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Casebook: Jack the Ripper - Message Boards » Letters and Communications » From Hell (Lusk) Letter » What do we know about the author of 'From Hell'? « Previous Next »

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Stephen P. Ryder
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Username: Admin

Post Number: 2641
Registered: 10-1997
Posted on Wednesday, March 05, 2003 - 6:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

A student recently asked me an interesting question: "If you believe the Lusk letter is real, what do you think it reveals about the author?"

My answers were as follows, and I'd be interested to hear the opinions of others.

_______________________________________________

We can discern the following about the author of the Lusk letter:

1. The writer read newspapers avidly. That's almost certainly how the letter-writer knew of Lusk's involvement in the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee, and where he got Lusk's address. He may even have gotten the idea of "From Hell" from a book that was advertised in the London Times of September 1888, entitled "Letters From Hell."

2. The writer was either Irish, or was pretending to be Irish. His spelling mistakes seem to indicate an Irish brogue ('Sor', 'prasarved', etc.) I tend to think these spelling mistakes were fabricated, as the more phoenetically-difficult "knife" and "while" have their silent letters properly presented as "knif" and "whil". Illiterates don't usually misspell words in this manner. "Knife" would more likely have been written by an illiterate as "nife" or "nyfe", "While" would have been "wile" or "wyle", etc. Also if we accept point #1, that he was an avid reader of newspapers, it is even less likely that the spelling errors were real.

3. The writer was almost certainly not the author of the other letters signed "Jack the Ripper" or "Saucy Jack". By the time this letter was written (probably October 12-15), the name "Jack the Ripper" had already been in the press for two weeks, and was causing a major sensation. But this letter-writer doesn't sign himself "Jack the Ripper" - he signs it, "Catch me if you can." If this was the killer, it might have been his way of repudiating the other hoax letters.

4. The author of the letter must certainly have had his own lodgings, or at least a secure room for himself. He could not have been a common lodger or vagrant, because (1) he could afford ink and paper, (2) he could afford wine (to 'prasarve' the kidney), (3) he could afford postage and (4) he must have needed some level of privacy to have stored the kidney for several days/weeks, prior to having mailed it.

5. The author of the letter had at least some level of medical knowledge, at least enough to recognize and know how to obtain a human kidney. If he was a hoaxer, he was most likely a medical student or someone who worked at a hospital or morgue. If the kidney truly did belong to Kate Eddowes, then the killer probably had some level of medical training, though its been argued that a butcher's knowledge might suffice.

6. The writer was most likely a resident of London, as the partially deteriorated post-marked cancelled read "OND", for "LONDON".

Stephen P. Ryder, Editor
Casebook: Jack the Ripper
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David O'Flaherty
Police Constable
Username: Oberlin

Post Number: 9
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Wednesday, March 05, 2003 - 7:43 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi, Stephen

1. It's probably just me, but it struck me as an odd coincidence that a Daily Telegraph article of Sept. 28th, the day before the Eddowes murder, talks about the use of spirit of wine as a preservative (see Alex Chisholm's website).

2. I've always thought the use of 'sor' was an affectation, too. In 'Letters from Hell', Evans & Skinner write that the spelling was common in contemporary literature, citing an article from Punch (pg. 63). Another good indication that the letter writer was a reader.

3. Makes sense to me.

4. I wonder how much spirit of wine cost? I've heard it was considerably cheaper than formalin. Could a poor man have afforded it?

5. It might be that the letter writer was also knowledgable enough to choose a 'ginny kidney' and that he had read the inquest reports about Bright's Disease, assuming the kidney wasn't genuine. (edit: I might be wrong about this--at a glance, I can't find who thought the kidney showed signs of Bright's Disease. Maybe this is another newspaper myth).

6. He might or might not have been a resident; he could also have been a visitor. The postmark only shows the author was in London long enough to send mail.

I wonder how long it would take for a package to circulate through London's postal system. A day? Two? My bet is that it was sent via a pillar-box and not presented at a post office (I wouldn't drop off an organ at the post office, not in person. What if the package leaked? What if someone remembered you?).

Also--the cannibalism aspect of the letter, again assuming it's an authentic communication from JtR. There's no way of proving it, but I think the eating of the kidney is just for shock value. It seems to me that killers who eat their victims tend to have some kind of regard for them, that consuming them is a way of keeping them around forever. JtR doesn't seem to have had any such regard for the women he killed, so he wouldn't have eaten any of the organs he took.

Just some thoughts and I could be wrong.

Best,
Dave
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Christopher T George
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Username: Chrisg

Post Number: 19
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Posted on Thursday, March 06, 2003 - 12:24 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi, Stephen:

You may be right that the "From Hell" letter is distinct from the Dear Boss letters in not being signed "Jack the Ripper." Certainly a number of the authors on the case have come to the same conclusion, some of them thinking that if the "Dear Boss" letters signed "Jack the Ripper" were hoaxes, the lack of the Ripper signature points to the possible authenticity of the "From Hell" letter. On the other hand, the recent theory that Tom Wescott and I developed that the "From Hell" and Openshaw letters were by the same person--similar sloppy writing, similar use of dialect terms, similar mispelled words (e.g., "knif" in "From Hell" and "devle" in Openshaw), the Openshaw letter is signed "Jack the Ripper" so this puts a different spin on that idea about the "From Hell" missive and negates that line of thinking that the letter writer, if one and the same for both letters, did not claim to go by the moniker "Jack the Ripper."

Best regards

Chris George
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Mark Andrew Pardoe
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Post Number: 18
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Posted on Thursday, March 06, 2003 - 7:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Whatho David,

Things past through the local postal system in the 19th/early 20th century postal system at speed. In London there would have been about six deliveries per day. The system worked so efficiently a post card could be posted in the morning making arrangemnts for the poster and postee to meet in the afternoon! Oh if the Royal Mail was half as good today.

Cheers, Mark
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Leanne Perry
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Username: Leanne

Post Number: 35
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Posted on Friday, March 07, 2003 - 5:00 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

G'day,

(1) Lusk's grandson, Leonard Archer, told of his grandfather's beliefs that a student or employee of the London Hospital was playing a practicle joke. Lusk had done some work at the hospital and for some employees. Others urged him to take the communication to the police. 'The Ultimate Jack the Ripper Companion' tells me that George Lusk sent a petition to the Queen, asking that a Government reward be offered on the 2nd of October, so George Lusk was in the press.

One the 4th of October: Two days later, A suspicious stranger called at his home. Finding him not there, he tracked him down at a tavern and expressed interest in the volunteer police, reached for his pocket, was observed, then disappeared. He was 30-40 years old and 5ft 9ins.
On Saturday the 6th of October: Lusk called the police to keep look-out for a mysterious stranger, prowling around his house. Description: 5ft 9ins and aged 38-40 ('Letters From Hell' page 57)
On Monday the 15th of October: Shop assistant Emily Marsh was asked for George Lusk's address. Emily read from a newspaper report that didn't include a house number. Description: "Some 45 years old and fully 6ft in height."
On Tuesday the 16th of October:
The next evening, George Lusk received 'From Hell' and the kidney. His house number wasn't on the package.

If the stranger who first called at Lusk's house on the 4th was the same man that was prowling around it on the 6th, and the same man who spoke to Emily Marsh on the 15th, then why did he not know Lusk's house number? Maybe he didn't write it down, saw the reward poster in Emily's shop-window, and thought he'd save himself the bother of returning.

(2) The words 'Sor' and 'praserved' indicate a hoaxer pretending to be Irish. How can a written word have an accent? Maybe the stranger who spoke to Emily Marsh was faking an Irish accent!

(3) Obviously!

(4) A poor man could have afforded a glass of cheap wine. A pub wouldn't have tried to sell expensive wine to the masses of poor people, and stay in business!

(5) In 1910, Sir Henry Smith wrote 'From Constable To Commissioner'. On pages 154-155 he wrote that after giving the half-kidney to the police surgeon, Mr. Gordon Brown, the two compared it with the half that remained in the corpse. 'The kidney left in the corpse was in an advanced stage of Brights Disease, the kidney sent to me was in an exactly similar state.' Then Smith wrote that after consulting an authority on the kidney and it's diseases, they found that it had been preserved in spirits, 'thus effectually disposing of all hoaxes'. Could the fact that it was in spirits have given it the appearance of a 'ginny kidney'? The fact that Catharine owned a 'ginny kidney' wasn't made public knowledge until 1910.

(6) The 1888 postal service was efficient and secure. There were 11 to 12 daily deliveries, from 7a.m. to 9p.m. Mail was collected from pillar-boxes as early as 3a.m., so the author of 'Saucy Jacky' had to mail it before 3a.m. for it to get to the News Agency on Monday morning, before the newspapers were out!

If you posted a letter before 8p.m. it would arrive the same day. My bet is that 'From Hell' was hand delivered and wrapped up in used paper!

LEANNE PERRY
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Gary Weatherhead
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Posted on Sunday, March 09, 2003 - 4:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

David, Stephen, Chris ,Mark, Leanne.

I feel that the cannibalism may help to authenticate the 'FROM HELL' letter. A hoaxer would likely consider this too off the wall to include in a letter. Serial killers eat their victims to posses them.

The best example I can think of is Jeffrey Dahmer who had no conection with his victims but who stored and ate body parts at his leisure. Another good example is the Russian Ripper, as is Ed Gein the basis for the Hannibal Lector movie character. He not only consumed his victims he skinned them and paraded around at night in the moonlight wearing their skin. Talk about shock value. However, this shocking behaviour actually occured with the serial killers I have mentioned as well as with many others I could mention if I wanted to go on and bore you to tears.

I guess you can gather from what I am saying that I believe the Lusk kidney to be real. It is especially interesting that as was mentioned in a previous post the writer rejects the Jack the Ripper name and signs his letter Catch Me When You Can. I agree that this is a sign that the killer will not take on a name that a pretender has given him.

I also believe that Lusk's reaction to the kidney
was not that it was a joke and a waste of his time but a disturbing object he wanted out of his possession as soon as possible. I was reading a Ripper book the other night that stated the kidney was accepted by the police with initial bemusement and that Lusk stated words to the effect that he did not consider the thing a joke and that he wanted to be rid of the thing as it disturbed him. I will find the actual quote and post it.

As for the medical analysis of the kidney, the medical people of the day couldn't come to a consensus and neither can the Casebook posters and other experts with medical knowledge. I will leave the medical analysis to them.

BEST REGARDS
GARY

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Alexander Chisholm
Police Constable
Username: Alex

Post Number: 6
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Sunday, March 09, 2003 - 10:32 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Gary

You may be right that cannibalism could be seen as too off the wall for a hoaxer to include in a letter.

It might be worth noting, however, that the cannibalism of guides employed by explorers and missionaries in Africa had been mentioned in newspapers only days before the Lusk package was sent.

Best wishes
alex

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Leanne Perry
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Username: Leanne

Post Number: 42
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Monday, March 10, 2003 - 6:17 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

G'day Gary, Alexander, Stephen everyone,

Gary: No one is saying that cannibalism is not a common characteristic for serial killers. 'Common' not essential!

If Lusk wanted the communication 'out of his possession as soon as possible', why then did he keep it for 2 days before showing it to anyone?

He got it on the 16th, showed members of the Committee on the 18th, was persuaded to take it to a doctor, showed it to Mr Reed, (who was the assistant to Dr. Wills of Mile-End-Road) on the 19th. Mr Reed took it to Dr. Openshaw at the London Hospital who suggested taking it to Abberline at Scotland Yard.

LEANNE
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Gary Weatherhead
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Posted on Sunday, March 09, 2003 - 9:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

P.S. the source for my statement that Lusk did not consider the kidney a laughing matter was Brian's post which quoted Sugden in the authenticity thread on the Lusk kidney. I thought I had read of Lusk's apprehension in Bob Hinton's book which I am re-reading for information on Hutchinson. Oops.

I realize that just because Lusk was disturbed by having the kidney in his possession does not mean that he believed it was human. My point was that he did not see it as an obvious prank
and laugh the matter off.

Further it could be argued that since the sender(killer?) claimed to have eaten the other half of the kidney and half of the kidney remained in
Eddowes body, the sender had to be a hoaxer without knowledge of whether the whole kidney was removed. This can be refuted by taking into
account that it was virtually impossible for the killer to have removed exactly one half of the kidney. The portion sent to Lusk was in a very small parcel. The killer could have consumed a
portion of the kidney and sent the remainder to Lusk.

Just wanted to clarify a couple of ambiguities in my post.

Best Regards
Gary
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Gary Weatherhead
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Posted on Monday, March 10, 2003 - 8:27 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

G'day Leanne (I always wanted to say that to a real Australian)

I will have to quote Sugden pg 263 in response to your question. Lusk got the parcel ON THE EVENING OF TUESDAY,16 OCT. he mentioned the parcel to the vigilance committee at a meeting on the 17th. The members laughed at him but he
... WAS VISIBLY SHAKEN.."IT IS NO LAUGHING MATTER TO ME". At 9.30 the next morning three members of the committee called on him to see the letter and kidney. He stated "THROW IT AWAY...I HATE THE SIGHT OF IT". They did not seem to know where to take the kidney and after trying a Dr. who was not in, the kidney and letter wound up at the London Hospital and were exanined by DR. Openshaw. So it was not for lack of trying that Lusk had trouble getting the items out of his possession. As I read it he waited only until the next days meeting before mentioning it to the Committee.

The press got hold of the news and had a field day. They pretended to quote Openshaw- The kidney was the left kidney of a woman about 45 with brights disease etc.,etc., I am surprised they didn't try to say it had Eddowes name on it. DR. Openshaw then attemted to set the record straight. But the damage had been done.

Best Regards
Gary
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Diana
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Username: Diana

Post Number: 16
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Monday, March 10, 2003 - 8:49 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My understanding was that the whole kidney was taken from Eddowes body, thus if the Lusk letter is true, Jack ate half and sent half to Lusk.
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Christopher T George
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Username: Chrisg

Post Number: 22
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Posted on Monday, March 10, 2003 - 10:42 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi, Diana:

Yes, you are correct, the whole left kidney was missing from Catherine Eddowes body, and the implication of the "From Hell" letter is that the killer fried and ate one half of the organ and sent the other half to Lusk.

Best regards

Chris George
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Gary Weatherhead
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Posted on Monday, March 10, 2003 - 9:56 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Diana

Many thanks for the clarification.

I am just getting back into studying the Ripper murders in depth and sometimes I rely on an increasingly faulty memory.

Best Regards
Gary
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Leanne Perry
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Username: Leanne

Post Number: 43
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Posted on Tuesday, March 11, 2003 - 12:09 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

G'day, Gary, Diana, Chris, Stephen, everyone,

This is what ''Letters From Hell' pg 60 says Joseph Aarons, (the treasurer of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee) said, and his statement appeared in the 'Daily Telegraph' of 19th October: 'Mr. Lusk, our chairman, came over to me last night (17th because the statement was made on the 18th), in a state of considerable excitement. I asked him what was the matter, when he replied, "I suppose you will laugh at what I am going to tell you, but you must know that I had a little parcel come to me on Tuesday evening, and to my surprise it contains half a kidney and a letter from Jack the Ripper". To tell you the truth, I did not believe it, and I laughed and said I thought that somebody had been trying to frighten him. Mr Lusk however, said it was no laughing matter to him. I then suggested that, as it was late, we should leave the matter over till the morning, when I and other members of the committee would come round.' So, he told the treasurer on the 17th and the rest of the Committee on the 18th.

When he showed the Treasurer on the 17th, Joseph Aarons laughed because Lusk started with: "I suppose you will laugh...." It was no laughing matter to George Lusk because the letter claimed it belonged to a murdered woman. I know how I'd feel with it in my house! By saying that it was no laughing matter, Lusk was saying that he didn't consider it a funny practical Joke. He wasn't laughing!

Joseph Aarons went on to say: 'This morning, at about half past nine, Mr. Harris, our secretary, Mr. Reeves, Mr. Lawson and myself went across to see Mr. Lusk, who opened his desk and pulled out a small cardboard box, wrapped in brown paper.' Aarons then advised Lusk to take it to Dr. Wills, who wasn't in, but his assistant, Mr. Reed, was. It was Reed who took it to London Hospital.

LEANNE PERRY
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Gary Weatherhead
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Posted on Tuesday, March 11, 2003 - 11:36 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

HELLO TO ALL-

The A to Z states that the kidney sent to Lusk came in a "...Three inch square cardboard box wrapped in brown paper,..."

From what I can gather about the size of the human kidney, this parcel did not contain a full half of a human kidney. At best it contained a quarter of a kidney. The sender says he ate the other half. This begs the question of what he did with the quarter that was missing.

If he is telling the truth about how he disposed of the kidney,ate half and sent the rest to Lusk,
he may not have had a true human kidney. This argues in favor of some type of animal kidney and shows a certain ignorance of the true size of the kidney in a human body.

I have stated in these posts that the I believe the kidney was real but I have never felt the need to be right over and above what the facts demonstrate. That is not to say I have changed my opinion. I would just like to hear what other Casebook readers have to say on this subject.

By the way some books on the Ripper state that the box was three and 1/2 inches square. (Sugden, etc.)

Best Regards
Gary.
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Diana
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Posted on Tuesday, March 11, 2003 - 3:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

If the box was 3x3x3 would you be able to get a half-kidney in it at an angle and bent?
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Gary Weatherhead
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Posted on Tuesday, March 11, 2003 - 5:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Diana

If we can assume the kidney in question would have been about 14cm's, and Sugden and other sources state the kidney was divided longitudinally (meaning placed or running lengthwise); it would seem that the kidney was not forced into the box, but was rather laid in the box lengthwise. This does not mean that the few people who saw the kidney in the box could not have overlooked its' having been crammed in at an awkward angle. The kidney could have been
laid out neatly by the time the Doctors viewed it.

Best Regards
Gary
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Diana
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Posted on Tuesday, March 11, 2003 - 8:10 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

14cm is about 6.5 inches. Could you put it in a 3 inch box witheout cramming or folding?
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Gary Weatherhead
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Posted on Tuesday, March 11, 2003 - 9:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Diana

You have posted a good question on another board to the medical experts. I will await the Dr,s response as I was wondering the same thing you were.

Best Regards
Gary
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Diana
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Posted on Wednesday, March 12, 2003 - 8:28 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The other variable is the third dimension of the box. We know it was 3x3x?. However, if it was for instance 3x3x6, a person describing it would probably mention the largest dimension. They would have said 3x6 and ignored the other 3" dimension.
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David O'Flaherty
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Posted on Wednesday, March 12, 2003 - 10:37 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Diana and Gary,

Those posts from Thomas Ind are old--Stephen transferred them from the archives. I haven't seen Thomas Ind post here for a long time, but perhaps he'll return at some point.

So what do we know about the author of the Lusk letter? He's probably not Irish, has some kind of medical knowledge and may have been a student, a reader of newspapers, and not the author of the 'Dear Boss' letter.

My question is: did any of the medical schools report a kidney missing from their premises? This was a high profile story and it seems reasonable a connection would have been made.

Cheers,
Dave

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Gary Weatherhead
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Posted on Wednesday, March 12, 2003 - 1:27 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Diana

I'm checking the books for the third dimension of the box. So far I have found the box described as 2 1/2 inches deep.

Best Regards
Gary
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Leanne Perry
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Posted on Wednesday, March 12, 2003 - 4:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

G'day Diana,

On page 59 of 'Letters From Hell', it says that the 'Star' of 19 October reported: 'The cardboard box which Mr. Lusk received is about 3 1/2 ins. square, and was wrapped in paper.' I take that as meaning 3.5 X 3.5 X 3.5.

LEANNE PERRY
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Brian W. Schoeneman
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Posted on Wednesday, March 12, 2003 - 5:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Gary, et. al.,

The size of the box notwithstanding, Dr. Openshaw, who was a pretty experienced surgeon from the London Hosptial, as well as - if I am not mistaken - the City's medical examiner all looked at the kidney and pronounced that it was human.

I recall that while they weren't able to confirm that it was from a woman, had bright's disease, etc. the one thing they all were sure of was that it had come from a human being.

Without seeing it myself, I'm willing to take their word for it.

B
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Diana
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Posted on Thursday, March 13, 2003 - 8:01 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

What we are trying to answer is Dr. Ind's question about which plane the kidney was bisected on. If it was cut longitudinally you would wind up with an 8" very flat slab. If the top was separated from the bottom you would get two 4" chunky hunks (sorry that's the best description I could think of). If it was cut so the right and left were separated you would get an 8" long stringy piece. By determining the dimensions of the box and whether the kidney would have been rigid or pliable enough to fold and bend we may be able to answer the question.
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AP Wolf
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Posted on Monday, March 17, 2003 - 5:49 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

As I do have an interest in this letter from hell I took a quick look at it.
What strikes me immediately is that whenever the writer begins a section of the letter he does so with a rare flourish and flounce, for instance the 'F' in 'from' hell, and the 'M' from 'mister', the 'L' from Lusk and the 'S' from Sor - which I feel is in fact 'Sir', for if you study the writer's hand carefully you will see that that the loop from the 'i' in Sir travels up with yet another flourish to meet the 'r', you will also note that other 'o's in the note are all very strong 'o's but all the 'i's are without exception weakly formed.
I assume it is read as 'Sor' because of the flourished 'o's that continue the letter, however the 'u' in 'if you only wate' shows the similar and unusual flourish to the 'i' in 'Sir'.
Anyways, the unusual flounce at the important and relevant sections of the note - again as in the 'C' of 'catch' and 'L' of Lusk - seems to indicate to me the old and traditional style of ledger writing, which of course followed on from the old clerics tradition where the first letter of any word of importance in the text would dominant several lines of the text below or above it.
Similarly, in this letter from hell the manner in which letters like 'I', 'F', 'Y' and 'G' intrude into text both above and below the line of standing is pure cleric or clerical style.
Some words appear to be written with a casual strength, such as 'women', whilst others have been laboured, rewritten and constantly improved upon - such as 'prasarved' - and this seems to indicate a degree of correctness that would not come with a person who was not set upon their urgent task. I believe it to be a serious work.
I doubt though that the writer meant 'prasarved' as the 'p' and the 'r' do not work in with the writer's style and he has most definitely emphasised the letter 'n' which does not occur in the word 'preserved' as we read it today.
It is the writer's 'E' that is the most baffling of all and I think probably shows his confused state of mind at the time.
I think it was a letter from hell.
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Christopher T George
Sergeant
Username: Chrisg

Post Number: 43
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Tuesday, March 18, 2003 - 2:36 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi, AP:

Many thanks for your useful musings on the penmanship used in the "From Hell" letter. I thought of particular interest your observation that the ornate flourish used to write the capital letters "seems to indicate. . . the old and traditional style of ledger writing, which of course followed on from the old clerics tradition where the first letter of any word of importance in the text would dominant several lines of the text below or above it." Quite a fascinating observation.

I wanted to clarify one part of your message, where you say, "he has most definitely emphasised the letter 'n' which does not occur in the word 'preserved' as we read it today." I'm sorry, I don't follow you in that statement. Could you explain what you mean? Thanks in advance, AP.

Best regards

Chris George
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AP Wolf
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Username: Apwolf

Post Number: 48
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Tuesday, March 18, 2003 - 2:13 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Sorry, Chris, I will try and make some sort of sense this time. Or nonsense.
The word is related to us as 'prasarved' but you see it might not be that at all.
For a start the assumed 'r' is atypical for the writer, just compare the 'r' in 'fried' immdeiately below it, compounded by the 'r' in both 'Sor' - or 'Sir' as I read it - and 'longer'.
The over-writing on the supposed 's' and 'v' of the supposed word 'prasarved' just do not work with the writer's style, if that indeed is the correct interpretation of this word.
In fact I do not see a 'v' in the word at all but I can understand how others might, for they might see a 'v' directly after the very weak 'e' - a supposed 'v' which I feel is merely a continuation of that weak 'e' - and that before the letter which I see as a clear and over-emphasised 'n'.
The writer has laboured with this 'n' form letter, almost struggled, and it is useful to compare the similar struggle with the 'n' directly above it in the word 'kidne'.
There appears to be a general overwork of letters like 'n' and 'h' that do require a less than natural turn of the pen.
Having not yet reduced this note down to the pixel stage I am no wiser than anyone else as to the true meaning of this strange word, but I do plan to do that when I get a few minutes to myself. All this typing is doing me old athiritic hands no good at all.
Of course it is more than possible that this letter has been laboured on by third parties who wished the letter to read as they themselves read it.
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Christopher T George
Sergeant
Username: Chrisg

Post Number: 46
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Tuesday, March 18, 2003 - 4:13 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi, AP:

I see, then in your interpretation, it looks as if you are saying the word reads not "presarved" as it is usually perceived but something like prasarned is that right? Interesting.

You may or may not know that Tom Wescott and I made a connection between Roslyn D'Onston and the Lusk letter in that D'Onston in his letter of 16 October 1888 to the City of London police advises them to "preserve" his letter until he is well enough to meet with them. Of course the Lusk letter was received by George Lusk at his address of Alderney Road, Mile End, on the same day, 16 October.

Rather a coincidence, don't you think? We also identified similarities between D'Onston's handwriting and writing in both the Lusk letter writer and the Openshaw letter of 29 October. I theorize that a drunken D'Onston, from his bed in the London hospital (or else a local bolthole, if we believe Ivor Edwards scenario) might have written both letters.

Of course, all of this might be wishful thinking on the part of Mr. Wescott and myself... but then so much in this case is wishful thinking!

All the best

Chris George
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AP Wolf
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Username: Apwolf

Post Number: 49
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Tuesday, March 18, 2003 - 5:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

No, or even yes, Chris, as ever I knew none of this. The coincidences are of course alarming as is our own wishful thinking.
I was attempting to examine the Hell letter in some sort of spendid isolation, which I think it deserves. Amid that splendid isolation I have not yet reached any sort of conclusion about this word, but I don't believe it to be a pickled or preserved preservative of any nature.
I must really try and play catch up with the scenario you and Mr Westcott are proposing.

Perhaps a tiresome lecture for you, but many years ago I managed to obtain a photo-copy - nefariously I might add by posing as a journalist from a national daily - of a valued document from Highclere Castle relating to the documentation of the contents of Tutankhamen's tomb and the transfer of the Earl of Carnarvon's private collection to the Metropolitan Museum of New York upon his death and lo and behold when I took that document down to its pixel stage I was able to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Howard Carter had in fact altered the document in his own hand and had successfully 'lost' over one hundred priceless objects from the tomb of Tutankhamen which now sit gathering dust in the basements of the Met as they are too frightened to show them.
These objects are currently valued at over 30 million US dollars.
He had simply altered a '1' for a '7', as far as I remember. That was over twelve years ago and me old memory is dim, the hands are playing up, and the old metal bath tub is full of blood and guts, so I better go back and play with me pixels at the bottom of the garden.
I'll get back to you when Danny gets round 'ere with the scanner. Beggar is always in the pub.
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AP Wolf
Sergeant
Username: Apwolf

Post Number: 50
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Wednesday, March 19, 2003 - 2:03 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Chris
I have now found time to examine the single word read as 'prasarved' in this letter at the pixel level and have pleasure in reporting the following:
The overworking of the writer's first attempt at the word begins with the letter presumed to be a 'p' followed by a 'r' - his hand has carefully reworked these two letters into what appears to be a single co-joined letter, producing a convincing and flowing curve on the edge of the letter that only a 'm' possesses. This overwrite curve begins way down on the supposed 'p' and then continues unabated until it meets the 'a' which is actually an 'a'. After this 'a' the writer has worn the next letter quite away with his efforts to modify it into something we can only guess at now, this frantic reworking has partially damaged the next letter but it still easily stands out as an 'i' - in fact one can still see the drift of the writer's pen as he coasted up to dot the 'i' but then hurried on.
Then comes an absolutely convincing 'n', the writer has painfully created the obvious u-turn at the top of the letter several times and even carefully ensured that the 'n' has its correct, short upright bar on the top left hand side.
There then follows a clear 'e' - only slightly laboured on the right side and centre where the writer has attempted to show there that should be a space in the centre of the letter.
The end 'd' is finely rendered, with just slight emphasis on its right hand side which is normal for the last letter of a word.
So what we have here is not the word 'prasarved' at all but something quite similar and perhaps even more provocative.
We have 'm' 'a' '?' 'i' 'n' 'e' 'd'.
A poor spelling of 'Marinade', where the writer attempts to write 'Marinaded'.
Now what does our writer go on to say?
'Tother piece I fried and ate it was very nice.'
Perhaps the writer enjoyed his meat with a wine marinade?
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Christopher T George
Detective Sergeant
Username: Chrisg

Post Number: 51
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Wednesday, March 19, 2003 - 3:24 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi AP:

Thanks AP... an interesting observation and interpretation that could fit. I appreciate your input.

All the best

Chris
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Peter
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Posted on Tuesday, October 07, 2003 - 10:52 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hiya! I took it upon myself that if the letter was irish,, then the words are not spelling mistakes, but actual words. I looked up a book called Finnegans Wake, and found some interesting information in deciforing these words. Here is an exort from the book;
in the sooty, having plenxty off time on his gouty hands and va-
cants of space at his sleepish feet and as hapless behind the dreams
of accuracy as any camelot prince of dinmurk, were at this auc-
tual futule preteriting unstant, in the states of suspensive exani-
mation, accorded, throughout the eye of a noodle, with an ear-
sighted view of old hopeinhaven with all the ingredient and
egregiunt whights and ways to which in the curse of his persis-
tence the course of his tory will had been having recourses, the
reverberration of knotcracking awes, the reconjungation of
nodebinding ayes, the redissolusingness of.mindmouldered ease
and the thereby hang of the Hoel of it, could such a none, whiles
even led comesilencers to comeliewithhers and till intempes-
tuous Nox should catch the gallicry and spot lucan's dawn, by-
hold at ones what is main and why tis twain, how one once
meet melts in tother}}}},helvetica, wants poignings, the sap rising, the foles
falling, the nimb now nihilant round the girlyhead so becoming,
the wrestless in the womb, all the rivals to allsea, shakeagain, O
disaster! shakealose, Ah how starring! but Heng's got a bit

Now, this makes no sence, but you will notice the word tother. This website (and others) actually 'translate' all of the meanings for each word in the book. i searched all the 'misspelt' words in the 'From Hell' letter and found all the meanings but one. Here is what i found;

that most of the words that are mispealt are of no surprise, they mean what they sound like, but they still have meaning in the irish language.

I looked up Mitre and found something very interesting, thinking that there may be a link to the meanings. This is the good part:
Mitre, translated means: a sacerdotal head-dress.
I didnt know what 'sacerdotal'so i looked it up on the Thesaurus. it gave me these meanings:
ruthless situation
ruthlessness
ruts
rutted
RVP
sabbatical
sabatage
sac
saccharine
sachet
sacrament
sacred
sacred sign
sacred song
sacrafice

I think that if this letter is genuine, and oblivously the killer was intellegent, then the significance of Mitre place, the letter title and the style of the letter all have something to do with each other. The killings were ritualistic too.
Another interesting point is that saccharine means sugar or sugary, an item found on the body.

Sack is also a meaning for sacerdotal. Two small blue bags were found on her body.

The kidney that was sent with the 'From Hell' letter was beleved to be the same one from Katherine Eddowes. the woman killed at Mitre place.

The significance of the title of the letter could be this (taken from this site):
In 'Letter XII', 'Philip' discusses his trip to Hell's post office, whereupon he discovers exactly how accountable people are for the words they write, be it crank letters, letters of defamation, letters or treason, or even the forgery of a signature...

'But such letters are not all: there are spurious documents and false signatures here more than can be counted. Let men beware how they put pen to paper; writing has a terrible power of clinging to the soul. None but God Himself can blot it out.'

This could be the trick in the letter. he is trying to get us to think he is Irish.

Cheers!! i have other threories on a profile to.



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Rob
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Posted on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 2:06 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

As to the mispelling, if this wasn't mentioned before... there was no standard way of writing the english language during that time. People spelt letters based on how they sound, like many children and adults do today. Whoever standardized the english language confused the hell out of all of us. I would rather spell 'dough' as 'dow' or "though" as "tho" or "because" as "becuz" or "people" as "peepol" or . It makes words easier to write, and for some people, easier to read.
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Sian Evans
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Posted on Sunday, April 24, 2005 - 1:42 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I found a handwriting analysis wizard on the net. I first tried it on myself and my boyfriend and was astounded by it's accuracy. Then I analysed the From Hell letter. It has confirmed my suspicions of the From Hell letter being genuine. It has also discounted my suspicion that the openshaw letter was by the same hand. Try doing the analysis yourself if you don't believe me :-) http://www.handwritingwizard.com/

SPACING ON THE PAGE:
For a graphologist, the spacing on the page reflects the writer's attitude toward their own world and relationship to things in his or her own space. If the inputted data was correct Jack has no white space or margins on a typical sheet of paper. Jack fills up every last inch on the top, right, left, and bottom. Hmmm. If this is true, then Jack has a very aggressive personality toward others and quite frankly lacks a bit of respect for the space and property of other people. I would be surprised if Jack just comes into someone's home and helps himself to a drink in the refrigerator. This can be both an obnoxious personality trait and it can be assertive and effective in getting what you want. There isn't much fear of getting in trouble here, Jack finds plenty of reasons to break the rules and get in trouble. (Okay, perhaps when he was younger, not anymore?) Basically, people with no margins are a handful.

THE HOOK ON HIS Y'S:
Jack has a need to be physically aggressive. He has this need resulting from some unfulfilled physical drive. This drive could be fulfilled by a very physical sport or a very aggressive sex life.

Jack is very self-sufficient. He is trying not to need anyone. He is capable of making it on his own. He probably wants and enjoys people, but he doesn't "need" them. He can be a loner.

THE WAY HE CROSSES HIS T'S:
Jack has a temper. He uses this as a defense mechanism when he doesn't understand how to handle a situation. Temper is a hostile trait used to protect the ego. Temper can be a negative personality trait in the eyes of those around him.

Jack will take action on his thoughts. He is positive that his views are correct for him. He has the ability to seem as if he is positively correct when answering a question, even if he does not have the slightest idea of the answer. Jack displays a self-confidence that makes everyone else sure he is correct. He is positive of his own views, but not necessarily stubborn.

THE STYLE OF O'S:
Jack is secretive. He has secrets which he does not wish to share with others. He intentionally conceals things about himself. He has a private side that he intends to keep that way, especially concerning certain events in his past.

HIS K'S:
Jack can be defiant. He sometimes has the attitude that if someone doesn't like it the way he is doing it, then they can just "go to hell!" This trait may reveal itself in a rebellious nature that is always ready to resist forces which he thinks are infringing upon his freedom of action.

THE WAY SOME LETTERS FLICK UPWARD AT THE END:
Jack has a desire for attention. People around Jack will notice this need. He may fulfill this need by a variety of ways depending on his own character.
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Glenn Wade
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Posted on Saturday, May 14, 2005 - 1:07 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Having read the Lusk letter several times, I am of the opinion that it has to be either a genuine letter from a mentally disturbed lunatic or, more probably, a hoax, the content of which has the ability to shock. The spidery scrpit is bizzare in itself and the opening title of 'From Hell' immediatley grasps the attention of the reader. When read once, the letter would appear to be written by somebody with an Irish or Cornish accent and with a poor grasp of spelling. Certain words such as 'prasarved' and 'Mishter' suggest so. Had the person been an Irish or Cornish illiterate, which is what I think the writer wanted others to believe, they would, as some young children do, write words as they say them. This is not the case though. He (or she) manages to utilise capital letters fully and is able to spell 'piece' correctly, something I must confess as being unable to do on certain occasions. Silent letters such as the 'l' in 'half', the 'h' in 'whil' and the 'k' in 'knif'are also present. The other spelling mistakes are too deliberate to be genuine grammatical errors. The phrase 'I may send you' is, when spoken softly to yourself, a quite gentle phrase and not quite the words of a deranged, illiterate cannibal. As I said, this, in my opinion, is a hoax that was sent with the most horrific and gruesome item imaginable and with a content so evil that the readers in 1888 could not consider that the author and sender was anyone other than 'Jack the Ripper'.
That's my little analysis for now. I've only recently become fascinated by the history of the Ripper and thought I'd add my bit

Cheers for now
Amazing site

Glenn
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Jason
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Posted on Friday, July 08, 2005 - 1:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Given the context of this 'From Hell' letter, I think the chances of it being a hoax are very slim.Given the context of what I have read, I dont see any possibility of a practical joke. The city was terrified at this point, after the double event, and desperate to catch him. The mood was very sombre in London and not jovial. I dont think the general public saw Jack the Ripper as 'funny' in any way.The way a practical joke is meant to be 'Funny'. To make a comparison - I doubt whether anyone would find it amusing to send a dud bomb threat to the police as a practical joke right now in London. That is unless the mentality of people in 1888 was vastly different.

I would say that any hoaxed Jack the Ripper letters would have happened early on in the duration of this case. Once the novilty wore off and the toll mounted, I doubt anyone would have thought it funny enough to hoax a letter, ( or risk prosecution of being caught).The ripper letters recieved after the double event were almost certainly from the ripper.Sending an actual human kidney to the head of the vigilance committee in Whitechapel is as cutting as a point as the knife that went into his victims.
Thanks - Jason Smith
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Robert Habenicht
Police Constable
Username: Rlh

Post Number: 2
Registered: 4-2004
Posted on Wednesday, January 04, 2006 - 4:33 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Unfortunately hoaxers do make false threats just to see if they can scare people. Many bomb threats are proven to be false and police tip lines are often flooded with fake phone calls. To illustrate the point

"PHILADELPHIA - Clayton Lee Waagner, a self-proclaimed terrorist who mailed phony anthrax letters to abortion clinics in 24 states, was sentenced to 19 years in prison Thursday."

Yakima, Washington State. According to the Feminist Majority Foundation in Arlington, Virginia, Over 170 abortion clinics and doctors' offices in 14 states and the District of Columbia received threatening letters claiming to contain anthrax. The envelopes had return addresses from the U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Marshall Service with postmarks from Atlanta, GA; Knoxville, TN; Chattanooga, TN; or Columbus, OH

Anthrax scares sweep Australia, Europe in wake of U.S. cases

Mike Corder
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

SYDNEY, Australia Dozens of Australian government workers were hosed down after their office received a letter containing white powder.

A U.S. consulate in Australia received a similar scare, and in Germany on Monday, officials were investigating a powdery substance found in the mailroom of Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's offices.

Across Europe and elsewhere, anthrax scares sent some people to hospitals and others home early from work uncertain of whether they had been exposed to the spores.

Those just came from a quick Internet search. There are indeed many sick individuals out there willing to perform just such a hoax.
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Dan Norder
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Dannorder

Post Number: 1093
Registered: 4-2004
Posted on Wednesday, January 04, 2006 - 4:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Robert,

Yes, good point of course. Trying to argue that the Lusk letter wasn't a hoax on the argument that nobody would do that because it's not funny doesn't work. That same argument could be applied to ALL the letters, and we know simply on the incredible numbers coming in and the contradictory information on them that they couldn't all be real. In fact, people were caught doing that sort of thing (see Evans and Skinner's \iJack the Ripper: Letter from Hell}) and had thought it was funny. It's not unusual at all. Some people have really warped senses of humor, or just aren't particularly bright.
Dan Norder, Editor
Ripper Notes: The International Journal for Ripper Studies
 Profile    Email    Dissertations    Website
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John Savage
Chief Inspector
Username: Johnsavage

Post Number: 549
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Wednesday, January 04, 2006 - 5:08 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Dan,

The National Archive at Kew holds a good number of these type of letters/postcards, I read them a few years ago and came away with the same thought as you.

"Some people have really warped senses of humor, or just aren't particularly bright."

Rgds
John
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c.d.
Inspector
Username: Cd

Post Number: 168
Registered: 9-2005
Posted on Wednesday, January 04, 2006 - 10:02 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

If the hoax had been perpetrated by medical school students, do we have any idea of what would have happened to them had they been found out? Would it have been an automatic expulsion? That would seem a high price to pay for a bit of fun. Would that have given them pause before carrying out the hoax and make them think better of it? People do foolish things. Who knows.

c.d.
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Thomas C. Wescott
Chief Inspector
Username: Tom_wescott

Post Number: 540
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 9:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

C.D.,

I wrote a short article that was published in Ripper Notes a year or so ago about this. I'd found an 1889 interview with a London Hospital surgeon discussing the possibity of a medical student prank. This arose after the discovery of the Pinchin Street torso, but the information also touched upon the kidney. If you don't already have that issue I'd be happy to look and see if I have the article saved on my comp somewhere and e-mail it to you. Anyone else who's interested as well.

Yours truly,

Tom Wescott
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c.d.
Inspector
Username: Cd

Post Number: 172
Registered: 9-2005
Posted on Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 9:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Tom Wescott,

I would appreciate you e-mailing me the article if it is not too much trouble. Thank you, sir.

c.d.
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c.d.
Inspector
Username: Cd

Post Number: 173
Registered: 9-2005
Posted on Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 9:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Would a person without medical knowledge have been aware that wine could be used as a preservative?

c.d.
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Dan Norder
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Dannorder

Post Number: 1096
Registered: 4-2004
Posted on Friday, January 06, 2006 - 3:13 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi c.d. and Tom,

The issue in question was July 2004. The article was called "Lusk Kidney Revelation: A London Hospital Surgeon Speaks" - That one was short, contained some important information, and unfortunately was overlooked by a lot of people (probably partly due to my experiment in that issue putting short articles at the end of the magazine after the regular columns, so it's back with the puzzle instead of up with the rest of the articles). Based upon that, I might just put that one up on the Ripper Notes website as a sample article, if Tom agrees to it. I'd ask Stephen if he wanted to put it up online here but he already has two articles from that issue posted, and that's already one more than we normally do.
Dan Norder, Editor
Ripper Notes: The International Journal for Ripper Studies
 Profile    Email    Dissertations    Website
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Robert Habenicht
Police Constable
Username: Rlh

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Posted on Friday, January 06, 2006 - 5:18 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

If they'd only preserved the kidney two of the biggest questions of Ripperology could have been answered. Just a random thought. Never mind about the comparison idea. I forgot about "Bright's Disease" affecting the kidney.

(Message edited by rlh on January 06, 2006)
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Thomas C. Wescott
Chief Inspector
Username: Tom_wescott

Post Number: 543
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Friday, January 06, 2006 - 3:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Robert,

There's no real reason to think Eddowes suffered from Bright's disease. Liz Stride had a "pale kidney" as well, but there's no diagnose of Bright's disease in the post mortem notes.

Dan,

You mean to say Stephen doesn't want my article on the Casebook? That's rough. What does it matter what issue it comes from? It's not like anyone pays attention. Just look at the articles in Ripperologist that quote from Ripper Notes articles - they put the source as 'Casebook Dissertation' instead of putting it from Ripper Notes.
But I like the idea of you putting it up on the RN website for all to see. I wrote it hoping people would read it, after all. :-) Let me know if it's not gonna be going up soon cuz then I'll need to find my copy and e-mail C.D.

Yours truly,

Tom Wescott
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Dan Norder
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Dannorder

Post Number: 1098
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Posted on Friday, January 06, 2006 - 6:32 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Tom,

I don't mean to say any such thing about Stephen, as I didn't ask him. The only thing I was thinking was that the table of contents for that issue has links to the articles that are up here, and that having a third one linked there on that page would be a bit much, in my opinion.

You noticed that on the references too, eh?

Anyway, here's the article:

"Lusk Kidney Revelation: A Hospital Surgeon Speaks" by Tom Wescott (from Ripper Notes - July 2004)
Dan Norder, Editor
Ripper Notes: The International Journal for Ripper Studies
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Thomas C. Wescott
Chief Inspector
Username: Tom_wescott

Post Number: 546
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Friday, January 06, 2006 - 11:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Looks great, Dan. And I'm glad to have it where more can read it. Having said that, I'd much prefer EVERYONE subscribe to RN. You won't want to miss an issue this year. I hope to have a feature in every issue (assuming they're accepted for publication) with a fresh analytical look at the Berner Street murder and the events surrounding it. Don't miss an issue, C.D. and folks...go to www.rippernotes.com and subscribe now!

Yours truly,

Tom Wescott
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ex PFC Wintergreen
Unregistered guest
Posted on Saturday, January 07, 2006 - 1:35 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Gary, Ed Gein was the inspiration for Norman Bates. It was Albert Fish that was the inspiration for Hannibal Lecter.

The question about cannibalism confuses me, I mean who here, honestly, can honestly say, we're talking honestly here, that if they had a piece of human kidney lying about the house that nobody knew about, who could honestly say that they wouldn't fry up a little bit and nibble on it?

I rest my case.

What always surprised me about the Lusk letter is how short it is. It leads me to the conclusion that whether or not he was faking mispellings he was not a confidant writer and that the note is just there to put the focus on the kidney itself.

It seems likely that whoever sent it worried about being tied to the handwriting or the content of serial killer correspondance. This shows to me that whoever sent it, Jack or not, was intelligent enough, or perhaps paranoid enough to think that writing long "Dear Boss" like letters would lead to his incarceration.

Wintergreen
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Mr Poster
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Posted on Wednesday, January 04, 2006 - 5:38 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

hello

1. Someone has to tell me how "prasarved" is Irish brogue or pronunciation.

2) The use of alchohol as preservative and use of the word preserved. What was most commonly used as a presevative in Victorian hospitals? Given the Victorians use of strange phrases ("spirits of wine" being a case in point when the term alchohol was already known), does the use of the word "preserved" indicate anything? As opposed to saying it was pickled or whatever? If he worked in a hospital, maybe he didnt have to afford the alchohol and just swiped it.

Im not sure that knowing Lusks address indicates an avid paper reader.

Why would a killer preserve a kidney piece if the original intention was eating it and then send it or a piece to someone, out of the preservative. It just doesnt make sense. But if the kidney had been nicked from a collection (in a hospital say), that would account for the traces or hint of its having being preserved. A diseased kidney is more likely to have been presevred as a pathological specimen than a healthy one surely. Accounting for the doctors opinion that it was a diseased kidney.

The simplest solution (which are usually the most probable) I can see is that the letter was a hoax written by someone pretending to be uneducated ("Mishter Lusk" is just ridiculous. Someone who pronounces and spells "Mister" as "Mishter" would surely write "Lushk" for "Lusk") but who may have worked or had access to a hospital and its facilities. A student perhaps?

Anyone who has been to college in a university with a medical dept. is well aware of the way bits and pieces tend to go missing after anatomy class and who hasnt seen the penis-in-the-pub prank thats such a favourite among medical students during rag week?

Mr P

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