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ERASURE: The Message on Goulston St.

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  • Howard Brown
    replied
    Not wishing to beat a dead dog...but the baffling thing about the worry over the GSG is that it seems within a day or so everyone and his brother knew about it... and for others, if not that quickly, as soon as the inquest reports were published in the newspapers.

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  • Colin Macdonald
    replied
    Also I think the practicalities of obtaining a photographer (remember the Police didn't have their own photographer)
    Yet the much smaller City of London Police did or, at least, had ready access to one. Arnold, with Warren's approval, destroyed what may have been evidence relevant to the Eddowes murder.I would expect a P.c. fresh out of training school to do better than that. The thought process seems to have been, "Is this relevant? Probably not. Okay to destroy it then". It should have been, as Halse clearly realised, "Is this relevant? Probably not - but let's preserve it anyway, just in case". One thing nobody can argue with (he said optimistically) is that, having made the decision to erase, an agreed and accurate transcription should have been made. It wasn't.

    Warren sometimes gets unfairly criticised but on this occasion he was a high-handed idiot.

    Best Wishes, Colin.

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  • Monty
    replied
    Whilst I agee in principle Colin, I think there were more practical issues concerning Arnold at the time.

    As stated many times the policing of the area was a major worry and procedure of the day as to clear up asap.

    Also I think the practicalities of obtaining a photographer (remember the Police didn't have their own photographer) couple with if the writing was in a good enough position to be photoraphed and lighting conditions all ould hae had an effect.

    That said, I agree that a better record should have been made and measurements taken.

    Monty

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  • Colin Macdonald
    replied
    I think it quite likely that the GSG had nothing whatever to do with the Eddowes murder. Nonetheless, given the proximity of the apron piece, the possibility that it had some relevance could not be entirely discounted - then or now. Either way, the correct procedure was to preserve what was there and then argue about it afterwards, rather than erase what was written and hope for the best. Halse was right; Warren was wrong. The GSG should have been preserved in some form and, as the failure to record the wording consistently demonstrates, a photograph was the sensible course of action. The graffito and the various versions of the content came out at the inquest anyway so the erasure, for the reason stated, was ultimately pointless.

    Having said all that, I don't think the erasure was any kind of point-scoring exercise between the Metropolitan and City Forces. A City detective of constable rank argued that the GSG should be preserved until photographed and Warren's rank prevailed over Halse's experience and common sense.

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  • admin tim
    replied
    http://solargeneral.com/jeffs-archiv...hapters-11-20/

    Interesting commentary on the GSG.

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  • Howard Brown
    replied
    Thanks to the thread idea, C.G.

    I'll set it up right away....

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  • Chris G.
    replied
    Hi SPE, Howie, Dougie et al

    SPE, I also thank you for that valuable scan which admirably demonstrates the uneasy relationship between Sir Charles Warren and the bureaucrats in Whitehall.

    Dougie, you are right that preserving the graffito or photographing it, more exactly, would not have told us much. It would have confirmed the exact wording and conceivably enabled a handwriting match. Or else the chalk could have been matched with the chalk in the murderer's pocket.

    I take it that Warren's explanation that the graffito was erased because of fear of an anti-semitic riot was the main reason for the erasure. No "Juwes", no masonic connection.

    I do think that, as has often been discussed, the murderer exploited the boundary between the City Police and the Met in Aldgate and used it to his advantage on that night.

    All the best

    Chris

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    How much of a clue (if authentic) would it have been anyway?What could have been proved? Could a match have been made ,comparing a chalk message on a damp brick base with a sample of the miscreants handwriting?
    I guess we should be grateful some berk didnt scrawl "Jack wos ere" in some dark corner of Mitre Square some time in 1888 .I doubt whether the so called "goulston street graffito" has any relevance whatso-ever,and im surprised so much fuss is made about it today.....And shouldnt it be "goulston street graffiti"?

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  • Howard Brown
    replied
    This was in July 1888. Warren was irked that he did not have full control of his finances, which was the function of the receiver, and Warren wanted him to function merely as a sort of accountant. So things were on the slippery slope before the murders started.---SPE

    Thank you very much, SPE, for the scan of the memo. I had not seen or at least do not remember having seen that before in any book. I think its very important that this fact is known to one and all that Warren & Matthews had been at loggerheads over issues during the month before the WM.

    For many people, the primary reason Sir Charles Warren resigned came about as a result of the belief in the "inefficency" of the Met Police force and criticism leveled at SCW, an opinion I do not share. True, the police could have done several things differently.. even one specifically illegal sanction suggested to Warren, which, of course, he refused. By and large, this percieved inability on the part of either Police force is vastly overestimated ( to me ).

    That he resigned just prior to the November Ninth Massacre has distorted the facts on the matter of his resignation, so much so that in some cases people, civilian and veteran Ripperologist alike, feel that the murder of Kelly coincided "too neatly" to be seen for the real reason that his resignation came about..

    It is almost fortuitous, in my view, that he did resign prior to the Kelly murder,since in light of the constant barrage by the Press ( Stead being one of the more prominent snipers ), had he resigned on the day of or on any day subsequent to Kelly's annihilation, it would have cast an even larger shadow over his career...as if he called it quits at the worst possible time. IMHO.

    Thanks again,SPE. The scan is much appreciated.

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  • SPE
    replied
    Originally posted by How Brown View Post
    I agree with Chris George's contention that the resignation was due primarily to all the issues between the two men...and perhaps other men as well...and the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back was the Murray Magazine article.
    Not that his resignation could not have come to fruition for some other reason close to or sometime after the Murray article appeared.
    Its also possible that the non-WM issues with Matthews were equal to the WM related issues and it just so happened that it took the Murray's incident to bring about his decision. For me, since its not possible to know Warren's precise thoughts at the time he turned in his resignation, I'd have to stick with the concept that it was the Murray's article.....
    Please give us your opinions on the GSG on the thread you mentioned before Simon.
    All the best to you, sor...
    Quite right How, indeed things were fraught at 4 Whitehall Place well before the Ripper murders. Attached is part of a letter from the Receiver for the Metropolitan Police to the Home Office regarding his increasing difficulty in working with Warren. This was in July 1888. Warren was irked that he did not have full control of his finances, which was the function of the receiver, and Warren wanted him to function merely as a sort of accountant. So things were on the slippery slope before the murders started.

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  • Howard Brown
    replied
    Bob:

    Allow me to explain...

    When McWilliam requested that the message or graffiti be photographed, he obviously was in Met turf. Considering how it might/must have seemed to Met staff that everyone...from citizens to clergy to letter writers even before "Dear Boss" appeared....was trying to do their job for them, I just had this hunch ( based only on work experience where supervisors at the same work place can and do issue "orders' in conflict with others out of spite or personal views ) that to Warren it may have been a situation where he was going to put his foot down and eliminate the message partially based on the fact that it was in his turf and that if some City police objected, tough beans. "We're in charge" and we don't need any outsiders telling us what to do.

    Thats obviously not provable, but just that hunch I had when I thought about the decision to remove the message along with the notion of riots.

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  • Robert Linford
    replied
    Hi How

    I don't see how the Met could have got one up by destroying what was potentially a very good clue in their own territory.

    Now if Jack had written a message in Mitre Sq, and the Met had nipped over there and rubbed it out, then they'd have been one up.

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  • Howard Brown
    replied
    Dear Simon:

    Thanks for finishing the job I started by mentioning Murray's Magazine...I got sidetracked over here before editing the post.

    I agree with Chris George's contention that the resignation was due primarily to all the issues between the two men...and perhaps other men as well...and the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back was the Murray Magazine article.

    Not that his resignation could not have come to fruition for some other reason close to or sometime after the Murray article appeared.

    Its also possible that the non-WM issues with Matthews were equal to the WM related issues and it just so happened that it took the Murray's incident to bring about his decision. For me, since its not possible to know Warren's precise thoughts at the time he turned in his resignation, I'd have to stick with the concept that it was the Murray's article.....

    Please give us your opinions on the GSG on the thread you mentioned before Simon.

    All the best to you, sor...

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  • Chris G.
    replied
    Hello Simon

    I think you take a narrow view of the situation. Sir Henry Matthews and Met Commissioner Sir Charles Warren had been at loggerheards for a considerable period, not only over the Whitechapel murders but over other matters as well. Possibly matters concerning the erasure of the graffito and other concerns in connection with the Whitechapel Murders did not help and may have been "the straw that broke the camel's back" as it were, but they were most certainly not the main reason for Warren's resignation.

    Best regards

    Chris

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Hi Howard,

    My thoughts on the GSG are for another thread.

    What else would Warren's resignation have been due to, other than the complete cock-up he and the Metropolitan Police made of the Ripper investigation?

    I doubt it was his article in Murray's Magazine.

    Following publication, Henry Matthews went through a political two-step, reminding Warren of a Home Office circular dated May 27, 1879 stating that the Home Secretary must review and approve all written correspondence by the police to the press. Blah-de-blah-de-blah.

    But Warren's article in the November issue of Murray's Magazine could hardly have taken the Whitehall mandarins by surprise, for on 19th October 1888 The Star gave them fair notice—

    "The forthcoming number of Murray's Magazine will contain an article upon the police of the metropolis by Sir Charles Warren."

    Warren was a good man in the wrong job. He still had many useful years of service ahead of him, and in April 1889 was given the rank of Major-General with command of troops in the Straits Settlements.

    How much better and professionally advantageous, therefore, to be seen to resign as Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police over a minor indiscretion rather than utter incompetence?

    Regards,

    Simon

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