Joseph Isaacs

Posted: November 27, 2009 in The Non-Rippers
It has always perplexed me why a great deal was made of the arrest of Joseph Isaacs after the murder of Mary Jane Kelly. Common belief holds that this arrest may have been in connection with the Whitechapel murders, however, Isaacs seems to have been merely a career criminal – at robbery and polygamy!
Joseph Isaacs, a Polish Jew, has been imprisoned by a Paris court for marrying ten ladies with money, one after the other, most of them being still alive.
Source: Marlborough Express, Volume XIII, Issue 1047, 31 July 1878, Page 7
A young Jew, Joseph Isaacs by name, was charged recently at the Lambeth Police Court with the commission of an extensive robbery in Melbourne. Mr. Asher Barnett, the prosecutor, had for some time carried on a prosperous business as a merchant at Melbourne, and on his return with his family from that place, at the end of last year, he left his son in charge of his business. It was the custom of the young man (his son) to keep his cash and valuables locked up in an iron safe, and when he locked it up to place the key up the chimney as a place of security. The only person aware of the key’s being placed there was the prisoner, who had been an intimate friend of the family, and who was also the confidential friend and companion of young Barnett. Some days ago, on the arrival of the last Australian mail, Mr. Barnett received a letter from his son, stating that the prisoner had helped himself to the cash in the safe, and had started by the Dover Castle for England. On the receipt of this letter Mr. Barnett lost no time in communicating with the police, and, placing the letter in the hands of Sergeant Jackson, sent that officer to Plymouth, with instructions to take the prisoner into custody in case the Dover Castle put in there. The vessel, however, did not touch at Plymouth, but did at Portsmouth, where the prisoner landed, and at once proceeded to town by the night mail. Mr. Barnett, still on the alert, was at the Waterloo station on the arrival of the mail train, and on seeing the prisoner gave him into custody, when the property above described, and which he said was his own, was found upon him. Mr. Lewis, who appeared for the prisoner, contended at some length, and with much ingenuity, that the magistrate had no jurisdiction in this matter, and cited cases in support of his argument. Mr. Yardley, however, proceeded with the case. The policeman who arrested the prisoner gave evidence to that effect, and that he had found the property on him. A curious turn was given to the case by the fact that the prisoner had been engaged to the prosecutor’s daughter. A letter which she had received from him was produced. In this he said that as soon as he could procure the means he should return to London, and "make his dear Rosa happy." Mr. Lewis. – Well, he has obtained the means, and returned to London to make the young lady happy, and I should not be at all surprised if this case were to end in a breach of promise of marriage. (Loud laughter.) Mr. Yardley was of opinion that the case was one in which the parties complaining should have some time allowed to them to make out a case if they could, and remanded the prisoner to a future day, but at the same time consenting to take his own recognisances in £500 to appear on the day appointed. – Dial, Oct. 5.
Source: The Argus, Friday 21 December 1860, Page 5
  1. John Shrimski says:

    Mr Asher Barnett was my g-g grandfather

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