UCD Lifelong Learning, National Library of Ireland, 5 November -10 December 2018
Crime and investigation in the ‘long’ 19th Century
The Maamtrasna massacres
The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes
The life and times of Sherlock Holmes
Arthur Conan Doyle’s selection of the best twelve Sherlock Holmes stories
(March 1927, Strand Magazine competition)
The Speckled Band
The Red-Headed League
The Dancing Men
The Final Problem
A Scandal in Bohemia
The Empty House
The Five Orange Pips
The Second Stain
The Devil’s Foot
The Priory School
The Musgrave Ritual
The Reigate Squires
Link to Edmund Wilson’s essay ‘Who cares who killed Roger Ackroyd?’
Link to Raymond Chandler’s ‘The Simple Art of Murder’
‘GOLDEN AGE’ FICTION – A TIMELINE
1907 Publication of The Mystery of the Yellow Room(Le Mystère de la Chambre Jaune)– Gaston Leroux
1908 Publication of The Circular Staircase– Mary Roberts Rinehart
1913 Publication of Trent’s Last Case– Edmund Clerihew Bentley, the introduction of Philip Trent
1914 Publication of Rouletabille at the War (Rouletabille a la Guerre)– Gaston Leroux
1920 Publication of The Mysterious Affair at Styles– Agatha Christie, which introduces Hercule Poirot – it was written in 1916
1922 Publication of The Secret Adversary– Agatha Christie, the first appearance of Tommy and Tuppence
1923 Publication of Whose Body– Dorothy Leigh Sayers, the introduction of Lord Peter Wimsey
1926 The mysterious disappearance of Agatha Christie
Publication of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd– Agatha Christie
1927 Publication of Thirteen Problems– Agatha Christie, one of which stories introduces Jane Marple
Death of Gaston Leroux
1928 Agatha Christie divorces Archie
1929 Publication of The Crime at Black Dudley– Margery Allingham, the introduction of Albert Campion
Publication of The Roman Hat Mystery– Ellery Queen (Frederick Dannay and Manfred Lee), the introduction of Ellery Queen
1930 Establishment of the Detection Clubby, among others, Ronald Knox
Publication of The Door– Mary Roberts Rinehart in which ‘the butler did it’
Publication of Murder at the Vicarage– Agatha Christie, the first appearance of Jane Marple in a novel
Publication of Mystery Mile– Margery Allingham, the second Campion novel
1933 Publication of The Album– Mary Roberts Rinehart
Publication of Hag’s Nook– John Dickson Carr, introduces Gideon Fell
1934 Publication of A Man Lay Dead– Ngaio Marsh, the introduction of Roderick Alleyn
Publication of Nine Tailors– Dorothy L. Sayers, her personal favourite Wimsey novel
1934 Publication of The Plague Court Murders– Carter Dickson (John Dickson Carr) the first Sir Henry Merrivale novel
Publication of Murder on the Orient Express– Agatha Christie
1935 Publication of The Three Coffins(GB-The Hollow Man)– John Dickson Carr, one of the great ‘locked room’ mysteries
1936 Publication of Trent’ Own Case– Edmund Clerihew Bentley
Bentley becomes President of the Detection Club until 1949
1937 Publication of Gaudy Night– Dorothy L.Sayers, Wimsey and Harriet Vane get together at last
1938 Publication of Trent Intervenes– Edmund Clerihew Bentley
1940 Publication of Edmund Clerihew Bentley’s autobiography Those Days
Publication of And Then There Were None– Agatha Christie, in the USA, still her best-selling novel (100m copies sold)
1945 ‘Who Cares Who Killed Roger Ackroyd’ – Edmund Wilson’s scathing essay, is published in the January edition of the New Yorker
1953 Publication of The Cavalier’s Cup– Carter Dickson, the last Merrivale story
1957 Publication of 4.50 from Paddington– Agatha Christie
Death of Dorothy L. Sayers, aged 64
1958 Death of Mary Roberts Rinehart, aged 82
1966 Death of Margery Allingham, aged 62
1967 Publication of Dark of the Moon– John Dickson Carr, the final Gideon Fell story
1973 Publication of Postern of Fate– Agatha Christie – last novel published in her lifetime and the last Tommy and Tuppence novel
1975 Publication of Curtain– Agatha Christie, the last Poirot novel
1976 Publication of Sleeping Murder– Agatha Christie, the last Marple novel
Death of Agatha Christie, aged 85
1977 Death of John Dickson Carr, aged 70
‘HARD-BOILED’ FICTION – A TIMELINE
1920 Black Maskbegins publication – founded by H.L.Mencken
1921 Birth of Patricia Highsmith
1926 Joseph T. Shaw becomes editor of Black Mask
1929 Publication of Little Caesar– W.R.Burnett
Publication of Red Harvest– Dashiel Hammett
1930 Publication of The Maltese Falcon– Dashiel Hammett
Adoption of the Motion Picture Production Code (the Hays Code) – it proves problematic for the adaptation of crime fiction to the screen
1931 Publication of Peter the Latvian– Georges Simenon – first Maigret novel
Publication of The Glass Key– Dashiel Hammett
Release of Little Caesarwith Edward G. Robinson in the title role
1933 Publication of The Case of the Velvet Claws– Erle Stanley Gardner (first Perry Mason)
1934 Publication of The Postman Always Rings Twice– James. M. Cain
Publication of The Thin Man– Dashiel Hammett
The Thin Manfilm adaptation released with William Powell and Myrna Loy, directed by W.S.van Dyke
1938 Publication of S.J.Perelman’s satirical essay on crime fiction ‘Somewhere a Roscoe’ in the New Yorker– mostly a takedown of Robert Leslie Bellem’s Dan Turner, the Hollywood detective in the magazine Spicy Detective
1939 Publication of The Big Sleep– Raymond Chandler
1940 Publication of Farewell My Lovely– Raymond Chandler
1941 John Huston’s The Maltese Falcon is released with Bogart as Sam Spade
1943 Publication of Double Indemnity– James M.Cain
1944 Release of Murder My Sweet(based onFarewell My Lovely) with Dick Powell as Marlowe
Release of film version of Double Indemnity with script by Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler
Raymond Chandler’s essay, ‘The Simple Art of Murder’ appears in Atlantic Monthly
1946 Release of The Big Sleep, directed by Howard Hawks and starring Bogart and Lauren Bacall
1947 Publication of I, the Jury– Mickey Spillane, the first Mike Hammer novel
1949 Publication of The Asphalt Jungle– W.R.Burnett
1950 Publication of Strangers on a Train– Patricia Highsmith
Release of John Huston’s The Asphalt Junglewith Sterling Hayden in the lead and Marilyn Monroe in one of her earliest screen roles
1951 Release of Alfred Hitchcock’s film adaptation of Strangers on a Train, screenplay by, among others, Raymond Chandler
1952 Publication of The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith under the pseudonym Clare Morgan
1953 Publication of The Long Goodbye – Raymond Chandler
1955 Publication of The Talented Mr. Ripley– Patricia Highsmith
1956 Publication of Cop Hater– Ed McBain (Evan Hunter), first of the 87thprecinct novels
1957 ‘Perry Mason’ TV series begins
1958 Chandler starts Poodle Springs– completed by Robert Parker in 1988
1959 Death of Raymond Chandler at 70
1960 Maigret TVseries begins on BBC
1961 Death of Dashiel Hammett at 66
1963 BBC Maigret series ends
1966 Perry Mason TV series ends
1970 Death of Erle Stanley Gardner aged 80
1972 Publication of Maigret and Monsieur Charles– Simenon – last Maigret novel
1973 Publication of The Case of the Postponed Murder– Erle Stanley Gardner – last Perry Mason novel
1989 Death of Georges Simenon aged 86
1991 Publication of final Ripley novel Ripley Under Water
1995 Death of Patricia Highsmith aged 74
WEEK FOUR – UNSOLVED AND INSOLUBLE?
THE McNAGHTEN MEMORANDUM
Written in 1894 by Sir Melville McNaghten, Assistant Chief Constable of the Metropolitan Police in response to the identification by the Sun newspaper of Thomas Cutbush as the Ripper
The case referred to in the sensational story told in ‘The Sun’ in its issue of 13th inst, & following dates, is that of Thomas Cutbush who was arraigned at the London County Sessions in April 1891 on a charge of maliciously wounding Florence Grace Johnson, and attempting to wound Isabella Fraser Anderson in Kennington. He was found to be insane, and sentenced to be detained during Her Majesty’s Pleasure.
This Cutbush, who lived with his mother and aunt at 14 Albert Street, Kennington, escaped from the Lambeth Infirmary, (after he had been detained only a few hours, as a lunatic) at noon on 5th March 1891. He was rearrested on 9th idem. A few weeks before this, several cases of stabbing, or jabbing, from behind had occurred in the vicinity, and a man named Colicott was arrested, but subsequently discharged owing to faulty identification. The cuts in the girl’s dresses made by Colicott were quite different to the cut(s) made by Cutbush (when he wounded Miss Johnson) who was no doubt influenced by a wild desire of morbid imitation. Cutbush’s antecedents were enquired into by C.Insp (now Supt.) Chris by Inspector Hale, and by P.S. McCarthy C.I.D. — (the last named officer had been specially employed in Whitechapel at the time of the murders there,) — and it was ascertained that he was born, and had lived, in Kennington all his life. His father died when he was quite young and he was always a ‘spoilt’ child. He had been employed as a clerk and traveller in the Tea trade at the Minories, and subsequently cavassed for a Directory in the East End, during which time he bore a good character. He apparently contracted syphilis about 1888, and, — since that time, — led an idle and useless life. His brain seems to have become affected, and he believed that people were trying to poison him. He wrote to Lord Grimthorpe, and others, — and also to the Treasury, — complaining of Dr Brooks, of Westminster Bridge Road, whom he threatened to shoot for having supplied him with bad medicines. He is said to have studied medical books by day, and to have rambled about at night, returning frequently with his clothes covered with mud; but little reliance could be placed on the statements made by his mother or his aunt, who both appear to have been of a very excitable disposition. It was found impossible to ascertain his movements on the nights of the Whitechapel murders. The knife found on him was bought in Houndsditch about a week before he was detained in the Infirmary. Cutbush was the nephew of the late Supt. Executive.
Now the Whitechapel murderer had 5 victims — & 5 victims only, — his murders were
(1) 31st August, ’88. Mary Ann Nichols — at Buck’s Row — who was found with her throat cut — & with (slight) stomach mutilation.
(2) 8th Sept. ’88 Annie Chapman — Hanbury St.; — throat cut — stomach & private parts badly mutilated & some of the entrails placed round the neck.
(3) 30th Sept. ’88. Elizabeth Stride — Berner’s Street — throat cut, but nothing in shape of mutilation attempted, & on same date
Catherine Eddowes — Mitre Square, throat cut & very bad mutilation, both of face and stomach.
9th November. Mary Jane Kelly — Miller’s Court, throat cut, and the whole of the body mutilated in the most ghastly manner —
The last murder is the only one that took place in a room, and the murderer must have been at least 2 hours engaged. A photo was taken of the woman, as she was found lying on the bed, withot seeing which it is impossible to imagine the awful mutilation.
With regard to the double murder which took place on 30th September, there is no doubt but that the man was disturbed by some Jews who drove up to a Club, (close to which the body of Elizabeth Stride was found) and that he then, ‘mordum satiatus’, went in search of a further victim who he found at Mitre Square.
It will be noted that the fury of the mutilations increased in each case, and, seemingly, the appetite only became sharpened by indulgence. It seems, then, highly improbable that the murderer would have suddenly stopped in November ’88, and been content to recommence operations by merely prodding a girl behind some 2 years and 4 months afterwards. A much more rational theory is that the murderer’s brain gave way altogether after his awful glut in Miller’s Court, and that he immediately committed suicide, or, as a possible alternative, was found to be so hopelessly mad by his relations, that he was by them confined in some asylum.
No one ever saw the Whitechapel murderer; many homicidal maniacs were suspected, but no shadow of proof could be thrown on any one. I may mention the cases of 3 men, any one of whom would have been more likely than Cutbush to have committed this series of murders:
(1) A Mr M. J. Druitt, said to be a doctor & of good family — who disappeared at the time of the Miller’s Court murder, & whose body (which was said to have been upwards of a month in the water) was found in the Thames on 31st December — or about 7 weeks after that murder. He was sexually insane and from private information I have little doubt but that his own family believed him to have been the murderer.
(2) Kosminski — a Polish Jew — & resident in Whitechapel. This man became insane owing to many years indulgence in solitary vices. He had a great hatred of women, specially of the prostitute class, & had strong homicidal tendencies: he was removed to a lunatic asylum about March 1889. There were many circumstances connected with this man which made him a strong ‘suspect’.
(3) Michael Ostrog, a Russian doctor, and a convict, who was subsequently detained in a lunatic asylum as a homicidal maniac. This man’s antecedents were of the worst possible type, and his whereabouts at the time of the murders could never be ascertained.
And now with regard to a few of the other inaccuracies and misleading statements made by ‘The Sun’. In its issue of 14th February, it is stated that the writer has in his possession a facsimile of the knife with which the murders were committed. This knife (which for some unexplained reason has, for the last 3 years, been kept by Inspector Hale, instead of being sent to Prisoner’s Property Store) was traced, and it was found to have been purchased in Houndsditch in February ’91 or 2 years and 3 months after the Whitechapel murders ceased!
The statement, too, that Cutbush ‘spent a portion of the day in making rough drawings of the bodies of women, and of their mutilations’ is based solely on the fact that 2 scribble drawings of women in indecent postures were found torn up in Cutbush’s room. The head and body of one of these had been cut from some fashion plate, and legs were added to shew a woman’s naked thighs and pink stockings.
In the issue of 15th inst. it is said that a light overcoat was among the things found in Cutbush’s house, and that a man in a light overcoat was seen talking to a woman at Backchurch Lane whose body with arms attached was found in Pinchin Street. This is hopelessly incorrect! On 10th Sept. ’89 the naked body, with arms, of a woman was found wrapped in some sacking under a Railway arch in Pinchin Street: the head and legs were never found nor was the woman ever identified. She had been killed at least 24 hours before the remains which had seemingly been brought from a distance, were discovered. The stomach was split up by a cut, and the head and legs had been severed in a manner identical with that of the woman whose remains were discovered in the Thames, in Battersea Park, and on the Chelsea Embankment on the 4th June of the same year; and these murders had no connection whatever with the Whitechapel horrors. The Rainham mystery in 1887 and the Whitehall mystery (when portions of a woman’s body were found under what is now New Scotland Yard) in 1888 were of a similar type to the Thames and Pinchin Street crimes.
It is perfectly untrue to say that Cutbush stabbed 6 girls behind. This is confounding his case with that of Colicott. The theory that the Whitechapel murderer was left-handed, or, at any rate, ‘ambidexter’, had its origin in the remark made by a doctor who examined the corpse of one of the earliest victims; other doctors did not agree with him.
With regard to the 4 additional murders ascribed by the writer in the Sun to the Whitechapel fiend:
(1) The body of Martha Tabram, a prostitute was found on a common staircase in George Yard buildings on 7th August 1888; the body had been repeatedly pierced, probably with a bayonet. This woman had, with a fellow prostitute, been in company of 2 soldiers in the early part of the evening: these men were arrested, but the second prostitute failed, or refused, to identify, and the soldiers were eventually discharged.
(2) Alice McKenzie was found with her throat cut (or rather stabbed) in Castle Alley on 17th July 1889; no evidence was forthcoming and no arrest were made in connection with this case. The stab in the throat was of the same nature as in the case of the murder of
(3) Frances Coles in Swallow Gardens, on 13th February 1891 — for which Thomas Sadler, a fireman, was arrested, and, after several remands, discharged. It was ascertained at the time that Saddler had sailed for the Baltic on 19th July ’89 and was in Whitechapel on the nights of 17th idem. He was a man of ungovernable temper and entirely addicted to drink, and the company of the lowest prostitutes.
(4) The case of the unidentified woman whose trunk was found in Pinchin Street: on 10th September 1889 — which has already been dealt with.
23rd February 1894
THOMAS BOND MEMORANDUM
An assessment of the autopsy reports requested by Robert Anderson – Bond replied on 10 November after conducting the post mortem on Mary Kelly
- “I beg to report that I have read the notes of the 4 Whitechapel Murders viz:
- Buck’s Row
- Hanbury Street
- Berner’s Street
- Mitre Square
- I have also made a Post Mortem Examination of the mutilated remains of a woman found yesterday in a small room in Dorset Street. [MD Note – Mary Kelly]
- 1. All five murders were no doubt committed by the same hand. In the first four the throats appear to have been cut from left to right. In the last case owing to the extensive mutilation it is impossible to say in what direction the fatal cut was made, but arterial blood was found on the wall in splashes close to where the woman’s head must have been lying.
- 2. All the circumstances surrounding the murders lead me to form the opinion that the women must have been lying down when murdered and in every case the throat was first cut.
- 3. In the four murders of which I have seen the notes only, I cannot form a very definite opinion as to the time that had elapsed between the murder and the discovering of the body.
- In one case, that of Berner’s Street, the discovery appears to have been made immediately after the deed – In Buck’s Row, Hanbury Street, and Mitre Square three or four hours only could have elapsed. In the Dorset Street case the body was lying on the bed at the time of my visit, 2 o’clock, quite naked and mutilated as in the annexed report –
- Rigor Mortis had set in, but increased during the progress of the examination. From this it is difficult to say with any degree of certainty the exact time that had elapsed since death as the period varies from 6 to 12 hours before rigidity sets in. The body was comparatively cold at 2 o’clock and the remains of a recently taken meal were found in the stomach and scattered about over the intestines. It is, therefore, pretty certain that the woman must have been dead about 12 hours and the partly digested food would indicate: that death took place about 3 or 4 hours after the food was taken, so one or two o’clock in the morning would be the probable time of the murder.
- 4. In all the cases there appears to be no evidence of struggling and the attacks were probably so sudden and made in such a position that the women could neither resist nor cry out. In the Dorset Street case the corner of the sheet to the right of the woman’s head was much cut and saturated with blood, indicating that the face may have been covered with the sheet at the time of the attack.
- 5. In the four first cases the murderer must have attacked from the right side of the victim. In the Dorset Street case, he must have attacked from in front or from the left, as there would be no room for him between the wall and the part of the bed on which the woman was lying. Again, the blood had flowed down on the right side of the woman and spurted on to the wall.
- 6. The murderer would not necessarily be splashed or deluged with blood, but his hands’ and arms must have been covered and parts of his clothing must certainly have been smeared with blood.
- 7. The mutilations in each case excepting the Berner’s Street one were all of the same character and shewed clearly that in all the murders, the object was mutilation.
- 8. In each case the mutilation was inflicted by a person who had no scientific nor anatomical knowledge. In my opinion he does not even possess the technical knowledge of a butcher or horse slaughterer or any person accustomed to cut up dead animals.
- 9. The instrument must have been a strong knife at least six inches long, very sharp, pointed at the top and about an inch in width. It may have been a clasp knife, a butcher’s knife or a surgeon’s knife. I think it was no doubt a straight knife.
- 10. The murderer must have been a man of physical strength and of great coolness and daring. There is no evidence that he had an accomplice. He must in my opinion be a man subject to periodical attacks of Homicidal and erotic mania. The character of the mutilations indicate that the man may be in a condition sexually, that may be called satyriasis. It is of course possible that the Homicidal impulse may have developed from a revengeful or brooding condition of the mind, or that Religious Mania may have been the original disease, but I do not think either hypothesis is likely. The murderer in external appearance is quite likely to be a quiet inoffensive looking man probably middleaged and neatly and respectably dressed. I think he must be in the habit of wearing a cloak or overcoat or he could hardly have escaped notice in the streets if the blood on his hands or clothes were visible.
- 11. Assuming the murderer to be such a person as I have just described he would probably be solitary and eccentric in his habits, also he is most likely to be a man without regular occupation, but with some small income or pension. He is possibly living among respectable persons who have some knowledge of his character and habits and who may have grounds for suspicion that he is not quite right in his mind at times. Such persons would probably be unwilling to communicate suspicions to the Police for fear of trouble or notoriety, whereas if there were a prospect of reward it might overcome their scruples.
- I am, Dear Sir,
- Yours faithfully,
- Thos. Bond
www.casebook.org– for nerds – a British Museum library full of information
www.whitechapeljack.com– more colourful
Rippercast – podcast by Jonathan Menges
WHITECHAPEL MURDERS POWERPOINT
IRISH CROWN JEWELS POWERPOINT