Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Toffs in Spitalfields

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Fisherman
    replied
    Noticing that there are forty-plus pages to this thread, I will not venture to digest them all. Instead I will offer a suggestion that may - or may not - have been aired before. If so, Im sorry.

    On another thread, Hutch in the 1911 census, there is an ongoing discussion about whether George William Topping Hutchinson was the man who offered his testimony to the police three days after Kellys death. As for myself, I feel certain that this was the case - the material presented on the thread is overwhelming in its pointing in this direction, I feel.

    This, of course, is of significant importance to this thread too. If an understanding is reached that Hutchinson has been found, then we are also faced with the fact that he stated his name correctly and honestly, and such a thing adds to the overall credibility of the man.

    Meaning that he may have been honest about Astrakhan man too.

    ...which leads me back to the point I would like to make on this thread:
    It has been refuted by many posters that "toffs" like the one Hutch described would have walked the streets of "Tiger Bay" back in 1888. It has been suggested that such a man would be a fool and a kamikaze pilot.
    But need this be so? Are we not forgetting about a kind of man that actually would have done so, in as brazen a manner as possible?

    Think Reg and Ronnie Kray. Think Al Capone, Dion OBanion, Lucky Luciano. Think top mobsters and gangsters.
    The Krays could dress up as fancy as they wanted to and take a stroll through East end without any risk at all; dire health risks were involved for those who took too active an interest in any jewelry on the fingers or round the necks of the Krays.
    Could this have been the answer to the boldness of our "toff" - was he a local bigwig of crime, someone who loved to show off his wealth in as obvious a manner as possible, and somebody who felt comfortable doing so since he knew that nobody would dare to try and rob him?
    The weak side of the suggestion is of course that one would have thought that such a man would have been known by the police. Then again, he may have been a rising star on the criminal night heaven, or that astrakhan coat may have been a new attire. Or he may have been a guest in the East end, on business of some kind.
    Just a suggestion, and one that may have been mentioned before. If so, Im sorry!

    The best,
    Fisherman
    Last edited by Fisherman; 03-12-2009, 12:23 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Nothing to see
    replied
    Originally posted by Ben View Post
    Very good points, Claire and NTS.

    Agreed all round.

    All the best,
    Ben
    Thanks.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ben
    replied
    Very good points, Claire and NTS.

    Agreed all round.

    All the best,
    Ben

    Leave a comment:


  • Nothing to see
    replied
    I agree with you absolutely. I don't think Jack was venturing anywhere. He was a local. Had to be. Last October I walked around Jack's kill zone 4 times, including night time. I was careful, I must add. Jack had to know the area. It's rabbit warren now and I figure it was worse back then. It makes no sense to me if he wasn't a local. Annie Chapman had rings forcibly removed from her fingers. The cops checked out the local pawn shops for them. If they weren't taken by the guy who found her body, or anyone else who slipped in and no-one ever admitted it, then who else but Jack? Trophies? Maybe. Or something he thought he could sell. But never did.

    And Jack didn't stand out. So some toff coming into this patch would have stood out like a sore thumb. IMO. Like Hutchinson's astrakhan coated MJK visitor. A seal, a watch, an astrkhan coat, I really doubt he would have left the place conscious.

    Leave a comment:


  • claire
    replied
    Originally posted by Ben View Post

    Once, perhaps, before seeking ripping pastures anew. That scenario would be barely palatable if the serial killer belonged to the privalaged few who had means to travel. What I find totally implausible is the notion that the killer would keep venturing into the same concentrated, circumscribed pocket of the East End for his murders and mutilations. It makes very little sense, which is why there's no surprise that it militates very heavily against what we know to be true of the few serial killers who "commuted" to their crime scenes, as opposed to rather more popular "marauder" penchant for selecting victims within their own residential orbit.
    I think this essentially nails it, Ben. There seems no reason on earth why someone with any sense of self-preservation would continue to venture into the area if they had a choice in the matter. As you note, there were plenty of other areas for either legitimate punters, or our man, to visit if they were in search of prostitutes or easy pickings. So either our man had no transport, suggesting he was a poor local, or he had transport but didn't want to use it, suggesting he was a better-off local. Whichever way you look at it, this really has to be a local man.

    I am quite sure that the monied classes made excursions into Whitechapel for a range of reasons, most of which are noted elsewhere on this thread. But the suggestion that the area was the neighbourhood of choice for sex-tourists is utterly untenable.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ben
    replied
    Hi Chris,

    Very true, of course. Whitehall being one such no-go area it would seem! That said, there were plenty of opportunities for prostitute-procuring in the West End, East End and South of the river. It was never the case that Whtiechapel was the ultimate prostitution mecca.

    All the best,
    Ben

    Leave a comment:


  • ChrisGeorge
    replied
    Originally posted by Ben View Post
    Vulnerable and desperate prostitutes could be found throughout London, utterly eradicating the need for any particular focus on Whitechapel.
    Hi Ben

    I hazard to say that today prostitutes might be found throughout London, with the spread of drugs and the need for the women to get a fix. Back then though there were "better" areas where prostitutes would not have ventured, or if they did they would have been moved on by the beat coppers.

    Chris

    Leave a comment:


  • Ben
    replied
    Hi Caz,

    if Jack merely wanted to entice his victims to where he could mutilate them for free and scarper...there was arguably every reason for him to have ventured into an area... where he expected the most desperate women on God’s green earth to congregate and be waiting for him, with a “Give it to me Big Boy” dying on their lips
    Once, perhaps, before seeking ripping pastures anew. That scenario would be barely palatable if the serial killer belonged to the privalaged few who had means to travel. What I find totally implausible is the notion that the killer would keep venturing into the same concentrated, circumscribed pocket of the East End for his murders and mutilations. It makes very little sense, which is why there's no surprise that it militates very heavily against what we know to be true of the few serial killers who "commuted" to their crime scenes, as opposed to rather more popular "marauder" penchant for selecting victims within their own residential orbit.

    If the crimes are committed within a very small, easily walkable locality, it invariably means that the perpetrator had a base that was centrally located to their criminal activity. In this case, we're talking about a particularly small area, which therefore speaks even less favourably for the commuter hypothesis. The arrival of the "commuter" serial killer has only really been made possible with the advent of readily available private transport, largely unavailable in 1888. It enables the offenders to cast their net far and wide, which means they have the choice to avoid the danger that would inevitably result from commuting into the same very small area for every murder, despite the increasing police and vigilante activity being stepped up in that initial hotspot every time.

    The fruitlessness of that particular exercise is particularly apparent when applied to the Whitechapel murders. Vulnerable and desperate prostitutes could be found throughout London, utterly eradicating the need for any particular focus on Whitechapel. When the pressue hotted up in his first targetted area, he could easily have hop, skipped, and jumped to another prostitute hotspot elsewhere, like most commuter serial killers. But Jack didn't do that, most probabaly because he wasn't a commuter but one who made the most of the opportunities on his doorstep.

    Even if Jack had no doubt that the pickings were equally easy and rich elsewhere, his reasons for marking the same territory each time must have outnumbered his reasons not to do so
    Yes, but they were very unlikely to have done. That's the very point I'm addressing. Anyone who knew enough about London to know that Dorset Street had a poor reputation for poverty and degradation would certainly have known that there were many other localities in London with similar reputations for ill-repute.

    Best regards,
    Ben
    Last edited by Ben; 03-10-2009, 03:34 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • perrymason
    Guest replied
    It may be more helpful to define when Toffs might be likely to be about that area during the LVP, including time of day, because my sense is that we are not talking after midnight folk if a real Toff..someone who is someone of import.

    But Ill bet like that article suggests it was carnival like during the Ripper crimes with plenty of Toffs during the day and maybe after a show...say from 10 to midnight kind of after theater crowd?

    Jack never killed before midnight. But my guess is his availability wasnt theatrically related.

    Best regards.

    edited to add.....I wonder if some doctors and socialites searched carnival type shows and the like during that time, with the hopes of maybe finding another Merrick hiding somewhere.
    Last edited by ; 03-10-2009, 01:03 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Sam Flynn
    replied
    Originally posted by Nemo View Post
    Is it?

    Well I don't believe that... (the belief that Whitechapel/Spitalfields was a sexual paradise for toffs)
    Glad to hear it. Too many people seem to think so - or, at least, the idea has woven itself into popular conceptions of the Victorian East End. Fog, top-hats and tarts - the Hammer Horror/Hollywood view of the world, and an ingredient of some purportedly serious Ripper theories - has, it appears, very little to commend it.
    I was sure I detected some indication in this thread that "No toff would enter the area after dark" equates with "Astrakhan man did not exist"
    You'll detect indications of that in most Kelly threads, Nemo The two arguments are, to my mind, rather different - which is why I welcome this as a more (or less) dispassionate discussion of the idea of Whitechapel/Spitalfields as a "red light district" for toffs.

    Leave a comment:


  • Nemo
    replied
    Is it?

    Well I don't believe that... (the belief that Whitechapel/Spitalfields was a sexual paradise for toffs)


    I was sure I detected some indication in this thread that "No toff would enter the area after dark" equates with "Astrakhan man did not exist"

    Leave a comment:


  • Sam Flynn
    replied
    Hi Nemo,

    This thread isn't about Astrakhan Man either - it's about the belief that Whitechapel/Spitalfields was a sexual paradise for toffs.

    Leave a comment:


  • Nemo
    replied
    Hi Sam

    Wasn't Astrakhan man on the main thoroughfare of Commercial St. near a late night food shop on Thrawl St.?

    He was not dressed up looking for sex in Dorset St. or similar - he was led there by Mary

    Leave a comment:


  • Sam Flynn
    replied
    Thanks, Simon.

    We're not discussing "slumming", nor gawping at murder sites at unspecified times of the day - we're on about the oft-repeated assertion that the well-heeled classes made a habit of visiting Whitechapel/Spitalfields for sex.

    Leave a comment:


  • Simon Wood
    replied
    Hi All,

    Evening News, 1st October 1888

    " . . . I found the [Berner] street literally packed with people of both sexes, all ages, and nearly all classes. Clubmen from the West-end rubbed shoulders with the grimy denizens of St. George's-in-the-East: daintily dressed ladies, whom a wondering curiosity had drawn to the spot, elbowed their way amid knots of their less favoured sisters, whose dirty and ragged apparel betokened the misery of their daily surroundings . . ."

    Regards,

    Simon

    Leave a comment:

Working...
X