Original Jack the Ripper Police Inspector Edmund Reid Cased Set
Original Item: One-of-a-kind Set. This appears to be one man's history in a box. From humble beginnings, Inspector Edmund Reid born 1846 was a grocer's delivery boy in London, a pastry-cook, and a ship's steward before joining the Metropolitan Police in 1872, with the Warrant no. 56100. PC P478. Reid was then the shortest man in the force at 5 feet 6 inches tall. In 1874 he transferred to the CID as a detective in P Division, and was promoted to Third-Class Sergeant in 1878 and Detective Sergeant in 1880.
In 1885 Reid was promoted to Detective Inspector and was based at Scotland Yard. In 1886 he organized the newly formed J Division's CID Department in Bethnal Green, and by the time of the Jack the Ripper murders of 1888 he was the Local Inspector and Head of the CID at H Division in Whitechapel, having been appointed in 1887, and succeeding Frederick Abberline. In 1895 he transferred to L (Lambeth) Division.
Then JACK THE RIPPER played his first victim. Reid was the the officer in charge of the enquiries into the murders of Emma Elizabeth Smith in April 1888, and Martha Tabram in August 1888, before Inspector Frederick Abberline was sent from Scotland Yard to 'H' Division in Whitechapel to co-ordinate the hunt for the killer.
Reid remained on the case throughout the full investigation of a total of Nine slayings of prostitutes. The case was never solved but a myriad of theories have evolved. Reid's own theory was that the Ripper murders were committed by a drunk who lived locally, and who had no recollection of his crime. Interviewed in 1912 for Lloyd's Weekly News, he said:
The whole of the murders were done after the public-houses were closed; the victims were all of the same class, the lowest of the low, and living within a quarter of a mile of each other; all were murdered within half a mile area; all were killed in the same manner. That is all we know for certain. My opinion is that the perpetrator of the crimes was a man who was in the habit of using a certain public-house, and of remaining there until closing time. Leaving with the rest of the customers, with what soldiers call 'a touch of delirium triangle,' he would leave with one of the women. My belief is that he would in some dark corner attack her with the knife and cut her up. Having satisfied his maniacal blood-lust he would go away home, and the next day know nothing about it.
This cased set named to Inspector Edmund Reid we believe predates the Ripper murders by approximately 15 years with the contents continually being added. Included in this set are the following:
Leather covered compartmentalized case with removable tray featuring a recessed handle to the center top engraved: Inspector Edmund Reid, H Division
The upper tray of the case containing dip pens and a traveling inkwell initialed E.R.
Pocket knife also bearing initials E.R.
Cased cigarette holder
Small magnifying glass
Four personal letters in Victorian era stamped envelopes addressed to a W. Cameron Moore Esquire of London, together with a photograph, circa 1865, of an elderly gentleman in a pocket frame, very possibly the Inspector's father John who was born in 1818.
On the lower level of the case there is a single shot percussion pocket pistol circa 1865 made by G.STURMAN of ISLINGTON bearing initials E.R.
Labeled percussion cap tin containing a few caps
Bullet mold and a small brass powder flask. There are a few lead balls in a lidded compartment.
Victorian era set of handcuffs with screw key
Chained Police whistle by Hudson & Co, Birmingham, that appears to be post 1900.
All in all a very interesting police officer set that stayed with him for most of his service and beyond. The name plate engraved at the height of his career.
History of Jack the Ripper
Jack the Ripper is the best known name given to an unidentified serial killer generally believed to have been active in the largely impoverished areas in and around the Whitechapel district of London in 1888. The name "Jack the Ripper" originated in a letter written by someone claiming to be the murderer that was disseminated in the media. The letter is widely believed to have been a hoax, and may have been written by journalists in an attempt to heighten interest in the story and increase their newspapers' circulation. Within the crime case files, as well as in contemporary journalistic accounts, the killer was called "the Whitechapel Murderer" as well as "Leather Apron".
Attacks ascribed to Jack the Ripper typically involved female prostitutes who lived and worked in the slums of the East End of London, whose throats were cut prior to abdominal mutilations. The removal of internal organs from at least three of the victims led to proposals that their killer had some anatomical or surgical knowledge. Rumours that the murders were connected intensified in September and October 1888, and letters from a writer or writers purporting to be the murderer were received by media outlets and Scotland Yard. The "From Hell" letter, received by George Lusk of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee, included half of a preserved human kidney, purportedly taken from one of the victims. Mainly because of the extraordinarily brutal character of the murders, and because of media treatment of the events, the public came increasingly to believe in a single serial killer known as "Jack the Ripper".
Extensive newspaper coverage bestowed widespread and enduring international notoriety on the Ripper, and his legend solidified. A police investigation into a series of eleven brutal killings in Whitechapel up to 1891 was unable to connect all the killings conclusively to the murders of 1888. Five victims: Mary Ann Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes and Mary Jane Kelly, all murdered between 31 August and 9 November 1888, are known as the "canonical five" and their murders are often considered the most likely to be linked. As the murders were never solved, the legends surrounding them became a combination of genuine historical research, folklore, and pseudohistory. The term "ripperology" was coined to describe the study and analysis of the Ripper cases. There are now over one hundred theories about the Ripper's identity, and the murders have inspired many works of fiction.
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