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Go Back   Casebook Forums > Ripper Discussions > Victims > Non-Canonical Victims > Martha Tabram

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  #1  
Old 12-04-2012, 03:39 PM
RavenDarkendale RavenDarkendale is offline
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Default Probibility of Martha Tabram Being a JtR Victim

Since Martha Tabram is not one of the C5, (she was listed as the #2 victim of the Whitechapel Killer in the press of the day), what do any of you think set off an obviously frenzied attack involving 39 separate stab wounds and what on the surface seems to be two weapons? I say on the surface because the shallow 38 wounds could simply be a lack of directed force while the deep one through the sternum was deliberate and focused.

Do you think it possible that a murderer is likely to go from a vicious stabbing to an equally vicious throat slashing and mutilation?

Frankly, I've never had any problem with Tabram being a JtR victim, probably at least 85% more likely than Stride. I also wonder if MJK wasn't to personal a killing to be attributed to a serial killer like JtR unless she was his true target and the others killed as a warm up. This doesn't fit the usual serial killer profile, as none of the victims were as young and good looking as Mary Kelly, and indeed vary greatly in appearance. This usually means an opportunity killer, instead of a goal-based killer.

God Bless

Darkendale
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  #2  
Old 12-04-2012, 04:09 PM
Michael W Richards Michael W Richards is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RavenDarkendale View Post
Since Martha Tabram is not one of the C5, (she was listed as the #2 victim of the Whitechapel Killer in the press of the day), what do any of you think set off an obviously frenzied attack involving 39 separate stab wounds and what on the surface seems to be two weapons? I say on the surface because the shallow 38 wounds could simply be a lack of directed force while the deep one through the sternum was deliberate and focused.

Do you think it possible that a murderer is likely to go from a vicious stabbing to an equally vicious throat slashing and mutilation?

Frankly, I've never had any problem with Tabram being a JtR victim, probably at least 85% more likely than Stride. I also wonder if MJK wasn't to personal a killing to be attributed to a serial killer like JtR unless she was his true target and the others killed as a warm up. This doesn't fit the usual serial killer profile, as none of the victims were as young and good looking as Mary Kelly, and indeed vary greatly in appearance. This usually means an opportunity killer, instead of a goal-based killer.

God Bless

Darkendale
Hi Raven,

I believe with Tabram you have signs that the killer exhibited rage and anger. He also stabbed, not sliced....distinctly different actions. And we have evidence that 2 weapons were used during that 1 killing...lending itself to assuming multiple assailants.

There are 2 Canonical deaths that have some injuries that could be considered angry or spiteful,... Kates nose and the total murder of Mary Kelly. As you mentioned, the Kelly murder does seem to hint at a personal grievance, but the Tabram murder looks to me like a drunk client angry over a price or services rendered.

Martha's death sets the tone for the later murders, but I dont believe its a part of a single killer series. Not that I believe in the Canonical group mind you.

Cheers
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  #3  
Old 12-04-2012, 04:22 PM
Phil H Phil H is offline
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I have NEVER been attracted to the theory that Tabram was a victim of the same hand that slew Nichols and Chapman. I agree that stabbing in a frnzied way was the nature of the attack on Tabram, quite different from the colder, almost detached, nature of the later murders.

I think Tabram was probably attacked by two soldiers, one of whom believed she had duped him; or possibly (much less likely) by the same group who attacked Emma Smith.

Phil H
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  #4  
Old 12-04-2012, 05:46 PM
Tecs Tecs is offline
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It's typical of the mystery involving serial killers that there are always some murders which could be by the same hand but we just don't know until the killer is caught and tells all (if indeed they do.)

So the real answer is that we just don't know. Harping back again to the Yorkshire Ripper, he changed his M. O. completely and tried a ligature because he said he was fed up of being called "The Ripper" by everyone. But he found that the ligature was too difficult and after using it twice he reverted back to his old method for his next victim. Until he was captured, the poor ladies involved were put in the possible category. It could have been the killer, but there was good reason to believe it wasn't, particularly the complete change in M.O. And if he had never have been caught, we would still be debating and arguing whether or not they were victims of the Yorkshire Ripper, possibly on a message board similar to this?

The parallel with Martha is compelling. She may have been a victim of JTR, but we just don't know. I would resist saying she can't be because of the change in M.O. as, as I've described above, that can still happen with the same killer. I would rather say that taking timing and location into account, she could very well be. And I would certainly put her in a different category than Emma Smith whose murder was very different .

On the subject of the C5, we really do get too influenced by it I think and it leads us to some incorrect assumptions. One that I noticed was for example, people say that Klosowski's "wife" couldn't have known about his movements at the time of the murders, when questioned years later, because they didn't meet until 1889. But 1889 was during the time of the murders. We have this idea that JTR dissapeared and that was the end of him and the whole scare on 9th November 1888. But at the time 9th November was in fact the height of the scare and it didn't settle down for many, many months. The C5 is too "boxed" and neat for me and we must always remember that in reality it was quite different.

The C5 should be seen as a good starting point, not the final word.

regards,
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Last edited by Tecs : 12-04-2012 at 05:49 PM.
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  #5  
Old 12-04-2012, 06:58 PM
Hunter Hunter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tecs View Post
So the real answer is that we just don't know.
Yep, that's the real answer. The irony is, in disseminating who may have been killed by whom, standards are imposed on what people think a serial killer should have done in each instance and then the murders are picked apart and a victim is included or dismissed based on those assumptions; or we try to wrap a certain number around a particular suspect while dismissing others that might invalidate that individual; or claim a certain behavior has to be apparent to connect any of them together. Its all what we imagine should have taken place. Since we don't really know, the reality could have been anything.
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When evidence is not to be had, theories abound. Even the most plausible of them do not carry conviction- London Times Nov. 10.1888
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  #6  
Old 12-04-2012, 08:31 PM
Phil H Phil H is offline
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Hunter

There is, of course, the approach where we do not have a SINGLE list - canonical five or whatever.

Instead, one looks at various combinations of victims to see what they might reveal, and whether the results throw up new insights into the killings

I now have various such lists that I think through from time to time, but although Tabram sits there as a possible JtR murder, she never fits comfortable FOR ME.

Phil H
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:14 PM
Bridewell Bridewell is offline
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Default Different Weapon - Same Killer?

Quote:
He also stabbed, not sliced....distinctly different actions.
Hi Michael,

Does that necessarily mean a different killer though? Could it not be the same killer, but armed with a different knife? It is the nature of the knife which determines the injuries which can be inflicted. I now speculate: If this was the killer's first murder it would also be the one from which he would learn the most, and the one following which he would, at some point, decide that he was going to kill again. At that stage a thinking killer would realise that eventually, if he persisted, he was likely to be stop-checked. In that event, his chances of escaping capture would be greatly improved if he was carrying a knife whose possession he could justify. For anyone but a soldier it would be difficult to justify carrying a stabbing weapon such as a bayonet, but much more easy to explain a knife whose design purpose was not that of a weapon of offence. I am not, therefore, discounting the possibility that the change of MO was brought about by the need to change to a different weapon. I am undecided on whether or not Tabram was a victim of the man who went on to kill Nichols and Chapman but an altered MO is not IMHO necessarily conclusive evidence that a different killer was involved.

Regards, Bridewell.
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Old 12-05-2012, 03:07 PM
RavenDarkendale RavenDarkendale is offline
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Phil

Stabbing or slashing is still use of a blade. As Tecs pointed out, the serial killer may try other methods, but will likely revert to the tried and true. This was the case also in the Hillside Strangler case, the two men tried electrocution and poisoning with household products, but went back to strangulation.

Michael

Could be two weapons, true. But force of use can drive a blade much deeper into a victim, and the sternum wound is what is used to justify the statement that two blades were used. Why would the killer carry two knives of various lengths, and then use the "dagger" only once? Or if we are talking two killers, two knives, why would one stab through the sternum deep into the body while the other stabbed 38 times all over the body? According to Killeen, the focus of the wounds were the breasts, belly, and groin area. This seems akin to removal of female organs in later kills. And it was breasts, belly, and groin that was the focus of JtR in the slashing murders of Nichols, Chapman, and Eddows. I think MJK might just be a murder by someone other than JtR, a personal grudge that became a gruesome bloodbath.

As to Emma Smith, the whole murder is wrong for JtR: She was violated violently with a wooden stick by a gang, not one person working alone.

Tecs

Other murders later than 1888 could indeed have been by the same killer, i.e., JtR. Also as I mentioned there were probably victims never found or never identified due to decomp.

God Bless

Darkendale
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  #9  
Old 12-05-2012, 03:30 PM
Phil H Phil H is offline
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Dale,

You may well be right. It just doesn't stack up for me. I've been wrestling with it for decades!

Phil H
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  #10  
Old 12-05-2012, 04:43 PM
Tecs Tecs is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RavenDarkendale View Post
Could be two weapons, true. But force of use can drive a blade much deeper into a victim, and the sternum wound is what is used to justify the statement that two blades were used. Why would the killer carry two knives of various lengths, and then use the "dagger" only once? Or if we are talking two killers, two knives, why would one stab through the sternum deep into the body while the other stabbed 38 times all over the body? According to Killeen, the focus of the wounds were the breasts, belly, and groin area. This seems akin to removal of female organs in later kills. And it was breasts, belly, and groin that was the focus of JtR in the slashing murders of Nichols, Chapman, and Eddows.
Hi raven,

I think it's Michael Gordon who suggested the theory that Martha was murdered by a soldier hence the one stab from the bayonet, but then JTR comes across the body and proceeds to stab violently for whatever reason. ie two people involved, not two killers but one killer, one post mortem stabber. If I remember correctly there is evidence from witnesses that the body was in a different place or position, or there was a pool of blood which wasn't there before, something like that?

And, Sutcliffe again, police were aware of the focus of the Yorkshire Ripper on breasts and sexual areas such as pulling the victims bra up and stabbing their breasts. But when explaining after being caught he said that he lifted their bras simply so that he could see clearly where he was stabbing. He wanted to make sure his first victim, Wilma M'Cann, was dead so that she couldn't testify against him after he had hit her over the head to get her back for insulting him. So he focussed on stabbing her in her lungs and heart and to get a clear view he pulled her bra up. So what appeared a sexual motive may have just been expediency.

But as I've said several times about Sutcliffe, he is a complete liar who desperately tries to play down the obvious sexual element of his crimes for fear of being seen as the beast that he himself admitted that he is.

regards,
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Last edited by Tecs : 12-05-2012 at 04:45 PM.
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