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Francis Hermans - Update - Solid evidence of him being in vicinity of torso murders.

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  • Originally posted by Fisherman View Post
    Turning his victims to ash does not seem to have been any preference at all in his case.
    But that's a rather obtuse objection, Fish, isn't it?

    In a crowded area like Central London, you can't burn a body without alerting the neighbors--provided you even have access to a private fireplace.

    In Salt Lake, Hermans had access to a church furnace. Judging by the photo in Post #90, the next building was some distance away. Yet, even inside the church in Salt Lake, the stench was bad enough that a neighbor complained.

    It would be very difficult to get away with such a rash and disgusting act in residential Central London.

    In other words, when in Rome, do as the Romans. You are suggesting it was Hermans 'preference' to burn bodies, but I would humbly suggest it was simply what was expedient in these particular circumstances. Given other circumstances, he may have dumped the body in the river or buried the body at a building site, so as not to draw undue attention.

    I'm not willing to ascribe some sort of morbid psychology to what can be readily explained by the 'practical' aspects of a particular crime, appalling as his actions may have been.

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    • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post

      But that's a rather obtuse objection, Fish, isn't it?

      In a crowded area like Central London, you can't burn a body without alerting the neighbors--provided you even have access to a private fireplace.

      In Salt Lake, Hermans had access to a church furnace. Judging by the photo in Post #90, the next building was some distance away. Yet, even inside the church in Salt Lake, the stench was bad enough that a neighbor complained.

      It would be very difficult to get away with such a rash and disgusting act in residential Central London.

      In other words, when in Rome, do as the Romans. You are suggesting it was Hermans 'preference' to burn bodies, but I would humbly suggest it was simply what was expedient in these particular circumstances. Given other circumstances, he may have dumped the body in the river or buried the body at a building site, so as not to draw undue attention.

      I'm not willing to ascribe some sort of morbid psychology to what can be readily explained by the 'practical' aspects of a particular crime, appalling as his actions may have been.
      It is a difference and it should be noted as one. Of course, any dismemberment killer who had formerly not burnt his victims could do so, for whatever reason. But that does not detract from how the difference is there.
      You say "When in Rome, do as the Romans". Did the Roman dismemberment killers poison their victims? Or did they whack them over the temple/cut their throats? Do you know?
      There are many differences involved here, all of them being against Hermans being the Torso killer. We can of course say "But he COULD have done that, could he not?", but that would be looking away from the differences for no good reason at all, I feel.
      As for how no Londoner would have gotten away with burning victims, I could use the same argument: He COULD have done so. Landru did, people felt the smell but he was able to go on for the longest time. And Dennis Nielsen burnt his victims, many of them. In London. Itīs a weird world.

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      • Yes London is a place you can get away with many things, especially if you have a garden like Nielsen had.
        A year ago half a mile from me a barbecue was causing a lot of smoke.
        In London you would normally shut your windows and complain to the dog.
        But one neighbour sent her young son to find out who was doing what.
        He climbed a high wall surrounding the small back garden to be horrified by the sight of neighbours barbecuing the remains of their french au pair that they told everyone had gone home.
        If not for that, they might well have not ended up in the Old Bailey dock.
        Hope I haven't spoiled your tea.

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        • Originally posted by Fisherman View Post
          Landru did, people felt the smell but he was able to go on for the longest time.
          Landru killed some of his victims in a villa in the middle of a field outside of the village of Gambais, far from Paris. Not exactly the same thing as disposing of a body in a crowded district in London.

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          • The smell of boiling horseflesh was considered a significant ‘nuisance’ in Victorian London. That’s why the activity was heavily regulated. ;-)

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            • Originally posted by Dupin View Post
              Yes London is a place you can get away with many things, especially if you have a garden like Nielsen had.
              A year ago half a mile from me a barbecue was causing a lot of smoke.
              In London you would normally shut your windows and complain to the dog.
              But one neighbour sent her young son to find out who was doing what.
              He climbed a high wall surrounding the small back garden to be horrified by the sight of neighbours barbecuing the remains of their french au pair that they told everyone had gone home.
              If not for that, they might well have not ended up in the Old Bailey dock.
              Hope I haven't spoiled your tea.
              https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-44238521
              Thems the Vagaries.....

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              • Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post
                Click image for larger version

Name:	6E684D87-2F33-47E9-B182-36E1F893707A.jpeg
Views:	74
Size:	39.7 KB
ID:	751328 Thanks for that, A!

                I’m very intrigued by the reference to the Ratcliff Highway. This is a photo of the Seaman’s Rest in the Highway. I’ve got a better one somewhere.

                A few years after Emmeline married Frank this was Mary Kelly’s patch.

                The Swedish church where Elizabeth Stride commonly went for financial support was only a few hundred metres away as well.

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                • Originally posted by Astatine211 View Post

                  The Swedish church where Elizabeth Stride commonly went for financial support was only a few hundred metres away as well.
                  Yes, it was. The street to the left of the SH was Betts Street, at one time possibly the most notorious in the area. The next street W was Princes (later Swedenborg) Street which led into the square where the Swedish church was located.

                  This end of the Highway was the East End’s premier red light district in the 1880s.

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                  • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post

                    Landru killed some of his victims in a villa in the middle of a field outside of the village of Gambais, far from Paris. Not exactly the same thing as disposing of a body in a crowded district in London.
                    The point I was REALLY making wat that people DID feel the smell, and nobody reported it to the police and so Landru could carry on. Sensing that this may not impact your thinking, R J, I added Dennis Nielsen who DID live in London and who DID burn a number of bodies there. The idea that noone would do so in a large city is a non-starter, Iīm afraid. People ave been burning bodies, flushing body parts down the sewer system, clogging it, and using femurs from murder victims as fence-posts in their backyards in old London. One would think that a killer would be more cautious than that, but no, they are not.

                    Plus, as I said, the difference involved in the burning matter is but one of many in Hermansī case. In my eyes, he remains a very improbable candidate for the Torso killerīs role. The one thing that could affect that to some degree is if it can be proven that he cut in the same manner as the Torso killer did.

                    Over and out.
                    Last edited by Fisherman; 02-19-2021, 11:46 AM.

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