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"Look there, I don't like going home by myself when I see those characters about,"

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  • "Look there, I don't like going home by myself when I see those characters about,"

    Joseph Hyam Levy in my opinion is the most important witness in all of Ripperology.

    I believe he is Donald Swanson's witness, and went to the grave knowing who Jack The Ripper was.

    Not only did he know who Jack the Ripper was, but could of prevented Eddowes murder.

    The Evening News went so far as to say "He leaves one to infer that he knows something but that he is afraid to be called on the inquest."

  • #2
    Why would Levy, a man, fear that the Ripper would attack him, Andrew?


    • #3
      I am with Andrew. That statement REALLY bothers me. I also believe the GSG, if "Jack" wrote it, was a message for 3 particular "Jewes", not the Jews as a population.

      I don't enter into suspect discussions much anymore because the more I look at it the more I get confused. We all kind of think we know what JtR looked like; dark, foreign, well dressed. SURELY this must be an average of what police, other authorities and citizens in general believed at the time. It's like guessing the weight of the bull at the fair; enough guesses averaged out will yield a correct answer.

      Yet I have the idea that the man seen with Kate didn't match this description. (Didn't he have light hair & moustache, dressed like a sailor? Can't find that to quote at this moment.) However looking through statements and testimony of Joseph Levy and Lawende, they said over and over they could not describe the man though Lawende said he had given a description to the police. I suppose he could have looked like anyone, including Hutchinson's Mr. A.

      Then the Jewish suspects come in, ranging from foreign born Kosminski to Koslowski with a Cohen and Kaminsky in the middle. I feel VERY strong that JtR was born in the UK and spoke English without a foreign accent. My reasoning is that he must have had contact with more women than the ones he killed, indeed some women such as Mrs. Lewis described a creepy man, and a decidedly foreign accent was never mentioned.

      True, there is the remark about Jews not giving up one of their own, but just a bit later we have MacNaughten pretty much identifying Druitt. About that time investigators were combing private mental asylums to see if a family had committed a family member. Again that points more to Druitt. Mac's "five and five only" comment again points to Druitt who matches the general visible description of Jack.

      Some of what was done to MJK makes me thing Jack was a butcher, but perhaps a basic sadistic murderer could have done all that by merely exploring the contours of the body. There is also the matter of keeping the knife sharp enough to do all that damage. A butcher would be prepared to sharpen a knife. On the other hand it appears he gave up when his knife got too dull. (I can say as a hunter of large game, at least modern knives of good quality need to be sharpened a couple times if one goes much beyond field dressing a deer for example.)

      That's pretty much where I am with the matter. There is some really good stuff about Jacob Levy on Casebook.

      Somewhere, someone, might have been a post in a discussion, theorized Joseph Levy knew the man with Kate was a criminal of some sort, a person who would rob or rough up others, even a single man walking home. I personally think Kate went to meet someone that night, to get some money. Did she meet with a sort of loan shark?

      Maybe he wasn't the killer. But it also makes a lot of sense that she and the killer entered Mitre Square for immoral purposes just as the policeman left the square, that perhaps they watched the policeman leave and came in practically on his heels.

      All this is my confusion on the matter. That said, I completely agree with Andrew's comment.
      The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript


      • #4
        The Swanson memorandum in the HO records has a description of the man presumably with Eddowes, given by Lawende. Among other points it says, "comp. fair, fair moustache...appearance of a sailor."

        So very different from the picture of JtR we all think we know. But if Lawende was slightly skewing the evidence maybe the moustache was dark. I wouldn't trust anyone's vision under gas light to say if the complexion of a Caucasian person was fair or dark. And there is no reason why the Mr. A. type couldn't have had the appearance of a sailor on one particular night, at least in the opinion of Mr. Lawende.

        If Lawende much noticed women's clothing, I do trust his observation of Catherine's outfit since I think the three flounces of her skirt would have been a bit different from average skirts.
        The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript


        • #5
          Hi Anna

          If you think Lawende counted the flounces in the skirt, I suspect you'll be disappointed. I doubt if he even knew what flounces are (I know I don't).


          • #6
            Robert: It isn't about counting flounces. It's about the overall sight pattern. I am hard pressed to find in contemporary pictures of that area in that time, women wearing flounced skirts. I would assume Catherine's skirt was fuller than many other skirts frequently seen. Curryong could really answer the question.

            The minute descriptions of Kate's clothes made me think she might have found some good used clothing, maybe after many other women had used it. But it looks to me like her clothes were once rather fine.

            But surely, Robert, Lawende recognised the Michaelmas daisy pattern? That whole Michaelmas daisy pattern thing drives me crazy. Looks like it originated with a journalist. Green with lavender flower print, or something else resembling the William Morris fabric design? Who knows? But it meant something to Kosminski, didn't it? (The shawl pattern somewhat resembles Morris' Michaelmas daisy design, but it isn't. Kind of makes a person wonder.)
            The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript


            • #7
              Thank you Anna! Jacob Levy is Jack The Ripper. His own cousin identified him with Eddowes on that night.

              I guess I will let Sherlock Holmes explain why Jacob Levy without a doubt is Jack The Ripper.




              • #8
                Andrew: There always seems to be a glitch somewhere. I recently took another look at Levy. I'm absolutely with you on that statement being the most important.

                Meanwhile Jonathan H. is onto some real good stuff with Druitt.

                I think various investigators had some pretty good ideas back then and they each had their own favourite candidate. Who was right?

                For me, I'm going to read more about Levy. Have you read that fantastic dissertation on him at Casebook?

                Can't remember if it is in that or something else, that goes into the police watching a certain man, a Jew, and shadowing him, and no more murders happen. Think this was a man in a butchers' row section of the East End. I'll try to find it. Could have been Levy.

                Joseph Levy knew something. He certainly knew something, but what exactly?

                PS: I'll watch the videos a bit later. Thanks for the links.
                Last edited by Anna Morris; September 10, 2015, 08:17 PM. Reason: addition
                The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript


                • #9
                  I agree. Joseph Hyam Levy is one of the more bizarre witnesses in the entire case, and I don't think he's been scrutinised closely enough. He definitely knew a lot more than what he was letting on, which also makes him an interesting candidate for the Seaside Home identification. I doubt that he would have even been heard from if it wasn't for Lawende.