Jack The Ripper Forums  - Ripperology For The 21st Century  

Go Back   Jack The Ripper Forums - Ripperology For The 21st Century > JTRForums Competition Forum > The One On One

The One On One Debating forum...

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old February 11th, 2008, 11:13 PM   #11
Stan Russo
Former Member
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Paul,

I think it should be noted that we run the risk of convoluting our arguments with so much information being given, on both ends.

It is important to understand that within any theory there are elements that may be incorrect, such as you have officially pointed out, yet the theory does not need to be discarded or thrown away because of it.

Case in point, if the threatening letter, referred to by Swanson, was this 1893 letter from Townsend, this by no means verifies that there was a suspect ID. I have not been privy to the additional scribblings of Swanson in his personal copy of Anderson's 1910 book, yet there still exists a number of issues that you are claiming that there is "little point in examining", such as the Balfour letter, which was seen by MacNaghten, was a Special Branch document and was a threatening letter.

Even you can admit that it is not out of the realm of possibility that one could see a connection between what Swanson wrote and what Browne and Strauss saw, which has been verified by Monro. The threatening letter by Townsend still does not invalidate what I have referred to in my post, even though you believe it does. I understand that you have seen one element of my theory as incorrect - to believe that this invalidates the rest of my theory or warrants not examining other issues within my theory seems nonsensical.

And, there still exists, the Balfour letter.

And there still exists a recollection of rough jottings of the MacNaghten Memo. Of course one must question whether or not the version seen by Philip Loftus can be taken at face value, whether it be from a faulty memory or whether it was nothing more than an attempt to get his name in the press. However, since we have a very important question that seems to have been ignored for many years, which is perfectly answered by the existence of this document, I lean toward the side that Loftus' memory was not faulty and that his remeberences of this document are as accurate as he claims. Once again, there is no reason to challenge his credibility, so that is not a question. His memory may be faulty, so what he says must be examined, however, when what Loftus says makes such sense as to answer an incredibly important question of the case, dismissing it due to 'alleged' bad memory or perhaps because you don't like it, seems inconsistent with what you say in other cases, such as on the Anderson up or Anderson down thread. Just because we do not have it as documented proof, does not mean it did not exist.

I am never one to use the above ideology, yet it is what Loftus says about this earlier version, that leads me to believe it was the early draft of MacNaghten's memo, probably made sometime in or around 1891. Why 1891? The answer is another analyses of the information provided in pieces here and there, but he had to do something to get back in the good graces of the CID. If finally finding what he thought was an answer to JTR question, this may have got him back in the good graces of the CID for a variety of reasons, most notably because he could finally get back to his job but more probably the reason was because he was not bothering Anderson and or Swanson about the JTR case, including the letter threatening to assassinate Balfour that was in some way connected to the JTR murders.

A few statements must be made about points I made that have gone unanswered:

You still have not given me any reason why MacNaghten was almost transferred from the CID in 1890.
You still have not given me any reason why suddenly, in 1891, he was back in their good graces.
You still have not addressed the Balfour threatening letter.
You still have not addressed the key element to validate the existence of the Loftus/Donner early draft of the MacNaghten Memo.

Perhaps the notion of why MacNaghten was specifically chosen to write the 1894 internal memo should be addressed again:

Why MacNaghten?

So far, I have not seen one valid explanation of why Melville MacNaghten was chosen to invalidate the candidacy of Thomas Cutbush as JTR.

In my theory, which I have laid out, MacNaghten was specifically chosen by Anderson to write this internal memo because he had already gathered enough information on Cutbush to name his as one of his three likely suspects, in his original verison. Of course, we know that MacNaghten's preferred suspect was Druitt, indicated by his 2 later versions of the memo. Do you think it would be that difficult to ask him to refute the Sun's allegations of Cutbush, especially since he was head over heels with Druitt as the murderer and had already gathered information on Cutbush? So why MacNaghten? Well, it seems pretty simple as to why, if you accept that the Loftus/Donner version did actually exist and that the man who went around stabbing girls with nail scissors was Cutbush, which would place the early draft at or around some time after March, 1891.

MacNaghten was not pro-Cutbush, in the same way that he was most decidely not pro-Kosminski or pro-Ostrog. However, there exists no reason whatsoever for MacNaghten to write a memo on refuting Cutbush as JTR when he did not work one day on the actual murder case, unless,and this is a pretty important unless, he actually had investigated Cutbush enough to be able to write a refutation about him. Even from the Loftus/Donner version,if one accepts that it did exist, you get the feeling that Druitt was his primary suspect, because he is the only suspect that MacNaghten actually names. that is important when it comes time to see where and why he got the name Kosminski, for his Polish Jew cobbler/tanner nicknamed Leather Apron.

I think its important to reiterate that MacNaghten was not pro-Polish Jew/cobbler/tanner Leather Apron either. His guy was Druitt, as clearly indicated above. In examining the Lady Aberconway version that Dan Farson used for his 1959 show and subsequent books in the 1960's (by other authors as well) and 1970's, and comparing it to the official document in the Scotland Yard files, there is a distinct difference in how Kosminski is addresed as a suspect. An examination of this leads one to believe, since MacNaghten was solidly pro-Druitt, that perhaps the official version was edited for content and evened out a bit not to overtly favor Druitt, as the Lady Aberconway version does, and simply name 2 other suspects but to promote Druitt as MacNaghten's suspect and offer/imply that Kosminski was a valid suspect as well. Ostrog remains almost an after thought in both versions.

If that does not wreak of Anderson's editing handiwork then perhaps we should never make any analyses of anything at all and simply hold hands and try and have JTR parties every year. What I am getting at is that this is an unsolved murder case and it appears that the notion of hypothetical analyses is under attack. If one element of a theory is incorrect, and we still do not know for an absolute fact that MacNaghten did not bring the Balfour letter he saw to Anderson's attention but only that it is most likely not the threatening letter written about by Swanson, then the whole theory must be flawed. In this instance, theories as a whole are under attack, not just facts within them.

Still, we have the issue of MacNaghten discovering a document that would have been a Special Branch document and who do you think he would have asked about that, being the known Ripperphile that he was? If he didn't go to Monro, his friend, it would have been none other than Anderson. If Monro told him that there was a Fenian element to the JTR murders, do you honestly think that Anderson, who is the only logical choice in giving the name of the Polish Jew to MacNaghten, would not have told him anything to get him off that scent?

And we didn't even go into Tumblety.
  Reply With Quote
Old February 12th, 2008, 03:56 AM   #12
Paul
Registered User
 
Paul's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,064
Default

Stan,
Let's deal with one point at a time: your contention is that Macnaghten saw a document he was not authorised to see and that as a consequence Anderson invented the suspect ID story, and you believe that what Macnaghten saw was a letter threatening the life of Balfour and that that letter was the same letter as te one he so vexed Anderson over.

Well, the letter he vexed Anderson over had nothing whatsoever to do with Balfour, but was sent to Macnaghten, threatened Macnaghten's life and was written by Townsend probably in 1893. It was not what Browne/Strauss saw because Anderson had thrown the letter on the fire and destroyed it (the whole point of Anderson's anecdote). And I am not referring to additional 'scribblings' by Swanson of which you are unaware, the quote I gave about the letter from Townsend threatening Macnaghten's life is from The Lighter Side of My Official Life by Robert Anderson. Swanson merely made a marginal gloss identifying the recipient, unnamed by Anderson, as Macnaghten.

Turning to the Balfour letter. There is no Balfour letter. Or perhaps I have misunderstood you and I don't know which letter you are talking about. The threatening letter threatened MAcnaghten's life and had nothing to do with Balfour. We do not know that whatever Browne/Strauss saw was a letter, all we know is that Browne/Strauss saw something which led them to conclude that Macnaghten possibly thought Jack the Ripper was the leader of a plot to assassinate Balfour. However, what they wrote was, ‘A third head of the CID, Sir Melville Macnaghten, appears to identify the Ripper with the leader of a plot to assassinate Mr Balfour at the Irish Office.’ There is reason to suppose that what they saw was a letter and please also note the word 'appears', which implies that they were less than certain and that whatever they saw was not an explicit statement of fact.

There is no reason to connect what Browne/Strauss saw with the threatening letter, or, and this is important, to suppose that either was information Macnaghten should not have seen. And if there was no reason for him not to have seen it, there is no reason for Anderson to have invented the suspect ID story.

As far as Loftus is concerned, sorry Stan but there do exist reasons to question Loftus's credability, at least as far as his memory of what he saw is concerned. Look, the memoranda was specifically written to refute the claims in the Sun that Cutbush was Jack the Ripper. The memoranda therefore would never have named Cutbush amoing the suspects. Loftus's memory therefore has to be at fault. The only alternative possibility is that Loftus did not see an early draft of the memoranda, but saw an altogether different document, but in that case we don't know the context in which the suspect's were named or the date it was written.

To reiterate, the memoranda because of the Sun articles which were published in 1894. An early draft of that document therefore has to post-date 1894. If whatever Loftus saw pr-dated 1894 then it was not and could not have been a draft of the memorandum, but would have to have been a different document, albeit one that Macnaghten drew upon for the memorandum. But we don't know that it predates the memorandum. It could post-date it.

Now, your hypothesis is built upon the foundation of Macnaghten having seen something he shouldn't have seen and which necessitated the invention of the suspect ID. You postulate that this was a document linking the murders to a plot to assassinate Balfour, and you believe this document was the letter that vexed Anderson.

The FACT is that the letter that vexed Anderson was sent to Macnaghten and had nothing whatsoever to do with a plot to assassinate Balfour, that it was destroyed by Anderson and cannot have been what Browne/Strauss saw, and that whatever Browne/Strauss saw it was not explicit. And on top of that, whatever Browne/Strauss saw, there is not one scintilla of evidence that Macnaghten should not have been party to it. All your other stuff is very largely irrelevant.
Paul is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 12th, 2008, 11:22 PM   #13
Stan Russo
Former Member
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Paul,

Let's step back for a second. I have conceded the point that I was incorrect regarding the particular letter Swanson was referring to in his Marginalia. I accept that. I still do not see how my entire argument is based upon that one miscalculation. I guess we're throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

Turning to the Balfour letter. I find it strange that you positively exclaim that there was no letter, despite independant verification from James Monro, the head of the Special Branch himself. However, since we have never seen this threatening letter, despite additional confirmation, we must assume it did not exist? Once again, I have to point out the error in consistency.

First let's examine a few things about this issue. Monro stated that the Fenians planned a system of assassination attempts against eminent officials, most notably Balfour. According to Nick Warren, Monro sent what he referred to as a direct incitement to the assassination of Balfour, in June of 1889, to Henry Matthews. I have to directly ask the question - what could Monro have sent to Matthews?

Even if you could argue that Monro sent Matthews information not from a document he saw outlining the assassination attempt on Balfour, there still exists something that MacNaghten saw, enough to validate the Browne/Strauss comment in their 1956 book, because they saw something that gave them the "appearance" that MacNaghten connected this assassination attempt on Balfour to the JTR murders.. Incidentally, according to Nick Warren, the issue of Monro sending Matthews confirmation of an assassinateion attempt against Balfour, appears in the 1956 book as well.

If Anderson is a reliable source, which many, including myself disagree, for different reasons, then you would have to argue that James Monro was as reliable a source as Anderson. How do you rationalize what he said in his personal memoirs regarding this Balfour assassination. Additionally, please address how Browne/Strauss saw something that "appeared" to them that MacNaghten may have connected this assassination attempt of Balfour to the JTR murders?

Additionally, do you acknowledge the difference between the CID and the Special Branch? If so, do you then acknowledge that if there was anything to connect a Fenian assassination attempt on Balfour to the murders, even if it was a letter, which seems to be apparently a far-fetched notion, it would be a Special Branch document? If you agree to that, which I continue because I cannot see how anyone who understands the case as you do could disagree with either of those statements, do you agree that MacNaghten, not having been a Special Branch officer, would not have had free access to Special Branch documents? If you agree to that, which once again I can't see how one cannot, do you agree that if MacNaghten saw a Special Branch document, such as an assassination attempt on Balfour connected to the JTR murders, whether it was a threatening letter, which the dicsovery of an assassination attempt usually goes hand in hand with, a Special Branch officer would be the first person he went for an explanation of this discovery, having been a known Ripperphile?

What I am getting at here, which you seem not to grasp from what I am saying, with all due respect, is that there is multiple confirmation of an assassination attempt on Balfour, which has been connected to MacNaghten identifying the leader of this plot with the JTR murders, yet for some reason, you find it necessary to speculate on the fact that it was most definately not a letter, due to the fact that I was incorrect about the threatening letter referred to by Swanson in his Marginalia.

Additionally, since I made this mistake, which I find to be an honest one when looking over the circumstances laid out above, all backed up by sources, with of course the glaring omission of anyone ever mentioning the word "letter", you find the entire rest of my theory unworthy of discussion based on this monumentally minute (an oxymoron I know) miscalculation.

I'm at a loss here, because I respect what you have done in the field and your knowledge of the case. I am glad you pointed out that the threatening letter was from Townsend in 1893 and not the one I believed it was. I have no problem being corrected if I am wrong. However, all I am seeing here is throwing the baby out with bathwater. Now that I have admitted, for the second time, that I was mistaken about the threatening letter, is it really productive to argue the merits of whether or not what Monro forwarded to Matthews & what MacNaghten saw to connect the Balfour plot leader to the murders & what Browne/Strauss saw to give them the impression of what MacNaghten saw to connect this, was actually a "letter"? Is it more plausible that Monro had a spy within the Fenians supply him the information and they shipped him around for Matthews to get this information, stick him in a file room for MacNaghten to discover and bury him in the files for Browne/Strauss to have seen?

That last part was sarcastic but I feel well deserved. I honestly feel that the struggle to keep hold of Anderson's credibility, in the face of many contradictory opinions and information that seems to be picked apart by stalemate arguments, is seriously affecting this debate.

Take your Loftus/MacNaghten memo comments as a perfect example.

I argued that the version Loftus saw must have been an early version of the Memorandum he was asked/told to write in 1894. I fully understand that the 1894 internal memo was specifically designed to refute the 1894 allegations by the Sun against Thomas Cutbush, therefore you are correct that it was not a "DRAFT" of the document. The possibility that it was the precursor for the assignation of MacNaghten to write the document now becomes a moot issue because of the accident in describing what should have been patently obvious within my argument, as I clearly stated that I believed the early draft, which now I must clarify was not an early draft of a document MacNaghten could not have known he would write 2-3 years later, but his early musings on the identity of JTR. I thought by explaining as much as I did my notion would be patently obvious. However, it was clearly not and the concept that this version, as I claim it existed, could possibly post-date the 1894 memo, which is of course preposterous but I believe the indended goal of arguing that I could believe that.

I'll close the same way you close, with the exception of trying to progress the argument, rather than stalling one side of it. I think we all get it, I was mistaken about the threatening letter that Swanson referred to, but you keep harping on that in the attempt to state that my entire argument is invalid. Plus, you have not addressed why MacNaghten was chosen to write the memo refuting Cutbush? I only ask that you take a moment to understand that I know, or believe that Cutbush was one of his early suspects, but I allow for the fact that since MacNaghten did not fully believe in his guilt as JTR, he would have been able to alter his opinions and use the information he gathered initially to argue that he was one of three likely suspects to argue against his candidacy, especially since he wholeheartedly believed in Druitt.
  Reply With Quote
Old February 13th, 2008, 09:50 AM   #14
Paul
Registered User
 
Paul's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,064
Default

Stan,

Balfour Letter
Perhaps you could remind what what letter this is. I am aware that James Monro wrote of a plot to assassinate Balfour, but I don't recall any mention of this being revealed in a letter.

Macnaghten
Frankly, I don't know that Macnaghten would necessarilly have been unauthorised to see 'Special Branch' documents relatng to the Fenians. But even if he did see highly confidential documents he was a serior policeman who could be trusted and was anyway subject to non-disclosure rules.

Balfour and Browne/Strauss
Browne/Strauss wrote, ‘A third head of the CID, Sir Melville Macnaghten, appears to identify the Ripper with the leader of a plot to assassinate Mr Balfour at the Irish Office.’ As already stated, the word 'appears' means that Browne/Strauss did not see an expicit statement to that effect, but saw something which either gave that impression to them or it was an impression received by the author of the document they saw. Furthermore, we could possibly deduce that whatever they saw, it was not a letter from someone else that connected the plot with the Ripper because such a letter would not have conveyed the impression that Macnaghten accepted or believed it. It would, on the contrary, most likely have been a report or a summary of a report, presumably by Macnaghten or referring to Macnaghten, in which the Balfour plot and the Ripper were discussed in such a way as to suggest to Browne/Strauss that Macnaghten accepted a link between the two.

Assassination Plot
As I understand it, in 1888 the Fenians planned a campaign of assassinations aimed especially at killing Balfour and it was put in the hands of General Millen, who the previous year had been in charge of the Jubilee Plot, and he travelled to Boulogne where he was confronted by Chief Constable Williamson. Another man involved in the plot, Roger McKenna, was seen in Paris and basically told that he was under close surveillance. The leading perpetrator in England, a man called Walsh, was exposed and the plot came to nothing. As far as we know none of these men had anything whatsoever to do with the Jack the Ripper murders and the only possible connection was that one of the men involved in the Jubilee Plot the previous year, Michael Harkins, had attracted the attention of H Division who reported him to Monro and the Secret Department kept him under observation. Early in 1888 Harkins was sentenced to 15-years in prison.

It is hugely difficult to understand how the plot of 1888 could tie in with the Ripper crimes at all, especially as all three of the 'leaders' are known to us and apparently had no known connection with the crimes, so the most obvious and simple solution is that Browne/Strauss misunderstood whatever it was they saw, a possibility perhaps supported by an uncertainty suggested by their use of the word 'apparently' and by the fact that we know that within a few years of joining the Met Macnaghten received information which apparently convinced him that Druitt was the murderer, and Druitt (if indeed he was the man about whom Macnaghten received private information) has no apparant connection with the Fenians or plots to assassinate anyone.

Loftus
As stated, Loftus either saw an early draft of the memorandum, or he saw an altogether different document. Since you acknowledge that a draft of the memorandum would not have named Cutbush as a suspect, what Loftus was a distinct document. If that was the case then we don't know the context of the document or when it was written. In other words, whilst it could pre-date the memorandum of 1894, it could equally post-date it. You suggest that it pre-dated the memorandum, but is there any evidence whatsoever to support that?

Conclusion
You argued that Macnaghten saw a letter linking Jack the Ripper with a Fenian plot to assassinate Balfour and that he made such a fuss about this document to Anderson that (a) he was almost transferred to the uniformed branch, and (b) that his inquiried had to be derailed by the invention of the suspect identification story.

But the letter over which he vexed Anderson was not one mentioning the Balfour assassination plot and as it was received three years after the transfer incident it cannot be related to it. Now, the important bit, even if one still allowed that Macnaghen saw something he shouldn't have done, without the evidence that Macnaghten made a fuss over it and vexed Anderson you have no reason to suppose that Anderson would have invented a story to halt further questioning or investigation. That's why I say your argument crumbles. But even if Anderson did have to invent a story, the more probable story for him to have invented was private information implicating Druitt, for it's that story, if any, which derailed the assassination story. And thirdly, there's no reason to suppose that Macnaghten knew about the suspect identification anyway. He doesn't mention it.

I'm sorry, Stan, but what you're asking is that we suppose that Macnaghten may not have been cleared to see a document which we don't know for sure ever existed, which may have made a connection between Jack the Ripper and a Fenian plot to assasinate Balfour which is otherwise without any sort of corroboration and is prima facie improbable, and which was uncertainly made by a writer who saw a now missing document in the 1950s. This we must accept despite the fact that we know that from the early 1890s Macnaghten believed the Ripper to have been Druitt who had no known or even suspected connection with Fenians or assassination plots. And dspite the fact that Macnaghten was a senior policeman who we know of no reason to suppose Anderson had cause to distrust and who was subject to fairly strict non-disclosure rules, we are to suppose that Macnaghten made such a fuss about it, despite the lack of any evidence that he did, that Anderson invented the story of a suspect identification - a story which Macnaghten shows no real sign of having heard - and which prima facie is less likely to have been invented for him than the private information implicating Druitt. And on top of this, instead of swearing Macnaghten to absolute secrecy, Anderson spread the story to Swanson and wrotes about it in his autobiography.

To be honest, Stan, it doesn't sound very likely.
Paul is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 13th, 2008, 10:20 PM   #15
Stan Russo
Former Member
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Paul,

We will go one step at a time.

Do you accept that I acknowledge the threatening letter mentioned by Swanson was not the letter I thought it was?

I only ask because you continue to bring it up despite my mentioning numerous times, in this debate, that I understand in was an error in calucluation.
  Reply With Quote
Old February 14th, 2008, 02:24 AM   #16
Paul
Registered User
 
Paul's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,064
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stan Russo View Post
Paul,

We will go one step at a time.

Do you accept that I acknowledge the threatening letter mentioned by Swanson was not the letter I thought it was?

I only ask because you continue to bring it up despite my mentioning numerous times, in this debate, that I understand in was an error in calucluation.
Yes, I accept that.

However, you asked why I thought your theory collapsed because the threatening letter wasn't what you thought it was, so I pointed out that even if Macnaghten saw material he was not authorised to see, if there was no evdence that he made a fuss and vexed Anderson about it then there would be no reason to suppose that Anderson would have had to invent the suspect identification story to stop Macnaghten pursuing it, thus your theory collapseed because for all we know Macnaghten saw material he was fully authorised to see, behaved stictly according to the rules of disclosure and did not need to be dissuaded from pursuing any inquiries. End of story.
Paul is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 14th, 2008, 01:34 PM   #17
Stan Russo
Former Member
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Okay then, I guess the story and debate are ended.
  Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Anderson and the Theft of Official Documents SPE Sir Robert Anderson 11 February 23rd, 2011 01:00 PM
Profiles of Anderson SPE Sir Robert Anderson 3 September 9th, 2010 07:08 PM
Messrs. Begg & Fido On Sir Robert Anderson Jeff Leahy Sir Robert Anderson 648 May 19th, 2010 03:46 PM
Begg Narrowly Escapes Death !!!!!!!!!!!!! Howard Brown People 1 October 26th, 2008 10:35 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:34 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.10 Beta 2
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright @ Howard & Nina Brown 2015-2022