Toastmaster Speech by Bill Baxter, DTM.


Charles Dodgson, who was better known by his pen name, Lewis Carroll, was a man of many talents during the latter part of the 19th Century. He was a famous author of children's and adult's fantasy, he was a scholar in the area of mathematics and logic (he wrote books on those subjects as well), he was a genius with anagrams (these are scramble word puzzles, only when you jumble the letters, they spell another word in the dictionary), and today in Scotland Yard, he is a murder suspect.....


Fellow Toastmasters, and honored guests....


The thing Lewis Carroll was most famous for, was his writing of Alice in Wonderland and Alice and the Looking Glass.  He came up with his main character, Alice, from the fact that he fell in love with a younger woman, whose name happened to be Alice. He also invented famous characters of British and Worldwide Folklore such as Tweedle Dee, and Tweedle Dum, The Walrus and the Carpenter, The Cheshire Cat<, and of course,  The Mad Hatter and The March Hare.  One of his characters which was geared more for adult readers was a prehistoric killer monster which prayed on harlots and beautiful women. He call this character The Jabberwocky.  In the Late 1880's. a similar monster in human form was lurking about the Streets of London, in a section of town called  White Chapel (which was one of London's slums in those days). He abducted harlots and dissected them with the same killing style, as that of the Jabberwocky Character.


A little over 100 years, after The White Chapel Murders, a University Professor, and Author by the Name of Dr. Richard Wallace,  was looking over one of Lewis Carroll's writings, and he claimed to have uncovered a passage which was chucked full of Lewis Carroll's Anagrams. This is the passage he was referring to and I'll read it to you. This is from Nursery Alice:


"So she wondered away, through the wood, carrying the ugly little thing with her. And a great job it was to keep hold of it, it wriggled about so. But at last she found out that the proper way was to keep tight hold of itself foot and its right ear".


When Wallace attempted to decode the passage, this is what he came up with:"

'"She wriggled about so! But at last Dodgson and Bayne found a way to keep hold of the fat little whore. I got a tight hold of her and slit her throat, left ear to right. It was tough, wet, disgusting, too. So weary of it, they threw up .' Signed, Jack the Ripper."


And so in 1896, Richard Wallace published his theory, that Lewis Carroll was indeed the infamous serial killer,  Jack the Ripper. The title of his book is entitled:  Jack the Ripper--The Lighthearted Man. This brings to mind, the OJ Simpson Case. As you know, DNA evidence doesn't lie; but, because of OJ happened to be a Heissman Trophy Winner, a top notch Professional NFL Football player, and Inductee in Football's Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio; somehow, he was able to beat the rap anyway, despite the overwhelming evidence. Today he walks the streets, free as a bird. This kind of fame whitewash, which often affects our Justice System, I have come to call"The OJ Simpson Effect.


Could it be, that this same OJ Simpson Effect, derived from the Fame of Alice in Wonderland and Alice and the Looking Glass be the very thing that kept The White Chapel Killer from being brought to justice over 100 years ago, and why today, this remains to be Scotland Yard's only unsolved case? Was the Jabberwocky more real than fiction? Did Lewis Carroll get so enabled in his fantasies, that he began to live them out on the harlots in the Streets of White Chapel, London? Is Richard Wallace's Theory true? Was Lewis Carroll really Jack the Ripper? No one can say. There has never been any physical proof which has been uncovered to support Wallace's Theory. His Theory is base on very circumstantial evidence. Also, there are at least twenty other suspects in the case, and at least two of them had confessed directly to the crimes (not through the use of word games).


No one will ever no for sure, whether or not Lewis Carroll was really Jack the Ripper, But, Wallace's Theory does impose a wakeup call and reminder. No one should ever be above the law, no matter who he is, or how famous he is. Should a famous person be indicted for a crime (Like Michael Jackson was recently), anything that would perpetuate the OJ Simpson Effect in the case, needs to be shelved, and taken out of the picture, until the truth is uncovered. I it is a book the person has written, take it off the shelf, and out of circulation. If it is a movie this person has starred in, take it out of the theater. If the movie is out on video, take it out of the video store. The OJ Simpson Effect need to be nipped in the bud right off the bat, so that we no longer dishonor the memory of victims, by letting the perps wonder the streets, free as a bird, just because of who he is.


Mr. Toastmaster.