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Casebook: Jack the Ripper - Message Boards » Letters and Communications » Harry Dam « Previous Next »

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Chris Scott
Inspector
Username: Chris

Post Number: 392
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Wednesday, August 13, 2003 - 6:42 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The A-Z entry for Harry Dam, who worked for the Star, reports an allegation that he was reponsible for accusation that Pizer was known as Leather Apron. I have today found an article from the Woodland Democrat (California) dated 5 December 1890 which goes further and reports a story current that Dam, whom they name, was the journalist reponsible for the Jack the Ripper letters.
Thought this might be of interest.
Chris


damletters
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Chris Scott
Inspector
Username: Chris

Post Number: 395
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Thursday, August 14, 2003 - 10:08 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi i'm doing some background research about Harry Dam.
He was editor of a student journal called the Blue and Gold at UC Berkeley:

Their website gives this info about the publication:
One of the oldest publications was the Blue and Gold, which began in 1875 as a record of the college year published by the Associated Students. In 1965, Blue and Gold circulation averaged 5,000 copies

And on the same site they have a list of the editors (first few entries given)

Editors of the Blue and Gold

Harry Dam 1873-74
C. B. Overacker 1874-75
Peter T. Riley 1875-76
Alex Morrison 1876-77

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Thomas C. Wescott
Police Constable
Username: Tom_wescott

Post Number: 6
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Monday, August 25, 2003 - 10:15 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Good work Chris! Perhaps this is the "provincial colleague" referred to by Mr. Best, who also claims to have worked at the Star and hoaxed Ripper letters. My personal feeling is still that Best & co. at most hoaxed the letters that went to the Star, as opposed to what I refer to as the 'primary Ripper letters'.

Yours truly,

Tom Wescott
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Christopher T George
Inspector
Username: Chrisg

Post Number: 301
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Monday, August 25, 2003 - 11:18 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Chris:

Hot Dam, Chris! I am as ever impressed with the wonderful nuggets of information that you are unearthing. By my count, Harry Dam would make the third journalist who has been named as a possibility for writing the Ripper letters (or more specifically the original Dear Boss letters), if we count as the others previously named, Thomas J. Bulling of the Central News Agency and the journalist Best with the Star.

All the best (no pun intended!)

Chris
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Scott Nelson
Sergeant
Username: Snelson

Post Number: 28
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Monday, August 25, 2003 - 3:50 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

U.C. Berkeley is my alma mater and I stll live fairly close. I will try to find time to see if I can locate samples of Dam's handwritting, if it exists.
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Christopher T George
Inspector
Username: Chrisg

Post Number: 306
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 11:29 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi, All:

There is a PDF file for a Jack the Ripper game that claims that:

"He [Pizer] twice received compensation for falsely being accused of being Jack the Ripper; once being awarded f[?]10 damages from Harry Dam (reporter for the Star) and 10 shillings from Emily Patswold on October 10, 1888. Pizer died in July, 1897."

The statement is not otherwise referenced as to source(s).

All the best

Chris
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Christopher T George
Inspector
Username: Chrisg

Post Number: 307
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 11:44 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi, all--

It also appears that Harry Dam or his father (or possibly another relative with the same name) was editor in the 1880's of the magazine The Wasp which employed the writer Ambrose Bierce. See "Bastard out of California: Ambrose Bierce as a Pre-Muckraker" by Andrew Hicks. This article also mentions Richard Harding Davis, another American who wrote from London about the murders, and who is said to have interviewed Sir Robert Anderson in 1889, an article a number of us are trying to track down.

All the best

Chris
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Jeffrey Bloomfied
Inspector
Username: Mayerling

Post Number: 203
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Tuesday, December 23, 2003 - 11:19 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Chris,

Is it possible that our west coast reporter, Mr. Dam, may have been a member of the Bohemian Club of San Francisco, whose members included Bierce and William Greer Harrison? Harrison had his
talk with Dr. Howard about Robert Lees solving the Jack the Ripper Murders, that was reported in the Chicago newspaper in 1896.

Best wishes,

Jeff
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Christopher T George
Chief Inspector
Username: Chrisg

Post Number: 505
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Wednesday, December 24, 2003 - 4:44 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi, Jeff

You bring up an interesting possibility that journalist Harry Dam may have been a member of the Bohemian Club of San Francisco, whose members included Ambrose Bierce and William Greer Harrison. This might be an aspect of the case that would bear further investigation. Thanks for the tip. wink

All the best

Chris
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Jeffrey Bloomfied
Inspector
Username: Mayerling

Post Number: 204
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Wednesday, December 24, 2003 - 7:54 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Chris (and Merry Christmas),

I wrote too quickly. In the Chicago newspaper item about Harrison's conversation with Dr. Howard, it said they were reporting what the story was in the conversation, but the conversation was originally at the Bohemian Club in San Francisco (supposedly). That is why Dam's
connection to Bierce, San Francisco, and possibly the Club, can be significant.

Jeff

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