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  • Going back to Basics

    I've been diving head first into things and I'm getting a little overwhelmed so I thought to simply try and find the physical description of each suspect. Jack the Ripper's description as being about in his 30's, around 5ft 5in maybe 5ft 6in, stout, dark hair, a small brown mustache, respectably dressed. So i thought, ok which suspects fit that description, and i thought, lets start with Seweryn Kłosowski aka: George Chapman..but NOOOOOO even google doesn't know the man's height. A little help here? Which suspects fit the general description? I do know that Chapman was a bit on the young side compared to descriptions of the Ripper from what I've read

  • #2
    The person identified at the seaside home, whether it's Kosminski or someone else. Imo they would be the most likely to fit the description as the were positively identified by the only witness the police believed got a good view of JtR.

    Also, especially regarding age alongside other particulars, Klosowski and Lechmere are going to get a surprising indirect boost to their candidacy in a couple of months, maybe weeks even. I hesitantly say early July may be a big week for unidentified serial killer cases. Not specifically JtR but I'm sure the resolution of the Zodiac killer will be discussed on here.
    ​​​​

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Astatine211 View Post
      The person identified at the seaside home, whether it's Kosminski or someone else. Imo they would be the most likely to fit the description as the were positively identified by the only witness the police believed got a good view of JtR.

      Also, especially regarding age alongside other particulars, Klosowski and Lechmere are going to get a surprising indirect boost to their candidacy in a couple of months, maybe weeks even. I hesitantly say early July may be a big week for unidentified serial killer cases. Not specifically JtR but I'm sure the resolution of the Zodiac killer will be discussed on here.
      ​​​​
      Some intriguing hints there Astatine.

      Regards

      Herlock



      “All conspiracy theories are the product of the subconscious attempt of an ignorant yet creative mind to counteract the fear of the unknown with the tales of fantasy.” Abhijit Naskar.

      “Conspiracy theorists, she knew, were paranoid by definition, and usually with good reason - they were indeed being watched, largely because they were standing on an upturned bucket, haranguing the sheeple with their wingnut delusions.” Mick Herron.

      ”The most confused you will ever get is when you try to convince your heart and spirit of something your mind knows is a lie.” Shannon L. Alder.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by clark2710 View Post
        I've been diving head first into things and I'm getting a little overwhelmed so I thought to simply try and find the physical description of each suspect. Jack the Ripper's description as being about in his 30's, around 5ft 5in maybe 5ft 6in, stout, dark hair, a small brown mustache, respectably dressed. So i thought, ok which suspects fit that description, and i thought, lets start with Seweryn Kłosowski aka: George Chapman..but NOOOOOO even google doesn't know the man's height. A little help here? Which suspects fit the general description? I do know that Chapman was a bit on the young side compared to descriptions of the Ripper from what I've read
        An additional problem Clark is that witness descriptions can be surprisingly wide of the mark. Witnesses can be deceived by physical things as well as their own perception; especially if they only had a brief look. A man described as ‘stocky’ for example might just have been wearing a lot of clothes; a couple of thick shirts a jacket and a heavy coat for example might give the person the appearance of being heavier than he actually was. Age is often a difficult thing to judge, especially from a distant. It could be affected by how the person walks or how he doesn’t stand completely upright which might give the impression of age. The poorly lit streets wouldn’t have helped either. Then we can’t know that the killer dressed as he normally did. He might have had a few old clothes that he wore when looking for a victim. A person seen partially in shadow might have caused the witness to have seen a moustache that didn’t exist. Then of course the person seen might not actually have been the killer. Lawende’s Church Passage man seems the the likeliest but does he resemble Schwartz’ Broad Shouldered Man or Hutchinson’s Astrakhan Man?

        We would probably be on shaky ground to try and dismiss any suspect on the basis of witness identification.
        Regards

        Herlock



        “All conspiracy theories are the product of the subconscious attempt of an ignorant yet creative mind to counteract the fear of the unknown with the tales of fantasy.” Abhijit Naskar.

        “Conspiracy theorists, she knew, were paranoid by definition, and usually with good reason - they were indeed being watched, largely because they were standing on an upturned bucket, haranguing the sheeple with their wingnut delusions.” Mick Herron.

        ”The most confused you will ever get is when you try to convince your heart and spirit of something your mind knows is a lie.” Shannon L. Alder.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post

          An additional problem Clark is that witness descriptions can be surprisingly wide of the mark. Witnesses can be deceived by physical things as well as their own perception; especially if they only had a brief look. A man described as ‘stocky’ for example might just have been wearing a lot of clothes; a couple of thick shirts a jacket and a heavy coat for example might give the person the appearance of being heavier than he actually was. Age is often a difficult thing to judge, especially from a distant. It could be affected by how the person walks or how he doesn’t stand completely upright which might give the impression of age. The poorly lit streets wouldn’t have helped either. Then we can’t know that the killer dressed as he normally did. He might have had a few old clothes that he wore when looking for a victim. A person seen partially in shadow might have caused the witness to have seen a moustache that didn’t exist. Then of course the person seen might not actually have been the killer. Lawende’s Church Passage man seems the the likeliest but does he resemble Schwartz’ Broad Shouldered Man or Hutchinson’s Astrakhan Man?

          We would probably be on shaky ground to try and dismiss any suspect on the basis of witness identification.
          Granted, witness statements aren't the most reliable forms of information, what one person says is "brown hair" another may think it's "red" based on lighting and such. But are there suspects whose physical description fits the one proposed by LE and such at the time?

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          • #6
            One of the things about the collection of witness descriptions that we have is that they are all pretty generic and boil down to adult male, average height (or slightly below average), brown hair, mustache, dark clothing, and a hat. Basically, that could describe almost anybody, so the fact that two descriptions sound similar is not really surprising. One of the things that we've learned over the years, is that serial killers very often are non-descript, and do not stand out (which is partly why they can go undetected for so long), so it's not surprising that JtR may be of the same sort. I rather suspect, whoever JtR was, he did not stand out in a crowd and would generally go unnoticed as just another face in the crowd.

            - Jeff

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            • #7
              Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post
              One of the things about the collection of witness descriptions that we have is that they are all pretty generic and boil down to adult male, average height (or slightly below average), brown hair, mustache, dark clothing, and a hat. Basically, that could describe almost anybody, so the fact that two descriptions sound similar is not really surprising. One of the things that we've learned over the years, is that serial killers very often are non-descript, and do not stand out (which is partly why they can go undetected for so long), so it's not surprising that JtR may be of the same sort. I rather suspect, whoever JtR was, he did not stand out in a crowd and would generally go unnoticed as just another face in the crowd.

              - Jeff
              I'd be inclined to agree. Hiding in plain sight would have been their best defence.

              I would tend to rule out potential suspects who have been linked to manic episodes or bouts of mania of any kind. They would not have had the necessary psychopathy to have put these women at ease. They were all street-smart (albeit desperate) women. They would have a good radar for "weirdos".

              Psychopaths, well, they are just like you and me.
              "When the legend becomes fact... print the legend"
              - The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

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              • #8
                Originally posted by erobitha View Post

                I'd be inclined to agree. Hiding in plain sight would have been their best defence.

                I would tend to rule out potential suspects who have been linked to manic episodes or bouts of mania of any kind. They would not have had the necessary psychopathy to have put these women at ease. They were all street-smart (albeit desperate) women. They would have a good radar for "weirdos".

                Psychopaths, well, they are just like you and me.
                I would suggest psychopaths appear just like you and me, and hope that you and I are not just like them! I know you're not fond of a psychotic JtR, but psychosis is not always readily apparent. I wouldn't rule it out as the underlying condition, but I agree that we can rule out any form of psychosis that does present as obviously weird.

                - Jeff

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by erobitha View Post

                  I'd be inclined to agree. Hiding in plain sight would have been their best defence.

                  I would tend to rule out potential suspects who have been linked to manic episodes or bouts of mania of any kind. They would not have had the necessary psychopathy to have put these women at ease. They were all street-smart (albeit desperate) women. They would have a good radar for "weirdos".

                  Psychopaths, well, they are just like you and me.
                  I agree with you on some of it and disagree on others. The part I disagree with to a point is that those with psychotic or sociopathic tendencies can definitely run under the radar of even the most street wise. I would dare say that Jack did indeed "hide in plain sight," that's a good way of putting it. Think Dennis Rader, man was an ass but he passed along pretty well, Ted Bundy gave off a seriously creepy vibe that not all women savy or not picked up on, Jeff Dahmer was a loner all be it stand offish but he had charisma enough to come along just fine, odors coming from his apartment, he explained them, one of his victims ran out in the street with a handcuff still on his wrist, the police came to the site and Jeff still convinced them it was all was fine; just a lover's quarrel. Times change, and serial killers have a knack for taking advantage of what they can slip by with and even have enough in them to fall between the cracks. I have a feeling that Jack the Ripper could have been around his victims after his work and watched the police do their thing, and still not be suspected; questioned yes but not suspected. So the full tilt boogie psychotic/sociopath full of mania and so on could definitely pass through i think

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by clark2710 View Post

                    I agree with you on some of it and disagree on others. The part I disagree with to a point is that those with psychotic or sociopathic tendencies can definitely run under the radar of even the most street wise. I would dare say that Jack did indeed "hide in plain sight," that's a good way of putting it. Think Dennis Rader, man was an ass but he passed along pretty well, Ted Bundy gave off a seriously creepy vibe that not all women savy or not picked up on, Jeff Dahmer was a loner all be it stand offish but he had charisma enough to come along just fine, odors coming from his apartment, he explained them, one of his victims ran out in the street with a handcuff still on his wrist, the police came to the site and Jeff still convinced them it was all was fine; just a lover's quarrel. Times change, and serial killers have a knack for taking advantage of what they can slip by with and even have enough in them to fall between the cracks. I have a feeling that Jack the Ripper could have been around his victims after his work and watched the police do their thing, and still not be suspected; questioned yes but not suspected. So the full tilt boogie psychotic/sociopath full of mania and so on could definitely pass through i think
                    It is important to distinguish what is psychotic versus psychopathic. Also, a sociopath is not a real medical term. It's a psychology word that actually has no medical context. Whereas psychopathy does have a medical context.

                    Psychopaths are not people who are simply capable of having the ability to commit horrendous crimes. Psychopaths are everywhere. The thing that separates them ultimately is most likely a neurological quirk. Yet to be fully proven but the evidence is mounting, that the electrical stimulation of certain aspects of the synapses occurs less in psychopaths than a-typical people. Usually, these manifest in traits such as lack of empathy and a high tolerance for antisocial situations. Many blue-chip CEOs would be deemed psychopathic. This does not mean all psychopaths are murderers. Yet, serial killers are generally more likely to psychopathic as a rule.

                    Psychosis is like a state of consciousness and is really a symptom of an illness. It is outwardly obvious. In a bout of mania, it is entirely possible someone could commit horrendous crimes such as these type of murders. Hearing voices, babbling, loss of reality etc which is why I struggle to accept this as being true of JtR. I simply do not believe these murders were evident of someone in the midst of psychotic rage. The women would never have gone with him. We have eyewitness reports such as Eddowes where they were seen to be engaged in conversation. That means a psychotic killer would also have to be a psychopath at the same time, to be able to pull off being 'normal' and then suddenly switching to psychosis. I simply do not think that is likely at all.

                    As for some of the examples you gave, Ted Bundy was 100% a psychopath. He simply would not have been as 'successful' as he was without having the superficial charm that he did. He must have come off more charming than creepy to have lured so many victims into his car. The murders where he conducted home invasions was a switch to his usual MO, but that was connected to his deep-seated obsession with voyeurism which he had growing up. Combine that with his sense of grandiose narcissism - he felt he would not be caught. Dennis Rader and Jeffrey Dahmer were both psychopaths. As was John Wayne Gacy, Denis Nielsen, Harold Shipman and almost every 'famous' serial killer you can think of.

                    Psychosis serial killers would have been people like Herbert Mullin who killed to prevent earthquakes. His encounters were picked up as being strange by others, but many victims were simply hitchhikers. Not much charm required. These Whitechapel prostitutes would not have gone with a man like Mullin, they would have detected his 'weirdness'. Hence my issue with Kozminski who would have had similar episodes to Mullin.

                    Anyway, I didn't realise I was still writing! Apologies for the long reply.
                    "When the legend becomes fact... print the legend"
                    - The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

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