I have not seen a thread discussing Dr.Bonds thoughts about the killer
in response to a Home Office request.Such a personal response by someone involved in the case, albeit a medical role, is interesting, as Dr. Bond is one of the few scientific professionals involved.
I consider Dr. Bonds opinions to be a mixture of hit and miss;it is predictably good when making assumptions derived from the physical evidence but weak when assuming the killers social background.
I find no reason to support Dr.Bonds claim opinion that the killer was neatly and respectably dressed and middleaged. It is possible this conclusion was arrived at after considering the victims solicitous behaviour and the Polices failure to apprehend him at the scene.
That the killer was without regular occupation but with some kind of pension or income. Independent means must of been almost unheard of in a slum area.
That the killer lived amongst respectable persons.
That the killer was a man of great coolness and daring.
However, i do agree that the killer possessed little anatomical knowledge or technical skill; was not necessarily deluged with blood; was solitary and eccentric ( an associal personality ).
Dr.Bond's belief in the killers middle class origins may be nothing more than scientific conservatism ( he stuck with what he knew ), or perhaps he had become aware of Police suspects who seemed to belong to a more prosperous section of society and this was colouring his judgement; I would include Druitt and Tumblety within this group.
Bonds ideas about the killers psychological condition is also intersesting
I do not agree with the Doctors Satyriasis opinion,as many criminals who have sexually mutilated there victims did not possess inordinate sexual appetite. The " fits of erotic or homicidal mania " might be nearer the mark.
Many serial killers claim that the urge to kill builds up over a period of time, like steam in kettle.
So here are my immediate thoughts on Dr.Bonds " profile "; is my criticism fair?.
It was the first stab at criminal profiling a serial killer and I thought Bond made a good fist of it even though it was hit and miss. He didn't have the luxury of examining past serial killers or chat to a serial killer like we can do.
Thomas Bond was a chancer. Credited with being the first criminal profiler, he made bogus guesses based on nothing but his imagination. In the cases of the Whitechapel murders, for example, he delivered an authoritative opinion that all the five canonical victims were murdered by the same man although he had direct knowledge of only one. He confined himself to autopsy reports on four victims sent to him by Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner, Robert Anderson about which he apparently had no opinion for two weeks until he was called to the body of Mary Kelly when, within a day he made his pronouncement.
Undoubtedly, he was a man of enormous self confidence like many a medical doctor who came after him.
"I consider Dr. Bonds opinions to be a mixture of hit and miss;it is predictably good when making assumptions derived from the physical evidence but weak when assuming the killers social background."
I'm not so sure that the good doctor, whilst undoubtedly well-intentioned, was even all that good when making assumptions from physical evidence. In his notes on the Kelly Post Mortem he describes rigor mortis thus:
"the period varies from 6 to 12 hours before rigidity sets in".
Modern thought is that the process begins after 3 hours, not 6. This is why I take issue with anyone who insists that Mrs Caroline Maxwell and Maurice Lewis have to be mistaken when they claim to have seen Kelly on the morning of Friday 9th November.
This is why I take issue with anyone who insists that Mrs Caroline Maxwell and Maurice Lewis have to be mistaken when they claim to have seen Kelly on the morning of Friday 9th November.
Maurice Lewis didn't know Mary. See Begg, p 280 : "ML, a tailor living in Dorset Street, who said he'd known Mary Kelly for the past 5 years and described her as about five foot three, stout and dark...."
We don't know if Bond was totally correct, partially correct or totally wrong since the murderer of none of these women was never caught. He was probably about as qualified as anyone for that time and it is understandable why he was asked to provide some insight as to who they may be looking for since hard evidence was almost nonexistent.
He certainly had read Krafft-Ebing's work, which was remarkably astute in some respects and off base in others.
They were all dealing with a set of circumstances that had developed quickly, seemed to end quickly and had never been faced before.
When evidence is not to be had, theories abound. Even the most plausible of them do not carry conviction- London Times Nov. 10.1888
It may be difficult to give a concise answer, but I'll try.
Krafft-Ebing was a German born 19th century psychiatrist. His early career was spent working in asylums, but he became disenchanted with the treatment of mental patients (which was no treatment at all, just warehousing them) and decided to embark on a lifelong study of the human mind and the causes and effects of mental illness.
His first book, A Textbook of Insanity, was published in 1879, followed by Psychopathia Sexualis in 1886, with revised editions added into 1906. (That edition, I believe can be found in the Riper Media section of this website). This book explored human sexuality, including 'deviant' and criminal aspects of it and presented a number of case studies and interviews. Krafft-Ebing helped coin the term 'sadism' as well as 'lust murderer' and a couple of these studies involved murderers with characteristics believed to be similar to the Whitechapel Murders.
The book was circulated widely among the medical and law enforcement professions. Jack Littlechild referred to it in relation to Tumblety in his letter to George Sims.
The main evidence that Thomas Bond referenced Krafft-Ebing's work in developing his profile of the Ripper is in his use of the word 'satyriasis' in describing the sexual condition of the killer. This comes straight from Krafft-Ebing's book.
It may be noted that, along with its reference for the professionals mentioned, Psychopathia Sexualis was also said to be used as a form of pornography for some, because of its graphic sexual depictions.
Wouldn't it be ironic if the murderer and the men charged to apprehend him were operating out of the same book?
Here is a link to a thread that discussed Krafft-Ebing some time back: