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How well did Jack know the East End?

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  • #91
    Could Jack have been a tradesman.? Perhaps a plumber or a carpenter. He could have travelled widely about the area and would have been familiar with many of the buildings. A bag of tools could have concealed all sorts of things

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    • #92
      He could have been a carpenter, plumber etc by trade, although one of the theories, (that Jack had anatomical skill) wouldn't point to that. Also, the few witnesses we have who saw men with the victims didn't see any bags. Just, in a couple of cases, small parcels.

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      • #93
        Originally posted by Michael W Richards View Post
        The real question here seems to be "How did the killer(s) evade detection when they left the crime scene, if not by using an in depth knowledge of the alleys, lanes and streets?"

        The first 2 women were seemingly picked up by chance, the killer posing as a client in order to get them somewhere dark and quiet. That doesn't mean the final location choice was within his control, therefore the best egress route from those scenes would be unknown to him when he first meets up with the women. Street women would have had favourite nooks and crannies to conduct their business when they needed to, we know that the Hanbury site was such a place. But the killer, assuming he didn't know his victims beforehand,. would have no knowledge of the preferences of individual street prostitutes.

        When discussing these murders I believe its wise to remember that we can say accurately that ONLY the first 2 Canonicals were actively soliciting when they met their killer, by virtue of the testimony of witnesses and friends of the victims who spoke with them on those respective nights. There is no such empirical evidence for Liz Stride, Catharine Eddowes or Mary Kelly. Which means that its possible all of those women, or some of them, were specifically sought by their killer, which is not the acquisition methodology used in the first 2 kills. No posing as a client, therefore no excuse to have them accompany him to a dark spot to conduct business.

        So why would they go with him? In the case of Liz Stride, she is nicely dressed, flower on her jacket and cashous in her hand, and she died within feet of the open gates and street. Catharine was found in the square, but seen with someone she apparently knew outside it. Mary was in bed. Her own bed, in a nondescript little courtyard. Her killer came to her.

        When you generalize and suggest that all the women were probably soliciting, some of these facts will directly contradict you...like in Marys case, so its best to only assume what is substantiated by some corroborative evidence.

        If you do that you will see that the man who killed the first 2 women likely knew the ins and outs of the area quite well, since its appears he allowed the women to choose the "dark" spot, and he used his wits and knowledge to leave the sites unseen. In the latter cases, if the killer(s) went specifically to these women, then he(they) could have planned out which routes to use ahead of time, thereby negating the idea that he just used his knowledge spontaneously...it would have been planning that aided him.

        Liz Strides killer could have been let out the front door to Berner Street once the murder was detected, there is no need for him to have had any special knowledge about what route to take, it would be either left or right.....Catharines killer might have come from the city or Central London, without an in depth understanding of the streets, and he had 3 choices for egress...assuming he didn't know about Watkins and Harveys schedules, ....and the only people that would be in Millers Court would be residents, and since she is likely murdered sometime after the "oh-Murder" is heard..(the evidence suggests Mary herself made that call out, likely from an open door)..the courtyard residents were in their rooms, and aside from visiting Sarah, they were likely sleeping soundly when the murder occurs. A stroll through the tunnel to the street, a quick peek each way, and off he goes.

        Of the five murders, only the first 2, since the killer didn't pick those venues, seem to have indications the killer knew the surrounding streets well. All 3 of the others may have been pre-planned events.

        Cheers
        Thanks for that, Michael. In your summary you seem to be saying:

        Murders 1/2 Whoever committed them knew the area because he allowed the women to choose the location. Is there empirical evidence for that? I'm not sure there is, but perhaps you can enlighten us.

        But if we accept, for the sake of argument, that this were the case, then what you seem to be suggesting is that Jack had an encyclopaedic knowledge of Spitalfields and Whitechapel, so it didn't matter where the women took him, he would know the best escape route.

        I would argue that there is no magical escape route from either Bucks Row or Hanbury Street. As you say above about Berners Street, you stick your head out of the door of Hanbury Street and if the coast is clear, you turn either right or left. In Bucks Row you are already in the Street, so it's just a case of look left, look right, walk smartly away. The option of going round the Board School into Winthrop Street provides an almost immediate opportunity to branch off, but there would have been a greater risk of detection there.

        Murders 3/4/5 May have been pre-planned and this suggests the killer did not know the area. You've lost me there. How do you plan an attack in an area you don't know?

        MrB

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        • #94
          Originally posted by SirJohnFalstaff View Post
          Interesting summarization, Michael.

          One question: since Nichols was very drunk, and as I understand it, she was found on the sidewalk on a dark street, maybe JtR just attacked her by surprise?
          Hi SJF,

          I think its quite possible that this was a first human kill, and he was a bit too eager for his own good. I think its why we don't see further mutilations on Polly in the same manner they were conducted on Annie......a bad venue choice due to a lack of self control. You also cited what I believe is a key in both of the first 2 Canonical deaths...both women were not alert and quick witted at the time they meet their killer..Polly is drunk as you point out, and Annie isn't feeling well. Thats what makes them a target for the killer.

          Cheers
          Michael Richards

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          • #95
            To address the points you raise Mr B;


            1. Murders 1/2 Whoever committed them knew the area because he allowed the women to choose the location. Is there empirical evidence for that? I'm not sure there is, but perhaps you can enlighten us.

            There is evidence that both the women were actively soliciting at the time they met their killer, and a lack of evidence that the killer and victims knew each other before the fatal meeting. That suggests to me that the killer acted as if he was a customer when meeting the women, and it was the women who led the customers to the locations they preferred. I think in the first murder he was overeager, and in the second murder, since it takes place far further south than any other Canonical, suggests a broader understanding by the killer of where the less travelled streets are in East London in general, not just that little square of land where many assaults took place.


            2. But if we accept, for the sake of argument, that this were the case, then what you seem to be suggesting is that Jack had an encyclopaedic knowledge of Spitalfields and Whitechapel, so it didn't matter where the women took him, he would know the best escape route.

            I suggest that the killer of the first 2 victims seems to have a sound understanding of the area, I wouldn't use, nor did I use, your adjective when describing that knowledge.

            3. I would argue that there is no magical escape route from either Bucks Row or Hanbury Street. As you say above about Berners Street, you stick your head out of the door of Hanbury Street and if the coast is clear, you turn either right or left. In Bucks Row you are already in the Street, so it's just a case of look left, look right, walk smartly away. The option of going round the Board School into Winthrop Street provides an almost immediate opportunity to branch off, but there would have been a greater risk of detection there.

            Killing in In Bucks Row was a mistake for the killer, I agree, in the middle of an open-ended street, (which may suggest his naiveté as a killer), but in Hanbury you have fences that one might easily hop in addition to the street access. There is no evidence that he left via the passage through the house, so its at least possible he left over some fences. Which fences to take, and which direction to go to find a quiet lane to slip away on is why I suggest some local knowledge.

            4. Murders 3/4/5 May have been pre-planned and this suggests the killer did not know the area. You've lost me there. How do you plan an attack in an area you don't know?

            Im playing Devils Advocate here, but for the sake of the argument its worth pointing out that as of this minute we have no viable reasons that adequately explain why Liz Stride was attacked at that location, why Kate was in Mitre Square at all, and how someone attacks Mary in her own bed. That leaves open all sorts of motive possibilities, and possibilities that the killer(s) knew those victims, and knew where he(they) were going to kill the women. So they could have familiarized themselves with those specific locations, which suggests nothing of any broader knowledge of the area.

            Even if the killer(s) didn't know where they were going to kill the women, its still a fact that no-one saw any suspect leaving any of these crimes scenes,....(unless it was the Nichols site ), ... which suggests that he(they) did not use more trafficked streets for egress, which implies some, but not necessarily broad knowledge.

            Im a stickler on this point....and its one that allows for tangential observations,.... and that is that the probable motives for the murders of Canonical 3, 4 and 5 have not been revealed by the historical review of the known facts. The first 2 seem to be the random assault type, select any target that is out working the streets, the more feeble the better,... pose as a client... and attack when their guard is down. There is the eerily similar methodology and injury present in both attacks that supports a single killer as well.

            After many years of study Ive concluded that the characteristics of the killer(s) who committed the so-called Jack the Ripper murders is never more evident than in the first 2 canonical deaths. Which, for me, suggests that we need to keep looking for motives that might explain the others, rather than just blindly accept the many theories that do not explain those often dramatic differences in victimology, methodology and activity.

            Cheers
            Michael Richards

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