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  • MrBarnett
    started a topic How well did Jack know the East End?

    How well did Jack know the East End?

    Brought over from the 'So would he have run?' thread:

    Thinking about Lechmere's possible routes to and from work has got me wondering how well he (or whoever else was JTR) really new the East End. The idea of someone with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the 'Whitechapel labyrinth' seems to sit better with top-hatted and cloaked Jack of myth than the mundane nobody epitomised by Lechmere.

    Why would he know more than the main arteries and the handful of streets that he regularly used to get to work/family/pub etc. ? Exploring the streets of the East End for pleasure would have been a pretty strange thing for a LVP working man to do, I would think.

    This might make an interesting thread on it's own, if only I knew how to create one!


    I'd be interested to know your views.

    Cheers,


    MrB

  • Michael W Richards
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • Michael W Richards
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • MrBarnett
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • Rosella
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • magoo
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • Rosella
    replied
    Men wore hob nailed boots in working class districts in those days, so his actually approaching her wouldn't have been a surprise (sound echoing on the cobbles.)

    However, if he had come up very close surely Nichols would have had time to emit one scream at least, which could have been heard by residents nearby. Of course, there were train whistles from nearby passing freight trains so perhaps a scream wouldn't have been heard.

    I was thinking about the Kelly murder yesterday, and if knowledge of the broken window, no key and easy to manipulate spring lock on her door, had become known, how easy would it have been for an intruder (Jack?) to have got into her room while Mary was lying in a drunken sleep. Perhaps just before the cry of 'Oh Murder' was heard at about 4am. (Her last client could have left hours before.)

    Leave a comment:


  • SirJohnFalstaff
    replied
    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?

    Leave a comment:


  • Michael W Richards
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • SirJohnFalstaff
    replied
    Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post
    Hi Rocky,

    The street door and yard door at Hanbury Street were often left open all night, and the passageway was often used by dossers. How would it have been possible for whoever was taking this bribe to ensure that only those women whose pimp had paid up could use the yard ? Would someone sit on the stairs all night and eject any woman who didn't have a pass?

    There were gangs operating in the area and no doubt prostitution was one of their rackets. But I don't think the victims of JTR were being actively pimped. They were casuals, who barely brought in enough money to afford a bed each night. The way I think the gangs worked was to patrol the streets and shake down any prostitutes or customers they came across. The prime time for this sort of activity was between the closing of the pubs and around 1 in the morning.

    But even if we accept that a few pence changed hands to ensure a couple weren't ejected by John Richardson, say, do you think that payment gave Jack a licence to murder and eviscerate?

    MrB
    I'm not sure they were paid, I think they were more threaten, if anything. They were told to turn a blind eye. When you do so, you do so, you just let anyone do any business they choose to.

    I don't think anyone let those murders happen. they just didn't know.

    Like someone said earlier, I don't think any of the victims were part of an organized prostitution system.

    This is purely speculation on my part.

    Leave a comment:


  • MrBarnett
    replied
    Originally posted by Rosella View Post
    But he could have been disturbed, at any moment, by any of the seventeen inhabitants of No 29 who might have decided to visit the privy. After all, carmen like Davis and Thompson left for work early. John Richardson, who was a market porter, lived in John St, Spitalfields, and went to the markets early so he wouldnt have been hanging round his mother's place half the night.
    Precisely, Rosella.

    I can just about accept that maybe Richardson was choosy about who he kicked out. But I doubt he policed the yard all night long.

    And something else to bear in mind: if, as it has been suggested, Jack used these locations frequently and they were monitored by gangs/pimps, he would presumably be well known to them. How would that make it safer for him?

    Leave a comment:


  • Rosella
    replied
    But he could have been disturbed, at any moment, by any of the seventeen inhabitants of No 29 who might have decided to visit the privy. After all, carmen like Davis and Thompson left for work early. John Richardson, who was a market porter, lived in John St, Spitalfields, and went to the markets early so he wouldnt have been hanging round his mother's place half the night.

    Leave a comment:


  • RockySullivan
    replied
    Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post
    Hi Rocky,

    The street door and yard door at Hanbury Street were often left open all night, and the passageway was often used by dossers. How would it have been possible for whoever was taking this bribe to ensure that only those women whose pimp had paid up could use the yard ? Would someone sit on the stairs all night and eject any woman who didn't have a pass?

    There were gangs operating in the area and no doubt prostitution was one of their rackets. But I don't think the victims of JTR were being actively pimped. They were casuals, who barely brought in enough money to afford a bed each night. The way I think the gangs worked was to patrol the streets and shake down any prostitutes or customers they came across. The prime time for this sort of activity was between the closing of the pubs and around 1 in the morning.

    And even if we accept that a few pence changed hands to ensure a couple weren't ejected by John Richardson, say, do you think that payment gave Jack a licence to murder and eviscerate?

    MrB
    It could have perhaps given him the privacy...as long as he made sure the gal didnt scream out...he could have been sure he wouldnt be disturbed

    Leave a comment:


  • MrBarnett
    replied
    Originally posted by RockySullivan View Post
    Mr. B....it's hard to imagine street walking gals coming up with a bribe....John's wouldn't be organized to pay unless they did pay one at a time...were there any gangs involved with pimping on the east end? Could they have payed a bribe for their girls & John's to be left alone..or perhaps someone who lived in the building was also a prostitute and took clients in the yard? There are alot of possibilities...not all likely but I think the ripper would have chosen spots who knew were safe and whats safer than good old $.
    Hi Rocky,

    The street door and yard door at Hanbury Street were often left open all night, and the passageway was often used by dossers. How would it have been possible for whoever was taking this bribe to ensure that only those women whose pimp had paid up could use the yard ? Would someone sit on the stairs all night and eject any woman who didn't have a pass?

    There were gangs operating in the area and no doubt prostitution was one of their rackets. But I don't think the victims of JTR were being actively pimped. They were casuals, who barely brought in enough money to afford a bed each night. The way I think the gangs worked was to patrol the streets and shake down any prostitutes or customers they came across. The prime time for this sort of activity was between the closing of the pubs and around 1 in the morning.

    But even if we accept that a few pence changed hands to ensure a couple weren't ejected by John Richardson, say, do you think that payment gave Jack a licence to murder and eviscerate?

    MrB
    Last edited by MrBarnett; 09-28-2014, 05:55 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • RockySullivan
    replied
    Originally posted by SirJohnFalstaff View Post
    Dew's memoirs underline the importance of gangs. Maybe there were territorial weekly protection money.

    a % of the money from lodging houses, maybe?

    It could also be an interesting hypothesis that Jack was caught by some people from the underworld, and they just killed him. That's why he stopped.

    There is, I think, no way to prove that.
    Thanks sir looks like we had the same idea!

    Leave a comment:

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