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The Theory of Aristotle Tump - any info?

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  • The Theory of Aristotle Tump - any info?

    Currently on Ebay (UK) is a book entitled
    Tales of Terror
    Old Murder Cases with Black Country Connections
    (For any not in the UK the "Black Country" is an old name for the industrialised part of the Midlands - Black in the sense of dirty and polluted from the industrial activity)

    This is by an author with the wonderful name of Aristotle Tump
    The Ripper connection is described in the info attached to the item:

    Does anyone know the suspect in question and what the story is?
    As this is a repro when was the original puiblished?

    The Ebay entry is at

  • #2

    Thanks for bringing this to everyone's attention.
    I never heard of it, thats for sure.


    • #3
      Tump seems to have written a book called A Memorable Medley of Great Black Country Characters in 1986.

      The book you mention can also be found at

      It would be hilarious if this source contained some astonishing new revelations about the case, wouldn't it?

      A great find, Chris.


      • #4
        The theory is also mentioned here...

        ‘The Ballad of Jack the Ripper’ - The infamous murderer horrified London throughout 1888's Autumn of Terror, before disappearing as mysteriously as he came - or did he? Based on factual events, this explores the theory that Jack fled the capital for the Black Country... but could he outrun his victims' ghosts?


        • #5
          It's not KT's Dr Pearson is it?


          • #6
            I was going to suggest KT's Dr Pearson but 1984 is too early - unless...


            • #7
              Two sources in combination (if both are correct) would seem to suggest that "Aristotle Tump" is the pen name of Harry Taylor.
              In a blog named "Black Country Gob" I found this comment:
              "Aristotle Tump, was the alter-ego of the first Editor of the Black Country Bugle. Now while I love reading the paper, and do contribute to it's page's, some of his early research, shall we say, relied entirely on folk stories."
              The story of the founding of the Black Country Bugle is summarised on Wikipedia as follows:
              "The paper was established in 1972 in Halesowen, by the Founding Editor Harry Taylor, and his co-partners Derek Beasley and David James. The trio had previously worked together on a free local paper, with Taylor editing the paper and writing the majority of the editorial, and Beasley and James selling adverts, as was the case in the early years of the Black Country Bugle."
              This local newspaper still exists and their website is at

              If anyone wants to it might be worth contacting the paper to see if they have any info about the "Black Country" Jack the Ripper theory and who the suspect is.


              • #8
                Loretta Lay may be more accessible Chris - She has a copy in stock


                • #9
                  The story tells of a well dressed (unnamed) stranger carrying a black bag that was later found to contain surgical instruments

                  He alighted from a train and stayed the night at the Navigation Inn in Rowley Regis

                  During the night he screamed "Marie Kelly" a few times and when awoken he declared that he was haunted by his victims in his dreams, at which he ran around to the rear of the Inn and vaulted a low wall

                  Unfortunately for him, he leapt over the wall into a deep water pit called the Drainage Marlhole and was never seen again (his bag was dredged up)

                  The legend was immortalised by a local "rhymer" in a song, the last verse of which reads (in a West Midlands accent )...

                  Across the yard and through the gate
                  they heard 'is footsteps dash,
                  as Jethro follered where 'e'd gone
                  there came a mighty splash.
                  "Tha's done for 'im", screamed Liza Jane,
                  enough ter bost yer ear 'ole,
                  He'll kill no moor, 'e's killed 'is last,
                  'e's slipped in tew the mar'ole

                  Apparently where the Marlhole was is now the council depot and where the Navigation once stood is a scrapyard


                  • #10
                    many thanks for the details of the Black Country story
                    Where did you find the story if I may ask?


                    • #11
                      Hi all

                      The book seems to be a collection of cases with Black Country connections rather than a book about the Ripper murders. If the book has been around since the 1980's it's not a whole new line of enquiry on Jack the Ripper as the ebay seller claims, is it?

                      Best regards

                      Christopher T. George, Lyricist & Co-Author, "Jack the Musical"
             Hear sample song at

                      Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conferences, April 2016 and 2018.
                      Hear RipperCon 2016 & 2018 talks at


                      • #12
                        Hi Chris (S)

                        I live in the West Midlands and I found that it contained some details about other local murders, including the Rugeley poisoner, William Palmer, so I purchased a copy

                        It's quite an interesting booklet really

                        I think I saw it listed as being 8 pages long but it contains 60 pages and has some illustrations and photographs


                        • #13
                          Aristotle Tump

                          Aristotle Tump flourished briefly in the 1980s, publishing a novel and four factual books, two volumes of Tales of Terror, Black Country Ghosts and Black Country Characters. These curious books can be had cheaply and are well worth seeking out. Aristotle probably wrote the 'Ripper' poem himself since there was no such person as 'Rhymer' Greensell.

                          In real life, Aristotle was Mr Harry Taylor, editor of the Black Country Bugle. He spent much time investigating the mystery of 'Bella in the Wych-Elm'. Aristotle is now dead, but he had a son named Rob Taylor who was active at the newspaper until he retired a few years ago. The Black Country Bugle still exists.


                          • #14

                            A copy or two are available on

                            This is Harry Taylor, a.k.a. Aristotle Tump


                            • #15

                              Did "Jack The Ripper" Die in the Black Country? The gloomy,gas lit streets of London's East End provided a sombre backcloth for the series of hideous slayings which remain, to this day, the most baffling sextet of crimes in the bloody annals of murder! The intervening years have done little to dilute the blood-chilling import of the stark, hastily-penned message, scrawled on a cheap postcard - heavily stained with blood - received by The Central News Agency, in London, on October 1, 1888! This macabre communication from a maniacal mind was signed "Jack The Ripper" read... "I was not codding, dear old boss, when I gave you the tip. You'll hear more about saucy Jack's work tomorrow. Double event this time. Number one squealed a bit, couldn't finish straight off. Had no time to get ears for the police." Its publication pluged the frightened Spitalfields community into even greater depths of horror!

                              Martha Turner had been the first victim of the sadistic slayer who murdered and mutilated six women, within an area of one square mile of London's East End during the "Bloody Autmn" of 1888. Her miserable life ended on August 8 and the wounds inflicted upon her body included no less than 39 savage lacerations to throat, chest and abdomen! Even in the teeming slums of Spitalfields, the "Ripper's" first crime created a wave of terror - particularly when the coroner revealed that certain organs had been removed from the woman's body and taken away! What kind of monster was this? Where would he strike next? Those who posed these questions were swiftly answered, for the body of Mary Nicholls was found, similarly mutilated, on August 22, in Bucks Row, a few streets away from the scene of the first murder!

                              September 8 brought further "Ripper" headlines in the national press when the body of Annie Chapman was discovered in Hanbury Street, the head almost severed from her torso which was mutilated, like Turner and Nicholls. Three women dead within one month - all known and aging prostitutes from one small sector of London's vice-land! Those who felt an increasing sense of security as the days of September passed without a further killing were swiftly disillusioned by the "double event" referred to in the essage quoted above! Elizabeth Stride, a tall blonde of Sewdish descent was seen in the company of a tall, well-dressed man at midnight on September 29. Within an hour she was dead and the cabbie who found her butchered remains in Berner Street testified that he had seen a dark figure run from the alley where she lay! For the first time "The Ripper" had been disturbed at his work! But his narrow escape did nothing to deter the single-minded Spitalfields slayer and within half an hour he had claimed a second victim on that night of blood!

                              Catherine Eddowes had spent several hours in the cells of the local police station after being found drunk and incapable the previous evening. She was released at 1am - having sobered up - to stagger along the dark streets to her mean lodgings. Did she fall headlong into the arms of "The Ripper" or did the anonymous killer stalk her like a predatory animal through the shadowy streets of his own personal jungle? We shall never know! Only Catherine Eddowes knew and she was in no position to tell! The Ripper's knife had been swift and sure and extremely busy!

                              Sir Charles Warren and his subordinates at Scotland Yard were under fire from all quarters for their utter failure to halt the slayer's sadistic career. Weeks passed - the whole of October went by - and The Ripper stayed his hand, his blood lust apparently sated by the "double event" at the end of the previous month! It was not until the November mists drew a winding sheet of fog about the mean streets of Spitalfields that the killer struck again - for the last time!

                              Marie Kelly was young and reasonably attractive - unlike the drunken, middle-aged drabs whose names preceded hers on The Ripper's list of victims. Two witnesses saw her with a man who carried a small, black bag and had the appearance of "a doctor," shortly after midnight on November 8. He was described as being, "about 35 years of age - dark moustache turned up at the ends - dressed in long, dark frock coat and spats over buttoned boots." At 6am the footsteps of a man were heard leaving her room in Dorset Street - not an unusual occurrence. What was unusual and horrifying beyond human decription was the sight which met the eyes of her landlord when he called to collect the rent at 10.15am next morning! Her naked torso lay on the heavily bloodstained bed, the head practically severed from her body which had been opened and most of her internal organs removed - beside her head, on the pillow, lay her heart!

                              Dr G.B. Phillips, Divisional Police Surgeon, stated that the dissection must have taken at least two hours to perform and was the work of a "practised hand." Again, Scotland Yard, became the target of ever scornful epithet which the newspapermen of the day could pen. Sir Charles Warren resigned during the week which followed Marie Kelly's murder! The most famous minds in crime detection had proved impotent against the cunning of The Ripper. Who was the anonymous fiend who succeeded in holding all London in a spell of terror for more than three months? A famous criminologist of the day - Sir Robert ANderson - opined that The Ripper was merely a homicidal lunatic, cunning enough to outwit the police but an article in the "Lancet" strongly disagreed with this view. It pointed out that the homicidal lunatic would kill indiscriminately, whilst all of the Ripper's victims had been selected from one class - women who sold their bodies on the sordid streets of one small area of East London!

                              By this time "Jack The Ripper" had the whole of the country by the throat and the populace waited in awful expectancy for news of his next victim - but none came! A persistent rumour circulated that The Ripper had left London and was abroad in the Midlands. It became extremely hazardous for any man to carry a black bag and a rent collector in Birmingham - unlucky enough to possess a luxuriant moustache - was chased by a howling mob through the Bull Ring and forced to take shelter in the nearest police station, where his bag was found to contain only cash! Even Rowley Regis had its own "Ripper" scare and it captured the public imagination sufficiently for the tale to be committed to verse by "Rhymer" Greensell, a well-known "pub singer" and ballad writer from Old Hill. Entitled, "The Terrible Doom of Jack the Ripper," it was extremely popular in the area, up to the turn of the century. The ballad was based on a supposedly hair-raising happening at "The Navigation," a public house situated near to Old Hill Railway Station. It suggests that "The Ripper" met a watery death in The Drainage Marlhole which lay alongside the canal - between Waterfall Lane and Station Road (then called "Sleck Hillock"). The deep tract of water has long since disappeared and the Rowley Regis Council Depot now occupies the ground where it was located.

                              Our older readers will remember that three public houses stood on its muddy banks - The Three Furnaces, The Sportsman and The Navigation. The two former establishments are still in operation but The Navigation, mentioned in Greensell's ballad, was pulled down many years ago and a scrapyard now stands in its place!

                              According to the legend, a stranger alighted from a train at Old Hill Station, on a foggy night during that fateful November and obtained a night's lodging at The Navigation! Jethro Homer, licensee of the inn, and his wife, Eliza Jane, were somewhat amazed to find so well-dressed and "gentlemanly" a caller seeking shelter at their outlandish establishment on such a night. Further - the woman noted that he carried a black bag and generally fitted the description of "The Ripper," currently circulating in the newspapers. Her taciturn husband scoffed at her fears but, during the night they were awakened by frightening noises from the stranger's room. His babbling voice rose and fell, interspersed by moans and pleading - the name "Marie Kelly" was shrieked several times! He appeared to be in the grip of some horrific nightmare and The Homers attempted to awaken him. Their guest rose from his bed in a greatly agitated state and appeared to be terribly afraid of some unseen presence in the room

                              The legend tells how he grabbed the black bag, which had previously aroused Eliza Jane's suspicions, and rushed from the inn, in a state of utter panic, to stumble blindly around the rear courtyard before vaulting over the low wall and straight into the bottomless depths of The Drainage Marlhole! Apparently the body was never recovered but the strainger's bag was dredged up and found to contain surgical instruments! The silk top hat which he left behind at the inn became quite a curio, in the locality, and was displayed in the taproom of The Navigation and referred to by Jethro Homer as - "The Ripper's Hat." Several known facts lend a shred of credence to this 19th century tale. The Drainage Marlhole did exist! The Navigation Inn is still remembered by local oldsters! "Rhymer" Greensell did live in Old Hill at the turn of the century and had quite a reputation as a local poet and scholar! Criminologists generally agree that the shadowy fiend, known to the generations as "Jack The Ripper," did die shortly after the murder of Marie Kelly! Medical opinion insisted that such a dedicated killer would be highly unlikely to end his red career with such abruptness had its cotinuance been possible and that the germ of madness which possessed him would have driven him to kill again and again!

                              No deathbed confession nor suicide note has brought an easy solution to this most intriguuing chapter in the annals of capital crime and we are led to the conclusion that The Ripper died with a swiftness which cancelled out such formalities - perhaps, with the icy waters of the Drainage Marlhole cutting the bubbling shriek of terror from his throat and the phantom shade of Marie Kelly lurking at the water's edge?

                              The Terrible oom of Jack The Ripper By Rhymer Greensell

                              The Stranger, on a foggy night, centre tew the Navigation. He took a train from London Town, gorr off at Ode 'ill Station, dressed up ter kill, as you might say, with them black eyes a'shinen, he knocked the door an' entered in wheer Jethro was a'dinen. "What place is this," the stranger asked "I need accommodation." "Yo'm in Ode 'ill," Jethro replied, "This 'ere's The Navigation," "The beds am clean, we'n got no flen." the landlord spoke with pride, "Then show me up," the stranger said, "I need a place to bide." 'Twas midnight when they heard the n'ise a'cummen from the room, said Jethro's wife, Eliza Jane, "Tis like tje v'ice of room." Spoke Jethro, "though 'e's fast asleep, 'e's a'cussen like a black," "Oh, Jethro," spake his trembling wife, "dust think 'is naerme be Jack." Just then the stranger started up, them jet black eyes a'widen, "He ate asleep," said Jethro's wife her mouth, with fear a'siden. Then Jethro shoved her from the room, "run, wench, an' teck the nipper, That torrell we'n put up the night, is none but Jack The Ripper." The stranger tottered tew 'is feet an' stumbled down the stair, run from the Inn, into the night's right dank an' foggy air. "Don;t let them come - they follow me," They heard 'is v'ice a'screamin, "They've come for me, they always come at night, when I'm a dreamin." Across the yard and through the gate they heard 'is footsteps dash, as Jethro follered where 'e'd gone ther come a mightly splash. "Tha's done for 'im," screamed Liza Jane, enough ter bost yer ear'ole, "He'll kill no moor, 'e's killed 'is last, 'e's slipped in tew the marl'ole."