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  • Druitt/Macnaughten Hysteria.

    I’ve started this thread not for any desire to go over the same old arguments but purely draw any of these debates/arguments away from constantly derailing the Proof Of Innocence thread begun by Joanna to discuss her finding. I take my share of responsibility for this by having responded to those posts. Research is ongoing by researchers and, who knows, evidence to eliminate Druitt as a suspect might surface. But, as we all know by know, the subjects of Druitt and Macnaughten, for some inexplicable reason, tends to cause the hackles to be raised in some quarters. I’d suggest that only Maybrick causes such reactions. Many researchers and authors, such as ones as respected as Paul Begg as an example, whilst not considering Druitt a strong suspect, manage to maintain an open mind on the subject but this seems to be beyond some. So here’s a thread for those who believe that their opinion should be taken as fact.
    Regards

    Michael🔎


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

  • #2
    Originally posted by Michael Banks View Post
    I’ve started this thread not for any desire to go over the same old arguments but purely draw any of these debates/arguments away from constantly derailing the Proof Of Innocence thread begun by Joanna to discuss her finding. I take my share of responsibility for this by having responded to those posts. Research is ongoing by researchers and, who knows, evidence to eliminate Druitt as a suspect might surface. But, as we all know by know, the subjects of Druitt and Macnaughten, for some inexplicable reason, tends to cause the hackles to be raised in some quarters. I’d suggest that only Maybrick causes such reactions. Many researchers and authors, such as ones as respected as Paul Begg as an example, whilst not considering Druitt a strong suspect, manage to maintain an open mind on the subject but this seems to be beyond some. So here’s a thread for those who believe that their opinion should be taken as fact.
    Thanks for starting this thread, Mike. I don’t know enough about Druitt to contribute, but I’ll keep an eye on this and hopefully I’ll learn something.

    Comment


    • #3
      From Phil Kellingly.

      And in order to put 'the other side' for this particular event the main assumptions you have to make are:

      1. That MacNaghten's memo is to be trusted (despite having multiple untruths which indicate that he actually had no idea who the killer was)

      This is your own assessment. As Roger Palmer has pointed out you are assuming that errors when writing after the event must be considered lies no matter how trivial the subject. Human beings often believe that they have a better memory than they actually have and so fail to check facts. This is a fact of being human. You are making an assumption based on your own opinion of Macnaughten.

      2. That Druitt would end a game of cricket in Dorset close to the family home where he was known to spend the summer.

      Druitt would have ended a game wherever that game was played. The point makes no sense but it appears that you are splitting one point into 2 separate points to add to your ‘case.’

      3. That the game would have ended early rather than starting late (despite clear evidence presented in this thread that it was not uncommon for games to start in the mid-afternoon)

      No one has denied that some games started later but we also know that many started earlier. Of course your default position is to make a convenient assumption.

      4. That Druitt, rather than go back to the family home, would go to London (for no reason that is known).

      As you say, know known reason. Would you have expected Druitt to have placed an ad in the newspaper stating his reason for a journey to London. Why is it so strange for him to have returned to the city that he lived and worked in purely because we can’t name a specific reason. It’s a desperate point amongst many desperate points I’m afraid.

      5. That Druitt would somehow have to have his cricket gear stored somewhere en route to be collected on his return

      This probably wins the ‘most desperate point’ award. That Druitt couldn’t have coped with a bag for Christ's sake. Embarrassing!

      6. That Druitt would then commit a murder in a place that there is no evidence to support that he had any knowledge of, either in general or in particular.

      Strangely enough, and believe it or not, The Ten Bells or The Frying Pan didn’t require patrons to sign a visitors book. What evidence would we expect to see if someone of Druitt’s class had spent time in the slums of Whitechapel? Surely something that he’d have preferred to have kept to himself? There are possible reasons why Druitt might have visited the area but no one has ever claimed to have proof. There’s no evidence that I’ve ever been to Coventry. But I have.

      7. That Druitt would then somehow have cleaned any blood from himself and/or his clothing, presumably without being seen.

      Exactly the same issue which would have faced any murderer. How could any killer have cleaned up in Hanbury Street for example? He’d have had to have found a place. You appear to think that this would only have been an issue for Druitt? Maybe he wore a coat, strangled his victim, took of the coat for the mutilations, then put it back on to cover up? Hardly criminal mastermind territory.

      8. That Druitt possibly would then have carried out some unknown business in London.

      This isn’t really worth a response. He was a Barrister. He was Secretary of a Cricket club. Of course he could have had a reason. He might not have gone of course but not knowing the reason for a possible return is beyond weak.

      9. That Druitt would then returned either the same day or very early the following day to Dorset, having collected his cricket gear en route.

      A manipulation of the facts. Why very early? If he got back to London late evening of the 30th, and the murder occurred at 3.40ish in the early hours, he had until whatever time the last train was to return. He’d have had literally hours to do this. He might even have been able to have caught an early train on the 1st if one was available. You are simply making things up to dismiss. Not a great approach.

      10. That Druitt then played cricket again at a different location.

      And if he got back on the 31st which would have been Childs play he would have had ample time to get the the game the following day. The location of the second game is irrelevant unless it was in Manchester! More and more desperate.

      The only facts in that list are items 2 and 10. All the rest is assumption/speculation.

      And manipulations. Feeble to say the very least.

      Against those assumptions is a simple argument that he was staying (as has been evidenced) at the family home for the summer. He played cricket in a fairly near location on one day and returned to his home. He stayed there the following day. On the next day he played cricket again at a different but also fairly near location. The only assumption in that scenario is that he returned to and stayed at home.

      I'm quite happy to state that I have never considered Druitt a viable suspect, that there is not a shred of evidence to consider him as a suspect and that the assumptions made in the argument of 'the other side' are fanciful speculation. I will go further and say that such speculation is not confined to this particular discussion on this thread but is also present in the writings of Howells and Skinner, David Anderson and Hainsworth & partner. Invention of possible scenarios to 'prove' Druitt guilty don't do anything except illustrate the desperation of those who believe MacNaghten's self-promoting writings about his suspect to be true and accurate because they simply are unable to produce a scrap of evidence to support them.

      Your opinion on Macnaughten can be dismissed as the obviously biased rant that it is.

      I'm sure that there will be howls of anguish from those 'putting the other side' but I'm equally sure that not one of them can produce anything against Druitt other than MacNaghten's erroneous ramblings.

      As we can dismiss your 10 very silly manipulations what are we left with apart from your rather splenetic and baseless opinions on Macnaughten. You dismiss Macnaughten because it’s convenient to do so. Others take a more reasonable, fair-minded, open to possibilities approach. That Macnaughten might have misinterpreted his private info is entirely possible. That he was fed inaccurate information is entirely possible. That he’d have lied is clearly far, far less so.

      Why pick a man with no history of violence or criminality?
      Why not take the childishly simply option of naming some deceased or incarcerated criminal,or lunatic?
      Why pick a man who had such a public life where anyone looking into him might have been able to have said “hold on, this guy was in Bournemouth when Chapman was killed?:
      Why pick a man because he committed suicide after the Kelly murder when Munro, Reid and many others (we might even say most) believed that Alice Mackenzie was a victim? Do you honestly think that Macnaughten was such an utter cretin that he wouldn’t have realised that a corpse hardly made a good suspect for Mackenzies murder?
      Why in the days of rigid class consciousness would he randomly name someone from that class of society when that class of society were desperate to show that the killer was from the lowest class?
      If his private info was from Majendie which is eminently possible is he likely to have made a baseless accusation against a man who was related by marriage to one of his best friends?

      These are the reasons, none of them imaginary, why I don’t believe for a minute that that Macnaughten simply chose Druitt as a random suicide.
      Regards

      Michael🔎


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

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post

        Thanks for starting this thread, Mike. I don’t know enough about Druitt to contribute, but I’ll keep an eye on this and hopefully I’ll learn something.
        Cheers Gary, to be honest I’m not bothered about discussing Druitt with some. I thought I’d try and draw the fire away from ruining the other thread.
        Regards

        Michael🔎


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

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Michael Banks View Post
          From Phil Kellingly.


          This is your own assessment. As Roger Palmer has pointed out you are assuming that errors when writing after the event must be considered lies no matter how trivial the subject. Human beings often believe that they have a better memory than they actually have and so fail to check facts. This is a fact of being human. You are making an assumption based on your own opinion of Macnaughten. [/B]
          This question of memory loss always seems to raise its ugly head when someone posts a "report" which seems to negate the old accepted facts. In this case the inference being that Mac`s memory was not what it should have been given the passage of time.

          We saw it previous when Insp Reid gave an interview for the NOW in 1896 in which he stated that no organs were taken from Mary Kelly, where those who prop up the old theory that the killer did take away her heart suggest that due to the passage of time Reids memory was failing which clearly was not the case.

          All that needs to be said about the content of the MM has been said many times and I will retiterate what I have said many times about it and that it is totally unsafe to rely on. I personally dont think he was deliberately lying he was simply replying to the article about Cutbush which appeared in the Sun newspaper and using whatever information was available to him from what was on file at that time. All the rest about private information is nothing but hearsay and cannot be corroborated.

          www.trevormarriott.co.uk


          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Trevor Marriott View Post

            This question of memory loss always seems to raise its ugly head when someone posts a "report" which seems to negate the old accepted facts. In this case the inference being that Mac`s memory was not what it should have been given the passage of time.

            We saw it previous when Insp Reid gave an interview for the NOW in 1896 in which he stated that no organs were taken from Mary Kelly, where those who prop up the old theory that the killer did take away her heart suggest that due to the passage of time Reids memory was failing which clearly was not the case.

            All that needs to be said about the content of the MM has been said many times and I will retiterate what I have said many times about it and that it is totally unsafe to rely on. I personally dont think he was deliberately lying he was simply replying to the article about Cutbush which appeared in the Sun newspaper and using whatever information was available to him from what was on file at that time. All the rest about private information is nothing but hearsay and cannot be corroborated.

            www.trevormarriott.co.uk

            And as I’ve said many times Trevor, I’m not relying on it. I’m considering the possibility that it might have been true which is completely different. Which I think is a better and fairer position to take than simply dismissing it when there is so much that we don’t know. If there is more than one possibility on anything why just dismiss one of them? On the subject of the suggestion that some are doing this because they somehow want it to be true I could equally say that some don’t want it to be true and so dismiss it. The only reasonable position to take on the MM imo is to accept that, in the absence of further information, all is possible.

            By the way I never said that Reid’s memory was failing. Only that he might have misremembered a detail in a case that occurred 8 years previously. How can you claim that someone couldn’t have forgotten something? Yes it was an important case but these events took place over a period of time and Reid was more concerned with trying to apprehend the killer as opposed to paying any detailed attention to medical matters. We will disagree on this of course but I see absolutely reason that he might have either just misremembered or that he just assumed that all of the parts had been accounted for. This has to be a possible answer and yet you seek to rely on his memory. So I might ask why you rely on Reid when he might have been mistaken.

            So none of us know if Macnaughten lied (although we appear to agree on this point) None of us know whether he was given dodgy or malicious information. No one knows if he was given genuine information but it was simply mistaken. No one knows if he was given genuine information and that there was very good reason to suspect Druitt.

            Ist an unknown. I’m open to possibilities.
            Regards

            Michael🔎


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

            Comment


            • #7
              Some people get a wee bit hysterical about Druitt because he is such a (relatively) strong suspect, that is, he is not a strong suspect, but of all the weak suspects, he is one of the strongest.

              Besides senior police officers mentioning him as one suspect among others, Druitt also fits the stereotype of Jack the Ripper as he has been popularly imagined in the 20th century: a refined, upperclass murderer. That makes him appealing too.

              Until he can be definitely ruled out, he will remain one of the top candidates of named suspects. Naturally, some people are opposed to that, particularly those who propose other suspects - they of course feel or argue that their own suspect is stronger - but also people who for various serious and not-so-serious reasons distrust his suspect status, perhaps concluding that Macnaghten never really investigated him but just repeated gossip.

              I personally do not believe Druitt was the Ripper, but as one of the few people known to have been suspected by the police, he is definitely S-tier where suspects are concerned.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Michael Banks View Post

                So none of us know if Macnaughten lied (although we appear to agree on this point) None of us know whether he was given dodgy or malicious information. No one knows if he was given genuine information but it was simply mistaken. No one knows if he was given genuine information and that there was very good reason to suspect Druitt.

                Ist an unknown. I’m open to possibilities.
                But many are accepting the MM as the gospel truth the same as they are accepting the Swanson marginalia as being thr gospel truth, because they are so blinkered that they are unable to see the flaws in both of these documents

                How could someone misremeber such a horrific crime as the murder of Mary Kelly and all the events surrounding it, to say he misremebered is as I said using as an excuse not to accpet the reality of what he said.

                www.trevormarriott.co.uk

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Kattrup View Post
                  Some people get a wee bit hysterical about Druitt because he is such a (relatively) strong suspect, that is, he is not a strong suspect, but of all the weak suspects, he is one of the strongest.

                  Besides senior police officers mentioning him as one suspect among others, Druitt also fits the stereotype of Jack the Ripper as he has been popularly imagined in the 20th century: a refined, upperclass murderer. That makes him appealing too.

                  Until he can be definitely ruled out, he will remain one of the top candidates of named suspects. Naturally, some people are opposed to that, particularly those who propose other suspects - they of course feel or argue that their own suspect is stronger - but also people who for various serious and not-so-serious reasons distrust his suspect status, perhaps concluding that Macnaghten never really investigated him but just repeated gossip.

                  I personally do not believe Druitt was the Ripper, but as one of the few people known to have been suspected by the police, he is definitely S-tier where suspects are concerned.
                  I agree Kattrup.

                  One thing that’s always fascinated me (but not everyone of course) is the point that I believe Farson originally made; that it’s his unlikeliness that makes him interesting. Meaning, why did Macnaughten add the name of an, on the surface at least, respectable, upper class Barrister, with no known history of violence or criminality (to add to the names of a known criminal and a known lunatic? The answer is usually - because he conveniently committed suicide after the Kelly murder but those that claim this ignore the fact that Munro, Reid and others (might I even say the majority at the time?) believed that Mackenzie was a victim. What use is a ‘suspect’ who died before a murder that most believed to have been a part of the series. This is one of the reasons that I don’t think that Macnaughten just plucked Druitt out of thin air.
                  Regards

                  Michael🔎


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

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Trevor Marriott View Post

                    But many are accepting the MM as the gospel truth the same as they are accepting the Swanson marginalia as being thr gospel truth, because they are so blinkered that they are unable to see the flaws in both of these documents

                    How could someone misremeber such a horrific crime as the murder of Mary Kelly and all the events surrounding it, to say he misremebered is as I said using as an excuse not to accpet the reality of what he said.

                    www.trevormarriott.co.uk
                    It’s not an excuse Trevor. Why would a police officer be expected to have recalled every medical detail? Why assume an infallible memory?

                    I don’t know who you think is accepting the MM as gospel? The flaws are there for all to see as you say Trevor. So we have to take them into consideration but we can’t assume that if something contains an error or two that it should be dismissed or that the overall conclusion must have been false. You must have experienced many times where someone made a statement which contained errors which gave you doubts but when you investigated it the statement turned out to have been essentially true and valuable.
                    Regards

                    Michael🔎


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

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Kattrup View Post
                      I personally do not believe Druitt was the Ripper, but as one of the few people known to have been suspected by the police, he is definitely S-tier where suspects are concerned.
                      Except - he wasn't, as far as any records show, suspected by the police. The ONLY reference to Druitt is from MacNaghten and he got his age and profession wrong. This cannot be put down to anything other than MacN, at best, reporting a story that he had been told. Druitt isn't a strong candidate amongst the 300 odd candidates that have been suggested. There is no evidence that ever places him in the East End. There is no evidence of anything against him, in any circumstance, anywhere.

                      Those who 'defend' Druitt as a candidate continually suggest MacN's memory was failing him. But he wrote that memo for someone to see. The usual suggestion is that he wrote it for the Home Secretary to answer any Parliamentary questions that arose from the Sun's newspaper article. MacNaghten was still a very senior police official when he wrote it. He would have had access to any files to corroborate any facts he wished to state. If he did, indeed, mean it to be relied on in Parliament then it would have made the Home Secretary a liar because not only was his description of Druitt completely incorrect but so were his descriptions of his other two suspects and his idea that the Cutbush referred to in the Sun was related to a serving policeman. Of course he may not have written it for the Home Secretary and I think it more likely that he wrote it to be given to the Sun (as yet more self-promotion) but was over-ruled because he would offer no proof of his 'private information'.

                      To say that the memo contains 'an error or two' is going against the facts. In both versions of the memo currently available (the File copy and the 'Aberconway' copy) it is stated "Cutbush was a nephew of the late Supt Executive". That statement alone would be verifiable using records immediately available - but it wasn't. Druitt's age is only given (incorrectly) in the Aberconway version but both versions said that he was a doctor (untrue) who disappeared at the time of the Miller's Court murder (untrue). Both versions label Druitt as 'sexually insane' but MacN, in his autobiography, re-uses the term 'sexual maniac' both for Druitt and seven other times - each time with no apparent concept of what it means. He says that Kosminski was, in both versions but with slightly different wording, placed in an asylum in March 1889 (untrue). His statement about Ostrog is the only part of his suspicions that can be put down to lack of available knowledge and also to the fact that the police are on record as looking for Ostrog in 1893, just before the memo was written. But he could (should?) have known where Ostrog was in 1888 as he was very apparently quite friendly with the French police who certainly knew.

                      The simple, and totally irrefutable fact, is that if MacN hadn't ventured his "from private info.. I have little doubt but that his own family believed him to have been the murderer." statement then nobody would ever have considered Druitt a suspect. Notice that he didn't write that he got the information from the family but that he was stating hearsay from an unnamed source. That is not the action to be expected of a serving policeman.

                      And the fact remains that none of MacN's three suspects appear in any papers connected to the Ripper case in either Police or Home Office records.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Of the so called 300 suspects Druitt stands head and shoulders and more above 95% of them which is no great claim, but to put him low down is just silliness. Yes, the case against him stands on Macnaughten’s Private Information, but as we don’t know what that was or how valid it was then we are left with a brick wall. On that alone all that we have is a possibility. We can’t rely on it to show guilt but we shouldn’t’ try dismiss it either unless we have an agenda of course.

                        The suggestion that Macnaughten was a self-publicist is not an error. It’s an invention; a deliberate lie created for a very obvious reason. Look through anyones life and you would find more errors than you could keep up with. Call even a small percentage of them deliberate lies and then every single person can be labelled a liar. To suggest self-publicity when most of those errors are so unbelievably trivial that no real benefit was gained from the telling then we can see how hollow this silly character assassination is. I give it less than zero credence. Yes he could have made certain of the details but sometimes people just don’t because they assume that they can recall correctly at the time. A question then - if Macnaughten could easily have checked facts why did he pluck Druitt out of thin air when most people included Mackenzie as a ripper victim? Do we have to add mind-boggling stupidity to the charge of being a liar?

                        So the fact that Macnaughten names him as a likely suspect is significant. Not proof of guilt by any means, but significant. Now what open-mended, reasoned observer looking at this without the benefit of more detailed knowledge simply dismisses it because they think that Macnaughten was a liar? As easily as that. Just throw it out then defend that decision at all costs as if their life and honour depended on it. I was going to call it staggering but it’s not. It’s called bias. It’s someone coming to a decision and sticking to it. Its an “I’ve decided what happened therefore it must be true.” It’s ego on stilts.

                        Apart from Macnaughten there’s easily enough to make Druitt an interesting possibility; even if a remote one. Even a rumour might have some basis in truth. A certain unexplained event might point to something significant. A coincidence or two might mean more. So when you get a few of these together, as there are in connection with Druitt, a man named by the Chief Constable of the Met, it’s should be of interest at least. But not with some of course because they have a kind of religious certainty in the infallibility of their own judgment. Macnaughten must be discredited and Druitt must be eliminated at all costs. What happened to balance.

                        And what really, really (and I mean really) annoys some people is when I say that I absolutely accept that Macnaughten’s info could have been false; or that he could have misjudged its significance, and that I’ve never claimed that Druitt was the ripper. It irritates them so much but they still can’t stop themselves hanging the ‘Druittist’ label on me so that they can level accusations of bias. It eats away at some. It’s as simple as this - some of us can take an open-minded, interested approach, some just like to make proclamations and then they get angry when people dare to disagree with them.

                        Im happy with my position on the subject of Macnaughten and Druitt.
                        Regards

                        Michael🔎


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

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hi Michael,

                          "I'm happy with my position on the subject of Macnaghten and Druitt."

                          “I’ve decided what happened therefore it must be true.”

                          "It’s ego on stilts."

                          Nice going, Herlock.

                          Regards,

                          Simon

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Simon Wood View Post
                            Hi Michael,

                            "I'm happy with my position on the subject of Macnaghten and Druitt."

                            “I’ve decided what happened therefore it must be true.”

                            "It’s ego on stilts."

                            Nice going, Herlock.

                            Regards,

                            Simon
                            I’m happy that I don’t simply dismiss possibilities. Unlike some who simply say “Macnaughten lied. End of story.” And then get stroppy when someone disagrees.
                            Regards

                            Michael🔎


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

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Whatever, Herlock.

                              Comment

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