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  • Ripper the Mama's Boy?

    I posted this in another discussion on this topic but, as others are discussing anatomy, thought I would get out of their way and repost under a new heading.






    Originally Posted by Joshua Rogan View Post

    "Hi Aldebaran,

    This link contains details of weather, sunrise/sunset times and lunar phases for each murder;

    http://www.casebook.org/victorian_london/weather.html

    I believe there were two gas lamps in Mitre Square itself, although one was said not to be in good repair at the time;"

    Hi Joshua,

    On the whole, one really can't see that, if all the murders [if you count Martha Tabram] were committed by the same person, that he was always waiting for the darkest possible night--the new moon or no moon--although twice there was no lunar illumination. With gas lamps, that would have been a futile pattern, anyway. At least one can't claim the motivation of a full moon. None there.

    But there does seem to be a kind of pattern in timing. Again, if you count Martha Tabram's killing, it was about three weeks to that of Polly Nichols. One might think that the Ripper, in that event, was deliberately holding off, letting time go by so that potential victims might let down their guard some. Either that, or he was doing his best to control his impulse. Following the murder of Nichols, it was only a week to that of Annie Chapman. On a roll, so to speak, but then the perp calmed down some again, perhaps had his fill for awhile. Because it was close to another three weeks to the slayings of Elizabeth Stride and Catherine Eddowes. As many have agreed, the Ripper wasn't able, for some reason, to do enough damage to Stride's body to satisfy his blood-lust [or some point he wanted to make] and had to hang about the area, waiting to cut Eddowes up badly.

    But then he waited for more than a month to have at Mary Kelly. That was the longest hiatus and the entire month of October was Ripperless. Why? Was he ill, away from London or even England--or had he exerted supreme control over the impulse that drove him, only to have it manifest itself in the most horrific manner yet. Well, he could hardly top what he had done to poor Kelly. This might have been because he had more time, being in her room with her and not in the street but, still, that was the end of the Ripper's rampage. Some think he must have died or left the country and both are possible and even likely. But perhaps something occurred that frightened the man into quitting, a close call of some kind--something we can't imagine. One might wonder--then how could he stop when he couldn't even hold off for a month for most of the period in which he was active? All I can say to that is the period was short and the Ripper had managed not to do anything like that for all the time since he was a youth. A grown man just doesn't decide to commit senseless, calculating, murders on one day for no reason or start to hate women, even prostitutes, just like that. The Ripper was a sicko for sure, and had been ever since puberty, probably, but had managed to control himself from committing murder. My guess is something set him off, something traumatic in his life at that time and not just in his remote childhood. It may have had something to do with his mother. That's right. Karl Menninger, a forensic psychiatrist, was firmly convinced that the problems that caused male criminal activity stemmed from the relationship with the mother. Sometimes, not being able to kill the mother, being powerless against her. these men simply kill and/or rape women they do not know. You can read a little here about the world's biggest psychopath, Hitler, and his relationship with his mother.

    https://books.google.com/books?id=tN...A143&dq=karl+m enninger+AND+the+role+of+the+mother&source=bl&ots= g-bv3pJptW&sig=kaYi5r8hqQA40RoBL-Q-CZZbDnE&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi8tvbHwbLNAhUH8GMKHX QGDLQQ6AEILzAD#v=onepage&q=karl%20menninger%20AND% 20the%20role%20of%20the%20mother&f=false



    Or the American whacko, Ed Gein, and his relationship with his mom. Ed didn't go completely nuts until his mother died.

    http://www.biography.com/people/ed-gein-11291338

  • #2
    Hello, Aldebaran (nice part of the universe, I hear), Welcome to Casebook!

    Criminal psychology is an interesting topic. I'm not going to say that serial killers being pushed to their crimes by abusive mothers is a cliche, because there was a guy in Colorado who fitted that profile perfectly, down to selecting female hitch-hikers who were the same height and hair color as his abusive mother (see the Cheryl Elder case for details on his arrest). After all, things become cliches because they do often happen.

    But you've touched on yet another controversial topic in Ripperology (not that there is any aspect of these cases that is not controversial), and it can be summed up simply: Was the Ripper a madman? Well, the contemporary investigators thought so, but perhaps only because the method of these murders was extreme for the period.

    I think serial killers are disturbed individuals, certainly, and many of them have experienced abuse in childhood, whether physical, sexual, or emotional. But madness varies by degrees, and the cultural mores of the late Victorian period also varied greatly from social class to social class. Would these influences have led to the same psychopathy as we see in the 20th and 21st century murderers?

    Victorian parents of the upper classes, as any reader of biographies may know, was often characterized by a cool reserve towards their children, who were more likely to be raised by nannies and tutors than by Mater and Pater.

    Dickens and other authors have romantized the blissful family life of the middle and working class Britons in Victoria's era, but we also know that for many people, large families and uncertain employment, the twists of Fate such as industrial accidents and deaths, all could make a family balance on a tightrope as far as security goes.

    And for the poorest people in Whitechapel, the Unfortunates, their whole day to day existence was likely to be a struggle for food and shelter.

    This isn't to say that child abuse didn't exist in the LVP, but I'm not so sure it can always be laid at the feet of the mothers.

    Check out posts by Errata, particularly on Ed Gein -- she knows a lot about the idea of the madness of the Ripper.
    Pat D. https://forum.casebook.org/core/imag...rt/reading.gif
    ---------------
    Von Konigswald: Jack the Ripper plays shuffleboard. -- Happy Birthday, Wanda June by Kurt Vonnegut, c.1970.
    ---------------

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Pcdunn View Post
      But you've touched on yet another controversial topic in Ripperology (not that there is any aspect of these cases that is not controversial), and it can be summed up simply: Was the Ripper a madman? Well, the contemporary investigators thought so, but perhaps only because the method of these murders was extreme for the period.

      I think serial killers are disturbed individuals, certainly, and many of them have experienced abuse in childhood, whether physical, sexual, or emotional. But madness varies by degrees, and the cultural mores of the late Victorian period also varied greatly from social class to social class. Would these influences have led to the same psychopathy as we see in the 20th and 21st century murderers?

      Victorian parents of the upper classes, as any reader of biographies may know, was often characterized by a cool reserve towards their children, who were more likely to be raised by nannies and tutors than by Mater and Pater.

      Dickens and other authors have romantized the blissful family life of the middle and working class Britons in Victoria's era, but we also know that for many people, large families and uncertain employment, the twists of Fate such as industrial accidents and deaths, all could make a family balance on a tightrope as far as security goes.

      And for the poorest people in Whitechapel, the Unfortunates, their whole day to day existence was likely to be a struggle for food and shelter.

      This isn't to say that child abuse didn't exist in the LVP, but I'm not so sure it can always be laid at the feet of the mothers.
      I feel sure that psychiatry would define Jack as a total sociopath without empathy, the most dangerous type of person who exists--one who derives satisfaction from the taking of a human life. People claim that the murders weren't sexual in nature but that isn't necessarily completely true. Some killers have admitted that recalling the murders they committed while masturbating added much to their experience. In fact, these horrors were the only things that turned them on, being impotent otherwise. JTR was beyond mad. He was as much an evil as exists in our world--a human who is not really human any longer because he has become like a beast, killing without any of the reservations that a normal person would have about such an act--but still having intelligence superior to that of any predatory animal.

      Jack may have been far from stupid. Lack of empathy doesn't necessarily imply a lack of intelligence or a self-preservation instinct. [Although some serial killers were not very intelligent in the history of such crimes.] I think there is the possibility that Jack feared getting caught and was torn between his desire to repeat his crime and the knowledge that the odds of something happening not in his favor would increase every time he set out to kill. I think that's why he held off for as long as three weeks [or nearly] at a time-- because in opposition to the thrill, whatever, he got from the act of murdering women, he was held back by the idea of capture, most probably resulting in being hung by the neck.

      The fact that Jack's victims were all women seems to me to point to some problem with them, stemming from the relationship with the mother. Of course, women are weaker than men and perhaps don't pose as much of a threat in one sense. I don't think the fact that they were prostitutes was a great factor except that these women were out and about at night and wouldn't even run away or shout if one approached them. They, in seeking their doss money, would even do the approaching. What I wonder about is the blood. People have arteries and they just don't dribble blood. It squirts out while the heart still beats. How could a monster like this avoid getting blood on his clothing, which might have to be explained? But...if one wore dark clothing, nothing would show in dimly lit London. But there was always the next day and day-light. My guess is the Ripper went home to no one--so there was nothing to explain to anyone.
      Last edited by Aldebaran; 06-19-2016, 06:40 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Aldebaran View Post
        The fact that Jack's victims were all women seems to me to point to some problem with them, stemming from the relationship with the mother.
        I'm not sure it can be that simple, Aldebaran, because it's beyond rare to find a mother who has more than one of her children grow up to become a violent serial offender. I would look at this the other way round and strongly suspect that the adult killer would have been naturally 'difficult' (ranging from withdrawn and uncooperative to anti-social and unmanageable) from an early age, or at least in a different league of difficult from any siblings. An early head injury of some kind would not help matters either.

        In short, more nature than nurture is my guess, with the result that any form of discipline used by the unfortunate parent is likely to be construed as abuse by the serial killer-in-waiting who has plans to get away with everything and be blamed for nothing.

        Love,

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


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        • #5
          I'm on board with a nightmare mother. It does happen, it can be a factor in victim selection, even motivating delusion. And given the total lack of most of what we would cnsider sexual mutilations on the majority of his victims, it strikes me that he sees the uterus not as a sex organ, but as an organ of generation. Which makes mommy issues more compelling.

          f course it's a stereotype. But the stereotype in such a small population is often true.
          The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by caz View Post
            I'm not sure it can be that simple, Aldebaran, because it's beyond rare to find a mother who has more than one of her children grow up to become a violent serial offender. I would look at this the other way round and strongly suspect that the adult killer would have been naturally 'difficult' (ranging from withdrawn and uncooperative to anti-social and unmanageable) from an early age, or at least in a different league of difficult from any siblings. An early head injury of some kind would not help matters either.

            In short, more nature than nurture is my guess, with the result that any form of discipline used by the unfortunate parent is likely to be construed as abuse by the serial killer-in-waiting who has plans to get away with everything and be blamed for nothing.

            Love,

            Caz
            X
            While I believe that all children are affected, traumatized, by an abusive parent, not all can be expected to become serial killers as a result--thank God. And yet I think an abusive mother [or a smothering one] is a very common link among those killers with whom I am familiar. The other one is their outward ordinariness, a factor which enabled them to carry on undetected for a long time. In some cases they were never apprehended. I have not really made a close study of serial killers, just know some facts about a few.

            However, after starting this conversation, I decided to have a better look at Gary Ridgway, an American with very many victims, mostly prostitutes. He was known as the "Green River Killer" prior to being caught. It took me about two minutes to ascertain that Ridgway grew up with a domineering mother, who was abusive to the entire family, including the father. When Ridgway was a teen or pre-teen, he predictably tortured small animals. Then, while still a teen, he stabbed a six-year-old boy with a knife for no reason. The boy didn't die but needed extensive surgery on his liver. How Gary Ridgway escaped being confined to an asylum after that is beyond me, but he went free and later confessed to having drowned another child without being caught. Obviously, it was always a case of smaller and weaker where victims were concerned. I doubt the true body count of Ridgway will ever be known.

            Then Gary "graduated" to women, prostitutes that he picked up and took to a house which he owned. He even served in the Vietnam War. While many good men died in that conflict, the monster managed to come home. Then he got married and became a father. This is the truly odd part--why such a man would want to marry and settle down [sort of] with one woman while continuing to murder others. Ridgway bought a bigger home, worked for a living, and could have been your mild-mannered neighbor. He wasn't very intelligent, but had a sort of cunning. Gary was neither handsome nor ugly. More average than anything else. He was rather like the British Christie--and even like Jack the Ripper, for all we know. There are many suspects when it comes to the latter, but that doesn't mean a single one of them was actually old Jack. The "Green River Killer" had sex with his victims, was a necrophile. His wife claims she never suspected a thing and thought she had a good marriage with a loving husband. That seems to be the nature of the beast--he has a good disguise.

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            • #7
              How about we add an abusive, weak or absent father to the mix to even things up a bit? I'm no ardent feminist but I'm sick to death of hearing that it's the mother figure (negligent, cruel or smothering) who is as much, if not more to blame for churning out these vicious killers, who would have been gentle little lambs if their mothers had only done a better job of raising them to be well-adjusted human beings. Many children, born to two loving parents in a loving home environment, will still end up as socially isolated, resentful adults with criminal tendencies, no matter how well their parents tried to care for them and instil decent values. How can those individuals be explained and put into neat compartments marked "Blame the mater"?

              Without a firm, but fair and hands-on, loving father present during a son - or daughter's - formative years, many mothers must find themselves resorting to over-protective behaviour, overly strict discipline or worse, in their uneven struggle to cope with a naturally difficult child. Much less likely with a supportive father doing his bit, surely?

              Love,

              Caz
              X
              Last edited by caz; 06-21-2016, 04:28 AM.
              "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


              Comment


              • #8
                Of course, carrying on this theme, why not blame Harold Shipman's mum for dying of cancer (if not helped on her way by her sociopathic son bearing gifts of drugs) while he was a vulnerable teenager?

                Love,

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


                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by caz View Post
                  How about we add an abusive, weak or absent father to the mix to even things up a bit? I'm no ardent feminist but I'm sick to death of hearing that it's the mother figure (negligent, cruel or smothering) who is as much, if not more to blame for churning out these vicious killers, who would have been gentle little lambs if their mothers had only done a better job of raising them to be well-adjusted human beings.
                  You may be sick of hearing about it, but I'm not sure why you believe that signifies. Serial killers, once they are caught and confined these days, undergo study because mental health experts really do want to understand what makes them tick, how they got to be such enemies of society. So far, there seems to be a pattern and more often than not, Mom is involved. I don't think feminism has anything to do with it. Feminism fosters the rights of women but does not address their success as mothers or lack of it.


                  Originally posted by caz View Post
                  Many children, born to two loving parents in a loving home environment, will still end up as socially isolated, resentful adults with criminal tendencies, no matter how well their parents tried to care for them and instil decent values. How can those individuals be explained and put into neat compartments marked "Blame the mater"?
                  Do you know of any serial killers who came out of a loving home environment? There is a large gap between that hobby and "criminal tendencies".


                  Originally posted by caz View Post
                  Without a firm, but fair and hands-on, loving father present during a son - or daughter's - formative years, many mothers must find themselves resorting to over-protective behaviour, overly strict discipline or worse, in their uneven struggle to cope with a naturally difficult child. Much less likely with a supportive father doing his bit, surely?

                  Of course, it is ideal to have two caring and nurturing parents. However, it has been determined long ago that that a girl's attitude toward men depends to a great extent upon the kind of relationship she had with her father during her formative years--and the same goes for a son and his mother. Many mothers, even those who have sons, cope quite well under the circumstances of a single parent household, but I think the majority find it difficult. Or so many men in jail would not be the product of such households--and many never even knew their fathers at all. No, certainly, the fathers are not blameless. But, again, a serial murderer can hardly be compared to a person who holds up a gas station or even one who sells drugs. A serial killer is as much a monster as can be produced in any society.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Aldebaran View Post
                    You may be sick of hearing about it, but I'm not sure why you believe that signifies. Serial killers, once they are caught and confined these days, undergo study because mental health experts really do want to understand what makes them tick, how they got to be such enemies of society. So far, there seems to be a pattern and more often than not, Mom is involved. I don't think feminism has anything to do with it. Feminism fosters the rights of women but does not address their success as mothers or lack of it.
                    Hi Aldebaran,

                    And how do you think caught serial killers are studied, if not by asking them 'what makes them tick'? Damn right there's a pattern - they will almost always find someone else to blame for their own misdeeds. 'Mom' - just like the other victims - is an easy and convenient target. "They asked for it/they were dirty wh..../the streets needed cleaning";"Mother loved me too much/didn't love me enough/beat me/locked me in a cupboard..."

                    I only mentioned feminism because I didn't want anyone to think I was biased in favour of women for the sake of it, regardless of their success or otherwise as mothers. Of course there are some terrible mothers, whose children will no doubt all be damaged by it in some way or other. But I doubt the majority of serial offenders (including all those with normal, well-adjusted siblings) had terrible mothers, and in any case it's the adult killer who is always fully responsible for what he/she does, unless he/she is mentally ill, which is generally beyond the best mother's skills to do much about.

                    Originally posted by Aldebaran View Post
                    Do you know of any serial killers who came out of a loving home environment? There is a large gap between that hobby and "criminal tendencies".
                    Don't some serial killers see their mother as the purest angel and judge all other women as painted devils by comparison? If we can trust their word for it, of course. I believe Shipman adored his mother, and was devastated to lose her, unless again he only claimed this so he wouldn't be suspected of practising his 'art' on her. I doubt too many serial killers would admit it if they did have a loving environment to grow up in - nobody to blame then.

                    Originally posted by Aldebaran View Post
                    But, again, a serial murderer can hardly be compared to a person who holds up a gas station or even one who sells drugs. A serial killer is as much a monster as can be produced in any society.
                    That's kind of my point. While I can see how poor or non-existent parenting can have a whole range of adverse effects on the offspring (not necessarily involving anti-social behaviour towards others), serial murder seems more associated with a lethal personality defect caused or created by far more complex issues than just a less than perfect upbringing. Again, how many serial killers do you know who have serial killers for siblings, brought up by the same individuals in the same environment?

                    Love,

                    Caz
                    X
                    Last edited by caz; 06-22-2016, 03:59 AM.
                    "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by caz View Post
                      That's kind of my point. While I can see how poor or non-existent parenting can have a whole range of adverse effects on the offspring (not necessarily involving anti-social behaviour towards others), serial murder seems more associated with a lethal personality defect caused or created by far more complex issues than just a less than perfect upbringing. Again, how many serial killers do you know who have serial killers for siblings, brought up by the same individuals in the same environment?

                      Love,

                      Caz
                      X
                      Serial killers are probably driven far more by obsessive behaviors than by sociopathy or violent tendency. Now, All three of those things tend to be present in serial killers that have been studied, but its the obsessiveness that really forwards the narrative of these guys. Their need and their inability to silence that need. And frankly an almost delusional belief that something gets better if they kill. Jeffrey Dahmer killed trying to make himself a perfect partner. Ludicrous, but it was an obsession. Without that obsession he might simply have been an angry drunk who lashed out in bars, probably would have been. But the obsession ruled him. It's why there are any number of serial killers who cannot articulate why hey did what they did. Because the why is so fundamental to their personality that it's like explaining why you are breathing.

                      This being said, yes there is sometimes a biological component in obsessive behavior. But most obsessive behaviors were initially coping mechanisms. A way to deal with emotions or reality that they were completely unequipped for. Which is a big place where parenting comes in, especially mothering. The stereotypical role of the mother is to comfort and encourage. Children who don't have that become fearful and anxiety ridden. Which is the perfect breeding ground for obsessive behaviors. You can make a sociopath. That's been done. Others are born with it. But the primary goal o f any sociopath is to protect their own interests. And killing violates that. Which is why the vast majority of sociopaths are non violent. So those who do become violent don't do it because they don't respect human life, though they don't. The get pushed into it by their obsessions, and the sociopathy ensures that they don't feel remorse, and likely take precautions to get away with it. Like ditching the body.

                      It hideously complicated. But because of Gein's upbringing and limitations, we do know that a serial killer can be made by a parent. And because the mother is the symbol of security to most children, there is very special relationship hat needs to exist in order for kids to grow up healthy. Upbringing is key, though it is not the only factor. But violate that special bond between a mother and child and it does cause trouble. It creates the medium you need to build a serial killer. So mommy issues are a real thing that need to be looked at. Sociopathy is fascinating, and t's easy to shove everything under that umbrella. But it is statistically less a factor than the coping mechanisms of the serial killer.
                      The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

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                      • #12
                        And then there was Ted Bundy and his mom.

                        http://crimefeed.com/2015/06/ted-bun...illers-family/

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Aldebaran View Post
                          And then there was Ted Bundy and his mom.

                          http://crimefeed.com/2015/06/ted-bun...illers-family/
                          It would be a better example if we knew what he knew when. An insanely complicated relationship, but perhaps not an abusive one at that time. At least not initially, not in regards to his mother/sister. His grandfather was a different story.
                          The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I must say I am not a feminist but I do agree with Caz on this...

                            If there is a weak, drunk or abusive father and the mother has to protect her child or children, she would argue and seemingly belittle him in the eyes of a son. I know she should have left him but in those days it was not possible.
                            So it may be he saw how parents acted towards each other and associated with the male? Of course it works the other way round too.

                            Its strange, only recently I found that my brother and I had a totally different take on our childhood. I thought it was great, he didn't. I was quite shocked.

                            Pat.....

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Errata View Post
                              It would be a better example if we knew what he knew when. An insanely complicated relationship, but perhaps not an abusive one at that time. At least not initially, not in regards to his mother/sister. His grandfather was a different story.
                              Hi Errata,

                              I think Bundy was saying that his mother was cold and uncommunicative. I recall seeing her on television. She was in a stubborn mode of denial that her son could have done anything wrong. Just unreasonable, and such people are unreasonable in general, I have found over the years. They have their own version of everything, the one that suits them. They also tend to get angry when confronted with facts with which they would rather not deal.

                              People here seem to me to be attributing these homicidal tendencies, compulsions, whatever is the correct term, to "nature". Of course, there are many factors built into our DNA, but I doubt "evil" is one of them. But I feel sure that not all people who grew up in the same family environment have the same coping ability. I didn't grow up in the best home but I escaped to the library, being blessed with a love of learning, for example. And I was outgoing, not socially awkward. But I didn't emerge unscathed by any means.

                              At any rate, even full siblings only share about 50% of their DNA. Only identical twins have all the same DNA. Most siblings are not that alike. Even Reggie and Ronnie Kray, bad as they were, did not have exactly the same personality.

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