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  • Originally posted by Simon Wood View Post
    "A Mr M. J. Druitt, said to be a doctor & of good family — who disappeared at the time of the Miller's Court murder . . .

    " . . . from private inf[ormation] I have little doubt but that his own family believed him to have been the murderer." [24th February 1894]

    "Mr M.J. Druitt a doctor of about 41 years of age & of fairly good family, who disappeared at the time of the Miller’s Court murder.

    "From private information I have little doubt but that his own family suspected this man of being the Whitechapel murderer." [Aberconway]

    M.J. Druitt wasn't a doctor, he was 31 not 41, and did not disappear at the time of the Millers Court murder.

    Macnaghten's fake private information was employed to explain why the police had no previous suspicions about Druitt.
    But why pick a guy with at least a reasonably traceable life (introducing the very reasonable possibility of his elimination as a potential suspect) when he could have picked from any number of anonymous dead or incarcerated criminals or lunatics. If he could lie about Druitt why not lie about a person who had a known history of violence? Why not just say that this man’s brother saw him with blood on his hands and acting strangely directly after one of the murders? Why pick a man that died just after Kelly when many people, including Monro, were convinced that Mackenzie was also a victim of the ripper? Why risk such a scandal to a family that one of his best friends was related to by marriage?

    I can accept that someone might have fed him duff information for whatever reason, or that Macnaughten misinterpreted that information but him just plucking Druitt out of thin air makes absolutely no sense. He couldn’t really have made a worse choice unless he’d named one of the cabinet.
    Regards

    Michael🔎


    " When you eliminate the impossible whatever remains no matter how improbable......is probably a little bit boring "

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Steve Blomer View Post

      Hi Abby
      yes it's me.
      Are you that bloke I had a few pints with in The Ten Bells a few years ago?
      Regards

      Michael🔎


      " When you eliminate the impossible whatever remains no matter how improbable......is probably a little bit boring "

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Michael Banks View Post

        Are you that bloke I had a few pints with in The Ten Bells a few years ago?
        Much the same, a little greyer perhaps.

        Mike

        Comment


        • Originally posted by R. J. Palmer View Post

          First off, he didn't capitalize the N. The name was Macnaghten.

          My own conclusion was that Macnaghten was more reliable than Anderson, not less reliable. Please give your evidence that he was a "serial liar."

          Thanks,

          RP
          https://www.amazon.co.uk/Days-Years-Melville-MacNaghten-C-B/dp/1479140252 It is capitalized elsewhere.

          Lie 1: As I'm sure you know Warren blocked MacN from getting a certain job
          (TNA: PRO, MEPO 1/55, 11 April 1888) - MacN's version: "Four years later, on my return from India, he 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, but, when the offer was again made a year later, I gladly answered in the affirmative,"

          Lie 2: Quote: "Louise Masset, a governess, who murdered her illegitimate child at Dalston Railway Station, and was hung at the end of 1899" - In fact Masset was famous for being the first woman hanged in the 20th Century on 9th January 1900

          Lie 3: Quote: "In these days of rapid locomotion it did not take long to get down to the scene of the tragedy, and by 9:30 we were on the spot." - Old Bailey police evidence on oath: "about 11.30, when Assistant-Commissioner Macnaghten and Chief Inspector Fox arrived"

          Lie 4: Quote: "no meeting has ever been equal to that of Chief Inspector Walter Dew with the murderous doctor on the deck of s.s. Montrose. "Dr. Crippen, I believe" - The truth: When the ship reached Canada the Captain of the Montrose invited Crippen to meet the pilots as they came aboard. C.I. Dew was disguised as a pilot. He removed his pilot's cap and said "Good morning, Dr. Crippen. Do you know me? I'm Chief Inspector Dew from Scotland Yard."

          Lie 5: re the Siege of Sidney Street. MacN claims a telephone call at home resulted in "A taxicab took me down post-haste". The press reports state: The Home Secretary Winston Churchill, MacNaghten, Sir Nott Bower and his private secretary all turned up in the same vehicle.

          All quotes from "Days of My Years". There are more - this is just a selection. In particular re the Sidney Street siege MacN puts himself front and centre whereas in fact Churchill commanded the whole operation.

          As to his knowledge of Jack the Ripper - not many people have been privy to the graffitto in Goulburn Street.

          As well as lying MacN also gets multiple things wrong in DoMY. Yet, he must have had access to either his own notes or sight of Scotland Yard files. I believe the police had their own opinion - Police Review said: "
          his rule did not enhance the proficiency or reputation of the CI Department. He carried on the work of his office with the assistance of an experienced staff, the leading members of which are debarred from filling positions for which they act as expert advisers." In other words he did lie and he didn't detect. But he certainly self-publicised.









          Comment


          • Incidental Intelligence—

            Of the three Inner Temple members who graduated with Druitt in 1884, Archibald Henry Bodkin went on to become Francis Tumblety's defense counsel.

            Regards,

            Simon

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Phil Kellingley View Post
              Lie 2: Quote: "Louise Masset, a governess, who murdered her illegitimate child at Dalston Railway Station, and was hung at the end of 1899" - In fact Masset was famous for being the first woman hanged in the 20th Century on 9th January 1900
              I'll deal with your points eventually but let me just take up this one.

              Macnaghten dates the hanging to the 'end of 1899.' In reality, Massett was condemned to death at the end of 1899 but was hanged two weeks later. In the introduction, Macnaghten states that he is working from memory and he is writing in 1914.

              If you feel justified in calling a nine day error (or even a two-hour error regarding a taxi-ride) a "lie" than I dare say you will find a number of "lies" in his book.

              Yes, I did notice a number of discrepancies when I did my own study, but none so bad that I would feel justified in calling him a "serial liar."

              It doesn't strike you as a little harsh?

              Comment


              • Hi Phil,

                Exactly.

                It is useful to bear in mind what Sir Basil Thomson wrote about Macnaghten in his 1922 book “Queer People”—

                “He had an astonishing memory both for faces and for names: he could tell you every detail about a ten-year-old crime, the names of the victim, the perpetrator, and every important witness, and, what was more useful, the official career of every one of his seven hundred men and his qualifications and ability.”

                Regards,

                Simon

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Steve Blomer View Post

                  Much the same, a little greyer perhaps.

                  Mike
                  And a little colder at the moment I bet Steve?
                  Regards

                  Michael🔎


                  " When you eliminate the impossible whatever remains no matter how improbable......is probably a little bit boring "

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Phil Kellingley View Post

                    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Days-Years-Melville-MacNaghten-C-B/dp/1479140252 It is capitalized elsewhere.

                    Lie 1: As I'm sure you know Warren blocked MacN from getting a certain job
                    (TNA: PRO, MEPO 1/55, 11 April 1888) - MacN's version: "Four years later, on my return from India, he 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, but, when the offer was again made a year later, I gladly answered in the affirmative,"

                    A face saving white lie which might even be interpreted as Mac saving his friend Munro the embarrassment of being shown to have been overruled by Warren.

                    Lie 2: Quote: "Louise Masset, a governess, who murdered her illegitimate child at Dalston Railway Station, and was hung at the end of 1899" - In fact Masset was famous for being the first woman hanged in the 20th Century on 9th January 1900

                    Fallible memory.

                    Lie 3: Quote: "In these days of rapid locomotion it did not take long to get down to the scene of the tragedy, and by 9:30 we were on the spot." - Old Bailey police evidence on oath: "about 11.30, when Assistant-Commissioner Macnaghten and Chief Inspector Fox arrived"

                    Fallible memory.

                    Lie 4: Quote: "no meeting has ever been equal to that of Chief Inspector Walter Dew with the murderous doctor on the deck of s.s. Montrose. "Dr. Crippen, I believe" - The truth: When the ship reached Canada the Captain of the Montrose invited Crippen to meet the pilots as they came aboard. C.I. Dew was disguised as a pilot. He removed his pilot's cap and said "Good morning, Dr. Crippen. Do you know me? I'm Chief Inspector Dew from Scotland Yard."

                    Fallible memory.

                    Lie 5: re the Siege of Sidney Street. MacN claims a telephone call at home resulted in "A taxicab took me down post-haste". The press reports state: The Home Secretary Winston Churchill, MacNaghten, Sir Nott Bower and his private secretary all turned up in the same vehicle.

                    Fallible memory.

                    All quotes from "Days of My Years". There are more - this is just a selection. In particular re the Sidney Street siege MacN puts himself front and centre whereas in fact Churchill commanded the whole operation.

                    As to his knowledge of Jack the Ripper - not many people have been privy to the graffitto in Goulburn Street.

                    As well as lying MacN also gets multiple things wrong in DoMY. Yet, he must have had access to either his own notes or sight of Scotland Yard files. I believe the police had their own opinion - Police Review said: "
                    his rule did not enhance the proficiency or reputation of the CI Department. He carried on the work of his office with the assistance of an experienced staff, the leading members of which are debarred from filling positions for which they act as expert advisers." In other words he did lie and he didn't detect. But he certainly self-publicised.







                    I’m sure that you never make errors of memory but how chuffed would you be if someone piped up every time you did and called you a liar? I have the feeling that we’ve crossed paths before considering that you singled me out to respond to and your rather splenetic attitude to all things Druitt-related and your rather strange (the word ‘bear’ comes to mind)

                    The idea that Macnaughten lied is preposterous and not even worth a second of consideration.
                    Regards

                    Michael🔎


                    " When you eliminate the impossible whatever remains no matter how improbable......is probably a little bit boring "

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Simon Wood View Post
                      Hi Phil,

                      Exactly.

                      It is useful to bear in mind what Sir Basil Thomson wrote about Macnaghten in his 1922 book “Queer People”—

                      “He had an astonishing memory both for faces and for names: he could tell you every detail about a ten-year-old crime, the names of the victim, the perpetrator, and every important witness, and, what was more useful, the official career of every one of his seven hundred men and his qualifications and ability.”

                      Regards,

                      Simon
                      The trouble, Simon, is that I've read his book, and I know that he got a lot more right than he got wrong.

                      If minor errors are lies, we'd all be "serial liars."

                      He's two weeks off in the date of a hanging that happened 14 years earlier? What was his motive for telling this "lie"?

                      I had a boss once who couldn't get his facts straight. He'd tell stories with wrong names, wrong dates, wrong details.

                      But he wasn't a liar and I invariably found out later that there was always a kernel of truth to his tales--it was just a matter of figuring out what those kernels were.

                      That's why I hesitate before rushing in like a bull in a China shop when it comes to police opinion. There is nothing easier in the world than to dismiss Swanson, Littlechild, Anderson, Race, Roots, Dew, Macnaghten, Smith, and Abberline as unreliable liars and fools. Maybe one or two of them even deserve it.

                      But the risk of this approach is that even an allegedly unreliable person can pass along a garbled version of a story that is based on fact.

                      And if a muddled blowhard was in a position to learn something, maybe even the muddled blowhard is more worth listening to than the people who weren't there in the first place.

                      That's my eccentric and misguided opinion---and I see no reason not to stick to it.

                      All the best.



                      Comment


                      • Here is a newspaper account of Macnaghten from his obituary-Reynolds News, May 15, 1921:

                        "Sir Melville came across a poor woman of Whitechapel who told him a story that seemed to fully collaborate a theory that he had formed while sitting in a public house in the Commercial Road. A very nicely-spoken, quiet-looking elderly man sat next to her. Conversation naturally turned upon the “Ripper” horror, and the stranger shaking his head softly, said with a pious air: “Truly in the midst of life we are in death.” He was carrying a small black bag. This he opened and produced a tract. The cover bore the words “Prepare to meet thy God.” This he presented to the woman. The tract passed into the possession of Sir Melville, and he came to the conclusion that the “Ripper” was a religious maniac with homicidal tendencies developed by a certain disease…Finally, Sir Melville narrowed down his search to a point where he was morally certain that he knew the man…Then suddenly he solved the difficulty himself. He committed suicide. A body was found in the Thames, and from certain evidence Sir Melville was able to convince the authorities that this was the man who had for so long terrorized the community. A few months later [June 1889] he was made Chief Constable."

                        -Reynolds News, May 15, 1921

                        This suggests Druitt was a suspicious suicide but wasn't considered a serious Ripper suspect until later.

                        Comment


                        • Hi Michael,

                          "The idea that Macnaghten lied is preposterous and not even worth a second of consideration."

                          Why is that?

                          Regards,

                          Simon

                          Comment


                          • In order ot address the diatribe of Michael Banks I'm simply quoting his posting and putting my observations within that post.

                            Originally posted by Michael Banks View Post

                            Very generous of you to join us lesser humans.
                            if the cap fits... (which seems to be particulary apt from the way you replied)

                            Pointing out grammatical errors, whether intentional or not, speaks volumes Id say. Il write it out 100 times later.
                            It wasn't a grammatical error. It was simply an error - probably because you wrote it in haste and didn't check before posting. I pointed it out because it seemed to negate the very view you were trying to express. Sorry. In future I'll just let you carry on making a fool of yourself.

                            Perhaps you should listen and take note of someone with an actual knowledge of cricket that you clearly don’t possess. The weather doesn’t come into it. The first team scored 62 whilst the second scored 25. We cannot be exact of course but any cricket fan would tell you that this game would have been almost impossible to drag out above 3 hours. It’s entirely entirely possible that the 2 innings could have been done and dusted in 2 hours. So it’s both reasonable, plausible and likely that the game was over in 2 or 3 hours. We don’t of course know what time the game began. No game would have started anywhere near as late as say 3.00 but even if that were the case then Druitt would still have had ample time to get to London. The likelier is that the game began somewhere around 11.00 but this is an unknown at this point in time.
                            You have no idea about my cricket knowledge (thanks for being so condescending) and totally fail to address the possibility that rain could have stopped play. Thus it's indeed just as possible that it could have lasted the whole day. As you rightly say we don't know when it started or ended - so your argument about it all being over in 2 or 3 hours is pure supposition. Do explain why the weather wouldn't come into it. (from your superior knowledge of cricket).

                            And what am I, for example trying to ‘prove.’ The original information was suggested as either eliminating Druitt or showing him to have been less likely to have been guilty. All that I, and others have done is to view the information objectively and in light of the known facts. One or two (and it looks like you can be added to that list) saw this as an opportunity to gleefully dismiss Druitt. Why so keen I have to ask? Is that a reasoned, unbiased approach? The FACTS are that this very good discovery doesn’t even approach eliminating him but you’re at liberty to continue your wish-thinking of course. You’re ‘zero’ comment shines a light on your approach.
                            My approach is simple. Not one fact has EVER emerged to place Druitt as a suspect. That MacNaghten named him as "the most likely" of three indicates nothing. Nobody has any idea where his information came from or even if it was genuine information. Unless you can come up with a fact that ties him in. I can wait.

                            Opinion stated as facts. Obvious bias.
                            What opinion? That the only reason for suspecting Druitt is that MacN said he was one of three (and then got everything but his name wrong). That's a fact not an opinion. If you want to ignore that it speaks volumes about your bias. If you mean that I'm biased because of Hainsworth's books you are wrong. I dismiss non-factual arguments based on imagination and Hainsworth's book is precisely that. Piece after piece of invention that he 'thinks' something could have happened are presented as fact. No they aren't. I have never read a 'suspect' book with so much misinformation.

                            I find it difficult to understand why anyone without an agenda would simply dismiss something that came from a Chief Constable of the Met who’s very close friend was related to the Druitt family by marriage. It’s a dismissal of convenience. Only a tiny proportion of suspects can be dismissed with actual evidence.
                            ???? What came from MacN? An erroneous statement about someone he said 'private information' that he wouldn't disclose! Nothing - at all - indicates that any such 'evidence' ever existed. What did MacN actually write? "from private info.. I have little doubt but that his own family believed him to have been the murderer". The only close family left were his brother and sister. We know, from reports of the inquest, that his brother lied. So, it is possible that for some reason such a source was his brother. But are we expected to believe that either sibling, in Victorian times, is going to tell anyone outside of the family that they thought their brother was a serial killer? Simply doesn't make sense. And yet we are supposed to believe that not only did they tell someone but the tale was passed along via a friend to MacN. Let us also see any evidence that the police had any interest in Druitt either before or after his death.


                            I think you misunderstand. It's not up to anyone to dismiss a suspect. It's up to someone to prove that the suspect is, beyond reasonable doubt, guilty. But it's perfectly valid to point out the failures of anyone who tries to make such a case.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Michael Banks View Post

                              I’m sure that you never make errors of memory but how chuffed would you be if someone piped up every time you did and called you a liar? I have the feeling that we’ve crossed paths before considering that you singled me out to respond to and your rather splenetic attitude to all things Druitt-related and your rather strange (the word ‘bear’ comes to mind)

                              The idea that Macnaughten lied is preposterous and not even worth a second of consideration.
                              Your pathetic attempt to suggest that MacN didn't lie but 'had a fallible memory' is beyond reason. Here's a man who was supposedly in his position for years, who had access to his own notes and apparently was still able to look at Scotland Yard files but couldn't remember details. Yet if that were true you need to accept that he also got things wrong about Druitt. MacN was a self-publicising liar. To suggest that he didn't remember anything accurately for his book includes that he didn't remember accurately anything about a case that he never took part in. Your choice. Either his memory was fallible(and he was wrong about Druitt) or he lied (and also lied abouit Druitt).

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Scott Nelson View Post
                                Here is a newspaper account of Macnaghten from his obituary-Reynolds News, May 15, 1921:

                                "Sir Melville came across a poor woman of Whitechapel who told him a story that seemed to fully collaborate a theory that he had formed while sitting in a public house in the Commercial Road. A very nicely-spoken, quiet-looking elderly man sat next to her. Conversation naturally turned upon the “Ripper” horror, and the stranger shaking his head softly, said with a pious air: “Truly in the midst of life we are in death.” He was carrying a small black bag. This he opened and produced a tract. The cover bore the words “Prepare to meet thy God.” This he presented to the woman. The tract passed into the possession of Sir Melville, and he came to the conclusion that the “Ripper” was a religious maniac with homicidal tendencies developed by a certain disease…Finally, Sir Melville narrowed down his search to a point where he was morally certain that he knew the man…Then suddenly he solved the difficulty himself. He committed suicide. A body was found in the Thames, and from certain evidence Sir Melville was able to convince the authorities that this was the man who had for so long terrorized the community. A few months later [June 1889] he was made Chief Constable."

                                -Reynolds News, May 15, 1921

                                This suggests Druitt was a suspicious suicide but wasn't considered a serious Ripper suspect until later.
                                I think it reads as though Macnaghten investigated the case as a private citizen and had just identified Druitt when he committed suicide (I think that part echoes one of Sims's articles). In fact it seems to read as though Macnaghten investigated the case "while sitting in a public house in the Commercial Road", but surely that can't be right!

                                Comment

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