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The local guy hypothesis without evidence

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  • The local guy hypothesis without evidence

    Hi,

    Ripperologists sometimes seem to favour the "local guy" hypothesis even if they have no evidence connecting a person to the murders.

    Perhaps they assume that most victims are murdered by someone they know. So it has to be someone living in the area.

    My research has led me to a theory that opposes such a view. The person I have found did not live in Whitechapel. And still I have data connecting him to the murders.

    Why would this person want to walk around in Whitechapel?

    And why would all the local guys do the same?

    This question of course says nothing about motives (although I know his motives).

    But does it perhaps say anything about probability?

    Another interesting question is:

    If the local guy is the dismemberment murderer, what did he do in Battersea and Chelsea?

    Regards Pierre

  • #2
    Hi,
    This reminds me of a old ''Fortunes' number....
    ''Here it comes again''..
    The fact is , none of us have the faintest idea, where the killer of these women resided, and none of us know his true motive...if any.
    I truly, and sincerely, hope that you have discovered the identity of this madman, and if that occurs, that you would fill us in with the details..but that leads me to a old ''Merseybeats'' number..
    ''Wishing and hoping''
    Best regards Richard.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Pierre View Post
      Hi,

      Ripperologists sometimes seem to favour the "local guy" hypothesis even if they have no evidence connecting a person to the murders.

      Perhaps they assume that most victims are murdered by someone they know. So it has to be someone living in the area.

      My research has led me to a theory that opposes such a view. The person I have found did not live in Whitechapel. And still I have data connecting him to the murders.

      Why would this person want to walk around in Whitechapel?

      And why would all the local guys do the same?

      This question of course says nothing about motives (although I know his motives).

      But does it perhaps say anything about probability?

      Another interesting question is:

      If the local guy is the dismemberment murderer, what did he do in Battersea and Chelsea?

      Regards Pierre
      Hi Pierre,

      Could not answer any questions with absolute certainty regarding Jack him or herself.

      For myself, I tend to think in terms of simplicity and that a local would know the areas nooks and crannies better than an outsider, for escape purposes. However, an outsider studying the terrain might pick up on these features of "landscape' just as well. Since (I believe) you have stated your possible candidate was willing to accept being caught his or her scouting the area for escape venues is less necessary than in my own construction.

      The location in Whitechapel at least suggests the killer is drawn to the red light areas of the nation's capital city. I find it curious that in this period no "ripper like" murders (that I have heard of) were notable in Birmingham, Bristol, Liverpool, Cardiff, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Perth, Dublin, Queenstown, Belfast, etc. If the killer did live far from the capital I would imagine that he'd have operated in those red light districts nearer to his abode, although it might risk being seen by somebody who knew him. But he could have also been accidentally seen by any acquaintance in Whitechapel or Spittlesfield.

      If he was a local or distant visitor to the scene, I have (for what it is worth) a thought about why it was Whitechapel after all: I wrote an essay in "The Ripperologist" several years back called "What Wainwright Wroth", about what was called "the Whitechapel Murder" in 1875, the killing (actually a year before) of Harriet Lane, the mistress of Henry Wainwright, a small scale brush manufacturer who hid the crime for a year. He did so by burying Harriet's body in his warehouse. When he lost the lease to his warehouse he tried to move Harriet's body by cutting it up and wrapping the parts in "American Cloth", but an ex-employee found out what was going on during the attempt to transport the remains, and got a constable to take a look. Henry was eventually executed, but my point was it was the first time Whitechapel was linked to dismemberment, and that Jack (noting that and the name "the Whitechapel Murders") may have felt that the area was good for future targeting.

      Jack

      Comment


      • #4
        This is very interesting, and I have been thinking that the different theories about "who was Jack the Ripper" seem to change with the times-- almost as if our perception of what he represents changes with the accumulating years.

        Consider:
        immediately following the Whitechapel murders, the idea of Jack as a doctor (a professional man) vied with that of his being "Leather-Apron" (an artisan), with some officials insisting he was foreign (i.e., Jewish or Russian) or a madman.

        Why did the idea of the Ripper being well-dressed, wandering the squalid streets with cloak and top hat, seem to seize our imaginations? I'd say the conflict between the classes, "those above and us below", perhaps.
        Certainly young gentlemen did "go slumming" in the brothels and pubs of that area, there are enough references to it in fiction and memoirs.

        It seems that with the Royal Conspiracy being finally laid to rest (I hope?), now the idea that Jack was a common man, a local lad, a resident (or homeless wanderer) of Whitechapel has taken hold. Why? Well-- who was Sutcliffe? Who have most of our contemporary serialists been in the late 20th and early 21st centuries?
        That's right-- the "sociopath next door", the quiet fellow with a sickening hobby.

        Do we re-create Jack the Ripper in our own image, to suit our own understanding as the years pass on?
        Pat D. https://forum.casebook.org/core/imag...rt/reading.gif
        ---------------
        Von Konigswald: Jack the Ripper plays shuffleboard. -- Happy Birthday, Wanda June by Kurt Vonnegut, c.1970.
        ---------------

        Comment


        • #5
          Why did the idea of the Ripper being well-dressed, wandering the squalid streets with cloak and top hat, seem to seize our imaginations?
          It isn't just in our time, the police were arresting respectably dressed men due to accusations against them quite frequently. In all cases being released after inquiries were satisfactory.

          The idea the killer was a local man does not conflict with the respectably dressed man. He could be both local and respectable, there were many small businesses in the East End.

          I think it was Mrs Long who started the "respectably-dressed" suspect, and also that he was a foreigner.

          Then with the double murder we get the working class suspect. And with Kelly we get both, in fact all three - including the foreigner.

          There is equal evidence to support all three types, so it isn't just a modern fancy.

          I also think the character of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, very contemporary with the Ripper murders has played a significant role in promoting the well-dressed villain stalking the foggy backstreets.
          Regards, Jon S.

          Comment


          • #6
            Eddowes's killer fled into Whitechapel. This is the biggest piece of evidence in favor of a local killer.

            That, and Occam's razor.

            Comment


            • #7
              The idea of the toff makes sense from a couple of sociological standpoints.

              First, "he can't be one of us" means putting some distance between he and we and a toff from outside the area is about as distant as one could get from the locals.

              Second, a well-dressed person is much easier to remember in such an impoverished community, so just seeing one late in the evening, raises suspicions.

              The contemporary, just as the OP says, had no problem believing it was someone from outside the East End. Next best thing was the introduction of a local, but foreign element, and boy don't we all see that today with the Muslim immigrant growth... a contemporary mirroring of the Victorian East End.

              Mike
              huh?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Pcdunn View Post
                Do we re-create Jack the Ripper in our own image, to suit our own understanding as the years pass on?
                Interesting question. Maybe not in our own image. But he does seem to be the creation of whatever motive(s) we're "agreeing" on at the time. The latest seems to be DISEASE, as in he had a diseased mind {brought on by maternal neglect and abuse} and a diseased body {syphillis contracted by a prostitute}. In other words, he's a momma's boy. Back in the 80s wAs the last time i saw a commercial for the National Enquirer {"enquiring minds, want to know!"}. So maybe SCANDAL (The Prince, the Royal Surgeon) was easier to accept and model off. Looking at the suspects CONSPIRACY and CULT made appearances too. Id be interested to know if Pierre's motive loosens the reigns on his movement.

                Until the mystery is solved..:
                there,s nothing new, only the unexplored

                Comment


                • #9
                  It is popularly accepted that the ripper was probably a working class local, and rightly so. It isn't just "ripperologists" who have coalesced around that idea either - experienced criminologists also subscribe to it.

                  Mrs. Long described her suspect as "shabby genteel", incidentally, which does not mean "respectably-dressed" and certainly not "middle class". The ruffian who visited Mrs. Fiddymont's pub was also described that way, and "respectable" his appearance certainly wasn't.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I think by "local", most people entertain the idea that the man was familiar with the area, backstreets and alleys, was streetwise, and wouldn't stand out in the crowd.

                    So, a former resident is not out, nor someone who does/did business in the area.
                    Is it progress when a cannibal uses a fork?
                    - Stanislaw Jerzy Lee

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Interesting discussion. I didn't know when the "local" idea started, but I do see the disappearance of the killer after Eddowes makes a lot of sense.
                      Pat D. https://forum.casebook.org/core/imag...rt/reading.gif
                      ---------------
                      Von Konigswald: Jack the Ripper plays shuffleboard. -- Happy Birthday, Wanda June by Kurt Vonnegut, c.1970.
                      ---------------

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Ben View Post
                        It is popularly accepted that the ripper was probably a working class local, and rightly so. It isn't just "ripperologists" who have coalesced around that idea either - experienced criminologists also subscribe to it.

                        Mrs. Long described her suspect as "shabby genteel", incidentally, which does not mean "respectably-dressed" and certainly not "middle class". The ruffian who visited Mrs. Fiddymont's pub was also described that way, and "respectable" his appearance certainly wasn't.
                        I wonder if "shabby genteel" is a reference to a Thackeray story [Wiki: The Shabby Genteel Story]. It sounds like a pathetic compliment describing the kind of man who fashons himself (albeit conservatively) before going to a bar on a Friday nite. Someone dressing in a manner that impresses upon a mature ladys attention. I doubt his clothes were faddish. I would imagine if he was a local, these must have been among his 'better clothes'.
                        there,s nothing new, only the unexplored

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Robert St Devil View Post
                          I wonder if "shabby genteel" is a reference to a Thackeray story [Wiki: The Shabby Genteel Story]. It sounds like a pathetic compliment describing the kind of man who fashons himself (albeit conservatively) before going to a bar on a Friday nite. Someone dressing in a manner that impresses upon a mature ladys attention. I doubt his clothes were faddish. I would imagine if he was a local, these must have been among his 'better clothes'.
                          Thackeray loved the image of some member of the upper or middle classes trying to hold onto the last shreds of their dwindling stock of respectability as long as possible, or (in reverse) shooting all on the chance they can pretend to vast wealth they lacked (in "Vanity Fair", the chapter "How to Live Well on Nothing a Year" about Becky Sharp Crawley and her husband Major Rawdon Crawley living in a better area of London and never paying bills). Colonel Newcome in the novel "The Newcomes" has been unfairly impoverished and yet maintains a code of a gentleman until his death. Other authors touched on it too - Mark Twain (with Charles Dudley Warner) in his first novel "The Gilded Age" when Colonel Sellers tries to make a large dinner for guests with raw turnips he's found. And Shaw in Pygmalion shows us the economic mess of the Eynesford-Hill Family, who are nearly aristocratic but have few prospects (Freddy is hardly smart, and his sister Clara is either a shrew or tries to sound like she's up-to-date on the latest social trends*). So the
                          "shabby genteel" idea was fully active in the 19th Century, and we still adhere to it a bit now.

                          *If you recall, Shaw wrote a long postscript to the play about what happened to the various characters. He has Clara save herself by becoming a socialist and meeting Shaw's friend H. G. Wells. Freddy in this postscript marries Eliza and they run a flower shop with Colonel Pickering's help.

                          Jeff

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            In addition 'shabby-genteel' seems to be an inference by some witness to a man of the clerkly class. Someone, in other words, who doesn't perform manual labour but instead works in an office and still has to keep up appearances on not very much money.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Tough call. For a local guy,one,as Damaso pointed out the direction he was headed after Eddowes.Two, even after vigilantes and ordinary citizens were aware or trying to catch him and more cops on the streets (surely he must have known this) he stucked with Whitechapel. Like he had no choice.
                              Three the Hanbury murder.
                              On the other hand he was seen,possibly,at least 3x before a murder - Chapman.Eddowes and Kelly and he went on anyways.A bit confident he would not be identified.And the murders were near main streets.
                              He could have lived adjacent Whitechapel, a few miles maybe.This seem most likely to me,a bit pf both.
                              If a local,in the epicenter,most likely a night person and/or a nuthead risk taker.

                              my 3 cents
                              Last edited by Varqm; 10-22-2015, 11:17 PM.
                              Clearly the first human laws (way older and already established) spawned organized religion's morality - from which it's writers only copied/stole,ex. you cannot kill,rob,steal (forced, otherwise people run back to the hills,no towns).
                              M. Pacana

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