TRANSCRIPT - Frederick Bailey Deeming: Australia's Answer To Jack The Ripper

[Music] This podcast contains descriptions of death and violence that some listeners may find upsetting. Hello and welcome to the Six O’clock Knock, coming to you from the National Justice Museum in Nottingham, England I’m Simon Ford a writer and broadcaster and I’m Jacques Morrell a former major crime detective the National Justice Museum is based in Nottingham’s former courts and county jail you've probably seen it on tv and not even realized it because when they need a grand Victorian courtroom this is where they send the cameras and our case today would have been tried in a court like this it's a murder hunt that spanned the British Empire at a time when Britain's imperial power was at its zenith Britannia ruled the waves and Jack The Ripper terrorized the alleyways of Whitechapel indeed the murderer in our story could have been Jack The Ripper so come with us as we step back in time to the closing decades of the 19th century john Samford stood with his back to the bedroom door a pickaxe over his shoulder and a look of grim determination on his face not only had his tenant left the rented house without notice but the woman who was lined up to replace him had backed out complaining of a disagreeable smell in the second bedroom Samford butcher and landlord was determined to get to the bottom of it he and the estate agent Mr Connop faced the fireplace the agent held a handkerchief over his nose and mouth his face was the colour of putty Samford swung the pickaxe into the fresh concrete underneath the hearthstone it yielded like a pie crust instantly the smell became stronger Connop choked blurted something about breathing and turned towards the open window Samford swung again a chunk of concrete came away another swing the fluke of the pickaxe found something softer despite the unbearable stench Samford bent down and using both hands shifted a substantial slab of concrete what he saw had auburn hair and the remains of a face [Music] the date is the 3rd of march 1892. the place Andrew street Melbourne in the then colony of Victoria Australia john Samford had just discovered the remains of Emily Mather who'd been living in the house with a foreign gentleman representing himself as a toolmaker's engineer Samford had been attracted by the fellow's respectable heir and the fact that he paid six weeks rent in advance but then he'd left suddenly and reports of a lingering odour started soon afterwards a post-mortem examination found that Emily made his skull had been bashed in and her throat had been cut the hunt for the killer spanned the British empire from the beginning the press connected the murder with the despicable crimes of Jack The Ripper the age newspaper reported that from the outset a suspicion of insanity is almost suggested and a tinge of the white chapel murders is hinted the body hacked and mangled the cool manner in which the cementing was carried out the taking of a house etc the laborious obliteration of all traces of the crime all these things suggest the malevolence and craft of which can scarcely accompany the sane murderer no matter how callous and brutal the story that unfolded in the wake of Emily Mayer’s murder began at Ashby-de-la-Zouch in Leicestershire in the summer of 1853 with the birth of young Frederick Bailey demon Deeming’s parents were working class his father Thomas was a brasier by all accounts Deeming had a terrible childhood often suffering horrific beatings from his father who tried to commit suicide by cutting his throat on four occasions and ended up dying insane in a workhouse young Fred had it was said an unnaturally strong relationship with his mother Anne she was a Sunday school teacher who often force-fed her youngest son her views on the bible it said that Deeming became obsessed with sin and punishment the youngest of three boys he was a difficult child he ran away to see at the age of 16 and embarked on a life of theft obtaining money under false pretences and ultimately as we're to hear murder Deeming became a consummate con artist fraudster and bigamist it was this downward spiral that led him to become associated some say conclusively with Jack The Ripper [Music] in February 1881 Deeming married Marie James in Tranmere a suburb of Birkenhead on the Wirral in north west England the couple lived briefly in Birkenhead before making the sea passage to Melbourne Australia by 1886 Deeming and Marie had two Australian-born daughters bertha and Marie junior two years later Deeming wrote to his brothers Alfred and Walter he and the family were returning to England he boasted with a considerable fortune so is this the part where Deeming stops his galivanting settles down and becomes a respectable citizen it wouldn't be much of a story if he did would it in fact this is where it becomes obvious that Deeming is living a double life or i should more accurately say one of several alternative lives he lived concurrently until he was caught Jacques in your career investigating serious crime is living a double life a common criminal characteristic most certainly men behave differently when in new circumstances they try to impress and to big themselves up add to the criminal aspect and whoa it becomes a convoluted cover story so Simon what do we know about Deeming's movements between 1888 and 89 well it's a bit sketchy Maurice Gurvich and Christopher Wray wrote the Scarlet Thread. a book about Deeming in his crimes they found he was in South Africa for a time and was involved in a diamond mine swindle in Transvaal it looks like Marie and the children stayed at home in Birkenhead Marie had another baby anyway Deeming drew attention to himself while returning to England on the steamship Yumna flashing cash and jewellery generally making a nuisance of himself with some of the female passengers ss Yumna docked at Hull on the east coast of England in November 1889. i daresay the captain was glad to see the back of the ostentatious Frederick Bailey Deeming Jacques if you were in possession of the facts and had the opportunity would you be waiting on the key side for a kind of nautical Six O’clock Knock you know to ask Deeming what he'd been up to to get rich so quickly the police are naturally interested in unexplained wealth but i think it's early days on any investigation that said I’m sure that with the safety of the ship being paramount the captain would have thought very carefully about this nuisance passenger he may well have turned him into the police for something that happened on board ship maybe her majesty's customs and excise would have been interested in him perhaps to throw the authorities off his scent Deeming takes up lodgings in the nearby town of Beverley under the name Harry Lawson passing himself off as a retired sheep farmer from Queensland living on fifteen hundred pounds a year now that makes him a millionaire in today's money we've seen this before Simon the ant whistle case English guy arrives in America rents an expensive house tells everyone he's due a load of money from the government when he's actually out of work and owed nothing it was all a deception it's reasonable to speculate that this pot of gold coupled with Deeming's silver tongue is what bowls Helen Matheson the 21 year old daughter of Deeming's landlady clean off her feet Deeming bigamously married nelly as she was affectionately known on the 18th of February 1890 almost nine years to the day since he married Marie James in Tranmere a port city on the opposite side of the country what is it they say about sailors having a girl in every port yeah Fred Deeming or Harry Lawson as i should call him is the living proof I’d like to take a moment now to compare Jack The Ripper’s timeline with Frederick Deeming’s [Music] Jack The Ripper murdered his five victims Marianne Nichols Annie Chapman Elizabeth Stride Catherine Eddoes and Mary Jane Kelly between August and November 1888. this was around the time when Deeming was supposedly in South Africa pulling off his diamond mine scan it would take three weeks to travel by steamship from Liverpool to cape town so did Deeming allow himself a three month stopover in the east end of London indulging in a killing spree before continuing his sea voyage well I’m not well versed in the finer details of the Ripper case but first impressions the Ripper was killing sex workers and targeting them Deeming is more of a traveller who lays on the charm and forms relationships with women I’d need to see something more than we just don't know where he was during the period of the white chapel murders so let's leave white chapel and travel the 200 and something miles north east to hull because after a honeymoon with Helen Matheson Deeming disappears and promptly leaves for Uruguay the police are waiting for him when he docks in Montevideo and arrest him for another swindle this time at a jewellers in hull he used forged checks to get 286 pounds worth of jewellery that's getting on for forty thousand pounds in today's money Deeming is charged with obtaining goods by false pretences and extradited back to England where he gets a nine-month prison sentence he spends November 1890 to july 1891 as a guest of her majesty in whole jail that's impressive work but why Uruguay the British had good relations with Uruguay didn't they something to do with negotiating independence from Brazil yeah correct the Uruguayan connection is curious let's come back to it later it's the legal process that's impressive and how it was communicated in time to arrest him off the boat this must have used the latest cutting edge technology but we're not talking about satellite communication we're talking about a telegraph cable along the ocean floor i wonder if the boat he sailed on was the one that laid the cable a few years before anyway he received his first Six O’clock Knock and his first spell in jail prison does different things to people it's all about survival and i guess Deeming had already shown he could survive it's just could he survive in one place he's seen violence and odd behaviour in his childhood in response he became adept at travelling and assuming different identities psychologically those four walls of a Victorian jail must have tested his character to the limit you mentioned Deeming's state of mind eventually he would say that he suffered a severe attack of brain fever while on a voyage and a hospital in Calcutta confirmed this many contend that he never quite recovered on several occasions he's noted to have committed crazy acts claiming afterwards that his mother had told him to do it from beyond the grave we also know that he had at some point contracted syphilis the disease he said caused him to have epileptic seizures and psychotic episodes or those are my words Deeming referred to it all as brain disease Jacques are you familiar with the 20-point Hare PLCR checklist you mean the so-called psychopath test yes I’ve read John Ronson's  great book of the same name I’ve been ticking off a few boxes against Deeming's behaviour and so far I’ve got item one glibness and superficial charm he had that in spades item two grandiose sense of self-worth passing himself off as a wealthy farmer and a big shot on the SS Yumna compulsive lying item four item five cunning and manipulative item 11 promiscuous sexual behaviour item 12 early behavioural problems item 17 many short-term marital relationships i think it's fair to say that even with cursory analysis of the evidence Frederick Bailey Deeming scores highly on the psychopath test he may be a psychopath but he is not as he steps blinking into the sunshine of that july morning in 1891 a killer that is about to change [Music] Deeming headed to the Liverpool area settling in a hotel in the village of Rainhill on the opposite side of the River Mersey from Birkenhead he's now using the name Albert Williams a mysterious woman almost certainly his wife Marie who appeared at the hotel was explained away as his sister who was visiting her brother on her way to foreign parts Deeming as Albert Williams took a lease on Denham villa a house in rain hill on behalf of a certain colonel brooks however Deeming himself took up residence a woman and several children who came to stay were again dismissed as his sister and her children visiting since returning home Jacques this looks like another opportunity for the Six O’clock Knock do you agree what would you have done if someone had come to you with suspicions about the mysterious Mr Williams well that is exactly what often happens in today's policing it just needs someone to ask the questions the property at Denham villa has been obtained by deception whether it needed some due diligence by the estate agent or a suspicion by a third party any criminal deception must prove dishonesty the words he used his conduct and the facts of obtaining the lease are not fully clear but his false name is a good start for 10. i would have been very interested in what he was up to well shortly afterwards Deeming complained that the drains at Denham villa were defective and the kitchen floor needed to be replaced he closely and personally supervised the work at the same time as managing the kitchen floor project Deeming started courting Emily Mather the daughter of a rain hill shopkeeper Emily married Deeming masquerading as Albert Williams on the 22nd of September 1891. two months later in November using the name Albert Williams Deeming took his new wife to Australia they arrived in Melbourne where Deeming giving the name Droon rented the house owned by John Samford on Andrew Street it's Christmas time according to the author chris ray the last person to see Emily alive was a passer-by by the name of Louisa Atkinson Wray told a tv documentary Louisa’s statement refers to a hearing an argument and then a conversation that she had with Emily Emily said to her it'll be all right soon and Louisa advises her to leave the house unfortunately Emily didn't take her advice Deeming hits Emily repeatedly over the head fracturing her skull and slashes her throat he buries her body under the hearthstone in the second bedroom before fleeing it soon became clear that the murder was premeditated the Victoria police quickly traced the ironmonger who'd sold Deeming cement they traced the other passengers on the ship that brought Mr Williams and his wife to Australia many of the passengers said Williams was obnoxious but he treated his wife in a loving and considerate manner Mr Williams description was cabled to other police forces it was the technology of the telegraph you know the internet of its day that made this possible distance was no barrier to the investigation it was also the telegraph that allowed newspapers around the world to jump on the story and start speculating about a connection with Jacques the Ripper it was a discovery made by the police in England that raised the speculation to fever pitch officers went to Denham villa in rain hill they lifted the newly laid kitchen floorboards and set to work on the fresh concrete underneath they found five bodies Marie Deeming and her four children Bertha age 10 Mary 7 Sydney who was five and Martha Lily who was 18 months this article about the discovery appeared in at least 10 British newspapers the first body removed was that of a boy aged about five wearing a striped shirt and his head wrapped in old linen upon removal of the old linen a wound on the throat was discovered cut so deep the head was almost severed the body of a seven-year-old girl was removed next her throat having also been cut and the head almost severed from the body the body of a woman was next her throat was cut a baby girl was also found and a fourth child only bertha the eldest had been strangled the murders and burials had apparently occurred on or about the 26th of july 1891. so this was while Deeming as Albert Williams was charming a local girl and his next victim Emily Mather meaning that the murder of his family in rain hill had gone undetected for eight months it seems incredible that Emily's father did not conduct some due diligence on his prospective son-in-law he'd given his daughter away to a con man with a hidden past who'd murdered his previous family right under his nose and then waved goodbye to her as they set sail for Australia Marie's sister Martha was married to Deeming's brother Alfred they lived in Birkenhead Deeming had led his brother and sister-in-law to believe that Marie and the children were on holiday in Brighton Deeming made several visits to Birkenhead to reassure Martha that her sister and the children were well surely between the family they distrusted him not enough to raise the alarm it seems Gurvich and Wray found the detection of the murders was obstructed by Deeming's lease on Denham villa which stipulated the house should not be sold or re-led for six months because of the imminent arrival of colonel brooks and or Deeming sister the lease also allowed Deeming to re-concrete the kitchen floor clever neither was ever going to arrive as neither existed or were buried under the floor i wonder what finances were behind this lease i suppose if it had been paid in full everyone's happy if it wasn't and the money dried up maybe questions could have been asked earlier Jacques were opportunities missed here what would happen in a modern investigation surely there'd have been some concern for the welfare of the children at least you would have hoped so wouldn't you that said we still hear of cases now where people disappear and no one presses the alarm button we must accept that in the 1880s there was not the same kind of safeguarding responsibility by public services in fact there were no public services that said the local constable had considerable authority I’m sure that appropriate enquiries would have been made a telegram to Brighton police at least i get the impression from what you've said Simon that this was the golden age of travel people were jumping on trains and boats and exploring the world everyone was grabbing the chance to move to a new town or city as a result people were getting away with murder [Music] in the same month march 1892 as the inquest into the rain hill murders a similar hearing is getting underway in Melbourne the Australians are in fact a step ahead the inquest hears a man answering Mr Williams description had auctioned a variety of household goods possibly wedding presents in the city in early January 1892. at this time he was staying at the cathedral hotel on Swanston street registered as Mr Duncan it later transpired that Deeming had also written an affectionate letter as Albert Williams to Mather's mother several days after Mather's murder Deeming had found time to approach halt's matrimonial agency as Duncan wishing to meet a young lady with matrimonial intentions he'd also found time to swindle a local Melbourne jeweller time to pay the cathedral hotel a visit ah too late Deeming or Duncan or Williams or whoever he says he is is long gone he's adopted another alias Baron Swanson and boarded a ship bound for Sydney during the two or three days of the voyage and in Sydney Deeming meets and courts a woman called Kate Roundsville after a whirlwind romance Kate accepts the Baron’s proposal of marriage using forged testimonials Deeming has obtained a position at a mine at southern cross and Kate agrees to follow him to western Australia the smooth talking baron is off again boarding a ship boasting about his wealth and making overtures to genteel young women he settles in at southern cross and writes to Kate don't keep me waiting dear if you love me half as much as i love you you would not keep me waiting a day it is Monday the 8th of February 1892. 3 000 kilometres away in Melbourne the police telegraph operator is tapping out the Victorian equivalent of an APB the western Australia police cable back we have information about a man fitting your description Deeming strolls to the mailbox with another love letter to Kate he's probably smirking according to some sources he'd already ordered the cement little does he know that the telegraph wires along the road beside him are humming with messages that will send him to the gallows it's incredible to think isn't it this telegraph communication was only a few years in existence i have to say from my experience the police are not always at the forefront of communication technology we are always playing catch up with the commercial sector when i started my career in 1985 we used old dilapidated typewriters to prepare forms each police station had a teleprinter that we weren't trusted to operate it used to rumble into life periodically clicking and worrying as the important messages arrived we even received secure messages on those old tic-tac machines these are exactly how those early telegraph messages were received that led to Deeming's arrest again the machine would start up making the ticker ticker sound a paper tape would emerge from the machine leaving a pile on the floor the tape was about two centimetres wide and it had holes punched into it this contained the coded message then a trained member of staff had to feed the tape into another machine that would encode it and print out the report these things were still in use 30 years ago the baron was arrested at southern cross on the 12th of march 1892 he began by denying he was Deeming nevertheless in his possession were some of Emily Mather's belongings including her prayer book the game was up news of the rain hill murders had reached Australia by the time Deeming was tried for Emily Mather's murder Deeming's lawyer Alfred Deakin mounted a plea of insanity he also brought up the impact of newspaper coverage of Deeming's alleged crimes on the jury for his part Deeming refused to accept Emily was dead and stuck to a story about her running off with another man the jury went out they were back within the hour guilty on all counts Deeming was sentenced to hang Deeming spent his last days writing poetry and his autobiography he was hanged at Melbourne's Swanston street jail at a minute past 10 on the morning of the 23rd of May 1892 his autobiography was burnt [Music] we can't leave the case of Frederick Bailey Deeming without tackling the white chapel connection was Deeming Jack The Ripper a lot of people think so in 2012 a discovery channel documentary dark history Australia's Jack The Ripper looked at the evidence the investigator was none other than Robin Nappa one of Jacques's contemporaries in serious crime detection if Deeming was behind bars during the white chapel murders it explains why he's never been properly investigated Ripper enthusiast Mike Covel has researched Deeming’s stint in prison here at Hull jail northern England is this still the same building the same place external features are very much the same the original clock tower can still be seen mike tells me Deeming ended up in jail after being convicted of fraud under the name harry Lawson [Music] he'd been tracked down in South America and extradited to the united kingdom the question is when this is from September 1890 and on the 26th you can see under the alias of harry Lawson he's admitted to the whole borough jail this proves Deeming wasn't jailed until two years after the Ripper murders but could he have been jailed under another alias do we know how many names mike that Deeming was using around about this time in the region of about 20 different earlier I’ve been able to search criminal registers of inmates and today none of his aliases have ever appeared um in jails prior to this other than when he was in Australia it shatters the myth that Deeming was in jail during the Ripper murders he was free to stalk the streets after all white chapel was near the docklands in London Napa has established Deeming was a seafarer and therefore likely to have known the area but was he there at the time of the murders on one of his voyages early in the 1880s he jumped ship in Sydney within a year he'd been jailed for theft and by 1887 declared bankrupt and jailed again for perjury at the beginning of 1888 it seemed Deeming left Australia for cape town where he continued his life of theft and fraud [Music] but if Deeming was in South Africa in 1888 i need to prove he was back in England by the time the Ripper murders began in august of that year this is a report that claims that Deeming arrived in Birkenhead Liverpool in 1888 and if this is correct it's very important because he places Deeming in England at the time of the Ripper murders the documentary tries to claim that Deeming was in London during the three months of 1888 when Jack The Ripper struck all this comes from information after Deeming is tried in Australia now don't get me wrong Deeming is one of many persons of interest however it quotes his sister-in-law from Birkenhead she suggests he made trips to London this is the same Martha who also believed her sister was in Brighton when she was in fact buried under the floor a few miles down the road the documentary then mentions what it claims to be an eyewitness who puts Deeming not just in London but in white chapel no less this witness comes forward after Deeming's arrest and on seeing his photograph she claims to recognize him after three years as the man who she knew at the time of one of the murders and his name wait for it was Lawson it's very difficult to judge how reliable this eyewitness was bear in mind that reporting may also have included the use of Lawson as one of Deeming's false names what about the other similarities Jacques the Ripper used knives and an axe so apparently did Deeming is that just a coincidence what do you think Jacques i think that the Victorians had a fascination with the macabre and the gruesome whilst the documentary makes for interesting viewing it tries to reinvestigate the Ripper case using modern forensic techniques it plays on the fact that a knife was used by Deeming and the Ripper well bladed weapons and the odd strangulation were the most reported homicides this was mainly because coroners could hardly claim that it wasn't murder don't forget that in 19th century Britain homicides were under reported and misidentified this was partly due to the cost magistrates had to pay for inquests and often withheld the coroner's fee if they felt a hearing was unnecessary however it's also true that coroners themselves lack the medical or forensic skill to decipher marks of violence or foul play it seems only the savage murders got full attention you only have to research 19th century murders to find that many involve bladed weapons if we are to consider Deeming as a credible suspect we have to acknowledge that he killed and mutilated five women who were strangers to him he then reverts to his life of fraud theft and bigamy before meticulously planning to murder his wife and family three years later it's a huge change of modus operandi okay in 1988 the FBI created a criminal profile of Jacques the Ripper it said that the Ripper would be a white man aged between 28 and 36 years old Deeming was 35 at the time of the Ripper murders he'd come from a family with a domineering mother just like Deeming he'd probably have had venereal disease we know Deeming had syphilis there'd be a family history of mental illness Deeming's father spent time in a lunatic asylum plus credible Ripperologists believed the killer was also a seafarer just like Deeming in the documentary Robin Nappa concludes that all the evidence from my work points to Deeming being Jacques the Ripper and for many years the death mask of Deeming was shown to visitors of New Scotland Yard as that of Jacques the Ripper today it's held in the famous black museum correlation or coincidence what do you think Jacques I’ve seen profiles by criminologists over the years they have their place in unsolved cases but i find that they tend to play safe if they don't they're often found to get things wrong let's go through them then the Ripper was a white man aged 28 to 36 years old and Deeming was 35 at the time this was based mainly on the eyewitnesses so it's probably accurate but not remarkable we've seen the domineering mother angle many times the green bicycle case had a hint of that too over the years this is reasonably accurate but again not remarkable venereal disease this was rife in society in those days sexual health was not a priority particularly within sex workers true Deeming had syphilis anyone leading a promiscuous and transient lifestyle like his would be lucky not to a family history of mental illness a reasonable assumption but the term covers a wide subject and interpretation maybe we're hearing modern day echoes of a Victorian media frenzy you know an early example of my trade journalism using electronic communications to spread a story that never really was who cares it sells so all the papers jump on the bandwagon and to hell with the truth the original fake news to quote another mass murderer if you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough it will be believed that's Adolf Hitler writing in Mein Kampf 33 years after Deeming went to the gallows a master manipulator of the wire-less mass communication medium that would replace the telegraph of course Deeming and his contemporaries could not have foretold the events that would engulf the world in the opening decades of the 20th century at the time the very idea that Deeming had masqueraded as a member of the respectable classes was a middle-class imposter who'd hoodwinked the gentility was treated with almost as much indignation in the press as his actual crimes so Jacques what do you think was Deeming's motive for the denim villa murder slaughtering his wife and children including an 18 month old baby and burying their bodies under the kitchen floor Deeming's defence for murdering Emily Mather was insanity but that was an attempt to save him from the hangman's noose not an explanation for the crime remember Deeming rambled in court about Emily having left him and still being alive somewhere so was he demented by syphilis when he killed his victims those who observed Deeming in prison say he was incapacitated by syphilitic fits they left him in a catatonic state perhaps it was jealousy that drove him to kill his first wife and the children were all the children hits an examination of the dates when he was in Birkenhead makes that look unlikely but the dates aren't necessarily reliable and Deeming was coming and going under 20 aliases perhaps he'd inherited his father's temper a rage so consuming that when the red mist came down he lost all control except in Frederick's case to quote Polonius in hamlet though this be madness yet there is method okay let's look at bigamy which became a criminal offence in 1861 punishable by up to seven years in prison witnesses told the denim villa inquest that Marie knew about Deeming's bigger mismarriage to Helen Matheson Deeming scholar Mike Covel tells us what happened in his book Frederick Bailey Deeming: Jack The Ripper Or Something Worse, Deeming had just conned Reynoldson’s out of a load of jewellery he'd booked a ticket for the next day to South Africa from Southampton he took the next train from hull station and Hellen or nelly went home nelly arrived back in Beverley upset and distressed at her estranged husband's vanishing act but little did she realize that things were about to get worse for in Beverley the real Mrs Deeming was waiting Marie Deeming had received word from her husband that he had married nelly and for her Marie to deny that she was his wife if the police should call which seemed to have motivated Marie to seek out nelly in Beverley Marie duly informed nelly that she was the real wife of Frederick Bailey Deeming and told nelly that Deeming had an alias Lawson the two women decided to tell the police about the bigamist known as Lawson or Deeming which may have been a godsend to the whole police who were already on the trail of the fraudster after the check bounced at Reynoldson’s so Deeming blamed Marie for blowing his cover and spent nine months in prison plotting his revenge maybe Deeming's first wife had known about the frauds but bigamy was the last straw and her loyalty ceased did he lure Marie and their children to the house in Rainham with the express intention of silencing her forever was murdering the children necessary to establish the lie that they'd gone abroad prosecutions for bigamy were rare in Victorian England but who knew what was going on the mind of mad Fred if this was the motive it shows a high degree of planning preparation and cold-blooded callousness then there's Emily Mather was she killed because she looked at another man the wrong way these weren't crimes of passion Deeming planned the murders meticulously over a period leading up to the killings mental illness or syphilis could have made him paranoid but he clearly knew what he was doing mad or not his crimes were premeditated first the method then the madness was there a catalyst that turned Deeming from suave to savage alcohol is often to blame was Deeming the demon no more than a violent drunk it could be the most likely explanation of all [Music] the flickering shadows softly come and go so what was Deeming up to Simon you've been doing some more digging haven't you you know how investigators say follow the money i began wondering how Deeming funded his lifestyle with no obvious means of support i mean he posed variously as a millionaire and a member of the aristocracy he was supposedly involved in a diamond mine swindle but then he resorted to passing false checks at a jewellers to fund his jaunt to Montevideo that destination struck me as odd it was outside the British empire previously Deeming stuck to Australia South Africa and India is there another connection i think I’ve found one go on horse racing Montevideo is one of the main centres of horse racing in South America oh it's also a port city Calcutta Cape Town and Melbourne all of them well known in the world of horse racing all of them visited by Deeming and all of them ports Beverley near the port of Hull has a race course and was linked by railway to York and Thirsk you've guessed it towns with race courses and near Birkenhead there's Haydock Park and of course Aintree the home of the grand national new walk in Beverley where Deeming took up lodgings with Helen Matheson and her family is a stone's throw from Beverley racecourse after he married Helen in February 1890 they honeymooned in the south of England was this to coincide maybe with the Goodwood festival Glorious Goodwood a high point in the horse racing calendar since 1802 are you suggesting that Deeming was a compulsive gambler it would account for his unusual income pattern i think it's more likely that Deeming started off picking pockets at race courses and graduated as an accomplished con artist using his patter and aliases to swindle the wealthy and that connection between Britain and Uruguay there have been English-speaking punters at the hippodrome in Montevideo precisely and horse racing was notoriously corrupt in the 19th century the journalist Robin Oakley has written about the dark world of Victorian horse racing saying that in the 1860s a search party was required to find an honest jockey trainer or owner an environment that must have suited a high rolling bottom feeder like Fred Deeming yeah exactly and he made sure he was always near a port or a railway station for a quick getaway if that's what he was up to it's no wonder he carried weapons in case his marks caught up with him it's worth noting if Deeming had been born 50 years earlier he wouldn't have been able to do any of this the second half of the 19th century was a time of massive social economic and technological change railways and steamships made long-distance travel possible the Suez canal opened in 1869 the newspapers that created Deeming the demon oh and Jacques the Ripper flourished after the repeal of the newspaper tax in 1855. printing was mechanized journalists used typewriters invented in 1868 as well as the electric telegraph there was the telephone rural families with marketable skills like the Deemings moved from the countryside to rapidly expanding towns like Birkenhead Birkenhead's population of less than 1 000 in 1801 rose to over 33 000 by 1851 and 157 000 by 1901 and the same thing is happening today in newly emerging economies rural to urban migration is fuelling the growth of mega cities like Guangzhou Shanghai Jakarta and Mumbai Deeming was a new kind of criminal he emerged as a parasite adapting and exploiting his fertile host in the same way that cyber criminals have emerged to exploit the virtual world of today it's fitting that the technology of the times which enabled Deeming was ultimately his undoing where was Deeming at the time of the Ripper murders august to November 1888. as far as we know he was in South Africa we do know he returned on the Yumna the following autumn November 1889 his father's death was registered in that quarter so it's possible Frederick was returning for the funeral what we don't know are his movements in between did he visit great Britain under yet another alias during the intervening period if so was he in the east end of London if he was he had opportunity but did he have a motive we've heard how Deeming's father suffered from mental illness Deeming himself had syphilis and had been hospitalized in Calcutta with brain fever did this give him a Jekyll and Hyde personality smooth tongued one minute a violent monster the next well from what we know about his relationship with Emily Mather that might be the case did Deeming blame prostitutes for giving him syphilis an incurable disease before the advent of antibiotics was he seeking revenge the Ripper's fourth victim Catherine Eddowes had the tip of her nose cut off some historians say this was to mark her out as a prostitute and a carrier of syphilis then there are the weapons when he was arrested in western Australia Deeming was carrying knives and a tomahawk style axe similar weapons according to contemporary investigators to those used by Jacques the Ripper Deeming also bore a physical resemblance to the artist's impressions of the Ripper stocky square jawed heavy brown he dressed in a similar fashion and wore a hat in the Yankee style which matches one description of the Ripper finally while awaiting execution in Melbourne Deeming supposedly confessed to a clergyman that he was Jacques the Ripper however the balance of his mind was so clearly disturbed at this time the confession if it occurred was probably no more than delusional ramblings and the two killers had different modus operandi Jacques the Ripper attacked strangers appearing from the shadows escalating in savagery leaving his victims more and more mutilated Deeming had close relationships with his victims planning their murders and the disposal of their bodies to the last detail Jacques the Ripper left the remains of his victims where they died in plain view which leaves us with the victims the curtain call of the mutilated dead the bereaved and the deceived the misery the shame the denials the lost fortunes the poisonous secrets handed down through families Frederick Bailey Deeming was operating at the same time as Jack The Ripper. He wasn't Jack, but it was convenient for people to think he was they needed to know that Jacques had been caught that he was mortal and not a phantom something supernatural the quintessence of evil that was still out there somewhere Deeming was a psychopath in his own right one of the darkest characters associated with the white chapel murders who committed unspeakable acts and was hanged for one of them we hope you enjoyed this episode of the Six O’clock Knock we're on Spreaker and wherever you get your podcasts the scarlet thread is a good read like Mike Covel’s book it's a work of meticulous scholarship our thanks to the discovery channel for the clip we reviewed and as always our thanks to you our loyal listeners please do join us again soon for another Six O’clock Knock the Six O’clock Knock is presented by Simon Ford and Jacques Morrell and produced by Paul Bradshaw and is available on every major listening app please help us spread the word by giving us a five star review and telling your friends to subscribe.