Archives, Books, Deeming, Research, Ripper Non-Fiction, Stephenson Family No Comments »

Ten years ago I embarked on a project to chart the connections between the “Jack the Ripper” case and my hometown of Kingston upon Hull, or Hull as it is often referred to.  I started out with a single suspect, Robert D’Onston Stephenson, and embarked on planning, researching and writing “Jack the Ripper – From Hell, From Hull.” 


As time progressed my tally of suspects increased, from one, to fourteen!  I also carried out research into the contemporary newspaper articles published in the Hull press between 1888 and 1988, uncovering two giant folders of research. 


So, when it came to writing the book I could no longer fit all the research into one volume, and one volume became two, two became four, and today the current tally stands at

The newspaper reports I had uncovered went into a single volume, however, as the volume was so large they were split into two volumes, resulting in the release of;


“Jack the Ripper” – Newspapers from Hull Vol I, which covers the year 1888




“Jack the Ripper” – Newspapers from Hull Vol II, which covers 1889 – 1988


The material also gave me enough information to write;


Leather Apron, “Jack the Ripper” and the Whitechapel Murders of 1888


I had also been researching the local connection between Michael Maybrick and Florence Maybrick in Hull.  The research from that project went into;


“Jack the Ripper” and the Maybrick Family


Researching the case also gave me lots of information on each victim, I was particularly interested in three non canonical victims, but in researching one I came across a wealth of material that made it into;  


Annie Chapman – Wife, Mother, Victim


Finally I also had enough material on Frederick Bailey Deeming to give him and his criminal deeds a book of their own.  This resulted in the release of;


Frederick Bailey Deeming – “Jack the Ripper” or Something Worse?


“Jack the Ripper” From Hell, From Hull? Was growing so much now that it spawned another spin off,


“Jack the Ripper” – The Black Magic Myth, about the life, career, reputation and suspect candidacy of Robert D’Onston Stephenson.  It was a book that started out a decade ago, working with a pen and paper at our old house in East Hull, and which has finally been completed for publication. 


But wait…….


There are still two more “Jack the Ripper” titles on the way.  As mentioned earlier the suspect tally with links to my hometown was 14!  With that in mind the next two releases will be;


“Jack the Ripper” The Hull Connection,




Edwin Brough, Scalby Manor and the Hunt for “Jack the Ripper.”  


Finally a decade on I can safely say that “Jack the Ripper” The Black Magic Myth is complete and finally the life of Robert D’Onston Stephenson can be recorded. 


Thank you to everyone who helped out, especially Howard Brown for his foreword. 


Thank you to Miika and the Creativia Team, and thank you to my family for their support. 


All the books are available now on Amazon as either kindle or paperback editions.

Hull Prison Visit

Deeming, Opinion, Research 2 Comments »

For as long as I can remember I have always had a fascination with Hull Prison.  My late father conducted work their when he was an industrial cleaner, removing asbestos from the prison in the 1980’s, my sister lived opposite on Hull’s Newtown Buildings, and as a teenager I was a student at David Lister School, just a stones throw away. 

Over the years I have met many former inmates, listening to their stories, but it is the history of the building that fascinates me. 

Some years ago I started researching the prison.  I needed to as a part of the Frederick Bailey Deeming story and for the John Rennard aspect of the Marfleet Murder Mystery. 

When Hull Daily Mail announced that the prison would be opening an exhibition in the former Governor’s Residence at the front of the prison I contacted the prison and spoke with Rob Nicholson. 

Rob is an amazing guy, what he doesn’t know about the prison is not worth knowing, and together we exchanged research, I ended up sending entire census returns for the prison, lots of material on Frederick Bailey Deeming, and other items. 

Eventually the research worked its way into the exhibition, something that I was very proud of. 

In later years we filmed Prime Suspect – Jack the Ripper, with Prospero Productions at the main gate. 

After that we recorded From Whitechapel to Whitefriargate with BBC Radio Humberside and David Reeves in the exhibition space with Rob. 

This week marks the 150th anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone by the Mayor of Hull, Mr. Atkinson, and as such the prison organised a friends and family day. 

I had contacted Rob and was granted permission by the governor to join the day, but little did I know, I would get my own exclusive tour with Rob. 

What Rob does not know about the prison is not worth knowing.  He is a walking encyclopaedia of names, dates, stories, and is a really pleasure to listen to.  He also has a wicked sense of humour and is a true gent. 

We met at the main gate and whilst the friends and family went in, we admired the original entrance to the prison.  It’s massive, and I mean MASSIVE stone entrance is imposing and threatening.  We spent some time looking at the right hand side of the main gate.  This was where the original notices were put up to announce whether an inmate had been reprieved or hanged.  It felt very eerie stood here, knowing that this is where friends and family received word of those that had hanged or whether the Home Office had given them a last minute reprieve. 

We waited until the other group walked off, then we headed for the old structure of the prison, the original wing.  It was here that we stood and admired the height and stonework.  Strange crenellations, mock battlements, and signs in stone of the Hull Corporations Three Crowns adorned the high walls of the building. 

“This is the mortuary” he pointed out, to a simple stone structure, “this is where they were stored after they were hanged.” He pointed out as we walked around the building.  He also pointed out where those who had sentenced to hang were left for an hour so that death could be officially announced.  Leaving we walked in a corridor through the old wings that took us past where the male and female prisoners would have been segregated back in the Victorian period.  We passed a series of bricked up doorways and arches, it was fascinating, and as the walkway was open at both ends, the wind blew through and it was actually pretty eerie. 

We exited and again admired the structure of the building, with its high walls and metal fittings, where cages stood to allow prisoners to walk between wings. 

We again entered the building and went on to one of the wings.  My jaw dropped.  Such magnificent Victorian architecture, but I was stopped in my tracks by the steel work.  The original steelwork in the older Victorian section of the prison was made on site.  It still bears the HMP Hull mark, but to see it all was fascinating.  We stood and admired the steelwork before Rob took me along the first floor balcony to where the condemned would have made their final journey.  We looked at an old bricked up archway, where dignitaries would have gone into the drop room to observe the act, and then we walked around to another room that was like a modern day wash room.  Tiles adorned the walls and metal sinks hung off the walls.  “This is where they were hanged.”

We stood inside the room for a while, just taking it in, on the spot where ten convicted murderers, had faced their end.  Pinioned, hooded, and with noose around their neck, the hangman would send them to their final judgement. 

Below us was the room where the deceased would be left for an hour. 

We moved on and went up to the next floor before exiting via a large circular room, which is the massive green dome you can see from outside.  The ceiling was so high it was breath taking, and again we were surrounded by locally produced steel. 

Rob showed me where an escape hatch was situated, no longer in use, but used by officers should they need to escape quickly. 

We moved through the prison, visiting the newer wings, passing the site of the old and much talked about “Seven Alleys” and Arnold Lavers Wood yard, now under tons of steel and concrete that form the high walls of the prison.  

We entered another wing and at this point Rob left me whilst he logged us in at the office.  Whilst I was waiting I met two members of staff, who were sorting books out to take onto the wings for the prisoners.  As they sorted the books one fell.  I looked at it and instantly recognised the face.  It was none other than the death mask of Frederick Bailey Deeming.  The book in question was Murders of the Dark Museum by Gordon Honeycomb.  What I found fascinating is that Deeming was a former prisoner here for nine months in 1890-1891 for fraud.  The book’s author passed away just yesterday, on the 150th anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone at Hull prison.  We discussed it and laughed it off, before heading across the wing to where Rob had himself encountered paranormal activity. 

On the way back to the main gate we passed the spot where the ten condemned lay. 

Arthur Richardson, 25/03/1902, William James Bolton, 23/12/1902, Charles William, 22/12/1903, Thomas Siddle, 04/08/1908, John Freeman, 07/12/1909, William George Smith, 09/12/1924, Robert Ernest Dalton, 10/06/1925, George Michael, 27/04/1932, Roy Gregory, 03/01/1934, Ethel Lillie Major, 19/12/1934. 

No plaque, no memorial, no grave, just a “herb garden” remains. 

We left by the main gate, once again admiring the old brick work that kept in people like Frankie Fraser, members of the Kray firm, IRA members, Frankie “The Mad Axe Man” Mitchell, Charles Bronson, Frederick Bailey Deeming, Arthur Richardson, William James Bolton, Charles William, Thomas Siddle, John Freeman, William George Smith, Robert Ernest Dalton, George Michael, Roy Gregory, Ethel Lillie Major, John Rennard, and of course Rough, the dog of John Rennard!

Thank you to Rob Nicholson and all the staff at Hull Prison for an amazing day that will stay with me for a long time. 

New file on Frederick Bailey Deeming found.

Archives, Deeming, Research 10 Comments »

On the morning of January 30th 2013 I made my way to the Hull History Centre with a view to carrying out some research into the Hull Watch Committee and their views on the still unsolved murder of Mary Jane Langley, who was found brutally done to death in a ditch between Preston and Marfleet.  The reports in the Hull Press of September 1891 hinted at a rift between the Hull Police, the Borough Police and the Hull Watch Committee on account of the two police forces seemingly employing the work of a psychic.  The newspaper report read like a comical interchange with members of the Hull Watch Committee making fun of the Hull Police Force.  It was certainly a very interesting series of articles and I was interested in tracing the primary sources at the Hull History Centre.  Sadly, the Hull Corporation’s Hull Watch Committee Minutes books for the period are missing and only the typed up versions are available.  I was soon to discover that these offered very little information on the case, so I consulted the Hull History Centre Catalogue and found a reference to the Hull Watch Committee files.  Whilst these might not include the 1891 minutes, they do hold other interesting snippets of information on other crimes and topics that bear some relation on the case. 


One particular area of interest was a file that stated “Police Reports: Regina Vs Henry Lawson. 


Previously I had uncovered the typed up version of this file which was more of a summary, but at the time I had searched for more information and found nothing.  The typed up version of this document covered less than half a page and simply asked for funds in the extradition of Deeming from Monte Video.  The second section of this typed up document again was short and sweet and stated that funds would be laid out on the pretext that someone else would foot the bill.  It seemed to me as if there was more to this issue, but as the file on Deeming’s trial for fraud had been unearthed, and made no mention of this issue I was at a loss.  Luckily perseverance (and a bit of luck) paid off and I was able to secure a look at a previously unseen file of material on Frederick Bailey Deeming and his time in Hull. 


The file is essentially a 23 page file of material relating to the manhunt from Hull to Monte Video to track, and bring to justice, Frederick Bailey Deeming for the crime of fraud, and covers the principle police officials, the town clerk, Deeming’s legal team, and the Home Office, as they struggle to recoup money spent on the manhunt. 


The file comprises of several pages of the Hull Watch Committee Minutes from their meeting at the Hull Town Hall on December 23rd 1891, it features: 

  • A number of handwritten sheets covering each separate file
  • A cover file that is a Costs of Apprehension Sheet,
  • A handwritten letter from R. Hill Dawe esq, the town clerk for Hull to Laverack and Son, solicitors
  • A handwritten reply from Laverack and Son, solicitors, to R. Hill Dawe esq,
  • A handwritten reply from R. Hill Dawe esq, to Laverack and Son, solicitors,
  • A handwritten letter from Captain Gurney, Chief of Hull Police, to R. Hill Dawe Esq,
  • A handwritten Detective Report featuring statements from Detective Thomas Grassby and Thomas Reynoldson, signed by Captain Gurney and countersigned by Detective Superintendent Clapham,
  • A handwritten report from Captain Gurney and countersigned by Detective Superintendent Clapham,
  • A handwritten letter from the Home Secretary Godfrey Lushington to Laverack and Son, solicitors, asking for the amount owed to be paid to Whitehall,
  • A handwritten note, dated June 4th 1890, allowing two detectives to leave Hull for Monte Video to search for Harry Lawson.


As you can imagine this is a wonderful piece of the jigsaw that has been missing for some years.  The material falls before and after the massive trial file on Frederick Bailey Deeming, uncovered some years ago, and casts more light on Deeming’s time and illustrious career in Kingston upon Hull.  It shows more on the workings of the Victorian Hull police force, the Hull Watch Committee, and the lengths they, along with the Home Office, went to in order to recuperate the money spent on an international manhunt for one of the world’s worst criminals throughout history.  

Beverley Research Trip

Archives, Deeming, National Press, Press Reports, Research 1 Comment »

On Monday November 26th 2012 I set off from Hull on the Hull to Beverley train with a view to visiting the East Riding Archives, at the Treasurers House, Beverley.  The reason for the trip was two fold.  The first part of my research was aimed at investigating a local paranormal mystery that is relevant to the Sculcoates area of Hull.  As Sculcoates fall under the jurisdiction of the East Riding Council, many of the records are kept at the East Riding Archives.  The second leg of my research trip was to investigate two Jack the Ripper scares that had occurred in Beverley during the 19th century.

Jack the Ripper Scares

I first discovered the two scares in The Hull Daily Mail archives and searching further a field discovered more reports in the National press, I was, however, hoping to find the source material from Beverley, so at some point a trip across to the archives was on the cards.  The two reports were from the years 1891 and 1894 and covered two unsavoury characters that had visited Beverley and been arrested after Jack the Ripper Scares in the district. 

At the East Riding Archives I searched the old back issues of The Beverley Guardian, which at the time was published every Saturday.  It wasn’t long before the search turned up several articles from 1891 and 1894.  In the past The Beverley Guardian has provided me with details on Frederick Bailey Deeming, under his alias Harry Lawson, and in their February 1890 editions featured announcements of his marriage at St. Mary’s Church in Beverley.  His subsequent career in Hull, and trial for fraud also featured, as well as his arrest in Australia and trial for murder.  The Beverley Guardian was also a great source of information in the search for material on Mary Jane Langley and her unsolved murder on the outskirts of Marfleet and Preston.  Having the local slant on these cases proved valuable as it mentioned other names and locations as well as being more in depth.   

The Paranormal Mystery

Without giving too much away on this little mystery, I visited the archives to obtain several historical documents from the early 19th century that shed new light on an age old mystery.  I have been investigating and researching this particular location for years now, but with little published about it, and less written on the internet I decided to find the historical documents that pertain to the location when it was first mooted and eventually built.  A couple of books have tackled this location, but they give very little in the way of historical facts.  My aim was get back to the local acts that made the construction of this location and start researching the history from that point.

In the East Riding Archives search room I was very pleased to be shown several historical documents dating back to 1817 that showed the meetings and acts that were set in place for the construction of this location.

Frederick Bailey Deeming Articles Uncovered.

Archives, Deeming, Hull Press 9 Comments »

Readers of my blog will know how often my work in one aspect of Hull’s history will cross over into another.  Last week I was tasked with researching the histories of several properties in Hull which had alleged paranormal activity.  One such property had, what was best described as, “A female apparition” so the quest was on to find historical evidence of females on the site especially those that had died a tragic death that might leave behind memories that could cause a haunting. 

It took less than an hour to find a lady who was tragically killed on the property when she fell over, however, it was during the search for other deaths at the location that I came across an article on Frederick Bailey Deeming. 

One of the main problems with Deeming is his use of aliases, a problem that has led some researchers to believe that there could be more material on Deeming available, albeit with a different name.  The second problem is the Victorian British press and their inability to spell these names.  Last week the article I discovered was under Deeming’s alias, Harry Lawson, however, today I searched for similar articles from other press sources from the same period and discovered 14 articles pertaining to Frederick Bailey Deeming. 

The articles, found in The Hull Daily Mail, The Hull News, The Hull Daily News, and The Hull and East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire Times, cover the year 1890, from the months April, July, and September.  They feature Frederick Bailey Deeming under the aliases of,

Frederick Deening, Frederick Denning, Harry Lawson, and Henry Lawson, and cover his trial against Messrs Reynoldson’s, of Whitefriargate, Hull. 

The articles are currently being transcribed and will be inserted in Jack the Ripper – From Hell, From Hull? Volume II


This past week

Archives, Deeming, Events, Hull Press, Libraries, Opinion, Press Reports, Research, Stephenson Family No Comments »

The past week


In the past week I had the opportunity to peruse some old Hull newspapers that covered the years 1889 to 1940.  Among the newspapers were several articles pertaining to Jack the Ripper and the Whitechapel Murders.  I was able to collect copies of articles on the likes of Sir Charles Warren, Sir Melville Macnaghten, and several other police officials, who were in service during the “Autumn of Terror.” 

I was also able to obtain copies of newspaper reports on several suspects, from Frederick Bailey Deeming, James and Florence Maybrick, Charles LeGrand, Francis Tumblety, and several other suspects that are rarely discussed despite their candidacy being much stronger than the likes of some who have been mentioned in the past!

I was also able to collect material, including newspaper reports, and material gleaned from primary sources on the likes of Annie Millwood, Ada Wilson, Emma Elizabeth Smith, Martha Tabram, Mary Ann Nichols, Annie Chapman, Susan Ward, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes, The Whitehall Mystery, Mary Jane Kelly, Annie Farmer, Rose Mylett, Elizabeth Jackson, Alice McKenzie, the Pinchin Street Torso, and Frances Coles, as well as several other victims who were killed in the vicinity in the months after the initial “Jack the Ripper” scare! 


This Saturday I had the pleasure of lecturing at the Western Library, on Boulevard, off Hessle-road in West Hull.  The library is opposite the former home of one Frederick Richard Chapman, and close to the site of one of the Hull Dispensary’s that he worked at, and the former church where he was a church warden.  The library itself is an historical gem, built in 1895 and being the first in Hull to be erected using public funding.  The library closed in 2011 and reopened only recently after a £800,000 regeneration project and I must say it is a lovely bright place with many of the historical features kept for future generations to admire.  Among the improvements were the erection of extra meeting rooms, a lift, extra shelving, solar roof panels, and a new IT facility.  The original Victorian counter is still present, and many of the walls have been restored. 

The lecture was arranged by The Friends of Hull Library, who asked that I go along and discuss Hull’s Ghostly Myths and Legends.  It was a lovely atmosphere, and I came away with more bookings for future lectures.  I was also pleased that not only was the room packed, but that the crowd had so many stories and questions in the Q+A session I held afterwards. 

All in all it was a great day, and I hope to return to the library very soon.

Heritage Open Days Hull

As I mentioned in an earlier post, this weekend saw the Heritage Open Days across the UK, and closer to home in Hull.  On Saturday I had the pleasure of visiting Hull’s Neptune Inn, a location that was built in the 1700’s but by the 1800’s had been closed and was sold to the Hull Customs.  It was here, in 1863, that Robert D’Onston Stephenson began working as a clerk of the first class to the Hull Customs.  The property is owned by the Trinity House Corporation, who Robert D’Onston Stephenson’s father worked for in his role as Receiver of Corporation Dues and Receiver of Bouyage.  Two roles that were jointly operated by the Trinity House Corporation, the Hull Customs, the Hull Dock Corporation and the Hull Corporation.  It was also through the same roles and employers that Lewis Carroll’s maternal grandfather worked, albeit in the 1700’s.

The massive awe inspiring building retains many of the original features after it was renovated some years ago and stands opposite the bank that was used by Frederick Bailey Deeming prior to him defrauding Messrs Reynoldson’s!  Deeming arrived in Hull in November 1889 and opened up an account at the bank, and traded with them until he closed his account and wrote three cheques for jewellery at Mr. Reynoldson’s jewellery store, where the current Schue branch is on Hull’s Whitefriargate. 

The bank stands on the corner of Whitefriargate and Parliament-street, another location that appears in Hull’s Ripperological history.  Several people were removed to Parliament-street police station between 1888 and 1900 for “Ripper like conduct” and it acted until the central police station during the period. 

Also on Parliament-street stood what was known as Messrs Tenny and Dawber, a solicitors firm that Joseph Dawber was running.  Joseph was Robert D’Onston Stephenson’s cousin, and would later be locked up in Hull Gaol for fraud.  Curiously, the 1891 Census shows that at the same time he was in prison, Frederick Bailey Deeming, under the alias of Harry Lawson, was also an inmate!  Small world!

Leaving Neptune Inn I paid a visit to the Holy Trinity Church, where William Wilberforce was christened.  It was also here that Robert D’Onston Stephenson’s father was also christened!  The church is always a pleasure to walk about, and features the tombs and remembrance plaques of hundreds of former Hull notables including former Mayors, Alderman, and Merchants.  The tower was open, but with my dodgy ticker and the heat I didn’t risk the climb. 

After Holy Trinity Church I visited the Pacific Exchange, which was advertised as being open 10:00 – 15:00 but at 14:00 was already closed.  Regardless I walked along to Hull’s only National Trust property, Maister’s House.  The house has a magnificent staircase and upper balcony, but it was undergoing structural integrity checks, so scaffold bars and boards blocked much of what was previously on show.  Hopefully they will discover the problem and save this unique location.

From Maister’s House I had a quick look around Hull’s Museum Quarter, where a collection of vintage cars were on display.  Leaving the museums I headed for the Georgian Houses but discovered that the tours needed booking despite the official guide stating that no booking was required.  When I enquired about the time I was told the next available tour would be in a hour and half, so I left for other locations. 

Blaydes House was next on the agenda, a beautiful 18th Century property built and owned by the Blaydes family.  It was the Blaydes family who built a ship named “The Bertha,” which would be later renamed “The Bounty” which was known for its infamous mutiny.    

Leaving Blaydes House my next stop was St Mary’s Church, known to many as St Mary the Virgin.  The church dates from the 14th Century, and is packed with historical features that make it a place to visit over and over again.  Once again, for health reasons, I decided against the tower climb. 

Taking in other locations, such as Ye Olde White Hart, White Hart, Sailmakers, and George Hotel, I finished the day at Hull’s Bob Carver’s fish and chips shop.  A piece of Hull’s history in itself.        

A week in Ripperology.

Archives, Deeming, Press Reports, Research, Stephenson Family No Comments »

Frederick Bailey Deeming

This week I have been busily researching Frederick Bailey Deeming when I came across more articles pertaining to him in the Hull press.  The articles, covering the period of 1894 until 1950, feature a number of local slants on Deeming’s time spent in Hull.  There are retrospectives of his time spent on the run, his time in Hull Prison, and the discovery that he was a murderer.

A number of articles mentioned Deeming in passing, concentrating on Hull crime and criminals in general, with a few looking at the police officers and local government officials involved in the Deeming fraud trial of 1890.    

Jack the Ripper in the Hull and Yorkshire Press 1888 – 1950

This week I searched both The Hull Packet, The Hull Daily Mail, Yorkshire Evening Post, The York Herald, and Yorkshire Gazette for any articles pertaining to Jack the Ripper.  The search resulted in 277 articles featuring Jack the Ripper from the perspective of the Yorkshire press.   Topics include suspects, theories, murders, police officials, and local scares.  There are also a number of articles that look back at the “Autumn of Terror” as well as articles written and submitted to the Yorkshire press by police officials and theorists from the period.  Among some of the most interesting are articles covering Jack the Ripper and the Black Magic theory, but sadly Robert D’Onston Stephenson does not feature!   


Archives, Deeming, Hull Press, Libraries, Press Reports, Research, Stephenson Family No Comments »

New Finds:

Whilst I have been housebound I had the pleasure of seeking out new articles in the Hull Press via digitisation projects.  This has allowed me to search from the relative comfort of my home and has turned up some fascinating results.

Over the years my scope of work has covered 10 suspects with links to my home town of Kingston upon Hull, so with access to the Hull Daily Mail archives I decided to search for any articles pertaining to any of the 10 suspects, resulting in the finding of numerous articles on the likes of Frederick Bailey Deeming, and even some material from the 1920’s exploring Lewis Carroll’s connections to the city.  Among the articles were many reports on the Whitechapel Murders, many of which I have never seen before, and other similar atrocities and Ripper scares.  There was a fascinating article regarding Jack the Ripper and Black Magic, that appeared in the Hull press in the 1920’s, and some fascinating material on the likes of Betty May and Aleister Crowley.

New Photographic Finds:

In the last 6 years I have searched and searched for a photograph showing the birthplace of Hull born Robert D’Onston Stephenson.  Despite poring over hundreds of books, webpages, and photo archives I could not trace an image, then, within the space of a week, I uncovered not one, but two!!  The images show two different views of the Stephenson family home.  One from the street facing the property from a side and showing the neighbouring houses, the other shows the property from the front, but at a much later date!!  Needless to say I am very excited about these images.


This month marks my third year on social networking site Twitter.  It has seen me post almost 7,000 tweets, and I have a little over 900 followers.  The site has become a useful networking tool for likeminded Ripperologists, Historians, and True Crime followers.  Here is to another 3 years!!

Prime Suspect: Jack the Ripper.

Deeming, TV/Documentaries 13 Comments »

Last year I was fortunate enough to shoot some scenes for a documentary regarding Jack the Ripper.  I am pleased to announce that the show will air next week on March the 7th 2012 in the UK.  The show will feature on the following channels,

Sky Channel Yesterday at 537

Virgin Media at 203

Freeview at 12

Sky Channel Yesterday featured the following blurb for the show,

The identity of Britain’s most notorious serial killer, Jack The Ripper, has fascinated fans of true crime, lovers of Victoriana and conspiracy theorists all over the world for over a century. A Russian con artist, a Polish barber, an Irish American doctor and even the eldest son of Edward VIII have all been held up as suspects ever since the murder of at least five prostitutes in the London’s East End in 1888.

Now the story heads to Australia, where there has been a major new development in the Ripper story. In a laboratory on the other side of the world lies what is believed to be the skull of Fredrick Bailey Deeming, infamous as Australia’s first serial killer. At the time of his execution in 1892, Deeming was a suspect in the Jack The Ripper case. Born in England, he emigrated to Australia, where he murdered his second wife. In the subsequent investigation he was found to have murdered more people back in his home country.

In a recent experiment in an Australian laboratory, DNA was extracted from his skull. If this DNA can be linked to the crimes, Deeming could finally be proved to be the world’s most notorious killer or once and for all be eliminated from the enquiries. Could the identity of Jack The Ripper finally be revealed?


To read more and see the trailer pleae visit,

Yesterday TV at  http://uktv.co.uk/yesterday/item/aid/650713/displayVideo/hi

Year in Review 2011

Archives, Books, Deeming, E-Books, Events, Hull Press, Jack the Ripper Doc's, Libraries, National Press, Opinion, Podcast, Press Reports, Research, Stephenson Family, TV/Documentaries, Theories No Comments »

Every year around this time I always post a Year in Review, showing the books, magazines, articles, TV shows and research that other Ripperologists have done throughout the year, but this past year has seen so many changes and I have been so busy that I have not really kept up with the latest developments.  Plus a major hard-drive explosion and the loss of several files didn’t help.  Luckily much of the material was on pen-drives.  So this year I thought I would write a year in review based on my research, rather than other peoples work, to show what has been done locally and nationally.

In January I was cast head first into the world of Frederick Bailey Deeming when it was revealed that a skull had turned up in Australia and was possibly his.  The find caused mush debate and discussion and was covered in blogs, newspaper reports, and even made its way onto TV.  At the time I was fortunate enough to have quiet a large collection of newspaper articles that showed the passage of Deeming’s skull, from the hanging in 1892, it being buried, dug up, allegedly stolen and through various hands of ownership.  It has to be the most talked about skull in Australian history, second only to Ned Kelly, and I am pleased to say that the skull turned out to be that of Ned Kelly’s and not Deeming as previously thought.  The case did mean that several members of the Deeming family came forward, and I certainly got a lot of messages and emails from people wishing to know more.

February saw me visiting Hedon and Preston in search of material for a book and articles on the murder of Mary Jane Langley.  Mary Jane was murdered in 1891 and at the time Frederick Bailey Deeming had just been released from Hull Prison.  His name actually came to light in relation to the investigation in 1892 when Deeming’s links to Hull and Yorkshire were explored in both the Hull and Beverley press and so it would only be a matter of time that I explored the case.  What was weird about this, is that some of the descendents of Mary had actually previously been in touch and mentioned the case to me, and asked if I knew anything, so it was lovely to be able to send them material and news every time I researched Mary and her family and to be able to answer some of the question and queries they had regarding the case.

March saw a trip to Beverley’s East Riding Archives, where I secured newspaper cuttings on Frederick Bailey Deeming and his frauds in 1890/1891, and the Rainhill and Windsor Murders of 1891/1892.  I also visited several locations associated with Deeming, and Helen Matheson and her family and secured interviews and photos of some of the locations.

April saw the discovery of Frederick Bailey Deeming in the Hull Watch Committee Minutes.  These proved invaluable as it put a price on the manhunt for Deeming after his frauds in 1890 in Hull.  Many of the books and publications mention Deeming in relation to Hull in only a passing manner, many of which erroneously state that he was married in Hull, and stayed at the Station Hotel in Beverley.  The Hull Watch Committee Minutes are a great find as they finally reveal how much was spent on following Deeming to Southhampton and Monte Video, and then returning him to Hull.  With this information I was able to find shipping manifests that showed Deeming on board with Detective Grassby of the Hull Police as well as several other documents that were created at the time and show the events that transpired.

May was filled with another Deeming related file. The Hull Watch Committee Minutes books also helped me discover the massive Hull Trial File, which is packed with primary sources from his time in Hull, and features letters, telegrams, and eyewitness statements.  It also made me realize that as well as Deeming and his alias Lawson, I should be aware that sometimes the authorities get it wrong and can often misspell names!  It also saw an exciting visit to the Hull Prison Exhibition which was fascinating.

June saw some newspaper based research, tackling Frederick Bailey Deeming and Robert D’Onston Stephenson from a different angle and helping me uncover 40 new articles associated with them, their lives in Hull, and the people whose lives they affected.  It also saw me get my hands on another Frederick Bailey Deeming file, the Home Office Files.  These featured 43 pages filled with material on Deeming and his life and the legal wranglings that were going on over his arrest in Monte Video.  This year I visited Whitby with my wife and took in the Lewis Carroll and Bram Stoker/Dracula locations.  I also managed to obtain several books on the duo, including one that links Stoker to the murders!  Stoker, it is claimed, was inspired by the Ripper Murders and stated so in an Icelandic Edition of Dracula.

July saw some research trips to the East Riding Archives in Beverley where I uncovered material on Robert D’Onston Stephenson, Frederick Bailey Deeming, and the murder of Mary Jane Langley.  I was also back in the Hull History Centre and found yet another file on Deeming, this time it was in the Hull Watch Files and covered Thomas Reynoldson and his quest for justice against Deeming.  Also at the Hull History Centre I found several reports on Deeming in the Hull Watch Committee Minutes, and Hull Finances Committee Minutes.  At the Hull Reference Library I discovered information pertaining to the ships that Thomas Sadler had sailed on.  This month saw the discovery that Deeming had been discussed in the House of Commons, and that police officers were sent to Australia from Scotland Yard, and asked to help with the Rainhill Murders.  Despite these snippets being mentioned in the local and national press to date there have been no files that cast any light on who went and why.

August was the month of Mary Jane Langley, with my article appeared in Ripperologist Magazine, on my blog, and the case attracting attention in the local media.  It also gave me a chance to finally meet Mary Jane’s descendants in a rather touching moment at her graveside.  This month some some material on Annie Deary/Stephenson surface.  I had been researching the events leading up to and surrounding her death and not only traced the location, but several other primary sources from the period.  I also managed to secure a photo of the building in which she died.  David Knott had found Annie Stephenson’s death certificate some years ago, and from the information contained within I was able to search the logs that were written when Annie died.  They proved quiet interesting and showed what she was up to in the latter years of her life in Lincolnshire.  August was also the annual Heritage Open Days and I once again visited the Customs House in Hull, filming and taking photos of the visit.

September saw a visit to London for material on both Frederick Bailey Deeming and Robert D’Onston Stephenson.  I had the pleasure of visiting the British Library and searching numerous books, periodicals and correspondence and came away with pages and pages of new material.  These included material on Robert D’Onston Stephenson and Grant Richards, Robert D’Onston Stephenson and Theosophy, Robert D’Onston Stephenson and the Workhouse, Robert D’Onston Stephenson and Betty May’s Tiger Woman, Robert D’Onston Stephenson and Highgate Hill Infirmary, Robert D’Onston Stephenson and the Islington Board of Guardians,   It was a lovely trip and I also had time to visit the British Museum, Natural History Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum.  This month also saw some fascinating finds on Robert D’Onston Stephenson’s Religion that I posted on jtrforums.com.  Sadly the registers never had him down as a Black Magician!  Despite this numerous books have been released since that still claim he was a black magician!

October was devoted to researching some paranormal material that I had been working on for some time. I was able to secure interviews with key witnesses and appeared on West Hull Radio to discuss some of my research.

November began with an appearance on BBC Radio Humberside discussing the Central Library Lecture.  The interview went really well, and the lecture at the library was packed out.  I also met and spoke to a number of people that helped with my research, and got more bookings for 2012!

Sadly in early November I was back in hospital with my heart, investigations are ongoing, and hopefully next year the cardiologists will get to the bottom of it.

Other projects:
This year has seen Jack the Blogger, in Ripperologist Magazine, go from strength to strength, sadly the computer outage has stopped me for a while, but the column will be back in 2012 bigger and better than ever.  I cannot thank the gang at Ripperologist enough for their ongoing support.
The year also saw some new lectures at both the Hull History Centre and the Hull Central Library, both of which were well filled with every seat taken and great fun.  I have more lectures booked into 2012 so it should prove to be another good year.  I do not charge for any of my lectures and my time is free.
This year also saw me meeting with a film production crew making a documentary on Frederick Bailey Deeming.  Hopefully the show will air soon so I can discuss the matter in detail.  All that I can say it that it was great fun and the team that I had the pleasure of working with were all a lovely bunch and it was nice to have them in Hull and show them the sights.
I have also been approached about other possible future projects but cannot divulge what they are!!!
The books
This year has seen a number of developments with the writing projects, and a number of fantastic names are on board to write the forewords of some of the titles.  The first quarter of the year was devoted to the writing and research on the Mary Jane Langley project, which was a by product of the work on Frederick Bailey Deeming.  The same occurred with the Deeming newspaper book, and the Dawber history book which was created when editing the Robert D’Onston Stephenson book.
The decision to split the paranormal book into three was made when it was discovered that at its present phase it was just too big, so it was split into three.  Earlier this year a lot of the material was lost when a computer outage took over 100 pages of work, luckily I still had the research so it is being typed up again.

Jack the Ripper - From Hell, From Hull? Vol I Robert D’Onston Stephenson 261,423 words over 362 pages

Jack the Ripper - From Hell, From Hull? Vol II Frederick Bailey Deeming 207,113 words over 259 pages

Jack the Ripper - From Hell, From Hull? Vol III 66,493 words over 101 pages

Jack the Ripper - From Hell, From Hull? - Newspapers From Hull 104,379 words over 133 pages

Frederick Bailey Deeming and the Murder of Mary Jane Langley 101,831 words over 136 pages

Frederick Bailey Deeming in the International Press 175,320 words over 200 pages

Mike Covell’s Haunted Hull 133,521 words over 217 pages

Mike Covell’s Haunted Hull - The Press Perspective 31,256 words over 43 pages

Mike Covell’s Haunted Hull - Paranormal Hull 108,087 words over 155 pages

Emily Dimmock Camden Town Murder Project 37,633 words over 35 pages

The History of the Dawber family in Hull 1700-2000 15,296 words over 31 pages

Untitled Fact vs Fiction Project 161,669 words over 165 pages

Thank you for a great year:
All the staff at Hull City Council’s Hull History Centre, including the Local Studies and Archives.  All the staff at Hull’s Central Library, Reference Library and Holderness road Library for putting up with me.  All the staff at Hull Museums and the staff at the East Riding Archives in Beverley. Rob Nicholson of Her Majesty’s Prison, Hull.  Adam Wood and Chris George at Ripperologist.  Howard and Nina Brown at Jtrforums.com.  Ray from the Hedon Blog, All the staff at the Nags Head, Preston, the staff at the Hedon Museum, All the staff at the British Library, British Museum, Natural History Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, for putting up with my emails and requests and for providing a brilliant service.  And a thank you to all my Facebook and Twitter friends that have supported me through what has been a tough year.  Here is to 2012!!

WP Theme & Icons by N.Design Studio
Entries RSS Comments RSS Login