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The American Doctor

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  • #16

    Originally posted by Nemo View Post
    I thought the identification of the likeness of the Ripper as the photo of Sims was based on the coffe 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.,.
    Sims related the coffee stall keeper story in The Referee of March 1, 1891 and I reproduce the same below. The incident occurred in 1888 and involved the coffee stall keeper spotting a picture of Sims on the cover of his Social Kaleidoscope which looked like the suspicious man who had called at the coffee stall on the night of the double murder.

    In the 1911 recounting of the tale Sims adds that 'the features of the man who is now believed by the authorities to have been Jack, did bear a certain resemblance to mine.' It obviously amused Sims to tell this story and, indeed, he was bearded, as must have been the coffee stall keeper's suspicious man. Such a description of a Ripper suspect was circulated after the 'double event' and I am sure that it suited Sims to accept this as a valid likeness of the murderer to boost his tale.


    • #17
      Dear SPE:

      I'll start a thread up regarding your last post (You're getting up while I have to go hit the hay !).

      I'll leave a link here. Thanks for the inspiration....back in a minute.

      Here it is :
      To Join JTR Forums :
      Contact [email protected]


      • #18
        Thanks for that SPE

        Do we know where the coffee stall was located?

        The stall-holder must have been pretty convinced of his suspect to go to the trouble of buying the book and bringing it to the attention of the various authorities


        • #19
          Originally posted by SPE View Post
          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.
          Hi Stewart,

          In which case, could Littlechild not have designed his response to Sims specifically to get him off this potentially dangerous track and onto a safer one for all concerned? In other words, did he only pretend never to have heard of any Dr D in connection with the murders, to play down the whole thing, and then offer up a sacrificial Dr T instead, to suggest a confusion along the way between the two (their initials sounding much the same and the 'belief' that Dr T had gone the same way as Dr D after Miller's Court)?

          Did he think it was better to have Sims switch his attentions to this American quack with his colourful past and bad reputation, than to let him carry on thinking there was something in this Dr D story, featuring such a well-connected family?

          Interesting too is Littlechild's final hint about Sims barking up the wrong tree with info that Griffiths had 'probably' got from Anderson - the man who only 'thought he knew'. Could this have been another diversionary tactic - to blame Anderson for the confusion and deliberately keep any mention of Loose Lips Macnaghten out of it?



          PS The fact that Littlechild even mentions Griffiths, and that he probably got 'his' information from Anderson, seems to imply that Sims had named Griffiths in his own Dr D letter, but not Macnaghten.
          I wish I were two puppies then I could play together - Storm Petersen


          • #20
            I subscribe to the theory that Sims did know Druitt's name, as that much more minor comic writer knew it, eg. 'Dr Bluitt'.

            With Littlechild, in the letter lost to us, Sims was being discreet about 'Dr D' because he assumed that the former would know all about 'Dr Druitt'.

            Of course, Littlechild had never heard of Druitt -- no police had until 1891 and Mac jept this to himself until 1898 -- and so initiated a letter in which he was trying to point out to his social superior that Sims was writing about the wrong suspect, or had details about the right suspect wrong.

            Features correct:
            - A mad medico
            - Middle-aged, affluent, family-less, pals only
            - sexually deviant
            - chased by the Bobbies
            - believed to have suicided

            Features incorrect:
            - English, not Irish-American
            - 'T' not 'D'
            - police had never had him in a cell

            Littlechild wrongly thought this mishmash may have come from Anderson, via Griffiths. This is because of what Sims wrote in 1903 against Abberline; that the Major had viewed the 'Home Office Report by the Commissioner', and Littlechild mistakenly thought Sims meant Anderson, the Commissioner of 1888, not 1903 -- which was Mac by then.

            To hide Druitt's appearance Mac did two things. Firstly, he reversed the suspect and witness regarding Eddowes to make it seem as if a Gentile beat Cop had seen a Jewish suspect, perhaps Kosminski. Actually it was Lawende sighting [what Mac assumed] was Druitt.

            Secondly, he flattered Sims' vanity about his coffee-stall owner 'party-piece', and his peculiar wish to look like 'Jack'. Edwardians were therefore cofronted, in Sims, with the rotund, bearded features of the Fiend.

            It's just ridiculous, and yet Sims seems to have swallowed all this prankish misdirection from his chum, Macnaghten.

            Actually Sims strongly resembled Edward VII, about as appalling a thought for the English, Anglican, Gentile, Bourgieosie; that the Ripper looked like His Majesty when a young, scandal-prone Prince of Wales.


            • #21
              Is it coincidental that the coffee stall holder's suspect fitted the description of a man lurking around Lusk's address and asking for his address just prior to Lusk receiving the kidney?


              • #22
                Originally posted by Jonathan Hainsworth View Post
                With Littlechild, in the letter lost to us, Sims was being discreet about 'Dr D' because he assumed that the former would know all about 'Dr Druitt'.
                Hi Jonathan,

                In Sims's place, if you are right about him knowing Dr D's name and assuming Littlechild knew it too, I think I would have spelled it out - literally - and let my inside knowledge of it sink in with the recipient. After all, whether Sims was on a fishing expedition with his own letter, or merely bragging about having this information, he was presumably looking for some reaction. And naming Druitt (if he knew it - and I'm a poet and don't I know it) would have stood a better chance of getting one - and a stronger one than the lukewarm and presumably unsatisfactory reaction he actually got.

                As it is, Sims rather let Littlechild off the hook by allowing him to deny any knowledge of this vague 'Dr D' and supply instead his own Dr T, whose name he clearly had no compunction about spelling out to his correspondent.


                I wish I were two puppies then I could play together - Storm Petersen