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23.2.08

Jack the Ripper suspect - Francis Tumblety memorabilia







Colonel Dunham's testimony about Tumblety : "Someone asked why he (Tumblety) had not invited some women to his dinner. His face instantly became as black as a thunder-cloud. He had a pack of cards in his hand, but he laid them down and said, almost savagely, 'No, Colonel, I don’t know any such cattle, and if I did I would, as your friend, sooner give you a dose of quick poison than take you into such danger.' He then broke into a homily on the sin and folly of dissipation, fiercely denounced all women and especially fallen women.
He then invited us into his office where he illustrated his lecture so to speak. One side of this room was entirely occupied with cases, outwardly resembling wardrobes. When the doors were opened quite a museum was revealed -- tiers of shelves with glass jars and cases, some round and others square, filled with all sorts of anatomical specimens. The ‘doctor’ placed on a table a dozen or more jars containing, as he said, the matrices (uteri) of every class of women. Nearly a half of one of these cases was occupied exclusively with these specimens".


Tumblety next moved to St. Louis, again setting up his ‘medical’ practice, and again promenading himself around the city with arrogant splendor. It was here that another aspect of Tumblety’s character emerges -- his paranoia. He was arrested in St. Louis for wearing military garb and medals he did not deserve, but Tumblety himself took it as persecution from his medical competitors. Soon after her traveled to Carondelet, Missouri and was again imprisoned for a time on the same charge.
It was upon his return to St. Louis, however, that Tumblety received his greatest blow. A poor choice in aliases resulted in his being arrested in connecting with the Lincoln assasination, as he was in the habit of using the name J.H. Blackburn. Dr. L.P. Blackburn was at that time under warrant for an alleged plot to infect the North with blankets carrying yellow-fever. Tumblety was eventually exonerated, but another rumor began that he had at one time employed one of the assasination conspirators. This rumor was dispelled as well. Tumblety subsequently wrote and published "The Kidnapping of Dr. Tumblety", a short pamphlet he authored in an attempt to clear his name and re-establish his good-faith with the public. In reality, the book is little more than a series of paranoid ramblings and fraudulent testimonials.


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.


Run to Casebook to read the most complete file about Jack the Ripper and about Tumblety, one of the main suspects.

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