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Newcomers Forum Forum for newcomers to the mystery of Jack the Ripper and/or JTRForums.com

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Old March 19th, 2016, 06:17 PM   #1
Howard Brown
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Default Diamonds In The Rough : Pointing Out Positives In The LVP Press

I had planned on presenting a piece for the 2016 Baltimore Convention, discussing the contemporary articles found in the press of the day which have been of great value or perhaps, misdirection, to the modern researcher...but I eventually decided to do so here to a larger audience ( Newcomers to the field and to The Forums ) and in a place in which the presentation might be more appreciated by people who like to roll their sleeves up and work. More of a primer to newcomers who have a desire to trawl papers and become actively involved in improving upon the history of this Case.

More to come.
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Old March 20th, 2016, 06:31 AM   #2
Adam Went
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Nice idea, How. I'll repost the link to the little topic I wrote up about the "East End Murderer" article a couple of years back - this might be of some interest to newcomers, especially if they are familiar with the Druitt's:

http://jtrforums.com/showthread.php?...t=dissertation

Cheers,
Adam.
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Old March 20th, 2016, 06:38 AM   #3
Howard Brown
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Thanks AW.
By the way, anyone who would like to contribute to this thread is welcome.
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Old March 20th, 2016, 06:50 PM   #4
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Default Establishing Historic & Localized Archives

One of the things that I do when I trawl papers is focus on one city in whatever country for a period of time and post as many articles of relevance, directly or peripherally, to the Case.

Not only do I do this to demonstrate what local editors and reporters had to say about the crimes to display the often unique differences found between each paper's copy.....but to give researchers an idea of what people in those cities read when they read about the crimes, starting in mid 1888 onward.

Someone in Boston didn't necessarily read the same Case related material that someone in Wilkes-Barre read...or in Cardiff viz Manchester. I think its a positive thing for researchers to have these different volumes, not only for comparative reasons, but for historic ones as well. The researcher will have nearly all ( assuming I overlook one or more) the articles a particular city newspaper contained.

This is why you'll see the same article found ( i.e., the early 1889 story which touched on the Tunisian sailor who the police were said to have had some interest in....a disputable contention, to be honest ) on several threads and in several individual newspapers.
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Old March 20th, 2016, 06:59 PM   #5
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Default Scouring Repositories & Different Editions

We've had a few instances of researchers (for example, Debra Arif and Chris Scott ) not being able to access something that another researcher could although they each had the same newspaper at their disposal.

This is because some of the newspaper troves publish different editions of the same newspaper. The 'Georgina Green' story is a good example.

A couple of years ago, I was able to find an article about Ms. Green in Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper in the month of May of 1888. Green had been stabbed in the head. The one paragraph gave little information on the woman and none on the perpetrator. That this occurred on the edge of the Autumn of Terror is interesting. There's obviously no evidence that Green was an early assault victim of the Ripper....but we now, at least, know there was an assault on a female on the streets of Whitechapel that had hitherto been unreported.

The only reason I was able to locate it is that my trove had a specific edition of that Lloyd's paper that Chris and Debs didn't. A couple of other researchers provided some additional information ( inconclusive, at present) based on the original find.

This is why its essential that a successful Ripper site needs to have access to as many newspaper sources as possible.
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Old March 20th, 2016, 07:31 PM   #6
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Default Turning Articles Into Discussion Threads

One of the things the Forums has done regularly since its inception is utilize newspaper stories, to a greater extent than any other site, in establishing discussion threads from the articles.

I don't think articles receive as much comment as they ought to. As with so many other things in newspaper research, discussion may lead to other new avenues of inquiry and inspire someone to use said article(s) to bolster their research which may or may not lead into an article on the subject matter.
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Old March 22nd, 2016, 12:52 PM   #7
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Default Paved With Good Intentions

My intention ….of this speech was to encourage people to get involved for the first time or to come back to the papers. There are a few reasons why.

Most, if not all, of the folks on the Forums, either know or will agree on two things. One….that there is really no substitute for Case related facts like the original Met Police files….the Home Office files....fortunately available in the Ultimate Sourcebook. Some researchers will attempt to interpret what these files say to suit their agenda, while others accept them as they are, warts and all. The second point is that the contemporary newspapers, whether in the UK or outside Britain, are not only unreliable sources of official police information ( the Inquests aside ) but they were vehicles of politically tinged propaganda, left and right, that the crimes were the newspapers means to increase sales , in numerous cases, either incomplete or fabricated stories.

That’s not to say that there weren’t reporters who went to great length to secure the most accurate story possible, but far too often the papers left out or added to a story, thereby making it unreliable for the contemporary reader and modern 21st century researcher in terms of providing the public and ourselves concrete and unassailable facts.
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Old March 22nd, 2016, 12:55 PM   #8
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Default Guessing Game







Headlines such as these are similar to the headlines we find in modern tabloids...articles pushing emaciated poets, quack doctors, or in some cases, one's own family member.....solution after solution....one of the oldest and perhaps the longest lasting characteristic found within the Ripper related newspaper legacy.

Due to the reticence of the police to release information at the pace that the competitive and inquisitive newspapers desired, many papers led articles off with headers such as these. That they did so is understandable when we consider how horrible the details of the murders were…As members of the public at large, we’d certainly want to be kept up to speed on the progress of the police if we lived within a square mile of these crimes….and hundreds of thousands of people did. Business men in the area certainly did, as many businesses suffered for weeks on end from the elusiveness of the killer and the lack of success on the part of the police. We may disregard the pompous musings uttered years later by Sir Robert Anderson who stated that no one, save one class of women, was ever in jeopardy of running into the murderer. At the time of the murders, no one knew who or how many victims the Ripper would tally. To say otherwise was rather callous of Anderson. IMHO.
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Old March 22nd, 2016, 01:05 PM   #9
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Default A Hard Core Cadre

Ripperology profits from the efforts of people who spend time with their noses buried in newspapers and other periodicals.

A number of the finds which have nudged the Case study forward have been people such as the late Chris Scott :


Chris Phillips and Rob Clack


...and Debra Arif...whose contributions need no refresher course.


Other folks such as Jerry Dunlop, Edward Stow, Gary Barnett, and Dave James and many others have also made contributions to the Forums and the field....
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Old March 22nd, 2016, 02:31 PM   #10
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It isn’t entirely far fetched that some of those bombastic headers were created by the newspaper staff in order to elicit information from a member of the police force... If the police weren’t forthcoming with information that the press could use, this might have been a way for them to obtain it in order to get the true story. There's more than one way to skin a cat.

However……..in light of the fact files have gone missing or have been appropriated….we find ourselves having to piece things together from time to time from the contemporary papers….if not with the desired accuracy, then as close as it can be at this point in time.
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