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  • "The Face Was Very Much Mutilated"

    I was reading the transcript of the Eddowes' inquest and I was struck by this quote from Dr. Frederick Gordon Brown who performed the autopsy -- "her face was very much mutilated." Note that he doesn't say that her face was cut or was severely cut or even mutilated. He says it was severely mutilated. In light of this, can anyone argue that the cuts to Mary's face were somehow personal? If so, then they would also have to be personal with regards to Kate would they not?

    Also, both Dr. Bond and Dr. Sequeira gave their opinions that they believed that the killer had no particular design on any particular organ. If that is true, can we give any weight to the fact that different organs were removed from different victims? Or is it more likely that Jack was simply after organs and did not care which ones he took?

    c.d.

  • #2
    Good questions that I do not think have much answers.

    The picture of her after the autopsy--where her face is stitched together--demonstrates the extent of mutilation. There is a time constraint at play, and if you accept the Canonical Five [Tm.--Ed.] as all his work, it fits a progression. Mary Kelly's face is flayed in the photographs such that reconstruction of what she looked like is difficult. In that case he had all of the time.

    So, was he limited by time?

    That he took two uteri suggests that he wanted them for whatever reason. It could also be that they are easier organs to find and have an obvious sexual connection.

    With all the discussion regarding his relative skill on a few other threads, I have to admit that the kidney is covered enough by the peritoneum--lining of the abdominal wall--and a fascia such that Jack would have to look or feel for it. Having written that, he only had to know the location--easily determined by looking at an atlas or if he ever hunted, acted as a butcher, et cetera.

    So I do not know what conclusions one can draw that are not based on assumptions. Bond and Sequeira could be right. Phillips could be right. We have a hard time determining now.

    Finally, if you accept Mary Kelly as his, he seems to be more interested in taking apart a woman at that point for whatever reason.

    --J.D.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi cd,

      Hope the knee is holding up well,...or at least the painkillers...

      When you mention Mary and Kate in the same context, interesting that the name that occurs to Kate to use for pawning Johns boots Friday night, and when being discharged from Bishopsgate, just happens to be 2 variations of Mary Jane Kelly's name, one with an address on Dorset St.

      I think what the killer took from Mary cannot be used to profile Jacks objectives, for one...because there is a good possibility she wasn't killed by him, and 2nd, ....the heart seems to me to indicate a connection, or desire for one, between killer and victim...and I don't see any signs of that relationship or desire possibility present in something like a kidney or a uterus, or a nose almost sliced off.

      I think Polly was intended to be, and Annie and Kate were, donors.

      My best regards cd.

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi Michael,

        Thankfully (or maybe not) I am off the painkillers. It was codeine which pretty much made me sleep all day. Have to rely on ice now. Started physical therapy yesterday. That's probably more than most people care to know about my knee.

        Anyway, for what it is worth, I believe it was Dr. Bond who gave the opinion that the facial mutilations had no purpose other than to disfigure the corpse.

        c.d.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by perrymason View Post

          When you mention Mary and Kate in the same context, interesting that the name that occurs to Kate to use for pawning Johns boots Friday night, and when being discharged from Bishopsgate, just happens to be 2 variations of Mary Jane Kelly's name, one with an address on Dorset St.

          I think what the killer took from Mary cannot be used to profile Jacks objectives, for one...because there is a good possibility she wasn't killed by him, and 2nd, ....the heart seems to me to indicate a connection, or desire for one, between killer and victim...and I don't see any signs of that relationship or desire possibility present in something like a kidney or a uterus, or a nose almost sliced off.
          Hello, Michael.

          I have a question that I think belongs here since one part of the original issue was, are the facial mutilations personal. In your quote here, the first paragraph--as it ties together MJK and Eddowes who uses aliases related to MJK--SEEMS like it might be leading to, "yes, it is personal" with both Kelly and Eddowes. But the second paragraph SEEMS to undercut that, since you believe they are killed by different people.

          I too think that Eddowes using both Mary Ann Kelly and Jane Kelly is significant. It's like together the names encompass "MJK." And in addition to the Dorset st. address that you brought up, I would add that when Eddowes was hospitalized in June 1887, she was still using "Conway," Kate Conway. Note that here she keeps her own first name. So even if folks point out that she was with Kelly now so why not use his surname, there is still the fact that NOW she does not use, Kate.

          SOOO, I guess my(most relevant)question is: If Eddowes's aliases don't somehow bind MJK and Eddowes, and perhaps a killer or two in some kind of personal relationship, what do you see in them?

          Have a good day.
          Last edited by paul emmett; 03-28-2008, 07:30 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Those of you who have read my "Heartless" article in Ripper Notes #28 will have seen that there was actually a third woman whose face was mutilated in a killing that was linked to the Whitechapel murders... and that woman was killed before Catherine Eddowes.

            Any attempt to analyze the meaning behind the mutilations of Eddowes and Kelly should not ignore the fact that facial mutilation had already been discussed in the news before those two were killed. In fact, a popular illustrated paper featured the case, including a drawing with an artist's interpretation of the cuts, on its front page on Sept. 29, 1888. Less than 24 hours later was, of course, when Eddowes was killed and had her face cut in nearly the same manner.

            And there are a lot of other similar bizarre coincidences covered in that article that have been oddly overlooked over the years. It should eventually be posted as a dissertation on this site, but in the meantime it's available in Ripper Notes and also temporarily on JTRForums.com

            Dan Norder
            Ripper Notes: The International Journal for Ripper Studies
            Web site: www.RipperNotes.com - Email: dannorder@gmail.com

            Comment


            • #7
              I haven't read your article Dan, but that is interesting about the appearance of a story featuring facial mutilation being published the day before Kates murder. I hadn't heard that one before.

              I think that should be seen as a possible inspiration, if accurate. I don't know that it depersonalizes the act or not, but it would be interesting to see exactly what wounds were represented.

              Paul, I do believe that there is an undiscovered link between Mary and Kate that would help explain her co-incidental use of Marys name twice in her last 28 or 30 hours on earth, but I do not believe it relates to a shared killer. I think it more probable that a shared acquaintance of John, Joe, Mary or Kate linked them. I suppose its not a bad guess to suggest Kate had heard of a Mary Kelly in Dorset St by sharing the occupation they did in the area they worked...and Mary was called Mary Jane by some who knew her, so her middle name might not be any great secret.

              I do think that its possible Kate's killer came from that same circle, and I cant help but feel that the alleged story of Kate's bragging she would be claiming the reward for information on Jack, had some grain of truth to it. I think Kate may have had her nose almost cut off for sticking it where it didnt belong, and I think her killer knew she was in jail until she was sober enough to go home....City Police house rules that Fall,....... had she been hammered on Metro soil, she would have been jailed until morning, and stayed alive.

              I think during the time from when she likely last sees Kelly, which is probably not Saturday morning as stated by John, but Friday night when the pawn stub was dated, she met someone she knew, or someone who knew folks she knew, and a meeting was set up. One that might not involve a specific time, but a person and place near Mitre Square.

              I feel Mary was also killed by someone within that same circle of acquaintances, but by a man very close to her personally,.. not the Ripper,... and not the same guy who killed Kate, who probably was the Ripper.

              My feeling is that there very likely were people close to him that knew, or suspected he was the mad killer. Why they didnt come forward can be addressed by fear for their own lives, or commitment to a mutual cause or movement that bound them with the killer in silence.

              Sorta like the Mason theory...a bunch knowing what was going on but kept silent because of their vows, or interests that were being served by the killers remaining at large. Lets say hypothetically that the mutual circle was Irish...Fenians included..and the guy killing women is actually providing a service to Fenians organizing the assassination of Lord Balfour that same Fall. Either by tying up cops, or eliminating talkers, ...whatever.

              If they start to suspect he is the Ripper fellow, what can they do? Turn him in...they all go to jail when he talks, might even bring back hanging for that. Do they risk the entire operation, one they believe is a step to gain freedom for their country,... to save a few street whores?

              My best regards.
              Last edited by perrymason; 03-30-2008, 02:23 AM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Intriguing as any theory of Eddowes' use of the "Kelly" name might be, whether MJK and Kate (or any of the other victims) may have known each other, or indeed whether Kate was en route to a pre-arranged meeting in Mitre Square, they really should be on separate threads.

                </suggestion>
                Kind regards, Sam Flynn

                "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hello, Michael.

                  I love the nose thing. And, of course, Sam, certianly that belongs here. Facial mutilations making it personal: the very topic of the thread. But I agree that the Kelly name connection and Eddowes's possible rendez-vous with and "knowledge" of the killer certianly warrants a thread of its own.

                  For now, I'd like to add that I still think your theory--or rather theorieS--here, Michael, which are actually quite similar to mine, work better with one doer.

                  I also think that Dan's insightful article actually enhances some of what you say because Dan shows that JTR acts with both malice AND forethought. And I would add, although I don't think he would agree, a sense of the comic. When, for example, he takes a heart cuz they say he takes hearts, I see that as somewhat playful. Like, the nose thing, to get back to mutilations. There has to be a perverse sense of playful performance when Jack is saying/showing that Eddowes was sticking it in where it doesn't belong. But I think that the vengeance itself, as Michael shows, makes it personal. And the fact that he is copying(parodying) another mutilation, as Dan shows, doesn't of itself say that it is not personal. It can be--and I think is--both.

                  Oh, when we start that new thread, I want to both say that the use of the Kelly name twice suggests that MJK is on Eddowes's mind, and ask why.
                  Last edited by paul emmett; 03-30-2008, 06:19 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by c.d. View Post
                    I was reading the transcript of the Eddowes' inquest and I was struck by this quote from Dr. Frederick Gordon Brown who performed the autopsy -- "her face was very much mutilated." Note that he doesn't say that her face was cut or was severely cut or even mutilated. He says it was severely mutilated. In light of this, can anyone argue that the cuts to Mary's face were somehow personal? If so, then they would also have to be personal with regards to Kate would they not?
                    Actually, just be looking at the photos - although the cuttings are nasty - it is doubtful if the good doctor's statement should be seen in such a context. After all, at that time he still hadn't seen Mary Jane Kelly's facial mutilations; if he had, then he probably would have described Eddowes differently. In the beginning of October his statement is understandable but seen in the light of Kelly it seems exaggerated.
                    Unfortunately some papers seem to have picked up on it, because they exaggerate it by saying that her face was 'destroyed beyond recognition', which of course is totally false and fits Kelly better than Eddowes.
                    In his essay "Done to Death", Alex Chisholm point out this anomalie as one possible explanation for why the killer of Kelly may have gone to excess with the face, namely that he got the wrong impression about Eddowes' mutilations thanks to the news reports.

                    In any case, it is very difficult to say if Eddowes' facial cuts were of personal nature, but they were certainly not as severe as Kelly's and doesn't really match Brown's description if we compare them to Kelly's. As far as kelly's are concerned, however, they fit what I've seen on other personal murders.

                    All the best
                    Last edited by Glenn Lauritz Andersson; 07-06-2008, 02:31 AM.
                    The Swedes are the Men that Will not Be Blamed for Nothing

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hi Glenn,
                      Originally posted by Glenn Lauritz Andersson View Post
                      After all, at that time he still hadn't seen Mary Jane Kelly's facial mutilations; if he had, then he probably would have described Eddowes differently.
                      Eddowes' face was indeed "very much mutilated". She sustained some dozen wounds to her face, and Kelly - what? - two dozen, perhaps. In terms of the facial mutilations, at least, it's a relatively short step from Kate to Mary. It's only a matter of degree.
                      Kind regards, Sam Flynn

                      "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post
                        Hi Glenn,Eddowes' face was indeed "very much mutilated". She sustained some dozen wounds to her face, and Kelly - what? - two dozen, perhaps. In terms of the facial mutilations, at least, it's a relatively short step from Kate to Mary. It's only a matter of degree.
                        And I dont feel that degree was very much at all!
                        If one really studies MJKs face and tries to put it together again I think one will find that its not as bad as it looks. I dont have the reference here but I believe DR Phillips stitched her face back together. He also re-assembled her parts and stated no parts were missing!

                        Besides...Im not a Doctor but I would describe the cutting off of a Womans nose to be a major facial mutilation!!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post
                          Hi Glenn,Eddowes' face was indeed "very much mutilated". She sustained some dozen wounds to her face, and Kelly - what? - two dozen, perhaps. In terms of the facial mutilations, at least, it's a relatively short step from Kate to Mary. It's only a matter of degree.
                          No, it's more than that, Sam.
                          Eddowes had some nasty cuts in her face, but MJK had all of her facial features destroyed beyond recognition. I know that the latter is visible in murders that are personal and could be seen as 'dehumanization' (as an attempt to totally destroy the case), but I can't say that with Eddowes.

                          All the best
                          The Swedes are the Men that Will not Be Blamed for Nothing

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hi Glenn,
                            Originally posted by Glenn Lauritz Andersson View Post
                            No, it's more than that, Sam.
                            Eddowes had some nasty cuts in her face, but MJK had all of her facial features destroyed beyond recognition. I know that the latter is visible in murders that are personal and could be seen as 'dehumanization' (as an attempt to totally destroy the case), but I can't say that with Eddowes.
                            Pardon pun, but where is the "cut-off point"? It's all very well these criminologists (or whatever) coming up with pat pronouncements that face-slashing is "dehumanizing", but what - in the name of reason - do they actually mean by it? What scale do they propose by which one should gauge the degree of dehumanization? Have they been able to prove definitively that the motive is "dehumanization" in the first place? Bloke gets a glass in his face down the pub - is that dehumanization, or is it just some drink or drug-crazed nutcase being really quite nasty?

                            Come to think of it, it's not immediately apparent to me that a person's arms, legs, abdomens, genitalia and breasts should be considered somehow "less human" than their face. Who decided that they should be?
                            Kind regards, Sam Flynn

                            "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Sam,

                              I think the idea is that a face on a body (or, hell, a face on a cartoon character or a puppet or whatever) is what gives it the sense of being human. Destroying that turns the body into basically meat or gore or whatever instead of a human.

                              That said, there's different ways criminologists explain facial mutilations.

                              Sometimes it's done in an attempt to make it so that nobody can identify the body. That, of course, would have been pretty pointless in the Kelly case, as the body is in her own room.

                              Sometimes it's done out of some emotional attachment or guilt, in that the killer doesn't want the victim to be looking at him anymore. He might destroy the eyes, or simply cover up the head in some way. In the Ripper case that doesn't seem to have been the motive either, as the eyes themselves were apparently largely untouched, and the removal of the flesh area where the eyebrow is would have only made the eyes more pronounced in comparison. We also know she was initially attacked with her head under the sheet, or at least that her throat was cut in that way. If he'd worried about looking at her face he could have kept that there.

                              Sometimes it's done just out of the urge for personal destruction, and in this case certainly other things were destroyed as well so there's not much of a reason to treat the face any differently from the rest, as you point out.

                              Dan Norder
                              Ripper Notes: The International Journal for Ripper Studies
                              Web site: www.RipperNotes.com - Email: dannorder@gmail.com

                              Comment

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