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  • Joseph Moloney

    Follow the Evidence

    The wide variety of potential Ripper suspects - upper class, royalty, deranged, working class, a woman - suggest that Jack could have been anyone.

    However, there are things that we do know about Jack - evidence from witnesses and his modus operandi - that allow us to narrow the potential suspects.

    The following posts outline my understanding of credible facts about Jack. Later posts will outline why I think Joseph Moloney fits this evidence-based criteria and is worthy of further research.

    Physical description : Jack was between 28 - 35 years old, around 5’7”, stout, had a moustache, fair complexion, “shabby genteel” or “clerk like”.

    This is the description from the most credible witnesses - Joseph Lawende, Elizabeth Long and PC Smith - who all saw a man with the victim a short time before the victim died.

    I would also include William Marshall who gave a similar description of a man with Stride 45 minutes before PC Smith’s sighting. Marshall heard the man say “You would say anything but your prayers” and sounded like an educated man.

    The witnesses show the women were comfortable with the man. Lawende said "The woman (Eddowes) had her hand on the man's chest, but not as if to push him away. They did not appear to be quarrelling, but conversing quietly"

    The witness descriptions shows Jack was not deranged or working class, but a middle class man with reasonable people skills.

    The deerstalker hat suggests a rural or hunting mindset

    Quasar’s book “Scarlet Autumn” draws attention to how two credible witnesses - PC Smith and Elizabeth Long - state the man was wearing a deerstalker hat.

    This hat is worn in rural areas when hunting and would appear out of place in an urban setting. This suggests Jack had experience as a hunter, and saw himself as hunting prey.

    Jack had surgical skills and was right-handed

    Many of the coroners and specialists concluded the killer had anatomical knowledge. This included Dr LLwellyn (Nichols), Wynne Baxter (Nichols and Chapman), Dr Phillips (Chapman) and Dr Frederick Brown (Eddowes). Dr Bond (Kelly) was a strong dissenter arguing the attack was more brutal than surgical.

    An in-depth thread started by Prosector identified three examples that proved Jack’s surgical skills :

    The careful removal of the kidney (Eddowes)which required cutting through the peritoneal lining or “sack”

    A midline incision that skirts around the umbilicus (belly button) to the right. This is standard practice for a surgeon. The umbilicus is too tough to sew up so it is avoided and always cut to the right.

    He avoided cutting lower intestine which would have spilled faecal matter.

    In conclusion, Jack’s ability to remove the uterus and kidney in difficult circumstances - darkness, time pressure and fear of being caught - demonstrate surgical experience.

    Finally, the coroners suggested Jack was right-handed.



  • #2
    Continued

    Jack used a 6” thin, pointed knife

    The weapon was :
    • “A strong knife at least six inches long, very sharp, pointed at the top and about an inch in width” (Dr Bond)
    • A very sharp knife, with a thin, narrow blade, at least six to eight inches in length, “such an instrument as a medical man used for post-mortem purposes.” (Dr Phillips)

    Some argued that the long knife was the Liston double edged amputation knife or a narrow dagger. The evidence rules out wider knives.

    He blood choke strangled the victims (military skill?)

    Jack’s modus operandi was to strangle the victims from behind, then lay them on the ground where he would start cutting. This explains the lack of arterial spray at the sites as the heart had stopped pumping . In contrast, Kelly was not strangled from behind and therefore there is a clear arterial spray on the wall near Kelly`s head.

    The Coroners and doctors found evidence of strangulation such as protruded tongue, clenched hards and tongue laceration.

    However, there was no evidence of a resistance that normally occurs when someone is strangled; such as scratches, gouges or drag marks on the ground.

    Instead, the evidence suggests the Ripper used a blood choke technique of applying pressure to the carotid arteries in the neck which deprives blood to the brain. This technique can take only seconds to cause loss of consciousness.

    The Nichols inquest mentioned a bruise on the lower part of the jaw which might have been caused by pressure from a thumb, and a circular bruise on the left side of the face which may have been from fingers’ pressure.

    It is unlikely that the average person was competent in using this technique. Jack’s expertise may suggest he was in the military or a gang.

    Bled the victims (hunting or slaughter man skill?)

    One of the consistent observations about four victims (Nichols, Chapman, Eddowes, Stride) is the lack of blood on the victims’ clothes. For example, there was only “a wine glass and a half” of blood at the Nichols’ site.

    This was due to the Ripper’s deliberate approach. After strangling the victims, he lowered them to the ground before cutting. In Stride’s case, the neck was placed over the rut in the alley to bleed her.

    This technique is something that would be natural to someone who was a hunter or slaughter man

    Comment


    • #3
      Continued

      Jack was a local, single and had a daytime job

      Geographic profiling use models to show that a serial killer is likely to travel a certain distance away from where they live. These models suggest he lived around Flower and Dean Street, or frequently rented a lodging room if he lived outside the area.

      Jack knew the area intimately, was able to disappear down alleys and knew the police beats.

      He was likely to be single (so no questions on late night movements) and had a daytime job (as most murders were on weekends)

      He knew the victims by sight

      While there were 1,200 prostitutes working in Whitechapel, the five murdered women all lived within a few hundred yards of each other :- Annie Chapman (35 Dorset Street), Mary Ann Nichols (56 Flower and Dean Street and 18 Thrawl Street), Liz Stride (32 Flower and Dean Street), Catherine Eddowes (55 Flower and Dean Street) and Mary Jane Kelly (Miller’s Court off Dorset Street).

      This could suggest Jack lived near the victims and knew them personally or by sight.

      His familiarity with the women could explain how there was no struggle and the victims were willing to go with him into a dark spot.

      Mutilation and Posing of victims to degrade them

      He mutilated the bodies and removed organs; then posed the victims with their victims legs separated, viscera placed outside the body and genitalia exposed to degrade them, destroy their humanity and shock the public.

      He knew the area and police beats, was well-prepared, bold, strong and had excellent night vision

      The police must have thought Jack was a phantom. He was able to take his victims into quiet areas, murder them and leave without ever being seen.

      He must have known the police beats as he would finish and disappear before a policeman returned. The speed, and clumsiness, of Eddowes’ killing shows he knew the policeman would soon return to that area.

      He killed on moonless nights (which may explain the lack of killings in October).

      He was cold and clear thinking. He took time to empty victims’ pockets and arrange contents around their body. This was not a deranged man.

      He may have targeted prostitutes as he caught syphilis from one

      This has been suggested as a motive.

      Suffered a triggering event in 1888 and had another reason to cease

      Psychologists suggest there may have been an event that was a catalyst to start the murders. Similarly, there may have been a reason why they stopped.

      Tried to blame the jews or get them involved

      The graffiti was a deliberate action that tapped into the anti-Semitic views of East End.

      He was motivated by a hatred of older, drunk, prostitutes

      Jack could have killed anyone. However, the victims were similar. They were all prostitutes, all lived close to each other, were a similar age (Nichols - 44, Chapman - 47. Stride - 44, Eddowes - 46), were destitute and had alcohol problems. Kelly was a different type (see below)

      Jack’s contempt for these women is shown by the mutilations and degradation of posing them. Inspector Harry Cox suggested “The murderer was a misogynist, who at some time or another had been wronged by a woman”

      One argument was his hatred was due to catching syphilis from a prostitute. Maybe he caught syphilis from Kelly (his final victim) but took out his anger initially on older prostitutes.

      FBI profiler John Douglas suggested he may have been acting out violent fantasies aimed towards his mother, who he may have despised (and may have been an alcoholic or prostitute herself).

      Comment


      • #4
        In summary, the evidence suggests Jack :
        • Was between 28 - 35 years old, around 5’7”, stout, had a moustache, fair complexion, “shabby genteel” or “clerk like”.
        • Had a rural or hunting mindset (deerstalker hat)
        • Had surgical skills
        • Was right-handed
        • Used a 6” thin, pointed knife (such as an amputation knife or a thin dagger)
        • Blood choke strangled the victims (military skill?)
        • Bled the victims (hunting or slaughter man skill?)
        • Was a local, single and had a daytime job
        • Knew the victims by sight
        • Mutilated and posed victims to degrade them
        • Knew the area and police beats, was well-prepared, bold, strong and had excellent night vision
        • May have targeted prostitutes as he caught syphilis from one
        • Suffered a triggering event in 1888 and had another reason to cease
        • Was motivated by a hatred of older, drunk, prostitutes

        Interested in others feedback.

        I’ll upload posts on weekend which show how Joseph Moloney could match each of these criteria.

        Craig

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Craig H View Post
          In summary, the evidence suggests Jack :
          • Was between 28 - 35 years old, around 5’7”, stout, had a moustache, fair complexion, “shabby genteel” or “clerk like”.
          • Had a rural or hunting mindset (deerstalker hat)
          • Had surgical skills
          • Was right-handed
          • Used a 6” thin, pointed knife (such as an amputation knife or a thin dagger)
          • Blood choke strangled the victims (military skill?)
          • Bled the victims (hunting or slaughter man skill?)
          • Was a local, single and had a daytime job
          • Knew the victims by sight
          • Mutilated and posed victims to degrade them
          • Knew the area and police beats, was well-prepared, bold, strong and had excellent night vision
          • May have targeted prostitutes as he caught syphilis from one
          • Suffered a triggering event in 1888 and had another reason to cease
          • Was motivated by a hatred of older, drunk, prostitutes

          Interested in others feedback.

          I’ll upload posts on weekend which show how Joseph Moloney could match each of these criteria.

          Craig
          interesting and I would agree with all except maybe that he was right handed and hated "older" prostitutes. whos Joseph Moloney??
          "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


          • #6
            Hi Abby

            Joseph Moloney (1857 - 96) was an Irish-born doctor who practised in Battersea (south London) . Moloney is best known for his involvement as a medical officer in the high profile African expedition to the Congo which was later described in his book “With Captain Stairs to Katanga”, published in 1893. He's in Wikipedia.

            He was an interesting character, and we know a lot about him from his book.

            He could also fit all the above criteria. I'll outline this on my next post later in the week. I was surprised to see the fit.

            Craig

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Craig H View Post
              In summary, the evidence suggests Jack :
              • Hi Craig
              • Was between 28 - 35 years old, around 5’7”, stout, had a moustache, fair complexion, “shabby genteel” or “clerk like”.

                I don’t think that we can be entirely certain of his age but no issues with this point
              • Had a rural or hunting mindset (deerstalker hat)

                I wouldn’t put too much stock in making deductions from headgear. The poor would wear any cast-offs that came to the free or cheaply
              • Had surgical skills

                Is that a definite? I’m not qualified to say on that one. Maybe anatomical knowledge is more likely?
              • Was right-handed

                Ok
              • Used a 6” thin, pointed knife (such as an amputation knife or a thin dagger)

                Ok
              • Blood choke strangled the victims (military skill?)

                Can’t see any definite link there? But he could have been a military man.
              • Bled the victims (hunting or slaughter man skill?)

                In what way bled? I wouldn’t tend to call throat cutting and mutilation bleeding.
              • Was a local, single and had a daytime job

                We can’t be certain of any of these but it might be a perfect description. Who knows?
              • Knew the victims by sight

                We just can’t know that. He didn’t need to know them and wouldn’t he risk being identified in such a confined area if he was known?’
              • Mutilated and posed victims to degrade them

                Yes
              • Knew the area and police beats, was well-prepared, bold, strong and had excellent night vision

                Nothing wrong with this point of course and many if not most people would agree but personally I don’t think that it’s a given.
              • May have targeted prostitutes as he caught syphilis from one

                Possibly
              • Suffered a triggering event in 1888 and had another reason to cease

                Possibly
              • Was motivated by a hatred of older, drunk, prostitutes

                Possibly

              Interested in others feedback.

              I’ll upload posts on weekend which show how Joseph Moloney could match each of these criteria.

              Always interested in a new suspect

              Craig
              I look forward to hearing about Maloney Craig.
              Regards

              Herlock






              "There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact!"

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi Herlock




                i think the “anatomical knowledge / surgical skills” question is key in helping to identify the Ripper. It significantly reduces the number of suspects.




                I found the above mentioned Prosector thread compelling, along with the above three proof points. What’s your thoughts on those ideas ?




                Craig

                Comment


                • #9
                  Sorry, there is absolutely nothing to link this man to the case. Nada. It's just another example of plucking an historical figure and trying to cobble together a case against them on the flimsiest of pretences. I think what riles me most is that it runs the risk of tarring a man's memory as a ripper suspect without any merit.


                  He was a medical officer who operated in South London. He wasn't even near Whitechapel. Does he match the descriptions? How many other men did? Did the killer definitely have surgical skill? There was no consensus on that.

                  You're not likely to find the Ripper's identity already on wikipedia, frustrating as that may be.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Harry D View Post
                    Sorry, there is absolutely nothing to link this man to the case. Nada. It's just another example of plucking an historical figure and trying to cobble together a case against them on the flimsiest of pretences. I think what riles me most is that it runs the risk of tarring a man's memory as a ripper suspect without any merit.


                    He was a medical officer who operated in South London. He wasn't even near Whitechapel. Does he match the descriptions? How many other men did? Did the killer definitely have surgical skill? There was no consensus on that.

                    You're not likely to find the Ripper's identity already on wikipedia, frustrating as that may be.
                    But there being nothing to link him, doesn’t seem to stop about 90% of other suspects being named.
                    G U T

                    There are two ways to be fooled, one is to believe what isn't true, the other is to refuse to believe that which is true.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by GUT View Post

                      But there being nothing to link him, doesn’t seem to stop about 90% of other suspects being named.
                      Not really an excuse to pile one more onto the scrapheap.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Craig H View Post
                        In summary, the evidence suggests Jack :
                        • Was between 28 - 35 years old, around 5’7”, stout, had a moustache, fair complexion, “shabby genteel” or “clerk like”.
                        • Had a rural or hunting mindset (deerstalker hat)
                        • Had surgical skills
                        • Was right-handed
                        • Used a 6” thin, pointed knife (such as an amputation knife or a thin dagger)
                        • Blood choke strangled the victims (military skill?)
                        • Bled the victims (hunting or slaughter man skill?)
                        • Was a local, single and had a daytime job
                        • Knew the victims by sight
                        • Mutilated and posed victims to degrade them
                        • Knew the area and police beats, was well-prepared, bold, strong and had excellent night vision
                        • May have targeted prostitutes as he caught syphilis from one
                        • Suffered a triggering event in 1888 and had another reason to cease
                        • Was motivated by a hatred of older, drunk, prostitutes

                        Interested in others feedback.

                        I’ll upload posts on weekend which show how Joseph Moloney could match each of these criteria.

                        Craig
                        Interesting argumentation. Bit I think some of them are very speculative. E.g. the blood choke, was that kind of thing taught in the military? That seems highly unlikely. Seems a case of applying modern-Day knowledge (Special Forces) and applying it on Victorian times. The motivation is also baseless, more reasonable is that he targeted old alcoholic prostitutes because they were easy targets.

                        presumably Moloney fits the bill, but only because he is famous enough for info on his life to be internet-available. There must many other doctors who fit age, general area, interest in hunting etc. but are unknown because they never wrote a book nor participated in famous expeditions.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I did a lot of work before identifying Moloney as a potential suspect.

                          Using the above evidence criteria; I started looking for someone who was a doctor / surgeon / medical student, aged between 25 to 40 years old, was single and lived near Whitechapel; and used Ancestry.com to search 1881 and 1891 Census data.

                          I made the assumption (which may be wrong) that Jack was unlikely to marry and removed anyone who then was married in 1901 Census.

                          This produced a short list including Tim Killeen, George O'Reilly, William Kelson, Archibold Norton, Hugh Rayner, Arthur Rendel, Archibald Kidd, Benjamin Neale, Jon William sanders and Joseph Moloney.

                          As I researched these people, Moloney emerged as a close fit to the criteria. Explanation in following posts.

                          Craig

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Joseph Moloney (1857 - 96) was an Irish-born doctor who practised in Battersea (south London). Moloney is best known for his involvement as a medical officer in the high profile African expedition to the Congo which was later described in his book “With Captain Stairs to Katanga”, published in 1893.

                            Joseph’s father, Jeremiah, was a former captain in the Kings Royal Rifles .

                            Jeremiah and his wife Mary had 7 children : Kate (born 1850), Helena (1854), Joseph (1857), Mary (1859), Lucy (1861), Jeremiah Albert (1863) and Charles Edward (1869).

                            Joseph studied at Trinity College in Dublin and St Thomas Hospital in Lambeth, South London.

                            Joseph had an early desire for adventure and was a doctor in the First Boer war (which was from December, 1880 - March 1881, so Joseph was 23 - 24 years old).

                            Joseph had a medical practice at Battersea.

                            Joseph’s father, Jeremiah, died on 20 August, 1888. His mother, Mary, died six years later in 1894.

                            In 1890, Moloney had his first experience on the African continent with a trip to Morocco for a hunting trip.

                            The 1891 Census records Moloney living at Cliffords Inn - a well known residence for lawyers and doctors - in the City of London, while working as a doctor in Battersea.

                            Later that year, Moloney was the Medical Officer on the 1891 - 92 expedition led by Captain Stairs, on direction from Belgian King Leopold II, to seize Katanga from the African ruler Msiri.

                            Dr Moloney took charge of the expedition when Captain Bodson died and Captain Stairs was incapacitated through illness. Moloney is credited with salvaging the success of the expedition by negotiating agreements with native leaders and leading the group back home. This is all recorded in Moloney’s captivating book, “With Captain Stairs to Katanga”

                            Moloney died in 1896. His death certificate lists cause as “aortic disease”. In the Victorian era / early 20th Century, aortic disease, or heart aneurysm, was caused by the syphilis infection. This was before penicillin was invented after World War II.

                            Joseph led an interesting life which almost follows a “boys own adventure” of that time.

                            Moloney was described as thick set and determined looking, had a taste for adventure and was as “hard as nails”.

                            He was a member of the Royal Geographical Society, renown as an explorer of Africa, was an accomplished sportsman, yachtsman and a good shot (member of Royal Naval Artillery Volunteers) .

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              This post outlines how Joseph Moloney matches what are credible assumptions about Jack the Ripper.

                              I’m not saying that Moloney was the Ripper, as there are too many unknowns. However, the following suggests there could be a fit, and it would be worthwhile to research further.

                              Physical description of JTR : Was between 28 - 35 years old, around 5’7”, stout, had a moustache, fair complexion, “shabby genteel” or “clerk like”.

                              Moloney is a good fit to this description. He was 31 years old, “thick set and determined looking”, had a moustache and fair complexion (see photo), and could have looked “clerk like”.

                              His photo is similar to the BBC’s composite e-picture (attached) based upon witness descriptions.

                              Jack had surgical skills, access to a 6” thin, pointed knife and was right-handed

                              Moloney would have conducted post-mortems as part of his medical studies in Dublin and London. He had both the academic knowledge, and practical experience, in removing organs.

                              It is also likely that Moloney had experience doing emergency operations, possibly in dark and difficult situations, while a medical officer in the Boer War (1880 - 81).

                              Finally, Moloney was a keen shooter and hunter, so experienced with cutting animals.

                              He therefore would have had access to surgical instruments (such as a 6” Liston knife) or a thin dagger (from his war or hunting experience).

                              We don’t know if Moloney was right handed.

                              JTR knew how to blood choke strangle a person, bleed an animal and owned a deerstalker hat

                              It is possible that Moloney learned the blood choke technique from soldiers in the Boer war.

                              Moloney was an active hunter and shooter so would be experienced in bleeding animals and likely to own and wear a deerstalker hat.

                              Jack was a local, single and had a daytime job

                              We do not know where Moloney lived in 1888.

                              However, the 1891 Census shows him living at Cliffords Inn (St Dunstans, City of London), a respected residence for lawyers and doctors.

                              It is more likely that Moloney lived somewhere like Cliffords Inn, rather than in Whitechapel, in 1888 due to his doctor's income.

                              However, Moloney’s book provides two references to the East End that shows he was familiar with the area:
                              • “For hours together the camp would ring with shrill chattering and laughter; indeed, the noise rivalled that of an East End bean feast”
                              • “Accordingly she came to lay her grievances before the Great White Chief; and this she did with amazing volubility. The scene was amusingly reminiscent of an East End row; the same gestures, the same shrill invective on the part of the female, the same surly and brief rejoinders from the superior sex”

                              Moloney doesn’t make any other reference to other parts of London.

                              One possibility is he stayed at lodging around Flower and Dean St, or there was some accomodation for Doctors or Boer War soldiers in that area

                              Moloney also fits the above description of Jack as he was single (and never married before he died in 1896) and had a day job (as a doctor at Battersea) that constrained when he could visit Whitechapel.

                              Comment

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