Jack The Ripper (Compendium Thread)

What do you think is the most likely ?

  • The Ripper was a Freemason?

    Votes: 7 10.9%
  • The Ripper had medical knowledge?

    Votes: 9 14.1%
  • It was Maybrick?

    Votes: 4 6.3%
  • The Ripper was 'of the same class' as his victims?

    Votes: 7 10.9%
  • The Ripper was foreign?

    Votes: 2 3.1%
  • It was Druitt?

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • None of the suspects yet put forward?

    Votes: 15 23.4%
  • It was a woman?

    Votes: 2 3.1%
  • Another?

    Votes: 18 28.1%

  • Total voters
    64
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FraterLibre

Guest
Originally posted by lorddrakul

First of all, if the killer was the disorganised anti-social, the signature throat slit seems incongruous. The more common manifestation is of a weapon of opportunity on a victim of opportunity. Therefore the distinct pattern of prostitutes, with one knife, making a strikingly similar MO seems to me to be more on the side of the organised asocial. The trophy taking would also fit this. Were the killer truly of this type, a few strangulations and blunt traumas may have been expected as the killer was roused to fury and killed with whatever was to hand instead of the trusty knife.


Finally, the idea of a local does not cast much light on the matter. What does it mean exactly. The fact that among many of the witnesses and suspects there are many and varied nationalities, would seem to indicate that one would require something very striking indeed to be noticed above the noise and hubub of the street. Take this with the fact that there were still laws against public indeceny and it makes a case for the killer to have been socially acceptable enough to entice a prostitue away from crowded streets to turn a trick without alerting her to the fact that he was going to attack. Another possibility of course is that he watched for another punter to do the luring and then pounced, but this too suggests a more organised attitude.

************
He cut their throats in a blitz attack, probably from behind, in order to overwhelm and control them at once. This indicates an asocial killer lacking confidence in dealing with even these low-level folks so eager to debase themselves for a penny or two.

He was likely a local not so much because he blended in, although that also would explain why the women weren't alarmed by him, as he was familiar or a familiar type, but because he knew where to commit the crimes and get away each time, despite a massive manhunt concentrated in exactly his work zone.

This is what Douglas argues. Makes sense to me. You do raise some interesting quesitons, and I'd favored Maybrick, too, until Kelly came along, and Kelly until I heard of Cohen.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
OK,
but didn't the patholigsts reckon that the cuts were made from left to right, some deep enough to scar the vertrabrae, from in front?

If they were made from behind, would there not have been distinct evidence of such?

Secondly, I am not in favour of Maybrick at all, I think it the most unsubstantiated of all. The diaries are liely a forgery as the paper and ink all could be easily obtained and the handwriting of Mybrick himself, from a signature, does not provide a positive match.

I think genuinely, that Jack does not fit the classic profile of what we recognise today as a serial killer. I think the cultural phenonmenon of the day that produced him were a far cry from what is seen today and as such, he does not fit out patterns. The genesis would be similar, but the subtleties I think bely a differnet breed to the modern manifestation.

Finally, have not read on the subject for a while, can some one point me, or give me, a synopsis of James Kelly and his case?

Cheers,

LD
 
F

FraterLibre

Guest
Kelly's Book

The cuts would not necessarily have to have been made from behind, a blitz attack can take place from the front, too. It's simply thought that a throat cutting from behind would be less likely to splash one with blood. Then again, it may not have mattered to the killer.

While there have always been serial killers, remember that Jack the Ripper is an individual case, and thus cannot fit perfectly the statistical aggregation used in profiling. There are always anomalies and imponderable details in any individual case.

Also, I note that you ascribe serial crime to contemporary social ills, a view not supported by the historical record. We do not know what makes serial criminals -- for every serial criminal who comes from an abused childhood and a broken home any number of hundreds or thousands of other kids with exact parallel experiences come out fine. We do know some of the common signs, traits, and tendencies, speaking statistically, but in any given individual case we expect always to see variations and surprises. It's how individual instances relate to statistics, after all.

The book about James Kelly I find most cogent is J.C.H. Tully's excellent, if graphic, (some say lurid), Prisoner 1167, The Madman Who Was Jack the Ripper. While it's not the last word in Ripperology -- nothing can ever be, at this late date -- it's a fascinating theory that makes much sense, even if it does ascribe a bit too much coherence to the killer's apparent motives.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
About the question of whether the victims' throats were cut from in front or behind.......

My understanding is it was pretty clearly established that the throats were cut from left to right once the victim had been throttled into insensibility and had been laid down.

The killer then stooped to the right of the victim while he cut the throat.

In the case of Chapman, wasn't there arterial blood from the initial cut at a point low down on the fence to her left, demonstrating this?
 
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Anonymous

Guest
As with everything in this game, Conners, nothing is clearly established. It all comes down to personal preference, it appears. There were bruises on the face that indicated the victim could have been grabbed from behind and slashed with the right hand, again from behind. Or of course the left hand from the front. (hang on, I'm loosing sense of direction here...)

But, bluntly, no - it has never been categorically proven that the Ripper throttled his victims, slashed from behind or in front, or even if he was definitely left or right handed. I'm pretty certain, however, there was no evidence of manual strangulation prior to throat slashing. I think this was mentioned by one of the coroners/medical guys.

For my money, the most plausible explanation is that the Ripper was right handed, grabbed them from behind, and dispatched them with a single sweep of a sharp blade, slicing through the carotid artery and thereby causing death very very quickly. That's just my interpretation of the descriptions. As I've already pointed out, they are open to all kinds of interpretation.

Eliminate the impossible, my dear Watson....
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Helen said:
For my money, the most plausible explanation is that the Ripper was right handed, grabbed them from behind, and dispatched them with a single sweep of a sharp blade, slicing through the carotid artery and thereby causing death very very quickly.
But not that quickly? Not quickly enough to prevent someone from screaming or continuing to struggle. Slitting someone's throat doesn't mean they drop dead like in the movies. As Andy McNab observes in Bravo Two Zero, if you're going to kill someone like that you pretty much have to saw their head off.
Since some of killings took place in 'public' I find it far more plausible that the victim was knocked/choked insensible before the fatal damage was inflicted.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I was just thinking of the apparent speed of the attack, like he wanted them dead asap so he could do the mutilations. I thought it would be quicker to slash them, then finish them off on the way down. Strangulation seems pretty slow, although of course all he had to do was knock them unconscious, not kill them with this method, then do the slashing. I dunno though, I still imagine partial throttling would cause more noise and thrashing about than just grabbing their head and slashing quickly. The victims were cut a couple of times across the throat, their faces were bruised indicating they had been grabbed across the face, but IIRC the only suggestion of throttling was that one of the victims (Chapman, I think) had a protruding tongue.

While I think of it, Stride was wearing a scarf IIRC, which had been slashed when her throat was cut, but no indication it had been moved to throttle her with it.
 
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FraterLibre

Guest
Speed = Blitz

Douglas cited speed of attack, calling it blitzing, as support for the notion that the Ripper was not confident dealing with people and had to control them as quickly as possible. Asocial, in his terms.

Cutting throats from behind would have many benefits, from the blood tending to splash onto their clothes and not his, to keeping them from screaming -- the most they might do is bubble a bit.

We simply have insufficient information on which to base any serious deductions, though, so these are all guesses. No one yet knows, and unless some policeman's family -- or the killer's family for that matter -- finds a very compelling diary in an attic or a revolutionary new technique for analyzing things arises, we're destined never to know for sure.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Playing both sides here for a moment, I seem to recall some comment about if the victims were grabbed from behind, more blood would be evident on the front of their clothing. Just playing Devil's Advocate. And IIRC blitz attacks tend to involve more battering and over kill, not a couple of quick slashes across the throat. The Ripper seemed to exhibit more of an efficient killing technique than an actual blitz attack, the mutilations being performed post mortem and all. It strikes me that the Ripper wanted a corpse as quickly as possible in order to perform the ritualistic mutilation, not to simply randomly slash at his victim until she was dead. He didn't want a corpse for the usual necrophiliac reasons.

And whatever else, hehad to get the victim into the alleyway, therefore he had to talk to them without them noticing the maniacal glint in his eyes. He has to have been someone used to talking to women, to making people feel at ease. I fully appreciate we are not talking about the most discerning of people when it comes to prostitutes, but neither are they stupid. They won't allow themselves to be alone with someone if they feel they might be threatened. These are women that are accustomed to violence as par for the course - they would be watching for someone who looked like throat ripping was on the agenda. They wouldn't worry about someone who seemed normal and only interested in a quick transaction. However desperate they would be for a few pence, they wouldn't knowingly go off with a nutter.
 
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FraterLibre

Guest
Confusion Rains Down

True about the blood on their clothes, good point. And again goes back to the fact that we simply don't know for sure.

He may have been familiar to them, rather than charming, or perhaps even harmless-looking; a boy, perhaps? Or someone of smaller stature?

Cohen and Kosminsky both fit the role of being possibly familiar to them, or at least a familiar type, although from descriptions Cohen was a bit nutsy and you'd think they'd have avoided him.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Helen, I think there is more room for reasonable conjecture here. First of all, as you say these women were prey to violence, but were also desperate, even a good judge of character can be fooled.

Also, if the killer were to wait until a transaction had been completed by another punter and then attack before the lady had righted herself, a social interaction may not have been necessary.

And finally, I think had the killer wished to dispatch the victim with all possible haste, surely something a little more sure than the throat slash might have been used. The kidney stab or kosh to the bonce would have been far superior for sheer time to insensibility.

I think it is unsafe to attribute to the killer the congeniality of a person who charmed these women down dark place to have his wickedest of ways with them, based on the evidence available, which is sketchy at best.

LD
 

harlequin2005

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Couple of points

1) The unsub would have to have some level of normalcy in hs general demeanour, but the social interaction would not have to be much more than an affirmative answer to an invitation along the lines of 'Feeling friendly, Dearie?'

2) Looking at the canonical victims, it appears the victims (where there was enough neck left to tell) were probably strangled into submission, look at the mortuary photos of Tabram and Chapman. Both have their tongue slightly protruding between their teeth. The picture of Nichols may have, but it is in such a poor state of presevation it that its hard to say with certainty. Eddows and Kelly, your guess is as good as mine as to what the disposition of their tongue is. This, with the decriptions of lividity on the neck is a pretty good indication of strangulation. Stangulation into unconciousness or near death would significantly reduce the blood pressure of the victims, minimising the 'spurt' when the veins of the neck were parted, the blood tending more to pool in the body. Hence the descriptions of the Eddowes site where blood had seeped rather than been pumped into her clothing.

8¬)
 
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Anonymous

Guest
This debate is great stuff....some genuinely new lines of inquiry. Over at casebook.org, you often find people are too busy defending their own theories to accomodate new thoughts.

Intriguing idea about the killer pouncing while the victims were lying prostrate after servicing a previous punter.

Something occurs to me about this though........wouldn't that have meant there would have been ejaculatory matter on the vicitm? And wouldn't the police have then suspected that Jack did have intercourse with his victims?

Why is it we can be so sure he didn't? There could have been traces of semen on the bodies of some of the victims, albeit from another man. Or would the non-existent forensic techniques of the time have missed this?
 
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FraterLibre

Guest
Conners_76 wrote: "...Intriguing idea about the killer pouncing while the victims were lying prostrate after servicing a previous punter..."

Actually, the usual manner of servicing their johns had them leaning back against a wall, or facing the wall and braced on their hands. They didn't lie down, but rather stuck out their rump or, when they could, simply hefted up their skirts and let the punter have at their thighs. In fact, it was considered a good "trick" if they could manage to have the sod off without him ever penetrating their vagina. Many a lad spent his seed between the ample thighs of a whore holding her skirts up and yawning as he thrashed away.

And of course, she stoops to conquer, too. A woman bent to give head is in a damned vulnerable position, and one hard pull upward with a sharp blade would certainly do the rather more horrific trick.

Not sure if semen stains on a whore's skin or clothes would mean much back then. Today we'd have DNA evidence to consider, but back then it was likely that stains meant little. As for fresh semen on the victims, they would have noticed it I'd guess, but whether they would have mentioned it or not is questionable. Remember how prudish they were.

I'd guess they probably figured Jack didn't have sex with them because they found no fresh semen. That's just a guess, but certainly the experienced folks back then would have known to look.

Yes, it is a good discussion indeed.
 

harlequin2005

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A couple of the ME reports actually mentioned looking for an not finding semen in or on the victims



8¬)
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Throttling them into submission makes more sense the more I think about it (not that I think about throttling a lot:D ) After all, it wouldn't take that long to simply render them unconscious, although I still worry about the thrashing that may have occured. As I have no experience in throttling, I'm not quite sure whether it would have been pretty quick ergo no/little thrashing, or whether the unfortunate could get a few whacks in before lapsing into unconsciousness..ness..ness.

Jumping in after the last punter seems a little unlikely though, as surely this would have meant a greater chance of capture or at least better descriptions. More likely to have been propositioned by Jack himself and taken down the alley, I would think.

And IIRC, the usual method of solicitation was asking the lady in question "Are you gay?" Not that it's important, it's just something I remembered while reading Harlequin's post.
 

intaglio

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Throttling takes supprisingly little time to make unconscious, about 30 seconds if only the airway is compressed less if the carotid artery is constricted. If this seems too little ("I can hold my breath longer than that") remember you don't get to much warning.

Many peoples first reaction is to try to scream. This forces some air past the constriction, you can get quite high pressures. But trying to draw air in you are only working with atmospheric pressure and tend to collapse an already crushed airway. Sucking in also ruptures the blood vessels in the alveoli and can collapse the lung tearing it away from the pleura. This forces what little reserve you have out of the areas where it can be absorbed.

Lastly you are fighting for your life, this does tend to raise the amount of used by the muscles and decrease the amount available to the brain.

One point that might be related to this is that there was little blood found with at least one of the victims. Strangling can cause *vagal inhibition*. This phrase means that a blow or pressure to the vagal nerve can cause the heart to either fibrillate or stop. This would mean that the *ripping* would have been done post mortem. It may indicate the body was not killed elsewhere.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I'm not sure if anyone mentioned anything about victims being prostrate after servicing a John. The generally did it upright as was pointed out, referred to as a "thruppnykneetrembler" I beleive.

LD
 
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FraterLibre

Guest
Just a Minor Point

Lord Drakul - If you'll scan up 4 or 5 posts, depending how you count, to my prior one, you'll see the very first thing I did was quote Conners_76. It was he or she who made the comment about lying prostrate.
 
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Anonymous

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That was what I meant, I think that it was just a minsinterpretation.

To vigiliance...

LD
 

madgarlick

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I recall reading something a good few years back, don't remember where but I do remember the name they put forward as being Jack the Ripper. The name was Henry Porter, don't know why it stuck in my head. He was some london bloke. Pretty lower class I think. But he did have some very high connections to the royalty at the time. They knew, everyone knew but they hunted for someone else instead as a kind of cover up.

Now I understand that all this is just hear-say but perhaps some of you who have special interest in the JTR field might know something more.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I was only trying to stir up a bit of debate on the lying-prostrate front. I realise it's almost certainly not what happened. For a start we have eyewitness accounts of the victim talking with a man who was almost certainly Jack in the case of Chapman and Eddowes, just moments before they were killed. This suggests that the killer accosted his victims of his account rather than stepping in when the women had completed another transaction.

Btw, I was watching the old movie Time After Time (1979) on TV the other day. Did the character, Stevenson, played by David Warner, actually exist, and if so has he indeed been named as a suspect? Based on what we know he has quite the wrong profile to be the murderer (upper class gent) but I'd be interested to know. Sometimes the history of Ripperology is as fascinating as the quest for the muderer itself.
 

harlequin2005

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The only 'Stevenson' of note is Robert D'onston Stephenson aka Dr Roslyn D'Onston. He is the suspect of choice of Melvyn Harris

Details here (the seminal Casebook.org)

Damn fine film IMHO... but I do like that sort of thing :)

David Warner was well up to the mark

8¬)
 
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Anonymous

Guest
He's a great actor isn't he?! I'm off to see him in The Feat of Snails at the Lyric next week.

Shame there isn't a really good Ripper film that's based on the facts, and not some daft conspiracy theory. I've always thought the life of Tumblety would have made a good film, even if the question of whether he was the Ripper is left unanswered. Can kind of see William Fichtner in the role.
 

harlequin2005

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Is there something more on Jack Russell, Baron De Clifford, other than the somewhat terse 'Was this Jack Russell "Jack the Ripper"?'?


8¬)
 
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Anonymous

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Jack Russell ~ Ripping Yarn

Don't shoot the messenger! All I did was make awareness of this claim available. Please note that at the top of the webpage it states "outrageous claim" ~ a view I would completely endorse.

That said, the present-day would-be "descendant" has engaged in ritual sacrifice and allegedly condones human sacrifice.
 

harlequin2005

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Apologies for the terse response Exor, I should have commited more time than I did to the the request for more information and no offence or implication of pique was intended :)

8¬)
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Kind of off topic, but it spins me out all the same.....

I notice from the FT's link to the story about the death of the world's oldest person, that the oldest living person is now Kamato Hongo, at 114.

Is she the last remaining person who was alive on the planet at the time of the Ripper murders?

Incredible to think there could still be someone about who, theoretically, could have set eyes on the Ripper around the time he carried out his crimes.

We're so tantalising close to this age old murder, I feel I could almost touch it!
 
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