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Ripperologist: September 2009 Issue # 106

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  • #31
    An Apology

    I served just under 28 years (1969-1997) as a police officer and proof and evidence were my bread and butter. I was a tutor constable and trained around 60 officers, individually, to do the job.

    A result of these years of service is a certain cynicism, an expectation that others use common sense and a sometimes acerbic way of responding. I apologise if I upset anyone as I do not intend to. And I am not insinuating that everyone here lacks common sense. But, I believe, I do have a different view of the police investigation to many others.

    Comment


    • #32
      Originally posted by How Brown View Post
      From the sidelines here...I think half o' the world is reading this thread !

      Monty, pass the popcorn and don't get any on the rug !

      Great exchanges Mr. E & CG...
      Hello Howie

      In the old days there was always the fantasy I had for a U.S. convention of having Paul Begg and the late Melvin Harris wrestle in a vat of Jello.

      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


      • #33
        Originally posted by SPE View Post
        I served just under 28 years (1969-1997) as a police officer and proof and evidence were my bread and butter. I was a tutor constable and trained around 60 officers, individually, to do the job.

        A result of these years of service is a certain cynicism, an expectation that others use common sense and a sometimes acerbic way of responding. I apologise if I upset anyone as I do not intend to. And I am not insinuating that everyone here lacks common sense. But, I believe, I do have a different view of the police investigation to many others.
        Hi SPE

        Apology accepted. We do of course appreciate your police experience, and respect your views on the case because of your background in the Suffolk police. I suppose my question with the Pizer episode is how much the arrest was due to "police work" and how much to the police responding to a rumor that was circulating in the population. Certainly Sgt. Thick's arrest of John Pizer seems to have come, from what we can learn, from the fact that he knew Pizer by sight and knew him to go by the nickname of "Leather Apron." But again I have to wonder about the degree to which the Leather Apron candidacy that had to do with racial stereotyping, backed (maybe) by a story from Thomas De Quincy, and the police response to the public idea that the killer was a Jew and a man who went by the name of Leather Apron.

        Best regards

        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


        • #34
          Blacken His Eyebrows

          Thanks Chris,

          I did enjoy the article and, as I say, it certainly is a great reference to turn to for the Leather Apron, Harry Dam and Star story. It is always nice to see all the sources brought together like this.

          I wouldn't call the story the police inquiry uncovered as a mere rumour, I think that it had more substance than this as the police, as they report, were told by 'numerous women of the same class as the deceased' of the 'blackmail and ill-use.'

          I don't think that 'Leather Apron' had any great claim to 'candidacy' for the murders - he was just another suspect, like Isenschmidt, who the police felt they needed to eliminate. It was the press who then blew the story up into more.

          The Thomas De Quincey reference, which I think must be the origin for mentioning him, does not mention 'Leather(n) Apron', but does mention, in connection with an East End murderer 'and blacken his eyebrows', surely an odd enough reference and similar enough to the 'white face blurred with black eyebrows' in the Thompson piece.

          Best Wishes,

          Stewart

          Comment


          • #35
            Originally posted by SPE View Post

            Thanks Chris,

            I did enjoy the article and, as I say, it certainly is a great reference to turn to for the Leather Apron, Harry Dam and Star story. It is always nice to see all the sources brought together like this.

            I wouldn't call the story the police inquiry uncovered as a mere rumour, I think that it had more substance than this as the police, as they report, were told by 'numerous women of the same class as the deceased' of the 'blackmail and ill-use.'

            I don't think that 'Leather Apron' had any great claim to 'candidacy' for the murders - he was just another suspect, like Isenschmidt, who the police felt they needed to eliminate. It was the press who then blew the story up into more.
            Agreed

            Originally posted by SPE View Post

            The Thomas De Quincey reference, which I think must be the origin for mentioning him, does not mention 'Leather(n) Apron', but does mention, in connection with an East End murderer 'and blacken his eyebrows', surely an odd enough reference and similar enough to the 'white face blurred with black eyebrows' in the Thompson piece.

            Best Wishes,

            Stewart
            Hi Stewart

            Then it sounds as if you are talking about Thomas De Quincey's essay on the Ratcliffe Highway murders, which I knew about but rejected as the origin of the story since it seemed to lack the Jewish element.

            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


            • #36
              Originally posted by How Brown View Post
              From the sidelines here...I think half o' the world is reading this thread !

              Monty, pass the popcorn and don't get any on the rug !

              Great exchanges Mr. E & CG...
              Pass the popcorn down the line Gents!
              Jon

              "It is far more comfortable to point a finger and declare someone a devil, than to call upon your imagination to try to understand their world."


              http://www.jlrees.co.uk



              Comment


              • #37
                On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts

                Originally posted by Chris G. View Post
                Agreed
                Hi Stewart
                Then it sounds as if you are talking about Thomas De Quincey's essay on the Ratcliffe Highway murders, which I knew about but rejected as the origin of the story since it seemed to lack the Jewish element.
                All the best
                Chris
                Yes, I am, but I was going to do a bit more research on it before I was happy to voice my opinion. I do feel this must be the origin of the reference.

                I think that the 'Leathern Apron' and 'Jewish' elements are merely add-ons to the story to give it better connectivity to the Whitechapel murders. In true crime circles 'On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts' is something of a much-quoted classic, especially in the press. The details of the earlier (1811) Ratcliff Highway murders were given in articles on the Whitechapel murders in 1888.

                De Quincey's name popped up in connection with the Whitechapel murders, in 1888, The Times editorial of September 10, 1888 - "The mind travels back to the pages of DE QUINCEY for an equal display of scientific delight in the details of butchery..." being an example. The essay on the Ratcliff Highway murders detailed the East End murders of 1811 and described the murderer.

                All this, the location, the published 1888 linking of De Quincey, the Ratcliff Highway murders and the Whitechapel murders, combined with the odd blackened eyebrows reference take it, in my opinion, beyond coincidence. Just a touch of authorial license added.

                Comment


                • #38
                  Originally posted by SPE View Post
                  All in all, it appears to me to be another example of the press making up stories and using partly factual references to do so. This indeed seems very likely in view of source.
                  Hi, Stewart; I agree with you here.

                  I can't think of a reference in any of De Quincey's writing to a 'leathern-aproned' Jew.

                  He did write about Jews; I remember one passage in particular in which De Quincey states that Jews use "un-notched" knives in their rituals for religious reasons.

                  And De Quincey did mention leather aprons in another work, but it was in reference to the
                  white leather aprons worn by Masons.

                  This does sound like a half-remembered mish-mash of literary influences and popular rumor.

                  But I think it's interesting to note that the source of this particular "De Quincey's 'Leathern Apron'" confusion appears to be Vance Thompson rather than Harry Dam, because it is Thompson who claims this supposed literary reference is what inspired Dam to create a Whitechapel character known as 'Leather Apron'.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by SPE View Post
                    Yes, I am, but I was going to do a bit more research on it before I was happy to voice my opinion. I do feel this must be the origin of the reference.

                    I think that the 'Leathern Apron' and 'Jewish' elements are merely add-ons to the story to give it better connectivity to the Whitechapel murders. In true crime circles 'On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts' is something of a much-quoted classic, especially in the press. The details of the earlier (1811) Ratcliff Highway murders were given in articles on the Whitechapel murders in 1888.

                    De Quincey's name popped up in connection with the Whitechapel murders, in 1888, The Times editorial of September 10, 1888 - "The mind travels back to the pages of DE QUINCEY for an equal display of scientific delight in the details of butchery..." being an example. The essay on the Ratcliff Highway murders detailed the East End murders of 1811 and described the murderer.

                    All this, the location, the published 1888 linking of De Quincey, the Ratcliff Highway murders and the Whitechapel murders, combined with the odd blackened eyebrows reference take it, in my opinion, beyond coincidence. Just a touch of authorial license added.
                    You could be right. I appreciate this additional information tying De Quincey to literature on the Whitechapel murders as well as the East End murders of 77 years earlier.

                    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


                    • #40
                      Ratcliff Highway Murders

                      De Quincey, book version and Ratcliff Highway Murders poster -


                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Horrid Murder

                        That's a fabulous poster, Stewart; I've never seen it before.

                        Do you mind if I ask if that one is an original or a reproduction?

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          But I think it's interesting to note that the source of this particular "De Quincey's 'Leathern Apron'" confusion appears to be Vance Thompson rather than Harry Dam, because it is Thompson who claims this supposed literary reference is what inspired Dam to create a Whitechapel character known as 'Leather Apron'.--Archaic

                          Good eye,Archaic...if I may say so.


                          To Join JTR Forums :
                          Contact Howard@jtrforums.com

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                          • #43
                            The Referee

                            George R. Sims in his 'Mustard and Cress' column in The Referee made an early reference to the Ratcliff Highway murders in his coverage of the Whitechapel murders on September 9, 1888 -

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              George R Sims

                              Sims also majored on the 'Leather Apron' scare, this in The Referee of September 16, 1888 -

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Reproduction

                                Originally posted by Archaic View Post
                                That's a fabulous poster, Stewart; I've never seen it before.
                                Do you mind if I ask if that one is an original or a reproduction?
                                It's a reproduction from a book, I do have some great images of the Ratcliff Highway murders from an 1812 booklet on the murders.

                                Comment

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