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The Juwes Are the Men....or are they?

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  • The Juwes Are the Men....or are they?

    What would have been your thoughts if, in 1936 Cleveland, Ohio, you had found the following graffito near one of the Kingsbury Run Murderer's crime scenes?

    The Browns Are the Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing

    Would you have assumed that the Cleveland Browns professional football team was somehow involved in the murder? Would you maybe have concluded that Cleveland's Latin immigrant population (as in today's Brown Kings) was somehow involved? Would it ever have occurred to you that maybe the cryptic graffito was referring to a family named Brown, and not an organized group or ethnic group?

    We're all familiar with the famous Goulston Street Graffito,

    "The Juwes are the men that will not be blamed for nothing"

    and nearly everyone has his or her own pet theory about the meaning of 'Juwes'. Indeed, literally thousands of references to 'Juwes' can be found on the internet; hundreds can be found on Casebook and this site alone. Be it 'Juwes', 'Juives', or whatever, the single common conclusion reached is that somehow the Jews were involved in the Whitechapel Murders.

    But what if 'Juwes' has been misinterpreted all this time? What if, as in the example given above, it instead referred to a family name, this being 'Juwe'? One could easily accept graffiti like these:

    "The Sopranos are the men that will not be blamed for nothing"
    "The Corleones are the men that will not be blamed for nothing"
    "The Escobars are the men that will not be blamed for nothing"
    "The Kennedys are the men that will not be blamed for nothing"

    And, in Philly, I'm sure that "The Browns are the men that will not be blamed for nothing" would be understood by the locals, especially if it were written on the door jamb of a sleazy cheesesteak emporium. But where does that leave us with 'Juwe'? It turns out that it is not all that obscure a surname:

    A thread of this nature used to be on this site, but cannot be located, and I believe that others on Casebook have reported that there was no 'Juwe' found in the 1881 census. But this means nothing since 'Juwe' could have easily been anglicized for the census, misspelled/misinterpreted, or the Juwes at hand either evaded the census or arrived subsequent to it.

    The point is, thinking out of the box has given us a new perspective that few if any have probably ever considered. While it may be unlikely, it is still possible, and the concept may bear some further investigation. What do our members think?

  • #2
    Nobody could be happier than I am to see Tim tackling theoretical issues within the Case. I think its been so long since he has gone in this direction that some people might forget how talented he is at it.

    Allow me to preface my feelings on what you've posited, Tim, with the following:

    I'm of the opinion as are many here that we are almost always at a disadvantage in comparison to the contemporary police officials, beat cops, and even in many cases, the man or woman in the street, when it comes to interpreting facts or aspects of the Case. In short, they were there, we can't be. They could not know how badly we wish we could see and feel what they could and didn't elaborate to the extent that we wish they had. I think if in similar straits we might not fair any better with the same limitations regardless of the degree of enthusiasm we have today.

    In regard to some contemporary medical determinations or contemporary assessments of certain people ( The Ostrog inclusion to the MM, for example..), there are those in 2009 who might have a better grip of facts or a better explanation of those events and contemporary views than those who lived in 1888 did . This is one area where time may be an advantage for some of us....this ability to retrospectively grade their judgments due to the absence of some scientific advantages we have at our disposal.

    The GSG might be one other area where the unique condition of equal footing between 1888 and 2009 is present. Not that the decision in Sept. 1888 to remove it was right or wrong or that the meaning of the message could have been understood better then or not as good as what we could do ( They may not, for example, have been as concerned with the 2nd word of the message as most of us are ) today. Since no one had determined to any degree of certainty in 1888 what the 2nd word meant and so far none of us have either....this is why we might actually have equal footing with the people who struggled with its meaning 121 years ago.

    One thing that has often puzzled me since I had spent a lot of time and I mean a lot of time thinking about the GSG in the past...say around 4 or 5 years ago....was why the message had to include...or simply included... the words "the men".

    Compare the two...the original to one I used to kick around....

    "The Juwes are the men that will not be blamed for nothing..." Long's spelling, Halse's sentence construct.

    "The Juwes are not to be blamed for nothing"...... an equally vague yet less redundant message.

    Is it merely a redundancy at play...the use of "the men" here in the original GSG ? Or as Tim has suggested, is it something which pinpoints something we just can't pinpoint yet ?

    Although I would side with those who tend to see it as a misspelled expression of the word "Jews", Nina has suggested that it might be a misrepresentation of the word "The Judges".

    Nice thread Tim.
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    • #3

      From a trawl through the archives by the Intrepid One, Nina B.
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      • #4
        That's cool How & Nina - it looks exactly like Jewes

        She's so clever

        (Only just came across this)


        • #5
          Yeah, but I have the looks Nemo.

          The thought occurred to us one night that because of the prevalence of Jews in the area, that the actual word was simply assumed to be Juwes based on that alone.

          Just a thought mind you and it doesn't hurt to consider it...
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          • #6
            I've often thought that the apparent mis-spelling could have come about from the chalk being deflected by a bump in the brickwork, and/or a spurious loop in the "round, schoolboy hand" being mistaken for an "e". It's perhaps noteworthy in this context that different witnesses read the word differently (Juwes/Juews/Jewes), which suggests that there was at least some room for ambiguity in the interpretation, which - in turn - suggests that the stimulus was itself ambiguous. In short, just because the "canonical" record has it spelled as "Juwes", doesn't mean that it was "Juwes".


            • #7
              Indeed, Sam, and while we are on the subject of the schoolboy hand, it is worth remembering that young Thomas struggled with 'synagogue' and eventually came up with 'syndicate'.


              • #8
                Here's my thing with the GSG

                even if we could tell for sure that it was the Corleones who were the men not to be blamed for nothing, WTH does it MEAN???

                In honor of your birthday, Howie, and sort of a propos to the thread, I will repost a little ditty I made up a few years ago

                Jacky ran on fevered feet
                Up and down old Goulston Street
                Poor lad, wearing out his shoes
                Fleeing from the cursed Jews
                Pulls the chalk out of his pocket
                Not disturbing Kate's red locket
                Scribbles in his schoolboy hand
                Something we can't understand
                Smiling lays his burden down
                "This will flummox Howie Brown!"


                • #9
                  Ah, now thats art Mags...that was really good. Thanks a million for that.
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by How Brown View Post
                    Yeah, but I have the looks Nemo.

                    The thought occurred to us one night that because of the prevalence of Jews in the area, that the actual word was simply assumed to be Juwes based on that alone.

                    Just a thought mind you and it doesn't hurt to consider it...
                    Of course because the City Police were based at Old Jewry, it could have been a statement saying that the City Police were to blame for something, say for not not being able to catch the killer...

                    From Dickens’s Dictionary of London 1888 (ISBN 1-873590-04-0).

                    Police Office (City)
                    26 Old Jewry, E.C.
                    Commissioner ~ Col. Sir James Fraser, K.C.B.;
                    Chief Supt. ~ Major Henry Smith;
                    Receiver ~ J. W. Carlyon-Hughes, Esq.;
                    Chief Clerk ~ John Whatley, Esq.

                    Other less plausible possibilities for the mistake that the word signified "Jews" are that the word was actually "James" (see Untitled [Jack the Ripper] by Richard Scheib on Casebook or that it was actually the abbreviation IWES (or similar) for the International Worker's Educational Club in Berner Street.

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

                    Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conferences, April 2016 and 2018.
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