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Feb.1893 Letter About E.K.Larkins-SRA

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  • Feb.1893 Letter About E.K.Larkins-SRA

    One possibly fruitful counterpoint to the premise that the Ripper had been apprehended (Swanson says as much in the "marginalia" when he uses the word "murderer" to describe Kosminski. The Swanson Marginalia,of course, is supposed to be the verification of the SRA claims in 1910 and 1913) in my view is the following letter which I have taken from The Ultimate and transcribed by SPE.

    I do not recall if anyone has ever evaluated this letter before in terms of what it says and does not say and if they have I don't know what conclusions they arrived at in their perusal. If you have examined this letter before in the following context,please contact me.
    ****************************************

    Reference 57885/821 HOME OFFICE 7 Feb 93
    From THE ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER OF POLICE
    CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION DEPARTMENT
    To The Under Secretary Of State
    Home Office
    Sir,

    In returning the enclosures which accompanied your letter of the 1st instant I have to acquaint you for the information of the Secretary Of State that Mr. E.K. Larkins is a troublesome busybody whose vagaries on the subject of the Whitechapel Murders have cost this Department, the Public Prosecutor and the Foreign Office a great deal of useless trouble. His theories have been tested and they have proved untenable and worthless, and it is a mere waste of time attempting to deal with him on the subject.
    I have refused latterly to acknowledge his letters,hence his strictures upon my Department,
    I beg to refer to Home office file No. A.49301c/25 on this subject.
    I am
    Sir,
    Your obedient Servant,
    R.Anderson
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  • #2
    This letter was a reply ( I don't have the original letter to which it was in response to and I do not know if anyone does) to the Home Office in regard to the numerous efforts of Edward Larkins in his ceaseless attempts in persuading the authorities that he had a solution to the Whitechapel Murders. Most of us know enough of the details and how the story ends up. I'll skip that. For those who may not be aware of the Larkins Theory, I suggest you check out The Ultimate Sourcebook,Chapter 24.

    Lets take it step by step...

    First of all...as most know...Sir Robert Anderson's statements in the Blackwood's Magazine article in 1910 and the affirmation found in the Swanson Marginalia point out that Anderson's unnamed Polish Jew was "Kosminski". Aaron Kosminski was placed in Colney Hatch ( as the Swanson Marginalia states) in February 1891, dispatched to Leavesden in 1894 and would die in 1919. Swanson's Marginalia, however, claims that "Kosminski" died shortly after being placed in Colney Hatch, which is clearly a mistake.

    So far so good. Nothing you haven't heard before.

    Since the Swanson marginalia is a validation of what Anderson stated in his 1910 magazine articles...and his 1913 autobiography...we must presume that Anderson was referring to Kosminski and Colney Hatch...and more importantly for what we will discuss here...the date of 1891 as when the identification occurred..

    Examining the letter from Anderson above in the previous post, we see elements in the missive which deserve a closer scrutiny.

    One being that Anderson states :

    His theories have been tested and they have proved untenable and worthless...

    Question: Why would Anderson have to respond to the Home Office in the first place or at least, in this way,unless he knew something they didn't? This letter is almost 2 YEARS after the confinement of Kosminski in Colney Hatch...when,if it ever occurred, the identification must have been known to someone other than Anderson and Swanson. Of course, by February 1893,when this letter was written....Anderson had either participated or heard about the positive i.d. of his later described "low class Polish Jew" suspect. Why is he acting as if he is oblivious to a 2 YEAR old event here in 1893...and one that he will affirm in 17 years time?

    I also get the impression that Anderson is stating to his superiors that the WM have not been solved by the addition of that emboldened line above.

    More to come...but please discuss this letter at your leisure. Thank you.
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    • #3
      Larkins

      How, the letter was in response to a Home Office query after Larkins wrote to Asquith at the Home Office on 26 January 1893. He enclosed a copy of a printed version of his theory on the Whitechapel murders. As a result of the criticism levelled at the police the Home Office started a file (see cover below) and sent a query to Anderson, whose response you have posted. There is a bound copy of Larkins' theory in the archives of the Royal London Hospital.

      Comment


      • #4
        Larkins' Letter

        Letter written by E. K. Larkins dated 26 January 1893 -


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        • #5
          Thanks for the effort and for sharing these two documents on this thread,Mr. E. !

          Please give us your impressions of the content in the reply to the Larkins letter,if you will.

          I think that the Larkins letter says something in terms of the status of the WM in 1893....and that it was not resolved in the mind of SRA....to be perfectly frank.
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          • #6
            Anderson In 1893

            Originally posted by How Brown View Post
            Thanks for the effort and for sharing these two documents on this thread,Mr. E. !
            Please give us your impressions of the content in the reply to the Larkins letter,if you will.
            I think that the Larkins letter says something in terms of the status of the WM in 1893....and that it was not resolved in the mind of SRA....to be perfectly frank.
            How, in view of the nature of the complaint made by Larkins, the natural reply from Anderson, had any positive identification of the Ripper taken place before then, would be that Larkins' views did not need investigation as the identity of the murderer was known to the police.

            However, and unfortunately, as the Andersonites will tell you, it is not as easy as that. For I am sure that they will tell you that Anderson had reasons for not disclosing the identification at that time and that he was keeping it secret (for whatever reason, heaven only knows). So we are left in the usual state of impasse, with Anderson's response (below) meaning very little in terms of whether the case was solved or not.

            Comment


            • #7
              Hi Howard

              Even if Sir Robert Anderson personally thought the Ripper case was "solved" and the Ripper safely out of the way with Kosminski in Colney Hatch, the theories and letters campaign of Edward Larkins had to be addressed, the more so because he was making a charge against him of obstruction of justice in aiding the escape of the murderer(s). Such a serious charge had to be addressed, at the highest level.

              All the best

              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/.

              Comment


              • #8
                Anderson in 1892

                As with all of the statements made by Anderson, and Swanson, they cannot really be looked at in isolation.

                In June 1892, Anderson was interviewed at New Scotland Yard and when the subject of the unsolved Whitechapel murders was broached, said this, "There (showing the interviewer the victim photographs), there is my answer to people who come with fads and theories about these murders. It is impossible to believe they were acts of a sane man - they were those of a maniac revelling in blood."

                It is interesting to analyse this statement. Again, why did Anderson not just say that he knew who the killer was and that he was locked up in an asylum? Again a need for some sort of secrecy to explain this.

                It is also relevant to note that Aaron Kosminski was incarcerated in the relatively insecure Colney Hatch as opposed to the high security Broadmoor Asylum for the criminally insane. If Kosminski was the 'homicidal maniac' that Anderson reckoned him to be this doesn't make any sense.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hi Stewart

                  I think I once raised that last point with someone (I can't remember who) and they said that since Aaron hadn't been charged with a criminal offence, he couldn't be sent to Broadmoor.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Asylum

                    Originally posted by Robert Linford View Post
                    Hi Stewart
                    I think I once raised that last point with someone (I can't remember who) and they said that since Aaron hadn't been charged with a criminal offence, he couldn't be sent to Broadmoor.
                    An interesting point Robert which, if correct, reinforces the fact that there was a very weak, or zero case, against Kosminski. This especially in light of the fact that in December 1889, over a year after the last claimed Ripper murder, Kosminski was walking a dog in the City - a nice, quiet sort of relaxation for a homicidal maniac. It also does not tie in with Anderson's later statement that his 'hideous career was cut short by committal to an asylum.'

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by SPE View Post
                      An interesting point Robert which, if correct, reinforces the fact that there was a very weak, or zero case, against Kosminski. This especially in light of the fact that in December 1889, over a year after the last claimed Ripper murder, Kosminski was walking a dog in the City - a nice, quiet sort of relaxation for a homicidal maniac. It also does not tie in with Anderson's later statement that his 'hideous career was cut short by committal to an asylum.'

                      Hi Stewart

                      No but the description "hideous career" fits with the idea "a maniac revelling in blood." So we have two different things here, it seems, first, Sir Robert Anderson's conception of what the Ripper was like, and, second, the actual circumstances of the man who was being accused. Were the two one and the same, or not?

                      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/.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Lunacy

                        The question of lunacy and detention is very relevant to the Kosminski theory and it raises many questions, all of which have been debated endlessly without a consensus being reached. There has been the question of subpoena of the witness who, if he had 'unhesitatingly identified' the suspect as the murderer, could not simply refuse to give evidence.

                        This was a very serious case and such an identification, backed by a subpoena against the witness, should certainly allow a charge to be made, no matter what the outcome was as regards giving evidence. Under the Lunacy Act those who were too mad to be arraigned or brought before a jury could be sent to Broadmoor directly by the Home Secretary. They were known as 'Secretary of State's Lunatics', and surely this was a grave enough case for such action.

                        In order to make the Kosminski theory tenable all sorts of 'shoehorning' has to be carried out and it is this that weakens the case.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by SPE View Post

                          This was a very serious case and such an identification, backed by a subpoena against the witness, should certainly allow a charge to be made, no matter what the outcome was as regards giving evidence. Under the Lunacy Act those who were too mad to be arraigned or brought before a jury could be sent to Broadmoor directly by the Home Secretary. They were known as 'Secretary of State's Lunatics', and surely this was a grave enough case for such action.

                          In order to make the Kosminski theory tenable all sorts of 'shoehorning' has to be carried out and it is this that weakens the case.
                          Hi SPE

                          It would seem, if we believe Anderson and, by extension, Swanson, the inability to make the identification was the "straw that broke the camel's back" -- as you say, it is a weak situation, weakly reasoned as well -- the "facts" as explained don't quite add up. Which makes it appear to me that for Sir Robert Anderson, it might have been a neat and tidy way for him to bring a resolution to the case in his own mind, rather than it was actually the true answer to the mystery.

                          All the best

                          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/.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            May 1895

                            On 7 May 1895, in the Pall Mall Gazette, Swanson was stated to have "...believed the crimes to have been the work of a man who is now dead."

                            Again this raises issues which have been discussed at length in the past. Perhaps the most valid contention here is that if the suspect Swanson favoured was Aaron Kosminski, who had been incarcerated over four years earlier and was by now in Leavesden Asylum, how on earth would Swanson not know this? Again given the gravity of the case and the prime importance of the detainee surely Swanson would have kept himself updated on the status of the alleged Ripper.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by SPE View Post
                              On 7 May 1895, in the Pall Mall Gazette, Swanson was stated to have "...believed the crimes to have been the work of a man who is now dead."
                              Why couldn't Swanson and other officers have wavered between believing the Ripper to have been one of several candidates? People do change their views and beliefs over time. At the time of the publication of the 7 May 1895, Pall Mall Gazette, he might well have "...believed the crimes to have been the work of a man who is now dead" -- i.e., Druitt. But perhaps later in life come to believe more in the candidacy of Kosminski, if the notations in Anderson's memoirs really constitute an endorsement of his old superior's views.

                              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/.

                              Comment

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