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Tumblety in the American Press

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  • #31
    And there we have a very solid statement from a man of the time who was well acquainted with the activities of Dr Tumblety:

    'That he (Tumblety) has anything to do with the Whitechapel atrocities is as likely as that the most innocent reader of the 'Picayune' is "Jack the Ripper".'


    • #32
      Sadly the last report from 1888 is being a bit of a buggar and won't be fully captured, so all I've got is the tail end... ah well, sometimes that wags the dog.
      This report smacks of some kind of desperation, in that it appears that the press have given up on Tumblety as a suspect in the Whitechapel Murders, and then gone on to suspect a strange companion of Tumblety's known as 'Jack'.
      I'll try again to see if I can capture the full report, but I'm not hopeful.
      'The Daily Picayune' of December 17th 1888:


      • #33
        This is the left hand column.


        • #34
          Thanks Robert, you're an absolute diamond.

          And while on the subject of wealth, I am astonished at the amount of wealth old Tumblety used to carry around with him.
          In April of 1891 Tumblety was staying at the Plateau Hotel when it was robbed by a gang of desperate thieves and he lost $2000 in cash, $3000 in jewellery and a whopping $22,000 in Canadian Railway Bonds... oh and his trousers.
          He had to send out for new trews.
          It seems that his fortune actually increased with his suspected role in the Whitechapel Murders.
          Frisking Dr Tumblety could also be quite a rewarding experience, as this report from 'The Emporia Daily Gazette' of November 19th 1890 shows:


          • #35
            And then Robin Hood strikes back, in 'The Daily Picayune' of August 26th 1891:


            • #36
              Perhaps in the best interest of this discussion on Tumbelty....should anyone be able to provide a clipping between the period of 1865 and 1888 that links Tumbelty to a scandal or activity of dubious distinction within these 23 years, which Mr.Palmer states do not exist...we could settle this contested issue once and for all. In fact,lets make that after the arrest in the Lincoln Assassination scandal.

              Can it be done is the question....

              On another note...perhaps R.J. would care to discuss the difference he feels that exists between the "19th Century" serial killer and the "20th Century" serial killer and what specific machinations Tumbelty displayed that separates him from 20th Century murderers.

              This is very good stuff A.P. Thanks for posting all this stuff up. You too,Mr.Linford,sor.

              P.S. If I am correct...the Picayune is a New Orleans paper. I think its still in existence ( without my lazy toches looking for the answer ).
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              • #37
                Thanks How
                well I think I already pushed up two references to old Tumblety between those dates, one was from 1880, but I'll agree that they were not actual press reports from that time period.
                But hey, let's see what we can do.
                There are certainly press reports on Tumblety's activities and movements in the British press as well, within the dates.
                Good project.


                • #38
                  The San Francisco adverts of 1870 cannot be ignored, they show that Tumblety was up and about his business.
                  'The Times' of London reported on his nefarious activities on the 1st December 1873. The image is too large for me to capture but perhaps Robert can catch it.
                  Then we have the 'Irish Canadian' report of 12th October 1875 detailing the fact that Tumblety was back in Montreal.
                  I mean if you want blood out of a stone.


                  • #39
                    AP, here's a link to the Casebook transcription.


                    • #40
                      Howard - In regards to your question. Blokes like Dan Norder aren't hard to figure out. They are clinging to a phony and superficial "scientific" model. You can't really blame 'em, because it seems so much more senisble than Stephen Knight, Maybrick, and all the garbage that has come down the pike. Unfortunately, like Ressler, Douglas, etc. they are trying to be responsible, but have no real explanation for the appearance of these so-called "serial murderers" in our midst; so they conclude (wrongly) that it is a biological event. In other words, the old Kraftt-Ebing idea of 'lustmord', or some vague (but unidentified) ailment of the 'frontal lobes.' Dan wants to preach this rubbish and pretend that those who dont' buy it are 'crack-pots,' but the reality isn't so simple. In fact, he has it completely backwards. There is no biological explanation for crimes of this sort. It's a false god. Any anthropologist or socio-biologist worth his or her salt would dismantle this tripe in a few well-crafted paragraphs. When Norder claims that 19th Century murders or, say, murders from 17th Century Peru, or modern 20th Century America are all the cut from the same cookie-cutter he's merely falling back on the same bogus 'biological' explanation. The fact is , he hasn't even given it much thought. Sadly, even many of the best minds in the field (Phil Sugden, Martin Fido) haven't given it much thought either. Murder, like anything else, springs from complex social causes. I am convinced that serial murder, in particular, is very much a crime of social identity. Ultimately, this means that the murder is reacting to specific social 'cues.' Believe me or dont' believe me, but I have the facts and the research to back this claim up, and am not throwing it around casually. I am not a 'fantasist.' My opinions are based on published studies and scientific data. Yes, I am also painfully aware of the image of Tumblety that the NY World, AP Wolf, Dan Norder, Paul Begg, Wolf Vanderlinden, and 99 out of 100 Ripperologists are clinging to. I once clinged to it myself, and used to be inclined towards Druittism or Kosminskism. Then I began to look deeper. I dont' suspect you'll be believing me anytime soon, but I warn you that you are analyzing a facade. Behind the facade is a poorly educated Irish immigrant who used the techniques of other quack doctors as his own; who was not particularly compentent, nor original, and who abused and manipulated young men in order to run his business. He's a poor man's version of Neill Cream. They guy is, in fact, a very ordinary and in some ways grotesquely incompetent bloke who made most of his money in the 1850s and had a good banker (Henry Clews) who kept him wealthy on Wall Street. AP posts a few advertisements from S.F. from 1870, but he misses the point. San Fran had twelve or fifteen newspapers and advertising was exceedingly cheap. Tumblety flooded the press with his ads to give himself a facade of success. In fact, his herb shop was not particuarly successful and he left town within a few months under a cloud of failure and suspicion. And how in the heck is this event releveant to the fact that the most imporant and arguably best officer in 1880s Scotland Yard (John Littlechild) calling him a 'very likely' suspect 18 years later? No one has a credible explanation for that. No one. Norder, Vanderlinden, Begg, and now A.P. Wolf, bless 'em, aren't really thinking very clearly. They're still looking for that non-descript local chap suffering from lustmord, and all they're seeing is a bombastic and fantastical quack. No one wonder they dont' take Littlechild seriously.

                      More anon. I'm outta here again, but I plan on tackling your question at great length in the not-so-distant future. I'll make sure a copy of it falls into your hands.


                      • #41
                        Dear Rajah:

                        I hope that my previous post did not appear as a "challenge" of sorts and that some gauntlet was laid down. Far from it,old bean. The way I understood it already... is that you strongly feel Tumbelty is being superficially looked at by the community when we look at the less violent episodes in his life that are regurgitated in the press. If this is correct,I can understand that for sure. Using a contemporary serial killer ( Rader ), 20 articles or so in local Kansas newspapers mentioning his Boy Scout work,church work,or other experiences prior to his capture and conviction, overlooks the hidden inner being of that monster throughout the whole of his life.

                        I would never have any reason to doubt you or your word on material you mention or have researched or further,refer from. I think many people agree that serial murder emanates from the individual's social identity and that despite similarities that appear in m.o., each is unique in its way,hence the signature or elements within the individual's motive for the murders they commit that are uniquely theirs.

                        I look at it this way,Rajah....Tumbelty may,if he had committed these murders...and for the record,I have less interest in "the suspect",but rather the times and causation issues with respect to the whole body of suspects....have committed them for what you see as "social identity" issues equally with what others assume were committed for lustmorder based-issues or perhaps,other issues such as power/control.

                        As a layman,its often hard to differentiate between what would be considered a "social cue" and one based on a biological "imperative" ( for want of a word). In the assessment of individuals such as Hyams,Cohen,Kosminski,and the psychotics, its not really necessary to labor over the root cause or cues from social identity and/or biological based reasons. Tumbelty comes from a different kettle o' fish.

                        Hence,with individuals such as Tumbelty,who on paper doesn't seem to be in the least bit shy,socially awkward,and in fact, seems desirous of attention dating back decades prior to 1888...the task is a little harder for the layman to "fit" Tumbelty in the role of Ripper.

                        By all means, elaborate further whenever possible,R.J.

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                        • #42
                          Hey RJ
                          I hope you are not lumping me together with others who believe all this hype and tripe about serial killers, for I have moved heaven, and earth, to bring some plain common sense and humanity into the study of the social causes of murder.
                          Go back to Casebook, poetry thread, and read my Colony module.
                          And please don't lump me together with others who may have a false or faulty vision of Tumblety, for I have none, as yet.
                          My main hesitation with Tumblety as a suspect for any murder, Whitechapel or otherwise, is his enormous wealth, not his character, or even his 'doings'.
                          If you read carefully through the article I posted late last night about Tumblety's early days in Canada I think you will see that my hesitation is shared by other researchers who have absolutely no interest - vested or otherwise - in the Whitechapel Murders.
                          Hesitation is good RJ.
                          Your conviction that Tumblety is a suitable suspect for the Whitechapel Murders is to be admired.
                          Now all you have to do is convince everyone else.

                          There are other reports out there concerning Tumblety in those missing years. The 'Rochester Daily Union and Advertiser' of the 4th April 1881 has Tumblety in New Orleans picking the pockets of a government clerk.

                          Thanks for the link, Robert.


                          • #43
                            Howdy Howard,

                            Continuing on your theme, Tumblety was involved in a number of minor scrapes during the 1866-1887 period. In 1866, he was admonished in Cincinnati's St. Peter's Cathedral because of his pompous behavior during a mass. He was accused of scandalizing the congregation.

                            Later he was chased out of Pittsburgh because he caused trouble for two of his female patients. In 1868, he was run out of his Grand Street medical office in New York. In 1872, he supposedly initiated a physical confrontation with an editor in the 5th Avenue Hotel, and he was immediately arrested for it. The following year, he took an eighteen year old carpenter named Henry Carr with him to Liverpool, and William Pinkerton hinted that he sexually violated the boy.

                            Tumblety was charged with bodily assault in Toronto in 1880. AP was correct in stating that he was arrested in New Orleans by Private Detective O'Malley. He was kicked out of NY's 5th Avenue Hotel around that time, too. Tumblety also did some time in NY's Ludrow Street jail for refusing to pay for a bill. In 1872, he was booted out of St. Louis for parading around as an army surgeon. And he had NY litigation problems in the early 1880's for sexually violating his young collegiate employee named Lyons.

                            None of these instances were national news material though. He was also involved in some civil lawsuits during this time period. For example, four years ago Stephen Ryder came across paperwork that showed Tumblety's $100,000 lawsuit against the U.S. Government was disallowed in January 1873. This probably was the only matter that potentially involved the doctor on a national level during the 1866-1887 time period, yet still this lawsuit didn't seem to attract the attention of the press.


                            • #44
                              Thanks for that Joe
                              some stuff there that I haven't found yet.
                              A trend that I have found though is that when you look more closely at some of these charges and offences levelled against Tumblety, is that they all sort of tumble down.
                              I'm left with the impression that the man's wealth may well have attracted the attention of blaggers and blackmailers.
                              That is only an impression though.
                              I mean if he was gay...


                              • #45
                                Originally posted by A.P. Wolf
                                There are other reports out there concerning Tumblety in those missing years. The 'Rochester Daily Union and Advertiser' of the 4th April 1881 has Tumblety in New Orleans picking the pockets of a government clerk.
                                AP -- I mean this in the nicest possible way, because I like you. But currently you're thinking about as deeply as Dan Norder and your old friend, the profiler Glenn Andersson. That alone should give you pause to think.

                                Do you honestly believe any of this comes as a revelation to me? Let me remind you that I've been studying this guy for the better part of 6 or 7 years. I realize he was a dandy and a career criminal. I also realize he was 6' 1" or thereabouts and looked nothing like the man seen with a woman who might have been Kate Eddowes at the entrance to Mitre Square at 1.37 a.m. I realize that Wolf Vanderlinden has Inspector ANdrews off chasing fenians in December, 1888 and not Tumblety. I realize Paul Begg and Martin Fido have Littlechild out of the loop. I realize Tumblety was a flamboyant homosexual, and that every profiler in the world says he wouldn't have killed women. I realize, too, that collectiing uteri is not a credible explanation for the Whitechapel Murders. I know that Tumblety was a well-known street figure in 1860s Brooklyn and that he published bizarre pamphlets in his defense. You hold 51 cards, my friend, and I only hold one.

                                I don't know quite how to explain it to you, but perhaps if you found these articles, like I did years ago, by cranking the slow handle of a microfilm reader or flipping through hard copies in a tiny room full of kindly Mormon ladies, instead of getting them with a few clicks of a mouse thanks to the rush-rush world of digitalization, you'd be seeing things in a different light. This guy was on a downhill run to 1888. If you were there beside me, You would have had to scroll past those 364 other days, with 12 pages per whack in almost indecypherable 8 pt. lead type that said nothing whatsoever about this guy who stole a wallet. And once again, you've failed to even remotely address the relevance of whatever your point you're trying to make. Tommy Cutbush lifts a guys wallet in 1879 and're going to exactaly are you going to argue? Because I think I've seen you in better form than this, old boy.

                                Friendly advice, as always. Theorize in haste, and repent at your leisure. I got to do a little work now, but watch this space. I'll be back in awhile and thrown my friend Howard a bone and explain to you why I'm not out of my mind. Cheers, RP