Originally Posted by Kattrup
Yes. For example, the piece of apron left in Goulston Street can be hypothesized as having been a communication from the killer, or not.
And those who think that the killer dropped the piece pf apron randomly, perhaps after having wiped his hands or/and knife on it, do not think that the piece of apron was a communication from the killer.
Others think that the killer left the piece of apron intentionally in Goulston Street, perhaps after having already wiped his hands and/or knife at the murder site, and they hypothesize that the killer brought the piece of apron with him with the intention to write a message on a wall and leave the piece of apron beneath it to get the attention of the police. In this case it was a communication. But this part of communication was not in written form. The writing on the wall was.
But the key to understanding the killer is to decide upon which type of killer he was: Was he a type X serial killer who murdered five women without the intention to communicate with the police and/or the press and/or anyone else? Or was he a type Y serial killer who wanted to communicate with the police and/or the press and/or with someone else?
If you hypothesize that he was a type X serial killer, you have a serial killer who did not communicate in any way, who did not produce any sources, who was silent.
If you hypothesize that he was a type Y serial killer, you have a serial killer who did communicate in one or more ways, who did produce sources, who was not silent but was communicating.
So the first and second hypothesis give very different consequences. When I am researching the past, I like to take the hypotheses to their final points, I like to be consequent. And this will help me disprove any hypothesis I have.
When you say "recorded sound" it helps our understanding of how problematical newspaper articles with spoken words are, since they were generated not as recordings, but through other peoples writing and interpretation of what they heard or had heard.
That could be described as a type of unwritten communication and it is left to us in different sources. On the other hand, saying that it was "unwritten" is a problematical statement, since we could claim that it was a symbol or letter written with a knife in the face of the victim. The consequence of such a description would be that he was a type Y killer, but it would also be that he used different forms of writing methods.
So the problem for us is to A) decide what type of killer he was, B) decide what type of communication he produced and C) decide what type of sources describing his communication would have the highest validity and reliability.
Of course, those who do not think that the killer was a type Y killer, will not think that the sources containing descriptions of the cuts on Eddowes face are of any interest or importance. They will not hypothesize that the cuts could have been made as an intentional form of communication.
They will instead hypothesize a killer who was not communicating, who did not have anything to say to the police/press/other people. And the sources containing descriptions of possible communications will be ignored and will disappear into oblivion. The type Y killer will be erased from history and the greetings from the past, if there are such greetings, will be lost.
The problem with such a position is that it ignores what can be the most important material from the past. The problem with the opposing position is that it may give significance to sources without significance.
So how could we know if the sources are significant or if they are not?
If there is a common theme in a set of sources hypothesized as containing descriptions of communications of a serial killer and these different sources of communication is corresponding with the motive(s) of the hypothesized killer, there is significance. But since significance can be illusory, one must research the sources properly.
Naturally, those who do not think that the killer was a type Y killer, ignore such sets of sources and their correspondence with the motive(s) of the hypothesized killer.
But since sources is all we have, we must use sources that hypothesize both a type X and a type Y killer. The question is which method will be the most fruitful.
Kind regards, Pierre