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  #831  
Old 10-18-2017, 11:53 PM
Sam Flynn Sam Flynn is offline
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I´m sure that´s correct
And when you then add that they BOTH cut abdomens open from ribs to pubes and took away the abdominal walls in the process?
That is not a constant signature in either series. As to the torso murders, it's not so much that the abdomens were cut OPEN, but cut in HALF.
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  #832  
Old 10-19-2017, 12:17 AM
Fisherman Fisherman is offline
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My point about enlisting butchers as expert witnesses was sincere and, I think, a good one. They'd have been genuinely useful in confirming whether the "butchers" responsible for the torso disarticulations showed any real butchery skills.
Lawson Tait was able to say that he believed it was a bucher, and a London butcher at that - meaning that he had knowledge about how butchers from different towns made their cuts. So I think that avenue of research was followed up on - and to Taits mind, it told him that the killer was definitively the same in both series.
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  #833  
Old 10-19-2017, 12:25 AM
Fisherman Fisherman is offline
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We don't have wait for a label to be invented for a phenomenon to exist. Serial killers have been around since the dawn of mankind.
I´m afraid we do not know that at all. But we DO know that they have been around throughout history, amking it a good guess that they have been around since the dawn of mankind - but still only a guess. Mutations have definitively been around since the dawn of mankind, and it may be that a mutation of some kind formed the original ground for serial killing.

Aside from that, the point I was making was that we do not have many examples of killers cutting the abdomens of women open and plucking out their inner organs from the 19:th century, and quite possibly even less from the preceding century.
We have, however, such examples in heaps frpm the 20:th century, and I would venture the guess that this in part depends on the reporting in the media. I sense that those with a disposition that COULD evolve into serial killing, may have had their urges awakened by the graphic stories told in media, and that this has fuelled a large increase in serial killing.

I cannot put numbers to it, but I feel secure in saying that an eviscerating serial killer was less expected in the Victorian society than he would be today. And in spite of this, in spite of how there are supposedly a round 200 serial killers at large in the US today, we still have no examples of two eviscerators working simultaneously in the same town or district. That, I believe, tells the story.
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  #834  
Old 10-19-2017, 12:32 AM
Fisherman Fisherman is offline
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That is not a constant signature in either series. As to the torso murders, it's not so much that the abdomens were cut OPEN, but cut in HALF.
To my mind, the killers signature was not necessarily about eviscerating. It belonged to the picture, but it does not encompass his full drive, if I am correct. And even if I thought eviscerations were his ultimate drive, we would still be left with Stride in the Ripper series, who was not eviscerated - and so, you may say that eviscerations were not a "constant signature" in the Ripper series. Indeed, Nichols was left uneviscerated too.

But it would be disingenuous to the extreme to rule out eviscerations being a very probable signature, don´t you think?

Luckily, we do not have to get lost in a maze of looking for the overall signature of the two series (and if you ask me, the overall signature of the combined killer was to procure a female body for cutting into in different manners), since we have common traits that are extremely rare.

The most obvious such trait is the taking away of the abdominal walls in sections on Kelly, Chapman and Jackson. That is enough in itself to allow us to state that the killer in these three cases was in all probability the same man.

After that, other likenesses add to the certainty that is already there, and the two series must be regarded as one.

Last edited by Fisherman : 10-19-2017 at 12:35 AM.
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  #835  
Old 10-19-2017, 12:47 AM
Sam Flynn Sam Flynn is offline
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Lawson Tait was able to say that he believed it was a bucher, and a London butcher at that - meaning that he had knowledge about how butchers from different towns made their cuts. So I think that avenue of research was followed up on - and to Taits mind, it told him that the killer was definitively the same in both series.
That's a new name on me. Did he examine all, or any, of the bodies?
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  #836  
Old 10-19-2017, 01:18 AM
Fisherman Fisherman is offline
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That's a new name on me. Did he examine all, or any, of the bodies?
Then I will fill you in:

From Wikipedia:

"Lawson Tait, born Robert Lawson Tait (1 May 1845 – 13 June 1899) was a pioneer in pelvic and abdominal surgery and developed new techniques and procedures. He emphasized asepsis and introduced and advocated for surgical techniques that significantly reduced mortality. He is well known for introducing salpingectomy in 1883 as the treatment for ectopic pregnancy, a procedure that has saved countless lives since then. Tait and J. Marion Sims are considered the fathers of gynecology."

and

"Surgical milestones
During this time, his work included:

First removal of an organ (ovary) (oophorectomy) for pain.

Observation of association of cystic ovaries and excessive menstrual bleeding.

Surgical induction of menopause by removal of ovaries.

Removal of infected tubes.

Drainage of pelvic abscess.

First appendectomy 1880. It was later learned that he was anticipated by French-born English surgeon Claudius Amyand in 1735.

First cholecystotomy (gallbladder surgery).

Asepsis in lieu of Lister's antisepsis; he avoided the use of carbolic acid.

Flushing of peritoneal cavity at end of operation."

As you can see, we are speaking of a very competent medico, considered the father of gynecology, and a man held in very high esteeem by his contemporaries.

Back in 2003, Chris Scott published an article from the Ogden Standard Examiner of 16 October 1889. This is part of that article:

Lawson Tait, the eminent women's surgeon, having read the suggestion published in our columns that Jack the Ripper might be a woman, said the Pall Mall Gazette, had yesterday a chat with one of our representatives. He said:
"No serious suggestion in connection with this matter that one can make may be wisely discarded or made light of. The police have discovered nothing, and are evidently at their wits' end. They must begin afresh.
"I have taken a great interest in these tragedies from the very commencement. Now, looking at the subject as a surgeon, the first conclusion is that the whole of the murders, not only in Whitechapel but in Battersea and Chelsea, are the work of one and the same individual. They must be grouped together. Secondly, the crimes are the work of a lunatic. The absolute motivelessness of the whole business shows this.
"Again, the operator must have been a person accustomed to use a sharp knife upon meat. The work was done by no surgeon. A surgeon cuts in a niggling kind of way. The murderer in these cases has worked in a free, slashing manner. The criminal must have been a butcher, and a London butcher. The cuts are made in a manner peculiar to the London butcher. They would have been made quite differently if the operator had hailed from Dublin or Edinburgh.

So it seems that Tait had taken a very great interest in the murders, and he had apparently been able to inform himself about the character of the damages. That is no wonder, given how he was such a prominent figure in the Victorian medical world. And he had come to the conclusion that a butcher was responsible for both series, based on the knife work. Just as we have been told by lots of medicos involved in the case, Tait refers to the "free, slashing" manner of the cutting, with no "niggling" involved. Compare, if you will, to how others spoke of a "sweeping" knifework.

Whether Tait ever saw any of the victims himself or whether he gathered information about the wounds from his colleagues is something that I cannot answer, but he was not listed as taking part in the autopsies.

Of course, anyone can see that your aim is to discard Tait on account of it not being in evidence that he saw the wounds himself. I would advice against it, though, given his status and how what he says tallies with what we know about the damage done.

At the very least, you now know who Lawson Tait was.

Last edited by Fisherman : 10-19-2017 at 01:21 AM.
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  #837  
Old 10-19-2017, 01:47 AM
Sam Flynn Sam Flynn is offline
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So it seems that Tait had taken a very great interest in the murders, and he had apparently been able to inform himself about the character of the damages.
But did he examine any of the bodies personally? The answer seems to be a straightforward "no". He was, evidently, responding to what he'd read in the newspapers or heard about by some other means.
Quote:
Of course, anyone can see that your aim is to discard Tait on account of it not being in evidence that he saw the wounds himself.
No discrediting involved or intended. It's of material importance to know whether this gentleman had personally examined any of the victims at first hand, and it looks like he didn't - almost certainly none of them.

When he spoke about "The murderer in these cases has worked in a free, slashing manner" he was almost certainly referring to the Ripper murders, not the torso series, where - in the majority, if not all, cases - no "free, slashing" technique was apparent. Unless one can "freely slash" with a saw.

That he said that "The criminal must have been a butcher, and a London butcher... They would have been made quite differently if the operator had hailed from Dublin or Edinburgh" is thus, almost certainly, conjecture. It is, in any case, unclear whether he is referring to the torso murders on their own, to the Ripper murders, or both.

From your post in response to mine (about butchers as expert witnesses), I was under the impression that Tait might have been a master butcher with detailed knowledge of regional butchering techniques. Since he wasn't, I fail to see how he was qualified to know what characterised a London butcher's technique as distinct from anyone else's. Even if he was a leading authority on butchering techniques, the fact that he didn't personally examine all (or any) of the corpses makes the point entirely moot in any case. The "butchering" techniques could well have been entirely different, if there was any consistent technique involved at all; without being a first-hand witness, or access to detailed testimony that described all the victims' wounds, how on earth could he tell?

Finally, he also says "Secondly, the crimes are the work of a lunatic. The absolute motivelessness of the whole business shows this". Lunatic... motiveless? Really? More conjecture, I'm afraid, and conjecture which is not borne out by what we've subsequently learned about killers, whether of the serial variety or otherwise.
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Last edited by Sam Flynn : 10-19-2017 at 01:50 AM.
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  #838  
Old 10-19-2017, 01:59 AM
Joshua Rogan Joshua Rogan is offline
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Just a thought, but might Tait perhaps have been the expert Dr Brown engaged to see how long it would take to remove a uterus?
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  #839  
Old 10-19-2017, 02:33 AM
Fisherman Fisherman is offline
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Sam Flynn: But did he examine any of the bodies personally? The answer seems to be a straightforward "no".

... and, as I predicted, there we are! It "seems" to be a no, but we can´t be sure, can we?

He was, evidently, responding to what he'd read in the newspapers or heard about by some other means.No discrediting involved or intended. It's of material importance to know whether this gentleman had personally examined any of the victims at first hand, and it looks like he didn't - almost certainly none of them.

It would be nice to know - but he remains a very highly ranking medico, and the probable thing is that he was going on correct information, provided by those who were in the know professionally.

When he spoke about "The murderer in these cases has worked in a free, slashing manner" he was almost certainly referring to the Ripper murders, not the torso series, where - in the majority, if not all, cases - no "free, slashing" technique was apparent. Unless one can "freely slash" with a saw.

Hebbert wrote about the Rainham victim that "...the long clean sweeping incisions through the skin showed that a very sharp knife had been used." So apparently, the torso killer worked with a very unrestrained "free" technique too. And we are both acutely aware, are we not, that medicos in BOTH series from the outset felt certain that a knowledge of surgery must have been at play - what a coincidence, eh? And in Phillips case, it was that part about "one sweep of the knife" that you prefer to ascribe to an overimaginative reporter at the Lancet, just as Hebbert speaks of "sweeping" incisions.
Very clearly, the killer in both series was a skilled cutter.
Oh, and I forgot - the torso murder dismemberments were not made by way of a saw only - a sharp knife was also involved. Any chance that the killer could have "freely slashed" with that one?
What one CAN do with a sharp knife is to cut away flaps from the abdominal wall. And as coincidence would have it, both men did.


That he said that "The criminal must have been a butcher, and a London butcher... They would have been made quite differently if the operator had hailed from Dublin or Edinburgh" is thus, almost certainly, conjecture. It is, in any case, unclear whether he is referring to the torso murders on their own, to the Ripper murders, or both.

Since he concluded that both series had the same originator, the conclusion can only be that he was referring to them both. If the knife-work had differed inbetween the series, he would be sure that there were two killers.

From your post in response to mine (about butchers as expert witnesses), I was under the impression that Tait might have been a master butcher with detailed knowledge of regional butchering techniques. Since he wasn't, I fail to see how he was qualified to know what characterised a London butcher's technique as distinct from anyone else's.

Well, we only know that he DID make the call. And he either based it on nothing at all or he had aquired knowledge about it from somewhere. Guess which is the more reasonable explanation?

Even if he was a leading authority on butchering techniques, the fact that he didn't personally examine all (or any) of the corpses makes the point entirely moot in any case.

It does nothing of the sort. It remains that he was a medical authority, and that he was not likely to be totally uniformed about what he said. The idea that it is moot is the only moot idea here. And not very becoming.

The "butchering" techniques could well have been entirely different, if there was any consistent technique involved at all; without being a first-hand witness, or access to detailed testimony that described all the victims' wounds, how on earth could he tell?

Here´s a suggestion: Lawson Tait, one of the greatest medicos in London at the time of the Ripper murders, spoke to, say, George Bagster Phillips, to Brown, to Sequiera etcetera, and informed himself about what the wounds where like. Tait then understood that they were the kinds of wounds a London butcher was likely to produce, given that London butchers worked in a manner that made the result tell a story.
How about that? To me, that is the sort of thing I imagine would have happened. Obviously, you are unable to see how these things work, and so you are left flabbergasted and totally unable to grasp it.

There is of course also the possibility that Tait was drunk and rambling when he spoke to the papers, that he was lying about his insights into butchery and that he never spoke to any of the medicos who examined the Ripper victims.

I´m just wondering which of the two scenarios is the more likely one? How often are bigwig medicos who speak to papers in no uncertain terms freely fantasizing and how often are they speaking from knowledge?

That is a very hard question to answer, I´m sure.

Finally, he also says "Secondly, the crimes are the work of a lunatic. The absolute motivelessness of the whole business shows this". Lunatic... motiveless? Really? More conjecture, I'm afraid, and conjecture which is not borne out by what we've subsequently learned about killers, whether of the serial variety or otherwise.

He also believed it was a woman who dunnit, Gareth. Neither of these points have anything to do with the character of the wounds, though, as spoken about by Tait. He spoke specifically and from a specialists point of view about the wounds, the way he had either seen them or had them described to him in great detail. And then he concluded that he believed the killer was a lunatic and quite possibly a woman. The latter parts were guesswork on his behalf, the former were based on the facts, evidently.
Of course, in a sense, we will all agree even today that the killer was to a degree a lunatic. He was not normal in his thinking processes. Lunatic is a wide definition of many states of mid and appearances, all of whom are not dressed in tatters and eating out of the gutter. Anderson called the Ripper a maniac, and he had a point too.

Trying to mix apples and pears on your behalf won´t dissolve that.

Last edited by Fisherman : 10-19-2017 at 02:39 AM.
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  #840  
Old 10-19-2017, 02:36 AM
Fisherman Fisherman is offline
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Just a thought, but might Tait perhaps have been the expert Dr Brown engaged to see how long it would take to remove a uterus?
Quite possibly, yes. He was the foremost authority of his day on gynecology and matters of the female abdomen and the surgery tied to this field. So I don´t see why not. He may even have volunteered, given how interested he was in the murders.

When was this, Joshua? After the Eddowes murder?
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