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Maybrick--a Problem in Logic

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  • #76
    Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post

    Eliza,

    Quite apart from the rather obvious - that you have built your categorical contradiction of Maybrick's candidacy on a host of non-categorical assumptions which cannot be checked (therefore they are just suppositions) - you have also rather illogically started with the premise that the Victorian scrapbook is a reason in and of itself to dismiss Maybrick (when in reality it is the very and only reason he is ruled in as a candidate).

    When you called this new thread 'Maybrick - a Problem in Logic', were you aware of the irony?

    Cheers,

    Ike
    Iconoclast, my post is an attempt at a profile of JTR. A profile is not a " host of non-categorical assumptions", but involves development of possible or probable offender characteristics.

    My profile does not "start with the premise" that the Victorian scrapbook is faulty. It doesn't feature the scrapbook in any capacity.

    I do list two of what I argue are probable characteristics of the killer: a grounding in human anatomy, and lack of a private place to lure/kill his victims. Neither of these characteristics fits Maybrick. Even without the problematic diary, Maybrick's life experience and background does not match those we would expect the killer to possess.

    I think that, in assembling a plausible profile, it is best to focus on probabilities, rather than the more unlikely "possibilities."

    For instance, it is 'possible' that the killer did have privacy, but had disordered thinking which caused him to believe himself invisible/invincible; or had some kind of kink which drove him to commit murders in public, thereby inviting capture and execution. But these are unlikely possibilities. The majority of serial killers are not psychotic, and they don't want to be caught. JTR himself went to lengths not to be caught--considering his mad, desperate dash from the Eddows crime scene, and cunning escapes from other crime scenes. So it's much more probable that he committed his crimes on public streets because he had no alternative.

    I note that his last crime was not committed on a public street, but in private. It seems that when he had the option of privacy, he took it.
    Last edited by Eliza; 11-06-2019, 08:33 PM.

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    • #77
      Originally posted by Losmandris View Post

      Taking victims back home has never put off other serial killers. Most don't seem to care too much about attracting attention, case in point being Dennis Nilsen, who I believe had been flushing human remains down the toilet, nothing was said or done until they eventually became blocked. Before than he had been burning remains in the garden. People around him paid him no attention, the smell must have been awful!

      Though I suspect that in this case, even if he did have his own place, I doubt the victims would not have come back there with him as they conducted their business on the street in dark corners. I don't think they could have been persuaded to have gone with him. In all the cases I think it was they who convinced JtR to come with them, leading him ultimately to their murder sites.

      As to Maybrick being JtR, I just don't see it at all. Hats off to Iconoclast, you make a pretty convincing case but its all a bit too good to be true as far as I am concerned. He just does not fit the bill. If it were not for the diary, he would never in a million years be considered a likely candidate. Even if for some illogical reason someone pointed the finger at him.

      Tristan
      Well, Mary Kelly was persuaded to go with her killer. There's no reason to think the others would have behaved differently--especially when some of them were desperately trying to find a place for the night.

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      • #78
        Originally posted by Trapperologist View Post
        Or he was a killer with a spectacle in mind.

        A spectacle killer is a serial killer whose MO, by conscious effort, is spectacular as would be, by nature, those of a mass murderer.
        I note that the Ripper's last and worst "spectacle" was committed indoors, in a private room. JTR may or may not have wanted to create a "spectacle"--I personally doubt it, and suspect his crimes were the acting out of violent, private fantasies. But even if the spectacle aspect were important to him, he apparently did not have the compulsion to create one solely out of doors, in a public venue.

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        • #79
          He just does not fit the bill. If it were not for the diary, he would never in a million years be considered a likely candidate. Even if for some illogical reason someone pointed the finger at him.
          Odd, then, that his brother Michael has been fingered as the Ripper by Bruce Robertson, without raising anywhere near the same hoo-hah as James has. As far as I'm aware, until Robertson's book came along, Michael hadn't been put forward as a Ripper candidate - and although I don't personally believe either brother to have been the Ripper, I would suggest that James is the most likely candidate, for a number of reasons. Yes, I agree, before the Diary came along James was never considered a Ripper candidate...and I find that, in itself, is rather intriguing.

          The only reason that Montague Druitt was proposed as the Ripper is the suicide letter he left, and also that he committed suicide, after which there were no more Ripper murders. IMHO, he remains a much stronger candidate than either of the Maybricks, but even so I don't think he was the Ripper.

          Graham
          We are suffering from a plethora of surmise, conjecture and hypothesis. - Sherlock Holmes, The Adventure Of Silver Blaze

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          • #80
            >> i'm halway through Bruce Robinson's book, who by the way gets very little credit for the research he has done into the masonic links and police files he has trawled through. <<

            That's because he paid Keith Skinner to do the research for him.
            dustymiller
            aka drstrange

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            • #81
              Originally posted by Eliza View Post
              I note that the Ripper's last and worst "spectacle" was committed indoors, in a private room. JTR may or may not have wanted to create a "spectacle"--I personally doubt it, and suspect his crimes were the acting out of violent, private fantasies. But even if the spectacle aspect were important to him, he apparently did not have the compulsion to create one solely out of doors, in a public venue.
              Why is it not a spectacle? Even the outdoor crimes had to be done up because otherwise a prostitute murder would not be considered particularly spectacular. BTK and both Night Stalkers were spectacular indoors. Isn't indoors more spectacular than outdoor because it means people aren't safe in their own homes?

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              • #82
                Originally posted by Eliza View Post
                I do list two of what I argue are probable characteristics of the killer: a grounding in human anatomy, and lack of a private place to lure/kill his victims. Neither of these characteristics fits Maybrick. Even without the problematic diary, Maybrick's life experience and background does not match those we would expect the killer to possess.

                I think that, in assembling a plausible profile, it is best to focus on probabilities, rather than the more unlikely "possibilities."
                If you are focusing on probabilities (rather than possibilities) then you cannot define Jack's awareness of human anatomy as a probability. It has to be defined as a possibility. The issue is hugely contentious with little firm evidence to suggest a probability much higher than that which would leave it firmly in the ditch of possibility. If pushed, I'd say there was a 4 in 10 chance (given the evidence) that Jack had surgical and anatomical knowledge (he needed both, by the way, obviously) and I would not consider that probability much stronger than mere possibility. Certainly, you cannot rule Maybrick (or any other non-surgeon) out on the basis of it.

                The lack of a private place to lure/kill his victims is certainly not proven by the evidence. All we know is that his first four canonical victims did not (or could not) offer him this facility, and when his fifth canonical victim could do so he willingly agreed. It would appear from the evidence that he was not hugely concerned where he carried out his murders, but that the protection of indoors was an opportunity he was happy to maximise. The evidence does not tell us whether or not he had somewhere to take his victims. Whether he did or he did not, the evidence cannot tell us why he would not more openly seek victims who could provide cover for his deeds. If he did not have a place, he did not have a place and was clearly willing to murder in the open. If he did have a place, it is not certain that he would want to risk all by luring his victims to it. Indeed, killing them in his rented room in Middlesex Street would almost certainly have led to his downfall (a chance meeting on the stairs, or another tenant seeing something which Maybrick is unaware of).

                I think my major criticism of your post is that you - as so many people do - build a categorical denial of Maybrick's candidature on little more than sand and describe it as concrete. Too many posters come on the Casebook and denounce Maybrick using extremely weak logic. It is my role to speak up when people do it, and you did, so so did I.

                Cheers,

                Ike
                Iconoclast
                Soldier of Fortune, Man of Peace, Destroyer of Images, Nice Guy, Genius

                Comment


                • #83
                  Originally posted by Eliza View Post

                  I note that the Ripper's last and worst "spectacle" was committed indoors, in a private room. JTR may or may not have wanted to create a "spectacle"--I personally doubt it, and suspect his crimes were the acting out of violent, private fantasies. But even if the spectacle aspect were important to him, he apparently did not have the compulsion to create one solely out of doors, in a public venue.
                  Eliza,

                  This is a good example of how you are building a case against Maybrick in the language of the categorical when all you actually have is conjecture. Just read the highlighted bits again. "I doubt ...", and "[I] suspect ..." are not evidence-based proofs. They are bald-ass assumptions upon which you then seek to 'prove' your case against Maybrick. Anyone can do that. For example, "I think Jack had to be a night worker in order to avoid the suspicion of his Polish roommates therefore he could not be James Maybrick". There you go, I have created three assumptions (he was a night worker, he was Polish, and he shared his room or rooms) and on the basis of those three I have demonstrated 'categorically' that Jack could not be James Maybrick. It's really easy when you do it this way around: Assert the necessary assumptions as facts then cite those nascent 'facts' to prove your case.

                  You need to sharpen up your use of evidence, kidda.

                  Ike

                  PS In retrospect, I see that my Polish 'fact' is irrelevant to the point I was making.
                  Last edited by Iconoclast; 11-07-2019, 11:03 AM.
                  Iconoclast
                  Soldier of Fortune, Man of Peace, Destroyer of Images, Nice Guy, Genius

                  Comment


                  • #84
                    Originally posted by Eliza View Post

                    Well, Mary Kelly was persuaded to go with her killer. There's no reason to think the others would have behaved differently--especially when some of them were desperately trying to find a place for the night.
                    I am sure she was the one who suggested going back to her place. That certainly seemed to be what she was doing with clients earlier in the night.

                    Tristan

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                    • #85
                      Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post

                      I'm not convinced that this debate is really getting us anywhere, but - whilst it is going on - I feel it is incumbent upon me to remind you and James and everyone else that Sarah's census records, etc., were researched by Feldman and his team (Final Chapter, hardback, pp109-111)
                      Hi Ike. No; the debate is not really getting us anywhere, as you say, but then I'm not headed anywhere. I've been parked on Barrett's doorstep in Goldie Street for years, and don't feel the need to wander too far off it.

                      Getting back to Sarah Ann Robertson, I've been reviewing it all and I do think this is one instance where Feldman and Skinner do have the upper hand on Melvin H. in regards to Gustave Witt. The evidence does seem to strongly suggest that Robertson was Maybrick's mistress/'wife' in the 1860s, and, I theorize he met her through Witt. Harrison refers to the following note among the Trevor Christie collection in Wyoming, under the title "Russell's brief." The "he" is Maybrick.

                      Click image for larger version

Name:	Russell's Brief.JPG
Views:	106
Size:	25.8 KB
ID:	726929

                      Although I don't recall anyone directly saying this, the "ship broker" must be Gustave Witt, elsewhere identified as a "commissioning agent." This explains why he had offices in both London and Liverpool; Witt is the middle-man between importers/exporters and the ship owners. As far as we can judge by existing directories, Jim was stationed in Liverpool, but he must have traveled to Witt's office in London on occasion, and since the London office was off Fenchurch Street, and Sarah worked nearby, we can speculate that they must have met there, a la Russell's brief. The all-important 1868 will of Sarah's uncle-in-law Thomas Conconi states that Maybrick was then living on Old Hall Street, Liverpool, and as this transects Tithebarn Street, where Witt had his Liverpool office, it is tempting to speculate that these were Maybrick's "digs" while he worked up the street in the Knowsley buildings. (He is listed there 3 years later). The only hair that I would split is that none of this really shows that Maybrick ever lived with Sarah in the East End, but I concede that he must have visited her there. Not too uncommon for a Victorian business man to "keep" a woman in a city where he occasionally did business; I've been studying a similar case.

                      There are other anomalies, but I guess I'll let it go. As Erobitha notes, the census information for the Sarah Maybrick who died in 1927 could be an error, but it lists her as being born in Scotland twice -- both in 1901 and 1911. One error I can accept, but the same error twice? Also, the birthdate on the "Maybrick" bible lists her birthday as 2 August; another document lists the 1927 Sarah as being born on 22 August. Nagging split-ends.

                      Now back to Barrett's doorstep. Cheers.



                      Comment


                      • #86
                        Originally posted by Trapperologist View Post
                        Why is it not a spectacle? Even the outdoor crimes had to be done up because otherwise a prostitute murder would not be considered particularly spectacular. BTK and both Night Stalkers were spectacular indoors. Isn't indoors more spectacular than outdoor because it means people aren't safe in their own homes?
                        There is an assumption here that his main motive was to create a spectacle and generate fear. My belief is that this was very much secondary to merely committing the act itself - that was much more important for his gratifications. If anything the subsequent fear and notoriety generated after was the cherry on the cake. So either he was simply reacting in an animalistic way to over-whelming urges on random prostitutes (e.eg the Kosminski theory) or he targeting specific women who met the criteria of the urge he held. I believe there was an element of targeting involved and was a little more beyond than just pure randomness. I believe he knew OF these women one way or another through sight or acquaintance. I believe it was through the many pubs in the area he would have had some initial contact or at least awareness. Which to me, rules Kosminski out. He was clearly not mentally well and would most likely stand out as a very strange individual loitering the streets or pubs late at night. Our man needed the benefit of being able to blend in fairly seamlessly, which I believe he did. He was very "normal". The fact these were all committed at weekends means that is a pattern. A random urge kill would not wait for a time pattern unless his job happened to force him to. Again, Kosminski was available every night - his job as a barber was a day job - if even he was even having any form of regular work at that time. We are led to believe work for very sporadic for him. The spectacle I believe is not where he drew his main source of satisfaction, but he certainly enjoyed himself with the freedom Mary Jane Kelly's room offered him. As long as he de-humanised the whore by slitting her throat and pulling out some of her innerds, his main urge was satisfied. The cutting off of Mary Jane's breasts is a sign of his desire to dehumanise her and debase her role as a sex worker. He kept her heart which I believe, sounds crazy, he may have thought was the best thing about her. Despite her street smarts and thick skin, she was still youngish at 25 and probably harboured some pipe dreams or a strong spirit. It was a trait Maybrick initially compelled him to Florence. I can't rule out a cannibalistic element either. The consumption of a heart is very symbolic
                        Last edited by erobitha; 11-08-2019, 02:11 PM.

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                        • #87
                          I never considered what the primary motive would be but you might be right. He was what now might be called skin-suiting - not literally like in the movies but dispossessing a woman of her female body parts. That’s mixed with throat ripping, removal of organs and innards, and throwing intestines over the shoulder for whatever other reason.

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