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  • Your most likely suspect

    As with all fields of historical and scientific studies, Ripperology is dynamic and fluid often at time moving quickly.

    To grasp what the main consensus is on the most likely candidate of the ones suggested over the years, I'd like everyone to say who they believe the Ripper is the most likely to have been.

    I'll go first.

    I'll say Carl Feigenbaum. Not only did he appear to confess to a desire to mutilate women and tantalisingly did not out and out deny he was the Ripper, a ship he was working on as a merchant seaman was docked in Whitechaoel during some of the murders. He was also convicted of a similar Ripper murder in New York where he cut the throat of Julia Hoffman almost to the point of decapitation, eerily reminiscent of the Nichols, Chapman and Eddowes crimes.

    All circumstantial I know, of that I am keenly aware, but in my eyes Feigenbaum (or Zahn) is the candidate I believe is most likely to be the Ripper.

    Thanks to Trevor Marriott for championing Fiegunbaum.

  • #2
    Just a note to kindly request that folks not counterpoint other theorists positions on this particular thread.
    Thank you.
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    • #3
      Joseph Fleming. Not that I believe it was him - just the best of a bad bunch.
      Kind regards, Sam Flynn

      "Suche Nullen"
      (F. Nietzsche)

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      • #4
        Hi Sam.

        May I ask for what reasons do you believe Mary Kelly's former lover to be the Whitechapel Murderer?

        Thanks,
        Sleuth

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        • #5
          Joe Bloggs. The male equivalent of Mary Kelly, minus the hoo-hah surrounding her death. Unknown and possibly unknowable.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post
            Not that I believe it was him - just the best of a bad bunch.
            Same here from me for William Hardiman-just my best of a bad lot. He drank poison in late 1905 (age 33) and the inquest ruled his death a suicide.

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            • #7
              Henry DeFries. A Gasfitter. Lived on Middlesex Street. Family history of mental illness.

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              • #8
                It is not a mystery to certain people at the time.

                It was solved "in all probability" in 1891 due to "certain facts" compelling a "conclusion", at least according to a police chief. A case can be mounted that he is a reliable and well-informed source. Though the official investigation lasted between 1888 and 1891, the likeliest suspect had taken his own life in late 1888.

                From 1898 this solution was broadly shared with the public, with greater certainty from 1899 by a famous true crime writer, and confirmed by the same police chief in 1913 and 1914. The exact identity of the deceased Ripper was veiled.

                The public has only known the name of this suspect since 1965: Montague John Druitt.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Sleuth1888 View Post
                  May I ask for what reasons do you believe Mary Kelly's former lover to be the Whitechapel Murderer?
                  As I said, Sleuth, I don't believe he was - only that he's the best of a bad bunch. My reason for believing this is that Fleming evidently hadn't "let go" of Mary Kelly even after she'd taken up with another man. Indeed, Fleming continued to visit her in Miller's Court, and was known to ill-use her. Records show that he had mental health problems, also.

                  So, in sum:

                  Fleming is on record as having been mentally ill, as having had something of a fixation on a known Whitechapel Murder victim, towards whom he exhibited violent behaviour and with whose scene of death he can be directly connected. That's significantly more than we can say for any other suspect.

                  I still don't think it's him, though
                  Kind regards, Sam Flynn

                  "Suche Nullen"
                  (F. Nietzsche)

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                  • #10
                    I have the luxury of NOT thinking my suspect is the least bad one in a lousy bunch. I instead believe that he is the one and only really totally credible suspect ever to have been presented: Charles Allen Lechmere.

                    -Found alone standing close to one of the victims: Polly Nichols.

                    -Is recorded as having called himself Cross instead of Lechmere at the inquest, meaning that A/ he did not use the name he was registered by and always employed otherwise when in contact with authoritites, and B/ the police seemingly never found out about his real name.

                    -Had time to kill Nichols if we accept the timings he presented himself.

                    -Disagreed with a serving police officer about what he had told said officer on the murder night, plus the version the PC had of the conversation makes for a perfectly shaped lie to take Lechmere past the police. And at that stage, he would -if he was the killer - have had the murder weapon on his person, since no such weapon was ever found at the murder site.

                    -Had reason to be out on the streets at the times of the murders.

                    -The murders all happened either right along his logical work routes or very close to his mother´s quarters.

                    -The four murders that took place alongside his working routes (Tabram, Nichols, Chapman and Kelly) could all have been perpetrated at the time when Lechmere passed by.

                    -The two murders that were NOT perpetrated along his working routes can instead be explained by how Lechmere could have visited his mothers place on a Saturday evening, killing after the visit. Both of these strikes (Stride and Eddowes) fell much earlier in the night than the other murders.

                    -Robert Paul - who was the man who found Lechmere standing up at the murder spot as he arrived in Bucks Row - did not say that he had seen or heard Lechmere walking in front of him, in spite of how the two must have been quite close to each other (perhaps 30-40 yards apart), and in spite of how Lechmere would have passed up at the crossing of Foster Street and Bath Street at more or less exactly the time when Paul went out into the street from his home, situated aproximately 40 yards up on Foster Street. The crossing of Foster Street and Bath Street was extensively lit by many large gas lamps outside a brewery situated there. Paul says nothing about hearing the footfalls of Lechmere as the latter walked 40 yards in front of him for a long stretch of Bucks Row (about 60-70 yards).

                    -PC Mizen would have arrived at the body at around five minutes or so after Lechmere left it. At the inquest, Mizen said that the victim was still bleeding, that the blood appeared fresh but that it was "somewhat congealed" in the pool underneath her. This is totally consistent with Nichols having been slayed at the exact time when Lechmere was with her. Any suggestion of another killer will stretch into more unlikely territory.

                    No other "suspect" comes even close to this list of pointers. I have very little doubt that Charles Lechmere was the killer of Nichols, and by extension also quite probably the man who has gone down in history as Jack the Ripper.
                    "In these matters it is the little things that tell the tales" - Coroner Wynne Baxter during the Nichols inquest.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post
                      Unknown and possibly unknowable.
                      Seconded, Gary. I'd go further, and expand it to include "...and so far not named".
                      Kind regards, Sam Flynn

                      "Suche Nullen"
                      (F. Nietzsche)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post
                        Seconded, Gary. I'd go further, and expand it to include "...and so far not named".
                        There must have been hundreds of people who drifted into and out of Spitalfields in 1888 and left no written record whatsoever. And thousands, tens of thousands, of adult males living and/or working within a short walk of the area who left no more than a handful of unincriminating census entries and their BMD records.

                        Imagine a barrel containing 30,00 red jelly beans and one black one. The moving hand reaches into the barrel, grasps a couple of hundred and places them on the table for our (blindfolded) inspection. What are the chances we have the black one before us? A lot less than the chance that we will imagine the fragrance of black cherry emanating from the bean we have personally chosen.

                        Rather a silly illustration, but it does sum up my thoughts on the subject.

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                        • #13
                          Hi Gary

                          Joe Bloggs, eh? Of course! Joe Bloggs. Well, well, well. Joe Bloggs. Stone me! Joe Bloggs.....Joe Bloggs died at the end of chapter seven!

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                          • #14
                            My own conviction is that Charles Lechmere has been effectively safeguarded by chiefly two factors, divided in time:

                            -The prejudiced police force (as well as the prejudiced public and press - but their work was not to catch the killer) back at the time of the investigation. Chriminal anthropology was the order of the day, and Lechmere did not tick any of the (faulty) boxes the police wanted ticked.
                            The nonsense about the British police being Bertillonists and therefore not guilty of ascribing to chriminal anthropology is exactly that: nonsense. Even Bertillon himself was into chriminal anthropology...!

                            -The prestige invested in other suspects in modern days - but perhaps chiefly in the defeatist take that the killer can never be revealed (as hinted at in a number of posts here) - that prevails in the world of Ripperology.

                            In combination, these factors have proven quite efficient when it comes to keeping Lechmere out of harms´way.
                            "In these matters it is the little things that tell the tales" - Coroner Wynne Baxter during the Nichols inquest.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Robert Linford View Post
                              Hi Gary

                              Joe Bloggs, eh? Of course! Joe Bloggs. Well, well, well. Joe Bloggs. Stone me! Joe Bloggs.....Joe Bloggs died at the end of chapter seven!
                              I know, I have his death certificate:

                              Joe Bloggs, shop assistant of 239, City Road. (no need to look it up I plucked it from you know where).

                              Actually, I do have an example of a real Joe Bloggs who left a bit of an interesting paper trail and who confirmed me in my Joe Bloggs belief. (Which theory I know is old, old hat and not much fun.)

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