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"Contemporary Police Suspect? ????

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  • "Contemporary Police Suspect? ????

    I think that the December 31st, 1888 newspaper report which appeared in the PMG could have referred to Stephenson...although some of the comments made in this newspaper clipping were erroneous....such as the misleading comment that the individual left the hospital in the manner( without consent ) he was said to have done.

    If this was somehow the basis of the declaration that Stephenson was a "contemporary police suspect"...then that is merely an assumption & not a fact..... I believe that the police merely wanted to question him for his comments about Dr.Davies ( made to both George Marsh and Thomas Roots ) and frankly, to see if Donston had all his marbles. This,of course,is simply my opinion about all this and NOT a "fact".

    In addition, the alleged similarity between Stephenson’s handwriting and one or more of the various letters signed, "Jack The Ripper" is also mentioned as a possible reason for their interest in this mystery patient. You will notice the article at no time mentions him as a "suspect" for the actual murders.

    My feeling at this time is that the authorities...while NEVER considering him a Ripper suspect....were only interested in the similarity in handwriting and the rationale for RDS claiming Davies was the Ripper. Melvin Harris at no time ever claimed that Stephenson was a ‘contemporary police suspect" in print to my knowledge... despite this speculation appearing several times in several books. Harris likewise never accepted the possibility that Stephenson wrote any hoax letters as well...which of course,he could not know and quite frankly may have been wrong in the final analysis.

    A file that is labeled "Marsh-Stephenson-Davies" is.....from where I sit....a file that simply involves the Marsh/Roots and Stephenson/Roots "interviews" and clearly if anyone WAS suspected judging the content of the Roots Report, Dr. Davies would be the "suspect" if ANYONE was the suspect,which I am sure others can see as well.

    Maybe you don't see it this way...

    Anyone else?

    What are your views?
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  • #2
    If the articles is based on Stephenson, my question then would be were did they get there info?

    Are we again looking for the Mythical Missing file?

    Or did someone inform the paper?

    If so who?

    Was it Roots?

    Or again was Stephenson playing games?

    I take a good look at this article in one of the chapters and it certainly is full of little gems, again pointing in all directions.
    It mentions that he is a philanthropist and that he left the hospital on his own!! Both statements are puzzling.

    As for Stephenson the letter writing madman, this i can believe.
    We know he was fond of writing, and he was pretty clued up on the murders (ignoring the position of the grafiti and anal sex for a moment) enough for him to accuse Dr Davies of the crime.

    My feeling on the position of the grafiti and anal sex, well this was either
    Done to throw people off his scent,
    Done because he couldnt get all the facts of the case right,
    Done because he wanted to frame Davis.

    I have a full chapter discussing the ripper letters and what these show us in relation to RDS.

    As for the Contemporary suspect, i just wish there was some living descendants who knew something.
    So far i have been regarding this.


    • #3
      Dear Mike:

      Just to set the record straight here...

      The"philanthropist" that is mentioned in the PMG ( owned by Stead ) is probably Stead himself...since we know that Stead recieved and sent letters back to RDS in the LH on at least 3 or 4 occasions if not more. The tongue in cheek comment made in 1896 about Stead believing RDS was the veritable Ripper is really just a "salespitch" for the Borderland article. Stead knew where RDS was in early 1889 as well,as TWO more stories appeared in the very same PMG in January and February of that year.

      Until someone provides the community with a file....similar to one on a bona fide suspect with his name or details regarding the investigation that was contemporaneously being conducted on Stephenson....then the Roots Report cannot be construed as a "police suspect file" on Stephenson,since there is and never was any mention of him being the one under suspicion.

      I don't buy the suggestion that "material was stolen" back in the 1970's which may have had more details about how suspectworthy Stephenson was. Imagine the impact of said stolen material being in someone's hands and that they could demonstrate that indeed,he was a suspect,and how it would further their attempt to put him in the forefront of the suspect list. This didn't happen and it didn't happen because whatever was stolen and never revealed evidently didn't make his case as a suspect that good in the first place and thats why we,as a community,have had to rely on inference.

      The reason the file which has his and Marsh's and Dr.Davies' name on it is that this was (very likely if not definitely ) a mere inquiry into the crazy notion that Dr.Davies was the Ripper. That the police may have,but not definitely,gone to the LH specifically to see that a letter or letters prior to the December 26th discussion with Roots had fallen into police that we know nothing about,yet.
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      • #4
        My only fear is that IF this file ever existed and it was in someones hands they have destroyed it or lost it.
        What i dont understand is why RDS would go to Scotland Yard in the first place?
        I am aware that Marsh went prior to RDS to suggest RDS was the ripper but why was nothing done?
        If these conversations were merely conversations why write them down?
        Were was this alleged file first mentioned??
        If the file was stolen,
        how come there are no records of the people who had viewed this file?
        how come there are no records of the file?
        Surely the only logical answer would be, that the file didnt exist?
        So many questions, so little time!!!

        RDS Circa 1888/1889ha ha


        • #5

          If a file existed...or a memoranda...that implicated RDS as a police suspect ( Its an entirely different matter if a private citizen or citizens believed someone may have been the Ripper),then it is incumbent on anyone who promotes RDS as a contemporary police suspect to provide the details from said document/documents in order to say this in the first place. Relying on "possible" unseen documentation does not cut the mustard.

          Allow me to analogize this briefly...

          People who have supported Druitt,Kosminski and possibly Ostrog as "possible" perpetrators KNOW that no documents exist which indicate they were police suspects by file or files and yet they were according to MacNaghten in 1894.

          This is a 180 degree reversal in the case of Stephenson.

          We have a file,or at least mimeographed copies,of the Roots Report and Marsh's deposition and RDS' letter to the Police...etc...but NOT a file or even the hint that he was suspected and anything which clearly points out Stephenson as a contemporary police suspect...only the few articles which were in the CLRO file,none of which point him out,once more,as a contemporary police suspect.

          To answer your question as to why RDS went to Scotland Yard after blabbing too much and perhaps too convincingly to Marsh,let me elaborate.

          There is this constant reference to Marsh as being "gullible" and as an "unemployed" man. That Marsh clearly...and this had to be seen and digested by Harris...that Marsh had the wherewithall to offer up a handwriting sample to Roots...which as we all know he mentions prominently in the deposition...indicates he was not necessarily gullible but perhaps alarmed at the level of interest in the WM and the possible mention of RDS by RDS as having written letters to the Press while quaffing a few beers.

          I think...and cannot prove...that RDS was somewhat mentally unstable judging by the series of events subsequent to his chats with Marsh. I think he went to see Roots for one out of possibly more than one reason(s) to explain his arrangement to nab the arrangement he originally asked Stead to fund prior to ever meeting Marsh...and because of the fact that Roots knew him,he was able to explain away this strange behavior....maybe even sheepishly...because he comes off looking really bizarre. First avoiding giving his address and then within the postscript clearly giving his new address to the police. To me,it looks like RDS behavior was the reason that the police may have looked for him in the see if he was behind hoax letters....if they were hip to him before he went to see Roots on the day after Christmas.

          Oh yeah,Mike...a file exists,but its not a c.p.s. file. Until proven otherwise,its a generic file containing the elements of the bizarre exchanges with Roots by Marsh and Stephenson,referring to Dr.Davies.
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          • #6
            An X file?

            I support the theory that RDS was something of an extreme eccentric, possibly going as far as saying he had some sort of disorder. I am not a medical man but i am certain his condition may be like Obssesive Compulsive Disorder (my wife tells me)

            The constant brushing of his clothes,
            The constant bathing,
            To name but a few

            It was almost as if he was becoming obbsessed with the murders, but i expect most Londoners were at the time. Hence the reason to thrust him into both Stead's and Roots lifes.

            Maybe as a little boy, Richard at RDS for stealing his maid!!


            • #7

              If we consider that:

              1. Stephenson had just read Levi's "Dogme et Rituel" released coincidentally in the same year ( 1888 )....

              2. That he was very intrigued in the murders ( His article to the PMG,whether for profit in order to get some new living quarters...or to simply share his views on the murders based on the mutilation/eviscerations ) is evident....

              I'd say he was very interested....but no more than many of us ( ahem...) are today.
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              • #8
                Thanks How,
                I have since found Dogme et Rituel on the net and will endevour to read it today.
                Is this the book he mentions in the letter to the police?
                Im not sure if its correct as it gives 1896 as the date it was first published, i shall keep searching.


                • #9

                  We've had it here on the site for almost 2 years....but yes,thats the same book.

                  Be prepared to be extremely bored by the content in that tome....its like watching grass grow.
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                  • #10
                    Hi How, my eyes are fallin asleep and its only lunchtime here!!!!
                    I need to get some fresh air, maybe take my son for a walk before I nod off.
                    Seem to be developing a headache from it as well!!