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Harbinger451.co.uk / 451 ePublishing Haus / Ripperology 101 / The Investigators
Explore Welcome to The Ripperologist's - Investigators of the Whitechapel Murders Explore

The Victims:
those who fell victim to the Whitechapel Murderer/s
The Witnesses:

those who witnessed key aspects of the Whitechapel Murders
The Trophies & Clues:

a list of that which was taken & that which was left behind
The Letters:

an assessment of the many letters claiming responsibility
The Places:

the scenes of crime and related places of interest
The Links:

websites concerning Jack the Ripper and the Whitechapel Murders
The Documentaries:

factual films & TV-shows investigating the Whitechapel Murders
The Movies:

fictional films & TV-shows inspired by the crimes of Jack the Ripper
The Songs & Soundscapes:

music inspired by the crimes of the Ripper

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- The “Jack the Ripper” Investigators -

- those involved in the investigation into the Whitechapel Murders -

The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Metropolitan Police Whitechapel (H) Division, 1889
The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Metropolitan Police Whitechapel (H) Division, 1889

The Whitechapel Murders were a spate of unsolved brutal attacks and increasingly gruesome murders of women that befell the London East End District of Whitechapel and its environs in 1888. These crimes would make the area world famous as the stalking ground of the mysterious, and as yet unidentified, killer now widely known as Jack the Ripper.
      On this page we will be looking in detail at those who investigated key aspects of the Whitechapel Murders and related crimes, including police officers from the Metropolitan Police HQ at Scotland Yard in Whitehall, those from the Whitechapel (H) and Bethnal Green (J) Divisions of the Metropolitan Police and those from the City of London Police. As well as including the medical personnel involved in post-mortem investigations and the coroners involved in the inquests following the crimes we'll also be looking at some independent sleuths and other concerned citizens who inserted themselves into the investigations.

This page is under construction... and will be subject to regular updates as our investigation continues.

- Those at the Metropolitan Police HQ, Scotland Yard -

Listed in order of seniority during 1888

The name “Scotland Yard” derives from the location of the Metropolitan Police headquarters at 4 Whitehall Place, which had a rear entrance on a street called Great Scotland Yard. This rear entrance became the public entrance to the police station, and over time the street and the Metropolitan Police became synonymous. Originally a private residence it became the Metropolitan Police Service headquarters in 1829 and was occupied by the Commissioner along with other high ranking police officers and staff.
      By 1887, “Scotland Yard” had expanded from 4 Whitehall Place into several neighbouring addresses, including 3, 5, 21 and 22 Whitehall Place; 8 and 9 Great Scotland Yard, and several stables. The force had grown from its initial 1,000 officers to about 13,000 and needed more administrative staff and a bigger headquarters so a new purpose built building was sited on the Victoria Embankment.
      In 1888, during the construction of the new building, workers discovered the dismembered torso of a woman - this case became known as the “Whitehall Mystery”. The police headquarters moved to the new location, named New Scotland Yard, in 1890.
      “Scotland Yard” took over the investigations of the Whitechapel Murders on 31 August 1888 after the murder of Mary Ann Nichols, when the newly appointed Assistant Commissioner, Robert Anderson, put Chief Inspector Donald Sutherland Swanson in charge of the case. Swanson immediately despatched Detective Inspector Abberline (aided by Detective Inspectors Helson and Spratling with Detective Sergeants Enright and Godley) to Whitechapel to coordinate the work of the Divisional detectives there.

Sir Charles Warren

Rank: Metropolitan Police Commissioner (till his resignation on the 10th November 1888).

Profile: Born on 17 February 1840 he was aged 48 at the time of the Whitechapel Murders. At the age of 14 he went to the Royal Military College, Sandhurst and then went on to the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich (1855–1857). On 27 December 1857, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers. In 1867, the now Captain Warren was recruited by the Palestine Exploration Fund to conduct Biblical archaeology "reconnaissance" and he conducted the first major excavations of Jerusalem's Temple Mount, thereby ushering in a new age of Biblical archaeology. In 1877-78 he Fought in the Kaffir War during which he was severely wounded and promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. In 1882 he tracked down the murderers of Professor Edward Palmer's Expedition in Egypt and was knighted. In 1884 Warren took part in the second expedition to relieve General Gordon at Khartoum.
      After achieving the rank of Major-General in the Royal Engineers he was appointed the Metropolitan Police Commissioner in March 1886. The Metropolitan Police was in a bad state when Warren took over - suffering from years of inactivity by his predecessor - and although he expressed concern for his men's welfare this largely went unheeded by the Conservative politicians of the time. Warren was pilloried in the press for his extravagant dress uniform, and - over his (really quite sensible) concern for the quality of his men's boots (a patrol man could walk up to 20 miles a day) and his reintroduction of drill - he was derided for having a military obsession with kit and discipline.
      The radical press completely turned against Warren after “Bloody Sunday” on 13 November 1887, when a demonstration of 10,000 people organised by the Social Democratic Federation and the Irish National League, converging (with 30,000 spectators) on Trafalgar Square, was violently broken up by 4,000 police officers, 300 infantrymen, 300 mounted police and 300 cavalrymen. In the ensuing riot many of the demonstrators armed themselves with iron bars, knives, pokers and gas pipes while the police used truncheons and the soldiers were ordered to fix bayonets - but were not ordered to shoot and the cavalry were not ordered to draw swords. Three fatal injuries occurred, 75 people were hospitalized, including many police, two policemen being stabbed and one protester bayoneted. Of the 400 arrested, 50 were detained in custody.
      His men found him rather aloof, although he generally had good relations with his superintendents. In 1888, Warren introduced five Chief Constables, ranking between the Assistant Commissioners and the Superintendents. Assistant Commissioner Monro insisted that the Chief Constable of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), his deputy, should be his friend, Melville Macnaghten, but Warren opposed this and it grew into a major row between the two - leading to Monro's resignation in August 1888. Home Secretary Henry Matthews immediately appointed Monro as the Home Office "Head of the Detective Service" (a position invented for Monro) putting him in charge of CID (and Special Branch) and effectively keeping Warren out of the loop with regards the Whitechapel Murders investigations.
      On the morning of 30 September 1888 Commissioner Warren attended the site of the “Goulston Street Graffito”, before going to the murder scene of Elizabeth Stride in Berner Street, and he made the decision to, in his words, “obliterate the writing at once” - but not before he made a note of its 5 lined content, which read, “The Jewes are - The men that - Will not - be Blamed - for nothing”. This graffito was interpreted at the time as anti-Jewish and there-fore a potential risk to public order and could jeopardise the safety of the many Jews in Whitechapel - so Warren's decision was probably the right one.
      On 9 October 1888, Warren was supportive of George Lusk's suggestion that a pardon be granted for the Whitechapel Murderer's accomplices, in the hopes that these accomplices would reveal the killer's identity, but the notion was rejected by the Home Secretary. Warren was keen on the idea of using bloodhounds to track the Whitechapel Murderer and a series of moderately successful trials of the bloodhounds were carried out in Regents Park and Hyde Park in October - Warren himself twice acted as the hunted man - but his many critics simply used the whole notion of using bloodhounds in Whitechapel as another excuse to (unfairly in my opinion) mock him.
      On 5 November 1888, Bonfire Night, a good many bonfire “Guys” were effigies of General Sir Charles Warren (I'm sure in all his dress-uniform regalia), though many more were effigies of “Leather Apron” and “Jack The Ripper”... amongst a few political “Guys”
      Warren tendered his resignation as Commissioner on 8 November 1888 - it was accepted on the 10th, the day after the murder of Mary Kane Kelly. If Warren had any opinions on the identity of the Whitechapel Murderer it seems he kept them to himself.
      Warren was a devout Anglican, a Liberal and an enthusiastic Freemason, becoming the third District Grand Master of the Eastern Archipelago in Singapore and the founding Master of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge in London - dedicated to Masonic research the lodge was founded in 1886 and still meets at Freemasons' Hall, Great Queen Street. After his brief stint as Commissioner, Warren returned to his military duties and served in the Boer War between 1899 and 1902. He died on 21 January 1927 aged 86.

James Monro

Rank: Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner, CID (till his resignation in August 1888), then appointed Home Office "Head of the Detective Service" by Home Secretary Henry Matthews, then appointed Metropolitan Police Commissioner (on the 27th November 1888 - after the resignation of Sir Charles Warren).

Dr Robert Anderson

Rank: Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner, CID (appointed on the 31st August 1888 - after the resignation of James Monro).

Profile: .

Adolphus Frederick Williamson, (Chief Constable, CID - till his death on the 9th December 1889)
Melville Leslie Macnaghten (Assistant Chief Constable, CID from June 1889 - then appointed Chief Constable, CID in 1890)
Donald Sutherland Swanson (Chief Inspector, CID)
John George Littlechild, (Chief Inspector, Special Branch)
Frederick George Abberline (Detective Inspector (1st Class), CID)
Henry Moore (Detective Inspector, CID)
Helson (Detective Inspector, CID)
Spratling (Detective Inspector, CID)
P. Enright (Detective Sergeant, CID)
Godley (Detective Sergeant, CID)

- Those at the Metropolitan Police H Division, Whitechapel -

Listed in order of seniority during 1888

Whitechapel's H Division covered an area of about one and a quarter square miles and incorporated four police stations; the Divisional headquarters at 76 Leman Street and the stations at 160 Commercial Street in Spitalfields, at Arbour Square in Stepney and at King David Lane in Shadwell. At the end of 1888 H Division had a total of 587 officers (of all ranks) at its disposal.

Thomas Arnold (Superintendent)
John West (Chief Inspector)
Edmund Reid (Local Inspector, head of H Div. CID)
Ernest Ellisdon (Divisional Inspector)
Dr. George Bagster Philips (Divisional Surgeon)
Walter Andrews (Detective Inspector)
Walter Beck (Detective Inspector)
Joseph Chandler (Detective Inspector)
Charles Pinhorn (Detective Inspector - J. Pinhorn according to Times, 10 December 1889)
William Thick (Detective Sergeant)
Eli Caunter (Detective Sergeant)
William New (Detective Sergeant)
Edward Badham (Police Sergeant 31H)
Wesley Edwards (Police Sergeant 7H)
Stephen White (Police Sergeant)
(?) Leach (Police Sergeant - Times, 11 September 1888)
Walter Dew (Detective Constable)
Jonas Mizen (Police Constable 55H - Joseph Mizen according to Times, 19 August 1886)
Henry Lamb (Police Constable 252H)
Joseph Drage (Police Constable 282H)
William Smith (Police Constable 452H)
Albert Collins (Police Constable 12HR/37H?)
Thomas Barrett (Police Constable 262H - 226H according to Times, 10 August 1888)
Walter Andrews (Police Constable 272H)

- Those at the Metropolitan Police J Division, Bethnal Green -

Listed in order of seniority during 1888

James Keating (Superintendent)
John Spratling (Divisional Inspector)
Joseph Henry Helson (Local Inspector, head of J Div. CID)
George Godley (Detective Sergeant)
(Henry?) Kirby (Police Sergeant ?J) John Neil (Police Constable 97J)
John Thain (Police Constable 96J)

- Those at the City of London Police -

Listed in order of seniority during 1888

James Fraser (Commissioner)
Henry Smith (Assistant Commissioner)
Dr. Frederick Gordon Brown (Divisional Surgeon)
James McWilliam (Detective Inspector)
Robert Sagar (Detective Constable)

- The Coroner’s Office -

Listed in order of seniority during 1888

Wynne E. Baxter (Coroner, South East Middlesex)
George Collier (Deputy Coroner, South East Middlesex)

- The Vigilance Committees -

Listed in the chronological order of their forming

The St Jude’s District Committee (AKA The Toynbee Hall Patrol) formed a few days after the murder of Martha Tabram - Thomas Hancock Nunn (secretary)
The Mile End Vigilance Committee (AKA The Whitechapel Vigilance Committee) formed 10 September,1888 - George Lusk (president/chairman), John Cohen (vice president), Joseph Aarons (Landlord of The Crown where the committee met - treasurer), Mr B Harris (honorary secretary), Mr Van Gelder (a later secretary), Charles Reeves (AKA Samuel Issacs - an actor), also Messrs B Barnett, Henry A Harris, Hodgins/Hodgkins, Houghton, M Isaacs, S Jacobs, Laughton, Lawton, Lindsay, Lord, M Mitchell, Rogers and Vanderhout.
The East London Trade and Labourers Society’s Vigilance Committee (AKA The Workingmen’s Union Vigilance Committee) formed on 9 October, 1888 - Thomas Kelly (president?), John Chandler (chairman)

- Independent Sleuths and other Concerned Citizens -

Listed in alphabetical order

Bachert, Albert (engraver - became chairman of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee in 1889 (after inserting himself into the investigation at numerous points during 1888)
Bulling, Thomas J. (Journalist, Central News Agency)
Forbes Winslow, Dr Lyttleton Stewart (Amateur Investigator, also a Suspect)
Grand and Batchelor, Messrs. (Private Detectives, 283 Strand)
Haslip, George (House Surgeon, London Hospital)
Holt, Dr. William (Amateur Investigator)
Larkins, Edward Knight (Amateur Investigator and Custom House official)
Lees, Robert James (Clairvoyant)
Moore, Charles (Manager, Central News Agency)
The Salvation Army - offered their social and rescue workers in the East End to the police as an information gathering service in the aftermath of Francis Coles' death.
Sims, George (Journalist / Investigator / Suspect)
Stephenson, Robert Donston (Amateur Investigator / Suspect)

Detective Inspector Frederick Abberline - The Illustrated Police News, 1888!

- The Ripperologist -

The Ripperologist: purveyor of all the latest news, updates, chatter and trends from the field of Ripperology - investigating and exploring the mystery of the 1888 Whitechapel murders and the origins and legacy of Jack the Ripper - the archetypal serial killer!

Stay up-to-date by following The Ripperologist on Twitter @Ripperology101!

Other great resources for the study of Ripperology can be found in our list of
Ripperology websites HERE and our list of Jack The Ripper documentaries HERE.

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Ripperology 101:
exploring the Whitechapel Murders and Jack the Ripper
The Suspects:

those who have been suspected of the Whitechapel Murders
The Weapons & M.O.:

types of weapon used and the Modus Operandi
A Time-line:

a basic time-line of the crimes and related events
The ABYSS eBook:

A Chronicle of the Whitechapel Murders & the Origins of Jack the Ripper (soon)
The Reference Books:

factual accounts and reference works regarding the crimes
The Fiction:

fictional accounts of the crimes of Jack the Ripper
The Games:

games inspired by the crimes of Jack the Ripper
The Gallery:

artwork inspired by the crimes of the Ripper

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