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Proof of Innocence?

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  • Triggered?

    The opening lines of one of my favourite poems - roughly contemporary - referencing a public school cricket match, with dusk approaching...

    There’s a breathless hush in the Close to-night —
    Ten to make and the match to win —
    A bumping pitch and a blinding light,
    An hour to play and the last man in.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Phil Kellingley View Post
      It's amazing that nobody seems to have noticed that, in order to get to the South coast railway line e.g. Bournemouth to London, Druitt would have had to taken the train from Blandford to Wimborne. That's Wimborne, the family home. The simple, and blindingly obvious, action for Druitt would be to go from Blandford to Wimborne, get off and go home. He could then spend the following day with the family and on the day after take a short journey to Canford.

      The alternative - make a journey to London (by some route or other), across London and to Blackheath, spend the day there, pop out in the wee small hours of the following morning into an area he was not known to be familiar with, kill a passing unfortunate/prostitute, somehow cleanse any blood from hands and/or clothing, retrieve his cricket gear from somewhere, go back to Waterloo station and then journey to Blandford. Just to emphasize - he would not have gone to his chambers as they were offices not residential and he lived at Blackheath. It also means he would have had to dump and retrieve his cricket gear somewhere in London as there wouldn't be time to kill, return to Blackheath, get his gear and return to London to catch a train towards Canford

      In the 14th century a chap called Friar William of Ockham created what is known as Occam's Razor: When faced with competing explanations for the same phenomenon, the simplest is likely the correct one. That Druitt stayed at home with family is by far a simpler explanation than any other.
      I was trying to listen to a bit of music but my listening pleasure was ruined by the sound of someone scraping the bottom of another barrel.

      Druitt could have stayed with his family.
      Druitt could have stayed with a friend.
      Druitt could have stayed in a hotel.
      Druitt could have stayed in a pub.
      Druitt could have pitched a tent on the wicket and spent the night.
      Druitt could have gone to London.
      Druitt could have gone to Christchurch to play tiddlywinks with a fishmonger called Eric.

      Every one of these is speculation because we have no way of knowing. Which was likeliest? We have no way of knowing because we don’t know what he was thinking or what plans he might have had. But now we’re being asked to accept that no matter what thoughts or plans that he had he would have to have ignored them or changed them because the option of staying at the family home appears the most convenient (even though we have no criteria against which to judge convenience. If we can’t know ‘intention’ then we can’t know what was convenient or inconvenient in regard to that intention) So unless Druitt’s family home had some magnetic attraction to him I see no issue with him passing it on a train without him being compelled to get off and go home. Have we really come to this?

      Im off for a pint with an old school friend but I’m a bit worried. I’ll be passing my brothers house on the way so I might feel compelled to jump out of the taxi and stay the night. It gets sillier and sillier this game of wish thinking. Follow the facts wherever they lead and if there’s evidence to eliminate Druitt then it will surface in good time. Until then, perhaps it’s better not to try so hard.
      Regards

      Michael🔎


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

      Comment


      • Originally posted by R. J. Palmer View Post

        It is an entirely reasonable conclusion, and it aligns with what Phil Sugden concluded years ago, and, like many others, I found Sugden's arguments generally persuasive. Druitt had spent his summer down in Dorset and thus was very likely to have had an alibi for the Tabram and Nichols murders.

        It is entirely reasonable.

        But Sugden's assumption was that Druitt was someone who would have behaved normally. No normal person who is staying down in Dorset and is playing cricket on August 30th and again on September 1st is going to inconveniently rush off to London within the small window available to him. And the idea that he would do it just to murder a woman in Buck's Row is difficult to fathom. All things considered, the odds are very much against it.

        And Simon wonders why someone would go from Blandford to Canford via London, especially since he has plenty of local accommodations.

        It's a fair question, and the sensible answer is that he wouldn't.

        But I'm at a slight advantage, perhaps--or maybe a disadvantage depending on how this turns out---because I knew of a 30-year-old who did such things. Why? Because he was a sex and drug addict and though he tried, he couldn't resist the lure of the Big City and would disappear for a day or two at a time despite the wild inconvenience of it.

        He was making late-night roundtrips of 250 miles, crawling back to town as the sun rose and returning to work with no one the wiser. It eventually caught up with him and he died from AIDS and it was only then that we learned of his secret wanderings. And this fellow (a coworker of mine) only had about a 12 hour window to make these extraordinary trips---it looks like Druitt could have had as much as 40 hours.

        So I've actually been slightly exposed to this sort of behavior, so it doesn't strike me as implausible as it does most.

        If Druitt was up to similar shenanigans, it doesn't even mean that he was the murderer. He could have bopped off to London to indulge in any number of bad habits, having grown bored with Dorset.
        I wouldn’t underestimate the wildness of Ripper theorists.

        I’ve thought of a number of examples of such whirlwind trips in my own experience. Last year, a friend of my grandson’s came down to Essex from Preston just to attend a party and then went back the following day. And back in the day, I would occasionally travel to Cumbria and back in a day so I could spend a few hours walking on the fells. A 12 hour round trip to achieve 4/5 hours on the Howgills. If Druitt was the Ripper and the urge to kill or otherwise interact with prostitutes was strong enough, the journey to/from Whitechapel doesn’t seem implausible.





        Comment


        • Originally posted by Michael Banks View Post
          Druitt could have gone to Christchurch to play tiddlywinks with a fishmonger called Eric.
          Did Druitt really know a fishmonger called Eric in Christchurch? If so, just give us the word, and we'll scour every record in existence to furnish him with a biography.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Chris Phillips View Post

            I don't say it's implausible. I just think it's unlikely. When it comes down to it, we're talking about unusual behaviour, aren't we? Which by definition is unlikely.
            We are also dealing with someone who within the next 100 days commits suicide, had doubts about his own sanity, may have been manic-depressive, got fired from a long-term employer, was evidently involved in a scandal and--for reasons unknown--ends up with very bizarre rumors swirling around him that eventually end up in a report by the Chief Constable of the Metropolitan Police.

            For me, that justifies the idea that his behavior could well have been unusual, so I don't necessarily begin with a level playing field when it comes to odds and probabilities, but that's just me. Others obviously see it differently.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Chris Phillips View Post

              Did Druitt really know a fishmonger called Eric in Christchurch? If so, just give us the word, and we'll scour every record in existence to furnish him with a biography.
              Yes Chris, Roger Palmer told me.
              Regards

              Michael🔎


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

              Comment


              • Originally posted by R. J. Palmer View Post

                We are also dealing with someone who within the next 100 days commits suicide, had doubts about his own sanity, may have been manic-depressive, got fired from a long-term employer, was evidently involved in a scandal and--for reasons unknown--ends up with very bizarre rumors swirling around him that eventually end up in a report by the Chief Constable of the Metropolitan Police.

                For me, that justifies the idea that his behavior could well have been unusual, so I don't necessarily begin with a level playing field when it comes to odds and probabilities, but that's just me. Others obviously see it differently.
                Yes,his behaviour could have been unusual. (Though to quote the late, lamented Kirstie MacColl, so could anyone's.)

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Michael Banks View Post

                  Follow the facts wherever they lead and if there’s evidence to eliminate Druitt then it will surface in good time. Until then, perhaps it’s better not to try so hard.
                  The point is that I DO follow the facts. And here's the ONLY fact - MacNaghten mentioned Druitt (with 2 others and an erroneous description) in a memorandum addressed to nobody in defence of a person who he thought (again erroneously) was related to a police officer. Now, please give me any single FACT other than this mention that, in any way, implicates Druitt as Jack the Ripper.

                  Let's not have your usual wriggle. Get your Sherlock Holmes act together and show us the facts (conjecture totally unacceptable).

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Phil Kellingley View Post

                    I suspect the train you are refering to was "The Royal Wessex". This left Bournemouth in the morning to London and returned in the late afternoon. It was a pullman train, so the tickets would be more expensive than First Class - unlikely expenditure for Druitt to make even if being paid to play cricket.
                    From what I read yesterday, the inaugural run of the Royal Wessex took place in 1951. Or are you thinking of something else?

                    The Royal Wessex (bloodandcustard.com)

                    The service I was referring to was offered by the South Western Railway and had only just started in the Spring/Summer of 1888. There was a lot of discussion in the Bournemouth papers about having a fast commuter to London and back to attract tourists.

                    Edit:...and also for the convenience of businessmen.

                    As I alluded to earlier, there was a fellow on the Parnell Commission who traveled back and forth between London and Bournemouth nightly. He didn't have a bad habit. He was taking care of his sick sister.

                    Comment


                    • Let me just drop this and bid you all a good weekend.

                      I think the 'W. Farquharson' is Walter, cousin to the MP. If this is correct, he died in India the following year.

                      We also again see 'Laing' who was also in the 1888 match.


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                      • An ‘Art and Industrial Exhibition, Cottager’s Show and Cage Bird’s Exhibition’ was held at Blandford on the 29th, 30th and (extended by popular demand) 31st of August, 1888.

                        The whole town was en-fête and the Blandford Town Band performed a ‘choice and various selection of music’ from a stage behind the corn exchange.

                        The takings at the gates of the exhibition were rather disappointing on the Wednesday and Thursday on account of bad weather, but things improved on the Friday.

                        The exhibition was the first of its kind in Blandford in 23 years and was formerly opened by the Mayor, Mr J. W. Luff, at 2.00 on the Wednesday. (I mistakenly thought it was on Thursday.)

                        Comment


                        • just to jump on the backs of other people who have mentioned similar things-when I was young and wild i used to take all kind of risky (and many with short time frame) trips into the big city, and yes some of them involving illegal activity, nothing violent or that bad, just involving partying, girls and drugs. And ive never been addicted to any of it, just the good times, totally unlike the urges of a serial killer, who we now know will go to incredible lengths to fulfill those urges. plus druit had the means/money, an office there, and may have been thinking of the alibi aspect as well. As I said before they dont think like normal people anyway.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Phil Kellingley View Post

                            The point is that I DO follow the facts. And here's the ONLY fact - MacNaghten mentioned Druitt (with 2 others and an erroneous description) in a memorandum addressed to nobody in defence of a person who he thought (again erroneously) was related to a police officer. Now, please give me any single FACT other than this mention that, in any way, implicates Druitt as Jack the Ripper.

                            Let's not have your usual wriggle. Get your Sherlock Holmes act together and show us the facts (conjecture totally unacceptable).
                            Erroneous is your opinion. 41 year old doctor as compared to a 31 year old son of a doctor is hardly a million miles away considering events were 6 years before. People make errors but we shouldn’t assume that they are lies.

                            No conjecture ok…….The Chief Constable of the Metropolitan Police names Montague John Druitt, along with 2 other men, as people likelier than Cutbush to have been the ripper. Even with errors there can be absolutely no doubt that he was talking about Druitt and not some 41 year old Doctor.

                            He says that the information that has come his way showed him that Druitt’s own family believed him to have been the killer. We have no way of knowing what that information was and therefore have no way of judging it’s validity or strength.

                            So there are 3 possibilities:

                            1. Macnaughten simply made this up.
                            2. Macnaughten was telling the truth but the person who informed him was lying.
                            3. Macnaughten was telling the truth but misjudged the importance/validity of the evidence.
                            4. Macnaughten was telling the truth and Druitt was guilty.

                            We have absolutely no way, beyond opinion and speculation, on which of the above might have been correct because we have no information about the info.

                            So my first question for anyone would be why assume number 1 or 2 or 3? I certainly don’t assume number 4 to be true so why is all of the certainty and unwillingness to explore possibilities all on the one side. Roger Palmer once said to me on the subject of Druitt, something like, “I don’t understand why some people are so incurious about the possibility of Druitt.” I agree. Why are some so resolute, so intransigent that they insist (not suspect or favour or tend to assume but absolutely insist) that they know for whatever reason that Druitt couldn’t have been guilty?

                            Id also ask why my own personal opinion, which shouldn’t bother anyone anyway, bothers people so much that I even have someone over on Casebook who follows me around making silly Druitt-related comments even on threads unrelated to Druitt no matter how many 100’s of times I’ve repeated that I’ve never claimed that Druitt was the ripper (it’s all silly Druittist this, and Druittist that) If I’d said “Druitt was definitely the ripper and you’re all fools for not agreeing,” then I’d understand it but all that I’ve ever said is that I find Druitt an interesting suspect and have done for years and that I tend to favour him of the named suspect (which when considering that I only consider 5 or 6 suspects worth discussing is hardly hardline)

                            Whatever anyone chooses to believe, Macnaughten put Druitt on the table and there isn’t a single solitary scintilla of evidence that dismisses him. Not a speck. And yet people know that he wasn’t the ripper. Is that a balanced approach? I don’t for a minute believe that Lechmere was the ripper but I’ll 100% accept that we definitely have no evidence to categorically eliminate him. I recall that for years people were asking how Mac could have had private info? You’ll disagree no doubt but I find it intriguing that we now know that one of Macnaughten best friends was related by marriage to the Druitt’s. So there’s a plausible source and if that was the case (and I’m not stating a fact put a reasonable possibility) then would a man like him have been likely to have made up a story about Druitt being Jack the Ripper? There’s much about the story that intrigues me and even if someone doesn’t accept Jon Hainsworth’s theory we still have numerous incidents, occurrences curiosities and possible hints. No smoking guns of course but for me an accumulation of interesting points which could be of significance. So if it’s a crime to remain open-minded and intrigued by Druitt then I’m guilty and I don’t care.

                            Of the 4 points above the only one I’d tend to eliminate with confidence is the on that you go for…number 1. No way imo. I posted my reasons yesterday and got a dismissive response from Simon which is not something that worries me. But I certainly accept 2, 3 and 4 as possibles.

                            Regards

                            Michael🔎


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

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post

                              An ‘Art and Industrial Exhibition, Cottager’s Show and Cage Bird’s Exhibition’ was held at Blandford on the 29th, 30th and (extended by popular demand) 31st of August, 1888.

                              The whole town was en-fête and the Blandford Town Band performed a ‘choice and various selection of music’ from a stage behind the corn exchange.

                              The takings at the gates of the exhibition were rather disappointing on the Wednesday and Thursday on account of bad weather, but things improved on the Friday.

                              The exhibition was the first of its kind in Blandford in 23 years and was formerly opened by the Mayor, Mr J. W. Luff, at 2.00* What are the chances that the formal opening of such an important local event would clash with a cricket match which would have attracted a great many local people?
                              I wonder what connection there was between the Mayor and the A. Luff Druitt played against in 1885?

                              * on the Wednesday, so there would have been no clash between the opening of the exhibition and the cricket match.

                              Comment


                              • Bad weather on the Thursday again. Could have been a sticky wicket.

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