Just a few lines to let you all know that I nowadays ascribe to the legions of nutcases who think they have the Ripper riddle solved. It was Fleming - and he did Tabram first. Itīs up for grabs in Ripperologist 97, together with lots of other Kelly-related stuff of high quality.
Actually, it has an element of laying your heart on the line, and I have started a couple of threads to test the reception of it ("Scavenger or predator" on the Tabram threads and "Was Bond right about the cut linen?" on the Kelly threads) - it would be nice if somebody felt like discussing these matters!
I have had only the one read through today of your article in Rip.
Well written, and thought provoking stuff. I hope you write more.
A couple of points came to mind whilst reading and they were :
Do you consider Alice McKenzie as a Ripper victim ? Fleming was in the Victoria Home at the time of her murder, and with Castle Alley located nearly as close as George Yard to the Home. or are there particular reasons for her not being a Ripper victim ?
With regard to the point listed for the difference in M.O. in the case of Kelly and organs outside the abdominal cavity. On a recent thread, "Organs", I think it was entitled, Diane made the astute observation (that seemed to go unchallenged ) that the Ripper burrowed into the chest region via the abdomen- so no real difference, which goes further to support your argument I think.
I admit that I did struggle with the idea of Fleming "finishing" off Martha.
But the rest is thought provoking and I have had Fleming on the mind all day !!
Jon, you raise the question of McKenzie, and of course you are right - she can in no way be ruled out.
To begin with, I have never had that Ripperish feeling about her, but that is just gut stuff and it really says nothing. But after having signed up with the Fleming ranks, I must say that I nowadays believe that Mary Kelly was the last victim on his behalf. When he took the decision to kill her, I think that put an effective end to his urges. As you will know by now, I think he never nourished any wish to kill her - on the contrary. That strike left him an empty shell, I believe.
Which, by the way, is also one of the reasons why I for the life of me cannot see him masquerading as Hutch a few days later - it is the wrong psychology altogether, I feel.
Look forward to reading your article at some point, Fish!
As you know, I number among those who believe you've backed the strongest horse around. We may disagree on the psychology, however, and that will naturally impact upon our abilities to picture him adopting an alias as a measure of self-preservation. While you envisage an emotional wreck and scavenger/psychotic, I tend to picture a more manipulative psychopath.
"While you envisage an emotional wreck and scavenger/psychotic, I tend to picture a more manipulative psychopath"
Havenīt seen this before, but I think I need to clarify my stance a bit, Ben. My suggestion is that Jack started out as a a scavenger because of the opportunity that offered itself in George Yard. After that, he was obviously resourceful enough to act swiftly, cunningly and boldly enough to ensure the reputation as one of the stealthiest killers the world has seen.
The killing of Kelly was what ultimately robbed him of his lust to procure organs, if my guess holds any water. I am not saying that it robbed him of his lust to kill, since I truly believe that lust - if it was ever there to any significant extent - was not of as high a priority as the organ-procuring. Throughout his spree, I suspect that the deaths of the victims, as well as the cutting of their throats, were necessities, practicalities, leading to the ultimate goal of getting at the organs.
This, of course, is just a suggestion on my behalf, but one that I feel tallies very well with what we are looking at. If I am right, we are provided with a radically different picture of the Ripper and his incentives, and I feel this is an avenue that needs some exploring!
A very interesting stance there, Fish, and I agree in many respects; the killer's identity perhaps the most crucial!
I believe the killer's criminal activity was exploratory in nature; starting off small and then escalating as he gained confidence and experience, trying out heinous new practices wherever possible. George Yard was quite plausibly his first actual kill, but I'd be surprised if he wasn't responsible for earlier crimes, including a few less-polished attacks on women. He may have regarded the evisceration as simply the next explorational phase, and if he enjoyed it, he'd stick with it.