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  #11  
Old 11-08-2017, 03:55 PM
Sam Flynn Sam Flynn is offline
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No, I don't think Mr. Phillips ever indicated any clumsy butchery here.
Indeed, Phillips never mentioned clumsy butchery, but his description of the wounds might indicate otherwise. Chapman's colon was partially cut, and the killer only succeeded in removing a portion of her bladder. Add to that the asymmetric portions of flesh - three flaps! - by which her abdomen was opened, and things don't appear quite as neat as Baxter's "no meaningless cuts" might indicate. If anything, the killer made a more "competent" job of eviscerating Eddowes in Mitre Square; neat(ish) single incision down the midline, removal of kidney and uterus whilst leaving the bladder entirely unharmed.
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Last edited by Sam Flynn : 11-08-2017 at 03:57 PM.
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  #12  
Old 11-08-2017, 06:05 PM
DJA DJA is offline
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So you think Phillips was saying "yes, it must have been a post mortem knife, as no ordinary medical case would contain such an instrument" ?
Yes,not even "the ordinary post-mortem case".

That is quite a statement from Phillips,as it implies someone with access to highly sophisticated equipment is carrying such a knife around the streets.
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Last edited by DJA : 11-08-2017 at 06:19 PM. Reason: Last sentence.
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  #13  
Old 11-08-2017, 06:41 PM
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Then why did Baxter, in his summing-up, state that the killer "must have been someone accustomed to the post-mortem room"? It could well be argued that Baxter was putting his own agenda across with more emphasis than Phillips' more balanced answers permitted.
Oddly you quoted your own post and attributed it to me.
Not an unusual tactic from yourself.



"It is, therefore, a great misfortune that nearly three weeks have elapsed without the chief actor in this awful tragedy having been discovered. Surely, it is not too much even yet to hope that the ingenuity of our detective force will succeed in unearthing this monster. It is not as if there were no clue to the character of the criminal or the cause of his crime. His object is clearly divulged. His anatomical skill carries him out of the category of a common criminal, for his knowledge could only have been obtained by assisting at post-mortems, or by frequenting the post-mortem room. Thus the class in which search must be made, although a large one, is limited. Moreover it must have been a man who was from home, if not all night, at least during the early hours of Sept. 8. "

Both CV murders so far were committed between the London Hospital and Phillips' home in Spital Square.
Now which "prosector" do we know that was highly skilled and walked that route regularly!
Hint ..... on his way home to Finsbury Square,right next door to where his mentor Sir William Withey Gull once resided.
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  #14  
Old 11-08-2017, 11:23 PM
Fisherman Fisherman is offline
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Hi Christer,

While there still may have been something left out, the Morning Advertizer was the one publication that printed Phillips' description of the mutilations. The others didn't (the Lancet if course being a medical journal.)

No, I don't think Mr. Phillips ever indicated any clumsy butchery here. In fact, as his testimony in the Morning Advertizer indicates, he was impressed that the intestines had not been cut when the abdominal incisions were made.

When Baxter, in his Sept. 26 summary, mentioned 'there were no meaningless cuts,' he was taking his cue from Phillips' description.
Well, what I am saying is what you allow for - things may well have been left out by the Morning Advertiser too, just as we know that other papers did.
We know from the sources that Phillips was impressed by the abdominal flap cutting and even more impressed of the incisions performed to excise the uterus.
If, as you say, Baxter took his cue from Phillips when saying that there were no meaningless cuts, then we are left with a killer who according to Phillips cut totally deliberately throughout and who showed anatomical insights with every cut, the pinnacle being the cut/s that excised the uterus.

Personally, I think such a thing could very well lead a medico to conclude that the killer was medically skilled, not least since he adds some words about how he thinks that the killer would have evinced even greater skill if he had not been in haste.

The inference becomes one of an anatomically skilled man who only gave a less skilled impression on account of doing a super-quick hysterectomy.
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  #15  
Old 11-08-2017, 11:31 PM
Fisherman Fisherman is offline
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Originally Posted by Sam Flynn View Post
Indeed, Phillips never mentioned clumsy butchery, but his description of the wounds might indicate otherwise. Chapman's colon was partially cut, and the killer only succeeded in removing a portion of her bladder. Add to that the asymmetric portions of flesh - three flaps! - by which her abdomen was opened, and things don't appear quite as neat as Baxter's "no meaningless cuts" might indicate. If anything, the killer made a more "competent" job of eviscerating Eddowes in Mitre Square; neat(ish) single incision down the midline, removal of kidney and uterus whilst leaving the bladder entirely unharmed.
There were four flaps, Gareth. Only three were left behind. A portion was missing when they put the three flaps in place.

The fact that the colon was cut and the bladder halved could nevertheless have been the result of meaningful cutting, if the killer was simply intent on getting the uterus. I am no medico myself, but I suppose that Phillips may have reasoned that these cuts were accepted by the killer as part of the process to cut the uterus out as quickly as possible. It was not as if he had to be wary about not damaging the body.
Making sure that the bladder was either left in it´s entirety in the body or taken out in the same entirety together with the uterus, would - if I guess correctly - have required more work and time. Once you do not care about leaving anything but the uterus undamaged, that will allow for a lot more speed.
So it may look careless and clumsy, but it may equally be part of the quickest way of getting to the goal Phillips perceived.
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  #16  
Old 11-09-2017, 10:29 AM
Hunter Hunter is offline
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Originally Posted by Sam Flynn View Post
Indeed, Phillips never mentioned clumsy butchery, but his description of the wounds might indicate otherwise. Chapman's colon was partially cut, and the killer only succeeded in removing a portion of her bladder. Add to that the asymmetric portions of flesh - three flaps! - by which her abdomen was opened, and things don't appear quite as neat as Baxter's "no meaningless cuts" might indicate. If anything, the killer made a more "competent" job of eviscerating Eddowes in Mitre Square; neat(ish) single incision down the midline, removal of kidney and uterus whilst leaving the bladder entirely unharmed.
Hi Gareth,
Well in general, I agree. I believe that if this was the work of a serial murderer, an Ed Gein type person could easily pull this off - a self taught laymen with an obsession that turned into gruesome activity. Of course, we have the benefit of hindsight now, don't we?

At the time of the Chapman murder, there was no precedent to fall back on for analysis. That murder was the precedent and they were trying to make logical sense out of the motive. Thus, Phillips determined that the motive was to obtain the uterus and Baxter fleshed it out with his Burke and Hare theory along with the extemporaneous cuts being a ruse. I doubt either Phillips or Baxter had even read Krafft-Ebbing as Bond most certainly had done. And we can see, as the the series continued and Baxter's theory unraveled, why Bond was called in by Anderson to assist.

Even with the Eddowes murder, we see both Phillips and Baxter believing that a copycat was involved rather than admitting that the prognosis about Chapman could be all wrong. Pride will do that to people...and in Baxter's case, one's very job may be on the line. Hell, most folks around here dig in their heels instead of admitting they may be wrong, even after their case becomes untenable. And we still see people locked into the anatomical knowledge/skill debate because of what I believe is a misreading of the evidence and a lack of understanding how the case developed. Having a suspect who fits the bill in one way or the other doesn't help much either.

Ironically (and this is just my opinion based on what later transpired) Phillips may have recanted on his considerable anatomical knowledge assumption when he witnessed the carnage at Miller's Court. While he gave no more press interviews after the one on Sept. 26 at the Working Lads Institute, (I believe the claim by the Star following the Mylett case was a fabrication) his assistant, Percy Clark certainly did.

In a 1910 exclusive with the ELO Clark stated that despite earlier beliefs that the murderer may have possessed great knowledge or skill that was later found not to be the case. Just as his mentor, he did not believe all of the murders were necessarily committed by the same hand, because also just like his former boss, he thought a deranged copycat could be motivated. But he almost certainly linked Chapman and Kelly, even going so far as to show a photo of the latter's murder scene to the reporter. There's no reason to think that Phillips did not share these same assertions. He had to notice Kelly's abdominal flaps removed in much the same way as Chapman's and of course the uterus was extracted too. But by now, it had to be obvious that something much more deranged was involved...and Clark spells that out here too.

It's almost like Ripperology has kept poor ol' Phillips in a Chapman murder time warp without even the hope or intelligence to maybe evolve a little as the series progressed.
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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

Last edited by Hunter : 11-09-2017 at 10:33 AM.
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  #17  
Old 11-09-2017, 10:51 AM
Sam Flynn Sam Flynn is offline
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At the time of the Chapman murder, there was no precedent to fall back on for analysis.
That is an important point, Hunter. Even an experienced police surgeon like Phillips is unlikely to have seen anything like Chapman's murder before. If so, the novelty of the situation might have led him to be rather more impressed than he might otherwise have been - at least in terms of the killer's anatomical knowledge.
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Last edited by Sam Flynn : 11-09-2017 at 11:13 AM.
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  #18  
Old 11-09-2017, 11:32 AM
Fisherman Fisherman is offline
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Of course, the thing to keep in mind here is not whether the Chapman murder evidenced skill on behalf of the killer - it is whether PHILLIPS thought and claimed it did.

These are two different questions.
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  #19  
Old 11-11-2017, 04:37 PM
Hunter Hunter is offline
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Methinks I've wasted my time here.
Hey... what's new?
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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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Old 11-11-2017, 05:35 PM
Abby Normal Abby Normal is offline
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Methinks I've wasted my time here.
Hey... what's new?
no you haven't. trust me. : )
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