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View Full Version : What basis is there for a conspiracy theory?


Harry D
12-26-2015, 07:33 AM
I know there are members out there who subscribe to Stephen Knight's Royal conspiracy theory or some variation thereof which essentially involves an ulterior motive for the murders.

What I'd like to know is if there is any historical example of a group of (seemingly unrelated) victims being killed in a very specific way for political purposes? And if not, what is it about the Ripper murders that attract these kinds of conspiracy theories?

Michael W Richards
12-26-2015, 08:10 AM
I know there are members out there who subscribe to Stephen Knight's Royal conspiracy theory or some variation thereof which essentially involves an ulterior motive for the murders.

What I'd like to know is if there is any historical example of a group of (seemingly unrelated) victims being killed in a very specific way for political purposes? And if not, what is it about the Ripper murders that attract these kinds of conspiracy theories?

I would think that one of those questions can be answered with a question,.....can we be certain that the individuals most responsible for the Whitechapel Murder cases told "nothing but" the truth about their investigations and thoughts about the investigations? I phrase it that way because virtually every senior officer assigned to the cases worked in National Security roles, and as such kept information from their own respective bureaus and agencies, and suppressed information they thought vital to National Security. They suppressed, they lied, and they conducted business with terrorists. Double spies, assassination plots, the perceived Socialist threats, these guys handled THE most sensitive and dangerous information with secrecy.

Monro's knowledge of the impending Jubilee Plot in 87 and his lack of communication about his fears to the parties most in danger is an example of the suppression.

Pcdunn
12-26-2015, 09:28 PM
Hello, Harry D.,

This is an interesting topic. I don't believe in the Royal Conspiracy solution to the Ripper murders, though I will admit it offers a neat, packaged explanation to a series of crimes that otherwise seem random.

Which is more frightening? Several poor women murdered by one (or more) killers for no discernible reason? Or a conspiracy of killers on a mission to eliminate a threat to the Throne?
The former is realistic, the latter isn't (but makes great drama).

Most serial killers work alone, and most select victims from the same demographic (women, children, gay men) or profession (prostitutes of both sexes being the leading group here). Some killers work in pairs, but rarely will you find a group of more the two serial murderers.

I'm a little baffled by Ripperologists who, having pinpointed a good suspect for one particular victim among the series, absolutely insist that their person MUST have done all of the other victims. Is it a desire to garner more glory for locating the famed Jack the Ripper? More of the human desire to tie up all the loose ends of these mysteries in one solution? Why?

Mayerling
12-26-2015, 11:57 PM
I know there are members out there who subscribe to Stephen Knight's Royal conspiracy theory or some variation thereof which essentially involves an ulterior motive for the murders.

What I'd like to know is if there is any historical example of a group of (seemingly unrelated) victims being killed in a very specific way for political purposes? And if not, what is it about the Ripper murders that attract these kinds of conspiracy theories?

Hi Harry,

I'm really not a supporter on Conspiracy theories, unless the evidence supporting the particular example is just too open to dispute (i.e., Booth's conspiracy to first kidnap, and later kill Abraham Lincoln, or the "Rastenburg" Bomb plot against Hitler led by Count Claus von Stauffenberg - in these cases the actual involvement of more than one person was demonstrated, although in both cases areas were left uninvestigated properly and in the second the vengefulness of Hitler and his regime was apparent towards the treatment of those captured and tortured). The example of the so-called "Royal Conspiracy" is marred because of the source of the information linking the murders to the Masons, Dr. Gull, and others - this source changing the story, and later admitting he lied.

That said I was thinking of what you asked. Actually the closest I could think of a set of victims pointed at as the victims of the conspiracy who died at different times was the debatable "JFK" Assassination Conspiracy theories, pointing to the Cubans, Right Wing Americans, the Mob, the Russians, and others as the killers. If you think of the number of people who are named as victims besides President Kennedy and Governor Connelly, you have Officer Tibbett, Oswald, Ruby (did he die of cancer or was that a lie?), and other figures - depending on who is constructing the version of the conspiracy theory you are dealing with. One party who is supposed to have died under murky circumstances was columnist Dorothea Kilgallen, who told friends she was about to blow the actual case open a few days before her death). Sam Giancana, the Chicago gang boss (who's mistress was supposed to have slept with JFK as well) was shot and killed in his home in 1979. It was suggested he too knew too much. During the Watergate Scandal, the wife of E. Howard Hunt who was one of Nixon's "plumber's unit" was killed when her airplane crashed with all on board - supposedly Hunt was one of the C. I. A. operatives in Dallas at the time of the assassination who probably knew more than he said, but was on the verge of revealing this when the death of his wife was a signal to keep quiet if he knew what was good for him.

That's the problem - one can pick up a case and link it to a series of deaths over decades to make it look like they are connected when they aren't really. The closer the deaths are in time, and the similarities (general or specific) between them, the more likely they are connected. Forgetting the trappings of the Royal Conspiracy theory the deaths in Whitechapel do look like they could be connected no matter who did them. With the Kennedy Assassination it is like dealing with dozens of odd and tragic occurrences over a period of years, and over far distant terrain. One really would have to work hard to prove they are linked, and I have yet to see proof that I would accept.

Jeff

Pierre
12-27-2015, 02:28 AM
I know there are members out there who subscribe to Stephen Knight's Royal conspiracy theory or some variation thereof which essentially involves an ulterior motive for the murders.

What I'd like to know is if there is any historical example of a group of (seemingly unrelated) victims being killed in a very specific way for political purposes? And if not, what is it about the Ripper murders that attract these kinds of conspiracy theories?

Hi,

I think it is a matter of how one does operationalize "for political purposes".

Is it a matter of specific, explicit political purposes among members of the state elite? Is it a matter of some general political interest among people in a certain group in society? Or is it a specific interest of a certain group of people within the highest state elite?

There are a lot of what we could call "serial murders" in history if we are looking at the way the bodies have been murdered (and often mutilated).

To postulate that they are connected to any of the above types, we often need to use other words than "serial murders" since this concept usually is understood as being a matter of a single person committing the murders because of some psychological problems.

Instead, the concept used for serial (or mass) murders committed "for political purposes" is usually constructed as "ritual killings" or "ritual murders", terrorism or riots.

Therefore the question is rather complex and this makes it very difficult to discuss the Ripper murders in the light of murders committed "for political purposes". I donīt say it is impossible to discuss, just very difficult.

The frame for understanding the Ripper murders is usually the concept of the "serial killer" since serial killers have egoistic purposes (motives) connected to other ideas than political ones. The question is, of course, if we think that Jack the Ripper was a serial killer and what indicates this. So one could argue for or against this and in that way also answer the question of serial murder in Whitechapel "for political purposes".

There are extensive literature on the subject of murder and mutilation for political purposes. Here is one example: Donald L. Horowitz. The Deadly Ethnic Riot.

Regards Pierre

lynn cates
12-27-2015, 06:42 AM
Hello PC.

"I'm a little baffled by Ripperologists who, having pinpointed a good suspect for one particular victim among the series, absolutely insist that their person MUST have done all of the other victims."

Well, that makes two of us.

If you use imagination, Hutch MIGHT have done "MJK," and if you strain a bit, Cross might have done Polly. But it is LUDICROUS to add to these.

Cheers.
LC

Errata
12-27-2015, 10:28 AM
The Manson family murders were political, though not in a broader sense. The immediate motive was to essentially glorify Manson, to bring about Helter Skelter, and to allow Manson to assert the ultimate control over his followers. The government wasn't involved, but that doesn't make it any less a conspiracy or a political act.

John Wheat
12-27-2015, 03:32 PM
Hello PC.

"I'm a little baffled by Ripperologists who, having pinpointed a good suspect for one particular victim among the series, absolutely insist that their person MUST have done all of the other victims."

Well, that makes two of us.

If you use imagination, Hutch MIGHT have done "MJK," and if you strain a bit, Cross might have done Polly. But it is LUDICROUS to add to these.

Cheers.
LC

This is all just your opinion Lynn. Why is it so unlikely that all the C5 were killed by the same serial killer? I do admit though that Hutch and Cross are not good suspects both are witnesses and nothing more.

Cheers John

MysterySinger
12-28-2015, 06:28 AM
Hello, Harry D.,

I'm a little baffled by Ripperologists who, having pinpointed a good suspect for one particular victim among the series, absolutely insist that their person MUST have done all of the other victims. Is it a desire to garner more glory for locating the famed Jack the Ripper? More of the human desire to tie up all the loose ends of these mysteries in one solution? Why?

Maybe the opposite applies as well - how many excellent suspects may have been dismissed because they could only be linked to one murder and not others?