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  • #16
    Maria:

    Thanks for your input.
    I know this might sound a bit of a stretch, but in attempting to come to grips with how Ostrog wound up in the Macnaghten report ( You and I seem to be on the same page regarding the crime at MLM's alma mater ), it occurred to me that Macnaghten might have considered the elusivity of the Whitechapel Murderer and compared them to the machinations of Ostrog ( elusivity in the sense he had an alias for every occasion, that, while he was almost exclusively a pecuniary criminal, he could step out of character, so to speak, and pull a pistol if need be ). A criminal who just might be able to step out of character even further and wield a knife on a woman on a deserted street at 3 AM.

    I suppose what I'm driving at eventually, Maria, is that in a way I can understand how Ostrog would wind up in MLM's report although I'm well aware that the reasons I think I can understand how he did might be the wrong reasons.....and that Macnaghten might have been taking "the heat" from us for a long, long time now for what another, maybe any other, official in the same position at the same time Macnaghten penned the report would have also committed to paper.
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    • #17
      A Fashionable Rogue

      I most certainly will look for articles with that alias, Maria.

      The contemporary police, by and large, felt that the Whitechapel Murderer would have no problems approaching his female victims.
      That he could present himself to a victim in such a way that any apprehensiveness on the part of a future victim would be minimal was another view.
      Ostrog, despite his shortcomings, might have fit that bill in the mind of Macnaghten. Notice the last sentence or two.

      I think we need a book focusing on Ostrog, as we do on William Grant Grainger...

      Nottinghamshire Guardian
      October 10, 1873
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      • #18
        The Graphic, in my view, is what I would consider a witty and conservative periodical.
        However, I must admit I find it striking that their editor ( at least the one who penned the following ) suggests publicly that the best thing to do with Ostrog would be to hang him.
        Is it me or does the hoopla over the theft and this remark in the Graphic seem excessive ?

        The Graphic
        October 11, 1873
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        • #19
          "Don't Try The American Trick !"

          Hampshire Telegraph
          October 11, 1873
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          • #20
            Ostrog's 1900 conviction for stealing a microscope.

            The Times Tuesday 11 December 1900
            Ostrog The Times Tuesday 11 December 1900.jpg

            The Times Thursday 20 December 1900
            Ostrog The Times Thursday 20 December 1900.jpg

            Rob

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            • #21
              Rob:

              Talk about recividism...this man Ostrog takes the cake. Thanks for these additions, Rob.
              71 years old and still boosting merch !
              I wonder if people get sexually aroused from stealing goods. Its hard to understand how a 71 year old apparently didn't learn anything in those 7 preceding decades.
              Is there such a study...that of kleptomania & sexual stimulation ?
              Scratch that last comment....I see where he stole the goods to take to the pawn shop for quick cash. At that age, I can understand it considering he had nothing to fall back on from a life of crime.
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              • #22
                His cache of stolen goods was for more than 5 pounds...

                Birmingham Daily Post
                January 6, 1874
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                • #23
                  Originally posted by How Brown View Post
                  Is it me or does the hoopla over the theft and this remark in the Graphic seem excessive?
                  In my opinion, I think that the story was so highly advertised cuz it happened at Eton, the Victorians' pride and joy, and we know how Eton alumnis felt about the place... Plus it sounds like a thrilling story, with the chase and everything.

                  Originally posted by How Brown View Post
                  Maria:{...}
                  I know this might sound a bit of a stretch, but in attempting to come to grips with how Ostrog wound up in the Macnaghten report (You and I seem to be on the same page regarding the crime at MLM's alma mater ), it occurred to me that Macnaghten might have considered the elusivity of the Whitechapel Murderer and compared them to the machinations of Ostrog (elusivity in the sense he had an alias for every occasion, that, while he was almost exclusively a pecuniary criminal, he could step out of character, so to speak, and pull a pistol if need be). A criminal who just might be able to step out of character even further and wield a knife on a woman on a deserted street at 3 AM.
                  I suppose what I'm driving at eventually, Maria, is that in a way I can understand how Ostrog would wind up in MLM's report although I'm well aware that the reasons I think I can understand how he did might be the wrong reasons.....and that Macnaghten might have been taking "the heat" from us for a long, long time now
                  Agree completely How, and I also see certain parallels to Le Grand's activity and can understand how the mixup in Ostrog's MO in the MM might have occurred. By the by, I'm sure you recall that last summer Debra Arif discovered that Macnaghten mentions Le Grand and his companion (Amelia Demay) in his Memoirs? As career criminals, not related to the Ripper, though this doesn't necessarily mean anything at this point. I believe that we're still in the beginning of some interesting finds pertaining to all this, which might help us establish the truth about Macnaghten's thought process.

                  Originally posted by How Brown View Post
                  I most certainly will look for articles with that alias, Maria.
                  Great, that'd be endlessly appreciated.

                  Originally posted by How Brown View Post
                  I think we need a book focusing on Ostrog, as we do on William Grant Grainger...
                  I firmly believe that a book on Le Grand as a suspect requires a chapter on Ostrog, and I hope that Tom will take care of this.
                  An entire book on Ostrog should probably investigate how the Ostrog fame generated the Pedachenko saga, but let's not get into that silliness presently. :-)
                  Best regards,
                  Maria

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                  • #24
                    Maria:

                    I have to step out for a while, as the Boss wants to go shopping.
                    I did want to say that at this point that in my opinion, I don't believe Macnaghten confused Ostrog for Le Grand after reading the few stories brought up so far.
                    Ostrog's criminal career was pretty well documented in the press and 14 years between his sentencing in 1874 until the WM began isn't really that big of a time frame for any confusion to occur on the part of an official at SY...again in my view.
                    Especially for Macnaghten, as Ostrog, as we are both/all aware, targeted his alma mater.

                    More stories later.
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                    • #25
                      I see your point, How, but what I was wondering about is if Macnaghten might not have been shown some police file pertaining to Le Grand as "Grand“, "Grant“ or “Grandy“ and have thought of it as pertaining to Ostrog as “Dr. Grant“. Particularly since Le Grand was considered a German by the London police in his early criminal career, and Ostrog, as we see, was rumoured to be a German and sometimes impersonated a German. There are definitely similarities between them, as both Le Grand and Ostrog were multilingual, sophisticated types who travelled frequently between England and France using a bunch of different con names. Even their physical description was similar and prone for mix ups.
                      To paraphrase Jonathan Hainsworth, I'm also considering the possibility of Macnaghten pushing Ostrog as a suspect and keeping Le Grand (instead of Druitt) under wrap and key.
                      But it's too early to say, we simply need more information.

                      PS.: Have a nice shopping (spree) with Nina.
                      Best regards,
                      Maria

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                      • #26
                        To Rob C

                        My apologies for my mistakes.

                        I am completely blind in one eye, and have only partial sight in the other.

                        Reading accurately off a computer screen, even with the image quite enlarged, is a daily struggle and I often make errors.

                        To Maria

                        You are missing my point.

                        In early 1894, Macnaghten pens the official version of his 'Report' and he includes Ostrog [allegedly] as a more likely suspect than Cutbush -- because the Russian was incarcerated soon after the 'awful glut' at Millers Ct.

                        Later in 1894, Macnaghten receives infromation which exonerates Ostrog of the Whitechapel crimes.

                        Yet sometime in 1898, Macnaghten shows Major Griffiths an alternate version of this 'Home Office Report' in which Ostrog is still a Ripper suspect, and in fact is beefed up as a potential homicidal maniac.

                        That was a remarkably sloppy and irresponsible thing to to do, unless Mac knew that Ostrog was not a Ripper suspect all along but that his fictional variant -- the 'mad' Russian doctor -- was needed by Macnaghten.

                        Was created by Mac in 1894 and finally deployed in 1898.

                        This profile of Ostrog which was disseminated to the public from 1898, first by Griffiths and then by Goerge Sims (eg. 1907) is unrecognisable as Ostrog even to the thief himself -- as the articles which How has downloaded keep showing.

                        Nor was the 'Home Office Report' (eg. the 'Aberconway' version) a definitive document of state, as Sims described it in 1903 -- presumably with his pals' backing.

                        Regarding the Ripper, Macnaghten was himself a gentlemanly con artist, but to get some people here to consider this line of argument; to over-turn the entrenched paradigm of Mac as an amiable duffer is almost impossible.

                        The hapless Michael Ostrog is yet more evidence that Mac was manipulating data to conjure up a better image for the Yard over this case. In his own memoirs, the one document about this 'mystery' under his own name for the public, Mac dumped Ostrog altogether, eg. he is not a Ripper suspect.

                        Secondary sources (eg. Sudgen, et. al.) have, belatedly, caught up with this primary source ('Laying the Ghost of Jack the Ripper') in the modern era: Ostrog is not a Ripper suspect (I first saw this 'suspect' demolished in Evans and Gainey).

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                        • #27
                          Hi all,
                          I always find it kind of odd that Macnaghten has no up to date knowledge of Cutbush after 1891! The very man he was trying to convince everyone was not JTR. Was Race's suspicion about Cutbush investigated at all?
                          I can well imagine that Ostrog was somewhere on Macnaghten's list (ahead of the man suspected by a detective but not investigated)
                          He was released from an asylum in 87, where he was described as suffering from 'Mania',and failed to report thereafter, so not the same as run of the mill,boring old Le Grand and his criminal contemporary's and their failing to report.
                          Ostrog's prison record states plainly that he was a Russian surgeon, so no guess work on the part of Macnaghten there.

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                          • #28
                            To Debra

                            I don't agree.

                            Here is the semi-fictionalised Ostrog in Griffiths, 1898:

                            'The second possible criminal was a Russian doctor, also insane, who had been a convict both in England and Siberia. This man was in the habit of carrying about surgical knives and instruments in his pockets; his antecedents were of the very worst, and at the time of the Whitechapel murders he was in hiding, or, at least, his whereabouts were never exactly known.'

                            When you measure that against the real Ostrog, and that his 'whereabouts' were eventually known before Griffiths was briefed, the real criminal has been rendered unrecognisable.

                            For one thing, that Ostrog was -- essentially -- a confidence man and thief has been totally concealed.

                            Here is Ostrog in Sims, 1907:

                            'The second man was a Russian doctor, a man of vile character, who had been in various prisons in his own country and ours. The Russian doctor who at the time of the murders was in Whitechapel, but in hiding as it afterwards transpired, was in the habit of carrying surgical knives about with him. He suffered from a dangerous form of insanity, and when inquiries were afterwards set on foot he was found to be in a criminal lunatic asylum abroad. He was a vile and terrible person, capable of any atrocity.'

                            The impression given in these sources is that the un-named Druitt was a middle-aged doctor (he was neither), that the un-named 'Kosminski' (based on Aaron Kosminski) was incarcerated very soon after the Kelly murder (well, no, not really) and that the un-named Ostrog was also a professional and accredited doctor -- though from the wilds of Russia so well below the standards of a trained, English physician -- when there is no evidence that he was a medical man in the sense that Griffiths and Sims have used the appellation.

                            Ostrog was a thief, who did not carry surgical knives and was not habitually cruel to women, and was not a homicidal maniac. These are all cheap gimmicks added to the profile to make it plausible to the two writer-cronies.

                            The reason Macnaghten seems to have no up-dated information on Cutbush is because it suited his purposes, so he judged, not to use up-dated information.

                            That's not odd of a cheeky, ruling class smoothie whose criteria is always the desired effect of information (eg. propaganda) on a particular audience, not its factual accuracy -- until his own memoirs.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Maria Birbili
                              Personally I see the London Police Gazette notice as a hint that he might have briefly been a Ripper suspect from 1888 to 1894.
                              Is six years considered 'briefly'? It seems you think that appearing in this gazette makes you a Ripper suspect. You should hunt done the various gazettes within this six year period and chase down each man who is in them.

                              Originally posted by Debra Arif
                              He was released from an asylum in 87, where he was described as suffering from 'Mania',and failed to report thereafter, so not the same as run of the mill,boring old Le Grand and his criminal contemporary's and their failing to report.
                              Ostrog's prison record states plainly that he was a Russian surgeon, so no guess work on the part of Macnaghten there.
                              An alleged doctor with a mania who disappeared in 1887, who clearly did nothing between then and 1894 to draw suspicion on himself, and you think that's enough to make him a legitimate top 3 suspect in 1894? Seriously? You actually think Macnaghten was being sincere here?

                              Yours truly,

                              Tom Wescott

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                              • #30
                                The question is, was Macnaghten lazy and incompetent, as Debs and Rob state, or were there ulterior motives in the production of the Macnaghten Memoranda? This is the sole significance of Ostrog to our investigations.

                                Yours truly,

                                Tom Wescott

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