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  • Bulling & Moore...and Dear Boss

    Thread for discussion on the modern and contemporaneous belief that either Thomas Bulling or John Moore ( Manager of the Central News Agency ) may have been behind the "Dear Boss" letter.

    In the Littlechild Letter, J.G.Littlechild gives the modern Ripperologist insight as to whom the two leading CID officials,MacNaghten and Anderson,felt were possibly behind the "Dear Boss" letter in the first place.

    This is obviously nothing new....but I wanted to add this:

    Moore fired Bulling for his flippant telegraph regarding the death of Bismarck..."Bloody Bismarck is Dead..".... but to some perhaps it might seem smarter for Moore,had he been involved in any facet of the construction of the "Dear Boss" communication,might have wanted to keep Bulling a little closer to his vest if he had been involved with the letter....despite he himself having less than a decade to go at the CNA.

    Considerable interest and subsequent time/money was spent on the Dear Boss letter by the police in their efforts...and the reputation of Moore ( who retired in 1907 and took up animal husbandry (pigs) and farming in the west of England ) would have been jeopardized had Bulling "rolled over" on his boss.

    Which leaves Bulling and a motive.

    Just a thought here....why wouldn't Bulling want the notoriety of writing the Dear Boss letter,later on in life....after he was fired at the age of 50 in 1898 ? Why would he?

    Its been mentioned that there appear to be similarities between Bulling's handwriting and the Dear Boss letter.

    Your opinions and views please...where do you stand on either man being involved?

    Thank you.

  • #2
    Hi Howie

    I frankly find the supposed similarity between Bulling's handwriting and Dear Boss to be unpersuasive. I know that this is generally said. However, the handwriting in which Bulling copied the Dear Boss letter of 5 October for Williamson at Scotland Yard, shown on p. 36 of Jack the Ripper: Letters from Hell, is sufficiently unlike the writing in the 25 September Dear Boss letter to think the Dear Boss letter was written by someone else. Why does it have to be Bulling? If the Dear Boss letter originated in the Central News Agency, surely there was a whole office full of people who could have written it, Moore included, but also clerks -- and the careful handwriting in the first Dear Boss missive looks likes a clerk's hand. A possible scenario is, if Bulling and Moore were responsible, they got a clerk in the office to write the thing.

    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


    • #3
      Hi Chris,
      You make some important points here in response to How. I must admit I cannot share the views of the police at the time that these letters were probably written by "an enterprising journalist" such as Thomas Bulling or his boss John Moore- who Littlechild believed the most likely of the two to have written them.
      I agree too that it is "rather odd" that the journalist Sims,who would have been privy to the most salacious gossip from ,and had shared Macnaghten"s interest in ,the collection of just such memorabilia,would have been the one to be informed by Littlechild of the alleged scurrilous activities of one from his own profession.
      However my own thoughts on this matter hover around

      a]whether the handwriting of Bulling bears any similarity to the "Dear Boss" letter

      and

      b]whether such a man would have been at all likely to have composed such a letter.

      With regard to a]
      I am no handwriting expert but I myself,like you, can see very little similarity,even allowing for disguised handwriting,between the writing in the "Dear Boss"letter and Bulling"s long screed to the police----beyond that of traces of Victorian copperplate fashionable at the time.

      With regard to b]
      again this is only a personal opinion but it is based on a long association with journalists working both for Fleet Street rags and Reuter"s News Agency, that no journalist that I have ever met,drunk or sober, would have been likely to fake Jack the Ripper"s hand ,smudging the letter in blood etc knowing the police would be likely to eventually get hold of it.They are a cynical bunch in the main,quite enjoy making unkind comments about people etc but never in a month of Sunday"s would I think it at all likely they could be persuaded-or worse still have taken upon themselves, the task of concocting a spurious letter such as this, in the wake of these notorious murders,knowing full well they could serve heavy jail sentences if found out-let alone the humiliation and disgrace they would face from their readers.
      I am mindful too of the fate of Bullings contemporary Piggot,the Dublin journalist who we know did forge letters ,albeit for a very different reason.His disgrace was absolute and he topped himself as a result in 1889.
      Natalie

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi Nats

        You make a good point about the likelihood of whether Bulling did it. If the police knew it was him, why wasn't he prosecuted? Or maybe it was more that they thought it could have been him, but had no proof. It's all very well to make a statement, "we knew who it was all along" which sounds fine but it's hardly definitive. It is odd, however, as was remarked by George R. Sims ("Dagonet") himself at the time of the murders, that the Central News Agency was chosen to receive the letters, for who but a journalist would know to send the letters there? Maybe if it wasn't somebody at the CNA it was someone who knew about the journalistic trade, a hanger on or drinking buddy of the guys at the CNA conceivably.

        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


        • #5
          Again I respectfully disagree with this line of reasoning,Chris.The only personality likely to have sat down and carefully composed a series bogus letters of such a ghastly,callous nature in deliberately wonky handwriting,in my opinion anyway,would have been a criminally minded psychopath....such as the likes of Tumblety,maybe enjoying the added furore and attention they created.
          I did mention Sickert,who apparently rigged himself out in his studio from time to time in a dramatic red hat and cloak,redolent of the Ripper.....well maybe......but I doubt he would have composed these particularly horrendous epistles,culminating in the half kidney parcel.

          No,in my honest opinion,they were either penned by the Ripper or a clever psychopath.Don"t forget there are precendents-like The Black Dahlia Killer who ,very carefully, cut words out of newspapers to compose his horrid little messages ,each separate word cut out individually ,for the police.
          Best
          Natalie
          BTW The news agencies are very prominent in Fleet Street.Have a look next time you are over.Reuters has its name set in large stone letters over a big grand Victorian entrance.

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi All,

            I do think we are looking for someone with at least an emotionally disturbed and immature mind. The personal, professional or political gain from a stunt like this - personal jollies, more papers sold, authorities ridiculed and so on - has to be weighed against the serious grown-up trouble it would bring upon the author if he/she were identified.

            And I don't see a prankster volunteering his own handwriting to the police along with his anonymous prank unless he is almost unemployably stupid and tired of having a life and an income.

            Love,

            Caz
            X
            I wish I were two puppies then I could play together - Storm Petersen

            Comment


            • #7
              I am posting something i originally posted on Casebook.

              TIMES, 6th Oct 1895
              Attached Files

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Robert Linford View Post
                I am posting something i originally posted on Casebook.

                TIMES, 6th Oct 1895
                Hi Robert

                Thanks, I missed this story when you posted it on Casebook, so I am glad you have posted it here as well. A good find!

                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


                • #9
                  Thanks Chris. A minor matter : on just now searching for more Bullingiana, I was surprised to see that the date of the article was actually June 10th 1895. So, for some inexplicable reason, I must have adopted the American convention for dating when I filed it away two or three years ago.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hi Robert

                    You may have already found this out but the dignitary Bulling was apparently trying to see was Shahzada Nasrullah Khan, second son of the Emir of Afghanistan, Abdur Rahman Khan. The Shahzada had been sent by his father to pay his respects to Queen Victoria, which he did at Windsor on 27 May 1895. He left England on 3 September and arrived in Karachi on 16 October on his way back to Kabul. Also see Chronology: the reigns of Abdur Rahman Khan and Habibullah, 1881-1919.

                    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


                    • #11
                      Thanks for that, Chris.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Yes, well done, Robert
                        I had just found the report in The Times myself, and thought 'wow', checked to see if anyone else had found it, and blow me down me old mate Robert was there three years before me!

                        I thought it interesting that dear old Tom - Westcott I mean, not Bulling - reached the following conclusion on Bulling's involvement with the letters some considerable time ago in his dissertation on the subject:

                        'After reviewing the evidence it seems at least questionable that the 'enterprising London journalist' theory is correct.'

                        I wondered at the time when I first read this whether Tom realised that he was actually questioning the veracity of the Littlechild letter with his conclusion?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Chris has made a good and valid point concerning the exchange of information between Littlechild and Sims in 1913 concerning the activities of Bulling and the CNA.
                          I mean if Sims possessed the following insight into the Jack the Ripper letters in early October of 1888 then why the devil was Littlechild telling him about in 1913?
                          I think the horse had bolted long before this.

                          '
                          The fact that the self-postcard-proclaimed assassin sent his imitation blood-besmeared communication to the Central News people opens up a wide field for theory. How many among you, my dear readers, would have hit upon the idea of "the Central News" as a receptacle for your confidence? You might have sent your joke to the Telegraph, the Times, any morning or any evening paper, but I will lay long odds that it would never have occurred to communicate with a Press agency. Curious, is it not, that this maniac makes his communication to an agency which serves the entire Press? It is an idea which might occur to a Pressman perhaps; and even then it would probably only occur to someone connected with the editorial department of a newspaper, someone who knew what the Central News was, and the place it filled in the business of news supply. This proceeding on Jack's part betrays an inner knowledge of the newspaper world which is certainly surprising. Everything therefore points to the fact that the jokist is professionally connected with the Press. And if he is telling the truth and not fooling us, then we are brought face to face with the fact that the Whitechapel murders have been committed by a practical journalist - perhaps by a real live editor! Which is absurd, and at that I think I will leave it.'

                          That was written in 1888.
                          Is not the ending of the piece somehow familiar to us?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            And then in Sims writings about the case in September of 1888 we are able to find the following:

                            'Bismarck might come over here and chalk a rude name on Sir Morell Mackenzie's front door; '

                            Bismarck.

                            And in the same article Sims refers to 'one enterprising journal'.
                            Kinda neat that, I thought.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Hi AP

                              I think Bismarck died 10 years after the Ripper murders, so this would have been when Bulling made his faux pas.

                              Robert

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