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A Case For William Grant Grainger

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  • #76
    I’ve been trying to find any records to support what was written about William Grainger in the PMG article.

    “He was in Cork city militia from 1883”
    I searched British Army Service Records (1760 – 1915) on FindMyPast. Lots of soldiers from Cork in that period, but no “Grainger”, “Grant” or “Green” that could be him.

    “He was from a wealthy Irish family”
    Grainger’s father (William) was a farmer and his grandfathers were a hatter (Richard - father’s side) and a farmer (mother’s side). There was another Richard Grainger who lived in the area at the same time who was wealthy – his daughter Juliet Isabella Grainger married Thomas James Nash at St Annes Shandon, Cork City in 1856. Was he telling people that this was his family ?

    “He was a medical student”
    Highly unlikely as he is recorded elsewhere as being a stoker, his father was a farmer, one sibling was a sail maker, his sisters married army soldiers.

    “He was widowed as his wife died when she discovered he was the Ripper”
    No record of him marrying, and his death certificate (March 1929, Cork) records him as a Bachelor.

    We know from the record of him at Banstead Asylum is he suffered “delusions of persecution and hallucinations of vision”

    Could it be that he wasn’t in the Irish militia, was married, or was a medical student – but this is want he wanted to be ?

    I still can’t understand how someone who was in and out of jail and in workhouses so frequently could have convinced Kebbel and Winslow that he was previously a medical student (which they both seemed to believe).

    He must have been articulate. Maybe this was how he appeared non-threatening to his victims ?


    • #77
      I was reading this thread last night, and, as an aside, I couldn't help noticing that the 'S. L. Anderson' mentioned in Post #65 for the 1878 case is Sir Robert Anderson's older brother, Samuel Lee Anderson.

      "The hearing of the city of Dublin cases was re-sumed.
      Mr. Murphy, Q.C., and Mr. O'Brien, Q.C., (in-structed by Mr. S. L. Anderson), prosecuted."

      A small world.

      This would be fairly interesting if the defendant was the right William Grainger, but he doesn't appear to be. Not only is he from County Mayo, but another account lists his father as a former "head-constable of Constabulary."

      Later accounts claim that William Grainger, the suspect, came from a highly respected family, but this doesn't seem to jive with what Chris P and Debra A have uncovered.

      The whole Grainger business is rather strange. In some alternative universe he's probably considered one of the top suspects.