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  • #31
    Originally posted by Adam Went View Post

    Chris:

    I've asked the question before about just how many suicides there were in the Thames for men aged between about 20 and 50 between November 9th, 1888 and December 31st, 1888....it'd be an interesting research topic for somebody who had the time and interest to take it on. Where's Colin Roberts when you need him?

    I have to say though that i'm more than a little disappointed with any good student of the case when they still say, in 2010, that Druitt is a viable suspect.

    Cheers,
    Adam.
    Hi Adam

    I suppose we all would like to either clear Montie's name or find out if there is more to it than just an accusation. I am glad to see that there has been greater focus on Druitt recently. He had become a forgotten and discarded suspect after the early attention given to him by Farson and Howells and Skinner. The work of D. J. Leighton, Andrew Spallek, and Jonathan Hainsworth has brought him back into focus, and I think that brings a breath of air to a musty old corner of the case. There may be nothing whatever to his candidacy, and that, as I sense, Macnaghten created something out of very little, which could have likewise been the case with Anderson concerning Kosminski. But it would be nice to know one way or the other, and thus I think the current ongoing investigations and discussions about both suspects and their advocates have much merit.

    All the best

    Chris
    Christopher T. George, Lyricist & Co-Author, "Jack the Musical"
    https://www.facebook.com/JackTheMusical/ Hear sample song at https://tinyurl.com/y8h4envx.

    Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conferences, April 2016 and 2018.
    Hear RipperCon 2016 & 2018 talks at http://www.casebook.org/podcast/.

    Comment


    • #32
      Hi all,
      Been out of the loop due to bad connection problems etc.

      Chris,
      Quote
      We have to be careful that we are not either accepting a theory that was not based on fact but was rather just an idea of the Ripper's end, or transferring back in time the later ideas of a Ripper who killed himself right after the murders based on the Druitt story or some other drowned man.

      I have a sense that is what is indeed happening, and there is no drowned man who exactly or nearly corresponds with the date of the Kelly murder, let alone a drowned Russian doctor, which sounds too good to be true and a concoction of later tales rather than being the truth.

      As I stated earlier, it "sounds right" that the murderer killed himself immediately after the last murder, and it was one of the "facts" that Macnaghten initially uses in the memorandum, that the man was sexually insane, he disposes of himself after that murder, he was a surgeon or the son of a surgeon, and his family believe he was the killer.... Case Closed. There really doesn't have to have been an earlier drowned man other than the vague idea of that being a possible end for the killer.

      All the best

      Chris

      I understand the point that you make in your post, and it holds merit. The idea of a 'mythical' dead murderer is an interesting concept. The problem I have though, is when did the idea creep into circulation.

      Going by press reports to the end of 1888, it certainly wasn't in circulation then, or at least believed by the police at street level. Look at the comments regarding the Mylett murder in December, before it was decided that she wasn't a Ripper victim. Indeed, the police and press in general throughout that period and into 1889 were convinced that JtR was alive and active.
      Scotland Yard would seem to have been pursuing enquiries in the US. In fact, in two Dagonet articles in December 1889, Sims seems to believe JtR was still alive - so he didn't have the inside story at that point.

      Do you think that MM was the originator of the story, sometime shortly after he took office? Possibly for the reasons that you propose. But obviously before Druitt became a person of interest, which then necessitated changing dates etc.

      I had a strange thought the other night, do you think it is possible that MM gave Farquharson the story rather than the other way around?

      Anyway, now my connection is OK, back to sifting through newspapers.

      All the best
      Dave
      "From Hull, Hell and Halifax, Good Lord deliver us."

      Comment


      • #33
        Hi Dave

        You wrote, "I had a strange thought the other night, do you think it is possible that MM gave Farquharson the story rather than the other way around?"

        That's certainly an intriguing thought, although due to the geographical connection between the Druitts and Farquharson, I think its more probable that the MP had the story first, or the idea that Montie could have been the murderer. Of course we are assuming that Macnaghten conferred with Farquharson, although he might have got the information some other way.

        Now that we know that the "West of England MP" was Farquharson, though, the likelihood would appear possible that Macnaghten made enquiries with the MP and that is the information he put in the 1894 Memorandum. If that is the case, Macnaghten would not have known anything about it until after the newspaper reports broke the news that the West of England MP had suspicions, notably the 11 February 1891 edition of The Bristol Times and Mirror as related by Andrew Spallek over at Casebook. Here he quotes the writer of that article:

        "I give a curious story for what it is worth. There is a West of England member who in private declares that he has solved the mystery of 'Jack the Ripper.' His theory - and he repeats it with so much emphasis that it might almost be called his doctrine - is that 'Jack the Ripper' committed suicide on the night of his last murder. I can't give details, for fear of a libel action; but the story is so circumstantial that a good many people believe it. He states that a man with blood-stained clothes committed suicide on the night of the last murder, and he asserts that the man was the son of a surgeon, who suffered from homicidal mania. I do not know what the police think of the story, but I believe that before long a clean breast will be made, and that the accusation will be sifted thoroughly."

        Of course that "accusation," as ephemeral as it might be, contains a major blooper in that it's claimed that the suspect killed himself directly after the Kelly murder: "He states that a man with blood-stained clothes committed suicide on the night of the last murder, and he asserts that the man was the son of a surgeon, who suffered from homicidal mania."

        On another thread, Caz and I have been discussing the possibility that in fingering Druitt, Farquharson might have latched onto Druitt because he had been influenced by the idea that Druitt might have been dismissed from Mr. Valentine's school for some sexual infraction, much as he latched onto C. T. Gatty, his opponent in the 1892 election, for being dismissed from Charterhouse school for a similar alleged sexual escapade, the subject of a libel suit in which the MP was fined £5,000, as Spallek discusses in his dissertation. So in other words, the MP in his eagerness to break the news that he knew the identity of the murderer (look at the wording, ". . .he repeats it with so much emphasis that it might almost be called his doctrine") that he might have blown up Druitt's candidacy for having been the killer out of proportion because he was disgusted by what he thought the suspect did at the Blackheath school and misconstrued when the suicide took place which made Druitt seem more likely to have been the killer.

        All the best

        Chris
        Christopher T. George, Lyricist & Co-Author, "Jack the Musical"
        https://www.facebook.com/JackTheMusical/ Hear sample song at https://tinyurl.com/y8h4envx.

        Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conferences, April 2016 and 2018.
        Hear RipperCon 2016 & 2018 talks at http://www.casebook.org/podcast/.

        Comment


        • #34
          Hey all,

          Cris:

          That's a fair point about the students, I just thought it was worthwhile raising the point that it wasn't out of the realms of possibility that some of these former students, by then elderly men, would have read about this new candidacy of Druitt - and if they had of known anything which could have added to the hype, there could have been somebody who would have come forward with it. Obviously that wasn't the case, however.

          We really can only speculate as to the reasons Druitt finally decided to commit suicide - IMO, it was a build up of small events over the previous few years, perhaps starting with the death of his father and being virtually written out of the estate in comparison with other members of his family in 1885. It was then a steady downhill spiral until some more unfortunate events in the latter part of 1888 - an unfortunate coincidence that they just happened, through no fault of Monty's, to fall around the same time as the Ripper murders. It should be clear to the objective researcher though that the events in Monty's life and the events of the Ripper murders have no common connection or relation to one another at all.

          Chris:

          It just seems like a great injustice that the man has had his name, and his family's name, dragged through the mud for decades when there is nothing on him at all and it would be fair to say that the entire suspicion of him was borne out of a faulty memorandum from an officer who wasn't even involved with the original Ripper investigation.

          You're right though that it's good that he's back in focus and the aim is to finally put the case to rest.

          Cheers,
          Adam.

          Comment


          • #35
            Hi Chris,

            Further to MM telling Farquharson - quote: "He states that a man with blood-stained clothes committed suicide on the night of the last murder..."

            This sounds like the original story rather than 'new' information.

            I theorised something on the lines of MM reads the Druitt inquest report, thinks it matches his original idea that the killer must have committed suicide straight after Millers Court. MM knows Farquharson socially and mentions, over a glass of Port, that he's seen a report of a suicide from Farquharson's neck of the woods, and suddenly 2+2=5.

            Unfortunately, it still doesn't get us any closer to who first came up with the body in the Thames story in the first place.

            The more I think about it, the more it seems to be a late addition to the Ripper myth. In 1888-89 there doesn't seem to be any story being put about regarding it. It seems plausible now to disregard, the so called Bachert story, so when did the story come into circulation? As you've suggested, it could be some kind of wish fulfilment story, but we're still no closer to the date of origin.

            All the best
            Dave
            "From Hull, Hell and Halifax, Good Lord deliver us."

            Comment


            • #36
              Originally posted by Dave James View Post
              Hi Chris,

              Further to MM telling Farquharson - quote: "He states that a man with blood-stained clothes committed suicide on the night of the last murder..."

              This sounds like the original story rather than 'new' information.

              I theorised something on the lines of MM reads the Druitt inquest report, thinks it matches his original idea that the killer must have committed suicide straight after Millers Court. MM knows Farquharson socially and mentions, over a glass of Port, that he's seen a report of a suicide from Farquharson's neck of the woods, and suddenly 2+2=5.

              Unfortunately, it still doesn't get us any closer to who first came up with the body in the Thames story in the first place.

              The more I think about it, the more it seems to be a late addition to the Ripper myth. In 1888-89 there doesn't seem to be any story being put about regarding it. It seems plausible now to disregard, the so called Bachert story, so when did the story come into circulation? As you've suggested, it could be some kind of wish fulfilment story, but we're still no closer to the date of origin.

              All the best
              Hi Dave

              To be clear about it, we have no proof whatsoever that Macnaghten had any communication with Farquharson let alone sat down with him over a glass of port and discussed the situation. We might assume that they did in fact have some sort of communication but we cannot be sure about it.

              So, the quote that you give which you credit to MM talking to the MP, "He states that a man with blood-stained clothes committed suicide on the night of the last murder..." is in fact a quote from the writer of the 11 February 1891 Bristol Times and Mirror article that broke the story about the unnamed West of England MP having the answer to the case.

              And I think what is significant about what is said in that article is that bad information about the murderer disposing of himself after the Kelly murder, which Macnaghten also initially picked up. It seems to nail the suspect, i.e., Druitt, for the murder. And yet we know the reality was that he did not kill himself at that time which might detract from the case that he was in fact the killer.

              All the best

              Chris
              Christopher T. George, Lyricist & Co-Author, "Jack the Musical"
              https://www.facebook.com/JackTheMusical/ Hear sample song at https://tinyurl.com/y8h4envx.

              Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conferences, April 2016 and 2018.
              Hear RipperCon 2016 & 2018 talks at http://www.casebook.org/podcast/.

              Comment


              • #37
                Hi Chris,
                I should have notated the quote as being from F, it was the similarity to all the other body in the Thames stories that I was comparing it to.
                Dave
                "From Hull, Hell and Halifax, Good Lord deliver us."

                Comment


                • #38
                  Originally posted by Adam Went View Post
                  ...i've also got serious doubts that he wrote the suicide note with the complete intention of doing away with himself.
                  Hi Adam,

                  I can't see anything particularly ambiguous about his alleged words: "...the best thing was for me to die". Where do your serious doubts come from? He either wrote those words or he didn't; if he did write them, he either meant them or he didn't. So if you don't consider them as evidence that he wanted to end it all and succeeded, what have you got instead?

                  So what if said other member of staff who came across it questioned the offending student/s, and they said "Mr. Druitt allowed it" or "Mr. Druitt knew it was here" or something similar? Yes, Valentine would have known Druitt was busy elsewhere, but if this reached the point where he was not carrying out the duties he was being payed to do correctly, then it would come time for a dismissal - actually, to me, it almost seems like Valentine gave his long term employee the option to either walk away or be dismissed. Again, i've got no evidence, but it makes more sense than the suggestion he was molesting children or went missing on the nights of the Ripper murders.
                  That's fine - it's merely a bit more speculation along the same lines as some of my own.

                  Except there really is no evidence that Valentine gave him the option of resigning, for the 'serious trouble at the school' for which he was dismissed.

                  Incidentally, I didn't say I thought there was any "dirt" on Druitt. In fact I agreed there is no direct evidence for any. I merely made the point that certain matters tended to be hushed up, so silence doesn't necessarily indicate anything useful either way.

                  Love,

                  Caz
                  X
                  I wish I were two puppies then I could play together - Storm Petersen

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Caz:

                    "I can't see anything particularly ambiguous about his alleged words: "...the best thing was for me to die". Where do your serious doubts come from? He either wrote those words or he didn't; if he did write them, he either meant them or he didn't. So if you don't consider them as evidence that he wanted to end it all and succeeded, what have you got instead?"

                    It's written in past tense. "Best thing for me WAS", i.e. "I gave a lot of thought to this at the time (i.e. Friday)...", not "Best thing for me IS", i.e. "I'm off to do it right now".....this is an important point given that Druitt was not a dull man.

                    Furthermore, how can we be sure of when the note was written?
                    Why was it described as being found "amongst" his papers as opposed to being where one would think it would be found, either on his body when recovered from the water along with other possessions that he clearly found more appropriate to take to his grave than a suicide note, or even in a more conspicious spot in his chambers?

                    It doesn't make total sense. And you know what they say - if it don't make sense, it ain't right.

                    "Except there really is no evidence that Valentine gave him the option of resigning, for the 'serious trouble at the school' for which he was dismissed."

                    There is no evidence either way really other than the word "serious" being used at the inquest. However, if a person is dismissed from their position, the employer is not required to pay out existing holiday pay/long service leave - at least, that's the way i'm aware it works. Therefore, if we presume that the cheque for 16 pounds found on Druitt's body was for said long service leave/holiday pay, either Valentine was being very generous - not something one would expect for such a "serious" offence - or Druitt left the school on reasonably good terms with his former employer.

                    Cheers,
                    Adam.

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      He probably didn't have room to put the note in his pocket because of all of the rocks that he'd put in them.

                      I'm afraid you're getting out on a limb and sawing it off behind you on this one.
                      Best Wishes,
                      Cris Malone
                      ______________________________________________
                      "Objectivity comes from how the evidence is treated, not the nature of the evidence itself. Historians can be just as objective as any scientist."

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Adam Went View Post
                        Caz:

                        "I can't see anything particularly ambiguous about his alleged words: "...the best thing was for me to die". Where do your serious doubts come from? He either wrote those words or he didn't; if he did write them, he either meant them or he didn't. So if you don't consider them as evidence that he wanted to end it all and succeeded, what have you got instead?"

                        It's written in past tense. "Best thing for me WAS", i.e. "I gave a lot of thought to this at the time (i.e. Friday)...", not "Best thing for me IS", i.e. "I'm off to do it right now".....this is an important point given that Druitt was not a dull man.

                        Furthermore, how can we be sure of when the note was written?
                        Why was it described as being found "amongst" his papers as opposed to being where one would think it would be found, either on his body when recovered from the water along with other possessions that he clearly found more appropriate to take to his grave than a suicide note, or even in a more conspicious spot in his chambers?

                        It doesn't make total sense. And you know what they say - if it don't make sense, it ain't right.

                        "Except there really is no evidence that Valentine gave him the option of resigning, for the 'serious trouble at the school' for which he was dismissed."

                        There is no evidence either way really other than the word "serious" being used at the inquest. However, if a person is dismissed from their position, the employer is not required to pay out existing holiday pay/long service leave - at least, that's the way i'm aware it works. Therefore, if we presume that the cheque for 16 pounds found on Druitt's body was for said long service leave/holiday pay, either Valentine was being very generous - not something one would expect for such a "serious" offence - or Druitt left the school on reasonably good terms with his former employer.

                        Cheers,
                        Adam.
                        Hello Adam

                        Your reasoning is very sound. I like your arguments.

                        But to take this to the extreme of pursuing the often suspected notion that Druitt's dismissal had something to do with his engaging in homosexual activity with the pupils at the school, note the following from Michael Matthew Kaylor, Secreted Desires: The Major Uranians: Hopkins, Pater and Wilde (Brno, Czech Republic, Masaryk University, 2006), pp. 336-7 (let me add that I am not saying I necessarily endorse the author's views):

                        "Druitt, who graduated in 1880 with third class honors in Literae Humaniores from New College, Oxford, had recently been dismissed from his post as assistant master at Eliot Place School, Blackheath, southeast of London, for 'serious trouble' (a euphemism for paederastic pedagogues like William Johnson and Oscar Browning). . . ."

                        In a footnote to this statement, Kaylor adds:

                        "If his suicide was motivated by his dismissal, it seems all the more likely that his dismissal had involved disclosure of paederastic activities at George Valentine's Eliot Place School, especially since his assistant mastership was only a second--and seemingly elective--career. By day, Druitt was a barrister, having been admitted to the Inner Temple on 17 May 1882, and called to the Bar of the Inner Temple on 29 April 1885. . . . By night, this bachelor exercised some aspect or another of his assistant mastership, despite having a decently paid, legal career. A likely supposition is that he retained this 'monetarily unnecessary' post because he was sexually attracted to or sexual active [sic] with some of the boys. Put concisely, by retaining this 'teaching' post, he could live in residence with the boys at 9 Eliot Place, Blackheath."

                        Chris
                        Christopher T. George, Lyricist & Co-Author, "Jack the Musical"
                        https://www.facebook.com/JackTheMusical/ Hear sample song at https://tinyurl.com/y8h4envx.

                        Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conferences, April 2016 and 2018.
                        Hear RipperCon 2016 & 2018 talks at http://www.casebook.org/podcast/.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Adam Went View Post
                          It's written in past tense. "Best thing for me WAS", i.e. "I gave a lot of thought to this at the time (i.e. Friday)...", not "Best thing for me IS", i.e. "I'm off to do it right now".....this is an important point given that Druitt was not a dull man.
                          Indeed he wasn't a dull man, Adam. The use of English is actually perfect for the LVP, and the past tense could not be more appropriate for someone who is writing with the full expectation of being history by the time his words are found and read. It was hardly a cry for help if he left it among his possessions to be found as a result of the search for him. And what would be the point of leaving a note for anyone to the effect that he had been suicidal at one point but was back from the brink at the time of writing? They wouldn't get it - in either sense!

                          But don't forget that this was not a direct quotation in any case, so he may not even have used the past tense himself. It appeared in a press report, describing a paper addressed to his brother with words to the effect that: 'Since Friday I felt that I was going to be like mother, and the best thing was for me to die'. In short, Druitt's explanation was found and reported after his death, so again the past tense would have come naturally to anyone if they were not quoting directly. There was also a letter left for Valentine, alluding to suicide. The content was not apparently made public, so there you are - it either added nothing of importance or was not considered suitable for public scrutiny.

                          So I'm afraid there's no 'important point' to be made here. We just don't know what he actually wrote in either note, but if we go with his words as reported, they suggest that in his mind, at the time of writing, he was already as good as dead.

                          Incidentally, to echo Cris here, why the hell would anyone take their own suicide note to a watery grave with them, where it might never be retrieved or be totally illegible for all they would ever know? That makes no sense at all, Adam.

                          What we have might not make total sense to you, but it won't help to make it right by filling the gaps with more things that don't make sense. Using your logic, why didn't Druitt leave suicide post-it notes all over his chambers where they would be more conspicuous? Maybe because, once more, this wasn't a cry for help and he didn't want anyone to twig what he was up to before he could get a hundred yards down the road.

                          The way it 'works' today when someone gets fired for 'serious trouble', whether they are in England or the other side of the globe, is not necessarily the way it worked in a boys' prep school back in 1888. When Valentine dismissed Druitt his main priority would have been to find a replacement for the Spring term and to keep the parents happy so they would continue sending their boys to him. He had a school to run and a reputation to maintain. He didn't know Druitt was shortly going to drown himself and have no further use for money. Equally, I doubt he was legally or morally bound to honour any outstanding salary payments, regardless of what the 'serious trouble' was.

                          So what appears on the surface to have been a generous gesture in the circumstances could simply have been Valentine's way (at least before Druitt turned up dead) of keeping everything suitably low profile and 'normal', so nobody concerned with how the school was being run (teaching staff, bookkeepers, prospective parents and so on) would get the jitters and start suspecting all sorts. You don't need something shocking to have gone on for some people to believe it and start the whispers. So if Druitt had been sacked mid-term or without a penny for some undisclosed offence, major or minor, tongues could soon have wagged. Paying him off and making as little fuss as possible was arguably the safer option.

                          At the inquest, however, Valentine's priorities may have changed slightly. The trouble would have become 'serious' if he didn't want anyone to think he had sacked Druitt and tipped him over the edge for something not so serious.

                          Looks like we've ended up pretty much on the same page, albeit via different routes.

                          Love,

                          Caz
                          X
                          I wish I were two puppies then I could play together - Storm Petersen

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            "Equally, I doubt he was legally or morally bound to honour any outstanding salary payments, regardless of what the 'serious trouble' was."
                            -Caz

                            Caz... that is why,IMHO, since he did he have money & checks upon his person, I lean towards Druitt being told to cool it on the moonlighting as a barrister and not for any physical acts with the kids.

                            Let's picture Druitt doing "something", anything, which would have resulted in his dismissal.
                            I don't think that Druitt would have pressed for monies due him had he committed some physical act ( anything with children,young men, or men his age or even any of the females on the staff...if there were any).
                            Why ? Because if he took it court, Valentine could easily bring up the reason for the dismisal.. It might affect Valentine in the short term...but for Druitt, it might spell disaster considering his acts might get into the wind and into the ears of his future/current associates.

                            On the other hand, I think it would have been perfectly reasonable and in order, in fact, totally proper, if Druitt pressed for monies due him for his moonlighting...or acts which took him away from the school at night. It would have been obligatory for his ( now ) former boss to imburse him for back pay ( severance pay).

                            The question of whether his employer held back a week or two's worth of pay hasn't been tackled has it ?

                            Anyway....I know for a fact that people have been given ultimatums ( I have seen it personally) to either get their arse in gear on the job or leave permanently and go to their offhours job and when they did, they were paid monies due to them. Its not a major thing,really...and all the hoopla over why Druitt was sacked may well have not been such an out of order situation at all.

                            Take Cris Malone as the employer and me as the employee who has a part time job which seems to be taking my attention more and more away from my position at Malone's.
                            Cris tells me my work is slipping and I need to make a decision. I do. Cris owes me a week or two in severance pay ( Vacation not taken, two weeks held back, or a good bye present) and he gives it.
                            No mystery, no countless hours of speculation, just a cut and dried move onward and upward to the House Of Cheesesteaks.
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                            • #44
                              How,
                              You make some good points in your last post.

                              IMO, speculating about Druitt's dismissal can be as simple - as you suggest - or as complicated as you want to make it.

                              For me, I'm inclined to Druitt being under pressure from three directions. As a lawyer, his success could have led to more work coming in. As a teacher, the growth of his main career was affecting his abilities to carry out his school duties and as a person, his concerns about his mother's illness could have been affecting, or affected by the above two. All this leading to a meltdown - perhaps an argument with Valentine - and dismissal.
                              Dave
                              "From Hull, Hell and Halifax, Good Lord deliver us."

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Something's Gotta Give

                                I'm very much inclined to agree with your reasoning here, Dave.

                                But the bottom line for me is that the very lack of information we have been left with could indicate one of two things: that the 'serious trouble' was too minor in character to warrant instant dismissal without severance pay or any further explanation; or the nature of it was so sensitive that it was treated as minor, so the details could be swept under the carpet and a scandal prevented.

                                No easy way to tell which at this remove. If it was the latter, mental illness pure and simple was not too far below the "sexual insanity" of lusting after minors in terms of its ability to cause serious trouble at an educational establishment that had appearances to keep up and parents to keep happy. "Sir's a loony" or "Sir's a paedo" - either would be likely to make it into the papers these days if true. But for every such case that made headline news in 1888, I have to wonder how many were successfully played down or hushed up completely. Not a nice thing to talk about, don't you know.

                                At least we are on fairly solid ground with Monty's mental frailty at the time. So coping with two jobs on top of that, it's easy to see how something had to give.

                                A bit like Marilyn Monroe, but without the lovers in high places?

                                Love,

                                Caz
                                X
                                I wish I were two puppies then I could play together - Storm Petersen

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