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The Absence Of Evidence

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  • The Absence Of Evidence

    This relates to the ongoing debate concerning the murder of Elizabeth Stride. We have two conflicting viewpoints.

    Firstly, that because there was no physical evidence of the killer being interrupted (skirts raised, legs spread etc) we should assume that the killer didn’t intend to mutilate his victim and so as a result we should dismiss Stride as a ripper victim.

    The second viewpoint is that if the killer was interrupted just as he cut Stride’s throat and then stopped (because of Diemschutz arrival) and had no further contact with the body then we could expect no evidence of an intention to mutilate to have existed.

    I have to point out that it isn’t being suggested that Stride definitely was a ripper victim only that the possibility exists. Evidence of interruption might have existed of course if the killer had been interrupted after he’d lifted her skirts for example but that not what is being suggested. What is being suggested is that the killer might have been interrupted just as or just after he’d cut her throat and that consequentially we cannot expect evidence of interruption to have existed.
    20
    That evidence of interruption should have been present.
    5.00%
    1
    That we cannot expect to have seen evidence of interruption.
    95.00%
    19
    Regards

    Herlock



    Chairman of the National Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To The Old Established Theories.

  • #2
    What does an interruption look like? Isn't it, by definition, "things that would have been done were not done"? So, that would lead to the idea that "since Stride was not mutilated, the evidence for an interruption is the lack of mutilations?"

    At issue here is not whether an interruption explains the lack of mutilations (as clearly it does), but whether or not there are aspects of Strides murder that lead to us to think mutilation was even on the cards in the first place (meaning, is there anything that points to Stride being a victim of JtR despite the lack of mutilation). I think the answer is yes, there are things that point that way, which makes the idea of some form of interruption being necessary. But, there are aspects of Strides case that set her apart, and if she's not a victim of JtR then mutilation was never on the cards to begin with, which also explains why there weren't any.

    So, while I would like to answer your poll, I'm not sure I know what evidence could be expected to indicate an interruption, other than that the fact that things one might expect didn't happen? And, depending upon what one would expect to see (rather than seeing what one doesn't expect) if there was a "mutilation interruptus", I'm not sure if option 2 makes sense. To me, an interruption isn't about what one sees, but what one doesn't see. That's a bit of a problem for that idea, because I'm not sure what would falsify it.

    - Jeff


    Comment


    • #3
      I think the point can be illustrated without a reference to Stride or the Ripper murders in general. Say a thief is planning on breaking into a house. He wakes up the family dog whose barking scares him off. So there was intent that was not acted upon and an interruption which did occur but left behind no evidence. Seems simple enough.

      c.d.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post
        What does an interruption look like? Isn't it, by definition, "things that would have been done were not done"? So, that would lead to the idea that "since Stride was not mutilated, the evidence for an interruption is the lack of mutilations?"

        At issue here is not whether an interruption explains the lack of mutilations (as clearly it does), but whether or not there are aspects of Strides murder that lead to us to think mutilation was even on the cards in the first place (meaning, is there anything that points to Stride being a victim of JtR despite the lack of mutilation). I think the answer is yes, there are things that point that way, which makes the idea of some form of interruption being necessary. But, there are aspects of Strides case that set her apart, and if she's not a victim of JtR then mutilation was never on the cards to begin with, which also explains why there weren't any.

        So, while I would like to answer your poll, I'm not sure I know what evidence could be expected to indicate an interruption, other than that the fact that things one might expect didn't happen? And, depending upon what one would expect to see (rather than seeing what one doesn't expect) if there was a "mutilation interruptus", I'm not sure if option 2 makes sense. To me, an interruption isn't about what one sees, but what one doesn't see. That's a bit of a problem for that idea, because I'm not sure what would falsify it.

        - Jeff

        I realise that option 2 is a problem Jeff but it’s as it is because Michael states that if the killer had been interrupted then there would have had to have been evidence of that interruption taking place which clearly makes no sense. He therefore concludes that no evidence means no intention which again clearly makes no sense. We don’t know if an interruption occurred of course but if it did, equally we can’t know at what point that interruption occurred and so if it occurred as he’d cut her throat but before he went onto the next stage (mutilation) then there would be no evidence of this interruption.
        Regards

        Herlock



        Chairman of the National Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To The Old Established Theories.

        Comment


        • #5
          I can’t believe we are still having this debate to be honest. The cut across the left carotid, replicated less than an hour later on Eddowes alone is enough to link the two murders. That clinical incision in a street murder did not happen everyday - let alone an hour apart.

          If anything the evidence of the interruption was taken out in the frustration murder of Eddowes.

          It so improbable that the two murders were not connected. I can totally agree with the frustration of why we still debate it.
          "When the legend becomes fact... print the legend"
          - The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by c.d. View Post
            I think the point can be illustrated without a reference to Stride or the Ripper murders in general. Say a thief is planning on breaking into a house. He wakes up the family dog whose barking scares him off. So there was intent that was not acted upon and an interruption which did occur but left behind no evidence. Seems simple enough.

            c.d.
            That’s another way of putting it c.d. and you’re right of course that it’s simple enough. This is why I’ve been so staggered that Michael keeps using the lack of evidence of interruption as proof that the killer wasn’t the ripper.
            Regards

            Herlock



            Chairman of the National Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To The Old Established Theories.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by erobitha View Post
              I can’t believe we are still having this debate to be honest. The cut across the left carotid, replicated less than an hour later on Eddowes alone is enough to link the two murders. That clinical incision in a street murder did not happen everyday - let alone an hour apart.

              If anything the evidence of the interruption was taken out in the frustration murder of Eddowes.

              It so improbable that the two murders were not connected. I can totally agree with the frustration of why we still debate it.
              C.d. has put it well Erobitha. It’s certainly amazing that someone can actually argue that the lack of evidence for interruption somehow proves that there was no intention to mutilate. Not on any planet that I’ve inhabited.
              Regards

              Herlock



              Chairman of the National Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To The Old Established Theories.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post
                This relates to the ongoing debate concerning the murder of Elizabeth Stride.
                .....Evidence of interruption might have existed of course if the killer had been interrupted after he’d lifted her skirts for example but that not what is being suggested. What is being suggested is that the killer might have been interrupted just as or just after he’d cut her throat and that consequentially we cannot expect evidence of interruption to have existed.
                Hi Mike.
                This appears to be a misapplication of the phrase.

                The phrase "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" cannot be applied to intent which often leaves no trace. The phrase was intended for a physical action that has left no trace for various reason's.

                We could apply it to the question of Stride being robbed, if we knew she had money on her.
                It would also be applicable to the suggestion of strangulation/suffocation. There are clues she may have been, as suggested by the doctor, but no actual evidence that she was.
                As has been correctly pointed out, if the interruption occurred before the mutilation began, then we will have no evidence of the intent to mutilate.
                The phrase cannot be applied to an action that had yet to happen.




                Regards, Jon S.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I come at this from another angle, because I don't necessarily agree that if the ripper killed Stride, he must have done so with the intention of going on to mutilate her and remove body parts, and therefore something or someone must have interrupted him before he could do more than inflict a single cut, which proved fatal.

                  We don't know what Stride and her killer were doing, from when they were first alone together, to the moment he slit her throat. We don't really know how long they were alone together, or whether they talked, or argued, or fought, or even canoodled. Whoever the killer was, ripper or not, he'd have been wise to assess the location and the likelihood of being seen with Stride, if he meant her serious harm. And it doesn't come much more serious than taking a knife to the woman's throat. It was not the ideal place for committing a capital crime, let alone for fannying about afterwards, raiding the corpse. So I humbly submit that if the killer's original intention had been to make Stride his next mutilation victim, he could have been stymied in two ways, by realising they were in a lousy place for the purpose, and by failing to induce her to go off with him to a less risky one. If she suspected his motives, and he decided to kill her there and then and get safely away, he needn't have been interrupted at all, but alternatively it could have been the sound of the pony and cart that made up his mind for him, and led him to cut swiftly and make a run for it. Then we wouldn't need the coincidental timing of Louis D approaching just as, or just after her throat was cut - which is one of Michael Richards's main objections.

                  Love,

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


                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Wickerman View Post

                    Hi Mike.
                    This appears to be a misapplication of the phrase.

                    The phrase "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" cannot be applied to intent which often leaves no trace. The phrase was intended for a physical action that has left no trace for various reason's.

                    We could apply it to the question of Stride being robbed, if we knew she had money on her.
                    It would also be applicable to the suggestion of strangulation/suffocation. There are clues she may have been, as suggested by the doctor, but no actual evidence that she was.
                    As has been correctly pointed out, if the interruption occurred before the mutilation began, then we will have no evidence of the intent to mutilate.
                    The phrase cannot be applied to an action that had yet to happen.



                    Hi Wick,

                    Im kicking myself because I intended to change the title as I realise that it doesn’t describe the position accurately but as you know, after a while, the ‘edit’ option disappears. I was able to explain my point of course but perhaps I should have titled it simply “The Absence Of Evidence?”

                    I’ve pm’ed Jon Menges to ask if he change the title for me.
                    Last edited by Herlock Sholmes; 04-21-2021, 05:26 PM. Reason: Added a bit.
                    Regards

                    Herlock



                    Chairman of the National Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To The Old Established Theories.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'm with the majority on this.

                      I really can't see what evidence of an interruption one would expect to see.....??

                      I'm with Caz, in that I am not sure that Stride was a victim of JTR.

                      On balance, I slightly lean towards the idea that she was, but I am by no means certain.

                      I keep changing my mind on this!

                      But really, based purely on the topic of this poll, we MAY have seen evidence of interruption, but the fact that we don't doesn't mean that there wasn't one.

                      Again, what would that interruption look like?



                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Keep in mind that an interruption needn't have been physical, simple paranoia and thinking this is not a safe place to be could also do it as well.

                        c.d.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Ms Diddles View Post
                          I'm with the majority on this.

                          I really can't see what evidence of an interruption one would expect to see.....??

                          I'm with Caz, in that I am not sure that Stride was a victim of JTR.

                          On balance, I slightly lean towards the idea that she was, but I am by no means certain.

                          I keep changing my mind on this!

                          But really, based purely on the topic of this poll, we MAY have seen evidence of interruption, but the fact that we don't doesn't mean that there wasn't one.

                          Again, what would that interruption look like?


                          Exactly Ms D. We might have seen some but we couldn’t have expected to have seen it. I never have thought I’d have felt the need to start a Poll on something this obvious but I almost got to the “am I missing something here?” point when I found myself arguing against someone claiming that we should dismiss Stride as a ripper murder because there was no evidence of his intention to mutilate.
                          Regards

                          Herlock



                          Chairman of the National Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To The Old Established Theories.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by c.d. View Post
                            Keep in mind that an interruption needn't have been physical, simple paranoia and thinking this is not a safe place to be could also do it as well.

                            c.d.
                            True. It might not even have been Diemschutz that initially caused him to stop? A noise from somewhere nearby perhaps? Maybe someone opened the side door and went to the outside toilet a minute or two before Diemschutz returned? That person would have been facing away from the Club and so might not have seen the killer. He might not have come forward and admitted that he’d been in the yard because he didn’t want to be implicated.
                            Regards

                            Herlock



                            Chairman of the National Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To The Old Established Theories.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I'm genuinely intrigued to know what evidence of interruption we would expect to see???

                              What would that look like??

                              MWR?

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