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Who Was the Body in the Thames?

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  • #46
    Chris:

    I am no expert on boarding schools, but I believe they are (and were) organised so that the students share chambers - i.e. bunk beds, several to each chamber. So if we presume that Druitt's dismissal was in some way linked to inappropriate behaviour with a student, how would he have had access to one particular student? Or do we mean to believe that he had Cleveland Street style romps with entire groups of them at once, and any other staff were oblivious to it, and no students made mention of it?

    Sounds just a bit far fetched to me. As for this "serious trouble" being a euphenism of some sort, I don't believe that, especially when we've been told before that "sexual insanity" was the euphenism for "homosexuality" - how many euphenisms for the same thing was there?

    Surely, if such behaviours had been involved, it would have warranted withholding of pay and perhaps even an inquest/investigation - the lack of this seems once more to point in the direction of neglect of duty rather than anything sinister.

    Caz:

    The old "oh, the wording must have been mis-reported" excuse is a well worn one and just doesn't cut it. There seems to have been no indication that Druitt was even suicidal, from his co-workers, team-mates, clients, family members, associates.....nobody. I've been unfortunate enough to have known€, or known of, a few people who have committed suicide over the years and in every case it's been vastly different from what supposedly happened to Druitt.

    So I will just put it out there that I would not be entirely surprised if it should ever come out that Druitt was in fact murdered.....there's just something odd about the fact that nobody seemed to suspect suicide, that there was a body floating in the Thames for a month with 70 pounds or more worth of money and valuables on it that nobody discovered despite mud larks and watermen being one of the more common professions amongst the poor Londoners at the time.....perhaps i'm reading too much into it, but there's something that just doesn't quite fit into place with the whole scenario.

    Why would anyone take a suicide note with them when drowning? Is that a serious question? Why would they take a train ticket and 66 pounds in cheques to the grave with them as a preference to a suicide note, Caz?

    Furthermore, are you suggesting that people would have started wide spread gossip about a fairly reclusive barrister that would have spread like wild fire? Really? It's not Prince Eddy we're talking about here - at the height of the Ripper scare the dismissal of Druitt from a school for misconduct would hardly have been front page news, one has to say.

    Cheers,
    Adam.

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    • #47
      Originally posted by Dave James View Post
      Furthermore, he continued to be employed at Mr. Valentine’s School at 9 Eliot Place, Blackheath, until the end of the school term as late as November 30th, and continued to function in his role as Honourable Secretary and Treasurer of the Blackheath Cricket and Lawn Tennis Club – indeed, it was more than two weeks after his actual disappearance before he was removed from this latter post.
      Originally posted by Dave James View Post
      essentially, his cricket and his work was his life. So when, for one reason or another, he left Mr. Valentine’s school at the end of November 1888, this was one of the links severed – his job of the past seven years was gone. The cricketing season had drawn to a close.
      Dave, thank you for some great research.

      Something has just struck me about the cricket situation, and it may or may not tell us anything of importance.

      Here we have a well respected man, a serious cricket player and the Secretary and Treasurer of his club.

      He goes missing. No one knows what's happened.

      And the cricket club moves rather fast IMHO to remove him from his official posts. The season is over, for goodness' sake. Why the rush?

      Does this tell us anything? The club moved at warp speed to sack someone that might well have returned, been ill, injured etc etc. I can think of many scenarios.

      This IMHO is worth discussing.

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      • #48
        Hi all,

        Caz,
        The lack of info is the sticking point, which is why I go for a simpler approach. I think, over the years, too much has been made of Monty's purported homosexual/paedophile behaviour, where the only 'evidence' is MM's belief that Monty was 'sexually insane'. This being a man who got every other fact about Monty wrong! Sexually insane seems to be a Victorian phrase that covers a multitude of sins, probably even to the extent of covering someone of Monty's age who wasn't yet married. (With his workload, would he have had time to be married?)

        For that matter, we only have his brother's word for his dismissal for a serious offence - this from a man who lied under oath regarding the rest of the family's existence. MM seems to have taken the dismissal and suicide and made 5!!!

        Sir Robert,
        The two quotes are part of Adam's contribution, so I can't claim credit there. You raise an interesting point about the cricket club - they were told that Monty had gone abroad. Could this be to cover his illness, as in he is recuperating in healthier climes, rather than something more sinister?

        I was the treasurer of a motorcycle club, and it was a full time job even in the off season, so it could be assumed the same applies to a cricket club.

        The club could have heard via Mr Valentine, that Monty had had to go away for personal reasons?
        Dave
        "From Hull, Hell and Halifax, Good Lord deliver us."

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        • #49
          Live and learn.
          I just now realized that Druitt was the treasurer ( How many more thousand times would I have had to read that before it sunk in !!!) of his Cricket Club !

          The point has been made about the BC&LTC removing him in mid December. Bob is right...why so quickly, unless they had access to their financial records and put someone else in his place...but they didn't know he was dead...and the rapid removal without Druitt being given a chance to explain seems to suggest that its possible someone told the cricket Club that Druitt wasn't coming back ( dead or alive).

          Anything could have happened to Druitt from the last time he was in the company of the Cricket Club players to the discovery of his body and as Bob stated...since he was apparently respected ( still in the role of Sec. & Treasurer )...they seem to have rushed to judgment awfully damned quick.

          One possibility is that Druitt may have told the club he was through serving in those roles....but if he had, why wasn't someone put into his place earlier ?
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          • #50
            Originally posted by How Brown View Post
            Live and learn.
            I just now realized that Druitt was the treasurer ( How many more thousand times would I have had to read that before it sunk in !!!) of his Cricket Club !
            Sometimes it feels like we discuss the same old, same old again and again but this shows that we are capable of overlooking some very obvious things staring us in the face.

            So......what does this tidbit tell us?

            I think it tells us quite a bit. Unfortunately I have to run around all day doing errands and don't have time to discuss this at length. IMHO, the rather abrupt removal of Druitt from two senior posts tells us that he was acting erratically before his disappearance because otherwise his club's decision to remove him after only two weeks missing and after the season was over (!!) just strikes me as very very odd.

            Can you imagine the discussions? "Dear Monty's missing. I hope something terrible hasn't happened to him. Is he ill? Has anyone word?" "Nah, but let's can him as Secretary and Treasurer."

            I don't think so.

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            • #51
              Bob:

              I would think that someone, maybe a handful, would have out an APB on Druitt after the first week of December and that it would have been mentioned in the papers after his body was discovered...or even with it. Its not as if Druitt was a jetsetter or someone who frequented the continent or traveled here and there with frequency.

              Something such as...."The body of M.J.Druitt, formerly of Valentine's School and a local barrister, was found by a waterman in the Thames yesterday ( or the day before..whatever).."
              The discovery ends the search initiated three weeks ago by (fill in the blank) colleagues at the BC & LT Club, local police,his brother,etc..."
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              • #52
                Hi Guys,

                We are spending so much time on suppositions, where we don't actually know what the reality of the situation was. We have a lot of info about Monty's life, but we have nothing about Monty's 'LIFE'. He is, as a person, a total blank.

                If MM's memo hadn't showed up, would any one have known about Monty? Let's face it, Monty is a relatively new suspect - probably the one who kicked a more or less forgotten story back into life.

                And since then, 'Ripperology'. Let's face it, Monty has been a 'cash cow' for an industry that has done a 'Topsy' - it grew'd and grew'd.

                There are a lot of more realistic suspects - more down to earth - than an unknown suicide in an obscure part of London.

                Chris G probably had it right in his suggestion that the whole idea of suicide after the fact was wish fulfilment for the police, rather than reality. I just don't know how, or where, Monty got involved. Wrong place - wrong time - wrong person reading something into a non-existent situation?

                Last point, who apart from MM and Maj. Griffiths, (who copied who?) pointed to a suicide as the end of story?
                Dave
                "From Hull, Hell and Halifax, Good Lord deliver us."

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                • #53
                  Hey all,

                  Just regarding Druitt's removal from his post at sporting clubs, I can't remember the exact date for certain off the top of my head but I believe he was officially removed on or around December 17th-19th. That's more than two weeks after he had disappeared and after his brother William had already come to London to begin the search for him - just because it was the end of the cricket season doesn't mean that his duties would have ended in official roles, only as a player (as Dave pointed out). If he had commitments which he wasn't fulfilling, obviously because he was dead, and he had been missing for some time and there was an expectation that something had happened to him, whatever it was, then removing him from the post would be the obvious option....

                  So we must just remember to compare the dates: Druitt goes missing on or about December 2nd, William comes to London searching for him a week later, he gets removed from the post at the club on or around December 17th, body gets found on December 31st. Nothing odd here as far as I can tell.

                  Cheers,
                  Adam.

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                  • #54
                    No no no.

                    I think you are all so eager to see this through the lens of guilt or innocence that you are missing the important point of discussion.

                    Think back before email and message boards. A time before Casebook or the Brownian Kill Zone.

                    Two weeks to move on a guy is lightwarp speed in VE England.

                    Why?

                    Do you think it likely Monty showed signs of erratic behavior before this?

                    I do.

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                    • #55
                      Sir Bob,
                      I think it quite possible that Monty was showing signs of erratic behaviour, as you suggest. A possible scenario being that Valentine suggests to Monty that he takes a sabbatical so that he could have a rest cure - that could also have led to him being paid up to date.
                      Monty then, because of his delicate state, misconstrues the suggestion, and Bob's your uncle, Monty goes for a swim.
                      Dave
                      "From Hull, Hell and Halifax, Good Lord deliver us."

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                      • #56
                        If he had commitments which he wasn't fulfilling, obviously because he was dead, and he had been missing for some time and there was an expectation that something had happened to him, whatever it was, then removing him from the post would be the obvious option....

                        AW...I'd like to know why nothing appears to have been done about his absence..in terms of a search party of sorts. He couldn't have contacted the Club to tell them that he was through with them in the first week of December because the man was dead...and yet it appears the condition in which his presence was never to return (to cover his death,flight,etc) had been considered...the question being "why ?"

                        The reason this intrigues me is that I distinctly remember reading about a suicide or two in the papers where the deceased party had been searched for prior to the discovery of their body. Naturally, someone who had been missing for only a day and who eventually committed suicide from the working class or an unfortunate wouldn't have had search parties organized out scouring the streets with bloodhounds....but someone who was a barrister with a bright future might...and yet nothing in the papers( yet, that is ) indicates that anything was organized towards determining what had happened to him.
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                        • #57
                          Then again, both you Adam and Dave might be right in that more is being made of this than is warranted.
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                          • #58
                            Originally posted by How Brown View Post
                            ..but someone who was a barrister with a bright future might...and yet nothing in the papers( yet, that is ) indicates that anything was organized towards determining what had happened to him.
                            But... think about that. Its almost like, " Here's your damned money. Now, get the Hell out of here and we don't care where you go."

                            Whatever the 'serious trouble' was, the vanishing after 'whatever happened' seemed like something folks expected him to do. Its only after he doesn't show up around his family - where he would have been expected to go - that someone appears to become concerned.

                            It may be reading too much into it... but the guy did kill himself for some reason and though the MM is full of errors there likely was some connection other than the convenience of his self inflicted demise.
                            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."

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                            • #59
                              Originally posted by Cris Malone View Post
                              Whatever the 'serious trouble' was, the vanishing after 'whatever happened' seemed like something folks expected him to do. Its only after he doesn't show up around his family - where he would have been expected to go - that someone appears to become concerned.

                              It may be reading too much into it... but the guy did kill himself for some reason and though the MM is full of errors there likely was some connection other than the convenience of his self inflicted demise.
                              I think there is something important to be gleaned by the way his club behaved in reaction to his disappearance. It just isn't normal behavior. It isn't gentlemanly. Monty holds two senior and important positions of responsibility, he goes missing and rather than worry about what might have happened to him, they give him the boot. If they learned from his brother Monty was missing, well then, have someone do his work until he's found. Canning him that quickly gives us a significant insight IMHO as to what was rocking Monty's world at the time.

                              It sounds like going AWOL was the last straw, as if they'd been having problems with him before he tossed himself into the Thames. And don't tell me that the school told the cricket team Monty was a pedo. Hardly the thing they'd have wanted to publicize.

                              FWIW, this is my take:

                              Monty was having mental problems, causing erratic behavior. It was sudden, it was severe but it was the kind of anti-social behavior that turns friends off, not the type that has them call the police. The school wasn't happy with it, and neither was his cricket club. They both wanted him gone. So he left. Permanently, regrettable to say.

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                              • #60
                                SirBob:

                                Well it's not like he was Secretary of the Glasgow Cricket Club or something ridiculous like that, his working and sporting activities took place in Blackheath. You're quite right that news didn't travel as fast back then, but still, two weeks is two weeks, and within a fairly small area - perhaps a cricket team-mate called on Druitt and found his lodgings empty, or tried to contact him in some way over a period of time and found him unreachable with no knowledge of where he had gone or if and when he would be back?

                                I think it's perfectly likely that Monty showed signs of erratic behaviour but this need not necessarily be mistaken for signs of insanity - consider that he is working as a barrister, working at the school, while also taking part in both official and playing roles at local sporting clubs - he's a busy man. A very busy man. His absence will therefore be noticed very quickly. Perhaps he overworked himself to the point of total exhaustion and it was then that he started showing signs of slipping somewhat? I know Victorians were used to long working hours, but still.....

                                How:

                                Where would one begin searching for him? His brother William was made aware of his absence and obviously knew he wasn't with the family back in Dorset....and if he wasn't to be found in Blackheath, where would they begin? It's more odd, IMO, as mentioned before, that his body was left in the water for a month with such a substantial amount of valuable items with it....

                                Cheers,
                                Adam.

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