If nobody believed in superstition it would be unable to hurt anyone
WARNING ABOUT THE TURIN SHROUD
COINCIDENCES CAN BE MISLEADING
A book called Jack the Ripper: Revealed and Revisited by
John Wilding has incredible relevance for those who insist that the Turin Shroud
is not a fake but dates back to the time of Christ and is actually Jesus' burial
cloth. This book was published by Express Newspapers, London, 2006. Nobody knows
for sure who the Ripper was but it is accepted that he killed four or five
prostitutes in London in 1888. The book claims that the Ripper was two men. JK
Stephen, tutor to Queen Victoria's son, and his friend posh Montague James
Druitt. Druitt however is supposed to have slain one woman. We have other ways
and means of knowing that this theory is totally untrue. It is too far fetched.
There is no reason to believe that the Ripper was anybody special or famous. He
was just an ordinary man who would draw no attention on the street.
After the murder of Catherine Eddowes, a piece of her
apron was found in a building at Goulston Street and above it on a wall the
words, "The Juwes are the men who will not be blamed for nothing" were chalked.
It was thought that the killer wanted to frame a Jew for the killings or was
admitting to being a Jew. The misspelling of Jews looks like an attempt to fake
illiteracy. Illiteracy is disproven by the accuracy of the rest of the
The book shows how the inscription matches the
handwriting of JK Stephen (page 191).
Also it is poetry for like Stephen's poems it is laid out
in iambic pentameter. However, as handwriting was largely standarised many
people wrote in similar styles.
Let us move on.
Suppose you have a word or sentence or piece of text. Any word or phrase that exactly reproduces the letters in another order is an anagram. If a word for example contains say two letter s, the anagram must also contain the two letter s. Not one or less. A person who produces anagrams or deciphers them is an anagrammatist. As wikipedia puts it, the goal of serious or skilled anagrammatists is to produce anagrams that in some way reflect or comment on the subject. Such an anagram may be a synonym or antonym of its subject, a parody, a criticism, or praise;
e.g. George Bush = He bugs Gore
Madonna Louise Ciccone = Occasional nude income or One cool dance musician
William Shakespeare = I am a weakish speller.
You will notice that these first class anagrams are
imperfect. George Bush bugging Gore was only a small part of what he did. The
Shakespeare one is clearly not about Shakespeare who was an excellent speller.
The Madonna Louise Ciccone anagram Occasional nude income isn't very good. It
doesn't make much sense and is a fragment of a sentence. One cool dance musician
is very good. All of them look a bit artificial. One cool dance musician
contradicts the fact that Madonna is not really an icon of dance music. The
anagrams all are a bit vague.
The Goulston Street Graffiti when turned into an anagram
rises so far above them that it seems that the Graffiti as written was intended
to be an anagram of the real message.
Shockingly, if you consider the Graffiti, as it is known,
to be an anagram you end up with a taunt to FG Abberline who was investigating
the murders. We get: F G Abberline. Now hate MJ Druitt. He sent the woman to
Hell (page 196). However there is no reason to accept the order of words that is
I would put the anagrammed message as "Now, F G Abberline
hate M J Druitt. He sent the woman to hell." This makes better sense than the
version in the book.
All of the letters have been used. None have been left
out or duplicated. Indeed this is extraordinary for it results in a sentence of
perfect English. The word Jews was certainly deliberately misspelled. Anybody
that was able to spell nothing should have been able to spell Jews. The word
Jews was just as important and well-known as the word nothing. If you created an
anagram and a sentence to hide it in you might have to misspell the sentence to
get the anagram to fit in.
You might object that the wording could be, "Now, hate M
J Druitt. He sent the woman to hell, F G Abberline". But the context would
determine the word order. The words and the context fitting so smoothly together
is just like a fingerprint that proves a criminals guilt.
We need to find a context to help us determine what the
order of words is - or to find if it is the order I have proposed.
The woman would have referred to the woman, Eddowes, to
whom the apron piece belonged.
She was a bad woman fit for Hell as she was a prostitute.
The graffiti was written to taunt so if it was an anagram
it might have been a taunt as well. The apron piece was another taunt and would
be taken to indicate who the woman was that was referred to.
The anagram taunts Abberline asking him to hate Druitt.
Abberline may have already hated the Ripper but it makes sense to taunt all the
The notorious Lusk letter which fakes illiteracy like the
Goulston Grafitti and declares itself to be "From hell" is the only Ripper
letter that many experts think could have been real. The anagram mentions hell
as does the letter. This might be coincidence or it might show common
authorship. The Lusk letter was about the Eddowes murder and a ginny kidney was
posted with it. The coincidences pile up as the anagram was also about Eddowes
and spoke of Hell.
All the letters in a sentence of 46 characters making a
perfect anagram that makes such sense by chance is extremely improbable. It
speaking of the murder of a woman fit for Hell and mentioning two proper names
and thus making sense in the context makes it so improbable that normally we
would have to say the anagram is intended.
Another coincidence which makes it more incredible is the
fact that M J Druitt was a talented teacher and well able to create the anagram.
The book gives anagrams of some Ripper letters from
Liverpool. But they consist of random names of people who had some involvement
in the case. They do not make sensible reading. When an anagram results in
randomness it is probably a contrived anagram that the puzzle-solver only
imagines was intended. Indeed, the "anagrams" are poor and impress upon one how
remarkable the Goulston Street anagram is and especially when it is merely 46
letters! The more letters the easier it would be to imagine anagrams. It gives a
wide scope for deriving stuff. An anagram of 46 letters that delivers up a
message that makes perfect sense in the context is nearly impossible but it
happened in this case. It was not a case of too few letters - an anagram would
not be hidden too well then - or too many but the right balance.
We seem to have proof that Druitt was the Ripper. An
anagram that makes perfect sense would be taken as intended. And the context
would be proof on its own that it was intended.
The problem is that Druitt is a Ripper suspect merely
because he committed suicide soon after the last Ripper murder. The evidence
shows that he could not have been the Ripper. Even the book we are looking at
does not accuse Druitt of killing Eddowes. It blames Stephen.
Another problem is that there is no evidence that an
anagram was intended. Miraculously, the anagram was not intended. And there is
no evidence that the Ripper really wrote the message even though he probably
did. He may have wanted to misdirect the police so that he could make his
What we have proven is that not everything that looks
like proof is proof. Not everything that looks miraculous is miraculous. Let us
bear that in mind as we study the Shroud.
Proof that anybody can work out is the strongest. Anybody
can see that the anagram seems to be there. We need machines and experts to tell
us that such and such a thing indicates that the Shroud is true. And they need
to convince us despite problems such as the man's hair being so tidy and hanging
down which would be impossible if he was hurriedly buried and lying down as
Jesus supposedly was according to the gospels. If you are going to believe the
Shroud evidence then believe that Druitt was the Ripper.
Fundamentalist Christians point to things such as Isaiah
writing that the earth was khug to indicate that the prophet knew from God that
the world was round and a globe as proof that the Bible is from God. The
Goulston Street Graffiti should make them less cocky.
The anagram is more impressive than any Old Testament
prophecy about Jesus. Its clearer and easier to interpret than the predictions
for a start. Its not a miracle so how could the prophecies be miracles? Yet
fundamentalist Christians are so prideful in stating that Jesus was spoken about
before he was even born!
Let the Ripper "anagram" remind us that no matter how
strange something is, it may not be a miracle and it may still be a fake. Shroud
fanatics take note!