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  • Political Motive?

    Ok so Ive always been interested in the Jack the Ripper story, and often read the boards, and the only reason I have requested membership, is to put forward an idea that came to me since the "Shawl" became hot news with Mr Edwards book.

    What IF the motive was political? what IF whoever perpetrated the murders did so to ensure the East End and its deprivation and squalor firmly hit the front pages of the news. The murders occurred during a time of great political upheaval in that area. The trade unions were being born at this time, Annie Besant had instigated the Match Girls Strike, forcing better working circumstances. This at a time when the East End was truly suffering. Women who didnt work as prostitutes would starve or be on the streets homeless, husband or not. Is it possible that the real cuplrit could lie in some unknown activist trying to improve the lot of the poor, and that they felt a few murders were worth "the cause"? and that once they had got the attention of the country, and things were being addressed, they simply stopped?
    Its also possible that the murderer was being coerced or driven by someone in that area who didnt want to get their hands dirty.
    I just wanted to put this forward as an idea.....

  • #2
    That would be one heck of a twisted sense of altruism. Those women weren't just murdered, they were butchered which I would think would take someone of extreme sang froid if not outright psychopathology.

    In order to postulate that the reason he stopped was that his work was done and things were improving, we must demonstrate that things began to noticeably improve in the area by early 1889. Yet we find that conditions are still rather horrible more than 10 years later when Jack London writes his classic exploration of Whitechapel 'The People of the Abyss'.

    Can you show any real improvement in Whitechapel/Spitalfields by early 1889?

    Comment


    • #3
      The full Monty.

      Hello Panderoona. Welcome to the boards.

      Some have argued this vis-a-vis Monty Druitt.

      Cheers.
      LC

      Comment


      • #4
        The 'some' is really just me, at least here.

        Tom Cullen, an American Marxist exiled in London due to the McCarthyist witch-hunts, wrote his brilliant 'Autumn of Terror' (1965) arguing that if Druitt was the killer then his motive, at least partly, was to bring sympathetic attention to the plight of the East End. That 'Jack' was a deranged social reformer.

        A Leftist take on the Whitechapel murders by a Leftist.

        Cullen's evidence for this was that the murders were committed practically in full view, exclusively in the "evil quarter mile" identified by reformers as the worst of the worst, that Mary Kelly was killed spoiling Lord Mayor's Day, and that graduates from Oxford (Druitt was an Oxonian) were flocking to Toynbee Hall to help the poor. Certainly people at the time, such as George Bernard Shaw, were struck by how much sympathy a fiend-murderer was able to generate for the underclass compared to their own ineffectual marches, speeches and pamphlets.

        I would add to Cullen that the 1899 "North Country Vicar" speaks of his Ripper being a man of good position and reputation, who went to the East End to help fallen women "who then became his victims" (due to his allegedly suffering from "epiletic mania").

        I would also add a point that Cullen does not emphasize. There were two 'rip' murders before Nichols, e.g. before Druitt began his reign of terror. They also engendered sympathetic press. Surely, if the barrister was acting as a ruthless reformer, these murders are what gave him the idea.

        Two murders comparable (except that they are committed by more than perpetrator) to the Ripepr slayings happening just after--is that really just a random coincidence? The press spoke of Nichols as the fiend's third atrocity.

        Consequently, some people today are convinced that Martha Tabram was also a 'Jack' crime.

        Comment


        • #5
          some

          Hello Jonathan. Thanks.

          Some = "at least one."

          Cheers.
          LC

          Comment


          • #6
            I'm currently writing a fiction. I'm in no way pretending that it's a valid hypothesis.

            The point is some people wanted to make sure that the troubles with the working class in past years (the revolt of 86, Trafalgar Square 87, matchgirls strike, rise of socialist workers organization etc) would not turn into a full revolution, by installing fear in the East End, so the population would turn against itself with suspicion and conspiracy. The plan worked for a while, but eventually backfired.
            Is it progress when a cannibal uses a fork?
            - Stanislaw Jerzy Lee

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Panderoona View Post
              Ok so Ive always been interested in the Jack the Ripper story, and often read the boards, and the only reason I have requested membership, is to put forward an idea that came to me since the "Shawl" became hot news with Mr Edwards book.

              What IF the motive was political? what IF whoever perpetrated the murders did so to ensure the East End and its deprivation and squalor firmly hit the front pages of the news. The murders occurred during a time of great political upheaval in that area. The trade unions were being born at this time, Annie Besant had instigated the Match Girls Strike, forcing better working circumstances. This at a time when the East End was truly suffering. Women who didnt work as prostitutes would starve or be on the streets homeless, husband or not. Is it possible that the real cuplrit could lie in some unknown activist trying to improve the lot of the poor, and that they felt a few murders were worth "the cause"? and that once they had got the attention of the country, and things were being addressed, they simply stopped?
              Its also possible that the murderer was being coerced or driven by someone in that area who didnt want to get their hands dirty.
              I just wanted to put this forward as an idea.....
              Hi Panderoona

              It is true that JTR did for the East End more than any do gooder could have done in regards to drawing attention to the conditions of the East End, but I don't think that was the ripper's intention.

              What would have made the ripper (if we use your theory) think that by killing a few women, he could make people care about the conditions people were living in?

              In your theory, what class was the ripper in?
              If he was rich, would it not make sense that he would use his influence and money to better the terrible conditions.

              If he was poor, would he not target people that he felt had made him and others poorer, for example would he not blame the Jews for taking away opportunities for work, rather then target his own people?

              I don't think anyone could have predicted that the deaths of these women would lead to people from every walk of life wanting to help the impoverished etc.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Panderoona View Post
                Ok so Ive always been interested in the Jack the Ripper story, and often read the boards, and the only reason I have requested membership, is to put forward an idea that came to me since the "Shawl" became hot news with Mr Edwards book.

                What IF the motive was political? what IF whoever perpetrated the murders did so to ensure the East End and its deprivation and squalor firmly hit the front pages of the news. The murders occurred during a time of great political upheaval in that area. The trade unions were being born at this time, Annie Besant had instigated the Match Girls Strike, forcing better working circumstances. This at a time when the East End was truly suffering. Women who didnt work as prostitutes would starve or be on the streets homeless, husband or not. Is it possible that the real cuplrit could lie in some unknown activist trying to improve the lot of the poor, and that they felt a few murders were worth "the cause"? and that once they had got the attention of the country, and things were being addressed, they simply stopped?
                Its also possible that the murderer was being coerced or driven by someone in that area who didnt want to get their hands dirty.
                I just wanted to put this forward as an idea.....
                This idea I am liking a lot. I do not believe that the killer was an 'activist' but there was almost certainly both political and press involvement in the murders. My research has also led me to consider that Mary Kelly was not murdered by the same hand as the others.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'm sure most criminals rationalize their actions in some way. I don't know that it's any different for serial killers. Their reasoning I would imagine would be more warped though.

                  I wouldn't be completely surprised if at some point the killer began to justify the murders in his own head. Perhaps if he followed the papers and read about the increased attention the conditions in the east end were receiving, he might narcissistically think of himself as a hero of sorts? "My actions are what is bringing about change".

                  In terms of there being a political/social motive from the start I think highly unlikely however.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by gnote View Post
                    I'm sure most criminals rationalize their actions in some way. I don't know that it's any different for serial killers. Their reasoning I would imagine would be more warped though.

                    I wouldn't be completely surprised if at some point the killer began to justify the murders in his own head. Perhaps if he followed the papers and read about the increased attention the conditions in the east end were receiving, he might narcissistically think of himself as a hero of sorts? "My actions are what is bringing about change".

                    In terms of there being a political/social motive from the start I think highly unlikely however.
                    Welcome to Casebook, Gnote. A well thought out first post.

                    I don't for one minute buy the idea of JtR as a reforming spirit who was acting for the common good. If he was, he had a mighty strange way of showing it. Whoever carried out these atrocities was in all likelihood an under-achieving self-obsessed nonentity.
                    "It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data. Insensibly one begins twisting facts to suit theories instead of theories to suit facts." Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (as Sherlock Holmes).

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Agree..

                      Originally posted by Bridewell View Post
                      Welcome to Casebook, Gnote. A well thought out first post.

                      I don't for one minute buy the idea of JtR as a reforming spirit who was acting for the common good. If he was, he had a mighty strange way of showing it. Whoever carried out these atrocities was in all likelihood an under-achieving self-obsessed nonentity.
                      Hi Bridewell,
                      I've spent a couple of decades pondering suspects and still come back to the same conclusion.
                      I agree JtR was probably an under-achiever but also consider that he had ideas above his station, maybe even a sense of superiority amongst his co-workers/ neighbours. Definitely some mental shortcomings in relation to his academic capability.
                      I like your description 'nonentity' as that's how I see him too. Never quite making the grade in terms of employment, and being a blank face in the crowd regarding his crimes. I imagine him being able to come and go around Whitechapel like a silent ghost, whether due to his nondescript demeanour or regularity of walking the same streets.

                      Interesting post topic... Political motive? I doubt it.

                      Amanda
                      Last edited by Amanda; 11-11-2014, 11:06 AM. Reason: Addition

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Bridewell View Post
                        Welcome to Casebook, Gnote. A well thought out first post.

                        I don't for one minute buy the idea of JtR as a reforming spirit who was acting for the common good. If he was, he had a mighty strange way of showing it. Whoever carried out these atrocities was in all likelihood an under-achieving self-obsessed nonentity.
                        Cheers, thanks for the welcome.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by gnote View Post
                          Cheers, thanks for the welcome.
                          You're welcome. Keep posting please!
                          "It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data. Insensibly one begins twisting facts to suit theories instead of theories to suit facts." Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (as Sherlock Holmes).

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            There's a lot going for the deranged social reformer theory.

                            For one thing it would explian why Druitt, who could kill anywhere in London, focussed exclusively on the "evil quarter mile", as reformers called it.

                            On the other hand, it is not a motive put forward by anybody in on the Dorset secret of the time.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              These are serial murders. Would we really expect any sort of political hit to involve the sexual element we see in them? The morbid anatomical curiosity?

                              I very much doubt it. Even the Gullistas in their heyday had to propose that Gull went off his rocker prior to commencing his spree in order to account for it; the Good Doctor 'creatively interpreting' his orders to get rid of the coaterie of Whitechapel women had to be tacked on.

                              If this had been a political job, these women simply would have disappeared, like that Australian Prime Minister who went swimming one afternoon and never came back ashore. History would never have recorded the names of Polly Nichols, Annie Chapman, Liz Stride, Kate Eddowes, or Mary Kelly.

                              Now, I do say it could have been a gangland spree, with the bodies being left about as a message for other prostitutes - but even there I doubt it, as impoverished East End gangers would have doubtless been tempted by the Lord Mayor's reward to turn informant on one of their fellows had such been the case.

                              The farthest I'm willing to go in the direction of Jack-as-conspiracy is to say I think it plausible that it may have been an Otis Toole/Henry Lucas situation. If two individuals are murdering together "just for jolly", there's much less incentive for treachery than there is among a conspiracy of otherwise relatively rational men.

                              Comment

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