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Go Back   Casebook Forums > Ripper Discussions > Victims > Mary Ann Nichols

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  #71  
Old 07-13-2017, 10:15 AM
Fisherman Fisherman is offline
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I thought you might not notice this post, Christer, which I decided to sneak in under the radar! Okay, fair point, however, if JtR was the Torso killer than why didn't he try and decapitate his victims?
I think we may be looking at more than one explanation. Of course, the Ripper had very little time on his hands, and that may have played a role.

Equally, he arguably did not have access to different implements, the way the torso killer did.

There´s also practicalities to consider - if he did take the head off, what was he to do with it? He could not very likely bring it along with himself. He would have to leave it at the sight. And that means that if he DID do it nevertheless, then we are left with the only incitement of a wish to take heads off.
We do not know why the torso man took the heads off, whether for practical purposes or something different. If it was a practical matter, then as the Ripper, he could not do it in the street killings.

One point that is of great interest to me is that I think that the killings show signs of a ritual that involved a very large set of possible measures. I think removing the head MAY have been such a measure, with a ritualistic intent, but if I was to offer my own take on things, I actually think that the head was originally used for other, ritualistic, ends than decapitating, and that the subsequent removal of the head was more of a practical matter, part of the disposal process, as it were.

In other words, he FIRST used the head for ritualistic, private purposes, and when this was over and done with, he cut it off and threw it away, quite possibly into the river, together with the rest of the parts. He may or he may not have been aware that a head would not float, and it may well be that he was content to know that the head would sink, thereby making an identification process harder.
Then again, there are other signs that he cared very little about hiding the identities of hos victims, so this must be open to discussion.

Personally, I tend to think that the torso killer initially (1873) simply threw away the parts of the bodies as used garbage, after having employed them for ritualistic purposes. And when he found how the parts were discovered, he started to exploit it all, turning to depostiting parts in various places along the river and at various times, and also placing them on dry land, sometimes in quite spectacular locations.
In 1873, it seems the parts of that victim all went into the river at the same place and time.
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  #72  
Old 07-13-2017, 11:18 AM
John G John G is offline
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I think we may be looking at more than one explanation. Of course, the Ripper had very little time on his hands, and that may have played a role.

Equally, he arguably did not have access to different implements, the way the torso killer did.

There´s also practicalities to consider - if he did take the head off, what was he to do with it? He could not very likely bring it along with himself. He would have to leave it at the sight. And that means that if he DID do it nevertheless, then we are left with the only incitement of a wish to take heads off.
We do not know why the torso man took the heads off, whether for practical purposes or something different. If it was a practical matter, then as the Ripper, he could not do it in the street killings.

One point that is of great interest to me is that I think that the killings show signs of a ritual that involved a very large set of possible measures. I think removing the head MAY have been such a measure, with a ritualistic intent, but if I was to offer my own take on things, I actually think that the head was originally used for other, ritualistic, ends than decapitating, and that the subsequent removal of the head was more of a practical matter, part of the disposal process, as it were.

In other words, he FIRST used the head for ritualistic, private purposes, and when this was over and done with, he cut it off and threw it away, quite possibly into the river, together with the rest of the parts. He may or he may not have been aware that a head would not float, and it may well be that he was content to know that the head would sink, thereby making an identification process harder.
Then again, there are other signs that he cared very little about hiding the identities of hos victims, so this must be open to discussion.

Personally, I tend to think that the torso killer initially (1873) simply threw away the parts of the bodies as used garbage, after having employed them for ritualistic purposes. And when he found how the parts were discovered, he started to exploit it all, turning to depostiting parts in various places along the river and at various times, and also placing them on dry land, sometimes in quite spectacular locations.
In 1873, it seems the parts of that victim all went into the river at the same place and time.
Okay. Regarding timing. Why target victims in a public area, where timing was always going to be an issue, if the decapitation issue was important to the killer, whether it be for ritualistic or practical purposes, i.e. to prevent identification? And would decapitation really have taken that much more time for JtR, considering that he allocated enough time to eviscerate and remove body organs? Moreover, four of the C5 victims received extensive neck cuts so, for an experienced decapitator, would decapitation have taken that much longer? If he didn't have the right implements, why not? And would taking the head away from the crime scene have really been that problematic? After all, he removed body organs. Why not simply equip himself with a reasonable sized bag? And If the argument is that all of the C5 victims were opportunistic, hence the lack of preparation, then that creates the problem that, by a massive coincidence, all of the opportunistic murders of this serial killer happened to take place within the same tiny geographical area, about one square mile, whereas the planned murders took place all over London. And why would a killer who, hitherto, must have planned his crimes, suddenly transform into a opportunist killer? Why then return to the previous MO?

As you know, I believe Torso decapitated his victims for practical purposes, i.e. to prevent identification. However, if it was for ritualistic purposes, why not decapitate Kelly, where timing issues wouldn't have been a real problem? After all, considering the extensive damage to the body, he seems to have spent a significant time with the victim who, in any event, was murdered indoors.

And if it's to be argued that the killer's signature was evolving, how does this explain the subsequent decapitation murders of Elizabeth Jackson and Pinchin Street?
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  #73  
Old 07-13-2017, 11:36 AM
Abby Normal Abby Normal is offline
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Okay. Regarding timing. Why target victims in a public area, where timing was always going to be an issue, if the decapitation issue was important to the killer, whether it be for ritualistic or practical purposes, i.e. to prevent identification? And would decapitation really have taken that much more time for JtR, considering that he allocated enough time to eviscerate and remove body organs? Moreover, four of the C5 victims received extensive neck cuts so, for an experienced decapitator, would decapitation have taken that much longer? If he didn't have the right implements, why not? And would taking the head away from the crime scene have really been that problematic? After all, he removed body organs. Why not simply equip himself with a reasonable sized bag? And If the argument is that all of the C5 victims were opportunistic, hence the lack of preparation, then that creates the problem that, by a massive coincidence, all of the opportunistic murders of this serial killer happened to take place within the same tiny geographical area, about one square mile, whereas the planned murders took place all over London. And why would a killer who, hitherto, must have planned his crimes, suddenly transform into a opportunist killer? Why then return to the previous MO?

As you know, I believe Torso decapitated his victims for practical purposes, i.e. to prevent identification. However, if it was for ritualistic purposes, why not decapitate Kelly, where timing issues wouldn't have been a real problem? After all, considering the extensive damage to the body, he seems to have spent a significant time with the victim who, in any event, was murdered indoors.

And if it's to be argued that the killer's signature was evolving, how does this explain the subsequent decapitation murders of Elizabeth Jackson and Pinchin Street?
Hi John and fish
fascinating discussion. I'm not even going to try and answer in detail why the killer did what he did in any kind of detail-because we simply don't know what the hell goes on inside the mind of a serial killer.

My take on it is that torso man removed heads because they had a ritualistic reason and also practical reason (ease in removal of body from his place-perhaps hiding ID). just a coincidence that it overlapped.

if torso man and the ripper were one and the same-then I would venture that the ripper murders were when he couldn't bring them to his private place and had to kill on the streets. which would preclude head removal and taking away for several obvious reasons.
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  #74  
Old 07-13-2017, 12:05 PM
Fisherman Fisherman is offline
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John G: Okay. Regarding timing. Why target victims in a public area, where timing was always going to be an issue, if the decapitation issue was important to the killer, whether it be for ritualistic or practical purposes, i.e. to prevent identification?

Well, to begin with, if I am on the money here, I would describe the ritualistic behaviour the killer employed as a large toolbox. I think there were a number of things that he could do that all answered to the demands of the ritual. If I should try and explain what I mean, I would suggest that you imagine somebody to whom the ritual lay in disassembling a car. In such a case, it would work for the ritual performer to take away a rear view mirror. And it would work to take away a door. And it would work to tear away the exhaust pipe. These things would all do the trick.
Similarly, I think that the killer could choose from a variety of things when performing the ritual on his victims. And that means that he would not need to go for the head, he could go for the abdomen instead, etcetera. And much as he would be restrained by time - and also by implements - there would always be time to strike some ritualistic item off the list.
I really cannot be any clearer on this without spilling the beans totaly, and I prefer not to do that as of now.

And would decapitation really have taken that much more time for JtR, considering that he allocated enough time to eviscerate and remove body organs?

No, it would only have taken marginally more time; there would be some obstacles like much less light and so on, but on the whole, I am convinced that if the Ripper and the torso man were one and the same, he could easily have taken the heads off in the Ripper cases too. With a knife, too.
But as I hinted at before, I don´t necessarily consider the removal of the head as part of the ritual - and to be frank, I think it was not. But note how he DID "work" on the heads in both the Eddowes case and the Kelly case.

Moreover, four of the C5 victims received extensive neck cuts so, for an experienced decapitator, would decapitation have taken that much longer? If he didn't have the right implements, why not?

A sturdy knife would do, John, no doubt about it. The rest is answered above.

And would taking the head away from the crime scene have really been that problematic? After all, he removed body organs. Why not simply equip himself with a reasonable sized bag?

A kidney or a uterus would fit snugly into a pocket and be easily hidden. A head? No. Plus it is heavy and bulky and will not only be a heinous risk but it will also slow you down.

And If the argument is that all of the C5 victims were opportunistic, hence the lack of preparation, then that creates the problem that, by a massive coincidence, all of the opportunistic murders of this serial killer happened to take place within the same tiny geographical area, about one square mile, whereas the planned murders took place all over London.

No, John, you are confusing murder places with dumping places. All of the torso murders were quite likely committed in the same locality! And then the parts would NOT be dumped on the doorstep of that locality, since that would get the killer caught, right?
The Ripper victims left no geographical clue in that very detailed sense.

And why would a killer who, hitherto, must have planned his crimes, suddenly transform into a opportunist killer? Why then return to the previous MO?

Because BOTH sets provided him with the opportunity to perform the ritual. And because it is a well known fact that serialists who manage to stay uncaught often become very brazen and fearless, believing they actually cannot be stopped. The street killings, however, only gave him time to a very restricted ritual performance, and so he held on to the other type too, where he could indulge in perfecting the ritual with no time restraints.
This, at least, is my suggestion.

As you know, I believe Torso decapitated his victims for practical purposes, i.e. to prevent identification. However, if it was for ritualistic purposes, why not decapitate Kelly, where timing issues wouldn't have been a real problem?

Because decapitating was not part of the ritual to him. The cutting away of all the facial features was, however, that at least is my suggestion. Take a look at the 1873 victim, where the whole face was removed in the shape of a mask. He was not after a decapitation in that case, he was after carving the face away. After that, he arrrived at the dumping phase, and it was only then the head went off.

After all, considering the extensive damage to the body, he seems to have spent a significant time with the victim who, in any event, was murdered indoors.

Yes, and in the Kelly case, we see much more of the ritual than we do in the other Ripper cases for that exact reason.

And if it's to be argued that the killer's signature was evolving, how does this explain the subsequent decapitation murders of Elizabeth Jackson and Pinchin Street?

I would not say that the signature - if that equals the ritualistic element - evolved. It was fixed from the beginning, and the ony thing that could evolve was the speed and skill of the killer. To me, the killer chose different parts from that toolbox every time he killed, and that would produce different results. Kelly is the most complete example of the ritual - as far as we can tell.
However, we do not know what happened to the heads in the Jackson and Pinchin Street cases. They could have represented the pinnacles of his trade for all we know.

I hope I have not confused you now, John. But more than that, I hope that I have managed to demonstrate that these cases may not be as simple as they appear to be, a "maniac revelling in blood" and a practically directed dismemberment killer.

That was not the case at all, if I am correct.

Last edited by Fisherman : 07-13-2017 at 12:09 PM.
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  #75  
Old 07-13-2017, 12:12 PM
Sam Flynn Sam Flynn is offline
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I thought you might not notice this post, Christer, which I decided to sneak in under the radar!
I admire your optimism, John
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  #76  
Old 07-13-2017, 12:57 PM
Pierre Pierre is offline
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Originally Posted by Fisherman View Post
John G: Okay. Regarding timing. Why target victims in a public area, where timing was always going to be an issue, if the decapitation issue was important to the killer, whether it be for ritualistic or practical purposes, i.e. to prevent identification?

Well, to begin with, if I am on the money here, I would describe the ritualistic behaviour the killer employed as a large toolbox. I think there were a number of things that he could do that all answered to the demands of the ritual. If I should try and explain what I mean, I would suggest that you imagine somebody to whom the ritual lay in disassembling a car. In such a case, it would work for the ritual performer to take away a rear view mirror. And it would work to take away a door. And it would work to tear away the exhaust pipe. These things would all do the trick.
Similarly, I think that the killer could choose from a variety of things when performing the ritual on his victims. And that means that he would not need to go for the head, he could go for the abdomen instead, etcetera. And much as he would be restrained by time - and also by implements - there would always be time to strike some ritualistic item off the list.
I really cannot be any clearer on this without spilling the beans totaly, and I prefer not to do that as of now.

And would decapitation really have taken that much more time for JtR, considering that he allocated enough time to eviscerate and remove body organs?

No, it would only have taken marginally more time; there would be some obstacles like much less light and so on, but on the whole, I am convinced that if the Ripper and the torso man were one and the same, he could easily have taken the heads off in the Ripper cases too. With a knife, too.
But as I hinted at before, I don´t necessarily consider the removal of the head as part of the ritual - and to be frank, I think it was not. But note how he DID "work" on the heads in both the Eddowes case and the Kelly case.

Moreover, four of the C5 victims received extensive neck cuts so, for an experienced decapitator, would decapitation have taken that much longer? If he didn't have the right implements, why not?

A sturdy knife would do, John, no doubt about it. The rest is answered above.

And would taking the head away from the crime scene have really been that problematic? After all, he removed body organs. Why not simply equip himself with a reasonable sized bag?

A kidney or a uterus would fit snugly into a pocket and be easily hidden. A head? No. Plus it is heavy and bulky and will not only be a heinous risk but it will also slow you down.

And If the argument is that all of the C5 victims were opportunistic, hence the lack of preparation, then that creates the problem that, by a massive coincidence, all of the opportunistic murders of this serial killer happened to take place within the same tiny geographical area, about one square mile, whereas the planned murders took place all over London.

No, John, you are confusing murder places with dumping places. All of the torso murders were quite likely committed in the same locality! And then the parts would NOT be dumped on the doorstep of that locality, since that would get the killer caught, right?
The Ripper victims left no geographical clue in that very detailed sense.

And why would a killer who, hitherto, must have planned his crimes, suddenly transform into a opportunist killer? Why then return to the previous MO?

Because BOTH sets provided him with the opportunity to perform the ritual. And because it is a well known fact that serialists who manage to stay uncaught often become very brazen and fearless, believing they actually cannot be stopped. The street killings, however, only gave him time to a very restricted ritual performance, and so he held on to the other type too, where he could indulge in perfecting the ritual with no time restraints.
This, at least, is my suggestion.

As you know, I believe Torso decapitated his victims for practical purposes, i.e. to prevent identification. However, if it was for ritualistic purposes, why not decapitate Kelly, where timing issues wouldn't have been a real problem?

Because decapitating was not part of the ritual to him. The cutting away of all the facial features was, however, that at least is my suggestion. Take a look at the 1873 victim, where the whole face was removed in the shape of a mask. He was not after a decapitation in that case, he was after carving the face away. After that, he arrrived at the dumping phase, and it was only then the head went off.

After all, considering the extensive damage to the body, he seems to have spent a significant time with the victim who, in any event, was murdered indoors.

Yes, and in the Kelly case, we see much more of the ritual than we do in the other Ripper cases for that exact reason.

And if it's to be argued that the killer's signature was evolving, how does this explain the subsequent decapitation murders of Elizabeth Jackson and Pinchin Street?

I would not say that the signature - if that equals the ritualistic element - evolved. It was fixed from the beginning, and the ony thing that could evolve was the speed and skill of the killer. To me, the killer chose different parts from that toolbox every time he killed, and that would produce different results. Kelly is the most complete example of the ritual - as far as we can tell.
However, we do not know what happened to the heads in the Jackson and Pinchin Street cases. They could have represented the pinnacles of his trade for all we know.

I hope I have not confused you now, John. But more than that, I hope that I have managed to demonstrate that these cases may not be as simple as they appear to be, a "maniac revelling in blood" and a practically directed dismemberment killer.

That was not the case at all, if I am correct.
Before this terrible thread turns into Fisherman´s Torso Thread and before establishing facts on no knowledge at all about two cuts we need research on the whole issue. I have never been particularly interested in the dimension of the signature looking at the cuts and wounds, since I do not understand them much. I am no physician.

But I can see that a lot in this thread already must be speculation.


So there are questions that need to be answered, for example:

Was historical murders where there were throat cutting with two cuts common or unusual?

The types of cuts described in the sources - are these types of cuts to be found in many other newspaper sources describing throat cuts in murders?

Are their other types of cuts in descriptions over some relevant time?


If so, how do these descriptions differ?

And what knowledge can be gained from them?


So, what one must do is find a set of sources, analyze them and answer these questions.

The most suitable researcher for such a task, not naming anyone, is someone with some medical knowledge.

Pierre
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  #77  
Old 07-13-2017, 01:01 PM
Pierre Pierre is offline
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Originally Posted by Jon Guy View Post

Quote:
Hi Steve

There could be a tentative first cut on Eddowes:
"A superficial cut commenced about an inch and a half below the lobe below, and about two and a half inches behind the left ear, and extended across the throat to about three inches below the lobe of the right ear. "
Hi Jon,

In murders where there were throat cuts: how common were such cuts?

Were all / some of these cuts "tentative"?

What does a suggestion about a cut being "tentative" say about the Whitechapel killer - if anything at all?

Pierre
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Old 07-13-2017, 01:06 PM
Pierre Pierre is offline
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[quote=Trevor Marriott;421533]

Quote:
My belief is that the killer was behind her when her throat was cut. He plunged the knife deep into the throat front and centre, and then drew the knife across. The knife was in deep enough to almost sever the head as was described.
How often is that technique used in murders, Trevor?

How common is this?

Quote:
The angle of the facial wounds is also suggestive of that, and perhaps these injuries occurred when she was struggling to avoid having her throat cut.
How often is that evident in throat cuts in murders?

Do not all victims "struggle" a bit when the throat is cut?

Is there any data for it?

Quote:
It is noticeable that there were no other similar facial wounds to any of the other victims which you might expect to find if they were all killed by the same hand.
This was not the question in the thread. The thread is discussing throat cuts - not facial wounds, abdominal wounds, torso killings. Just reminding you of this.

Quote:
Dr Biggs has stated that there is not always arterial spray in these circumstances.
Biggs in this thread too?

Quote:
The exception being Kelly but her face was mutilated in a different way by what would appear to have been a blunt object.
Far away from the question.

Pierre
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Old 07-13-2017, 01:09 PM
Pierre Pierre is offline
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[quote=Elamarna;421534]

Michael wrote:

Quote:
The nicks to the spine, from my vantage point, could easily have been the result of an overly aggressive approach to ensure swift bleed out.
Steve, you said:

Quote:
Certainly carried out with force.
Is that not always an observation in throat cuts?
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Old 07-13-2017, 01:11 PM
Pierre Pierre is offline
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Originally Posted by Elamarna View Post
Hi Paul.

Good idea on the Chapman case. Not something I had considered.

Or course such cannot be the case with Nichols, so botched first cut still looks a possibility.

In which case the double cuts while not random as such, may not be a significant link between some victims as some researchers have suggested.

Steve
Seemingly "botched" cuts - how common where they in cases like this (throat cut, murder, Victorian times)?

Pierre
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