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  • Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post

    Do postmen deliver letters at night in Yorkshire?
    What do you mean? Doesn't this sound like a postman to you...?

    "Sutcliffe's first documented assault was of a female prostitute... He left his friend Trevor Birdsall's minivan and walked up St. Paul's Road in Bradford until he was out of sight. [...] When Sutcliffe returned, he was out of breath, as if he had been running. [...] Sutcliffe said he had followed a prostitute into a garage and hit her over the head with a stone in a sock. [...] Police visited Sutcliffe's home the next day, as the woman he had attacked had noted Birdsall's vehicle registration plate. He admitted he had hit her, but claimed it was with his hand. The police told him he was "very lucky", as the woman did not want anything more to do with the incident."

    Still, if that guy Birdsall had ever gone and dobbed him in, the police would *definitely, definitely* have checked him out properly, wouldn't they? I mean, it stands to...

    Oh, wait...

    "On 25 November 1980, Birdsall sent an anonymous letter to police, the text of which ran as follows:

    'I have good reason to now [sic] the man you are looking for in the Ripper case. This man as [sic] dealings with prostitutes and always had a thing about them ... His name and address is Peter Sutcliffe, 5 [sic] Garden Lane, Heaton, Bradford Clarkes [sic] Trans. Shipley.'

    This letter was marked "Priority No. 1". An index card was created on the basis of the letter and a policewoman found Sutcliffe already had three existing index cards in the records. But "for some inexplicable reason", said the Byford Report, the papers remained in a filing tray in the incident room until the murderer's arrest on 2 January [1981], the following year."

    All right then, maybe Birdsall made a mistake in sending an anonymous letter. Maybe things would have been different if he'd done something significant, like, say, going to a police station in person. Then the police *definitely, definitely, definitely* would have...

    Oh, wait...

    "Birdsall visited Bradford police station the day after sending the letter to repeat his misgivings about Sutcliffe. He added that he was with Sutcliffe when he got out of a car to pursue a woman with whom he had had a bar room dispute in Halifax on 16 August 1975. This was the date and place of the Olive Smelt attack. A report compiled on the visit was lost, despite a "comprehensive search" which took place after Sutcliffe's arrest, according to the report."

    You know, it's such a shame that Sutcliffe didn't ever just say, "Well, I was on my way to work, and I saw what I thought was a tarpaulin..." Then the police would have been all over him like lice in a doss-house cot: looking into his entire history, questioning his wife, talking to his neighbours, *everything*... You know, all the things they would *definitely* have done -- and which would have identified a killer...

    It makes you bloody weep...

    M.
    Last edited by Mark J D; 01-20-2022, 07:56 PM.

    Comment


    • I am not saying I am a fan of profiling, but to be fair to Ressler and Douglas they did dismiss the idea that Sutcliffe would communicate with the police and that the notorious cassette tape and letters were fakes. Also I believe what they meant with Sutcliffe being a driver was he would be able to drive through the red light districts of the northern towns his job took him to without him drawing too much attraction , and that he would be able to scope out said areas for future attacks whilst doing his job.

      Regards Darryl

      Comment


      • Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post

        It’s not a case I’ve followed. Obviously I remember it in the papers at the time, but the details didn’t stick.

        If what Mark says is true (and why wouldn’t it be?) that Sutcliffe didn’t just kill when he was working as a truck (lorry in proper English) driver, then the FBI profile was a load of old codswallop.
        Absolutely. He picked up his victims in his car which was logged in red light areas numerous times. I think that he was questioned something like 9 times before he was finally caught after being stopped with a prostitute in his car but before then he’d always managed to convince them. I’m not sure if she did it every time but there were certainly times when his wife Sonia confirmed his alibi for him.
        Regards

        Sir Herlock Sholmes

        “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.”

        Comment


        • Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post

          It’s not a case I’ve followed. Obviously I remember it in the papers at the time, but the details didn’t stick.

          If what Mark says is true (and why wouldn’t it be?) that Sutcliffe didn’t just kill when he was working as a truck (lorry in proper English) driver, then the FBI profile was a load of old codswallop.
          Sutcliff didn't kill while on the job, but he did kill in locations that his job familiarised him with, which is why his range of crimes was quite large. Sutcliff frequented the red light districts, so again, tended to assault prostitutes though not exclusively - they just happened to be more commonly found at the time of night he was committing his crimes.

          I try to stay away from the "behavioural profiling" stuff (i.e. the Douglas "Mindhunter" type of profiling; it's fun to read though). The studies it is based upon are very small samples, with information from dubious sources (I suggest serial criminals are not particularly honest and forthcoming), and much of it is really just "gut instinct" with a fancier sounding name.

          A few things, like noting the range of Sutcliff's crimes, would of course indicate an offender with access to a vehicle, but that really doesn't narrow the search much. The police tended to presume that victims who were not prostitutes could not be his victims was an oversight that hindered the investigation at the time as they dismissed attacks on women and girls who were not prostitutes. Also, the focus on the letters and audio tape as genuine meant one of the exclusion criteria was "has a Geordie accent", so when Sutcliff was interviewed, and did not have a Geordie accent, he was dismissed despite the fact he was a good fit for the composite sketch, and was known to be in the red light districts, worked at the location where the "5 pound note" was given out in pay packets, etc. The worst part was that women who survived his attacks told the police their attacker had a local accent! I can't recall, but I think there were a few victims who were "dismissed as being unrelated" but survived and also described a local accent. But the head of the investigation got convinced the audio tape was genuine, that he only targeted prostitutes, and ignored all this. It got to the point when one victim, who was a teenage girl, and not a prostitute, but clearly linked to the attacks, got described by the police as the offender made a mistake, and must have thought she was rather than reassess their theory that the offender only targeted prostitutes!

          There were a lot of mistakes made.

          - Jeff

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Darryl Kenyon View Post

            I think they probably meant a driver delivering the mail from sorting depots to delivery offices during the night

            Regards Darryl
            Why specifically a mail carrier, then? Why not just say we think he may have driven a vehicle for work?

            Comment


            • Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post
              ... There were a lot of mistakes made.
              Isn't that simply a rather compliant way of saying "There was a lot of sociology involved that shouldn't have been"...?

              Just as there was in 1888...

              M.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post

                Why specifically a mail carrier, then? Why not just say we think he may have driven a vehicle for work?
                This will rub some people the wrong way, but a cynic might suggest it is the same methodology used by the psychic or the caster of horoscopes.

                Keep the predication generally vague, so it applies to many situations, but now and then toss in a very specific detail. 'A mail carrier,' or 'a man with red hair.'

                If you get a direct hit, you can then publicize it to the max. If, on the other hand, you're in the general ballpark, but wrong about the specifics, everyone will forget about your slight misstep as you laud your general accuracy.

                We see this in the very first 'profile.' Brussell though the mad bomber in New York would be a Slav. In fact, he was a Lithuanian, which is not a Slavic country. For most Americans, there is no difference, so it was seen as an unmitigated success.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post

                  Yeah, they thought he might drive some kind of vehicle. Even a policeman possibly. Such precision!
                  To be fair, the actual 'profile' was them winging it (as they admit)- I've just copied this from 'Psychology Today':

                  Ressler and Douglas went to the British police college, Bramshill, a leading training agency. Ressler hoped to inspire an exchange program with Quantico, but he had trouble making inroads. As the agents drank beers with British detectives to talk more informally, they met John Domaille, who was part of the Yorkshire Ripper investigation. By then, eight murders had been linked to the offender over the course of four years. Domaille described the letters and tape, as well as the extensive effort to publicize them.

                  Ressler and Douglas asked to see the crime scene photos and offer their analysis. The photos weren’t available, but a copy of the tape was. Ressler listened and said, “You realize, of course, that the man on the tape is not the killer, don’t you?” Douglas agreed. Both thought it was a hoax, based on inconsistencies between how Domaille had described the crimes and what the man on the tape had said. They thought the killer would be an introvert, not likely to communicate and taunt so boldly as this man did. They offered a few more ideas, although they cautioned that without the photos and reports, they were winging it. They figured the offender’s employment gave him cover in the murder areas. He might be a cabbie, mail carrier, or truck driver making deliveries. He had a relationship with a woman, was in his late twenties or early thirties, and had serious mental problems.

                  Ressler hoped to get access to the photos for a more accurate profile but learned that Oldfield prohibited it. He apparently disliked being second-guessed about his theories, considering the effort and expense, or being viewed as a man so easily duped. They'd find the killer on their own.


                  ****
                  My approach to the profile stuff is quite simple and starts from the knowledge that I am clueless and have no knowledge about who would make a likely suspect. If I don't know, why not use a resource from others that might know more? I don't see why that is a problem. Even then, if there is a suspect that fits the profile exceptionally well, it could well just be chance and view with scepticism. So has that person that fits the profile done other things that look highly suspicious and incriminating...

                  I just don't see why using a potentially useful resource is such an issue. Probably part of the 'we've had enough of experts' philosophy. Until of course you need an expert for something.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post

                    Sutcliff didn't kill while on the job, but he did kill in locations that his job familiarised him with, which is why his range of crimes was quite large. Sutcliff frequented the red light districts, so again, tended to assault prostitutes though not exclusively - they just happened to be more commonly found at the time of night he was committing his crimes.

                    I try to stay away from the "behavioural profiling" stuff (i.e. the Douglas "Mindhunter" type of profiling; it's fun to read though). The studies it is based upon are very small samples, with information from dubious sources (I suggest serial criminals are not particularly honest and forthcoming), and much of it is really just "gut instinct" with a fancier sounding name.

                    A few things, like noting the range of Sutcliff's crimes, would of course indicate an offender with access to a vehicle, but that really doesn't narrow the search much. The police tended to presume that victims who were not prostitutes could not be his victims was an oversight that hindered the investigation at the time as they dismissed attacks on women and girls who were not prostitutes. Also, the focus on the letters and audio tape as genuine meant one of the exclusion criteria was "has a Geordie accent", so when Sutcliff was interviewed, and did not have a Geordie accent, he was dismissed despite the fact he was a good fit for the composite sketch, and was known to be in the red light districts, worked at the location where the "5 pound note" was given out in pay packets, etc. The worst part was that women who survived his attacks told the police their attacker had a local accent! I can't recall, but I think there were a few victims who were "dismissed as being unrelated" but survived and also described a local accent. But the head of the investigation got convinced the audio tape was genuine, that he only targeted prostitutes, and ignored all this. It got to the point when one victim, who was a teenage girl, and not a prostitute, but clearly linked to the attacks, got described by the police as the offender made a mistake, and must have thought she was rather than reassess their theory that the offender only targeted prostitutes!

                    There were a lot of mistakes made.

                    - Jeff
                    From what I have read (not much admittedly) he was also disturbed in the act on several occasions - guess what he did? Fled the scene. What a surprise. These men are essentially cowards and at their core, I think, is a stone cold fear of being caught red handed. Apart from Lech of course who had quick chat and even stopped for a coffee break to see off Chapman.

                    Comment


                    • >>The only difference with Lechmere is that we know his name.<<

                      Both of them!;-)
                      dustymiller
                      aka drstrange

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post

                        Why specifically a mail carrier, then? Why not just say we think he may have driven a vehicle for work?
                        Maybe it is an Americanism ? But drivers do pick up the post from the mail centres during the night and take it to the delivery offices to be sorted for the morning rounds. I used to work during the night sorting the said mail.

                        Regards Darryl

                        Comment


                        • >>And now I am gone. For real, and for some time.<<

                          Of course, you are.

                          Every time the going gets rough, Christer gets going. Mr cut and run.

                          It has become a standard joke amongst posters here.

                          I completely understand, even by your standards your desperatism has hit new lows and clearly, you’ve recognised it.

                          Here's hoping you have an
                          epiphany whilst you are away and come back a more honest man with regards to your posts here.

                          Don't worry, I'll still have those questions for you when you do.
                          dustymiller
                          aka drstrange

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by drstrange169 View Post
                            >>The only difference with Lechmere is that we know his name.<<

                            Both of them!;-)
                            Now. :-)

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by drstrange169 View Post
                              >>And now I am gone. For real, and for some time.<<

                              Of course, you are.

                              Every time the going gets rough, Christer gets going. Mr cut and run.

                              It has become a standard joke amongst posters here.

                              I completely understand, even by your standards your desperatism has hit new lows and clearly, you’ve recognised it.

                              Here's hoping you have an
                              epiphany whilst you are away and come back a more honest man with regards to your posts here.

                              Don't worry, I'll still have those questions for you when you do.
                              … says the man who has never been known to write anything that is wrong.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Darryl Kenyon View Post

                                Maybe it is an Americanism ? But drivers do pick up the post from the mail centres during the night and take it to the delivery offices to be sorted for the morning rounds. I used to work during the night sorting the said mail.

                                Regards Darryl
                                So they do.

                                But why specifically drivers who pick up Mail? Were Sutcliffe’s victims found on known routes between sorting offices and postal depots?





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