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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.

Joseph Isaacs

Isaacs, born in 1858 was a 30 year old Polish Jewish cigar maker, who had resided at Mary Cusins lodging house in Little Paternoster Row, Spitalfields, for 3 or 4 days. Cusins became suspicious of Isaacs after he was heard pacing the floor of his room all night. Another lodger, Cornelius Oakes, stated that Isaacs often changed his clothing and was heard to threaten violence to all woman over the age of seventeen. When he suddenly vacated his room after the murder of Mary Kelly, Cusins became even more suspicious. She took her suspicions to the police, who searched his room and found he had left behind a violin bow. The police, assuming Isaacs would return for the bow, asked Cusins to keep a look out for him.

On 5 December 1888 Isaacs returned for the bow, whereupon Cusins followed him. Isaacs went to Julius Levenson's pawnshop, and after distracting Levenson, stole a watch worth 30 shillings, and ran away. Isaacs was arrested the next day in Drury Lane (co-incidentally on the same day as Ripper suspect, Aaron Cohen) and taken under strong escort to Leman Street police station.

The newspapers believed the police had arrested Jack the Ripper, and overheard Inspector Abberline saying to one of his officers, 'Keep this quiet, we have got the right man at last, this is a big thing'. Isaacs was interviewed by Abberline, and must have given a satisfactory account of himself, as he was subsequently only charged with the theft of the watch. Isaacs was described as short in stature, with a black moustache, wearing an Astrakhan trimmed coat and appeared to fit the suspect described by George Hutchinson. This would offer an explanation as to why the police paid such attention to Isaacs, and why they believed they had such a strong suspect.

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Related pages:
  Joseph Isaacs
       Message Boards: Joseph Isaacs 
       Press Reports: Daily News - 15 December 1888 
       Press Reports: Daily News - 8 December 1888 
       Press Reports: Evening News - 15 December 1888 
       Press Reports: Evening News - 8 December 1888 
       Press Reports: London Evening News - 8 December 1888 
       Press Reports: Manchester Evening News - 10 December 1888 
       Press Reports: Morning Advertiser - 15 December 1888 
       Press Reports: Northern Daily Telegraph - 7 December 1888