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Charles Le Grand

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Charles Le Grand

Post by Karen on Sat 27 Feb 2010 - 20:54

Another man who has been inaccurately accused of being "Jack The Ripper" is Charles Le Grand, otherwise known as "Le Grand of the Strand." It has been reported that the criminal Charles Le Grand received a sentence of 20 years for fraud, blackmail and writing threatening letters to titled wealthy Ladies.

THE KING OF BLACKMAILERS.
(DAILY NEWS.)

Christian Briscony, alias Charles Le Grand, alias Grant, alias "French Colonel," alias Captain Anderson, was on 20th November, convicted of sending letters to Mrs. Baldock, demanding money, and threatening to murder her. Sentence was postponed, for he is still to be tried on other charges. He stands indicted for sending similar letters to the Baroness Bolsover and to Lady Jessel: for conspiring to defraud the London and Westminster Bank; and for forging cheques. The evidence at the late trial was confined to the first charge, and that seems almost enough. To take all the others might only be to suggest that the prisoner had well-nigh boxed the compass of crime. His most appropriate alias was that of Le Grand, for as the "the Great," assuredly, he will go down to posterity, the very king of blackmailers. We shall never see such another in our time. There was a boldness in his method which bespeaks the intuitions of genius. He had no original, and he can have no successor. Beside him, the Turkish brigand who seizes the solitary traveller in the mountains, and asks for 10,000 piastres as a condition of sparing his nose and his cars, is but a man of one idea. Le Grand was a man of a hundred, and his hunting-ground was the heart of the most populous city upon earth. That city, however, cannot claim him as one of her sons. He is not a Londoner, nor even an Englishman. The rest is obscure, but, according to one report, Denmark is his place of origin. It should rather have been Norway; there is something of the Viking in his ferocity, the Viking, let us say, in the course of evolution into the area sneak. He is a Viking who can write, and there is perhaps a touch of Atavism in his preference for red ink. No ink could have been quite red enough for his letters to Mrs. Baldock. He did not know Mrs. Baldock, and it is not quite certain that he had ever seen her. But he wanted 500, and he asked her to stand and deliver on penalty of a sudden, a violent, and a mysterious death. His missive was in the nature of a bill drawn at seven days. If the poor old lady did not pay up within that time, he said, he would "dash her brains out by a dynamical explosion." In a more generous moment, he was free to admit that he had no grievance against her. At the same time, he was able to assure her that he had been brought to despair by the villainy of a woman, and that, in one point of view, the money was a sort of fine levied on a faithless sex.
Mrs. Baldock put the matter in the hands of the police, and they laid a trap to catch him, which was not, however, immediately successful. They advertised "will comply," as suggested, but they made the preposterous request that he should call at Mrs. Baldock's house. This made him very angry, and not unnaturally, for it showed bad faith. "Treachery," he said, with feeling in a second letter to her "is a base, vile, and utterly unfit quality for a lady" - the distinction is interesting for its bearing on the question of sex in crime - "and must, in this instance, be punished with exemplary rigour." The exemplary rigour was to be dynamite under the door-mat, or perhaps arsenic or cyanids in the bread, and in the milk - in fact, a free breakfast table in corrosive poisons. He might have spared himself the trouble of proving that it was wicked to employ the police against him, for he was prepared to show that it was useless, which was much more to the point. Their "want of foresight," he said of the force, in terms of perhaps excessive severity, "can only be equalled, if not surpassed, by their incapacity to perform police duty." This seems to have given just displeasure at Whitehall. A policeman is but mortal; he may despise the chatter of irresponsible frivolity, but when he is mocked for incapacity by an expert who has himself been in the private inquiry line, he cannot but feel a wound. In a short time after he had written that second and fatal letter, Le Grand was in custody. Policemen have long memories, and one of them, in looking at the letters which had been sent to Mrs. Baldock, was struck by a certain resemblance in the handwriting to a letter written by Le Grand to the department, over four years ago, complaining of the conduct of a constable. In this letter the writer was but a citizen asserting his right to efficient public service; he therefore had no reason to conceal his name. The police now knew whom to look for, and, moreover, whom to send to look for him. They put the affair in the hands of a detective to whom Le Grand and all his little ways had been for years an open secret. Soon this officer was keeping a friendly watch on a messenger boy, who, he thought, might be fetching and carrying, in the way of business, for his old acquaintance. He missed the trail that time, for he did not know that, while he was following the messenger boy, Le Grand was following him. He became aware of it when he received a fierce epistle from this inveterate letter-writer taunting him with his want of skill. In due time, however, came the stroke of fate. On the 26th of September, the detective, from information received, was able to go to Malden Station, and at Malden he saw his man. "Grandy, consider yourself in custody," was all he said, but, as he said it, the officer who accompanied him seized the prisoner's right hand. It was well he did so, for, otherwise, the hand might soon have found its way to revolver and a knuckle-duster which the traveller was carrying in a bag, as he afterwards stated, expressly for the benefit of the police.
They found quite a little arsenal at his lodgings - a quantity of gunpowder, and an ugly-looking contrivance of springs in a cigar-box, which was evidently intended as an infernal machine. They also found the rough draft of one of the threatening letters. A former clerk of the prisoner, who had served him when Le Grand was conducting a private enquiry agency, identified the handwriting of the threatening letters as that of his old employer. Finally, Mr. Nethercliff, the expert, who had been summoned in hot haste from Scotland, gave equally damaging evidence for the prosecution. The police produced a terrible record against the prisoner. They, at least, were satisfied that he was convicted of felony in 1877, and sentenced to penal servitude for eight years, and that, in 1889, he was sentenced to two years' imprisonment for the very offence of sending threatening letters with which he was now charged. The jury, however, did not share their opinion as to his identity with the man convicted in the first case. So ends the trial at this stage. The prisoner is still to be tried on the charge of forgery on the London and Westminster Bank, but it is not likely that we shall hear anything more as to the other charges of sending threatening letters. The wretched man seems to be of a highly nervous and excitable temperament. He has freely fainted away all through the proceedings. He "went off" when the police were reading the charge to him after his arrest, and afterwards had a fit in the dock. This, with the extreme violence of his threats, not only to the helpless ladies, but to the officers who took him into custody, is rather a disquieting sign. All further opinion on the case, however, must be suspended, until his doom has been pronounced.

Source: Bush Advocate, Volume VII, Issue 606, 2 April 1892, Page 6

Note: Since Jack the Ripper's murders were not motivated by theft, and he certainly did not "blow up" his victims, then, how, in any way, does this even describe Jack? Also, the papers at the time of Le Grand's arrest had this to say about it:

*It is rumored* that the police attribute the "Ripper murders" to a convict now in Portland gaol. Since when is a "rumor" considered solid evidence to convict a man of murdering at least seven prostitutes?
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Re: Charles Le Grand

Post by Karen on Sun 10 Mar 2013 - 21:14

THE STRANGE CHARGE OF CONSPIRACY.

Charles Grand, alias Grandy, and "The French Colonel," and a woman named Pourquoi or Demay, were on Friday again brought up at Marlborough-street police-court, charged with attempting to extort money from Mr. Malcolm Morris, surgeon, of Harley-street, by means of threats and menaces.
Aline Williams said that about three or four months ago she received a letter from Demay asking her to call upon her at her house in Charlotte-street as soon as she could. When she did so Demay led her into a room in which Grand was, but asked him to go out. As soon as he had gone she made a proposal to her that she (Williams) should go into court and swear that she had seen a Dr. Morris in her room, and heard him make her an offer of marriage. If she would do so she promised to give her 1 pound before she went into court, and 4 pounds more after she had given evidence. She (the witness) refused, however, to have anything to do with the matter. Shortly after she received another letter similar to the first, and again went to Charlotte-street. Demay then told her that if Mr. Morris's solicitor called upon her she was to do her best to get money from him.
Cross-examined by Grand: She first knew of the present proceedings by seeing the reports in the newspapers. She happened to mention what she knew of the matter to a gentleman friend. By his advice she then communicated with Mr. George Lewis (prosecutor's solicitor). It was not because Demay had told her that Mr. Morris's solicitor might give her some money that she gave him information; it was only through "generosity" that she was not in court.
Grand was proceeding to make a statement when Mr. Hannay stopped him and told him that he would have an opportunity of saying what he liked after the evidence had been taken. He (Grand), then pointing at Mr. Lewis, exclaimed in a very excited manner, "I have worked for that man in connection with the Parnell commission, and I have papers to prove it now in my pocket. I challenge him to deny it."
Mr. Lewis (to the Magistrate): I can only tell your worship that the statement the man makes is an absolute invention.
James Hall, Grand's "clerk," was recalled. Mr. Lewis read a letter which had been sent to an evening paper, complaining of the writer having been attacked by a number of private detectives, whom he had afterwards found to be employed by an eminent physician living in Cavendish-square. It bore no signature. Hall admitted that it was in his handwriting, but said that he wrote it from Grand's dictation. Mr. Lewis then handed in a circular headed "Grand and Co." It stated that "knowing for many years" detective experience with the nobility and gentry of this country "of the danger to which such persons were exposed through the dishonesty of their servants he (the writer) had formed a company to supply men to watch suspected servants or other persons." Hall said that it was prepared to send them round to their customers.
Aline Williams was recalled. Mr. Lewis (pointing to Mr. Morris): Have you ever seen this gentleman in your life, and is there any truth in that suggestion that you heard a doctor, or any one, make a promise to marry this woman (indicating Demay)?
Williams: I have never seen the gentleman before I came into court, and never heard anyone make a proposal of marriage to Madame Demay.
The same question was put to Mrs. Palmer, who lived in Demay's house at the time the alleged promise was said to have been made, and she gave a similar reply.
The defendants were then committed for trial on the charge of conspiring to extort money from Mr. Morris.

Source: Lloyd's Weekly London Newspaper, June 9, 1889, Page 2


Last edited by Karen on Mon 11 Mar 2013 - 6:53; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Charles Le Grand

Post by Karen on Sun 10 Mar 2013 - 21:42

THE CHARGE OF BLACKMAILING.
CASE IN THE OLD BAILEY.

A Frenchwoman, named Amelia Marie Pourquoi Demay, 30, and Charles Collnette Grandy, 36, were indicted at the Old Bailey, today, for conspiring together, by means of a false action in the High Court of Justice, to extort money from Dr. Malcolm Alexander Morris; also with inciting Alfred Walkling and Aline Williams to commit wilful and corrupt perjury.
Mr. F. Lockwood, Q.C., M.P., and Mr. Besley prosecuted; and Mr. Keith Frith and Mr. Simmons defended.

PROSECUTOR'S STATEMENT.

In a lengthened opening statement, Mr. Lockwood stated that the prosecutor was an eminent medical man, living in Harley-street, and was also one of the medical staff and lecturer at St. Mary's Hospital. In November, 1887, he was requested by Mr. Archibald Forbes, the well-known war correspondent, to go and see a friend of his who was ill in lodgings kept by the female prisoner at 31, Charlotte-street, Portland-street. It would be shown that the male prisoner also lived there, and that they had for some time been living together as man and wife. Dr. Morris recommended his patient to be removed to a certain medical institution in Baker-place, Euston-road. That was the first and only time Dr. Morris ever visited the house. Fully sixteen months afterwards - namely, on the 16th February of this year - he received a letter from Demay, threatening an action against him for defamation of character, and ruining her by recommending her lodgers to leave. Grandy next day wrote a letter stating that the action would be prosecuted to the end. Soon after a writ of summons and statement for breach of promise of marriage alleged to have been made by Dr. Morris to the female prisoner was served, laying the damages at 2,000 pounds. There were letters which followed, reminding the prosecutor that he was a man of public repute, as well as a married man, and the father of a family, and demanding compensation, so that the matter might be hushed up. The evidence would show that the prisoners were two of the most accomplished blackmailers that Court had known, and that they had carried on their trade for some years. It would further be shown that they had endeavoured to bribe two other persons to support their baseless claims.

GRANDY AS A PRIVATE DETECTIVE.

In the course of the evidence, Mr. George Lewis stated that the male prisoner called upon him and offered his services as a private detective, who could give him reliable information relating to the Parnell Commission. He, however, refused to have anything to do with him. "No," said he in his cross-examination, "he was not aware that he was in the service of Mr. Soames of the Times." "Mr. Soames," said the witness, "is an honourable man, and would not be guilty of a mean action if he knew it." "But," said Mr. Keith Firth, "if you had pursued the subject we might have had some interesting revelations about the Times." To this the witness retorted, rather warmly, "I am not here to discuss the matter." When, he added, he wrote to the male prisoner cautioning him against annoying the complainant, his family, or his servant, he received a writ threatening an action. But he had heard no more of it.
"One tissue of falsehoods," said Dr. Morris, in describing the accusations of the prisoners. Here there was a noteworthy incident. The woman declared that she had paid 30 pounds to counsel to defend her, and he was not there. - "That," said the Recorder, "is, I hear, because he has not been properly instructed." Then Grandy declared that he was not being properly defended, and that he desired to defend himself. "This," said Mr. Firth, "relieves me from an unpleasant duty, and I will at once retire from the case."

Source: The Echo, Tuesday June 25, 1889, Page 2


Last edited by Karen on Mon 11 Mar 2013 - 7:06; edited 1 time in total

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Author of: "Jack the Ripper: The Satanic Team"
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Re: Charles Le Grand

Post by Karen on Sun 10 Mar 2013 - 21:59

WEST-END DOCTOR'S COMPLAINT.
EXTRAORDINARY CHARGE OF CONSPIRACY.

An extraordinary charge of conspiracy to defraud was partly heard at the Marlborough-street Police-court yesterday. The defendants were Amelia Pourquoi, alias Amelia Demay, and Charles Grandy or Grand, both of French nationality, and residing at York-place, Baker-street. The charge was that of "unlawfully conspiring to defraud and injure Mr. Malcolm Alexander Morris, a surgeon practising at Harley-street, W." Mr. George Lewis was for the complainant, and the defendants were represented by counsel. The circumstances were very remarkable. Mr. Lewis said the male defendant was known as "The French Colonel," and the female cohabited with him. Dr. Morris occupies a high position in the medical profession. In 1887, at the request of Mr. Archibald Forbes, he attended professionally a gentleman who was in reduced circumstances, and who lived at the same house as the defendants. Subsequently he had this gentleman removed to a hospital, where he died. In February of this year Dr. Morris was served with a writ, at the instance of the defendant Pourquoi, for breach of promise of marriage and for slander, the damages claimed amounting to 2,000 pounds. Recently Dr. Morris had been prosecuted by the defendant Grandy to such an extent as to make his life almost unbearable. He stood near his house, and when the prosecutor went out he followed him about and thus annoyed him. The alleged offer of marriage, Pourquoi averred, took place in a house in Bolsover-street, which Dr. Morris, who was a married man with a grown-up family, had positively never entered. Pourquoi's solicitor reserved cross-examination, observing that the action pending might come before the Court of Queen's Bench in a few weeks. Mr. Hannay adjourned the case for a week, allowing the defendants bail.

Source: The Echo, Saturday May 25, 1889, Page 3

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Author of: "Jack the Ripper: The Satanic Team"
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Re: Charles Le Grand

Post by Karen on Mon 11 Mar 2013 - 7:02

BLACKMAIL CASE.

Amelie Demay, 30, and Charles Colnette Grandy, 36, were indicted before the Recorder, at the Central Criminal Court, for conspiring to extort money from Dr. Malcolm Alexander Morris; also to incite Alfred Walking and Aline Williams to commit perjury. The prosecutor is a London surgeon, residing at 8, Harley-street with his family. In February last he received a letter purporting to come from the female prisoner, but which was written at the dictation of the prisoner Grandy, threatening an action for defamation of character and slander. That was followed two or three days later by a letter from Demay's solicitor, threatening an action for breach of promise of marriage, and a writ and statement of claim for 2,000 pounds damages were served in due course. The Jury on Wednesday found the prisoners guilty. Serjeant Jameson stated that the prisoner Grandy had for some time been engaged in trumping up charges against various persons. The female prisoner acted under his terrorism. The Recorder said a more dangerous class of offence could not well be imagined. He sentenced Grandy to five years' penal servitude, and the female prisoner to 18 months' imprisonment.

Source: Hornsey and Middlesex Messenger, Friday June 28, 1889

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