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Ripper Anatomy Class

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  • Originally posted by Errata View Post
    Ok. I think I'm working this choking thing backwards. Let me try another way.

    There are two ways choking kills. Loss of blood to the brain, or loss of the intake of oxygen. Or a combination of both. I have been assuming the loss of oxygen, because the bruising and the petechia normally associated with carotid pressure wasn't mentioned. I'm pretty sure this was known back then, but it may not have, or may not have been widely known. Or it just wasn't in the report. I'm tossing this assumption.
    Choking is preventing air from passing through the trachea by blocking it or compressing. Preventing blood flow is strangualtion. This is also the cause of the swellings. Really strangulation works by placing pressure on the veins, preventing flow of blood out of the head rather than into it, which is why people who are strangled turn red and purple rather than pale. In order to put pressure onto the carotid arteries the victim would be choked as well.

    Originally posted by Errata View Post
    There are seven ways of dying of asphyxiation (that I know of). They are suffocation, choking (like on a piece of chicken), manual strangulation, hanging, ligature, traumatic asphyxia (like a crush injury), and the intriguing and new to me positional asphyxia.
    There are other ways of becoming asphyxiated, gases, disease, etc, which are much less likely as to be almost certainly not the case. Really in this case asphyxiation would be through choking the victim.

    Originally posted by Errata View Post
    Suffocation seems unlikely. On an adult, without plastic, it tends to break the nose. It certainly causes people to fight like the dickens.
    It would be, unless the killer used chloroform.

    Originally posted by Errata View Post
    Choking is out. Unless he scared them so badly they all inhaled a peanut or something.
    No, the killer could have applied a choke to the victim during strangulation.

    Originally posted by Errata View Post
    Manual strangulation is a maybe.

    Hanging is also out. Outside of an autoerotic setup, you really do need a height to achieve this. Not a great height, but at least some of the crime scenes didn't have the necessary geography for a hanging.
    I think we can safely say this is correct.

    Originally posted by Errata View Post
    Ligature seems unlikely, but I'm leaving it on the table.
    It's certainly possible, especially if the victim was wearing their own ligature. There's no real reason to discount it yet.

    Originally posted by Errata View Post
    Traumatic asphyxia is also unlikely, but possible so I'll leave it.
    There was certainly nothing to indicate this during the post-mortems and inquests. It's not totally far-fetched but there is no real evidence for it.

    Originally posted by Errata View Post
    Positional Asphyxia: now this really makes me think. I have no idea how likely it is, but it's an intriguing notion, and possible. For those like me who don't know what this is, it is a forced or accidental posture that severely impairs breathing. For example, drunk people can and do choke to death when they pass out with their head tilted backward off the side of a couch or bed.
    It seems unlikely to be honest. It would involve the victims being unable to move from the position, and strangulation is much more likely if the killer is holding someone by force.

    Originally posted by Errata View Post
    Oh! There is one more way. Drowning. Conventional drowning is out, but I think dry drowning bears a look.
    I think dry drowning is highly unlikely.

    Originally posted by Errata View Post
    So there's manual strangulation, ligature strangulation, traumatic asphyxia, positional asphyxia, and dry drowning. I think that the best way for me to go on this is to investigate these. Which I would totally do on my own, barring two difficulties. 1: My autopsy resources are pretty much exactly whats on the victims pages in these forums, and you all seem to have better ones. 2: Even modern medical texts journals and sites seem to disagree on the mechanics of asphyxiation. Blackout takes anywhere from a few second to a few minutes. The force required to break a hyoid bone is anything from a light punch to a baseball bat to the throat. Facial congestion in one book is "minimal" in another "profound". I may need help frankly. I don't want to hijack the thread or anything, so I just hope that if I ask a few questions, you won't take it amiss. And if anyone wants to help, it would surely be appreciated.
    Feel free to ask anything, that's what the boards are here for
    if mickey's a mouse, and pluto's a dog, whats goofy?

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    • Originally posted by protohistorian View Post
      I ask this because the Killeen description,"The wounds generally might have been inflicted by a knife, but such an instrument could not have inflicted one of the wounds, which went through the chest-bone. His opinion was that one of the wounds was inflicted by some kind of dagger, and that all of them were caused during life..." seems to indicate that only one wound clearly pointed to a second weapon. If the stomach was penetrated and the spleen was then hit, would that not also indicate a longer weapon? Dave
      Adding to Fisherman's answer, remember anatomical variation. The stomach itself may be found in different positions and being different sizes based on the nurition level of the victim (not all obese people eat huge amounts, especially if drink if the cause of the weight gain). So it's possible that the stomach was not between the ribs and spleen.

      Of course if the stab came from the side of the chest it could reach the spleen without hitting the stomach, travelling between the ribs.
      if mickey's a mouse, and pluto's a dog, whats goofy?

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      • Thank you Joel. Dave
        We are all born cute as a button and dumb as rocks. We grow out of cute fast!

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        • Originally posted by joelhall View Post
          Choking is preventing air from passing through the trachea by blocking it or compressing. Preventing blood flow is strangualtion.
          Feel free to ask anything, that's what the boards are here for
          There is clearly a semantics issue I am wading through on this. As in, there are like, nine different understandings of choking vs. strangulation. The ones I used in my post were all under mechanisms of asphyxia. Asphyxia in this case being defined as the deprivation of oxygen, either through impaired breathing or interference with oxygenated blood reaching vital structures.
          So for example, cause of death is asphyxia, cause of asphyxiation is either interrupted breathing or blood flow, means of asphyxiation is manual strangulation, choking on a peanut, etc. It's a model I think I'm going to stick with, given the broadness of words like "choke". At least this gives me the ability to address issues like, manual strangulation, which causes asphyxia, rarely by actually cutting off air, but almost always by denying the brain oxygen. Then I can avoid train wreck sentences like "Choking someone will almost always strangle them, but in rare cases can in fact choke someone to death." Do you think if I just attach a terminology key to something, people can accept it for the duration of reading even if it violates their accepted use of the word?

          Chloroform? Excellent. Seems unlikely given the odor, but I'm intrigued.

          Thanks for the help!
          The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

          Comment


          • Hi Dave & all,

            Thanks for posting all this interesting medical information! And others for their contributions!

            I have a question: is it possible for you to get any information on the vagus nerve (in addition to the following)?

            There’s a vagus nerve on both sides of your neck and the one on the left is directly next to the carotid artery. Both vagus nerves have different important functions in our body. Without these, you would find it difficult to speak, breathe, or eat, and your heartbeat would become extremely irregular.

            What I read once on these boards is that the severing of the left vagus nerve might cause such an irregular heartbeat that that no significant blood spurting would occur or would cause the heart to stop beating altogether. If true, that would obviously be interesting to know with regards to the Ripper case.

            I'll be looking forward to your reply!

            Thanks & all the best,
            Frank
            "You can rob me, you can starve me and you can beat me and you can kill me. Just don't bore me."
            Clint Eastwood as Gunny in "Heartbreak Ridge"

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            • Here is the extent of my knowlege Franko. Dave
              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vagus_nerve
              We are all born cute as a button and dumb as rocks. We grow out of cute fast!

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              • I had already searched about on the internet and, among other things, read the Wikipedia information, but thanks anyway, Dave!
                "You can rob me, you can starve me and you can beat me and you can kill me. Just don't bore me."
                Clint Eastwood as Gunny in "Heartbreak Ridge"

                Comment


                • Originally posted by FrankO View Post

                  There’s a vagus nerve on both sides of your neck and the one on the left is directly next to the carotid artery. Both vagus nerves have different important functions in our body. Without these, you would find it difficult to speak, breathe, or eat, and your heartbeat would become extremely irregular.

                  What I read once on these boards is that the severing of the left vagus nerve might cause such an irregular heartbeat that that no significant blood spurting would occur or would cause the heart to stop beating altogether. If true, that would obviously be interesting to know with regards to the Ripper case.

                  I'll be looking forward to your reply!

                  Thanks & all the best,
                  Frank
                  I was just reading about the vagus nerve. And yes, any trauma to the vagus nerve can cause either sycope or sudden cardiac arrest. However there doesn't appear to be a technique that guarantees it. There are certainly attacks that make it more likely, like ligature strangling or this judo chop type thing on both sides of the neck, but I think it kind of depends on too many factors to guarantee a heart attack from it. I'm past it now, but if you want to look you might try "Vagal inhibition". That seems to be the technical term. If you find something cool let me know!
                  The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

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                  • You know, I don't know why I didn't think of this, but it may be helpful to your understanding of certain wounds if you knew the properties of the clothes they were wearing. Specifically that none of them were wearing corsets as is modernly understood, and it is astonishingly unlikely that their stays (Eddowes was completely without undergarments) were of whalebone, or even wood. They were almost certainly reinforced with either linen bands, or stiff cotton cord. So they were not wearing anything that a knife would get stuck on, or ricochet off of. They were however wearing everything they owned, and I can personally attest to the difficulty of trying to cut through different fabrics of different weaves. Its probably comparable to sawing through carpet.

                    15 wearing and sewing and performing in the dang things and you'd think I'd remember it when it was pertinent. *sigh*
                    The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

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                    • Alice Mackenzie

                      Description: "The wound in the neck was 4 in. long, reaching from the back part of the muscles, which were almost entirely divided. It reached to the fore part of the neck to a point 4 in. below the chin." Dr. Phillips

                      It would look something like this. Dave
                      Attached Files
                      We are all born cute as a button and dumb as rocks. We grow out of cute fast!

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                      • Errata, could I ask you to compile the clothing inventories of the M5 and post them up so we have them in a singular location? Please! Dave
                        We are all born cute as a button and dumb as rocks. We grow out of cute fast!

                        Comment


                        • M5 distance from jaw

                          Some reports have no information, so here is what I have.
                          M1 Henry Llewellyn, "...an inch below the jaw..."
                          and "...An inch below on the same side..."

                          M2 Mr. George Baxter Phillips,"The throat had been severed. The incisions of the skin indicated that they had been made from the left side of the neck on a line with the angle of the jaw, carried entirely round and again in front of the neck, and ending at a point about midway between the jaw and the sternum or breast bone on the right hand." Angled incision.

                          M3 Mr. George Baxter Phillips, "there is a clean cut incision six inches in length; incision commencing two and a half inches in a straight line below the angle of the jaw."

                          M4 No exact distance given. we have this,"Below the cut was a neckerchief."

                          M5 Dr. Bond, "The neck was cut through the skin & other tissues right down to the vertebrae the 5th & 6th being deeply notched. The skin cuts in the front of the neck showed distinct ecchymosis..."

                          Dave
                          Attached Files
                          We are all born cute as a button and dumb as rocks. We grow out of cute fast!

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by protohistorian View Post
                            Errata, could I ask you to compile the clothing inventories of the M5 and post them up so we have them in a singular location? Please! Dave
                            No problem. I can also give you resistance areas in each type of garment. Typically where seams overlap. If you like. I've sewn enough of the @*$% things.
                            The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

                            Comment


                            • That would be awesome Errata, Thank You! Dave
                              We are all born cute as a button and dumb as rocks. We grow out of cute fast!

                              Comment


                              • first one done. I can either to continue to post individually or post them all when I'm done. If theres anything about the format you want to tweak, or anything else you think might be useful, let me know.

                                Mary Ann "Polly" Nichols

                                Black Straw bonnet trimmed with black velvet
                                *may have been tied or attached with a hatpin.

                                Reddish brown ulster with seven large brass buttons bearing the pattern of a woman on horseback accompanied by a man.

                                * A long overcoat with short cape and sleeves. It doesnt say the material, but tweed is a good guess. Front or slightly offset buttons. May have high collar. Women's coats have a waistband. Areas of highest strength: waistband, collar, sleeve seams at the shoulder, buttons.

                                Brown linsey frock (apparently new according to Sugden. Could this be a dress she stole from the Cowdrys?)

                                * Frock is both a common term for a dress (as opposed to skirt and bodice) and a type of coat. It is possible that the dress had a coatlike buttoned top, but in this case unlikely.Typically at least 4 seams along the top front. Linsey is either linen, or a linen wool blend. Areas of highest strength: Top front, sleeve joins, waistband. The rear would almost certainly be arranged to accommodate a bustle, so it is quite possible it would be longer in the back without one.

                                White flannel chest cloth

                                *Not really sure. Likely a camisole or dickey, possible a breast binding. No areas of strength.

                                Black ribbed wool stockings

                                Two petticoats, one gray wool, one flannel. Both stenciled on bands "Lambeth Workhouse"

                                * Pant type underwear, worns to give volume to the bottom half of the body. Also for warmth. Probably knee length. Some petticoats were highly ruffled, likely not these. Areas of strength: Waistband, crotch seam.

                                Brown stays (short)

                                * Simple shapewear. Some have shoulder straps, some have garter attachments. Two likely styles in this class. Channels sewn with cotton cord inserted as stays, or strips of cloth sewn on as external "stays". They would have been front lacing, and as such, would have no busk. There would be no eyelets or grommets. They would have been snug on the body, but not tight. Short probably indicates the garment ended at the natural waist (about the navel) Areas of Strength: given the construction requirements, probably none. The pressure exerted on the seams and lacing holes would have required a lot of mending which weakens the cloth. Anyplace the cord or the cloth cloth stays were applied contrary to the weave of the fabric, slight resistance would be encountered.

                                Flannel drawers

                                *simple loose fitting underwear. It is possible it had no seams. No areas of strength.

                                Men's elastic (spring) sided boots with the uppers cut and steel tips on the heels

                                All told, from the waist up she would be wearing 5-8 layers of cloth, one of which would be considered heavy cloth. From the waist down, not counting stockings or boots she would be wearing 5- layers of cloth, two of which would be considered heavy fabric. Areas of greatest difficulty to cut: The waist, the chest (from about an inch or two above the navel to the throat)
                                The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

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