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Fogelma

The only known source of information on the "Fogelma" suspect is a single article published in the Empire News of 23 October 1923. The article weaves an elaborate story around a Norweigan sailor, originally from Arendal, who was committed to a lunatic asylum in Morris Plains, New Jersey, in 1899. He was subject to fits of insanity. According to a source at the asylum Fogelma "muttered of scenes and incidents that connected him clearly with the atrocious crimes of 1888." The patient's sister, Helen Fogelma, had also found press clippings in her brother's trunk, all describing the Whitechapel murders. Both Scotland Yard and the local New York City police were alerted, but according to the article the issue was allowed to lapse. Fogelma died at the asylum in 1902.

Is there any truth to this account?

Morris Plains Lunatic Asylum still exists. Today it is called Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital. According to their archivist they have no record of any patient by the name of Fogelma. Inquiries sent to the New-York Historical Society indicate that 324 East 39th Street (block 944, lot 40) - the location at which Fogelma allegedly lived upon his arrival in New York - was owned by "Geo Jardine et al.", and possibly housed an organ manufactory. The NYHS was unable to trace the Reverend J. Miosen, who allegedly took Fogelma's death-bed confession. Similar searches for Helen Fogelma and Olga Storsjan come up empty.

As things stand there is no outside evidence to corroborate the story told by the Empire News. The name "Fogelma" does exist, though it is exceedingly rare. It does appear to be of Scandinavian origin.


Related pages:
  Fogelma
       Message Boards: Fodelma 
       Press Reports: Empire News - 23 October 1923 
       Ripper Media: Jack the Ripper: A Suspect Guide - Fogelma