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Old April 13th, 2016, 08:04 AM   #1
Kattrup
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Default Mayor Kattrup accuses Szemeredy 1892

I'm not sure if this has been posted before - I don't think I've seen it online - so apologies if it is.

This is a letter to the press about Szemeredy's arrest, in which Mayor Kattrup of SorÝ, Denmark, writes about his suspicions that Szemeredy was Jack the Ripper. It was printed in at least two Danish papers on the 5th of October 1892, the one below is from the paper Aarhus Stifts-Tidende. In the following days, several other papers printed notices about Kattrup's theory.
I've not located it in print earlier, but I've seen it mentioned that Kattrup's letter was from the 4th.

This letter was the reason Carl Muusmann went and interviewed Mayor Kattrup, and afterwards wrote about his theory, going into some detail about Szemeredy's life. The result was one of the earliest ripperology works: Hvem var Jack the Ripper?, Copenhagen 1908 - translated into English 1999 by Adam Wood.

An interesting letter:
Mayor Kattrup of SorÝ, who in his time led the investigation into the Philipsen-murdercase, has sent "The paper" the following:

In the Copenhagen morning papers of today I have seen that the Austro-Hungarian police have arrested a person named Alois Szemeredy, who, besides being suspected of some murders and more in Vienna, is also assumed to be identical to the much discussed Jack the Ripper, and, it is added, it has so far not been stated what this last suspicion is based upon.

Nevertheless the police are surely on the right track this time. I have assumed already for almost a year that Szemeredy was the Whitechapel-murderer, and have expressed this assumption to many here in town and in Copenhagen. In order to gather material for a lecture in defence of our criminal court procedures, I read through quite a number of volumes of "Der neue Pitaval", and amongst the therein summarised foreign court cases I found, I think it was in volume for 1887, a description of a murder of a woman in Buenos Aires, of which the aforementioned Szemeredy was accused, but after a brilliant defence was acquitted.

It was immediately clear to me that Szemeredy had perpetrated not only that murder, but most likely also the Whitechapel-murders, but, before I contacted the English police, I wished to see the exact details (die Thatsache) of these, which I only knew from loose reports in the papers, but an attempt to obtain them through a Danish man resident in London failed, and I put the case on hold.

The English police, who in their troubles have supposedly suspected butchers, river pilots, even a chinese, can now presumably rest on their laurels, the crimes of "Jack the Ripper" have come to an end.
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Old April 13th, 2016, 03:40 PM   #2
Howard Brown
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Thanks very much, Kattrup....this is excellent work. Thanks for sharing it.
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