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  • The resignation of George Lusk

    Lloyd's Weekly
    21 October 1888

    Yesterday Mr. G. Lusk, the chairman of the Vigilance committee constituted to assist in the discovery of the murderer of the unfortunates in East London, sent in his resignation, assigning as the reason the need of absolute rest, which he felt to be necessary after the worry and anxiety and horror he has experienced during the past few days. The treasurer and secretary have also announced their intention of resigning, on account of the lack of moral and material support they have experienced during their philanthropic efforts to benefit their fellow citizens.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Chris Scott View Post
    Lloyd's Weekly
    21 October 1888

    Yesterday Mr. G. Lusk, the chairman of the Vigilance committe constituted to assist in the discovery of the the murderer of the unfortunates in East London, sent in his resignation, assigning as the reason the need of absolute rest, which he felt to be necessary after the worry and anxiety and horror he has experienced during the past few days. The treasurer and secretary have also announced their intention of resigning, on account of the lack of moral and material support they have experienced during their philanthropic efforts to benefit their fellow citizens.
    Thanks for this valuable posting, Chris. This news story also puts into doubt whether Lusk really considered as a joke the package he had received with the letter and half a kidney as is often said.

    On the contrary, it sounds as if the incident was taken seriously by him, to the point that his health was threatened, forcing him to resign. Of course as reflected in the wording of this short news article, the parcel with the letter and piece of kidney was received by him "during the past few days"! So along with the strain of running the committee, receiving the parcel probably did not help.

    Chris
    Christopher T. George, Lyricist & Co-Author, "Jack the Musical"
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    Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conferences, April 2016 and 2018.
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    • #3
      Great find, Chris.
      Thanks for posting it.

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      • #4
        Damn straight this is a great find... proving once more that there is still gold in those newspapers, as this article definitely was overlooked until Chris spotted it.

        So much for the theories bandied about regarding Lusk being in on the kidney/letter and having it sent to himself.
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        • #5
          Thanks for the comments:-)
          Here is the original:

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          • #6
            So much for the big society eh.

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            • #7
              String:

              A little noise was made out of a theory that someone in the MEVC...in order to garner more attention to their cause...supposedly a character named Reeves...concocted a ruse and then so on and so on and blah, blah, blah with the bottom line being that the Lusk letter was a device of the Vigilance Committee...all speculative without a shred of evidence.
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              • #8
                The mention of the lack of moral and material support from other locals seems to suggest to me that there was an element of East End society working against the authorities trying to track down the killer, and at the height of the killings and after the From Hell parcel was received, it became too much for Lusk and his group. We already know how much many of the lower class despised the authorities and, even in such a time of crisis, well-meaning efforts by them could easily have been hampered by some of the less responsible citizens with an agenda.

                Cheers,
                Adam.

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                • #9
                  Great stuff Chris,

                  It seems his resignation didnt last long as he was making enquiries in Dorset Street along with another Comittee member (Aarons I think it was) the day after Kelly was murdered. There is a news report alluding to it. I'll dig it up and post it when I get home.

                  Its possible he was just assisting however I think the article made reference to him being a member.

                  Chris G,

                  Working from memory, again (sorry Im not at home) but when Lusk showed the letter and kidney to his Comittee cronies one of them (Aarons again I think) stated the he (Lusk) did seem very agitated by it. However Lusk himself, via his Grandson, denied this.

                  Monty

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Monty View Post

                    Chris G,

                    Working from memory, again (sorry Im not at home) but when Lusk showed the letter and kidney to his Comittee cronies one of them (Aarons again I think) stated the he (Lusk) did seem very agitated by it. However Lusk himself, via his Grandson, denied this.

                    Monty
                    Hi Monty

                    But I would have to ask what would his grandson know that many decades later? That's the problem with people writing or expressing opinions about history long after the fact. Lusk might have later laughed it off, in retrospect, but I would think that it could have been disturbing at the time. Not nice to think that one is being stalked either, whether the correspondent who sent the package was the murderer or not.

                    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/.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Monty View Post
                      Great stuff Chris,

                      It seems his resignation didnt last long as he was making enquiries in Dorset Street along with another Comittee member (Aarons I think it was) the day after Kelly was murdered. There is a news report alluding to it. I'll dig it up and post it when I get home.
                      I'm also interested in this. I want to know when(if) Mr Vanderhout took the reigns.

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                      • #12
                        Hey Debs, Chris., All

                        Ive had a nightmare trying to locate the actual source in my records. I recall it as I included it in the article 'Defenceless Whitechapel' for Ripperologist Magazine.

                        Now Ive look through my draft and see that Ive included an endnote for the text that reads-

                        If the ‘Double event’ created a huge impact upon the area and nation alike, then this murder was catastrophic. There was plenty of antagonism towards the Police and huge crowds gathered in Dorset Street hours after the discovery of Kellys body to vent their anger. In amongst those crowds, conducting their own investigations, stood George Lusk and Joseph Aarons (10). The Committee also sent a Mr Vanerhout as their representative at Kellys inquest. This latest crime brought a new vigour to the area, people were determined that the killer would be caught and brought to justice. The Whitechapel Vigilance Committee had suffered with apathy and lack of funding throughout the end of October but now financial support and membership had grown again. Patrols increased and it would seem that even in a community where crime was almost paramount, there was a line that should not be crossed under any circumstance. It was time to pull together.

                        10 - Reynold News 10 November 1888


                        I know youre aware of this Vanderhout appearence at the Kelly inquest Debs, however Im unable to find any other refernce other than the ones you kindly supplied....sorry.


                        Chris,

                        It must be remembered that Lusk recieved many pieces of correspondence in the ilk of the From Hell letter. Heres one he recieved around October 14th 1888.

                        Say Boss,

                        You seem rare frightened. Guess I’d like to give you fits, but cant stop time enough to let you box of toys play copper games with me, but hope to see you when I don’t hurry too much

                        Goodbye


                        Now for a man who had the complications of running a business as well as maintaining a healthy family life (in the aftermath of the death of his wife bearly a year before) this added pressure obviously didnt help.

                        His bankruptcy in the early 1890s and the Official Receivers investigation into his books commencing from 1888 onwards may be an indicator that all these pressures were simply too much and, possibly, led to his resignation.

                        Again, apologies to all for not being able to supply the full Reynold News accout. However, Im still searching. I fear I saved a hard copy as opposed an E copy. Thus meaning my search may take longer.

                        Monty

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Monty View Post
                          Hey Debs, Chris., All

                          Ive had a nightmare trying to locate the actual source in my records. I recall it as I included it in the article 'Defenceless Whitechapel' for Ripperologist Magazine.

                          Thanks for looking, Neil.
                          I remember at the time you were writing the article that you mentioned Lusk was still with the WVC and was mentioned at the time of the investigation into MJK's murder too.
                          I have never been able to find any more on Vanderhaut's involvement,other than the one mention about MJK's inquest and given Chris's find about Lusk giving it all up in October ,it seemed like Vanderhaut might have taken over from him....until you reminded me of the article you found. It will turn up again I'm sure.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Monty View Post
                            Great stuff Chris,

                            It seems his resignation didnt last long as he was making enquiries in Dorset Street along with another Comittee member (Aarons I think it was) the day after Kelly was murdered. There is a news report alluding to it. I'll dig it up and post it when I get home.
                            Neil, don't know if you found it eventually and just didn't post it, but here's the snippet you mentioned and it does describe Lusk still as Chairman and investigating at the scene after the murder in Miller's Court.

                            Reynold's Newspaper, November 11th 1888
                            Click image for larger version

Name:	Reynolds's Newspaper (London, England), Sunday, November 11, 1888.JPG
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                            • #15
                              That's the one Debs, many thanks.

                              I couldn't find it. I've a feeling its on my Brothers PC.

                              However, you've found it. Many thanks.

                              Monty

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