Jack the Ripper
My theory is as follows.
When Bond attended Abraham Beviss Bond's funeral in Orchard Portman, Taunton in August 1873,
he began looking at one gravestone in particular. On it were the names of his great-grandparents, Thomas and Martha Bond, his grandparents, Abraham and Mary (nee Beviss) Bond, his great-uncle Thomas, his aunt Mary, and his uncle John, all of whom had died before he was born. His uncle John had died on 6th October 1802 aged only 8 months, his aunt at the age of 23 on 21st October 1824. He knew his grandparents had married in December 1800 and when he began to work it out it became apparent that his grandmother had conceived prior to taking her wedding vows, which may not have been unusual at the time, but 73 years later was viewed as deeply wrong. Bond, working with prostitutes at the time, viewed sex outside marriage as a sin.(Some puritanically minded people, even today, regard sex to be for procreation purposes only and this may have been Bond's attitude).
This realisation shattered all his illusions about his relatives and was in opposition to his strongly held beliefs. His grandparents were 'sinners', his grandmother a 'loose' woman, a deviant. His prosperity was the result of a 'shotgun wedding', he was descended from 'criminals'. He thought John and Mary's deaths were a punishment from God, an idea confirmed by the death of Abraham's daughter-in-law, Mary, in childbirth on 14th October 1873 aged 30. The shock left him embittered and he became further entrenched in his views on morality and righteousness.
Mary Kelly lived in Dorset Street. Mary Beviss was from Wambrook, Dorset. Abraham and Mary were married there on 11th December 1800, having obtained a licence in Orchard Portman on the 3rd.
Bond's mother died on 3rd December 1878. Around this time Bond supposedly acquired his property at Dunster. It's possible his mother was between him and an inheritance. (A letter dated 4th December 1888 was sent from Taunton).
Frances Hayes was admitted to Bethlem Royal Hospital in August 1873. The supposed cause of her insanity was given as 'uterine'. I believe this 'diagnosis' caused Bond to target the uteri of Chapman and Eddowes in 1888. The 1873 victim was killed around the 5th September, 9 days after Frances's admission. It is a possibility that Frances had turned to sex work to make her living or was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time and was picked up by the 'spy police'. This could have been the factor that enraged Bond to the point of murder. Perhaps Abraham took ill on hearing the bad news and Bond blamed Frances for his decline and the subsequent deaths of Mary, a few weeks later and Thomas in 1883.
Charles Hayes was sent to Bethlem on 31st July 1888, the 10th anniversary of the death of Bond's father, Thomas (the on switch?). Martha Tabram was killed 7 days later. It's fair to say her killer set out on the night of the 6th, the 15th anniversary of Abraham Beviss Bond's death. Charles had blood in his urine a week before he died on 21st September and I believe this is why Bond targetted Eddowes's kidney. Charles died after a series of fits and the 'Dear Boss' letter, received 6 days after his death, alludes to this. The murder of John Gill took place a day before the 5th anniversary of the death of Abraham's son, Thomas, 30th December 1888 (the off switch ?).
The appointment of Bond as Surgeon to A Division of the Metropolitan Police came about largely because Bond's practice was nearest to Scotland Yard. I understand his position changed in January 1888 and his income was affected. Charles's illness added to his problems and if he was in pain from his stricture at this time, morphine and insomnia would have further fuelled a potentially volatile mentality.
Under normal circumstances Bond's psychopathy was funnelled into lucrative, productive pursuits. In 1888 something went very wrong and he became psychotic, killing 'sinners' to atone for the 'sins' of his forbears and perversely playing games with names, locations and dates.
The Contagious Diseases Act was repealed in 1886 and this may have caused Bond to harden his attitude further against prostitution, the Rainham Mystery in 1887 perhaps being the result. There must be a possibility that Bond got wind of Warren's resignation and timed Kelly's murder to coincide with it. After Warren resigned, the intensity of the mutilations subsided and it is a commonly held belief that the murders stopped. I believe they continued in a less ferocious manner, see Mylett, McKenzie and Coles.
When Bond was asked for his opinion on the Ripper murders the police effectively handed him control of the investigation by bestowing the status of 'specialist' upon him. His word is the last word. Doctors Phillips and Brown had narrowed the field of suspects down considerably to men skilled in cutting up humans or animals. Bond, after preparing the ground with the denial that he is a medical man, first in the 24th September letter ('I am a horse slauterer': note the 'ill-educated' spelling to add authenticity) and second, in the 'Dear Boss' letter, cunningly wormed his way into the investigation, 'bettered' their assessments and produced a 'profile' which acted as a shield to deflect any suspicion away from him (Has he described himself ?). The Kelly murder was designed specifically to authenticate these denials and create the conditions whereby his statement that 'Jack' hadn't the skill of a butcher was believable, thus creating an 'unskilled' character for the police to pursue.
Because the police officials were somewhat in awe of him they swallowed it, and it has baffled everyone since, leading to many innocent people becoming suspects. Because of this deception, the suspect pool was massively expanded to include everyone in Britain, and the investigation dissolved in the face of the (now impossible) task. If they had interviewed every 'doctor' within, say, a 3.2 mile radius of Millers Court, Bond would have had some very uncomfortable questions to answer.
I like to think that Warren had seen something in Bond that he did not like, perhaps something in the graffiti rang a bell, that he was suspicious of him and that when he was brought into the investigation it was done in the hope of tripping him up or to observe him. It's a shame that his words were given such weight, and perhaps this was the only reason he was never caught.
Thomas Bond moved a heavy marble table and exited his bedroom via the window to fall 50ft to the ground below on 6th June 1901. He was obviously suffering, physically and mentally. He had taken morphine an hour before and is said to have been depressed, which is natural, I think, with chronic pain. He was lined up for an operation that would have been life-threatening in itself and he had threatened to 'blow his brains out (or jump out of the window)', which implies that he kept a gun at home in central London. Dr. Hibbert was informed that Charles Hayes threatened suicide and claimed to carry a loaded revolver for the purpose.
Dr John Norton gave evidence at the inquiry into his death and said he had taken morphine since August, had been in a couple of surgical homes and had fallen out with a nurse who tried to get him to stop taking the drug (she was dismissed). He said his illness would have eventually killed him though he was in no immediate danger, and admits that Bond wasn't as ill as he thought. He had septicaemia with growths, 'the like of which one would not see again in a lifetime'. But according to Plarrs it's a bit different, saying that riding 'irritated a slight organic contraction of the urethra and the spasm set up led to instrumentation in the hunting field or in the lavatory of a swaying railway carriage. A terrible vicious circle was established; the necessity for instrumentation, spasms and radiating pains, attacks of general pain, rigours and sweatings, relief by narcotics. Insomnia, even in middle life and overwork had tempted him. Morphia was employed too often'. At the post-mortem there was 'found to be inflammatory scirrhus of the prostate and urethra, no malignant disease'. His doctors are said to have advised against hunting but he took no notice of them. If we take Plarrs as accurate it was largely responsible for his suffering. So why do it ? Why is he driven to travel to the other side of the country, to do something so painful it causes him to kill himself, less than a year into his second marriage ? It's ironic that the man who wrote 'The Laws Of Health', drank, took morphine and regularly did something that caused such agony it eventually killed him. Presumably what they are saying is that he used a catheter and was addicted to morphine. His depression may have been caused as much by withdrawal as by the morphine itself. Perhaps he was travelling to Dunster to get stoned for the day, maybe he used opium dens in Limehouse. As for insomnia 'in middle life', he was 46/47 in 1888.
When Bond acquired his stricture is unknown. It's rare to be born with one and the most obvious cause would be a straddle injury from riding, but it could have been a childhood accident or botched operation. Another common cause is Venereal Disease which remains a possibility (William Acton wrote on prostitution in the 1870s and surveyed VD at Lock Hospitals. Cases of stricture were included and were sometimes fatal). Apparently morphine use can induce insomnia and urinary problems so it's possible that this was the cause as opposed to the symptom.
Bond seems to avoid his own bed, possibly because it was most painful in a prone position, but also possibly because he had poor control of his bladder. Bedwetting or nocturnal enuresis in adolescence has been mentioned in regard to sexual predators. He may have been visiting his uncle in 1858 for treatment for this problem.
Presenting the world with a bloody mess to look at and clear up was his final act.
His estate was worth over £22k in 1901, roughly £2.5 million in today's money.
Thomas Bond lived in central London from about 1862 to 1901. He can be placed living next door to Norman Shaw North, at Bedford Square, Chelsea Embankment and the Great Eastern Hotel prior to the crimes in question. In short, he is a pretty good fit geographically. He had access to the best surgical equipment and if you needed someone to remove a kidney in the dark, he might be a good choice. He had great knowledge of anatomy and pharmacy, which would have made him extremely dangerous if he wanted to be. He had, at one time, an intimate relationship with prostitutes at the Lock Hospital, spending years inspecting their genitalia for venereal disease, and getting to know their lifestyle, personal habits and character. To him they were 'the shame of humanity'.
It has been suggested that Kate Eddowes's facial injuries resemble end stage syphilis, which may have been the intention.
Bond had a hunting mentality and was said to travel overnight, possibly alone, to go who knows where ? He travelled across Europe after the Austro-Prussian war had ended, and went as far as Balmoral, Scotland, over 500 miles away, in Britain. He obviously enjoyed travelling on trains. It seems hunting and travelling were obsessions. He is said to have slept on in the train at Paddington and gone straight to work from there, so he seems to be quite energetic or driven.
The public Thomas Bond was a popular, highly competent, wealthy and successful family man. Almost everything he says is logical, sensible and to the point. He produced six children who went on to live their own successful lives. He rubbed shoulders with the aristocracy and was related to Knights and Dames. Is it possible that such a man could leave the comfort and security of his home, his family and servants to wander the streets in the dead of night killing the underclass ?
'By now you know that what I liked most was the hunt, the challenge of what the thing was. The killing for me was secondary. I got no rise as such out of it...for the most part. But the figuring it out, the challenge - the stalking and doing it right, successfully - that excited me a lot. The greater the odds against me, the more juice I got out of it'.
'Richard was bipolar and should have been taking medication to stabilise his behaviour, his sudden highs and lows' - Philip Carlo, author of 'The Ice Man: Confessions of a Mafia Hit Man'.
Louisa Dashwood was married to Thomas Nairne Imrie who was a minister in Dunfermline, Scotland. He died suddenly at the age of 52 after an apoplectic fit on 7th March 1895. Bond's sister-in-law, Louisa, died in the Brentford area between March and June 1899, aged 58, followed by her sister, Bond's first wife, Rosa, who died on 4th August 1899 at the age of 55. Bond was married to Louisa Nairne Imrie on 16th June 1900.
The Special Pleaders Lament
'Say Mary, canst thou sympathise With one whose heart lies bleeding',
Sir George Hayes was a 'man of infinite jests', he was also Bond's father-in-law and the lines above are from one of his poems. I won't push my luck with copyright, I just thought it worthy of attention, I rather like it. It's easily found on Google if you want to read the rest.
Thomas Bond helped tend to the victims of the Bishopstoke derailment in 1858. In 1891 the London and South Western Railway moved their carriage works from Nine Elms, Battersea to East Ley Farm, Bishopstoke. The locomotive works followed in 1909 and the town of Eastleigh grew around the railworks. I was born there at the end of the 1950s and bought my first flat in Eastleigh in 1986. It's a small world. I also played a very cold game of cricket at Eastney in the 1990s.