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 Jack the Ripper: A Suspect Guide 
This text is from the E-book Jack the Ripper: A Suspect Guide by Christopher J. Morley (2005). Click here to return to the table of contents. The text is unedited, and any errors or omissions rest with the author. Our thanks go out to Christopher J. Morley for his permission to publish his E-book.

Vanzetti's Suspects

On the evening of 18 October 1887 Mr P. Jose Vanzetti, an Italian, was standing with his wife and children on the harbour at Genoa, awaiting the arrival of the ship the Savoye, which was to take them to Brazil. While his wife and children wandered around the quay, Vanzetti began to listen to two men that he could overhear talking, one spoke, possibly with an English accent, and the second, he believed, with a bad Italian accent. They said, 'I have accompanied you this far. I have been to India and have done all that you wished, and have had more than enough of it already. I do not wish now to run my head against the English police, for believe me, London is not like India, as you know even better than I do. When you have ripped up two or three women, there will be the devil of a row and who knows how it will end'. Vanzetti said he was gripped by a strong curiosity to see what the men looked like. He went on to describe their appearance as, 'When seen once, would remain impressed for a lifetime'. He said the man, who spoke Italian, was short of stature, thin, very pale with a low forehead, small black eyes with black hair and moustache. He wore a long dark frock coat and a black glazed hat. The second man, who spoke English, was rather tall, large boned and stout with a high forehead, bushy eyebrows, prominent cheekbones and a large nose. He had no moustache, but whiskers of a light brown colour and two eyes, which when half closed, seemed to flash fire. He wore a long dark grey overcoat and a hard hat.

Vanzetti claimed his first thought was to go to the nearest police station, but this action would result in trouble, and delay his sailing. He went to Brazil, and forgot the matter, and was only reminded of it when he read of the Whitechapel murders in the newspapers.

Vanzetti waited almost two years before contacting the authorities with his intriguing story. Vanzetti was described as a person whom could be relied upon, and gave lessons in Italian and gymnastics in the neighbourhood of Sao Paulo. It is not known what action, if any, was taken, though Inspector Donald Swanson appeared to think the story was too vague and too much time, over 2 years had elapsed since the mysterious strangers were seen on the quay at Genoa.

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