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

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  #21  
Old 04-17-2008, 02:45 AM
Celesta Celesta is offline
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Hi Tom,

Right. That's why I drew from The JTR Companion, by Evans & Skinner. They make it clear that it was a penknife and a dagger.

Did you look at those godawful bayonets on that link I posted? Imagine being stabbed by that.

Cheers,

Celesta
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  #22  
Old 04-17-2008, 03:46 AM
perrymason
 
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Celesta,

I think you would be amazed at the range of shapes, lengths and alternate usage features you can find in bayonets.

I have some from the American Civil War, The Spanish-American, and WW I and II. Lots of different countries of manufacture, and no two alike. Ive got maybe 28 or 30, along with some various period knives....and among them are a 8 inch spike, like a steel golf tee, one that is 6 inches wide at the base and curved inward at the sides....Ive got one that must be 12-14 inches long and effectively resembles a giant pen knife in shape, and I have a few that are designed to be used as shovels as well.

None are very easy to wield like a knife though, as the short ones tend to be broad blades, and the long ones would be useless in close quarters.

I think a type of one was used on Martha, but I dont know whether there also was another smaller knife used. The right kind of bayonet....and I dont know what a standard issue bayonet for a Guardsman in London in 1888 looked like, but the right design could I think have made both types of wounds. And since there is only one that was singled out, hard to imagine a double fister using one hand only once, or a man stabbing away suddenly stopping and changing weapons.

Cheers.
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  #23  
Old 04-17-2008, 08:59 AM
Mike Covell Mike Covell is offline
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Michael,

With a collection like that its a good job you don't live in the UK were knife laws are crazy, I have a collection but thats all I am willing to say, they are for show, and locked away safely.
It's a shame that the irresponsible few spoil it for the responsible masses!!
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  #24  
Old 04-17-2008, 09:30 AM
Fisherman Fisherman is online now
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Michael writes:

"the right design could I think have made both types of wounds"

Michael, we of course do not have any measurements of how wide the entrance wounds of the 38 lesser stab wounds were (but for the cut to the abdomen). We do, however, know that they led Killeen to speak about a pen-knife.
Now, the blade of a pan-knife is a very smallish one, thin and narrow. Therefore, it stands to reason that the smaller wounds displayed entrance holes that fit such a description. If Killeen could possibly have had any other reason to speak of a pen-knife, it would be fascinating to hear that reason. To me, it is crystal clear that there could only be one reason for this suggestion of his.

But even though these wounds had smallish entrances, the blade that had caused them had travelled very deep inside Tabrams body. We are speaking of many inches here, enough to travel through Tabrams body fat and further in, eventually piercing liver, spleen, lungs ... That would in all probability have taken a blade with a length of perhaps 6 to 8 inches - or more.

And that, of course, is a distance that would have been enough to reach the heart too. But if the heart had been reached by that blade, then the entrance hole of that wound would have been similar to the rest of the wounds. It was not. Kileen stated firmly that if the weapon that caused the smaller wounds had been used on the sternum, it would have broken. Why? Because it was very obvious that this blade was a THIN one, as well as narrow. Pen-knife width and thickness, Michael!

The wound at the sternum was made by a weapon that left another track altogether. And it will have been a very marked difference too, since the obvious path to explore for any doctor finding a woman with 39 holes in her includes an educated guess that all wounds would have been made by the same blade. And the obvious question for a medico to ask himself when he sees a differing wound is "Could this perhaps have been inflicted by the same blade, but in a different fashion?". Killeen will have asked himself exactly that, and come up with a conviction that such was not the case.

We are looking at two knifes in the Tabram deed. To me, that is beyond sound questioning. My feeling is not that there has been too much speculation of two knives in the Tabram case, it is that there has been far too little of it in the other cases, Stride aside.
If we are to accept one blade in the Tabram deed, we must imagine a blade that is markedly thin and perhaps only centimetre-wide from the point and six, seven, eight inches down, whereafter it suddenly becomes a lot broader and sturdier for the next ten inches or so. And of course, if such a hybrid was what was used on Tabram, then Killeen must have missed the exit hole in her back, and though questioning any doctors or medicos qualifications is fair game, I think that would be stretching matters a little too far ...

No way, Iīm afraid. Two blades, definitely.

The best,
Fisherman

Last edited by Fisherman : 04-17-2008 at 09:36 AM.
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  #25  
Old 04-17-2008, 01:03 PM
Howard Brown Howard Brown is offline
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Fisherman:

Old bean, we also haven't discussed the possibility of one blade breaking off after being jabbed into Mrs. Tabram's body...and that despite being jabbed at least ( maybe more, as some wounds could have overlapped, due to the fact so many were in found in some specific areas) 38 times...she wasn't dead yet....

Obviously, this would mean that the killer had to remove the blade from her torso since Killeen would have mentioned finding a broken off blade in her flesh.....or would he ? Is it possible that a broken blade could remain undetected in someone even after a post-mortem exam?

If the knife that hypothetically broke off was rendered inoperative for pokin' purposes and she was still not quite dead yet, then the use of the second knife may have been used to finish her off.

Its also possible that the wound to the heart was rendered first. Killeen mentions that the wound to the heart was "sufficient" to cause death. Sufficient doesn't mean definitely. Therefore, we don't know when, for certain, this heart wound was delivered....either first or last.
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  #26  
Old 04-17-2008, 02:03 PM
Glenn Lauritz Andersson Glenn Lauritz Andersson is offline
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Hello Fisherman,

OK, I admit I haven't been following the latest discussions on this subject, but judging from your take on things when we discussed the issue in the pub, I got the impression that you at that point argued for the possibility of that the same knife might have been used in all 39 wounds (which is why you considered the possibility that Tabram might have been a Ripper victim).

As you correctly state, the weapon that inflicted the 38 wounds were indeed long enough in order to pierce through body fat and a number of organs several times.
From this, I got the impression that you earlier paid little credence to Killeen's talk about a 'pen knife'?
Did i misunderstand you so completely earlier or have you changed your position on this? I am just asking because I am quite confused (the issue has confused me earlier but now I am completely lost).

I just want to add that I personally agree with much of your latest views on the matter (as in your last post), but i just want to be sure about this once and for all.
So where do we stand?

All the best
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  #27  
Old 04-17-2008, 02:16 PM
Glenn Lauritz Andersson Glenn Lauritz Andersson is offline
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Hi Howard,

I am no expert, but I find it hard to buy into the idea about the killer trying to pull out the broken piece of the blade stuck inside the body (not to mention the risk of inhuring himself).
As for Killeen, although his notes are by no means complete or especially detailed (and, as we must remember, Killeen was not a police surgeon and probably not in the habit of producing post mortem reports in murder cases on a regular basis), I think he would have mentioned a piece of the broken blade still being inside the body. It is a far too important detail to omiss from a summarized medical account. Even by Killeen's standards.

All the best
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Last edited by Glenn Lauritz Andersson : 04-17-2008 at 02:27 PM.
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  #28  
Old 04-17-2008, 02:24 PM
Fisherman Fisherman is online now
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Hi Howard!

You write:
"Old bean, we also haven't discussed the possibility of one blade breaking off after being jabbed into Mrs. Tabram's body...and that despite being jabbed at least ( maybe more, as some wounds could have overlapped, due to the fact so many were in found in some specific areas) 38 times...she wasn't dead yet....
Obviously, this would mean that the killer had to remove the blade from her torso since Killeen would have mentioned finding a broken off blade in her flesh.....or would he ? Is it possible that a broken blade could remain undetected in someone even after a post-mortem exam?

If the knife that hypothetically broke off was rendered inoperative for pokin' purposes and she was still not quite dead yet, then the use of the second knife may have been used to finish her off.
Its also possible that the wound to the heart was rendered first. Killeen mentions that the wound to the heart was "sufficient" to cause death. Sufficient doesn't mean definitely. Therefore, we don't know when, for certain, this heart wound was delivered....either first or last."

As for the blade breaking and staying undetected in the body throughout the post-mortem, I would say that it goes beyond improbable. It would have been found, no doubt about it.

My guess, as you may have seen in my earlier posts on Tabram, is (and I noticed from Colins - Septic Blue - earlier post to this thread that he is of the same opinion) that there was no reason for the blade to break, since the stabs could well have been dealt not in a fit of rage, but very deliberately and with great control.

The heart wound first? Donī t think so. Killeen stated that the stabs were all dealt while she was alive, and the heart stab would have killed her. It ought to have come last, not first.

The best,
Fisherman

Last edited by Fisherman : 04-17-2008 at 02:38 PM.
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  #29  
Old 04-17-2008, 02:37 PM
Fisherman Fisherman is online now
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Hi Glenn!

Must be some sort of misunderstanding here; my take on Tabram is that two weapons were used. The point I have been pressing about Killeens words on a "pen-knife" being a probable weapon in the case of the smaller wounds, is that this suggestion of his could only have been brought about by the size and shape of the entrance holes in the body.
On the old boards, I fought an epic battle over the matter with Ben, and I can assure you that I pressed the exact same points then as I do now:

-TWO weapons were used in the Tabram case. NOT one, used in various ways.
-The blade that caused the minor wounds, was very narrow and thin, making entrance holes reminiscent of those made by a pen-knife, BUT this blade did not have itīs length in common with a pen-knife. It was a long, sharp, narrow and thin blade, and thus it tallies EXACTLY with the weapon Phillips spoke of after having examined Chapman, mind you!
-Thus the fact that Killeen spoke of a pen-knife, is invaluable to those who study the case, though it should be adamantly proven that a pen-knife was actually NOT the weapon involved. And to be fair, it seem Killeen spoke of "an ordinary knife, such as a pen-knife".

The best, Glenn!
Fisherman
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  #30  
Old 04-17-2008, 02:39 PM
bolo bolo is offline
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Hello everyone,

I wanted to quote my own posts on the matter from an older Tabram thread but they're gone, then I found out about the crash... damn, guess my casebook abstinence was too long, and of course I have no backups. Ah well... time for something new, eh!

Sorry for the short OT babble...

I don't have a problem with the two-knives theory per se if the last wound was inflicted by a second person but the one-person-two-knives thing gives me headaches. Changing weapons during a frenzied attack (and the number of wounds points to that) sounds unlikely to me.
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