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  • #16
    stunning

    Hello Howard. Thanks.

    I was a bit stunned myself. Perhaps it's all a mistake?

    Cheers.
    LC

    Comment


    • #17
      The Lusk Letter

      It is up to individuals who choose to research and write about this case to come to their own conclusions based on what extant evidence there may be. My opinion, like anyone else's, may be agreed with or not. That is up to the individual. With so much down to personal opinion and interpretation there is no wonder that we have the protracted, pointless and never resolved debates that we do.

      As regards the 'From hell (or Lusk) letter' we do, at least, have the opinion of two of the leading investigators of the time, McWilliam and Swanson. I believe that I have written all I need to write on this matter and I do not intend to become involved in fanciful theorizing. However, it may be helpful for anyone new following this thread to bear in mind the statements made by these two senior officers, the first from the City Police and the latter from the Met.

      According to McWilliam the section of kidney and the letter were taken, by Lusk, to Leman Street Police Station (Met Police). The section of kidney was forwarded to the City Police and was handed to the City surgeon (F. Gordon Brown) who had conducted the autopsy on Eddowes. The letter was sent to Swanson at Scotland Yard who was collating the written record on the murders. He loaned the letter to McWilliam so that the City Police could photograph it.

      Williamson duly had it photographed and returned the original to Swanson on 24 October 1888. This was the last known official mention of its whereabouts. Dr. Gordon Brown duly examined the kidney section. McWilliam decided that the letter and kidney section 'might...be the act of a Medical Student who would have no difficulty in obtaining the organ in question.' McWilliam also noted that 'Chief Inspector Swanson and I meet daily and confer on the subject', making it clear that there was good co-operation on the investigation.

      For his part Swanson noted that the portion of kidney and the letter had been taken by Lusk (after examination at the London Hospital) to Leman Street Police Station on 18 October 1888. He stated the kidney section 'was at once handed over to the City Police...' and detailed the result of the examination of the piece of organ. Swanson concluded that the kidney 'could be obtained from any dead person upon whom a post mortem had been made from any cause by students or dissecting room porter.'

      On the letter Swanson said, 'The postmarks upon the parcel are so indistinct that it cannot be said whether the parcel was posted in the E. or E.C. districts, and there is no envelope to the letter, and the City Police are therefore unable to prosecute any enquiries upon it' (emphasis mine). As the Metropolitan Police (and Swanson in particular) was handling the vast majority of letters allegedly from the murderer I, personally, do not find it surprising that the original letter was returned to Swanson.

      Swanson also noted the co-operation between the two forces, 'The remaining enquiries of the City Police are merged into those of the Metropolitan Police, each force cordially communicating to the other daily the nature and subject of their enquiries.'

      However, just because I see nothing untoward (given the foregoing) in the original Lusk letter being returned to Swanson, please don't let my opinion stand in the way of any fantasists, conspiracy theory addicts, or pure dreamers who wish to read their own ideas and conclusions into all this. Far be it from me to deny anyone wishing to explore his own speculation and theories.

      Comment


      • #18
        PS

        PS - Isn't a bit too much being made of a poorly detailed and random press report? Still in a case where there's not much new to talk about...

        Comment


        • #19
          Far too much Stewart,

          Far too much.

          Monty


          PS Said institutions have done a lot of excellent work over the years, including charitable work, which is a clear sign they are in league with the Devil.

          Comment


          • #20
            When I saw the article, I had to admit I groaned somewhat.

            When it comes to all things JTR, the press are as good at messing with our heads today as they have always been.

            Comment


            • #21
              The newspaper article relates to a report written by a member of the London Assembly. It can be found here:



              Unfortunately, it seems to hold no further information.
              DavidGB

              Comment


              • #22
                hoax

                Hello Stewart. Thanks.

                "Isn't a bit too much being made of a poorly detailed and random press report?"

                Well, I, for one make nothing of it. I read an article claiming that "From Hell" was to be put on display to raise money. Naturally, I was gobsmacked.

                If the reporter got it wrong, so be it. Would not be the first time one misreported on this case.

                As far as theories go, this letter does not now, nor ever has, touched any of mine. I have regarded it as a hoax from day one.

                Cheers.
                LC

                Comment


                • #23
                  quoting

                  Hello DGB. Thanks for posting that. Looks rather like the reporter may be quoting the letter without checking it out?

                  Cheers.
                  LC

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Indeed Lynn, plus - the fact that the crime museum links featured in the footnotes are out of date (404) - leads to questions over the report itself.

                    DavidGB
                    DavidGB

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Hello all,

                      I suspect that the authors of the Report simply looked at the Wikipedia entry for the Black Museum for background information:



                      While there's reference to "letters allegedly written by Jack the Ripper", there's no mention of the Lusk letter being held at the Museum.

                      Unfortunately, someone has uploaded an image of that letter for illustrative purposes and it would seem that it has been assumed the letter is part of the collection.

                      Adam

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by John Bennett View Post
                        When I saw the article, I had to admit I groaned somewhat.

                        When it comes to all things JTR, the press are as good at messing with our heads today as they have always been.
                        Indeed. Well said, John.

                        Stewart, thanks for providing the lengthy description of the handling of the Lusk letter and the piece of kidney by the Met and the City Police plus City Police surgeon Dr. F. Gordon Brown's examination of the kidney. Your blow by blow chronology of the known whereabouts of the letter and kidney in 1888 is most informative and appreciated.

                        Best regards

                        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


                        • #27
                          My Remark

                          My remark about a bit too much being made of this report was in respect of those who use it as another chance to take a pop at the police and officialdom and make other dark mutterings.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            plausible

                            Hello Adam. That is a quite plausible suggestion.

                            (Wiki is NOT the very best source.)

                            Cheers.
                            LC

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              taken aback

                              Hello Stewart. Thanks.

                              Then that does not include me as I have no claims to make about the Met.

                              Frankly, I'm taken aback as the rest. That is why I could not believe what I was seeing.

                              And if the REAL letter were in possession, surely it would have been tested by now at least for mitochondrial DNA?

                              Cheers.
                              LC

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                DNA

                                If the original letter were found I doubt that there would be any point in testing it for DNA, an expensive process I believe. For a start there was no envelope with the letter and no stamp has survived, the only real source for DNA being surfaces the sender may have licked.

                                As I understand it mitochondrial DNA would be virtually valueless for the following reasons - (i) It is not specific enough (unlike nuclear DNA) as it narrows down the field of possible donors to around 400,000. (ii) Any DNA trace found on the letter could have come from many contaminant sources after the letter was sent and even a saliva trace would be no good without continuity. (iii) Who, suspect-wise, would you compare any DNA with, and where would you get a suspect's DNA from anyway? (iv) The letter is probably a hoax and not from the killer.

                                Patricia Cornwell came up against these obstacles when working with the 'Openshaw letter' and there is no answer to them.

                                Comment

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