I don't think opinions were quite as partisan as this implies; Robinson's book got some pretty good reviews (if, usually, with provisos) across a fair share of the spectrum. The Telegraph, for instance - hardly a repository of left-wing thought - describes the book, rather po-facedly (and rather out-Guardianing the Guardian) as performing a most valuable moral service. I very much doubt that even the most right wing of authors would deny that chronic social injustice played its part in the killings – Robinson’s error, to my mind, is to write as if no-one else has ever worked this out.From my post (#1780):
“If you altered the author’s name to A. Scargill and changed every reference to JTR/Maybrick to M. Thatcher, the book would make almost as much sense.
The review plastered across the cover states “A bloody good read”. The review is from the Guardian
I have very little knowledge of the non-canon murders. Do any of the more knowledgable members here think there is a chance they were linked to the main "Ripper" murders? Also, forgive my ignorance, but are there any potentially credible reports of Ripper activity after Mary Kelly's murder?On another matter, I am about to re-read Tom Westcott's The Bank Holiday Murders - which examines the cases of Martha Tabram and Emma Smith, both of whom, depending on your attachment to the 'canonical five', may, or may not, have been early victims of the Ripper. I read it some time back, but don't think I gave it the attention it deserved. (On a complete aside - should you need any confirmation of the stupidity of some readers, look at the two one star reviews of this book on Amazon.)
Yes, and yes (but only potentially).I have very little knowledge of the non-canon murders. Do any of the more knowledgable members here think there is a chance they were linked to the main "Ripper" murders? Also, forgive my ignorance, but are there any potentially credible reports of Ripper activity after Mary Kelly's murder?
I got lost in my own rambling there and did what I was accusing others of having done: getting distracted by the non-witness witnesses and the games of soldiers!Yes, and yes (but only potentially).
In my opinion there's a credible argument that Tabram was the first of the Ripper's victims, before he had established a consistent modus operandi. Much of the key similarities have been lost in the farcical investigation that followed her death. A constable named Thomas Barrett challenged a soldier hanging around George Yard at 2 a.m. on the night of the killing and managed to identify his regiment, rank and lack of decoration, but at a subsequent line-up he identified only Grenadier Guardsmen with alibis.
Mary Ann Connelly AKA 'Pearly Poll', Tabram's companion on the night she died, was also fairly useless. She agreed to a view a line-up of Guardsman and was confident that she would know the two men she and Tabram had liaised with before they parted, but then she vanished for two days. When she turned up again and the line-up finally did take place, she failed to identify the men, but then dropped the fact that the two men had white cap badges: Coldstream Guards, not the Grenadier Guards garrisoning the Tower. A second line-up saw her pick two more men (one of them the wrong rank), each with a solid alibi. The impression gained by the police is that she was enjoying the attention and taking the p***.
There are conceivable victims after Kelly, but only conceivable, not likely.
On the move and on a phone, but will try to dig out details later.
Edit: the three non-cannonical 'possibles' pre-Tabram were Annie Millwood, Ada Wilson and Emma Elizabeth Smith. I'm hazy in the recollection, but I think only the last looks even conceivable. She was attacked just 100 yards from where Tabram would later be (George Yard), also on a Bank Holiday night and supported herself (at least partially) by prostitution. The problem is that she claimed to have been set upon by a gang (she survived long enough to be taken to hospital) and her extensive wounds were attributed to a blunt weapon or weapons, not a blade. She was also (it pains me to write) penetrated vaginally with a blunt object, and it was the peritonitis that resulted which caused her death. Drunk b******s seem more likely than a serial-killer in training.
Seems a long shot for a link to Tabram and the subsequent slayings. None at the time made the connection.
Great info, yet it needs a bit of off-topic hair care.It's very brief, but if anybody is wandering around Whitechapel, the following pamphlet on the Jewish East End may be of interest. It's all rather cursory but contains the ends of several interesting threads:
There is such a thing as a 'ripping knife', more commonly known these days as a 'riving knife' and it seems to be connected with woodworking.Experts dealing with known serial killers generally state that the killer
had built up their level of crime before reaching their peak. It's very likely
Mary Ann Nichols probably wasn't the first or last to be attacked or killed by Jack.
On another note, during the documentary fronted by ex US cop Ed Norris (only just seen this, sorry)
that investigated the possibility that James Kelly could have gone to America and carried on killing,
it mentions Kelly working as an apprentice upholsterer using a particular knife
to rip out old fabric before new fabric was fitted. On a JTR forum someone in the trade
says a Ripper may be the name given to someone in this role.
If correct, the line "your truly, Jack the Ripper, don't mind me giving the trade name"
in the Dear Boss letter, could be Kelly giving a massive clue to his identity
A google search shows a "Ripper" being linked to fish markets though.
Anyone know any more on this? Should we be looking at fishmongers!?
That's a US site and there are some differences in woodworking definitions between there and the UK.There is such a thing as a 'ripping knife', more commonly known these days as a 'riving knife' and it seems to be connected with woodworking...
If you're after red herring, maybe....A google search shows a "Ripper" being linked to fish markets though.
Anyone know any more on this? Should we be looking at fishmongers!?
Yup. Rip and cross-cut, respectively. (Actually, thinking about it Jack the Cross-cutter wouldn't be a bad appellation - I mean, he was clearly quite annoyed about something.)Indeed, from the carpentry perspective, ripping is the term given to cutting a plank along its length, as oppressed to transversely...
You know, at first blush, that's actually quite a plausible theory. It does help explain a few things.Jack the Ripper did not struggle with his victims, but quietly killed them in their sleep, an historian has claimed.
While it has always been thought that the five confirmed victims of the mysterious serial killer were soliciting when they were killed, Dr Hallie Rubenhold has said that they were all sleeping, and most of them were rough sleeping.
The historian, who has published her research in a new book, found evidence from reports of the inquests which points to the conclusion that the women were all killed in their sleep.
She sourced much of her research from the London Metropolitan Archive, but also visited a convent of Protestant nuns to uncover the logbooks of a rehabilitation centre that victim Annie Chapman attended.
The coroner said in each case that the women were killed in the reclining position, and that there was no struggle and no noise. This points to the conclusion that they were taken advantage of as they slept in Whitechapel.
They were also found without any money they could have used for a room in a lodging house, suggesting they were rough sleeping.
Her book on Amazon.
And, of course, a mitre square is a device used in carpentry for marking out 45 degree angles.Indeed, from the carpentry perspective, ripping is the term given to cutting a plank along its length, as oppressed to transversely...
Yes. I'm not absolutely convinced - but it's actually quite interesting, and bears more consideration than so many of the other theories the subject attracts.You know, at first blush, that's actually quite a plausible theory. It does help explain a few things.
I don't have the source to hand, but the problem last time was, to grossly oversimplify, that they detected the and matched with the wrong kind of DNA. The match was mitochrondrial DNA, that inherited only down the maternal line. It may match Kosminski as well as a large number of other people: literally thousands.A DNA analysis of a shawl found next to Katherine Eddowes' body has shown it also has DNA of Aaron Kosminski.
But that to me is not proof Kosminski was the Ripper, because he lived nearby and his DN coudl have been on the street anyway.
Or the shawl was cross contaminated.
Or Kosminski was confused for someone else callad Kaminski.
Fascinating and potentially game-changing. l do, however, detect a couple of WTF? comments in the summary:...here's a much better article than the Daily Mail Bowlderisation:
Absolutely Yith.I don't have the source to hand, but the problem last time was, to grossly oversimplify, that they detected the and matched with the wrong kind of DNA. The match was mitochrondrial DNA, that inherited only down the maternal line. It may match Kosminski as well as a large number of other people: literally thousands.
In any case, here's a much better article than the Daily Mail Bowlderisation:
Thank you for your story, it's weird to think how close the past is, you have more or less direct link to JTR, History's most famous serial killer almost a century and a half later.BTW. I’m not sure why I haven’t posted this before on this board, but there is a family story concerning JTR that has been handed down through the years. There is no way it can be substantiated of course, but it’s still a cool story.
My Father who was born in 1936, was adopted at the age of four months by his great Aunt.
His great aunt was born in 1882, and at the time of the murders the family was living in Brady street, just off the Whitechapel road and literally a few seconds walk from the Polly Nichols murder.
The story handed down was that in the early hours of the 31st of August, the great aunt and her elder brother (I presume they shared a bed) were awoken by shouts, police whistles and general fuss so got out of bed and went outside to see what was going on.
A crowd had gathered in what was then bucks row, and the police were keeping people back and telling them to move on.
There lay the body of Poor Polly Nichols, which as I was told had a cloak had put over the top part of her body.
I’m happy to say that the great Aunt, (we called her Nan obviously) lived to the ripe old age of 98 so I remember her fairly well, and it was her that told me the story and which started my fascination in the ripper case, and all things fortean in general.
Good old Nan.
It’s a shame that I can’t find out if the story was true, or the ramblings an old women in her late 90’s having a bit of fun.
Thank you for your story, it's weird to think how close the past is, you have more or less direct link to JTR, History's most famous serial killer almost a century and a half later.