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  • #61
    Thanks very much ,Stewart !


    • #62
      Blackheath--just a coincidence?

      This is the whole excerpt, thanks to Stewart Evans:

      'Pearson's Weekly' , July 24th 1915

      From an article by George Sims

      'I was able to make such a faithful record of his murderous adventures that my friend, Sir Melville Macnaghten, late Chief of the Criminal Investigation Department of Scotland Yard, paid me the compliment of reprinting my narrative verbatim in his most interesting reminiscences, The Days of My Years. [sic]

      With Neil [sic] Cream murder was pastime. There was no question of the insanity of revenge upon a certain class of women as there was in the case of the mad doctor who lived with his people at Blackheath and who, during his occasional absences from home, committed the crimes which won him world-wide infamy as 'Jack the Ripper'.

      The fact that habitual criminals invariably sign their names, as it were, to their crimes they always carry them out with an exact similarity of detail, enabled criminologists to fix the exact number of murders committed by the Ripper. They were five in number only. The other crimes accredited to this fiend were the work of other hands. They were quite dissimilar in many ways and the handwriting of the Ripper was not upon them.'

      In my opinion, we see Mac's Big Fix still playing out in the public sphere with its customary smoothness.

      Any mature graduate of the Valentine school who read this article could think, well, what a coincidence--Jack the Ripper lived in Blackheath where I went to school. He was a bit of a recluse, being judged 'mad', but was noticeably absent on the nights of the murders by the people he lived with, presumably his family.

      You know, I had a sporty, young teacher at that school in 1888 and he went AWOL and it turned out he had killed himself--and he was judged insane too.

      Of course that's where the coincidence ends, as Mr. Druitt lived with us at the school and was a barrister who 'absented' himself only once, poor man.

      We see that Sims has not accepted what Jack Littlechild was alerting the him to in Sept. 1913: that he had the wrong suicided doctor chief suspect. But then Mac could have so easily persuaded Sims that it was Littlelchild's memory that was at fault: Dr. Tumblety was alive and well until 1903 (and guess who probably told him that Tumblety was 'believed' to have taken his own life).

      Mac using an excerpt from Sims' about a murder case did the trick of flattering his chum's vanity.

      Also, that the retired chief's extending the gap between the final murder on morning of Nov. 9th and 'Jack's self-murder sometime on Nov. 10th -- exactly the 'single day' that Sims claimed in 1907 the Ripper could have not endured after what he did to Kelly-- could also be so easily be explained.

      The 10th! Did I write the 10th? Damn! I meant to write that he had killed himself on the 9th, the same morning of course Tatcho! Oh well we all make mistakes and in fact I apologized for any inaccuracies in my preface (lucky that, hey?)

      There is also the myth created by Mac that the five murders were known by the police at the time to be the only ones by the same killer. In fact they assumed McKenzie and Coles were also by the same hand, and maybe Smith and Tabram too. It was posthumous info., about the long dead Druitt that, rightly or wrongly, locked in the five.

      And finally 'Blackheath' the only time known in the extant record that Sims so baldly wrote the actual suburb in which the fiend resided (he had alluded to a 'suburb six miles' from Whitechapel in his 1907 article).

      If you were a Valentine graduate and you were familiar with several of Sims/Dagonet's writings on the Ripper you would have been struck by yet another coincidence: the fiend lived in the same suburb and, of course, drowned himself in the Thames.

      But the differences would have outweighed the similarities to Mr. Druitt and his inexplicable and untimely death in 1888.

      Apart from having a different vocation, and age, Mr Druitt lived at the school as a lodger and he killed himself in early Dec. not early Nov. 1888.

      It baffles me that so many people actually believe that this obvious shielding of, for example, the grown-up graduates of the Blackheath school must be ... just a happy and convenient side-effect for all concerned due to a police chief's terrible memory, a memory otherwise lauded for its voluminous accuracy (and a police chief who regarded his own school days as the happiest of his entire life).

      Just a coincidence ...?


      • #63
        So the reason for this elaborate subterfuge involving several different people who were in the know, was to protect the sensitivities of the ex pupils at Valentine's?


        • #64
          No, Edward it was not.

          The reason for Macnaghten's subterfuge was both to protect the surviving, respectable family, but mainly to protect Scotland Yard's rep from humiliation that they had missed the real Jack by years.

          In 1898 William Le Queux understoodf that this is what it was about and said so, eg. it was excuse. It might be a real suspect later on but not from 1888. Correct (as Mac conceded in 1914)

          This discreet subterfuge could only work if those who knew Montague Druitt, or knew of Druitt, could not recognize him from the writings of Sims, and later Macnaghten's austere comments of 1913 and opaque memoirs of 1914.

          Mission accomplished. Druitt was not recognized, not according to the extant record.

          That Druitt was hidden is a fact.

          An extremely unwelcome and deeply resented fact for some here, but a fact nonetheless.

          The question is: was it deliberate or just by a fortuitous accident that the Druitts, the ones who knew, could read about the 'Drowned Doctor' solution and be relieved that their Montie remained hidden (and became more hidden as the fictional details accumulated during the 1900's)?

          How is the reading of my long post about Inspector Andrews going?


          • #65
            Let's discount protecting the non U fairly respectable family - doesn't wash if he really thought Druitt was the culprit.

            The reputation of the police would have been greatly enhanced by a posthumous solving of the case - if there were firm foundations for thinking it had been solved - which of course there weren't. Did anyone else agree with Macnaghten's solution in the Met?

            What have we actually got here?
            A vain, conceited and frustrated man telling half baked pet garbled theories and tales to his buddies to disseminate in a deniable manner to prevent him from being called to account or ridiculed.
            Why start spreading these tales? They are an old man's conceit - not wanting it thought he didnt know the answer to the biggest mystery of the century.

            If he wanted to protect Scotland Yard's rep for not catching Druitt or wanted to shield the family then he should have remained tight lipped - but no - that didn't satisfy his ego.


            • #66
              Everything you have written is wrong, which is not a crime.

              1. Mac was not old in 1898, when he started his anonymous propaganda campaign.

              2. He had to do it to head off the Vicar of 1899, then relaxed in the 1900's and combined both tales.

              3. The rep of the Yard might not have been enhanced and so it was dressed up as about to arrest him but he killed himself.

              That's what Macnaghten chose to do, rightly or wrongly.

              4. Nobody else knew about Druitt at the Met, or the Home Office. (Anderson knew of him refracted via Aaron Kosminski: eg. a madman believed by his own people, and safely dead soon after Kelly.)


              • #67
                I'm glad I didn't commit a criminal offence just then - although I am aware that some people think that critiquing a rival theory is an offence against 'Ripperoloogy'!

                You haven't come near making a case that anything I Said was wrong apart from Macnaghten not being an old man in 1898 - and I will concede that to you.

                Why didn't he just let the vicar say everything in full and then just add details in a knowing manner?
                If he wanted to protect the rep of the Met why did he kept it secret from his colleagues that he had solved the most notorious case in the Met's history?


                • #68
                  You're so irate. Take a stress pill and calm down.

                  My theory has nothing to do with so-called 'Ripperology'.

                  It is based on the premise that there is no a mystery and has not been one since 1891, and this solution was broadly, though partly ficitiously shared with the public from 1898 and then confirmed by the police sleuth who solved the case--really it weas handed to him--in 1913 and 1914.

                  But by then the 'doctor' element, the ficitious bit, was already ascendant, while the tormented-suicide element was rapidly fading.

                  Then in 1923 William Le Queux created 'Ripperology'; the police were clueless but I have solved it.

                  Why didn't Macnaghten share his solution with the Met?

                  Let's think that one through, shall we.

                  The moment you tell anybody at the Home Office or the Met it will leak, and the Druitts will be exposed and so will the Yard at not having known about his indentity for years.

                  Sure he pout it on file when he feared the house of cards was going to collpase due to Cutbush but it didn't and he mothballed his own Report. It lay there for insurance purposes.

                  I think that in 1895 Mac shared with Anderson the Druitt solutuon, impenetrably veiled by 'Kosminski', and sure enough his boss started telling people right away.

                  He did not want the Vicar to tell the whole truth because it would humiliate the Yard. He used Sims to quash the Vicar about the police being just about to arrest the fiend, who had no time to confess anything to anybody--which in real life he did.


                  • #69
                    Originally posted by Jonathan Hainsworth
                    My theory has nothing to do with so-called 'Ripperology'.

                    It is based on the premise that there is no a mystery and has not been one since 1891, and this solution was broadly, though partly ficitiously shared with the public from 1898 and then confirmed by the police sleuth who solved the case--really it weas handed to him--
                    Well no, there is and has always been a Ripperology because whatever was handed to Melville Macnaghten has not made its way to us. Not like the carpet fibers and dog hairs from Wayne Williams mama's house. On the other hand, when the proposed criminal perpetrator is deceased, things get all free willy.

                    But I do think, Jonathan, that you do a good job enunciating this particular avenue of inquiry. A fresh approach that goes back to the beginning.



                    • #70
                      Thanks Roy

                      and you absolutely right.

                      Ther is no absolute solution from fornesics, or whatever.

                      Macnaghten's solution can only ever be a provsional one, and he and they could have been mistaken.

                      A ghastly mistake, mind you, if they were wrong.

                      Therefore other solutions are possible, depending on the merits of the argument based on the same scraps.

                      I think the Tumblety argument is very strong because he was actually a police suspect whilst alive in 1888, Macnaghten certainly never committed his name to any file of his making, and yet the flamboyant American arguably shadows the Mac sources (and his proxy Sims) of the 1900's.

                      I think the Anderson-Swanson-Kosminski argument is very weak because other primary sources of the day elbow it to one side.


                      • #71
                        I wasn't in the least bit stressed or irate.

                        The main failing here is that you propose that Macnaghten engaged in a deceitful game of shadow boxing to hide or protect the family of the perpetrator of the worse and most notorious series of murders then known in these shores - and (but this makes less sense as he could have publicised the solution unless protecting the fairly good family was his overriding aim) to protect Scotland Yard's rep - but this flies in the face of the patrician pro consular ethos that Macnaghten was born into.
                        The blind rule of law by which we ruled India for example - a cover up such as you suggest runs counter to everything his family will have taught him and everything he will have learnt at Eton - play up, play the game.
                        To protect someone who was clearly not quite the thing and who was refused election to the Oxford Union? Never!


                        • #72
                          By killing himself, Druitt actually conformed to that ethos and the social order that in life he could not


                          • #73
                            Thanks Roy

                            To Edward Stow

                            You don't know Macnaghten at all, at least not as he exists in the surviving records by him, about him and by his proxies.

                            You are relying on cliches about the Victorian upper class, whereas a depper readoing of the sources shows that Macnaghten's machinations from 1891 to 1914 (and maybe 1921) make perfect sense with how he understood 'playing the game'.

                            I recommend you read Chapter II of his memoirs, they are available online, and I believe that you will see what I mean.


                            • #74
                              I have followed your instructions and read Chapter 2 in ‘The Days of My Years’ – which I confess I had not read before.
                              But before I got to Chapter 2, I read the Preface and came across this passage:
                              ‘I have had my like and dislikes, but, so far as I know, no enemies in the world…’
                              I guess your take on this is that Anderson was excluded from this dictum?

                              The Preface contains the well-known statement:
                              ‘It was said once by an enterprising journalist that I only owned up to two disappointments, the first being that, although I played in several trial matches, I was turned out of the Eton Eleven before the Harrow match, and the second that I became a detective officer six months after the so-called “Jack the Ripper” committed suicide, and “never had a go at that fascinating individual”.’

                              This self-serving passage is rather similar to the clever dick response to that facile job interview question:
                              “What are your weaknesses?”
                              The answer being:
                              “I try too hard and work too hard”.

                              Melville’s only regrets in life – we are to believe – were that he didn’t play in an inter school sports match and that Jack the Ripper eluded him but only because he died before he joined the police and, by the way, you heard it here first. So if you are browsing this book in a shop – pay your money and read on…

                              Is Macnaghten telling the truth though?
                              Chapter 3 details his years in India and includes an account of when he was knocked senseless by a mob of natives in 1881. This led to Macnaghten meeting James Monro. In 1884 Mono was made Assistant Commission of The Met, in charge of the CID. When Mcnaghten came back to Britain from India in 1888 Monro wanted to appoint Macnaghten as his no 2, as his CID Chief Constable.
                              But Warren, the Commissioner, vetoed it. Reportedly because Macnaghten’s confidence and authority had been compromised due to the incident with the natives.
                              Monro only managed to get Macnaghten in place in June 1889, and then only as Assistant Chief Constable.
                              Are we to believe that this whole episode was not a bigger disappointment to Macnaghten than not being selected to play for Eton against Harrow?

                              How does Macnaghten in his memoirs deal with his 1888 rejection by Warren as the CID Chief Constable?
                              ‘Four years later, on my return from India, he (Monro) asked me if I was prepared to take up work as his Assistant Chief Constable at Scotland Yard. Flattering though the proposal was, I was not in a position to accept it at the moment, as family work and private interests claimed my whole attention...’
                              What do you make of that?

                              Anyway Chapter 2 and Eton.
                              Macnaghten’s portrayal of his time there is a veritable caricature of Victorian public school life. Every boy, when asked if he had committed some transgression, would readily admitted it. They did not lie to get out of trouble. There is the sense of duty as illustrated by the tale of ‘Peter Wilks’ who drowned to save another soldier in the Transvaal.

                              The Eton motto was ‘Floreat Etona’ (Let Eton Flouish) and it was immortalised by Lady Butler’s 1898 painting of the same name. This painting commemorates the death of old Etonian Robert Elwes who fell fighting for the Empire at the battle of Laing’s Nek in the First Boer War of 1881. Elwes died in a suicidal attack that was characterised by the troops stoicly carrying out ridiculous and unimaginative orders. No matter what the consequences. No shirking of responsibilities.

                              That was the ethos that Macnaghten tried to conform to.


                              • #75
                                I appreciate that you have given it a go, but you have missed certain things.

                                In the preface he claims that an 'enterprizing' reporter made it up about his two regrets. That's not true. But the point is that he is asking the readers to reject the mnotion that he was entirely too late to do have a go at the Ripper.

                                He also tellingly juxtaposes championship cricket, the Ripper and errors of memory.

                                Just a coincidence?

                                What he says of Eton, that it was the happiest days of his entire life and he knew this as he was living them and this shows remarkable arrested development. It reads like the comic books of the day without the slightest adult reflection whatsoever.

                                He also learns he says that getting caught is worse than the sin

                                For me 'Old Mac' remained a boy-man perfectly willing to be the action man saviour-hero figure and also to be a rogue element within the Yard because he was an Old Etonian and they were not.

                                His remraks about why he did not get on the Froce in 1888 is quite simply an outright lie. When he talks about Bloodhounds, much later on, he really gives it with both barrels to the un-named Warren.