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5 Questions With : Edward Stow

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  • 5 Questions With : Edward Stow

    The Forums thanks Edward for his assistance and answers !

    When did your interest in the Whitechapel Murders begin and what was it that attracted your interest?

    Like many my interest was sparked by the Barlow and Watt program in the early 1970s.
    I later lived in the East End for about 20 years and got very interested in local history, and kept cuttings about Jack the Ripper.
    I thought the case would never come close to being solved as there was no sensible viable suspect until the Lechmere theory came to my attention. I also know the East End Lechmeres. As I’m a history graduate and I work as a researcher so it suited me to engage in further research.

    2. What are your impressions of the police efforts up until the Mackenzie murder?
    Given their experience and the prejudices which naturally governed their thinking, I suppose you would have to say they did their best, and it is a bit unrealistic to claim that anyone could have done better. They were prisoners of their age. Also, the culprit, no matter who he was, had to have been very lucky.
    You can point to individual slackness, stupidity and so forth in little matters, but I don’t it made that much difference.

    3. Do you think Alice Mackenzie was a Ripper victim?

    Yes. I take it as a presumption that all the attacks, including the non fatal ones, should be put down to the Ripper, unless there is a very good reason not to.

    4. Prior to preferring Charles Lechmere as a suspect, who, if anyone, had been your preferred suspect?
    Aaron Kosminski. However there are certain problems with him being the culprit.
    · If he was such a strong police suspect then why were they so misinformed about his fate? They showed a terrible negligence in not getting the facts confirmed.
    · I find it incredible that no reference to who he might be is contained in his medical file.
    · I don’t think an overtly mad person could have committed the crimes.

    5. What sources do you recommend to aspiring researchers?

    I am lucky as I live near London.
    Visiting the area and getting used to how close the locations are to each other and the scale of the street scenes is very important.
    I like Tower Hamlets Local History Archive – there are a lot of untapped resources there and they are very helpful. I also quite frequently visit Tower Hamlets Registry Office. The death certificates of the victims are on the wall.
    The London Hospital Museum is interesting with the Mitre Square inquest maps and sketches.
    I also regularly use the London Metropolitan Archive.
    I have also used the Hereford and Kent records offices, the National Archive in Kew, the London School of Economics Library (which holds the Booth papers) and I have had access to all of Pickford’s historical records.

    6. Do modern profiling techniques affect your thinking in studying this 125 year old case?

    Yes. I think it is very arrogant to think that modern experts can tell us nothing.
    I view the Whitechapel Murders as a fairly standard serial killing spree (if you can have such a thing). We should take what has been learnt about such crimes and apply it to this one.
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