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  • Discourse about left-right-handedness

    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

  • #2
    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?

    1)They were killed by different people.
    2)The killer was ambidextrous.
    3)Position of victim/killer when slashed. Standing/on ground.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by jerryd View Post
      1)They were killed by different people.
      2)The killer was ambidextrous.
      3)Position of victim/killer when slashed. Standing/on ground.
      Well, could you think of some more reasons?

      Comment


      • #4
        Pierre, the idea of which hand is based on natural drift of a straight line and better position to perform the manipulations. The evidence though was pure opinion of the doctors performing the autopsy examination. If the victim was on the floor at the time the throat was cut (as the inquests seem to suggest) and the throat cut started on the victim's left (as again) then a right handed knifeman would be more likely

        Best wishes

        Paul

        Comment


        • #5
          Pierre,

          Further to your ambidextrous question, the stand out is MJK. The first four canonical had a suggested throat cut from the left (Annie and Polly two left sided cuts, Liz and Catherine a lift off from left to right). MJK though was cut from the right. If there was only one knifeman in 1888 slashing throats, then there would be a high likelihood of some left handedness.

          Best wishes

          Paul

          Comment


          • #6
            How does a pathologist with an interest in gut flora who lectured with his left hand secured in his clothing sound?
            The is no MJK.
            Her name was Mary Ann Kelly and a member of Jack's church as a youngster.
            My name is Dave. You cannot reach me through Debs email account

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by kjab3112 View Post
              Further to your ambidextrous question, the stand out is MJK. The first four canonical had a suggested throat cut from the left (Annie and Polly two left sided cuts, Liz and Catherine a lift off from left to right). MJK though was cut from the right. If there was only one knifeman in 1888 slashing throats, then there would be a high likelihood of some left handedness.
              I don't think MJK is a stand out, really, more of a stand the other side.
              For the first four canonicals the killer was thought to have stood (or crouched/knelt) on the victims' right when cutting the throat (for two that was probably the only place). In Kelly's case, the killer had to stand on her left side, hence the cut apparently going the other way.

              Comment


              • #8
                [QUOTE=kjab3112;403434]

                Pierre, the idea of which hand is based on natural drift of a straight line
                Hi,

                I am very interested in what you are writing here and will comment on it in all itīs parts. "Natural drift of a straight line" - I have never heard of the concept. Is there any research for it?

                and better position to perform the manipulations.
                And "better" is an ordinal variable so there is a possibility of different values. Therefore, how can we say that this variable is important in the case of handedness and in what way?

                Also, if you convert the variable you get the variable worse. In what ways would such a variable change the idea of the killer trying to obtain a "better" position?

                The evidence though was pure opinion of the doctors performing the autopsy examination.
                And when you say "pure" opinions, what is that "purity"?

                And the opinions, why do they differ?

                If the victim was on the floor at the time the throat was cut (as the inquests seem to suggest) and the throat cut started on the victim's left (as again) then a right handed knifeman would be more likely
                The "if" is a problem and the "a right handed...would be more likely" is a problem already, which started a long time ago, and I would like to avoid that problem here right now. So not trying to determine the handedness - but trying to determine why the discourse is as it is.

                So, what do you think about all this?

                Regards, Pierre
                Last edited by Pierre; 12-17-2016, 12:27 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by kjab3112 View Post
                  Pierre,

                  Further to your ambidextrous question, the stand out is MJK. The first four canonical had a suggested throat cut from the left (Annie and Polly two left sided cuts, Liz and Catherine a lift off from left to right). MJK though was cut from the right. If there was only one knifeman in 1888 slashing throats, then there would be a high likelihood of some left handedness.

                  Best wishes

                  Paul
                  Hi again,

                  and that is the same questions: was the killer left/right-handed or "ambidextrous", and then the "likelihood of some left handedness".

                  So how could we analyze the discourse instead? We can try these questions:

                  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?

                  So what could be our suggested answer(s)?

                  Regards, Pierre

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Joshua Rogan View Post
                    I don't think MJK is a stand out, really, more of a stand the other side.
                    For the first four canonicals the killer was thought to have stood (or crouched/knelt) on the victims' right when cutting the throat (for two that was probably the only place). In Kelly's case, the killer had to stand on her left side, hence the cut apparently going the other way.
                    Why would the killer have had to stand on her left side? Was there a law for it?

                    And was he actually thought to have stood on the right side, are there sources for this?

                    Regards, Pierre

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Pierre View Post
                      Hi again,

                      and that is the same questions: was the killer left/right-handed or "ambidextrous", and then the "likelihood of some left handedness".

                      So how could we analyze the discourse instead? We can try these questions:

                      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?

                      So what could be our suggested answer(s)?

                      Regards, Pierre
                      I have set out below an extract from my book "Jack the Ripper the secret police files."
                      www.trevormarriott.co.uk/?page_id=191

                      It relates to an assessment and evaluation of some of the evidence relative to this thread from Dr Biggs a modern day working forensic pathologist

                      "As with much of what went on ‘back in the day’, learned medical men would assert things without backup, and this would be taken as fact without challenge. By way of example, it is not possible to say that all injuries were caused by the same instrument, comment on the blade’s sharpness or suggest that the injuries were caused with ‘great violence’. This is just somebody giving their opinion as though it were fact, and giving it in such a way that it is virtually meaningless. Saying that the wounds were made ‘downwards’ means nothing without a frame of reference. Stating that the wounds were made ‘from left to right’ is not as clear as it might at first seem, and of course cannot be relied upon. The witness states that the injuries might have been done by a left-handed person’. But equally, they could have been done by a right-handed person. Or a one-handed person!"

                      "What is important to realise is that much of the myth and legend that has become ‘fact’ over the decades might be based upon testimony such as this... and therefore, is open to question?"

                      www.trevormarriott.co.uk

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hi Joshua

                        I talk with ambidextrous tendencies and some surgical training. MJK was cut from the right carotid round, if one imagines the head and hence jaw position it is not easy to cut with the right hand in that fashion. The left hand however is easy. The enforced awkwardness might explain the increased violence but my personal opinion is that the killer cut MJKs throat with his (or her) left hand, simply due to physical mechanics.

                        Best wishes

                        Paul

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          [QUOTE=Pierre;403493]
                          Originally posted by kjab3112 View Post



                          Hi,

                          I am very interested in what you are writing here and will comment on it in all itīs parts. "Natural drift of a straight line" - I have never heard of the concept. Is there any research for it?



                          And "better" is an ordinal variable so there is a possibility of different values. Therefore, how can we say that this variable is important in the case of handedness and in what way?

                          Also, if you convert the variable you get the variable worse. In what ways would such a variable change the idea of the killer trying to obtain a "better" position?



                          And when you say "pure" opinions, what is that "purity"?

                          And the opinions, why do they differ?



                          The "if" is a problem and the "a right handed...would be more likely" is a problem already, which started a long time ago, and I would like to avoid that problem here right now. So not trying to determine the handedness - but trying to determine why the discourse is as it is.

                          So, what do you think about all this?

                          Regards, Pierre
                          Hi Pierre

                          Regards drift: the hand position is determined by the relative pronator and supinator muscles of the forearm. As the elbow is flexed and extended that alters the wrist position. If one draws a straight line there will be drift and lift off due to this change in wrist position. Surgical training is about avoiding this biomechanical reality.

                          When I refer to better I am considering the most natural position. As a thought experiment switch your knife to the opposite hand, you will find the plate has to be turned. The same for the murderer, because of the walls etc the cuts were much easier on one side and in fact would not have been even possible in most cases from the opposite.

                          Pure is a descriptive adjective of the opinion expressed at the time by the witness. There is no evidential backing except for personal experience. I.e. Pure opinion

                          For most likely position and hand look at my first reply. My personal opinion is that we don't know who killed the canonical five, but looking at the surviving autopsy evidence they were likely killed by the same hand with MJK more similar to Annie and Polly than the double event but with sufficient similarities to be at reasonable doubt level.

                          Best wishes

                          Paul

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            [QUOTE=kjab3112;403515]
                            Originally posted by Pierre View Post

                            Hi Pierre

                            Regards drift: the hand position is determined by the relative pronator and supinator muscles of the forearm. As the elbow is flexed and extended that alters the wrist position. If one draws a straight line there will be drift and lift off due to this change in wrist position. Surgical training is about avoiding this biomechanical reality.

                            When I refer to better I am considering the most natural position. As a thought experiment switch your knife to the opposite hand, you will find the plate has to be turned. The same for the murderer, because of the walls etc the cuts were much easier on one side and in fact would not have been even possible in most cases from the opposite.

                            Pure is a descriptive adjective of the opinion expressed at the time by the witness. There is no evidential backing except for personal experience. I.e. Pure opinion

                            For most likely position and hand look at my first reply. My personal opinion is that we don't know who killed the canonical five, but looking at the surviving autopsy evidence they were likely killed by the same hand with MJK more similar to Annie and Polly than the double event but with sufficient similarities to be at reasonable doubt level.

                            Best wishes

                            Paul
                            Hi Paul,

                            I see what you mean.

                            And concerning the discourse constructed by doctors in 1888-1889;

                            What can explain the variations in the discourse?

                            Are the descriptions conflicting or not do you think?

                            Regards, Pierre

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Trevor Marriott View Post

                              I have set out below an extract from my book "Jack the Ripper the secret police files."
                              www.trevormarriott.co.uk/?page_id=191

                              It relates to an assessment and evaluation of some of the evidence relative to this thread from Dr Biggs a modern day working forensic pathologist

                              "As with much of what went on ‘back in the day’, learned medical men would assert things without backup, and this would be taken as fact without challenge. By way of example, it is not possible to say that all injuries were caused by the same instrument, comment on the blade’s sharpness or suggest that the injuries were caused with ‘great violence’. This is just somebody giving their opinion as though it were fact, and giving it in such a way that it is virtually meaningless. Saying that the wounds were made ‘downwards’ means nothing without a frame of reference. Stating that the wounds were made ‘from left to right’ is not as clear as it might at first seem, and of course cannot be relied upon. The witness states that the injuries might have been done by a left-handed person’. But equally, they could have been done by a right-handed person. Or a one-handed person!"

                              "What is important to realise is that much of the myth and legend that has become ‘fact’ over the decades might be based upon testimony such as this... and therefore, is open to question?"

                              www.trevormarriott.co.uk
                              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:

                              "As with much of what went on ‘back in the day’, learned medical men would assert things without backup, and this would be taken as fact without challenge.
                              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?

                              The witness states that the injuries might have been done by a left-handed person’. But equally, they could have been done by a right-handed person. Or a one-handed person!"
                              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
                              Last edited by Pierre; 12-18-2016, 03:26 AM.

                              Comment

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