www.thomasbondfrcs.com
www.thomasbondfrcs.com

Torsos

Above- Battersea Bridge from Albert Bridge

In June 1874, the remains of an unnamed woman were found in the river at Putney. In March 1880 a boy was found in the Thames at Battersea, he had been beheaded by his mother, who had also drowned his baby sister.

If anywhere could be classed as 'Torso Central' it would be Chelsea Reach, the area between the Albert and Victoria (now Chelsea) Bridges. Chelsea Embankment is on the north side, Battersea Park on the south. Parts of bodies showed up there in 1873,1887 and 1889. Elizabeth Jackson, the 1889 victim was said to have slept in the park at one time. She was also seen by her mother in Queens Street (now Royal Hospital Road) shortly before her death. Queens Street runs north-east from Chelsea Embankment. An arm from the Whitehall victim was found about 150 yards to the east of Victoria Bridge in 1888. Pieces found in the park and in the garden of the Shelley house (north bank) indicate that the perpetrator had actually been present as opposed to the parts in the river which, it could be argued, drifted on the tide. Bond gave evidence in a case in October 1887 in which a baby was left to die in Battersea Park by her mother, and again in an infanticide case in December 1887 where the child was hidden in a cellar. Of the 25 discoveries mentioned by Trow in The Thames Torso Murders that were found along the Thames, 6 were along Chelsea Reach,12 in all between the Battersea and Westminster Bridges. There were 3 further parts including a random foot plus the 1874 body to the west of Battersea Bridge. A girl was found in the river at Nine Elms, Battersea on the same day as the first parts of the 1873 torso were found in almost the same spot. Part of the Rainham torso was found at Temple Pier on 5th June 1887, 100 yards from King's College, where Bond studied in the 1860s and about a mile from his home.

Elizabeth Jackson's body parts began showing up on 4th June 1889.

Lower part of abdomen at Horselydown, left leg and thigh off Battersea, upper part of body in Battersea Park, neck and shoulders off Battersea, liver near Nine-Elms, right foot and part of leg at Wandsworth, left leg and foot at Limehouse, buttocks and bony pelvis off Battersea, right thigh on Chelsea Embankment, left arm and hand at Bankside. Some of the remains were found in an undergarment with the name L.E. or E.L. Fisher, depending on which report you read.(Bond's eldest daughter was Lucy Elizabeth).

Elizabeth is said to have 'constantly promenaded' and at one time slept in the park having found a way in after the gates were locked for the night. She was also, at one time, sleeping rough on the Thames Embankment (probably Chelsea, opposite the park) according to Trow. The police dismissed the suggestion that she was the victim of an abortionist. Her sister Mary, had seen her in Brompton and she had been out all night. She was also seen in Queens Street.

In the 1871 census Bond's in laws lived between Brompton and West Brompton, in the ward of Brompton, in the ecclesiastical district of West Brompton. I don't know if they still lived there in 1889. In the 1891 census, Sophia, Louisa and Alice are in Ealing. 

Above - Chelsea Reach, looking West from Chelsea Bridge.

In 1884 body parts were found a mile or so north of the river in the Tottenham Court Road area, at Alfred Mews, Bedford Square and outside 33 Fitzroy Square. These were all within 0.7 miles of the outpatients part of the London Lock Hospital and within 0.6 miles of the workhouse at Cleveland Street. Berners Street runs (roughly) north from Dean Street (the Lock Hospital outpatients is at No.91) to Cleveland Street. In 1876 Bond was a director of the Chlor Alum Company. His fellow director George Brocklebank lived at 33 Bedford Square, so we can place Bond there with some certainty around that time. In the 1871 census Brocklebank lived at St.Katherines Dock, less than half a mile from Swallow Gardens, slightly more to Pinchin Street.

There was a skin hospital in Fitzroy Square, Bond was Surgeon to the skin department at Westminster.

Above- Albert Bridge from Battersea Park

Above- Chelsea Bridge from Battersea Park

Dear Boss

The Physic Garden on Chelsea Embankment is the second oldest botanical garden in Britain. The Worshipful Society of Apothecaries had rented the land from 1673 and after Sir Hans Sloane had bought it he leased it to them in perpetuity for £5 a year. Sloane's collections formed the basis of the British and Natural History Museums in London and he also spent 16 years as President of the Royal College of Physicians from 1719. The garden is about 200 yards to the west of Shelley House where part of Elizabeth Jackson was discovered in 1889, the main entrance being in Queens Street.

Bond was admitted Licentiate of the Society of Apothecaries (LSA) in 1866, so he became a qualified pharmacist. Apothecaries Hall, where Bond sat his exams is about 150 yards from 5 New Bridge Street, which was, in 1888 the address of the Central News Agency. Bond's connection to both sites in his past may have carried an emotional significance for him.   

 

The Great Eastern Hotel

On 27th February 1885 Bond gave a speech to the Provident Surgical Appliance Society at the Great Eastern Hotel in Liverpool Street. Bond was surgeon to the Great Eastern Railway and it's not unlikely meetings were held on a regular basis over a number of years at the hotel. Bishopsgate police station is about 100 yards away. All of the C5 plus the attacks on Smith, Tabram, Millwood, McKenzie and Coles happened within a mile of the hotel, Pinchin Street slightly more. Millers Court and Whites Row were the nearest, at about 500 yards away.

The Provident Surgical Appliance Society was based at Finsbury Circus, half a mile from Whites Row, to the east of Liverpool Street Station. Perhaps he had a key to the building.

Liverpool Street Station was the main London terminus for Great Eastern.Trains ran to the Norfolk coast from there, including to Great Yarmouth.

The first requirement in the suggestion of a potential suspect for any crime is that they have a demonstrable proximity to the area of said crime. In the case of Bedford Square and Norman Shaw North we can, with confidence, place Bond between 50 and 100 yards from both crime scenes in advance of those crimes. We know he was almost certainly passing Shelley House regularly in the 1870s and travelling along the embankment so again he is passing within yards of a number of crime scenes before the event. He knew those areas and had a connection to them. 

Eastney 8th July 1878

Bond was called on for his expert opinion when John Warrington was indicted for the murder of his wife at Eastney, Portsmouth. Eventually, it was decided that she had killed herself by cutting her own throat and Warrington was acquitted, but some of the evidence given by the participants is quite interesting. For instance, one of the witnesses went to the Warrington house immediately after the woman's throat was cut and was shown the knife used. He felt the blade of the knife and said to Warrington, 'you have a nice sharp edge here, Jack'.

All four doctors thought homicide was most likely, but there was an element of doubt. The other three doctors thought her throat was cut from left to right, but Bond says right to left. The wound had severed the windpipe, divided all the great arteries and cut into the 5th and 6th vertebrae by an eighth of an inch. The doctors discuss throat cutting, saying the lowness of the cut favours severing the arteries and that if both arteries were cut there would not be much spurting. It seems that Warrington was acquitted on the strength of his good character and the bad character of his wife. She had previously self harmed and threatened to cut her head off so the verdict went his way.

Mary Kelly's 5th and 6th vertebrae had also been cut into, and the 'Dear Boss' letter contains the line, 'my knife's so nice and sharp'. I believe this case was instrumental to creating the character we recognise as Jack The Ripper. Liz Jackson's head was removed at the 6th cervical vertebra.

The Richmond Murder 2nd March 1879

After Julia Thomas was murdered by Kate Webster, her remains were found at Barnes Bridge, 3.5 miles west of Putney Bridge. The pieces were put together and Bond painted a sketch of what was left of Mrs. Thomas.

Inspector Edward Shaw delivered a carpet bag to Bond (which he kept at home) containing a chopper, a lantern, a tin box, some buttons, some of the victims clothes and some charred bones.The hand bones were in the tin box. The head was found 131 years later, during renovation work to David Attenborough's house. Kate Eddowes's possessions included tin boxes and buttons, could they have once belonged to Mrs. Thomas and been left at the murder scene by Bond ?

Fake Doctors

Sometimes pornographers would claim to be connected to the Lock Hospital. In one case police raided a house and found evidence of subscriptions from 'men and women from every strata of society'.

There was a case in 1872 in which a Mr. Hamilton was summoned for using the title of 'Doctor', implying that he was registered under the medical act. It was the second time he had appeared in court, having been summoned by a Mr. Chandler, a Fellow of the Royal College Of Surgeons, who called himself a doctor though not entitled to do so, and was therefore summoned in turn by Mr. Hamilton. Chandler also applied for a summons against Hamilton for libel in a letter he'd written to the secretary of the Lock Hospital. Chandler lived in Berners Street, Soho. Could this case have influenced the author of the 'Dear Boss' letter to kill in Berner Street, Whitechapel ? 

William Yelverton Davenport was in trouble with the police a number of times, for violence, threats to kill and an attempt to marry bigamously which led to him being jailed for a year for perjury. In 1886 he was living at 72 Vincent Square, Westminster, when he appeared in court in connection with the death of George Wadley on Saturday 2nd October.

Wadley had gone to Davenport (who claimed he was registered as a medical student and appeared to have claimed the dispensary where he worked was owned by him) for treatment. Davenport claimed he was approved by the Royal College Of Surgeons but declined to say where his diplomas were.

Bond regarded Davenport's treatment of Wadley appropriate but wasn't impressed with his employer, who had filled in the death certificate without seeing Wadley before he died.

The case was in the papers over the next few days. A 'Ripper' letter dated 4th October 1888 was found outside 6 Vincent Square, with Berner Street mispelt as Berners Street. (see above)

The former Billingsgate Fish Market

Psychopathy

The motivations of serial murderers are usually fairly straightforward and although often extremely selfish and devoid of humanity, they are understandable up to a point.

H.H.Holmes, John George Haigh and to some extent, Harold Shipman were clearly seeking financial gain. Jeffrey Dahmer wanted a sex slave. Many are rapists who kill, Duffy and Mulcahy, Levi Bellfield, Robert Napper, Ted Bundy and Gary Ridgway spring to mind. Coral Watts killed on the basis of a certain look in the eyes of his victims, presumably interpreted as aggression towards him.

Usually, if a murder has no obvious motive it is attributed to mental illness in the perpetrator, with voices directing the person to stab or push a random stranger in front of a train, for example.

In the case of Peter Sutcliffe, there is clearly a perverse sexual motive with a revenge theme for good measure. Apparently, he was once relieved of £5 whilst negotiating a transaction with a prostitute, but I think this would be secondary, a sexual deviant justifying his crimes.

Sutcliffe and others suffered head injuries and some were in comas before their behaviour took a downturn. Drug and alcohol addictions are also strongly implicated as precipitators of violence.

It has been proposed recently that there is a genetic component in the creation of a psychopath. Non-nurturing parents, weak mother-child bonding in early childhood, physical, psychological or sexual abuse have all been mentioned as factors in making a person that is totally self-centered and devoid of feeling for others. Brain scans show abnormal development in certain areas crucial to self-control.

Ted Bundy discovered that the woman he had been led to believe was his sister, was in fact his mother, his 'parents' were his grandparents.

Some were dressed as girls when they were little boys, such as Manson, Brudos and Toole. Manson's mum is said to have sold him for a jug of beer. 

Kemper's mother made him sleep in the basement, because she didn't trust him with his sisters and verbally abused and belittled him after her divorce from his father. He eventually killed her after apparently directing his anger at others over the years.

Many violent people are the progeny of prostitutes, alcoholics and drug addicts, and have suffered abuse in a disorganised, chaotic and often poverty stricken home.

Herbert Mullin killed people because he believed it stopped earthquakes. Richard Chase thought a Nazi crime syndicate was paying his mother to poison him.

Arthur Shawcross told stories portraying himself as a 'war hero' inflicting dreadful violence on defenceless civilians in the Vietnam war, although he actually spent the war in a civilian role.

Worryingly, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, a funny, charming and charismatic entertainer told similar tales of exacting revenge on his captors in WW2. As far as I'm aware Jay's only 'crime' was producing about 60 kids.

 

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