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Old September 8th, 2015, 04:16 AM   #1
Gary Barnett
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Default Swordstick Attack

Has this press report been posted/discussed before? It's from the Evening Telegraph and Star of 1st Sept., 1888.

I'm curious about the woman supposedly stabbed with a swordstick near Whitechapel Church some months previously. Is that a garbled version of the attack on Emma Smith?

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Old September 8th, 2015, 12:24 PM   #2
Anna Morris
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I have seen something somewhere suggesting the "blunt instrument" that did so much damage to Emma Smith's insides could have been the stick part of a swordstick. I don't remember if this was a modern writer speculating or if it was in a contemporary report.
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Old September 8th, 2015, 04:18 PM   #3
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Good find, G-man ! Thanks very much !

Anna...that would be Tom Wescott, regarding the swordstick as instrument of death....or at least the weapon which the killer put in her vagina.
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Old September 8th, 2015, 05:21 PM   #4
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Knew I read it somewhere. Thanks, How. I have Tom's book.
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Old September 8th, 2015, 06:23 PM   #5
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It's a pity the cutting is torn. It does seem to say the woman had been 'stabbed' by a sword stick and if it was a reference to the Smith murder, I wondered what the source of that idea could have been.
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Old September 8th, 2015, 06:41 PM   #6
Edward Stow
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There have previously been discussions about attacks with swordsticks - probably due to this and similar reports - and I believe Tom and his tome were implicated.
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Old September 8th, 2015, 07:00 PM   #7
Gary Barnett
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward Stow View Post
There have previously been discussions about attacks with swordsticks - probably due to this and similar reports - and I believe Tom and his tome were implicated.
Having read Tom's tome I thought he was pondering a possible connection between Tabram's 'bayonet' wound and an upper class assailant possessed of a weapon (a swordstick) beyond the resources of an working class man.

Then I found this (from 1877) and decided that your average Whitechapel bully woud probably have had sufficient disposable income to arm himself with a swordstick if he had wanted to.

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Old September 8th, 2015, 08:28 PM   #8
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I have all this stuff. I believe I said a sword stick would not be common with the average lodging house inmate and I don't believe they were. It's quite possible that a swordstick was used both on Emma Smith and Martha Tabram.

Yours truly,

Tom Wescott
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Old September 8th, 2015, 08:29 PM   #9
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For the record, I don't think any 'upper class man' was walking Whitechapel and killing prostitutes.

Yours truly,

Tom Wescott
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Old September 9th, 2015, 03:55 AM   #10
Gary Barnett
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Tom,

I was intrigued by the missing portion of the report. Having consulted TBHM, I see you did indeed reference a similar article. I should have looked there first.

For the record, what you actually said in the book was that a swordstick pointed away from a 'poor East End crook'. You wondered whether there might have been two attackers from 'different societal strata' working in tandem. You even suggested the police may not have voiced the possibility of a swordstick as the weapon used on Tabram because it didn't fit their preconceived ideas of the assailant's class.

Of course, an East End crook, unless he was a very unsuccessful one indeed, would intermittently have had the small change necessary to buy a second hand swordstick. So even if Tabram and Smith were attacked with such a weapon (there's no evidence that they were) that would tell us nothing about their killer's class.

Just out of curiosity, since you seem to think Daniel Sullivan a very likely suspect, did you have him pegged as the poor crook who couldn't afford a swordstick or the higher class individual who could?

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