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Go Back   Casebook Forums > Ripper Discussions > Suspects > Barnett, Joseph

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  #71  
Old 05-16-2011, 04:52 PM
Phil H Phil H is offline
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...this has little to do with Barnett and his speculated violence.

It does, if the killing of MJK can be divorced from the "canonical 5" (IMHO).

...it is not possible to look at anything with a 'wholly open mind'.


Perhaps true from a "philospohical perspective, and we are all, of course, "a part of all that we have met" (to misquote, I think, Tennyson).

But I would disagree to the extent that I think we can go back to the evidence and re-examine it and see whether there are other connections, other readings than those arrived at before. Surely, that is what has been done with the memorandum and the marginalia - old readings have been re-scrutinised and new ones reached - it;s called textual criticism.

... there is a distinction to be drawn between Jack The Ripper being a media creation in name; and in fact. I agree that there probably was no individual calling himself 'Jack The Ripper' to begin with - and that the name was a media creation. That does not mean either that the individual didn't exist - whatever he/she called themselves; nor even that they didn't later think of themselves as 'Jack'.

On the contrary, I think there are those (and I would include myself) who ARE prepared to, and DO, consider an interpretation of the Whitechapel murders that has a number of different killers with differing motivations.

Smith & Tabram - a gang?

Nichols, Chapman & Eddowes - "Jack"/Leather Apron?

Stride - Kidney?

MJK - A N Other?

Castle Alley murder - (same hand as Nichols etc above or a copycat)

Torso killings & Pinchen St - unknown.

So there is a view - and books have been based on it - that the murderer who kept the East End in terror was not a single hand, and that the separate killings were woven into thread by the yellow press.

Phil
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  #72  
Old 05-16-2011, 05:28 PM
Sally Sally is offline
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Quote:
It does, if the killing of MJK can be divorced from the "canonical 5" (IMHO).
On what grounds, exactly? If it looks, sounds and walks like a Duck - then it probably is a Duck. Yes I know that there is a view that separates Kelly from the others, but it appears to be chiefly on the grounds that her murder occurred after a hiatus. Not very convincing.

Quote:
Perhaps true from a "philospohical perspective, and we are all, of course, "a part of all that we have met" (to misquote, I think, Tennyson).
Not from a philosophical perspective - in actual fact. One has only know a little about historiography to grasp that every generation reinterprets the 'facts' of the last one. It isn't (necessarily) that the latest interpretations are the best ones; but rather that they're the current ones.

Quote:
But I would disagree to the extent that I think we can go back to the evidence and re-examine it and see whether there are other connections, other readings than those arrived at before. Surely, that is what has been done with the memorandum and the marginalia - old readings have been re-scrutinised and new ones reached - it;s called textual criticism.
Well, obviously, Phil. I wasn't suggesting that re-examination should never occur - far from it. Re-interpretation can of course be valuable - and every so often somebody does make a ground-breaking discovery. Most 're-examination' leads only to revisionism as a general point; which rarely stands the test of time. And I'm not sure it is called 'textual criticism' actually.

Quote:
On the contrary, I think there are those (and I would include myself) who ARE prepared to, and DO, consider an interpretation of the Whitechapel murders that has a number of different killers with differing motivations.

Smith & Tabram - a gang?

Nichols, Chapman & Eddowes - "Jack"/Leather Apron?

Stride - Kidney?

MJK - A N Other?

Castle Alley murder - (same hand as Nichols etc above or a copycat)

Torso killings & Pinchen St - unknown.
Yes I know Phil, but I'm afraid that I think most of that arises from our inability to determine the identity of 'Jack'. If you split up the murders and say that multiple perpetrators were at work you have much more chance of success of satisfying yourself of a conclusion than you do if insist on chasing the bogeyman. Its a cop out.
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  #73  
Old 05-16-2011, 05:42 PM
Phil H Phil H is offline
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No its not a cop out.

Following the same well-trodden paths that have got us not very far is akin (IMHO) to those who believed the world was flat. Their minds were closed to other possibilities and the opportunities afforded by "striking out boldy".

I think the "cop out" is sticking to the conventional wisdoms.

Most 're-examination' leads only to revisionism as a general point; which rarely stands the test of time.

Frankly, codswallop. That is just a generalisation with no relation to the real world. In the case of Richard III, for instance, the conventional wisdoms of 50 years ago have been essentially consigned to the dustbin, permanently. That is only one example.

And I'm not sure it is called 'textual criticism' actually.

What I'm talking about is!!

Once again we;ll have to disagree, and, I think take our debate elsewhere if we are not to hijack the thread!

Phil
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  #74  
Old 05-17-2011, 01:25 AM
Wickerman Wickerman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sally View Post
.... If you split up the murders and say that multiple perpetrators were at work you have much more chance of success of satisfying yourself of a conclusion than you do if insist on chasing the bogeyman. Its a cop out.
Actually, I would call it, being realistic..

Regards, Jon S.
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  #75  
Old 05-17-2011, 02:50 AM
claire claire is offline
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Is 'textual criticism' the same as secondary analysis? I'd not want to pronounce the former after a gin or two.

Seriously, being open to possibilities is absolutely crucial to any form of investigation. I won't discount Barnett. But I do very much doubt that he could have been responsible for the Kelly murder, for the reasons (not speculation, I think, but well-argued reference to the available facts) Caz put forward. I don't think it suggests closed-mindedness to prefer the single-killer argument (personally, I'm sometimes happy to count out 2 of the 5, but I'm conscious that's just my reading)--it's just one, justifiable, way of reading the series. Statistically, it's highly unlikely (to the point of the impossible) there was more than one killer with a similar (and genuine) MO. But saying that leads to one of two conclusions: 1) That there was one killer; or 2) that there were other reasons for copycatting.

If 2), then we might look more closely at those close to Kelly. Or, we can start disseminating suppositions about political conspiracies. Those with a penchant for the latter will always argue closed-mindedness on the part of their detractors.

Rambling post.
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  #76  
Old 05-17-2011, 01:46 PM
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caz caz is offline
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Originally Posted by Phil H View Post
Caz - your arguments are interesting and may be true - but they are supposition. We know little about what Abberline thought or did. I don't deny your case, I just put less emphasis on it than you appear to do.
Hi Phil,

Supposition perhaps, but in cases where those in the best position to know secretly suspect "the [ex] boyfriend" probably did it, it generally seeps out and becomes an open secret, even where there is absolutely no evidence of guilt. Barnett appears to have bucked this trend by evoking only sympathy across the board, and not the merest hint of the usual whispering campaign. We all know of murder cases where a certain individual has become the natural focus of suspicion and has continued to arouse it, while resisting any attempts to make the mud stick.

To me it's significant that Barnett didn't even provoke the desire to throw mud, yet one could argue that, at the very least, he had deserted MJK just when she needed a man about the house to keep her safe from the maniac who was picking off lone unfortunates. And still no criticism came his way.

Touching on what Sally has said, while there's nothing wrong with looking afresh at the 'conventional wisdom' of the "canonical five", there would be everything wrong with throwing it out because it feels wrong today, or just because the solution remains beyond our grasp. There's a very good and painfully obvious reason for that if one man killed a series of strangers over a period of weeks, then stopped.

Are we not able to learn anything from recent cases, and project this new wisdom back in time to men made of exactly the same mental and physical cloth as they are now and always have been? In a hundred years from now, if the Ipswich Strangler had not been caught, would they be right to throw out the 'conventional wisdom' of five victims of one man, in favour of individual domestics, "political" involvement, or even a Royal connection? It would seems nuts, wouldn't it, looking forward from our perspective, having lived through those days and weeks of the Ipswich series?

Love,

Caz
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