George Chapman - A Jack the Ripper Suspect
A Beyond the Bones Guest Article
Written by True Crime Source
For many centuries London was a very dangerous place. Jack the Ripper dominated the headlines, but he wasn't the only killer around. The fear of death was everywhere. And police struggled to keep up with London's dark side.
Jack the Ripper
In the late Victorian era, Jack the Ripper dominated the headlines. Whoever he was, he terrorized the Whitechapel area of London's East End. He was one of the cruelest and most feared killers in history.
Attacks associated with Jack the Ripper usually involved female prostitutes who lived and worked in the slums of East End London. The victim's throats were cut followed by abdominal mutilations. At least three of the victims had their internal organs removed, making people believe that the killer had some sort of anatomical or surgical background.
The name "Jack the Ripper" originated in a letter written by an individual claiming to be the murderer that was published in the media.
Although the identity of Jack the Ripper was never discovered, London had several unpleasant characters at the time that were identified as possible suspects. Among the list of over 100 potential suspects was a man named George Chapman.
George Chapman was born Severin Antoniovich Klosowski in December 1865 in Poland. He later changed his name to George Chapman after immigrating from Poland to England in 1887. In Poland, George had trained as a filter. A filter is often mistranslated to a surgeon, but filters were actually military barbers who had some medical training.
Upon moving to London, George worked at a barber's shop until he eventually ran his own hairdressing business in 1889. Also, that same year he married Lucy Baderski. However, George already had a wife in Poland.
His first wife came to England to try and reclaim her husband, but after George and Lucy had a baby who died in infancy, George's first wife gave up and returned home alone to Poland.
George employed several young women. In August 1901, Maud Marsh met with Mr. Chapman for an interview, and she was immediately hired as a barmaid for the Monument Tavern. George quickly entered into a false marriage with Maud, but the pair weren't married for long before Maud fell ill.
She suffered from severe vomiting and spent 12 days in the hospital before recovering and being sent home. However, once she returned home, she became violently ill again. Her mother and doctor could not determine the cause of this mystery illness; however, George Chapman knew all too well what made Maud sick.
Poison was hard to detect at the time. George had used tata emetic containing the deadly element antimony to poison Maud to death. George had brought an ounce of tata emetic from a chemist in Hastings four years prior.
Tata emetic was used for cough mixtures. It caused irritation of the throat as well as vomiting. Antimony was a metal that was part of the mixture. Ingesting too much antimony would cause death. An ounce is around 450 grains; 12 grains is enough for a fatal dose. Therefore, an ounce would be more than enough to kill more than 40 people.
Purchasing poison in London at the time wasn’t hard. It could be purchased from the local drug stores and all one had to do was say that they were going to use it to poison rats.
A police investigation into Maud's death revealed that two other women associated with George had also died from poisoning. They were Mary Isabella Spink, who was murdered on 25 December 1897, and Bessie Taylor, who was murdered on 13 February 1901.
These two women were also previous wives of George and had died from a mysterious illness just a couple of years after meeting him. George had brought in a doctor to treat Bessie when she fell ill, but the doctor was oblivious to the real cause of her illness. George Chapman himself.
Although three women were poisoned, an indictment of a murder could only contain one count, and therefore George Chapman was only charged with the murder of Maud Marsh. He was convicted on 19 March 1903 and sentenced to death. He was hung at Wandsworth Prison on 7 April 1903.
Was George Chapman, Jack the Ripper?
George Chapman poisoned his victims. That isn't how Jack the Ripper did it; you might be thinking. And you are right. So, what makes authorities believe George could have also been Jack the Ripper?
Although George is known as a poisoner, not a mutilator like Jack the Ripper, George was known to beat his wives and was prone to other violent behavior.
Once during a fight with his wife, Lucy, he forced her down on their bed and began to strangle her. He only stopped to attend to a customer who walked into the adjoined shop that he owned. When he left, Lucy found a knife under the pillow, and George later told her that he had planned to kill her. He even pointed out where he would have buried her and what he would have said to their neighbors.
Another way that George fits the profile of the mysterious Jack the Ripper is that he was living in Whitechapel at the time of the murders, and he had some medical knowledge.
However, there is a lack of hard evidence linking George to Jack the Ripper. In fact, criminologists have doubted his potential to be Jack the Ripper based on the known behavior of serial killers.
Usually, serial killers select a single method of murder (e.g., strangulation, stabbing, poisoning) as well as associated rituals (e.g., mutilation, torture). Therefore, it is unlikely that a serial killer would go from butchering and disemboweling victims to a less physical method like poisoning. Also, it is believed that Jack the Ripper selected victims who were previously unknown to him. George, however, killed acquaintances.
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There is so much conspiracy around the assassination of our 35th U.S. President, John F. Kennedy, that normally I wouldn't touch this topic with a ten-foot pole! But today, being the anniversary of the historic event, I thought I would take a unique approach... just the facts.
Here's what we know...
The former president and the Mrs began their day of November 22 in Fort Worth, TX. Even though President Kennedy had not made an official announcement to run in the next presidential election in 1964, he was making the rounds in preparation for it. His goal was to reach Florida and Texas. He made an appearance, solo just outside the hotel where a light drisel of rain was falling. "There are no faint hearts in Fort Worth," Kennedy would say, "and I appreciate your being here this morning."
The party would move on to Dallas and be greeted by a gathering of well-wishers and the Kennedy's spent some time shaking hands. This would be the first extended appearance of the first lady since the death of their son, Patrick. She was given a bouquet of red roses and they were escorted to their limousine.
The rain had stopped, so the plastic bubble topper for the convertible was left off. Governor John Connally and his wife, Nellie were seated in front while the Kennedy's took the back seat.
Vice President Lyndon Johnson and his wife, Ladybird rode in a vehicle directly behind.
They left the airport and headed toward downtown. Crowds lined the streets, waving, during the entire procession.
Just after 12:30, the motor cade turned off Main Street passing the tall Texas Schoolbook Depository, when the report of gunfire was heard.
Governor Connally was struck in the back. President Kennedy was struck in the neck and the head. The president slumped forward, while Mrs. Kennedy jumped for her seat and reached out behind the car. (I know I said facts only today, but that would leave no answer here at all, so I offer the two most common opinions. The first, she was trying to get the attention of the security team walking directly behind. They were instinctively looking for the direction of the reports and may not have been aware that the president had been shot. The other is, that she grabbed the brain matter and pieces of skull that blew back onto the trunk... possibly believing it could be put back together. By this time, John Kennedy's body and slumped down from the seat to the floor.
The driver of the car immediately turned out of the procession and headed toward Parkland Memorial Hospital. It was too late. President J.F. Kennedy would be pronounced dead at 1:00 pm. He was 46 years old.
Immediately following, the president's body was taken to Air Force One and there, Vice President, Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn is as the 36th president of the United States with Jackie Kennedy at his side. It was 2:38 pm.
The swearing in was witnessed by over 30 people and quickly following, the plane left Dallas Love Airfield and went directly to Washington
Sidenote: She refused to remove her bloodstained pink dress and was later credited with saying she wanted them to, "she what they've done to Jack."
Also, Sidenote: Sarah Hughes was the Federal Judge who administered the oath for the new president making her the first and only female to ever do so.
In the meantime, Lee Harvy Oswald was arrested for fatally shooting a police officer, J.D. Tippitt, 45 minutes after the shooting that took Kennedy's life. He was not arrested for the assassination. The gun that was used, did belong to him... and he was a current employee of the Texas Schoolbook Depository and yes, he was arrested for another killing recently as well... but he would never stand trial for either since two days later during a jail transfer, He was shot and killed in the basement of the Dallas Police Station at close range by Jack Ruby.
Many believe that Jack Ruby's actions would play into a bigger cover-up conspiracy but when on trial for the murder, he denied the allegations and claimed that he was so grief stricken at the murder of the president, he temproarily suffered from "psychomotor epilepsy" and committed the shooting unconsciously.
He was found guilty of "murder with malice" and sentenced to death, but wouldn't make it to the new trial as he suffered from a pulmonary embolism after being diagnosed with cancer.
The shooting of the president as well as the shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald and the the funeral processional were all caught on film and seen by an audience of millions due to the television coverage.
Sidenote: Just 10 minutes after the shooting, CBS was the first to broadcast a live news bulletin about the incident. Shortly thereafter, NBC and ABC would interrupt their regular programming to cover the assassination for four straight days. This would be the longest "uninterrupted news event" in television history which held until the news coverage of 9/11 in 2001.
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