Of course you’re right. Or at least, the attack on MJK was not as surprising as in the other cases. However little, she had time to react before she received her first cut. But it goes to show that MO doesn’t need to be the same throughout a series. Or at least to me it does.
"You can rob me, you can starve me and you can beat me and you can kill me. Just don't bore me."
Clint Eastwood as Gunny in "Heartbreak Ridge"
I agree with all this. Re: Posing, the way you suggest makes the posing incidental to the murders which means in effect, it wasn't posing. Or?
well its a tough one I admit. Like I said no overt posing, like positioning the body in weird way for some significance or cutting off a certain body part and placing it on purpose for shock value somewhere else(except for Kelly-see below) or moving the body to make it look like different MO etc.
however, the meer fact he left as is in such a shocking discovery mode strikes me, without even say, pulling the skirt back down, as significant.
and with Kelly, having more time, he placed the breast, uterus and I believe kidney under her head?!? That's a little more overt. If he hadn't done this then I think I would lean more to incidental.
__________________ "Is all that we see or seem
but a dream within a dream?"
-Edgar Allan Poe
"...the man and the peaked cap he is said to have worn
quite tallies with the descriptions I got of him."
-Frederick G. Abberline
One thing is beyond dispute, in MJK's case, someone placed the left arm back over her gutted midsection. It had to have been moved after the carnage. As for why the organs were placed about her....I think that between her legs is one thing, but a breast and a uterus under her head is another.
In the case of Kate the movement of organs may have just been utilitarian, even with that 2 foot colon section...and in the case of Polly the only "posing" would be the pulling down of the skirt..if the killer did that...and in Liz's case there is no obvious interaction with her body or her clothes after the throat slit.
So....Mary is the ONLY victim where the possible, indeed probable posing of the remains issue remains valid.
The work of KEPPEL, WEIS, BROWN & WELCH on the signature of Jack the Ripper assisted me greatly in understanding the difference between Modus Operandi and Signature.
Shaggyrand filled in the rest.
Put it like this.
Basically, Dahmer started out braining a guy with a weight and dumping him in the woods, then beating a guy to death cutting him up and dumping him in the woods, to strangulation and dismemberment, finally drugging them and injecting their brains with acid then dismembering them and eating parts of them.
MO's clearly can change.
What didn't change was his need to cuddle with and engage in sexual behavior with men who were submissive and unable to pull away. Unable to break his fantasy. Unconcious, dying, dead. That's his signature. That what he does when he can't do anything else. If no other part of his ritual could happen for some reason, that was the part he would fight to keep.
So it's just as well he screwed up, because no one was looking for him, and his victim pool ensured he wasn't going to get caught because someone noticed a serial killer. His signature meant he had to be caught in the act, because it was a private thing that no one would know about.
Signatures may not be as helpful as MO. But they are consistent where MO often changes to meet the changing needs of the killer. And knowing the signature often doesn't help any more than knowing the MO. Other things catch a killer as often as not. The signature and MO just sort the killer. Which is useful, but not a road map by any means.
The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.