Orsam Books

THE SMOKING GUN WITH NO SMOKE

The below article was first published as an entry in Lord Orsam Says...Part 17 and is republished now because Hainsworth has repeated on a thread in JTR Forums (Proof of Innocence, #28) a claim he first made in 2021, namely that an 1891 article by Sims is a 'smoking gun' in the case.  Despite me having responded to this at length in the same year on this website, Hainsworth bemoans a lack of responses on JTR Forums.
 
It is worth repeating that his 'smoking gun' claim is absolute nonsense.
 
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Readers of Lord Orsam Says...Part 15 might have been surprised to find Jonathan Hainsworth posting in the Censorship Forum via Herlock Sholmes (#77 of 'The Strange Death of Montague Druitt' thread) to claim that the Dagonet (Sims) Column of 1 November 1891 is a 'smoking gun' in the case. 

Hainsworth tells us that Sims described the murderer in that column as:

'an English gentleman, young, respectable looking, slightly built but strong, by implication a brunette with a a fair moustache, insincerely remorseful and a suicide'.

As I explained in my previous article [now republished as The Suspect Who Never Was], Sims did no such thing.  Hainsworth has twisted Sims' words to make the suspect sound more like Druitt while randomly attributing to Druitt some characteristics of Sims' suspect for which there are no grounds.

Let's look at each one.

Did Sims say the Ripper was 'an English gentleman'?

No, he did not!

He said he might have been a student with a possibly  refined appearance.

Did Sims say the Ripper was likely to be young?

Yes, he did, but he meant about 20 years old, compared to the middle-aged Druitt who was 31.  There's no comparison!

Did Sims say the Ripper was likely to be 'respectable looking'.  No, he did not, but he used the expression 'refined appearance' which Hainsworth has already translated into 'English gentleman' so that this is nothing more than duplication by Hainsworth.

Did Sims say the Ripper was 'slightly built but strong'.  No, he did not!  He said he was 'slight' but said nothing about him being 'strong' which is a Hainsworth invention.  And 'slight' would fit hundreds of thousands, if not millions of men in England at the time.

Did Sims say the Ripper was 'by implication a brunette'.  No, he absolutely did not!    What he said by implication was that he didn't know his hair colour!  Or rather, he made the point that the Ripper was not necessarily blond like the Berlin suspect.  He might have been blond but he might have had any other hair colour.  The hair colour was irrelevant, in other words. Sims said nothing about the killer being 'a brunette' which is nothing more than a Hainsworth fantasy. 

Did Sims say that the Ripper had 'a fair moustache'.  No, he did not!  This is another Hainsworth invention.  The Berlin suspect had been described by the Berlin police as having a moustache but Sims made no claim that the English Ripper had a moustache let alone a 'fair' one and it would have been odd if he had done so.  He didn't have any particular individual in mind!

Did Sims say the Ripper was 'insincerely remorseful'?  No, he did not!  This is pure invention by Hainsworth.  Even if he did, we have no idea if Druitt was insincerely remorseful or was believed by anyone to have been so.

Did Sims say that the Ripper was 'a suicide'.  No, he did not!  On the contrary, Sims gave the clear impression that he believed that the Ripper was still alive and committing offences in Lambeth.  Nevertheless, he thought he might have taken his own life but he just didn't know.  He certainly did not say that the Ripper had committed suicide. 

In short, nothing of what Sims said fits Druitt!  With his obsessive belief that everyone believed Druitt was the Ripper, Hainsworth has completely misunderstood Sims' article.  All Sims was saying was that the murderer was likely to have been a man of the type that the Berlin police were looking for which was not of the rough, vulgar drunken type but a young, intellectual student.  That's it.

If Sims' article is a smoking gun, my arse is a smouldering cannon.

 

LORD ORSAM
First published: 18 September 2021
Republished: Orsam Day, 14 May 2022