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Frederick Wildbore- Whitehall Torso Witness

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  • Frederick Wildbore- Whitehall Torso Witness

    Inspired, again, by discussions of the torso killer I decided today to make a project out of finding more information on a witness in the Whitehall case that has always intrigued me. Frederick Wildbore.

    This elusive man has evaded me in the past and rightfully so. I was always looking for him under the name of Wildborn/Wildborne and his name was actually in several press clippings as it should be, Wildbore. After coming to several dead ends I finally found this guy. And the reason he eluded me, other than mis-spelling his name, was the press getting the street name wrong. They wrote it down as it sounded to them, which is par for the course.

    Recent discussion about the Whitehall case have really made a firmer impression in my mind that whoever deposited the torso in the vault was someone very familiar with surroundings and had access to entry into the worksite. I won't include it here, but the testimony of Frederick Wildbore is available in the inquest reports for the Whitehall Mystery. He was a carpenter by trade and I have a hunch he may be related to a Frederick Augustus Wildbore (gas fitter/builder), living in Lambeth, that was a contractor and may have been sub-contracting work in the new police building. That's for another day, though.

    There are two entries in the 1861 Census and I'm a little confused if they are our man or not? I will not include them here just yet. If they are him, it looks like he was living with his family and then another family in that year as a 6 year old.

    1871 Census

    Name-Frederic John Wildbore
    Event Type-Census
    Event Date-1871
    Event Place-Keyham, Leicestershire, England
    Enumeration District-7
    Gender-Male
    Age-16
    Marital Status-Single
    Occupation-Carpenter
    Relationship to Head of Household-Nephew
    Birth Year (Estimated)-1855
    Birthplace-Peterborough, Northamptonshire

    1890 Electoral Register



    Now look at that address. The press reports noted the address as 17, Mansell Road, Clapham Junction. Maysoule would probably sound a lot like Mansell and of course instead of 17 it was actually 117 and it was located right at Clapham Junction.

    1891 Census

    Name-Fred J Wilebore
    Event Type-Census
    Event Date-1891
    County-London
    Parish-Battersea
    Ecclesiastical Parish-ST JOHN
    Registration District-Wandsworth
    Residence Note-Maysoule Road
    Gender-Male
    Age-35
    Marital Status-Married
    Occupation-Carpenter
    Relationship to Head of Household-Head
    Birth Year (Estimated)-1856
    Birthplace-Lincolnshire, England

    1911 Census

    Name-Frederick John Wildbore
    Event Type-Census
    Event Date-1911
    Event Place-Battersea, Battersea S W, London, England
    County-London
    Parish-Battersea
    Sub-District-South West Battersea
    Registration District-Wandsworth
    Gender-Male
    Age-56
    Marital Status (Original)-MARRIED
    Occupation-HOUSE CARPENTER TO RES OF
    Birth Year (Estimated)-1855
    Birthplace-Kesteven Stamford, Lincolnshire

    He is listed with a different birthplace in several records, but they seem to all be near Peterborough, so I'm pretty sure it's the same man. The occupation stays consistent as well.

    Death (not a 100% on this one, yet)

    Name-Frederick J Wildbore
    Event Type-Death
    Registration Quarter-Apr-May-Jun
    Registration Year-1934
    Registration District-Chelsea
    County-London
    Event Place-Chelsea, London, England
    Age (available after 1866)-79
    Birth Year (Estimated)-1855

    Here is a map of where he lived marked at the bottom left.


  • #2
    Call me crazy, but, here is a very possible route this man took to work at the Police Building in 1888. If I'm not mistaken the construction went on until the opening of the building in 1890? This route puts him across the Albert Bridge, next to Battersea Park, past the Shelly Estate, past Chappel and Company where the arm was found and possibly crossing paths with Elizabeth Jackson until he arrived in the vaults of Scotland Yard where a week before the discovery of the torso there, he had been actively working in the vault as a carpenter. The Whitehall victim's arm was found in a timber wharf which was along this route.

    One last thing. Stewart Evans and Keith Skinner found a letter dated October 6,1888 addressed to Sir Charles Warren at Scotland Yard signed "The Whore Killer". Here is a link to that letter.

    https://books.google.com/books?id=Rc...letter&f=false

    In the letter he says he intends to kill at Clapham Junction Commons. That location was right near this man's house and the letter was received 4 days after the discovery of the Whitehall torso.


    Comment


    • #3
      Interesting stuff, Jerry!

      Comment


      • #4
        Where this really gets interesting is when you throw John Arnold into the mix. John Arnold was a newsvendor peddling his news at the Charing Cross Post Office. This would be directly across the street from the Whitehall discovery. When he first broke his story of the Pinchin Street murder (2 days early) he was asked where he got his information. His first statement was he had heard it from a police inspector in Whitechapel Road. Later he altered that to an ex-member of the metropolitan police. Arnold happened to be drinking at the King Lud public house and it was supposedly when he left the pub he encountered this informant.


        That's where John Meiklejohn comes in. John Meiklejohn was known to frequent the Strand and Fleet street areas. In testimony in his Old Bailey trial for turf-fraud in 1877 this was said: "No"—it was at twelve at noon on 28th September I saw Meiklejohn at the King Lud—I had never before used the public-house to which we went from the Kentish Town station—if I were taken there I could point it out—the landlord noticed our conversation, and put in the word Newmarket, and I said something about cattle market— So Meiklejohn was familiar with this pub and had used it for shady dealings in the past.

        Meiklejohns Private Investigative Office was located at 45, Heaver Road, Falcon Road, Battersea. Using the distance tool in google maps, Meiklejohns office was about 600 yards from the residence of Frederick Wildbore (map below). Meiklejohn, as most know, was a disgraced former police inspector for the Metropolitan Police detective force.

        Here is the map showing the location of Meiklejohn's office on Heaver Road, Falcon Road and Wildbore further down on Maysoule.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Debra Arif View Post
          Interesting stuff, Jerry!
          Seconded. Quite fascinating.
          Kind regards, Sam Flynn

          "Suche Nullen"
          (F. Nietzsche)

          Comment


          • #6
            Yes Debs, the more I got into it, the more interesting it became. It kind of fit in with some other research I had done in the past. i.e Meiklejohn and Dennis Lynch.

            Thank you Gareth. We meet again.

            I forgot to mention another thing in this guys favor as a person of interest. Carpenters are pretty handy with a saw. A point against him, is the possibility that he lived to age 79. Not sure if one's mind would hold out from all that dismemberment that long? And, he had several children and a wife. I guess a locked shed in the back yard would take care of that, though. A carpenter would surely have a workshop, would he not?

            Comment


            • #7
              Hi Jerry,

              The births of his children Ellen (1888) and Frederick (1890) were registered in Wandsworth.


              Gary

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post
                Hi Jerry,

                The births of his children Ellen (1888) and Frederick (1890) were registered in Wandsworth.


                Gary
                Thanks Gary. Doesn't Wandsworth cover that area? Clapham Junction,that is.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Jerry Dunlop View Post
                  A point against him, is the possibility that he lived to age 79. Not sure if one's mind would hold out from all that dismemberment that long?
                  Maybe the motives for disposing of dismembered bodies were no longer an issue, e.g. (wild speculation alert) he found contentment in marriage/fatherhood and stopped having affairs with women who blackmailed him. Perhaps he was responsible for only one of the torso cases, and only then for a very specific reason, e.g. to shut someone up.

                  Incidentally, the above might apply to any perpetrator. Doesn't have to be Wildbore.
                  Kind regards, Sam Flynn

                  "Suche Nullen"
                  (F. Nietzsche)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Jerry Dunlop View Post
                    Thanks Gary. Doesn't Wandsworth cover that area? Clapham Junction,that is.
                    According to Google Maps, Maysoule Road is only half a mile away from Wandsworth Town station.
                    Kind regards, Sam Flynn

                    "Suche Nullen"
                    (F. Nietzsche)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Wandsworth, of course, is where the Cowdrys lived.

                      Wasn't the confluence of the Wandle and the Thames suggested as a possible point of entry for some of the body parts? (I'm a bit rusty on this).

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post
                        Wandsworth, of course, is where the Cowdrys lived.

                        Wasn't the confluence of the Wandle and the Thames suggested as a possible point of entry for some of the body parts? (I'm a bit rusty on this).
                        I believe it was for the 1873 or 1874 case. Wow Gary, the Cowdry's were close to this address too. I didn't realize that's where they lived.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hi Jerry


                          The 1861 is indeed a mystery. The Frederick John Wildbore born (or registered) at Wisbech, corresponds with the lodger. On the GRO he is "Wildbone" and registered at Wisbech Union, so maybe that explains his uncertainty as to his origins. His mother's name is "Young."


                          How he could also have been born at Hickley with mother Davenport is a puzzle. My theory is that Martha had so many kids, Frederick was able to wander in occasionally and sit down for a dinner without anyone noticing.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Robert Linford View Post
                            My theory is that Martha had so many kids, Frederick was able to wander in occasionally and sit down for a dinner without anyone noticing.
                            Reminds me of an incident at my university, where a female student turned up to all the lectures at the medical school, made friends and, by all accounts, impressed her fellow students. It was only when it came to the end of term exams that it was discovered that, although she had a genuine student pass and library card, she was registered on another course entirely. She probably got away with it for as long as she did because we had such a large medical faculty.
                            Kind regards, Sam Flynn

                            "Suche Nullen"
                            (F. Nietzsche)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Gareth do you know if she passed her other course?

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