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  • The Official Files

    I have just noticed that there doesn't appear to be a specific forum for the official files on JTRForums. So I have decided to start this thread here. It may have been noticed by some here that there has been some debate on the Casebook site of the official police files and what has gone missing. Needless to say there have been some silly posts on the subject. I thought that a similar thread would be of interest on JTRForums so I have started this one.

    Some of the 'Scotland Yard Files' went missing in the years 1965-1983, which loss was noted by the Public Record Office on 19 December 1983. Specifically these were the files on Emma Elizabeth Smith and the so-called 'Suspects Files'. As they are amongst the last known files to go missing they could possibly turn up again today. However, 1983 is now a full 27 years ago. I think that this 'loss' should have been thoroughly investigated back then but it apparently wasn't. If others are interested I shall pursue this topic further.



  • #2
    Thanks very much for making the effort, Stewart.
    By all means,please continue discussing this issue.
    To Join JTR Forums :
    Contact Howard@jtrforums.com

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    • #3
      Although...

      Although there is a very good summary of the official Police files in the A to Z, the actual Public Record Office index has never been published in its original form so here goes.





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      • #4
        Scotland Yard Files contd

        Scotland Yard files continued -




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        • #5
          How

          Originally posted by How Brown View Post
          Thanks very much for making the effort, Stewart.
          By all means,please continue discussing this issue.
          How I don't know if you want to start an 'Official Documents' section on the forums, and move these images there so more people will be able to see them.

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          • #6
            Dear Stewart:

            Consider it done,sir...I am going to establish a special Forum right now,per your request. You can still place materials on this thread at your leisure...and I will simply relocate the thread.

            This is yet another terrific gesture on your part and on behalf of each and every one of us, thank you for sharing these materials.
            To Join JTR Forums :
            Contact Howard@jtrforums.com

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            • #7
              Great thread - very interesting

              Can I ask, is there any chance "lost" documents have been filed in the wrong place rather than taken away?

              Are the Whitechapel murder files physically stored among other documentation or in clearly defined shelf space?

              Who actually takes the documents from the shelf and returns them to the shelf when they are being accessed - the viewer or an official??

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              • #8
                Loss of Files

                There appears to be little doubt that paperwork and even complete files have been disappearing over the years ever since the Victorian age.

                This has been through a variety of causes, including pilfering for souvenirs, disposal of out of date material to make more storage space for newer files, and destruction because of enemy action in WWII (this particularly in the case of the City Police files). We also know that material that was there in the 1950s, for example, has gone missing since then. This material may be lost forever.

                There was no real public access to the files until the mid-1960s when a new era of Ripper interest began with the publication of the books by Cullen and Odell. In 1965 the files were transferred to the Public Record Office and were microfilmed in the early 1980s. It was only on microfilming that we gained a definitive idea of what was there.

                It is highly unlikely that any material from the actual Ripper files has been mis-filed. Since microfilming if anything went missing it would be instantly ascertainable.

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                • #9
                  Ripper Files

                  Originally posted by Nemo View Post
                  ...
                  Are the Whitechapel murder files physically stored among other documentation or in clearly defined shelf space?
                  Who actually takes the documents from the shelf and returns them to the shelf when they are being accessed - the viewer or an official??
                  The Ripper files were all mounted in plastic laminate and placed into bound books after microfilming. Normally anyone wishing to access the Ripper files will see only the microfilm because of the 'cult' interest in the Ripper and the likelihood of further theft. Any original police paperwork relating to the Ripper would be worth a small fortune on the open market.

                  To see the original files now special application has to be made and they may be viewed under supervision by National Archives staff. As with all original records at the archives they are stored in their special storage vaults and accessed by request. Staff retrieve the files and bring them to the viewing room. It would be virtually impossible for a member of the public to steal anything from these files now.

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                  • #10
                    The Home Office Files

                    The other main files concerning the Ripper files are those of the Home Office. Together with the Police (MEPO) files they form the basis of the Ultimate Sourcebook.

                    The best easy reference to see and assess the content of these two sets of files is published in the Jack the Ripper A-Z. Each set of files has its own entry. Indeed, the entries in the A-Z are a very handy index to the official files, I still use it myself.

                    An odd point to note is the fact that in what is left of the City Police material consists mainly of letters from the public regarding ways to catch the murderer or pointing out suspects, with only a dozen or so letters puporting to come from the murderer. However, in the Metropolitan Police files it's the other way round, with very few suggestions letters from the public but many (about 210) letters purporting to come from the murderer.

                    Apropos of the dearth of such 'suggestions' letters in the MEPO files we find in the HO (Home Office) files, under HO 144/220/A49301, that many of these letters were destroyed, or simply 'missing', in Victorian times.

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                    • #11
                      Ho 144/221/a49301i

                      The Home Office file, HO 144/221/A49301I is very small but includes an interesting expenses claim, regarding the murders, from Inspector Moore, who by then had replaced Abberline in charge of the investigation. The authors of the A-Z note this and wonder what Moore was doing as late as December 1889 that would incur such expense. Note the friable state of the paper.

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                      • #12
                        Hello Stewart,

                        Thanks for supplying this document.. a few things that have again caught my eye. The stamped and stickered marks on the right hand side, overlapping each other... there seem to be two or three there, one a "cancelled", one a "closed" stamp. Has this "closed" stamp a date, as it has at the top of the page? I notice as well that the "closed" stamp date at the top of the page is 1990. Was that just this HO file, because I thought the date of the HO files was different, not 1990? I may be mistaken here.
                        Also, have you a copy of the signature at the bottom of the page, perchance?

                        Many thanks, in advance,

                        Phil
                        from 1905...to 19.05..it was written in the stars

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                        • #13
                          Stewart,

                          Do you happen to know if any criminal action would be taken against anyone found to be in possession of the missing files?
                          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



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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by SPE View Post
                            public but many (about 210) letters purporting to come from the murderer.

                            Apropos of the dearth of such 'suggestions' letters in the MEPO files we find in the HO (Home Office) files, under HO 144/220/A49301, that many of these letters were destroyed, or simply 'missing', in Victorian times.

                            [ATTACH]8507[/ATTACH]
                            Hi Stewart

                            A most interesting thread, Stewart. Many thanks. In the matter of missing or stolen finds, I find all this most alarming. The repeated annotation "destroyed" or "missing" that you show is equally disturbing. Would this be purposeful destruction by the police for some reason, and if so, why? Space saving or what?

                            Thanks in advance for your opinion, Stewart.

                            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/.

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                            • #15
                              Theft

                              Originally posted by Big Jon View Post
                              Stewart,
                              Do you happen to know if any criminal action would be taken against anyone found to be in possession of the missing files?
                              There is no limitation on proceedings for theft so if someone was found to be in possession of these files and the necessary guilty knowledge could be proved (e.g. they hadn't inherited them from a family member and were thus not aware of their status) an action could be taken. However, I think that given this remove in time an offence of theft would be very difficult, if not impossible, to prove. To be theft dishonest appropriation needs to be proved.

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