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  • #16
    Originally posted by Pierre View Post
    This is not a thread where I am asking if Jack the Ripper was left handed or right handed.

    It is a thread where I am asking why the doctors thought he was left handed or right handed.

    Why did they interpret the wounds and marks on the victims as having been done by a left hand, by a left handed killer, by a right hand or by a right handed killer?

    What can explain the variations in the discourse?

    In what instances is a left handed / right handed cut /killer described?

    Are the descriptions of the two types conflicting or not?

    There is evidence that Jack the Ripper was left handed. There is evidence that Jack the Ripper was right handed. Why?

    Pierre
    I think that Steve may be the only one here who has the sufficient knowledge to analyze the problem and answer these questions.

    I myself am not able to do it. I just have data telling me the answer. But Steve is a medic and I am just a simple historian.

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by Pierre View Post
      Hi Trevor,

      Apart from you own hypothesis about the mythological elements in the case, and apart from my own agreeing with you on this - you refer to Biggs and I will comment on it here:



      But have you any research, or does Bigg have any research, for

      a) how common it is
      that left/right-handedness is postulated by doctors for the same victim or/and

      b) for a series of victims killed by the hypothesized same killer?



      And this is the variation in the discourse which is the subject in this thread.

      Since you, Trevor, have your own idea about the Whitechapel murders, and since you think things about this variation - do you know any research for such a variation, i.e. systematical research in articles, or do you have a scientific answer to the question:

      Why is there a variation in the discourse about left/right-handedness?

      Also, are you capable of asking new questions and giving new answers analyzing the material - since you say the old answers are not relevant - and if you are capable of asking new questions and giving new answers:

      Why is there a variation in the discourse about left/right-handedness?

      Best wishes, Pierre
      Dr Biggs is an expert you cannot dismiss what he says lightly in favour of your own beliefs.

      You ask for answers to question you raise, when the reality is there are no specific answers, there never was, and never will be, we are talking about a series of murders that took place 128 years ago. All modern day medical experts can do is offer their opinions based on their modern day medical experience in their field of expertise.

      But what they can do is prove to us now that the opinions of the medical men back then were flawed, and at times based on nothing more than guesswork, which the courts and the press then readily accepted as being correct, as do many modern day researchers who cannot, and will not accept this as fact.

      Take the case of Eddowes she was stabbed from sternum to her pubic bone the person who inflicted that wound could either have been left handed, or right handed, there is nothing to tell the difference, there can be no scientific way of telling, there are no sources to refer to, the same applies to all the other victims wounds.

      There is you, and at least one other on here who do nothing but keep asking for sources, or scientific evidence, when one part or another of the old accepted theories are challenged. The sources to challenge the victorian medics come from modern day medical men. In the case of Eddowes the challenge to the conflicting newspaper reports some seek to rely on come in the form of the official signed depositions.

      These are significant and when you dig deeper into the mystery there are many others to be found, which when all put together portray this mystery in a totally different light, to that which has been accepted for many years.

      Why cant we look at what the new challenge is and just say " You know perhaps the old theory is flawed after all" instead or readily accepting it without question, and asking for sources or scientific evidence to nail down the challenge.

      Where are the sources, and the scientific evidence to corroborate the old accepted theories?

      www.trevormarriott.co.uk

      Comment


      • #18
        [QUOTE=Trevor Marriott;403546]
        Dr Biggs is an expert you cannot dismiss what he says lightly in favour of your own beliefs.
        I am not interested in dismissing Biggs. The interesting thing is that he is part of the discourse about the discourse. He is saying things similar to those who saw the wounds but he was not there. The reason for it is that he is not part of the history about the sources. But you, who think that the "old sources" are to old and not reliable, trust a source from you own time that will soon be old and not reliable, even more so since he was never there.

        You ask for answers to question you raise, when the reality is there are no specific answers, there never was, and never will be, we are talking about a series of murders that took place 128 years ago.
        Do you mean that all research about the past is meaningless?

        All modern day medical experts can do is offer their opinions based on their modern day medical experience in their field of expertise.
        The practical point of view is uncertain, if that is the view of Biggs. You need systematical data. I asked you for it, but you prefer your expert. Of course you do. You do not understand statistics and so you have no choice but to refer to one single person and his statements.

        And the practical point of view was also the point of view of Dr Phillips and Dr Bond et al. They created a small discourse. Why is it like it is?

        But what they can do is prove to us now that the opinions of the medical men back then were flawed,
        And how come that the opinions were "flawed" in particular ways?

        and at times based on nothing more than guesswork, which the courts and the press then readily accepted as being correct, as do many modern day researchers who cannot, and will not accept this as fact.
        And how come they guessed that the killer was left handed or right handed? What is the basis for that talk? What is the basis for the discourse?

        Take the case of Eddowes she was stabbed from sternum to her pubic bone the person who inflicted that wound could either have been left handed, or right handed, there is nothing to tell the difference, there can be no scientific way of telling, there are no sources to refer to, the same applies to all the other victims wounds.
        And so the discourse says the person could have be "either" left or right handed. How come the discourse contains that "either" perspective?

        There is you, and at least one other on here who do nothing but keep asking for sources, or scientific evidence, when one part or another of the old accepted theories are challenged. The sources to challenge the victorian medics come from modern day medical men. In the case of Eddowes the challenge to the conflicting newspaper reports some seek to rely on come in the form of the official signed depositions.
        Trevor - but they "challenge" the sources with the same type of arguments. How come?

        These are significant and when you dig deeper into the mystery there are many others to be found, which when all put together portray this mystery in a totally different light, to that which has been accepted for many years.
        It is no "mystery". It is a set of real existing sources left to us by the past. The sources describe real events.

        Why cant we look at what the new challenge is and just say " You know perhaps the old theory is flawed after all" instead or readily accepting it without question, and asking for sources or scientific evidence to nail down the challenge.
        The theories are flawed, yes. But many of the sources from the past are not. They are in the original and many of them are very reliable and valid.

        Where are the sources, and the scientific evidence to corroborate the old accepted theories?
        I do not accept those theories. But the sources from the past tell us something important. They are the discourse about what the doctors thought about the handedness of the killer. WHY did they think what they thought? WHY is the discourse like it is?

        Is it because "it is too old"?

        Is it because "it is flawed"?

        No, Trevor. Your arguments are not valid. They generate irrelevant arguments and tautologies and they can not explain why the doctors differ in their statements.

        WHY did they differ in their statements in that particular way?

        Regards, Pierre
        Last edited by Pierre; 12-18-2016, 10:28 AM.

        Comment


        • #19
          [QUOTE=Pierre;403551]
          Originally posted by Trevor Marriott View Post


          I am not interested in dismissing Biggs. The interesting thing is that he is part of the discourse about the discourse. He is saying things similar to those who saw the wounds but he was not there. The reason for it is that he is not part of the history about the sources. But you, who think that the "old sources" are to old and not reliable, trust a source from you own time that will soon be old and not reliable, even more so since he was never there.



          Do you mean that all research about the past is meaningless?



          The practical point of view is uncertain, if that is the view of Biggs. You need systematical data. I asked you for it, but you prefer your expert. Of course you do. You do not understand statistics and so you have no choice but to refer to one single person and his statements.

          And the practical point of view was also the point of view of Dr Phillips and Dr Bond et al. They created a small discourse. Why is it like it is?



          And how come that the opinions were "flawed" in particular ways?



          And how come they guessed that the killer was left handed or right handed? What is the basis for that talk? What is the basis for the discourse?



          And so the discourse says the person could have be "either" left or right handed. How come the discourse contains that "either" perspective?



          Trevor - but they "challenge" the sources with the same type of arguments. How come?



          It is no "mystery". It is a set of real existing sources left to us by the past. The sources describe real events.



          The theories are flawed, yes. But many of the sources from the past are not. They are in the original and many of them are very reliable and valid.



          I do not accept those theories. But the sources from the past tell us something important. They are the discourse about what the doctors thought about the handedness of the killer. WHY did they think what they thought? WHY is the discourse like it is?

          Is it because "it is too old"?

          Is it because "it is flawed"?

          No, Trevor. Your arguments are not valid. They generate irrelevant arguments and tautologies and they can not explain why the doctors differ in their statements.

          WHY did they differ in their statements in that particular way?

          Regards, Pierre
          I am not arguing, and have no intention of doing so. I am telling you what are facts. I am telling you that many facets of the original medical evidence have now been proved to now not be correct.

          They differed because they were simply guessing.

          www.trevormarriott.co.uk

          Comment


          • #20
            [QUOTE=Trevor Marriott;403561]
            Originally posted by Pierre View Post

            I am not arguing, and have no intention of doing so. I am telling you what are facts. I am telling you that many facets of the original medical evidence have now been proved to now not be correct.

            They differed because they were simply guessing.

            www.trevormarriott.co.uk
            Trevor. Let me put is this way: Why were they guessing specifically about his handedness and why did their ideas about it differ?

            Comment


            • #21
              [QUOTE=Pierre;403566]
              Originally posted by Trevor Marriott View Post

              Trevor. Let me put is this way: Why were they guessing specifically about his handedness and why did their ideas about it differ?
              The reason they differed was because they all had their own opinions, and now modern day medical experts now tell us that those opinions were nothing more than guesswork.

              www.trevormarriott.co.uk

              Comment


              • #22
                [QUOTE=Pierre;403566]
                Originally posted by Trevor Marriott View Post

                Trevor. Let me put is this way: Why were they guessing specifically about his handedness and why did their ideas about it differ?
                Hi Pierre

                I think the answer to your question lies in the beliefs about left handedness in the late 19th century. This was a time of cod-science where certain features were considered diagnostic (see Lambroso) of criminality. Now it would be used to narrow down suspects, then it was considered a clear sign of criminality. I still stand by my earlier comment that direction of cut can be determined by lift off and drift aspects which combined with the possible positions determines likely used hand.

                Regards

                Paul

                Comment


                • #23
                  [QUOTE=Pierre;403566]
                  Originally posted by Trevor Marriott View Post

                  Trevor. Let me put is this way: Why were they guessing specifically about his handedness and why did their ideas about it differ?
                  Hi

                  From previous debates on this issue I agree with Trevor to a very great extent.

                  The simple facts are that while it is possible to determine the starting point for a cut, it is not in my opinion possible to tell the hand of the killer. It really does depend on the relative position of the victim and the killer.

                  One can make reasoned guesses depending on what was more practice, for instance it seems probably in the case of MJK that if the killer was to her right that is not between bed and partition wall he probably used his left hand as that is the easier hand to make the cut.

                  However it must be noted that it is not impossible that he used his right; just very very difficult.

                  One assumes that the medics made their opinions based on where they assumes he attacked from: be that behind, in front , or to the side while nealing beside an already prostrate body.

                  Paul seems to have plenty of knowledge and experience of this area of expertise by the way.


                  Steve

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    [QUOTE=kjab3112;403628]
                    Originally posted by Pierre View Post

                    Hi Pierre

                    I think the answer to your question lies in the beliefs about left handedness in the late 19th century. This was a time of cod-science where certain features were considered diagnostic (see Lambroso) of criminality. Now it would be used to narrow down suspects, then it was considered a clear sign of criminality. I still stand by my earlier comment that direction of cut can be determined by lift off and drift aspects which combined with the possible positions determines likely used hand.

                    Regards

                    Paul

                    Paul

                    Agree with you 100% on the issue of lift off and drift.

                    It of course as you rightly say very dependent on the possible positions.


                    Steve

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      [QUOTE=kjab3112;403628]
                      Originally posted by Pierre View Post

                      Hi Pierre

                      I think the answer to your question lies in the beliefs about left handedness in the late 19th century. This was a time of cod-science where certain features were considered diagnostic (see Lambroso) of criminality. Now it would be used to narrow down suspects, then it was considered a clear sign of criminality. I still stand by my earlier comment that direction of cut can be determined by lift off and drift aspects which combined with the possible positions determines likely used hand.

                      Regards

                      Paul
                      Hi Paul,

                      So you think that a reason for the discourse being as it is, was that the doctors had a bias and/or were prejudiced?

                      If that was the case, why were they biased and/or prejudiced sometimes but sometimes not?

                      Regards, Pierre

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        [QUOTE=Elamarna;403638]
                        Originally posted by kjab3112 View Post


                        Paul

                        Agree with you 100% on the issue of lift off and drift.

                        It of course as you rightly say very dependent on the possible positions.

                        Steve
                        Hi Steve,

                        And this is not even an attempt to answer the questions about the discourse but you hang on to the old question.

                        The new questions were:

                        Why did they interpret the wounds and marks on the victims as having been done by a left hand, by a left handed killer, by a right hand or by a right handed killer?

                        What can explain the variations in the discourse?

                        In what instances is a left handed / right handed cut /killer described?

                        Are the descriptions of the two types conflicting or not?

                        There is evidence that Jack the Ripper was left handed. There is evidence that Jack the Ripper was right handed. Why?

                        Regards, Pierre

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          [QUOTE=Elamarna;403637]
                          Originally posted by Pierre View Post

                          Hi

                          From previous debates on this issue I agree with Trevor to a very great extent.

                          The simple facts are that while it is possible to determine the starting point for a cut, it is not in my opinion possible to tell the hand of the killer. It really does depend on the relative position of the victim and the killer.

                          One can make reasoned guesses depending on what was more practice, for instance it seems probably in the case of MJK that if the killer was to her right that is not between bed and partition wall he probably used his left hand as that is the easier hand to make the cut.

                          However it must be noted that it is not impossible that he used his right; just very very difficult.

                          One assumes that the medics made their opinions based on where they assumes he attacked from: be that behind, in front , or to the side while nealing beside an already prostrate body.

                          Paul seems to have plenty of knowledge and experience of this area of expertise by the way.

                          Steve
                          Hi Steve,

                          you agree with Trevor, who often criticises "the old ideas". And still, you continue with the old ideas, i. e. you continue to ask about the handedness and its components, such as positions.

                          The object of study here is not that old question. In this thread I ask questions exclusively about the discourse produced in 1888-1889:

                          Why did they interpret the wounds and marks on the victims as having been done by a left hand, by a left handed killer, by a right hand or by a right handed killer?

                          What can explain the variations in the discourse?

                          In what instances is a left handed / right handed cut /killer described?

                          Are the descriptions of the two types conflicting or not?

                          There is evidence that Jack the Ripper was left handed. There is evidence that Jack the Ripper was right handed. Why?

                          I certainly hope that you can see the difference between the question: Was Jack the Ripper left- or right handed? and the questions above.

                          Regards, Pierre

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            [QUOTE=Pierre;403648][QUOTE=Elamarna;403637]

                            Hi Steve,

                            you agree with Trevor, who often criticises "the old ideas". And still, you continue with the old ideas, i. e. you continue to ask about the handedness and its components, such as positions.

                            The object of study here is not that old question. In this thread I ask questions exclusively about the discourse produced in 1888-1889:
                            OK, letīs see if I can try to answer my own questions, just as an example:

                            Why did they interpret the wounds and marks on the victims as having been done by a left hand, by a left handed killer, by a right hand or by a right handed killer?
                            Answer: Professional people tended to believe things about their objects of study. These people believed that the killer was left handed. They also believed he was right handed. The core concept here is belief in the meaning of Bourdieu. It means that these professionals have invested their time and interest in the science of medicine and they obtained knowledge and a cultural capital which is expressed as belief in the sources - contrary to "guessing" as in a lottery.

                            What can explain the variations in the discourse?

                            Answer: They believed two things at the same time or they changed their belief and started believing the opposite. This leads to the questions: Why did they do so?

                            In what instances is a left handed / right handed cut /killer described?
                            I must analyze this properly before I can answer it.

                            Are the descriptions of the two types conflicting or not?
                            A conflicting description - what would that be? This is a very difficult question, I think. There may be a conflict between the statements of one person or between two persons. There may also be other types of conflicting descriptions. I can not answer it right now.

                            There is evidence that Jack the Ripper was left handed. There is evidence that Jack the Ripper was right handed. Why?
                            Answer: This evidence is in the discourse. If we analyze it, we will probably have some evidence that is more valid and some that is less valid.

                            Some people think that the evidence for Jack the Ripper being left handed is not present in the case of Kelly but there was a purely material problem in the room: he "could not" stand between a bed and a door.

                            Is this an established historical fact?

                            Did anyone in his time believe - and is it visible in the discourse - that Jack the Ripper choose the other side, not because of a small space but because of something else?

                            And: Could not Jack the Ripper lift or move a bed?

                            What does the discourse say about this small space between the bed and the door?

                            As you see, the questions about the discurse generates new questions, and this is very interesting.

                            Regards, Pierre

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Pierre View Post
                              Hi Steve,

                              And this is not even an attempt to answer the questions about the discourse but you hang on to the old question.

                              The new questions were:

                              Why did they interpret the wounds and marks on the victims as having been done by a left hand, by a left handed killer, by a right hand or by a right handed killer?


                              We will have to disagree on if it gives an answer, maybe I am not back up to speed yet!

                              The angle of cut, the direction and depth of cut, may help us to decide which hand made the actual cut. And the medics would have based their views on these factors.


                              In the first 4 of the C5 the cut appears to be from left to right, in MJK its right to left.

                              Alice Mackenzie is back to left to right by the way.

                              However a important factor is the position of the killer.

                              There is a lot of guess work involved, the forensics at the scenes was so limited that it does not really help.

                              To demonstrate, the Kelly case which may give the most evidence on this count, however even in this case there is an alternative view offered as to the killers positioning for the neck cut.
                              And depending on which view one takes, the probably hand is different.

                              The forensics are poor and the wounds do not conclusively prove which hand was used, the medics are making educated guesses, that is why they have different views !



                              Originally posted by Pierre View Post

                              What can explain the variations in the discourse?

                              I read Paul's comments about left handedness and how it was viewed.

                              While one cannot discount such a process being involved, I do not believe it would have been a major factor in the views reached. Although it may have had an effect if one could not reach a true scientific conclusion.


                              Originally posted by Pierre View Post

                              In what instances is a left handed / right handed cut /killer described?

                              The descriptions are not enough to confirm which hand was used in the first four cases, this is because we do not know the position of the killer.
                              Any suggestions by the medics are simply guess work.

                              However in the case of MJK, it seems the killer was on her right and so he probably cut Left handed there, it being the easier cut from that position. That is not the same as saying left or right handed of course.

                              .
                              Originally posted by Pierre View Post

                              Are the descriptions of the two types conflicting or not?

                              Not really for the reasons given above.
                              However one cannot ignore that MJK was apparently cut in the opposite direction to the others. This may suggest a separate killer to some, however it could equally be he was forced to cut in this direction in this case.


                              Originally posted by Pierre View Post
                              There is evidence that Jack the Ripper was left handed. There is evidence that Jack the Ripper was right handed. Why?
                              I would suggest there is limited evidence from the wounds to make a strong case for either as being conclusive.

                              Or course the old suggestion that he may have been able to use either hand cannot be discounted.

                              The science used here by the medics and by many writers is far from scientifically conclusive.

                              This is the reason why their is disagreement here about the cuts.

                              Regards,




                              Steve

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Pierre View Post
                                This is not a thread where I am asking if Jack the Ripper was left handed or right handed.

                                It is a thread where I am asking why the doctors thought he was left handed or right handed.

                                Why did they interpret the wounds and marks on the victims as having been done by a left hand, by a left handed killer, by a right hand or by a right handed killer?

                                What can explain the variations in the discourse?

                                In what instances is a left handed / right handed cut /killer described?

                                Are the descriptions of the two types conflicting or not?

                                There is evidence that Jack the Ripper was left handed. There is evidence that Jack the Ripper was right handed. Why?

                                Pierre
                                The handedness was determined by identifying where each throat cut was initiated and where it completed. Logic is used to identify the most probable mechanical method, and whether the killer was behind or looming above the victim. As you recall, some assumptions were that the throat cuts were made while the victims were already lying down.
                                Michael Richards

                                Comment

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