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  • The black bag

    we all know the iconic image of the ripper and his black bag, but there were sightings of suspects and people of interest carry a black bag or at least a parcel. Did the ripper actually carry a bag or parcel to carry his knife/ knives in? we have smith sighting of a man with a parcel, the Bethnal Green Botherer, goldstein, and hutchs Aman. Are there any?
    Did the ripper in fact carry a bag?
    "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

  • #2
    Originally posted by Abby Normal View Post
    we all know the iconic image of the ripper and his black bag, but there were sightings of suspects and people of interest carry a black bag or at least a parcel. Did the ripper actually carry a bag or parcel to carry his knife/ knives in? we have smith sighting of a man with a parcel, the Bethnal Green Botherer, goldstein, and hutchs Aman. Are there any?
    Did the ripper in fact carry a bag?
    I’ve always thought the whole parcel thing to carry a knife in sounds totally impractical. I can’t help thinking the knife must have been safe for him to carry (not injure himself) and not been too large and cumbersome. A bit of research revealed a Victorian collapsible knife (very large penknife) with a 6 inch blade. The blade used on Chapman was said to be long and thin, as a collapsible knife probably would have been. In terms of getting the knife out quickly, putting away quickly, and being safe to carry, a collapsible knife makes a lot of sense without any need to carry a bag/parcel and thus look suspicious.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Aethelwulf View Post

      I’ve always thought the whole parcel thing to carry a knife in sounds totally impractical. I can’t help thinking the knife must have been safe for him to carry (not injure himself) and not been too large and cumbersome. A bit of research revealed a Victorian collapsible knife (very large penknife) with a 6 inch blade. The blade used on Chapman was said to be long and thin, as a collapsible knife probably would have been. In terms of getting the knife out quickly, putting away quickly, and being safe to carry, a collapsible knife makes a lot of sense without any need to carry a bag/parcel and thus look suspicious.
      I tend to agree, but a lined black bag would be handy for the carrying off of "trophies".

      Cheers, George

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Aethelwulf View Post

        I’ve always thought the whole parcel thing to carry a knife in sounds totally impractical. I can’t help thinking the knife must have been safe for him to carry (not injure himself) and not been too large and cumbersome. A bit of research revealed a Victorian collapsible knife (very large penknife) with a 6 inch blade. The blade used on Chapman was said to be long and thin, as a collapsible knife probably would have been. In terms of getting the knife out quickly, putting away quickly, and being safe to carry, a collapsible knife makes a lot of sense without any need to carry a bag/parcel and thus look suspicious.
        i tend to agree. he would have had to put the bag down in order to strangle and subdue, and that would be impractical. and a man carrying a bag would be somewhat suspicious to his victims I would think. however i do think the bgb and smith sightings are probably valid sightings especially smiths, so bit of a conundrum.
        "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


        • #5
          Interesting topic. I had thought a bit about the weapon and was leaning towards it possibly being some type of post-mortem knife, but that raises issues about how it was concealed. A collapsible knife would make more sense, unless it was hidden somehow within his jacket - perhaps even slid within the lining. I can't see the killer carrying it in a parcel, you're spot on about impractical that would be. The other question is, if he indeed did remove the organs and take them away (some speculate that they may well have been 'lifted' in secret due to the high price they can fetch within medical study) how exactly would that have been achieved? Pocketing them somehow doesn't wash with me, far too messy! I guess if you take the odd witness statement about a parcel, the organs could well have been intended for it, thus it was likely empty, or perhaps contained cloth to absorb blood etc. I wonder is there a consensus among Ripperologists (unlikely I know!) about the most probable type of knife used?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Meet Ze Monster View Post
            Interesting topic. I had thought a bit about the weapon and was leaning towards it possibly being some type of post-mortem knife, but that raises issues about how it was concealed. A collapsible knife would make more sense, unless it was hidden somehow within his jacket - perhaps even slid within the lining. I can't see the killer carrying it in a parcel, you're spot on about impractical that would be. The other question is, if he indeed did remove the organs and take them away (some speculate that they may well have been 'lifted' in secret due to the high price they can fetch within medical study) how exactly would that have been achieved? Pocketing them somehow doesn't wash with me, far too messy! I guess if you take the odd witness statement about a parcel, the organs could well have been intended for it, thus it was likely empty, or perhaps contained cloth to absorb blood etc. I wonder is there a consensus among Ripperologists (unlikely I know!) about the most probable type of knife used?
            hi monster
            imho the ripper initially carried a clasp knife as evidenced by the wounds to millwood and tabram, but with tabram he also brought a larger knife. and continued with it for the later victims. i dont think he neccessarily needed a bag to carry them in or the organs. i think he may have used a kerchief for organs and just carried the knife in his jacket pocket.
            "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


            • #7
              Originally posted by Abby Normal View Post

              hi monster
              imho the ripper initially carried a clasp knife as evidenced by the wounds to millwood and tabram, but with tabram he also brought a larger knife. and continued with it for the later victims. i dont think he neccessarily needed a bag to carry them in or the organs. i think he may have used a kerchief for organs and just carried the knife in his jacket pocket.

              My only further thought on this is, I wonder if a clasp knife would have enough rigidity/resistance to perform those pretty quickfire and deep cuts? I may be showing a little ignorance on knife physics here, but I'm sure someone will put me straight if I've said something stupid lol.

              Comment


              • #8
                We know that he carried a knife and we know that he took away organs. Would he really have put human organs into a pocket? Would he have risked dripping blood? I know and understand that we don’t want to fall into stereotypes but I think that it’s quite possible that the killer carried some kind of bag. At least, I wouldn’t like to dismiss the possibility.
                Regards

                Sir Herlock Sholmes



                "Tis but a part we see, and not a whole."

                ”Baroni licitum est dicere troglodytam”

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Abby Normal View Post

                  hi monster
                  imho the ripper initially carried a clasp knife as evidenced by the wounds to millwood and tabram, but with tabram he also brought a larger knife. and continued with it for the later victims. i dont think he neccessarily needed a bag to carry them in or the organs. i think he may have used a kerchief for organs and just carried the knife in his jacket pocket.
                  shame none of the suspects have form for use of a clasp/penknife.....

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Did any of the doctors suggest a pen knife as the rippers weapon?
                    Regards

                    Sir Herlock Sholmes



                    "Tis but a part we see, and not a whole."

                    ”Baroni licitum est dicere troglodytam”

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post
                      Did any of the doctors suggest a pen knife as the rippers weapon?
                      No. But would it be so easy to tell the difference between a fixed six inch blade and a blade of the same dimensions that folded away? I know two knives were identified with Tabram but I'm guessing it that was do to with the nature of those wounds (stabs). I'm not sure a six inch foldaway knife would classify as penknife anyway.

                      Just so you know, I'm not suggesting this because I suspect a certain someone, but because of practicality. Speed of open, close, ease of concealment. If you had a six inch fixed blade, plus 4 inches for a handle, that means walking around with something quite cumbersome.

                      For the bag I would favour a couple of squares of something like hessian or some other thick waxy cloth, folded away and put in a large pocket.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        [Coroner] Would it have been such an instrument as a medical man uses for post-mortem examinations? - The ordinary post-mortem case perhaps does not contain such a weapon.

                        Perhaps Dr Phillips had a specialist in mind.
                        A peer who used to travel between The London Hospital and Finsbury Square on a daily basis,before moving to Sevenoaks.
                        Right past his house in Spital Square via Hanbury Street.
                        My name is Dave. You cannot reach me through Debs email account

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Aethelwulf View Post

                          No. But would it be so easy to tell the difference between a fixed six inch blade and a blade of the same dimensions that folded away? I know two knives were identified with Tabram but I'm guessing it that was do to with the nature of those wounds (stabs). I'm not sure a six inch foldaway knife would classify as penknife anyway.

                          Just so you know, I'm not suggesting this because I suspect a certain someone, but because of practicality. Speed of open, close, ease of concealment. If you had a six inch fixed blade, plus 4 inches for a handle, that means walking around with something quite cumbersome.

                          For the bag I would favour a couple of squares of something like hessian or some other thick waxy cloth, folded away and put in a large pocket.
                          I agree that a foldaway blade would have been easier to carry Wulf. You could also be right about a cloth to wrap body parts but a bag is possible.
                          Regards

                          Sir Herlock Sholmes



                          "Tis but a part we see, and not a whole."

                          ”Baroni licitum est dicere troglodytam”

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Imo from what Bond said the knife JtR used probably looked something like this one which is an amputation knife from a museum and was made around 1880 by Weiss.
                            Attached Files
                            Last edited by Astatine211; 09-14-2021, 07:35 AM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Astatine211 View Post
                              Imo from what Bond said the knife JtR used probably looked something like this one which is an amputation knife from a museum and was made around 1880 by Weiss.
                              I can't help thinking this is an improbable weapon to use. First, if you scale by the handle - that would need to be about 4 inches to hold securely/usefully - the blade is about 12 inches, plus the handle makes 16 inches, or just over 1 foot.

                              Second, any sort of large specialist knife like this was probably never designed to be taken away from its specialist place of work i.e., a mortuary - therefore it probably never had a sheath and was kept loose on work bench or maybe a knife block. A knife like this couldn't be carried discreetly on your person because of its size. Also, even a small stumble, if the knife was unsheathed, would probably result in a very serious injury.

                              That leaves carrying a very conspicuous sized bag/parcel. But as the witness statements show, people carrying a 'parcel' were noticed, maybe not originally because of the parcel, but it was picked out. As I said previously, my money is on a largish (6 inch) foldaway blade - you can find Victorian examples of these online.

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