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Jack the Ripper, Seminars


Guest Stephen Turner
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Guest Stephen Turner

Greetings to all Forum members.

I intend to start a seminar thread on the whitechapel murders. Could I ask anyone who would like to contribute to email me with there chosen topic.

The only stipulations are, it must reflect an aspect of the case, & it must be at least 500 words in length.

My first topic shall be "Was Chapman the Ripper". Thank You.

Mark Stapleton will post on" J Levy, My Candidate"

Lynne Turner, will post on "The mystery of Catherine Eddowes"

My second topic will be "Who killed long Liz"

Other topics, "People of the abyss,Life of the London poor"

W H Bury, Wife killer, and Jack?"

"Profiling the Whitechapel Murders Quantico style"

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Stephen Turner

I will need at least eight other members to post on this, so if you have some

knowledge on this subject please add your name to the seminar list.

Thank you, Steve.

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Guest Stephen Turner
I will need at least eight other members to post on this, so if you have some

knowledge on this subject please add your name to the seminar list.

Thank you, Steve.

Steve,

Can't we just post anyway?

Mark.

I was hoping for a few more contributors, but perhaps if we begin others will

join in. I think people feel a little intimidated about this subject. Interestingly,

I invited a few "Big Hitters" to post, but so far no takers.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Guest Stephen Turner

The Ripper Seminars will begin on Friday, 10th June 2005.

First Topic " Was Chapman the ripper" BY Steve Turner.

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Guest Stephen Turner

WELCOME ALL FORUM MEMBERS TO THE RIPPER SEMINARS.

WAS CHAPMAN THE RIPPER (Part One.)

"There e sits, Always the same, same La di da, igh at and umberella."

Wolf Levishon, Witness at Chapmans trial for the murder of his three "Wives".

George Chapman AKA, Severin Klosowski, is one of the few suspects in this case to be a known murderer of Women.( See also WH Bury, Dr Neil Cream & FB Deeming.) He was also Insp F Abberlines named suspect. So who was George Chapman, and what did he do?

Chapman, the son of a carpenter, was born in Nagornak, Poland in 1865, very little details of his childhood seem to exist. He was apprenticed to a surgeon in Zvolven, in 1880,and worked as a surgeons assistant until 1885, when he left for Warsaw, he took with him a certificate awarded by the hospital, that attetested to his "Diligence & zeal in the study of surgery." It has to be said, however that most of his work only involved assisting the Doctors, and not performing actual surgery, but he would have undoubtably learned a great deal about the inside's of a human body. Soon after Feb 1887 he left Poland and emigrated to England. (London.)

Lets take a look at Chapmans movements in London. He first takes a job as a hairdresser (Barber, Surgeons being common at the time.) At 70 West India Dock Rd, He stays in this employ for about 6 Months, during which time he helps to nurse the owners sick child(1) He next takes to running a Barbers shop of his own, at 126 Cable St, smack in the heart of the East end. As he is listed at the address in the Census of March 1889, it is fair to assume that he was there during the Autumn, and Winter of 1888. In oct of 1889 he marries one Lucy Baderski, and in 1890 he moves to another Barbers shop at 89, Whitechapel High St. So what did Chapman look like in 1888-1890, Described as, Medium hight (5ft 6--5ft 8ins) Blue eyes, Dark hair, full moustache, 23 years old, he dressed well Black "Frock" coat, Patent leather boots, Tall felt hat.(2).

So what are we doing here with this 23 year old, Polish Barber/surgeon, quite simple really, he liked to murder Women, slowly, and for very little material benifit. Bessie Taylor, Maud Marsh, & Mary Spink, are the ones we know of, all three cases were remarkably similar, a world wind courtship, followed by a bogus Marrage, a brief period of happily married life,followed by physical beatings, and mental abuse, and finally a slow, painfull death, by poison, then on to the next victim, who was already pre-selected,while each "Wife" lay on her death bed. He could certainly be charming, the Women almost falling over them selves to be his next Wife/ victim. It was only when they started sharing his bed that they saw the "Monster in the Man."

Lets recap, Chapman / Klosowski was 1, Living in Whitechapel thoughout the murders, 2, His general physical description fits the known eye-witnesess.* 3, He was a convicted murderer of three Women, whom he seemed to take a delight in Physically, & mentally abusing. 4, He had been a surgeons helper, he would know where the major organs of the body were, & be used to handling a knife-scalpel.

NEXT PART TWO, THE JERSEY MURDER,& CHAPMAN, ABBERLINES SUSPECT.

*The only slight problem is his age, but by all accounts he looked older than his years.

Edited by Stephen Turner
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Hi Steve

I certainly will look forward to your posting of the second part of the case against George Chapman (Severin Klosowski). I do think he is a very interesting suspect. I don't think though that the evidence against him is particularly strong, despite him being in the area at the time, being a known murderer, and him having had some medical training.

Chapman was undoubtedly a cruel and callous man, but therein lies the problem, that his crimes of murder by poisoning were cold and calculated acts against three common-law wives. The Ripper crimes were quite different, murders done using a knife, leaving the victims in the open street. The poisonings were surreptitious crimes done for gain while the Ripper murders apparently were lust murders done for the enjoyment of despatching a human being and engaging in postmortem mutilation to remove organs.

Nothing that we know of Chapman seems to make him fit the latter category unless we bend the facts as R. Michael Gordon does in his books, e.g., Chapman was not residing at the White Hart Inn in George Yard at the time of the 7 August 1888 murder of Martha Tabram. He lived there later on, after the Autumn of Terror.

Also there was no real series of American murders while Chapman was in the United States, notwithstanding the fact that he may have threatened Lucy Baderski with a knife while they were in the US. The April 23, 1891 New York murder of Carrie Brown, it seems, was carried out by a sailor and was not the work of Chapman.

Best regards

Chris

Edited by Christopher T. George
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Guest Stephen Turner

Thanks for your valued comments, Chris I should point out Im playing "Devils Advocate" on this one, I dont think it was Chapman either,but as Abberlines suspect we gotta give him the first degree. But your right serial killers may change the murder weapon,but not the method. Steve.

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Guest Stephen Turner

WAS CHAPMAN THE RIPPER, PART TWO, ABBERLINES SUSPECT.

Of all the detectives who worked the JTR case, Inspector Frederick Abberline is the most well known today. He was in charge of day to day ops, and had an unrivalled knowledge of Whitechapel and its inhabitants. So why did he think Chapman was the ripper. Lets let him speak for himself, here is an interview he gave to the Pall Mall Gazette,in 1903.

" When a representative of the Gazette called on Mr Abberline yesterday, and asked for his views on the startling theory set up by one of the morning papers, the retired detective said, " What an extraordinary thing it is that you should just have called on me know. I had just commenced to write to Mr Macnaghten, to say how strongly impressed I was with the opinion that Chapman was the author of the Whitechapel murders. Mr Abberline had already covered a page and a half of foolscap,and was surrounded with documents and newspaper cuttings deling with the outrages of 1888.

I have been so struck with the remarkable coincidences in the two series of murders, that I have not been able to think of anything else for several days. As I say ,went on the criminal expert there are a score of things that make one belive that Chapman is the man. We never belived all those stories about JTR being dead, or that he was a lunatic, or anything of that kind. for instance, the date of his arrival in England coincides with the beginning of the series of murders in whitechapel. (This is just plain wrong, Ed) Also the murdes ceased in London when Chapman went to America, while similar murders began to be perpetratored there.

(Only partially correct, Ed) The fact that he studied medicine and sugery in Russia (Poland in fact, Ed) is well established,and it is curious to note that the first series of murders was the work of a surgeon. ( Unfortunately the post-mortems do back this claim up, Ed) While the recent poisonings were done by a man with a good knowledge of medicine. The story told by Chapmans wife( Lucy Baderski.) of the attempt to murder her with a long knife,while in America is not to be ignored".(3)

So there we have it, unfortunately these observations do not inspire total confidence, for the reasons listed above. Was Chapman the ripper? Forum members over to you. Steve.

References

(1) Saturday Morning Post, August 1903.

(2) Complete history of JTR, Philip Sugden.

(3) Pall Mall Gazette, July 1903.

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Hi Steve

Yes I appreciate the fact that you are playing Devil's advocate with Chapman and don't believe he was the murderer. Thanks for laying out the case against Chapman nonetheless! :)

As you yourself state, there are a number of problems about Abberline's ponderings on Chapman and some misinformation which appeared as well in Hargrave Adam's introduction to The Trial of George Chapman (1930) in the Great British Trials series -- misinformation that unfortunately has been used as well by R. Michael Gordon who has tried to make a case for Chapman being the Ripper, the Thames Torso murderer, as well as being, as he undoubtedly was, the Borough Poisoner.

Abberline was by then (1903) a retired Scotland Yard officer, having worked for Pinkerton's Detective Agency in Monte Carlo for some years. When approached by the Gazette reporter with a likely East End murderer and with the faulty information to hand, it might not be surprising that Abberline stated that Chapman could have been the murderer and that perhaps the Ripper murders were solved at last.

Abberline did not, it seems, actually investigate Chapman in 1888, despite claims by Donald McCormick that he did do so, and thus he was relying on secondhand information. So in other words I would not put that much store in his 1903 assessment. If we had proof that he thought in 1888 that Chapman or any other suspect was possibly the Ripper it would be a different matter.

We might also note that the idea of Chapman as Ripper also is contradicted by the anecdotal evidence of Nigel Moreland, later the editor of Criminologist to whom Abberline stated, when interrupted by Moreland in his garden years after the Gazette interview and before the former Chief Inspector's death in 1929, ‘You’d have to look for [the Ripper] not at the bottom of London society at the time but a long way up.’ Chapman had no standing in London society so such a description would not have fitted him.

Best regards

Chris George

Edited by Christopher T. George
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There is little doubt that the tale of Nigel Morland meeting Abberline is apocryphal. Therefore we can forget any supposed comments made by Abberline to Morland in the early 1920s about the Ripper being 'one of the highest in the land', or 'not at the bottom of London society but a long way up.'

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