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Why Did They Lower Their Guard?

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  • Why Did They Lower Their Guard?

    Rather than derail the "Recognition" thread, I thought it appropriate to start another on the reason why a motley collection of unfortunates were persuaded to allow a man to take them to one side and quietly assassinate them. These women may have been down on their luck but they were not stupid. They were middle-aged, savvy, streetwise women who, by the very nature of their 'work', had probably all survived violent encounters of one sort or another. Yet someone, somehow (even at the height of the Ripper scare), persuaded them to lower their guard to such an extent that they went with him willingly and placed themselves in circumstances where he was able to achieve his ghastly aims with little or no resistance.

    Suggestions invited as to what sort of man would have been able to do this. Perhaps someone who was familiar to all of them. I'm suggesting (with no suspect in mind) someone like Steve Wright, the so-called "Ipswich Ripper" who used the services of the local prostitutes over a period of time and so gained their trust. My view is that, if there was a single "Jack the Ripper" entity, he was such a man - a regular - a man who had been a safe customer in the past and in whose company they therefore presumed, fatally, that they were completely safe.
    "It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data. Insensibly one begins twisting facts to suit theories instead of theories to suit facts." Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (as Sherlock Holmes).

  • #2
    Originally posted by Bridewell View Post
    Rather than derail the "Recognition" thread, I thought it appropriate to start another on the reason why a motley collection of unfortunates were persuaded to allow a man to take them to one side and quietly assassinate them. These women may have been down on their luck but they were not stupid. They were middle-aged, savvy, streetwise women who, by the very nature of their 'work', had probably all survived violent encounters of one sort or another. Yet someone, somehow (even at the height of the Ripper scare), persuaded them to lower their guard to such an extent that they went with him willingly and placed themselves in circumstances where he was able to achieve his ghastly aims with little or no resistance.

    Suggestions invited as to what sort of man would have been able to do this. Perhaps someone who was familiar to all of them. I'm suggesting (with no suspect in mind) someone like Steve Wright, the so-called "Ipswich Ripper" who used the services of the local prostitutes over a period of time and so gained their trust. My view is that, if there was a single "Jack the Ripper" entity, he was such a man - a regular - a man who had been a safe customer in the past and in whose company they therefore presumed, fatally, that they were completely safe.
    His dress?

    Comment


    • #3
      I'm inclined to go with the possibility that the killer was known to those street-women, as you suggest.
      He was known to the area, he frequented it regularly, but he didn't have to live there.
      Others have commented on his ability to avoid detection, that he knows the backstreets well, that he is able to blend in as he obviously must have been seen by someone, but he did not attract suspicion.

      In my opinion, he was a familiar face, the women knew him, and as is often the case, was likely questioned by police at some point.
      Regards, Jon S.

      Comment


      • #4
        Any number of explanations:

        - desperation: the other option was homelessness
        - drunkenness
        - the killer appeared, outwardly, like a typical client of theirs
        - the killer was a regular client they were comfortable with
        - the killer was an ambush predator and simply needed the women to pass through a secluded area alone
        - given the number of prostitutes in the east end, and the number of previous prostitute murders, the Ripper murders did not significantly raise the risk of being murdered on the job, and prostitutes responded rationally by not really modifying their behavior

        I do think the killer would have seemed "normal" upon first interaction. I favor a sane Ripper because I believe the evidence points to somebody who knew that what he was doing was wrong (by societal standards at least) and took steps to conceal themselves and not leave evidence.

        Comment


        • #5
          I believe he was a local, looked inoffensive and normal and blended in. And after all most of these women had to eat and get a bed for the night. Most didn't have relatives in other district they could stay with for weeks at a time, and how long the murder spree would go on for, nobody knew.

          Sugden quotes Dew as being amazed at the hardiness of Whitechapel prostitutes. He remembered after the murders if they ventured out at all 'it was in terror-stricken groups'. Then time would pass and there would be no more murders and the groups would dwindle to pairs and then to sole streetwalkers. Dew recalled the black humour of some of them who would call out as the passed him "I'm the next for Jack!"

          Comment


          • #6
            Or they didn't go with him at all and he was a sneak attack merchant.
            G U T

            There are two ways to be fooled, one is to believe what isn't true, the other is to refuse to believe that which is true.

            Comment


            • #7
              I've often thought Polly Nichols might have been an ambush situation, but Annie Chapman, at least, would have had to go off with him, Gut, as they were in a private back yard.

              Comment


              • #8
                I've always believed that the Killer was cunning and left little if anything to chance. He must have known the area very well and I believe planned the attacks to allow him a number of escape routes. Save the generally accepted sightings of him, if indeed they were of him, his meticulous planning certainly paid off. If the victims went willingly to their slaughter, which apparently they did, then he must have been know to them and was trusted or his 'appearance' made him, in their minds, trustworthy. I think the killer will be identified, at some point, and the puzzle perhaps won't be as hard as we've imagined.
                wigngown 🇬🇧

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Damaso Marte View Post
                  Any number of explanations:

                  - desperation: the other option was homelessness
                  - drunkenness
                  - the killer appeared, outwardly, like a typical client of theirs
                  - the killer was a regular client they were comfortable with
                  - the killer was an ambush predator and simply needed the women to pass through a secluded area alone
                  - given the number of prostitutes in the east end, and the number of previous prostitute murders, the Ripper murders did not significantly raise the risk of being murdered on the job, and prostitutes responded rationally by not really modifying their behavior

                  I do think the killer would have seemed "normal" upon first interaction. I favor a sane Ripper because I believe the evidence points to somebody who knew that what he was doing was wrong (by societal standards at least) and took steps to conceal themselves and not leave evidence.
                  Thanks Damaso,

                  I like some of these, especially the notion that he was a regular punter with whom they felt comfortable. I'm hesitant to endorse the drunkenness idea though. Some of them may have been under the influence to some extent, but not all. Chapman probably gave the impression of being tipsy when she was more likely tired/ill. Eddowes had pretty much sobered up by the time that Hutt released her and didn't have time to add much to her earlier consumption, even if she had access to any. As so many of the unfortunates were partial to drink I'm drawn to the notion of a distillery carman - especially someone like the one who trained as a butcher, whom I mentioned some time ago on another thread.
                  "It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data. Insensibly one begins twisting facts to suit theories instead of theories to suit facts." Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (as Sherlock Holmes).

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Bridewell View Post
                    Thanks Damaso,

                    I like some of these, especially the notion that he was a regular punter with whom they felt comfortable. I'm hesitant to endorse the drunkenness idea though. Some of them may have been under the influence to some extent, but not all. Chapman probably gave the impression of being tipsy when she was more likely tired/ill. Eddowes had pretty much sobered up by the time that Hutt released her and didn't have time to add much to her earlier consumption, even if she had access to any. As so many of the unfortunates were partial to drink I'm drawn to the notion of a distillery carman - especially someone like the one who trained as a butcher, whom I mentioned some time ago on another thread.
                    Hi, Bridewell,
                    Do you have a specific named distillery carman in mind?

                    Thx,
                    curious

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'm not sure anything I've read personally points to them "lowering their guard", as much as being pretty blasé about it all.

                      If we believe testimony of the time, they were desperate enough to go off with men who they had just witnessed hit another prostitute.

                      And I believe there have been more recent cases where prostitutes continued to ply their trade as normal even when it was known murders targeting prostitutes were going on.

                      So I think this likely is caused by a combination of desperation and the idea of being statistically safe -- there are so many prostitutes here and so few murders that he isn't going to get "me"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by wigngown View Post
                        I've always believed that the Killer was cunning and left little if anything to chance. He must have known the area very well and I believe planned the attacks to allow him a number of escape routes.
                        Dutfield's Yard seems like a bad match for that idea.
                        If he wanted an easy escape, he only has one exit.
                        There is the benefit of there only being one entrance to worry about.
                        But if he knew the area, he must have been prepared to make a high energy escape by scaling into multiple backyards.

                        If the victims went willingly to their slaughter, which apparently they did, then he must have been know to them and was trusted or his 'appearance' made him, in their minds, trustworthy.
                        Except they were probably extremely drunk, they were definitely extremely desperate.

                        If you've led hundreds of men into dark alleys over the years and come out of it okay, you probably feel like you can take anything to come your way, and you probably think the majority of the time nothing much unexpected happens.

                        My assumption is they probably didn't wait around for a long time, every time, to build up trust and probably relied on gut instinct and experience.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          This & That

                          I doubt that the Whitechapel murder victims had a regular clientele. They prostituted themselves on the occasions when they were desperate for money. They didn’t seem to be career working girls out on the street every night. I feel that most of their contacts were random blokes.

                          Serial killers tend not to be pre-planners. Their murders occur when opportunity meets bloodlust. So, I cannot subscribe to the notion of Jack becoming a “regular” in order to gain anyone’s confidence: too much planning.

                          Ted Bundy was a horrible serial killer. Prolific. From my reading, I don’t think that any of his victims actually knew him. He just seemed outwardly normal, and had a line of BS to gain the victims’ confidence. In fact, the one woman who did know Bundy (his girlfriend) was not murdered.

                          Regards,
                          Edward

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Bridewell View Post
                            Rather than derail the "Recognition" thread, I thought it appropriate to start another on the reason why a motley collection of unfortunates were persuaded to allow a man to take them to one side and quietly assassinate them. These women may have been down on their luck but they were not stupid. They were middle-aged, savvy, streetwise women who, by the very nature of their 'work', had probably all survived violent encounters of one sort or another. Yet someone, somehow (even at the height of the Ripper scare), persuaded them to lower their guard to such an extent that they went with him willingly and placed themselves in circumstances where he was able to achieve his ghastly aims with little or no resistance.

                            Suggestions invited as to what sort of man would have been able to do this. Perhaps someone who was familiar to all of them. I'm suggesting (with no suspect in mind) someone like Steve Wright, the so-called "Ipswich Ripper" who used the services of the local prostitutes over a period of time and so gained their trust. My view is that, if there was a single "Jack the Ripper" entity, he was such a man - a regular - a man who had been a safe customer in the past and in whose company they therefore presumed, fatally, that they were completely safe.
                            There were 2 Canonical Victims who were destitute on the respective nights they were killed, and as such they were actively soliciting to get doss for that same night. Both were diminished physically, Polly by drink, and Annie by sickness...so it would seem reasonable to assume that for these 2 victims immediate circumstances necessitated their meeting strangers.

                            Mary didn't need to raise money on the night she was killed, she had a room in her name, Kate...had she checked with John... apparently had no need for soliciting to secure her bed that night, and Liz left the house with enough to pay for a bed.
                            Michael Richards

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Michael W Richards View Post
                              There were 2 Canonical Victims who were destitute on the respective nights they were killed, and as such they were actively soliciting to get doss for that same night. Both were diminished physically, Polly by drink, and Annie by sickness...so it would seem reasonable to assume that for these 2 victims immediate circumstances necessitated their meeting strangers.
                              Polly might also have been looking for somewhere to sleep, as indeed might Eddowes. Prostitution aside, their need for accommodation alone could have given their killer a means by which to win their confidence.
                              Kind regards, Sam Flynn

                              "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

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