In my 2016 article, The English Detective, I dealt with some issues in Michael L. Hawley's first book, 'The Ripper's Haunts', available from Amazon.co.uk here for £11.95 in paperback or £6.32 on Kindle. This article, 'Hawley's Howlers', looks further at Hawley's first book and also at his Ripperologist articles and his second book from 2018 entitled 'Jack the Ripper Suspect Dr. Francis Tumblety' available from Amazon.co.uk in paperback for £14.46 here here and in a Kindle edition for £5.07 here. No doubt it is also available in the United States and Canada and other countries. I also consider his 2016 Rippercast presentation, which can be found here. I am looking, in other words, at Hawley's work as a whole. Does it stand up to scrutiny? We shall see.
Actually, I can tell you now. No, it doesn't. For upon checking against the evidence we find a series of howlers in Hawley's work which are best described as: Hawley's Howlers.
THREE'S A CROWD
Let's start with the most extraordinary false statement, or howler, made by Hawley, one that he cannot seem to stop repeating. From his first book:
'[Tumblety] was named as a Whitechapel murder suspect by no less than three Scotland Yard officials'
'...three Scotland Yard officials commented upon Tumblety as a Ripper suspect after he was committed to the Central Criminal Court...'
'...three Scotland Yard officials considered Tumblety a murder suspect after Mary Kelly's murder...'
'Scotland Yard never admitted Tumblety was a suspect in the Whitechapel murder case (although it was later confirmed by the statements of three Scotland Yard officials)'.
'Corroborating this chain of events surrounding the arrest and re-arrest of Francis Tumblety, as spelled out in US newspaper reports, was the fact that three Scotland Yard officials commented on his as a Ripper suspect after he was committed to the Central Criminal Court for the misdemeanour case.'
From his second book:
'Even further corroborating Scotland Yard's continued interest in Tumblety in the Whitechapel murders case is the fact that three Scotland Yard officials refer to Tumblety as suspect after the Kelly murder.'
In the Casebook Forum he posted to me on 7 May 2018:
'How could I have kept information away when I justify my point that he was free by commenting upon three Scotland Yard officials naming him as a suspect AFTER the Kelly murder.'
On the Howlercast:
'...we have three Scotland Yard officials stating that he was a suspect after the Kelly murder'.
It's quite impressive isn't it? Three Scotland Yard officials considering, confirming, commenting, referring to, stating and, above all, naming Tumblety as a suspect for the Whitechapel murders after the murder of Mary Jane Kelly. Well impressive it may be but it's also complete and utter nonsense.
In the Casebook Forum I asked Hawley to identify these three Scotland Yard officials but he failed to do so and the thread was closed to protect him from having to answer any further questions. Thankfully we can find out who the three men are supposed to be because Hawley tells us in his books. They are Assistant Commissioner Robert Anderson, Chief Inspector John Littlechild and Detective-Inspector Walter Andrews.
So let's start with Inspector Walter Andrews. He obviously named Tumblety as a Ripper suspect, right? Er, well, no actually. What he said about Tumblety to a Canadian reporter in December 1888 couldn't have been clearer:
'Do I know Dr. Tumblety, of course I do. But he is not the Whitechapel murderer.'
I guess that second sentence should be repeated.
'But he is not the Whitechapel murderer.'
One more time:
'But he is not the Whitechapel murderer.'
In what world do the words 'he is not the Whitechapel murderer' translate into 'he is a suspect for the Whitechapel murders'?
Not any world I am aware of.
Hawley doesn't want to think about the words 'he is not the Whitechapel murderer'. He prefers to focus on what Andrews goes on to say, namely, 'All the same we would like to interview him, for last time we had him he jumped his bail. He is a bad lot.'
Let's look at how Hawley amusingly represents Andrews' words in one of his presentations:
So we have 'All the same we would like to interview him' enlarged and coloured in blue.
I've read those words a number of times but what I do not see there is Inspector Andrews saying: 'we would like to interview him about the Whitechapel murders.'
Given that Andrews doesn't say this, how is Hawley able to interpret Andrews as unequivocally saying that Scotland Yard would like to interview Tumblety about the Whitechapel murders?
Wouldn't it be a bit strange if he was saying that? For it would mean that immediately after positively saying that Tumblety was not the Whitechapel murderer, Andrews did a complete u-turn and said, in effect, that he could, after all, be the Whitechapel murderer. That would be a bit odd, wouldn't it?
Surely the most obvious interpretation is that Andrews was saying that while Tumblety was not the Whitechapel murderer, Scotland Yard would like to speak to him about a range of other possible criminal offences because, as Andrews himself explained, he was a 'bad lot'.
Even if there is ambiguity in what Andrews was saying, there is no legitimate way to interpret his words as definitely being that Scotland Yard wanted to interview Tumblety for murder. When he said that Tumblety was not the Whitechapel murderer, he said it with certainty, not using the words 'I think' or 'I believe' but telling a reporter, and thus the world, that 'he is not the Whitechapel murderer'. What would happen if Tumblety was arrested for the Whitechapel murders and those definite words of a Scotland Yard detective were produced in court? When do Scotland Yard officials ever say that someone is not guilty of a crime unless they are certain it's the case?
Hawley is the only guilty person here. He is guilty of perverting Andrews' meaning and twisting his words. Andrews didn't name Tumblety as a suspect at all. On the contrary, he denied he was a suspect. He ruled him out completely.
So, of the list of three Scotland Yard officials, we are now down to two.
What about Robert Anderson? Surely he must have named Tumblety as a suspect?
Well, no, he absolutely did not. All we know about Anderson is that he sent two telegrams to American police chiefs, one of which was in response to an offer to send him a sample of Tumblety's handwriting, asking for more information about Tumblety, and the content of the other is unknown but appears to have been requesting information about Tumblety. I deal with this further below but, really, that's it. That's all Anderson is known to have ever done in respect of Tumblety. At no time did he state that he considered him to be a suspect for the Whitechapel murders.
Bizarrely, Hawley thinks he did, based not on anything that Anderson actually said, but on the way his actions were reported in the American press. This is how Hawley actually puts it in his second book:
'The last official commenting upon Tumblety as a suspect after November 7, 1888 was Assistant Commissioner Robert Anderson' .
Does he then go on to provide an example of Anderson commenting on Tumblety as a suspect? Not a bit of it. What we are told to do is to: 'Note the following report'. That report is one from the Brooklyn Standard-Union of 23 November 1888 which said, 'the London police are evidently doing their level best to fasten the Whitechapel murders upon Dr. F.T. Tumblety. Today Police Superintendent Campbell received a telegram from Assistant Police Commissioner Anderson...'
So Hawley is literally taking the words of an American newspaper reporter who has not spoken to anyone in Scotland Yard and placing them into the mouth of Anderson as if Anderson had said them himself!
That would be bad enough but Hawley doesn't seem to appreciate that the use of the word 'evidently' by the Brooklyn reporter shows that he was doing no more than placing his own interpretation on what the London police were doing as a result of Anderson sending a telegram to Campbell.
As of 22 November, when Anderson sent the telegram in question, he no doubt believed that Tumblety was out on bail and thus reasonably secure (as being on bail was regarded as being in 'friendly custody') and would soon be standing trial at the Old Bailey, so there could be good reasons for Anderson wanting information on Tumblety other than thinking he was the Whitechapel murderer.
Hawley can't seem to believe that, in the middle of the Ripper investigation, Anderson would take time to solve any crimes other than the Whitechapel murders but, funnily enough, there were other crimes being committed in London at the time and Anderson would have not been devoting 100% of his time to catching Jack the Ripper by any means. It was for Inspector Abberline to concentrate full time on finding the killer, not the Assistant Commissioner.
Hawley's interpretation of the Brooklyn newspaper report really is one of the most extraordinary examples of twisting of the English language that it's possible to find. The best Hawley could have said, if he was trying to retain any kind of grip on the truth, is that Anderson's actions could be interpreted as him believing that Tumblety was Jack the Ripper. That would have been fair enough. Anderson's actions could be interpreted both ways. But the Assistant Commissioner never said or commented on or referred to or named Tumblety as a suspect in the Whitechapel murders.
As it happens, five days after the murder of Kelly, on 14 November, Robert Anderson had the perfect opportunity to hint at any suspicions against an American doctor, for he was then asked by a London representative of the New York Sun: 'Do you believe that the murderer is a foreigner, an American, as the rumour has been?' to which Anderson is reported to have replied 'How can I know? I have not seen him' . This was published in the New York Sun of 26 November 1888, a report which Hawley quotes a different extract from in his second book, but sadly he has never been able to find space in any of his books or articles to reproduce or mention the above exchange.
So we now come to Chief Inspector Littlechild. And it is unquestionable that, when writing to George Sims in 1913, Littlechild did say that Tumblety was 'amongst the suspects' for the Whitechapel murders and, furthermore, that he personally considered him a very likely suspect. But we need to look carefully at the three reasons he gave to Sims for regarding him as such.
The first was that he was a sexual psychopath, the second was that he had remarkable and bitter feelings against women: both decent reasons for suspecting Tumblety but neither close to being conclusive. The third reason he gave Sims is crucial but often ignored (and certainly ignored by Hawley). This was that from the time Tumblety left England, 'the "Ripper" murders came to an end.' In other words, one of the three reasons for Littlechild's suspicions against Tumblety could not possibly have been present as at November or December 1888 and probably could not have existed until some years later, bearing in mind that it was widely believed (including by the Commissioner of Police at Scotland Yard) that at least one further Ripper murder was committed during 1889.
It's impossible to say just how strong Littlechild's suspicions against Tumblety were in 1888 at a time when he did not know the Ripper murders had come to an end, after Tumblety had left the country.
This needs to be considered along with the way that Littlechild presented the information to Sims. For the former chief inspector wasn't asked who he believed the prime suspect for the murders was and replied 'Tumblety'. Sims had asked him if he was aware of a 'Dr D' in connection with the Whitechapel murders and Littlechild responded by saying that he wasn't aware of a Dr D but was aware of a Dr T. For all we know, if Sims had asked him if he was aware of a Mr D in connection with the murders Littlechild might have said he was not aware of a Mr D but was aware of a Mr B or a Mr P who was 'amongst the suspects' and whom he considered a very likely suspect. We just don't know.
Of course, there was no Dr D, by which Sims meant Dr Druitt, because Druitt wasn't a doctor, and, had Sims asked Littlechild if he was aware of a barrister or schoolteacher called Mr D, Littlechild might have said he was, and told him that Druitt was a very likely suspect.
Anyway, the fact of the matter is that only one Scotland Yard official can be said to have named Tumblety as a suspect after the Kelly murder. Clearly, one isn't enough for Hawley so he has to bump it up to three in order to try and convince us that Tumblety must have been out of prison at the time of the Kelly murder otherwise why would THREE Scotland Yard officials have named him as a suspect?
Using specious arguments of this nature can only discredit the person using them. And it's no wonder that Hawley didn't want to answer my question in the Casebook Forum!
THE MEN HUNTING THE RIPPER
Hawley's arguments appear to have gone through some modification over time. There is nothing wrong with that per se but it's worth reminding ourselves of what has been discarded.
Back in 2015, in his article entitled 'Anderson's Furtive Mission in North America', Ripperologist 144, Hawley was claiming that, in December 1888, Inspector Andrews 'came to North America specific to the Whitechapel case'. He cited Guy Logan's 1928 statement that Andrews, 'was sent specially to America in December 1888, in search of the Whitechapel fiend' and also seemed to place reliance on the New York correspondent of the Daily Telegraph saying in a column published on 30 December 1888 that Andrews had arrived in New York from Montreal (even though Hawley himself believed that Andrews would have been sailing back to England at this time).
Hawley's suggestion was that Andrews, having two days spare between his visit to Montreal on 20 December (although it was actually 19 December) and his departure from Halifax on what he thought was 24 December, in a journey that should only have lasted two days but took four, might well have visited New York in those two spare days, although for what rational purpose isn't made clear. Hawley suggested a visit 'to retrieve documents collected by other Scotland Yard officials stationed on the east coast' but who these officials were or what they were doing stationed on the east coast of America was never explained.
The entire article was reproduced in Hawley's first book, published in 2016, but he had nothing to say about Andrews visiting New York in the main text.
The reason for this might be that, by the time he published his first book, his entire argument on this issue had been comprehensively debunked (by me), firstly when I located written official confirmation by Robert Anderson (as published in The Thomas Barton Affair) that Andrews never visited the United States at all in 1888 and that there were no English police officers in America between 20 and 25 December 1888, meaning that Andrews could not possibly have made a detour to New York in that period as Hawley believed, and, secondly, when I subsequently discovered that Andrews did not, in any event, sail back to England on the Oregon on 24 December, as one Canadian newspaper had reported, misleading Hawley, but took the return journey aboard the Sarnia which departed from Halifax 22 December (See Reconstructing Jack). Consequently there were no missing days and Andrews never went to New York. He simply didn't have time.
Hawley now knows all this but in the best Stalinist tradition of rewriting history never mentions it. In his second book, published in 2018, there is not even the merest hint that Andrews was ever in New York (or not), or did anything relating to Tumblety in North America, despite this being the central thesis of his 2015 Ripperologist article. It has simply been abandoned without a word of contrition.
While everyone is entitled to change their mind, I am bound to say that Hawley allowed himself to be misled in the first place because he had convinced himself that Tumblety was such an important suspect for Scotland Yard in late 1888 that virtually everything that organisation did in that period was centered around Tumblety. He was thus seeing links to Tumblety everywhere, and if someone like Logan or the Daily Telegraph correspondent linked Andrews to him, he swallowed the idea hook, line and sinker without seriously questioning whether it could be correct.
My thesis is that Hawley hasn't learnt his lesson from this fiasco and he still chases phantoms in New York. He now knows that Guy Logan was wrong. He now knows that the New York correspondent of the Daily Telegraph was wrong. Yet he still clings to the belief that every other newspaper report which said that there was an English detective in New York chasing Tumblety is correct, even though such reports are never properly sourced, have no support in any official papers and make no sense when looked at rationally.I can only assume it's because he truly does believe that Andrews was saying that he thought Tumblety was a suspect when speaking to a journalist in Canada in December 1888 that Hawley wants to enhance the role of Inspector Andrews and thus wrote in his first book:
'According to Chief Inspector Walter Dew’s later memoirs―he being a young detective constable assigned to the Whitechapel District at the time of the murders―three experienced first class inspectors were immediately assigned to the case by Scotland Yard: Inspectors Frederick Abberline, Walter Andrews, and Henry Moore.'
The howler here is the insertion by Hawley of the word 'immediately'. Dew never said anything about Abberline, Andrews and Moore being 'immediately' assigned to the case. He just said that those three were the officers sent from Scotland Yard. No time frame was mentioned.
From the evidence of the surviving Metropolitan Police and Home Office files, there is no evidence of any involvement by Inspector Moore in the investigation prior to 4 October 1888 when he directed Sergeant White to take Matthew Packer to the mortuary to identify Stride, albeit that this was expressly stated to be 'in the absence of Inspr. Abberline at C.O.'. Moore was also at Leman Street police station on 10 November 1888, the day after the Kelly murder, when Edward Larkins presented him with his theory about the murders and his presence in Whitechapel on this date does suggest he was working on the case.
It isn't until 17 July 1889, however, that we find a report on the case written by Inspector Moore (aside from the October report written in Abberline's absence). This was in relation to the murder of Alice McKenzie. While I appreciate that the authoritative JTR Ultimate Casebook states that Inspector Moore had been sent from Scotland Yard to investigate the murders in September 1888, no source is provided for this statement although, if it's not Dew's recollection in his 1938 memoirs, it's presumably the somewhat ambiguous (as to timing) statement in the Times of 12 November 1888 that since the murders of Chapman, Stride and Eddowes, 'Detective-Inspectors Reid, Moore and Nairn...have been constantly engaged under the direction of Inspector Abberline (Scotland-yard) in prosecuting inquiries...'.
It is very unlikely, however, that Inspector Moore was working on the Whitechapel murders case immediately following the murder of Annie Chapman on 8 September 1888 because a German national called Oscar Moeller, charged with abduction of a teenage American heiress, was placed into his custody on 10 September 1888, and the inspector was then authorized by the Home Secretary to convey Moeller to the jurisdiction of the German Empire on 11 September (HO 134/25). Inspector Moore was the natural choice to escort Moeller back to Germany because he had initially arrested him in Queenstown in early August but if he was working on the Chapman case on 10/11 September he surely would not have been sent to Germany on an extradition matter at that particular time.
The reference in the Times, incidentally, to Detective-Inspector Nairn as working on the case is an erroneous reference to Detective-Sergeant James William Nearn of Scotland Yard (CO Division).
When it comes to Inspector Andrews (not mentioned in the Times of 12 November as assisting on the case), there is literally zero record of him doing anything relating to the Whitechapel murders in London at any time, either in the official papers or the press. For that reason, the conclusion seems unavoidable that Dew, who was only a constable in 1888, had been misled by press reports, or possibly gossip of other officers based on those press reports, saying that Inspector Andrews had been chasing a Jack the Ripper suspect over in America in December 1888, whereas, with the benefit of seeing official papers and Canadian newspapers, we now know what he was actually doing in Canada.
In any event, we have the truth from Inspector Andrews' own mouth. While he was in Montreal on 20 December 1888 he made a statement for Canadian journalists, which was published in the Montreal Daily Witness of the same date (full text below) in which he not only confirmed that Scotland Yard, 'had not a jot of evidence or clue of any kind, moral or legal, against any man' , but said, 'We have a special staff of 23 detectives, two clerks and an inspector doing nothing else but working on this case.' That is surely unequivocal. There was only one inspector from Scotland Yard working full time on the Ripper investigation at this time. That must have been Inspector Abberline. Had there been any more Scotland Yard inspectors on the case (including himself), Andrews would surely have said so. But clearly Andrews was telling us in December 1888 that he wasn't working on the case, nor was Inspector Moore.
Once again, therefore, we have three Scotland Yard officials magically becoming one!
But what does Hawley say about these three officials in his second book? Well, the word 'immediately' has gone, and, instead, we find this:
Not quite as wrong as before but, on the basis of what Andrews said in Montreal, this must still be wrong and even if, by some miracle, Hawley is right that Andrews was assigned to the case, it would only serve to give more credibility to the inspector's view that Tumblety was not the Whitechapel murderer!
'Chief Inspector Donald Swanson was placed in full charge of the investigation, and three first-class inspectors from headquarters, Frederick Abberline, Henry Moore, and Walter Andrews were assigned to assist the detectives assigned to the Whitechapel District, called H Division.'
SCOTLAND YARD AND THE AMERICAN OBSESSION
Hawley seems to think that Scotland Yard believed that the Whitechapel murderer was an American or, even better, an American doctor and he tries hard to convince us of this but fails miserably.
The section in his book dealing with this issue starts badly with an absolute Hawley howler. Reproducing a report in the New York Evening World which refers to 'the curious disposition to connect the crimes with an American', Hawley says:
'Note that the Dear Boss letter was not yet published when this October 2 special report was written.'
As a result, he tells us, when the London correspondent of the New York Evening World wrote disparagingly, on 2 October, about the crimes connected with an American, 'the London correspondent had no idea about the Americanisms in the [Dear Boss] letter.'
In actual fact, the text of the Dear Boss letter, with all its glorious Americanisms, was first published in the London afternoon papers, such as the Evening Standard and Echo, on 1 October 1888, while the Echo also managed to publish the follow-up postcard which was only received by the Central News that day. So the New York World reporter surely would have known about it when he wrote his piece the next day.
Hawley appears to have got confused by the fact that (as he understood the position) it was not until 5 October that an actual facsimile of the letter was released to the press so that the public could see the handwriting, although, in fact, the facsimiles of the letter and postcard were first published on the morning of 4 October (in, for example, the Daily Telegraph of that date).
I don't really know why it is important to Hawley that the London correspondent of the New York Evening World couldn't have been aware of the Dear Boss letter at the time he wrote his 2 October article but the importance of this article for Hawley seems to be that the London correspondent was under the impression that Scotland Yard held an 'American suspicion'. But that's not what the article shows for it refers to the police detaining John Fitzgerald (a labourer who had confessed to the murder of Chapman), a hauling up of 'a poor German' who had quarrelled with a woman he had met by chance and, then, 'the late seizure of the mysterious gentleman with the "American hat"'.
So the London correspondent of the New York Evening World was talking about three arrests, only one of whom might have been an American due to his choice of headwear (but the writer otherwise doesn't seem sure of his nationality). The writer then refers to the curious disposition to connect the crimes with an American but he does not say that this was a disposition on the part of the police at all. On the contrary, he goes on to quote remarks such as 'An American hat', 'an American medical student' and 'an American whatnot' which all appear to have come from the British press, or, if not, from excited members of the public overheard discussing the case.
It is certainly true that the writer does then say that an English friend of his told him that if, 'instead of giving such a direction to their suspicions', which seems to be a direction of suspicions towards Americans by London detectives, the police would probably do better in catching the murderer, but that is related as the singular view of his friend. We are not told if his friend had simply picked up information from reading stories about the murders in the press or had any more knowledge than we ourselves can easily glean from looking at the newspapers today that the London detectives really did have any 'American suspicions'. As it happens, we have access to official internal and confidential police reports which reveal no such such suspicions being expressed. But Hawley is far less interested in what the police themselves said in official reports than in how American journalists, or their friends, speculated furiously.
The other important information that Hawley extracts from the New York Evening World report of 2 October is that the World's correspondent 'noted how Scotland Yard was identifying Americans on the street by their hat'. But there is not a single example of such a thing happening in the entire article! All that is said is that it had been reported that the police had arrested a man who was wearing an American hat. It was not stated that the man was arrested because he was a wearing an American hat (and, in fact, as we shall see in due course, he wasn't - he was arrested for an entirely different reason).
For Hawley, it seems very important to convince us that Scotland Yard believed or suspected that the Whitechapel murderer was an American. More than this, as we shall see, he seems to think that Scotland Yard thought he was an American doctor. It's not clear to me what Hawley is banging on about here. If he was saying that the police had inside information that the Whitechapel murderer was an American doctor, or just an American, so that they were particularly looking out for someone like Tumblety, or even looking for Tumblety himself, it might make sense in a book arguing that Tumblety is a good suspect for the murders but he doesn't seem to be saying that at all.
Perhaps, he is saying that the fact that the police were arresting so many Americans shows us how easy it was for Tumblety to have been arrested and, in turn, makes the story of his arrest credible. If this is, indeed, all he is saying he really doesn't need to spend as much time on it as he does, for the existence of a general idea that the Whitechapel murderer might have been an American was surely obvious in the light of the Americanisms in the Dear Boss letter (to the extent that it was believed to be genuine) and, more importantly, in light of the fact that, only a few days earlier, the coroner at the Chapman inquest had put forward his widely reported theory that the murders may be connected with an American who had recently been attempting to acquire organ specimens, something else which no doubt influenced the New York Evening World's London correspondent.
Continuing the theme of the killer being an American, Hawley tells us to: 'Note the following editorial in London’s Evening News on the very same day it [the Dear Boss letter] was published', which Hawley tells us was 5 October 1888. However, he then goes on to reproduce not an editorial but a letter to the editor by someone signing as 'S.F.G'. Perhaps Hawley doesn't understand the meaning of the words (in capital letters) 'TO THE EDITOR OF THE "EVENING NEWS."' and thinks that this somehow makes it an editorial. He also doesn't seem to understand how the calendar works. The letter is clearly dated 4th October. It refers to the writer having 'examined the fac-simile letters you published this afternoon'.
Does Hawley think that this writer carried out a psychic examination of the facsimiles the day before they were published? The truth is that the facsimiles were published in the Evening News on 4 October 1888:
But okay, let's leave these minor Hawley howlers aside. The writer of the letter in the Evening News makes the point that the Dear Boss letter was, in his view, written by an American. Understandably, therefore, if it hadn't already occurred to anyone in London from the coroner's remarks about the American looking for organs, and from the original publication of the text of the letters four days earlier, the idea that an American might have been responsible for the murderers naturally must have taken hold to some extent. It probably influenced individual constables on the ground. But did it influence Scotland Yard? So far, from Hawley, there has not been a jot of evidence produced that it did. Despite this, he tells us that a 'result of the Dear Boss letter was Scotland Yard's suspicions that the Whitechapel fiend may be American'. But these suspicions appear to have been invented by Hawley. He never demonstrates that they actually existed.
Hawley next takes us on a weird time travel journey forward and back in time. Thus, he tells us:
'On October 6, 1888, the Saturday Budget reported an arrest of a tall American wearing an American slouch hat, which is a soft felt hat having a wide brim and turned down the middle'.
Hawley doesn't mention that the Saturday Budget was a newspaper published in Quebec, Canada (and I can't imagine why he has decided to use it as a source). The report begins, 'A man was arrested at midnight last night' which makes it sound like it was at midnight of 5 October 1888. But it wasn't. The Quebec newspaper was a reproducing an old, and by then out-of-date, report which had been published in the London newspapers on 1 October 1888 and referred to an arrest of a man living in lodgings in Albert Chambers, South London, shortly before midnight on 30 September. As it happens, this is the very same arrest (of the mysterious gentlemen in an American hat) referred to by the London correspondent of the New York Evening World of 2 October (as mentioned above).
According to Hawley, in the Howlercast:
'...the Albert Chambers [arrest] I’m still thinking that that is so Tumblety that that would have been his first arrest in the case but even the report says that that person was released immediately so Tumblety may not even have known that Scotland Yard now is taking him seriously...'
In his 2018 book Hawley says, 'There is evidence that this initial arrest of Tumblety on suspicion of the Whitechapel murders occurred just after the double event murders on 1 October 1888.' It's not encouraging that Hawley is unable to correctly date the arrest of this tall supposed American who he thinks might be Tumblety, with the arrest actually having occurred on 30 September.
The man arrested might have been American but there was no report saying he was a doctor. However, Hawley continues in his book by saying, 'Yet another connection to an American doctor occurred near the Stride murder site on Batty Street...'
But the two contemporary reports of the lodger living at Batty Street which Hawley includes in his book do not mention that he was either American or a doctor. One of the reports merely refers to him as 'apparently a foreigner.'
Now, Hawley thinks he was an American doctor because in 1909 a woman told George Sims, the journalist, that she had had a lodger in 1888, who, she said, was an American medical man, who came home at 2am on the morning of the Double Event. When her husband opened a black bag, which he saw in the lodger's room the next day, he found that it contained a long knife and two bloodstained cuffs. Before any action could be taken, the American doctor paid his rent and left. This man certainly wasn't Tumblety because the woman told Sims that she had seen him working as a doctor in North West London as recently as a week ago (i.e. in 1909).
It is strange that Hawley seems convinced that this man was the same man as the Batty Street lodger because just about every detail of the respective stories is different. Leaving aside that Sims' landlady doesn't even say that she lived in the East End, the Batty Street lodger was supposedly identified after he gave his landlady some shirts to wash and she noticed that the wristbands and part of the sleeves of one of them were 'saturated with wet blood'. There was no mention of any knife being found in that story. There was also no mention of cuffs (which appear, in the Sims story, to have been detachable cuffs not shirts). Also, in the Batty Street story, there is no mention of the landlady's husband, although his role is crucial in the story told by Sims' landlady because he took it upon it himself to investigate the contents of his lodger's bag whereas the Batty Street lodger freely handed over his shirt or shirts to be washed.
The Batty Street landlady was a German woman who, at the time, spoke very bad English, but Sims makes no mention of his lady visitor being a foreigner and quotes her as speaking English fluently, so her language skills must have improved over time if it was the same woman. Furthermore, and crucially, one of the two stories about the Batty Street lodger says that he was arrested, questioned and released whereas in the Sims story the man disappeared in 1888 before any action could be taken.
Hawley brushes off all of the differences by saying that one of the Batty Street reports came from the neighbours whereas Sims had the inside story from the horse's mouth via the landlady direct, but the second report cited by him, which contains a Central News agency story, seems to have come from the police because it talks of the police having placed the house under observation and the man being arrested and quickly released.
Other than the fact that, in both stories, the two men returned home during the night of the double event, and had some bloodstained items of clothing, there really doesn't seem to be anything, on their face, to connect them.
That they must have been two completely separate incidents becomes clear when we look at the following report in The Standard of 18 October 1888:
'A reporter had an interview yesterday with the landlady of the house, 22, Batty-street, Whitechapel, which place was alleged to be the resort of the owner of the bloodstained shirt. The lodging-house is kept by a German woman, the wife of a seaman. She denied that the man for whom the police were searching was one of her lodgers, and asserted that he simply had his washing done at the house. He was a ladies' tailor working for a West-end house, and did not reside in the Leman-street district. She explained the presence of blood on the shirt by saying that it was owing to an accident that occurred to a man (other than the one taken into custody) who was living on the premises, and that police would have known nothing of it but for her having indiscreetly shown it to a neighbour. The woman denies that the detectives are still in possession of her house.'
And that completely disposes of it. The German woman's lodger was a tailor, not a doctor. The idea that the man lodging at Batty Street was the murderer is based on nothing.
This means that, even if the Sims story is true, it seems to be completely irrelevant to anything because not only did no-one know about it 1888 - so it had no effect on anything that happened relating to Tumblety - but it certainly was not Tumblety because Tumblety did not practice medicine in North West London during 1909.
Hawley nevertheless keeps telling us that Scotland Yard were chasing or suspecting Americans without providing any evidential support at all. He claims that 'Scotland Yard continued to take seriously American suspects' and says that this is 'evidenced by' an article in the Echo of 29 October 1888. Are we finally going to get some evidence of Scotland Yard taking American suspects seriously? No, we are certainly not. For the Echo report says no more than that, 'The police, according to a morning contemporary, have so much in mind the vague stories of an American perpetrator of the dastardly crimes that any person in a wide-a-wake or soft felt hat becomes a person of suspicion'. This seems to be no more than a repeat of someone else's idle speculation, not based on any specific or recorded observations. The only actual example given in the Echo of an arrest of such a person is one of a comic singer who was wearing a soft felt hat in Whitechapel but this was, we are told, prompted by 'some quick-sighted citizen' who denounced the singer to the police causing him to be marched off to a station but detained only a short time. So here it was a member of the public who had apparently become suspicious due to someone's headwear and, mentioned his or her suspicions to some constables who were probably of H Division and thus not from Scotland Yard in any case.
Hawley does the same thing again in respect of a report in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle of 10 November 1888 which does no more than comment: 'It has been said among other things that the assassin is an American, because he wears a slouch hat...'. The report does not tell us exactly who has said this, and one would assume the journalist was referring to speculative comment in the press, but Hawley's conclusion from this remark, amazingly, is that, 'Even after the Kelly murder, Scotland Yard considered the possibility of an American Jack the Ripper as they investigated all suspect theories.' Well perhaps they did, but Hawley hasn't provided any evidence to demonstrate it, although he bizarrely seems to think that he has.Although Hawley doesn't tell us this, possibly because he doesn't know, the report in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle was likely to have been prompted by an arrest that was reported to have occurred in Whitechapel during the evening of 9 November 1888. This is how it was reported in the Hartlepool Western Daily Mail of 10 November 1888:
'Another respectably dressed man, wearing a slouch hat and carrying a black back, was arrested and taken to Leman-street Station. The bag was examined, but its contents were perfectly harmless, and the man was at once released.'
So there's another reported arrest of a man wearing a slouch hat but, at a time after Tumblety had been arrested for the indecency offences.
At this point in his book, Hawley also quotes George Hutchinson and Matthew Packer as saying that they saw a man with an American style of hat (although his references go a bit awry at this point because the Brooklyn Daily Eagle of 10 November 1888, which he gives as the source, was clearly not reporting about George Hutchinson who had not yet come forward) but, unless he is trying to tell us that the man seen by Hutchinson and Packer (if it was the same man) was Tumblety, which is not what he seems to be saying, what purpose does it serve that this man (or men) might have been wearing a slouch hat?
Englishmen could, of course, wear slouch hats, just as much as Americans, as this story in the Glasgow Post of 25 May 1886 shows:
'THE SLOUCH HAT BRIGADE
Between eight and nine o'clock on Friday evening a Liverpool gentleman had an extraordinary experience in Whitechapel, in that city, within a few yards of his place of business. When speaking to a friend he was accosted by a man in a slouch hat, who asked for alms, and was given some coppers. Very shortly after another of the slouch hat brigade made a similar request, and was similarly relieved. A third then presented himself, and the gentleman, thinking this extraordinary, declined to be drawn into further charity. His refusal met with the surly intimation that if he did not give something his eye would be knocked out, and almost simultaneously five or six slouch hats were around him, and he was pinned against a shutter. A voice shouted "Look out for the knife," and something serious might have happened had not a friend of the gentleman suddenly appeared. He promptly planted a heavy blow on the visage of the foremost ruffian, sending him staggering away, and simultaneously blew a policeman's whistle, at the sound of which the slouch hats fled.'
To the extent, therefore, that Hawley is trying to tell us that only Americans would have been wearing slouch hats in England in the 1880s it obviously isn't true.
After quoting Hutchinson and Packer, Hawley then bangs on again about Scotland Yard being interested in Americans, although he has yet to give us a single example of it! Thus, on reproducing a story in the New York World of 18 November 1888, he says, 'Not only was Scotland Yard still interested in a possible American killer, but the report suggests that police constables were directed to look for anyone suspicious wearing an American slouch hat.' But the report he cited suggests no such thing. It merely says that Sir George Arthur had put on an old shooting coat and slouch hat and had gone walking around the streets of Whitechapel.
What happened next was that, 'It occurred to two policemen that Sir George answered very much the popular description of Jack the Ripper.' At no time is it stated that he was arrested because he was believed to have been American and frankly, if that had been the case, he would have been instantly let go as soon as he opened his mouth (yet Sir George was supposedly detained until someone could vouch for him). Nor does the report state that he was arrested because he was wearing a slouch hat. It just says that he was wearing this just as he was wearing an old coat. But again, if a slouch hat was important as an indication of someone being a suspect it could only have been because it indicated they were American (if Hawley is right in what he is telling us). Sir George Arthur was not an American yet the story says that he was detained and had to prove to the police who he was. Once the police realized he was not an American why did they still think he might be the murderer?
Surely the answer is that, if the story is true, Sir George had made himself look suspicious by his entire outfit while prowling around Whitechapel for no good reason. The idea that the police had actually been 'directed' from above to look for an American wearing a slouch hat, and that the arrest of Sir George demonstrates this, is clearly nonsense.
We may also note what the English newspapers said about the arrest of Sir George. According to the Sheffield Evening Telegraph of 27 November 1888:
'Sir George Arthur will hesitate ere he reconnoitres in Whitechapel again. An Astrachan overcoat would, he thought, be useful in protecting him from the cold. It was, but it incomprehensibly creates suspicion. So this led to his arrest; that to his conveyance to the nearest police station. There he had to give a faithful and particular account of his recent movements before he was released. Aristocratic detectives had better label themselves if they wish to escape this annoyance. '
And this is from Eddowes's Journal (a Shropshire newspaper) of 28 November 1888:
'Much comment was excited in the clubs on Saturday by a report which has been largely circulated to the effect that Sir George Arthur had been one of the many victims to mistaken zeal on the part of the police in the East End of London. The story is that Sir George, who affects an overcoat with an astrachan collar, went into the Whitechapel district to have a peep at the scenes of the recent murders, when he was pounced upon by a constable, and taken on suspicion to the nearest police station. Of course, there was not much difficulty in establishing identification and putting matters right, but Sir George Arthur is said to have been put to considerable inconvenience etc - which cannot be wondered at - and to be very indignant at the action of the officials.'
In neither report does a slouch hat even feature; on the contrary, it was Sir George's astrachan coat (like the one worn by the man who, according to George Hutchinson, was seen with Mary Jane Kelly) which is said to have created the suspicion.
We have reached the end of the section in Hawley's book on American suspects and, there can be no doubt about it: it's basically been one long Hawley howler.
WAS TUMBLETY ONE OF THE 'AMERICAN MEN' ARRESTED?
Hawley takes us back to the arrest of the American man wearing the slouch hat a little later in his book because he seems to think that this is 'evidence' that the initial arrest of Tumblety occurred on 1 October 1888. Thus, he cites the New York World's evening edition of 1 October which included a report from London, dated 1 October, referring to 'a man arrested at midnight last night' who wore an 'American slouch hat' and he evidently thinks this man might have been Tumblety. This, incidentally, is the same arrest as was referred to in the Quebec Saturday Budget of 6 October 1888, which Hawley had earlier included in his book, but he doesn't quite seem to be aware of this.
One can't really say if the man with the slouch hat, who was actually arrested at Albert Chambers shortly before midnight on 30 September, was Tumblety or not but one thing is for sure, the way it happened was totally different from the way Tumblety described himself as having been arrested. According to Tumblety, when giving an interview in January 1889, he was arrested after he went down to Whitechapel while wearing a slouch hat and, fitting the stereotypical image of Jack the Ripper, was briefly detained before being released.
The arrest that occurred on 30 September was investigated by a journalist for the Echo who actually visited the man's lodging house, Albert Chambers, on 1 October and, although no names of the people he speaks to are stated in his report, the account he gives is credible due to the amount of detail. What we are told happened is that, during Sunday, 30 September, the man with the slouch hat was making strange comments to his fellow lodgers in Albert Chambers about the murders based on what was in the Sunday morning newspapers and he said that the police would never catch the murderer. Due to this behaviour, which was regarded by his fellow lodgers and by the deputy of the lodging house as suspicious, the police were summoned and the man was taken to a South London police station for a short time before being released.
So two things from that story are very clear. The man wasn't arrested because he was wearing a slouch hat, nor was he arrested in, or anywhere near, Whitechapel or as a result of having been to Whitechapel. It doesn't even appear that he was arrested for being American, if he actually was American. The Echo reporter does call him 'the luckless American' but no-one, as far as is reported, actually confirms his nationality, although the fact that the man apparently told his fellow lodgers that the murderer was 'too cute for these London detectives' does suggest he wasn't a Londoner. If the story is correct, Scotland Yard wasn't involved in the arrest and, according the Echo reporter, the man, having been arrested shortly before midnight, was back in his bed at Albert Chambers before 7:30am. Indeed, according to the Times of 2 October, 'The man was not taken into custody at all, but was merely requested to go to Stones-end police-station by a detective in order that he might given an account of himself. After a detention of half-an-hour he was allowed to go back to the lodging house.' There was also no search of his lodgings reported, yet the deputy of the lodging house would presumably have been aware of such a thing.
Now, there is one more thing that needs to be mentioned about this arrest (to the extent that one can describe it as such). According to a single report dated 1 October 1888, said to have been 'by cable to the Press News Association', and published in a number of American and Canadian newspapers but not, as far as I am aware, in any British ones, the arrested man's slouch hat was said to have been the means, 'by which he was traced to the locality of the last murder where it is reported he was seen on Saturday night'. This claim, which conflicts with the information about the arrest uncovered by the Echo reporter, doesn't feature in any of the known reports about the arrest which appeared in the London newspapers on 1 October (or any other time).
There are three points I would make about the Press News Association Story. The first is that it conflicts so much with the facts uncovered by the Echo reporter that it needs to be treated with extreme caution. The second is that the author of this story claimed that 'it is reported' that the man in the American hat was seen in the locality of the last murder, demonstrating that he was basing his information on something that had been 'reported' by someone else, albeit that, as far as I am aware, the information that this man was seen in the locality of the murder on Saturday night was not reported in any other newspaper in the world, let alone in any London newspaper, and the earliest reports of the story do seem to be available. So what kind of 'report' was the Press News Association man talking about? The third point I would want to make is that, despite the obvious importance of that one sentence in the story, Hawley does not inform the readers of his book that it conflicts with the reports in the London newspapers, especially the story in the Echo. He is obviously aware of the Echo report because he quoted it in full in his first book, 'The Ripper's Haunts', but now, from his second book, it has mysteriously vanished and no mention at all is made of it.
The below, incidentally, is probably the earliest report of the story, which was timed at 2am on Monday morning (1 October) and which made the Daily Telegraph of that morning:
'At half-past one o’clock this morning a report was in circulation that a man, answering the published description of the Whitechapel murderer, had been arrested at a common-lodging house, known as Albert-chambers, in Gravel-lane, Union-street, Borough. The rumour included the statement that the prisoner was conducted to the nearest police-station by two constables at about twelve o’clock. Upon inquiry at the police-station, Blackman-street, Borough, this morning, we were informed that there was no foundation whatever for the report, and that no arrests had been made.'
And this is what was reported in the Daily Chronicle on the same day:
'The Central News is informed that shortly before midnight a man, whose name has not transpired, was arrested in the Borough on suspicion of being the perpetrator of the murders in the East-end yesterday morning. A tall, dark man, wearing an American hat, entered a lodging house in Union-street known as Albert Chambers. He stayed there throughout the day, and his peculiar manner riveted the attention of his fellow-lodgers. He displayed great willingness to converse with them, and certain observations he made regarding the topic of the day aroused their suspicions. Last night this mysterious individual attracted the notice of the lodging deputy-keeper of the lodging house, where suspicions became so strong that he sent for a policeman. On the arrival of the officer the stranger was questioned as to his recent wanderings, but he could give no intelligible account of them, though he said he had spent the previous night on Blackfriars-bridge. He was conveyed to Stones-end Police-station, Blackman-street, Borough.'
As can be seen, this story matches precisely what the Echo reporter found out about it when he visited Albert Chambers later that same day. Neither the Central News report nor the one in the Daily Telegraph says anything about the man being traced to the locality of the murder by his slouch hat.
For comparison, this is the Press News Association report (as it featured in the New York World):
'A man was arrested midnight last night on suspicion of having committed the horrible murder in Whitechapel. He is a tall man with a dark beard. He wore an American slouch hat, by which he was traced from the locality of the latest murder, where it is reported he was seen on Saturday night, to Albert Chambers on Union street, in the Borough, South London where he was found. The Borough is across the river and far away from the Whitechapel quarter. When arrested he was unable to give any account of himself during the previous night. The police are investigating his antecedents and movements, of which it is said he refuses to give any information.'
Hawley then gets confused, or confuses the situation, because he says that the story of the arrest at Albert Chambers was 'followed up' by the London correspondent of the Press News Association (James McLean) in a story on 4 October, headlined 'The American Released', which begins,'The American arrested yesterday on suspicion of being the Whitechapel murderer was released today. It was simply a case of delirium tremens'. It doesn't seem to have occurred to Hawley that, due to the date of the report, this must be a story about an arrest of a totally different person on 3 October and cannot relate to the reported arrest of the American on 1 October (which is when he believed the Albert Chambers arrest occurred, although it was, in fact, on 30 September). Or perhaps he did notice the discrepancy but included the story anyway without caring or conducting any further checks.
Had he done so, he would quickly have discovered that the arrest being referred to here was reported in the New York World (and San Francisco Chronicle) of 4 October 1888 as follows:
'London Oct.3 - An American, who refused to give his name, or any account of himself, but who said that he had only recently arrived from New York, was arrested at 11 o'clock to-night on suspicion of being the Whitechapel murderer. He is well-dressed, rather tall, of slight build and clean-shaven. He accosted a woman in Whitechapel, and asked her to go with him and threatened, if she refused, to "rip her up". This woman screamed and the man rushed to a cab. The police gave chase, seized the man and took him to Leman street police-station, where he exclaimed to the Inspector in charge: "Are you now the boss? I guess I'm in a pretty fix now." He was placed in a cell and will probably be charged today.'
It was THIS tall American who was reported by the Press News Association on 4 October to have been arrested and released because he had simply been drunk.
In fact, and confusingly, it would seem that there were TWO separate reports of Americans being arrested in during the evening of Wednesday, 3 October (one of whom was described as 'tall'), and that the New York World report was a muddled amalgam of both of them. In saying this, I am not saying anything particularly new, although it might come as a surprise to Hawley. The New York Herald reported on 4 October:
'London, Oct. 3 - ...two supposed Americans have been arrested in connection with the Whitechapel murders.'
The first arrest was reported in the Times and Star of 4 October but these newspapers might themselves have mixed details from the two supposed arrests. It was also reported at some length, and possibly more accurately, in the Echo and the London Evening Post of that date, as well as in two or three other newspapers, but let's use the rather shorter report in the Weekly Dispatch of 7 October 1888 (which, like the Echo and Evening Post, made clear that there were two different arrests):
'Late on Wednesday night a man rushed out of a public-house in Aldgate, followed by a woman, who loudly declared that he had threatened her. Hastily entering a cab the man was driven off but a hue and cry being raised by a mob the vehicle was stopped, and its occupant soon found himself at Leman-street police station. He was detained during the night pending inquiries. While in the cell he became defiant, and with an American accent frequently used the word "boss," contained in the letter of "Jack the Ripper." No special importance was attached to this, however, and shortly after nine o'clock on Thursday the man was discharged, sobered by his incarceration.'
This man was described in the other reports as 40 years old and 'athletically built' but there is no mention of his height.
The Weekly Dispatch then described a second arrest which occurred that evening, a more detailed account of which had been provided to the press by the Central News on 4 October:
'About 9.40 last night a man was arrested in the vicinity of Radcliffe (sic) Highway on suspicion by Sergeant Adam (sic) (H 26). He had evidently newly come out of a public house, and was intoxicated. A number of women followed him, crying after him that he was the Whitechapel murderer, one of them alleging that he had accosted her during the evening and threatened to "rip her up." A boy giving his address as 362, Cable Street, made a statement to Sergeant Adams to the effect that he was certain this man was the murderer, as he had seen him slink into his house down there and change his clothes in the morning. On the strength of the boy's and woman's statement Sergeant Adams arrested the man and conveyed him to Leman Street Station. He declined to give any name or address, but stated that he was a Scandanavian, and intended leaving for New York to-day. He is described as a tall man, with a black beard, very muscular, and of decidedly American appearance. He has an American accent, and is very respectably dressed, having in his possession a large gold chain and watch. The police decline to give any information as to his statements when examined, or as to whether he had anything suspicious in his possession.'
The Press Association also circulated a report about this arrest but called the man a Scandanavian (as he had described himself in the Central News report), thus, it said:
'He is a Scandanavian, and states that he intended to sail for New York to-morrow. He was arrested by Sergeant Adams, of the H Division, on the information of a lad who said he had seen the man change his clothes several times recently, therefore the police consider it necessary to detain him until his identity is established.'
A follow-up story (and I mean a genuine follow-up story!) appeared in the Daily Chronicle of 5 October 1888 thus:
'What actually happened was this: Sergeant Adams of the H Division, while on duty on Wednesday night between nine and ten, in the Ratcliff-highway, heard the voice of a woman shouting for help in the adjacent court. Proceeding in the direction from whence the cries came he met a man, evidently a foreigner, hurrying away from the court. Examining the man with the aid of his bull's-eye, the sergeant at once jumped to the conclusion that he bore a somewhat near resemblance to the description already published by the police of the man who is supposed to have been seen in the company of the unfortunate woman Stride, subsequent to her leaving the lodging house in Flower-and-Dean-street on Saturday evening last. The stranger evaded the police-officer's questions as to what he was doing there, but volunteered the information that he was a Scandanavian, and was sailing for America the next day. Sergeant Adams deemed the circumstances to be sufficiently suspicious to warrant him taking the fellow into custody, and marched off he accordingly was to the Leman-street Police station. Here he was searched but no weapons of any kind were found on him. Questioned by the inspector in charge the stranger stated that he was a Maltese by birth, again mentioned that he was starting for America the next day, and gave his name and address without hesitation. The latter being found, on inquiry to be correct, he was liberated during the early hours of the morning.'
So our tall American had transformed first into a tall Scandanavian and then into a tall Maltese man within the space of 24 hours. And far from refusing to give his name and address he did so freely. A salutary warning not to accept everything that is reported in the newspapers.
In this respect, we may note that the Morning Advertiser gave a detailed account of an arrest of a man who 'had somewhat the appearance of an American' (although not said to have been tall) in the neighbourhood of Ratcliffe Highway during the evening of 3 October, as reported the following morning, which bears very little similarity to the supposed arrest by Adams. It tells us that this arrest happened at 6pm on 3 October and that the man arrested was called John Lock, a sailor in the Naval Reserve who had come to England from Australia in April. He was arrested because a crowd thought he had bloodstains on his coat but it turned out to be nothing more than paint and grease. According to the reporter of this newspaper, Lock wasn't taken to Leman Street police station but to Shadwell police station in King David Lane. Whether this was a different man to one supposedly arrested between 9 and 10pm by Sergeant Adams is rather difficult to say for certain at this distance in time but, if it was (and it does appear that it was), then there were no fewer than three supposed Americans arrested that evening!
Leaving aside the case of John Lock, who was, of course, not, in fact, an American, let's just look at the report of what also appears to be an amalgam of the other two arrests (if there really were two arrests of Americans in the East End that evening) in the Star of 4 October 1888 under the headline, 'An American Arrested':
'An American, who refuses to give his name or any account of himself, was arrested last night on suspicion of being the East-end murderer. He is well dressed, rather tall, of slight build, and clean shaven. He accosted a woman in Cable-street, asked her to go with him, and threatened that if she refused he would "rip her up." The woman screamed, and the man rushed to a cab. The police gave chase, got up on the cab, seized the man, and took him to Leman-street Police-station, where he asked the inspector in charge, "Are you the boss?" The man is detained at the police-station, as well as two others who were conveyed there during the evening. In one case a man went up to an officer in the street, and said he had "assisted in the Mitre-square job." The constable took him to Leman-street police-station where it was found that he was suffering from delirium tremens. He was detained in order that further inquiries might be made. The man was released at ten o'clock this morning, inquiries having shown that his account of himself was satisfactory.'
We can see that this story features accounts from what the Weekly Dispatch says were two different arrests but, most importantly, it can be seen that the man released at ten o'clock in the morning, who was said to have been suffering from delirium tremens, was NOT the 'tall' American. It was a second man who had told a constable in the street that he had assisted in the Mitre Square murder. While it is true that the first man arrested was said to have been drunk, and was released when he had sobered up, the London correspondent of the Press News Association nevertheless appears to have misread the story, thinking that the man with delirium tremens was the American.
As for whether there really were two supposed Americans arrested that evening (excluding John Lock), it may seem unlikely but the Weekly Dispatch of Sunday, 7 October, which had a few days to check the position and consider the matter, clearly stated that there were indeed two different arrests, in two different parts of the East End, of men who appeared to be Americans, both of whom were taken to Leman Street Police Station.
In the supposedly true accounts provided by the Weekly Dispatch, it was the man who got into the cab who used the expression 'boss' when talking to the police while it was the man arrested by Sergeant Adams who was the one who was alleged to have threatened to 'rip' a woman up (albeit that he never actually seems to have said this). The Daily Chronicle of 4 October actually gives us the name of the arresting officer of the man in the cab (P.C. Barnes, 343H) and tells us that this man had come out of a pub in the Commercial Road (in other reports said to have been the Three Nuns in Aldgate), pursued by a crowd, and asked to be taken to Finsbury Square but P.C. Barnes entered the cab and the man was driven instead to the police station in Leman Street. Given that amount of detail, and bearing in mind that Sergeant Adams was said to have arrested the other man in Ratcliffe Highway, it does rather appear that there were two different arrests, although the Morning Post doesn't say that the man in the cab was American. As we have seen from the Weekly Dispatch, however, he was said to have had an American accent.
But that wasn't the end of the arrests of supposed Americans. On 17 October 1888, not mentioned by Hawley, the Daily Chronicle reported as follows:
'A man wearing a slouched hat, carrying a black leather bag, speaking with a highly American accent, was arrested at Limavady, near Londonderry [in what is now Northern Ireland], on Monday morning, by Constable Walsh, on suspicion of being the man who committed the murders in the East End of London. The arrest was made as a result of the police description of the man wanted. The prisoner refused to give his name or any information about himself. A woman and child, who were with him, were also taken into custody.'
So all these supposed Americans, some tall, some wearing slouch hats, were being arrested on suspicion of being the Whitechapel murderer but none in circumstances similar to those later described by Tumblety himself so it's difficult to believe that any of the men were Tumblety.
We also find in the Evening News of 19 October 1888 a report of a tall man, who was said to have the appearance of an American, being arrested on 18 October after being seen consorting with prostitutes outside the London Hospital and then followed around Whitechapel by suspicious local residents, who noted some unusual behaviour on the man's part, before supposedly being arrested in Bermondsey by the City Police (although the arrest was later firmly denied by a Central News report).
Perhaps if Hawley reads this, he will now manage to work it all out regarding these arrests and get it right for his threatened third book. Or perhaps he will think there is nothing in the point and abandon it completely.
Hawley says in his book that, according to the Central Criminal Court Calendars, Tumblety was 'initially arrested on November 7, 1888'. I think he now accepts (after I explained the position to him on the Casebook Forum, at a time when I was allowed to do such impertinent things) that the Central Criminal Court Calendars only tell us when Tumblety first went to prison on remand, which is the meaning of 'Received into Custody' in the Calendars. I once gave a few actual examples of this on the Casebook Forum, with dates of arrests taken from newspaper reports, and, because this subject still seems to confuse some people, it's worth repeating them in a footnote here:
THE CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS
It's perfectly obvious that Hawley doesn't understand English criminal procedure in the nineteenth century. He's American so, to be fair, one would not expect him to know anything about it from his general knowledge but one would have thought that, writing about a man arrested in London in the nineteenth century, he might have read at least one book on the subject.
Hawley says that Tumblety's remand hearing 'allowed Hannay to hear both sides of the case' and that, as a matter of fact,'Tumblety and his counsel pleaded their case in front of Police Court Magistrate James L. Hannay.' Well in theory this certainly could have happened but did it happen in reality? Tumblety was perfectly entitled to reserve his defence before the magistrate and say nothing at all. As the remand hearing wasn't reported, we have don't know if this is what happened.
Furthermore, at the remand hearing on 7 November, which is what Hawley is referring to, we don't even know if Hannay heard the police side of the case. Sometimes the police were allowed to just give evidence of arrest with an adjournment to allow them to gather more evidence. Did this happen on this occasion? We don't know.
Hawley goes on to say that the remand hearing also allowed Hanney to 'determine if Tumblety should be remanded, or placed into custody, until the committal hearing.' He doesn't seem to be aware that being placed into custody until the committal hearing was the same thing as being remanded. He could have been remanded into custody with or without bail.
However, there is one thing that is absolutely certain, which Hawley fails to mention in his book, namely that Tumblety ended up in Holloway prison at the conclusion of the remand hearing on 7 November 1888. In fact, he seems to be in denial about this entire event.
Whether Tumblety went to prison because Hannay refused him bail or he was allowed bail but needed time to line up his sureties we don't know. According to Hawley, the fact that he was offered bail at the later committal hearing suggests that he was also offered bail at the earlier hearing. That's not an unreasonable argument but it naturally means there is some uncertainty about the situation. Yet, when he came to discuss this issue on the Howlercast with Jonathan Menges this is what he said (my underlining):
'...so they arrested him probably that morning ...and that remand hearing would be, you know, are we going to keep him in jail or allow bail? And clearly the next November 14th when they had the committal hearing, where the case would be even more solid, the magistrate allowed bail so here it is, so that he clearly would have, the same person would have allowed bail at the remand hearing, especially when we have three Scotland Yard officials stating that he was a suspect after the Kelly murder.'
We've already seen that three Scotland Yard officials did not state that Tumblety was a suspect after the Kelly murder so we can ignore that red herring (although I will discuss what Littlechild said further below). What has happened here is that Hawley has firmed up his argument so that, from it being a reasonable suggestion that Tumblety being granted bail on committal would indicate that he had also been granted bail on remand, he is now saying that, having granted Tumblety bail at the committal hearing, the same magistrate 'clearly would' have granted bail on remand. But this is demonstrably not the case. Some examples to prove it can be found in a footnote here:
Reasons for this can vary but will usually depend on how seriously the magistrate views the offence and whether the prisoner has a reasonable defence so that they would be likely to attend their trial, thinking they have a decent chance of an acquittal. For a prisoner with a hopeless case, the chances of being allowed bail were usually much less.
Tumblety was charged with a misdemeanour offence which would normally be expected to improve his chances of bail. A lot depended on how a case developed from the remand to the committal stage but about that we know absolutely nothing. In Tumblety's case, for example, at the hearing on 7 November, the police could have informed the magistrate that more serious charges were to follow (i.e. rape or sodomy) so that Tumblety was refused bail but then such charges were not brought on 14 November so that he was then allowed bail. Or the case against Tumblety might have been very strong at the 7 November hearing but by 14 November it might have been weaker, perhaps Tumblety's lawyer (assuming he was represented at this stage) offered a strong defence, and the magistrate therefore thought that allowing bail was the right course. We just don't know.
As mentioned above, according to Hawley, Tumblety must have been offered bail because three Scotland Yard officials named him as a suspect after the Kelly murder. We have seen that this is completely untrue. The only argument he can reasonably make here is that Littlechild considered him to be a suspect when writing to George Sims many years later. But we can't be sure if Littlechild even knew what had happened to Tumblety at his remand hearing on 7 November. Would he really have been so knowledgeable about the details of a remand hearing which he presumably hadn't attended? If he was, would he have also known whether Tumblety had been able to find the sureties from prison? And, in any case, he might not necessarily have believed that the Kelly murder was a Ripper murder. Who knows? That's why it's impossible to know with any degree of certainty, just from Littlechild's comments, whether Tumblety was granted bail on 7 November, let alone whether he was able to find the bail to allow him to be released from prison prior to Kelly's murder.
According to Hawley, Littlechild knew everything about the proceedings against Tumblety because he was able to recall in 1913 that he had been remanded at Marlborough Street Police Court. Thus, he says:
'So the interesting thing, though, is if you look at Littlechild, his letter, anything pre-Boulogne is, he nails it exactly,'
As it happens, Littlechild did not nail it when writing to Sims. Indeed, it's possible that he made an error of fact. I probably shouldn't reveal the following to Hawley because he will probably now parrot the line that Littlechild definitely stated that Tumblety was released on bail on 7 November but this is what Littlechild wrote to Sims:
'Tumblety was arrested at the time of the murders in connection with unnatural offences and charged at Marlborough Street, remanded on bail, jumped his bail, and got away to Boulogne.'
For anyone with knowledge of the criminal justice system, but who did not know any of the facts of the Tumblety case, such as George Sims, the meaning of what Littlechild wrote would clearly have been that Tumblety fled bail after he was remanded on bail by the magistrate at Marlborough Street Police Court but BEFORE he had been committed for trial. We know (but only because we have it in the Calendar) that what Littlechild must have been trying to say (assuming he was aware of all the facts) is that Tumblety jumped his bail after he had been committed for trial.
Perhaps it could be said that Littlechild was providing no more than an abridged summary of the facts for Sims and that getting the precise details right wasn't part of his aim but, nevertheless, the fact of the matter is that Tumblety did not jump bail at a time when he was remanded on bail. If he actually had been remanded on bail then he must have surrendered to his bail when he turned up for what turned out to be his committal hearing on 14 November. The bail that he jumped was not the bail on remand but the bail on committal. By way of example, the New York World got it right on 2 December 1888 when it said:
'Dr Tumblety was committed for trial and liberated on bail'.
That would have been the correct way of putting it and is the form of wording Littlechild should have used if he was hitting the nail on the head when writing to Sims. The way he did put it in the letter was at best misleading and at worst wrong.
Like I say, Hawley may well now decide that this means that Littlechild knew that Tumblety had been 'remanded on bail' so that he WAS granted bail on 7 November to allow him to be free from prison when Kelly was murdered but that would be to pervert the meaning of Littlechild's letter in which he was (or should have been) clearly referring to the bail after committal, which was the bail jumped by Tumblety.
One might add that the strange thing about Littlechild's letter is that the former chief inspector makes no mention of Tumblety being committed for trial nor that his trial was adjourned for a month. Like I say, perhaps he was only giving Sims a short summary but if he really was going to hit the nail on the head then one would have expected him to have at least have mentioned the fact that Tumblety had been committed for trial at the Old Bailey before he fled the country.
As a further point on this subject, I see that Hawley has already taken to spreading misinformation about what I said in my 2019 Ripperologist article, 'The Prosecution of Francis Tumblety' (Rip 163). To contrast Littlechild's supposedly superhuman ability to accurately recall the name of the magistrate's court in which Tumblety was charged as Great Marlborough Street, Hawley posted on JTR Forums on 27 January 2019 to say that the name of Great Marlborough Street was 'not even in the National Vigilance Association's records.'. That is not correct. I never saw the records of the NVA during my research and so I don't know what was in them. What I saw in this respect, as I stated clearly in my article, was the monthly journal of the NVA called 'Vigilance Record', and the person who compiled the court details for that journal had erroneously stated that Tumblety was committed for trial at Marylebone Street magistrate's court rather than Great Marlborough Street. It's fairly easy to get confused between the two police courts and I find it hard to believe that this error adds anything to the significance of Littlechild knowing in 1913 that Tumblety was charged with indecency offences at Great Marlborough Street.
While we are on this subject, I see that Hawley cites my Rip 163 article in a footnote in his Rip 164 article yet doesn't seem to have understood it for he says in his Rip 164 article that 'no one in the public knew Tumblety was re-arrested on a case involving "young men" specifically, the charge of gross indecency, until over a century later'. Well, as I mentioned in my Rip 163 article, the monthly journal of the NVA, which was obviously read by members of the public who subscribed to it, would have known, if they were at all bothered, that Tumblety had been committed for trial 'for indecent conduct with a boy'. Unless Hawley's point is about young men, plural, as opposed to a young man, he needs to reprogramme himself because anyone in 1888 could have read the NVA journal which was available to subscribers and could have been borrowed or passed on to those who were not (including journalists).
On his website, Hawley says, 'My passion for research has taken me into the world of fiction and nonfiction'. Sometimes it's not clear whether he's spouting fiction or nonfiction about Tumblety. For example, in the Howlercast we find him saying this:
'Tumblety always had, he was never without a bunch of jewellery, and it was hundreds of dollars of cash in one pocket so that first arrest – two things, I was going to report that in the book, then I was talked out of it because of you know the remand hearing. If there was a posting of bail at the November 7th remand hearing that he would have had that money on his person because he was never without a lot of money but I didn’t put it in there because someone had told me that on those bails many times it’s not a, a sureties issue. So I actually left it out, too bad I did. I mean, I still would have liked to have added that. Maybe the next one I’ll add it.'
So what Hawley is saying here is that even though he has been told that bail did not involve a defendant making cash deposits in a police court in 1888 he still wants to say that Tumblety did make a cash deposit as bail and might even say he did in his next book!
Whoever advised him was correct because Hawley is thinking of bail in the form of a security, where that security is cash, (sometimes known as money bail) whereas, at the time in question, in England, bail was taken by way of recognizance. Indeed, we know from the Central Criminal Court Calendar, as well as from Tumblety's Certificate of Indictment, that his recognizances were estreated.
The essential character of a recognizance was and is (as stated in the Divisional Court in July 1972 in the case of Regina v Harrow Justices) 'an assumption of a potential future liability' . In other words, in a police court in 1888, it related to a conditional debt which would be due only if the accused didn't show up at court, and which would then, and only then, be called in. It wasn't a security, or cash sum, which would be forfeited. It was a document which would be signed by the sureties (if sureties were required) and by the accused (if he was required to give his own recognizance).
As the issue may be of interest to some (especially as it is one about which it is not easy to obtain information), I set out in a footnote here a short legal summary of the position regarding bail taken by magistrates in the nineteenth century.
If you have read the footnote you will have seen that the Summary Jurisdiction Act 1879 allowed magistrates to take security for bail in certain circumstances but even if a magistrate, such as Mr Hannay, interpreted the 1879 Act as allowing him to take cash security from Tumblety on remand, instead of requiring him to enter into a recognizance, with or without sureties, which, it should be stressed, was the normal course of proceeding in 1888, one thing is certain: that cash would have had to have been returned to Tumblety at the committal hearing at Marlborough Street Police Court on 14 November 1888, once he had surrendered himself, thus fulfilling his bail conditions, and the bail following committal would definitely have had to have been in the form of recognizance(s) because there was no procedure for any cash taken as security at a police court to be transferred to the Central Criminal Court where it would have had to have been returned to Tumblety once he appeared at the Old Bailey to plead (or retained if he did not do so, which we know he didn't).
In fact, a second thing is certain. Even if Tumblety did hand over a wad of cash to Mr Hannay's clerk on 7 November, it didn't enable him to be released on bail because we know for a fact that he ended up in prison during the evening of 7 November as per the Central Criminal Court Calendar, something which Hawley appears to have overlooked, no doubt because he has blanked out of his mind the concept of Tumblety going to prison at this time.
However, it's highly unlikely to the point of virtual impossibility that Tumblety was allowed to provide cash security for bail at any time during the criminal proceedings against him due to the fact that this wasn't the way it was done. One cannot help but think that Hawley likes the idea, not just because Tumblety always carried cash on him, but because it explains why the medical man from Birmingham who was supposedly arrested on 17 November (see The Euston Incident) had no money.
It's back to the drawing board for Hawley because Tumblety would definitely not have had to pay money bail following his committal for trial and, if he had already paid such cash on 7 November (which itself is a near impossibility), it would have had to have been returned to him when he surrendered at the police court on 14 November, at which time it could not possibly have been accepted again as bail for the reason I have explained. So by 17 November, if Hawley is miraculously right about the cash bail, after being released from prison on 16 November, unless he went on a 24 hour spending spree, Tumblety would have had loads of cash!
Incidentally, if you think it was a bit crazy to allow prisoners, especially foreigners, to go free on bail on only the threat of a forfeit of money which they could take abroad with them should they not show up for their trial, then you are probably right. Such bail was only a part of the procedure then in place. The theory was that the surety or sureties to whom the prisoner would normally be placed in 'friendly custody' would ensure that the prisoner would take his trial, and that the prisoner would not betray his sureties, but it certainly was the case that people on bail (especially foreigners) absconded and it seems rather predictable that this would happen too, but it wasn't until the 1970s that the bail system underwent a radical overhaul with the Bail Act of 1976 (albeit that there had been some earlier statutory modifications during the mid-twentieth century).
According to Hawley, in the Howlercast, speaking of Tumblety:
'And so in the November and December Central Criminal Court calendar record we see that he was entered into custody on November 7th so that means he had to have been arrested within 24 hours'
'so they arrested him probably that morning but it has to have been within 24 hours of that entering into custody'
In Hawley's mind, therefore, it would seem that a prisoner has to have been arrested within 24 hours of being received into custody, as recorded in the Central Criminal Court Calendar which, in Tumblety's case, was 7 November 1888. So I wonder how he explains this entry in an 1886 Central Criminal Court Calendar in respect of Charles Alfred Burleigh Harte (bottom entry):
As we see, this shows (far right hand column) that Harte was entered into custody on 5 May 1886. So thanks to Hawley, the expert in Calendar interpretation, we obviously know that Harte 'had to have been arrested' within 24 hours of 5 May 1886, right? Well, no, that's wrong. He was arrested much earlier than that. See this footnote here for the explanation.
The fact of the matter is that, absent information other than from the Calendar, our friend Tumblety could have been arrested on, say, 31 October, been bailed at the police court on the same day, then had his bail increased on 7 November, causing him difficulty in finding that bail, so gone back to prison before finding the increased bail and ensuring his release on 8 November. Or rather, the only argument against this is that one of the offences he is supposed to have committed was on 2 November 1888 which, if the foregoing was the case, would mean it would have had to have been an offence committed while was on bail, which would be unlikely. Yet, he could also have been arrested on 2 November (someone having witnessed or reported an indecent assault), been brought before a magistrate that day or the next day and had a short remand on bail until 7 November while police carried out investigations which led to the discovery of other offences. Such things were possible.
In fact, when one looks at actual cases, one can see that there are so many variations, possibilities and oddities that, even though it's fair to say that it's probably the case that Tumblety was arrested on 6th or 7th November, because that would normally have been the case with a remand appearance on 7th November leading to a prisoner's immediate incarceration, we just can't say it was a certainty. Checking facts from newspaper reports against the Calendars can and does produce surprising results and there's no reason for Tumblety's case not to have had surprising features too.
If we try and put Hawley's theory into a sensible form of English, what he should have said was that Tumblety would likely have been arrested within 24 hours of his first remand hearing and that his first remand hearing was probably on 7 November because that was the date he was sent to Holloway prison (and the dates of his alleged offences seem to suggest that this was his first appearance before the magistrate while, in any case, the date of first remand into custody was usually, but not always, the date of the first remand hearing). On THAT basis then yes, subject to the aforementioned caveat, Tumblety was likely to have been arrested on a warrant for the indecency offences either on Tuesday, 6 November, or Wednesday, 7 November, but it's not because he had to have been arrested within 24 hours of being received into custody.
After all this, Hawley says something slightly different in his 2018 article, 'The New York World's E. Tracy Greaves and his Scotland Yard Informant' (Ripperologist, 162). In that article, he says:
'According to the Central Criminal Court Calendar, Tumblety was received into custody for the lesser crimes on November 7, 1888, so his remand hearing would have been within 24 hours of this date.'
So here he is saying that it was the remand hearing, not the arrest, which had to have taken place within 24 hours of being received into custody, and perhaps he was trying to say THIS during his Howlercast interview. If so, it shows even less comprehension than the other answer for there is no 'within 24 hours' about it. If Tumblety was received into custody on 7 November then he must have had a remand hearing on that very same day. That's the way it worked. A van came and took all the remand prisoners to Holloway from every police court in London at the end of the working day. So the custody would always follow immediately on from a remand (or committal) hearing.
One assumes that Hawley was really trying to say that an appearance before a magistrate had to follow within 24 hours of arrest, although even that was not strictly true if an arrest occurred over the weekend because the courts were closed on Sunday. The rules were that an arrested person should be brought before a magistrate with all reasonable possible speed, or as soon as possible.
When I say that Hawley seems to be in denial that Tumblety went to prison on 7 November - something which is an indisputable fact - we seem to find it reflected in the way he remembers what Tumblety said about his stay in prison. In the Howlercast, Hawley tells us this:
'...to me the evidence shows that he was clearly out of jail by, you know, around that November 7th. But then November 14th that’s when that couple of days he posted bail on November 16th and even in the interview with Tumblety in January 1889 they asked “how long were you in jail?” and he basically said “a couple of days”.
'When he was reported in the civil war, he recorded exactly how long he was in that Old Capitol prison for three weeks so in this case he said a couple of days' .
What Tumblety actually said was that he was in prison for 'two or three days' not 'a couple of days' as Hawley remembers it. The difference is rather important because 'two days' would potentially only cover the period from 14 to 16 November (going to prison on the evening of Wednesday 14 November and being released on, possibly, the morning of Friday 16 November), albeit that it spans three separate days, whereas 'three days' could include an extra day from Wednesday 7 November to Thursday 8 November. That would be fine for Hawley's thesis that Tumblety could have murdered Kelly on Friday 9 November but the possibility that Tumblety was stuck in prison on 7 November and might not have been able to get out in time to commit that murder seems to be a thought so terrifying for Hawley that he can't even consider it in his mind.
Hence, as we see, Hawley also said that Tumblety was out of jail 'around 7th November'. That's a quite ridiculous way of putting it because one thing we know for sure is that Tumblety spent the night of the 7th November in jail. He might then have been able to get out of jail on the 8th, or he might not, depending on whether he had been offered bail by the magistrate and whether he was able to make that bail. I don't say it's impossible. Far from it, it's perfectly possible but he definitely wasn't out on 7th November and Hawley does need to understand and acknowledge this.
Hawley also needs to understand that there is no actual evidence of anything happening on 8th November. Yet when writing on JTR Forums on 26 January 2019 Hawley wrote 'The remand hearing was November 7/8 just after he was "received into custody"'. This is false. We can deduce that Tumblety's remand hearing was on 7 November because he was, according to the Central Criminal Court Calendar, received into custody that day. Being received into custody meant being received into the custody of the governor of Holloway prison. So the hearing had to have been before he was received into custody because only a magistrate could have sent him into custody on remand. Consequently, Hawley is quite wrong to say that the remand hearing occurred after Tumblety was received into custody. There isn't any evidence that anything happened on 8 November, yet Hawley describes Tumblety's remand hearing as being on '7/8 November.' While such a description would be fair enough on the basis that there might have been another hearing on 8 November (albeit unlikely), it's not something that should be stated as a fact. Hawley obviously thinks there needs to have been some kind of hearing on 8th November to allow Tumblety to have been released from prison (even though he is in denial that Tumblety was actually in prison at this time). There was, however, no need for a magistrate to have released Tumblety. The normal procedure when bail was allowed at a remand hearing was for the details of the bail to be marked by the magistrate on the reverse of the warrant committing a prisoner to prison on remand and then the bail could be administered by the prison governor or some other official thus allowing the prisoner to be easily and quickly freed on bail. This could have happened on 8 November but for Hawley to say that there was a hearing on '7/8 November' is him simply inventing facts to allow Tumblety to have been freed from prison on 8 November. To repeat, the only evidence of a hearing is of one on 7 November (as inferred by Tumblety being sent to prison that day per the Central Criminal Court calendar records) and there is no more evidence of Tumblety being released from prison on 8 November than there is of him being released on 9 or 10 or 11 November etc. or, indeed, he might not have been released until 16 November.
At the same time, during the Howlercast, Hawley offers a very odd reason for saying that Tumblety couldn't have been in jail at the time of the Kelly murder. Thus he says:
'And if he was in jail during the Kelly murder, and if these police officers were convinced that Mary Kelly was a Ripper victim, somebody would have said that but nobody did. So even though we don’t have evidence that he was in jail or not, absence of evidence is not evidence for absence, so as in he was not in jail'.
I think in the last sentence there he was trying to say that even though we don't have evidence that Tumblety was out of jail, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, otherwise the point doesn't make sense bearing in mind that we don't have evidence either way. But the amusing thing here is that the second sentence totally contradicts the first in which he was trying to say that the absence of any police officials saying that Tumblety was in jail during the Kelly murder means that he was in jail during the Kelly murder or, in other words, the absence of any evidence that he was in jail IS regarded in this instance as evidence of his absence (from jail)!
The point he is trying to make here is, of course, a ludicrous one. In referring to 'these police officers' he means Andrews, Anderson and Littlechild. Does he seriously think that the fact that none of them have ever expressly stated that Tumblety was in jail during the Kelly murder has any meaning or significance? The statement attributed to Andrews that Tumblety was not the Whitechapel murderer seems to cover the entire point and Andrews didn't give any reasons for saying this, nor was he asked to. Anderson has never commented one way or the other as to whether Tumblety was the Whitechapel murderer, so why would he have even been mentioning him being in or out of jail at the time? Only Littlechild has offered his opinion that he was a very likely suspect so it all hinges on (a) whether he was aware at the time (and recalled 25 years later) that Tumblety was, or was not, in prison at the time of the Kelly murder, (b) whether he considered that Kelly must have been a Ripper victim and (c) whether he would have bothered to caveat his comments to Sims if he did. Ultimately, Hawley's view on the matter of Tumblety's incarceration seems to depend entirely on the fact that Littlechild considered Tumblety as a suspect in 1913 and, while it is fair to regard it a factor, it is nowhere near determinative of the issue.
Before we move on from this issue, let's just look in a bit more detail at Tumblety's 'two or three days' in prison. Here's what we know for a fact about his time in prison. He was definitely in prison on the night of 7 November 1888 and definitely woke up in prison on the morning of 8 November. He could have been released at some point during 8 November or he could have remained in prison to be released the next day or not until 16 November (following his committal hearing on 14 November). We know that he spent the night of 14 November in prison, was in prison for the whole day on 15 November and woke up in prison on the morning of 16 November during which day he was definitely freed on bail.
So he was in prison for at least some part of the day on each of 7, 8, 14, 15 and 16 November. That is an established fact.
So how does one get 'two or three days' out of this? For, as we can see, he was in prison over a minimum period of 5 separate days. Well, Tumblety might have counted 15th November as one whole day and then added up the remaining hours he spent during the other days to make roughly 'two or three days' in total or rather 48-72 hours. That's fine and I don't deny that it is perfectly possible to get 'three days' out of it. The problem is that, if he did calculate it this way, it doesn't help us to know if he was also in prison for the whole day of 8 November and then released on 9 November, after Mary Jane Kelly had been murdered. For if we employ the same counting system as that which Tumblety must have used if he really did spend 'two or three days' in prison, it would mean that Tumblety might easily have counted only 8 and 15 November as full days and then added up the hours he spent in prison on 7, 9, 14 and 16 November to make the extra day. We just don't know and can't possibly say. In other words, even assuming that he was telling the truth about having been in prison for 'two or three days' it simply doesn't help us to establish if he was in prison at the time Mary Jane Kelly was murdered.
And that is another reason why it's important to be accurate about the time Tumblety claimed he spent in prison and not summarise it incorrectly as 'a couple of days'.
The most important point about Tumblety's claim that he was in prison for 'two or three days', however, is not about the counting of the days. It's is about the fact that Tumblety claimed he was in prison for two or three days as a result of being arrested for the Whitechapel murders. He said nothing about being in prison for having been arrested for indecency offences with young men or boys when he spoke to a reporter from the New York World in January 1889. This is a critical point because Hawley is accepting that Tumblety was lying through his teeth about being jailed in connection with the Whitechapel murders, while, at the same time, believing that he was telling the god's honest truth about the amount of time he spent in prison. One has to ask the question: had Tumblety actually spent ten days in prison would have have wanted to have admitted this to a journalist? For it might have led to some awkward questions about why he was in prison for so long. This is why it is difficult to place too much reliance on what Tumblety said in 1889.
Regarding Tumblety's committal hearing on 14 November, Hawley says an extremely strange thing in his 2018 Ripperologist article,'The New York World's E. Tracy Greaves and his Scotland Yard Informant'. Fretting about why the supposedly infallible New York World reporter E. Tracy Greaves stated in a report on 17 November 1888 that Tumblety (Kumblety) had been arrested 'this week', whereas, in reality, we know that he had to have been arrested either on or before 7 November, a full 10 days prior to Greaves' report, and thus falling outside the definition of a week, Hawley speculates, with what one assumes is a straight face, that:
'...knowing Tumblety's bitter taste for court appearances and his practice of sending his attorney in his stead, as he did on November 20, it is not a stretch of logic that the November 14, 1888, warrant of committal required them [Scotland Yard] to arrest him.'
With all due respect to Mr Hawley this is pure nonsense. Tumblety did not have the option of not appearing at Marlborough Street Magistrate's Court on 14 November 1888. Had he failed to surrender, his bail would have been estreated and a warrant of committal would not have been issued but a warrant for his arrest issued instead. Had he been captured, or turned himself in, he would then have been brought back before the magistrate for a new hearing in order to be committed for trial. While magistrates in theory had the power to commit a person to trial in their absence it simply never happened in reality. There would have been no point in any normal case in committing a prisoner to the Central Criminal Court who was not in custody (either in safe custody, in prison, or friendly custody, on bail).
The idea of Tumblety just not bothering to attend and sending his lawyer instead is a joke. Had he been seriously ill, perhaps he might not have been required to attend but then his committal hearing would have been adjourned (and recognizances respited). We know for a fact that Hannay issued a warrant of committal on 14 November (because this is stated in the Central Criminal Court calendar) so Tumblety must have been present at the court on that date. There is absolutely no way that, in saying that Tumblety had been arrested in the past week, E. Tracy Greaves was referring to the warrant of committal, which was not an arrest warrant. Greaves just got it wrong, either because he was misinformed or was guessing (because he had no information on the point at all).
Going back to his book, Hawley then tells us that, after committal, 'A court date was set for November 20, 1888' at the Old Bailey. That's wrong because what happened is that Tumblety would have been committed for trial at the next Sessions of the Old Bailey commencing on 19 November 1888 and his trial could have occurred on any day within those Sessions.This is what Hawley said during the Howlercast about the jury returning a true bill (my underlining):
'...and so November 19th was his grand jury hearing and November 19th is when they returned a true bill which means the jurors believed there was enough evidence to convict him for gross indecency which would be a few years in prison. So this right here was the time when Tumblety was convinced that he was going to jail. So by - on November 24th the La Bretagne left port at Havre on noon November 24th'.
If Hawley had just done some basic checking, he would have discovered this is not true. I quote from 'Principles of the Criminal Law' by Seymour F. Harris (1892):
'…the function of the grand jury is merely to inquire whether there is sufficient ground to put the accused on his trial.'
A true bill, in other words, says no more than that a prima facie case has been made out against the accused person. It thus repeats the decision of the magistrate. A grand jury does not hear the case for the defence, only the prosecution, so Hawley's statement that a finding of a true bill means the grand jury thought there was enough evidence to convict Tumblety is plain wrong.
He is closer to the truth in his book when he says that the grand jury agreed with the magistrate that the case was 'strong enough' to be tried at the Central Criminal Court but he demonstrates that he hasn't understood what this means (i.e. not very much) because he goes on to say that, 'It was at this moment that Tumblety and his attorney, Bodkin, knew the prosecution had evidence to convict him' and he says that 'it is likely' that this is when and why he decided to jump bail. This is nonsensical.
The grand jury did no more in finding a true bill against Tumblety than the magistrate had already done on committing him to trial, and possibly less because they hadn't heard Tumblety's defence (which the magistrate might have heard and quite possibly did because he granted him bail). It was rare for a case to be thrown out by a grand jury and it would be astonishing if Tumblety's legal team were pinning their hopes on no true bill being found. But if his legal team seriously thought, prior to the Sessions, that the grand jury might throw the case out, then it could only mean that the prosecution case was extremely weak. In which case, it would have remained weak on and after 19 November, giving Tumblety a good chance of acquittal. In other words, despite Hawley's speculations, it is highly unlikely that the result of the grand jury had any effect on Tumblety's thinking at all.
According to the indictment, Tumblety did not 'appear' to plead at the Old Bailey. This means that he had already taken the decision not to turn up at the 19 November Sessions because he should already have surrendered himself into custody before the grand jury made its decision. Afterwards, had he been present, as he should have been, he would have been asked to plead (i.e state whether he was guilty or not guilty) and the judge would have set the date/time for his trial. But the fact of the matter is that, for whatever reason (but presumably due to alleged illness), he had decided not to show up at the Old Bailey prior to the 19 November Sessions, so Hawley's speculation is almost certainly wrong and is certainly wrongly expressed.
Skipping over Hawley's absolute howler about the 12 constables (dealt with in a separate article at the foot of the transcript of part 2 of the Howerlcast here) let us now move on to what is perhaps the greatest howler in the entire book. This is Hawley's claim that Littlechild revealed in his 1913 letter to Sims that Tumblety was seen by Special Branch men in Boulogne.
In fact, Hawley says that it is'certain' that Littlechild stated in his letter to Sims that Tumblety was'spotted' in that town on or before 23 November 1888. He then quotes Littlechild as saying:
'Tumblety was arrested at the time of the murders in connection with unnatural offences and charged at Marlborough Street, remanded on bail, jumped his bail, and got away to Boulogne.'
In his book, Hawley stops the quote there, no doubt because, if he had continued it with the the start of the next sentence in Littlechild's letter, 'He shortly left Boulogne', he would then have had to have completed the quote by reminding us that Littlechild continued the sentence by saying, 'and was never heard of afterwards', an error undermining the credibility of Littlechild's observation about Tumblety ever being in Boulogne.
Yet, neither the fact that Littlechild believed that Tumblety got away to Boulogne nor his belief that he left that town shortly after arriving gets us even close to confirmation that Tumblety had been seen in Boulogne, let alone that he had been seen by anyone from Scotland Yard or Special Branch.
In fact, it's very unlikely that Tumblety was seen by a Scotland Yard or Special Branch officer in Boulogne because there were no Scotland Yard or Special Branch officers stationed in that city and no obvious reason for one to have been there at the time. Anyone who thinks that Scotland Yard officers were following Tumblety around London and Europe while he was out on bail for a misdemeanour offence is, I am afraid, living in a fantasy world.
Yet Hawley is, for some reason, convinced that Tumblety had been 'searched for and sighted in France' even though Littlechild had said no such thing when writing to Sims in 1913. In fact, so ingrained in his psyche is the notion that Littlechild did say that Tumblety had been spotted in Boulogne that Hawley seems to imagine that Littlechild used the words that Tumblety had been"first seen" there. In his book, 'The Ripper Haunts', Hawley actually puts the words into quotation marks as if anyone but Hawley himself had ever said them! Look at this from 'The Ripper's Haunts', just below a quote from Littlechild's letter:
He's literally asked his reader to 'note' something that doesn't exist!!! Littlechild did not use the words "first seen" or anything like them. Yet Hawley's wrapped those words into quotation marks. Perhaps he noticed this error when he wrote his second book because he doesn't repeat the howler in it; in which case, how does one explain this: which is Hawley speaking in the Howlercast in June 2018 (my underlining):
'Chief Inspector Littlechild didn’t say “Got to Havre”, he didn’t, Littlechild didn’t know about that, what he saw was, he reported that he was first seen in Boulogne and then shortly left thereafter it was basically he had knowledge of that’s the particular route that he took.'
'...when Tumblety disembarked so you could see Scotland Yard for some reason knew that he was in France and here’s Chief Inspector Littlechild saying that he was first seen in Boulogne and shortly left thereafter...'
'...on November 22nd right at the very time that, it was probably November 23rd is when he was first seen in Boulogne, so the next day is when Scotland Yard noticed that he was in Boulogne.'
He genuinely seems to have it in his mind, therefore, that Littlechild has revealed that Tumblety was 'seen' in Boulogne. But that is very far from the case. Scotland Yard could have discovered, from making enquiries in London, that Tumblety had set off from London to Boulogne, perhaps because he had purchased a travel ticket for that destination in London. Equally, if Scotland Yard knew that he had departed Harve on La Bretagne shortly after the date on which he would have arrived in Boulogne, they would have been able to work out that he didn't stay long in Boulogne. That is just basic detective work. If Tumblety had been seen by any police officers in Boulogne, it could have been French police officers who cabled to Scotland Yard about this strange American who had recently arrived from England before quickly leaving. But he really doesn't need to have been seen by anyone in Boulogne for Scotland Yard to have known that he had been there for a short time (if such was, in fact, the case).
Let me give one obvious example which should put the matter beyond any doubt. Imagine if Littlechild had been writing to Sims in 1913 about the February 1889 flight of Richard Pigott, a matter which Littlechild was, in fact, personally involved in investigating. He could have written something like: 'Pigott left his London hotel and got away to Paris. He shortly afterwards left Paris for Madrid where he committed suicide.' Would that have meant, even for one second, that a Scotland Yard officer had seen Pigott in Paris? Or in Madrid? Or that someone from Scotland Yard was physically present when Pigott committed suicide? Of course not!
Littlechild traced Pigott's movements from his office in London and never left the country, nor did any of his officers until after Pigott's suicide. He didn't need any of his officers (or anyone else) to have been following Pigott, or to have physically seen him in Paris, to know that he was in that city (and, in this case, he even knew which hotel he was staying in) nor did a Scotland Yard officer need to have seen him in Spain for Littlechild to know he was in Madrid. And we know for an actual fact that not a single Scotland Yard or Special Branch officer saw Pigott, while he was alive, in either of those two cities.
Yet we see in the above extract from 'The Ripper's Haunts' that Hawley not only thinks that Tumblety was 'first seen' in Boulogne but that Scotland Yard had 'reported his sighting' which, he then goes on to tell us, implies 'an all out search' for Tumblety. In the Howlercast, he also tells us that, 'in that time you could see that Scotland Yard were trying to keep an eye on him as they were if he was indeed of interest of something and it could not have been just the gross indecency thing if they are following him around.' Following him around!!! It's pure Alice in Wonderland stuff moving dramatically from a false premise to an outrageously ludicrous conclusion.
Yet Hawley's fantasy that Littlechild's officers were following Tumblety around London and France infects everything that follows in his work about what he thinks Scotland Yard were up to. We see a huge leap of logic in the Howlercast when he says this of Superintendent Byrnes:
So without missing a beat, the supposed knowledge of Superintendent Byrnes has become the knowledge of Scotland Yard. Now, I don't deny that it's possible, perhaps even likely, that Byrnes' knowledge of Tumblety's movements came from Scotland Yard but surely one has to establish that this is the case rather than assume it to be so and then state it as fact. I mean, for all we know the New York Police were receiving information from another source in France.
'...that's when Superintendent Byrnes, New York City Chief, said that he had known that Tumblety was on his way to New York a week ago which was around the same time that the ship left on November 24th so Scotland Yard knew that Tumblety was on his way November 24th'.
Personally, I don't have a problem with the notion that Anderson had informed Byrnes that Tumblety had absconded from justice and was on his way to New York but the earliest we can be reasonably sure that Scotland Yard knew that Tumblety was on his way to that city was 1 December when the New York correspondent of the World filed a report which said that his sureties were 'being hunted up by the police to-day'. Certainly it is difficult to understand why the police took a whole week to speak to Tumblety's sureties if they knew he had absconded on 24 November.
The one caveat I would make about this is that Inspector Andrews left England on 29 November in order to board a ship to Canada, on which he would have been cut off from news from London, yet seemed to be aware that Tumblety had absconded when speaking to a Canadian journalist shortly after his arrival in Toronto in the second week of December. So perhaps Scotland Yard did know of Tumblety's flight prior to Andrews' departure.
Nevertheless, Hawley's claim that Byrnes knew that Tumblety was on his way to New York from as early as 24 November is not based on anything Byrnes said at the time but from his reported claim to the press on 3 December that he had known of Tumblety's expected arrival 'a week ago'. This could have been him boasting and pretending to know more than the press or perhaps a slight exaggeration.
Having said this, Scotland Yard had two officers permanently based at Havre so there would be no mystery whatsoever if Tumblety had been seen by them boarding La Bretagne, with this news immediately reported by cable to Scotland Yard (and from Scotland Yard to New York), because the job of those officers was to watch the comings and goings of Americans specifically.
Hawley tells us confidently that 'no-one but a Special Branch detective would have been assigned in France' but that isn't quite the case because the two Metropolitan Police officers permanently stationed at Havre in 1888 were not from what is normally known as Special Branch (i.e. Sections 'B' and 'D'), they were ordinary officers assigned to Section 'C' (the Ports branch). As at 28 October 1888, and thus almost certainly in November 1888, these officers were Sergeant Flood and Constable Lowe (MEPO 5/67).
The fact that there were two Metropolitan Police officers in Havre who reported to Scotland Yard, on its own renders all the speculation about Special Branch officers having followed Tumblety across London and France entirely redundant. It provides a complete explanation as to how Scotland Yard could easily have been aware of Tumblety's arrival and departure from that city.
In addition, there were Metropolitan Police officers based at Southampton, from where Tumblety could have sailed direct to Havre, and at Folkestone, if he did sail from there to Boulogne. It's not rocket science to work out where someone who gets a steamer from Southampton sailing to Havre, or one from Folkestone sailing to Boulogne, is actually going!!
As for Littlechild's knowledge, Hawley gets himself into a right mess while trying to solve the problem of how Littlechild could have known about Tumblety's appearance at Marlborough Street Police Court on charges of unnatural offences while getting it so badly wrong as to what happened to him after he fled from England, saying that he was never heard from again and possibly committed suicide, when the truth was that he had gone to New York and lived in the U.S. until 1903.
To explain this away, Hawley offers us one of his strange theories whereby Littlechild was being kept informed in detail about Tumblety's movements up to the point where he turned up in Boulogne but, at exactly the time he left that town, which Hawley estimates as being on 23 November, Littlechild suddenly became immensely busy with Irish matters and his interest in what happened to Jack the Ripper waned so much so that he lost track of where Tumblety went, not even being aware that he sailed to New York, to which (according to Hawley's lunatic version of events) he was pursued by at least one Scotland Yard detective who then supervised an investigation into Tumblety in America. Hawley calls these two distinct periods in Littlechild's life, the 'Pre-Boulogne' and the 'Post-Boulogne' phases.
To explain how Littlechild was so well informed in the Pre-Boulogne phase of his life, Hawley tells us this in the Howlercast:
'...when Littlechild talks, he talks about this time frame, it’s all about the Fenian issues and he talks about what he remembered was that every Sunday morning is when they had their meetings with all the top officials and so in Sunday morning you could see that that’s where Littlechild was in the know because he was part of this because Anderson was both in charge of the Whitechapel murders and the Special Branch that he would have known about Tumblety, when he was arrested, all that material, but once they left Boulogne you could see that Littlechild was no longer involved'.
It sounds impressive doesn't it, these Sunday morning meetings with the top officials at Scotland Yard at which Littlechild was informed about all the important ongoing cases? However, when we check what Littlechild actually said in his 1894 memoirs about these supposed Sunday morning 'meetings', we find a very difficult picture to the one portrayed by Hawley. What Littlechild (who is not, in fact, talking specifically about the time frame of the Ripper murders) says is this:
'Williamson was full of dry humour, which frequently came out in the anecdotes which he enjoyed telling.
On Sunday mornings, when the gatherings at the office were in the nature of a friendly conference, when the work which would not wait till the morrow had been got through, then he would come among us, and many a pleasant hour can be recalled of these Sunday mornings by my old colleagues, of whom, I regret to say, too few remain.'
So it wasn't the high powered official meetings, in which Scotland Yard's cases would be discussed in detail, that we were led to believe had happened by Hawley, which took place on those Sunday mornings. It seems to have been a chance for senior officers to relax and tell each other amusing anecdotes.
Anyway, Hawley then explains the distracted Post-Boulogne phase in this way:
'...when you look at the Old Bailey report, Littlechild was knee deep in these Fenian issues of 1888. Littlechild was involved with that kind of stuff even when you look at the Old Bailey reports that they mention Chief Inspector Littlechild in, I think it is Pigott, you could see Anderson wanting Littlechild still being involved with it because we had all that Parnell issue still involved...'
This is all typical Hawley gibberish where he doesn't seem to care if there is any truth in what he is saying as long as he can support his argument that Tumblety was a prime suspect. I don't know what he means by 'the Old Bailey report'. I assume, from the reference to Pigott, that he must mean the 1890 report of the Special Parnell Commission (which sat in the Royal Courts of Justice, not the Old Bailey). Pigott never gave evidence in the Old Bailey and he didn't appear before the Commission as a Times witness until February 1889. He had nothing to do with Littlechild until he fled the country. Nor is Littlechild even mentioned in the report of the Parnell Special Commission.
Littlechild was not, in November or December 1888, 'knee deep in these Fenian issues of 1888'. There weren't really any Fenian issues at this time. Following the failure of the Irish-American terrorists to make any impact during the Jubilee year (1887) and the fizzling out of a supposed plot being organized in Paris to assassinate Arthur Balfour in May 1888, things were generally silent on the Fenian front in late 1888 and there seems to have been a complete pause in Fenian activity in England while the Parnell Commission sat. As Littlechild himself said in his 1894 memoirs (underlining added):
'The later years of my service at Scotland Yard were spent in connection with the "special" branch of the Criminal Investigation Department. I was its chief inspector, and it fell to my duty to arrest many dynamiters and to be brought into contact with men whose names stand out prominently in the history of the "physical force" policy, adopted by the extreme wing of the Irish party, and which began in this country with a mild, though unfortunately fatal, explosion at Salford Barracks on January 14, 1881, and ended, practically, as far as London was concerned, with the breaking up of the dynamite conspiracies in the Jubilee year, 1887.'
That makes it clear that the physical force policy of the extreme wing of the Irish party was not being actively pursued in London during 1888.
Scotland Yard, including Special Branch, wasn't involved in the Parnell Commission, which was between Parnell and the Times newspaper. There was one element of Special Branch involvement when Inspector Melville was sent to Dublin on 4 December 1888 with a warrant for the arrest of Patrick Molloy, an alleged Invincible, following his failure to obey a subpoena to attend as a witness before the Parnell Commission. Aside from this, as far as can be discerned, November and December 1888 would have been relatively quiet months for Littlechild in respect of Irish matters.
In trying to tell us that we can see from an imaginary and non-existent Old Bailey report that Littlechild was knee deep in Fenian issues in 1888, by which he must mean late 1888, otherwise it makes no sense, Hawley just seems to have been saying the first thing that comes into his head in order to try and explain Littlechild's ignorance of Tumblety's fate, regardless of whether there is any evidence to support it.
In any case, even if there was a grain of truth in the notion of Littlechild suddenly becoming busy on Fenian issues in 1888 how do we know that this didn't happen on, say, 19 November, before Tumblety had even left England?
I don't wish to suggest that is the case because I find the whole theory absurd but what does strike me as a glaringly obvious possibility is that, 25 years after the event, when writing to Sims, Littlechild might well have confused Havre with Boulogne. For it's difficult to see why Tumblety, intending to travel from Havre to New York, would have done so via Boulogne. There were steamships leaving Southampton for Havre three times a week - on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays - so Tumblety could have left London on Friday 23 November, taken a train to Southampton that same day, departed by steamer to Havre and easily boarded La Bretagne bound for New York on the following day. There was no obvious need for him to go to Boulogne which would only have had the effect of delaying his journey.
There is certainly no corroboration that Tumblety was ever in Boulogne and we are entirely dependent on Littlechild for the accuracy of this information, yet, strangely, Littlechild never mentions that Tumblety went to Havre. Hawley (like most other people) relies on Littlechild because he got the detail of Marlborough Street Police Court right, and knew that Tumblety was arrested for unnatural offences (both confirmed by the Central Criminal Court Calendar), but, on the other hand, Littlechild says that Tumblety disappeared after leaving Boulogne and possibly committed suicide. He doesn't seem to know that Tumblety sailed to New York; or perhaps he did in November or December 1888 but by 1913 had forgotten this information. Believing in 1913 that Tumblety had been seen in Boulogne rather than Havre could have confused him into thinking that Tumblety wasn't going to New York.
So perhaps the Littlechild fail is not from the Post-Boulogne it is from the In-Boulogne period or rather the Not-In-Boulogne period!
Regardless of whether Tumblety did or did not go to Havre via Boulogne, it makes no difference to the ultimate conclusion which is that there is not a shred of evidence or reason to think that Tumblety was seen by a single Special Branch or other Scotland Yard officer in France, other than perhaps by those officers specially stationed at Havre to watch the ports. There was no reason for anyone from Scotland Yard to have been hanging around in Boulogne and the notion that they were following Tumblety across Europe (and then into the United States) is frankly too ludicrous to contemplate bearing in mind the amount of resources this would have taken and, more importantly, the fact that such surveillance would have served absolutely no good purpose and wasn't the type of thing known to be done by Scotland Yard in criminal cases on any other occasion during this period.
FROM LONDON TO AMERICA
It does seem to be the case that Assistant Commissioner Robert Anderson of Scotland Yard was in contact with two American police chiefs on 22 November, at a time when he presumably believed that Tumblety was in London on bail awaiting trial for the unnatural offences at the Old Bailey. These were the San Francisco police chief, Patrick Crowley, and the Brooklyn police chief, Superintendent Patrick Campbell.
It seems glaringly obvious that what happened in respect of Crowley is that, having read the stories in the San Francisco newspapers about Tumblety being suspected in London of being Jack the Ripper (and being in police custody), and, having discovered that he could obtain samples of Tumblety's handwriting from the Hibernia Bank in San Francisco, he helpfully cabled Scotland Yard to inform them of this on 19 November, bringing a reply from Robert Anderson three days later as follows:
'Thanks. Send handwriting and all details you can of Tumblety. ANDERSON Scotland Yard.'
As set out in his first book, Hawley seems to think that this telegram was the conclusion of some form of extended correspondence between the two police chiefs going back to at least 7 November, even though the above was the only telegram sent by Anderson that was ever published in the press.
Hawley bases this conclusion on two things. Firstly, that the San Francisco Examiner stated that, 'there has been considerable telegraphing between the Police Departments of San Francisco and London'. But this could easily be press hyperbole, exaggerating the brief exchange that actually seems to have occurred, and, when it comes to the details, all we are ever told is that Crowley telegraphed on 19th November and Anderson replied on the 22nd. A newspaper journalist could easily, with his eyes shut, spin this into 'considerable telegraphing'!
The second reason given by Hawley is that when Crowley read about Tumblety he carried out some form of 'investigation' and discovered a few facts about him which, as the first news about Tumblety ever having been in San Francisco was only published on 19 November, wouldn't, in Hawley's view, have given Crawley time to conduct that 'investigation' before sending his telegram to Anderson on the same day. Hawley, therefore, tells us in his first book that there is a 'temporal problem' here. However, the few facts, as published by the newspaper, which Crowley discovered about Tumblety, could have been learnt in about ten minutes and, indeed, the San Francisco Examiner quotes an officer of the Hibernia Bank who remembered Tumblety and was thus probably able to provide all the necessary information about him to the police chief very quickly.
In any event, the news about the arrest in London of 'Dr Kumblety' was published in the San Francisco Chronicle of Sunday, 18 November, so if Chief Crowley recognized this as a man who, from his own knowledge, had once lived in San Francisco, he had a full 24 hours to conduct his 'investigation'.
On the basis that Chief Crowley telegraphed Anderson out of the blue on 19 November to ask if he would like to be sent examples of Tumblety's handwriting, and Anderson replied positively and asked for more information, what does that tell us? For Hawley, any interest in Tumblety by Anderson can only mean one thing: Scotland Yard were trying to prove he was Jack the Ripper. But murder was not the only crime that Tumblety could have committed in London. We all know that Tumblety was a quack and a fraudster, and Anderson might well have been interested to know more about the man who was then in custody in London (albeit in 'friendly' custody, on bail) and facing trial at the Old Bailey on the basis that he might have committed any number of criminal offences in the UK.
The interest in Tumblety's handwriting, such as it was, and to the extent that Scotland Yard was not already in possession of any of his letters written to his four male victims, might well have been to compare it with the Dear Boss letter. After all, Littlechild tells us that Tumblety was 'amongst the suspects' for the Whitechapel murders At the same time, Scotland Yard (and Anderson in particular) doesn't appear to have regarded any of the Ripper correspondence as genuine so it's not clear what the Assistant Commissioner would have achieved, even if Tumblety's handwriting matched one of the Ripper letters, for sending such a letter was not in itself an extraditable offence.
It's also possible, of course, that Anderson wanted examples of Tumblety's handwriting to confirm that Tumblety was the author of any compromising letters to young men which may have been in Scotland Yard's possession. In this respect, I note that Mike Hawley makes an odd comment in his May 2019 Ripperologist article, 'Tumblety's Secret'. For he says that, 'There is a claim that Anderson was not contacting Superintendent Campbell about the Whitechapel murders case, but was acting on behalf of the NVA - an organization with their own investigators - requesting handwriting for their gross indecency case'. As is frequently the case with Hawley, he doesn't give any citation at this point so it's impossible to know who has made such a claim or if it has been accurately summarized. I've certainly not seen such a claim made on any online forum since the publication of my Ripperologist article revealing that the NVA was conducting the prosecution of Tumblety at the Old Bailey. There is, frankly, no chance that Anderson was acting on behalf of the NVA (although Hawley's point that the NVA had its own 'investigators' is neither here nor there). But he was still the Assistant Commissioner and might, as I have said, been interested in comparing Tumblety's handwriting to any compromising or incriminating letters in the possession of Scotland Yard, including those relating to the indecency offences with which he had been charged. It's a possibility that cannot be ruled out.
Hawley makes the point that samples of handwriting would have had to have been shipped over to England and would not have arrived until 'early December' and, he says, 'as far as the prosecutors were concerned in November, the case would have been done'. But he has got himself into a terrible muddle about dates here. Anderson's telegram requesting samples of Tumblety's correspondence was sent on 22 November, two days after Tumblety's trial had been postponed to 10 December. So, if Anderson had the trial in mind when he made the request, there would have been sufficient time to receive handwriting samples to be used in evidence at that trial. Hawley then says something which I can only describe as quite mad because he claims that: 'The NVA apparently did not consider these letters from the US important for the case, since the jurors at the grand jury would not have seen them on November 19 1888'. Well, as Tumblety's case went before a grand jury on 19 November, the very same day that Crowley was sending a telegram to Scotland Yard to inform them of the supposed 'letters' (although Crowley's telegram didn't mention any letters, just handwriting samples), and San Francisco is seven hours behind London, the NVA and its lawyers would have been wholly unaware of the existence of any such 'letters' at the time it presented its case against Tumblety before a grand jury at the Old Bailey. So Hawley has absolutely no basis to say that they did not consider the letters (if there were letters) unimportant. Equally, there is no reason to think the handwriting samples would have been regarded as important, or even the slightest bit interesting, to the NVA, which presumably felt it had sufficient evidence to prosecute Tumblety; it's just that Hawley seems to use the most dreadful arguments to support his case without appearing to put any real thought into them.
When it comes to the correspondence with the Brooklyn police chief, it's not entirely clear who initiated it but, to the extent it was Anderson, this seems to have been based on information he had received that Tumblety was known to Superintendent Campbell as 'Brooklyn's Beauty'. The supposed reproduction of part of Anderson's telegram in the Brooklyn Citizen of 23 November suggests that it was Tumblety himself who had told Anderson this, i.e. 'He says he is known to you, Chief, as Brooklyn's Beauty.' However, the Brooklyn Standard-Union of the same day uses the same expression but merely says that, in Brooklyn, 'some say he was known as Brooklyn's Beauty' which seems to cast some doubt on whether Tumblety really was Anderson's source of this.
According to the Brooklyn Citizen, Tumblety also told Anderson that he was once a resident of Brooklyn but, again, this might have been a spin placed by the newspaper and Anderson might have learnt of it from another source. Either way, it would explain why Anderson wrote to Superintendent Campbell in Brooklyn for more information about Tumblety. But why the delay in doing so (on 22 November) bearing in mind that Tumblety had been arrested either on or before 7 November?
One possible explanation is that, after the story of Tumblety's supposed arrest on suspicion of the Whitechapel murders went racing around America, Anderson was suddenly flooded with telegrams from the United States about a person who might well not, until that point, have been regarded by him to as being of any great significance (especially if he had been arrested on suspicion of being the Whitechapel murderer, investigated and released due to the absence of any evidence). Now that he is being told that Tumblety is known to various police chiefs (or even if he just receives one telegram from Crowley on the 19th) he might suddenly have wondered just who this Dr Tumblety really was and sought more information in case he had a notorious criminal on his hands. Perhaps, until that point, despite the supposed large dossier at Scotland Yard, he had no idea that Tumblety was very well known in the United States. Anderson might also have been told in one of the telegrams received in the US that Tumblety was known as 'Brooklyn's Beauty' hence his writing to Superintendent Campbell.
Anyway, the key point is that there were more crimes than simply the Whitechapel murders that Robert Anderson was concerned with. To read or listen to Hawley you would think that Scotland Yard could only possibly be interested in Tumblety for either (minor, in Hawley's view) indecency offences or (major) multiple murders. But there were plenty of crimes in between.
Even if Anderson's interest was sparked by the possibility that Tumblety might be Jack the Ripper, due to American police chiefs telling him they thought it was possible, this really doesn't make any difference because Anderson would soon learn that Tumblety was out of his jurisdiction and, without solid evidence which would allow extradition proceedings to be commenced, there was nothing he could do about it.
Before leaving this topic, we should note, in case there is any doubt in the matter, that Anderson does appear to have genuinely sent a telegram to Superintendent Campbell. The reason why we can say this is that the Brooklyn newspapers on 23 November reported, on the basis of what Anderson had told Campbell, that Tumblety, 'was under arrest in England on the charge of indecent assault'. This factually correct information had not been reported anywhere and, while it would have been known to journalists in London who had access to the Central Criminal Court Calendar, could realistically only have come from Scotland Yard. It's not clear, though, if Anderson mentioned to either police chief that Tumblety had ever been arrested for, or was suspected of being concerned with, the Whitechapel murders. The Brooklyn newspapers do report this in the story but that information might have been taken from earlier press reports rather than from Anderson's telegram.
According to the Brooklyn Standard-Union, as we have seen, 'the London Police are evidently doing their best to fasten the Whitechapel murders on Dr. F.T. Tumblety', and this gets Hawley very excited, as if they were reporting words directly from Anderson's lips, but the use of the word 'evidently' betrays that the newspaper is speculating and their guess is probably as good as ours.
We may further note that there is no dispute that Campbell received Anderson's telegram on 22 November, yet the Brooklyn Citizen of 23 November reported that, since receiving that telegram, 'Superintendent Campbell....has learned all about Tumblety'. So, clearly, an investigation of the type which Chief Crowley carried out in San Francisco could be completed very quickly, showing that Crowley could also easily have concluded his own investigation within a day. There is no good reason, in other words, to suppose that the correspondence between Crowley and Anderson was anything other than Crowley telegraphing on 19 November and Anderson replying three days later.
THE LITTLE ENGLISH DETECTIVE
In his response to my article 'The English Detective', as set out in his second book, 'Jack the Ripper Suspect Dr. Francis Tumblety', Hawley unaccountably seems to think he has made a good point when he claims - on the basis of an individual stating under oath in 1903 that he understood (no doubt from inaccurate press reports) that Tumblety had been followed to America in 1888 by 'Scotland street detectives' - that he has demonstrated that 'contemporary American readers believed English detectives were synonymous with Scotland Yard detectives, not private detectives from England.' For reasons beyond human understanding, he then quotes from a minor American newspaper which referred to Scotland Yard officers as 'English detectives' to demonstrate that, 'Even in England, Scotland Yard detectives were often referred to as English detectives', although how a quote from the Wheeling Register of West Virginia demonstrates anything happening in England is not explained. He also points out that Tumblety, in his January 1889 interview with the New York World, referred to Scotland Yard detectives as 'English detectives' who followed him in London when he visited Whitechapel while wearing his slouch hat.
I have no idea what Hawley thinks he is proving here. Of course the expression 'English detective' could also be another way of referring to a Scotland Yard detective. Scotland Yard detectives after all (even those from Scotland, Ireland or other countries) were based in England and could, therefore, be legitimately described as 'English detectives'. But any schoolchild would understand that, as matter of logic, while every Scotland Yard detective was an English detective, it doesn't thereby follow that every English detective was also a Scotland Yard detective. It's just basic logic and comprehension.
Yet Hawley's point somehow seems to have impressed Jonathan Menges for he felt the need to mention it in a fawning comment during the Howlercast, which was not even a question, thus:
'In your book you bring up a few other examples of the phrase “English detective” pretty much being used interchangeably with a Scotland Yard official to differentiate it from a private detective.'
Hawley simply responded by saying 'Right', and the conversation moved on, so that was a waste of time, and it's not even accurate because Hawley never once demonstrates that the expression 'English detective' was actually used to differentiate a Scotland Yard official from a private detective.
Furthermore, the idea that 'English detective' had an intrinsic meaning in the United States to exclude it from being a private detective is such a daft one that I shouldn't need to even waste my time responding to it but a few examples should hopefully dispose of it for good.
So here is the first one from the St Louis Post Dispatch of 16 September 1887:
So, we see that Maurice Moser, a London based private detective then in New York, was referred to twice as an 'English detective', first in the headline summary, 'The English Detective Unbosoms Himself' and then in the article which refers to 'the English detective, Maurice Moser'.
Two days earlier, the same newspaper had published a letter from Mrs Jarvis which had been sent to the New York World:
This includes the sentence about Moser: 'The stranger is said to be an English detective who is working up the doings of the American Clan-na-Gael in British politics.' Mrs Jarvis' letter began, 'I notice in your paper of to-day a long statement in regard to an English detective named Maurice Moser.' To repeat the point, Maurice Moser was at that time a private detective based in London.
But here's the thing: there was an even earlier story, on 11 September 1887, in none other than the New York World, the very same newspaper which labelled the comical man outside Tumblety's home an 'English detective'. Here is what it said about Maurice Moser, who was also known as Walters:
The key sentence is:
'He had gone there to be treated, and was just coming out when the English detective and Jackson were approaching the building.'
Elsewhere in the same story, Moser, a.k.a. Walters, is referred to as 'a detective for the London Times' making it clear that he was a private detective.
Two days later, on 13 September 1888, the same newspaper carried up a follow-up story:
The key sentence here is:
'Inspector Byrnes was asked if he had seen his visitor, the English detective, since Sunday morning.'
So there we have the World's reporter, who may well have been the very same reporter who claimed to see an English detective on East Tenth Street on 3 December, referring to a private detective, Maurice Moser, as an 'English detective' when asking Inspector Byrnes about him.
Five days later, on 18 September 1887, a despatch for the World stated, 'A World reporter to-day succeeded in confronting the English detective, Maurice Moser (or Walters)...'. Again, we have the World using 'English detective' to mean a non-Scotland Yard detective.
The description of Moser as an English detective continued into 1888, for in the Philadelphia Times we find this:
The 'English Detective' mentioned there in the headline was a private detective, i.e. Maurice Moser.
Then we have an extract from the Washington Evening Star of 14 January 1889:
As can be seen, it's a story about the private detective Joseph T. Kirby who was said to be 'not in the regular employ of Scotland Yard' but is nevertheless described as 'the English detective mentioned in the Buffalo story.'
Similarly, we find this headline in the St Paul Daily Globe:
The 'British Detective' referred to as 'Kerby' was a private detective.
Next we have a couple of reports circulating a claim by Charles Hammond, of Cleveland Street scandal fame, that a barkeeper (Alexander Todhunter) who gave evidence against him in his 1890 trial in Seattle for larceny was an English detective. This is from the Los Angeles Herald of 28 December 1890:
And this is from the Sacramento Bee of 2 January 1891:
As can be seen from these two reports, it was being alleged that the so-called 'English detective' was 'in the employ of the patrons of Hammond's Cleveland-street house in London' - wealthy Englishmen, who were tired of paying hush money - thus giving the clear impression that he was supposed to be a private detective, not a Scotland Yard one.
As for the reality of the situation, it would appear that Alexander Todhunter was certainly English, having been born in Portsmouth in 1851, but the 1871 census shows him to have been a shopkeeper, while his marriage certificate from 1876 shows him to have then been a hotel keeper living in Lambeth. He appears to have left for the United States prior to the 1881 census. His history is thus entirely consistent with him being a barkeeper in Seattle in 1890. Just another false report of an English detective in America!
A report in the Decatur Herald of 1 March 1884 about a St Louis Police Sergeant who had been shot dead in 1883 was headlined, 'Jenks, the Recently Murdered St. Louis Policeman, a British Detective', as we see below:
The claim was that Sergeant Jenks, of the St Louis Police Force, had been secretly working for the British Government against Fenian plots and conspiracies in St Louis. Whether that was true or not, the claim was obviously not that Jenks was a Scotland Yard police officer but rather that, as an American citizen, he was effectively a spy working for the British secret service. Just another different meaning of the expression 'British' (or 'English') detective.
And now, for a little twist, here is a transcript of a report in the New York Times of 5 September 1891:
In this one, 'the English detective' is an English police officer but NOT one from Scotland Yard. This English detective, Inspector Stokes, was from the Newcastle police force.
Here's another one in the same vein from the Philadelphia Inquirer of 3 September 1881:
One can see the headline, 'Expected arrival of the English Detective To-Day', so it must be a Scotland Yard detective right? No, as we see, it's an officer from the Grimsby police force.
And this is a headline from the Boston Herald of 29 March 1892:
Hawley will obviously tell you that this must a story about a Scotland Yard detective. But it's not. The English Detective being referred to in the headline is James Black, an inspector of the Birmingham Police, who gave evidence against Thomas Gallagher at his 1883 trial at the Old Bailey.
So it's clear that the phrase 'English detective' could bear a number of meanings in the United States and did not automatically mean a Scotland Yard detective.
Another point made by Hawley is that there were various newspaper reports of English detectives crawling around America at the time. Based on nothing more than an unsourced 1889 newspaper report which refers to a non-existent Special Branch detective called 'H. Dutton' (but doesn't source its information to him) Hawley, for some reason, feels able to state as a fact that 'Scotland Yard detectives referred to as English detectives were indeed in New York City between December 1 and December 14, 1888.' If you believed what was reported in American newspapers at the time you might think that there were dozens of them, perhaps more than even existed in Scotland Yard, running around America. Here is one example from the St Louis Post Dispatch of 25 December 1888:
'LINCOLN, Neb,. December 25 - It is reported that British detectives were in Lincoln seeking testimony favorable to the London Times in the Parnell-Times trial. The POST-DISPATCH correspondent made inquiries yesterday of Mr. John Sutton, Secretary of the Irish National League of America, concerning the presence of such detectives here and their object in coming. Mr Sutton said "There are no English detectives in the city now but four or five passed through here east-bound on Friday or Saturday last. I don't know where they came from. Yes, they are real English detectives - Scotland Yard men...."'
Except they were not. As the conversation with Mr. Sutton occurred on 24 December 1888, a Monday, the reference to 'Friday or Saturday last' must have meant Friday 21 or Saturday 22 December. Thankfully, in this case, we can conclusively disprove the newspaper story because we know that, on 17 March 1890, Robert Anderson confirmed to the Home Secretary that between 20 December and 25 December 1888, 'there was no English police officer within the United States'. It's just one example of the nonsense published in the American newspapers at the time where Scotland Yard detectives were supposed to be everywhere in that country working up the Parnell case for the Times.
But what is so dazzlingly obvious when reading all the newspaper reports of the time is that when officers genuinely did go to the United States, i.e. where there is evidence of it in official papers in the UK, and when the press discovered their existence, they were inevitably mentioned in the press by name. Thus, Inspector Andrews and Inspector Jarvis, who both genuinely were in North America in late 1888, were named in the press. None of the many others who are supposed to have been there are ever identified save for the mistaken identification of Superintendent Shore. The reason is obvious: they were phantoms who didn't exist or, if they were real men who existed, they were not from Scotland Yard.
We know that two New York reporters (one from the World and one from the Herald) referred to a man they supposedly saw near Tumblety's apartment as an 'English detective'. Clearly, neither of them were in a position to say that he was from Scotland Yard. But how did they even know he was English or a detective? The man apparently looked like a typical Englishman in his outfit, but that could have been highly misleading. Anyone could wear any form of clothes, just like an Englishman could wear a slouch hat. For the World reporter, there was an additional piece of information. An unnamed bartender at McKenna's saloon had told him that the man had confided in him that he was an English detective who had come over to get Tumblety for the Whitechapel murders. From that, the reporter certainly could reasonably have inferred that this was a Scotland Yard detective.
But, assuming that a bartender really did say this to the World reporter, and that the bartender was not just spinning a story to the reporter, does this mean that the man was, in fact, from Scotland Yard? I would say that it actually proves the opposite, namely that he was NOT a Scotland Yard detective because it was basic tradecraft that a Scotland Yard detective wouldn't have revealed the true purpose of his mission to a stranger. Any detective worth his salt, whether a private detective or one from Scotland Yard, would have used a cover story in such circumstances when trying to obtain information from someone like a barman about an individual they were trying to trace or keep under surveillance. One only has to read a few memoirs of real life Scotland Yard detectives from the period to see how they operated in this respect.
For example, Andrew Lansdowne, a former detective-inspector who retired from Scotland Yard in 1888, tells in his 1893 memoirs, 'A Life's Reminiscences of Scotland Yard', the story in disguised form of his investigation to trace George Bernard Harvey Drew, the secretary of the London Leather Warehouse Company, who disappeared in January 1886 having embezzled over £4,000 from the company. On examining the man's blotting pad, Lansdowne found a woman's address. Upon visiting her, having established that Drew had been posing under a false titled name (which, in real life, was 'Sir Arthur Adair'), and assuming correctly that the woman was Drew's lover, Lansdowne claimed to be a relation of Adair's in order to gain her confidence and discover where he was. It was an obvious thing to do. Claiming to have come from Scotland Yard would no doubt have caused her to clam up and reveal nothing.
Lansdowne, incidentally, tells of how, on discovering that Drew had sailed for Australia, he immediately booked a ticket and followed him there which may sound similar to what Hawley thinks was happening with Tumblety but, in this case, Lansdowne was in possession of 16 warrants for Drew's arrest; the offence was extraditable under the Fugitive Offenders Act and his expenses would have been guaranteed by the London Leather Warehouse Company. The story as told by Lansdowne isn't quite accurate either because the authorities had been trying to have Drew arrested by the Sydney police and Lansdowne was only sent out when they failed to arrest him.
It's not an isolated example either and Lansdowne gives other examples of subterfuge when questioning members of the public as to the whereabouts of certain individuals. We can also refer to former detective inspector John Sweeny's 1905 memoirs, 'At Scotland Yard', in which he reveals that, in an attempt to trace one of the missing London Bridge bombers from 1884 called John Fleming, he managed to get hold of an address of the suspected bomber's sister, and he says:
'I made a report at Scotland Yard, and suggested that I should invent some sham errand, which should take me to the house in Southwark, where I might investigate. My idea was approved of; and my next step was to have some visiting cards printed with the name of John Fleming.'
When he arrived at the house of Fleming's sister, he handed over one of these card and claimed to have travelled over to London from America with Fleming a few years earlier when Fleming had given him his card. Sweeney tells us that he had taken care to crumple and soil the card in order to give it the appearance of age. The subterfuge worked and he managed to establish that Fleming and his associate had died at London Bridge when the explosive went off.
Former Chief Inspector John Littlechild tells us in his own memoirs that he too used various cover stories when attempting to obtain information from members of the public. Thus, he would adopt the garb and guise of various professions such as curate, butcher, surveyor, sanitary inspector or cabman. As Littlechild explains with respect to the latter disguise (underlining added):
'I had to tell a bogus tale about a fare whom I had set down at the house, and it was only in this way that I could have obtained the information that I required without causing alarm, and perhaps the consequent flight of my man, thus spoiling a month's hard work in one minute.'
One doesn't really need these examples because it should be just plain common sense that a detective trying to obtain information doesn't reveal his true purpose and identity if he can avoid it. This must be especially true of a detective in a foreign country where he has no official powers whatsoever, or even a right to be there asking questions, and is speaking to a stranger who could easily tip off his quarry about what he is doing. For a private detective trying to obtain money from Tumblety, it might well have suited his purpose for Tumblety to be made aware that it was only a Scotland Yard detective who was making enquiries about him in order to arrest him for the Whitechapel murders, something which Tumblety would have known that a Scotland Yard detective could not do in New York (with or without a warrant), thus potentially throwing him off his guard if the real reason was that the detective was after his money.
As a consequence, any reason given by a detective for wanting to trace or obtain information about an individual is very likely to have been a cover story. If a genuine English detective was telling a bartender that he was in New York to get Tumblety for the Whitechapel murder, his real objective would almost certainly have been something different.
Hawley obviously realizes this, which is no doubt why he told me on the Casebook Forum when I asked him about it (at a time when asking questions was allowed on that Forum) that this Scotland Yard detective must have been drunk when he was speaking to the bartender and thus let the truth slip. But that response seems to acknowledge that, if the detective had been sober, it would be unlikely that he was from Scotland Yard, hence, not knowing whether the detective was under the influence of alcohol or not, one cannot say that the bartender's account proves anything.
A second problem is that a Scotland Yard detective could not possibly have come to get Tumblety in New York because there was no arrest warrant in place for him, so even if this 'English detective' was drunk it makes no difference. What he said to the bartender could not possibly have been true.
Hawley's amusing answer to this can be found in one of his presentation documents:
So Hawley thinks that 'to get the chap who did it' is the equivalent - as we can see, he actually uses the expression 'in other words' - of 'direct the continued investigation'. That seems to stretch the use of language to its breaking point, because getting hold of a murderer (or any other individual) whose identity is known is, in the ordinary course, something different to directing an investigation, but, even if it can bear that meaning, it's comical because Scotland Yard did not spend money in sending officers out to New York to conduct hopeful criminal investigations of this nature which could have been just as easily carried out on its behalf by either the New York Police or Pinkertons' men.
Hawley latches onto the phrase 'direct the continued investigation' because of a comment in the Cincinnati Enquirer of 14 December 1888 that some form of investigation in Cincinnati was being conducted 'under the direction of English officials now in New York'. Somehow, in this case, a single English detective has morphed into a number of them and are now described as 'officials' rather than 'detectives' who are being allowed to direct an American police investigation in Cincinnati from New York. As we will discuss further below, this investigation wasn't even into Tumblety, it was said to be an investigation into one of Tumbelty's companions, not that you will find Hawley ever mentioning this fact.
In the Howlercast, Hawley also says this:
'So the question is why would you - what could an English detective do, a Scotland Yard detective? He doesn’t have the authority to arrest Tumblety but it would be the same reason why they followed him in England, they followed him in France, it’s not - they wouldn’t arrest him, what they were looking for was, they were still doing an investigation and if they had anything on Tumblety at all, we don’t know how much they had because we don’t have the records, they might have been close with something or just like the reports were saying, when the report about Superintendent, the office of Superintendent Campbell said that they were looking for all information on Tumblety, as part of this investigation, if they found anything damning then they could easily have had the New York City detectives arrest him now because it’s no longer a misdemeanour case, if they officially charge him with some kind of let’s say felony now that would be extraditable that they are there to escort him back and so there would be reasons for this would happen'.
This attempted explanation, based on an entirely false premise, for which there is no evidence, that Scotland Yard had 'followed' Tumblety in both England and France, shows Hawley's lack of knowledge of extradition procedure in the late nineteenth century; for Scotland Yard did not simply send out officers to a foreign country, least of all to the United States, in the hope that evidence would one day be forthcoming to issue a warrant for an extraditable offence, which warrant could then be sent over the ocean to that officer who would then escort the prisoner back to England.
The reason for this is that Scotland Yard knew that, in the United States especially, it was important that the officer holding the extradition documents - i.e. warrant, information and depositions - was personally familiar with them, ideally having seen them signed, and could give first hand evidence about them in a court of law, otherwise there was a good chance that the extradition process would fail.
This practice was alluded to in a Home Office memorandum dated 31 March 1890 which said (HO 347/8):
'In the United States cases it is necessary to send out an officer to bring the prisoner, if surrendered, to England; and it is usually convenient that he should be sent out as soon as information is received of the arrest of the fugitive, as the presence of an experienced officer who can furnish the United States courts with information they may require is found in some cases to facilitate proceedings.'
Thus, had Scotland Yard obtained a warrant for the arrest of Tumblety for the murders in 1888, then, even though an officer was already in New York, a second officer would, in order to ensure best practice, have had to have crossed the Atlantic to deliver the warrant and give evidence in a New York court about that warrant and the underlying evidence which had led to the warrant being issued. So Hawley's theory that a Scotland Yard officer would have somehow been sent ahead to be ready to escort Tumblety back to England in the hope that a warrant would be issued for his arrest fails in its entirety. It would have been a complete waste of time and money to have done such a thing.
The rules for English officers being sent abroad in connection with extradition cases were set out in the Home Office memo of 31 March 1890 but were based on Home Office Circulars of 6 November 1883 and 25 October 1884 as follows (HO 347/8):
'It is sometimes considered desirable, when an application for extradition is made, that an English police officer should be sent out to assist the foreign police in tracing and identifying the accused.
When this is done the officer should take with him a letter of introduction which he may present as occasion requires to British ministers, or consuls abroad. He should attend for this purpose at the Home Office, with an introduction from the chief officer of his force: or, if it is not convenient that he should attend personally, the chief officer should apply to the Home Office by letter stating the name and rank of the officer about to be sent out. It is also generally advisable that he should be provided with a passport.
He should, where possible, see the warrant and depositions signed, as cases have occurred where his evidence to this effect has removed difficulties.
An officer sent abroad in an extradition case case must confine his action strictly to tracing the fugitive, and furnishing the foreign police with information. Under no circumstances may he himself attempt to arrest the fugitive, interfere in any way with his liberty in a foreign country, or endeavour by threats or undue pressure to induce him to return to England without awaiting the formalities of extradition. If a fugitive whose extradition has been demanded should voluntarily consent to return with the officer without formal extradition, the concurrence of the authorities of the foreign country must be obtained before this course is taken.'
As is clearly stated, the practice of sending out an English officer to assist foreign police in tracing and identifying an offender only applied in extradition cases or, in other words, where there was an enforceable arrest warrant for an extraditable offence.
The rules also stated that an indemnity for expenses was required 'in all cases except those undertaken by the Director of Public Prosecutions'. In a murder case, the expenses would be paid by the Director of Public Prosecutions but the agreement of the DPP was obviously required before sending an officer to a foreign country.Hawley's desperation to find a sensible answer to the question of why a Scotland Yard detective would have been in New York was apparent in the Casebook Forum when I asked him (at a time when asking questions of authors on Casebook had not yet been forbidden) what a Scotland Yard detective in New York, with no powers of arrest, was actually doing there. In response, he thought he had found a precedent from history. Thus he posted (#53 in the tread):
'Scotland Yard detectives did indeed follow prisoners to New York and did not merely depend upon the Pinkertons. Here's an example in 1869:
The murderer, Franz Muller, a poor German tailor, had immediately departed to America, hoping to start a new life in the New World. But two Scotland Yard detectives pursued him...'
Those familiar with Hawley's knowledge of British history will not be surprised to know that he got the date wrong - it was actually 1864 - but he was also wrong in comparing the situation of Franz Müller with Tumblety because, in the Müller case, a warrant had been obtained for Müller's arrest before anyone from Scotland Yard had even left London, let alone England.
Once there was an arrest warrant issued it made perfect sense for a Scotland Yard officer to chase a murder suspect across the Atlantic because he could then arrange to have him identified and arrested, supervise the arrest itself, attend in court at the extradition hearing with the relevant evidence against the suspect and escort his prisoner safely back to England.
In 1864, having learnt that Müller was sailing for New York, Inspector Tanner hurriedly obtained a warrant from a magistrate and he, together with Sergeant Clarke and a couple of witnesses who could identify Müller, boarded the next ship which sailed from Liverpool in the hope of arriving in New York before him. However, because everything was done in such a rush, the Home Office became worried that the depositions which had been taken, and which Tanner carried with him to New York, would not stand up in a New York court (Times, 23 July 1864). Furthermore, there was some concern that Tanner would not arrive at New York before Müller due to the relatively slow speed of the City of Manchester on which he sailed whereas a very fast Cunard steamer, the City of Cork, was due to sail two days after Tanner had left and this also had a good chance of beating Müller's slow sailing vessel, the Victoria. Consequently, after Tanner had left the country, further depositions were taken and a second arrest warrant obtained. For the reasons I've already stated, an officer who could testify to the depositions and the authenticity of the second warrant really needed to be sent out to New York with that warrant, hence Inspector Kerressey followed Tanner out to New York two days later on the City of Cork.
Not only were the voyages of Tanner and Kerressey fully reported in the newspapers but there is an abundance of documentary evidence in the Home Office and Foreign Office files/registers at the National Archives about the journeys to New York of these officers. This is because, in accordance with extradition procedure, Scotland Yard would communicate with the Home Office which in turn would communicate with the Foreign Office which would then communicate directly with the British Consul in New York who would arrange legal assistance for the extradition process, thus generating a significant amount of paperwork.When Tanner arrived in New York he was given the following advice, as he recorded in a report dated 9 August 1864 (my underlining):
'On my arrival I placed myself in communication with Mr Edwards, the Consul here, who will render me all assistance in his power; he advised me also to place myself also in communication with Mr Kennedy the Chief of Police here which I have done. Mr Edwards placed the case in the hands of Mr Marbury who is lawyer to the District Consulate, and that gentleman informs me that the arrest must be made by an officer deputed by the United States Marshall; the prisoner will then be taken before a Commissioner and upon a petition from the British Consul stating that the prisoner is a fugitive from England charged with murder, the depositions which I have will be put in and the prisoner will be committed to me to convey to England.' (MEPO 3/75)
While you will find some accounts saying that Müller was arrested by Sergeant Clarke, this wasn't the case. He was arrested by John Tieman, an officer of the New York Police Department, on behalf of the United States Marshal.
I set myself a challenge after Hawley posted his Müller example. If we assume, hypothetically, that the Metropolitan Police File relating to Briggs' murder had been destroyed and, if we assume that no newspapers had reported on the journey to New York of Tanner, Clark and Kerressey, and if we also assume that instead of actually going to New York to attempt to extradite Müller with a warrant, their journey had been to simply chase Müller and then conduct an investigation into Müller in New York in the hope of evidence turning up which led to an arrest warrant being issued (bizarre I know but let's run with it) which would mean that there never was any formal communication with the British Consulate, thus possibly meaning there was no correspondence between the Foreign Office and the Home Office about Tanner's journey, would we still be able to find any documentary record that Tanner had been to New York?
The answer is yes. As I had already said in my article, 'The English Detective', we would expect to find some record of expenses incurred in a New York trip. Indeed, in this case we find a copy of a letter from the Home Office to the Receiver of the Metropolitan Police approving £552.2.10 in expenses to Inspector Tanner for 'apprehension of Muller' (HO 65/25):
This sum must have included the expenses of everyone who went to New York.
At the end of all this we are no closer to coming up with a sensible reason why a Scotland Yard officer would have wasted time and money sailing out to New York on a fool's errand.
Returning to the New York World article of 4 December 1888, the point here is that Hawley has not managed to prove that the man who supposedly spoke to the bartender was an English detective. He could easily have just been a nutter living in, or visiting, New York who had read in an early edition of that day's Evening World that Tumblety was staying in lodgings in the vicinity of Tenth Street (albeit that the newspaper stated it to be West Tenth Street) and, knowing that a large reward had been offered in London for the capture of Jack the Ripper, decided to pretend to be a Scotland Yard detective on Tumblety's trail. We know that there were plenty of amateur detectives in London who interpolated themselves into the police investigation by visiting Whitechapel (sometimes in disguise) while behaving in a suspicious manner so why could such a person not have been found in New York?
It may be noted in this respect that George Jurgens, the biographer of Joseph Pulitzer, the proprietor of the World, says: 'Pulitzer discovered early that when the public became interested in a murder, its curiosity and appetite for detail was almost insatiable. It seemed almost as if 100,000 World readers would assign themselves to the case as police investigators...' ('Joseph Pulitzer and the New York World' by George Juergens, 1966, p.61). It would only have needed one of these readers to become curious about Tumblety to produce the sudden appearance of an 'English detective' in East Tenth Street.
Hawley has, it seems, anticipated such a possibility and tried to rebut it in advance in his May 2019 Ripperologist article, which, I assume, is the reason he refers to an otherwise irrelevant article published on Tuesday 4 December in the New York Press which states that, on the previous day (i.e. Monday 3 December), 'a small army of newspaper men were hunting for the doctor, but without success...' . This doesn't help Hawley for two reasons. Firstly, we know that at least three newspaper reporters did, contrary to the impression given in the New York Press, find Tumblety's residence on Monday 3 December, i.e. the reporters from the World, the Herald and the Tribune. Secondly, the World and Herald reporters tell us that the 'English detective' took the sensible step of making enquiries about Tumblety in at least one saloon bar (and thus possibly others) which may be how he located his residence in the first place from the clue given in that day's Evening World.
Or, as I mentioned in my previous article, the man supposedly seen by the reporters could have been a genuine private detective trying to hunt down Tumblety for any number of reasons, just one of which could have been to recover a debt, possibly, but not necessarily, a debt owed to the London bondsmen whose recognizances were shortly, and inevitably, to be estreated by an Old Bailey judge.
But it was only the New York World reporter who was treated to the bartender's explanation that the strange man was an English detective who had come over to get Tumblety, at least according to the published article. What about the reporter from the New York Herald? If his report was accurate and comprehensive then no-one ever told him that the man he claims he saw in McKenna's saloon was either from England or a detective. For he just says he went into the saloon and saw a man apparently watching Tumblety's apartment through the window. He never claims to have spoken to him but says that of this man that: 'He made some inquiries of the bartenders, but gave no information about himself, although it appeared he did not know much of New York.'
From the way this is written, one would naturally assume that the reporter personally overheard the man speaking to the bartenders, so perhaps he picked up his English accent - but he doesn't actually tell us this in the report. And he states that the man gave 'no information' about himself. So why was he so sure he was an English detective? For that was how he described him in the article. Why couldn't he have been, say, an English journalist? Or an English nosey parker? Unlike the World reporter, he doesn't witness (at least he doesn't report) the comical performance the English detective gave in the street outside Tumblety's apartment. Nor is he told by the bartender (or at least he doesn't report it) that the man is an English detective who has come over to get Tumblety. All he knows, according to his report, is that a man was sitting in a bar looking at Tumblety's apartment and asked a few questions about Tumblety of the bartenders. How he felt able, on that basis, to the describe the man as an 'English detective' is unclear.
In any event, as he doesn't apparently overhear the man say that he was an English detective who had come over to get Tumblety, nor do any of the bartenders appear to have told him that this is what Tumblety said, he had no basis to think he was from Scotland Yard and, indeed, he never says that he was.
We will look more closely at the reports of the two New York journalists in a moment because there are some rather suspicious elements about them, but it transpires that Hawley is relying on no fewer than FOUR reporters to prove the existence of the English detective in New York. As he says in the Howlercast, when he speaks of the English detective being in New York (underlining added):
'...it's not that I’m guessing I’m looking at these four articles, newspaper articles that say it, and it’s not, like, did they all lie?'
From his comments in the Howlercast, we can deduce that the four reporters behind those articles are: 1. the World reporter. 2. the Herald reporter 3. a columnist writing for the Daily Picayune and 4. a reporter for the Cincinnati Enquirer.
It's strange that Hawley includes the Daily Picayune article because it's not something he even mentions in either his two books but suddenly it has become a key piece of evidence supporting the existence of the English detective in New York! It's also strange that the only two options that Hawley can consider in his mind are that the reports were either the truth or they were lies. He doesn't consider they might have been mistaken, which is particularly ironic bearing in mind the number of mistakes Hawley himself makes. Nor does he seem to consider that the journalists might have been feeding off each other, recycling errors.
Given the importance attached to these four articles by Hawley we need to look at them much more closely.
We start with the two reports in the New York World of 4 December which purport to provide an eye-witness account of Tumblety's arrival two days earlier at 1.30pm on Sunday 2 December. At least, the World's reporter gives the impression that he was present, for he writes:
'When the French line steamer La Bretagne, from Havre, came to her dock at 1:30 Sunday afternoon two keen-looking men pushed through the crowd and stood on either side of the gangplank. They glanced impatiently at the passengers until a big, fine-looking man hurried across the deck and began to descend. He had a heavy, fierce-looking mustache, waxed at the ends; his face was pale and he looked hurried and excited. He wore a dark blue ulster, with belt buttoned. He carried under his arm two canes and an umbrella fastened together with a strap.'
So one would think he was there witnessing it all.
The Herald reporter's account is similar but doesn't quite give the impression of witnessing Tumblety's arrival himself for he writes through the eyes of the two New York detectives, thus (underlining added):
'Detective Sergeants Hickey and Crowley were on hand on Sunday when La Bretagne made fast to her pier. They watched a very tall, heavy man, about fifty-five years old, with a dark mustache, come down the gangplank. He wore a long English cloth ulster, without a cape, a derby hat, and carried an umbrella and two canes tied together. It was the now famous Dr. Tumblety, who got into a hack after having a small steamer trunk placed on the box.'
You see, there he says 'They watched', being the two detectives, he doesn't say 'I watched'.
These two detectives, incidentally, as can be seen, were clearly identified as Hickey and Crowley, not Sergeant Golden yet, for some reason, Golden is identified as being one of the detectives waiting on the dock for Tumblety in a caption to his 2018 Ripperologist article, 'The New York World's E. Tracy Greaves and his Scotland Yard Informant'.
Anyway, let's compare the descriptions provided of Tumblety by the World and Herald reporters.
According to the World, he was 'a big, fine-looking man' while for the Herald he was a 'very tall, heavy man'. The World reporter doesn't give his age but the Herald reporter says he was 'about fifty-five years old'. For the World reporter, he has a 'heavy, fine-looking mustache, waxed at the ends' while the Herald reporter describes it simply as a 'dark mustache'. The World reporter notes that Tumblety's face was 'pale' whereas the Herald reporter says nothing about it. According to the World reporter, Tumblety was wearing a 'dark blue ulster, with belt buttoned' while the Herald reporter tells us that he wore 'a long English cloth ulster, without a cape' and a 'derby hat.' The World reporter notes that Tumblety was carrying 'two canes and an umbrella fastened together with a strap' while the Herald reporter says it was 'an umbrella and two canes tied together.'
While there are similarities between the two descriptions there are sufficient small differences which would lead one to conclude that these were two different first-hand eye-witness accounts. Nevertheless, the New York Sun of 4 December 1888, whose reporter doesn't claim to have witnessed Tumblety's arrival, or even seen him, tells us that Tumblety was 'a tall fellow with a sweeping dark moustache' who was 'short enough of luggage' and who was 'one of the first to leave the steamer'. All this appears to be based on what the New York police had told him.
Furthermore, two descriptions of Tumblety had already appeared in the New York press within the previous few weeks, the first in the New York Herald itself on 19 November 1888, which had stated:
'He is about fifty-fifty five years old, tall and rather heavy, and looks as if he has painted his cheeks and dyed his hair, heavy mustache and side whiskers.'
The second description, provided by a Detective Pryor, had appeared in the New York World of 26 November 1888, thus:
'He had a big black mustache, one of the blacking brush kind, black eyes, a good complexion, and a walk like he had been elected Alderman.'
There wasn't much more that would have been needed from the two police detectives for the journalists to have written their accounts.
More than this, though, there is one big problem which undermines the credibility of the World and Herald accounts. This is that, despite Tumblety supposedly landing at 1.30pm on Sunday afternoon (and it should be noted that the time of arrival of La Bretagne of 1.30pm on 2 December was public knowledge, having been reported in the New York Herald of 3 December), giving both reporters plenty of time to file their reports to feature in their respective Monday morning newspapers, neither reporter did, it would seem, file a report, for there was nothing published about Tumblety's arrival in the Monday morning papers in New York.
For some strange and unfathomable reason, the World and Herald reporters both independently withheld until the Tuesday newspapers their accounts of seeing this now infamous man, possibly Jack the Ripper, returning to New York watched by the two detectives. Why? What possible reason could they have had for not writing up the story on Sunday and getting it into the papers, as a potential scoop, on the Monday morning?
At the very least, this surely undermines the credibility of their accounts, especially as Superintendent Byrnes appears to have briefed the press at some point on the Monday about Tumblety's arrival the previous day. Thus, we find that the 2pm edition of the Evening World of 3 December reported Tumblety's arrival on the Sunday, but no first hand account was provided in the story. The report merely states that Tumblety was shadowed to a boarding house in West (sic) Tenth Street by two of Inspector Byrne's detectives. Later editions added some information which appears to have come from the New York police, with the comment that Tumblety would be kept under strict surveillance. No account was given of Tumblety's arrival on the pier, despite the fact that the World's own reporter had supposedly seen him arrive at that pier on the previous day.
Similarly, the New York Sun, which carried an account of Tumblety's arrival in its 4 December issue makes no attempt to give the impression that it actually saw him despite saying that, 'Tumbety was short enough of luggage to make it appear that his departure from the other side was hurried. He was the first to leave the steamer, and he went direct to to a house in Tenth Street, just west of Third Avenue, where furnished rooms are let' and, as mentioned, described him as a 'tall fellow, with a sweeping dark moustache.' It seems clear enough from the report that all details of his arrival were supplied to the newspaper by Inspector Byrnes.
Interestingly, the St. Paul Globe (of 4 December 1888) carried a 'Special' report from New York dated 3 December 1888 which, as it refers to Tumblety having travelled under an assumed name, and contains a few other small details not otherwise reported, appears to have been independent from the Evening World's report of that day, read as follows:
'Dr. Francis Tumblety, the erratic American who was suspected by the Whitechapel authorities of being implicated in the Whitechapel atrocities, and who suddenly disappeared from England, arrived in the city yesterday from Havre on the French line steamer La Bretagne. Two detectives were awaiting the arrival of the steamer on the pier, and though he travelled under an assumed name his identity was discovered. He was permitted to land without interference, and was traced to a boarding house on West street, where he is now domiciled. As there is no charge or indictment against Tumblety for any criminal offence he will not be arrested. Detectives will keep him under surveillance for several days to come, so as to be able to reach him in case he is wanted.'
The error of West Street, similar to the World's error of West Tenth Street, might indicate that the World was the source of the Special St Paul report but, equally, it might have been the police giving out some inaccurate information that day.
Critically, though, the following report in the Maryland Daily News of 4 December 1888, which almost certainly was, and should have been, dated from New York of 3 December (because it refers to Tumblety having landed 'yesterday'), stated (my underlining):
'Dr Francis Tumblety, the eccentric American who was arrested in London some weeks ago on suspicion of being "Jack the Ripper," the Whitechapel murder fiend, jumped his bail and escaped the vigilance of the London police, and landed at New York yesterday. According to the detectives he arrived on the French steamship La Bretagne, from Havre, and although there were a dozen or more reporters on the pier when he landed, all failed to recognize him. Two of Inspector Byrnes' most trusted men were on the pier, however, and as they had been sent there specially to keep an eye on the doctor, and as they had been sent there specially to keep an eye on the doctor, whom they suspected that he was a passenger on the steamer, they had no difficulty in dogging him to a boarding house on West Tenth Street where he is now under surveillance.'
So there are two interesting things here. The first is that the source of the information about the arrival of Tumblety in New York is said to be 'the [New York] detectives'. The second, and even more interesting thing, is that the reporter stated that none of the many reporters on the pier recognized Tumblety which, if true, makes it difficult to work out how the the World and Herald reporters, in their reports published two days later, were able to describe what he was wearing and carrying at the time as if they were eye-witness accounts.
One wonders how Hawley, who seems to believe every single newspaper report, deals with the contradiction whereby one newspaper categorically states that no reporter saw Tumblety while two other newspapers give the impression that their reporters did see him. Presumably he believes that the Maryland News reporter lied about the matter.
So there is a real and serious problem with the World and Herald accounts which makes one seriously wonder if their reporters really did witness Tumblety's arrival or whether they managed to obtain descriptions of what Tumblety was wearing and carrying from the two police detectives who had spotted him on arrival, and then make it look like they had seen him (at least, this is what the World reporter would have been doing). Presumably, however, Hawley could never admit this, lest it undermine the credibility and reliability of those same reporters' accounts of seeing the English detective in East Tenth Street. But he should and it does.
If the World reporter is to be believed, he followed Tumblety and the two New York detectives to East Tenth Street on 2 December because he gives a detailed account of what happened when Tumblety arrived, thus:
'Dr. Twomblety's cab stopped at Fourth avenue and 10th street, where the doctor got out, paid the driver and stepped briskly up the steps of No. 75 East Tenth street, the Arnold House. He pulled the bell, and, as no one came, he grew impatient and walked a little further down the street to No. 81. Here there was another delay in responding to his summons, and he became impatient that he tried the next house No. 79. This time there was a prompt answer to his ring and he entered. It was just 2:20 when the door closed on Dr. Twomblety and he has not been seen since.'
What's curious here is that the reporter apparently made no attempt to speak to Tumblety while he was standing outside the house - surely he would have tried to get a quote from him - which makes one wonder if, again, the World reporter did not get the above information from the two New York detectives. Indeed, he doesn't seem to do anything after this - including trying to speak to Tumblety's landlady - except go home and then return the following day, which is very odd. Why not carry out his interrogation of the landlady there and then, while Tumblety was known to be in the house? Surely the only reasonable conclusion is that the World reporter was reporting what he had been told, not what he had personally witnessed.
Another curious affair is that the World and Herald reporters - the only reporters who, as far as we know, purported to see Tumblety arrive in New York - both independently decided to pay a visit to Tumblety's apartment at East Tenth Street the following day. They both managed to speak to his landlady, Mrs McNamara, and both obtained almost identical quotes from her. To the World reporter, she supposedly said that Tumblety 'would not hurt a chicken' while to the Herald reporter she supposedly said that he 'would not harm a child'. They both relate the story of how he once walked up three flights of stairs to pay her a dollar.
I would say that, on this occasion, there can be no doubt that World reporter spoke to the landlady because he described her as as 'a fat, good natured, old lady' - and her weight and age could hardly have been guessed - whereas the Herald reporter simply refers to her as 'the most genial of landladies'. Nevertheless, the Herald reporter gives a first person account (which may well be true) when he says 'I called yesterday to see the doctor, but Mrs McNamara said he wasn't there'.
At this point, however, there is a real difficulty of chronology. It's clear that the World reporter must have initially been speaking to Mrs McNamara prior to 2pm on Monday 3 December for he says that she told him that Tumblety would be back at that time, having gone downtown to pick up his baggage. Then he tells us that her 'next statement' was that she hadn't seen Tumblety for two months. Either she simply contradicted herself in the space of two sentences or, more likely, the reporter called again after 2pm on the assumption that Tumblety would have returned; and he probably had returned but had asked his landlady to pretend she hadn't seen him, which no doubt explains her complete change of story.
It is at this point, according to the World reporter, that Mrs McNamara said that Tumblety wouldn't hurt a chicken and once followed her up three flights of stairs to pay her a dollar, both virtually identical statements made to the Herald reporter.
However, at some unspecified time after this, she then changed her story again and said that she had no idea who Tumblety was and it is at this point that the World reporter records something strange for he says that, 'It was just as this story was being furnished to the press that a new character appeared on the scene'. That character was, of course, the English detective who began to absorb the attention of 'everyone' with his comical surveillance antics in the street.
But not quite everyone it seems, or even anyone else. For despite 'the press' having just been furnished with Mrs McNamara's story, the Herald reporter doesn't seem to spot the so-called English detective and thus, one would assume, was not actually one of 'the press' being referred to by the World reporter. Nor indeed does the reporter for the Tribune who also claims to have spoken to Mrs McNamara. The Tribune, which didn't claim that its reporter saw Tumblety arrive in New York the previous day, stated:
'A Tribune reporter called at Mrs. McNamara's house early yesterday afternoon. Mrs McNamara came to the door and said that the doctor had arrived the night before, but had gone out. When another call was made, however, she positively declared that Dr. Tumblety had not been there at all for over six months. The neighborhood of Tenth St. and Fourth ave. was in a state of excitement all day yesterday. Inspector Byrne's men had been seen about there, and the most startling stories about the horrible London crimes were abroad. It was supposed in the neighborhood that the doctor had left the house, but that the American detectives at least were watching him.'
This report has credibility because it does not confuse East Tenth Street with West Tenth Street but (in a part of the report not quoted) identifies Mrs McNamara's boarding house as being 'No. 79 East Tenth-st.'
So despite apparently being outside Mrs McNamara's home shortly before the so-called English detective was parading up and down the street (albeit not apparently being aware of Mrs McNamara's second change of story when she said she had no idea who Tumblety was) the Tribune reporter not only doesn't seem to see the little detective but records that it was American detectives who were watching Tumblety (although this was denied by Superintendent Murray and Inspector Byrnes later in the day). A bit curious, no?
While the Tribune reporter might have left East Tenth Street as soon as Mrs McNamara said she hadn't seen Tumblety for six months (wasn't that meant to be two months?), so that he wasn't there when the so-called English detective arrived, this only serves to create a mystery as to who 'the press' were who were supposedly present at the time because the World journalist is the only known journalist who reported the story of the so-called English detective's antics in the street.
It should also be noted that the Herald reporter's story on this point is dramatically different to the World's version.
According to the Herald reporter, as he seems to tell the story, after hearing Mrs McNamara say that Tumblety wouldn't harm a child, he presumably ventures off to McKenna's saloon at the corner of Tenth Street and Fourth Avenue and:
'...it was here that I discovered an English detective on the track of the suspect.'
This detective hadn't, as far as the Herald reporter seems to have been aware, been prancing about outside Tumblety's apartment, but instead, 'had been hanging around the place [i.e. Mckenna's saloon] all day and had posted himself at the window which commanded No.79'.
One can only assume from the Herald report that, after hearing the man make enquiries about Tumblety of the bartenders (or a single bartender), while giving no information about himself, or, alternatively, after questioning the bartenders (or a single bartender) who told him about those enquiries, the reporter then left the saloon to write up his report without even bothering to ask the man who he was.
One can equally only assume that, after the Herald reporter left the scene, the man then exited the saloon and went prancing about outside Tumblety's apartment for some considerable time to the amusement of the World reporter who witnessed it, despite the World reporter also not asking him who he was or what he was doing, despite apparently watching him for hours (because he refers to continuing to watch him after it got dark). This is despite the fact that the reporter is apparently aware that the man is using McKenna's saloon as his 'headquarters' which suggests that he saw him going in or out, or both, but when he supposedly speaks to the bartender the bartender speaks about him in the past tense, as if he had long gone.
You'd think that if the World reporter had been told (or suspected) that this man was an English detective on the trail of Tumblety he would surely have questioned him to find out his name and, especially, to establish if he was from Scotland Yard and, further, would surely have followed him into or out of the saloon. But none of this appears to have happened. Why not?
It strikes me that there are sufficient reasons to doubt whether the man supposedly watching Tumblety's apartment actually existed. It doesn't seem to be beyond the bounds of possibility that the World and Herald reporters colluded so that they could file a rather more interesting story for their editors. It is certainly curious that the Tribune reporter, who appears to have been at Mrs McNamara's house that day, didn't seem to see or report on this 'English detective'.
Alternatively, while the World and Herald reporters were enjoying a few drinks together in the local bar after a hard afternoon obtaining information from the New York police and questioning Mrs McNamara, a bartender at McKenna's saloon could have spun them a yarn (for money?) about a man asking about Tumblety, while claiming that he was an English detective, and the reporters then colluded to build up the story as if they had seen the man themselves, the Herald reporter refusing to go so far as to include in his report the entire ridiculous charade in the street.Whether this is the case or not, the fact that the Herald reporter used the word 'bartenders' plural in his report (without naming a single one of them) most certainly does not provide any corroboration of the English detective's existence, as Hawley claims. Thus, he said in 'The Ripper Haunts':
'Note how the Herald reporter spoke to multiple bartenders who corroborated each other.'
This is just madness. What if a reporter files a news story in which he says he got his information from the fairies? Would those fairies be corroborating each other? And would it mean that he had definitely spoken to more than one fairy? It's a common trait in any case for people to refer to one example as if there have been multiple examples so it would be of no surprise to anyone if there was only one bartender involved and the reporter has exaggerated by saying 'bartenders'.
Indeed, we can find an example of Hawley being guilty of doing this very thing himself as set out in a footnote found here.
Hawley seems convinced that the New York Herald reporter must have 'questioned multiple bartenders' but the Herald reporter doesn't even say that he questioned, or spoke to, one single bartender and, as mentioned above, he could have been saying that he overheard what the man said to the bartenders, or bartender, as the case may be.
In my article 'The English Detective' I made the point that this man couldn't possibly have come from Scotland Yard because the World's reporter, who was the only reporter who claims to have seen the man standing and walking around in the street, felt able to describe him as 'a little man' yet the minimum height requirement for police officers had long been five feet seven inches, which would hardly qualify a man to be described as 'little', especially not in the nineteenth century. Some confirmation of this is to be found in a report by the London correspondent of the Birmingham Daily Times of a conversation with 'a responsible police officer' said to have occurred on 1 October 1888 and reported in the newspaper the following day, in which the reporter asked the officer if the police could not disguise themselves as women, after shaving off their beards and moustaches, to which the officer replied:
'All the men we have enrolled for a long time past have been considerably over 5ft. 7in., and they are none of them below that. That is a conspicuous height for a woman...'
Just as I said, there were no 'little' men working at Scotland Yard.
Amusingly, not far short of three years after I first made this point in my article, 'The English Detective', Hawley has responded to it in his article 'Tumblety's Secret' in the May 2019 issue of Ripperologist (No. 164). He says:
'While the World reporter called the man little, they did not mean height...'
Ha ha! It took him the best part of 30 months to come up with THAT!
The first thing to note is Hawley's usual mangling of the English language. He is speaking about a single World reporter but calls him 'they'. The reason he does this is because he thinks that he can join the report of the World reporter with the report of the New York Herald reporter as if the two reporters were a single organism with a shared brain, writing just one report of both their experiences rather than two entirely separate reports. What the Herald reporter wrote is irrelevant to what the World reporter was trying to say. But the reason why Hawley uses the word 'they' is so that he can point to the Herald reporter as having described the detective as a man of 'medium height'. The problem here is twofold. Firstly, the World reporter notes that the detective was wearing 'an enormous pair of boots with soles an inch thick'. That could easily have affected the judgment of height made by the Herald reporter who only refers to 'thick walking boots'. Secondly, as I've mentioned, the World reporter was the only one of the two reporters to have seen the detective parading up and down the street and he must have been watching him for some time, probably hours, because he watched him during the afternoon and speaks of still watching him 'when night came'. So he was in far and away the best position to judge the height of the man. The Herald reporter, on the other hand, makes no mention of even seeing the English detective standing up, let alone parading in the street.
If the World reporter did not mean little in height when he described the English detective as 'a little man with enormous side whiskers' what did he mean? Hawley doesn't tell us.
When we look at the supposedly independent descriptions provided by the World and Herald reporters they are found to be suspiciously similar. Hawley will no doubt argue that this shows they were describing the same man but I can't help wondering about how they both ended up giving almost identical descriptions. The World reporter says the man was 'dressed in an English tweed suit' while the Herald reporter referred to his 'tweed suit'. The World reporter referred to the man's 'little billy cock hat' and 'thick boots' while the Herald reporter mentioned his 'billycock hat' and 'very thick walking boots'. The World reporter mentioned 'enormous red side whiskers and a smoothly shaven chin'; for the Herald it was a 'dark mustache and side whiskers'. Other than the dark moustache, the only thing mentioned by the Herald reporter not referred to by the World reporter is the 'very sharp eyes and a rather florid complexion' of the man. If the information about how this man was dressed came to the reporters from a single source (such as the barman in McKenna's saloon) it would not only explain why they are so similar but also why the reporters gave different accounts of the man's height. If the source had only said that man wore thick boots, without approximating his height, it might have suggested to the World reporter that the man was little, while the Herald reporter decided to play it safe and say he was of medium height.
Even if we take the reports in the World and Herald at face value, it amounts to no more than that a strange man who had turned up at Tumblety's residence was claiming to be an English detective (and implying that he was a Scotland Yard detective). It doesn't mean he actually was one. But Hawley, not apparently satisfied with these two reports, tells us that they were corroborated by two further reports. The first was published in the New Orleans Daily Picayune of 10 December in his letter from New York, written on 4 December, by M.J.H. Elliott, the Picayune's New York correspondent, who called himself 'Vidette', which contained an account of Tumblety's arrival, including Mrs McNamara's comments, almost identical to the very similar accounts in both the World and the Herald but, in addition, says of Tumblety that:
'Two New York detectives and one London detective were on the dock when he landed here, and followed the carriage which took him, metaphorically or otherwise, to the hospitable arms of Mrs McNamara.'
It is literally astonishing that Hawley relies on this account as being a truthful eye-witness account because it completely contradicts the supposed eye-witness accounts of both the World and Herald reporters upon whose credibility Hawley relies entirely. For both those reporters were crystal clear in saying that two New York detectives, named by both as Hawley and Crowley, were at the pier when Tumblety arrived and followed him in a cab to his apartment at East Tenth Street. If they did witness this, there is no way on earth they could have missed an English detective standing next to those same two New York detectives, especially not the one they both supposedly spotted the next day in the vicinity of East Tenth Street.
The date of Vidette's letter should have signalled a glaring red flag to Hawley and told him that it does not contain a first hand account of Tumblety's arrival. For, having supposedly seen Tumblety arrive on 2 December, Vidette does not include this information in his letter to the Picayune of 2 December nor in his letter of 3 December (on which day he is supposed to have spoken to Mrs McNamara) but waits until 4 December, on which day, as it happens, he would have been able to read the accounts of Tumblety's arrival in the New York morning newspapers, including the World and Herald, which he could then repackage for his daily letter to the Picayune which is, of course, what he did.
Everything in Vidette's letter of 4 December could have been, and quite obviously was, taken from earlier newspaper reports. His description of Tumblety, for example, was this:
'He is big, tall and brawny.'
The source of this was either the Herald report of 19 November 1888, which had said that Tumblety was 'tall and rather heavy', the World report of 27 November 1888 which referred to his 'big form' and/or the Herald report of 4 December 1888 which said he was 'a very tall, heavy man'.
He also says this about Tumblety:
'His heavy mustache exudes black hair dye'.
The source of this is a combination of the World report of 4 December that Tumblety had a 'heavy, fierce looking mustache' , the Herald report of 19 November that he had a 'heavy mustache and side whiskers' and the reported comment of Detective Pryor in the World of 26 November that 'He had a big black mustache, one of the blacking brush kind'.
'He is on the sunny side of 60...'
The source of this was the Herald report of 19 November or the World report 4 December both of which said that Tumblety was 'about fifty-five years old'.
So every detail that Vidette writes about Tumblety's appearance on his arrival on New York was available to him from other newspapers.
When it comes to Mrs McNamara, he quotes her as saying that Tumblety 'wouldn't hurt a fly' which is no more than an obvious variation of what had been quoted in the Herald ('would not harm a child') and the World ('would not hurt a chicken'). The statement by Mrs McNamara that 'He is a perfect gentleman and he always pays me punctual' comes direct from the Herald who reported her as saying, 'He is a perfect gentleman and always paid me punctually'.
Every other fact about Tumblety included by Vidette in his letter of 4 December can be sourced to other newspapers. To avoid any doubt about the matter, I set out those sources in full here.
A clear example of plagiarism by Vidette can be seen in his statement that:
'Inspector Byrnes has known Tumblety a long time. He has always regarded him as a suspicious character ...'
The obvious source of this is the Herald of 19 November 1888 which stated that:
'The prisoner has been known to Inspector Byrnes for over twenty years, and has always been regarded as a suspicious and mysterious individual.'
It should be clear now that Vidette wrote his letter of 4 December without ever having risen from his chair.
So why did Vidette write in his letter that an English detective was at the dock with the two American detectives waiting for Tumblety? The obvious answer is that he was fooled by the introductory paragraph of the World's story which said that, 'Two of Inspector Byrnes's men are watching him, and so is an English detective...'. It was just a lazy bit of journalism which was already lazy due to the cut and paste nature of his plagiarism from other sources, but that's what those correspondents often did. It's not a surprise. The only surprise is that Hawley seriously thinks he can put it forward as a reliable source, albeit not in his book, so perhaps, as it's not in his book, he already knows it's not reliable.
Funnily enough, Hawley does refer to a New Orleans Daily Picayune report in his second book but it's not one of Vidette's letters, it's a report in that newspaper dated 17 December 1888 which says that 'detectives have been quietly tracing the career in this city of Dr Francis Tumblety'. He uses this as evidence 'corroborating' a story and, although it's not entirely clear what story it's supposed to be corroborating, it seems to be something to do with Tumblety misbehaving in New Orleans. As such, it's another Hawley howler because the report from the New Orleans Daily Picayune of 17 December was nothing more than a reproduction of an earlier report in the Cincinnati Enquirer of 14 December (the Picayune expressly acknowledges this at the end of the report) and 'this city' being referred to in the report was not New Orleans, it was Cincinnati. Hawley should have known this because he had earlier cited that exact same Cincinnati report in support of his 'English detective' point!
That leads us on nicely to Hawley's fourth reporter who purportedly evidences a Scotland Yard detective in New York, only he never says this, so it isn't going to be difficult to dismiss it. The reporter he relies on is from the Cincinnati Enquirer whose report of 14 December 1888 said this:
'It has been known for some days past that the detectives have been quietly tracing the career in this city of Dr. Francis Tumblety, one of the suspects under surveillance by the English authorities, and who was recently followed across the ocean by Scotland Yard's men. From information which leaked out yesterday around police headquarters, the inquiries presented here are not so much in reference to Tumblety himself as to a companion who attracted almost as much attention as the doctor, both on account of oddity of character and the shadow-like persistence with which he followed his employer. The investigation in this city is understood to be under the direction of English officials now in New York, and based upon certain information they have forwarded by mail. One of the officers whom current reports connects with this local investigation is James Jackson, the well-known private detective . . . The officials at police headquarters declined to talk about the matter or to answer any questions bearing on this supposed discovery of 'Jack the Ripper's' identity.'
A number of things are immediately apparent:
Firstly, the only mention of a Scotland Yard detective in this story is in the unsourced claim that Tumblety had been followed across the ocean by Scotland Yard's men, something that this reporter in Cincinnati is hardly likely to have any first hand knowledge about, and had presumably been influenced by the press reports from New York about the so-called English detective having come to get Tumblety in New York. The other people mentioned in the report are 'detectives' (presumably American private detectives like James Jackson who is named in the report) who had supposedly been tracing Tumblety's career in Cincinnati but who were, in fact, investigating Tumblety's associate, and 'British officials' in New York who were directing the investigation.
British 'officials' does not necessarily equate to a (single) British detective. There were plenty of British officials in America at the time, in the British consulate for example, and they travelled in and out of New York regularly, so the fact that the reporter claims that British officials might have been directing an investigation from New York, especially one which appears to have been carried out in Cincinnati by private detectives, tells us nothing about whether a Scotland Yard detective was also in New York.
Secondly, the Cincinnati reporter tells us that the officials at police headquarters were refusing to talk about the matter and the reporter is relying on 'leaked' information of some sort. But that leaked information was to the effect that Tumblety's companion was under investigation of being Jack the Ripper. It's funny, isn't it, that Hawley relies on this newspaper report as accurate yet completely ignores the information that Tumblety's companion was under investigation for being the Whitechapel murderer! For if that information is true, it has absolutely massive consequences for the theory that the murderer was Tumblety. But Hawley just doesn't even give it the time of day. Odd for such a supposedly well sourced story. Does Hawley not think it's accurate then?
The fact of the matter is that we cannot possibly rely on the Cincinnati Enquirer as evidence that an unnamed Scotland Yard detective had followed Tumblety across the ocean. This wasn't even something that the New York reporters had expressly claimed, so the reporter for Cincinnati had either succeeded in obtaining a scoop about that or he had simply misunderstood what the New York reporters had been saying. What is more likely? I can answer that. A misunderstanding.
So, from the dizzy heights of there being FOUR reporters all providing amazing evidential support of a Scotland Yard detective being in New York, we are now back down to the original two reporters, from the World and the Herald, neither of whom were able to say more than that the man was an 'English detective', and the only actual information which links that supposed detective to England (and by implication to Scotland Yard) came from a single unidentified bartender.But it doesn't seem to end there. During the thread about Hawley's book on the Censorship Forum, Mike Hawley said this to me on 15 May 2018:
'Did you know that we've discovered even more evidence and I'm now in the process of working on yet a third Tumblety book. And there's New York City material! I am being absolutely honest.'
It's good of Hawley to flag up those occasions when he is being 'absolutely honest' but one can't help wondering if the supposed 'New York City material' is a reference to an article in the San Francisco Examiner of 16 December 1888, presented by Joe Chetcuti in Ripperologist 163, which rehashes the story of Tumblety's arrival in New York on 2 December and his subsequent boarding at 79 East Tenth Street in Mrs McNamara's house to which he was followed by New York detectives Crowley and Hickey. The article then says:
'The New York detectives found another detective from Scotland Yard ahead of them, and for two days the trio watched the house.'
There is some interest expressed by Chetcuti that the reference here is to a Scotland Yard detective rather than an English one. According to Chetcuti, this article 'is the first one I've seen that identified the English detective as an operative of Scotland Yard'. It's possible when writing this that he didn't have in his mind the article which had appeared two days earlier in the Cincinnati Enquirer which, as we have seen, had referred to Tumblety having been followed across the Atlantic by 'Scotland Yard's men', itself surely an erroneous reference to the English detective whose supposed appearance in New York had been widely reported.
I hardly think it's controversial to say that by far and away the most obvious explanation as to why a reporter in San Francisco, some thousands of miles away from New York, would write about a 'Scotland Yard detective' as being in New York is that he had read the wonderful stories in the press about the supposed English detective and simply assumed that this English detective was from Scotland Yard. This would not be in any way surprising and would be nothing more than a standard journalistic error.
Joe Chetcuti appears to appreciate the problem of how a San Francisco journalist could have had any unpublished information about the 'English detective' in New York for he builds up the notion that the San Francisco journalist had obtained his information from a New York journalist, whom he identifies as Isaac D. White, a reporter from the New York World who was known to have been in San Francisco in December 1888.
There are, however, some serious problems with Chetcuti's theory. The San Francisco Examiner gives its source for its article as follows:
'The other day an EXAMINER reporter had a conversation with a gentleman who was personally acquainted with the notorious Dr. Tumblety...'
There's the first problem right there. Was Isaac D. White personally acquainted with Francis Tumbley? It doesn't appear so. No journalist seems to have spoken to Tumblety in New York during December 1888 whereas had White been 'personally acquainted' with him he would surely have been expected to have made contact. We will come back to this.
Secondly, the Examiner states that, 'A great many additional facts regarding the history of this peculiar character were jotted down in the course of the conversation, and are for the first time given to the public.'
So what is being said is that someone personally acquainted with Tumblety was able to give information about Tumblety's history. That is very different from someone who had inside information about what had been happening in New York within the past fortnight (and something that would not have been within Tumblety's first hand knowledge to boot).
The most surprising statement made by Chetcuti, who is not normally prone to melodramatic exaggeration, is that, 'The Examiner's informant was very much in tune to what was going on in New York when Tumblety arrived there from the Havre on 2nd December' and, without any evidence at all, states that 'He contributed to the Examiner's article a number of accurate facts that had recently occurred in New York.' There is really no basis say that the short mention of Tumblety's arrival in New York which was included in the Examiner's article came from the newspaper's informant. As I've already mentioned, we've been specifically told that the informant has only given factual information about Tumblety's history. Everything mentioned about the recent events in New York in the Examiner's article had been widely reported and could easily been derived, and almost certainly was derived, from press reports.
For anyone not familiar with it, this is all that is said about Tumblety's time in New York in the entire article:
'On December 2nd he landed in New York, and was shadowed from the pier by Detective Sergeants Crowley and Hickey to 79 East Tenth Street, a boarding house kept by a Mrs. McNamera (sic) . The New York detectives found another detective ahead of them, and for two days the trio watched the house. As Dr. Tumblety did not put in an appearance they asked the landlady as to the whereabouts of the boarder, when to their discomfiture, she informed them that he had quietly left. Since then nothing has been heard of him...'
What is in there that the San Francisco Examiner could not have lifted from earlier press reports? Nothing, I suggest. That Tumblety had gone to a boarding house at 79 East Tenth Street and was supposedly being kept under surveillance by New York detectives, as well as by an English detective, was published in multiple newspapers during the first week of December. Is it actually true that New York detectives were keeping Tumblety under surveillance? Well, according to the New York Tribune of 5 December 1888 (reporting what they had been told on 4 December):
'Police Superintendent Murray and Inspector Byrnes said yesterday that Dr. Tumblety was not being watched by the police detectives in this city and that he was at liberty to go where he pleased...'
The claim in the San Francisco Examiner, therefore, that Tumblety was kept under surveillance until he fled from Mrs McNamara's house (which was supposedly on 5 December) is questionable and cannot be said to be accurate with any degree of certainty.
Furthermore, the claim that the police asked the landlady about the whereabouts of Tumblety and were told that he had left her house is wholly unsubstantiated. It may be a confusion with the incident whereby a reporter from the New York World went into his room and reported that he had flown (as published in the World on 6 December).
Aside from the fact that there is no reason to think he was personally acquainted with Tumblety, the idea that Isaac White of the New York World was the Examiner's informant can be easily dismissed. The Examiner stated, presumably on the basis of the information provided by its informant, that Tumblety had been born in Dublin about 55 years ago (i.e. 1833) 'but at an early age was taken to St. John, New Brunswick.' Yet, the New York World had carried a story on 5 December, just 11 days earlier, based on information from a friend of Tumblety called Martin H. McGarry who had informed the World that Tumblety was born in Dublin 1835 and had been educated at the University of Dublin, not moving to New York until he was at least 18 (possibly 23, as the year of the move could either be 1858 or 1853, it's a bit unclear from the newspaper report), hence was not taken to New Brunswick or anywhere else at an early age.
Why would Isaac White have passed on to the San Francisco Examiner information at odds with first hand information his own newspaper had received from Tumblety's friend? And even more pertinently, if Isaac White had his own information about Tumblety's life history based on a personal acquaintance with Tumblety why didn't he tell his editor about this? Surely such information would have been published by the New York World which carried a number of stories about Tumblety in late November and early December.
We might also note that, while the Examiner's informant was of the opinion that Tumblety was gradually making his way to the Pacific Coast and might make an appearance in San Francisco, the New York World of 23 January 1889 tells us that (underlining added): 'As soon as he got off the ship Dr. Tumblety went direct to the house of Mrs. McNamara, No. 79 East Tenth Street, and he has been there ever since.' Perhaps of even more importance is that it was claimed in this article, which Chetcuti tells us was written by Isaac White, that 'The doctor landed in New York on the 3d of last December'. So one would have to imagine that, having told the Examiner's reporter (correctly) that Tumblety arrived on 2 December, Isaac White got the date wrong when he wrote about the same incident for his own newspaper a little over a month later. Having also supposedly told the Examiner that a 'Scotland Yard' detective was involved in shadowing Tumblety, the author of the World's 23 January 1889 now reverts to the description of an 'English detective'. Why would he do this if he had discovered that the detective was from Scotland Yard?
The simple fact is that the overwhelming likelihood is that the short sentence or two about Tumblety's time in New York included by the San Francisco Examiner in its article was derived from public sources. Even if by some miracle it was information told to it by a journalist from New York then so what? Why could a New York journalist not have made an erroneous assumption that the supposed English detective was a Scotland Yard detective based on what he had read in the newspapers himself? Why should we assume he had any additional or inside information over and above what had been published?
We can't! So the entire Examiner article is a non-event. If this was what Hawley meant when he referred me to some new New York material then, despite being 'absolutely honest' on this occasion, he was clutching at straws.
FALSE NEWS STORIES AND CONCLUDING REMARKS
Nothing I have said in this article touches on the issue of whether Tumblety was or was not Jack the Ripper. Further, I don't have any disagreement that Tumblety was regarded at some point as a suspect for the Whitechapel murders. Where I disagree with Hawley is that Tumblety was ever regarded as a prime suspect or, to use Hawley's words,'a major Scotland Yard suspect', on the basis that there is simply no evidence for it. All we have is Littlechild telling us that Tumblety was 'amongst the suspects', and that he personally believed him to be a 'very likely' suspect, but we've got no further than this in terms of actual evidence since Littlechild's letter was discovered by Stewart Evans about 25 years ago.
Mind you, we do know that Robert Anderson told the Home Office on 23 October 1888 that Scotland Yard didn't have a clue as to the identity of the Whitechapel murderer. We also know that he made clear to a London representative of the New York Sun on 14 November 1888, after Kelly's murder, that he didn't know who the Whitechapel murderer was. We know that Inspector Andrews of Scotland Yard ruled out Tumblety as being Jack the Ripper when questioned in December 1888 and shortly afterwards said, 'We have not a jot of evidence or clue of any kind, moral or legal, against any man.' And I can add some exclusive, never before published, information from Inspector Reid of H Division, who, I can reveal, was asked by the London correspondent of the Birmingham Daily Times on 11 November 1888 if he had any clue as to who had murdered Kelly and he replied, 'We have no clue whatever'. The inspector continued:
'Looking for this man is a heartbreaking job. He has left nothing at all behind him for us to go on. Nobody seems to have seen him, or at all events nobody is able to give any intelligible description of him. One of the difficulties we have got is the amount of false information we get. People tell us all sorts of tales.' (Birmingham Daily Times, 12 November 1888)
This consistent story from senior officers suggests that Scotland Yard, and the Metropolitan Police as a whole, really did not have a clue as to the identity of the Whitechapel murderer at this time.
In his second book, and bizarrely, Hawley appears to rely on the 1905 testimony of Richard S. Norris and 'other eyewitness testimony found in newspaper articles' to counter those who disagree that Tumblety was a major Scotland Yard suspect. But, unless he can show that Scotland Yard was aware of that testimony in 1888 (which he can't and doesn't do), it's neither here nor there what anyone said about Tumblety at any time; even if they actually witnessed him committing one or more of the Whitechapel murders and testified about it in the United States. If they didn't tell Scotland Yard about it, and Scotland Yard didn't know about it, then it has no impact whatsoever on how seriously Scotland Yard took Tumblety as a suspect.
That's where I disagree with Hawley, but where I strongly disagree with him is that an officer was sent over to New York in late 1888 in respect of Tumblety. There is not the merest hint of any such thing happening in any of the Metropolitan Police, Home Office and Foreign Office records. The source of the idea that a Scotland Yard detective was keeping Tumblety under surveillance is a single quote from a single bartender published in a single newspaper in circumstances whereby even if the quote was true, and a man said to a bartender in McKenna's saloon that he had come over to 'get' the Whitechapel murderer, he was almost certainly misleading the bartender.
Whether there was even such a man described by the two New York reporters as an 'English detective' is doubtful for the reasons I have given. Anyone who has studied the period of the Whitechapel murders will be fully aware that all sorts of nonsense was published in the newspapers. Everyone will have their favourite examples. The Daily Chronicle, for example, told its readers that Charles Warren had turned up at Miller's Court at 1.45pm on 9 November 1888. That was a case of mistaken identity. It was also said that Kelly had a child living with her but that turned out not to be true. The Star of 9 November said that 'the landlady of the house' found the mutilated body of Kelly, while a Press Association report in the Echo on the same day said it was 'a young man named McCarthy' who did so, having gone to collect the rent with his mother. Neither newspaper had managed to find out that it was actually Thomas Bowyer. The Eastern Post & City Chronicle of 10 November 1888 claimed that the head of Kelly had been completely cut off and was lying by her side when she was found, but it wasn't. The same newspaper also reported that an arrest had already been made for her murder but this wasn't true.
A lesser known false story is that the Evening News of 4 October 1888 claimed that a watchman in Shadwell High Street had been killed with a knife by a man, believed to be the Whitechapel murderer, who was immediately arrested. However, in a later edition on the same day, after the Star and had checked with the police and spoken to the watchmen who, it turned out, was very much alive, the Evening News was forced to concede that 'the story was an entire fabrication'.
According to the New York World's London correspondent, following the discovery of the Kelly murder, three bloodhounds 'belonging to private citizens, were taken to the place where the body lay, and placed on the scent of the murderer, but they were unable to keep it for any great distance...'. Should we believe this happened because it was reported in an American newspaper?
In the American newspapers, United States citizens were told that Scotland Yard inspectors Andrews and Jarvis, along with Superintendent Shore, were in America to collect evidence for the Times against Irish Nationalists (something Hawley himself has long stated was untrue).
One newspaper, for example, on 16 December 1888, under the headline, 'England Sends Its Spies', claimed that Inspector Jarvis of Scotland Yard was in America, with Superintendent Shore, to find evidence in order to assist the Times in its case against Parnell. Which newspaper did this? It was the New York Herald, spouting nonsense less than two weeks after it published a story about a so-called 'English detective' in New York.
Another newspaper, on 23 December 1888, said that Inspector Andrews, Inspector Jarvis and Superintendent Shore had all been working together in the United States collecting evidence for the Times with the assistance of the Pinkertons. Which newspaper? It was the New York Evening World, spouting nonsense less than three weeks after the World published a story about the so-called 'English detective' in New York.
The New York Herald on 16 January 1889, while saying that Shore met Jarvis and a representative of the Pinkertons in Kansas, went even further by claiming that English detectives were said to be 'Plotting with Desperate Irishmen to Blow Up a British Passenger Steamer'. The whole story was, needless to say, an invention.
Now, any newspaper can be fooled by false reports but we can get an indication of the standards of the World and the Herald at the time from the fact that both of them refused to publish letters written to them by Robert Pinkerton denying that he was involved in any such conspiracy with Shore and Jarvis, while also confirming that Shore had been in London the whole time. Clearly these newspapers didn't care that they had printed a false story about English detectives in America.
It was left to the New York Tribune to publish both letters from the Pinkertons on 26 January 1889 and put the record straight. Hawley tells us in his Rippercast presentation document that the biographers of the editor of the New York World, Joseph Pulitzer, say that he 'set the standards for fairness and accuracy' and that it was,'only later, beginning in 1895' that such standards slipped, but the evidence of the story about Jarvis, Andrews and Shore does not seem to conform to that conclusion (to borrow one of Hawley's favourite words).
In any case, Pulitzer was seriously ill during 1888, having become virtually blind, and wasn't personally in charge of the New York World in December of that year so his own standards for fairness and accuracy may not necessarily be relevant to this situation. His medical condition was kept a secret at the time but a statement was issued on 16 October 1890 announcing that Pulitzer had withdrawn entirely from the editorship of the World and, it stated: 'For the past two years Mr Pulitzer has been unable, for reason of a misfortune to his sight, to give a personal supervision to the conduct of his journal.' ('Joseph Pulizter: His Life & Letters', by Don Seitz, 1924, p.179).
Mind you, Pulitzer's biographer tells us, in a chapter entitled 'Sensationalism', that, 'Pulitzer had to have a "nose for news", recognizing the appropriate stories when they appeared, and, when they did not appear, creating them.' ('Joseph Pulizter and the New York World', by George Jurgens, 1966, p.43). One has to bear in mind that the New York World was chasing circulation, in a competitive market, and wanted to sell newspapers.
We've seen one report that four or five Scotland Yard detectives passed through Lincoln, Nebraska, at a time when we know there were no Scotland Yard detectives in America. One American paper purported to carry an interview with the famous Inspector Soyle from Scotland Yard, whereas no-one with that name existed. Another report, favoured by Hawley, includes a claim that its reporter had spoken to a Special Branch officer called H. Dutton but there was no-one with that name in Special Branch.
The London correspondent of the Daily Telegraph wrote on 31 December 1888 that Inspector Andrews had 'arrived in New York from Montreal' when, in fact, he was at that time sailing happily back to England. In this, the Telegraph correspondent had been misled by an error made by the New York Evening World which published a 'special' story on 21 December 1888 saying that 'An English Detective', namely Inspector Andrews, was 'Coming Here in Search of Jack the Ripper' and had left Montreal on 20 December 'for New York'. All untrue.
The New York Sun of 4 December 1888 said that Tumblety had been held in London on a charge of 'dealing in gross literature'. Should we believe that?
Should we believe that Inspector Jarvis was living in New York in 1892 under the name of James Jarvis and then died in that year? For that's what the Evening World suggested had happened on 7 March 1892 when reporting the death of James Jarvis under the headline 'IS HE INSPECTOR JARVIS?' but then saying, rather more positively, 'A Dead Book Agent Identified as a Scotland Yard Detective':
'It is generally believed', said the World, 'that James Jarvis, the book canvasser, who died from the effects of a fall in this city on Friday night last, is none other than Inspector Jarvis, of Scotland Yard, and that he was in New York in the guise of a book agent searching for dynamiters.'
The World had asked the question in its headline but, as is typical, the story was followed up by others as if it was the gospel truth. Thus, we find the headline 'DEATH OF EX-INSPECTOR JARVIS' in the St. Louis Republic of 8 March 1892:
Inspector Jarvis, at this time, was alive and well in London. It's one of those occasions where there can be no doubt whatsoever about the false nature of a story. The truth was revealed in a story in the St. Paul Daily Globe on the following day.
Remarkably, the premature death of Inspector Jarvis was announced, for the second time, in newspaper reports in London and New York in October 1899 and this even fooled Simon Wood whose first edition of his book, 'Deconstructing Jack' told us that Fred Jarvis did die in 1899, two years after he retired in 1897 (and it was only corrected in a subsequent edition after the truth was published by me on this website, namely that Jarvis lived on until 1908). See Fred Jarvis and the Secret Cypher for more on that fiasco.
The World of 27 November 1888 said that Tumblety was 'the eccentric character under arrest in London in connection with the Whitechapel crimes' but, at the time, we know that Tumblety wasn't in London but sailing across the Atlantic on La Bretagne. It would be perverse if someone were to rely on the World report as evidence that Tumblety was in London on 27 November. We can see that the newspaper just made a mistake because they didn't know any better. The author assumed that Tumblety was under arrest in London at the time. He didn't lie (which Hawley seems to think is the only explanation for such things). He got it wrong. It's dangerous to believe everything you read in the newspapers.
In saying that Tumblety wasn't such a 'significant' suspect as Hawley thinks, and that he wasn't chased to the United States, this is completely separate from whether Tumblety was or was not the Whitechapel murderer. The police could have been red hot keen on Tumblety as a suspect to the point of obsession yet could have been completely wrong in their suspicions. Alternatively, the police could have dismissed Tumblety as having committed the murders but could have been completely wrong because he did them all. We've seen plenty of individuals wrongly arrested by Scotland Yard in modern times - Colin Stagg is one obvious example - and, equally, plenty of individuals who were guilty of murder but not arrested for some time because they had been wrongly eliminated from suspicion - Robert Napper being an obvious example of this.
The strength of the police suspicions against Tumblety is, for me, an issue totally independent of whether Tumblety was guilty or not. Obviously, if Tumblety was believed to have been the murderer in 1888 by Scotland Yard it's an important factor, but the fact that they didn't chase him to New York is wholly irrelevant because they wouldn't have chased him to New York even if they had been 100% certain of his guilt. If they didn't have the evidence to get the warrant there would have been no chase. In other words, the fact that they didn't chase Tumblety to New York (which they most certainly did not) has no bearing on whether they thought he was the Whitechapel murderer or not.
25 May 2019
Amended 28 May 2019
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