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  • Modern Day Expert Opinion

    Many ripperologists are very select in using modern day experts to make their suspect cases. But given the social climate of 1888, and the vast advances in medicine and forensics, are the existing files enough for a modern day profession to provide an accurate assessment of the murders? Can a doctor today actually give a useful opinion with the provided info from an 1888 physician? Same for forensics, criminal profiling, etc,. Very interested in opinions and examples.

    Columbo

  • #2
    Without the actual post-mortem from any of the five traditional victims a modern doctor is inhibited in trying to accurately assess each murder.
    Regards, Jon S.

    Comment


    • #3
      We should try and unravel a 130-year-old case using only data gathered from 1888 using only knowledge and tools from 1888?

      It seems a little bit of a waste of all that technology and knowledge we have gained since. If that is how you want to look at the crimes, then more power to you.
      "When the legend becomes fact... print the legend"
      - The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

      Comment


      • #4
        IIRC, when outside experts come in to opine on Jack the Ripper, they rarely actually look into the evidence. Instead, they accept the traditional well-known "facts" of the case as true and proceed from there. So their profiles will assume that the C5 are the victims, with no others, etc. I haven't seen an outside expert actually come in and opine on the debates we have here on a daily basis, which are rarely "who was the Ripper?" and more commonly are things like "was victim x actually killed by the Ripper" or "what can or cannot we conclude from this one particular fact".

        I think that if an outside expert wanted to make meaningful, lasting contributions to the field of Ripperology, the best way for them to do it would be data-driven research on the significance, or lack thereof, of some of the evidence widely discussed around here.

        For example, it is commonly asserted on this forum by those who say that Eddowes was not a Ripper victim that facial mutilations mean that the killer knew the victim personally. An academic criminologist could, in theory, look at a vast database of cases and make an actual empirical statement such as "well, in 70% of cases that is true" or "well actually only in 30% of cases is that true". It would not identify Eddowes's killer but it would make the debate on this point much more informed.

        A similarly fertile field for empirical research would be changes in a serial killer's MO over the course of a series of murders. Chapman and Nichols had their throats cut twice, Eddowes had her throat cut once, to some people this means it is impossible that Chapman and Eddowes were killed by the same person, to other people it is absurd to suggest that multiple mutilators were stalking the East End at the same time. A researcher could use empirical evidence to opine on the likelihood of a serial killer slowly changing his MO over time like this vs the likelihood of a copycat, etc.

        But people outside of our hobby generally want to make a big splash by trying to identify a suspect, rather than making contributions to the small questions that only ripper forum posters really care about.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Damaso Marte View Post
          .... Chapman and Nichols had their throats cut twice, Eddowes had her throat cut once, to some people this means it is impossible that Chapman and Eddowes were killed by the same person, to other people it is absurd to suggest that multiple mutilators were stalking the East End at the same time...
          This is a point I have tried to draw attention to a few times. Dr Gordon Brown doesn't say how many times Eddowes throat was cut. Dr's Llewellyn & Phillips do.
          I would invite you to read Gordon Brown's description again. In my view he is only describing how the wound looks, not how many cuts caused it, that is the difference.
          Taking his description at face value in my view her throat could only have been cut twice, the same as the others.


          But people outside of our hobby generally want to make a big splash by trying to identify a suspect, rather than making contributions to the small questions that only ripper forum posters really care about.
          In many cases that is true.

          Regards, Jon S.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Wickerman View Post
            This is a point I have tried to draw attention to a few times. Dr Gordon Brown doesn't say how many times Eddowes throat was cut. Dr's Llewellyn & Phillips do.
            I would invite you to read Gordon Brown's description again. In my view he is only describing how the wound looks, not how many cuts caused it, that is the difference.
            Taking his description at face value in my view her throat could only have been cut twice, the same as the others.
            I confess I have never read Dr. Brown's report - however, I personally take the view that it is plausible for a serial killer to cut some victims throats twice and other victims throats once so this has never been a stumbling block to me for accepting Eddowes as a Ripper victim. But right now I take this view simply because it seems more plausible to me than the idea of a copycat killer getting away with his first-ever Ripper murder in Mitre Square. If experts came in, I might have an empirical basis for this view!

            Comment


            • #7
              Dr Brown begins his description of the throat wounds by first describing the superficial wound. Superficial, is a cut that goes no deeper than the surface layers of skin - it may be 1/4 inch deep or thereabouts.

              A superficial cut commenced about an inch and below the lobe and about 2 inches below behind the left ear and extended across the throat to about 3 inches below the lobe of the right ear

              Then he describes the deeper wound that severed the muscles down to the bone.

              The big muscle across the throat was divided through on the left side – The large vessels on the left side of the neck were severed – The larynx was severed below the vocal cord – All the deep structures were severed to the bone The knife marking intervertebral cartilages – The sheath of the vessels on the right side was just opened – The caroted artery had a fine hole opening – The internal jugular vein was opened an inch and a half not divided. The blood vessels contained clot.

              So, Dr Brown doesn't say whether these wounds were created by one, two, three or more cuts. He is merely describing the wounds as he saw them. However we can see there was more than one cut - the first being superficial, not deep, and it ran from ear to ear.
              The deeper wound severed all the deep muscles and ran down to the vertibrae.
              In my view, at least two cuts.

              Regards, Jon S.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Wickerman View Post
                Dr Brown begins his description of the throat wounds by first describing the superficial wound. Superficial, is a cut that goes no deeper than the surface layers of skin - it may be 1/4 inch deep or thereabouts.

                A superficial cut commenced about an inch and below the lobe and about 2 inches below behind the left ear and extended across the throat to about 3 inches below the lobe of the right ear

                Then he describes the deeper wound that severed the muscles down to the bone.

                The big muscle across the throat was divided through on the left side – The large vessels on the left side of the neck were severed – The larynx was severed below the vocal cord – All the deep structures were severed to the bone The knife marking intervertebral cartilages – The sheath of the vessels on the right side was just opened – The caroted artery had a fine hole opening – The internal jugular vein was opened an inch and a half not divided. The blood vessels contained clot.

                So, Dr Brown doesn't say whether these wounds were created by one, two, three or more cuts. He is merely describing the wounds as he saw them. However we can see there was more than one cut - the first being superficial, not deep, and it ran from ear to ear.
                The deeper wound severed all the deep muscles and ran down to the vertibrae.
                In my view, at least two cuts.
                To me, that’s very interesting. Does it suggest the first cut was made superficially on purpose? Like Jack was measuring where to cut?

                I think the 1988 television special is a good example of varying medical opinions. One of the panel gave a really gruesome description of how the victims throats were cut, but it was totally contrary to the medical evidence of the day. He said they were cut from behind while standing, which we know isn’t true. So are these experts as informed as they should be when asked? This special was live tv by the way. Not edited.

                Columbo

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Columbo View Post
                  Many ripperologists are very select in using modern day experts to make their suspect cases. But given the social climate of 1888, and the vast advances in medicine and forensics, are the existing files enough for a modern day profession to provide an accurate assessment of the murders? Can a doctor today actually give a useful opinion with the provided info from an 1888 physician? Same for forensics, criminal profiling, etc,. Very interested in opinions and examples.

                  Columbo
                  sometime poster here Prosector, who is a surgeon i beleive, thinks that the evidence of the wounds indicates someone who had surgical experience.
                  "Is all that we see or seem
                  but a dream within a dream?"

                  -Edgar Allan Poe


                  "...the man and the peaked cap he is said to have worn
                  quite tallies with the descriptions I got of him."

                  -Frederick G. Abberline

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Columbo View Post
                    To me, that’s very interesting. Does it suggest the first cut was made superficially on purpose? Like Jack was measuring where to cut?

                    I think the 1988 television special is a good example of varying medical opinions. One of the panel gave a really gruesome description of how the victims throats were cut, but it was totally contrary to the medical evidence of the day. He said they were cut from behind while standing, which we know isn’t true. So are these experts as informed as they should be when asked? This special was live tv by the way. Not edited.

                    Columbo
                    My belief is that they were cut from behind while in a standing position. As to the difference in cuts I think this is an issue that doent warrant discussion. If one killer was responsible for all the murders there is no way all the cuts to the victims throats would be identical, the cuts would depend on the angle that the victim was in, and whether or not the victim was struggling.

                    www.trevormarriott.co.uk

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Trevor Marriott View Post

                      My belief is that they were cut from behind while in a standing position. As to the difference in cuts I think this is an issue that doent warrant discussion. If one killer was responsible for all the murders there is no way all the cuts to the victims throats would be identical, the cuts would depend on the angle that the victim was in, and whether or not the victim was struggling.

                      www.trevormarriott.co.uk
                      So this is a great example. As a trained police officer and observer what available evidence do you believe supports your theory in such a way that another expert in the field may say they were lying down when killed? Maybe a combination of experience and facts? I know some assumptions have to be made of course. Was there a catalyst or nagging detail that brought you to this decision?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Columbo View Post
                        To me, that’s very interesting. Does it suggest the first cut was made superficially on purpose? Like Jack was measuring where to cut?
                        I think it is interesting too, yet it receives no attention.

                        A superficial cut across the throat is not going to be life threatening, the carotid arteries are deeper in the neck not near the surface, so if that was the the first cut, the victim could have screamed, yet she didn't.
                        So, why such a light cut from ear to ear before she was dead?

                        The next cut(s) pressed deep into the neck most certainly took her life, the blade marking her spinal column the way described. Surely, we would expect that to have been the first cut.
                        So, why the superficial cut?

                        If you look at the Rose Mylett case of December 1888, Dr Brownfield offers a suggestion for an otherwise useless marking of the neck.
                        https://www.casebook.org/press_repor...r/s881224.html

                        There was a thin line marked in the skin around her throat, evidence of the use of a cord or garrott.
                        To hide this evidence Dr Brownfield suggests:
                        "If he cut the throat along the lineof the cord he would obliterate the traces of partial strangulation."

                        A conclusion which solves two mysteries, it justifies the reason for the superficial wound on Eddowes neck, and because strangulation was the first step, it solves the question why she couldn't cry out after having such a simple cut across her neck.
                        So, the superficial cut was the first cut - to hide the use of a garrott. When unconscious he sliced through the mark across her throat to hide the evidence, then plunged the knife deep into her neck to actually kill her.

                        Why did he need to hide the fact he used a garrott?
                        Possibly, because he was known to police for using the garrott, and he was out on parole. In the 19th century Parole was known as 'ticket of leave', and hundreds of violent criminals were given this Ticket of Leave.

                        The police had a list of all their Ticket of Leave men, so perhaps his name was on that list?
                        Regards, Jon S.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Columbo View Post

                          So this is a great example. As a trained police officer and observer what available evidence do you believe supports your theory in such a way that another expert in the field may say they were lying down when killed? Maybe a combination of experience and facts? I know some assumptions have to be made of course. Was there a catalyst or nagging detail that brought you to this decision?
                          There are always going to be experts who will disagree with each other

                          To attempt to cut the throats whily they were on the floor in my opinion would be to problematic.

                          If the purpose was for sex as to why they went with the killer which is a dead certainty (no pun intended) then he could have lulled the victims into thinking that he was going to have sex from behind with them while they were standing, thereby catching them by surprise because they would likely as not be facing away from him.

                          www.trevormarriott.co.uk

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Trevor Marriott View Post

                            There are always going to be experts who will disagree with each other

                            To attempt to cut the throats whily they were on the floor in my opinion would be to problematic.

                            If the purpose was for sex as to why they went with the killer which is a dead certainty (no pun intended) then he could have lulled the victims into thinking that he was going to have sex from behind with them while they were standing, thereby catching them by surprise because they would likely as not be facing away from him.

                            www.trevormarriott.co.uk
                            So more or less an opinion based on experience or logical conclusion from the evidence?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Wickerman View Post

                              I think it is interesting too, yet it receives no attention.

                              A superficial cut across the throat is not going to be life threatening, the carotid arteries are deeper in the neck not near the surface, so if that was the the first cut, the victim could have screamed, yet she didn't.
                              So, why such a light cut from ear to ear before she was dead?

                              The next cut(s) pressed deep into the neck most certainly took her life, the blade marking her spinal column the way described. Surely, we would expect that to have been the first cut.
                              So, why the superficial cut?

                              If you look at the Rose Mylett case of December 1888, Dr Brownfield offers a suggestion for an otherwise useless marking of the neck.
                              https://www.casebook.org/press_repor...r/s881224.html

                              There was a thin line marked in the skin around her throat, evidence of the use of a cord or garrott.
                              To hide this evidence Dr Brownfield suggests:
                              "If he cut the throat along the lineof the cord he would obliterate the traces of partial strangulation."

                              A conclusion which solves two mysteries, it justifies the reason for the superficial wound on Eddowes neck, and because strangulation was the first step, it solves the question why she couldn't cry out after having such a simple cut across her neck.
                              So, the superficial cut was the first cut - to hide the use of a garrott. When unconscious he sliced through the mark across her throat to hide the evidence, then plunged the knife deep into her neck to actually kill her.

                              Why did he need to hide the fact he used a garrott?
                              Possibly, because he was known to police for using the garrott, and he was out on parole. In the 19th century Parole was known as 'ticket of leave', and hundreds of violent criminals were given this Ticket of Leave.

                              The police had a list of all their Ticket of Leave men, so perhaps his name was on that list?
                              This is good. I didn’t know that. I always thought the not crying out was unusual but a garrote never crossed my mind.

                              Comment

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