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  • Chicken or Egg ?

    I am not sure if this belongs here or under "Letters."

    Ever since I first encountered the JTR letters I have pondered this question: Do serial killers send taunting messages to the police because it is an innate trait common to serial killers or are they all just mimicking Saucy Jacky because they think they are suppose to?

    Off the top of my head there have been several serial killers who applied this act: The BTK killer; The Zodiac Killer; The Manson Children; Son of Sam; Danny Rolling; The Unabomber; The Hillside Strangler; The Gray Man; The Happy Face Killer; and I suspect others.

    If it is the latter, (that they are just mimicking Jack) and all the JTR letters were just cranks and pranks then it has become a terrible tragic irony, but if it is the former, then maybe we should take the Ripper letters more seriously.

    I am of the mind that all these idiots did it because (they think) Jack did it; I believe that JTR has had that much of an impact on our society, but I suspect that an FBI profiler or a trained psychologist might think differently.

    Does this tendency to taunt tell us we should take the Ripper letters more seriously?




  • #2
    Serial killers have no innate traits, and therefore no innate desire to communicate.

    I think some of them are aware that other, infamous killers have communicated, and this inspires them to do it also.

    but it’s not necessarily JtR they’re mimicking, as you suggest, Just a general Hollywoodish stereotype of serial killers. Which of course is itself originally inspired by JtR.

    some serial killers are aware of how they “supposed” to act as serial killers and use it to fool researchers into believing they fit the stereotype, thus feeding pseudoscientific articles about profiling etc.

    so no, serial killers sending letters to police tells us nothing about the JtR letters. Because serial killers are not robots and using 20th century events and expectations and stereotypes on 19th century stuff is inadmissible.
    Last edited by Kattrup; 01-31-2019, 07:38 AM.

    Comment


    • #3
      It's interesting to consider what the avalanche of hoax letters tells us about the members of the public who wrote them, and why.
      Kind regards, Sam Flynn

      "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Kattrup View Post
        Serial killers have no innate traits, and therefore no innate desire to communicate.

        I think some of them are aware that other, infamous killers have communicated, and this inspires them to do it also.

        but it’s not necessarily JtR they’re mimicking, as you suggest, Just a general Hollywoodish stereotype of serial killers. Which of course is itself originally inspired by JtR.

        some serial killers are aware of how they “supposed” to act as serial killers and use it to fool researchers into believing they fit the stereotype, thus feeding pseudoscientific articles about profiling etc.

        so no, serial killers sending letters to police tells us nothing about the JtR letters. Because serial killers are not robots and using 20th century events and expectations and stereotypes on 19th century stuff is inadmissible.
        Thank you for replying.

        I believe we are all hard wired in similar ways just like any other animal. -- RE serial killers: whether they hold an innate desire to gain the public's attention through communicates is open to debate, but serial killers are no more unique than anyone suffering from a compulsive-obsessive problem. E.g. All hoarders. spouse abusers, compulsive gamblers, pedophiles. ETC. all share common behavioral traits they can't suppress. Serial killers are no different and must share some similar innate traits as well, and like all compulsive behavior, they do repeat predictable acts, not because they are learned but because they are obsessed.

        Whether this one particular trait exists in serial killers I don't know, that is why I am asking, but I can't believe that serial killers have "no innate traits" -- no such animal type exists.

        We are all 'robots' to some extent, and the greater one's obsession (on any topic) the more likely his actions will be predictable, and serial killers are the kings of obsessive behavior, so they must hold many innate traits in common. There is nothing pseudo about it.

        In regards to who they might be mimicking, as you say it is Hollywood, but then as you also say Hollywood is in many ways just mimicking JTR; so again, who are they mimicking?

        London in 1888 is more akin to the 20th century than it is to the 19th century. 1888 London looked and acted more like 1920 London than it did 1850 London. You know, as one of the crank letters said, 'history will say I gave birth to the 20th century.'

        You don't think much of profilers; that I won't challenge! -- You don't think much of the JTR letters either; there we agree.

        So why do so many of these bottom feeding a-holes write letters?




        Comment


        • #5
          I think we fundamentally disagree about certain assumptions.
          Originally posted by APerno View Post
          I believe we are all hard wired in similar ways just like any other animal. --
          Yes, humans are also animals and share certain instincts, needs and desires, like animals.
          Originally posted by APerno View Post
          RE serial killers: whether they hold an innate desire to gain the public's attention through communicates is open to debate, but serial killers are no more unique than anyone suffering from a compulsive-obsessive problem. E.g. All hoarders. spouse abusers, compulsive gamblers, pedophiles. ETC. all share common behavioral traits they can't suppress.
          complete assumption; throwing all serial killers into the same category, as if they were all alike in every culture and in every time period. Completely ahistorical.compulsive-obsessive problems are not masters of humans and such mental conditions will influence a person's actions in different ways depending on their culture, upbringing, ressources, context etc.
          Originally posted by APerno View Post
          Serial killers are no different and must share some similar innate traits as well, and like all compulsive behavior, they do repeat predictable acts, not because they are learned but because they are obsessed.
          again, complete assumption that all serial killers are obsessed and compulsive, and must live out those compulsions.
          Originally posted by APerno View Post
          Whether this one particular trait exists in serial killers I don't know, that is why I am asking, but I can't believe that serial killers have "no innate traits" -- no such animal type exists.
          Serial killers are not animals, except to the extent that humans are. Serial killers are not all alike, and therefore do not have innate traits, i.e. characteristics shared by all.
          Originally posted by APerno View Post
          We are all 'robots' to some extent, and the greater one's obsession (on any topic) the more likely his actions will be predictable, and serial killers are the kings of obsessive behavior, so they must hold many innate traits in common.
          complete assumption that Serial kings are kings of obsessive behaviour, why would you even think that?
          Originally posted by APerno View Post
          There is nothing pseudo about it.

          In regards to who they might be mimicking, as you say it is Hollywood, but then as you also say Hollywood is in many ways just mimicking JTR; so again, who are they mimicking?
          some, not all, may choose to mimic common stereotypes of a serial killer. Those stereotypes have a long history, starting mainly with the ripper, but really being developed and pushed to a broader public through mass media crime dramas in the 60s onwards, and to great effect from the 90s onwards, when the figure of the serial killer really becomes the new kind of supervillain in movies and tv.
          Originally posted by APerno View Post
          London in 1888 is more akin to the 20th century than it is to the 19th century. 1888 London looked and acted more like 1920 London than it did 1850 London. You know, as one of the crank letters said, 'history will say I gave birth to the 20th century.'
          actually, that is a modern quote from the movie From Hell. But perhaps I should have said "later 20th century", but my point stands: the serial killers as you describe them are a product of 20th century society of mass media, cars, surplus, free time, anonymity, lifestyle morals changing etc. Which had not so much happened by the 1920s but byt the 60s had.
          Originally posted by APerno View Post
          You don't think much of profilers; that I won't challenge! -- You don't think much of the JTR letters either; there we agree.
          Actually, I believe some of the letters were from the killer.
          Originally posted by APerno View Post
          So why do so many of these bottom feeding a-holes write letters?
          Because they are engaged in an activity that they can only tell the police about, so they're very lonely in that regard - and some of them know that serial killers are supposed to do it, so they do it to go along with the idea of the serial killer.


          Fundamentally, the "serial killer" is a construct of the 20th century and did not really exist in the 19th. That is one of the reasons why Jack the Ripper is so interesting - he was the first! It was around him and his contemporaries that the idea of the "serial killer" started taking form. Criminologists talking about "lustmord" and sexual frenzy etc.

          When I say the "serial killer" did not exist, it does not mean serial killing did not, but that the type of person that we now normally talk about as "serial killer" is a construct, which was constructed in the 20th century under 20th century conditions and therefore applies only to 20th century offenders, if at all. The conditions of the best-known serial killers in the US in the 50s, 60s and 70s were radically different from Victorian times. Applying lessons from those and later offendors to Jack the Ripper is inadmissable as argument.

          The way you speak of "serial killer" having this or that particular trait, being obsessive about their drive to kill etc. is just a stereotype reinforced by the media and profiling experts wanting to sell books. The serial killer, a person whose main personality trait is a drive to kill others in a particular fashion, did not exist before he was created.

          Comment


          • #6

            hello aperno. serial killers are not 'my thing'; the fact that i follow this case might speak more to the mystery and history of whitechapel 1888; still, there is the random occasion when a criminal television program may capture my attention. months ago, one such program did [fbi: criminal pursuit "sex, murder & videotape"]. the program showcased the serial acts of maury troy travis, a man who victimized prostitutes in the st. louic area from spring of 2001 to the spring of 2002. during this one-year duration, he may have murdered upwards of 20 prostitutes at a rate en par with jack the ripper. although he did not eviscerate his victims, i felt that he shared habits with jack the ripper that might provide a profile for jack the ripper; habits such as 'disposing' of his nude victims in alleys and off highways where their bodies would be easily discovered & usually 'disposing' of them in the concentrated region around washington park in east st louis, an area known for a proliferation of crack cocaine and prostitution.

            the letter
            maury troy travis was apprehended in june 7th of 2002 [two weeks after he had mailed a letter to bill smith, a reporter for the st louis post-dispatch newspaper]. bill smith had only recently penned a human interest article regarding the mysterious prostitute murders, having focused his article on the 3rd victim teresa wilson. within days of its' publication, smith would receive a letter from "the killer" that, at first glance, he considered a hoax. received on may 24 2002, the content of the letter read:

            dear bill nice sob story about teresa wilson write one about greenwade [travis' 1st victim, her body discovered april fools day 2001] write a good one and i'll tell you where many others are to prove i'm real here's directions to number seventeen search in a fifty yard radius from the x put the story in the sunday paper like the last

            the police did, in fact, discover the skeletal remains of a woman at the spot marked with the "x". also of note was the envelope in which the letter was sent. as if taunting the recipient, travis had used a sexual bondage website's new york address for the return address; maury travis would later prove to be a sexual sadist of the most violent type. investigators would trace the internet-generated map that he provided back to his personal computer thereby, learning of his identity.

            so in response to your question, aperno, it does not appear that maury travis was motivated to mimic jack the ripper. his letter was a response to a newspaper article that had brought media attention to his crimes, something that may have indulged his sadism. of particular note, travis addressed the letter directly to the reporter at the st louis post-dispatch. if jack the ripper had written the dear boss letter, could the same principle apply: several newspapers do directly cite the central news agency in the weeks between polly nicholls and the night of the double event; did one capture jack the ripper's attention?
            *i find it a bit odd that both travis and dear boss both want to dictate terms to the news agency: "put the story in the sunday paper like the last", "keep this letter till i do a bit more work, then give it out straight"

            maury troy travis would commit suicide in his jail-cell 3 days after his arrest. he had been placed under suicide-watch by the st louis county justice center.
            there,s nothing new, only the unexplored

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Robert St Devil View Post
              hello aperno. serial killers are not 'my thing'; the fact that i follow this case might speak more to the mystery and history of whitechapel 1888; still, there is the random occasion when a criminal television program may capture my attention. months ago, one such program did [fbi: criminal pursuit "sex, murder & videotape"]. the program showcased the serial acts of maury troy travis, a man who victimized prostitutes in the st. louic area from spring of 2001 to the spring of 2002. during this one-year duration, he may have murdered upwards of 20 prostitutes at a rate en par with jack the ripper. although he did not eviscerate his victims, i felt that he shared habits with jack the ripper that might provide a profile for jack the ripper; habits such as 'disposing' of his nude victims in alleys and off highways where their bodies would be easily discovered & usually 'disposing' of them in the concentrated region around washington park in east st louis, an area known for a proliferation of crack cocaine and prostitution.

              the letter
              maury troy travis was apprehended in june 7th of 2002 [two weeks after he had mailed a letter to bill smith, a reporter for the st louis post-dispatch newspaper]. bill smith had only recently penned a human interest article regarding the mysterious prostitute murders, having focused his article on the 3rd victim teresa wilson. within days of its' publication, smith would receive a letter from "the killer" that, at first glance, he considered a hoax. received on may 24 2002, the content of the letter read:

              dear bill nice sob story about teresa wilson write one about greenwade [travis' 1st victim, her body discovered april fools day 2001] write a good one and i'll tell you where many others are to prove i'm real here's directions to number seventeen search in a fifty yard radius from the x put the story in the sunday paper like the last

              the police did, in fact, discover the skeletal remains of a woman at the spot marked with the "x". also of note was the envelope in which the letter was sent. as if taunting the recipient, travis had used a sexual bondage website's new york address for the return address; maury travis would later prove to be a sexual sadist of the most violent type. investigators would trace the internet-generated map that he provided back to his personal computer thereby, learning of his identity.

              so in response to your question, aperno, it does not appear that maury travis was motivated to mimic jack the ripper. his letter was a response to a newspaper article that had brought media attention to his crimes, something that may have indulged his sadism. of particular note, travis addressed the letter directly to the reporter at the st louis post-dispatch. if jack the ripper had written the dear boss letter, could the same principle apply: several newspapers do directly cite the central news agency in the weeks between polly nicholls and the night of the double event; did one capture jack the ripper's attention?
              *i find it a bit odd that both travis and dear boss both want to dictate terms to the news agency: "put the story in the sunday paper like the last", "keep this letter till i do a bit more work, then give it out straight"

              maury troy travis would commit suicide in his jail-cell 3 days after his arrest. he had been placed under suicide-watch by the st louis county justice center.
              Thank you for sharing that was quite interesting. How in God's name did he get away with so many kills in such a short space of time. The last part about dictating to the newspapers is also interesting; so much of what they do seems driven by a desire to hold power over people.

              What is amazing to me is that they are stupid enough to still write letters when you consider how sophisticated criminal forensics has become. The BTK killer (Dennis Rader) who killed between 1974 and 1991 had gotten away with it, but he just couldn't control himself and started writing taunting letters once again 13 years after his last (known) kill. If the fool has just disciplined himself and kept his mouth shut we probably would have never caught him.

              Comment


              • #8
                IMHO I thought that the "Dear Boss" letter could have been attributed to Jack, but now I don't think Jack wrote any of those letters. Jack did not want to be caught and so many hoax letters were being sent to the Police and other officials that it may have led to Jack deciding to kill indoors on his next outing- where he could not be seen. Jack's trademark was putting the bodies of his victims on show, not putting pen to paper, or putting chalk on walls.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Robert St Devil View Post
                  hello aperno. serial killers are not 'my thing'; the fact that i follow this case might speak more to the mystery and history of whitechapel 1888; still, there is the random occasion when a criminal television program may capture my attention. months ago, one such program did [fbi: criminal pursuit "sex, murder & videotape"]. the program showcased the serial acts of maury troy travis, a man who victimized prostitutes in the st. louic area from spring of 2001 to the spring of 2002. during this one-year duration, he may have murdered upwards of 20 prostitutes at a rate en par with jack the ripper. although he did not eviscerate his victims, i felt that he shared habits with jack the ripper that might provide a profile for jack the ripper; habits such as 'disposing' of his nude victims in alleys and off highways where their bodies would be easily discovered & usually 'disposing' of them in the concentrated region around washington park in east st louis, an area known for a proliferation of crack cocaine and prostitution.

                  the letter
                  maury troy travis was apprehended in june 7th of 2002 [two weeks after he had mailed a letter to bill smith, a reporter for the st louis post-dispatch newspaper]. bill smith had only recently penned a human interest article regarding the mysterious prostitute murders, having focused his article on the 3rd victim teresa wilson. within days of its' publication, smith would receive a letter from "the killer" that, at first glance, he considered a hoax. received on may 24 2002, the content of the letter read:

                  dear bill nice sob story about teresa wilson write one about greenwade [travis' 1st victim, her body discovered april fools day 2001] write a good one and i'll tell you where many others are to prove i'm real here's directions to number seventeen search in a fifty yard radius from the x put the story in the sunday paper like the last

                  the police did, in fact, discover the skeletal remains of a woman at the spot marked with the "x". also of note was the envelope in which the letter was sent. as if taunting the recipient, travis had used a sexual bondage website's new york address for the return address; maury travis would later prove to be a sexual sadist of the most violent type. investigators would trace the internet-generated map that he provided back to his personal computer thereby, learning of his identity.

                  so in response to your question, aperno, it does not appear that maury travis was motivated to mimic jack the ripper. his letter was a response to a newspaper article that had brought media attention to his crimes, something that may have indulged his sadism. of particular note, travis addressed the letter directly to the reporter at the st louis post-dispatch. if jack the ripper had written the dear boss letter, could the same principle apply: several newspapers do directly cite the central news agency in the weeks between polly nicholls and the night of the double event; did one capture jack the ripper's attention?
                  *i find it a bit odd that both travis and dear boss both want to dictate terms to the news agency: "put the story in the sunday paper like the last", "keep this letter till i do a bit more work, then give it out straight"

                  maury troy travis would commit suicide in his jail-cell 3 days after his arrest. he had been placed under suicide-watch by the st louis county justice center.
                  Hi devil
                  Very interesting. Zodiac was also known for writing letters telling the reporters to do stuff—make some nice zodiac buttons for people to wear..etc.
                  "Is all that we see or seem
                  but a dream within a dream?"

                  -Edgar Allan Poe


                  "...the man and the peaked cap he is said to have worn
                  quite tallies with the descriptions I got of him."

                  -Frederick G. Abberline

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    i'm certain that your question was rhetorical, aperno; yes, travis' murder spree from 2001 to 2002 was appalling as bodies of dead prostitutes were found [in 2001] April 1, April 4, May 15, May 23, June 29, Aug 25, Oct 8 and [in 2002] Jan 30, Mar 11, Mar 28, May 25. (*St Louis police did not claim "serial killer" status until October 2001; by then, most of the country was engaged in the attacks on the World Trade Center, so the crimes may have gone largely unnoticed by the public.) Because Maury Travis committed suicide in his cell, investigators weren't able to link all of the deaths to Travis or discover any other murders that he committed (in his letter, he led them to "#17", but they only ever found 10 or 12 bodies); still, he was their prime suspect in most cases based on MO and victimology (*Maury Travis was a dark man (black) who targeted dark female prostitutes). The gap in-time between the Oct 8th and Jan 30th murder only occurred because Travis was serving another stint in jail for cocaine violations. Travis abused and murdered these women in his home; investigators would find a videotape in the basement marked WEDDING DAY which was a video of a wedding intra-spliced with his recordings of the sadistic physical and sexual abuse that he caused these several women (*so revolting was the video that the police offered psychological counseling for any of the investigators who had to endure watching the recording in an effort to identify the victims).

                    H! Abby. Of all the regular Casebook members, I remember that your research was the most open-minded towards the Dear Boss and Saucy Jacky letters. Me too, I was never entirely comfortable dismissing those letters merely because some cynical copper made the off-hand comment about enterprising journalists. Had Maury Travis' letter not led investigators to the site of one of his victims, the police may have dismissed his letter entirely too; or, considering that Bill Smith's article on Teresa Wilson had just been published that prior Sunday, they may have considered the letter to be a hoax. Even Bill Smith's reaction is similar to those reported by the Central News Agency:

                    I just happened to look over at the mail slots, and saw that there was an envelope in my slot, and grabbed it out, and looked at it very briefly, and the first thing i noticed about it was that the [american flag] postage stamp was upside down (*upside down flags are a sign of distress)... i thought, did somebody get ahold of the newspaper story and is just putting me on? I was convinced that it was a prank... [The editor] said, you probably ought to contact law enforcement

                    CONTROL
                    Investigators saw the letter as a way of Maury Travis claiming ownership for his crime(s). Throughout the case, the term Control is repeatedly used when describing Maury Troy Travis. Control is so-very vital to his nature that the act of the murder seemingly becomes secondary within his MO; or, where the climax of the crime [her death] held no penultimate ecstasy over the other sadistic aspects of his crime (ie abuse, bondage, degradation). In terms of Jack, it would be similar to his murder of the woman being secondary to his lunatic desire to dissect.
                    The fact that the Travis' letter came on the heels of Bill Smith's news article made me wonder: was Travis appalled by Smith's humanizing of Teresa Wilson? Did he want to Control the media's reporting of his crimes?
                    When he was being investigated, the police referred to the dead women as "victims"; Travis sardonically replied, "Hmmph... victims." On the WEDDING DAY video, Travis says, "This is first kill number one... Name? I don't know and I don't give a ----". I read Bill Smith's article, and it is an extremely depressing report {"nice sob story") of Teresa Wilson's life with an account all-too-familiar to the Whitechapel prostitutes of 1888. In his letter, Maury Travis dictates to Smith what he wants to read next; so, there exists this aspect that Travis wanted Control over the media too.
                    His final act of Control is penned in his suicide note written to his mother. There is a post-script addressed to the jailers indicating that he had no intention of returning to prison (*he had served a sentence from 1989 to 1994 for armed robbery of 5 shoe stores to support his insatiable cocaine addiction) nor would he allow the judicial system to execute him "with a needle"; Travis was even in Control of his own death.

                    {Only mentioned as an oddities: 1. Maury Travis' letter was generated using computer font; however, i did notice that he made the effort to use RED INK. 2. It wasn't merely the fact that the women were prostitutes addicted to crack-cocaine {"crack whores") that repulsed Travis. It disturbed him that his victims had children. Travis was disgusted by mothers who would sell sex for drugs rather than be home caring for their childIren); in his mind, this is what made the woman sub-human. Imagine applying that principle to Jack the Ripper: a serial killer repulsed by destitute mothers selling sex for alcohol.}
                    there,s nothing new, only the unexplored

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Peter Kürten, perhaps closer in time to the Ripper crimes than some of the other examples with most of his murders being committed in 1929, did write letters to the police and press. At least one of these was verifiably from the killer as it was able to describe the location of the body of Maria Hahn which the police were able to find.

                      According to Wikipedia though, police received over 13,000 letters during the course of the investigation. Although some of these may have been of the 'concerned neighbour' variety.

                      I wonder if even to this day, police investigating serious crimes receive so many hoax communications purporting to be from the offender.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Robert St Devil View Post
                        i'm certain that your question was rhetorical, aperno; yes, travis' murder spree from 2001 to 2002 was appalling as bodies of dead prostitutes were found [in 2001] April 1, April 4, May 15, May 23, June 29, Aug 25, Oct 8 and [in 2002] Jan 30, Mar 11, Mar 28, May 25. (*St Louis police did not claim "serial killer" status until October 2001; by then, most of the country was engaged in the attacks on the World Trade Center, so the crimes may have gone largely unnoticed by the public.) Because Maury Travis committed suicide in his cell, investigators weren't able to link all of the deaths to Travis or discover any other murders that he committed (in his letter, he led them to "#17", but they only ever found 10 or 12 bodies); still, he was their prime suspect in most cases based on MO and victimology (*Maury Travis was a dark man (black) who targeted dark female prostitutes). The gap in-time between the Oct 8th and Jan 30th murder only occurred because Travis was serving another stint in jail for cocaine violations. Travis abused and murdered these women in his home; investigators would find a videotape in the basement marked WEDDING DAY which was a video of a wedding intra-spliced with his recordings of the sadistic physical and sexual abuse that he caused these several women (*so revolting was the video that the police offered psychological counseling for any of the investigators who had to endure watching the recording in an effort to identify the victims).

                        H! Abby. Of all the regular Casebook members, I remember that your research was the most open-minded towards the Dear Boss and Saucy Jacky letters. Me too, I was never entirely comfortable dismissing those letters merely because some cynical copper made the off-hand comment about enterprising journalists. Had Maury Travis' letter not led investigators to the site of one of his victims, the police may have dismissed his letter entirely too; or, considering that Bill Smith's article on Teresa Wilson had just been published that prior Sunday, they may have considered the letter to be a hoax. Even Bill Smith's reaction is similar to those reported by the Central News Agency:

                        I just happened to look over at the mail slots, and saw that there was an envelope in my slot, and grabbed it out, and looked at it very briefly, and the first thing i noticed about it was that the [american flag] postage stamp was upside down (*upside down flags are a sign of distress)... i thought, did somebody get ahold of the newspaper story and is just putting me on? I was convinced that it was a prank... [The editor] said, you probably ought to contact law enforcement

                        CONTROL
                        Investigators saw the letter as a way of Maury Travis claiming ownership for his crime(s). Throughout the case, the term Control is repeatedly used when describing Maury Troy Travis. Control is so-very vital to his nature that the act of the murder seemingly becomes secondary within his MO; or, where the climax of the crime [her death] held no penultimate ecstasy over the other sadistic aspects of his crime (ie abuse, bondage, degradation). In terms of Jack, it would be similar to his murder of the woman being secondary to his lunatic desire to dissect.
                        The fact that the Travis' letter came on the heels of Bill Smith's news article made me wonder: was Travis appalled by Smith's humanizing of Teresa Wilson? Did he want to Control the media's reporting of his crimes?
                        When he was being investigated, the police referred to the dead women as "victims"; Travis sardonically replied, "Hmmph... victims." On the WEDDING DAY video, Travis says, "This is first kill number one... Name? I don't know and I don't give a ----". I read Bill Smith's article, and it is an extremely depressing report {"nice sob story") of Teresa Wilson's life with an account all-too-familiar to the Whitechapel prostitutes of 1888. In his letter, Maury Travis dictates to Smith what he wants to read next; so, there exists this aspect that Travis wanted Control over the media too.
                        His final act of Control is penned in his suicide note written to his mother. There is a post-script addressed to the jailers indicating that he had no intention of returning to prison (*he had served a sentence from 1989 to 1994 for armed robbery of 5 shoe stores to support his insatiable cocaine addiction) nor would he allow the judicial system to execute him "with a needle"; Travis was even in Control of his own death.

                        {Only mentioned as an oddities: 1. Maury Travis' letter was generated using computer font; however, i did notice that he made the effort to use RED INK. 2. It wasn't merely the fact that the women were prostitutes addicted to crack-cocaine {"crack whores") that repulsed Travis. It disturbed him that his victims had children. Travis was disgusted by mothers who would sell sex for drugs rather than be home caring for their childIren); in his mind, this is what made the woman sub-human. Imagine applying that principle to Jack the Ripper: a serial killer repulsed by destitute mothers selling sex for alcohol.}
                        Hi devil
                        agree. That the dear boss letters are known hoaxes is the biggest myth in ripperology.
                        "Is all that we see or seem
                        but a dream within a dream?"

                        -Edgar Allan Poe


                        "...the man and the peaked cap he is said to have worn
                        quite tallies with the descriptions I got of him."

                        -Frederick G. Abberline

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Abby Normal View Post

                          Hi devil
                          agree. That the dear boss letters are known hoaxes is the biggest myth in ripperology.
                          Why then do so many of the major Ripper historians so quickly dismiss the letters? I'll try to answer my own question.

                          I wonder sometimes if, in the 1980s, it came about as some sort of reactionary moment against all the conspiracy theories of the 1970s. No doubt Stephen Knight's Final Solution got under the skin of several of the major dudes and in (justifiably) debunking Knight, maybe they just went too far.

                          I was actually happy when Patricia Cornwell appeared, not that I agree with her Walter Sickert theory, but only in that she was willing to go against the prevailing temperament (and take on the major historians) and tried to bring back some possible legitimacy to the communiqués. (But then again, they made her cry for it. LOL That will show her!)

                          I don't personally believe in the Dear Boss letter myself (I am a Harry Dam advocate, I believe his entire life lived like a 'dear boss' type prank) but I also don't believe the issue is a 'slam dunk' either, especially when you see how many different 'dear boss' letters eventually appeared, all with similar diction and tone (and that desire to control the media). It's kind of why I started this tread, so many of Jack's other acts, such as displaying the bodies and taking trophies makes me think, this guy should have been writing letters as well. I have always tried to justify the (supposed) absence of real missives by convincing myself that Saucy Jacky was illiterate, but maybe I let the major historians take me down the rabbit hole of denial.

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                          • #14
                            Abby, Sam Flynn and you have had me going back and looking at the Ripper letters on this site, aperno, until something stood out to me. From Hell could have been written by the author of Saucy Jacky.

                            Now, I tie Dear Boss to Saucy Jacky by both being addressed to Central News Office, London City; and, I support any other given reason why both letters would be tied to the same writer. But, something in the sloppiness of From Hell and Saucy Jacky caught my eye this time. It would take a professional with a better eye than mine to verify this assertion; still, I can notice certain similarities in the penmanship.

                            1. The Capital C
                            From Hell: look at the capital C in the signature "Catch me if you Can". Both have this little curl at the top of the letter.
                            Dear Boss envelope: look at the capital C in the words "Central" and "City". Both have similar little curls

                            2. The Capital I
                            From Hell: look at the capital I in the sentence, "I took...". It looks like a tall-standing g... or a J with a loop at the top.
                            Saucy Jacky: look at the capital I in the sentence, "I wasn't codding...". It looks like a tall-standing g... or a J with a loop at the top

                            3. The Capital L
                            From Hell: look at the capital L in the final appearance of "Lusk". It has this big loop at the angle of the L.
                            Saucy Jacky envelope: look at the capital L in the word "London". It has a big loop at the angle of the L.

                            4. The lower-case k
                            From Hell: Look at the lower-case k in both appearances of the word "Lusk" and the word "took". His lower-case k looks like an R.
                            Saucy Jacky: look at the three examples of lower-case k - "back", "work", "Jack" - in the final sentences. His lower-case k loos like an R.

                            -----

                            I know that there are ripperologists who put some faith in From Hell being written by Jack the Ripper because the kidney may have belonged to Catherine Eddowes. I have just asserted (with examples) that From Hell could have very well been written by the same person who wrote Saucy Jacky (who also wrote Dear Boss). You asked, aperno, why ripperologists tend to be dismissive of these letters. Just you watch how quick my assertion gets dismissed into the bin. ha. ha.Click image for larger version

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                            there,s nothing new, only the unexplored

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Robert St Devil View Post
                              Abby, Sam Flynn and you have had me going back and looking at the Ripper letters on this site, aperno, until something stood out to me. From Hell could have been written by the author of Saucy Jacky.

                              Now, I tie Dear Boss to Saucy Jacky by both being addressed to Central News Office, London City; and, I support any other given reason why both letters would be tied to the same writer. But, something in the sloppiness of From Hell and Saucy Jacky caught my eye this time. It would take a professional with a better eye than mine to verify this assertion; still, I can notice certain similarities in the penmanship.

                              1. The Capital C
                              From Hell: look at the capital C in the signature "Catch me if you Can". Both have this little curl at the top of the letter.
                              Dear Boss envelope: look at the capital C in the words "Central" and "City". Both have similar little curls

                              2. The Capital I
                              From Hell: look at the capital I in the sentence, "I took...". It looks like a tall-standing g... or a J with a loop at the top.
                              Saucy Jacky: look at the capital I in the sentence, "I wasn't codding...". It looks like a tall-standing g... or a J with a loop at the top

                              3. The Capital L
                              From Hell: look at the capital L in the final appearance of "Lusk". It has this big loop at the angle of the L.
                              Saucy Jacky envelope: look at the capital L in the word "London". It has a big loop at the angle of the L.

                              4. The lower-case k
                              From Hell: Look at the lower-case k in both appearances of the word "Lusk" and the word "took". His lower-case k looks like an R.
                              Saucy Jacky: look at the three examples of lower-case k - "back", "work", "Jack" - in the final sentences. His lower-case k loos like an R.

                              -----

                              I know that there are ripperologists who put some faith in From Hell being written by Jack the Ripper because the kidney may have belonged to Catherine Eddowes. I have just asserted (with examples) that From Hell could have very well been written by the same person who wrote Saucy Jacky (who also wrote Dear Boss). You asked, aperno, why ripperologists tend to be dismissive of these letters. Just you watch how quick my assertion gets dismissed into the bin. ha. ha.Click image for larger version

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                              Hi Robert,

                              In 23 days I will be 64 years old and boy did that tax my old eyes. LOL

                              I was only able to look at the capital "I" so far before my eyes fatigued, but no doubt there is a strong similarity between the From Hell letter and the Saucy Jacky post card.

                              I don't agree regarding the opening "I" in the post card (PC) and the "I" before "took" in the From Hell (FH) letter, it looks to me like that loop on the "I" before the word "took" was caused by a sweeping cross of the "T" on the word "took."

                              But if you ignore the crossing of the "T" that places the loop on that "I" it (the "I") then looks like all the others on both the PC and the FH letter.

                              The only "I" that doesn't fit the the same profile is the opening "I" on the Saucy Jacky PC that does have a strange loop at the top, but this could be a result from the fact that it is the opening of the missive and the author sought to add some flair.

                              I will check out the "K" tomorrow (I think one letter a day is all my eyes can take; I looked at the damn "I" for over 30 minutes yesterday.)

                              But as of right now I am in agreement there is a definite similarity between the two communiques I have never noticed before/that no one else has dare suggest.

                              Do you know if anyone had ever written a comprehensive book on the just the communiques? -- I have one coffee table book that highlights the letters but doesn't actually explore (analysis) them.





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