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

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  #941  
Old 10-20-2017, 07:34 PM
Pcdunn Pcdunn is offline
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Probably a baseless speculation on my part, but could the pioneer founder of gynecological surgery have known so much about the torsos because he was responsible for them?
After getting caught up with the posts, I see the idea has been discussed before. A joke between "surgeon" and "butcher" is very possible.

Still, Tait was very skilled in a relatively new specialty at the time, and I couldn't help wondering just how he got his practice.
I figured the praise of "sweeping cuts" and the blaming of "London butchers" were, respectively, ego and misdirection.

Interesting that Dave's favorite, Dr. Sutton, thought little of Dr. Tait.
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  #942  
Old 10-21-2017, 12:02 AM
Trevor Marriott Trevor Marriott is offline
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Originally Posted by Michael W Richards View Post
Reading about the issues surrounding dismemberment and how unusual an act it was I am reminded of the case of Kate Webster in 1871 in Richmond. This woman murdered her employer then systematically took the remains apart, leaving pieces of her in a pot on the stove, and about Richmond. The victims head was actually found in 2010 when Richard Attenborough was remodeling his house.

The point for me is that doing something horrible isn't particularly unique to the murders in 1888, nor is it something that has to have been done by people who were doing so out of madness. Practicality, deceit, avoidance of punishment are are reasons why some killer exceed the acts required to merely take life.

John Gill in Bradford is another example of dismemberment the same year as this so called "Ripper", and the Torso. Yet the act was never linked with either of those cases.

I would just ad that motives are the key, not the acts.

If anyone can prove that the Torsos were created by someone who killed just so he could make Torsos that would be something, as it is they may have been created merely to dispose, deceive, or avoid detection for murder.
Is someone could prove that all the torsos were as a result of murders would be truly amazing !

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  #943  
Old 10-21-2017, 12:31 AM
Sam Flynn Sam Flynn is offline
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Probably a baseless speculation on my part, but could the pioneer founder of gynecological surgery have known so much about the torsos because he was responsible for them?
He didn't know much about them, if his comments about "sweeping cuts" are anything to go by.

Sweeping generalisation, more like.
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  #944  
Old 10-21-2017, 01:08 AM
Debra A Debra A is offline
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Originally Posted by Sam Flynn View Post
He didn't know much about them, if his comments about "sweeping cuts" are anything to go by.

Sweeping generalisation, more like.
They were 'sweeping' in comparison to the 'niggly' cuts used by surgeons, apparently.
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  #945  
Old 10-21-2017, 01:36 AM
Debra A Debra A is offline
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Originally Posted by Michael W Richards View Post
Reading about the issues surrounding dismemberment and how unusual an act it was I am reminded of the case of Kate Webster in 1871 in Richmond. This woman murdered her employer then systematically took the remains apart, leaving pieces of her in a pot on the stove, and about Richmond. The victims head was actually found in 2010 when Richard Attenborough was remodeling his house.

The point for me is that doing something horrible isn't particularly unique to the murders in 1888, nor is it something that has to have been done by people who were doing so out of madness. Practicality, deceit, avoidance of punishment are are reasons why some killer exceed the acts required to merely take life.

John Gill in Bradford is another example of dismemberment the same year as this so called "Ripper", and the Torso. Yet the act was never linked with either of those cases.

I would just ad that motives are the key, not the acts.

If anyone can prove that the Torsos were created by someone who killed just so he could make Torsos that would be something, as it is they may have been created merely to dispose, deceive, or avoid detection for murder.
Although only Elizabeth Jackson was identified in the four torso cases 87-89, the women were all unmissed females of an age between 18 to 40 and some were apparently of the poor class, going by the clothing they were found with. Elizabeth Jackson was destitute and homeless. The Rainham torso wore her garters in a way the poor classes wore them, the Pinchin street torso had a roughly made chemise
.
In that case, the motive of murder and dismemberment for concealment for financial gain as in the Webster case can be ruled out.
The women could certainly have been victims of domestic violence and murdered by someone known to them, hence the need to dispose of their bodies.

An attempt at abortion via poisoning could figure in Elizabeth Jackson's case (but no abortion was performed or attempted physically) and the Whitehall torso could also have died as the result of an abortion - it can't be ruled out.

But you hit on something important in your very first sentence, Michael! That this kind of case was unusual.But here we have four cases within two years, all women within an age range of 18 to 40, all women probably from the poorer classes, one definitely an unfortunate, and dismembered and their bodies disposed of in and around the Thames.

The bodies had not been subjected to any other treatment first, as in some previous historical cases the first act was to try and burn or boil remains before dumping as a last resort. And finally, the doctor who examined them noticed similarities in the way the bodies were taken apart.

Was there an epidemic of domestic violence by men confident and skilled with a knife living near the West End and Thames all of a sudden?
Was there a particularly poor abortionist operating in the same area, killing all the women who sought out his/her services, women who were destitute and he would be risking his neck for without any financial reward?

Individually they can be explained away, but the probability of any given scenario must diminish when we look at the common factors in all four cases.?
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  #946  
Old 10-21-2017, 03:05 AM
Elamarna Elamarna is offline
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Hi all, following Jerry's thread on JTR forums, i have been thinking about the distribution of the body parts ( i do take some time off from Bucks Row).
We have a major grouping towards the West and a small less dense grouping in the East.
We however have one on its own, the outlier in the Regents canal. This strikes me as odd.
So I have looked to see if anything connects all.
The Canal system connects all. To the West of the Regents canal is the Paddington basin, where the lock keeper suspect the body part had come from, this connects with the Grand Union canal which in turn connects with the Thames at Brentford. Canals were still a major transportation means for building materials at this stage, such as those used in the construction at Whitehall,. The Regents canal itself connected with the Thames to the East at Linehouse.
Of interest is the fact that the offices of the Contractor working on Whitehall were very close to the Regents canal.

I would like to therefore propose that it is entirely possible that the canal system could have been used in the disposal of the body parts, it is at the very least a common connection.

This of course does not help with who?

I did consider making this a thread on its own, but just wondered if there were any interest in the idea.


Steve
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  #947  
Old 10-21-2017, 04:31 AM
Abby Normal Abby Normal is offline
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Originally Posted by Debra A View Post
Although only Elizabeth Jackson was identified in the four torso cases 87-89, the women were all unmissed females of an age between 18 to 40 and some were apparently of the poor class, going by the clothing they were found with. Elizabeth Jackson was destitute and homeless. The Rainham torso wore her garters in a way the poor classes wore them, the Pinchin street torso had a roughly made chemise
.
In that case, the motive of murder and dismemberment for concealment for financial gain as in the Webster case can be ruled out.
The women could certainly have been victims of domestic violence and murdered by someone known to them, hence the need to dispose of their bodies.

An attempt at abortion via poisoning could figure in Elizabeth Jackson's case (but no abortion was performed or attempted physically) and the Whitehall torso could also have died as the result of an abortion - it can't be ruled out.

But you hit on something important in your very first sentence, Michael! That this kind of case was unusual.But here we have four cases within two years, all women within an age range of 18 to 40, all women probably from the poorer classes, one definitely an unfortunate, and dismembered and their bodies disposed of in and around the Thames.

The bodies had not been subjected to any other treatment first, as in some previous historical cases the first act was to try and burn or boil remains before dumping as a last resort. And finally, the doctor who examined them noticed similarities in the way the bodies were taken apart.

Was there an epidemic of domestic violence by men confident and skilled with a knife living near the West End and Thames all of a sudden?
Was there a particularly poor abortionist operating in the same area, killing all the women who sought out his/her services, women who were destitute and he would be risking his neck for without any financial reward?

Individually they can be explained away, but the probability of any given scenario must diminish when we look at the common factors in all four cases.?
Hi debs
Great post. and totally agree with everything you say.
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  #948  
Old 10-21-2017, 04:35 AM
Abby Normal Abby Normal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elamarna View Post
Hi all, following Jerry's thread on JTR forums, i have been thinking about the distribution of the body parts ( i do take some time off from Bucks Row).
We have a major grouping towards the West and a small less dense grouping in the East.
We however have one on its own, the outlier in the Regents canal. This strikes me as odd.
So I have looked to see if anything connects all.
The Canal system connects all. To the West of the Regents canal is the Paddington basin, where the lock keeper suspect the body part had come from, this connects with the Grand Union canal which in turn connects with the Thames at Brentford. Canals were still a major transportation means for building materials at this stage, such as those used in the construction at Whitehall,. The Regents canal itself connected with the Thames to the East at Linehouse.
Of interest is the fact that the offices of the Contractor working on Whitehall were very close to the Regents canal.

I would like to therefore propose that it is entirely possible that the canal system could have been used in the disposal of the body parts, it is at the very least a common connection.

This of course does not help with who?

I did consider making this a thread on its own, but just wondered if there were any interest in the idea.


Steve
Hi El
Interesting. Which torso was found in regents canal?

And yes very relevant! The construction/boatman/Whitehall angle has been discussed before and it is a very intriguing avenue to explore,
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"...the man and the peaked cap he is said to have worn
quite tallies with the descriptions I got of him."

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  #949  
Old 10-21-2017, 05:12 AM
Joshua Rogan Joshua Rogan is offline
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Originally Posted by Abby Normal View Post
Which torso was found in regents canal?

And yes very relevant! The construction/boatman/Whitehall angle has been discussed before and it is a very intriguing avenue to explore,
Abby,
I believe the arms and lower legs of the '87 Rainham torso were found in the canal, in two bundles. If I recall, all the Rainham torso parts were said to be wrapped in canvas and tied with rope, rather than bits of clothing and string as in the other cases. Although it was never stated that this was sail cloth, it might point toward some sort of boatman or sailor involvement.
Interestingly a third leg, a thigh, was also recovered from the canal, at about the same time, but it was thought to belong to another (older) woman, as both the torso thighs had already been found in the Thames. This rarely gets mentioned...are there any further details? Were any other parts found from this corpse?
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  #950  
Old 10-21-2017, 05:35 AM
Trevor Marriott Trevor Marriott is offline
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Originally Posted by Debra A View Post
t.


Was there an epidemic of domestic violence by men confident and skilled with a knife living near the West End and Thames all of a sudden?
Was there a particularly poor abortionist operating in the same area, killing all the women who sought out his/her services, women who were destitute and he would be risking his neck for without any financial reward?

Individually they can be explained away, but the probability of any given scenario must diminish when we look at the common factors in all four cases.?
Hi Debs

But there is another scenario, just as plausible, that being that there perhaps was a combination of the two scenarios you mentioned.

After all the dismemberments were done to hide the identities. If these were prostitutes why would the killer want to hide their identities, why would he not simply leave them were they were murdered, as with the WM, and this is one major flaw in the theory that these torsos were the work of the same killer. Why the need to dismember in any event. Why risk getting caught disposing of the body parts? All point are against a serial torso killer.

The level of knife skill is something that is being over exaggerated on here by some, who have come up with their own assessment, based on them having no surgical experience whatsoever.

All this clap trap about being able to identify one butchers skills from one part of the country against one from another. I cannot see what butchery skills has to do with the dismembering its another false trail.

I refer to Dr Biggs yet again, and it is he who stated that much of Victorian doctors opinions given back then, can now be proved to have been nothing more than guesswork, yet people believed what they said back then, and is seem some still do today


"Another observation that is usually quoted in historical cases is that the 'quality' of the dismemberment somehow points towards a skilled individual. Whether this is medical / surgical / anatomical knowledge, or just prior experience of butchery / abattoir work varies, but the observation is often cited. I can see how it is tempting to jump to this conclusion, but I have to say that I would usually regard the quality of dissection as an indicator of a lack of prior knowledge or experience! Anyone who has taken the legs off a roast chicken can probably work out that the legs will come off a human with the right encouragement...

Dr Biggs - Jack the Ripper- The Real Truth http://www.trevormarriott.co.uk/jack-ripper-real-truth/

www.trevormarriott.co.uk

Last edited by Trevor Marriott : 10-21-2017 at 05:42 AM.
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