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The Lodger(s) Discussion of the various "Lodgers" mentioned throughout the study of the Whitechapel Murders.

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Old May 19th, 2007, 06:14 PM   #21
R.J.Palmer
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Forbes Winslow should not be allowed to muddy the waters. Callaghan's account is the important one; not Winslow's.
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Old May 19th, 2007, 07:49 PM   #22
Howard Brown
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Roger...

If you get the time,could you please offer your scenario?

Do you think that there was no alteration to the note delivered to Swanson? Maybe Swanson dismissed it on sight? What do you think?
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Old May 20th, 2007, 06:05 AM   #23
Dave Knott
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I would agree with Roger about Callaghan's account being the important one - Forbes Winslow's comments are all over the place - at one time he describes Bellsmith as being young, with light hair and blue eyes (not like the man Callaghan describes) and confined to a lunatic asylum. Another time he states that Bellsmith left London (after Winslow published his clue in 1889) and went to South Africa.
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Old May 22nd, 2007, 09:48 AM   #24
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Howard -- It’s an impossible question to answer. There doesn’t appear to be any doubt the letter Winslow reproduced in Recollections of Forty Years was altered--it refers to the ‘murder in the summer’ (Alice MacKenzie?) -- but whether this means the August 7/August 9th in Callaghan’s original letter was similarly manipulated--I don’t know, but it makes one wonder. Then again, this would only indicate Winslow’s duplicity, not Callaghan’s. My impression of Winslow is that, like most psychiatrist/psychologists who have become interested in the Ripper case, he just needed a suspect --any suspect-- to use as a prop to expound on his ideas of “homicidal mania.” It's not clear to me that his later comments refer to Bellsmith and he may have jumped horse in midstream. Whether he got the facts right seemed to be of lesser imporance---not all that different from a psychologists jumping on the back of J.K. Stephen or Maybrick so they can ramble on about ‘signature’, geographical profiling, etc. My concern has always been about what this has to do with Mr. Callalaghan. The possibility certainly exists that Callaghan was merely an honest bloke, giving an honest testimony, and was lost in the shuffle, particularly because his champion, Winslow, turned out to be such a flake. Dave Knott is churning up a very intriguing line of inquiry. I’ve also always found this statement of Callaghan to be of interest:

“I gave this information to the police in August (1888) after the man left my house, and curiously enough the detectives came over to my house to make inquiries also about this same man, at the instigation of a lady from the Surrey side of the water.”

Probably impossible to recover at this late date, but it would be interesting to know what lady in Surrey had complained about H.W.B.

Abberline, qiuzzed by Swanson, had no record of any of it. But then he wouldn’t necessarily have ever seen it, if it had to do with the inquiriies of a divisional detective in South London, and we don’t know that particular inquiry had anything to do with the Ripper case.

What do you make of the Sept. 23, 1889 ‘Dodger’ letter? Heaven forbid --was Winslow salting the mines?

PS Callaghan’s story could be partially confirmed by a troll through the Daily Telegraph of April, 1888. He states he and his wife had placed an ad in the DT for a lodger on or about that month. Maybe Mr. Knott or someone else could look into that some rainy day in London.
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Old May 22nd, 2007, 02:57 PM   #25
AP Wolf
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Dave, funny enough but there was a Bellsmith who went to Africa around that time, but to Kenya, and he got himself shot and murdered in Malindi by a local bandit.
I must dig out the dates.

The 'Toronto Truss Company' bothers me as well. Surely the 'Toronto Trust Company' is meant?
How many Trusses did London need in the LVP?
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Old May 22nd, 2007, 04:57 PM   #26
Dave Knott
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AP,

Yes - there have been a few interesting incidents involving Bellsmiths through the years.

Regarding the Toronto Trust Society, I have never found any trace of such an organisation. I think it might have been connected to another socialist group, which seems to have been HWB's thing.

I think that 'Truss Society' is a red herring thrown in by the authors of the A-Z on the basis that the offices of the City Of London Truss Society (for the ruptured poor!) had offices in the vicinity of Bellsmith's lodgings.

I have discovered some more of HWB's writings which are being sent over to me in England, so hopefully I will have some more to report soon.

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Old May 22nd, 2007, 06:23 PM   #27
AP Wolf
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Thanks David, there were in fact two 'trust' companies operating out of Toronto in the years that concern us.
The 'National Trust Company' of Toronto and the 'Union Trust Company' of Toronto.
My feeling is that it is much more likely that Bellsmith was a representative of such a company in London - heavily involved in the stocks and shares of new electricity companies and the like - and this could explain the many hours he spent scribbling in books... as some kind of accountant.
I mean how much can you write about a truss?
'Okay, Wentworth, we're sending you to London to see what the truss market is like over there, perhaps there's a killing to be made amongst the ruptured lords of blighty, never mind electricity, the truss is the way forward...'
Errr. I don't think so.
Good thread, David, lots to think about.
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 04:56 AM   #28
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AP, Thanks for your comments.

To me, the use of the words 'Trust Society' rather than 'Trust Company' implies something of a more charitable nature, as does the statement that his purpose in England was to 'raise money'.

I think that HWB's book supports the notion that he was a charitable / political fund-raiser (but certainly nothing to do with trusses!)

I did wonder whether the organisation in question might have been the St Georges Society of Toronto Charitable Trust Fund, which looked after poor English immigrants (still going to this day)

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Old May 23rd, 2007, 05:45 AM   #29
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With regard to the St Georges Society, I have e-mailed them to see if their membership records show anything - interestingly there was another St Georges Society in New York (where HWB ended up), that had the same stated purpose.
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 12:16 PM   #30
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The executive director of the St Georges Society has replied already - HWB was not a member, but his older brother Frederic Marlett was, so there is a connection!
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