Casebook: Jack the Ripper - Main
   

Introduction
Victims
Suspects
Witnesses
Ripper Letters
Police Officials
Official Documents
Press Reports
Victorian London
Message Boards
Ripper Media
Authors
Dissertations
Timelines
Games & Diversions
Photo Archive
Ripper Wiki
Casebook Examiner
Ripper Podcast
About the Casebook

Most Recent Posts:
Maybrick, James: Acquiring A Victorian Diary - by caz 4 minutes ago.
Non-Fiction: Jack the Ripper Suspect Dr. Francis Tumblety - by Admin 20 minutes ago.
Maybrick, James: Acquiring A Victorian Diary - by caz 37 minutes ago.
Shades of Whitechapel: Dennis Nilsen - by Sam Flynn 39 minutes ago.
Shades of Whitechapel: Dennis Nilsen - by Joshua Rogan 48 minutes ago.
A6 Murders: Bob Woffinden has died - by Derrick 49 minutes ago.

Most Popular Threads:
General Suspect Discussion: Favorite suspect/s? - (7 posts)
Shades of Whitechapel: Dennis Nilsen - (7 posts)
Doctors and Coroners: Eddowes' gut cut - (7 posts)
A6 Murders: scan of Hanratty statement re Rhyl alibi - (4 posts)
Maybrick, James: Acquiring A Victorian Diary - (3 posts)
A6 Murders: Bob Woffinden has died - (2 posts)

Wiki Updates:
Robert Sagar
Edit: Chris
May 9, 2015, 12:32 am
Online newspaper archives
Edit: Chris
Nov 26, 2014, 10:25 am
Joseph Lawende
Edit: Chris
Mar 9, 2014, 10:12 am
Miscellaneous research resources
Edit: Chris
Feb 13, 2014, 9:28 am
Charles Cross
Edit: John Bennett
Sep 4, 2013, 8:20 pm

Most Recent Blogs:
Mike Covell: A DECADE IN THE MAKING.
February 19, 2016, 11:12 am.
Chris George: RipperCon in Baltimore, April 8-10, 2016
February 10, 2016, 2:55 pm.
Mike Covell: Hull Prison Visit
October 10, 2015, 8:04 am.
Mike Covell: NEW ADVENTURES IN RESEARCH
August 9, 2015, 3:10 am.
Mike Covell: UPDDATES FOR THE PAST 11 MONTHS
November 14, 2014, 10:02 am.
Mike Covell: Mike’s Book Releases
March 17, 2014, 3:18 am.

Go Back   Casebook Forums > Ripper Discussions > Doctors and Coroners

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 05-16-2018, 06:57 AM
Kattrup Kattrup is offline
Detective
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Denmark
Posts: 176
Default Eddowes' gut cut

I've been wondering about the cut to Eddowes' abdomen.

I'm having some trouble understanding the following passage, which describes the cut:

Quote:
We examined the abdomen. The front walls were laid open from the breast bones to the pubes. The cut commenced opposite the enciform cartilage. The incision went upwards, not penetrating the skin that was over the sternum. It then divided the enciform cartilage. The knife must have cut obliquely at the expense of that cartilage.
While the general meaning is clear, I can't seem to make sense logically of the description.

"breast bones" - the sternum, roughly. So the cut extends from the chest to the pubes. Ok.
But:
"commenced opposite the ensiform cartilage" - opposite I take to mean the cut started in the pubic area.
then: "went upwards" i.e. towards the chest
but:
"not penetrating the skin that was over the sternum"

"It then divided the ensiform cartilage" - how does this "then" make sense in a description that has already reached the sternum?

"The knife must have cut obliquely at the expense of that cartilage" - what does this sentence mean?

Compared to the post-autopsy photo of Eddowes, where a long incision extending from the top of the sternum to the pubic area is clearly visible, I wonder of the upper part (skin of the sternum) was cut by the doctors as part of the autopsy?
The description seems to clearly say that the skin of the sternum was not cut, yet on the photo it has been.

Furthermore, when reading the next paragraph about the cut, I am somewhat surprised to see the cut starts behind the rectum:
Quote:
The abdominal walls were divided in the middle line to within a quarter of an inch of the navel. The cut then took a horizontal course for two inches and a half towards the right side. It then divided round the navel on the left side, and made a parallel incision to the former horizontal incision, leaving the navel on a tongue of skin. Attached to the navel was two and a half inches of the lower part of the rectus muscle on the left side of the abdomen. The incision then took an oblique direction to the right and was shelving. The incision went down the right side of the vagina and rectum for half an inch behind the rectum.
Compare the description to the photo.
Since the cut started from below - the killer started the cut behind the rectum, then led the knife upwards towards the abdomen? Deftly cuts around the navel, then ends the cut severing the xiphoid process (ensiform cartilage).
What does it mean the cut was "shelving"?

Are there any other descriptions of the wounds available?
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 05-16-2018, 07:09 AM
Sam Flynn Sam Flynn is offline
Casebook Supporter
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Wales
Posts: 9,719
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kattrup View Post
"commenced opposite the ensiform cartilage" - opposite I take to mean the cut started in the pubic area.
Don't think so, Kat. If you follow the narrative, Brown is describing a wound that extends down to the pubic area from the sternum. You wouldn't describe a wound that started at the pubic area as "opposite the sternum", anymore than a head wound would be described as "opposite the feet". Brown must have meant that the wound was on the opposite side of the ensiform cartilage - i.e. in the notch between the ribs just below it.
Quote:
"The knife must have cut obliquely at the expense of that cartilage" - what does this sentence mean?
That it was an abrupt diagonal (oblique) movement of the blade that sliced through the cartilage.

I would address your other questions, but I have a bit of a headache, and Brown's quaint Victorian-speak isn't helping it! Perhaps you can fill in the gaps now that I've started you off
__________________
Kind regards, Sam Flynn

"Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 05-16-2018, 07:15 AM
Elamarna Elamarna is offline
Assistant Commissioner
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: South london
Posts: 3,956
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kattrup View Post
I've been wondering about the cut to Eddowes' abdomen.

I'm having some trouble understanding the following passage, which describes the cut:



While the general meaning is clear, I can't seem to make sense logically of the description.

"breast bones" - the sternum, roughly. So the cut extends from the chest to the pubes. Ok.
But:
"commenced opposite the ensiform cartilage" - opposite I take to mean the cut started in the pubic area.
then: "went upwards" i.e. towards the chest
but:
"not penetrating the skin that was over the sternum"

"It then divided the ensiform cartilage" - how does this "then" make sense in a description that has already reached the sternum?

"The knife must have cut obliquely at the expense of that cartilage" - what does this sentence mean?

Compared to the post-autopsy photo of Eddowes, where a long incision extending from the top of the sternum to the pubic area is clearly visible, I wonder of the upper part (skin of the sternum) was cut by the doctors as part of the autopsy?
The description seems to clearly say that the skin of the sternum was not cut, yet on the photo it has been.

Furthermore, when reading the next paragraph about the cut, I am somewhat surprised to see the cut starts behind the rectum:


Compare the description to the photo.
Since the cut started from below - the killer started the cut behind the rectum, then led the knife upwards towards the abdomen? Deftly cuts around the navel, then ends the cut severing the xiphoid process (ensiform cartilage).
What does it mean the cut was "shelving"?

Are there any other descriptions of the wounds available?
Hi Kattrup,

My view would be the surface cut (skin) did not extend as far as the sterum, the cut was at an angle.
i would read shelving as probably meaning shallowing,

The pronability is as you suggest that the wound was opened further at PM to allow full examination.



Steve
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 05-16-2018, 07:16 AM
Elamarna Elamarna is offline
Assistant Commissioner
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: South london
Posts: 3,956
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Flynn View Post
Don't think so, Kat. If you follow the narrative, Brown is describing a wound that extends down to the pubic area from the sternum. You wouldn't describe a wound that started at the pubic area as "opposite the sternum", anymore than a head wound would be described as "opposite the feet". Brown must have meant that the wound was on the opposite side of the ensiform cartilage - i.e. in the notch between the ribs just below it.
That it was an abrupt diagonal (oblique) movement of the blade that sliced through the cartilage.

I would address your other questions, but I have a bit of a headache, and Brown's quaint Victorian-speak isn't helping it! Perhaps you can fill in the gaps now that I've started you off
Agree there sir.


Steve
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 05-16-2018, 07:20 AM
Sam Flynn Sam Flynn is offline
Casebook Supporter
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Wales
Posts: 9,719
Default

Re "shelving" - to "shelve" is to slope or slant gradually.
__________________
Kind regards, Sam Flynn

"Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 05-16-2018, 07:21 AM
Kattrup Kattrup is offline
Detective
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Denmark
Posts: 176
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Flynn View Post
Don't think so, Kat. If you follow the narrative, Brown is describing a wound that extends down to the pubic area from the sternum. You wouldn't describe a wound that started at the pubic area as "opposite the sternum", anymore than a head wound would be described as "opposite the feet". Brown must have meant that the wound was on the opposite side of the ensiform cartilage - i.e. in the notch between the ribs just below it.
That it was an abrupt diagonal (oblique) movement of the blade that sliced through the cartilage.

I would address your other questions, but I have a bit of a headache, and Brown's quaint Victorian-speak isn't helping it! Perhaps you can fill in the gaps now that I've started you off
well, I always thought that it started near the sternum, which is why I was wondering. On the photo there’s a line below her right breast which I thought was part of the cut, however it might be a crease or similar in the photo.
Also it seemed rather imprecise of the good doctor to not state which “opposite” the cut started, left or right. And how far? Of course, one should not draw conclusions from lack of info, but when reading about the incision around the navel, the left-right directions only make sense if describing the wound coming from below.
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 05-16-2018, 07:23 AM
Sam Flynn Sam Flynn is offline
Casebook Supporter
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Wales
Posts: 9,719
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kattrup View Post
Of course, one should not draw conclusions from lack of info
We have plenty of info, Kat, and luckily it's very detailed. It describes a wound which started at the sternum then "shelved" downwards to the pelvic region, not one which started from below and went up.
__________________
Kind regards, Sam Flynn

"Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

Last edited by Sam Flynn : 05-16-2018 at 07:25 AM.
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 05-16-2018, 07:55 AM
Joshua Rogan Joshua Rogan is online now
Chief Inspector
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 1,636
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kattrup View Post
I've been wondering about the cut to Eddowes' abdomen.

I'm having some trouble understanding the following passage, which describes the cut:



While the general meaning is clear, I can't seem to make sense logically of the description.

"breast bones" - the sternum, roughly. So the cut extends from the chest to the pubes. Ok.
But:
"commenced opposite the ensiform cartilage" - opposite I take to mean the cut started in the pubic area.
then: "went upwards" i.e. towards the chest
but:
"not penetrating the skin that was over the sternum"

"It then divided the ensiform cartilage" - how does this "then" make sense in a description that has already reached the sternum?

"The knife must have cut obliquely at the expense of that cartilage" - what does this sentence mean?

Compared to the post-autopsy photo of Eddowes, where a long incision extending from the top of the sternum to the pubic area is clearly visible, I wonder of the upper part (skin of the sternum) was cut by the doctors as part of the autopsy?
The description seems to clearly say that the skin of the sternum was not cut, yet on the photo it has been.

Furthermore, when reading the next paragraph about the cut, I am somewhat surprised to see the cut starts behind the rectum:


Compare the description to the photo.
Since the cut started from below - the killer started the cut behind the rectum, then led the knife upwards towards the abdomen? Deftly cuts around the navel, then ends the cut severing the xiphoid process (ensiform cartilage).
What does it mean the cut was "shelving"?

Are there any other descriptions of the wounds available?
Hi Kattrup. I was just looking at this myself. As others have said, I think Brown is describing the cut starting adjacent to (rather than opposite as he says) the ensiform cartilage, dividing it and extanding at an angle beneath the sternum, stabbing the liver several times, but not breaking the skin above the ribs. I think the stitches visible in the photo are indeed due to the post mortem exam, although an extension of the killer's own efforts.

The part containing the line "The knife must have cut obliquely at the expense of that cartilage" is, in some other reports (eg Times 5th Oct) transcribed as "The incision went upwards, not penetrating the skin that was over the sternum; it then divided the ensiform cartilage, and being gristle they could tell how the knife had made the cut. It was held so that the point was towards the left side and the handle towards the right. The cut was made obliquely."
Which I find intereting.
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 05-16-2018, 08:00 AM
Joshua Rogan Joshua Rogan is online now
Chief Inspector
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 1,636
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Flynn View Post
We have plenty of info, Kat, and luckily it's very detailed. It describes a wound which started at the sternum then "shelved" downwards to the pelvic region, not one which started from below and went up.
Hi Sam,
As I've just posted, the Times report (to me) suggests the "shelving" is caused by the cutter being on the body's right side, so the knife is not held perpendicular to the ground but is pointing down and to the left....If that makes sense?
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 05-16-2018, 08:33 AM
Joshua Rogan Joshua Rogan is online now
Chief Inspector
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 1,636
Default

Foster's mortuary sketch is probably a better guide to the extent of the wounds than the photo.

http://photos.casebook.org/displayim...album=35&pos=8
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 06:05 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.