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Ms Rubenhold Wants a Ripper Tour Mural

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  • Ms Rubenhold Wants a Ripper Tour Mural

    Folks,
    I reproduce below an article that appeared in yesterday's Times.
    Read it and try not to explode.

    On a more serious note, is now the time for The Casebook members to rebut the accusations made by Ms Rubenhold?
    Perhaps by a letter to the Times?
    A letter of rebuttal would have certain logistical problems.

    Who would write it?
    Agreement of text in the rebuttal etc.

    I for one am getting a bit annoyed by being depicted as someone with no sympathy" for the victims.



    The struggle for the memory of the five women murdered by Jack the Ripper is being played out on the walls of the streets where they were killed.

    Hallie Rubenhold, a historian and author, has gained the support of local councillors to create a mural for the victims in an attempt to change the narrative of “Ripper tours” that dwell on the violence of the killings.

    Rubenhold, author of The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women killed by Jack the Ripper, believes that many self-described Ripperologists denigrate the unknown victims by describing them all as prostitutes, despite there being little evidence to support the claim for three of them.

    Her publisher has arranged for a mural near the site of one of the murders in Whitechapel, east London, to advertise the book, while Rachel Blake and Kevin Brady, local councillors of Tower Hamlets, have backed the campaign to create a permanent memorial.

    In her book, which won the Baillie Gifford Prize for non-fiction last year, Rubenhold concluded that while Mary Jane Kelly was a prostitute and that Elizabeth Stride had been arrested for soliciting four years before her death in 1888, there was no evidence that Mary Ann “Polly” Nichols, Annie Chapman or Catherine Eddowes were involved in the sex trade. They had simply been branded as such because they were unmarried and lived in flop houses.

    Rubenhold said she had been compared to the Holocaust denier David Irving and had received abusive comments on social media from self-styled amateur historians who took offence at the book’s marketing message. “It suggested we, as a society, had forgotten the victims and that my book was the first full-length book to examine all five victims collectively, and not as a part of their murderer’s story,” Rubenhold told The Times.

    “I can’t understand the objection to that statement. However, they were taking issue with the contents of the book before they had even read it.”

    Rubenhold said she hoped any mural would be on the routes taken by Ripper tours as a reminder that the victims were women neglected by society rather than sinners who deserved no sympathy. “Whitechapel is owned by Jack the Ripper and the women have no visible presence there and they should,” she said. “A mural would help put them back at the heart of their own story.”

    (The Times 11/02/2020)

  • #2
    Yes, I think a response should be made, and I don't think it matters who writes it. There was a blog on the Waterstones site too, the "blogger", who I imagine is an employee of Waterstones, who wrote that implacable opposition towards Rubenhold's book has come from "those men who pride themselves on their Ripper expertise, otherwise known as the Ripperologists." Ripperology has quite a lot of women in its ranks, a number of whom have been critical of Rubenhold's book, and Ripperologists don't pride themselves on their expertise, they are experts and that's what makes them the people best able to assess Rubenhold's book. It's also the reason why Rubenhold wants to diminish and belittle them and manufacture a war with them. Sadly, the blog is open for replies, but appears to have been deleting them. I have asked why, but have yet to receive reply.

    Comment


    • #3
      “Rubenhold said she had been compared to the Holocaust denier David Irving...”

      The complete transcript of Rippercast’s review episode of ‘The Five’ will be published in the next issue of Ripperologist magazine and then posted to Casebook for anyone to read. Decide for yourselves if Rippercast went in that direction with our critique.

      Thanks

      JM

      Comment


      • #4
        I am sure any kind of mural would be welcomed by the ripper tours! Could be a handy point of interest.

        I suspect this is just more PR on Rubenhold's part to keep dwindling attention on her book. She can say what she likes but it wont change the facts. Facts that will be become abundantly clear to anyone who once they have finished her book decide to do a little more research. This whole thing will blow over soon, I don't think it is even worth rising to!

        Tristan

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Losmandris View Post
          I am sure any kind of mural would be welcomed by the ripper tours! Could be a handy point of interest.

          I suspect this is just more PR on Rubenhold's part to keep dwindling attention on her book. She can say what she likes but it wont change the facts. Facts that will be become abundantly clear to anyone who once they have finished her book decide to do a little more research. This whole thing will blow over soon, I don't think it is even worth rising to!

          Tristan
          Experience suggests otherwise, Tristan. She's been saying this stuff for nearly two years and to the best of my knowledge no one person, no journalists, no bloggers, nobody, has even tried to verify what she says. She says this stuff in newspapers, and otherwise stays on Twitter, banning anyone who gives the slightest whiff of being a Ripperologist.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by PaulB View Post
            Yes, I think a response should be made, and I don't think it matters who writes it. There was a blog on the Waterstones site too, the "blogger", who I imagine is an employee of Waterstones, who wrote that implacable opposition towards Rubenhold's book has come from "those men who pride themselves on their Ripper expertise, otherwise known as the Ripperologists." Ripperology has quite a lot of women in its ranks, a number of whom have been critical of Rubenhold's book, and Ripperologists don't pride themselves on their expertise, they are experts and that's what makes them the people best able to assess Rubenhold's book. It's also the reason why Rubenhold wants to diminish and belittle them and manufacture a war with them. Sadly, the blog is open for replies, but appears to have been deleting them. I have asked why, but have yet to receive reply.
            What might be most effective is a rebuttal of her claims by female Ripperologists. Wouldn’t that let the air out of her tyres.
            Last edited by MrBarnett; 02-12-2020, 05:48 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post

              What might be most effective is a rebuttal of her claims by female Ripperologists. Wouldn’t that let the air out of her tyres.
              A rebuttal signed by all of us!

              Tristan

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post

                What might be most effective is a rebuttal of her claims by female Ripperologists. Wouldn’t that let the air out of her tyres.
                I agree Gary. A well written piece describing her very obvious agenda, highlighting the overwhelming evidence that these women engaged in prostitution whether full or part-time and how ludicrous her idea of sleeping victims is. People are just assuming that she’s correct and that she’s done faultless research yet we know that she’s used very selective and dishonest quoting. It also needs stating vigorously that the victims haven’t been forgotten, sidelined, disrespected or belittled. It’s a important that it’s known how many women are interested in and continue to do fantastic research and produce books on the subject and that they would hardly have continued associating and discussing the case with a bunch of misogynists who glorify in the horrific murder of women.

                obviously it would have to appear where it couldn’t simply be scrubbed out by those that that are conspiring with HR to maintain this dishonest and distorted viewpoint. And it would need to be in more than one location for widest circulation.

                I certainly agree that it would have the most impact coming wholly or mainly from a woman or women.

                There really needs to be a fight back I think. Calm, rational and fact based of course.
                Regards

                Herlock




                “ Herlock is the cleverest man that I’ve ever met.” - Stephen Hawking.
                “ I wish that I could have achieved half as much as Herlock.”- Neil Armstrong.
                “ What a voice Herlock has.” - Luciano Pavarotti.
                “ I wish that I could dump Harry for Herlock.” - Meghan Markle.
                “ I know that it’s not good to be jealous but I just can’t help it.” - John Holmes.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Probably not so surprising, but I find it somewhat negligent for a historian who is looking at the circumstances of women in the East End not to include the name William J. Fishman in their bibliography.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I'm tempted to give it a go. With back up from some Ripperologists who are among the "fairer sex" (!!!), of course.
                    Last edited by John Malcolm; 02-13-2020, 07:35 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I hear shes working on her next book about Eileen Wournos arguing she wasn't a prostitute or serial killer and killed all the men in self defense.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hi All,

                        I don't believe the canonical five were caught napping. It's a ridiculous argument.

                        But does it make them prostitutes?

                        In various police reports the C5 were identified as such, but none of them had a record for solicitation [prostitution itself was legal] and the various divisional constabularies did not know any of them by name, or even recognise them as local trade. That they were prostitutes might simply have been an assumption based on the fact that, aside from Elizabeth Stride, all the canonical victims were in precisely the same predicament immediately prior to their deaths—out on the streets in the early morning hours in desperate need of a few pence with which to secure a bed in a common lodging house. Even the person we choose to believe was Mary Jane Kelly, a girl who boasted her own room and a more than generous line of credit from her slum landlord, allegedly experienced a sudden early morning urge to venture onto Commercial Street to borrow sixpence.

                        In its acceptance of what might be termed ‘the authorised version’ of events, Ripperology clings to an unshakable belief in the integrity of the police in its handling of the Whitechapel murders.

                        So why has Ripperology failed to conclusively prove, once and for all, that the canonical five were prostitutes—either full or part-time, that most subtle of get-outs?

                        Why, instead, has it chosen to work itself up into an indignant lather?

                        Like it or not, until Ripperology can make a calm, rational and fact-based case, Miss Hallie Rubenhold wins the argument.

                        Regards,

                        Simon
                        Never believe anything until it has been officially denied.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hello Simon,

                          What evidence of prostitution would be acceptable to you?

                          And what exactly is your definition of prostitution? Does the woman have to be at it on a full time basis or would sporadic incidences here and there suffice? What about a one time incident? What about offering services for drinks and dinner? It seems that this could get a bit tricky not to mention get you in dutch with some female posters if you get my drift.

                          If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck it is probably a duck.

                          c.d.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            In her book, Hallie Rubenhold leaves it to Sir Charles Warren to define for her what is a prostitute is, using the police orders issued in the wake of the Elizabeth Cass case as her guide. In response to the Cass case, Warren directed the police to avoid calling a woman a prostitute unless she identifies herself as one or has been convicted as such. And, to charge a woman with prostitution, the police must first acquire a formal statement from someone who has been solicited by them.

                            Therefore, according to the book- using Warren's police orders as the definition- "there exists no proof to support the assertion" that Nichols, Chapman, Eddowes or Stride were prostitutes.

                            The author argues that:

                            1)No evidence exists that they "self-identified" as prostitutes.
                            2)No evidence that anyone among their community regarded them as a part of the sex-trade.
                            3)No one came forward to say they had been solicited by one of the victims on the night of their murder.
                            4)The word "prostitute" was not used as an 'occupation or profession' on their death certificates (excepting Mary Kelly).

                            Rubenhold states that in matching this criteria, based on the police orders issued by Warren, we must accept "the final word on whether or not we are justified in claiming that Jack the Ripper was the killer of prostitutes".


                            Now...does anyone see any potential problems with the above criteria as it relates to being the "final word" on the C5?
                            Did those who read the book notice any statements ignored-missing from her book- that could possibly be used to argue against any of the victims matching this "criteria" she says that Warren established to define a "prostitute"?

                            If so, then whether or not the victims were "prostitutes" in the context of Hallie Rubenhold's book 'The Five' still remains a question that should be worthy of discussion.

                            JM
                            Last edited by jmenges; 02-13-2020, 11:42 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by jmenges View Post
                              In her book, Hallie Rubenhold leaves it to Sir Charles Warren to define for her what is a prostitute is, using the police orders issued in the wake of the Elizabeth Cass case as her guide. In response to the Cass case, Warren directed the police to avoid calling a woman a prostitute unless she identifies herself as one or has been convicted as such. And, to charge a woman with prostitution, the police must first acquire a formal statement from someone who has been solicited by them.

                              Therefore, according to the book- using Warren's police orders as the definition- "there exists no proof to support the assertion" that Nichols, Chapman, Eddowes or Stride were prostitutes.

                              The author argues that:

                              1)No evidence exists that they "self-identified" as prostitutes.
                              2)No evidence that anyone among their community regarded them as a part of the sex-trade.
                              3)No one came forward to say they had been solicited by one of the victims on the night of their murder.
                              4)The word "prostitute" was not used as an 'occupation or profession' on their death certificates (excepting Mary Kelly).

                              Rubenhold states that in matching this criteria, based on the police orders issued by Warren, we must accept "the final word on whether or not we are justified in claiming that Jack the Ripper was the killer of prostitutes".


                              Now...does anyone see any potential problems with the above criteria as it relates to being the "final word" on the C5?
                              Did those who read the book notice any statements ignored-missing from her book- that could possibly be used to argue against any of the victims matching this "criteria" she says that Warren established to define a "prostitute"?

                              If so, then whether or not the victims were "prostitutes" in the context of Hallie Rubenhold's book 'The Five' still remains a question that should be worthy of discussion.

                              JM
                              Well, in Nichols’ case her husband claimed that Polly had been a prostitute and that he had provided evidence to that effect to the Lambeth Guardians, which they had accepted. Also, several women Polly had lived with in Thrawl street confirmed she had been an ‘unfortunate’.

                              Tim Donovan, the lodging house deputy at 35, Dorset Street, told both the police and the press that Annie Chapman was a prostitute. And Annie’s ‘loyal friend’ (according to Hallie) Amelia Farmer stated as much, albeit in slightly ambiguous language, at Annie’s inquest.

                              In both cases, the police descriptions of the women recorded them as prostitutes.
                              Last edited by MrBarnett; 02-14-2020, 01:21 AM.

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