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  • Was Tabram The Key?

    Could the Tabram murder have been the key that opened the door for rest of the ripper murders? I’m not going to bring in individual suspects here except to say that I got thinking about this after exchanging posts with Bern Icia over on JtRForums (Bern posted on here as Aethelwulf in case anyone didn’t know) He favours Bury as the ripper and he mentioned Bury’s wife Ellen being in bed suffering the effects of a violent attack by Bury. It appears that this must have occurred either at the beginning or at the end of August (as Bury and Ellen spent the middle two weeks of the month in Wolverhampton) Bern speculated that Bury might have attacked Ellen on Monday 7th and then gone out and ended up attacking and killing Tabram.

    Is it possible that it was during his attack on Tabram that the killer (whoever he was) discovered that it gave him sexual gratification? Could a killing done purely in rage have been the key the unlocked something more within the killer? So might Tabram have been the key that opened the door for the other murders?

    Just a thought.
    Regards

    Sir Herlock Sholmes.

    “A house of delusions is cheap to build but draughty to live in.”

  • #2
    I would suggest that the killing of Martha Tabram was not the Whitechapel Murderer's first attack(I am trying to refrain from referring to the very sick individual as JTR).
    This was someone who had been 'toying' with the idea of murder and the sexual gratification it obviously elicited in him with post death mutilation. This was a man who was very ill- although he may have hidden that quite well appearing rather more eccentric or odd than threatening in everyday life.

    I think it is almost certain that the murderer who had spread such terror had a history of smaller, more isolated attacks. Attacks that likely failed. So with Martha Tabram he changes method but again this is unsatisfactory to him despite the fact he had committed murder. I think the murderer 'learned' behaviours as he went along. What worked. What didn't. What was time consuming. How far could he take it. With each murder we see escalation. The first two murders are almost identical to those committed over 100 years later by Robert Napper. The first committed with a knife- I believe Napper's victim Rachel Nickel was stabbed over 40 times in broad daylight. Napper's second victim Samantha Blisset was murdered and mutilated. A piece of organ(I can't remember which one) was removed and her body poser. The sick b*****d also killed her little 4 year old daughter, suffocating her.

    To my mind the Whitechapel murderer was quite likely very similar to Napper. Napper had a long history of violence against women as a serial rapist although that connection was not made until he was arrested and convicted of the murder of Samantha Blisset and her daughter. Napper was described as a loner, was obsessively neat and tidy, odd but not someone who was intimidating or threatening in general life. My belief is the Whitechapel murderer was probably the exact same.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post
      Could the Tabram murder have been the key that opened the door for rest of the ripper murders? I’m not going to bring in individual suspects here except to say that I got thinking about this after exchanging posts with Bern Icia over on JtRForums (Bern posted on here as Aethelwulf in case anyone didn’t know) He favours Bury as the ripper and he mentioned Bury’s wife Ellen being in bed suffering the effects of a violent attack by Bury. It appears that this must have occurred either at the beginning or at the end of August (as Bury and Ellen spent the middle two weeks of the month in Wolverhampton) Bern speculated that Bury might have attacked Ellen on Monday 7th and then gone out and ended up attacking and killing Tabram.

      Is it possible that it was during his attack on Tabram that the killer (whoever he was) discovered that it gave him sexual gratification? Could a killing done purely in rage have been the key the unlocked something more within the killer? So might Tabram have been the key that opened the door for the other murders?

      Just a thought.
      Yes on all counts! I have always believed that Martha Tabram, despite the variations in the wounds compared to the subsequent victims, should be included as a Ripper victim. Her occupation, location, age, and location of the wounds, puts Martha in good company with the others; as well as the fact that there simply wasn't anyone previously going around the East End dispatching prostitutes in this manner. Sugden mentions that although violence against women was common in the East End, murders of women were rare. Of course they occurred, but most can be attributed to domestic violence and, in the case of the unfortunate Emma Smith, blamed on gangs. But this was new....different. This series of motiveless murders and the degree of violence committed upon these women was unprecedented. To suggest that more than one serial killer decided to open up shop in Whitechapel and Spitalfields at the same time is, IMHO, too fantastic a thing. I could be dead wrong, and may well be, but to dismiss Martha as a JTR victim just because her wounds were not exactly like the others is to possibly miss the point that killers are always evolving their methods. Jack The Ripper did not begin his crimes with Martha Tabram or Polly Nichols; rather, if we knew who he was, I'm sure we would see a pattern of escalating and evolving violence going back quite a ways. I see Martha Tabram as a victim of a fledgling killer, who learned from his crimes and honed his modus operandi into the serial killer we all know and love, Jack The Ripper.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Holmes' Idiot Brother View Post

        Yes on all counts! I have always believed that Martha Tabram, despite the variations in the wounds compared to the subsequent victims, should be included as a Ripper victim. Her occupation, location, age, and location of the wounds, puts Martha in good company with the others; as well as the fact that there simply wasn't anyone previously going around the East End dispatching prostitutes in this manner. Sugden mentions that although violence against women was common in the East End, murders of women were rare. Of course they occurred, but most can be attributed to domestic violence and, in the case of the unfortunate Emma Smith, blamed on gangs. But this was new....different. This series of motiveless murders and the degree of violence committed upon these women was unprecedented. To suggest that more than one serial killer decided to open up shop in Whitechapel and Spitalfields at the same time is, IMHO, too fantastic a thing. I could be dead wrong, and may well be, but to dismiss Martha as a JTR victim just because her wounds were not exactly like the others is to possibly miss the point that killers are always evolving their methods. Jack The Ripper did not begin his crimes with Martha Tabram or Polly Nichols; rather, if we knew who he was, I'm sure we would see a pattern of escalating and evolving violence going back quite a ways. I see Martha Tabram as a victim of a fledgling killer, who learned from his crimes and honed his modus operandi into the serial killer we all know and love, Jack The Ripper.
        Yes agree they develop "experience" -as sick as it may be. One has to also wonder with the growing attention whether that also fueled the desire. Seems to be, if you believe the GSG was valid, that yes, this individual may have began with abuse, but gravitated toward murder.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post
          Could a killing done purely in rage have been the key the unlocked something more within the killer? So might Tabram have been the key that opened the door for the other murders?
          Possibly. Or possibly Tabram was killed for the same reason as the other victims. Either way, I think she probably was a Ripper victim - strangled, overkill mutilation, and body posed flat on her back with skirts raised. Nichols and the rest add the throat cutting after strangulation, but signatures do evolve.

          "The full picture always needs to be given. When this does not happen, we are left to make decisions on insufficient information." - Christer Holmgren

          "Unfortunately, when one becomes obsessed by a theory, truth and logic rarely matter." - Steven Blomer

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Filby View Post

            Yes agree they develop "experience" -as sick as it may be. One has to also wonder with the growing attention whether that also fueled the desire. Seems to be, if you believe the GSG was valid, that yes, this individual may have began with abuse, but gravitated toward murder.
            Oh, I am sure Jack liked the attention; probably gave him "real fits!" Most serial killers revel in the attention their crimes bring. Although I have no reason whatsoever to believe the GSG is valid (I call it "The Great Non-Clue"), I know that violent criminals almost always "graduated" from lesser offenses before moving on to more serious crimes. Jack The Ripper wasn't some salt-of-the-earth bloke who woke up one day and decided, "I think I'll go around and kill a bunch of whores!" I wonder what his "House/Tree/Person Test would look like; probably terrifying.

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks for the responses so far from SD, HIB, Filby and Fiver.

              As I just said to Bern over on JtRForums I’m certainly not suggesting any revelation and I’m not pushing anything with any degree of confidence. It was just one of those tiny thoughts that crop up now and then. Like many I’ve spent nearly 40 years being undecided on whether or not Tabram was a victim or not but when Bern speculated on a rage attack on Ellen Bury which ‘could’ have occurred on the same day as the Tabram murder I started to wonder. It’s more likely of course that the killer found out about his particular ‘quirk’ at a young age as we know that many serial killers begin with cruelty to animals before progressing to humans.
              Regards

              Sir Herlock Sholmes.

              “A house of delusions is cheap to build but draughty to live in.”

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Sunny Delight View Post
                I would suggest that the killing of Martha Tabram was not the Whitechapel Murderer's first attack(I am trying to refrain from referring to the very sick individual as JTR).
                This was someone who had been 'toying' with the idea of murder and the sexual gratification it obviously elicited in him with post death mutilation. This was a man who was very ill- although he may have hidden that quite well appearing rather more eccentric or odd than threatening in everyday life.

                I think it is almost certain that the murderer who had spread such terror had a history of smaller, more isolated attacks. Attacks that likely failed. So with Martha Tabram he changes method but again this is unsatisfactory to him despite the fact he had committed murder. I think the murderer 'learned' behaviours as he went along. What worked. What didn't. What was time consuming. How far could he take it. With each murder we see escalation. The first two murders are almost identical to those committed over 100 years later by Robert Napper. The first committed with a knife- I believe Napper's victim Rachel Nickel was stabbed over 40 times in broad daylight. Napper's second victim Samantha Blisset was murdered and mutilated. A piece of organ(I can't remember which one) was removed and her body poser. The sick b*****d also killed her little 4 year old daughter, suffocating her.

                To my mind the Whitechapel murderer was quite likely very similar to Napper. Napper had a long history of violence against women as a serial rapist although that connection was not made until he was arrested and convicted of the murder of Samantha Blisset and her daughter. Napper was described as a loner, was obsessively neat and tidy, odd but not someone who was intimidating or threatening in general life. My belief is the Whitechapel murderer was probably the exact same.
                Exceptional post and I agree with your assessment here.


                RD
                "Great minds, don't think alike"

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post
                  Could the Tabram murder have been the key that opened the door for rest of the ripper murders? I’m not going to bring in individual suspects here except to say that I got thinking about this after exchanging posts with Bern Icia over on JtRForums (Bern posted on here as Aethelwulf in case anyone didn’t know) He favours Bury as the ripper and he mentioned Bury’s wife Ellen being in bed suffering the effects of a violent attack by Bury. It appears that this must have occurred either at the beginning or at the end of August (as Bury and Ellen spent the middle two weeks of the month in Wolverhampton) Bern speculated that Bury might have attacked Ellen on Monday 7th and then gone out and ended up attacking and killing Tabram.

                  Is it possible that it was during his attack on Tabram that the killer (whoever he was) discovered that it gave him sexual gratification? Could a killing done purely in rage have been the key the unlocked something more within the killer? So might Tabram have been the key that opened the door for the other murders?

                  Just a thought.
                  I used to think that, Herlock. Today, I`m not so sure. I recently looked at a lot of knife murders with around the 30-40 stab wounds, just to see WHO was committing these murders - was it strangers or the ex -boyfriend (to simplify things), and the majority were committed by people who were close to the victim, which was a surprise to me. Most of the murders I looked at were committed in America, and after 1980, so may not have any relevance to Victorian London.

                  But, Tabram`s actual murder may have inspired the Ripper. There was a lot of press coverage.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Jon Guy View Post

                    I used to think that, Herlock. Today, I`m not so sure. I recently looked at a lot of knife murders with around the 30-40 stab wounds, just to see WHO was committing these murders - was it strangers or the ex -boyfriend (to simplify things), and the majority were committed by people who were close to the victim, which was a surprise to me. Most of the murders I looked at were committed in America, and after 1980, so may not have any relevance to Victorian London.

                    But, Tabram`s actual murder may have inspired the Ripper. There was a lot of press coverage.
                    Hi Jon,

                    That makes sense considering them as an expression of rage so it could have been someone that knew her. Or it could have been rage fuelled by alcohol perhaps.
                    Regards

                    Sir Herlock Sholmes.

                    “A house of delusions is cheap to build but draughty to live in.”

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Sunny Delight View Post
                      I would suggest that the killing of Martha Tabram was not the Whitechapel Murderer's first attack(I am trying to refrain from referring to the very sick individual as JTR).
                      This was someone who had been 'toying' with the idea of murder and the sexual gratification it obviously elicited in him with post death mutilation. This was a man who was very ill- although he may have hidden that quite well appearing rather more eccentric or odd than threatening in everyday life.

                      I think it is almost certain that the murderer who had spread such terror had a history of smaller, more isolated attacks. Attacks that likely failed. So with Martha Tabram he changes method but again this is unsatisfactory to him despite the fact he had committed murder. I think the murderer 'learned' behaviours as he went along. What worked. What didn't. What was time consuming. How far could he take it. With each murder we see escalation. The first two murders are almost identical to those committed over 100 years later by Robert Napper. The first committed with a knife- I believe Napper's victim Rachel Nickel was stabbed over 40 times in broad daylight. Napper's second victim Samantha Blisset was murdered and mutilated. A piece of organ(I can't remember which one) was removed and her body poser. The sick b*****d also killed her little 4 year old daughter, suffocating her.

                      To my mind the Whitechapel murderer was quite likely very similar to Napper. Napper had a long history of violence against women as a serial rapist although that connection was not made until he was arrested and convicted of the murder of Samantha Blisset and her daughter. Napper was described as a loner, was obsessively neat and tidy, odd but not someone who was intimidating or threatening in general life. My belief is the Whitechapel murderer was probably the exact same.
                      Hi Sunny,

                      I see things in a similar way as you do. We have Napper who went from a ‘stabbing frenzy’ murder with Rachel Nickell to a mutilating murder with Samantha Bisset, just like the Ripper may have gone from the more frenzy-like attack on Martha Tabram to, eventually, the mutilation murder of Mary Jane Kelly. Of course, the murder of Tabram had features that were closer to the mutilation murders that followed than the murder of Nickell and Bisset, which would make the murder of Tabram more likely to have been by the same hand as the murders that followed.

                      I’ve always seen the murder of Tabram as either a murder by another person that pushed the Ripper over the edge into killing and mutilating at least Nichols, Chapman, Eddowes and Kelly or as a spur-of-the-moment murder in the sense that he hadn’t gone out with murder on his mind yet, but was infuriated to such an extent by Tabram – by something she said or did - that he pulled out his knife and started stabbing away at her, perhaps first her throat to shut her up, in the end lifting her skirts and inflicting the 3-inch to her abdomen.

                      Cheers,
                      Frank

                      PS Napper took part of the belly wall away from the murder scene in Samantha Bisset's case, just as Chapman's murderer did.

                      "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


                      • #12

                        If the killer knew Martha and killed her in a rage , would there not have been some form of argument beforehand? Yet no one heard a thing. Just a thought

                        Regards Darryl

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Darryl Kenyon View Post
                          If the killer knew Martha and killed her in a rage , would there not have been some form of argument beforehand? Yet no one heard a thing. Just a thought
                          Could the sounds of any argument have been drowned out by what was happening outside the George Yard Buildings?

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                          The People, 19 August, 1888

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by FrankO View Post
                            Hi Sunny,

                            I see things in a similar way as you do. We have Napper who went from a ‘stabbing frenzy’ murder with Rachel Nickell to a mutilating murder with Samantha Bisset, just like the Ripper may have gone from the more frenzy-like attack on Martha Tabram to, eventually, the mutilation murder of Mary Jane Kelly. Of course, the murder of Tabram had features that were closer to the mutilation murders that followed than the murder of Nickell and Bisset, which would make the murder of Tabram more likely to have been by the same hand as the murders that followed.

                            I’ve always seen the murder of Tabram as either a murder by another person that pushed the Ripper over the edge into killing and mutilating at least Nichols, Chapman, Eddowes and Kelly or as a spur-of-the-moment murder in the sense that he hadn’t gone out with murder on his mind yet, but was infuriated to such an extent by Tabram – by something she said or did - that he pulled out his knife and started stabbing away at her, perhaps first her throat to shut her up, in the end lifting her skirts and inflicting the 3-inch to her abdomen.

                            Cheers,
                            Frank

                            PS Napper took part of the belly wall away from the murder scene in Samantha Bisset's case, just as Chapman's murderer did.

                            We will never know why Martha Tabram was murdered- planned or spur of the moment, it is impossible to tell. One major difference between the murder of Rachel Nickel and the murder of Martha Tabram was that Rachel Nickel was out for a walk in broad daylight with her young son. This seemed part of Napper's MO. He may have felt he could control his victims better if there was also a child with her either through threat or implication. Martha Tabram it appears on the information we have was likely soliciting and it was late at night and she was alone.

                            The escalation in attacks appears to be very similar. Stabbing to mutilation. I think this largely can show us that those who suggest Martha Tabram could not be a 'Ripper' victim due to the methodolgy- stabbing as opposed to the other murders are likely incorrect.

                            Overall I don't see Martha Tabram as key to the following murders. This to my mind was a man who was very ill and had been fantasising about murder and mutilation for some time. It took some experience before his signature and MO fully evolved.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Sunny Delight View Post
                              I would suggest that the killing of Martha Tabram was not the Whitechapel Murderer's first attack(I am trying to refrain from referring to the very sick individual as JTR).
                              This was someone who had been 'toying' with the idea of murder and the sexual gratification it obviously elicited in him with post death mutilation. This was a man who was very ill- although he may have hidden that quite well appearing rather more eccentric or odd than threatening in everyday life.

                              I think it is almost certain that the murderer who had spread such terror had a history of smaller, more isolated attacks. Attacks that likely failed. So with Martha Tabram he changes method but again this is unsatisfactory to him despite the fact he had committed murder. I think the murderer 'learned' behaviours as he went along. What worked. What didn't. What was time consuming. How far could he take it. With each murder we see escalation. The first two murders are almost identical to those committed over 100 years later by Robert Napper. The first committed with a knife- I believe Napper's victim Rachel Nickel was stabbed over 40 times in broad daylight. Napper's second victim Samantha Blisset was murdered and mutilated. A piece of organ(I can't remember which one) was removed and her body poser. The sick b*****d also killed her little 4 year old daughter, suffocating her.

                              To my mind the Whitechapel murderer was quite likely very similar to Napper. Napper had a long history of violence against women as a serial rapist although that connection was not made until he was arrested and convicted of the murder of Samantha Blisset and her daughter. Napper was described as a loner, was obsessively neat and tidy, odd but not someone who was intimidating or threatening in general life. My belief is the Whitechapel murderer was probably the exact same.
                              Hi SD,

                              I was looking back and noticed that I hadn’t responded to your excellent post. There’s certainly nothing that I would disagree with here. I wonder how many unreported rapes there might have been that could have been down to the ripper?
                              Regards

                              Sir Herlock Sholmes.

                              “A house of delusions is cheap to build but draughty to live in.”

                              Comment

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