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Did the murderer have anatomical knowledge beyond that of say a butcher?

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  • Did the murderer have anatomical knowledge beyond that of say a butcher?

    I'm curious as to the impact of Prosector's posts.

    Reading these boards, prior to his/her posts, my memory tells me the overwhelming consensus was that the murderer didn't have a great deal of knowledge of human anatomy.

    What was instructive to someone like me with less than a good knowledge of the murders, was Prosector's posts which made it clear that the two doctors who thought he did possess that knowledge were the two doctors with the most experience in these matters and it follows the two doctors whose opinions carried the most weight. From memory, Prosector detailed certain procedures involved in the murders that required more than the skills/knowledge of say a butcher.

    'Just wondering: did these posts change a few minds? what is today's general consensus?

    Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Fleetwood Mac View Post
    I'm curious as to the impact of Prosector's posts.

    Reading these boards, prior to his/her posts, my memory tells me the overwhelming consensus was that the murderer didn't have a great deal of knowledge of human anatomy.

    What was instructive to someone like me with less than a good knowledge of the murders, was Prosector's posts which made it clear that the two doctors who thought he did possess that knowledge were the two doctors with the most experience in these matters and it follows the two doctors whose opinions carried the most weight. From memory, Prosector detailed certain procedures involved in the murders that required more than the skills/knowledge of say a butcher.

    'Just wondering: did these posts change a few minds? what is today's general consensus?

    Thanks in advance.
    from the chapman case:

    Coroner] Was there any anatomical knowledge displayed? - I think there was. There were indications of it. My own impression is that that anatomical knowledge was only less displayed or indicated in consequence of haste. The person evidently was hindered from making a more complete dissection in consequence of the haste.

    I'd say the above sounds fairly vague. perhaps the killer did have some rudimentary knowledge from working with animals, and given that annie was most likely killed in daylight, was able to give a false impression. the mortuary sketch of eddowes shows she was cut open with a crude, seemingly hacked zig-zag cut. perhaps this is the result of the same man working in total darkness and by feel, as opposed to by daylight.

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    • #3
      You also have to look at how the incisions were actually made not just the removal of the organs.

      I wager the killer had some rudimentary understanding of anatomy but these extractions could have been his first time performing them.

      My understanding is the incisions themselves were not compatible with surgical procedures of that time.
      Author of 'Jack the Ripper: Threads' out now on Amazon > UK | USA | CA | AUS
      JayHartley.com

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      • #4
        Its worth noting that Dr Bond referred to the word ''Incisions'' in his post mortem when describing the way in which Mary Jane Kellys breast were removed .

        Perhaps he thought they resembled the method of someone with Anatomical Kowledge.
        'It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is. It doesn't matter how smart you are . If it doesn't agree with experiment, its wrong'' . Richard Feynman

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        • #5
          Originally posted by FISHY1118 View Post
          Its worth noting that Dr Bond referred to the word ''Incisions'' in his post mortem when describing the way in which Mary Jane Kellys breast were removed .

          Perhaps he thought they resembled the method of someone with Anatomical Kowledge.
          Or as a professional himself he could just be using a technical term.
          Author of 'Jack the Ripper: Threads' out now on Amazon > UK | USA | CA | AUS
          JayHartley.com

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          • #6
            Originally posted by erobitha View Post

            Or as a professional himself he could just be using a technical term.
            Either way i would guess.
            'It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is. It doesn't matter how smart you are . If it doesn't agree with experiment, its wrong'' . Richard Feynman

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            • #7
              What about the theory that some of the medicos dismissed the killer's medical knowledge after their profession came under suspicion?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Harry D View Post
                What about the theory that some of the medicos dismissed the killer's medical knowledge after their profession came under suspicion?
                a viable theory yes IMHO
                "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

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Harry D View Post
                  What about the theory that some of the medicos dismissed the killer's medical knowledge after their profession came under suspicion?
                  Yes, I think it was after the Chapman murder, wasn't it Phillips who made some comment about how the kidney had been extracted that made him think, this is no ordinary murderer?
                  Regards, Jon S.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Wickerman View Post

                    Yes, I think it was after the Chapman murder, wasn't it Phillips who made some comment about how the kidney had been extracted that made him think, this is no ordinary murderer?
                    In his summary at the Stride inquest Baxter said
                    "There had been no skilful mutilation as in the cases of Nichols and Chapman, and no unskilful injuries as in the case in Mitre-square - possibly the work of an imitator;"

                    I would think it likely that he may have formed this opinion after discussions with Phillips?

                    Cheers, George
                    “Contrariwise,” continued Tweedledee, “if it was so, it might be, and if it were so, it would be but as it isn’t, it ain’t. That’s logic.”

                    “Oh, you can't help that,” said the Cat: “we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.” “How do you know I'm mad?” said Alice. “You must be,” said the Cat, or you wouldn't have come here.”

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                    • #11
                      I think that the very fact he 'ripped' his victims open and removed organs (a type of crime never really seen before) was always going raise the question of whether he had anatomical knowledge or be accused of being in some kind of related profession. Of course he could have had some knowledge but the fact is that its not like he had to. It not like there is something that would bar anyone from having a go?

                      I tend to think that he was not in the medical profession or even a butcher. His actions speak to me of someone who is possibly fascinated by the insides of the human body, specifically the insides of the female body. I think a doctor or even butcher would be able to use their profession to 'exorcise' as it were this fascination in what they did day to day. Very difficult back then for the average person who is pathologically obsessed with wanting to see the insides of a person to actually indulge that fantasy.
                      Best wishes,

                      Tristan

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by GBinOz View Post

                        In his summary at the Stride inquest Baxter said
                        "There had been no skilful mutilation as in the cases of Nichols and Chapman, and no unskilful injuries as in the case in Mitre-square - possibly the work of an imitator;"

                        I would think it likely that he may have formed this opinion after discussions with Phillips?

                        Cheers, George
                        Thankyou George.

                        Yes, my mistake. It was Gordon-Brown at the Eddowes inquest who remarked on the extraction of the kidney.

                        - "The peritoneal lining was cut through on the left side and the left kidney carefully taken out and removed".
                        - "It required a great deal of medical knowledge to have removed the kidney and to know where it was placed."


                        Phillips, concerning Chapman's murder, had his opinion published in the Lancet.

                        - "Obviously, the work was that of an expert - of one at least, who had such knowledge of anatomical or pathological examinations as to be enabled to secure the pelvic organs with one sweep of the knife".
                        - "..the mode in which the knife had been used seemed to indicate great anatomical knowledge".


                        Regards, Jon S.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Losmandris View Post
                          I think that the very fact he 'ripped' his victims open and removed organs (a type of crime never really seen before) was always going raise the question of whether he had anatomical knowledge or be accused of being in some kind of related profession. Of course he could have had some knowledge but the fact is that its not like he had to. It not like there is something that would bar anyone from having a go?

                          I tend to think that he was not in the medical profession or even a butcher. His actions speak to me of someone who is possibly fascinated by the insides of the human body, specifically the insides of the female body. I think a doctor or even butcher would be able to use their profession to 'exorcise' as it were this fascination in what they did day to day. Very difficult back then for the average person who is pathologically obsessed with wanting to see the insides of a person to actually indulge that fantasy.
                          We had a pathology surgeon on here who remarked on the cut to Eddowes abdomen. We see this in a photo of Eddowes from the morgue, and we can see how the cut starts high up on the chest and runs straight down across the abdomen, yet circles around the belly-button to continue down the center-line to the pubic area.
                          He commented that this is how a surgeon cuts open a body, taking the knife around the umbilicus (belly-button), as if it was done in a mortuary by a professional.
                          We wouldn't expect a lay-person to do this.
                          Yet this killer seems to have done that perhaps out of habit?

                          The umbilicus is avoided because the surgeon needs to sew the body back together after the autopsy and a needle will not easily go through the umbilicus as it is too thick.
                          He said it's a small point, but one of a few small points he had noticed that made him think the killer was educated in both anatomy and surgery.
                          As Dr Phillips said (re Chapman), skill was only less evident in consequence of haste. Which was certainly the case with Eddowes.
                          Regards, Jon S.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hey George, do you recall we talked about how Dr Phillips sometimes elaborates his phrases, you were asking "why didn't he simply say.."...etc.

                            At the time I couldn't find this one, it's the best of them all.

                            He was asked if Alice McKenzie, in his opinion, was another Ripper victim, he replied....

                            "I am, on the contrary impelled to a contrary conclusion in this, noting the mode of procedure & the character of the mutilations & judging of motive in connection with the latter".

                            Whereas, you or I may have simply said "No, the cuts are different"

                            He was a man from a different time.
                            Regards, Jon S.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Wickerman View Post

                              We had a pathology surgeon on here who remarked on the cut to Eddowes abdomen. We see this in a photo of Eddowes from the morgue, and we can see how the cut starts high up on the chest and runs straight down across the abdomen, yet circles around the belly-button to continue down the center-line to the pubic area.
                              He commented that this is how a surgeon cuts open a body, taking the knife around the umbilicus (belly-button), as if it was done in a mortuary by a professional.
                              We wouldn't expect a lay-person to do this.
                              Yet this killer seems to have done that perhaps out of habit?

                              The umbilicus is avoided because the surgeon needs to sew the body back together after the autopsy and a needle will not easily go through the umbilicus as it is too thick.
                              He said it's a small point, but one of a few small points he had noticed that made him think the killer was educated in both anatomy and surgery.
                              As Dr Phillips said (re Chapman), skill was only less evident in consequence of haste. Which was certainly the case with Eddowes.
                              yeah i wish prosector still posted here.
                              "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

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