The Camden Town Murder.
When one gets involved in Ripperology they often find that the scope of their research and investigations expands depending upon their avenue of research, and because of this we often find ourselves researching aspects of the case that although seemingly unrelated, have some connections to the case.
My research into Frederick Bailey Deeming, for example, led me to reports of his involvement in the Marfleet Mystery and the murder of Mary Jane Langley, and I am aware of several other Ripperologists, who, when researching a certain suspect, are often side tracked on similar issues.
The Camden Town Murder, which appears to be unrelated to the Whitechapel Murders, has in recent years been connected to “Jack the Ripper.” In some cases suspects, such as Walter Sickert, have been put forward as possible suspects.
Having an interest in Sickert I was drawn to the claims and sought out books and publications dealing with the case. This is just an overview of two of many that are available that shed light on the case.
Sir David Napley’s The Camden Town Murder
In 1987 Sir David Napley released The Camden Town Murder, as part of the Great Murder Trials of the Twentieth Century series. The book, published by George Weidenfeld & Nicholson Limited, is a fantastic overview of the case and features original court transcripts and contemporary newspaper reports of the trial as it unfolded. Whilst the book does not mention Sickert, as none of the original newspaper reports or court transcripts did, it does feature a wealth of information that make this edition a great starting point for anyone wanting to find out more about the mysterious, and still unsolved, murder of Emily Dimmock. The book is a fascinating read and thoroughly recommended.
Hardcover: 160 pages
Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson; First Edition edition (30 April 1987)
Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 14.5 x 2 cm
No bibliography, Source list, Index or Illustrations
John Barber’s The Camden Town Murder
John Barber’s take on the Camden Town Murder is a book that will appeal to both aficionados of true crime cases as well as Ripperologists. The book, which is split into 10 chapters looks at the basics of the case and the background to Emily Dimmock’s earlier life. This is where the book really excels and takes the reader on a journey into the life of Dimmock, based on primary sources such as Census returns and other genealogical data. The chapter is also packed with photos and maps showing the locations mentioned in the text. The next few chapters deal with the murder, investigation and trial of Robert Wood. Again the text is accompanied by photographs of people and places mentioned, plus maps of the locations. Chapter 5 deals with other possible suspects that were mentioned at the time, but never really explored or investigated. It is Chapter 6 that will catch the attention of Ripperologists, with a look at Dimmock as a possible Ripper victim. In this chapter Barber looks at the connections and anomalies between the murders, explores the theories put forward by Ripperologists, and explores such popular topics as The Royal Conspiracy Theory, and Walter Sickert. I must say that this chapter is a breath of fresh air. Barber takes the work of both Jean Overton Fuller and Patricia Cornwell and argues against the circumstantial evidence that they had raised in their works on the case. The book then features chapters that cover such topics as “Who Killed Emily Dimmock?” and the aftermath of the case. The book continues with a postscript that features the lecture given at the Whitechapel Society on February 8th 2008, a chapter that features the final word, and a supplement that concludes the book.
Many of the chapters are referenced, but Barber explains in the text where the information is gleaned from anyway. My only grumble with the book, and it is a minor one, is that the images seem to have been added to the book from a digital/video source which makes some of the images unclear and in some cases pixelated.
That said, it is a fascinating read and worth it alone for the Jack the Ripper chapters.
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Mandrake of Oxford; New and revised edition (1 Jun 2006)
Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.3 x 21.6 cm
Bibliography, Index and Illustrations throughout
John Barber’s website on the Camden Town Murder: http://www.johnbarber.com/CTM/intro.html
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!