My Ripper book of the week 12

Books, Research 2 Comments »

This week I recieved “The Prince, His Tutor and the Ripper” by Deborah McDonald, and as I had spoken to Deborah earlier, had decided to give the book a read.  I was instantly hooked.

The foreword is provided by Colin Wilson and covers his early work with Stephen and Prince Eddy, and how he came to meet Deborah.

What follows is a departure from the usual suspect fare, and instead we see a well written, well referenced book, and there is even a family tree for idiots like me!

We are taken through Stephens family life, his families medical histories, his families occupations.  Their links to the Maybrick’s, their links to the Wilberforce family, and a massive pile of data, all secured from primary sources.

She wisely stays away from the”JK Stephen=Anagram master” and concentrates on the facts, as presented in family papers, books, and press reports.

I enjoyed this book so much, I had finished it within the week, and cannot wait to see what Deborah sinks her teeth into next!

Red Ripper Relic?

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The curious tale of the Red Ripper Relic…

We have all seen the alleged knife of Jack the Ripper, The Diary, The Watch, and there is even a victorian desk being passed off as “Maybrick’s Ripper desk”!!!

But what do we know of the Red Scarf, that is believed to have been the property of JTR?

I recently recieved my copy of Jean Overton Fuller’s “Sickert and the Ripper Crimes” and after waiting for a year for it to be made available, I quickly read the book.  I noticed that in the revised edition, Fuller has added an additional chapter, on what has happened since the release of the book.

She mentions some other lady writing a Sickert was Ripper book, but also mentions that Joseph Sickert had in his possession a Red Silk Scarf, that was worn by Sickert, and he would sit and stare at the scarf whilst painting “The Camden Town” works.

This has led may to believe that this was the Ripper’s scarf!

But the story doesn’t end there….

We find out that Joseph Sickert was offered £5Million for the scarf by a Japanese company!

But does anyone know where the scarf is?

Other News!!

Hull Press, Press Reports, Research, Stephenson Family 2 Comments »

Newspaper Transcribing 

I have had a busy time transcribing Hull Newspaper reports from 1888, covering 4 newspapers and their views on the case which was unfolding in Whitechapel. 

Among the reports are numerous tales of suspects, witnesses, victims, letters, officers, and lots of information that appears to be unique to the Hull correspondents in London during the period!

I also managed to get the full coverage in the Hull Press of,

Thomas Sadler’s trial,

Frederick Bailey Deeming’s trial,

The Tranby Croft Scandal,

The Maybrick trial,

The Torso murder series,

The William Waddel trial, aka “The Gateshead Ripper murder”

And much much more!!

Heritage Days

The old buildings of Hull, usually off limits to people like me, recently threw their doors open, and elcomed visitors as part of the Heritage days! I gained access to the wonderful Customs House, which is situated on Whitefriargate, former workplace of Robert D’Onston Stephenson.

The pictures are posted here,

The post won me yet another accolade as I walked away with a Hull Daily Mail/Yoursay Mousemat and Pen!

Ripper Letter in the Hull Press- vol3

Hull Press, Press Reports, Research No Comments »

5th December 1888 Hull Daily Mail
On Tuesday Mr Saunders, the presiding magistrate at the Thames Police Court, received a letter, addressed “Mr Saunders, Chief Magistrate, Police Court, Whitechapel”. The contents were as follow:-
“Dear Pal- I am still at liberty. The last job in Whitechapel was not bad, but I mean to surprise them on the next. Shall joint is. Ha! Ha! Ha! After that shall try on the lazy lurchers who live on unfortunates. We have just enrolled several pals for the job. I am in the country now, for the benefit of my health. I met the super here (Wellingborough) the other day, and like him immense. He looks like a yard of pump water starched. Shall try a job here next time. So look out for news from “JACK THE RIPPER”

Ripper Letter in the Hull Press- vol2

Hull Press, Press Reports, Research 2 Comments »

15th October 1888 Eastern Morning News
“Jack the Ripper” writes to a Welsh newspaper the following letter, bearing a London postmark:-
London October 9th, 1888
Dear Old Boss,
What do you think of my little games here? Ha! Ha! Next Saturday I am going to give the St Mary Street girls a turn. I shall be fairly on their track, you bet. Keep this back until I have done some work, ha! ha! Shall down Friday.- Yours &c,
Jack the Ripper (trade mark)
To the Editor of the Western Mail

Ripper Letter in the Hull Press- vol 1

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13th October 1888 Hull News
The following letter was brought to-day, about noon to the office of this paper. It was enclosed in an envelope and left surreptitiously on the office counter, it is believed by a lad, who immediately ran away. Of course no importance is attached to the effusion, it being only an attempted hoax:-

Hull Oct 5th’I arrived in Hull last night from Manchester, and may as well inform you that I have a job or two to do here.
London’s got two hot for me.
‘It’s all that I want is blood, blood, blood.
For why, you will know when I’m (copped?)
I’ll sharpen my knifes and I’ll take their lives,
and enjoy myself till I stopped.

The letter is written in pencil on a leaf torn from a pocket-book, and at the bottom is the drawing of a knife represented to be dripping with blood.

My Ripper Book of the week 11

Books No Comments »

This week Fiona Rule’s much anticipated book, “The Worst Street in London” arrived, and I cannot seem to put it down!  The book looks at the history of Spitalfields in East London and provides a wonderful colourful history, with of course lots of dark dealings!

I had heard about this book sometime ago, and was pleasently surprised when it landed, just how good a read it is.  The maps, and pictures are all of a high quality, and the book is a must for anyone with an intrest in history, true crime, and the social conditions often encountered in the East End!

The book is a solid 26 chapters long, covering the rise and fall of the area, with stories on prostitution, immigration, living conditions, murder, and of course JTR!

There is also a unique walking guide at the rear, enabling the reader, to view Spitalfields today, albeit changed from the period, when it housed, the worst street in London!

A fantastic read!

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