No announcement yet.

Jack The Ripper Suspect * Dr. Francis Tumblety

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #16

    In retrospect, it also occurred to me that applying one's personal reaction ( mine, in this case ) to news that their wife/husband had been involved with a member of the same sex ( in turn of the 20th century USA ) might not have been so cut and dried.

    I'm pretty sure that if I was in my 20's and Nina was in hers, and I told her after we had been married that I had been intimate with a fellow before we were married, it would disturb her. I'm certain of that only because I've asked her that.

    On the other hand, this ain't 1905 and Mrs. Norris wasn't in her 20's. Its unlikely that we'll ever know what the reaction of any divulgence on Norris's part was upon a lady who had a couple of kids by that time was...and the husband the sole breadwinner.

    I'm also of the opinion that its quite possible she didn't know what he said while on the witness stand.
    To Join JTR Forums :


    • #17
      I see that a question about Tumblety's literacy has popped up.

      We have some items we can look back upon to see if Tumblety was illiterate or not. First, we have Martin McGarry's quote in the Dec 5, 1888 NY World:

      "...( Tumblety) used to walk about town, ride, and drive through the park and read to me and have me read to him."

      Then there was Neil Storey's book where he printed many of Tumblety's letters that he had sent to Henry Hall Caine. Tumblety had a secretary write up a lot of those letters, but Tumblety himself wrote some of those letters as well. Here is an excerpt of one that Tumblety wrote and mailed to Caine on Feb 24, 1875:

      "I have not taken any kind of food for over a week. If there are any mistakes (in the writing of this letter) attribute them to my illness."

      And here is an excerpt of one that Tumblety wrote in April 1875:

      "I close this letter hoping you will forgive all the (clerical) mistakes I have made."

      Neil Storey was able to transcribe those letters that Tumblety wrote, so the quack was capable of getting his message across in writing if he had to. In the newly found probate court records, a witness was asked if Tumblety could indeed write and the answer was that he could write...but it was in his own way.

      The attorney William Burr wasn't impressed at all with Tumblety's writing style. In the Dec 2, 1888 NY World Burr revealed that he had in his possession many letters that Tumblety had written. Burr declared that "they were the most amusing farrago of illiterate nonsense."

      But was Tumblety capable of writing something like the Goulston Street Graphito or the Lusk Letter? Sure he was capable of it. You didn't need to be a Rhodes Scholar to write up that type of garbage.

      Now it's time to enjoy the weekend. Have a good Father's Day, Howard.


      • #18

        Thanks for mentioning the Burr reference....that's the source I was thinking of.
        To Join JTR Forums :


        • #19
          If you are to read one chapter of Mike's new book, make it Chapter 9. It is an extraordinary piece of writing. Here is a small portion if it:

          If (Tumblety) did resort to murder and mutilation in 1888, his intersex condition would not have been the reason for his lack of remorse; it would have been his narcissistic personality disorder, or NPD. Recall the signs of NPD: exaggerated sense of self-importance, expecting to be recognized as superior, an exaggeration in achievements, preoccupied with fantasies about success, having a sense of entitlement, expecting special treatment, taking advantage of others, lack of remorse, and arrogance.

          ...Someone with NPD comes across as pretentious, often monopolizing conversations, and belittles those they perceive as inferior. Deep-seated feelings of insecurity in a person with NPD cause them to show contempt and even strike out in rage.

          Mike boldly took on some tough topics. It's quite a task to try to get into the mind of a Ripper suspect, but Mike didn't shy away from the challenge.


          • #20
            Currently in chapter 9

            I'm taking my time reading Mike's book. Why? Well it's like tasting a fine wine and his book is a very fine one. Of course, I'll offer my comments once I've finished but in the meantime I consider it THE TUMBLETY BOOK one must go through.

            Tumblety is obviously the suspect offering the most fascinating set of data which allows for more reasonable interpretation than any other suspect.



            • #21
              A reference book one must read

              Sorry if I took this long before offering my comments on Mike's book. Many unexpected situations caused me some delays.

              I finally finished Mike's book. I must say I was impressed by the details he gives about Tumblety's life and I would like to offer constructive comments.

              In the Baltimore Ripper Con presentation I gave last Spring, I noted many weaknesses in certain arguments surrounding Tumblety. Not that many arguments sustaining Tumblety as a suspect were totally wrong but that the way they were considered were misleading. Mike's book avoids most of the weaknesses I covered, which reflects the importance he gives to presenting facts that talk by themselves, a legal principle the Romans would define as 'res Ipsa loquitur', something much stronger than the 'prima facie' expression often heard with the Cross-JTR theory.

              Any good reader will quickly find out what aspects of Tumblety's influenced him the most by repeating them quite often. His 'hatred of women', for example. There's nothing really wrong in doing so. Of course, we must remember that the concept of 'hatred of women' was the word used in the late Victorian era to define homosexuality and/or misogyny and Mike gives many references proving Tumblety was one. However, history has also shown us that during the late-Victorian era, women were becoming more and more educated, involved in more financial and economic decisions and asking for a better place in society. As a result, misogyny was at its peak during that period. I keep asking myself why did almost all his adds contained these words if he hated women that much : 'The Doctor will also give particular attention to all diseases peculiar to Females and Children'. Seemingly, he would have avoided them! Nevertheless, considering it as being one of the ingredients that may have fueled a need to kill and possibly turning Tumblety into Jack the Ripper remains a reasonable interpretation.

              Then there is the testimony Richard Norris gave about Tumblety having told him that if he had his way, street walkers would all be disemboweled. Besides the 'tale' reported by the Liverpool Leader on January 9, 1875 where he seemingly ordered a woman to 'get legs and all out or he would kick her out' there is no other evidence of him showing physical or psychological violence towards any women. Some additional research should be done to see if there was any real case of violence against woman involving Tumblety, which would add some serious weight to the 'hatred of women' circumstantial evidence.

              Mike did a rather interesting reflexion on Tumblety's mental state suggesting a narcissistic personality disorder. The major problem in defining the disorder of any JTR suspect is that when considering certain distant symptoms, many of them overlap specific behavior deficiencies. Another one is as Neel Burton M.D. said that “they are more the product of historical observation than of scientific study, and thus that they are rather vague and imprecise constructs”. Hence, one disorder is not totally independent from another. Finally, a reliable personality disorder diagnosis requires a direct exchange between the 'troubled' person and a specialist during many sessions. A distant opinion formulated on a person would not pass any court test and anyway would not mean that a specific disorder results in the creation of a serial killer. In other words, profiling a JTR suspect is not essential nor necessary to have a jury come to a guilty verdict beyond any reasonable doubt.

              One other element Mike often mentions is the Anatomical Venus. Linking Tumblety with these wax figures isn't erroneous given the fact that many specialty museums were showing them in North America and Great Britain. However, presenting them as female figures that “exhibited the goddess of heterosexual love mutilated” is inaccurate. These wax statues were designed with fine cut layers (skin, organs, bone frame) which could be removed allowing various parts of the body to be seen. They were initially made for educational purposes. None of them showed signs of violent mutilations. Of course, Tumblety could simply have been disgusted if he actually saw these statues considering the fact that they were beautiful bodies displayed in a rather voluptuous designed casing. It then could have fueled his hatred of women Mike mentions.

              Mike again covered Charles Dunham's statement regarding the female organ collection Tumblety is said to have owned. It caused quite a debate because Dunham was considered a liar. He mentioned his knife collection, which also has been strongly debated. In the past, Mike has been quite generous in explaining A) that Dunham could have told the truth, B) that Richard Norris declared Tumblety had shown him his knives, including surgical knives. I can't understand why people still question these statements. We must remember that we're talking of the Civil war period when Tumblety wished to become a military surgeon. The Union would hire just about anyone having skills such as butchers and barbers known for their dexterity with blades. Men of a higher social status would introduce themselves and would be commissioned as officers such as Joshua Chamberlain a Bowdoin College teacher who received a lieutenant-colonel commission and became a hero at Gettysburg. Tumblety had a excellent chance of being commissioned only by showing his collection of organs which was one way many physicians would use to make their clients aware they knew what they were talking about. As for the knives, very few know that if you were a surgeon under contract with the Union army, you either had to own a complete set of amputation, trephining and pocket instruments or pay for the one they would provide you with. Tumblety pretentious as he was would have most likely expected this requirement and have his own set before meeting McClellan. It would have helped him establish the seriousness of his intentions.

              Don't consider the comments above as coming from someone who supports Tumblety being JTR. They are simply based on historical data offering a contextual interpretation.

              I consider Mike has been very careful and does not come to any final conclusion concerning the possibility that Tumblety was the Ripper although it's quite clear he is his preferred suspect. I consider it the best Tumblety reference book and hope he will pursue his research. In particular everything related to Tumblety's intersex condition. In chapter 9, he wrote “If (Tumblety) did resort to murder and mutilation in 1888, his intersex condition would not have been the reason for his lack of remorse; it would have been his narcissistic personality disorder” Perhaps, but if we knew more about Tumblety's childhood, we would maybe understand better why he became a loner and began creating his fantasy world. Was it out of frustration coming from his family's reaction regarding his condition, making him build a costumed personage cantering his horse as if he was part of a circus and always followed by a valet holding two dogs?

              I'm sure Mike still has some Tumblety meal cooking on his stove.

              Great job Mike.



              • #22
                Thanks very much for the review, BB.

                Besides the 'tale' reported by the Liverpool Leader on January 9, 1875 where he seemingly ordered a woman to 'get legs and all out or he would kick her out' there is no other evidence of him showing physical or psychological violence towards any women. Some additional research should be done to see if there was any real case of violence against woman involving Tumblety, which would add some serious weight to the 'hatred of women' circumstantial evidence.
                -Bernard Beaule-

                At this point, it hopefully won't seem like nitpicking because I agree Mike's book is a must have for researchers.....but the story in the Leader is only giving one side of the story....and that his verbal assault ( if true ) is just that....verbal. You can go on You Tube and find examples of store managers making verbal threats...nothing that unusual...and nothing misogynistic about it. Just business...and the customer happened to be a female.

                I have some other thoughts for another time....but once more, thanks for the review, Bernard. Mike did a very nice job collating all the material.
                To Join JTR Forums :


                • #23
                  My 2018 Baltimore presentation on Tumblety

                  Some might be interested in the text of my Baltimore presentation.

                  Tumblety 2018 Baltimore Presentation.pdf