Ripper Letters
Police Officials
Official Documents
Press Reports
Victorian London
Message Boards
Ripper Media
Games & Diversions
About the Casebook


Join the Chat Room!

How were they caught? Log Out | Topics | Search
Moderators | Edit Profile

Casebook: Jack the Ripper - Message Boards » Shades of Whitechapel » How were they caught? « Previous Next »

Author Message
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Username: Diana

Post Number: 481
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Saturday, January 15, 2005 - 8:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

If you want to succeed, study those before who have succeeded. So I thought we might have a thread about other SK's and how they were caught.

Ted Bundy made the mistake of trying to abduct a police officer's daughter. Her brother drove up just in time. Maybe we need to review some of the possible failed attempts. Later Bundy was caught because he was driving a vehicle with stolen license plates.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Username: Diana

Post Number: 482
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Saturday, January 15, 2005 - 8:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Ed Gein was the last one seen in a victim's store before she disappeared and some of her stock stolen. When police went to his farm they found the body.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Username: Diana

Post Number: 483
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Saturday, January 15, 2005 - 8:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Jeffrey Dahmer was caught when one of his victims escaped and ran to the police.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Username: Diana

Post Number: 484
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Saturday, January 15, 2005 - 8:59 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Sam Berkowitz (Son of Sam) was caught because he got a parking ticket in the area where his victim was killed.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Jeffrey Bloomfied
Chief Inspector
Username: Mayerling

Post Number: 710
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Monday, June 20, 2005 - 6:49 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Little errors constantly trip up criminals. Here are some others

When Charles Peace was arrested (finally) in 1878, he had been arrested for burglary and attempted murder of P. C. Robinson. But the name he was arrested under was "John Ward". In 1878 there was no really good identification system. Except that he had a stiff prison sentence for the attempted murder and burglary, he was not thought of as the man the police were seeking named Charles Peace - wanted for killing Arthur Dyson two years earlier at Bannercross. The undoing of Peace was his own mistake. He was known in Peckham under another alias, as a repectable property owner and retired engineer.
He contacted a neighbor, who had assisted Peace in constructing and patenting some salvage machinery. THe neighbor was surprised that his neighbor was in prison as Mr. Ward. He spoke to the police, who got curious, and went to "Ward's" home in Peckham. There they met the lady who was supposed to be his wife, only it was his mistress. Seeing a great opportunity, she told the police they had Peace in custody.

Another one, which is a lesson on being faithful to one's spouse, is Patrick Mahon's arrest in 1924 for the hideous "Crumbles" bugalow murder of Emily Kaye. Having chopped up her body, and burned part of it, Mahon shipped some incriminating evidence in a trunk to a train station. He kept the storage ticket. His wife, who long before gave up trying to stop Mahon from running around, found the ticket. She got suspicious when she saw it was to a train station - she figured he was hiding items connected with an assignation from her. She went to the police, who decided to humor her and went to open the trunk. They found evidence of some awful, bloody deed. They then asked for Mahon's explanation, and when he gave his story of an accidental killing, charged him with murder.

Possibly my favorite example of a killer who got hoisted by his own petard was the now sadly forgotten James Cannon Reid. Reid was a hard working chief clerk in London, who (despite being a married man with over ten children - yes that many kids) was a selfish lothario. He was seeing a Mrs. Ayriss, and ditched her for her sister Florrie Dennis. He got Florrie pregnant, and she was trying to get him to do the right thing for her. As he already had an child support order against him from another woman, this boob decided that rather than do the obvious (swallow his future problems, accept the responsibility, and stop playing around), he had to get rid of Ms Dennis.

I can't go into the weird details of this case. Suffice it to say that Reid made a big, and suspiciously open, break with Florrie for the benefit of Florrie's family and friends so that he could deny being in touch with her. But to keep her from going to his wife, Reid set up a system of leaving messages for Florrie at private mail drop agencies around London (he thought this was clever because he'd never be seen with Florrie, but he failed to realize that dozens of the owners of these establishments would be available to recognize that Reid was the man who left the messages for Florrie).

He apparently always intended that he would kill her in the end - cleverly, of course, because he did not intend to be captured. He kept telling Florrie not to tell anyone about their correspondence. Naturally she said she did not do it - and he believed her. Florrie told her mother and her angry sister Mrs. Ayriss all about it. Why shouldn't she? She was pregnant and he was responsible.

Reid told her (in the summer of 1894) to meet him at a small village near Southend called Prittlewell. She did so, and he went for a nice stroll with her into a local wooded area. He was making all sorts of promises of getting a divorce and marrying her, and Florrie (unfortunately) believed him. When quite alone for a few minutes, he asked her casually if she remembered not to tell anyone they were meeting.
Following her old pattern of lies, Florrie said that she had told nobody. Poor girl...she unwittingly sealed her death warrant. Reid pulled out a gun and shot her to death.

I think he must have gotten his idea from Dickens of all people. In MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT, Jonas Chuzzlewit kills Montague Tigg, and uses disguises and walking long distances, and a locked bedroom door, to set up an alibi. If Reid was dumb enough to think this would work, he did not read the entire novel - Jonas is caught because of the suspicions of a private detective friend of Tigg's and the fact that someone had the temerity to enter the locked bedroom and found it empty. In Reid's case, his alibi required returning to London from Prittlewell by train. But he missed the train.
So he decided to do what Jonas did: he walked the twenty or thirty miles to London, stopping along the night to ask directions from various people. One was (incredible as this sounds) an astonished constable, who held up a lamp to see who was the idiot walking to London at this time of night!

He got home just in time to refresh himself, and to go to work. Presumably his eyes were bloodshot, and his co-workers may have noticed it. While at his desk he got a telegram. "Where's Florrie?" it asked, and it was signed by Mrs. Ayriss. From later descriptions Reid almost jumped out of his skin. He pulled himself together and sent back a message, "Don't know what you mean. Have not seen Florried in seven months!" However, he decided not to stick around. He needed cash, and robbed his employer's safe of over one hundred pounds. Then he fled.

Reid hid out for the next two weeks in a small town with still another girlfriend, only one whom he had been forced to marry bigamously. She thought he was a salesman, and he told her he planned to settle down in the village and get a job there. She thought it odd that he began to grow a beard, and insisted she go out to do all grocery shopping and to get all the newspapers.

By now Florrie's body was discovered, and Mrs. Ayriss had identified it. The authorities were looking for Reid for the theft of money from his employer and for an explanation of what happened to Florrie Dennis. For two weeks they searched, and kept an eye on the Reid home, as well as his own family. Then they found a letter addressed to his brother, that told the brother where Reid was hiding. Two police officers confronted him in the bungalow and arrested him.

Despite a spirited trial, Reid was found guilty.
He always maintained there was no proof he and Florrie had been together for the seven months before her murder. He was hanged in December 1894. The number of people who were harmed by this fool is astounding. His legitimate wife and children were left impoverished. The child whom a court ordered him to support was left without that legal support. Mrs. Ayriss's husband divorced her (he had not known of her relationship with Reid). The mother and father of Florrie Dennis were smashed because of the murder of Florrie (while in her disgraceful pregnancy), and the behavior of their older daughter Mrs. Ayriss. The young woman who had
"married" Reid and lived with him in the bungalow was marked as having lived in sin with a murderer, and her father died of a stroke. The brother of Reid who got the letter that led the police to Reid was fired from his job, could not find another job, and, eventually, committed suicide. Except for the assassination of Lincoln, I can't recall of a case of murder leaving such a trail of disaster behind it. And, I repeat, to the end of his existance, Reid insisted he was innocent because nobody had seen him and Florrie together in all the months before her death. This was one stupid killer.


Topics | Last Day | Last Week | Tree View | Search | User List | Help/Instructions | Register now! Administration

Use of these message boards implies agreement and consent to our Terms of Use. The views expressed here in no way reflect the views of the owners and operators of Casebook: Jack the Ripper.
Our old message board content (45,000+ messages) is no longer available online, but a complete archive is available on the Casebook At Home Edition, for 19.99 (US) plus shipping. The "At Home" Edition works just like the real web site, but with absolutely no advertisements. You can browse it anywhere - in the car, on the plane, on your front porch - without ever needing to hook up to an internet connection. Click here to buy the Casebook At Home Edition.