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Opposition To The Sun Article

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Opposition To The Sun Article

Post by Karen on Sun 7 Mar 2010 - 9:03


The "Sun's" Story.
Mr. Labouchere's Opinion.


LONDON, Feb. 24.

The Sun's alleged discovery of Jack the Ripper as a criminal lunatic now detained in Broadmoor, has excited but tepid interest. The same sort of find has been made several times before, and never stood the test of examination. Jack the Rippers abound in every lunatic asylum in the three kingdoms. The character possesses a peculiar fascination for the distraught poor, and since 1889 scores of lunatics have accused themselves of the Whitechapel murders. The only differences between the Sun's ripper and many others is that his discovery has been set forth with vast pomp and circumstance, and prolific journalistic detail. Far be it from me to hint that the whole business looks like a common or garden "fake." At the same time, one knows that erections of marvellous coincidences, embroidered by the plausible suppositions and the elastic imagination of "our special correspondent or commissioner," have a disagreeable way of fading into nothingness when subjected to official scrutiny.
Forgetful of the fact that Truth, which "never errs," had "proved conclusively" Jack was a Spanish sailor, who committed the murders whenever his ship was in London, and died some years ago at Aden, "Tay Pay" sent a reporter to Labby to draw him anent their find. Now, when he's cool and unprejudiced, I will back the member for Northampton against anyone I know to travel straight to the core of a subject, and set it before you in its proper proportions. "What," said he to the Sun interviewer, "has your paper shown?" That a man of nasty habits and of homicidal tendencies lived in London whilst these murders were being committed. This man was employed in the neighborhood of Whitechapel, and resided within a short walk of it. He was accustomed to sleep late in the daytime, to go out in the evening, and to return home in the small hours. He was fond of medical questions, and often made anatomical drawings. He stabbed some girls in the back, and, having tried to cut a relative's throat, was indicted for the offence, when he turned out to be so much of a lunatic that he could not plead, and was sent to the Broadmoor Asylum. All this does not show that he committed the crimes set down to "Jack the Ripper."
"But look at all the coincidences," said The Sun representative; "his return home with blood-stained clothes, his knife precisely such a one as Jack must have used, his distorted countenance, and the fact that the police find clothes evidently cleaned with turpentine in his room."
"What of all that?" said Mr. Labouchere. "Who testifies to the bloody clothes and to the distorted countenance? A relative. No evidence of this sort is of value until it has been subjected to


There is a natural tendency to exaggerate in all involving a murder on the part of the witnesses. They improve on facts, and then they stick to their improvements. "Distrust your own witnesses" is the first rule in these sort of investigations. As for the knife, a great many sorts of knives would have enabled Jack to effect his purpose. As for the clothes, many people clean their clothes with turpentine because they are greasy, not because they are covered with the blood of victims. Evidently the police did not think that your lunatic was Jack, otherwise they would have sought to prove it in order to get the reward."
"But my lunatic, as you call him," said The Sun representative, "hinted to many that he was Jack."
"Which," answered Mr. Labouchere, "is putting strong proof to my mind that he was not. Your lunatic, too, fancied that he had some malady, and took remedies for it. Is a man a murderer because he is a malade imaginaire?"
The Sun representative was not to be borne down in this sweeping fashion. He pointed to the vast number of coincidences, and asked Mr. Labouchere whether he considered that no murder could be proved by a number of circumstantial proofs, all tending to one conclusion.
"Of course it can," replied Mr. Labouchere, "murders indeed, generally are proved by circumstantial evidence, for when a man intends to murder another, he objects to be hanged; he does it secretly, and not in the presence of witnesses. The Broadmoor lunatic


so may I for all that you know. Jack very probably was the same sort of man as the lunatic. But this, I should fancy, might be said of many inhabitants of this metropolis. But when you have to prove the commission of murder by an individual, you must show, not that he might have committed it, but that there is no other hypothesis for an admitted effect but one. This you have not done. I read through attentively all the proofs and suggestions of The Sun, for they interest me. The conclusion that I arrived at was that The Sun had made out a fair case for public investigation.

Source: Star, Issue 4918, 6 April 1894, Page 2

An Inspector of the Metropolitan Police, however, explains that Jack The Ripper had been committed to Dartmoor Asylum; not Broadmoor Asylum. Read:


Sensational reports have been published in some London papers regarding the identity of the person who committe the "Jack the Ripper" crimes. The "Morning Leader" says their representative has had an interview with an Inspector of the Metropolitan Police. Briefly told, the conversation was as follows: - "It was while I was on duty," said the Inspector, "in the vicinity of Whitechapel that I became acqainted with the outrages upon women that baffled the police and shocked the sensibility of London. I became a detective in more than the ordinary sense. Dates, clues, suggestions, and theories I eagerly devoured. My pertinacity was rewarded. After a time I secured evidence, in my judgment, ample to lay before the Scotland Yard authorities,"
"What was your evidence?" inquired our representative. "Have you the knife with which he committed the deed? Have you any material evidence in support of your story? These questions were eagerly asked and readily answered.
"I have in my possession now, and have already submitted it for inspection to the Scotland Yard authorities, the knife with which I shall endeavor to prove the Whitechapel murders were committed."
"Do the Scotland Yard authorities believe in your story?" "Well," said the Inspector, after a pause, "they believe in my story to the extent that they have allowed me a bonus for the information I have supplied. I do not, however, rest satisfied with that. If the man whom I am prepared to name is the murderer, I wish him brought to justice so that the English mind may be cleansed for ever from the memory of "Jack the Ripper."
"You have undertaken a large contract," said our representative. "To begin with, where is the man?"
"At the present moment he is incarcerated in the Dartmoor Asylum, and has been there continuously from the date of the last Whitechapel murder," was the reply.
"Have you apprized the authorities of this?"
"Yes" said the officer.
"Have they done nothing?" There was an air of reluctance in the Inspector's manner as he answered this question. Red tape appeared to have selected him as a particular victim. "Not much," was the careless rejoiner. "In a case of that kind perhaps it would be unwise for any of the rank and file of the force to effect a capture."
"Ah, jealousy in the force! How, then, do you hope to secure his arrest and conviction!" said our representative.
"Only with the aid of the Press," replied the officer, "can I hope to succeed, and you will do a public service by disclosing by story, and statements so specifically made ought easily and readily to be either confirmed or contradicted."
"Precisely. What is your evidence?" our reporter asked.
"In my possession I hold the knife, of Chinese manufacture, with which the Whitechapel crimes were perpetrated. I at the same time, can disclose the movements of the man, whom I am prepared to name, during the intervals between the murders. I am able to trace him to the asylum after the last crime, and although he is now abandoned to insanity he has yet remembrances of the past, and all his conversations and confessions are relating to the East End horrors."
"Surely you do not rely for a conviction upon the confessions of a man admittedly mad?" asked the Pressman.
"No," was the rapid rejoinder; "I reject confessions that rely solely upon material evidence. All I wish is that the authorities may be moved to interest themselves in my investigations so that my story may either be confirmed or refuted."
The above statement was circumstantially told to a "Morning Leader" representative by a well-placed officer in the police force whose name can be supplied.

Source: Colonist, Volume XXXVII, Issue 7906, 6 April 1894, Page 4

Note: It sounds like the Cutbush-as-Ripper theory was cooked up by very jealous Scotland Yard Officials, who would never wish to admit that a rank-and-file police detective did nab the Ripper and had him put away in Dartmoor Prison Asylum. Ergo, Cutbush was another scapegoat; on the basis that he was a raving lunatic who jabbed at women's buttocks with a knife in broad daylight, amid many witnesses. The original Ripper committed his ghastly murders and mutilations between the hours of midnight and 6 am., then disappeared without a trace.

Karen Trenouth
Author of: "Epiphany of the Whitechapel Murders"
Author of: "Jack the Ripper: The Satanic Team"

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