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Go Back   Casebook Forums > Ripper Discussions > Victims > Non-Canonical Victims > Torso Killings

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  #1  
Old 05-29-2016, 11:06 AM
Pierre Pierre is offline
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Default Body snatching

Hi,

I have followed the discussion about the torso cases. We should be very careful before we state that any such case was a murder.

To be able to claim that is was, it is not enough to compare the techniques of dismembering of the bodies or to compare cuts into the bodies.

Also, it is not sufficient to adopt theories about abortion just because a person was pregnant. Pregnant women die from other causes than murder. People in general die from other causes than murder.

The bodies of dead people could be very useful for medical science. If the doctors who handled the torso cases did not discuss that, it is understandable. The practice of getting hold of dead bodies was often illegal.

So, if we do not have data connecting a certain person to a certain torso case and think there is a good source indicating that the case was a case of murder, we have no reason to think it was murder.

But we have a good reason to think that some or many of the bodies in the torso cases were used in medical experiments after death, and that these bodies could be obtained with illegal methods.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/ar...cientists.html

Regards, Pierre

Last edited by Pierre : 05-29-2016 at 11:33 AM.
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  #2  
Old 05-29-2016, 12:03 PM
Debra A Debra A is offline
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There are many problems with the medical specimen scenario-

Did medical students work nights?
Elizabeth Jackson was last seen by a witness who knew her at 9pm on 3rd June 1889. The first of her remains were recovered from the Thames the following morning, 4th June.
Elizabeth's remains were wrapped in her own clothing as was the Whitehall torso remains, including the leg still clad in a woollen stocking.

Bodies could be obtained legally. All it required was that there was no family of the deceased to come forward and object and a time limit required to wait for family or friends to claim the body first. Bodies meant for the dissecting table were treated beforehand and there were no signs of treatment and none of the doctors who examined them expressed the view that they might be looking at a medical specimen.

For a medical facility to accept illegally gained corpses would be one thing but they were doubly guilty if anyone is suggesting they then went on to dispose of the discarded illegally gotten specimens by also illegally dumping them without burial, which was their responsibility.
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  #3  
Old 05-29-2016, 12:16 PM
Elamarna Elamarna is offline
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Pierre

your last statement is I believe completely incorrect.

firstly can I ask what you mean by medical experiments after death?

Having worked in a medical school for most of my adult life I would like to know what these experiments are or were?

Human cadavers were used mainly for the teaching of the human structure, the organs and their relationship to each other and how they work, to medical students..

The other main use of cadavers in 19th century medical research , not experiments,was the practising of surgical technique. such as amputation.

The Teaching involves the complete dissection of a human body over a set time period by a group of medical students.

Once it is complete the remains, tissues and bone, are and were disposed of by means of a legal funeral.

If bodies had been used for surgical practice, such as amputation the other body parts would either be sent for dissection or legally disposed at that stage..

The situation had changed greatly since the days of Burke and Hare some 60 years earlier, in fact the article you linked to actually made this fairly clear.

By the time of the torso's the illegal trade in bodies was a thing of the past. One of the last reported cases was over 10 years before the first Torso in 1873.

I can see no way the torso's could have come from so called "medical experiments"

Unfortunately there are such great misconceptions about what leaving a body to medicine means and to body snatchers in the latter part of the 19th century in Britain.

regards

Steve

ps

The bodies if used for any form of teaching would be embalmed.

Last edited by Elamarna : 05-29-2016 at 12:23 PM.
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  #4  
Old 05-29-2016, 12:21 PM
Elamarna Elamarna is offline
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Debra

Have to say I agree with you completely.

Body snatching just no longer occurred in the 1880's.

Even if you did have an illegal body, why dump it when it could be very easily disposed of legally.

It was not unknown for the parts of more than one person to go into a coffin. The coffin may have had a named individuals name on it, but in reality there was no way of proving whom or what was in each coffin.

we seem to have said much the same in our posts.

steve

Last edited by Elamarna : 05-29-2016 at 12:25 PM.
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  #5  
Old 05-29-2016, 12:46 PM
mklhawley mklhawley is offline
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Hi all,

In the early nineteenth century the growing problem of body snatching prompted the passage of the Anatomy Act of 1832, in an attempt to reduce the incentive for such acts. After that, only authorized persons could supply cadavers to medical institutions. This slowed the practice down dramatically.

Were there any reasons for harvesting organs in 1888. Yes indeed.

Sincerely,

Mike
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  #6  
Old 05-29-2016, 12:55 PM
Debra A Debra A is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elamarna View Post
Debra

Have to say I agree with you completely.

Body snatching just no longer occurred in the 1880's.

Even if you did have an illegal body, why dump it when it could be very easily disposed of legally.

It was not unknown for the parts of more than one person to go into a coffin. The coffin may have had a named individuals name on it, but in reality there was no way of proving whom or what was in each coffin.

we seem to have said much the same in our posts.

steve
Thanks, Steve. I was just thinking the same thing about your post;that I agree with everything you said!
Definitely a different era.
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  #7  
Old 05-29-2016, 12:59 PM
Elamarna Elamarna is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mklhawley View Post
Hi all,

In the early nineteenth century the growing problem of body snatching prompted the passage of the Anatomy Act of 1832, in an attempt to reduce the incentive for such acts. After that, only authorized persons could supply cadavers to medical institutions. This slowed the practice down dramatically.

Were there any reasons for harvesting organs in 1888. Yes indeed.

Sincerely,

Mike


Hi Mike

For a start the medical school did themselves, often establishing vast collections of specimens.
It's a little known fact that some medical schools have very large essentially private museums of anatomical displays.

I know you have written Tumblety may have wanted to collect organs for a cure to his poor health, or course no such cure is known to ever have existed.

Are you thinking of anything else?


Steve
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Old 05-29-2016, 01:16 PM
mklhawley mklhawley is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elamarna View Post
Hi Mike

For a start the medical school did themselves, often establishing vast collections of specimens.
It's a little known fact that some medical schools have very large essentially private museums of anatomical displays.

I know you have written Tumblety may have wanted to collect organs for a cure to his poor health, or course no such cure is known to ever have existed.

Are you thinking of anything else?


Steve
Nope, that's it, Steve, although I will be passing on some new stuff in the near future.

Mike
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  #9  
Old 05-29-2016, 01:27 PM
Debra A Debra A is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elamarna View Post

I know you have written Tumblety may have wanted to collect organs for a cure to his poor health, or course no such cure is known to ever have existed.


Steve
Years ago I cam across a quack in the papers who was travelling the country with potions made from the uteri of small animals. I didn't make notes though and can't find the mention again, although I'm sure the name Richards crops up in the story. The potion was supposedly some 'eternal youth' concoction, but I always thought it's only a small step away from using human organs for the potions....if in fact they did contain organs at all.
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Old 05-29-2016, 02:33 PM
John Wheat John Wheat is offline
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Finally a thread where all the b.s. about body snatches etc can be talked about without derailing The Torso Murders thread. Thank **** for that.
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