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Chris Scott
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Chris

Post Number: 1415
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - 8:22 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

This letter, which is already in the Press Reports, caught my eye:


Sir, - Another remarkable letter has been written by some bad fellow who signs himself, "Jack the Ripper." The letter is said to be smeared with blood, and there is on it the print in blood of the corrugated surface of a thumb. This may be that of a man or a woman.

It is inconceivable that a woman has written or smeared such a letter, and therefore it may be accepted as a fact that the impression in blood is that of a man's thumb.

The surface of a thumb so printed is as clearly indicated as are the printed letters from any kind of type. Thus there is a possibility of identifying the blood print on the letter with the thumb that made it, because the surface markings on no two thumbs are alike, and this a low power used in a microscope could reveal.

I would suggest - (1) That it be proved if it is human blood, though this may not be material; (2) that the thumbs of every suspected man be compared by an expert with the blood-print of a thumb on the letter; (3) that it be ascertained whether the print of a thumb is that of a man who works hard and has rough, coarse hands, or whether that of one whose hands have not been roughened by labour; (4) whether the thumb was large or small; (5) whether the thumb print shows signs of any shakiness or tremor in the doing of it.

All this the microscope could reveal. The print of a thumb would give as good evidence as that of a boot or shoe. I am , yours, &c.,


This is certainly ahead of its time in terms of the possible use of fingerprints and I looked the writer up to see if he had any qualification or background to make these conclusions. I found him in the 1881 census:

Fredk.W.P. JAGO Head M Male 63 Bodmin, Cornwall, England Batchelor Of Medicine U Of Lon
Johanna JAGO Wife M Female 59 Bodmin, Cornwall, England M.R.C.S. Of England L.A.H. Of London
Emily H. JAGO Daur U Female 29 Bodmin, Cornwall, England
Mary H. JAGO Daur U Female 26 Plymouth, Devon, England
Jane THOMAS Daur U Female 20 Camelford, Cornwall, England General Serv

Source Information:
Dwelling 21 Mulgrave Street
Census Place Plymouth St Andrew, Devon, England
Public Records Office Reference RG11
Piece / Folio 2199 / 135
Page Number 39

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Christopher T George
Chief Inspector
Username: Chrisg

Post Number: 960
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - 11:31 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hello Chris

The writer would appear to be talking about the thumbprint on the Saucy Jacky postcard, wouldn't he?

Here's a couple of books authored by Jago:

Fred. W. P. (Frederick William Pearce) Jago (b. 1817), An English-Cornish dictionary. London: Simpkin, Marshall & Co., 1887. This book was republished New York : AMS Press, 1984.

Fred. W. P. Jago (b. 1817), The ancient language, and the dialect of Cornwall / with an enlarged glossary of Cornish provincial words ; also an appendix, containing a list of writers on Cornish dialect, and additional information about Dolly Pentreath, the last known person who spoke the ancient Cornish as her mother tongue. Truro: Netherton & Worth, 1882.

All the best

Christopher T. George
North American Editor

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