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Go Back   Casebook Forums > Ripper Discussions > Motive, Method and Madness

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  #871  
Old 10-19-2017, 06:14 AM
Fisherman Fisherman is offline
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Sam Flynn: He didn't SEE them, though, so how could he?

He PROBABLY didn´t see them, remember? But even if he didn´t, he may well have discussed the matter very thoroughly with one or more of the men who DID see them, and who were perfectly able to describe them in minute detail.

For instance, it would support his argument that it was the same torso killer if he could have demonstrated that the saw-marks were identical, assuming such a forensic technique was available back then, which I doubt.

If it could have been determined with certainty, it would have been done. It was not done, ergo, it could not be determined with certainty.
The torsos, however, were treated by the police as the work of the same man, telling us that there was nothing to nullify the idea that the same implements were used.
Then again, Gareth, where was it ruled that a dismemberer must use the same saw on every occasion?
The general idea is to look at the type of damage done, and if that damage corresponds, we should accept a common originator, more so the more peculiar the damage is.

Bearing that in mind, how could even the local police or doctors have passed definitive judgement as to the authorship of the crimes?

The same way we do - if the damage is very pecualiar and rare, it´s the same originator.

And, as we know, no saws were used at all in the non-torso murders, so how could anyone - then or now - be absolutely sure that the same hand was behind those murders, still less make grand pronouncements that, not only was it the same hand, but that it "must have been" the hand of a butcher?

Even the verdicts about the knife/knives used in the Ripper murders varied. But as I keep saying, killers are not called upon never to change weapons, are they. Look at what was DONE with the knives, not whether it was always the exact same knife.
The latter question is impossible to answer, the former is very easy to answer: yes, it was basically the same kind of damage in both series.

Tait is demonstrably speculating on what the wounds were like and who inflicted them, based on no direct involvement in the examinations at all.

No, he is not "demonstrably" doing that. You have tried to demonstrate it and failed. He may have known just about everything there was to know about the wounds.

He was evidently an avid follower of the cases, almost certainly from reading about them in the papers.

"Almost certainly". The national anthem of Gareth Williams.

However, when we consider that no empirical, qualitative data as to the appearance of the wounds appeared in any press reports*, Tait's speculations are pretty much useless.

Only if he DID get all his information from the papers - something you have no idea about whatsoever. So why act as if you did?
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  #872  
Old 10-19-2017, 06:16 AM
Fisherman Fisherman is offline
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My opinion in that regard has less to do with Phillips, than with a triangulation of the evidence provided by John Richardson, Elizabeth Long and Albert Cadoche.

Give me Doctors Phillips, Blackwell, Sequeira, Brown and Bond before Dr Tait any day of the week. At least the first five guys were actually there.
Unlike West, yes.
Otherwise, in a comparison with the four medicos you mention, Tait is the better known name, with a possible exception of Bond.

The police themselves had no problem ditching the triangulation you speak of in favour of Phillips, by the way. And wisely so.
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  #873  
Old 10-19-2017, 06:17 AM
Sam Flynn Sam Flynn is offline
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sam we all know you don't have to actually examine the wounds to comment on them and note the similarities. I'm assuming he could read.
Abby, please read my post again. Adjectives like "jagged" or "deep" are not sufficient to give any insight at all as to whether a butcher inflicted the wounds or not. Yet, not only does Tait claim this, he even purports to know the school of butchery to which the killer belonged! As far as I can tell, we have no reason to believe that Tait had any expertise in the regional nuances of butchery techniques, so his assertion in that regard is wild speculation in itself. And, I repeat, if he didn't actually examine the wounds, how could he tell precisely how the cuts were made?
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Last edited by Sam Flynn : 10-19-2017 at 06:24 AM.
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  #874  
Old 10-19-2017, 06:19 AM
Fisherman Fisherman is offline
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sam we all know you don't have to actually examine the wounds to comment on them and note the similarities. I'm assuming he could read.
Abby, any person who champions the idea of a shared identity between the Ripper and the Torso killer is a babbling idiot.

Babbling idiots are often enough people who cannot read.

Ergo, Tait was quite possibly (or "almost certainly", even) unable to read.

So you may have jumped the gun there.

No need to answer, by the way. I won´t be able to read it anyway.
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  #875  
Old 10-19-2017, 06:20 AM
Fisherman Fisherman is offline
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Abby, please read my post again. Adjectives like "jagged" or "deep" are not sufficient to give any insight at all as to whether a butcher inflicted the wounds or not. Yet, not only does Tait claim this, he even purports to know about which school of butchery the killer belonged!
And does that imply a thorough or a lacking insight into the character of the wounds?
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  #876  
Old 10-19-2017, 06:35 AM
Sam Flynn Sam Flynn is offline
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Unlike West, yes.
Again, West was talking about how quickly the abdominal organs could have been taken out. One doesn't have to have been there to work that one out. But to claim, as Tait did, that the Ripper and torso murder wounds were inflicted by a "London butcher" would require (a) that one was in a position to examine how the knives and saws were used; and (b) that one knew the difference between a London butcher and a butcher from elsewhere... assuming (c) that there are regional differences in butchering techniques; and (d) that Tait was an expert in such regional differences. If not, he was bullshitting.
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Otherwise, in a comparison with the four medicos you mention, Tait is the better known name, with a possible exception of Bond.
Even more famous were Joseph Lister, Gilles de la Tourette, Josef Breuer and Jean-Martin Charcot, but - like Tait - they weren't on the scene in Whitechapel either.
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Last edited by Sam Flynn : 10-19-2017 at 07:04 AM.
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  #877  
Old 10-19-2017, 06:41 AM
Fisherman Fisherman is offline
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Gareth!

Let´s return for a second to what Lawson Tait says about different cutting techniques employed by butchers in different towns.

To begin with, exactly WHAT does he say? Here it is:

" ...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 would have been made quite differently if the operator had hailed from Dublin or Edinburgh."

So is it the free, slashing manner of cutting that is typical for the London butcher? I don´t think so, and Tait certainly does not say so. He says that "the cuts would have been made quite differently if the operator had hailed from Dublin or Edinburgh".

He may therefore have been speaking about any type of cutting, performed in any of the cases in the two series, albeit he seemingly thought that the cutting technique was THE SAME in all cases, otherwise he would not have made the link, right?

Regardless of WHICH cuts he was referring to, it applies that there are often very large dissimilarities inbetween how butchers learn to cut in different cities and regions. The folowing excerpt is about Mexican butchery, but with any luck, you will catch my drift:

"In presenting the information, it seemed pointless to simply list the vocabulary for the various cuts, so I chose to break it down into categories headed by the basic cuts and the recommended cooking methods for each. The information is accompanied by a diagram that shows the major sections and, within them, the cuts most likely to be requested by foreigners. It might be helpful to take along and point out what you want, at least until the butcher becomes accustomed to your preferences. While the most commonly used names for different cuts of beef are used here, there are regional, and even local, variations. The norteños, in particular, have different ways of cutting and labeling meat, as do the butchers in Chiapas."

"Regional and even local variations". So why would there not be such regional and even local variations in how butchers from different cities cut to disarticulate? How they cut out innards? How they cut a neck? Or anything else?

I see nothing at all strange about the suggestion.
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  #878  
Old 10-19-2017, 06:49 AM
Sam Flynn Sam Flynn is offline
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Abby, any person who champions the idea of a shared identity between the Ripper and the Torso killer is a babbling idiot.
Tait's positing a shared identity between JTR and the torso killer isn't based on his being a babbling idiot; it's based on the fact that he was not involved in any of the investigations and he did not examine any of the wounds. So how in God's name could he possibly make any judgement about the killer's technique if he had no opportunity to see, at first hand, how the knife and/or saw was used?
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  #879  
Old 10-19-2017, 06:50 AM
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Sam Flynn: Again, West was talking about how quickly the abdominal organs could have been taken out.

Could. Yes.
Not would.
He could and would not know that. And therefore he is a less valuable source of information than Tait, who was contemporary and who quite possibly spoke to the men involved.

But to claim that the Ripper and torso murder wounds were inflicted by a "London butcher" would require (a) that one was in a position to examine how the knives and saws were used; and (b) that one knew the difference between a London butcher and a butcher from elsewhere... assuming (c) that there are regional differences in butchering techniques; and (d) that Tait was an expert in such regional differences. If not, he was bullshitting.

A/Tait may well have been in close contact with one or more of the men who knew exactly how the knives and saws had been used on the victims. Check.

B/ As I just posted, there are many examples of regional and local variations in cutting techniques witnessed about by people knowledgeable about the butchery trade. Check.

C/ As has been shown, such differences are to be expected in many a case. Check.

D/ Tait did not have to be an expert in the regional differences. It would suffice that he had access to such expertise, who could inform him about it. Check.

Even more famous were Joseph Lister, Gilles de la Tourette, Josef Breuer and Jean-Martin Charcot, but - like Tait - they weren't on the scene in Whitechapel either.

That´s a fantastically insightful and intelligent point you´ve got there, Gareth. Bravo!
Schweitzer, what about him?

Last edited by Fisherman : 10-19-2017 at 07:10 AM.
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  #880  
Old 10-19-2017, 07:25 AM
Abby Normal Abby Normal is offline
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Originally Posted by Sam Flynn View Post
Abby, please read my post again. Adjectives like "jagged" or "deep" are not sufficient to give any insight at all as to whether a butcher inflicted the wounds or not. Yet, not only does Tait claim this, he even purports to know the school of butchery to which the killer belonged! As far as I can tell, we have no reason to believe that Tait had any expertise in the regional nuances of butchery techniques, so his assertion in that regard is wild speculation in itself. And, I repeat, if he didn't actually examine the wounds, how could he tell precisely how the cuts were made?
sam
its not really pertinent (at least to me anyway) about if he thought it was a butcher or not. its that he sees similarities between the two series based on the wounds.

its as simple as that.
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