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Casebook: Jack the Ripper - Message Boards » Suspects » Deeming, Frederick » Deeming in jail « Previous Next »

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Chris Scott
Chief Inspector
Username: Chris

Post Number: 672
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Sunday, November 02, 2003 - 7:39 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

This long article gives a very detailed - almost obsessively detailed - account of deeming and his day to day existence and shows the high level of interest in all aspects of the case

Port Philip Herald (Australia)
2 April 1892



London, 2nd April.
The police have been investigating the movements of the man Frederick Bailey Deeming (who is believed to be identical with the man under arrest with the Windsor murder), about the time of the Whitechapel murders.
It now appears that Deeming with his wife stayed at Devonport in November, 1888. He subsequently left that place very suddenly, and went to London, leaving his wife in Devonport utterly destitute.
Two days later the country rang with the announcement of a murder in Whitechapel, and the mutilation of the unfortunate victim.
A week passed and Deeming telegraphed to his wife to join him in Weymouth, which she did.



Adelaide, This Day.
The Kaiser Wilhelm arrived at Larga bay this morning.
The photo of Deeming was at once shown by the police to Captain Stormer and Purser Bottcher.
They identified it as that of Williams, a passenger who, with his wife, came out to Melbourne in the steamer on her last voyage.
Captain Stormer says Williams was a most disagreeable passenger, constantly making ridiculous complaints, and that he was huilty of various kinds of malpractice on board.


The manner in which Williams is behaving in the Melbourne Gaol is naturally a subject of much interest this morning, as yesterday afternoon he was in a great rage, and there was every reason to suppose he was going to prove a very cantankerous prisoner indeed. He found fault with everything, and marched about his cell in a frenzy of rage with all people who saw him. This morning, however, he appears to have quitened down. The quiet, but, nevertheless, determined advice of Mr. Foy, the deputy governor, has evidently had a good effect. At any rate, after Williams had been identified by Detectives Brandt and Mr. webster last evening - very much to his astonishment be it said - he lay down, and was soon sleeping like a babe, so far as being free of troublous dreams or fancies was concerned. He slept without a movement for about six hours, and was a little unsettle when he woke at the prospect of bare prison walls looking cold and grim upon him in place of the comfortable surroundings of the Ballaarat. However he soon recovered, and in a short space of time was as cheerful as anyone could possibly be under the circumstances. At the usual breakfast hour in the prison a sumptuous repast was brought to the prisoner, which he enjoyed mightily. It was an elaborate <illegible>, through all the courses served up in the most modern cookery of the gaol. This of course was not the prisoner's first experience of skilly, but he took to the wholesome dish quite calmly after the rich fare he had been used to latterly at the variety of wedding breakfasts he has attended. It was stated yesterday that some arrangement might be made for him to get his food outside of the prison until he was found guilty, but up to the present that arrangement has not been carried into effect. It is true Williams looked rather grimly at the dish placed before him, and muttered something uncomplimentary, but this was all that took place. He said that he had slept remarkably well, and felt as fit as possible. His quarters have not been changed nor are they likely to be, while the guard, in the shape of the warder, keeps ceaseless watch of vigilance.
The prisoner has not yet been able to persuade the police authorities to let him have the spectacles he has sported since his arrest. There is not the slightest possibility of the request being agreed with.
Williams has not been smoking this morning, and in all probability his smoking days will be few and far between after this, because rumour has it his stock of cigars has run out.
This morning the prisoner was visited by Colonel Bull, the Governor of Pentridge; Mr. Shegog, the Governor of the Gaol, and Mr. Foy, the deputy governor. These gentlemen found him much quieter than heretofore, and amenable to reason in some degree.
During the morning he was also visited ny the Church of England chaplain, the Rev. Mr. Scott, of Footscray, who had, however, only a few minutes preliminary conversation with the accused. Mr. Scott has stated he has no objection to the presence of warders at the first few interviews, but after a while will prefer a request that his consultations with Williams should be in ptivate, in order that he will have a better opportunity of touching the spiritual needs of the accused. His request will probably be complied with when made. It is more tha probable, however, that as Williams will be regarded as a dangerous criminal who regards human life as of no value whatever, the Rev. gentleman's friends may point out the injudiciousness of being left alone in the prisoner's company.
Dr. Shields was another of the visitors that the prisoner had this morning, and the Government doctor made a cursory medical examination of his man, but his health did not appear to be such as to require any treatment than that given to him at breakfast.


Detective Considine and Cawsey assisted by Mr. Max Hirschfeldt were busily engaged during the whole of the morning in examining the effects of the murderer, which are now at the Detective Office. The collection is a heterogeneous one, and there are many articles which point to the fact that Deeming was a man of most expensive tastes which he gratified, the detectives think, by appropriating when and where he could any articles which took his fancy without consulting the rightful owner. We have been told that while stopping at the Cathedral Hotel it was his practice to have filled daily a spirit flask. Among the goods was found today a hallmarked silver spirit flask, with a monogram formed of the letters F.B.D. and, doubtless, it is identical with the one which he used while stopping at the Cathedral, for when shown to Mr. Vivian he at once identified it as the one which Deeming had in his possession at the time the latter was receiving his hospitality at Hawthorn. Mr. Vivian also identified two single stone diamond rings, one of which he sold privately to Deeming, and the other as one which was purchased from Kilpatrick and Co. Both appear to be very fine stones. There is also a silver watch which was purchased at Kilpatrick's by Deeming.

Of course Deeming's identity with the man, who under the name of Lawson, served a sentence of nine months' imprisonment in Hull Gaol has been fully established by Mr. Webster, who is now on Melbourne on a visit, and was Governor of Hull Gaol at the time. If anything further were needed it would be found in a little pocket timetable for the Liverpool and Rainhill trains. Among the articles of clothing is a navy blue waistcoat, which bears the name, as maker, of F.F. Curtis, Carr lane, Hull. There are a great many articles of feminine wearing apparel in a wicker basket and the portmanteaux. Mr. Hirschfeldt positively identified a hat ornament which was found, as one which Mrs. Williams had worn during the voyage from England. Besides this there are several belts of a peculiar pattern which belonged to the murdered woman. Some dresses, which had been ripped asunder at the seams, will be sworn to as having been worn by Mrs. Williams. One of these is of very peculiar colour and pattern, so that its identification will be very easy. It is noteworthy that there are a great many books of a devotional character and prayer books and Bibles, and these in all probability belonged to Mrs. Williams. Deeming was evidently a member of the Masonic body, for in one of the portmanteaux was found a Masonic apron, and in another a Masonic jewel. The detectives are constantly receiving letters, in which all sorts of suggestions are offered, most of which are of the most absurd character. Detective Cawsey, today, received a letter from a man signing himself "Justice", in which the writer suggested that as Deeming had cut off his moustache, he should, for the purpose of identification, be handcuffed behind his back and a false moustache fixed on to his upper lip. Another called at the Detective Office today, and was anxious to know whether the murderer had received a Bible which he had sent him to Western Australia.
With regard to cutting off of Deeming's moustache, more is likely to be heard of it, as it is said that an Albany police constable is to blame in the matter. It was stated in one of the Melbourne papers that Detective Cawsey had enlisted the services of some marines to assist in the guarding of Deeming on the Ballaarat. There is not the slightest foundation for the statement, as there was a relatively strong guard without outside assistance. Detective Cawsey wishes us to acknowledge his indebtedness to the officers, crew, and eberybody on board the Ballaart, for the kindness they showed him and the pains they went to to facilitate his arrangements.


Late in December last a man called at Ward's cutlery establishment in Swanston street, and producing two amputation knives, which were stained with blood, requested that a perfect edge be put on them. He gave no name, but with a vast assumption of importance he gave Mr. Ward to understand that he must keep these two knives "apart from all others in the shop", and treat them as very special articles that had been left by a very special person. Mr. Ward only remembers at this distance of time, that the man was short and square, and in manner of general bearing corresponded with the published descriptions of Frederick Bayley Deeming. There was, of course, nothing unusual in the fact of two amputating knives being left for restoration, but it was most unusual for such articles to be left by a man who, in appearance and style, was unlike any doctor yet born. No doctor, moreover, when leaving his knives ever draws them across his fingernail as though testing their keenness. Yet that was exactly what this queer customer did. And, furthermore, he volunteered the information that he had just come off one of the mail boats. The blood stains naturally attracted attention when the knives were in such strange hands, and Mr. Ward remarked, "Some blood on them, sir." "Yes," said the visitor, "they are stained certainly, but that's not blood; the fact is that on the voyage out I used them for cutting lemons and the acid has discolored them." This extraordinary explanation was accepted for what it was worth, and the knives were sharpened and taken away by the same man in a day or two. The knives were an old fashioned pair, and the man said that he was going to get one of them nickel plated. Curiously enough, a gentleman named max Hirschfeldt had been to the shop a few days previously.


The steamer Ballaarat left Port Melbourne for Sydney after 1 o'clock this afternoon. There was a large gathering on the pier before she cast off, and considerable interest was aroused when it became known that Miss Rounsefell, the intended bride of the now notorious Williams or Deeming, was on board the steamer.
Miss Rounsefell, who was accompanied to the pier by a gentleman friend, seemed quite unconcerned, and looked bright and happy. Her companion did not go on board with her but remained on the pier. Miss Rounsefell, on going on board, was introduced to Captain Ashdown. She made enquiries concerning the manner in which Williams had been treated on the steamer, and at her special request, the quarters occupied by the prisoner and his custodians were shown to her.
Captain T. Ashdown in a peculiar way ecpressed a hope that the choice of a husband would not be attended with such difficulties as in the past.
One matter escaped the notice of the vigilant reporters on board the Ballaarat in connection with Williams. The captain in making his usual daily rounds of the vessel called at the special cabin occupied by the prisoner. Detective Cawsey was informed of the presence of the commander of the vessel, and this intelligence being conveyed to the prisoner, he at once held out his hand and expressed a wish to make the captain's acquaintance.
Captain Ashdown, however, briefly replied that as all things were comfortable, and there were no complaints made by any in the special compartment, there was no necessity for shaking hands with anybody.


This afternoon Dr. Neild, who will preside at the inquest on Deeming's last unfortunate victim, paid a visit to the City Court buildings, and looked especially over the District Court, in which it has been arranged to hold the inquest on Tuesday next. The present District Court, as is well known, is nothing more than a large room in the old ramshackle wooden buildings which form a large part of the court premises, and Dr. Neild was not long in deciding that as a place in which to open such attractive proceedings as Tuesday's inquest, it was altogether unsuitable. Indeed, the Coroner recognised that to use the District Court would be simply to invite danger, apart altogether from the lack of anything approaching adequate accommodation. Consequently, Dr. Neild sought out Mr. Panton P.M., and putting his views before him, asked him to grant the use of the City Court, which being portion of the stone buildings, and considerably larger, would be in every way a better place for the inquiry. Mr. Panton saw the wisdom of the Coroner's request, and readilt acceded thereto. The inquest, therefore, after being formally opened at the Morgue, to which place it was adjourned, will begin in earnest in the City Court at about 10:30 on Tuesday next.


The examination of Deeming's effects was continued this afternoon, and many articles of the most diverse kind were found. Many of these, the detectives are of opinion, are the proceeds of petty larcenies. In one bag there was found a certified copy of a marriage certificate, which, it is presumed, was obtained by the Windsor victim prior to her leaving England for Australia. The suspicion is that Deeming destroyed the original, and his unfortunate victim, without his knowledge procured the copy. It discloses that Albert Oliver Williams, aged 36, was married in St Ann's Church, Rainhill, to Emily Lydia Mather, aged 26, on 23rd September 1891. The former is described as an army inspector, and his father as a colonel, whilst the father of the bride is set down as a stationer. The copy is signed by the Rev. T.J. Johnson, curate of Rainhill.
Amongst the clothing, the detectives found a pair of serge trousers which are very much stained, and it was suggested that they were blood marks. The detectives, however, do not think them blood stains but it is very probable that in order to definitely decide the questions they will be submitted for examination by the Government analyst.

Mr. Foy, the deputy Governor, has had a further conversation with Deeming, and has given him to understand that he would have to conform to gaol regulations, and no nonsense would be tolerated. This had had the effect of quietening him.

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Kate Ferguson
Unregistered guest
Posted on Saturday, February 12, 2005 - 2:04 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Just a picky point--in 1892, the newspaper was no longer called the Port Phillip Herald, it was simply the Herald. The Daily Telegraph and the Herald, which had been on the point of a merger in March of 1892, delayed the merger until after Deeming’s execution so that both papers could take advantage of the opportunity for the short burst of dramatically expanded sales.
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Nicholas Smith
Username: Diddles

Post Number: 11
Registered: 6-2005
Posted on Friday, June 17, 2005 - 9:43 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

G'day Kate and Chris Scott,

Just some more info about Deeming while he was in gaol.

'On being reminded while he was in gaol, Deeming calmed down and regained his composure, but when asked about how many murders he had committed, he replied "Nine at present".

Given that Deeming was a pathological liar brings us to the question of whether he could have been involved in the Whitechaple Murders. The 'Melbourne Standard' of 25 May 1892 reported that: 'Evidence of a most sensational character, bearing on Deeming's identity with the notorious Jack the Ripper, has been placed before us within the las day or two, which should leave little doubt in the public mind that the prisoner now lying under sentence of deathin Melbourne Gaol, is no other than the blood-stained fiend of Whitechapel whose victims outnumber those of any other murderer that the world has seen for centuries past.

After his arrest, Deeming confessed to the last two Whitechapel murders. This confession was made to Drs Fishbourne and Springthorpe whu interviewed Deeming in his cell while awaiting trial for the murder of Emily Williams".

As reported in the 'Melbourne Standard' 25 May 1982, Fishbourne and Springthorpe had spent quite some time with Deeming and during this time had been conviniced that he was an unmitigated liar. However, sensing that there might be more behind what this man was saying, they pressed for more time to interview him. Despite this, Mr Justice Hodges declined their request.

Although there was an incredible lack of physical evidence to prove Deeming was the Ripper, both doctors concluded by 'well ascertained' facts, there was no disputing that Deeming and no other was the man who had slaughtered the last two of the Whitechapel victims.

Exactly what these 'well ascertained' facts were we will never know, but whatever they were, they were signignificant enough to convince a pair of Drs.

Following is a quote from 'Albany's Brush with a Mass Murderer' by Beth Martin.

"They morover felt that had they been given the time they asked fore, they would have brought the other attrocities home to him in a way that they would have admitted of no doubt and satisfied the world at large on this matter.....They now suggested that Dr Shields, the Governmet Medical Officer, should be authorised to take the matter in hand at this advanced stage.

And were that done, they firmly believe that he would, before the day of execution, be in full possession of the fullest and most reliable data.

Whether the Government will act on this subject remains to be seen. Mr Marshal Lyle too, is satisfied in his own mind, both from the prisoners admissions and 'well ascertained' facts elicited independent of the prisoner, that Deeming is Jack the Ripper.


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