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Jack The Ripper In America. Did Jack The Ripper Visit The United States?

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Author Topic: Jack The Ripper In America. Did Jack The Ripper Visit The United States?  (Read 975 times)
Keira Kensington
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« Reply #60 on: April 06, 2015, 05:58:15 pm »

 In the years that followed, Tumblety continued to travel across both America and Europe, and raised controversy once again in 1880 when he brought a false suit against a Mrs. Lyons for the sum of $1000, which he claimed she stole from him. Then in October, 1885, his brother Patrick was killed in Rochester when a crumbled chimney landed on him.

Francis Tumblety returned to Liverpool in June of 1888, and once again found himself at odds with the police. He was arrested on November 7th, 1888 on charges of gross indecency and indecent assault with force and arms against four men between July 27th and November 2. These eight charges were euphemisms for homosexual activities. Tumblety was then charged on suspicion of the Whitechapel murders on the 12th (suggested he was free to kill Kelly between the 7th and 12th). Tumblety was bailed on November 16th. A hearing was held on November 20th at the Old Bailey, and the trial postponed until December 10th. Tumblety then fled to France under the alias ‘Frank Townsend’ on the 24th, and from there took the steamer La Bretagne to New York City.

New York officials new of his impending arrival in the city and had the ports watched for the suspect, but to no avail. Many American newspapers reported that Scotland Yard men had followed him across the Atlantic, and it is known the Inspector Andrews did follow a suspect to New York City around this time, though not named specifically as Tumblety.

New York City’s Chief Inspector Byrnes soon discovered Tumblety was lodging at 79 East Tenth Street at the home of Mrs McNamara, and he had him under surveillance for some days following. Byrnes could not arrest Tumblety because, in his own words, 'there is no proof of his complicity in the Whitechapel murders, and the crime for which he was under bond in London is not extraditable.'

The situation was tense: all of New York City knew of Tumblety’s whereabouts, thanks to the many newspaper articles covering Byrnes’s surveillance, but there was no legal means of detaining the man. Fear and suspicion rose until, on the 5th of December, Tumblety disappeared from his lodgings once again, eluding the New York police who were watching him so closely. Interest gradually waned as the years dragged on, and Tumblety next appears in Rochester in 1893, where he lived with his sister. He would die a decade later in 1903 in St. Louis, a man of considerable wealth. Tumblety was buried in Rochester, NY.

Such was the life of Francis Tumblety. Interestingly enough, there was absolutely no press coverage in the UK papers, while American papers (especially New York) carried dozens of full-length articles on his arrest and escape (see, for example, an article of December 3rd, 1888 from the Rochester Democrat and Republican). It has been suggested that Scotland Yard wished to keep Tumblety a secret from the press in order to avoid the embarassment of losing their top suspect.

Whatever the case, the story of Francis Tumblety and his connections to the Ripper crimes emerged only a few years ago in 1993, when Stewart Evans acquired what has now become known as the Littlechild letter. It was a letter penned by Chief Inspector John Littlechild in 1913 in response to some questions asked of him by journalist G.R. Sims. The authenticity of the letter has been established by numerous scientific and historical tests, and is not challenged by any researcher.

The letter mentions the name Tumblety as ‘a very likely suspect,’ and provided the first insight into a Scotland Yard suspect whose name was lost for 105 years. Evans continued to research the suspect with co-author Paul Gainey for two years before publishing the first edition of his work, The Lodger, which would be titled in subsequent editions Jack the Ripper: First American Serial Killer.

The news of this new suspect was indeed one of the most celebrated discoveries of the past decade, and many top-named researchers admit that Tumblety’s case is one of the most persuasive to have emerged in recent years.
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