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Druitt/Bluitt

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  • Chris Scott
    replied
    "The Worst Man in the World" by Frank Richardson is on Google Books but with very limited previews, not the full copy.
    Apart from the "Bluitt" reference on pages 58/9 I found this limited reference on page 146:
    "... his masterpiece in Miller's Court had flung himself, raving into the Thames, so Sir Rupert, hopelessly insane, was now seized with homicidal mania."
    What the beginning of this sentence is I do not know.
    If anyone has the book I'd be very interested to know the missing part...

    Leave a comment:


  • Jonathan Hainsworth
    replied
    'Dr Bluitt' is another example, I think, of Macnaghten's behind-the-scenes machinations, with clubby insiders, over Druitt's identity as the fiend.

    The writer Richardson, minor compared to Sims, even juxtaposes 'Bluitt' with the idea of a 'school'.

    Just a coincidence, or a cheeky wink from the in-the-know gentlmen who actually knew that a game was being played? [It echoes the coincidence in Mac's memoir's preface in which cricket is juxtaposed with the Ripper.]

    'Bluitt' also suggests to me that Stewart Evans is perhaps mistaken in thinking that Sims did not know Druitt's name.

    If Richardson knew it. then it is hard to ceonceive that the famous and influential Sims, Mac's pal at that, would not know.

    I think Sims wrote abiut 'Dr D' to Littlechild, not to gain information, but to show that 1) he had some sense of propriety and 2) that he knew the biggest secret at Scotland Yard, not realising that it was just Mac's pet theory.

    Littlechild found this so pompous -- and ludicrous he believed -- that he initiated a reply in which he would debunk 'Dr D' in favour of the genuine, not mythical, middle-aged, under-employed medico investigated as a Ripper suspect in 1888, in fact actually put in a cell briefly: 'Dr T'.

    Stewart Evans also writes that Richardson would have to be careful to avoid tangling with the libel laws with the Druitts of the 1900's.

    I agree 100%

    That's why Druitt's name is noy only changed, but also his vocation and when he drowned in the Thames.

    The irony being that this may not have been a big deal to Macnaghten. As in, if you want to brag to cronies, and even have the public learn the essential [and unwanted] core of the Ripper's profile -- an English, Gentile, Gentleman -- you would have to change a few details to avoid a libel trap.

    On the Casebook is this famous source on Mac's retirement.

    The bold is mine.


    Washington Post (Washington, D.C.)
    4 June 1913


    FATE OF JACK THE RIPPER
    Retiring British Official Says Once Famous Criminal Committed Suicide
    London Cable to the New York Tribune
    The fact that "Jack the Ripper", the man who terrorized the East End of London by the murder of seven women during 1888, committed suicide, is now confirmed by Sir Melville Macnaughten, head of the criminal investigation department of Scotland Yard, who retired on Saturday after 24 years' service.
    Sir Melville says: "It is one of the greatest regrets of my life that "Jack the Ripper" committed suicide six months before I joined the force.
    That remarkable man was one of the most fascinating of criminals. Of course, he was a maniac, but I have a very clear idea as to who he was and how he committed suicide, but that, with other secrets, will never be revealed by me."


    And this was posted by Chris Scott, also on the other site.

    Pittsburgh Press
    6 July 1913

    Following out his observation regarding the necessity of the ideal detective "keeping his mouth shut," Macnaughton (sic) carried into retirement with him knowledge of the identity of perhaps the greatest criminal of the age, Jack the Ripper, who terrorized Whitechapel in 1888 by the fiendish mutilation and murder of seven women.
    "He was a maniac, of course, but not the man whom the world generally suspected," said Sir Melville. "He committed suicide six months before I entered the department, and it is the one great regret of my career that I wasn't on the force when it all happened. My knowledge of his identity and the circumstances of his suicide came to me subsequently. As no good purpose could be served by publicity, I destroyed before I left Scotland Yard every scrap of paper bearing on the case. No one else will ever know who the criminal was - nor my reasons for keeping silent."


    Macnaghten is about as austere in what he reveals about Druitt, as he will be in his memoirs -- the ones he assured people he would not write.

    So much here to disentangle, assuming they are accurate to Macnaghten's true comments -- and they may not be:

    - Macnaghten seems to have said in 1913 that he regretted being too late for the Ripper in 1888.

    In his memoirs he makes it sound as if this was made up by some unreliable hack.

    - Macnaghten says that the un-named Druitt committed suicide around Dec 1st of 1888.

    Actually, this is correct.

    Druitt killed himself in early December, not within hours of the Kelly murder, and Macnaghten started at CID on June ist 1889.

    Did Macnaghten regret saying this because it was so different from what he had been saying to Sims, showing him a version of his Report which claimed that 'Dr Druitt' killed himself on November 9th or 1oth, and the body fished out on Dec 3rd 1888?

    In the memoir chapter on the fiend, the date of his death -- Nov 10th 1888 -- is one of the few details explicity mentioned, and it's wrong [and lazily hedged with '... on or about ...']

    Is this why Macnaghten had to undermine what a journliast had correctly written? So he dismissed him as 'enterprizing'?

    - Mac claims that he has kept it all to himself, kept his mouth shut, revealed the name to nobody.

    How about the 'Drowned Doctor', and 'Dr D', and 'Dr Bluitt'?


    The second version of this 1913 story is very tantalizing.

    Macnaghten supposedly admits something actually known only to him; that Druitt's identity was only learned about 'subsequently'. He could just mean when he joined the Force, but that's awfully close to 'some years after' which opens the chapter in his book, except here he is close to admitting that the information came to him, not to the police.

    Macnaghten also says that the profile the world has believed in is wrong.

    Does he mean Anderon's incarcerated Jew, or Forbes Winslow's prognostications?

    Or, does he mean the 'Drowned Doctor' of Griffiths and Sims, which we know must come from himself.

    Is he clearing the decks for his own memoir in which he will begin to debunk the suspect profile he set in motion -- because this document would be under his own name?

    Anyhow, Macnaghten's showing a 'Home Office Report' to Grifths and Sims -- and Richardson? -- puts the lie to his innocent claim of wanting to avoid publicity, as 'nothing good' could come from it.

    But he had courted publicity for the un-named Druitt, though not for himself.

    Even all this would be essntially true, if he knew full well that 'Dr D' was heavily fictitious.

    That would -- mostly -- match keeping secrets and revealing something of his chief suspect, but not too much that something bad could come from it like a libel suit.

    Leave a comment:


  • Howard Brown
    replied
    Thanks for jolting my memory, SPE.

    "Given that Richardson was also a barrister, and that Druitt was a barrister and teacher who 'flung himself' into the Thames, this appears to indicate that Richardson was privy to the rumours concerning Druitt."

    I wonder how these rumors included Druitt being involved in the Whitechapel Murders...since numerous people committed suicide in London.
    Does it sound to you as if the rumors began and were disseminated from someone inside the police heirarchy ?

    Or is there some other way it did ( such as the rumor originating from a non-police, but familial source ) ?

    Leave a comment:


  • SPE
    replied
    Frank Richardson

    Originally posted by How Brown View Post
    On "The American Doctor" thread, SPE mentioned the following :
    "I feel that Macnaghten did not give Sims Druitt's full name but referred to him as 'Dr D' and that Sims was interested to find out exactly who 'Dr D' (i.e. Druitt) was. Hence Sims query to Littlechild regarding 'Dr D'. I stress, though, that is just my opinion. The Druitt family was a wealthy family of lawyers and doctors and were still prominent in 1913 so I am sure that Macnaghten would still not want the name leaked - and Sims was a journalist after all."
    I'm sure several people, not all, people are aware that last year, an article or story was found during a Google search...containing the name "Bluitt" with what appears to be a fairly convincing, thinly veiled reference to Montagu Druitt. I cannot remember the contents of the article at present...but can try (this morning) to find it to illustrate what I'm talking about.
    With that in mind and with SPE's underlined suggestion/statement in mind....I'm wondering how Druitt's name was found out...and transformed into "Bluitt"...if that is the case.
    I'd like to know what SPE...and anyone else thinks since what SPE suggests may well be true.
    However, the question would be, if SPE is correct, how did Druitt's name become known to others ( the individual who wrote the article, which was a light hearted piece if I remember correctly ) if the "Bluitt" reference did refer to Druitt ?
    Hope thats not too confusing.
    The Bluitt reference was discovered by Chris Phillips who started a thread on the Casebook site about it on 20 September 2009.

    It was from a comic novel The Worst Man In The World by Frank Richardson published in 1908. The relevant passage, pp. 58-59 read -
    "Murder is practised solely by the barbarous or the insane. What art could thrive with such exponents? Doctor Bluitt, whose fantastic ability was so strikingly exhibited in his admirable series of Whitechapel murders, flung himself raving into the Thames. If only he had been sane, he, I fondly fancy, might have founded a school. What the art requires is a sane Doctor Bluitt."

    Given that Richardson was also a barrister, and that Druitt was a barrister and teacher who 'flung himself' into the Thames, this appears to indicate that Richardson was privy to the rumours concerning Druitt.

    Leave a comment:


  • Howard Brown
    started a topic Druitt/Bluitt

    Druitt/Bluitt

    On "The American Doctor" thread, SPE mentioned the following :

    "I feel that Macnaghten did not give Sims Druitt's full name but referred to him as 'Dr D' and that Sims was interested to find out exactly who 'Dr D' (i.e. Druitt) was. Hence Sims query to Littlechild regarding 'Dr D'. I stress, though, that is just my opinion. The Druitt family was a wealthy family of lawyers and doctors and were still prominent in 1913 so I am sure that Macnaghten would still not want the name leaked - and Sims was a journalist after all."

    I'm sure several people, not all, people are aware that last year, an article or story was found during a Google search...containing the name "Bluitt" with what appears to be a fairly convincing, thinly veiled reference to Montagu Druitt. I cannot remember the contents of the article at present...but can try (this morning) to find it to illustrate what I'm talking about.

    With that in mind and with SPE's underlined suggestion/statement in mind....I'm wondering how Druitt's name was found out...and transformed into "Bluitt"...if that is the case.

    I'd like to know what SPE...and anyone else thinks since what SPE suggests may well be true.

    However, the question would be, if SPE is correct, how did Druitt's name become known to others ( the individual who wrote the article, which was a light hearted piece if I remember correctly ) if the "Bluitt" reference did refer to Druitt ?

    Hope thats not too confusing.
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