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A couple of Anderson snippets

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  • A couple of Anderson snippets

    I thought I'd post here a couple of Anderson snippets which I saw a while ago.



    The first is an article entitled "Sherlock Holmes, Detective. As seen by Scotland Yard." and comes from T.P.'s Weekly, 2 October 1903, pp. 557, 558.


    The reference came from the Wikipedia article on Anderson, so it may be well known to those who have studied him. It doesn't shed any light on the Ripper case, but it does repeat some of the themes familiar from Anderson's other writings.





  • #2
    The other is a report of a lecture that Anderson had given, from the Southern Echo of 5 November 1904. (A briefer report of the same lecture, in the Otago Witness, is mentioned in the A-Z article on Anderson.)

    The mention of the Ripper case is only brief, but it's said that the suspect was sent to a lunatic asylum "in the ordinary course of things", and only then was he connected with the crimes. I don't remember having seen this stated by Anderson before. It seems inconsistent with Swanson's account of the suspect being watched and identified before he was sent to Colney Hatch.

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    • #3
      "Abominable vices" sounds like more than Aaron Kosminski was accused of. We think we know what "solitary vices" means and I suggest that is not the same as abominable vices.

      IMO, figuring out this man was JtR after he was confined to an asylum, means very little. Maybe the man imagined he was JtR, confessed or wished he was the notorious killer.

      To illustrate my thought, over the years a huge number of men 'confessed' to the Black Dahlia case which is still unsolved. Interestingly, some of these 'confessors' were not even born when the crime happened! There are lots of lunatics in this world.
      The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

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      • #4
        Thank you, Chris !
        To Join JTR Forums :
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        • #5
          The Southern Echo article (along with several others that have not been discussed much, if at all) appeared in the recent book ...Another Dead End?.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by John Malcolm View Post
            The Southern Echo article (along with several others that have not been discussed much, if at all) appeared in the recent book ...Another Dead End?.

            Ah. Obviously I should have read that! And I should have said that both the snippets might be well known to those who had studied Anderson ...

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Chris Phillips View Post
              It seems inconsistent with Swanson's account of the suspect being watched and identified before he was sent to Colney Hatch.
              Yes, it seems inconsistent. I don't think that's reason enough to assume contradiction. Comparing paraphrased (and public) quotes to verbatim private notes should be done with caution.

              Take this hypothetical scenario, for instance:

              Suspect goes into a private asylum "in the ordinary course of things", in March 1889. He is "discovered" there (not yet having been committed or medically declared a lunatic). He is released at some point. He is watched by police, who hope they can procure legal evidence to try the suspect. They can't. With possible cooperation of the suspect's family, he is brought to the workhouse, declared insane by a police surgeon, and sent to Colney Hatch.

              I'm not saying this was what happened. There is no specific scenario that has me convinced (not even close at this point). My point is that jumping to conclusions is something we should do our best to avoid.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by John Malcolm View Post
                Yes, it seems inconsistent. I don't think that's reason enough to assume contradiction. Comparing paraphrased (and public) quotes to verbatim private notes should be done with caution.

                Take this hypothetical scenario, for instance:

                Suspect goes into a private asylum "in the ordinary course of things", in March 1889. He is "discovered" there (not yet having been committed or medically declared a lunatic). He is released at some point. He is watched by police, who hope they can procure legal evidence to try the suspect. They can't. With possible cooperation of the suspect's family, he is brought to the workhouse, declared insane by a police surgeon, and sent to Colney Hatch.

                I'm not saying this was what happened. There is no specific scenario that has me convinced (not even close at this point). My point is that jumping to conclusions is something we should do our best to avoid.

                Certainly we should, and I hope I haven't jumped to any.


                But I would note that the way in which these comments attributed to Anderson seem to contradict Swanson's notes can be compared with the way in which Anderson's original 1910 version ("caged in an asylum") differs from Swanson's notes, with the Seaside Home identification preceding the suspect's admission to an asylum.


                I also think that, tempting though it is to suggest there may have been an earlier asylum admission for Aaron Kozminski in the light of Macnaghten's comments - and also in the light of the link with the end of the murders attributed here to Anderson - it is a bit difficult to reconcile that with the records made when Kozminski was admitted to Colney Hatch.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Chris Phillips View Post

                  But I would note that the way in which these comments attributed to Anderson seem to contradict Swanson's notes can be compared with the way in which Anderson's original 1910 version ("caged in an asylum") differs from Swanson's notes, with the Seaside Home identification preceding the suspect's admission to an asylum.


                  I also think that, tempting though it is to suggest there may have been an earlier asylum admission for Aaron Kozminski in the light of Macnaghten's comments - and also in the light of the link with the end of the murders attributed here to Anderson - it is a bit difficult to reconcile that with the records made when Kozminski was admitted to Colney Hatch.
                  Yes, it is tempting to speculate about the supposed 1889 asylum date of the suspect "Kosminski" in relation to Aaron. I'm as likely as anyone to fall into that trap. And it's especially difficult to reconcile the timelines with regard to Anderson and Swanson. As for the "caged in an asylum" quote that appeared in the Blackwood's serialization - I assume there was a reason why this quote was left out of the book version. I assume also that some other changes made for the book version were in response to the uncomfortable exchanges Anderson had with "Mentor". I'll refrain from speculating here!

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