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G.Wentworth Bell Smith

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  • R.J.Palmer
    Guest replied
    Howard -- It’s an impossible question to answer. There doesn’t appear to be any doubt the letter Winslow reproduced in Recollections of Forty Years was altered--it refers to the ‘murder in the summer’ (Alice MacKenzie?) -- but whether this means the August 7/August 9th in Callaghan’s original letter was similarly manipulated--I don’t know, but it makes one wonder. Then again, this would only indicate Winslow’s duplicity, not Callaghan’s. My impression of Winslow is that, like most psychiatrist/psychologists who have become interested in the Ripper case, he just needed a suspect --any suspect-- to use as a prop to expound on his ideas of “homicidal mania.” It's not clear to me that his later comments refer to Bellsmith and he may have jumped horse in midstream. Whether he got the facts right seemed to be of lesser imporance---not all that different from a psychologists jumping on the back of J.K. Stephen or Maybrick so they can ramble on about ‘signature’, geographical profiling, etc. My concern has always been about what this has to do with Mr. Callalaghan. The possibility certainly exists that Callaghan was merely an honest bloke, giving an honest testimony, and was lost in the shuffle, particularly because his champion, Winslow, turned out to be such a flake. Dave Knott is churning up a very intriguing line of inquiry. I’ve also always found this statement of Callaghan to be of interest:

    “I gave this information to the police in August (1888) after the man left my house, and curiously enough the detectives came over to my house to make inquiries also about this same man, at the instigation of a lady from the Surrey side of the water.”

    Probably impossible to recover at this late date, but it would be interesting to know what lady in Surrey had complained about H.W.B.

    Abberline, qiuzzed by Swanson, had no record of any of it. But then he wouldn’t necessarily have ever seen it, if it had to do with the inquiriies of a divisional detective in South London, and we don’t know that particular inquiry had anything to do with the Ripper case.

    What do you make of the Sept. 23, 1889 ‘Dodger’ letter? Heaven forbid --was Winslow salting the mines?

    PS Callaghan’s story could be partially confirmed by a troll through the Daily Telegraph of April, 1888. He states he and his wife had placed an ad in the DT for a lodger on or about that month. Maybe Mr. Knott or someone else could look into that some rainy day in London.

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  • Dave Knott
    Researcher

  • Dave Knott
    replied
    I would agree with Roger about Callaghan's account being the important one - Forbes Winslow's comments are all over the place - at one time he describes Bellsmith as being young, with light hair and blue eyes (not like the man Callaghan describes) and confined to a lunatic asylum. Another time he states that Bellsmith left London (after Winslow published his clue in 1889) and went to South Africa.

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  • Howard Brown
    Registrar

  • Howard Brown
    replied
    Roger...

    If you get the time,could you please offer your scenario?

    Do you think that there was no alteration to the note delivered to Swanson? Maybe Swanson dismissed it on sight? What do you think?

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  • Guest
    Guest

  • R.J.Palmer
    Guest replied
    Forbes Winslow should not be allowed to muddy the waters. Callaghan's account is the important one; not Winslow's.

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  • Howard Brown
    Registrar

  • Howard Brown
    replied
    Well that 'splains things !

    Thank you Dave. Much appreciated.

    A.P. started a thread on the October 1888/1889 mystery...and Callaghan's letter presented to Swanson,via Winslow is a different thing altogether.

    Okay...has anyone seen the letter from Callaghan ? Is that available?

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  • Dave Knott
    Researcher

  • Dave Knott
    replied
    AP,

    As far as I know, the only info Forbes Winslow had regarding Bellsmith was Callaghan's statement - Callaghan did not mention an age at all (although did think that Bellsmith had false teeth!)

    How and Stan,

    We are talking about two different documents - the one referred to by Harris was a letter Winslow received from somebody claiming to be the killer, which had the year altered from 1889 to 1888. The other is the statement of Callaghan which was in the possession of Winslow, and had the date of Bellsmith's suspicious behaviour amended from the 9th to the 7th. My point is that if Winslow altered the former, then there is every chance that he also altered the latter.

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  • AP Wolf
    Author & Researcher

  • AP Wolf
    replied
    Whoosh! The last time I used an ancestry web site to log information on the boards - about Nathan Shine - I was ripped to pieces.
    I'm still looking for my heart.
    I think RJP should cough up here and supply his info.

    David, I'm a bit worried about Forbes Winslow referring to this lodger as a 'young man'.

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  • Howard Brown
    Registrar

  • Howard Brown
    replied
    Oh crap !

    Winslow wasn't pushing for Grainger...he was defending him.

    Whatta putz I am.

    Never mind about that goof.

    The Goof.

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  • Howard Brown
    Registrar

  • Howard Brown
    replied
    Stan:

    Thats what I had understood...not that it didn't take Dave to get me to remember that in Melvin's last book...which mentions nothing of the Aug.7 and Aug. 9th references....only the 1888/1889 difference.

    Either way...you still think Winslow actively tried to fit 10 pounds of sugar in a 5 pound bag with HWB?

    Because a few years later,he's pushing W.G.Grainger.

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  • Guest
    Guest

  • Stan Russo
    Guest replied
    How,

    The way I remember the tale is that when Swanson saw the document, the date had been altered from August 9th, 1888 to August 7th, 1888, to promote better evidence against GWB Smith in connection with the Tabram murder.

    Swanson received this info in 1889, perhaps because it took Callaghan that long to get it to Winslow, or Winslow that long to get it to Swanson.

    Stan

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  • Howard Brown
    Registrar

  • Howard Brown
    replied
    Stan:

    Then is Melvin's statement that Dave produced from the "Bloody Truth" incorrect?

    According to what Dave posted OR what is in the True Face...Melvin claimed that the date was altered according to the year ( October 19,1889...to October 19,1888 ).

    Either way,I understand that some sort of alteration is supposed to have occurred,but not the exact one.

    So what do you think,amigo?

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  • Guest
    Guest

  • Stan Russo
    Guest replied
    Dave,

    My bad - it was Swanson and Winslow meeting about the matter. Winslow showed the letter to Swanson, as I remember,but Swanson dismissed it because of the date having been visibly altered from the 9th to the 7th, presumably by Winslow to bolster G.W.B. Smith

    Stan

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  • Dave Knott
    Researcher

  • Dave Knott
    replied
    How,

    No signature I'm afraid.

    AP,

    R J Palmer originally posted it, I would guess that he found it on Ancestry.com

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  • AP Wolf
    Author & Researcher

  • AP Wolf
    replied
    Thanks David
    despite a rough crossing the Fulda does do what it is supposed to do, leave Southampton on the 4th November 1888 and arrive New York on the 14th.
    But Bellsmith's are few on the ground, or sea.
    Where did this record come from?

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  • Howard Brown
    Registrar

  • Howard Brown
    replied
    Dave:

    Just a shot in the dark here...

    Is there a signature by HWB in the book you have?

    I almost forgot..

    "With regard to date changing, it will be remembered that Winslow produced a letter supposedly received from the killer where the date had clearly been altered from 1889 to 1888 [see The Bloody Truth by Melvin Harris] so he may well have altered the 9th to the 7th." -also on page 27 of The True Face

    That latter book's reference is remembered. I don't have the Bloody Truth ( no joke intended...).

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