Hello everyone. I just wanted to get everyone's opinion on some crucial assumption I think should be addressed. Does anyone think it possible that, in order to gain his victims' potential trust, he might have bought them gifts so that they would go with him? If we look at some witness statements, this seems to be the case; however, some of these statements are met with criticism and regarded as unreliable. But, if they are true, they seem to show that JTR could be a relative "charmer."
1. Polly Nichols-On the day of her murder, Polly seemed pretty confident to secure a client in order to get the money for her doss. She proclaimed, "See what a jolly bonnet I've got." Now, to me, this could be interpreted to mean that she was sure she had a client that day because a prospective "john" might have purchased and gave her the bonnet and they agreed to meet at a later time to conduct some "business" in Buck's Row. And, of course, we all know what happened later.
2. Elizabeth Stride-Now, this one is a little bit more difficult due to the reliability of Matt Packer as a witness. Now, we all know that his story kept changing, but he was persistent and his story, for the most part, was essentially the same. According to him, Liz Stride and an unknown gentleman came over and the man bought Liz some grapes. Now, Packer's unreliability and the fact that Stride wasn't found with grapes in her digestive system cast doubt on his version of events. But, we have to remember that Packer was elderly and it really depends on how many grapes Liz Stride ate in order for there to be traces in her stomach. If true though, it again shows how JTR liked to give his victims gifts (if he was, in fact, Stride's killer)
3. Catherine Eddowes- Forgive me, but I always get this one confused. Was it her who was found with a rose clipped to her dress was that Stride? If Eddowes, then it is possible that JTR was able to acquire the rose shortly after fleeing from Dutfield's Yard and gave it to Eddowes, possibly as she was conversing with him as the 3 Jews passed by a few yards away. If I'm incorrect and it was Stride who had the rose on her dress, then if Packer's statement is untrue, this rose could've been givento her by JTR earlier in the day since she seemed to be meeting several clients that night. he could've given her the rose and agreed to meet at a later time, similar to the Polly Nichols scenario
4. Mary Kelly- Now, this one again is pretty hard to determine due to the witness being George Hutchinson. His statement is good but it's been regarded as being "too good." If what he says is true though, Kelly complained about losing a neckerchief earlier in the day and the client who was with her (most likely the Ripper) was able to surprise her by giving her a red neckerchief. After that, she readily invited him in saying "Come dear, you will be comfortable." Yet again, another example of JTR's gift-giving.
So, what does it tell us in the end? Wel, if all statements above are true, it adds another facet to JTR's M.O. That of being a "charming" serial killer...someone who isn't a raving, bloodthirsty, impulsive, unplanned lunatic like some authors like to characterize him as being like. He has an Organized personality, buys his victims gifts, engages them in conversation, gain their trust, and have the attitude of a "gentleman." It also may possibly point out he came from a lower-middle class background (due to his money-spending and personality) and, while he was certainly familar with the East End, he may have been more economically viable than most of the residents living there.
Hello JTR. Given those reports, and given they were about Jack, I think your conjecture likely.
There are some post-modern philosophers (I think Derrida amongst them) who claim that evidence gets interpreted through our models. Let's examine some.
Suppose you think either Druitt or D'onston were the ripper. These chaps were educated and, when needs must, could exude a bit of charm. That also may be the case with Klosowski--perhaps to a somewhat lesser extent.
It would be less clear with the 2 K's--Kosminski and Kaminski (Cohen?). The same could be said for some of the second tier suspects like Bury and Cutbush.
So, if you are happy with one or other of the 2 D's, you will likely believe in a charming ripper. Else, you may need a rather non-descript type.
To be honest, I'm not really a big suspect person...at least as far as the oenes that have already been listed. If I had to choose one, I would go with Klosowski/Chapman, but that's another conversation.
Also, lynn (and everyone else), one thing I forgot to mention. If Hutch's statement is true, doesn't anyone find it coincidental that Kelly complains of losing a red handkerchief and, lo and behold, this stranger brings one out of his pocket and puts it on her neck? Coincidence...probably. But there is also an equally interesting hypothesis.
Perhaps JTR lifted it off MK when she wasn't looking or paying attention and, afterwards, presents her with the same neckerchief when they meet later. What better way to charm one into a woman's heart (in the Ripper's case, this statement can be taken both figuratively and literally)
And I forgot to also mention that serial killers can sometimes woo their victims...look at Bundy with his "arm-in-cast" M.O.
With all due respect to the unfortunate victims, I don't believe it took any charm to convince an over-the-hill, alcoholic prostitute desperate for money to go along with the murderer. He was just another client.
There is absolutely nothing in the witness statements that indicate Jack bought his victims any gift.
Only conjecture in news reports and subsequent books.
I suspect money was the only requirement to gain his victims attention. Given the finacial situation of Polly, Anne, Kate and Mary charm wouldnt have been high on their check list.
Quite right Monty, and there is some physical evidence that suggests he stole property from the deceased....people with the means to buy gifts dont generally steal from the poorest people they can find.
I don't think of Bundy's arm cast as charming or wooing, more like deceit and trickery. To me, charming would have been meeting them at the library and striking up conversation, not dropping books repeatedly with an arm in a faux cast and relying on someone's good nature to offer to help and then clubbing them with a tire iron.
If charm can be seen as having the sort of personality that did not arouse fear,then the ripper must surely have had something of that sort of personality.He did manage to accompany his victims into dark corners and streets and particularly after Martha and Annie, there was a fair bit of panic around,even among those desperate for their doss money.I reckon the ripper was able to address his victims in a reasonably friendly and reasonably reassuring way.
In the case of Klosowski ,whether or not he was the ripper,as an example of a serial murderer he seems to have had real powers of persuasion with women .His last victim, eighteen year old Maud Marsh, was besotted with him,according to her parents at the murder trial .She and he -as "newly weds" used to ride their bicycles together to visit her parents full of "togetherness" -yet in just a few short months of these visits he was planning to kill her while chatting up and "proposing" to another very young barmaid at his pub,and suggesting to her that she should "run away with him".Prior to Maud he had "married" the middle aged ,Bessie Taylor with whom he had also enjoyed the joys of cycling and "marital togetherness"before deciding to kill her.And it wasnt just women he had a way with---he had even "got round" the Southwark police to let him join the newly formed" police cycling club" around this time.I think he must have had,like Bundy, plenty of "charm" or charisma.
Last edited by Natalie Severn : 10-11-2009 at 12:29 AM.
You didn't need to be "charming" or "charismatic" to put an alcoholic, middle-aged Spitalfields prostitute at ease. I think Poorhoney makes an excellent point regarding Bundy. He didn't coerce their submission through any excess of charm. He simply resorted to lies and subterfuge. I believe Dennis Nilsen observed once that if he was as charismatic as Hannibal Lector, he would never have become a serial killer, and that his actions derived from "a feeling of inadequecy, not potency".
There is most assuredly no evidence that the killer of these prostitutes had any more charm or charisma than the average hawker or dock labourer.