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  • The American Doctor

    There have been many discussions over the years about 'the Batty Street lodger' story but these rarely mention the lodger story recounted by George R. Sims in the Yarmouth Independent of February 25, 1911.

    As not much debate on this story has taken place, nor research for that matter. I wondered what readers of this site might think about this story, given that it appeared so many years after the murder and, according to Sims, was related directly to him by the landlady involved. Here is the story as told by Sims.



  • #2
    Hi Stewart

    This certainly is an interesting story. It might appear to me that the American doctor, known to be later with a practice in northwest London, might be identifiable if a researcher were intrepid enough to check the Medical Register and see which physicians might fit the correct criteria. We might never know if the man was Jack the Ripper, of course, but such reseach could clarify another corner of the case. It is also interesting that Sims appears to dismiss the story and plumps for the Druitt or "drowned doctor" candidacy as the solution to the case instead.

    All the best

    Chris
    Christopher T. George, Lyricist & Co-Author, "Jack the Musical"
    https://www.facebook.com/JackTheMusical/ Hear sample song at https://tinyurl.com/y8h4envx.

    Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conferences, April 2016 and 2018.
    Hear RipperCon 2016 & 2018 talks at http://www.casebook.org/podcast/.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Stewart,
      Very interesting.
      So, basically there are two separate stories being told here, if I am reading this correctly?

      Sims believed that there was ample proof the 'real author of the horrors had committed suicide in the in the la.. stage of his manical frenzy.' and I assume that this is the same person he describes in the first paragraph 'The features of the man who is now believed by authorities to have been Jack, did bear a certain resemblence to mine.

      Did Druitt resemble Sims in appearance at all?

      Then we have information given to Sims from a landlady who believed the Whitechapel murderer, an American doctor, had lodged at her house, and disappeared straight after the double event leaving his bloodstained cuffs etc. behind. She believed the doctor was now in practice in North West London but the authorities did not investigate him further, believing that the real murderer had committed suicide.

      Is that correct?

      Comment


      • #4
        So a woman and at least two other people can identify an American medical man who had bloody cuffs during 1888

        He is seen still in London and in practice somewhere around 1908 when the landlady spots him

        So we have in order, the Batty St story 1888, Forbes Winslow's Canadian lodger 1889, Bacherts lodger 1890, Sim's lodger 1908, Sickert's lodger around 1908, then Belloc Lowndes lodger story published 1911

        Forbes Winslow's and Bachert's story were denied by the parties involved and Sickert's story and the Batty St story may well not have occurred, so only Sim's lodger story may be true as stated, though we would have to speculate how much the landlady may have been influenced by the other previous lodger stories

        Druitt turning up dead is not "ample proof"

        Sims must have had at least a hint hint of other evidence, maybe of Druitt's "sexual insanity"...

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Nemo View Post

          Druitt turning up dead is not "ample proof"
          No but it was ample proof that he was dead.
          Christopher T. George, Lyricist & Co-Author, "Jack the Musical"
          https://www.facebook.com/JackTheMusical/ Hear sample song at https://tinyurl.com/y8h4envx.

          Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conferences, April 2016 and 2018.
          Hear RipperCon 2016 & 2018 talks at http://www.casebook.org/podcast/.

          Comment


          • #6
            Lodger Story

            Originally posted by Debra Arif View Post
            Hi Stewart,
            Very interesting.
            So, basically there are two separate stories being told here, if I am reading this correctly?
            Sims believed that there was ample proof the 'real author of the horrors had committed suicide in the in the la.. stage of his manical frenzy.' and I assume that this is the same person he describes in the first paragraph 'The features of the man who is now believed by authorities to have been Jack, did bear a certain resemblence to mine.
            Did Druitt resemble Sims in appearance at all?
            Then we have information given to Sims from a landlady who believed the Whitechapel murderer, an American doctor, had lodged at her house, and disappeared straight after the double event leaving his bloodstained cuffs etc. behind. She believed the doctor was now in practice in North West London but the authorities did not investigate him further, believing that the real murderer had committed suicide.
            Is that correct?
            That's right Debs. Sims did not resemble Druitt but that is not relevant as Sims is talking about a description that was circulated in 1888 and, of course, Druitt did not become a suspect until later.

            To my mind the lodger story told by the landlady is too similar to the Batty Street lodger story of 1888 to be a coincidence. What does not seem to be correct is her identification of a then, 1907, practising doctor in north London being one and the same as her lodger; even though she had apparently convinced others that she was right. It seems unlikely that she could accurately identify a temporary lodger from so long before. A person changes much over twenty years and her identification was probably incorrect.

            Comment


            • #7
              Stewart, it is similar to the 'Batty Street lodger' story as in terms of the the date the bloody cuffs etc. were left, the night of the 'double event.'
              I believe Winslow's lodger story relates to the date of the Tabram murder and I'm not too sure about the date of the lodger's disappearance for the other lodgers mentioned.
              So, datewise I would say yes. In that case are you saying the landlady who sought out Sims could have been Mrs. Kuer? I can inderstand that she may have 'imagined' she saw the same man again in the West End all those years later and it wasn't , but there's also the coincidence that the man she later recognised as her previous lodger was also a doctor, like her lodger.

              Thanks for clearing up the resemblence issue...I thought that was odd.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by SPE View Post
                That's right Debs. Sims did not resemble Druitt but that is not relevant as Sims is talking about a description that was circulated in 1888 and, of course, Druitt did not become a suspect until later.

                Sims wrote in 1911: "'The features of the man who is now believed by authorities to have been Jack, did bear a certain resemblence to mine."

                "now believed" in 1911 -- as Debra said, wouldn't that be Druitt?

                Once again in these various theories about who the Ripper was, the information appears to be askew.

                Chris
                Christopher T. George, Lyricist & Co-Author, "Jack the Musical"
                https://www.facebook.com/JackTheMusical/ Hear sample song at https://tinyurl.com/y8h4envx.

                Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conferences, April 2016 and 2018.
                Hear RipperCon 2016 & 2018 talks at http://www.casebook.org/podcast/.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Point

                  Originally posted by Debra Arif View Post
                  Stewart, it is similar to the 'Batty Street lodger' story as in terms of the the date the bloody cuffs etc. were left, the night of the 'double event.'
                  I believe Winslow's lodger story relates to the date of the Tabram murder and I'm not too sure about the date of the lodger's disappearance for the other lodgers mentioned.
                  So, datewise I would say yes. In that case are you saying the landlady who sought out Sims could have been Mrs. Kuer? I can inderstand that she may have 'imagined' she saw the same man again in the West End all those years later and it wasn't , but there's also the coincidence that the man she later recognised as her previous lodger was also a doctor, like her lodger.
                  Thanks for clearing up the resemblence issue...I thought that was odd.
                  That Sims's landlady of c. 1907 could have been Mrs Kuer is a point that I made in my book. The fact that the 1907 suspect was a doctor and an American could well have been a deciding factor in her thinking it was the same man. Thanks for your valued input Debs.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Suspected

                    Originally posted by Chris G. View Post
                    Sims wrote in 1911: "'The features of the man who is now believed by authorities to have been Jack, did bear a certain resemblence to mine."
                    "now believed" in 1911 -- as Debra said, wouldn't that be Druitt?
                    Once again in these various theories about who the Ripper was, the information appears to be askew.
                    Chris
                    Chris, you are correct but Sims's tale of being suspected as the Ripper because of a photograph of himself that appeared on one of his booklets was an old one that he had told before. We don't know that Macnaghten even had a description of Druitt and Sims simply may have thought that Macnaghten's preferred suspect, Druitt, was the same one whose description had been circulated in 1888.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by SPE View Post
                      Chris, you are correct but Sims's tale of being suspected as the Ripper because of a photograph of himself that appeared on one of his booklets was an old one that he had told before. We don't know that Macnaghten even had a description of Druitt and Sims simply may have thought that Macnaghten's preferred suspect, Druitt, was the same one whose description had been circulated in 1888.

                      Yes okay and it does occur to me that Sims was unlikely to have seen a photograph of Druitt and I believe, correct me if I am wrong, did not know his name except to know about the drowned man story.

                      Chris
                      Christopher T. George, Lyricist & Co-Author, "Jack the Musical"
                      https://www.facebook.com/JackTheMusical/ Hear sample song at https://tinyurl.com/y8h4envx.

                      Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conferences, April 2016 and 2018.
                      Hear RipperCon 2016 & 2018 talks at http://www.casebook.org/podcast/.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        No Evidence

                        Originally posted by Chris G. View Post
                        Yes okay and it does occur to me that Sims was unlikely to have seen a photograph of Druitt and I believe, correct me if I am wrong, did not know his name except to know about the drowned man story.
                        Chris
                        There is no evidence to suggest that Sims knew Druitt's name. Even if Macnaghten had told him, post 1894, I am sure that would have been under the strict caveat that it was not to be revealed. If Druitt was the 'Dr D' mentioned by Sims to Littlechild it could well be that Macnaghten had simply called the suspect a 'Dr D'.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thank you very much for sharing that, Mr. E.

                          You said...and it never occurred to me to approach this from the angle you did :

                          "There is no evidence to suggest that Sims knew Druitt's name. Even if Macnaghten had told him, post 1894, I am sure that would have been under the strict caveat that it was not to be revealed. If Druitt was the 'Dr D' mentioned by Sims to Littlechild it could well be that Macnaghten had simply called the suspect a 'Dr D'. ---SPE

                          ...I never considered Macnaghten not mentioning Druitt by his surname to Sims. I would have thought someone (MLM) who took delight in showing photographs of murder victims to people ( in this case, intimates who could keep their mouths shut ) who ventured into his quarters would have.
                          One thought occurs in reading what you stated.
                          If Sims had known Littlechild well enough, you might think he would have openly stated Druitt by name instead of referring to him as Dr. D. in the original letter to Littlechild. You know what I'm driving at....there was, by that time, no real need for diplomacy or formality as Sims was asking a question about a dormant case ( quarter of a century ) to someone he knew ( How well is unknown at present to me).
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                          • #14
                            I thought the identification of the likeness of the Ripper as the photo of Sims was based on the coffee stall story

                            In this, the suspect was a man who stated (on the night of the double event) that two murders would be reported in the morning

                            That doesn't seem to rely on any description circulated in 1888 and going by the picture indicated would seem to be related to a man with a beard.,.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Druitt

                              Originally posted by How Brown View Post
                              ...I never considered Macnaghten not mentioning Druitt by his surname to Sims. I would have thought someone (MLM) who took delight in showing photographs of murder victims to people ( in this case, intimates who could keep their mouths shut ) who ventured into his quarters would have.
                              One thought occurs in reading what you stated.
                              If Sims had known Littlechild well enough, you might think he would have openly stated Druitt by name instead of referring to him as Dr. D. in the original letter to Littlechild. You know what I'm driving at....there was, by that time, no real need for diplomacy or formality as Sims was asking a question about a dormant case ( quarter of a century ) to someone he knew ( How well is unknown at present to me).
                              I feel that Macnaghten did not give Sims Druitt's full name but referred to him as 'Dr D' and that Sims was interested to find out exactly who 'Dr D' (i.e. Druitt) was. Hence Sims query to Littlechild regarding 'Dr D'. I stress, though, that is just my opinion. The Druitt family was a wealthy family of lawyers and doctors and were still prominent in 1913 so I am sure that Macnaghten would still not want the name leaked - and Sims was a journalist after all.

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