Jack The Ripper (Compendium Thread)

What do you think is the most likely ?

  • The Ripper was a Freemason?

    Votes: 6 9.7%
  • The Ripper had medical knowledge?

    Votes: 8 12.9%
  • It was Maybrick?

    Votes: 4 6.5%
  • The Ripper was 'of the same class' as his victims?

    Votes: 7 11.3%
  • The Ripper was foreign?

    Votes: 2 3.2%
  • It was Druitt?

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

    Votes: 15 24.2%
  • It was a woman?

    Votes: 2 3.2%
  • Another?

    Votes: 18 29.0%

  • Total voters
    62

Yithian

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And more narrative presentation from Begg's solo work:

SmartSelect_20220920_120527_ReadEra.jpgSmartSelect_20220920_120255_ReadEra.jpgSmartSelect_20220920_120323_ReadEra.jpgSmartSelect_20220920_120333_ReadEra.jpgSmartSelect_20220920_120342_ReadEra.jpgSmartSelect_20220920_120400_ReadEra.jpgSmartSelect_20220920_120417_ReadEra.jpgSmartSelect_20220920_120442_ReadEra.jpgSmartSelect_20220920_120457_ReadEra.jpgSmartSelect_20220920_120507_ReadEra.jpg
 

maximus otter

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It occurs to me that, given the dimensions of the chalk that l remember from my schooldays, it would be challenging to produce legible letters as small as “¾” for the capitals, and lower case in proportion”.

Perhaps this accounts for the different versions remembered by the witnesses. lt also raises the possibility of a complete misreading / misinterpretation of the killer’s intended message.

Edited to add: ¾” is 19.05mm. That’s almost exactly the diameter of a U.S. 1 cent coin; slightly smaller than a UK 1p coin. Try producing neat, legible writing on that scale on black bricks at 0200hrs in Victorian London while under great stress, and while using blackboard chalk.

maximus otter
 
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Coal

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It occurs to me that, given the dimensions of the chalk that l remember from my schooldays, it would be challenging to produce legible letters as small as “¾” for the capitals, and lower case in proportion”.

Perhaps this accounts for the different versions remembered by the witnesses. lt also raises the possibility of a complete misreading/ misinterpretation of the killer’s intended message.

maximus otter
Tailors chalk would work OK though.
 

Ascalon

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I have to state I have not yet nailed my colours to the mast on any particular Ripper suspect or motive.

But your critique of the Masonic theory, can just as easily be seen the opposite way.

Need the method of death be absolutely in line with Masonic ritual of the time?

The very fact that five (or more, or even less) women were murdered shows that it was by definition a criminal act, and so not in keeping with mainstream Freemasonry.
To me it doesn't matter that Hiram Abif did not give up the secrets, it matters that the unusual condition of the corpses can be considered as having sent a signal to those investigating...well Warren anyway.
The precision used ... the knowledge of where the organs were ... the placing of the entrails .... it's precise not frenzied.
If the murders were not an attempt at a Masonic code, then the way the corpses were mutilated, especially Mary Jane Kelly's, is an extraordinary coincidence.

But coincidences do occur.

I think the Graffito was as likely a Masonic code and connected to the murder, as it was anti-Semitic and not connected to the murders.
Two spelling errors...bizarre.
So 50/on that.

I too do not have a favourite among the known suspects. While I absolutely respect the street nous and insight of Abberline and Dew, I also give them latitude for the fact that they were dealing with a new phenomenon they had little understanding of. hence, I think their suspicions as to a suspect must be taken with a healthy dose of salt.

However, with respect to your comments on Masonic ritual of the time, none of the deaths were "absolutely in line" with them.
If you look up the ancient penalties, they are not secret, but have always been symbolic.

However, none of them are matching on the victim's injuries beyond a few common coincidences. These are primarily the throat cut across and the bowels plucked thence and thrown over the left shoulder. If you delve further, you'll see references to burning too, but there are also burial in tidal sands and thrown as prey to the birds of the air. If the inflicted injuries are "absolutely in line", where are those features?

Were one to look for a better example of a masonic-styled organisation cleaning house in a brutal manner, one might look more at the case of Roberto Calvi as illustrative of that system being perverted for ignominious ends.

And the methods are not common across all victims either. If memory services at least one victim was taken to the mortuary before the extent of her injuries was even known, let alone on display. Even then, there was little of the ancient penalties about them, beyond the stated.

As for MJK, again, if memory serves, the terrible fate she suffered did not extend to incineration of the viscera. From what I recall, it was thought that the fire was fueled with clothing, so much so that the spout of a nearby kettle actually showed signs of melting. The missing organs in this case were thought to have been taken away by the killer.

The masonic connection for me hinges on the Juewes/Juwes/[whatever] reference and as that has been comprehensively show to be a later fabrication, the rest is too circumstantial to hold as a working hypothesis.
 

Victory

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Absolutely in line no, but the best effort the murderers could achieve under the time and circumstances?
Or enough to send as signals to Warren?

Calvi for sure.
P2 being Masonic in origin, but had it's charter withdrawn in the decade before Calvi's death.

At some point I hope to declare who I think the Ripper was, but I have a lot more reading to do first.
 

Ascalon

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Absolutely in line no, but the best effort the murderers could achieve under the time and circumstances?
Or enough to send as signals to Warren?

Calvi for sure.
P2 being Masonic in origin, but had it's charter withdrawn in the decade before Calvi's death.

At some point I hope to declare who I think the Ripper was, but I have a lot more reading to do first.
With the utmost respect, I look forward to reading your theory.

For my part, having been in and out of the subject for many years, I suspect that JtR was an unknown local with a job in the local economy.

I think this is one case where modern profiling would pay dividends, providing an accurate description of the killer.

The one thing that always comes back to me is the contrast of the conduct of the killer. His ability to give full reign to his fury in some cases, and then the ability to bottle it and melt back into the streets is remarkable.

That alone rules out a few of the traditional suspects, IMHO.
 

Coal

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For my part, having been in and out of the subject for many years, I suspect that JtR was an unknown local with a job in the local economy.

I think this is one case where modern profiling would pay dividends, providing an accurate description of the killer.
Worth looking at "Mapping Murder" by David Canter (2005)*, where the 'Dragnet' geographical profiling program is applied to the JtR killings, although it makes assumptions about the killing being the work of one man (not 100% proven) and that the grafitto is also the work of the murderer (also not 100% proven). The two 'suspects' that are covered by likely locus of residence are Maybrick and Kominski. Of course the killer might be a simple 'nobody' living in the area at the time.

Canter's premise is that almost everything about a crime is speculative to some extent and the one hard fact is location. In truth that's the best data we have to go on for JtR, given the science of the times and record keeping.

He also makes the point, perhaps a little archly, that we tend to want extraordinary solutions to crimes that seem extraordinary, whether by the deeds themselves or the status of the victim(s). I'd argue this is why we have fictional psychopaths of great intelligence and charisma, whereas most are really...not.

He goes on to suggest that mundane and normal policing approach to crime solving is generally the best tactic, allied with best intelligence, whoever the victim is. It's far more likely the perpetrator is 'ordinary', than some vast conspiracy involving cover ups etc. etc.


*Just ransacked the house looking for my copy, damned if I know where it is...
 

Spookdaddy

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Worth looking at "Mapping Murder" by David Canter (2005)*, where the 'Dragnet' geographical profiling program is applied to the JtR killings, although it makes assumptions about the killing being the work of one man (not 100% proven) and that the grafitto is also the work of the murderer (also not 100% proven). The two 'suspects' that are covered by likely locus of residence are Maybrick and Kominski. Of course the killer might be a simple 'nobody' living in the area at the time...

I have that somewhere too. Also his book Criminal Shadows. Whereas I still think an awful lot of so-called profiling is soft science at its most basic (or at least, the way it's carried out by many of those who practice it), Canter's profile of John Duffy was really pretty remarkable, and his exploration of the importance of location and geography very interesting.

If I'm right in recalling (and I may well not be) that Maybrick was not a permanent resident of the East End at the time of the killings*, then it's worth pointing out that Maybrick and Kominski fit different aspects of Canter's marauder/commuter definitions: Maybrick (if I'm recalling correctly) would have been a 'commuter', Kominski a 'marauder' (that is - one who attacked close to home). This difference would, I believe, affect the way other aspects of any profiling would be approached.

(I often have to check in my head that I'm not mixing up Canter and Paul Britton. I like Canter, but Britton has always struck me as a blowhard know-all who dresses up the fact that he's stating what is fucking obvious to anyone with slightly more nous than a brick by delivering it in suitably didactic tones.)

*Edit: My recall is that Maybrick had lived in the East End at one time, but was no longer resident at the time of the killings - but travelled to London regularly with his work.
 

Dick Turpin

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I have that somewhere too. Also his book Criminal Shadows. Whereas I still think an awful lot of so-called profiling is soft science at its most basic (or at least, the way it's carried out by many of those who practice it), Canter's profile of John Duffy was really pretty remarkable, and his exploration of the importance of location and geography very interesting.

If I'm right in recalling (and I may well not be) that Maybrick was not a permanent resident of the East End at the time of the killings*, then it's worth pointing out that Maybrick and Kominski fit different aspects of Canter's marauder/commuter definitions: Maybrick (if I'm recalling correctly) would have been a 'commuter', Kominski a 'marauder' (that is - one who attacked close to home). This difference would, I believe, affect the way other aspects of any profiling would be approached.

(I often have to check in my head that I'm not mixing up Canter and Paul Britton. I like Canter, but Britton has always struck me as a blowhard know-all who dresses up the fact that he's stating what is fucking obvious to anyone with slightly more nous than a brick by delivering it in suitably didactic tones.)

*Edit: My recall is that Maybrick had lived in the East End at one time, but was no longer resident at the time of the killings - but travelled to London regularly with his work.
I my be misremembering, but I'm sure Maybrick kept a room just off the Commercial road, and / or his brother lived off the Commercial road. Interestly Maybrick lived in the district of Whitechapel in Liverpool.
 

maximus otter

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I keep on mentally circling back to the problem of the nature of the Goulston Street graffito, as mentioned above. This is an issue I’d never really considered before, despite having read numerous books on JTR.

Between 0220 and 0255 hrs on a late September morning, someone under great stress and trying to evade the noose, managed in pre-dawn darkness to write a complex sentence in neat handwriting in a dark passageway in east London. How?

Here's the area on a contemporary 25”/mile OS map:

71510877-B912-4B46-BE5B-46657EAE288C.jpeg


Exact Eddowes body deposition site in S corner of Mitre Square arrowed; Goulston Street highlighted in red; approx. locus of graffito circled in black

I’ve checked Goulston Street on the map: there are only three lampposts on its whole length: one at the junction with New Goulston Street; two in Goulston Square ( near the “S” and “R” in “Street” of “Goulston Street”respectively.) No chance of light spilling up the passage to assist JTR there.

Who would be out at that hour with a legitimate excuse, literate, carrying a light source and (possibly) a fine white crayon? A policeman comes to mind…

Link to the map. (Goulston Street running NNW to SSE in upper left hand side.)

maximus otter
 

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Victory

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For my part, having been in and out of the subject for many years, I suspect that JtR was an unknown local with a job in the local economy.

I think this is one case where modern profiling would pay dividends, providing an accurate description of the killer.

One suspect who fits this economic and geographic position, and has been profiled, is Robert Mann.

Though the circumstantial evidence against him is strong.

https://thejacktherippertour.com/casebook/suspects/robert-mann/
 

Spookdaddy

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I my be misremembering, but I'm sure Maybrick kept a room just off the Commercial road, and / or his brother lived off the Commercial road. Interestly Maybrick lived in the district of Whitechapel in Liverpool.

I didn't know that. Actually, I'm not sure how that would fit into Canter's model. I suspect, given that his main residence was Liverpool he'd still be a 'commuter' - but his previous residence in the East End, and continued access to it, would give him aspects of a 'marauder'. Which would complicate things for a profile, I suspect.
 

Spookdaddy

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...Who would be out at that hour with a legitimate excuse, literate, carrying a light source and (possibly) a fine white crayon? A policeman comes to mind…

This plays into one of those aspects of our attitudes to the time which I often wonder about. I'm just not sure that Victorian London at night was the place of dark, isolated and utterly deserted streets that is often portrayed. Many shops and businesses closed relatively late; rooming houses would be recycling residents late at night and very early in the morning (the rooms were often rented on shift systems - sometimes three shifts a day, I believe); night watchmen were common to local businesses, factories and foundries - furnaces and kilns were often never shut down, and required 24/7 attendance, and night workers were not uncommon. What's more - the area was close to the busiest docks in the world, and although I have no reference for this, I really doubt things kept entirely to what we might think of as regular business hours.

I mean, I wouldn't want to overplay the issue - I don't doubt London was much quieter overnight than it was during daylight hours, or that there were pockets of utter isolation, but I do believe that it was probably busier than our preconceptions might have us believe. And if anything, that just adds to the mystery.
 

maximus otter

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This plays into one of those aspects of our attitudes to the time which I often wonder about. I'm just not sure that Victorian London at night was the place of dark, isolated and utterly deserted streets that is often portrayed. Many shops and businesses closed relatively late; rooming houses would be recycling residents late at night and very early in the morning (the rooms were often rented on shift systems - sometimes three shifts a day, I believe); night watchmen were common to local businesses, factories and foundries - furnaces and kilns were often never shut down, and required 24/7 attendance, and night workers were not uncommon. What's more - the area was close to the busiest docks in the world, and although I have no reference for this, I really doubt things kept entirely to what we might think of as regular business hours.

I mean, I wouldn't want to overplay the issue - I don't doubt London was much quieter overnight than it was during daylight hours, or that there were pockets of utter isolation, but I do believe that it was probably busier than our preconceptions might have us believe. And if anything, that just adds to the mystery.

l quite agree: 24-hour pubs, early morning markets, animals being driven hither & thither, etc.

JTR chose his sites carefully, and his victims - proceeding on the assumption that they were prostituting themselves - knew their patches, too. That, and he had the Devil’s luck.

maximus otter
 

Victory

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I'm just not sure that Victorian London at night was the place of dark, isolated and utterly deserted streets that is often portrayed. Many shops and businesses closed relatively late; rooming houses would be recycling residents late at night and very early in the morning (the rooms were often rented on shift systems - sometimes three shifts a day, I believe); night watchmen were common to local businesses, factories and foundries - furnaces and kilns were often never shut down, and required 24/7 attendance, and night workers were not uncommon. What's more - the area was close to the busiest docks in the world, and although I have no reference for this, I really doubt things kept entirely to what we might think of as regular business hours.
Yes.

I think night soil men also worked through the night.

I believe the docks would open for workers early in the morning, around 7AM.
 

Ascalon

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Is Maybrick still taken as a serious suspect?

I thought the diaries had been shown to be a forgery?
 

Coal

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I thought the diaries had been shown to be a forgery?
Canter examined the writing iirc and (some what archly) strongly suggests it is written very very well by a person with a strong grasp of both the psychology of the 'perpetrator' and how to write...
 
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