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Can we definitively conclude that Alice McKenzie was not killed by the Ripper?

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  • #61
    Originally posted by Al Bundy's Eyes View Post
    JeffHamm does have a gentlemanly conduct to his arguments. No so much a bar brawl in a flat roof pub armed with half a snooker cue, more stout disagreement in a wine bar. Armed with a Polo mallet and a lawn boule in a cashmere sock.

    Sorry, that's off topic.
    Ha ha! That did make me chuckle. Though probably more suitable to the "Useless Thread"

    - Jeff

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    • #62
      Originally posted by Fisherman View Post

      But VERY funny!
      On that we agree fully.

      - Jeff

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      • #63
        Originally posted by Kattrup View Post
        Thank you Jeffhamm, it’s very satisfying to see such rational and levelheaded responses on these forums.
        Thank you. All that's really going on is a case of the "missing tone". Text, by it's silent nature, loses the tone of the words, and we impart tone upon it. Tone greatly changes the interpretation of the intent of the message. People use language in different ways, sometimes resulting in miscommunications. Fisherman and I use language in different ways, making it difficult at times for each of us to convey our point effectively to the other. Oh, it's all clear as crystal in our own heads, but somehow when it gets transmitted it ends up arriving about as clear as mud. It's the nature of bulletin board discussions. Speaking on my behalf I can assure you there's no animosity, and also that I believe the same applies in return.

        And, speaking of returns, probably time to get back to Alice, remember Alice?

        - Jeff

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        • #64
          Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post
          Speaking on my behalf I can assure you there's no animosity, and also that I believe the same applies in return.

          Nope. A marked weariness, some little frustration and a sense of opportunity lost, yes, but no animosity.

          And, speaking of returns, probably time to get back to Alice, remember Alice?

          - Jeff
          Alice who?

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          • #65
            If we are speaking of the same Alice, I´d say that I find it interesting that the last victim to fit the Ripper bill was served with an abdominal cut that was not very deep, while the last victim to fit the Torso killer bill was treated to the exact same - a shallow cut, not allowing for organ extraction.

            And in both series, the predecessors had suffered very deep cuts ...?

            Regardless of what we make of it, the similarity is a thoroughly thought-evoking one.

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            • #66
              Originally posted by Fisherman View Post

              Alice who?
              ha ha! Well put. And thanks for taking the time to respond on that. Much appreciated, and I do mean that sincerely.

              - Jeff

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              • #67
                If I am to comment on the heading of the thread, I´d say that as far as I´m concerned, I think that victims (in that area and in that remove in time, generally speaking) who suffered the rare cut to the abdomen, regardless of how deep it travelled, should be looked upon as more likely than not being Ripper victims until any evidence surfaces that rules that stance out.
                It should rightfully be a case of saying that MacKenzie is in, but leaving the possibility that she may need to get out open. It should not be a case of saying that MacKenzie is out, but leaving the possibility that she may need to get in open.
                That´s my take on it, and if anybody sees a relationship to my thinking on a shared identity for the Ripper and the Torso killer, then I´d say they are very much on the right track.
                Last edited by Fisherman; 03-01-2020, 06:23 PM.

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                • #68
                  Originally posted by Fisherman View Post
                  If I am to comment on the heading of the thread, I´d say that as far as I´m concerned, I think that victims (in that area and in that remove in time, generally speaking) who suffered the rare cut to the abdomen, regardless of how deep it travelled, should be looked upon as more likely than not being Ripper victims until any evidence surfaces that rules that stance out.
                  It should rightfully be a case of saying that MacKenzie is in, but leaving the possibility that she may need to get out open. It should not be a case of saying that MacKenzie is out, but leaving the possibility that she may need to get in open.
                  That´s my take on it, and if anybody sees a relationship to my thinking on a shared identity for the Ripper and the Torso killer, then I´d say they are very much on the right track.
                  Hi Fisherman,

                  Yes, that's a fair point. While Dr. Phillips' felt the wounds were different (in depth and severity), Dr. Bond's view was based upon much the same line of reasoning. He emphasized a number of aspects that he felt suggested a link between Alice's murder and the JtR murders the year before. Like you, I think Alice's murder warrants a bit more consideration than it usually gets. Not saying it's a definite inclusion, and I don't get the impression you would argue it was, but certainly one that shouldn't be dismissed hastily.

                  - Jeff

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                  • #69
                    Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post

                    Hi Fisherman,

                    Yes, that's a fair point. While Dr. Phillips' felt the wounds were different (in depth and severity), Dr. Bond's view was based upon much the same line of reasoning. He emphasized a number of aspects that he felt suggested a link between Alice's murder and the JtR murders the year before. Like you, I think Alice's murder warrants a bit more consideration than it usually gets. Not saying it's a definite inclusion, and I don't get the impression you would argue it was, but certainly one that shouldn't be dismissed hastily.

                    - Jeff
                    No, I do not think that MacKenzie is a "given" - but I do think she should be regarded as more likely than not being a Ripper victim, for reasons given.

                    On Phillips´ view about the varying depth and severity of MacKenzies wounds as compared to the former C5 victims, I´d point to the Pinchin Street victim, where Hebbert was more or less certain that she belonged to the Rainham/Whitehall/Jackson series, and where we nevertheless also have a much less severe and deep cut to the abdomen than the Rainham victim and Jackson suffered (plus, of course, we have other deviations too, like a head severed by way of knife as opposed to the earlier, sawed off heads in the series and we have the arms left on the body). To me, this goes to show two things:

                    1. Serial killers may well make changes in how they handle their victims´ bodies, and these changes must not be for the worse in terms of seriousness, and...

                    2. ... it also goes to show why I made the earlier point of how both the Pinchin Street victim and MacKenzie were seemingly de-escalation murders in terms of how the abdominal cut looked.

                    Then again, it is only if we assume that the killer/s always prioritized opening the bodies up and taking out innards that this should have us confused. Once we free ourselves from that notion, the image shifts. I have said it before, and I will do so again: If you ask me, these murders were not necessarily about eviscerations.
                    Last edited by Fisherman; 03-01-2020, 07:03 PM.

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                    • #70
                      Originally posted by Fisherman View Post

                      No, I do not think that MacKenzie is a "given" - but I do think she should be regarded as more likely than not being a Ripper victim, for reasons given.

                      On Phillips´ view about the varying depth and severity of MacKenzies wounds as compared to the former C5 victims, I´d point to the Pinchin Street victim, where Hebbert was more or less certain that she belonged to the Rainham/Whitehall/Jackson series, and where we nevertheless also have a much less severe and deep cut to the abdomen than the Rainham victim and Jackson suffered (plus, of course, we have other deviations too, like a head severed by way of knife as opposed to the earlier, sawed off heads in the series and we have the arms left on the body). To me, this goes to show two things:

                      1. Serial killers may well make changes in how they handle their victims´ bodies, and these changes must not be for the worse in terms of seriousness, and...

                      2. ... it also goes to show why I made the earlier point of how both the Pinchin Street victim and MacKenzie were seemingly de-escalation murders in terms of how the abdominal cut looked.

                      Then again, it is only if we assume that the killer/s always prioritized opening the bodies up and taking out innards that this should have us confused. Once we free ourselves from that notion, the image shifts. I have said it before, and I will do so again: If you ask me, these murders were not necessarily about eviscerations.
                      Yes, like today, contemporary medical opinion for many cases covered all bases once you put them all together. We have a number of cases, though, where the same set of medical professional comment (Dr. Phillips, Dr. Bond, etc) on a range of different cases. There's an interesting research project there, to put together a collection of each of their sets of opinions and from that, attempt to get an idea of each of their particular biases.

                      - Jeff

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                      • #71
                        Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post

                        Yes, like today, contemporary medical opinion for many cases covered all bases once you put them all together. We have a number of cases, though, where the same set of medical professional comment (Dr. Phillips, Dr. Bond, etc) on a range of different cases. There's an interesting research project there, to put together a collection of each of their sets of opinions and from that, attempt to get an idea of each of their particular biases.

                        - Jeff
                        That´s not for me, I´m afraid. You should take it on, though - you have the right disposition for that kind of thing, if I am not mistaken. And I´d read it with interest.

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                        • #72
                          Originally posted by Fisherman View Post

                          That´s not for me, I´m afraid. You should take it on, though - you have the right disposition for that kind of thing, if I am not mistaken. And I´d read it with interest.
                          Hi Fisherman,

                          I've thought about it, and if I can find the time to gather and organize the information, I might give it a go. It could be an interesting exercise if there's enough information to work with.

                          - Jeff

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                          • #73
                            What would the inclusion of Alice as a 'definite' victim have on thinking about the case? Would certain suspects be eliminated or would it change any of the beliefs around the mental state of the murder, for example?

                            Tristan

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                            • #74
                              Originally posted by Losmandris View Post
                              What would the inclusion of Alice as a 'definite' victim have on thinking about the case? Would certain suspects be eliminated or would it change any of the beliefs around the mental state of the murder, for example?

                              Tristan
                              Yes, some suspects would be ruled out, like Druitt (who was dead by then) and Tumblety (who fled England in late 1888, never to return), for example.

                              Whether it would change the beliefs of the mental state of the killer is a trickier issue, since we have not managed to agree on the mental state of our man before the MacKenzie murder.

                              Being removed from the last of the C5 murders by a period of some eight months, we would have a very different chronology; the C5 murders stretch over ten weeks only, and it is (and not least was) often reasoned that the killer burnt himself out over a short, intense period of murderous escalation. That notion would be challenged if we have a less explicit crime eight months after Kelly.

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                              • #75
                                Originally posted by Losmandris View Post
                                What would the inclusion of Alice as a 'definite' victim have on thinking about the case? Would certain suspects be eliminated or would it change any of the beliefs around the mental state of the murder, for example?

                                Tristan
                                Yes, as Fisherman says, there are some suspects who get cleared if McKenzie is a victim of JtR. But also, it leaves the mental state open. If you start with JtR as a cunning cool planner, then you have someone who lets things calm down, only to re-emerge to reignite the terror and regain control over society again, or ideas along that line. But, if you start with the notion of JtR suffering from some degree of psychosis, you've got ideas like "he went mad and was confined for a year" or alternatively "he went into remission for a while, and after 8 months the thoughts were returning" and things along those lines. Obviously, there are options other than those two as well as starting points, and how we interpret things, and what inferences we make, often are based upon that starting point we have with regards to JtR's mental state. But since we don't know JtR's mental state, a lot of things we think we "know for sure" are, in fact, simply inferences we've drawn that are based upon that unknown starting point of JtR's mental state. In other words, we often run the risk of biasing our interpretation of the evidence based upon our impression of what type of person JtR was (evil genius vs raving lunatic vs angry drunk etc), and that impression is an assumption that, if wrong, undermines all we build upon it. That bias reflects going the wrong way up a one way street, when we let theory influence the evidence, rather than the evidence influence the theory. Unfortunately, the inclusion or exclusion of Alice McKenzie doesn't help us with that regards.

                                There is, though, some aspects that let us go the other way a bit, evidence to theory rather than theory to evidence. The dates of the C5 murders are weekends and holidays. This has been argued to suggest that JtR had some form of employment (it's not conclusive of course, but it's a valid inference from that evidence; just remember, valid inferences can still be wrong in truth, but at least they are statements derived from evidence of some sort). Also, given the tight clustering of the murder locations and the taking of organs, etc, it seems likely that JtR had to get off the street very quickly after each murder - that's simply self preservation. That points to someone local. Given he had organs to take home, and the fact he's likely got blood on his clothes somewhere, etc, that tends to suggest someone who lives alone, at least to me it does. Again, none of this is definitive proof, and I don't mean to imply it is, it is possible, for example, that he didn't live alone but his family were either afraid of him or simply unaware of his activities. If the latter is the case, then his proposed job would have to be something that both allows for blood stains and his being out late at night. To me, the most likely situation is that he can be out at all hours and return with blood and body parts, because there's nobody to interfere with him once he gets back to his place.

                                Mild psychosis wouldn't prevent some form of employment, though he would be known to be weird probably, but I suppose to some extent suggesting he's employed well enough to have a stable residence in the area, probably points to someone without mental disturbances that are likely to interfere with his ability to blend in.

                                Anyway, there are, of course, other inferences one can make from the evidence that lead to different conclusions. The evidence we have is not sufficient to limit us all that much, and I'm only presenting the above as one possible way to interpret things - certainly not the only way. What I'm trying to get across, though, is that the starting point is always a piece of evidence itself (i.e. the dates and times of the murders / the fact organs were missing / etc) rather than starting with "JtR was clearly as mad as a hatter" or "JtR was clearly an evil genius", which is starting with theory.

                                - Jeff

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