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  • Jacob Levy updated

    The Levy Ripper 2012

    Hi all

    We have created this thread to post an overview on the documents and information that has been gathered and appeared in the Ripperologist 124 2012 article we wrote. Obviously these posts won't go into the detail that the article did.

    I will post these as separate posts.

    We began with the questions -:

    - What if Jacob Levy was with Catherine Eddowes in Church Passage?

    - Did Joseph Levy see Jacob in Church Passage?

    - Where Joseph and Jacob related?

    - What of Jacob's medical history?

    Our first task was to research Joseph and Jacob's familial background, and try to prove their relationship to one another......which we did.

    We found one Isaac Ben Hyam Levy married a Sarah pre 1810. One of their children was named Hyam Levy who married a Francis Napthali. One of their children was Joseph Hyam Levy born 1842.

    Sarah and Isaac also had a son named Joseph Levy who married Caroline Solomons. One of their children was named Jacob Levy born 1856.

    These were Joseph Hyam Levy the witness and Jacob Levy the suspect.

    Knowing now of Jacob's family roots we speculated on his involvement with butchery and meat dissection from an early age. It was here we learnt of Jacob's cousin Napthali, cited in the 1851 census being a butcher at 13 years old.

    Is it possible Jacob's fantasies could have been masked for years by his butchery?

    Tracy
    If you're going to be two-faced at least make one of them pretty.

  • #2
    Thank you, Tracy, for posting that summary. I read the article in Rip and thought it was well written... Hope things are going better your way.
    Best Wishes,
    Cris Malone
    ______________________________________________
    "Objectivity comes from how the evidence is treated, not the nature of the evidence itself. Historians can be just as objective as any scientist."

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for the summary thread, Tracy. I'll look forward to reading more on it.
      Hope you are faring better at the moment?

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi Cris/Debs

        Thanks, I have to admit Neil deserves most of the credit for writing it and it also had two of the best researchers I know helping (ChrisP and Debs, not me and dad lol) and ChrisG and Adam Wood were a great help on the article front.

        Sorry about the cut short summary, unexpected visitors, plus you know me and organisation aren't the best of friends lol.

        Faring a lot better now thanks to you both for asking, I tell you been a crazy couple of months, but things seem to have evened out now - although I am being extra nice to gypsies who knock on my door now......just in case ;0)

        Tracy
        If you're going to be two-faced at least make one of them pretty.

        Comment


        • #5
          Part 2 The Suicide

          One of the most traumatic events in Jacob's life occurred in 1875. Discovering newspaper reports, one from The Glasgow Herald and an inquest report in the Llyod's Weekly News, we learnt that Abraham Levy, Jacobs 21 year old brother committed suicide by hanging, in his bedroom. Shockingly it was Jacob who found his brother's body.
          How could this have affected Jacob's state of mind?

          In Jacob's admittance records for Stone asylum in 1890 it states that his brother committed suicide by cutting his throat, not hanging. What can we read into this?

          One thing is sure the Judges verdict of Abraham's inquest 'suicide whilst of unsound mind' tolled like a bell in Jacob's future!
          If you're going to be two-faced at least make one of them pretty.

          Comment


          • #6
            Many thanks for this info, Tracy.

            Let me check if I've got this right:
            Jacob (suspect) and Joseph (witness) were cousins, their respective fathers being brothers. Is this correct?

            If so, it is almost inconceiveable that they did not know each other. I suppose it's also quite likely that Joseph was named after Jacob's dad!

            Best wishes,
            Steve.

            Comment


            • #7
              The Decade of Destruction

              By now - 1880's, Jacob has married Sarah Abraham's and moved to 36 Middlesex Street, an address that was in the Levy family for over 80 years, Jacob ending the tradition. He took the business over from his aunt Frances, Joseph Hyam Levy's mother.

              It would appear Jacob and Sarah built up a good trade so why in April 1886 does Jacob resort to stealing a small piece of meat from his neighbour Hyman Sampson. (Old bailey Reference Number: t18860405-419)

              Jacob is convicted and sentenced to 12 months hard labour in Holloway. Yet just seven weeks later Jacob is found in Essex County Asylum. Why?

              From Jacobs record's we learned that between 5 April 1886 and 19 April 1886 Jacob attempted suicide.

              It was after this that Jacobs was transferred to Chelmsford Prison awaiting a discharge of Prisoner certificate stating Jacob's insanity and transfer to an asylum.

              The records show that Jacob was fit although he had been suffering these attacks for 3 weeks. Also under the sub -heading, 'Indications of Insanity' are, rambling and coherent talking, restlessness and insomnia.
              Under facts noted by Warder Wade it reports, 'Attempted suicide by strangling. Shouting, restless and talking at night, incessantly talking of imaginary people' and most telling 'violence.'

              So from being a successful trader he has been reduced to a suicidal mental patient in the space of 7 weeks only to be discharged on 3 Feb 1887 as cured.

              There is one glaring omission from these reports and that is the lack of evidence that he suffered from syphilis.

              Tracy
              If you're going to be two-faced at least make one of them pretty.

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi Steve

                Yeah you got it right it does get a little confusing trying to separate the names!

                I agree I think it is highly unlikely that they didn't know each other given how close they lived to each other.

                Good catch Steve - I think it is highly possible that he was named after Jacob's dad, they seemed to keep the familial names throughout the family tree.

                Tracy
                If you're going to be two-faced at least make one of them pretty.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Tracy Ianson View Post
                  Part 2 The Suicide

                  One of the most traumatic events in Jacob's life occurred in 1875. Discovering newspaper reports, one from The Glasgow Herald and an inquest report in the Llyod's Weekly News, we learnt that Abraham Levy, Jacobs 21 year old brother committed suicide by hanging, in his bedroom. Shockingly it was Jacob who found his brother's body.
                  How could this have affected Jacob's state of mind?

                  In Jacob's admittance records for Stone asylum in 1890 it states that his brother committed suicide by cutting his throat, not hanging. What can we read into this?

                  One thing is sure the Judges verdict of Abraham's inquest 'suicide whilst of unsound mind' tolled like a bell in Jacob's future!
                  Hi Tracy

                  Having learned of the Abraham Levy suicide in your article in the Rip, I was put in mind of it when I read the following incident on a site about Jewbury, the former Jewish neighborhood of York. It got me to wondering further about suicide among butchers and about the mental state of butchers:

                  "An unfortunate suicide took place in November 1868, when George Wright, a 28 year old butcher, ended his own life. He had been living for seven weeks with Matthew Young, a joiner, and his wife in Jewbury. He had been receiving help from Dr Ure regarding his mental health, but he was found by Mrs Young hanging by the neck one morning from the beams of the ceiling. An inquest decided that the death was through suicide, even though his doctor and friends hadnít thought he had a history of any suicidal thoughts."

                  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


                  • #10
                    Butchers in general

                    Hi all
                    Hi Chris
                    Thanks for that. It has got TJ and i thinking. However in my experience you would need to look more at the meat industry than just butchers. What i'm saying is a slaughterman is different to a butcher, who is different to a small meats butcher. There is a hierachy as in any trade.
                    If i may, a couple of things about Abraham Levy's suicide.
                    One of the reports we cited was from the Glasgow Herald. In this it stated that Abraham commited suicide due to gambling debts, however we could find no evidence of gambling in any way,shape or form. So why state this? Perhaps the answer lies in the fact that at this time,Glagow was almost puritanical in it's persecution of drinking,gambling and SIN. Is it possible that because Abraham commited suicide on Derby Day, the Herald manufactured a gambling slant to sell local papers?
                    Another point that may be of interest is that due to Abrahams suicide, he could NOT be buried on consecrated ground. Yet, Tracy and I have evidence that Abraham WAS buried in a Jewish cemetry. From information supplied to us we believe that because Abrahams cause of death at the inquest was 'due to unsound mind' he was allowed to be buried in a consecrated cemetry. Could this reflect on the Levy's standing in the area, i wonder?
                    Just a thought
                    Keep Well
                    Neil

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hi Chris

                      It is definitely something worth looking into, thanks for posting that up. Would cutting up carcasses everyday affect you mentally, I guess if you weren't' in the best mental health, there would be a higher risk of that?

                      One thing we did learn while researching is an answer to why George's friends maybe said they hadn't thought he was suicidal is that to commit suicide meant that they couldn't be buried in a Jewish cemetery.....unless they were children or found to be of unsound mind whilst committing suicide.

                      Tracy

                      Lol jinx?!
                      If you're going to be two-faced at least make one of them pretty.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Part 4 Jacob's death

                        In August 1890 Jacob was admitted to the City of London asylum where he died on 29 July 1891.

                        Within the City of London Asylum Case book we found Jacob's medical records for his interment until his death.

                        The first item of note referred to him being covered with scratches, also deeply stained with copper coloured discolouration, most likely syphilitic.
                        It is also here that Jacob himself reports that eh feels he will do violence unless restrained, he complains f hearing noises.

                        Sarah Levy then deposes that Jacob walks away with every penny he can lay his hands on, continually taking other people's goods. That he wanders away for hours, does not sleep well at night and is continually paranoid that someone will hurt him.

                        After a statement of previous attacks it is reported that his elder brother was insane and committed suicide. Jacob's form of insanity is then presented as being manic with the supposed cause being hereditary.
                        His cause of death is 'General Paresis of the insane'

                        This left us with certain facts.
                        A. Jacob was a Jew
                        B. Jacob had knife skills.
                        C. Jacob was the right age and matched the height and weight of one of the witness statements.
                        D. Jacob knew the area intimately living in the middle of all the murder sites. He had spent all his life in that area.
                        E. He discovered his elder brother's body hanging.
                        F. He was jailed for stealing a piece of meat, thereby starting a downward spiral that led him to lose his business and home.
                        G. Jacob feels he will do violence unless restrained.
                        H. He complains of hearing voices.
                        I. He wanders the streets for hours.
                        J. He states that his brothers throat was cut, not that he hanged himself.
                        K. He feels someone will attack him.
                        L. He was more than likely schizophrenic.
                        M. He died from Syphilis, most likely Neurosyphilis.
                        N. His mother died in 1888.

                        Again the article goes into this in a lot more detail but I think we have made a good case for Jacob being a strong contender as a suspect of Jack, anyone else agree/disagree?

                        Tracy
                        If you're going to be two-faced at least make one of them pretty.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I'd say it's a very persuasive circumstantial case. He's certainly a better suspect than many.

                          By the way, wasn't it standard practice for coroners to add "while the balance of the mind was disturbed" or similar to suicide verdicts so as to get round the consecrated ground business?

                          Best wishes,
                          Steve.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hi Steve

                            Well I may be slightly biased but I think he is a very much overlooked suspect (as does Neil) and that he must be up there in the top 3 for viable suspects.

                            One thing we are still trying to do is link him to the apron via his brother, Isaac, who actually lived in Wentworth buildings at the time. While I have read an account of him being there (a family recollection last year) this has since disappeared so I am trying to verify it through other means. This would again strengthen Jacob as a suspect as he would then have an explanation for the apron being where it was at.

                            While I am not 100% sure, I came to the same conclusion as yourself, it seems a little loophole in the practice doesn't it. It also explains why suicide whilst of unsound mind was so common.

                            Tracy
                            If you're going to be two-faced at least make one of them pretty.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Hello, Tracy.
                              He's high on my list too. I'm delighted you have been able to connect him to Joseph as the shared surname has been bugging me for a while. Nice one.

                              Best wishes,
                              Steve.

                              Comment

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