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Messrs. Begg & Fido On Sir Robert Anderson

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  • Originally posted by R.J.Palmer View Post
    Key point. Ground zero. But Anderson was himself aware of this, acknowledging in his response to the Jewish Chronicle that he 'said too much...or too little' about the Polish Jew.

    There's quite a little something behind that statement. I think one thing that comes into play is that this wasn't yet the era of the "tell all" book, like we get, for example, in recent accounts churned out by the ex-district attorney in the O.J. Simpson case. It was an era when the police still felt that their methods and procedures had to be kept under wraps from the public, so that criminals wouldn't get the upper hand. Littlechild was something of a maverick when he went to press with accounts of his police work in 1894, though this is now hard to appreciate, because ever since the 20th Century we have been deluged by 'true crime' books and tell-all autobiographies. Still, I agree that there is a 'cloak and dagger' tone to Anderson's writings...that is very frustrating, and maybe, even, suggestive.

    In short, this wasn't an age of what is now fashionable to call "transparency." And it cuts both ways. A policeman could have known a great deal about a case...but wasn't allowed to tell; on the other hand, he may have known little or nothing, and was satisfied to hide behind the institutionally sealed lips of the civil servant.
    Hello RJ,

    An excellent, thoughtful posting. Thank you.

    I would only add one thing to this, namely the very last sentence..

    on the other hand, he may have known little or nothing, and was satisfied to hide behind the institutionally sealed lips of the civil servant.
    ....or behind the institutionally sealed lips of certain members of the police in the Secret Department/CID, perchance?

    Again, I really appreciated this posting. Many thanks.

    best wishes

    Phil
    from 1905...to 19.05..it was written in the stars

    Comment


    • As Promised...

      A few days ago I mentioned an account of police surveillance of a Whitechapel murder suspect in 1889. I've now had time to dig through my files. Sorry for my own 'cloak and dagger' air, but I have reasons for holding back the precise details of my source; I will say, however, that the correspondent is credible, lives in London, and is writing near the end of 1889. It's unclear whether the surveillance described is being carried out by the Met or the City of London police.

      Two different near contemporary suspects are described. The first is a 'toff' who frequents Whitechapel and is known for drinking heavily and treating the locals. His name is given as "Jim."

      The name of the second suspect is not given, but the description is quite interesting, and I'll give it in full.

      "The second man is now being watched. He is a resident of the East End, and has been for years. For a long time he has been acting in the most suspicious fashion. He has a business, to which he scarcely ever personally attends. He goes about drinking, and is to be met at all hours of the night in the streets all over the neighborhood. He enters his house at hours when his wife and family have long been at rest. No member of his family dare question him as to his ramblings. He knocks about among the lowest class of women at unearthly hours, although, according to general report, their very appearance is hateful in his sight. His hatred has been produced by physical suffering, for which, like most men of his class, he holds himself perfectly irresponsible. His habits are such as to give one the notion that he is not altogether in a fit position to be allowed to roam at will. Whether he has anything to do with any crime, it is, of course, impossible to say, but he is kept in view."

      Perhaps not a great deal to go on, but I have a gut feeling that this is the same suspect later described by detective Robert Sagar and/or Henry Cox.

      For instance, just prior to describing his suspect, Cox makes a curious comment about the murderer being 'wronged' by a woman. A reference to syphilis? He also states:

      "The man we suspected was about five feet six inches in height, with short, black curly hair, and he had a habit of taking late walks abroad. He occupied several shops in the East End, but from time to time he became insane, and was forced to spend a portion of his time in an asylum in Surrey."

      The man my correspondent describes took late night walks and wasn't fit to roam abroad.

      Further on, Cox also describes the man's habit of consorting with what my bloke refers to as "the lowest class of women at unearthly hours." One of these episodes took place while he was under surveillance.

      "He made his way down to St. George's in the East End, and there to my astonishment I saw him stop and speak to a drunken woman.
      I crouched in the doorway and held my breath. Was he going to throw himself right into my waiting arms? He passed on after a moment or two, and on I slunk after him.
      As I passed the woman she laughed and shouted something after me, which, however, I did not catch.
      My man was evidently of opinion that he might be followed at every minute. Now and again he turned his head and glanced over his shoulder..."


      If Cox is describing the same man outlined by my 1889 source (and I readily admit that that conclusion is up in the air), then the City suspect wasn't Kosminski, for the suspect was described as being a married shop owner. As I stated earlier, my hunch is that the suspect was Hyam Hyams, whose biographic details are a reasonably good match. Obviously, this is far from certain.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by SirRobertAnderson View Post
        I don't want to put words in your mouth, but would you then say the chain of communication was City > Sagar > Swanson > Anderson, getting slightly more garbled as it went up the chain ?
        Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying.

        Comment


        • R.J.:

          Briefly, this post ( half of the post,that is) was placed on the boards just today,echoing the statement in your last post about the possible syphilitic-revenge motive for the murders:
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          • Originally posted by R.J.Palmer View Post
            I'm in a David Radka state of mind, .
            That's originally what Billy Joel wanted to title it, BTW. Cooler heads prevailed.

            Comment


            • This sounds somewhat like the Report in the Sunday Chronicle (Oct 15, 1905) that was discussed on casebook a while back: (excerpt)

              "Perhaps the most terrible crime during the last decade which was not followed by a conviction was the killing and mutilating of a number of unfortunate women in Whitechapel. Day after day these murders occurred. Failure again? Yes. But listen to this.

              "We found our man. He was engaged in a large way of business in the city of London, was married, had a family, and was generally respected. For some time he had been known as eccentric, and various escapades had caused his friends a good deal of anxiety.

              "Frequently, as we learned later, he stayed out all night about the time when these outrages were committed. His description agreed with that of a man seen in Dorset-street, Whitechapel, on the night when Mary Jane Kelly was cut to pieces, and at that time he was very near to actual arrest by a policeman.

              "His family knew of the circumstances, knew that he was not only a madman, but a man possessed of considerable surgical knowledge, and with their full consent and the knowledge of the police he was put away in an asylum."

              Comment


              • Originally posted by How Brown View Post
                Chris: There can be no comparison, then or now, of a case in 1895 to the Whitechapel Murders..either by Anderson or any other contemporary police official. The 1895 case,as were many one off's, is a momentary blip on the screen in contrast to the years spent by the officers on the Case. In fact, he may have even forgotten much about the 1895 case by 1910.
                He couldn't forget the WM.
                I have a long held belief - which is hardly provable, just a gut check - that Anderson came to care more about the WM as the years went by.

                At the time, he seems to have wanted to have as little to do with the case as was possible. He certainly didn't want to be held responsible for the Ripper's apprehension. As the years went by, and the WM became more iconic, I believe he convinced himself that the police had actually succeeded in bringing the skein to a halt.

                Comment


                • Hey RJ,

                  I am just curious as to why you cannot reveal your source here... I think it may be a relevant discovery, but I am curious if the source was from inside the Police or Scotland Yard?

                  Thanks

                  Rob H

                  Comment


                  • Echoing what Rob House just said over here...
                    Hyam Hyams was, to our knowledge,not a contemporary police suspect...and if what you refer to does, then that would a breakthrough of sorts.
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                    • Originally posted by How Brown View Post
                      Echoing what Rob House just said over here...
                      Hyam Hyams was, to our knowledge,not a contemporary police suspect...and if what you refer to does, then that would a breakthrough of sorts.
                      Hello Howard,

                      Why Hyams? Why not another Jewish shopkeeper or businessman?
                      As RJ said, "....this is far from certain"

                      best wishes

                      Phil
                      from 1905...to 19.05..it was written in the stars

                      Comment


                      • Hi Phil,

                        I dont think there is anything in the report RJ posted that suggests the suspect was Jewish... unless I am missing something, which is possible.

                        Rob H

                        Comment


                        • Phil:

                          Why Hyams ?
                          For one thing, he was a bona fide madman and is on record for shanking a guard in the neck with a piece of steel when institutionalized in Colney Hatch. It was regarded as not being a serious wound, yet Hyams stabbed a man in the neck which is serious enough.
                          He was described as a "general dealer".
                          He stabbed his wife and injured his mother in the process with a chopper.
                          He was addicted to drink.
                          He was described as the "Terror of the City of London Police".
                          He engaged in self abuse.
                          He suffered epileptic fits.


                          For these reasons, if what Rajah found DID refer to Hyams, then I would consider Hyams as being considered as a police suspect, perhaps without portfolio. Just my opinion.

                          In any event, what R.J. provided is very interesting.
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                          • Originally posted by How Brown View Post

                            For these reasons, if what Rajah found DID refer to Hyams, then I would consider Hyams as being considered as a police suspect, perhaps without portfolio. Just my opinion.

                            In any event, what R.J. provided is very interesting.
                            While you Hyam nozzleheads have been whipped into a state of ecstasy by RJ's discovery, you missed the critically important FIRST suspect.

                            Originally posted by R.J.Palmer View Post

                            Two different near contemporary suspects are described. The first is a 'toff' who frequents Whitechapel and is known for drinking heavily and treating the locals. His name is given as "Jim."

                            Comment


                            • To clarify a bit because on the contradictory theorizing over the past few years; the Swanson Marginaila seems to support Sagar's story, but it's not clear if Sagar's suspect was Kosminski. Kosminski's brother Woolf was in a business partnership with Jacob Cohen as tailors at 51 Carter Lane, E.C. in the city of London limits for some time. We don't know where Aaron lived in 1888 -- but could it have been there? Henry Cox would appear to have described a tailor suspect he watched, but we don't know where. David Cohen and Hyam Hyams were violent (at least on occasions) maniacs, and could have been (perhaps temporarily) City Police suspects to the Ripper murders. Martin Fido rejected Hyams after reviewing his asylum records because he never killed anyone on record. But for that matter, neither did Cohen. Could there be some relationship between Jacob Cohen and David Cohen? Neither last surname would appear to be their actual names, but rather anglicized last names.

                              I have written that the City suspect could have been Hyams, or Cohen or a host of other lunatics (like Henry DeFries) who were around at the time -- or it could be Kosminski (City Police and MET having same suspect)?

                              Hyams is a very viable candidate for the city suspect, but I don't think he fits the Swanson Marginaila. He does seem to fit the description of Henry Cox's suspect.

                              Mr. Hyde

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Phil Carter View Post
                                Why Hyams? Why not another Jewish shopkeeper or businessman?
                                As RJ said, "....this is far from certain"
                                The only thing certain is that if you continue to post cryptic comments or misread posts with an eye towards turning this into another "How the Mighty Have Fallen" thread, you are getting the boot. That thread is about as appalling as things get in online Ripperology, and it ain't happening here.

                                So contribute or get out. I'm in zero tolerance mode.

                                Comment

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