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Guest Stephen Turner

Suspect, Montague John Druitt.

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Guest Stephen Turner

Abberline's contemporary opinion.

"What does this story amount to? simply this. Soon after the last murder in Whitechapel the body of a young Doctor(sic) was found in the Thames, but there is nothing beyond the fact that he was found at that time to incriminate him. A report was made to the Home Office about the matter, but no further action was deemed neccessary."

Abberline is incorrect in naming Druitt as a (student) Doctor, but his initials, MD, might have accounted for this confusion.

Named in the McNaughten memoranda, this suspect was also known by journalist George Sims, both men suggested that Druitt had been the Whitechapel murderer. Druitt was educated at Winchester and Oxford, and was called to the Bar in 1882, he was found drowned on 1st December 1888. a verdict of suicide was returned by the Coroner's inquest.

Druitt had been teaching at a School until late November when he was dismissed for a "serious offence" a train ticket found in his pocket suggests that he may have made his last journey on, or around the first of December. He left a message addressed to his Brother saying that " Since Friday" he felt that he was going to become like Mother, who had been commited to a London asylum in July of 1888. His maternal Grandmother had commited suicide, as would his Sister three years later.

Druitt was obviously depressed, and may have haboured secrets about his sexual orientation (he may have been dismissed from the School for having a homosexual relationship) But, beyond McNaughton and Sims there is nothing to link him to any of the murders, in fact on several of the actual days he had been playing criket miles from London. IMO a highly unlikely suspect.here.

Edited by Stephen Turner

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Abberline's contemporary opinion.

"What does this story amount to? simply this. Soon after the last murder in Whitechapel the body of a young Doctor(sic) was found in the Thames, but there is nothing beyond the fact that he was found at that time to incriminate him. A report was made to the Home Office about the matter, but no further action was deemed neccessary."

Abberline is incorrect in naming Druitt as a (student) Doctor, but his initials, MD, might have accounted for this confusion.

Named in the McNaughten memoranda, this suspect was also known by journalist George Sims, both men suggested that Druitt had been the Whitechapel murderer. Druitt was educated at Winchester and Oxford, and was called to the Bar in 1882, he was found drowned on 1st December 1888. a verdict of suicide was returned by the Coroner's inquest.

Druitt had been teaching at a School until late November when he was dismissed for a "serious offence" a train ticket found in his pocket suggests that he may have made his last journey on, or around the first of December. He left a message addressed to his Brother saying that " Since Friday" he felt that he was going to become like Mother, who had been commited to a London asylum in July of 1888. His maternal Grandmother had commited suicide, as would his Sister three years later.

Druitt was obviously depressed, and may have haboured secrets about his sexual orientation (he may have been dismissed from the School for having a homosexual relationship) But, beyond McNaughton and Sims there is nothing to link him to any of the murders, in fact on several of the actual days he had been playing criket miles from London. IMO a highly unlikely suspect.

Steve,

I can't understand why so many researchers regularly dismiss Druitt, citing that there is nothing to link him to the murders. If there was nothing to link him to the murders, why did McNaughten mention him at all?

Didn't McNaughten disclose that he had recieved 'private information' (apparently from a Druitt relative) that Druitt was the Ripper? The fact that Druitt was a barrister--not a doctor--doesn't necessarily get him off the hook, imo. His brother was a doctor so he may have obtained rudimentary knowledge of surgical procedures from him. Also, his lodgings (at King's Bench Walk, from memory) were within close walking distance of the crime scenes.

Moreover, the chronological sequence of events implicates him:

July, 1888: Druitt's mother, to whom he is strongly devoted, is institutionalised.

August, 1888: Ripper murders begin.

November 8, 1888: The final murder in the series takes place.

Mid to late November, 1888: Druitt commits suicide--body found on December the first.

It all fits quite nicely. I believe that his motive may have been anger at his mother's declining mental state and the desire to seek vengence on prostitutes. The Yorkshire Ripper, Peter Sutcliffe, had a motive not that dissimilar. I believe he stated that because his wife was unable to concieve, he took his frustration out on prostitutes, whom he considered to be corrupted beyond redemption, but by a cruel twist of fate where still able to give birth--unlike his wife.

Druitt was indeed playing cricket at times which closely correlate to some of the murders. On September 8, he played for Blackheath againnst the Brothers Christopherson (a cricket team comprised entirely of players with the surname Christopherson), in which he scored 2 runs and took three wickets:

http://www1.cricinfo.com/db/ARCHIVE/1880S/..._08SEP1888.html

The following night Annie Chapman was murdered in Hanbury Street. Could Druitt have made it from Blackheath to Whitechapel in time? According to the then cricket statistician for Australia's Nine Network cricket commentary team the answer is yes. I can't remember the guy's name, although it was an unusual name, but I do remember, about twenty years ago, the peaceful reverie of a dull cricket match being briefly interrupted by an explanation of how Druitt could have made it to the murder scene quite easily.

Edited by Mark Stapleton

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Guest David Guyatt

I also wonder why McNaughten fingered Druitt.

McNaughten, of irish descent, was an empire man through and through and recently back from a very long stint running the East India Company. In other words, very highly connected. I read that he was a Knight of St. John although that was not listed on his Wikipedia entry (which I can no longer find), but the connection to KstJ was made from an old photograph showing him wearing his award. The Order of KstJ has it's own Masonic lodge called Prior Walter.

McNaughten is not likely to have arrived at his conclusion lightly.

That is not to say Montague Druitt did it (or as it was once rendered to me -- Monta-Cu Druid). There may be other factors that haven't been considered in any great detail.

Meanwhile Steve, anything on the more bizarre 1888-1988 Isle of Dogs/apocalypse angle to Ripper?

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I also wonder why McNaughten fingered Druitt.

McNaughten, of irish descent, was an empire man through and through and recently back from a very long stint running the East India Company. In other words, very highly connected. I read that he was a Knight of St. John although that was not listed on his Wikipedia entry (which I can no longer find), but the connection to KstJ was made from an old photograph showing him wearing his award. The Order of KstJ has it's own Masonic lodge called Prior Walter.

McNaughten is not likely to have arrived at his conclusion lightly.

That is not to say Montague Druitt did it (or as it was once rendered to me -- Monta-Cu Druid). There may be other factors that haven't been considered in any great detail.

Meanwhile Steve, anything on the more bizarre 1888-1988 Isle of Dogs/apocalypse angle to Ripper?

David,

Given what you have told us about McNaughten's background I agree that he wouldn't have reached his conclusion lightly. The only alternative I can see is that he might have been trying to divert attention from the real suspect(s), but I can't see why he would do this.

Another thing which points to Druitt is that the police reinforcements were all pulled out at Christmas, 1888, only six weeks after Miller's Court and at about the same time Druitt's body was fished out of the Thames. This is strange, given that the fear of the Ripper was still at fever pitch as far as I know. Another suspect, Kosminski, was admitted to a mental asylum but I think that was in 1889.

Edited by Mark Stapleton

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FWIW, the Channel Nine cricket statistician who showed such a keen interest in the Ripper case was a fellow called Irving Rosenwater.

Because Ripperologists had raised the point that Druitt's cricket schedule precluded him from being at some of the Whitechapel murder scenes, Rosenwater put on his statistician's hat and went to work. I guess he researched the London train timetables for 1888. In any case, he was certain that Druitt could have been at all the murder scenes in plenty of time.

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Guest David Guyatt

Mark, on McNaughten, please treat what I said with some care. On Tuesday, I read his Wikipedia page and noted the bits about his empire days and East India company. Yesterday, when I came to recheck prior to posting the above message, his Wikipedia page had evaporated.

Either that or the stuff I'm not smoking is stronger than I thought.

On the KstJ aspect, this was not shown on the Wikipedia "desaparecidos" but was mentioned in a privately published book that focused, in part, on the St. John Order.

But with these caveats I am inclined towards your view. He was engaged in jiggery-pokery of some kind. It is the only realistic explanation, I think.

David

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Guest Stephen Turner

Mark and David, thanks for playing.

Here is what McNaughton actually had to say about MJD in his Memoranda.

" Mr MJ Druitt, a Doctor" (as he cant even get his profession right it doesn't bode well for the outcome....)" Of about 41 years of age",( ding, wrong again, he was 31, good start for a perfectionist) " and from a fairly good family, who disappeared at the same time as the Millers court murder" (conjecture, he may have gone in the thames before, or after Millers Court) "And who's body was found floating in the Thames on 31st of December" (Thats seven weeks after said murder) "The body was said to have been in the river for a month, or possibly more" (Hmm, do I detect straw clutching) "From private information I have little doubt that but that his own Family suspected him of being the Whitechapel murderer"( well yes, names, dates, and what was actually said, along with why they believed him to be the Ripper would come in handy, but Mcnaughton, and said Family members are now silent) " It was alleged" (By whom pray) "That he was sexually insane" (Victorian code for Homosexual.)

Many of the Police who worked on the case claimed, after the fact, that they knew who the Ripper was, including Insp Abberline, Chief insp Swanson and the Cities Major Smith, So Mcnaughtons claim is nothing unusual.

He also names Kosminski, and "Mad Russian" M Ostrog, In A refertation of the theory printed in the newspaper the Sun, that Thomas Cutbush was the Whitechapel killer...Pretty thin stuff if you ask me.

Edited by Stephen Turner

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Mark and David, thanks for playing.

Here is what McNaughton actually had to say about MJD in his Memoranda.

" Mr MJ Druitt, a Doctor" (as he cant even get his profession right it doesn't bode well for the outcome....)" Of about 41 years of age",( ding, wrong again, he was 31, good start for a perfectionist) " and from a fairly good family, who disappeared at the same time as the Millers court murder" (conjecture, he may have gone in the thames before, or after Millers Court) "And who's body was found floating in the Thames on 31st of December" (Thats seven weeks after said murder) "The body was said to have been in the river for a month, or possibly more" (Hmm, do I detect straw clutching) "From private information I have little doubt that but that his own Family suspected him of being the Whitechapel murderer"( well yes, names, dates, and what was actually said, along with why they believed him to be the Ripper would come in handy, but Mcnaughton, and said Family members are now silent) " It was alleged" (By whom pray) "That he was sexually insane" (Victorian code for Homosexual.)

Many of the Police who worked on the case claimed, after the fact, that they knew who the Ripper was, including Insp Abberline, Chief insp Swanson and the Cities Major Smith, So Mcnaughtons claim is nothing unusual.

He also names Kosminski, and "Mad Russian" M Ostrog, In A refertation of the theory printed in the newspaper the Sun, that Thomas Cutbush was the Whitechapel killer...Pretty thin stuff if you ask me.

Steve and David,

It's very disappointing that McNaughten never kept the notes of the 'private information' he recieved which indicated that Druitt was JTR.

The issue of aid to the East End of London being stood down by the authorities in December 1888 seems to indicate that the police knew by then that the Ripper was no longer a threat. How embarrassing would it have been had the Ripper struck again in, say, the first weeks of January after the extra manpower had been cancelled? Do you think this is a relevant factor or am I reading too much into it?

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According to this site, Druitt had previously studied as a doctor, before switching to the law.

It also claims that Druitt was seen alive on December 3, although there's no further details regarding the sighting.

http://www.accomodata.co.uk/suspects.htm

Who was Jack the Ripper?

The Police arrested many suspects.....but who was really guilty?

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The terror that befell London's Whitechapel district in the Autumn months of 1888 remains unparalleled in the annals of crime. Jack the Ripper, a faceless predator whose infamy and guile would be renowned and feared to this day, has become virtual folklore to the people of the East End. More than a century has passed since Jack the Ripper stalked the fog filled, cobbled streets of London, but still latter day detectives continue to speculate as to the identity of the notorious "Whitechapel Murderer". Only a few clues were ever unearthed by the bewildered Police Force of the 1880's, further whetting the appetites of present day theorists in their quest for the "Mysterious Monster". At the time of the murders, detectives had never before experienced the apparently motiveless brutality of the world's first serial killer. The increasingly frustrated Police Force, pressured by an angry public and QUEEN VICTORIA herself, were to arrest several suspects on flimsy evidence, only to have these lowly scapegoats committed to,lunatic asylums, in a pathetic attempt to rid the streets of the dark assailant. No-one was above suspicion...SIR CHARLES WARREN, Chief of Metropolitan Police, was to be suspected of his involvement in a "cover up" and even Queen Victoria's own grandson PRINCE EDWARD, was at one stage considered to be a "Ripper Suspect". Although time has allowed hindsight, and numerous suspects have been presented, many are too ridiculous to be considered a viable culprit. The prime suspects who are still to this day eligible for the title of "Jack the Ripper" are as follows.......................

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Francis Thompson 1894

The book "Jack the Ripper" reveals the British Poet Francis Thompson to be the culprit responsible for the terrible murders in 1888 of at least five women prostitutes in London's East End. Visit the web site to read/buy the book.

Illustrated and of 18,500 words Jack the Ripper explains Thompson's violent childhood his doomed medical school training and his downward drug induced spiral into vagrancy. Describing Thompson's secret affair with a prostitute and its tragic ending bringing him to a frenzied delirium Jack the Ripper records the events of the murders and its sinister parallels to Thompson. Who was the Ripper?. What was his motive?. How did he get away with murder? Patterson's book Jack the Ripper answers all these questions and for the first time gives readers an insight into the diabolical mind of the world's first and most feared serial killer. Jack the Ripper examines Thompson's morbid verse and entwines Thompson's life with the destiny of leading writers including Robert Browning, Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, and D.H Lawrence.

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JOHN PIZER

John Pizer was a shoemaker, a Jew who just happened to fulfil the public's view of the Murderer's profile, that being of a butcher, slaughterman or craftsman - a man with access to 5 inch blades and in possession of a leather apron. Pizer not only had a stabbing convictions against him, but also displayed a well known dislike for prostitutes. He unfortunately fitted a dubious description which had been circulated; that of a short man with a dark beard and moustache and a foreign accent. Furthermore the press portrayed Pizer as having a "cruel sardonic look". However,Pizer's solid alibi ended with a compensation payment to him from the libel courts and the frustrated Police Force left once again to chase the shadows. After the death of Annie Chapman and a subsequent inquest, the findings in the pathologists report threw further light onto what was already becoming a very dark and grisly inquiry. The Coroner suggested that the murderer probably had an anatomical knowledge of dissection - this information heightened suspicions against members of the esteemed medical profession, an accusation angrily refuted by eminent surgeons to such an extreme that the Police dropped this line of enquiry. However, 3 major suspects have since been disclosed based upon this assumption............

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THOMAS NEIL CREAM, am American doctor

THOMAS CREAM had also ben arrested in connection with the poisoning of prostitutes and habitually writing to the Police giving false names and false accusations of a number of crimes. Cream was hanged by the neck for the murder of the Lambeth prostitutes in 1892. His departing words were......" I am jack the Ri...." as the rope snapped taut and broke his neck. Suspicions of Cream were raised following revelations that an American had been making enquiries as to the availability of certain organs at medical schools in and around the Whitechapel district. Coupled with this, the letter received by the Police prior to the double killings of Liz Stride and Kate Eddowes notably contained many "Americanisms".Unfortunately however, Cream was actually incarcerated at the time of the last Murders.

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MICHAEL OSTROGG, a Russian doctor

Michael Ostrogg has came under scrutiny by the London Police and his whereabouts at the time of the Whitechapel Murders could never be satisfactorily accounted for. Ostrogg was a slippery confidence trickster who went by the numerous aliases, including that of a Dr. Grant, and also as a former surgeon in the Russian Navy. He spent much of his time in Police custody for various fraudulent and thieving offences. Clearly a compulsive rouge, Ostrogg became a high profile suspect when it was stated in the "Police Gazette" around the time of the Murders that "special attention is called to this dangerous man", after failing to report to the Police on charges of suspicion.

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ALEXANDER PEDACHENKO, another Russian Doctor

Another Russian Doctor, ALEXANDER PEDACHENKO was tenuously linked at this time to the murders and it was suggested that "Ostrogg" was one of the many aliases used by Pedachenko. He was considered a Russian lunatic, with distinct criminal tendencies, who had trained as a barbers surgeon and he had since joined the staff of the Maternity Hospital. The Russian Secret Police Gazette, OCHRANA, described Pedachenko as "the greatest and boldest of all Russian criminal lunatics" at at time when Pedachenko was allegedly living with his sister in Walworth. Ochrana cited Pedachenko with the Ripper murders in an attempt to discredit and embarrass the Metropolitan Police. This act of propaganda appeared to have succeeded when Sir Charles Warren resigned from the Police Force. Pedachenko was subsequently smuggled back to Moscow by Ochrana, where he was promptly sent to a lunatic asylum for the murder of a woman in St Petersburg. Pedachenko died in the asylum leaving a series of aliases in his wake, but all with slim connections to the Whitechapel murders. It seems he was merely a suspect of convenience for a short time.

The 3 Doctors theories are questionable especially with regard to the first "Jack The Ripper" letter which states in the footnote "Ha,Ha, they say I am a Doctors now!" Probably the most "romantic" suspects have been "PRINCE EDDIE", the Queen's Grandson, and SIR WILLIAM GULL, the Royal Physician. Suspicions were heightened for both the suspects following the night of the double murders in Whitechapel. SIR CHARLES WARREN had ordered the removal of the writing from the wall before Police photographers could record it, which led to many theorists believing that there was a "cover up" by the authorities to protect someone of great importance. This, coupled with Queen Victoria's heightened interest in the case led to the inevitable accusations. "Jack The Ripper" was fast becoming the most celebrated mystery worldwide, and for Royalty to have been involved made for the most sensational storyline for the newspapers.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

PRINCE ALBERT VICTOR - THE DUKE OF CLARENCE

Prince Albert was believed to have made twilight trips to the East End to undulge in homosexual practices in a brothel in Cleveland Street. He had supposedly learned disembowelling techniques on deer hunting excursions and was alleged to have had "syphilis of the brain" thus making him mad enough to commit the Murders. The late crime theorist Stephen Knight claimed that "Prince Eddie" secretly and illegally married Annie Crook, a Catholic girl. Subsequently, to avoid a Royal scandal, the authorities had Annie locked away in a lunatic asylum. She was supposedly pregnant at the time. The key victim to link Royalty with the murders was Mary Kelly, who was evidently nursemaid to the prince and his wife at around this time. She had proposed to blackmail the government by making her story public knowledge. It was then that the Royal Physician, WILLIAM GULL, allegedly became involved and in an attempt to silence the scandal picked up all possible prostitutes whom Mary Kelly may have informed. He was to pick the women up in the Royal carriage, slaughter them inside the carriage, and then dispose of the body, hence explaining the lack of noise and blood at the scene of the murders. The Royal theories are based largely on conjecture and have only come to light in recent years.

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AARON KOSMINSKI - a Jew

The "JUWES" writing however led to another Jewish suspect. Warren had ordered the removal of the writing so as to avoid an uprising from the already agitated immigrant population especially with the false arrest of Pizer still fresh in the mind.

Despite this, a Polish Jew AARON KOSMINSKI, a hairdresser and resident of Whitechapel since 1882, came to the fore. A man with an extreme hatred of women, especially prostitutes, he was clearly the most insane of all the suspects. Kosminski was described as having strong homicidal tendencies and a history of related crimes. Following the night of the double killings, a letter was received by George Lusk, leader of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee, stating that the writer had fried and eaten half a kidney, removed from the body of Kate Eddowes. Clearly this man was deranged. The uneaten half of the kidney accompanied the letter in a box. The organ was found to be human and belonged to a woman in her forties suffering from Brights disease - as did Catherine Eddowes. However, the style of writing did not in any way resemble the first "Jack The Ripper" letter received by the police, and was concluded to be the crazed writings of a lunatic. Kosminski was therefore high profile. It was never proven that Kosminski was the perpetrator of these ghastly crimes but he was removed from society in 1890, and placed in the Mile End Infirmary for the insane. Following spells in Colney Hatch and Leaversden Asylums, Kosminski degenerated to the point where he was unable to answer simple questions. He died in 1919 of gangrene of the leg and was medically described as "demented and incoherent".

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MONTAGUE JOHN DRUITT

Montague John Druitt was a "gentleman", a successful college debater, keen cricketer and of "good family". It wasn't until 1959 that Druitt, a schoolmaster, was pronounced a probable suspect. Sir Melville Macnaghten's case notes described Druitt as "sexually insane" and it was mooted that even "his own family suspected him of being the Whitechapel Murderer". Druitt's personal circumstances link him with the killings too. He had studied medicine for a time before switching profession to become a barrister and was a very educated man. Any barrister would appreciate the need for a suspect to be well away from the scene of the crime if his case were to be defended with success. Druitt was found playing cricket as far away as Dorset in South West England after the murders of Mary Nichols and Annie Chapman, although his whereabouts in the actual nights of the murders remain unresolved. The primary reason for Druitt becoming a high profile suspect was that he feared he was going insane like his mother before him, In a suicide note Druitt wrote "Since Friday I felt I was going to be like Mother and the best thing for me was to die". The note was discovered on his person on 31st December 1888. He had drowned in the River Thames, his pockets full of stones. Druitt was seen alive on 3rd December, 1888, almost one month after the last Murder and 2 days after his dismissal from his teaching job in Blackheath. Druitt's death remains a mystery, as does his alleged connection with the Ripper Case. It is true , however, that the Police closed the Ripper file following Druitt's suicide. The dreadful killings perpetrated by "Jack The Ripper" were never repeated beyond Druitt's death. Was this coincidence or conjecture?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Edited by Mark Stapleton

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Guest David Guyatt

Mark and Steve,

Continung fascination with all this. Steve in your above you said McNaughten says Druitt was fished out of the Thames on 31st Decemeber? Is that correct. Everywhere I look it says 1st December. But the information I was provided with says, in fact, 31st. Curious anomaly or back to me unsmoking strong stuff? Also, does McKnacker of the Yard say who fished the dearly departed from said Thames? I was told a name and it is not the name stated in the published literature (not that I'm anything but a dummy about this).

Mark,

On your most interesting post too, you metnion the Juwes. I don't believe this was a misspelling for Jews although it was assumed so at the time. However, McNaughten would've known that wasn't true. "Juwes" were the three assassins of Hiram Abiff from Freemasonic lore -- Jubelo, Jebela and Jebelum.

These names remind me of Jubilee? Whaddya reckon?

Also, the phrasing rythm and style of those three names also reminds me of boring old latin when I was at school and the Hiram Abiff story is said to date back well before that period.

David

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Mark and Steve,

Continung fascination with all this. Steve in your above you said McNaughten says Druitt was fished out of the Thames on 31st Decemeber? Is that correct. Everywhere I look it says 1st December. But the information I was provided with says, in fact, 31st. Curious anomaly or back to me unsmoking strong stuff? Also, does McKnacker of the Yard say who fished the dearly departed from said Thames? I was told a name and it is not the name stated in the published literature (not that I'm anything but a dummy about this).

Mark,

On your most interesting post too, you metnion the Juwes. I don't believe this was a misspelling for Jews although it was assumed so at the time. However, McNaughten would've known that wasn't true. "Juwes" were the three assassins of Hiram Abiff from Freemasonic lore -- Jubelo, Jebela and Jebelum.

These names remind me of Jubilee? Whaddya reckon?

Also, the phrasing rythm and style of those three names also reminds me of boring old latin when I was at school and the Hiram Abiff story is said to date back well before that period.

David

David,

Re the date of the discovery of MJD's remains, December 31 might be correct. My mistake. I believe the police estimated he had been in the water for about six weeks, however the reported sighting of Druitt on December 3 casts a shadow of doubt on this.

Re the chalk message found near the murder scene, I'm not convinced that was written by the Ripper, and your explanation of its meaning only adds to my doubt.

p.s. I mainly wanted to highlight the Druitt profile on that suspect list, but your observation concerning the Kosminski profile and the chalkings is interesting. I wonder if Ripperologists have considered this.

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Guest Stephen Turner

Mark, David....I have turned up some interesting info regarding Druitts stay at Winchester, and his fellow boarders, likewise his call to the bar at the Inner temple. It appears Mr Druitt had some very interesting colleagues vis- a-vis Jack the ripper, and his connections, it would appear, go right to the very top of Victorian society. Give me a couple of days to make sure my research is valid, and we may have some strange new leads to follow. One of which may point to MJD being an attempted scapegoat. "I'm just a patsy" Steve.

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Guest David Guyatt

Hey Steve, me old cocker, are you able to get rolling on this thread again? Am anxious to learn about the 111 years angle plus all the other apocalyptic angles too.

David

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