information. In fact, throughout the months of investigation into a series of crimes aimed solely at vulnerable women the opportunities were many that a woman’s ear might have unlocked memories and ideas forever held silent when dealing with a male policeman. Whatever the prejudices and mores of the era, it was an opportunity missed. A passing grade for Big Blue? Indeed, there were many opportunities missed, but overall the investigations were handled adequately by the police, given their strengths and weaknesses. Good use was made of the large number of men available and besides increased patrols men were kept busy checking alibis and otherwise interviewing the public and running down tips. Moreover, the Metropolitan police operated under extreme criticism from the press and public and also had to contend with the often contrary political objectives of the Salisbury government, which controlled everything through the Home Office. Mistakes were made, but none would seem fatal to the ongoing investigations. The sad truth was that the police had to battle a new kind of killer with few tools and no experience. Given that, the police did as well as might be expect- ed and it would be unfair to expect more. The final question that needs to be asked, however, is just how well modern police forces, armed with all the foren- sic bells, whistles and other scientific gadgetry now at hand, do when faced with a random serial killer like Jack the Ripper? The answer to that question is that modern police forces do very poorly indeed. Modern serial killers routine- ly remain at large for years and their body counts climb well into double digits before—almost always by chance—they are finally caught. Solved in minutes? I think not. Acknowledgments Thanks to Carrie Finneran, who read the article in manuscript, for her helpful comments; to Sharon Turo, librarian at the New Canaan Historical Society, for help finding a photograph, and, as ever, to Jane Coram for her help, map work and encouragement throughout.Don Souden is an editor at Ripperologist. He is trying to be very nice during December in the hope SantaClaus will bring him a new (well, newish at least) computer. If not, he may not be able to write morearticles—dont all cheer at once. Ripperologist 97 November 2008 69
  • 71. Montie’s Photographer, W. Savage: Winchester College, the Tichborne Case, and King Arthur’s Round Table W. Savage has a large pool of water, on which is a beautiful pair-oared boat, backed byimmense gnarled rooted trees, planted with ferns and their allies [sic], which will form mostbeautiful pictures. 1869 advertisement 1 In last month’s issue of the Rip, Andrew Spallek in ‘Young Montie: Montague John Druitt at Winchester,’2 treated usto six newly discovered photographs of Jack the Ripper suspect Montague John Druitt, including three portraits and three group photographs with Druitt standing with other Winchester College pupils. One additional photograph of young Druitt had been published before. This version of the photo, though, unlike previously published copies, carries the photog- rapher’s name. The portrait, taken when Druitt was in his late teens around 1875–6 was the work of ‘W. Savage, Winchester.’ Who exactly was W. Savage? William Savage (1817–87) was a city photographer, author and publisher, as well as the owner of a fancy goods shop. His studio was located behind his store at 97 High Street, Winchester (re-numbered 58 in 1869).3 An Entrepreneurial Photographer Savage is believed to have set up his photography business in the city of Winchester around 1861. He took cartes-de-visite, i.e., vis- iting card photographs, of local citizens, visitors to the city, digni- taries, and numerous shots of Winchester and Hampshire scenery. As a press notice for a 2006 Winchester exhibition of cartes-de-vis- ite by Savage and other photographers tells us: Portrait of Montague John Druitt by Winchester pho- 1 Quoted in Helmut Gernsheim, Creative Photography: Aesthetic Trends, tographer William Savage taken circa 1875-6 while 1839–1960. New York: Courier Dover Publications, 1991, p 72. Druitt was attending Winchester College, Hampshire. Courtesy of Winchester College and Andrew Spallek. 2 Andrew Spallek, ‘Young Montie: Montague John Druitt at Winchester,’ Ripperologist 95, October 2008, pp 2–9. 3 William Savage (1817–1887) at uk/topics/index.asp?page=itemFromLink&itemId=William%20Savage Ripperologist 97 November 2008 70
  • 72. The collection of these visiting cards, some measuring only 2 ½ x 4 inches, became a major craze in the Victorian era.Invented by André Disdéri in Paris, people flocked to have their portraits taken in the photographic studios which sprangup throughout Europe. . . . In [late Victorian] England, the collecting of family and celebrity portraits, and well knownlocations, became a pastime enjoyed from the middle classes to royalty, with Queen Victoria herself a notable collec-tor of the visiting cards.4 While we know that Savage was responsible for at least one photograph of Druitt while Montie was a student at theCollege, given the pictorialist’s industry, it would appear possible that he might have been responsible for other photo-graphs of Druitt and his fellow College pupils, including the group portraits that Andy Spallek showed us last month. Thispossibility is something that Andy is investigating. Stay tuned. One well-known person who Savage photographed was writer and wit Oscar Wilde. The carte-de-visite shows Wildeseated with an unknown man, taken in the portrait artist’s studio garden. The portrait has been dated to 1875-1878 bythe writer’s grandson, Merlin Holland, based on the hairstyle and dress that Wilde is sporting in the image. The industrious entrepreneur was also the author and publisher of an 1877 Guide to the Ancient City of Winchester,illustrated (naturally!) with his own photographs, and the author or publisher of several other books as well, usually onlocal or ecclesiastical history. The city guide contained material written by Reverend L. M. Humbert. Nine years earlier,Savage had provided images for a book authored by the clergyman: Memorials of the Hospital of St. Cross and AlmsHouse of Noble Poverty. Humbert had been appointed Master of the Hospital of St. Cross, a medieval almshouse in thePhotograph of Oscar Wilde (left) with an unknown companion, pictured by Savage in his studio garden circa 1875-8. Courtesy of William AndrewsClark Memorial Library, University of California, Los Angeles, California. Clark accession no. BX-4N.4 ‘Cartomania!’ 2006 press release from Winchester City Council at Ripperologist 97 November 2008 71
  • 73. Photograph by Savage of College Street, Winchester, taken about 1880. Courtesy of Winchester City Council. Object number: WINCM:PWCM, in 1855. The book contained 13 albumen photographs of views by Savage and a group portrait. Also included in thebook was a still life of porcelain souvenirs designed by Savage and available from his shop in Winchester.5 Savage’s Photographs of Winchester College—and a College Controversy A number of photographs by William Savage of Winchester College are among the albums that constitute a large col-lection of his photographs now in the possession of Winchester Museums. The Museums website provided much of thefollowing information about Savage’s photographs of the school. (To see further views by William Savage of sites inWinchester and Hampshire in general, use the search function at Montague John Druitt’s alma mater was founded by Bishop William of Wykeham in the late fourteenth century toprovide an education for seventy poor scholars. The Bishop hoped that the Winchester pupils would ensure a supply ofstudents for the ‘New College’ founded by him at Oxford University.5 William Savage, A Guide to the Ancient City of Winchester: To Which Is Added A Guide to the Hospital Of St. Cross, and Almshouse OfNoble Poverty, by the Rev. L. M. Humbert. Photographs by William Savage. Winchester: W Savage, 1877; Rev. L. M. Humbert, Memorials of theHospital of St. Cross and Alms House of Noble Poverty. Illustrated with Thirteen Photographs by W[illiam] Savage. And Numerous Woodcuts.Winchester: William Savage, and London: Parker & Co., 1868; [Rev.] John Frewen Moor, The Birth-Place, Home, Churches and Other PlacesConnected with the Author of ‘The Christian Year’ [John Keble], including thirty-two mounted photographs by William Savage. Winchester:Savage; London: Parker, 1866. This last-named book was also published in a second edition in 1867. Ripperologist 97 November 2008 72
  • 74. Savage photographed College Street, Winchester, about 1880. This thoroughfare lies immediately south of the Cathedral Close wall. In Savage’s view we are looking west towards Kingsgate Street. A small stream flows between the road and the wall on the right hand side. To the left, the street is flanked by College build- ings with the Warden’s Lodgings in the fore- ground. The royal licence of 1382 establishing the College made provision for a Warden, who had overall responsibility for the institution. From 1861 to 1903, i.e., during the whole of the time Druitt was a pupil at the school, the position was held by the Reverend GodfreyPhotograph by Savage of Winchester College from the Warden’s garden about 1880. Courtesy of Winchester City Council. Object number: WINCM:PWCM 3487. Bolles Lee, MA. In the later nineteenth century, the revenue and management of the Collegecame under scrutiny and reform of the governing body. Beginning in the twentieth century, Wardens were non-resident. Also visible in the photographer’s view of College Street and adjacent to the Warden’s Lodgings is the Outer Gate ofthe College. Between the tall buildings of the Outer Gate and the Headmaster’s House built 1839–42 is the originalbrewery, which was still in use in the second half of the nineteenth century. During Druitt’s time at Winchester College,the Headmaster was Dr. George Ridding, who performed the job from 1867 to 1884. Savage photographed the Warden’s Garden about 1880. To the left of the photograph is the College Chapel with, atits east end, the Jesse window of 1820s glass which was based on the original mediaeval design for the window. Adjoiningthis is the east side of Chamber Court, with the towers of Middle Gate just visible beyond; the Court provided the orig-inal lodgings for scholars and staff. To the right a small part of the extensive Warden’s Lodgings can be glimpsed. Ridding’s tenure as Headmaster of the College proved controversial. The College made the national press inNovember and early December 1872 when an incident of brutal corporal punishment inflicted by a school prefect on astudent became a matter of brisk debate. The tradition of Dr. George Ridding, Headmaster of Winchester College, 1867-84, during Druitt’s‘Boy-Government’ at English upper class schools, which had time as a pupil at the institution. From Roger Custance, Editor, Winchester College: Sixth-Century Essays. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1982.begun to come into vogue some 40 years earlier, came underscrutiny at the College and nationwide. Peter Gwyn, in amodern study of the episode,6 has written: A boy had been ‘tunded’ which, being translated, meantthat he had been beaten by a school prefect across the shoul-ders with a ground-ash—this was a cane about four feet longand half an inch in diameter. Wykehamist correspondentsmaintained that even fifteen ‘cuts’ from such a weaponcaused excessive pain, but in this case the boy had received6 Peter Gwyn, ‘“The Tunding Row”: George Ridding and the Belief inBoy-Government,’ in Roger Custance, Editor, Winchester College:Sixth-Century Essays. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1982, pp 432–77. Ripperologist 97 November 2008 73
  • 75. thirty. And there were other worrying features. The ‘vic- tim’s’ only fault was that he had refused to take an exam in the ‘vulgar and senseless school slang known as “notions”.’ It appeared that the headmaster had initially sanctioned the punishment. Later, while admitting that it had been exces- sive, he persisted in calling the prefect who had given it a ‘good and gentle boy’.7 One strategy reached by the masters at the school to curb the use of corporal punishment inflicted by prefects on other boys was to increase sports activity at the College, although this was not a move backed by the Head, who seemed blasé toward the idea of curbing the evils of ‘Boy-Government’. Thus, the move to increase sports activities at the school directly impacted Druitt’s time at the College. Perhaps, moreover, it partly explains the many sports in which the sus- pect was engaged apart from his personal thirst to be so ath- letically involved. Gwyn explains: Self-portrait of William Savage taken about 1865 found in an album of his work. Courtesy of Winchester City Council. Object number: WINCM:PWCM 2586. Just as religion had solved the problems of the early Victorian schoolmaster, so sport solved the problems of thelate. It was extremely popular among the boys, and this made its ‘take-over’ by the masters comparatively easy. Itwas also easy to organize. It involved a lot of boys for long periods of time, and though there were basic necessitiessuch as playing fields, gymnasiums, and racquets courts which did cost money, once they were obtained it was not tooexpensive. It was healthy. It inculcated desirable qualities such as courage, and if it was then associated with theboarding houses there were such additional qualities as ‘house spirit’. Above all it supposedly solved the problem of‘impurity’ [i.e., sadism, homosexuality, masturbation, and other practices then considered to be ‘vices’]. So obsessedwould the boys be with sport that they would have neither the time nor the inclination to indulge in it—and if theydid, they would be too tired to do anything about it.8 Photograph by Savage of Winchester College, taken about 1870, showing cricketers in the Yet another photograph of the College foreground. Courtesy of Winchester City Council. Object number: WINCM:PWCM William Savage is of additional inter-est given Montie Druitt’s passion for play-ing cricket and other sports. A photo-graph of the College that Savage tookabout 1870 shows a view looking north-east from the recreation area known asThe Meads. We see some cricketers inthe foreground who have paused, appar-ently to watch the photographer at work.The photograph provides a glimpse of sev-eral important College buildings. In theforeground is School, built in the 1680s asa classroom where several classes would7 Gwyn, p 432.8 Gwyn, p 458. Ripperologist 97 November 2008 74
  • 76. study at any one time. To the right can be seen the cloister wall and a corner of Fromond’s fifteenth century chantry chapel which is situated within the cloister and was also used as a library. Beyond that is the chapel which was one of the original College buildings; beside it is the tall fifteenth century bell tower which was rebuilt 1862–3. Montie Druitt, William Savage, and the Tichborne Case The Tichborne case was one of the most famous legal cases of the nineteenth century. Not surprisingly, as Andrew Spallek noted in his article, it was among the debate topics addressed by Montague Druitt during his time at Winchester College. Druitt spoke to the proposition that ‘in the opinion of this house the conduct of the Government in the Tichbourne Trial is worthy of the severest condemnation.’ Druitt spoke for the proposition. The summary minutes of the college debates in which Druitt was involved note that ‘Although he said that he had come quite unprepared to speak, Druitt argued that the Lord Chief Justice had been clearly prejudiced.’9Daggeurreotype of Sir Roger Tichborne taken in Santiago, Chile, in 1853.William Savage was called upon in Lushington v Tichborne to examine the The Tichborne case began in April 1854 with the apparentChilean photographs taken of Tichborne. From Douglas Woodruff, The loss at sea of Roger Charles Tichborne of Tichborne House, nearTichborne Claimant: A Victorian Mystery. London: Hollis & Carter, 1957. Alresford, Hampshire (some eight miles from Winchester) in the wreck of the Bella off the coast of South America. Tichborne had been born to a Catholic landed family in 1829, the eld- est son of Sir James and Henriette Felicité Tichborne, a woman descended from French royalty. The boy was born with a birth defect: a malformation of the genitals. He wore specially made frocks until he was 12, the theory being that loose clothing would encourage the growth of his genitals. Brought up in France, when speaking English, he always exhibited a strong French inflection. At the age of 16, he was sent to boarding school at Stonyhurst College near Ribchester in Lancashire. He would later enter the army. Roger Tichborne would grow into a thin, aesthetic looking young man with a sad and distant look—not unlike Montague John Druitt. Roger spent his holidays with his uncle and aunt, Sir Edward and Lady Doughty, and their daughter Katherine. The close proximity to his cousin, not unexpectedly, encouraged the flowering of a love affair between Roger and ‘Katty’. But because the couple were first cousins, the match was opposed by both families. Tichborne was encouraged to travel abroad for three years. The promise was made that if the cousins still wanted to marry after the gap of three years, no objection would be raised. Of course, both families no doubt hoped the separation would cool the couple’s ardour. With the seeming demise of Roger at sea when the Bella went down, the separation appeared to be permanent and Katty mar- ried someone else. In 1862, Tichborne’s father died. Following a tip from a sailor who visited Tichborne House that the crew of the Bella had landed up in Australia, the Dowager Lady Tichborne began to advertise in newspapers ‘Down Under’ promising that the lost son, now aged ‘about thirty-two years of age’ would be ‘heir to all his estates.’ Unfortunately, the new baronet, Alfred, the Dowager’s younger son, had a scheme to build the world’s largest yacht, which dissipated the family fortune, and he was forced to move 9 Spallek, p 5. Ripperologist 97 November 2008 75
  • 77. Photograph by Savage of the Tichborne Claimant at Alresford, taken in 1868. Courtesy of Winchester City Council. Object number: WINCM:PWCM 4856.out of Tichborne House and lease it. He would die in 1866 and Alfred’s son, Henry Alfred Joseph Tichborne, became the12th baronet. The cascade of family deaths helped to fuel the Dowager’s desire to find her beloved son Roger.10 Now entered ‘The Claimant’ all the way from Wagga Wagga, Australia, asserting that he was the long lost Sir Roger, therightful heir to the Tichborne fortune. He wrote to the Dowager Lady Tichborne from Wagga Wagga on 17 January 1866. Healso claimed the exact same genital defect as her son. The Claimant arrived with his wife and children in London onChristmas Day, 1866, and as if to prove his bona fides he had with him Andrew Bogle, a colored servant who had workedfor Roger Tichborne. Moreover, shortly, he was ‘recognised’ by the Dowager. Bram Stoker, author of Dracula, wrote in his1910 book, Famous Impostors: Lady Tichborne was living in Paris at this time and it was here, in his hotel bedroom, on a dark January afternoon,that their first interview took place for, curiously enough, the gentleman was too ill to leave his bed! The deludedwoman professed to recognise him at once. As she sat beside his bed, ‘Roger’ keeping his face turned to the wall, theconversation took a wide range, the sick man showing himself strangely astray. He talked to her of his grandfather,whom the real Roger had never seen; he said he had served in the ranks; referred to Stonyhurst as Winchester; spokeof his suffering as a lad from St. Vitus’s dance . . . but did not speak of the rheumatism from which Roger had suf-fered. But it was all one to the infatuated woman —‘He confuses every thing as if in a dream,’ she wrote in exculpat-ing him; but unsatisfactory as this identification was, she never departed from her belief. She lived under the sameroof with him for weeks, accepted his wife and children, and allowed him £1,000 a year. It did not weigh with herthat the rest of the family unanimously declared him to be an impostor. . . .1110 Rohan McWilliam, The Tichborne Claimant: A Victorian Sensation. London: Hambledon Continuum, 2007, pp 8–14.11 Bram Stoker, Famous Impostors. New York: Sturgis & Walton, 1910, pp 216–17. Ripperologist 97 November 2008 76
  • 78. The deceptive tactics served the Claimant well enough even though there were a considerable number of points onwhich his candidacy failed the smell test, starting with the fact that he was a grossly obese individual unlike the svelteindividual Roger Tichborne had been. He showed himself to be uneducated and to not know French. Whether the Claimant was a money-seeking scoundrel or the real deal, Savage photographed the rotund gentlemanat Alresford in 1868. The Claimant and his family were living not far from Tichborne House while trying to wrest themansion from the grip of the new resident, Colonel Franklin Lushington. Unfortunately for the aspirant, as he preparedfor the law case to claim his inheritance, his main supporter, the Dowager Lady Tichborne, died on 12 March 1868. The civil case in which the Claimant tried to evict the good Colonel, Lushington v Tichborne, ran ten months, from10 May 1871 to 6 March 1872. The strikes against his claims against Lushington and the Tichborne family were many. Asstated by Sir John Coleridge, for the defense, He had forgotten his mother’s maiden name; he was ignorant of all particulars of the family estate; he remem-bered nothing of Stonyhurst; and in military matters he was equally deficient. Roger, born and educated in France,spoke and wrote French like a native and his favourite reading was French literature; but the Claimant knew nothingof French. . . . [Although] Roger, who took after his mother was slight and delicate, with narrow sloping shoulders, along narrow face and thin straight dark hair, the Claimant was of enormous bulk, scaling over twenty-four stone, big-framed and burly, with a large round face and an abundance of fair and rather wavy hair. And yet, curiously enough,the Claimant undoubtedly possessed a strong likeness to several male members of the Tichborne family.12 The Claimant also did have a nervous twitch that was said to be characteristic of the Tichbornes, and it was arguedthat in later life males of the Tichborne family did run to gaining weight. During the civil trial, Winchester photographer William Savage was called upon to examine two dageurreotypes taken ofRoger Tichborne while he was in Santiago, Chile, in 1853. The portraits comprised key pieces of evidence in both the civiltrial and the criminal trial against the impostor. Savage examined the dageurreotypes for abrasions on the surface of thephotographs. Sir John Coleridge was also able to use the photographs to show that Roger Tichborne had no left earlobewhile the Claimant did. However, supporters of the Claimant asserted that the photographs could have been doctored.13Most of the family considered him to be an imposter. After 103 days, the Court ruled in their favour. In 1874, the Claimantwas put on trial in a criminal case and found guilty of perjury. He was sentenced to fourteen years’ imprisonment for hiscrime. He was revealed to be Arthur Orton aka Tom Castro, the opportunistic son of a Wapping, London, butcher. The Tichborne trials proved a popular sensation throughout England and abroad, and a brisk trade sprung up in cartes-de-visit of leading figures in the case and other souvenirs, including figurines of the plump Claimant. William Savagewas but one of the businessmen to cash in on the Tichborne sensation—he is known to have taken at least two photo-graphs of Orton/Castro and possibly more. As noted on an Australian web page devoted to the case: From 1871 it became clear that there was a market for Tichborne souvenirs. The Cartes de Visite produced duringthe Tichborne Trials are yet another example of the dearth and variety of affordable souvenirs being produced for aneager public. Identities commonly depicted included the young Sir Roger Tichborne (from a photograph taken in Chile),Mary Ann Bryant (Mrs Tom Castro), the Gentlemen of the Jury, Sir Alexander Cockburn (the Lord Chief Justice ofEngland), Henry Hawkins (1st Baron Brampton), the Dowager Lady Tichborne and Tom Castro, the Claimant himself.1412 Quoted in Stoker, pp 218–19.13 McWilliam, p 45.14 See Wagga Wagga City Council Internet, ‘Tichborne Carte-de-visite’ at web page includes Tichborne cartes de visit but apparently not ones by Savage. Ripperologist 97 November 2008 77
  • 79. Front and back of a carte-de-visite of Chichester Cathedral apparently by William Savage. Images courtesy of David Simkin of Savage in Business in Chichester (Perhaps) and Photographing King Arthur’s Round Table In addition to his busy Winchester photography business, Savage appears to have also been the ‘Mr. Savage’ whoaround 1866–7 purchased the ‘Sussex School of Photography’ in West Street, Chichester, Sussex, from Charles Clarke.Taking over this business would seem to have fitted in with Savage’s ideas in regard to running a ‘modern’ studio tobetter attract clientele. Clarke had announced the opening of the studio in a newspaper ad dated 11 January 1866,informing potential customers that his ‘New and Highly-Finished CRYSTAL STUDIO’ was ‘artificially heated, as to resem-ble the delicious climate of Madeira.’15 Some doubt though exists about whether the ‘Mr. Savage’ who took over Clarke’s firm was identical to the Winchesterphotographer with that surname. David Simkin of tells us, ‘I should point out that I have noevidence that Mr. Savage of the Sussex School of Photography is identical to William Savage of Winchester. There wereother Mr. Savages living in Chichester in the 1860s, but to my knowledge they were not photographers.’16 A carte-de-visite of Chichester Cathedral decked out with crudely painted coloured flags exists with ‘Mr Savage’ iden-tified on the trade plate on the reverse as the new proprietor of the Sussex School of Photography. We put it to Mr15 Information and quote from ‘Chichester Photographers’ at David Simkin,, email to Ripperologist, 20 November 2008. Ripperologist 97 November 2008 78
  • 80. Simkin that given Savage’s evident artistry shown over a substantial career, we felt that the flags on the view of thecathedral, crudely done as they are, might more likely to have been done by a child and not by the photographer. MrSimkin’s view though ‘is that they were added by someone employed at the Sussex School of Photography to brightenup a rather poor photograph of the Cathedral spire undergoing repairs, which would have faced competition from othercommercially available pictures of the Cathedral spire being repaired. For instance, I have a much better quality pho-tograph of the Cathedral spire covered in scaffolding by James Russell & Sons of East Street, Chichester.’17 Certainly we know that in 1873 William Savage of Winchester photographed the relic known as ‘King Arthur’s RoundTable’—the 600-year-old wooden disk said to have been used by the King of Britain and his Knights—when it was low-ered from the east wall of the Great Hall of Winchester Castle, repaired, and reinstalled on the west wall of the hall.18We also know for certain that Savage took one photograph of Montague John Druitt, and possibly more, when the ill-fated Ripper suspect was a pupil at Winchester College.17 Ibid.18 Martin Biddle and Sally Badham, King Arthur’s Round Table: An Archaeological Investigation. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell & Brewer, 2000,pp 90–91, 136.The Archive Room, Winchester CollegePhotograph — Andy Spallek
  • 81. Above and to the left: King Arthur’s Round Table in theGreat Hall of Winchester Castle as photographed byAndrew Spallek in 2008. In 1873, some 135 years beforeAndy photographed the supposed Round Table of theKing of Camelot and Britain, Winchester photographerWilliam Savage took photographs of the table when itwas taken down from the wall, repaired, and moved tothe opposite wall.Below: The underside of the Round Table in 1873 asphotographed by William Savage.Ripperologist 97 November 2008 80
  • 82. The Diary of Jack the Mushroom Hunter by Antonio Ruiz Vega English Version by Eduardo ZinnaCAUTION: This article contains strong language and content that some readers may find offensive. Ripperologist 97 November 2008 81
  • 83. 27 August 1888 I read in the Star that they are collecting the first boletus edulis in the Kentish countryside. The season has come early afterthat awful, dull summer. I can’t wait. Last evening I was at Victoria Station consulting the timetables and the first-class ticketprices. May I say my mouth watered? But I hate going into the woods on my own. One has his weaknesses and, besides, I mightlose my way. On reflection, it might be better if I took someone with me. I go over my address book. I could ask old Polly Nichols along. She’s always ready for adventure and at this time of the yearshe must be on dry dock, as it were.28 August 1888 I left a note for Polly at the Ten Bells and today, at the appointed hour, I sawher podgy figure approaching the platform. She had dressed for the occasion. Itmust be what she considered informal dress, but she looked frankly awful.People were staring at us. And her man’s boots! Well… I could see the Star was rather optimistic. After four hours in the woods ourbooty had been negligible. So much so that I finally suggested to Polly that weshouldn’t turn up our noses at the slightly wilted champignons that grew pro-fusely in the clearings. But that was not the worst of it. As we walked backtowards the station, Polly permitted herself some disparaging remarks. Nothingserious, but I wasn’t amused. ‘As far as mushroom collectors are concerned,’ shesaid, ‘I’ve seen better,’ and things of that sort. And during the return trip the bloody cow kept talking about her brother-in-lawand his wife who apparently had collected no less than ten pounds of amanita caesarea that they later sold at an excellent priceat the Spitalfields market. I decided to compensate by taking her to the Queen’s Head for dinner. The joke turned out to be rather expensive and, to boot, suggesting a knee-trembler in the lavatory — well, better not to talkabout it. When I did my accounts I reckoned that, adding up the cost of the train tickets, dinner and the beer and gin we drankafterwards, it would have been cheaper to hire a ten-quid whore.30 August 1888 The following morning I got up early and went to the Blue Coat Boy for breakfast. Not a good idea. As soon as I walked inthere was an odd silence followed by the unmistakable sound of suppressed laughter. Was I imagining it? Well, no, I wasn’t. It was what I feared. The waiter didn’t stop making ironic remarks about our trip. By now I must beWhitechapel’s laughing stock. Such humiliation! After going to two more pubs I realised the patrons turned to look at me as Ipassed. It was all the fault of that bitch Polly Nichols! No point in making a spectacle of myself any longer. Enough for one day. I find it hard to believe. That’s how she returns my kindness! It’s true I am on the mediocre side as a mushroom gatherer, butthat’s not my fault. I can’t stand the shame any longer. People can be really cruel. But someone will pay for this!1 September 1888 I left a message for Polly at the Ten Bells: ‘If you wish to stuff yourself with sweet red peppers, come to Buck’s Row at one.You won’t be sorry. Yours, Jack.’ I waited for her in the darkness. She had swallowed the bait. She made a grimace when she saw the knife, but it was too late. At least this one won’t abuse me again. Ha ha ha! I took advan-tage of the occasion to refresh my anatomical knowledge. She didn’t make a sound. Good girl. (That night I slept like a baby). Ripperologist 97 November 2008 82
  • 84. 2 September 1888 I visited the premises of the Royal Mycological Society. They had brochures vaunting the abundance of pink funnel-caps, para-sol mushrooms and pleurotus ostreatus in the Cumbrian undergrowth. And the cost of the trip via British Railways is very reason-able. I would love to indulge myself a bit, particularly after the fiasco with Polly and the frigging boletus edulis.3 September 1888 I’ve met a magnificent girl! I know there are jealous and stupid people who say she is ‘on the game’, but she tells me it isn’ttrue, and I believe her. I took her to the Ten Bells for a half pint of stout. Her name is Annie, Annie Chapman, but everybody callsher Dark Annie. Wonderful wench! She knows almost as much as I do about mushrooms and fungi. We crossed the road andentered the Spitalfields market. I bought half a pound of morels. ‘The first of the season,’ said the stall keeper. They’d better be –at two bob a pound!4 September 1888 I asked Dark Annie home for dinner. But before that we had a torrid encounter. A bit odd, I must say. She insisted I take herstanding and leaned against the wall in the corridor, both of us fully dressed. Still odder: when we were finished she asked mefor four pence rather curtly. Could the gossips be right? Yet in a few minutes I forgot everything: Annie is an angel in the kitchen. Still a little out of breath after our venereal effusions,we traded endearments and offered each other the choicest morsels. I’d bought a bottle of decent Burgundy for the occasion. Ah,if it weren’t for these moments! (And some even better ones). After dinner Annie started to stroke my crotch surreptitiously under the table. I explained that at my age… But she persisted,the wanton, and soon we were at it again in the corridor. Another four pence changed hands.6 September 1888 The trip to Cumbria was a disaster. Everything the brochures said was a lie. Ah, publicity! We didn’t see a single pleurotus ostrea-tus and to boot the County Council had established a special fee which apparently is paid only by London cretins like me who arelured by their deceitful publicity. As for Annie… Now I know why they call her Dark Annie; she has a foul temper. And as for her sexual behaviour, it’s enoughto make you wonder. She only wants to do it against walls, fences or palisades and always in the same position: she turns her backto me and hitches up her skirts while I pump away against her backside. At first I enjoyed the fantasy, but I’m beginning to gettired of it. A friend tells me that in the East End they call this position the ‘threepence fuck’. Yet, oddly enough, Annie insists oncharging me four. The situation worsened during the return trip. Annie drank too much during dinner. At least I think that a pint of gin is toomuch to accompany a plate of eggs with bacon, which is all we ate. Because when it came to the pleurotus… The Chapman woman became impossible in the train. The nicest thingshe called me was ‘Coldprick’. She made indecent proposals to every trav-eller belonging to the strong sex. I pretended not to know her, but to noavail, as she threw her arms round my neck and sang I Sits Among myCabbages and Peas and I’d Never had my Ticket Punched Before at the topof her lungs and appallingly off-key. The guard came in and scolded meangrily. Me!8 September 1888 Yesterday I decided to end this unfortunate relationship before it got outof hand. I pretended to walk her home solicitously and, when we reachedHanbury Street, I held her head so she could throw up to her heart’s con- Ripperologist 97 November 2008 83
  • 85. tent in a dark corner. Then I pulled my trusty and inseparable bowie knife out of my overcoat’s pocket and zzzzt! You didn’t expectthat, old soak! She instantly sobered up and looked at me with her light-green eyes. To pass the time I ripped her up a bit and tooka souvenir. Sic transit gloria mundi.10 September 1888 The press overdoes it a bit with the murders. Apparently those who warned me were right. Dark Annie was a peripatetic andPolly was also a member of the world’s oldest profession. Well, two down. That will teach them not to take advantage of my naïveté.12 September 1888 I think I’m falling in love. She is a foreign beauty – though obviously one who has seen better days. She was born in Swedenand her accent is charming. It seems she came to England to see the country and ended up marrying a hotel manager.Unfortunately her husband and children died in the sinking of the Princess Alice and she herself was wounded in the face by a pas-senger who was trying desperately to climb onto one of the lifeboats. Yesterday we spent the afternoon poring over mycology volumes at the Royal Society. Liz (that’s her name) told me lovely sto-ries about her native Torslanda. Her parents took her to the nearby woods to pick up saffron milk caps and other lactaria that hermother cooked with rice according to an old Scandinavian recipe. I took her for a walk in Hyde Park and afterwards we enjoyed an excellent dinner at the Strand.14 September 1888 I have made up my mind. Despite my previous disappointments, I think Liz is the woman for me. Her full name is ElizabethGustafsdotter, though she calls herself Stride, the surname of her late English husband. She devotes her time to sewing and othertemporary jobs. She limps slightly, but that only endows her with a unique feminine elegance that enhances her charms. Yesterday, after a couple of pints of Guinness at the Queen’s Head, I dared suggest that we spend a weekend together gather-ing mushrooms, now that the season is at its height. She accepted with a smile. I’m on!19 September 1888 Ah, you rascal! What do you do to women? Not only the Swede is crazy about me but last Saturday, while we were looking foramanita caesarea in the Hunton countryside (Maidstone, Kent County), I met another beauty who approached me directly. Lizand I were walking with our baskets near some hops fields — the morning was turning out wonderfully, if I say so myself — whenI saw her. She was urinating next to a hedge and without a hint of embarrassment stood up and gave me a big smile. While Lizgathered plenty of amanita with my bowie knife, I went to talk to my new friend. She was a reedy brunette, though not as tall asLiz. The first thing she said to me was: ‘Look ‘ere, ‘andsome, if you got rid of that beanpole you and me could ‘ave a good timetogether.’ I think I blushed down to the roots of my hair. ‘Beanpole!’ The truth is I had never noticed before, but Liz is really a tad ungainly. And, honestly, she has quite a limp. As if that were not enough, sev- eral people have already told me that there’s not a word of truth to the Princess Alice story. I left the Stride woman at the inn cooking the amanita and with the excuse of going to check the train timetable at the station I rushed to meet Kate, my new friend. She took me to some places she knows. A plentiful harvest – and there was ample time for a good cuddle. Nice girl, and quite passionate. 23 September 1888 Frankly, Liz is getting to be a nuisance. Besides, I’m convinced she suspects something. She is growing more and more ill-tempered and watches me like a hawk. In vain, because Kate (Catherine Eddowes) is still picking hops in Kent. But she will soon return to London. Ripperologist 97 November 2008 84
  • 86. Come to think of it, I’d better keep my mouth shut in Kate’s company. During one of our latest trysts, you know how it is, Imade some post-coitum confidences to her; one never learns — us men, we never grow up. Specifically, after she made somehighly laudatory remarks about my virility, I told her that I wasn’t too bad with the knife either and mentioned my recent pec-cadilloes in the back alleys of Whitechapel. She said nothing, but I noticed a glint in her eyes I didn’t like. But right now theproblem is not her but the bloody cripple.26 September 1888 The situation is getting worse by the day. Liz is becoming more and more jealous and doesn’t stop making uncomplimenta-ry remarks about my mycological skills. She sure knows how to hurt me. Yesterday afternoon she told me she didn’t know howI hadn’t poisoned myself to death after I made a mistake in identifying some cortinaria. As if that were not enough, she criticis-es me behind my back at the Royal Mycological Society, where there is an eloquent silence followed by whisperings every timeI walk in. A word to the wise… I’ve been told her husband was not a prosperous hotelier but the owner of a seedy coffee house in Poplar. And that’s not all.She is a dangerous mythomaniac. The Princess Alice story was just an excuse to cadge assistance from the Swedish Church - untilthe pastor saw through her. It seems the Stride woman has a file this thick at the Thames Magistrates’ Court for drunkenness,prostitution and disorderly conduct. And forget about being 32 years of age. She’s 44 going on 45. Well, I have to end this situation drastically; I can’t take it any more. Besides, Kate is about to return from Kent.28 September 1888 The storm is finally raging. Liz found Kate’s latest letter in my writing desk. The one where, besides giving me the recipe forchanterelles with cream, she expressed the hope we would meet soon and promised to teach me some novelties she had learntin bed. Liz started cursing in Swedish and finally, after breaking most of the china and throwing away my reserves of morels, she toldme she has syphilis. The filthy cow! As I was on the verge of losing my temper I had a moment of lucidity. I apologised to Liz profusely and swore eternal love. Itore Kate’s letter in front of her. She looked surprised.29 September 1888 Kate is back in London. She’s written to me a note from Flower & Dean Street. Well, just seeing her handwriting gave me anerection the size of a horse’s. And she signed ‘Your darling Chick’ – the nickname only her closest friends use. I must think, Imust think. I gave her an appointment for tomorrow night in Mitre Square. All my problems are solved. Tomorrow night there is a lecture on ‘Mycology and Class Struggle’ at the International Workingmen’sClub in Berner Street. They don’t know what to do to attract the proletariat. Liz, with whom I’m fully reconciled – or so she thinks– says she’d be delighted to come along with me.1 October 1888 Clearly, ‘Man proposes, God disposes.’ You can’t plan ahead.Yesterday everything started off fine and ended in complete dis-aster. I must get hold of myself. I believe people are beginning tobe suspicious of me in Whitechapel. The lecture at the Workingmen’s Club was, as could beexpected, a real catastrophe. But that gave me an excellentexcuse to leave before it was over. I told Liz I had to relieve mybladder and sweet-talked her with the promise of two pints ofale and an order of fish and chips at the neighbouring Beehive Ripperologist 97 November 2008 85
  • 87. Tavern. She is a girl of simple tastes. Liz accompanied me to a dark courtyard just off the Club’s door. With the old excuse of asking her to look for a coin I haddropped I got her to bend down and zzzt! She fell like a sack of potatoes, the blinking cripple. She won’t talk out of turn anymore. Unfortunately, I couldn’t rip her up.When I was about to begin a cart arrived and disturbed me. There’s always some idiot bungling in! I hid in the darkness. Andthen, the same old story. So much fuss over a wretched tart! The Bobbies rushed in, blowing their whistles. Like I said, sameold, same old. I jumped over the back fence and vanished in the night. Let the pathologists rip her up, that’s what they’re paidfor. Worse was yet to come. The night was still young. I rushed to Mitre Square for my appointment with Kate. I was soon out of breath. I’m too old for this shit! Besides, Londonhas become impossible at night. You can’t take a step. The coppers are the least of your troubles, because if you are decentlydressed they don’t bother you. But you have bloody Lusk’s Whitechapel Vigilance Committee, the dockers’ patrols and even theToynbee Hall upper class twits. I tell you! As I arrived in Mitre Square, Kate was waiting for me. I felt ill at ease because three Jews who were coming out of a club sawus. I don’t like eyewitnesses. Shit, the bloody streets smell of synagogue, you can’t go out at night without running into them! And Kate must have been hitting the bottle again, the useless cow. She admitted she had just been released from theBishopsgate Street Station. Her breath reeked of cheap gin. No way I could get it up like this, I thought, but, after all, well… Later the vixen told me, just like that, ‘We ‘ave to talk.’ In two words, she wanted money, plenty of money. She recalled whatI had told her about my skill with the knife. While she was picking hops in Kent with her common-law husband ( John Kelly,whom she had never mentioned before), one evening — after a particularly hard day — she wondered what she was doing therebreaking her back over a few pence when a fortune awaited her in London. Surprised in my good faith, I asked her how much she wanted and she replied with all coolness and effrontery that, since thereward was 500 pounds, that was exactly what she wanted for her silence. Of course, having regard to our ‘old’ friendship, shewould allow me flexibility to pay. I could start by giving her ten pounds. Life was hard, she said. They hadn’t done so well inKent and she had spent the previous night at a doss house. Well, they say that it is in emergencies where people show their true character, and I believe I handled the situation prettywell. I told her that I happened to have that sum on me and that if she would be kind enough to follow me to a secluded spot Iwould give it to her ipso facto. She fell for it like a baby. What I pulled out from the pocket of my overcoat was my trusty bowiewhich, incidentally, I hadn’t had time to clean since my last job, even though I like to keep my instrument always in perfectcondition. Ah, its redeeming glow in the night! I was quite comfortable in that dark corner and took my time. I left her in rather bad shape, I’m afraid. Perhaps I overdid ita bit, I don’t deny it. Truth must be told. But when it comes to fucking and ripping, all it takes is beginning! I should have some-one look into these tendencies of mine once I calm down. I even took a portion of her kidney with me in case I decide to trysome culinary experiment. On the way home, as I looked for a tap to wash up, I stopped to scrawl a graffito at a house where Israelites live. They arebeginning to annoy me. I wrote the first thing that came into my mind, just to see if I could get the Yard chaps to exercise theirbrains a little. I don’t like to see anybody bored.2 October 1888 Lord, how they carry on! After all, it’s only four over-the-hill strumpets. They say even the Queen has intervened. This is goingto cost Warren his post. Fuck him! They say I misspelt some words in my graffito at the Hebrews’ house. I don’t believe it.Ripping relaxes me and besides, I didn’t go to public school for nothing. But I must calm down. I can’t believe mycology could affect me so much. What’s worse, we are still at the height of the season. Ripperologist 97 November 2008 86
  • 88. 2 November 1888 October has been a fairly pleasant and relaxed month. I devotedmy time to my business – which I had neglected a bit – and topeaceful walks in the country. Better to melt into the landscape, tolet things quiet down a little. We don’t want any trouble. I’m all on my own, oh yes. I’m going to leave the fair sex alonefor a while. As the saying goes, the pitcher that goes often to the wellwill be broken at last. I’ve started quite something, haven’t I? Such fuss over frigging‘Jack the Ripper’! There must be some joker sending letters right,left and centre. Well, anyone can play that game. Finally I didn’t eat Eddowes’s kidney. It seems I should have preserved it in sherry and besides, you shouldn’t stuff just any-thing down your gullet. You must take care of your health. I sent it to Lusk, that Irish bugger who has organized those bloodynight patrols that won’t let me live in peace. I hope it shook him up a bit. It goes without saying I didn’t sign myself ‘Jack theRipper’. That bastard is an impostor and if I ever run into him I will spend some time giving him a taste of my hunting knife.4 November 1888 One never learns. He who doesn’t trot in youth gallops in old age. Last night at the Britannia, as I dispatched some pleurotiwith bacon and scrambled eggs, I met the most delicious young thing you could imagine. Unlike the previous ones, she in theflower of the age: 24 years old. She could be my daughter, but in bed… Aaahhh… Since I don’t want to show my face in the streets of Whitechapel, we usually meet in her room at Millers Court. Barely a 12by 12 by 8 feet fleapit, but decorated with typical feminine taste. Briefly, a modest but comfortable garçonnière. I asked her toget rid of her fellow, one Barnett, a rather surly fish porter, but I can take half a dozen like him any day with an arm tied behindmy back. Fish porters indeed!6 November 1888 I’m over the moon. Besides being imaginative and passionate in bed, Mary Jane Kelly is truly erudite about the mycologicalflora. I spend afternoons listening to her talk about the native species of her birthplace, Limerick. She’s also knowledgeableabout Wales, where she lived for a while. We often roast morels and saffron milk-caps in the fire she always keeps lit in her smallchimney. Is this happiness? After all, I don’t ask too much from life. A strapping wench ready for a good time, a fire always litand a handful of delicious mushrooms. One or two pints of Guinness also help.10 November 1888. Well, I’ve done it again. This is becoming a habit. I still can’t understand it. Let’s go over it once again. As I did almost every evening, I went to visit Mary Jane carrying a bas-ket of fairy ring mushrooms I had picked up that same afternoon in Regent’s Park. She must have been having a bad day. Youknow, that time of the month, something like that. As the saying goes, ‘Never trust an animal that bleeds before it’s wounded.’She took the basket and started to clean up the mushrooms. And that’s where it all began. She said that they were full of worms,that they reeked of old man’s pee, that wherever had I found them, that they were shitty mushrooms that would give us indiges-tion. And it wasn’t true; I had picked them up very carefully. The argument was getting heated. She said that as a mushroom collector I was shite, that Barnett brought her basketfuls ofmushrooms (So they still met behind my back!), that I shouldn’t believe she loved me for my pretty face or that a basketful ofrotting mushrooms was sufficient payment. It was not for that she spent her afternoons at the Library reading the EncyclopaediaBritannica so that she could hold forth with me later. The bloody bitch! When she picked up the basket and emptied it on the fire I felt like a red cloud falling over my eyes. I don’t know what I didthen. Ripperologist 97 November 2008 87
  • 89. When I came back to my senses it was too late. Everything was in disarray. Lord, how I left that room! There wasn’t much left of Mary Jane either. I’ve seen abattoirs that were neater than our little love nest. Believe it or not, I even shed some tears. But it couldn’t be helped. What a mess! The funeral parlour people will certainly curse my ancestors. I wiped my hands clean as best I could and took off. I carried with me her heart wrapped up in some clean knickers the poor girl kept under her pillow. It wouldn’t be of much use to her any more. Pity. 12 November 1888 The truth is that I’m a bit sorry. I may have overdone it. The trouble with murder is that you start enjoying it and then youcan’t stop. And it is well known that once a man indulges himself in ripping, he comes to think little of robbing, and from rob-bing he comes next to defrauding the Inland Revenue, distorting the truth, breaking the Sabbath and finally omitting to acknowl-edge the greetings of respectable people. That won’t do. The only solution is to take a long holiday in Northern Scotland, for instance, or the Hebrides. If possible, some place wherethere are no mushrooms. Today I am submitting my resignation to the Royal Mycological Society. Sod them! Mushrooms have given me nothing but trou-ble. And I who thought this was a harmless hobby. I’ll have to try stamp collecting or chess.Yours Truly,Jack the Mushroom HunterACKNOWLEDGEMENTSThis is for Fátima Dos Santos, with all my love. I hope she now understands why I never take her collecting mushrooms. Antonio Ruiz Vega was born in 1955 in the Balearic Island of Ibiza. He has worked as a writer, newspaperman, photographer, radio and television journalist (TVE, Telemadrid, etc.) and forest warden. He has been the founder and editor of several publications and the director of several publishing houses. He has also been a political prisoner. Antonio has published over 15 books, including La Soria Mágica: Fiestas y Tradiciones populares, Diccionario de la España Mágica, Historias de fantasmas sorianos, Los hijos de Túbal: Mitología Ibérica, La Isla Suspendida and Numancia: el Imperio que no pudo ser. Jack the Ripper and London have inspired Antonio to write, besides Jack the Mushroom Hunter, Últimas palabras de Kate Eddowes (Kate Eddowes’s Last Words), which won the Ciudad de Majadahonda Prize for Best Novel of 2006. Antonio is the single father of two daughters: Belisana and Beltane, who studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. He lives in La Rubia, a small village in Soria, Castilla la Vieja. His hobbies are collecting antique cameras and vintage board games. He is particularly fond of Pepys products. Ripperologist 97 November 2008 88
  • 90. CHRIS SCOTT’sPress TrawlThe Scotsman10 November 1888 STRAITENED CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE WOMAN Kelly has (says a press agency) a boy, aged about six or seven years, living with her, and latterly she had been in nar-row straits, so much so that she is reported to have stated to a companion that she would make away with herself, asshe could not bear to see her boy starving. There are conflicting statements as to when the woman was last seen alive,but that upon which most reliance appears to be placed is that of a young woman, an associate of the deceased, whostates that at about half past ten o’clock on Thursday night she met the murdered woman at the corner of Dorset Street,who said to her that she had no money, and if she could not get any would never go out any more, but would do awaywith herself. Soon after they parted, and the man, who is described as respectably dressed, came up and spoke to themurdered woman and offered her some money. The man then accompanied the woman home to her lodgings, and thelittle boy was taken to a neighbour’s house. Nothing more was seen of the woman until yesterday morning, when, it isstated, the boy was sent back to the house, and the report goes he was sent out subsequently on an errand by the manwho was in the house with his mother. There is no direct confirmation of this statement, or whether any one really sawthe woman yesterday morning, although a tailor named Lewis says he saw Kelly come out about eight o’clock and goback. It seems clear, however, that the woman was alive at eight o’clock yesterday morning, that she went out for some-thing and returned to the house. The murder must have been committed between that hour and a quarter to eleven. DR FORBES WINSLOW’S OPINION OF THE MURDER Contemporary illustration of Mary Kelly’s body being loaded onto the wagon Dr Forbes Winslow has expressed the followingopinion on this latest murder:- It is the work of the same homicidal lunatic whohas committed the other crimes in Whitechapel. thewhole harrowing details point to this conclusion. Theway in which the murder was done, and the strangestate in which the body was left, is not consistentwith sanity. The theory I stated some days ago hascome true to the letter. This was to the effect thatthe murderer was in a lucid interval, and wouldrecommence directly this state had passed away. Itappears that the authorities were forgetting this the-ory, and that some one had been persuading themthat from the fact of so long a time intervening Ripperologist 97 November 2008 89
  • 91. between the murders, therefore he could not a be a homicidal maniac. I desire, as personally being originally responsible for this theory, to flatly deny this, and to state more emphatically than ever that the murderer is one and the same person, and he a lunatic suffering from homicidal monomania, who during the lucid intervals is calm and forgetful of what he has been doing in the madness of his attack. I also say that unless those in authority take the proper steps as advised, and drop the red tapeism surrounding a Government office, such crimes will continue to be so perpetrated in our Metropolis, to the terror of London. It appears to me it is the burning question of the hour, and of much more vital importance than some nowMary Kelly’s funeral at Leytonstone Catholic cemetery. The male figure in the fore- ground tallies well with one of the newspaper sketches of Joseph Barnett, attracting the attention of our community. THE SCENE OF THE MURDER Dorset Street, Spitalfields, is (says another report) a notorious neighbourhood. It is filled with low class lodging houses, tenanted chiefly by the lowest classes, amongst them some of the most degraded thieves and women of the streets. It was here that Annie Chapman, who was murdered in Hanbury Street on the 8th of September, lived, and, by a strange fatal- ity, the scene of the present crime is a court directly opposite the house to which that unfortunate woman was in the habit of resorting. Close by is Mitre Square, the scene of one of the murders of September 30th, and Hanbury Street is scarcely a stone’s throw away. There are eight or ten small houses in Miller Court, which is entered by a low archway and a narrow passage from Dorset Street, and forms a cul de sac. ARREST ON SUSPICION Illustrated Police News depiction of the incident of A man was arrested last night in Whitechapel on sus- the man with the black bag picion of having committed the Dorset Street crime. He was pointed out to the police by some women as a man who had accosted them on the previous night and whose movements excited suspicions. He was taken to Commercial Street Police Station, followed by an immense crowd. SUPPOSED CLUE TO THE MURDERER Mrs Paumier, a young woman who sells roasted chest- nuts at the corner of Widegate Street, a narrow thor- oughfare about two minutes’ walk from the scene of the murder, told a reporter yesterday afternoon a story which (says the Press Association) appears to afford a clue to the murderer. She said that about twelve o’clock yesterday morning a man dressed like a gentle- man came to her and said, “I suppose you have heard Ripperologist 97 November 2008 90
  • 92. about the murder in Dorset Street.” She replied that she had, whereupon the man grinned and said, “I know more aboutit than you.” He then stared into her face, and went down Sandy’s Row, another narrow thoroughfare which cuts acrossWidegate Street. When he had got some way off, however, he looked back as if to see whether she was watching him,and then vanished. Mrs Paumier said the man had a black moustache, was about 5 feet 6 inches high, and wore a blacksilk hat, and black coat, and speckled trousers. He also carried a black shiny bag about a foot in depth and a foot anda half in length. Mrs Paumier stated further that the same man accosted three young unfortunates whom she knows onThursday night, and they chaffed him, and asked what he had in the bag, and he replied, “Something that the ladiesdon’t like.” Mrs Paumier told her story with every appearance of truthfulness. One of the young women she named,Sarah Roney, about twenty years of age, states that she was with the other two girls on Thursday night in BrushfieldStreet, which is near Dorset Street, when a man, wearing a tall hat and a black coat, came up to her and said, “Willyou come with me.” She told him she would not, and asked him what he had in the bag, and he said, “Something theladies don’t like.” He then walked away. A man’s pilot coat has been found in the murdered woman’s room, but whetherit belonged to one of her paramours or to the murderer has not been ascertained. A NEW THEORY AS TO THE MURDERSAn important fact transpired last evening which (says the Press Association) puts a fresh complexion on the theory ofthe murders. It appears that the cattle boats bringing live freight to London are in the habit coming into the Thameson Thursdays or Fridays, and leave again for the Continent on Sundays or Mondays. It has already been a matter of com-ment that the recent revolting crimes have been committed at the end of the week, and an opinion has been formedthat the murderer periodically appears and disappears with one of the steamers. This theory, according to informationobtained by a Press Association reporter, is held to be of much importance by those engaged in this investigation, whobelieve that the murderer does not reside either in the locality or even in this country at all. It is thought that he maybe either a person employed upon one of these boats, or one who is allowed to travel by them, and inquiries have for some time been directed to following up the theory.The discovery of Mary Kelly’s body by Thomas Bowyer BLOODHOUNDS AND THE MURDER The non-appearance of the bloodhounds yesterday is accounted for by the fact that, during recent trials in Surrey, the animals bolted, and, it is understood, have not been recovered. THE VIGILANCE COMMITTEE The Whitechapel Vigilance Committee, who have recently relaxed their efforts to find the murderer, have called a meeting for Tuesday evening next to consider what steps they can take to assist the police. LIST OF THE EAST END MURDERS Seven women have now been murdered in the East End under myste- rious circumstances, five of them within a period of eight weeks. The following are the dates of the crimes and names of the victims as far as know:- 1. Last Christmas week, an unknown woman found murdered near Osborne and Wentworth Street, Whitechapel. 2. August 7 — Martha Turner found stabbed in 39 places on a landing in model dwellings known as George Yard Buildings, Commercial Street, Spitalfields. Ripperologist 97 November 2008 91
  • 93. A rather inaccurate contemporary illustration of the opening of the door of number 13 Miller’s Court. The lock of the door was actuallyprised opened with a pick axe handle and not smashed down with a sledge hammer. 3. August 31 - Mrs Nicholls murdered and mutilated in Bucks Row, Whitechapel. 4. September 7 — Mrs Chapman murdered and mutilated in Hanbury Street, Whitechapel. 5. September 30 — Elizabeth Stride found with her throat cut in Berner Street, Whitechapel.6. September 30 — Mrs Eddowes murdered and mutilated in Mitre Square, Aldgate.7. November 9 — Woman murdered and mutilated in Dorset Street, Spitalfields. Another Whitechapel murder! That is the horrible announcement which was made yesterday. Another unfortunatewoman has been slain, and has, it seems, been even more horribly mutilated than were the women who were killed atthe end of September. In this case the murder has been perpetrated in the room occupied by the sufferer. It must havebeen committed between midnight and eleven o’clock yesterday morning. It is stated that the woman, whose namewas Mary Jane Kelly, was seen going towards her house with a man sometime about midnight, and about eleven o’clockyesterday morning, or shortly after that hour, the discovery that she had been murdered was made. The descriptionswhich are given of the condition of the body are horrible beyond measure. The perpetrator of the crime seems to revelin bloodshed. He has slashed and gashed his victim as, it might be thought, no one in human shape could. So far, thereseems to be every reason to believe that the crime has been committed by the same hand that committed the previ-ous murders. In those cases he killed his victims in the street; in this case he has gone with her to her room, and theretaken her life. It may be that he has found the watchfulness in the streets too close to be evaded, and has thereforeadopted his new tactics. If this be the case, the fact only shows how resolute he is in the pursuance of his murderouswork. He is carrying on a war with one unfortunate class, and that war is relentless. Moreover, he finds the best fieldfor his horrible work in the Whitechapel district. There have not been murders elsewhere since he began them in thatlocality. He goes about his work with caution. There was a murder, close to the spot where the one of yesterday wascommitted, on the morning of the 9th September. Two more murders were committed on the morning of the 30thSeptember. In the first case the alarm died down sooner, and perhaps the watchfulness became less, so that he foundit possible to do more murder three weeks afterwards. Since the last two murders nearly six weeks have passed away, Ripperologist 97 November 2008 92
  • 94. and now again a woman is killed. In every case it has been plain that the assassin used his knife suddenly, and in sucha manner that the victim could make no outcry. In the present instance he must have done the same. The cry of awoman in a room in a crowded tenement must have been heard; yet no one who can be trusted has come forward tosay that he or she heard such a cry. It seems as if the murderer, when he once got the confidence of his victim, couldbe certain to kill her without any alarm being given. That he is possessed of anatomical skill seems to be as certain asthat he is possessed by a homicidal mania. His madness is not without restraint, save when he has killed his victim andis revelling in his brutalities. He keeps a watch on the police, and knows exactly when and where he can strike withthe least risk. He must be intimately acquainted with the district in which his horrible work is done, and with the habitsof the unfortunate women whom he makes his victims. Many stories were current in the Whitechapel district yester-day as to a man of suspicious actions; but these do not help much in the tracking of the fiend. They may or may notbe true. If they are true, then either the assassin is becoming less careful or has some ready means of changing hisdress and appearance. Sir Charles Warren has complained of the criticism of the police as hindering them in the trac-ing of criminals. Beyond all doubt there is ground for his complaint. Many of the criticisms of the London press havebeen panic stricken and foolish. But if the force under Sir Charles’s command cannot discover the perpetrator of allthese murders; if they fail to trace him after this his latest atrocity, there will be reason for hostile criticism. The prob-lem to be solved is one of terrible interest; it cannot be solved without careful and intelligent study. That it should besolved is a necessity, if there is to be any sense of security in our large cities, and especially in London.New York Tribune10 November 1888London, Nov. 9. The Whitechapel murder fiend has added another to his list of vic- Dr Thomas Bondtims. At 11 o’clock this morning, the body of a woman, cut intopieces, was discovered in a house on Dorset street, Spitalfields. Thepolice are endeavoring to track the murderer with the aid of blood-hounds. The body was mutilated in the same horrible manner as werethose of the women murdered in Whitechapel. The appearance of the body was frightful, and the mutilation waseven greater than in the previous cases. The head had been severedand placed beneath one of the arms. The ears and nose had beencut off. The body had been disembowelled and the flesh was tornfrom the thighs. Certain portions of the body were missing. Theskins had been torn off the forehead and cheeks. One hand had beenpushed into the stomach. The victim, like all the others, was a fallen woman. She was mar-ried and her husband was a porter. They had lived together at inter-vals. Her name is believed to have been Lizzie Fisher, but to mostof the habitues of the haunts she visited she was known as MaryJane. She had a room in the house where she was murdered. Shecarried a latch key and no one knows at what house she entered thehouse last night, and probably no one saw the man who accompa-nied her. Therefore it is hardly likely that he will ever be identified.He might easily have left the house at any time between 1 and 6 Ripperologist 97 November 2008 93
  • 95. o’clock this morning without attracting attention. The doctors who have examined the body refuse to make any statement until the inquest is held. Three bloodhounds belonging to private citizens were taken to the place where the body lay and placed on the scentof the murderer, but they were unable to keep it for any great distance, and all hope of running the assassin down withtheir assistance will have to be abandoned. The murdered woman told a companion last evening that she was without money, and would commit suicide if shedid not obtain a supply. It has been learned that a man, respectably dressed, accosted the victim and offered her money. They went to herlodgings on the second floor of the Dorset street house. No noise was heard during the night, and nothing was knownof the murder until the landlady went to the room early this morning to ask for her rent. The first thing she saw onentering the room was the woman’s breasts and viscera lying on a table. Dorset street is short and narrow, and is situated close to Mitre square and Hanbury street. In the House of Commons today Mr Conybeare asked the question whether, if it was true that another woman hadbeen murdered in London, General Warren, the Chief of the Metropolitan Police, ought not to be superceded by an offi-cer accustomed to investigate crime. The question was greeted by cried of “Oh! Oh!” The Speaker called, “Order” Order!” and said that notice must begiven of the question in the usual way. Mr Conybeare replied: “I have given private notice.” The Speaker - The notice must be made in writing. Mr Cunninghame-Graham then Asked whether General Warren had already resigned, to which Mr Smith, theGovernment leader, replied, “No.” This last addition to the number of terrifying murders in the Whitechapel district makes the ninth victim who hasbeen butchered under the same mysterious circumstances. The first Whitechapel murder occurred about a year ago.No notice was taken of the crime as the victim was a fallen woman, and it was supposed to be nothing uncommon thatsuch a deed should be committed in such a locality, where the vilest resorts of London are located. The victim was buried in the Potter’s Field, and little effort Mary Kelly’s inquest was made to discover the murderer. The sec- ond murder did not occur till August 7 last, but it was undoubtedly the work of the same hand, the woman being mangled and mutilat- ed in a peculiar manner. The police made some unusual efforts to find the murderer this time, but without success. The excitement caused among the people of the East End over this second crime had hardly begun to subside then a third woman was found murdered under the same revolt- ing circumstances, on the morning of August 31. The victims were all of the same class of fallen women. Then a panic of horror and fear began to seize upon the people of London, especially among the class which the unknown fiend seemed to single out for his Ripperologist 97 November 2008 94
  • 96. awful work. This panic was intensified by the murder of a fourth woman eight days later. This time the woman wasbutchered in the backyard of No. 29 Hanbury street, not 100 yards from the place where one of the former victims wasmurdered. On a wall above the mangled body were written these words: Fifteen before I surrender. The police were now thoroughly aroused, but all efforts to track down the monster proved unsuccessful. Scarcelyhad they begun to relax their efforts before the murderer struck again, killing his fifth victim on September 23, atGateshead, near Newcastle on Tyne. On September 30, at 1 o’clock in the morning, the sixth murdered woman wasfound in Berners street, Whitechapel, but the murderer had probably been frightened away, as the body was not muti-lated as in all the other cases. Fifteen minutes after discovering the sixth body, the seventh was found in Mitre square,Whitechapel. This time the murderer had completed his work for the body was mutilated as in the other five instances.On the day following, the eighth body was found on the Thames Embankment in the Whitechapel district. This last vic-tim, however, had been dead for some time when found. This series of atrocities rapidly succeeding each other created the wildest excitement in London, and the clamoragainst the police officials for their failure to find the fiend was great. The London papers devoted many columns tothe murders, and many suggestions as to the method of finding the murderer were advanced. Bloodhounds were usedwithout effect by the police. People who live in the Whitechapel neighborhood came forward and gave descriptions ofa shabby genteel man with a wild look in his eyes who had been noticed in the vicinity and had been seen with someof the murdered women. The papers were full of descriptions of him and it is supposed that the length of time whichhas elapsed since his last victim fell was due to the murderer’s desire to let the excitement subside so that he couldresume his awful work in safety. According to his legend on the wall above the body of the Hanbury street victim, therestill remain six unfortunates to fall before the mysterious murderer.Decatur Daily Republican13 November 1888 A Connecticut Man, After Reading of Jack the Ripper, Kills His Wife,While Asleep, With an Axe Mrs Ellen Cooper, aged thirty two years, was found by a servant girl in bed yesterday morning, with her head badlycut with an axe. The weaponwas found lying on a pillow, covered with blood. The woman’s husband is a harness maker,and had been working in a shop in Meriden. He came home two weeks ago and said he was out on a strike. His wifemistrusted his statement, and wrote to the firm. They replied that he had been discharged for neglecting his work, andthat if he would return he would be given work. Mrs Cooper urged him to go back, saying that she could not supportthe family. Cooper was drunk Friday and Saturday, but sober Sunday. He prepared to go back to work. Her had quarrelled with his wife, and had been reading an account of theWhitechapel murder, and was greatly excited. She told a neighbor that he would fix her before Monday morning so shewould not trouble him any more. On Saturday night Mrs Cooper went to the post office and showed an open letter,claiming that the letter had been opened at the post office. The postmaster said that the letter was in perfect order when he passed it out to her little boy as few momentsbefore. She was greatly excited, and made some insulting remarks, drawing quite a crowd. The murderer was arrested in Middletown yesterday morning. He gave the letter to the chief of police, acknowl-edged the killing of his wife and said that the letter justified the act, as it was from a prominent businessman in EastHampton and showed that his wife was unfaithful. Cooper is in jail. He says he was sober when he committed the deed. He went to bed with the axe handy and wait-ed until his wife was asleep. He then got up and struck her a blow which stunned her, and then finished the work withthe edge of the axe. When he was satisfied that she was dead, he fled and was arrested as previously stated. Ripperologist 97 November 2008 95
  • 97. Decatur Daily Republican15 November 1888 The London Police Secure a Clew to the Whitechapel MurdererEnglandA Clue for the PoliceLondon, Nov. 14. The hopes of the police of catching the Whitechapel murderer, which had almost entirely died out, were raised tothe acme of buoyancy yesterday in consequence of testimony at the Kelly inquest of George Hutchinson, a groom whohad known the victim for some years and who saw here with a male companion shortly before two o’clock on the morn-ing of the murder. Hutchinson testified that he saw a well dressed man with a Jewish cast of countenance accost thewoman on the street at the hour mentioned on Friday morning and the circumstances of his acquaintance with herinduced him to follow the pair as they walked together. He looked straight into the man’s face as he turned to accom-pany the woman, and followed them top Miller Court out of mere curiosity. He had no thought of the previous murders,and certainly had no suspicion that the man contemplated violence since his conspicuous manifestations of affectionfor his companion as they walked along formed a large part of the incentive to keep them in sight. After the couple entered the house Hutchinson heard sounds of merriment in the girl’s room and remained at theentrance to the court for fully three quarters of an hour. About three o’clock the sounds ceased and he walked into thecourt, but finding that the light in the room had been extinguished he went home. During the hour occupied in standingat the entrance to, or promenading the court, he did not see a policeman. There is every reason to believe Hutchinson’sstatement, and the police place great reliance upon his description of the man believing that it will enable them to runhim down. The witness who testified Monday to having seen the woman enter the house with a man with a blotched facewas evidently mistaken as to the night, as his description of her companion is totally unlike that of Hutchinson’s in everyparticular. The bulk of the evidence taken fixes the time of the murder at between half past three and four o’clock. Ittranspired yesterday that in addition to the facial mutilation of the murdered woman, the uterus was wholly and skilful-ly removed and laid in a corner of the bed. Miller’s Court and the front of 26 Dorset Street — The People newspaper London, Nov. 14. The police consider they are on the track of the Whitechapel murderer. Two witnesses at the inquest yesterday described the appearance of the man seen going into the house with the Kelly woman shortly before the killing, the descriptions being almost identical. Ripperologist 97 November 2008 96
  • 98. Decatur Morning Review19 November 1890 PUT BEHIND BARS Arrest of Dr Tumblety at Washington City He is A Suspicious CharacterWashington City, Nov. 18. Dr Francis Tumblety, who is known to the police of all the large cities of America and Europe, and who was underthe surveillance of the Scotland Yard force when the Jack the Ripper excitement was at its height, was arrested in thiscity Monday night on the charge of being a suspicious character. At the station the doctor was searched and a largenumber of valuables were secured from him, amounting in worth to several thousand dollars. In his pocket was a pam-phlet containing the names of a number of prominent men both in this city and elsewhere, and he also carried a let-ter from a well known congressman. The testimonials were chiefly devoted to elaborate praise of the doctor’s character. In the pamphlet the doctor hadan article of printing to the charge advanced against him by the London authorities and spoke of his escape from thevilifying statements of the newspapers.Frederick News20 November 1888 The Whitechapel Murderer Was in Frederick The Baltimore Sun of today refers to the arrest of Dr Francis Tumblety in London as the supposed Whitechapel mur-derer. That paper also refers to the fact that Tumblety at one time resided in Baltimore, San Francisco, Cal., andWashington. As usual The News man is always on the alert, and after a turn around the city gleaned the following facts:Dr Francis Tumblety opened up an office in this city where Mr Charles Kuesmaul now has his tobacco and cigar store,on Court street, about the close of the war for the purpose of curing blood diseases, pimples &c., arising from disor-ders of the blood. The doctor was a very eccentric man, having for a sign a skeleton head and whilst out riding alwayshad a greyhound following him. He dressed in a very eccentric manner also, and answers the description of the manreferred to in Baltimore and other places. The doctor whilst here also represented himself as an Indian Doctor fromLondon.Frederick News24 November 1888 A MYSTERIOUS ENGLISHMAN He is Charged with Murders and Looks Like Jack the RipperNew York, Nov. 24. A mysterious man, who admits that he is travelling incognito, was arrested as he alighted from the steamer Wyoming.He was a steerage passenger and registered the name of James Shaw. He was arrested on a cablegram from England tothe British consul general, Mr. Hoare. The cablegram asked that steerage passenger James Shaw be detained, as he was James Pennock, of Pickering, NorthRiding, Yorkshire, England, and that he had murdered his wife on Nov. 7. Shaw protested his innocence and declared that he had kissed his wife goodbye Nov. 9 at Leeds, near which town Ripperologist 97 November 2008 97
  • 99. he lived. He was going west and had $5. He was lodged in Ludlow street jail pending further instruction from England. Shaw fully answers the description of Jack the Ripper and there was in his pocket a paper containing an illustrated account of the Whitechapel horror, and the rumor spread that the Whitechapel murderer was a prisoner in New York. But Marshal Bernhardt pumped his prisoner in his own peculiar way and satisfied himself that Shaw as not the Ripper, nor the Yorkshire wife killer either. Shaw admits that it is an assumed name - he real name is Heddington - but he declines to say who he is travelling incognito. He cannot read nor write, and is rather confused in his accounting for the presence in his pocket of the newspaper containing the Whitechapel story. Morning Oregonian 26 November 1888 Jack the Ripper A private person living near Nottingham has received a letter signed ‘Jack the Ripper and Pal’ stating that both the writer of the letter and Jack committed the recent murders in the Whitechapel district. Jack is a Bavarian whom he first met aboard a ship returning from America and who exercised a mesmeric influence. Manitoba Daily Free Press 29 November 1888 Dr Tumblety, who has gained some considerable notoriety in connection with the Whitechapel murder, is well known in Ottawa. He at one time was spoken of as a candidate in opposition to late T. D’Arcy McGee. He took great pride in showing what purported to be letters from Emperor Napoleon III, the Duke of Wellington and all the eminent people of Europe on his ability and the reason of friendship which existed between the writers and himself, but he was very ret- icent on his escapades in the Maritime Provinces and as to how he was drummed out of a Quebec village near Montreal. His life in Canada would fill a large volume of adventures, thrilling in interesting but too demoralizing for publication. Loretta Lay Books Over 200 Jack the Ripper and associated titles on the website Colville/Lucano Jack the Ripper h/b £25 Chisholm/DeGrazia/Yost The News from Whitechapel, softcover, signed by Yost/Begg (wrote Foreword) £30 Dew (Ex-Chief Inspector Walter) I Caught Crippen, 1st edn. £350 Dew (Ex-Chief Inspector Walter) I Caught Crippen, 1st edn. £450 Eddleston (John J.) Jack the Ripper An Encyclopedia, h/b £50 Evans/Rumbelow Jack the Ripper Scotland Yard Investigates, signed new hb/dw £20 Gordon (R. Michael) Alias Jack the Ripper, softcover £20 Haynes/Schachner Jack the Ripper, Or The Crimes of London, new facsimile hb/dw signed andMAIL ORDER ONLY numbered £7024 Grampian Gardens, Holgate (Mike) Jack the Ripper The Celebrity Suspects, new softcover £10London NW2 1JG Jones/Lloyd The Ripper File, hb/dw £60Tel 020 8455 3069 Lynch (Terry) Jack the Ripper The Whitechapel Murderer, new p/b £ Marriott (Trevor) The Evil Within, new p/b signed £ Palmer (Scott) Jack the Ripper. A Reference Guide, h/b £25 Punch, Or the London Charivari June - December 1888 h/b £120 Raper (Michell) Who Was Jack the Ripper? p/b numbered limited edn. £75 Robinson (Tom) The Whitechapel Horrors, p/b Daisy Bank facsimile £20 Sims (George R.) My Life, (Presentation copy to Marshall Hall) h/b £200 Stewart (William) Jack the Ripper, 1st edn. £750 Stewart (William) Jack the Ripper, 1st edn. £900 Whittington-Egan (Molly) Doctor Forbes Winslow, signed hb/dw £35
  • 100. All the news that’s fit to print...I Beg to Report NEWLY RELEASED BROADMOOR FILES PROVIDE SPOT- LIGHT ON THOMAS HAYNE CUTBUSH. The opening to the public of century-old files from Broadmoor maximum security hospital near Reading, Berkshire, has led to a scurry of activity among Ripperologists. The researchers are keen to find out what they might tell us about suspect Thomas Hayne Cutbush and other possible suspects such as James Kelly. The documents are now available to be viewed on request by researchers at Berkshire Record Office in Reading, and to coincide with their release, an exhibition on Victorian Broadmoor has opened at Reading Museum (see ‘Dear Diary’). Was Cutbush ‘Jack the Ripper’? It seems unlikely The entrance to Broadmoor Asylum although the case of the disturbed young man who was sent to Broadmoor after a series of stabbing incidents iscertainly intriguing. He is at the least a key figure in Ripper history because his case led to Sir Melvin Macnaghten writ-ing his 1894 memoranda to the Home Office. As Ripperologists know, in those memoranda, Sir Melville discussed three other men he said were leading suspectsand therefore more likely to have been the Ripper than Cutbush. The named men were Montague John Druitt, AaronKosminski, and Michael Ostrog. He also stated that the evidence indicated that five of the murders were definitely com-mitted by the same hand. The opening of the files will shed ‘invaluable light’ on Cutbush’s role in the Ripper murders stated David Bullock,who is writing a book on Cutbush, The Man Who Would Be Jack. Bullock stated, ‘Cutbush really is the number one sus-pect. He was a known psychopath and his family actually suspected him of having something to do with the killingsbecause of his strange behaviour.’ Bullock added, ‘He was nocturnal, would spend the day studying medical books and would often spend the nightwalking the streets of London and would come home covered in mud and blood. There is all sorts of evidence that pointto him as the killer but I have never seen any evidence that rules him out.’ Macnaghten’s memoranda were written as notes for Home Secretary Sir Henry Matthews follow revelations aboutthe Cutbush case in The Sun newspaper. Although the newspaper did not name the suspect, the details of the casedescribed clearly pointed to Cutbush. The newspaper claimed that Cutbush’s defence team believed he was the Ripper, and possessed evidence of his guiltin the Ripper case. This evidence was not shown to the court because Cutbush was sectioned. Since Cutbush was anephew of a leading officer at the Metropolitan Police, Superintendent Henry Cutbush, the implication was that thetruth about the murders was being covered up. Bullock said Cutbush ‘was never put forward as a suspect by the police. Imagine the uproar if the public had found Ripperologist 97 November 2008 99
  • 101. out that he was a suspect, and that his uncle was a senior member of the Met.’ Two years later, in 1896, Superintendent Cutbush shot himself in front of his daughter, leading to the idea that insan-ity ran in the family.‘Broadmoor files could unmask Jack the Ripper. For more than a century, the identity of Jack the Ripper has eludeddetectives and historians.‘ By Wendy Moore and Ben Leach Daily Telegraph, London, UK, 8 November THE INSANITY OF THOMAS HAYNE CUTBUSH. Accordingto the medical notes on Cutbush he was ‘very insane’—adanger to the staff, other patients and even to his moth-er. The newly released files from Broadmoor high securityhospital note that Cutbush was convinced that otherswere plotting to harm him. He apparently fantasisedaloud about getting his hands on a knife so that hecould ‘rip’ the staff and patients. The implication thathe could have been the Ripper based on such outburstsis clear. Prior to his arrest and incarceration, Cutbush livedin Kennington, south London. He was born on 29 June1864. His father died when he was young and he was Lambeth Infirmarybrought up by his mother, Kate, and her sister. Cutbushworked as a clerk until 1888, about the time of the Ripper crimes, he went insane. His death certificate says that hedied from ‘cronic [sic] kidney disease’ – although the document attributes his insanity to ‘heredity and overstudy’. Theassumption is that he had syphilis. Cutbush was sent to Lambeth Infirmary in early 1891 suffering from delusions. He escaped and stabbed one womanthen attempted to stab a second. The medical notes state, ‘Through the carelessness of the attendant he escaped.Smeared his face with mud so as to avoid detection. Came home at midnight.’ At his trial in April 1891, the jury concluded that Cutbush was insane. Notes on him made before his arrival inBroadmoor state that he ‘Is dazed and at times incoherent, strange and shifty in appearance. Has ideas of persecution,specially against Lord Grimthorpe’. Cutbush wrote to Edmund Beckett Denison, Lord Grimthorpe (1816–1905), a lead-ing London jurist of the day, demanding action on his case, but then decided that Grimthorpe was involved in the con-spiracy against him. We understand that the Broadmoor file on Cutbush contains 26 documents on his case. Cutbush proponent DavidBullock and other researchers hope that the documents may provide fresh clues which could link the suspect to theRipper crimes. The papers include admission details, medical notes on his behaviour, documents relating to his deathand a letter from the hospital medical superintendent to Cutbush’s mother. They are also understood to include detailed descriptions of Cutbush which appear to match eyewitness accounts ofthe Ripper. In one document, he is described as having ‘brilliant blue eyes’ and a limp, similar to a description provid-ed by a witness who may have seen the murderer. The medical notes state that ‘His aunt, Clara Hayne, says at times he has been violent or destructive, breaking glassand chandeliers. He has at times said he is poisoned and has refused all food except what she would prepare for him.’In May 1891, an attendant wrote: ‘At 8.20, I was talking to Gilbert Cooper in the gallery. Cutbush came up and with-out a word struck Cooper a violent blow in the face.’ Another report warned: ‘Thomas Cutbush told Att. [attendant] Ripperologist 97 November 2008 100
  • 102. Slater at dinner twice that he would stick a knife into any of us if he had one.’ Days later, night attendant Bailey reported: ‘[Cutbush] was using some very disgusting and threatening language: saidthat if he had a knife suitable for the job he would rip up the Atts or anyone else that upset him as soon as look at them.’ Cutbush even threatened his mother, who visited him in April 1903, two months before he died. As they left, ‘MrsCutbush tried to kiss her son. He tried to bite her face and then commenced to swear at them’.‘Madman’s notes throw new light on Ripper case. The medical records of a key suspect finally go public, 117 years afterhe was locked up.’ By Andy McSmith. The Independent, London, UK, 18 November RIPPEROLOGISTS LOOK FORWARD TO GAINING ACCESS TO BROADMOOR FILES. Ripperologists who have requested per-mission to review the Broadmoor files on Thomas Hayne Cutbush in the past have been denied access. One suchresearcher, Richard Jones, author of Jack the Ripper: The Casebook, said Cutbush was ‘hugely important’ to the waythe police investigation unfolded. Jones said that Cutbush was interviewed by detectives about the Ripper murders after his arrest for the stabbingincidents but ruled out of the frame, because police were not able to place him in the Whitechapel area at the timethe crimes occurred. The Broadmoor records, opened on 18 November at Berkshire Record Office, in Reading, date back to the hospital’sopening in 1863. The records are expected to provide rich material not only to Ripperologists but also to historians,genealogists, and criminologists alike. The decision to open the records to the public followed requests under Freedom of Information legislation, whichtook effect in 2005. Only records more than 100 years old will be available to view. Records on living patients such asPeter Sutcliffe, the Yorkshire Ripper, remain confidential. The Broadmoor archives were originally transferred to Berkshire Record Office in 2006 but have taken two years tosort and catalogue with funding from the Wellcome Trust. Archivists say that as well as containing new information oninfamous Victorian killers, the files provide fascinating insights into the medical care, welfare, and social activities –often ‘surprisingly rich and liberal’ - of numerous forgotten individuals incarcerated in Britain’s first criminal asylum.Ripperologists are aware that besides the information on Cutbush there will be records on other patients who commit-ted violent crimes around the time of the Ripper murders, and thus might be candidates for having been the Ripper.Among them is James Kelly, subject of the book by the late James Tully, Prisoner 1167. The Madman Who Was Jack The Ripper. Kelly was committed to Broadmoor after mur- Berkshire Record Office dering his wife in 1883 but escaped in 1888, making it possible that he could have committed the Ripper murders. Kelly remained at large until 1927 when he returned voluntarily to Broadmoor, where he died two years later. The Broadmoor files can be viewed by appointment with Berkshire Record Office. The record office is located on the western edge of Reading town centre, on the corner of Coley Avenue and Castle Hill/Bath Road (A4). Ripperologist 97 November 2008 101
  • 103. CAMPAIGN TO MAKE BRICK LANE A TRAFFIC-FREE ZONE. Restaurant owners and shopkeepers in the East End’s Brick Lane have joined the East London Advertiser’s campaign to transform the famed ‘beigel and curry mile’ into a pedestri- an-only market area. Other businesses in the area are not pleased with the idea and have threatened to begin a peti- tion against banning traffic. The East London Advertiser say that the campaign to pedes- trianise ‘has been sparked by complaints from restaurants and bars about Tower Hamlets Council clamping down on their tables, chairs and other street furniture taking up space on the narrow pavement.’ The argument is that ’pedestrianising A Brick Lane curry house Brick Lane wouldn’t seem out of place now’ given the changes that have already been made to the neighbourhood. Part of the argument against making Brick Lane all-pedestrian is that it would further destroy the area’s uniqueatmosphere. Historically, Brick Lane was the industrial heart of the East End. The area was dominated by the chimneyof Truman’s brewery, and there was also a pickle factory as well as garment ‘sweatshops’ characteristic of the East Enda century or more ago. Now the area is becoming gentrified. The Advertiser noted, for example, that ‘the old brewery has been trans-formed into a complex of trendy bars, fashion houses, craft shops, coffee shops, and art studios. ‘ The newspaper asked a sample of 25 shops what they thought of banning traffic. The answer was that ‘Most agreed,the boutiques and designer jewellers as well as a Bangladeshi corner sweetshop. It would improve the shopping expe-rience. But opinions are divided. Wholesalers and traders depending more on customers arriving by car fear it wouldliterally “drive” trade away.’ Leroy Hamilton, owner of Mendoza’s which stocks a mix of modern and vintage clothing, stated, ‘PedestrianisingBrick Lane would create the same atmosphere as Brighton. It would help get rid of pollution and be good for business,especially at weekends. It is definitely the future.’ Ian Bodenham and Ian Johns, co-owners of the Hunky Dory vintage clothing boutique were in favour, providing they stillhad a means of receiving deliveries. Bodenham said, ‘Many people treat ‘The Lane’ as if it was pedestrianised and it kindof looks that way already. . . . The restaurants have had a hard time with the council ordering them to remove their tablesand chairs. It was the way the Town Hall went about it as well. We hadn’t been told anything about the clearing up oper-ation and had just had a sandwich board specially made when they came and told us we could no longer display it outside.’ At Rajmahal Sweets, manager Mohammad Islam complains that the vehicles spoil the street. ‘There are too manycars and too many horns,’ he told the Advertiser. ‘It would be better for trade if we had some more car parking spacesnearby, instead of cars driving through here.’ At the famed Beigel Bake, co-owner Amnon Cohen is opposed to a ban on traffic. He said the business relies on carcustomers through the night when the Underground is not operating. ‘We’re open 24 hours-a-day and many customerscan only come by car,’ explained Cohen. ‘Parking is already difficult. So if there are plans for pedestrianising Brick Lane,then we’ll start a petition against it.’ Also opposed to making the lane traffic free is manager Ahmed Munir of Bashir and Sons leather wholesalers. He saidhis business has already suffered from parts of the street being closed during roadworks and building the new EastLondon Line railway bridge. Munir stated, ‘Pedestrianising is a horrific idea. We’re hoping that once Brick Lane reopensafter all the works, our trade will improve when drivers can come through again. We’re already in a recession and alot of businesses round here will close if pedestrianising goes ahead.’ Ripperologist 97 November 2008 102
  • 104. Pub landlady Ann Butler of the Pride of Spitalfields in Heneage Street, off Brick Lane, has collected 1,000 signatures against the council’s crackdown on busi- nesses with street furniture. ‘Beigels and curry—but real Brick Lane issue is “dri- ving” traders mad,’ East London Advertiser, 28 October 2008 lets/advertiser/news/story.aspx?brand=ELAOnline& category=news&tBrand=northlondon24&tCategory =newsela&itemid=WeED28%20Oct%202008%2022%3A4 1%3A08%3A880 Brick Lane market SOUTH AFRICAN ‘KEI RIPPER’ STONED BY CROWD. A man suspected to be a serial killer in the Butterworth area ofEast Cape province was attacked by a mob and is now fighting for his life according to the Daily Dispatch of East London,South Africa, on 29 November. Butterworth police spokesperson Captain Jackson Manatha said the so-far-unnamed man is in critical condition atFrere Hospital. The suspect is believed to have committed four murder-mutilations and to have been involved in twounsuccessful attacks, including the attack on a Butterworth area man that led to his arrest. The Daily Dispatch reported, ‘The suspect was stoned by angry residents on Thursday morning [27 November] afterhe attacked Mvuleli Mdolo, who was walking home with his neighbour Mkalowu Makhwenkwe on a bushy footpath nextto an old railway station at Madiba informal settlement. ‘The suspect confronted Mdolo with a toy gun and demanded his genitals. Mdolo refused and offered his cellphoneinstead. In a scuffle the suspect drew a knife. Makhwenkwe screamed for help and villagers rushed to the scene wherethey assaulted the assailant.’ The first attack by the ‘Kei Ripper’ occured on 12 October. The victim, nine-year-old Vika Nqwiliso of Mcucuso Villagenear Butterworth had been picking wild fruits when he was brutally butchered in front of his friends. He slit the boy’sthroat and ordered the children to remove the victim’s intestines. The killer took away with him parts of the child’s body. On 24 October, the body of an unidentified man was found in the same area. His eyes, heart and private parts hadbeen cut out. On 31 October, the body of Nobijolo Dulini, age 75, was found dumped near the local shop, with her ear, tongue andparts of her face missing. Police believe Dulini was murdered Butterworth, South Africanear the Colosa River. Police spokesman Captain JacksonManatha stated, ‘Her T-shirt with blood around it was foundnext to the river and her body was pulled to the open veld,seemingly so that she could be seen.’ On 3 November, the body of a fourth victim, a man was foundmetres away from where Dulini’s body had been dumped inTurtura Farm Forest near Centane. His heart, genitals, and botheyes had been removed.‘Ripper Suspect Still Critical.’ By Bongani Fuzile, DispatchOnline, East London, South Africa, 29 November 2008‘Woman, 75, may be third victim of ripper.’ By Siya Miti,Dispatch Online, 4 November 2008 Ripperologist 97 November 2008 103
  • 105. MAN WHO SURVIVED ATTACK BY SOUTH AFRICAN ‘KEI RIPPER’ TELLS HIS TALE. Macebo Langeni, age 41, of Butterworth,East Cape Province, claims to have survived a shocking encounter with the vicious ‘Kei Ripper’. He told his story to theEast London Daily Dispatch. Langeni said he was walking home through a wooded area on a gravel road on 4 November when, he said, ‘I saw thisman running towards me. He had a knife and was saying “there’s my parts, there’s my parts.” I laughed at him, think-ing he was just joking, then I realised he was talking about my private parts. He wanted to cut off my private parts.’The would-be victim threw an empty beer bottle at the ‘Ripper’. He missed but the two men grappled in a life-or-deathstruggle. At first Langeni didn’t realise he was grappling with the man who is believed to have committed four murdersin the area in the past two months. The attack on Langeni was one of two unsuccessful attacks. Langeni said, ‘He pushed a knive into my trousers. Something in my mind told me that this may be the Kei Ripper.’He began to realise that his attacker matched a police identikit picture of the Kei Ripper, describing the man as ‘lightin complexion and had short dreads.’ The desperate struggle apparently lasted for a whole hour. Langeni explained, ‘We kept on wrestlin’ and he kept ongrabbing my privates.’ Eventually, the suspect ran away. The down and dirty battle left Langeni with a face wound and bleeding profusely from a stab wound in the head. He said he tried to follow the man, but realised his life was in danger. Some villagers found him and took him to thenearest village. Langeni said: ‘I nearly lost my life. It was a brush with death—I was lucky.’‘I Survived the Kei Ripper.’ Daily Dispatch blog, East London, South Africa, 11 November ‘JACK’ HORROR SHORT WINS INTERNATIONAL AWARD. An award at the Marbella International Film Festival has broughtattention to a 34-year-old British film director for a Jack the Ripper-themed horror movie. Thames Ditton, Surrey, res-ident Rupert Bryan scooped the award for best short film with the 12-minute thriller ‘Bloodline’. Bryan has had previous success directing the Australian prime time television show ‘The Steph Show’ , and the actiondocumentary ‘The Great Escape Cannonball Run.’ Bloodline stars Christopher Cazenove (‘Judge John Deed’) and Melanie Gutteridge (‘The Bill’). It ‘tells the hair-rais-ing story of an encounter between a Jack the Ripper-walk tour guide and a writer and culmi- Rupert Bryannates in a blood-soaked shocking finale.’ Mr Bryan said, ‘We tried to keep it simple in terms of special effects but the major onecomes in the final scene. I have always wanted to do a head chopping and that’s how we fin-ish the film. I won’t say which of the two main characters gets decapitated, though!’ To findout more, visit The director is now looking for financing for a longer horror film. He said his productioncompany, Motion Picture House, has ‘everything in place for a feature film called Donors. It’sa bit like Nip/Tuck meets Psycho and involves taking organs from the bodies of pretty women.We just need to attract some more funding before we can go ahead.” Last month, Mr Bryan was in New York, where Bloodline was entered in the Gotham FilmFestival. He is hoping to get more investment from the United States.‘A horror hit takes on the world.’, 29 October, Ripperologist 97 November 2008 104
  • 106. ‘JOCK THE RIPPER’ AT SCOTTISH HALLOWEEN WEDDING. Mark Robinson and Tammy Wilson set the date of their wedding as 31 October because they had met at a Halloween party. For the Dundee wedding, Mark was garbed as Jock the Ripper and Tammy dressed as Fifties pin-up Bettie Page. At the Halloween-themed marriage all the participants were dressed up for the occasion. The couple were wed by a dark hooded figure while comic, horror, and children’s TV show characters watched on. The new Mrs Robinson wore a black leather wedding dress and black gloves. While Mark as the Ripper wore top hat, cloak, and kilt. He also carried the Ripper’s stereotypical bag and a blood-soaked knife. Also in attendance were Grotbags (aka the bride’s grandmother,Margaret Wilson), a demonic jester (best man Darren Revill), and Freddy Krueger (the bride’s cousin Shaun Anderson), theJoker, Dr Who, Tinkerbell, Cruella de Ville, Iron Maiden’s Eddie, and various zombies, vampires and fallen angels. The new husband told the BBC Scotland news website that Halloween was the perfect time to get married—and not darkor strange as some might think. He explained, ‘Me and Tammy met six years ago at Halloween and we just thought, “whynot?” It’s something a bit different.’ His new wife added: ‘We’re both horror fans and we thought it’d be really cool to get married on Halloween. Tammyadded, ‘I didn’t want a traditional white wedding and he didn’t want a traditional white wedding so we decided fancydress was the best option and it has been proved that yes it was.’ Registrar Grant Law said: ‘It’s a great idea and great fun. It’s the first time we’ve had a Halloween wedding, it’s thefirst time I’ve had to participate in a themed wedding.’ He added, ‘Halloween’s a time for celebration, its a time forfun, it’s not a morbid celebration at all, it’s not about death it’s about life.’‘Scary guests at Halloween wedding.’ By Denise Glass, Tayside reporter, BBC Scotland news NEW RIPPER NOVEL. Accoding to a press release Columbia City, Indiana, resident Stacy Blair’s debut novel, Ripper,‘is a suspense-filled thriller ripped out of the pages of the history books. The unsolved 1888 crime of Jack the Ripperhas eerily reared its ugly head one hundred years later.’ The story, originally set youknow where, has been transposed to ‘The town of Pepperton, a mid-sized city thatis the mirror image of the Whitechapel area of London. . . is thrust into the lime-light. The town is gripped with fear as innocent women are brutally murdered. Thenames of the victims parallel the names of Jack the Ripper’s victims. ‘This spellbinding tale follows a group of friends as they unwittingly becomeentangled in the tragic, vicious murders of women in their town. One in the grouphas implausibly been fingered as a suspect, and the men work feverishly to clear hisname and discover the real serial killer. ‘As secrets are uncovered, will the loyalty of the friendship survive the stress oftheir extraordinary mission?’ We are told that the novel is ‘a Smart, Gripping Tale of Crime and Passion.’Perhaps one of our readers would like to assay it and send us a review?Eloquent Books website, Publishing Press Release, 10 November Ripperologist 97 November 2008 105
  • 107. HOLMES VERSUS THE RIPPER (AGAIN) IN NEW COMPUTER GAME. Per the press release, ‘Frogwares Studio and FocusHome Interactive are pleased to reveal the very first screenshots of Sherlock Holmes vs. Jack the Ripper, the new gamethat will be released for PC in March 2009. Recognized as one of the best adventure game franchises and applauded bythe press around the world, Sherlock Holmes is back with probably the series’ most terrifying investigation. In thegame, the player will launch into a hunt for the most dangerous serial killer in England’s history: Jack the Ripper.’Check out the Sherlock Holmes game website at More of the manufacturers’ blurb, ‘The year is 1888, and the setting is London’s Whitechapel area, where a horri-ble series of crimes has taken place in this East End district. The bodies of several women who have suffered horriblemutilations have been found. The police have been having a hard time finding a serious lead as the murders continue,creating paranoia and terror in the streets. Sherlock Holmes sets out to find clues in the dark, gloomy streets ofWhitechapel, following a macabre trail of the one that the press calls Jack the Ripper. During this terrifying adventure,Sherlock will attempt to shed some light on the mystery that shrouds the identity and motive of the one who hidesbehind this terrifying nickname.’ Sherlock Holmes vs. Jack the Ripper ‘will offer players two different 3D view modes, a third-person view in the pureadventure game point & click style and a first-person view. The player will be able to play in one or the other mode oreven combine them for greater immersion in this terrifying adventure. The player will also be able to use a unique newsystem for piecing together crimes in order to test hypotheses as the investigation progresses, in order to find the ter-rifying serial killer’s bloody trail.’‘Sherlock Holmes vs. Jack the Ripper,’ press release from Games Press. www.frogwares.com—jack-the-ripper-victorian-themed-beat—em-up—or-possibly-adventure UNCLE JACK THE BADGER. We end with a warm and fuzzy story, sort of. Ha ha. We learn that a ‘special baby’—a rare honey badger—has been born at Johannesburg Zoo in South Africa. Born on 6 November,the baby is the zoo’s first honey badger cub. There have been other births, but none of the cubs survived more than a day. The baby is described as ‘No bigger than a human fist, it spends its time curled up in its mom’s lap, but has a largereputation to live up to. Honey badgers are regarded as the most fearless of all animals. Even lions and leopards willnot ordinarily attack adult honey badgers, known for their ferocity.’ Reflecting this reputation for ferocity are the names given to the zoo’s three adult Aint he sweet?honey badgers: Bedlam; her mate Mayhem; and the cub’s uncle, Jack the Ripper. The zoo’s carnivore manager, Dominic Moss, explained, ‘Pound for pound,[honey badgers] don’t take any grief from anyone. Their loose skin alsomakes it difficult for predators to catch them. If you grab them, they justturn in their skins and take your hand off.’ The honey badgers pleasure (and, naturally, the origin of their name) isthat they love to destroy beehives. For this reason, they are sometimeskilled by beekeepers.‘Little parcel comes with big reputation.’ By Kanina Foss, The Star,Johannesburg, South Africa, 20 November Ripperologist 97 November 2008 106
  • 108. Dear DiaryThe Secret World of Victorian Broadmoor at Reading Museum8 November 2008 to 22 February 2009On Tuesday, 18 November, the Victorian archives from Broadmoor maximum security hospital were made avail-able for research for the first time at Berkshire Record Office (see ‘I Beg to Report’). In partnership with theopening to the public of the files is an exhibition at Reading Museum, featuring stories from the archives.The Record Office encourages researchers and other interested parties to ‘visit the Museum of Reading to seeour Broadmoor exhibition, celebrating the completion of the first part of our Broadmoor project. View docu-ments and artefacts never before seen by the public, in an exhibition that reveals the lives of the patients, doc-tors and other staff of Broadmoor Hospital. Explore daily life inside the asylum, and discover more about patientsincluding William Chester Minor the “Surgeon of Crowthorne”, and Richard Dadd, murderer and celebrated artist.For details of what is in the Broadmoor archive please contact Berkshire Record Office at note that only records for patients who died over 100 years ago are currently available for research.’Reading Museum is located at The Town Hall, Blagrave Street, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 1QH. Tel: +44 (0)118 9399800, Fax: +44 (0)118 939 9881. and Learn: reading old handwritingHampshire Archives and Local StudiesWinchester, Hampshire5 December 2008First Friday in the month, 1pm-2pm Free, informal session reading old handwriting (English). You are welcome tobring your lunch and eat as you go along as well as any documents you have been struggling to decipher.Held at Hampshire Archives and Local Studies, Hampshire Record Office, Sussex St, WinchesterSO23 8TH. For more information, telephone 01962 846154 or email ChristmasRochester, KentSaturday and Sunday, 6–7 December 2008Turn off the television, forget the mobile and journey back to a Rochester that is alive with the life and worksof Charles Dickens. Street entertainment, readings, song and dance will fill the streets that the author explored,as a child and in his later years. Leaf the pages as you walk, meeting familiar characters and reliving favouritestories. Take in the sights and sounds of an era that both inspired and troubled Dickens. Or simply warm yourselfby the hearth of a traditional Christmas, including a candlelit parade, guaranteed snowfall and a carol concertin the afterglow shadows of the magnificent castle and cathedral.For full details of the weekend’s festivities, download the brochure (pdf, 2,875KB at - you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you do not have it on your computer, please usethe advice page.)For further information contact: email ; telephone: 01634 843666; fax: 01634847891, or write to Medway Visitor Information Centre, 95 High Street, Rochester, Kent ME1 Ripperologist 97 November 2008 107
  • 109. The Changing Face of VictoriaThe State Library of Victoria328 Swanston Street, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.Revisit Victoria’s early years, see Ned Kelly’s armour and discover Melbourne stories in this fascinating exhibi-tion. This exhibition brings together historical artefacts, photographs, drawings, maps, letters and diaries totell the stories of the people, places and events that have shaped life in Victoria over the past 200 years.Time: 10am–5pm daily. Venue: Dome Galleries, Level 5, State Library of Victoria, 328 Swanston Street,Melbourne, Victoria, 3000, Australia. Telephone: +61 3 8664 7000.True Crime: Murder & Misdemeanor in Australian ArtGeelong GalleryGeelong, Victoria, AustraliaNovember 2008 to 1 February 2009An exhibition of works inspired by true crimes and their perpetrators. True crime - murder and misdemeanourin Australian art explores the long-standing interest of Australian artists in depicting criminal activity, from theearly-1940s to contemporary times. Includes works by Albert Tucker, Sidney Nolan, Charles Blackman, ThomasGleghorn, Brett Whiteley, Garry Shead, Steve Cox, Adam Cullen, Nick Devlin, Freddie Timms, Timmy Timms,Patty Bedford, Catherine Bell, Damiano Bertoli, Mark Hilton and Richard Lewer. Geelong Gallery.No admission fee. Geelong Gallery, Little Malop Street, Geelong 3220, Australia. Telephone + 61 3 5229 3645.Upcoming: Life in the Workhouse: An Exhibition by Tessa Towner6th February 2009 to 31 March 2009Medway Archives and Local Studies CentreRochester, KentMedway Archives and Local Studies Centre is located at the Clocktower Building, Civic Centre, Strood,Rochester, Kent ME2 4AU, UK. Telephone: 01634 332714; fax: 01634 297060; Do you know of an event happening soon? Please let us know! Email us at Ripperologist 97 November 2008 108
  • 110. Book ReviewsEl Monstruo de Londres: La Leyenda de Jack el DestripadorGabriel PomboMontevideo, Uruguay: Artemisa Editores, 2008Softcover, 261 pp.,US$ 16. If any proof were needed of Jack the Ripper’s standing as a universal bogeyman, it couldbe readily found in the number of books on his times and crimes which see print everyyear. Furthermore, a significant number of these books come from outside the countrywhere the Ripper perpetrated his atrocities and are written in languages other than thatin which his sinister sobriquet was first heard. In recent years alone, fiction and non-fic-tion works on the Whitechapel murders were published in France, Germany, Italy,Nicaragua, Spain and Sweden. Some of these countries have a link, how ever tenuous, tothe murders; some have their own tradition of serial killing. Uruguay has neither. Yet thiscountry, long regarded as the most stable democracy in Latin America, can now boast thefirst book-length examination of the Whitechapel murders in the Spanish language. Uruguayan author Gabriel Pombo has set himself an ambitious agenda and, to a remarkable extent, succeeds. Onthe surface, El Monstruo de Londres follows the pattern of previous books on the subject, being divided into an assess-ment of the social background emphasising the contrast between Cockney poverty and Imperial wealth, a factual nar-rative of the murders and the police investigation and an evaluation of the various suspects, to which is added a com-parison of Jack the Ripper with modern serial killers. Yet Pombo follows a path of his own, dipping at length into thesubjects that most interest him and touching only slightly upon the rest. He offers more a guided tour of the Rippermurder, complete with asides, quotations and winks addressed to the reader, than a hefty, scholarly tome. AsMonstruo’s comprehensive English and Spanish bibliography shows, Pombo has consulted both old warhorses such asLeonard Matters’s The Mystery of Jack the Ripper, Edwin Woodhall’s Jack the Ripper: When London Walked in Terrorand William Stewart‘s Jack the Ripper: A New Theory and recent works by Stewart Evans, Keith Skinner, PatriciaCornwell, Charles van Onselen and Deborah Mac Donald, and quotes often, at length and eclectically from many ofthem. Nor does he neglect works of fiction and supplements his sources with Alan Moore’s From Hell – the graphic novel- Robert Bloch’s Night of the Ripper and John Brooks Barry’s The Michaelmas Girls whenever they can help him to pres-ent a more rounded view of some obscure aspect of the case. Pombo starts Monstruo with an examination of the conditions in the East End, but he does not linger over them.Instead, he breezily disposes of the subject in a few paragraphs with spare room for a quotation from the famous let-ter attributed to George Bernard Shaw and, within slightly more than a page, he is already getting on with the crimesthemselves. The following chapter deals with a chapter on the Ripper as a media icon, assessing both the role of thepress and the impact of the many letters attributed to the killer. This chapter also features an account of the Goulston Ripperologist 97 November 2008 109
  • 111. Street Graffito and appearances by such diverse killers as Dr Petiot, Albert Fish and Belle Gunness. The heart of thebook, however, is devoted to the suspects. Chapter III starts out with Patricia Cornwell’s theories regarding WalterSickert as the Ripper. Before long, however, Pombo proves once again his eclecticism by citing in the same chapter ColinWilson and Robin Odell’s Jack the Ripper: Summing Up and Verdict, From Hell, Mrs Belloc Lowndes, Hitchcock, DrThomas S Stowell, Joseph Gorman Sickert, Stephen Knight and an array of suspects: Druitt, Prince Eddy and JamesStephen. The next chapter is about James Maybrick, the presumed author of the Ripper diary, but Pombo doesn’t gotoo far into the narrative without recalling the fake diaries of Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini and Howard Hughes. ChapterV, devoted to conspiracy theories, sees the return of Stephen Knight, Alan Moore and Dr Stowell, this time accompa-nied by Colin Wilson (again), Deborah Mac Donald and Robert Lees. For good measure, it also offers a glimpse into theCleveland Street Scandal. Next, it’s Mad Jack’s turn: Thomas Cutbush, the Macnaghten trio (Druitt, Ostrog andKosmisnski) and a parade of mentally unbalanced killers including Isenschmid, Deeming, Cream and semi-fictitious DrStanley. Another delightfully desultory chapter looks at the female Rippers proposed by Arthur Conan Doyle and WilliamStewart, followed by real-life killers like Mrs Pearcey and George Chapman and the suspects recently named by TrevorMarriott, Tony Williams and Charles van Onselen. To complete his infamous list, Pombo introduces even Pedachenko,who was most probably born of journalist William Le Queux’s fervid imagination. Perhaps unable to procure a copy ofLe Queux’s overpriced memoirs, he has recourse to Donald Mc Cormick’s and Robert Bloch’s takes on the archetypalmad Russian. Only Francis Tumblety and Roslyn D’Onston fail to join this noteworthy if notorious company (thoughapparently they materialize in Pombo’s just published second volume of Ripper musings, Jack el Destripador. La leyen-da continúa). In a last chapter, Pombo evaluates Jack the Ripper as a serial killer in the light of modern murderers suchas Andrei Chikatillo and the Zodiac. The book is not entirely without flaws, though most of them could probably be laid at the door of copy editors andproof-readers rather than the author’s. The present reviewer found himself, however, disagreeing with a specific state-ment. In page 28, Pombo, a practicing solicitor, writes: ‘There could be no doubt that [the Ripper] would have beenexecuted, since death by hanging was, under the legislation then in force, the fate that the law and the society underattack reserved for that sadistic character.’ This reviewer believes that such assertion is unwarranted, for the simplereason that the Ripper escaped capture and, as a result, little or nothing is known about him, his personality or hismental condition. Had the Ripper been caught, he might or might not have been able to stand trial, and if he had, hiscounsel would most probably have pled insanity in accordance with the Mcnaghten Rules. Had this defence succeeded,he would have been declared not guilty by reason of insanity and ended his life, not at the gallows but at an institu-tion for the criminally insane. To sum up, those who look for new theories or ground-breaking research won’t find them here. While reviewing andassessing the main theories on the Ripper and presenting fairly and objectively the reasoning of their proponents, Pombosagely refrains from endorsing any of them. Nor does he finger improbable new suspects. His wide-ranging and enjoy-able book is for the Spanish-speaking reader who, comparatively new to the Ripper case, wants to acquire some basicknowledge before dipping further into it, or for the completist who aspires to own every single tome ever published con-cerning the elusive killer who vanished forever one chilly morning in 1888. Neither of them would be disappointed. Ripperologist 97 November 2008 110
  • 112. King Arthur’s Round Table in the Great Hall of Winchester Castleas photographed by Andrew Spallek in 2008.