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  • #16
    Originally posted by mpriestnall View Post
    I predict Jack, Astrakhan and Kelly will be identified, in the reasonably near future, and there will be more evidence to back up their identification than you shake a walking stick at!

    Feel free to hold me to this!
    Can you give us a teeny tiny clue?

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by mpriestnall View Post
      I predict Jack, Astrakhan and Kelly will be identified, in the reasonably near future, and there will be more evidence to back up their identification than you shake a walking stick at!

      Feel free to hold me to this!
      Oooohh! Do you know something we don't?

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by John Wheat View Post
        Is it right to build a case against a person with very little actual evidence/no real evidence/very flimsy evidence for being the Ripper? Or are we better to stick to suspects that were suspected at the time or are proven murderers that were around at the time and can be proven to be in London in 1888?
        We are much better off if we stick to Persons of Interest, because technically there is not enough evidence in any Canonical murder to call anyone a legitimate "Suspect". Our suspect list, like any Suspect list for JtR, does not adhere to traditional requirements for a true Suspect categorization.
        Michael Richards

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by mpriestnall View Post
          I predict Jack, Astrakhan and Kelly will be identified, in the reasonably near future, and there will be more evidence to back up their identification than you shake a walking stick at!

          Feel free to hold me to this!
          Asking for huge backlash on that one!
          Michael Richards

          Comment


          • #20
            Well as much as I would like the case solved I am of the opinion there is not one jot of unknown evidence that will identify the killer.
            I wish and hope to be proved wrong .

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by mpriestnall View Post
              I predict Jack, Astrakhan and Kelly will be identified, in the reasonably near future, and there will be more evidence to back up their identification than you shake a walking stick at!

              Feel free to hold me to this!
              This is very exciting. Is there a time estimate for when this new info will be revealed?

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post
                Hi erobitha,

                I wouldn't say laws are above morals, or vice versa, but rather that legality and morality are different independent dimensions by which one can address the issue. That quibble aside, I believe you are correct and that legally in countries that are based upon English law one cannot slander the dead. However, I don't know if that is the case in all countries, though, and so would suggest that even a legal approach has it's subjective side to it as one has to put it in the context of a particular legal system. That's similar to how moral arguments are based upon a particular framework of morality. In my view, slandering someone is amoral because it is destructive to the truth. And I believe that advancement, and improvements, in all things are more quickly and accurately found when one has at hand reality based information (meaning true information). Therefore, misrepresentation of reality results in unnecessary delays and worse decisions being made, both of which lead to more negative consequences that could have been avoided (which is what to me makes misrepresentation of reality immoral, it causes unnecessary and avoidable damage).

                It's probably easier to consider the issue through the flip side. In many ways what we're talking about is similar to exposing the actual misdeeds of past historical figures that have been masked. It is considered important to rectify the historical record despite the fact they are long dead and so cannot be directly punished for their misdeeds. In this thread we're simply reversing that idea, imposing fictional misdeeds and covering up actual innocence rather than exposing factual misdeeds that were covered up by false innocence. Anyway, that's where I see the moral issue entering into it despite the lack of any legal transgression (under English law). But again, that all comes from a particular viewpoint that morality is evaluated based upon knowingly doing something that has the potential for inflicting unnecessary harm. (note, a past figure that did what they thought was best even though we may now know that their actions are not the best option cannot be said to have been acting in an immoral manner, but someone today could do the same action and be judged differently because we now know better options exist). Of course, it may be hard to know how misrepresenting the life of someone long dead could lead to poor decisions that end up unnecessarily damaging anything this many years later, but it really would not surprise me if examples could be found where that has happened, and that suggests to me it has a real potential for some unnecessary harm.

                As for your own work, given you describe it as being fictional, then the intent is very different. You're not presenting it as a non-fictional account, even though you are researching for historical accuracy. That's just doing the hard yards necessary to create a good story, and should be applauded.

                - Jeff


                Hi Jeff,

                In a nutshell, if the ripper was never suspected at the time, and was someone whose name would be unknown to us today, it would follow that everyone who has ever been fingered by theorists, authors, researchers or the top cops in the LVP alike, was innocent of these murders and didn't deserve to have their name and character dragged through the historical mud. Even if the ripper is lurking among all those whose names have been put forward from 1888 to date, that makes all but one them entirely innocent.

                So one could argue that just because the libel and slander laws can't touch the modern theorist, that doesn't make it less unsavoury to play pin the tail on the donkey. And I'm afraid I don't entirely agree with those who think there is a moral high ground they can adopt simply because their preferred suspect a) was suspected at the time by someone in authority, or b) was convicted of an unrelated crime, including murder, or c) was a victim's partner, such as Kidney or Barnett, or d) was 'found' at one of the crime scenes by the next man to come along.

                Without the kind of evidence against any individual that would stand a chance of holding up in court, I don't see why it is necessarily any more justified to accuse someone from a) to d), over anyone else whose status would be 'presumed innocent but can't be ruled out'. In fact, there might be even less justification to accuse anyone in the above categories who was considered at the time, but cleared or not pursued.

                Love,

                Caz
                X
                Last edited by caz; 05-18-2021, 12:04 PM.
                "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


                Comment


                • #23
                  It sounds like I'm in trouble then. With the big boss.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Michael W Richards View Post

                    Asking for huge backlash on that one!
                    I have these rushes of blood to my head, what can I say!

                    But TBH my research has gone beyond my expectations. I've struggled for a long time with the conflict of wanting share hints about my research and doing what I know I should do and stay schtumm.

                    I have shared some info with some people at the Whitechapel Society interim meeting back in pre-pandemic days where it was more prudent to do so and will probably do again, when they meet up again face-to-face, but with the pandemic persisting, the WS are still all Zoom-happy, which is fair enough but it is also not a suitable forum for me to share anything, unfortunately.

                    So roll-on the next WS interim meeting! Are you reading this Ratters!

                    Martyn

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Note to self: When writing the MS avoid over-long rambling sentences!

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Astatine211 View Post

                        This is very exciting. Is there a time estimate for when this new info will be revealed?
                        I was really talking about my proposed book. I have only just started my first draft of the MS.

                        With most of my research done (which is been going on and off since 2016), I now have a pretty good
                        idea of what I want to put in it. I want to go the traditional route of finding an agent and then a publisher. IOW timescales are very much up in the air. My best guess (based on no experience of publishing a book) is bugger if I know! 2-4 years? Who knows? One thing I do know is that I'm 100% determined to get my solution to the case out there one day. No matter how long it takes, I'm confident it will be worth the wait, honest!

                        Martyn
                        Last edited by mpriestnall; 05-18-2021, 06:32 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by mpriestnall View Post

                          I was really talking about my proposed book. I have only just started my first draft of the MS.

                          With most of my research done (which is been going on and off since 2016), I now have a pretty good
                          idea of what I want to put in it. I want to go the traditional route of finding an agent and then a publisher. IOW timescales are very much up in the air. My best guess (based on no experience of publishing a book) is bugger if I know! 2-4 years? Who knows? One thing I do know is that I'm 100% determined to get my solution to the case out there one day. No matter how long it takes, I'm confident it will be worth the wait, honest!

                          Martyn
                          Best of luck with the book!

                          I will look forward to reading it once published!

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by caz View Post

                            Hi Jeff,

                            In a nutshell, if the ripper was never suspected at the time, and was someone whose name would be unknown to us today, it would follow that everyone who has ever been fingered by theorists, authors, researchers or the top cops in the LVP alike, was innocent of these murders and didn't deserve to have their name and character dragged through the historical mud. Even if the ripper is lurking among all those whose names have been put forward from 1888 to date, that makes all but one them entirely innocent.

                            So one could argue that just because the libel and slander laws can't touch the modern theorist, that doesn't make it less unsavoury to play pin the tail on the donkey. And I'm afraid I don't entirely agree with those who think there is a moral high ground they can adopt simply because their preferred suspect a) was suspected at the time by someone in authority, or b) was convicted of an unrelated crime, including murder, or c) was a victim's partner, such as Kidney or Barnett, or d) was 'found' at one of the crime scenes by the next man to come along.

                            Without the kind of evidence against any individual that would stand a chance of holding up in court, I don't see why it is necessarily any more justified to accuse someone from a) to d), over anyone else whose status would be 'presumed innocent but can't be ruled out'. In fact, there might be even less justification to accuse anyone in the above categories who was considered at the time, but cleared or not pursued.

                            Love,

                            Caz
                            X
                            Hi Caz,

                            I see your point. I think, however, there is a difference between presenting "Mr. X." as a hypothesis that is based upon some initial evidence that leads one to it and presenting "Mr. X. was JtR" as a conclusion. That initial evidence for a hypothesis might, for example, be nothing more than the fact that "in the vast majority of murder cases there is a personal link between the victim and the murderer, with partners being the most common." That allows for a reasonable hypothesis to be derived "H: JtR was a partner of one of the victims", bringing in people like Barnett and Kidney as worthy research targets. Then, research begins with that hypothesis in mind. If it is correct, then one would expect to find more and more corroborating evidence, rather than requiring an increasing number of hypotheses required to fill in the missing evidence that is not forthcoming or to discard the disconfirming evidence that does arise. Presenting an idea as a hypothesis is not an accusation, and that's where I think the difference is (provided it is made clear it is presented as a question in the first place). The conclusion of the research should then be presented as either confirming, supporting/consistent with, or disconfirming of the hypothesis. Confirming would require extremely convincing objective evidence of some sort. Supporting/consistent with type of conclusions would be objective evidence was found that allows for the person to remain of interest, but there are explanations also available that lead to innocence. Disconfirming evidence would be of the sort that demonstrates the person could not have been JtR. Because there are far more people who are not JtR than who were, only confirming evidence should be used to claim Mr. X. was JtR, as it is far more likely that the supporting/consistent with type of evidence reflects one of the innocent (there are just so many more of them).

                            What does not count as evidence is a web of hypotheses masking as evidence. The fact that most murders do have that personal relationship is not evidence that Barnett and/or Kidney were JtR, it's a probabilistic bit of information that just indicates they happen to be members of the group in which most murderers are found - but being in that group doesn't mean you are the murderer. And, one would want to look at the strength of that relationship when it comes to serial murderers, like JtR. It may very well be that it is much less common for there to be that close relationship, although there may still be some association it may not be one of the close circle of friends and relations (i.e. JtR may have engaged the services of prostitutes, something I think is highly likely).

                            Picking a name out of a hat filled with residence of London, is also not a good starting point. However, if one decides that JtR had medical training (based upon some of the contemporary claims), then sure, examine all the doctors and see who you can rule out. But simply picking one of them at random is poor form even if there was something that makes one think "hmmm, maybe Dr. = JtR because they worked at the London Hospital" because there would be lots of other doctors who also worked at the London Hospital, so they all need to be looked at. If you don't, how can you know if the evidence one finds is, in fact, uncommon? For example, let's say one finds that Dr. X had made some comments about prostitutes spreading diseases, or some such thing, and puts that forth as evidence that Dr. X. had negative views towards prostitution. But it could very well be that many of the other London Hospital Doctors held the same views, and wrote similar comments. If they were all doing it, then that "evidence" is not very powerful because one could have picked any of the other doctors and found the same thing - and all of them can't be JtR. Too often we seen something presented about Mr. X. that is described as sinister, but what's missing is any evidence that activity was, in fact, uncommon. I'm sure JtR went to the pubs in the area, for example, but that was hardly uncommon activity for anybody in the area. Showing that Mr. X. went to the pub might be consistent with my thoughts that JtR frequented them, but it is also consistent with Mr. X. not being JtR as well - and it is such a common activity that it really would bear no weight.

                            Anyway, I do believe there is a difference between researching a question, which is not an immoral thing to do, and making an accusation (the conclusion) that is simply unfounded. I suppose, though, if the initial question is also based upon irrational notions (Alice in Wonderland is a weird story + JtR committed weird crimes -> Maybe Lewis Carrol was JtR as both did weird things), then it could get to the point where to propose the hypothesis as if it is a valid question becomes immoral. It certainly would be poor research skills (hypothesis forming is part of research after all).

                            - Jeff

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post

                              Can you give us a teeny tiny clue?
                              Well Astrakhan doesn't appear poor, and determining Kelly's identity might mean finding her name on some sort of non-census related list.
                              So I'll take a wild guess that Jack is going to be identified as a certain doctor.
                              Andrew's the man, that is not blamed for nothing

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post

                                Hi Caz,

                                I see your point. I think, however, there is a difference between presenting "Mr. X." as a hypothesis that is based upon some initial evidence that leads one to it and presenting "Mr. X. was JtR" as a conclusion...
                                Absolutely, Jeff.

                                And I agree with the rest of your post too.

                                I don't see much difference between concluding that, for argument's sake, George Chapman or Monty Druitt was the ripper - both suspected by others in the past - and concluding it was someone never previously mentioned or suspected. A conclusion of any sort would need far stronger evidence than has so far been presented by anyone. The various 'case closed' books don't thrill me, regardless of whether it was Francis Tumblety being fingered, or Lewis Carroll. Every man Jack of them was overwhelmingly likely to be innocent of those murders.

                                However, in the case of presenting Mr X or Mr Y as a hypothesis, it's less black and white for me, and the justification for it depends largely on the quality of the research and the reasoning involved in making a case against the individual concerned. Speculation is inevitable to fill in the gaps, but will rightly be frowned upon whenever it takes liberties with the evidence. This happens a lot, yet I am still surprised by how much more offence is taken by those who are taking the most liberties.

                                A strong case should be able to do its own leg work, taking people with it rather than leaving everyone sceptical. That's why I'd like to think that we'd know it if the ripper had already been in our sights, because everything learned about him should have led naturally to that conclusion, and nothing should have needed altering to fit.

                                Love,

                                Caz
                                X
                                "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


                                Comment

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