Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Another look at the 'Dear Boss' letter

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Another look at the 'Dear Boss' letter

    http://www.thetext.co.uk/cgi-bin/vie...s%20Letter.txt

  • #2
    'I wonder whether others will agree with me if I say that the first part of this sentence 'I keep on hearing the police...' somehow leads us to expect reference to a third person, i.e. 'him', 'the Ripper', etc.'

    A third! What happened to the second? The problem here is that it all rather depends on how the person writing the letter was hearing it in his head. For example, an accentuation on the word 'I' could - possibly - be interpreted as if the writer is referring to someone else apart from him(although it's still rather shaky). The trouble is is that there is no way of telling how the writer wished the words to be heard. An accentuation on the word ‘on’ (as in ‘I keep on hearing the police have caught me’), makes it sound as if he’s gloating and getting slightly bored with continuously hearing the police boasting he’s been caught all the time - especially when he knows he hasn't. Presumably , then, what they are saying is that if the letter started ‘Dear Boss, Keep on hearing the police have caught me’, the third person rule would be out of the window.

    It all boils down to the fact that if this letter is a forgery then, naturally, whoever wrote it would be pretending to be the murderer, thus talking about himself anyway. Equally, if this was written by the murderer then, again, he would be writing about it from his own perspective. Including other people would not enter his head. The whole letter reads as it should, i.e. "I (that is me - the murderer) keep on hearing the police have caught me."

    'I also wonder about the detail, for example claiming to have placed the blood in a ginger beer bottle. Why tell us this?' Why tell us this? Also, why tell us that he was trying to get the ink off his hands?'

    Why not? Is my response to this. Yes, it does sound a tad unnecessary but we are all individuals and we are all capable of doing, saying and writing odd things.

    'I really don't understand the need for that comment. I would think it is the natural instinct of a criminal, especially a high profile individual like the 'Ripper' to give as few details as possible.'

    True...but he is hardly giving out his name and address, is he?

    I think, in reflection, that most people have made far too much of the Dear Boss letter. When I first viewed it (more years ago than I care to remember now), I was actually struck by how insignificant it looked. This neatly-crafted letter that I had been told had been created by a journalist trying gull the police was, in fact, just an ordinary looking letter, written in a half decent script that actually deteriorates towards the end. (probably for no other reason than his hand was getting tired.) In my opinion, if I was a journalist looking to create a headline-grabbing letter, I would be far more likley to make it look like the Lusk letter than anything else. At least that looks as if it's come from some kind of a nutter.

    Tempus

    Comment


    • #3
      Probably irrelevant, but I'll say it anyway...it would be nice to know whether there was a precedent to a bogus letter, as many view the Dear Boss letter, being written by a journalist that was passed off as legit...
      What sort of person could fabricate something on that level and not take credit for it years later ?
      What sort of ostensibly normal person would write something like Dear Boss...a letter written to scare the shit out of the beholder....and not come forward and say, "Gotcha !"

      It didn't benefit one specific newspaper...and I know the counter argument that it was sent to the 'right" place to get maximum coverage which someone will probably add to the thread....
      To Join JTR Forums :
      Contact Howard@jtrforums.com

      Comment


      • #4
        Best

        Hello Howard.

        "What sort of person could fabricate something on that level and not take credit for it years later ?"

        Best was supposed to have done just that.

        Cheers.
        LC

        Comment


        • #5
          LC, thanks for mentioning Best.

          I recall someone writing an article ( or maybe it was the Andrew Cook book...get it ? "cook" book" ?) about Best being behind the letter.
          But, as you said...'supposed'...that was one person's hearsay that he did.
          True, he may have written it...but as time marches on, it encourages me to consider what type of person would do something like that.
          To Join JTR Forums :
          Contact Howard@jtrforums.com

          Comment


          • #6
            hands

            Hello Howard. Thanks.

            Most likely Cook's book. Story is that he hired a graphologist to compare Best's hand to the "Dear Boss." She claimed that the words/letters of one could be laid upon the other--perfect match.

            Wish she were a forensic document examiner.

            Of course, I have samples of Moore, Bulling, Hurlbert and even Piggott--Piggott is closest, but no cigar.

            Cheers.
            LC

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Lynn Cates View Post
              Hello Howard. Thanks.

              Most likely Cook's book. Story is that he hired a graphologist to compare Best's hand to the "Dear Boss." She claimed that the words/letters of one could be laid upon the other--perfect match.

              Wish she were a forensic document examiner.

              Of course, I have samples of Moore, Bulling, Hurlbert and even Piggott--Piggott is closest, but no cigar.

              Cheers.
              LC
              Unfortunately, the Dear Boss letter is written in a particularly standardised Victorian handwriting (I think the red ink tends to throw some people on this point); as such, there would undoubtedly be a multitude of people (including Bulling etc.) whose writing shared the same characteristics as the famous missive. One example is the clerk who copied out the Maybrick 'Blucher' letter. If you look at his handwriting there are remarkable similarities with the Dear Boss letter, but this, of course, does not mean that he actually wrote it .

              Personally I have never believed that the Dear Boss letter was written by a newspaper man. And nor, for that matter, do I believe that it was the first time the pseudonym 'Jack the Ripper' was used. But that's another debate altogether.


              Tempus

              Comment


              • #8
                letters, etc

                Hello Tempus. Thanks.

                Yes, you are quite right about similar hands. But the best indicators are not letter formation, but rather slope, slant and margin. Many writers are unaware of these.

                Cheers.
                LC

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Tempus omnia revelat View Post
                  Unfortunately, the Dear Boss letter is written in a particularly standardised Victorian handwriting (I think the red ink tends to throw some people on this point); as such, there would undoubtedly be a multitude of people (including Bulling etc.) whose writing shared the same characteristics as the famous missive. One example is the clerk who copied out the Maybrick 'Blucher' letter. If you look at his handwriting there are remarkable similarities with the Dear Boss letter, but this, of course, does not mean that he actually wrote it .

                  Personally I have never believed that the Dear Boss letter was written by a newspaper man. And nor, for that matter, do I believe that it was the first time the pseudonym 'Jack the Ripper' was used. But that's another debate altogether.


                  Tempus
                  Actually, one of the things that gets me about so many writers who have suspects is the way they rely on the Ripper letters to "nail" their suspect. They don't seem to realize that those letters are themselves "suspect" excuse the pun and probably not from the killer.

                  Chris
                  Christopher T. George, Lyricist & Co-Author, "Jack the Musical"
                  https://www.facebook.com/JackTheMusical/ Hear sample song at https://tinyurl.com/y8h4envx.

                  Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conferences, April 2016 and 2018.
                  Hear RipperCon 2016 & 2018 talks at http://www.casebook.org/podcast/.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Tempus omnia revelat View Post
                    In my opinion, if I was a journalist looking to create a headline-grabbing letter, I would be far more likley to make it look like the Lusk letter than anything else. At least that looks as if it's come from some kind of a nutter. Tempus
                    And by the same token, if I was an enterprising killer looking to get my jollies, I'd be more likely to use, as you say, Standardized Victorian script!

                    Wouldn't you?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Chris G. View Post
                      Actually, one of the things that gets me about so many writers who have suspects is the way they rely on the Ripper letters to "nail" their suspect. They don't seem to realize that those letters are themselves "suspect" excuse the pun and probably not from the killer.

                      Chris
                      Hi Chris,

                      Of course they are suspect; You are quite right in that respect. The problem I have with the 'suspect' label, however, comes not from calling them suspect because we do not know the killers identity - and, therefore, cannot possibly know if any of the letters were written by him - but from the reason that seems to hold sway nowadays: There is no way our killer would have wasted his time writing such things. Which apart from being an incredibly rash thing to say - especially in an investigation where you have absolutely no idea who he was - it also goes against everything that we have learnt about the killer.


                      Tempus.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Sanfran View Post
                        And by the same token, if I was an enterprising killer looking to get my jollies, I'd be more likely to use, as you say, Standardized Victorian script!

                        Wouldn't you?

                        More than likely.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Tempus omnia revelat View Post
                          Hi Chris,

                          Of course they are suspect; You are quite right in that respect. The problem I have with the 'suspect' label, however, comes not from calling them suspect because we do not know the killers identity - and, therefore, cannot possibly know if any of the letters were written by him - but from the reason that seems to hold sway nowadays: There is no way our killer would have wasted his time writing such things. Which apart from being an incredibly rash thing to say - especially in an investigation where you have absolutely no idea who he was - it also goes against everything that we have learnt about the killer.


                          Tempus.
                          Hi Tempus

                          You are of course correct that we don't have a clue as to who the killer was, which makes it very hard to make generalizations. However, as I have remarked before, it's possible that, despite the letters and the graffito, it's possible that the only message the killer ever left was the murders themselves.

                          All the best

                          Chris
                          Christopher T. George, Lyricist & Co-Author, "Jack the Musical"
                          https://www.facebook.com/JackTheMusical/ Hear sample song at https://tinyurl.com/y8h4envx.

                          Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conferences, April 2016 and 2018.
                          Hear RipperCon 2016 & 2018 talks at http://www.casebook.org/podcast/.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Chris G. View Post
                            Hi Tempus

                            You are of course correct that we don't have a clue as to who the killer was, which makes it very hard to make generalizations. However, as I have remarked before, it's possible that, despite the letters and the graffito, it's possible that the only message the killer ever left was the murders themselves.

                            All the best

                            Chris
                            I completely agree that probably the only message the murderer ever left was the crimes themselves; but it is his behaviour at these murder scenes that makes it even more likely that he sent letters to the police.

                            Apart from the first (although we cannot be sure) and the third [because he did not have time(?)] killings our murderer carried out deliberate acts at each site. Any person who commits horrendous attrocities such as these, and yet seconds later is able to carry out deliberate acts on seemingly innocuous items must have a reason for doing so. It is this reason that is key as to why it is indeed possible for our killer to write letters such as ones recieved by the police.

                            True, matching said killer to individual letters is difficult (especially considering the lack of handwriting samples), but it is not impossible, and it should certainly not be discouraged as if there is absolutely no chance of it succeeding. Especially as we all inhabit a field of study where said evidence is so thin on the ground.


                            Kind regards,


                            Tempus

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              JtR has to be placed in the same category as Zodiac and Son of Sam and the Washington Snipers. All of them killed multiple victims in public and/or urban areas and consistantly left their victims where they were killed or wounded.

                              All these spree/serial killers corresponded with the media or police or left their calling card...

                              More than one exception doesn't come readily to mind. Anyone?

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X